Wednesday, April 7, 2021

IWSG & Risk Taking

 The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



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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!  

April 7 question - Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Short Answer: Nope!

Slightly Longer Answer:

My memoir, Dancing With Dementia, is a bit of a mixed genre. Most of the book is written in short snippets about our experiences with dementia. These sections are organized by themes. They read as short stories (although they are 100% factual). The back of the book includes lists relevant to families experiencing the early stages of dementia (early warning signs, communication tips, self-care tips etc.). While this isn't exactly controversial, it does combine a couple of styles/genres in one book.

My Bloo Moose romances follow the most important romance rule - there is always a happy ending! My characters don't always follow stereotypical gender role jobs. I blend a lot more humour into my romantic suspense than is typical. But, no, nothing too controversial.

That pretty much matches my personality.

How about you? Anyone going boldly where no one has gone before? Anyone bending gender stereotypes? Anyone writing in second person? Anyone thrive on controversy?


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Reaching For Roots

 Reaching For Roots (Bloo Moose #7) is out today!!


Cartoonist Emmy Rivera loves everything about the quirky town of Bloo Moose, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to put down roots. That’s never worked out for her in the past.

 

Undercover agent Ryan Ward is always on the move, taking down criminal masterminds like the one who caused his dad’s death.

 

Ryan doesn’t expect the only connection to his latest target to be a sweet and sexy cartoonist who makes him want to rethink everything.

 

Putting down roots might not be so bad. If the lies don’t destroy them first.


***


Emmy and Ryan's story has been running around in my head for a long time. I wasn't sure how they were going to fix all of the troubles they faced, but, they figured it out for me - with a little help from Ryan's mom and some friends with an interesting competition.


If you're looking for a fun read with a secret identity, silly moose puns, and a dose of suspense mixed in, I think you'll enjoy Reaching For Roots!


Amazon

Apple

Barnes & Noble

Eden Books

Google Play

Kobo

BookBub

Goodreads


How about you? Are you a fun of silly puns? Do you like stories with an undercover agent involved? Anyone else have stories running around in their head for a long time?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG & Favourite Genres

 The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



IWSG badge


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!  

March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

Great question!

I'm a romantic suspense author and I read a lot of romantic suspense. But I've always been a wide reader and still am. My current favourite genres are:

My reading choices are driven by a few things, mostly interest. But friendship is also important to me. Including the authors above, I've read books from over 100 authors I've met online - books I would never have known about or read if I hadn't become friends with the author or met them somehow online.

I love an entertaining story with intriguing characters and I want a happy ending - or at least one that isn't going to rip my heart to shreds. 

So, if the book fits within that rather loose definition, I'm probably in!

How about you? Are you a wide reader?
Apologies if I missed you on the list but my hands/brain got tired!


If you're looking to try romantic suspense, the first Bloo Moose romance (Reaching For Normal) is free!



Monday, February 22, 2021

Rhiannon Gelston with Lark and the Loon

Please welcome Rhiannon Gelston to the blog today!

As someone who has dealt with memoir writing in Dancing With Dementia, I had a question for Rhiannon:


How did you decide on the parts of reality that were going to be the basis of this memoir with a twist?


It was a very organic process that essentially evolved as I was writing it, with no real set plan. I knew I wanted to write about my family, to capture who they were at the time and document some memories of my kids when they were little. The book was originally started out just for them, without actually thinking I was going to publish it but, as time went on, and the novel took form, I started to think I might try and share it with others as well. I eventually pursued having it published.


Within the story the protagonist, Lark, ends up in a magical world in a symbolic tree. He goes on to travel back and forth from ascending this tree with some special friends, to traveling to the real world and experiencing events from the past, reliving moments from his mother’s memory (my memoir).


Essentially, all of the experiences outside of this magical world, in the real world, are the memoir piece. I describe it as almost a modern-day Scrooge journey, without the grumpy part!


The descriptions of the children in the story, from the memoir parts, were easy because it was just them, my five kids, and moments from our life together thus far. I am not quite sure how I decided which moments to share, as some were quite big while others were very simple everyday moments, yet they all taught me something.


I did know I wanted to write down some memories about when my daughter was ill, as that was a big life-lesson. It is one of those things that you wish you didn’t have to go through but, like anyone who goes through a hard time and comes out on the other side of it, you gain perspective, you figure out what really matters, and you try and really live and love the moment you are in moving forward. When the awareness that the next moment may not happen for someone you love, it simply changes everything. I didn’t want to ever forget those lessons.


I hope maybe my children one day, when they are a bit older, and anyone else who reads Lark and the Loon, can gain that awareness too, through riding that ride with us in the pages of the book.


Another big part of the book is from my time spent in Africa, doing my occupational therapy internship and traveling. That experience, in beautiful Africa, was another eye-opening experience that changed how I view the world. It was something I always wanted to write about. I intended on sending a query to some occupational therapy journals upon my return, as my internship experience was so unique. I just never did that for some reason. I guess it was meant to go in this book instead!


So, maybe the answer to your question, now that I think about it, is the way I decided which parts of reality were to be included was they were all some moments from my life, both the big and the small, that shifted how I see the world in some way. Moments that provided me with a greater awareness of what matters in the big picture.


I’m delighted to be participating in author Rhiannon Gelston’s blog tour for her latest release, LARK AND THE LOON.

Genre: Memoir with a Twist
◊ Publisher: WiDo Publishing (July 17, 2020)
◊ Print & eBooks
◊ Paperback: 284 pages
◊ ISBN-10: 1947966251
◊ ISBN-13: 978-1947966253

Lark and the Loon follows the adventures of a tentative boy named Lark, as he is catapulted out of all that he knows, into a courageous journey beyond his wildest imagination. 

Upon receiving a special gift from his Gramps, Lark embarks on a reflective journey of self-discovery as the innovative story weaves the true-life memoir of his mother (the author) in with a fantastical journey. With some special new-found friends, Lark travels back and forth from a symbolic tree to his mother’s true memories of life and death moments, and simple moments, found everywhere from wild Africa to their very own living room. Lark and his friends must ascend this tree and gain the important life lessons offered along the way if they ever hope to find their way out. Within this journey, Lark finds these lessons, and ultimately himself, in the space between imagination and truth in this wild tale.  

The story explores friendships, philosophies, and everyday challenges and joys, both from a child's perspective and from a parent's perspective. This memoir with a twist results in a coming-of-age story that ultimately leads to a new understanding of self, others, and the world that surrounds us.


LARK AND THE LOON
is available at AMAZONBarnes & Noble * WiDo Publishing. Also, be sure to add it to your TBR List on Goodreads.

Meet the Author


RHIANNON GELSTON
loves to lose herself in all things creative. She enjoys writing, painting, live music, traveling, sports, being outdoors, exploring, playing, spirituality, and energy work. She has a BA in English and an MS in Occupational Therapy with a pediatric focus. Rhiannon just had her first novel published. It is a memoir with a twist called, LARK AND THE LOON, available wherever books are sold.

Rhiannon grew up on Spa Creek in downtown Annapolis. Home for Rhiannon will always be the sound of the halyards hitting the masts on a breezy day, a pile of crabs saturated in Old Bay, raft-ups with friends as kids cannonball off of the stern, and time with family and friends, in, on, and around the Chesapeake Bay.

She lives in Annapolis with her husband, their five lovely and lively children, and their black lab, McNasby.

Connect with Rhiannon on Facebook and Instagram.

Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway. It ends May 3. The grand prize is a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an eBook of LARK AND THE LOON. The second-place winner has to be a US resident as the gift is a signed copy of LARK THE LOON. The third-place prize is an eBook that two winners will receive. If the Rafflecopter widget doesn’t work, you can still enter by clicking HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by today. Doesn’t this sound like an intriguing memoir?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

WEP & The Kiss

Update!


Woohoo!! Congrats to the other winners and to all the entries - another challenge full of brilliant writing!

I'm thrilled Reg & Jenny touched hearts of so many - thank you!!


Sin and Sunshine 

His Jenny’s lips had always been what she called fully dressed.


It had been the first thing he’d noticed about her. Those full lips had been the stuff of Reg’s fantasies for years. Decades.


She’d been wearing Crimson Poppy when they’d met at the Legion dance so long ago.


Peach Perfection on their first official date the very next weekend.


Petal the night he’d proposed.


Ruby Delight on their wedding day.


He’d kissed them all off of her until her lips were bare and she’d laughed and dressed them again.


Which had always meant Reg was kissing her again.


A man would have to be a saint to not kiss those lips when they were in kissing distance. And, as Jenny often told him with a smile, Reg was no saint.


Not when his Jenny was full of sin and sunshine.


What would her lips wear today? Passion Pink or Desert Nights? Ripeness or Luscious?


So many choices.


Colours, shades, shine, texture. He’d become a connoisseur and had his own favourites.


Crimson Poppy. Just like that first dance.


Yes, it was fitting.


First love.


First kiss.


Last love.


Last kiss.


Reg packed Crimson Poppy with the clothes Jenny had chosen last week. Then he sucked in a deep breath and held it until his emotions were under control.


His Jenny would go into the eternal with her lips fully dressed.

***

Photo of the prompt for the Kiss - a painting in gold showing two lovers kissing

The above story is part of the WEP Challenge. The prompt is The Kiss and the photo above.

Click on the link to access the other stories. There is always a ton of talent in the WEP challenge and the variety of takes on the prompt means it is always worth your time to read! It's even more fun when you join in!


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

IWSG & Friends in the Blogosphere & Jo

 The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



IWSG badge


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! 

February 3 question - Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

A resounding YES to this question!

When I first thought about writing a book, I stumbled onto a site called Agent Query with the forums Agent Query Connect. There I met my first 2 amazing critique partners & found out that Real People published books.

Obviously I knew nothing about the industry.

These crit buddies had blogs and I jumped into the blogosphere about ten (or more??) years ago.

I'm still buddies with many of these people (Hi, Alex!). People I consider friends and not only internet acquaintances.

I'm not going to list people because there are so many!

As an introvert who finds meeting new people stressful, it's interesting that I feel I could meet at least 30 blogging friends and not have that awkward initial interaction. 

Unfortunately my bloggy friends are spread all over the world (Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, England, Singapore...) (with a few close enough to meet one day!) so I doubt most of us will ever meet up in the real world, but I'd love to have everyone over for supper. Who's in for lasagna?

How about you? Do you have bloggers you consider friends? What would you be serving if they (we?) popped over for supper?

***

In Honor of Jo Wake
On February 3, share a recipe that brings them warm memories of friendship and love in honor of blogger Josephine “Jo” Wake at Jo on Food, Life, and a Scent of Chocolate. who passed away December 16, 2020


I didn't know Jo well, but we crossed paths through Sue's blog at Elephant's Child. Jo found out about my book Dancing With Dementia through Sue's post. Jo went on to read the book and post a review on her blog.

Jo and I chatted through email a few times as well and her love of life and joy in cooking were obvious. She will be missed.

If I actually followed a recipe for the lasagna I mentioned above, I'd include that but I tend to change it up & have no idea what the original recipe was!

I feel like Jo would appreciate this recipe too. It's a super simple one that ends up with delicious muffin-sized brownies. No icing required!

In a small pot, melt a cup of butter. Add in a cup of dark chocolate chips until they're melted.

In a mixing bowl, mix 1-1/2 cups of white sugar with 4 eggs. Add in a cup of flour and mix.

Add in the melted chocolate mixture and mix well. Throw in a handful of mini chocolate chips if you like.

Pour into muffin cups (I use the paper liners for easier clean up). Makes 16.

Bake for 35 minutes at 335.

That's it. Easy peasy and delicious. I'm sure Jo would approve!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Bloo Moose Nooz

Does anyone really like marketing? Anyone good at it? I'm not but I've decided "writing the next book" is the best strategy for me to follow for now. That I can do!

I don't think I even posted about the last release, so I thought I'd get everyone up to date with the Bloo Moose Adventures.

Reaching For Trust (Bloo Moose #6) releases tomorrow! 


I love this story and had so much fun writing it. I'm a huge music lover and writing from Trina's pov was a blast. Add in a maple syrup sugar shack, a big floppy rescue dog, and a stalker, and the story flew out of my fingers!

Bloo Moose #7 Reaching For Roots is up next and will release on March 23.

In this one we have a cartoonist who never has good luck staying in one place for long and an undercover agent trying to take down a criminal with a connection to Emmy. Poor Ryan digs himself into a very deep hole! Another story that was a blast to write.

Still working out which should be the next story after that. Jaz LaChance, Nick Grant, and Jenna Wilkes are all knocking on my skull to get their stories written. Any preferences?

In other news, I'm currently planning another series as well. One filled with smart people trying to make the world a better place and the people who are trying to keep them safe. 

Anyone invented a Pause Time For Everyone Except Me Machine that I could use to get all of these stories written???

How about you? Anyone else stink at marketing? What plans do you have for writing/releasing in 2021? Any exciting news to share?