Local Author Day

The Wichita Advanced Learning Library hosted a local author day, with discussion panel and author expo on August 24th. Three authors were chosen to discuss their experiences with publishing and answer questions from the audience, giving guidance to new writers as well as we experienced ones.

A couple of author buddies and I (H.B. Berlow & Kathy Prichett) joined most excellent reader, Penny Sanderback for lunch. We headed out to the Anchor but the line was out on the sidewalk, so we whipped in for a burger at Five Guys. Good stuff!

In the afternoon sixty local authors, you read that right – 60 – came together at the library conference area and renewed acquaintance, set up our works with signs and props, and the doors opened at 2:00 to admit a bunch of folks. For two hours the readers came and went, we sold some books, and talked about writing. It was great fun, exhausting and I hope to be involved next year. The library staff was attentive and very helpful. Thank you Racine, Sara, and Sarah (not sure of the spelling, so I hope you’ll forgive me). Reverie Coffee kept us supplied with caffeine and sweets, too. I’m certain there are others whose names I didn’t hear.

The Five W’s

WHY do I write? My mind is filled with stories, characters, issues that need to be discussed, and sometimes a crazy idea or ten. Nature and the uniqueness of the human race and our pets often inspire me.

WHO do I write for? Mostly for women, but sensitive men have enjoyed my novels, too. Women have a unique yet shared perspective and experience. We help each other, we are nurturing, guiding, leading and comforting – as a general rule.

WHAT do you write? I write stories about women, feisty families and friends and issues they deal with every day. Abuse. Desertion. Sexual awakening. Love. Children. Loss. Forgiveness. Aging. Opportunities. Change.

WHERE do you go to write? My office mostly. They closed my favorite bookstore (Borders West Wichita) where I spent many hours on my first and second novels. Watermark Books & Cafe is another good place to hang out and write. Libraries and coffee shops work, too.

WHEN is your best time to write? Afternoons and evenings. Mornings I usually do chores (laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, gardening, care giving). Sometimes when I wake up I remember a part of a dream that applies to my current work in progress, or and idea for a character or story, so I quickly jot it down before I forget it.

Her Royal Spyness is great fun

Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #1)

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you enjoy British humor and settings you will love this fun story. The heroine is young, smart, 34th removed from the throne and broke. Having had her allowance cut off when she turned 21 she now has to venture out in the world and make a living. But how does one do that when one has had servants all one’s life, you ask? It isn’t an easy task.

With a host of interesting cousins and men vying for her royal hand, Georgiana is determined to find love and a job, not necessarily in that order. What she discovers is a dead body and the distinct impression that someone is trying to kill her, too. You’ll enjoy this fun romp, I certainly did.

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Book review: Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

O.M.G. This was an amazing story that I had trouble putting down. A sure sign of a good book. This story is about children of the river who are stolen from their parents and forced into the infamous Tennessee Children’s Society Home. A place where children were sold and brutalized for decades. But it isn’t just the story of how they survived, it’s also about the next generations that came along after. About secrets, loss and the bonds of blood. I highly recommend this book.

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Change & Survive

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~Charles Darwin 

Are you ready for the 3rd book in the feisty family series?

FEISTY FAMILY & FRIENDS will be available in ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Apple books on July 13, 2019. Print will be available through Amazon as well.

At the age of twenty-one, Peggy Malone is the owner of a successful family business, employing her sister, Megan, her father, Tom, and her neighbor, Tillie. Peggy’s Pantry is the hot spot café in Riverside, serving the best pastries, sandwiches, soups and coffee.

Baking in the wee hours for Peggy’s Pantry are taking their toll on Tillie Linden, so her husband, Joe, decides to help. The dynamic duo makes a great pair in the kitchen, creating new and delicious treats for the café patrons, but will this partnership last?

Now a junior at North High School, Megan is drawn to a handsome boy in her history class with bright blue eyes and blond hair. Relationships are hard for the shy brunette, but she feels love stirring. Will he break her heart?  

Peggy is worried about her little sister—she seems to be thinking with her heart, and not her brain, and Peggy doesn’t want to see her sister wind up wasting her life because she chose to not go to college.

It feels like all the strings are being pulled on everyone in this little family, and when Kansas weather wreaks havoc in Riverside, their lives are changed in seconds. Will this family be ripped apart as well, or will Mother Nature’s winds only tighten the binds between this patched together family?


A book you can sink your teeth into…

Bite Me (Demon Underground, #1)Bite Me by Parker Blue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes you need a little fantasy in your life. A wee bit of butt-kicking, a girl with a few drops of demon blood to ramp up her skills. Killing vampires seems to help Val keep the demon under control, but it leads to unforeseen consequences. After being kicked out of the house for supposedly endangering her younger sister Val is bereft, but soon finds solace and a furry partner who is part Terrior and part hellhound, and does a mean job of grabbing for the dangly bits on vampires.

This was great fun to read and no doubt I will read more in the series. Parker Blue makes the dark and seedy side come to life with humor and just the right amount of tension. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

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Jillie finds the ultimate treasure

JillieJillie by Olive Balla
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. This story is packed with interesting characters and suspense. It’s a story about sisters, family ties, survival and obsession.

Jillie, the main character, is a spunky eleven-year-old, who while defending her sister as she is being beaten to death, kills a man. Forced into an unbearable situation she runs away, trying to get back to her sister in the hospital. What Jillie encounters on her journey should never be experienced by someone so young.

Along the way, she meets elderly twin sisters, one the polar opposite of the other. Frankly, these characters are funny and amazing and just as likable as Jillie. I’ve always been interested in the bonds between siblings, and twins especially. Balla captures these relationships with elegance and humor.

When a rumor is started about a found treasure by Jillie’s now dead father, some very nasty people are determined to find it, no matter who gets in their way.

Thanks for a great read!

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