Recently I ran a series Public Relations for Authors which focused on how we are perceived by those who view our profile photographs, biographies and presence on social media. This included guest posts on other writer’s blogs. Here is an opportunity to not only promote your own blog or books, but those of someone you admire as well.
Is there an inspiring individual, blogger or an author you would like to give a boost to who might enjoy joining you for a coffee and a piece of cake with us all?
Details on how to participate are at the end of this next post in the series.
Sharon Marchisello and her guest new author Mark Lee Myers
I’d like to introduce my friend Mark Myers, who is a new author. We met in a local critique group at the Peachtree City Library, and I was one of the beta readers for his new release, The Tomato Smuggler.
Mark had a successful career in Information Technology, and he never thought about becoming a writer. But he was always fascinated by the life stories of people he met.
He was particularly touched by the experiences of a young colleague, Nicolae Cismigiu, who projected a depth of maturity and character no textbook could have taught him. Nicolae was born in Romania and lived under the weight of communist oppression during Dictator Ceausescu’s final decade.
Mark became fascinated listening to Nicolae’s stories about the hardships and harassment his family endured, and the clever ways Nicolae’s father, a simple tomato farmer, was able to outsmart government bureaucrats in order to earn a decent living—something those of us growing up in the free world take for granted.
Image The Tomato Smuggler
Nicolae, now an American citizen, wanted to write a tribute to his father whose tenacity sought to protect his family’s freedom. Pouring out his tales of this remarkable man, his family, and his faithful horse required Nicolae to resurrect feelings he had long ago buried, stories his son had never known and some even his wife had never heard. There were painful parts but also pleasant memories he wished to share.
Image The Tomato Smuggler
In 2015, when he got the idea for this book, Mark had no writing background, yet he was determined to bring Nicolae’s story to life. He started studying the craft, joined critique groups, attended writers’ conferences, and befriended authors so he could pick their brains. Always keeping his goal in mind, Mark used to walk around with a prototype of the cover for The Tomato Smuggler wrapped around a published book.
Image The Tomato Smuggler
After multiple drafts and input from critique partners, editors, and beta readers, the book was complete and ready to share with the world. Mark explored various publishing options but finally settled on indie due to the timing of the release. He believed the current state of the world made his subject matter more relevant than ever.
About the Tomato Smuggler
A son’s tribute.
His father waged war without bullets, triumphing over communist oppression during Dictator Ceauşescu’s final decade in rural Romania.
Communism robbed freedom, so Nicolae’s father led the family to subtle and overt resistance to retain their dignity. The Cismigiu family built a thriving tomato business and smuggled tomatoes to market to survive. Creatively defying tyranny brought harassment and intimidation directed at what was most valued: family, a prized workhorse, and their tomato farm.
Zeal to keep the spirit of freedom alive came at a cost many could not pay, even the death of a friend during one of their harrowing, midnight tomato smugglings. Joy and sorrow were interwoven into the fabric of the family’s life story, but they focused on happiness and contentment. Grandpa always believed the Americans would come and liberate Romania after WWII but never lived to see the day. Ironically, his dream did come true. It skipped a generation and impacted Nicolae.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This book is timely, a necessary reminder of how much a significant portion of the world’s population was denied the basic freedom to chart their own course in life, to do their best work, and to pass on a legacy to their children. But the human spirit is often indomitable, as the book shows, and love, an ethic of hard work, and faith in unrelenting effort are beyond the reach of “the authorities,” and definitely passed down as the greatest inheritance, if one pays the price to possess it. This is all on display in this book. The author has a gift for telling a story. Give yourself or someone else the gift of reading it. PS – love is the thread to follow through this book, especially the very moving account of two people committing to each other, whose lives alone may not have amounted to much, but who together achieved great things.
About Mark Lee Myers
Mark and his wife, Jeanette, were childhood sweethearts and have shared a great life together.
Mark is a Storyteller. He speaks with passion and writes with a natural voice to give others the gift he gives to himself: a deepened curiosity and broadened perspective.
Mark loves the realism of life stories–to preserve and share them. He is an explorer at heart who immensely enjoys meeting people and learning their love of life, song of spirit, and struggles of endurance–the things that make them uniquely different and yet so similar.
I’m at home with a poor man,
At ease with a king,
And I fit right in with all those in-between.
About Sharon Marchisello
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.
She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.
She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.
Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.
Books by Sharon Marchisello
One of the recent reviews for Secrets of the Galapagos
I read this book during lockdown, over the winter and it was honestly such a beautiful adventure. It served as a bit of an escape which I thoroughly appreciated. The book is full of action, intrigue and romance. Romance has never really been a selling point for me when it comes to novels, movies or really any storytelling medium, but Sharon does it well. I highly recommend this book, if you are going on vacation to anywhere but the Galapagos. I also highly recommend this book if its a dark and dreary winter, and you need to envision yourself somewhere else. The book is set somewhere wonderful and the mystery keeps you engaged for the long-haul.
My thanks to Sharon for introducing us to Mark Lee Myers and sharing his first book which looks incredible. If you would like to bring a guest to coffee then here are the details.. thanks for dropping by..Sally
I hope to hear from you with the information about your guest and your work (if you have not been featured here before).. thanks Sally.
Some ideas of the guests you might bring to coffee.
- An author you have just read for the first time who you would like to introduce us to.
- A blogger who is very supportive of your own blog or books.
- A new blogger who you would like to showcase
- An author or blogger who inspires you and your work.
- A blogger who goes out of their way to support others by reviewing books and promoting on social media.
- Someone in the public eye who is inspirational to others in medicine, charity, education, who has overcome challenges to succeed.
- Anyone you feel deserves a boost.
The format of the post
- An introduction by you of around 200 to 400 words about your guest. Be creative and tell a good story
- Their photograph, biography, Amazon or book links and if you have them their social media links. I will find if not.
- Your photo, biography, Amazon or blog links and social media links (if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore I will have those).
Send your introduction and the links to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can sort out a date to air your post.