Thank you for stopping in. Your interest in my writing means the world. If you have not read my work, please visit my BOOKS page for more details. If you have read SOULED OUT, FRAYED, or TIN MOON, please leave a review online and be sure to tell a friend. Your voice matters more than anything. Word-of-mouth and reviews are the most important ways for authors to be discovered by new readers.

Thank you for taking time to stop in and learn more about me. You are wonderful!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Connection and Healing by author Sofia Wren

My guest today, Sofia Wren, author of 'From Doormat to Manifest Goddess', has been very, very patient with this writer. If you haven't noticed, I have been horrible with time management this year. And it only seems to be growing increasingly worse.

Here's to crossing my fingers that my mind find's its way back from vacation sooner rather than later. In the meantime, please show Sofia some love! Her story is awesome and touching.

Writing for Connection and Healing
by Sofia Wren
  
I needed to write, I needed to express the pain that had built inside of me and which sought release.
 
About a year ago I began to write From Doormat to Manifest Goddess. It started out with my pen scribbling and scribbling memories from 2009.
 
---A sensitive 22 year old girl seeks the identity of the strong woman she is to become. She convinces herself the only way to find answers, love, and control over her life is to become a Dominant Woman in the Philly BDSM scene. But she finds more than she bargains for....
 
Some people would have thought it irresponsible to have moved on to a new story before I had finished editing Line of Isis, the mermaid fantasy which had been my baby for the previous two years.
 
But when we are called to write---who are we to stand in the way of inspiration?
 
To me this story had been waiting to be told since I lived it in 2009-2010. It was the year I became a woman, a true coming of age for me. An odd one, definitely.
 
I just wish my na├»ve youth hadn't ended with heartbreak and disappointment. I just wished it hadn't been a process of feeling unacceptable, unlovable, and strange. 
 
And so I began writing, pulling the memories like pieces, trying to fit together the pieces. For a long time I kept asking, how could it all have gone down differently? What did I do wrong? Did anything go right?
 
Until finally in the process of writing, editing and exploring, I realized that the woman behind the pen was OK all along. That neither that period of my life nor the book needed to be perfect. It just needed to happen.
 
I realized I didn't want to live in the dark my whole life, to use a pen name that no one would ever know was me. In the process of writing I changed from Wren Doloro to Sofia Wren, using my birth name and pen name together. Soon this name will be what I use for all business communication.
 
In the writing of my tale, I found myself able to gain objectivity and to step out of it. I found out how to be a Manifest Goddess, to live a life of my own design, and I learned to obtain everything I need and desire.
 
After much angst, I decided the best way to tell the story would be to make it fiction, because outside of my ego, the book could grow and become something more powerful to every woman who reads it.
 
And so I prepare to do the final final revision before a professional edit. I'm ready to let this story go--the journey of a strong woman in a world not ready for her.
 
By publishing this work, I hope to change the world. This is my journey From Doormat to Manifest Goddess.
 
To hear more please join my email list for the latest news. As a thank you, you will be one of the first to receive access to the free ecourse The 7 Mistake Luminaries Make and How to Shine Through. This will be delivered when my new site will be launched in the next 2 weeks at www.sofiawren.comSofia Wren is a Renaissance woman: writer, intuitive counselor, and content coach. With her heart felt services she can help you heal your story, inspire your spirit, and write a beautiful world into being.
 
Her work includes 1-1 holistic life, business and writing coaching, energetic assessments, Oracle card readings, and Breakthrough Days. She is a honors graduate from Bryn Mawr College, a nerd for writing & business techniques, a Law of Attraction coach, and a priestess of ceremonies.
 
Please contact sofia@sofiawren.com to apply for a free 20 minute session to see how she can help you to express your light. 
Fan me on Facebook www.facebook.com/ManifestGoddess
Friend me on Facebook www.facebook.com/SofiaWren
www.sofiawren.com (or if unavailable due to construction: http://wrendoloro.blogspot.com )
 

An excerpt From Doormat to Manifest Goddess
by Sofia Wren
 
Why did I always have to fight to get my due?
 
As I stood across the desk, I watched my boss circle the top number of the column and begin to write me a check in silence. I had provided pages of calculations to prove that I had been underpaid this August.
 
To be truthful, I suspected I had been underpaid for months. But that I couldn’t prove. The checks had all come back from my summer job with hours rounded nicely. 20 hours, 30, maybe 25.
 
Except that I knew that it never balanced out so nice and even in my reality. Too bad I hadn’t tallied the real hours myself until now, I thought, sucking my teeth. My previous time sheets were lost to the void.
 
My dentist-cum-shopkeeper employer turned the check over to me with a bright, “Here ya go, Sam.” The check was for the amount of $231.25, the number he had circled, but not the total owed to me. He owed me twice that. I felt shock reawaken the fit of adrenaline already flowing through me.
 
“But sir,” I began, confused. Surely a dentist understood math, “There are other numbers in the column, and this is the sum.” I pointed to the figure in the universal recognized spot below the line.
 
“You didn’t get paid $400? Well, how did that happen?” He asked accusingly, not so nice now.
 
“I don’t know.” I stammered. I’d always had a bad feeling about this guy. It was weird, a dentist who rode a motorcycle and ran a store that sold bags?
 
He was large like he worked out constantly, with huge broad shoulders. Usually his voice boomed in a friendly way that raised my hackles and reminded me of my summer read, Devil in the White City. People thought the devil seemed like a nice guy, too, and no one guessed at his crimes.
 
“I’m going to need to check those numbers.”
 
“Please do,” I offered, “You have my cell phone number.”
 
I walked out into the sunshine of historic downtown but my stomach churned. Half was better than nothing, except if I’d been jipped hundreds more earlier that summer... I fingered the folded paper and sighed. I wished life were fair.
 
This was my last walk down Randal street for the summer. Down at the Annapolis harbor people were out in droves, clogging the streets and shoveling down ice cream. I found my car and headed home to finish packing.
 
After I told my Dad about my boss, I waited for his response. I expected him to be as aghast as me. But instead he looked defeated as he licked a roll up cigarette closed, “It sucks but maybe you should just leave it. It’s not enough money to go to court or anything.”
 
Disappointment filled me and then anger. I didn’t even know what to say, and so I climbed the stairs to my room.
 
As I grabbed boxes and carried them out to the car, my mind whirred, processing. My anger fueled the physical activity and built hotter.
 
All this time I had refused to act on my instinct. Now how was I supposed to motivate the cretin to pay up while I was at school? Sure, it was possible he would do the right thing, but what would I do if he didn’t? I should’ve spoken up earlier, god, why had I been such a coward? I stuffed bags of clothes over the boxes of books and disassembled furniture. For months I’d held back, acting like payment in full was a delicate favor rather than my right.
 
I never spoke up soon enough. Maybe my dad’s attitude was the reason I never told him about all the shit my stepmom used to say. I blinked the tears back.
 
Heart pounding and nerves alight, I jogged upstairs to snatch the blankets and pillows from my bed. The floral purple quilt always felt too girly, but no one asked me my opinion.
 
On top of the clothes, I made a nest of blankets and pillows to support my new harp. Dad had bought it for me for my birthday. It was the only instrument that had ever been easy to play and I loved it, but now I felt ungrateful. I half didn’t believe myself—that the problem had been my stepmom, and not over-sensitive me all along.
 
Maybe if I had opened my mouth he would have opened his eyes, maybe then today I’d have more courage, and more money in my pocket.
 
But as I closed the trunk, I doubted he would’ve seen anything but what he wanted to see. And it would’ve all been the same, maybe worse. I hated arguing, what did it ever get me?
 
Purse over my shoulder, I gave my dad a hug. I stepped back to observe the shoes that refused to walk away. My throat choked and strained to say, “You know, you’re my only parent. Aren’t you supposed to tell me to stand up for myself?” My eyebrows lifted, questioning.
 
He didn’t have an answer.
 
The drive was three hours to Bryn Mawr College. I was going back my old dorm, Brecon. Even though it was the on the ass end of campus, I’d requested it every year. That’s where my friends were.
 
Yes, I refused that paid residential advisor job I worked so hard for. It was in another dorm. So I said no. I couldn’t leave my friends for Senior Year.
 
For now, though, I was alone with my thoughts. As I gassed the pedal, I ran memories back and forth through my mind-- All the times I let other people walk all over me. Jobs where I was unhappy, girls who spread rumors, men who didn’t treat me right. Tears sunk down my cheeks.
 
I thought about Joe, the guy who dated me for three months before telling me he planned to date other people. He wanted to find his “Every Woman.” Clearly, I wasn’t it. I wasn’t enough, something about me had failed to please. But on our second date he’d bought me flowers.
 
And then there was last summer in Massachusetts when a guy sang my praises on the phone and begged me to come home. So I did, only for him to ignore me until he wanted to get laid a week later. Why did people do this to me? Why did I let this happen? Wasn’t there supposed to be some reward for being a good person?
 
I just wanted to be loved and treated right, but as I sobbed, I felt so far away from that dream.
 
After combing my life, I had only one real conclusion—that I must be more fucked up than I’d realized. I needed counseling, I decided. Maybe that would help.
 
I never did get that money. I called over and over. Finally I got my friend Mary to sit next to me for my last call. The guy picked up and said he’d ring after the customer left, an excuse he’d used a couple times by now. I asked for an exact time.
 
Mary agreed that she didn’t like the nasty way he asked “Why?” I had an SGA meeting that night is why, and papers to write.
 
He never did call back, but other things soon carried my attention away.
 
 
Friend me on Facebook www.facebook.com/SofiaWren
www.sofiawren.com (or if unavailable due to construction: http://wrendoloro.blogspot.com )
 
 
Thank you, Sofia!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

'Emergence' review


‘Emergence’, the last novel in Rachel E. Fisher’s breathtaking trilogy ‘Eden’s Root’, proves to be a moving, cathartic closure to the series. While I always focus on Fi, the truth is, I fell in love with all of the characters, especially Asher and Sean.

Without dropping plot bombs here, I will only say that I applaud the way these characters have grown through their trials and heartache but still –always- maintain a sense of youth and spark. Even in their darkest hours, even when Fi is in “the nothing”, I never lose sight of what makes her her. As the war with the Truthers rages, I still see Fi for Fi, Asher for Asher, etc… Fisher’s characters do not grow into strangers, changing too fast for readers to comprehend. They grow into themselves. They flourish in dust and blood as real people do.

Fisher doesn’t hold back. She never has. That’s what makes the ‘Eden’s Root’ series great. But I will admit, while I usually shy away from such endings, I did have a rewarding smile on my lips as I read the final pages. I felt a wholeness, and that is quite a feat for an author to accomplish.

There. I know this review sounds elusive, but so much happens in ‘Emergence’ and I don’t want to spoil it for fellow readers. 

I loved it! Fisher brings the series to a close with heart. 

     

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Indie Life -Interview with author Teshelle Combs



Teshelle Combs is the awesome author of 'Core', 
a young adult novel about a girl and...her dragon. You heard me. :)

A perfect read for dragon, shapeshifter, and supernatural enthusiasts, 'Core' introduces us to Ava Johnson's world. She's tough, but not without heart. And the reader can't help but fall in love with her as well as her relationship with Cale Anders, a sympathetic, enigmatic hottie who just happens to be a red dragon (err, he will be one day if he can find a rider and make the shift).

Click here for my full review. 

E-BOOK
PAPERBACK

Now it's interview time!

Hello, Teshelle! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Let's see...obviously, my name is Teshelle Combs, though I oftengo by the nickname Tess. I'm 24 years old, married and expecting my first baby by the end of August, and I live in Cape Coral, FL. Both my hubs and I graduated from the University of Central Florida, me with a bachelor's in English.

Coming from St. Thomas where storytelling was part of your upbringing, who, as a storyteller, has inspired you the most?

Definitely my dad. He's a fantastic storyteller, from preaching on a Sunday morning, to telling me jokes on the way home from school in the afternoons. Storytelling is a huge part of our culture. Every get-together is centered around relaxing, eating good food, and sharing stories.

How did you meet Ava, the main character of 'Core'? Did she come to you in a dream, an explosive moment of clarity, or a slower process?

Ava was inspired by my childhood best friend. The toughness of her, the ability to care for others without seeking others to care for her, and yes, even the boxing are inspired by the girl who accepted my friendship proposal in third grade beneath the coconut tree at recess. Of course, Ava has grown into her own character and differs in many ways from my friend, but the Ava seed? I have my bf to thank for that!

If you could tell Ava or any of her counterparts one thing, what would it be?

I would tell most of my characters one thing: sorry.

Sorry I imagined you just to put you through all this turmoil. Sorry that I sacrifice your comfort for the sake of character conflict. Sorry that you come second to the needs of my plot. I feel kind of guilty, and maybe a little like a villain, but hey...at least I'm sorry!

What have you learned from your characters?

I've learned not to take things at face value, that there's always more to the story. My characters teach me how to see past people's mistakes; that they have hurt, they have motive, they have reasons for everything they do or say. I suppose, in a nutshell, my characters teach me how life is a lot like plot. Each real-life character I meet has a backstory that I don't know, and because of that, I should be more patient, more understanding, and overall I should attempt to be a better reader of life-stories.

Do you have other series in the works -on page or in your mind?

I do! I have half a novel written that I think would make a great story. It's more of a love story, but my characters are so intriguing. It's already gone through my number one beta reader/biggest fan, who thinks it's marvelous (because she's my little sister, and that's kind of her job). But I also need to work on the sequel for Core, so my fans don't stop at the Home Depot to grab pitch forks. I'm hoping to whip myself into gear and get to work on the new series, as well as the sequel to Core.

Please answer James Lipton's final ten:

What is your favorite word?

Hi. 

What is your least favorite word?

Relax

What turns you on?

Unexpected kiss on the cheek.

What turns you off? 

When he puckers, and you lean in for the kiss, but he was actually just burping.

What sound or noise do you love?

The horn on my brother's 2004 Volkswagon Jetta.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Scratchy noises, like on a chalkboard or really any firm surface.

What is your favorite curse word?

Dagnabbit.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Photography!

What profession would you not like to do?

Any office job. Literally ANY office job. They suck the life out of my soul. 

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Well done, daughter. Welcome home. 


Thank you so much, Teshelle! 
I can't wait for the sequel to 'Core'.

And for the rest of you, don't forget to hop!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Core' by Teshelle Combs, book review


I’ll be honest. I’ve never read a “dragon” book. I am totally devoted to vampires, creepy-crawlies, and fuzzy shapeshifters. Reading about dragons never crossed my mind. But it wasn’t just the beautiful cover of ‘Core’ that hooked me.

Teshelle Combs’ writing is superbly descriptive and genuine. Her dialogue flows smoothly while offering a unique distinction to each character. Ava, the seventeen-year-old heroine, is brought to full bloom by Combs. She is damaged, yet strong. Walked on, yet above it all. Victimized, though never a victim. So the relationship she forms with Cale, a red dragon, feels very rewarding. Their relationship exposes small facets of Ava’s life that are otherwise hidden.

It is very pleasant to watch the boy chase the girl for once -and not be domineering, pushy, or creepy. Cale is sincere, to say the least, and has many layers, as do all of the characters. Most importantly, his attraction to Ava feels real. It is validated not by lust, but by true attraction on multiple levels. While the pace moves swiftly, Ava and Cale manage to share tender moments and small gestures that bind them even closer, endearing them more to readers. I especially appreciated the moments when Cale DID try to put his foot down and Ava does all but pat his head and say, “How sweet.”

Threaded throughout the storyline, propelling the drive further, are character traits for each type of being. For example, red dragons emit heat, are quite boisterous, and have the power to be healed by fire as well as entertained by it for hours, while blue dragons prefer stillness and would get along smashingly with Sheldon from ‘The Big Bang Theory’. The ‘Nightfolk’ are genius, too. This term covers all the “bumps in the night.” And they are anything but average portrayals. These melancholic creatures are intriguing.

‘Core’ is full of action, as well. I love that Combs isn’t afraid to push the limits. That’s the whole point of fiction, right? Especially fantasy. To grab the normal limits and throw them off a cliff. (There is a killer plane scene that left me with an evil smile.)

Overall, I enjoyed all of the characters (with the exception of Ava’s foster mother, who is just kind of a boob), and felt that the progression of Ava’s decent into the dragon world as a ‘rider’ was well paced and exceptionally written with realistic touches. ‘Core’ is a rare book that makes it to my ‘Read Again’ pile. It will definitely be a go-to book, and I look forward to the rest in the series.

In a nutshell: Ava is a young, local fighter, and she’s damned good. In the end, she realizes that she doesn’t have to approach everything like a fight. She can love just as well. 

The final verdict: 
Every girl needs a dragon... 
Some girls might want to stock up. 
I'm not judging.
I might be one of them. ;)


Friday, June 14, 2013

Interview with author Ronda Caudill

I was lucky to get an interview with author Ronda Caudill, Ph.D. today, so show her some love!

Hi Ronda! Thank you for taking the time to stop by. First, please tell us a little about yourself. 

I am married (24 years) to my high school sweetheart. I have two daughters and a son-in-law. I have a wonderful and supportive family that I am so thankful for. My educational background consists of a BA in Interdisciplinary English, a MA in Education and a PhD in Education. To date I have three books and a short story published: Birthright and the Choice are both part of the Nobleman Novel series, Forbidden Fruit and the short story is titled A Night at the Bishop House. I write primarily paranormal romance and horror. 

What genres do you enjoy reading and writing? Why?

Paranormal and horror. I have always been fascinated with the paranormal.

Which authors inspire you as a writer?

Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.

What is the draw for readers in 'Birthright' and the sequel, 'The Choice'? 

They are not only a paranormal romance but they bring in just about anything supernatural that a reader could want. This series follows an immortal Blake Billings and his lost love and reincarnated Nila Jones. 

Ooh, you've got my attention!
  
Please describe ‘Birthright’ in 50 words, 10 words, and 1 word. 

The Nobleman series, Book I
The Nobleman series, Book II
50 -Since Nila’s 17th she has been dreaming about a handsome young man. On the first day of her junior year she discovers that he is not a dream but a real guy—a new guy in school. They quickly discover that being together is not as easy as it is for normal teenagers.

10 -Nila and Blake rediscover a lost love that has many obstacles.

1 -Bewitching.

 Are you working on a project now? 

I am currently working on the first book in the Glasshouse Children of Ravenshire series. It is a children’s series kind of along the lines of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Spiderwick Chronicles. It is about five children—the Frye children but everyone in the town of Ravenshire call them the Glasshouse children. This series will follow each child in at least one adventure. There will be at least five in the series with an introductory book called Ravenshire that gives a background on everyone in town. Ravenshire and the first Glasshouse Children book are slated to be released together sometime this summer.

That sounds like something my daughter and I would love to read together. I can already tell you that 'Ravenshire' will be a "must have" on our reading list this summer.  

Where can readers fall in love with you and your books?

My books are available on Amazon. Readers can find out what’s new with me at www.rondacaudillbooks.com and they can check out books and authors that I discover on my blog at http://rondacaudill.wordpress.com. 

As a crazy movie lover and fan of ‘Inside the Actors Studio’, I am now going to force you to answer James Lipton’s final ten:

1. What is your favorite word? Inordinate

2. What is your least favorite word? Like

3. What turns you on? Romance

4. What turns you off? People who are stuck on themselves

5. What sound or noise do you love? A kitten meow

6. What sound or noise do you hate? Loud vehicles

7. What is your favorite curse word? F*%$

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Acting

9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything manually laborious

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? I read all of your books and absolutely loved them.

I have to agree with loving a kitten's meow. And your answer for #10 is classic! 
 
Thank you again, Ronda, for taking time from your busy schedule to give my readers a treat today!

More books by Ronda Caudill:

Southern Gothic short story of terror
A tale of Jack the Ripper

You can visit Ronda here:


!!! HAPPY FRIDAY !!!


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

'Guardian of Werewolf Keep' by Nhys Glover -Review


‘Guardian of Werewolf Keep’ by Nhys Glover is a very heartfelt read. Young Phil –short for Philomena- must travel to the lonely end of the moors and live among werewolves for three months, as stated by her father’s will, in order to receive her inheritance -Her father’s legacy, which answers many questions regarding their estranged relationship.

While there were many unexpected pleasures, there were a few things that I did not care for, such as the instant chemistry between Phil and Byron (the guardian). It is easy to understand how Byron could become immediately captivated with Phil after being surrounded by grief and burden for many years. Though, with Phil’s background as a simple worker surrounded by men who thought they were too good for her, I would have expected Phil to react firstly by throwing up her learned guards rather than surrendering to her lust. But as the story progresses, the ups and downs of their relationship feel very sincere and realistic, as does their love. (After all, Byron is a genuine, sweet hottie. Who’s gonna toss HIM back? ;)

Also, I felt that the letter from Phil’s deceased father disclosed too much information. Rather, it would have been more natural for Phil to learn these things while staying in his room and investigating. In letter form, the information sank in as fact, but did not garner much of an emotional response from the reader.

However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I loved the solitary feel of the moor and the utterly fantastic way that Glover brings the residents and the Keep, its self, alive. It is a very unique experience. Though readers meet the Keep and the residents by way of Phil’s initial presumptions, Glover makes sure that the way the residents view themselves and their predicament are equally explored. Because this information is so intricately layered throughout the book, the entire storyline is richer. I honestly enjoyed all of the characters and look forward to Glover’s spin-off story about Jasper. (But I have to say that my favorite character is Charlotte. :)

If you are looking for a fast-paced, action-packed read, this story is not for you.

‘Guardian of Werewolf Keep’ is perfect for readers who enjoy love stories with substance and a classical supernatural touch. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: The Scarlet Dagger



'The Scarlet Dagger' by Krystle Jones was a pleasant surprise. I downloaded this novel for free on Amazon, unsure at first. However, knee-deep in chapter one and I was hooked.

The post vampire-ravaged world was very interesting to visit. At times the underground of the Red Sector reminded me of the militant crew who invaded Sunnydale during a season of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (in a good way). The above-ground world was a mix of elitism and blood-soaked poverty. Very powerful imagery accompanied strong characters.

And I warmed to the main character, Sloane, fairly quickly. She was easy to relate to and -while she doubted her decisions and surroundings at times, making her even more relateable- Sloane always rose bravely to the occasion in a realistic way.

The only thing that turned out a bit below expectation was the male love interest, Aden. (SPOILER ALERT) Very promising at first, I was slightly put off when Sloane, ordered under his charge, had to live in Aden's apartment with him...and his mom. I understand that Sloane is only seventeen. However, with such a tall order of "adultness" in every other area of their lives, this was a very large step backward. The sweet interactions and situations will very much appeal to a wide range of readers. I just preferred Aden's manly qualities over his boyish charms. That's all. But it did not break the pace or ruin genuine moments in the storyline.

Overall, I loved 'The Scarlet Dagger' and plan to purchase the sequel. It is a great YA read.