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Archive for the ‘Book Picks’ Category

It’s #IndieBooksBeSeen Day!


Bette A. Stevens is an indie author and DYI-er (mostly) who has written and self-published four books—The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, Amazing Matilda, Pure Trash and Dog Bone Soup—since 2012. You can out more about the author and take a ‘Look Inside’ her books on YOUR AMAZON.

FBAS & Books INDIE 2rom the author

I’m an author whose first book was published in 1997 by Windswept House, a small regional press in Mt. Desert, Maine. When the company went out of business and the original rights to the first edition of The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! were returned to this author, I decided to check out local publishing houses and self-publishing as well. In the process I discovered CreateSpace—a self-publishing affiliate of Amazon—and decided to give it a whirl. I had been an editor and desktop publisher for several years before embarking on a teaching career. Self-publishing doesn’t have to be a ‘go it alone’ experience. There are abundant resources available locally and online (excerpt and article link below) to help you get your own book(s) in print and on the way to readers.  ~ Bette A. Stevens

What exactly is an Indie author anyway?

“Indie authorship and self-publishing are not quite synonymous but an independent author will have self-published at least one book.”

Read more about Indie Authorship from New York Times + USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes at http://www.steenaholmes.com/whats-an-indie-author/

 [Bette’s Blog]

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Sharon K. Connell (Christian Fiction)


Sharon K. Connell is the author of Christian/romance/drama fiction and it’s a pleasure to have her with us today at 4writersandreaders.

What readers are saying

SHARON K Connell BOOKS cropped

Christian/romance (fiction) novels by Sharon K. Connell

A Very Present Help by Sharon K. Connell

This book is artfully written and creatively weaves the plot from beginning to end. It is a great reminder that God is still involved in our lives. This is a must read and leaves the reader filled with hope! ~ Jennifer

It’s wonderful to have you with us today, Sharon. I can’t wait to find out more about you and your books. First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

Meet Author Sharon K. Connell

Meet Author Sharon K. Connell

I was born in Wisconsin, grew up and went to school through College in Illinois.  In 1988, I moved to Florida and graduated from Bible School in 1995.  For most of my adult life, I have worked full-time in the clerical field.  In December 2012, I decided to retire, and in March of 2013 moved to Houston, Texas.  Since then I have been enjoying every minute of retirement from the clerical/business world and I have been writing full-time.

Today, I spend my time doing many things, which I never had the time to do before retiring.  This includes at least one or two hours daily writing stories about people who discover (as I have) that God will only allow those things into your life that will help you grow and/or increase your faith.

At the age of twelve years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.  There has not been a day that has gone by where I have been disappointed in that decision.  Many trials have crossed my path, most of which I brought on myself.  Nonetheless, God has been with me every step of the way.  I have never once felt that He deserted me or does not love me. 

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

The genre in which I write is Christian/Romance/Drama.  I could possibly add Mystery to the end of that list with the publishing of my fourth novel sometime this year.

While still working full-time, I began my first book around the year 2000—A Very Present Help.

In my stories, I try to bring out some promises in the Bible.  Humor always is added for entertainment, along with a good love story.  Then there is the villain who adds drama and sometimes mystery to the lives of my hero and heroine.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book? 

My latest book published in December of 2014—There Abideth Hope deals with the life of a former Navy nurse, Lieutenant JG Lynne Temple and the man she meets in Florida, a youth pastor by the name of Nick Livingston.  They run into a treacherous villain who recognizes Miss Temple from a murder trial during her college days, one in which she was the prime witness.  While the couple is trying to get to know each other, they wind up dealing with kidnaped teens from a local Rave gone bad, drugs and human trafficking, not to mention attempted murder.  The story goes from Chicago, Illinois to the war in Afghanistan to Pensacola, Florida.

What prompted you to write your novels, Sharon?

This is an easy one to answer.  My dear friend, Alan J. O’Reilly, author of Sound of Battle and Desired Haven, talked me into it.  I call him my adopted brother.  We have known each other since shortly after 1990.  Through the years, we have corresponded, although never met.  When I would relay a story about something that had happened, he would always tell me, “You need to write a story about that.”  After Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola, Florida and I went through it all alone, I told him every detail.  Again, he told me that I should write about it.  This time I took him seriously.  However, I did not write about the hurricane.  A story about a girl being lonely came to mind and I was off and running.  That story actually became my second book, Paths of Righteousness, but stemmed the writing of the first, A Very Present Help.

Do you have a favorite line from one of your books? 

“You came within a gnat’s eyebrow of going for a swim with those dolphins, and you’re worried about your heel?” from There Abideth Hope.
(The heel is a high heel and the line is spoken by the hero to the heroine, after she almost fell into the water trying to get a better look at her first live Florida dolphins).  

Who is your favorite character and why? 

I guess my favorite character from my books is Kathryn Kendall from Paths of Righteousness.  She is the heroine I first thought up and started writing about.  She is honest, faithful, gentle, beautiful, and sensitive; yet with an air of pride that gets the better of her at times.

What was the hardest part about writing your books?

Keeping all the events in the lives of my characters in order and consistent.

Do you do anything besides write?  

Yes, besides all my normal house duties, I paint, sketch, blog, take pictures of nature, am a spectator at RC racetracks, I am an active birder (amateur), exercise (mostly by walking the Houston Bayous viewing the many birds that live there) and do some moon and star gazing.

How can readers get copies of your books? 

My books are sold on Amazon and Kindle.  If you look up my Author Page on Amazon, you will find all three novels.

What’s next for author Sharon K. Connell?   

Currently, I am working on my fourth novel—His Perfect Love— about a young woman who has lived a self-centered life, to the point that her family has all but given up on her.  God starts dealing with her by allowing things from her past to catch up with her causing fear and doubt.  She bounces from Illinois to Minnesota, back to Illinois and winds up in Houston, Texas.  You will have to read the book to find out the rest.

After I finish this story and it is ready for all of you readers, I will be begin my next book about a young woman trying to keep her family’s farm in Nebraska from winding up in the wrong hands after her parents pass away.

Where to find author Sharon K. Connell

Sharon also has a Group she’s created on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/

Video Trailers for each book

Sharon, it has been wonderful having you with us today. I’ve already checked out your books and videos. I’ve purchased and downloaded “A Very Present Help” to my kindle and can’t wait to read it. I’m a fan of Christian fiction and your books all sound great. Happy writing!

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Sharon and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to join the conversation (comments below) and be sure to take a look inside Sharon’s great books on Amazon. I think you’ll want to grab a novel or two.

Happy Reading!

Bette A. Stevens

“The Heart of Teaching Tour” with author John Fioravanti


I’m grateful to Bette A. Stevens, my host of this fifth post of THE HEART OF TEACHING TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules of 4WillsPublishing who arranged it all! The full lineup for this tour can be found @ 4WillsPublishing Events Page

Book Cover-2“Their success and their well-being became important to me personally. It had become less about me and my struggles, and more about them and theirs.”

Excerpt from John Fioravanti: A Personal Journey To The Heart of Teaching.

At the very beginning of my career, my fear of failure set the priorities for my day-to-day work in the classroom. As my hard work began to reap dividends, it became easier to control the fear and the anxiety. That made it easier for me to focus more of my attention on my students—as individuals with unique personalities, gifts, and needs.

I had always been focused on their academic success. I realized that their success, or lack of it, was at least partially attributable to my teaching. As I became a father myself, I was able to see these students as something other than just students. They were sons and daughters and I began to look at them differently—in a more caring way.

Rightly or wrongly, I was not the kind of teacher who dealt with academic or behavioural issues in a confrontational way. I had tried that on more than one occasion, and found it to end in a lose-lose scenario. It was really a bad scene if I tried it in front of the class. At some point, it twigged on me to deal with the more serious issues privately with a student.

Since it is next to impossible to discuss something privately with a student inside the classroom, I would give the class some seatwork, take the student into the hallway, and close the door. I would smile, motion the student to the middle of the corridor, while I leaned my back against the wall. I arranged us this way so the student wouldn’t feel boxed in or threatened. I would then ask, in a kindly tone, what was causing the issue? I could tell by the surprised look I often got, that they were expecting a tongue-lashing. I discovered that my approach worked for me. Even if the student didn’t want to disclose the problem, they knew that I cared enough to ask, and that I was expecting an improved performance from them.

To me, confrontation between a teacher and student is all about power. A power struggle of this nature always ends badly. I’ve seen it too many times. I don’t think we should teach young people to solve issues of conflict by way of confrontation. Conflict is inevitable, and I believe that people can keep cool heads so that solutions can be found that turn a conflict situation into a “win-win” for everyone. This is what we need to teach young people.

Author Bio:

Author John Fioravanti

Author John Fioravanti

John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.

Contacts:

Book Purchase Links:

banner 4WillsPublishingToday’s host: Bette A. Stevens at 4writersandreaders

“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

 

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Emerson’s Attic Series


Bette A. Stevens:

Delighted to find author Kathleen Andrews Davis on BOOK CHAT. I’ve interviewed her here on my blog and read THE BLUE VELVET—thoroughly enjoyed it. I know you will too! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on BOOK CHAT:

Books One and Two

By Kathleen Andrews Davis

The Blue Velvet Book One – THE BLUE VELVET

In Book One we meet Emerson Mcbride, a typical American teenager who does the same things any other teen would do. That is, until she is sent up to clean the attic. What happens there will surprise you.

Emerson finds herself on her back in a large room, not her attic.  A strange voice keeps telling her to wake up and is calling her Emma. Lizzy is a housemaid in Harrington Hall.. Though Emerson is confused about everything, Lizzy helps direct her through her household chores and daily life in this huge manor..

Emerson is living in another time and has no idea how she got there, or how to get back home.  What’s more, she is becoming suspicious of the eldest son of the owner of the Manor.

Book Two – SMOKE AND MIRRORSSmoke and Mirrors

In…

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Micki Peluso


Micki Peluso and book signing

 

Mick Peluso is the author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang—an outstanding memoir:

“Micki Peluso takes readers along on her journey through life as she deals with the tragedy of the imminent death of one of her six children in a story that will bring tears—not only of immeasurable sadness—but also those wonderful tears of the joys and hilarity of a family’s life. As I traveled with Micki along life’s highway and byways, I not only met her wonderful family and friends, I felt like I was one of them. That’s what I call great writing! From antics to dilemmas, you won’t want to miss out on the laughter, the love, the sorrows, the courage or the tears as Peluso poignantly weaves a well-written memoir that will not be forgotten in AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Let’s get ready to meet Micki

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an outstanding author; and once you’ve met her, I invite you to grab a copy of her book and get reading. You’ll be glad you did!

Hi, Micki. I’m delighted to have you with us on 4writersandreaders today. I absolutely loved …And the Whippoorwill Sang. I can hardly wait to learn more about you and your memoir and to find out what you’re up to now. To start, tell us a little about yourself.

I almost wanted to be a ‘Super Hero’ as a child, save the world and help people; perhaps as a missionary or Peace Corps worker in Third World countries. Plans for that and college collapsed along with my parents’ divorce. Instead my ‘Marilyn Monroe’ type mother talked my boyfriend and me into eloping in our teens with her and her new boyfriend. Get lemons, make lemonade. We went on to have six children and 10 grandchildren and now three great grandkids and I have become a ‘Soupy Hero,’ according to one small grandson referring to my medicinal chicken soup.

How about your family?

My husband and I (mostly me) raised six children, each a year or two apart. He came from a large family which I loved. Our kids were our life and because I kept journals off and on, it gave me lots of fodder for a writing career. It was in the late 1950s through to the mid-eighties before most of them were grown . . . Except for one, our 14-year-old daughter Noelle, the lively, comical beauty that wove the fabric of our family together, who was killed by a drunk (DWI) driver in 1981.

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?

Like many writers I started with poems and did a lot of creative writing throughout school. With so many kids, I put away most writing until Noelle was killed. As a family of eight we were so shocked and devastated that none of us could speak of her. I turned to writing as a way of expressing my grief. I wrote a short story of the incident which was published by Victimology; an International Journal, along with several poems. That led to slice of life, usually humorous stories about my family, which were published in my daily newspaper. I then became a staff writer and journalist for our biweekly newspaper, writing news items, analysis, interviews and commentary.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”?

Whippoorwill Cover & BUY BUTTONThis lively story opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double ceremony with Micki’s mother. The couple share wonderfully comical escapades spanning decades, until tragedy strikes. There has been a terrible accident in the placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It occurs just blocks away from the family’s 100 year old farmhouse, complete with ghosts and visiting varmints of all varieties. Micki narrates happier days, using their delightful past to confront an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension. One of their children is fighting for life in the hospital; in a semi-coma, hovering between this world and the next. The family embarks upon an unbearable journey to the other side of grief and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin . . .

To weep . . .

   To Laugh . . .

       To Grieve . . .

           To Dance . . .

. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

What prompted you to write your memoir?

It was five years after the tragedy when I began the first half of my book, a funny, bittersweet family story, celebrating Noelle’s life and keeping my deathbed promise to her as she lay dying. I was mentored by Bonnie Golightly, a Writer’s Digest teacher who had been part of the ‘Truman Capote crowd’ in her younger days. She wrote a famous best-selling novel plus scripts for several films and other novels. Life dealt another blow and I nearly died from two heart attacks leaving me with half a heart, while Bonnie contracted lung cancer which quickly took her life. The book was on hold until 2006 when I was able to break through the PTSD memory blocks of the times right before Noelle’s death.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

I have two favorite lines from the book, one funny yet an omen of what was to come, and one which ties into the book’s title.

Noelle and her sister Kelly had just spent all their babysitting money on clothing and planned to go for a bike ride. Noelle had put all the clothes that she purchased on at the same time. Kelly was shocked and asked her what in the world she was doing. Noelle replied that she couldn’t make up her mind. Kelly told her she should be saving her them for a special day. “I think every day is special,” Noelle replied.

The other favorite line was written shortly after Noelle’s death:

“The Whippoorwill swooped down the mountains into the trees singing its mournful dirge of summer’s loss, even as I cried mine.’”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite characters were my children and while I could not love one more than the other each is a different type of love. A firstborn child’s holds a special place in a mother’s heart and the last child, the baby of the family also holds a special place. Different personalities among the children also cause different types of bonding, yet the love for each of them is love for all of them. It’s common and normal to idolize a lost family member and I tried hard not to do that in this book.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I began the story from the ICU waiting room and flashed back to when I eloped at age 17. I placed short pieces in the ICU in first person, exposing my fears and heartache up until the past merged into the present. These chapters in ICU were the hardest to write along with the ending — both of which I kept as short as possible. Actually the book ends on a good note as something special happens—something sent as a gift from Noelle.

Do you do anything besides write?

Well, I do a fairly good Elvis imitation :). Seriously, I work part time as a law assistant for Kelly, who became the attorney that Noelle had dreams of becoming when she grew up. I helped raise most of my 10 grandkids and I’m still with my husband after 50 years—a herculean feat. For the past three decades I’ve been writing and publishing short fiction, hoping to stretch one into a novel. I do professional book reviews for NYJB (New York Journal of Books) and freelance reviews. My book has won the Nesta Silver Award for Character building, 3rd place on Predator’s and Editors and 1st place in the monthly People’s Choice Awards. Many of my short stories have been published in several book collections and anthologies, including The Speed of Dark which won an International Award for fine writing.

How can our readers get a copy of your book?

My book . . . And the Whippoorwill sang is available at Amazon for Kindle and tablets for $2.99 and in print at a newly reduced rate of $12.25; it is also available for purchase or order from your favorite book store. Signed copies can be purchased directly from me or I can mail a signed bookplate to readers ordering from Amazon or other venues.

What’s next on the writing agenda for Micki Peluso?

My current WIP (Work in Progress) is a collection of humorous slice-of-life, short fiction and non-fiction essays and scattered poems, in a book called Don’t Pluck the Duck, to be released in 2015. My publisher has also accepted a children’s book called The Cat Who Wanted a Dog, also due by the end of this year. Tales@Inspire has accepted four short stories, plus several more by Creature Features and one by Women’s Memoirs. And then there’s that novel beckoning . . . sigh.

Micki, it’s been a delight having you here for an author chat at 4writersandreaders. I would love to get a signed bookplate for my copy of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”; and, I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book!

  • Readers: Micki and I would love to have you stop by the comment section below for a chat.  I hope you’ll ‘run out’ or ‘click away’ and order you copy of …And the Whippoorwill Sang. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy reading and writing, friends! ~Bette A. Stevens

VISIT MICKI PELUSO:

Celebrate “EARTH DAY” with a FREE Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook from Bette A. Stevens


DOWNLOAD your FREE copy of AMAZING MATILDA, the award-winning monarch butterfly picture book at YOUR AMAZON

AM EARTH DAY promoAMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens: Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!

Please share this post…

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Picture Book Summary:

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

AM Look Inside CoverDownload AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale! at Your Amazon

“Science, art and wise lessons for children—
wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!”

 Love Monarch Butterflies?

BEYOND THE BOOK—find resources at your finger tips: Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books:

 

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Five Star Treatment – The Heart of Annie by Marianne Coyne


Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

five-star25

Welcome to today’s Five Star Treatment for The Heart of Annie – The Strength of God, by Marianne Coyne. Set in 20th Century America and based on a true story.

About the book.

 51OO+ti8PKL._UY250_

Though life in early 20th century America is not always easy, young Annie Salvatore is filled with joy as she embraces the surroundings of her loving Italian family, her everyday life in her adopted country, and the pure happiness of her youth. But as she matures, Annie is awakened to the fact that the love in her heart is not enough without strength. How can she find it? Where does it come from? Through her faith Annie leans on the strength of God as He teaches her heart to forgive and to love more deeply as life unfolds. In surrendering her heart to His strength, Annie discovers the ability to conquer.

Based on a true story…

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Author Harmony Kent on Tour with FINDING KATIE!


Hello and thanks for stopping by! I would like to thank Bette Stevens, my host for today at 4readersandwriters blog , for letting me invade their space. And a big thanks also to 4Wills Publishing for setting up this blog tour for me. For my previous tour stops, please check out the 4Wills current events page.

I am so excited to be able to share my book trailer video with you today for my latest book, Finding Katie.

Who would’ve thought that hospital would be easier than home? Kate hadn’t planned on things turning out how they did, but now they have she has no choice but to suck it up.

Kindle Cover Finding KatieExcerpt from Chapter Three:       

Out of habit, I creep around quietly, walking on my toes. I ease open each door and peek into the room before going in. Once I’ve satisfied myself that the house is empty for real, I head up to my room. Melanie follows. She doesn’t say a word—just watches me.

Self-conscious, I force myself to walk normally, instead of on my tiptoes. Sure enough, my bedroom’s cleaner than the proverbial whistle. My mother needs the psych eval, not me. I hate all the flowers: floral wall-paper, floral bedding, and floral carpet. OMG. You guessed it: … Mother.

Melanie watches while I pack my stuff and shove it into a tatty holdall. She brought the bag along for me. I surprised her yesterday when I mumbled that I didn’t own a suitcase or anything. But she didn’t comment—just raised her eyebrows. And this morning, she turned up with the requisites.

I feel tacky in these clothes. The psych nurse gives me privacy to change, but only after I’ve handed over the bag with my stuff. Is she scared I’ll pack something extra? Does she seriously think I’m thick enough to try and smuggle anything onto the unit?

She pats me down before we leave the house. Gawd, they really do mean business at The Everglades. It feels more like I’m heading for juvie than a mental hospital.

 

Book Blurb:

I killed someone, you see. I killed the girl, who used to be me.

I’m Kate … Kate Charlesworth. I’m seventeen, and self-harming. This time I cut too deep, and I’m in hospital. I hadn’t meant for it to be so bad—it just sort of happened. I needed a lot of distraction that day.

You’ve had bad days, right? Days it hurts too much to think. Days you just wanna stay in bed. Days when the world needs to go away for a while. Right?

What do you do when you’ve hit rock bottom? When there’s nowhere left to turn?

This one little mistake lands me back on a psych unit—the last place I wanna be. Only this time, the nurse I end up with isn’t content to stick on a band-aid and send me home. She wants me to face my demons. But to do that, I’ll have to face who I am … who I used to be … I’ll have to find Katie.

PREORDER HERE

Meet Author Harmony Kent:

Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours. She is single and not admitting to her age.

Here are ten things she thinks you ought to know about her …

  1. Born in 2013 (at least the author was …)
  2. Really boring
  3. Has absolutely no sense of humour
  4. Biographer is a compulsive liar
  5. Reads … a lot
  6. Writes … even more
  7. Completely sane(in)
  8. Neighbours are nuts
  9. If you’re feeling extra brave she’s around
  10. Online …

 

Other books by Harmony

 Other Books by Harmony

 Fiction:

The Battle for Brisingamen

The Glade

Elemental Earth

Anthologies:

Concordant Vibrancy

Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul

Non-Fiction:

Polish Your Prose

banner 4WillsPublishing HOSTThanks so much for joining us for Harmony Kent’s Blog Tour today. We would love to hear from you (comments below). ~ Bette A. Stevens  at 4writersandreaders blog.

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Five Star Treatment – African Me & Satellite TV by Jo Robinson


Bette A. Stevens:

Jo Robinson is an awesome writer. African Me & Satellite TV is a must-read! I’ve read two of Jo’s books so far and look forward to reading more. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

five-star25

Delighted to feature the lovely Jo Robinson here with African Me & Satellite TV, a story that I really related to and cannot recommend enough to those of you who have never lived in Africa or really comprehended the issues facing those who live side by side in countries such as Zimbabwe.

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About the book

For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.

After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And an unexpected hero changes everything. Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very…

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Linda Loegel


Linda Loegel PIC from BlogHi, Linda. It’s great to have you with us today and I can’t wait to find out more about you and about WILLARD MANOR—your first historical fiction novel. I’ve just finished reading it and thoroughly enjoyed taking a trip across American history through the ‘eyes’ of the manor!

Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

This was a great book to read and kept my interest throughout the entire story. It starts out quietly and simply, but picks up speed as you are introduced to a number of characters as new owners. It is a wholesome book and feeds your soul in a positive manner. This book leaves you wanting even more stories about Willard Manor. ~ DJ Tefl

Tell us a little about yourself, Linda.

I’m a born and bred New Englander. I spent thirty years in Connecticut which is the setting for Willard Manor. I have two daughters and a son, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. My husband passed away in December 2014. I have lived in Vermont, Connecticut, California, and now North Carolina. I like to read, write, travel and watch the bluebirds, cardinals, and deer that visit my backyard.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

I’ve been writing for forty years and have accumulated a drawer full of rejection slips. My first book, The Devil Wore Plaid, was published by iUniverse in 2001. I came alive when I joined, and later presided over, a read and critique group in California. Their support and encouragement gave rise to a few more books. I am now president of my local read and critique group which I hope will grow and be a vehicle to encourage other writers.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of WILLARD MANOR?

Willard Manor is about a fictional house built in 1840 by John Willard, and the generations of his family that lived in the house for the next 170 years from the Civil War to the Woodstock festival, and beyond. One family, one faith, many generations. A young couple, Tony and Shelley Maguire, purchase the old, abandoned house in 2010. During the renovation process, they come across various artifacts that help them piece together the former occupants of the home.

What prompted you to switch from your usual genre and write historical fiction?

Willard Manor Final Cover LINDA LOEGELWhat prompted me to write this book? Up to this point, I had written mostly true accounts of various stages in my life. I took to heart, “Write what you know.” People in my r&c group suggested I try my hand at fiction.  Voila! Out came Willard Manor.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

One of my favorite scenes is this one:

Benjamin looked at Esther. “What do you think, old girl? Do you like it? This is a brand new 1908 Model T Ford automobile!”

“Well I never!” sputtered Esther. “Who would have thought that we’d actually own an automobile in our lifetime?”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Thomas, John Willard’s second son. Thomas is the quiet, thinking type. One day, as a young boy, he notices the seeds in an apple he’s eating and asks his mother if they would grow into a tree if he planted them. She suggests they find out, so Thomas carefully plants the seeds, then waters them every day. One day he sees a sprout and tenderly cares for his “apple tree” until he and the tree are grown. His one complaint is that the tree doesn’t produce any apples. Thomas follows his big brother, Jonathan, into the Civil War; his brother comes home but Thomas doesn’t. Shortly after Thomas is laid to rest in the backyard, his apple tree produces its first fruit. Thomas’ apple tree grows along with the family; both suffering setbacks and both strong enough to withstand any blows life gives them.

What was the hardest part about writing WILLARD MANOR?

The hardest (and yet fun) part of writing this book was the research. I studied how to demolish plaster and lath walls, how to install new windows, how to treat polio, and even how to grow marijuana. In addition, I had to research when the Willards would have gotten such modern conveniences as electricity, indoor plumbing, a telephone, television, etc. At one point, I had Ruth swoop up her little son and swing him around the kitchen like an airplane. Then I remembered it was 1900 and airplanes weren’t in vogue yet. Oops!

Do you do anything besides write?

Besides writing both books and my blog, I have a home-based business offering affordable legal plans to families and businesses. Both ventures keep me busy.

How can readers get a copy of your book?

To get a copy of Willard Manor, go to www.amazon.com. It’s available both in paperback and on Kindle.

What’s next for you?  

What’s next? I’m nearly finished with my second novel, a prequel to Willard Manor. It’s the story of Shelley’s father, Mark, as a young boy.  Shelley’s grandfather is shot in a mass shooting when Mark is nine and Mark is left to grow up without the guidance and support of his father. He has to come to terms with how his father’s death affects him and the decisions he makes on his road to manhood. The book is called, Leaving Mark.  Like Willard Manor, I plan to self-publish this through CreateSpace.

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been fun.

It’s been delightful having you, Linda.

DEAR READERS: Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Linda Loegel and I would love to hear from you. Just drop us a note in the comment section below.  ~ Bette A. Stevens

Visit author Linda Loegel:

  • Linda’s Blog
  • Amazon (Where you’ll find out more about author Linda Loegel and check out her great books)

 

 

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