IWSG — The Fleetingness of Summer

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 hereinsecure-writers-support-group-badge

I had writing plans for this summer. Not big ones, but small ones I thought would be doable. I’d market my new book and get started on my next one. I’d get back into blogging. As I’m turning the page from July to August, I’m realizing the summer is nearly over and I’ve hardly accomplished any of the things I’d wanted to. This will be my second blog post since last year, so there’s a tiny bit of progress. I just need to build on it.

The idea was to continue to get up early over the summer and use that time to write before having to go to work. That doesn’t work well, though, unless I go to bed early enough to still get 7-8 hours’ sleep. A foggy brain does not a good writer make. It was a great plan, in theory. But I can’t believe how hard it is to make myself go to bed early. Between after-dinner family time and doing what needs to be done, it’s 10:30 – 11:00 PM before I know it.

So my insecurity for this month is that I won’t be able to turn my schedule around, salvage the summer, and at least get my next book started. Can I do it? We’ll see. Wish me luck!

The ISWG question for this month is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I think the biggest pitfall for an independent/self-published writer would be to not go the extra mile to put out a quality product. Professional editing, proofreading, and a professionally designed book cover are essential if a writer wants to be taken seriously. It’s the only way self-publishing will lose its stigma of being inferior to traditional publishing. Self-pubbing has come a long way, and we need to keep it moving forward.




© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2018. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things! – Back from a very long blogging hiatus

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.

Happy Summer! I’m jumping back into the blogging pond. Or maybe I should say ocean. I don’t know if I will be able to keep up with posting every week, but will try for every other week, at least. I’m looking forward to catching up with what’s been going on with everyone.

Celebrations in general:

  1. My daughter graduated from high school last month and will be heading off to St. Michael’s College at the end of August!
  2. My job is going well.
  3. I finally managed to publish my third book! The Road Once Taken came out in e-book in April, and the print version came out June 1st. I have a book signing tomorrow from 2:00 to 4:00 at the Eloquent Page bookstore in St. Albans, VT. Woo hoo!!


The Road Once Taken

 Jacinda Harper just wants a vacation — a little time to spend with an old friend and her new baby. But a speeding car on a rain-slicked road crashes just ahead of her, and alters her life forever.

 The last wish from the dying woman in the wrecked car sends Jaci to a lonely mansion, where she finds a mysterious grandfather clock, a cryptic diary, and a strange key… and magic…

 Unwittingly transported into a fantastical world of ominous castles, wild forests, and rebel swordsmen — a world ruled by a ruthless sorcerer whose quest for world domination has long been thwarted by the loss of a magical key stolen from this world long ago — the key that Jaci has just brought back into his reach…

 Jaci must find a way back to her own world before the sorcerer finds her.


What other celebrations are going on out there?





© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2018. All rights reserved.

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


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.


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!


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!

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


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)!


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!


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!



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…


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



Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C


The print copy is available at:




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.


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