Tag Archives: non-fiction authors

Welcome… Author Jamie Baywood!

final book design

Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country’s population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.


“Just like “biscuits,” the word “rooting” has a completely different meaning in New Zealand than it does in California. In California, one would say they need to get rooted when they settle in somewhere, as in, to put down roots, to ground themselves. After living oblivious to the New Zealand definition for five months and while brushing my teeth with Liam the other night, I told him, “I’m really excited to live in this house because I really need to get rooted. I traveled all around Samoa for a month before I came here, and the first place I lived in New Zealand didn’t work out, so I had to move. I’m excited to stay in one place long enough to get rooted.”

Liam’s eyes almost popped out of his head, and he just about choked on his toothbrush. He spat out his toothpaste, staring at me out of the corner of his eye. Finally he spoke, “Jamie, are you hitting on me? Do you know what rooting means here?”” page 55.


About the Author:

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.

Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites:



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Welcome… Author Anne Strauss!!!

Hi Everyone,

Today we have a guest post written by author Anne Strauss. She is here to tell us how she was inspired to write her book, A Medical Affair.

I hope you all enjoy!



by Anne McCarthy Strauss

Nobody Talks About It, But Doctor/Patient Affairs Happen All the Time

What if your medical doctor wanted to have sex with you? What if he greeted you with a full frontal hug instead of a handshake when he walked into the exam room? What if his hand lingered over your breast a little longer than necessary when he listened to your heartbeat? What if he wrote his cell phone number on his prescription pad and handed it to you saying, “Call any time?”

Nobody talks about it, but it happens all the time. Over 12 percent of doctors admit to having had an affair with at least one of their patients. And most of those patients feel flattered at the attention of the highly regarded doctor. This is because the average person has absolutely no idea that a doctor having an affair with a patient violates the Medical Code of Ethics and is illegal in most states. The doctor can be prosecuted. He can – and should – lose his license to practice medicine.

One of my favorite endorsements of my book, A MEDICAL AFFAIR, was written by a nurse with over two decades of experience. Lorraine Austin, RN wrote:

As a medical professional for over 25 years, I have seen the problem of inappropriate doctor/patient relationships many times. It happens so frequently and yet it’s seldom talked about beyond office gossip. A MEDICAL AFFAIR is the first novel to explain to the reader that when he or she is approached by their personal physician as a lover, they are not being flattered, they are being victimized. Medical professionals know this, and Anne McCarthy Strauss is the first novelist to reveal the truth to those who have no inclination that they are being abused.

“They are not being flattered, they are being victimized.” My goal in writing A MEDICAL AFFAIR was to make every person – and every potential victim – in this situation aware of the truth behind the flattery. I intend to write more books in the future in novel format that portray various human issues and let the reader know how to resolve them. I feel the “story” element of a novel may be more easily absorbed by many readers than is the traditional self help book.

I was inspired to write A MEDICAL AFFAIR after hearing too many stories from women who had had the experience of having had an affair with their doctor… and ended up devastated. My goal was to write a sort of self-help book in the format of a novel…and I am pleased to see it is being reviewed as just that.

A MEDICAL AFFAIR is the fictitious tale of a woman who falls for her doctor and has an affair with him. It tells the story of a woman who falls deeply for a man she relies upon…even though the situation tells her she should run from him as fast as she can.

While telling the story of protagonist Heather Morrison’s affair with her doctor, Jeffrey Davis, MD, A MEDICAL AFFAIR at the same time shows a woman exactly how to traverse the slippery slope of disengaging herself from such an affair, and seeing that the doctor gets what he deserves for preying upon his patient. Few people realize that the doctor-patient dynamic puts the patient in the same situation as a child abused by a teacher, even though the patient is an adult.

Here’s an excerpt from A MEDICAL AFFAIR. It’s about 1/3 into the book after the protagonist, Heather Morrison, learns that Dr. Jeff Davis has had affairs with a number of his patients. She has just met with one of his previous lovers.

After Melissa left, Heather stayed behind in the restaurant. She went through the motions of taking care of the bill. Smile. Pay. Tip. She lifted the two crisp tens Melissa had left on the tray. Adding two of her own, she returned them to the gold-trimmed jade tray that held the bill. Her legs were weak and shaking, her knees grazing the bottom of the table.

She stood and left the restaurant. Instead of heading for the subway, she walked a few blocks until she saw a Rite Aid drugstore. She went inside and bought two gigantic bags of M&M’s—one plain, one peanut.

“Sweet tooth got ya, sister?” the checkout clerk asked.

“I just need chocolate,” Heather said.

“Got to be a man, then,” the clerk said, two gold front teeth centering a friendly smile.

Heather felt a bond with the woman, a bond with every woman who had ever been wronged by a man. “Isn’t it always?” she asked, not needing a reply.

One block turned into another. Barely noticing how different this part of the city was from her own, Heather trudged forward, shoveling the candy into her mouth. Shoveling, chewing, and swallowing. She felt like she was walking beside herself, an unsettling feeling at best, calmed only slightly by the chocolate.

Melissa had said her affair with Jeff had lasted over six months; Suzanne’s had lasted only three. Heather counted back the months since July. Clearly I’ve met my expiration date, too.

Surrounded by the brilliant sights and sounds of Harlem, she saw nothing and heard less. It was just her and her two gigantic bags of M&M’s shoved inside a plastic Rite Aid shopping bag. Red, yellow, green, and blue. When had they started adding blue to the mix?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Medical-Affair/351712871626125

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annestr

Website: www.annestrauss.com

A Medical Affair on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1bDAsx2

Amazon: http://amzn.to/15WXStu


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Welcome… Ali Berlinski, Author!

Hi Ali, could you please tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Explaining my background is difficult, hence the book. Culturally speaking, my family is like a mini United Nations. My mother’s Filipino and my father’s Polish, making me biracial. Through my mother and father I have older and younger siblings who are also part Italian and Puerto Rican. Since my parents divorced when I was only a year old, I grew up in two distinct households on two coasts. Needless to say, I had a very unconventional upbringing and it has in every way shaped who I am as a person and a writer. If Carrie Bradshaw and David Sedaris had a literary lovechild, it’d be me.
I wrote the book during a very challenging period in my life. I had just gone through two intense breakups. The first was with my ex-boyfriend who also happens to be a celebrity, a situation that truly warrants the facebook status—it’s complicated. The second and even more crushing breakup was with my mother. It was that crucial moment in life when you realize you’re in a bad situation and something needs to change. Hoping to gain some clarity through distance, I quit my job and moved to Spain where I began writing. Nine months later a beautiful mess was born. It was the most therapeutic thing I’ve ever done.

If you could summarize A Beautiful Mess in one sentence, what would it be?

My book is collection of personal essays that use humor to talk about some of the messes we all face in life-family problems, growing up, illness, breakups, and loss.

What was your inspiration behind A Beautiful Mess?

One of the reasons we read is to experience something. The experience I hope to provide is empathy. Perhaps your situation isn’t exactly like mine, but I’m sure that you’ll find a part of your story in the book. If I can laugh at my life then surely you can at yours too. That’s why I created #mymess. The #mymess movement is all about embracing life’s crazy moments though humor. Let me help you say yes to your mess.

What are your plans for future books?

I’d love to write another book. Since I draw inspiration from my own life the next book will probably be about my time in Spain.

Anything you would like the followers here, to know about you or your book?

It’s not always easy but I think it’s important to be able to laugh at life. If you enjoy sarcastic, off color, or dark humor, then you should definitely read my book. Also, for every book you buy, a book is donated to a charity that promotes literacy. So if you like helping kids read and dark comedies, buy my book.

To see my review of A Beautiful Mess, click here. I would like to thank Ali Berlinski and her publisher for participating in this interview.

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A Beautiful Mess

By: Ali Berlinski. Format: Ebook. Read: September 2013.

A Brooklyn elementary school teacher who doesn’t quite fit in anywhere and goes to Spain to find time to write and connect with herself. Ali Berlinski is a unique individual that grew up on both coasts and as an only child-youngest child-oldest child. Not to mention the fact that she is bi-racial too and people assume her step-mom is her actual mom. This is her first book and it is the story of her life.

A Beautiful Mess is an intriguing, yet humorous account of the author’s life. Written as though the author is speaking to her friends, readers will find themselves awkwardly laughing even during the more trying times in Berlinski’s life. The author is very honest in all the emotions she experienced while being part of a large, chaotic family. However, the book did not flow smoothly, and could benefit from rearranging some of the chapters. At the end, in the author bio, it is mentioned that this is her first novel, yet it is clearly a memoir. There are a few grammar errors and the ending will leave readers with a few unanswered questions. On the other hand, this memoir sets up several scenarios that will stimulate the readers’ mind and make them question their own feelings and responses, if they were in a similar situation.

This book was nice and I appreciated how it felt like I was inside the author’s mind, like two friends chatting about their hectic lives over dinner. I also appreciate the fact that the author is giving back to the world, by donating a children’s book to a child in need for every purchased copy of A Beautiful Mess. I enjoyed the uniqueness and craziness of her everyday family life, yet the majority of the drama most everyone, including myself, can relate.



The publisher for the author gave me a copy of this book to review. To learn more about this author and her work, please visit her website.

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100 Ways to Save and Grow Your Money

By: Peter Sorrells. Format: Paperback. Read: August 2013.

Peter Sorrells is not a professional accountant, but he is someone who had to crawl out of debt, just like the majority of Americans. In this book, he lays out several concise, logical steps on how to help you not only reduce your debt, but to help you maintain a healthy relationship with your finances.

The author writes this book as though he is actually speaking to the reader, by using easy-to-understand language and step-by-step directions, with plenty of examples. This book has the added benefits of note space and a blank budget, along with several further resources so readers can start right away in declaring and achieving their goals. Each section relates to different subjects, varying from using your skills to start your own at-home business or buying a new car. There are several references and verses from the Bible, but they do not take away from the well-organized, easy-to-follow chapters. The steps are very basic, but Sorrells shows how the most basic steps will pay-off greatly in the end. If you are looking for simple ways to start improving your finances, this would be a great book to read.


The author provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about this book and the author, please visit his website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #19

The Freedom Writer’s Diary
By: Erin Gruwell

Being a first-year teacher is difficult, but working with at-risk kids is even harder. Erin Gruwell had enough and decided to find a way to make her lessons reach the hearts of her students. Using classic literary diarists, Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic, as examples she challenges her students to look within and find the parallels in their own lives. This one simple thought, turned into a life-changing project, while those students became known as The Freedom Writers.

Even though this book is set-up to resemble a diary, with dated entries and numbers representing the different students’ entries, the consistency and the coherency make for a touching tale. The book progresses through each year in the students’ learning all the way to the celebratory graduation day. Readers will be able to grasp each student’s progress and their hearts will swell with pride. A few pictures are included to help “see” the students and their teacher, while the foreword by Zlata Filipovic, proves the amazing reach that this one teacher created. This is a heart-lifting read.

This review was originally written for My Sister’s Books.
To purchase this book, click here.

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And the Winner is…

Hi Everyone,

I just want to thank author Sarah Solmonson for participating in the giveaway celebrations. Thank you to all of the people who entered the contest. There was a total of 6 people who entered. Earlier today, I went to Random.org and typed in the parameters of 1 and 6. The lucky winner of a paperback copy of Taking Flight is… commenter number 5. Congratulations Angela Love!!! You have 72 hours to contact me to claim your prize.

In case you missed the post this morning, A Year in Review #7 has been posted. One lucky commenter will win their choice of an ecopy of one of Alannah Lynne’s books. All you have to do is leave a comment under the post. Good luck to you all.


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Getting 10%: Great Returns of 1%, 5%, 10% and More on Your Money

By: Peter Sorrells. Format: eBook. Read: July 2013

Getting 10% is a short ebook written to help readers take easy steps toward earning more money back, during these rough financial times.

Peter Sorrells starts this book by stating he is not a professional, but he is just sharing the steps he took throughout his life, which helps connect him to his readers. His writing is kept simple and is easy to follow along. The author takes advantage of this being an ebook, by providing numerous online site resources that can help readers reach financial success. This is a very, short book and at times the author skips over details, mentioning they are included in his other book. However, a majority of the steps, especially in the beginning, can apply to helping all readers earn more money back. This is a nice way of exposing readers to his practical money saving methods.


The author of this book provided a copy for me to review. To learn more about this author and his work, please visit his website .

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A Year in Review #6

Hi Everyone,

This past year, I had the honor to read and review a poignant memoir. Sarah Solmonson shares the story of her life with the world, in this incredible book. She and her father had a wonderful relationship, part of which was built by his love of airplanes. This week will mark the anniversary of his passing and in honor of him, we take a look back at his daughter’s book.

Taking Flight
Sarah Solmonson tells her story of growing up as the only human child in the Norton family. Her father, David Norton, was obsessed with airplanes and flying. He spent six years building an airplane from scratch. Unfortunately on July 1, 2000, David’s regular take off took a tragic turn as the wind disappeared, causing his beloved plane to crash. David Norton didn’t survive and this book is the story of how his wife and daughter fought to survive their horrific loss.

In her telling memoir, Sarah Solmonson demonstrates an incredible talent for writing. She rotates chapters between a current conversation with her father and the memories she had growing up. This rotation provides the perfect balance between the heart wrenching emotions and the wholesome funny memories of the past. Readers will feel as though Sarah did not use any ink to write this book, but instead used her own blood from her heart. Each sentence, each statement and each memory are written with such honesty and such affection that readers will feel like they are a member of this family. Incredibly powerful and mesmerizing.

Sarah Solmonson has been generous enough to donate a paperback copy of her book to one lucky commenter. To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below between now and 11:59pm EDT on July 5, 2013. Then on July 6, 2013, I will use Random.org to select a winner and announce the winner later that day. Good luck to you all!

If you want another chance to win, please visit the Big Giveaway page. There you will find the link to the Rafflecopter entry form, where Sarah Solmonson has donated another paperback copy of her book for the Big Giveaway!



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A Quote to Begin the Day…

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”

~Mortimer J. Adler

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