I’ve been absent for a long time from my blog — and you should see what a mess my study is — all because I’m totally focused on “My Father’s House.” But I love this article on six ways to buy happiness with your money and just wanted to share it. It’s long, so maybe you’ll want just to read the headings. It would still be worth it.




Posted October 5, 2016 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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Another nice review of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” has been posted on amazon (both US and UK sites.) Many thanks to Arpad B. When you go to the site, be sure to scroll down and select newest review first.

I received this book free in exchange for a review. I really enjoyed it and am happy to recommend it. I felt drawn into the story straight away. The author quickly and effectively builds the world of Dara and her family. You warm immediately to the characters and their story and I found this book difficult to put down as I wanted to know what happened next. It’s very skillful writing as the author depicts the images and colours of the world, the hopes and fears of the characters and moves the story a good pace. Although it’s based on the story of Job you don’t need to know anything about this to enjoy the story.

Also, I’m happy to report that we had a nice group at yesterday’s party  for the anthology “Where Rivers Converge” by the Carver County Writers Group. The readings were fun, interesting, and often moving. The atmosphere at the Sower Gallery at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN,  was lovely, even fascinating, with it’s great display of local art.



If you live in the area, please come celebrate the release of Where Rivers Converge on Sunday, September 18, from 4-6 p.m. in the Sower Gallery, located in Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church at the southeast corner of Engler Boulevard and Highway 41 in Chaska.

Meet and hear the work of some of the 23 local area contributors to the anthology.

Enjoy free snacks and refreshments.

Look inside this book plus other published works by our authors.

Take advantage of a discounted price on the book.

Tour the most recent art show, “Clearly Minnesota” newly mounted at the Sower gallery.


If you live in the area, I think you’d enjoy hearing local authors reading their contributions to the newly published anthology Where Rivers Converge

Saturday, September 10 1:00-3:00pm Waconia Library (WC Magazine Reading Room) Live Read of Carver County area Library Writer’s Group will feature picks from their first anthology edition “Where Rivers Converge”. Come support your favorite authors.

Waconia Library 217 S. Vine St. 952-442-4714

Authors will also probably have some of their other books on display as well.

I’ll be reading my fiction piece, “Alone in the North Carolina Woods – 1840” as well as my short, basically true, account of my last moments with my childhood friend Hallie. I call it “Just in Time to Say Goodbye.”







Time out from working on “My Father’s House” to post this link. KJ will be crossing the pond soon for more study. I hope you’ll find it interesting in general, but especially go on down the alphabet until you get to “Neun.” That’s where you’ll find her.

Please wish her well. And yes, she will have her computer and her editing skills with her.


Posted September 6, 2016 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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FORGIVE AND FORGET?   8 comments

I have really enjoyed seeing sales of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” increase as I’ve shared some reviews, but I had promised to get rolling on the issue of forgiveness. So here’s my first entry. It ties directly back to promises I made when my web site was established some time ago.

First, let me say that I personally don’t like posts that are too long. I find myself anxious to get back to writing “My Father’s House,” so I’ll assume that it’s a good idea to keep my own posts short. That means what I say is going to be imperfect. I hope that in itself will encourage arguments, examples, and other comments.

So, here goes.

I loved Lewis Smedes “Forgive and Forget,” but I hated the title. I was told later by someone who knew him personally that he didn’t like it either. Publishers have a way of imposing things on authors. Why not like it? Because it’s basically impossible, certainly unrealistic, to think you can forget the offense you’ve suffered.

Try to shove the offense out of your mind? Well, to put it maybe too simply, but realistically, you’ll be pushing it into your body to create all the possible negative effects of stress. Like a viral or bacterial infection it will grow without control.

The truth is, you can work on relieving the terrible aftermath of suffering an offense, but you won’t forget it. What will happen with good forgiveness work is you’ll lose the emotional pain and protect your body.

Forgiveness usually takes hard work over time. Why would you want to forget the benefits of that herculean effort and all you learned from it?

If I can tear myself away from my other writing, I’ll soon be sharing the forgiveness process as presented in “Forgiving One Page at a Time.”

By the way, I loved Smedes’ later book, “The Art of Forgiving

I grieved as if I had known him personally when he died.


Please check out this latest review of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” on  You’ll have to go to the end of the reviews and ask for the “most recent” to find it.

“What a surprise! The writing is clear and concise, painting a beautiful picture of ancient times. A truly interesting take on the story of Job, and a glimpse into the historical setting the Hebrews came from. I enjoyed the author’s attention to detail so much. A great read!”


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