A Love Story for a Nation

By Mark W. Sasse

Love Story for A NationBlurb from Goodreads

As nightly raids burn the capital city, the mundane existence of Gerald Sanpatri takes a dramatic shift when Rosia walks into his life bringing laughter and unexpected love. She inspires the ex-writer to once again take up his pen and write the impossible: a love story for an entire nation.

A Love Story for a Nation chronicles the explosive and heart-warming journey of one country’s brush with history through the eyes of a courageous man who dared to stand up, smile, and think the unimaginable.

My Review

Mark W. Sasse’s most recent book to be released on July 3, 2015 is a story of the bravery and perseverance of Gerald Sanpatri. After his wife Rosia dies, Sanpatri picks up his pen to fulfill a promise he made to Rosia to start writing again. He starts writing tales of Jonny, his son who died before he was born. They become extraordinary tales of heroism against the palace. On the one-year anniversary of Rosia and Jonny’s deaths, Gerald finds a note in his lunch bag that Rosia left so long ago.  It told him “Remember to just stand there and smile.” Gerald did just that as he started his vigilance on a stone outside the palace gate.  In order to avoid spoilers, I have to stop here.

I love Sasse’s books and this one stands with the rest.  (Read my review of The Reach of the Banyan Tree here.  My review of Beauty Rising will appear later this summer). The author weaves history and fiction into a contemporary story with a touch of romance, resulting in a book that leaves you wanting more.

The characters are well developed and believable with some mystery around most.  The plot evolves with enough energy to keep you turning pages as the characters slowly reveal their secrets.

author photo1About the Author

Mark W Sasse was born in western Pennsylvania, but has spent nearly two decades living, teaching, and writing overseas in Vietnam and Malaysia. He has advanced degrees in Humanities and English. His debut novel, Beauty Rising, was released in December 2012 which was followed by The Recluse Storyteller in October 2013. He is also an enthusiast of live theatre. He writes and directs for the drama troupe The RLT Players. He won the award for “Best Script” in 2013 Penang Short & Sweet Festival for his script “No In Spite of Itself.” His short play “Drive All Night” won the Audience Choice award at the 2012 Penang Short & Sweet Festival. The Reach of the Banyan Tree released July 1, 2014.

A Love Story for a Nation is due out July 3, 2015.

Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction

To follow Mark Sasse on Facebook, click here.

To go to Mark Sasse’s author page on Amazon, click here.

To visit his blog mwsasse, click here.

To buy A Love Story for a Nation:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

The author gave me a copy of A Love Story for a Nation in exchange for an honest review.


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

Website:  http://www.alisoncaiola.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AlisonCaiolaAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AlisonMCaiola
Instagram:  https://instagram.com/alisonwrites/

To Purchase:


Real Moms of the Metro— Children’s Author Mariana Llanos

This is a fantastic article in MetroFamily Magazine about one of my favorite children’s author, Mariana Llanos.Mariana Llanos

Real Moms of the Metro—Mariana Llanos – MetroFamily Magazine – December 2014 – Oklahoma City, OK.