DON’T FORGET TO REVIEW YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS, TOO

Think they’re too big to care? Think your review or testimonial doesn’t count? Not true!! Every author will get viewed by a new reader every day! Help that reader to know they can count on this author to deliver on that writer-reader contract!! Takes a few minutes – JUST DO IT!

NQ

Guardian Angel by Sara Paretsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’m a longtime V.I. Warshawski (and Paretsky) fan and enjoyed this novel very much. Loved the premise and the characters and I think that this book had more than the usual number of twists and turns. As usual, I thought I might have it figured out once or twice only to find I wasn’t even close. Highly recommend Guardian Angel for the female PI-loving readers!

View all my reviews

THE POWER OF WORDS

Dedicated to my friend Gerald Eubanks, may he rest in peace.

Nearly 4 million new book titles are produced each year if we count both self-published and traditionally published authors.

How in the world can that be possible? If we supposed (and this is NOT a realistic supposition, I know) that each book is 60,000 words on average, that’s 240 BILLION words being shared in a year.

About $14 billion dollars will be spent this year on non-fiction titles alone and this number does not include self-published titles which generally sell less than 100 copies ever. Some of those are self-help or how-to books, but most of that industry fits into the memoir/biography/autobiography categories.

For a writer, the words we generate, massage, revise, and polish to a high-gloss shine are often cathartic to us in some sense whether we are writing a book meant to educate others or we are writing a book meant to provide entertainment.

Education and entertainment are both worthy reasons to write. I know authors who’ve received emails to thank them for writing a story that helped a reader through a very long, rough night in a hospital waiting room. Others get a thank you note for that information or insight that changed the reader’s perspective.

I know top-of-their-field doctors who write poetry to level out the high stress levels; top scientists who write sci-fi novels to create the endings they long to see; nurses who work sixty-hour weeks who pen romance novels on their meal breaks.

Some of us are healed by the words we read. Some of us are healed by the words we write. It is true that words have great power indeed. Whether our words are written or spoken, it’s always important to remember that. My friend Gerald knew that and whether he was administrating, teaching, or leading a public event, he was conscious that his words had the power to change people.

The challenge is – and I hope you’ll take up this gauntlet – to have your words heal and not hurt others. To offer encouragement as well as education. To offer truth with kindness and compassion and without judgement.

We are wordsmiths, certainly. We can be advocates for peace and greatness if we choose to be.

Keep writing and reading! And don’t forget to review what you’ve read!

NQ

“Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.”

Life. That bittersweet journey we all embark upon after conception. Everyone’s life and mission is different, but everyone has smooth times and hard times, too. We won’t always see that, but it’s a truth.

Available in all formats including CD, paperback, Kindle, audiobook, and hardcover

From Old Testament times and throughout all of mankind’s recorded history, the bards and scribes have waxed poetic about challenging times.

Sometimes those really dark, tear-filled days are the culmination of weeks, months, even years of hard stuff and we’re brought to our knees in complete and total exhaustion – and surrender. There is no more energy to maintain walls and facades of courage and strength. There is just, well, soul-deep fatigue. Our spirits cry, “Help me” to God, our Creator, because our spirits know we are connected intimately with our Creator. And, that He always hears. He always cares. Our minds may be talked out of that knowledge and our hearts may be hardened by this world, but our spirits know.

And that’s when a person may walk into your heart or a friend may take your call, or a bookshop owner may point out a book they think might be of interest – and voila, you are presented with a different “perspective.”

THE NOTICER by Andy Andrews is one of the gifts I was recently given on a particularly difficult day. Easy to read, this 2009 Thomas Nelson book is one of several written by this bestselling author. It is meant to offer us a new perspective on our own lives. Not on life in general but on how we see ourselves and our struggles. After all, whose life do WE really have any control over, anyway? Try it on like a new fall jacket. Enjoy it like a new friendship. See where it leads you.

“My contention is that you are right where you are supposed to be. This may look like barren sand to you, but nothing could be further from the truth. I say to you as you lay your head down tonight, you are sleeping on fertile ground. Think, learn, pray, plan, dream. For soon . . . you will become.” Excerpt from The Noticer.

THE NOTICER is your chance to regroup, take a breath, and begin your life again. Right now. Today. No reservations needed. I cannot recommend this little book strongly enough for anyone, of any age. With all we’ve been through on this planet in the past 36 months, we can ALL use a restart button!

As Jones, the protagonist says, “The best is yet to come.”

Wishing you all the best, always! Learn more about the author at AndyAndrews.com

NQ

Introducing Susan S. Slater, International Bestseller

ESPECIALLY if you are a Tony Hillerman fan, you will love both of the series by Susan S. Slater; if you are woman you’ll not only love those characters, but also Susan’s standalone, 0 to 60. Just have tissues ready as she brings you to tears of laughter and empathy from beginning to end!

Snake Eyes, by Susan S. Slater [Ben Pecos Series]

If you ask her, she’ll tell you that 0 to 60 is only semi-biographical and that writing it was something that helped her spirit heal after a very upsetting decade of forced changes. No wonder this title has been optioned for the big screen!

Another standalone story that wouldn’t leave Susan alone is The Caddis Man, released in late 2021. A huge departure from her Native American characters in the two series, this is a historical fantasy that will grab you by the collar and not let you go!

“Readers are loving this sweeping family saga that spans fifty years and half a world, from the wide Kansas farmlands to the missionary settlements in the Congo….” [Review]

She’s an outstanding storyteller for sure and if you enjoy well-told stories, you’ll enjoy this author, I’m sure.

New, expected in early November, is SNAKE EYES, the latest book in the Ben Pecos series. I, for one, cannot wait!!!! And in the meantime, I’ll finish The Caddis Man!

AND IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ CADDIS MAN OR 0 TO 60, THEY ARE ON SPECIAL SALE RIGHT NOW!!!!

Happy reading to all!

Nancy Q.

Mystery Writers Chat About “The Mystery”

St. Augustine, FL

Doors open at noon – a fun, free afternoon for readers, writers, library staff and booksellers. See below for the bios of each panelist – and share with anyone you think might enjoy this afternoon event. A portion of the book sales will benefit the Friends of the Main Branch Library to support their programs and materials for the public!

Friends of the Main Library is pleased to present a panel of four mystery authors to discuss their writing and the sub-genre of mystery books. The discussion will include the types of mystery they each write, how location plays a role, how characters are constructed, and some of their own favorite authors. Nancy Quatrano will moderate this event.

This program is free, open to the public, and will take place at The Waterworks, 184 San Marco Ave., which shares a parking lot with the Main Library. Seating begins at 12:00 PM, and the presentation starts promptly at 1:00 PM. No reservations are required. For more information, please call the Main Library at 904-827-6940.

Nancy Quatrano is an award-winning novelist and short story author, developmental editor, speaker, and columnist. She’s presented workshops to readers, writers, businesses, and women’s groups, from New York to Florida. In addition to writing a mystery series and co-authoring a women’s fiction series with D.K. Ludas, she writes a semi-monthly column for the St. Augustine Record and runs On-Target Words. Among several awards, her mystery Still Shot won the Action category in the international 2019 Book Excellence Awards. For more information, visit http://www.NLQuatrano.com.

Judy Weber is the author of A House to Die For, the first in the Angela Rossi Realtor Mystery Series. The second book in the series, No Good Deed, is due out by the end of the year. She’s also one-half of the Amber Adams writing team, which produced the four-book Day McKelvey Mystery series set in St. Augustine. She has also had numerous short stories published, one of the latest being A Tale of Two Muses. She is the former editor and publisher of a regional trade magazine, American Builder. She is a long-time resident of St. Augustine, living in her home on the St. Johns River with her rescue beagle Barney.

A New Mexico transplant and Tony Hillerman protégé, Susan Slater’s first novel, The Pumpkin Seed Massacre, made her an international bestseller in 2000. Now, seventeen novels later, she’s added three stand-alones to her two mystery series and her quasi-memoir, 0 to 60, has been optioned by Hollywood. In addition to writing, two degrees in English Literature and a third in Adult education have supported a career in college teaching; course design for the American Embassy and the All Indian Pueblo Council’s teacher education program; plus two stints in the Defense Industry for both DoD and DOE as a Senior Instructional Specialist.

Vic DiGenti is the award-winning author of six novels, a collection of short stories, and six works of nonfiction. His novels include the Windrusher trilogy of adventure-fantasies featuring a four-legged feline protagonist and the Quint Mitchell Mystery series published under the pen name Parker Francis. The first in that series, Matanzas Bay, won the 2007 Josiah W. Bancroft Sr. Award and was named Book of the Year in the 2009 Royal Palm Literary Awards competition in the Pre-Published category. Bring Down the Furies, the second in the series, won the Gold Medal in the 2013 Florida Authors & Publishers Association’s President’s Award Competition. The third, Hurricane Island, is set in Cedar Key. In his former life, Vic worked as a producer/director for WJCT, Jacksonville’s PBS and NPR station affiliates, and also produced the Jacksonville Jazz Festival for eight years. He lives and works in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The Waterworks is available through the generosity of the City of St. Augustine and the St. Johns Cultural Council.

TRANSFORMING YOUR AGING BRAIN by Linda Stoler M.A. and Dr. Gretchen Espinetti

Are you caring for someone (of any age) with a brain injury of any type? Someone showing signs of dementia either age or medication-related? This book will feel like a hug!

When we worked together on this book, I learned tremendously helpful things about our brains and how to heal them or keep them healthier, and about the impact of attitude and activity not just on our brains, but on our very quality of life both mentally, spiritually, and physically.

While a great many things can change in eight years (this was released in late 2014), there isn’t much in this book that would change. The ideas, discoveries, methods, and lessons are pretty much timeless. Sure, there a few newer brain studies, especially related to concussion injuries, but those add information, they don’t change what this duo so carefully crafted as a tool essentially, to joy!

I’ve just reread this terrific work by Stoler and Espinetti and was reminded of things I’ve forgotten now that I’m a caregiver. I am happy to say that the Stolers are still actively teaching the multi-modal method to not only caregivers and care facility staff and management for elders, but to young people, too.

And why not? We’re never too young – OR – too old, to take better care of ourselves and live life with a positive attitude and as many dance steps as we can do!

If you’re in the age group of 25 – 100, you’ll LOVE this book! Available everywhere you can order books in electronic and print versions!

Harlan Coben: StoryTeller Extraordinaire

The Woods by Harlan Coben

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Harlan Coben is a master storyteller who does a great job of building the tension and then letting the reader nearly off the hook before setting it deeper. By midway, readers will not be able to put this away so they can find out what’s really going on!

I wasn’t terribly happy with the ending but I suspect this book could have had more than one. We’ll have to see what Netflix does with it!

If you want a story that’s well-built with characters that don’t mind leading you over hill and dale, The Woods is one you won’t want to miss. Just wear your sneakers so you can keep up!


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I Love Mysteries but There is Nothing Like a Christine Bush Sweet Romance

Long ago and far away, when I was first discovering the business of writing commercial fiction, a woman dashed into our meeting room wearing a trench coat, private investigator hat, and sneakers. She yelled, “Is everyone ready to have fun?” Of course, the large group in the room shouted, “Yes!” And the woman began to “show” us how to write our fiction so that it was entertaining. Colorful. Energetic. And, that was only ONE of the many workshops taught by Christine Bush in the nearly 10 years I was with the NJ Romance Writers.

Why is she so memorable for me? She’s a teacher, an encourager, a woman of integrity and gentleness. And, I was delighted to find out, she’s stuck with the romance genre and style that I always loved in her books.

When I realized that I didn’t believe in Happily Ever Afters, yet alone want to write them, I could still read her books and enjoy them, and it was then that she taught me to follow my heart and write what was right for me.

Thanks, Chris! Love you, still. NQ

Cindy’s Prince by Christine Bush

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


In traditional Christine Bush fashion, Cindy’s Prince is a charming sweet romance that will have readers cheering, biting their nails, crying, and laughing! While I read far more mysteries than romances, Bush has a real gift for a good story and a dedication to the traditional sweet romance so when I see a new book by this author, I grab it! If you like your romances sweet, you’ll love this author.



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MENNONITE DAUGHTER: The Story of a Plain Girl

I had the honor of attending the Dell Webb Writer’s Club not long ago and reconnected with writers I’d met some years ago while teaching a program there. Marion gave me her card and though I’m not a biography, autobiography, or memoir reader in general, I totally enjoy reading these genres by people I’ve heard speak about their stories.

That’s the power of speaking to readers about our books – our energy, enthusiasm, and personalities can make brand new fans of complete strangers!

“What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning?

“Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.”

Said by reviewers to be “addictive”, “engaging”, and “reflective,” I strongly recommend you don’t miss Mennonite Daughter by Marian Beaman. I’d wager that most of us were rebels against something at some time – you will cheer, fight tears, and totally get this journey away from “home” and back again!

This well-written and engaging story is available in both Kindle and paperback formats where you order your books!

Keep reading and reviewing! Love the book? Be sure to share that with others.

Nancy Q.

Appreciating the Unexpected: Reading new authors

Dr. Bill Carr with his Book

I am blessed that I was raised to be curious. My dad was a reading maniac – he even read encyclopedias and science books-for fun. You see, he left school before high school, back in the 1930’s when his dad was killed leaving dad and his mother to find their way. The economy was pretty awful from what I’ve read on the topic. Dad never spoke much about it, himself.

Fast forward to the late 1950s, when I’d ask him to explain something to me, he’d point me toward the glass barrister’s case in the living room and tell me to look it up. That danged thing was six levels high! He’d also promise to discuss it with me if I needed more than the books could tell me. He taught me to use a slide rule when I was around 5 and he calculated the Gross Vehicle Weight of his rig in his head – math was a big strength. He was about 6′ 2″, had light blue eyes and black hair and maybe weighed 180 pounds; he also drank like a fish, but he was my friend. One of those “don’t judge a book” sort of things…

Before he died when I was 19, he told me that learning something new every single day was a worthwhile ambition – and I took that to heart. It might be something I learn by interacting with a person or something I discover when a new author sends a manuscript my way looking for a testimonial or maybe some guidance.

But my favorite thing to discover is a new author that I want to keep reading or an author with a topic or message I didn’t even know I needed to know about. And that’s what I want you to be open to: discovering new authors!

Buy some of those terrific .99 – $3.99 BookBub offers and try a new author you may have heard something about – or know nothing about but love that genre! Be adventurous and see if an old author favorite may have something new out!!

Since suicide intervention is a “thing” for me, when Bill Carr reached out to me years ago about his book, I encouraged him not to give up on editing and learning how to self-publish the work when done. I’m delighted that he didn’t because his book should be in the hands of every parent, teacher, and counselor I can think of! I wish I’d had the resource when I struggled with my daughters and their challenges but then now I have grandsons who are finding or fighting their way through life right now, one a new teen, one a bit younger. I’ve learned some great questions to ask and some good mindsets of my own to check at the door.

So I am jumping up and down here – read, read, read and learn, learn, learn. Learning what doesn’t work is JUST as important as learning what might. Have fun, be open minded, and please remember to post a review for the books you have the heart to read!!!

See you next week.

NQ

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