#GuestDayTuesday – Artist Nicki Forde

Hi, Everybody! Today, I’m going to introduce you to one of my best friends, artist Nicki Forde. I’ve known Nicki for years, and though we began our friendship as gardening buddies, it has transcended far beyond labels of any kind. Simply put, Nicki is one of the nicest, most talented, and truly generous souls I’ve ever met! 

Years ago, Nicki told me I needed to start blogging as a way to express myself, so I did, and nearly 20 years later, I’m still going. She also told me I should start writing books, and I did. Whether I’ll hit twenty years doing that is doubtful, but I can still count on her for encouragement and steadfast support. And best of all, when Nicki was still a graphic designer, she began creating my book covers, which I LOVE. Happily, even though she’s moved on from graphic design to some wonderfully beautiful and often whimsical art of her own, she says she’ll always find time for my books. How lucky am I?  

 

I’ve asked Nicki here today to tell you a bit about herself, and to share some of her fantastic art with you. Yes, she takes orders and does commission work.  Here is a painting she did for me of our late dachshund buddies, Maks & Potter. More below on how you can reach Nicki to commission portraits of your own pets and much more. Now, without further ado, please welcome a very special guest to The Write Stuff. Take it away, Nicki!

~~~

Thanks for having me, Marcia.  Hi, everybody!

I’m a Native Floridian from Okeechobee with a lifelong desire to create. I began drawing as a toddler, doodling horses and eating crayons. My mom said I must have been impressed with the Budweiser Clydesdales when I saw them walking up and down our street by the train tracks in Fort Lauderdale. I’m not sure where those horses were headed, and I have only the faintest memory, but it was my good luck they needed a break from their journey right then. I can say, I’ve never been the same since.

 

Moving to Okeechobee only fueled my love of horses since it was cowboy country, and there was a horse on every corner. I knew where each horse was within a walkable distance from my home. I’d jump fences, crawl through barbed wire, dodge angry bulls … all to reach a horse peacefully grazing in a pasture. I trespassed, and had no shame. I braided manes, added flowers to tails, and petted and loved on each horse that would let me. When I wasn’t trespassing to pet horses, I was home drawing them.

 I went on to study Commercial Art at International Fine Arts College in Miami. From there I began a 25-year career as a graphic artist. My days of doodling horses were over, and instead I found myself working insanely long days meeting media deadlines and unrealistic expectations. In 2014 I discovered the love of my life, and with this sweet man, I found myself thriving. I was inspired to paint illustrations for our wedding invitations and reply cards, and after that I made time to paint a few more until I had enough to open an Etsy shop with the idea of making wedding invitations based on my paintings. I joined the local art center and started exhibiting in festivals, art markets and local competitions. 

The more art I made and shared, the more commissions I began receiving. I quickly discovered fine art commissions are far more rewarding than graphic design work, so I began pruning my graphics customers until I found my core group. This group happens to be all women-owned or managed businesses, where  they value the work and experience I provide and respect basic boundaries. Initially it wasn’t easy to fire my clients because our societal constructs tell us we should strive more, work harder, display our stress induced, sleep-deprived high blood pressure as a badge of honor. But I was truly tired and decided to follow my heart. 

I’m happy to say, the majority of my time is now spent making art and running my fine art business from the  studio in our historic downtown Leesburg home. It’s work that fills my soul. I have a wonderful problem of not having enough time to add new art to my Etsy shop because of the commission work that comes in, such as pet or people portraits, murals, and hand painted furniture. Right now I’m finishing up a 20”x20” painting of a large mouth bass as a birthday gift for my customer’s husband. Also in the works is a 3’ round table that I’m painting luna moths and fireflies on. Next up are 3 old saws that a customer wants paintings on. My style is somewhat loose and intuitive, and it’s evolving. It’s always surprising to me when I finish a painting because I just never really know what the final result’s going to be. It’s a joyful process that’s taught me to trust in my ability and in my inner voice. 

Goals for my art business this year are to create several series of paintings to submit to licensing agents so my art can be applied to fine art prints and home decor and be sold in stores like Hobby Lobby, Target, or Home Goods. I’d also like to get my art in a few more galleries and have a space at Queen of Hearts Antiques in Buford, Georgia to fill with hand-painted vintage furniture and original paintings. For my Etsy shop, I plan on adding small original paintings on wood panels or chunky canvas. The few times I’ve been able to add original pieces to date, they’ve sold  right away.

Horses remain, to this day, my favorite subject to paint. They hold a special magic for me, and when I paint them, I feel a connection to something divine. So follow me on instagram (@nickiforde) or check out my website: www.drawingonmyheart.com to see new horse art, among other subjects, as I complete them. If you would like a commissioned painting from me, you can reach me through my website, Instagram message or Facebook Messenger.

 

 

“My mission as an artist is to create a positive impact by making art that uplifts, and my mission as a human is to live with joy and compassion. “

 

 

 

~~~

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Nicki, and I want to take a moment to let folks know that very soon, Nicki and author Melanie Wagner will be publishing a brand new children’s book. I’ve seen the proof copy, and it is adorable! As soon as is Wailin’ and the Chicks is available on Amazon, Melanie will be visiting us to talk about their collaboration on this project. And you’ll get a sneak preview of some of Nicki’s fine illustrations, too. Here’s a little taste to whet your appetite.

In the meantime, you can contact Nicki at the links below to commission a painting of your own, to order things like boxed greeting cards and prints, or just to let her know you’re a fan of her work. She’d love to hear from you!

Drawing on My Heart Website:    www.drawingonmyheart.com
Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/DrawingOnMyHeart
Instagram: www.instagram.com/nickiforde

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DrawingOnMyHeart

#GuestDayTuesday – Eternal Road The final stop by John W. Howell

I am so pleased to have Samantha Tourneau and James Wainwright, the principal characters in John W. Howell’s Paranormal Suspense novel Eternal Road – The final stop on my blog today. Their interview will be kicking off what I plan to be a return to #GuestDayTuesday, a regular feature that I hope to run every other Tuesday. More on that another time, but for now, let’s welcome Sam and James to The Write Stuff. Before we begin, let me tell you folks that Eternal Road – the final stop can be found here. Now, take it away, Sam and James!


“Thank you, Marcia. James and I are pleased to be with you today.”

 

“Yes, Marcia. Sam said it beautifully. It is a pleasure to be here.”

 

“When John told us we’d be visiting you, it was almost painful to have to wait for this day.”

 

ME: “Thank you, James and Sam. Let’s jump into the first question. How did it feel to play dead people in John’s novel?

 

“Wow, that’s a good one. Let me take a crack at how I felt. You okay with that, James?”

 

“Certainly.”

 

“Okay. It might be interesting for those who haven’t read the book to know that my character was abducted at seven years old and murdered. I needed to play someone who had been dead for quite a while since the story timeline is seventeen years later. All this time, my character got used to being dead and, in fact, used the time to study almost everything there was to study. I would say playing someone that smart was rewarding, even if dead. James?”

 

“It took me a while to get into the swing of things. I had been killed in an accident and didn’t even remember it. I did feel a little sorry for the character because he was driving across the country to start the first job. I think playing a person in that condition was a little sad at first but became rather normal after a while.”

 

ME: While you were playing your parts, did any individual moment pop out as a memory you would cherish?

 

“Sam, let me take this one first since I believe I know the moment you would mention.”

 

“Go for it.”

 

“There is a scene in the book where James is a Captain in the army and is making a landing on Omaha Beach during World War Two. He is placed in the scene by Lucifer and has no experience leading men and especially men, in combat. By the men’s reaction to the guy whose place he took, it was obvious he was not well-liked. James does a terrific job leading his troops ashore. He is then held in high esteem by the tough sergeant. The look on the sergeant’s face when thanking the captain for saving them is priceless. Sam?”

 

“My memory is the scene where I visit my mom. I had been missing for seventeen years, and I wanted her to know that I was all right. She had a hard time accepting the fact that I was no longer alive and that right then would be the last time we would be able to hold each other. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.”

 

ME: I can imagine that would be heartbreaking, Sam. Sounds like a powerful scene. Since you mentioned him, James, my next question relates to Lucifer. Very seldom do we read books where there is a contemporary devil. What was he like?”

 

“OMG. He was unlike anyone we had met before. When he wanted something, he was handsome and carried himself as if he was an aristocrat. He was very knowledgeable about the current world and knew exactly what he wanted from both of us.”

 

“In addition to what Sam said, he was ruthless and evil as we have all believed over the years. We only saw his true appearance once, but that was enough to know we never wanted to see him again.”

 

ME: “Sounds terrifying. What did he want? Yes, James.”

 

“He was after my soul. He knew he couldn’t convince Sam to jump ship. After all, she had spent a good amount of time in paradise. I was a newbie, and I think he thought I was someone he could corrupt. If I had turned, that would have been a victory for him over God.”

 

“He tried to put James in the middle of a situation where his choice was to save mankind or his soul.”

 

ME: Now, that sounds like a no-win situation. I have to assume it worked out. You two did a bunch of time traveling in this book. What was the most exciting place and time you visited?

 

“James, you can go first.


“No, that’s okay. You go ahead.”

 

“Okay. My favorite place was when we ended up at the Alamo just days before the big battle. It was exciting to see the mission as it originally stood. Anticipation filled the air with everyone getting ready for the attack by the Mexican soldiers. It was there we got a message from one of Lucifer’s agents to give him a call. Your turn James.”

 

“Thanks. I think Marcia’s readers would like to know that Lucifer’s phone number is 666 and his assistant’s name is Ms. Harpy.”

 

“Yeah, don’t remind me of that hateful woman.”

 

“My favorite place was in the future. The year was 3539, and we visited a spot that was where Las Vegas used to be. We thought we had traveled to a different planet but were amazed to learn we were still on Earth. I thought the whole idea that artificial intelligence had eliminated humankind was fascinating.”

 

ME: Humankind gone? That must have been a shock. One last question. What do you think the book’s message is or, if not a message, the central theme? Yes, James?”

 

“Some different messages play out in the story, but in my mind, the central theme is more important. There is a distinct conflict between good and evil that would lead one to believe that Eternal Road is a religious novel. However, if it were publicized that way, many readers would be disappointed since sexual and human-like situations in the book might cause the very religious a little discomfort as they would be expecting an absence of those things. It is more accurate to label the central theme of the book as spiritualism. The core belief is the spirit of humankind does not die with the body but is allowed to grow and develop until fully actualized and in the creator’s presence. This concept embraces the idea of eternal life but takes it a few steps further. Sam, you have any thoughts?”

 

“Yes, I do. While the spirit is allowed to grow and develop, there may be opportunities to revisit Earth to help others transition to the eternal side. The key to all of this is the spirit can make choices on how their Eternal life will look.”

 

ME: Well, all this is fascinating, and we could probably talk for hours, but the old word count is getting to that point that we should let it go for another day. It has been a pleasure having you two here today. Whoops, one last thing. Is John working on a sequel?”

 

“It has been a pleasure being with you, Marcia. Thanks for having us. John is working on a sequel, and he has Sam and I out on the Eternal Road looking for a soul and a guide that went missing. It seems no one knows what happened, but figure Lucifer is up to something.”

 

ME: “Sounds like it might be fun! And thanks so much for being my guests today.”

 

Buy Eternal Road The final stop HERE


Author John W. Powell

After an extensive business career, John is an award-winning author who began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.


Contact John on Social Media here:

 

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/ 

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 

 

#GuestDayTuesday – #GwenMPlano – The Culmination, A New Beginning

Hi, Everybody! Please help me welcome our first guest of 2021, my friend and author, Gwen Plano. Gwen is here to share her latest release, The Culmination, a new beginning with us. I know you’ll be excited to learn about this one, so without further ado, take it away, Gwen!

 

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Marcia, and for helping me launch The Culmination, a new beginning. With the New Year upon us, this is a perfect time to focus on the book.

 

 

***

What’s it about? The Culmination can best be described as a military thriller. It tackles difficult topics such as denuclearization, the power struggles over oil in the Middle East, as well as the ever-present danger of war. Readers will find themselves sitting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walking in the historic Red Square, and laughing with children in an orphanage in Turkey. They will glimpse the horror of war and watch the give and take of a negotiated peace. Readers will also meet the two Heads of State who fall in love and subsequently commit themselves to creating a world in which all are family.

I never expected to write this book, but in some ways, I had no choice. The characters crowded into my office and insisted that I listen to them. In a very real way, they wrote the book. I simply tapped the keys and through the process, I learned intensely..

To celebrate the New Year, the Kindle edition will remain on sale through this week and then will return to its full price of $2.99.  

BLURB:

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope. 

EXCERPT:

In his hospital suite, Admiral Parker sits by the wall of windows. Since the second attempt on his life, he’s found himself unable to sleep. Parker keeps hearing gunshots and has flashes of scenes from his service in Vietnam.

Drowsy, his head grows heavy and falls to his chest. His mind takes him back to Vietnam. Grisly scenes flash before him of mangled bodies, thundering missile explosions, and shrill screams. He shudders and recoils. Then he startles when someone touches his shoulder. When he opens his eyes, he finds the base chaplain stands next to him.

“Hello, Admiral. I’m told you might appreciate a friend to talk to. I’d like to be that friend if it’s okay with you.”

Parker shrugs his acceptance. “I suspect you’re here because I’m remembering things. I, ah … I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I keep having flashes of Vietnam. It’s like I’m reliving it, but why? Why now?”

“My understanding is that the sniper’s bullet came within a hair of your heart. One centimeter more, and we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

“That’s true, but still …”

“And, it was the Medal of Honor that protected you.”

“Yes …”

“Awarded because of your extraordinary valor in Vietnam, right?”

“Correct.”

“Maybe it’s time to remember your experience there and make your peace.”

“Some things are best to forget, chaplain.”

“And yet, you’ve discovered that you haven’t forgotten. The experience lives and haunts you with its devastation.”

“I don’t understand it. After all these years, it feels like it happened yesterday. I keep seeing the same scenes over and over.”

“Tell me about what you see.”

Parker looks away, his eyes welling, and his jaw tightening. “Marines got trapped at the Delta. They needed help, badly. The sub Commander asked for volunteers to go ashore, and I offered. The sub got as close to land as possible, and I swam to shore and found mayhem. I could barely see through the smoke. The thumping sound of the Hueys mixed with desperate cries for help. It was a scene from hell. Bodies strewn everywhere. Torsos without arms. Without legs. Arms and legs without bodies. Hell.”

Parker stops and wipes his eyes. “I arrived too late. Yet I searched for any injured. There were none. It was a graveyard. I decided to go back to the sub, and when I drew close to the shoreline, I heard a moan. It turns out that I’d stepped on a Marine’s arm and broken it. The Marine lay buried in the mud but was alive. That man was Samuel Williams.” 

“As in President Samuel Williams?”

“Yes. I called in for a patrol boat and got Williams into the craft. Though I did what I could, I was too late, except for Williams.” Parker slumps, and his head falls.

The chaplain breaks the silence with a question, “Do you pray, Parker?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you mind telling me how you pray?”

“I say the Lord’s Prayer, and usually, I hold my mom’s beads.” He raises his hand and shows the chaplain an old wooden rosary.

“Do you bring that prayer into your memories?”

“Not really. The past is past. Until recently, I thought I’d moved on.”

“Time isn’t linear. We can be a young child one moment, and an old man the next. The past is as real as the present through our memories.” 

***

Buy The Culmination HERE


Contact Gwen:

Blog:  https://www.gwenplano.com/blog-reflections
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/GMPlano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmplano
Amazon Author’s page:  https://amzn.to/3eAU2Bt 

Book links:

Letting Go into Perfect Love https://amzn.to/3bToO7t
The Contract between heaven and earth https://amzn.to/2U2Lgmv
The Choice: the unexpected heroes https://amzn.to/3lcz8eA
The Culmination, a new beginning https://amzn.to/3eEWkj9

 

#GuestDayTuesday – Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes

 

Hi, Everybody! Today, I’d like you to help me welcome our special guest, Jan Sikes. Jan is sharing her latest release, Ghostly Interference, and I know this one is going to appeal to a lot of folks, myself included! (Just look at this great cover!)

So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Take it away, Jan!

~~~

Hi, Marcia! Thank you SO much for allowing me to borrow your blog platform to talk about my new book!

It is not unusual for authors to use some form of Astrology in their stories. In Ghostly Interference, Jag Peters had been raised by a mother who incorporated all sorts of metaphysical knowledge into his upbringing, Astrology being one of those things.

Jag is a Libra. That sun sign fit his character perfectly. Rena Jett is a Taurus.

At one point, Jag is compelled to try to track down any living relatives that Rena might have. She craves family and it has always just been her and her brother, Sam. Now that he is gone, she is completely alone.

But how can Jag get the information he needs from her? At the suggestion of his mother, he decides to use astrology as an ice-breaker and to learn more about Rena.

EXCERPT:

“Let’s play a game. When were you born?”

She shot him a look of panic. “Why do you want to know?”

“It’s how we play the game. I want to know you better.”

“I was born May 1, 1979.”

“I knew it! You’re a Taurus. I woulda’ bet money on it.”

“Is that bad?” Rena sucked on her bottom lip

“Oh goodness no. Taurus people are born under the sign of the bull. Most often they are stubborn, determined, practical and down to earth, but have an eye for beauty. And they are brave.” He kneaded the arch of her foot. “And you are the bravest warrior woman I’ve ever met.”

“Hmmm, I like that phrase. And I love what you are doing to my feet.”

He continued. “I was born right here in Cedar Springs. Where were you born?”

“My birth certificate says I was born in Austin. I don’t remember anything except being in foster homes.”

“What was your mother’s name?”

She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t see as that has anything to do with us getting to know each other.”

“Call it curiosity. My mother’s name is Charlotte Grace Peters.”

“Marjorie Irene Jett is the name on my birth certificate.” She spat out the words like a bitter pill.

Jag rubbed her ankle and moved up her leg. “It’s okay, Rena. I was just curious, that’s all. Any other siblings besides Sam?”

“Not that I know of. It’s always been just me and Sam. I don’t think I like this game. Your turn.”

“Okay. One more question and then I’ll take a turn. What do you want to do with your life? I know your ambition isn’t to work at Meg’s diner forever. What does Rena Jett want?”

She paused a long minute. “I used to talk with Sam about what we’d be when we grew up. He said when he finished his tour in the military, he wanted to go to school and be a child psychologist. I think about it a lot. I never had his ambition, but I would like to do something to help kids stuck in situations like we were.”

“There are all sorts of things you could do. You could be a caseworker, but I can’t see you having the patience to put up with the bureaucracy.”

“That’s for damned sure. I’ve seen too much of the bullshit that goes on to ever play that game. I think I’d like to be a police woman.”

Jag let out a whistle. “That’s perfect for you, Rena. You’d make a great police woman and you could ride one of their Harleys.”

She grinned. “It’s just a thought. Your turn to play this game.” 

He grinned. “Okay. I was born October 8, 1975, and that makes me a Libra.”

“And what are Libras like?” She took a sip of her wine.

“Libras are usually kind.”

Rena nodded. “What else?”

“We like peace and harmony and will walk a mile around a fight. We love all things of beauty and have a hard time saying no sometimes.”

“Those all fit you.”

“I’ve lived in Cedar Springs all my life, except when I went away to college. My father’s name was Arthur.” He reached for his wine and took a sip.

***

Using tools like astrology is also a great way for the author to reveal more character depth to the reader without telling or doing a big info dump that the reader finds boring.

I’m a Leo. I was born on August 21st, the cusp of Leo/Virgo, and have some qualities from both signs. How about you? What is your sun sign? Have you ever used astrology in character development or in your storyline?

BOOK BLURB:

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?


BOOK TRAILER LINK:
https://youtu.be/NHaLVSe_flI


Buy Ghostly Interference  Here:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of The Author’s Marketing Guild, Writer’s League of Texas, RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), and sits on the RWISA Executive Council.

JAN SIKES
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

http://www.jansikes.com
https://jansikesblog.com/
https://www.twitter.com/jansikes3
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
http://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8D (Author Page)
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sik

 

#GuestDayTuesday – She Made It Matter – Chiara Talluto

Today, I’d like to welcome Chiara Talluto. Chiara is going to tell us a bit about herself and share an excerpt from her book, She Made It Matter.  I feel certain you’ll enjoy it!

Author Chiara Talluto

“I’m not a bestselling author, I’m just a ‘nobody’ who uses storytelling to encourage others to find their purpose and save their souls.”

Hello, my name is Chiara Talluto. I’m a wife, busy mom, author, and a woman after God’s heart. As I ponder this declaration, I find it more appropriate to claim that I am a woman after God’s heart first. He has given me a gift of writing, and I honor Him through my written works. So, pull up a chair and stay awhile.

People often ask what kind of writing I do. I tell them… I write Inspirational/Christian drama empowering women to discover their faith, use perseverance to overcome adversity, and become heroes of their own destinies. I also write middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales to encourage girls in developing strong morals and values, and to always stand up for what is right.

My first books were the Nancy Drew series and Hardy Boys books. The library was a couple miles away and I rode my bike to and from almost every day, I couldn’t get enough of the stories. I began keeping a journal at the age of eleven. Soon, I began writing poems. My love for the written word was sparked by all that reading. It wasn’t until my late teens that I discovered Danielle Steele novels and began to pen stories of my own. I continued writing longer prose as much as I could during a prosperous career as a Human Resources Recruiter, and then as an Instructional Designer. I received many awards and accolades for my accomplishments, and my work responsibilities grew, but there was something missing. I began to devote less and less time to my joy of writing. And soon, my creativity began to suffer. It wasn’t until after much soul-searching and some tough decision-making that I finally left the corporate world to start writing full-time. That was fifteen years ago.

Today, I am the CEO of my home, practicing wife to my husband, mommy to our two daughters, and writer of all things that need to be put on paper. My family often tells me that I am the Master Storyteller in our household because I have a passion for writing about people who struggle with decisions and conflicts that arise in their lives.

In the last six years, I’ve been blessed to have published four books:  A Christian Romance, Love’s Perfect Surrender, two middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales: Petrella, the Gillian Princess and A Tribute to Tulipia, and an Inspirational fiction, She Made It Matter.

All of my writings contain an element of Christianity and faith. I never set out to be a writer, or a Christian writer for that matter, it just happened. It’s who I am and who I was meant to be. Writing is my outlet, a spilling of emotions, random thoughts, and imaginary characters that consume my mind twenty-four hours a day. I need to write, just like I need to eat, exercise, and breathe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She Made It Matter
Can she forgive her past and make her life right again?
 

Chicago, Illinois – From the three-time Five Star Readers’ Favorite REVIEW RECIPIENT, Chiara Talluto, author of Love’s Perfect  Surrender, Petrella, the Gillian Princess, and A Tribute To Tulipia, comes the highly anticipated release of She Made It Matter, an inspirational fiction SLATED TO BE IN bookstores everywhere on November, 2nd 2020, and Ebook on all online retailers, October 27th, 2020.

She Made It Matter is a compelling tale of one woman’s fight to regain sobriety, find salvation, and earn forgiveness after years of guilt from being abandoned by her mother and then losing her brother to cancer, a struggle to vanquish the demons of her past and make her life right again.

This story tackles the difficult subjects of family abandonment, alcohol abuse, and food dependencies; compulsions and addictions caused by the trauma of one’s past.

Amanda Reynolds is vulnerable. Like most humans we err and make mistakes, and harbor grudges and secrets that can create huge reservoirs of pain if not addressed. Amanda is stuck in the past, and stuck in the pain, and the only way to cope with it is alcohol.

WHILE WRITING the story, Chiara thought about her own idols and addictions and how she could break them. She thought about how a person with a perfect life is able to throw it all away over something that consumes their mind and body. She thought about a person who cannot move forward because of horrible past experiences. She pondered the ongoing domestic abuse and abandonment of children in our society. Most importantly, Ms. Talluto thought about the human condition, and the temptations that can lure one in the wrong direction.

Ms. Reynolds has to face her fears and QUASH the demons of her past so that she can live again. It is a daring attempt to confront things head on. But, we are encouraged to know that tough situations don’t last long; BUT tough people do.

… The work ABOUT addiction is heart-breakingly accurate, delivering a realistic emotional quality which both endears Amanda to us as a character and also teaches important real life lessons about the judgments we often place on people who are alcohol dependent… (K.C. Finn from Readers’ Favorite)

… Author Chiara Talluto gives the reader a realistic tale of someone searching for a purpose, for validation that they mean something, that they are worth more than just being left or abandoned… (Michelle Randall from Readers’ Favorite)

She Made It Matter is available in print and electronic editions everywhere books are sold. More information on the author and all her writings can be found at www.chiaratalluto.com

BACK JACKET BLURB:
Don’t turn back. Begin anew.

Thirty-six-year-old Amanda Reynolds has it all. She has a loving, successful husband, two beautiful daughters and a perfect, manicured home in a quaint suburb of Chicago.

But demons hide where no one looks and Amanda’s past is full of them—she’s addicted to alcohol. The reasons for her addiction have been buried for years.

One horrifying day, suppressed memories resurface and Amanda drinks herself into a stupor in front of her daughters. Waking up in the hospital, the realization is clear: get clean or lose everything.

Amanda sets off on a daring journey taking her across the US in an attempt to vanquish the demons that have plagued her life.

Will Amanda defeat her alcohol addiction?

Will her family forgive her?

Can she break away from her past, find her self-worth, and restart again?

BUY SHE MADE IT MATTER HERE:

Barnes and Noble
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/she-made-it-matter-chiara-talluto/1137747331?ean=9781734823707 

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/She-Made-Matter-Chiara-Talluto/dp/1734823704/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1602518270&sr=1-1 

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1044555

Kobo
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/she-made-it-matter

Reach Chiara on Social Media Links HERE:

Website: www.chiaratalluto.com
amazon.com/author/chiaratalluto
http://www.facebook.com/ChiaraTallutoAuthor
Twitter: @ChiaraTalluto
#ReadLocalAuthor –https://hometownreads.com
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Chiara+Talluto
Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/rfreviews/search?search=chiara+talluto
Authorsden: http://www.authorsden.com/chiaratalluto

Contact Info
ctalluto18@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

#GuestDayTuesday – Ann Patras – Into Africa: 3 Kids, 13 Crates, and a Husband

Today, I’d like you to give a warm welcome to Ann Patras. Ann will be sharing an excerpt from her book, Into Africa: With 3 Kids, 13 Crates, and a Husband. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued already, so take it away, Ann!

~~~

Hi, everybody! I am thrilled to bits to be here today and really hope you enjoy reading a little about my crazy life in Africa so long ago. Feel free to ask any questions, which I will do my best to answer.

EXCERPT:

I was getting rather neurotic about sounds in the night ever since our experience with the guard trying to get into the kitchen. Several nights I had woken up thinking I’d heard noises only to find nothing of consequence.

This night I woke up with a start, just after midnight.

Although I had been sound asleep an inner voice said something dramatic had awakened me. A familiar noise, in fact. When we first moved into McFrazier Crescent, and Vicki and Leon were slightly smaller, they were unable to open the back door from outside because the handle was too high for them to reach. They got into the habit of thumping it, or bashing it with their bums when they wanted to come in.

As I delved into my subconscious I was sure the noise that suddenly woke me had sounded just like that.

I lay in bed hardly daring to breath and prayed that Ziggy didn’t start to snore and ‘get in the way of’ my auditory scrutiny. This may sound stupid, but I have found that when I try to listen to some distinct noise I need to keep my eyes open. I listened for quite a while but my eyes began to close and I could feel myself drifting back to sleep.

Fortunately, just before I drifted off I heard another abnormal sound. That perked me up again and I returned to my vigilant audial focus.

The noise I heard sounded a bit like rustling and then it dawned on me. With Hollins not being at work for the past couple of days, the rubbish bin in the kitchen hadn’t been emptied since Saturday. It was full of papers and cardboard rubbish that I’d made the kids clear up from their bedrooms, as well as other rubbish.

Obviously the puppy was ferreting about in the bin. I imagined the mess which could be made by all this stuff being scattered across the kitchen floor. The little sod.

As I lay there wondering whether or not I could be bothered to go and kick his arse and put him outside, I heard an odd sounding clunk and decided that I had perhaps better go and investigate.

As I reached the bedroom door I could still hear rustling. Rather a lot of rustling for such a small dog, in fact. Now I was a little worried.

Ziggy was the last one to bed, so I wasn’t sure if he had closed the door which connects the bedroom passage to the living area. What if it was open and it wasn’t the dog making the noise?

Snapping myself out of this state of mind I slowly and carefully opened the bedroom door and peeked around it. Thankfully the passage door was shut. I crept out of the bedroom and took three paces to the door where I stood listening again.

I could still hear ‘sounds’ but then heard what seemed like walking noises. And to be honest, it did not sound like a walking dog.

By this time my heart was beginning to pound somewhat. I heard Cokey whine, like he does when he wants to be let out at night. He continued to whine. But it was rather early for his ‘wee break’. So what was he whining about?

This clearly warranted some further investigation, but I was very reluctant to open that passage door. Then I had a brainwave.

There were no lights on in the bedroom corridors so I could walk down to the far end, by Vicki’s bedroom, and peer through the window which looks out onto the back yard. From there I should be able to see across to the back door (you remember – it was that ‘back door bashing sound’ that woke me) or see if any intruders were in evidence in the yard.

I began to creep down the passage.

When I was but a stripling, my leg joints used to click and creak if I tried to creep around quietly. It must be something to do with tension because sod my luck if they suddenly didn’t start up now!

So I clicked and creaked my way along the passageway and turned right into the section where Vicki’s bedroom was, taking me to the rear, yard-facing window.

Crouched and moving forward I ducked below the level of the window.

Very, very slowly I turned and eased myself until I could peer through the glass. There was no sign of anyone in the yard. Phew, relief. I stood up and let my gaze drift towards the rear wall. I thought it was my imagination at first, but when I moved to the furthest section of the window I could clearly see the back of the house.

My heart came into my mouth and my stomach disappeared somewhere down into my ankles. The back door was open!

At that point I nearly sh*t myself.

My knees went weak, I started to shake, and I stopped breathing.

It was only as I stood resolutely taking deep breaths and trying to calm myself that I looked down and realised I was standing there stark naked. In my single-minded determination to play amateur sleuth I had forgotten to put on any clothes.

Between me and the relative safety of my bedroom was a considerable expanse of corridor, which led up to an unlocked door (there was no key for it), on the other side of which there was an unknown quantity of burglars.

I was terrified.

BLURB:

When Ann and Ziggy Patras uproot from England in 1980 and head off with their three young children to live and work in deepest Africa, they have no idea what they are letting themselves in for.  While prepared for sunshine and storms 13o south of the equator, the Patras family are ill-equipped for much else.

Interspersed with snippets from Ann’s letters home, this crazy story describes encounters ranging from lizards to lions, servants to shopping shortages, and cockroaches to curfews.


Author Ann Patras

Ann Patras was born and raised in Burton upon Trent in the English Midlands a long time ago. She had a lot of interaction with people, initially through her family’s busy corner grocery shop, then her parents’ popular pub and later through her own varied careers.  She started her working life as a junior legal secretary and ended it as a gallery curator with a variety of other stuff between, including a spell as police reservist on a horse!

She married Ziggy in 1974, raised three kids and countless dogs.  After taking on a two-year contract to work in Zambia in 1980, they ended up living in Africa for thirty one years.  They now live in Andalusia, Spain, where Ann has plenty of time to write about their many crazy experiences.  She has already completed the first three books of her Africa Series, covering their lives in Zambia, and is about to delve into their antics in South Africa.

Buy Anna’s Books Here:
 Into Africa: 3 kids, 13 crates and a husband
More Into Africa: 3 kids, some dogs and a husband
Much More Into Africa: kids, dogs, horses and a husband

Or Get the Whole 3-BOOK SERIES Here
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0861V2B8Y/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Africa-3-Book-Series/dp/B0861V2B8Y/

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/AnnPatrasAfricaSeries
Blog:  The Crazy World of Ann Patras  http://www.annpatrasauthor.com
Email:   annpatras.author@gmail.com

#GuestDayTuesday – The Case of the Babbling Sphinx by Bob Nailor

Hi, Everybody! Please help me welcome Bob Nailor to The Write Stuff today. Bob is here to share his newest book, The Case of the Babbling Sphinx, and I think you’ll agree it sounds like a winner! 

BLURB:

Gregory Eggers, a multi-billionaire, is missing; then he is found dead. Not only dead, but mummified. His third wife claims she is the reincarnation of Cleopatra and he is Marc Antony. Detective Barry Hargrove is called to figure it all out with the assistance of his old police partner, Williamson. What he uncovers is an ancient Chinese sword, a vendetta, and an Egyptian curse with a Chinese secret—a mystery so strange that even Hargrove can’t believe it. What is the secret of the curse on the obelisk? Hargrove searches the mansion and life-sized replica sphinx to learn the answers. But is the sphinx willing to babble its secrets?

BUY The Case of the Babbling Sphinx HERE


Author Bob Nailor

My name is Robert S. Nailor, but many people know me as Bob Nailor Author. I live on a quaint wooded acre in the NW corner of Ohio. I’ve retired and now spend most of my time puttering around the house, working in the yard, spoiling the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and writing – not always in that order. Seems I have less time for writing than when I worked full time, but, still, I shove my butt into the chair and force myself to put words to the screen. I write fantasy, Amish Christian, adventure, mystery, and what I call “light” horror. I have written several books and have been included in multiple anthologies. I also do speaking engagements and editing for other writers. There’s several corners to me and many of them can be found at my webpage: www.bobnailor.com

Social Media Links:
Webpage
Facebook
Email: bob@bobnailor.com

 

 

Thanks!

Just wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful response to my call for #GuestDayTuesday bloggers. All the spots are filled pretty much through the end of the year, so no rush to contact me right now. But I do intend to keep this series running for a long time, so if you have things you want to share come January, just get in touch with me a little bit later on.

Remember, this is not going to be as limited as #ShareAReviewDay was. You may still share reviews, of course, but also things such as new releases, promos, cover reveals, and posts on various subjects pertaining to writing and blogging. You can be creative in what you want to talk about, in other words. And each post will still carry your bio, book info, and links at the bottom.

Now I’m off to finish scheduling everyone who contacted me over the last week or so. I’m looking forward to having each of you visit. (Hopefully often! 🙂 )

#GuestDayTuesday – Astral Conspiracy by Staci Troilo


Today, please welcome Staci Troilo, my friend and fellow Story Empire author, who would like to share her latest releases (yes, plural!) with us today. I’ve read Book  1 in this series and can attest to just how good it is, so I know you’re going to enjoy finding out more about all five books! Take it away, Staci! 


Ciao, Marcia. I’m so glad to be back here today. And greetings to all your readers.

I’m here today to talk about my Astral Conspiracy series. It’s technically science fiction, as it’s part of the acclaimed Platt and Truant Invasion Universe, but my saga is as much thriller as it is sci-fi, so I thought I’d have a little fun with my marketing and include pages from the top-secret government files on my main characters.

Today, I’m sharing info on Dev Chandra.


DOSSIER

Name: Dev Chandra

Occupation: Agent for US Government AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program)

Of Note: Hired to debunk rumors of alien sightings and unaware of the existence of aliens before Astral Day.

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW BETWEEN AUTHOR (Staci Troilo a.k.a. D.L. Cross) AND CHARACTER (Agent Dev Chandra) ON ASTRAL DAY (the day the world is alerted to the approach of alien ships) via video conference. (Video is eyes-only, file #6221940-V, director’s approval required.)

Subject photo available, file #6221940-G

Staci: Hi, Dev. How’s it going?

Dev: How’s it going? Don’t you have the Astral app? Have you checked any news feeds today?

Staci: I do and I have. I know you work at AATIP. I thought you might have some insider information to share about the aliens on their way here.

Dev: Well, you’re going to get a kick out of this. I didn’t even know aliens existed until Rysoft sounded the alarm. This was as much a surprise to me as it is to you.

Staci: And now that you’ve had some time to process everything? What about your bosses? Aren’t they sharing info with you?

Dev: (he sighs) Tasha and Nadia are too busy trading insults and hostile glares to relay anything useful. And the director…

Staci: What about him?

Dev: (shrugging) Beck is Beck. It’s obvious he knows a lot more than he’s sharing. But I won’t know what that is until he shares it.

Staci: You can’t tell me anything?

Dev: Well, there has been talk. I thought it was just a rumor, but now…

Staci: What kind of talk?

Dev: There’s something going on at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Staci: Wright-Patt? What?

Dev: Like I said, it’s just a rumor right now. But it’s a juicy one. And now that I know aliens exist, I suspect it’s true. Especially since Tasha wants to go there.

Staci: Landon Thorne told me everything he knew.

Dev: The ancient astronaut kook? (he frowns) Well, I guess he’s not as “out there” as I thought.

Staci: He told me everything he’s thinking.

Dev: I doubt that.

Staci: He told me more than you did.

Dev: He’s a civilian. I’m a government agent. And because of that, I need to cut this short. Take care, Staci.

Staci: Wait! (but he left before another question could be posed)


Dev makes his debut in the Astral Conspiracy series in book one, The Gate. You can read a brief synopsis of all five books below, and each one has links to its product page and a purchase link.


The Gate: When the hypotheses of disgraced ancient alien theorist Landon Thorne prove to be true, he travels across the globe in search of a way to communicate with—and perhaps stop—the approaching alien armada.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Stones: The invasion couldn’t be prevented, but there is a chance the Astrals can be driven away… if Landon Thorne can reach the Georgia Guidestones, unearth its secrets, and decode the mystery before the aliens stop him.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Nine: Landon Thorne and his team of resistance fighters seek a cipher to decode the message accompanying a cache of alien artifacts they’ve unearthed, but the government, a clandestine cabal, and the Astrals themselves stand in their way and might not only put an end to their plans—they might put an end to their lives.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Twins: When all factions converge for a human-versus-alien showdown, resistance fighter Reverie Sterling gets help from the least likely source. But even then, it may be too late for everyone she loves to make it out alive.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Lab: In the final showdown between Earthlings and Astrals, twins Asha and Vonn insist their long-lost grandfather has a plan to save humanity. It’s a long-shot, but the resistance takes it—and no one is prepared for the consequences.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

About Staci Troilo/D.L. Cross

D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.

Connect online:

Website | Blog | Troilo Amazon | Cross Amazon
Troilo BookBub | Cross BookBub | Troilo Goodreads | Cross Goodreads
Social Media


Let me wrap-up by once again thanking you, Marcia. And all of your visitors. This post was as fun to write as the stories were, and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Grazie!

 

Got Some News to Share? I’m Looking for Guests!

I have some #GuestDayTuesday openings coming up for October, if any of you have news, a promo running, a cover reveal, new release, or an excerpt to share. Drop me an email if you’d like to be featured.

 

NOTE: Full instructions are in the Header Bar under “Various Feature Instructions.” Please check those out to be sure what you want to share will work. Thanks!