10 Statements – Wendy Unsworth @WendyUnsworth

Wendy Unsworth spent her early years in Lincolnshire, England where she first developed a love of the countryside and wildlife. She is a passionate traveller and collector of new experiences, having lived for fourteen years in Central and Eastern Africa. 

Writing has always been a part of her life; she began to work seriously on her first published novel, The Palaver Tree, in 2011. This story is a psychological drama based in the fictional, Cornish village of Berriwood, though it does borrow heavily from her experiences in Africa where much of the action takes place. There have been two more novels in the series. Beneathwood (2016) and Dirty Work (2017).

 

Find me… I would love to hear from you:

Website:  https://wendyunsworth.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5625095.Wendy_Unsworth

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/WendyUnsworth

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WendyUnsworthAuthor/

 

My personal motto:

I do like quotes and inspirational sayings. If I was to adopt one as a motto I think it would be:  “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass but about learning to dance in the rain.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with… Tea. Two cups, while I browse emails and generally rouse myself for the day ahead.
  2. I lose track of time when I am successfully lost in creativity, be it writing, knitting or sewing or working in my garden.
  3. I have always… been excited by travel and new experiences.
  4. I have never… been into outer space or invited the join the SAS and, though I would like to, I have lost hope and expect that I never will!
  5. Home means to me… comfort and a special place to create my own well being. A place to welcome family and friends.
  6. I am inspired by… determination to win through despite the odds.
  7. I would like to meet… oh, tricky! There are so many. For all the amazing stories he could tell, David Attenborough.
  8. My worst character trait… The inability to ever complete a project to my satisfaction.
  9. My best character trait… I like to think I work hard for myself and others.
  10. The best advice I was given… my sister remarked many years ago that, though I wasn’t rich, I lived as if I was. I took this as a never to be forgotten complement and as advice. Enjoying the good things in life, family, friends and special places makes me rich.

Dirty Work (Berriwood Series, #3)

A shallow grave.
A body to find.
But no one is looking.

Caroline Duke and her sister-in-law Marcie lead very different lives, but blood is thicker than water; they are close, they share things. Husband troubles.

Marcie has everything she could possibly want, funded by Nathan’s high-powered city job. She pays for her privileged position in lonely days and nights, while her husband works away.

Caroline is struggling with two jobs and out-of-work Pete, who brings in no money at all. He is never home either. He spends his evenings in bars and clubs and the occasional ditch.

But everything in the Duke family is set to change. And for the better. Pete declares he has given up drinking for good and is getting a job. Nathan announces his intention to work less, spend more time with Marcie.

A birthday dinner should be the perfect occasion to bring the four together. But when is a party not a party? When someone ends up dead.

Print length:  264 pages

Published:  2017-09-30

Buy linksbooks2read.com/u/31MDMr

Excerpt:

The fingers twitched momentarily; a slight, almost indiscernible movement, and he noted, with mild interest, that she was not quite dead.

The nails, exquisitely manicured, though too bling for his own, more minimal tastes, were torn, the hand traumatised. Ragged skin hung like slivers of grated cheese, ruched and curled. The thumb appeared to be curiously displaced.

Now, as he watched, the man paused; took a moment to consider his night’s good work. And it had been good, thorough and satisfying, though… Credit where credit’s due, he silently acknowledged, with a nod toward the fingers that still fired tiny, random gestures, almost reminiscent of a greeting…

The bitch had fought. 

Even as her incapacity had begun to take hold, it had not deterred her from a relentless drawing of breath; the stuff of life sucked up with desperate, dogged determination. She had surprised him, impressed him. And though there was no longer any point to her feeble struggle, he understood this last, desperate flicker; could put himself in her position, so to speak, prone and confused, the earth closing in around her. Her muddied thoughts, he fancied, were still of life and he flattered himself to believe, also of him.


 

Beneathwood (Berriwood Series, #2)

A Cornish house, nothing more; slate and granite, tile and wood.

When Olivia Benson hears that her father has unexpectedly inherited Beneathwood she urges him to sell and be rid of it. She has never liked the dark and rambling old house and she has some good reasons…
… amongst them, the terrible sight of Auntie Edith, lying on the floor, smouldering.

But Olivia’s father has no such qualms. New retiree, Gordon Carroll, is eager to take up the challenge of renovation and, as he brings Beneathwood back to life, he begins to see the house not only as an asset but as home.

Beryl Carroll loves Beneathwood too… at least, she thinks she does. But when a box appears, seemingly out of nowhere, stuffed with remnants from her past, she begins to wonder if it is only she and her husband who have moved in.

Print length:  269 pages

Published:  2016-02-14

Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bpWqGX


 

The Palaver Tree (Berriwood Series, #1)

Berriwood Village, Cornwall, England; quiet, uneventful like the pace of schoolteacher Ellie’s selfless, modest existence until John Hathaway stops to ask directions. Their chance meeting catapults her into a new role as wife of a wealthy businessman and resident of the most prestigious home in the area, the majestic Calico House.
But Gabriel Cole is coming to the village, and his presence will set into motion a chain of events that bring dramatic change to Ellie’s life again.

In the poor, chaotic but captivating surroundings of Central Africa, Ellie teaches at Cole’s school, The Hope Foundation. She finds friendship and purpose and, perhaps for the first time, real satisfaction and love in her life.

But this new peace and happiness is short-lived. As Ducana descends into political chaos Ellie is torn by doubt. Is the Hope Foundation really the benevolent, caring institution she first believed it to be? And is headmaster Gabriel Cole really their guardian angel?

Ellie’s unquestioning belief in fate and fair play are slowly shattered as she learns that others, close to her, have been drawn into the same web of manipulation and deceit.

Ellie is plagued by the injustice of what has happened, until the moment comes when she is presented with the choice to stubbornly hold on to her principles or take matters into her own hands…

Print length:  368 pages

Published:  2012-01-23

Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bPJ71r

 

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10 Statements – Michael Okon

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Find me…

michaelokon.com

@IAmMichaelOkon

facebook.com/IAmMichaelOko n

snapchat.com/add/iammichaelokon

twitter.com/IAmMichaelOkon

instagram.com/iammichaelokon

 

My personal motto:

“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates and fills the interspaces of the Universe. A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  bacon, eggs and cheese, then research and development of my subject.
  2. I lose track of time when I’m playing video games with my kids.
  3. I have always… known I was going to be entertaining people.
  4. I have never… done drugs.
  5. Home means to me… being around our backyard fire pit with my wife and kids.
  6. I am inspired by… classic horror movies.
  7. I would like to meet… Steven Spielberg.
  8. My worst character trait… I bite the inside of my lip when I’m deep in thought.
  9. My best character trait… I can make a joke and laugh at any situation.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Eat bacon. Don’t jog.”

Monsterland

Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

Wyatt Baldwin’s senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

Print length:  219 pages

To be published:  2017-10-13

Buy links eBook:  books2read.com/u/4XorkN

Books
> Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Horror > Monsters
Kindle eBooks
> Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Coming of Age
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Paranormal > Vampires

 

10 Statements – Saiswaroopa Iyer

 

 

Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa’s interests include Startups, Economics, Carnatic Music, Philosophy, Politics, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

She currently lives in London and loves to read and write.

 

Find me…

Website:  https://saiswaroopa.com/
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/Sai_swaroopa
Amazon:  Saiswaroopa Iyer
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSaiswaroopa/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14706559.Saiswaroopa_Iyer
 

My personal motto:

“To discover the lesser known characters and stories from Indian literature, history, scriptures and folklore and explore them as subjects of my future works.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  a cup of Chai! Creativity is hidden in the leaves of tea! 😀
  2. I lose track of time when I am with my mother or with a favourite book!
  3. I have always… been a just in time person. Believed I can figure out things on the go.
  4. I have never… planned very early (Now I know these are very relative statements. But there is a chance that things have been changing in the recent times).
  5. Home means to me… where my family is. I am what I am because of them.
  6. I am inspired by… those who are focused and positive.
  7. I would like to meet… self-made achievers. They always have actionable advice that respects my time and theirs.
  8. My worst character trait… impatience. Looking for results ‘too soon’ at times.
  9. My best character trait… optimism.
  10. The best advice I was given… (Will limit it to writing related advice)…”To believe in my characters guiding my story.”

 

Avishi

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of Rig Veda
But forgotten to the memory of India
The Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement, but at a high cost.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

If stories about ancient India, especially those with strong women characters interest you, then Avishi is a story you must read!
Saiswaroopa Iyer is an IITian and Venture Capital professional turned author. Her début novel Abhaya, published in 2015, was a tale set in the Mahabharata period, exploring the legend of Narakasura Vadha. She likes to focus and expand on ancient Indian stories with strong female characters. She tweets @Sai_swaroopa.

Print length:  388 pages

Published:  2017-08-12

Buy link eBooks:  books2read.com/u/ml5EW9


An Excerpt

“I am the Queen! This will be my throne!” The seven-year-old chirped leaping from the middle of the porch towards the broken mortar which served as a mock throne. “You will be my guard!”

“Guard?” the man pondered scratching his unkempt beard.

“No.” He shook his head and smiled seeing her indignant eyes. “I will be the Queen’s elephant.” He beamed.

Sukratu stepped out of the house to see his daughter in action, perching herself on the tramp Loha’s back, pretending in all earnestness that he was her elephant. He smiled and was about to set out for his duty as the night guard of the King. A sudden lightning appeared in the eastern skies. Sukratu had barely walked a few paces when a deafening thunder made him instinctively turn towards home. He heaved a sigh, finding Loha shielding the girl as if he would, his own child.

“Father, don’t go.” The girl pleaded.

Sukratu smiled and shifted his gaze towards the sky. He saw dark clouds loom over the city. The monsoon winds had started to make their presence felt. He had to reach the palace soon. “Isn’t my little Queen brave?” He called out.

The girl nodded. He saw the fear fade. From her eyes. From her heart. She knew she was the queen! Pride filled his heart. His mind ached to stay home but duty beckoned. Tearing his gaze away from the one he treasured the most in his life, braving the drizzle that would soon turn into a storm, he unwillingly walked towards the King’s residence. Sukratu’s house was in the third ring of the concentric structure of Vrishabhavati. In the centre, was the structure, that served as the residence of the king and as the centre of all trade activity of the city. Here no wealth or goods could change hands without the king’s knowledge and approval. The residences of the noblemen formed the two rings around it. The guards and soldiers forming the outermost circle with the citizens living around them.

As per the protocol, Sukratu approached General Ugra’s residence quite ahead of his reporting time— an hour before the moonrise. He walked into the empty courtyard. But the rain made it impossible for him to stand there any longer. He knocked at the giant wooden door fervently. The doors creaked as a strange woman clad in a dark indigo garment opened them and glared at him with a frown on her forehead.

General Ugra, Sukratu knew was never faithful to one woman. His superior’s romantic exploits were not his concern either. But something about the woman at the door disconcerted him. “Please let General Ugra know that…”

“He has already left for the palace!” The woman frowned before attempting to shut the door.

“What? How ca…” Sukratu’s words hung in air as the door slammed on his face and the woman disappeared from his line of vision all of a sudden. Something did not feel right. He knocked at the door again. Firmly this time, as though seeking answers. Any change in the reporting time would have been announced the day before and he remembered that nothing of the sort had happened. His knocks went unanswered. Frowning and muttering under his breath, Sukratu hurried towards an empty cowshed three houses away from Ugra’s place hoping to catch his companions who he knew would be equally surprised.

The first to arrive was Khela, the eighteen-year-old guard, holding a metal shield above his head. The newest addition to the King’s guard, Khela was related to General Ugra and Sukratu felt that his position in the King’s guard was largely a result of undue favours that Ugra showered upon an otherwise impudent boy.

“Sukratu! By the great Varuna, I should have come to you earlier!” Khela hurried towards him. Pausing for breath, he added. “Our platoon has been given a relief tonight! It was a sudden decision and I personally informed all the others.”

“Relief for tonight? That happens only when…”

“Our guarding hours change from night to day!” Khela completed in a hurry. “Now, come with me.” He turned towards the western direction and the javelin he held started to sway dangerously and came close to grazing Sukratu’s arm.

The older guard’s instincts made him dodge the cut. “Where?” Sukratu hissed, visibly annoyed, first with the fact that he was kept in dark about the change in guarding hours and then about Khela’s irreverent behaviour. “And watch who your weapon hurts, boy.”

Khela shrugged and changed the position of his weapon. “We are now going to the place.” He winked, stretching his hand in the direction. “Follow me, this is the only night we get to have some fun.”

Sukratu did not move. The place he knew implied the tavern where wine was served. “We cannot drink tonight, Khela. When do we have to report tomorrow? By sunrise?”

“You ask too many questions. The rest of us are there too!”

“That does not answer my question.”

“Well, I don’t know, and I don’t care to. The palace is paying for the wine. Are you coming or not?”

The last sentence sounded more like a threat than an invite. Sukratu had all the mind to give the youth a piece of his mind and storm back home. His daughter would be overjoyed to see him before she went to sleep. It gnawed at Sukratu’s heart every day to leave her under the care of Loha— the tramp who had begged him for shelter about six months ago and then became a part of his life. The girl liked him instantly and had begged Sukratu to let Loha live with them and he, despite his misgivings about the tramp’s origins and his unkempt appearance, could not refuse his only daughter. Over time, Sukratu felt grateful for Loha’s company. Now his daughter did not have to be all by herself every night. The guard’s home would have been unguarded if not for that stranger. Sukratu brushed aside these thoughts and had almost decided to go home when the thought of meeting other senior guards and clarifying the confusion struck him. He followed Khela’s lead, making no attempt to hide his displeasure.

When they reached the tavern, Sukratu to his dismay, found many of his brothers in arms deeply drunk. “When did they reach here and when did they…”

“Quite some time before. I just forgot to tell you in advance!”

Sukratu’s eyes scrutinized the men and women of the tavern who were serving wine to the guards. There were no other citizens or travellers in the tavern.

“Just for us, the whole night!” Khela said as if reading his thoughts, bringing him an earthen goblet.

The older guard accepted the goblet taking his first sip with a sense of foreboding.

“Where were you all the time, old friend?” The voice belonged to Tunga one of the senior guards in the platoon.

The grin on his friend’s face brought a smile to Sukratu’s lips. “Tunga, what is this about the sudden change in our guarding hours?”

“The King… that imbecile, has finally remembered that we are human too!” Tunga guffawed, emptying his goblet, waving vigorously at a woman of the tavern who obliged with a seductive wink.

She approached them, skilfully distributing her attention between both the men, winking at Tunga and pouting her lips at Sukratu. Her brows rose at Sukratu’s filled cup. “Don’t keep the Sura nor this Sundari waiting, my love…” Serving Tunga his wine, she placed her fingers upon Sukratu’s shoulders, digging her nails into his skin for a moment locking her gaze with his and turned around swiftly, letting her light upper garment rest on his face for a fleeting moment.

It was a wilful invitation and Sukratu knew it. His attention though was caught by the colour of the garment. The Indigo hued garment! All the women of the tavern wore clothes of the same colour. So did the woman he saw in General Ugra’s house! Was Ugra at home while the woman lied that he was at the palace? If the General and the whole platoon of the night guard were lying down drunk, who was minding the security of the King? Sukratu looked at the rest of the guards. No one seemed sober enough to talk. The only sober man Khela had disappeared!

“By the great Varuna!” Sukratu exclaimed aloud and rushed out, pushing the woman who tried to stop him away.

He raced to the King’s residence, as fast as his legs could carry him. The huge wooden gates of the structure were closed and secured from inside. The rain lashed drowning his cries. Misgivings regarding the King’s welfare made him shudder. He had to meet General Ugra. Something told him that the General had his own reasons to send the whole platoon of guards to enjoy a drunk night. He was a guard who had sworn to protect the King with his life. The general owed him an answer. Sukratu rushed to General Ugra’s house determined to confront him.

That, Sukratu realized was the biggest mistake of his life.

At the gates of the general’s residence he saw a familiar figure hurrying out of his house, a heavy bundle on his shoulders. “General Ugra!” he called out, feeling relieved.

The figure started, and the bundle fell to the ground. Sukratu came to a sudden halt as he realized it wasn’t a bundle after all, but a blood-drenched corpse. A stroke of lightning from the sky revealed the face and the very familiar greying curls. Sukratu froze for a long moment before he could speak.

“K… King…”

Something hit him on the head even before he could utter the name. Sukratu staggered, reeling at the impact, clutching at his long sword in a vain attempt to defend the next move.

“Finish him!” The General shout behind him.

Before he turned around, Sukratu felt the cold metal tear into his back. Lightning struck revealing the contours of the person. Khela! The javelin stabbed him again. Thunder drowned his screams. Falling to the ground with the weapon still stuck to his back, Sukratu lifted his sword and managed to slash Khela’s palm though the latter, unlike him was vigilant and alert. Crawling away from the menacing duo, knowing very well that he could not last more than a few moments, Sukratu’s thoughts, went to his innocent daughter. She would now languish as an orphan remaining in dark about the monsters who killed her father. Or would they kill her too?

Sukratu would never know.


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10 Statements – Kirk Raeber

Kirk Raeber is an emergency room physician. He has always had a strong interest in World War II history and especially in the war in the Pacific. He served in the US Navy and was stationed in Japan for one year. Forgotten Letters is his first novel. He lives in California with his wife and his three Anatolian Shepherds.

Find me…

Website:  http://theforgottenletters.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KirkRaeber
Amazon:  Kirk Raeber
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/people/Kirk-Raeber/100015256728909
FB Forgotten Letters:  https://www.facebook.com/Forgotten-Letters-814455975239863/
Book trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z36V5Lqdjhk&feature=youtu.be
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15419661.Kirk_Raeber
 

My personal motto:

“Be Prepared, Be Honest, and Be Kind.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  a greeting and pet to my three Anatolian Shepherds.
  2. I lose track of time when working in the yard.
  3. I have always… loved adventure.
  4. I have never… eaten Fugu.
  5. Home means to me… stability and security.
  6. I am inspired by… reading a new book.
  7. I would like to meet… Clint Eastwood.
  8. My worst character trait… too much clutter on my desk.
  9. My best character trait… hard worker.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Go to college and keep on learning.”

Forgotten Letters

A trove of forgotten letters reveals a love that defied a world war.

In 1924, eight-year old Robert Campbell accompanies his missionary parents to Japan where he befriends a young Makiko Asakawa. Robert enjoys his life there, but the dark tides of war are rising, and it won’t be long before foreigners are forced to leave Japan.

Torn from the people Robert has come to think of as family, he stays in contact by exchanging letters with Makiko, letters that soon show their relationship is blossoming into something much more than friendship.

The outbreak of total war sweeps all before it, and when correspondence ends with no explanation, Robert fears the worst. He will do anything to find Makiko, even launch himself headfirst into a conflict that is consuming the world. Turmoil and tragedy threaten his every step, but no risk is too great to prove that love conquers all.

Print length:  275 pages

Published:  2016-06-28

Buy link eBooks:   books2read.com/u/bapZxq

Book is available for sale on:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble (online)
E book is available:  Kobo, Smashwords, I Tunes, Scribd, Nook, and Aidiko
Audiobook:  Audible


The inspiration for “Forgotten Letters” came to me ten years ago in the form of a dream so vivid that I began to see it as the starting point for the story portrayed in Forgotten Letters. The dream began with an earthquake in the early 1900’s somewhere in Japan. My most vivid memory from the dream was not so much the destruction, which was devastating, but the strength and courage of the Japanese people in resurrecting their lives in the face of such tragedy.

Over the years, I researched the many earthquakes that are such a regular occurrence across the Japanese Islands and decided that the “Great Kanto” of 1923 seemed to best mimic the one from my dream, in particular the unstoppable fires that destroyed most of Tokyo and Yokohama. This is where the book begins.

Ironically, the two cities were again destroyed during World War II and, as they were after the “Great Kanto,” have been rebuilt by the dedicated, hard-working people of that amazing country.

The story starts with Fumiko and Ichiro entering their recently deceased parent’s house. They enter the house with thoughts of childhood memories and what to do with the dilapidated home. Fumiko and Ichiro are both dealing with personal problems that seem to consume most of their thoughts as they wander through the house.

Ichiro finds a trapdoor to the attic and enters a dark and dusty area that has not been visited for years. They look around the room and see old furniture and trash. Ichiro pulls out it military footlocker with his father’s name printed on the outside. Ichiro states “This was Dads”. Ichiro has some difficulty opening the footlocker but is finally successful. Inside he finds an old World War II officer’s uniform and a precisely folded cream and red colored kimono.

Underneath the two garments they discover a box which is wrapped in red foil and secured with a white ribbon that is squashed flat. Fumiko and Ichiro look at each other thinking what secrets are in this special box. Ichiro unties the ribbon, unfolds the paper and removes the lid. Inside the box lie rows of letters, yellowed and stained. The letters are in random order the earliest postmark is 1931. The letters are correspondence between their parents. Fumiko opens a letter postmarked 1931 and reads aloud “Dear Robert”.

When one reads Forgotten Letters it is important to remember three words that are in the beginning of the book and then are revisited later on. I think the reader will smile when they read these words again. The three words are spider, baseball and birthmark.

My hope is that you will find Forgotten Letters a very enjoyable read.

Thank you,

Kirk Raeber


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10 Statements – Linda Smolkin

Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an advertising agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. Her début novel, Among the Branded, was released in May 2017. When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog.

Find me…

Website:  https://lindasmolkin.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lindasmolkin
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16454819.Linda_Smolkin
Amazon author page:  Linda Smolkin

My personal motto:

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

10 statements

  1. A typical (work) day begins with… heading to the office (luckily with a short commute) for my full-time writing job where I grab my first cup of coffee, sift through email, and tackle my to-do list. On the way to/from work, I think about my novels and what I need to do at any particular stage, whether it’s writing, researching, revising/editing, or marketing.
  2. I lose track of time when I’m looking at photos on Instagram.
  3. I have always… dreamed of taking a cross-country road trip, but I’m allergic to traffic so I’ve always put it off!
  4. I have never… been asked such a tough question! There are many things I have never done. For starters, I’ve never gone skiing. Growing up, we always took beach vacations.
  5. Home means to me… hanging out with my family, wherever that might be.
  6. I am inspired by… stories about people who have grit.
  7. I would like to meet… author Judy Blume. My favorite childhood book was “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and when I reread it a few years ago, it was still as great as I remembered. And since drumming is a hobby, it would be really cool to meet some favorite drummers: Neil Peart from Rush and Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters.
  8. My worst character trait… impatience.  [And maybe others if you asked my coworkers.].
  9. My best character trait… loyalty. [And maybe others if you asked my friends.].
  10. The best advice I was given… by my father; he always told me not to sweat the small stuff.

Among the Branded

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. She’s at first drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers. Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

Contemporary fiction with a historical touch, AMONG THE BRANDED explores family life, an unexpected friendship, and moral conflicts that make us wonder what’s more important: our livelihood or our beliefs. This moving début novel by Linda Smolkin is a great addition for readers who enjoy books by Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, and Liane Moriarty.

Print length:  264 pages

Published:  2017-05-02

Buy links – Amazon author page:  Linda Smolkin


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