Chasing Reese


Where I live the weather is unbearably cold.
What better time to read a good book:



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Captivating, engrossing, fascinating, enthralling are words that describe my experience of reading Chasing Reese, by Imy Santiago. The heroine, Catalina, or Cat Pardo is complex. All the people she has loved have died, leaving her with the commitment that she will never love again. She avoids social engagements, but is no wallflower — a reporter who can hold her own against anybody and “swears like a sailor”. This is the street language that I understand. She wears red Doc Martens and clothing emblazoned with skulls.

Cat, is a real woman, thirty-two years of age, who sees herself as being overweight and unattractive. On assignment, to cover the World Snowboarding Championships, she meets Stryder, a renowned photographer, who falls in love with her. Gradually, he wears away her emotional barriers. The erotic tension between these two is like a guitar string being tuned tighter and tighter.

Imy Santiago’s writing is flawless and reads effortlessly with no spelling or grammatical errors to interrupt the reading process. Characters are well developed and the plot line addictive. She has become one of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading the sequel to this book, Finding Reese.





I love to read stories about loss, heartache and redemption so it didn’t shock me that I would end up writing stories revolving around those central themes. I write with my heart, using my life experiences and emotions to dictate the tone and path in which my fictional characters embark in my long list of stories. I believe in the power of friendship and to always remain hopeful because life is always full of pleasant surprises.


If you were to ask me if I consider myself an author, I would tell you no, I am not. I’m just a girl who loves a good story that makes you ponder life choices and the darkness that envelopes a broken heart. My stories are about loss, friendship, love and hope. For a full length bio, please visit:

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New Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational look at an important societal issue – Gotta read this book!, January 27, 2015
Catherine Grainger (Mauston, WI, USA) – See all my reviews


This review is from: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (Kindle Edition)
Gotta Find a Home. Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff.
Author Dennis Cardiff uses an interesting technique to tell us this story, which is actually comprised of many stories, real stories of the real lives of real people; the street people that most of us look right past every day, or look at with unfounded, negative disdain. Cardiff spent time with some of the street people and panhandlers of Canada, and in this book, he gives us a chance to get to know them a little bit, a chance to try to understand how and why they live this life, that they have hopes, dreams, fears, and regrets, just as everyone else does. I really enjoyed the journal style of the writing, and Cardiff writes with a warm and genuine voice that reaches the reader to impart deeper meaning to the bare bones of the story. You can feel the honest emotion in the way that Cardiff shares these stories, and it makes the telling of the stories that much more important.

Enclosed Scooter




23 January 2015

I’d exited the bus and was hurrying to work. From behind me I heard, “Hey, Dennis, wait!” I turned and there was Chuck  bundled for winter in his wheelchair and Goldie wrapped in a blanket on his lap.”

Hi Chuck, “I wasn’t expecting to see you here. Have you been coming down often? How are you?”

HIs balaclava kept slipping over his mouth, so he was having trouble talking, but he said, “I haven’t been here since the last time I saw you. It was too damned cold. My son drove me down, because my enclosed scooter arrived yesterday.  Today the shop was supposed to have it assembled and taken it for a test drive. The battery has to be charged for twenty-four hours that’s why I didn’t come yesterday. It was shipped from Vancouver in pieces because it’s fairly bulky. Unfortunately, the one piece they forgot to send was the computer for the hand controls. Of course, it’s useless without that. I was really pissed off. They said it would take a couple of days for the computer to arrive, so I should have it running next Wednesday.

“I went around the shop looking for other things I’d need. I think I told you that I wanted to get a cover for it. They cost two hundred dollars. I took one to the cash and the guy said to me, ‘You’ve been so patient, waiting all these months, we’ll throw the cover in for free.’

I asked, “What make and model is it. I’d like to look it up on the computer?”

“Oh, I didn’t pay any attentions to that stuff. I just know it’s the blue one that I wanted. I guess it looks a bit like a Smart Car. I haven’t seen any others around, but some of my friends are interested in buying one. I’ll even be able to go through small snow drifts with it.

“A few other good things happened. I’d wondered what I’d do for parking. When I was in my son’s van I noticed the handicapped sign on his dashboard. He’s the one who usually drives me around. I asked him about it. He told me where I could get one. With one of those I’ll be able to park nearly anywhere. They’re not going to give a parking ticket to a handicapped person.

“Another thing, you remember the hotel manager had been phoning the police about me being on the corner? Well, the lady cop talked to her and said, ‘There’s no law that states that a wheelchair can’t be stopped on a public sidewalk. Also, there’s no law against him having his cap out. We haven’t received any complaints about aggressive panhandling.’ So, I’m in the clear.

“When I was in the Metro store I was going around the aisles picking up a few groceries. I even bought one of those roasted chickens for $9.95. When I got to the cash my bill came to $47.00. Before I paid the cashier I heard a loud voice saying, ‘I’ll get that!’ It was a lady that visits me regularly. I refused at first, but she said, ‘Chuck, it’s the least I could do, after knowing you all these years.’

“So what started out as a bad day, turned out good in the end.”

I asked, “So, are you heading up to the mall for coffee.”

“No”, he said, “this has been a big day. I’m going home to fix supper, put my feet up, and watch television.”

“Take care, Chuck. I’ll see you soon.”

“Bye, Dennis.”


New Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta Find a Home is life changing, January 18, 2015

By Karen Ruggiero (New York)

This review is from: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (Kindle Edition)

Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People, by Dennis Cardiff, has definitely become a favorite book of mine. It’s so real and intense, it makes you feel like you’re walking along with him. Living in NYC, I am surrounded by homeless people so I can definitely relate to the need of wanting to help them. I love the fact that the author introduces the experiences and lives of these such people in a way that make them come real and feel relatable.

The best part about these documentary stories is the fact that they changed the authors life in a way. It makes you as a reader think about your own problems and realize that they aren’t as bad as you thought they were – people have it a lot worse. Helping the homeless is what helps Dennis cope with his own life while giving back to others.

The homeless are people too – just like the rest of us. Most people mistreat them or simply just walk by them, but Dennis shows up why these actions are so wrong and how we can be better humans by taking the time to help instead of hurt. I was truly touched by this one, and would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone.

New Goodreads Review

Review of Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
available from Amazon at 


I have been very fortunate in my life to have traveled extensively throughout the world, and have also lived in Chicago, a city known for its homeless population and rampant issues of people living below the poverty line. I have seen thousands of street people in my life, but it wasn’t until I was considerably older that I began to genuinely consider what their lives might have been like. It is so easy to dismiss homeless people, as though they blend into the background of a city, like breathing architecture. This is a terrible viewpoint that hundreds of millions of people around the world share in some way.
This book was a tremendous achievement and I have to stand up and applaud Cardiff for not only seeing the value in pursuing this subject, but approaching it in such a unique and eye-opening way. This book will absolutely change the way that you live your daily life and will certainly change your perspective on those less fortunate. He exposes the personality of his characters, befriends them, helps them, reveals the depth of their struggle, and acquits some of them of the unjust judgments that they have surely experienced for decades. Although it feels terrible to say, “I loved this book”, given how emotionally charged and challenging it was at times, I can’t deny it. Cardiff is a bold and passionate author who is choosing to use his gifts for the betterment of the people he has come to know as friends. Hopefully everyone that reads this book will re-draw the lines in the sand when it comes to their beliefs on homelessness – If we want to improve society, we will have to do it ourselves. Reading this book and opening your eyes is the right way to start.


Chili Charged





While engrossed in a novel, as I sat on the bus on my way to work, I heard, “Hey, Dennis!, said Chili, “I haven’t seen you for ages.” An empty seat opened beside me, so we sat together for the rest of the trip.”

“So, how’ve you been?” she asked.

“”I’ve been fine. I haven’t seen many of our friends lately. It’s been too cold. I saw Joy about three weeks ago. She’s doing fine, but her legs are still giving her trouble. I saw Chuck a while ago. In good weather I see him every morning.”

Chili said, “Yeah, Chuck is a good guy. He has lots of stories and it amazes me, but he remembers things that we had talked about before. He really cares.”

“How about you?” I asked.

“I had my hip surgery — it went really well. I’m still using a cane, but I can get around a lot better. I don’t have much pain. Oh, I broke up with my boyfriend. It happened at a bar. I guess I drank too much. When they handed me the bar bill it was over a hundred dollars. My boyfriend and I had an argument, he took off, leaving me with the bill. I didn’t bring any money, because I thought that he’d be paying. Anyway, they called the cops. I guess I flipped out. I got into a fight. I’m on my way to court now. I have six charges, including assaulting a police officer. I even got pepper sprayed, twice. When I went to the hairdresser to have my hair cut I could still smell the spices from the spray. It nearly made me sick. So, I’ll have to see how that goes. Hey, I’m still in school.”

“That’s great Chili, I’m really proud of you. I hope it goes well for you in count.” Our stop was approaching so we stood up to exit the bus. She walks faster than I do and we separated somewhere in the crowd.