Wednesday, September 28, 2022

HR Sinclair & Oscar The Apprehensive Apparition!

 I'm delighted to welcome HR Sinclair to the blog along with Oscar, the Apprehensive Apparation! Before we get to her feature, I had 2 questions to ask Holly!

Writing for young people is a delightful challenge. What was your favorite part of writing a chapter book?

It’s freeing. You can be goofy and silly. There’s no bogging down on subplots, twists, red herrings, or going to dark places– it’s about wonderment and journey and joy.

What was the most challenging?

Choosing the age range. Children develop at such different rates, picking the correct age is difficult. You would think having a range would make it easier, but it really doesn’t. In the end, I went with my gut.


It’s a pleasure to welcome Author H. R. Sinclair here today as part of her tour from with MC Book Tours featuring her book, OSCAR, THE APPREHENSIVE APPARITION, to be released the first week of October.

This is a Chapter Book for ages 5 through 8 but is a delight to read no matter your age. If you’ve ever enjoyed Casper, then you’ll be glad you got to know Oscar.

Oscar, the Apprehensive Apparition

By H. R. Sinclair

Chapter Book for Ages 5-8

*Independently published

*ISBN: 9798848409956

*Dimensions: 5x8

*42 pages, black and white illustrations

*eBook: 3.99

*Print book: 6.99

*Release date: Oct 3

Oscar the ghost dwells happily in his cozy cottage, where he hides from creatures that lurk in the dark. After a mysterious message arrives, he must find the courage to go out and discover what's waiting for him. Can he do it? Or will the monsters get him?

Oscar, the Apprehensive Apparition is available to purchase at the following links:





Meet The Author: H. R. Sinclair

H.R. Sinclair is a left-handed hermit prepping for the squirrel apocalypse. She writes fantastical stories and visits cemeteries for inspiration.

For more about the author and her work, connect with her on the following sites:








Thanks for stopping by today during H. R. and Oscar’s visit. Are you a fan of friendly ghosts like Casper and Oscar?


How about you? I adore Casper and I know I'm going to love Oscar as well! Who is your favourite ghost from TV and movies?

Monday, September 19, 2022

Deniz Bevan & Druid's Moon

 Please welcome my long-time blog buddy Deniz Bevan to the blog today! I asked Devin about the spark for her great story.


Thank you, Jemi, for the opportunity to post on your blog!


I was looking back over some of my blog posts about Druid’s Moon and remembered all the research I’d done for the story. I can’t find any written mention of what sparked the initial idea; I’ll bet there are some explanatory scribbles in the margins of my first draft on paper, but to find that I’d need an intern, to dig into some of the bins in the storage space downstairs.


The closest I’ve come is a brief mention in a post of the dream that sparked the tale ( “Fred and Lyne's story all started with a dream of a man and a woman in a room in the depths of the cave. I knew who was searching for them beyond the closed door, and I knew that Fred had been transformed from a Beast. The rest I had to discover while writing.”


I do have records of my research, though!


This was my first contemporary story in some time, so it was fun not to have to double-check every piece of vocabulary (except for my characters from Cornwall!) and determine when certain words entered everyday language (the Oxford English Dictionary is very helpful in this regard) or worry about methods of transport (all I had to do was look up a few schedules on the United Kingdom National Rail site).


Of course, being me, the story included historical references, and those required quite a bit of research!


I needed to look up lists of baronetcies to make sure Frederick had a title that wasn’t connected to anyone improper, wasn’t currently in use, and hadn’t been linked with salacious activities in the past. I also delved into Celtic myths and legends, went back and read the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale a few times, looked up Kraken and the habits of octopi, glanced at shipping and trade patterns along the Cornish coast (


Somewhere along the way, I found a video of one of my favourite actors, Ioan Gruffudd, reading from The Mabinogion in Welsh: I also kept collecting images, not only of character faces, but of cute octopi (!


I had one blog post in which I wrote, “I need one more spell and one more curse”!


The other main research area for this book was archaeology. Lyne is a graduate student in archaeology on her first official dig, and I needed vocabulary, standard operating procedures, insider tips, and stuff that was so familiar to archaeologists that they wouldn’t even think to mention it. I started following archaeologists’ blogs, I got into Time Team, I bought introductory books on archaeology, I reread Agatha Christie (, I bothered my friends who were archaeologists, and I even took a Future Learn course!


I even got to feature author and archaeologist Jordan Jacobs on my blog!


The last time I compiled all my research needs was over two years ago:

I get a kick out of tracking all the weird stuff I somehow seem to need to know for my stories. And I love poking around among dusty books in libraries!

The final few items in that post were all about my abject ignorance of floramedieval images, tips for using square brackets when writing historical fictionwhy published authors always tell aspiring authors to READ, plus can you identify this item? and how would you take a snail to Constantinople?... 


Love it!!! It doesn't surprise me in the least that you enjoy poking around libraries and digging in deep with the research. It pays off so well in your story.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of Druid's Moon and it is fabulous! Here's my review.

Druid's Moon is an intense and captivating retelling of the Beauty and the Beast legend.

Set in modern times, Lyne is an archeology student who is thrilled to be working closely with her professor on a dig. They discover pages of an old manuscript that details a curse.

When some of the events in the curse appear to happen, Lyne starts to wonder if there is any possibility the curse is real - and if she is part of it.

I don't want to give away spoilers so I won't give details, but the plot twisted in unexpected and intriguing ways that had me reading well into the night. The characters pulled me into the story until I needed to know if they would find a happy ending or if the curse would prevail.

This is a terrific read and if you love mysteries and retellings, you're going to love it!


Druid’s Moon
By Deniz Bevan

Beauty to his Beast…

Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.

And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.

Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart.

Release date – September 20, 2022
$14.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 226 pages
Fantasy – Romance (FIC009090) / Paranormal (FIC009050) / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology (FIC010000)
Print ISBN 9781939844866 / EBook ISBN 9781939844873
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

A firm believer in burning the candle at both ends, Deniz Bevan is generally writing a new novel while editing another and blogging about her reading and research adventures. Other days, she tries to stay off the web altogether, as she delves into the history, mystery, and romance of her characters’ lives.

Apple -
Amazon -
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Kobo -
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Amazon UK -
Goodreads -


How about you? Does anyone else do deep dives into research like Deniz? What's something interesting you've learned? Do you love poking into libraries? (I do!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Built Of Strength

Built Of Strength is out today!!!

This is the 2nd book in the Small Town Heroes series. The books are standalones, but there are a few spoilers in this book if you haven't read Built Of Secrets yet.

I love this setting -  an old fishing lodge and sawmill surrounding Midnight Lake in the middle of Vermont. The nearby town of Phail (there's a story behind the ridiculous name!) is fun and like Bloo Moose, they don't take themselves too seriously. What they do take seriously is helping each other out, especially when times are tough.

Aisling and Graham are the stars of Built Of Strength. They're good people who've been through some tough times. They're both consumed by their work and don't believe they have the time - or the heart - for love. They're in for a few surprises!


When life was tearing them down, they shared a scorching—and anonymous—one-night stand

Five years later, they come face to blushing face at Midnight Lake. Aisling has committed to renovating the old lodge for her friend. Graham is part-owner of a security business operating out of the same property. And they both want to claim the shop space. Let the awkwardness commence. But the mutual attraction? Still scorching hot. 

When Aisling is attacked, Graham realizes he wants more than one night. Now, he has to make sure she not only survives, but that she feels the same.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

IWSG & Nightmares & Built Of Strength

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 7 question - What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

Horror would be the worst for me.

I had debilitating nightmares as a child. Bad enough that they would scare my mother when I told her about them. I still remember quite a few of them (some recurred a lot) and they're still terrifying. My folks were worried enough to take me to doctors who all declared I simply had a vivid imagination.

Very helpful.

It took me years of practice to learn to "push away" the nightmares so that I could step out of those worlds and into the real one. It's a push with my brain to the left and it works. No idea why.

Fictional worlds have always been real to me (even though I know they're fictional...). Whatever horrific thing that happens to the MC in movies, TV, & books feels as if it's happening to me. And happens again and again in my dreams.

Writing horror would mean living in that world for the time I needed to write the book. Nope. Nope, nope, nope.

So, no horror for me, thanks!!

How about you? Any genres off-limits for you and your brain?

PS: Built of Secrets releases next week!

When life was tearing them down, they shared a scorching—and anonymous—one-night stand.
Five years later, they come face to blushing face at Midnight Lake. Aisling has committed to renovating the old lodge for her friend. Graham is part-owner of a security business operating out of the same property. And they both want to claim the shop space. Let the awkwardness commence. 
But the mutual attraction? Still scorching hot. 
When Aisling is attacked, Graham realizes he wants more than one night. Now, he has to make sure she not only survives, but that she feels the same.