Water Signs on Kindle for $2.99

WaterSigns2.jpgBetter late than never, my 2008 novel Water Signs is now available on Kindle for $2.99. It’s been an interesting journey, navigating through this brave new media marketing world over the past six years. Although I haven’t actively promoted the book in a very long time, I recently realized that 1.) My network of contacts, friends and clients has dramatically increased thanks to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, providing a large new base of potential readers, and 2.) Now that I’ve completed two ghostwritten books and have a handle on social media projects for clients, I can make the time to (finally) finish Sea To Shining Sea.

One of the many benefits of being an independently published author is that you can never really penetrate your market; therefore, there are endless opportunities to reach new readers. And what better way to pave the way to sequel success than to have my audience fall in love with (or in many cases, all over again) Water Signs just before the sequel’s release?

If you would like to download Water Signs to your Kindle for $2.99, click here. For insights into the book’s various themes, literary techniques and characters, click here.

Thank you to everyone who supports my writing — I appreciate you! :)


Remembering Edgar Allan Poe

Poe has always been one of my all-time favorite writers ever since studying his work in A.P. English class in high school. The master of the short story and the psychological thriller, his tragic life underscores the intensity of emotion present in his tales of sorrow, horror, and melancholy. One of his favorite themes was the death of a beautiful woman, as exemplified by his haunting poem, Annabel Lee:

I was a child and she was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
   I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
   My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

Although it’s hard to choose a favorite among Poe’s many writings, The Masque of the Red Death left quite an impression for a variety of reasons, enhanced by Basil Rathbone’s haunting narration, which I first heard in sophomore English class:

History Goes Bump hosts Diane and Denise recently paid tribute to Poe during one of their excellent podcasts:

It’s too bad Poe’s brilliance and prolific writings did not translate into the experience of a materially comfortable life, although his legacy lives on. According to Poe Museum.org, he has influenced many who have achieved the success that eluded Poe himself while on earth — including Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King.

Do you write like Poe? Find out here.


Cocoa Beach Scenes

Took some time out yesterday to hang out with another writer-friend in beautiful Cocoa Beach, where we also brainstormed ideas and learned more about each other’s specialties for the purpose of networking and generating more clients.

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The weather has been absolutely magnificent and I’m glad we took some time to walk on the beach. It was a welcome respite from the depressing, horrifying ebola news cycle. Daily prayer, hard work, and nature breaks continue to keep me calm, focused, and resolute.

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When you take in views like these, it’s hard to be angry. Yes, I’m still informed. Yes, I’m still outraged. I’m simply stating that it’s nice to take a mental vacation from it every so often. Actually, it’s not just nice, it’s necessary for my sanity.

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Thank you God, for beautiful Florida beaches!


A Snobby Girl’s Professional Testimonial

Many thanks to Maureen Miles Bucci for this wonderful testimonial of my work:

As a new author, my knowledge and contacts were limited and I was very uninformed with the process of publishing and utilizing social media to promote my book. I contacted Daria for some initial guidance and wound up hiring her on the spot. I am very pleased with her work and also impressed with her media savvy. She has placed my work on a level that I could not have achieved on my own.

Need writing, editorial, or social media services? Contact me here.


The Overlooked Victims of Domestic Violence

In addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Down Syndrome Awareness Month, October is also Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. To mark the occasion, my co-host Lisa Tarves and I interviewed a wonderful, Chester County Pennsylvania-based organization – the Domestic Abuse Center of Chester County – about the meaningful, purposeful work they do on behalf of the abused.

It was a thought-provoking, informative, and important conversation during which the interviewees noted that not all abuse comes from men – that women are just as capable of inflicting physical, mental, and emotional damage. We also took two callers who shared some interesting perspectives with us. Domestic violence is of course an emotionally charged issue, and I was grateful that everyone respected opinions with which they disagreed. This is how adults ought to behave.

Click below to listen to the whole thing.

Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio


Ironically, today I came across the following report from the intrepid investigative journalist Pamela Geller, New York City: Muslim genitally mutilates wife after raping her. After my visceral revulsion and outrage subsided a bit, I got to wondering: doesn’t this also qualify as domestic violence? Why aren’t Muslim men who commit these barbaric acts against women included in Domestic Violence Awareness Month? As Lisa rightfully stated during our broadcast, “abuse is abuse” no matter who’s doing it. Why do Muslim men get a free pass?

Oh, right.

Feminists are too busy railing against a mythical patriarchy and lecturing us about how all cultures are equal. They’re also raging hypocrites who share a hatred of America with Muslim jihadists. Perilous times.

Meanwhile, Muslim women suffering unspeakable crimes committed against them by their husbands (and other men in their lives) are sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Not for millions of women around the globe routinely stoned, mutilated, and raped in the name of Allah and Sharia Law. No, these poor females must be completely ignored in the name of “cultural equality” and rampant dhimmitude.

God help them.


The Politics of Pinkwashing

NFLBreastCancerParticularly because it’s the month of October — during which one cannot escape the pinkwashing no matter how hard one may try — this post is especially un-PC. But if you’ve been reading my blog  or following me on social media for any length of time, you know by now I’m not a PC kind of girl. So here goes.

I’ve had it with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink ribbons, the stupid, demeaning slogans (“Save Second Base”, “Save the Tatas,”) and every titillating photo associated with it, including the half-naked woman in black panties sitting on her bed with her back to the camera, happily flinging off her black bra.

What purpose does it serve to turn a serious disease into yet another testament to the age-old adage “sex sells?” Even in our thoroughly degraded culture, isn’t it possible to leave sex out of something as serious as cancer?

Snobby_cover_5x8_72dpiApparently not. Especially if you’re on Facebook and are subjected to the barrage of degrading items scrolling through your news feed allegedly  to “raise your awareness” of breast cancer. Is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t know about breast cancer?

As Maureen Miles Bucci notes in her new book, A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer:

And then there are the tee-shirts….Save Second Base, F&*# Cancer, etcetera. This is a serious illness and such irreverence  is appalling! I wonder how many people would be interested in wearing shirts bearing slogans like Save the Fun House, or Save the Baby Factory. Perhaps many would, but as a survivor I’m worth a little more than that. Trendy tee-shirts don’t get it done: the medical profession and chemicals make it happen. If someone doesn’t survive, it has nothing to do with their willingness to fight.

And let’s talk about the NFL, shall we?

Long before working with Maureen Miles Bucci (whose experience fully validated my disgust with pinkwashing), I instinctively disliked their involvement in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Why don’t they go over the top about another disease – one that affects men and has its own month (September) – prostate cancer? For that matter, September is also Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Why doesn’t the NFL mandate that teal ribbons be plastered all over the stadiums and incorporated into the players’ uniforms? Come to think of it, aside from a NFL Hall of Famer no one in the NFL to the best of my knowledge has ever even discussed ovarian OR prostate cancer during any football games, promos, or web ads in first month of the season. There is certainly NO organized NFL campaign that rivals the annual October pinkwashing.

It seems pink has become a  big business. Sadly, much like the Ice Bucket Challenge, it has also become a viable way to tap into human vanity — a phenomenon exacerbated by the plethora of social media sites like Facebook and twitter.

Am I arguing with success? After all, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised over $100 Million. In defense of the organization, it has earned a four-star rating with Charity Navigator (the best there is), and the money will be used to help actual patients and their caregivers.

ovariancancerSo what about the Susan G. Komen Foundation? How much of their $390 Million worth of assets go directly to help cancer patients? This 2011 report from the website I Will Not Be Pinkwashed is very sobering, and I encourage you to click on the link to read the whole thing. Suffice it to say, I agree with the author when she states:

I don’t know about you, but I would never expect directors of a charitable “non-profit” organization to have a higher salary than most doctors, lawyers, or even politicians.

Well, maybe not politicians, but I digress.

In full disclosure, I co-hosted the relaunch of Love Liberty & Lip Gloss on October 2, dedicated to – you guessed it – Breast Cancer Awareness. However, if you click below to listen to our interview with two breast cancer survivors, you’ll note that both of them highly recommend giving your dollars to research hospitals, where they will surely be used to fund, you know, actual research.

Check Out Women Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

As for your time? If you have any to spare and you know another human being who is dealing with cancer, Maureen Miles Bucci has a few useful suggestions in her book, where she also acknowledges with a grateful heart the meaningful acts of charity exhibited by local organizations – the unsung heroes in the cancer fight:

Cancer didn’t kill me this time. I hope I am not found in an alley, assaulted with ribbons but this must be said:

Real people need real help, not pamphlets or t-shirts with catchy phrases. 

I consider myself very fortunate to have been invited to share in a day with the Lorraine J. D’Emilio Foundation, set up in memory of Lorraine J. D’Emilio by her family. They treated us to a day I will never forget.  A small group of cancer patients along with our guests were taken to a Phillies game, where we were each treated like a princess in our private suite. As if this wasn’t enough, they also gifted each of us with a luxurious robe for those cold nights recovering; how very thoughtful.

Such graciousness from the hearts of a family who had lost their precious wife and mother can never be explained. It can only be experienced.  I am so thankful to have met them.  I learned so much that day as I looked into their souls and saw how they were coping with their loss. This family experienced the day-to-day stress and pain that attaches itself to both patients and care givers. They understood the intense feelings of helplessness, moved on, and did their very best to support others whom they had never met. They also provided us with the opportunity to meet with other women who were recovering.

Charity really does begin at home. And it doesn’t come dressed in pink ribbons.

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