Jennifer Neri's Blog

Back of every creation, supporting it like an arch, is faith. Enthusiasm is nothing: it comes and goes. But if one believes, then miracles occur. Henry Miller


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A Book Give-Away!!!!!

Linda Cassidy Lewis is having a five-day e-book give-away, with a winner each day! Winners can choose from either of her two published books in a series. There’s still two days left for you to win one these fantastic books–you may be the lucky one!!!

Reposted from her blog:

All right, we’re now on Day 4 of my end-of-May giveaway extravaganza! I’m giving away ONE eBOOK EACH DAY for five days. Winners get a choice between The Brevity of Roses or its sequel An Illusion of Trust.

brevwidget2Don’t despair if you entered yesterday, or the last three days, but didn’t win. You have two more chances because it’s a new giveaway each day. If you don’t win today, you can enter again tomorrow! And if you win today, you can enter tomorrow to try for the other book.

IMPORTANT: Since these are five separate contests, you must follow the entry instructions each day you want to be entered in the drawing. Entries DO NOT carry over to the next contest.

All eBooks are in the Kindle format, but you don’t have to own a Kindle to read them. The FREE Kindle app is available for every major smartphone, tablet, and computer.

AIT_widgetSo, how do you enter? You enter by clicking one of those social media icons below to share this post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. And then leave a comment here to let me know where you shared.

Each day’s entry period runs from midnight to midnight (PST) and Random.org will chose the winners.

READY … SET … GO and good luck!

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E-book giveaway on Kindle Select

Get the thriller Dead Bishops Don’t Lie, by André K. Baby FREE on Amazon Kindle Select Giveaway TODAY October 9th, tomorrow Oct 10th, and October 23 & 24.

Based on historical events, “Dead Bishops Don’t Lie” draws the reader to the dark side of Vatican politics, where unbridled ambition leads to treachery, revenge and murder.
In early May 2005, the gruesome murders of two archbishops , one in Switzerland, the other in Italy, trigger a worldwide shockwave of indignation and outrage .
Baffled by these ostensibly related crimes and fearing more assassinations, the Swiss and Italian police call Interpol for help. Thierry Dulac, a caustic investigator with an enviable track record, gets the nod.
Dulac’s search for the killers takes him from the hushed corridors of the Vatican and the quiet luxury of a British Marchioness’s château, to the dank prison cells of Moscow’s infamous Lubyanka prison. Struggling through personal trauma and finally piercing the Vatican Curia’s notorious Code of Silence, Dulac uncovers an astounding, unlikely conspiracy of dirty money, blackmail and state-backed terrorism. He’s just realized the enormity of what he’s discovered when a hit-man strafes the windshield of his Renault…
The reviews: “… A lightning-paced thriller. I can’t wait to read the sequel…” Norbert Spehner.
“. The book’s pages will burn your fingers…” Richard Migneault.

Lawyer and author André K. Baby has mined the wealth of his rich legal experience as a Crown prosecutor and international business lawyer, to forge the plot and characters of his religious thriller, “Dead Bishops Don’t Lie”.
Its stand-alone sequel, “The Jewish Pope”, will be launched in early 2013.

 

 


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a release

When I was a little girl into to my early teens I used to write poetry, but only when the moment called for it. I sat in the dark and wrote unseen words; I’d let my pen or pencil drag crookedly across the page, or I’d write in neat lines, depending on what emotions needed to Get Out. It was always fun for me to wake up and see what I’d produced during the night. Not so much the words, but the pattern and shape that they made strung together as cord or as disconnected pieces.

I haven’t done this in years, I actually forgot that I used to write like this. Somehow, during the growing up process, I let go of this ritual.

These past days have felt like a moment for writing poetry (or what I called poetry but was only a word dump). I’ve been holding it in, not writing, not seeing the words. And then I remembered: I don’t need to see the words. I just need to open up and a shape will take form.

So here goes:

A cliché. They say it in books, in movies, on tv.

A broken heart.

A pain that lashes, that rips, that tears, and binds.

A memory.

Almond eyes.

A myriad of smells that belong solely to one person.

A voice. Loud. Always yelling. Always caring.

A touch. Fleeting, rare. Hands kept tight, working, not soft, not gentle, not idle.

Reserved.

A memory.

Of love. Always, of love.

Of life.

A life.

A whole. A unit.

A goodbye.

And the bindings begin to unwind. Letting in breath and wind and light.

And then a smile. Of what’s remembered. Of what’s to come.

Blah. So there, it’s out. For now. Not sure why I wanted to do this on the blogosphere, maybe it’s about moving forward, moving on. Maybe it’s about release and connection. I wonder if my words would have been the same if I was writing them for no other eyes, instead of here, when I knew others would read them. Maybe later when I come back and read these words, I’ll see a pattern, a shape, of what I produced, in the light this time. Not in the dark.

This was written in loving memory of grandma, who passed August 16th, at the age of 88.


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Dead Bishops Don’t Lie

Did the title get your attention?

It certainly did mine!

The e-book, written by André K. Baby, is available at Amazon.

Directly from the blurb:

Based in part on real events, André K. Baby’s well-researched “Dead Bishops Don’t Lie” draws the reader to the dark side of Vatican politics, where jealousy and unbridled ambition can lead to treachery, and murder.
Within the space of a week, two Archbishops are found crucified, one in Switzerland, the other in Italy. Baffled by these ostensibly related crimes and fearing more assassinations, the Swiss and Italian police call Interpol for help. Thierry Dulac, a caustic investigator with an enviable track record, gets the nod.
Follow inspector Thierry Dulac’s search for the killers, from the hushed corridors of the Vatican and the quiet luxury of a British Marchioness’s château, to the dank prison cells of Moscow’s infamous Lubyanka prison. Struggling through personal trauma, Dulac uncovers an astounding, unlikely conspiracy of dirty money, blackmail and state-backed terrorism. He’s just realized the enormity of what he’s discovered when a hit-man strafes the windshield of his Renault…
The reviews: “… A lightning-paced thriller. I can’t wait to read the sequel…” Norbert Spehner.
“Mind-blowing. The book’s pages will burn your fingers…” Richard Migneault.

André K. Baby is a Montreal-born lawyer and author. He’s mined the wealth of his rich legal experience first as a Crown prosecutor and later as an international business lawyer, to help forge the plot and characters of his first thriller, “Dead Bishops Don’t Lie”.
Its stand-alone sequel, “The Jewish Pope”, will be launched this summer.

André is a member of my critique group and he was a guest here last year when his first novel was published in french. He’ll be back soon to talk about this novel, so stay tuned!


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keeping up with myself.

Have you ever read something that made you re-consider all you thought you knew about writing?

Ok, maybe that’s a little too dramatic, a little too overwhelming to even consider, but what about reading a book that seems to break all the rules, and yet reads beautifully?

The book that got all this churning is Tiger’s Wife, by Tea Obreht.

I’ve read the reviews, and it seems some people don’t agree with me that Obreht’s book is great, but enough do that she’s won some awards and been nominated for others, and she’s certainly generated a buzz.

In reality, I think she mainly only broke one rule: her novel reads like short stories that were squeezed into one entity. The book consists of stories and various characters, and we move ominously (and often omnisciently)  in and out of them. I can see that it can be confusing and odd, but I left myself go with it and it grabbed me.

At one point reading Tiger’s Wife I thought to myself, this is how I would have written when I was in my early twenties if I had been writing then. This thought stopped me in my tracks. I realized that I was impressed with Obreht’s freedom of movement within her novel, and that in my twenties this freedom was innate in me. I scared by this thought: Was I being true to myself as a writer, or was I holding back, unknowingly following someone else’s standards?

Now, in my thirties, I’m more stuck in some sense, more fixed. And when I write, I follow rules. And I do think we all need to follow rules. It’s just that for each of us those rules need to be different, and evolving, and most likely different for each piece we work with.

I can’t write with the same movement I would have ten years ago. My movements now are big and vast, but they are taken with precision and aim. It doesn’t mean it’s better or worse, just different.

Part of writing is about writing who we are. Today. And this is the best freedom of all.


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A memory

When I began writing I had no idea how to find other writers. None of my friends or family wrote, and I had studied science in school. I went on-line and I looked up writing groups in my area. I found one that met once a month in a library close to my home.

I was the youngest person there, by far. They were retired men and women who gathered to write and read to each other. I remember feeling so awkward, so out-of-place. I was young, in my twenties, what had I lived through to tell to these people? But, I returned again and again for almost a good year.

There was one older lady in her late seventies or early eighties that I remember in particular who always patted the seat next to hers if there was one, or gestured me into the room with a big wave of the arm. I think of her periodically, her effort to make me feel welcome. And how the little interaction I had with her inspired me not only in writing but in life.

Her name was Susan Romvary. The first time I entered the large conference room in the library, she sat near the doorway in a large cushioned chair separated from the group. She didn’t look up when I came in the room, in fact for a time I thought maybe she slept, or was incoherent; her head dangled forward and I was never able to see her face. People were reading, and I thought didn’t she heard them.

“Susan, will you read?” the organizer said.

She looked up, and I was shocked. She was stunning, her eyes dancing, her expression one that inhaled and released energy in a profound way. I could tell in an instant that she loved life and she lived it fully.

Some time after I met her a short story came to me, a sort of vignette that brought three people into one person’s life. It is fiction, but it is inspired by her and the words she spoke that night. She passed away in late December, and when I received the news I immediately thought that our little planet lost one terrific person, even though I hadn’t seen her in years, and only knew her through a few meetings. I remembered this story I wrote, and found it on a stick drive. Here is a portion of it, just the way it was written, because to edit it now would change it to who I am now, and not what I saw then. Perhaps you’ll see a little of her in it.

Vera sat across from me. Her name was scrawled in nearly illegible handwriting on a name tag stuck just above her left breast. Her vest was red, vivid in the dim room. Her head was bowed; she had not raised it, not even when I entered. Her hair was thinning, and dyed auburn. I wondered at her presence. Had she heard the others speak? Was she coherent? Suddenly, she lifted her head, and I realized it was her turn to read. Her eyes dazzled, and met each of ours in turn.

“I love humour,” Vera said. Her voice was inflected with life, and thickly accented. “I grew up in Hungary, escaped to France when I was a girl, and now, I live in a nursing home. Humour has saved me. I have had one published novel. It is, of course, humoresque. It was featured on CBC radio. Nothing more. I’m writing my second. It’s about my new residence.”

 I realized I was part of something. Would I be accepted, or would I be judged for my youth, as I had judged them for their age?

“I write in English,” Vera said. “But, it is not my first language. Nor is it my second. French is. I came to Canada as an adult, so naturally, I chose Quebec. I write in English because it is a simple language. If I can teach myself to speak it, I can teach myself to write it.”

 I listened to Vera, as I had not to the others. I had been too self-absorbed, worried about how my own work would be received. It was my first time in a writing circle.

“I had a husband, two children. My husband is gone. My children are gone. I tell you this not so that you will feel sad, or pity me, but so that you will know humour is healing. I have survived the holocaust, I have survived famine. I have lived alone in foreign countries, not understanding a word of the people around me. I struggle to retain the images of my family. Yet, I am glad to have gone through it. Otherwise, I would not be alive. I will read you an excerpt. I hope you will laugh. I expect you will laugh.”

And we did laugh.



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Miserere: An Autumn Tale & published bloggers

Back in February Teresa Frohock did a guest post here, and stated her reasons for choosing the traditional route of publishing as opposed to self-publishing her fantasy novel. Her book, Miserere: An Autumn Tale, was released this summer. I just finished it. I have to say that this is the second time I go to bookstore to buy a book for a blogger friend (the first being Bitter, Sweet, by Laura Best) and it’s really fun!!!

I loved Miserere. One my favorite aspects of this novel is the compelling atmosphere Teresa created. From the very first paragraph, I lived in the world, tasted it, experienced it fully.

Most fantasy books are set in a made up land. Teresa has used our typical standard of good versus evil. The devil versus god. Heaven versus Hell. She added to this, by creating Woerld, the space between Heaven and Hell, and where the major part of the novel is set. I think it’s great how she took something so ordinary and twisted it to become so unique.

In Woerld, there is a reflection of the major religious section that we have here on Earth, in real life, but over there they are all unified. This division on earth is what makes us weak, in the novel. It is the thing standing between us the true potential those on Woerld attain. I love this!

It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it. If I had to say something negative about it, it’s that I felt it was over too quickly, everything resolved too quickly. It did leave room for a sequel, and I wonder if she will write one. Hope so.

I love reading a published novel by blogging friends, it makes it more exciting. I’ve read Linda Cassidy Lewis‘ novel, Brevity of Roses; Cathryn Grant‘s novel, Demise of the Soccer Mom, and her second novel will be released quite soon (she also a novella)! Bloggers who have released novels that I’ve still to read: Lawrence, Stephanie, and tikiman.

Do you have any blogger friends with published novels to recommend?

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