A Review by Marssie Mencotti of Windy City Reviews

Snowfall’s Secret. Natalie Silk. Solstice Press, August 23, 2017, Trade Paperback and E-book,
268 pages.
Reviewed by Marssie Mencotti.



Snowfall’s Secret by Natalie Silk is a young adult science fiction novel about a young girl from another planet who arrives on Earth with a past that she can’t remember. Snippets of memory rise to her consciousness every now and then, and readers will find themselves rooting for her to put the pieces together to find the sense of home and family that she craves. Natalie Silk dreamt of her protagonist Dahliea when she was just a young girl. Years passed, as did multiple story drafts, as she persisted with her quest. She had to get Dahliea into print.
Snowfall’s Secret is an introduction to a larger story that promises to unfold in subsequent books. This is Ms. Silk’s third book and the second book in the Dahliea series. It is a wonderful read.

The story begins in late summer at Mike and Jennifer’s summer rental, a few days before they are to return to the city for the start of school. We travel with Jamie through the school year until we arrive at the snowfall that begins the dramatic action of the story’s arc. This long introductory style of exposition seems appropriate as the reader is drawn into the heroine’s plight and is fully
vested in her success by the time the action heats up. The title, Snowfall’s Secret, only becomes meaningful later when a ski trip is announced. I found myself waiting for a snowfall on either planet to reveal the secret.

The reader bonds with Dahliea/Jamie right from the start because she is so eager to adapt. Her confusion over where and why she is in this alien place at this particular time are tempered by her innate kindness and trust. She instinctively knows that she must fit into the family that found her.  Her thoughtfulness towards their younger child is particularly endearing. This young heroine is
smart, naturally curious, and brave. Within those epic attributes, Ms. Silk keeps her as natural as possible.

The overall story in Snowfall’s Secret glows with honesty. There are few dramatic tropes to stop the forward progress of the story.  Instead, a refreshingly real child/princess who is an intelligent young woman cautiously assimilates with new friends and a new family. She is allowed to behave as wisely and foolishly as any young girl does. Her decisions about what to wear and who to befriend are so clearly portrayed that the reader is reminded of their own angst trying to pick the “right” outfit and crowd. Ms. Silk gives us all of the youthful fluctuations between excitement and boredom, absolute judgment and fairness, and cluelessness and instinctual savvy, leading us to believe that the planet from which Dahliea comes is not so different from Earth and that the story will be relatable on a social and scientific level.
The author’s skills are apparent as we find out about Dahliea in the gentlest of ways. Ms. Silk unfolds her story like a beautiful flower, petal by petal. We find that there are powerful forces protecting and nurturing Dahliea as she transitions to Earth girl. For her welfare she is renamed Jamie. Nearly every week during this “enforced witness protection program,” she is asked to
complete more difficult tasks, necessitating that she always balance her two realities. We learn about her status, language, and family in flashbacks and with the addition of supporting friends and enemies.

The author gives Dahliea advantages. She has skills that are far more advanced than those explored and understood on Earth. She has a strong mentor and guide in her tutor. Her half brother binds her to an Earthly heritage through their mother—an Earth-born woman. Through her new friends, diverse and unique, she is provided with examples of how to behave and misbehave. But Dahliea is no angel. At the first opportunity to let loose, she carelessly disregards the rules.

The reader sees the first stirrings of a young woman who can be headstrong and spoiled and realizes that he or she does not know all the complexities of Dahliea’s privileged life on the planet S’Renen or why she is being shielded from that past.
Jamie eventually comes to live with her older brother who is unprepared to be a parent. He adapts slowly and is kind and understanding, but he is slipshod in some ways. This arrangement gives her some freedom and enables her to avoid the problems that could arise from a stricter fostering situation.

I found this book extremely enjoyable. It is sure to engage a young adult audience. The plot moved swiftly and logically. Things that were not fully explained were well within the scope of imagination. Prior to the snowfall, the book was real and gently written. After the snow appears, it kicks into high gear and is thrilling. Snowfall’s Secret is endearing, exciting, and well worth reading. Readers will wish they had the next book waiting so that they can continue with Jamie as she uncovers her true destiny.

An Interview with Jack Strandburg, Author


Hi all,  Let me introduce you to Jack Strandburg.  If you need a break from the daily, pick up one of Jack’s books.

  1. What genres do you enjoy writing?

Although my first published novel was a Western Humor, I prefer mystery and suspense, with some paranormal.

  1. Tell us about your latest book:

My latest book is a novella titled The Monogram Killer, a mystery/ paranormal.

  1. What inspired the story? Where did you get that first bit of “ah ha” inspiration.”

The inspiration came while on the treadmill listening to “Hollywood Nights” by Bob Seeger. The first two lines of the song are, “She stood there bright as the sun on that California coast

He was a Midwestern boy on his own.” My initial idea was for a man to travel to another place to meet a woman, and brainstorming led me on

various paths to write the story.

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

The main character is the antagonist whose behavior is guided by one of his ancestors, a noted serial killer, who leads him through vivid dreams to follow in his footsteps.

  1. How much research did you have to do for this book? Any travel involved?

I needed to research for the character’s ancestor, who was a real person, but I watched a documentary a few years ago, and was very interested in the history.

  1. What does your writing process look like?

I’m extremely detailed and use a combination of writing software with my own Word and Excel templates developed over a number of years. My background is in IT and I’m always “tinkering” to streamline my process.

Outlining for me is an absolute must, because I’ve experimented with free writing techniques and usually stall at some point. I need to have a blueprint to feel comfortable.

  1. What are you working on at the minute?

I recently signed a contract with Solstice Publishing for A Head in the Game, my first mystery novel, and am awaiting an editor. In the meantime, I also edit for Solstice, and am working on a short story titled A Matter of Honor.

  1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I spend time with naming my characters, and also keep track of first and last names to ensure I don’t have too many starting with “J” or “S,” for example. The more significant the character to the story, the more time I spend. I keep a spreadsheet with first and last names I use to name my characters.

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Love scenes are the hardest to write, so I usually limit the word count. I

love writing actions scenes.

  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

I wanted to write since my teenage years, but only since 1990 did I decide I wanted to be published.

  1. Why do you write?

God created people with gifts, talents, and dreams to use those talents. Writing is mine.

  1. Where do your ideas come from?

Web sites, reading, writing, newspapers, TV shows, movies, driving, literally everywhere. For me, it’s simply a matter of looking at a character, setting, or situation and asking, “What if?”

  1. What is the hardest thing about writing?

There are two roadblocks. The first is, since I’m so focused on outlining and answering all the questions, issues, and brainstorming to have the story all laid out nice and neat, I tend to procrastinate before writing actual draft. The second is letting it to and submitting, although as time passes, I’m realizing I don’t have to be as perfect as I think.

  1. How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Jack Strandburg

Jack Strandburg was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio.  He is a degreed professional with a background in Accounting and Information Technology and recently retired after more than 33 years working for a Fortune 500 company.  He has been writing since his teenage years.

He self-published an inspirational titled An Appointment With God: One Ordinary Man’s Journey to Faith Through Prayer, by Trafford Publishing.

His first published novel by Solstice Publishin

g is Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid, a parody of the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

His third work, a novella titled The Monogram Killer, published by Solstice Publishing, was released in May, 2016.

He is currently working on a short story titled A Matter of Honor, revising his first mystery novel, A Head in the Game, writing journals for an upcoming inspirational non-fiction book; and completed 70% of a first draft for a second mystery novel titled War Zone.

He is an editor and proofreader for Solstice Publishing.

Jack currently lives with his wife and two grown children, in Sugar Land, Texas. He has three grandchildren.


The best place is my website – https://jstrandburg.wordpress.com/.

  Social Media:

            https://jstrandburg.wordpress.com/ (Author website)

https://jackstr952.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

            https://www.facebook.com/jack.strandburg (Facebook)

            https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-strandburg-0465a313 (LinkedIn)

            http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CM9P9L2 (Amazon Author Page)

  Links to buy: Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid:



  Links to buy: The Monogram Killer:







Snowfall’s Secret Chapter 7 Morsel

It’s been a long time since I gave a morsel.  I hope you enjoy it . . .

She spent most of the day babysitting Ami. It was more like using the time as a distraction while waiting to be picked up for her first tutoring session. As three-thirty p.m. approached and passed, she began feeling more nervous. Where is Tom?!? It’s now three-thirty-seven and he’s late. Then she felt relief, believing that if he was late enough then, maybe, just maybe she wouldn’t need to go to the tutor. The doorbell finally rang and, with resignation, she slipped into her flip-flops, gave Ami an extra-long goodbye, and then patted and scratched Roscoe longer than necessary.

Smiling at her stalling tactic, Jennifer said, “Have a good time at the tutor’s.” Then she hugged Jamie.

Returning the hug, she said, “Thanks.”

Jennifer patted her back so that Jamie would finally release her.

“Let’s get going.” Tom shifted his weight to the door.

After driving a few blocks away from Mike and Jennifer’s home, Tom turned down the radio. He quickly looked at Jamie and then returned to focusing on the traffic. She barely noticed the volume of the music was lowered because she was so distracted with her own thoughts.

“I don’t think you know anything about American history or any kind of world history.”

“What?” She lost interest in the passing scenery and now looked at him.

“And what about your reading comprehension?”

Images of reading English with her mother flashed through her mind. “My what?”

“What level do you think you can read?”

She shrugged her shoulders as an answer.

Tom smiled. “You’re starting to act like a teenaged girl. I guess watching all that TV is starting to pay off. I hope you won’t need as much help in math or science. I used to watch a lot of science fiction. I wonder if your world is more advanced than we are in math and science.” He suppressed a grin. “Men in silver suits and aliens.”

“Men in silver suits and aliens?” She had no idea what he was talking about. “We probably are.” Her statement was more matter-of-fact than bragging.

“Humh.”  He parked the car in front of a small bungalow house with a porch that reminded her of the beach house. When Tom rang the doorbell, Jamie tried to peer through the door’s curtained window.

A woman with golden skin and pinned-up black hair opened the door. She smiled as she warmly said, “Tom and Jamie! Come in!” She unlatched the screen door and pushed it out.

Jamie’s mouth dropped. It was her Ly-Parz, her teacher from S’Renen. Only her eyes weren’t golden, they were now brown. She quickly swallowed her shock and began to respectfully greet her former teacher in S’Renen, “Chzw—” She didn’t finish saying ‘Good day, Teacher Ly-Parz,’ because a Thought slammed so hard into her mind she almost jumped.

No, Dahliea. Your brother mustn’t know who I am.

Even though Jamie saw that Tom had a fleeting quizzical look, she desperately wanted to ask about their mother. Was she found? What about her family and friends? Then she remembered the shimmer that she kept seeing that night at the beach house.

“Please sit down.” Mrs. Greenfield directed them to her living room sofa. “I have iced tea and cookies. Would either of you like something to drink or eat?”

“Thank you,” Tom said giving a polite smile.

Jamie was a little hesitant. “Yes, thanks.”

Mrs. Greenfield went to the kitchen that was in the next room and came back carrying three plates with small butter cookies, a pitcher of iced tea and three glass tumblers on a tray.

She placed a plate of three cookies and a napkin on the coffee table in front of each of them and began pouring the tea. “I’m so looking forward to helping you, Jamie,” and smiled at her as she handed her a glass of tea. “Tom tells me that you’ll be a very good student.”

Jamie looked at Tom and then at her tutor. “Uh, yes.”

“Thank you,” Tom said after he was handed his glass of iced tea. “Um. Jamie’s on the quiet side until she gets to know you.”

“Of course she is.” Mrs. Greenfield sat down in an armchair opposite them. “Don’t worry, there’s nothing to be nervous about,” she said, giving her a reassuring smile.

Jamie couldn’t stop thinking, Why are her eyes brown? Realizing that she never looked up from her plate of cookies, she tried to Block her tutor from Overhearing her.

Her head snapped up when her new tutor Thought while still smiling warmly, We’ll need to practice a lot on your Blocking, which made Jamie blush. At the same time she said out loud to Tom, “I have all the books and assignments for the school year. My goal is to get your sister ready for her first week of school. We have very little time. Yes? Once her classes begin, we can start on each homework assignment as they are assigned. I had suggested to your brother,” Mrs. Greenfield now looked at Jamie, “three tutoring sessions per week when school starts, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for one hour after school. Each session will be at four-thirty.”

Tom looked at his lap and inhaled audibly before looking at his half-sister, “I think you’re up to it even if it sounds like a lot.”

“Yes, I have to agree. It sounds like a lot to expect, but as we progress through the first few months, you’ll see how it’ll benefit you, Jamie, to be well prepared. A lot will be expected in eighth grade.”

“You’re going to start today.” Then looking at his sister’s tutor, Tom said, “Jamie and I agreed about her summer sessions with you until school starts.”

“Yes.” Mrs. Greenfield nodded. “Good.”

“Should I stay or can I come back?”

Jamie tried to hide the pleading look from Mrs. Greenfield knowing full well that her new tutor Overheard every poorly Blocked thought.

“You can finish your iced tea and cookies. Jamie and I will be in the kitchen getting better acquainted. I want to discuss the homework she’ll need to complete for our next session.”



Steve Bederman – Author Highlight and (yes, free) Free Book!




Connections by Steve Bederman FREE October 1st – 5th
Even when he’s hidden away trouble inevitably finds Mitch Jacobs. In his life he has known incredible highs and demoralizing lows; those from his personal failings so evident in his life and while building his company. In spite of this, starting with a simple idea, he has grown Symbiotic Technologies to a position as a world leader.
He believes that what he has gained versus what, and who, has been lost has been a poor trade.
Mitch has become reclusive, living deep in the Colorado mountain backwoods with his wife who was the former President of Colombia. Since he handed over the company to his employees there has finally been relative peace and safety.
In this, CONNECTIONS, the fourth book of the series, the reader travels from Colorado, to Quebec, Colombia, and to Washington DC; The White House. His beautiful wife, Pilar Reyes Cruz, finally goes home to the land where she once was elected as the first female president of this machismo country. She is still recognized throughout the world for the salvation of her troubled people and, as many believe, the future of all of Latin America.
There is no running from lust, and love, and business, and negotiation. Terrorism can show its ugly face at any moment and in many forms. Seemingly disparate events are all connected. Whether Pilar regains her purpose and Mitch refocuses on running one of the most passionate and inventive technology corporations in the world, are but two of the many questions left to answer. The US President, the King of England, the President of Colombia, and the world’s back alley power brokers all converge into Mitch Jacob’s continuum of CONNECTIONS.


KC Sprayberry’s Paradox Lost – Author Highlight

How cool can this be?

Paradox Lost: The Ultimate Paradox


Welcome to book two of this series that is much like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

If you had the chance to read Paradox Lost: Their Path, you came to know DJ, Matt, and Elisa, and discover the path destiny has laid out for them. In Paradox Lost: The Ultimate Paradox, these triplets each have to make their way through a series of obstacles and prepare for a showdown with Rogues.

This new story brings out new information about the Sullivans and the destiny none of them was aware would be theirs to claim, along with several big surprises.

Paradox Lost: The Ultimate Paradox releases January 15, 2016!

Pre-order now!


The past changed the future …

                                    . . . the future must salvage the past.

Falsely accused of murdering his father, DJ faces a terrible penalty. That’s the least of his worries—Uncle Toby and his army of Rogues are bent on tearing history apart, and DJ and his allies have to stop them any way they can. But only a True Neutral can save their world, and The First, his family’s ancestor, is long dead. His brother Matt was killed by Toby’s actions, and his sister Elisa is fighting her own demons.

The past created by their uncle needs to be uncreated into what it was meant to be. And these three teenagers, triplets and direct descendants of The First, must learn to ally with each other to correct the errors made real in the past.

And the Gateways reveal themselves as something no one ever suspected….


About the Author:

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines.

Book Trailer:

Social Media Links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog: http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Website: www.kcsprayberry.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Manic Readers:





Sometimes I Only Need A Hug

Please forgive me, faithful readers.  I haven’t posted in quite a few weeks because I’ve been going at a breakneck pace to the point that I’m feeling rather frazzled.

Then I looked on Facebook and was given a wonderful hug.  Thank you, Melissa.  Check it out:



I’m now sending a hug back.

Author Highlight: Marie Lavender


Hi All,  I’m hosting one of my fellow writers.  I have to say, she is one of my favorites to host because . . . well, because you just have to read on to find out why . . .

Let’s begin with the interview:

What genres do you enjoy writing?

I am a multi-genre author, so I have written in a lot of different genres. I guess the one I favor more often than not is romance of any kind.

Tell us about your latest book:

My latest book, Blue Vision, which is closest to release, is a sci-fi romance. The novel is set in Montana in the dead of winter. The main character, Brooke, encounters some bizarre events and comes across a stranger in the middle of the forest one night. She has to figure out if it’s real or just her imagination.

What inspired the story? Where did you get that first bit of “ah ha” inspiration.”

I guess it was all those science fiction movies I watched growing up! LOL. That didn’t hurt. The scene in which Brooke finds Colin just came to me one day. After I decided to focus on that work-in-progress, the rest of the story just fell naturally into place.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Brooke is a capable, independent woman. She believes she doesn’t need a man in her life. She gets along just fine on her own. She’s athletic and has a fascination for fencing.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Wow! I can’t decide. I guess I admire Brooke a lot because she is a very strong person. But I also can relate to her because her tangled past has shaped her into who she has become.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

Oh! I don’t want to give anything away…I should probably leave that question alone.

How much research did you have to do for this book? Any travel involved?

No travel, but I did quite a bit of research related to winters in Montana and how long it would take to hike certain distances in the area. I modeled the lodge after several winter lodges all over Montana. It took me awhile to decide exactly where Blue Vision should be set. And as for Endhivar, I just wrote about the planet the way I pictured it.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Believe it or not, it was breaking into a different genre. Writing science fiction was rather new for me. I did a lot of research about science fiction romance and writing sci-fi stories. In the end, I just went with my gut and used my imagination.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Fear can be a great motivational tool to find what you’re meant to do.

Which writers inspire you?

I’ll just name a few off the top of my head: J.R. Ward, Chloe Neill, Linda Lee Williams, Mika Jolie, and Nora Roberts. I love a writer who is not afraid to tell it like it is or take a risk in writing. Hell, even Kurt Vonnegut was an inspiration to me for years.

What does your writing process look like?

Random scenes come to me in any order. I write as much as I can, and then I start plotting and filling in the blanks with more writing and research.

Do  you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I usually need peace and quiet, though I’ve been known to occasionally listen to certain types of music on low volume while writing.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m finishing up a romantic drama collection titled Directions of the Heart. And in between that, I have been working on the second book in the Blood at First Sight Series, which is called Blood Instincts. That’s a paranormal romance/urban fantasy.

How  important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I believe names are pretty significant. If I can’t come up with a name for a character right away, I’ll start with he/she and pick the name later. You need the right one. Sometimes I choose them based on how well I like them, or I use the website Behind the Name when I want to find out the origins of a name. This also helps for choosing ethnic names. I have a future series titled the Witches of Moonhaven Series, and I chose all of the main characters’ names based on each meaning.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Sometimes an action scene is harder for me to write because I have to picture it clearly in my mind first and then describe it. It needs to make sense.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I honestly think it chose me. It just seems like one day, around the age of nine, I somehow knew this is what I wanted for a career. I was always creating stories in my head.

Why do you write?

I write to tell a character’s story, to show his or her journey and how that character changes by the end. I write for my readers. Mostly, I write because I can’t see myself doing anything else but this; being immersed in storytelling is probably the greatest sense of freedom I’ve ever experienced.

Where do your ideas come from?

Sometimes I’m inspired by something someone said, whether it was a family member, a friend or a random stranger while I was out at a restaurant or in a store. At other times current events inspire me. My ideas often come from the mass of impressions and experiences stored in my head, jumbled up and then spat back out on the page in a completely new form.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Both. I am a hybrid, so I use both methods.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Research can be pretty hard sometimes. In the mass of confusion that is the internet, the search engines are no longer intuitive and it’s getting crazy difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for these days. Unless things start to improve, I may have to go back to old school methods and do some more traveling as well. LOL.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Have more patience. The road to publishing is long and it’s hardly easy. Also, getting published is only a small part of being an author. Authors now must take on many different roles or risk getting lost in the chaos that is this industry.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Hmm…tough question! To stick with our sci-fi theme, I wonder what inspired Aldous Huxley to write Brave New World. What a fascinating tale.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

I truly don’t want to have taken credit for someone else’s work, just my own.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Besides patience? Probably persistence and perseverance. Be persistent, but obviously not annoying enough to make enemies. And persevere despite the obstacles you run into. Don’t be afraid to try new things, new ways of marketing or try what has worked successfully for other people. Keep what works for you and toss the rest.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel quite right, it usually isn’t. Trust yourself and trust your characters. They won’t steer you wrong either.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Readers can find more about me and my books on my website at https://marielavender.com/, or subscribe to my three blogs, Writing in the Modern Age, Marie Lavender’s Books! and the I Love Romance Blog. I also have an author newsletter, which provides updates about book releases and such. I am on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well.

Here are more ways of contacting Ms. Lavender:

Author Links

Tell the readers something about yourself that has nothing to do with writing.

I love beauty of any kind – flowers, lovely vistas, art, the list just goes on. I’m a big fan of beautiful things. And I love animals!

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

These are two great tools when you’re looking for a literary agent or a publisher: Query Tracker and Preditors & Editors. Query Tracker will help you organize your queries and look up agencies and publishing companies. And P&E is sort of like the Consumer Reports of the publishing industry. You can check on the reputations of these agencies or publishers to make sure they’re legitimate. Also, P&E has additional options, such as a list of writing contests, writing conventions or festivals, editing options and other great writer’s resources.

Blue Vision-final cover

Blue Vision-promo1

More about Blue Vision

Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for awhile. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…

Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.

Little do they know, someone is out to do them harm, as well as the world Brooke holds so dear. Can they stop what’s coming before it’s too late? Or will the universe lose a perfect gem?

Blue Vision-promo2

And she is never one to sit idle . . .

Author Bio

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

Marie Youtube art (1)




The Meaning of the Symbol

My books, Stars’ Fire and Snowfall’s Secret, were inspired by a dream I had when I was twelve.  In the dream, I saw five monks standing in a semi-circle.  Their hoods covered most of their faces. They were all wearing a silver triangle-shaped pendant with a red stone in the center.  One of the monks looked at me and said, “You’re not ready,” and I woke.

I couldn’t forget about that dream. Since I loved to draw during my study periods in school (I clearly wasn’t the best student), I drew the pendant:  the triangle was half white and the other half was black with a red stone in the center.  I also drew the girl standing with her riding gear of a jacket and tunic, leggings, and mid-calf boots.

I was in my dentist’s waiting room a few days later.  A man in a green t-shirt (or was it brown?) and jeans came out.  He wore a gold triangle-shaped pendant with a red stone in the center.  My mouth dropped and I knew the dream was important.

I had subsequent dreams of a girl with a pendant almost like the one the monks wore and I wrote them all down.

I don’t remember if I kept my original writings or drawings (I moved around a lot and it was a very long time ago), so I’m submitting two versions of the pendant below.  I would be extremely grateful for any information that you may have regarding the meaning and/or history of the symbols.  I really haven’t come across anything definitive.  Even internet searches have limitations.


Please reach out to me on:

Facebook  Natalie Silk, Author


Twitter @natalieasilk


My website


Release for Snowfall’s Secret

All good things come to those who wait” and I can say, I waited for the pre-sale debut of this book.  If you’re an Amazon subscriber, you can get a copy in ebook free; is not, it’s at a low price of $3.99.  I hope you enjoy!  Let me know what you think or even write a review (or two).

Thank you, thank you, Solstice Publishing!


Amazon US:



Bookgoodies: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01KII53EQ



Mr. Robot: A Tightly Written Cyberpunk Series

I literally tripped over the series a few weeks ago and I’m so grateful that I did.

Mr. Robot has proven to be a very tightly written cyberpunk series with enough cinematography and dialogue to be interesting.  What really keeps my eyes peeled to the screen are the Easter eggs.

Spoiler Alert for EPS2.4-m4ster-slave.aes

If you haven’t found all the little surprises in the mentioned episode yet, please don’t go any further.

Thank you to all involved with producing the scene where the CEO of E (I’m still a little shaky with who’s who as I’m coming late in the game) is dressing down an executive in his office.

There’s a mirror image:  Except the mirror image of the bookshelf on the CEO’s right is missing a few items.  Will we viewers find out the meaning to the imperfect mirror image in a later episode?