Five Links 2/15/19 Loleta Abi

lasso, rope, hay, cowboy hat in barn

Five Links…2/15/19

Loleta Abi


1. “I more or less raised myself. My father was a raging alcoholic and my mother was fighting her own demons. Thank goodness I found some solace in writing.” Sometimes finding yourself in life is letting go of who you thought you were and accepting yourself flaws and all.

2. “I was out in the garden picking frosted kale last Sunday morning. Yes, that’s the sort of rock and roll lifestyle I lead. Kale, grown in the garden, picked on a frosty February morning, for the guinea pigs’ breakfast. It takes about five minutes to lose the frostiness, in case you worry about giving my boys frozen food. Frozen veg should not be given to guinea pigs (or any other animal I can think of, save reindeer, maybe).”

3. “This post is focused on a very important, if not the most important, aspect of your writers, your characters. Readers become invested in characters. They learn to love and/or hate characters. They sympathize and/or empathize with their flaws, quirks and events that shape them. Character development is both essential and difficult.”

4. “Over the course of our time together, you’ve probably come to realize I consider social media a somewhat necessary evil. I know writers are supposed to use it, but so few of us use it consistently and creatively enough. I often feel it’s a waste of time, but if I don’t do it, I feel guilty. And when Google announced G+ was going away, I was relieved. It was one less platform for me to neglect.” I feel the same. I’m almost non-existent on FB, twitter is where I spend most of my time. I do use Pinterest as well.

5. “As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to a reported haunted house for research. I’m now racing toward the finish line for LURED and edits come back for SILENT MAYHEM tomorrow. Hence why I missed posting this last week. Plus, y’know, I took Sunday off to watch my team win the Super Bowl.” Chilling. 

Research & Fun Bits:


2. “If you haven’t heard the term “fake news” yet, please come out from under that rock and join the rest of us. As for the rest, you will no doubt be aware that fake news has been linked to extremist politics, social division, mob violence, and crime.” I didn’t realize it was so bad. I’ve heard about fake news but I try and steer away from most news reports anymore, they’re just too-loaded.

3. “I first came across character interviews here in Alex’s Library of Erana blog. There have been a couple elsewhere but the majority have been here. Now for a bit of honesty: My initial thought? ‘Silly and pointless.’ As a consequence, I simply glanced (not even sped read) through a couple and thereafter ignored them. I now feel a little ashamed. It is not usual for me to make such determinations prior to fully investigating the validity and seeking to comprehend people’s motivations. Why I did not do so in this instance I am not sure. I suspect it may have been I was new to authoring and probably, as most when first setting out on a new career, felt under pressure to complete a work and to interact in social media. Time pressure in…”

4. “As this is posted, it’s 55 years since the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Talent, hard work, serendipity and luck came together, and the Beatles became an international phenomenon. Even now, there are Beatles fan clubs, online Beatles discussion groups, and so on. And that’s not to mention the myriad Beatles cover and tribute bands.”

5. “1. Zombies, an analogy for over-consumption? We’re killing ourselves off quite efficiently, figuratively and literally. And Hordes of bloggers and fewer places to find us…We are The Walking Dead.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry

  1. “Amazingly, it is Stream of Consciousness Saturday and this weeks prompt is “ly.” Yup. You read it right, “ly.” Linda Hill says to use an adverb as a prompt. There are bonus points for beginning and ending the post with an adverb. You now understand why I began the post with “amazingly.” If you would like to join in on this crazy fun simply (see what I did there)  visit Linda Hill’s blog and read how. Here is the link
  3. “We’ve been following the story of MIKE, a man who believes he is slowly losing his grip on sanity and is struggling to recognise what is real and what isn’t. Last time, Mike had gone to work, hoping to escape the hallucinations that he had been having at home, but with no luck. The disembodied eye seems to have followed him to the garage where he works, causing Mike to walk off, leaving his colleague wondering what is going on.”
  4. ““Truthfully, I do a lot of travel, and I get far more ideas from wandering down random roads than from sitting in front of my computer. I’m a firm believer that a writer needs to get out and discover things and people to write about.~Victoria Schwab
  6. – This is Chapter 3 of the story.  See chapter 1.  Note 2 – the viewpoints of Jesk are purposefully disturbing.)”
  8. “Been a long time since I did any type of promo for Quest of the Brokenhearted, which is still one of my favorites to have written.  It’s tough to do excerpts because each chapter is almost like a short story with a fight involved.  So there aren’t many things I can do without posting some spoilers.  Feel free to buy the book and read it at your leisure though.”
  9. ““Africa!” his mother trumpeted.

He did not reply. He was having too much fun playing with the other calves. Flopping their heads back and forth, swinging their trunks to and fro, and pretending to trip and fall, without actually meeting the ground, face to dirt. This game was the most exciting, and the most played game among the calves. The adults growl, and violently shake their heads, especially when the irritating calves pretend to trip and fall at their feet.”

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, Releases, & Author Interviews:

  1. “As genre’s go, this one’s tropes are relatively easy to nail:”
  2. “Welcome to another episode of Author Spotlight. Today, the light shines on Aduro Tri. Aduro is a full-time author, while trying to learn computer programming, having a base online presence here and there. Specializing in High Fantasy stories that take place in an expansive world with the intention of them feeling alive, while also being able to dabble in other genres. With a deep love of storytelling and especially character creation. As well, he prefers to stay in the company of nature and animals over people, while at the same time enjoys playing video games as a hobby. In as quiet of a city as Mountain Home, ID, though, quiet might not be the word as a train passes through the town every now and again.”
  3. “Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream…First a little bit about Laura…”
  4. “Meet Guest Author: Kenneth L. Decroo from this post on Sue Vincent’s blog.”
  5. “I arrived in America as a newlywed, and my husband and I had to adjust to the cultural difference at first, with the help of my sister.  And soon our neighbors and co-workers led us through our new lifestyle. One of the adjustments was being away from my parents and extended family members.”
  6. “The heart has a home when it has an ally.”
  7. Little Christmas Faith is a romance set during the Christmas holidays. Faith Watkins opens The Old Mill hotel in the Lake District, just ten days before Christmas.”
  8. “The readers of Asimov’s SF Magazine have given me a great honor. Three pieces of my fiction have made the final reader’s award ballot. The two novellas, “Joyride,” and “The Rescue of the Renegat,” are part of my upcoming new Diving novel, The Renegat, which will appear in September. “Lieutenant Tightass,” which is up for best novelette, is part of the recently released Searching For The Fleet. Obviously, though, all three of the stories stand alone.”
  9. “Very excited to have reached 500+ followers this past Sunday! Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, follows it, and comments. Your support is truly appreciated, and I’m grateful every day that I’ve found this platform to share my writing, books I love, and food I enjoy cooking.”
  10. “I had not read the preceding book by this author, also set in 1970s Australia, but based on a review by another member of Rosie’s book review team, I decided to delve into this one, The Swooping Magpie, purchasing the book for review.”
  11. “The old saying goes there are only two things certain in life—death and taxes. Our own mortality is front and center, the ultimate deciding factor in every single human endeavor. Since we’re born into the grave, it makes sense that humans would strive to find a means to become immortal, or at least find a way to come back from the dead.”
  13. “In Picture Not Perfect we are reacquainted Terri, school librarian, and Melanie, school guidance counselor. Melanie’s ex, Owen, is trying his best to rekindle their relationship but Melanie is reluctant. Her over abundance of energy and lack of consideration for others is down to her ADHD and make her a complex and sometimes irritating character. She is aware not many people can cope with her hyper personality and recklessness. Afraid of Owen’s reaction to her diagnosis, she prefers to keep him at arm’s length rather than be let down.”


The Book Corner…2/14/19: Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

cover Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

The Book Corner…2/14/19 Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

Loleta Abi

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. 2017 Cemetery Dance Publications.

Amazon’s blurb: Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

Stephen King teams up with long-time friend and award-winning author Richard Chizmar for the first time in this original, chilling novella that revisits the mysterious town of Castle Rock.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974, twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong—if time-rusted—iron bolts and zig-zag up the precarious cliffside.

Then one day when Gwendy gets to the top of Castle View, after catching her breath and hearing the shouts of kids on the playground below, a stranger calls to her. There on a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small, neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told—until now.

My Review: Gwendy Peterson fears being overweight so she runs the suicide stairs at twelve years, inspired the cruelty of one of the boys in town. One day, there is a strange man with a black hat sitting on a bench at the top. He knows her name and why she runs and offers her a button box with levers that bring chocolate treats out—treats that will keep her hunger in check. She is curious about the other buttons and he warns her that bad things could happen if she touches them. She gets a silver dollar for her troubles. Off, the man goes, leaving Gwendy in charge of the box. First, she hides it in a tree stump in the backyard of her house, then the basement behind loose stone, and lastly, her closet.

As she gets older, she gets more popular, her parents close to being acoholics, sober up and fight less, she gets good grades and then wins awards for different events. All the while taking her chocolate, collecting her silver coin. When she and a friend get into a fight, she makes a wish and then her friend commits suicide but is it really to do with Gwendy or is there something more at work? She has to learn the secrets behind the box, and the cost of having it in her possession.

This is not quite a horror story. At least, not as I think of it. I think of it more as a morality lesson. Should she push the red or black button? What will it cost her? Can she go back? I found the story appealing and a bit more along the lines of Stand By Me.

The Writer’s Wheel 2/12/19 Loleta Abi

sunset, cowboy, horses

The Writer’s Wheel…2/12/19

Loleta Abi

I’m doing much better. I’m having a bit of trouble coming up with something to talk about, lol. I’m making my rounds to drs. over the rest of the month and then I’m going to see about scheduling the second surgery in Mar. I’m headed to the library tomorrow for another book pickup which should help with something to do after the surgery if I can lift a book that is. Probably not right away but maybe with time. At least, I can sit up now and I can drive for now. I haven’t tried driving for longer than going into town and up to my mom’s, but I have to make my way out to Concord at the end of this week for my four shots. I’m dreading that with these surgeries. The dr. says we should keep up with the shots for my HS to keep the inflammation down. They’re very painful. On the good side, I did get to read quite a bit while down. But I’ve slowed down, the last week as only reading was getting to me. That’s why I started getting to my desk, no I don’t have a laptop, and got some work down. I’m going into working on my query and synopsis which I pretty well have done but I’m going to be using Susan Dennard’s tips to kick it up a bit. She’s the writer of the Witchlands series I’ve started reading. The problem is, my copy is in the car and I haven’t been driving my daughter to work with the weather and the surgeries. She’s been getting a ride with a friend. So, I’ve been unable to read TruthWitch for over a month now. Missing it. How are your projects going? Read anything good lately? Have a great week, thank you, and God bless!

Five Links Loleta Abi

magician, wolf, forest

Five Links…2/8/19

Loleta Abi


  1. “Your fingers hurt. Your eyes burn. You haven’t had anything to drink except coffee for the past few days, weeks, year. You are pretty sure you haven’t slept a full night without dreaming about characters and plot lines.”
  2. “”

3. “The holiday season is well and truly over and bank balances around the world are diminished, but our appetites for books and stories are as abundant as ever. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of places you can read and listen to books for free. Legally!”

4. “I’m trying really hard to remain positive and find the patience to get through various events in my life.  Of course, this had me thinking about patience.  At least, I assume so because I only had the word written down as a post topic for today.  Not sure if I planned a poem, humor, or something specific.  It’s written with confidence, which means I really wanted to use it as a topic.  So . . . where to go with this?  Well, what things do we tend to get impatient with”

5. “Hi, SEers! It’s time for another Mae Day on Story Empire.  I’m going to preface this post by saying I’m not an editor or expert, but I do make an effort to write tight when composing. Part of that involves eliminating filler words such as that, just, really, very, slightly, andonly among others. Most writers know to scour their manuscript and weed out fillers. But how else can you write tight?”

Research & Fun Bits:

  1. “When I tell people–anyone, but especially writers–that I get to live abroad for free while I write, and that, when I live in the US, I get to have free accommodations whenever I travel FOR LIFE, they immediately turn into John Mulaney: SAY MORE RIGHT NOW.”
  2. “Welcome to New Moon Blessings for February 2019! We are about to write our NEW MOON checks and this is your reminder. The NEW MOON for February is the 4th, so on the 4th or the 5th, write your Law of Abundance check. How do you do that? What would that look like? I have an example right here:”

3.           bargained-for/ “Most of us, if asked, would say that we wouldn’t commit a   crime, or abet one. And, yet, sometimes people do get drawn into a crime plot, even if they aren’t aware at first of what’s happening. It might something as simple as dropping off a package for an acquaintance, but even something that innocuous can lead to a crime.”

4. “To say that my New Year’s post is a little late would be an understatement. It’s already February, and I’ve yet to write a blog post this year (aside from having a guest, C. S. Boyack and a reblog of Mae Clair’s post about her latest release).”


Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

  1. “Mike screwed his eyes shut.

“More gravy than grave, more gravy than grave,” he chanted to himself. He was not prepared to accept what his eyes appeared to be telling him. He opened his eyes and was not surprised to find that the eye was still there, staring out across the garage.”

All my life I have tried to outrun the devil.

He is always a step ahead, waiting around the next”

Book Reviews, Releases, Cover Reveals, and Author Interviews:

  1. “Anne Goodwin loves fiction for the freedom to contradict herself and has been scribbling stories ever since she could hold a pencil. During her career as an NHS clinical psychologist her focus was on helping other people tell their neglected stories to themselves. Now that her short fiction publication count has overtaken her age, her ambition is to write and publish enough novels to match her shoe size. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill and shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, was published in May 2017.”
  2. “I began writing history via my involvement in a Healthy Walking Initiative. Plans were being made on designing routes to encourage local people to walk around the city, but when I asked why they would do so, was met with blank faces. so I started researching places and events that happened there, which led to self-publishing several walking guides and my output continued from there. I enjoy designing my own books as it provides a break from the constant arrangement of words, and it helps give me some insight into what I am writing.” 
  3. “Gina Gallo is a mob goddaughter who doesn’t want to be one. She’s left her loopy family behind to elope with Pete to Vegas. Except that eloping may be a mortal sin in an Italian family. Between that and some weird deliveries and suitors, Gina’s nerves are frayed. Vegas is full of great acts, but one impersonation is real: Gina has a crime-committing double whose activities are making Gina front-page news. Gina has to track down this fiendish fraud before the police catch up with her. And, of course, cousin Nico is along for the ride.”
  4. “Newsy newsy newwwwws, exchanging glances. Er, ahem, what I mean is, hey! It’s Friday and I’ve got some news nibblings for you, if you care to have ’em.

The note is key. Hey, who’s the keynote speaker this year at DFWCon? *receives message* Oh hey, it’s me! June 22-23, I’ll be there, giving my dubious untruths about the writing life. Hope to see you there.”

Five Links Loleta Abi


I’m still in recovery. Sorry, this is shorter than normal but I’ve only been able to sit up the last few days for a short while.

Five Links…2/1/19

Loleta Abi


  1. “There’s a myth that Kerouac completed his most famous novel in three weeks, on a rolling scroll of butcher paper, so he wouldn’t have to stop to remove pages from the typewriter. Indeed, much of On the Road was written in first draft that way, but Kerouac re-worked the manuscript several times before it was published.”

Research & Fun Bits:

  1. “We age, of course, look for answers, seek wisdom, work, strive…

To be happy, healthy, and whole.

We want what’s best for our family and friends, truth be told.

We look to the past to plan for the coming days,”

  • “I woke early and, instead of crawling grudgingly out of the warm bed as usual, I lay in thought for a few minutes. I had not moved anything except my eyelids; Ani couldn’t possibly know I was awake yet… could she? Well, on past showing yes, but honestly, it wasn’t even daylight. I have long since lost the habit of lounging in bed on a morning. Children and dogs require attention and years of getting up bleary eyed to deal with them build a habit it would be nice to break.”
  • “As you’ll know if you’ve been kind enough to visit this blog before, I live in California. One of the important influences in the history of this state has been its missions. Spanish missionaries set up a network of missions, each within a day’s walk of the last. Today, many places still bear the names of those original missions. San Diego, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and San Francisco are just a few examples. I live within walking distance (well, it’s a long walk, but still…) of the mission at San Luis Rey de Fancia.”

Book Reviews & Author Interviews:

  1. “Last week, our protagonist, MIKE, had seen the eye staring back at him as he shaved. It wasn’t in the mirror, it was half way up the wall behind him. Now starting to question what’s real and what isn’t, Mike heads to work to see if he can restore some sanity in his life.”
  2. “Delighted to welcome American author Karina Bartow to the Sunday Interview. Before we find out which questions Karina had chosen to respond to, here is her official biography.”
  3. “Jon Acuff is an American author of five books including Finish, Do Over, Start, Quitter, and Stuff Christians Like. Acuff also runs the blog, which has over 3 million readers. I was first introduced to John, a prior Dave Ramsey personality, from the nosebleed section at a Smart Money event. Although I wasn’t close enough to touch, it was love at first sight. His quick wit, and ability to educate through laughter was an automatic attraction. I instantly connected with his message (and purchased his book START) of FINALLY getting started on the 45-year old vision born with, but never cultivated. I don’t know what that thing is that kills the dreams of mothers once we have kids. Maybe it’s maternal instinct, but I set every goal aside after an unplanned pregnancy during my junior year of college. It was as if the death of the original dream, FBI Agent, meant no other desire in my heart was possible.”

The Book Corner…1/31/19 Maeve Grayson’s Katie’s Highlander

cover Katie’s Highlander Maeve Grayson

Book Corner…1/31/19 Katie’s Highlander by Maeve Grayson

Loleta Abi

I am reading: Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, Closing the Deal on Your Terms and A Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, 13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Jewel in the Mud by Harmony Kent, Writing Love Scenes by Rayne Hall and Susanne McCarthy, and In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney.

Katie’s Highlander by Maeve Grayson. Loveswept Jan. 22, 2019.

Amazon’s Blurb: “Maeve Greyson knows how to create swoon-worthy heroes and sweet sexual tension. Ramsay MacDara stole my heart!”—Vonnie Davis, author of Highlander’s Beloved series

An archaeologist with a zest for life finds herself stranded in small-town North Carolina—with a brooding Highland hunk who’s straight out of ancient Scotland.

Ramsay MacDara wishes the goddesses had left his arse back in the tenth century. That way he never would have met the gold digger who made a fool out of him. A loner at heart, Ramsay is riding his beloved horse through the woods near his family’s North Carolina theme park, Highland Life and Legends, when he hears tires squealing—followed by a thud—and rushes to the scene to help. That’s when he sets his eyes on a pair of long legs sticking out of the moon roof of a car. His interest piqued, the rest of her will soon arouse his greatest desires . . . and deepest fears.

Archaeologist Katie Jenson is on a six-month sabbatical from her job at Princeton University. Following the death of her beloved father—whose dying request was for Katie to live life to the fullest—she’s headed to a friend’s beach house in North Carolina. But a momentary distraction takes her off the road and on the journey of her life . . . with a sex god in a kilt at her side. Ramsay’s passion is the stuff of legend—and it just may be Katie’s greatest discovery.

Don’t miss any of Maeve Greyson’s enticing Scottish romances:



This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Praise for Katie’s Highlander

“Outlander fans must get Katie’s Highlander! It’s a book you’ll never forget!”—Sharon Cullen, author of Lost to a Spy

“I found myself unable to put Katie’s Highlander down once I was absorbed in it. I love a good time-travel romance—throw in a little bit of Scotland and Druids and I am in. I will be purchasing the other installments in this series as soon as possible.”—Romance Reviews Site

My Review: Katie goes off road in a car wreck and finds a handsome rescuer in Ramsey McDara. She’s an archaeologist and is fascinated by the spear he carries. It looks from some other time. So, does his home and his family. When she gets transported back in time with Ramsey, she yearns to go back home but slowly the people and the time pulls her in. She knows Ramsey wants to stay but when a pregnancy results in the death of the mother, he fears for Katie if they stay. When they seek out a higher power for predictions and see a familiar face, they learn what might be in store for them, in the future and in the past.

I LOVED it! The characters are mesmerizing, and the romance is all that you want. Ramsey and Katie are destined for each other, if they can only get over their fears. This series hasn’t disappointed me! Maeve Grayson is an author to watch!

Five Links Loleta Abi

haunted house?

Five Links…1/25/19

Loleta Abi


  1. “What is a plot snag?” He gives such great advice! I have skipped scenes and came back to them before. I’ve also had to backtrack for a snag and determine where things went wrong!
  2. “Here’s a short, unedited passage from the second book in the series The Curse of Time – Golden Healer which I’m currently working on. It fits in well with Colleen’s two synonyms this week – mystery and attract.”
  3. “It’s a bit like ‘Macbeth’ for an actor – say ‘writer’s block’ to a novelist and they’re liable to go pale and break out in a cold sweat. And as for actually uttering those dreaded words yourself, well, that’s pretty much guaranteed to jinx anything you’re currently working on. But is writer’s block really a ‘thing’, or just people like me being hyper-superstitious? And if it does really exist, what can you do about it?”
  4. “Adding drama into your writing can be tough and many are leery about adding this due it skewing toward the negative.  Yet, it’s fairly unavoidable if you sit down and consider what can be born from it.  We may even add it without realizing what we’re doing.  There are days I think we all have different views and definitions of drama.  Some people consider it a genre while others call it a literary tool.  So, are there any tips that can cross every genre and be seen as universal?”
  5. “Writers are taught many rules by the greats. But should we believe them?”

Research & Fun Bits:

  1. “Most of have things in our past that we would just as soon forget. That’s understandable, really; after all, we all make mistakes and do foolish things. And for some people, those things are very serious.”
  2. “I spent most of Saturday working my way through some critiques. Aside from spelling and punctuation, I didn’t change much. Little things to make one of my characters a bit more relatable.”
  3. ““I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it until it begins to shine.” ― Emily DickinsonI think every book is different. In the end, it begins where it needs to.
  4. “…“No matter,” says Wen, “they sometimes put contact details up.” She starts to scrutinise the notice board of the porch and then taps a number into her phone…”
  5. “Welcome to Must Read Horror, where we search the internet for the best horror articles of the week so you don’t have to. Without further ado:

IGN picks out twelve villains from the world of comics who deserve their own horror films

What Culture serve up ten original horror films coming to cinemas in 2019 that we should all be excited about

Push Square have listed the very best of horror gaming on Playstation 4

The Hindustan Times has a feature article on the secret world of India’s horror writers

Marie McWilliams interviews the Night Worms about their incredible new horror book box project

Book Reviews and Author Interviews:

  1. “I was a closet writer for most of my life. When I was a child and teen, I would journal my thoughts, dreams, and other musings. Then, I would rip them up and throw them away so no one could see them.” I kept my writing to myself until I was eighteen, then started into fanfiction. Later, I moved on to my own stories.
  2. “Maria is a Gemini whose head has always been in the clouds. From a young age, her mother scolded her for not paying attention; when she was bored, she would make up stories in her head. She has been writing since she was about thirteen years old. A lover of languages, she speaks French, Spanish, and Catalan.”
  3. “Deadlier Than The Male is non-fiction and is about the wives behind some high ranking British military men. The author chose a range of women covering a period in history from 1677-1937.”
  4. “I truly enjoyed reading this book for many reasons. First, it was easy to read and understand exactly what was being said. I also enjoyed reading and knowing more about all the characters and was wondering how they will all relate to later on. Reading this book kind of reminded me a bit of the movie crash, in regards to learning about the characters and how they will all relate to each other. I also got the chills at different times when reading the book. I loved the fact that I thought I knew what was going to happen and I was all wrong, great twist. Lastly, I liked that it has short chapters, and each chapter introduced a different character or setting; this made it very interesting. Excellent book, highly recommend for all audience. C.D”
  5. “Welcome to the first of the Cafe updates this week and after one of the busiest book selling season of the year, it is great to see the reviews coming in.”
  6. “Lindsay Townsend, a pretty and popular sixteen year old, has set her sights on Jon Halliwell, the P.E. teacher at her school, regardless of the fact he is married. Although she is the daughter of wealthy parents, Lindsay’s home life leaves much to be desired. Her father is a controlling bully who thinks nothing of physical or verbal abuse and his long suffering wife has been cowed into submission. Despite her seeming popularity, Lindsay is vulnerable, lonely and desperate for affection. When her interest in Jon is reciprocated, it develops into a secretive affair.”
  7. “Keeping secrets are hard, especially keeping happy, year-long ones from the people we care about. So you can imagine how terrific it is to finally share with you that the mystery thesaurus Becca and I have been working on this past year is a second edition of The Emotion Thesaurus! It releases on February 19th.”
  8. “Joan Hall is hosting an excerpt from Lanternfish today. I had to do a tiny bit of research into concussions for this one. Stop over and say hi. Joan is also an author, and one of my Story Empire partners. If you haven’t met her yet, check out her blog while you’re there.”
  9. “He was the genius of his age; revered sculptor, painter, architect and poet; fiercely devoted friend; beleaguered artist to the popes; and a pilgrim in search of an elusive redemption.

She was a celebrated poet; dutiful daughter; adoring yet betrayed wife; powerful political voice; spiritual seeker; suspected heretic; and the only woman Michelangelo ever loved.”

  1. “Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.”
  2. “Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”
  3. “All of my Pearseus science fantasy series books will be either free or 99c, as will A Heaven for Toasters, my sci-fi crime romance book (talk about writing cross-genres). For the kids, I have a free book, Cinderella, on a refreshingly traditional publication.”
  4. “An hour ago, they were nineteen strangers on an airport shuttle, braving travel delays and a freak blizzard. Then they fell through a hole in the world. Now, they are nineteen strangers trapped in a dangerous dimension filled with prehistoric monsters, futuristic technology, and otherworldly mysteries. They’ll have to learn to work together if they want to survive and return home … but will any of them be left alive by then?”
  5. “#BookReview! My heart is warm on this extremely cold day.  At her Cafe and Bookstore, the sensational Sally G. Cronin just shared a new review of “Atonement in Bloom.” I didn’t know about D.L. Finn’s review, and I’m thrilled!”
  6. Worst Journey In The World is a World War Two historical novel and features a man who spent many of his war years at sea.”

Special: Introducing a New Thesaurus from Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi!

This is exciting!

Special: Introducing an Expanded Version of the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi!

Traci Kenworth

Have you ever held onto a secret you’ve been dying to share, and then finally…you can?

For the last few weeks I’ve been helping Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers keep a BIG secret…what the next book in their thesaurus series will be.

It might seem strange to not tell one’s readers what book you’re planning to release…unless you happen to write books on Show, Don’t Tell like Angela and Becca do! They couldn’t resist the opportunity to show, not tell, by waiting for the cover reveal. They even created a *REDACTED* cover for it, which you might have seen floating around.

We’re revealing the cover at long last!

*drum roll*

One of the best tools a writer can have!

The next book in the descriptive thesaurus series is The Emotion Thesaurus Second Edition!

It’s been 7 years since the original Emotion Thesaurus hit the shelves. Many writers have credited this unusual book  with transforming their writing. This guide is packed with helpful lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 different emotions, which makes it easier for writers to convey what characters feel.

Since 2012, many have asked the authors if they would add more emotions, so that’s what Angela & Becca have done. This new edition has added 55 more emotions, bringing the total to 130.

There are other new additions to the book and in fact, it’s almost doubled in size! I recommend checking out the full list of emotions (and some sample entries) HERE.

And more good news: this book is available for preorder! You can find it on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

One last thing: go grab some free education!

Angela & Becca are giving away a free webinar recording of one of their popular workshops on Emotion, so head over if this is an area of struggle for you. It might really help!



Apple Books:

Five Links

Snowball and Miss Prissy

Five Links

Loleta Abi


  1. “It’s been sort of a perfect storm of late in terms of triggers leading me to think very hard about writing advice, writing processes, and progress in writing.”
  2. “Are you fed up of one-dimensional heroes? Frustrated with creating clones? Does your protagonist fail to capture your reader’s heart?” I have her 13 Ways to Make a Villain. Enjoying.
  3. “Not everyone doing well for themselves have “sold out.” Not everyone doing well for themselves are chasing the American dream. Not everyone doing well for themselves are seeking worldly success. These kinds of self-limiting beliefs will leave you stuck, broke, and dimming your light (because, ya know, you don’t want people to think you’re trying get rich or die trying…)”
  4. “Yes, It’s time for my soapbox. You may be going through the classic struggle trying to decide whether to self-publish or wait for traditional publishing possibilities.”
  5. “For many years, independent and self-published authors often turned to CreateSpace and its print-on-demand capabilities to offer paperback versions of their books. However, late last summer, Amazon announced that CreateSpace was going away and being merged with KDP (Kindle Digital Publishing).”

Research & Fun Bits:

  1. “Not a day passes without at least one blog post popping into my reader about marketing — lists of tips and tricks, how-to articles, and stern warnings that failure to market means failure as an author. Marketing is the bitter pill you must swallow after the thrill of pressing the “publish” button.” I feel the same. I’ve tried to get more people to read my blog. I’ve got a pop-up newsletter where I have two whole participates, lol. I’ve followed the advice. It seems to get me nowhere.
  2. “On Sunday, while I was at BizarroCon, I got a text from author and editor Michael Bailey, informing me that Gak had passed away.”
  4. “This episode finishes the three random things from Donna Parker at Yadadarcyyada.  Be sure to visit her blog and look around, read and enjoy.”
  5. ““Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
    ― Steve Maraboli”

Book Reviews:

  1.  “Can Eleanor follow her heart in troubled times?”
  2. “As one year teeters into another, my body is all at sea.  A stray bug or perhaps the sigh of inactivity after the busyness of December.  Flu sweeps in on Boxing Day and the lead up to the year end is fever, aches and pains, a chest infection.  It leaves me with labyrinthitis, an ear condition I get sometimes that feels like constant motion sickness.” 
  3. “Author Colin Garrow, who writes splendid stories about Sherlock Holmes among others, has written a fabulous review of Dark Visions Horror Anthology [in which I have two short stories].
  4. The first one was awesome!
  5. the author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone comes a stunning contemporary novel that examines the complicated aftermath of a kidney transplant between best friends.”
  6. “This book, like CUSP OF NIGHT, the first book in the series, is also a dual timeline novel. And each period has a mystery to solve, each of which she resolves beautifully. But moreover, the way the two eras are linked together? It’s masterful.”
  7. “This book covers the eighty year period from 1787 to 1868 when 168 000 convicts from Britain and Ireland were sent to Australia. This is a collection of tales about those transported; their reasons for transportation, their journeys and whether they died, survived or thrived in the harsh environment.”