#TisTheSeason – #MerryChristmas – #TakingABreak

It’s that time of year again, folks. Yes! It’s time for LoDeWriMar, and I aim to take full advantage of it this go around. What is that, you ask? Well, simple. Local December Writing Marcia. Yes, I can hear you groaning clear down here in Florida, but I decided what I’m about to do needed its own name, even if it was a total rip-off of another, far more well-known event that generally has WAY more than one participant. Mind games, for sure, but whatever works, right?

So, the bottom line is, I’m about to do something I’ve never done in about 20 years of blogging: take a full month off to focus on my WIP. I admit, I’ve never even been tempted to do such a thing, but then again, I’ve never hit a roadblock on one of my books before. And the roadblock coincides with a month wherein I have NO local wildlife talks to get ready for presentation. So, being the quick-witted soul that I am (once in a great while), I decided this was the right time for me to give all of my attention to this WIP with as few interruptions in my daily writing regime as possible.

Therefore, I will not be present around here for the whole month of December, if all goes well, and my draft starts growing again. I do have two previously scheduled guest posts coming up, and will drop in to keep an eye on each of those, but otherwise, the  plan is that I won’t be doing any blogging from today until January 2, 2022. Whew. Just typing that gives me a weird feeling, but I know that you guys all understand needing some time to focus on what we love doing most: writing!

If you need me for something between now and January, please feel free to email me, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, I wish each and every one of you a wonderful and blessed holiday season.

See you on the other side!

 

#GuestDayTuesday – Scarred Resilience by Suzanne Cottrell

Today, I am welcoming my new online friend and kindred spirit, Suzanne Cottrell, who shares my love of gardening, wildlife, and the North Carolina mountains.  Please help me make her feel right at home as she tells you about her latest release. Suzanne, take it away!

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Thanks for having me today, Marcia. 

Scarred Resilience is a collection of poems that will resonate with readers as they pause and reflect on their lives. All people deal with different challenges such as loss, medical condition, heartbreak, aging, bullying, abuse, or stress throughout the course of their lives. They can succumb and fall victim to a challenge, or they can choose to overcome it. They may bear emotional and/or physical scars. Most likely, they will empower themselves by gaining new knowledge, skill, confidence, and/or strength. A key message of Scarred Resilience is that individuals, despite their scars, can move forward.

Many of the poems like “Nature’s Solace,” “Enlightened Silence,” “Transformation,” and “Silent Stroll” address aspects of self-awareness. As a survivor of breast cancer and a lumpectomy, I chose to include “Altered Silhouette” and “Yet, We Laughed,” signifying that a change in one’s personal appearance does not alter one’s inner beauty. Accepting, adapting, and laughing can help one heal. “Sole Mate,” “Aged,” and “Waning Time” instill the notion that one should live life to its fullest.

REVIEWS

Suzanne Cottrell’s poems create verbal jewels inspired by the natural world. These poems offer a healing movement-of-spirit, reminding us of why we fell in love with poetry in the first place.
Marilyn Kallet
, Knoxville Poet Laureate and author of How Our Bodies Learned, poems from Black Widow Press

Suzanne Cottrell’s poems, a synthesis of visual details, combine with her all-seeing eye for nuance and change. Her collection speaks of a life spent in the sciences where things are viewed through a microscope, often distilled as in a vintage snapshot that illustrates competition for resources, quick change in circumstances or the eternal struggle to survive. Her poem, “Transformation,” provides a clinical description of biological statistics and specimens. But, in “Silent Stroll,” the poet reveals the inner life of feelings and search for clarity. The poems are a delicate balance between micro-views and personal internal longings.
Lynda McKinney Lambert, Author of Star Signs: New & Selected Poems

An emotional spark subtly ignites from deep within Suzanne Cottrell’s measured words and counted lines. Gently, yet distinctly, the reader becomes aware of the joy, understanding and love for life and nature her words convey.
Maxine Reynolds Chauvaux, Co-founder of the Granville Writers’ Group and Creative Life-Long Learning Workshop Facilitator

Suzanne Cottrell’s third poetry chapbook chronicles life’s difficulties wrapping painful memory with the beauty of nature and offering the possibility to “pass through the darkness into the light to follow your dreams.” Her poems express resilience, finding strength in laughter during darker moments. In her poem, “Aged,” the narrator asks the question — “Have all their pages been written?” I hope for those who love poetry, the answer for Ms. Cottrell would be, “Oh, no. There’s so much more to come.”
Anne Anthony, Author and Editor, Flash Fiction for Flash


Buy Scarred Resilience on Amazon HERE
And on Kelsay Books HERE

Author Suzanne Cottrell

Suzanne Cottrell, a buckeye by birth, lives with her husband in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired history and special ed. teacher, her interests include reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Tai Chi, yoga, and Pilates. She enjoys researching history and culture and loves nature and its sensory stimuli. She particularly likes to write and experiment with poetry and flash fiction, as well as working on collaborative projects, especially with her daughter.

Her work has appeared in numerous online and print journals and anthologies, such as the Best Emerging Poets Series, The Avocet, Poetry Quarterly, Plum Tree Tavern, Parks and Points, The Pangolin Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Three Line Poetry, Inwood Indiana Press anthologies, Personal Story Publishing Project anthologies, Proverse Hong Kong Poetry Prize Mingled Voices anthologies, Nailpolish Stories, Quail Bell Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Flash Fiction Magazine. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Gifts of the Seasons, Autumn and Winter; Gifts of the Seasons, Spring and Summer; and Scarred Resilience, published by Kelsay Books. She was the recipient of the 2017 Rebecca Lard Award for Poetry Quarterly (Prolific Press).

You can find Suzanne on social media here:
Website
LinkedIn
Email: cottrell_suzanne@yahoo.com

 

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire and Sally Cronin’s #Smorgasbord Weekly RoundUp

Once again, it’s time to share the love! If you haven’t checked out these posts on Story Empire and Sally’s Smorgasbord blogs, you really owe it to yourself to stop by and see what’s up. There’s always something good going on on these two blogs, you know. Stop by and see for yourself! You’ll be glad you did!

MONDAY: Joan Hall starts the week off with a great post entitled Writing Historical Fiction. Check it out HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Staci Troilo’s post entitled Messy Middles and Mystery Boxes is one that I found exceptionally helpful. I think you will, too. Check it out HERE.

FRIDAY: And John W. Howell wraps up the week with Thanksgiving wishes and a gorgeous photo HERE. (Thank you, John, and I hope your Thanksgiving weekend has been great so far!) 


And here are this week’s goodies from Sally’s Smorgasbord blog. Have a look for yourself, and you’ll see why I like to pass this one on, too. You can check everything out HERE.


And there you have it, Folks …
Another wonderful week on two of my very favorite blogs.
Enjoy!

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About W. D. Kilpack

Today, I’d like you to help me welcome another new visitor to The Write Stuff, author W. D. Kilpack. I think you’ll enjoy his Ten Things list as much as I did, so let’s get to it. Take it away, Bill!

 


Ten Things You May Not Know About
W. D. Kilpack

  1. When I was a kid, I was convinced I was growing horns. My mom would feel my head and say, “Yep, and they’re getting bigger!”
  2. I served as editor of the newspaper at Westminster College of Salt Lake City and editor-in-chief of the newspaper at West Jordan High School.
  3. I served as State Master Councilor of the Utah State DeMolay Association, vice-chaired a committee at International Congress, and was inducted into the Court of Chevaliers.
  4. Despite a childhood fear of making direct eye contact, I learned how to cope to the point where I have been the official representative of CEOs and a U.S. Senator. I have been teaching public speaking to college students since 1996.
  5. I come from a family of avid hunters (black-powder hunting is about as avid as it gets), but I am the black sheep. As far as I know, I’m the only one of my generation who doesn’t hunt.
  6. I have traveled all over the United States to compete in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, then to coach athletes doing the same.
  7. I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons since I was 10 years old. I have since played with my five kids and three stepchildren, and my youngest son and I have revised some of the rules for when we play.
  8. I have always been a storyteller; before I could write, I drew my stories. I wanted to start my own comic-book company until I was 12, when I wrote my first fantasy novel.
  9. My first publication credit came when I was 9, when a teacher entered a poem I wrote into a contest without my knowledge. It won and was published.
  10. My grandma handed off the family genealogy work to me when I was 14. Something I corrected is that Kilpack is not a shortened form of Kilpatrick; it’s a misspelling (likely through emigrating) of Kilpeck, which is a village in Wales.

BLURB:

Despite the Guardian of Maarihk being condemned as anathema, and his very existence relegated to legend, Natharr resumes his ancient responsibilities as Mankind’s protector. He joins with a mysterious Firstborn companion, Ellis the Elder, to journey into the snowy reaches of Biraald, where his Sight promises he will find those who secretly adhere to the ways of the Olde Gods.

Although Biraaldi bloodlines show their Firstborn heritage more clearly than even in Maarihk itself, the two nations have never enjoyed peace. It has been far worse since the rise of Brandt the Usurper to Maarihk’s throne. Natharr and Ellis must navigate threats not only against the Firstborn, but the Maarihkish, as they seek out the sympathizers he Saw who are brave enough to resist Maarihk’s tyranny. Only then can the damage be repaired from when Natharr chose personal happiness with Darshelle and the young crown prince over his weighty responsibilities as Guardian of Maarihk.

REVIEWS:

Order of Light is “a poignant, sensational, and captivating novel that will take [you] on a turbulent-but-fantastic journey full of ups and downs and shocks!” — RedHeadedBookLover.com

Order of Light is “just as fantastic as Crown Prince [which was] one of the most fantastic fantasy books that I have read so far! New characters are introduced and I’m impressed by his storytelling … from characterization to event building… everything is lucid. I’m eagerly waiting for book three.” — Just Pratibha (India)



Buy Order of Light HERE

Buy Crown Prince HERE

Author Bill Kilpack

W.D. Kilpack III is an award-winning and critically acclaimed internationally published writer, with works appearing in print, online, radio and television, starting with his first publication credit at the age of nine, when he wrote an award-winning poem. As an adult, he received special recognition from L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest, was named Author of the Month by the Sinister Soup podcast, and Crown Prince received the Firebird Book Award. He has been editor and/or publisher of nineteen news and literary publications, both online and in print, with circulations as high as 770,000. He is an accomplished cook and has two claims he thinks few can match: cooking nearly every type of food on a grill; and nearly being knocked flat when his grill exploded.

He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Westminster College of Salt Lake City. As an undergrad, he double-majored in communication and philosophy, while completing the Honors Program. As a graduate student, he earned a master of professional communication with a writing emphasis. He was also a high-performing athlete, qualifying for international competition in Greco-Roman wrestling.

He is a communication professor and a nationally recognized wrestling coach. He is happily married to his high-school sweetheart and is father to five children, as well as helping to raise five step-children. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he continues to live, coach and teach.

Buy Links
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Social Media Links

Official Web Site
Goodreads 
Bookbub
LinkedIn
Amazon

#BonusGuestDay – Hype by Yvette M. Calleiro #NewRelease #YAFiction

Happy Tewe’s Day, Everyone. Today, I’d like you to welcome Yvette Calleiro back to The Write Stuff for a Bonus Guest Post. Yvette has a brand new release she’d like to share with you, and I know you’ll enjoy reading about it!


The Difference of a Decade

How much of a difference does a decade make? When it comes to technology, quite a bit! I wrote the first version of HYPE ten years ago. After I wrote it, I started writing the first book in my Diasodz series, so I decided to leave HYPE on the shelf for a bit. My Diasodz kept me busy for the next ten years. Actually, I’m still writing one of the books, but when the pandemic hit, I rediscovered HYPE and focused on polishing it up.

I can’t tell you how many cringes I experienced as I read through the story. It’s amazing how much my writing has progressed since then. HYPE was the second novel I had ever written (the first is still on that shelf). It was a blessing I didn’t publish it because the new version is much more powerful.

The mention of technology gave me many chuckles. For example, I plug in my iPod and play the music we are using for the competition routine. Who uses an iPod anymore?

Here’s another scene: Ryan parks his car, turns off all the lights, slips in his CD of favorite love songs for us, and leans over to kiss me. Ah, the days of shuffling through CDs to find the perfect one to insert into the CD player in the car!

Or this one: I pull my digital camera out of my purse and plop down on the bed. Okay, I still own a digital camera, but I don’t use it anymore. My phone takes better pictures, so why would I?

I’m sure ten years from now, I’ll look back on this book and laugh at the technology once again because I have no doubt there will be newer and greater tech toys. Until then, I’m happy in knowing this story is current and powerful just the way it is.

BLURB:

Cici’s junior year in high school is going to be the best year ever. Popular co-captain of the varsity cheerleading team, she’s dating the starting quarterback. Even her jealous co-captain’s attempts to steal her boyfriend can’t curb her enthusiasm.

When her mom moves in with her fiancé, a handsome, wealthy man, only one small detail threatens Cici’s perfect life. The school’s social pariah is about to become her stepsister, and Cici wants nothing to do with her.

Everything changes when someone Cici cares about throws her life into a tailspin, and the one person Cici couldn’t stand becomes her only ally.

Warning: This story contains scenes of sexual assault.

Buy Hype Here:
Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords


Author Yvette M. Calleiro

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

Amazon Links:

Hype
The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1)
The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2)
The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3)
The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 4)
The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 5)
The One Chosen – A Diasodz Short Story
Breathless – A Short Story
Amazon Author Page

Visit Yvette on Social Media here:

Author Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

 

 

 

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire & Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Weekly RoundUp

It’s Sunday again, and time to share what’s been going on over at Story Empire and Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord blogs! 

MONDAY: Craig Boyack starts of this week with his post entitled The Three Acts: Act 2, Part 2. You won’t want to miss this one! Check it out HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Harmony Kent takes the midweek spot with her post entitled How to Write Point of View, Part 7, Switching Point of View. Good stuff, as always! Check it out HERE.

FRIDAY: And Denise Finn wraps up the week with her excellent post entitled Writing and Ideas. Be sure to check it out by clicking HERE.


And as usual, Sally’s Smorgasbord RoundUp post is crammed so full of goodies, it’s a wonder it doesn’t burst at its digital seams! Be sure to stop by so you can see for yourself. (Note: Some especially fun videos this week!) Check it all out HERE.


And there you have it, folks!
Told you it was great stuff!

#GuestDayTuesday – Tinsel and Tea Cakes by Jill Piscitello

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing Jill Piscitello for her first (but hopefully not her last) visit to The Write Stuff. Please help me welcome Jill as she shares her latest book with you. Your turn now,  Jill–take it away!

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Hello everyone!  Many thanks to Marcia for hosting me as a guest author today.  I now have a new favorite place to visit for Monday memes!

My new release, Tinsel and Tea Cakes, is a sweet, holiday novella.  The story offers a second chance romance, a mini mystery, and a touch of the past with an unforgettable Victorian themed Christmas wedding.  I had so much fun getting to know my characters that saying good-bye was harder than expected.  Cue visions of a sequel swirling through my mind.  Imagine my delight when my editor encouraged a follow up.

But there’s a problem.  Most romances wrap up the endings of main characters in pretty packages tied with a bow.  I struggled with deciding whether to find a new story arc for Scarlett or to focus on a supporting character.  I’ve seen authors go in both directions.  Which is the path best taken?

After much consideration, I’ve decided to write a full-length novel centered around a staff member from The Timeless Manor.  This will allow my reigning heroine and hero to pop in now and again with bite sized updates.  I’m excited to see where this new book takes me but would love to hear perspectives on sequels from other authors and readers.

BLURB:

Hair stylist Scarlett Kerrigan lost her job and her apartment. To alleviate a touch of self-pity, she succumbs to her stepmom’s pressure to attend a wedding in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Unfortunately, she runs into the vacation fling who promised the moon but disappeared without an explanation. Months have passed, but she is not ready to forgive and forget.

After a chaotic year, executive Wes Harley settles into his family’s event venue, The Timeless Manor. His carefully structured world is shaken to its core when Scarlett arrives for the Victorian Christmas wedding weekend. The feelings he never quite erased flood to the surface.

When secrets are revealed, will a magical chateau and a sprinkle of tinsel be enough to charm Scarlett?

Buy Tinsel and Tea Cakes HERE:
Amazon           Nook

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Author Jill Piscitello

Jill Piscitello is a teacher, author, and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.

A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes.

Visit Jill on Social Media here:
Website ~ Twitter  ~ Facebook
Instagram

Visit Jill’s Amazon Author Page here.

 

#ReblogAlert! #Twofer #ThisWeekOnStoryEmpire & Sally Cronin’s #SmorgasbordWeeklyRoundUp

Time for a look at another great week on #StoryEmpire. Here are the posts featured this time around:

MONDAY: Gwen Plano shares a very thought-provoking post you’ll not want to miss. Check out 1984? HERE

WEDNESDAY: Mae Clair’s post entitled Staying Power #NaNoWriMo is another you don’t want to miss. Check out Mae’s excellent cheerleading prowess HERE.

FRIDAY: Jan Sikes is back to talk about more great opportunities for writers in #MKTG — In-Person Events #BookFestivals.  To see her great tips, check out her post HERE.
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Wow, what a jam-packed week on Smorgasbord! Trust me, you do not want to miss this roundup post today. Head on over to see what I mean.

Check out Sally’s Weekly RoundUp PostHERE
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And there you have it, Folks!

 

#SneakPeek – #Poetry – #Humor

Just thought I’d share a tiny sneak preview with you today, since “GrannySays” got posted a day early. I’m hoping to put together a new book of poetry of various sorts in 2022, and here’s a little something I wrote a few years ago that I suspect will make the cut. Hope you enjoy it!

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Things I Have Learned #1

TV ads we all endure
Proclaim loudly “We have the cure!”
You try it out, and find it’s good,
Why can’t they leave it as they should?
Beware the label “New and Improved,”
It really means you’ve just been scrooved.

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Happy Weekend, Everyone!

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About Joan Hall

So happy it’s Wednesday again, because you know what that means?  Yep! It’s time for another Ten Things list. This week, our guest is my good friend, author Joan Hall, and I know you’ll enjoy reading this one! Take it away, Joan!

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Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Joan Hall

  1.  I bleed burnt orange. Just kidding, but I’m a diehard Texas Longhorn fan. Burnt orange (and white) are the school colors.
  2.  My all-time favorite movie is Casablanca.
  3.  My maiden name is James and much to my husband’s dismay, I’m not related to the outlaw Jesse. (Hubs thinks that would be so cool!)
  4.  I wrote my first novel on notebook paper when I was seventeen years old, but I threw it away.
  5.  I once killed a four-foot coiled rattlesnake with a garden hoe.
  6.  My earliest memory was when I was eighteen months old. It happened during a visit with friends and relatives near Christmas.
  7.  As much as I love cats, I used to be more of a dog person. We once owned five dogs at the same time—two Dachshunds, a German Shepherd, a Lab-mix, and a Chow-mix. Feeding two cats is much less expensive.
  8.  Speaking of pets, we have a family tradition of naming our dogs after songs or singers. This came about by accident when I decided to name my German Shepherd puppy after George Harrison’s first wife, Pattie Boyd. Since then, we’ve had names such as Dylan, (Bob) Maggie (Maggie May), and Penny (Penny Lane). We don’t follow the same naming convention for our cats, but we once named one after a baseball player.
  9.  One of my pet peeves (of which I have many) is people who can’t park straight or park too close to the line.
  10.  In the early 1970s, my brother and I buried a piece of his pottery on our family property with the hope that some future generation would discover it and wonder about life in twentieth century America.

Joan and Hubby

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Author Joan Hall

Joan Hall has always enjoyed reading or listening to stories about inexplicable events, so it’s not surprising she writes mystery and romantic suspense. A lover of classic rock music, songs often serve as the inspiration for her books.

When she’s not writing, Joan likes to observe the night skies, explore old cemeteries, and learn about legends and folklore. She and her husband live in Texas with their two cats. Learn more about Joan at her website, http://JoanHall.net.

Buy All of Joan’s Books HERE

Reach Joan on Social Media Here:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Bookbub  |  Goodreads  |  Instagram