NOTE: Gina's Dream/El Sueño de Gina, a dual language POD is only available on The Write Place.
As a mature U.S. Expat living in Mexico, I have found time to write and appreciate life.
Also, as an avid reader, and former typesetter with journalistic training, my vocation now is writer and author. Dorothy Sayers gets a lot of credit for my transformation. I so enjoyed her works, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. It has been a wonderful adventure and excellent education.
With a wide range of reading interests, I lean towards mysteries, science-fiction, and non-fiction subjects like astronomy, geography and history for starters.
I enjoy the community of writers. I have known and meet many wonderful writers over the last 30 years and continue to meet more.
p.s. My author photo was taken at the Book Launch Party for Gina's Dream on the Day of the Dead holiday in Mexico, hence the skeleton.
Where to find Ria Stone online
Where to buy in print
Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook
This collection of easy recipes is for non-cooks who feel like an alien in the kitchen. Recipes from RKFNC provide ideas for a variety of sandwiches from PB&J to Dagwood Sandwiches, and simple recipes like: Tomato Salad and Coleslaw. One basic spaghetti recipe suggests a variety of toppings. Other recipes include Two Bean Corn Chili and Skillet dishes.Try Ria Stone's Microwave Small Dish Cake!
Gina's Dream 1st edition English eBook
What would you do if you met an alien? Gina's Dream is the story of a romance caught in the web of time that will change the future of two worlds. Kit Brennan, Assistant Director of Science Exploration Through Astronomy (SETA), falls in love with Gina Hobart who claims to be an alien. Their futures hang in a delicate balance as Kit questions whether she is real or crazy. Bonus: My First Editor.
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Smashwords book reviews by Ria Stone
- Some Wore Blue & Some Wore Gray
on July 07, 2013
Before I begin, I must say that all the various eBook sources -- iBooks, Amazon, Smashwords, Project Gutenberg and more and the various technologies to read them can be confusing.
"Some Wore Blue & Some Wore Gray" by Heather Graham was free and it was a treat to read. I appreciated the author's balanced approach and light conversational tone as she provided personal biographies of many of the luminaries of the Civil War.
Many I recognized like Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and Jefferson Davis. Graham also included the personal histories of various civil war figures such as Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis's wife, Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, and more. She also illustrated the book with wonderful black and white photos. I found George Armstrong Custer's photo interesting in light of his biography. Custer is considered one of the most photographed figures of the Civil War.
As an amateur historian, Graham provided a fresh perspective. She balances the failures and successes of these pivotal historical figures with charm. After revisiting these stories, there was one story I had forgotten. It was that former President Ulysses Grant finished writing his biography on his death bed. The profits from the sales of his biography kept his wife, Julia Dent Grant, from a life of poverty.
A surprising addition to the book was a biography of Scarlett O'Hara, the heroine from the novel "Gone with the Wind." O'Hara's biography includes historical notes on "Gone with the Wind's author, Margaret Mitchell.
- Type Away Writer's Block: iPad Edition
on Nov. 04, 2013
Plagued with bouts of writer’s block, author, Jodie Nelson offers insight into her remedies for overcoming writer’s block based on personal experience and research.
Nelson’s approach is to provide one remedy a day over 15 days. She starts with Free writing or what I know as spontaneous writing. Free writing can be very interesting because you just sit down and start writing on any topic or thought you come up with for one minute. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or brilliant sentence construction, just write. Nelson suggests creating a file for these writing exercises.
Other chapters focus on self-confidence, fear, your inner critic, procrastination, inspiration, outlining, motivation and more. At the end of each chapter, the author recommends another free writing session for a longer period of time.
In Nelson’s short chapters, she captures the essence of her ideas like how to deal with your inner critic. One good idea in her Inner Critic chapter is to look at what your inner critic is saying. Is your critic being helpful or overly harsh? Look at the helpful comments and get rid of the rest.
Midway through the book, Nelson talks about Flash Fiction. She uses Flash Fiction as a means to get the writer to begin writing a story with all the basic story elements but in an abbreviated form. Flash Fiction is today’s new short story. According to Nelson, Flash Fiction is a story with 1000 words or less. Writing Flash Fiction can be good practice for writing longer stories.
Throughout her book, Nelson offers references to books, software programs, and other websites for further information on various topics she discusses.
I found Nelson’s chapters on Ideas and Quotations helpful. I can alway use more ideas on where to get story ideas and I appreciate pithy quotations like “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” -- Lao Tzu.
- Venture Capital, one Mans Journey Toward Redemption In The Midst of Turmoil
on Nov. 13, 2013
I have mixed feelings about this "short story."
I choose the book because it was set in India and the author had a unique perspective. While the author's writing style does keep the reader interested, I had missed the fact that this was a short story with only about 5,000 words. I had been expecting a longer story.
The story is itself is more like a dream in the mind of the lead character.
While I enjoyed the author's bio, notes and prologue and even the story, I felt the price is too high for a short story.
- The Nightmare of Sara Farraday
on Nov. 14, 2013
The Nightmare of Sara Farraday is a fictionalized account based on true events.
While the focus of the story is on domestic abuse, the spectrum of criminal behavior perpetrated on women and children was horrific. Few seem to escape domestic violence. It is in my family, so I had a personal interest in reading the story.
The author, Annette Reid, has created a very emotional story. It is so full of terrible events, it made me dizzy. Rape, murder, physical and mental abuse, alcohol abuse, lying, wrongful incarceration, stalking, harassment, attempted murder, family secrets, verbal abuse, malicious rumor-mongering, incest, mental illness and more.
Reid moves swiftly from one event to the next in Sara Farraday's life. While Sara supposedly found a better life, I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop and find Sara back in an abusive relationship.
The simple statistic that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence should scream "Our society needs to change." Plus, this is a global epidemic, women the world over suffer at the hands of men and women.
I see potential in Reid's writing. Her style is clean and direct.
One regret I had was I had hoped the author would have provided a resource page with links to domestic violence information and assistance websites.
- COMFORT FOOD
on Nov. 17, 2013
Just as we classify readers into genres and types, we can do the same with cookbook readers. I am a noncook. Sadly, I can hardly boil water, so when a cookbook offers "easy" recipes, I am interested. I am intimidated by elaborate recipes. Elaborate to me is a recipe with more than 5 ingredients, unusual food items, and multiple preparation processes. Also, unfortunately, I only have a hotplate, microwave and a slow cooker, so appliance intensive recipes won't work for me, not even a blender. (But, there's hope, maybe I will get one for Christmas.) While I appreciate Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson's generous offer of a free book of 30 healthy comfort food recipes, I could not use many of them. I was intrigued by the Wheat Waffles. I wish there had been a suggested ingredient list rather than items written in text for the Monster Turkey Sandwich. But, I think I can do the Simple Shrimp Fra Diavolo (whatever that is), the Fresh Tomato Pasta, the Slow and the Cooker BBQ Beef Ribs. I may try the Pot Roast Madness but I find buying meat a trip to a foreign land. I might even try the Two-Ingredient Strawberry Jam that will be an adventure since the idea of canning is a bit scary.
- A Cookbook by Ted
on Nov. 19, 2013
A Cookbook by Ted.
Oh my goodness, I laughed out loud at this quote:
No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office. ---Covert Bailey.
I can’t pass up a free cookbook even though I am a non-cook. I can barely boil water, but I keep trying.
Ted gets a lot of kudos from me. He lists the ingredients and writes the instructions in an easy-to-read format. Plus, Ted has included several humorous quotes.
It is a short cookbook, but you can find recipes for stew, lots of pies, tarts, rice dishes and more.
Because I only have a hot plate, a microwave and a slow cooker, these are the recipes I think I can manage:
Three cheese rice,
Stew and Dumplings, and
The Spinach Salad Dressing and Spinach Salad.
I also found a lot of useful information in the glossaries of herbs and spices and the tips on frozen chicken/turkey.
I read cookbooks for more than the recipes. Sometimes you get some local history, humor, cooking tips, lovely mouth-watering pictures and an understanding of how to handle various food products and more.
Ted Summerfield is an interesting and prolific author. Besides writing a multitude of puzzle books and more, he ran a bistro for several years in Canada where some of these recipes were used.
- Rapid Recipes for Writers . . . And Other Busy People
on Dec. 14, 2013
Some of these recipes were forgotten favorites. After a quick read through, I plan to try: Spinach Surprise and Nest Eggs, and reexamine the cookbook for some of the others at a later date. I appreciate the simplicity of Ms. Wards instructions.
- How to Bake: Baking Powder and Baking Soda
on Dec. 14, 2013
I appreciated Mr. Weaver's expert knowledge of the chemistry of baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and more. The pictures and recipes were lovely. I just wish I had an oven.
- The Amazing Abbey Jones
on Jan. 25, 2014
A Quick Review: The Amazing Abbey Jones
By Gary Weston
This is the first novel I have read by Gary Weston. He has written over 47 books.
After fifteen-year-old Abbey Jones’ dismal introduction sets the tone for her adventure, she has numerous hazardous encounters that take surprising turns.
Part of what makes Abbey Jones’ adventures intriguing is Weston’s writing style. It is crisp, straightforward and economical yet the portrayals of the various characters and settings easily place the reader into the scene. He uses brisk action, direct dialogue, with little character introspection.
With 72 short chapters, Weston’s writing moves quickly from scene to scene from action to action as Jones travels the world in a fashion a bit like MacGyver, a bit like Crocodile Dundee, and a bit like Robinson Crusoe.
My favorite character was Pete.
Weston has produced stories in a wide range of genres and formats that include science fiction, horror, mysteries, poetry, and audio versions.
While many of Weston’s titles are interesting, one title intrigued me: Don’t email When Drunk. Weston is ambitious and talented. Reading his biography gives you a glimpse into his writing philosophy.
- The Curse Of The Carnaval: Adie Sturm Mystery
on April 11, 2014
At first, I thought Anastasia Amor was a good writer but my enthusiasm waned when I got tired of reading about various tongues in various body orifices with constant descriptions of electric shocks. I don't read a lot of romance novels but I just lost interest in the characters and their murky morals. I guess this story is a form of escapism except that the story is something I wanted to escape from.
- The Colors of Fruit
on April 14, 2014
What a charming book. The author, Angela Charles, is also a great photographer.
While it is simple, that is part of its appeal.
This book has tweaked my interest. I am trying to build up a library to teach English to non-English speaking students of a variety of ages.