Welcome.

Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Guest: ELLE CARDY Wielder’s Fire @ElleCardy #YAFantasy

Today's guest is Lynda R. Young writing as Elle Cardy. I met Lynda through Insecure Writers Support Group. She is a great supporter of all of us. Here she is talking about her new release. This series sounds so intriguing. I have to read it.


Thanks for having me today, Diane.


I’m super excited to share the news that Wielder’s Fire, the thrilling conclusion to the Wielder’s Storm series, unleashes today.

This trilogy has been a long time coming. As a kid, I loved anything that led me to fantastical worlds or exciting adventures. Reading transported me. It was inevitable that I’d end up conjuring my own fantasies, but the path to creativity and expression oscillated between writing and art.

I became a game developer, photographer, animator, graphic designer. I even dipped my toes into music for a while. I’ve written a range of fantasy and scifi short stories and even had a book of daily devotions, Cling to God, published under my real name, Lynda R Young. I’m proud of it all.

But it wasn’t until a family tragedy sharpened my focus, that I realized time was short and I still hadn’t achieved a particular dream I’d carried most of my life: To get a novel published. So I pushed my hesitations and fears aside, worked super hard, and completed Wielder’s Prize, a manuscript I’d sat on for about nine years. Not only did I publish it, but I completed the whole series. Wielder’s Fire is the exciting conclusion to the epic fantasy adventure set on the high seas.


Marooned on an island, stripped of her magic, Jasmine must find a way to mend her heart and defeat the oncoming storm.

Her secrets have been laid bare. The one who was supposed to love her, stripped her of her magic. Now she’s shipwrecked on a forsaken island with nothing but her anger and determination to keep her warm at night. Alone and defenseless against a powerful enemy, she must find a way to survive.
She will get her magic back.
She will escape the island.
She will face the enemy and defeat it once and for all.
But how can she when her heart is blistered to a crisp? One fierce step at a time.
For fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, who love exciting tales with dark secrets and unexpected twists.

To grab your copy, click here: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0892SBQGT/
It’s also free to read via Kindle Unlimited.

Where to find Elle Cardy:


Saturday, May 23, 2020

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: Rimmer Girl?


Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

Thanks to everyone who visited last week. Somehow, I forgot to finish visiting some of you. So very sorry. I'm taking care of that before visiting for this week.

I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space.

Because this is a work in progress, suggestions are greatly appreciated. The chatty "taxi" driver caught up with Genna outside headquarters. Before leaving HQ, she changed into a baggy shirt and trousers. She's now in his conveyance.

Dodging the heavy traffic in the skies above the capital city required concentration, not chit-chat with her. She was about to remind him of that when he deftly swerved around slower traffic. She prayed to the Matriarch that he would get her to her destination without an accident. Wait, she never told him a destination.
“Take me to—”
“I’m off-duty, and I’m hungry. We’re going to Filiana’s. You’ll love the food, and it’s  located near spaceport. That's where you want to go, right?”


Here's the rest:

“Yes, but--"
"C'mon, Rimmer Girl, you have to eat before taking off for your Matriarch knows where."
"Hold on. How do you know I’m a Rimmer?”
“Your clothes.” Again, he glanced back at her. “You wear them like a native, not a fake like those idiot colonists swarming over every planet out on the Rim.”
“How would a conveyance operator in Eleganza know about Rimmer colonists?”
“I’m well educated.” He laughed, a hearty belly laugh.


Blurb (draft):

Rookie agent must rescue veteran before his cover is blown.

Genna Nogaro, new to the Coalition of Planets’ Intelligence Commission, is assigned to bring in an undercover operative in Hallart’s organization. More experienced agents died before getting him out. Were they killed by the intergalactic gangster or has the operative gone rogue?

Quintall d’Sernin, con man extraordinaire, infiltrated the mob and moved up to be the gangster’s right-hand man. Hallart has his tentacles throughout the Coalition—business, industry, and government. Quin’s finally worked himself into a valued position. All he needs is the key to mob structure in order for Coalition forces to take down the entire organization.

Genna will pose as a new recruit to distract Hallart long enough for Quin to find the key. If they work together, they can accomplish more. But Quin and Genna’s lives are jeopardized by a mole in the Intelligence Commission. Will their true roles be revealed before they accomplish their goal?


Enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend as best you can while staying safe. As for us, Hubs and I will celebrate on our deck watching the ducks in the pond.



Friday, May 22, 2020

New Release for Ellen Jacobson SMITTEN WITH RAVIOLI review @Ellen_Jacobson


A really fun book released today. It's by my friend and co-IWSG'r (Insecure Writers Support Group), Ellen Jacobson. I've read all of her Mollie McGhie stories, starting with Murder at the Marina. They are laugh out loud funny.

When Ellen announced she was branching out into a new romantic comedy series, I knew I had to read them. The first is Smitten With Ravioli (Smitten with Travel series). I was lucky enough to get an advanced readers' copy so I can tell you about it.

Blurb (from Amazon)


I’m not sure what I’m more scared of—cats that drool or falling for that annoying history professor in my Italian cooking course.

Sure, Preston Whitaker has amazing blue eyes, but he’s an arrogant know-it-all, just like my ex. I can’t stand the man. And now I’m stuck with him for the next four weeks in Italy.
If you gave me a choice between snuggling with a drooling cat or with Preston, I’d choose the cat in a heartbeat.
Or would I?
Did I mention how cute Preston is?
Maybe I should have a holiday romance with him. That would be okay, right? It could be a fun diversion. Then, once I leave Italy, I’ll never have to see that pretentious jerk again.
Just one teeny-tiny problem—I think I might be falling for him big time. Will I be able to say goodbye to him when the cooking course is over?
Smitten with Ravioli is a standalone romantic comedy with a happily ever after ending that you’ll swoon over. If you like steamy-clean romance with plenty of goofy humor, Italian food, and the occasional drooling cat, you’ll love Ginny & Preston's story!

Diane's Review: 5 Stars

Smitten With Ravioli is as funny as I expected and more so. Ginny hasn't been dumped by a former boyfriend. Worse. The jerk copied her thesis paper and turned it in as his own. Consequently, she's accused of plagiarizing him. After that, she has to get away. How about Italy? Why not. She enrolls in a culinary school. 

The laughs start when she discovers she enrolled in the wrong class. Then, the cute guy she met on the train (and who seems to follow her) shows up and becomes her cooking partner. Smitten With Ravioli is filled with wacky characters and crazy situations. This book will have you laughing out loud.

Smitten With Ravioli is available at  all retailers. The universal link is   https://books2read.com/ravioli 

About the author:

Ellen Jacobson is a chocolate obsessed cat lover who writes cozy mysteries and romantic comedies. After living on a sailboat for many years, she now travels around in a teeny-tiny camper with her husband and an imaginary cat named Simon.

Connect with Ellen on her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Blog



Saturday, May 16, 2020

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: Nice Disguise

Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space. 

Because this is a work in progress, suggestions are greatly appreciated. Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. The chatty "taxi" driver with the loud "Hawaiian" shirt is back, and he caught up with Genna outside headquarters. Last week, he talked her into getting into his conveyance. The last sentence was:  With pursed lips and narrowed eyes, Genna yanked the door open and slid inside, “Are you satisfied?”

He turned slightly and winked. “Yeah. Ready for Mid-Day Repast?” He named a popular eatery near spaceport. “I know it’s a little late but . . .”
“No, thank you, I’m not hungry.”
As the conveyance rose above the buildings, her stomach betrayed her. Its growling reminded her she’d missed Mid-Day Repast, and First Meal had consisted of half a protein bar. Being called to headquarters had twisted her stomach into knots in anticipation. She’d thought it best not to have much in her stomach, hurling in front of her superior would’ve made quite an impression.
The driver glanced back at her and smirked, “Somebody’s hungry.”


That's the snippet. Here's the rest of that scene.

“Nice disguise. Was it for my benefit?”
“Your ego is overwhelming.” She paused. “How did you find me?”
“The card I gave you.”
“I threw that away. Try again.”
“You threw it away?” He clasped his chest. “I’m crushed. Truly, crushed.”
“Oh, for the Matriarch’s sake.”
He twisted around. “See. I knew you were Traishan.”
“What?”
“Traishans worship a fem deity, the Matriarch. I kinda like that. Too many cultures have paternalistic deities. As for finding you, I have my ways, Rimmer Girl.”

Now, how did he find her?

I haven't posted the blurb (draft) in a while, so here it is:



Rookie agent must rescue veteran before his cover is blown.

Genna Nogaro, new to the Coalition of Planets’ Intelligence Commission, is assigned to bring in an undercover operative in Hallart’s organization. More experienced agents died before getting him out. Were they killed by the intergalactic gangster or has the operative gone rogue?

Quintall d’Sernin, con man extraordinaire, infiltrated the mob and moved up to be the gangster’s right-hand man. Hallart has his tentacles throughout the Coalition—business, industry, and government. Quin’s finally worked himself into a valued position. All he needs is the key to mob structure in order for Coalition forces to take down the entire organization.

Genna will pose as a new recruit to distract Hallart long enough for Quin to find the key. If they work together, they can accomplish more. But Quin and Genna’s lives are jeopardized by a mole in the Intelligence Commission. Will their true roles be revealed before they accomplish their goal?


Hope you are all staying safe. We had a special treat last Sunday when our son backed his mini-van into our driveway and the whole family climbed in back (tailgate open) while Hubs and I sat in our garage (out of the rain) and visited with the family. So good to see the twins (2 1/2 yrs old) and their 5-yr-old sister. A great Mother's Day gift.





Tuesday, May 12, 2020

GUEST: Toi Thomas' new release for kids #Free

For a follow up to this post, check out Toi's latest post:
https://etoithomas.com/childrensbook-fundraising-giveaway-winner-announced/


Kids of all ages are confused and anxious about the pandemic and consequent quarantine. Toi Thomas has written and illustrated a book that answers their questions.

 

Today, Toi is launching Joe and Chip in Quarantine to the world. To celebrate this launch, she is offering a free ebook and a fundraising giveaway for #GivingTuesday.

~

 

 Daddy, what’s a quarantine?

 Mommy, why can’t I play with my friends?

 Life in the time of a quarantine can be hard and sometimes kids have trouble understanding what to do and why. That’s why I’ve written this book. I want to help kids and adults cope with the “new normal” that is a quarantine. Meant for educational purposes, but still an enjoyable, light, and colorful read, Joe and Chip in Quarantine leaves you with an overall impression that this is what we have to do, for now, so let’s make the most of it.

Amazon: eBook (FREE) US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN
All 5 of Toi's other children’s ebooks are on sale today for $0.99.
~
Enter to win a $20 (USD) donation for the charity or cause of your choice.



Saturday, May 9, 2020

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: C'mon, sweetie, let's go home #sfr


Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and those who are like mothers. 
I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space. 

Because this is a work in progress, suggestions are greatly appreciated. Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. The chatty taxi driver with the loud "Hawaiian" shirt is back, and he caught up with Genna outside headquarters. Last week, he tried to get her to tell him why she wants him to go away.

“So, what is it?” He snapped his fingers, “I know, I’m Chellian—you don’t like us—that’s racial discrimination, you know.”
She stopped and fisted her hands on her hips, “I am not a racist, I don’t care where you’re from or who you are—you talk too much.”
“Oh,” That seemed to stump him, “Okay, I won’t talk, promise. I can take you wherever you want to go, and I promise to keep quiet,” He made a zipping motion across his lips.
Not only was he being a nuisance, he attracted attention—several people along the walkway glanced from the driver of the cruising vehicle to her, then a fashionable Bricaldian fem sidled around Genna and tried to open the door.
“Off duty,” The driver grinned and added a shoulder shrug, “The missus and me had a spat. C’mon, sweetie, get in so we can go home.”
The fem arched a haughty eyebrow at her and backed away, “You are disturbing others.”
“C’mon, honey, get in.”
With pursed lips and narrowed eyes, Genna yanked the door open and slid inside, “Are you satisfied?”




As we continue to stay home or practice safe distancing and wear masks, we adapt to our new normal. I hope you stay safe, too.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

#IWSG: May


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

They say April showers bring May flowers. That really applies to my part of the world. Daffodils and tulips are blooming with other perennials poking through the ground. We had some lovely sunny days in the 60s and even a 70 degree day last weekend. People want to rush out and buy plants (nurseries are one of the few businesses now open). Those of us who grew up here know better. My dad always said no planting until Memorial Day. The ground isn't warm enough. To illustrate, we're now dipping into the 30s and 40s with a possibility of snow flurries this week. Hey, it's Michigan.


We're still sheltering in place. With Michigan being 3rd in the country with corona virus deaths, our governor is trying to protect us and limiting what businesses can open. Boy, are some people mad at her. Those of us who appreciate what she's trying to do stay home and if we have to go out, we wear masks. Still not visiting with our grandkids. Our son (chef) and son-in-law (doctor) are working and could unknowingly bring home the virus. No hugs and kisses is probably the worst of this crisis for me.

The other problem is my lack of focus on writing. Maybe if I had a ritual to get me in the zone (this month's question), I'd be better off. Obviously, I don't. Our church has virtual services. Last Sunday's sermon was on fractured lives. How true is that! The pastor talked about so many things that hit home for me and for Hubs--lack of focus, sleeping more but not feeling rested, the unknown. 

The unknown is getting to most of us. I like to know when something will end. (Don't we all?) I want to know that the sacrifices we're making is going to be worth it in the end. Our lives are fractured. We don't get together with family. We don't go out to lunch with friends. We're scared to go out at all. That fear is making us edgy. We have cabin fever in May when that's a January/February "disease." Sure we can go out and work in our yards, we can take walks, our Lake Michigan beach is open, as long as we practice social distancing.

My science fiction romance ran into a big snag three months ago. And I can't seem to fix it. Talk about painting myself into a corner. The worse is it's the last 15% of the story. Sheesh. Should I slash that whole section and start over? Probably, if I could focus.

I hope you're staying safe. Sending virtual hugs to everyone who's insecure.
Meantime, check out our latest anthology.


Now Available

Journey into the past.

Will the third ghost be found before fires take more lives? Can everyone be warned before Pompeii is buried again? What happens if a blizzard traps a family in East Germany?
Will the Firebird help Soviet  sisters outwit evil during WWII?
And sneaking off to see the first 
 aeroplane - what could go wrong?

Ten authors explore the past, sending their young protagonists on harrowing adventures. Featuring the talents of Yvonne Ventresca, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Sherry Ellis, Rebecca M. Douglass, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Louise MacBeath Barbour, Beth Anderson Schuck, and L.T. Ward.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a voyage of wonder into history. Get ready for an exciting ride!

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.