Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays!

May you find Peace and Joy this season!   
And Books! 

The Unmoving Sky

Available in Print eBook or Audible! 
Ask for it at your favorite Indie Bookstore. 

Wishing for peace on Earth! 

"If you want peace, fight for justice!" Democracy Now. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

My Response to “Diversity is not our Strength” tweet by Steve King (R-Iowa)

“It’s a small world after all … “ the song went as my boat ride passed children of all ethnicities, holding hands across the world at Walt Disney. It was Diversity. Inclusivity. Love. 

It's a Small World Walt Disney 

My mother, an immigrant from Greece, had become single by the time we moved to Florida. I was 8-years-old, my brother three years younger, and she had little help from anyone aside from friends. She taught belly dancing, and her friends from Syria, Turkey, or Lebanon turned our place into the United Nations. Memories of whirling dervishes, their laughter, and joy shared among these women, echoes in my heart and memory. They found each other in an otherwise isolated existence living in Central Florida and formed bonds to last years.

This was the early 80’s, my mother was tall and beautiful in a striking way. Exotic. She stuck out of every crowd. Her broken English I never noticed until someone pointed it out, or if I were away a while I’d hear it.

At 13-years-old, we moved to Key West after my mother married her friend, Kamal, from India, and we lived there for a time. Turned out Kamal was gay. (Long story there) I have fond memories of his sister’s Tandoori Chicken, unable to sleep, but the stomachache was well worth the indulgence.

While we lived in Key West, my mother met a Cuban man, and with the help of his son, translated the passions running between them. We moved to Miami and she learned to cook arroz con pollo and café con leche. I had a new family, five brothers and a stepsister, all born in Puerto Rico. I loved learning about their cool jobs, and wild adventures. I was 15 when my stepsister told us she was gay. My oldest stepbrother was also gay, the one who explained dreams and astronomy, and understood the abstract ideas I enjoyed talking about. The youngest of my stepbrothers lived with us. Close in age, we bonded over teasing and taunting, while forced to share a home for a year, before I left for college.

This is my America. Diversity is my America. In the melting pot of New York City, I’ve found a home., and now married with children to a Jewish man.  

 Dear Steve King (R-Iowa)
 I have no trouble calling out racists or bigots. 

We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see
And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

Diversity strengthens ME! I have faith in the good people of the earth moving toward unity. #OneLove   

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Unmoving Sky is Moving into Bookstores.

"Paperback Writer ..."   the song that's been ringing in my ears.

THE UNMOVING SKY now available in Paperback at Barnes & Noble 

And in one of my most favorite Indie Bookstores McNally Jackson Books!    ~ Yay!

I go a little cross-eyed when holding my books! They're real. 

If you don't see The Unmoving Sky in your local bookstore, please, pretty please Ask!
You can even ask your librarian. I have a lot of legwork ahead, and now without a publicist, I could use every little elf available.  

Now to sling word-count for my NaNoWriMo Draft!    
Happy Writing and Reading, friends. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

YA Book Review: Now is Everything

Now Is EverythingNow Is Everything by Amy Giles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A repost from my review on The Kidliterati. 
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

All seventeen-year-old Hadley wants is to protect her sister from the monster. The monster her mother won’t go against. The brut that pushes her at the gym, and laughs at any pain she suffers, and like a drill sergeant, has her up at the crack of dawn to run every day despite her injuries. The monster is her father.

Hadley can take it. She can take just about anything he dishes out. So long as he stays away from Lila, her 10-year-old, spirited and carefree sister, who’s innocent of his torments, for the most part. Hadley wants to keep it that way and plans to enroll at a local college, instead of Cornell, her father’s alma mater. The college he’s forcing her to attend.

Hadley doesn’t confide in anyone at school, she doesn’t tell her friends what’s happening at home. Hadley suffers alone.
Until she meets Charlie.

All the girls swoon over Charlie, kind, humble, and contentious. Hadley can’t understand why he likes her. They fall hard for each other. But her father’s on to him, becoming suspicious and even more controlling of Hadley until suddenly he’s not. The monster has found Hadley’s weakness and sets his sights. Then the next tragedy strikes; a tragedy that changes everything.

Told in two timelines: then and now. Beautifully written, its subject difficult to read at times. There were many triggers for me, personally. Hadley’s emotional journey of being trapped in an abusive family was written with sensitivity and understanding—and suspense! It was also difficult to put down.

2017 Debut Author.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Read Charger Nine Now!

I'm pretty excited to have another piece of my imagination out in the world!

My science fiction fantasy, Charger Nine, is in the 13th Issue of Alien Dimensions, for their one year anniversary! I wrote this story and as soon as I finished writing it, I found Alien Dimensions through Duotrope and discovered that my Ecco Warrior, Cassandra, was a perfect fit for this issue. Serendipity. Everything takes place off-planet.  

Enjoy! And since writers need so much support, if you like what you read, please leave a review.  
Paperback now available! 

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Alien Dimensions is a monthly anthology of science fiction, fantasy and metaphysical short stories by new and established authors. In this 1st anniversary extra long issue:

Aura Who by Aric Merchant

One to the Left by Isaac Teile

Charger Nine by Karen L. Hallam

One Chance by Sam Honour

Under the Surface by Alison McBain

Rejuvenation by Neil A. Hogan

Promises Kept by Patrick S. Baker

Sacrifice by Nicky Martin

The Ghost Haunter by Martin Roy Hill

Tiara and the Comet Apocalypse Part 6 by Neil A. Hogan

This issue is paying tribute to the 13th Doctor in Doctor Who by containing stories featuring strong, female characters. Being the 13th issue, and being released in October, also included are a couple of stories to help you celebrate Halloween!

Many thanks to all our contributors and readers for helping us make it to this auspicious milestone. We hope you enjoy this extra special release of Alien Dimensions.

Monday, September 18, 2017

MG Book Review: Kat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske

Kat Greene Comes CleanKat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A repost from my Kidliterati review.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Eleven-year-old, Kat Greene is growing more and more frustrated with her mother’s constant need to clean. When she tries to talk to her about school or anything else she becomes distracted by germs. Kat isn’t sure she should tell her father what’s happening, how her mother washes her hands until they’re scaly and red as lobsters. He has another wife now, and three-year-old son to take care of, Harry, whom she babysits on occasion with her best friend, Halle. If he finds out, he’ll make Kat move in with them, and she can’t leave her mother alone.

Kat’s mother feels horrible. It’s something she can’t control. Maybe if she wins a spot on the game show, Clean Sweep, she can come clean about her cleaning obsession, and do something useful with it. Kat sure is rooting for her. It’s what they both hope.

While this is happening, Kat’s learns she’s the Boy with the Purple Socks, in the class’s dramatic presentation of Harriet the Spy, The Harriet Project. Not only does she think her character is boring, she has to pair off with Sam, who won’t leave her alone. He wants her to make the Boy with the Purple Socks do something “memorable”. Kat loves Harriet the Spy and relates to Harriet in many ways, but she can’t bring anyone home while her mother’s behavior “is too weird for random guests”.

It’s hard for her to focus on The Harriet Project, or much else while worrying about her mother if she’ll throw out her favorite things, or ruin them with bleach because they’re considered dirty. Olympia, the school psychologist, offers help, and after an online search, Kat learns about the anxiety disorder, OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It scares Kat that her mother has this condition, or that she could get it too!

Written with a lot of heart and humor, Kat Greene Comes Clean, is a vibrant MG voice for readers 9-12.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer Update.

I’m back in New York City after two weeks in Central Florida visiting my mother, who has chronic kidney disease stage 3 after complications from diabetes. No doubt also in part from being on the trial end of diabetes medications such as metformin.

I was happy to be there for her, and try to ease her suffering. Together we researched nutritional supports and alternative methods of healing to accompany what her doctor and dietician would decide. However, my brother, a 45 supporter and I did not mesh, but for my mother’s sake, I kept quiet. The last thing she needed was stress. She’s on high blood pressure medication and on Medicare—and I have NEVER seen such incompetence with the doctors in Cape Canaveral who were supposed to call in her blood pressure medication. After a week (I kid you not) She still didn’t have it and I went with her to the Publix pharmacy, days after her doctor appointment. The pharmacist gave my mother 3 days of HB Pressure medication gratis. The pharmacist couldn’t believe the incompetence, either.  My mother called the doctors office every day!

Now there are some who believe Medicare patients are treated differently – poorly, and if this is true, shame on you, physicians who took the Hippocratic oath.  

My trip to Florida was difficult for several reasons. I hadn’t been back for over 12 years, but glad I was able to spend time with my sixteen-year-old niece. We became quite close after this visit. I spent time with my grandmother who will be 88 in two weeks! She was all smiles, and soon shared a brief history of her early years in Greece, when at 13 or 14 she was married! She soon left my grandfather, with my mother only 3 or 4 years old, and proceeded to find work that would allow her to house and feed my mother. House cleaning and singing in a club while my mother danced. She cried, that she could not feed her and had to stop.

My aunt and I are trying to get her to finish telling her story with a talk to text tool. It is a story that must be told.   Here she is! 
Mary Chapelle, born in 1929 in Samos, Greece. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Time For Healing.

Hello, fellow travelers, in this thing called life.  Welcome to my blog. 

It’s been a busy few months for me, though summer, while one of my sons prepares for college and we visit his SUNY choices.

My family took a trip East to Montauk last week, for reunions with old friends and reconnecting with Momma Ocean (Thank you, BrightFlame, for reminding me to drum the ground with each foot step. This had quite the calming effect.) 

While at the ocean, healing from a year of strife, (my other son’s and my own) I found out that my mother’s health is suffering, and she’s in need of an operation. So I’m headed to Cocoa Beach to stay with her while she recovers. I may not be online as much during this time. I will, however, be writing. Stress makes me write. Love makes me write.  I need to write.

I have short stories to find markets for, a completed manuscript to query, a novel draft to finish as I await news on a sub that’s with a publisher – since January! The Universe really wants me to learn patience the HARD WAY. 

I’ll post scenes of the Space Coast, Florida, and perhaps muse a little about the experience. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back. Much too long, and I have a lot of apprehensions. I’m taking Amtrak. Because after my last two (horrifying) flights I’m just not ready to fly, and this is after years of traveling via planes to visit parents growing up, and plenty of other overseas flights.  What happened to me???

I wonder, if I learned to fly a plane would I be cured? Has anyone tried this?

On another note, visit the Kidliterati Blog this week, where you can win a copy of OPEN IF YOU DARE by author Dana Middleton. “A fun and compelling mysterious adventure for middle-grade readers ages 9-12.”


Thursday, July 6, 2017

MG Book Review: The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky

The Countdown ConspiracyThe Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A re-post from my review on The Kidliterati blog.
 I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

What a ride! This book is Star Trek for Middle-Grade readers.

Only the best of the best are chosen, and thirteen-year-old, engineer, Miranda Regent, from the USA, is preparing for a flight to Mars. Her adorable mechbot, outfitted with thrusters, is her companion. She’s one of six kids from around the world, training for this mission aboard the Ambassador.

But the bombs! The kids barely escape. A war is about to break out on Earth. Miranda receives threating messages. Someone wants the space agency destroyed. Has Miranda been singled out as the target? And it’s only training day.
What if they never have the chance to blast off, after a life’s worth of training because the space agency is in ruins?

Suspects, mystery, and intrigue; no one can figure out who’s trying to sabotage the space program. Is it the Russians? A great cast of international kid characters, dealing with living and working in close proximity. There are rivals and jealousy, high stakes, and adventure!

The details about flight create an outstanding realness, and it’s science, due to the author being a science educator. She knocked this book out of the park – or I should say, into outer space. Energizing and inspiring and perfect for STEM readers.

Monday, June 5, 2017

MG Book Review: The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan
The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan by Patricia Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars  A reblog from my review on The Kidliterati 

 I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

“I killed my mother. Twice, if I am to be completely honest—though she only died the one time.”

Entering Kit’s word we are sent back to 1905 Goldfield, Nevada during the gold rush, and meet Kit Donovan, thirteen-years-old, blaming and publically shaming herself for her mother’s death from pneumonia.

It’s dusty and dirty, and she lives in a tent with her father. Her school is in a tent. Classmates tease her incessantly and throw stones! Her teacher ostracizes and humiliates her. It’s the hard knock life for sure.

Kit’s father works in the local gold mine, and one day she comes home and finds the neighbor, Wild Woman, Clara, pulling wood splinters and bandaging her father’s arm and talking about Mr. Granger, the corrupt owner of the mine Goliath, who wants to blow the wells to kingdom come. Regardless of who is harmed or killed.

Kit convinces her father to speak out about the dangers of the gold mine, and when he doesn’t she takes the truth to the local newspaper. The whole town explodes with the news. Her father’s gunned down on Main Street right in front of her. Granger holds the smoking pistol, shouting, “It was self-defense.” Her father now labeled “agitator” and dead.

She finds solace at the horse stables with a borrowed copy The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The only book she has, other than the Bible, to keep her from “becoming as dull and stupid as this savage place” A promise she made her mother. She meets Arnie in the stables, a Shoshone boy, reading the copy of Huck Finn, and he quickly becomes an ally.

With her keen curiosity and determination, advanced spelling skills, (even if she suppresses her intelligence so she’s not teased at school) she lands a job at the local Times, after a few adjustments to the part about being a girl, she goes undercover in the mines to find out first hand and prove her father’s innocence. She learns that her father knew even more about the dangers of the mines.

This book was such a pleasure to read. The setting and atmosphere were well developed and the characters grip your heart. You’re right with Kit, as she heroically and tragically sets off, each adventure more tragic than the next.

Published on April 25th, 2017 by Albert Whitman