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Friday Features

We Hate When That Happens

 

Writing is full of challenges, from the perfecting the actual craft to getting the book published to mastering marketing. Along the way, if you’re like us, you’ve probably had your share of writing mishaps-things you hate to see happen.

 

Here are ten of our We-hate-when-that-happens moments.

  1. When we miss the wrong word in a sentence that spell check didn’t catch and send the piece to the editor for publication. Sliver and silver—both are spelled correctly but can’t be used interchangeably.
  2. When we see the transposed letters of a word in our blog comments AFTER the comment has been posted and you can’t get to it for a do over.
  3. When our hero’s eye color changes mid-book because somebody forgot to check the character sheet. (No we won’t identify the “somebody”)
  4. When the find and replace option in Microsoft Word replaces ALL the spaces between the words, instead of the one extra space after every sentence targeted, turning the manuscript into one loooooong run-on sentence. Yes,ithappenedtous. That’s why we don’t recommend using the replace all.
  5. When everyone in the critique group hates our favorite part of a scene. That usually means there’s going to be a lot of rewriting.
  6. When your finger finds the delete key instead of the save key. Thank goodness for the UNDO function!
  7. When you realize the whole chapter you just finished doesn’t go anywhere, doesn’t move the plot forward, and that chapter has to be slashed from the book.
  8. When the critique partners love the secondary characters more than the hero or heroine. Ugh!
  9. When we love a secondary character more than a hero or heroine. (One solution is that means a second book.)
  10. When you close down the computer and it crashes the next time it‘s opened. This is why Catherine prints out a hard copy every time she creates new pages and stores them in a three ring binder. Paper is her friend. (She has the file drawers full to prove it. 20 at last count.

 

Do you have an I-hate-when-that-happens moment? We would love to hear it. Please share in a comment below so we don’t fell so inept. 😉

Wednesday Special Spotlight Discovering Erythritol and #giveaway via @JoanneGuidoccio

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Joanne Guidoccio who brings us her latest book and an easy cranberry muffin recipe. Be sure to get your copy today!

I was skeptical when my naturopath Emily Murphy first mentioned erythritol (ear-RITH-ri-tall). To my ears, it sounded new, experimental, and possibly unsafe.

As I listened, I learned that my original impressions were incorrect.

For starters, erythritol is found naturally in grapes, peaches, pears, watermelon, and mushrooms. The white crystal granules resemble sugar but contain only 6 percent of the calories. As for the sweetness…70 percent is maintained.

While erythritol is one of the newer sugar alcohols on the market, researchers have done several studies with animals and humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) approved erythritol in 1999, and the FDA followed suit in 2001.

Substituting erythritol for sugar is easy. A 1:1 ratio works well for most recipes.

After leaving Emily’s office, I drove to the nearest Bulk Barn and purchased one pound of erythritol. At home, I experimented and created the following quick-and-easy cranberry muffin recipe:

Ingredients

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup + 1 tbsp erythritol (monk fruit flavor)

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup almond milk

2½ cups almond flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, add cranberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of erythritol.

4. In a large bowl, add ½ cup erythritol, applesauce, eggs, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Blend well using an electric mixer.

5. Add the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the large bowl mixture. Stir until the batter is smooth. (Use the electric mixer)

6. Fold in the cranberry mixture with a wooden spoon.

7. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.

8. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Yield: 12 regular-size muffins

While you are waiting for the muffins to bake why not read a book?

Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, set themselves free.

But one heartbreaking secret remains untold…

Book Trailer


Buy Links

Amazon (US)

Amazon (Canada)

Amazon (UK)

Amazon (Australia)

Author Bio

A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne Guidoccio writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romances, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Website

Giveaway

Joanne Guidoccio will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Top Four Tips For New Bloggers

By Lorraine Ambers

Hello, and welcome. Yesterday was my five year blogging anniversary. Woo hoo!! So I thought I’d celebrate this monumental goal by sharing my top four tips. These are all things I wish I’d known at the start. But don’t let any of these tips overwhelm you; the most important step in becoming a blogger is . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Lorraine Ambers’ blog

Friday Features

We talk about

The Writer’s Alphabet

© C. D. Hersh

Photo from Wikimedia

Every writer should know their ABCs. If you’re like us you might have to sing them to remember what comes after L or Q. Here’s a fresh look at the ABCs as they apply to the writing life.

A ffirmation-As writers we get a lot of rejection. It helps if we have some affirmation. So, the next time you get a good comment from a critique partner, an editor, or even your child who says “You’re a good writer, Mommy,” tuck it away in a special file. Then when you feel like chucking the computer out the window and giving up on writing, pull out those affirmations and tell yourself, “I can do this. I am a Writer!”

B rainstorming-Brainstorm without putting checks on your imagination. Don’t be afraid to think of the most outrageous ideas when you’re brainstorming. “What if” may be the best tool a writer has to stimulate his imagination.

C reativity-Never let anyone say you don’t have creativity. The very fact that you want to write shows you have creativity. Just keep thinking about your story, asking “What if”, and letting all your skills and thoughts take you into the world where your characters live. Eventually, you’ll find, or create, what you need.

D iscipline-Every writer needs it; most of us do not have it. The discipline to sit down in front of the computer every day, even when you don’t feel like it, will get you through the rough parts of your stories.

E dit-ISSAC B. SINGER said, “The wastepaper basket is the writer’s best friend.”

Think of yourself as a writer first and an editor second. Write, rewrite and rewrite some more. Never, ever, send that first draft to an editor.

F odder-Everything you see and hear and everyone you meet is fodder for a writer. Writers have great excuses for eavesdropping on the world. Ideas, character sketches, names, plot twists-you name it and you can find inspiration for it among your family, friends and the guy sitting next to you in McDonalds. Don’t let them know what you’re up to, however. If they recognize themselves in your next story they may never speak again when you’re around.

G rammar-Webster defines grammar as “a study of what is to be preferred and what is to be avoided in inflection and in syntax.” When you present your manuscript make sure the grammar is correct. Don’t depend solely on your computer grammar check; its suggestions are not always right. Instead, invest in a good English or grammar handbook and use it. The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual has a nice section on grammar and punctuation that we use all the time. If you have trouble with grammar find a friend or an adult enrichment class that can help you brush up on your grammar. You don’t have to be able to diagram a sentence, but you do have to be able to put it together correctly. That goes for punctuation too.

H ope-Hope should spring eternal in the hearts of writers. As long as you have something circulating among editors you should always have hope. Never give up, not even when you have enough rejection letters to wallpaper your office.

I deas-There are no bad ideas. Even the worst idea can provide a springboard for something better. Keep all your ideas in a file so you can pull them out whenever you have a dry spell. You’ll be surprised what new, and better, ideas might spring from an idea you considered trashing.

J ournaling-Journaling is a great way to keep your writing flowing, especially on those days when you can’t, or don’t, get to the computer. Write at night, in the morning, in the bathroom, or any place where you and your journal can go. Put down your emotions, your thoughts, impressions, snatches of conversations, or visual images. All these things can be story sparkers or sensory descriptions you might be able to use in some other writing.

K now How-Like every profession, writing is a job that takes skill. You can’t be an electrician or a plumber without learning the ropes-the skills and the tricks of the trade. That’s true in writing too. To become a success as a writer you have to study your craft, learn the best way to write an article, a scene, a chapter, a book. You have to know how to structure your plots and characters, and you have to become knowledgeable about the business. Learn all you can about writing and the writing business so you can succeed.

L aughter-Keep a sense of humor about yourself and your writing. There will be plenty of times that you will get your feelings hurt as a writer-someone won’t like your baby, a critique will rub you the wrong way, an editor might ask for umpteen revisions. If you can face life, and writing, with humor you’ll be able to get through most anything-and even have some good story material in the process.

M arketing-If you want to sell, then know your market. Don’t waste your time, and an editor’s time, by sending manuscripts that aren’t suitable for the publication.

N etworking-Do it! Network with anyone in the writing business that you can. Editors are besieged with unsolicited manuscripts. Any time they can connect a face, organization, or conference to you, you are one step ahead of the game. Take every opportunity to meet, talk with and mingle with editors. Don’t forget networking with other writers too. You can’t know all there is to know about the publishing world and what is going on. Take advantage of any information other writers have to offer. Getting published is not always about talent. Sometimes it’s also about being in the right place, or submitting to the right place at the right time.

O rganization-If you can’t find the computer, your copious notes, or the paper and pencil under the clutter in your office, then you can’t write. The more organized you are the less time you’ll spend hunting and the more time you’ll have for writing.

P erspiration-Don’t wait for the Muse. Writing is one-percent inspiration and 99-percent perspiration. If you wait for inspiration, you might as well be taking a nap while you’re sitting in front of you computer.

Q uery Letter-Queries can be more intimidating and frustrating than writing the whole darn book. We know plenty of writers who dread the “Query Letter.” The query is an editor’s first glimpse of you and your story. Consider it an important, but necessary, evil of your craft, and learn to conquer it. The Writer’s Market has great examples of how to write a good query.

R eading-“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Cicero

A writer who doesn’t read will soon find himself out of touch with the very world for which he is writing. Read, read, and read everything that you can. Fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, cookbooks, cereal boxes, dictionaries, children’s literature, and certainly read in whatever genre in which you want to write.

S olitude-The life of a writer is a solitary one. “Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of a writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” LAWRENCE CLARK POWELL Learn when, and how, to shut the door and lock out the world. Find the time and the place that works best for you.

T enacity-“ A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” RICHARD BACH

Dr. Seuss had his first book rejected 64 times and was ready to toss it in the trash. A friend convinced him to try just one more publisher-the rest is history. Seuss could have remained an amateur if he had given up. Don’t give up. You might miss your chance at a bestseller.

U niversality-Want to sell? Then make sure your stories and articles have a universal appeal. There is nothing new under the sun, just a different way to tell it. Stories with universal appeal never go out of style.

Vi rgin Reader-Every writer needs one of these. We get so close to our “babies” that we can’t see their flaws. But, believe me, an editor will. So, find someone you trust to give you fair, constructive criticism-someone with a fresh set of eyes to look at your writing-and let them be a Virgin.

W rite-“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining a book is not writing. Researching is not writing. Talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.” E. L. DOCTROW

‘Nuff said.

X ercise-(Yes, we know it’s not spelled that way) Writing takes a lot of mental power but doesn’t exercise the other body muscle groups (except the fingers). So, to keep yourself healthy-and maybe even sneak in some writer avoidance time-take time to exercise. You’ll come back to the keyboard refreshed and awake. A bonus-getting the endorphins revved can even kick your brain into gear and help you solve whatever writing problem you’ve been facing.

Ying and Yang—A writer needs balance, in his life and on the page. Too much time alone with the book isn’t a good thing. Neither are pages of narrative or back story with no dialogue or action. Find that happy medium in your life and your literary pursuits.

Z eal-“Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living.” GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

If a writer’s “dog’s life” isn’t what you want, then you had just as well close your notebook, break your pencil in half, and find something else to do with your life. Zeal, passion and a love of your work will keep your writing fresh and alive. If you don’t like what you are doing you probably will not succeed at it.

Do you have a letter you’re particularly good at or one that you suck at?

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Todays baker Chris Pavesic who brings us her easy and tasty coffee cake recipe along with a good book to read.

Fill your home with the beautiful aroma of fresh baked coffee cake. This recipe is easy and oh so tasty you’ll want to make it often.

Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. olive oil
⅔ cup milk
1 egg
⅔ cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce
olive or avocado oil to grease the baking dish

Topping
½ cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Glaze
1 cup confectioner sugar
2 tbsp. milk
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven 400° F.

In a large bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir contents of both bowls together.

Pour into a greased baking dish. Spread cranberry sauce over batter.

In small bowl combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over cranberry sauce.

Bake for 18 – 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients then drizzle it over coffee cake.

Why not read a good book while you enjoy your warm coffee cake and favorite beverage? May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

Chris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

A Midriff Bulge or a Sagging Middle?

By Gwen Overland

One of the things I’ve noticed as a writer is the phenomenon known as the what-the-hell-is-supposed-to-happen-next syndrome, otherwise known as the missing, or the over-congested, or the oh-so-boring middle. I’ve only written 10 books, but I’ve read at least a couple thousand over the last five years, and what I’ve discovered is . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Soul Mate Publishing Authors blog

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

weekend meals

by

Sharon Ledwith

Weekends at our house are reserved for old stand-by meals that are perfect for any family members who happen to ‘drop in’ unexpectedly. You know who I mean. Those adult kiddos who were in the neighborhood checking out garage sales or friends who pop by just to see what project you’ve been working on lately. Yeah, them. One dish that everyone seems to magically appear for is our scrumptious shepherd’s pie. Easy to prepare, and makes 6 servings, I guarantee your guests won’t go home hungry. Add a tossed green salad on the side, and a chilled bottle of beer or glass of wine, and they just may overstay their welcome.

Scrumptious Shepherd’s Pie
1 lb. (454 g) ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1¼ cup frozen peas and carrots, cooked and drained
1 package brown gravy mix (0.88 ounces/25 g)
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
3 cups, mashed potatoes
Paprika

Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).

Fry ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is browned. Drain fat. Add seasoned salt, peas and carrots. Mix well.

Prepare gravy mix with water according to package directions. Add some gravy to beaten egg. Gradually add egg-gravy mixture to gravy, stirring constantly. Combine gravy with meat.

Pour meat mixture into a shallow, ovenproof dish. Spoon potatoes in mounds over meat then use the back of a large spoon to blend the mounds. Sprinkle top with paprika.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until heated.

While you’re waiting for your slice of mouth-watering, meaty shepherd’s pie to digest why not put your feet up and relax on the couch with a good book? May I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a trip back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Whichever you choose, I assure you that either series will take you on a journey far away from weekend chores and dirty laundry.

Here’s a glimpse into one of the books from Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, my teen psychic mystery series.

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…
City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.


Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The thinker Elliott Baker who brings us his thoughts about the Law of Small Things.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I was sitting next to my four-year-old grandson and he began his sentence with, “When I was a little kid…” We all see ourselves as more enlightened than we probably are. Just the nature of our egos.

One of the prime reactions of the younger part of ourselves is to direct responsibility elsewhere. We all do it. “Wasn’t me.” He did it, she did it.” If we are energy beings, collections of energy, and quantum theory as well as current scientific consensus says we are, then additional energy feels good, and less energy feels bad. We approach the one and avoid the other. Accepting responsibility costs us energy in the short term, but often saves us more in the long term. Here’s where delayed gratification comes in. We develop delayed gratification as we mature. Would I rather go to a movie, energy resource, than go to work, boring energy suck? You bet. But through a certain amount of learning pain, I choose the latter in order to pay for two movies at a later date. It works.

Exhausting fear through anger while displacing responsibility feels good in the moment, but does nothing to affect the cause of the fear, leaving it to grow larger while it continuously drains our energy.

Our most common response is, “What can I, one person, do against a worldwide problem?” The obvious answer is nothing and so I vent that fear through anger, all the while telling myself that I am helping the cause. I’ve done something because I shared my resentment with someone else and allowed them to share theirs in return. We both feel better getting that momentary relief from the emotional pressure of fear. Problem is, I wonder if that response does anything other than add energy to the problem without actually assisting in its solution.

Image by ipicgr from Pixabay 

Well, what can I do against the momentum of eight billion people? In physics there is something known as ‘weak force.’ I have to assume that it’s named that because each individual reaction is, well, weak. But in aggregate, it performs crucial work allowing for some spectacular results. Among others, it initiates the nuclear fusion that fuels our sun. Fairly significant. The law of small things.

What if, instead of venting our fear energy, we channel it into a positive exchange? Support another life stream in any way you can, whenever it occurs to you to do so. The size of the energy you expend is unimportant. That you sent the energy out in support of another, no matter how small or unmeasurable it might seem is everything. The law of small things will take it from there. Choose intent over outcome. Our control over the outcome of things is suspect anyway.

Venting resentment does little but congeal into violence which in turn does nothing but create more resentment which…

Why not try something different for a change. Compliment a friend or loved one. Add positive energy to the miasma of fear that currently envelops us all. Power is unimportant. Frequency is unimportant. Intent is everything. The law of small things.

Here is a little from my first novel in The Sun God’s Heir series. I hope you enjoy it.

René Gilbert awoke shackled to the wall of a four-foot-high ship’s slave hold.

The filthy bilge water splashed over his head and then receded. Under sail.

The North Atlantic, 1672. To survive René must escape a slave ship in the midst of the ocean.

Focus on the first thing, his fencing master’s voice rose from within his memory.

“Don’t drown,” he thought. His second thought was the memory of a wooden rod speeding toward him for his sarcasm.

Rapier sharp, pulse pounding action across the warp and weave of the seventeenth century. Sailing ships, pirates, and past lives contend in this first book of an award-winning trilogy.

Bordeaux, France

Three men bled out into the dirt.

René stared at the hand that held the bloody rapier. His hand. Tremors shuddered through his body and down his arm. Droplets of blood sprayed the air and joined the carmine puddles that seeped into the sun-baked earth. He closed his eyes and commanded the muscles that grasped the rapier to release their tension and allow the sword to drop.
Years of daily practice and pain refused his mind’s order much as they had refused to spare the lives of three men. The heady exultation that filled him during the seconds of the fight drained away and left him empty, a vessel devoid of meaning. He staggered toward an old oak and leaned against its rough bark. Bent over, with one hand braced on the tree, he retched. And again. Still, the sword remained in his hand.

A cloud shuttered the sun. Distant thunder brushed his awareness and then faded. Rain. The mundane thought coasted through his mind. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and glanced down hoping to see a different tableau. No, death remained death, the only movement, that of flies attracted to a new ocean of sustenance.

The summer heat lifted the acrid blood-rust smell and forced him to turn his head away. Before him stretched a different world from the one in which he had awakened. No compass points. No maps. No tomorrow.

Buy Links


Award winning, international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and done throughout the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy.

A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his beautiful wife Sally Ann.

Learn more about Elliot Baker on his website. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook. Like Elliott’s Author Page on Facebook to learn all his latest news.

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

9 key #bookmarketing areas that authors can use to find the traction their books need to rise above the crowd, even in these post COVID-19 times

By Sharon Ledwith

Feeling overwhelmed when it comes to publishing and promoting a book? Are you getting lost in the crowd? Relax. Take a breath. Release it. By focusing on these nine key areas, you can find the traction your book needs to rise above the crowd, even in these post COVID-19 times. . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Mirror World Publishing blog

Friday Features’

Shares a new book

Koush Hollow

by

Leigh Goff

Leigh Goff has written another fabulous story that grabs you and doesn’t let go. Koush Hollow is a definite read for all ages. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Koush Hollow:
Where bayou magic abounds and all that glitters…is deadly.

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother.

As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow.

 How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing?

As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.

EXCERPT
This excerpt is from Chapter 1 of Koush Hollow. The sixteen-year-old main character, Jenna, seems to have a waking nightmare where an interesting creature appears, but only to her. Is it real or is it a dream?

Tap, tap.

My eyes flashed wide. A curvy, gray-haired lady tapped on my passenger side window. Jenna, snap out of it, I thought to myself. I breathed and remembered how to roll the window down.

“You okay, hon’?” She stared at my hands. “You’re shaking like you drank ten café lattes.”

“I’m j-just a little on edge. I mean, I thought I hit that…that woman.”

She jolted upright and looked around. “What are you talking about?”

My gaze flitted all around her. “She w-was r-right there—the painted woman,” I stuttered and pointed. “Where did she go?” My knees finally stopped knocking, allowing me to slide out of the car.

“You didn’t hit anyone. Are you on something?”

I stumbled to the front and bent over searching underneath the car. Nothing. No one. I stood up and scanned the sidewalks, but I didn’t see the mysterious woman anywhere.

“Maybe you shouldn’t be driving, hon’.”

Maybe I shouldn’t be.

“Is there someone I can call?” she asked.

I wiped my sopping wet forehead with the back of my hand. It had to be stress affecting me. It had been a tough few months and maybe it was catching up with me. I turned to the kind woman. “I’m only a few minutes from my mother’s house.” I’d get the Diet Cokes and vitamins later. “I’ll be fine. Thank you.”

We both returned to our cars. She waited for me to move. With trembling fingers, I managed to shift into drive. I pumped the brakes to see if they worked. They worked fine. The rattling sound in the engine was gone, too. I could hardly think straight. Was that Voodoo woman real or a figment of my imagination? I shoved aside the bad feeling, inhaled a calming breath, and decided to apply logic, which suggested the whole thing was a brain-glitch from stress. However, no matter how logical I tried to be, the uneasy feeling remained.

Leigh Goff writes young adult fiction. She is a graduate from the University of Maryland and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area’s great history and culture.

Her third young adult novel, Koush Hollow, a Southern gothic set in New Orleans, will release on September 1, 2020 from The Parliament House.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.