Local Writer's

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author/source: Lyvia Feraco

“Elisabetta: A Novel: A Tale of Two Generations Sewn Together” Briana Sasso Buffone

Sadie, a sixteen-year-old girl who has just experienced a life-changing tragedy, finds herself forced into a relationship with her paternal grandmother. As Sadie spends time with her, she realizes that there is a lot more to Nonna than meets the eye. As her grandmother recalls the events of her life, a bond deepens and Sadie transforms and grows with retold memories. A tale of love and loss, triumphs and defeats, betrayals and friendships, this story teaches us how the past can lead us to the future while exploring a woman's place in Italian culture.

Briana is a teacher for the Worcester Pubic Schools who always had two passions since a very young age: teaching and writing.

In her novel, the character of Sadie is very much like her at age 16. "We're both a little bit of an old soul in some ways, a little dramatic in others. The relationship she has with her mother is true to my own life. My mom is my best friend."

Family Influences Writing

"Literacy and writing was always important in my home," said Sasso. "I started reading "The Secret Garden" with my family when I was four, and my love grew from there. When I was nine, I started writing my first book. I was even a child contributor to the Sunday paper in the comic section. My family always encouraged my love for words. They've always known it would happen. It was just a matter of when."

Sasso's novel is truly a reflection of her family life. "Elisabetta" is a nod to Sasso's Italian heritage. "I have a lot of family members that experienced similar things that happen in the book. It's a compilation of stories of the women in my family and the experiences they have had in their own lives and households. It's a celebration of all the stories that have gone untold at this point. In the Italian culture, women are seen and not heard and they haven't been able to have a voice.

Sasso said, "My grandmothers are both a big part of my life. My family is very close and I still rely on them for a lot of the wisdom that informs my adult life. They are two of the strong women that my book is dedicated to." Patrick Sargent, GoLocalWorcester

“The Harp” Briana Sasso Buffone

Eloise Carlisle has lived a perfect life with her physicist parents inside the walls of the Compound. They have everything they need in order to have a fulfilling existence, and there is never any violence or disorder. Sentinels, walls, and weapons protect them. But from what? When a dangerous stranger arrives in a helicopter and takes Eloise away, she is awakened to a world that she had never known existed. Armed with new knowledge of the past, Eloise has a choice to make about what kind of future she will help to establish. Will she go back to the Compound and be the obedient girl that she has always been? Or will she work with the Alliance to right the wrongs that she helped create?

The second self-published novel of Briana Sasso’s young writing career and the second novel released by Sasso in less than twelve months.

“This second novel is more Sci-Fi and involves a Dystopian society. It delves into what our society could look like in the future if things keep going the way they are." Briana Sasso Buffone

“The Harp and Elisabetta are two different kinds of stories but both tell the tale of a young woman learning her way in life. What can you tell us about how you relate to such characters and what traits of your own do you directly reflect in these women?

I would say that writing "what you know" is both the easiest way to write and the most challenging. I think that I have taken on these roles as narrators because I can easily identify with them, or have identified with them at other points in life.  I think that while we all love fairy-tales, we identify more with the struggles that our characters face than their successes.  Something that I was raised to value is strength of character. I want to encourage my readers, particularly young women, to embrace themselves for who they are and to stand up for themselves; to not be afraid to change and to help change the world around them.  I also make sure that my characters have that "heroic flaw" as well, because no one, not even a character in a book, is perfect. This might not always make my characters likeable, but it definitely makes them more realistic.

For those that have yet to purchase the Harp, how would you describe the story and what elements of the novel will attract a reader to it?

The Harp will attract more readers than one would think.  I know several people who have put it into the same category as Hunger Games and Divergent and the like, but it also has a deep message that I feel is important for readers of all ages and points of life to hear.  I would say that anyone who watches the news and contemplates what our future will look like would enjoy The Harp. If you are worried or concerned about the state of our society, you will be interested in reading.” Patrick Sargent, GoLocalWorcester.

“Forty Dollars and a Brand: How to Overcome Challenges, Defy the Odds and Live Your Awesomeness” Denise Kaigler

In the summer of 1984, I was an independent college student living alone in Boston. One day, I woke up hot, scared, and starving. A search of my fridge and cabinets turned up only flour, onions, and cooking oil. I cut up an onion, dipped the slices in flour, and fried them. Onion rings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The next day, I began feeling ill. I hadn't eaten a meal in two days and didn't expect a paycheck for another week.

My apartment buzzer sounded. It was Sammy, a friend's uncle. I hit the buzzer to let him in the building. Sammy entered my apartment and told me that he received a call from his niece about my situation. He gave me $40 to buy groceries. I began to cry and hugged Sammy like my life depended on it. In a sense, it did. Sammy was making an investment in my future, which strengthened my resolve to overcome challenges and reinforced my desire to defy the odds and fulfill my dreams.

Forty Dollars and a Brand includes stories, tips, brand-building activities, and a personal brand journal so you can document the evolution of your personal brand during your journey toward discovering and living your awesomeness.

A shy introvert who grew up with two sisters in a single-parent household in S.E., Washington, DC, Denise Moore (Kaigler) encountered numerous challenges. Defying the odds, she evolved her personal brand, became a corporate leader at Reebok, adidas Group, Nintendo, and Boston Scientific, and worked with numerous celebrities, including Jay Z, Scarlett Johansson, Venus Williams, and Pharrell Williams.  Need help with developing your brand or your two-minute elevator speech? Follow Denise’s tips in this book.

Joey’s Journal” Johnny Kaigler (Denise Kaigler’s son)

https://www.amazon.com/Joeys-Journal-Staying-Strong-When/dp/1635052467

Eight years in the making, Joey's Journal tells the tale of a charismatic twelve-year-old boy growing up in a home that goes through some very sudden changes when his mom has to move across the country for a new job. Follow Joey for a year of his life and get to know him, his family and friends, and all the good that can come out of a very intimidating situation. Joseph (Joey) Kaigler, Jr. was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 23, 1995. Raised in the quaint Boston suburb of Sharon, Joey graduated from Sharon high school in 2013 and currently attends DePaul University in Chicago. Joey is a trained classical pianist and has performed in various venues, including New York's Carnegie Hall. He is also a trained martial artist who holds a second-degree black belt. Joey's Journal represents Joey's debut as a published author.

 

“All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom (Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God)” Deborah Santana

As one of the 69 women featured, the Boston-based author Lisa A. Jones’ essay “Facing fear, finding light” - a story of finding strength in the community during hardship - is included in this anthology.

 

All the Women in My Family Sing is an anthology documenting the experiences of women of color at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It is a vital collection of prose and poetry whose topics range from the pressures of being the vice-president of a Fortune 500 Company, to escaping the killing fields of Cambodia, to the struggles inside immigration, identity, romance, and self-worth. These brief, trenchant essays capture the aspirations and wisdom of women of color as they exercise autonomy, creativity, and dignity and build bridges to heal the brokenness in today’s turbulent world. Sixty-nine authors ― African American, Asian American, Chicana, Native American, Cameroonian, South African, Korean, LGBTQI ― lend their voices to broaden cross-cultural understanding and to build bridges to each other’s histories and daily experiences of life. America Ferrera’s essay is from her powerful speech at the Women’s March in Washington D.C.; Natalie Baszile writes about her travels to Louisiana to research Queen Sugar and finding the “painful truths” her father experienced in the “belly of segregation;” Porochista Khakpour tells us what it is like to fly across America under the Muslim travel ban; Lalita Tademy writes about her transition from top executive at Sun Microsystems to NY Times bestselling author. This anthology is monumental and timely as human rights and justice are being challenged around the world. It is a watershed title, not only written, but produced entirely by women of color, including the publishing, editing, process management, book cover design, and promotions. Our vision is to empower underrepresented voices and to impact the world of publishing in America ― particularly important in a time when 80% of people who work in publishing self-identify as white (as found recently in a study by Lee & Low Books, and reported on NPR). 

“7 Powerful Questions to Discover Your Dream Life” Ngan H. Nguyen

The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of the questions we ask.

Albert Einstein was once asked: “If you have one hour to save the world, how would you spend that hour?” He replied, “I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and then five minutes solving it.”

What if within you already lies the answers to all your current challenges and the power to pursue your greatest life?

The right answers come from asking the right questions. Enabling you to unlock innate-knowing and self-trust that propels you toward a life that is aligned with all your passions, talents, and gifts.

7 Powerful Questions to Discover Your Dream Life, is a concise blueprint that guides you through deep reflections to decipher the clues that are already in your life. The clues that point you to the path of your greatest life. These clues can be used to help create a new North Star that will move you forward with renewed confidence, inspiration, and passion. This book shows you how to read those clues.

The first step toward your greatest life is clarity, without this, nothing is possible. Following the steps in this blueprint will help you achieve clarity on what your best life looks like. A life where you are empowered, fulfilled, and happy in all dimensions: career, relationships, health, self-expression, time, freedom, and abundance. A life where you feel completely aligned with your passions, talents, and gifts, and where you are able to express, contribute, and develop in all the areas and ways that make you feel alive and joyful. In 7 Powerful Questions to Discover Your Dream Life, you will be guided to develop clarity and also learn the one question that will enable you to look within for the answers to move forward on any dreams of your heart.

Step into a new approach for living and find yourself moving confidently in the direction of your most extraordinary life in every way…finding authentic joy, happiness, love, and fulfillment. Ask yourself these 7 Powerful Questions to Discover Your Dream Life today and start your journey of inquiry.

Biography

Ngan H. Nguyen has built her platform of a vision-driven life after 10 years of experience working as a Business Strategy Advisor in Fortune 500 companies and at McKinsey & Company. Helping business leaders solve their most pressing challenges to achieve their vision. Combining her experience as an Advisor with her passion for self-development, leadership, and self-actualization, she now supports people in creating a vision that brings fulfillment in all dimensions of life. Her passion is supporting people in making their personal vision a reality. She believes that it is only with this holistic approach that the structures of our lives will be stable and sound enough to enable us to reach new heights and achieve authentic happiness, joy, and fulfillment. It is her passion, mission, and calling to help others reach their own vision for life through her writing, speaking, and professional coaching.