Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who is Monica Brinkman? Read about this interesting multi-talented woman.

A supporter of the EBMRF Foundation, you will find many articles written by Ms. Brinkman that focus on opening people’s eyes and hearts to the E.B. Children.
In fact, Monica M. Brinkman’s first authored stage play, ‘How Lucky Can You Get’ performed in San Jose, CA some twenty-five years ago donated all proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation.  With a background in the theatre, Monica has portrayed Lucy (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown), Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz) and numerous other characters prior to dedicating herself to full-time writing.
As a Singing Telegram performer, she learned to stare fear in its face, never knowing what odd circumstances would occur each performance and believe us, they did occur frequently.  How about, dressed as Mae West, knocking on a hotel door, only to find a completely nude homosexual couple staring you in the face.  Needless to say, her eyes never left theirs.
Her great love of animals shows as the ‘mom’ of five cats and two dogs, all her babies. She now lives in Missouri with her husband of 28 years, Richard.
Monica’s novel, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, has pleasantly surprised many a reviewer with its twists and turns of horror, the paranormal, spirituality and suspense. Indeed, not quite the story they anticipated. A story that she confesses just had to be written to give people hope, purpose and accountability for their actions in life. Ah yes, the magic of karma.
You’ll find Monica and co-host Oana interviewing guests who bring knowledge, enjoyment, controversy and excitement to the listeners every Thursday at 8PM EST on their Two Unsynchronized Souls blogtalk radio show.
Radio Show:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just who is Salvatore Buttaci anyway? Check out this writing machine and his humor.

A retired teacher since 2007, I spend much of my leisure time writing and submitting my poems and stories for publication. It’s not something new to me. I’ve been writing and promoting my work since my first publication in 1957 at age 16. It was an essay entitled “Presidential Timber” which was published in the Sunday New York News.

Writing has always been my favorite pastime. I enjoy the excitement of writing down the first draft. I even like the work required, delivering that first draft to a final one after revising and editing. With every completed poem or story, article or novel, I feel a grand satisfaction. Ironically, though I love words, I cannot adequately express the joy that writing brings me. That unexpressed joy seems to be the driving force that keeps me writing. A strong believer in a God Who gives us all certain talents to use and develop, I thank Him for His gift by writing everyday.

I had spent a good number of happy years teaching writing skills to middle-school and college students. To become writers, I explained to them, they needed to learn the skills of language, make use of the imagination, practice writing daily, build their own self-confidence, and submit their work for publication. Many of those students are still writing today. I meet them on Facebook all the time.

Of course, I follow my own good advice. I know that the writing craft, like any craft, requires knowledge, practice, and action. I keep myself involved in writing projects so that I am always learning, practicing, and promoting my work to those I feel confident would enjoy reading my poems or stories in journals and on the Internet, as well as those book buyers who are looking for their brand of reading pleasure.

In addition to writing, I am an avid reader of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I believe reading and writing go hand in hand. After all, I never met an author who seriously claimed he or she never spends any time reading a book. As for readers, I have heard many speak of the book inside them they hope one day to write.

Some of my other interests include studying languages and history, doing volunteer work at church, and spending as much time as I can with my wife Sharon, my life’s greatest inspiration. Since my retirement, the two of us live in “Almost-heaven” West Virginia and are loving it.

What do I most love to write? Inspired by the comic books of my 1950s youth, I have been writing flash fiction for more than half a century. Short-short stories under 1,000 words appeal to me, just as they appeal to so many readers out there who search the Net or for flash collections and anthologies. Flash fiction reflects our modern times in the sense that society moves at a faster pace and readers looking for a complete story can find it in as little as three pages of a book. It is the quick read, the fast tale, one of many desserts in a literary buffet. And because the stories are short-short, a reader can return to them and re-read them again and again.

In 2010, All Things That Matter Press published my first collection of short-short stories Flashing My Shorts. The book, as well as Kindle edition, contains 164 flash-fiction stories that run the gamut from A to Z,  adventure stories to zany stories and all other genres in between.

In 2011, ATTMP also published my second flash collection 200 Shorts.

I know there are many flash collections out there. I also know how difficult it is for book buyers to decide which of those collections to purchase. As the author, I suppose it would be politically incorrect for me to climb up on a soapbox and try to persuade you to buy my two books. However, judging from customer comments and reviews at and elsewhere, I would say you would not be disappointed. The stories will stay with you long after you have read them. I wrote them all with that intention in mind.

200 Shorts Kindle Edition Print Edition: 
Barnes and Noble Nook Book: 

Flashing My Shorts
Amazon. com Print Edition: Kindle Edition:   

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who is Tom Averna? Another ATTMP Author for those of you like Wizards

Tom Averna, author of The Once and Future Wizard: The Awakening from All Things That Matter Press, is used to the weird and unusual in his life. At seven, he was saved from death by a Jacob’s Ladder type dream. By nine, he was being sought out by his mother’s friends for life advice. At 11, he had chosen to sleep outside in a nearby woods in a sleeping bag and woke up the next morning with a family of skunks resting comfortably near him. At 12, he was approached by one person who claimed to be a psychic and told that he was not from this planet. Shortly after that, another psychic told him he had been a great king in Ancient Greece discovering many secrets and also that he came back in this life for a special purpose. At 17 he was attacked by a possessed friend wielding a sword and saved himself and delivered his friend by semi-consciously speaking in a language unknown to him. Three times he was on the verge of drowning until he followed inner guidance to find his way to the surface and then safely to shore.

Averna’s life has also been filled with reading biographies, histories, classics but most of all sci fi and fantasies. Early on, he cut his reading teeth on Greek and Roman mythologies and then the entire Edgar Rice Burroughs series of Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Pellucidar and the rest of the Martian sagas. He moved from these to sci fi devouring the classics from H.G. Wells and Jules Verne to the modern Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein and Herbert. Two books and one series of books, though, truly changed his life in high school. Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein and Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda both awakened in Tom a desire to explore new ideas and spiritual philosophies. He became a seeker and a student of life. These avocations have remained a part of his life still four decades later. The series of books were written by J.R.R. Tolkein. This awakened in Tom a love of wizards, dragons, elves and anything Middle Earthish.  His spiritual quest would involve books about the weird and unusual like Van Daniken, Sitchin, Ralph Ellis and others.

But there was a third component to Averna’s life that dates back to the powerful dream he had at age 7. His life was filled with vivid and amazing dreams. Some prophetic, but most action and adventure dreams that almost felt like a double life for him. Some he wrote down as stories that would later be woven together as part of his first novel. Others were just a fascination. One in particular was an invention that might have made him rich had he chosen to follow through with it. Shortly after his 30th birthday in 1982 he had a particularly vivid dream set in the future, but it was an old west kind of town. In a saloon, some people were playing a card game and as an observer Tom realized that this was a way used in these times to settle differences. The winner of the game won the judgment of whatever was being contested. Upon a closer look at the cards on the table, it became apparent that this was no ordinary card deck. These cards contained images of fantasy characters and the players would role play with them using dice to allow an element of chance. Upon awakening Tom immediately began writing about the game and set up the rules and thought he should try to market the game. But instead, as many other dream opportunities presented to him, he kept them filed away. About eleven years later, he began to hear stories of a new role playing card game called Magic: The Gathering and it was very similar to what he had envisioned. He still has those scribbled sheets of the game as a reminder to believe in his dreams and be willing to take a chance.

The writing of The Once and Future Wizard series began, as mentioned, as a group of dreams, but really took form after reading Oedipus at Colonnus by Sophocles. In this account, Oedipus meets King Theseus in a cave just before death and there is some mystery surrounding it. This combined with dreams that Theseus and Merlin were one started him wondering if Oedipus had been the link to that transition. From there over several years, he began to craft the story. The veil between fiction and reality became blurred for Averna in the writing of it as at times it felt like recording a dream and at times it felt like taking dictation. So this novel became an accurate reflection of his life containing the three main parts of it. It is weird and unusual, it includes his dreams and it combines elements of his favorite books.

The Once and Future Wizard: The Awakening is the first of three books to come and it feels a bit like a roller coaster. The first book sets the stage and is like the climb up the tracks knowing the fall is coming. The second book will be like the first drop and the third will be a combination of the two. Join Tom on this journey and discover for yourself the truth and magic of who you are and the powerful being you were meant to be. Along the way you’ll also discover the truth about the ancient gods, the creation of the universe, what happened to the elves and the truth behind many other  mythologies.

The Once and Future Wizard: The Awakening from All Things That Matter Press is available in print at Amazon

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who is Oana? Another ATTMP Author and animal lover.


Healing through laughter is not a dream, but a recipe for survival
If you were to read a book about Oana's life, you might easily decide it was a work of fiction. 
Born in Bucharest, Romania, Oana lived twenty years under the grotesque dictatorial regime of Ceausescu. After the fall of communism in 1989 she studied languages at the University in Bucharest, then received her Master’s degree at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. English is her third language.[Soft Break][Soft Break]She has worn many hats, working as a translator, as a teacher, and eventually caring for animals both domestic and wild. Volunteering in both the U.S. and Canada, she worked for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers.[Soft Break][Soft Break]Currently residing in Arizona, Oana continues to dedicate most of her time to her animals and to writing. 
Her first book, The Healings, debuted in November 2010. It is a hard-to-put-down, laugh-out-loud series of adventures of an eccentric duo: a man and his feline partner walking from ‘healer’ to ‘healer’ and hoping to achieve awareness.
Oana’s take on depression is simple and effective: witticism and laughter coupled with the understanding of the frailty of human nature help us heal. An animal companion, real or imaginary, can be very therapeutic as well.
Many a reader – depressed or not -- will recognize the insanity of most of our daily routines and the elusiveness of Truth.
Oana’s current projects include a memoir titled,Romanian Rhapsody,a children’s book, Dr.Schnauzer and Nurse Lhassa,as well as other stories, all written in the same witty humorous style.      [Soft Break]She is also an active member of Central Phoenix Writing Workshop a co-host of Two Unsychronized Souls Radio Show
To learn more about Oana, visit her author’s website  
To read excerpts from The Healings go to

Who is Jessica Chambers? Another Author from ATTMP

Soon after Jessica was old enough to walk and talk, her parents realised two things.

The first was that she had an incredibly vivid imagination. Unlike many small children, she was content to spend hours at a time amusing herself, inventing ever more dramatic games of kidnap, runaway orphans and wicked stepmothers. When she wasn’t playing, she could often be found listening to an audio book, Roald Dahl, perhaps, or her favourite Enid Blyton, becoming lost in the tales woven by others. Even as a child, Jessica cherished a dream that one day she would be a writer herself. Always a shy person, she revelled in the ability to escape into another world, something that remains true to this day.

The second thing which gradually became apparent to her parents was that there seemed to be something wrong with her sight. She was forever tripping over toys left lying around on the floor, or being chided for sitting too close to the television (“You’ll get square eyes if you don’t watch out.”) It took several years of appointments with specialists, of brain scans and visual tests, but   when Jessica was five years old, experts diagnosed her as having Retinitus Pigmentosa, a degenerative disease affecting the retina.

At school, Jessica’s teachers did everything in their power to make life as easy for her as possible, including providing her with a CC TV and computer. However, as she approached her ninth birthday, her sight had deteriorated so severely that the teaching staff no longer felt equipped to meet her needs. It was decided that she should transfer to Dorton House, a weekly boarding school for the visually impaired. For Jessica, this was a dream come true. Having devoured all the boarding school stories she could lay her hands on, from Billy Bunter to Mallory Towers, she couldn’t wait for her own adventure to begin.

Of course, her time at Dorton House wasn’t quite the round of classroom pranks and midnight feasts she had anticipated. Nevertheless, her nine years there were extremely happy. In addition to the standard subjects, she learned to read Braille and to use a computer with speech output, was introduced to talking kitchen scales and white canes, and mastered countless every day skills to help her adapt to life as a visually impaired person. Outside of lessons she tried her hand at horse riding and archery, fell in love, and had her first painful dose of heartbreak. When she left at eighteen, she did so not only with top grades in her exams, but most importantly with the encouragement of her English teacher, which gave her the confidence to pursue a career as a writer.

Perhaps as a result of going away to school, spending more time in the company of her peers than her own family, Jessica developed an intense interest in people. Everything about them fascinates her. She loves to observe the ways in which they interact, their steadfast loyalty and tendency to hurt those closest to them, their capacity for both cruelty and kindness. It’s this understanding that makes her such a skilled writer. In the words of multi-published author Molly Ringle, “Jessica has an amazing talent for creating true-to-life characters, throwing them together in a gorgeous setting and letting the sparks fly.”

This insight into the best and worst aspects of human nature comes to bear particularly strongly in her novel “Dark is the Sky”, soon to be published by All Things That Matter Press. An emotional read fraught with tension and unexpected twists, the novel follows a family’s struggle to come to terms with the past. Twelve years after tragedy tore them apart, the Camerons reunite for the first time since that terrible summer’s day. Far from being allowed to lay their ghosts to rest, however, a shocking revelation almost destroys them for a second time.

Want to know more? Keep up to date with all Jessica’s news, including the release of “Dark is the Sky”, by joining her Facebook fan page
or subscribing to her blog.
For more information about Jessica and her novels, visit her website

Friday, October 21, 2011

Who is Jean Rodenbough, anyway? Read about this ATTMP Author.

Just who is Jean Rodenbough, anyway?

Let me tell you:  I was eight years old and we were in Honolulu, Hawaii.  My father was an Army doctor.  Early one morning in December our family woke up to loud sounds that first seemed like the Navy practicing their firing.  But it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The days following were the beginning of a time that changed everything for me.

Many years later, I thought of that time, of the effects on my psyche from the nearness of that war.  I wondered then what must it have been like for children who were living in the midst of war?  And I began researching stories, gathering stories from friends I had known recently, and those from my own childhood, about how they experienced World War II.

The book that resulted, Rachel’s Children: Surviving the Second World War, was published in 2010 and has been read by those who lived through those times, and those who were born long after such a war.  The book describes the tragedy and outrage that wars carry in their paths.  My stories are commented on by brief poems and reflections, to provide some distance from the pain of those years. 

Now in my late 70’s, I feel some release for my own emotional reactions.  It is in telling our story and reliving the experience not only of our own lives, but the stories of others which verify our own, that make us whole.  I am glad to have made the effort, and appreciate All Things That Matter Press for publishing it.

Now I work on another collection of stories, this time of animals who have been tragically abused, mistreated, abandoned.  The stories tell of the caring human beings who have taken these animals into their own lives and made pets of them.  Poems will be the commentary for the situations that at last have given peace and love to these creatures: dogs, cats, birds, and all four and two-legged beings.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Who is Amy Krout-Horn?

Amy Krout-Horn(Oieihake Win, Last Word Woman) has resided in two worlds; the world of the sighted and the world of the blind. She has been a writer in both of them. She spent time in Washington DC acting as a political lobbyist for the disabled, worked as the first blind teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota’s American Indian Studies program, and holds degrees in American Indian studies and psychology. She is a regular contributor to Slate and Style magazine and, in 2008, was awarded their top fiction prize for War Pony. Amy, with her life-partner, Gabriel Horn, co-authored the novella, Transcendence (All Things That Matter Press, 2009). Her creative non-fiction was featured in the spring 2010 issue of Breath and Shadow, and Talking Stick Native Arts Quarterly published her essay, Bleeding Black, in their fall 2010 issue. Her latest book is an autobiographical novel, My Father’s Blood (All Things That Matter Press, 2011). Currently, she is at work on her third novel, Dancing in Concrete Moccasins. 
A staunch advocate for social and environmental justice, she writes and lectures on native history and culture, diabetes and disability, and humanity’s connection and commitment to the natural world. For more information, to purchase books, or to contact Amy, please visit her official web site.