Book Club Mom’s May recap – books, birthdays and a graduation

I don’t know what happened to May, but here we are at the finish. It’s a big month for birthdays in my family and we squeezed in a college graduation too! It’s always nice to settle into a comfy chair during the down times and relax with a book, a show or a puzzle.

I’ve become a bit crazy with a word game I have on my ancient Kindle called Every Word: Crossings, and I have been playing it obsessively. I never look at that as a waste of time, though. Things like that always help me sort out my day.

And I went a little overboard with my Barbie doll posts (see below), but it’s been fun (for me, at least!) sharing something that I loved as a girl.

This month, I read and reviewed three regular books:


A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd – if you like mystery series, this is the first of the Bess Crawford stories, set in England during World War I. I enjoyed both the characters and the historical setting. The author, Charles Todd, is actually a mother-son writing team.

More and more, it seems, fiction books are being co-authored and this month I wrote a post about this very thing!

Author teams and pen names – if the story’s good, does it matter? Not to me!

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren – in this memoir about becoming a female scientist, Jahren writes a compelling personal story about family, love, friendship, mental health and the difficulties of earning a living as a scientist. (Jahren made it big, after a long road, and has won many awards.)

The Beneficiary – Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of my Father by Janny Scott – a biography of Robert Montgomery Scott, written by his daughter. A tale of four generations of a wealthy Main Line, Pennsylvania family and their 800-acre estate and the complicated relationships among family members.

As I mentioned above, I also started a series that celebrates books about the Barbie doll’s 60th birthday. Here are the first two posts, indulging my obsession. I’ll share my final Barbie post next week.

Dressing Barbie: A Celebration of the Clothes That Made America’s Favorite Doll and the Incredible Woman Behind Them – Carol Spencer

Look what Barbie’s wearing! Barbie Fashion 1959-1967 by Sarah Sink Eames

May was a busier indie author month. I introduced three hard-working writers:

Richard Doiron
Lucia N. Davis
Frank Prem

If you are an indie or self-published author and would like to be featured on Who’s That Indie Author, please email me at To shake things up, I’ve updated my interview with a new set of questions!

Next week, we’re starting a Summer Reading program at the library where I work, so I’ll be signing up for that. I plan to work these two books onto my list:

June book previews: Lot – Stories by Bryan Washington and Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

And last, I was sorry to see that American author Herman Wouk died on May 17, at age 103. I’ve enjoyed many of his books and think I will go back to some of them this summer. I had a fun time looking at these book covers – did you notice that the last two, The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, fit together to make a bigger picture?

Remembering American author Herman Wouk, 1915 – 2019

I hope you had a good month, out in the world and between the pages. I’m looking forward to a good summer!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s March recap – a month of blog posts

Image: Pixabay

March powered through like a freight train on greased wheels and I’m happy to say I didn’t derail!

Spring has finally arrived and, for the first time since I planted bulbs, the bunnies haven’t chomped my flowers down to the nubs. That must be a sign of good things to come!

I had a busy blogging month. I read some good books, profiled two indie authors, brushed up on my vocabulary and grammar, wrote and shared some special posts and made a few YouTube videos.

Here’s a quick “ICYMI” summary of what went down in March at Book Club Mom. Click on the links to visit each post.

Book Reviews

Mar 3: The Widow by Fiona Barton
Mar 11: Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Mar 22: Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Mar 24: What If? by Randall Munroe
Mar 30: How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery

Mar 6: Giselle Roeder
Mar 19: Gina Briganti

I love meeting indie authors and I’m always looking for new profiles to post. If you are interested in being featured, please email bvitelli2009@gmail for more information.

Grammar and Vocabulary

(Images: Pixabay)

I may have majored in English, but I make plenty of mistakes. These grammar and vocabulary posts are my way of staying fresh with the rules:

Mar 5: On vocabulary, words both big and small…
Mar 21: “Into” and “in to” – are you into it?
Mar 28: Using ellipses – are you doing it right?

Special Posts

I shared two posts written by my son, Austin Vitelli. The first is a book review and the second is a feature article that appeared in The Morning Call on March 26.

Mar 6: Sweetness by Jeff Pearlman – thoughts on NFL legend Walter Payton
Mar 26: How 3 former Lehigh football players and their friends started a record label

Guest Post on author Jill Weatherholt’s blog

I was excited to be featured on Jill’s blog, where I talk about my blogging experiences (and mistakes!) and tackle the tricky question of what to do when I don’t like a book.

Mar 29: Welcome Book Blogger Book Club Mom

I’m still learning the technical side of making videos, but I’m having a lot of fun along the way. I have some new ideas for April, so stay tuned!

Mar 7: Self-publishing – here’s how we did it!
Mar 13: Walking and listening to audiobooks
Mar 20: Audiobook update and general news!

I hope you had a great month too! Looking forward to more fun in April!

Image: Pixabay

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Malia Zaidi

Who's That Indie Author pic

Author name
:  Malia Zaidi

Genre:  Historical Mystery

BooksA Poisonous Journey and A Darker Shore


Bio:  Malia Zaidi is the author of A POISONOUS JOURNEY. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, and studied at English at Oxford University. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides, vicariously in countries throughout the world. A POISONOUS JOURNEY is her first novel in the Lady Evelyn mysteries series. The sequel, A DARKER SHORE will be available later this year.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  Creating characters. It starts with choosing a name, and from there the development of the figure just branches out. I want my characters, be they good or bad or, hopefully as humans often are, somewhere in between, to seem as real as possible. My favorite books are favorites because of their characters, much more, even than the plot, though, obviously, I aim to make a good go of that as well. These are characters I feel I know so well, I close the book almost surprised, and definitely a little disappointed, that they are not real.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Finding readers and the whole concept of self-marketing. I think many authors are like me in that we like to spend an inordinate amount of time with fictional people, but are not quite social animals adept at peddling our wares in the loudest tones. I have found a wonderful community of readers through Goodreads, however, where I was active even before becoming an author, and which I truly enjoy.

Favorite book: The impossible question! I might have to be unoriginal and say Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice closely followed by the Harry Potter series and William Goldman’s brilliant The Princess Bride. When it comes to characters, I’m not a Carrie or a Samantha, I’m definitely a Hermione.

Contact Information:
Blog: The Princess and the Pen
Twitter: @MaliaZaidi
Facebook: Malia Zaidi @maliazaidiauthor

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!



Who’s That Indie Author Recap: Jan/Feb 2016

Who's That Indie Author pic

Have you met these indie authors?

Here’s a recap for January and February 2016.  Be sure to click on the author’s name to view the full indie author profile.

Donna A. Ford

Donna FordGenre:  History/Biography/Inspirational
BooksMiracle of the Call – Twentieth Century Heroes and Heroines; Concord Sage – Ralph Waldo Emerson Life and Times
Favorite BookThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
Biggest Challenge:  Marketing
Contact Information: Website:; Email:

David Olimpio

David OlimpioGenre:  Nonfiction/Memoir
BookThis is Not a Confession
Favorite BookLondon Fields, by M. Amis
Biggest Challenge:  Finding an audience
Contact Information: You can find David Olimpio at his website and blog:, on Twitter @notsolinear, and on Facebook, Tumblr & Pinterest.

Carrie Rubin

Carrie Rubin picGenre:  Medical Thriller
BooksEating Bull  and The Seneca Scourge
Favorite BookA Fine Balance by R. Mistry
Biggest Challenge:  Promotion
Contact Information: You can find Carrie on her website, carrierubin.comFacebook, Twitter(@carrie_rubin) Goodreads: Carrie Rubin and Google+.


A.B. Funkhauser

A B FunkhauserGenre:  Gonzo Mortuary Revenge Fiction
BooksHeuer Lost and Found and
Scooter Nation
Favorite BookChild of the Morning
by P. Gedge
Biggest Challenge:  Sleeping.
Contact Information: Website:;   Twitter: @iamfunkhauser; Facebook: A. B. Funkhauser Author.

Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Phyllis RingGenre:  Historical fiction, romantic suspense, inspirational nonfiction.
BookThe Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War.
Favorite BookBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Liz Gilbert
Biggest Challenge:  Finding creative ways to make a book discoverable.
Contact Information: You can find Phyllis at her website, Leaf of the Tree, on Twitter: @phyllisring, on her Amazon Author Page, and on her Goodreads Author Page.

Shelley Wilson

SONY DSCGenre:  Young Adult Fiction; Adult Self-Help Nonfiction
BooksHow I Changed My Life in a Year; Meditation for Beginners, Vision Boards for Beginners; Guardians of the Dead; Guardians of the Sky; Guardians of the Lost Lands.
Favorite BookThe Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
Biggest Challenge:  Promotion/marketing
Contact Information: Website:; Writer Blog:; Twitter: @ShelleyWilson72.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz

Linda K SienkiewiczGenre:  Women’s Fiction
BooksIn the Context of Love
Favorite BookGilead by Marilynne Robinson
Biggest Challenge: Being published by a small press means not getting the big advance that another author might get from a big New York publisher.
Contact Information: Linda’s website –; Twitter – @LindaKSienkwicz; Facebook –

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!