Weather Report, July 20



Crime Scene


1. One thing that many readers of crime books, fiction and non-fiction, have in common is the innate conviction that they could have solved the crime — and more quickly — if only given the chance. This is the crux of “The Skeleton Crew,” a Deborah Halber’s fascinating look at a curious subculture.

The book provides an entree into the gritty and tumultuous world of Sherlock Holmes–wannabes who race to beat out law enforcement—and one another—at matching missing persons with unidentified remains. The web sleuths pore over facial reconstructions (a sort of Facebook for the dead) and other online clues as they vie to solve cold cases and tally up personal scorecards of dead bodies. The Skeleton Crew delves into the macabre underside of the Internet, the fleeting nature of identity, and how even the most ordinary citizen with a laptop and a knack for puzzles can reinvent herself as a web sleuth.

Deborah Halber started out as a daily newspaper reporter, then turned to the “dark side.” as journalists say, to do public relations. She worked as a writer and editor for Tufts and as a science writer for MIT, where she chronicled everything from quantum weirdness (that’s the technical term) to snail slime. A freelance journalist since 2004, her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, MIT Technology Review, the graphic news magazine Symbolia, and many university publications. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the National Association of Science Writers, she lives near Boston in a house with a lot of former pets buried out back.

2. In “The Solarbus Legacy,” Nicki Brandon depicts a social and environmental crisis brought about by the depletion of the world’s oil reserves. In the wake of the catastrophe, just a relatively few fortunate survivors possessed a Solarbus. . Realizing how fiercely these vehicles were coveted by the rest of society in one city, the Solarbus owners clustered together in an isolated community, continually alert to efforts by those they called “terfs” to overturn the existing order. And when the daughter of two privileged Solarbus Society members is kidnapped, those two factions are forced to confront one another directly.

Nicki Brandon is a former legal assistant who threw herself into researching her dystopian tale after retirement. A resident of northern California, she has also had poetry and short stories published in various anthologies, webzines and print magazines. “The Solarbus Legacy” is her first novel.

Florida 1


1. In Florida, it is often said, politicians frequently get away with murder. This is generally meant in the colloquial sense, but Andrea Brunais’ entertaining novel “Mercedes Wore Black” takes the expression literally.

When Janis is fired from her job at the newspaper, she focuses on the causes that matter to her — the environment and the economy. When her good friend and co-worker Mercedes encounters danger and turns up dead, Janis’ efforts at investigating her murder lead her into a political maelstrom of big money, lottery, and interests with opposing goals. The book is set against the backdrop of the 2014 election.

Joe Guidry, opinion editor at The Tampa Tribune writes; “Fast-paced, exquisitely written, ‘Mercedes Wore Black’ vividly depicts the underbelly of the newspaper industry and the all-too-real shenanigans of those who are ever willing to sacrifice Florida’s natural treasures.”

Andrea Brunais is a journalist with more than 20 years in the field. After a career as a prizewinning reporter, editor, and opinion writer, she now works in higher-ed communications. She served on the editorial boards of The Tallahassee Democrat (then Knight-Ridder) and The Tampa Tribune (then Media General) and edited the Creative Loafing chain’s alternative weekly in Sarasota.As a journalist she won first-place awards from the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, the Florida Press Club, Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Florida Medical Association, as well as a Robert Kennedy Journalism Award for investigative reporting. She is the co-author of a book on media relations, “I See Your Name Everywhere!” Her first novel, “Night of the Litani,” set in Lebanon, received widespread critical acclaim.

2. Another Florida writer, Kate Hasbrouck, has produced an enchanting novel that might be called sci-fi/romance.

Kerana is being sent to Earth to begin her duty as an Eldurian. Hers are a perfect people, without flaw and without sin, never experiencing the fall of man. Created by God to shepherd His people on Earth, they remain in the shadows, unnoticed. Kerana looks human, speaks like them, and has been taught to act like them. Above all, her mission is to serve the humans.Arriving on Earth, Kerana meets Eli at school. He is an ordinary human, with a father suffering from alcoholism, and a past that threatens to ruin his life. A star scholarship lacrosse player, Eli has to forget his true passion and live in a shell that doesn’t let anyone in. Until he meets Kerana. They find themselves intertwined in a connection that neither can quite explain. When this connection puts the two of them in danger, they find comfort and protection from each other. When Eli discovers that there is more to Kerana than just her stunning looks and grace, the Eldurians and their home planet of Eden may not remain a secret for very long.

Kate Hasbrouck has been writing and creating stories for as long as she can remember. She had written several stories by the time she was a teen, but Homecoming was the first full manuscript she had ever written with the intention of sharing it with other people. She attended Houghton College, where she received her Bachelor’s degree with a dual-major in Writing and Psychology where she honed her skills. She lives in Florida with her husband, a youth pastor at a local church, where she spends time writing, ministering to teens, and enjoying the life God has given her. “Homecoming” is the first book in a trilogy.


1. Snowflakes in a Blizzard is approaching 2,500 page views, not bad for a blog that has only been functioning for a few months. We continue to seek followers (the sign-up key is on the left as you read the main page), but the page count indicates a groundswell of interest beyond that.

2. Brian Simpson, who writes as B.M. Simpson and whose wonderful novel “Island Dogs” was one of the main inspirations for this project, has a new Website, He — and I — invite you to check it out.

3. Another reason to read Andrea Brunais’ “Mercedes Wore Black” (above): The book is a finalist in the Florida Fiction category for the the Florida Authors and Publishers Association annual contest. The awards will be announced Aug. 8.

1. Things Unsaid

Things Unsaid cover

THE BOOK: Things Unsaid.

THE AUTHOR: Diana Y. Paul.

PUBLISHED IN: October 2015, but pre-publication copies are available.

THE PUBLISHER: “She Writes Press, a three-year old indie press located in Berkeley, California and founder of is dedicated to women authors and building a community of support for them. They publish approximately fifty books per year and have extensive professional experience from Seal Press. They are phenomenal!”

SUMMARY: A family saga of three generations fighting over money and familial obligation, Things Unsaid is a tale of survival, resilience, and recovery.

Jules, her sister Joanne, and her brother Andrew all grew up in the same household—but their varying views of and reactions to their experiences growing up have made them all very different people. Now, as adults with children of their own, they are all faced with the question of what to do to help their parents, who insist on maintaining the upscale lifestyle they’re accustomed to despite their mounting debts. A deft exploration of the ever-shifting covenants between parents and children, Things Unsaid is a ferocious tale of family love, dysfunction, and sense of duty over forty years.

BACK STORY: When I was a professor at Stanford, teaching Buddhist philosophy and therole of women in Buddhism, I thought a lot about the differences between family obligation and karma as contrasted with western traditions. I always wanted to write a novel in which the main character struggles with both value systems. It evolved as my friends and I began to deal with tough choices: aging parents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other health problems and one’s own family’s needs. Things Unsaid is the result of approximately three years of intensive writing.

WHY THIS TITLE?: The original title was Unhealed Wound, also the title of my blog. On my blog site, under the tab “Why Unhealed Wound”, I give the reasons for selecting that title and its meaning for the mythic hero: Harry Potter’s scar on his forehead, for example, or Frodo’s wound in Lord of the Rings, as well as its symbolism in Buddhism. She Writes Press changed the title to Things Unsaid, far less academic and more to the essence of the story. The new title suggests family secrets as well as the damage inflicted. I like that title much better, since Unhealed Wound may be a bit obscure for those who are not familiar with mythology.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT:  Choosing between parents and one’s own family is never easy, but now it is almost an epidemic since life expectancy is extending into never-before-seen advanced age. Things Unsaid deals with those issues that the sandwich generation—pressured between competing loyalties—has to confront. Most of my friends have had to deal with heartbreaking decisions. So did I. This is a fictional account with emotional truth. I placed it in the late fifties and sixties since that generation was a tumultuous one, the “Mad Men” times. I was a little girl during the sixties and grew up in the Midwest, the time and place for Things Unsaid, when our parents led separate lives and we had “shadow” dads. Think: “August: Osage County” meets Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant with an overlay of Buddhist karma.

Diana Y. PaulAUTHOR PROFILE: Diana Y. Paul was born in Akron, Ohio with a Japanese American father and an Italian Catholic mother. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, with a degree in both psychology and philosophy, and of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with a PhD in Buddhist studies. She is the author of three books on Buddhism, one of which has been translated into Japanese and German (Women in Buddhism, University of California Press). Her short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals and she is currently working on a second novel, A Perfect Match. She lives in Carmel, CA with her husband, Doug, and two cats, Neko and Mao, and various wild critters in the nearby canyon. Diana and Doug have two adult children: Maya Miller, who is in the wine industry and has two little girls and Keith Paul, who is an underwriter for an insurance company in the entertainment division. When she is not writing, she is creating mixed media art which has been exhibited in California, Hawaii, and Japan.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I have always been fascinated by the family in all of its permutations, both humorous and emotionally shattering. Hopefully, in Things Unsaid, I have combined a bit of both. Mostly, it is about how the best of intentions can still have unintended consequences. We all come from imperfect families and the dramas on television, in the movies, and in literature confirm that family saga and family peculiarities will always intrigue us and hook us in. I wrote Things Unsaid as another example of the surprises of a particular family in a specific time and place we can all understand.


Things Unsaid is a powerfully written story that explores the moral dilemma of love, duty and sacrifice for the family you are born into versus the family you create as an adult. Jules, the well-etched protagonist, seeks to find her way through the tangled tentacles of her mother’s narcissism, her father’s weakness, and her siblings’ secrets and selfishness. This tale of relationships grabs you on the first page and stays with you long after you’ve read the last words.” — Matilda Butler, award-winning author of Rosie’s Daughters.

“At first blush it appears to be a classic dysfunctional-family novel. Yet Things Unsaid is written by a scholar of Buddhism. And so, under its skin, it is a lively, accessible meditation on redemption, and on the transformative value of good intention and deed.” — Rebecca Coffey, science journalist and author of Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story.

“A satisfying and provocative read, THINGS UNSAID is wisely contemplated, meticulously detailed, and powerfully and artfully rendered. A wonderful book, well worth your attention.”– Tom Parker, author of Small Business and Anna Ann Annie

“A bold and poignant story that brings deep insights into the messy and complicated world of family relationships, and shows how one woman is able to survive them with her sanity and spirit intact.” —Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, author of Love in Translation and His Wife and Daughters.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Also see my author website for an excerpt:

LOCAL OUTLETS: In discussion with Bookworks (Pacific Grove), Pilgrim’s Way and River House Books (Carmel), and Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz). Major distributors will provide to bookstores nationwide.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Things Unsaid –The publication date is October 13 with preorders now available on for $13.13 ($3.82 savings over the retail price of $16.95) and at Barnes & Noble for $12.86 ($4.09 savings). The e-book will be $6.95 but is not available as a pre-order.



Twitter: @DianaPaul10 Author website:


2. Think Like a Writer

Tom BentleyTHE BOOK: Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See


THE AUTHOR:  Tom Bentley

THE EDITOR: Tom Bentley


SUMMARY: The book’s core is how to see the world as a writer. It supplies tools to find and cultivate your writer’s voice, that unique combination of attributes—sensitivity to language, storytelling and audience—by which writers see and define the world. It discusses writing at a structural level: how words work in sentences and how sentences work in stories, moving to how to use those elements and that writer’s stance to write across genres.

It ends with how to deal with writing distractions, and offers a resources section with takes on practical matters of software, hardware and links to writing resources. And it’s written in a light, entertaining style.

THE BACK STORY: I wrote it because I’ve spent a lot of my time thinking about writing (well, that’s one way to not get anything written). I’m interested in the creative use of language, its power and its subtlety, and how it can affect us deeply. So I wrote about my own wrestlings with language and how it’s used to tell stories. And how to find and work with your writer’s voice.

WHY THIS TITLE?: The title came from the thought that there’s a way to apprehend the world as a writer, and how to fine-tune that apprehension. You realize that stories are everywhere, and you could write some!

WHY SOMEONE MIGHT WANT TO READ IT: Tom has been around the block more than a few times as a writer, and what he has to say comes not just from other books on writing, but experience.

REVIEWHow to Think Like a Writer COMMENTS:

1. “This book is the whole package: educational and instructional while applying all the techniques of authenticity and great storytelling in the process. Rich in vocabulary, many sentences are pieces of art by themselves, and great fun to read on top of it. The mix of biographical material to illustrate the points of each chapter and the actual sequences elaborating on said point’s relevance make you forget you are actually learning something very useful.” — Eniqma.

  1. T. Bentley not only provides a wealth of valuable information about the craft and business of writing (nonfiction and fiction); he shows you how it’s done by sparkling example. While nudging you to develop your own authentic storytelling voice, he shares his own, in all its irreverent, wise, funny, candid, word-drunk glory.But, a warning: If you read the book, you might, like me, suddenly run out of excuses for not writing. Also, you’ll probably never look at “fresh, steaming cat poop” in quite the same way. —  Annie Dennison
  1. Tom’s book encouraged me to see my way into new creativity. He helped me understand voice and how to create my own by playing with it. A fun read packed with good advice, easy to understand. A keeper and re-reader. — Jan

AUTHOR PROFILE: Tom Bentley is a fiction writer, an essayist, and a business writer and editor. (He does not play banjo, but he does likes to drink high-proof bourbon. .) He’s published hundreds of freelance pieces—ranging from first-person essays to travel pieces to more journalistic subjects—in newspapers, magazines, and online. He is the author of a coming of age novel and a short story collection. You can see examples of his services, his published writing, and his lurid website confessions at
AUTHOR COMMENTS: I hope people who read the book see how working with words is one of the most fulfilling pursuits there is. Despite the frustrations of writing, the rewards are limitless. Writing is a way of exploring your own thinking and your very self—and it can be jolly fun too.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: A couple of chapters are available here:


PRICE: $5.99

CONTACT THE; Twitter: @TomBentleyNow

1. Collision Course

Collision Course cover


BOOK: Collision Course (A Josh Williams Novel)


THE AUTHOR: Joe Broadmeadow.

THE PUBLISHER: JEBWizard Publishing through Createspace (Print) and KDP (Kindle format)

THE EDITOR: JEBWizard Publishing.

SUMMARY: Collision Course is a legal thriller incorporating elements of blind political ambition, the strained relationship between the Police and the minority community arising from racial prejudices embedded within police departments, a troubled war veteran, and the taking of a human life by a police officer in the line of duty.

The novel explores the human aspect of those thrust into a nightmare beyond their control. An ambitious US Attorney turns the rage of racial inequality into a platform for a run for the US Senate, perverting the Justice system and trampling over anyone in his way to succeed.

Joe BroadmeadowTHE BACK STORY: I spent 20 years as a police officer for the City of East Providence (RI). During that time, I saw many examples of inherent racism and prejudices within Law Enforcement agencies and the Criminal Justice system.

The only way to eliminate this pernicious infection within these insular worlds is to admit they exist, to expose them, and to work towards eliminating them.

The media often shows a skewed version of events, highlighting the dramatic at the expense of the truth. By writing these stories, I hope to show a more well-rounded perspective.

In the Josh Williams Series of novels, Collision Course and the upcoming sequel, Silenced Justice, I look to move that process forward.

WHY THIS TITLE: Collision Course implies the imminent violent contact between two entities. In this book, two men, from completely different backgrounds, collide because of circumstances beyond their control. Men that might have been friends if things had been different end up as pawns in a game of politics.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: The media is awash with stories of violent confrontations between the Police and members of the minority community. Much of the public discussions lack the basis to evaluate these situations rationally.

In this series of novels, Collision Course and Silenced Justice, I provide a view into the world from the perspective of an officer trying to do his job, having seconds to make life and death decisions, then facing the consequences of his actions compared to those over which he had no control.

These novels bring out the truth that racism is alive and well. Not just as part of Law Enforcement, but as a part of society as a whole, and requires our attention.

These novels also confront the reality of the politics of racism and the depths to which some will go to promote their own success.


By W. Prescott on January 2, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

5 Stars

Great story line with lots of unexpected twists and turns..and believable characters with whom you can identify. You will either love them or hate them. The author must have an extensive background with investigative police work because he deftly described the legal system, and medical terminology, as well as describing the camaraderie and banter between police officers. Being from New England, it was fun to have the story centered in familiar territory. You will enjoy this book. By gerald prendergast on December 10, 2014

Format: Paperback

5 Stars

This first book by Joe Broadmeadow was a great read. The interaction of the characters brings a real life feel to the novel. I think the men/women in a police uniform would enjoy this, maybe more than the average detective mystery reader, as it portrays the the life, the feelings, the interactions of the main characters in a real true to life fashion. A job well done. You come to admire the tight knit stick togetherness of the department against the actions of big government. It gives you a glimpse of the everyday interactions of our protectors on the street what they go through on a daily basis. I can’t wait for the next book, in the series. A well written portrayal of men and women who work on the street to protect us. By David Jarrett on May 8, 2015

Format: Paperback

4 Stars

I enjoyed this book. Its description does not accurately depict the story, however. It is more a legal thriller, about a veteran white police officer, prosecuted for a questionable civil rights violation after shooting and killing a black criminal who turned out to be unarmed at the time of the shooting. An ambitious United States Attorney sees the case as a way to advance his career in politics, while a maverick defense attorney and the officer’s friends rally around him in an attempt to clear him of the charges. The first sixty pages or so are backstory, somewhat more than necessary in my estimation, but some of this is necessary to set the stage for the courtroom drama that is to come. There is quite a bit of POV shifting, some of it somewhat jarring, but once the story really gets underway, it is hard to put down. The main characters in the story are fairly well developed — the secondary ones less so — there are so many that it was hard to do them all justice in a 360 pp. book. There is quite a bit of “cop speak” in the novel. Some of it gets a little tiring, but it is probably necessary for realism. The author has a writing style that I appreciate, blending drama and excitement with a dash of humor and a healthy dose of cynicism. All in all, I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys legal thrillers.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Joe Broadmeadow retired with the Rank of Captain from the East Providence, Rhode Island Police Department after twenty years. Assigned to various divisions within the department including Commander of Investigative Services, he also worked in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and on special assignment to the FBI Drug Task Force. When he is not writing, he is hiking or fishing (and thinking about writing). Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in September, 2014. After completing the trail, Joe published a short story, Spirit of the Trail available on in Kindle format. Joe lives in Lincoln, RI with his wife Susan.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Collision Course began as an idea of giving readers an inside look into the world of a small city police department. Most crime novels, TV shows, and movies depict larger departments like NYPD and LA. The reality is most departments in the United States consist of 25 or fewer officers.

As the story progressed the long simmering issue of race and racism rose to the surface. The story told itself. Real life events echoed the realities of the level of racism still prevalent in our society.

Collision Course and the soon to be released sequel, Silenced Justice, try to expose this troubling aspect yet highlight the changes that have occurred and the painfully slow but steady progress made towards eliminating this from our society. SAMPLE CHAPTER:

LOCAL OUTLETS: Barrington Books, 184 County Road, Barrington, RI 02806 WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:, Barnes& Noble

PRICE: Paperback $13.15 Kindle $3.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Joseph.Broadmeadow@gmail.comFacebook:

Twitter: @jbroadmeadow WordPress Blog: and

2. Consciously Connecting

PHolland HaiiasUBLISHED:  December, 2014

AUTHOR:  Holland Haiis

PUBLISHER:  Balboa Press; A Division of Hay House

SUMMARY:   Consciously Connecting is an exciting and easy step-by-step guide which will engage you with a weekly plan of action. It aids those who are too connected to technology with insight on “How to Reconnect” to themselves and others without the use of screens, keyboards or cell phones.

The book is divided into the twelve months of the year, each month has a theme, and within that month there are four weekly exercises. Each week’s exercise allows for a deeper connection to yourself, your life, and others, without having more things to do. This is about re-learning how to live connection, it’s not about having more things to do, it’s about BE-ing.

Learn how to disconnect from poisonous people, actively engage in the present moment, enthusiastically make time for play, and move in the direction of your goals. Consciously Connecting will reward you with a huge shift in your thinking and the way you connect to everyone and everything.

BACK STORY:  Consciously Connecting was written as I was experiencing my own disconnect and witnessing the disconnection of so many others. I was in the middle of Central Park, and more interested in my emails than my surroundings. Speeding taxi’s, joggers, and horse carriages can all be a recipe for disaster if you don’t look up!  It seemed timely to not only offer this gift to myself, but to others as well.

Consciously Connecting took one year to write and another six months to finalize putting all the pieces together.

WHY THIS TITLE?:  Working as a Wellness and Business Coach has allowed me to see the disconnect in my client’s personal lives and businesses. As mentioned, I was having trouble with my own work-life balance, and the word connection kept coming up in conversation.  When I work with a client it’s all about consciously connecting to what they desire, want, and need in their life or business, so the title seemed like a perfect fit.

WHY SOMEONE MIGHT WANT TO READ IT:  If you’re a fan of Super Soul Sunday, enjoy Deepak, Gretchen Rubin, or want to find balance and re-connection to the things you love, this will be a great tool for you. If you want to learn how to reconnect to spontaneity, creativity, connectivity, this will be an exciting and energizing way to go about that journey.

Consciously Connecting


Harvey Schachter of The Globe and Mail said “It may rejuvenate you in unexpected ways.”

TV Host Jason Galka states “Love this book, it is an easy and useful tool for anyone!”

Tony Award Nominated Actress Barbara Walsh “Consciously Connecting is a concise and clear guide on how to get focused and enrich your life’s path…..The empowerment felt as you strip away from to much technology to reconnect with your self and others is liberating.”

AUTHOR PROFILE:  Holland Haiis is a successful consultant, speaker and wellness and business coach that mentors and facilitates clients to reach their goals. She incorporates the principles of Consciously Connecting as she works with individuals and business to help them engage in a plan of action as they become awakened, get excited, and stay connected!

Holland coaches professionals, executives, small businesses, non-profits and individuals to facilitate transitions and assess new beginnings. She guides business owners on the path to become business leaders and transforms teams to bring their best to the work place. It is thrilling for Holland to have a front row seat to co-create and celebrate the success of others!

Holland also enthusiastically leads workshops and seminars as she engages participants to follow their unique and individual path to greatness.

AURTHOR COMMENTS:  “Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Consciously Connecting and Snowflakes in a Blizzard. My hope is that you will take this journey and connect to the celebration of your life and the people in it. Self awareness should be fun, and I believe you will experience that with Consciously Connecting.”


WHERE TO BUY IT:  The book is available in hardcover, softcover, and e-book.×648&kpid=9781452597850

Events:  Holland will be featured on Laura Sikorski’s Show, Sikorski’s Think Abouts produced by The Daily Blu, on July 20, 2015. She will be live on Fierte Haitienne FM Radio on July 11, 2015 and interviewed by Hay House Radio in August. If you would like to invite Holland to a book signing event please visit the link listed below.


Weather Report, July 13

Beach umbrellas 2




Joe Broadmeadow brings a key ingredient to his first police novel, “Collision Course”  – experience. He spent 20 years with the East Providence, RI police department, retiring as a captain, and like most members of his profession, he has been conflicted about recent controversies involving police brutality. While he understands the pressure that beat cops are under – especially in an urban setting — he also knows that possessing a gun and a badge can bring out the worst in some people. Broadmeadow attacks that issue head-on in “Collision Course,” which revolves around a fatal police shooting and its ramifications in a small city.

Most of the time, machines are our friends and helpmates. But they are also jealous companions who tend to suck us into their influence to the exclusion of everything else. Holland Haiis has made a career out of disconnecting us – or, rather, teaching us how to connect with life instead of a computer screen.


We’ve had a couple of Christian writers so far, but Diana V. Paul is our first to come from the Buddhist tradition. Her novel, “Things Unsaid,” dissects family and generational relationships not only from the traditional storytelling perspective – and she tells a compelling story – but also from the wellspring of her philosophical beliefs.

Tom Bentley is a writer’s writer, a veteran with the versatility of a Swiss Army knife.  He’s done non-fiction books, self-help books and novels. He’s written for magazines, Websites and anyone willing to hire him. And along that path, he has learned that there is something in their way of looking at the world that sets writers apart from other people. “Think Like a Writer” is a primer on how to make that perspective work for us in our writing.


1. Holland Haiis, whose book “Consciously Connecting”  will be featured on Snowflakes this week, makes frequent use of radio to promote her work — not radio ads, but radio appearances. If you occupy a particular niche (and all four of the books profiled above fit into that category) radio talk show hosts are always looking for guests. You don’t have to be famous, just a person with something interesting to say and a vehicle with which to say it.

“I say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity that presents itself,” she says. “Some shows have larger audiences than others, but I believe that if you only look at numbers you are doing yourself a disservice. It’s impossible to know who might tune into a particular show, on a particular day, and how that may change your life. It’s also great to support others who are following their dreams as well. So the next time you’re asked to give an interview, any kind of interview, remember what could connect you to something really great…YES!”

2. Given the rise in shark attacks at some Atlantic beaches this summer, perhaps it’s safer to remain on the sand with a good beach read. Here are a few suggestions from books that have been “Snowflakes in a Blizzard” features this year:

Beneath the Stones. Featured on the site for one more day, this Susan Coryell novel combines romance, history and a ghost story. That equals beach book times three.

Caught. Books of short stories are perfect for the beach, because they can be read in small increments. This one, from New Zealand author Deidre Thurston, has as its theme the potential importance of everyday life events,

How Not to Avoid Jet Lag. Summer vacation often involves travel — and while your particular beach may not be exotic, the odds are you’ll enjoy Joshua Samuel Brown’s irreverent travelogue.

Downfall, by Deborah Teller Scott and Death of a Cabman, by Nina Boyd. I lump these two together because they are both “cozy mysteries” set in the UK, although Scott’s is contemporary and Boyd’s a period piece from the turn of the 19th century.

When Clouds Gather, by Ryan Jo Summers. Another blend of mystery and romance. The fact that its focus is a bed and breakfast makes it even better to take along on vacation.

Island Dogs. The whole idea of a vacation is to have fun, and B.M. Simpson’s rollicking novel about a group of expats who meet and bond in a Caribbean bar is vivid enough to transport you there.

1. Beneath the Stones


THE AUTHOR:  Susan Coryell.

THE PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press.

SUMMARY: Ashby Overton has everything to look forward to, including a promising writing career and her wedding at summer’s end. But, Overhome, her beloved historic family estate in Southern Virginia, is in financial peril and it is up to Ashby to find a solution. Interfering with Ashby’s plans is a dark paranormal force that thwarts her every effort to save Overhome. Supernatural attacks emanate from an old stone cottage on the property rumored to be a slave overseer’s abode, prior to the Civil War. As the violence escalates, Ashby begins to fear for her life. Who is this angry spirit and why is his fury focused on her?

THE BACK STORY:  When I completed A RED, RED ROSE, I truly thought I was done with Ashby Overton and Overhome Estate. But so many readers clamored for a sequel that I realized there was room for more. Now that I have published A Red, Red Rose and  Beneath the Stones, I am working on a third book to complete the trilogy.

WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Basically, this book is a three-for-one — a romance, a historical novel and a ghost story. Plus, given the recent Civil War Sesquicentennial, it’s trendy — and intriguing in the way Coryell bridges these two very different eras..


“I really enjoyed the layers to BENEATH THE STONES, including the young, rascally cousin Jeff, the M&M Wedding Express (bridal planners), and the interesting history tidbits. My favorite part was Ashby’s interaction with the paranormal and what she learns about herself.” — Author Clifford Rush.

“Fans of Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney will love BENEATH THE STONES. Ms. Coryell spins a tale in the tradition of the Gothic masters, complete with a ghostly mystery that’ll give you the shivers. I’m hooked!” — Author Jannine Gallant.“BENEATH THE STONES is a sequel to A RED, RED ROSE, but you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one. Coryell provides just enough background so we understand the story as a standalone novel. An interesting cast of characters if featured in this book, which is actually a story within a story–a mystery that dates back to the Civil War. Coryell combines humor, suspense, mystery and a good dose of the paranormal to entertain readers in this Gothic romance. A highly enjoyable read.” —  Author Marilyn Baron.

Susan Coryell photoAUTHOR PROFILE: A career educator, Susan has taught students from 7th grade through college-level. She earned a BA degree in English from Carson-Newman College and a Masters from George Mason University. She is listed in several different volumes of Who’s Who in Education and Who’s Who in Teaching.  Susan belongs to Author’s Guild, Virginia Writers, and Lake Writers. She loves to talk with budding writers at schools, writers’ conferences and workshops. Her young adult anti-bully novel EAGLEBAIT is in its third edition for print and e-book, updated with cyber-bullying. EAGLEBAIT won the NY Public Library’s “Books for the Teen Age,” and the International Reading Association’s “Young Adult Choice.” A Red, Red Rose, first in a cozy mystery/Southern Gothic series, won a literary award with the Library of Virginia. Beneath the Stones, the sequel, was released in April of 2015.

The author has long been interested in concerns about culture and society in the South, where hard-felt, long-held feelings battle with modern ideas.  The ghosts slipped in, to her surprise.

When not writing, Susan enjoys boating, kayaking, golf and yoga. She and her husband, Ned, love to travel, especially when any of their seven grandchildren are involved.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “The Civil War letters included in BENEATH THE STONES are based on actual letters written from battle fronts by family ancestors, Joseph Franklin Stover and John William Stover. After my mother-in-law’s death, the family found a nondescript box in her file cabinet. Inside we were amazed to find fifteen letters hand-written in beautiful, flowing script. Since this occurred as I was in the midst of writing Beneath the Stones, I immediately seized on the idea of using excerpts from the letters in the novel. Though, for practical reasons, I omitted many details, overall the letters reveal a haunting picture of life for the Confederate soldier. A final note: The flute mentioned in one of the letters is very likely the same flute on display at the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox, Virginia.”


: Amazon. .

PRICE: $4.99 Kinlde, $16.99 paperback.CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Please visit Susan Coryell’s website: and my blog: or contact her on Facebook and Twitter.