Gold for Indie Authors? Book Reviews!

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When I’ve connected with a new book, I almost feel obligated to share a review. I suppose it’s only natural to want to share what one is excited about. But, as a new writer (nowhere near publishing anything yet), I am also beginning to understand how much time and effort it takes to craft a quality story. Once complete, the author sends their creation out into the world, praying others will also love and cherish it as they do. One of the best things we can do for our favorite indie authors is post reviews of their books. I encourage everyone else to do the same.


Book Review: Mother Portia by Nick Pipitone

Science fiction is rife with chilling stories concerning the inevitable emergence of self-aware artificial intelligence. Usually, the reader is confronted with a doomsday scenario, portraying an outmatched humanity battling for survival against its malevolent creation. Nick Pipitone’s novella, Mother Portia, takes a refreshingly different approach to explore what might happen when a supercomputer becomes sentient.

Pipitone imagines a promising future. After decades of teetering on the brink of self-annihilation, humanity’s salvation comes from a benevolent, all-knowing, artificial super-consciousness called Portia. Incredible scientific advances made possible with the help of this AI technology have solved the most pressing problems challenging the planet in the 21st century. But, the reader quickly discovers lurking behind this utopian façade is an enduring culture war fomenting a growing level of distrust, unrest, and acts of violence.

Leave it to humanity to take a good idea and mess it up! Most people happily abdicate power, ambition, and values in a mad rush to enjoy the new freedom Portia offers. There is no need to work. Advances in healthcare have eliminated disease, old age, and even the need for sleep. Life becomes nothing more than the pursuit of pleasure for most. But, not everyone agrees Portia has changed the world for the better. As one can imagine, the rampant rise in hedonistic behavior threatens to undermine the authority of institutions espousing traditional morality and family values. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that a new, increasingly popular cult has emerged dedicated to worshipping and communing with the new god of science, Portia. The world’s traditional faiths begin reeling from a rapid, seemingly irreversible decline in membership and relevancy.

Repulsed by the deification of Portia, members of various faiths have joined together to fight this common enemy. The result is the Collective, a loose alliance committed to ridding the world of artificial intelligence at all costs. It is quickly labeled a terrorist group. Mother Portia is a thought-provoking exploration of humanity’s inclination to use religion to justify even the most heinous acts of violence.

Azibo, a devout Christian, refuses to interact with Portia, leaving him isolated, living a meager existence on the fringes of society. He finds purpose though working as an informant for the Collective. When offered an opportunity to do more for the cause, Azibo is elated and ready to sacrifice everything. But, as in real life, he finds his beliefs challenged as he encounters a broad spectrum of other members of the faithful struggling to respond and adapt to this new world. He soon discovers the notion of truth is easily contorted by those eager to remain in power.

The story’s true antagonist is humanity’s inability to purge itself of hatred and intolerance driven by contrived differences. I appreciate how the author avoids making any overt judgment about the morality of creating artificial intelligence. Mother Portia is a thought-provoking exploration of how one man’s quest to destroy a hated enemy leads him to unexpected good fortune in the arms of what he fears the most.

Follow the links to download and read: Mother Portia by Nick Pipitone

Check out more of Nick Pipitone’s writing at his website: Fiction and Ideas

Wondering How to Achieve Your Dream? Read This Book!!!

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The allure of any well-written story is its ability to inspire purposeful action. The perennially draw of such books lies in their ability to weave thought-provoking plots centered around relatable characters struggling to find meaning in life. Discerning one’s calling in life is difficult work. Immersive fiction can clear away the myriad of inane distractions in modern society, allowing one to contemplate fundamental truths better. Many of us have a favorite book we return to time and time for inspiration. 

Upon reading, The Lord of the Rings, I found myself immediately drawn to Tolkien’s concept of immortals donning limited, material form to enter a corrupt, broken world in hopes of bolstering the forces of good against the rising tide of evil. The clarity of purpose Tolkien’s characters possess is compelling. As crazy as it sounds, I strive even in the most mundane ways to emulate Gandalf’s example. Of course, this leads me to wonder why I tend to turn to this work of fiction for guidance others typically seek from religion or philosophy. Reading fantasy and science fiction seems to inspire and guide my attempts to find small ways of bringing good into this world.

With an insane leap of faith, I recently quit a stable, unfulfilling job to start my own creative writing business. I sought to craft meaningful stories capable of rousing others to pursue their unique dreams and explore life’s meaning. Almost a year later, I find myself often filled with doubt, guilt, and struggling to make progress. Happily, fate seems to have sent help my way in the form of a non-fiction book of all things! But, this different approach was what this self-proclaimed sci-fi and fantasy geek needed. 

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct an advanced reading of Dr. Amanda Crowell’s book, Great Work: Do What Matters Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else. I tend to believe things usually happen for a reason. Consequently, I wasn’t surprised to find much-needed advice in this book.   

Dr. Crowell’s book validated the worthiness of my wish to do something meaningful with my life. I learned fortifying levels of happiness and health supercharges unique, innate abilities promoting ever greater productivity. Being new to self-employment means I consistently find it difficult to decide how to allocate my time and effort effectively. Dr. Crowell presented a straightforward, effective method to refine my vision and break it down into timely goals.

Reading Dr. Crowell’s work exposed the internal, unproductive mindsets I’ve unknowingly harbored. Her self-deprecating tone, amusing stories, and “I’ve been there, too!” attitude have given me the confidence to begin challenging my inner demons. My outlook is changing, adapting to a new understanding of the importance of celebrating even the smallest of victories. Now, I try to remember mistakes are simply opportunities to grow. 

This uniquely transformational book is perfect for those who dream big and yearn to realize the work we were born to do.

Please visit the book’s pre-order site at Barnes and Noble and take the time to explore Dr. Crowell’s website

I am a firm believer in supporting fellow authors! Perhaps, in this post, I can connect someone else like me to this great book while also helping Dr. Crowell reach a wider audience. 

A Peek Behind the Scenes

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Sorry, no fresh fiction to present today. Wanted to thank everyone for supporting me. I truly value every read/view, interaction and follow!

I love writing and am grateful for the opportunity to try my hand at being a full time author. That being said, we all know how difficult it can be to follow a dream. My goal from the start has been to listen, learn, read, support others and practice, practice, practice writing.

This blog has been quiet for the past two weeks and I wanted you to know I haven’t given up!

Writing sprints and marathons can be great for connecting with other writers and holding yourself accountable to the promise you made to yourself to write every day!

I’ve found a group which works well for me and wanted to share it with you. Perhaps, someone else is looking for a group to write with? The more the merrier!

The group meets 9 am and 4 pm EST on Zoom and is hosted by AJ Harper. Anyone can join! AJ has a wealth of experience, knowledge and practical advice for anyone wanting to write and publish. You have to register to attend and there is a “pay-what-you-can” fee. It’s been well worth it for me!

Here’s the link to learn more about AJ and reach out if your interested.


I’ve dedicated myself to attending these author club sprints. New to being self-employed, I find having two meetings to be book-ends for my day is extremely helpful. It gives me an opportunity to socialize and network which is hard to do when you work from home!

Being involved and showing willingness to support other authors has led to exciting opportunities! I sat in as an author deliberated which book cover design to select, cheered hearing someone got a book deal, have learned tons about grammar, editing and style and lately I was invited to write an endorsement for an author’s upcoming book! (More on that in next post!!)

So, I have been busy! Failing to post new flash fiction and short stories here on my blog has been disappointing for me! Again, I’m sorry!

Going forward I endeavor to share all the resources I come across that have helped me grow as a writer as well as continue to post the best original fiction I can craft!

Here’s to all the storytellers who inspire the world!!!