Who’s That Indie Author? Laura Simmons

whos-that-indie-authorAuthor name:  Laura Simmons

Genre:  Fiction – Paranormal Romance

Books:  Little Bits of Karma, Tough Karma: A Race Against Time

      

Bio:  Laura Simmons grew up in northern Virginia and spent most of her career working for various Department of Defense contractors in the Washington, DC area. She has a fascination with all things metaphysical. She enjoys writing paranormal romance stories featuring astral travel, psychic abilities, reincarnation and more. She also loves jigsaw puzzles, bowling, vacationing at the beach with her husband, and studying tarot cards and other types of divination systems.

Little Bits of Karma is her debut novel and focuses on reincarnation.  The minor characters from that book had an adventure they wanted to share, and Tough Karma: A Race Against Time is their story.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  My favorite thing about being a writer is having others read and enjoy the stories I’ve written.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Selling and marketing my books.

Favorite books:  I have a fondness for time travel and Highlander romance novels. Some of my favorites are, His Enemy’s Daughter by Terri Brisbin, The Devil’s Lady by Deborah Simmons (no relation to me), Another Dawn by Deb Stover, The Clan Graham Series by Suzan Tisdale

Contact Information:
Twitter:  @LauraSimmons37
Website:  littlebitsofkarma.com
Goodreads Author:  Laura Simmons
Amazon Author Page:  Laura Simmons


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

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Food for thought – books with food references in their titles

Image: Pixabay

Whether it’s a direct reference or a more subtle metaphor, there is no shortage of book titles that have something to do with food.  It’s always fun to organize collections this way.  These classics, thrillers, children’s books and modern fiction all have this common food trait:


A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s memoir of his days in Paris, where he was part of the expatriate community of writers, artists and creative minds, known now as the “Lost Generation”


Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Capote’s character sketch of Holly Golightly, a nineteen-year-old runaway in New York who tries to escape her sad past


Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin

Exciting medical thriller that tackles the subject of obesity and the food industry’s role in this serious health problem


In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

In his guide to eating right, Pollan simplifies the dizzying task of figuring out what to eat:  Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.


One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes

Entertaining children’s book that uses hungry ants to teach math and a life lesson


Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig

Pete’s mad because it’s raining and he can’t go outside, so his parents turn him into a pizza in this quietly warm children’s story.


Taste by Tracy Ewens

Sophisticated and a little bit spicy romance about young professionals in the restaurant business


The Dinner by Herman Koch

Twisted tale about a seriously messed up and unlikable family with a terrible secret


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

One of the greatest American stories of endurance ever told.  When The Grapes of Wrath was published, Steinbeck said, “I’ve done my damndest to rip a reader’s nerves to rags.”


We the Eaters by Ellen Gustafson

An argument for ways “we the eaters” can change the world by fighting against big companies like Monsanto and Cargill and buying more organic and whole foods


What do your books in common?

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From the Archives: Books about Water and the Sea

Ocean

With only a few weeks left on our summer calendars, there’s still time to read a book about water and the sea.  Take a look at this mix of classic tales, popular fiction and nonfiction!


Classic fiction

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
What happens to a group of young British schoolboys when their plane is shot down and they land on deserted island in the Pacific?


The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The classic Hemingway story of Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman who has not caught a fish in eighty-four days


Popular fiction

sea creatures pic

Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel
Set in Miami, Florida, a story about love, marriage, family, death, art, weather and the sea


stiltsville book cover

Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel
All about marriage, family and relationships in a community of stilt houses in the Miami sand flats


The Dressmaker cover

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
Light historical fiction and romance written into the history of the Titanic’s voyage, its passengers and the disaster’s aftermath


the light between oceans pic

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
A story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife, who live alone on an island off Western Australia


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Fast-paced, coming-of-age fantasy tale for adults about the mysteries of life, death, nature, the past, and the present


We Are Water

We Are Water by Wally Lamb
A rotating narrative about abuse over time and generations, and its range of effects


Mystery

Death in a Red Canvas Chair cover

Death in a Red Canvas Chair by N. A. Granger
Debut mystery novel, the first in a series about Rhe Brewster and her adventures as an amateur detective.  Set in the fictional coastal town of Pequod, Maine


Death in a Dacron Sail cover

Death in a Dacron Sail by N. A. Granger
The second in the Rhe Brewster mystery series, full of New England color and Maine personality


Romance

I also enjoyed reading Tracy's first love story!

Catalina Kiss by Tracy Ewens
Where the Tracy Ewens romance series begins.  Set on the island of Catalina during Prohibition, a light, feel-good romance


Young Adult/Children’s

Casey of Cranberry Cove

Casey of Cranberry Cove by Susan Kotch
Teen love on the Jersey shore, lots of fun shore references for Jersey guys and girls


the cay pic

The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Touching coming-of-age story about an eleven-year-old American boy living on the island of Curaçao during World War II


Tommy's Mommy's Fish

Tommy’s Mommy’s Fish by Nancy Dingman Watson
Tommy wants to give his mother the best birthday present so he heads to the beach to catch the biggest fish he can.


Non-fiction

Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast

Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast by Margie Miklas
Coffee table/photo book featuring the people, streets and culture of a beautiful part of Italy, showcasing magnificent coastlines, ancient architecture and vibrant street life


In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
True survival story of the whaleship Essex, attacked and sunk by an eighty-five foot sperm whale in the Pacific


Read but not reviewed

Billy Budd by Herman Melville
A classic Melville story about the battle between good and evil

Jaws by Peter Benchley
Gripping suspense novel about a killer shark off a Long Island beach

Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Ahab takes on a killer whale.  Classic story inspired by the whaleship Essex

Gift from the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh
Meditations about love, marriage and family written by Charles Lindbergh’s American wife


Do you have any favorite tales about the sea?

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Summer Reading Challenge – The Vacationers by Emma Straub

The Vacationers
The Vacationers by Emma Straub

A Book with a Blue Cover

Rating:
4 book marks

The Vacationers has been on my bookshelf for a year and I was happy to fit it into my Summer Reading Challenge – A Book with a Blue Cover!

This blue-covered book is a light beach read about the dysfunctional Post family, on a trip from Manhattan to Mallorca, Spain for some forced family vacation fun, a two-week trip to a beautiful island home on top of a mountain.

Franny and Jim Post are in crisis, despite thirty-five years of marriage.  Their daughter, Sylvia is off to college in the fall.  She has a few crucial things to check off her list before the summer is out and her handsome Spanish tutor may be able to help her with that.  Joining the group from Miami are Sylvia’s brother, 28-year-old Bobby and his older-woman girlfriend, Carmen.  Bobby and Carmen have their own problems and they may not be able to keep them under wraps in Mallorca.  Rounding out the group is Franny’s long-time friend Charles and his new husband Lawrence.  Lawrence already feels like an outsider.  Can he tolerate the intense friendship between Charles and Franny?

Everyone has issues, there is plenty of tension and the Wi-Fi in the house stinks.  Franny, despite being furious with Jim, tries to keep it together by organizing day trips and cooking elaborate meals.

As the days wear on, some relationships improve, but others worsen and one or two implode.  On a trip to the beach, it looks as if the vacation will end in disaster.  Can anything be salvaged?

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining story.  It is perfect for the summer and I was in just the right mood to read something fun.  While the characters are simply drawn and the plot is predictable, Straub adds her own style to the dialogue and her characters’ points of view.  I was surprised to see it got very mixed reviews on Amazon, but I’m sticking with my four bookmarks!


Follow along as I work my way through my 16 in 16 Challenge!

Book 1 – A Book You Can Finish in a Day:  The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner
Book 2 – A Book in a Genre You Typically Don’t Read:  The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

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Reserved by Tracy Ewens Preview

Reserved
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to settling in with Reserved, a new romance by Tracy Ewens. Reserved is the fourth book in Tracy’s Love Story series. I’ve read the other three and have thoroughly enjoyed the author’s modern, sassy and a little bit steamy writing style.

Here’s a preview of Reserved, as it appears on Amazon:

Makenna Rye Conroy was living the dream—with an amazing husband and a beautiful new baby daughter—when one night changed everything.

Almost six years after Adam’s death, Makenna and her daughter Paige have built a solid, happy life together. Makenna manages her brother’s trendy restaurant, The Yard, and helps out at Ryeland Farms, the family business, all while navigating the world of private school parenting. Sure, being a single mom has its challenges, but she hardly has time to pack her daughter’s lunch in the morning, let alone think about dating.

Travis McNulty, the middle child and biggest disappointment of the McNulty clan, is a chef at his best friend’s new restaurant. He gave up apologizing for not being the football hero his family wanted a long time ago. In fact, Travis apologizes for very little these days. He loves creating great food—it’s more of a passion than a job—and he lives life on his own terms with few complications.

For the past couple years, Makenna and Travis have worked side by side at The Yard, bickering, teasing, and never taking each other very seriously. That is until Makenna has her usual reoccurring dream; but this time, instead of her late husband as the featured man, Travis stands in his place. Travis may be attracted to his best friend’s sister, but she’s a widow and a mother, which tops the charts for complicated in his book.

As the game changes, Makenna and Travis, with a little help from Paige, have to figure out what they are willing to risk to reserve a table for three.

Looking forward to reading Reserved soon!

Check out these terrific book covers and click on the titles below to read my reviews of Tracy’s earlier romances:

 

Premiere Goodreads       Candidate_cover5       Taste-by-Tracy-Ewens-360x570
Premiere           
Candidate            Taste

For more information about Tracy, check out her Who’s That Indie Author profile and these earlier interviews.

Who’s That Indie Author? Tracy Ewens
Author Interview 10/27/14
Author Interview 4/8/14

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We have a winner! Book Giveaway of Taste by Tracy Ewens

Taste-by-Tracy-Ewens-360x570

Congratulations to Ellen – winner of the Taste book giveaway! Ellen will receive a signed copy of this smart and entertaining romance!

Taste Giveaway winnerThe winner was selected randomly by Rafflecopter.com.  Thank you to everyone who entered!

Click here to read my review of Taste.

Want even more? Check out my reviews of Tracy Ewens’ earlier romances:

Catalina Kiss, Premiere and Candidate

I also enjoyed reading Tracy's first love story!  Premiere Goodreads  Candidate_cover5
And to learn more about Tracy Ewens, click on these Book Club Mom interviews and feature:

Who’s That Indie Author? – Tracy Ewens

Interview: October 27, 2014

Interview: April 8, 2014

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Book Giveaway Update

Taste-by-Tracy-Ewens-360x570

Hello Everyone!

You may know that I am running my first book giveaway of Taste by Tracy Ewens. Alas, as with all new things, there is the obligatory learning curve. In an effort to make sure that everyone who has entered is indeed registered, I have simplified the entry form to include a single request that you leave your name and email address.

If you have already entered and want to verify that you are on the list, please email me at bvitelli2009@gmail.com and I will check and add you if necessary.

You can enter by visiting Book Club Mom’s Facebook page and clicking the link in my post or on the Giveaway tab.

I have extended the giveaway through December 13, 2015 to give you all a chance to win!

Thanks for your patience!