Showing posts from July, 2013

Visiting with the Sts. Peter & Paul Book Club


Book club appearances are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with readers and obtain some great feedback. They also spark some fascinating discussions. Last night, I visited the Saints Peter and Paul Book Club in Naperville, all of whom happen to live in the same town as my fictional Bibliophiles. These ladies have been together for a very impressive fifteen years, and I have to say, they are quite a lovely bunch.

It was interesting talking with them about A Whisper to a Scream, because they were all older, mostly of my mother’s generation, and brought a different perspective to the characters of Sarah and Annie. Most were sympathetic for Annie and her infertility issues, but Sarah, the stay-at-home mom, didn’t fare as well.

A good majority were stay-at-home mothers themselves back in the day, many with more than two children, and I got the sense they wanted Sarah to suck it up and go about her business. That was how it was when they had kids, right? W…

It's All About the Characters


Have you seen Lost in Austen? It’s a 2008 British four-part series about a modern-day woman in love, not with her boyfriend who proposes in a drunken stupor and offers a beer can tab for an engagement ring, but rather with Pride and Prejudice and its world of courtship, romance, and manners. She finds a mysterious portal in her bathroom through which Elizabeth Bennet travels, and they swap places. 
So, basically, this movie is crack for Jane Austen lovers, and you know how much I love Jane Austen.
Every time I see it, I get chills when Amanda Price walks down the hall of the Bennet home and overhears Mrs. Bennet moaning about her nerves and Lydia’s ever-present giggles. And the assembly ball! Oh my god, it’s Darcy!  
In Stranger Than Fiction, I cry when I see Will Farrell’s character, Harold Crick, walk into Emma Thompson’s office. That moment of recognition, of “It’s really you,” gets me every time. 
About a year or two ago, I was at a stoplight in down…

A Bibliophile Christmas FREE July 18-22

Tired of scorching hot weather? Humidity? Your kids? I know I am.
Just kidding on the last one. I love having my guys home for the summer. ((wink))
Well, grab an iced mocha or chai, turn the AC up, and settle on in with "A Bibliophile Christmas," my mid-year gift to you FREE on Amazon July 18 through July 22. Here's the link.
Sarah Anderson and Annie Jacobs have not had the best of years. And now, here come the holidays.
Sarah's husband Tom is stuck in Boston after a nor'easter dumps a foot of snow on the day he is scheduled to leave for home. And Annie is working hard at picking up the pieces of her life after a painful divorce. 
But, maybe with a little help from their friends, Christmas won't be a total wash after all.

Five stars! "Great book to put you in the Christmas spirit. I am now on a mission to read more of Berner's books. I loved the characters and how they are introduced." — Amazon reviewer
Four stars! "At turns funny, frustra…

Editing for Grammarphobes: Monday Vocabulary List


I know it's summer, but I couldn't resist giving you all a traditional Monday vocabulary list like back in our school days.

I came across these while researching archaic words for Thaddeus Mumblegarden to use in the third Bibliophiles book (title yet to be determined). He is a true logophile (lover of words) and is particularly chuffed about Brit Speak. The first of two men in the Bibliophiles book club, Thaddeus yearned to major in English in college, but was forced to do something "more practical" by his ex-jock father and now trudges his way through unfulfilling days as a computer programmer. Wonder what he will find to free him from this ennui?

I had a great time proudly flying my word nerd flag and learning all of these new terms. How many do you know?

Blatherskite: One who will not stop talking.

Discophora: A group of jellyfish.

Naupathia: Sea sickness.

Rectalgia: A pain in the butt.

Redactophobia: A fear of editing and/or editors. (I …

July Sale: Bibliophiles Books 50% Off at Smashwords


To celebrate summer (or winter, if you are in the southern hemisphere), Smashwords is having a July Summer/Winter Sale, which features some great ebooks for anywhere from 25% to 75% off. Click here  to download titles for iPad, Nook, Sony, Kobo, or any free reading app.

A Whisper to a Scream or Until My Soul Gets It Right are both on sale there for 50% off until July 31.

A Whisper to a Scream has been hailed for its “fluid prose and realistic dialogue” and has been called “a vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage.” Praised by Publishers Weekly for its “fearless truthfulness,” the novel centers around Sarah, a stay-at-home mother of two, and Annie, a PR executive dealing with fertility issues. When they meet through a classics book club, each thinks the other ones life is so much better than her own. But ultimately, they learn otherwise.

Click here to purchase on Smashwords

Called a “wicked fun” novel of “self-discovery, redemption, and forgiveness,” Until …

Celebrate Indie-pendence Day


Happy 4th of July, Americans!

Today is a great day for backyard barbecues, fireworks, and books, of course. Several former Flash Fiction Fridays contributors, as well as a few of my writer blog buddies, have been nominated in the eFestival of Words Best of Independent eBook Awards contest. 
Please show them your support by clicking here to be directed to the site, register, then proceed to the Awards Hall to begin voting. 
Here's a list of my favorite nominees.
Best Novel:Cosette's Tribe by Leah Griffith
Best Short Story:They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing by Jack Urquhart
Best Short Story Collection:If I Had My Way by Lena Sledge
Best General Fiction:Cosette's Tribe by Leah Griffith
Best Literary Fiction:Drawing Breath by Laurie Boris
Congratulations on your nominations and good luck!