Top 10 Places in Literature that Will Trigger Your Wanderlust

Begin the weekend with a selection of literary travels from author Cindy Fazzi. After reading her posting, you’ll be planning your next trip…

Cindy Fazzi

Duomo-CindyFazziPic The Duomo in Florence, which is mentioned in “A Room with a View.” (Photo by Vincent Fazzi)

One of the reasons I read novels is to escape to another place. Good books transport me to cities and countries I can only dream of visiting. Even when a story is sad or downright depressing, a memorable depiction of a locale can still trigger my wanderlust. And when I do get a chance to see some of those places, I feel twice as lucky.

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Swag on the cheap!

I just had to share this very clever (and thrifty!) marketing idea…

Megan Morgan

Last week I made a post about how darn broke I am. When you’re broke, you learn how to make do and find clever ways to be resourceful. That being said, I’d like to share one of my resourceful triumphs with you!

A couple weeks ago I learned about a sale Shutterfly was having–I follow blogs that offer freebies, samples, and coupon codes for various services/products, which was how I heard about it. Shutterfly is a photo printing service and I’d never used them before. However, I had a code to get 99 4×6 prints for free, all I had to pay was shipping (which was less than five bucks). I wasn’t sure how my book covers would translate to 4×6 photos, but I figured it was five bucks, I would give it a shot. So I uploaded all my book covers and had some made of each. They…

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When Monsters Became Real: Guest post from author Mae Clair

After reading two of Mae Clair‘s novels, I can honestly say that she’s quickly becoming my go-to author for romantic suspense (read my reviews here and here) with her touches of lyricism and ability to intertwine the perfect blend of the mysterious and paranormal into her writing. So I’m very happy to have her guest posting today…

Here’s Mae:

Myth And Magic-highresThe Spooky House

There’s one in every neighborhood. When I was a kid, the spooky house was two doors down, part of the urban tree-lined street where my family made their home. A brooding three-story structure of gray stone with a sprawling covered front porch, white columns, and side bump-outs, it oozed mystery. The adults might have been oblivious, but all the neighborhood kids knew it was haunted.

My friends and I were convinced a coven of witches met there, and that if you ventured too close to the sides where the shadows were thickest, you’d be sucked up into a coffin tucked under the eaves. No one would ever know, because an evil twin, capable of fooling everyone, would take your place.

The house also had a ghost who lived on the second floor. We knew this because the south facing room had a trio of beautiful stained glass windows and that was the perfect place for a ghost to languish.  Our phantom was female. She was a melancholy soul who’d been separated from her true love and imprisoned by the witches because they were jealous. She spent her time listening to an old-fashioned music box, weeping for her lost love, and looking romantically tragic in a flowing white dress.

Yes, it was silly, but those images stayed with me for a long time, particularly the woman in the flowing white gown. In Myth and Magic it isn’t a house that is rumored to be haunted, but an isolated lodge frequented by corporate employees. When one of them sees a ghostly apparition “in a flowing white gown,” it’s the start of a sequence of bizarre events that have guests checking out before they can check in. Enter my hero, Caith Breckwood, a private investigator, who has a turbulent history with the lodge’s manager, Veronica Kent. It certainly doesn’t help that Caith’s family owns the lodge, or that he’s been estranged from them for years due to a tragedy that occurred in the past.

I you like myth, mystery, and romance, I hope you’ll give Myth and Magic a looksee.

It’s presently on sale for just $.99 through 11/14 and is set during Halloween—perfect for this time of year

I’d also love to know if there were any “spooky houses” in your neighborhood—past or present!

Blurb

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.

After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

Buy Myth and Magic… Just $.99 through 11/4/2015

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Mae ClairAbout the author

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website

Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)

Google+

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Kensington Books Author Page

Goodreads

Pinterest

Next Door to a Star: Review and Tour

BT BANNER
Click here for the full tour schedule.

I love YA novels: from the drama and angst of high school to self-conscious protagonists longing to fit in to gossipy cliques and the always-present yearning to be loved and admired.

And even though it’s been years (decades!) since I negotiated a high-school hallway—eyes downcast, avoiding the mean kids—to the relative safety of my locker, YA books always bring back an onslaught of memories, some happy, some frustrating, and many totally cringe-worthy.

If you, like me, have a soft spot for young adult stories then author Krysten Lindsay Hager should have a place on your bookshelf.

Ms. Hager brings the teen years to life with absolute perfection in Next Door to a Star. Handling multiple plotlines with an expert touch, she’s crafted a young adult dramedy that on the top layer is a story about Hadley Daniels, an average teen whose only ambition is to fit in, have a few friends, and find her place in the world.

And when she finds herself vacationing, and eventually living, next to a former television actress, she thinks this is her opportunity to finally become part of the popular crowd. But beneath that top, superficial, layer rests a meatier story about acceptance and being true to oneself, regardless of the consequences.

I’d been wanting to read one of Ms. Hager’s novels for some time now, and Next Door to a Star certainly didn’t disappoint with characters that felt familiar, as if they were people I’d met before, and plot twists that kept the story moving at a brisk pace.

And, as with most YA novels, the ending will make you smile, satisfied to have spent several hours with Ms. Hager’s charming characters.

Next Door to a Star FRONT COVERBuy

Kindle copy
Amazon Paperback
itunes
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.

Cliques.

Back-stabbing.

Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…

Next Door To A Star?

Booktrailer

http://bit.ly/1F1KUCa

Excerpt

The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.

Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.

About the author

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Find Krysten on the Web

Publisher: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/krysten-lindsay-hager/

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8298036.Krysten_Lindsay_Hager

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Facedbook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Google +: https://plus.google.com/+KrystenLindsayHager/posts

Haunted by Shadows: Review

I’ve always had a hard time reading horror: it’s too real, too terrifying–my mind swallows the images and replays them in an endless obsessive-compulsive loop. So it wasn’t easy for me to agree to read a novel by horror author Brick Marlin, whose kind, friendly emails seem the antitheses of the wicked imagination behind his writing.

But read it I did… Surprising myself by actually enjoying the novel, even though I couldn’t sleep for several nights after finishing it.

And so I’m very pleased to share the following review with everyone, particularly now as Brick embarks on a blog tour to promote his writing.

Shadow Out of the Sky (Transitional Delusions #1)Shadow Out of the Sky by Brick Marlin*
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shadow Out of the Sky begins with a deceptively innocent scene: a young girl, looking for comfort after experiencing a bad dream, wakes her mother in the middle of the night. But what the girl wants is anything but innocent, and the reader is soon off on a journey of horror as author Brick Marlin reveals one terrifying event after another.

The suspense builds as the narration moves between characters, keeping the reader turning pages to see who will survive the demon possession that has consumed the children of Woodbury. Marlin also increases the tension by slowly revealing the backstory, providing just enough information to keep the reader grounded but still wondering why this particular town has been targeted. By the end, all loose ends are woven together, and a gun-toting 70-year-old is left to save the town–one of my favorite aspects of the story.

As with all good horror stories, this frightful tale will keep you up late into the night, and, like the little girl from the first chapter, will leave you with nightmares. Recommended… but definitely not for the fainthearted or squeamish.

Buy:

Amazon Print:  http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Out-Sky-Brick-Marlin/dp/1941706207

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Out-Transitional-Delusions-Book-ebook/dp/B00RB2PISY

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-out-of-the-sky-brick-marlin/1120954039?ean=9781941706206

About the author:

Brick Marlin has been writing since he was a child. From an early age he was exposed to older horror movies. The great ones making their mark in history. He also tackled reading the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Dean Koontz, Charles Dickens, Harper Lee, H.G. Wells, etc. Thus, he decided to engage himself and write horror, dark fantasy and dark sci-fi, scaring readers such as his parents, his friends, neighbors, and even leaving a few school teachers scratching their heads wondering if the boy should be committed or not with his gruesome tales of terror. Short story ideas continued to visit. A book idea or two sometimes stopped by for a sit.

In 2007 he decided to take a more professional approach with his work. Hence, as a member of the Horror Writers Association, already having nine books published by small presses – this you hold in your hand, constant reader, makes his tenth –  nearly thirty short stories published, adding to the few anthologies and collaborations with other authors, Brick Marlin trudges onward, hoping to achieve more creations, wallowing in the brain pans of his characters, giving them the choice whether to twist the knob and enter through the Red Door, or enter through the Blue Door where a group of servo monkey badgers are consuming packages of cinnamon-flavored Pop Rock Candy with a Kung Fu Punch of caffeine.

Find Brick on the web:

Website: http://www.brickmarlin.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Brick-Marlin-182914455094243

Twitter: @BrickMarlin

Follow the entire blog tour:

9/21 Erin Fanning Review
9/21 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
9/21 Wag the Fox Guest Post
9/22 Novel-ties Review
9/23 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post
9/23 Deal Sharing Aunt Interview
9/25 fuonlyknew Review
9/25 L. Andrew Cooper’s Horrific Scribblings Review
9/25 Bee’s Knees Reviews Guest Post
9/25 Azure Dwarf Guest Post
9/27 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Top-Tens List

 

 

*The book was provided for an honest review and no compensation was provided.

Eleven Ways to Support A Friend’s Book Release

Words of wisdom from author Laura Wolfe…

Rocking Horse Writing

In the week since my YA mystery, Trail of Secrets, was published, I’ve engaged in a whirlwind of tweets, Facebook posts, blog appearances, and in-person visits to bookstores, libraries, tack shops, horse barns, etc. I’m starting to realize I probably should have majored in marketing instead of English! I’ve been overwhelmed with support from many friends, relatives, fellow writers–particularly a few close friends scattered across the country who have been hand-delivering my bookmarks to local riding stables and sharing my Facebook posts with their social networks. I’m so grateful!

Still, people continue to ask me, “What can I do to help?” Well, the obvious answer is “Buy the book!” But going beyond that, I’d like to re-share a portion of a post I read and posted a couple of years ago on WriterUnboxed.com by Chuck Sambuchino (editor of Writer’s Digest) on how to support an author’s book release. I’ve…

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Interview with Erin Fanning

I’m moonlighting for the next few weeks over at “Knitting before Knitting was Cool”–a wonderful blog for all things knitting.

Knitting before Knitting was Cool

I am pleased to welcome Erin Fanning as my first guest blogger on this site!  Erin is the author of a new novel, Blood Stitches.  Erin will be posting once a week for the next few weeks talking about her work.

Blood Stitches-highres

When did you start knitting?

I began knitting about eight years ago, after wanting to for years but thinking I wasn’t crafty enough to learn.

What drew you to knit and what is your favorite thing to knit?

My grandmother was an expert at needlework, and I always admired her ability. One of my greatest regrets is not taking her up on her offer to teach me how to knit and crochet, but school, activities, and insecurity about my lack of artistic ability got in the way. However, I finally forged ahead, and now my main knitting projects are blankets for my many, many nieces and nephews.

When did you…

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Siege of the Heart Finally Available in Print!

Elise Cyr

I’m thrilled to announce that my debut medieval romance Siege of the Heart is finally available in print! You can order it through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

To celebrate, I’m also running a Goodreads Giveaway through August 20th. Enter for your chance to win one of five copies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Siege of the Heart by Elise Cyr

Siege of the Heart

by Elise Cyr

Giveaway ends August 20, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Still not convinced? You can check out the following:

The first chapter of Siege at the Love, Lust, and Lipstick Stains blog

An interview with my hero Alexandre over at Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies

My dialogue with Pamela of Badass Romance on Siege Warfare: Meditations on Medieval Romance

So spread the news and try your luck!

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Monday Markets: Finding a home for your story

Gotta a short story in need of a home? Then check out these directories of listings:

Writing Career – “Writing career help for freelance writers: call for submissions, editorial staff changes, writing opportunities, and writing advice.”

Duotrope – “Duotrope is an established, award-winning writers’ resource, and we’re here to help you spend less time submitting so you can focus on writing.”

NewPages – “Calls for writing, art, and photography from literary magazines, publishers, writing conferences, and more.”

CLMP Directory – “A searchable database of Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.”

The Grinder – “The grinder is a submission tracker and market database for writers of fiction.”

Literary Magazines – “Listings of literary magazines and journals.”

Poets & Writers – “Connect your poems, stories, essays, and reviews to the right audiences by researching over eight hundred literary magazines in our database.” Also visit the classified section for calls for submission.

And if you write short stories for teens, don’t forget about the markets listed on the right-hand column of this blog.