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! https://tinyurl.com/5c2z7c8j

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.

RI Authors Showcase Begins Next Monday!

With 40 local authors participating in this annual event, there are not only great writers to discover, but daily (sometimes twice daily!) giveaways and some excellent prizes at the end of the event. Drawings for the daily giveaways will take place one week after the blog’s publication, and the winner will be notified by email. The author will coordinate delivery of the prize directly with the winner.

This year’s Grand Prize is a $250 Amazon gift card, just in time for holiday shopping. The Bonus Prize is a $100 Amazon gift card, and new this year we have a “Cheer Up You Won Something” prize that consists of a $50 Amazon gift card PLUS your name as a character in author Tim Baird’s new novel. Those are some great prizes!

Now, I chose Amazon because it’s easy. They sell everything and deliver it to you. But….if you win one of these Amazon prizes and would prefer a gift card to somewhere else, I’ll accommodate you if I can. As long as I can make it happen, I will – so if you would rather give the business to your local bookstore or gift shop, I’ll do what I can.

So! Be sure you’re subscribed to this blog – that way you’ll receive every post straight to your mailbox and you won’t miss out. There will be 40 posts in 30 days (yes, we had such interest that I had to double up). Primary features will appear between 1:00 and 2:00 AM (EST) and if there’s a second post that day, it will drop between 1:00 and 2:00 PM (EST). I’ll share all of the posts to my Facebook page as well.

This is your opportunity to not only win books and gift cards and swag. You can also help an author out by following their pages, subscribing to their newsletters, even buying one of their books if you don’t win it. Most of us are independent authors and always grateful for your support.

See you back here next Monday, where I will kick off the month with my new novel and a sweet little giveaway. Until then, be safe, be kind, be happy!

A Free Book to Start June

Image from flickr.com – free to use

Welcome to Pride Month! Annually in June, and to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people – and those who love them – recognize the ongoing work to achieve social justice and equity for all humans.

If you don’t know about the Stonewall riots (also known as the Stonewall uprising), they happened at the end of June in 1969 in response to police raids that took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village (Manhattan), a traditionally gay bar. Lesbian and gay patrons, their supporters, and folks sympathetic to the movement pushed back against the violence, harassment, and persecution perpetrated by members of the police against gay and lesbian patrons. The uprising was seen as the beginning of a movement to outlaw discrimination against people based on their sexual preference. It’s been 52 years. Have things changed? Yes, in some ways, and for the better. However, discrimination and hatred are still with us, in many forms.

The movement continues, as does the fight for equality for all people. Perhaps it’s even more important now. The brave men and women who fought for freedom over 50 years ago didn’t risk (or in some cases, give up) their lives so that a select few groups could wield power and exert dominance over others.

My 2013 novel

To that end, I’m making one of my books free for the next five days. Bits of Broken Glass is about a small group of high school classmates who reunite 25 years after their high school graduation. It features diverse characters, all of whom carry baggage from their younger days, and all of whom fear some of the ghosts of the past. Bits of Broken Glass was an Amazon #1 bestseller a few years ago, but if you haven’t yet read it, now’s your chance. Download a copy for free, or pick up a paperback copy for about $10.00, either through Amazon or from your favorite bookstore. If your bookstore doesn’t have a copy in stock, just ask them to order it for you! And that title? Yes, it’s a fragment of a lyric from one of my favorite James Taylor songs.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author Martha Reynolds

Leave a comment on today’s post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you live outside the US and win, you’ll receive a digital copy of this book.)

April in Galway is a story about second chances. A couple of years ago, I watched the British comedy-drama series “Last Tango in Halifax,” which begins with former childhood sweethearts, now in their seventies. They reunite via social media, and learn that through a terribly misintentioned event, they were separated. This set-up was the inspiration for April in Galway, though my characters are in their late forties. And while my characters aren’t based on real people, I do know of one very happy couple who were classmates of mine in high school (they weren’t sweethearts then), but found each other later in life and are deliriously happy together! Another character was inspired by a young woman I spent only a few hours with, but who had a profound effect.

As I write, I try to envision who might play the role of a character (so that when the Lifetime Channel comes calling, I’ll be ready – haha). Here are April Tweed, Bill Flanagan, and Connor Whelan as I pictured them:

Rachel Weisz as April John C. Reilly Marcus Wareing as Connor

Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, and Chef Marcus Wareing

April in Galway ends with a definite feel for a sequel, and I’ve already begun mapping it out. My self-imposed goal of releasing a book a year is on track, and the sequel to this one, which will tie in to one of my previous books (surprise!), will be ready by next December.


I’m the author of eight novels, including the Amazon bestsellers Chocolate for Breakfast and Bits of Broken Glass. My seventh novel, Villa del Sol, received the 2018 Book Award in Literary Fiction by the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE). I’ve written for Magnificat magazine and my very short poem was read by journalist Connie Schultz during National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More” poetry challenge. Find my books online and locally at Stillwater Books.

I’m giving away a print copy of April in Galway to one person selected at random. Just leave a comment on this post and the winner will be chosen in a week.

Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 at the RI Author Expo!

My Seventh Novel is Here!

Villa-del-Sol (1) “…an emotional tapestry of rare depth…” (Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author)

“…a thoughtful tale of love, loss, and hope reborn…” (Book Review Directory)

My seventh novel (and eighth book) is here and I’m thrilled to share it with you! Last January, I traveled back to Switzerland, alone. I finally met an online pal and reconnected with a dear friend from years ago. I ventured by train to a region I’d never seen and revisited familiar towns.

Villa del Sol is set in and around Lugano, the largest city in the Italian-speaking area of southern Switzerland. Milano is only about an hour away by train. My character, Jennifer Logan, travels to Lugano and rents a villa in the neighboring village of Gandria. Her husband, the beloved senator from Rhode Island, is dead, and Jennifer can’t wait to escape the people who never liked her anyway. By unplugging, she hopes to find peace.

If you know me, you know about my love of Switzerland. My award-winning “Swiss Chocolate” trilogy is set primarily in Switzerland. Villa del Sol takes you back to this magical place. It is available now, and I’ll be signing copies tomorrow at the RI Authors Expo. 

Martha Headshots--7

Martha Reynolds is a Rhode Island resident who loves the beach in winter, chocolate, and books. After ending an accomplished career as a fraud investigator, she started writing novels – fiction with an element of truth. “Real True Fiction.” You can read her reflections and guest author posts on her blog


This is a big one! I am giving away a $100 Amazon gift card on December 8. To be eligible, LIKE this post and POST A COMMENT. Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Additional entries are available by FOLLOWING me on  Amazon (click the yellow ‘Follow’ button under my picture), and by LIKING and SHARING the Facebook post (I’m here on Facebook). Open to everyone (except my immediate family). Good luck!

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


On My Own

I’m talking about my writing life! As of the end of 2012, I ended the business relationship I’d had with my publisher. I’ve learned a lot in the past year, not just about writing, but also about publishing options. I’d signed on with a small imprint press to get my book released. Now I have total ownership of the book, and will be able to retain all commissions earned going forward. I have a new cover, which I designed and created, and the book is available online at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

photograph by Martha Reynolds
photograph by Martha Reynolds

And here is some great news! I’m still one of the TOP TEN finalists in the Turning the Pages 2012 Book of the Year! Voting runs until January 27th, so if you haven’t yet, you can vote here. And please feel free to tell your friends! This would surely be a wonderful thing.

Have a great day!

What is NaNoWriMo?

It sounds like something Mork from Ork would say. No, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/dashboard) and is a fun approach to novel-writing. It begins this Thursday, November 1, and for the next 30 days, until the end of the month, the goal is to write a 50,000 word (about 175 pages) novel. Daunting? Maybe, but the idea is to write. Just get it out of your head and on paper, or your computer screen. Edit later.

The reason NaNoWriMo is attractive to me is that I’m a seat-of-your-pants kind of writer. I get these ideas for stories and create characters, then I sit down and write a story. Some people spend a long time plotting and outlining. Perhaps I should, but I don’t. Yes, it means a lot of revising and editing, and sometimes, the story takes a wrong direction. For this project, I am plotting, just so I can keep some control (maybe!). And, I have a tendency to edit as I write; working on trying not to do that. NaNoWriMo will make me just write it all out.

According to the NaNoWriMo website, there are about 300,000 writers who take part in this event. Not everyone will finish (last year I really wanted to do this, but I’d already begun writing CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST and didn’t want to start something new). This year, I was hoping to finish up my current work-in-progress so I can begin writing the sequel to CFB. As it’s Tuesday, I can see I’m not going to finish THE REUNION (still a tentative title), but that’s okay. It probably needs a little breather. I’ll head back to it in December.

I’ve already connected with some of my writer pals, and we’ll give each other support and encouragement as we navigate our way through what is already a very busy month. If you’re participating and want to connect with me, I’m up there as Martha Reynolds.

So, 50,000 words in 30 days? Can I do it? How about you? Do you have a novel inside you, one you’ve always wanted to write? Then join me in the madness! In 2011, NaNoWriMo had 256,618 participants and 36,843 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline (11/30/2011), entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists. Whether you make it or not, getting there can be just the push you’ve always needed. I’m ready!