Thursday, April 30, 2020

Beverly Stowe McClure & Gabe's Guardian Angel


I've invited the lovely Beverly Stowe McClure to the blog today to answer some interesting questions. Gabe's Guardian Angel is her latest release!

1. Gabe sounds like a fascinating young man. How did you create the character?

It's really more like Gabe created himself. I kept reading and hearing about the problems in some schools and towns about bullying. Had never thought about it much, until one day I remembered something that happened in our town. Some boys had been bullying another boy in middle school, and one day they told him to just go and kill himself. I did not know them personally, but he did it. I can only imagine the pain that family went through. Ad then, the writer in me took control. I had to write a story about bullying and hopefully help students see there are ways out of the situation. Gabe's story was born.

Wow - that's such a powerful story! As a teacher, I've seen the impact of bullying. It can be devastating.

2. Do you prefer writing first drafts or revising? Why?

I prefer to revise. The reason: when I have an idea in my head, I need to write it as soon as possible. If I wait too long my brain might travel somewhere else and I've lost the main idea. Then there are lots of revisions. The reason I'm so slow in writing a book.

I am learning to like revisions, but I adore that first draft!!

3. If you had your own Guardian Angel, what would you want help with? (I'm with Gabe and would appreciate a boost in the confidence area!)

Like you, I think I'd want help to be braver, bolder, and more outgoing. Not be afraid to follow my thoughts and ideas, even if they sometimes were not the best. I'd learn from my mistakes.

That sounds great, although I'm okay with being an introvert - and I can pass for an extrovert when necessary!

4. I see you play the piano, too. I've picked it up again in the past couple of years. I'm enjoying learning all kinds of Broadway music. What's your favourite type of music to play?

I don't play the piano often, but when I do I prefer the "Oldies" that I grew up with. Okay, I'm giving away my age now, but that's okay. I am what I am. The Fabulous Fifties like Sixteen Candles, Sincea MOBI rely, Magic Touch, Too Beautiful to Last, I Believe. You see.

The oldies are such fun!! I'm learning music from the 20s t0 50s for my mom (in a nursing home with dementia). I like music from all the eras!

***

Beverly is offering a tour-wide giveaway. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

GABE’S GUARDIAN ANGEL
by Beverly Stowe McClure
* Paperback: 214 pages
* Publisher: Freedom Fox Press
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1939844665
* ISBN-13: 978-1939844668

Gabe Montana is clumsy. He's overweight, and he's dyslexic. Worse yet, the bullies make his fifteen-year-old life even more miserable-so miserable he wants to die.

Charley, his guardian angel, says no to that idea and comes up with a different plan. He'll give Gabe self-confidence so he can solve his problems, not run away from them. But Gabe wonders why the angel doesn't just help with the bullies. What's with this self-confidence stuff?

Can Charley help Gabe stand on his own two feet? Will Gabe give up hope life can improve for him? Or will he finally listen to the angel's advice?

GABE'S GUARDIAN ANGEL is available at the following sites:
AMAZON PAPERBACK
AMAZON KINDLE
BARNES AND NOBLE PAPERBACK
BARNES AND NOBLE NOOK BOOK
KOBO

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

Most of the time, you’ll find Award-Winning Author Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds.

She’s affectionately known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why. To relax she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories.

Beverly is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Author Beverly Stowe McClure is giving away one print copy of GABE’S GUARDIAN ANGEL to a lucky US winner.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Beverly on her week-long tour HERE. You never know what you might find out. Do you think Guardian Angels come in all shapes and sizes?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***

Thanks Beverly for playing along with the questions!

How about you? How would your guardian angel help you out? First drafts or revisions? Any other piano players out there?

Monday, April 27, 2020

Yolanda Renee & Murder, Just Because

Are you ready to be scared?
Yolanda Renee has a new book out - the fifth instalment in her Detective Quaid mystery/thriller series! I had some questions for Yolanda!

Murder, Just Because - Yolanda RenΓ©e
Interview

What draws you to the genre you write?

I was told early on to write what I wanted to read. And that's what I've done. I love a good mystery, a thriller, and if you add a little romance, I’m there!

Which of your characters was the most challenging to write?
Stowy Jenkins, from The Snowman, and now this latest book, Murder, Just Because. Stowy insisted on being the star of the book, which meant getting very graphic with his actions. That was the most difficult, and there were many times that I refused to write the scene. I almost didn't publish the book. But Stowy was one persistent cuss. Too bad he didn't see the end coming… 😊 

Do you use real settings, or do you create the settings in your book?

All the settings are as real as I can get them. I've lived in most all the places in my novel, except those that take my characters out of the country. For those, I researched the area and immersed myself in pictures, and I like to use the real names of places, so readers can relate. But yes, I have created many that aren't real.

With the genre you write, do you ever have trouble sleeping?

Yes, I do. I enjoy the mystery/thriller genre, but I'm easily frightened, plus I have very vivid nightmares. Most have become the plot lines in my books or short stories.
I don’t understand why I’m so easily frightened, but I blame my empathic nature.
When I was seventeen, my boyfriend took me to a graveyard. One of those in the country, down a dirt road, and located beside an old church. Before he even got close, I felt an eerie but a powerful sense of fear. So strong, I became hysterical. My boyfriend didn’t even question it. He hightailed it out of there. I was deeply embarrassed, but I’ve not visited a cemetery after dark since, nor will I go to any place that’s reported to be haunted.
Some of the scenes I've written have caused me to check the window and door locks or turn up the lights. Once I even slept with the lights on. It was after a very vivid nightmare. And that's hard for me because I prefer a completely dark room. I've even disturbed my husband's late-night television watching and made him come to bed just so I could sleep.


Thank you, Jemi, for the interview and for hosting Murder, Just Because.

***

It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Yolanda Renee’s MURDER, JUST BECAUSE Blog Tour through MC Book Tours today.

Yolanda is offering an awesome tour-wide international giveaway. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

MURDER, JUST BECAUSE
by Yolanda  RenΓ©e
◊ Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
◊ Publisher: Yolanda Renee
◊ Series: Detective Quaid Mysteries
◊ Paperback: 291 pages
◊ Print & eBooks
◊ ISBN-10: 0985820632
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0985820633
◊ Contains explicit sex & graphic violence

"While this book does contain explicit sexual language and graphic violence, it could easily be taken from the daily headlines. The content is plausible and realistic as we look at the world around us. The events in the book are not overly done but give a pragmatic look at the terrifying actions killers can and sometimes do take."

It was a matter of beginner’s luck, but rookie detective Steven Quaid’s career and reputation as an elite investigator skyrocketed when he captured one of the most sadistic serial killers in Alaskan history: Stowy Jenkins, AKA the Snowman. But that was ten years ago.

And now…Jenkins is back. Escaped from prison and on the move, his bloodlust is stronger than ever, and his methods of torture are even more horrifying than before. As his bloody rampage continues and the number of mutilated bodies mounts, terrified Alaskans increasingly doubt Quaid’s ability to catch the killer again. The detective’s reputation is on the line, and he’s going to need a lot more than luck, because this time, Jenkins is driven by more than the thrill of a random kill.

This time, it’s more personal. He’s out for revenge…and his ultimate target is Quaid. In a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, Jenkins starts picking off the people in Quaid’s life…slowly, gradually tightening his circle of corpses and drawing ever closer to the most important person in Quaid’s life...his wife. Can Quaid do the impossible again? Can he outmaneuver the killer, or has the detective's luck finally run out?

Author Yolanda Renee
For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her in her own words.

At one time Alaska called to me, and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun, survive in below zero temperatures, and hike the Mountain Ranges. I’ve traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the memories are some of my most valued. The wonders, mysteries and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left me and thus now influences my writing.
Despite my adventurous spirit, I achieved my educational goals, married, and I have two handsome sons. Writing is now my focus, my newest adventure!

For more on Yolanda and her writing, you can connect with her here:
Blog    *     Facebook     *     Twitter     *     Pinterest    


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

This tour-wide giveaway is for a complete set of the Detective Quaid Mystery series books for one winner, paperback copies of MURDER, JUST BECAUSE for five winners, and a Kindle copy of MURDER, JUST BECAUSE for 10 winners.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.


Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Yolanda on her month-long tour HERE. You never know what you might find out. Do you enjoy watching a character grow from one story to the next?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

***

Thanks Yolanda!

I'm totally with you on the disrupted sleeps! I'm still having nightmares from the Stephen King books I read way back in high school πŸ˜€

How about you? Anyone else have difficulty sleeping about a particularly powerful scary story? I'll be sleeping with the lights on after reading this one!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

WEP Challenge: Rich People

“I do believe discovering how the thieves entered the premises is your job, Officer. Not mine.”

Janine clamped down on her back teeth to keep the retort in. She’d already frozen her eyeballs into place so she wouldn’t roll them.

Rich people.

“The vase was right there on the hallway table. Now it is not. I expect you to retrieve it and arrest those responsible for this invasion.”

There was no evidence that a vase had ever stood on the table but Janine doubted a dust mite would dare to rest on a surface owned by Mrs. Eleanor Carrington.

“Do you have a picture of the vase?”

One eyebrow tried to shoot up, but Janine figured the Botox treatments had done their job too well. Mrs. Carrington managed imperiousness without it.

“It is an art piece. It is to be enjoyed, not photographed.”

Okay. “Please describe it for me.”

“It is handcrafted. Baccarat.” She paused, but when Janine didn’t respond she shook her head slightly and continued. “Approximately ten inches high. Etched crystal. With a matching lid. A unique piece.”

“And the value?”

“Approximately thirty-five thousand.”

Janine’s pen slipped out of her hand and she hurriedly retrieved it from the tile floor. At least it hadn’t made a mark or a dent. Who knew what the flooring would cost to fix?

A man wearing a severe black suit and brilliant white shirt entered the hallway.

“Excuse me for interrupting, Mrs. Carrington, but the school is calling.”

The man handed her a phone, executed a small bow and left.

“I must take this. My grandson is staying with me while his parents are travelling. Excuse me.”

Janine glanced around the hallway as the older woman walked away and spoke quietly into the phone. Janine couldn’t even imagine how a child would survive in this home. She was terrified of brushing up against the walls in case she caused damage. Not exactly a vacation for a kid.

“Thank you. I will be there shortly.”

Mrs. Carrington lowered the phone to the spot where the vase had rested. When she looked up, there was a rosy tint to her cheeks.

She pressed her lips together tightly, then spoke. “I owe you an apology, Officer.” She pressed her lips together again. Apparently apologizing wasn’t something she was used to doing.

When Janine started to respond, Mrs. Carrington held up a perfectly manicured hand loaded with rings that cost more than Janine made in a decade.

“It appears,” another lip press. “It appears that I was mistaken.” This time her lips twitched.

“My grandson had Show and Tell today.”

Uh oh.

“He was upset that he’d left his bug bungalow at home.” Mrs. Carrington shuddered and then her lips quirked again. “He decided that the pretty glass cup with the lid would be a perfect replacement.”

This time the woman let out a laugh.

“My vase wasn’t stolen. It is in Noah’s school bag filled with the spiders he collected at recess. Spiders!”

Janine goggled as the woman laughed until tears filled her eyes and she put a hand to her pearls.

“I’m sorry to have wasted your time but now I need find a suitable container for Noah and retrieve my vase.”

Janine grinned as she left Mrs. Eleanor Carrington to find her new bug bungalow.

Rich people.

***

The above story is part of the WEP Challenge. The link will take you a slew of stories based on the prompt Antique Vase. These stories are always worth taking the time to read!!

There's still time to register and add your own story to the challenge!

How about you? Any bug collectors in our midst? Anyone ever bring anything interesting to Show and Tell?



Monday, April 6, 2020

Thank You!

I can't even begin to tell you how my heart has grown over the last week.

I am surrounded by awesome and that includes every single person reading this. So many kind and generous people shared the news of my release in the last week. So many people commented on blog posts and shared stories that touched my heart ... even as my heart shattered for them as well.

Dementia is a nasty disease.
It's difficult to write about.
It's difficult to discuss.
We don't want reminders.
We don't want to talk about it.
Mostly, we just want it to go away.

But this online writing/reading community amazes me with its generosity and kindness.

I am so incredibly awed to share this little orange flag over at Amazon from Saturday morning




#1 New Release!!!

Further down the page from the same time


Holy Cow!!!
(Yes, I know it's a small category and I know the numbers will drop! πŸ˜„)

I'm overwhelmed and so grateful to everyone who has helped me spread the word about this book!

Mason Canyon organized an incredible blog tour and helped me send my little book out into the world with a bang. Thanks to these great people for hosting Dancing With Dementia:

Denise, Elizabeth, Yolanda Renee, Cathrine, Joylene, Marcy, Tara, Alex, Diane, Diane again, Lu Ann, Deniz, Shannon, Lisa, Mason, Sue, Pat, JunetaEllen and Romance Reader

Thanks to all of my great Twitter friends and FB buddies who have liked, shared, and RTed my posts and celebrated right alongside me. Thank you as well to the people who have taken the time to leave reviews. Love you all!

I hope this book will help people who are dancing the early steps with this disease. I hope sharing the story of our journey will make the journeys of others easier.

Most of all, I hope the researchers continue to do their thing and that the need for a book like this in the future will be absolutely nil. Nothing would make me happier than to have a cure or prevention for dementia.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Sending hugs and good karma out into the universe for each and every one of you!!! πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

Amazon.com           Amazon.ca.          Apple Books.           Barnes & Noble          Kobo.      
Goodreads               BookBub



Friday, April 3, 2020

Dancing With Dementia - Day 5 Tour Stops

(It's a terrible time for a book release, but with dates for set up so far in advance, there's nothing to be done but keep moving forward. I hope everyone is staying safe and staying home as much as possible. Sending good and healing vibes to everyone!!)



The lovely Mason Canyon has organized a tour for Dancing With Dementia throughout the week. I hope you'll visit a stop or two this week and point anyone who this book might help in the right direction.

Today's stops are:

Friday, April 3
Pat Garcia Book Reviews – Review
Writer’s Gambit – Top Ten List
Ellen Jacobson Author – Top Ten List & Review


You can find Dancing With Dementia here
Amazon.com           Amazon.ca.         Apple Books.         Kobo           Barnes & Noble
BookBub.
Add it to your Goodreads shelf here!

If you know anyone who is interested, I have another blog to discuss more things dementia related and YouTube Channel devoted to Quick Tips based on ideas in the book

It's been an amazing week!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who has helped get the word about the book out to the world! You have shown (once again) that the online writing community is the best!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dancing With Dementia - Day 4 Tour Stops

(It's a terrible time for a book release, but with dates for set up so far in advance, there's nothing to be done but keep moving forward. I hope everyone is staying safe and staying home as much as possible. Sending good and healing vibes to everyone!!)



The lovely Mason Canyon has organized a tour for Dancing With Dementia throughout the week. I hope you'll visit a stop or two this week and point anyone who this book might help in the right direction.

Today's stops are:

Thursday, April 2
Sue @ Elephant's Child - Review
Lisa Haselton’s Reviews & Interviews – Q&A
Thoughts in Progress – Review


You can find Dancing With Dementia here
Amazon.com           Amazon.ca.         Apple Books.         Kobo           Barnes & Noble        BookBub

Add it to your Goodreads shelf here!

If you know anyone who is interested, I have another blog to discuss more things dementia related and YouTube Channel devoted to Quick Tips based on ideas in the book

Thanks again to all of the amazing people who have helped out!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dancing With Dementia - Day 3 Tour Stops & IWSG




The lovely Mason Canyon has organized a tour for Dancing With Dementia throughout the week. I hope you'll visit a stop or two this week and point anyone who this book might help in the right direction.

Today's stops are:

Wednesday, April 1
Alex J. Cavanaugh – Guest Post
Spunk on A Stick – Feature
Circle of Friends – Feature
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Feature & Top Ten List
The Girdle of Melian – Guest Post
The Warrior Muse – Top Ten List


You can find Dancing With Dementia here
Amazon.com           Amazon.ca.         Apple Books.         Kobo           Barnes & Noble.         BookBub

Add it to your Goodreads shelf here!

If you know anyone who is interested, I have another blog to discuss more things dementia related and YouTube Channel devoted to Quick Tips based on ideas in the book

Thanks again to all of the amazing people who have helped out!!

***

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.




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 1 question - The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

It's a weird time in the world and I hope all of our IWSG members are well.

We're doing well here in Northern Ontario. We've all been self-isolating since early March, only running out for essentials. It's busier in our house as we're on childcare duty for the family members working from home. We're having lots of fun and the snow is melting!!

It's a terrible time for a book release, but with dates for preorders set up well in advance, there's nothing else to be done but do it.

Sending good vibes out into our IWSG network and hoping everyone stays safe!