Wednesday, December 15, 2021



Novel From Author-Educator Peter Cimini Envisions A New Africa...

By Peter D. Cimini

THE MAN WHO TRANSFORMED AFRICA, Fiction, Halo Publishing International, 488 pp.

The novel opens with Vatican intrigue between liberal and conservative cardinals, which leads to the unlikely selection of an Indonesian pope. Seizing the opportunity, the new pope uses his ex-cathedra (papal infallibility) to declare poverty to be an immoral human condition. The pope decides to lead by example, taking the provocative step of selling Vatican treasures to fund a long-term plan to build a strong middle-class society in Africa.

The novel follows the pope, an ex-president of the United States, and an African nationalist during the first two years of an estimated twelve-year project to build a strong African middle-class society.

After a year-and-a-half of steady progress, the ex-president and the African nationalist realize they have miscalculated the costs of irrigating the African tropical savannas, and the project stalls. A brilliant, young, autistic project employee, originally hired to oversee the use of Africa’s natural resources, solves the irrigation problem, allowing the plan to continue moving forward. The autistic project employee later comes to the rescue once again when he clears the name of the ex-president, who had been falsely accused of bribery.

The author believes the fictional narrative of this unique story will show the need to stabilize Africa’s social order, infrastructure, and land use, which would result in an economic rejuvenation of the continent, eventually turning Africa into an agricultural giant.

Giancarlo Barzinni was born in 1938, the only child of Leopoldo and Anna Barzinni. The Barzinni family lived in Piedmont, south of the mighty Alps in the northwestern region of Italy. Giancarlo’s parents were domestic workers for a wealthy family who owned a villa overlooking Lake Maggiore. His father tended the villa’s grounds and his mother worked as a house cleaner.

When Giancarlo learned to walk, he accompanied his mother to morning Mass. By five years of age, Giancarlo became deeply influenced by his mother’s devotion to her Catholic religion. When Giancarlo began his schooling, he also started playing European football and soon became the dominant player among his peers. People from the Piedmont region of Italy heard of a young talented footballer from Lake Maggiore, and many traveled to watch the ten-year-old soccer phenom. At fifteen years of age, Giancarlo became the youngest player invited to Italy’s national team tryouts. Coaches from the national team had been impressed with his exceptional football skills. During the final week of tryouts, Giancarlo seriously injured his hip in a collision with another player. The injured young player returned home without qualifying for a spot on the national team, with the assurance that he would receive an invitation to the national team’s 1965 trials.

Giancarlo, now twenty years of age, received his invitation to the Italian national football teams 1965 try-outs. The coaches once again were impressed with Giancarlo’s skills and noticed an improved maturity in his approach to game of football. During the third week of trials, Giancarlo was participating in a kick on goal drill against a defensive player, he cut sharply to his right to avoid a defensive team member, and suddenly fell to the ground in severe pain. The team medical trainer accompanied Giancarlo to the medical facility for an ankle x-ray. The x-ray showed a broken anklebone. That evening during a coaches’ meeting, it was decided to exclude Giancarlo from further competition with Italy’s national team. The coaches were unwilling to hold a spot on the team roster, for an injury prone player, no matter how skillful he was. Giancarlo was sent home and informed that he would not be considered in the future.



is available at:

Author Peter Cimini was born in New York City, in the borough of the Bronx. He attended both a Catholic elementary and high school. Mr. Cimini holds bachelor and masters degrees from New York University. He was a teacher both in New York and Connecticut, and served students twenty years as a curriculum specialist, overseeing and writing curricula. He is also the author of The Secret Sin of Opi, on the topic of missing and exploited children. His favorite novel is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Author Cimini admires the works of writers Kristin Hannah and Nicolas Sparks. He lives in Connecticut.

The Man Who Transformed Africa is his latest novel.

Visit Peter’s blog at or connect with him on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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Friday, December 10, 2021



S.M. Adams
 is a licensed secondary school teacher and experienced college instructor with over 10 years’ experience in the field of education.  She holds graduate training in both American History and Adolescent Education. A confessed late bloomer Sarah returned to college as a student-parent to uncover her life’s passion for education and helping others. For years of community service and volunteer work, S.M Adams was awarded the prestigious New York Life fellowship from the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service in 2008 and received the Phoenix Award from Urban Resource Institute thereafter. She also briefly spent time on the policy committee of HEAASC, the Higher Education Alliance for Advocates of Students with Children. As a domestic violence advocate, she has appeared on NYC Fox 5, NYC Bronx 12 as well as in Marie Claire magazine. A graduate of City College of New York and Pace University this New York transplant by way of Jamaica W.I. loves the summertime, reading on the beach, eating mangoes and spending time with her son and husband.

Arise and Walk: From the Sidelines of Life to the Next Level is her latest book.

Visit her website at Connect with her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing? 

I’m a teacher, instructor and trainer.

When did you start writing

I’ve always written, in journals, for school newspaper wherever

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life? 

I was a history major in grad school and I think all that writing and rewriting cemented my future as a writer.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

To the Caribbean, on the beach after midnight until about 5am in the morning.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Bake rum cake.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I’m a fiction author so most of my setting is real life. This book has a tennis courtside references. I’m currently thinking about other references I can make in future books.

Back to your present book, how did you publish it?

This book is independently published and relied on bringing together a team to help get it off the ground.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Absolutely not !! I wrote most of it during the pandemic lockdown

Why was writing Arise and Walk: From the Sidelines of Life to the Next Level so important to you? 

Because I wanted to help everyone who would have to reimagine and reinvent their lives after the devastating effects of the pandemic.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is? 

From Life. I love to journal my daily experiences, and so re-reading my journals provide inspiration for my writing.

Whatever challenge you may currently be facing, Arise & Walk: From the Sidelines of Life to the Next Level offers a proven framework to assist you in making that much needed life transformation.

During the pandemic with her classroom shuttered S.M. Adams an experienced educator and instructor shifted her focus from teaching adolescents to creating a different kind of lesson plan, one to help survivors of the Covid 19 pandemic and its devastating aftermath, reimagine and reinvent themselves.

Always a teacher first, this new author with over a decade’s experience in New York City classrooms uses verbal imagery, examples from her own life along with interesting analogies to make clear the mindset shifts and action steps which lead to a transformed life.

So, if you’re unsure of what to do, look no further.

Arise & Walk: From the Sidelines of Life to the Next Level will help you to think about:

  • How to begin to process change
  • How to emotionally and mentally deal with downscaling
  • Whether to continue with the old venture or start something new
  • Which relationships to embrace and lean into as you undergo a life change
  • How to clear the path to accomplish new money goals


  • How to better manage time in a way that suits the new you.
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Monday, December 6, 2021



Maria J. Andrade
 was born in Ecuador, South America, and raised in New York and California. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. As a licensed therapist and writer, Maria has been diving into other people’s minds and her own, through dreams, poetry, and books for over three decades. She traveled with the Four Winds Society where she studied and was initiated into Andean shamanism in 1990.

Before Maria retired as a therapist, she specialized in women’s issues and founded the Wise Women’s Circle a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit.

Maria Andrade’s books for children and adults is found in a variety of genres. This is an unforgettable first novel that reflects her imagination and creative storytelling.

Defiance and Redemption is her latest release.

Visit her website at or connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I like to cook for family and friends or spend time alone in my garden. My husband and I enjoying doing activities together. We are involved in our community and support various organizations.

He and I shared a private practice as psychotherapists for many years. I founded the Wise Women’s Circle over fifteen years ago. It is a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit. I am also part of the Global Sisterhood which meets monthly to share life experiences.

I love writing poetry and occasionally do readings. We have the CA Botanic Garden in our town, and they have had poetry recitals in the garden in which I have been invited to participate. There are also poetry readings in our town’s library.

When did you start writing?

     I started writing as an adolescent. My friend and I would write poems or plays that we put on for no one.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

   I think this recent novel I have written has been pivotal. First because it honors my family, especially my parents and three special women I grew up with. Secondly, because I translated the novel into Spanish to celebrate my Latinx culture and hopefully to attract a greater readership.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

     I would probably go to Hawaii because my daughter lives there, but also because I will be writing a children’s book to be published in 2022 about Dreamland and that is a dream landscape to settle into!

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

     I would spend it doing something enjoyable with my husband. As a matter of fact, we had those four hours yesterday and we drove to the LA Arboretum. We love being in nature.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

     Perhaps Ireland.  I find it a magical land and I think it would be a great back drop for a humorous and romantic story.

Back to your present book, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, how did you publish it?

  I published it with a small press and with the support of Spiro Books.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I had traveled to my land of birth, Ecuador, South America years earlier.

Why was writing Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds so important to you?

   It is based on the true story of my parent’s love affair, but the story is primarily about the bond between three women in my family that lasted over eighty years. These women lived into their late nineties, and they died a few years apart. Who they were and how they saw life helped shape the person I became.

The book focuses on the first third of their lives when they come together as young women. These women overcame the oppressive social, cultural, and religious environment of their day. They did so with courage, humor, at the price of their reputations, the loss of fortune, and their country. It was the early 20th Century. They confronted many of the oppressive perspectives towards women still prevalent in parts of the world today, misogyny, racism, social disparity, and elitism that forced women into a narrow way of life. I wanted to honor their story imbued with courage, humor, and the vision to find a new path for themselves.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

     The three main female characters are based on three women who were central in my life. It was an inspiration to learn about how they made their way as immigrants to this country. The challenges each of them faced were made more tolerable by their mutual support, their sense of humor, and their devotion determining their own lives. It is an inspiring story but more importantly, it has been defined as a “page-turner” by reviewers because of the events filled with a memorable cast of characters, drama, laughter, and a raucous multi-generational family.  

Any final words?

   I have written five books for adults and five books for children. This novel was the most challenging and also the most rewarding. I hope that readers will learn more about my work on:

 To find out what people are saying about my recently published work, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds please visit:  

I am excited that the Spanish version of the novel has recently been published and I hope Latinx readers will search for, Desafío y redención, Una vida de vínculos intactos

now available on Amazon.

Thank you for this opportunity to spend time with you! It has been a true pleasure.


Author: Maria J. Andrade
Publisher: Clara Publishing
Pages: 250
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction/Magical Realism


Based on a true story, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, brings to life the joys, dramas, and triumphs of two sisters, Eva and Victoria Alisio and their loyal friend Marta. The sisters are raised by their atheist Grandfather Marcus and religious Grandmother Maria Luisa. Eva, a proud and strong-willed young woman defies her family, society, and culture, faces scandal and disgrace, for her forbidden love affair. Victoria finds herself in the center of a multigenerational conflict as her benefactor bestows a great inheritance on her excluding the rightful heirs. Marta, loyal to the childhood bond with the Alisio sisters, brings humor and support to their twists and turns of fortune. The young women’s bond of love, and perseverance, carries them through ordinary and extraordinary losses, triumphs, and ultimately to their destiny in the United States.

An important novel about 20th Century women, Defiance and Redemption, is an absorbing epic that moves through decades and destinies. It blends personal and historical events into a collective tale of self-determination, love, and sisterhood.


“This book is an engrossing page turner which will pull you in and keep you cheering for your favorite actors until the very end! Defiance and Redemption is a unique book that tells a story that is both particular to a given time in Ecuador, but also universal in its themes of love, betrayal and survival.” – Nancy Mintie, Founder of Uncommon Good

“Reading Defiance and Redemption reminded me of a distant time when I read Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Like these writers, Maria Andrade took me through a captivating journey of love and deep passion. Being gripped by the strong emotions that the characters possess and what they did in the end moved me profoundly.” – Maria Donovan, Retired Verizon Executive

“In Defiance and Redemption, Maria Andrade weaves together history, biography, and fiction into a romantic love and a story of three women that defy the ability of patriarchal culture to define them. We see the young women grow up to rise above the shame that tries to silence and limit them. They learn to find their voices and make sacrifices to be true to themselves as women. They leave behind all that they knew to make a better life for themselves and their daughters. This is a book to remind women of all ages where we came from, and what it took to break out and thrive nearly a century ago. Women like these paved the way for all who came after and have the rights we have today.” – Nancy Poitou, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Amazon: Defiance and Redemption: A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds: Andrade, Maria J: 9781734290066: Books



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