#ReblogAlert – Author Teri Polen’s Review of Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

Yesterday morning, I had a great surprise: Teri Polen posted a fantastic review of my 3rd Wake-Robin Ridge novel, Harbinger. This book features the  Appalachian legend of the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck as he’s called in the mountains. If you see Ol’ Shuck, it means someone you know (or perhaps you, yourself) is going to die, and there’s not going to be much you can do about it. At least, so the legends insist. 

My heartfelt thanks to Teri for sharing her thoughts on this one, and I hope you’ll stop by her blog to check out what she had to say. Here’s the link for you:
Teri Polen’s Review of Harbinger

You can Buy Harbinger HERE

#ReblogAlert – Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up

As always, I’m delighted to pass along Sally Cronin’s jam-packed Weekly Round-Up post. It’s always a pleasure to share these vastly entertaining and amusing posts, and I highly recommend you stop by to check this one out. Even if you’ve visited a few times this week, there’s bound to be something you missed. Take a look, and enjoy! 🙂

You can read Sally’s Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up post HERE.

And that’s all for now, folks! Have a great weekend!

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire


Another week filled with great stuff on #StoryEmpire. Be sure to check out these terrific posts!

MONDAY: D. L. Finn’s post on Writing and Our Health is wonderful! If you’ve suffered stiffness, back issues, poor circulation, or overall fatigue from too many hours at the computer, she has some great suggestions for you! You can read her post HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Craig Boyack has a terrifically interesting post today that I think many of you will enjoy. Check out A Trick That Works for some fun and helpful tips on changing up your writing environment. You can read his post HERE.

FRIDAY: Staci Troilo’s post today is entitled Words of Wisdom, and that’s just what it is. Some fantastic quotes here that really make you stop and think. You can read Staci’s post HERE.

And there you have it folks! See? I told you it was great stuff! 😀

#ReblogAlert – Good Stuff from Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog

It always makes me happy to share Sally’s weekly update posts. They are crammed full of everything she’s shared during the previous week, and there’s always, always something for everyone included. Stop by and take a look, even if you’ve visited during the week. It’s quite likely you’ve missed a few goodies. You can read this week’s Smorgasbord Weekly Round-Up HERE.

#ReblogAlert – Good Stuff From #StoryEmpire

Some great posts from the wonderfully talented folks at #StoryEmpire this week. If you haven’t already stopped by, here’s what’s been going on:

MONDAY:  Is Your Writing a Business or a Hobby? by Mae Clair. You definitely need to check this one out, especially if keeping track of expenses and how you should be handling your taxes, etc, is a foreign concept you haven’t quite grasped yet. VERY helpful post! You can read Mae’s post HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Show, Don’t Tell by Gwen Plano. This beautifully done post from Gwen struck a real chord with me, as she reminds us that memories are tricky issues and photographs can prove yours might not be as accurate as your recollections would have you think. Good advice here, and some touching photos, too. You can read Gwen’s post HERE.

FRIDAY: Don’t Talk Like That: How to Write Good Dialogue – Tags & Beats: by Harmony Kent. Harmony takes another look at how to write dialogue properly, focusing on beats and tags. This is a real problem area for many writers, and her examples and suggestions are right on target. You’ll definitely want to read Harmony’s post and can do so HERE.

And that concludes my new Friday feature, recapping a great week on #StoryEmpire.  Hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did.

#EditorWars – #BlockEditor vs #ClassicEditor

Did you wake up yesterday morning to find your blog world turned upside down by a sneak attack during the night? I did. And let me tell you, I spent one awful day trying to figure out what to do about it. Gone was the page where I could choose between the Classic WordPress Editor I’ve used for way more than a decade and the Block Editor, which I loathe. Yep. In its place was the “new and improved” (read “hot mess, totally ruined for my purposes”) Block Editor. Yes, I know they said we’d have the option of using the Classic Editor “at least” until 2022. Alas. It had disappeared.

Now, granted, I probably should have spent some time learning how to use the Block Editor, just in case such as this transpired. At least I would have known a bit about which things I could no longer do. (Of which, there are several.) But I kept putting it off, because I knew in my heart I’d be disappointed in what they were planning to do. 

Sure enough, I was utterly dismayed. I can add colored blocks of text, yes, should I want to do that, but I soon discovered every single new paragraph is a block of its own. If you, like me, want to make yours easier to read by changing the front from gray to black, making it Bold, and possibly even making  it larger, you are left with one option: format every single paragraph separately. No “Select All” available anywhere that I could find.

Now this isn’t a huge deal for a shortish blog post, but I also have a private beta blog where we share full chapters of our WIPS. Some of these are more than 3,000 words, and they have lots and lots of paragraphs, especially if there’s very much dialogue. Have you any idea how long it took to individually format 60 paragraphs? A chapter share that normally takes me under ten minutes to post went to almost 2 hours by the time I’d figured it all out. 

Needless to say, yesterday was spent with me tearing out my hair, shaking my fist at the sky, and cursing in multiple languages. (Okay, I only speak English, but I’m fluent in Southernese, which includes many, many varieties of swearing.) 

And THEN I chanced upon a commenter on John W. Howell’s blog post who had an answer. It was EASY. It was QUICK. And it was a SANITY SAVER! Thank you, Dale at A Dalectable Life, for helping me get back the page wherein I still have the option between Classic and Block editors. I don’t know how long it will last, but for now, it’s working perfectly. 

And for those of you who have been as frustrated as I, here is how you do it:

  1. Open your WP blog, click on your face (or whatever image you use) in the circle at the top right in the black bar. (Right beside the bell.)
  2. Once you have clicked there, it will bring you to your Profile. On the left side, choose Account Settings.
  3. Scroll down until you get to Interface Settings and see the slide bar under Dashboard Settings.
  4. Click on that to turn it off.
  5.  Scroll down below the Colour Options and Click on Save.

Then, you will have the same admin page as before this mess occurred. You can once again (as you used to do) click on “All Posts “ and at the top of that page, click on  “Add New and choose Classic from the drop down menu.

Voila! Options returned and all is as it was!

Thanks to Dale for her help, and good luck to each of you who were anywhere near as upset as I was yesterday.


#ReblogAlert #Sharing – Two Great Posts

Today, I have two great #StoryEmpire posts to share with you. The first is a very timely look at insensitivity in writing by John W. Howell. I know you’ll want to head on over to read this one. Check out John’s post HERE.

The second share today is a wonderful post from Joan Hall on research. Do you love it or hate it? Check out Joan’s post HERE.

Hope you enjoy both of these as much as I did! If so, I know John and Joan will love hearing from you.

#ReblogAlert – Two Great Posts to Take a Look At!

Sharing two great posts with you today. First, Staci Troilo’s final post in her Vonnegut’s Basic Plots series: Good News Bad News. This has been a super series, and you don’t want to miss this last segment!

Read Staci’s Post HERE

And the second post comes from John W. Howell, who is running a 3-day sale on his book, Eternal Road, the final stop. Great bargain for a great book. Head on over and check out this deal!

Read About John’s Sale HERE

#GuestDayTuesday – Eternal Road The final stop by John W. Howell

I am so pleased to have Samantha Tourneau and James Wainwright, the principal characters in John W. Howell’s Paranormal Suspense novel Eternal Road – The final stop on my blog today. Their interview will be kicking off what I plan to be a return to #GuestDayTuesday, a regular feature that I hope to run every other Tuesday. More on that another time, but for now, let’s welcome Sam and James to The Write Stuff. Before we begin, let me tell you folks that Eternal Road – the final stop can be found here. Now, take it away, Sam and James!

“Thank you, Marcia. James and I are pleased to be with you today.”


“Yes, Marcia. Sam said it beautifully. It is a pleasure to be here.”


“When John told us we’d be visiting you, it was almost painful to have to wait for this day.”


ME: “Thank you, James and Sam. Let’s jump into the first question. How did it feel to play dead people in John’s novel?


“Wow, that’s a good one. Let me take a crack at how I felt. You okay with that, James?”




“Okay. It might be interesting for those who haven’t read the book to know that my character was abducted at seven years old and murdered. I needed to play someone who had been dead for quite a while since the story timeline is seventeen years later. All this time, my character got used to being dead and, in fact, used the time to study almost everything there was to study. I would say playing someone that smart was rewarding, even if dead. James?”


“It took me a while to get into the swing of things. I had been killed in an accident and didn’t even remember it. I did feel a little sorry for the character because he was driving across the country to start the first job. I think playing a person in that condition was a little sad at first but became rather normal after a while.”


ME: While you were playing your parts, did any individual moment pop out as a memory you would cherish?


“Sam, let me take this one first since I believe I know the moment you would mention.”


“Go for it.”


“There is a scene in the book where James is a Captain in the army and is making a landing on Omaha Beach during World War Two. He is placed in the scene by Lucifer and has no experience leading men and especially men, in combat. By the men’s reaction to the guy whose place he took, it was obvious he was not well-liked. James does a terrific job leading his troops ashore. He is then held in high esteem by the tough sergeant. The look on the sergeant’s face when thanking the captain for saving them is priceless. Sam?”


“My memory is the scene where I visit my mom. I had been missing for seventeen years, and I wanted her to know that I was all right. She had a hard time accepting the fact that I was no longer alive and that right then would be the last time we would be able to hold each other. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.”


ME: I can imagine that would be heartbreaking, Sam. Sounds like a powerful scene. Since you mentioned him, James, my next question relates to Lucifer. Very seldom do we read books where there is a contemporary devil. What was he like?”


“OMG. He was unlike anyone we had met before. When he wanted something, he was handsome and carried himself as if he was an aristocrat. He was very knowledgeable about the current world and knew exactly what he wanted from both of us.”


“In addition to what Sam said, he was ruthless and evil as we have all believed over the years. We only saw his true appearance once, but that was enough to know we never wanted to see him again.”


ME: “Sounds terrifying. What did he want? Yes, James.”


“He was after my soul. He knew he couldn’t convince Sam to jump ship. After all, she had spent a good amount of time in paradise. I was a newbie, and I think he thought I was someone he could corrupt. If I had turned, that would have been a victory for him over God.”


“He tried to put James in the middle of a situation where his choice was to save mankind or his soul.”


ME: Now, that sounds like a no-win situation. I have to assume it worked out. You two did a bunch of time traveling in this book. What was the most exciting place and time you visited?


“James, you can go first.

“No, that’s okay. You go ahead.”


“Okay. My favorite place was when we ended up at the Alamo just days before the big battle. It was exciting to see the mission as it originally stood. Anticipation filled the air with everyone getting ready for the attack by the Mexican soldiers. It was there we got a message from one of Lucifer’s agents to give him a call. Your turn James.”


“Thanks. I think Marcia’s readers would like to know that Lucifer’s phone number is 666 and his assistant’s name is Ms. Harpy.”


“Yeah, don’t remind me of that hateful woman.”


“My favorite place was in the future. The year was 3539, and we visited a spot that was where Las Vegas used to be. We thought we had traveled to a different planet but were amazed to learn we were still on Earth. I thought the whole idea that artificial intelligence had eliminated humankind was fascinating.”


ME: Humankind gone? That must have been a shock. One last question. What do you think the book’s message is or, if not a message, the central theme? Yes, James?”


“Some different messages play out in the story, but in my mind, the central theme is more important. There is a distinct conflict between good and evil that would lead one to believe that Eternal Road is a religious novel. However, if it were publicized that way, many readers would be disappointed since sexual and human-like situations in the book might cause the very religious a little discomfort as they would be expecting an absence of those things. It is more accurate to label the central theme of the book as spiritualism. The core belief is the spirit of humankind does not die with the body but is allowed to grow and develop until fully actualized and in the creator’s presence. This concept embraces the idea of eternal life but takes it a few steps further. Sam, you have any thoughts?”


“Yes, I do. While the spirit is allowed to grow and develop, there may be opportunities to revisit Earth to help others transition to the eternal side. The key to all of this is the spirit can make choices on how their Eternal life will look.”


ME: Well, all this is fascinating, and we could probably talk for hours, but the old word count is getting to that point that we should let it go for another day. It has been a pleasure having you two here today. Whoops, one last thing. Is John working on a sequel?”


“It has been a pleasure being with you, Marcia. Thanks for having us. John is working on a sequel, and he has Sam and I out on the Eternal Road looking for a soul and a guide that went missing. It seems no one knows what happened, but figure Lucifer is up to something.”


ME: “Sounds like it might be fun! And thanks so much for being my guests today.”


Buy Eternal Road The final stop HERE

Author John W. Powell

After an extensive business career, John is an award-winning author who began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John on Social Media here:


Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/ 

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell