Friday, August 19, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Unnatural Souls (A Realm of the Claimed Prequel) / Linda Foster

TITLE: Unnatural Souls (A Realm of the Claimed Prequel)
AUTHOR: Linda Foster
PUBLISHER: Glass House Press
AVAILABILITY: Amazon




GENRE
Young Adult--Paranormal

REVIEW
A year ago, Grace was in an accident that should have killed her. In fact it did--her soul left her body, and she saw her own lifeless self as she began ascending to Heaven. But then her brother, Ash, sold his soul to a demon to save her life, and suddenly, she found herself back on Earth. Now, the clock is counting down to the day when the demon returns to collect Ash's soul. Not only is Grace devastated over her brother's impending doom, but since returning to life, she's discovered that she possesses a number of supernatural powers--teleportation, telekenesis, the ability to see dead people... and she can't control any of them. So when the Archangel Michael offers to help her learn how to wield her powers and give her a way to save Ash in exchange for her agreeing to help in the inevitable war brewing between Heaven and Hell, she sees little choice but to agree. But Michael won't be the one teaching her... that task falls to Kali, a demon seeking redemption. And furthermore, demons are hunting Grace because of her powers.

Holy wow, this is an amazing little book! I'm a huge fan of stories about angels and demons, and so this story really hit the spot to me. UNNATURAL SOULS a follow-up to Linda Foster's previous Realm of the Claimed novella, FALLEN SOULS, which told the stories of how Ash sold his soul and how Kali fell from Heaven, but it does fine as a standalone. Knowing Ash and Kali's backstories certainly made UNNATURAL SOULS a richer read (and I highly recommend you pick it up too!). But if you just walked into UNNATURAL SOULS without knowing it's a follow-up, you'd be totally fine. Foster does a fantastic job of orienting the reader to the world, the stakes, and the situation right away.

Pause for disclosure: Linda and I are both published with Glass House Press. However, neither Linda nor Glass House requested that I write this review, and everything I'm saying reflects my honest opinion as a reader. 

Anyway, back to the fangirling. Can I just say, I love love love Grace, a character who goes from a terrified girl facing confusing and devastating circumstances to a kickass supernatural warrior. Her voice rings from the page--her anguish, her frustration, her anger, her confusion... She really comes to life, and you really get to know all her nuances and complexities through Foster's gorgeous writing. She's also one of those characters who feels honest, like a real person holding nothing back as you follow her thoughts and actions through the story. I also loved Kali, who makes a huge splash even though she's a supporting character. She's not entirely likable--in fact, sometimes, she's downright mean to Grace--but that's what makes her so interesting. She's a fallen angel who's spent an eternity in Hell, and yet you soon realize why Michael has faith in her and believes the core of her to be ultimately good.

The fast-paced action scenes--supernatural battles with the demons hunting Grace and Ash--in UNNATURAL SOULS were a real thrill to read. The book had me on the edge of my seat as it barreled toward its dramatic conclusion, which is satisfying enough for the time being but promises more awesome things to come (Foster has two more Realm of the Claimed novellas coming out soon, all leading up to the first full-length book in the series, SOUL BOUND). 

I made the mistake of picking up this book super late at night, thinking I'd just read a chapter and go to sleep. Well... let's just say I had one heckuva book hangover the next day from staying up far, far, far too late. So you have been warned: UNNATURAL SOULS will suck you in, and you'll probably read it all in one sitting (it's only 100 pages or so long). I'm still reeling over how Foster managed to pack so much richness--worldbuilding! character development! action! drama! twists!--into such a little book, which is both a great read in its own right and a tantalizing teaser for more awesomeness to come.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient) husband and four (very spoiled) ferrets. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has grown steadily worse with time. By the time she was 15 years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all of her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later. Soul Bound will be her first published novel.

BOOK REVIEW: Fallen Souls (A Realm of the Claimed Novella)

TITLE: Fallen Souls (A Realm of the Claimed Novella)
AUTHOR: Linda Foster
PUBLISHER: Glass House Press
AVAILABILITY: Amazon



GENRE
Young Adult--Paranormal

REVIEW
[Note: I actually reviewed this book on Goodreads when it was published in 2014, but apparently forgot to copy it over to my blog... something I just noticed when reviewing its sequel, UNNATURAL SOULS, and found myself scratching my head when I couldn't find a link to this review!]

Full disclosure: Linda Foster and I share a publisher, and I received an early copy of this novella for an honest review. The below represent no one's opinions but my own.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let the gushing begin!

Fallen Souls comprises two short stories: Condemnation and Fallen, which set the stage for Linda Foster's "Realm of the Claimed" series. Condemnation reveals how Ash, a good-hearted teenage boy, found himself face-to-face with a wrenching decision: sell his soul to a demon or let his sister die, and Fallen takes the reader back to the very beginning, telling of the day Kali, an avenging angel, learned of the rebellion brewing in Heaven and tried to stop it.

After reading both stories, I'm finding it hard to actually write a review because the only word on my mind is "WOW." Just like that - in all caps. Because man, does Linda know how to bring the drama! Tension fills every single sentence, driving you forward to find out what happens next even though you know things can only end badly. Reading this novella is like watching a tragic opera - you know the direction the story is heading in but read on with dread out of the irrational need to see it happen anyway. And then when the ending does happen, you're left with a heaving heart and the word "NOOO!" echoing through your head.

Ash and Kali are both instantly likable characters, and realizing from the very first sentence that they're doomed gives everything that follows a dark aura of tragedy. The only consolation is knowing that because there's a series of books around the bend, their stories can't be over - they're just beginning.

So if you like stories with tension, drama, paranormal dangers, and vividly drawn characters, do yourself a favor and read "Fallen Souls." The language is riveting, and the plots set up a story you won't be able to resist returning to.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient)

husband and four (very spoiled) ferrets. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has grown steadily worse with time. By the time she was 15 years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all of her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later. Soul Bound will be her first published novel.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Entanglement (A Hollywood Lights Novel) / Katie Rose Guest Pryal

TITLE: Entanglement (A Hollywood Lights Novel)
AUTHOR: Katie Rose Guest Pryal
PUBLISHER: Velvet Morning Press
AVAILABILITY: Amazon



GENRE
Contemporary Fiction--Women's Fiction

REVIEW
Recent college grads Greta, an awkward nerd, and Daphne, a charismatic glamor girl, couldn't be more different on the surface, but have been close friends since university. After Greta's philandering father kicks her out of the house, she moves across the country to LA to live with Daphne, who helps her navigate the world of 1990s Hollywood. Soon, she finds an unlikely job at a lighting production company and finds herself drawn to her handsome new boss.

Daphne, meanwhile, aspires to be a screenwriter and presently works a day job as the assistant to a producer best known for yesteryear's hits. She soon finds herself losing Greta to a budding romance and resorts to desperate measures to win back her friend. But her actions have dire consequences... ones that could cause her to lose Greta forever.

ENTANGLEMENT, Katie Rose Guest Pryal's novel about friendship, Hollywood, and finding your way in your early twenties, opens with Greta in the hospital in December 1999, having been attacked by someone she knows. The book then goes back to the beginning of 1999 and follows Greta and Daphne as they settle into their new lives as roommates, leaving you to wonder which of the interesting new characters in Greta's life will ultimately try to kill her--and why. But though the book opens with danger and mystery, it's not a thriller. It's a complex, finely wrought, richly human story about two young women.

Can I just say--I love love loved that a female friendship was at the heart of this book. There's a romance too, but the story's really about Greta and Daphne's relationship. The story is told in a nonlinear fashion, with "present day" chapters alternating with flashback chapters that reveal details about how the girls met, how they became such close friends, and their relationships with their families. What I enjoyed most about this book is how well developed the two central characters are. Greta: the physic major who takes things too literally and relates to facts better than to people. Daphne: the fabulous popular girl who you'd never guess came from an abusive and underprivileged childhood.

I really enjoyed the way Pryal used the flashback chapters to add complexity and color bit-by-bit to the characters--to show how they became the way they are, sometimes in unexpected ways. Both Daphne and Greta really came alive on the page, and I quickly became invested in them and their intense friendship. 

ENTANGLEMENT is a character-driven story of friendship, dysfunction, Hollywood glitz, and obsession, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's got so many elements--finding your way in the world after college, discovering that people aren't who they seem, what Hollywood in the late '90s was like, how two people who seem so different connect on such visceral levels... I started reading it while getting my hair dyed, and the book made the whole three hour process fly by (in fact, I probably should have been paying more attention when the stylist asked if my hair was the right color, instead of just nodding so I could get back to reading!). And then I went home and kept reading reading reading, staying up till 3AM because I didn't want to stop until I was finished.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katie enjoys her three professions—novelist, freelance journalist, and lawyer—for one reason: her love of the written word. Fiction or nonfiction, Katie thrives on putting thoughts to paper and sharing them with the world. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where the energy of the campus and cafes inspires her writing. She is the author of the Entanglement Series, which includes ENTANGLEMENT (Velvet Morning Press 2015), LOVE AND ENTROPY (VMP 2015), and the forthcoming CHASING CHAOS (VMP 2016). She is also a contributor to the anthology CHRISTMAS, ACTUALLY (VMP 2015).

You can grab free copies of Katie's novella, NICE WHEELS, and her writing guide, WRITING ISN'T SEXY, by subscribing to her monthly email letter:http://bit.ly/pryalnews.

As a journalist, Katie contributes to QUARTZ, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, THE TOAST, DAME MAGAZINE and other national venues, including THE HUFFINGTON POST, where she writes a monthly column on writing. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where she attended on a fellowship.

Katie has published many books on writing, the most recent with Oxford University Press. A professor of writing for more than a decade, she now leads writing workshops and works as a writing coach and developmental editor when she's not writing her next book.

Katie is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers (http://tallpoppies.org/), a community of writing professionals committed to connecting authors with each other and with readers.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Diana Strenka

An interview with Diana Strenka, author of BLACKBEARD'S DAUGHTER.

 


Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

Thanks for having me!  I've written several short stories on Amazon and Smashwords centered during different eras in history (such as Tudor).  I have also authored many nonfiction articles on Hubpages, so feel free to look me up if you like!  My first novel, Blackbeard's Daughter, was published this past February.

What got you into writing?

I have always had a passion for writing!  When I was in grade school, I published my first novel.  It was entitled The Missing Diamond Necklace, and it was very much related to Carmen Sandiego.  When my third grade teacher read my book, she was extremely impressed.  I was so proud of myself for what I had accomplished!

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

I always had an interest in Blackbeard, and I wanted to explore the man behind the legend.  What was he really like? We know that Blackbeard was originally of aristocratic origins, as he was capable of both reading and writing.  Through the eyes of his daughter, we get to view beyond the veneer that is Blackbeard the pirate.  The story really evolved from there, as the sheer brutality that was life in the colonial era emerged.  I wanted my story to be historically honest, and not a sugarcoated version of what people experienced back then.  I will allow you all to be the judge of whether or not it is true to the period of which he lived!

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

My favorite character is Margaret.  She is a strong young woman who overcomes the incredible hardships of the era and rises above them.  Margaret is very independent, much like her father, and very unlike the women of the time.  That's what I admire about her the most; she's very much a modern woman.  I think she gets her free-thinking streak from her father, who always taught her to think for herself.  He's very egalitarian in a time when the man ruled over the family, and this freedom allows Margaret to find herself.  Deep in her heart, she just wants to give and receive love.  This desire manifests in her wish to have a family of her own.

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

My favorite scene from Blackbeard's Daughter is when Margaret loses her child.  The reason why I chose this scene is that we finally get to see Margaret give in to her rage.  Prior to this, she holds back from expressing this side of herself.  She has  control over her emotions, even in situations where she experiences inexplicable helplessness (such as when she is held for ransom).  However, in that moment of unspeakable pain, Margaret unleashes everything.  She lets all her feelings go, no judgment, no holding her cards close to her chest.  She allows it all to flow freely, losing her sense of morality and conscience which has for so long held her back.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

My favorite part of writing is becoming one with my story.  There is no separation, in my mind and heart; I am the story, and the story is me.  The fun of writing in this manner is that you can really experience it firsthand, and put your own authentic self into it.  You can really give it your all!

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

It really depends on the book.  For example, I am currently writing a science-fiction dystopian that is requiring much more thought and outlining in order to maintain cohesiveness.  However, typically, I wing it.  I go with the flow of the story, and let the characters (and my heart) lead the way!  Stories can take a few months to several months, depending on if I am also doing promotions and marketing at that time!

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

I love historical fiction because history has been a passion of mine for quite some time!  History is interesting and different; it's fun to put yourself into another time and place.  I think there is so much we can learn about our past!

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

I love Carolyn Meyer's historical fiction collection.  She writes about the Tudor period, which is very much of interest to me!  I love King Henry VIII, and the drama that seems to follow his reign and that of his children!  Each of her stories (all first person point-of-view) allowed me to crawl inside the character's head and live her world.  I got to be Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Catherine of Aragon, and Queen Mary I!  It was so fun!

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

The biggest shock for me was how many of my characters came to perish due to the natural elements.  I never foresaw this much death when I first began writing Blackbeard's Daughter, but it evolved in this manner.  It makes sense for characters to die from something as common as illness, but it makes Margaret's world even more vulnerable and tenuous.  She can't even trust nature, so what (and who) can she really and truly trust?

Thanks for stopping by!


Links:
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29105884-blackbeard-s-daughter


Biography:
Diana has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and a Master's Degree in Education.  In addition to Blackbeard's Daughter, she has authored and self-published several short stories on Smashwords and Amazon.   One such title is Rescuing the Titanic, an account of the Californian's arrival prior to the sinking of the Titanic. In the nonfiction realm, she has published several articles for HubPages on medieval and renaissance historical figures. She enjoys spending time with her cat, Moe, and drinking tea.

Book Description:

Colonial dreams have become piratical nightmares. Margaret takes one disastrous turn after the other as she confronts the perils of murder, war, and revenge. When her father decides to pursue criminal mischief aboard a pirate's vessel, Margaret joins him in an effort to save his life. Will she weather the storms ahead, or will they destroy her?

Friday, August 12, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jake Parent

An interview with Jake Parent, author of Cristina.

 

Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

I’ve definitely had more than a few ups and downs in life, and I think that, more than anything else, provides the raw material for my work. All my characters are struggling in some way. It could be external or internal, but all of them are imperfect in one way or another, just like the rest of us.

What got you into writing?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Since I was six years old at least. But deep down I’m always a reader first.  To me, there’s no better way to stir the soul than through the power of the written word.

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

I used to live in a small California beach town like the one the story is set in. The place was paradise, but there was also a kind of seedy underbelly of people addicted to drugs, homeless, and just barely hanging on. So it always provided plenty of fodder for imagining strange goings on.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

Cristina is definitely my favorite character. She’s a bad ass single mother who, despite having gone through hell, is still able to find a way to love her daughter and life in general. The book is dedicated to single moms, because I can’t think of anyone who is more courageous.

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

I’m pretty proud of the ending. Obviously I can’t describe it without giving away a lot, but it’s always my goal as a writer to come up with stories I’d like to read myself, and this one certainly accomplished that.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

Good writing is a symphony of emotions, one that takes patience, creativity, observation, love, and dedication. When I find that balance, there are few things I enjoy more in the whole world. But I’m not sure there’s any one thing that stands out. I really love everything about it.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

I think most good books are written in 3 or 4 months. Anything more than that and the world you’re creating gets stale or overdone. Cristina was written in 3, most of those days spent typing away with my newborn daughter sleeping on my chest.

As far as process, I’m definitely a wing it kind of a guy. I come up with an idea and then just start writing. I always tell people who are just starting out that it’s important to remember that writing is not just a form of communication, it’s also a method of thinking. So just open up that computer and get typing. See where your imagination takes you.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

Above all else, I write books I would want to read. And whether its Stephen King, Bukowski, or Maya Angelou, I've always felt like a seductive setting and a compelling, driving narrative are the things that most draw me into a story. Since these are the fundamental building blocks to a good psychological thriller, there's nothing I like to write more.

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

I read widely and books are a huge part of my life. My storytelling is also influence by a wide array of artists of all types. A few of them are Charles Bukowski, Stephen King, Maya Angelou, John Steinbeck, Honoré de Balzac, Ella Fitzgerald, John Sanford, Jimi Hendrix, Ernest Hemingway, Greg Graffin, Pablo Picasso, Rickey Henderson, and Mac Dre.

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

If I finish my day of writing and haven’t experience the feeling of surprise, I consider the effort mostly failed. Only when I’m shocking myself, trying something new, doing things I myself never even thought of, do I really think I’m putting in maximum effort to tell an original and compelling story.

Thanks for stopping by!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jake Parent is the author of Cristina, a new psychological suspense novel. His first book, Only the Devil Tells the Truth, was a #1 Amazon Bestseller. His influences include Charles Bukowski, Stephen King, Maya Angelou, John Steinbeck, Honoré de Balzac, Ella Fitzgerald, John Sanford, Jimi Hendrix, Ernest Hemingway, Greg Graffin, Pablo Picasso, Rickey Henderson, and Mac Dre. He grew up in San Jose, CA but now lives in the Washington, DC area.

Sign up to receive alerts about new releases from Jake Parent (and that’s the only thing that ever gets sent to this list): http://eepurl.com/bXzepr


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Lillian Corrigan

An interview with author Lillian Corrigan.

 

Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

Although a newly published author, I’ve been writing my whole life. Journaling has helped me find clarity and understanding through many of life’s challenges. Knowing its value, I hope to use my writing to inspire others in gaining new perspective, deeper faith, greater hope, and better confidence, especially during difficult times.

I enjoy nature and being outdoors. My family, including my dogs, is my greatest treasure. I like simple things like gardens, animals, sunshine, warm breezes, not to mention pizza and ice cream.

Escaping into new worlds, I find reading both exciting and relaxing. Storytelling, especially by the older generation, fascinates me. I also adore old architecture. Visiting antiquated buildings with original stonework, carved wood, and blurry glass, leaves me wide-eyed.

What got you into writing?

One day, someone said, "You should write a book; you already have the story in those wonderful letters you've written about 'this.'" Initially I shrugged it off, but the seed was planted. That seed sprouted and grew until one day, I grabbed a keyboard and started to type about recent events. At first, it was just more journaling. The exercise helped me understand everything better. Eventually I saw a new perspective. I learned that there is both positive and negative in every experience. Perception is key. I started to value the lessons in the challenges I had faced. After discovering the hidden treasure under the mud and muck, I told others about it and realized that people related to what I'd been through and to what I was saying. A new goal surfaced: I would use my writing to encourage and offer hope to others in similar circumstances. The book became a passion. I cultivated it, studied, took classes and worked until it shined. My husband will be thrilled when I start cooking, cleaning, and helping to cut and stack the woodpile again! Still immersed in my dream, I tweaked, exaggerated, modified, counseled, and in the end, this novel was born. My greatest hope is that principals contained in this story do indeed affect, touch, and especially inspire, those who need it the most.

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

Celebrating one of my greatest heroes inspired this novel. I wanted to capture his essence and philosophies and share them. So, in thinking about his life, I took key elements to create a part-true story that would affect others positively.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

Oh, that is like asking a parent to choose a favorite child. Mitch, my hero, is of course a favorite. He is a brazen old handman, confident and fully human. Mandy, who some may call the ghost, is also a special person with a unique role. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the handsome big-kid, Ti? I’ve also got pet characters. Champ and his famous appetite has to be my favorite four-legged personality.  

I love that my characters are real. They are strong and weak, smart yet goofy, sometimes awkward and unsure, and make mistakes. But they stick together, pray together, and love together through it all.

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

I have many favorite scenes, but several I don’t want to spoil. So, one I’m willing to elaborate on is when Mitch raises his glass to toast his son. He jokes about praying to the “wrong” saint, deciphering the reason he came to own so many animals. An engaged audience chuckles. Readers can then feel the silence after Mitch clears his throat to continue. “Royal castles are built from bricks; majestic mansions are constructed with sticks. Everyday moments build a lifetime of love, friendship and cherished memories.” The toast explains the title and many themes conveyed up to this point come together in a fabulous a-hah moment.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

Using analogies that enhance a description.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

It takes years for me since I work another job. My process is to start with an idea-dump, then begin to organize, strategize, edit and enhance the parts that add the most value.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

I’ve always enjoyed attending and facilitating retreats. Helping others who have doubts, insecurities, or confusion about something they are going through is truly an honor. I hope that my writing will carry that forward. I’m also a fan of every Hallmark movie ever made. So sappy stories clearly work for my taste.

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

Absolutely, Mitch Albom and C.S. Lewis.

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

Yup. It’s particularly gratifying after struggling with a concept or a part of the story that just isn’t working perfectly, and then, suddenly, an inspiration occurs. Unexpectedly, it turns into one of your favorite scenes.

For example: the title took a long time, several surveys that probably annoyed my friends, and weeks if not months of prayer. But when it finally came to me one morning, it was a perfect fit for my hero's life and philosophy.

What are some of your mantras?
Learn forever. Grow from challenge. Don’t stop believing in yourself. Keep the faith. Love lasts.

What advice would you give other writers?
Write often; carry a notebook and never miss an opportunity to capture a creative thought. Talk to other writers; bounce ideas off them. Ask friends how a difficult passage sounds. Don’t be shy about getting input or flat out asking for help when you need it.



Thanks for stopping by!

Website:

Author Bio:
A survivor in more ways than one, newly published author Lillian Corrigan uses writing to cope and to hope. She dreams of inspiring others to find the light within life’s many challenges.

Born in New York Lillian’s family moved to the New Jersey suburbs before she could walk or talk. As a young person, she was quiet and studious. During summer months, she led her sisters in games of “school,” aspiring to become a teacher. Young Lillian enjoyed ice-skating, bike riding, swimming, calligraphy, as well as building and creating things—whether out of Legos, food ingredients, or scraps, she experimented, formulating new results each time.

Lillian graduated at the top of her class from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She obtained her MBA from Rider University. Her career has included segments working in industry, teaching and management.

Reading “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C. S. Lewis in middle school ignited her first love of literature. She enjoys reading, especially inspirational fiction, as well as writing. Lillian has used journaling as a means to learn, understand situations more deeply, and grow from difficult experience ever since she can remember. She finds storytelling, especially by the older generation, fascinating. Also fond of antiques, old furniture, historic buildings, and even ancient ruins, intrigue her.

Lillian enjoys facilitating retreats. She has conducted workshops on a variety of topics from how to utilize software applications to make tasks more efficient and effective, to finding strength and goodness in the face of adversity and hardship. Her favorite places are in the mountains. Things that inspire her include special people, puppies, flowers, and the small miracles found through and with others every day.

Lillian’s aspirations include more writing: books, editorials, and self-help articles, as well as offering coaching and formatting services for other authors wishing to self-publish.