Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Roaring 20’s: A Decade of Stories is another excellent anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, eleven authors share tales of various decades. Although I enjoyed every one of these stories and it’s hard to pick favorites, the ones I liked most included David Lange’s “Flapper and the Captain;” “An Act of Senselessness” by Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl; “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio; and “Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron.

Air Force veteran David Lange tells an interesting tale involving a flapper and an air force captain suffering from PTSD after receiving an injury in World War 1. The story’s origin, which is shared by the author at the end, is even more absorbing than this supernatural-type piece. Also with a strong paranormal element is Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl’s, “An Act of Senselessness” about a couple on Halloween in 1983 that are involved in a car accident with a twist.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio is a fun tale featuring wealthy ninety-something Southampton socialite. Miss Ellen, and her younger companion, Patrice. The ladies come to the aid of a girl at a club where they’re dining who is interested in a man but is having trouble gaining his attention. Miss Ellen gives her some old-fashioned pointers that do the trick. Along the way, Ms. Donadio includes interesting tidbits about Long Island history and popular culture of the 1980’s.

“Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron, is the last story in this anthology. Last but definitely not least. Mr. Rostron reveals his own family history from 1900-1970 in seven connected short pieces that tell their own stories about his relatives.

The one story I didn’t include among my favorites is my own contribution to this anthology, “Growing Up in the Summer of ’71” which is my own semi-autobiographical tale about an eleven-year-old girl in 1971 with an older sister and how the two deal with relationships during the 1970’s era of Vietnam, hippies, and drugs.

These stories make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when people often reflect on the past.

Pick up a copy of The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories here: https://amzn.to/3ywEPLI

Posted in Anthology, Recipe, Reviews

Review of Feeding the Flock: Recipes from the Red Penguin Family

***5 stars

Feeding the Flock is part of the Red Penguin Collection of anthologies of various genres. This one focuses on cooking recipes for large gatherings, although the ingredients can be modified for smaller servings. Whether hosting Thanksgiving, a special birthday party, or other occasion or holiday, this is a perfect book to keep by your stove. What’s unique about this collection is that, besides some interesting yet simple recipes for groups, it includes note about how the cook/author created the recipe. It also features illustrations of each dish. Some of the familiar recipes included are Basic Stuffing Recipe, Dutch Apple Pie, Twice Baked Potato, and Linguine with Clams. Other less familiar recipes featured are Cawl Mamgu, a Welsh dish; Hungarian Krumpli Haluska; and Golabki (Polished stuffed cabbage). My favorite was the “Do You Take Your Peppered Peppers Laying Down or Vertical?” because I love stuffed peppers. I also enjoyed Mussels Marinara in Oyster Bay by Elaine Donadio who shared her memories of when she and her family lived and boated around this Long Island town which is one of my favorite places to visit. If you’re looking for a recipe book with a varied collection of dishes along with some great stories, this is the book for you.

Amazon Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2YHvd3m

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3FgInDZ

Posted in New Year's, short stories, Television Broadcast

It’s a Wrap: My 2019 Writing and Author Appearances Recap

I hope you all had a nice 2019 and that 2020 is even better. Here is a recap of my writing and author appearances in 2019 with my tentative calendar for 2020.

On April 6, I attended the Long Island Local Author Fair at the Tilles Center at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus.

On April 24, I appeared on Between the Covers TV Show with fellow guests from the Book Fairies. Here is a link to the episode.

On May 4, I published my standalone psychological mystery, Sea Scope.

In May, I was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for my cozy mystery, Love on the Rocks.

From May 15 to 18, I attended the Cat Writers’ Association Conference in St. Louis, Missouri where I spoke on a panel with three other members who write cat mysteries: Sandy Murphy, Patricia Fry, and Mollie Hunt.

In May, I also attended the Romance Writers’ Association luncheon at the Fox Hollow Inn in Woodbury, New York.

On June 5, a front-page story appeared about me and my new release, Sea Scope, in the Hicksville News.

On August 10, I appeared at the Sip This Coffee House in Valley Stream with fellow authors, Lisa Diaz Meyer and Tracy Auerbach.

On August  15, I spoke at the Hicksville Library about Sea Scope.

On September 21, I attended the South Huntington Library’s Fall Fair with three other members of the Long Island Authors Group.

On September 29, I published a short mystery eBook, The Mistaken Mission.

On October 19, I appeared at the Kitten Kadoodle Coffee Cafe in Selden, NY with fellow authors Lisa Diaz Meyer, Elaine Donadio, and Andrea Roche.

In November, I published the article, “Keeping Your Indoor Pets Safe from Household Hazards” that appeared in its print edition and online blog.

On November 2, I appeared at Mongo’s Coffee in Syosset, New York, with fellow authors Lisa Diaz Meyer, Elaine Donadio, Andrea Roche, and Tracy Auerbach.

On November 16, I hosted, spoke, and signed books at the St. Stephen’s Fall Author Fair in Hicksville, New York with 8 other local authors including Roland Allnach, Nika Rhone, Tracy Auerbach, Catherine Mairiosi, John Krahn, Lisa Diaz Meyer, Janet Rudolph, and James Cudney IV.

On November 30, I published two short mystery eBooks: Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery and Murder Unwrapped.

So far, for 2020, I will be answering questions at the Hicksville Library’s book club discussion of my book, Sea Scope, on January 15.

On February 1, I will be appearing at Barnes and Noble in Massapequa, New York with 8 other mystery authors.

On March 28, I’ll be appearing at Starbucks in Bay Terrace, Queens with fellow NY authors, Elaine Donadio, Andrea Roche, Lisa Diaz Meyer, and Tracy Auerbach.

On April 25, I’ll be appearing at Barnes and Nobel in Selden, New York with fellow NY authors Elaine Donadio, Andrea Roche, Luisa Diaz Meyer, and Tracy Auerbach.

In July, I’ll be attending the Cat Writers’ Association Conference in New Jersey.

I also have two complete manuscripts I am hoping to publish in 2020 and am working on some short stories. I appreciate all the support of my readers and fellow authors and those who have hosted me at local author fairs and events.

Posted in local author event

Meet Me and Other Local Authors This Fall at a Cat Cafe, Coffee House, and Church

If you live on or near Long Island, you might be interested in some of the upcoming author events at which I’ll be participating with other local authors.

My first event, on Saturday, October 19, is at A Kitten Kadoodle. Coffee Cafe  with three other members of the Coffee House Tours from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you like books, cats, coffee, and/or refreshments, come on down to see me and three other authors who will be happy to chat with you and autograph a copy of our books.

In November, I’ll be attending two author events. On Saturday, November 2, I will be at Mongo’s Coffee Roastery and Lounge with four other members of the Coffee House Tours from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you haven’t been to this coffee house in Syosset yet, you’re missing a wonderful experience. Unlike most coffee houses, Mongo’s is a large space that hosts many literary events and roasts their coffee on the premises. Come see for yourself and treat yourself to a cup of Joe with five authors.

On Saturday, November 16, I’ll be hosting the Local Author Fair at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church from 2 to 5 p.m. The President of the Long Island Authors Group, Roland Allnach, will be a speaker, and there will be twelve authors of various genres signing books at tables. In addition, each author will talk about their writing, and there will be raffles for prizes. Admission is free, and raffle proceeds will be donated to a local charity. It should be a fun day and a great opportunity to purchase some autographed books for yourself or as gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

I hope you can join me at one or all of these events. Thanks for your support.