Monday, September 21, 2020

Sherry Ellis: Bubba & Squirt's Mayan Adventure

Join me today for author Sherry Ellis’ MC Book Tour for her latest release, BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S MAYAN ADVENTURE.

This is a delightful juvenile fiction story that readers of all ages will enjoy.

◊ Genre: Juvenile Fiction
◊ Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press (Sept. 7, 2020)
◊ Print & eBooks
◊ Paperback: 96 pages
◊ ISBN-10: 1939844703
◊ ISBN-13: 978-1939844705

An ancient Mayan civilization!     

That's what Bubba and Squirt find when they travel through the mysterious vortex for another wild adventure. There they meet archeologists who are unearthing priceless artifacts.

But someone is stealing them. And an encounter with the Tate Duende awakens magic within Bubba. Throw in the mysterious Alux and a new discovery and things get sticky.

Will Bubba and Squirt solve the mystery, or will they be stuck forever in the jungles of Belize?

Bubba and Squirt available at 
AMAZON US   *   APPLE BOOKS   *   DANCING LEMUR PRESS   *   BARNES & NOBLE  *  BAM   *   KOBO

Meet the Author

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. 

When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis and her family live in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information on Sherry and her writing, connect with her on: Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Blog * Website * Amazon Author Page


GIVEAWAY

The author is sponsoring a tour-wide giveaway. She is giving away ten (10) autographed print copies of the book open to all. Be sure to enter below on the Rafflecopter widget. If the widget doesn’t appear, click HERE to enter the giveaway. The giveaway ends at midnight on Oct. 17th.

You can also follow Sherry’s tour for more information and chances to enter by visiting the following sites:

Monday, Sept. 14 - Write With Fey - Guest Post
Alex J. Cavanaugh - Guest Post

Tuesday, Sept. 15 - Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews - Interview
Wednesday, Sept. 16 - The Story of a Writer - Review
Thursday, Sept. 17 - Book Reviews by Pat Garcia - Review
Friday, Sept. 18 - Booked Solid with Virginia C - Feature
Rockin' Book Reviews - Review & Top Ten List

Monday, Sept. 21 - Just Jemi - Review & Interview
Anna del C. Dye Official Page - Excerpt
Tuesday, Sept. 22 - Baroness' Book Trove - Review

Saturday, Sept. 26 - Storeybook Reviews - Excerpt
Monday, Sept. 28 - Elizabeth Spann Craig's Blog - Guest Post
Joylene Nowell Butler - Excerpt
Journaling Woman - Feature
Wednesday, Sept. 30 - Nesie's Place - Excerpt

Friday, Oct. 2 - Thoughts in Progress - Review
Monday, Oct. 5 - The Sexy Nerd "Revue" - Excerpt
Wednesday, Oct. 7 - Willow Writes and Reads - Review
Friday, Oct. 9 - Celticlady's Reviews - Excerpt
Monday, Oct. 12 - Literary Rambles - Interview
Wednesday, Oct. 14 - Writer's Gambit - Feature & Top 10 List

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy all different types of genres and age-related stories?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


***


I had a few questions for Sherry...

What's a Fun Fact you learned about the Mayan culture?

There’s a reason ancient Mayan carvings and drawings depict people with flattened foreheads.  Flat heads (and stones drilled into teeth) were considered fashionable. The Maya strapped boards to the foreheads of their babies and made them wear them for six years to achieve the look. Aren’t you glad that’s no longer in style?


Yikes!! I'm SO glad that's no longer in style. Wow - cultures always have such different views of what constitutes beauty!

Would you like to be an archeologist?


Yes and no. Yes, because if I found something unusual and valuable, it would be an amazing experience! No, because I don’t think I’d have the patience to squat down in a quadrant all day, sifting through dirt and carefully brushing debris off of whatever I found. Putting pieces and parts of things together would also try my patience. I think I’ll stick with writing and music.


You're a musician, do you think Bubba and Squirt might ever visit one of the famous composers?

That would be an interesting idea, but as of today, there are no plans for Bubba and Squirt to meet a famous composer, living or dead. I have five books of Bubba and Squirt adventures planned. The next three will be a trilogy. I don’t think the Bubba and Squirt adventures will continue after that, but who knows? Never say never!

Thank you for having me as a guest!


Thanks for the great answers!

Now to my review:

This is SUCH a fun book! I adored Bubba and Squirt. They're interesting characters who have different personalities. This brother and sister team love each other and respect each other, even when they drive each other a little batty!

I loved the visit to an archeological dig and a look at the Mayan culture as well as the current Belize culture. The interesting characters and a plot that keeps spinning in interesting directions will be loved by both kids and adults alike. I'm also looking forward to trying the chicken tortilla soup with the recipe.

A great read for everyone!



How about you? Any budding/wannabe archeologists or musicians out there? Anyone else want to travel through that vortex or check out Mayan artifacts?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Bloo Moose Nooz!

 Or "News" if you're not yet comfortable with Bloo Moose spellings!

The Bloo Moose Universe is getting bigger.

On October 13, Reaching For Balance will be released. This is Gage and Rebecca's story and I can't wait for it to be out and about! The preorder price is $0.99 but the price will go up to $3.99 after release day so grab your copy now!


One undercover FBI agent protecting a boy.

One Lodge owner protecting his town.

One undeniable connection.


Amazon (US).       Amazon (CA)       Apple.      B&N.      Kobo.      Google Play.      BookBub.        Goodreads       Website


Reaching For Normal is FREE at all major retailers. I always planned to have the first book in the series free as a way to entice new readers into the series. We all have to be careful how we spend our pennies, so the free book should help readers decide if the series is one they'll enjoy.


She's no damsel in distress.

He's no Prince Charming.

But if they don't team up, it won't be only wolves that'll be dying.


Amazon (US)        Amazon (CA).      Apple.      B&N.      Kobo.      Google Play.      BookBub        Goodreads.       Website


Also, if you sign up for my newsletter's mailing list, you'll receive a Free Short Story.

Reaching For Adventure is a short glimpse into Myla's past. Myla is one of the main characters in Reaching For Normal. Neither the short story nor the novel contain spoilers and can be read in either order.


Her past has more questions than answers.

Her best friend is her car.

But if she can figure out her place, she just might have a shot at normal.

Finally, I'm working hard to get another novel out before 2020 is over. It's a Christmas story so I'd better get working!

How about you? What are you up to? Anyone have new releases to shout out about?



Monday, September 14, 2020

Why I Love Scrivener - Plotting

I'm been asked multiple times about Scrivener and why it works for me, so I thought I'd put together a few posts. Hopefully, they're helpful!

Here are the previous posts:

I don't use the whole range of tools in Scrivener but I've found that MANY of the features really work for my brain. This program has saved my sanity and my stories on many occasions.

When I first started writing, I was a total Pantser (writing by the seat of my pants). I knew the genre I was writing, but that was about it when I started. As you can imagine, this created a need for a LOT of revising and editing. Over time, I decided to learn to plot.

However, most plot books didn't make a lot of sense to my brain. Enter Libbie Hawker's Take Off Your Pants book. Now I have a much better sense of story before I start. I don't feel overwhelmed by the amount of plotting I do and it doesn't suck the joy out of the actual writing for me (which happened with other styles of plotting).

Of course, everyone has to find their own way to plot or not to plot.

When using Scrivener, I always have a folder for Paths. Which is how I think of plotting thanks to Libbie. Each character has their own Path and then I have to combine their paths.



In the screenshot, you'll see the top part of a chart I've created using Libbie's book. It gives me the basics for the character's path. I do one for each character (I have 2 MCs as I write romance with dual pov). Then I need to combine these two paths into one story. And that's where the right-hand side of the screenshot comes in. It bears the fancy title of "Things that need to happen."

I don't have a step-by-step outline. Rather, I have the two paths and the chart of what happens in what order.

Because Scrivener allows that wonderful double writing-space option, I can have either of the Paths or the Combined Path on the screen at the same time as I'm drafting. This helps keep me on track and reminds me where I'm going.

No matter what style of outlining or plotting you do I think you can use Scrivener's double workspace option to your advantage.

How about you? Do you like having your outline visible as you're writing? Anyone else use Take Off Your Pants? Any tips to share?

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

IWSG & Wishlist Beta Partners

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! 

***

September 2 question - If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

What a great question!

I think this answer would totally change depending on the genre I'm writing.

Currently, I'm focusing on contemporary romance with a mix of suspense and humour. The overall tone of my writing is hopeful and the endings are always happy.

I'd love to have Jill Shalvis as a beta partner. Her stories run from contemporary romance to women's fiction. I love the humour and emotion she injects in everything she writes. Her characters are complex - full of strengths and flaws. Her plots are tightly written with intriguing twists. Her writing always tugs at the heartstrings.

Working with someone who writes such fascinating characters and plots would teach me a lot. I also think she'd like the Bloo Moose romances and a beta has to enjoy the books!

How about you? Does your genre influence who you would choose as a beta partner? Anyone else write contemporary romance?


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

WEP Blades of Grass


Toya thumped to the ground with a sigh. The grass tickled the back of her knees and she reached to pull a blade from the ground.

A wide blade, perfect for making duck calls. Toya placed the blade between her thumbs but didn’t make the call.

Granny would have laughed.

The voices of the adults drifted around her, but Toya ignored them all. None of them were talking to her anyway.

Granny would have talked to her.

“Toya,” she’d say. “You blow on that grass, sunshine girl. Life is too short to be demure. You go out there and live some, you hear?”

Still, Toya didn’t blow on the grass. Instead, she rolled it between her fingers until it was a tight little ball then plucked another one.

And another.

Soon, there was a little pyramid of grass balls in front of her.

“What do you see, girl?”

A pyramid of knitting yarn Granny would use to make a sweater.

A pile of balls waiting for a cat to play.

Ammunition for a pea shooter to get back at Roger for tugging at her braids.

“Always thinking small, girl. Think bigger.”

Magic mints for the fairies and brownies who filled the woods behind the farm.

Memories.

Each ball a memory.

Granny stirring up a pot of soup.

Sitting in the sunbeams playing with the cats in the barn. Granny always said you were never too old to play in the sunbeams.

Granny holding her hand in the cemetery, telling Toya her folks might be gone, but they’d always be with her.

Making scrapbook pages with Granny.

Toya picked up the tiny balls of grass and tried to imprint each of them with a memory. She had to remember.

“Time to go.”

The woman’s voice broke Toya’s chain of memories, but she didn’t look up into that face she didn’t know.

There weren’t any other voices left. The other adults were gone.

Gone.

Toya picked up another ball of grass. Granny laughing with her as they tossed out her first attempt at peanut butter cookies.

The big bed where it was safe when the nightmares came along with the thunder.

“Toya, please stand up. We need to leave. It’s getting late and the Lawsons are expecting us.”

The Lawsons. The people she hadn’t met yet. The people she didn’t want to meet.

“Toya, it’s getting dark. It’s time to leave.”

The sun peeked over the top of the headstone but as Toya looked up, the sun winked and dropped below, leaving her in the shadows.

In Granny’s shadow.

Toya picked up the last ball of grass and added it to the memory pile in her hand. Then she rose out of the comfort of Granny’s shadow and went with the lady she didn't know.

***

This is an entry for the WEP August challenge The Long Shadow. If you click on the link, you'll find a host of other stories based on the prompt. The stories are always diverse and entertaining - well worth the time to read!

How about you? Any memories you've preserved for yourself?
Badge for the WEP Challenge The Long Shadow


Monday, August 17, 2020

Patricia Jospehine and The Influencers

Please welcome my buddy Patricia Lynne Josephine back to the blog today!!

1. What's your favourite way of coming up with names for your characters?
I go to baby name sites and look up names and their meanings. Sometimes I try to pick a name that has a meaning that fits with the character's personality. Othertimes, the character tells me their name.

2. Let's talk titles. Hard or easy? How did you come up with Influencers?

Titles are hard. You have to come up with as few as one word that describes a 50 thousand plus word story??? I came up with Influencers because that's what the characters do: influence mortals. You can say that's lazy or just common sense. LOL!

Let's go with Common Sense - it totally works!!

3. You have to choose:
Light or Dark?
Light, it energizes

Vampires or Werewolves?
Vampires, duh! Why would you choose anything else? =P

Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunset. Both are pretty, but I'm always asleep during sunrise.

Wolverine or Iron Man?
Wolverine. He's not as stuck up as Iron Man.

Vacation in the City or at the Beach?
Vacation in the city because there is a lot to explore.

Spring or Fall?
Spring because the snow is freaking going away!



As you now know, Patricia's new book is called Influenced. I was lucky enough to read an early copy and it is a lot of fun! Here's my review!

The Influencers can't be seen by humans, but they sit on the shoulders of the mortals and whisper n their ears. Eating that extra piece of chocolate cake? Influencer. Letting your colleague use the copier first? Influencer.
The book contains three intertwined short stories with influencers dealing with their humans and trying to push them towards the Dark or the Light.

The stories are quick reads with intriguing characters (both mortal and otherwise). You'll find yourself thinking of the message behind the stories long after you finish the last page.
***


Blurb

There is no Light without Dark.


Influencers are the voices that whisper in our ears. Tiny Angels and Devil sitting on our shoulders and guiding our choices. They are sworn to thwart the other. It is their duty.


Or so they thought…


Nothing is as it seems and questions are piling up. Do Kale and Ariel have the strength to face the truth? Will Antonia and Landon be forced to choose a side? Can Soleil break through to Kemuel? Three tales, three choices: Light. Dark. Or the shades of gray between.


Which one will win?


***

About the Author

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 



Social Media Links: 

Website: - https://www.patriciajosephine.com

Patreon - http://bit.ly/2sHZ3Vr

Ko-Fi - https://ko-fi.com/pattyauthor07

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pattyauthor07

Newsletter - http://bit.ly/2qOsvbm

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13460894.Patricia_Josephine

Amazon Author Page - https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00UH7GAK0



How about you? Iron Man or Wolverine? Light or Dark? Who are you working on influencing? Anyone influencing you?

Monday, August 10, 2020

Why I Love Scrivener - Double Vision


I'm been asked multiple times about Scrivener and why it works for me, so I thought I'd put together a few posts. Hopefully, they're helpful!

The first post on The Basics is here.

I don't use the whole range of tools in Scrivener but I've found that MANY of the features really work for my brain. This program has saved my sanity and my stories on many occasions.

In this post, I'll talk about the physical layout of the Scrivener program. This is probably the main reason I love Scrivener.



Like any word document or writing program, there is a blank space for you to write. In the screenshot above you can see the main writing space is in the middle.

On the left is the Binder. It's the organizer for your project. Each of the arrows shows that there are files or folders within. On the right is the Info section. The small blue icon in the very top left either hides or shows this panel. I generally have this hidden to give me more writing space.

For me, one of the biggest reasons for using Scrivener is that I can have 2 writing spaces open and visible at the same time. If you can see it, in the top right corner of the main writing space above is an icon showing 2 rectangles together. With one click I get this.


As you can see, I've also clicked the blue icon to hide the info panel. If you have notes in there, you might want it open. If you want to label the scenes (pov, settings, point in the novel, first draft...) you'll have to have it open. The tool for that is at the bottom of the Info panel.

There are many reasons I might want 2 writing panels open.

When I'm working on the first draft, I often have the Character's Path section open on the right while I type in the left. This keeps me on track with Goals and Flaws. I might also have the Secondary Characters file open to help me remember the name of the coffee shop baker or the pizza delivery guy.

Drawing of a stick figure hanging from a red heart
(Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)
When I'm revising, I can have Version 1 open in the right panel while I work on Version 2 in the left. That way I can see what the changes look like before I make them permanent. For me, Version 2 is often a complete rewrite. Having the Version 1 file open on the right helps me pick and choose what I want to keep and delete.

I also use the second panel to fact check within the MS. I can easily scroll through to find out what I need to know without losing the place where I'm working.

Sometimes I have the previous scene open on the right to make sure the flow works.

Sometimes I'm skimming through the MS on the left and copy/pasting good Pull/Promo Quotes into the file on the right.

Other times I'm using the research page I've saved into the research file so I don't have Gage fishing for walleyes out of season.

Often I have my To Add, Change, Remove file open on the right while I'm revising on the left.

Or my file of overused words...

So the double writing space feature of Scrivener is probably my favourite feature. What about you? Do you think the double writing space feature would help you? Do you have any other ideas for ways to use that second space?