An Update, and a Some Big News!

Just a quick update to let you know that Mark received the infusion today and is feeling fine. No side effects so far, and the folks who took care of him said this would be a double protection that his symptoms wouldn’t get much worse than they are now, which is negligible. And I’m still fine, too, knock wood.

And now for the really big news. My son, Jason, turned fifty years old today! FIFTY! I was looking through old pictures and came across this one of he and my daughter, Erin, some time ago, quite a few years before either was married or had started a family. Looking at it, it’s hard for me to get my head around the fact that my son is … still choking, here … FIFTY today! Holy guacamole! My how time flies when you’re having fun, eh?

And Jason, in case you’re reading this (not really likely, but you never know) 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
WE LOVE YOU!!

#GuestDayTuesday – The Shadows We Breathe #Anthology – #SarahBrentyn

#GuestDayTuesday Banner

NOTE: This post was actually supposed to run NEXT Tuesday, and somehow, I messed up the date, hence the missing link some of you will have noticed. I apologize to Sarah (who may or may not be around to visit today) and to you guys, too. This is the first time in all my blogging years I’ve done this, I think, and I do hope it will be the last! Blame it on COVID madness here at our house. Please enjoy the post, anyway, and I promise to share the link when Sarah has it, in another post!! *slinking away in embarrassment now*
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Today, I’m very happy to welcome author and friend Sarah Brentyn back to share her latest project/release. The Shadows We Breathe is an anthology Sarah compiled and edited, featuring her own work along with that of several other terrific writers. I know you’ll love learning more about this collection, so without further ado, take it away, Sarah!

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Kiwi, Junior Mint, Raisin?

Anthologies are a delightful mix of chocolates. You’ve got caramel, crisped rice crunch, fruit-filled, nougat, and nuts. But they’re all still chocolate. An assortment is great but you wouldn’t want to open your box of Cadbury and find a sea salt caramel, a chunk of pizza, a piece of sushi, and a bit of broccoli. Or maybe you would. I don’t know. But most people probably would not.

So, in this way, you want variety but, also, consistency to make sure your box of treats doesn’t surprise you in a bad way. You’ve got to choose a palate.

I’m a huge fan of obsessed with The Good Place. (If you haven’t seen this yet, go watch it. You’re welcome.) Anyway, one of the characters, Chidi, had a panic attack at a make-your-own-sundae bar. His whole thing is that he’s indecisive but, in fairness to him…well, I’ll let the quote speak for itself:

“There were too many toppings. And very early in the process you had to commit to a chocolate palate or a fruit palate and if you couldn’t decide, you wound up with kiwi, junior mint, raisin, and it just ruins everyone’s night.”

Right on, Chidi. Right on.

While I wanted this anthology to have a mixture of stories, I also wanted it to have a uniform feel, with all the pieces working together to provide a smooth experience for readers.

I told my friend, when I first began, creating an anthology was much like choosing a color scheme. When redecorating your kitchen or bedroom, you might want lots of colors. That’s great. Go for it. Paint a rainbow, my friend. Get that red, purple, and blue in there. But make sure they’re all similar in tone and finish. You don’t want pastel pink in matte, neon green in gloss, and muted yellow in eggshell. Honestly, and this is just my opinion, that would be hideous. I don’t think I could sleep or eat surrounded by that colorful mish-mash of clown puke. Keep it all neon, if that’s your jam, or pastels or whatever.

So that’s what I did. Or tried to do. The theme is relationships, the tone is dark, emotional, poignant. I compiled the stories and worked with contributors to make sure they loved their work and that it fit well with the other pieces. I am genuinely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such wonderful, talented authors. 

Each one of these authors brings her own style and voice to the anthology, which is lovely (and kind of the whole point), but there is (hopefully) a uniformity that keeps the flow of reading pleasant. Like cruising in a sailboat on a sunny day instead of paddling in a dinghy during a hurricane. I am so proud of this collection. I adore everything about it. The title, the cover, and, of course, the writing. I hope you love it as much as I do.

The Shadows We Breathe

BLURB:

WE ARE ALL PART SHADOW

Life promises joy and sorrow. Alongside the light, there will always be traces of darkness. It is the nature of being human.

In this anthology of short fiction, we explore relationships—how they sculpt us, hurt us, help us, and reveal our deepest desires.

Eight artists, whose words paint worlds, bring you stories of heartache, loss, hope, and forgiveness. They unveil the intimacy and complexity of relationships.

Whether family, friend, or lover, connections to others can hold us up or break us down.

Within these pages, beautiful words are spun into tales threaded with darkness.

Explore the shadows we breathe. 

THE SHADOWS WE BREATHE COMING SOON!

CONTRIBUTORS:

Georgia Bell is the author of Unbound, a young adult paranormal romance about love, fear, and immortality. She was raised on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy and began writing the stories she wanted to read over a decade ago.

Author Page | Twitter

Maria Carvalho is a multi-genre writer whose short stories have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies, including Under the Full Moon’s Light and Cabinet of Curiosities (both by Owl Hollow Press).

Author Page | Twitter

Reena Dobson began pursuing her creative writing with a vengeance when she realised the world was never going to stop and give her time to write. She now writes at the edges, in sunshine and under cover of darkness.

Author Page | Twitter

Ali Isaac is a writer and blogger living in Co. Cavan, Ireland.

In 2020, she was awarded a writing mentorship by Words Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland, working under the guidance of author, Sara Baume. Her writing has been published in The Stinging Fly, Sonder, and Paper Lanterns.

Author Page | Twitter

D. Wallace Peach, best-selling fantasy author, started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

Author Page | Twitter

Allie Potts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, two children, and spoiled dog.

When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day, Allie consumes and creates science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic quests, cozy mysteries, and contemporary fiction.

Author Page | Twitter

Mary Smith, author and poet, is based in Scotland. Her memoir Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women focusses on her work in Afghanistan, which also provides the setting for her novel No More Mulberries.

Author Page | Twitter

Author Sarah Brentyn

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

Books: Hinting at Shadows | On the Edge of a Raindrop

Website: Sarah Brentyn

Blog: Lemon Shark | Lemon Shark Reef

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Guest on Sue Rovens’ Author Meet & Greet Series

I have the great pleasure of being  today’s featured author on Sue Rovens’ Author Meet & Greet series. It was fun answering Sue’s questions, and I do hope some of you will stop by & check out the post. I’m right at the top of the page, so you can’t miss it.

Here’s the link: https://suerovens.com/meet-greet-author-q-as/ 

Thanks so much for inviting me, Sue. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part today. 😀

Brief Update on the Meara COVID Situation

Just want to thank each and every one of you who’ve commented here or emailed me with encouraging words, support, prayers, positive thoughts, and  kind messages. You’ll never know just how much I’ve appreciated every single one of them. 

It’s only been a bit over 48 hours since Mark noticed the first symptoms Friday night, and got the bad news Saturday morning, but so far, the news is good. His symptoms have lessened a bit each day, and right now, he isn’t coughing or running a fever. He’s tired and napping off and on during the day, but that’s to be expected.

As for myself, I still feel fine. (Or as fine as I usually do, anyway, since I have a few health issues I’m always addressing.) In other words, I’m not feeling like I even need to be tested at this point, though I’m definitely staying HOME just in case. No need to endanger anyone else until I know for sure I’m not going to get sick.

So basically, all good news, and we are very hopeful that Mark’s symptoms will not get much worse, if they worsen at all. And hopefully, I’ll never get ANY. I do think we have our vaccinations to credit for his lack of serious progression to date, and hopefully, this is going to end well for both of us.

Thanks again for being such wonderful, supportive folks. You are appreciated and LOVED more than you know!

 

A Bit of Bad News

Well, folks, Life has thrown us a curveball once again, and it includes some pretty bad news, I’m afraid. My husband Mark tested positive for COVID this morning, and I’m still trying to get my head around what all this might mean. 

The good news is:

  1. We’ve both had our shots, which can mean milder cases with less severe symptoms for many people.
  2. They are setting him up to receive the IV medication that can also reduce the severity of symptoms. 
  3. Mark is incredibly healthy for his age (72) and almost never gets sick. (I think it’s been at least ten years since his last common cold.)
  4. He only developed symptoms last night, which we hope means I may not come down with this, too.
  5. He’s now isolated in the master bedroom for 10 to 14 days, depending on what other symptoms, if any, he develops. Again, this may help keep me safe.

The Bad News is:

  1. It’s COVID. Who really knows what will happen now?

I’m letting you know this is going on because I have no idea at all what the next week or two will bring for either of us, and if I disappear for a bit, you’ll know why. I WILL try to keep you updated as to how things are progressing. And all positive thoughts, prayers, healing energy, wizardly magic, and plain ol’ best wishes will be gratefully accepted in the meantime. 

Thanks!! And please, STAY SAFE out there! 🤗 ❤

#ReblogAlert – Sally Cronin’s Smorgasboard RoundUp Post

Another wonderful, jam-packed week of goodies on Sally Cronin’s fabulous Smorgasbord blog. If you’re like me and can’t follow along every day, her roundup posts are a terrific way to see what’s been going on, and take a look at the articles most interesting or amusing to you. 

Check out Sally’s Smorgasbord RoundUp Post HERE
You’ll be glad you did!

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire

Another week gone by in a flash, but the good news is, it’s time for a recap of all the great posts over on Store Empire. Here goes:

MONDAY: Joan Hall is beginning a new series I think I’m going to love, and her first post is entitled Character Types: The Attention Seekers. It’s great! Check out Joan’s post HERE

WEDNESDAY: Staci Troilo’s post, Three Elements of Horror, really struck a chord with me. I have always had a fascination with truly scary stories, and if I ever decide to write one, I’ll be paying close attention to her guidelines. Check out Staci’s post HERE.

FRIDAY: John Howell asks a question in his post today that I’m sure will resonate with each of us: Why Am I Avoiding Working on My WIP? I know it made me stop and think. Check out John’s post HERE.

And there you have the latest from the good folks at Story Empire!
Happy Reading!

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About Sally Cronin

It’s Wednesday again, and you know what that means–time for another special guest! Today, please help me welcome one of the most amazing people I’ve met online, everybody’s friend and supporter, Sally Cronin. You’re gonna love this! Sally, take it away!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Sally Cronin

Thanks very much Marcia for the opportunity to reveal some possible secrets about myself, in the hopes that none of them come back to bite me….

  1. I had measles when I was two years old and I was left with a pattern of leaves on my forehead which slowly faded away by the time I was a teenager.
  2. I had lived in four countries by the time I was twelve years old.
  3. in 2001 I had my mitochondrial DNA tested. My results showed that my DNA came from Helena whose bones dated back around 20,000 years ago and were found in a cave in the Dordogne in South Central France .
  4. I appeared on the Weakest Link in 2010 and was eliminated in the 6th
  5. I worked three jobs at the age of 14 years old – in a souvenir kiosk on the seafront weekends and school holidays, washer up in the local pub every Friday night and a thriving baby-sitting service for Saturday nights. At 16 I got a social life but still worked on the seafront and babysat when I was not out dancing
  6. In my 20s I crocheted midi-skirts in my spare time and I had a steady stream of orders. Eventually gave it up when my dog unravelled all the stitching of an almost finished skirt and I had to spend 24 hours over two days to redo and lost my mojo.
  7. I like driving and I have done the 4,400 kilometres round trip from Madrid to Dublin and the 3,600 kilometres round trip from UK to Madrid.
  8. I have had five sports cars since my 40th birthday and would love another and a hoist to get in and out of it!
  9. I have played online solitaire since 1997 and my all-time record is 18,172 points in 40 seconds which I achieved in January 2020 after 23 years. I play every day for 30 minutes in the morning to get ready for the day.
  10. Despite a few bumps along the way, and some unfulfilled ambitions, I would not change a thing about my life. I is who I is..

From Sally’s School Days

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Author Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction, including five collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse and speculative short stories titled Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Buy Sally’s Books HERE

Find Sally on Social Media HERE:

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire

It’s Freya’s Day once again, and you know what that means, right? Right! Another look at what the good folks at Story Empire have been up to this week. (Hint: It’s good stuff, as always!)

MONDAY: Craig Boyack’s interesting and thought-provoking post entitled Create A System – Work the System uses “Inspiration, Not Duplication” as a theme, and includes some good ideas I never even thought of.  Check it out HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Harmony Kent introduces her new eleven-part series, How to Write Point of View with an excellent Overview as Part 1. Be sure not to miss this one, folks. You can check it out HERE.

FRIDAY: D. L. Finn’s post entitled Writing and Editing speaks to one of a writer’s biggest challenges: finding and USING a good editor before publishing a book. Take what she says to heart, folks. It will save you problems in the long run. Check out Denise’s post HERE.

See? Told ya it was good stuff! Happy reading!