Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Kindness of Strangers

I am thrilled to share that an article I wrote about a very difficult time in my life was published in Women's Day on-line. I titled it The Kindness of Strangers. It's always been curious to me, how rather than a family member or a close friend, it is so often a stranger whose presence provides the help or comfort you need during a trying time.

The whole encounter might last as little as a moment, but somehow when you walk away, your day is brighter for their smile or a kind word. This particular encounter made me so aware of that, and I've paid attention ever since, hoping to repay this gift.

Enjoy the read!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

It's no lie! Kindle First books have something for every reader....

It is an honor and also exciting that my latest novel, CROOKED LITTLE LIES, has been chosen to be an Amazon Kindle First selection for the month of July. One of the most gratifying aspects of such a promotional opportunity is that the book will be introduced to thousands of readers. Some will be familiar with my books, but for so many more my name and my work will be new.

As a writer, it’s wonderful, imagining the numbers of readers who might hold my book in their hands. Who might read and become engaged with the characters and the story as it unfolds. It’s a huge part of why I write, and it means so much to me to hear from readers. It’s the most gratifying thing learning that something I wrote has resonated with a reader in some way, or perhaps sparked a discussion, or even helped them see a similar situation in their own life in a different way that was of help to them.

My desire to write came from the joy of discovery I found in reading. Reading was and continues to be one of the great loves of my life. But sometimes, given the plethora of books published every month, it’s hard to find one I want to read. And that’s another reason I was so thrilled that my novel was chosen to be a Kindle First pick. As a reader and also an Amazon Prime member, I already knew the value of the program. First, only four novels are offered each month, which narrows the scope, and each one is presented in a straightforward manner with great cover art, a succinct description and a letter from the editor further defining the premise. With all this great information offered in a nutshell, it’s hard to make a mistake. And you can’t beat the price of the Kindle First books! If you’re a Prime member you can pick one for free. Non-Prime folks can have one for a $1.99. Another aspect of the program I like is that the books/authors are generally not the hot list, the ones you see over and over everywhere. Many times, they’re new and fresh, at least to my story hungry mind.

If you haven’t checked out the Kindle First authors, I recommend it. I’ve found so many books I’ve enjoyed through the program. To name a few: I was pulled into Catherine McKenzie’s book, HIDDEN, from the first page. The opening scene is a heart stopper. I couldn’t put it down after that. D.M. Pulley’s, THE DEAD KEY. First, I fell for the title. And the story behind it is every bit as compelling. I was reading it on my phone in the grocery check-out line of all places! Emily Bleeker’s WRECKAGE is another page-turner. The idea behind it … of people, modern-day, cell phone using, connected 24/7 people being stranded on a tiny deserted island after a plane crash with zip for electronics … was really interesting, but what kept my attention riveted was what happened in the wake of their rescue, the stories that were told, the lies that became truths. THE PERFECT SON by Barbara Claypole White was another discovery with a different sort of theme. There are family dynamics at the novel’s heart, but not your ordinary family dynamics. The book addresses issues that evolve from a dynamic that isn’t so perfect. I always wonder about it when, as humans, we describe a family or a person as normal. What does it mean really? This book made me reexamine that particular question again. Read it to the last page no matter what because the ending is just perfect.

In closing let me mention one last book. I only just found it. In fact, when it was offered as a Kindle First selection, I didn’t download it because it sounded so dark. Titled A DARK LURE, it’s by Loreth Anne White, and it’s billed to be about a serial killer, hunting the one victim who got away. I returned to look at it a few times, finally downloading the sample and after reading just a couple of paragraphs, I was hooked on the gorgeous writing, not to mention the immediate edge-of-the-seat thrill that’s present from nearly the first word. Then getting into the story, I’m finding it’s far more absorbing and layered than the simple hunt by a killer for his lost prey. So although I’m reading with my eyes wide shut, I couldn’t stop if I wanted to.

I have other Kindle First books queued on my Kindle. My TBR list is long enough now that no matter where I find myself, I know I’ll have something good to read. Go check them out, if you haven’t already. There’s something for everyone, every month. You won’t be sorry.