Unicorn introduces Ramona author M.P. Zarrella at book signing

Marta Zarrella and Autumn are pictured during a camping trip. Photo/Becky Cullen
Marta Zarrella and Autumn are pictured during a camping trip. Photo/Becky Cullen

Unicorn Books and Gifts will host a book signing to introduce a new Ramona author, M.P. Zarrella, and her book “A Tangeled Web” from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 20.

In “A Tangeled Web,” the main character, Annelise, loved the outdoors, animals and art and spent her life dedicated to all three. But the world around her was changing.

First came laws that restricted pet ownership. Then, as technology accelerated, gardens and animals were outlawed. Horses were no longer the Sport of Kings but viewed as taking up valuable resources.

These laws were being enacted too quickly. Annelise and her friends knew there was something very wrong and were secretly planning something big — very big.

“A Tangeled Web” has been listed as the number one selling book on Abbott Press and continues to sell quickly.

“It is a gripping book. I read it in two days. The wonderful descriptive narrative and engaging story seems all too possible in our crazy political times,” said one reviewer.

The book signing will be an opportunity to meet and talk with the author, a Ramona resident. Unicorn Books and Gifts, Ramona’s only bookstore, is at 738 Main St.

Zarrella has been writing about people, places and things in Southern California since 2007. Her first published work, a poem titled “Meant To Be,” was submitted to a poetry competition and published in 2005 as an honorable mention finalist.

In 2012, Zarrella earned a first place in Medical Writing and a second in Magazine Series from the San Diego Press Club’s Annual Excellence Awards competition as a freelance writer.

Writing is a second career for Zarrella. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1979 and worked for 12 years in Accounting and Information Systems for GTE Corporation, which today is Verizon.

She served clients on a part-time basis offering bookkeeping and desktop publishing services after leaving her job as strategic planning director for GTE Data Services in Tampa, Fla., choosing to dedicate her time to home and family while her children were young. During elementary school years reading and storytelling were always important family-time events.

After moving to California in December of 1999, Zarrella made a new start and began taking creative writing courses while her children, now in their 20s, were in middle and high school.

Commitment to the community and giving back has been important to her since high school. In Florida and California she used her business and writing skills to support nonprofit organizations and community groups she became involved with as a volunteer.

The family’s home was destroyed in the Witch firestorm in 2007. The family of five, one cat, two dogs and three horses evacuated safely, though a pet snake did not make it.

After that, Zarrella took time off from freelance work to focus on helping her family deal with the aftermath of such a life changing event. One outcome was an amicable divorce after a 29-year marriage.

Starting over in midlife seemed a daunting task at the time, but like the hillside blooms after California wildfires, beauty is found in the ashes, she said.

Novel writing became a soul searching and healing part of Zarrella’s daily activities along with a steady stream of freelance work.

Zarrella continues to be active in the community and enjoys her hillside three-acre ranch in Ramona which she shares with two dogs, two cats, two horses and her children, now and then. She continues working part time as a freelance writer and is working on her second novel.

   
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