Book Review – The Hard Way by Selma P. Verde

Book Review

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

Hoping to pick up where I left off. It has been a while since I have posted. This summer has been a challenging one for me. Between my lay off from my day job and my dad passing away, I have been pulled away from the blog with other priorities. They say that you need to make time for the important things. What do you do when life events get in the way?

So, I’m back! I am on a mission to sell 2000 books this month to meet my first goal to becoming a bestselling author. I know it will happen, just not sure when and not sure how, but I am ready to embark on the journey to get there.

Remember my first book, The Hard Way? Well, here is my review of the book. Kind of a different spin on the traditional book review, huh. How often have you seen an author review their own book? Not very often I bet. You may ask, how objective can I be about my own book, right? Well, the reason for this review is to get the word out there about a great coming of age novel for the middle grade and young adult reader. And I can do just that!

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title
The Hard Way

Selma P. Verde

Type of Book
Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

Selma P. Verde was always a writer of things. From diary entries to capture life experiences to writing funny plays and stories. When she was a preteen, she decided she wanted to publish a novel someday and become an author. It took a while, but her first novel, The Hard Way, was published in 2017.

Summary of the book
Paul Jones is a freshman at Brooklyn Heights High School. He faces his first day of school without his best friend, Desmond Peterson, who moved away with his family during the summer. His parents were concerned that he needed to make new friends, so Paul did just that. He befriended Anik Hatcher, a guy who liked to play Tangorka, the video game he liked to play. Anik was involved in a group of guys who liked to play pranks and create mischief. The night that Paul met the gang, he found out that the pranks they pulled were a little more destructive than he thought. After pulling a prank at his high school Homecoming game, he found out that staying loyal to this group of friends would get him into a lot of trouble. And, he learned it the hard way.

Reaction to the book
I enjoyed creating and reading this book. It focuses on the issues of peer pressure and the importance of choosing the right friends, two of the many challenges teens face while growing up. It would be a great read for a preteen or young adult. The characters and storyline are very relatable and the story itself may provide a little mentoring if they are struggling with either of these issues.

Link to the author
If you want to learn more about Selma P. Verde, here is a link to my website. Selma P. Verde

Link to the book
If you want to purchase The Hard Way, here is a link to the books tab on my website. Books by Selma P. Verde

I’m getting very excited about the upcoming publication of Shawn’s Way. Book #2 in The Way Series. More news and specific release date coming soon.

Have a great week!

Happy 3rd Book Birthday to The Hard Way

Have you read my first book, The Hard Way, yet? It is a young adult novel about my main character, Paul Jones, and how he learns the importance of choosing the right friends and how difficult it can be to navigate peer pressure. If not, I have a deal that just might get you interested.

In celebration of The Hard Way celebrating its third birthday (publication anniversary) on April 12th, I’m an doing a Facebook Live reading of chapter two next Thursday, April 16th. I’ll announce the time of the reading in my weekly blog post on Monday.

Happy Birthday to The Hard Way

You may ask, why not chapter one? Well, when you visit my website, a special offer pops up. If you are willing to sign up for my e-mail list, you can receive a free copy of the first chapter of The Hard Way. Be sure to read the chapter before April 16th, because then you’ll receive the next part of the story from my online reading. So, you get to preview two chapters of The Hard Way free before you buy it.

To pick up an ebook or paperback copy of the entire story, follow the link on the books tab of my website or check it out on Amazon.

And, for the next bit of exciting news, if you pick up your copy of The Hard Way now, you’ll have time to read it over the summer and be ready for book two of The Way Series called Shawn’s Way, due to publish September of 2020. Check back to my website for more details.

Featured Image provided by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

Teen/Young Adult e-book free this weekend!

Peer pressure doesn’t have to win. Learn from Paul’s mistake in The Hard Way, go with your gut and do what you feel is right instead of getting involved with a crowd going the wrong way.

Be sure to pick up your e-book copy of The Hard Way for free this weekend through Cyber Monday.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

The Hard Way

Library Blog #3 – Book Clubs

I started writing about my experience with book clubs, because I really love book clubs. While on the journey, I came across some interesting history about how they started.

According to an article found on, and information found in Harvey Daniels, Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups (2002), Katie Wu talks about what she calls “the Book Club Phenomena”. Her article and his book talk about how Book Clubs, first known as “literature circles”, were founded in 1634 by a Puritan settler named Anna Hutchinson. They started as a woman’s bible study circle but they moved into discussing literature. They were later banned by suspicious Puritan men because they thought the women were discussing inappropriate things in these groups. Thus, they stopped talking about literature and went back to a more religious based conversation. For many women, discussing the books they enjoyed reading was something they did while completing the daily chores, knitting or sewing together. I wonder what books they actually read and discussed. I may have to dig a little deeper into the research and see what I can find out.

In 1840 Margaret Fuller, author of the essay, Women of the Nineteenth Century, founded the first book store sponsored club in her Boston shop and from there the idea started spreading into the Midwest. A book of the month club, founded by Harry Scherman in 1927, distributed the book selections to thousands of readers by mail.

Another thing that libraries do with the love of books is promote reading through joining a book club. There was a sign at the library advertising their monthly book club meeting and what they were reading. I have participated in a few library book clubs and all city reads, but when I think about our neighborhood book club, The Countryside Readers Guild, it brings a smile to my face. We have been meeting since fall of 2007. Just like writing is a journey, I feel like I have been on a great reading journey with these ladies over the years. They were also some of beta readers for my first manuscript, “The Hard Way”. I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to present it to them as one of our monthly book choices.

The library offers book club kits with ten copies of the book and some sample discussion questions that can be checked out just like you can check out a single book. It’s an awesome alternative to have to purchase a different book every month, which can get pretty expensive and have the reader wind up with a library full of books they may or may not enjoy. Our book club has used book club kits almost exclusively for our meetings. We’ve had a couple of occasions when a hostess has gone onto and bought ten books at $1.00 a piece or less. We read and discussed them at the meeting, and then the hostess donated the books to the library so they could create a kit with them. Some of our book choices were done on purpose. The hostess got the book they wanted the group to read and other choices happened because it was the only book still available for that particular month. I’ll admit that we have wound up with some great books and discussions that way. I realize this may be counter to what some authors want to do, which is sell lots of their books to readers. Where other authors just want to get their stories out there. But, I think this is an awesome way to keep the reader reading.

I’ve seen many threads in my writing groups discussing the importance of reading for those of us who practice the craft of creative writing. Reading not only provides valuable information about different writing styles, but it can show the things that just don’t work. In some of the books I’ve read, I have come across places where the editing has missed the mark with either a spelling or grammatical error. These types of things make me as a reader stumble which takes some of the joy away from my reading experience. This is where good editing makes a big difference. I know when I’m working on my writing, I read my story out loud to make sure that it sounds right.

Having your book in a couple of those kits, what a great way to get a book out to the reading public! Can you just imagine if your book gets chosen by Oprah as a read for her book club? Just watch your book sales soar through the roof and the increased number of readers’ eyes on your story.

I’ve found that being involved a book club really makes reading a fun and social event. Be sure to check it out online or at your local library.