Tag Archives: New Book Launch

Virtual Book Blast: Laws of Nature by Jacqui Murray #newrelease #prehistoric fiction

I’m delighted to have my exercise buddy Jacqui Murray on my blog. Jacqui and I use Strava to track our exercise, cheer and give kudo to each other.

Today Jacqui will share with us about her new release Laws of Nature, book 2 of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy. Please join me to welcome Jacqui and help her celebrate the great success of her research-based prehistorical fiction.

Laws of Nature: A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

On the right side of Jacqui’s blog, she has scheduled the publication of her next four books in 2022, 2023, 2024, and 2026. Have you wondered how she could keep up the schedule?

I asked her to share with us about her writing day, and here is her answer.

My Writing Day By Jacqui Murray

Much of my day is spent writing, either freelance articles, client reviews, guest posts, or working on one of my many fiction and nonfiction WIP. Any leftover time goes to marketing what I’ve written–trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. That includes outreach, responding to inquiries, interactions with fellow writers, and exploring new marketing channels.

Since I work out of my house, I like to break my day into three parts:

morning

afternoon

evening

I consign tasks to each portion of the day, stopping for lunch and dinner and a few breaks to pet the dog. Because I’m not writing to a deadline (as is required by agents or publishers), I don’t count words like some writing efriends. I count what I get done.

Here’s a rough list of tasks that I sprinkle throughout my writing week:

  • review for edtech websites I work with
  • updates on existing edtech manuscripts, books
  • a monthly article for #IWSG–the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
  • ongoing work on the next Man vs. Nature book
  • research for a future book
  • write about eight posts a week on my three blogs, WordDreams, Ask a Tech Teacher, and USNA or Bust
  • reviews of books I get from NetGalley and much less often Amazon Vine

Here’s what a typical day breaks out as:

5 am–wake up

5:30–read for fun, caffeinate myself, catch up on news with husband

6:30–answer emails and SM

9:00–take a walk; Miriam Hurdle (over at The Showers of Blessings) and I cheer each other on with an app she introduced me to called Strava

9:30–work on my next book

11–lunch

Noon–3:30–work on current ms, reviews for edtech websites or writing outlets

1 pm–coffee break–to perk me up!

3:30-5:00–reading for fun and research

5:00–dinner

5:30-7–Posts, marketing

Every 15-30 minutes, I take a break to walk around the house, check the yards, visit husband, or anything to get me out of my chair and moving.

If you’re curious about the daily schedules of other writers, here’s an article on the daily routines of twelve famous writers, one by a NYT best-selling author, and an interesting personal narrative by a cooperative writer.

Summary

In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can’t stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Book information:

Title and author: Laws of Nature

Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:   https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                        https://worddreams.wordpress.com

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

LinkedIn:                                 http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                  http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                        http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                   https://jacquimurray.net

Thank you so much for your visit. We appreciate your generous comment!

.

.

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories by Denise L. Finn – New Release Tour

I’m excited to have Denise L. Finn on my blog to share with you about her new release Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories. She’ll also share with you about her love of nature, the forest where she resides, and the facts about the redwood trees.

Thank you, Miriam for having me and the fairies here today to celebrate “Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories” release day!

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories is set in a place I adore. I have a deep love of nature and have lived in the forest for 31 years. Although, I visit the ocean often, as it still calls to me. I have considered living in the trees above the sea… maybe someday. Redwood forests have always felt magical to me, and anytime I can visit one, I do.

For Mother’s Day 30 years ago, I received a sequoia tree to add to our forest. It has grown faster than I expected, and with it comes that redwood/sequoia magic that is so strong in my story.

STUNNING Redwood National Park (Guide + Award-Winning Film)

Here are some redwood tree facts:

1. They can grow to over 200 feet tall.

2. They are believed to have been around in California for over 20 million years.

3. There are redwoods over 2000 years old still standing.

4. They are resistant to insects, fires, and rot.

5. There are three types of redwood trees: Dawn Redwood, Giant Sequoia, and Coastal Redwood (this is the one in my story.)

Fun Finn Facts:

  1. The forest sounds at night from foxes and mountain lions are chilling.
  2. I’ve driven through a giant redwood.

Blurb:

When reality and magic meet in the forest

It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy.

Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.

Excerpt:

“I had a dream about them,” I replied before I could stop myself.

Colette was studying the treetops like she was hoping to find fairies.

Dad tossed me another marshmallow. “Tell us about it, Danny.”

I pushed the dirt around with my sneaker. “I don’t think—”

“Please! For me? Pretty please with sugar on top!” Colette’s eagerness was contagious.

“It’s just a dream, but I guess I could try to tell it like a story. You know, because we’re around the campfire and all.”

“Good idea! Thank you for sharing this with us.” Mom’s smile gave me the courage I needed.

“Well, okay, but don’t expect much. I’m not a writer like you.” I cleared my throat and finished my cherry Kool-Aid. The silence was heavy with expectation, which made my palms sweat, but part of me wanted them to hear this. So, I took a deep breath and started. “There is a forest where the fairies live in the trees. No one sees them except the squirrels and birds. Until one day, this boy and his family were camping in the woods. The boy went off by himself while wishing he had his tunes to listen to on his new radio. Bummed, he sat down below one of those giant redwood trees.

“He hung out for a while, watching two squirrels run up and down a tree. A nearby stream and a bird’s tune lulled him to sleep until a small branch hit his nose, waking him up. Rubbing his nose, he looked around and saw a bird directly above him. He shrugged and sank back against the tree and fell asleep again.

“Another branch hit him, startling him awake. This time there was no bird, so it had to be a squirrel. The sun had set, and the moon was rising. Soon it would be dark. He knew it was time to get back to his campsite, but he heard humming coming from above as he got up.

“He squinted and tilted his head back. All that he could see were needles, branches, and a darkening sky. He turned to head back to camp when a female voice began singing. It was beautiful, like he imagined an angel’s voice would sound, but he couldn’t understand the words. That’s when he saw the colors and thought they were dragonflies until they got within a few feet of his face. They were tiny, humanlike beings with silver wings. He almost fainted when the green one spoke to him.

“‘Hello . . .’ I reached out to her, and then I woke up, so that’s the end.”

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories by [D.L. Finn]

Purchase Links:

Amazon

SMASHWORDS

Author Bio:

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

.

Thank you so much for your visit to support Denise and

her excitement of the new release.

We welcome your lovely comments!

.

.

Amanda in Malta by Darlene Foster – New Release Tour

I’m excited to have Darlene Foster on my blog to share with you about her new release Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8). When Amanda turned twelve, she made a wish as she blew the birthday cake candles. Here she is with her wishes come true – traveling all over the world.

I was curious about writing the Amanda series, so I asked Darlene to share with you her experience.

Is it difficult to write a series?

Writing a series can be fun. I love getting to know the main characters, Amanda Ross and her friend Leah Anderson. But I worry that the stories might get too predictable. I know my readers expect some things to be familiar, but each book needs to come with something new to keep it fresh and entertaining.

Coming up with new settings is easy for me as I love to travel. I often travel with an Amanda adventure in mind, taking tons of notes and pictures to be referred to later when writing the story. Coming up with a storyline that is original and exciting is not always easy.

A few things that have helped me get new ideas:

● Hanging out with young people to learn what they get excited about. I get many of my ideas from young people.

● Watching TV shows and movies that feature kids, but not necessarily kids’ shows. I once got a great idea while watching Midsommer Murders!

● Reading lots of books in a variety of genres including the classics as well as recently published novels, both adult and children´s books.

● Reading newspapers and magazine articles. I clip and save interesting and bizarre stories and go through the stack of clippings once in a while. There is usually something that will pop out and generate a new idea or two.

● Listening to conversations in coffee shops, on the bus, on the street, on the beach – wherever. Conversations between adults, kids, or teenagers can inspire excellent ideas. I have become great at eavesdropping.

● Asking “what if” often. What if Amanda did something she knew she shouldn’t? What if a character said something they wouldn’t normally say?  What if she walked down that alley? What if…?. Sometimes a character has to do something out of character to keep it interesting.

● Making sure every book tackles at least one new problem or issue.

● Introducing intriguing new characters in each book. Even minor characters can create interest and keep the series from getting stale.

● Bringing back a character from a previous book. I introduced Caleb, Amanda´s classmate, in the New Mexico book. He was so popular that he has returned in the Malta book.

● Being consistent in the details can be a challenge. A good memory helps, as do notes. I had Amanda wearing glasses in the first book and I don’t think I mentioned them in the next two! I have a list of all the characters names to be sure I don´t accidentally change any.

My Review

The twelve-year-old Amanda is a world traveler who visited an exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean. It came as a surprise when she received a postcard from her best friend Leah asking her to come to Malta, hinting there was something wrong. She did not know how to get to Malta from Canada. Her friend Caleb and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen, were going on a vacation in Malta and would like Amanda to come along.

After arriving in Malta, Amanda went to find the house according to the address from the postcard but was told Leah was not there. It was like in some detective story that a mystery boy slipped a piece of paper written with lipsticks into her pocket, urged her to try again. It turned out that Leah asked this boy, Max, to connect with Leah to meet at St. Lucian Tower. The Sorensens wanted to go to a museum. While they toured the cave, Amanda went to the Tower and saw Leah. Leah revealed that the people in the house where they stayed wanted her aunt to steal an ancient figurine of Sleeping Lady.

I find that Darlene’s book is educational for middle schoolers and adults. I followed the tour along and learned many interesting facts about this island.

· Ghar Dalam means ‘cave of darkness’ and It is over 500,000 years old. It holds evidence of the first humans on the island, such as Neanderthal teeth, from 7,400 years ago.

· The Falconry Center has many rescued birds. Maltese falcon is called the peregrine falcon, known for its speed, it can reach over 320 kilometers per hour or 200 miles per hour.

· the Knights of St. John built The St. John Cathedral in 1572. As each knight gained wealth, he and his family donated art and decorations. The inlaid marble graves showed many knights were buried here.

· The 1980 Robert Williams’ Popeye movie was filmed in Malta.

Amanda’s crime adventure weaved through the sightseeing and the historical facts made this reading interesting and enjoyable. I highly recommend this book.

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by [Darlene Foster]

The Blurb:

 Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.


Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colorful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.

Be sure to read all the books in this exciting Amanda Travels series!
1. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask
2. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting
3. Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
4. Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
5. Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
6. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
7. Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
8. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

The buy links

Amazon Canada here  

Amazon UK here   

Amazon US here 

Barnes and Noble here 

Chapters/Indigo here  

About the Author

Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, where her love of reading inspired her to see the world and write stories about a young girl who travels to interesting places. Over the years she worked in rewarding jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, writing whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a house in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she enjoys spending time with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.

Contact the Author at:

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/darlene6490/

.

Thank you for reading this post. We love to hear about your thoughts.

.

.

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

.

Thank you for reading this recap.

.

.

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.”

***

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)

.

.

.

Blog Tour of Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh

I’m delighted to have my fellow poet Balroop Singh here to celebrate the new release of her latest poetry book Magical Whispers. Please join me for the party and share her excitement.

Party Size Cheese Platter - My Sweet Zepol

The book cover is magical. Don’t you think? Now let me have Balroop tell you about her book.

Thank you for hosting me, Miriam

Book Blurb:

I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.

‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.

Each day reminds us

It’s the symphony of surroundings

That whisper life into us.

Book Information:

Title: Magical Whispers

Author: Balroop Singh

Genre: Poetry

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJQ6K5D


US
UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Excerpt:

 Let’s get to know Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh

Author Bio:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life and Emerging From Shadows, both widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited and Allow Yourself to be a Better Person.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

You can visit her blog at: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Connecting links:

https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

https://www.pinterest.com/balroops

.

.

Book Tour – Hiding Cracked Glass by James Cudney #Giveaway @jamescudney4 @Shalini_G26

It’s my please to welcome James J. Cudney on my blog to celebrate his new book Hiding Cracked Glass.

Let me have James tell you about his new book.

Hiding Cracked Glass is the second book in the Perceptions of Glass series. The book officially releases on October 8th.

 

About the Book

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved.  

Amazon Purchase Links and Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Goodreads

Giveaway Contest – Click the link below to enter the contest.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e5ee1a9220/

About the Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Writing

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humour, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

·       Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

·       Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

·       Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

·       Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

·       Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

·       Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

New Book Launch – Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

I’m delighted to have Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene on my blog to celebrate her new book Hullaba Lulu, A Dieselpunk Adventure. My dear friends and visitors, please join the party, have some drinks and goodies. We’ll find out all about Teagan’s new book of adventure.

Party Size Cheese Platter - My Sweet Zepol

Let me have Teagan tell you all about her new book of adventure. She’ll tell you some interesting real world thing in her book also.

~

Hi Miriam – thanks so much for hosting me to announce my novella, Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure.

As you know this is a “dieselpunk” story.  It has a 1920s aesthetic with retro futuristic technology, a dash of magic, and some creepy settings, along with a crew of misfit characters.  Lulu is a snarky, but good-hearted flapper.  She and her friends get into all sorts of trouble (often due to Lulu’s clumsiness).  They travel on a magical train to a lot of “sideways” places.

At the back of the novella I included a list of Real-World Things. I thought it might be fun to talk about bubble gum.  That was one of the “random reader things” I was given for this story.

Real-World Thing

Bubble Gum was predated by chewing gum.  Bubble gum is a type of chewing gum, designed to be inflated out of the mouth as a bubble.  In 1928, Walter Diemer, who was actually an accountant for the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Philadelphia, experimented with new gum recipes.  He came up with one that was less sticky than regular chewing gum, and stretched more easily.  This gum became highly successful and was eventually named Dubble Bubble because of its stretchy texture.

Snippet

Lulu is always hungry.  In this scene Lulu has gotten separated from her pals, Rose and Pearl.  While she’s looking for them, she finds a vending machine.  Here’s a snippet:

Men always seemed to want to take over when it came to map reading.  My stomach rumbled.  I wished I hadn’t exchanged that bag of cheeseburgers for tokens when I entered the park.  I saw a vending machine a few feet away and went to investigate, hoping it would have an apple, or even a cup of soda.  Unfortunately, it only dispensed stockings, stamps, and bubblegum.  With a sigh, I put a token in the machine and got some Wriggle’s Near Miss gum.

With a mouthful of bubblegum, I tried to chew away my appetite.  I thought I could probably make a pretty swell bubble.  Carefully, steadily expelling air into the chewy pink, I blew the biggest bubble of my life.  It was nearly as big as my head!

My eyes darted around, but I didn’t see anyone to share my achievement.  Suddenly the bubble popped.  Sticky pink bits of various sizes plastered my face.  Instantly I switched from wanting someone to see me to hoping no one would get a look at me.  I jumped and tried to hide my face when I heard a voice behind me.

“May I help you, Miss?” came a familiar drawl.

***

Miriam, thanks again for letting me visit.  Here’s the rest of the information for Hullaba Lulu.

Here’s the Blurb

Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure is a wild and wooly 1920s fantasy story.  Lulu, the heroine is inspired by the song, “Don’t Bring Lulu,” from 1925 ― so are her pals, Pearl and Rose.  My Lulu loves to dance, and freely indulges in giggle water.  She snores and burps and says whatever she wants.  Lulu is a snarky but good-hearted flapper.  The song’s inspiration stops there, but the story is just beginning.

Travel with Lulu and her friends on a magical, dieselpunk train that belongs to the smolderingly handsome and enigmatic man known only as Valentino.  They get into all sorts of trouble, usually due to Lulu’s clumsiness.  It’s an intense ride through a number of pos-i-lutely creepy settings, including “sideways” versions of Atlantic City and the Cotton Club.  At every stop and in between, Lulu ends up creating chaos.  There’s no telling where they’ll end up.  No, Lulu! Don’t touch that!

Lulu’s the kind of smarty, breaks up every party,

Hullabaloo loo, don’t bring Lulu,

I’ll bring her myself!

Lulu and her friends

Purchase Links

Amazon Universal Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08JKP1RS4

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08JDYXPZM

Alternative Seller

Kobo eBook:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hullaba-lulu

Book Trailer Video

About the Author

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest (of the USA). Teagan most often writes one kind of fantasy or another, including the “Punk” genres, like steampunk, dieselpunk, and atompunk. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or an urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. There are no extremes in violence, sex, or profanity.

Her talents also include book covers and promotional images.  She makes all of her own.  Teagan is currently exploring the idea of offering that service to others.

All of the books by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene are available at her Amazon Author Page.

Amazon Author Page ( relinks.me/TeaganRiordainGeneviene )

Social Media Links

You can also visit me at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene/

~

~

New Book Launch Eternal Road – The final stop by John W. Howell

I’m very excited to have John Howell visiting my blog today to celebrate his new book Eternal Road: The Final Stop. My dear friends and visitors, please join me to give John a warm welcome.

Before we start, help yourself with some drinks and goodies.

Host a Champagne & Cheese Party! | Pizzazzerie

Now, let me invite John to tell you all about his unique book of a great adventure.

Eternal Road: The final stop by [John W. Howell]

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Miriam, and for helping me launch Eternal Road – The final stop. I know you are always busy with new projects so I’m happy you could take time to help with the launch. Let me describe the kind of book it. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

It is now available on Amazon in paper and KindleThe Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th.

Here are the universal links

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

The blurb

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

An Excerpt

Sam opens her eyes. “Oh, my goodness.”

“Can you believe it? Luckily, we didn’t land in the pools.”

“I’m glad you concentrated on the front of the place and not on the whole view.”

James laughs. “I would have felt embarrassed if we’d shown up dripping wet.”

“Not to mention my new dress. What should we do now?”

“Check-in. And you should change and freshen up. We have about three hours before our command appearance.”

Sam nods her concurrence, and the two go inside the massive hotel. They find their way past hundreds of slot machines and to the front desk. The clerk asks, “May I help you?”

James says, “We would like a room, please.”

The clerk raises an eyebrow. “Do you have a reservation?”

James looks down. “No. We just got into town and need a place.”

“Could I have your name?”

“James Wainwright.”

“Ah, yes, Mr. Wainwright. We do, in fact, have a reservation for you. Mr. Sedit’s assistant booked a room for you.”

“Mr. Sedit?”

“Oh, yes. The gentleman is a big friend of the hotel and almost lives here full time.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

“I’ll have someone take you to the Lakeview Suite.”

“How much, per night, does that cost?”

“It is $1,100 per night, but Mr. Sedit has paid for the room already. He also wants you to enjoy yourself, so he has put a thousand-dollar credit on the suite, should you want to use the spa or, perhaps, take a chance at one of our many games.”

“I’m stunned.”

“You’re one of Mr. Sedit’s friends, and so we consider you a friend of the hotel as well.”

The desk person rings a small bell, and another member of staff appears. “Please take Mr. and Mrs. Wainwright to their suite.”

The Trailer

John’s bio

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth 

~

~

~