Category Archives: Books

Vampyrie by Tina Frisco

I was pleasantly surprised to read Cathleen Townsend‘s lovely review of my latest novel, Vampyrie. I very much enjoyed my interview with her in May. Cathleen is the author of five novels and gives generously of her time to fellow authors.

The Beauty of Words

VCVampyrie contains all the classic vampire lore–the fangs, silent movement, brutal attacks, and human senses that are outmatched by their unearthly antagonists. In addition to this, it also holds some unique world-building, everything from the biochemical roots of vampires to their origins. As someone who’s written seven novels retelling fairy tales, I can appreciate this. A fresh blend of old and new can be an absorbing approach.

The book opens with Phoebe, the novel’s protagonist, being abducted, and unwittingly involved in the ongoing fight between the two branches of vampires. Fortunately for her, a league exists to fight the evil, degraded vampires, although she certainly wasn’t expecting her new knowledge to involve her own family history. Nor was she prepared to find her friends were also at risk.

If you’re a fan of paranormal reads with a scientific twist, Vampyrie is a read that should appeal to you. Click here…

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Danny Extorts Andrew…

Either this is hilariously funny or I’ve exhausted my last brain cell ~ which doesn’t take much effort these days! Danny the Dog is over at Chris‘ place with his monthly diatribe, I mean post. He has his human, Andrew, on a short leash. And no, it isn’t the other way around. Danny’s leash is way longer 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Danny Extorts Andrew

Good morning, everybody. It is I, your favorite dog, Danny the Dog. At least I’m your favorite dog that pens a monthly epistle here on Chris’ blog.

I write about my life, my loves, and my losses—although I do not lose very often. Today, I’m here to tell you about one of my wins. And of course, it’s a win against my arch-nemesis, Andrew, my human.

For those of you who follow my exploits on a monthly basis, you know of my love of turkey slices. How every morning when Andrew and I come in from our walk, he’ll give me a few slices. And you’ll also know that we live on a boat. I only mention that because it has a bearing on my story.

So here’s the set-up. Boats have cockpits—it’s the place you steer from. There are also seats and/or benches where people (or…

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Meet Guest Author, Chuck Jackson…

Sometimes it takes a wake-up call to nudge or catapult us into following our passion. After being diagnosed with cancer, Chuck Jackson began writing his memoirs. Six years and two books later, he is still living his dream. Hop over to Chris The Story Reading Ape‘s blog to learn more about Chuck and his books …

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


My name is Chuck Jackson. I am a retired accountant living in Southeast Florida. Before retirement, I spent my last twenty-five years working as the budget manager for a special district in Palm Beach County. I was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and the Florida GFOA. I graduated from the University Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting.

My dad was career military and I grew up being what we called a “Military Brats”. We moved frequently, consequently never establishing roots anywhere. Our family had the opportunity to go to Okinawa and Japan. An experience I will never forget. After high school and a year of college, to avoid the selective service draft, I followed my dad into the Air Force. Unlike my dad, I left the military after my four-year enlistment expired.

When I left the military, I attended a year of mortuary science…

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#GuestAuthor John Fioravanti

John FioravantiJohn Fioravanti is an author and blogger who has a background in teaching high school history. That alone (teaching teenagers) should garner him a medal for bravery! John and I have a lot in common and have taken to referring to each other as ‘bro’ and sis.’ So please welcome my brother, John Fioravanti!
My sincere thanks, Tina, for this opportunity to be interviewed on your lovely site. I am truly honored. 

It’s my pleasure, John. I am delighted to have you as my guest. 

Buy John’s books HERE

 

Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a self-published author living in Waterloo, Ontario. Retired nine years, I worked for thirty-five years teaching students to write well in my history courses. That led to my first published work, Getting It Right in History Class, by a small educational publisher in Barrie, Ontario. I am married to Anne for forty-four years on June 30th. We have been blessed with three children and three grandchildren. I am an avid blogger still learning the finer points.

What is the title and genre of your latest book? Who published it?  Reflections by John FioravantiReflections: Inspirational Quotes & Interpretations is inspirational non-fiction. I scoured the Internet for quotes that spoke to me about inspiration and living. I published it myself under my Fiora Books imprint.

Tell us a little about your book.  Reflections is a compilation of fifty inspirational quotes and for each, I wrote a short essay that reflects on the meaning of the words and how they might apply to my own life. My hope is that the reader will be inspired to ponder how each quote might impact their thinking and the living they need to do. We all need to pause and take stock about how we live, and I hope this book will help readers to do that.

What inspired you to write it?  I’ve always had an interest in inspiring quotes, so I was happy to take on the daily task of selecting and emailing an inspirational quote to members of the governing board of Rave Reviews Book Club from our President, Nonnie Jules. She suggested one day that I should blog about these quotes. I took her suggestion and created a blog series called My Inspiration. Nonnie suggested we create a new Rave Waves BlogTalkRadio show loosely based on these blogs. We called the show Aspire To Inspire. Later, Nonnie suggested I rework many of the blogs into an inspirational book. So the answer to your question is not what inspired me, but who inspired the book – Nonnie Jules.

Heart of Teaching by John FioravantiWhat inspires you to write in general?  Teaching was my first career and my motivation was to help young people navigate through the difficult teen years. Writing and blogging is my second career but the motive is the same – service to others. My daily blog post, John’s Believe It Or Not is my attempt to remind readers about events from the past, many of which are relevant in the present. My other two blog series, My Inspiration and Let’s Talk aim to help us pause to think seriously about the issues we face in the living that we do. My fiction series, The Genesis Saga, and coming soon, Genesis: The Beginning are stories of human drama that we can relate to and hopefully, cause us to think.

In what genres do you write?  I enjoy writing inspirational non-fiction. My first self-published book was A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching, which is a memoir based on my teaching career. The second publication was Reflections, which is a collection of 50 short essays based on quotes I find inspirational.

I also enjoy writing fiction. I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and I am a big fan of Kenneth Tam’s Equations series. He’s a former student of mine who invited me to write inside his Equations series. The Genesis Saga series is set inside Kenneth’s science fiction universe, but my work is better characterized as futuristic drama. My two published titles in this series are Passion & Struggle and Treachery & Triumph. I have also decided to begin a new series called Genesis: The Beginning – I’m drafting book one currently. This series will be the prequel to The Genesis Saga.

If you have a blog, what subjects do you write about?  My blog has Treachery and Triumph by John Fioravantibeen evolving over the past three years. Originally, on my Fiora Books website, I wrote weekly posts called My Inspiration – short essays exploring the meaning of and relevance of inspirational quotes I found. In February 2017 I created a new blog site called Words To Captivate. At that time, I decided to indulge my passion for History and created the blog series John’s Believe It Or Not. Each day I research and report on 5 events that occurred on that particular date in history. As well, I created another blog series called Let’s Talk where I discuss controversial topics in the hope that it will stimulate thought and discussion. Occasionally, I write new posts for the original blog series, My Inspiration.

Do you have other publishing credits? If so, what are they?  In 2002, I was published for the first time by a small educational publisher. The book is called Getting It Right in History Class. I used it in class for the last 5 years of my career to teach research and writing skills that lead to the formal research essay. The contents of this book evolved gradually from lesson handouts I prepared for my classes to teach these skills. Before the book was published, these handouts had become several booklets and they became the basis for the chapters in the book.

Passion and Struggle by John FioravantiWhat is your current writing project?  As mentioned earlier, I’m working on a new prequel futuristic drama series called Genesis: The Beginning. Book One is entitled The Comers’ Dawn. The human survivors of planet Earth left to find a new home planet in the late 21st Century in a huge colonizer ship. After a 95-year journey, they arrived at planet Genesis and built a new civilization. The Genesis Saga series picks up their story 600 years after they arrived at Genesis. The new series will chronicle their struggles and successes back when they first arrived. In preparation for this series, I created twenty-five short stories that I posted on my blog site under the heading The Genesis Chronicles. Feel free to take a look!

YouTube Video

Instead of providing us with a short excerpt from his book, Reflections, John chose to share his ten-minute YouTube video based on Reflection 38 – Don’t Kick the Habit – Be Excellent! While watching this video, I was inspired to surpass my habit of not going above 3.0 incline on the treadmill 🙂

Learn more about John:  Blog     Website     Amazon     Twitter    Facebook       LinkedIn       Google+       Fiora Books on Twitter      Fiora Books on Facebook

#GuestAuthor Jenn Bregman

Jen BregmanJenn Bregman is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer turned novelist. Her first book, The TimeKeepers, was published in May of this year. She is also the mother of five-year-old twin boys. I expect the latter is a much more daunting role. 😊 But do read on and decide for yourself. Welcome, Jenn!

Buy Jenn’s book HERE

Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a passionate life enthusiast. I love my family, friends, animals, nature, exploring this wondrous world, and the peace and joy that come through the grace of a close connection to the universe. I love music and was an opera singer before turning to law. I am a pug dog addict and have been known to run across crowded NYC streets to squeeze one! I do, at least, one scary thing a day.
What is the title and genre of your latest book? Who published it?  My debut novel is a legal thriller called The TimeKeepers, published by Triborough Publishing.

Tell us a little about your book.  The TimeKeepers centers on a young, idealistic, naïve lawyer named Sarah Brockman who leaves Big Law in search of work that would make a difference, only to find herself barely scraping by working for clients who can’t pay and pursuing causes she can’t win. Then a random horrific car crash changes everything and she is thrust into a tangled web of massive corruption, fraud, and greed that twists and turns through the highways of Southern California, Mexico, and the Cook Islands – all while kindling a tender romance with her new love, Sam, who’s been following the same trail…but from the other end, and the wrong side of the law.

What inspired you to write it?  I have always been a voracious reader and writer but hadn’t really considered the idea of a novel until these crazy, persistent voices started waking me up in the middle of the night! Literally! Three of the main characters just kept popping in – wholly uninvited. I decided that the only way to get some sleep was to write down what they had to say. And, boy, did they talk! 😊

The TimeKeepers by Jen BregmanWhat is your current writing project?  I am currently working on the sequel, set in NYC. It takes place a few years later, so the characters in Book One are older, possibly wiser, and definitely naughtier! It is set to publish in 2018. The last of the series, set in Colorado, is set to publish the year after.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?  The key is just to know that it, like most things, will pass. That helps you relax and focus on getting through quicker! Movement is best for me. If it’s “writer’s hiccup,” then pacing around the house will help. If it’s more severe, then a long hike in nature, or a long swim, or even a long yoga session can help. I think it’s because the physical discomfort of doing one of these gets you out of your head and into your body. When you get back in your head, it’s usually clearer!

How do you schedule your time between writing and keeping your physical life together?  My morning time is critical. With rambunctious twin five-year-old boys, the only guarantee I have of quiet work time is in the morning. So tushie is in the chair from 5:00 – 7:00 a.m.  No excuses. Ok. Rarely excuses. Then, I fit in two or three more hours during the day in blocks as I can. In all honesty, sometimes the words don’t flow and I stare at the screen for most of the two hours, but I think the discipline of doing (even when it’s crummy) outweighs the “not.”

How and where have you marketed your work?  The paperback is available on Amazon and e-book is available through Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. After the review by Publishers Weekly, where they said: “The TimeKeepers should appeal to John Grisham fans,” many bookstores are stocking it as well. If your bookstore is not presently carrying it, ask them to order it.

The TimeKeepers by Jen BregmanWhat advice would you give a new writer?  My advice is basic, but true. “Just do it!” Make your decision, your plan, and then execute your plan. There will be many, many times when you will feel like quitting for all kinds of reasons, but don’t. Stay the course. Resolve to finish your work. There is much to be said for finishing and very little to be said for not. I guess there’s even less to be said for not starting in the first place! Ha! When you have finished, you may review, edit, wrangle your words in ways that you can’t do when you don’t have the words. Trust yourself and have faith.

What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?  My hope for my readers is that they will embrace the depth of this book. Even though it’s a thriller, I have woven allegorical themes of service, charity, and justice into the story. There are questions of income disparity and greed – issues that are relevant to us right now! Many of these questions are in the Book Club section of my website. I hope that book clubs, as well as individual readers, will consider these broader ethical themes, reflect, and take away something of deeper value.

Thank you so much, Tina, for hosting me on your beautiful blog. Such an honor.

You’re most welcome, Jenn. It has been my pleasure to host you. I wish you every success with your writing and your books.

Bio

Jenn Bregman is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer who has practiced in both Los Angeles and New York City, where she worked on some of the most notorious cases of our time. A veteran of Big Law and a graduate of the University of Denver and UCLA Law School, her writing has been published in the UCLA Law Review and Los Angeles Lawyer magazine. A marathoner who loves pugs and hiking giant mountains, Bregman lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the State Bar of California, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, California Women Lawyers, Gamma Phi Beta, and Mensa. The TimeKeepers is her first novel, with a sequel planned for release in 2018.

The TimeKeepers by Jen Bregman Blurb

A fast-paced thriller, The TimeKeepers plunges headlong into the depraved underbelly of Big Law and big money where greed is king, murder is incidental, and winning is the only thing that matters. Attorney Sarah Brockman is young, idealistic, and naïve. Having left Big Law in search of work that would make a difference, she finds herself barely scraping by running her own personal injury law firm working for clients who can’t pay and pursuing causes she can’t win. Then a random horrific car crash shatters everything. Now she’s staring into the darkest shadows of the very system she’s dedicated her life to upholding, filled with corrupt judges, dirty cops and attorneys, offshore banking, massive fraud, and twists and turns through the highways and byways of Southern California, Mexico and the Cook Islands. Facing off against a cunning and deranged adversary, Sarah is aided by a sharp-witted socialite, a felon and occasional crackhead, and a shameless Mexican raconteur. All while kindling a tender romance with Sam, her boyishly handsome new love, who has been following the same trail but from the other end–and the wrong side of the law. Sarah feels invisible strings pulling her ever closer to the core of the conspiracy. But if she’s just a pawn in someone else’s game, are the strings being pulled for good or for bad? Or, even, both? And will she be on the side that wins?

Learn more about Jenn:   Website/Blog    Amazon    Facebook         Twitter    Instagram  

 

 

#BookRelease – Plateau: Beyond the Trees

I am pleased to announce the release of the 2nd edition of my first novel, PLATEAU.
Plateau: Beyond the Trees by Tina FriscoAvailable in both eBook and paper.

They will show in the Amazon store within 3-5 business days but are available now through the Kindle and CreateSpace stores. The old version is still showing on Amazon but will be removed.

To celebrate, the eBook will be free to download from the 15th through the 19th.
Download it HERE.

I’m so grateful to have this task behind me! It took quite a bit longer than I expected, largely due to how poorly I wrote five years ago compared with now. I decided to give the book a quick overhaul, forgetting it was not a vehicle that merely needed an oil change. And once I started, there was no turning back. I did all the formatting, which can be a nightmare. But I learned a lot when I published my book Vampyrie last December, and fortunately I remembered most of it.

I also needed to make a cover. On the front I wanted to use the same image, which was created by a friend of mine and was easy to upload. I used GIMP  to apply the text. Since CreateSpace’s cover design choices are limited, the back cover was more of a challenge. How to get the color I wanted? I was blessed with a light-bulb moment. I scanned a sheet of white paper into my computer, uploaded the image into GIMP, applied color, and added the text. This project was a full day’s work. When I uploaded it to CreateSpace, it looked fine. But CS said the text went too far to the border (even though it was within the border shown), so I had to redo the text, which took another half day. (I need to go to GIMP school.)

During all of this, my mum became seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. I thought I might have to hop a train and travel cross country. Thankfully she recovered and is doing well.

Now that the dreaded book business is completed (I need to go to formatting school), I can resume writing posts and visiting blogs. I can tackle that collapsing pile of books on my TBR. I can open the stack of mail on my desk.  Maybe I’ll get around to cleaning and doing the laundry. My neglected little car needs a bath, and I really should jump in the shower. Wash my hair? Yes, I need to do that as well. I even hope to go out to dinner or the movies before the end of the year. An author’s work is never done.

Plateau: Beyond the Trees by Tina FriscoI wrote and first published PLATEAU: Beyond the Trees in 2012, because I wanted to put a message of hope into the world. December 21st of that year was the end of the Mayan long count calendar. This inspired the making of documentaries that aired over several months. Most of them evoked fear by focusing on the doomsday aspect of apocalyptic prophecies. Many of us wondered if love could prevail in an atmosphere of dread and panic.

PLATEAU offers hope with its underlying message: We must keep our hearts open and act from love instead of reacting from fear; we must practice gratitude and compassion within every moment and with every breath, so that we might help elevate the human species to a higher consciousness and facilitate personal and global peace. Within this vision – this practice – the human species will continue into the Golden Age of Enlightenment.

Novel reading can increase our understanding of who we are. I hope PLATEAU will advance this understanding. I hope it will encourage empathy, compassion, and tolerance for diversity. I hope …

I will leave you with this quote by one of the indigenous shaman women of the Sisterhood of the Shields:

You have the choice to nourish or you have the choice to destroy with your power. –Ruby Plenty Chiefs quoted in Spirit Woman,     The Teachings of the Shields by Lynn V. Andrews

Until the next time, my friends …  Namaste ❤ 

#Blogging Break

I’m taking a short break from blogging as I reclaim my first book from the publisher.
I published PLATEAU in 2012 through FriesenPress in Canada. At the time, I knew nothing about self-publishing and was grateful to find an ethical company that could assist. Distribution channel fees were free for the first two years. I since have paid a reasonable annual fee but have decided I want to republish the book myself. And I have only a few short weeks within which to do this.

Plateau by Tina Frisco

I do all of my own formatting. Those of you who have traveled this treacherous road are aware that, although it is a labor of love, it is time-consuming. It also can be damn exasperating frustrating! However, the satisfaction of having accomplished such a daunting task is a reward in itself.
Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I haven’t found my way to blogging/commenting/sharing/replying, keeping my physical life together, and having a life. So with the added task of formatting a book and preparing it for publication, I won’t be visiting blogs for the next few weeks. But please know I’ll be thinking of all of you and will return when the dreaded deed is done 😊
I know I’d freak out stress about not replying to comments ~ and would most likely give in to curiosity ~ so I’m closing them on this post. My inner taskmaster has spoken! I suspect, however, many of you would have much to say that I’ll surely regret missing 😊
Happy blogging to all of my friends, whom I love and cherish ❤

Interview with Tina Frisco

Thank you to the lovely Cathleen Townsend for inviting me to be interviewed on her blog. Aside from being a prolific fantasy writer, Cathleen is also an animal lover, plane crash survivor, and has lived to tell the tale of scuba diving with a mako shark! Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be interviewed by such a colorful and dynamic person ❤

The Beauty of Words

Tina 4aTina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, a student of shamanism, and our guest here today. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews; essays; articles in the field of medicine; her début novel, Plateau; her children’s book, Gabby and the Quads; and her latest novel, Vampyrie. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, and frequently getting lost in working crossword puzzles.

***

Thank you so much for hosting me, Cathleen. I appreciate your support and the opportunity to be featured on your wonderful blog.

It’s my pleasure to have you here, Tina. Let’s dive right in. Who’s…

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Guest Post: Tina Frisco – On Facing Death

Friend and blogger John Fioravanti kindly invited me to guest post on his impressive blog. I was thrilled to accept and am delighted to share this with you. John is a historian who blogs on issues of contemporary importance, health, writing tips and more. He also supports other authors by reblogging and guest posting. Please visit his blog and enjoy his excellent posts. Thank you so much for hosting me, John, and for sharing my work ❤

Shortly after John invited me to be his guest, I received an email from a friend telling me his wife and my dear friend had just been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Upon sending my condolences, Payson replied: 

Persevere…the dice keep rolling…and one adapts with as much detachment as possible.
The work of a lifetime….that drawing closer to the Event Horizon makes one more present.
Such good work…a blessing to be aware!

Both Payson and Kamla are authors and devoted to a spiritual path. I read Kamla’s book, The Singing Guru, during one long night of sitting with a dying friend. Kamla writes: 

The Divine “is everywhere, in every direction, in every space, without exception.”

Payson produces DVDs he calls VideoTonePoems, which are a blend of exquisite visual art, intriguing sound, and the poignant written word.

I’m sharing their work with you here, because it’s relevant to the subject matter of my guest post  ❤  

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome Tina Frisco, author, blogger, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, a student of shamanism and friend, to Words To Captivate. Death is a difficult thing to face, but Tina puts a different face on it.

On Facing Death

Facing death is a life-changing experience and one that most of us fear. The first time I faced this monster, I paced and cried, ranted and cursed its arrogance. The second time, I tightened my mid-section and refused to acknowledge it; but I couldn’t sleep. The third time, I took in a deep breath, sat down, and closed my eyes. In a flash, I saw myriad lifetimes pass before me – incarnations I was fortunate to have lived.

What is it about physical death that throws so many of us into a tailspin of grief, anger, and denial? Is it not knowing whether life continues beyond the…

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Again

A powerful story by Andrew Joyce depicting the carnage of war, and drawing similarities between what led to the Nazi takeover of Germany and what is occurring now in the United States. Who or what is the enemy? Could it be our own lack of insight? Could it be that we have placed fear at the helm of our consciousness? This is a story that will stay with you for months, if not years ~ if not the rest of your life… 

Andrew Joyce

I went off to war at the tender age of sixteen. My mother cried and begged me to stay, but my country needed me. I would not see my mother again for four very long years.

Due to my age, I was assigned to field headquarters as a dispatch courier for the first two years of the war. However, by the beginning of the third year, I had grown a foot taller and was shaving. And because men were dying at an alarming rate, I was sent into the trenches.

They say that war is hell. I say hell is peaceful compared to living in a muddy trench with bombs exploding around you at all hours of the day and night. Though there were periods of respite from the shelling. Those were the hours when the enemy had to let their big guns cool or else the heat of firing…

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