Steve Boone

I am very pleased to be featuring Steve Boone as our Reading Recommendations author today! Steve was one of the founding members of a musical group that was very important to many of us who grew up during the 60s – The Lovin! Spoonful! Thanks to Tim Baker, previously featured on this blog, for interviewing Steve on his Surf 97.3 FM Friday evening radio program and making it possible for me to connect with Steve, inviting him to participate in my blog. (And one other piece of information I discovered about Steve during that interview is that he has sailed to Bequia!)

on dock w_dog Steve Boone aka John S. Boone and John Stephen Boone. Steve Boone is my professional name.

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Hotter Than A Match Head, Life on the Run with The Lovin’ Spoonful – memoir

Quick description: Steve Boone’s memoir comprises two nearly separate lives in one book with his role as a founding member of the Rock Hall of Fame band The Lovin” Spoonful as he charts it’s way from conception to now 50 years later, and his other life as a high seas pot smuggler with the drama of sinking boats and eluding Coast Guard interceptors.

HTAMH cover

Brief biography:
Steve was born into the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, N.C., just as WW II was turning in the allies’ favor in the Pacific. His dad’s life in the hotel business took him from the Pocono Mts of eastern Pennsylvania to the Atlantic coasts of Florida and Long Island, N.Y.. Sailing and sports with a future in The Marine Corps was abruptly ended by a terrible auto crash in 1960, but the fortunate gift of a guitar from his mom while recovering led to a chance meeting of two similar travelers on life’s highway, and The Lovin’ Spoonful was born.

Three intense years and 10 top 20 hits later became all the life of a rock and roller he needed, so buying a 56’ sailboat in the US Virgin Islands became his get-away – a return to what he hoped would be sanity of sorts that the music business had nearly driven out of him.

Life on the high seas had its ups and downs and Steve sailed on to fantastic adventures and excitement that met if not exceeded the level of life as a rock star.

40 some years after the Lovin’ Spoonful’s demise, a fortuitous meeting with Tony Moss led to the writing of this book which Steve feels finally tells all about what caused the Spoonful’s career to abruptly end and aided in Steve’s journey back to a life more easily managed and maintained!

Links to buy Steve’s book:
ECW Press – eBook and paperback
Amazon – eBook and paperback
Kobo – eBook
Chapters/Indigo – paperback

Paperback may be purchased from Major Bookstores across Canada and the US.

Steve’s promo links:
Website and Friction Zone Blog
Blogspot Blog
Twitter

What are you working on now?
Steve is working out the logistics for a book and music tour in the US and Canada with his friend, musician and fellow Lovin’ Spoonful bandmate, Jerry Yester, who has recently published a book, as well. Also, The Lovin’ Spoonful has recently announced a 50th Anniversary Tour that will begin in the spring of 2015.

Rebecca Heishman – update on a couple of events

Rebecca Heishman was featured on Reading Recommendations Feb. 25 this year and is back now to tell readers about a couple of important events that are coming up soon and to give us some more background information as to why she has become an advocate for animal welfare and rescue organizations. (And if you cannot join Rebecca in person on these dates, you may want to consider donating by purchasing her book online. All links to purchase are included in the earlier blog post.)

Author and animal welfare advocate Rebecca Heishman will join the National Library Week Author Fair at Jeffersonville Township Public Library in Jeffersonville, Indiana, on Thursday, April 17, from 3 PM to 7 PM. Over 25 authors will be participating. All of the money obtained from Rebecca Heishman’s book The Misadventures of Millie will go directly to Animal Adoption Network, Inc., a southern Indiana animal rescue group. There will be a representative from the rescue group sitting with her, and book buyers may obtain a tax-exempt receipt for all books sold if they would like one.

On Saturday, April 19th from 11 AM to 3 PM, Rebecca Heishman will be the featured guest author at Café 27, located at 145 East Main Street in New Albany, Indiana, from 11 AM – 3 PM. She will be signing and selling copies of her book The Misadventures of Millie. All money from Rebecca Heishman’s public book events is always donated directly to animal welfare/rescue organizations in the Kentuckiana area. Animal Adoption Network, Inc., is an Indiana regional 501(c)3 non-profit animal welfare/rescue organization dedicated to the re-homing of abandoned animals in the Southern Indiana area. They will benefit from this book event.

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The Misadventures of Millie is a little book with a big message. It is chock-full of humor, love, and dog wisdom, as told by Rebecca Heishman’s rescued 8-pound Chihuahua, Millie. Millie survived a life as a breeder dog, as well as a stint in a high-kill shelter. But, Millie doesn’t let her tragic past get her down. As Millie so wisely exclaims, “It doesn’t matter what happened to you yesterday. All that really matters is what you do with the time you have today.”

Animal Adoption Network, Inc.

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More About Rebecca Heishman:
My parents were animal welfare advocates long before that phrase was coined. My big tough manly father would drag all the stray dogs home to the freedom of our farm, and they would run and play, and we would love them for the rest of their natural lives. In this photo, My father is actually toting one of his many rescued dogs. Dad was a mail carrier in our town at the time, working a walking route. He was one of the fellows who had a big brown satchel full of mail hanging from his shoulder and he would walk house-to-house delivering mail. One day, in a heavy rain, a little stray dog walked behind him the whole afternoon. She was filthy, caked in mud, and had a forlorn look in her eyes. Dad couldn’t stand it. After he returned to the post office and finished his paperwork, he returned to the street where she was and brought her home. She was filthy. My mom bathed her. A beautiful copper-colored coat emerged from all the filth. We named her Penny, and she lived with us as a beloved house dog for many years. She had her own special place on our couch, and a special place in her heart for my dad. Wherever Dad was, Penny was there.

There were no animal shelters or animal welfare groups in our rural community back then. Some years, there wasn’t even a veterinarian within driving distance. If a person came upon an abandoned animal in need, they had to choose between driving on and hoping for the best for the animal, or stopping and doing the right thing. My parents did the right thing, always. After I became an adult and went out into the world, I realized how unique my parents were. It surprised me that very few people did “the right thing.” I give back to the animals in my senior years in memory of the parents who went before me. My parents have been dead for years. But, the lessons they taught me live on in every book I sell.

Amazon Author Page
Website (under construction)

I use my books to keep my mind off disease problems. Chronic illness will envelop you if you don’t keep your mind active. I have to stay busy to keep from thinking like a sick person too much. Plus, so far, I have been able to help with some animal rescues that have been very satisfying for me. These animal rescue folks work hard, and a lot of what they do holds unexpected expenses. They had one rescue that required them to drive a fairly long distance. They needed gas in the rescue van. I was able to give them gas money because I’d sold a few books at a small local book event here. They sustain the organization on donations alone. Small donations like that go a long way. I paid the vet bill for a needy rescue dog who had been abused by an owner. He got well, and now he’s living in a wonderful home. I enjoy this very much. I am not the hero here. The rescuers are. I keep that first and foremost in my mind. It keeps me grounded.

You may follow Rebecca Heishman and her animal advocacy efforts on this Facebook page:
Misty-the-Dog and Friends

Thank you, Rebecca! For writing, and for all that you do to help the animals!

Rebecca Heishman

agrange Rebecca Heishman

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My book is entitled The Misadventures of Millie. I would include it in: humor and family fiction with a hint of autobiography.

Quick description: The Misadventures of Millie is a little book chock full of humor, love, and dog wisdom. This book was born as a result of a Facebook community page that I launched in 2010 called Misty-the-Dog and Friends. I used the page as a tool to take my mind off multiple sclerosis, the illness that had turned my life upside down. I began writing and posting daily humorous stories as told by my dogs. The feedback from the followers of the page was extraordinarily positive and my audience grew and grew. Many of my followers suggested that I publish a book of the stories. So, I did, and the response has been amazing. I use the money from book sales to help regional animal welfare/rescue organizations. My dogs have all been rescues. They have provided me with the only unconditional love I’ve ever known. I even credit an old yellow mutt named Misty with saving my life when I was sick and depressed and seriously considering suicide as a way out of my dilemma. I looked into Misty’s eyes and saw a reason to live. She is gone now. But, I am here because I saw her as the only bright light in my world when everything in my life had gone cold and dark. Misty will always be my muse. I give back to animals in need in memory of her and all the beautiful animals who never made it out of shelters and puppy mills alive.

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Brief biography: I am a lifelong poet and writer. I became a new author at the age of 62 and I’m proud of that. I proved to myself that I am more than a disease. In 2002 I was totally disabled for three years by multiple sclerosis. I achieved remission of my disease and began writing again, this time with a focus and a frenzy to get out there amongst other writers and prove to myself that I could legitimately be their contemporary. I feel that I’m doing that and I’m getting stronger every day in my belief that what I have to contribute to the world does matter.

Links to buy Rebecca’s book:
The Misadventures of Millie: Tate Publishing

Rebecca’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Misty-the-Dog and Friends
LinkedIn
Blog
Twitter

What are you working on now?
The Misadventures of Millie is becoming a dedicated series which is very exciting to me. The second installation tentatively entitled The Misadventures of Millie – Rodney and the Legendary Cricket Family Rescue will be released in the spring. Many more will follow.

Becky also ran an update on ReadingRecommendations talking about her other public promotions and the man who inspired her to help rescue dogs.

Rebecca’s reading recommendation:
I love The Cynthia’s Attic Series by Mary Cunningham. These are magical tales for tween girls that are, as one reviewer put it, ‘somewhere between the Harry Potter tales and the mysteries of Nancy Drew.’ Keep in mind — these stories are also highly entertaining for adults who have managed to hang onto their child-like imaginations. I’ve read them all. (Mary Cunningham will be the next featured author on Reading Rcommendations!)

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Melanie Neale

Melanie McLendon by Megan Clark 1 Melanie Neale

What is your latest release and what genre is it?
Boat Girl: A Memoir of Youth, Love & Fiberglass – memoir

Quick description: Boat Girl is a memoir of what it’s like to grow up aboard a sailboat.

Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Melanie’s family lived aboard a 47-foot sailboat, spending their summers along the US East Coast and their winters in the Bahamas. But the cruising life was not all fun in the sun. The family had to work hard to pay for their way of life. They dodged hurricanes, overzealous federal agents and bullying land-kids. And they endured a boatload of family drama. As her father published articles about how living on a boat brings families together, Melanie secretly struggled with an eating disorder, the alienation of being a boat kid, and confusion over her developing sexuality. As an adult, she lived aboard her own 28-foot sailboat and had several relationships trying to find someone who wasn’t intimidated by her stubborn independence and free-spirited lifestyle. Boat Girl weaves all this together into a story about a girl who, once all is said and done, simply wants her own boat and her own life.

Melanie paints a vivid picture of the trials and tribulations of family life aboard a sailboat without drowning the reader in the technical details of sailing. Boat Girl strikes a perfect balance between a coming of age story and a sea tale, enjoyable for boaters and land-lovers alike.

BG Cover_FINAL

Brief biography:
Melanie Neale grew up living aboard a 47′ sailboat with her parents and her sister. The family traveled the US East Coast and the Bahamas from the mid 1980’s to the end of the 1990’s, and both daughters were home-schooled until they went to college. Melanie began writing poetry and short stories when she was a young child, and she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Eckerd College in 2002 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Florida International University in 2006. She lived aboard her own 28′ sailboat while in graduate school in Miami. She has taught college, captained and crewed on boats, detailed boats, worked in a bait shop, worked in marketing, and currently works as the Director of Career Services for a private art college in northern Florida, where she lives with her husband and daughter. Melanie has published fiction, poetry and nonfiction in many literary journals and magazines, including Soundings, Seaworthy, Southwinds, GulfStream, Latitudes & Attitudes, The Miami Herald’s Tropical Life Magazine, Balancing the Tides, The Georgetown Review, RumBum.com and Florida Humanities. She is also a recipient of several awards for her writing. Her “Short Story” column appeared bimonthly in Cruising World Magazine from 2006 to 2009. Boat Girl: A Memoir of Youth, Love, and Fiberglass is her first book.

Links to buy Melanie’s book:
Amazon Worldwide – eBook & print
Amazon Audio
Barnes & Noble – print
Smashwords – eBook

Melanie’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

What are you working on now?
I’m working on another memoir. It’s a follow-up to Boat Girl, but will be about the downfall of one of the last great live-aboard marinas in the Miami area (and about life as a single twenty-something adventure-seeking academic female living among boat bums at the same marina). I’m passionate about it, attached to it, and dedicated, but between my day job and my family it’s a struggle to find time.

Melanie’s reading recommendation:
Cecilia M. Fernandez’s Leaving Little Havana

Jo Dibblee

FB Image index Jo Dibblee

What is your latest release and what genre is it?
Frock Off: Living Undisguised – Memoirs, Family Relationships

Quick description:
Frock Off is a memoir about the power of blind optimism in the face of adversity, abject poverty, tragedy, neglect, rejection, assault and betrayal.

“With parents tormented by secrets, guilt, and shame, Jo Dibblee quickly learned to protect herself. Faced with her parents’ alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression, along with the sexual assault and stalking of an “upstanding” foster parent, Jo began, early in life, to use a coping strategy she now calls frocking.

With humor and hope, Jo shares the harrowing rollercoaster of her life story and gives the low-down on frocking—how she learned it and used it to survive, how she found it holding her back and what she had to do to, once and for all – Frock Off.

Despite harsh truths, brushes with death and agonizing betrayals, Jo’s heart shines through these pages, offering promise, wisdom and inspiration to any reader who has learned to hide and longs to be free.

Frock Off Cover

Brief biography:
Jo Dibbee was born in Fort Saint John BC, Canada. She is an internationally-acclaimed speaker, facilitator, bestselling author and entrepreneur.

She currently resides in Calgary with her husband, bonus son, Bella her puppy and Tequila her challenging cat. She is also the mother of two adult children and the grandmother of two adorable grandsons.

She spent the first few months of life sleeping in a cereal box in a one bedroom home shared with nine other family members. Her life could best be described as nomadic.

With good reason, she was a key witness for the RCMP in a murder investigation. She quickly became a frock-wearing, card-carrying, disguise expert for thirty five plus years.

Links to buy Jo’s book:
Amazon Canada
Amazon US
In Calgary: Self Connection Books

Jo’s promo links:
Website
Facebook Page: Frock Off: Living Undisguised
Twitter

What are you working on now?
Currently we are working on a frock-alicious life series, supporting guides and future events

Jo’s reading recommendation:
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Brian Brennan

BrianB-03E square web Brian Brennan

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Leaving Dublin: Writing My Way from Ireland to Canada (RMB, 2011) My autobiography. Creative nonfiction, which means I made some of it up. Think David Sedaris without the sardonic wit.

Quick description: The story of my coming to Canada from Ireland in the 1960s, first touring the country as a singing pianist, then working for a Prince George radio station as a newsie, and finally embarking on a 30-year career as a print journalist and author.

Leaving_Dublin

Brief biography:
I worked as a staff writer at the Calgary Herald for 25 years before turning my hand to writing narrative nonfiction books about the social history and colourful characters of Western Canada’s past. I’ve now published 10 titles with no end in sight.

Links to buy Brian’s book:
All the relevant bookseller links for Leaving Dublin are on the RMB publisher’s author page here: rmbooks.com
Overdrive – for libraries

Brian’s promo links:
Brian’s Blog
Facebook
Brian Brennan’s Life Stories – Facebook Page
Twitter

What are you working on now? A sequel to Scoundrels and Scallywags: Characters from Alberta’s Past (Fifth House, 2002), which has sold more than 10,000 copies to date. I’m also contributing feature pieces to factsandopinions.com

Brian’s reading recommendation: Wayne Grady’s Emancipation Day (Doubleday, 2013) Grady was all set to write this book as a nonfiction history of his own family after a surprising discovery about his racial origins. But after working on it for more than 20 years, he decided it would work better as a novel. It does.