Tuesday, June 28, 2016

3 Things I Did to Write My Memoir, Guest Post by Dorit Sasson

At age nineteen, Dorit Sasson, a dual American-Israeli citizen, was trying to make the status quo work as a college student―until she realized that if she didn’t distance herself from her neurotic, worrywart of a mother, she would become just like her.

Welcome Dorit Sasson, author of  Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces, with a guest post on the three important steps she took to become unstuck from uncertainty and find the inspiration to finish her memoir. 

3 Things I Did to Write My Memoir, Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces

The genre of memoir writing is exploding. Writers are jumping at the opportunity to tell their life story and want to cash in on what may be the next blockbuster. However, writing one's life story is not as easy as it looks and writing my memoir on serving in the Israel Defense Forces required getting unstuck from the inner critics and self-doubt.

When starting my memoir, I experienced quite a bit of "highs" and "lows." Often I questioned my motivations and asked myself, "who's going to be so interested in reading my story and why?" The inner critic got in the way so much that I had to take it for a nice long walk. But to reach the finish line, I had to increase my productivity so I could stay “unstuck” and creative.

1. I joined a supportive writing group that specializes in memoir writing. I cannot begin to tell you how important a writing group is for the development of any writer but incredibly important for a writer who's feeling vulnerable and lonely while writing past events that tear him/her up. A good writer's group will support you through the "lows" and applaud you through the "highs." Having a good writer's group provides weekly check-ins and accountability with a writing buddy. Also, a writer's group can also provide direction and guidance as you're discovering the best way to tell your story.

2. I blogged about my memoir. Now I know what you might be thinking. How the heck am I going to blog my memoir when I'm struggling to just write the thing? Just for the record, some memoir writers starting out may not feel comfortable blogging because they aren't ready to share parts of their story with a larger audience, (blogging requires an outer voice) and that's alright.
Contrary to what some memoirists may think, there's no shame in blogging about your memoir let alone writing it. As Brene Brown states, "owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light."

As a blogger, you'll have the chance to develop more self-confidence in reaching out to your target online reader. Plus, blogging is great for building a following for promoting your book.

3. I learned the importance of writing scenes for memoir writing. Essentially, a memoir is a collection of "scenes" that when put together, tell a larger story along with themes. Showing what happens to a character is important for grounding the reader. Scenes in memoir thrive on the dialogue of the inner and outer narrator which helps ground defining moments.
When we read a scene that balances all these elements, we connect to a character’s journey that will ultimately lead to transformation.

With the first draft of my memoir, I couldn't help myself and dove into scene after scene but with the help of a writing coach, it became clearer to me that my inner narrator's thoughts and feelings needed to be expressed in order to balance what was happening to me at the time. It was up to me to decide how vulnerable (or not) I really wanted my character to be.

There are literary agents out there who snub memoir writing and some have even gone so far as to say that memoir is "ME-Moir." Please do NOT buy into this cynical and very ridiculous point of view. People want to read memoir for story's sake. They want to read a story of transformation - the hero's journey. And yes, they want to read your memoir. We need to recognize the value of stories and create a safe, sacred and creative space for those who do want to give voice to their stories. The ripple will cast itself over for future generations to come.

Based on my own writing and learning, a good memoir is about sharing and resonance, as well as showing vulnerability and breaking the barriers. And there's nothing wrong or self-centered about that.

Thank you Dorit for your honest and uplifting guest post and thank you to Crystal J. Casavant-Otto and WOW! Women On Writing for providing this stop on Dorit Sasson's blog tour. For more info and tour dates, click here.

About the Author:
Dorit Sasson writes for a wide range of print and online publications, including The Huffington Post and The Writer, and speaks at conferences, libraries, and community centers. She is the author of the a featured chapter in Pebbles in the Pond: Transforming the World One Person at a Time, the latest installment of that best-selling series, and. She is the host of the global radio show "Giving Voice to Your Courageous Story." She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two children.

Book Summary:

At age nineteen, Dorit Sasson, a dual American-Israeli citizen, was trying to make the status quo work as a college student―until she realized that if she didn’t distance herself from her neurotic, worrywart of a mother, she would become just like her.

Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces is Sasson’s story of how she dropped out of college and volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces in an effort to change her life―and how, in stepping out of her comfort zone and into a war zone, she discovered courage and faith she didn’t know she was capable of.

Paperback: 337 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: She Writes Press (June 14, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1631520350
ISBN-13: 978-1631520358

Amazon Link: click here


For more information about Blog Hostess, Audry Fryer,
please visit www.audryfryer.com

Friday, April 29, 2016

I'm done using ADULT as a verb even though I don't want to ADULT today!

I can't adult today tumbler:
From Huffpost: 21 Brutally Honest Coffee Mugs That Nail Your Morning Struggle
This whole adult thing. Ugh. Right? Waking up early. Being responsible. Putting the wrong lunch in the wrong kid's lunch bag. Wishing your laundry would fold itself and the lottery fairy would pay all your bills and you didn't have to be in three places with three different kids at the exact same time. I can't  adult today! 

(There, I said it. I thought I could refrain, but no. As offensive as it is to my grammatically correct mind, I'm jumping on the bandwagon using adult as a verb and I like it!)

How about you? Done with adulting too?

 I kind of want to young-adult it today, though. You know, that magical time when you could drink and thought you had responsibilities but really they paled in comparison with what you just took care of before 9am this morning? 

So, while I wasn't adulting and slurping down some wine (which now that I think about it sounds very much like being an adult) - I mean, sipping on some Kool Aid, I started thinking about this blog or the verb form of it, blogging. And, I discovered something interesting. I don't feel like blogging anymore. Blog, bog, blah-og. It was fun for a while, but let's be honest, I'm not in danger of going viral. Trust me. I tried the whole viral thing and it wasn't pleasant. Plus, my blog posts didn't get a lot of attention either. 

Mermaids. And, might I say, mermaiding - defined as living one's life as a mermaid. No, not me. I get terrible swim ear even if I look at the water. But that's the theme of my next novel - mermaiding. Which isn't getting written because I'm blogging and worrying about blogging and now you see the problem!

Not my last post, but close. This post is probably not the last one ever, but it's darn close to it. You'll know it's my last post ever because I'm going to name the post "The Last Post Ever" and then you'll know for sure. If you're one of my tens of loyal readers, (Hi Mom!), thank you for your readership! If you're super sad, you can start a hashtag #savetheblog or #AudrySayItIsn'tSo or #SnapOutOfItAndBlogAlready! Otherwise, it's #I'mDoneAdultingLet'sBeMermaids for me. I'll be the one lounging on the beach with a margarita.

Done with adulting? Me, too! Run away with me to
www.audryfryer.com and let's escape into a great read. 
A free first chapter will magically, instantly appear in your inbox just for signing up for my I-hardly-get-around-to-doing-it Newsletter. Fun! YOLO! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

She said what?!? An interview with my Editor

Meet my fabulous editor of Going Barefoot in Greener Grass, KM Krick!

Today I interview her and ask difficult, thought provoking, deeply philosophical questions. Ha! Not so much! But this interview is perfect for anyone considering hiring an editor or even becoming one. If you're looking for an editor, KM Krick (also known as Kathy) is affordable, thorough and best of all, personable.

~ The Interview ~

Me: Welcome Kathy to All Things Audry! I'm so happy to be interviewing you today!

K M Krick: Thank you! It's a pleasure to be here. I don't usually do interviews, so I'm a little nervous about those deeply philosophical questions.

Me: Ha! Nothing to worry about here. Let's start with an easy question. How did you decide you wanted to be an editor? Give us your background.

K M Krick: Ok, I can answer this one easily! I began my editing career in 2012 as a proofreader. I proofread for a few authors before I edited my first published story in November 2012. With the love I had for proofreading and helping to fix an author’s baby, I became a freelance editor. Ironically, I wasn’t much of a reader prior to proofreading. I hadn’t read a book in many years. In fact, the first book I finally read after so many years was Fifty Shades of Grey. That’s where it all began for me.

Me: Oh, well, Fifty Shades of Grey seemed to turn a lot of people on, ahem, to reading! So, is it safe to assume romance is the genre you prefer to edit?

K M Krick: Romance is definitely my favorite genre to edit. Simply, I love the HEA.

Me: So, now, prepare yourself for that deeply philosophical question. What's the best and conversely, the worst part of the job?

K M Krick: The best part of being an editor is definitely meeting so many new people. I have formed many lifelong friendships with a lot of my authors. The worst part of the job would have to be a “nightmare” edit. I’m sure every editor has had one. It’s the edit that is so full of revisions, you just want to pull your hair out.

Me: What are you working on right now? Could you recommend any authors/books worth checking out?

K M Krick: I’m currently working on a few stories right now. I would love to recommend every author I have had the fortunate privilege to edit for. So I don’t leave anyone out, search my name on Amazon and you will see all these wonderful authors.

Me: I did a search (click here) and for anyone who loves romance, you have quite a selection for finding your next read! Okay, last question! As my editor - who I must say did a fantastic job, I was thrilled when you expressed how much you enjoyed Going Barefoot in Greener Grass. So, I know I'm tooting my own horn here, but could you share what you liked about the novel?

K M Krick: Aww, I’m blushing. Thank you for the very nice compliment. I love being your editor. My biggest fan, Sheri Wasik, sent you to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful to her. Yes, I loved Going Barefoot in Greener Grass. What I really liked about the story is how you intertwined the stories of two best friends who couldn’t be more different than each other. Your storytelling was so spot-on that it made me want to skip to the end of the story to find out how it ended. I was glued to every word.

Me: Aww, now I'm blushing! And, yes, I'm ever so grateful for our shared hair stylist extraordinaire, Sheri Wasik, for making this literary connection between us! Thank you so much for taking the time between edits to do this interview. So appreciated!

*Want to connect with K M Krick? 
Go to her Facebook Page and say hi!

Are you a fun, witty woman who likes to read fun, witty books? Let's get together and chat! See you at www.audryfryer.com 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ever leap outside your comfort zone?

Ready? One, two, three ... leap!

The thing about taking that figurative leap is that you may expect to stick the landing, but usually you don't. Sound familiar?

If you follow this blog, you'll see lots of hype over the recent re-release of the first novel I wrote, Going Barefoot in Greener Grass. In it, main characters, Bethany and Olivia dare to go outside their comfort zones with mixed results and plenty of page-turning drama. While it makes for entertaining reading, I can relate to their stress in real life as well. Every time I put something I created out there, I cringe inside. This voice, I call Felicia (why? see below), likes to warn me that I may look like a fool, that people will be rolling their eyes behind my back and how much better it would be if I just binge watched shows on Netflix like everyone else in the world is apparently doing.

Side story, totally related - Once someone dared me to do a front flip off a real diving board. Let's just say I learned first hand about a back flop and it wasn't pretty. I'm talking it looked like a giant hand slapped me. I mean, I had Olympic form in the air. You know, right until, the water was directly beneath me. Then, I smacked onto the surface where I swear I floated for a few seconds before sinking slowly into the depths.

Anyway, my recent re-release was a fun leap through the air. As for the landing, well, let's just say, I'm overwhelmingly thankful for the support of my family and friends and leave it at that. Since I was feeling back flopped in regards to the bestseller lists I went on an internet search for some virtual pampering.

Here's what I found - It's really all about the leap. The landing is unpredictable. The most important thing is what you're doing is worth taking that leap over and over again. While I never wanted to join the dive team (especially at middle age -yikes), my writing is worth taking this leap over and over again. Do I wish to land on a major book deal? Yes, but that's not the point. It's all about the feeling in the air. How do I know such sage advice? I learned it from two ladies who know a thing or two about leaping and landings, Elizabeth Gilbert of "Eat Pray Love" fame plus author of the recently released Big Magic and Dr. Brene Brown, expert on vulnerability, being brave and author of Rising Strong.

Here's the podcast which inspired this post:

As for that little voice I call Felicia that begs me to encase my comfort zone around me like bubble wrap, I tell her,"Bye, Felicia," just like this movie clip that's been getting a cult following:

What about you? Do you have a story about leaping outside your comfort zone? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! Or on my Facebook Page! Let's start a discussion ...

Are you a fun, witty woman who likes to read fun, witty books? Let's get together and chat! See you at www.audryfryer.com 

Friday, March 18, 2016

I need a Pedicure and You need this Book!

Recently I flashed my toes in public and it wasn't pretty. You see, I decided last minute to attend a two hour Zumba class in the name of charity. When my friend asked me on a Friday whether I wanted to wake up early the next morning, as in Saturday morning, as in be there at 8am, as in get out of bed for a workout class, I told her absolutely no freaking way. Then Saturday morning rolled around and I was wide awake at six in the morning - which never, ever happens. I cursed my friend for her guilt trip, got into my too snug workout gear and went to the class. As it turned out, it wasn't just Zumba. It was also this hellish thing called High Intensity Kill-Me-Now which was followed by a lethargic Yoga Session.

Here's where my toes made an unplanned public appearance - the yoga session. Not only were my feet in full on nobody's going to see them winter-mode, but they beared remnants of the fuzzy socks I slept in the night before. Don't even try to imagine it. It wasn't my finest moment.

So where's all this heading? Well, like I said, I need a pedicure and you, my friend, need this book. What book? Oh, only the much anticipated, eagerly awaited re-release of the professionally edited, now available in more places than I knew existed ...

Why should you get Barefoot?

Because it feels great to be barefoot! I'll tell you, fuzzy, unpainted toes or not, I was darn glad to air out my tootsies at the end of my charitable workout. Here's a weird segway, but go with me. Sometimes it's just as oddly freeing and satisfying to sit back and escape into an entertaining read! GOING BAREFOOT IN GREENER GRASS is perfect for when you're in the mood for a pair of jealous friends and crazy, funny scenes. Ah! Now that's better!

So, what's it about?

For best friends, Olivia and Bethany, life looks a whole lot better on the other side of the picket fence. Olivia has the home, a husband and three lovely children. Bethany leads an exciting life of adventure as a travel writer. Each woman wants what the other one has and takes for granted. On a girls’ get-away to the Jersey Shore, tensions reach their breaking point (in the most hilarious manner). Kick off your shoes for a fun ride with relatable characters that'll make you say, "I know how that feels", humor filled scenes and unexpected plot twists!

How about a free first chapter?

Go to www.audryfryer.com and sign up for my occassional, happy newsletter. Act fast! The next newsletter is March 21st (also, the first day of Spring) and will include a free download of the first chapter!

Wondering if other people read it and liked it?

They did! Here's what people are saying about Going Barefoot in Greener Grass (and these reviews are when the novel wasn't yet professionally edited):

"I found that it flowed very nicely and kept my interest (so much so that I felt like an addict and could hardly wait to get back to it); even while two kids were running around screaming, my husband watching TV and my dog barking - - I still wanted more! After reading it my immediate thought was that it reminded me of a mix between My Big Fat Greek Wedding & Moonstruck."

"I couldn't put it down once I started reading and then was sad it was over."

"It was well written and so easy to relate to the wonderful characters as they experienced the ups and downs of everyday life. Each time I read of their joys and struggles I thought "I know how that feels". I don't think that there's anyone who hasn't thought that "the grass might be greener"!"

*Click the tab above this post entitled "More about Going Barefoot in Greener Grass" for more reviews!

Let's Get Barefoot!

Thanks to Draft2Digital, Going Barefoot in Greener Grass is available on Kindle, at Barnes&Noble, and through Scribd., Apple iTunes, Inktera and Kobo. 

Ok, Friends, I'm off to schedule that pedicure! Happy reading!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Light Side: Adding Humor to a Dark Story, Guest Post by Pamela Jane

Humor is a good friend of mine. It's definitely helped during life's more difficult times and often pops up in nearly everything I write. Today's guest author, Pamela Jane, provides three insightful tips for adding humor to your writing (not matter how dark the story is) and how to cultivate a sense of humor in life. Following her guest post, be sure to check out Pamela Jane's recent memoir, AN INCREDIBLE TALENT FOR EXISTING: A WRITER’S STORY.

The Light Side:  Adding Humor to a Dark Story
Tips from Three Famous Writers
by Pamela Jane

A relentlessly dark story, especially a memoir, can be difficult to read.  But what if your memoir is genuinely dark?  Some things just aren’t funny (although comics, a notoriously angry bunch, might disagree).  But even if you don’t add hilarity, you can “fluff up” your narrative by adding color, contrast, or contradictions.
Following are three are three tips to lighten a dark story:
1.  Jane Austen: Show Contrast
“…the work is rather too light, and bright, and sparkling; it wants shade; it wants to be stretched out here and there with a long chapter of sense, if it could be had; if not, of solemn specious nonsense . . .” – Jane Austen on Pride and Prejudice
Whether adding shade or sunlight to your narrative, the point is to show contrast. (Although Pride and Prejudice is dazzling in its brilliance, it is not all bright.  There are moments of sober reflection, regret, and disappointment.)
One way to add contrast is to try telling your story informally to different people.  Relating the story verbally to an receptive listener is relaxing, and you might find yourself making a joke or a wry comment that allows you to glimpse a new dimension to your work.
Poet and novelist Andrei Codrescu wrote, “I think you can teach people how to relax. I don’t think you can teach them how to be really funny, but if you teach them how to take it easy and see that something that really entertains them is in fact quite hilarious, then you’re half there.”
2  Giacomo Casanova: Laugh at yourself
“I am writing My Life to laugh at myself, and I am succeeding,” – Giacomo Casanova.
Making fun of your own foibles is probably good for your health as well as your writing, and shows good literary sportsmanship.   Are you ever inconsistent or contradictory?   Does life ever backfire or behave in a way that is darkly funny, or that makes you mad?  Renown screenwriting teacher, Bob McKee, notes that comedy is fueled by anger.
3.  Woody Allen: Develop a Comic Perspective
“I think if you have a comic perspective, almost anything that happens you tend to put through a comic filter. It’s a way of coping in the short term, but has no long term effect and requires constant, endless renewal. Hence people talk of comics who are “always on.” It’s like constantly drugging your sensibility so you can get by with less pain.”
I like to amuse myself by making up funny stories about things that were distinctly unfunny when they happened.  One way to do this is to step out of the scene for a moment.  Have you ever noticed a weird, unrelated aspect to whatever is unfolding?  For example, your cat licking herself while you’re waiting for the results of a scary medical test (so uncaring and narcissistic of her!)
Pay attention to something out of the scene that contrasts or contradicts it; by being objective or merely observant, you can begin to develop a comedic perspective that contrasts with your somber tale and keeps readers turning the pages.

Thank you Pamela Jane for these wonderful tips on using humor. Also, thank you to Crystal Otto at WOW - Women On Writing for providing this stop on Pamela Jane's Blog Tour. For more info and future tour stops, please click here.

About the Author:  

Pamela Jane has published over twenty-five children’s books with Houghton Mifflin, Atheneum, Simon & Schuster, Penguin-Putnam, and Harper.  Her books include Noelle of the Nutcracker illustrated by Jan Brett, Little Goblins Ten illustrated by NY Times best-selling illustrator, Jane Manning, and Little Elfie One (Harper 2015). Pride and Prejudice and Kitties: A Cat-Lover’s Romp Through Jane Austen’s Classic (Skyhorse) was featured in The Wall Street Journal, BBC America, The Huffington Post, The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The Daily Dot, and has just come out in paper. Pamela Jane has published short stories and essays with The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Antigonish Review, Literary Mama. Pamela Jane is a writer and editor for womensmemoirs.com

Below are three clips of her work:

Literary Mama:


Find Pamela Jane Online:
 http://www.pamelajane.com (children’s books)

Twitter:  @memoircoaching, @austencats

See below or click on the link for the Book Trailer for “An Incredible Talent for Existing”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA1znyLsaGY

Book Summary:

“An Incredible Talent For Existing: A Writer’s Story” summary: It is 1965, the era of love, light and revolution. While the romantic narrator imagines a bucolic future in an old country house with children running through the dappled sunlight, her husband plots to organize a revolution and fight a guerrilla war in the Catskills.
Their fantasies are on a collision course.
The clash of visions turns into an inner war of identities when the author embraces radical feminism; she and her husband are comrades in revolution but combatants in marriage; she is a woman warrior who spends her days sewing long silk dresses reminiscent of a Henry James novel. One half of her isn't speaking to the other half.
And then, just when it seems that things cannot possibly get more explosive, her wilderness cabin burns down and Pamela finds herself left with only the clothes on her back.
From her vividly evoked existential childhood ("the only way I would know for sure that I existed was if others lots of others acknowledged it") to writing her first children's book on a sugar high during a glucose tolerance test, Pamela Jane takes the reader along on a highly entertaining personal, political, and psychological adventure.

Check out the book trailer:


For more information about Blog Hostess, 
Audry Fryer, please visit:

Friday, March 4, 2016

Find Your Hidden Talents 'Cause They Rock! Guest Post by B. Lynn Goodwin

Ever have a moment when you discover you have some unknown talent you never realized you had? Today's guest author B. Lynn Goodwin knows that feeling well. In today's guest post she'll discuss her coming of age novel, Talent, and give fascinating tips on how to discover your own hidden talents. Why? Well, 'cause they rock!

Find Your Hidden Talents ’Cause They Rock
by B. Lynn Goodwin

In my coming of age novel, TALENT, Sandee Mason tries out for her high school’s musical. She's been living in the shadow of her successful older brother, and she believes it’s time to find her talent, show it off, and maybe even earn applause. Instead of getting a role, though, she is assigned the task of assistant stage manager.

She’s already showing a talent for organization and trouble-shooting when her family gets some terrible news. When the principal asks her to speak at a school assembly, her talents for public speaking, for creating a meaningful power point, for staying composed in a crisis, and for reaching out to others are all in play. As it turns out, she has more talents than she ever imagined, including one that puts her on stage. She simply needed to see herself in a whole new way.

You might be as puzzled about your talents as Sandee. Life has a way of keeping us from seeing ourselves clearly, so here are a few steps to find talents you may not recognize…yet.

1. Make a list of your known talents. It’s always most comfortable to start in a familiar place. Maybe your known talents will help you discover your hidden ones.

2. Imagine you are your best friend. Step into that person’s head and describe yourself. Take 10 minutes and do it now. Try to sound like your best friend. Don’t have a best friend? Use a neighbor, a peer, a co-worker, your spouse or your pet instead. What? Your pet can’t talk? I grant him a special dispensation. Seriously, just go for it. Let your friend say what you can’t or won’t.

3. Read your list from #1 and your friend’s description from #2. Underline every potential hidden talent. Smart, hard working, enterprising, compassionate, good listener, good organizer, fun loving, great date, excellent lover, wonderful mom, and patient dad, are all talents. Remember, a talent is any natural aptitude of skill. Finding your talents is sometimes a matter of reframing your self-image.

4. What are your real passions (as opposed to your “should” activities)? If you love an activity, you practice it until you do it well. When your skills develop, your talent becomes obvious. Sandee takes pictures. She’d realize it is a talent if she weren’t hung up on hearing applause. Her friend Diego plays the drums, whether he has drums in front of him, or a kitchen table, or his lap. His hands won’t stop. He loves the rhythms. He cannot leave it alone. His passion became his talent.

5. Why do your friends like and respect about you? What about your kids? Make one list for friends, and another for your kids. Is anything in both lists? What traits, abilities, or skills do you see? How many of them do you recognize as talents?

I’d love to hear your answers, if you want to share. Contact me through my blog, http://blynngoodwin.com.

TALENT is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Talent-B-Lynn-Goodwin/.

Thank you Jodi Webb with WOW - Women on Writing for providing this stop on B. Lynn Goodwin's blog tour. For more dates and extra info, click here!

About the Author:
B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com, and the author of both You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing), and TALENT (Eternal Press).  Her blog is at http://blynngoodwin.com. Goodwin’s stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good Housekeeping.com and many other venues. A former drama and English teacher, she now conducts writing workshops, writes book reviews, edits, coaches writers, and is currently working on a second book about Sandee Mason’s adventures and a memoir about getting married for the first time at age 62 to a two-time widower who she met on…gulp…Craigslist. She lives with her husband, Richard, and her dog, Eddie McPuppers, in Northern California.

B. Lynn Goodwin’s website: http://www.writeradvice.com/  &  http://blynngoodwin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blynn.goodwin
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lgood67334

About the book: TALENT by B. Lynn Goodwin

Fifteen-and-half-year-old Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver's license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan.
She discovers that real life doesn’t have a script as she deals with loss, the manipulation of Bri’s best friend, her burning ambition to find her talent and figure out what happened to Bri, and unexpected bits of joy that pop up when she least expects them.

TALENT is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Talent-B-Lynn-Goodwin/

Author: B. Lynn Goodwin
Genre: young adult
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publication Date: November 1 2015
Paperback:  284 pages (also available in ebook format)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Should you read Broken Grace by E. C. Diskin? Find out in this review!


Last month I featured Broken Grace by E. C. Diskin in my post, "Snow Reads: Almost like Beach Reads, but with way more clothing!"  It came highly recommended from my mom who usually has an eye for the type of story I'll enjoy ... and as it so happens quite often, she was right!

What's it about?

Broken Grace begins with Grace driving away from a house in a mad rush like someone's chasing her. A deer jumps in front of her speeding car. She has a horrific accident. Yet, she survives with head trauma so severe she has no memory. Convenient plotline, yes. Intriguing way to begin a story, double yes. 

I couldn't wait to figure out this book's secret. I figured Grace better remember something quick for her own safety. Was I ever spot on with that one!?!

Sound the alarm: a few spoiler alerts ahead! 

If you want to read this book and don't want any secrets revealed, simply scroll down with your hand partially covering your eyes to my final thoughts on this read. 

So there's Grace in the hospital after the accident. She can't remember a single thing about herself. Her sister comes to pick her up and take her to their childhood home where they both apparently live. Grace doesn't seem to like her sister despite the fact she's acting all caring and thoughtful. At the farmhouse, Grace wonders where her parents are, but yikes they died. And worse yet, the police show up and they inform Grace her boyfriend is dead, too. Get this, he was shot the same day as her accident. 

Throughout most of the story, Grace is out of it. We assume it's from the medications her sister is really adamant about her taking - like really, really adamant. Fortunately, we follow the police officers covering the case. One is a veteran and one is a hunky rookie with seemingly a thing for Grace. He keeps getting all hot and bothered about her like he has some secret he isn't telling the veteran cop. Cough, he does. 

As I neared the end, I became consumed with figuring out what happened and who did it. There's the weird sister, her recently shot boyfriend's secret life of gambling, Grace's nasty boss from the restaurant where she had worked and a clueless best friend. As it turns out, everyone has a complicated past. Not to mention, Grace's childhood was super messed up. Eventually, the sister goes psycho - who didn't see that coming? Grace starts remembering little by little and doesn't recall all of it until the end when you say, "No way!" 

Final Thoughts: I liked it. I liked it alot.

If you like to get totally immersed in a page-turner with a psychological edge, this one's for you. The writing seems to lift off the page and creates a movie in your mind. The characters and the setting are vividly described. Now, that said, the ending does leave your head spinning as if you've hit it on something hard. There's so many plot twists and secrets, I almost needed a flow chart. It did, however, make for a gripping read. I'll tell you, that last reveal at the very end, you'll kick yourself for not seeing it coming.

If you like this read, might I recommend ...

Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies has all the same feels as Broken Grace (think sisters, car accident, plot twists) but with extra added humor.

And if you don't like this read, might I recommend ...

Going Barefoot in Greener Grass is nothing like Broken Grace. This is for all you readers who hate to be scared, but love to LOL.

Check them out and more at www.audryfryer.com       

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Becoming a Famous Author, Guest Post by Cara Sue Achterberg

Welcome to an author who's not too famous ... well, not yet, anyway. If had to guess, today's guest poster, Cara Sue Achterberg, author of two intriguing reads, I'm Not Her and Girls Weekend may soon get her wish to become famous.


I'm so excited to host Cara Sue Achterberg here on All Things Audry! Not only is she a fellow writer-mom of PA, I am also truly inspired by Cara's writing career this far. Her first book, I'm Not Her, reached a ranking of #2 on Barnes and Noble's Nook Bestseller List, was chosen as a best new fiction pick by ibooks in addition to making the top 100 ibooks bestseller list for fiction and literature and was named to Kobo's Page Turners list! See, like I said, maybe not so famous now, but ...

Enjoy her guest post and then, swing by Cara's website www.carawrites.com to learn more!

Becoming a Famous Author
by Cara Sue Achterberg

When I first set out to write a book, I naively thought that all I had to do was write a really long story. I figured the sheer fact that I’d been able to string together 100,000+ words was such a feat that it would only be a matter of time and I would become famous. I tidied it up and send it out to an agent, waiting for her to call me up and say, “Oh my gosh, what a phenomenal talent – this will be the next best seller!” But that didn’t happen. In fact, that didn’t happen nearly 100 times.

That first story was cliché and verbose and trying much too hard. After I slunk back to my computer with my tail between my legs, I began looking for help. Help came in the form of books, websites, bloggers, writing classes, workshops, and conferences. I kept plugging away. Writing every day. I stopped thinking about becoming a famous author and began to focus on telling a good story. And then it finally happened! (the author part, maybe not the famous part.) My novel, I’m Not Her, was published this past August by The Story Plant.

I’m Not Her is told in first person by the two main characters- Carin and Leann. They are vastly different. Carin is a gorgeous, entitled young adult who has cruised through life on her looks and her parents’ money. Leann is a morbidly obese check-out clerk who had a baby at 16 and wound up living on the edge of desperation. They end up living each other’s lives, learning what it is truly like to walk in another person’s shoes- someone they had up until that moment judged rather cruelly.

The original manuscript told only Carin’s point of view. When I was writing it, I could clearly hear Carin’s horrified voice as she discovered she was marooned in a 350 pound body. I worked on the story faithfully for months. I couldn’t wait to sit down each afternoon and see what would happen. When it was finished, I reworked it for even longer until I thought it was pretty decent. What it needed at that point was a structural edit, but I didn’t have that kind of money, so I entered it in a few contests that offered feedback. One judge liked the character, loved the story idea, even liked my writing, but she said that without Leann’s side of the story it didn’t work.

So I sat back down and wrote the story again from Leann’s viewpoint. What was it like to go from a 350 pound outcast to a body as beautiful as the soap opera stars she binged watched?

And then I weaved the two stories together, giving them each a chance to chime in. I knew the book would only work if I could nail those voices. They were polar opposite women so they would have drastically different voices and experiences. I’m not sure Leann and Carin’s voices would have been so drastically different if I hadn’t had the time and space between their telling. That’s not to say that every writer utilizing the idea of alternate voices has to wait a year between the writing, but she might want to leave a little room.

A few other tools I used were to always write Leann in one font and Carin in another. For some reason that helped me find their individual voices. Carin’s came in a neat Garamond font and Leann was in a childlike scrawl. I also read each passage out loud, listening for voice. The biggest problem I encountered was cutting the manuscript down to a manageable size. I had to figure out which scenes were most important for each of the women.

But that’s something every writer has to do. Cut the fat. Kill your darlings, as Stephen King says in his book On Writing was a great resource for figuring out how to trim the size of my story.

After the book was published, it touched my soul when I heard from an inner city public school teacher who said she knew Leann and her little boy. She said she’d never considered what her students went through on a daily basis. A vlogger who has always struggled with her weight reviewed my book and talked about how painful it was for her to read, but how important it was that we talk about it. I heard from plenty of readers who told me that the characters made them think about how they judged others unfairly on a daily basis. I was humbled time and again by readers who found wisdom I certainly don’t possess in the story.

I guess what this meandering post is trying to say is – be faithful to your story and give it the time it deserves so that its truth can speak. Don’t worry about becoming a famous author. Tell your story – because it’s not about you, it’s about the story.

Thank you, Cara, for your honest and inspiring guest post! I absolutely love its message!

About Cara Sue Achterberg:

Cara Sue Achterberg is a writer and blogger who lives in New Freedom, PA with her family and an embarrassing number of animals. I’m Not Her is her first novel. Her second, Girls Weekend, will be released May 2016 by The Story Plant. Cara’s nonfiction book Live Intentionally is a guide to the organic life filled with ideas, recipes, and inspiration for living a more intentional life. Cara is a prolific blogger, occasional cowgirl, and busy mom whose essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines, and websites. You can find links to her blogs, news about upcoming publications, and plenty of pictures of her foster dogs at CaraWrites.com.

About her books:

I’m Not Her is a work of womens fiction with crossover into YA and New Adult and even a little mystical realism. When a Valentine's Display topples on Carin's pretty head and lands her in Leann's difficult life, both women must face lives they never imagined. Carin, a gorgeous, self-absorbed, entitled young adult, unintentionally swaps lives with Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, morbidly obese check-out clerk. When Carin’s boyfriend and mother don’t recognize her in her Shop n Save apron and no-name sneakers, she has no choice but to assume Leann’s sad life. Meanwhile, Leann wakes up in a body and life much like the soap opera stars she loves. More than a case of trading places, I'm Not Her explores the question of whether appearances or circumstances make us who we are. It's a surprising tale about the way the world sees us and the courses we are on.

Girls Weekend (May 2016)

Dani, Meg, and Charlotte have bonded over babies, barbeques, and backyards, but when they escape for a girls weekend away, they can’t bring themselves to return to lives that don’t seem to fit anymore. We all think we will be different. We won’t be facing down forty and still wonder when life starts. Girls Weekend is a fun, yet poignant romp through the universal search of who we are, why we love, and what makes us happy. Look for Girls Weekend this May! (or preorder it now!)

Friday, February 12, 2016

5 Reads to Share with a Friend!

Got a gal pal? Or just love reading about feisty friendships? Check out these five reads!

 The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

Three friends spend a little "me" time at a seaside town. One friend is a frazzled stay-at-home mom, the second friend is on fertility treatments and the third friend is recently divorced.

Author Susan Mallery has a reputation for writing with compassion and humor. She seems like she knows how to spin an entertaining read, especially since she's topped a few bestseller lists with her other books. Ahem, NY Times.

This read promises juicy conversations, wine and all the feels of a beachy escape. A winter getaway for your mind! Check it out here on Amazon.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Two complete opposite women become friends. One friend is socially awkward while the other seemingly has it all. What could wrong? Right?

This is a story that spans three decades as both women have a long history of knowing each other. There's secret pains in which they lean on each other and a little something which throws their newfound friendship into turmoil.

Sounds like an entertaining read! Check it out here on Amazon.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
by Lorna Landvik

From the title and the decsription, it's apparent this is the type of story where you'll laugh, you'll cry and you won't soon forget!

Five friends create their own club. You guessed it - Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. I'm guessing they do more than eat bon bons as the story spans over four decades and includes five fascinating characters. Check it out here on Amazon.

Friendship by Emily Gould

Nothing says "friendship" than a book named, well, Friendship!

Two life long friends face the possibility of growing apart as their lives have them literally and figuratively moving away from each other. A portrait of friendship, this story examines the highs and the lows of such a bond.

I'm guessing you might need a box of tissues for this one - maybe, I don't know for a fact, but just maybe. Check it out here on Amazon.

Going Barefoot in Greener Grass by Audry Fryer

Oh, uh, how did this get here? (wink, wink) Well, since it's here, I might as well describe it.

Two best friends since high school grow to lead opposite lives. Think, one has the family while the other has the career. It isn't long before each friend resents what each other has and takes for granted.

Filled with feel-good scenes - trust me - you won't want it to end. Check it out here and here! Oh, and here.