Thanks for visiting. If you are an author or a reader or both, you've come to the right place.

You will be able to access thoughts on the current state of self-publishing, writing, the world of independent authors and Barry's Book Reviews.

You will also be able to locate books written by Barry Terenna on this website.

Monday, December 24, 2012


From:         Reflections from the Other Side of the Silvered Glass

 Overcast autumn, some hours past noon,
the wind heads for nightfall,
but first,
to toss the leaves,
multicolored vestiges of chlorophyll havens,
and my now straw hair.

This nature calls to me,

as if to ask for solemn remembrance,
that summer is now gone,
and we had better collect fruits and vegetables
at roadside stands
to party with apple drained cider,
and pumpkin light brown pie,
as if to celebrate
the approach of car stuck parking lots,
and snow hemmed streets.

When celebration ends,
I find myself walking alone,
collar high,
comfortably solemn.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Reflections from the Other Side of the Silvered Glass" by Barry Terenna has been published.

"Reflections from the Other Side of the Silvered Glass" by Barry Terenna is now available on Amazon in Kindle Format. The paperback edition will be available shortly.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "The Dogs Of Devonshire" by Demetrius Sherman

FOUR STARS: "The Dogs Of Devonshire" by Demetrius Sherman is a short story that grabs you as tightly as one of the Devonshire dogs from  the very beginning of the story. Fortunately you are not left mangled and broken as are the victims in the woods but nonetheless you are transformed by the message that Sherman delivers. The storyline is a classic Holmes and Watson type of plot set in modern day London. If you enjoy reading but have no time for full length novels, Sherman's short stories are sure to please. The writing is straight forward and although not as elegant as some, is still entertaining in its delivery.

Barry's Book Reviews: "The Inventors Game-A221B Sheridan Hope Case" by Demetrius Sherman

FOUR STARS: "The Inventors Game (A221B Sheridan Hope Case)" by Demetrius Sherman is an entertaining short story. It is amazing how much the writer packs into twenty something pages. For those who can't get enough of Holmes and Watson-ish stories, with non-traditional main characters in modern England, then this one is pleasing. The writing is crisp and although a bit rough at times gives a good sense of the characters and plot. If you want a quick romp through a mystery over a lunch hour, this story is for you.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: Plague (A Medical Thriller) by Victor Methos

TWO STARS:  For me, Victor Methos' novel, Plague (A Medical Thriller) plodded along until I thought that I would have to abandon further reading. However, I like to complete things, so I stuck with it through endless scenes of black bile spewing across the pages and dark patches of blood surfacing under the skin of victims of the plague. This novel was not novel, nor did it always have its facts straight which soured its believability for me. However, there is some intrigue which was satisfying although it took a long time to unfold. Character development for the major players was fair but the real bummer was the long list of characters that made it somewhat difficult to track the players.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "Deliver Us from Evil" by David Baldacci

THREE STARS:  The "evil" in Baldacci's novel, "Deliver Us from Evil" included Nazi and Ukrainian mass murderers brought to justice by a vigilante group. The group included murder in their own repertoire of skills. The female lead vigilante, Reggie Campion, was likable even with her use of deadly force, especially once you understand the genesis of her motivation.  The storyline, which included a mysterious agency in competition with the vigilantes to bring the evil Fedir Kuchin to justice is believable to a point, except for the tortured lead protagonist, Shaw's, running away from potential long lasting love because of the death of an earlier lover.  Although human trafficking was a theme, the reader did not feel any of the pain of the dirty business. I think the writer missed a major opportunity to show us some of the evil of that world. Some call the book a "gripping thriller." Although I liked the book well enough, it didn't bring me to the edge of my seat, despite a few twists along the way.

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Book Review Blogs.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "Whole Lotta Trouble" by Stephanie Bond

THREE STARS: Stephanie Bond's tale of intrigue in the publishing industry is one that may appeal to the many new authors that are entering the field through the revolution of independent publishing. However, I think some of the subtly will be lost on the general public. I found the writing to be adequate although the author used some boiler plate gimmicks in some of the imagery. The story was a little far fetched and had the feel of a comic strip rather than novel. Sure, I understood the humor, and some it was funny, but overall it lacked dimension. Some of the characters were not well developed although the two main characters Felicia and Tallie were adequate. The authors certainly has a slew of other works if you find that you enjoy her writing. As for me, I will try something different.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "Thomas, The Friendly Ghost by Jeannie Walker

FOUR STARS: “Thomas, The Friendly Ghost” by Jeannie Walker was as strangely easy to read as the strange events in the storyline.  This is a lighthearted book for those that like a not so terrifying ghost story.  An added benefit is that it can be read in one sitting.  The book included whimsical photos and artwork that are the “evidence” of beings from a supernatural world.  If you would like a simply written “true story” that traces the events in the author’s life then this book is for you.  The writing style did not conjure up the ghosts of Beatrix Potter or Ernest Hemingway but it will please those that want a simple read.  If you believe in spirits then you will believe the stories; if not you will not be converted. However, despite the fact that I had rated the book Three Stars, no matter how much I try, my keyboard keeps on typing Four Stars. Thomas, are you there?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "The Ambassador's Wife" by Jake Needham

THREE STARS:  "The Ambassador's Wife" by Jake Needham is an entertaining read.  The book is not a page turner but more of a comfortable friend that you will want to visit at a leisurely pace.  The story takes place in Singapore and Bangkok. The venue descriptions are real and gritty. You will learn a little about the culture and atmosphere of these places although the imagery is not as extensive as I would have liked. The main character, Sam Tay, is a likable fellow, a sad sack of a guy whose entire life is his job as a police detective. He is not your typical cop and therefore shines as a character. The book lacks tension although there are some surprises that will satisfy.  Overall it is a light story that will entertain those who enjoy mystery with a bit of unfulfilled romance.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "She Belongs to Me" by Carmen DeSousa

FOUR STARS: "She Belongs to Me" by Carmen DeSousa is predominantly a romance novel but the thing that a guy like me can really sink his teeth into is the element of mystery. The book grabs you at the first sound of gunfire. There are several twists and turns before the story comes to its satisfying conclusion.  We are brought back and forth from the "love at first sight", courtship and marriage to the struggle over life and death and solution to the mystery. I have to say that I enjoyed the present day story more than the courtship because that part of the story dragged in places. The characters were generally believable although Jordan's vacillation between domination, kisses and tears was a bit over the top.  There was even well developed sympathy for the "never do well" paramour turned good guy.  Overall a good story for romantic types.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "Falling Under" by Danielle Younge-Ullman

FOUR STARS: Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman was a roller coaster ride of emotion.  The scenes artfully switched from the main character's, Mara's, youth to present time as a young adult. This technique successfully developed the richness of her character. There was a strong element of deep neurosis in her character as she sought to deaden her emotional turmoil with raw and dark sex with other artistic souls.  The plot was rather a simple one and although there were some surprises they were superficial and I found the book dragging in parts. Too much of a good thing is still too much. Danielle's writing style is sharp and biting and therefore unusually wonderful. I found that she indicted the ills of our modern world in a subtle way. She did not get into details but they were a backdrop to highlight the deep seated fears of the lead character's personality. Overall I enjoyed the book although it will not be loved by everyone.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "Brava, Valentine" by Adriana Trigiani

FOUR STARS: Adriana Trigiani's "Brava, Valentine: A Novel (Valentine Trilogy, Book 2)" is another great book from my favorite Italian-American contemporary author.  The portraits of "real" characters are undoubtedly patterned after people in her life.   The love of family was well portrayed.  The elements of surprise in the storyline was also welcomed.  The love story was touching. Adriana can weave a great story.  At times some of the family dialogue was a bit boring but always reprieved by elements of the story and careful painting of the imagery. The color indigo is a favorite and perhaps once less description with it could have sufficed. Despite these little irritations the story was fun, engaging and a great read.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adriana Trigiani

FIVE STARS: Adriana Trigiani's novel, The Shoemaker's Wife, was a beautifully touching story with a wealth of characters. It could be a story told of many Italian immigrants as they passed through Ellis Island and settled into many towns and cities in America. The writing is exceptional. There are many wonderfully detailed scenes describing the natural beauty of the Italian Alps, the stark cold winters of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Music Center and the streets of little Italy in NYC. The story portrays real life, complete with its joy and sorrow. The characters are well developed, particularly Enza and the brothers Ciro and Eduardo. Enza's strength and ability to meet life's challenges are reminiscent of my own dear grandmother who emigrated from Italy at about the same time. The description of Enrico Caruso was marvelous. It made me wish I could have met him. There are some very sad scenes so be prepared for some tears. I love everything Italian-American, in general, but this story will go down as a favorite novel.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Barry's Book Reviews: "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen

FIVE STARS: Elephants, a love  triangle and circus performers: What could be a better storyline? I enjoyed this book as evidenced by the fact that it only took me a few days to read.  The characters are engrossing and realistic.  It is amazing that Sara was able to write the part of an old man with such realism. When I read a book, I also like to learn well researched real facts. This book did not disappoint in that area. The history is interesting and accurate.  The end of the book is satisfying.  If you would like to "get lost" in a great book, this is a good choice.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Take the Silk Road Home" Free Promotion Results

Take the Silk Road Home is being promoted to readers in a free program for two days.  The novel has achieved great results on Day One of the two program!  Here are the ranking results as of 8:30 am on Day Two:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reading Group Discussion Questions

Many readers love to become involved with book discussion groups.  It's a way to connect with friends and family, as well as to meet new people. I think that both authors and readers would benefit if authors included these at the end of their eBooks and print books.  After all, reading not only entertains but stimulates the thinking process.  As we all age, this can not be a bad thing. 
Here are the questions that are included at the end of my own novel, "Take the Silk Road Home." 

1. What are some of the book's themes? How important were they? 

2. Did you learn any interesting facts from the book? What were they? 

3.  How realistic was the characterization? Would you want to meet any of the characters? Did you like them? Hate them? 

4. Did the actions of the characters seem plausible? Why? Why not? 

5. How do the setting and locations figure into the book? Is the setting a character? Does it come to life? Did you feel you were experiencing the time and place in which the book was set? 

6. Gianni and Vinnie made choices that had moral implications. Would you have made the same decisions? Why? Why not? 

7. The brothers enjoyed their mother’s and grandmother’s cooking as well as some meals in China and Viet Nam. What are some of the favorite meals that your mother, father or grandparents made for you? What are your favorite Asian dishes? 

8. In what ways were Gianni and Vinnie different? In what ways were
they similar?  Do you recognize aspects of your own brothers or sisters? Do you recognize aspects of yourself? 

9. Which “life lessons” described in “Take the Silk Road Home” do you value most? How have the relationships in your life affected your thinking on the direction of your life? 

10. Do you believe that success in life is random or are there other factors involved? What are they? 

11. Gianni was very interested in uncovering his past. Do you have a family custodian? Do you feel that Americans do not care about the past and their family ancestry? Why or Why not? 

12. How does the history described in the book interlace with the development and relationship between the brothers? 

13. What concepts of religion and philosophy could you identify with in the book? 

14. What was your favorite humorous comment or anecdote? 

15. How are the book's images symbolically significant? Do the images help to develop the plot, and/or help to define characters? 

16. Did the book end the way you expected? 

17. Would you recommend this book to other readers? To your close friend?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Take the Silk Road Home" Author Interview: Barry Terenna

1.           Patrice Dalton, Southampton Patch Blogger:  What inspired you to write your first book?

Barry Terenna, author:  I worked for many years in the business world.  I finally was able to take the opportunity to retire and therefore was able to do anything that I wished with my days.  My son, Brian Terenna, asked me to review the upcoming release of his paranormal fantasy book, “The Revolting Road to Liberty.”  I became interested in the whole writing scene and decided to write my own novel.

2.          PD: How long does it take you to write a book?

BT: My first novel took about a year to write.  I write when the mood strikes me and balance my day with other activities. I am currently starting to outline my second novel.

3.          PD: Where do you get the information or ideas for your books?

BT:  Many of the scenes in “Take the Silk Road Home” come from actual events in the lives of myself, my brother and other family members and friends.  The book is filled with facts about food, places, cultures, popular products and historical events that were all researched in detail, mostly from many sources on the Internet.

4.           PD: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

BT: I like to spend time with family and friends, travel, practice yoga, garden, and volunteer for various activities.  I have recently been devoting a considerable amount of time to the promotion of my novel. 

5.           PD: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

BT:  The world of publishing has been turned on its ear by the capabilities for self-publishing.  An entire industry has developed in the last few years that uses computer technology to support the creation, publication and marketing of new books. Whereas it may have taken years and many rejections to get a book published ten years ago, today it is possible to self-publish and to have some degree of commercial success.  It is not easy and nowhere near guaranteed but it is possible.

6.          PD: What do you think makes a good story?

BT: Great characters, interesting plot lines, things that educate and entertain and a message that helps to make people’s lives a little bit better.

7.           PD:  Do you have a specific writing style?

BT: I like to educate my readers so I think this is reflected in my writing style.  A good writer will develop interest and tension in the characters and the plot.  I think a book should be intriguing but not too difficult for people to follow and understand.

8.          PD: How did you come up with the title?

BT: The original running title was “Brothers in the East,” however, I wanted a title that was a bit more intriguing.  “Take the Silk Road Home” gets across the idea of the Chinese connection and has a family oriented feel to it.

9.          PD: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

BT: Good question.  There are several themes that pervade in the book.  The importance of family is a central theme, however, other themes are interwoven in this message including heritage, culture, the importance of discipline to achieve success and learning from history.

10.      PD:  If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

BT:  Recently I’ve read many of the Clive Cussler ocean adventure books.  I learned several writing techniques from them. Clive starts most of these novels with one or two historical events that form a foundation to the current events that occur in the book.  They are skillfully woven into the story line.

11.      PD: What book are you reading now?

BT: “Big Stone Gap” by Adriana Trigiani.  Adriana is an Italian-American author like myself.  Her novel, “The Shoemaker’s Wife” is reminiscent of my own novel. The funny thing is that I wrote my book without ever having heard of her or her novels.  I guess you could say that I bring the male perspective to the stories surrounding an immigrant family.

12.      PD: Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?
BT: Development of complex plots.  This usually takes a considerable amount of planning and outlining in advance.  I have a tendency to want to write in free flowing form but I recognize the importance of outlining.

13.      PD:  Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

BT:  There is a lot of information about Italy, China and Vietnam in the book, however, I had already traveled to the Italy and China in connection with my previous career so I had plenty of first hand knowledge of those countries.  Nothing beats actual travel to different locations, but in today’s world much can also be learned on-line.

14.      PD: Who designed the book cover?

BT:  I designed the cover and back to the book.  The cover is an artist’s rendition of several silk moths and a silk worm, from the genus Bombyx Mori, the moth of the Mulberry bush. The one large moth shown on the cover is particularly striking.

15.      PD:  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

BT:  Yes. My hope is that my readers will enjoy the book and maybe relate some of the scenes to their own lives.  I wrote the book to entertain my readers.  They are the most important aspect of my writing.