Thursday, October 31, 2013

Author of the Month: Review, Giveaway, and Interview with Marie Fostino


     I am glad to announce that Bottles & Books Reviews first author of the month is Marie Fostino! I am so happy to have her joining me here today for an interview.
    Marie, a wife, mother, paramedic, and author has written five books to date which include The Silver Locket, which I will be touching base on today, and A Struggle of the Heart, which I reviewed last month. My review for A Struggle of the Heart can be found here.
    One of the greatest things about Marie's work is that her books are based on real life experiences. These experiences lead to her books having much depth and emotion. You can feel the heart of the book in each book that Marie write. Marie's books make you laugh, make you cry, and touch you deep down in your soul.

SOMETIMES LOVE HURTSCrystal and Blake are only married for a year when trouble finds its way into their life. Driving through the rain, and crying so hard it's difficult to see, she finally makes it home to talk to her mom. Lisa is upset as she tries to 
calm  her daughter down. Life is not always a bed of roses Crystal finds out as Lisa  pulls out the journals she found after her parents death. Inside the 
writing of  Natalie, Crystal grandmother, tells a story of falling in love, 
betrayal,  forgiveness and new beginnings. Will Crystal and Blake stay married or call it  quits.

ROSEMARY & ANTONIO - Takes place in the turbulent era of the 1920’s, prohibition and gangs running rampant in the streets of Chicago. You will enjoy this version of the events leading up to one of the bloodiest days in Chicago’s history with Tommy-guns, gangsters and a love story throw in.

A STRUGGLE OF THE HEARTAnnette Ferrari lives in Lawton, OK with her family when she decides it is time to leave and make it on her own. She moves to Norman with her girlfriend Lynn when she meets Aaron. It is love at first sight as he captures her heart. As they spend time together their love grows.  Aaron joins the army and they continue  their love through letters. Annette's life is turned upside down as she experiences the Oklahoma Bombing and her letters from Aaron stop. Broken hearted Annette devotes her mind to her studies. Tim a class mate befriends Annette and lets her know how he feels about her. But it isn’t until a disturbing event happens which changes her course of life and love.

THE SILVER LOCKETWhen Jennifer finds that her daughter is not home from school yet, her past flashes before her eyes. Memories of moving, making new friends, falling in love, senseless death, and becoming a mother at the tender age of sixteen. People would stop Jenny and ask if the child she was with was her sister. "No, this is my child." A strange combination of sadness and joy overcome her when she turns back the clock. Names and faces float through her mind like ghosts that still haunt her. The Silver Locket captures the teen soul, heartbreaking judgement calls, and the beauty of a close-knit Christian family. You will read how the "new teen on the block" makes friends, makes mistakes, finds her faith, 

and most importantly learns life lessons. 

ALZHEIMER'S: A CARETAKER'S JOURNAL An inspirational tale of one family's love, devotion and faith.

When I arrived, I approached the figure in the wheelchair. I asked him who I was but my  
father-in-law did not recognize me. When I tried to help him, he became angry and violent. He tried to get out of his wheelchair and away from me. He yelled, "No! You are not taking me back to Germany! You are all Nazis! You are all  trying to kill me." Dad won a Bronze Star Medal for his service during WWII. It  took three of us to get him outside to the car. Dad had his fists to me, a growl on his face and threatened to kick me. Then the swearing began . This is a book about the daily trials and tribulations of taking care of a loved one with  Alzheimer's Disease. In this Journal I share the feelings of confusion, frustration, and blessings I experienced during my ordeal. I wrote this Journal both for myself and with the hope that it might help others deal with similar  situations. It's important for caretakers to know that they're not alone, that  others have experienced the same frustrations. Sometimes a caretaker feels very  isolated-the world, after all, doesn't stop, despite the sense that your world is frozen in time. I'm hoping that this book will offer comfort to those who  find themselves in that world. In this Journal I record the little things I did,  daily, to preserve my sanity and provide my father-in-law with as nearly a normal life as possible. It is a tale of thoughts, stories, anecdotes, as well as feelings of helplessness, guilt, happiness, and sorrow. If you feel as though you can and want to see your loved one through this awful disease, then this  book will offer a helping hand. The Journal will also be of value to anyone who wants some idea of what to expect from a person suffering from Alzheimer's  Disease. Finally, please remember that Alzheimer's affects different people in many different ways. This is my account of living with Alzheimer's. This  publication includes testimonials from Maria's husband (Joe's son) and two of  his grandchildren who shared Maria's home-care duties. Also features numerous  photographs of family events, both in years past as well as during Joe's illness. This is a very touching, human story about families and how they deal  with crises, emerging stronger and closer as a result of their misfortune.


MY REVIEW OF THE SILVER LOCKET: The Silver Locket is a beautiful, heartwarming coming of age story of first love, loss, teenage pregnancy and the strength of family. 

Jenny, new to town, is struggling to make friends until she meets Jacy and his gang of friends. While not the type of crowd Jenny usually associates with, her loneliness overcomes her and she finds herself drawn to them and most importantly to Jacy. 

Jacy, a rebellious teen, thinks Jenny is the perfect girl for his school year fling. Jacy thinks of Jenny as sweet and naive and knows with just the right amount of suggestion he can convince her to do almost anything for him: even give him her virginity. While not looking for love, Jenny starts to find her way into his heart. Little does he know what he think will be fling will shake up his world and change his life.

Jenny starts to fall head over heels in love with Jacy and finally succumbs to temptation only to learn mere weeks later that she is pregnant. 

Will Jacy changes his ways and step up to be a dad? Will Jenny be on her own in raising this baby? Will they stay together?

Drawing from her own personal experience of her own daughter's teenage pregnancy, Marie writes a '5 star' book showing the realities of peer pressure and teenage pregnancy. Many girls have been in Jenny's shows and this book is for all of those that have been. Peer pressure is very real. Teenage pregnancy is real. Instead of shying from those issues, Marie addresses the truth of them in The Silver Locket.

Marie's characters are well thought out and defined. Jenny's character is full of heart and you can feel the depth of her emotions while Jacy's character shows the progress of a rebellious teen in going through the beginnings of redeeming himself and becoming a man. The Silver Locket focuses on change and growing up, but also the strong bonds of family. Throughout the story Jenny's family stands by her. Through her bit of rebellion, through her pregnancy and the birth of her child, her family can be counted on to stand beside her. While not in anyway promoting teenage pregnancy, The Silver Locket, shows how in situations such as that the strength and love of family is powerful.

I once again fell in love with Marie's characters and the book itself. I highly recommend The Silver Locket and am honored to have had the chance to read and review it.

Hi Marie, thank you for joining me at Bottles & Books Reviews today and allowing me to interview you.

Thank you Jessica for this interview, I really appreciate you. What you are doing for authors is commendable. 

What inspired you to become a writer? 
I wrote my first book because of my father in law’s Alzheimer’s. As I was taking care of him, I would write letters on my computer to family to keep everyone up dated. They told me after he died that I needed to make a book to help others and that is how I started writing. All though I went through a box of letters I found in my garage the other day and noticed that I wrote short stories while my kids were young in the year 1990 and I also have the rejection letters. This was way before computers and cell phones. Lol 

What have you written? 
I have written 5 books so far. One is non-fiction called Alzheimer’s A Caretakers Journal. This was about taking care of my father in law with his Alzheimer’s. 
The other 4 books are fiction YA books.

My book The Silver Locket came to me after my first grandchild turned fifteen years old. The memories came flooding back to that time her mom was pregnant while in high school which was the idea behind this book.

My third book A Struggle of the Heart came next as I looked back into my life when I changed careers from being a beautician to a paramedic due to the Oklahoma City Bombing.

My forth book Rosemary & Antonio is my version of Romeo and Juliet but in the 1920’s.  Growing up and living in Chicago, the history of Al Capone is very interesting to me since my grandpa use to work for him.

My fifth book Sometimes Love Hurts is a book about love and forgiveness. Like a lot of marriages we have gone through some rough times and had to learn to forgive and forget.

When writing do you have any rituals (a lucky trinket by your side, mood music, etc.)? 
No I don’t.  I have done a lot of writing of the first draft on my ambulance. I have the idea in my head and just start writing it over and over again until I come up with how I want to present it. I enjoy fiction books so I try to make real life situations into fiction stories.

Are you working on anything at the moment? 
I am in the thinking mode right now. All of my books but one is from my life changing experiences.

Besides writing you work on an ambulance, did that give you the inspiration for Annette's character?  
Oh good question. My main reason for this book is how the Oklahoma bombing affected me. I had to share how insignificant I felt since they would not let me help and why I decided to work on an ambulance. I was the beautician who went to school to be a paramedic. I shared all my experiences in that book that I went through. Well except the romantic part. I was 40 yrs. old when I went back to school, married and had 5 children.  I also wanted to let people know that even through this disaster some good things came out of it. I wanted to make a positive ending for this negative event.

How long on average does it usually take you to write a book? 
This is a hard question. It may not take long to write the book if you have it in your head, but it is the re-editing and re-writing that takes so long.

If you could live in one place, real or fictional, where would it be and why? 
I would go back in time and live on the farm in Wisconsin with my grandparents. Life was simple and days were long, whether chasing the chickens to find their eggs or lie back on the grass and make animals out of the clouds, those were the days my friends.

What is your favorite book and why? 
The book called The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks holds tight to my heart. I think it is because of my father in law with his Alzheimer’s and that is the first book I read that was fiction about the disease.

If you could give your younger self any advice what would it be? I would have to tell myself to keep a journal of my life. Say starting like right after high school to see how I have grown mentally and spiritually.

How would you describe yourself in five words? Compassionate, loving, self-motivated, playful, and quiet

What's next for you as an author? I am working on getting my other E-books into paper back.  I myself enjoy holding a book in my hands. I love reading from my kindle but I miss the smell of a book.

What advice would you give aspiring authors? If you have a story, write, and re-write. Don’t let other people discourage you. Make sure you get your work edited over and over again. Than share it with the world. Remember you can start by making it an E-book which is cheaper than making it a paper back. But who knows, maybe a big time agent will like what you wrote and you can be the next big hit.

You and your husband are both writers, do you give each other ideas for your books? 
My husband and I are totally different writers. Where I make fiction books from experiences my husband loves Si-Fi and has his own imagination. We do talk to each other and run ideas off each other. But we write totally different. 

Since you are both writers, do you find it easier to have some you know on a personal level critique your work since they have had the same experiences as you?     
My husband does not read my books. Lol It is not the kind of genre that he likes.  I have read his and I love his writing, but sometimes I get a little lost and have him explain to me and I think that helps him with his re-writes. 

 You are giving away two of your husband's books, The Eleventh Universe and Earthbound the Mingling, can you tell readers a little bit about the books?
The Eleventh Universe - From the moment Asmodeeus and LiLith are first introduced, they sense a celestial bond they cannot deny. But when LiLith breaks Asmodeeus’ heart for that of a mere mortal, the Eleventh Universe's most powerful spirit finds himself torn between heartbreak and hatred - good and evil - leaving mankind's fate on an uncertain path. Can Lord Vafa – the 11th Element of the Godhead and Asmodeeus’ Father – find a way to alter his son’s destiny? 

Earthbound the Mingling - There’s no question they planned their mission carefully; all I’s dotted, all T’s crossed. But reality is fickle. It cares nothing for plans made by man – nor by Spirit. Will the Spirits best laid plans unfold as intended? Or will their newly acquired emotions threaten their peaceful journey? As LiLith’s love for a human named Diwan grows, Asmodeeus’ jealousy runs wild. Will jealousy give rise to a fundamental shift in the Eleventh Universe’s balance of power? Can Baylore and LiLith find a way to stem Asmodeeus’ fury? Who will rise? … Who will fall? Is anyone safe?

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 
I would like to thank you again for this interview and to thank all the people who have read and enjoyed my books. Please help an author out. If you enjoy their book tell your friends.



  1. Great Contest Marie. Good Luck with the promotion!

    1. Thank U very much W C Hewitt, I really appreciate that. Have a great week. :)

  2. I have added a ten dollar gift card with the grand prizes. You can't win if you don't sign up. :)

  3. I love this. Very smart ideas, I send you my three cheers... twitters @MrRhymes

    1. Thank you for checking this out David. Have a great week.

  4. I like the cooler weather and camp fires.

    1. So Crystal do you live in Phoenix? Here the weather is cooler and beautiful and no fire hazards at the moment. I can't wait to put a fire in the pit in the backyard and make smores.

  5. I want to THANK everyone who entered this contest. I am so excited that I get to mail out 5 gifts this weekend. I also have a BIG THANK YOU to Jessica for allowing me to do this on her website. :)