Friday, January 26, 2018

Guest Post - Flora Reigada

MillerWords author Flora Reigada continues our Friday series on unique writing habits.

Flora is the author of the "How-To" devotional Where Your Heart Meets God's and the Christian-inspired romantic thriller Love's Sweetest Revenge. This thriller is the first book in her Castle in the Sun series. She is currently at work putting the finishing touches on book two.

In Flora's guest post, Meet a Hero, she reveals her unusual writing habit is that her characters come to life for her and that leads to interesting situations. Check out this one:

Sometimes I talk about the characters in my books as if they were real. I never knew how real, until the day my husband, Dan and I went to the local (VFW) Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

As a reporter/photographer team for Senior Life newspaper in Brevard County, Florida, we were gathering information for a story about Memorial Day events. I couldn't resist telling the VFW members about Jack Martin, a fellow veteran. Jack exists, for me, in the pages of my book. He is one of the four central characters I brought to life.

Others include Liz, an accomplished artist and Carlos, Jack's brother, an international linguist and Presidential aide. There is also Rosa. Don't let her pretty face and small size fool you. She's an expert markswoman. She is also Jack's love interest, as Liz is Carlos'.

The guys at the VFW listened as I rambled on about Jack. Enlisting in the United States Army after high school, he served fifteen years and had risen to the rank of Master Sergeant. Now a civilian in his mid-thirties, he had served several tours of duty in Middle East hot spots. That's where the vehicle he was driving with fellow service members struck an IED. (Improvised Explosive Device) As the senior enlisted man and trained in first aid, Jack tended to the others' wounds. Securing a tourniquet around what was left of a young soldier's leg, he saved his life. In the aftermath of a suicide bombing, Jack had also comforted a 20 year-old soldier who bled out in his arms. But Jack had been in kill or be killed situations and he had prevailed.

Rosa is just tough enough for Jack, but tender enough too. She holds him when he awakens from nightmares about his troops being ambushed and blood on his hands.

In addition to being a tall, handsome much-decorated veteran, Jack is a motorcycle enthusiast, a hardworking bartender and the fiercely protective father of a teenage daughter. He can fix or build just about anything.

"We want to meet him," the VFW members told me. "Tell him to come here. We'll help him with his (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We understand."

My eyes widened in surprise. Without intending to do so, I had convinced them Jack was real.

But in a sense, he is. More than in my story, we can see him in the faces of 540,000+ veterans whom Wounded Warrior Homes said have been diagnosed with PTSD.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be described as a mental health condition that's triggered by a trauma, whether experiencing or seeing it. The symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, depression and confusion," the organization states on their website.

The soldiers at the VFW wanted to meet Jack and I hope you will too—and the other characters as well, in the pages of Love's Sweetest Revenge.

Wounded Warrior Homes:
Veterans & PTSD Crisis Hotline: 866-382-2287

Love's Sweetest Revenge is available in all major eBook formats and paperback from MillerWords.

Get the Kindle version here -

Paperback here (ISBN: 978-0998298689) -

Stay tuned for our next guest post!

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Review - zo by Murray Pura

A brand new 5 star review came in for Murray Pura's semi-autobiographical, award-winning novel. The Amazon reviewer is petting a tiger in his profile picture, so it seems like a good idea to listen to what he says. That is amazing!

Review: Zo is one of the many inspiring historical fiction works by Canadian author Murray Pura.
The two poems: “My destiny” by Taras Shevchenko and “The Moon” by poet Andrii Chornavka set the tone for the entire book.

The story is set in the year 1911. The protagonist, Andrew Chornavka, is a monk. Interestingly, the author first introduces him as “Zoya’s brother.” Although the book is entirely written through Andrew Chornavka’s point of view, the book is about his sister Zoya.

The book starts off in the United States of America as Andrew Chornavka is being questioned in a monastery by an officer. The animosity that Andrew Chornavka feels, during that enquiry, is unmistakable. The officer asks Andrew Chornavka a number of questions about his sister Zoya and the readers are taken on an adventure down memory lane. This book is unlike any usual historical fiction. With descriptive scenes and strong characters, it successfully holds the reader’s attention until the end.

The book moves at a fast pace and every chapter leaves the reader wanting more. Strong characters and interesting plots leave the reader wanting more. The characters also show interesting contradictions. A good example is Andrew Chornavka’s character. Despite being a monk, he is described as someone who is “easily provoked to violence, sarcastic and spiteful.” Zoya’s character sketch is also equally captivating. Every chapter, without fail, excites and piques the curiosity and attention of the readers.

What I loved most about this book was author Murray Pura’s writing style. It is very elegant and expressive, almost poetic. His words linger with you even after you have turned the page. Murray Pura tastefully and gracefully describes a tumultuous time not only in Zoya and Andrew Chornavka’s life but also for the rest of the world. With eloquent linguistics, the author accurately sets the tone and articulately recounts events and emotion.

Most of the time, a good book comes down to three significant components - 1) a gripping plot, 2) Strong characters and 3) meaningful relationships between the characters. ‘Zo’ has an abundance of all these three components. This is one of those books that you won’t want to put down until you finish it. It is a book that makes you feel, and the feeling stays with you even after you finish reading it. You feel love when there is love and loss where there is loss and this feeling is guaranteed to resonate within you.

If you love historical fiction and stories about the Second World War period, this one story that you will get swept up into. ‘Zo’ by Murray Pura is the book for you. The relationships and plots are compelling; the storytelling is smooth and enlightening. ‘Zo’ will make you want to stay up late or stay in on a Saturday night just to read “one more chapter”. After reading ‘Zo’, I am definitely intrigued and interested to read other works by Murray Pura. ‘Zo’ is truly a great read and I promise you won’t regret it!

zo is available on all major eBook platforms and your favorite paperback sellers. You can see the review on Amazon here:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Guest Post - Phyllis f. McManus

We'll be running a short series of guest posts with a fun theme! Our guests have been asked to share an unusual or unique writing habit.

The first of this series comes from the best-selling author of The Southern Belle Breakfast Club,
Phyllis f. McManus.

During the past several months, I have experienced quite a few health problems. I didn’t feel like sitting at my computer to work on my next book. Instead, every time a thought popped in my mind about a character or a plot, I would write it on a sticky note and place it in a basket. While sitting in a doctor’s office, the hospital, or just resting I continued this pattern. I made sure I always carried a little notebook with me at all times to jot down any thoughts that might enter my mind.

When I felt better I went to the basket and pulled out the notes. I was surprised when I saw I had hundreds of pieces of paper filled with words. I took each note out and decided where it would fit best in my book. Then I placed each one in folders labeled as Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and etc… When I was able to start working on my book, I got the folder that said Chapter 1 and placed each sticky note on my easel. Right before my eyes was a complete chapter, and all I had to do was connect them all together. It was like putting a puzzle together, piece by piece. The words seemed to flow and before I knew it, I had finished.

This is how my new book, “The Problem with Pearls” was written. Yes, to some of my author friends this sounded very strange, but it worked for me. It was so much fun I have decided to do my next book in just this same way. As a matter of fact, I have my basket sitting right beside my desk just waiting for me to get started on book number ten.

About the author: Phyllis f. McManus was born in Monroe, North Carolina. She started writing as a form of therapy when she lost her parents in a car accident in 2002. She loves to write from her heart and this shows in her characters. She won 1st place nationwide in the Union County Writer's Club poetry competition in 2008 with the poem, "The Edge of Darkness." This is a poem focusing on Alzheimer's, which her Mother had to live with. She also won an award with her short story, "Mama's Memory Box," in 2011. She won first place in fiction short stories for "The Special Gift" in 2015, sponsored by the Union County Writers Club. She is currently doing public speaking about her journey of writing. Her new book, "Do I Know Me?", has been added in the Sneak Previews in the Southern Writers Magazine for January and February, 2016 issues. Also, "Southern Secrets," her sequel to "The Southern Belle Breakfast Club" has been placed in the Must Read section of Southern Writers Magazine as well. Her readers that follower her in her journey calls themselves her "bookies." They make sure they give her encouragement and motivation when she gets writers block.

Be sure to follow our blog for the next guest post. There is a form at the right of this page for the MillerWords newsletter where you can get a free novel just for signing up. Also, "like" us on Facebook for other fun like monthly eBook giveaways!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Cover Reveal - Murray Pura

Originally published in 2008, Murray Pura is reviving one of his personal favorites.

zo is the first story in Pura's series: Saint Zoya's Dance. This novel happened to be a finalist for the prestigious  Kobzar Literary Award of Toronto in 2010. The series continues with the white birds of morning (coming soon to MillerWords) and beautiful skin.

About the book: Andrew Chornavka took on the Trappist’s cowl and disappeared from the 21st century in order to forget the century before.
Yet even at the secluded monastery in America the past finds him. A delegation from the Vatican arrives with questions about his youngest sister, Zoya, who is, to Andrew’s shock, a candidate for sainthood. Reluctant, hostile, wanting only to be left alone to his dairy herd and gardens and prayers, Andrew eventually begins to talk.
The talk takes him where he does not wish to go, makes alive again what he had hoped was dead and buried, and makes real what had long ago been lost. He knows what he has to tell is no more than a story about a family that tried to stay together, and keep love strong, when everything on earth tried to rip that love apart. Yet he also knows the archbishop wants a story about an angel who walked with God.
But Andrew did not experience a world of angels and miracles and fairy tales. And neither did his sister Zo.
Or did she?

Available in all eBook formats on January 12, 2018
and paperback soon after.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Review - Mark Miller

For immediate release:
Author's new book receives a warm literary welcome.
Readers' Favorite announces the review of the Fiction - Short Story/Novela book "Renaissance" by Mark Miller, currently available at
Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

"Reviewed By Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
We all need rejuvenation at some point in our lives, something that will rekindle the thrill and passion we once had, and awaken us from our stupor, something that will set us on the right course again. Renaissance by Mark Miller is a collection of short stories about various characters living ordinary lives. Their lives at first seem to be just like any others until something happens that initiates the change they have been hoping to achieve. In one of the stories, Richard Thatcher remembers with nostalgia when things were easy; when all he cared about was playing in the mud with his friends who have now moved on with their lives. Looking back, he realizes how much life has changed. Everything seems to be a dazed rush. No stopping even for a breath of air. Pressure continues to mount on him. “Not anymore,” he finally decides, and walks out.

The four stories contained in Renaissance by Mark Miller are all unique in their own way, but still drive the same theme. Each story inspired reawakening within me. It is easy to carry on through life and forget who we are or what we really want. As I read the book, I was reminded of what really matters and what my priorities should be. The Forgotten Well specifically reminded me of the blessing of life’s simplicity and how not to get bogged down by unnecessary complications. The stories contain an honest and inspiring outlook on life and will be a great read for anyone seeking inspiration."

You can learn more about Mark Miller and "Renaissance" at where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.
Readers' Favorite LLC 
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review - George Loughmueller

For immediate release:
Author's new book receives a warm literary welcome.
Readers' Favorite announces the review of the Christian - Amish book "Set Free" by George Michael Loughmueller, currently available at

Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.
"Reviewed By Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Set Free is an Amish Christian fiction by George Michael Loughmueller. Allan Howarth is discontented with his job, the bills, and feels like a stranger with his wife, Tina, and their teenage kids. After receiving a letter from a former teacher, Allan travels to the Amish town of Karsten Fields. He meets Ben Abrim, caretaker for a house that Allan inherited. Allan’s plans don’t include living without electricity and other necessities, but he hears a voice urging him to stay. He uproots his family, and they are naturally upset by their sudden lifestyle changes. Although not welcomed by everyone, the family attempts to adjust to their restricted situation. Their patience is fully tested by Allan’s illness, strict Amish rules, the lack of Internet and entertainment. Being isolated from the modern world lets each family member evaluate their lives and make drastic decisions they never thought possible.

Sometimes we need a retreat like Karsten Fields to get away from our stressful schedules and dependence on modern gadgets. The Howarth family had a culture shock when they moved into the deeply religious Amish town, where things are done the old-fashioned way. I have a deeper appreciation for the Amish religion. Some of their laws and teachings promote strong family values, non-violence and learning to respect others’ beliefs. The author was very thorough and detailed in his writing, which was never dull. He brought out every natural emotion and thought that the main characters had, thus enabling me to understand their actions and choices. Set Free is a touching spiritual story by George Michael Loughmueller."

You can learn more about George Michael Loughmueller and "Set Free" at where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.
Readers' Favorite LLC 
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202