Kindle Give-Away Announcement

Dear Blogger-Buddies,

I wanted you to know about an opportunity that I am offering in a couple of weeks. This book is classified as General Fiction, with a theme of forgiveness that reflects my Christian views–though I do believe the message is universal.

In the meantime, if any of you have already read it and haven’t yet put up a review on Amazon, I would be so grateful if you would. Four more and I can promote it on another website.


On September 12, 13, and 14th I will be offering a free Kindle Give-Away of my novel, “The Sin of His Father.” Click on the title to take advantage of this offer. If you are willing to do a review on or, I would be so grateful. Print copies are also available for purchase. Ask me about signed copies–

Novel The Sin of His Father

The Sin of His Father




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?



Weekly Photo Challenge–Cover Art

This week for the WordPress Photo Challenge we are asked to imagine a photo for the cover of a favorite book. I can’t resist choosing one for the collection of poetry I will publish in 2015–“Keeper of Memories.” I will also include photo used for my current publications.

Keeper of Memories, a Poetry Collection
by Victoria C. Slotto
Jacaranda Rain Publications, 2015

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

Winter is Past, a Novel 2011 Lucky Bat Books
by Victoria C. Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto


Beating the Odds–Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia
a Kindle Single, 2013
by Victoria C. Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Jacaranda Rain–Collected Poems, 2012
Jacaranda Rain Publications
by Victoria C. Slotto

Caption: David Slotto

Caption: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto


The Sin of His Father, a Novel
Jacaranda Rain Publications
by Victoria C. Slotto

To be released November 10, 2014


Photo: Birgit Lehner Ued with Permission

Photo: Birgit Lehner
Used with Permission

Cover Photo: Birgit Lerhner Cover Design: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: Birgit Lerhner
Cover Design: Victoria Slotto

Publication available on Key Words, Books, Slotto 

Edit. Edit Again. And Again!–Monday Meanderings

It seemed to take “forever” but, finally, the proof of  The Sin of His Father arrived. As I plunge into yet another edit, I’d like to share a few suggestions to help in the editing process.

Though these apply, for the most part, to prose fiction, I hope there may be some suggestions for those of you writing in other genres.

Set your manuscript aside for a while (weeks or months) before revision. The distance will give you better perspective when you return to what you have written.

Look for echos–that is to say unintentional repetition of words or phrases. Sadness hung in the air like dense fog. I could see that she was sad, is an example of an echo.

Read your writing aloud to yourself and/or another. This process promotes the discovery of grammatical, syntactical and spelling errors.

If you choose to change point of view within the text, make sure that you have provided the reader with a clear distinction between characters. Use spaces or chapter changes to shift point of view. Or use an omniciscent narrator.

Lose adjectives or adverbs whenever an active verb or noun achieves your goal. Consider the following two sentences that deliver the same message:

She felt very afraid.

Fear crept in and overwhelmed her–her breathing quickened.

Which do you think better engages the reader’s emotions?

This next  suggestion may surprise you: reread your manuscript in its entirety (chapter-by-chapter or scene by scene for short fiction) but start at the END. This technique enables you to identify unresolved story lines, chronology issues and other inconsistencies. When I applied backwards review to Winter is Past I found that I had changed the name of a secondary character somewhere along the line–the kind of thing that happens when you’ve worked on your novel over a longer period of time.

While doing your backward review, double-check to make sure that every scene has a goal and propels the plot forward.

These are but a few of the things I look for. I hope these are helpful to those of you who face the daunting task of making it better. 

Image: Jackson Paul Baer

Image: Jackson Paul Baer

Have a good week–whichever stage of the writing process you’re working!

Freedom–dVerse Form for All

Brian has us writing a story of 55 words, no more, no less. I did a severe edit to get this exact.




Such a brilliant sunrise—an odd day for them to find his parents’ brains spattered on the wall.

He stuffed clothes in a bag, clenched the address Grandma sent him when he was five, slipped it into the pocket of his flannel shirt.

No one could suspect him. Shit, they didn’t even know he existed.

News Flash!!!

I’m excited to announce the release on Kindle of my first collection of poetry: Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012, today, Thursday, August 22nd. You will find it for purchase on Amazon (Free for Kindle Prime members). Reviews on Amazon or Goodreads would be most welcome. Thank you.

Cover Photo: David Slotto Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: David Slotto
Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Doing Something I Loathe Doing

As many of you know, just before Christmas, my first book was published by Lucky Bat Books. It is available through links on my website and here on my blog. There are two reasons I have not done much, if anything, to get it out there. The first was just the busy-ness of my life these past few weeks, but the second is more ingrained in my personality. I do not like to or know how to self-promote. Many of you know that I was a nun for many years and self-effacement was (supposed to be) the name of the game.

And so I’m turning to you for help.

Winter is Past is the story of a woman who has dealt with a subtle fear throughout her life. She’s unaware of the reason behind her anxiety but when she’s faced with her best friend and kidney donor’s health crisis–cancer in her remaining kidney–she must uncover and deal with her fear of loss.

The book will appeal, for the most part, to women and to those who read authors such as Jodi Picoult or Nicolas Sparks, to health care providers and those dealing with issues related to organ transplantation. It is written with an eye to stimulating discussion in book clubs and similar formats  (there are questions for that purpose at the end of the narrative). While it is not Christian fiction, it will speak to those who read that genre (my first agent wanted to market it as such). It has a message of hope and survival. Perhaps, even if this is not the type of work you would enjoy, you know someone (wife, girlfriend?) who might like to read it.

Here is a heart-warming comment from a friend who began reading it yesterday:

Last evening I began your novel, at chapter 12 I made myself stop reading. I wanted to save what was coming next, like you put away a last piece of chocolate to savor later on…

You have a WONDERFUL way with words my friend. Having visited Reno many times to see John’s parents I could visualize the Truckee rushing its banks, and see the pictures you pointed so clearly with your dialogue. I LOVE your book!!!. Your characters are real and believable, I already have a dislike of Lauren!! And Helene needs to stop being so cranky!!

Yesterday… we went full tilt for the whole day!! Settling down with your book was my reward. I’m looking forward to what will come next.


If you do buy it and can write a review on or on Kindle, I’d be most grateful. And I hope it will be a satisfying read for you. Thank you so much.

Self-Publishing Debate

101 Best Article

Image by yeah but via Flickr

So many articles are flying around touting conflicting opinions of self-publishing versus traditional publishing. I happened upon this one article morning through an e-mail subscription to some of the Writer’s Digest blogs. Writer’s Digest blogs offer a wealth of resources and I encourage you to check them out and think about linking up, especially if publishing looms on your to-do list.

Poll: Publishing Options

A couple of months ago my agent and I agreed to part ways. As a new agent, her interests were diverse although her history in publishing had been in the Christian market. Her intention (and mine) was to present my novel to secular publishers but over the months she has honed in on the publishing world where she had the most contacts and influence–the burgeoning Christian market.. Working with her was an encouraging experience and I learned a lot.

Now I return to the starting point with a novel formatted and ready to go, a novel that, over a year ago, an agent was excited to represent. I’m turning to you for insight as to my next step and so I’m posting my first-ever poll. If you have an opinion or have had experience, I value your input. Any additional information you might share in comments would be a welcome addition. Thanks, my friends.

My Article Got Published

I just received notice that an article I wrote is published on Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agent’s blog. Hope you will stop by for a visit. The link is

My article is titled “Seven Things I’ve Learned So Far.” It’s a recurring column on this blog, hosted by Chuck Sambuchino, an editor at Writer’s Digest. It follows an interview with a new agent, Kerry Sparks, so you’ll need to scroll down.

Just an FYI, it was here that I found my agent, Kimberly Shumate. Hope you take a look and give me feedback if you would. I will post it in its entirety later this week, but would love to introduce you to this great blog.

Active Waiting

This morning I received an e-mail from my agent, Kimberly Shumate,  in which she stated the obvious…it’s slow-going in the world of publishing. She explained that most publishing houses, like other enterprises, have had to downsize. Fewer staff members translates into fewer people to review manuscripts submitted by agents and authors. When we first began to work together, Kimberly cautioned me to expect a period of waiting up to six months. Now, she says, it’s more like twelve.

Disappointing news, to be sure, but I know my agent is enthusiastic about my novel and working hard to sell it. There’s nothing left to do but wait…wait and write.

I’ve stalled completing the proposal for my second novel. After a while, it’s tempting to become discouraged and give in to entropy. That’s such a mistake and yesterday I made myself begin the tedious task of outlining the manuscript. It has to be a priority. It seems to me that having another book ready to be optioned should be a plus for an editor considering taking a risk on a new author.

If I may be so bold as to throw this out to the world of publishers and editors–many of us hungry, first-time authors are not looking for or expecting large advances. We would be happy just to get a foot in the door and are willing to accept royalties based on sales. Does this make a difference when you’re considering to take a chance on us?

So, to my fellow writers who are in that mode of waiting: keep on writing; don’t get discouraged. Enjoy the process but pray they hurry up!

Thoughts on e-Books

Disclaimer: I love my Kindle! I relish being able to download books when I want them, archiving the ones I’ve read and being able to recall them to my device if I want to revisit something and being able to underline and make notes as I read. I like the fact that it is lightweight and that I can read “East of Eden” or “War and Peace” while I’m lounging in bed. Being able to adjust the font size is great for those of us who are a little older. But…

…there are a few downsides. Tables and illustrations are difficult to read and navigate; it isn’t easy to flip through pages, for example, to re-familiarize yourself with a character or scene you may have forgotten. For those of us who are authors, we can probably expect less in royalties. And my 89-year-old mom would never figure out how to read it. Then there is the sensory joy of holding a book in hand: the smell, the texture of the pages, the substance of it all. But there is one other thing that outweighs all of these: EMP.

Last night I finished reading “One Second After,” by William R. Forstchen–a fictional account of what our country could expect should a rogue nation attack us with a nuclear detonation miles above earth that would wipe out the electric grid and electronic devices over wide areas. This event could plunge us back a couple of centuries. I won’t make this a post about EMP, but one of the tools of survival was the ability of the survivors to got to a college library and obtain information about things like reconstructing telephones and telegraphs, steam engines etc. Sounds out there, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it may not be.

In conclusion, what are your feelings about e-Books? If you received an offer to publish your manuscript electronically, would you? (I would) Do you think that the day will come when this form of publishing will replace hardcopy. (I hope not)

By the way, print out hardcopies of all your work.