Bio: Heather Hummel is a “photonovelist” who blends her love for photography with her award-winning career as an author. Her published works include:
Journals from the Heart Series:
Whispers from the Heart (2011)
Write from the Heart (2011)
GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe (2011)
Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008),
Messages of Hope and Healing ( Sunpiper Media, 2006)
Blue Ridge Anthology (Cedar Creek, 2007) with David Baldacci and Rita Mae Brown
2009 Mature Media Awards, Merit Award
2009 New York Book Festival, Honorable Mention
Heather’s books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Health, Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. A graduate with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in English and Secondary Education. She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Metaphysical Sciences.
See my reviews for Heather’s books!
Check out Heather’s blog tour for Write from the Heart on CLP Blog Tours!
I may not have experienced Momnesia yet in my life, but I really enjoyed this book by Lori Verni-Fogarsi! I could relate to the MC in other aspects – always being busy with work, clients, family and friends. I can only imagine adding what the stress would feel like adding children and then a divorce into the mix. I thought this book was really engaging and eye-opening, and I thought it was really unique how readers don’t learn the main characters name until the very end. Honestly – I thought the reading was smooth that I actually never noticed until that last page that her name wasn’t disclosed all the way throughout! I think that means major kudos for the author. I started to feel that the book was getting a bit long towards the end, but other than that, I thought it was a very enjoyable read. Though the husband did make me want to poke my eyes out from time to time. “Cat-face” is an expression I’m definitely taking away from this book! I agree with the synopsis: I would recommend Momnesia to “anyone who has ever been a mother, had a mother, wanted to be a mother, judged a mother, or even just wondered about mothers.” I’ll be looking forward to more from this author!
The last thing zaftig middle-aged journalist, Rhoda Ginsburg, expected when she signed up for JDate was to fall in love with a vampire. But when she meets drop-dead gorgeous Sheldon, a Hasidic vampire, she falls hard. She rationalizes that he may not be alive, but at least he’s Jewish.
She learns that back in the nineteenth century Sheldon was a rabbi who was turned into a vampire by Count Dracula, an anti-Semite who got his kicks from turning Orthodox Jews into vampires because then they’d have to drink blood, which isn’t kosher.
Soon after she meets Sheldon, she discovers her beloved mother, Fanny, is terminally ill, so she comes up with the crackpot idea of getting Sheldon to turn Fanny and her friends, known as “the goils,” into vampires. Once she becomes a vampire, Fanny tires of her boring life in Century Village, Florida, and, seeking thrills, she goes clubbing and disappears into the nightlife of South Beach in Miami. When Fanny and her goil posse “go rogue” and start preying on the young, Rhoda and Sheldon must track them down to keep them from killing again.
Interview with a Jewish Vampire turns vampire lore on its head, proving that not all vampires are young and beautiful and it IS possible to be undead and kosher.
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for the full tour schedule! **Anyone who purchases their copy of Interview with a Jewish Vampire before June 4 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five entries in a drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card!!**
Rachael will be on tour in June with her chick lit/short story novel Unlocked. Please use the form below to sign up. Print books will be available for US/Canada residents, and eBooks will be available worldwide. Rachael will also be available for a guest post or interview, and book excerpts can be provided. I will contact everyone chosen to sign up. Thank you!
In Unlocked The main character Rebecca takes the reader on a journey through a collection of short stories concerning nine guys she met while being a tutor in college for the football team. She recounts her struggles with love, friendship, self-confidence, trust, acceptance, and heartache. The stories indicate how people and relationships can really shape a person’s life.
The story is told in first person and Rebecca introduces herself to the reader in the beginning by providing some background about herself. Delving into the actual stories, the first story of the book, “The Costly Answer” finds Rebecca wondering if her answer to one question asked by her crush cost her a chance at a relationship after she spots him a few years later in a different city. In the second story, “He Better Not Touch My Doughnuts,” she shares her experiences dealing with trust in a friendship. In the third story, “Big Brother (Sometimes),” Rebecca shares her love for her quasi-big brother, but also admits that she could never truly let go of any doubts surrounding their friendship. In the following story, “The Truth Does Set You Free,” Rebecca discusses her relationship with a guy she had a crush on for quite awhile until she finally gives their friendship an honest review. The next story, “A Necessary Goodbye,” discusses naturally letting a friendship go. That story is followed by “The Perfect Imperfect Person to Love,” where Rebecca shares her deep love and commitment to a friend she fell for and her struggle to let go. “The Best Player on the Team,” is a story about Rebecca’s friendship with one of the football players that she admired on and off the field. Next is the story, “Words Can Hurt,” which discusses the pain of being there for someone and then realizing he may never have appreciated her. And finally, “Good Guys Always Finish Last” is a story where Rebecca realizes that there are decent guys out there, and sometimes they get overlooked.
**Rachael’s tour is now full. Thank you to everyone who signed up!**
The Bungalow by Sarah Jio is a unique and fantastical piece of historical chick-lit that is truly one-of-a-kind. With the country at war and the world in chaos around her, twenty-one year old Anne Calloway, questions her future as the bride-to-be of a man that she has known her whole life and wonders if this is all life has in store for her. Having always taken the safe, logical route, Anne makes the decision of a lifetime and joins her best friend and enlists as a nurse, heading to Bora-Bora and embarking on a journey that will change her in more ways than one.
Shortly after arriving, Anne meets a fellow service man named Westry. Together, they work to repair an abandoned bungalow on the beach, and in doing so, their friendship blossoms into a romance. Then one night, they witness a shocking event that changes everything. With the crime lingering overhead, the timing couldn’t be worse as Anne’s tour is wrapping up and Westry is being redeployed, leaving the two with an uncertain future. What will become of their love? Will Westry be able to find her once the war is over? Will the world ever go back to the way that Anne remembers? Only time will tell but I for one, loved being a part of the journey.
I absolutely adored The Bungalow. When I first picked up the book to read, I was quickly reminded of Sarah’s debut novel and how similar the two are, yet so very different. Sarah does a fantastic job at weaving together a historical backdrop, an enduring romance and a taste of mystery. I loved the progression from friendship to something more between Anne and Westry and I found myself leafing through the pages quickly to find out what would become of them. I was swept away by the visuals and descriptions that Sarah painted and found myself reading in fluid color as if I were there, right along with Anne on her journey. Overall, this book is an absolute GEM. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting. This book is one of my new recommendations for an enchanting, enthralling summer-read. Kudos to you Sarah, you’ve done it again and have created yourself another winner!
She’s smart, pretty, and runs her own business. So then why does she feel so dead inside? Between work, two kids, and a husband who finds her about as exciting as furniture shopping, this is the story of a (formerly-exciting but now way-too-typical) suburban mom who diagnoses herself with Momnesia and sets about finessing a new version of her old vivaciousness:
Momnesia (mahm-nee-zhuh) -noun-
Loss of the memory of who you used to be. Caused by pregnancy, play dates, and trying to keep the house cleaner than the Joneses.
She finds some adventure pursing her own interests, and does make some new friends (including the battery operated variety), but still feels like nothing more than a caretaker.
In between dealing with her husband’s manic-depresssive behavior, drama with her friends, and some naughty Internet escapades, she ponders, Is it that I haven’t been myself? Or is it that I am being myself, but just different than I used to be?
It isn’t until she tosses the Invisible Rule Book altogether, that she discovers life–and love–have more to offer than she ever imagined!
With custom-painted cover art that perfectly epitomizes the struggle of finding balance between “momminess” and “sexiness,” Momnesia is a must read for anyone who has ever been a mother, had a mother, wanted to be a mother, judged a mother, or even just wondered about mothers. A great gift book, too!
I have one copy of Momnesia by Lori Verni-Fogarsi up for grabs! The winner can choose between a print or eBook, but print books will be limited to US/Canada residents only. The winner will be chosen on Saturday, March 31. To enter to win, please just leave a comment below. Thank you to Lori for sponsoring this giveaway!
**The winner is Susan @ The Book Bag!**
“The Nitty Gritty Process of Being an Author”
By Lori Verni-Fogarsi, author of “Momnesia”
What kind of a title is that? For heaven’s sake! It sounds as if being an author is nitty. And gritty! Which it both is and isn’t. The truth is, if your goal is to have strangers read your book and have it be successful, there is far more involved than the pleasure of writing.
Everywhere I go, I meet people that say, “You’re a published author? Omigod! I have a great idea for a novel but can’t get around to writing it!” (This is largely because everyone I come across gets a bookmark foisted on them.) My advice? Just write it. Don’t worry about what you’re going to do with it later. Get your story out of your head and into the computer.
They look at me dubiously. “But how am I going to get it published?” My answer? “If you don’t write it, it can never be published.”
The next step is to be a cruel and brutal monster against your own work. How many words is it? More than 90,000? It’s too long. When I first finished “Momnesia,” it was 130,000 words and rest assured, finding 40,000 words to cut was extremely painful, yet necessary. Along the way, I did my spelling and punctuation corrections, and formatting.
Moving on, it’s time to let someone else mess with your work. And I don’t mean your mother, sister, or husband—not even if they’re an editor. I mean an impartial professional who has no personal stake in your life. Who will tell you if something stinks and praise you if it sings. Who knows that Roller Blades is supposed to be capitalized, and is not afraid to tell you that almost ALL of your parentheses need to be removed. They will identify characters that need development, inconsistencies in the timeline, and redundancies that cause readers to glaze over. Pay them. It’s worth it.
Here is the point where I could easily launch into a series of additional articles: Whether to seek an agent or self-publish, unusual aspects to keep in mind for your book’s cover, the roles of additional professionals, the marketing you’ll have to do. How to make your book stand out as the professional, highly readable work that it is (as opposed to an unedited, too long thing that people may read once but will never recommend).
One of the most common questions people ask is, “How long did the process take?” “Momnesia” took me a year to write, a year to edit, and a year to launch. As of the writing of this article, its success is still to be measured (release date was 3/16/12 in paperback and Kindle). “Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs” took two years. It was published in 2005 and I still receive a decent royalty check every quarter.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips! I invite you to join me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LoriTheAuthor), and find additional resources on my website, (www.LoriTheAuthor.com). Happy authoring!
P.S: This article was 868 words. Too long! See? I had to edit it to a length that people will have time to read—all 526 words of it! (Um, perhaps still a teeny bit too long.)
Author Site: www.LoriTheAuthor.com
Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoriTheAuthor
Author Twitter: www.twitter.com/LoriTheAuthor
Author Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/LoriTheAuthor
Bertie Mallowan loves to report the hard-hitting news. But when her job as a reporter has her off the hot stories and more into the “fluff” as talks of more lay-offs circulate, Bertie realizes that she needs a change. A break. Something. So two days after she interviews Robert Bellingham, the sleaze-ball money-maker turns up dead, and Bertie assigns herself to figuring out who killed him. It’s not quite that easy, as over the years Robert has made not only a lot of money, but just as many enemies. Could it be the wife? The kids? The gardener? Bertie makes it her mission to crack the case, and the payoff would be an insider’s story that would surely save her job at the newspaper. But will a second murder and an attack on Bertie scare her away from the Bellingham murder scoop?
Trashy Chic by Cathy Lubenski was a kooky mystery novel with a fun cast of characters. I could relate to Bertie when she frustrated about her job and then worried she might lose it all together. Bertie had a great sense of humor, especially when it came to making up lies to her editors. Her friends were fun to read about, particularly Kate who owns the dog kennel. The mystery had me thinking until the end, trying to figure out alongside Bertie who the killer was. I did have some troubles making a solid connection to the story. I was never really invested in the chapters or felt like I just had to get to the end. Maybe the characters were just a bit too off the wall for me, I’m really not sure. I did keep getting tripped up over Bertie’s age, she seemed to act a lot younger than she really was, and that kind of bothered me throughout the story. It was still a fun book to read but not a favorite of mine.
When Madeline O’Connor learns that her estranged sister is gravely ill, she leaves behind her life in Manhattan to be at her sister’s side in Italy. There, she discovers an ancient Benedictine monastery that accommodates travelers, and she decides to stay there, among the monks. Everything in her life turns upside down when she falls for Brother Anthony Lamberti, a soft-spoken Italian completely different from the men she knows in New York. Together Madeline and Anthony find love for the first time, and learn that life and love always find a way. When her sister dies, a new life for Madeline begins. A new life that she would never have imagined and yet is perfect for her in every way.
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for the full tour schedule! **Anyone who purchases their copy of Finding Felicity before June 18 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five entries in a drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card!!**
I was writing another novel, a historical fiction book, and I hit a wall where I didn’t know where to take the story next. I had just visited Indiana University for a baseball reunion weekend and an idea started to weave its way into my mind about a cutter, what they call townies on IU’s campus, and a big time jock. I started asking myself what would happen if they fell in love and he went to the big time and she was much more than a townie. Once I started writing the contemporary it flowed very smoothly, probably because I felt I knew the characters and settings so well. I decided to put the other historical novel on the backburner, I’ve never finished it, but I went back to it recently and am thinking I’ll rework it into a fantasy trilogy.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Right now the hardest part is finding the time to write. I launched four books at about the same time, so I’m doing all I can to promote them. My website is also in the works and should launch this month and that’s a lot of work, finding the right images, making sure you have all the right content. Writing itself usually flows pretty well for me, if I get stuck its usually because I’m somewhere I don’t want to be in the story, in Binding at one point I stopped for two week because I just couldn’t bring myself to do something that I knew I had to do. Luckily, all my characters live in my head, or unluckily in this case because Cass kicked me and said, “You just gotta do it.” And I said, “I’ve gotta do it, got it.”
What is the most rewarding part of being published?
Recently someone reviewed Binding Arbitration and in her review she said she had a very special connection to it. When I emailed her, she told me her personal story which paralleled Libby’s journey in some respects and she told me how touched she was by the story. Most of my reviews say they laughed and they cried reading this book, which means to me as author that I succeeded in getting you to know Aidan and Libby, because would you cry over a perfect stranger’s story? It might make you sad but you wouldn’t want to cry. I guess what I’m saying is I like knowing I can touch you with my words.
I’m always working on a novel. The second book in the Chicago series, which doesn’t have a title yet, is about an interior designer and a race car driver. They both come from prestigious backgrounds, but one of them gave a baby up for adoption and the other one was given up for adoption. Both of them have preconceived ideas about the other and they love to rub checkered flags in each other’s faces, the problem is that a checkered flag means caution, and these two don’t catch on until they’ve passed the finish line. It features a magical black cat; Santana is willing to sacrifice its nine lives to keep them together. I’m about four chapters into the book.
I have a paranormal romance that’s almost complete, it’s about a vampire who has been yearning for something for 600 years—it’s not blood that Sebastian Pearce wants more than anything the human world has to offer—the House of Imperials needs a breeder.
Do you have a writing routine you try to stick too?
I’m trying to develop a new routine where I write a few days a week all day and then do marketing a few days a week all day. So far I haven’t gotten a lot written other than guest posts and interviews, but once my web site goes up I hope to go to the back and forth routine.
How important do you think blogs and/or social media are to authors?
I think blogs are very important, especially to Indie authors. They give authors a platform where they can display their work. Unfortunately, the time of the bookstore is rapidly coming to an end. I don’t relish the day, because I love hanging out in bookstores and libraries but authors will need places to promote their books and blogs and social media are the place to accomplish this.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
I believe that authors are born not made. I think it’s a talent, and like any other talent, the more you practice it the better you will become. I believe a good education supports your talent. Then an author needs lots of life experiences. I think a good writer is naturally curious about many things and very observant, they have the ability to arrange disjointed ideas into stories and make them believable to readers.
Samantha, thanks so much for taking the time to interview me, it was a pleasure.