Writer's Blog from Reece's Ramblings http://colleenreece.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Meet Renee Riva

More than a dozen books reflect Renee Riva's motto: "Writing to edify, inspire, and encourage the young and young at heart."

Renee has been writing family-friendly books ever since she won her first writing contest in second grade. Her  subject material, humor, unusual characters, and inspiration produce titles for readers of all ages.

Saving Sailor, first of a YA trilogy, won 3rd place in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Book of the Year in 2008. Renee's love of animals shines through this touching story. Two sequels follow: Taking Tuscany (set in Italy) and Heading Home, eight years later. 

In Happy Camper, Allie Jaskie, recent fashion school graduate, needs a job. Charlie Braun, Editor of Happy Camper Magazine needs a field reporter. The clock is ticking for an article about summer snow camping on Mount Rainier. 

Allie hates camping. And snow. But she's down to her last can of tomato soup. What is a girl to do? What Allie does kept me laughing throughout the book.

Farley's Five and Dime and The Summer of the Carousel share the hilarious escapades of an eleven-year-old in the 1950s. From sabotaging the girlfriend of a boy she likes to learning it is not smart to judge by appearances, Books 1 and 2 in the Mazie May series are delightful.

Dawn's Gentle Light is special. It contains a historical Russian love story within a contemporary story in America--equally intriguing but decades and miles apart  The author is well-qualified to write this book. She and her husband Gary have an adopted Russian daughter Oksana. who joined the family when she was eleven years old . . . right between their other two daughters who were ten and twelve at the time. They are all grown up now and all working in nursing/the medical field. 


 In 1979 Clara Bradley and her family move from Oregon State to Bickleton, Washington; a remote farming town—with nothing to offer a twelve-year-old cheerleader but miles of snow-covered wheat fields. Clara now has no cheer team and nothing to cheer about. To help seal her doom, her parents buy a house across the street from a creepy old cemetery.

 The cemetery brings Clara an unusual friend—an elderly Russian woman Tetushka (Auntie), whom she meets at the grave site of Pavel Petrovich Uvarov; a Russian storyteller.Clara’s love of books draws the two together and she becomes immersed in the lives of those who lived long ago. As the early 1900s love story makes its way from revolutionary Russia to the small town in America, Clara's life begins to change.

I loved the book. It made me laugh, cry, and taught me about Russian customs. It also  reminded me of the terrible hardships Russians experienced during the Revolution and later when Germany declared war on them. My heart ached for Nina and Pasha. The book joins Renee's other titles on my "keeper" shelf, to be read again and again.

Renee's Best Advice to Writers


Write about what you love. it makes the writing process more enjoyable and your readers can tell it is from the heart. My bestselling books are the ones when I told myself, "I'm going to write this one just for fun, then I will write my serious novel."

Renee's books available at

  and Barnes and Noble.

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