It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Julien Ayotte


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I write because I breathe.  As long as I can hold a pen in hand, I will come up with a new idea for the next mystery thriller, and I will develop the characters and the plot to satisfy my readers.

I once was asked how it was that I did not yet have a literary agent and major publisher after three very successful novels, Flower of Heaven, the sequel Dangerous Bloodlines, and A Life Before.  One of my readers said in a review that I was still a closely-guarded secret about to be revealed.

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So, this past spring, armed with my fourth novel, Disappearance, a suspense thriller about troubles in the witness protection program, I was determined to try literary agents again. And guess what? After hundreds of queries, I still do not have an agent, but I was so very close on two occasions. Major publishers, I was finally told, won’t take you on unless your novel is at least 85,000 words and, preferably, 100,000 words or more. My books are more like 70,000 words. So, in essence, literary agents would have much more difficulty in shopping my books to major publishers because of their size, not the quality of the writing or the unbelievable plot to the story…the freaking size!

While my first three successful thrillers all have sold thousands of copies and carry great ratings and reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, all of these sales were due to my own marketing efforts. Imagine if I had been in the Ingram distribution network of over 40,000 bookstores. A traditional publisher will do this for your books, while my CreateSpace Amazon publisher will not unless, by some stroke of luck, your eBook version goes viral one day.

But, you know what. I will go on. I know my readers will thoroughly enjoy Disappearance, and I keep adding more readers with every novel. And you can bet that my next book will exceed 85,000 words, whatever story I come up with the next time around.

If anyone had told me in 2013 that I would write four novels in just over four years, I would have laughed out loud. But that’s exactly what happened. At the young age of 75, soon to be 76 (December 5th), my goal remains to write 10 books in the next 10 years.  And as long as people like Jon Land compare me to Harlan Coben and David Baldacci on the thriller scale, I am blessed beyond words.

I write about what people hardly think about…a young priest who finds out thirty-five years later he is the father of twin sons, the French mother, turned queen of a Mid-Eastern country, who is determined to find her sons, a young college student who is the reincarnation of a woman murdered twenty years earlier, and a very troubled U.S. marshal who jeopardizes the lives of witnesses in the government protection system.

What’s next?  I don’t have a clue, but then again, I didn’t have a clue for the first four thrillers either!

My name is Julien Ayotte, and I am an author.

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Award-winning author Julien Ayotte co-authored his first book, Wealth Building for Professionals, in 2001, drawing from his years of experience as a corporate executive and business teacher at the high school and college graduate levels. In addition, he spent nearly fourteen years in legal administration at two law firms. The author holds a BA, MBA, and a PhD, all in business and finance. Flower of Heaven was his debut novel in 2012, followed by the sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, in 2014. His third novel, A Life Before, was released in March 2016. Ayotte lives in Rhode Island with his wife, Pauline. They have three children. Visit the author’s website here.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a print copy of his latest book, Disappearance, to one lucky winner. All you have to do is comment on this blog post. Winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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The Year of Living Minimally – Week Nineteen


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Or not. I choose not to. Come on – isn’t it enough already? Haven’t you had enough of the pressure?

Part of my quest to living more minimally means having less, buying less, using less. For the past 19 weeks, I’ve purged, recycled, donated, and tossed out a lot of things that others can use but we do not need.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers say they will spend an average $967.13 this Christmas (season), according to the annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. I bet most of it will be charged. And some of that will not be paid off in full when the bill comes in. And you know what I say – DEBT is a four-letter word.

We’ve all been taught that gift-giving means love. The bigger the gift, the more we love that person. Wrong! Our obsession with giving material things is simply a “requirement” created by the retail industry.

Try giving your time to someone this year. Make a memory. Live an experience.

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It’s #RIAuthor Month – Meet Ana Arelys Cruz Cabrera!


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Author Ana Arelys Cruz Cabrera is one of the finalists of the 2017 contest of the State Poets of Rhode Island. She received the pin of the City of Providence in 2012 for her literary work about the cities of Providence and Santo Domingo, Contrast of Two Cities  Providence and Santo Domingo and Tourist Guide Santo Domingo and Providence. She is one of a few artists who have published three books on the same day! Cruz Cabrera is a dedicated and accomplished Polysomnographic Technologist

She is also a poet, songwriter, and she loves to write about her Dominican-American heritage. The books mentioned above were her first published books presenting a historical contrast of both cities culturally and historically. These books also contain beautiful poems dedicated to the cities of Providence and Santo Domingo, cities profoundly loved by the author and poet. Find all of her books here

So far, Ana has five published books, including her second anthology, Melodies of the Heart, published in October this year. Her first anthology, Inspiration of the Soul, contains the Anthem to the Fathers. This musical production was interpreted by singer and fashion designer Laura Diaz Alberto.

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Ana has plans to publish a book related to information about sleep breathing disorders next year. Since 2009, she has been creating awareness about sleep breathing disorders and its treatment.

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Ana believes that the key to her success is persistence, and sincere love and passion for what she does. She hopes to take advantage of all of the benefits that come along with being a bilingual member of the Rhode Island community to spread her message about sleep disorders awareness.  “My most beautiful and rewarding task has been being the mother of my two children.”

Learn more about Ana here

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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@poetanaarelyscruzcabrera  #poetanaarelyscruzcabrera.

 

 

 

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Paul Caranci


Promise of Fatima

A Miracle for All Time

The day began as most any other, but on this morning, August 6, 1945, the world was about to change. At 8:15 am, the first-ever atomic bomb was dropped in Japan. The blast was felt as far away as 37 miles. Two-thirds of the city’s buildings were destroyed and estimates are that between 80,000 to 140,000 people were killed instantly. A thermal pulse ignited a firestorm so intense that it incinerated everything within a 4.4-mile radius of ground zero. Yet, just eight blocks from ground zero, in defiance of all odds and science, eight German Jesuit priests walked out of their home with only minor injuries. Theirs was one of only a few buildings still standing. Not only were the priests virtually unharmed, but over their rather long lives, they suffered no ill effects of radiation exposure, no loss of hearing, no diminution of sight, nothing.

Secular scientists are incredulous and cannot explain the miracle of Hiroshima. Fr. Hubert Schiffer, however, speaking on behalf of all eight men, had only one explanation. “We believe we survived because we were living the message of Fatima.”

Fatima, a small rural village in Portugal, was relatively unknown prior to 1917. In that year, however, against the backdrop of the horrors of World War I, a Lady from Heaven appeared to three young shepherd children as they played and tended sheep in the Cova de Aria. The subsequent series of heavenly visits reverberated around the world and were crowned with arguably the greatest miracle of the 20th century.

This was not the cure of a single person from some questionable disease, but rather a celestial event witnessed by 60,000 to 70,000 people gathered in anticipation of a miracle promised by the mysterious Lady over three months earlier. The spectacle was witnessed by people as far away as 25 miles, even by those who had no idea that it was supposed to take place. Today, one hundred years later, over 4 million pilgrims descend upon Fatima each year as a testament to the extensive power of the events that took place in 1917.

You see, at the request of 10-year old Lucia dos Santos, the oldest of the three visionaries, the Lady promised a miracle for all to see during her final appearance on October 13, 1917. She even promised the hour at which it would occur. And she promised these things the previous July. The children relayed her message both to the faithful and skeptics alike, placing their lives in extreme danger if the promised miracle did not occur. But such is the faith and innocence of children.

As promised, the 70,000-plus were not disappointed. They watched, first in amazement and then in horror as the sun danced in the sky, then fell toward earth, completely drying the rain-soaked ground and the drenched clothes of all assembled. As the sun returned to its rightful place, atheistic journalists from the secular newspapers, there for the sole purpose of debunking the story of the apparitions as childish nonsense, wrote front-page stories about the miracle they experienced. There was simply no denying that a miracle, one promised by Our Lady of the Rosary, had occurred.

But there is more to the story of Fatima than miracles and apparitions, for during her six visits with the children, Our Lady shared with them three secrets and several promises, revelations that will alter the course of history if her requests are heeded by the people.

The complete story of Fatima, the apparitions, the miracles, the secrets and the promises are examined in extraordinary detail in the newly-published book, The Promise of Fatima: One Hundred Years of History, Mystery, and Faith. This hour-by-hour, day-by-day accounting of the events are chronicled in the book that has already changed lives as the message of Fatima promises to transform the world. Learn for yourself the extraordinary secrets and the miraculous promises revealed in this book, or give it to a loved one as a holiday present and perhaps you will witness your own Christmas miracle. Both Kindle and paperback copies are available on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=paul+caranci+books&sprefix=paul+caranci%2Caps%2C152&crid=ENW0OFAXQMGH.

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Paul F. Caranci is a third-generation resident of North Providence, Rhode Island, and has been a student of history for many years. He is an author with seven published books to his credit including two award-winning books. The Hanging & Redemption of John Gordon: The True Story of Rhode Island’s Last Execution (The History Press, 2013) was voted one of the top five non-fiction books of 2013 by the Providence Journal. Scoundrels: Defining Corruption Through Tales of Political Intrigue in Rhode Island (Stillwater River Publications, 2016) was the winner of the 2016 Dorry Award as the non-fiction book of the year. Paul’s book Wired: A Shocking True Story of Political Corruption and the FBI Informant Who Risked Everything to Expose It (Stillwater River Publications, 2017) tells his own story of courage in the face of the political corruption that surrounded him.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a print copy of The Promise of Fatima to one lucky winner (US residents only, please). All you have to do is comment below. The winner will be selected at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after blog publication.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Jane McCarthy


 

All the Rest of her Days

All the Rest of Her Days is fiction based on true events. The characters portrayed in the book on based on real people. The story portrays what happened when an unmarried sixteen-year-old is forced to give up her baby in the 1950s and how that single event affected three generations.  The book is available at Island Books in Middletown, Rhode Island and on Amazon as a soft cover and e-book.

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I have always been an avid reader preferably accompanied by a cold glass of Pinot Grigio. As a Registered Nurse I learned much about the human response to sadness and joy. Friendships are important to me. I admire loyalty, integrity and a sense of humor which are the framework of who I am. I rarely say “No” to a request especially if it comes from one of my three daughters or from my seven grandchildren. My husband and I have travelled extensively. I began writing in my 60s when a cousin in Ireland relayed her life story about her adopted son.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Satin Russell


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Reconsidering Romance

“Well, it’s not formulaic, like romance.

“Oh, you write those kinds of books.”

“Not interested, those are woman stories.”

Let’s be honest, romance gets a bad rap by everybody who doesn’t read romance. It’s the bad girl genre with the questionable reputation. The vapid hussy among literary types. Well, I’m here to push back on those stereotypes and hopefully convince you to give this much maligned genre another chance.

“It’s formulaic.”

Yes, like most genres, there are certain parameters that romance adheres to. According to the RWA, every romance should have a centralized romance between two (or more) people and a “happily ever after.” However, there are an infinite number of possibilities that lie between those two points.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the vast array of sub-genres within the romance category. Sure, you have the well-known contemporary romance and historical romances. There’s also paranormal romance, sci-fi romance, sports romance, romantic suspense, lgbtq romance, erotic romance, clean and inspirational romance, Christian and Amish romance, and many others!

And why should that be so surprising? Walk up to anybody who is in a relationship and ask them how they got together, guaranteed they will each have a unique story to tell you.

“Romance is fluff. Only insipid, unintelligent people read it. I prefer literature.”

Have you ever stopped to think how challenging romance is? You’re basically taking two, completely separate people and trying to find a way for them to come together in a meaningful relationship. If that were easy, everybody would be happily paired up and the divorce rate would be sitting at zero. It takes self-reflection, communication, interpersonal skills, empathy, and courage to be in a healthy relationship. Not only does a person need to know what they want and need, but they also have to be able to express those needs, and then identify it in their partner. The romance genre explores the many diverse paths towards that success.

“It’s basically porn for women.”

Ah, yes. Many romances have – gasp – sex! Not only sex, but women who are empowered to search for and achieve mutually satisfying sex. You know what? It doesn’t stop there. Women in romances are also making informed decisions about their fate and goals throughout the book. Sex is just one aspect of their self-determination. How empowering is that? Why as a society is that considered so taboo? Frankly, I think we could use more examples of that.

And, no. Romance shouldn’t be just for women. To be honest, we could use more MEN reading romance and becoming familiar with what stories by women for women look like. Who knows, if more men were open to reading romance, we might be able to bridge the gap between “Mars and Venus.”

So next time you find yourself dismissing romance as a genre, or you hear someone with a similar reaction, please stop and reconsider! Romance has so much more to offer than a bare chest on the cover and a titillating climax.

Satin Russell

Satin Russell was a financial advisor for many years up until she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer back in April 2013. It took her a year of saving and planning before she was able to commit to her goal full-time.  Her debut novel, Secret Hunger, was published in April of 2015.

Satin lives in Massachusetts and is married to the love of her life, a man who literally flew halfway around the world for her. Other than writing, she loves reading, supporting fellow authors (especially self-published ones,) traveling, and photography. She’s also partial to a good whiskey every now and then. You can visit her website, and follow her on TwitterAmazon, and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a signed print copy of her book, Secret Hunger, to one lucky winner. All you have to do is comment on this blog post. The winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Theresa Schimmel


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On their annual summer visit to the Watch Hill Carousel, Otto and Thora are excited to try for the brass ring that will earn a free ride. But when Otto retrieves the brass ring and decides to keep it, he has no way of knowing that its magical power will take him and his twin sister into the carousel panel paintings, where they will experience thrilling adventures.

The Carousel Adventure features the Watch Hill Carousel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.  Believed to be the oldest continuously operating carousel in the country, it consists of twenty wooden horses with real horse hair tails and manes. Suspended from rods with no platform, the horses seem to ‘fly’ through the air as the carousel turns.  In the center of the carousel are large painted panels, reproductions of famous 19th- and 20th-century paintings. The illustrator of the book’s cover, Gary Anderson, painted the panels on the Watch Hill Carousel and refurbishes the horses.

A hard cover book, The Carousel Adventure will keep children riveted as they experience the exciting adventures of Thora and Otto in each chapter. The book is designed to both entertain and educate. Reproductions of the carousel’s paintings are depicted at the beginning of each chapter with non-fiction pages on the paintings’ subject matter at the end of each chapter.

Schimmel

The author of three other children’s books and an adult novel, Theresa Schimmel is a former teacher and educational consultant. Her short stories and poems have been featured and won awards in literary magazines and newspapers. She is a member of the Association of Rhode Island Authors. Married with two adult sons and two grandchildren, she resides in Rhode Island with her husband, Steve. Her books can be purchased through www.tamstales.net .

OPPORTUNITY! The author has offered to discount her book by 50% (from $24.95 to $12.50) to one winner. When you comment on this blog post, be sure to indicate if you want to enter the drawing. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.