Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweet Satisfaction: a Review of 'Prince In The Mist,' a novella by Claudy Conn

Prince In The Mist, By Claudy Conn
It happens. Once in a great while a character is born into literature that is so richly interesting one simply can't get enough of him. In the world of romance novels, Breslyn, Fae Prince of Dagda, is one such character. Introduced to us first through Claudy Conn's Legend series, Breslyn quickly became a character that enlivened interest and inspired fantasy beyond his intended role in the overall series. With Puckish mischief he disregards the rules of human-Fae engagement to tickle and tease Claudy's heroines and readers temptingly. We are intrigued by his interest in us, intrigued that for him we are more than a mad distraction or passing fancy. He is loyal but rebellious, a warrior who loves humans enough to risk his queen's disfavor by entangling himself in their lives and struggles. If you, like I, have fantasized about being seduced by this golden Fae you will not be disappointed. Claudy satisfies her fans' deepest desires to experience more of one of her most beloved heroes by taking us back in time to explore and discover Breslyn's early heroic and romantic exploits.

In Prince of the Mist, Claudy gives us not one but two romances, set in the era of English-Scotland conflict, before the tides of history turned in favor of Robert de Bruce and his Scotsmen. Breslyn digs himself right into the thick of things, aiding the Scottish by bringing the Knights Templar -guardians of many sacred Fae hallows, and Robert de Bruce together against the British.

Claudy opens the novella with the romance of Breslyn and Chartelle -Lady Dumfires. Political scheming, spies and ne'r-do-wells, add spice and intrigue to their passion. Stricken by her beauty and gentle nature, Breslyn sets out to free Chartelle from a marriage of convenience to the traitor Francis Bothe -Laird Dumfries. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Chartelle finds a champion and lover in Breslyn's strong arms. Can Breslyn free Chartelle and stop Bothe's traitorous machinations, without ruining her life, or breaking any of the Fae laws governing interference in human destiny? Claudy's scenes of passion between these two are enough to make your toes curl, but it is her gentle touch on the strings of your heart that will satisfy you long after the story has ended.

Also woven through the mists is the romance of Breslyn's friend and Chartelle's brother, the Druid Priest and Laird of Belfor, Storm MacLean. Alexis of Waverly has come in disguise seeking refuge at Belfor. Keeper of secrets and a possible spy, Alexis poses a double problem for Storm. Her father has been murdered and her lands confiscated by the British sympathizer, Lord Comyn. Storm is torn between suspicion that she may be a plant of his enemies and the burning need to make her his own. Alexis is everything the young Scottish Laird would have in a companion and in his bed. If only he could trust her, but his instincts tell him she is keeping secrets. Whether these secrets are her own or those of another he does not know. It only matters that she is his heart's burning desire.

Claudy's knowledge of the era, lore and history give this novel a depth of color and excitement that is undeniable. Prepare to be swept away.

Prince in the Mist can be purchased in e-book format through Smashwords.com or through Amazon


Book Title: Prince in the Mists
Author: Claudy Conn
ASIN: B006643NL2
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

Friday, December 23, 2011

Web of Lies: My Life With a Narcissist, by Sarah Tate


Writers In The Sky Podcast presents an interview with author Sarah Tate about her recently released book, Web Of Lies - My Life With a Narcissist.
The interview offers information about NPC, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and about the authors experiences publishing her work through Create Space.

Click Play to Listen . . .









About the Author
Sarah Tate is a single mother living and working in Switzerland. She arrived in Switzerland ten years ago and apart from a brief stay in France, has remained ever since, as Switzerland has become her adopted homeland.
Sarah has three young kids, who take up most of her time, but she still managed to find time to write her first book, Web of Lies - My life with a Narcissist. The book is an auto-biographical novel which describes in graphic details, the ups and downs of life with a person who suffers from (amongst other things) Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Web of Lies takes the reader on an emotional journey and gives a deep insight into what it's like to be sucked into the world of a disordered individual, and more importantly, how to escape with your sanity in tact.

Review
Author: Sarah Tate
Publisher: CreateSpace (December 27, 2010) 
Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145651668X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456516680
Link to Purchase 

Web of Lies is the gripping autobiographical story of Sarah Tate, a young woman who's life goes tragically wrong when she meets and marries a man with NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

The author skillfully relates her life story and experiences, revealing aspects of relationship that are both sobering and chilling. Circumstances related in Web of Lies are those of a nightmare relationship come to life and include the psychological torment experienced by Sarah and her children as they struggle with both loving and fearing her husband and their father.

Readers will learn about the nature of NPD, how to recognize the symptoms and what it means for those who are close enough to be impacted by the narcissistic personality. The experiences and situations related in Web of Lies are real and expressed from the perspective of the author for the benefit of others.

Everyone may have some traits of narcissistic behavior, that may at times seem selfish or to be the cause of distress in their relationships. However, a person with NPD is engaged in behavior that goes far beyond natural or healthy self interest.  Sarah Tate opens her life story in Web of Lies, as a healing journey of self discovery and recovery, a shining example of perseverance and the healing that can come through creativity. Web of Lies includes a comment from Dr. David Holmes, Senior Lecturer for the RIHSC Research Centre: Social Change Research Centre.

Recommended reading for everyone interested in the human story!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Residue and Ashes, an Interview With Author Russ Vanheel

One of my favorite topics and interests as a writer is how creativity can be used in healing and self recovery.

In Residue and Ashes, author Russ VanHeel set out to record his healing journey using short story writing as a form of therapy. He explores the domestic abuse and trauma that he suffered in a past relationship from many angles.

Russ's writing is deeply visceral, and at times disturbing. Residue and Ashes is not for everyone, as it explores abuse situations and the abuser/victim experiences that are both traumatic and frightening. Those who have suffered abuse however, will recognize their own experiences in them and hopefully feel the liberation of deeper understanding that comes through self exploration and reflection.

Some of the stories Russ has written from the perspective of witnesses and several through the eyes of his abuser. Several of these stories explore the emotional experience of abuse through fictionalization, but all share autobiographical elements.

Healing is a personal process but sharing ones experiences is an integral step in moving forward and embracing life. Residue and Ashes is the author's vehicle of healing, which he hopes will touch others who have survived domestic abuse allowing them to know that they are not alone.

Residue and Ashes is a study in healing, and an exploration of the soul.

Join host Vonnie Faroqui as she interviews author Russ VanHeel about his latest book Residue and Ashes, a collection of short stories that explore the healing journey. How has the author used writing to aid in self recovery? How vital is creativity in the healing process?

Click Play to listen . . . 


Author Russ Vanheel and grandchildren
 After two years of extensive therapy, I had finally learned I was a victim of domestic abuse. From a male standpoint, this was an extremely difficult concept for me to accept, and up until then, it felt like nothing more than a weakness on my part. Who was this woman that had caused such an overwhelming magnitude of ruination to every aspect of my life? Someone totally devoid of a conscience, and clearly incapable of having empathy for others. I'd never known anyone like her before she came into my life....
~ Russ Vanheel


Russ's two books, Life in Purgatory and Residue and Ashes are available through Outskirts Press and Amazon books.

Friday, December 9, 2011

GOOD TALES, an Interview With Author Louis Winslow

Every Body Loves a Good Tale

Author Louis Winslow and host Vonnie Faroqui discuss the release of his short story compilation in an engaging interview.

The author shares his experiences with writing and publishing, Good Tales: Tales Guaranteed to Entertain!

Louis Winslow is a retired chemist, turned author, living in Stillwater Minnesota. Good Tales is his first published work.



Click Play to Listen . . .




To purchase your copy of Good Tales visit Amazon.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Create an Author Blog Using Google's Blogspot.com


I have had so many authors tell me they won't blog because of being intimidated by the computer and about using internet, I thought a little How To presentation might be called for.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Spontaneous Combustion

Book Title: Free Falling - Legend
Author: Claudy Conn
ISBN: 978-1466382022
Publisher: Create Space
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui, Ink Slinger's Whimsey

If I were a cat, I would be hissing and spitting right now. I have just finished reading Claudy Conn’s Free Falling – Legend. [howling - Dammit woman, you just can-not leave a girl hanging like that!]

Readers, I have two words for you . . . spontaneous combustion –heck, have another, explosive! And another, AAAAAH! Well, maybe that isn’t a word exactly, but it’s what I’m feeling.

For those of you following the Legend series be warned. HOLD ON TIGHT! The series has reached a boiling point and Free Falling is all action.

Claudy starts by throwing two of the most frustratingly stubborn beings in the universe together. You know it is going to be a love-lust match from the beginning. I mean, how can it be anything but, when they are coming together with so much personal baggage! [Claudy you are a pure torment-ress and I don’t know if I love you anymore! Strike that. I know I do!]

Radzia MacDaun, Z, is young, impetuous, sexy, rash, proud, and deeply wounded by the murder of her father, a Druid priest; and the loss of her mother, a Daoine princess, who lies comatose in grief. Radzia, a rare mixture of Fae and human, is consumed with a blood lust for revenge on her father’s murderer, the Fae traitor, Gaiscioch.

Enter Danté, Prince of Lugh, with all the cool, arrogant self-assurance, and wounded pride of a Faery lord who has recently had his amorous attentions rejected. He is a big, proud warrior, with a thousand years of experience over Radzia; and he is pissed that his queen is sticking him with babysitting Z’s youthful energies. Danté thinks he is above the job, while his talents and energies are needed to fight a war. Radzia thinks of him as a pompous, over confident, overbearing, royal pain in the . . . not asset. For her, this is a personal battle. She is young and doesn’t feel any of the obligatory loyalty about following orders coming from her queen. She just goes with her gut, flying on instinct, and Danté isn’t part of her plans. Neither of them have time for romance nor do they see anything in the other, but an obstacle to their individual goals.

Claudy has placed these two and their romance in the midst of the rising storm. The moment has come for a final conflict between the forces of light and darkness. Queen Aaibhe’s pieces are moving into position for the final test and yet, everything that can go wrong is about to as Radzia leaps into action time and again without her hero at her side.

This is one hell of a roller coaster. Free Falling keeps you on the edge and leaves you hanging from its stormy start to catapulting finish. When you get to the end of this ride you are going to look around a little disoriented and stumble to get in line for the next. You won’t be able to leave the amusement park. I am almost scared to open my eyes and look for what is to come. I have no doubt that before Claudy ends the series; she is going to take us up, around, and upside down. When she finally lets us get off, we are going to be so sore! Thankfully, it will be Claudy’s kind of sore, which is all good. Are you ready for it?
[shrieking, arms up, all the way] Here-We-Go!

Visit the Author's Website at http://claudyconn.embarqspace.com/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Romance Over the Holidays

One of the aspects of my life that I most enjoy are the relationships I am privileged to develop with some really incredible authors.

This week I would like call your attention to a prolific and wonderful romance writer, Claudy Conn. Claudy has two new hot series of romances out this year, The Legend series, and The Shadow series.  Both series fall under the genre of paranormal romance or fantasy fiction.

You might remember Claudy as the author Claudette Williams and think of her regency and historical romances. Claudy wrote over 40 mass market bestsellers in that field using the pen names Claudette Williams and Melanie Davis for Fawcett, Zebra and Doubleday book club. After a nine year hiatus [we won’t call it retirement,] Claudy Conn returned to the world of romance literature with a foray into writing paranormal romance.  Claudy embraces the paranormal aspects of her series with obvious enjoyment and ease.

Paranormal and fantasy fictions are my absolute favorite reads and she has made the switch seem effortless. She has nailed the genre as if she was born to write it. No disrespect intended toward the historical and regency set . . . I cut my reading chops on those romances.

Here is a link to Claudy Conn on Amazon where you can purchase your ebook or paperback versions today.

The Legend Series

Spellbound – Legend is a masterfully written tale that pits a contemporary young woman against ancient forces. Maxie Reigate descends from a long line of Druid priests and priestesses. She’s always been aware of the family legend but what she doesn’t know is that her fate is tied into the world of the Tuatha Dé, the fairy people, also known as the Fae, who are at the heart of Irish Myth and folklore. The wall of power, set up to separate the world of man from the Fae, is in danger of collapse; there is a blood sucking, evil and ancient beauty that wants her dead; the hero of her family’s legend, Julian, the High Druid Priest is about to wake up after a two hundred year coma and walk into her life; and then there is a Fae Prince who wants to protect and keep her for his own. There is danger at every turn and enough sexual tension to launch an arrow.

Shee Willow-- Legend
They called her ‘faeling’ and Willow ran.
She isn’t running anymore.
Half-human, half-Fae, Willow Lang has never felt she truly fit in either world, but she’s doing her best to ignore her Fae nature and focus on her work as an art restorer at a museum in New York City. Then she accepts a job restoring classic paintings in Ireland and finds herself in the middle of a conflict between the Seelie Fae and the evil Dark Fae. In order to protect the Human world, she must embrace her Fae powers.  But that’s not the only challenge Willow faces. Roland Omren, a handsome gypsy, is vying for her affection. The hunky Fae Breslyn, Prince of Dagda, is trying to seduce her. And then there’s her mysterious boss, Shayne Bantry…

Trapped –Legend
BJ Mulroy has had it rough. Orphaned at an early age to be raised by an emotionally distant aunt, she was left to struggle on her own in a world where humans posed the least of the dangers she must face. BJ is a Fios, a human woman born with certain magical gifts, the sight being one of them. She has the inborn ability to see past any glamour used by Faerie beings to cloak their true appearance from humans. This is a dangerous gift to have. In ancient times the Fios were hunted down and blinded to prevent them from being able to reveal a Fae’s identity to other humans. Now, with the protective wall between the worlds thinning and the number of Dark Un-seelie Fae breaking through it on the rise, the gifts of a Fios are both rare and precious.

The Seelie queen has manipulated circumstances to place BJ in the thick of things, hoping to tip the scales of power toward the light and away from her enemies’ might in numbers. The queen is gathering power, drawing on firm loyalties and pushing each of her subjects to their utmost before it becomes too late. Powers alone may not be enough to stand against the vast hoard of monsters her enemies control. It is imperative that BJ discover the fullest extent of her gifts if she is to survive and aid the queen. What BJ doesn’t know is that the power her blood contains could be used to dissolve the fragile wall which protects the human world from invasion.

Conn introduces a new Faery prince, Danté, to temp our heroine’s passions, but this time the hero is obviously a human, Daremont Carrick. Well, maybe our hero isn’t too obvious. Conn has made things difficult for BJ by placing Dare, our lovely man-stud, magically out of reach. Trapped, after all is the title of the book and trapped he surely is. There are aspects of this love story that add heart to the story and emotionally complicate matters for BJ and Dare. However, I do have to admit that, the idea of a hot powerful man, kept yearning, and just out of reach does something wickedly delicious to raise the lust-tension of the book, and push thoughts of Trapped explosively into the very best of your wildest romance-fantasy dreams.

Just released in November 2011, Free Falling - My Review  





I have just finished reading Claudy Conn’s Free Falling – Legend. If I were a cat, I would be hissing and spitting right now. [howling - Dammit woman, you just can-not leave a girl hanging like that!]

Readers, I have two words for you . . . spontaneous combustion –heck, have another, explosive! And another, AAAAAH! Well, maybe that isn’t a word exactly, but it’s what I’m feeling.

For those of you following the Legend series be warned. HOLD ON TIGHT! The Legend series has reached a boiling point and Free Falling is all action.

Claudy starts by throwing two of the most frustratingly stubborn beings in the universe together. You know it is going to be a love-lust match from the beginning. I mean, how can it be anything but, when they are coming together with so much personal baggage! [Claudy you are a pure torment-ress and I don’t know if I love you anymore! Strike that. I know I do!]

Radzia MacDaun, Z, is young, impetuous, sexy, rash, proud, and deeply wounded by the murder of her father, a Druid priest; and the loss of her mother, a Daoine princess, who lies comatose in grief. Radzia, a rare mixture of Fae and human, is consumed with a blood lust for revenge on her father’s murderer, the Fae traitor, Gaiscioch.

Enter Danté, Prince of Lugh, with all the cool, arrogant self-assurance, and wounded pride of a Faery lord who has recently had his amorous attentions rejected. He is a big, proud warrior, with a thousand years of experience over Radzia; and he is pissed that his queen is sticking him with babysitting Z’s youthful energies.

Danté thinks he is above the job, while his talents and energies are needed to fight a war. Radzia thinks of him as a pompous, over confident, overbearing, royal pain in the . . . not asset. For her, this is a personal battle. She is young and doesn’t feel any of the obligatory loyalty about following orders coming from her queen. She just goes with her gut, flying on instinct, and Danté isn’t part of her plans. Neither of them have time for romance nor do they see anything in the other, but an obstacle to their individual goals.

Claudy has placed these two and their romance in the midst of the rising storm. The moment has come for a final conflict between the forces of light and darkness. Queen Aaibhe’s pieces are moving into position for the final test and yet, everything that can go wrong is about to as Radzia leaps into action time and again without her hero at her side.

This is one hell of a roller coaster. Free Falling keeps you on the edge and leaves you hanging from its stormy start to catapulting finish. When you get to the end of this ride you are going to look around a little disoriented and stumble to get in line for the next. You won’t be able to leave the amusement park. I am almost scared to open my eyes and look for what is to come. I have no doubt that before Claudy ends the series; she is going to take us up, around, and upside down. When she finally lets us get off, we are going to be so sore! Thankfully, it will be Claudy’s kind of sore, which is all good. Are you ready for it?


[Shrieking, arms up, all the way] Here-We-Go!

The Shadow Series

Avid vampire and paranormal romance enthusiasts are in for a darkly delicious thrill when they sink their teeth into Claudy Conn’s Shadow Series. Conn has a gift for character and plot development that sets her work apart from other romance novelists. There are few romance writers of her caliber, who are able to sustain and build a quality series as she can do. It is a pleasurable gift to all of us that she has launched her writing into the paranormal and vampire sub-genres.

ShadowLove - Stalkers
Shawna has been running for most of her life. Half white witch and half vamp, Shawna’s daddy is Pentim Rawley, the powerful and vicious leader of a ruling vampire clan. Hidden at birth, protected and trained in the magical arts by her grandparents, Shawna has grown into a feisty, independent, beautiful young woman, but she is deeply lonely and now she has to run . . . Pentim has discovered that he has a daughter and he is looking for her.

Chad Macfare has secrets and desires of his own. He has visions, waking dreams of Shawna in Pentim’s grasp, and what he sees chills him to the bone. Chad is moved to seek Shawna himself, but is torn between the need to protect her and the knowledge that he will have to use her as bait if he is ever to destroy the monster that is Pentim Rawley. This is a deadly game with more at risk for Chad Macfare than losing his heart. Chad is more than he seems. His family has secrets so deep that if revealed would bring them under the eye of the father of all vampires himself, Dracula. Together Shawna and Chad struggle with trusting each other and knowing that the secrets they each keep could place others, innocents, in the hands of pure evil.

ShadowHeart –Slayer does something surprising in series literature. It forms a cross connection between Claudy Conn’s two paranormal series. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for you.

Slayer, Nikki Walker is my kind of roundhouse kicking, vamp slaying gal. In spite of being a little inexperienced fighting the evil undead, Nikki is a more believable slayer than Buffy and other paranormal slayer-wanna-bees. It is possible that some of her appeal may come from the hero Claudy has matched her with.

Damon Drummond is a vampire. He is ancient, and more powerful than any vampire she has yet encountered, more mysterious, and oh so darkly desirable. In all respects, except for one, he raises her alarms and yet, for Slayer Nikki Walker, it is that one point where he staggers her comprehension. There is something that is just Not Vamp about him and that makes her hesitate. That something means everything to a slayer and because of it she can’t figure out if she should plunge a wooden stake through his heart or give him the key to her own. For his part, Damon has no doubts about how he feels towards Nikki. She is his to protect, and confound, simultaneously winning her heart, while thwarting her sole purpose, in denying her the vengeance she pursues. Separately they are formidable enemies, but when they combine forces the sparks fly and the chemistry explodes.


These two series will make fabulous gift sets for the avid romance readers in your life but if you don't want to wait, or if you are looking for some great holiday reading you can purchase them now. Both series are available in ebook formats or paperback through Amazon and other book sellers.


Monday, November 21, 2011

An Invitation from Author Mary E. Martin

Author Mary Martin is using some wonderfully creative online promotion tactics and you will want to see what she is doing. This is one example of putting the available technology and social media to work for you.
Here is the invitation she has sent inviting us join her for the upcoming launch of The Fate of Pryde.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you remember that childhood fantasy of toys coming alive and jumping out of the box to play at night when children are sleeping? What’s happening on my blog in November will remind you of that fantasy.

You may already know that the second novel in the Trilogy of Remembrance, The Fate of Pryde will be published soon—in fact by the beginning of December 2011.


In celebration of the launch, I’m handing my blog http://remembrancetrilogy.com/blog over to my protagonist, Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter, where he will tell short stories and give his version of events from The Drawing Lesson and The Fate of Pryde. I’m sure some other characters such as Rinaldo and Jonathan Pryde will show up too.

I really want to bring these characters to life by giving them a voice [and soap-box] of their own. You just never know what a real character will say when given half a  chance. 




Throughout November, there will be readings from the novels, some video and photos and maybe some music. Unfortunately, current technology does not permit me to serve you a glass of champagne but if it did, of course, I would.

This launch is different from the usual because the characters will be in charge making it fun for everyone—especially me. It’s a party, so everyone can join in with their comments and questions.

November will be the lead-up to the Twitter Party on December 3rd in the afternoon and Facebook Event where there will be great prizes, such as a new Kindle—preloaded with my five novels—three from The Osgoode Trilogy and two from the Trilogy of Remembrance.

Alexander is already holding forth on my blog and so, you need to listen up!  To follow the fun throughout November just click here
http://remembrancetrilogy.com/feed/rss/  and you won’t miss a thing.

Thanks everyone. See you soon!



Thursday, September 1, 2011


Ink Slinger's Whimsey welcomes author Jim Daddio in a written interview about his most recent novel, The Cobras.

Vonnie Faroqui: Some of the first questions that fans usually want to ask have to do with that moment of discovery, when you first knew that you wanted to be a writer; in part, because writing is one of those creative vocations that so many of us aspire too. Do you think of writing and being an author as a special calling or your purpose in life?
Jim Daddio: Writing is a passion. If a person believes in themselves and has a story to tell, fiction or non-fiction, it is important to find the tools to write it.
Faroqui: When did you first know you were a writer? How did you know?
Daddio: I was always told that I told a great story, that and in my business life, I was considered very creative in my ideas. I put the two together.
Faroqui: How do you find ideas for your books? How do you find inspiration, fill your creative well, so to speak . . ?
Daddio: I seem to always have ideas running through my mind. I try hard to create a different story or approach. My goal is always to create a fiction story that feels real to the reader.
Faroqui: What is it like to get that creative burst that evolves into a novel? How was that for you? What inspired you to write The Cobras?
Daddio: I was inspired to write The Cobras from people I’ve met over the years and the stories they’ve told me. I also did research on the FBI and law enforcement and created an FBI Agent from a composite of stories and my imagination.
Faroqui: Did you spend much time considering who you were writing for, or did you write for yourself?
Daddio: I would love to say that all readers would enjoy The Cobras, but it is a man’s book. The Stuart News said, “The language is frank and the violence is central in this fast-paced thriller.”
Faroqui: If you were to characterize your writing style how would you describe yourself? I try to develop stories about people that the reader can identify with.
Daddio: I want the reader to follow the characters throughout the story and understand the decisions they make, good or bad, and the consequences they face.
Faroqui: Some people believe that in order to be truly creative a person has to be tormented, or have deep inner turmoil? What do you think of that notion? Daddio: Again writing is a joy and passion. If that’s what drives a writer then the person’s personal life shouldn’t matter. This is especially for fiction. A non-fiction story can come from personal tragedy or turmoil in their life.
Faroqui: What experience in life has been the most helpful in preparing you as a writer?
Daddio: I’ve always traveled in my business life. Therefore I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many different people and be in so many places that the stories were always in front of me. It’s taking all that and tying it together with imagination and the writer’s privilege to embellish . . . (Ha, Ha.)
Faroqui: Do you have any advice to offer others, the would-be-writers out there, which might help them on their way?
Daddio: I have three rules; 1. It’s called The End. Write it, finish it and have it edited. 2.) Understand your audience and find a publisher that matches your genre. 3.) Have a plan to market and promote your work. Don’t count on the publisher on doing that for you.
Faroqui: Do you have anything you would like to share with your readers, thoughts, thanks, or news about upcoming books?
Daddio: I wrote a romance book with a humorous touch. I will be publishing it on an e-book only site. It is called The Choice. I tested it with three female readers and the response has been very satisfying. I also have signed with an agent to place a murder mystery, The Privileged.
Faroqui: What books have you written and where can your books be purchased?
Daddio: I have written a trilogy featuring a PI, Art Decco. The Wind, on Amazon.com, Las Vegas Dead, at publishamerica.com, and Heaven or Hell-A Story of Human Trafficking, at wings-epress and amazon.com
Faroqui: Do you have an author’s website where fans can follow your work?
Daddio: Yes, I do and thank you for asking, it is www.jdaddiothecobras.com

Many Thanks to Author Jim Daddio for answering our questions and for sharing his experiences writing The Cobras!


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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blog, Blog, Blog

I'm BLOGGING this! - MOO Sticker Design

A blog by any other name is, Free Publicity.

Why aren’t you blogging?

I have heard a lot of excuses for why authors don’t want to blog.
    "I am not good with computers."
    "It is too technical, I don’t know how to set up a blog."
    "It is too much work to maintain."
    "I can’t think of anything to blog about."
    "No one will know how to find my blog."

These are the most common excuses, but none of them need to be a deterrent.  Blog hosting providers like Google and Wordpress are developing more user friendly tools every day.  Gone are the days when you had to know a programming language to create a good looking website to promote your work.  These days blog domains are creating templates that allow inexperienced bloggers to create attractive and exciting multimedia pages.  An author can create what amounts to a decent webpage through their blog.

Take for example Blogspot.com, Google’s blog domain.

When you set up your account you not only get a front blog page, but you can also create additional pages for information  such as, About the author, a page specifically about your Books, Reviews, Virtual Touring and more.

Take a look at my blog.  I have additional pages that allow me to give focus to information I think is of value to my followers. At the bottom of my page I have a YouTube playlists of book trailers showcasing book trailers, for authors whose books I have reviewed.  I can add audio files, and link to sites that have posted my reviews.

Through investing time in creating a blog, I have gained access to all the great features that used to belong exclusively to companies and people with the cash needed to hire a web designer and techno geeks.  I have had fun finding and adding gadgets, personalizing my site to promote my work and I didn’t need to pay a site administrator to get it done. I have even posted attractive links to books on Amazon.com where followers can make purchases.  [See, look left]

Granted I like computers, but I did all of this without knowing a computer programming language, or html code, because Blogspot.com has designed it’s tools with beginner to average computer users in mind.  The same is true for most blog hosting domains.  It serves them to make it easy for users to . . . well, use.

Even if you aren't super with computers, you should be able to create an account, a basic site, and learn how to post. You can afford to play around creating a site because it doesn't cost anything to set up a blog and because you don't have to start posting until you have things the way you like them. You could, if you wanted to, but there is no pressure to start posting immediately.  Also, until you start connecting your social networking accounts to each other no one has to see your blog under construction.

The number one way to promote yourself and your book is through blogging.  Blogging allows you to communicate with fans, to answer their questions  and tell them what you want them to know. 

Many social networking sites have programs or applications which allow you to syndicate your blog, redirecting traffic to flow into your blog through links that announce automatically when you publish a post. That means once you post to your blog, an announcement rolls over to Facebook, or Linked-in, and even Twitter, letting your followers know they have something new to read. 

Subscribe buttons allow followers to receive your blog like a morning paper on their iPads, pcs, smart phones and other media devices. Where have all the newspaper subscribers gone?  Why—to  the internet, where they are reading their favorite morning blogs over a cup of Joe.

So what is really stopping any of us from capitalizing on this obviously a great promotional opportunity? Yup . . .

Fear

"It is unfamiliar territory and it sounds like hard work. I told you I hate computers!"


Let’s do it!

Let's move past our fear response and let’s familiarize ourselves with the tools.  Let’s talk about it as we go. We don’t have to go it alone. If we have a question, let’s look for answers together. 

Over the next few weeks, we will explore blogging, the best blogging practices and we will familiarize ourselves by using Blogspot.com’s tools and gadgets in creating an author blog. 

Just think about it . . .  Free Publicity.




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Fan Inside: Interview with Author Mary Martin

Earlier in the month I posted a sneak peek into author Mary Martin's, soon to be published book, part two in The Trilogy of Remembrance --The Fate Of Pryde.  Today I have the privilege of sharing with you a fascinating written interview with the author.

Mary E. Martin  is the author of two trilogies The Osgoode Trilogy set in the corridors of power in the world of the law, and The Trilogy of Remembrance set midst the glitter and shadows of the art world.

Vonnie Faroqui: Welcome to the Ink Slinger's Whimsey blog Mary. It is really great to interview you for our reading audience. Some of the first questions that fans usually want to ask have to do with that moment of discovery, when you first knew that you wanted to be a writer; in part, because writing is one of those creative vocations that so many of us aspire too. Do you think of writing and being an author as a special calling or your purpose in life?

Mary Martin: Yes, but I had to do a lot of other things first, such as practice law and raise three children, before I felt that way. It’s a sense of this is what I’m supposed to do and that is very satisfying and—fun. I think such a feeling gives you the longer view of the writing life in that you are able to reach out to someone you’ve never met and touch them. As a writer, I live for that.

Faroqui: When did you first know you were a writer? How did you know?

Martin: I think, somewhere in myself, I always knew I wanted to write. In fact, in my early twenties, I did try — briefly. But I quickly learned that I had to earn money to support myself. I decided to become a lawyer because I felt that I was assured of being able to support myself fairly well in that profession. After being called to the Bar, I married, raised three children and practised law for thirty years.
Strangely enough, I began writing at what was likely the busiest time of my life. The children and the law practice demanded a great deal; however, I began my first novel by stealing time late at night or early in the morning. The progress was excruciatingly slow. On one occasion, I had to set the whole project aside for at least a year because of other demands. But when I returned to it, I found that it was still alive. The spirit behind its creation was still there. I think I likely began writing as a form of self-defense. That is, there may be numerous demands on me, but this writing is my own territory, where I can really be myself.
But I think I was first led into the world of writing as a child. It grew from a love of reading stories. I was fascinated that you could enter another world through a book. You could leave your present time and place and enter into an entirely different world created by someone else. For me, that was almost magical.

Faroqui: Tell us what kinds of novels you have written.

Martin: My second trilogy of novels [The Trilogy of Remembrance] is about an artist, Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter. The genesis of this trilogy occurred many years ago, before the publication in 2005 of my first novel, Conduct in Question, the first in The Osgoode Trilogy.
A writer friend/mentor of mine challenged me to write something other than a mystery novel. And so, I tried to write a romance, with little success. I had a man and woman meet while travelling on [believe it or not] the Orient Express to Venice. After thirty pages, I was getting bored. I knew enough to say that if the writer is bored, heaven help the reader!
At that moment in time, I envisioned a mysterious character who pretty much appeared in the room in my imagination. At once, I knew he was the protagonist for the book. It took a long time to get to know him, but after innumerable character sketches and other jottings, he became Alexander Wainwright, Britain's finest landscape artist. He would be the main character around which the next trilogy would be built. So, I suppose it was Alexander, himself, who inspired the trilogy. Once I got to know him a little bit, I found he had a great deal to say.
My experience has been that the characters an author creates are a part or aspect of oneself. Consequently, the growth of Alexander — a person who believes that there is much more to this world than meets the eye — probably is my inquiring, prodding, reflective self. I present him with many questions to which I personally want to find answers.
The next novel in this trilogy—The Fate of Pryde—will published this fall on Amazon’s CreateSpace. Again, Alexander is the protagonist and I’ve presented him with a new character from whom he has much to learn, Jonathan Pryde. Pryde is an extremely wealthy patron of the arts who wants to commission Alex to create a vision in stained glass for his residence in Vence in the south of France. Alexander hesitates. After all he is a painter, not a glass cutter. But Alex is drawn into Jonathan’s strange and murky world. At the foot of the garden of Pryde’s chateau-like home, stands a bunker protecting his secrets. In this novel, the question posed to Alex is—How can the very best and the very worst of humankind reside in one’s man breast?
And so, I love to present my protagonist with all sorts of problems to reflect upon. I have a few ideas for the next novel, but the trick, as always is to create a driving plot to find all the questions and— a few answers.

Faroqui: What kinds of books do you like to read and why? Are these the same kinds of books that you like to write?

Martin: When I’m writing [which is much of the time these days] I tend not to read fiction. Reading another writer’s novel seems to throw me off my own stride and so, I tend to read non-fiction, such as travel, philosophy, books about various religions and comparative mythology, essays etc; a pretty mixed bag.

Faroqui: How do you find ideas for your books? How do you find inspiration, fill your creative well, so to speak.

Martin: Sometimes, I feel myself running dry and that’s when I take a break from writing. Frequently, I turn to photography. It’s interesting to think about how the two activities relate. I’m definitely a very visual person and that plays a big part in my creating settings. I think the ideas find me rather than my finding them. Alexander seems to be ready with more questions and stories.


Faroqui: How do your books evolve? Do you get a creative burst which eventually matures into a novel? Do you pick a theme and lay a foundation? How do you approach the creative process?

Martin: I think each novel evolves in its own way. A lot like raising children—each one is quite different. It seems I do a lot of work “in the back of my mind” and so, when it’s ready, I sit down and get started. The growth of The Drawing Lesson was quite unusual. In fact it started out as a novella or even three novels and so the structure of a full novel was not really in place at the outset. Parts or scenes of the novel kept “floating up” to me and I would write them down without really knowing why. And so, I made a rule for myself—not to throw anything out until much later. It was like walking on a beach and coming across different shells and having to decide whether to pick one up and carry it home or not. Not until the end of the process did I cut out or change significant portions of the manuscript.
So, sometimes it starts out as an idea or a kind of character or a bunch of questions. I think I’m a pretty “organic” writer in the sense that I like the natural flow of the story to take over and guide me where it wants. I’m a great student of Carl Jung and consequently really believe in the power of the subconscious, which I think is a lot smarter and more creative than I am.

Faroqui: What inspired you to write The Trilogy of Remembrance?

Martin: As I mentioned before, I think Alexander Wainwright inspired me—that part of me which always asks questions.

Faroqui: Did you spend much time considering who you were writing for, or do you write for yourself?

Martin: I think I write primarily for me and my characters. Once you try to fit into some preconceived mold so that you can market your book to a particular group, you lose some of your creative “juices”. Unfortunately, there is a lot of formulaic writing out there and it’s not likely to be the best quality.

Faroqui: If you were to characterize your writing style how would you describe yourself?

Martin: That’s a hard one! Writers are always told they must find their own voice—your own way of saying things. I think it’s hard to find your voice, but when you do, I think you know it because it just sounds like you and it sounds like your characters. I strive for a smooth, economical and polished sound. Whether I hit it or not remains for the reader to decide.

Faroqui: Some people believe that in order to be truly creative a person has to be tormented, or have deep inner turmoil? What do you think of that notion?

Martin: No! At least I certainly hope not. Much is made of battles with inner demons. But it’s interesting you should ask. In fact, Alexander Wainwright does have a battle like that in The Drawing Lesson. Suddenly, this artist, known for his beautiful landscapes bathed in an ethereal light, starts painting trolls—ugly humanoid creatures—along the riverbank of his most recent painting. Of course this heralds a breaking up of his art so that he can advance creatively. I guess I’ve inflicted that on Alex so that I don’t personally have to deal with it. But seriously, I don’t think you have to suffer in order to create. I guess you do go down into the subconscious where wonderfully creative stuff resides, but so does a lot of stuff of nightmares.

Faroqui: What experience in life has been the most helpful in preparing you as a writer and who has been the biggest influence on your writing career and why?

Martin: My law practice itself was a huge inspiration for writing. After all, people would come to my office or sometimes I would make a house call. They would tell me the stories of their lives and, most of them paid me! Later, I came to regard my law practice as my window on the world and my research into humanity, which is my real subject matter. Many fascinating characters with their plotlines willingly came to my office. After years of this, I felt as if there were a burbling stew of stories within me — and so I began to write.
Actually, my law partner, a wonderful gentleman of the “old school” was the inspiration for my first protagonist, Harry Jenkins, lawyer in The Osgoode Trilogy, which was comprised of Conduct in Question, Final Paradox and A Trial of One—all legal suspense.

Faroqui: What do you hope readers will come away with when they read one of your books? Do you send messages through your work, hoping to inspire perhaps?

Martin: I hope the reader will enjoy looking beneath the surface of life for various layers of meaning and have found moments of quiet reflection. But, I also hope the reader has also been fabulously entertained with a great story and fascinating characters. In the weeks and months to come, he or she will think back to something in The Drawing Lesson or The Fate of Pryde and say— This person I've just met in real life reminds me of a character in that novel like Rinaldo or Daphne or Jonathan Pryde.


Faroqui: Do you have any advice to offer others, the would-be-writers out there?

Martin: The path for writers can be long and lonely but also very rewarding—not necessarily financially, but in terms of what really matters—personal growth. Keep working at your craft and your life. The publishing industry is undergoing massive changes and nobody really knows what the next stage will look like. Above all, don’t let anyone kill your creative spirit with rejection. Often, those who send rejection letters are simply looking for the next “sure thing” and cannot financially afford to take any sort of chance. Remember those agents only get paid if they pick a “winner” they can sell and they don’t want to waste time on anything else. Don’t take it as a personal rejection of your work or your talent. Once you have completed and published your work, you may think the hard work is done. I think, today, the greater challenge lies in promotion.

Faroqui: Do you have anything you would like to share with your readers, thoughts, thanks, or news about upcoming books?

Martin: I am always grateful to the readers, especially those who take the trouble to write. The second novel in The Trilogy of Remembrance—The Fate Of Pryde—will be on CreateSpace in the fall. Look for it there or on Smashwords.com. You can get any of the novels in The Osgoode Trilogy at any online bookstore and same for The Drawing Lesson.

Faroqui: Do you have an author’s website where fans can follow your work?

Martin: The Trilogy of Remembrance At this site you should check out the book trailer for The Drawing Lesson, which really captures the mystery and the narrative energy of the story.
The Osgoode Trilogy


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Sneak Peek at Author Mary Martin's book, The Fate of Pryde: second in the Trilogy of Remembrance.

I was giddy with excitement when Mary Martin contacted me to ask if I would review her latest book before it goes to print, The Fate of Pryde, book two in The Trilogy of Remembrance. "Of course, I would be thrilled!" Was my immediate response. As a reviewer it has been an honor to read and remark on Mary's work.

I was first introduced to Mary Martin's writing when I interviewed her for a Writers In The Sky Podcast about The Drawing Lesson which was book one in this series.  Mary's work is superb and she gave me one of the most enjoyable interview experiences I have had. That interview aired on 8/27/10.  Since that time, Mary has become one of my favorite authors.   

Mary E. Martin  is the author of two trilogies The Osgoode Trilogy set in the corridors of power in the world of the law, and The Trilogy of Remembrance set midst the glitter and shadows of the art world.

The Fate of Pryde more than lives up to its predecessor in The Trilogy of Remembrance. If you are a lover of words, ideas, and beauty; if you enjoy concepts and abstraction; if you, like me, want a book that will make you pause and look up, caught by some nuance of thought-seed carefully planted by the author, you will appreciate The Trilogy of Remembrance.
The Fate of Pryde will first be available on Create Space in the early fall and later through Smashwords; which gives you plenty of time to read part one, The Drawing Lesson

Now, on to my review . . .

The Fate of Pryde: The Trilogy of Remembrance,
by Mary Martin

Series: Trilogy of Remembrance
Paperback: 334 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1466263814
ISBN-13: 978-1466263819

With incredible depth of empathy, Mary Martin once again captivates our imaginations and transports us into the heart of artistry. In The Fate of Pryde, part two of The Trilogy of Remembrance, we return to the art world of Alexander Wainwright. Flushed with the success of his recent artistic breakthrough in The Drawing Lesson, Alex finds himself courted and commissioned to create a piece of stained glass for wealthy philanthropist, Jonathan Pryde.

Pryde is a man of immense wealth and power in the art world. Artists, museum boards, and critics alike bend before him. Pryde is a collector and a connoisseur of the artistic vision and Alex’s unique visionary gifts have caught his fascination. Pryde pursues Alex, challenging him both on a personal and a professional level. The further Alex moves into Pryde’s world the more the reader comes to realize that Pryde is dangerously fixated on the source of creative vision, Alex’s vision. Pryde’s desire to understand and to be understood by Alex becomes both a blessing and a source of danger to the artist. There is something not quite right about Jonathan Pryde, but Alex finds himself curiously drawn deeper into the man’s world. What they learn from each other and what they discover about artistic vision is the mystery that surrounds The Fate of Pryde.

Martin understands the healing potential of creativity and art. In The Fate of Pryde she explores the dichotomy of light and darkness and the power of creativity to both reveal and heal what hides within the soul of man. Martin uses the power of creativity as both an antagonistic force, to torment the mind and as a balm for the exploration and healing of her characters. Alex and Pryde both worship at the altar of artistic vision; Alex with open curiosity as a witness to life’s fullness, and Pryde with tormented longing and obsessive desire. Both men are driven forward by their hunger for creative vision. They each struggle in their own way to find a balancing place, one basking in the revelatory healing light vision brings, and the other seeking vision for absolution and redemption. What one man knows the other has yet to discover.

The artistic vision which infuses Mary Martin’s work is pure genius. Her story adeptly illuminates aspects of the human psyche and ego needs, bringing to man’s inner darkness the purifying light of awareness. The Fate of Pryde is a provocative and insightful work of art. I loved it!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ShadowLove - Stalkers


Claudy Conn adds heat to the paranormal and vampire romance genre with her newest series.

ShadowLove - Stalkers


Book Title: ShadowLove - Stalkers
Author: Claudy Conn
ISBN: 978-1463556211
Publisher: CreateSpace
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui


Avid vampire and paranormal romance enthusiasts are in for a darkly delicious thrill when they sink their teeth into Claudy Conn’s newest series, ShadowLove – Stalkers. Conn has a gift for character and plot development that sets her work apart from other romance novelists. There are few romance writers of her caliber, who are able to sustain and build a quality series as she can do. It is a pleasurable gift to all of us that she has launched her writing into the paranormal and vampire sub-genres.

Shawna has been running for most of her life. Half white-witch and half vamp, Shawna’s daddy is Pentim Rawley, the powerful and vicious leader of a ruling vampire clan. Hidden at birth, protected and trained in the magical arts by her grandparents, Shawna has grown into a feisty, independent, beautiful young woman, but she is deeply lonely and now she has to run . . . Pentim has discovered that he has a daughter and he is looking for her.

Enter Chad Macfare . . . with secrets and desires of his own. He has visions, waking dreams of Shawna in Pentim’s grasp, and what he sees chills him to the bone. Chad is moved to seek Shawna himself, but is torn between the need to protect her and the knowledge that he will have to use her as bait if he is ever to destroy the monster that is Pentim Rawley. This is a deadly game with more at risk for Chad Macfare than losing his heart. Chad is more than he seems. His family has secrets so deep that if revealed would bring them under the eye of the father of all vampires himself, Dracula. Together Shawna and Chad struggle with trusting each other and knowing that the secrets they each keep could place others, innocents, in the hands of pure evil.

ShadowLove – Stalkers is filled with steaming action and dramatic tension. Vampires aren’t the only monsters taking cover in the darkness of the night. There are other powers introduced for the series, whose intentions and capabilities are yet to be revealed. Claudy delicately plants the seeds for future development and characters without distracting from the excitement and romance of Stalkers. She has taken the best of the vampire and paranormal lore and built in many intriguing twists and avenues, exploring and combing the lore so masterfully that she develops whole areas of the genre left untouched by other writers. The result is that she has a paranormal, vampire series, of romance novels, which carries her own unique and spicy aroma.

All that being said and I still haven’t mentioned that Claudy fills her stories with enough passion to make the pages spark, sizzle, and steam. She doesn’t skimp when it comes to building sexy into her characters. The women are luscious and the men . . . well, the action doesn’t stop with the plot. She really knows how to make us tingle with anticipation for her next book. ShadowLove – Stalkers is hot, Hot, HOT . . . and yes, I am blushing.



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot: A Filmmaker's Journey into the Lights of Hollywood and True Love

Book Title: Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot
Subtitle: A Filmmaker's Journey into the Lights of Hollywood and True Love
Author: Guy Magar
ISBN: 978-0982866344
www.kissmequickbeforeishoot.com
Genre: Memoir/Filmaking
Publisher: Sea Script Company; First edition (May 4, 2011)
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui,  for Writers In The Sky


Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot, is Hollywood filmmaker Guy Magar’s memoir detailing his journey from child immigrant, through college, years of filmmaking, and love along the way to becoming an accomplished director, writer and producer. In an industry known to gloss and glamorize a turd until it looks appealing, this book is being given all the best hype and promotional backing you might imagine the autobiography of a recognizable celebrity and talent would get. However, in this case the hype is REAL. Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot deserves every bit of praise and recognition it gets and more.

Guy Magar's, Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot
For those of us that love the movies or have ever dreamed of, aspired to, danced around, or dived into a career in motion pictures or television, Kiss Me Quick is a “director’s cut” commentary of life on the road to and inside the industry. When I read Guy’s recollections and experiences, I wept just thinking of all the hopeful seekers and dreamers struggling for a break that never get one. The detailed behind-the-scenes knowledge and wisdom he so generously shares is beyond priceless to any aspiring film or television talent seeking entry into the industry. This is “must” reading for acting and directing students seeking film and television careers. Theater and film school do not prepare you for the cold reality of the industry, but Guy’s conversational and revealing memoir sure will.

Readers looking for a Hollywood fix, an insider’s candid perspective on breaking into the business or stories of life among the stars will lock themselves behind closed doors to indulge their celluloid passions with this master story teller. I think I’m in love. Too bad Guy is taken. Which leads me to another aspect of this book, which I think places it a cut above other memoirs and books of its genre. Kiss Me Quick is more than a Hollywood success story, it also relates the very real human drama and love story between Guy and his wife, Jacqui; sharing intimate details of her diagnosis with Leukemia and of the trial medical treatments that saved her life. Guy opens his heart and with incredible spirit, courage, and candor shares it all.

The creativity and passion which infuses Guy’s film work also comes through in his writing. Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot has all the excitement , flare, human interest , and drama Hollywood promises the hopeful, with a measure of reality, and God’s grace thrown in. Both of my thumbs are up for Magar’s Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot. Hand me the popcorn. I am reading that again.


Join Me on Friday July 1, 2011, as I host a 
Writers In The Sky Podcast interview with Guy Magar!



This review will be featured at www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com on July 4, 2011! Many Thanks for spreading the word.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Answer

Join me and guest Allison Wynn on the Writers in the Sky Podcast for our author interview.

About the Author:

Allison Wynn has a 30-year career in leadership effectiveness, personal empowerment coaching, and family and relationship development. After a successful corporate career, she started her own coaching practice to help people transition through life’s challenges. She provides personal and professional coaching through one-on-one sessions, workshops, and corporate programs.

Allison holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Organizational Development. Her business background, unique life experiences, and ability to connect with her clients are special qualities that make theSOFIprocess simple, practical and effective.


Book Title: The Answer: A Journey From Anger To Peace
Author: Allison Wynn
ISBN: 978-1432770945
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui


The Answer relates a pivotal moment in the lives of Eric McPherson and Allison Wynn, two strangers drawn together by chance, who experience a life changing connection. Eric, frustrated and full of self loathing, stops at the local Starbucks on his way to work and finds a journal laying on the only available table. He opens it to look for identification, but there is none and so he reads the day’s entry.

When Allison returns to her table she finds him weeping, her journal clutched in his hand. “Are you okay?” she asks. And so the tale begins. . .

The Answer explores the destructive anger cycles that cripple human interactions, causing frustration and pain for so many individuals. The book is written using a journal entry format, from the perspectives of Eric, Eric’s wife, Mary Ellen and author Allison Wynn. The Answer provides a deeply insightful and poignant look into human relationships and the significance of feeling insignificant.

“How do we deal with anger in either ourselves or in others?” and “How do we create a more peaceful life?” These are the questions that Eric and Allison are asking. Eric knows that his anger is destroying his life and damaging his relationship with his wife, but he can’t seem to stop his angry outbursts. After spending the day deep in discussion with Allison, He returns home to share with Mary Ellen what he has discovered about himself and the changes he would like to make in his life.

This is a must read for anyone who is struggling with anger issues and domestic instability. The message of the book is one that everyone could benefit from. Emotionally charged, intellectually stimulating and insightful, The Answer offers an eye opening perspective on relationships, and the need for significance. This book will change lives.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Discover Inventor Joseph Lee and the Automatic Bread Machine

Inventor Joseph Lee
I love learning and was thrilled to review the following book about an African American, former slave and inventor Joseph Lee. I hope you take the opportunity to read the book and to join us for our podcast interview with author Jerome T. Peoples on Friday June 17, 2011 for the Writers In The Sky Podcast.


Book Title: Lee’s Bread Machines
Author: Jerome T. Peoples, MS, ED
ISBN: 978-1432763374
Publisher: Outskirts Press


Many of us are familiar with George Washington Carver and possibly one of the other great African American and former slave inventors that have had a lasting impact on the industrial revolution and life in America today. Most of us, however, will never have heard of Joseph Lee, the inventor of the automatic bread making machine that revolutionized the bread industry. This former slave over came incredible hardship to rise (pardon the pun,) above adversity to have a significant impact on modern day America. The impact of his inventions, the first bread machine, then the bread crumber, changed the slice of bread on America’s table by allowing bakeries and restaurants to produce bread loves more efficiently and in greater numbers than ever before. Why without Joseph Lee there wouldn’t be a bread industry as we know it. And yet, in spite of the impact this man’s incredible inventions have had on us, hardly any information has been available about his life and accomplishments until now.

Much credit is due to retired science teacher turned author, Jerome T. Peoples MS. Ed., who researched and wrote Lee’s Bread Machines as an educational and inspirational tribute to this minority hero. With chapters covering : the African origin of bread, the life of house slaves, secret schools, the Civil War, Joseph Lee’s move to the north, his journey to greatness as an entrepreneur in the restaurant business, and especially his work as an inventor, this book is a treasure of information.

The book has school primer feel, but the layout makes for easy reading and information retention. Every child should have access to this book in school libraries and the knowledge of this American inventor should be included in school curriculum. Joseph Lee belongs to all of us, but his history as a former slave opens a door for further exploration of social history that could really capture and ignite the hunger for knowledge in students. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Joseph Lee, his life and his inventions. I hope that others will read and be as deeply moved as I was by the example set by this African American inventor who rose from slavery to find freedom, enterprise, and lasting significance through the power of creativity and invention.

I recommend this book for youths and for general informational reading. The content is well documented and presents interesting images and records that will educate as well as fascinate most readers.

Grade A work Mr. Peoples!





Friday, June 10, 2011

The Killing Game

Book Title: The Killing Game
Author: Joe C. Stevens
ISBN: 978-1432769086
Publisher: Outskirts Press

The Killing Game is a novelette about a former mob hit man, Bronson Trellisane, who is being forced out of Retirement to kidnap a government witness. Why kidnap when, as Bronson puts it, “I’m a shooter, not an errand boy?” Ah, now we get to it. You see Bronson isn’t just any hit man and this witness isn’t testifying about the run of the mill mob activity. The whole messy business centers around the last job Bronson handled before disappearing into anonymity. Linda Masters is a bit of flash secretary for his former mob boss and she is running scared with information about the mob’s involvement and Bronson’s part in the assassination of JFK. Bronson needs to know what she’s got on them and at the same time extricate himself for good. Add to the mix a shady CIA man and the game they are all playing just gets deeper.

J.C. Stevens has written an interesting “what if” story for conspiracy theorists and crime fans to enjoy as a quick read. Perfect for airplane reading or an easy day on the beach. The Killing Game offers intrigue and a fast paced cross country ride to thrill audiences. There are a few surprising twists that I won’t spoil for you. Over all, The Killing Game is a good time read.

J.C. doesn’t attempt to prove any conspiracies with this book. He approaches the idea of a hidden gunman in the grassy knoll as if it was fact and not fiction, treating the assassination of JFK as background for the story he wants to tell. There comes a time when the truth can never be discovered and the myths develop. The Killing Game is an example of where one person’s creativity and imagination can journey out of the realm of fact and into the haze of fantasy.

Although it isn’t easy to find much sympathy for a person such as Bronson Trellisane, the author doesn’t seek to win hearts. This book isn’t about getting answers or true justice for JFK. This isn’t even a serious consideration of the JFK assassination, or an author’s attempt at historical reconstruction. The Killing Game is a creative exploration down one road in the many facets and theories surrounding the JFK murder. It isn’t intended as a school primer or to be confused with fact. It is a “What if story” simple and sweet.


Monday, May 30, 2011

A Review of the Book, Summer Is Her Name by Betsy Houser

Book Title: Summer Is Her Name: Born in Kentucky
Author: Betsy Houser
ISBN:  978-1432767778
Publisher:    Outskirts Press
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

Summer Is Her Name relates the coming of age story of Summer Rogers. Follow Summer through her childhood on a farm in Appalachia, through painful losses, youthful infatuations, and disappointments.  Share Summer’s college days, and join her during World War II as she earns money for school working in a defense plant. Travel with her around the globe and witness other cultures,  places and people.  Finally, return home with her to find true love and peace in the old Farmstead where she was born. This isn’t a typical romance coming of age book. It isn’t written in the typical fashion. The story doesn’t rise and fall following all of the conventional plot formulas. Summer Is Her Name reads like a life.  I like life. I like it a lot. This book reminded me. . .  of how much.

There is a quality of grace and an acceptance of the “what-is-ness” of life contained in its pages that affected me in a way I hadn’t anticipated I would feel. Betsy has given breath and flesh to her characters, placed scents on the wind, and transported me into the heart of the farmlands. I have tasted the wild blackberries and felt the sun warmed grasses of Kentucky embrace me. In reading, I have felt the flush of embarrassment, the burn of surprise, the shudder of fear and the thrill of anticipation.  She has distilled life experience into a bottle and poured me a glass. I hope to taste the like of it again. I feel completely humbled in reviewing her work. What can I say?

It is a damn shame that Betsy Houser waited to publish her first book until she was 85! I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I am sure that Betsy has many accomplishments of worth to her credit but, oh, what a sweet treasure she has given us in this lovely fiction. I am actually choked with emotions at the thought that she might have passed away without sharing it.

I interviewed Betsy, and she told me that there were aspects of the book based in part on events and people she had known, lived or heard tell of during her lifetime. Betsy shared that she wove these bits into her tale, but that Summer Is Her Name really is a work of fiction and not autobiographical. I can’t say I was disappointed, because deep down I had already determined that, for me, Betsy is Summer, whether she says it is so or not. I just want the story to be true; for there to have been a Summer Rogers and a Mont, and for the story of Summer’s life and their love to be real and to last.  I want this badly enough to convince myself that it is so, just as Betsy has written the story out for me. Thank you Betsy, for being you and for sharing Summer with us. You move me.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Create a book for the Nook, fast--here's how

I would like to pass along a time sensitive opportunity for a free seminar, sent to me via email by the ultimate Publicity Hound, Joan Stewart.  I am passing it straight along to you, just as I received it.


 

From: 20214@priorityoneemail.com On Behalf Of Joan Stewart
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1:30 PM


Subject: Create a book for the Nook, fast--here's how

Hi Vonnie,

The Barnes & Noble "Nook" eReader is starting to take the ebook world by storm because B&N now has 25 percent of the ebook market.

Even if you haven't published anything yet, there's still time to produce an ebook, fast, to promote your expertise, generate leads and create another revenue stream.



If you do have content

- in a printed book or at your blog or in articles you've written, all the better.

The ebook market is projected to increase to $2.7 billion within two years. That's billion, with a "B." Don't miss out on this.

Daniel Hall, who showed Publicity Hounds how to turn their ebooks into material for the Kindle late last year, is back with step-by-step instructions on how to make your book ready for the Nook.


I'm hosting a free webinar with him at 3 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, Thursday, May 26. Set aside at least 90 minutes. He sometimes goes way over the time limit because he answers every question that participants ask.

Register here:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/833100745


You'll also learn how to:

- Use your "Nook" books as lead generators for your business.

- Earn set-it-and-forget-it recurring revenue by building profit centers into each of your ebooks.

- Get readily available content to publish so you don't have to spend time and energy writing it
yourself.

- Build your credibility within your market, whatever that market is.

This training is free. The content is solid gold.



Joan Stewart
The Publicity Hound
http://www.PublicityHound.com