Rochelle author publishes third book

Samo’s ‘Reah - A Modern Day Story of Rhoda‘ out now

Jeff Helfrich
Posted 12/13/21

Rochelle resident and Creston School language arts teacher Tina Samo recently published her third book.

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Rochelle author publishes third book

Samo’s ‘Reah - A Modern Day Story of Rhoda‘ out now


ROCHELLE — Tina Samo made the decision to try to get her first book published after a conversation with her students. 

The Rochelle resident and language arts teacher at Creston School was talking about major projects with the kids at the time. They asked her if she’d ever written anything longer than 10 pages. She said she had, but it was unfinished. 

“They pushed me to finish it,” Samo said. ‘And then they told me to publish it. I laughed at that. But I did it. I was accepted by a publisher on my third submission.”

On Dec. 4, Samo published her third book, “Reah - A Modern Day Story of Rhoda.” It’s a modern-day take on the bible character, Rhoda. 

There are only four sentences in the bible that reference Rhoda. In the book, Samo imagined what her life and comical situation would be like today. 

“For me, a lot of times characters and events in the bible seem like long ago and so far away,” Samo said. “It’s hard to apply it to today. If you can picture it happening now, maybe it helps you understand it and apply it to your life in a better way.”

Samo’s first book, “The Game Changer,” was a different format from her latest and addressed the issue of bullying and trying to understand bullies and even the kids that watch and do nothing to help. Her second book, “Estella - A Modern-Day Story of Esther,” is in the same format as her latest, taking a bible character and bringing them into modern times. She believes she’s found her writing niche.

Esther’s story is covered much more in the bible than Rhoda’s. That made it easier for Samo to write, taking nine months. Rhoda’s story took Samo a year and a half to write and six months to edit. 

“I had to imagine Rhoda’s entire life,” Samo said. “I only had one event and the rest was fiction. But it was fun. I really enjoyed it.”

Samo said her writing has helped to become a better teacher, and vice versa. 

“It’s wonderful for me with the kids,” Samo said. “My least favorite part about the process is editing and the kids feel the same. We all like to be creative, but picking it apart afterwards isn’t fun. I can relate to them. It’s neat for them to know that it takes a lot of work.”

“Reah - A Modern Day Story of Rhoda,” is available on Amazon at