Indie author of the day: Jackie Phillips

Indie author of the day: Jackie Phillips

For the next three weeks, I’ll be participating in the 2016 2K Blog Tour! Today, we meet Jackie Phillips!

Scarborough Mysteries

Jackie 2009We’ve gone through the first week of our indie book blog tour, which I am co-hosting with the talented Kate M Colby,, and haven’t we had fun! Today is a writer who likes a mystery as much as I do, Jackie Phillips. JL Phillips is a dreamer. Now she is a writer of stories. Being a dreamer is nice but it’s not perfect until you put those dreams in writing and let other people see them. Here she introduces her book, A Case of Deceit:

Private investigator DeeDee Watson receives a desperate phone call from an old college roommate. Dee can’t turn down a plea for help from a friend, so, along with Tee, her trusty sidekick, she agrees to help. It doesn’t take long for Dee to find herself in the middle of something sinister. The more clues she finds the more she realizes all is not what…

View original post 310 more words

Author interview: Helen Jones

Author interview: Helen Jones

For the next three weeks, I’ll be participating in the 2016 2K Blog Tour! Today, we meet Helen Jones!

Scarborough Mysteries

Helen JonesHalf way through my leg of the indie blog tour, before I hand over to my colleague, Kate M Colby, Today I welcome fantasy writer, Helen Jones. She grew up in Coventry, England, then moved to Canada and Australia before coming back to the UK. She now lives in Hertfordshire and loves to write, dance, study and paint, seeking pathways beyond the everyday. She’s worked many jobs, from martial arts instructor to photography producer, but writing has turned out to be her absolute favourite one of all. She’s written for several publications and blogs in Australia and the UK. Oak and Mist is her debut novel:

‘The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.’
A young girl witnesses a strange event in the woods at her local park. Five years later, in the same place, she is attacked and pushed between two trees… then disappears. She reappears in…

View original post 542 more words

Author interview: Christina Ochs

Author interview: Christina Ochs

For the next three weeks, I’ll be participating in the 2016 2K Blog Tour! Today, we meet Christina Ochs!

Scarborough Mysteries

Christina2As we continue with our indie book blog tour (co-hosted with Kate M Colby, today I am very pleased to welcome historical-fantasy writer, Christina Ochs. She writes epic historical fantasy from the passenger seat of a semi truck. At any given time, she, her driver husband and their two cats – Phoenix and Nashville – can be found anywhere in the lower 48. With a bachelor’s degree in History and an MBA, Christina uses her writing to indulge her passion for reading and research. Publishing as an indie author provides an outlet for her entrepreneurial side and she is an avid supporter of fellow authors, both independent and traditionally published.

Rise of the Storm is the first book in the Desolate Empire series, a historical fantasy retelling of the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years War. It follows four main characters through the religious and political upheavals triggering…

View original post 619 more words

Author interview: Zach Chopchinski

Author interview: Zach Chopchinski

For the next three weeks, I’ll be participating in the 2016 2K Blog Tour! Today, we meet Zachary Paul Chopchinski!

Scarborough Mysteries

On the second day of our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Zach Chopchinski.

LLP_5958Zachary is 27 and lives in Florida with his lovely wife, Layla. The two of them share a home with their four fur-children. Zachary has degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology. He had two short stories and a poem published by Ohio State University. Zachary has always had two passions in his life, criminal justice and writing. After spending nearly 5 years working in security, Zachary decided it was time to give his other passion a chance. Zachary is very much a family man and when he is not deep in writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing video games or contemplating his next story idea.

He introduces his…

View original post 657 more words

Author interview: Kara Jorgensen

Author interview: Kara Jorgensen

For the next three weeks, I’ll be participating in the 2016 2K Blog Tour! Today, we meet Kara Jorgensen!

Scarborough Mysteries

It is time to kick off our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Kara Jorgensen.

KaraK picKara Jorgensen is an author of fiction and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs.

Here she introduces her book,  The Earl and the Artificer (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #3), a historical fantasy novel.

What mysteries…

View original post 798 more words

Tyrean Martinson’s Dynamic Writing 1 and VT Comic Con Wrap-up

New from Tyrean Martinson!

compressed DW1


Dynamic Writing 1– 161 Lessons for Middle School Students by Tyrean Martinson – is a full year curriculum for home or classroom use, studying journal, essay, fiction, and poetry writing. Available in paperback at Amazon. The First Fifteen Lessons Are Available for FREE at the website.

Tyrean’s description of the book:

Dynamic Writing 1 is available in complete form in paperback through Amazon. Containing 161 Lessons for Middle Grade Students, this curriculum is meant for a complete year of home-school, home-school co-op, or classroom use. Eighteen of the lessons are “double” lessons and may be split over two days worth of time to extend the school year to 179 days with a planned celebration day at the end. Teaching notes, grade sheets, a resource list, and extra writing prompts are included in the text, as well as an answer key at the back of the book for the writing exercises. Within a year, students will study journal writing and essay writing, with short forays into fiction and poetry. Specific instruction in sentence variations, similes, and other writing concepts is spread over the course of the book and reviewed throughout the year so that students can wrestle with these concepts over the full course.

Be sure to check out Melissa Sugar-Gold’s stellar review!


Vermont Comic Con Wrap-up


What an interesting weekend it was at VT Comic Con! There were large crowds on both days, and the cosplay was amazing. So many people dressed up as comic book and video game characters. My favorite — and the crowd’s favorite (he won the people’s choice award) — was the 8-foot-tall Groot.

Photo Credit: Nancy Mock of Hungry Enough to Eat Six!

Photo Credit: Nancy Mock
of Hungry Enough to Eat Six!

I didn’t know if my book would sell at this kind of event where the focus was more on superheroes and such, but I wanted to try it as an experiment. As it was, I sold six books, and I saw that two e-books sold over the weekend. A lot of people picked up my book cards for, hopefully, future purchases. It was good practice in getting out there and talking to people. Even though I didn’t sell that many books, I think it was worthwhile.

Two questions to ponder before signing up for next year’s event:

  1. Should I have sold my books at a discounted price?

I considered selling them for $10, rather than the cover price of $16.99, but decided to see how they sold at regular price. All the people who asked me how much it was were interested enough to buy it. Next time around, I might try the discounted price and see if it gets any impulse buys. Of course, it would help if I remembered to put out the sign that says I can accept credit card purchases. I put it out on Sunday, but forgot on Saturday. That might have made a difference.

  1. Should I sell the sword charm necklaces I made separately?SwordCharms

I displayed the necklaces with a sign that said free with book purchase. Anyone who bought a book got a necklace to go with it for free. Several people asked about buying the necklaces. I chose not to sell them that way, because I don’t want to go into the jewelry business. I would have made more money if I’d sold them separately. I don’t really know what would be an appropriate price for them. I’d have to do some research. Something to think about, anyway.

The best part of the experience was when one of the people who bought my book said they had seen it on Amazon. Apparently my book had popped up as a suggestion for her to buy, being similar to the book she was buying on Amazon. I thought that was pretty neat!

I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on both selling and buying at these kinds of events! For those selling — would you discount or sell at regular price? And would you have sold the necklaces separately? For those buying — would a $10 book cause you to make an impulse buy? Please let me know what you think!

Consider Yourself Invited

Happy Release Day!

disregard the prologue

Yep, we’re having a party to celebrate Torn’s ebook release tomorrow, and you’re invited!

release party promo 1

We’ll have chances to win paperback and ebook copies of Torn, as well as other great prizes. Watch for the author AMA (ask me about writing, publishing, the stories or characters, whatever!), a party playlist, a scavenger hunt, flash giveaways, guest authors, and more!

Mmmm... papery and yummy Mmmm… papery and yummy

Here’s the party link. Events will be posted between 2:00 and 9:00 PM EST on March 31, but will be left open overnight in case anyone wants to drop in and add responses to games/activities. Winners will be selected at random on April 1 (no foolin’).

See you there!

(Please note: March 31 is the official e-book release date. Paperbacks will be available as soon as formatting issues are sorted out. Party prizes will be sent out soon after… and the party is not endorsed/sponsored/etc in any…

View original post 4 more words

The Children of the Moon Now Available on Amazon

Congrats!! I’ll be adding it to my TBR list!

Well, the time has finally come! Book 3 in The Girl In Between series, The Children of the Moon, is NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon!!!!! It should be available for download at all of the other major online retailers soon but if anyone needs it in a format other than MOBI it can also be downloaded at Smashwords!TheChildrenOfTheMoon2820x4500Growing up, Bryn’s nightmares and the debilitating sleep episodes that came with them were what made her weak. But now that she’s learned how to manipulate the dreams, they’re what make her strong. Strength she’ll need now that the shadows have finally trapped her in a nightmare too dark and deep for Roman to reach. 

But his nightmares are just as dangerously real. Roman’s past has come back to haunt him, and miles away from Bryn, their both forced to fight for their lives. Alone. But they’re not the only ones…

View original post 81 more words

The Judy Collins Post

By request…

I didn’t go to college right after high school in the traditional manner. I went later in life on a part-time basis, in and around marriage and kids. One of the electives I took in the fall of 2000 was an Intro to Choral Music class. I’ve always liked to sing, and here I could have fun and get better at it at the same time.

The Choral Music instructor was also director of the Burlington Community Choir, and entry into the class meant becoming a member of the choir. After practicing in class, the students would sing together with the choir. I sang alto. I’d never sung specifically by voice type before, so it was an interesting challenge. The group sang a variety of songs — jazz, spirituals, folk music, etc., and I thought we created some pretty darn good harmonies.

About halfway through the class, we received some stunning news: folk legend Judy Collins would be performing a Christmas concert at our local Flynn Theater, a 1,400 seat auditorium built in 1930, and would the choir be interested in singing backup for her? Are you kidding? Yes, please!

Flynn Theater Mainstage Burlington, VT Photo Credit:

Flynn Theater Mainstage
Burlington, VT
Photo Credit:

Apparently it wasn’t unusual for her to seek out local choirs to sing with her on stage, and we were more than happy to oblige. A few weeks’ rehearsals later, we were ready. Then we got the bad news. Judy Collins had to cancel her concert at the last minute because she’d come down with strep throat. We were so disappointed.

But then two weeks later, we had good news once again. The concert had been rescheduled for early February. (Whooping and hollering heard throughout the classroom here.) Out were most of the Christmas songs we’d learned, though. We received a new list of songs to rehearse, including one of her new (at the time) songs, Beyond the Sky, a beautiful piece she had written about following your dreams.

After another flurry of rehearsals, we were again ready to go. We ran a dress rehearsal with Ms. Collins’ music director at the theater on the afternoon of February 5th, then spent a nervous couple of hours trying to calm our jitters before the evening performance at 7:00.

As we lined up on the Flynn Theater stage to open the concert, I kept reminding myself to not look at the audience, just look over their heads. Focus on the sheet music and our choir director. I’d never performed on stage like this, and I’d certainly never performed before an audience of this size. Talk about nervous. The curtains swept back, revealing a packed house. Whoa. All those people…

The emcee introduced us, and they gave us a welcoming round of applause. Our choir director raised her arms and led us into our first song. Our voices filled the theater. It was wonderful! Once I started singing, my nervousness evaporated, as did the rest of the choir’s, too, judging by the smiles on all our faces. We sang three songs to open: two spirituals and a song that our choir director had written. Then we took our places in the back, and Judy Collins took the stage.

If you’ve ever heard Judy Collins sing — her pure, liquid, soprano is unforgettable. She sang some songs alone, and we joined her on others: Come Rejoice, Let It Snow, Amazing Grace, Beyond the Sky. The second half of the show belonged to Judy. We came back for the encore. I remember singing Cat’s in the Cradle, but I don’t recall the other songs we did. The show ended amidst thunderous applause. Someone gave Judy a bouquet of flowers, and Judy graciously thanked us and commended us on our performance.

What a night it was. Who would have thought that taking a college class could lead to something so special?


At the Flynn on a snowy evening.

At the Flynn on a snowy evening.





© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2014. All rights reserved.