Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Guest Post by Valerie Nifora, author of I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry

There was a healthcare study completed in 2018 by a leading Health Insurer, that noted 3 out of 4 American's struggle with loneliness with 43% feeling isolated from others, as well as feeling a lack companionship and a lack of meaning in relationships. 

People have asked me what compelled me to decide to try to publish my poetry. And the answer is, I wanted to take this subject of loneliness in romantic relationships and talk about it. My book,  I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry chronicles my feelings of loneliness in relationships that spanned over 15 years. I would sit quietly in a corner somewhere, and just pour my heart out onto the pages of my journal which I kept well hidden. When I was feeling brave, I  would share a poem or two  with a very small handful of friends, until one day one of them said, she thought this might be my gift.  She said she thought they were lovely and perhaps then might help someone else. It was her suggestion to share them, that prompted my journey. I'm here to tell you, if you're feeling lonely, you're not alone.

Everyone at one point or another in his or her life will feel lonely. It's just part of making it through in this existence. If you have a love, or lost a love, or are waiting for love -- well, it's all part of this intricate dance called living. And the worst part of loneliness is, that you naturally never know how long it will last. But, if there's one thing that I've learned about the human heart, is that it has an incredible capacity to heal. It has an incredible capacity to give. And the one thing that got me through the loneliest days -- besides my writing -- is this simple quote that was given to me on a bookmark -- "The heart that gives freely is never lonely." 

The cure often for loneliness is giving. Giving of your time. Giving of your talent. Giving of your perspective. Out there somewhere right now is another person who's feeling lonely. Perhaps, even you, reading this? And I'm here to tell you, I know how that feels. I feel that too. And when I do feel it -- I go out. I go to the library. I talk to a librarian and have her help me find a good book. I go and volunteer somewhere for an hour. I attend a webinar, a class, a seminar, a session -- anything so I can learn and perhaps share what I've learned. And when all else fails, I write. Yes, it might cure the sting of loneliness for a little bit of time, but it's amazing how small investments in giving, reap such incredible harvests in time. 

So, if you're feeling lonely. Just know, you are not alone. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry by Valerie Nifora

I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry

Book Summary

I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry is a journey into romance, love and loss through poetry. The poems published in this collection span over 15 years of writing. Often starting with short rhythmic patterns, each poem’s lyrical tone is filled with inspired words to express the deep emotion experienced in the intricacies of romance.

Handwritten in a journal and hidden away until this publication, the poems chronicle the journey into and out of love. Written in three parts, the book enables the reader to transverse the intensity of romantic love, from the first moment of falling in love, to the intense pain of heartbreak.

Beautiful and powerful in its lyrical and simple verse, the reader is immediately immersed in a world of sensuality, passion, desire, and innocence; all woven together into a tapestry of human emotion. Each poem transports the reader to a story through the art of poetry. Drawing on natural elements such as the sun, sand, wind and moon, this collection explores the light and darkness of romantic love, leaving the reader questioning if love was ever real at all.

Print Length: 108 Pages
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: The Unapologetic Voice House LLC

I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry is available to purchase at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, and Target.

Praise for I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry

“...a breathtaking compilation of tender poetry .“

- Jessica Tingling, The San Francisco Book Review

“Valerie’s poetry evokes images of tangled butterflies caught in a breeze, leaves falling too soon, and speaks with a deep, deep tenderness.”

– Troy Turner, Poet

“A beautiful tribute to reflective thoughts of love and losses suffered…this was well done… ”

– Wanda Firman-Cooper, Reviewer

“Valerie’s poems are not only magnificent to read, but they stick with you.”

– Robert Robinson, Executive Producer, The Dinner Salon

“In today’s age of fast-food thinking, attention-deficit scanning, and thumb scrolls past click-bait, it’s refreshing to find a relatable, digestible read that harkens back to an era of leather-bound literature’s reign in terms of meter and word choice.“

– Amaani F. Lyle, Military Journalist

“Val’s poetry goes deeper…into a mosaic of sensuality that leaves you hearing love as if it were a song.“

– Myra Jo Martino, Writers Guild Award Winner for Ugly Betty

About the Author, Valerie Nifora

Valerie Nifora was born and raised in New York to Greek immigrant parents. For over twenty years, Valerie was Marketing Communications Leader for a Fortune 50. She served as a ghost writer for several executives and has executed award-winning campaigns using her special gift as a storyteller to inspire. Her first book is a collection of romantic poetry that explores innocence, sensuality, passion, desire, heartbreak and loss through the lens of her personal experience spanning over 15 years. Her beautiful and powerful voice immediately calls forth a time of leather-bound books and invites the reader to find a comfortable chair and begin their journey through the powerful human emotion of love. Valerie holds a B.A. in Communications from Emerson College and an M.B.A. from Fordham University. She is married and a mother of two amazing sons.

Twitter @vnifora

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Silver Spoons: One's Journey Through Addiction by Sarah Dickinson

Silver Spoons: One's Journey Through Addiction, takes an intimate and raw look at the current face of addiction and recovery. Talking about the current opioid epidemic, we follow a young couple while one of them goes through the recovery process. Told through letters, we get an understanding of their relationship as it struggles through his addiction and resulting recovery. From detox, rehab, sober living and the 12 steps of A.A., you get a raw and honest look at the effects of addiction and how they affect relationships.

AUTHOR NOTE: There is explicit and graphic content.

Print Length: 380 Pages
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Independently Published
ISBN-13: 978-1717868947
ISBN-10: 1717868940

Silver Spoons: One's Journey Through Addiction is now available to purchase at Amazon.com.

About the Author, Sarah Dickinson

Sarah Dickinson is a lifelong resident in beautiful upstate New York. Mother of two amazing daughters and three equally awesome rescue dogs, she is the author of Silver Spoons: One's Journey Through Addiction. She currently attends college and is in the midst of switching careers. When she isn't doing it all, she reads comic books, blogs, and takes weekend getaways.

You can find the author online at:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Georgia Stories on My Mind by Jackie Rod

Georgia Stories on My Mind

Come visit Georgia within these pages as you read heartwarming stories shaped by local traditions and legends. The characters live life to the fullest through joys and hardships. Inhale the essence of Georgia’s revitalized small town squares while eating hand- scooped ice cream on a park bench. Each town has its own magic. Sometimes the most real things in life are things we cannot see but those that deeply touch us, as the folks in these tales learn. Share smiles and shed tears as you travel the curving road of life with these Georgia characters. Are you ready for an unforgettable experience of hope, faith, trust, reconciliation, and love?

Print Length: 259 Pages
Genre: Short Story Anthologies
Publisher: Touch Not the Cat Books

Georgia Stories on My Mind
 is available to purchase on 

About the Author, Jackie Rod

“A good book transports me to another time and place. It lets me feel the sensation of heroes and heroines— dark loneliness, deep passion, a father’s pride and a mother’s grief.” Jackie Rod is a fiction writer, loving wife of a legal beagle, and mother of three children who has blessed her with seven fantastic grandchildren. After Jackie retired from teaching, her love of words and stories led her to begin writing fiction. Reading and traveling enrich her life and she jumps at the opportunity to teach a workshop or attend a writing conference. She belongs to five writing chapters/groups. Jackie’s work can be found in twelve published books on Amazon, in several Metro Atlanta libraries, and independent bookstores.

You can find Jackie at: 


More from Jackie:

Importance of Writing Conferences
I love, love, love writing conferences. I urge everyone to invest the time and money to attend one or more. They can benefit your future. Conferences are invaluable for learning the craft, meeting editors and agents, and making connects within the writing industry. I attend writing conferences as often as I can.
The Romance Writers of America national conference is the largest one I have attended, but I would not necessarily recommend a conference of that magnitude for beginning writers. The crowd can be overwhelming. Veteran authors thrive on large conferences.
RWA raises thousands of dollars for literacy organizations with its mass book signing. This is a huge contribution to literacy across the country.
The education and information workshops are numerous and phenomenal.  Plot Structure, Character Development, Dialogue, Point of View, Show—Don’t Tell, Body Language, Using the Senses, Male Voice v. Female Voice, and How to Build an Audience, Create a One Sheet, Write a Query Letter, Write a Synopsis, etc.
 My guess is that veteran authors concentrate on the Value of Social Media, Indie Publisher v. Large Publisher v. Self-Publishing, and How to Launch a Book, Market a Book, and Maintain a Presence.
One of the first super successful self-published YA authors, Amanda Hocking, made over two million dollars simply with eBook sales.
Veteran writers interact with editors, agents, publishers, venders, retailers and other publishing professionals. There are so many choices on how to utilize your time. Veteran authors know how to earmark the events that suit their own needs. Novice writers could be hard-pressed to pinpoint their needs. The offerings at large conferences are so numerous that no attendee can do all of the events.
Networking with other writers, agents, publishers and readers is a great take-away. Bonding with available others while you are there is essential. Don’t sit at a table with just friends. Socialize and meet new people, exchange ideas and business cards. Make new friends for life.
An example of a good sized Conference is Moonlight and Magnolias hosted by Georgia Romance Writers in Atlanta, GA.  They draw high professional Keynote speakers, teachers for workshops, and host an awards ceremony for the winners of each year’s writing contest. In 2019 Pamela Vanardo won the Maggie Award after she had won the Golden Heart in 2018 at RWA’s national Conference in Denver.
Bottom line: writing conferences are great sources of education, inspiration, networking, friendship, and fun. I want to encourage you to put a writing conference on your calendar. You will be glad you did.
If you have a minute, tell us about a writing conference you’ve attended. National and local conferences for all genres are available, Sleuthfest, Worldcon & North America Science Fiction, Christian, etc.
Please share any “genre” writing conference you found beneficial.