Friday, September 26, 2014

3 Quizzes: Which Type of Apple Describes You???
If you were an apple, what would you be???
Whether you like your apples baked in a pie,
pressed into cider, as an i-phone/pad/pod/whatever
or as an expertly written, page-turner of a
novel of delicious deceptions (ahem),
 you'll love this fresh picked barrel of apple themed quizzes!


Buzzfeed: Which Type of Apple are You?

Answer about five questions, many including animals for some reason, and botta bing, you get your answer!

I was the Pink Lady. As I once dressed up as Frenchy from Grease one Halloween when I was junior in college, I think the apple could describe me (or at least, me more years than I'd like to count ago!)


Reader's Digest: Quiz: What Kind of Apple are You?

I loved how they described their quiz so much that I cut and pasted their description right here:

"Are you a bad apple? The apple of someone’s eye? Sweet as apple pie? Apples can be used to describe several kinds of people – but which type of apple reflects your personality? When you check your results, you might be surprised to learn how apples possess many human-like qualities. Ready? Let’s see if the apple falls far from the tree."

I was a McIntosh which I think qualifies me a "good apple".  Today I'm going out into the world knowing I'm "refreshingly sweet"!


Blogthings: What Kind of Apple are You?

Don't have much time? This quiz is for you! Five fast questions. Ready, set, go!

And, my answer was ... Gala Apple. Yes! One of my favorites! I like it so much it's the name of one of my characters in Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies (available for  Kindle and Nook - $4.99 wink, wink). The quiz says I'm "cute and sweet" and "sassy and fresh". I love it!

So, Which Type of Apple Describes You???

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Welcome Sydney Avey with a Guest Post: California Culture, a Look Back

 Welcome Sydney Avey, author of the intriguing novel The Lyre and the Lambs.

California Culture: A Look Back
By Sydney Avey
I am a proud native Californian, a rare status in the Golden State, so why not mine that experience? There is so much to treasure in the California culture that I fully expect my home state will provide the settings for many novels to come.
As a child, I played in the orchards of the Valley of the Heart’s Delight. I came of age in the 60s. I watched the seeds of innovation and discontent germinate and give rise to Silicon Valley, a land of opportunity, a hub of economic and technological growth. On the cusp of the baby boom, I bore witness to a dramatic period of time characterized by optimism and a faith in the future that eventually fueled the work hard, play hard ethic of the dot-com era.

I think my characters express it best.

California is big and bold, and its enterprising spirit is in my blood. Palo Alto and the sleepy towns around it percolate with new ideas that promise to cut new paths in every field. It will start at Stanford and Berkeley.
I don’t know what is coming, but the energy is palpable. Back home, when I walk through the neighborhoods and smell the sweet aroma of apricots and Italian plums mixed with the sharp smell of freshly planed wood stacked at the new home sites, I see the Valley of the Heart’s Delight making room for all comers.
Valerie in the early 50s, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter
That sense of peace and prosperity didn’t last long.
“…this generation? The Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination, all that stuff has shaken [the young people]. They don’t feel safe anymore.”
“It’s like…” Laura holds up her hands in parentheses, nothing is certain anymore.”
“Mike nods. “So they are attracted by new ideas, new ways to express themselves.
“There’s a reason this new group, the Beatles, are so popular. They have a joyful sound and a message that clicks with the impulses our kids have to break away from their parent’s expectations.”
Early 60s, The Lyre and the Lambs
The respite from WWII, that period of time when the government gave hope and a future in the form of education, houses and jobs to returning war veterans, was short. The new world order put in place by two World Wars began to encroach in ways we are still grappling to understand.
The California culture rides out change with the aplomb of a population who understands that diversity comes in waves, like mighty Pacific Ocean that defines our coast. Our ability to regain our balance and move with the times isn’t surprising. We are a people who have always felt the earth move under our feet. We accept changing terrain. The fires that torch our forests break our hearts but never our resolve to rebuild, and do it better.
Our motto expresses the beauty of our state. That beauty lies in our own breathless “Eureka” moments (meaning, “I have found it.”). Whatever you value, it is here, waiting to be discovered.    

About The Lyre and the Lambs:

A feast of family can be a plate-load of problems!

It’s the Sixties. Modernity and tradition clash as two newlywed couples set up house together. Dee and her daughter Valerie move with their husbands into a modern glass house Valerie built in a proudly rural Los Altos, California neighborhood. When their young relatives start showing up and moving in, the neighbors get suspicious. Then a body is found in the backyard and the life they are trying to build comes undone.
Father Mike is back to guide Dee through a difficult time with humor and grace, even as his own life is unraveling. Now he’s going to have to take some of his own advice about love.      
The Lyre and the Lambs explores the passions that draw people together and the faith it takes to overcome trauma.

*Note: The Lyre and the Lambs is the sequel to The Sheep Walker's Daughter, but it also works as a standalone book. 

About Sydney Avey:

Sydney Avey is an author of historical and women's fiction set in California. The Lyre and the Lambs is the sequel to her first novel, The Sheep Walker's Daughter, which won an honorable mention from the Center for Basque Studies (University of Nevada, Reno) in their Basque Literary Contest. Both novels were published by HopeSprings Books, a small publishing house that promotes realist Christian fiction.

Sydney has a lifetime of experience writing news for non-profits and corporations. Her work has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine). She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and has studied writing at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She lives with her husband Joel in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

Visit Sydney at and sign up to receive her monthly News for Readers and Writers.

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for providing this stop on Sydney Avey's blog tour. For a list of more stops, check out:


Blog host, Audry Fryer, is the author of women's fiction novels:

Hungry for a page-turner?

Available for Kindle and Nook.

A must-read for Fall

for a sweet price: $4.99!

"A novel of delicious deceptions!"

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Fall" in love with Autumn: Ten Quotes/Sayings!

HELLO Fall! 
HELLO Autumn! 
HELLO Apples! 
HELLO Pumpkins! 
HELLO Cool, crisp air!
HELLO Leaves! 

If you're like me, you've been saying your sad good-byes to summer. Now, as the Autumnal Equinox spins our way once more, it's time to embrace a brand new season. So, join me in saying, "Hello, Fall, my old friend. Welcome back."

I threw in this last one just for fun!

 Here's another way to "fall" in love with Autumn:

Apple orchards, a cider press, apple pies ...

Deceptions, humor, page-turning suspense...


Available for a Sweet Price $4.99 for Kindle and Nook.

A must-read for Autumn!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Welcome D. A. Russell and a Guest Post on "Addressing the Issues" (of our educational system)

As the new school year begins, issues regarding our schools once again take the forefront for many of us. Please take a moment to check out D. A. Russell's views on high school education in his book, Lifting the Curtain. 

Addressing the Issues:
A Teaser Intro to Lifting the Curtain 
by D.A. Russell

The real problem in education today is that we look to our teachers to resolve huge social and parental issues, and systemic educational problems that extend far beyond the boundaries of the school, and far beyond the capabilities of even our best teachers. Some of these are as ludicrous as the parents sitting in front of me at that play expecting the cafeteria monitors to do a better job of teaching children table manners.

To understand the problems that pervade a system, you have to look at the system, not the parts.

Major organizations do not "fail" because of just a handful of bad employees. A couple "bad' teachers out of hundreds at a high school does not explain why education is failing across the USA. The problem is the system itself.

But there is good news. Large parts of this systemic collapse can be remedied quickly. It will not occur without courage, without pain, and without ruffling a lot of feathers. Expect strong opposition from legislators, a small number of teachers (especially the “clique”), school administrators, career bureaucrats, and a minority of parents. But you also will see strong and enthusiastic support from the overwhelming majority of parents, students, and teachers.

The bottom line—the changes detailed in the final chapter of Lifting the Curtain address the real, systemic factors causing our schools to underperform. Like any major change, there will be a lot of resistance. But the changes will work, and all of our children will benefit.

To learn more about the state of our educational system, and the steps needed to correct the problems, please visit the Lifting the Curtain website at

About the Author:

D.A. Russell has spent the last ten years as a math teacher in one of the urban high schools used as an example in Lifting the Curtain. He is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College, and received his master’s degree from Simon School, where he was valedictorian of his class. Russell is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has two children that he treasures, and four grandchildren. His son is a police officer who served in the US Army in Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for valor. His daughter is a lawyer and his most passionate fan and honorary literary agent.

Russell has taught and coached children for decades. Few things are more important in his view than to cherish the children who are our real treasures in this world.

Title: Lifting the Curtain: The disgrace we call urban high school education

Author: D.A. Russell
Illustrated by Jessica Fitzpatrick

Genre: Non-Fiction

#Hashtag: #liftcurtain

Author’s Websites:

Win a copy of Lifting the Curtain—either hard copy or Kindle Edition, winner’s choice! To enter the giveaway, go to the Facebook page at

There are other prizes to win! If you have a blog or other social media site you can join our promo party. For more details visit Sign Up Genius at:


Audry Fryer is the author of women's fiction novels:

Hungry for a page-turner?

Available for Kindle and Nook.

A must-read for September

for a sweet price: $4.99!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sandcastles and Summer Days Gone Too Soon

On an overnight "girls' getaway" to the Jersey Shore, we set down our beach chairs a few yards away from a formless lump of sand. What became of that pile of sand was as magical and fleeting as the summer days gone by ...

Why does it seem that the days with the longest amount of sunlight slip away quicker than any other time of year? Every September, I give into a feeling of melancholy as I bid summer an unofficial farewell. It's the bittersweet return to a scheduled life of waking up early to catch the bus, of an action-packed calendar of events and of the phrase, "It's a school night." Sigh! Those summer days of waking up to brilliant sunshine, flexible schedules and nights of relaxation are gone too soon.

It's like that heap of sand sitting a few yards away from where my friends and I plopped our beach chairs on a pleasant July day this past summer. At first, I thought the inverted plastic tub, filled with sand and missing a bottom, had been a cast off from a late night beach party. After all, that type of tub typically held ice and a keg. I quickly lost interest in the apparently broken keg tub as did the rest of the "girls" as we fell into our usual routine of catching up on each others' lives, applying sunblock and luxuriating in the fact that we could sit still long enough to actually read a book or a magazine without having to worry about our respective young children wandering away or complaining about being hot, hungry, thirsty or in need of a non-existent bathroom.

Here we are soaking up the rays
 on the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk.
Despite those children residing miles away at home, they did manage to dominate our thoughts and conversations. As we chatted away, a man appeared to our right and laid claim to the bottomless tub embedded in the sand. It soon became evident that he wasn't cleaning up after a late night beach party, but rather molding a base for what would become a glorious sand castle.

All day, hour after hour, the man leaned, squatted, knelt and stretched over the hill of sand adding turrets created from PVC pipes and chiseling details like doorways and stone walls. He made runs to the ocean chasing the receding tide in order to collect water to sure up his creation. The sun rose higher and more intense, but still the man patted, carved and brushed. 

At some point, I made a comment that I was secretly rich and had commissioned the man to build a sand castle for our entertainment. (It reminded me of those Straight Talk Wireless commercials!) The man's family eventually joined him with their boogie boards, chairs and sand toys, yet still he kept his focus on the task of transforming the pile of sand in front of him into a castle worthy of a fairy tale.

It seemed like a lot of effort for something that would be washed away with the next high tide. As I thought about it, I wondered if it was even worth all the time and energy to build it, snap a picture or two and leave for the evening only to return the next day to a flat stretch of beach with barely a sign that anything grand ever stood in that particular spot. It begged the question, "Why bother?"Of course, once I really gave it thought, I knew the answer. 

It's the very essence that lies at the heart of all creative endeavors and one of the most basic rules of life, for that matter. It's never really about the end product. Obviously, the completed sand castle was a sight to admire as is any finished and polished work of art. But for the sand carver and anyone indulging in a creative project, it's the process that yields the greatest joy! Maybe that's why as my friends and I were packing up, the man's daughter was helping him to create yet another base for yet another sand castle in the shadow of the first one. 

Just as the sand castle is all but a memory, so, too, have gone the days of summer with its memories of not only this girls' getaway, but also of spending time with my family doing all the fun things that only warm, carefree days can provide. I'm glad to have enjoyed them ... even if they were gone too soon, much like a sand castle facing the impending high tide.  


Audry Fryer is the author of women's fiction novels, SECRETS, LIES AND APPLE PIES and GOING BAREFOOT IN GREENER GRASS both available for Kindle and Nook. She has a new short story, SUNSET ORANGE CRUSH.

Get it before the sun goes down on the summer of 2014!

$0.99 for Kindle and Nook 

SUNSET ORANGE CRUSH ~ $0.99 for Kindle and Nook