Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dear Reader, Love Randi Sherman

Dear Reader…

I imagine we have something in common. You see, my imagination is usually in overdrive. I guess it always has been. I assume, because you are a reader, yours is too. Escaping into stories and taking the time to really know the characters may be two of my favorite things.

I’ve been asked a number of times what I would tell a young me if I had the chance. And as cliché as it sounds - I would say to embrace your imagination and follow your dreams early and often. However I would add - to never apologize for being a dreamer, be bold and dare to be the most interesting person in the room too.

I learned to harness my dreams when I spent time, about a million years ago, performing amateur stand-up at comedy clubs around Los Angeles and more recently I studied improvisation in San Francisco. Learning the rules of improvisational performance is how I learned how to make almost everything possible.

One of the advantages of creating fictitious characters is, as a writer, I can place characters in situations that I, myself, may dread. I can take the time to work through every possible scenario, good and bad, easy, imposing or frightening - then determine how I want my character to react. Truthfully this process makes me a much braver person - because I already have a preview of what can happen if, let’s say… I choose to be aggressive or passive or go swimming with sharks, or skydive or eat half of a cake with a giant spoon, in the middle of the night while standing at the refrigerator.

My latest imaginings bring us to my latest novel, Big & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles. And, to be honest, I fell in love with Brenda.

I’ve been asked me why I made Brenda Cankles a plus size woman. The truth is that Brenda Cankles’ size is really a metaphor. She could have possessed any number of physical, emotional or economic traits that are critiqued and unfairly judged. Big & Fabulous is about having a positive self-image and living life outside of society’s censure and narrow standards.

You might wonder how I did my research or if Big & Fabulous is an autobiography. Am I Brenda Cankles?  The answer is yes… and no. Like so many other people, men and women, I certainly know about struggling with weight and body-image. In fact over my lifetime, I have probably gained and lost 800 pounds. Frankly I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. So yes, although I’ll never tell you which pieces of are me, her life and personality is uniquely hers. Brenda lives out-loud and is a hero of sorts. I aspire to be like Brenda.

Enjoy Big & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles.

Randi M Sherman

About the Author

Randi M Sherman is the award winning author of humorous fiction books.

With an eye for detail, an ear for well-tuned dialogue and an incredible grasp of the obvious, all honed while performing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and improvisational theater in San Francisco, Sherman adds just enough bawdiness to deliver character-driven contemporary novels that will have the reader laughing, thinking and connecting with the characters in her books.

A native Californian, Randi makes her home in California's wine country. Trying her hand at country living Randi describes herself the Eva Gabor of the Sonoma/Napa area.

Randi earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Chapman University.



About the Book:

Author: Randi Sherman
Publisher: Friesen Press
Pages: 282
Genre: Humor Fiction

The time for BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles is now! The emphasis is on positive body image, Big & Fabulous is a truly entertaining story that’s strongly written, funny, insightful and bitingly smart. Inside it’s covers, readers will find no shortage of acidly hilarious accounts of the highs and lows of living life inside a big and fabulous body.

Imperfect, impervious and improving Brenda Cankles is an unlikely heroine. Unfazed by the enduring censure of society, she is determined to realize the fabulous life that she has always believed is her destiny.

Brenda’s story – written in unflinching first person – is utterly unvarnished. Here, find a fantastically real person, sometimes struggling to fit in, but mostly giving the rest of the world the mother-lovin’ bird. From her clunky childhood, through her stumbling yet optimistic adolescence to her full figured and unapologetic emergence into adulthood. Brenda is a special brand of warrior. She is big, bold and beautiful. While the quirky cast of characters who surround her is eternally insistent that Brenda live her life in the background and fit into society’s mold, she will have none of it.

Author, Randi Sherman’s experience as a stand-up comedienne is evident as she delivers, BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles, the hilarious, often laugh-out-loud novel about the inner most thoughts Brenda Cankles, a very real character who is confident and brave enough to expect the world to accept her on her terms.

BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles is Sherman’s fifth novel, her fourth THE LOBBY has won 17 Awards for Humor and General Fiction.

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dear Reader, Love, Liza Trevino

Dear Reader…

Whether you’re a sometime reader or a voracious book lover, I’m honored that you decided to pick up my book, All That Glitters.  As you make your way through the pages and chapters, I’m sure you’ll have questions or make some judgments.

To those ideas you’ll/you’re tossing around in your mind, the bulk of them I’m sure revolve around the main character, Alexandria Moreno.  Whether you like her, love her or hate her, she’s not a girl who’s gonna give a damn either way.  She’s got her plans, her vision about who she is and what she’s been put on this Earth to do; and that’s just what she’s going to do.  Period.  You’ll see, her bold, unique visions bring her to some pretty steep decisions that come with steep costs. But are the costs worth it?

At the heart of this book, and one of the reasons I wrote it, is that I wanted to read a Jackie Collins glamour saga that featured a Latina as the main character. I wanted this Latina to be desirable but also a complicated figure with a dark side. Someone who knows the effect she has on men, who likes sex, but is unencumbered by the romance gene.  Which, of course, is fitting, because her complications stem from her staunch denials of love.  I couldn’t find a girl like Alex in any book. That’s why I decided to write her into existence. Of course, Alex Moreno took on a life of her own and will live on after you read about her rags-to-riches story. You’ll decide if she made the right choices or not.

I also wanted to write about the relationship among women, in this case Alex and Elly.   This is an important connection for both women, as they are childhood friends who both go to Hollywood for different reasons. This story explores what happens when two friends face similar situations, at different junctures in their lives, and make different decisions.  How does it change their lives and experiences? Or, does it not matter at all?

Before I get too philosophical or heavy, I should let you know, I had a blast writing this story. It took a long time to write because, when I first started it, I had no idea where it was going. I had no idea what I was doing. There were some false starts, for sure.  The general idea remains at the core of it, but much has changed since I first began this undertaking. And, it’s only been for the better.

Thanks again for reading, I hope you get a kick out of Alex and her escapades.

Happy reading!
Liza Treviño 


Click to Buy on Amazon: All That Glitters

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dear Reader, Love Michael Holloway Perronne

Dear Reader…

Imagine being a young Japanese-American child in Los Angeles in early 1942.  You stand on a crowded train platform on a chilly morning.  You tightly squeeze your mother’s hand as you look up at her.  At first glance, she appears calm and even has a slight smile on her face, but even at that young of an age, you can read the fear in her eyes.

You glance around and look at some more of the families waiting for the train.  Many of them are dressed in what appear to be some of their fanciest clothing as they clutch bags and suitcases close to them.  If you hadn’t sensed the anxiety and chaos the past weeks, you might have thought everyone was going on a vacation.

“We’re going on a long train trip,” your mother had told you that morning as she tightly buttoned up your coat.  “I need you to be good for me, okay?”

That’s when you noticed tears at the corners of her eyes and how she quickly turned away from you to wipe them away. 

Within the past few days, you sat on the sidelines and watched your parents giving away or selling most of their belongings for pennies on the dollar.  At one point, your mother lost her usual calm composure in the front yard when a Caucasian man argued with her over the price of a porcelain ballerina figurine.  When the man demanded once again that she lower the price, she’d picked up the figurine and in one swift, violent movement smashed it against the sidewalk.

“Now, it’s free!” she had yelled at him, before hurrying back into the house.

Now on the train platform, men in military outfits corral people in different directions as the chug chug sound of the train approached.

“It’s time,” your father says, picking up the small amount of luggage each family was permitted to carry.

You look at the identification ticket that resembled a luggage tag that had been attached to you with a safety pin when your family arrived as if you were just one more piece of baggage.

A silence comes over the crowd as the train approaches, and you notice that the windows of the train have been blacked out.

“Where are we going, Mama?” you asked, as you tugged on her skirt.

Your mother looks down at you and just shakes her head at loss for words.


In February 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which required over 100,000 Japanese-Americans who had committed no crimes to be forcibly relocated from their homes and sent to internment camps in far flung parts of the country.  The country was experiencing a wave of fear towards Japanese-Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II.  Thousands of these American citizens would spend years held prisoner behind barbed wire fence and guard towers.  Families and lives would be torn apart, and this part of American history would spend decades practically erased from our history books.  After all, something such as concentration camps couldn’t happen in a country such as the United States.  Could it?

In my new novel Gardens of Hope, can two men from the same city but segregated worlds maintain a connection during a time in US history that not only brands one of them as the enemy but denies that a love such as theirs exists?

Michael Holloway Perronne

About the Author

Michael Holloway Perronne is the author of eight books including: "A Time Before Me," "Falling Into Me", "A Time Before Us, Men Can Do Romance"  "Gardens of Hope," and"Embrace the Rain."  His debut novel, "A Time Before Me" won the BronzeAward, Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Award in the Gay/Lesbian fiction category.  

Michael was born and raised in Mississippi.  He received a BA in Film from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MFA in Drama and Communications from the University of New Orleans.  

He currently resides in Southern California and is working on his next novel, "The Other Side of Happy."

His recent release is Gardens of Hope.



About the Book:

Author: Michael Holloway Perronne
Publisher: Chances Press
Pages: 268
Genre: Gay fiction/Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

On the surface, Jack appears to have all a man in World War II era 1941 could want with his solid middle-class background, upcoming college graduation, and the perfect, devoted fiancee. But one night when he accidentally stumbles upon a shadow life of men who desire other men in a Downtown Los Angeles park, he begins to realize exactly what has always left him with a feeling of emptiness.
Despite the constant danger of being arrested by vice cops, Jack continues to visit the park every chance he has to feel a connection, no matter how fleeting, with another man. One night he meets a handsome and charismatic Japanese-American, Hiro, who appears to want more than a quick encounter, and Jack surprises himself by starting to truly fall in love for the first time.
However, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066 and orders the mandatory relocation of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, who have never been charged with a crime, to far flung internment camps sites. Jack and Hiro suddenly find themselves torn apart before their secret, fledgling romance can blossom. Desperate to find and reconnect with Hiro, Jack accepts a high school teaching position at an internment camp in the California desert, Manzanar. There, surrounded by armed guard towers and a prison-like environment, Jack begins to fully realize the injustices being faced by Japanese-Americans during one of the most controversial times of United States history and shifts his world view- forever.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Dear Reader, Love William R. Leibowitz

Dear Reader…

I’d like to tell you what Miracle Man is about and why I wrote it.

Miracle Man tells the story of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history (we’re talking 10X Einstein’s brain power), from the time of his birth and tragic childhood through his extraordinary accomplishments in curing diseases.  The book is a psychological/medical thriller with a fast paced twisting plot as Austin battles the powerful forces, external and internal, that seek to destroy him.

I wrote Miracle Man for a few reasons.  One was that I wanted to create a believable modern day ‘super hero’ who is an ‘anti-celebrity’.  I thought that such a person could be inspirational when contrasted with the meritless celebrities that dominate media today (e.g., the reality TV stars who are famous for being famous, but have no real talent).

 I also wanted Miracle Man to be the vehicle within which I could convey, in an entertainment context, certain spiritual and humanistic messages that are important to me. 
In particular, one of the underlying themes in Miracle Man is the sanctity of each and every human life.  As the story of the protagonist unfolds, I think the reader will come to appreciate that one can never predict the ramifications of one person’s death.  Robert James Austin should have died as a new born, but he was saved in the most unlikely of manners; he then went on to change the world in extraordinary ways.  His life was not expendable.  We all are bombarded every day by statistics of death –how many people died in the latest war, or from famine, or epidemic or other manmade or natural cataclysm.  People’s lives are jumbled together by the media as meaningless numbers.  But what I want the reader of Miracle Man to think about ---is the individual.  That’s why Miracle Man begins with the quotation from Scriptures – “To destroy one life is to destroy an entire world, and to save one life is to save an entire world.”

In writing Miracle Man, I also wanted to get readers thinking about a real-life problem that affects us all. One of the powerful forces fighting Bobby Austin is “Big Pharma” which views him as their enemy since he cures diseases and thereby makes many of their “cash-cow” drugs obsolete.  In short, Austin is bad for their business.  Like Austin, I find it incomprehensible that virtually no major disease has been cured in over 50 years.  How can that be the case when so much money has been spent over the decades on research?  Simply put, there’s a lot more money in treating symptoms than there is in curing diseases.  Austin realized that Big Pharma has no interest in curing diseases.  It just wants to keep on selling expensive symptom treatments –and as we know, many people are on expensive ‘medication maintenance programs’ for years, sometimes for life.  Austin wanted to change that.  I think people need to start questioning Big Pharma on many fronts –from the price of drugs -- to why there aren’t more cures.

---So what I tried to do in Miracle Man is first and foremost to write a “page turner” that engages and entertains readers.  But within that entertainment context I wanted to get my readers thinking. 

About the Author

William Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years.  He has represented numerous renowned creative people and many leading intellectual property companies.  William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University.  He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George.

William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times--when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero--and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man.



About the Book:

Author: William Leibowitz
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Pages: 385
Genre: Thriller

                       REVERED     REVILED      REMARKABLE

The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero.  Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real. 

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history.  But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect.  Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal.  But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.

Miracle Man was named by Amazon as one of the Top 100 Novels of 2015, an Amazon Top 10 thriller, an Amazon bestseller and an Amazon NY Times bestseller.  


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dear Reader, Love Amber Leigh Williams

Dear Reader…

If you’ve ever read a good romance novel, you’ll know that it’s not just about falling in love or what happens between the sheets. Romance novels are about hope. They combine vulnerability with strength. They create a roller coaster of relationship pitfalls – real-life or high-stakes, yet always believable.

In romance, there’s a guaranteed happy ending but the characters earn it as individuals and together. I write romance novels in which the man and woman are equals; they respect each other, they fight with each other and for each another.

The heroine of WOOING THE WEDDING PLANNER fights for herself. Recently divorced, wedding planner Roxie Honeycutt struggles to maintain her long-held notions of optimism even if her ideals as a helpless romantic take a significant bashing from her ex.

Living in the same Victorian house as a frustrating (and handsome) cynic like Byron Strong shouldn’t improve matters. But, in an odd way, it does. Byron knows how to rebuild one’s life and oneself and recognizes the pain Roxie hides behind her trademark smile.

A reluctant gentleman, he sets out to help her take back her personal life. But it’s Roxie who teaches him, perhaps inadvertently, that it takes more than a new normal to realize happiness and neither she nor Byron should accept anything less in life.

I’m rarely as surprised by a character as I was while writing Roxie Honeycutt’s. Through the course of her divorce and the antics of her ex as well as the tough emotional forays she carves with Byron, she shouldn’t maintain her smile or the sparkle of the optimist.

Not only she does she manage this in WOOING THE WEDDING PLANNER; she reinvigorates her visions of happy-ever-after. Not just for the brides and grooms she serves, but for herself. It is courageous. It is affirming, as I hope it is to you, dear reader. For anyone who has lost love or faith in happy-ever-afters, Roxie and Byron are for you, as is their story.

Happy reading,

Amber Leigh Williams

About the Author

Amber Leigh Williams is a Harlequin romance writer who lives on the US Gulf Coast. She lives for beach days, the smell of real books, and spending time with her husband and their two young children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones (and two large dogs), she can usually be found reading a good book or indulging her inner foodie. Amber is represented by the D4EO Literary Agency.



About the Book:

Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin (Superromance)
Pages: 380
Genre: Series Romance/Contemporary Romance/Superromance

No more wedding marches for her! 

Wedding planner Roxie Honeycutt can make happy-ever-after come true for anyone except herself. Freshly divorced and done with love, she's okay with watching clients walk down the aisle. What's not okay? Sharing a charming Victorian house with accountant Byron Strong. He's frustratingly sexy and determined to keep her confused. 

Roxie thought Byron's expertise was numbers, yet somehow he sees her for who she really is. Somehow he understands the hurt she hides behind a trademark smile. Suddenly romance is tempting again, even if it means risking another heartbreak.



Dear Reader, Love Alba Lewis

Dear Reader…

This book, like most books I guess, has been swirling in my mind for a while now.   Like most ‘How To’ books, you have questions and thoughts, and over time, you work out answers, try them on friends and decide they are good enough to tell everyone else.

Which is exactly what happened to me and this book.

How can I not be interested in relationship with the man I love?

But there are a few things that have really bugged me over the years.

Firstly I haven’t quite bought into the complete separation of men and women.  What I mean by this is that though I have read books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and though I used to in my teen years soak in how Cosmopolitan was telling me how to keep a man happy every month, I never quite felt sure that the separation between the genders was so great. 

What I’m trying to say is that I  notice that both male and female friends, all of whom I care for dearly, were actually saying the same thing.  And worse than that a lot of it was buying into the idea that relationships were doomed from the start because of the gender difference.

And yet I heard the same arguments from each side.  So how different are we really?  Do relationships fail because we are different genders?

Certainly my gay friends have proven this not to be the case. Their own trials and traumas equal any straight persons journey into love.

I watched myself in relationships. How they work when they work and how they hurt and fail as they topple over into the abyss.

And still I wondered.  Why is this so very hard.

But I’m jumping to an end that I don’t even know the answer to.   I don’t understand why things are so hard.  But what I am able to do is one big thing.  I am able, as a woman, to tell you, the male who loves their woman, how to do one thing a week and experience how this will make a difference.

I do not try to explain why.  It’s psychobabble and at the end of the day it only matters if it works.

So I wrote this book.  Part 1 is the survey I did of over 100 women and their answers about romance.  This was to offer some anecdotal evidence, but also I wanted to stop this idea that a man must have money to make a woman ‘happy’. (I put ‘happy’ in inverted commas because happy is really a personal pursuit – but that’s another book).

For now this book, small and concise, yet took years and many drafts to put together, starts with the anecdotes and then gives you the reader one action per week for 21 weeks to keep that relationship you want so much not only to work but to work better.

After all this book’s value is only in the outcome of doing the actions and reaping the benefits.

The only thing that I will have to argue one day is why I tell you, the man who loves his woman, why he must not, under any circumstances, let her know he  is following a book. This must be a secret between you and me.



About the Author

Alba is an author, comedy podcaster, strategist in the not for profit center, a certified de bono effective thinker and many other things.  Curious about choices and life situations Alba’s books offer the reader a chance to enter fictional and her factional worlds to have fun, encounter themselves, and perhaps even recognise the chances to change.
Her latest book is the self-help book, Relationship Maintenance 4 Men.



About the Book:

Author: Alba Lewis
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 57
Genre: Self-Help

A practical guide to support men who love their women with 21 tasks, one each week. 

Written a ‘just do’ guide and based on a survey conducted with over 100 women, the book aims to give actionable tasks that will create better relationships.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dear Reader, Love, Barb Caffrey

Dear Reader…

First of all, thanks for being willing to take a chance on an all-but-unknown writer. Not everyone will do that, which shows that either you are a risk-taker by nature, or you genuinely like the idea of finding new authors and their stories.

But I suppose I should introduce myself before I go any further.

My name is Barb Caffrey. I am a writer with two music degrees (a Bachelor's and a Master's, for my sins), and I edit for a living. I am a sports fan who loves what used to be called "alternative rock" or grunge music, despite being a trained classical and jazz musician on the clarinet, saxophone, and oboe. I am a widow—truly, something I didn't seek out, much less this early—trying to keep her own writing alive, and her late husband Michael B. Caffrey's writing alive as well. I believe in the power of love over the love of power. And I've loved science fiction and fantasy since I first discovered it at age nine or so.

All of these things—well, maybe not the sports so much—went into the writing of my most recent novel, Changing Faces.

How did that happen, you ask? Well, Changing Faces is the story of two clarinetists, Allen Bridgeway and his fiancée, Elaine Foster. They love each other very much, but because of trauma in Elaine's past and the fact that, unbeknownst to Allen, she is both gender-fluid and transgender, she is having a hard time fully committing to him. When she finally tells Allen who and what she is, he's floored, and doesn't know what to do…he prays that they find a way to stay together, and some higher beings not bound to our linear time take pity on him and Elaine.

But the way they do it isn't what Allen expects.

You see, on a very bad wintry night, Allen and Elaine are involved in a car accident. The beings take Allen's soul and bind it into Elaine's body, then take Elaine's soul and put it into Allen's. Because Allen's old body is heavily damaged, one of the beings talks with her while she's comatose in the Place of Dreams and Nightmares—a place humans go every night when they sleep, though most of us don't remember much about it upon wakening. And Allen wakes up in the hospital, in Elaine's body, unable to tell anyone he's Allen, not Elaine.

So, instead of one LGBT person, we now have two LGBT people. Both still in love with each other, in a horrible situation, not knowing if the other will forgive them (Allen worries about Elaine even being in his body, while Elaine worries that no one understands Allen now, and blames herself for putting them in this terrible position).

But regardless of the outward form, they are still Allen and Elaine. Still in love. Still doing their best to figure out how to live with each other, heal completely, and go on and get married…if they can.

Because as my tagline for Changing Faces states: "… once you find your soulmate, the universe will do almost anything to keep you together—even change your faces."

Now, do you need to be LGBT in order to appreciate Changing Faces? No, though it can't hurt…personally, I believe anyone who loves romance with a hint of fantasy should enjoy this story, as it's all about one soul calling to another, and being answered regardless of form.

So do, please, check out my new novel, Changing Faces, and let me know what you think!


Barb Caffrey