Saturday, December 26, 2015

My Top 10 Indie Reads of 2015









Refracted (The Celadon Circle Book 2) by Nicole Storey is the much anticipated and thoroughly riveting sequel to Blind Sight (The Celadon Circle Book 1).

I had read Blind Sight a while back and could not wait for the next installment in this well-crafted and superbly written series. Ms. Storey has delivered a sequel that will keep you on the edge of your seat and carry you through every emotion you could possibly have as she spins this latest tale of Angels, Demons, Heaven and Hell.

When Blind Sight ended, Jordan was taken by her demon father, Aamon to live with him and Jordan's half-siblings. Jordan's brothers (Nathan and Quinn) and her uncle (Casen) will stop at nothing to get Jordan back from the clutches of evil. But, when their Guardian Angel, Gabriel is replaced by another (Illyria) to watch over them, Jordan's brothers and uncle face a difficult time in trying to rescue Jordan.

Jordan must come to grips with her newfound powers of good and evil along with reconciling the fact that her real father is a demon. Jordan is torn between her demon family, her human family and what the Celadon Circle wants from her. All the while, Jordan matures by leaps and bounds to save not only herself, but also those she loves - even if she must die trying.

I absolutely adored this book! Blind Sight was great, but the author has definitely knocked the ball out of the park with Refracted. It is one book that I will read again - which is something I seldom do, so that speaks volumes on how much I loved it.

I would recommend this to those who like fast-paced, no holds barred fantasy and coming of age stories.

Very well done, Ms. Storey!






Thompson Road by Scott Wyatt is a wonderfully written, fast-paced and heartfelt story of love found and love lost with moments of happiness and grief thrown in for good measure.

The main love story of Raleigh and Mona could happen during any decade, but the time period of the 1930's through the 1950's is a perfect time for the setting of the novel. Not too give too much detail here, Raleigh grows up and lives his life and Mona also goes on to live the life of a mentally challenged young adult with many decisions in life forced upon her by other adults.

Both characters went through so much during the timespan of the novel that I laughed, cried and experienced every emotion in between. The realistic twists and turns that were dished out kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. Many parts of the story had me reaching for tissues, but all in all a highly recommended read.







A Life Interrupted by Lauri Fern is an inspirational and endearing coming of age story from the perspective of a teenage girl who has to move from NYC to Florida.

Sophie does not want to move, but she has no choice. She is a teenager and her dad has a new job in Florida. Teenage angst is in full-bloom as Sophie refuses to like the idea of living in hot, humid Florida when all she has ever known has been the bright lights and big city life of NYC.

Once in Florida, her parents try to get her to mingle with the locals, but Sophie is stubborn. Her mom convinces her to get outside and get a life during summer vacation before her next year of school begins. Finally, Sophie relents, then checks out the beach and serendipitously gets "surfed" into by a cute surfer guy, Trent. One thing leads to another and the two are brought closer together by fate and by wildlife rescue volunteering.

I could completely relate to Sophie's story, as I too was transplanted from the New York area to Florida as a kid. Some of the insights from Sophie made me recall what it was like for me when I had to move to Florida due to my dad's employment - did not like it one bit, but then adjusted to it.

The details of Florida were spot on from a teenagers point of view and it was great to see Sophie adjust and grow up a bit throughout the story. The authors' knowledge of bird rescue and Florida came shining through each page, in vivid detail. I could see the beach, the birds and the beach side communities jumping from the pages as I read.

I would definitely recommend A Life Interrupted to those who like Young Adult stories. Just one caveat - there is a bit of profanity in the book, but it does not take away from the storyline at all. Looking forward to more from this very talented author.







Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley is a markedly fresh and new fantasy tale from the shores of San Francisco to the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

The story centers around Calder Brumen, an artist who is drawn to the ocean and to painting it in all of its beautiful splendor. He is captivated by the memories of a mermaid named Gaire who he swears is too realistic to be only a dream. He feels he might be going insane until he finds sand in his bed one morning after an all too real sensual dream of the wayward mermaid. Confused and in need of some friendly reassurance, he meets up with Mike Love, his wealthy friend and cohort for some drinks and a guy's night out on the town. Life as they both know it from that point on will never be the same ...

I thoroughly enjoyed this novella from the cover page to the fine details which included nautical symbols throughout each chapter. The events in the story were well-paced and the story-line flowed so seamlessly that I had read over half of the book in one sitting before realizing it.

Although the subject of mermaids is not a new one, Ms. Brumley breathed new life into it and made this story unique and enjoyable - something that is at times hard to do when writing about folk lore and fantastical creatures that have been written about before.

For a debut offering, Cold Water Bridegroom is one I will not soon forget. I am hoping to see a sequel in the future of this wonderfully woven tale.





 

Charlie Robot by Benedict Martin is everything you would expect and much, much more in a science fiction tale of artificial intelligence gone haywire.

Charlie is one of three scientists who create Steven, the first robot of its kind - one that is self aware and constantly adapting to his environment. Doug, the lead scientist mistakenly leaves a door unlocked and Steven escapes. Naomi, the third scientist allows Charlie to stay at her home, as Charlie's home was destroyed in a fire just prior to Steven escaping from the lab. Doug convinces Charlie that he must pretend to be the robot or their funding will be taken away. Charlie reluctantly agrees and finds himself being poked, prodded and made a spectacle of at various company sponsored events.

All of this leads to Charlie becoming angry and embarrassed. He threatens to expose to the investors and the public that he is a human and that Doug is trying to defraud them, but not before he threatens to go to a competitor and divulge other secrets. Before that can happen, a juicy tid-bit of information is given to Charlie that will shatter his view of reality and stop him from ruining his life.

From the first chapter to the very end of the book, Charlie Robot kept me fascinated and enthralled with the numerous twists in the story line. Some parts were laugh-out-loud funny and some parts were very sad, but overall a very good read.

If you like light-hearted science fiction, I highly recommend Charlie Robot.







Her Imaginary Husband by Lia London is a sweet, funny and squeaky clean romance novel.

The story begins with Nikki Fallon during her last few days as a deli counter worker. She is happy to leave the deli job and start her full-time career as a new teacher at the local high school. Once she starts her new job as a teacher, two eligible bachelors at the school take a keen interest in her marital status. Having been broken-hearted before, Nikki decides to wear a wedding band and tell everyone that she is married to avoid any attention from these new men in her life. But, of course, that initial lie leads to other lies and Nikki is left juggling stories and trying not to let the truth come out. From one hilarious moment to the next, Nikki fumbles through the first few weeks of school and learns the ropes of being a new, young teacher in a school filled with teenage trials and tribulations. But in the end, a positive outcome is had by everyone.

I absolutely adored this story and could see it at a movie. The characters were believable and I enjoyed the journeys all of them led me on in the pages of this book. I loved the ending!

Ms. London weaves a great, fun, sweet story and I look forward to reading more from this very talented author.







Middlesettlements by Basil Pearl is a short story that will touch your heart and make you believe that miracles do happen - even in the harshness of the wild west of the frontier days.

Zee is alone on the frontier after her husband dies. She also grieves for her child, who was lost in the wilderness on their trek to the west. With a resolve of steel, Zee endures the loneliness of prairie life and keeps her farmstead running without a husband. She is, in fact part of a larger settlement and not truly alone - thus the name of the book, Middlesettlements.

Zee and her faithful dog keep one another company until one day when a couple of men break into Zee's cabin. The story gets really good at this point as an Indian protector comes on the scene and the turn of events changes Zee's life forever. Since this is a short story, I cannot give much more of the plot away, but suffice it to say that the ending has a unique twist that will give you goosebumps.

For a debut offering, Middlesettlements is a very good read - one that is filled with heart-tugging emotion, love and hope in a harsh environment. Looking forward to more from this talented author.






Main Street Murder by Linda Crowder is the second installment of the Jake and Emma Mystery series and one that is just as good, if not better than the first book, Too Cute to Kill.

This second book begins with a May 1st blizzard in Casper and a murder while the roads are closed in or out of the city. Jake and Emma are never far from the action and when one of their closest friends is named a suspect in the murder, they go above and beyond to prove her innocence. As one other reviewer noted, the ending was not closure, so be prepared to read the next book for unanswered questions in this second installment.

I loved the backdrop of Wyoming for this story, as with the first book, the sights, sounds and feel of the area jumped from the pages as I read through the story. The author is a great story-teller and I look forward to the next book in the series.






Return to Return to Finian Jahndra is a wonderfully enchanting sequel to Lenadra's Enchanted Flute and a story that will make you believe in miracles, hope and love.

Leandra is back, but much has changed in her life since helping to save Finian Jahndra from the canker over four years ago. She is grieving a great loss of family and friends at the beginning of this story and must endure a recurrence of her own cancer along with chemo treatments. The future does not look very good for both Leandra and Finian Jahndra - but both must fight a brave battle again and hope that a miracle happens before it is too late.

The author did a great job in the continuing development of the main characters of this book - Leandra is grown up now and must face adult issues, Prince Aspen must mount an offensive against the newest threat to his homeland - an invading army and Songcatcher is a well-crafted character that make the story that much more fun and enjoyable to read.

I devoured the first book in this series and could not wait to read the second book. It was well worth the time as it is one that is full of hope, love, magic and miracles. I would definitely recommend it to those who are lonely or suffering as well as those who like a good fantasy story with a happy ending.






Only a Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao is a sweetly written story of first love that follows the couple from childhood to adult and all points in between.

Katie and Chris are best friends, they do everything together. But Katie has decided in her nine-year old mind that she wants to marry Ethan, who is the older brother of Chris. Katie makes it her life's mission to find a suitable partner for Chris to marry.

From this one point forward, life unfolds for both Chris and Katie in sometimes funny and sometimes unhappy ways. I could feel the raw emotion of the two characters from the very first page. Both Chris and Katie have heartaches and heartbreaks from childhood to early adulthood and both are there for each other as best friends, nothing more until they are adults.

Not only was the writing exceptional in this short young romance story, but the illustrations on the cover and throughout the book were exceptional as well - beautiful illustrations to go with a beautiful story with a wonderful and happy ending.

This book made me smile. I will definitely read more from Ms. Bautista-Yao.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Release Spotlight - Just a Little Bit of Love


Just a Little Bit of Love by Ines Bautista-Yao contains three short stories about three young girls: Anita, Ina, and Carla. Each one finding their lives disrupted by a boy. 

Maybe it’s because he wanders into the coffee shop where she works after school every Tuesday. Maybe it’s because he won’t leave her alone even if she has made it clear that she is crushing on his football teammate. Or maybe it’s because she’s spent one unforgettable afternoon with him—despite being oh-so-forgetful. 

 Three small doses of love that serve up a whole lot of feels.

Available now on Amazon.



About the Author:

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head.


Reblogged from: http://www.folkstalesthings.com


New Release


I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: 
Along the Bumpy Road of Rural Life

Book 2 of the I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak series.

After ditching a full-time career and moving to a small hobby farm to enjoy a slower pace and a healthier lifestyle, isn't everything supposed to be idyllic or "peaches and cream" as they say in the South? Well, not exactly ...

In this second installment of the "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" series, follow the author as she holds on for the ride, "along the bumpy road of rural life" where her friendly neighbors become not so nice and her farm animals evolve into completely coddled pets - with her Royal Palm turkeys becoming the most pampered ones of all.

Available exclusively on Amazon.





I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: 
Leaving High Tech for Greener Pastures



Book 1 of the I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak series.

Have you ever wanted to ditch the nine-to-five job and move as far away as possible from the rat race?

Have you ever just wanted peace and quiet in a rural setting away from the sprawl of suburbia?

Have you found yourself daydreaming about pasture lands and farm animals on a daily basis?

That's exactly what the author found herself contemplating - more often then not - while working at a high tech job in Seattle.

With her husband 3,000 miles away in Florida and the passing of her father, she knew it was time to make some serious changes in her life. She was ready for an adventure, but little did she know what lay in store for her at the 'fixer upper' farmhouse she and her husband would soon become the owners of.

S.A. Molteni has spent over thirty years in the Information Technology field working for various Fortune 500 companies. During those years, she and her husband had always dreamed of living on a farm once they became retired from the rat race.

This collection of essays follows the author in her sometimes humorous transition from "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" and depicts the lessons that are learned along the way once farm animals become a large part of her life.

*** Daily updates of the happenings on the farm and the latest adventures of the farm animals can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/ITGeektoFarmGirlFreak

Available exclusively on Amazon.



Holiday Event


This year, I am proud to be a part of the Master Koda Black Friday/Cyber Monday Event which will be taking place from November 27th through November 30th.  I will be hosting the event on November 28th at 3:00 P.M. (EST) and will be giving away copies of my books and other prizes. Join in the fun and meet new indie authors with lots of games to play and gifts to give!







About the Author




S.A. Molteni is a retired systems engineer. She is also currently a hobby farmer, avid traveler and an author of several award-winning short stories. She lives on a small homestead with her husband and a menagerie of farm animals.

S.A. Molteni can be found on the following social media sites:
 
Amazon
Blog
Facebook 
Twitter 


Friday, October 30, 2015

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Along the Bumpy Road of Rural Life

 New Release 11/1/2015





Description:

After ditching a full-time career and moving to a small hobby farm to enjoy a slower pace and a healthier lifestyle,  isn't  everything supposed to be idyllic or "peaches and cream" as they say in the South?  Well, not exactly ...

In this second installment of the I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak series, follow the author as she holds on for the ride, "along the bumpy road of rural life" where her friendly neighbors become not so nice and her farm animals evolve into completely coddled pets - with her Royal Palm turkeys becoming the most pampered ones of all.


Available on Amazon:

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Along the Bumpy Road of Rural Life (Book 2)

Daily updates of the happenings on the farm and the latest adventures of the farm animals can be found at: I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak on Facebook


Enter the New Release Give-a-way! 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway  


About the Author:


S.A. Molteni is a retired systems engineer. She is also currently a hobby farmer, avid traveler and an author of several award-winning short stories. She lives on a small homestead with her husband and a menagerie of farm animals.

S.A. Molteni can be found on the following social media sites:

Blog - http://samolteni.blogspot.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/author.samolteni
Twitter - https://twitter.com/samolteni 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cover Reveal - Spark by Holly Schindler



  



When the right hearts come to the Avery Theater—at the right time—the magic will return. The Avery will come back from the dead. 

Or so Quin’s great-grandmother predicted many years ago on Verona, Missouri’s most tragic night, when Nick and Emma, two star-crossed teenage lovers, died on the stage. It was the night that the Avery’s marquee lights went out forever.

It sounds like urban legend, but one that high school senior Quin is now starting to believe, especially when her best friend, Cass, and their classmate Dylan step onto the stage and sparks fly. It seems that magic can still unfold at the old Avery Theater and a happier ending can still be had—one that will align the stars and revive not only the decrepit theater, but also the decaying town. However, it hinges on one thing—that Quin gets the story right this time around.

Holly Schindler brings the magic of the theater to life in this tale of family ties, fate, love, and one girl’s quest to rewrite history.

“In my hometown, the restoration of a former movie theater on the town square provided the genesis for my new YA novel, SPARK. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of seeing their name in blazing neon across a gigantic marquee? Let me invite you to dim the lights and draw back the velvet curtains—let your imagination run wild as you enter my fictional Avery Theater, where literally anything goes…”—Holly Schindler








Spark “Premieres” May 17, 2016


But you can buy your “tickets” now. 



Links to pre-order:


IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062220233 

Add to your TBR list -



About the Author

Holly Schindler is the author of three previous YA novels: PLAYING HURT as well as the critically acclaimed FERAL (starred PW review) and A BLUE SO DARK (starred Booklist review, ForeWord Book of the Year silver medal, IPPY gold medal). A writer of books for all ages, Schindler’s MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, has made the master list for children’s book awards in Illinois, South Carolina, and Alabama.

She is also a hybrid author, having independently released comedic women’s fiction (FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS) and the forthcoming PLAY IT AGAIN, her adult follow-up to her YA PLAYING HURT. She can be reached through her author site: hollyschindler.com, and hosts special sneak peeks and giveaways for subscribers of her newsletter: tinyletter.com/hollyschindler.com.
 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review Spotlight - Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert








Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was not exactly what I was expecting when I purchased the Kindle version on the day of its release.

I have been a huge fan of Ms. Gilbert since Eat, Pray, Love and have devoured all of her books up to and including The Signature of All Things that I purchased a signed copy of. This is how much I adore the author.  I feel that she speaks volumes to me through her writing and have learned so much about life and myself from her words.

When I started reading Big Magic, I was excited after waiting for months following all of the hype on her Facebook page and website.  I was thrilled to get it on the day of its release.

After the first few pages, though, I was disenchanted and rather disappointed.  I am not sure why, but the words in the first chapters did not immediately resonate with me and I, hesitantly and unceremoniously, returned the book for a refund.  I know, I know, this is a sin and unheard of for a true fan of this wonderful author to return her book.

Then something MAGICAL happened. Seriously, folks, I cannot make this stuff up ...

Amazon normally removes the title and its contents from my device when I return an e-book.  When I went to sync my Kindle application, Big Magic was still on it. My conscience (or something bigger than myself?) kept prompting me to read the book and give it one more chance. I kept telling myself that it just wasn't going to get better and to not bother...

After a few days, I relented to this continually nagging voice and started reading the book where I had left off a few days earlier.  Mind you, I had already received a refund on the book and certainly was going to have Amazon manually remove it from my digital orders if I still could not get into the book with giving it a second look.

I kept reading past the first few chapters and before I knew it, I had read over half of the book - ingesting every word, every sentence and every paragraph.  I lost some sleep last night reading it into the wee hours of the morning. After reading over half the book and realizing that Amazon was not auto-magically removing it from my device, I went back and re-purchased the book. Because, 1) that was absolutely the right thing to do - to pay for a book that I was, indeed, reading and 2) since I am an author as well, I know how difficult it is to release a book and get returns and/or negative reviews when you work your heart out on a new release - so repurchasing it was a no-brainer for me.

I am a person who has a difficult time with being creative or allowing creativity to flow within me and Big Magic opened my eyes to the creative process (or at least the author's creative process) of writing.  I struggle with giving myself permission to take the time to write and also with giving myself permission to fail.

The chapter on perfectionism is a gold-mine of information and truly spoke directly to me.  The other analogies and lessons in the book are geared towards writers, artists and the like, but can easily be applied to any occupation in life.  The key is to apply these principles in everything that you attempt in life and watch the results turn into positive experiences.

The biggest realization from the book is that all of us are creators or makers, no matter what our occupations are and we need to own whatever it is in life that makes us who we are. I see now how this makes a difference in my own life.

I have to whole-heartedly say that I was completely WRONG  about the book after reading the first few pages and am so glad that the Universe tugged at me to try the book again.  I am happy that I did go back a second time as the words finally resonated with me even after my initial resistance to them.

Big Magic was working Big Time and I am thankful that I listened! Thank you Ms. Gilbert for writing Big Magic!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review Spotlight - Alora: The Wander Jewel by Tamie Dearen





 Alora: The Wander Jewel by Tamie Dearen is a fast-paced and unique fantasy novel and one that will keep your interest until the final page.

Alora was brought to Montana by her mother under very mysterious circumstances. Alora is then raised by a couple who she comes to know as her aunt and uncle after her mother dies. Even more mysterious than the death of her mother, Alora was born with a small jewel in her belly button. At the age of fifteen, Alora begins to have visions of a boy who turns out to be her soul-mate.


During one of these visions, her soul-mate is brought to Montana from a far-off land back in time.

Alora must help her soul-mate and his clan fight the invading forces of non-other than her biological father. Can Alora set aside a daughter's love for her evil father or will she succumb to his sinister plan for her? From this point on, the novel is a definite page-turner and one whose ending will satisfy any reader of young adult fantasy books.

I went ahead and picked up the next book in the series and cannot wait to read that one as well.


About the Author: 

Tamie Dearen has been married to her very romantic husband since 1982. They have two beautiful daughters, two amazing son-in-laws, and one awesome grandson. She plays piano, flute, harmonica, keyboards, and guitar, and loves composing and art. And she hates housework. A dentist in private practice for thirty years, Tamie stays busy playing on her church's praise team and teaching graduate students each week. In her spare time, she escapes the real world by writing books.

Tamie met her husband as a freshman in college when she acted out of character on a whim. One night in the library lobby, she spied a cute guy with his first name written on the back of his shirt. She called out his name. When he approached to talk to her, she pretended that she'd met him before, asking about his classes and how he liked college. To her surprise and delight, he also pretended that he knew her, but of course he didn't know her name. They continued this false relationship for two months. Each time they saw each other,an event which occurred three times per week at the cafeteria, he would pretend he knew her. Meanwhile, all of Tamie's friends were careful not to reveal her name to him. When he finally admitted his ignorance of her name, he was astonished to learn the truth. And the rest is history.

Contact Tamie on Facebook at Author Tamie Dearen or her webpage at tamiedearen.weebly.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

If Social Media Followers Could Predict the Party Nominations in the Presidential Race

 





I am certain experts in social media have already thought about this, but I was curious who had the most followers on the top social media platforms. I wonder what this really means for the front-runners in the race for the Presidency.

My little bit of research indicates that if social media followers could predict the outcome of the Republican and Democratic party nominations, then at this point in time (with combined Twitter and Facebook followers), the nominees would be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.



As of 9/22/2015

Twitter Followers:

Trump       4.25M
Bush           316K
Clinton      4.31M
Sanders      577K


Facebook Followers:

Trump     3,820,773
Bush           280,757
Clinton     1,391,288
Sanders   1,541,034


Let's see if this prediction comes to pass ...

What are your thoughts on social media as an indicator of the Republican and Democratic party nominations?


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cover Reveal - I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Along the Bumpy Road of Rural Life





Mark your calendars for November 1st!

Or if you like, you can pre-order I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Along the Bumpy Road of Rural Life (Book 2) at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015IG50IM


Description:


After ditching a full-time career and moving to a small hobby farm to enjoy a slower pace and a healthier lifestyle, isn't everything supposed to be idyllic or "peaches and cream" as they say in the South? Well, not exactly ...

In this second installment of the "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" series, follow the author as she holds on for the ride, "along the bumpy road of rural life" where her friendly neighbors become not so nice and her farm animals evolve into completely coddled pets - with her Royal Palm turkeys becoming the most pampered ones of all.




Enter the New Release Give-a-way!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway



About the Author: 

S.A. Molteni is a retired systems engineer. She is also currently a hobby farmer, avid traveler and an author of several award-winning short stories. She lives on a small homestead with her husband and a menagerie of farm animals.

S.A. Molteni can be found on the following social media sites:

Blog - http://samolteni.blogspot.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/author.samolteni
Twitter - https://twitter.com/samolteni




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book Review Spotlight - Thompson Road by Scott Wyatt



Thompson Road by Scott Wyatt is a wonderfully written, fast-paced and heartfelt story of love found and love lost with moments of happiness and grief thrown in for good measure.

The main love story of Raleigh and Mona could happen during any decade, but the time period of the 1930's through the 1950's is a perfect time for the setting of the novel. Not too give too much detail here, Raleigh grows up and lives his life and Mona also goes on to live the life of a mentally challenged young adult with many decisions in life forced upon her by other adults.

Both characters went through so much during the timespan of the novel that I laughed, cried and experienced every emotion in between. The realistic twists and turns that were dished out kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. Many parts of the story had me reaching for tissues, but all in all a highly recommended read.

About the Author:

Scott Wyatt was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho. He earned degrees from Stanford University and the University of Washington, and became a lawyer 1976.

In 1999, years after traveling to the former Soviet Union, he founded the Companion Flag Project to elevate awareness of all that human beings have in common, their differences notwithstanding. The underpinnings of this campaign are reflected in the closing arguments of attorney Jason McQuade in Beyond the Sand Creek Bridge, and again in "The Sanori Flag Debate," the appendix to Dimension M.

Scott has four children and six grandchildren. His wife, Rochelle, is a talented Seattle-area actress. They are fortunate to live in a beautiful home overlooking Lake Sammamish, fifteen miles east of Seattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.



Monday, September 7, 2015

Goodbye Summer




It seems that just yesterday, the temperatures were warming up for spring after a very mild winter here in Florida.  Summer went by way too fast this year, even though technically fall does not start until September 23rd.

Traditionally, in many parts of America the Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer.  The end of summer picnics, days at the beach or lake and the end of copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden.
Time sure does fly when you are out and about and busy with life in general during the summer.

The things I will not miss about summer in Florida is the stifling heat and humidity, the daily torrential rain showers and most of all, the swarms of blood-sucking mosquitoes that laugh at the taste of DEET.

I will also not miss the necessity to mow the lawn at least every few days. Seriously, if the grass grows beyond a certain point, nature takes over and the battle is lost for any type of manicured lawn for the remainder of the hot months. Glad I have a tractor and a 72-inch finishing mower for my fifteen acres of pasture and lawn.

Not that I dislike summer in Florida, but there are places in the country that I would rather be, away from the heat, humidity, mosquitoes and lawn-mowing. 
That place would be the Pacific Northwest.  Unfortunately, the wildfires there this summer were of apocalyptic proportions and may not have brought the relief from the heat I might have been seeking this year.

Maybe next year <sigh>.

Autumn is just around the corner and I, for one, cannot wait for it to get here.  Fall is my favorite time of the year, not only for the cooler weather, but for the Halloween candy and the Thanksgiving dinner.





Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review Spotlight - Refracted by Nicole Storey



Refracted (The Celadon Circle Book 2) by Nicole Storey is the much anticipated and thoroughly riveting sequel to Blind Sight (The Celadon Circle Book 1).

I had read Blind Sight a while back and could not wait for the next installment in this well-crafted and superbly written series. Ms. Storey has delivered a sequel that will keep you on the edge of your seat and carry you through every emotion you could possibly have as she spins this latest tale of Angels, Demons, Heaven and Hell.

When Blind Sight ended, Jordan was taken by her demon father, Aamon to live with him and Jordan's half-siblings. Jordan's brothers (Nathan and Quinn) and her uncle (Casen) will stop at nothing to get Jordan back from the clutches of evil. But, when their Guardian Angel, Gabriel is replaced by another (Illyria) to watch over them, Jordan's brothers and uncle face a difficult time in trying to rescue Jordan.

Jordan must come to grips with her newfound powers of good and evil along with reconciling the fact that her real father is a demon. Jordan is torn between her demon family, her human family and what the Celadon Circle wants from her. All the while, Jordan matures by leaps and bounds to save not only herself, but also those she loves - even if she must die trying.

I absolutely adored this book! Blind Sight was great, but the author has definitely knocked the ball out of the park with Refracted. It is one book that I will read again - which is something I seldom do, so that speaks volumes on how much I loved it.

I would recommend this to those who like fast-paced, no holds barred fantasy and coming of age stories.

Very well done, Ms. Storey!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bonus Contest for July 2015



Enter for your chance to win a surprise gift and $10 in your pocket.

To enter, see the details on the I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak page on Facebook HERE.

Also, whether you enter the contest or not, please download the FREE e-book, "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Leaving High Tech for Greener Pastures" today through Sunday, August 2nd.

Description:

Have you ever wanted to ditch the nine-to-five job and move as far away as possible from the rat race?

Have you ever just wanted peace and quiet in a rural setting away from the sprawl of suburbia?

Have you found yourself daydreaming about pasture lands and farm animals on a daily basis?

That's exactly what the author found herself contemplating - more often then not - while working at a high tech job in Seattle.

With her husband 3,000 miles away in Florida and the passing of her father, she knew it was time to make some serious changes in her life. She was ready for an adventure, but little did she know what lay in store for her at the 'fixer upper' farmhouse she and her husband would soon become the owners of.

S.A. Molteni has spent over thirty years in the Information Technology field working for various Fortune 500 companies. During those years, she and her husband had always dreamed of living on a farm once they became retired from the rat race.

This collection of essays follows the author in her sometimes humorous transition from "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" and depicts the lessons that are learned along the way once farm animals become a large part of her life.



Monday, July 27, 2015

New Cover Reveal - I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak







With the help of a very talented cover designer and author, Victorine Lieske, I am pleased to reveal the new cover for my latest e-book - "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Leaving High Tech for Greener Pastures".

Although the previous cover was well-received and many fans loved it, I felt the need for a new one to more completely portray what the book was truly about.  I feel this new one definitely depicts what the book contains.

Since the book was released back in April 2015, it has enjoyed several weeks as an Amazon #1 Best-seller in the Rural Sociology category of non-fiction works. It has also garnered a generous amount of positive reviews and many emails from like-minded people who want to do the same thing as I have done - leave the nine-to-five and live on a farm.

If you haven't read the book yet, I hope that you will give it a try.  If you already read it, I hope that you will leave a review.  Either way, I hope you enjoy it and share it with your friends and family.

Look for the sequel to be out in the spring of 2016.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Book Review Spotlight - Eve of the Beginning (Grimsley Hollow Book 2) by Nicole Storey

 



Grimsley Hollow: Eve of the Beginning by Nicole Storey is a wonderfully well-spun tale to be read along with the first book, The Chosen One. I read the The Chosen One a while back and also read Blind Sight by Ms. Storey. I am a huge fan of her work and will read anything that she publishes - her writing is that good!

Now to the review of this well-written and highly imaginative story ... Eve is a young witch, eleven years old to be exact. She is just coming into her own as a witch, but is also still a child. And being a child is a hindrance in that most of the townspeople and her parents will not listen to her when she senses that the newest witch (Inari) in town is up to no good.

Eve has all the issues that a human tween would have, but also carries the weight of the Grimsley Hollow world on her shoulders. Once the new witch, Inari proves to be the baddest apple in Opa, Eve must grow up fairly quickly if she is to save Grimsley Hollow from the clutches of this hateful and destructive witch. Eve must be brave and make contact with the only human that can help - Gage, the autistic child from the first book.

The characters in this story come alive in every page. Eve, the not-so-sure-of-herself witch and Puck the mischievous pixie are so well-developed and likable that the reader cannot help but love them both. The same for Inari - very well-developed as a character and so very easy to hate. Ms. Storey has such a great way of weaving a fascinating tale of a magical world that it makes the reader want to know every facet of the story and what happens next for Eve and Grimsley Hollow.

As I said in the beginning of this, I am a huge fan and will read anything that this particular author publishes. Eve of the Beginning has solidified that sentiment and I eagerly await to read more from this very talented and gifted author.





Monday, May 18, 2015

Goodreads Give-a-way!






Goodreads Book Giveaway

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak by S.A. Molteni

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak

by S.A. Molteni

Giveaway ends May 31, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to Win
 



Friday, May 15, 2015

How Important is YOUR Brand?








I remember the discussion like it was yesterday, even though it has been well over a year since the conversation took place.  It was my last annual review at the last job I had before I retired in March 2014.

I had met or exceeded expectations in all of the categories of my review and even received a very generous bonus for the projects completed on time and on budget.  But there was one glowing issue. I had not promoted "my brand" very well over the past year and well, not many people outside of my niche group of co-workers and internal customers knew me aside from seeing my name on various project documents.

Ah, this is what happens when you are an I.T. Geek who has her nose to the grindstone and does not spend much time hobnobbing or socializing with the powers that be.  My manager said that I would need to put some focused effort into making "my brand" shine and this would garner me much more recognition in the company, not only in name but in promotional opportunities and bonuses in the coming year.

So why am I telling you this ?

Glad you asked ...

I was not really in tune with "my brand" when I worked for Corporate America. I went to work, did my job (very well, thank you) and was paid handsomely for it.  No one ever told me that I had to have a "brand".  Now that I have been away from the mainstream of the work-a-day world for a bit, I have had some time to reflect on what "developing  my brand" really means and am very glad that the topic was brought up to me in that last review.

As a newly published author in 2013, no one knew who I was or what my writing was all about.  I failed miserably at marketing those first few short stories that I published, but somehow managed to get a few hundred fans of my writing over the past two years.

In the summer of 2014, I felt that more people would read my work if I could just get them to notice it. It was then that I realized that I needed better marketing skills if any of my books were going to be seen by anyone other than my family and friends. Aside from this, I thought I had a good product in the short stories and essays that I wrote, but I had nothing really that set me apart from the rest of the indie authors trying to sell their wares.

I then got a brilliant idea (or so I thought).

I went about trying to think of what phrase or label that best described me and the books I had written.  In a few months, "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" was born.

In January 2015, I relabeled my Facebook page previously titled, "North Florida Farm and Garden" (how boring, right?) to "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" (a bit more fun and exciting). Up to that point, I had a small number of followers on the page - about 400 or so.  Immediately when I changed the name on that page, there were hundreds of new followers within the first week.  Today, just a few months into the name change, the page has over 1,100 fans and continues to grow each day.

I also set up a blog for this new name as well as an email and Twitter account. I then went about providing content on Twitter, Facebook and Google + that related to my hobby farm and my decision to leave the I.T. sector of Corporate America.

So, what did all of this do for my "brand"?  Well, quite a bit.

People on social media now know me as the author who lives on a hobby farm, who used to be an I.T. Geek and has a memoirette out called "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Leaving High Tech for Greener Pastures" that just reached #1 this week on the Amazon Best Seller list for Rural Sociology.

I have noticed an amazing increase in readership and subsequently, sales of my various e-books as a direct result of having a better "brand".

For new indie authors starting out, I highly recommend that you develop your own "brand" - something that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd of other authors.  The time and effort in doing so should increase your visibility and that of your books as well.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.






Monday, May 4, 2015

New Release Spotlight: Uncharted Inheritance by Keely Brooke Keith

 

New Release on May 5, 2015

Cover Image:
 


 

Description: 

Bethany Colburn finally turns eighteen and Everett Foster is about to confess his love for her. When a new man arrives in the village of Good Springs, he brings charm Bethany has never encountered and illness the Land has never known. While the medicinal power of the gray leaf tree is put to the test and the Colburn family’s strength is stretched thin, Bethany must learn to protect her true inheritance. Uncharted Inheritance weaves heartbreak and hope while delivering long-awaited answers in this suspenseful story of life in a hidden land.



Links to the book online:

Goodreads
Shelfari
Fictfact
LibraryThing
ACFW FictionFinder
Authorgraph 



Author Bio:
 
Keely is a bass guitarist and plays on worship teams and for solo artists. She is married to singer/songwriter John Martin Keith, and they frequently perform and tour together. When she isn’t writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antique stores. Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband where they homeschool their daughter, Rachel.

Author links:
 
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram
Pinterest


Be sure to enter the author's give-away as well:



 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 17, 2015

Need Free or Cheap Book Promo Sites?

** Updated 4/23/2015 with new information


As indie authors, we all know how hard it is to find places besides Facebook and Google+ to market our books.  You can only post to social media so much before you start losing friends (and family sometimes, too).

The leaders in the book marketing arena (Book Bub and ENT) are expensive and have very strict rules on acceptance.  So what is an indie author to do?

Have no fear, there are other marketing outlets that have good returns for either a small payment or for free.


Below are five websites that I have used with notes on the results:


1. Buck Books - Free (but must join as an affiliate)




I ran a promotion with them back in February 2015 and was blown away by the results. I had over 80 purchases of my book, "Chickens, Hawks and Grumpy Goats" on the day of their ad and had residual sales up to three days later.

They are free (at this time) and slots are filling up fast for their upcoming promotions.  I highly recommend them.



2.  Fussy Librarian - $5 to $17












I ran a promotion with them for $5.00 on my perma-free title, "Fade to Gray"  and received over 200 downloads.  The interesting thing was that my non-free book sales increased on this day as well. Definitely worth the small amount of money.



3. Genre Pulse - starting at $10






For $10, I ran a promotion on "Chickens, Hawks and Grumpy Goats" and received 30 sales.  This was not great, but some other genres do better.  It is worth a try and will not break the bank.



4. Book of the Day - Free














For a free site, this one keeps your listing on-line indefinitely.  I submitted "Fade to Gray" to them several months ago and the listing is still searchable.  The downloads of the book picked up several hundred during the week that the book was featured.  I highly recommend them.


5. Read Cheaply - Free for a Limited Time

I just recently submitted a listing and have not heard back from them yet. However, their $15 and $25 package is free for a limited time, so they are worth a try.

Updated 4/23/2015 - Read Cheaply featured my latest e-book, a memoirette - "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak on April 19th.  For a free promo, I received 20 purchases and 5 Kindle Unlimited units.  All in all, a good bump in sales for a free ad.  I recommend that you give them a try.

Hope these have been helpful and happy marketing to you!








Monday, April 13, 2015

New Release Today - I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak







Well, the wait is over.  Today my latest book has been released for purchase on Amazon.

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Leaving High Tech for Greener Pastures is a collection of personal essays from the view of an I.T. Geek who leaves Corporate America and decides to live on a 15-acre "fixer-upper" farmstead. 

These non-fiction tales are from actual events on the farm. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry.  But, all of them will leave you entertained.

 
Description:

S.A. Molteni has spent over thirty years in the Information Technology field working for various Fortune 500 companies.

During those years, she and her husband had always dreamed of living on a farm once they became retired from the rat race. Once the author's father unexpectedly passes away and her husband moves over three thousand miles to live in another state, her life becomes subject to a complete overhaul to weed out what is working and what is not in her day to day existence.

In the midst of dealing with an elderly, newly widowed mother and in-laws who also have health challenges, she leaves Corporate America to find greener pastures on a "fixer upper" fifteen acre farm located on a long dirt road in a rural part of northern Florida.

This collection of essays follows the author in her sometimes humorous transition from "I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak" and depicts the lessons that are learned along the way once farm animals become a large part of her life.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Review Spotlight - Unelmoija:Paradox by Elle Boca



Unelmoija: Paradox by Elle Boca is the last book in the Weeia Series and in my opinion, the very best one in the Weeia collection.

In this latest novel, new characters are introduced and several characters from the previous books are expunged - some more nicely than others.  Amy and Kat are back in Miami, but this time with their grandparents from Maine helping them through the premature death of their mother. Duncan and Amy are still a couple in love and work well together in life and in all things Weeia.  Vlad and his father, Klaus come back on the scene to cause major troubles for Kat and Amy along with the possibility of further human casualties if Amy cannot convince Klaus to change his devious plans. After many dead ends, Kat and Amy finally enlist the help of their father (the Enforcer for the Weeia) and a suspenseful, thrilling ride ensues that takes everyone on a wild and dangerous journey.

From the previous four books, topics and events are brought back to the surface and questions are answered about Amy's ever-growing super-human powers. Amy has many abilities and all become honed to help fellow Weeia and humans alike. Aside from her other abilities, time travel becomes a very real option for Amy and her family when all else seems lost.  Most all of the loose ends from the past installments of the series are tied up quite nicely and come together in a surprising ending that gives the reader a tremendous amount of closure to the series as a whole.

If you have read the entire series up to this point, you will not want to miss Unelmoija: Paradox!


The First Four Books in the Weeia Series:





About the Author: 

Elle is the author of the Miami Weeia urban fantasy series about super-humans. Elle makes her home with her king cat husband in South Florida. When not writing and creating fantastical beings she likes photographing nature and wildlife, eating baked goods, watching movies, and dreaming of going on safari. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading.

Visit Elle Boca on Amazon and Goodreads or on Twitter.
For the latest, also visit Elle at her website.