Wallflower Pen Pals tells the true story of two people who fall in love after an exchange of letters and their emotional journey towards meeting one another. Why was this an important book for you to write?
This story was an important book to write for me as I was looking for a good story. In 2010, I wrote a self-help book that I self-published. It was such a thrill to have accomplished something I’ve always aspired to do—write a book. I did not know much beyond that about marketing that particular book as it languished on the online bookshelf for many years. Following that, I grabbled with changing my genre and aspired to write a novel someday. When I found these letters after my parents passed away, I only intended to read them from curiosity over the years as they were treasured and preserved. However, after reading one of the letters from my father, his words spoke to me. And I quote, “You know, I wish the world knew about our beautiful friendship.” I was inspired at that moment to put it into a book. Since there were 100 letters between them in a six-month period, I thought it was a sufficient amount of words for a novel. This story is sweet, innocent, and inspiring to share with the world.
What was the most surprising thing you uncovered while reading these letters?
The most surprising thing I uncovered from these letters was that this couple (my parents) did not know each other before they became pen pals.
Did you include all the letters in this book or was there any that didn’t make it in?
Honestly, I missed one letter from my mother. It was inadvertently placed at the end of the letter stack. I decided it wasn’t necessary to add it anyway as it didn’t add or subtract to the story. This letter was about how she mistakenly wrote her name/address upside down on the envelope and how this funny mistake lightened up her depressed friend.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book will be titled Wallflower Lovers. I thought this would be a good story about their courtship based on my mother’s diary. This, of course, will be fiction. More like a young adult romance/clean and wholesome kind of story. I am already writing the book. I do not have a timeline as of yet.
Posted in Interviews
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3,000 Pulses Later by Martha Rhodes, is the inspiring biography of a woman who suffers from depression. This candid memoir takes us through Martha’s darkest moments, up to the point when she reaches a dark pit of pain and suffering. However, the focus, as stated in the preface, is on the treatment that cured Martha’s depression and that is TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. This procedure will bring important changes in her life and erase her depression, turning her into another person, a new Martha Rhodes.
Rhodes writes in a descriptive and factual way as she narrates her personal story. With her easy story telling she is able to allow the reader to feel empathy towards her condition and cheer with her when the cure finally works and shows itself to be more useful than expected. As a reader keen on details, I appreciated the effort put into describing the disease as this helped me visualize it, and it also helps anyone without it to feel empathy towards others and help them.
The preface at the beginning and frequently asked questions about TMS at the end of the book give the reader the feeling that the writer understands them and knows where they are coming from, I really appreciated these parts of the book.
3,000 Pulses Later, by Martha Rhodes is an emotional and uplifting memoir. This is a story that stirs the soul and will help many people who suffer from depression. This book will also be beneficial to anyone without depression as well as this is overall an inspirational memoir that highlights the struggles people with depression face. In Martha Rhodes’ own words: “My intention for you is that you’ll discover a glimmer of hope in your heart and be able to welcome miracles into your own life.” 3,000 Pulses Later inspires hope through a compelling and impassioned story.
Pages: 200 | ASIN: B00DL52NII
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Alacrán, The Honey Badger is an intriguing historical thriller. The reader gets caught up in a web of interesting events that involve complex and mystifying characters over several generations. There are a dozen puzzles to solve in the story. The author is creative and incorporates some elements that are rarely used in fantasy fiction. The authors imagination is out of this world. He can create an enthralling story from the simplest events. Some parts of the story appear obscure at first but the reader gets to understand why the author takes that approach as the storyline progresses.
Alacrán, The Honey Badger has a unique structure and unique writing style as well, especially when introducing a new plot or new characters. The author is artistic and uses his skills to capture the reader’s attention with the characters. Alacrán, The Honey Badger may appear eccentric at first but one soon catches up with the story. This book is for readers that enjoy following multiple stories at once. I like that the author surprises the reader with new and more robust characters that appear to overcome the impact older characters had. This is a curious piece of literature that requires your full concentration to enjoy.
In the book, we follow the lives of different men and women whose stories are distinctive but intertwined in one way or the other. Alacrán, The Honey Badger is divided into two parts; the first part of the book follows the story of a writer and an assassin. The assassin, who the reader is introduced to as Resident 27 is a fascinating character. The interview Resident 27 had with the writer reveals a lot about people that have a job like his. The assassin’s way of answering questions, his sarcasm, and humor are some of the things that make him compelling. One can also detect prudence in his thoughts. As he expresses himself Resident 27 talks about the complexities of life and why some people appear to be ahead of others. I enjoyed his conversations and even had a few favorite quotes from him.
The second half of the book gets to be even more attention-grabbing as the author introduces new characters and an additional storyline. I like how throughout the book one moves from different years. When following the storyline, the reader gets to jump to the 1800s, 1940s, 1960s and so on. The shift in years was a bit confusing but if you are able to catch on then it certainly adds to the air of intrigue. Through Bobby’s work of fiction, one is able to question the status quo and the current situation in the world we live in. This book has a political side that readers that enjoy following current affairs and global news will love. There are other crucial themes the author touched on, themes like family, friendship, love and betrayals. The language in the book is strong but fascinating, so I would recommend this book to adult readers looking for a different kind of literature.
Pages: 272 | ASIN: B098K5H61X
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The Retirement Quilt by Dr Ronald Lee Gaudreau takes us to a small town in Australia called Morton, centering around a small group of people hailing from decades of farmers, entrepreneurs, and teachers. This diverse array of people came together with one unifying task: the creation of a quilt.
The Retirement Quilt begins by following the life of Geoffrey Hamilton as he goes through the motions of his last day as a CEO. We dive into the unspoken aspects of his life, like his bittersweet interactions with his driver and secretary. He’s mourning all the time that has passed while trying to feel excited about his coming future in retirement. He reconnects with a woman named Robyn, a dear friend of his deceased wife Margaret. Together they become intertwined in the creation of a memorial quilt, as it brings grieving and loving people together along the way.
I loved the way this inspiring book approached grief and healing. It was a touching look into the aftermath of a loved one’s passing, and how their lingering influence can continue to make the world a better place even after they’re gone. This book emphasizes community and the lengths we go to as people to make lasting connections, and how powerful these connections can truly be. The story has a lasting message—that no matter where you go or who you meet along the way, love is always possible.
While I enjoyed having varied dialogue from different sorts of people throughout the story, I felt that the structure could have been improved. I found that it read like an interview at times because of the dialogue, and I would have rather seen everyone’s conversations blended into the story itself to give it a more narrative driven story feel.
The Retirement Quilt by Dr Ronald Lee Gaudreau is a wistful and impassioned story with an inspirational message. It’s an important reminder that I think everyone can benefit from; even if you feel alone, change is a positive thing.
Pages: 257 | ASIN: B07VLKPQ3G
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Wallflower Pen Pals by K.L. Estrada is a tale of true romance, a love that lasts through anything and becomes everything. The story begins with the lovers daughter being gifted with the promise to be allowed to read all of the letters her parents had sent to one another while her father was away. It continues on into flashes of her parents, Carolyn and Joe’s beautiful life together which we get to read through their own perspectives via their treasured love letters. The entire love story begins in 1955 and continues on for the rest of their life.
This is a sentimental love story that speaks to the true passion two people, who are at first strangers, can have for one another. Readers get to see that love grow throughout this emotional book. I loved seeing how their love developed over time, starting off as innocent and growing into something much deeper. This is something that you will not find in todays contemporary romance stories. This is a timeless love story that will speak to readers looking for a wistful and sensitive story.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt that some things could have been cut just to keep things concise, but still I feel the extra content really rounds out the story and ensures readers get a full appreciation for the writers. This is still a beautifully told story that also gives you a glimpse into the past, and will really appeal to anyone looking for a historical romance story.
Overall Wallflower Pen Pals is a stunning and romantic tale that is sure to put a smile on your face. If you love romance and you are looking for a fantastic beach read, then you will definitely have plenty to enjoy here. This is a story that shows you the power of letters and how writing can connect two people over great distances and time.
Pages: 214 | ASIN: B099FNGWCP
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James LeVeck takes the reader on a personal journey of loss, healing, moving on, facing loss again, mourning, and learning how to handle bereavement. Life After Losses: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Life is not an emotionally easy book to read; I had to put the book down several times to compose myself. The traumas, emotional turmoil, and agony shared by the author make the reader appreciate life and everything that we go through. James LaVeck is candid about his life, something not many people are able to do. I applaud him for being bold and sharing the most intimate details about himself. Reading this book will help you connect with your inner self and help you go through the grieving process.
There are many lessons shared by the author. My biggest takeaway from this book is that it is okay to be vulnerable no matter your age. Life After Losses is the book you need by your side whenever you are mourning or going through a difficult time in life. James LaVeck’s words are inspiring and give one a sense of belonging. The author will encourage you and motivate you to be yourself. Cry your tears; make the world know that you are grieving. Along with his emotional support the author also provides readers with the lessons he has learned about trying to move on. This book is filled with practical and comforting advice that will help anyone overcome the seemingly insurmountable grief they face when losing a loved one.
James LaVeck’s book is emotional but ultimately uplifting and empowering. I enjoyed his stories about his first and second husband. Though the content is potent, this memoir is short and easy to read. Life After Losses is a sentimental memoir with a powerful message that will stay with you long after you put the book down.
Pages: 170 | ASIN: B08NRMZQM1
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Always Arising: Seeking Solace in an Isolated World is the ultimate book for you if you are looking to live a fulfilling and happy life. Meg Grasmick writes about a range of topics that touch on self love, growth, outside interactions, and facing life’s ups and downs among other things. This book is recommended to readers that enjoy self-help literature that focuses on equilibrium rather than a generic view of happiness. The author is kind with her words and considerate when talking about sensitive topics. I enjoyed reading Meg Grasmick because she does not hide who she is. She does not want to appear perfect nor does she hide difficult truths, and within this unveiled honesty I found authenticity and hope.
One thing this book will make you do is fall in love with yourself. On several pages the author talks about affirming self and getting to understand that we are different from each other. There is beauty in diversity and Meg Grasmick wants her readers to understand that there is nothing wrong with being different. I love how distinct the author is with the counsel she gives. She does not claim to be an expert, and only writes about subjects that she is knowledgeable about. Reading this book gives one the impression of attending a virtual mini therapy session. I thank the author for her charming words and making me hopeful with life again.
Always Arising: Seeking Solace in an Isolated World will help you be a wholesome person. The author gives confidence and encourages us to be kind to ourselves and not rush things. There is time for everything. The language in the book is pleasant and heartening. I love that Meg is not disapproving in her text and makes every reader feel important. This is the kind of book you read more than once because the content will help you arise and face the next day.
Always Arising: Seeking Solace in an Isolated World is an inspirational book that is a fantastic guide for anyone on a personal transformation journey.
Pages: 94 | ASIN: B093Y7J7Q5
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Riding the Light beam by Catherine Silver is a soul-stirring biography of Catherine Silver. It is a unique blend of her wisdom that she has gained through her hardships in life. She has transformed those experiences and lessons into a tale worth reading.
It is apt that a hero lives inside the soul of every woman. But many times, we forget that. We forget our inner strengths. This impassioned biography not only reminds you of the potential you possess, but also makes one question why have they limited themselves. Catherine does this by raising and discussing a variety of topics and issues, all colored perfectly with her experiences.
Catherine talks a lot about the grief and suffering and what it has taught her. It combines well with the professional experiences in helping others and grief counselling. Her story motivates readers, knowing her hardships intricately empowers the reader as well, and makes them face their own problems and reflect on that. The first step in healing, in my opinion, is facing the truth and Catherine’s captivating prose helps you to do that.
“There have been other times when I wanted to believe in magic. From time to time, on my walk in the morning, I would find a feather on the ground, the stairs or stoop. Just when I needed reassurance most over some matter weighing on my mind, there it would be. Of course, I pick it up and usually stick it in my hair’s tight pony tail and continue on my way, all the while thinking that the angels had just left it for me; that’s magic too.”
The paragraph is long, yet it stuck with me because it is simple but potent. I too remember the times when I looked for magic and I found it in odd places. The world is sometimes wonderful and everyone needs a reminder and I am glad I found that in Catherine’s words. The reader will definitely resonate with Catherine’s wisdom in this stirring memoir.
Pages: 226 | ISBN: 1535582529
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