2012 in review

Well, I think this is cool enough to share with you. I know it may not sound that impressive, but keep in mind that this blog only started in July!

Thank you all who stayed with me for the past months. I hope I can entertain you more and better in 2013!

Oh, and a HUGE, special THANK YOU to my friends and great commenters, Jeff Whelan, Lord David Prossergilbertspeaks and Deanna Lynn Sletten!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

My 5 star Review of ‘Space Orville’, by Jeff Whelan

My daughter and I have just finished reading ‘Space Orville’, by Jeff Whelan. I never read Science Fiction–I have no means to explain why, I love watching Sci-Fi movies and TV shows, but not reading them…go figures! Anyway, my daughter loves reading Sci-Fi, and won a copy of the book as a very generous gift from Jeff Whelan himself, after I interviewed him on my blog. Since I knew it had to be a great book, with so many wonderful reviews, I decided to read it with her, and what a fantastic decision that was!

This book is amazing. Seriously, it was an unforgettable journey.

The attention to detail is remarkable. Everything and every name in the story seem to be thoroughly thought. You keep reading and being pleasantly surprised by Whelan’s ability to create the most unbelievable and bizarre things and people in a way that you simply have to believe. It all makes sense! Just like to Space Orville, the mysteries of the Universe are presented to us. Flabbergasted at first we start to get immerse into this Universe. Suddenly, you are holding your Kindle as if trying to control a spaceship, grinding your teeth as if watching a movie.

The story has it all; laughter, tenderness, suspense, action, everything!

In the final chapters, we were reading really fast to finish and see how it all would end, curiosity taking hold of us. Then, when we finished, we were both hysterical about the great ending and sad because we wanted more! I miss the story already. Actually, I can imagine weekly episodes, toys, lunch boxes, etc about space Orville.

As one reviewer said, how can this not be a Pixar blockbuster yet? Imagine seeing all these characters in big screen (bigger than my mental screen, that is)?

Please, Insomnia…Let me sleep a little!!

Insomnia has been trying to make me give up on sleep at nights ever since I was 5, maybe 6 years old. Perhaps more, but that’s as far as I remember.

It was horrible to be a little child, unable to sleep, having no one to talk to (no internet back then…), nothing to watch (no DVD, no VCR either, and the TV, back then, simply ‘closed’ after midnight here—just static or some color stripes showing until next morning), and still not able to read that well to distract myself.

I also had some sleepwalking episodes, and remember waking up one night inside my brother’s crib, having absolutely no recollection of how on Earth had I ended up there. Thanks God I was petite and didn’t hurt him… That was really creepy-hilarious! Oh, and I hurt my head many times on doors and walls walking in my sleep. My father told me I wasn’t walking like a mummy the way we see in movies. Just normally walking; with my eyes closed.

Not much changed since then, except that I don’t sleepwalk anymore, and have lots of ways to entertain myself during sleepless nights. Like writing a blog post! 😀

Yay for the internet, 24 hours of TV, cable TV, DVDs, etc. It’s less boring to be insomniac nowadays!!

I envy people who sleep well. I have a friend at work who has the same troubles to sleep. The other day we realized none of us has NEVER have a peaceful, revitalizing sleep night. Ever. Even when we do sleep, is always lightly and we wake up many times during the night. Normally we wake up before the clock demands it, losing precious sleeping time as well…

Then I usually spend the whole day dozing around, and it’s very, very hard not to sleep on my desk at work. I feel almost cataleptic sometimes; I can’t control it—I just sleep. I once slept during a meeting, just me and my boss in the room! She—obviously—noticed I slept, and I promptly denied it! Ha! As if it were possible to deny sleeping!

I sleep on trains, buses—even if I’m standing. But it is a very light sleep, and I wake up after a few minutes, or if anything or anyone slightly touches me. I never even miss my stops, funny! And even weirder—I always dream. Yeah, I know, no REM sleep, no dreams, but what can I do…I dream. Even if it’s a one minute nap, I wake up from a dream! And I wished to sleep that well at night, oh, how I wished…

Because as soon as I’m ready to really sleep, pajamas on, lights off, on my bed—bam! The insomnia takes charge and what I wanted to badly during the day—sleep—becomes a hard, exhausting task. I want to sleep, my eyes are burning, my head is heavy—everything in my body is prepared and demanding rest, but my brain simply refuses to ‘turn off’. *sighs*

Well, I guess I just wanted to unload a little… I’ll get back to my task now, trying to have some sleep… It’s 02:43 in the morning here in Brazil, but at least I’m on vacation, so I don’t have to wake up early tomorrow…I mean, today! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings. Oh, and thanks for pretending you didn’t notice the typos and grammar mistakes I’m sure are all around this post—I shouldn’t be writing, you see; I should be sleeping!! 😀

Spotlight on John Nardizzi – Interview with Author of ‘Telegraph Hill’

John Nardizzi is not only an author who writes about investigators; he is a Private Investigator himself! How cool is that?

He’s also a lawyer, and uses his experience to write. His debut novel, Telegraph Hill, has been receiving great reviews, and is definitely added to my (huge) TBR! 🙂

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Photo on 2012-08-30 at 09.58Pleasure to be a part of your site Renata. I grew up in Boston and lived in San Francisco for a decade. It was in California that I started working as a private investigator and getting more serious about writing. For my crime novel Telegraph Hill, I based a lot of my characters on people I met while working as a PI: witnesses, cops, hookers, street people. While I was in law school, I represented people from a rough part of San Francisco called the Tenderloin, and spent a lot of time in this edgy colorful part of the city. Some of my research involved drinks, or ended up with me buying drinks at these old dive bars and talking to street dudes.

In California, I started to get published–poetry, short fiction and even a short film about some of my homeless clients. After law school, I started working for a well known detective agency in San Francisco. I got re-interested in reading some of the classic PI novels — Raymond Chandler and Robert Parker especially– and wanted to bring some of my real-life experiences to a novel.

A few agents were very high on Telegraph Hill but wanted me to slant it in a certain way. One suggested I make the protagonist an amateur. Which is ironic, of course, given I am a real PI–what was I going to do, write about a dentist who is a part-time sleuth? Then I came across a new publishing venture at www.libboo.com. They offered a great new platform for selling books and published an eBook version of Telegraph Hill. A talented artist named Aldren did the cover.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was 15 or so. Songs, poems, little biographical sketches of people. I was asked to write a biography of my soccer teammates and I would insert things like “led league in scoring and outstanding arrest warrants” and later I’d get calls from the guy, “Where
did that come from!” Just like to let off steam. Later I got more serious with it.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yeah, it is buried in a box in my attic somewhere. I wrote a story about a piano and a young kid who dreams of being a musician. He becomes possessed by the music he plays. Twilight Zone stuff, I love that show.

 Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

Eccentric–me? Everyone else around here is weird. 2 things I guess I have been told: I eat weird stuff like red cabbage, and pasta for breakfast. And I listen to music obsessively, the same album for 5-6 straight months in the car. Let It Bleed by the Stones was on there in 2012 almost exclusively.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

That certain passages in Telegraph Hill have images that are startling and memorable. I like to hear that since I come at fiction from writing
poetry — trying to boil down the writing to hard, spare imagery. A lot of readers say they have a terrific view of San Francisco through the eyes of the characters. So I appreciate comments like that.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

Yes, Thomas Davidson wrote a great thriller with awesome old school rock n’ roll references, it’s called The Museum of Sudden Disappearances. If you like creative language and humor and classic rock music, I definitely recommend it.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

Reading J.R.R Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings was a huge discovery for me as a young kid. Tolkien really lit the fire for me. And my parents always had books all over the house. They encouraged me to read and write, always took us to the library to get books. We were expected to read and be challenged. TV was limited, and while I resented it then, I appreciate that now.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I have 10 chapters done on a sequel to Telegraph Hill. I also have an agent reading chapters for a non-fiction book about some of the cases I have investigated, some big murder cases, cases involving con artists –basically what it is like to work as a PI. I started in this industry working for a flamboyant PI in California who said things like “No one leaves this firm, they either get fired or die.” So it was that kind of place. A weird corner of the legal profession that readers will get to see.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

Telegraph Hill is my first full length novel so that would be it. I wanted to take some chances in the telling of a detective story, use language like Don DeLillo does in Libra, a novel filled with poetic riffs from a possessed mind. I stay true to the genre but readers are telling me the writing took them to a new places in San Francisco. Especially when the investigator Ray Infantino does interviews with witnesses.

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What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I would say the investigator Ray Infantino, since it is his journey. But my heart goes with his lover Dominique. She reminds me of a lot of the strong women in my family and ones I have met in my life. She has the star qualities–heart and intelligence and character.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I always appreciate anyone who takes time to write or email. Twitter is a blast, and perfect for quick jabs and comments. Don’t really do anything anymore on Facebook, irritating company with no sense of privacy.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

Libboo has been a great discovery. They took my novel, got it to eBook form and created a space where readers can discover it. Aside from that, marketing is a lot of work and you have to be a part of it. No one does it for you, even at the big publishing houses. You gotta get the word out and jump the train as it steams on by.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Book sales (Kindle, Nook, iPad etc): https://www.libboo.com/read/telegraph-hill/johnnardizzii

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorPI

Author Site: http://www.johnnardizzi.com/

Thank you for the answers, John. I’m sure we will be reading and hearing about Investigator Ray Infantino for a long time. 

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for the next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Sara’s Promise – Book Release Blog Tour & Giveaway

I’m so happy to present you this new release today! Deanna is a great, bestselling author, and a wonderful person.

Her new book is Sara’s Promise. The cover looks absolutely gorgeous. Plus, there’s a Giveaway!!!

Sara’s Promise – Deanna Lynn Sletten

 Book Release Button Saras Promise

Book Description:

 

Do you believe in soul mates?

 William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his children and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurrences, he begins to wonder–are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman?

Annie Paxton doesn’t believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn’t know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.

 Were William and Annie brought together by fate, coincidence or by Sara keeping her promise?

***

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 Book Excerpt:

     During dinner, Sara felt the pressure in her side begin to grow again, but she said nothing. As she loaded the dishwasher, William came into the kitchen to tell her that he and Sammy were going to the driving range to hit a few balls. He didn’t notice how flushed she looked as they rushed out the kitchen door. Only Sammy looked her over twice before reluctantly following his dad.

     Sandy tried one more time to get her mom to agree to allow her to get her nose pierced, but Sara raised her hand in warning and shook her head.

     “Not tonight,” Sara told her. Angry, Sandy stormed up to her room, the words “I hate you” rushing down the stairs at Sara before Sandy slammed her door. But by now, Sara didn’t care. She put the last of the dishes in the dishwasher and practically crawled to the living room sofa, and dropped onto it. The pain had become unbearable again, even worse than it had been before, and she felt completely drained. She was pale with bright spots of red on her cheeks, and her breathing had become increasingly labored.

     This was how Sammy found her when they came home, curled up on the couch, her blue-green eyes glassy in her stark white face. William had gone directly into his den to work, but Sammy wanted to see if his mom was feeling better. Seeing her this way frightened him, and he ran directly to his father’s den.

     “Mom’s really sick. You have to come,” he said, his eyes wide with fear.

     William looked up from his drawing board, frowning in confusion. Sara was fine at dinnertime, surely Sammy was exaggerating. “I’m sure your mother’s fine,” he said calmly. “She’s probably just tired.”

     But Sammy wouldn’t listen to his dad’s excuses. “She’s been sick all day, and she’s really sick now,” he insisted. “Come on!”

     William had no choice but to follow his son into the living room, and when he got there, the site of Sara’s pale, limp form unnerved him.

     “Sara?” he asked gently, crouching down beside the sofa. She turned to him but said nothing. He placed a hand on her forehead and pressed lightly. She was burning up. Panic swelled inside him.

     “I hurt,” Sara said weakly, but the pain was so overwhelming, even talking was excruciating.

     William had never seen his wife so sick before. For one long minute he wavered, debating what to do. Sara took care of them, not the other way around. When Sandy had her tonsils out at age six, it was Sara who’d sat beside her hospital bed all night. When Sammy fell off the swing set when he was three and lay unconscious, it was Sara who had calmly rushed him to the emergency room. She handled all the colds, flus, and illnesses. She was the one who doled out the medications, kept the children’s shots current, and handled all doctor, dentist, and orthodontist appointments. He felt completely lost.

Buy Sara’s Promise on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and on Barnes & Noble Nook

http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/p/saras-promise.html

 About Deanna Lynn Sletten:

Deanna 9Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990s writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women’s website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn’t looked back since.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Connect with Deanna:

Blog   http://www.deannalynnsletten.com

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/#!/DeannaLSletten

Twitter     https://twitter.com/DeannaLSletten

 Goodreads   http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/555634.Deanna_Lynn_Sletten

Amazon Author Page  http://www.amazon.com/Deanna-Lynn-Sletten/e/B00683SQYK/

Giveaway!

In celebration of Deanna’s new book release she is having a giveaway! Leave a comment on this site to have your name entered in the drawing for one of four prizes: Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 2 paperback copies of Sara’s Promise. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you. You can enter at each site of the blog tour for more chances to win! Giveaway starts December 10th and ends December 17th at midnight. Winners will be contacted December 18th after noon.

Follow the tour schedule here: www.deannalynnsletten.com