TBT Writer – My First Book?

Last month, YA fantasy author Amie Irene Winters shared her Throwback Thursday of her very young writer self. This week, I’m joining her! If you’ve got a writing throwback, post it with this hashtag so we can all read your story.



In eighth grade, I had a class in which we got to write our own short story, type it up, print it, paste it inside a blank book, and voila – a book was born. I thought this was the coolest thing in the world, and I really hope teachers still do this or something similar. It gave me a sense of accomplishment in my early writing days.


Just look at that cover design. Cutting edge! You’ll also notice that I went by C.L. Stratos because R.L. Stine was a huge influence in my young reading life.


The publishing company is “Sotarts Inc.”. That’s my last name backwards. Clever, clever.


I have to say that formatting was much easier in the “print, cut, and paste” method…

It’s fun to go through this book and think of how exciting it was and how hard I worked on it. It’s a total of eight pages long, but at the time, it seemed like something huge. Like a novel.

Then I came across my bio at the back and noticed this line:


Wow. I’ve always written, ever since forever, and I loved it, but I didn’t remember that I’d thought of writing fiction as a career as early as eighth grade. I remember wishing I could do that in my junior year of high school specifically, when I had two novels written and really wanted to submit the second one to an agent. I couldn’t edit it well enough and didn’t understand what was missing or why I had so much trouble. What was wrong with the writing style? Something was off. But never mind about that. I’m going to do a separate post on my plans to honor the book I once thought could make me a published writer.


And this is what I was like. Not quite a serious-looking writer at that point! But certainly fun. 🙂

Big thanks to Amie Winters for her wonderful idea to invent #tbtwriter! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed writing this post!

Book ThanksGiveaway: THE MEMORY BOX

We’ve reached week 2 of ThanksGiveaway, and the next prize is Eva Lesko Natiello’s The Memory Box. Not only could you win a paperback copy of this award-winning book, but it will be signed and personalized by Eva!

This week you can enter 8 different ways, and some entries can be done once per day for bonus entries. Enter to win a signed, personalized paperback copy of The Memory Box today through Monday, November 16.

ThanksGiveaway Schedule

Monday, November 2 – Monday, November 9: PDF copy of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart
Monday, November 9 – Monday, November 16:  signed and personalized paperback copy of Eva Lesko Natiello’s The Memory Box (U.S. entries only)
Monday, November 16 – Monday, November 23: 2 U.S. and 2 U.K. audiobook copies of Josh de Lioncourt’s Haven Lost, the first book in The Dragon’s Brood Cycle series
Monday, November 23 – Monday, November 30: surprise giveaway!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway of The Memory Box (U.S. entries only).

What readers are saying:

“5-STARS” — San Francisco Book Review

“…be prepared to toss that suburban fairy tale away, grab on to the steering wheel, and hope that you get through this obstacle course with all your mental faculties… Eva Lesko Natiello shows tremendous talent and courage in her creation of a powerful dichotomy, reaching beyond boundaries.” — San Francisco Book Review

“The Memory Box is a literary rarity—a story of high imagination cast with characters who seem as authentic as they are complex. From the moment Caroline Thompson dares to Google her own name, the stakes and suspense develop, treating the reader to a “can’t put it down” mystery.”
—Sidney Offit, author of Memoir of a Bookie’s Son

“In her impressive first novel, The Memory Box, Eva Lesko Natiello tells the fascinating story of a woman whose memories piece together a self-portrait she doesn’t recognize—until those memories yield to the terrible secrets they conceal.”
—John Biguenet, author of The Torturer’s Apprentice and Oyster

The Memory Box is a Houston Writers Guild 2014 Manuscript award winner.



What would you do if you Googled yourself and uncovered something shocking?

In this page turner suspense, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know.

The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true.

The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello’s page turning suspense cautions:
Be careful what you search for.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway of The Memory Box (U.S. entries only).