An Update on #ShareAReviewDay

I know I said I was going to be resuming #ShareAReviewDay starting tomorrow, 1/7, but I was a bit over-optimistic. I’m still trying to catch up with a ton of stuff, while trying to pace myself by not over-doing. And my local presentations are starting up again this coming Saturday, so I’m not totally organized yet.

Okay, who am I kidding? I’m never totally organized! But I’m usually closer to it than I am right now. With that thought in mind, I’m going to resume #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays (one of my favorite regular features) on Tuesday, 1/21, and I’ve already got one review set up for that morning. I like to do two per Tuesday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and it’s always on a first-come, first served basis.

If one of your books has gotten a new review you’d like to share, or you have an older review you’d like to get in front of some new readers, please check the instructions in the header above under “General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions.” All you have to do is email me the things listed there, and I’ll set you up in the next available slot. (The first one to reach out to me gets the afternoon slot for 1/21!)

Be forewarned: When I don’t get enough reviews from you guys, I start sharing my own.  😀 

I hope to hear from a few of you in the next week or two, so I can start scheduling you. Let’s let everyone see what readers are saying about your books! 

Now, back to your previously scheduled programming.
😀

#Goodbye2019 and #Hello2020 #Updates

Glory be! As I take a look back over 2019, one thing stands out to me above all else. In spite of new health issues, a serious fall, and a jam-packed schedule, I managed to end the year still standing! (And still crazy, after all these years!) Yep. I’m here, I’m mostly healed up again, and while I’m glad to see the backside of 2019,  I’m eager to tackle 2020 with optimism and hope, ready for the adventures that lie ahead. Hope you guys are, as well.  

On the blogging front, I’m also ready to start resuming many of my regular features. I think I will bring them “online” one at a time, and I’m going to start with #FirstLineFriday this week. If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s pretty simple. I give you a famous first line and you EMAIL me with your guess as to the book it opens. The first five correct answers win a download of any of my books. Sometimes, we have an author offering a free download of one of their books as an additional prize choice. The full details can be found in the header above by clicking on General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions. Tune in Friday at 8:00 EST for this fun challenge (which ends at NOON), and don’t forget, it’s about more than winning a prize. It’s a chance to study some of the best opening lines out there, and learn ways to improve our own. Hope to see you there.

Next week, I will bring back #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays. Full instructions for that are in the same link mentioned above. If you have a new or favorite review you’d like to share here, email me with the items listed in the header bar above, and I’ll set up your post and schedule it. I only do two per Tuesday, morning and afternoon, to maximize exposure time, and I set these up in the order in which I receive the requests. I’ll notify you via email as to the date your post will be going live so you can check it out (to be sure I didn’t make any errors) AND respond to comments on your review. Looking forward to getting this one going again!

I will also be adding some new features over the weeks ahead, and will be continuing my #MondayMeme feature (memes about writing/reading/books) and #ThorsdaySmile (memes about anything I find amusing). So, stay tuned for things to get back to normal around here. Or as normal as it’s ever been, anyway. 😀 

Don’t forget, you are also welcome to email me about promos, new releases and other news you’d like to share. If possible, we’ll help you get the word out. That’s what this blog is all about. Authors helping authors.

And last, on top of the blogging and my newly revised and SUPER busy schedule of local events, I’m planning to–wait for it!–write another book!!! Yes. The writer in me is dying to get out, and so happy to be working on something new. So, be forewarned: Jake, Dodger, and Azrael are about to have another adventure as I get going on The Emissary 3. And when it’s done and out in eBook format, I will combine these three novellas into a set and publish them in print, too. 

SO! Lots to do in the next twelve months. Roll on, 2020! I’m ready for ya!

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4 

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody 

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love 

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:
The Write Stuff
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter: @marciameara

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Twigs in my Hair by Cynthia Reyes

This afternoon, I’d like to welcome Cynthia Reyes to The Write Stuff,  with a lovely review/article about her gardening book, Twigs in my Hair. As a gardener, myself, I’m definitely going to be checking this one out. Hope you’ll enjoy this wonderful and thoughtful review, and will remember to share this on all your favorite social media sites. Thanks! 

hermitsdoor

A common Post-Enlightenment concept is that occupations have an art and science to them.  As a therapist, sometimes I approach an intervention from the science side, using the concept of evidence-based practice to guide the rehabilitation process.  Biological, neurological, or psychological theories set the pace of therapy.  At other times, I rely on the art of practice, usually when it comes to engaging and motivating a client to utilize the science.  I view gardening much the same way.  Ask me about soil health and I’ll give your two hour lecture on the benefits of fungus.  Then again, don’t ask me.  Let just take a stroll in the garden, enjoy the view, and I’ll show you some really cool mushrooms along the way.  That is the art of gardening.

I do find that gardeners do tend to fall into either the artists or the scientists when it comes to their occupation of growing.  In our region, if you ask someone if they keep a garden, that means that they grow a vegetable garden, in other words, they are scientist about growing food.  On the other hand, the artists have flowers.  Inevitably, the gardeners run the law mower that keeps the flowers in their bed, and the artists complain about the mowing that destroys those Spring Beauties and Forget-Me-Nots that runs free through the pastures of law.  Though animal husbandry is not in the discussion, the legend of Cane and Able plays out when artists set designs on the garden, and gardeners try to establish boundaries which nature ignores

A couple of weeks ago, a writer/blogger friend, Cynthia Reyes, sent an e-mail requesting to verify my address.  A new book was on its way (full disclosure, she figured that she would just send me a complementary copy to read as she knew that I would write a review, hence I am typing now).  A few days later, Twigs in My Hair, A Gardening Memoir arrived in our mail box.  I had just finished reading a volume on the biology of soil health (aka science), thus an artist tome about gardening was welcome.

You may recall, Cynthia is a writer of memoirs, A Good Home and An Honest House.  Twigs in my Hair is the gardening companion to these other recollections and reflections on life.  While the prior memoirs focused more on personal history in the context of the dwellings that Cynthia has occupied, Twigs in my Hair expands on the gardens (vegetable and flower) which provide the environments surrounding those structures and events.

Cynthia embodies that art of gardening.  Her husband, Hamlin, is the scientist of tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  I wonder if they combine their skills in the kitchen, or play out a Montague-and-Capulet rivalry with knifes, cutting boards, scissors and vases.  I think I shall wait out on the veranda for tea to be served.

Cynthia’s writing style is a delight to read.  Each chapter covers an aspect of gardening, flowers, design, vegetable, cooking, critters, fences and arbors.  More importantly, in Cynthia’s view, each chapter covers an aspect of living, magic, discovery, patience, and relationships.  Gardening is not merely about plants, it is about living.

“At church, at school, and especially at our dinner table, my sisters and I obeyed the rules and followed the belief of the adults around us.  But when we were together, alone, we lived by the rules of our own world, complete with magical flowers.”  Ah, the secret gardens of children and companions.

“Gardening, however, is much more than growing pretty flowers and nutritious vegetables.  Gardening forces us to consider how we live with nature.

“If you garden, and especially if you garden in the countryside, you will sooner or later find yourself clashing with the wild creatures that share our planet”  Ah, the bucolic garden besieged by bunnies!

“But let us not dwell on failures.  A new spring is a time of hope.  hope that the long winter is past, and that the summer will be heaven.  Hope that the garden season will be joyous, with just enough sunshine and just enough rain, and not too many aphids, cabbageworms, earwigs, or mosquitoes.” Ah, the seasons governing our time and moods and aspirations.

The Fall Harvest is currently is full swing with too many tasks that beg for time: picking, canning, cleaning garden beds, putting hay and manure form the goat barn down.  But, Winter will be here soon enough.  Be sure the order your copy of Twigs in my Hair now.  You will have time to read it on a cold, Winter’s day, or dark Winter’s night.  Let your mind winder to next Spring’s garden design or seed catalogues for discovering some new vegetables.

I do know of a garden that Cynthia and Hamlin have not visited.  Maybe next Spring we can stroll.  I may have to take two laps.  With Cynthia, I shall share the magic of flowers and winding pathways of life.  Hamlin and I shall take about the value of fungus on vegetable health and nutrition.  I suggest they stay out of the kitchen and enjoy the view from the deck until tea is served.

BLURB:

AUTHOR CYNTHIA REYES returns with Twigs in My Hair, a book about her lifelong passion for gardens and nature and the surprising relationships and events involved. Gorgeous photographs by Hamlin Grange complement a humorous and profound story. Readers will meet a variety of interesting creatures, both human and animal, some of whom compete for gardening produce or gardening glory. A beautiful gift for gardeners and non-gardeners. 

You may conclude, after reading Twigs in My Hair, that the gardener’s love for growing things swings from reverence to mania. But there is also a deeply emotional side to this story about what happens when a passionate gardener can no longer do what she loves.

Buy Twigs in my Hair HERE


Author Cynthia Reyes

CYNTHIA REYES, author of A Good Home, An Honest House and co-author with lauren Reyes-Grange of the children’s books Myrtle the Purple Turtle, Myrtle’s Game and Myrtle Makes a New Friend, returns to the gardens she loves with Twigs in My Hair – A Gardening Memoir.

A former television journalist, producer-director and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Cynthia has also written feature stories for national and international publications. 

Twigs in My Hair is a collaboration between Cynthia and her husband HAMLIN GRANGE, whose photographic images provide a visual record of the gardens he and Cynthia have loved. 

Hamlin is a former journalist with Contrast Newspaper and the Toronto Star, spent most of his career in television as a reporter and TV presenter for Global News, TVO, and CBC Television, and now owns DiversiPro Inc., his consulting firm. For Hamlin, photography is a valued creative outlet. 

Cynthia and Hamlin live in a small town in Ontario, Canada. They have two beloved daughters and sons-in-law.

AWARDS

Cynthia Reyes’ books have all been highly acclaimed and two have won awards.Twigs in My Hair was a Number 1 New Release in its category on both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca and on Kindle. All Cynthia’s books have been Amazon bestsellers.

Her second memoir, An Honest House, won the Diamond Award for Book of the Year and her children’s book, Myrtle the Purple Turtle, won a Purple Dragonfly Award.

In her earlier career in the media, Cynthia received The Children’s Broadcast Institute Award, The Trailblazer Award, The (CBC) President’s Award, and The Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television. 

Cynthia was also honoured with The African Canadian Achievement Award for career achievements and community work, and has recently been inducted into the Order of Jamaica, Commander Level, for her work to improve the quality of international journalism.

Find Cynthia on Social Media here:

Amazon Author’s Page
Blog
Facebook
Twitter: @CynthiaSReyes

 

 

 

 

 

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – TheGlade by Harmony Kent

So happy to get back into the swing of things with a wonderful–and wonderfully funny–review of Harmony Kent’s apparently very scary book, The Glade. This is the kind of review most of us would love to get, and I know you’ll enjoy reading it. I did! Please pass it along far and wide so the rest of social media can enjoy it, too. Thanks!


The Very Scary Book Cover!

REVIEW:

Colm Herron
5.0 out of  5 stars
This book scared the pants off of me

(i) I didn’t enjoy this book
(ii) I highly recommend it
(iii) I didn’t enjoy it because it scared the pants off of me
(iv) This author, Harmony Kent, the lady who wrote The Glade, has a lovely charming face. I saw it. There’s a kind of kindness about it too … something good and wholesome
(v) And then you start to read The Glade and discover what goes on behind that charming face. You’ll be drawn into a plot that will probably frighten you half to death. Helen and her husband Geoff get away from stress (ha!) by renting an idyllic country cottage and that’s how they discover the glade
(vi) Ah yes, the glade. Don’t go there. It’s terrifying enough to read about it. No need to go there. Better not
(vii) Did I tell you that Geoff gets murdered and Helen gets blamed? No? Well, I’m telling you now. And her friends rally round. As well as her enemies. But which are which? That’s the question: which are which?
(vii) I’ve given away too much. And the little cottage in Donegal that my wife and I were planning on renting for two weeks next summer …. well, I’ll have to think about that.

BLURB:

“Readers who like to curl up during the long winter evenings and feel the delicious chill of fear running up and down their spines need only turn to The Glade to have all their expectations fulfilled.

“The Glade is a horror story in the mould of Stephen King, and rendered the more so by its faint echoes of Pet Cemetery and the even stronger resonance of the pervasive malignancy of It.”—Review by Brian O’Hare

This gripping, edge-of-your-seat mystery/thriller will have you thinking twice about booking that idyllic cottage in the country. Nothing in this woodland paradise within the Forest of Dean is what it seems. 

The Wenstrops have it all: health, wealth, and happiness. Until everything falls apart. Helen gets arrested for murder, and yet is either unable or unwilling to give a defence. During her detention, vital evidence goes missing and tensions run high.

Meanwhile, in the woods, malignant forces gather power. 

This sensational second novel by acclaimed author Harmony Kent will have you alternately laughing, crying, and gripping the edge of your seat as this roller-coaster ride of a plot unfolds. It will keep you guessing through its many twists and turns, and hijack your attention right up until you turn the final page. This book has it all: murder, intrigue, the supernatural, a broken marriage, a love affair, courage against impossible odds, suspense, and high drama. 

“Expertly written, the book keeps you guessing at every turn. What can I say? You really have to read this book … if you’re brave enough!”—Review by Fantasy Queen

The Glade is an IndieB.R.A.G.Medallion honoree, and an Official Selection for the New Apple Book Awards 2015.

Praise for Harmony Kent: 

“Kent gives the reader mystery, intrigue, sex, action and characters risking their lives for a greater good. Kent’s writing is an immersive experience.” T. Dewhirst (Rabid Reviews) 

“With a very contemporary voice, Ms. Kent has found a place in this genre as she easily entertains and captures the reader…” J. Malinoski 

“Kent…is a master of her craft. There is magic in her writing.” J. Brooke 

Buy The Glade HERE


Author Harmony Kent

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Find Harmony on Social Media here:

Website | Story Empire (co-authored) | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads
Twitter: @harmony_kent
LinkedIn: Harmony

 

 

 

#ShareAReviewDay – THE PRINCE’S MAN by Deborah Jay

While Marcia is ensconced in her writing cave, I thought I’d hijack #ShareAReviewDay with the latest review for the opening novel in my Five Kingdoms epic fantasy series, THE PRINCE’S MAN.

I’ve had a tough few weeks (months, really), and this lovely review helped lift my spirits:

REVIEW:
D. W. Peach
5.0 out of 5 stars  Wonderfully written
September 24, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and skillfully-written fantasy novel. I was particularly taken with the tight narrative, not a wasted scene or conversation, every word counting as the story unfolded. This contributed to a quick pace and complimented the well-considered plot that comes together with a satisfying ending. Though the first in a series, The Prince’s Man can also be read as a stand-alone.

All that good stuff, and then there’s more… the characters are fabulous, deeply flawed and sympathetic at the same time. The relationship between Rustam and Risada takes center stage. There are hints of a romantic attraction but the reader is saved from moon eyes and heaving chests by a very real tension based on past experiences, current loyalties, and objectives. Despite being allies, there’s a lot of loathing going on here. I love that.

Elves, trolls, and were-cats throw the story into the classic fantasy genre and are integral to the plot and underlying theme of the book. The political machinations are realistic enough to be recognizable today. Prejudices, bigotry, genocide, and beliefs in cultural superiority are alive and well in her world-building. The characters are forced to revisit their worldviews, but just like in real life, they will only open their eyes so wide. And Jay doesn’t hold back on the brutality.

I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series and seeing what happens to the two main characters as well as a host of others who intrigued me no end. Recommended for anyone who loves a good fantasy.

Available at most outlets HERE Continue reading

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Twenty Years: After I Do by D. G. Kaye

This afternoon, let’s welcome D. G. Kaye (alias Debby Geis) back to The Write Stuff with a new review of her memoir, Twenty Years: After I Do.  I know you’ll enjoy this one, and will be happy to pass it along to all and sundry on your social media lists. Thanks so much for helping Debby get the word out!


Available on all the Amazons HERE

REVIEW:

Lauren Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars A Memoir On Love and Marriage: Love Without Limits
August 20, 2019
Verified Purchase

DG Kaye beautifully chronicles twenty years of her marriage and along the way encapsulates the heart of unconditional love amid life’s challenges. What I loved so much was her honest retelling of those years, both good and challenging. I found myself nodding again and again while I read as she honed into what the fundamental requirements were to maintain a healthy relationship. Respect, laughter, intimacy and patience are the cornerstones of a solid foundation that can withstand the trials of daily living. This is, or should be required reading for anyone in a relationship whether married or in a partnership. The author touched on so many issues that impact all relationships. This novel is a keeper and one I will return to over and over again. I extend a heartfelt thank you to the author for her candor and the gift to all of us for this remarkable book. Continue reading

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Soul Swallowers: The Shattered Sea Book 1 by D. Wallace Peach

Please welcome our first guest today, D. Wallace Peach, who is sharing a great review of her novel, Soul Swallowers: The Shattered Sea Book 1. (I’ve read both Book 1 and Book 2 myself, and can attest to how good they are!) I know you’ll enjoy this review, and will remember to share it far and wide. Thanks!

REVIEW:
Mae Clair
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantasy Masterpiece!
July 25, 2018

Not only does D. Wallace Peach create phenomenal worlds, but she knows how to dish political intrigue with the best of them. In Soul Swallowers, the reader is immediately immersed into a fantastical world of royal hierarchies, caste systems, and a blending of the spiritual and physical as related to souls. The idea that someone can swallow the soul of another and inherit personality traits and skills from the deceased is utterly brilliant. There is very little in this world and carefully crafted tale that doesn’t pass for brilliance.

The central character, Raze, is born into privilege and power but turns his back on his societal status due to tragedy. One of the elements that made this book so appealing for me is the extensive cast of characters. This is Raze’s tale, but it’s also the tale of many others, each who have distinct stories of their own (including some thoroughly reprehensible villains).

Peach introduces numerous players whose lives eventually intertwine with each other and Raze. I was in awe of the political scheming and the multi-layered plot which is stitched as tightly as can be. You won’t find any holes here, but you will find superior writing, characterizations, and twists and turns that will have you swiping pages long into the night. The writing is at times lyrical, others grim, but always extraordinarily vivid. D. Wallace Peach has an uncanny ability to place a reader thoroughly in a scene by weaving word-spells with her descriptions. Lovely, lovely incantations of words. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year. I am so glad book two, Legacy of Souls is already available for pre-order. I’m headed there now! Continue reading

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair

This morning, I have the great pleasure of welcoming Mae Clair to The Write Stuff. Mae is sharing a review of her book, Eclipse Lake, and I know you’ll enjoy it. Hope you’ll check it out on Amazon, and will also pass this post along on your social media. Thanks!

REVIEW:

Intriguing Family Dynamic
5 Stars ~ Christina Thompson

As a fan of Mae Clair’s other novels, I was not disappointed with Eclipse Lake. I enjoyed her vivid description of the sleepy town near Eclipse Lake. Although I liked the mystery and suspense, I loved the family dynamic even more. I’m a sappy sucker for a man with a healthy relationship with his son. The funny banter and touching interactions of the Carlisle Clan (Dane, Jesse, & Jonah) made me laugh and cry. Ms. Clair has done a superb job delving deep into the many levels of the Carlisle family. 5-Stars!!

BLURB:

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors a long-buried secret.

PURCHASE Eclipse Lake  FROM AMAZON

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
BookBub | Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Been Looking for YOU! Wanna Share a New or Special Review?

 

Hi, Guys!

You might have noticed there are NO #ShareAReviewDay posts today. Sorry, but I haven’t received any new requests lately, and ran out of those I’d already scheduled. If you have a review you’d like me to share, full instructions are in the header bar at the top of the page, under “General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions.”

I happen to have a couple lined up for next Tuesday, but after that, it’s wide open. Let me know if you’d like to participate, send me the required items, and I’ll take care of the rest, on a first come-first served basis.

Looking forward to hearing from some of you. Thanks!

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – That Darkest Place by Marcia Meara

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that when I have an afternoon opening in my #ShareAReviewDay schedule, I fill the spot with a review of one of my own books. Guess what? Yep, it happened again today, so I’m sharing a wonderful review of my 3rd Riverbend novel, That Darkest Place. Hope you’ll enjoy it and will pass it  along to  all your friends on social media. The Painter brothers will thank you for it, and so will I. ❤

REVIEW:

Alex Craigie rated a book 5 Stars
Goodreads Review

That Darkest Place is the third of Marcia Meara’s books in the Riverbend series.  I recommend reading them in published order so as not to come across spoilers – and I’m pretty confident that once you’ve read one, like me you’ll want to read the others!

This book picked up from where the second left off and tells the story of the two older Painter brothers, Jackson and Forrest. There’s intrigue and danger running through it but the biggest and greatest part of the plotline for me concerns the relationships between the characters. Marcia has a special talent for revealing the uncertainties and inner feelings of her protagonists in a way with which her readers can readily identify.

At the heart of the book is the subject of how people move on after tragedy strikes and the often dangerous, ill-considered assumptions made by those around them. Two of the characters have suffered severe physical and emotional damage that has left them feeling unable to interact socially. Their powerful portrayal creates such real and believable personas that you’re swept along with them, feeling their suffering and praying that they’ll overcome the obstacles before them.

Marcia has done her homework and the medical and psychological backgrounds feel real and grounded; there’s no instant solution. However, the book isn’t doom and gloom at all. As always, there’s plenty of wit and humour running through the plotline – even in the tender love scenes which capture the spark of passion, the fear of rejection and the joy in finding a soulmate.

This book has all you need for a captivating read. Buy it! Continue reading