Welcome to the RI Authors Showcase!

Welcome to the Rhode Island Authors Showcase! Each day in November, this blog will feature a different Rhode Island author. Read the post and leave a comment and you are eligible to win this day’s giveaway!

Leave a comment every day this month for over 30 chances to win either our Grand Prize (a $250 Amazon gift card), our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card), or a Cheer-Up Prize (amount to be determined), just in time for holiday shopping!

A winner will be randomly selected one week after the publication of the blog post, and the Grand Prize and Bonus Prize winners will be randomly selected on December 7, 2021. For the daily giveaways, the author will contact you directly to coordinate delivery. Print books for delivery within the US only, please.

Martha Reynolds

So, as this is the first, day, I thought I’d kick it off.

I am Martha Reynolds and I write mostly women’s fiction. Born and raised in Rhode Island, I spent a year of college in Switzerland, the memories of which inspired my debut novel, Chocolate for Breakfast, and its sequels, Chocolate Fondue and Bittersweet Chocolate (find the series here: https://tinyurl.com/fchwkhzp). I have traveled back to Switzerland numerous times, and continue to be inspired.

I have written ten novels, including the Amazon #1 bestsellers Chocolate for Breakfast and Bits of Broken Glass. My novel Villa del Sol was awarded the 2018 Book Prize in Literary Fiction by the Independent Publishers of New England. My writing has appeared in Magnificat magazine and my very short poem was read by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz during National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More” poetry challenge.

My latest novel is titled The Summer of Princess Diana and is based on true events. And I’m presently working on a thriller – something different!

My newest novel

The Summer of Princess Diana follows the story of Diana Driscoll, who manipulates her wealthy father into funding a trip to London to attend the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in the summer of 1981. There’s no way she’d miss the wedding of the century, and the thought of bagging her own prince along the way has crossed her mind once or twice. She stops off in Switzerland to visit her best friend, who’s attending school there.

But when her father is arrested and his assets are seized, Diana’s credit card is rendered useless and she’s stuck in Switzerland. What she once thought of as an idyllic area has now turned into her nightmare. Without funds and options, she takes a job as a nanny to a dysfunctional family. To make matters worse, she has to live with them. In this coming-of-age story, Diana learns that fairytales only exist in books, and life’s lessons don’t come easy.

While it’s not necessary to win, I would greatly appreciate your follows! You can follow this blog, if you’re not already doing so. Here is a link to my Amazon page: https://tinyurl.com/wssy6fje

For today, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. And I’ll toss in a copy of The Summer of Princess Diana, too (print copy for US only, please). All you have to do to be eligible is answer this question: What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

Meanwhile, be sure to comment on each day’s blog post for additional entries into our Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawings!

Join us on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the CROWNE PLAZA in Warwick for the 9th Annual Rhode Island Authors Expo!

79 thoughts on “Welcome to the RI Authors Showcase!

  1. Thank you so much for providing this information. It’s just great to learn about the local talent. My worst job was working in Vehicle Operations at Kadena Air Base Japan. Basically half the job for my first year was washing/waxing/weed whacking.

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  2. Excited to learn more about you and eager to read your treasures! Chocolate is surely a sweet treat favorite of mine and the titles draw me in! As for the worst job I’ve had…hmmm…I was always pretty selective and liked them, however I could say the worst part about a job I’ve had would probably be the tidying up after a fun and elaborate project with kids!

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  3. When I was 16 I worked in a Ma and Pop donut shop. I had been working there for about 2 months, and I had a few incidents including burning my wrists with splashing fat while cleaning the grill at night. I was a bit accident prone, but who wasn’t at 16? One night I accidentally flooded the back room preparing the mop bucket for cleaning. I was so upset with myself, and I knew “ma” was going to yell at me. When “Pop” came to close the shop I was relieved, until he tried to comfort me then groped me in the kitchen. A few days later I got a call from “Ma” telling me my services were no longer needed. I was actually relieved. But don’t get me wrong, I still love donuts.

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  4. My worst job was a part time job working at a small clothing store in PA to help extend my unemployment benefits from being laid off from my full-time industrial engineering job. My job was to pick up after the customers who would leave the clothing in piles on the floor of the dressing room and also to refold other clothing in the rest of the store. I wasn’t there long before I was laid off. While I was still collecting unemployment and I had moved about an hour away, the owners tried to prevent me from collecting unemployment. I had no trouble continuing to collect once I explained that I had moved an hour away and did not have transportation.

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  5. Congratulations on your new novel, Martha! I really enjoyed Villa del Sol, and The Summer of Princess Diana sounds like a great story too.
    I’ve been fortunate to enjoy most aspects of the jobs I have had, but there were always some parts that were not as enjoyable. I worked as a Flavor and Aroma analyst at Arthur D. Little, and we did quality control for a variety of products and manufacturers. One of the less pleasant ones was trying to determine which ingredients in kitty litter made it most effective in preventing odor. Enough said!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I would enjoy this novel. I grew up in the sixties and fell in love with everything British. From the Beatles to the Stones…I even fantasized about marrying Prince Charles, when he was young and handsome and followed his storybook marriageto Princess Di. I think I could relate to the main character very much.

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  7. Congratulations Martha on your tenth book! What’s yours secret—a page a day?
    I’ve had some great jobs and others not so great, but I can’t say any of them were the worst. Probably the most stressful was working for an independent contractor installing Preview TV. I had just received my Master’s degree from URI in 1981 and I needed work. Basically, the job required me to run a ladder to the roof, use a meter on the roof to pick up the best signal from Worcester, install a small antenna, and run wire along the roof and down the house to a TV box for a television. In theory the procedure was simple (I dealt with electronics and related work in the Coast Guard and was familiar with house construction), but each house soon became a separate puzzle. Some houses were single story and relatively easy (but even those had odd circumstances that made installation difficult—drilling through walls and floors without hitting plumbing or electrical wires) while others were my worst nightmare. When my forty foot ladder barely reached the edge of the roof I knew I had to be extra careful (especially in winter). I wouldn’t install on slate roofs in Newport (no place to attach antenna, often slippery with mosses and expensive slate could easily be broken). On other houses, it became necessary to inform several people that they had huge holes in their roof. Needless to say I didn’t walk on these roofs either. It’s hard to believe the owners didn’t know about the holes, unless they were renters. And the need to move quickly always echoed in my mind. Thank goodness my father-in-law hired me until I could find something in my field. He was a lifesaver

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    1. Wow, Hank. I can’t imagine (fear of heights!). But especially those roofs with holes in them. I guess people are oblivious – until water comes through the ceiling! Thanks for commenting. Lots more authors to come – including you!

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  8. I am so looking forward to reading your latest novel. Way to keep yourself busy, lol.
    In my past I sold bridal gowns (in college), worked in hospital laboratories, been a full-time Mom and spent 20+ years in a political position. Retirement with grandchildren is the best.

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  9. Hi Martha, can’t wait to read The Summer of Diana book. I never had a totally awful job but one year I worked in the athletic department at RIC and the job was fun except that I was responsible for getting the wrestlers sweaty uniforms into the washer every afternoon after practice. Believe me, it was not fun!!! 🤢

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  10. The worse job I ever had was the summer of 1977, it was the summer between freshman and sophomore year of college. Jobs were difficult to come by. I sold China, silverware, pans door to door. I hated it but learned from it. Eventually I got a better job that summer. I’m looking forward to your new book.

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  11. My worst job was working at a high end jewelry manufacturer . The company shall not be named here, but the brother of the owner exposed himself to me a a coworker . It was very traumatic. I was 18 & she was just 16 . I did tell the owner & he fired his brother . I did not tell my Dad for fear he would go in & harm the man .

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  12. I am looking forward to reading your books. I love reading local authors. I have had many jobs before my career in event planning, but I have to say that my least favorite was working in the kitchen of a nursing home. I was still 15 and had to get permission from my school and parents to work there. We rotated our jobs during the week and one of the jobs was the laundry. Needless to say, dirty adult diapers were not the highlight of any of my days there!

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  13. My worst job had to be my first babysitting job when I was fifteen, back in the eighties. It was for a young couple who had just moved into our neighborhood. They had two sons, one three years old and one nine months. The kids were actually enjoyable but the parents were a bit strange. When I would arrive they would pull out their bong from under the sink and light up before heading out. One time the father even asked if I wanted a hit! Before I could squeak out a polite, “No thank you”, the mother said, “Honey, she’s going to watch our kids!” I smiled awkwardly, relieved she had spoke up. Then she said, “If she wants some she can have it when we get back.” I babysat for them another four times because the kids were good and they paid well. When they came home that fourth and final night, they both realized they didn’t have any cash to pay me. The mother, pleased that she had come up with a solution, grabbed my hand, led me down the hall to their spare bedroom and flicked on the light. “Pick out something you like!” She said pointing to several racks of sexy lingerie and a multitude of boxes with various sex toys. “I do home parties, there’s good money in this stuff,” she announced proudly. I finally mustered up a polite, “No thank you, I can just stop by tomorrow to pick up my money.”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations on your newest release, Martha!

    After working for a plastic surgeon for 24 years, he closed his practice. I was hired by a urology group thereafter. The office manager was horrible – just sat in her small office, and basically just worked on each of our schedules for the upcoming week. If we were short of help (which was always the case), she would not pitch in to help. Apparently, it wasn’t her job. She was condescending as well as one of the physicians in the group. She dressed like she was going to a nightclub while the rest of us wore scrubs. Her cell phone ringtone was “Bad to the Bone” (I kid you not). They had five locations, and the staff had to travel to a different location each day. Our schedules were different each week – Woonsocket, Pawtucket, West Warwick, Johnston, East Providence, Cranston, many days two different locations a day. Besides the office manager being rude, the practice manager was also condescending. I quit after only three months, having lost 10 pounds because of the toxic environment. One of my co-workers (who started around the same time as me) would get called to the office all the time for one ridiculous reason or another. She always would say, “I’m 50 something, and here I go again getting called into the principal’s office”. She quit a week before me. I later found out that another group bought the practice, and the bad-to-the-bone office manager was fired. C’est la vie.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Martha! I guess the worst job I had was cleaning the bathrooms in the dorm where I lived during my last year of college. It was income to help pay for essentials. I cleaned the bathrooms during the weekends when the regular cleaners were off. The worst times were cleaning up after the students who had too much to drink and left a mess for me to clean up. Yuck. The supervisor asked if I would like to keep working as I was the best they’ve had. I said no thank you. I did feel appreciated by the staff though.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi, the worst job I have ever had was selling wigs at a Kmart a very long time ago, actually they had hired me so I went the day they told me to go, and I went and then they told me that I shouldn’t have gone that day, well, needless to say that was the very first time I went and I never went back again. Have a great week and stay safe. aliciabhaney(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  17. The worst job I ever had… well, there’s two: I had unpaid children’s book reviews I was doing for a “boss” who gave me tons of research busy-work for no reason and nit-picked everything I did. And then kept me on the phone for hours droning on and on about things I did not care about in the slightest. OR maybe working at the gift shop in college. So many Lego sets, with many dizzying product ID numbers. And a boss who fired me for literally no reason shortly after the sudden death of my childhood friend’s father. So I’d say it’s a toss up!

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  18. Martha, it’s wonderful to read about your new novel! I can’t wait to add it to my collection.
    I’ve never had a “worse” job, but elements that were awful in jobs I loved. I would have to narrow it down to working in a two-person office, my boss and I, in a large institution. He quickly assessed my intelligence and zeroed in on my willingness to take one new tasks. At first it was wonderful, but as he did less and less over the years, it became unbearable. By the end of seven years, I was doing almost all his work, including writing all the material for the office, press releases, contact with media, and lots more, while he would leave on an “errand” at 10:00 a.m. or so, never to return, leaving me to handle not only the work, but also inquiries to where he was. He wouldn’t even tell me that he was leaving. I noticed his absence and from the window checked his parking space to see his truck gone.
    I was frantic and nearing a nervous breakdown. Happily, an opening in another office in the same institution came up and I was able to transfer into it for the final six years of work before retiring.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, yes, I must add that while this guy was paid handsomely for doing little, I did most his work for secretary level salary. Yikes. As my better half says, sometimes I’m my own worst enemy!

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  19. How exciting to start the month featuring yourself! Bravo!
    My worst job ever was a work study job at PC. I was a janitor and assigned to clean the art and music building. Those 3:30 AM mornings killed me. Luckily it was for one semester only.

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  20. Looks like another book read you can’t put down Martha!

    My worse job was working third shift at Continental Bakery. I worked loading boxes on conveyor belts that stopped at different times making me physically sick. And the smell of all that frosting made it impossible for me to eat my lunch at 2:00 a.m. The kind people I worked with who were eating all kinds of pastry promised I would get used to it in time but I only lasted 1 week. I never realized until years later that I had some serious vertigo issues.

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  21. THANK YOU, Martha, for sharing your Swiss connection! My worse job ever was on the Cuba desk working for a woman who took out her lack of self-confidence on me. It was a truly miserable year. I got back at her, however, and used her first name as the “villain” in my book, Home Waters.

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  22. After graduating from Providence College I went to an employment agency. I was sent to a factory where I stood on an assembly line inserting Bic shavers into their packaging. I think I lasted two days.

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    1. Jo! I worked at the Bic factory, too – between junior and senior year in high school. The Bic lighters, ugh. Then I moved to the skinny magic marker pens – 10 to a pack. The senior workers stood at the beginning and laid down a red pen, or an orange pen. By the time it got to me, there were 10 pens to scoop up and stuff in the plastic sleeve, in correct order. I couldn’t keep up! It was like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory, only no chocolate. LOL

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  23. Martha, you are an excellent writer. Thank you for sharing your stories and your craft with us. Peace, glenn

    PS: worst job was kitchen help at a diner on RT17, NJ; peeling 50 pound sacks of onions. Bring your own goggles.

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  24. My worst job was when the dentist I enjoyed working with retired and sold his practice to a younger dentist. Which we were part of the sale. This dentist just wanted to get us to quit. I was helping him with a crown prep, I had the impression material and was loading the mouth piece and he grab my arm. The impression material went all over me. The patient and I was so upset. He was just more angry. Then I had been out with pneumonia and when I came back he wanted me to sweep the pollen off the front porch. He was a real ASS. After a few more incidents, my husband came into the practice had me leave and demanded to see this dentist and told him off and left the office keys. I am still great friends with my original dentist and wife. He just thought he was keeping us employed.

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  25. My worst job ever was when the dentist I had really enjoyed working retired. And he sold his practice to a nightmare of a dentist. He was good with his patients, but his goal was to get rid of us that came with the practice. I was working with him on a crown prep and he grab my arm as I was putting the impression material in the mouth piece, and the impression material went all over. The patient was so upset as I was. And I was getting over pneumonia and he wanted me to sweet pollen of the front porch. He was a real ASS.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  26. I worked one summer for St. Regis Paper Company (now International Paper) working in the paper-company land of eastern Maine. One of my duties was sight-clearing one-lane dirt roads accessing the many lakes in this remote woodland. Sight-clearing is cutting back and removing overgrown brush from the corners of the roads in order to see better if someone was coming from the other direction. I did this work in June, when Maine’s infamous black flies were at their peak. Not only was the work very dusty and sweaty, but the black flies chewed my neck to shreds. (These small but robust flies literally gouge out a chunk of skin with every bite, They have been known to drive moose from the woods.) I came home every night with streams of caked blood from my ears into the neckline of my shirt, looking like a vampire victim. I discovered one benefit, however: the black flies so poisoned me that their bites (which itched like the dickens at the time) have never bothered me since.

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  27. I was 17 and wanting to earn money for my prom. I was a waitress at the lunch counter at Woolworths 5 & 10. Quit right after the prom, and knew college was for me!

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    1. I had a waitressing job that lasted exactly one day, Cathy! The owner of the diner was a miserable little man. But karma…….many years later I was grocery shopping and guess who was bagging my groceries?! Yep! He didn’t recognize me, of course, but the cashier saw me staring. I whispered to her that I had worked for him when I was 19. She rolled her eyes and whispered back, “Was he awful back then, too?”

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  28. My worst full-time job was working as a collector in a credit union, for sure. It was right up there with my part time, high school job of kicking a foot press in a jewelry factory that made belt buckles.

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  29. I started working at Fatima Hospital and then moved to Roger Williams Hospital , I can say I have never had a job I did not like .Went on to graduate College with a degree in Medical Technology and continued working at Roger Williams !

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