#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:

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

Schedule Change & a Bit of Catching Up #amwriting

A Full House in the Little Classroom of the Enterprise Museum
(a restored 1930s schoolhouse that’s utterly charming!)

Good Morning, Everyone! Hope your week has been as eventful and productive as mine, and that you are looking forward to the upcoming one. I know I am! That’s because I’m taking a week off from blogging to focus on the last two chapters of my WIP. Yep. I’m down to the Showdown and Resolution chapters, and very much looking forward to wrapping this long overdue book up. I need to get it “out there” so I can tell the next story rambling around in my head. 

With this in mind, my normal weekly features (#ShareAReviewDay and #FirstLineFriday, along with the less regular #MondayMeme, and #ThorsDaySmiles) will be MIA for a week, but don’t worry. Everything will be back to normal (such as that is around here) by Monday, October 7. While away, I will check in daily, of course, and take care of comments or questions, but mostly, I’ll be buried in the final moments of Rabbit’s latest adventure. I will, of course, update you here as soon as I have this one ready to go. There will be a cover reveal, and I’m even going to get smart and set it up for pre-order. (As soon as I learn how.)

Now, as to the picture at the top of the page, that’s from yesterday’s Autumn Tea at the Enterprise Museum, with a somewhat stern looking me chatting to our guests. Not sure why it looks like I’m scolding them, but I promise, I was merely  giving the group of 35 or so the very first public look at my new cover. (I’ve edited the picture so that I can keep it a surprise from the rest of the world until the “Official Cover Reveal.” But these people have been begging me for weeks and weeks for news on the release, and I figured if I didn’t give them some proof it was actually going to happen, things were going to get ugly. 😀 ) Continue reading

#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Today’s Quiz.

For two weeks in a row, our list of winners for our #FirstLineFriday quiz is very short. Like, none. 😦 I’m really sorry no one guessed this one. I hate it when I can’t give away any books. But there’s always next time, and besides, you did get to take a look at a pretty darn intriguing first line. Hopefully, this quiz has you thinking about how to start your next book.

Since I’ve not read this one myself, though I’ve always meant to, I don’t have any pithy comments about the book, but I do have some interesting info to share below. But first, the answer you’ve been wracking your brains over.

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” is the opening line of 1967’s The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

Buy The Outsiders HERE

Interesting (and INSPIRING) Tidbits for you:

Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel but did most of the work when she was 16 and a junior in high school. She was just 18 when the book was published. The 1983 movie starred a veritable cornucopia of young (at the time) Hollywood talent:

C. Thomas Howell
Matt Dillon
Ralph Macchio
Patrick Swayze
Rob Lowe
Diane Lane
Emilio Estevez
Tom Cruise
Leif Garrett


50 years of an iconic classic! This international bestseller and inspiration for a beloved movie is a heroic story of friendship and belonging.

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

The Outsiders is a dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. S. E. Hinton’s classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published.

The Outsiders transformed young-adult fiction from a genre mostly about prom queens, football players and high school crushes to one that portrayed a darker, truer world.” —The New York Times

“Taut with tension, filled with drama.” —The Chicago Tribune

“[A] classic coming-of-age book.” —Philadelphia Daily News

New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Book
Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Winner of the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award

I have a suspicion that while you may or may not have read the book, many of you have probably seen this movie. It is still being shown on various film channels to this day.

So there you have it for this week. And a HEADS UP: I am planning to devote next week to finishing my current WIP, so I won’t be running my usual weekly features, but it will all return the following week. So, no #FirstLineFriday on October 4, but if the bridge don’t go, an’ the creek don’t rise, as they say down here, it will be back on October 11 with a new teaser for you. See you then! 

#FirstLineFriday – #GiveawayContest #FreeEBookDownloads

Can’t believe it’s Friday again and time for you to dig down deep into your memories to see if you can pull up the correct title for today’s opening line.  I’m making no predictions of any sort about this one, since my track record in that regard has been less than stellar. But I hope you enjoy seeing another first line that made the top 100 lists several times. And I also hope this time, some of you guess correctly. Please take a look at the rules, then email me if you think you’ve got it. Feel free to take a guess. 

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at noon, with the title and author of the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog. Email only: marciameara16@gmail.com
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at noon, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S. may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewhere may request a PDF or Mobi file of the same books, since Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

Now, without further ado, here is your #FirstLineFriday quiz of the week:

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

You can probably tell from this line that the book was NOT written in the 1800s. Other than that, I’m not going to divulge any clues. But good luck, everybody. I’d love to give away some books this week! 🙂

#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


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!

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Jazz, Winter Soups, Chocolate, New books, reviews and funnies

Another of my favorite weekly round-up posts, this time by Sally Cronin of Smorgasbord blog. What a busy week Sally had! Hope you’ll stop by and check it out, because I can pretty much guarantee there’s something for everyone here, from laughs to recipes to you-name-it. Be sure to pass it along, too, thanks. And as always, my thanks to Sally for making it easy for me to find all the goodies she posted over the last week. It sure helps me keep up with what’s going on! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts the you might have missed during the week on Smorgasbord blog Magazine.

You might have noticed that the round up has a new header. Apart from looking to give the post a bit of a freshen up, I also wanted to emphasise the theme that I have developed over the last seven years, of a magazine style blog with a wide range of subjects. You will see from this round up that there are a number of regular contributors and guest writers.

Currently on a fortnightly or monthly basis I am lucky enough to have William Price King (music column), Carol Taylor (Food and Cookery Column), D.G. Kaye (Travel Column), Annette Rochelle Aben(Numerology) and Silvia Todesco (Italian Cookery) and I write the (Health Column). Jessica Norrie wrote a wonderful (Literary Column) last year which I am currently repeating.

Do you have…

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Week In Review

Here’s Joan Hall’s weekly recap from last Friday. A couple days late, I know, sorry. But believe me, you’ll still want to take a look at all the great links Joan’s sharing. Thanks for passing them along to others, and thanks to Joan for posting them in such a convenient way. It’s very helpful for those of us who are always running behind these days! 🙂 Enjoy, folks!

Joan Hall

Hey, everyone. Wow! September is moving right along. Can you believe the autumn equinox is in three days?

I pulled this picture from my September 2008 archives. I was out for an evening walk when I snapped this photo. It’s another taken with my little Sanyo 8 megapixel camera. Not a bad shot, huh?

I how the setting sun kisses the swirling clouds. The one in the center almost looks like a funnel cloud, but there were no storms in the area. So far no stories inspired by this pic but I have considered writing a story in which there is a tornado.

I don’t have as many links this week. If you read yesterday’s post, you know I spent much of the week redesigning my website and fell behind in visiting blogs. But here we go:

On this blog or posts about my books:

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#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed. Here’s the Answer to Today’s Quiz!

Time to close this week’s quiz, and I wish I could say we have five winners. Alas, no one got this one, and that truly surprises me. This book is immensely popular, and has 7,949 reviews for a 4.6 average! Add a killer first line, and the fact that it was published relatively recently (2008) and I thought more people would recognize it. Especially with a clue like the Waystone Inn to jog the memory.

When you read this review, and see the accolades the book garnered from the biggest names in fantasy writing, you might wonder why you haven’t already read it. I’ve had it on my Kindle for at least two years, so I’m no one to point fingers. And I DO plan to read it very soon. I think it just got bumped to the top of my list, because how could so many people be wrong?

So, without further ado, here’s the answer to this week’s #FirstLineFriday:

“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.” is the amazing first line of The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle Book 1, a fabulously popular fantasy by Patrick Rothfuss. 

You can buy The Name of the Wind HERE

BLURB and Testimonial Reviews



My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.  

Praise for The Kingkiller Chronicle:

“The best epic fantasy I read last year…. He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.”
George R. R. MartinNew York Times-bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire

“Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.”
Terry BrooksNew York Times-bestselling author of Shannara

“It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing…with true music in the words.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, award-winning author of Earthsea

“The characters are real and the magic is true.”
Robin HobbNew York Times-bestselling author of Assassin’s Apprentice

“Masterful…. There is a beauty to Pat’s writing that defies description.”
Brandon SandersonNew York Times-bestselling author of Mistborn

Thanks for playing today, and I’m really sorry we didn’t have any winners, but I hope you all enjoyed reading another wonderful first line, and that it might help you when working on your own. Plus, if you enjoy fantasy at all, I suspect this one is a must-read. Check it out, and see what you think. I mean, could Martin, Brooks, Le Guin, Hobb, and Sanderson all be wrong? Doubtful! 😀

See you next week, and hope it’s YOUR turn to recognize that fabulous first line! 🙂