Villa del Sol is on sale now!

Happy 2023, everyone! I do hope the year has started out well for you. I have a deal for you – if you haven’t yet read my award-winning novel VILLA DEL SOL, now’s the time to grab a digital copy. Get your copy here:

I’m doing a Kindle Countdown Deal through Amazon. If you don’t know what that is, it means I discount this book to $1.99 on January 6. That’s a 76% discount, so go get it now! On January 7, the price rises to $3.99 (still 51% off the regular price). And on January 8, the price rises again, to $5.99, where it will stay for another 24 hours before returning to the previously-set price of $7.99.

Villa del Sol was awarded the 2018 Book Prize in literary fiction by the Independent Publishers of New England. It’s a story set on the beautiful Swiss-Italian border, along Lake Lugano. And if you’ve read my “Swiss Chocolate” trilogy, you’ll be delighted to reconnect with one of the characters.

Welcoming Jacqui Murray and her Prehistoric Fiction!

I am so happy to welcome my pal and fellow blogger Jacqui Murray today to celebrate the release of her new prehistoric fiction book, Natural Selection (Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy). Prehistoric fiction!! Right?!

In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue former-tribe members captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. In this book, more join and some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a combination of our developing intellect and our inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to this task. Based on true events.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Jacqui has a YouTube video for the book (something I must do) and it’s brilliant.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

You can learn more and follow her at the following:

Amazon author page:






Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Martha Reynolds!

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase is back! Each day in November, I’ll be featuring a different RI author. Each post features a giveaway – a book, an anthology, or something else! All you have to do to be eligible for the daily drawing is leave a comment on the blog post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner one week after the blog post (to give you time to catch up).

By commenting on each post, you’re also entered to win our bigger prizes: GRAND PRIZE is a $250 Amazon gift card, BONUS PRIZE is a $100 Amazon gift card, and the CHEER UP YOU WON SOMETHING PRIZE is a $50 Amazon gift card. The big prizes will be chosen, again using a random number generator, on December 7.

I asked myself the same questions I posed to everyone else!

My hometown: Johnston as a child, then Warwick, Rhode Island. Now in West Warwick.

What are my genre(s) Women’s fiction, literary fiction

What have I written? The Swiss Chocolate series (Chocolate for Breakfast, Chocolate Fondue, Bittersweet Chocolate); Bits of Broken Glass; The Way to Remember; The Happy Ever After series (A Jingle Valley Wedding, April in Galway, All’s Well in Jingle Valley); A Winding Stream; Villa del Sol; The Summer of Princess Diana; I Wish I Had a River

Some of my favorite authors: Roisin Meaney, Camille Pagan, Elin Hildebrandt, Marisa de los Santos, Anna Quindlen

My favorite books growing up: The Yearling, Go Ask Alice, and later, The Thorn Birds, The Color Purple

What do you like best about writing? I love starting out! When everything is possible, when I ask, “What if…?” Even though I generally have a good idea about plot, sometimes the story heads in a different direction, and I follow along happily.

What do find most challenging about writing? The technical aspects (so I pay people to do that for me) and the promoting of myself. I’m rubbish at both.

Where do you draw your inspiration? Everywhere! There is always a kernel of truth in my fiction. Perhaps it’s a snippet of conversation I overheard, a distinct (or sometimes fuzzy) memory, the human condition.

You’ve just been given the chance to collaborate on a book with Roisin Meaney. What’s the title going to be? Oh boy! Well, I’ll need to travel to Ireland for collaboration, and we’ll call the book A Song for Kiernan

Please follow me on Amazon and you’ll never miss a new release!

Here it is, my new novel! I do love this cover. Here’s what USA TODAY bestselling author Jon Land had to say about it: “I Wish I Had a River is a magical journey through love, life, and loss, a quest not for riches so much as fulfillment. Martha Reynolds has fashioned a shrewd and sensitive tale that explores both the breadth and the limits of the human heart to emerge from tragedy. This is literary writing of the highest order, on par with Elizabeth Gilbert, Alice Hoffman, and even the great Joan Didion. I only wish there were more books like this!”

The book should be perfect for fans of Eat Pray Love. One winner will receive a copy (print or digital, your choice) PLUS I’ll name a character after you in my next novel! Here’s my question: Of the four countries featured in this novel (Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France), which one tops your ‘wanna go there’ or ‘already been and loved it’ list?

This is the last day for the RI Authors Showcase – thank you for participating! Remember, the Grand Prize drawings will be held on December 7, and I’m going to try to post the video of the drawings here, but I’ll reach out to you if you win. You have a week to catch up and comment on each of the daily posts. Each day that you comment gets you a chance to win one of the big prizes. Good luck and see you soon!

If you’re local, please stop by the 10th Annual Rhode Island Authors Expo on Saturday, December 3. I’ll be there with about a hundred other local authors – all kinds of genres, so something for everyone. Did you know that signed books make great gifts? I’ll have plenty of my newest.

Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Julien Ayotte!

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase is back! Each day in November, I’ll be featuring a different RI author. Each post features a giveaway – a book, an anthology, or something else! All you have to do to be eligible for the daily drawing is leave a comment on the blog post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner one week after the blog post (to give you time to catch up).

By commenting on each post, you’re also entered to win our bigger prizes: GRAND PRIZE is a $250 Amazon gift card, BONUS PRIZE is a $100 Amazon gift card, and the CHEER UP YOU WON SOMETHING PRIZE is a $50 Amazon gift card. The big prizes will be chosen, again using a random number generator, on December 7.

Julien Ayotte

Perennial favorite Julien Ayotte is back on Black Friday and I’ve asked a few questions!

Where is your hometown? Woonsocket for 68 years, Cumberland for the last 11 years, and now in Lincoln, Rhode Island

What genre(s) do you write? Mostly mystery thrillers, but one historical fiction.

What have you written? Spitting Images: A Harry Esten Mystery (2022), The Treasure (2020), Diamond and Pearls (2020), Code Name Lily (2018), Disappearance (2017), A Life Before (2016), Dangerous Bloodlines (2014), Flower of Heaven (2012), Wealth Building for Professionals (2001)

Who are some of your favorite authors? David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, John Grisham

What were some of your favorite books growing up? To Kill A Mockingbird, The Green Beret, The Count of Monte Cristo

What do you like best about writing?  Creating a story that didn’t exist before. The satisfaction of taking a reader to a place he/she has never been to or may never get to. Each of my novels is totally different, from a priest having an affair and its consequences, to a young girl with reincarnation powers, to the witness protection system, to a WWII heroine, to a female burglar, to a retired colonel with a heart of gold, and to multiple young adults looking very much alike. The satisfaction comes from people who read what I write.

What do find most challenging about writing?  Where my next day’s writing will take me, if anywhere at all. I have no outline, no ending, no idea whatsoever what I will write today or tomorrow, but suddenly it just comes pouring out. It can be frightening, but it always comes together in the end. Some days I can’t write a single word, but I get up the next day to try again.

Where do you draw your inspiration? Success breeds success. My readers are my inspiration, so you could say I draw my inspiration from them. What I thought would be one novel and done, has turned into a mission to continue to satisfy the thirst of my readers, who want yet another book and can’t seem to get it fast enough. I once foolishly made a promise to them that I would write a book a year for ten years. Age and a pandemic have a way to slow this process a bit, but I hope to get to #10 soon as #8 has just been released. I write because I breathe, and simply cannot spend most of my time playing golf and tennis anymore. My wife still wonders where all of this creativity comes from…so do I, but I’m glad I found it! The simplest events can make a great book if you don’t take them for granted. 

You’ve just been given the chance to collaborate on a book with John Grisham! What’s the title going to be?  The Bar Exam

Julien’s website is where you can find full descriptions and links to all of his books.

Two bodies are washed ashore, one in Provincetown on Cape Cod, the other on the shore of Boston Harbor. Both bodies look alike and are carrying the wallets of two other people who also resemble the two dead bodies. How can this be?

Follow the trail of leads found by Harry Esten, a former FBI agent, as he and his wife Laura join forces with two Massachusetts police agencies to find the assailant.

The suspense is unending, and the motives are mind-boggling, but the ending is nothing like you would expect.

Julien is giving away a copy of Spitting Images: A Harry Esten Mystery, his most recent thriller. You’ll want to read this book! Do you resemble someone famous? Let us know in the comments!

Please follow Julien on Amazon and check out his other books – as one reader says, “Once you’ve read one of Ayotte’s books, you’ll want to read them all!”

Julien’s website:

Julien’s Amazon page:

Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Elizabeth Splaine!

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase is back! Each day in November, I’ll be featuring a different RI author. Each post features a giveaway – a book, an anthology, or something else! All you have to do to be eligible for the daily drawing is leave a comment on the blog post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner one week after the blog post (to give you time to catch up).

By commenting on each post, you’re also entered to win our bigger prizes: GRAND PRIZE is a $250 Amazon gift card, BONUS PRIZE is a $100 Amazon gift card, and the CHEER UP YOU WON SOMETHING PRIZE is a $50 Amazon gift card. The big prizes will be chosen, again using a random number generator, on December 7.

Elizabeth Splaine

I’ve got some questions for author Elizabeth Splaine!

Where is your hometown? Wilmington, Delaware

What genre(s) do you write? Medical thriller

What have you written? Blind Order (2017), Blind Knowledge (2019), Devil’s Grace (2020), Swan Song (2021)

Who are some of your favorite authors? Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, Rodney Bolt

What were some of your favorite books growing up? Although the Day is not Mine to Give, I’ll Show You the Morning Sun, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Crime and Punishment

What do you like best about writing? Creating a world from a nugget of an idea.

What do find most challenging about writing? Writing is like puzzle solving, but you create the puzzle, and the pieces keep moving around as you try to place them.

Where do you draw your inspiration? I love the process of writing, so my inspiration comes from that drive to push forward, to put the last puzzle piece in place. As for ideas, they come from everywhere-something someone says, an article I read, a story I’m told.

You’ve just been given the chance to collaborate on a book with Ibram X. Kendi! What’s the title going to be? The Light Settlers.

When Dr. Angela Brennan’s daughter dies shortly after surgery, Angela reluctantly employs the spirit world to fight the battle of her life against power-hungry hospital colleagues who will stop at nothing to conceal the truth.

Want to win a copy (hint: yes, you do!)? If you’re the winner, you can choose between a copy of Splaine’s novel or a half-hour singing lesson! Beth is an accomplished opera singer, and she can fine-tune your vocal instrument. Anyway, it’s your choice if you win.

To be eligible for today’s drawing, and for an additional chance in the Grand Prizes drawing, tell us which prize you’d choose!

Find out more about Beth and her books here:

Find her books and follow her on Amazon:

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.”



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!






Busy Time Ahead!

Every day in November

This is typically the busiest time of year for me and my Rhode Island authors group, with fairs and festivals abundant in September and October, the upcoming Rhode Island Authors Showcase in November (follow and comment on each day’s post for giveaways and a Grand Prize of a $250 Amazon gift card!), culminating with our annual Expo on Saturday, December 3, where over 100 local authors of various genres will be present.

I’ll be there!

Once again, I expect to have my new novel available for you! Fingers crossed, because there are a few more items on my list before I have actual copies. But how about a cover reveal? Would you like to see the gorgeous cover created by Tatiana Vila of Vila Designs?

I said gorgeous, right? I love this cover. In case you were wondering, that’s the Douro River in Porto, Portugal. It figures prominently in this novel. I am so excited to share it with you! And I’ve taken the final day of the RI Authors Showcase (November 30) to feature it.

So join me here! It’s always a lot of fun.

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:

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!

Book Review Tuesday – My Friend Anna – #BRT

I watched the Netflix series “Inventing Anna” before reading this book, so I knew what was coming. And I wanted to sympathize with the author, but really, it’s hard to feel sympathy for someone, presumably intelligent and professional, who was so dazzled by the idea of a famous rich person as a friend that she tossed aside all rational thought.

There is a lot (too much) detail provided by the author at the outset, details about her upbringing and early days working in New York. Honestly, it didn’t make me root for her.

Time and time again, Anna Sorokin’s actions SHOULD have given her pause, and time and time again she brushed them off. “Even when I disagreed with her, or was embarrassed by her entitlement (she cut in front of people constantly), Anna’s choosiness made me value her approval and feel privileged to be her friend.” She felt privileged to be her friend! Again and again.

But here is why I never got invested in Rachel: “Anna also appealed to a certain part of me, and not necessarily the best part. Because of her, I was often late for things, I drank too much, and I neglected other friendships. I felt proud that Anna liked me, but was it possible, at the same time, to feel subconsciously ashamed?” It was because Anna had cachet, entitlement, money (but we learn, not really). The author went along with all of Anna’s worst character traits because she was getting something in return – a table at the exclusive Le Coucou or entree into one of the exclusive nightclubs that only allowed in the most attractive people – Good lord.

The author takes us through, in tedious, painstaking detail, each day (practically) of her interactions with Anna. Anna hardly ever had money to cover a tab, so the author gladly picked up the check, even though Anna was supposedly a German heiress and the author worked a regular job in Manhattan. Fool me once….well, you know the rest.

It’s the trip to Marrakesh that is really at the heart of this book. Apparently, the $7,500-per-night riad Anna wanted to book was something one of the Kardashian sisters had used. See what I mean? Chase the shiny celebrity. And because Anna ONCE AGAIN had an issue with her credit card, and the resort management was threatening the vacationers, the author agreed to hand over not only her personal American Express card, but the one she held for work, too. The little vacation ended up costing over $60,000. It’s so obscene.

So, for months Rachel (the author) tried to get Anna to repay her this very large sum of money, and every day Anna had another excuse. I mean, how many times would you nod your head or rationalize Anna’s lies before you got some clarity? We’re talking about a lot of money here, money the author reminded us often was a LOT OF MONEY.

Giving the author a little credit for the fact that, once she had clarity, and understood that Anna was nothing more than a con artist, she did a very good job of detailing all the expenses and conversations to the authorities. And, she pointed out the fact that the media focused more on what Anna would wear to court each day – the media bought into Anna’s new con, to turn herself into a social media star. (Still working, apparently – she has over a million followers on Instagram – hey, I never said Americans were smart).

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s to stop being dazzled by people like Anna Sorokin – who cares if you can’t get in to the swanky club? Aren’t there more important things in life? Especially if you’re in your twenties? I mean, maybe not. But there should be more important things.

I don’t know what Rachel Williams is doing these days. It doesn’t matter to me. I hope she’s healthy and putting her life back together.

If you want to read the book, here’s a link:

Book Review Tuesday is on vacation for a few weeks! I have an editing project in the works and at some point, I need to get back to my own writing. See you soon!