Quick Note about a FREE eBook!


Happy Thanksgiving! Pardon the interruption, but the Rhode Island Authors Showcase is still going strong! I just wanted to let you know about this freebie for the next five days.

My novel, The Way to Remember, is actually a reworking of the original Best Seller, released way back in 2014. It did well, too – 70 ratings and an average of 4 stars (out of five). Here’s what one reader said: “Martha Reynolds is the sort of author one hopes to find. She is a natural storyteller, and if you enjoy one of her books, you are sure to enjoy them all. In Best Seller, all of her best skills as a writer are on display. Her characters are real flesh-and-blood beings, and they learn and grow as real people do. Her settings come alive so fully, you feel you know these places. Best of all, her stories unfold in perfect time. Best Seller bears the perfect title. I expect we will see Martha Reynolds’s novels on many bestseller lists for years to come.”

How great are reviews like that one?! But then…..the ‘Zon strikes you down. Five years after its release, Amazon contacted me by email and said the title of my book was misleading and unacceptable, and unless I changed it within five days, they’d removed it from their selling platform. What??? I freaked out. I remember my husband was in Salzburg at the time, visiting family. I called my friend Dawn, who works in publishing, and she advised me to call Amazon directly. I did. I had at least five conversations with representatives (a different one each time). Each person I spoke with seemed sympathetic to my pleas (“It was optimistically titled!” “It never was a best seller!” “It’s a novel, for crying out loud!”). In the end, they wouldn’t budge.

So, I deleted the book, and there went all the nice reviews. I had to rename it (The Way to Remember is the title of the book my main character is writing), get a new cover, and while I was there, I tweaked the writing a little. It took over six months to get it re-published. And it has 18 very kind reviews. So I thought that by making it free for five days, maybe I could get it noticed. Again.

If you haven’t read it yet, here’s an opportunity to download the digital version for free! Go ahead, download it. And if you’re so inclined, your thoughtful and constructive review on Amazon is very much appreciated.

Here’s the blurb:

Set in New England at the time of the American Bicentennial, The Way to Remember is the poignant story of a displaced young woman struggling to figure out who she is within the context of her hometown and the carefully masked dysfunction of her family. “Everything can be fixed by writing a check.” Words to live by for Robin Fortune’s wealthy father, until he can’t buy her way back into college after she’s expelled for dealing pot. Now he chooses not to speak to her anymore, but that’s just one of the out-of-whack situations Robin’s facing. At nineteen, she feels rudderless, working in a diner by day and sleeping with a buddy from high school by night – all so strange for her because she was always the one with the plan. While her college friends plotted how to ensnare husbands, she plotted a novel, which she scratched out into a series of spiral-bound notebooks she hides in the closet. But now, there’s nothing. No vision, no future, no point. In fact, the only thing she feels she has to look forward to is that her favorite author, Maryana Capture, is paying a visit to the local Thousand Words bookstore. Robin surmises that if she can convince Maryana to help her get her novel published, she’ll finally get herself back on track. Except that life never takes a straight path in this intensely satisfying coming-of-age novel.

Here’s a link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9ypw7a

Thank you! Now, back to the Showcase. Get those comments in and you could win!

The Necromancer’s Daughter – Book Review and Blog Tour Stop!


The Necromancer’s Daughter by D. Wallace Peach

This is one of the most stunning covers, right? It perfectly suits the genre (fantasy) and is ethereal in its beauty.

I’ve got the author, D. Wallace Peach, here to tell you a little something about her latest, followed by my review:

Thanks for having me over to your blog, Martha! Today, I thought I’d share a snippet from Chapter 13 which introduces a couple of secondary characters who end up playing a pivotal role in the story. Aster has hitched a ride on their wagon:

Osran said little beyond a muttered instruction when the wagon demanded a push free of a rut or a deep drift. Unlike his father, Issah prattled for hours.

“There’s a wall running all along the border to keep the tribes from raiding our farms,” the boy said. “They get through anyway, and no one knows how. My cousin says they use ladders or ropes that they hide in the bushes, but I think they climb their giant trees and crawl along the branches and drop down. But then how would they get back over? So that wouldn’t work. I seen cutters a couple times at the outpost. They hang human bones on their walking sticks, and some of them don’t have any teeth. I think those ones might be five or four hundred years old. That’s why they’re so big. And they’re tricky too. There’s brothers of the Order who swear they use magic. My cousin says they turn into panthers the size of mules and leap the fence.”

“You’re telling tales,” Osran said. “What’s the rule?”

Issah shrugged. “No sense scaring anyone with stories that aren’t true when there’s enough true ones to make a person think twice.”

§§§

Blurb:

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

§§§

My review:

Let me just say that I don’t usually read fantasy, but The Necromancer’s Daughter is one book that will stay with me for a very long time. Do you know what a necromancer is? It’s a person who uses witchcraft or sorcery to reanimate dead people or to foretell the future by communicating with them. That’s the definition. In this case, the Necromancer (and his daughter) are kind-hearted people who practice their craft for good.

What a meticulously crafted fantasy this is. As I stated, I’m not generally a reader of the genre, but wow, I’m so glad I opened this book. It was difficult to set aside, and I did endure a lack of sleep just to finish the next chapter (and the next…)

The author’s writing is absolutely exquisite. When we say authors paint pictures with words, this is what we mean. Spellbinding, gorgeous prose, and a storyline that will hook you early. Thank you, Diana, for allowing me into this world. It was quite the unforgettable adventure. I recommend The Necromancer’s Daughter for everyone.

§§§

D. Wallace Peach

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

§§§

Now! Go get the book!

US: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach/dp/B0B9FY6YZJ

IN: https://www.amazon.in/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

I’m Still Here!


My apologies for not being a better blogger. I have some friends who are so steady with their posts, and I am not that person.

My book reviews and blog posts have all been put on hold as I devote my computer time to my new novel. The good news is that my husband, always my first reader, said this could be my best book yet, which means the world to me. He is always kind but will critique me when necessary. I still have work to do (don’t even have a title yet), but I’m motivated to push on (as soon as this blog post is published!).

I took on a couple of editing projects this summer, too, which put me behind my writing schedule. But I do enjoy helping writers polish their manuscripts. Every writer can use an editor, and it’s best to go outside the circle of family and friends if you want objective feedback.

We underwent some needed renovations in the house this summer, too. Disruption! Plaster dust! Noise! Not too conducive to getting writing done, and my library’s computers were mostly out of commission, too, so that set me back. But the updates are finished, the workers have left the house, and the air is cooler.

So enough with the excuses. It’s early September and I am determined to get back on track.

Meanwhile – the Rhode Island Authors Showcase will return in November. If you’re a loyal reader of these blog posts (thank you!), you’ll know that for the past several years, I’ve devoted the month of November to showcasing local authors, and each day, each post features a giveaway, plus some pretty awesome grand prizes (last year we gave away a $250 Amazon gift card, a $100 Amazon gift card, and a $50 Amazon gift card with a special prize of getting your name in a novel!). So stay tuned here, because it’s a fun event that helps you discover a new author.

Okay, I’m done. Thanks for not abandoning me, as I would never abandon you, dear subscriber. I hope you had a good summer, and I promise to post more frequently. And based on the title of this post, I’m including one of my favorite YouTube clips, of the legend Elaine Stritch singing “I’m Still Here.” Enjoy!

Happy Swiss National Day!


The Swiss Chocolate Series

Wow wow wow! I’ve never done this before, but to celebrate Swiss National Day today, and through Friday of this week, you can download ALL THREE books in this series for……NOTHING!

That’s right, I decided to do a whopper of a promotion, and you can read this award-winning series for absolutely free. So go ahead and download the books – tell your friends! The bestselling series is set mostly in my beloved Switzerland, and is a family saga that spans decades. It’s classified as women’s fiction (although plenty of men have read the books, too).

Swiss flag
Photo courtesy of ejbartennl

I’ve written 10 books, and I want you to become a new reader. I think that if you enjoy this series, you’ll want to read more of my novels (hint: read Villa del Sol next).

Here’s the link: https://tinyurl.com/2r45mc3v

Happy Swiss National Day, or Schweizer Nationalfeiertag/Bundesfeiertag in German, or Fête nationale Suisse in French, or Festa nazionale della Svizzera in Italian, or Festa naziunala Svizra in Romansch!

Happy Pride Month!


“You know, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender – people are people.” (Judith Light)

This book of mine, pictured above, is FREE for the first five days of June, to celebrate people – everyone (click on the link right below the picture of the book). My character Joe Traversa was, I believe, the first gay character I wrote. He wasn’t the last, though. It’s important not to turn a fictional person into a caricature, and I hope I avoided doing so. Bits of Broken Glass was published in December of 2013 – over eight years and at least six books ago. It’s about an impending high school reunion (do those even take place anymore?) and four classmates who revisit their pasts as the reunion approaches. I created characters from what I call amalgams – bits of friends, and enemies – that I’ve known. No one character is solely based on one individual.

By making a book free for a few days, what I hope to do is attract a new reader or two. It’s hard for a stranger to take a chance on a new author. I know that. So you can download this book for nothing and see what you think. If you like the book, I’ve got plenty more!

Presently I’m working on my 11th novel, my 12th book. It’s pretty incredible sometimes when I think about it. And I do hope this one is the best yet (I say that about each of them). It will involve travel, and my recent trip to Portugal and Spain will provide some of the inspiration. But the book won’t be ready until late in the year, so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.

For those of you who are loyal readers, let me thank you again. I so very much appreciate your support and kindness over the years. I may never be a famous author, but that’s okay with me. I’m doing what I truly enjoy, and as long as you like reading my books, I’ll keep writing them!

Happy Pride Month!

Book Review Tuesday – Sheep Tales – #BRT


How cute is this book? And what a precious and wonderful gift the author gave to his granddaughter by writing this book. Seriously, she’ll have it forever.

Sheep Tales follows young Chloe and her smart Border Collie sheepherder dog, Tobey, on the family farm. Chloe’s parents have sheep and there is one little lamb named Ellie, who somehow gets away from the rest. Panic ensues! But never fear, for Tobey is there.

This book is a treasure, and would make a wonderful gift for any child, especially a little girl who loves animals. With beautiful illustrations from Jamie Forgetta, Sheep Tales warms the heart.

Want a copy? Great! If you’re local, you can find a copy at Stillwater Books in downtown Pawtucket https://www.stillwaterbooksri.com/ or online at Amazon. Copies are available in paperback or hardcover.

Book Review Tuesday – All the Rest of Her Days – #BRT


All the Rest of Her Days

Maggie is 16 years old and pregnant, a big problem in the 1960s. When she confesses to her parents, they make the decision to send her away to a home for unwed, pregnant girls, where Maggie will stay until she gives birth. Then, the baby will be taken and put up for adoption. She gives birth to a son and carries her secret with her for decades.

Thirty years later, Maggie receives a telephone call from a man who says he is her son. This is actually how the book begins – so the reader has a pretty good idea where it’s going. But this isn’t a mystery; it’s a story about loss and a mother’s never-ending love for her son.

The first seven chapters make up Part One, which focuses on Maggie Porter – her teenage pregnancy, her return to high school and college after giving up her baby, and her eventual marriage to a man named Joe. It ends with her pregnancy and the birth of a daughter.

Part Two begins in Ireland, with Julia O’Brien preparing to leave for America. She joins her brother there and meets a man she will eventually marry. But this couple finds themselves childless after a number of years, and decide to adopt. And yes, they adopt the little boy that Maggie Porter had put up for adoption.

From there the storylines move along – sometimes so quickly it’s hard to keep up – to the eventual point that begins the novel.

The author had a good plot and developed it thoroughly. However, this book was in desperate need of a copy editor. Spelling errors and in particular, the misuse and lack of punctuation mar an otherwise engrossing tale. Copy editors can polish a story and make it shine.

Many parts of this story seemed rushed. This is really more of a saga, spanning decades, but at times the author covers years in a single paragraph. Also, when shifting to a new scene (and a new time period), it’s a good idea to have a break, even with a symbol, to let the reader know. Otherwise, one is left wondering what happened, thinking something was missing.

This book was published seven-and-a-half years ago – it would be my recommendation to have it professionally edited and re-release it.

You can get a copy of All the Rest of Her Days in digital or print versions here: https://www.amazon.com/All-Rest-Days-Jane-McCarthy/dp/1495287661/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

#AtoZ 1981 Songs to Remember – “F” is for “For Your Eyes Only”


I chose 1981 music as my theme this year. My newest novel The Summer of Princess Diana is set in the summer of 1981, and oh! the music! Let’s take a look back at a pivotal time in the music industry.

Written for the James Bond film of the same name, “For Your Eyes Only” is sung by the Scottish singer Sheena Easton (best known for her snappy “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” hit). The songwriter, Bill Conti (Providence native!), wrote the film’s song with Donna Summer or Dusty Springfield in mind, but the film studio had noticed Easton after her “9 to 5” hit and suggested her. The song was released in June 1981 and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Here is Sheena Easton singing “For Your Eyes Only” live:

#AtoZ 1981 Songs to Remember – “D” is for “Don’t Stop Believin'”


I chose 1981 music as my theme this year. My newest novel The Summer of Princess Diana is set in the summer of 1981, and oh! the music! Let’s take a look back at a pivotal time in the music industry.

Released in October of 1981, this is Journey’s biggest hit, and recognizable instantly from its keyboard intro. It was a Top 10 worldwide hit in 1981, and became the best-selling digital track of the 20th century, with over seven million downloads.

The song has endured for decades, even making it onto the hit TV show “Glee” as its own anthem. And fans of “The Sopranos” will remember it being played during that iconic final scene. It’s frequently played during Detroit Red Wings hockey games and other Detroit-based sporting events. You’ll hear “Don’t Stop Believin'” played during the eighth inning of every San Francisco Giants home game, because Steve Perry is a season ticket holder. And it was used as a closing number in the musical Rock of Ages.

Trivia: There is no actual “South Detroit,” at least no actual place known as South Detroit, but co-songwriter Steve Perry liked the way it sounded, and it stuck.

#AtoZ 1981 Songs to Remember – “B” is for “Bette Davis Eyes”


I chose 1981 music as my theme this year. My newest novel The Summer of Princess Diana is set in the summer of 1981, and oh! the music! Let’s take a look back at a pivotal time in the music industry.

I can’t ignore the song that was #1 for the year, even if I’m not crazy about it. Kim Carnes sounds like she’s smoked a carton of cigarettes before she recorded it. What I didn’t know was that the song was actually written in 1974 by Jackie DeShannon (“What the World Needs Now is Love” and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”). DeShannon recorded it, but who remembers that? No, it was a huge hit for Kim Carnes, who was a songwriter and session background singer for years, until Kenny Rogers commissioned her in 1980 to co-write songs for his new album. She recorded a few other songs, including a duet with Rogers (“Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer”). Actually, Kim Carnes has had a pretty impressive career, and you can read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Carnes

Here’s the video:

I am going to give a mention to the song I would have included, if it weren’t for the fact that “Bette Davis Eyes” couldn’t be ignored.

“Being with You” by Smokey Robinson – runner-up!