By Alison Caiola


The Seeds of a DaisySynopsis

From the outside looking in, Lily Lockwood, popular star of the hit TV Show, “St. Joes”, has it all. She has recently been nominated for an Emmy and her star is on the rise. She shares her gorgeous beachfront Malibu home with her even more gorgeous actor boyfriend.  Perfect, right? Not so much! Within a matter of a few days, it all falls apart. The wind is knocked out of her when she finds out that her boyfriend, on location shooting a Western, is riding horses all day and his curvy co-star all night.  Before Lily can catch her breath, she gets word that her beloved mother, best-selling author Daisy Lockwood, in in intensive care after a near-fatal accident.

Lily flies from Los Angeles to New York to be by her side. Once there, she must make crucial life-and-death decisions. While sorting through her mother’s papers, Lily is shocked to make a discovery about Daisy that threatens to shake her very foundation. This sets Lily on a journey of self-discovery as she unlocks the mysteries of her mother’s past.

My Review

Lily Lockwood is in the middle of a crisis.  Her love life is falling apart, and she is in the middle of a shoot for an episode of St. Joe’s.  An unexplained recurrent pain in her stomach is nagging her, and now people are urgently trying to reach her, she’s had eight missed calls to be exact.  Eight missed calls!  Her mother, her only living relative, has been in a terrible accident and is in a coma in a New York hospital.  As her mother’s closest friends gather for support, Lily talks to her mother, begging her to open her eyes. Her mother is not only all the family she has, but she is Lily’s confidant, her manager, and is the source of moral support.  Lily cannot imagine life without Daisy Lockwood, mother and famous author.

Lily hears a rumor that there was someone else in the car.  As she tries to unravel all the mystery around the accident, she discovers the identity of the passenger who was thrown from the car.  Who is this stranger, and can she deny the attraction between her and the stranger’s brother?  What about her former boyfriend? Can she forgive him and move on?

I am not a fan of movies or television, but I was immediately drawn into this story.  Caiola writes vividly and creates both  characters and a plot that are memorable.  Her characters jump off the page and perform right before your eyes. Lily could have been written into the story as a perfect, unflawed person, but again the author stepped up and created an actress and daughter who had beauty and talent, but also issues any real person might have.  She depended on her mother to make her decisions, but with her mother in a coma, she suddenly had to step up and not only make her own choices, but decisions for her mother as well.

There are several conflicts to be solved, and Caiola accomplishes this easily. The main one, of couse, is whether or not Daisy can come out of the coma.  There is also the matter of Lily’s romance with Jamie, and if it an be salvaged.  The circumstances surrounding the accident, the mysterious second passenger, and the passenger’s gorgeous brother play here too.

THE SEEDS OF A DAISY is an entertaining, must read book for those who enjoy chick lit, a bit of glamour of the Hollywood scene, and engaging characters.

THE SEEDS OF A DAISY is book one in The Lily Lockwood Series.

About the AuthorAlison Caiola

Award-winning author, Alison Caiola’s, many years in Hollywood as a writer and PR Executive qualify her to write about the entertainment industry, as she does so well, in the best selling page-turner, The Seeds of a Daisy and the upcoming fiction novels, The Silver Cord and The Family Bond. Hollywood is the backdrop in all three books, whose stories are wrought with gut-wrenching emotion, heart-stopping adventure, and real laugh out loud moments. Alison’s writes in the women’s fiction, general fiction and popular fiction categories.

Alison Caiola has worked with such Hollywood greats as Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner. She has written scripts, screenplays (mostly romantic comedies) and articles in popular lifestyle magazines. Like Daisy, in The Seeds of a Daisy, Alison has a son–J.D. Daniels–who is a successful, award-winning actor and author. She currently resides on the beautiful North Fork of Long Island with her Malti-Poo daughter-dog Emma, surrounded by vineyards, farms and wonderful friends

The Lily Lockwood Series: Book One The Seeds of a Daisy,

Book Two:  The Silver Cord (published Feb 2015)

Find out more about the author




To Purchase:


The Gift


I came across this beautiful post on Doll Houses, Memories, and More. It is a story of great compassion shown to a child by a stranger. It ends with a reminder to parents and anyone entrusted with the safety and well-being of a child.

Originally posted on Dollhouses, memories, and more...:

I was given a gift today.

This morning I made a hasty decision to run some errands.  This is not unusual for most people but for me it is because it’s 50 minutes one-way to do what I needed to do and frankly, I don’t enjoy the drive unless I have a book on tape to listen to.


We live in a remote area with few full-time residents, no pay phones and no cell service.  As I approached the gate to exit our development I noticed a little boy standing alone in the parking area on the other side of the road.  I quickly glanced at the clock which read 10:20 and the thought flashed through my head that it was far too late for him to be waiting for a school bus. Our forecasted high for today is 14 degrees and it could not have been above 10 degrees…

View original 1,371 more words

By The Hours – Complete Verse


My dear friend Morgan (Cynthia Morgan) has a beautiful way with words. Please enjoy.

Originally posted on Booknvolume:

By Hour of Sweetest Night

By Hour of Sweetest Night,

When Daytide, Blushing, turns her Fair Cheek away,

And All the Heavens, do, in Spectral Show,

Dance to the eye and Court each Heart with Smiles;

My Lingering Breath,

Which in heaves and sighs Permits this Life Continuance,

Calls my Waiting and Long Yearning Riotous Calamity

And Curses All the Happy Hours that chortle and mock her Breathless Vigil.


By Morning

By Morning’s Jocund Light,

When Midnight, Sleeping, Hides her Veiled Gaze,

And All the Larks in Beauteous Gardens and Blithe canopies of Viridian,

Sing to the Blessed Heavens with Lusty Peals and Vigor;

My Bleary Gaze,

Which Watches through Sweet Floods of tears as Life Persists,

Belies the Droll humour of my Lips

That in Laughing and Light Revelry makes such Misery

As this Heart would, else, endlessly cry, False.



Yet, By the Breath of Twilight,

When Labours Cease and Silence,

For One Fleeting…

View original 96 more words

Jump, Jive, and Wail

By Kathryn R. Biel

People told Kaitlin Reynolds she has an anger problem. Everything changed and nothing was the same as before when she was at the top of her sport. Then one day she had an accident on the ski jump and she was suddenly a different person. The after Kaitlin was nothing like the before.  Her physical therapist suggested she take a job in medical sales. Kaitlin told everyone she sucked at her job. Why? Kaitlin wanted the thrill of the jump back, not a job selling medical TENS units. She wore a brace on one leg to support her foot. It embarrassed her so she hid it in boot.  Her husband was cheating on her and she blamed it on the accident. She provided his support while she was on top in her sport, but now that the endorsements and money had stopped coming in, he no longer needed her. Kaitlin’s life was in the pits.

Declan McLoughlin was about as handsome as they come.  What girl wouldn’t chase after him! He was tall, kind, famous, and the type who would go after something, or someone, if he wanted her. Declan was a figure skater and he and his partner had decided they would soon retire. After all, they had bronze medals from the Olympics. Declan wanted Kaitlin but did Kaitlin want Declan?

The story of the developing romance between these two characters that started when they bumped into each other at the airport, will keep you turning the pages as you follow the progression of their relationship, both its ups and its downs.  Will they ever settle their misunderstandings and their personal problems and decide whether they want a relationship?

I loved the characters. Kaitlyn was enjoying her own pity party, which put a strain on her relationships.  What was it that Declan saw in her that kept him coming back when others would have left?

There was a lot of pain for these two, both physical pain, and emotional pain.  Can they get beyond the emotional pain and have a serious relationship? Will Kaitlin’s anger push Declan away?  Are Declan’s ties to his skating partner Natalya too strong for him to walk away from?

The author researched Kaitlin’s medical problem very thoroughly and wrote a believable account of her accident and the disability she must live with.  The description of the athletes’ sports and their lives as athletes were equally realistic. JUMP, JIVE, AND WAIL is an excellent story. I definitely would recommend this book to all readers of romance books.


Kathryn BielTelling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), and the short story, Fly Robin Fly (Part of Cupid on the Loose!: A Valentine’s Anthology of Short Stories, 2015).


Connect with Kathryn:

Amazon Author Central:







Buy JUMP, JIVE, AND WAIL at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Winter’s Lane


Lauren paints a beautiful picture of a snowy walk.

Originally posted on LScott Poetry:

I decided to pull this poem from my 2012 archives
and dedicate it to my friends whose lives are
abundantly snowy. :) 
Waking up to white blankets
of snow each morning 
sounds breathtaking, but
I know it can take a toll. So I wish my friends in
frozen lands much warmth from the sun when it
does peek through, staying focused on the arrival of
spring in another month and remember, cuddling
is also good for warming the heart.

Whispering wind
Biting mountain air

Slushy footsteps
in laden boots
Sunbeams peeking
through cotton ball clouds
Shoulders touching
Parkas rubbing
Gloved hands holding
Red noses lead
icy cold to the touch
Eyelash icicles
forming in fantasy
Faces stinging
to wind’s embrace
Snowy ornaments
in towering trees
White blankets
on the ground
Glorious beauty
all around

Lauren Scott © 2012
(Stay warm & safe)

View original

Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens


Dog Bone Soup Promo


DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies…..

Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. You’ll find them all in DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age saga.


From the Reviewers

“Dog Bone Soup is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when most others were on the crest of a wave. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But most of all it will make you glad you read it.” ~ Charlie Bray, founder of the Indietribe


“In Dog Bone Soup, Bette Stevens captures the feeling and images of growing up in hardscrabble times perfectly.” ~ John Clark, librarian and author

Opening Excerpt of Chapter 1 (Plus link at end to read the entire chapter)…

Dog Bone SoupThe postcard arrived four days before my eighteenth birthday. All I had to do now was sign the final papers and light out for basic training. I could hardly wait to leave this place behind.

There were six of us ready to become soldiers. The other five guys were headed to Fort Dix. Soon as we were inducted, the sergeant who swore us in started calling us a bunch of lily-assed bastards and worse. When the jerk marched the other five guys off, I was happy as hell I wasn’t one of them.

Lieutenant Richards called me into his office. “You’ll be heading out tomorrow, Private Daniels. Here are your tickets.”

We sat in his office and talked about my future with the U.S. Army. Then he handed me a schedule for the next day’s journey and we went over every detail.

“Now let’s get you home so you can get a good night’s sleep before you fly off to serve Uncle Sam, soldier.”

“Good luck Private,” the lieutenant said when he dropped me off at the house. We saluted and I stood there watching until his car disappeared over the hill.

I’d always liked army people. They called me Mr. Daniels and even sir sometimes. Now I was officially a private in the U.S. Army and I was ready to start a new life. I pictured myself in an officer’s uniform one day—a lieutenant, a captain, maybe even a general.

Mum and I didn’t get much more than a few winks of sleep that night. I don’t know how many pots of coffee she perked while we sat at the kitchen table and talked the night away. Of course, it was Mum did most of the talking. Once she opened her picture books, I felt like I was drinking in the life I wanted to leave.

Mum took all of those pictures with her Brownie—that camera was her pride and joy. None of us kids was allowed to touch it unless she supervised a picture taking every now and then. If Dad wasn’t around, it was me peeking through the lens. Mum was fussy about taking pictures just so.

Five books were piled on the table and we went through them one page at a time. Mum had a story for every snap shot. Some made me laugh so hard that I doubled over.

It was two minutes shy of three when she closed the last album.

“Thanks for staying up. I’ve got the alarm set for six and I know that won’t give us much sleep.” Mum pulled out her hanky, sniffled and hugged me before we turned in. My leaving would to be hard on her.

Willie was snoring away, likely dreaming about cars. I slipped in next to him and pulled away some puffs and huddled under them.

The minute I closed my eyes I started dreaming about my new life. No more freezing to death up north. I was headed for southern sunshine and I saw myself soaking it all in.

Bzzzzzzz. I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, grabbed the suitcase and headed for the kitchen. Mum already had breakfast on the stove, so I ran outside to do my business and came back in to grab a hot biscuit and down it with a cup of steaming coffee.

I was half frozen and snow was whipping around me in circles when I headed out on the three-mile walk into town to catch that bus.

I shook flakes big as quarters from my jacket when I climbed the steps of the Greyhound. Two hours and I’d be boarding a plane headed to Fort Jackson. South Carolina was sure the place to be, especially in February.
### end of excerpt


About the Author

Bette A. StevensInspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Bette A. Stevens is the author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA; home/school resource, The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP.


Find out more about the author and her books at


My Review

DOG BONE SOUP is a heartwarming and sometimes humorous look at life in the 1950’s and 60’s. It is a story of poverty, bullying, alcoholism, and domestic violence.  It will take you back to a time when society accepted these issues as a normal occurrence.

Dog bone soup is a recurring topic throughout this book.  When as a very young boy, Shawn and his brother were put into foster care, it soon became evident they were merely a paycheck to his foster mother. Eventually his father got him back and moved the family to a house that most would call a shack because his father was too lazy to insulate or install running water.  A child of dirt-poor parents, Shawn Daniels collected the bones from the butcher for his mother to make dog bone soup to feed her family. Even though his mother dressed up the soup as much as she could with what she had on hand, Shawn hated having to eat it. Shawn watched as his drunken father abused his mother, physically and verbally. The oldest of four children, he shouldered much of the responsibility his father shunned. He helped his mom with the chores and with the care and supervision of his brother and sisters. He did a man’s job while still a young boy. Added to all of his other problems, the school bully made his life miserable and teased him unrelentingly because he was poor and the son of the town drunk.

DBS American Pie BlueShawn vowed to himself, he would pull himself up out of poverty, get away from this town, and make something of himself. Life was hard, but Shawn had the spirit and the tenacity to do something about it.

This book was a surprise in the way it brought to light all of the issues Shawn faced daily, from his early childhood onward. Many of those issues are still in evidence today. Unlike Shawn, the wheels of politics and progress grind slowly and none of these adversities in society have been completely eradicated.

Bette Stevens, with her insight and talent for bringing a story to life, did an outstanding job capturing the woes and the struggles of a poor family in a time when the rest of the community was moving forward into the American dream.  DOG BONE SOUP is a profound coming of age story you will not want to miss. I recommend it to every reader from pre-teen through adulthood.


My Upcoming Book: Free Book Offer!

Originally posted on The Author Who Supports:

YouDontScaremeIHaveKids-Front This is my latest book, it should be published later this year…

Hello everyone,

I’m planning on publishing the above book in 2015. Wish me luck with me new creative venture!

I am currently looking to ‘recruit’ people to review my new book. I’d need you to publish your review on Amazon and also your own blog if you can, but definitely Amazon.

I’d send you the eBook to your email or gift it to you directly from Amazon, depending on what works for us at the time. It’s not quite ready yet, but I’d love to note down some people who are interested at this stage.

So far, I’ve had some ‘test’ readers and they have ‘loved’ it and found it ‘funny, reassuring and witty.’ So, I’d love your professional review to get the book off the ground. As any author knows, reviews are everything!

Thanks in advance for…

View original 339 more words

RUNAWAY SMILE By Nicholas C. Rossis

“An unshared smile is a wasted smile”


Runaway SmileRUNAWAY SMILE is a charming account of a young boy who woke up one morning to find his smile was missing.  He asks the dog if he has seen it. Of course, his dog hasn’t, so he asks the closet monster who is grumpy and hasn’t seen it either.  He is so worried he is unable to eat his breakfast. On the way to school, he meets various other individuals and asks the same question, but no one has seen it – not the clown, not the worker, not a king, not his teacher.

At the day’s end, he heads home from school and crashes on the couch, exhausted from searching for his smile.  His mother comforts him and tells him he has been searching in all the wrong places. She compassionately solves the mystery of her son’s missing smile.

The other characters in the book have some strange attributes. There is his dog that wears glasses and reads books, a closet monster that hides in the closet and eats clothes, and among others, a colorful salesman – the world’s best salesman. They each are busy with their own agendas, and not one takes the time to listen to the boy without a smile.

I found the book to be delightful, and full of very imaginative characters and a creative storyline. I think it would be best suited for elementary aged children. Do I recommend RUNAWAY SMILE? Why, of course!


About the AuthorNicholas Rossis

Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. Most importantly, author.

Nicholas loves to write. He has published Runaway Smile, a children’s book, which you can read for free on his blog. He has also written the Amazon best-selling epic fantasy series, Pearseus. The fourth book in the series is currently edited, and expected to be released mid-February.

Finally, he has published the Amazon best-seller The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories that includes his award-winning short story, I Come in Peace.

Nicholas lives in Athens, Greece, at a forest’s edge, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard. Mercifully, all his books are professionally edited.


To find out more about Nicholas Rossis visit him on:

His website – Nicholas C. Rossis

Twitter – @Nicholas_Rossis

Google+ – Nicholas C. Rossis

Facebook – Nicholas C. Rossis Author

LinkedIn – Nicholas Rossi

Goodreads – Nicholas C. Rossi


To buy RUNAWAY SMILE or any of his other books, go to