Pearl Barley – THE FAT BAG stuck between a rock cake & a hard plaice

nosegyben2aTitle: THE FAT BAG stuck between a rock cake & a hard plaice

Author: Pearl Barley


Page count: 143

Genre: Humour

Price: $2.99


Author Bio:

I write under the name of Pearl Barley (a name chosen by my daughter as it is food-related) and am a part-time medical secretary. Born and brought up in the English countryside, I moved to London in my late teens and always kept diaries, such that it was an easy choice to choose the diary entries that related to my lifelong struggle with my weight. I had been a slim child but life brought forth issues overtime that I found hard to cope with and I turned to food for comfort (as you do!).  My love of food has always been my biggest weakness and while never obese, I’ve struggled for years to lose weight…and I often succeed; I just can’t keep it off!


Tell us about your book:

This tale, made up of diary entries, takes you on the journey of the hapless yo-yo dieter – in situations that many can relate to, punishing and suffering for a battle that is never won.  Described as Bridget Jones’ Diary-esque (big baggy knickers sadly 26708_135440173137218_2157243_nappropriate), adding a bit of dry wit bordering on the ridiculous, sarcasm, moans, groans and a teeny bit of self-pity, it’s an amusing read, telling it like it really is with no frills.

“THE FAT BAG…” title is a play on words (yes ‘plaice’ spelt like the fish) that resonates throughout the whole book, which includes chapters entitled:  “This Little Piggie Went to Town”, “Mind Over Platter”, “Not All Menus Are Created Equal” and “My Cup Runneth Over”!

And just so you know, this is NOT a dieting book that will help you to lose weight or give any reasonable dieting advice.


How long did it take to write the book?

It took about a year to write and was finished in 2006 and saved on a disc.  Then the disc disappeared until it resurfaced in 2010, and that’s when the first edition was published through  The second edition with a more impressive cover was published in November 2011.


What inspired you to write the book?

The inspiration for writing this book came from the fact that I’d never seen a dieter’s or dieting book that recognized the dieter’s struggle.  Too many folk assume that overweight people never do anything about it, yet many ‘in the know’ know full well how many times they’ve tried and failed.


Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

I just wrote from the heart as it’s easier to write what you know about, and added the humorous and tongue-in-cheek bits as I went along.  Some of the situations are slightly exaggerated but for the most part, it’s all true.  It was just like chatting to a friend, but in print.


What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

The response I got in one of my reviews is exactly what I hoped the readers would gain from reading my book:

“…She describes perfectly the ups and downs associated with the process – the joy of losing weight and being proud of your accomplishments, and the agony of defeat when you slip back into old habits and re-gain the poundage. Anyone who has ever dieted will recognize themselves on these pages and will be able to relate completely to the process.  Using a dry sarcastic wit that I find hilarious, Ms. Barley has told her tale showing both the ridiculous and serious sides of yo-yo dieting. The British terms sprinkled liberally throughout the book also add greatly to the charm of the story…”


Where can we go to buy your book?

Also in paperback


Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Visit my authorsden site for more info on this book and the upcoming sequel (yet to be titled)


Excerpt from book:

Excerpt from Mind Over Platter, chapter 17

I don’t understand it.  I can’t really work out what happened.  What day was it that I woke up sans enthusiasm and suddenly found myself indulging in a cooked breakfast?  What happened to my innocent scrambled egg on toast (no butter, no milk)?  What happened to my sweeteners instead of sugar?  What happened to my abstinence from biscuits?  One minute I was dieting for England, the next I was back to my old comfortable eating habits and I wonder, seriously, how I came to this point.  Granted the weather has turned bitterly cold and my appetite for Bird Eye Chicken pie has been strongly re-kindled, so why does that excuse not sit easy with my conscience?

The cross-trainer sits there in the middle of room, frozen, it seems, in the position it’s been in for the past couple of weeks, baring testament to the fact that, whilst my eyes might pass across it ruefully (I can’t help that since it’s stuck slap bang in front of the telly) I can’t seem to muster up the enthusiasm to get on it and use it for the purpose for which I bought it.  Watch what will happen, it will become a clotheshorse or something just as useless but never again, maybe, will it help to tone up those buttocks or firm up the inner thigh.


Danielle Bannister – Pulled

Title: Pulled

Author: Danielle Bannister

ISBN: 9781456493127

Page count: 234

Genre: Romance/Mature Young Adult

Price: $2.99 Kindle/$9.99 paperback


Author Bio:

Danielle Bannister has her BA in theatre and is currently a work from home mother of two. Her days are filled working on her masters and the sequel to Pulled, entitled Pulled Back.  Her short stories can be found in the 2012 Goose River Anthology, The Maine Writing Projects Anthology, Writeous, as well as her collection Short Shorts.


Tell us about your book:

Naya Adams has given up on feeling loved. A walking cliché, Naya lost her parents in a freak car accident at thirteen and has been living with her detached foster ‘adults’ ever since. When Naya enrolls in one of the most respected theatre programs in New England, she is more than eager to trade in her pain for the spotlight. College would finally be the fresh start she’d longed for.

Unfortunately for Naya, her high school boyfriend, and abuser, Seth, tags along–trapping her in the cycle of tarnished love.

Accustomed to emotional numbness, Naya enters her first acting class, unaware of what was waiting on the other side of the door: her Twin Flame. Rarer and more intense than soul mates, Twin Flames search for centuries looking for their other half. It is in another student, an olive-skinned and terribly scarred sophomore named Etash, that Naya will discover what being loved really means.

Although they both try to resist each other, their bond is ultimately too strong. Together they’ll learn that this is not the first time they have been pulled together, nor will it be their last.

But how will her abuser react to Naya’s new flame?


How long did it take to write the book?

3 years!  I was homeschooling my two young children at the time so it took way longer than it should have!


What inspired you to write the book?

I had a image in my head of two people stuck in a lightning storm, each being pulled up into the night sky, reaching out to one another.  That scene isn’t in the book, but the feeling of the book is that one image.  I had never written a word before, so it started out as a short story for fun, but then I let a friend read it and she begged me to keep going, so I did.


Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

My writing process is easy, yet hard all at the same time.  It is this: sit your butt in the chair and write.  It sounds so simple and is one of the hardest things I have to do.  Writing for me is a guilty pleasure.  I always feel guilty writing thinking I should be doing something else with my time, like housework or studing for a class, so trying to separate myself from that guilt and just sitting down to do it is by far the hardest part.   That said, I have read a TON of books on writing trying to find a way that works best for me, and they all say the same thing.  You just have to sit down and do it.


What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I hope they come away believing that love like the one I talk about can happen.  That there is hope for all of us helpless romantics.


Where can we go to buy your book?



Any other links or info you’d like to share?

I have a website you can check out about my daily musing as a writer.


Excerpt from book:


There is nothing unusual about how he enters the room, unless you notice his dark eyes glued to the floor, which I do.

I am instantly struck by how uncomfortable he seems to be. His shoulders are slumped so low that it looks like he’s trying to crawl inside his shirt. He grabs a seat in the front of the room, diagonally from where I sit, his left side facing the wall.

Needing something to do with my hands, I push up the sleeves of my deep plum v-neck. The dark color does nothing to hide my overt paleness, but I haven’t worn light colors since… well, a long time.

Several minutes pass and we remain the only two in the room. I feel like I should introduce myself, or at least say ‘hi,’ but there is something about the way he sits in his chair that makes me hold my tongue. It’s as though he’s willing himself to blend in with the room and not be noticed. I can respect that; I want the same thing.

Picking up my book again, I try to move my eyes back to the page, but no matter how hard I try, they disobey me. They stay transfixed to the back of his dark, curly hair; mesmerized.

Perhaps it’s because I have never seen someone with his exact coloring before. It isn’t tan. No, definitely not tan, but more, what, olive? Is he Asian? No. Middle-Eastern? Indian?

I want desperately for him to turn his head, just a little, so I can get a glimpse of this person from whom I can’t manage to pull my gaze. But he holds his focus on a book he’s drumming his thumb on. Curious to know what he’s reading, my eyes allow a quick move towards the cover. It looks familiar–really familiar. No way. He’s reading Romeo & Juliet too. I actually laugh out loud. No, laugh is too polite a word. I guffawed. His dark eyes turn over his shoulder, ever so slightly, to glare at me. The girl who is openly laughing at him. Shit.


Massimo Marino – Daimones

Title: Daimones

Author: Massimo Marino

ISBN: 0985143824 (ebook edition) 1478347104 (printed edition)

Page count: 330

Genre: sci-fi, PA

Price: $4.99 (ebook), $24.90 printed edition


Author Bio:

I’m Italian, or should I say, Sicilian. Palermo is my home town and I left it in 1986. I now have lived more years abroad than in Italy. Needless to say, I have changed in many and different way than my old friends there.

I lived in Switzerland, France, and the United States. For work, I used to travel some 500,000 air miles a year. I am a scientist as a background, having spent over 17 years in fundamental research. Most of my writing are academic stuff. I worked for many years at CERN, near Geneva—an international lab for particle physics research—then in the US at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In 1995 I moved to the private sector, worked with Apple Inc., and then for the World Economic Forum.

Some say I have acquired a multi-faceted personality

The new addition of the family is actually…two. Two British long hair cats, a Chocolate one aptly named Nutella and a Lilac one who was named Hermès, quick and cunning, moving freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods, intercessor between mortals and the divine, as all cats are.

You can see pictures of these two rascals from Facebook.

Discovery: it seems many authors have pets, and authors’ cats invariably end up napping on the keyboard…


Tell us about your book:

PA novels are often about cataclysmic events, survivors fending off dangers at every page, zombie attacks, aliens destroying everything for inscrutable reasons, or as a fulfillment of the latest religious prophecies. “Daimones” has nothing of the sort.

The novel puts a few survivors in a world having experienced a planetary culling of the human race but there is no immediate cause to be pointed at for the survivors. The Apocalypse has arrived, but why and how remains unknown in a frustrating and fearful reality for the family around which the story evolves, untill the last third of the plot.

“Daimones” explores moral and emotional issues as well as the mechanics of everyday survival for this family: all evidences point for them to be the only people left alive on Earth. The exploration of human relationships and their importance, of personalities and memories, are at the heart of the tale. Confusion, sadness, and fear start to mix into the main character’s mind, Dan Amenta.

We are led to discover the disbelief, the anguish, the grief, the frantic search for other survivors through his eyes and the 1st person narration.

Finally, when Dan and his family do find other survivors…they experience the absolute terror of first contact. The ending brings some closure about the catastrophe to this family, but also lays a heavy burden and responsibility on Dan, and opens up the novel to the sequel in the trilogy.

Being a scientist at heart—and by formation—the premises and what happens in the story are very plausible and realistic, if the tale were to be true…


How long did it take to write the book?

All in all, about a year, including polishing work which took two months with my editor, Rebecca Stroud. But probably the best answer is that it took a life to blossom.


What inspired you to write the book?

I can’t say it came from something specific. Things added together with time. There are stories that build up in the mind of any writer, or aspiring one. Sometimes you are able to contain them all your life and no one will ever think of you as a writer. Other times a story breaks free and you can’t but start writing it. It becomes inevitable. “Daimones” just found me, I’m its story-teller.


Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

In a sense, it is a discovery process. In lessons on creative writing from Brandon Sanderson, he described the two extremes of writing styles and writers. One goes through pre-organizing everything, the entire plot, from the beginning to the end, the various conflicts, each chapter, everything. And then fills up the gaps, more and more till the manuscript is “completed”. At the opposite sit those writers called “gardeners”. These ones plant the seed of the story, and then the story grows, evolves, takes unexpected turns, with the writer sometimes unable to tell how it will end, or what will happen if certain events were to occur. I found myself more into this last tail of the “writers distribution curve”. I’ve watched Daimones in my mind, heard characters discussing and reacting to what happened to them as in a movie. Sometimes I was unable to write as fast as the images flow I witnessed. The story and the characters had a life of their own.

I usually keep a regular schedule. Write in the morning and go into the afternoon only if I do not meet a “daily quota” of about 2,500 words. Then I re-read and revise in the afternoon. I usually write in the home-office, with a window looking at the Alps and the Mount Blanc. Sometimes I stare at it, while I see again and again the last scene I am trying to put on paper. Other times scenes build up and I need to wait to “receive” more details, see the characters in there and hearing their voices.


What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I do write for myself, because there are situations and dialogues that needs to come out, but I also write for every reader, hoping to share emotions and feelings, hopefully providing good reading times. It is an invitation to evade together with me, as I do when I write. I hope then I’ll be such a good host and a good company for every reader and that they’ll be willing to know what happens next in the sequels.

If I can make so that one spends a good time in the world I created, care for the characters that speak through the pages, and is willing to share the emotions and feelings I hope to transmit, I have found gold. There is not a greater reward than a reader who sends a “Thank you” note.

A good story should make you laugh, cry, feel sadness and happiness, move you to tears, and lose track of time. It will not happen with every reader or at the same places in the story, but if it happens here and there, to some, even one, then the story has reached its goal to please a reader, allow him to escape and live in the same lucid-dream the writer used to create a different world. A good story will find its readers.


Where can we go to buy your book?

Daimones is on Amazon, Apple iTunes, and on Smashwords. Iit has been accepted on Smashwords “Premium Catalogue” too so it is distributed on their extended e-retailers list. It is currently on Kobo, Lulu, available for Nook, and slowly appearing on other distributors too, on almost every ebook retailer; I found Daimones in unexpected places. Distribution seems to be quite effective. Specifically you may get my novel from:


Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Well, if people wants to follow my rumbling on twitter, I am @Massim0Marin0 and on Facebook my links are:


Excerpt from book:

The siren almost exploded. It was all silent now, even though my ears were still buzzing. Maybe an alarm was now blinking furiously in some police stations where no agents would answer the call. Having never been there before, I examined the place. The shop seemed to have everything I needed, at least at a first look. Hunting rifles were aligned vertically behind the counter but were of no use to me. Locked glass cabinets contained handguns of various types, including pistols and revolvers. This is what I was looking for.

On a pedestal, the famous .44 Magnum and, behind it, a few pictures of Inspector Callahan from the “Dirty Harry” movie. An inscription stated it was “The Most Powerful Handgun in the World” and a paraphrased Harry quote (“Go ahead. Make YOUR day”) was followed by the inflated price…a moot point now.

I was tempted by that Magnum, like having a cannon in your hand. But first things first, I thought as I needed pistols light enough for Mary and Annah yet with considerable impact power nonetheless. Unfortunately, there was no clerk to ask for help or to guide me in my gun shopping spree. I had to read all those terse descriptions if I wanted any information about the various models. My eyes fell on a “Glock 36 Cal. 45 AUTO. Compact and powerful.” Two terms that fit perfectly.