Sue Archer’s Fortune’s Shadow (Nexus Chronicles #1) — New Book Release!

Check out the new paranormal/urban fantasy book from wordsmith Sue Archer:

Fortune’s Shadow (Nexus Chronicles #1)




“You thought you could live without me…”

Jocelyn “Jinxy” Lancaster is having a horrible week. Her dream of becoming a famous indie musician is going nowhere, her day job in her tourist-friendly hometown of Bridgepoint is in danger of disappearing, and to top it all off, it’s almost the ten-year anniversary of her Mom’s death.

When her best friend Grace gives her a wish keeper to help change her luck, she decides she’s got nothing left to lose.

She’s wrong.

At first it seems like she’s on her way to getting everything she desires. Then the people close to her begin acting very strangely. She’s having trouble remembering things, and at night, she’s being haunted by dreams she can’t explain.

Then the best night of her life happens—and all hell breaks loose.

Now it’s up to Jocelyn to try and undo what she’s created and save everyone she loves from chaos and destruction. And maybe, if she’s very lucky, she can even save herself…


As Sue says —

If you like the idea of reading about

• An indie musician trying to make it big
• A magical wish gone sideways
• A secret from the past
• A small town full of fun characters
• A supernatural showdown

Then this book is for you!


Publisher: Doorway Between Worlds
Release Date: April 26, 2020
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy


Find the book HERE!

Find Sue Archer:

Amazon Author Page     Goodreads     Blog     Twitter






A to Z Challenge 2020: My Bucket List! – Past, Present, and Future: B is for Balloons

I’m taking the long way around with A to Z this year. My plan is to post every couple of weeks, so I will have time to visit other blogs in between and still have time to write.

Next up in the A to Z Challenge:

B is for – Balloons! — The Hot Air variety

Riding in a hot air balloon has been on my bucket list for a long time. Floating through the sky at a tranquil pace, breathing in the fresh air of early morning as we slip over the landscape at the whim of a light breeze, high above the troubles of the world, seeing only the beauty — just the thought of it is relaxing to me.


I love going to balloon festivals and watching the balloons fill with hot air and then slowly rise up into the sky and float away. These are some photos from past festivals over the years.





The first manned hot air balloon flight launched in 1783 in France, piloted by Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis François d’Arlandes. Their balloon was made of paper and linen and filled with smoke and heated air. They flew about 5 ½ miles (9 km), from the middle of Paris to the suburbs, in about 25 minutes. Click HERE to see a photo and read more about this amazing feat.



Most modern balloons are made of nylon, and propane is used to heat the air that makes the balloon rise.


On November 26, 2005, Vijaypat Singhania launched from Bombay, India, and set the world altitude record for highest hot-air-balloon flight, reaching 69,850 feet (21,290 m). He landed 150 miles (240 km) south in Panchale.


Steve Fossett was the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a hot air balloon. In just under 15 days in 2002, he flew his balloon, the Spirit of Freedom, from Australia, across the Pacific Ocean, over the southern tip of South America, across the Atlantic, over South Africa, and across the Indian Ocean back to Australia. Click HERE to learn more.


In 2016, Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov broke the circumnavigation record by piloting his 10-stories-tall hot air balloon approximately 21,000 miles around the world in 11 days. Click HERE to read more about this and his other adventures.


To this day, I still remember an early encounter with a balloonist, who was drifting over the rural area in Vermont near where I grew up. My family and I, along with my neighbors, ran out to see this huge, low-flying balloon skimming not far above the trees, propane fire roaring intermittently to keep it from descending — a real novelty for us. We waved at the pilot; I wondered where he had come from and how he had gotten way out here. The pilot waved back and yelled, “Where am I?”

I don’t recall who answered him or what they said, I was just a kid then. The balloon floated up over the ridge and continued on its way, and I never did know where it finally ended up. But I’ll never forget the enchantment of seeing that beautiful balloon, and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to ride in one.

Someday soon, I plan to find out.


And now for the Writing Update:

I added another 1,000 words to my WIP, Trouble Times Three, over the last two weeks. Not as much as I’d hoped, but still progress!

Anyone else have any bucket list items beginning with B?




© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2020. All rights reserved.


IWSG and A to Z Challenge: My Bucket List! – Past, Present, and Future: A is for Ancestral Castles

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first insecure-writers-support-group-badge 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.

For me, insecurities come and go, but the one that seems to be hanging around the most right now, as I work on the third book in the Trouble series, is: What if this book doesn’t live up to the first two books in the series? I’ve had people tell me they love the series so far (which I love hearing!), and sometimes I worry that maybe future stories won’t be as successful. But I keep telling myself there’s no way to answer that question until I get the book done, so I need to push those worries aside and keep on writing.


Now on to the A to Z Challenge!

I’m taking the long way around with A to Z this year. My plan is to post every couple of weeks, so I will have time to visit other blogs in between and still have time to write.


A is for – Ancestral Castles

I had always wanted to go to Scotland. My heritage, and that of my late husband, both lie in that beautiful isle. Her wild, purple-heathered moors, centuries-old castles, and rugged Highlands still call to me, and the sound of bagpipes is music to my soul. Twenty-five years ago this summer, we visited Scotland and went in search of our ancestral castles.

Clan MacLachlan hails from the lands of Strathlachlan on Loch Fyne in the county of Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. It’s one of the oldest Scottish Highland clans. According to clan history, the clan is descended from Lachlan Mor, who lived on Loch Fyne in the late 13th century. Old Castle Lachlan dates back to that time. The MacLachlans were Jacobites, whose goal was to restore the Stuart line to the throne of England and Scotland. According to the Old Lachlan Castle website (

“Lachlan, the seventeenth chief of Clan Maclachlan, supported Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and died leading the clan at the battle of Culloden in 1746. Following the defeat a Government ship is believed to have sailed up Loch Fyne and shelled Castle Lachlan, forcing the chief’s family to abandon it.”

When we visited, the castle was a pensive ruin, overgrown with grass, trees, and vines. I loved imagining what it must have looked like in its heyday, the stories it could tell.







My family traces back to Robert the Bruce, seventh lord of Annandale, who was crowned King Robert I of Scotland in 1306. In the war for Scottish independence, he and his forces defeated the English at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Clan Bruce lands lie in the Lowlands of Scotland in the county of Dumfries and Galloway. One of the seats of the lords of Annandale was Lochmaben Castle, originally built in the mid-twelfth century by the first Robert Bruce as an earth and timber motte-and-bailey fortification. Scottish history describes the castle this way (

“Once a mighty Royal fortress at the forefront of the Wars for Independence, Lochmaben Castle changed hands between English and Scottish forces over a dozen times as the fortunes of each side ebbed and flowed.”

The castle ultimately fell after being bombarded by the English in a two-day siege in 1588. A few of the walls still stood when we were there, a tribute to the stubbornness and indomitable spirit of the Scots.







Our trip around Scotland was amazing, full of adventure, discovery, laughter, and love. Scotland is a truly magical place, so it’s not surprising that her National Animal is the Unicorn. Alas, I didn’t see any while I was there, but maybe next time…


And now for the Writing Update:

I added almost 6,000 words to my WIP, Trouble Times Three, during the month of March. That’s way more than I’ve been accomplishing, so I’m excited about my progress! Crossing my fingers I can keep it up!


Anyone else have any bucket list items beginning with A?


© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2020. All rights reserved.