Writestream Tuesday: Best Books of 2014


I had a blast today interviewing some of the most talented independent authors I know on Writestream Tuesday. Although not all of these books were actually published in 2014, I certainly didn’t encounter them until 2014 when I interviewed their authors on my weekly show. Adding to my enjoyment, The Mysterious and Alluring Ms. Always Right from the Right Wing Riot joined me as co-host since The Prince of Whitebread and Scary Smart were otherwise engaged in productive activities, known as “day jobs.” I really appreciate the fact that Ms. Always Right devoted her lunch break to spending an hour on the air with me. Not only is she an absolute delight and a great talent, she’s one of the most genuinely decent people I know.

Many thanks to participating authors Daniella Bova, Jack July, Declan Finn, Maureen Miles Bucci, Robert Gore, and Alexandra Swann. It was a blast chatting with all of you!

If you missed it live, click below to listen. You just might find some excellent books for the readers on your shopping list!

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

NOTE: Mainly due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to discuss some books I originally included in the broadcast outline today. I will definitely plug them on our upcoming CLFA Anniversary show on December 16. Stay tuned!


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Gratitude in Photos


In looking back over 2014 and counting my blessings, I thought it would be fun to post in photos. It would be impossible to represent everything I’m thankful for, but here are some items that top the list:

Mom and Dad, dancing at a recent family gathering.

Mom and Dad, dancing at a recent family gathering.

The continued earthly presence of my parents, their good overall health, and my upbringing in a loving, stable home (something for which I am even more grateful with every interaction with new friends and contacts who’ve experienced horrific childhoods).

photo (13)

Indialantic Beach.

In May, I moved to the Space Coast from South Florida and have never been happier with a location. Through the grace of God, I wound up in a wonderful situation living less then four blocks from the beach and the Indian River for an affordable price. I love where I’m living and plan to make this neighborhood a permanent residence in a single family home someday soon.

WritestreamLogo-800x533The amazing growth of the Writestream Radio Network, which I’ve detailed in this post. I’ve interviewed many inspiring guests, both on Writestream Tuesday and Love Liberty & Lip Gloss. Looking forward to another year of creativity, fun, and accomplishment!

Author/metaphysician Lisa Tarves.

Author/metaphysician Lisa Tarves.

One of the many blessings of new technology for me has been developing meaningful friendships with people all over the country and world. Soon after finding Lisa via a Google search, for example, we became fast friends and Writestream partners. It’s been a blast co-hosting with her on Love Liberty & Lip Gloss and screening callers for Just Believe. I’m also grateful for the reconnection social media has enabled with long-ago friends like Karen Franks of Karen’s Lyme Story and Maureen Miles Bucci, author of A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer. Whether we’ve met in person or continue to nurture the relationships online, I treasure each and every one. I can’t possibly name them all but you know who you are. Thank you! :)

All five DiGiovanni siblings with our parents.

“The Big Five” with our parents.

All of my siblings, and in particular the example of my brother Ralph.


The publication of Steps To Salvation and the generosity of Shlomo Attia. After four long years in the making, Shlomo and I finally released his novel, the second book I’ve ghostwritten and by far the most educational and challenging. While I’m at it, I’m also grateful for Kia Heavey’s friendship and graphic design talents, which I’ve employed many times since on behalf of other clients like Maureen Miles Bucci.

toastmastersMy involvement in Toastmasters via my new friend Damalis Ayala who introduced me to Lisa Rider, who invited me to join the Girl Talk Chapter in Melbourne. Although I haven’t yet made my ice-breaker speech, taking on various roles in different meetings has already helped me to develop better listening and communications skills, in addition to making new friends and contacts.

LeslieSansoneFitFaithMy excellent health, maintained in part through Leslie Sansone Walk At Home DVDs and a low-carb lifestyle. I’m grateful for low blood pressure, high energy levels, and good vitamins (which are the only things I take daily). Health is something that cannot be measured in dollars and I am incredibly grateful for mine.

What are you thankful for in your life?



Writestream Tuesday with author Carmen DeSousa – UPDATED with Archive


UPDATE: Missed it live? Click below to listen.

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

I am absolutely thrilled to welcome the wonderfully talented author Carmen DeSousa to Writestream Tuesday on November 25 at 1 p.m. Eastern to talk about her books and background. Here’s a bit about Carmen from her website CarmenDeSousa.com, which I highly recommend visiting:

CarmenA reader and writer since I could hold a pen and paper, it was only natural I would eventually start writing for others, and of course, be a large advocate for independent writers.

My taste in reading includes everything from sweet and silly, to sensual and thrilling. The only thing I will not read is anything extremely graphic in nature, whether it is in the form of a physical attack or sexual in nature. I have a great imagination—that’s why I read— so I don’t need every detail spelled out for me.

And my writing is pretty much the same… There are few topics that I am not willing to take on as an author. Though it may be a tad misleading—especially to potential male readers—I write what I call modern-day fairytales. Think about it…those fairytales we read as a child were anything but mild. What we call a fairytale usually started off as an abused or tragedy-stricken child.

Well, I take that concept and what many people deal with in real, modern-day life and attempt to help my protagonist find a way out of their tragedies and find their happily-ever-after. Because let’s face it, isn’t that what we are all trying to do—find our happily-ever-after?

Carmen and I go live at 1:05 p.m. Eastern when she’ll join me for a 50-minute interview before the Right Wing Riot takes over with some much-needed Public Service Satire. In the first half of the program, I welcome your calls and questions for Carmen at (347) 945-7246 and your participation in the live chat.


To listen online, click on this link to Writestream Tuesday with author Carmen DeSousa or call (347) 945-7246 to listen by phone. Join me for a great interview with a very accomplished author!


Seven Recommended Reads for Holiday Shopping


It’s hard to believe it’s the time of year again (where does the time go?) when I post about my favorite books and interviews on Writestream Tuesday. Although I still have plenty of shows left to broadcast, I wanted to post seven recommended reads (more to come) since so many people like to shop early for the holiday season.


Tears of Paradox by Daniella Bova

Currently enjoying a 5-star rating on Amazon.com, this debut novel from the Chester County-PA based author is the first in a series entitled Storms of Transformation. As author and graphic designer Kia Heavey notes, “It’s far too realistic and believable to be labeled ‘dystopia.’ Scary, scary stuff.”

For those who can relate to family closeness, love of country, sanctity of marriage, and faith in God, Tears of Paradox is a must-read. Available in both paperback and Kindle. Look for Bova’s second book of the series in early 2015.


Counteract by Tracy Lawson

Book 1 in the Resistance Series from Buddhapuss Ink author Tracy Lawson, Counteract is fast-paced, harrowing, and impossible to put down. Although geared toward a Young Adult audience, the novel’s frightening portrayal of government gone wild should also strike fear into the hearts of adults. As I noted in my review, “Question authority? More like submit to authority without question.” And yet, Lawson’s main characters offer hope that all is not lost as they awaken to reality and fight against the forces of tyranny.

Available in paperback and Kindle, Tracy Lawson’s Counteract is a great gift for readers of all ages.


Young Adult

Underlake by Kia Heavey

The second novel from the multi-talented Kia Heavey, whose debut novel Night Machines is one helluva supernatural thrill ride, Underlake solidifies the author’s status as one of the most innovative in the independent publishing world. As with Night Machines, Underlake features an element of the supernatural, yet it mainly serves as an enhancement to the plot . Main character, 15 year-old Katie Welch, is remarkably wise beyond her years in spite of her pampered Manhattan upbringing (or possibly because of it).

Yes, it’s classified as YA but I loved Underlake so much I read it twice! Any book that makes you sad you’ve reached the end is a book worth buying. Available in Kindle and paperback.

both_books_thumbHistorical Fiction

The Golden Pinnacle by Robert Gore

As reader/reviewer Stephen Stark notes: “Gore’s second effort, The Golden Pinnacle, truly showcases his skill as a master storyteller. His work of historical fiction will leave you feeling as if you are actually reading an untold part of American history. Set during the Industrial Revolution, you will be introduced to Daniel Durand as a private in the Civil War and follow him as he becomes one of the most powerful Wall Street financiers. I was left with the feeling that Durand actually was a contemporary of Rockefeller and Morgan. As Durand’s beautiful wife Eleanor remarked, ‘The age was marked by an intoxicating spirit of unfettered freedom, unlimited possibilities, unbounded confidence, and buoyant optimism.’ Gore’s work offers the reader a glimpse into true unadulterated American freedom.”

Available in Kindle and paperback, The Golden Pinnacle is an entertaining way to inform fellow Americans about the miraculous nature of this country, and what happens when the power of the individual is unleashed and unrestrained.


Steps To Salvation  by Shlomo Attia

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am the ghostwriter of the novel reader Steve has called “a genre unto itself.” On the other hand, this offers me the unprecedented vantage point of knowing and understanding the author’s true motivations – to help move the world into a situation where global governments are limited and religious competition and conflict no longer divides and conquers.

As reader Gail states, “Shlomo posits solutions to helping entrepreneurs through a lottery system of funding, solutions to education, the prison system and the rehabilitation of criminals, and other challenges facing present day society.

“Characters in the book are descendants of Historical figures, including the progeny of Hitler, Kissinger, Mao, etc. — those who are the progeny of evil doers are restricted to a colony in Africa called Arisha, and have to devote their lives to the study of their ancestors, their wrong-doings, and admit remorse for the evil they have wrought, and ultimately have to pass a test in order to get to see the rest of the world. This is a totally new way of looking at things as they are and have been in the world, and how we can avoid repeating history.
In these grim times, the book is refreshing, presents interesting solutions and a light at the end of the tunnel — demonstrating that there is hope for a better future after all. I wonder if applying his solutions can help usher in the Messianic Age.

“Without going into details to give away the solutions, Shlomo presents a solution to the current Middle East strife particularly with the Muslims and their hatred for Jews. Read the book to find out how this can be brought about without bloodshed! I read the book in 3 days and could not put it down!”

Steps To Salvation is available in Kindle and paperback.



A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer: Surviving Cancer with Humor, Grace and Style by Maureen Miles Bucci

Do you know a woman dealing with cancer? Give her the gift of Snobby Girl. Part memoir and part guide book, Bucci’s Snobby Girl is raw, edgy, and refreshingly honest. She details her own personal journey through the daunting world of cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation, and the myriad of side effects that go along with them. Along the way, she shares little-known facts to better prepare women for the battle ahead. For example, did you know that when your hair falls out it’s actually painful? Or that Essence of Orange Oil relieves nausea?

These are just a few of a multitude of realities — ranging from harsh to helpful — Maureen divulges.

In an effort to offer real-time help and hope, Maureen founded the Snobby Girl Cancer Club on Facebook in November. Whether you’re a woman dealing with cancer or a loving caretaker, this group welcomes you to share uplifting conversation and camaraderie.

NOTE: Due to the reality of chemo’s adverse effects on eyesight and the fact that this book is part journal, A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer is only available in paperback.



Awaken to Who You Are by David Adelson

From the author’s website, where you can download his book for just $5.99: Over 40 years of spiritual research and experience created this book.

  • Bliss, happiness, health and wholeness grows in and around as you read it
  • Over 140 pictures only 170 pages quick, easy-to-read read it daily for maximum growth read quick
  • Awaken To Who You Are gives you intellectual knowledge — and much more!
  • Each reading actually awakens you to every concept presented and it’s direct experience.
  • Advanced meditators, beginners, and anyone in-between will benefit from continued readings — each reading deepens your wisdom and experience.
  • With more than 140 incredible illustrations, To Who You Are presents the most complete, profound, and deepest understandings yet presented on earth.


Do  you have a suggestion for the next post of recommended reads for 2014? Contact me here.

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