Category Archives: New Book

Children’s Illustrated Books

I have joined 28 authors to promote the Children’s Books and Art on Book Funnel. Check them out to find some fun and delightful books for your kids, grandkids, or relatives.

Click the link to browse. I hope you’ll find some interesting books.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/moreillustratedbooks/rrevjw42o3

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If you’re interested in promoting your children’s books, here is the link for the sales promotion. There are other promotions also on the left panel of this page.

https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/hbxp5c30k5

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The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd – Recap

During the New Release Tour last week, I shared a segment of The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd on each day. Even though I had produced children’s literature as a full-time job in the past, making this book was the first time I orchestrated the entire production by myself with online services along the process. It was an adventure and a valuable experience. I recorded when and how things were done and documented it each step of the way. When I planned for the book release tour, I wanted to share something about the book with you. By the time I finished preparing, it covered the writing, editing, illustrating, formatting, and publishing.

My wonderful hosts not only hosting the tour but also reviewing the book. I’m so grateful for your tremendous support. Many of you had followed along the tour to cheer on. Some of you related your experiences about being lost as a child or losing your child briefly when he/she was a kid. I shared with you I got lost in a cathedral on a Spain tour a few years ago. Every tour group looked the same to me. I was afraid that they left without me. Fortunately, I spotted my 6’4″ husband and hurried to rejoin the group, pretending nothing had happened.

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I would like to share with you this recap of the seven parts of Tina Lost in a Crowd with an introduction.

Why I Write Children’s Book?

My experience of writing the children’s books was when, at age 26, I worked in Hong Kong as the Director of Children’s Department at Asian Outreach, which was a Christian literature publication company. They hired me to design and write children’s magazine for the fourth to sixth grades students. I modeled after a well-established local children’s magazine and wrote stories with Christian values.

This was the process we went through to publish the children’s magazines:

It was exciting to see my first magazine in print coming back to our office. I published four children’s magazines before leaving the office to come to the US.

The experience of working at the Asian Outreach was a great asset to my current publication of the children’s books.

The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd

Part 1 – When Did I Write the Tina Lost in a Crowd?

In 2006, I took an online writing course at the Institute of Children’s Literature for a year. An instructor corresponded with me to provide feedback and suggestions on my assignments and revisions. The Institute also provided the marketing tools and an annual catalogue of 800 magazines accepting submissions. The goal of the course was to have my essays published.

The Institute suggested the children’s literature writers to observe the children. If the writers were not teachers or adults with young children at home, they could volunteer at the organizations such as library or Boy/Girl Scouts to get a first-hand experience to understand their behaviors and language.

At the time of taking the writing course, my interaction with the elementary school students was still fresh in my mind.

There were many fun memories of activities with my daughter, Mercy. I combined one story about Mercy, my understanding of the children’s behaviors, and the writing skills to write my first assignment entitled “Tina Goes to Hollywood Bowl.”

I kept the stories written during this course in a folder for many years. Early in year 2020, during the lockdown, I revised the Tina story to prepare for publication.

Part 2 – The Story Behind the Story Tina Lost in a Crowd

The story of Tina Lost in a Crowd is partly based on fact. When my daughter Mercy was eight years old, my sister Yolanda, her husband Patrick, and their son Enoch, who was Mercy’s age, came from Hong Kong to visit us. We took them on tours in northern and southern California. One activity was going to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. I drove the five of us to Rowland Heights Regional Park, then we took the Park & Ride bus to the Hollywood Bowl.

The sky was dark with bright stars when the concert started. Mercy and Enoch swayed side to side when they listened to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and smiled at each other. During the intermission, Patrick left his seat to buy some popcorn. Mercy and Enoch wanted to use the restroom. Yolanda and I urged them to catch up with Patrick.

Later, when Patrick came back without them, I panicked. Imagine losing 8-year-old kids in a crowd of 18,000 people. How would I find them? Yolanda and Patrick stayed in their seats while

I followed the descending steps between the sections of seats to where I thought they could had gone.

I found them standing against a wall! It was such a relief, but I was curious about what made them stand there. “Were you scared?” I asked them.

“Not too scared,” Mercy said, “I learned from the Girl Scouts that if I get lost, I should stay at one spot to wait for the adults to find me.”

This was one of my fondest memories. I asked Mercy, “Should I write a story about this experience?” She answered me with no hesitance, “Of course!”

Part 3 – The Ideas and Messages of the Story

Did you like Aesop’s Fables? I did when I was a child. When I read them to my students, they would shout with me at the end of the fable “the moral of the lesson is…”

Other than Aesop’s Fable, most of the children’s books don’t spell out the lessons. In fact, even when the story has a message for children, it doesn’t need to make it loud and clear. The children are reading the story to have fun.

There are ideas and messages in Tina Lost in a Crowd: Tina took part in decision making for the summer activities such as swimming and a sleepover. She asked permission to invite her friend to go to the concert. She made a right decision when she and Erica got lost in a crowd, which was a safety issue.

Children are smart, they read for fun, and they learn the messages on their own term. It would be interesting to have a discussion with the children after they read a book.

Part 4 – Fine Tuning the Text for a Read-Aloud Book

When I revisited the Tina story, I wanted to do a picture book for easy readers of age five to nine. My research shows the word count for this grade-level range is 50-2,500 words. The final word count for this book is 2,000 words.

Tina Lost in a Crowd is a dialogue-based story. I used dialogue to show the plot, the relationship between all the characters, the actions, and emotions of the speakers.

Writers write picture books in a series of scenes, and each of which can be illustrated. Initially, I divided the content into sixteen scenes for the illustration, and the final story has twenty scenes. In this book, the text coordinates with the illustration. In fact, I wrote detailed descriptions to my illustrator so that even the gestures of the characters reflect the content. For instance, the character points at the sky in the illustration, and the text says: “Look at the stars…”. When reading the story, the readers can also refer to the details of the illustration.

The main character, Tina, finished third grade going to fourth grade. I remember my third-grade students with different reading levels. Among the third-grade students, there are easy to advance readers. Many of my students at this grade level still read picture books. According to grade level standards, they should have mastered the skills of “learning to read” and ready for “reading to learn” in the upper grades. Many third-grade students would find fun reading this book with perhaps a couple unfamiliar words such as Tchaikovsky and silhouette.

When I sent the manuscript to my editor, I let her know this book is for “reading to” and “reading with” children by the adults, as well as “reading by” the children independently. The flow of the text is good for a read-aloud book.

Part 5 – Finding an Illustrator

I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). On one blog post, it featured an illustrator and her work. I liked the style of her artworks, so I contacted her and got an idea of how much she would charge for the number of pages in my book and how long it would take to complete the job.

Some blogging friends recommended some websites with illustration services, and I checked them out. The illustrators charged by hours. They didn’t have a portfolio with sample artworks, so I couldn’t tell if I liked their style.

After much search and consideration, my decision was to search for an illustrator on fiverr.com. I could see the services they provide and their sample work. Some would provide limited, and some unlimited revisions.

I do watercolor painting and wish to illustrate my book, but I don’t do portrait painting. There are thousands of gigs out there, and it would take forever to scroll through all the pages to find one. I narrowed it down to watercolor, and children’s illustration, and got 660 services. It took me six months to find one I liked. I paid for one sample page and when I ordered the rest, it became part of my entire book.

After I accepted the sample page, I sent the story summary and the description of each page to her. Usually, she sent me a few sketches at a time. I gave her my feedback and suggestions. She revised them and sent them to me. Sometimes I respected her creativity and approved them. But if they didn’t correspond with the story, I asked for revisions until they were done to my satisfaction. It was a pleasant experience working with Victoria Skakandi.

Part 6 – Formatting a Picture Book, Illustrated Children’s Book

There are boxes of children’s books in the storage from my teaching days. I picked about ten books to study how they positioned the images and text. Some have bleed (the images flow over to the margin) and some without bleed. Some pages have text without images, and some have text layered over the images. My conclusion was to have the book fully illustrated with bleed, and have the text inserted over the images.

Formatting a picture book with bleed is a different story than without bleed. So, I hired a designer to do the job. He could insert the text for me, but I had a preference of the appearance.

After I received the pages of illustration from Victoria, I inserted one layer of white rectangular shape with round corner, then inserted another layer of text over the shape.

When I finished inserting the text, I created a file with the pages in a correct sequence for the designer to use as a reference. Then I sent this reference file and all the pages of the illustration to him to format for eBook and print book according to the requirements of Amazon and Barns & Nobel.

Note: I skipped many technical details. I can answer your questions if you’re interested.

Part 7 – Publish the Book on Amazon and Barns & Nobles

Amazon and Nobles have different formatting guidelines to publish the books. I would have been happy to have the book on Amazon alone. But I wanted to have a hardcover version. It’s good to have a hardcover version for young children, for the school libraries and public libraries. Personally, I wanted to have a hardcover version of this book.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) only has eBook and paperback, doesn’t have the option to publish hardcover books. Barns & Nobles has eBook, paperback, and hardcover. For this reason, I published the eBook and paperback on Amazon, and eBook and hardcover on Barns & Nobles. I may inquire if the local B&N would carry my book.

Will I Write More Children’s Book?

As I mentioned on the first day of this Book Tour that I took a writing course at the Institute of Children’s Literature and wrote many stories. Tina Lost in a Crowd was the first story I revised and published. There are several stories based on my daughter Mercy’s activities as a child. I’ll revise them as the “Tina” stories.

There were other children’s stories in my folder, as well as new ideas for the children’s books. I’ll keep these options open.

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Thank you for reading this recap.

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Smorgasbord #Children’s Reading Room – Book #Review – Tina Lost in a Crowd by Miriam H. Hurdle

I’m excited that Sally Cronin features Tina Lost in a Crowd in her Children’s Reading Room with a fabulous review. Please head over to visit this post. While you’re there, browse around her other magazine features on nutrition, music, humor and a lot more.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Miriam Hurdlehas been on the shelves of the main Cafe and Bookstore for some years but now adds her new book Tina Lost in a Crowd to the shelves of the Children’s Reading Room.

About the book

Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do?

This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children…

View original post 411 more words

Tina Lost in a Crowd – Join Diana P. Wallace on the Last Day of Tour

Diana P. Wallace is the host for the last day of Tina Lost in a Crowd new release tour. Please join her to conclude the tour with a huge party.

I want to thank the amazing hosts kicking off my debut children’s book with tremendous energy and excitement. It was fun to converse with the blogging friends in this supportive community. I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Robbie Cheadle, Pete Springer, Better A. Stevens, Denise L. Finn, Balroop Singh, Jacqui Murray, Jan Sikes, Teri Polen, Yvette Calleiro, Majorie Mallon, and Diana P. Wallace. Each one of them not only hosted the tour but also reviewed and recommended the book.

Special thanks goes to Sally Cronin for welcoming Tina Lost in a Crowd to her Children’s Reading Room.

Comments on this post are closed. I’ll see you at the the hosts’ blogs.

Amazon US

Amazon UK (for eBook, go to Amazon US)

Barns and Noble

Tour Dates and Hosts

Please visit them to cheer on. I love to have your support and see you there.

Monday, April 19, 2021 – Robbie Cheadle, Robbie’s Inspiration

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 – Pete Springer, Pete Springer Author

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 – Bette A. Stevens, Writers and Readers

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – Denise Finn, Author D.L. Finn

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – Balroop Singh, Emotional Shadows

Thursday, April 22, 2021 – Jacqui Murray, Word Dream

Thursday April 22, 2021 – Sally Cronin, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, Children’s Reading Room

Friday, April 23, 2021 – Jan Sikes, Writing and Music

Friday, April 23, 2021 – Teri Polen, Books and Such

Saturday, April 24, 2021 – Yvette Calleiro, Yvette M. Calleiro

Saturday, April 24, 2021 – Majorie Mallon, Kyrosmagica Publishing

Sunday, April 25, 2021 – Diana Peach Wallace, Myths of Mirror

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Check out this sample illustration of Tina Lost in a Crowd.

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Tina Lost in a Crowd – #3 on Amazon Hot New Releases

I woke up with this exciting news. My debut children’s eBook Tina Lost in a Crowd was #3, then #2 and now is #1 on the Amazon Hot New Releases! It’s from #50 to #22 on the Top 100 Paid Best Sellers. Thank you for your pre-order (I think the pre-order counts)!

I just received the proof copy of the paperback from Amazon. It looks good. It’ll be ready for purchasing on April 15.

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My First Children’s Book and Cover Reveal

I’m excited to announce that my debut children’s book Tina Lost in a Crowd will be published on April 15 and is available for preorder. The paperback will also be available. I’ll share with you the making of the book during the book release.

On Amazon, the eBook is $1.99 from preorder to the end of April. The paperback will be $6.95 from April 15th to the end of April.

The Hardcover and eBook will be available on Barns & Noble later.

I’m grateful for Bette A. Stevens, Pete Springer, Robbie Cheadle, and Denise Finn who were tremendously helpful in the process. They generously gave me detailed feedback and suggestions beyond my expectations.

The Book Release Tour will be from Monday, April 19 to Sunday, April 25. I’m thankful for the friends who will help to host the tour. I will post their links and invite you to visit the tour.

If you are interested in helping me to host a tour, please email me at mhurdle7@gmail.com, or comment below with your preferred date.

Here is the book cover of Tina Lost in a Crowd.

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Why I Write Children’s Book

My experience of writing the children’s books was when, at age 26, I worked in Hong Kong as the Director of Children’s Department at Asian Outreach, which was a Christian literature publication company. They recruited me to design and write children’s magazines for the third grade and higher students. I modeled after a well-established local children’s magazine and wrote stories with Christian values.

This was the process we went through to publish the children’s magazines:

  • I set the themes of each issue and wrote the stories, games, word puzzles, and riddles.
  • My boss, David who was the Director of Asian Outreach edited the contents.
  • I worked with the supervisor, Martin and the illustrator, Isaac in the Art Department on the illustration design. It was exciting to see the pages from sketches to the completed products. They were creative and artistic. On one story about the farm animals, they took the stuffed animals to a village area, used the village as the background to film the sequence of the story. I had fun going to the darkroom watching the photos being developed.
  • I worked with the typesetter who did the typesetting in Chinese.
  • Back in the late 1970s, there was no digital design. When the artists finished with the drawings, the typesetter would type according to dimension of space for the text and printed out the words. Isaac cut and pasted them to flow with the artworks. Then he took photograph of each page and sent the negatives to the print shop to ordered the “blueprint” which was the same size with multiple pages as the blue print for buildings.
  • When the blueprint came back, I proofread the text, the artists proofread the artworks, and the manager ordered the printing of the magazines.

It was exciting to see my first magazine in print coming back to our office. I published four children’s magazines before leaving the office to come to the US.

The experience of working at Asian Outreach was a great asset to my current publication of the children’s books.

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Welcome to Day 9 of “THE ENIGMA THREAT” Release Blog Tour! @enigmaseries @1rburkey @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org #RRBC

I’m delighted to Welcome Breakfield and Burkey to Day 9 of “THE ENIGMA THREAT” Release Blog Tour! @enigmaseries @1rburkey @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org #RRBC

Please leave a comment to win:

(1) $25 Amazon Gift card

(10) e-book copies of the “shorts” in the Enigma Series

I invited my guests to introduce themselves and their book to you.

We want to talk about our inspiration for writing.

The paradox about being a writer is that you must be a reader as well. Inspiration for Breakfield and Burkey comes from the daily consumption of written words for work and pleasure, as well as thoughts from other writers and podcasters. 

Each of us receives a daily stream of material for blog posts, correspondence from colleagues, technical presentations from vendors, and books from other authors. We read, listen, and see a great deal of material during our work week. We use these three media types then aggregate the data onto the idea conveyor belt that feeds our imaginations. Current events from streaming media, voice actor audio reviews, reading reviews on our work, and non-technical publications discussing world economics or security are all excellent sources of ideas for our storylines.

Each of these informational feeds provides a level of research snippets into the real world. These are not like deep-dive research with cross-checking you might require for a historical novel, but they often capture our imaginations and drive us to research further. This is especially true with emerging technologies we are exposed to for solving our customers’ problems. 

A perfect example of real-world input that impacts one of our novels was the buzz around cryptocurrencies, built on the underlying blockchain technology. This is a complex subject that is applied in multiple ways. However, we were interested in all the speculation of the various currencies, which made us do some more in-depth research into the history of it and how each operates.

As this was in progress, we started looking at the vulnerabilities blockchain has around cryptocurrency applications.  Finally, we explored how their adoption in different locations around the world would affect our global economy.  After we completed that research, we launched into the fictional aspects of what could happen when the cyber bad guys drive toward their specific agenda of power and greed. 

We then took this research a step further to create an intriguing story of competing cryptocurrency providers. We introduced bad actors from the Darknet that had motives of corruption, power, greed, and control. Voilà, you have the concept of our TechnoThriller, story The Enigma Source.  See how easy that was? J

Admittedly cryptocurrency is an easy technology to find greed lurking nearby. Money and materialism tend to work together. The whole focus of artificial intelligence and machine learning captured our attention as more vendors were offering solutions with those technical capabilities at the foundation. The promise of we’ll do that for you sounds the alarm bells in our minds. The evolution of technology takes aspects and then builds upon them to be more and do more.

Machine learning is best accomplished with oodles of data to learn from. We have that in bulk with social media today. Think about the content of social media. If this is being used as the classroom for artificial intelligence, what is it learning? If the computer creators using these capabilities goals are misaligned to societal norms, then the end game could be unexpected.

We took this as the foundational basis for our newest story, The Enigma Threat. This book has cyber heroes battling cyber thugs from the Darknet, both with supercomputers as resources doing their bidding. It is a battle of wits from machines, some have guardrails, and some do not. You’ll need to read to learn all the details or listen as the ebook, paperback, and audible will be available on January 8th, 2021. We also have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help start work on a screenplay for this book. We invite you to check it out to support or share it with your friends. The campaign has additional information about the story and a book trailer you might enjoy.

Make no mistake, we are inspired by the world around us and the technology we use to live, work and play.

Book Information

BLURB:

In the new digital world, there is no tolerance for privately owned supercomputers. Globally, computers are hunted and destroyed for the greater good, by the new cyber police CESPOOL. The information this group receives is manipulated by subversive hidden machine learning devices, the MAG running on the dark net.

Judith and Xiamara are freebooters who steal machine time for their PaaS, porn as a service business. The machine they chose for delivery is the last untapped supercomputer not in the hands of a sovereign. Their activity is spotted by the MAG, but the renegade R-Group steps in to alter the outcome. Leroy teams up with Zara to help these opportunists escape prosecution. They are drafted as reluctant participants in the fight.

Jacob and Quip are trapped in the Chihuahuan Desert trying to reconstruct the base of ICABOD’s logic core. The stress of their isolation is taking a toll. Their wives and children are safe in Brazil for the time being, but Interpol is prowling for answers.

The R-Group has assembled a way to communicate with orphaned satellites. While the next R-Group plans the ultimate honey pot to trap their nemesis who is driving their corrupted agenda. The odds are against R-Group’s success, but they have creative surprises on their side.

The stakes have never been higher. The R-Group young and old must rise to defeat the MAG.

Video Teaser

About the Authors

BIO:

Breakfield is a 25+ year technology expert in security, networking, voice, and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges. He’s also a fan of wine tastings, winemaking, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.

Burkey is a 25+ year applied technology professional who excels at optimizing technology and business investments. She works with customers all over the world focusing on optimized customer experiences. She writes white papers and documentation, but found she has a marked preference for writing fiction.

Together they create award-winning stories that resonate with males and females, as well as young and experienced adults. They bring a fresh new view to technology possibilities today.

Contact the Authors

Email:            Authors@EnigmaSeries.com

Website:       www.EnigmaBookSeries.com

Blog:              https://EnigmaBookSeries.com/the-enigma-chronicles/category/blog-statement/

Connect and follow on Social Media: 

LinkedIn:      https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesbreakfield  and

https://www.linkedin.com/in/roxanneburkey

Twitter:        https://twitter.com/EnigmaSeries  

and https://twitter.com/1RBurkey

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/TheEnigmaSeries/

YouTube:           https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Vz4x5ctTnx3yUhZk1OJkw

Pinterest:     https://www.pinterest.com/enigmseries/

Instagram:    https://www.instagram.com/enigmabookseries/

Bublish:         https://bublish.com/author/breakfieldandburkey

RRBC:            https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/about-breakfield-burkey-enigmaseries-rrbc-rrbc_community/

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the authors’ tour pageon the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please clickHEREThanks for supporting these authors and their work!

New Release – Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes

Hello! My friends and visitors! Welcome to my blog!

I’m excited to have Jan Sikes here today. It’s my pleasure to share with you the great news of her new release. The holiday is upon us and her book is the best holiday gift ever! Please join me to welcome Jan.

Hi Jan! What an honor to have you as my guest today. Please tell us about your new book.

Hi, Miriam! Thank you for sharing your blog space with me today so that I can talk about my new book. I deeply appreciate it!

One of the scenes in Ghostly Interference included Jag Peters purchasing a book of poetry for Rena Jett. He wanted something that would help comfort, and start the healing process after losing her brother, Sam Jett, in the war in Afghanistan.

As I am sure you know, you cannot quote someone else’s work within your own body of work. So, I had to create a poem to include in a specific scene.

I had to do the same thing with song lyrics as you also cannot quote someone else’s song lyrics within your work without their written permission. With the song lyrics, I only had to create lines, not the whole song.

Excerpt 1: Poetry

She filled her coffee cup and sat down at the table. The poetry book Jag had bought her lay at one end and she reached for it, lightly running her fingers over the cover.

The book fell open to a poem entitled “Next to You.”

          You cannot see me or touch me

          But I’m standing next to you

          Your tears can only hurt me

          Your sadness makes me blue

          Be brave and show a smiling face

          Let not your grief show through

          I love you from a different place

          Yes, I’m standing next to you.

As she read the words, tears flowed. “Oh Sam,” she whispered. “You’re here. I just know it. But I can’t help but wish your body was here too. You’d get along great with Jag, even though he’s very different from us. He said he loves me and I think I’m falling for him too.”

Excerpt 2 – Song Lyrics:

The years of working at Granite Technology seemed like an eternity ago. Quitting that job was perhaps the best thing he’d ever done.

Almost colliding with Rena had been totally out of his control and yet a life changing event so big he could never have imagined it.

How could he not have known he needed something more than just the job security and safe circle of family and friends? And yet someone somewhere in the Universe knew.

Knew that he and Rena Jett needed each other. He was grateful that their two worlds had collided. Grateful for divine intervention.

Inspired, he reached for pen and paper. With one hand on the keys and the other holding the pen, he composed the beginning of a tender love song.

“I didn’t know I needed you. I didn’t have a clue. I imagined I was happy, but my window had no view…”

Hours passed before he stopped and stretched. He flipped the switch and covered the instrument.

Excerpt 3:

“Let me hear you sing something. I’ve got a feeling you have a good voice.”

“Okay. I’m more than a little nervous, but I’ll give it a shot. I’ll sing something I wrote just the other day.”

Damien raised his eyebrows. “You write too? That’s fantastic. Let me hear it.”

Jag avoided looking at Damien while he played and sang the song he’d written for Rena. He tagged the ending. “And you can’t see tomorrow through yesterday’s eyes.”

Damien clapped. “Oh hell! That was great! Do you have more? I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I can get them heard by some heavy-hitters if you’re interested.”

“I’ve written quite a few over the years. I hadn’t thought of trying to do anything with them. I just write to express my feelings.”

“That’s all any of us do. With every song I write, every guitar lick I play and every performance, I give a little of myself away. That’s what music is. And the key to the whole deal is making people feel it. Then they become a part of the song and a part of you.”

“That’s beautiful, Damien.” He stared at the man who’d walked into his life.

Damien laughed. “Don’t get too serious on me. But it’s true. Hey, let’s play some more.”

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Have you ever had to create poems or song lyrics to weave into your stories? I’d love for you to share it in the comment if you have.

You’re so talented, Jan. You not only write books, but poems, and song lyrics also. I loved the excerpts you included here.

Here is the book information.

Book Blurb 

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

Book Trailer

Book Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

Barns & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

About the Author

Jan has an impressive writing history. Here is a nippit of her accomplishment.

Social Media Links

http://www.jansikes.com

https://jansikesblog.com/

https://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8DK  (Author Page)

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New Release of Lords of Chaos by Diana Wallace Peach

Hot off the press! I’m excited to let you know that Diana W. Peach has a new release of Lords of Chaos (Unraveling the Veil Book 3).

A New Novelist's Dream Come True - Almost An Author

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First, Diana shared with us the story behind the journey of writing this series:

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When I started this series, back in July of 2018, I had no idea that I’d be finishing it up in late October of 2020, a year later than planned.

I couldn’t have imagined that my parents’ health would take a nose dive with E.coli, heart attacks, and a stroke. Nor that the world would be dealing with a rampaging virus and all the associated anxiety. Who knew that Chaos would become the order of the day – on and off the page?

But writing is about perseverance, determination, patience. Those who’ve finished books, regardless of the everyday chaos in their lives, know what I’m talking about. There’s no easy path up the mountain, and sometimes the journey becomes strenuous. There are cramps. There are blisters. We’re grubby and worn out when we get to top. But what a breathtaking view!

So here I stand at the top of my little summit, enjoying the sunshine and leafing through the latest book. Lords of Chaos finishes up the Unraveling the Veil series. I wonder what awaits me on the other side.

Now, let’s learn more about Lord of Chaos.

Amazon Purchase Link


The Blurb

In this thrilling conclusion to the Unraveling the Veil series, tensions mount and war looms.

After saving the changeling queen from a savage death, a second sworn oath sends Naj, Alue, and Talin to the mine where the first disappearances set the wheels of anarchy in motion. But it’s not the renders of Kalann il Drakk, the First of Chaos, who confront them in the blackness of the collapsed tunnels. It’s another foe, no less deadly.

When brutality strikes in the stone cells of the Authority, accusations and blame splinter trust. The fragile threads of loyalty that once bound the companions together on an impossible mission fray. The alliance finally breaks.

Naj, a goblin mage and traitor, returns to Jad’ra, determined to defend his home. With nothing to lose, Talin retreats to the changelings’ jungle to find his queen a stranger and his city on the verge of burning. Alue journeys to the Riverlands on a hopeless quest to enlist the aid of the elfin king.

All the while, the First of Chaos gloats. For only as allies will his three adversaries prevail. Above the hall of the First, the Veil vanishes before the truth. The hordes of chaos descend on the known land, and the final battle begins.

Continue to read more about the series at Myths of the Mirror

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BOOK REVIEW OF Allies and Spies BY DIANA WALLACE PEACH

My Review of Allies and Spies by Diana Wallace Peach.

In Allies and Spies, all the roller coaster, chaos one after another kept me chasing the chapters. Even though this time I didn’t stay up for two night to finish the book, my husband said, “I’ll go upstairs to wait for you” on two of the three nights when I read the book.

My Review

In Liars and Thieves, Diana W. Peach built a fascinated world of three races, the Goblins, Elves, and Changelings, each wanted more crystals for power and daily life. I found Naj the goblin, Alue the elf, and Talin the changeling, represented the races, had likable personalities. In Allies and Spies, they revealed their hidden characteristics.

When the three were caught by the goblin elders, instead of execution, they were bonded by the oath for a mission to unlock the mystery of the quake that swallowed lives with no remains. 

There more pressing matter at hand was to pay a blood debt to the Changeling Queen Arianna when a changeling was killed by them. After they stole the crystals, Talin volunteered to take them to Arianna to pay the debt only to lose them to theft while he went gambling.

Peach created one climax after another to keep the reader’s heart pounding and relaxed the reader with a little break in between (I loved it).

The three blamed each other’s authority for the destruction. In the meantime, chaos happened everywhere. Naj’s wife was swallowed on the road to Jad’ra. The entire village disappeared. The elves lost the entire row of shops. When the tavern collapsed into an old city underground, Talin was buried with it. I couldn’t help but wished none of these characters vanished. They reunited long enough for me to take a deep breath before the next disaster happened.

There were a few hints behind the scenes enough to have the readers guess who might be in control, or designed the destruction, or suspect the changelings shifted to the other kind to influence the decisions. The guesses were not conclusive.

Naj, Alue, and Talin had their moments of distrust toward each other and the danger of losing their lives. They made mistakes and had doubts about themselves. In the priestess, Saira’s word to Alue, “Each life’s path is littered with mistakes, but even mistakes are useful. Step by step, they will deliver you closer to the truth.”

Peach concluded Allies and Spies with the three characters becoming stronger in their skills and a firmer commitment to bind as one to find the truth. I look forward to reading the Lords of Chaos.

I highly recommend this series.

My Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

Author the Author

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

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