Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

Wow, how did we get to the end of September already? This week I’d like to celebrate:

  1. My parents came over to my house and my Dad helped me fix my broken picket fence gate and a couple of other things. He’s great at that sort of thing.
  2. We went to open house at the high school and I heard nothing but good things about my kids.
  3. I went through a jurying process and was accepted into one of the larger craft shows that will be coming up in November. So now I have four craft shows/farmer’s markets lined up for this fall, plus an event at Barnes & Noble, and I’m hoping to add one more craft show for the holidays.
  4. I had my car inspected and all they found wrong with it was that it needed new front tires. Whoo, hoo! (I was expecting much worse.)
  5. We survived another driving lesson.

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Spotlight on Diane Burton’s new novella: Mission To New Earth and a Giveaway!

mission-to-new-earth-750-cover

 

Mission to New Earth: a novella

By Diane Burton

Genre: science fiction romance

Release date: August 31, 2016

Length: 88 pages (25k words)

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ ARe ~ Smashwords ~ Barnes & Noble

 

The Story

Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

In 2172, Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of volcanic winter—the timeline changes.

With eight years of training crammed into four, Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch. But are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

*****

UNDERGROUND HIDEAWAYS

While the majority of Mission to New Earth takes place on Titan, Saturn’s moon (the launch platform) and the rest on the new planet, which they named Serenity—my shoutout to Firefly—the astronaut teams are aware of what’s going on back on Earth. And the news isn’t good. So far, they’ve had earthquakes, tsunamis, and now a potential supervolcano. Could it get any worse? Oh, yeah, the super-size passenger starships aren’t ready yet. Sara’s team and/or the other two teams had better find a new home. Quick.

Back home, the United Earth Nations government is preparing underground bunkers for Earth’s inhabitants to ride out the next calamities. Caves and mines are ready-made shelters. Think about all the natural caves in the U.S., Canada, and the rest of the world. They would have to be modified, of course. Sealed entrances to keep out ash from a supervolcano or floods from tsunamis. Ventilation would need to be upgraded, roadways enhanced, sanitation facilities added. But the main work of hollowing out underground bunkers is already there.

In the story, there’s a brief mention of the salt mines under Detroit. Yes, indeedy, salt mines 1200 feet under Detroit and suburbs, even going under the Detroit River into Windsor, Ontario. Although I grew up in the Detroit area, I never imagined over 1500 acres and over 100 miles of roads underneath my feet.

Photo Credit: Nolan Ross

Photo Credit: Nolan Ross

 

 

 

This cutaway diagram shows the Detroit River with the Detroit skyline in the background.

 

 

 

 

In its heyday, the mines produced over 8,000 tons of rock salt a month. Over time, operations stopped and started. Since 1998, the mines don’t produce table salt. Instead, road de-icing salt, a necessity for Michigan winters.

Photo Credit: Wayne State University

Photo Credit: Wayne State University

 

 

 

If you look carefully, you can see a miner in the middle surrounded by bags of salt.

 

 

 

 

In the 1940s and ’50s, schoolchildren toured the mines. When my husband was in college, he went on a tour of the mines. He said this picture is what he saw.

Photo Credit: detroitsalt

Photo Credit: detroitsalt

A plus for anyone living in the salt mines, besides the cool temperature, is no rats or cockroaches. Nothing for them to eat. With people living there, that might change.

Until I researched for this story, I didn’t know that the Great Lakes rest on the largest salt deposit in the world, estimated at over 71 trillion tons of unmined salt. Imagine if they expanded the tunnels to accommodate more people.

Having learned all this, I started asking myself questions. What about the people who had to live down there? Or in any cave or mine? Talk about close quarters. Little or no privacy. How did the government determine who gets in first? What about those who are claustrophobic? Once settled in, what did people do? Sit around or would they have jobs? What if someone didn’t want to go? Would the authorities force them? What could go wrong?

As I thought about all those questions, I got ideas for more stories. Isn’t that what writer do? Think what if . . .

*****

GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

diane-burtonAbout the Author:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ Amazon author page

Sign up for Diane’s newsletter

 

 

Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

It’s been another one of those crazy busy weeks. Things to celebrate:

  1. The Ghost Walk Tour! It was a blast. I had no idea there were so many hauntings in Burlington, VT.
  2. Apple picking, cider donuts, and apple crisp! Yum!! Our annual trip to the apple orchard is one of my favorite traditions.
  3. College Fair Night! Over 200 college representatives filled the gymnasium at local St. Michael’s College to answer questions from high school students. My daughter is a junior this year, so off we went into the maze of college brochures and financial aid info. It was overwhelmingly noisy and crowded, but we came out with a lot of useful information that will help as we move on with the process.
  4. Farmer’s Markets! The last craft day at the local Farmer’s Market was on Thursday. One lady bought both Book 1 and Book 2 and said she couldn’t wait to read them, which made me happy.🙂

 

The haunted Timothy Follett House

The haunted Timothy Follett House

 

The spooky window of the Follett House where apparitions have been seen lurking.

The spooky window of the Follett House where apparitions have been seen lurking.

 

The full moon during the Ghost Walk.

The full moon during the Ghost Walk.

 

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things! And Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Crystal Collier’s Timeless!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, and it’s time to start thinking about Autumn and Halloween! This week I’m celebrating:

  1. I gave my daughter her first driving lesson, and she and I and the car emerged unscathed.
  2. That same daughter received an invitation to join the National Honor Society!
  3. I made my annual trip to IHOP to celebrate the kids going back to school!
  4. Tonight we’ll be going on a Ghost Walk Tour of the city of Burlington, VT. We’ll get to hear all about the ghostly history and spookiness of the city.

*****

And now take a look at this gorgeous cover —

timeless_ebookcover

 

 

timeless_printbookcover

 

Title: TIMELESS

Author: Crystal Collier

Publisher: Raybourne Publishing

Series: Maiden of Time, #3

Publication: November 1, 2016

Category: Young Adult (YA)

Genre: Paranormal Historical

Time is the enemy.

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil, and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

 

Buy link     Amazon Preorder Link     ARC requests

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Crystal Collier

moonless_cover

 

Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time

  Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Website

 

 

*****

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Cover Reveal for L.G. Keltner’s New Self-Help 101 or: How To Select A Costume To Help You Deal With People

Check out the fantastic cover for L.G. Keltner’s upcoming release —

Self-Help 101 or: How To Select A Costume To Help You Deal With People

 

final

 

Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People

Author: L.G. Keltner

Genre: holiday/humor

Length: 29,000 words

Cover Art:  L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker

Release Date: September 27, 2016

 

 Blurb:

 Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time.  She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world.  Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.

Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her.  Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong.  Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.

Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.

 

Pre-order Links: 

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Smashwords     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

Add it on Goodreads.

 

photoBio:

L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

 

 

 

Celebrate the Small Things! And Julie Flanders’ Baby Moo’s Great Escape!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

This week I’m celebrating nine print books plus a couple of e-books sold at the Mad River Valley Craft Fair in central Vermont this past weekend. It was a new venue for me, and I was happy to have some sales in a different part of the state from where I’m usually selling. Hopefully, it will help spread the word.

*****

I’d also like to celebrate the arrival of Julie Flanders’ new children’s book —

Baby Moo’s Great Escape!

fullsizerender

 

Baby Moo has a dream. He wants to travel the world and sing on the stage of the Sydney Opera House! While he loves his home at Sunrise Sanctuary, it hasn’t been the same since a piglet named Nathan showed up and stole all the attention away from Moo. Jealous of the new baby, Moo decides now is the time to make his escape and pursue his dream.

But the world outside the sanctuary gates is not quite the fun and exciting place Moo imagined, and he quickly finds himself in big trouble. Moo’s friends Missy the dog and Ruthie the cat rush to help him, and land in some trouble of their own.

Lost and frightened, Moo and his friends must rely on each other to find their way back home. Will they ever see Sunrise again?

 

Release date: September 8, 2016 from Native Ink Press

Links:

Amazon

https://julieflanders.blogspot.com/p/baby-moos-great-escape.html

Add on Goodreads

Julie Flanders will donate $1 to Sunrise Sanctuary, home to Baby Moo and numerous other rescued animals, for each copy sold in September.

*****

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

IWSG — Resource List of Experts and Links?, the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest Theme!, and the September Question of the Month

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here. Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

The awesome co-hosts for this month: C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattinson, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Elsie Amata, and Me!

*****

Resource List of Experts and Links?

Sometimes when I write a scene involving something I’m not really familiar with, I worry that it won’t sound realistic enough, particularly to someone who has been in a similar situation. I try to think of someone I could talk to who might have experience with it, but finding someone like that isn’t always possible. I do research the topic, which helps, but it’s not as good as talking to someone who’s been there.

A few weeks ago I read a blog post on IWSG member Anna Simpson’s (aka Emaginette’s) page where she asked if readers would be willing to share their knowledge with her in whatever field or subject they had a lot of experience or expertise. Her idea was to collect a list of names of people who would answer her questions and serve as a resource so that when she needed real life info about a situation her characters were in, she could contact them for help to make the scene more authentic.

For example, if she had a character who was going to go skydiving, but she had never done the deed herself, she could go to the resource list, find a person who had skydived, and ask them questions about the experience.

Anna’s first commenter was IWSG member Juneta Key, who gave an impressive list of experiences she was willing to help out with, one of which was something I needed some info on. I contacted Juneta, and she steered me in the right direction with a scene I had involving a police scanner. (Thanks again, Juneta!!)

The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a great idea Anna had. Then I wondered — what if the IWSG website had a page like that? I was thinking how incredibly useful it would be to have a resource page on the site with a list of people who were willing to share their knowledge. Or if they didn’t have firsthand knowledge but had researched topics, they could contribute the names of the sites where they found the best information. The page could be arranged by subject — sort of a one-stop-shop for research.

Would it work? What do you think?

*****

iwsg_anthologycontest_badge2_fall2016

Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!

Last year’s contest was science fiction — parallel world/alternate history, and the result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. This year, we have a new theme and invite all members to submit.

 Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter — blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

 Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain’s redemption, a hero’s lack of confidence, a hero’s lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

 Deadline: November 1st, 2016

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

 Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Our amazing judges this year:

Elizabeth S. Craig

Richard Harland

Laura Maisano

Russell C. Connor

Dawn Frederick

Michelle L. Johnson

Ion Newcombe

Lynn Tincher

*****

And now for the September IWSG question:

How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Well, half the time I don’t, which is tremendously frustrating. But I do my best to carve out small blocks of time here and there. The hardest part for me is to ignore all the other things clamoring to be done and not feel guilty that I’m not doing them. I’m perpetually behind on household chores and yardwork, but you know, in the grand scheme of things, dust bunnies and overgrown yards are not all that important. I have stories to tell, and I need to get them out. The other things can wait their turn. I’m writing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.