Archive for the ‘Nonfiction Books’ Category

Orinda Bookstore and The Missing Kennedy Memoir

Sunday, September 27th, 2015
Here’s the announcement regarding my book signing at the Orinda Bookstore.  Hope you can join me!
Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Event address:

276 Village Square
OrindaCA 94563-2504

Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy was the first daughter born to Rose Fitzgerald and Joseph P Kennedy Sr. At the age of 23 she underwent a labotomy which left her unable to walk, talk or perform basic human tasks and was sent to rural Wisconsin to a Catholic run home for the mentally disabled. There she was looked after for 35 years by Sister Paulus Koehler, the authors aunt. The Missing Kennedy is an insightful, important and poignant memoir that chronicles Rose’s life and includes many never-before-seen private photos, Kennedy quotes from the author’s interviews, and anecdotes about Rosemary and her famous family.

Come and hear author Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff discuss the research and work behind the book (recently featured cover story in PEOPLE Magazine Sept 14th) and share her own personal relationship to Rosemary.

http://www.orindabooks.com/event/elizabeth-koehler-pentacoff-discusses-her-book-missing-kennedy

B & N Wants to Discover YOU!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

The Discover Great New Writers program celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2015, having introduced readers to more than 1,800 extraordinary literary talents – many of whom have gone on to become household names — since its inception in 1990.

Publishers, not authors, submit books and 60 are chosen as winners, presenting a total of $35.000 to six writers.

Recipients of the Discover Award include Anthony Marra, Justin St. Germain, Cheryl Strayed, Amanda Coplin, Ben Fountain, Chang-rae Lee, Joshua Ferris, Elizabeth McCracken, and Hampton Sides, among others.

Publishers recommend writers making a strong literary debut. Authors cannot submit their own work to the program; self-published writers and titles published via print-on-demand or available only as NOOK books are also ineligible for submission.

Literary fiction, short story collections and literary non-fiction, such as travel essays, memoirs, or other non-fiction with a strong narrative will be considered. Books should be intended for an adult or a young adult audience.

The Discover Great New Writers program does not publish original work; please do not submit unpublished manuscripts for consideration.

Single titles authored by more than one person are not eligible for consideration.

Submissions must be made at least three months prior to publication date.

Once selected, participation in Discover Great New Writers™ includes:

 

  • Face-out display in the Discover bay in each of our bookstores (length of display is usually 12 weeks)
  • An individual shelf-talker with a teaser line placed under each face-out
  • A 20% discount on Discover titles for the length of the promotion
  • Promotion online at www.bn.com/discover and The B&N Review as well as via consumer emails, @BNBuzz and @BNDiscover Twitter feeds, and Nook features for the Discover Award finalists and Discover Seasonal selections.
  • Special consideration for Discover-selected writers for in-store events and book group discussionsAdditionally,
  • Debuting authors and writers with fewer than three previously published books who have yet to receive a major literary award are eligible for consideration. Exceptions are sometimes made for authors who have published more titles, but have yet to break out to a larger audience. Submissions must be original publications, penned by one author.
  • Deceased authors and those previously featured in the Discover program are ineligible. Books submitted for a prior season and rejected will not be reconsidered.

    2015-2016 Submission Deadlines
Season
Submission Deadline
Late Fall (November-December 2015)
Spring 2016 (January-March 2016)
Summer 2016 (April-July 2016)
June 18, 2015
September 10, 2015
October 8, 2015
Contact

For further information on submissions, contact:

Miwa Messer
Director, Discover Great New Writers
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
122 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011

E-mail: MMesser@bn.com
Phone: (212) 633-4067

 

Make a Scene with Jordan Rosenfeld

Monday, April 14th, 2014

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How can you write a scene with emotional impact, reader involvement, and suspense? 

Author Jordan Rosenfeld spoke to the California Writers Club, Mt. Diablo Branch and shared valuable tips for writers of all genres.  

 With every scene you create, ask yourself, what is the point of the scene?  Does it move your story forward, or is it just a block of setting description?  In showing setting, make your character interact with her surroundings

Great advice!  I critiqued manuscripts at one conference where a writer created a lovely Victorian Christmas which dominated the first chapter.  I suggested she weave in the setting elements as the character acted and reacted, foreshadowing the mystery ahead. 

She said, “Great idea!  But this house doesn’t play a role in the rest of my story at all.”  So why include it?  Once she began writing with her plot and character in mind, her character acted, reacted, and experienced the setting through sensory images.  It wasn’t overblown this time, and she created a reason for her scene to be there: she introduced characters and hinted at the mystery coming.

Rosenfeld advised writers create tension through emotional complexity.  Characters can experience more than one feeling at a time.  The uncertainty can be showed through their thoughts and dialogue, the writer’s word choice, how a word sounds, and imagery

For more information, read her book, Make Scenes, published through Writer’s Digest, and visit her website:  www.jordanrosenfeld.net  

Writing Prompts:

  1. It’s your turn!  Create a scene by involving your character in the setting shown through the elements above.  Make sure your scene moves the story’s plot forward.  Ask yourself:  Why must it be here?
  2. Tony Serra, attorney for Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Cow, at a federal court appearance said, “Law enforcement is supposed to investigate crime and criminal activity.  In this case, they created crime and criminal activity.”  (Source:  Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle.)  Use this quote to create a scene employing Rosenfeld’s advice. 
  3. Write an article, nonfiction piece, or essay with a scene focusing on the tips above.

 

Rumor vs. Fact and a Bit of Irony

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Last night my friend, H and I took BART into San Francisco to hear an author and political commentator discuss his new book.  Every seat was filled.  Two hundred people?  It was great to see many people do continue to read and think, and care enough to show up.  H and I agreed we could have stayed all night listening to this well-thought man discuss history and politics, not just media babble. 

 When it was question and answer time, he talked about the importance of getting facts correct.  How refreshing!  I’m reminded of why I don’t like watching television news much anymore, since these days rumors and name-calling are often reported before information is verified.  Who gets a story first is more important than who gets a story right.

 Afterwards, we walked city streets to a restaurant.  On Market Street, the light our way, another couple and my friend began to walk.  But a red truck made a right turn into their path . . . and kept on coming. For a moment – - everyone paused.  But no, upon checking, we did have the right away, so even I stepped off the curb, but the red truck continued. I threw out a protective hand in front of H, who would be first in the truck’s path. 

 Finally, the man at the steering wheel stopped.  Guess he didn’t want her as a hood ornament.  The man next to me laughed as we cross the street. 

“What?” I asked him. 

“Did you see his bumper sticker?” he said.

I shook my head no.

“I brake for bikes. Share the road!” he said. 

Then we all smiled at the irony. 

Guess the driver didn’t mean pedestrians.

Writing Prompts:

1.  As you watch television, note when there is news (facts which can be verified) and rumors and opinions.   If a person resorts to name-calling, look beyond the labels and seek what is behind it.  Is the person in front of the camera an entertainer or a reporter?  What is the person’s credentials?  Reputation?  Can you check the facts?  Write a piece where you need to use research.  Back up your story or article with facts.  Make sure you keep your references.

2.  Look for bits of irony and general humor in your daily life.  Jot it down when you find it.  Even sad moments can have a bit of comedy in them. How else do we survive tragedy?  Write a personal narrative, poem or story where you can include a bit of both. 

3.  Watch a movie and identify the moments of humor and sadness and how close they come together.  How much facts are in the show?  Opinions?

4.  Attend an author talk.  What does the author do well?  Remember this when it’s time for you to do your book presentation!

Anthology Call for Submissions

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Are you the mother of a child with special needs?

 Deadline:  April 22, 2013

Nonfiction. Up to 6,000 words or 6 poems.

Submissions must address one of the themes listed below:

  • Challenges: Sometimes it sucks.
  • Purpose: I learned my own power; I get “it.”
  • Providence: Why was I chosen?
  • Pure Joy: Their joy is my joy!
  • Joy?: It’s the simple things.

For more information, visit:

http://www.literarymama.com/blog/archives/2012/11/call-for-submissions-anthology-2.html

Turn Your Expertise into a Successful Book

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

                                 Sunday, Jan 22           2 – 4 p.m.                  

                                         FREE!

At the Lafayette Library and Learning Center

 Three successful non-fiction authors will tell you how they turned their specialized knowledge into successful books – and careers.  Find out from these three pros:

 

  • ·        How to develop a strong non-fiction book proposal
  • ·        Tips on the best ways to share your knowledge
  • ·        Go beyond the book by building your speaking and online platform

 

All the participating authors are members of the California Writers Club which is co-hosting this presentation.

 

Nannette Rundle Carroll is the author of The Communication Problem Solver.  She’s been featured in Investors Business Daily’s “10 Secrets to Success” leadership column and has appeared on radio shows and podcasts as a communication expert and trains professionals in communication and management.

Visit: www.communicate2go.com

 

Patricia Evans is the author of five books on dealing with verbal abuse and overly controlling people.  As a specialist in interpersonal communication, she has spoken about managing verbal abuse on more than two hundred radio shows, and 20 national television programs, including the Oprah.  She is also a consultant, speaker and trainer. 

Visit: http://www.verbalabuse.com.

Catherine Accardi is the author of three books in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, Walnut Creek, San Francisco’s North Beach and Telegraph Hill, and San Francisco Landmarks. Catherine turned her interest and knowledge of local history into award winning books.  Arcadia Publishing has been awarded the prestigious William C. Ralston Award by the San Francisco Historical Society for these popular local history volumes.     

A Writer’s Place is a program of the Friends of the Lafayette Library

www.  AWritersPlace .com

Lafayette Library & Learning Center  3941 Mount Diablo Blvd  Lafayette CA  94549 Q  925/ 385- 3380

So You Want To Write a Book

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

So You Want to Write a Book

Four local authors discuss their writing journeys and offer tips for aspiring writers

 Please join us at the Moraga Library as we present a panel of block-buster local authors who will discuss their writing. A Q&A session follows as time permits.  Joining us will be:

 Barbara Bentley (A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath).  When life threw her an unexpected curve, Barbara took the experience and turned it into a book to help others understand the crazymaking world of the psychopath.  Her story has been featured on Dateline NBC.

 Jon Cory (A Plague of Scoundrels). Retirement enabled Jon to return to creative writing after a career in business. His debut novel received the 2009 Independent Publishers’ Silver Medal award for popular fiction. 

 Alfred J. Garrotto (The Saint of Florenville: A Love Story)   A native of Santa Monica, CA, Al now lives in Contra Costa County. In addition to his writing career, he serves as a lay minister specializing in adult faith formation in a local Roman Catholic parish.

 Judith Marshall (Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever). The novel won the Jack London Prize awarded by the California Writers Club and has been optioned for the big screen

 If you have any interest in writing and being published this is a “must-attend” event. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012  2:00pm 

Moraga Library 1500 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga, CA 94556  (925) 376-6852

What to Write? Suggestions from Children’s Librarians

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Do you enjoy writing nonfiction for kids?  Wonder what librarians need on their bookshelves?  Wonder no longer:

http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/supplements/seriesmadesimple/892628-363/theres_always_room_for_more.html.csp

Ten Great Books I’ve Read this Year

Monday, December 20th, 2010
The following books are a mixture of books intended for adults, young adults and children.    I have marked the adult books.
 
In Franklin’s House by Beverly Lauderdale,  Oak Tree Press, 2010. 
(Marketed for adults)
 
Two stories interweave deftly; one at the turn of the century and one in present day with an intriguing and handsome ghostWhen the main character, Kate, discovers a 1906 diary and a lovely necklace, she accidentally stumbles into a portal of another world.  Romance, suspense and history plus a story evocative of the time and place. 
 
The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak, Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.   
 
Death narrates this book set in World War II Germany, when nine-year-old Liesel Meminger steals her first book, The Gravediggers Handbook
 
Charles and Emma  by  Deborah Heilgman , Henry Holt & Co., 2009.
 
An amazing nonfiction book that reads like a novel, we learn about the life and work of Charles Darwin and that of his wife, Emma. 
 
 Marcelo in the Real World  by Francisco X. Stork, Arthur A. Levine, 2009.
 
I was all set to dislike this book, because problem-novels “aren’t my thing.”  Surely a book on Asperger’s syndrome wouldn’t be something I’d delve into with excitement?  I’m pleased to announce I was very wrong.  With a powerful voice, strong characters and high tension, you’ll be swept into this story right through until the end.
 
 
One Crazy Summer  by Rita Williams-Garcia, Amistad, 2010.
 
Eleven-year-old Delphine and her two sisters fly from Oakland, California to stay with their poet mother, Cecile in 1968.  Cecile isn’t going to win the World’s Best Mother Award, so Delphine has to hold everything together.  Cecile’s mysterious work, the girls’ involvement in the Black Panther-run community center, and her relationship with her mother all grows into an unforgettable read. 
 
 
Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences  by Janis Bell, W.W. Norton and Co., 2009.
(Marketed for adults but should be used in schools too!)
 
Humorous and clearly written, the author shows the grammar and punctuation problems people need to learn.  Fun quizzes are at the back of each of the seven chapters.
 
 The Year of Living Biblically by  A.J. Jacobs, Simon & Schuster, 2008.
(Marketed for adults.)
 
Hysterical!   Written by an agnostic, although Jewish by birth, Jacobs will teach you more about yourself, the Bible, and make you question your own spirituality and religion than you ever thought possible.  He lives the Bible literally each day for one year. 
 
Growing Up by Russell Baker , Signet, 1992.
(Marketed for adults but I’m sure it’s used in high schools and middle schools.)
 
Pulitzer-winning Baker’s memoir about growing up between the two world wars is a “you-have-to-read-this-book” before you ever attempt to write your own memoir. 
 
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers  
(Marketed for adults and young adults.)
 
Twelve-year-old Frankie Adams grows up in the American South.  Character, emotions, and adolescence written richly and with grace.
 
 
The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Putnam, 2009.
(Marketed for adults) 
Although everyone I know has read this already, and a movie is on the way, I can’t help mentioning it.  Set in 1962 in Mississippi, I probably don’t need to say any more. 
 
 
 

Calling Students, Teachers, Readers, Writers and MORE!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

California Writers Club, Mt. Diablo Branch

http://mtdiablowriters.org/

Announces a FREE opportunity for students, educators and readers to meet published authors – - – and students, how to win hundreds of dollars by writing!
Saturday, November 28, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Pleasant Hill Barnes and Noble
522 Contra Costa Blvd. (Phone: 925-609-7060)

*Students! Discover how YOU can win $$$ by writing poems, short stories, or personal narratives!

*Learn how you can take a FREE writing workshop taught by authors Sarah Wilson and Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff.

*Find out answers to questions about writing, publishing, agents, and how YOU can become a published writer!

*Uncover published authors’ writing secrets!

* Receive guidelines for the Young Writers Contest for middle school students and sign-up forms for FREE workshops.

*Get autographs from authors!

Schedule: 11 a.m. – Noon
Nannette Rundell Carroll – Communication and Business Author
Margaret Grace – Author of Mystery Series
Noon – 1 p.m.
Nannette Rundell Carroll – Communication and Business Author
Barbara Bentley – Memoir Author
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Ellen Leroe – Young Adult Author
Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff – Picture Book Author
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Barbara Bentley – Memoir Author
Lynn Goodwin – Journaling Author
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Margaret Grace – Author of Mystery Series
Lynn Goodwin – Journaling Author