Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Brother Voice by William Delamar

The Brother Voice (Generations of American Voices Book 1)

The setting for this book is in Frederick, Maryland, during the Civil War. The main characters are twin brothers, Sel and Hol. Sel joins the Union because he hates slavery, and Hol joined the South because he said it felt like home. Cora Dee Soyer is the woman who loved both men. She says she couldn’t support either cause because it would feel as she were killing the other. Sel and Hol eventually are unable to speak telepathically as the battles became more brutal. It culminates in the Battle of Monocacy, which is close to Frederick. The author’s use of imagery is beautiful, without resorting to clich├ęs. In the prologue, he talks about the voices of the dead, “cries that formed a curtain of voices. They called out to wives and sweethearts and mothers, a roll call of those left behind.” Cora’s father is a kindly minister who says to her, in Chapter Seven, “Being angry is worse than being sad. Being sad has a beauty to it. People are sad for something with meaning. But anger means thinking as stopped and meaning doesn’t matter. No light shines in the hidden pathways.” This book was not only factually correct, but it was also a story very well-written. I loved it.


Telephone Road by [Ann Swann]
Telephone Road is the latest book written by Ann Swann. I was hooked immediately from the first page, enveloped by the genuine qualities of the characters and their lives in Texas. I was born and lived many years there and felt immediately at home. The book is imbued with the flavor of the area and the unaffected personalities of the characters. Her portrayal of the importance of family shone through.
The main character, Marlena, is a college student from West Texas who is enrolled in school in Austin. Although she considers herself a small-town girl at heart and has little experience in or desires to party like many of the other students, Preston quickly attempts to draw her into his world, which involves drinking and drugs. She resists, and it angers and challenges him, since he comes from a wealthy family and is accustomed to getting his own way. When he begins to stalk her, it scares her and makes her even more determined to break off all contact with him. She goes home over Thanksgiving to her small West Texas hometown, Window, and is reunited with a boy she knew in high school. They both realize how much they like each other, and she tells her girlfriend that Jimmy is “the one.” Marlena is even more determined to break off any relationship that Preston has imagined they have.
When Marlena agrees to meet Preston in order to tell him she doesn’t want to see him and that she has found someone new, he invents a scheme to get her alone and vulnerable on an almost deserted road outside of Austin, Telephone Road. He brutally attacks her, with the intention of killing her. He rapes her after stabbing and unmercifully beating her, leaving her unconscious and bleeding. He thinks he will never see her again, but she is stronger than he thinks and manages to get to a police station where she accuses him of attempted murder and rape. His parents pay a witness to vote against the conviction when it goes to trial, and there is a hung jury. He immediately begins his harassment of her, and she is convinced that his sister has also been abused by him.
Marlena grows stronger as a result of therapy and the support of her friends and family. She knows that she will never be free of him and will never have a normal life as long as he’s alive, so she hatches a plan to bait him into the open. She demonstrates her strength and resilience as the book unfolds.
The author uses her characters to reveal a discussion about the subjects of rape, assault, the importance of family and friends, and to show what constitutes a loving and healthy relationship. I highly recommend this book, because it approaches many issues in a way that is captivating and interesting. I intend to read it again, which is what I do when I discover a book I consider truly engaging. I give it five stars out of five!

Friday, August 9, 2019


The 2019 Permian Basin Writers Workshop will happen on October 13 -14, 2019 in Midland, Texas. We are excited to have many generous, talented, and exceptional speakers and agents. Although I live in Humble, Texas, I still belong to the Bookies and will schedule all of the agents with writers. Please check out our workshop at: http://permianbasinwritersworkshop.org.


Sharon Belcastro is co-founder of Belcastro Agency. A full-service boutique literary agency, Belcastro Agency specializes in adult genre fiction (mystery, suspense, thriller, etc.) and is actively building their young adult list across all genres. Regardless of genre, Sharon is looking for novels that are unusual, dramatic and meaningful featuring realistic characters that are larger than life and settings that whisk her away.  Some of Sharon’s favorite YA authors include Lani Taylor, Nova Ren Suma, April Genevieve Tucholke, Mindy McGinnis, A.S. King, Robin Benway, Rainbow Rowell, Tomi Adeyemi and Jeff Zentner, to name a few.

Marlene Stringer founded The Stringer Literary Agency LLC in 2008, following almost eight years with Barbara Bova Literary agency. As a full-service agency based in Naples, Florida, Stringerlit represents a wide range of commercial fiction, from YA through adult, including thrillers, suspense, women’s fiction, romance, fantasy, and grounded science fiction. For details, visit stringerlit dot com. Mother of four and grandmother of two, Marlene lives in Naples with her husband. In her spare time she enjoys beach-walking, birdwatching, and reading non-fiction.

Marlo Berliner is an award-winning young adult author, freelance editor, and bookseller. She joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in March 2018 as an editorial intern after having completed a previous internship with The Bent Agency. Now, she is actively building her list as an associate agent. She is a member of SCBWI, RWA, NJ-RWA, and YA-RWA. Prior to her career in the publishing world, Marlo was an accounting manager for a Fortune 500 company. She holds B.S. degrees in Economics and Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University.


Happy to be connecting after so long! I've been moving!

Moved to Humble, TX (suburb of Houston) to be closer to family after my husband's passing. I am so  happy to be here, other than the heat and humidity. What a killer! And it actually rains here, unlike Midland.

I'm working on my new novel after my agent sold my manuscript, GLORY LOST, Black Opal Books. It's a historical fiction based on the experiences of a 16 year-old girl who loses her parents and joins the Union Army to fight as a Sharpshooter attached to Sherman's Army. It has romance, empathy, and how a girl grows up to be a fine adult. There were over four hundred documented females who fought in the Civil War. This book is dedicated to their courage.

Thanks, guys for being patient with me. I promise to connect much more often!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Joyce Shaughnessy, author: 2019 Bookies Manuscript Contest

Joyce Shaughnessy, author: 2019 Bookies Manuscript Contest: I'm proud to be chairman of the Manuscript Contest this year. Entries are accepted from March 1 until May 1, 2019.  First 30,000 words o...

2019 Bookies Manuscript Contest

I'm proud to be chairman of the Manuscript Contest this year. Entries are accepted from March 1 until May 1, 2019.  First 30,000 words of unpublished manuscript plus synopsis. Six fiction and nofiction  genres plus Youth Authors (under 18)!

To enter and find more information go to:


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Black Opal Books takes on GLORY LOST by Joyce Shaughnessy!

Not much thought is given as to how devastating the Civil War was on the home front, especially to the females who had to do the men’s work when they went off to war. But what of the children who were orphaned?
Sixteen-year-old Sadie Penwell witnesses her parents’ murders at the hands of Confederate Bushwhackers in rural Missouri in 1863. Driven by revenge, she cuts her hair, puts on her Pa’s clothes, and joins the Union Army. Having blessedly been taught how to handle a gun, Sadie is immediately assigned to General Sherman as a sharpshooter. After being stalked by an obsessed neighbor, losing friend after friend, the psychological torture of kill or be killed, and experiencing the battle of Resaca, she realizes no one truly wins in war.
A story of courage, determination, patriotism… and glory lost.
Joyce Shaughnessy has published five books in the last seventeen years. The first three — A Healing Place, Blessed Are the Merciful, and The Unsurrendered — are romantic historical fiction based upon the Dust Bowl in the Great Depression and WWII in the Pacific. They reflect her love of history and historical fiction. A children’s book, Mr. Grumpy Lizard Meets the Giggling Girls, is based on her four granddaughters, which her husband illustrated. And most recently, she participated in a round-robin fantasy novel, Gryffon Master. She is represented by Jeanie Loiacono.