guest post: Author Steven C. Eisner

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, April 28, 2012 0 bookish peeps...
Welcome to THEMINEFIELDS Blog Tour, brought to BookTrib by the Media Muscle team and a plethora of amazing book bloggers, Including the awesome me! Hahaha. Well, beginning April 1, a section of chapter 1 of the new release The Minefields by Steven Eisner will be featured each day by a book blogger until the entire first chapter has been provided to you. So my turn today would be the 28th Chapter, 28th blog participating in this ohhh-some blog tour. Today, the author is sharing the idea of would it be good to use personal stories in writing. So check his out. And, after reading this, you might want to check other blog involved in the tour as well. Just click HERE.

Using personal stories in writing: do or don’t? 

While THEMINEFIELDS is most definitely a novel, it draws heavily on stories I know, understand and have experienced, in part both in my business life as well as my personal. And as these stories evolve in my writing, there is no question they take on a life of their own. My tales become more interesting, often more vivid, at times more provocative and generally, speaking, more imaginative when they gain new rhythm, speed and texture. So often real life can bog down on us. And then meander back on itself as if to slow the forces of good storytelling to a crawl. I’ve learned that readers don’t take to languishing in the details all that much, unless it is in the details that the reader learns more important things about the story. I think the author’s “ job one” is to keep the story flowing, connecting all the dots concisely and to wander little. You wander only when the overriding theme is about wandering. A writer, certainly this one, needs to curb the inclination to become overly indulgent about back story, unless, of course, back story is the primary driver. I keep finding myself repeating as I write “less is more.” As for real life giving the nourishment to new stories, this is absolutely a truism And there is nothing like reliving a moment in your head that pecks away at you… so as to capture it just as you’re recalling it with what you’re seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling. It’s one of the greatest joys for me as a writer to get what I remember down … from head to paper with authenticity.

About the book
Situated smack between the cigarette-and-martini days of Mad Men and the nihilism of House of Lies, Eisner paints a classic roman a clef in stinging detail. Protagonist Sam Spiegel is the Golden Boy with the New York business world at his feet when he is called home to Philadelphia just as he has begun to make his mark. His father, Holocaust survivor Harry Spiegel, is ailing and it’s with reservations that Sam takes on the challenge to grow his father’s firm, Spiegel Communications, into national prominence. The complex themes of the father-and-son relationship, like those found in the works of Chaim Potok and Mario Puzo, are brought vividly to life as Sam and Harry battle over the future of the family legacy.

Book Excerpt
Harry’s eyes were closed and his breathing was pronounced. He looked peaceful. The trumpet that had started playing the finale to Sunday Morning seemed prophetic under Dad’s staccato snore. “Nurse Ratched” never returned. A chipper young blonde took over instead. The second injection was administered.

About the Author
Before writing his novel and after learning the ropes at Doyle Dane Bernbach, New York, Steven C. Eisner created and led Eisner Communications, a Baltimore-based advertising agency, for more than two decades, creating hundreds of effective ad and PR campaigns for leading corporations and associations including Black & Decker, Marriot, McCormick Spices, PhRMA, US Airways, Lenox China, the Maryland Lottery, the Nature Conservancy, and the United Way. Eisner Communications won numerous industry awards including CLIOs, ADDYs, and EFFIEs, and the O’Toole for creative excellence across its entire client roster. The Minefields is Steven C. Eisner’s first novel.


softly and tenderly by sara evans, rachel hauck

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1 bookish peeps...
Title: Softly and Tenderly
Author: Sara Evans, Rachel Hauck
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5

Summary (Goodreads):

Jade Fitzgerald's hope for a perfect marriage shatters when her husband confesses he has an illegitimate son who he wants to raise in their home. With the help of her family and her faith, Jade comes to understand her future doesn't rest on the power of her past, but in the goodness of God's mercy.

My Review:

The book is about an unexpected occasions that occurs in life. I think everyone has their own regrets, redemptions and losses. The story evolves around Jade, who is happily married to Max and owns 2 boutiques and unfortunately still fails to conceive. There is a lot of things going on around her. Her mom is fighting leukemia and refuse to go through another chemotherapy. I think I can understand her mom well since one of my cousin died of luekemia, and she went through a lot of chemotherapy. I can also understand how Jade's feel, to fight for everything so that she could bring her family together no matter what happens. A great thing she has is the ability to forgive, and yet forgiveness is something so difficult for us to handle if it is as big as knowing your husband kind of had cheated on you. I wont give that kind of forgiveness that easy. Or maybe I would. But I guess that is why there is a saying of 'It's easy to forgive but hard to forget'. Jade ran from everything a while and try to compose herself, think of how to move on in the best possible way without losing or hurting others that so dear to her even if it will hurt herself. What I love the most of Jade character is that she always find that there will always be silver lining even in the darkest day, in the hard way. She knows that she should not lose hope and only God knows what's the best for His servants.

I only have one complain for the book, the name Jade and June is likely quite similar and it kinds of making me loses track of the characters. It is obviously sounds like the same, literally. Overall, the book is quite a catch.

When the book ended, I just realized it was actually the second book of Songbird Novel. The first book is The Sweet By and By, followed by the 3rd book, Love Lifted Me. I should try the other two books in the series. You should too.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. These are my honest review and receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review.

guest post: Author Siobhan Curham

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, April 12, 2012 0 bookish peeps...
I read Dear Dylan last few years and the book was written by Siobhan Curham. Before, I read a review about it from Sarah's blog, and the book really picked my interest straight away. Luckily, I found Siobhan Curham bog and she gave free download to her book! I read it in one sitting and I'm glad that I printed it out near a cyber cafe since I dont have a printer (and I hate reading on screen). I sent her an email and told her that I'm one of her biggest fan. She was so nice and very kind to reply me back (I have an experience when I sent an email to this one author but she never reply me back, so I guess she must be very busy and a 'psycho-fan' is nothing. Hahaha). And somehow last month she contacted me and she said that her book is going to get published and will be on tour. I was so glad and feel very happy for her! Even though I am in Malaysia and she is somewhere on other part of the world, well, I'm glad we have the power of online friendships. Glad we live in this borderless world. and yes, I am very glad to be part of her book tour!

The Power of Online Friendships by Siobhan Curham

Dear Dylan is the story of a 14 year-old girl called Georgie who starts emailing her favourite actor when she becomes really unhappy at home. The novel is made up entirely of emails as it charts the development of the resulting online friendship. Before I started writing it I was very aware of the negative press surrounding teenagers and the dangers of online friendships. But, as the mother of a teenager, I am also aware of what a vital role the internet plays in the social lives of young adults and I wanted to focus on this, more positive, aspect.

When I was writing Dear Dylan I really enjoyed the way in which the characters could open up to each other through their emails. I imagined that the fact that they weren’t face to face actually enabled them to open up to each other much quicker. And, one of the loveliest things to have happened to me since finishing the book is that I’ve had a chance to find this out for myself.

Last year I went to a screenwriters’ workshop. While I was there I got chatting to another writer and we exchanged email addresses. Initially this was because he was going to send me some tips on formatting a script, but, after a few token emails about work, our emails started becoming more personal. Pretty soon we were exchanging daily emails in which we would talk about life, the universe and everything. These emails have now become a favourite part of my daily routine. He always emails me late at night, before he goes to bed, and I usually read and reply the following morning on the train into work. Within a few weeks I was thinking of him as a friend rather than an acquaintance – and yet we had only met once. And then it hit me, I was getting to experience what I had imagined for my characters in Dear Dylan – and it was so heartening to see that I’d been right – that there is something about the unique combination of distance and intimacy that makes email the perfect channel for the development of a friendship.

And of course the joy of an email friendship is that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. Just like the characters in Dear Dylan, my email friend and I live in different parts of the UK but, as we have i-phones, this doesn’t matter a bit. And, even when we travel, our friendship stretches across the globe like an invisible chord. On Thanksgiving Day last year, when I was 4,000 miles away with my family in South Carolina, my online friend sent me an email saying that, in light of what day it was, he wanted to thank me for my friendship and how much it meant to him. It was the perfect Thanksgiving gift and I too, am so thankful for this wonderful example of life imitating art.

Thanks so much Siobhan Curham! Guys, you should browse other blog participating on this tour by checking out the blogs on the banner. I really wish you all will love the book as well. Check out also my review of the book (please click siobhan curham on labels).

About the Author

Siobhan Curham is an award-winning author, writing workshop leader and life coach. She runs the YA book-lovers site, The Faded Bookmark and is co-founder of the young person’s writing organisation Write Club. Siobhan is represented by literary agent Erzsi Deak of the Hen & Ink Literary Studio.


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