Book Signing at Helen Thomas Andover 7/24

I am thrilled to announce my first book signing at Helen Thomas in Andover on Tuesday, July 24 from 6-9 pm. Joining me are Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs, fashion stylist extraordinaire, who will talk travel fashion and Lisa DiAntonio, décor coach, who will discuss decorating with travel photos.

Facebook Live!

Also  – tune in today at 1:00 pm to Valley Girls on WCCM Eagle Radio 1110 AM Facebook Live when Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs and I talk Musing Mediterranean and book signing details.

book signing announcement


We hope to see you at the book signing!


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Have You Heard Of Up Lit? – Book Signing 7/24!


I bought this little bit of inspiring art for Julia.


Book signing at Helen Thomas in Andover on TUESDAY, JULY 24th from 6-9.

Details to follow…

I am happy to say that Musing Mediterranean falls into a relatively new category of books called Up Lit. Short for uplifting literature, this new trend focuses on positivity, humor, kindness and compassion. Thank God! I don’t think I could bear one more violent, depressing, tragic or hyper-sexualized story. The inundation of these types of books is exactly what prompted me to write something entirely different. I just needed a break from all of the darkness.

In fact, I surround myself with little tchotchkes, like the one pictured, just to remind myself that the world is not a bad place. You’ll also find engraved trays and whimsical magnets that read Live Love Laugh scattered about my house. I have wall hangings that boast the values of friendship. I even have water bottles with sayings to inspire. She Believed She Could So She Did is one of my favorites.

If my home décor is any indication, good things are happening right here on Mother Earth even if tuning into your daily news makes you think otherwise.

It’s nice to know I am not alone in my quest for positivity. Up Lit is gaining in popularity and maybe, just maybe, the reading population is getting back in touch with their softer side. Let’s hope this extends to the entire human population as well.

Here are a couple of great articles on Up Lit.

Happy Reading!

Why We’re Looking for “Up Lit” – Dudley Court Press

The Rise of “Up Lit” – Hazel Gaynor


Now available at Amazon! Purchase my debut travel book, Musing Mediterranean, today.

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A New Look for 3 Olives & a Twist and

watercolor Santorini greece featuring Musing Mediterranean

Hi everyone-

After a couple of quiet weeks, I’m happy to share a new look for my blog,, and my author page,

Essentially, the two have come together. Whether you enter, or you have either site bookmarked, you should come to the same place.

If you run into any problems, please let me know.

At The Top

(click Home, top left, to see the full site)

I hope you enjoy the main photo, featured in today’s post, as well as the site itself. This pretty watercolor of Santorini, Greece (courtesy of seemed the perfect backdrop for ongoing book updates. Pixabay is an awesome site for free images, by the way. This image will remain front and center for the next several months as I launch Musing Mediterranean. Then, eventually, it will become a sliding series of blog photos from my most recent posts.

Scroll Down

Just below the main image and the About Me, Book and Work pages, you’ll find yourself back at 3 Olives & a Twist.

I hope you like the new site. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you have any issues, please let me know.

A New Look for Email Notifications too

For those of you signed up for email notifications, that has been updated too. Finally, a much prettier way of telling you a new post is waiting to be read. Hopefully you got the email today. If you haven’t already subscribed, scroll to the top of the sidebar to the right (or if you’re on your phone, scroll down) and sign up now!

Thank You

Please let me know what you think of the new look and much gratitude goes out to my web designer, Andrew, from Interthrive and to Lisa DiAntonio of Green Park Studios for helping me with imagery and aesthetics.

I look forward to getting back to my regularly scheduled Tuesday posts.

Next week, my latest book club review on Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

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More Than a Headshot – Personal Brand Photography by Emily O’Brien

Oscar and Beth on blu couch
My boy and my computer companion.


By now you may know the name Emily O’Brien as one of my favorite photographers. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Emily for many years and, more than a colleague, she is a friend whose talent never ceases to amaze me.

I’ve featured Emily’s photography in many of my posts. Our Instagram Field Trip to Giardini Di Sole was one of my favorites. As was our day at the Junior League of Boston Designer Show House.  When the time came for new headshots for Musing Mediterranean, I looked no further than Emily. The same is true for my Julia’s senior portraits, but I’ll save that post for another day.

Emily knows me well and puts me completely at ease. I mentioned wanting to take photos at home and Emily suggested we go a step beyond traditional headshots. She told me about Personal Brand Photography.

What Is Personal Brand Photography?

Emily has created this option for business people of all types who want strong images that give your brand a personality. They show people who you are as a business and what it’s like to work with you. Personal brand sessions start with a consultation to get to know your brand story. Sessions usually include headshots, lifestyle images to capture you in action, as well as details that cater to your specific business. Because the session is so customized to suit your brand, the types of images will vary from one business to another.

My Personal Brand Session

Personal Brand Photography was perfect for my purposes as I already had the idea of taking shots around my house using some of my favorite artwork as the backdrop. The more we talked about how this would work, the more I realized it was ideal. Personal Brand Photography gave me the flexibility to explore what I do as a freelance writer working from home, while revealing what inspires me creatively.

Let The Fun Begin!

Enter good friend and fashion stylist, Lysa Gibbs-Pelletier. Lysa helped style my clothing with the artwork and scenes we were shooting. Here’s a behind the scenes shot of the three of us getting silly over a mouth-watering plate of cupcakes as shared on Emily’s Instagram.

Follow Emily on Instagram

The Photos

At this point I’ll let the images speak for themselves. Here are some of my favorites shots. I can’t tell you what a great experience this was. It’s rare that the camera is turned on me, but it felt special to bring the focus on what I do and expressing that in photos was an interesting opportunity. It was reflective process that would not have been the same without Emily’s expertise.

headshot from personal brand photography session
This map was the perfect background for my travel book photo.
The more I read, the better I write.
Writing and my wall of pottery.
Color inspires me.


When I was asked to send in author photos for the book, I had a tough time choosing. Emily had captured my essence in a way I didn’t think possible.

If you are a business person looking for photos, Emily O’Brien’s Personal Brand Photography is a wonderful way to shine the spotlight on you and what you do.

Here’s What You Can Do With Your Images

  • Social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In. Social media posts that include an image receive 120-180% more visibility and engagement. Maximize your investment by creating a library of images to post new content.
  • Scattered throughout your website pages: Blogs, home page, about me, landing pages, sales pages, contact, etc.
  • Marketing pieces: Business cards, brochures, mailers, or other printed marketing materials.
  • Press releases, speaking engagements, email signature, anywhere you have the opportunity to show people what it would be like to work with you.

Contact Emily O’Brien Photography for more information on your Personal Brand Photography session.


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More Book News and a Blog Update

Musing Mediterranean on Goodreads


This weekend Musing Mediterranean made its debut on Goodreads where interested readers who “Want to Read” can mark it accordingly. It is also available for pre-order at WiDo Publishing’s website. Here you can pre-purchase at the discounted rate of $12.75 vs. the $15.95 print price.

As usual, I was a bit giddy seeing my book online and ready to go. Reading through the summary brought me right back to the Mediterranean and all the fun we had while there.

The Summary

A trip to the Mediterranean—who wouldn’t be thrilled? Beth Daigle should be doing back flips as she prepares to escape her humdrum suburban life, but travel anxiety gets the best of her. This is a trip of a lifetime, something to look forward to, yet Beth is dreading it.

The daughter of an Italian mother and Greek father, Beth has always dreamed of visiting Greece and Italy. Her Type A husband, Tony, revels in planning every detail of their two-week vacation. The plan expands to include not only Beth and Tony’s two tween daughters, but Beth’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew.

As her family’s excitement mounts, so does Beth’s trepidation. She experiences serious anxiety about the flight itself, plus spending two solid weeks with her extended family.

Despite her worries, Beth manages the eight-hour plane ride to Rome, and the adventure begins.

If you’ve never experienced the beauty of the Mediterranean, or even if you have, Musing Mediterranean will take you there through Beth’s eyes, page by page.

The Blog

In addition to all of this fun book stuff, I am also working on a new look for my website and blog. That will be coming soon, so keep an eye out. For the most part 3 Olives & a Twist will look the same, just a bit more cohesive with the rest of my website. If all goes as planned, I’ll finally be able to respond to comments and you’ll actually be able to receive them!

Fingers crossed for a smooth transition!


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