FREE ON KINDLE: “The Sin of His Father”

SEPTEMBER 13, 14, 2015


Words uttered by his mother on her deathbed, a mystery about his father that she had not confided to him, drove Matt Maxwell to fear that he could become like this man he never knew.

Abandoning the woman he loved, his closest friend, and a lifestyle that suited him well, Matt made choices that opened him to an unlikely friendship and a new relationship with the God of his youth. However, the terrible secret he harbored eventually took him down a path of self-destruction and alcoholism.

What would it take to embrace his truth, accept himself and his past, and discover peace in the power of forgiveness and love?


Victoria Ceretto-Slotto lives and writes in Reno, Nevada and Palm Desert, California. A retired RN working primarily in the area of death and dying, she began writing creatively at a time in life when one is supposed to sit back and enjoy the Golden Years.

Victoria has previously published a novel, “Winter is Past” (Lucky Bat Books, 2011) and a collection of Poetry—”Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012″ (2013). In addition, “Beating the Odds—Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia,” is available as a Kindle Single through (2013).


A young man travels a circuitous path of faith, self-acceptance and forgiveness, finding freedom from alcoholism and the fear of who he could become.

Novel The Sin of His Father

The Sin of His Father


Reviews: **** 4.8

The Sin of His Father by Victoria C. Slotto is a story of soul-trouble, the kind that gnaws at us when we can’t face the truth about ourselves or the course of our lives. It is written by a storyteller who sees deeply into the labor of being human: Thirty-ish Matthew Maxwell struggles to integrate his mother’s dying words into his already troubled life. Monica is the young woman he loves, but dumps, sending her reeling into alcoholism. Craig is Matt’s lifelong, and only, friend, who has lost all respect for Matt for what he does to women. Uriah is a Franciscan priest who befriends Matt and tries to help him heal. Hog, a big Harley-riding guy, becomes Matt’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor and doesn’t let him get away with anything. Matt’s journey takes him inside the Franciscan life, which he loves, as he does Monica, but not more than his need to understand and forgive himself, his mother and his father. It is a well-written, deep and touching story not easily forgotten. The story will make you cry at the end and perhaps hold it to your chest and say, “I love this book.” That’s what I did. 🙂

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Book Review: How Was I Supposed to Know? by Lorna Lee

I’m only an occasional book-reviewer, but it is my joy to present to you the memoir recently published by fellow Blogger, Lorna Lee.

Lorna Lee, Author

Lorna Lee, Author

A first take on this memoir may give the impression that it could be anyone’s story…or at least that of those of us who grew up in the 2nd half of the 20th Century. It is indeed an adventure (do you know anyone else who was struck twice by lightning?) and it evaluates the angst of coming-of-age with clarity and humor. Humor it is that makes Lorna Lee’s telling such a compelling read.

The author, who has a doctoral degree in sociology, sheds insight that enables readers of diverse backgrounds to identify and learn from the larger themes that she skillfully embeds in her telling of struggling with weight issues, alcoholism in her family of origins which poured into her own life at an early age, of allowing herself to become involved in relationships that kept her in a subservient role, of significant health challenges and eventually in her amazing rebirth as a woman of strength and self-nurture. Oh, and did I mention humor?

I wholeheartedly recommend “How Was I Supposed to Know?” both for its insights and the shear delight of a story well told.



The Heart of Haiku–Jane Hirschfield

The poet Dainagon sees an apparition

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I just ordered a Kindle Single by Jane Hirschfield entitled “The Heart of Haiku.” She is a poet but also a preeminent translator of Japanese poetry. With so many Haiku lovers out there, I thought I’d call your attention to this new book. I feel confident in recommending it even before reading it as her writing and knowledge is superb. I don’t know if it’s available elsewhere, but I suspect it will be on most e-readers. It retailed for $.99 on Kindle!

Recommended Reading–Update

Books, books...

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I’ve just updated my recommended reading list and thought I might include it as a post. My hope is that you will comment, suggesting books I’ve overlooked or some of your favorites that you would like to share.

Here is an updated (but not comprehensive list) of books I have found to be enriching and well written:

Literary/Mainstream Fiction: Sue Monk Kidd: The Secret Life of Bees; Barbara Kingsolver: The Poisonwood Bible; John Steinbeck: East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath; Betty Smith: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; J.D. Salinger: Catcher in the Rye; F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby; Lisa Genoa: Still Alice; Isabel Allende: Island Beneath the Sea; Chris Cleave: Little Bee; Lisa See: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan;

Non Fiction and Memoir: Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor: Traveling with Pomegranates; Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love; Jeanette Walls: The Glass Castle; Bill O’Reilly: A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity; Mitch Albom: Tuesdays with Morrie

Spirituality and Inspirational: The Holy Bible (TNIV); Francis Chan: Forgotten God–Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit; Rabbi David Cooper: God is a Verb; St. John of the Cross: The Dark Night of the Soul; Gerald May: The Dark Night of the Soul

Poets by Author: Mary Oliver, Stanley Kunitz, Rumi, Jane Kenyon, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Ted Kooser, T.S. Eliot, e.e.cummings, Pablo Neruda, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ranier Maria Rilke, Langston Hughs, Matsuo Basho, Thomas Merton

Books about Writing: Anne Lamont: Bird by Bird; Heather Sellers: Page by Page; The Writer’s Digest Series: Write Great Fiction; Natalie Goldberg: Writing Down the Bones

Revised 3/31/11

Writing and Zen: “Mariette in Ecstasy” A Book Review

Most every spiritual tradition invites us to cultivate the art of being fully aware in the present moment. So much creative inspiration can be culled by attentiveness to detail.

I’m currently reading “Mariette in Ecstasy” by Ron Hansen–the fictional story of a postulant in a contemplative religious order. The author, a Catholic deacon, has an incredible command of detail. Some of the critiques I read on noted that there seemed to be an ill-defined plot, but in my view, this book is an example of the most brilliant attention to detail and sensory description. It is like reading an epic poem.

If you are looking to experience metaphor at it’s best and experimental fiction that, to me, does seem to go somewhere, I suggest checking it out. The read itself invites exploration of one’s relationship to God in a very Catholic context and is a good example of character-driven literary fiction.

(I purchased this book on my Kindle and was not asked to review it.)