IWSG — Time Flies, Whether You’re Having Fun Or Not

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

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How did it get to be July already??? I had hoped to get more blogging done in June, but that didn’t happen. And I didn’t get much done in the way of visiting during last month’s IWSG, either, but I’ll try again this month and hopefully do better.

I am making progress on my WIP, though. Whoo hoo! I’m right at the edge of the climax and can’t wait to see what surprises are in store before I hit The End. I just need to find a way to carve out a little more writing time. It’s so hard to do when there are so many demands on my time. My insecurity is that I won’t be able to find that time and writing and blogging will fall by the wayside again. Does anyone ever feel like they have enough time to do all the things that need to be done?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2017. All rights reserved.

IWSG — Working My Way Back

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.

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Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve had a chance to get back into the blogosphere. When life steps in, it can throw everything for a loop. But I’m happy to say I survived the intensive ten-week training course, passed the required 4-hour certification exam, and have settled into my new job, which is going really well.

The best part is that I’m finally starting to get back into writing. I can’t tell you how good that feels. So what is my insecurity this month? I’m wondering if writing is like riding a bicycle. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything new that I sometimes feel like I’ve forgotten how. I’ve been reading through my current WIP so it will be fresh in my mind. It’s called The Road Once Taken, and it’s about ¾ done, so I don’t have too much left to write. My goal is to publish it this fall. Fingers crossed that I can find the time to make it happen.

My free time is still extremely limited so it may take me a while to return visits and see what everyone has been up to in the last six months, but today’s post is a start, and I’ll be working my way back to blogging more often.

One thing I did accomplish was to get the book cover done. I wanted to have some “coming soon” book cards printed to hand out at the book events I have coming up this summer. Carrie Butler of Forward Authority Design did a fantastic job with it. And I always get the images for the cover and for the book trailer at the same time, so I’ve been playing around with that, too. Click below to see the latest version.

Happy IWSG Day!!

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2017. All rights reserved.

Tara Tyler’s Beast World is Back — with Merfolk! And a Giveaway!

When I took the test to see what manner of beast from Tara Tyler’s Beast World series I was most like, the answer was — Merfolk! I think it would be so much fun to be a mermaid and swim the seven seas. So today, Tara is here to tell us all about those mysterious underwater dwellers. Take it away, Tara!

Merfolk!

There are so many legends about mermaids. Wouldn’t it be cool if they were real? My favorite mermaid movie is Splash! Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, adorable and so much fun! Splash! is followed closely by Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the animated movie that sparked a comeback – and it has an excellent soundtrack!

Splash ver2.jpgImage result for the little mermaid

More recently, I like the revelation and true twist of how mermaids are depicted in Harry Potter and even in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 – beautiful but deadly!

Image result for harry potter mermaid Image result for pirates of the caribbean mermaid

My merfolk are not monsters. They’re a combination of all the stories I’ve read and images I’ve seen from my youth on up, plus my own added special qualities. As with all my beasts, merfolk are the result of human experimentation and mutation. They have human upper bodies and ichthyoid (fishy) lower extremities that shift to legs out of water. Their tears have healing properties and part of their mutation instilled longer lifespans.

Rove, Gabe’s best friend, is a werewolf, but his mother is a mermaid, so he has turquoise eyes instead of brown, plus webbed feet. The sweet story of how Rove’s parents met is in Broken Branch Falls.

Wouldn’t it be cool to live in a world with fantastical beasts? The next best thing is to read about them! In Beast World, each species has shared qualities, but there are those who stand out. Complications in dealing with differences among their own species, plus all the differences between beasts, makes a great story!

What’s your favorite beast?

Thanks for having me, Lori! I love talking about the beasts!

WELCOME BACK TO THE FOREST!
 
CRADLE ROCK, Beast World Book Two

by Tara Tyler

Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans–horrible creatures of myth and legend–may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!
 
Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.
 
But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.
Check out the Book Trailer!


Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Broken Branch Falls (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!

Talk to me!
Author Blog ~~ @taratylertalks ~~ Facebook ~~ Housewives Blog

I’m also giving away signed copies of Broken Branch Falls and Cradle Rock, some Beast World swag, and a $20 GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

image credits: Splash!, The Little Mermaid, HP Mermaid, POTC Mermaid

 

 

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

Spotlight on Crystal Collier’s New Release: Timeless, and Medieval Funnies!

Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her new book and some medieval funnies!

 

timeless_ebookcoverIn 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?

 

Amazon| B&N

 GUEST POST

Thank you Lori for having me here today!

Writing is my hobby (a little more than a hobby if you couldn’t tell). It gives me a reason to dream, a reason to stretch, and a reason to LEARN ABOUT EVERYTHING. How cool is that? (You might hate research. That’s fine. All the more for me!) But you have something you love. One thing I’ve learned from studying across time periods, the environment may change, but the humans have always been the same. We’ve always craved love, survival, and healthy recreation. (Or sometimes not so healthy.)

This month, TIMELESS, the third book in my Maiden of Time trilogy is out! (Knights, battles, time travel, an epic love story, and special powers…WHAT?!) Today I’d like to share some medieval hobbies with you. (Pick your favorite, eh?)

PE (Physical Exercise)!

Language!
Music!
Technology!

Oh wait, how did that get in there?

Hobbies have always been a part of life, but how wonderful when someone (ME) can share my happy place with others (YOU)? And now the shameless plug: go buy my books. What hobby would you most miss if you lived in medieval times? What is your favorite medieval movie/story? What’s your favorite hobby?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her online HERE.

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

 

The Prizes! Click prize photo to Enter

The Prizes!
Click prize photo to Enter

 

 

 

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

 

Spotlight on Joylene Nowell Butler’s New Release: Matowak Woman Who Cries — My Review and a Giveaway!

matowak-woman-who-cries-tour-banner

Welcome to everyone following Joylene Nowell Butler’s epic book tour! To those who haven’t met Joylene, I’m happy to introduce you to an excellent writer of psychological thrillers. Be sure to check out my review and the giveaway below!

matowak-woman-who-cries-by-joylene-nowell-butler

 

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery…

 When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…

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Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is available in eBook at the following sites:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C

 

The print copy is available at:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

*****

My Review

I didn’t have much experience with police procedural murder mysteries when I picked up Matowak Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler, but the story intrigued me and drew me in. Leland Warner, retired Canadian Minister of National Defense, is found murdered in his home. Corporal Danny Killian, an Aboriginal Canadian with the RCMP, must track down the murderer. One of the suspects is Leland’s long-suffering wife, Sally. The story is told in first person from Sally’s and Corporal Killian’s points of view.

As the story unfolds against the backdrop of the murder investigation, the reader is sucked into the lives of these psychologically damaged people. Beaten down by years of emotional abuse, Sally hasn’t recovered from the recent, devastating murder/suicide of her sons, while Corporal Killian drowns beneath a flood of guilt and pain associated with his wife’s murder. Killian also has to deal with personal and professional racial discrimination.

Matowak is much more than a highly detailed police procedural mystery. It’s a haunting portrayal of two forlorn souls trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. I kept wishing that Fate had dealt them both better hands.

I’d highly recommend it for any reader who likes murder mysteries, police procedurals, and/or psychological thrillers.

*****

author-joylene-nowell-butlerABOUT THE AUTHOR:

When Joylene’s father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father’s Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steam-punk collaboration Break Time. While she’ll admit being published didn’t fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal, and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.

Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.

For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

mc-book-tour-logo

IWSG — Book Awards, Milestones, and Changes — Oh My! And November 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.

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I didn’t intend to drop off the face of the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago. Life happened, with a lot of things going on at once, so blogging had to take a backseat.

First, for anyone who didn’t see the announcement on my Facebook page, my first book, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, did win the award in the Independent Publishers of New England Book Award contest in the Fantasy/SciFi category. Whoo, hoo! I had a great time at the IPNE fall conference in New Hampshire on October 21st and 22nd where I went to accept the award.

ipne_bookawardwinner_image_oct2016

Second, I reached another milestone with my blog. This will be my 300th post!

And third, life happened in the form of my getting a new job. It happened in a whirlwind and rather unexpectedly. It’s definitely a good thing, but the difficult part is that this job requires an intensive ten-week training course, which will consume pretty much all of my waking hours from November 14th until late January. I know the job itself will be interesting and rewarding, but the training will be a challenge.

Which brings me to my insecurity for this month (and for the next few): My writing time will be nonexistent for the next ten weeks and probably beyond until I get settled into the new position. It’s going to be hard to live without it. I had hoped to publish one book a year to build up a backlist, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish the book I’m working on and get it out by the end of 2017 or not. It’s still a possibility. It’ll just have to be a fall/winter book instead of a spring one like my first two.

Blogging time will also be nonexistent. I will keep the author promo commitments I’ve already made. I’m in the process of scheduling those posts now, but other than that, after November 14th, I won’t be around much, if at all.

Here’s to a successful training session, and Happy Holidays to everyone!

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And now for the November IWSG question:

 What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

My favorite aspect is writing the first draft. When I sit down at the keyboard and the story is playing like a movie in my mind and the words are tumbling out of my head like a waterfall and I can barely get them down fast enough. I live for those moments.

 

 

 

 

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

Meet Officer Blake Herro from Chrys Fey’s 30 Seconds Before

Chrys Fey and Officer Herro are taking over my blog today in honor of Chrys’ new release, 30 Seconds Before. Catch the exciting excerpt after the interview!

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Chrys Fey here interviewing Officer Blake Herro from 30 Seconds Before. This will be a quick interview for a busy man.

  1. Did you ever shoot someone while on duty, and how did it make you feel?

Once. It’s not something I ever want to do, but to protect myself and my partner, I did shoot a man who had opened fire on us. Even in the name of self-preservation, it’s never an easy thing to deal with afterward. The moment when bullets hit our car and I had to open fire replayed in my mind for nights, days, and weeks. The man died, and I struggled with that. A fellow officer sat me down and made me see that, although some officers can go their entire careers without firing their weapons, some of us aren’t so lucky, but that doesn’t make us bad officers.

  1. Have you ever made a mistake?

I think all rookies make mistakes, but I thankfully never made a life-threatening one or put anyone in jeopardy. Well, unless you count going undercover in the Mob. Yeah, that might’ve been a mistake.

  1. I do think that counts. What do you do to de-stress and relax?

I sit back with a beer and watch football if it’s the season for it. I also don’t mind cooking, which I know will surprise many, but my grandmother taught me how to cook, and I enjoy it. On occasion, to shut down after a hard shift, bourbon helps a lot.

  1. Bourbon works. When you went undercover in the Mob, is there something you wish you had done or didn’t do?

I wish I hadn’t been so good at it.

  1. Now I have to ask a question for the ladies. Why are you single?

Because I am my job, and I don’t meet many eligible bachelorettes when I’m in my uniform.

Well, we like a good-looking man in a uniform, don’t we, ladies? Okay, so I’ll stop teasing Blake and let him get back to work.

30secondsbefore_w-11122_750

 

Title: 30 Seconds Before

Prequel to 30 Seconds

Genre: Mainstream Thriller

Page Count: 60 (novella)

 

BLURB:

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?

 

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon US / Amazon UK /  Amazon CA

Nook / Kobo / The Wild Rose Press

Goodreads

 

EXCERPT:

Blake’s gaze continued to scan the area. Too many officers needed help. Blake strained his eyes to see if the nearest officer was still breathing, but the darkness and flashing lights obscured his vision.

Dread was ripe in his veins, twining his intestines into knots. The assailants who attacked the officers could be lurking nearby, watching and putting him in their sights. Being out in the open with nothing but his Kevlar vest as protection was not where he wanted to be, but the officer he was helping would bleed out if he moved.

Blake studied the officer. His lips were an unnatural shade of blue. He was shivering from the frigid December night as well as blood loss.

“Did you see them?” Blake asked. “Do you know who did this?”

The officer’s lips moved.

Blake leaned forward, bringing his ear to the officer’s mouth. “What was that?”

The officer took a shuddering breath. “Red.”

 

sale-image

30 Seconds, the story that follows 30 Seconds Before, is on sale for 99 Cents. Get it at this discount so you can read the entire story from start to finish!

 

SALE LINKS:

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

75b4b-chrysfeyauthorpicBIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and heads their monthly newsletter.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter