Review of Ronald Chapman’s A Killer’s Grace

I'm pleased to have read and written a review of Ronald Chapman's book A Killer's Grace in time for his WOW!Women on Writing virtual book tour. Today, September 1, is the publication of the book's second edition.  As you'll read, A Killer's Grace is a wonderful work. I hope you'll all get your copy (see the links below). You won't be disappointed. *** My Review of A Killer’s Grace A letter from a serial killer awaiting execution changes New Mexico reporter Kevin Pitcairn’s life. His investigations into the content of the letter drag him into his own dark past, that of a never-convicted murderer and an alcoholic. His journey draws the readers of A Killer’s Grace by Ronald Chapman into the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous and the close relationships Pitcairn made there, his love for Maria Elena who stays by his side even when she disagrees and fears his involvement with the serial killer’s story, how walking with his dog companions in the early morning hours calms him after nightmares l … [Read more...]

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Finding love and Michael French

Today I'm participating in a group blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about finding love in unimaginable places. Why this topic? We're celebrating the release of Michael French's twenty-fourth novel. Once Upon a Lie (Terra Nova Books) is an exploration of the secrets families keep, and the ways those secrets can tear a family apart. Visit The Muffin to read what Michael has to say on finding love in unexpected places and view the list of all my blogging buddies. Visit Michael's website  to find out more about the author. We also have a review of the novel here (and a giveaway). So I've decided to post a couple of poems as my contribution to the topic of "finding love in unimaginable places." One is about the night my husband and I fell in love (it appears in my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On): Forty (plus) Years He folds her in his arms and looks down at her with his deep blue eyes and a small, closed-mouth smile that sh … [Read more...]

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The importance of book reviews

I'm a firm believer that book reviews are important to authors and readers alike. Since writing and publishing my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, I'm forever asking my readers to please post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Here's the link to the post I wrote about reviews last January. Sydney Avey, my guest today, writes why she thinks book reviews are important, and generously gives a few pointers to those of you who have never written a review before. Sydney is the author of the just released literary fiction book, The Lyre and the Lambs. I thank her so much for stopping by Choices on her WOW! Women on Writing book tour. The Importance of Book Reviews By Sydney Avey The Third Tuesday at Three Book Club in Angels Camp, California invited me to attend their September discussion of my debut novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter. We traded thoughts on the reader and the author experience, and I shared my feeling that a book is a collaborative effort between writer and reader. Boo … [Read more...]

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Write from the wound to survive trauma

Lorraine Ash, author, journalist, essayist and writing teacher is my WOW! Women on Writing blog tour guest today. Her second memoir, Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life, is a spiritual memoir about taking stock of the traumas, losses, and disappointments we all experience by midlife. In Lorraine Ash's case, the major one was the stillbirth of her daughter, her only child. "After a time," Lorraine says, "what happens to us can feel like meaningless assaults to the self. But the book shows us meaning can be made of our life events, however disparate, if we bring them down to the soul level. In the end, it’s the quality of our inner life that determines what forces thrive in our psyches and so our lives." I can certainly resonate with Lorraine’s story. After the suicide death of my 27-year old son, Paul, I was able to find new meaning in my life and actual gifts that resulted from his death. Writing my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, was a huge help in my healin … [Read more...]

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Paige Strickland is back

Paige Strickland, my WOW tour guest on August 11, has returned and I'm thrilled. Thanks WOW! Women on Writing for scheduling this addition stop. Not only is Paige a memoirist with a book called Akin to the Truth about her adoption, she has had a long career as a teacher. Here are her thoughts about how children can have a positive school experience. It's perfect timing. School has just started  or about to start in the next few days. Tis The Season! by Paige Strickland             Our TVs and radios are clogged with advertisements about new sneakers, jeans on sale and handy lunch snacks. Discount stores and larger groceries have updated their seasonal aisle with rows of colorful binders, magic markers and Crayola 64-count crayons. These reminders began to trickle in just after July 4th with hopes of creating excitement and anticipation among parents and youngsters for back to school. As much as I detest having my relaxed-paced summer vacation day at the pool bombarded prematurely … [Read more...]

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Please welcome my WOW! guest Paige Adams Strickland

Please welcome my WOW! Women on Writing tour guest, Paige Adams Strickland, author of Akin to the Truth. I love her topic for today, The Benefits of Being An Adoptee. Imagine coming away with a group of top-notch friends or being blessed with a soaring imagination as a result. I'll let Paige fill you in on the rest in her wonderfully insightful and sensitive piece. The Benefits of Being An Adoptee by Paige Adams Strickland My adoption memoir, Akin to the Truth, contains some universal themes, which appeal and are relatable to all teenagers, adopted or not. (Pre)junior high through high school is the period of time when young people observe more and begin to analyze and form attitudes and concepts about their personal lives and the world in general.  Often these notions lack perspective and life experience, however the young person's belief system still contains value and meaningfulness because their feelings and how they deal with them are parts of becoming mature. For me, being an … [Read more...]

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The benefits of a small press

I had an excellent experience publishing with a small press, Dream of Things. Meeting my publisher, Mike O'Mary, was the best thing that happened to my book, Leaving the Hall Light On. My Choices guest today, ElizabethMaria Naranjo, also enjoys a similar experience. Please welcome Elizabeth who has just launched her debut novel, The Fourth Wall, through WiDo Publishing. To enter to win a free eBook version of The Fourth Wall, please leave a comment on this post. Winners will be announced at the end of her WOW tour. Benefits of a Small Press by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo Writers tend to separate publishing into two camps: traditional and indie. Indie publishing is often thought of as self-publishing, while traditional publishing gets described as finding an agent, landing a contract with a big publishing house, and reaping the benefits of a nice advance. Arguments in favor of indie publishing include retaining creative control and bypassing the long wait and frustrations that ca … [Read more...]

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Company is coming

Tomorrow starts a series of guest blog appearances by author's touring through WOW Women on Writing. I'm so looking forward to you getting to know these authors and reading their books. Here's the line up for August: Elizabeth Maria Naranjo, author of her first novel, The Fourth Wall (August 4) Page Strickland, author of Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity (August 11) Lorraine Ash, author of Self and Soul: On Creating A Meaningful Life (August 20) Please come back tomorrow to read Elizabeth's post about the benefits of publishing with a small press. … [Read more...]

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The blog-a-day-challenge is over

  Today is the last day of my self-inflicted July blog-a-day challenge. You can probably hear me breathing a sigh of relief as I look out my office window. Though I’m glad I achieved my goal - there were many times in the month when I was tempted to call it off - I’m happy to tell you that I’m not ever going to do that to myself again. Here’s why: Thinking up a blog subject thirty-one days in a row is hard. As a result I know my posts were repetitive and sometimes uninteresting. I should have asked more writing friends to make guest appearances to help mix it up a bit. It was time-consuming. It took me more time to decide on a post subject than it took to write about the subject. It put unneeded pressure on me. What did I need that for? Well, I decided on this scheme while I was waiting for comments on my novel from my group of beta readers. I felt I needed another activity to keep me busy. I was definitely wrong about that. I also pressured myself not … [Read more...]

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My WOW blog tour dance card is filling up

I'm always thrilled to host authors on a Women on Writing WOW blog tour. WOW created such a great tour for my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, when it first launched, I never hesitate to return the favor. Right now I have six authors scheduled to appear here on Choices in the next few months. I don't think it hurts to give you a little advance notice, but I won't spoil the fun now with too many details. I'll just give you their names, book titles, and dates they will be my guests. Elizabeth Maria Naranjo, The Fourth Wall on August 4 Paige Strickland, Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity on August 11 Lorraine Ash, Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life on August 20 Tara Meissner, Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis on October 1 Kathleen Pooler, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away from Emotional Abuse on October 7 Jerry Waxler, Memoir Revolution, on November 5 However, by no means is my calendar fully booked. Plea … [Read more...]

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