Oct 272014


WELCOME Kathleen Pooler

Kathleen Pooler

Kathleen Pooler is an author and a retired Family Nurse Practitioner whose memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, published on July 28.2014 and work-in-progress sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir are about how the power of hope through her faith in God helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointments: domestic abuse, divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes that hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories.

She lives with her husband Wayne in eastern New York.

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Writing Through the Pain

A Guest Post from Kathleen Pooler

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Oprah Winfrey 

In 2009, when I sat down to begin writing my memoir, I remember questions swarming around my mind like, What will people think of me when they know my secrets?  What will my family think when they read about the sordid details of my two failed marriages.  What will my friends think when they discover the real me?

I felt raw and vulnerable and many times questioned myself–Why do I want to expose my flaws and missteps to the world?

Fears of writing my truth raged on throughout the five years I wrote, but my fervent desire to spread hope and awareness about abuse continued to prevail.  I knew deep inside that my story needed to be told.  Abuse carries a stigma that induces silence, and often times those who have the suffered abuse exert all their energy to cover up the fact they have allowed themselves to be in an abusive situation.  The shame can be crushing.

I wanted to crush the shame.

Every time I cringed because of the raw, vulnerable truth I was writing, I told myself that maybe one person will choose to heal because of that passage.  Maybe one person will start fighting, or feel deeply understood for the very first time… all because of the depth of pain I revealed.  Those brutal moments of reliving the pain of my past created new anguish and uncertainty, yet refreshed my soul as finally…finally, I was breaking the silence. I was owning the error of my ways and giving myself a chance to make healthier choices.

I know that for the majority of people, disclosing their real pain seems impossible.  I remember when I held that belief. I thought I had resolved the pain of my poor decisions, moved on to a better life. Well, I had moved on and my life was better, but I still had remnants of my past I had not resolved, such as getting back into a second abusive marriage.

Revisiting the pain of my past seemed insurmountable at times, and yet five years later I wrote it in the pages of a book that would be available for the whole world to read.  How did this amazing shift take place?  We’ve all heard the saying: “Time heals all wounds.”  Well, time is only part of the process.  For me, it took a change of perception, an “attitude adjustment” – about who I was and who I was capable of becoming. I accepted the responsibility for my choices and made a conscious decision to take back my power—to embrace my inner strength and move on to live life on my own terms. I claimed and honored my voice.

I faced the past head-on, in my own way, and in my own time.  But I did face it.

I began pushing through the guilt and shame, instead of hiding from it.

I kept journaling, praying, writing and sharing and found the purpose for my pain—to share my hard earned lessons with others.

I began writing with intention until one day, I had a book with a message to share with the world- It is possible to climb out of the abyss of poor decisions and go on to live a life of peace and joy.

Writing and publishing my memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead; My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, has been the catalyst of amazing and wonderful changes in my life. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in the process is that we are limited only by our own thinking.  Healing is always possible. We only need to look within ourselves to find the answers—to claim and honor our own inner strength.

Writing through my pain helped me to get on the other side of it. It helped me to find the purpose for my pain and turn it into lessons to share with others.



Ever Faithful To His Lead : My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse

Ever Faithful To His Lead : My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse is a memoir, a true life tears to triumph story of self-defeating detours and dreams lost and found.

A young woman who loses sight of the faith she has been brought up with attempts to find her way in the world, rejecting her stable roots in lieu of finding adventure and romance. Despite periods of spiritual renewal in which she receives a prophecy, she slides back, taking several self-defeating detours that take her through a series of heartbreaking events.

When Kathy’s second husband, Dan’s verbal abuse escalates, Kathy finally realizes she must move on before she and her children become a statistic.

How does a young woman who came from a stable, loving family make so many wise choices when it came to career, but so many wrong choices when it came to love, so that she ended up sacrificing career and having to flee in broad daylight with her children from an abusive marriage? What is getting in her way and why does she keep taking so many self-defeating detours?

The story opens up the day Kathy feels physically threatened for the first time in her three-year marriage to her second husband. This sends her on a journey to make sense of her life and discern what part she has played in the vulnerable circumstance she finds herself in.

She must make a decision–face her self-defeating patterns that have led to this situation and move on or repeat her mistakes. Her life and the lives of her two children are dependent upon the choices she makes and the chances she takes from this point forward.


Number of Pages: 242
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Open Books Press
Publication Date: July 22, 2014


Oct 162014


Tara Meisner

Tara Meissner is a former journalist and a lifelong creative writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and works part-time at her local library. Tara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Mike, and their three sons. She writes longhand in composition notebooks. Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is her first book. th grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children, Abigail (11) and Gabriel (6). She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry.

Connect with Author:


Creating Time to Create

Guest Post by Tara Meisner

I am fortunate that I actually have time to write, and I’m sure you do too!
I have a husband, three kids, volunteer for youth organizations, take on freelance projects, and work ten hours a week at the library. Yet, I fit in time for creative writing. Some weeks are better than others.
Time has never been the thing holding me back! It was staying focused during that time and not squandering it with Facebook, blog reading, phone calls, reading, laundry, naps, list making, lunch or coffee with friends, etc.
Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert shares keys to her success and inspiration for living the life you want on her Facebook page. Most of us, of a certain age, have learned to say no to the things we don’t like or want to do. (If you haven’t done this yet, it is a great first step!) The next step, Gilbert presented, is saying no to the things you do enjoy. That advice changed my attitude. I felt I had permission to decline activities that didn’t get me closer to the creative life I craved. I miss out on things that would have been fun, but feel better about it.
Writing time might be found the first four hours of the day, every day. For some it is the lunch hour during the day job. Others may find time from 9-11 p.m. after kids are in bed or 1-3 p.m. during a toddler’s afternoon nap. Maybe it is Sunday mornings from 6-10 a.m.
If you are not cranking out two or three novels a year, writing six to eight hours a day at the exact same time is probably not a realistic goal, or even necessary. I carve out ten hours a week for creative work, all in blocks of time at least two hours long.
I schedule everything that I have to do in a week on “sticky notes” on my laptop. Things like carpool, library hours, swim team, doctor appointments, client meetings, and paid freelance work are blocked in and then I “find” ten hours a week when I can write.
The key then is to actually WRITE during those times and not squander them on the mentioned distractions. One of my friends writes on her laptop at a coffee shop and doesn’t ask for the WIFI password. I write at home longhand in composition notebooks, index cards, and legal pads.
The dang smart phone is difficult to ignore. I have three children, and I developed this notion that I must always be assessable to them in case of an emergency and should never leave my phone away from me. The oldest is 16; there has never been an emergency!! Seriously, nothing that couldn’t have waited an hour or two. So, I use the smart phone to my advantage. I set the timer for an hour, place it face down and ignore it until the timer goes off.
There is little immediate income attached to my creative writing, which makes it hard to justify for me. Yet, I realize the value developing my creative writing skills, so I try to let go of distractions and excuses, and I give myself permission write.

Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis

Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is a moving and honest psychology memoir about the things that break us and how we heal. It offers a raw view a 33-year-old wife and mother swallowed by psychosis. The psychotic episode includes meeting Jesus Christ, dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, and narrowly escaping eternity in the underworld.
Casually called a nervous breakdown, psychosis is an entrapment outside of self where hallucinations and delusions anchor. Family, doctors, and fellow patients witnessed a nonverbal, confused, distraught shell of a woman. In the security of a psychiatric care center, the week-long psychosis broke and spit out a bipolar patient in the cushioned place of middle class medicine.
Outpatient recovery consumed the better part of a year with psychiatric treatment and spiritual contemplation. Left scarred and damaged, health returned allowing her to tentatively embrace a grace and peace earned through acceptance of bipolar disorder.


Number of Pages: 224
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Tara Meissner
Publication Date: June 23, 2014
ISBN-10: 0990495108


I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.


Sep 022014

WELCOME Lorraine Ash

Lorraine Ash

Lorraine Ash, MA, is an author, journalist, and essayist as well as a writing teacher. Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life is her second book. Her first memoir, Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing, was published by NewSage Press and has circulated throughout the United States as well as in the Middle East, Australia, Europe, China, Canada, and Mexico. Lorraine also is a veteran journalist whose feature articles and series have won seventeen national, state, and regional awards and have appeared in daily newspapers across the country. Lorraine belongs to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Bill.

Connect with Lorraine at these sites:


Q&A with Lorraine Ash

Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

As a memoir writer, I draw from personal experience. Like all our lives, though, mine is touched by issues and trends of the day.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

A memoirist has lived her story line. Though the story may have ended, in terms of what happened, it probably is still alive and kicking in the psyche of the writer. Indeed many people turn to memoir not only to witness and chronicle some important corner of life but to come to peace with what happened.

A well-constructed memoir poses a master question. It’s fair to say the writer does not, at the outset, fully know where that question may bring her. She usually knows, though, that it’s imperative for her to take the journey.
In a memoir, the journey follows the writer through what she experienced but also traces the shifts in her consciousness until she comes upon some master insight—a holy grail, if you will—that allows her to answer the question the best she can. Tracing those consciousness shifts while inching toward the insight makes for good storytelling, but it also can be therapeutic for the writer.

Everyone’s life, no matter how ordinary, can open into life’s big questions and grand themes. That statement is a revelation to some people. By virtue of having a mind and a heart, though, we’re hardwired to engage the big questions. Every life is important.

In my latest book, Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life, a spiritual memoir, I ask a question from deep in midlife, after I’ve had many disparate experiences, including the stillbirth of my only child and, less than a decade later, the parallel declines of my father, my industry, and the American economy. It seemed a good time to ask: What does it all add up to?

The question echoes one my father used to ask in his prime. He’d come home from his office, put down his two hefty legal briefcases, rifle through the mail, and mutter, “Where does it all take us in the end?” It’s a fair question.
Self and Soul takes readers to some interesting places in the world, including the hospital room where I lost my daughter, a caving expedition, an ashram, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and Sedona, Arizona. Yet it’s very much about interior landscapes. The book shows that some of the experiences that happen to a person—a “self,” if you will— can seem futile or hollow or random and become meaningful only when we take them inside us to the “soul” level. That’s where the magic happens.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

When a project, whether it be an article, series, or book, starts to build in my mind, I’m always writing it, whether my hands are on the keyboard or not. I’m forever jotting down ideas, assimilating information, and turning over scenes in my mind. Also, my ear is always to the ground for any news or ambient story regarding the issue or theme.

As a full-time journalist, I write in the newsroom whenever I’m on duty. As a part-time author, I write on weekends and, better yet, on vacation days. Both of the latter instances have the advantage of offering a run of days in which to keep a flow going.

I don’t find it useful to write in small snatches of time and my most productive hours are definitely in the afternoon and night—sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?

I write full time as a journalist and part time as an author, which is a wonderful balance. I’m enchanted by long-form journalism and narrative writing.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

In the world of memoir, I find myself resonating with the voices and writing styles of Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail), Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story), and May Sarton, whose journals are sublime.

What are you reading now?

In the moment, I’m re-reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by the great Maya Angelou. I’m wistful, I suppose, about her recent passing.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

In my case, it would be the next memoir. I have conceptualized and mulled it, having resolved to start next year. I can say that it centers around my late father’s dementia. I can say with certainty that dementia is a huge issue in the United States.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

If the memoir Self and Soul were a movie, the dream lead would be Michelle Pfeiffer, hands down. Maybe we could get Kevin Bacon to lead the caving expedition, Ben Kingsley to play the swami, and Sela Ward to play the therapist. Perfection!

Manuscript/Notes: handwritten or keyboard?

I take notes many ways, depending on where I am when my mind illuminates with an idea—on my smart phone, PC, or a paper pad. From time to time, I’ll reach for my digital sound recorder, too.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Spending time with my husband and friends, cooking, getting a massage, exploring the state of Maine.

Favorite meal?

There are so many and so much from which to choose, even for a gluten-free person like me—cavatelli and broccoli (with bacon and in a butter sauce), pineapple chicken, orange barbecue chicken over rice, filet mignon, saffron risotto with butternut squash, Cornish game hen, and a good old-fashioned meatloaf.
On my mother’s side of the family, there are a lot of great cooks. Indeed, my Great Uncle Primo was a chef at Asti’s, an Italian restaurant in New York City where the waiters were also professional singers who’d break into song for the patrons.

I consider the legacy of beautiful, healthful food to be one of my most joyful family legacies.

ABOUT Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life

Are you living a life of quiet desperation? Questioning what it means to succeed? Wondering if your efforts matter? In this uplifting memoir, Lorraine Ash uses her own life experiences to explore inner landscapes where the seeds of divine healing and insight reside. These are the landscapes on which we create our own meaning and find the resiliency to thrive in a changing and challenging world.

Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life is available as a digital audiobook. Find it at Audible.com and Amazon.com as well as in the iTunes store.


Number of Pages: 176 pages
Publisher: Cape House Books
Publication Date: October 1st 2012
ISBN-10: 1939129001
ISBN-13: 9781939129000





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I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.


Jul 312014

The Fourth Wall CoverElizabeth Maria Naranjo’s WOW! Blog Tour for her debut novel, The Fourth Wall

The Fourth Wall is a fabulously written first novel. When Marin was little and monsters chased her through nightmares, she learned to weave her own dreams. Her mother called the lucid dreaming a gift, and when an accident takes her mother and leaves her baby brother an empty shell, Marin uses this gift to spin a new reality for herself. One without time or sorrow. A world without memory.

But just when Marin thinks she’s safe in her make-believe fantasy world, the monsters come back and her dream turns to a nightmare. Something in the dream doesn’t want Marin to wake up. In order to heal herself and her family, Marin must face the truth she’s forgotten and conquer what lies behind the fourth wall.

Paperback: 237 Pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (June 10, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1-937178-51-2

Twitter hashtag: #FourthWall

The Fourth Wall is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon.

Book Giveaway Contest:

Elizabeth Maria NaranjoAbout the Author:

Elizabeth grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children, Abigail (11) and Gabriel (6). She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry. The Fourth Wall is her first novel.

Elizabeth’s creative nonfiction has appeared in Brain, Child, Phoenix New Times, Literary Mama and Babble.com, and is forthcoming in Brevity. Elizabeth is also an award-winning fiction writer; her short stories have been published in The Portland Review, Hospital Drive, SLAB Literary Magazine, and Bartleby Snopes. Links to her work and information on classes/critiques can be found at http://www.elizabethmarianaranjo.com/.
izabeth grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children, Abigail (11) and Gabriel (6). She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry.

Website: http://www.elizabethmarianaranjo.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/elizabethmarianaranjo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.m.naranjo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/emarianaranjo

Blog Tour Dates

Monday, July 21 @ The Muffin

Stop by for an interview and book giveaway! http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, July 22 @ The Lit Ladies

Don’t miss today’s interview with Elizabeth Maria Naranjo as she talks to Margo Dill about The Fourth Wall. Once you’ve found out about Elizabeth’s debut novel, get in on the giveaway to get your hands on your own copy! http://www.thelitladies.com/

Wednesday, July 23 @ All Things Audry

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo makes a visit at All Things Audry and shares her thoughts about “Lucid Dreaming” and offers a giveaway of her debut novel, The Fourth Wall. This is a blog stop you won’t want to miss!  http://allthingsaudry.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 25 @ Renee’s Pages

Find out what Renee has to say in her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s debut novel The Fourth Wall. Elizabeth is also offering a giveaway of her fabulous book. A blog stop too exciting to miss! http://reneespages.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 28 @ Create Write Now

Join Elizabeth Maria Naranjo as she shares information about her debut novel The Fourth Wall and provides insight into “The Advantages of the First Novel”. http://www.createwritenow.com/

Thursday, July 31 @ CMash Reads

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and her debut novel, The Fourth Wall will be highlighted on CMash reads today. Tune in and participate in the giveaway for this highly acclaimed first novel from a very talented young author! http://cmashlovestoread.com/

Monday, August 4 @ Choices

Learn about the “Benefits of a Small Press” with Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and she gives insight about the publishing process of her debut novel The Fourth Wall. http://madelinesharples.com/

Wednesday, August 6 @ Blue House Review

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo takes her debut novel, The Fourth Wall and stops at The Blue House Review where she shares some little known “Facts About Elizabeth” and offers a giveaway of her highly acclaimed first novel! http://www.bluehousereview.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 8 @ I’d So Rather be Reading

Today’s spotlight at I’d So Rather Be Reading is none other than Elizabeth Maria Naranjo with her debut novel, The Fourth Wall. Find out more and read a review by Crystal Otto of WOW! Women on Writing as she shares her thoughts of Naranjo’s work. http://www.idsoratherbereading.com/

Tuesday, August 12 @ Romance Junkies

Today’s interview at Romance Junkies gives us a glimpse into the writing life of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and her debut novel The Fourth Wall. This is a “can’t miss” blog stop!  http://www.romancejunkies.com/

Thursday, August 14 @ Bring on Lemons

Read Crystal’s review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s debut novel, The Fourth Wall and get in on the giveaway to receive your very own ebook copy of this fabulous book! http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 20 @ A Writer’s Dream

Today you won’t want to miss a review and giveaway for Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s The Fourth Wall. Stop by and see what Rae Lori has to say and learn for yourself why this debut novel is receiving such high praise!  http://raelori.blogspot.com/

Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.

Crystal’s Review:

The Fourth Wall is listed as YA but deals with some very grown up topics. I really struggled through the first few chapters. Not because they weren’t well written. Elizabeth’s writing is gorgeous with just the right amount of description and dialogue. The reason I struggled was the reality of her writing. She drew me into the Marin’s life in such a way I found myself wondering “what if” about my own life.

It’s quite a gift to write fantasy so well it wraps itself around reality. There were times I set down The Fourth Wall and had the same feeling I do when waking from an all too real dream. I felt unsettled and somewhat confused. When Marin hurt, I hurt. I longed to hug the little girl and offer her consolation and love. Naranjo writes her characters with such dimension and depth of character. She has quite a gift for writing.

The Fourth Wall is Naranjo’s debut novel but I am certain (hint hint) she will have many more publications in her future. Her writing is unique and I can’t think of any author to compare it to. I can say with certainty you’ll enjoy the read and be longing for more!

May 122014


The Opposite of Everything is a hilariously fast-paced first novel for David Kalish. When Brooklyn journalist Daniel Plotnick learns he has cancer, his fortunes fall faster than you can say Ten Plagues of Egypt. His wife can’t cope, his marriage ends in a showdown with police, and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge.

Plotnick miraculously survives his terrifying plunge, and comes up with a zany plan to turn his life around: by doing the opposite of everything he did before.

In the darkly comedic tradition of Philip Roth and Lorrie Moore comes a new novel from author David Kalish, who draws us into a hilarious, off-kilter world where cancer tears apart relationships…and builds new ones.

David Kalish’s debut novel, The Opposite of Everything,
has won a first prize in the Somerset Fiction
Awards, a national contest that recognizes emerging
new talent and outstanding works.


Number of Pages: 282 pages
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
ISBN-10: 1937178439
ISBN-13: 978-1937178437



David Kalish

David Kalish left a career as a big city journalist and became a fiction writer, earning his MFA from Bennington College. His first novel, The Opposite of Everythingwas accepted for publication by WiDo Publishing, and he’s working on a second novel entitled Stoner Hero, which he often writes in his head while walking his two dogs in a forest near his upstate New York home.

In addition to the longer form, his short fiction has been published inTemenos, Knock, Spectrum, and Poydras Review, his non-fiction in The Writer’s Chronicle, and a short film of his, “Regular Guy,” was selected into film festivals here and abroad. As a reporter at The Associated Press, his articles appeared in major newspapers such as Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. He is currently working on a comedic theatre script for a Latin version of A Christmas Carol. He lives in Clifton Park, New York, with his wife, daughter, and two canaries, as well as those two dogs.
Connect with David at these sites:


Meet and Greet David Kalish

— Saturday, May 24, 2 p.m., Golden Notebook books, Woodstock, N.Y.

— Monday, June 2, 6 p.m., Mechanicville Public Library

— Saturday, June 21, 3 p.m., Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady, N.Y.

— Saturday, July 12, Book Store Plus, Lake Placid, N.Y.

— Saturday, July 19, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.