Wednesday, October 28, 2020

🏰 Author Interview: E.M. Power Author of MY LIONS' DEN


E. M. (Eva Marie) Power, was born and lived for the first nine-years of her life on the
Island of Guam.  She was adopted at birth and raised by a single Guamanian woman, Alfonsina Manyanona Duenas from the Southern Village of Talofofo, Guam.  E. M. (Eva Marie) Power moved stateside to Southern California at the age of nine and it is where she currently resides.  She is the mother of six children and the grandmother of four.  Just like she describes in this book, if ever in a Lions’ Den (life trial) she will always choose Faith! 





As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  Can you tell us how you got the idea to write your book?

I had been convicted to write this book by God.  About a week after my official last day of work, I was compelled to write this book.  The day I completed it and sent it off to the editor, I felt a sense of release.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

Live, Laugh, Love and then write about it!

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I pray before and read a couple of scriptures.  Depending on the time of day, I will either have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine at hand.  I also listen to music at some point.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I have heard from my readers and have had unanimous favorable feedback!  They say they are looking forward to reading the next book.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

The toughest criticism is that I spoke of God and my faith.  I did, because it was the truth.

What has been your best accomplishment?

My best accomplishment is the impact my book has had.

Do you Google yourself?

No, I do not.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None, I have a few in my mind, but have only one that I have spent any time exploring.

Fun question – if you were princess or prince, what’s one thing you would do to make your kingdom a better place?

I would require that from the birth of a child until the enrollment of kindergarten be in the full time care of at least one parent or grandparent.  I believe it is crucial to the development of children during those years and beneficial to the family unit for as much time to be spent together.  Why have a child if not to be there?  Parents need to be present to instill fundamental beliefs, enjoy their child’s growth and development, create unforgettable memories and share time.  I believe this would positively impact my kingdom.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

Immediate, warm, tight hugs and thank you for choosing to spend your valued time reading my book.


This is my personal story of my trial with Domestic Abuse.  This book was not intended to sensationalize Domestic Abuse.  It is not to portray my abuser in a bad light or as an enemy.  Abuse has no prejudices.  Abuse may occur no matter a person’s religion, non-religion, race, economic income level, profession, culture, gender, or age.  Abuse may happen at any time and to anyone.  Yes, that means you too.  If you think you would never be the victim of abuse, you risk being gravely mistaken (pun intended).  Domestic Abuse may take place within any relationship type.  There is no formula, medicine, vaccine, proven theory, amount of therapy, answer or cure.  The abuser is not always someone that had ever been a victim themselves.  The abuser is not always someone that has witnessed violence or abuse.  By sharing my personal story, I hope to give you a better understanding of abuse in order to prevent this life trial to be your story too.


Amazon →

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

"The Plunge Into A Writing Life," by Joan Schweighardt, Author of 'River Aria'

I decided, perhaps back in high school, to become a writer because I was extremely shy and writing seemed a good way to express myself without having to actually open my mouth. But the teachers back then told us constantly that a good writer writes what she knows, and what I knew best in my life was not something I was ready to write about. If you took away my secrets, I didn’t know anything at all really, certainly not anything unique and worth reading. 

The way I saw it, I had two choices as I prepared to move forward in life: I could either forget about writing, or I could ignore what everyone insisted was the central rule regarding it. It was not an easy decision for me to make. I was not much of a rule breaker—unless you counted the rules my mother imposed on my social life. Why not teach? my left brain whispered. No; students targeted shy teachers in those days with spitballs. Nurse? No, I never cared for blood. Secretarial work? No no no. I wanted to write.

Since I wasn’t ready to write my first novel anyway—I would be attending college part time and working part time to support myself—I decided to go all in and apply for a freelance gig writing for a magazine about computer chips. This was back in the early days of IT, when hardly anyone understood how computers functioned. If I could write successfully about their chips, it would prove that I could write what I didn’t know when the time came for me to start my first novel. 

I got fired from that job, right after I turned in my first article. I just couldn’t make sense of the background information the publisher had given me to support the work he wanted me to do. I would have been devasted if not for the fact that at about the same time I got an A + on my first paper for my World Lit class. I tried another writing job, this time writing restaurant reviews for a small community newspaper. The job didn’t pay much at all, but I got free lunches (yeah, that’s another thing they’ll tell you you can’t do) and I didn’t get fired—though I did quit when I started gaining weight. I took an office job after that, and I also got my first response on a short story I’d sent to a literary magazine. At the bottom of the boilerplate rejection someone had scribbled: “Please try us again; we like your writing very much.”

And I did; and I got published. 

My story was about a man who sits at his apartment complex pool daily watching everyone else swimming in the water but afraid to jump in himself because, while he’s memorized the mechanics of the strokes, he’s afraid he’ll choke when he tries to use them…and drown. But one day he finally gets up the nerve and takes the plunge. 

Being afraid to swim was not a subject I knew about—I was a good and confident swimmer—but I’d combined it with something I knew very well—fearfulness, the antecedent of shyness. I still puzzle over those early writing teachers who failed to explain the rules of writing in a way that would have made sense.

Joan Schweighardt is the author of River Aria (which is both a standalone novel and the third book in a trilogy), as well as other novels, nonfiction titles, and children’s books. She is also a freelance writer and ghostwriter. Visit her at her websiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Picture Book Review: Five Funny Tummy Men, by Jean Reed

Why does your tummy ache? Why does it make noises? What happens in your stomach after you eat? Why should you eat slowly? 

In this educational picture book, the author answers these questions and more, describing the “five tummy men” that inhabit our stomachs and their specific jobs: 

Mr. Boss, the one in charge 
Mr. Swallow, catcher of food 
Mr. Grinder, most happy when you chew well 
Mr. Piler, sorter of nutrients into piles for different parts of your body 
Mr. Deliveryman, carrier of piles to your body 

FIVE FUNNY TUMMY MEN encourages dialogue between children and adults, making it a good resource for class or homeschooling discussions. Children are told to eat healthy and chew well and not snack a lot between meals, and in a simple, clear and friendly manner this cute little book explains exactly why. Recommend for readers 4-8. A multicultural edition of the book will be available soon. 

Available at Amazon  

Product Details 

Publisher: Peppertree Press 
ISBN-13: 9781614937098 
Publication date: June 2020 
Pages: 20 
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h)
Age Range: 3 Months to 12 Years

Friday, October 23, 2020

New Children's Book: 'Five Funny Tummy Men' by Jean Reed

New children's picture book teaches kids about the digestive system...

What happens to your food after you swallow it? Where does it go? You are going to meet FIVE FUNNY TUMMY MEN who get VERY busy each time you eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks! The FIVE FUNNY TUMMY MEN will help you be happy and healthy for a zillion years, IF YOU LET THEM.

Find out more on Amazon

Stay tuned for the review!

Thursday, October 22, 2020



Kimberley B. Jones
Rhetoric Askew Publishing, LLC

Two teenage friends, Sasha and Leah, live a comfortable life in the affluent St. Louis suburbs. They attend a well-established private Christian academy and the only thing on their mind as they enter their senior year is graduation and their senior prom. When tragedy strikes, however, the best friends are torn apart because of social tensions, ignorance, miscommunications, and fear.

Our Friendship Matters reveals a fictional story mirroring real-life cultural tensions and racial injustice – a young black boy, Mitchell, is mistaken for someone else and tragically killed by police. Tensions rise among the community, citizens are angry. One night, while Sasha is out, she sees her old childhood friend protesting the death of Mitchell. Curious about him and wondering if there is anything, she could do to become involved, Sasha talks to her friends about it. Sasha’s white friends are not interested in getting involved and her parents forbid her from taking part. Sasha’s makes a momentous decision to go against all the advice she is given and joins her old friends in protest. The fight for justice in Mitchell’s name causes a rift in her relationships.

An argument with Leah drives a wedge between them and leads Leah to take the opposite viewpoint, taking sides with those who are supporting different viewpoints, while Sasha’s boyfriend is jealous of the time she is spending with her old friends, he breaks off their relationship. The girlfriends, one black and one white, are unaware of an escalating war between the groups they support, and chaos and fear continue—lines are drawn and sides are chosen.

Our Friendship Matters is a beautifully thoughtful coming-of-age story about two friends who are forced to take a deeper look at their culture through different angles. The easy-to-read story is full of drama, well-rounded characters and a positive narrative that will engage readers of all ages



As I pulled up into Ricardo’s driveway, Victoria and two other girls who attended Eastview were standing there holding signs that said, “Justice for Mitchell.” I was sweating more than ever. Scared of both the police and the girls I didn’t even know who were going to be getting into my car.

“I didn’t know you were doing signs. I would’ve made me one.”

Ricardo and some guys were busy placing things in the car's trunk.

“Are you okay? The time is now,” said Ricardo.

“I’m ready but a little nervous, too.”

“You shouldn’t be nervous. All we are going to do is go downtown and making a statement that we want justice. Once we are done, we’ll come back home. I won’t let anything happen to you but, if something breaks out, I need you to look for Victoria and get in your car and go home. And if something happens to me, I need you to look for Victoria then go to my house and warn my peeps.”

As the girls got into my car, Victoria told me I could march, and chant the same thing they were planning on saying.

I was missing Leah. This could have been a positive moment that we could’ve shared together. I was still hoping she would come to her senses and realize that our fight from our disagreement was all crazy.

We arrived downtown, and I parked in the garage.

“Why didn’t you park on the streets?” Victoria said.

“My parents always told me to park in the garage so nothing would happen to my car.”

She laughed at me and said, “Well, you are driving a Mercedes. I would do the same if I had an expensive car.”



Amazon →



Kimberley B. Jones is a small country girl from St. George, SC. She followed her heart in college writing children books. Recently she decided to challenge herself and branch off to novels. She is your typical nomad who moves from place to place. Not by choice, but her husband serves in the military. She has a bachelors and masters in early childhood education. Kimberley is represented by Rhetaskew Publishing company and is best known for her debut novel, Our Friendship Matters. When she is not writing, she is either thinking of another topic or reading. She loves writing, it gives her a chance to escape into another human character and express herself, other than being your typical mother and wife. If you don’t want to be on her bad side, then she needs her white chocolate mocha every morning. Some days Folgers breakfast blend coffee is okay.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Author Interview: Cary D. Lowe Author of BECOMING AMERICAN


Cary Lowe is the author of the award-winning book Becoming American: A Political Memoir. He has published over fifty essays on political and civic issues in major newspapers, as well as professional reports and articles in professional journals.

Mr. Lowe is a retired California land use lawyer with 45 years of experience representing public agencies, developers, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations. He holds a law degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He taught courses in law and urban planning at USC, UCLA, and UC San Diego, and he writes and lectures on land use and environmental issues. In addition to his legal experience, Mr. Lowe is a credentialed mediator affiliated with the Land Use & Environmental Mediation Group of the National Conflict Resolution Center.






As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  Can you tell us how you got the idea to write your book?

My memoir Becoming American grew out of a trip I took with my daughter to explore the places of our family’s origin in Eastern Europe, including searching for a hidden cemetery near Prague where my paternal great-grandparents were buried. On our return, I wrote a stand-alone story about our adventures for family and friends. That led me to write more stories about my life growing up in Europe in the years following World War II, with parents who were Holocaust survivors. After writing a half dozen such stories, I visualized making them the heart of a book, describing not only my youth in Europe during an interesting and volatile time, but also my family’s immigration to the United States and my professional and political careers here. That first story became the opening chapter and portions of subsequent chapters of my memoir. And the book evolved into a chronicle of my experience in becoming American.

Can you give us an excerpt?




Growing up in postwar Austria, my greatest hope was someday to become an American. A real American, like the khaki-clad soldiers occupying the country or the cowboys in the westerns at the local cinema. My father, a refugee from Vienna who worked on the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, promised me that hope would be fulfilled one day. What I didn’t realize then was that becoming American would cut me off from my roots. Many years later, after my parents and my brother had died, I resolved to restore that connection.


On a sunny autumn afternoon in 1997, I arrived with my nine-year-old daughter at the entrance of a long-closed Jewish cemetery near Strakonice, in the countryside south of Prague. Thirty-five years after we had left Europe for America, a search worthy of Indiana Jones had brought me and Coralea here from our home in Los Angeles. Inside, I hoped to find the graves of my paternal great-grandparents.

Stepping out of the car into a light breeze, I felt the momentary burst of elation of a marathon runner crossing the finish line. Then reality interrupted. Pursing my lips, I turned to Coralea.

“I just hope this is the right cemetery,” I said. “Aunt Mimi told me only that it was near Strakonice, but she didn’t seem sure. It’s been a long time since she was here.”

“It has to be the right one,” Coralea responded with the certainty of youth.

Six-foot stucco-encased walls and eight-foot wrought-iron gates blocked our way. If I could get in, would I find the graves? How would I read Hebrew inscriptions on the headstones?

I felt as nervous as when I stood before a federal judge to take my oath of United States citizenship at the age of seventeen. I clasped Coralea’s left hand. She squeezed back. I took a step toward the gates, then another and another, with her in tow, until the gates loomed over us like sentinels. An ancient-looking lock the size of my fist secured chains wrapped around the innermost bars. I searched for a sign with information on how to gain entry.

A musty smell, a combination of rust and fallen leaves, momentarily caught my attention. Trembling, I reached out with my left hand, grasped the rough bars, and shook them. I knew I would not be entering through those gates.

“We’ve come so far,” I said. “We’ve got to get in there.” Yet, the graves beyond the gates seemed impossibly out of reach.

I thought of the stories of my father’s narrow escape from Vienna on the eve of World War II, of my mother’s years in hiding during the war and her harrowing escape, and of their improbable return to Europe for the Nuremberg trials. I recalled the similarly amazing stories of survival told by nearly everyone I knew. As my father said, “If they didn’t have an amazing story, they wouldn’t be here to tell it.”

Turning to Coralea, I said, “I wish my parents could be here with us.”

“Especially grandma,” she replied with a sigh. “She wanted to bring me back here so much.”

Closing my eyes, I searched for an answer. My thoughts rushed back over the unlikely path that had led me to this time and place. I recalled my childhood in Austria, just a few hours’ drive away. The Iron Curtain had blocked us off from our roots for years, just as the cemetery walls threatened to do now. Although the slaughter was over, the guns were silent, and the armies mostly had gone home, I lived amid the aftermath of the war — the bombed cities being rebuilt, the Hitlerhaus that cast a cloud over my hometown, my refugee nanny Herma, displaced persons in squatters’ camps, and concentration camp survivors piecing their lives back together.

I remembered my first interactions with Americans — the military occupiers, the intelligence agents that gathered at our home and told wild tales, and my childhood friends in Austria and later in Germany. And the combination of excitement and apprehension I felt later, realizing I was becoming gradually Americanized. I marveled at how immigrating and becoming an American citizen had launched me into a life of political involvement in my adopted country.

Most of all, I thought how much those experiences had changed my life. I had evolved from a German-speaking, Austrian-born child of war survivors into an English-speaking American, eagerly drawn into a new and exciting culture. What I experienced and witnessed in the years after the war had shaped how I viewed the world, how I interacted with people, and how I identified myself.

In becoming Americanized, however, I had lost much of my connection, to those early years and to my family’s places of origin. They had receded behind the more recent people and places of my American experience.

I opened my eyes, bringing me back to the present. The gates seemed even more ominous. Still holding my hand, Coralea looked up at me expectantly. I peered between the bars at the rows of headstones. The closest ones looked ancient, like those in the old Jewish cemetery in Prague, with weathered, barely legible Hebrew lettering. Behind them stood newer markers, taller and more ornate. Weeds and grass had so overgrown much of the cemetery that I wondered when anyone had visited last and opened those gates. Whatever I might find inside, I could not imagine being denied after coming this far. I struggled to figure out our next step until Coralea interrupted my thoughts.

“You can do it, Dad,” she said. “You found this place. You can find a way in.”


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

First, take writing courses early, rather than learning solely by trial and error. Next, be ambitious and begin submitting your writing for publication as soon as you feel it’s ready. The market only gets tighter and more competitive over time. Finally, don’t limit yourself to short pieces. Try writing a full-length book as soon as you have a good enough story.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

Whether I’m writing an essay, a short non-fiction piece, or a book chapter, I like to end each with a takeaway for the reader – a lesson or moral that emerges from the story.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I received consistently positive feedback regarding the fifty plus essays I published in major newspapers and professional journals, though some readers disagreed with my views on public issues. So far, the feedback regarding my book, in person and in on-line reviews, has been quite positive as well, apart from a few readers again disagreeing with my political perspective.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Members of my writing group, while usually complimentary of my writing otherwise, frequently tell me I have not shared enough emotion in my first-person stories.

What has been your best accomplishment?

As a writer, my best accomplishment has been completing my first book and getting it published.

Do you Google yourself?

I subscribe to Google Alerts, so I receive notification whenever my name appears on-line.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have begun working on a book about travel experiences with my wife, who is disabled. Many years ago, I began writing a book about my experiences in the Navy, but put it aside to concentrate on law school and then my career. I used some material from that manuscript in my current book.

Fun question – if you were princess or prince, what’s one thing you would do to make your kingdom a better place?

I would ensure that every young person receives an education in civic affairs, in the hope of increasing interest in important issues and improving the quality of public discourse. In the meantime, I’m hoping my book contributes to that goal.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

I hope my memoir Becoming American will entertain you with a good story, but also that it will teach you something important. You may have read essays which I previously published in major newspapers. This book is much more personal., as well as broader in scope. In addition to telling you about my life experience, I attempt to address one of the great public controversies of our time – the place of immigrants in our society and the meaning of being a real American. With that in mind, I wish you happy reading, and hope that you come away from my book entertained and also inspired.


Becoming American
is the inspiring story of the author’s transformation from a child of Holocaust survivors in post-war Europe to an American lawyer, academic, and activist associated with such famed political leaders as Robert Kennedy, George McGovern, Jerry Brown, and Tom Hayden.

Searching for his great-grandparents’ graves in a hidden cemetery outside Prague makes him recall his experiences of becoming American: listening to Army Counterintelligence agents gathered at his family home in Austria; a tense encounter with Russian soldiers during the post-war occupation; seeing Jim Crow racism in the South during his first visit to the United States; becoming an American citizen in his teens; having his citizenship challenged by border guards; fearing for his new country upon witnessing the Watts riots in Los Angeles; advancing the American dream as a real estate lawyer, helping develop entire new communities; and rising to leadership positions in organizations shaping government policies around some of the most important issues of our time.

Becoming American won the 2020 Discovery Award for best political writing from an independent publisher. It features a foreword by bestselling author Edith Eger.