Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NewMemoirs.com: An Offer to You


Have you written and/or published a memoir?

If so, please read on.

NewMemoirs.com is all about new memoirs, both published and unpublished.

This is not a review site. In other words, I will not review your memoir, but I am offering you a highly targeted web space where you can blurb and brag about your new memoir.

For free.

Once your blurb appears on this site, it will remain here, unless you request that it be removed.

No obligation, ever. In fact, I have nothing to sell.

So why am I doing this?

  1. I am a writer who has written a memoir that I'm trying to shop around, so in 2007 I registered the domain NewMemoirs.com. My hope: to use the site to convince agents and editors to represent my memoir I, Driven: a teen's memoir of involuntary commitment. I was going to keep this site all to myself, but then I started thinking: why not offer web space to other writers who also have their memoirs to shop around and sell?

  2. To be honest, this is not an entirely a selfless offer. The internet is all about numbers; the more relevant pages a site has, the higher it ranks in the search engines, which means higher traffic to the site. So you see, it's a win-win situation for everyone who has a spot on this site. We will all get better exposure, which is all we really want for our books. In exchange for a highly targeted web space, you are giving me free content for my website. On the internet, content is king, and targeted free content is the best kind yet.

  3. You will see tasteful ads on this page, but never pop-up, pop-under, slide-across, or "Welcome to My Page" ads. I don't like those annoyances either and have no intention of filling my sites with such irritating nonsense. If you ever see those kinds of ads on my pages, let me know, and I'll make sure that they are removed. Furthermore, web surfers who land on this site are never under any obligation to click on any of the ads.

So are you interested? If so, I'll need some text, which must be pasted in your email to me, and a photograph from you (thus, no email attachments except for the photograph).

For already-published memoirs:

  • Title of your memoir with full publication data: date, publisher, number of pages, ISBN number, price, and an ordering information link. This info can be obtained from Amazon and/or your publisher. If your memoir is self-published and printed, you may have your ordering information placed directly on your web space.

  • A blurb, 100-250 words, about your memoir.

  • Your full name and bio, about 100 words, or a link to your longer online bio.

  • If applicable, one book review of your memoir.

  • One photo of your book cover (attached as a JPEG file). Be sure to give credit to the photographer and cover designer, even if it's a friend, relative, or just you.

  • A short excerpt from the memoir, no more than 500 words.

  • A link to your web page. Not required, but a reciprocal link to www.NewMemoirs.com on your web page would be greatly appreciated.

  • Email your text and photograph to me.

For unpublished memoirs:

  • An open letter to agents and publishers (see sample--my own open letter), with a compelling opening, title of your memoir, number of manuscript pages, and other pertinent information.

  • Your full name and bio, about 100 words, or a link to your longer online bio.

  • If applicable, one pre-publication book review of your manuscript.

  • One photo that captures the spirit of your memoir (attached as a JPEG file). Just be sure that you own the rights to the photograph or have permission to use it. Be sure to give credit to the photographer, even if it's a friend, relative, or just you.

  • A short excerpt from the manuscript, no more than 500 words.

  • A link to your web page. Not required, but a reciprocal link to www.NewMemoirs.com on your web page would be greatly appreciated.

  • Email your text and photograph to me.

Other than running a quick spell check, I will not be editing your work, so please make sure that your text is exactly the way you want it; due to time constraints, I will not be able to go back and do edits on your page.

Please read the disclaimer below.

Take a look at some new memoir blurbs.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

In the Shadow of Mercury. A Memoir of Mid-Life and Dogs (Melanie Coronetz)


Title: In the Shadow of Mercury. A Memoir of Mid-Life and Dogs

Published: August 15, 2008, by Xlibris

Softcover: ISBN 978-1-4363-5674-9, 165 pages

Softcover: $19.99 at Amazon.com and Xlibris.com.

Website: ShadowOfMercury.com

The Author with Her Dogs

In the Shadow of Mercury explores how one woman’s search for identity in middle age brought her into the show ring at Madison Square Garden. After trying and discarding a series of possible careers, the author settles in with a Schipperke she names Mercury. On the advice of friends, she then attempts to show him.

This book traces her missteps as she tries to learn the ins and outs of the purebred dog world. Meanwhile, her marriage slumps towards indifference, and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show looms. What happens with Mercury and the subsequent dogs in the author’s life makes this memoir a lively and touching read for dog lovers and anybody else interested in a good story that has been described by one reader as an amazing roller coaster ride.
Melanie Coronetz grew up with pet dogs. She stumbled into the world of showing by accident, as she approached middle-age. Throughout her life, she’s had a variety of careers, some satisfying, some not. A native New Yorker, she lives in New York City with her husband and their three dogs.
Book Review:
By Richard Pulfer in the Rockford Review, Winter-Spring 2009: “Absolute Must for Memoirists …”
Distance is one of the most crucial elements in writing non-fiction memoirs. Is the writer too close to the event and its implications, or too far away? Luckily, Melanie Coronetz puts her perspective squarely on focus to the impact of dog owning in a story of fresh dreams and new beginnings in mid-life.

Struggling to find her calling in life, Coronetz finds her relationship with her husband slowly deteriorating after his struggle with cancer. This relationship is further strained by several failed endeavors before Coronetz settles on something seemingly left field—purebred dog showing. Falling for a new Schipperke pet named Mercury, Coronetz flies through the dog showing industry by the seat of her pants.

Coronetz has certainly mastered the art of the hook. In a turn of a few words and a few paragraphs, she’s able to hook the reader into emotional investments. I didn’t think a story of dog-showing at mid-life would be such a rapid page-turner, but clearly I was wrong. Coronetz’s passages are exciting and breathtaking, with experience ranging from uplift to heartbreaking, making this book any dog owner’s dream come true.

The book’s failing is that the story of the dogs seems to overshadow the story of Coronetz. In particular, Coronetz’s relationship with her husband seems pushed too far into the background. This is one of the biggest elements of the book, but we really don’t hear enough about either the low points or the turning points.

Coronetz’s book is a powerful read for pet owners and mid-lifers alike. Coronetz succeeds in making the narrative suspenseful, and the outcome never realized until the very end. In the Shadow of Mercury is an absolute must for memoirists.
In 1984, on my fortieth birthday, my husband, Bruce, took a picture of me in our living room. I was wearing a silver unitard, and the camera flash made it glint like polished steel. I made a copy of that photo and sent it to my brother in Seattle. I wanted him to see his older sis looking as sleek and shiny as a barracuda, just like the one he saw up close on one of his scuba diving trips to warm waters. Maybe prancing around the living room in that stretchy jumpsuit was a sign that ordinary middle age wasn’t for me. I’d soon quit my job, try new careers, and follow a path that eventually led to a little black dog I’d name Mercury.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Surviving Life Without a Clue, by Susan Hernandez


Open Query:

With the two simple words "I do" my happiness disappeared like a bat out of hell. Mentally abused and neglected, I was treated like a servant instead of a wife. Coffee precisely 89.5 degrees and don’t forget the cream. My breast cancer was my husband’s justification for cheating. He generously shared Chlamydia with me which took away my ability to have more children, making sex painful and causing miserable mood swings [next mood swing in eight minutes]. I day dreamed of slicing off his genitals and feeding them to the alligators in the canals - making absolutely sure there was no chance for reattachment. I stepped out of a wonderful childhood into a nightmare which left me sitting on the street with gravel ground into my knees.

After my divorce, I was always in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the wrong time. My children and I were evicted from two apartments, my car was repossessed and we ate macaroni and cheese by candlelight more than once. Watching my children dine weekly on free food samples at Costco, my brain started screaming. " WAKE - UP! What the hell are you doing!" I took my education, what was left of my sanity and put it to work in Northwest Florida with a good job in surgery. Taking control of my life has given me peace of mind, a home and this book:

SURVIVING LIFE WITHOUT A CLUE, a 62,000 word completed memoir.

Thank you for taking your time and reading my query.

Susan Hernandez


I Think, Therefore Who Am I? (Memoir of a Psychedelic Year), by Peter Weissman


Publication Details:

Paperback: 260 pages

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (June 19, 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1425702937

ISBN-13: 978-1425702939




This memoir realistically conveys, in nitty-gritty detail, but with sardonic humor, the highs and lows of the psychedelic drug scene in New York’s East Village in 1967 and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury during the “Summer of Love.” The wider story is conveyed in discrete, stand-alone chapters, each with its own descriptive title (“Before Almost Everything Changed,” “In the Realm of Mythunderstanding,” “Trew Love,” “You Can’t Call Home Again,” “Fruit Salad for the Head”…), a collage held together by the similar LSD experiences of the characters who constitute an ensemble of “acid heads.” Though different in key and revealing ways, they reflect the youth subculture of the era, trafficking in spiritual and pseudospiritual ideas and misconceptions, anti-establishment politics, existential rumination, sex and sexuality, the grungy details of tenement life and pervasive dreams of transcendence. Through realistic dialogue and careful observation, the author/protagonist portrays himself and his peers—gods and goddesses, swindlers and thieves, loons and gurus, at different times and places—while deliriously high and when, like him, they crash to earth.
Book review (from Amazon):

Utterly engaging and one hell of a lot of fun, I found myself genuinely unable to put this book down. I am a fan of Kerouac, Tom Wolfe (both Tom Wolfes, in fact), and Hunter S., and to me this book contained scattered elements that recalled all those writers, yet Weissman's achievement stands distinctly apart from these others in style, subject, and form. I am a very, very slow reader, so I particularly loved how the story is broken up into manageable chapters, each one feeling complete and self-contained, yet fitting in perfectly with the whole book, scene transitioning to scene as 1967 unravels in a staggering rush. The people are real, compelling characters and the imagery is some of the brightest and most vivid I have ever read. A candle can't flicker and a beautiful girl can't blink in this book but that the reader is there also, seeing it happen. A very impressive book …

E. Campbell, Buenos Aires
Author bio:
The author worked on his memoir for over twenty years, from New York City to Berkeley, where he was a mailman; to Connecticut, where he was a gardener and a reporter on a weekly newspaper; and then back to New York, where he edited a newspaper that was a front for something—he’s still not sure what. He is now a freelance copy editor, working out of his home in Woodstock, New York. In the spring and summer he rides a bike; in the fall he rakes leaves; in the winter he splits wood and makes fires. His wife and daughter, who know him, are accustomed to his reclusive ways.
At some point, as the evening heated up, Richie Klein would burst in on stick figure legs, a speed freak among acid heads, and override the music and the talk with a shouted encomium to his latest mind-blowing discovery.

"Einstein! Relativity! Time is space, man! Time is space!"

He'd meanwhile pace back and forth in a tight line, declaiming in spasms, pivoting on high-heeled boots. Amphetamine-driven, manically, wildly askew, the madman as genius was his voluble excuse for obtrusiveness, his every shouted conviction irrefutable. And then, before anyone could pin him down, Richie would bolt back out, into the night.

Charlie Wu would pop in too, but without flare, on his way home from the nine-to-five job he despised, wearing a cheap, rumpled suit, his tie a loosened noose.

Arnie always greeted him as a special guest, to demonstrate, it seemed, that it was okay with him that Charlie was Chinese. "Wu!" he'd shout across the room. "What're you up to?"

A vision of tired normalcy, the sardonic Wu would stand near the door shaking his head, clearing it of the fumes on a midtown street at rush hour. Snatching the joint held out to him, he'd smoke it like a cigarette, puffing away. But instead of smoothing his worry lines, the grass would set him off.

"The city sucks!" he'd begin, and from there escalate his rant against the world, indicting everyone in the room with his anger: "You lazy fuckers! You lay around, smoking dope, contemplating your navels, blathering about the meaning of reality … You don't know shit about reality! I'll tell you about reality …" And he'd spout the story of his day, a grim tale of a Pavlovian dog responding to an alarm, putting on a uniform, dashing through streets filled with other dogs in order to shoehorn itself into a crowded train so he could get to a desk and sit there hour after hour, doing meaningless paperwork. They let him eat lunch, the bastards, but the food was lousy no matter where you went, processed shit, and after sitting on his ass all day, it congealed in his stomach, which accounted for his chronic constipation. Or else, what with all the coffee he drank to stay awake, he'd have a case of the watery shits.

Once, driving himself to a delirious peak as the daily story built to a crescendo, Wu broke off, turned the radio on full blast and stomped out.

It was the news in full throat. Casualties in Indochina, an explosion in London, a stabbing in the Bronx. The room sat stunned. This was the other world, whose reality depended upon acquiescence. A shared revulsion rippled within the concrete walls of our cloistered shelter. And then someone turned it off, for why would anyone want to know what was happening out there? What was the benefit of it?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Dad, Dog and Fish" (Charles F. Emery III)

Charles Emery's father

Charles F. Emery's Open Letter to Literary Agents

Dad, Dog and Fish is a humorous, folksy story of my life with my Dad, our dogs and our mutual love of the outdoor life. There are serious components as well dealing with death and sickness, as well as uplifting moments endured and embraced by family. The story is peppered with dog logic.

The story has broad appeal; it has something for everybody.

I have not been published; but I am not averse to receiving copious amounts of filthy lucre.

Here is a link to the Dad, Dog and Fish blog with selected material on exhibition:

I would be happy to send to interested AAR agents and/or traditional editors hard copies of the above and/or print copy of the full or partial manuscript. For more information, e-mail me. If you have read this far, thank you for your time.


Charles F. Emery III


About Charles F. Emery III

Charles Emery is a Consulting Engineer and dyed in wool corn-pone humor addict and dog lover. He says, "Sorry, that's it; I have no published work, but I am not adverse against getting scads of filthy lucre."


Excerpt from Dad, Dog and Fish

The light filters through the curtains in the bedroom as the sun dawns a new day. The couple in the bed are crowded but comfortable; a marriage not yet strained by time. The man in the bed is in his late twenties, but the way he wheezes you’d think he was in his sixties. However, his labored breathing is not from a physical malady, but from the weight of his three year old son planted firmly on his chest in deep slumber. Rather than wake his son, the father bears the weight agreeably; the father knows it’s a fine morning.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

An Open Letter to Literary Agents and Publishers

I was driven to Cherokee, caged in a police car.

Destination: The Cherokee Mental Health Institute in Cherokee, Iowa.

I had never been charged with a crime–just with youthful indiscretion and recklessness. The Woodbury County court system labeled me, an 18-year-old girl, as mentally ill, a "fit subject for custody and treatment in the Mental Health Institute" (from my court records).

I, Driven: memoir of a teen's involuntary commitment opens with a short scene: I, caged in the back of the police car.

The narrative then shifts to Santa Monica and Hollywood, California, Christmas Eve, 1968.

Sex, drugs, and hard rock. Rebellion. Hippies. Flower Power. Vietnam. Make Love, not War. Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out. The Establishment. The Generation Gap. Naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The White Album. Student protests. Hair. The Doors. Women's Liberation. Richard Nixon. 2001: A Space Odyssey. LSD. Purple Haze.

Blue Moons.

As I grooved on, my frightened grandparents, who raised me, plotted to lure me home to Sioux City, Iowa, to help me "get my head on straight."

The memoir’s primary narrative thread covers the months between Christmas Eve 1968 through May 9, 1969: my psychedelic days in Hollywood, return to Sioux City, involuntary incarceration in Cherokee, and, finally, escape to Pennsylvania. The narrative also includes some flashbacks to Fall 1968 and from my childhood. In addition, there is a secondary 2004 thread contemplating my return to Cherokee–this time voluntarily and as a visitor.

The manuscript is 415 pages (about 86,000 words). My target audience: baby boomers–those who walked my path and those who wish they had (well, perhaps a little). Also, the book is likely to draw a younger audience; the first person primary narrative thread recreates the youthful voice of 18-year-old Jennifer L. Semple, who could appeal to an 18 to 35-year-old reader.

My publications include The Re-feeding Program, excerpt from "The Big Diet" (short story), The Non-Dieting Weblog (2006); Copyright: Ethics Versus Education in Macedonia (article, page 12), American Writer: Journal of the National Writers Union (2005); Persona Grata (essay), Writer’s Digest Online (2005); Are You EVER Going to be Thin? (and other stories) (2004).

Below are links to a book summary, blurb, synopsis, notes on narrative thread, and research note. In addition, I have also included short excerpts from the memoir.

I would be happy to send to interested AAR agents and/or traditional editors hard copies of the above and/or print copy of the full or partial manuscript. For more information, e-mail me. If you have read this far, thank you for your time.


Jennifer Semple Siegel

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Table of Contents for Site

About Jennifer Semple Siegel:



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