Friday, January 31, 2014

Fade to Gray

Today through Monday, 2/3/2014, "Fade to Gray" (a short story) is FREE on Amazon.

Get YOURS today!

Reviews are coming in ... 

Fade to Gray is an adorable story that had me chuckling to myself. It was all told as if in living color. Not just gray! The writing is down to earth and inviting. I really enjoyed this sweet little escape from my own "age" issues. There is a great message that I was delighted to read. It's funny, real and emotional at the same time. The vulnerability was realistic, relatable and touching. I applaud the author for writing this for us all to enjoy.

Fear of the unknown and fear of getting and looking old exists and should be talked about more.

"Like Edwards Scissorhands attacking a topiary tree, Laura proceeded to trim and style my hair with a speed that scared me. When she was done, I saw my new self in the mirror for the first time. As Laura stood in silence, I sat in utter disbelief at the results of this four-hour experiment and took a few minutes to take it all in."

A fine little story January 30, 2014

Ms. Molteni's second short story doesn't have the poignancy that made the tale of Half-Calf pull at your heartstrings, but it has a reality that is both hard to beat and can be understood by everyone: That first real notice one makes of growing older, and the ends you go to to accept or deny it in your own way.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


As a newly published author, I am always looking for new social media sites to join and other websites to network with more Indie Authors and more readers.

I came across AUTHORSdB and thought I would share this with my readers as well as other Indie Authors.  It appears to be a great place for authors, so please take a look and let me know the pros and cons of this website. 

From the  AUTHORSdB  website:

At AUTHORSdB we've formed the only database of authors, including social media, book listings and much more, for today's mine-field of thousands of aspiring and established writers.

We are a dedicated website that helps authors for free.   

Why free? We have a few Angels who simply want to see authors flourish.  Readers no longer have to Google from several different websites to find out more about a particular author – it’s all here.

AUTHORSdB uses software that engages search engines in a friendly manner.  As an AUTHORSdB author you can enjoy the benefits:

  • Organic (non-paid) Google backlinks are critical to any Social Media Marketing.  There is no guarantee however authors on AUTHORSdB are enjoying being indexed in Google in less than 24 hours.  See for yourself, in April we have over 25,000+.  Google search: and see if your listing comes up.  We tweet Google alerts when authors get indexed in Google via our alert (because of the overwhelming amount of indexing that happens because of our SEO system, we are not able to tweet about everyone listed).
  • Share. Share. Share. In the new world of Social Media Marketing, sharing on social platforms helps gain exposure to our authors.  When an author is listed, we tweet @[author name] #gotlisted NEW AUTHORSdB #1AdB Pls RT [link back to author details]  We also Like author's Facebook pages and become a fan on Goodreads, and when liked back, we share something from the authors Facebook page.  (Must have a Twitter and Facebook page to qualify) 
  • Like our Facebook page and we will share a post from yours on ours.
  • Author's Shout Out is now available to authors who have Breaking News.  Simply click onto the Breaking News section and add your Shout Out!

A one-stop hub for authors to promote their work.  Add your Twitter feed and your Facebook page posts to auto post in your profile.  Upload photos, add events and communicate with members.  Profiles are indexed in the major search engines thus giving authors more exposure.  FREE!
Weekly Awards
In keeping with the Billboard Charts model, will now be running weekly awards, giving more up-to-date exposure for authors to include:
  • TOP100 AUTHORSdB.  The more views you receive on your author page in a week, the more you climb to the TOP100 list*.  Announced every Saturday. @[author name] AUTHORSdB TOP100 & is currently #1 Pls RT [link back to author details]
  • VIP BLOGGER We appreciate when author's share the word about AUTHORSdB on their blogs.  We offer a VIP Blogger Award for bloggers who blog about AUTHORSdB of a free banner drawn weekly for members with listings on  If your blog is not drawn, you are entered into the following week's draw.  Valid as long as your blog post about AUTHORSdB is live.  This helps increase your Google page rank. Announced every Saturday.
  • FEATURED AUTHORS are random authors selected via our database and shown in the Featured Authors section giving every author equal promotional benefits. This is ongoing.
  • AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT each week the database will spotlight an author randomly bringing attention to the author.  Classified as Featured Author of the Week.  No qualifications other than they must be listed on AUTHORSdB


We Are Tweeting Fools - We tweet about anything related to our members.  Whether you are #1 in Amazon, trending in social media or launching a new book.  We tweet and retweet your news when you add @authorsdb to your tweets.  Let us know what's happening!
*Google Analytics adjustments are made weekly

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Indie Authors reviewing Indie Authors

Looking over the list of books I have read this past year, there was only one that was not written by an Indie author.

It is amazing to me that there are so many self-published authors with such wonderful books out right now.

Many of the books are just as good, if not better than traditionally published books.  Not only that, the authors are approachable and are open to positive feedback.  Try reaching out to  a traditionally published author to tell them you loved (or hated) their book and see how far you get past their assistants or their publishers.  But, I digress ...

Of the self-published ones I have read over the past few months, below are reviews I have written for several of them:

by Jayne Martin

by Nicole Storey

by A.C. Winfield

by Scott Wyatt

by Gisela Hausmann

Indie Authors ROCK!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The winning story in the January 6 contest is “Fade to Gray” by S.A. Molteni.

January 6 Contest - Placement in Categories
At the closing time of the contest (noon PT January 12), “Fade to Gray” had 111 Facebook likes. “Visiting Russia by Way of Sante Fe” followed closely in this category with 100 likes. “Coffee Talk” earned third place in this category with 73 likes. “Shadow Dancer” had 35 and “Sailing, Anyone?” had 12 FB likes.

In the second category, the judges look at the persuasiveness of the high-quality comments, not the number of comments. “Fade to Gray” lead in this category. “Visiting Russia by Way of Sante Fe” placed second in this category followed by “Sailing, Anyone?”, “Shadow Dancer” and “Coffee Talk” were in a virtual tie for fourth place in this high-quality comments category.

In the third category, all stories received at least one favorable opinion by visitors from the Closing Arguments page. We show below one passionate opinion for each story.

Coffee Talk” received this one opinion advocating the story for first place:

I like “Coffee Talk.” It was personal for me. My girls are grown now but I still at times have to put the brake on when unsolicited advice threatened to spill out when I think I should intervene as their mother. It’s a learning process, my 91-year-old mother tells me what to do sometimes, but I smile and say “yes, Mom” because now I know better.

“Visiting Russia by Way of Sante Fe” received two opinions by visitors from the Closing Arguments page.

Here is one opinion:

All the work is good, especially “Fade to Gray” and “Coffee Talk” which are both well-written pieces that I can relate to and which I enjoyed reading. However, my vote goes to “Visiting Russia by Way of Santa Fe.” This story starts out being a simple travel piece with wonderful description that makes the reader feel as if they are right there with her. Yet, it is more than a travel pieces about meandering through Santa Fe. This story explores how art, like music, can speak to us regardless of culture, time and/or language. It reminds us that we need to pause and really pay attention to the people and things around. It shows how one chance moment can become the highlight of a trip and possible change a person’s view (or the people herself). It shows the intimacy that women often share, even if only strangers having a short conversation and reflection. This isn’t just a travel piece but a story on human nature, the need to reach out and experience life, the need to understand ourselves and others. And all this in only 994 words!

“Shadow Dancer” received two opinions from the Closing Arguments page. Here is the opinion of one visitor:

Debby Forte’s writing had me in tears. I visualize the “lone dancer” Debby writes about and I see a “one-way bridge.” Time stands still and a man dances. The author and the dancer connect together. It’s only for a moment, without any spoken words, but there is a heartfelt communication between the two. One lone dancer is weeping. Compassion fills my heart as I read the authors words. I see a rainbow over a one-way bridge. It was not raining in the author’s story but both she, and the dancer, seem to have been through a storm. I read a message in this story. If we can dance through the tears that fall in our lives, we can find an orchestra. Debby Forte is an excellent writer.

“Sailing, Anyone?” received several opinions advocating the story for first place. Here is one opinion:

I believe the story “Sailing” by Helen Ostermann should win. The author’s willingness to try new things was refreshing, as was her ability to discuss her fears and difficulties with the boat. I also enjoyed her sense of humor.

“Fade to Gray” received much support by visitors from the Closing Arguments page. Here is one passionate opinion that helped clinch the first-place position in this category:

Maybe because I’m of an age when the “signs” are all beginning to point to “Exit,” but “Fade to Gray” really touched me. I’ve been coloring my hair for as long as I can remember, always fighting those dark roots. And then, almost overnight it seemed, they were no longer dark. There were, at first, only glints of silver here and there — easily plucked out and discarded. But now, I’d be bald if I plucked out every silver strand that has ruthlessly taken over my hair follicles. I admire the author’s carefully chosen prose as she weighs her decision, and applaud her ultimate bravery in facing the inevitable head-on (no pun intended). This piece was full of humor and insight. In it, I recognized myself and all women who struggle in a society that worships at the feet of youth. It made me laugh at my own vanity, as I picked up the phone to make a hair color appointment.

“Fade to Gray” earned first place in the Closing Arguments category. “Sailing, Anyone?”, “Shadow Dancer” and “Visiting Russia by Way of Sante Fe” tied for second place. “Coffee Talk” came in third place in this category.

Despite the competition from other worthy opponents, “Fade to Gray” placed first in all three categories and wins the first $100 contest for 2014.

We hope all the writers in the contest are pleased with the many encouraging comments received by the readers. The stories are now on our Archives page. Thank you to our visitors for their great comments.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Win a FREE $10 Amazon e-Card

Going to start the new year off right with another chance to win a $10 Amazon e-card. 

Below are the instructions - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

ONE lucky winner will be selected from all FB likes and comments at the following link:

1) Read the short story at the above link. (Laugh at it, too - it is funny!)

2) After the last sentence of the story, there is a FB like and comment section.

3) Enter a maximum of 1 FB like and 1 comment in the appropriate sections at the above link.

4) You can also just FB like on the icon under the story if you choose not to enter a comment and still have one entry into the drawing.

5) Once done on the Midlife Collage link above, come back here and comment with "Done" or something to that effect in the comment below on this post.

6) One winner will be chosen on 1/13/2014.

Thanks and Good Luck to Everyone! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fade to Gray

I am pleased to announce that my latest short story has been accepted into a very special quarterly contest at  Midlife Collage.

Please take a moment to read the story Fade to Gray and comment on it.  If you have a Facebook account, a FB like would also be appreciated.

If you believe my story should win the contest, please comment in the Closing Arguments section of the contest. Winning entries must have at least one comment in the Closing Arguments section in order to be considered as eligible to win the contest.

Thank you all for the support.  I really do appreciate it :-)

Friday, January 3, 2014

A New Year in the Resolution-Free Zone

I stopped making New Year's resolutions a few years ago, simply because of the added stress that those resolutions brought to my life in the few short weeks that I was able to keep them on track.

Initially, I felt lost without having several resolutions to guide me through January of that first year.   I felt that everyone else had made their resolutions and that maybe I was wrong not to.  But, I proceeded to be the salmon swimming against the current that first year and am so thankful that I stoically bucked the status quo to become one of the few who continue to not make a New Year's resolution each year.

As a side note, let's be honest - no one really gets past January with their resolutions intact (without some modification from their first version of it) ... Okay, maybe a few die-hards do, but I am not speaking to those one-percenters!

I am certain I have lost some of those that are steadfast in resolution-making  - who were reading up to this point, but that is okay.  Those still reading probably want to know how to overcome the urge to make a New Year's resolution.  Unfortunately, I do not have the answer, but can only offer a little advice to you on how to proceed into the new year without being ridiculed for having no resolution and hopefully get you on a path to a New Year's resolution-free lifestyle.

The very first year that I did not make any promises to myself or to my family to lose weight, eat healthier, be nicer to people, stop hiding chocolate in places I would forget to look and stop rambling on about meaningless topics, I was irritated.

More than just irritated, I was angry that I had no resolutions to torture myself with at the beginning of the new year and  had nothing to add to the conversation when someone asked me what my New Year's resolution was.  I simply stated to them that my New Year's resolution was not to have any New Year's resolutions.

This news came as a shock to most of my friends and family.  It was as if I had stated that I had taken up Voodoo or Oprah-ism as my new religion (not that there is anything wrong with those religions - just saying).

Yes, that first year was difficult, I lost friends,acquaintances and strangers alike because of my new found views.  But, it made me realize that the New Year is not the only time to set goals or to make resolutions.  No, the time to do this is each and every day of the year.

You heard me correctly ... We all need to be disciplined and resolute enough to state and pursue our goals or resolutions 365 days a year!  This was the new mindset I learned that very first year.

Some may think I am speaking out of both sides of my mouth at once here, but I assure your that there is a subtle difference between making a New Year's resolution and making a choice to state and pursue your goals each day of the year.  That subtle difference is TIME.

Time is all we really have here on Earth and why should we make things harder on ourselves to accomplish something in a given, peer-pressured time-frame at the beginning of any year?  It just makes sense to me to work on things in life a little at a time, step by step and without the added hubbub or stress of it being a New Year's resolution.

Simply said, we need to make the most of the time we have each and every day of the year.

So, go forth and set your goals on a daily basis.  Work towards those goals each day and you will be amazed at the progress you can make throughout the year.