Posted in interview, promo

My Interview with Awesome Gang

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have published eight books, nine if you include the box set for my first three books. I’m currently working on three books, two are part of my current series, The Harrell Family Chronicles. The third book is something totally different, a historical series I’ve been playing with for several years.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Willow’s Retreat released in September, the main character Dr. Willow Rider is estranged from her family. She wants a second chance with her husband and sons but when ghosts from the past threaten them she will sacrifice herself to keep them safe. She is surprised to learn they are willing to do the same for her. After the family’s home is attacked by a motorcycle gang, Willow comes to terms with her own failings and instead of retreating as she has in the past, she faces them and gains all she has been hoping for, a home and family. With the help of those she loves she starts a therapy ranch, thus Willow’s Retreat takes on another meaning.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
They aren’t unusual for me. Since I’m still employed full time and have a very large family, six sons and twenty-one grandchildren, I’ve learned to carve out time wherever I can. I write on my phone, usually just scenes or notes, on my laptop at work or when I take my mom to doctors, and although I don’t outline, I do plan parts of my story and I fast draft. I think fast drafting is a lot like an outline but it works as my first draft. It’s a rough, bare bones story which I later go back and add details and emotions.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh wow, so many… being a part of several writer’s groups I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful authors in person: Reese Ryan, Virginia Kantra, Sabrina Jeffries and Maya Rodale, but one I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting but would love to is Jayne Ann Krentz. JAK made me believe that I could write historical or contemporary books because she wrote successfully in both worlds.

What are you working on now?
My main focus at the moment is a Christmas novella for my current series. I’m hoping to get it out the first of November.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. I believe Twitter is reviving again, while Facebook is losing traction. Instagram seems to be holding steady but LinkedIn has begun to pick up notice. I have also gained more attention with my website. I haven’t taken the time to learn any of the newer methods, it’s already a juggling act to be present on these other sites.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t wait until you are ready to publish to start gaining followers on social media. Build your audience early. Share your writing, research, interest, etc. It will be only friends and family at first but you will be surprised by how it builds.
Do not be afraid to write your truth even in fiction. Someone needs the story you are writing. Write and rewrite until it’s good but remember it will never be perfect but that’s okay, publish it anyway.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Not just for writing but for life, do what scares you. If you aren’t a little afraid, do you care enough? Write, do what you are passionate about not what everyone expects or what is popular.

What are you reading now?
I’m reading a debut suspense novel by L C Larsen “Some Men Deserve to Die” and a historical romance by Erica Ridley, “The Duke Heist.”

What’s next for you as a writer?
I am planning another book in my Harrell Family Chronicles and plan to get my historical series finished and launched next year.

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I don’t know how to answer that question, the practical side of me says I need a survival guide, maybe something by Bear Gillis, I’d want a journal to write in, a Bible to give me hope and comfort, and one of my favorite authors, Jayne Ann Krentz or Sabrina Jeffries, maybe Reese Ryan.

As an indie author I’m always looking for ways to promote my books that doesn’t cost a fortune. My friend and fellow author, MK “Marni” Graff told me about Awesome Gang. Their author interviews are free and their promo prices are reasonable. Here is a link to their author resources.

Hi Awesome Author Tomorrow is National Coffee Day! I love coffee to say the least. I probably drink 7-10 cups a day. (yeah I know that’s a lot) Even though it really starts tomorrow I was thinking we send out a coupon to celebrate our love of coffee. It has been a hot minute since I have sent out a coupon for Why not use this Holiday to perk things up. (Sorry for the pun – not really)  For a limited time if you go to and use coupon code COFFEE you will save 25% off our regular $65 price. Remember to hit apply after submitting the coupon to see the new total. This will only be good for 48 hours or 50 book submissions whatever comes first.  Thanks for being awesomeVinny PS. Remember to use the hashtag #nationalcoffeeday today to get more buzz for your social media post. 

Author Websites and Profiles
Sherri Hollister Website
Sherri Hollister Amazon Profile

Sherri Hollister’s Social Media Links
Goodreads Profile
Facebook Profile
Twitter Account
Pinterest Account

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Enjoying the Breeze with Maida Malby

It is so nice to have author Maida Malby here at Creekside Café. Welcome Maida, have you ever been to North Carolina before?

Maida: Yes, I have. The first time I came to the US was in 1994 as a participant in the YMCA International Camp Counselors Program. I was assigned to the Sandy Ridge Girl Scout Camp in Bennettsville, SC for two months. I remember going to Rockingham and Wadesboro.

Sherri: The first time you came to the US? Where are you from?

Maida: I’m originally from the Philippines, now living in San Angelo, Texas.

Sherri: I lived in San Marcos, Texas many years ago. I loved it out there. I visited Laredo and El Paso, and my parents lived in Houston. How did you end up in Texas?

Maida: My husband is a retired US Air Force veteran. He got a job at the Randolph Air Force Base as a civilian contractor that’s why we moved there from Colorado Springs.

Sherri: How has your previous jobs or career influenced your writing?

Maida: My most recent job before I became a writer was as a Public Affairs Specialist at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m using my experiences there as inspiration for my main characters’ backgrounds. For example, in Singapore Fling, Maddie is a Public Relations Director.

Sherri: That must have been an interesting job, but I can imagine the headaches.

One of my daughters-in-law was born in Thailand, her parents were refugees from Cambodia. I’ve never been to Asia. It’s on my bucket list.

Give us a little insight into you as a person and as a writer.

Maida: I’m easy-going and I make friends easily. I’m a slow writer. I can only write two books a year, one novel and one short story or novella. This is why I self-publish.

Sherri: Tell us about your books.

Maida: Contemporary romance. Multicultural/interracial. International lovers.

Sherri: Your characters are multi-racial and multicultural, why is that important to you?

Maida: I find that couples like my husband and I (American and Filipina) are not well-represented in romance. Since only a handful of authors are writing Filipinas and other Southeast Asians as female main characters, I decided I needed to be one of the few writers who tell our story and share it with the world.

Sherri: I think that’s wonderful. We need more diversity in romance. Do you write full time now?

Maida: Yes, I write full time.

Sherri: How long have you been writing?

Maida: I started writing in November 2016, so nearly three years now.

Sherri: Do you plan to write any other genre in the future?

Maida: I write short stories in other romance sub-genres using a pen name.

Sherri: What is your latest writing/publishing project?

Maida: I just finished Singapore Fling, Book 2 of my first series Carpe Diem Chronicles. It’s publishing on October 21. I also have a Hansel & Gretel retelling novelette publishing on Halloween. I’ll be writing Samui Heat during NaNoWriMo this year. I plan to publish it in April 2020.

Sherri: Ah, look for me in NaNo, my handle is Pamlico Writer. This is only my second NaNo event. I won the first one but I’m not sure about this year, November is such a busy month for me. I’ll be working on Red Steel, the fifth book in my Leeward Files series.

I love writing. I cannot imagine not writing. What do you love about writing?

Maida: The creativity. There’s something about the words adding up into a cohesive story that is super fulfilling.

Sherri: Like most jobs, there is the good and the bad, what do you despise about being a writer?

Maida: Marketing!  Having to convince people to read the product of my blood, sweat, and tears is incredibly stressful.

Sherri: I suspected that answer. Marketing is one of the most difficult things we have to do. We have to figure out what works and then take time away from writing our books to promote and market them. That’s one of the reasons I started doing the author interviews. Is that why you started doing book reviews?

Maida: I was a reader first before I became a writer. Reviewing books, especially romance, helps me improve my writing skills. I learn so much of what appeals and what doesn’t, of what is missing in my work and what’s already there I can continue to build on.

Sherri: I’m a bit of a foodie. I collect recipes and my favorite channel is the Food Network. Do you have a favorite food or recipe?

Maida: Food is a huge part of my books. My current favorite is Hainanese Chicken Rice. It’s Maddie’s favorite dish in Singapore Fling.

Chicken rice is Maddie’s favorite dish in Singapore. Here’s what she has to say about it in Chapter Two:

From the first time she’d tasted this particular meal—one of the country’s national dishes—Maddie was addicted. The plain steamed chicken over rice looked simple. But the gingery, garlicky, oily, fragrant goodness of the white chicken meat—even without the skin she had removed from it—and the savory rice boiled in the same broth won her over. She had already eaten the dish five times since she’d arrived in Singapore.

This recipe is my attempt to capture that deliciousness. It might not be the most authentic–different ingredients, the taste of the water, etc.–but if you make it with love, the meal is sure to satisfy.


– medium whole chicken (organic, if possible)

– Kosher salt

– 1 thumb ginger, peeled and sliced

– 3-4 stalks green onions, sliced

– 2 cups uncooked Jasmine rice

– several cloves of garlic

– vegetable oil

– Sriracha

– lime

– soy sauce

– sesame oil


For the chicken:

1. Exfoliate the chicken by rubbing salt all over until smooth. Rinse and pat dry.

2. Season the entire bird inside and out with salt. This will also season the broth, so salt generously. Stuff the cavity with sliced ginger and scallions.

3. Place in a big pot and fill with water up to 1 inch above the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer immediately. Remove the scum as soon as it rises. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the temperature at the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone is 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Prepare an ice bath and place the chicken in to stop the cooking process and tighten the skin. Set aside.

For the rice:

1. Clean the rice until the water is less cloudy (2-3 times). Soak the rice, then drain after 10 minutes.

2. Sauté minced ginger and garlic in vegetable oil or chicken fat. Add drained rice and fry for one minute. Season with salt. Pour two cups of reserved broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Keep covered and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

If you have a rice cooker, follow instructions p to he frying.

For the dipping sauces:

1. Combine Sriracha, lime juice, sugar, salt, couple of tablespoons of broth, garlic, and ginger in a blender. Give it a whirl.

2. Grate peeled ginger and finely mince garlic. Combine with a dash of salt and vinegar. Cook in hot oil for a few seconds.

3. Mix light soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil.

Ready to serve!

Spoon rice on a plate. Cut chicken into serving pieces and place on top of the rice. Pour soy sauce mix over it. Garnish with cucumber or parsley. Serve with soup and dipping sauces.

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Sherri: Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

Maida: Golf and cooking and baking.

Sherri: Do these show up in your writing?

Maida: Very much so. Samui Heat will have a chef hero- Craig Ryan. My short story 19th Hole Fiesta, part of the San Antonio Romance Authors’ anthology Love Fiesta Style, is a golf romance. I’m planning a spin-off series and one of my main characters is Patrick O’Connor, a professional golfer. He appeared in New York Engagement, 19th Hole Fiesta, and Singapore Fling.

Sherri: What do you feel are your greatest writing strengths and your weaknesses?

Maida: I claim that I have a great sense of place. There’s balance in my books in terms of humor and drama. As for weaknesses, I need to improve on utilizing the senses of smell and taste. I’m pretty good with sight, sound, and feel. The other two need to be amplified.

Sherri: Who are your favorite authors/genres?

Maida: Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb is my idol. For non-romance, I like Paulo Coelho.

Sherri: Oh no, our time has run out already. It has been lovely to have you here at Creekside Café Maida. I wish you luck with your new novel, Singapore Fling.

If you enjoyed my chat with Maida Malby be sure to follow her on social media and check out her books, the links are below.

I hope y’all will come back and join me at my Creekside Café.

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One alluring French-Filipina beauty. One sexy US Air Force officer. One torrid weekend affair.

Maddie Duvall should be living it up at her challenging new job in glamorous Singapore. But two months after her wild weekend with Aidan Ryan, she’s still yearning for him. She craves the passion only he can ignite in her.

Aidan’s job takes him around the world, yet he can’t get Maddie out of his mind. When he returns to his assignment in Singapore, he seeks her out with a proposition she can’t turn down.

Intensely enamored with one another, their relationship takes off. But when Aidan’s mission exposes treachery by someone close to Maddie, lines blur and wires get crossed. Can their growing love survive the intrigue?

Singapore Fling is Book 2 of Carpe Diem Chronicles, a series of multicultural contemporary romance novels. The stories celebrate the rich cultures of exotic Southeast Asian islands through languages, food, and festivals.


#multicultural #contemporary #romance #contemporaryromance #militaryromance #interracialromance #internationallovers #filipinoamerican #multiracial #diverse #multilingual #writerofcolorinromance #ownvoice #alpha #fling #carpediem

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Maida Malby writes, reads, reviews, and lives Romance. Through her multicultural contemporary romance stories, she takes readers on trips to her favorite places in the world and shares her experiences of their rich cultural heritage.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), San Antonio Romance Authors (SARA), Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of the Romance Writers of America (CIMRWA), and several romance book clubs. Her To-Be-Read Mountain and reviews of romance novels are featured on her website

When not writing, reading, or reviewing books, Maida consults her husband on word selection, debates with her ten-year-old son regarding the Oxford comma, cooks the dishes she features in her stories, procrastibakes using Baileys as her secret yummy ingredient, and watches golf and food shows on TV.

Social Media links:

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Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Cooking and Chatting With Nins the Writer

Sherri: I’m chatting today with Nina Romano, whom I know as @ninsthewriter from Twitter.

You know what they say about seven degrees of separation, well, we have a mutual friend, award-winning cozy mystery author, M. K. Graff. Since meeting Nina through Twitter, I have wanted to host her on my website. I am so excited to finally be able to welcome to my Creekside Café, the award-winning poet and author, Nina Romano. It is so good to have you at my virtual café.

Nina: I’m delighted to have this lovely opportunity, Sherri, of speaking to you on a subject dear to my heart: writing.

Sherri: I’m sitting here in awe and unsure how I want to begin. There’s so much I want to ask you. I love following you on Twitter, you are so uplifting. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll start with the basics. Have you always written?

Nina: First, let me thank you for that compliment. I always say: it’s the nature of the beast to try to be supportive and helpful. The simple answer to your question is yes, I’ve always written.The longer answer is that I always wrote poetry since I was a young girl and I always wanted to write fiction.

Sherri: The alphabet after your name is a bit intimidating. If I’d not had the chance to get to know what a gracious person you are and your willingness to help new writers, I would hesitate to ask you to join me on the porch of my cafe. You hold several degrees and have traveled around the world. How have these influenced your writing?

Nina: I like your phraseology of “alphabet” after my name. To tell the truth, I’m pretty amazed myself when I look back and see I hold four degrees, two of those are Master’s and one is an MFA in Creative Writing. The degrees gave me my love of teaching and my enthusiasm for the written word, but also the skills for critical reading and the ability to critique and revise writing.

Travel, on the other hand, is a complete education—when I think of it that way, I’ve accrued quite a few more degrees for every country, state, island, and place visited. What I mean is travelling exposes you to everything—geography, history, languages, religion, currencies, food, drink, morals, dress codes, mores, social etiquette, and behavior. Travel has certainly influenced my writing because I love history and various cultures. I write mostly historical novels, and narrative poetry. My short stories tend to be quite international. They say write what you know, but what is meant by that also encompasses writing what you can know by studying and learning—acquired knowledge.

Sherri: In reading your bio, I see you have had quite a bit published: collections of poetry and short stories, and novels. You’ve had individual poems, stories, reviews, memoir reminiscences, and other pieces of creative nonfiction published in magazines, journals and anthologies. It is truly impressive, tell our readers about some of your work.

Nina: That, dear Sherri, is a loaded question. I’ll try to simplify it as much as I can. Before I began having my novels accepted for publication, I always submitted some kind of writing for possible publication in a literary print or online magazine or journal. A fellow grad student and dear friend, Leonard Nash, a wonderful short story writer and professor, told me many moons ago, to always have from twelve to twenty pieces circulating if you want to publish. I did just that—every Friday, for months, even years, I sent out publishable material. I started to garner publications that I added to my CV and author’s bio, which is exactly what you need in almost every aspect of writing—most especially for query letters to agents, editors, and publishers.

What happens if you’re rejected is you simply repackage the piece or poem, revise, retouch it and resend it to some other editor or publication. Why? Because it’s all so subjective and you need to seek out the right editor or publisher for whatever it is you’re writing. In the meantime, of course, you keep writing, keep trying to buoy yourself if the rejections come hurtling at you too many at a time!  If you get any kind of a personal note that sounds a bit hopeful despite a rejection, you pay attention to it. You can answer direct questions, but you never, and I mean NEVER, write back to defend your writing on a submitted piece. That shows a complete lack of professionalism. You merely say, Thanks, and move on.

Examples of some relatively positive rejections:

  1.  This piece isn’t for us. Solid writing, but do you have an essay on mental health?
  2.  Your writing exhibits a lovely lyrical voice, but for this magazine we’re looking for   something more cutting-edge.
  3. This is well-written, but you used first person POV, and we’re looking for only third—

can you rewrite it?

  • Thanks. These poems don’t work for us. Have any others you’d be interested in submitting?

When you acquire enough published pieces, you begin putting together collections of poems, short stories, essays, novel excerpts, or whatever—in hopes of getting a larger segment of your writing in the form of a book or novel out into the public arena.

Sherri: Your Wayfarer Series is the first that caught my eye. The Secret Language of Women, was the first in that trilogy? From the Wayfarer Series to The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley they seem quite different but what do you feel a reader will take away from both?

Nina: They are all different—diverse cultures, countries, eras. However, they’re all historical. I do deep, investigative research so that everything about the time period and era I’m setting the novel in is as factual as possible. I think readers appreciate the systematic inquiry process I employ. I also try very hard to “cover my tracks” in that I like to blend and incorporate the research material so it fits the work and remains almost seamless. This isn’t an easy task, I can guarantee it! 

Sherri: On Twitter, I look forward to your writing advice. You were an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University, you’ve been on panel discussions, given talks and presentations at book fairs, in seminars and in workshops. You’ve spoken at several events, and given readings, signings, and “meet and greets” in bookstores. What bits of advice would you give to writers on the verge of publishing?

Nina: I appreciate you saying that you like my tweets on writing advice. Of late, I’ve been doing less and less of them, having been criticized and even blocked by people who disagree with my writing tips, prompts or advice!

To answer your question about writers on the verge of publishing, there are several crucial things to consider.

Editing is king! Never submit anything that isn’t a complete and polished work. Have your manuscript edited by people who write well and have a history of publication, people who know what they’re talking about when critiquing, and people whose opinions you value and trust.

Rewrite, revise and tighten everything as much as possible before submitting.

Delete extraneous words from dialogue, repetitious words, and any material that may be exquisitely wrought but isn’t appropriate to the work. This is that hated expression: “Kill your darlings!”    

Use a spell check, but be careful and cross-check words with a dictionary and a thesaurus.

Read your work out loud.

Find and use trusted beta readers.

Write a synopsis for the novel in the style of the novel is written in.

Question the validity of every chapter in the novel. What is its purpose? How does it serve the story? Does it propel the action forward?

For short fiction, keep it compact—here compression is vital! Evaluate the plot, story flow, character motivation, cause and effect, and denouement.

Be able to say in a sentence or two what the novel is about—this is known as the “elevator pitch.” Be able to speak about your novel in an intelligent, cohesive, concise way.

Practice reading or reciting aloud. Time yourself. Learn to look up and out at the audience. If you’re reading fiction and you have different characters in the scene, change the tone of voice and inflection for your various characters! Read as slowly and distinctly as possible. Use beats and pauses for poetry.

I could go on and on, but these points are among the important ones.

Sherri: I agree with everything you’ve said but especially the “elevator pitch” and reading your work aloud.

I’m a bit of a foodie, I love the recipes you post on Twitter, do you have one you’d like to share as we move into cooler weather. I know, here in the south, cooler weather is a relative term, but not as sweltering sounds a bit unwieldy.

Nina: Three dishes come to mind. The first one is Pasta Piselli—a soupy pasta dish made with olive oil, onions, peas and tiny elbow, ditalini, or broken up spaghetti or linguine pasta. Additions can be any of these: tiny meatballs, mushrooms, bacon, ham, or fresh tomatoes! Use grated parmigiana or skip it. I serve it with either a fresh Ciabatta loaf, or toasted Tuscan bread.

Lentils—vegetarian style: In Italy I used to get the lentils from the island of Ventotene—one of the Pontine Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Now I use green, orange or almost any kind of lentils—I like Goya’s product. Add: olive oil, carrots, celery, zucchini, sweet potato, a golden potato, mushrooms, leeks, onions, garlic—any or all of these! If you eat meat, you can add cooked, sliced Italian pork sausage, or leftover pieces of lamb, beef steak or filet mignon. For some inexplicable reason, when I use lamb, I add a piece of very dark chocolate, which I call black like as a sinner’s soul!

Caldo Gallego (Galician white bean soup made with a nice chunk of prosciutto on the bone,

(I guess you could use a ham hock—I’ve never done that, but oh well—experiment!)

Add to the cooked beans: turnips, Yukon gold potatoes, and Swiss chard in that order. No salt, no pepper, no oil, no butter! It’s plenty rich!

Sherri: Are you traditionally published, indie or hybrid?

Nina: All of my books have been traditionally published by small, independent publishers.

Sherri: What are some of the struggles you have faced as an author?

Nina: Time to write is a big issue currently—my husband and I travel a great deal.

Finding beta readers I know and trust is difficult. I have one incredibly generous personal editor, Jane Brownley, who is always willing to read for me, and thank heavens she’s a veracious reader although she’s not a writer!

I struggle if I have to interrupt the flow of the writing because I feel I don’t know enough about a particular subject or thing. I stop writing to do more research. This can go on for days!

Sherri: What do you wish you’d known when you first started writing/publishing?

Nina: I should have trusted myself enough to have started younger.

Sherri: What is your next project?

Nina: My present WIP is one I began years ago and gave up on because it’s not my genre and it’s extremely challenging, although it is historical. Maybe this time I’ll finish it. The current stage of the manuscript is chaotic to say the very least. It’s set in the Soviet Union in 1956, after Stalin.

To conclude this lovely “chat”, please let me say a word about the in-depth quality of your interview—I’m so pleased you took the time to read my author’s bio and personal information about me before asking these profound questions. Thank you so much, Sherri. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Sherri: It has been an honor to have you visit Creekside Cafe. I hope someday we can meet in person.

(To learn more about Nina check out her biography and links below.)


Nina Romano earned a B. S. from Ithaca College, an M.A. from Adelphi University, a B. A. in English, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She is a world traveler and lover of history. She lived in Rome, Italy, for twenty years where many of her poems and stories are set, and is fluent in Italian and Spanish. Romano has taught English and Literature as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University, and has interned for poets Marie Howe, Denise Duhamel, and C. K. Williams at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival.

Romano has facilitated poetry and creative writing workshops at the Ft. Lauderdale Main Library, the Sanibel Island Writers Conference, Bridle Path Press Baltimore, Lopez Island Library, Florida Gulf Coast University, Rosemary Beach Writers Conference, the Outreach Program of Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and Summit County Library.

Romano has presented several times at the Miami Book Fair International with her fiction and also with her poetry collections which include: Cooking Lessons from Rock Press, submitted for a Pulitzer Prize, Coffeehouse Meditations from Kitsune Books, She Wouldn’t Sing at My Wedding from Bridle Path Press, Faraway Confections, from Aldrich Press, and Westward: Guided by Starfalls and Moonbows from Red Dashboard, LLC. She has also had two poetry chapbooks published: Prayer in a Summer of Grace and Time’s Mirrored Illusion, both from Flutter Press, and a short story collection, The Other Side of the Gates, from Bridle Path Press.

She has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She has co-authored Writing in a Changing World.

Her short fiction, memoir and poetry appear in numerous reviews and literary journals. Excerpts from her novel, The Secret Language of Women, appear in Dimsum: Asia’s Literary Journal, Southern Women’s Review and Driftwood.

Romano has published the Wayfarer Trilogy with Turner Publishing. All three of the historical novels of the series were finalists in book contest awards, and Book 1, The Secret Language of Women, set in China, won the Independent Publisher 2016 IPPY Gold Medal. The other two novels are Lemon Blossoms, set in Sicily, and In America, set in New York.

Two short stories: “A Risky Christmas Affair” and “Dreaming of a Christmas Kiss,” have recently been released as E-books, and the latter, along with two Christmas poems, has been included in a Christmas anthology, Annie Acorn’s Christmas Treasury 2018.

Her latest novel, The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley, a Western Historical Romance released in 2019. Currently, she is at work on a novel set in Russia.

List of all my published books


Historical, Literary Novels of The Wayfarer Trilogy:

The Secret Language of Women

 Lemon Blossoms

 In America

Historical, Western Romance:

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley

Short Story Collection

The Other Side of the Gates (on Amazon, but no new copies—the publisher and I went our separate ways. I have new copies)

Poetry Collections

Cooking Lessons (on Amazon)

Coffeehouse Meditations (on Amazon, but no new copies—the publisher passed away. I have copies.)

She Wouldn’t Sing at My Wedding (on Amazon, but no new copies—the publisher and I went our separate ways. I have copies)

Faraway Confections (on Amazon)

Westward: Guided by Starfalls and Moonbeams (on Amazon)

Poetry Chapbooks (Unavailable on Amazon, but I have new copies)

Time’s Mirrored Illusion

Prayer in a Summer of Grace

Nonfiction book on Writing (a collaboration)

Writing in a Changing World (on Amazon)

My most recent book

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley

Amazon Link:

Book Description

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley

When Darby McPhee falls in love with Cayo Bradley, a wild cowboy from a nearby ranch, her world is ripped apart. Caught in a lifeless existence of caring for her father and brothers since her mother’s death, Darby does little else but work. But a death-bed promise to her mother to get her education now stands in the way of her heart’s desire to belong to the rough-and-tumble Cayo Bradley.

Darby is Cayo’s redemption from a horrific act in his past that torments him. After being captured as a young boy by the Jicarilla Apache, he now tries to settle back into white society—but how can he? If he loses Darby, he loses everything.

Darby is determined to keep her promise to her mother, but will Cayo wait for her? In this stunning tale of love and loss, Darby comes to understand that no matter what happens, she will always be THE GIRL WHO LOVED CAYO BRADLEY…

Blurbs from authors on book:

Romano’s story sizzles with the tension of lovers—one struggling to blend Apache ways and white, the other torn between East and West—searching for a way to join two lives going in opposite directions.

— Ruth Hull Chatlien, Blood Moon, and The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley, a superbly crafted romantic page-turner, is a deftly spun tale of ill-starred sweethearts in the American West. Darby, a charming farm girl, and Cayo, Apache raised, a secretive man with a disturbing past. Sparks ignite, burning intensely despite cruel circumstances to separate them—an expertly woven story with witty dialogue, fast-paced plot, and stunning, enchanting prose! 

— Michelle Cox, award-winning author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series.

The Secret Language of Women

Winner of the Independent Publishers Book Awards (Gold Medal, Romance)

Set in China in the late 1800’s, The Secret Language of Women tells the story of star-crossed lovers, Zhou Bin Lian, a Eurasian healer, and Giacomo Scimenti, an Italian sailor, driven apart by the Boxer Rebellion.

When Lian is seventeen years old, she accompanies her Swiss father, Dr. Gianluca Brasolin, fluent in Italian, to tend the Italian ambassador, at the Summer Palace of Empress Dowager, where she meets and falls in love with Giacomo.

Through voyage and adventure, their love intensifies, but soon is severed by Lian’s dutiful promise as the wife to another. Forbidden from pursuing her chosen profession as a healer, and despised because she does not have bound feet, she is forced to work in a cloisonné factory while her in-laws raise her daughter, Ya Chen. It is in Nushu, the women’s secret writing, that she chronicles her life and her hopes for the future.

Rebelling against the life forced upon her, she empowers herself to act out against the injustice and becomes the master of her own destiny. But her quest for freedom comes at a costly price: The life of someone close to her, lost in a raging typhoon, a grueling journey to the Yun-kang Caves, and a desperate search for beauty and love in the midst of brutality.


“Rich with history, The Secret Language of Women offers a beautiful and harrowing landscape of love found, lost, and hunted for – at all costs and with dire consequences. Like the bound feet, so idealized in her novel, Romano’s characters are broken and reformed into both the beautiful and the grotesque. Haunting.”  ― Barbara Wood, New York Times bestselling author

The Secret Language of Women is a powerful and enchanting read. A brilliantly well-written tale that takes readers on one woman’s journey. For fans of Romeo and Juliet fans this is a must read […] I loved reading Nina Romano’s stunning piece, and I recommend it to readers world wide.” –– San Francisco Book Review

“This is a beautiful story of hope and love stronger than any adversity. Very special historical fiction that is highly recommended!”  –– Historical Novel Society

“A stunning look at China at the turn of the twentieth century, this is a love story that crosses boundaries both cultural and geographic.”—Foreword Reviews

The Secret Language of Women is visionary, ambitious, and lyrically written. One comes to the end of it feeling as though she has traveled through a time machine, into a world so different, so vivid and real as to linger in the mind long after turning the last page.” –– Wraparound South

Book Description of The Secret Language of Women

This first book in the Wayfarer series from award-winning writer Nina Romano is a love story set against the backdrop of war and upheaval, an era infused with superstition, history, and exotic customs. The story explores the universal themes of love and the atrocities of war, affirming that even in the face of tragedy, enduring love brings hope.

A love story―set against the backdrop of war and upheaval, an era infused with superstition, history, and exotic customs―that explores the universal themes of love and the atrocities of war, affirming that even in the face of tragedy, enduring love brings hope.

Lemon Blossoms

2016 Finalist for Romance, Foreword INDIE

Angelica Domenico is born in a blossoming lemon grove, a prophetic fusion of sweet bloom and bitter fruit on an island governed by volcanoes and earthquakes.

In the continuation of Nina Romano’s epic Wayfarer Trilogy, an early childhood accident propels Angelica to battle trials in a world where proof of virginity is paramount. She suff ers the trauma of her aunt’s death in childbirth and is catapulted on a voyage towards the nunnery to seek refuge from a fear of intimacy. Fate intervenes on the Feast of Crucifixion when Giacomo Scimenti enters the family shop, and Angelica feels herself rent by lightning the instant they come face to face.

Lemon Blossoms is the story of Angelica’s struggle in pursuit of feminine identity and heritage while coping with the intricacies of loss, love, and yearning.

In America

2016 Chanticleer Media’s Chatelaine Book Awards Finalist

Beautiful, headstrong Marcella Scimenti has the affection of a handsome neighborhood boy, the love of her large Italian family, and serious dreams of singing in Hollywood. But the course of true love―nor the journey to finding one’s true self―never did run smooth.

In America follows the story of Marcella, the daughter of the characters at the center of Nina Romano’s continent-spanning Wayfarer Trilogy, as she comes of age in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in the late 1920s.

In the trilogy’s heartwarming conclusion, Marcella must learn to balance new friendships, promising suitors, and life as a modern working girl with the expectations of her tradition-bound family, all against the backdrop of a looming economic depression and a changing world. Along the way, she unearths a devastating family secret that shakes her to her core and tests the boundaries of her love, loyalty, and faith.


Amazon Author:


Twitter: @ninsthewriter



The following 3 books of the Wayfarer Trilogy are in hard cover, softcover print, Kindle

Amazon: The Secret Language of Women  

Amazon: Lemon Blossoms

Amazon: In America

Amazon: The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley (Available in softcover print and Kindle)

Posted in audio books, Book Review

The Target Audiobook Review

The Target

By David Baldacci, Narrated by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy

David Baldacci knows how to ramp up the intensity and excitement. I have been a fan for years, enjoying many of Baldacci’s action thrillers. His characters Robie and Reel have great depth and dimension. I love the way he weaves their personal life in with the job thus adding more emotion to the already intense situation.

Reel, on their boss’ $hit list doesn’t want to take Robie down with her. Robie, as her friend and possibly more, is willing to walk through fire for Reel. His loyalty, and hers will be put to the test.

A new mission, an old nemesis, and Robie and Reel aren’t sure who to trust, other than themselves. Old enemies resurface to derail Reel’s well-laid plans for her life. Meanwhile, another assassin who has trained her whole life to kill, is being sent to get rid of Robie and Reel.

This story is three stories in one. It’s fabulous how David is able to blend them together and tie them all up in a bow at the end. If I wasn’t a fan before, this story would make me one.

The narrators, Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy do a fabulous job of realizing the voices of these characters.

This is an edge of your seat, unputdownable book. I want to read it and listen to it again, it’s that good.

If you like high-stakes drama, political thrillers, assassins, international espionage, home-grown terrorists, emotion-packed danger, and kick-ass characters then read or listen to this book. It needs to be a movie!