Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nicolette Pierce's The Big Blind review

The Big Blind 
Nicolette Pierce

Nadia Wolf mystery series, book #1
May 9, 2013

$.99 ebook (free at the time of this posting)
buy on Amazon

From the publisher: 
Nadia Wolf had one wish, and it wasn’t for the latest designer purse, fashion-forward clothing, or even a handsome man to marry . . . although, that would be acceptable too. Her wish was to win the World Series of Poker tournament and collect the one million dollar prize, beating the arrogant men who make her professional poker career a daily challenge. 

The odds were stacked against her when sexy poker celebrity Caleb Usher sat down at her table. As they pin their battles against each other, a steamy side wager drew them both in and gave them an even greater reason to fight for the championship. It only took one hand to make tournament history and leave them both hot under the collar. But before they could settle their spicy wager, the million dollar prize disappeared in front of an audience. Not one witness could explain what happened or where the money disappeared to.

Greyson Miller CEO of the Lost City Casino had a mystery to solve. Not only did a thief steal the million dollars from under his watchful eyes, but a secret swelled so large it threatened the very core of the casino. In a twist of fate, Nadia teams up with Greyson in an attempt to find the missing prize and to solve the perilous mystery that plagued the Lost City Casino. With Greyson’s overwhelming allure, Nadia has to keep both her head in the game and her hands to herself.

Will she be able unravel the mystery and find the lost prize money while keeping both Greyson and Caleb at bay? Can she fend off her fanatical self-appointed poker manager Frankie Garza before he flushes her career down the toilet in offbeat attempts to make her famous? With Caleb, Greyson, and Frankie all claiming a stake; Nadia’s career, her life, and her heart will never be the same again.

My review:
Meeting Nadia and her crazy compadres was a hoot – so much so, that I did what a lot of others have done, gone and bought the next one. Told in first person, Nadia quickly becomes one of those people you think you’ve always known.

She hustles poker players at the Las Vegas casinos and gets a rent deal from a themed wedding parlor operated by the flamboyant Frankie who has designs not only on creating a career for her, but also her boyfriends. Saving up to buy into the World Series of Poker was a struggle, but she hopes to at least make final rounds to earn some of her money back, and a little more. Meeting the casino owner and helping him figure out what happened to the prize money was a deliciously romantic bonus.

Spending some breathless days with Nadia and the gang will tickle your funny bone, sizzle up your romantic inclinations, wince when the bad guys land their punches, and leave you wanting more Nadia. And on a personal note, just being in the same room with author Nicolette’s sparkling smile and wit is energizing!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review of Janet Kay's Waters of the Dancing Sky

Waters of the Dancing Sky 
Janet Kay

ISBN 978146993334
Second edition, 2012
Llumina Publishing, 2010


 Buy on Amazon

From the publisher:
Sometimes you must tiptoe across that bridge linking this world with the next. Sometimes, it is the only way to put the twisted pieces of one’s life back together again.

Beth Calhoun is a middle-aged woman haunted by a tragic past - the drowning death of her young mother, the shame of having no father. Escaping from an abusive marriage, she retreats to her family’s wilderness island home on Rainy Lake along the Minnesota/Ontario international border. Here she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery that flows through a series of wilderness adventures, past and present. As she delves into her mother’s old diaries, she discovers long-held family secrets including the shocking identity of her mysterious father. Spirits of the past emerge as she struggles through a complex web of emotions and shifting relationships. Can she forgive and put the past behind her? Can she learn to trust and to love again?

Waters of the Dancing Sky is an inspirational love story, an intriguing blend of fact and fiction that weaves an appreciation of nature and local Ojibwe culture into mankind’s eternal search for meaning.

My review:
Years of domestic abuse have altered Beth Calhoun. When she finally has the courage to break free after her daughter is grown and out of the house, Beth answers the summons of a family friend to her grandmother’s deathbed.

Nana raised Beth after her mother’s death in a boating accident on Rainy Lake, Minnesota, but Beth had thought she’d wanted more in life and eloped as a teenager. Now back, Beth attempts to reestablish a life for herself, including the mystery of her parentage to which her grandmother whispered clues as she lay dying.
The best clues are locked in trunks in the attic, and this is where Beth, with a curious lack of urgency, eventually sorts out her mother’s secret. Another part of learning to move on means casting off her ex-husband who is reluctant to share his wealth, and learning to love someone else, her neighbor, Seth, an Ojibwe artist, who had known and helped her grandmother, and kept many of the family secrets, which it turns out, weren’t all that secret in the small community.

Told through several running character viewpoints, this story of regaining identity and dignity, self-discovery, and appreciation of family is a good virtual trip “up north” to lake country.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Marilyn Taylor at AllWriters

From the desk of Kathie Giorgio, Director, AllWriters' Workplace & Workshop LLC:
WAUKESHA – We all have a poem we’re hiding from, the one we long to, but just can’t, write. In this intensive up-close and personal workshop, Marilyn Taylor will provide you with fresh strategies for finally writing that elusive poem. AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop welcomes special guest lecturer MARILYN TAYLOR with her workshop, WRITING THE TOUGH ONES.
Whether it’s about a particular experience, conviction or belief, the most difficult poems to write are the ones that capture our deepest thoughts. They’re also the most important poems to write, reaching out to others to let them know they aren’t alone. In this workshop, you’ll learn to tackle those hard to express subjects head on. You’ll also receive constructive and friendly feedback in an environment that offers support for taking on such riskier than usual subjects. It’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be fun, and it will take your poetry further than you’ve ever taken it before!
MARILYN TAYLOR Ph.D., former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin (2009 & 2010) and of the city of Milwaukee (2004 & 2005), is author of six collections of poetry. Her award-winning poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, The American Scholar, Able Muse, Measure, Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column, and Random House’s Villanelles anthology. Marilyn taught poetry and poetics at UW-Milwaukee and served as a Contributing Editor and poetry columnist for The Writer. She is currently a member of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and the Council for Wisconsin Writers Board of Directors.

Celebrity Saturdays are a great chance to broaden your knowledge of what it takes to be successful and to learn from writers who are already knee deep in an author’s life. Marilyn Taylor’s workshop will be held on Saturday, August 9th, 2014. This event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and costs $85, which includes a lunch catered by Waukesha’s own CafĂ© de Art.
AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop offers on-site and online writing courses in all genres and abilities of creative writing, as well as coaching, editing, and marketing services. A schedule of classes, with online registration, is available at or by calling (262) 446-0284. AllWriters’ is located at 234 Brook Street, Unit 2, in historic downtown Waukesha, as featured in Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel.

Summer Hanford
AllWriters’ Assistant
234 Brook St., Unit 2
Waukesha WI 53188
Phone: (262) 446-0284
Please "like" Author Kathie Giorgio on Facebook, and follow KathieGiorgio on Twitter!

Friday, July 18, 2014

WWA Jade Ring Contest Judges announced!



Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 30 books, many of them on rural history and country life. His nonfiction books include: Living a Country Year, Every Farm Tells a Story, When Chores Were Done, Humor from the Country, Country Ways and Country Days, One-Room Schools, Cheese, Breweries of Wisconsin, Ringlingville USA (History of Ringling Brothers circus), Old Farm: A History, Barns of Wisconsin, Horse Drawn Days: A Century of Farming With Horses, and Campfires and Loon Calls. His children's books include: Stormy, Eat Rutabagas, Tents, Tigers and the Ringling Brothers, and Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker. He has an audio book, The Back Porch and Other Stories. Jerry has published four novels, The Travels of Increase Joseph, In a Pickle: A Family Farm Story, Blue Shadows Farm and Cranberry Red. Jerry is a former publications editor for UW-Extension, an acquisitions editor for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, and editor of a national professional journal.

Jerry has won awards for his writing from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Library Association (the 2007 Notable Authors Award), American Library Association, Foreword Magazine, Midwest Independent Publishers Association, Robert E. Gard Foundation, The Wisconsin Council for Writers (the 2007 Major Achievement Award), Upper Midwest Booksellers, and Barnes and Noble Bookstores, among others. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.  Check for more information.

Essay – Rodney Schroeter, WWA Press Manager

Rodney Schroeter spent seven years as a Science teacher, twenty five as a computer programmer / analyst, and now works as a freelance writer, newspaper page composer, reporter, editor, art dealer, and eBay seller. He is the writer of Human Interest Stuff and the editor / designer of A Wisconsin Harvest Vol. II, both published by the WWA Press. For the WWA, Rodney serves as brochure and forms designer, Newsletter editor, archivist, Forum administrator, and manager of the WWA Press.

Fiction, adult short – Susan Baganz, acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group
Susan M. Baganz chases after three children and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances. She has been published with OakTara Press and has for Splickety Magazine. Her contemporary romance, Pesto and Potholes is due to be released in Spring of 2015 with Prism Book Group. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones: snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

Fiction, children/youth – Barbara A. Joosse, international best-selling author of nearly 50 books, including Mama, Do You Love Me, Snow Day, and Dog Parade, among others, and now, writes the lyrics for The Happy Racers, kiddie rock band. She lives in an old house, enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. published nearly 50 books for children.

Poetry - TBA!