The Writer’s Reading Corner: Nicole Harkin #memoir #amreading #IndieAuthor

Happy Friday!  You never know which books are going to stick with you – maybe it’s something your parents read to you as a child, perhaps a book that provided comfort during a difficult time in your life, or a novel that kept you up reading until the wee hours of the morning.  For today’s author, it was a book about two men in a middle-aged crisis embarking on a fishing trip.  Welcome Nicole Harkin!

Who would expect a book about men fishing would catch my interest? But Shark Drunk did just that. Set in Sweden, the book follows two middle-aged men as they seek to ward off a middle-aged crisis by fishing for a Greenland shark from a dingy. Almost Moby Dick, updated for a modern audience, the book flew by, as I learned about Greenland shark oil and Norse myths. I won’t give away the ending, which had me on the edge of my dingy until the end of the book. I am honestly recommending this book to every person I meet these days.

Another Swedish author’s book caught my eye recently: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. The author is obsessed with death in another form, hers rather than that of a shark. She delineates how to downsize before it is too late, reminding aging seniors, or the rest of us for that matter, to destroy our extra dildos and unfinished paintings. As I read this book, I thought about my grandmother who died last year. She engaged in death cleaning without calling it that. At the end of every visit to her in recent years, I came home with more of her stuff. At the time I didn’t see it as her preparing to die but looking back it is clear. She did not want to be a burden to us. She never was to me. This book will appeal to those interested in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Nicole’s Latest Release

Start with a family of four children and two parents, add in a sudden catastrophic illness, a secret girlfriend, financial ruin, and divorce; shake with cancer, teenage pregnancy, a bit of humor and resiliency: that’s the recipe for my childhood. Tilting, A Memoir is a story of how one set of parents lived and died—but more than that—it is an exploration of the secrets and lies of childhood and the stories we tell ourselves which mold us into the people we become. The book recently won a gold medal in The Wishing Shelf Book awards!

Author Bio

Nicole Harkin currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband and two small children. She works as a writer and family photographer. As a Fulbright Scholar during law school, Nicole lived in Berlin, Germany where she studied German environmentalism. Her work can be found in Thought Collection and you are here: The Journal of Creative Geography. She is currently working on mystery set in Berlin. Her photography can be seen at Her book, Tilting, A Memoir, won a gold award in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.

Social Media

IG: @tiltingamemoir
Twitter: @harkinna

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Luisa Cloutier #biography #memoir #IndieAuthor

Who hasn’t wished they could contact a loved one on the other side?  To see how they’re doing…to say something you wish you’d told them before it was too late…to get closure.  There could be any number of reasons.  Today, Luisa Cloutier shares her tragic loss and subsequent journey to find peace and healing.  Welcome, Luisa!

I have read Love Never Dies by Dr. Jamie Turndorf,

I chose this book because I needed to know how to connect with my husband on the other side. Brandon had had a heart attack, he was a healthy and handsome man. I needed to reassure myself that he was with me, in another dimension, and that love never dies. I needed his spiritual guidance to make the right decisions for our business. I confirm that I had had signs that Brandon’s spirit was with me and that we were inseparable forever.

Dr. Jamie Turndorf’s book is therapeutic and gave me peace. I highly recommend reading this book to people who have lost their loved ones.


My memoir UNTIL FOREVER will be released on May 24, 2018.

When Luisa’s mother died, Luisa was left to take care of her family. Her dream of leaving Naples for a better life died too. Her life became hard work and sacrifice, leaving no time for dreaming or romance. Then one day she met a U.S Marine stationed in Italy. Though Brandon didn’t speak Italian, he understood what Luisa needed and made her feel like a princess. They fell in love, married and began to build a life together in the United States. For many years they struggled. Because of Brandon’s military service, Luisa spent long periods apart from him. Under the stress, their marriage slowly began to fracture, leading to infidelity and separation. During that time apart, both Luisa and Brandon learned what it took to make a marriage work and came to realize how much they truly meant to each other.  When they reconciled, their love grew even stronger. Until one day when everything changed and Luisa faced something she didn’t think she would ever recover from. Until Forever is the inspiring story of the power of love and the strength that lies within us when we think we have nothing left. 

“Luisa Cloutier’s tribute to her husband Brandon, is a beautifully written and engaging ‘coming of age’ journey, and the author’s distinct personality and perspective are evident throughout, creating a warm and moving memoir.” –Indie Reader

 “The storytelling is raw and honest.” –Nabila Fairuz, author of The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar

Author Bio

Luisa Cloutier is a motivational and inspirational speaker and the owner of a successful personal training business. She has over 25 years of experience in the fitness and wellness industry and is a Nutrition Together Consultant and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Exercise Therapy.  Since 2005, she has been helping clients reach their personal goals and achieve happiness. With dual U.S./Italian citizenship, she divides her time between Massachusetts and the South of Italy.
Twitter:  @LuisaCloutier

#IndieAuthor Friday Allen Long #Memoirs

It’s Friday!!!!!  Today’s indie author is Allen Long, here with his memoir, Less Than Human.  It’s received positive reviews, with one Amazon reviewer stating the ‘….writing style is unique in that in draws the reader in, tells of sadness experienced by the author, but has an undertone of triumph and joy.’

“In Less than Human,” Allen Long tells the story of his often nightmarish childhood in the wealthy suburbs of D.C., the wonders and mysteries of teenage love, his ill-advised journeys into corporate America and a hellish marriage, and ultimate breakdown. And yet, his story is mostly one of triumph. He draws strength from the joys of fatherhood, he finds true love in his second marriage, and through working with psychotherapists and leading a life rich in self-examination, he overcomes both child abuse and the resulting PTSD, finally learning that instead of being less than… he is, indeed… human.

“Less than Human” follows an unconventional path, arranged as much by theme and association as by chronology. These stories take many forms, from driving narrative to lyrical reverie, at times evoking mythic overtones, and this variety, along with an unflinching confrontation with the conditions and consequences of childhood abuse, creates its own form of suspense-in what direction will this book take us next?

What are your favorite books in your genre?

My favorite memoir books include:

  • This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
  • Townie by Andre Dubus III
  • Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Wherever I Wind Up by R.A. Dickey
  • Fortunate Son by John Fogerty
  • A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
  • Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
  • Clapton by Eric Clapton

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

One reviewer said she enjoyed the high number of surprises in the book and not knowing what was going to happen next.  My book is about how I overcame child abuse, PTSD, and a nightmarish marriage before finally finding true love and happiness.  Several readers have commented that the narrator’s triumphant and joyful voice assures the reader that everything will turn out all right. I divorced my first wife because she cheated on me several times and was verbally abusive to our three sons and me. When my oldest son read my book, he thanked me for making his mom a well-rounded sympathetic character, despite her bad behavior. This is my favorite comment.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

My book is populated by a number of villains, the three worst being my parents and my ex-wife.  While I’ve made peace with my parents, my ex-wife has been hostile toward me since we split up in 1992, despite the fact that I was the wronged party. My ex-wife’s family and I believe she has a chemical imbalance in her brain that she has never attempted to correct by working with a psychiatrist. I wish her good luck in fighting this affliction.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Chocolate chip.  In general, I’m not crazy about cookies.  I find them too sweet without satisfying flavor, but chocolate chip cookies really hit the spot.

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

I’ve been swimming ever since I was five.  Swimming was a great comfort to me as I was growing up in an abusive household. I actually became addicted to swimming as an adult. My book contains the story of my swimming addiction and cure.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

Current favorite TV shows include The Walking Dead, Black Sails, Game of Thrones, and The Magicians. Also, just watched the movie Arrival.

Author Bio

Allen Long was born in New York City and grew up in Arlington, Virginia. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in fiction writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Arizona. He has been an assistant editor at Narrative Magazine since 2007, and his fiction and memoirs have appeared in a wide variety of literary magazines. He lives with his wife near San Francisco.

Social Media

Buy Links