Cover reveal for Encounters: Relationships in Conflict by Fred H. Rohn

Make room on your bookshelves and eReaders for Encounters: Relationships in Conflict by Fred H. Rohn, a collection of short fiction about the human relationship.

Social mores change from year to year, but one thing remains constant: conflict between people results from differing perceptions, often between men and women and between different generations. In each story, characters confront a variety of personal and professional problems and must either compromise or adjust to new circumstances. In “The Painting,” a young married woman’s deceit catches up to her. “Doc Brunner” tells the story of a pastor facing a series of interrelated problems during World War II. In “Harry,” music from long ago invokes powerful memories.

Representing a wide range of age groups and set in many different time periods, these stories show that, while times change and circumstances differ, conflict and resolution in human relationships is an ageless cycle.

Fred H. Rohn is the author of two business accounting books and a memoir, A Fortunate Life. He has been married for seventy years and has four children and nine grandchildren. The short stories in Encounters represent years of accumulated notes for story ideas. He lives with his wife, June, in New Jersey. Encounters is scheduled for release in July 2018.

     Click here to view Rohn’s January 2018 interview with the Madison Eagle.

Click here for more information about A Fortunate Life.

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Out with the flu – new post tomorrow!

Image: Pixabay


I got slammed with the flu and have not been able to post.  But stay tuned for a new post tomorrow.  I’ll be back in the blogging world soon…

Image: Pixabay

…and next year I’ll get a flu shot even though I tend to faint when I get a shot!

Thank you for reading.  Here’s what’s coming up:

A new Who’s That Indie Author

A review of Calmer Secrets by Jennifer Kelland Perry
Great follow-up to Calmer Girls!

A review of The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin
Wild and exciting medical thriller!

See  you soon!


Book publicity and marketing, what’s an indie author to do?

Image: Pixabay

Wouldn’t it be great you could just write and not worry about the business of selling books?  The explosion of self-publishing has made book publishing possible to new and creative talent, but a big question for indie authors remains.  What’s the best way to market and publicize a self-published book?  Top on the list are building a presence on social media, implementing ad campaigns, and obtaining reviews.  To some extent, a self-published writer’s time and budget will determine the plan, but learning what to focus on and deciding whether to buy marketing and promotion services can be hard.

For writers who are making these decisions for the first time, I’m wondering what experiences other indie authors can share.  So I’m starting a discussion about some specific marketing services listed below.  What has worked best for you?  What would you do differently?

  1. Social Media – do it yourself or hire a publicist? We all know how time-consuming social media is and let’s face it – you either like doing it or you hate it.  But for writers who do enjoy being on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., is it still better to have someone else do it?  Many indie authors wear a lot of different hats and time is a limited resource.
  2. Advertising on Facebook – do people read and engage with these ads? I know a lot of people who use ad blockers.  Do you?
  3. Creating a Facebook Page for Your Book – seems like a good idea, despite my frustration with Facebook. Can you create a page that is not connected to your personal account?
  4. Advertising in Publishers Weekly – Does advertising here help give your book a push in the right direction?
  5. Obtaining Reviews – as a book blogger, I’m sensitive to the need for indie authors to get reviews. Asking someone to review your book is hard to do!  What are your strategies?
  6. Buying Reviews – you can purchase reviews from Kirkus but they are expensive. It’s great if you get a positive review, but is it worth the risk of getting a bad one?
  7. Book Stubs – these little plastic cards display your book cover on the front and offer a free copy of an e-book on the back– they sound fun but unless you’re on a book tour, how helpful are they?
  8. BookGrabbr – this online tool invites your social media followers to share your book with potential readers by offering a preview as a reward or the whole book (a “grabb”) to certain followers. Sounds clever.  Has anyone tried this?

How many hats do you wear?  Do you like social media?  What other marketing methods have helped you sell books?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

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


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  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

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Taste by Tracy Ewens


Tracy Ewens


Anyone will tell you that the restaurant business is tough, and food critics like Kara Malendar make it even tougher. Kara is known for her scathing reviews in the LA Times food section and the word is that her recent review of the Marco Polo was “the last nail in the coffin.” Kara loves the power of her job, but she feels a twinge of guilt when she sees the Marco Polo shutting down. What kind of career is being a food critic anyway? Kara’s not even sure she likes eating anymore.

As the daughter of U.S. Senator Patrick Malendar from California, Kara has spent most of her life in the public eye. And since she was a young girl, her mother Bindi has instructed Kara on all points of public life, what to wear, how to stand, where to look, how to smile. Kara’s just about fed up and somewhere deep inside her a change is beginning to take place.

Meanwhile, Logan Rye is putting all his energy into his new restaurant, The Yard, which is quickly becoming the hip place to eat. Logan and his friend, Travis are great cooks with high standards and they insist on using fresh meats and home grown produce from the Rye family’s farm. In addition to the best ingredients, Logan knows that hard work is the key to The Yard’s success. After all, hard work is all Logan knows. He’s been his family’s caretaker ever since he can remember.

Logan is working too hard to have a personal life, but no matter. He was stung before, by a certain LA Times food critic and there’s no way he’ll let that happen again with her or any woman. He’ll leave the womanizing to Travis. But when Kara is assigned to write a three-part feature on The Yard, it’s only a matter of time before these two worlds collide. Can Kara and Logan overcome past hurts and let love in?

In Taste, Tracy Ewens has set the stage for another hip, modern romance with plenty of good-looking characters, tantalizing dialogue, and a classy amount of spice and steam. But there are also realistic ups and downs, grounding moments of family conflict and consistent themes of friendship, family and love because in the end, that’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it?

Taste is the third in the series of love stories by Tracy Ewens, which was brought to life by her first romantic novel, Catalina Kiss. In each love story, Ewens focuses on one or two characters, but all her characters’ lives and histories overlap, making for a nice continuum. Each book stands alone and I believe the series can be read in any order.

Taste is full of references to mouthwatering foods, sharp dressing, with a good amount of humor. It’s a fun escape with a fantastic finish, confirming the author’s belief in love and romance.

I received an ARC to review Taste, which will be released on October 27, 2015.

If you like romance, click on the titles below to check out my reviews of Tracy Ewens’ earlier romances:

Catalina Kiss

Premiere Goodreads


And to learn more about Tracy Ewens, click on these Book Club Mom interviews and features:

Who’s That Indie Author? – Tracy Ewens

Interview: October 27, 2014

Interview: April 8, 2014

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


What’s up next? Candidate, by Tracy Ewens


I’m looking forward tso getting started on my advance copy of Tracy Ewens’ latest book, Candidate – A Love Story. Tracy has written two other terrific romances, Catalina Kiss and Premiere.  This one is about Grady Malendar, a character from her second book, Premiere.  Be sure to visit Tracy’s blog, From the Laundry Room to stay up to date on everything she is doing.

Check out this preview of Candidate  from Amazon

If only life were as simple as choosing between Toaster Strudel and Fruit Loops.

Katherine Galloway is two years divorced and still living out of boxes. Between her brothers (cops that work with her ex) and her mother’s constant reminders that her clock is ticking, Kate is trying to hold it all together. But the truth is, she’s eating Toaster Strudel for dinner, and living and breathing her PR career.. When it comes to public relations, there’s nothing she can’t handle . . . or at least that’s what she thinks.

Grady Malendar, the only son of California State Senator, Patrick Malendar, has a reputation as a playboy who likes to have a little too much fun. The senator is running for re-election and needs Grady’s help with the youth vote. But what they want is a new and improved, headline-free Grady, so they hire a PR firm. Grady is willing to participate in the dog and pony show to help his father win, but there are some things about Grady’s life he wants to keep hidden. Especially from his snoopy new PR “babysitter,” Kate Galloway.

Somewhere between campaign stops and fundraisers, Kate and Grady discover that neither of them are what they appear to be on the surface. Tensions between them grow until there is no denying they are falling in love behind the scenes of a façade they both need to keep in place. Will scandal, old wounds, and secrets tear them apart, or will Kate and Grady realize, despite appearances, they are both candidates for love?

Candidate will be available for purchase on June 23, 2015.

Click on the titles for my reviews of Tracy’s other books.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Catalina Kiss

I also enjoyed reading Tracy's first love story!

Premiere is currently available in print and Kindle formats on

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Premiere by Tracy Ewens

Premiere Goodreads

Tracy Ewens


Samantha Cathner knows all too well that it’s not so simple to be young and in love. Peter Everoad was her one true love, but he left her for a playwright’s career on Broadway. Now he’s back and he’s brought his new play with him to the Pasadena Playhouse.

Sam has moved on with her life, or has she? As assistant creative director at the Playhouse, she must work directly with Peter and she soon discovers that the characters in Peter’s play bear a close and uncomfortable resemblance to Sam, Peter and their close friends and family.

The sparks are still there and Sam wrestles with this undeniable attraction and her anger with Peter for leaving four years earlier, just as their romance was taking off. But Peter’s story is much more complicated than a guy fleeing when things get too involved. Pasadena represents good and bad memories for Peter. Now that he’s back, he’s forced to confront the painful reminders of his father’s suicide, including a mother who can’t make it to lunchtime without a drink.

I enjoyed reading this smart romance about the trials and angst that young professionals endure as they navigate love’s rocky road. It’s a great look at young lives when everything is on the brink of happening. The reader can see where things should head, but the characters struggle to find their way.

Ewens’ characters move within Pasadena’s privileged class and it is fun to jump into a world where money is no object.   But Sam is not a princess. She is strong-willed and career-driven, like her grandmother, who is portrayed in Ewens’ first book, Catalina Kiss.

The story moves along at a nice pace with lots of romantic tension and fun, intelligent conversation. Ewens has a good feel for what it’s like to be a twenty-something young professional, with equal parts of romantic drama and serious personal conflict.

Suspense carries the reader through to the play’s opening night. With his personal life unsettled, Peter has struggled to write a satisfying ending, which he’s kept secret to all. As she sits in the audience, Sam shakes with nervous anticipation and can hardly watch as Peter’s final and unconventional scene draws her into its conclusion.

Premiere is an enjoyable romance, with the bonus of interesting and uncomplicated descriptions of behind-the-scenes drama production. The attraction between Sam and Peter is well-presented, with realistic dialogue and conflict. In addition, Ewens has managed to write love scenes that are nice and spicy, but not over-the-top, which gives the story class and separates it from popular bodice-ripping tales. I think the strongest scenes are between Sam and Peter in New York. It’s what the reader sees as an ultimate coming-together, but with more pages ahead, there’s a lot to figure out. But my favorite scene is towards the end between Peter and his mother, one of those conversations that has taken years to happen and is satisfying to witness.

Ewens also raises the important question of where writers get their material. Peter’s best writing comes from his own experiences, which he puts on stage for all to see, a catharsis for him, but a writer’s dilemma as well. Is it right to include these painful and personal experiences, at the expense of family, friends and, especially Sam?

Premiere is a seemingly simple story with more complicated layers and is best described by one of my favorite quotes from the book, “If only life were as simple as a good-looking guy and a great dress.” So true, but the complicated parts are just as entertaining!

I received an ARC to review Premiere, which will be released on October 27.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Author interview – coming soon!

author interview pic

What does it take to self-publish a book?  What are the challenges?  Do you need an agent?  How do you market yourself?  How do you get people to read and review your book?

These are some of the questions I will ask Heather Walsh, author of Dented Cans and The Drake Equation.  Are you a writer who is trying to get noticed?  Check back soon to learn more about Ms. Walsh and her experiences in the self-publishing world!

dented cans picthe drake equation pic

Dented Cans by Heather Walsh

Dented Cans
Heather Walsh


Here’s a nice young adult read for teens who, more than anything, want a normal family with normal parents and normal relationships.

Hannah Sampson is a high school junior who’s in a hurry to escape her family and their blue-collar town of North Prospect, Connecticut.  Nothing can keep her from wanting to leave.  Her quirky parents are borderline hoarders.  Her mother fills scrapbooks with pictures and packs them away in the basement.  Her father can’t pass up a bargain on dented cans from the supermarket and has loaded them up on their basement shelves.

If that isn’t enough, things have changed with her fourteen-year-old brother, Ryan.  And little brother Ben barely speaks, preferring instead to communicate with sound effects.  What else is there to do but study hard and find a college that’s far away from this group?  The months pass slowly and a vacation to Disney World brings everything to a head when Hannah’s parents reveal a family secret.

I liked this story, written from Hannah’s point of view, because it gives a pretty good look into family dynamics.  What seems like a weird family turns out to be similar to the way many families communicate, and don’t communicate, with each other.

I think Walsh is best at describing the sibling dynamic, which can be both combative and affectionate.  Hannah and Ryan are both nice to Ben and they share that protective nature.  And the three band together in defiance of their parents, particularly in Disney World.  She also touches on how kids have to break the family rules in order to gain independence, particularly with Ben at the water park.  I also think Walsh does a good job showing how Hannah’s parents react to Ryan and Hannah as they assert themselves.

Some readers may be frustrated with Hannah’s opinions, which are strong and intolerant, but I think that shows how kids can exaggerate their points of view to deal with their frustration.  And once Hannah understands her family better, we grow to understand Hannah.

All-in-all, this is a fast, enjoyable read, with a serious message that’s delivered in light humor.

Dented Cans is Heather Walsh’s first book. Be sure to check out her second book, The Drake Equation.

And click here for an interview with Heather Walsh.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh

the drake equation picThe Drake Equation
Heather Walsh


I enjoyed The Drake Equation, a modern romance in which two young professionals from seemingly opposite ends of the political spectrum meet and clash. The story’s lead character, Emily Crossley, is a super-focused and driven earth-conscious liberal, working for the non-profit, GeoForce, whose primary goal is to eliminate all the unsafe, gas guzzling and air-killing SUVs from the road. Along comes Robert Drake, a PR man from Bell Motors. Not willing to accept Robert’s Republican views, Emily feels compelled to argue her point and win over this good-looking conservative.

After a great deal of political and environmental debate which is fueled by their romantic interest, Emily and Robert discover some common ground, and the story goes from there. This is an intelligently written, well-organized romance with easy-to-know characters and a smooth flow of plot. Walsh adds a layer of amusing descriptions and tongue-in-cheek humor and that keeps things moving at a good pace.

Walsh does a great job with the banter between Emily and Robert, particularly as they move away from SUVs and the auto industry and into more interesting discussions. I think she realistically portrays these twenty-somethings and their developing relationship in a classy way which very much seems to reflect conversations between Jane and Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, Emily’s favorite book.

Walsh’s characters are nicely portrayed, particularly Robert, my favorite. He has an easy way of tempering Emily’s unusually intense views and it’s fun to watch him win her over. Emily’s character is not quite as nice to know until later, when her vulnerabilities surface. These weaknesses redeem her at the end of the story as Walsh shows the reader Emily’s more human side. Emily’s co-workers, Carson, Rachel and Andy add another layer of interest and a few sub-plots and that keeps the story moving.

I particularly like Walsh’s style of introducing an unexplained fact, letting it dangle for a few paragraphs and then cycling back to explain. It’s just enough of a tease, without frustrating the reader, a nice technique.

All in all, this is a light and amusing read. Some readers may be frustrated by the abundance of talk about eco-friendly solutions to the large and environmentally hazardous SUVs on the road, particularly in the beginning. But the nice surprise is that these conversations lessen as the romance blossoms and we see the real people behind the arguments.

The Drake Equation is Heather Walsh’s second book.  Be sure to check out her first book, Dented Cans.

And click here for an interview with Heather Walsh.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!