Five Links 10/18/19 Loleta Abi


Five Links 10/18/19

Loleta Abi


1. “Given the times we live in, I’ve noticed more articles and books, for writers and artists, discussing the value and importance of pursuing creative endeavors, such as:” So sad about Glimmer Train. I know at least three others that have closed shop recently. I hope there will always be readers for our stories in whatever format.

2. “In our house, we have a catchphrase: ‘Nobody will notice, Jon.’

We adopted it from Terrance Dicks, script editor of our favourite era of Doctor Who. He said it while discussing a cheeky plot bamboozle in The Sea Devils, for which I have great affection (excepting the cheeky plot bamboozle). During filming, it seems that Jon Pertwee (Who Himself) had concerns and Dicks reports the following conversation:

Pertwee: ‘But Terrance, how could the Master hypnotise the nurse, switch outfits with him and tie him up… all in 30 seconds?’

Dicks (valiant in the face of a scorching deadline): ‘Don’t worry, Jon. Nobody will notice.’

We did notice, and Pertwee noticed, and probably all of Whovania noticed. It’s now a house phrase, chez Morris.”  Fans of shows and books will always notice.

3. “First things first, because I’m sure this question is on a lot of writer’s minds: does a book blog still land a book deal?

My answer? Of course they do. Great writing and great content will always find an audience, and where there’s an audience, especially a sizable one, there’s typically a book deal waiting to happen. Think Julie Powell, Candice Bushnell, Jen Lancaster, and Jenny Lawson.

Not to mention, entire empires (with books launched along the way), have been built on the humble foundations of blog sites that just wouldn’t quit. Think ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse and Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi.”

4. “As a child, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never said firefighter or ballerina or astronaut. I wanted to be a writer. In college, and when I first started writing seriously in my twenties, I loved the world that writing created. When I was writing, or thinking about writing, I was transported to a rich and private inner world, one that seemed as real and vivid as the actual one.

However, despite my early plans, I had no idea how long and twisty that road would be. It took me eight years and four manuscripts to finally sign with an agent, and once I did, I felt like I’d hit the lottery. During that time, I developed a thick skin and ability to push through it, but surely this was the end of rejection and the start of my career? 

My agent quickly landed me a two-book contract and suddenly, my dreams were coming true. After all that time and hard work, I was finally going to be a published writer. The books released within a year of each other and the time leading up to each launch and in between was a flurry of revision, copy-editing, cover options, blog posts, and promo. And then…silence.”

5. “Clues, mysteries, plot reveals, and plot twists—these are some of a writer’s stock tricks for hooking readers page after page. But as important as these tricks are, when they’re asked to bear the load of being the main attraction for readers, they too often turn into boring info dumps.

Imagine you’re reading a story in which the author has skillfully created some kind of mystery.

This mystery might be:”

Research & Fun Bits:


2. “Wanna see a writer stand frozen with that deer-in-the-headlights look? Just ask them this question: “So. . . what’s your novel about?”

Here’s a list of the WRONG things to answer:

  1. An issue— “My book is about global warming.” WRONG. A nonfiction book may be about global warming but a novel is a story about people. Agents and editors cringe when an issue is the first thing that comes to a writer’s mind. It makes us expect a diatribe disguised as a novel.
  2. The theme— “My book is about forgiveness.” WRONG. I’d hate to guess the percentage of books that share the theme of forgiveness, but that is not what your book is about. That is not what makes your book distinctive.”

3. “I grew up in a small Gloucestershire village – back then, there were only four channels on the telly and as a teenager there was nothing to do and nowhere to go. My nearest library was ten miles away, my nearest bookshop twenty.

I was never one of the hanging-round-on street-corner kids, I preferred to stay in and read. As a teenager, I remember endless rainy Saturday afternoons when there was nothing but horse racing and darts on TV and my mum and dad’s bookshelves became my escape. I read anything and everything we had at home – on my mum’s shelf, there was Mills & Boon and Catherine Cookson, Jackie Collins and Shirley Conran. On my dad’s, it was Alistair MacLean, Stephen King and James Herbert.”

4. “When I think about the personal challenges that thriller/mystery series protagonists are saddled with–particularly cops, psychologists, private detectives, and medical examiners–they tend to be emotional and psychological. Or the protagonists are alcoholics or drug addicts. (Sherlock Holmes? Wallander? House? I know, but House solves medical mysteries.) Or they’re irascible jerks who get away with being jerks because they always solve the crime. (Morse, and often Lynley.) Poirot was a fastidious little man, yet not nearly as annoying on the page as on the screen (only in comparison–I’m a fan of both).  Lord, save us from the oft-divorced investigator who’s been damaged by the death of a sibling or (an abusive) parent or has abandonment issues, drinks too much, and can only be saved by a good woman–only he won’t be saved because he always screws up his best opportunities. Then again, never mind. These guys have become tropes because they make good reading.

I confess I’ve read a lot more male investigator stories than female, written by men and women, both. Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie, and Val McDermid’s Tony Hill are among my favorites. But when it comes to damage, it’s hard to compete with the devastating pasts of female protagonists Lisbeth Salander (Stief Larsson) and Kick Lanigan (Chelsea Cain).”

5. “Franklin Roosevelt said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Those words from his 1933 inaugural address were intended to encourage and energize the American people, who seemed to have lost all hope of recovering from the Great Depression that had devastated their lives.

Now fast forward to October 2019. The world appears to be teetering on the brink of another crisis, one that threatens to break peoples and countries into fragments that seem to be headed toward anarchy.”

Something More Serious:



3. “Given the great feedback on that post, I want to continue looking into how the personality traits identified by the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI) may impact our writing process.

What’s the MBTI?

Just a quick reminder that the MBTI is a thoroughly researched and often used measure that describes personality on the continua of four dichotomies.”

4. “Books have been my companions since childhood. The books, the stories, the characters all woven into my life. When my days had been full of people and when I’ve been alone. I grew up with my nose forever in a book. I was in Great Books in elementary school, majored in English Literature in college, kept a dream inside of me that one day I too would be a writer. 

I was also the ultimate books snob. It was only a book if it was made out of paper. I studied Thackery and Faulkner and Chaucer and Joyce. All the great white men of literature. As I grew and sought out new stories I fell into a more diverse selection. Maxine Hong Kingston, Sandra Cisneros, and James Welch. I lovingly discovered Barbara Kingsolver, David James Duncan, Gloria Naylor, Gabriel Garcia Márquez. I cultivated my list of books to read from Orange, Booker and PEN/Faulkner lists.”


Teaser Fiction & Poetry:






Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. Always a good read!

2. “Five Women.

They meet at their NCT Group. The only thing they have in common is they’re all pregnant.

Five Secrets.

Three years later, they are all good friends. Aren’t they?

One Missing Husband.

Now the police have come knocking. Someone knows something.

And the trouble with secrets is that someone always tells.”

3. Holy Mothers have decreed that only women can be trusted with the awesome powers of sorcery. But Dan can no more live without magic than he could go without breathing. Disguised as a woman, he struggles to provide for his sickly daughter through illicit magic. But his life of lies has drawn a darker eye than that of the Holy Mothers…”

4. “Robbie Cheadle is hosting me today. This time I included an excerpt about Jason Fogg. If you’re not familiar with Jason, you might want to check this out. Robbie is a huge supporter of her fellow authors, and an author herself. While you’re over there, check out her books and consider following this excellent blog.”

5. “Hey, everyone. Time for another WIP Wednesday. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Macabre Sanctuary, an anthology published by AIW Press. I wrote The Keeper’s House for inclusion in that collection. Today, I’ll tell you the story behind the story.”


Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer

Miss Harmony has a new book out!

Entertaining Stories

Harmony Kent is a dear friend, and a colleague over at Story Empire. She has a new book out that is designed to help us with our fiction. Make her feel welcome today, and use those sharing buttons.

Hello everyone. Harmony here. I’m excited to share my latest non-fiction book with you all today. Huge thanks to Craig for hosting me today.

Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer does what it says on the tin (or cover, lol), and offers tools to fire your imagination. With chapters on things such as using chess and tarot to develop stories, plots, and characters—as well as adopting the principles of nursing triage, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, horoscopes, and more—this little guide is full of fun tips and tricks to get your muse working overtime.

This excellent writer’s companion is available on pre-order now in ebook. And both

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The Unrepentant Character

Story Empire

Hello, SeERs! You’re with Mae today for a discussion on the unrepentant character.

The difficult one. The problem child. The-how-the-heck-did-he/she-turn-out-that-way individual.

conceptual sketch of two faces in profile with the words "We should talk" above

We’ve all encountered them. It’s that individual you’ve already pre-determined is going to act a certain way, but who ends up doing the opposite. I like creating flawed characters, and that blurs the line. My heroes aren’t always heroic. Sometimes they’re selfish, unreasonable, or need-a-kick-in-the-butt annoying. My clever heroines have been known to get in over their heads and do something stupid. They grow as I grow.

Check.  I can live with that.

But what about villains? They’re the ones that surprise me. For the most part, I know what makes the bad guy tick and I stick to the plan but, occasionally, one of them puts his or her foot down and decides to do something unexpected. Something… decent.

I recall a specific character in my novel Myth and Magic who I had pre-determined…

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Wednesday Story Day – AKA – Hump Day

Fiction Favorites

Twiggy and Lucy “Think it’s Friday yet, Lucy?”
“Hit the snooze. It’s just Wednesday.”

It is Wednesday Story Day again, and last week, Larry and Andrew had a bizarre meeting with the Assistant DA Taggert. He apologized for treating our heroes like criminals, gave Larry back his gun, and then more or less left them to fend for themselves. Well, I see that they are in the car so let’s go and maybe we can collect some intel.

“So, you had a question while we were in Taggert’s office?”

“I did, Larry.”

“Let’s have it.”

“Don’t you think that guy was a little too casual with us.”

“What do you mean?”

“He strolls into his office, says an ‘I’m sorry,’ and then shoos us on our way.”

“Well, what’s you expect a cake or something?”

“No, but I thought he would give us some specific help. You know, like, ‘Let me get a couple…

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom ABOUT FACE by @dehaggerty

Rosie Amber

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading About Face by D.E. Haggerty

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Having previously read and enjoyed DE Haggerty’s Not So Reluctant Detective series, I was pleased to be able to read and review About Face.

After a serious car crash, Frankie is recuperating in the suburbs at her grandparents’ house. She is now facing months of physiotherapy to enable her to walk again on her injured leg. As a distraction, her grandma tries to set her up with her friends’ grandsons, much to Frankie’s dismay (and our amusement).

Brodie is her physio and when she asks him to pretend to be her date, to stop Grandma inviting any more weirdos to dinner, he surprises her by asking her out for real. Frankie is on a steep learning curve, gradually coming to terms with how shallow her life and her friends were before her accident. It…

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Pets 3: Miss Prissy

Pets 3 Miss Prissy Traci Kenworth Miss Prissy is a princess and she lives up to her name. She’s always running around, getting into trouble. She tries to butter everyone up though when she is. Her favorite room is the laundry room and she loves to sit on the shelf or dryer, looking out at the world. She tries to intervene when I’m doing laundry by walking around the wash machine with the lid open as I put clothes in. She moves out of the way though when I get set to turn it on. Another favorite of hers is any laundry basket that’s waiting to be folded. Trouble, yes, lol. She likes fresh water and will let you know when it needs refreshed. She climbs up into my windows and until I got a cabinet recently to put them in, she was wont to break my bell ornaments. She liked to jump on my phone cabinet and send the phone flying too, until I also fixed that. Heehee. She’s learning her tricks are getting diverted. She’s about a year-and-a-half old and the sibling of Miss Callie (up next week, our last pet). Both are calicos by some amazement as they are the offspring of a tiger cat and a golden tabby. They were the two remaining kittens and a lady my daughter worked with fretted where to pl

Source: Pets 3: Miss Prissy

Bloody Truffles – country-lane-home-at-the-cottage

Bloody Truffles Traci Kenworth I had trouble with my regular truffles as I put too much frosting in mine so when it came time to coat, they didn’t hold together well and were a mess. Jesstyn’s gluten-free ones turned out much better. Mine did taste good though, the most important thing, lol! Ingredients: 1 box cake mix or gluten-free cake mix 16 oz. frosting 1 lb. white candy coating 48 royal icing weapons (axes, knives, etc.) I found mine at WalMart. 1 tube red coloring (I got the spray kind from WalMart) Prepare and bake cake according to a 9×13-inch cake. Cool. Crumble cake into large bowl. Slowly add frosting as to get the cake to hold together but not be too wet (as mine was.). Using a small cookie or candy scoop, scoop out 1-inch balls. You should end up with 48 depending on the size of the dough you make. I made mine bigger as I had less weapons and like a bit more of a bite to my cake. Place on parchment paper. Refrigerate 1 hr. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Dip cake balls with fork into chocolate and set on parchment paper. Add weapons. Refrigerate twenty minutes when all dipped. Spray red food coloring on truffles. Can store up to a week, but ours didn’t last that lo

Source: Bloody Truffles – country-lane-home-at-the-cottage

Spooky Shepherd’s Pie Traci Kenworth – country-lane-home-at-the-cottage

Spooky Shepherd’s Pie Traci Kenworth I couldn’t find my freezer bags to use to pipe the ghosts, so I ended up using the squeeze bottle from another recipe and the ghosts came out small and most fell over during cooking, lol. I didn’t have any carrot pieces as I just threw my baby carrots in whole so I used corn for the eyes. The things we learn while cooking! Instead of the ground beef, I used a chuck roast in the slow cooker. Ingredients: 1 chuck roast Beef broth Baby carrots Diced potatoes Corn Cornstarch and water Gravy Master Mashed potatoes Place roast in slow cooker. Add a cup, two cups to your roast depending on your preference. I used two. Add carrots, diced potatoes and corn. Cook on low 6-8 hrs. A half-hour before roast is done, add cornstarch and water. I added a few Tablespoons of Gravy Master. Next time I probably will use gluten-free flour and water as the gravy didn’t get thick enough. For mashed potatoes: Dice your potatoes, place in pan with water covering them. Cook on medium-high about 40 mins. I used baby reds the first time I did this and they cooked faster at 25 mins. Russets take a bit longer. Drain. I use a potato masher instead of a mixer as that tends to g

Source: Spooky Shepherd’s Pie Traci Kenworth – country-lane-home-at-the-cottage