I love to read, always have. From fiction to sci-fi, young adult and non-fiction, my pile grows. And I couldn’t be happier.
For these holidays I thought I would send out some suggestions from authors I have met through my writing groups including APSS, the Association of Publishers for Special Sales. These folks are dedicated writers, storytellers and I have learned so much from them about the craft of writing. So today, my note is brief. Enjoy the varied genres and brief descriptions. Remember all comments are appreciated.
1. Murder beyond the Precipice: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction
Penny Goetjen: National award-winning author Penny Goetjen is a self-proclaimed eccentric, known for writing late into the night, transfixed by the allure of flickering candlelight. Fascinated with the paranormal, she usually weaves a subtle, unexpected twist into her stories. When her husband is asked how he feels about his wife writing murder mysteries, he answers with a wink, “I sleep with one eye open.”
Book Blurb: Set in a deceptively tranquil harbor town on the coast of Maine, MURDER BEYOND THE PRECIPICE tells the story of the Livingston family who is no stranger to tragedy. Losing both parents at a young age in what authorities ruled an accident, Lucretia Livingston, the sole heir to the estate, is left to pick up the pieces. But many locals question the circumstances surrounding their deaths and if the family’s wealth was an irresistibly seductive motive for crossing the line.
2. The Storm:Young Adult Fiction, Inspiration, Motivation
DAN BLANCHARD is a bestselling and award-winning author, speaker and educator. “The Storm: How Young Men Become Good Men” is the first book in Dan’s Granddaddy’s Secrets teen leadership book series. Dan has been featured in over 100 television and radio shows, as well as several of the world’s top ten podcasts. Check out Dan’s book by clicking on the link below
Book Blurb: The Storm is about a teen struggling with life in a violent and frustrating world. He’s trying to do what he can, but he’s angry about the hand life has dealt him. Then, out of the blue, his estranged and mysterious Granddaddy stops by to see him. They go for a walk in the park, and for one stormy and magical afternoon, Granddaddy talks about being a former WWII fighter-pilot, about his past, his famous friends, and about how he escaped a meaningless life.
Judith Dreyer, is an international author, speaker, and educator. Her first book, At the Garden’s Gate, seeks to inspire us to look at our land spaces differently and ask important questions? “Beautiful and thoughtfully written, At the Garden’s Gate traces a woman’s inner journey as she creates a wildflower meadow. The meadow becomes a teacher, a metaphor for life and a calling. Tucked within the pages of this magical book are threads of gold; poems, quotes, meditations, and ceremonies one can use in one’s own garden. And also sound and practical instructions for creating a wildflower meadow.” Rosemary Gladstar, author and herbalist from her wildflower meadow in Vermont
Kathryn Orzech, Connecticut native, and seasoned world traveler writes mystery, suspense, and thrillers set in New England “and other exotic locations.” An avid film fan and news nerd, interests include history and geopolitics, society and culture, science and parapsychology, leaving few subjects off her literary table.
Book Blurb: On an innocent day in 1899 while her father travels abroad, twelve-year-old Maggie Delito unwittingly witnesses a shocking scandal. The next day, she’s dragged from her family’s estate and locked in an asylum to ensure her silence. Beneath the noted asylum’s polish of respectability, a wicked villainy hides in dank shadows—and Maggie fears she will be its next victim.
Seventy-five years later, Laura Delito inherits more than assets when her prestigious family’s mysterious past comes knocking. After sacrificing an independent career on the brink of success, she assumes control of Delito’s failing jewelry business while daring to expose its ghosts—a strange old woman, cryptic messages, and a rare antique key that might unlock the truth. As she pursues clues from the Northeast to North Africa, she fails to see danger looming close to home.
Janet Verney: Janet Verney is certified in Integrative Health and specializes in Women’s Wellness. As The Wellness Designer, she creates fun and educational programs for women around the world. Janet is passionate about living a rich and full life through delicious food and an abundant
Book Blurb: Roots2Wellness is one woman’s story of overcoming a serious, chronic health condition. It takes you on a journey from a point of pain, sadness, and torment to living in wellness, love, and passion which changed the course of her life and can change yours…forever.
So let go of that negative chatter in your mind, and get started on changing the course of your life forever. From altering thought patterns to choosing the correct foods, ROOTS2Wellness delivers many routes to healing, digging to the places deep inside where wellness begins. Whether you’re overwhelmed by feelings of fear or caught in a downward spiral of poor health, this inspirational read contains everything you need to begin taking action—and to enjoy the bloom of vibrant health that can only come from nourishing your roots.
Caryn Moya Block: In January of 2012, Caryn Moya Block began her writing career with the debut of Alpha’s Mate which won the “Global E-book Award for 2012” in contemporary romance. She was also named one of the “Top 50 Indie Authors for April 2012” from E-Reader Reviews. Her novel, A Siberian Werewolf in Paris, was chosen as a paranormal category finalist in the 2014 RomCon.com Readers’ Choice Awards.
Caryn continues to write, giving her readers five different series to choose from: The Shadow Walkers Romance Series, The Witch Guardian Romance Series, and the very popular, Siberian Volkov Pack Romance Series. She has just begun the second-generation character books with The Volkov Family Chronicles Series and The Shadow Walker- Lycan Hybrid Second Generation Series. CarynMoyaBlock@gmail.com and http://carynmoyablock.com/
Book Blurb: Aleksei Sokolov, a Shadow Walker-Lycan Hybrid, is trying to protect his best friend, Daven McCloud. He installs an Isanti security system in Daven’s Beverly Hills estate and assumes his identity. Stepping into Daven’s shoes puts him directly in the path of a killer, but it also puts him in the path of Sheridan Harbrook, who has been contracted to decorate Daven’s estate for Christmas.
When she meets with the man she believes is Daven, she can’t help but be surprised at how different he is when he doesn’t have a starlet on his arm. Feeling that she’s misjudged him, she lets him kiss her goodnight, even though the evening was strictly business.
She likes the man and one kiss tells her she could more than like him. But as their relationship progresses, danger surrounds them both. Will involving herself with a client put her in the crosshairs of a murderer and will this Christmas be her last?
7. LIke A Tree: Jean Shinoda Bolen:International BestSeller: Non- fiction, Archetypes, Trees, Women’s Rights:One of my goals over the past couple of years is to keep track of all the books I read. I enjoy going back over them at the end of the year. We have amazing choices for our book tastes.
Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Book,Like a Tree,touched my heart. She draws a parallel between women and the deforestation of our trees. Backed by research, myth and archetypal forces, she takes us on an incredible journey that has its heart in compassion, community and the desperate need for women and trees and its forest ecosystems, to be valued once again.
I hope you enjoyed the possibilities presented here. Great books for a snowy winter’s day. Please share and comment. It’s appreciated. Happy Holidays. Judith
Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, Writer, Speaker, and Workshop Presenter, Master Gardener.At The Garden's Gate - Available Online! Purchase Now | Find on Amazon
Description: History is told from the eyes of the recorder, often orally noted and passed down, and where and when possible, through documents and letters. What is the true history of Thanksgiving? What is the Native American record of this holiday connected to the colonial time period of the 1600’s? Rachel Sayet, Mohegan tribal member, adjunct lecturer for Native American Culture Classes and presentations, relates the stories told among New England Tribes. The oral tradition was valued, revered and served a great purpose during that time period. Thanksgiving, as told by the native peoples from NE America may surprise you. Enjoy a thought-provoking discussion, stories, and prayer told by Rachel Sayet.
About My Guest: Rachel is a Mohegan tribal member from Uncasville, Connecticut. She received her bachelor’s degree in restaurant management from Cornell University. While attending Cornell, Rachel worked in kitchens and took many culinary classes. Upon graduation, Rachel worked as a personal chef in upstate New York. She later went on to receive her master’s in anthropology at Harvard University. Rachel has been working for the Mohegan Cultural Department since 2013. Since then, she has also been researching Native American foods. She has presented her work throughout the country at conferences and classrooms, and has begun food sovereignty initiatives at the Mohegan Tribe; partnering with the health department on gardening events, cooking and storytelling workshops for Mohegan youth, and a native cooking show. Her most recent project is the Native Food Discussion Group, created in order to share knowledge about seasonal eating, harvesting, growing, and fishing practices.
Description:” Genetic engineering of plants goes awry, corrupts the food supply and invades the human genome, threatening the extinction of the human species, mother’s grieve over infants who are dying from mysterious illnesses, never- seen- before by medical science. An unusual love story. Famine and human Cannibalism appear imminent.”
His story begins: “Plants have stopped producing nutrients, the food supply is collapsing. A small group of scientists led by plant geneticist Dr. Bill Harrison race the clock to rejuvenate the world’s dying food chain.” Intrigued? I hope so …join us exploring a different twist to a serious possibility.
About the Author: Robert Radin: B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. M.S. and Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from The George Washington University. Ten years experience in U.S. Government research laboratories, including Naval Research Laboratory. Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biophysics and Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute.
I decided to make a writing commitment this month. NaNoWriMo is an incentive to get more writing done. The November project asks us to write 50,000 words and regardless of the word count to get going and write.
This year, I spent much of summer and early fall out foraging, gathering and drying edible plants for classes, salve making and to renew my own herb supplies for winter. It’s been time consuming but fun and I will share more as this month rolls along.
For now I have a novel to dig into as I continue to crack acorn shells for their meat and peel chestnuts to grind into flour. My main character knows plants at least some before she was removed from her community. She’s alone now in the forest sitting in the stillness. Yet, she must go through the motions of drying acorns to have acorn flour for winter use and others for survival. She’s found chestnuts a plenty. In the not so distant future they will be gone due to a blight that wiped out most American chestnuts from our eastern forests. Will she be strong enough to handle the changes about to come? Will her knowledge of medicine from the plant world survive generational shifts in her community and those of her relations?
Dried herbs are in glass jars. Wait, a pot of tea has brewed. Gotta get my cup of tea as I put words on paper. Wonder what my characters are doing today?
In the meantime, my next blog will continue my fall foraging series. Enjoy. Judith
Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, Writer, Speaker, and Workshop Presenter, Master Gardener.At The Garden's Gate - Available Online! Purchase Now | Find on Amazon
I decided to participate in the NaNoWriMo writing challenge and push the envelope, get out of my comfort zone. I had a dream recently that showed me part of the title of my second book. So I decided to get the dust off some journals, organize my space and dig in. Not sure what else to add except we are given great writing advice. I participated in NaNoWriMo July Camp two years ago and it helped me over come a block I had, needing some impetus to move my book, At the Garden’s Gate, forward. I added great chapters, kept focused and I reached my goal of 30,000 words by the end of the month. In the traditional November challenge the goal is set for us: 50,000 words. Here’s a sample of our first pep talk: Work on your factory and more by Gene Luen Yang.
Works for me. See you in December unless coming here and writing even more proves irresistible!
As some of you know I have been busy with book promotions. It seems like a daunting task. However as I read Divergentthis summer, a young adult novel by Victoria Roth, I looked into the meaning of daunting and dauntless as descriptive words.
Daunting: intimidates through fear while dauntless is brave, invulnerable to fear or intimidation. I had to revise my description of book promotion to a dauntless proposition. While not totally invulnerable to the fear of the unknown, like Tris, I do it anyway.
New writers are learning the trade of selling books from the ground up. Many of us come into writing from passion, eager to write our story, tell our tale. We sense that the world changes we are a part of have changed the nature of our experiences and changed the face of publishing. Instead of waiting for agents to call and collecting rejection slips, we now have a chance to publish and for many of us we have a chance to see our stories in the hands of readers. We claim the power of storytelling whether overcoming trauma in many forms, to telling tales of murder and mayhem. It doesn’t matter the genre, most are popping with new authors who tell outstanding stories whether fact or fiction.
We have created a renaissance of creative works flowing into our mainstream of activity and consciousness. I, for one, have been a bibliophile and the choices out there are many and easily available. Resources to support the process flourish. Editors, illustrators are easily found and often affordable. Printing presses can help.
I haven’t been as focused on this blog as I would have liked. We have a very active APSS group here in CT. We get invited to craft shows, expos, libraries, book stores and more for book signings. Each venue is a chance to talk to our readers, get an opportunity to hear what they are interested in and how our story may impact them. It’s also been a chance for me to get to know other Connecticut authors. The writing styles differ. The approaches are as varied as we are. The resources shared are worthwhile, helpful and credible. It’s been a moving experience. Though I still get overwhelmed by what I don’t know I keep moving forward and am taking advantage of the advice given.
This year has been a year of dauntless growth. Tackling the webinars of information, learning something every day about self- publishing, reading and reading even more to sharpen marketing skills. The gift for myself has been speaking engagements, discussing the holistic concepts of body and soul and the interconnectedness we share with the earth has been magical.
It is said that when we follow our passion, the universe answers. Each step is just as important as the next. I accept it all.
I had a dream recently to get going on my next book. I intend to take advantage of NaNoWriMo in November, a national challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. It could be a daunting task but I chose to view it as a dauntless one. I will keep you posted.