Book Promo – GRINDERS – by C.S. Boyack…

Craig Boyack’s latest book, Grinders, is currently being showcased over on The Story Reading Ape’s wonderful blog. If you haven’t read Grinders, you don’t know what you’re missing. Check out the post to see for yourself, and then pass it along, if you can, so others can find and enjoy this truly imaginative, fun book. Thanks!

Book Promo – GRINDERS – BY C. S. Boyak

 

NOTE: 2020 Conversations with Colleen: Meet Author, Mae Clair, @MaeClair1

My good friend and favorite Penderpal, author Mae Clair, is being interviewed over on Colleen Chesebro’s All The Best – Word Craft Prose and Poetry blog. Here’s a great opportunity to learn a bit more about Mae’s wonderful Hode’s Hill series, as well as some insight into how she writes. It’s a fun interview and I hope you’ll take a minute to stop by and say hello to Mae and Colleen.  Thanks! 🙂 

2020 Conversations with Colleen: Meet Author, Mae Clair

 

Scheduling Change for #FirstLineFriday

Good morning, Everyone!

I have come to the conclusion that my basic time management skills are rudimentary, at best, and possibly totally lacking altogether. I seem to have no realistic sense of how much I can accomplish in any given day or week. Or month. Or year. (I think you see where I’m going with this.)

Because I’ve fallen desperately behind on my current WIP, The Emissary 3, and because my readers are getting restless and emailing me regularly about the release of this one, I decided I have no choice but to cut back a bit on social media, at least until I finish this novella and get it published.

I’ve already slowed down on some of my regular features like #MondayMeme and #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays, for which I apologize, but I’m still too far behind. So  I’ve decided to feature #FirstLineFridays every other Friday until I catch up a bit. I do plan to resume the regular weekly schedule of each of these things as soon as possible, but I hope you’ll understand that for the immediate future, I need to focus on my writing until I get TE3 finished.

This is a temporary situation, and I will be picking up the pace again when I’m more in control of my workload. HONEST. I enjoy this blog too much to disappear completely, so I will still be sharing some things here on the blog, as I’m able. But I think it will be much easier for me to manage if I don’t try to stick to a preset daily schedule. That just becomes a source of frustration when I fail to meet it. 

Thanks so much for your understanding, and rest assured I will be picking up where I left off as soon as possible. In the meantime, I have Jake, Dodger, and Azrael waiting for me to get on with their story, and that’s what I’ll be focusing on. 

 

DON’T WORRY!! Things will be back to normal before you know it! 

NOTE: Since it is a time-sensitive subject, I will continue my weekly Peace Talks Countdown posts, which are pretty much all set to go, already.

 

I’m at #StoryEmpire Today and I Hope You’ll Stop By!

As many of you know, I was invited to join the team over at Story Empire, and will now be posting there regularly (about twice a month). Happily, I scheduled several posts ahead, which is helpful while I’m still moving at a snail’s pace around here. And today, I’m beginning my Why Write Wrong? series over there, as a quick and easy way to understand frequently misused words and phrases. Hope you’ll stop by to say hi, and check out it out. I’ll be running this series on Story Empire every two or three posts, and hope it will be a helpful and fun way for folks to learn how to avoid some of these writing errors. I’ve posted a couple of these here over the years, but there are also a lot of new ones coming up. I see these things way too often lately, and I’ve been taking notes. 😀 

Hope to see you there, thanks! 

whywritewrong2

STORY EMPIRE “WHY WRITE WRONG?” POST

 

#GuestBlogger #New Release #MaeClair #InSearchOfMcDoogal

Good Morning, Folks! Today, I’d like to welcome Mae Clair to The Write Stuff. Mae has a brand new book out called In Search of McDoogal, and she’d like to tell you more about it. So, without further ado, take it away, Mae! 

~~~

Hi, Marcia. I’m excited to be here today! Many thanks for hosting me with the release of my Amazon 90-minute short read, In Search of McDoogal. This is a light-hearted story, themed around the hunt for a missing painting. My two main characters—Brady Conrad and Declan Fitzgerald—take a day trip to a neighboring town to track down the buyer of a painting Brady mistakenly sold. They’re on the clock because the artist is Brady’s girlfriend, and she’s returning to her gallery that evening after several days away.

As with most of my stories, my setting is fictional. When it came time to develop the small town where I set Brady and Declan loose, I wanted something that carried a coastal connotation. I chose the name Breaker’s Bay, and from there a trend was born. I decided to play with alliteration for most place names in the town. I don’t draw attention to the fact, but readers will encounter Puddlehopper’s Park, Courtney’s Corner, and the Bountiful Baker to name a few—just an extra bit of silliness to add to the predicaments Brady and Declan stumble over while trying to retrieve Vanessa’s painting.

If you enjoy a comedy of errors, set in a quirky town with oddball characters, In Search of McDoogal is right up your reading alley!

BLURB:
In search of something ugly…

All Brady Conrad wants to do is earn a few merit points with his artist girlfriend, so he volunteers to cover her gallery when she leaves town. What should be an easy day of sales goes belly up when he mistakenly sells a cherished painting.

With the clock ticking toward Vanessa’s return, Brady has less than a day to track McDoogal down. He coerces his friend Declan to tag along for moral support. How difficult can it be for an investigator and the director of a renowned institute to find a single painting in a town the size of a postage stamp?

Neither Brady nor Declan counted on a suspicious sheriff, rival baseball teams with a longstanding grudge, or a clueless kid trying to win his girlfriend with all the wrong gifts.

McDoogal is smack in the middle. But Brady’s biggest dilemma isn’t the disastrous hunt. It’s confessing to Vanessa her painting is the ugliest thing he’s ever seen.


I hope you’ll join in the fun of this road-trip-buddy-fic-comedy-of-errors. In Search of McDoogal falls into Amazon’s 90-minute short read category—perfect for an extended lunch break or quick read any time of the day or evening.

Thanks for helping me celebrate the release!

PURCHASE FROM AMAZON

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

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#Update – Hangin’ in There but Movin’ Slow

Thanks so much to everyone who has sent me wishes for a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, while I’m not seriously ill, this cold is taking its own sweet time about moving on. 

Because I’m in a double-high risk group for you-know-what, I’m paying very close attention to the things I need to watch out for. I do not have a single one of the more worrisome symptoms, and I’m 99% sure I caught this bug from Mark. The good news is, he has pretty much completely recovered. The bad news is, it took about 9 days for him to feel he was totally back to normal. I seem to be following the same pattern, only about 3 days after him, which makes sense, given that he caught it first and gave it to me. (He’s so thoughtful that way. 😀 ) 

I have a regular appointment coming up soon with my family physician, but I will call to talk to her sooner if there is any worsening of my condition. So far, I’ve only seen improvement, slow though it might be. For instance, the low-grade, off and on fever seems to be gone now, knock wood, and I have had no chest congestion at all. Mine has all been sinus related, which probably indicates that my allergies kicked in, right alongside this cold. 

 

I am self-quarantined for now, because a) nobody wants to catch a cold or mild flu from me, either, and b) my resistance is likely low, and I do not want to expose myself to any other problems. Again, there’s no indication that I have anything more serious than a common cold/allergy combo, but I am moving at a snail’s pace, for sure.

Please take care of yourselves! Stay informed on what you need to do to remain well, but don’t give into the mass hysteria. This, too, shall pass! In the meantime, I’m going to remain on R&R a bit longer, until my energy level picks up again, but I will continue to update you every couple of days until I’m back.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program!

 

 

 

Temporary Change In Posting Schedule

Just a quick heads up so you won’t wonder where I’ve disappeared to. Mark and I have both been under the weather with a bit of a cold (nothing serious, I promise!) and though he is much improved, I’m still dragging.  I’ve fallen even farther behind with things  that aren’t optional, so I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a break for a week or so with the things that are.  My regularly (mostly 🙂 ) #ShareAReviewDay, #ThorsDaySmiles, and #FirstLineFriday posts are on hold as of now and through all of next week. I do have a guest poster next week, but it’s already been scheduled, as have my upcoming posts on Story Empire, so those will run as planned. Hope you’ll tune in for each.

I’ll try to resume my normal schedule here on TWS  during the week of March 23, assuming I’m feeling much better. Will give you a heads up when it’s time to submit any reviews you’d like to share after that date. 

I may pop in with a short post here or there during this interim, if I feel well (and energetic) enough for it. And if you need to contact me, please feel free to do so. I’ll still be sitting here at my desk most of the time, trying to attend to some of the things that have fallen through the cracks as I’ve been plodding my way through this “bug.” Progress is slow and often interrupted by naps, but I’ll be able to respond either here or via email. I just don’t feel quite up to assembling any larger posts yet. Thanks so much for understanding.  

Here’s to your health! (And mine!)

Nothing like a cup of “Earl Grey, hot” to soothe what ails ye. 🙂

 

#GuestAuthor – #Promo – #Excerpt – Eventide by Mae Clair

Great news! Mae Clair is back with more on her wonderful Hode’s Hill series. Today, she’ll be sharing a bit about the third book in the series, Eventide, including a super excerpt for your reading pleasure. As always, let’s take a look at the fantastic cover for this one. Pretty great, huh?

And now, I’ll turn this post over to Mae. You’ll love what she has to say!

~~~

Many thanks for hosting me again, Marcia.  I was here yesterday with the announcement that my publisher has discounted my Hode’s Hill series for the month of February. End of Day and Eventide are currently priced at .99c each. Later this month, you can pick up book one, Cusp of Night FREE from the 20th through the 25th.

That means you can purchase all three supernatural suspense mysteries for a total of $1.98, a hard deal to beat. Each book features dual timelines—a mystery in the past, and a mystery in the present—which tie together at the close of each novel.

Today, I want to take a closer look at book 3, Eventide. If you like ghost fiction, I think you’ll enjoy this story.

Three years after the murder of her husband, Madison Hewitt is putting her life back together. She purchases an old home several miles from town along a creek. After a short time in the house, Madison begins to suspect the property is haunted. She asks her sister’s boyfriend, Dante DeLuca to go through the home and give her his impressions. Sensitive to the spirit world, Dante is able to read “folk memories.” In the scene below, Dante, along with Madison’s sister, Jillian, explain what constitutes a folk memory.

~ooOOoo~

Madison glanced up from her cell phone when Blizzard trotted into the drawing room, trailed by Dante. She’d missed a call, but the number was one she didn’t recognize. Most likely, a robocall or junk solicitation. Edgy since Dante left to investigate, she dropped the phone onto an end table.

“Well? Anything?” She leaned forward in her chair, a monstrous claw-footed thing left by the previous owner.

“Not much on this level.” Dante settled on the sofa beside Jillian. “I picked up an audible manifestation earlier in this room. A man and woman arguing.”

So she had heard something. “Could you tell what they were saying?”

“No, the incident was too quick, but the tone was unmistakable.”

“What about the basement?” She thought of the old cistern.

“There’s some kind of residual taint, but it doesn’t feel spiritual. You’ve also got two outside areas with activity.”

“Folk memories?” Jillian asked.

“These are different.”

Madison looked between them. “I’m not sure I understand what creates a folk memory.”

“Think of it as a moment frozen in time.” Dante shifted, allowing Blizzard to settle on the floor near Jillian. “Something happens—usually horrific—and the incident replays over and over.”

“You mean ghosts recreate it?”

“No. It’s the memory of the event itself, imprinted in the place where the tragedy occurred. Like a TV episode on constant rerun.”

“No one is really there,” Jillian added.

Dante spread his hands. “Anyone receptive to the spirit world can usually sense folk memories.”

Her stomach tightened. She regretted the slice of key lime pie she’d had for dessert. “Do you mean…” It was hard to force the words. To dial her mind back to the most heinous night of her life. “Boyd’s death could have left a folk memory in our house at Mill Street?”

“Yeah.” Dante blew out a breath. “It probably did. But it takes time for the residue to become visible. Decades, sometimes centuries. There’s no rhyme or reason why some atrocities leave imprints and others don’t.”

She felt the blood drain from her face.

Jillian stretched forward to clasp her hand. “Put Boyd’s death out of your head, Maddy. That’s not why Dante is here.”

“I know.” She closed her eyes, tears burning the lids. “But the thought of his murder playing over and over…”

“No one will see it, Madison.” Dante’s assertion left no room for argument. “You need to stop seeing it.”

She nodded. Snatched a tissue from a box on the end table. It was time to refocus. “You said you felt impressions outside.” She dabbed her eyes.

“The graveyard?” Jillian guessed.

Dante shook his head. “Near the veranda below Madison’s bedroom, and along the creek bank. The veranda is covered in cold spots.”

Madison crumpled the tissue in her hand. “What about the creek?”

“That was different. I’m convinced something bad happened there. Not enough to create a folk memory, but enough to leave a hostile mark.”

~ooOOoo~

BLURB:

The darkness is coming . . .  

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?
 
Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

Universal Purchase Link

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

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Website | BlogTwitterGoodreadsAll Social Media

 

 

 

 

 

#BuildingALocalReadership #Update #CentralFloridasFabulousWildlife #EnterpriseMuseum

Just a quick update for those of you in central Florida who might be planning to come to my wildlife presentation on Saturday. It was originally intended to focus on three more fun critters, namely raccoons, opossums, and armadillos. As I got into gathering facts and figures, I realized that I couldn’t do any of the three justice in one presentation, so “Furry Critters #2 has now been broken into a Part 1 and Part 2. This Saturday, we’ll be talking about Raccoons, and on March 7, we’ll cover Opossums and Armadillos.

Remember, the wildlife talks are all 1:00-3:00pm, no reservations required, and FREE, though donations to the museum are always needed and gratefully accepted.

Hope to see some of you there!

#GuestAuthor #Promo #Excerpt- End of Day by Mae Clair

I’m so excited to be sharing an excerpt from Mae Clair’s End of Day, the 2nd book in her fabulous Hode’s Hill series, along with her news of a fantastic sale! First, take a look at this terrific, shivery cover!

And next, here’s Mae to tell you all about what’s coming up! Mae? You’re on!

~~~

Many thanks for hosting me today, Marcia. I’m delighted to share exciting news about my Hode’s Hill series of mysteries. For the month of February, my publisher has placed all three books on sale. That’s right—all three! End of Day and Eventide are currently priced at .99c each. Later this month, you can pick up book one, Cusp of Night FREE from the 20th through the 25th.

That means you can purchase all three supernatural suspense mysteries for a total of $1.98, a hard deal to beat. Each book features dual timelines—a mystery in the past, and a mystery in the present—which tie together at the close of each novel.

Today, I want to take a closer look at book 2, End of Day.

Jillian Cley was born with empathic abilities that have made life difficult. Because the emotions of others overwhelm her, she’s created a habit of holding people at arm’s length. She works from home and keeps to herself with only Blizzard, her therapy dog, for company. Once a week, she honors a tradition that has been passed down in her family through generations­—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane. Jillian doesn’t truly understand the reasoning behind the strange obligation, but faithfully maintains the practice. Shortly before Halloween, Gabriel’s grave is dug up and his remains are stolen. At the same time, bizarre accidents begin happening to the residents of Hode’s Hill.

In the excerpt below, Detectives David Gregg and Sherre Lorquet confer about the theft.

~ooOOoo~

Leaves crunched under David’s shoes as he made his way to the rear of the cemetery. Sherre Lorquet was in the farthest corner, squatting by an open grave. A decrepit-looking hickory tree hunched over her shoulder, bowed over the tomb like a sentry in mourning. Sherre stood when she saw him, dusting her hands on her pants. The area had yet to be roped off; mounds of fresh dirt scattered in humps behind the church. Fallen hickory nuts littered the ground.

“What do you think?” She indicated the narrow ditch. “Halloween trick?”

“Could be, but we’re weeks from Hell Night.” He looked for a grave marker. “Do we know the identity of the remains?”

Sherre consulted a small notebook. “Gabriel Vane. The headstone is over here.” She walked around the edge of the pit. Unlike the tall limestone and granite markers denoting other graves, Vane’s headstone was recessed into the ground. David could barely read the lettering, but someone had tended the plot, ensuring the slab was free of mold and weeds. Drawing a small flashlight from his pocket, he flicked on the beam, then dumped light on the stone.

Gabriel Vane
1781

October 21, 1799

“That’s a hell of an old grave.”

“Could be the first in the cemetery.” Sherre hooked sleek black hair behind her ear. “The original chapel on this site was built when Hode’s Hill was a village. Why would anyone want the remains of a body that’s over two centuries old?” She tilted her head to stare up at him.

“Could be a prank, or a meth-head hoping to score off the sale of old bones. Could even be ritualist.”

“Satanic?” Sherre clicked a pen against her teeth. “Not this grave.”

David raised a brow. “Why?”

“Did you look at the depth?” She inclined her head to indicate the hole. “Eight feet or better. Not sure why a body would be buried so deep, but there are more recent graves, some as late as the early twentieth century. No need for the perp to dig so far.”

“Would our grave robbers know that?”

“You used plural.”

“Had to be more than one. Too much work for a single person. And if someone is selling bones to a museum or hoping to fetch black market price, the older the better.” He squatted, noting where the dirt and grass had been raked over by slender tines. “Looks like they covered their tracks. What about tire prints?”

“Thorton’s on it.”

David nodded, standing and dusting his hands. “Shitty day. Did you hear about Coleman?”

Most everyone who worked at the precinct was on friendly terms with their janitor. Coleman often stopped to shoot the breeze in the squad room, sometimes showing up with donuts or muffins from the local bakery. The guy had been working for the city long before David started, and had to be seventy if he was a day.

Sherre’s brow knitted. “What happened?”

“He was changing a fluorescent tube when the whole light came loose, mount and all. The thing dropped like a guillotine and sliced off his ear.”

“My God.”

“Ambulance took him to the hospital, but I guess his heart couldn’t stand the shock. I heard he died in transit.”

Sherre blanched. “That’s horrible! Poor Coleman.” She’d been close to him like everyone else. “His wife is going to be devastated.”

“Yeah.” David dropped his voice. It sucked when bad things happened to good people. “There’s a collection going around at the precinct. The place was a mess this morning when it happened.” He forced the thought aside. Cops didn’t dwell on death, especially when they had no control over it. “You notice anything unusual about Vane’s grave?”

Sherre frowned, the movement drawing attention to the beauty mark at the corner of her mouth. The tiny mole looked damn good on her coppery skin. Too bad the department had a rule about fraternizing.

“You mean other than the fact it’s got a recessed headstone and is currently nothing more than an eight-foot ditch?”

“Yeah. What you said—and it’s isolated.”

Her brows furrowed. “Huh?”

“Take a look.” David indicated where they stood in conjunction with the other tombstones. Gabriel Vane’s grave was segregated behind the church tower, the singular burial plot removed from the others.

“Shit.” Sherre’s eyes grew wide. “It’s like he was ostracized.”

~ooOOoo~

BLURB:

The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK 

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

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Website | BlogTwitterGoodreadsAll Social Media