Category Archives: Book Events

Guest Posts: Forks in the Road: Investigating my own writing process By Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler

I write how I read, in multiples. I typically have several writing projects going on at once, usually a picture book, middle grade, and a YA (and then the occasional non-fiction piece for work). Switching between genres helps keep my brain fresh. If I have been working on one piece for a while, and writer’s block looms, I switch to another project for a while to maintain momentum.

The variance in my approach to writing picture books versus novels isn’t necessarily intentional, but rather the formats of the genres lend themselves to different paths. Of course, every author must discover their own writing groove, and the following is what works for me. 

Picture Books 

Picture books are recommended to be 1000 words or less, with the emphasis on or less. To keep focused, I have to be methodical. The limited word count requires every word to have purpose. After the idea hits me, I list all the page spread numbers first. I favor writing picture books in short bursts, mirroring the brevity of the picture book’s page length.

First, I determine the climax and hook and which page spread the climax will fall. Of course, this spread is moveable, but I like to have a target to build toward. My current books all contain back matter, as they are addressing facts about the natural world and yoga. I calculate in the back matter to my page count, as to not go over the recommended page length. All of the back matter is referenced or connected to the book content, so I ensure to use consistent terminology through the book. 

Also as illustrations are involved, I think about which pages lend themselves to full page spreads and which are single-page illustrations. Having a vision for the overall book concept helps me to balance the text. Of course the editor might suggest moving things around, but my picture book editor likes for me to have some vision for the illustrations before we start.

Picture books consist of many moving parts!

YA Novels

With picture books, I tend to write more than required and then cut back on the unnecessary details; however, with novels I do the opposite. For the first draft, I focus on assembling the skeleton, which for me means dialogue and the major plot points. I add descriptive details and the “color” in subsequent drafts. 

For novels, I have the exposition, climax, and resolution determined first, and then figure out how to get there. After writing the exposition, I formulate a timeline of major plotline events. I never know how many chapters a book will have until it’s finished.

I prefer to write novels in longer strides, so if I don’t have at least time to knock out a chapter I wait and work on something else. When I get stuck, I take a break (notice I said when and not if, blocks happen to every writer). Often my breakthrough ideas come when I’m doing something else, like driving, gardening, and particularly after teaching a yoga class!

Understanding your typical patterns will help you to be a more efficient and productive writer; however, most importantly, know how to take a quality break. 

When Daddy Shows Me the Sky (picture book) from Belle Isle Books, released 11.19.21

Whispering Through Water (YA) from Monarch Educational Services, released 1.4.23

When Mama Grows with Me (picture book) from Belle Isle Books (releases Summer 2023)

Instagram: @rebeccawwheeler_author

Twitter: @RWW_author

www.rebeccawwheeler.com

Publisher: Monarch Educational Services, L.L.C

ISBN-10: 1957656052

ISBN-13: 978-1957656052

ASIN: ‎B0BCCW8T54

Print length: 265 pages

Purchase a copy of Whispering Through Water on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Advertisements

About the Author

Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler was raised in West Point, a small town in the Tidewater region of Virginia. From the moment she submitted her first short story to a young author’s contest in second grade, Rebecca knew she wanted to be a writer. Her love of writing led her to earn a BA in English and an MEd in English education. She spent several years as a high school teacher, during which she also developed a passion for mental health advocacy. Rebecca completed an MA in professional counseling and now works in the school-based mental health field and as a college adjunct psychology instructor. Rebecca also teaches yoga for the young and the young at heart, and she likes to infuse yoga and breathwork in her counseling practice wherever she can. 

She believes the most valuable use of her time is teaching youth how to love and care for each other and the world around them. Her stories share her focus on positive relationships and a love of nature. Rebecca now lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, and two spoiled Siamese cats.

Whispering Through Water is her first YA novel and second book. Her picture book When Daddy Shows Me the Sky was released November 2021. You can follow Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccawwheeler_author and www.rebeccawwheeler.com.

Advertisements

Blog Tour Calendar

January 9th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler. We interview the author and give away a copy of the book to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

January 10th @ Mindy McGinnis’ blog

Visit Mindy’s blog to read Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler’s guest post about things she’s learned about the author and editor relationship.

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

January 10th @ Rockin’ Book Reviews

Visit Lu Ann’s blog for her review of Whispering Through Water. You also have the chance to win a copy of the book!

January 11th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Visit Lisa’s blog for an interview with author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

January 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he shares his thoughts about Whispering Through Water.

January 13th @ A Storybook World

Deirdre features Whispering Through Water in a book spotlight.

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

January 14th @ Just Katherine

Katherine treats us to an excerpt of Whispering Through Water.

https://justkatherineblog.wordpress.com/

January 15th @ Reading is My Remedy

Join Chelsie for a review of Whispering Through Water.

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

January 16th @ One Writer’s Journey

Sue shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about how her graduate program in counseling helped her write fiction.

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

January 18th @ Word Magic

Fiona spotlights Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

January 19th @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

Visit Joan’s blog for her insights about Whispering Through Water.

https://bookwomanjoan.blogspot.com/

January 21st @ Life According to Jamie

Visit Jamie’s blog for her thoughts about Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://lifeaccordingtojamie.com/

January 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog

Join Anthony as he shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about her different processes when writing young adult versus picture books.

January 26th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole reviews the book Whispering Through Water.

https://worldofmyimagination.com

January 27th @ Storeybook Reviews

Come by Leslie’s blog and read her review of Whispering Through Water.

https://storeybookreviews.com/

January 28th @ Reading is My Remedy

Cheslie shares a guest post from Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about gardening.

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

February 1st @ Beverley A. Baird

Join Beverley as she reviews Whispering Through Water.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

February 2nd @ Celticlady’s Reviews

Check out a book spotlight of Whispering Through Water. A must-read book to add to your collection!

https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/

February 2nd @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of Whispering Through Water.

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

February 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird

Visit Beverley’s blog again for a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about growing up in a small town.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

February 5th @ The Mommies Reviews

Join Glenda as she reviews Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://themommiesreviews.com/

February 6th @ One Writer’s Journey

Sue will be interviewing Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler. Learn more about this prolific writer!

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

February 7th @ Liberate and Lather

Join Angela as she reviews Whispering Through Water. She also shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about simple things to do at home to be more eco-friendly.

https://liberateandlather.com/

February 9th @ Chapter Break

Julie interviews author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about books, writing, life, and more. 

https://chapterbreak.net/

February 10th @ From the TBR Pile

Visit Kari’s blog for a review of Whispering Through Water.

https://fromthetbrpile.blogspot.com/

February 11th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Visit Linda’s blog for an in-depth interview with author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler and her book Whispering Through Water.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

Blog Tour Post: Hummus on Rye by Karenna Colcroft

Hi everyone! I hope you will enjoy this special blog tour post from author Karenna Colcroft on 5 Random Facts about Boston North Pack, as part of the blog tour of the book “Hummus on Rye”.


Advertisements

5 Random Facts About Boston North Pack

In my series Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat, vegan werewolf Kyle Slidell and his mate Tobias Rogan, the Alpha, are members of a pack called Boston North. In my universe, packs are named based on geography, usually something like a town that’s part of their territory or a geographic feature in the territory. Boston North isn’t technically in the northern part of Boston, though, nor is it in the North End; it’s in East Boston, which is north of a lot of the rest of the city.

Boston geography is confusing…(spoken as someone who’s lived here for over thirteen years).

I haven’t shared a lot about Boston North as a pack since I started rereleasing the series. Then again, I didn’t share much about it when the books were originally published either. So I thought I’d give readers a glimpse at the pack that Kyle and Tobias call family.

  1. Originally, Boston North Pack wasn’t called that. It was simply called Boston Pack. When the pack was established, its territory encompassed most of Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River, other than the southeasternmost part of the state along with Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. (Those are the territory of Cape Pack.) Even at that time, Boston Pack was the only pack with members living within the limits of a major city. And then…
  2. In the late 1800s, another pack came to Boston not realizing that Boston Pack existed. At the time, there wasn’t much communication among packs, and Boston Pack had few members who were scattered throughout the territory. A larger pack, which had lost its territory in a conflict with yet another pack, came to eastern Massachusetts assuming the territory was up for grabs. When that pack’s Alpha, Chal Torres, realized there was a pack already in the area, he met with the Boston Pack’s Alpha and formed an alliance that allowed Boston Pack to claim territory around its Alpha’s home in East Boston, while Chal’s pack took over the rest of the territory. Boston Pack became Boston North Pack; Chal’s pack became known as City Pack.
  3. Boston North Pack and City Pack are the only two packs, at least in the United States, that have cooperated as far as territory and collaboration between alphas. It’s a very unusual situation, but it works well for both packs.
  4. Boston North is the smallest pack in the United States, both in terms of numbers (at the beginning of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series, Boston North has thirteen members after Kyle is changed; by Hummus on Rye, that number has decreased to ten) and in terms of territory (Boston North’s territory only encompasses East Boston and the town of Winthrop). 
  5. The entire pack lives in a cluster of three apartment buildings on the East Boston waterfront, across the street from Piers Park. The buildings were originally owned by a pack member; when he passed away, his son—who is human, since wolfiness isn’t hereditary in this universe, and didn’t know his father was a werewolf—inherited the buildings. And proceeded, much to the dismay of some pack members, to rent to humans as well as the pack.

That’s a little glimpse into Boston North Pack. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments!

Advertisements
Hummus on Rye - Karenna Colcroft

Karenna Colcroft has a new MM paranormal romance out, Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat book 3: Hummus on Rye. And there’s a giveaway!

A six-year-old human child, who recently moved with his single father into the heart of the Boston North Pack’s territory, is missing–and Alpha Tobias Rogan has been framed for kidnapping the boy. Meanwhile, a new pack member with a traumatic past has drawn Saul Hughes, the rogue Alpha with a grudge against Tobias, to Boston.

Kyle Slidell, Tobias’s mate, spots Saul and realizes he must be behind the child’s kidnapping. But Saul has retained his powers and uses them to erase his presence from the minds of all of the other Boston wolves. Only Kyle, with his unusual immunity to compulsion, is able to remember seeing the rogue.

To protect his mate and save the little boy, Kyle will violate shifter law and ignore direct orders from the ruler of the Northeast Region werewolves. But will he survive the fallout?

Warnings: mention of sexual assault in characters’ pasts

Get It On Amazon


Giveaway

Karenna is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47270/


Excerpt

I JOLTED awake at about two in the morning, not immediately certain what had awakened me. Not a scream this time, thank goodness. I rolled toward Tobias, hoping that he might be awake too. We could either cuddle the way he liked or work up some exertion that would hopefully put me back to sleep.

He wasn’t there.

“Tobias?” I spoke just loudly enough for him to hear if he was in the apartment. He didn’t answer.

Where are you? I asked, tapping into our mate bond to communicate with him mind-to-mind.

He still didn’t answer, but at least I sensed him at the other end of our connection. He wasn’t hurt or anything. He just wasn’t responding at the moment.

That told me something. If he’d been walking around town in human form, as he sometimes did when he couldn’t sleep, he would have answered me. The fact that he hadn’t meant he was either really, really pissed or he’d shifted.

I slid out of bed and pulled on my shorts, then pulled aside the curtain on the window that looked out to the garden. After his warning to the pack, I didn’t think he would have shifted out there, but if he’d been desperate enough to go wolf he might have. After all, it was well past the hour that most six-year-olds—or most adults, for that matter—would be awake and looking out windows.

I didn’t see Tobias. If he had shifted, he might have gone for a run in the park. I usually left him alone when he did that. This time, it seemed important to find him. I wasn’t sure why, but I wasn’t about to question the instinct. I put on a T-shirt and my shoes and headed out the front door.

Being out there this late as a human wasn’t necessarily the smartest thing. We did live in a relatively safe part of the city. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean there were never assaults in our neighborhood. Roderic’s attack had been specifically targeted at a member—any member—of Boston North Pack, on orders from Saul Hughes. Saul was still out there somewhere; I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d repeated himself by hiring other human gang members to go after our pack and City Pack. I hadn’t heard about any random attacks in this neighborhood since I’d lived there. Those could still happen, though.

I didn’t think too much about that. Right then, my goal was finding my mate. He only went wolf in the city when he was very stressed and needed to run. I didn’t know what was going on, and I didn’t want to leave him alone until I found out.

Wind off the harbor cut through my clothes, but I barely noticed. I made it across the street easily enough and into Piers Park, which closed at sunset. A police car sat at the curb, supposedly to make sure no one entered the park after dark. If any police officers were sitting in the car, they didn’t notice me.

“Tobias?” I called softly. That wasn’t the smartest thing either. If Tobias was there, he would probably hear me. So would any other wolves who happened to be there. Even though Piers Park was part of our territory, we’d been invaded by wolves from other packs before.

Tobias still didn’t answer, but I caught a glimpse of white out of the corner of my eye. When I turned to look full-on, it had vanished behind the brick building that sat in the middle of the park.

If you’re here, please just answer me, I said.

Go home.

At least he was speaking to me. Are you all right?

Go home.

When most werewolves shifted, they held onto a little bit of their human side. Tobias could communicate with me, but his side was likely to be a little bit repetitive. When I shifted, I kept most of my humanity, higher-level thinking skills and all. Apparently that was just another way I was weird in the world of werewolves.

I didn’t leave the park. Tobias wasn’t happy about having me there, but under the annoyance I sensed some relief. He didn’t like being alone.

I walked over to one of the benches and sat down. I’ll wait.

Need to run. Go home.

I won’t get in your way, Tobias, I replied. I just want to make sure you’re all right.

Go home!

This time, compulsion coursed through the words. Not that it did any good. I didn’t bother answering him. He knew I wasn’t going anywhere.

After a couple minutes, a white streak ran out from behind the building and down the park toward the sailing club docks. For a little while, he just kept running back and forth. He didn’t tell me to leave again. He just ignored me completely. I was fine with that. I hadn’t gone over there to have a conversation. I just wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything dangerous.

The wind started to get to me, and I thought about going back to the apartment. Tobias was still running and probably would be for a while. He hadn’t gone anywhere near the harbor, just kept running the same course back and forth from one end of the park to the other, so he’d probably be okay.

Just as I stood up, a furry form leaped over the wall and ran straight toward my mate.


Author Bio

Karenna Colcroft

Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.

Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)

Author Website: https://karennacolcroft.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/riverlightbearer/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/karenna-colcroft/

 

Other Worlds Ink logo

Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman hoping to strike out on her own and make her own future struggles with a powerful family matriarch and an equally powerful family secret that can either gain her the leverage she needs or divide her family further in author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler’s “Whispering Through Water”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

The coming-of-age story follows Gwyn Madison, the summer after her high school graduation, as she grapples with her fast-approaching future. She’ll have to face more than she bargained for with her Aunt Delia, the family matriarch, who holds the purse strings and the final word.  In the meantime, Gwyn stumbles upon a tightly held family secret. Could a mysterious letter provide Gwyn the leverage she desires? Will it only bring more family division? Or, maybe, the past was never meant to stay buried after all. Whispering Through Water navigates family dynamics, young love, and female autonomy with a little 1990s nostalgia.

The Review

This was a memorable and engaging coming-of-age story. The author did an incredible job of capturing the powerful themes of family secrets, seeking independence, and family dynamics as a whole. The imagery and atmosphere the author was able to layer into the story really brought the scenes in each chapter to life so vividly, especially the moments between Gwyn and her aunt, as her Aunt Delia became a powerful figure immediately within the context of the story.

The brilliant character development and intimate mystery within this family all helped bring this coming-of-age story to life on the page. The emotional depth of the relationships this family and cast of characters have established in this story was fantastic, and the way Delia’s past began to unravel slowly over time kept me as a reader invested in the narrative.

The Verdict

Breathtaking, entertaining, and memorable, author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler’s “Whispering Through Water” is a must-read coming-of-age novel. The rich 90’s setting and emotional rollercoaster of a journey the cast of characters find themselves on help elevate this story to new heights, and showcase how time and time again, life proves to be a never-ending journey to educate and learn from our pasts to help preserve other people’s futures. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler was raised in West Point, a small town in the Tidewater region of Virginia. From the moment she submitted her first short story to a young author’s contest in second grade, Rebecca knew she wanted to be a writer. Her love of writing led her to earn a BA in English and an MEd in English education. She spent several years as a high school teacher, during which she also developed a passion for mental health advocacy. Rebecca completed an MA in professional counseling and now works in the school-based mental health field and as a college adjunct psychology instructor. Rebecca also teaches yoga for the young and the young at heart, and she likes to infuse yoga and breathwork in her counseling practice wherever she can. 

She believes the most valuable use of her time is teaching youth how to love and care for each other and the world around them. Her stories share her focus on positive relationships and a love of nature. Rebecca now lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, and two spoiled Siamese cats.

Whispering Through Water is her first YA novel and second book. Her picture book When Daddy Shows Me the Sky was released November 2021. You can follow Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccawwheeler_author and www.rebeccawwheeler.com.

Purchase a copy of Whispering Through Water on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Advertisements

Blog Tour Calendar

January 9th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler. We interview the author and give away a copy of the book to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

January 10th @ Mindy McGinnis’ blog

Visit Mindy’s blog to read Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler’s guest post about things she’s learned about the author and editor relationship.

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

January 10th @ Rockin’ Book Reviews

Visit Lu Ann’s blog for her review of Whispering Through Water. You also have the chance to win a copy of the book!

January 11th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Visit Lisa’s blog for an interview with author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

January 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he shares his thoughts about Whispering Through Water.

January 13th @ A Storybook World

Deirdre features Whispering Through Water in a book spotlight.

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

January 14th @ Just Katherine

Katherine treats us to an excerpt of Whispering Through Water.

https://justkatherineblog.wordpress.com/

January 15th @ Reading is My Remedy

Join Chelsie for a review of Whispering Through Water.

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

January 16th @ One Writer’s Journey

Sue shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about how her graduate program in counseling helped her write fiction.

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

January 18th @ Word Magic

Fiona spotlights Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

January 19th @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

Visit Joan’s blog for her insights about Whispering Through Water.

https://bookwomanjoan.blogspot.com/

January 21st @ Life According to Jamie

Visit Jamie’s blog for her thoughts about Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://lifeaccordingtojamie.com/

January 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog

Join Anthony as he shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about her different processes when writing young adult versus picture books.

January 26th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole reviews the book Whispering Through Water.

https://worldofmyimagination.com

January 27th @ Storeybook Reviews

Come by Leslie’s blog and read her review of Whispering Through Water.

https://storeybookreviews.com/

January 28th @ Reading is My Remedy

Cheslie shares a guest post from Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about gardening.

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

February 1st @ Beverley A. Baird

Join Beverley as she reviews Whispering Through Water.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

February 2nd @ Celticlady’s Reviews

Check out a book spotlight of Whispering Through Water. A must-read book to add to your collection!

https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/

February 2nd @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of Whispering Through Water.

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

February 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird

Visit Beverley’s blog again for a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about growing up in a small town.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

February 5th @ The Mommies Reviews

Join Glenda as she reviews Whispering Through Water by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler.

https://themommiesreviews.com/

February 6th @ One Writer’s Journey

Sue will be interviewing Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler. Learn more about this prolific writer!

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

February 7th @ Liberate and Lather

Join Angela as she reviews Whispering Through Water. She also shares a guest post by Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about simple things to do at home to be more eco-friendly.

https://liberateandlather.com/

February 9th @ Chapter Break

Julie interviews author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler about books, writing, life, and more. 

https://chapterbreak.net/

February 10th @ From the TBR Pile

Visit Kari’s blog for a review of Whispering Through Water.

https://fromthetbrpile.blogspot.com/

February 11th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Visit Linda’s blog for an in-depth interview with author Rebecca Wenrich Wheeler and her book Whispering Through Water.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

Guest Blog Post: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO WRITING POETRY by Raven Howell

“I’m a poet and don’t even know it!” At some point, you’ve probably said something in an unintentional rhyme. Poetry? Sure, maybe those two seemingly silly sentences you shared with your spouse or with a parent were a little poetic:

Every year an ornament cracks

And there’s the cat – his smile is back!

The main obstacle with those considering writing poetry or getting into reading it, is that they assume it has to be serious, Shakespearean, and therefore, a little irrelevant and bland. But poetry can be found everywhere and in everything. 

During one school visit, I asked the students to consider an ordinary object right there in the classroom to write their poem about. After several minutes passed, a flummoxed child asked, “Miss Raven, all the ‘good’ regular items are already being written about. How can I write a verse about a staple remover?”

Advertisements

I asked her what those metal clamps reminded her of. Oh! Metal teeth! Suddenly she saw the staple remover as a metal-mouthed gnasher with only one goal: gnawing and twisting those tin soldier staples from a paper battlefield. How’s that for finding a little poetry in something ordinary?

Tell me, what happened today? Were you frustrated that the wind blew away your scarf or hat? Think there’s no poetry in that? Try a haiku to get yourself going. The pattern is simple (traditional haiku: 3 lines, 5/7/5 syllables per line).

Wind stole my red scarf

Old man winter craves color

Scarlet for snow’s white.

This is just a quick idea off the top of my head, but the point is, attempt to add a little wonder and mindfulness somewhere in your words. Here, the ivory white canvas of winter is unintentionally decorated with the red scarf you lost.

You can look up the various formats of poems and their history online or research in the library, but my goal is to stir up some inspiration because that spark will begin your poetry journey. And – it’s not as hard as you may think.

I’ve found even those who don’t think they’d have any interest in poetry, find themselves with a smile or a tear in their eyes when they hear or read a good poem. 

My new children’s poetry book, The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes explores the world around us from the whimsical child’s perspective. Because I’ve been a full-time writer now for decades, and somehow naturally end up composing a verse or idea daily, it wasn’t too difficult for me to pick out 20 poems from my files for the compilation. 

I already had the title of the book. Not much rhymes with “poems” and my manuscript was originally being submitted to a publisher called Gnome Publishing, so I put together that title – The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes, thinking it sounded cute and was appropriate. Although the publishing house I signed with is a different one, the book title was already etched in my brain and I believed in the verse I imagined a group of magical gnomes or elves would enjoy reading while enjoying tea and honey biscuits perched under a mushroom cap. And so it came to be! 

I hope that reading the poems in my book, and viewing the playful artwork illustrator Naz Tarcan provided, may provide a good place for you to jump start your own love of poetry – and your own way of expressing or enjoying it!

Advertisements

Book Summary

Discover the magic in simple moments when a child peers in the mirror to unintentionally come upon his smile, where kittens nap in boots, fairy hugs feel good, mice delight in reading books, and January snowflakes taste yummy.

Twenty whimsical poems warm the heart and inspire cheer; a collection enticing both the young and seasoned reader to explore the enchantment of the wonderful world of poetry.

Publisher: Handersen Publishing

ASIN: B0BJNT69WG

ISBN: 1647030757

ISBN-13: 978-1647030759

Print Pages: 28 Pages

Purchase a copy of The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Advertisements

About the Author

Raven Howell writes stories and poetry for children. Having published several award-winning picture books, she enjoys sharing her love of literature by visiting classrooms and libraries. Raven is Creative & Publishing Advisor for Red Clover Reader, served as Poetry Director for Monster Magnificent, and writes The Book Bug column for Story Monsters Ink magazine. Her poems are found in children’s magazines such as Ladybug, Spider, Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty, and Hello Magazine. She’s an editor, and collaborating author for Reading is Fundamental SoCal.

When not writing, Raven enjoys sunshine and the beach, spending time with her family, hiking, laughing, reading, goofing around with artwork, and inventing new recipes.

You can find her on: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/atpearthkeeper

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atpearthkeeper/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RavenHowellAuthorandPoetPage/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pickward/_saved/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/raven-howell-5a813015b/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ravenhowell22

Blog Tour Calendar

— Blog Tour Calendar

December 26th @ The Muffin

Join us at our WOW! blog today, The Muffin, for the blog tour launch of The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes by Raven Howell. You can read an interview with the author and have a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

December 28th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Join Wendi as she reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes by Raven Howell.

December 28th @ Reading Girl Reviews

Gina reviews Raven Howell’s book The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes

https://www.instagram.com/readinggirlreviews/

December 29th @ The Faerie Review

Visit Lily as she reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes by Raven Howell.

https://www.thefaeriereview.com

December 30th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he features a guest post by author Raven Howell featuring a beginner’s guide to writing poetry.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/category/blog-tours/

January 1st @ Page Peeks

Visit Jeanne’s book review column as she reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

January 2nd @ Mother Daughter Book Club

Join Cindy as she reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

January 4th @ AJ Kormon’s Blog

Join AJ as she reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

https://www.ajkormon.com/blog

January 6th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy as she shares her insights into Raven Howell’s book The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

January 8th @ Shoe’s Seeds & Stories

Join Linda as she features a guest post by author Ravne Howell about why we love gnomes so much.

https://lschuelerca.wordpress.com/

January 10th @ Mother Daughter Book Club

Visit Cindy’s blog again for a guest post by Raven Howell about arts and crafts, making fun gnomes for all ages.

January 12th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog as he reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes by Raven Howell. 

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/category/blog-tours/

January 12th @ The Mommies Reviews

Visit Glenda’s blog today to read her review of The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes by Raven Howell. You’ll also have a chance to win a book copy too!

https://themommiesreviews.com/

January 16th @ Word Magic

Visit Fiona’s blog as she shares author Raven Howell’s insights about the impact on children through author visits to schools or libraries.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

January 15th @ Shoe’s Seeds & Stories

Linda treats us to her review of The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes by Raven Howell.

https://lschuelerca.wordpress.com/

January 17th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Lisa interviews Raven Howell about her book The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

January 18th @ Bev A Baird’s Blog

Join Bev as she features a guest post by author Raven Howell about her lifelong journey as a poet and how she made it happen. 

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

January 20th @ Bev A Baird’s Blog

Come by Bev’s blog again as she reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes. A must-read children’s book you’ll love!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

January 20th @ Editor 911

Margo treats us to her review of The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

https://editor-911.com/

January 22nd @ World of My Imagination

Nicole shares her thoughts about The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

https://worldofmyimagination.com/

January 23rd @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog and read a guest post by Raven Howell about gnome fashion and how the fairy realm influences fashion today.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

January 25th @ Carole Writes

Visit Carole’s blog for her review of The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes.

https://carolemertz.com/

January 27th @ Editor 911

Come by Margo’s blog again and read Raven Howell’s guest post featuring yummy treats with a gnome theme.

https://editor-911.com/

January 28th @ Lisa’s Reading

Join Lisa as she reviews The 20 Little Poems for 20 Little Gnomes. You also have the chance to win a copy of the book too!

https://lisasreading.com/

January 29th @ Jill Sheets’ Blog

Visit Jill’s blog as she interviews author Raven Howell about her writing journey and her experience as an author.

http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

Guest Blog Post: The best writing/life advice by K.E. Bonner

Preop is a hive of activity at 6:45am. Metal charts clink, heart monitors beep, and a mingled aroma of betadine, hand sanitizer, and rubbing alcohol wafts through the air. Nurses, aides, mid-levels, and doctors side-step one another as they check orders, see patients, and sign consents. 

“Hi, I’m Karen, and I’ll be your anesthetist this morning,” I say as I enter the preop bay. An elderly man is lying on a stretcher. He answers my questions and I turn back to the chart to double check his paperwork. 

“Young lady,” he rasps, and reaches out his liver-spotted hand out.  I take it. Wrinkles crisscross his face like a cracked desert landscape. “I need to tell you something.” 

After a long career in healthcare, I’ve learned to listen to my patients. Our eyes lock and he squeezes my hand.  

“You will never be able to accomplish everything that you want to accomplish without a life of sobriety.” An impulse flickered between us, an undeniable shared action potential. 

Advertisements

“Okay,” I nod, taken aback. Why would he say this to me? Did I look like a heavy drinker? 

His matter-of-fact way of speaking stayed with me. There was no possible way that this man knew that I was struggling to accomplish my goals.  At that point I’d been writing, editing, and re-writing my first novel, not to mention that I was working long shifts at the hospital, raising two young children, and struggling to keep my marriage and our finances together. I wasn’t a heavy drinker, a few glasses of wine over dinner to unwind after a long day. What did he see in me that compelled him to speak his truth? I chewed on his words but wasn’t ready to quit drinking, yet.

One Sunday morning I lay in bed with a large bottle of Gator-aide praying for the nausea and pounding headache to recede. It was my day to write, and I could barely lift my head from the pillow. This hangover is a waste of my time, I fumed. I thought about my adoptive mother, and how she steadily drank herself into dementia. I spent most of that day on the couch lamenting the loss of the most precious thing that I possessed: time. I couldn’t write while I was drinking, and my hangover rendered me completely useless. This was the beginning of me developing a distaste for alcohol. 

Clarity followed sobriety. My energy skyrocketed, I was writing more consistently, and better. I reasoned that I’d unknowingly been in a constant state of dehydration. My scale started a downward trend as I began to exercise, which increased oxygenation to my brain, and increased my energy even more. I began to see how much time I had wasted by drinking, and to understand that I had been self-medicating with wine. 

Most people are not ready to hear my patient’s words, and in truth, it took me ten years to process and act on them. These days I drink half a glass of wine on special occasions, but I write every day. Time is precious and limited, make every effort to use your to the fullest.

Advertisements

About the Author

K. E. Bonner, author of Witching Moon,was always the first kid to sit down during a spelling bee. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she was diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained why she always had to study three times harder than her peers. Being dyslexic taught her perseverance and kindness, her two favorite attributes. She lives in Georgia with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. When not writing, she loves to read, swim, explore new places, and meet fascinating people. If you have a dog, she would love to scratch behind its ears and tell it what a good pup it is.

Learn more about K.E. Bonner on her website or follow her on Instagram @kebonnerwrites. 

You can purchase a copy of Witching Moon on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add Witching Moon to your Goodreads reading list.

Blog Tour Calendar

December 19th @ The Muffin
Join WOW as we celebrate the launch of K.E. Bonner’s blog tour of Witching Moon. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book!
https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com


December 20th @ Mindy McGinnis’s blog
Stop by Mindy’s blog to read “Release the Idea of Getting Rich or Published and Focus on Your Craft.” by K.E. Bonner
https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

December 20th @ Rockin’ Book Reviews

Join us as Lu Ann reviews Witching Moon.

http://www.rockinbookreviews.com

December 21st @ All the Ups and Downs

Join Heather as she spotlights Witching Moon. Enter to win a copy of the book!

https://alltheupsandowns.blogspot.com/


December 23rd @ Michelle Cornish’s blog
Visit Michelle’s blog to read her review of Witching Moon.
https://www.michellecornishauthor.com/blog

December 24th @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra as she features a spotlight of Witching Moon.
https://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 27th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews blog
Join Lisa for an interview with K.E. Bonner.
https://lisahaselton.com/blog/


December 28th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Join us today for author Anthony Avina’s review of Witching Moon.
http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Revisit author Anthony Avina’s blog to read “The Best Writing Advice I Received” by K.E. Bonner. 
http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com


January 4th @ Bev Baird’s blog
Join us on Bev’s blog as she reviews Witching Moon.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com

January 5th @ The Knotty Needle
Stop by for Judy’s review of Witching Moon.
http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com

January 6th @ Bev Baird’s blog
Meet us back at Bev’s blog for “Ideas are Everywhere” a guest post by K.E. Bonner.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com


January 6th @ Look to the Western Sky
Join Margo as she reviews Witching Moon by K.E. Bonner.
https://margoldill.com/

January 7th @ Chapter Break

Visit Julie’s blog where she interviews author K.E. Bonner about her book Witching Moon.

https://chapterbreak.net/

January 9th @ Sue Edwards’s blog
Visit Sue’s blog to read “Magical Realism Surrounds Us” by K.E. Bonner.
https://suebe.wordpress.com/


January 10th @ Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Visit Kathleen’s blog and read her review of Witching Moon by K.E. Bonner.
https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/

January 10th @ World of My Imagination
Stop by Nicole’s blog where K.E. Bonner is a guest for “Three Things on a Saturday Night.”
https://worldofmyimagination.com


January 12th @ Life According to Jamie
Join us as Jamie reviews Witching Moon
http://www.lifeaccordingtojamie.com


January 14th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Join Linda as she interviews author K.E. Bonner.
https://bootsshoesandfashion.com

January 15th @ Fiona Ingram’s author blog 

Stop by Fiona’s blog to see her spotlight feature of Witching Moon

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

January 16th @ the Freeing the Butterfly blog
Visit Freeing the Butterfly to read “Life is Short, Do What You Love” by K.E. Bonner.
https://www.freeingthebutterfly.com/blog

January 18th @ Jill Sheets’s blog 

Stop by Jill’s blog to read her interview with K.E. Bonner. 

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

Guest Blog Post: WHY A JOURNALIST WROTE A MEMOIR – ACROSS CONTINENTS by Ira Mathur

In writing this memoir, I combined my two loves, journalism and creative writing.

The journalist’s task is to find the dark corners of the world of injustice and sadness and illuminate them. The bigger job is to be the watchdog of democracies, to ensure there are checks and balances in governance on behalf of the people.

If there is one thing it taught me is that humans are essentially the same. Everyone is looking for a way to survive the dark days of our mortality and the trials of being human, whether they are gangsters who end up getting shot at 20 and buried with gold chains down to their stomachs; or priests who have lived ascetic lives; or indeed, families around the commonwealth navigating the damage of Empire.

Advertisements

It was with this understanding that I began to write a memoir.

As an immigrant to Tobago, where my parents moved when I was a child, and later to Trinidad, I felt the past was being cut away from me.

My son was born, and I had begun forgetting words in Urdu and Hindi. As an immigrant to Trinidad, I started feeling the past was being cut away from me. I wrote it to remember the past and understand the present of the glittering islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where my parents moved when I was a child. 

As I wrote about my experience as a journalist, somebody who chronicles the events that shape a country, I realised that my past was not unique. My grandmother told me how my ancestor was brought from Uzbekistan to put down the mutiny in India in 1856. As a recruited member of the British Army, he was forced to shoot his fellow Muslims, something he regretted till he died. I began making connections. It was also the story of colonial islands in the new world, where people were stripped of language. The narrative continued with my parents travelling to Trinidad and Tobago, which also has a complicated history of colonisation by the French Spanish and English. That interested me – how the personal can be so political, how the unravelling of one family living under decades of colonialism can echo a crumbling empire.

The overall theme of the crumbling Empire is relevant, especially now; after the death of Queen Elizabeth 11, we can see how similar post-colonial worlds are. The history of brutality was identical. In India, we grew up with stories of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar Puja when General Dyer ordered the British 

Indian Army to open fire on over a thousand unarmed, nonviolent protestors, Churchill’s active role in perpetuating the Bengal famine, or the signs my mother remembers in exclusive clubs that read “No Dogs or Indians” and the sly inroads of the East India Company. In Trinidad, as in much of South America, there is the brutal history of slavery, indentureship and genocide of millions of native Indians. In India from 1765 to 1938. the British got an estimated 45 trillion U.S. dollars’ worth of goods like textiles, rice, iron, and timbre, not to mention jewels from the Raj, which are housed in 

British museums today. Similarly, Caribbean islands like ours were looted for sugar and cocoa. It’s a shared history of exploitation.

 When my grandmother left India to join our family in Trinidad, she told me stories about a vanished India of the British Raj. She told me of generations of women born into Muslim Indian princely families of Bhopal and Savanur. I had to infer the calamity upon her life when my mother broke hundreds of years of tradition and understand why my grandmother disinherited my mother for marrying a Hindu army officer.

There were unanswered questions. I wondered why my grandmother ended up alone and penniless despite all her privileges- born a princess into Indian royalty, beauty, and musical talent. 

As I wrote the story, the puzzle came together. I began to understand how patterns are created in how we treat our daughters and how that damages the people we love. At my grandmother’s funeral, I was aware of how incongruous this was, a woman born in colonial India dying in the new world so far from everything she grew up with and knew. It was a way of bringing tother the old and new worlds and introducing the question of how and why this happened. How did a princess of the Raj die in Trinidad? 

Advertisements

The colonial idea that subjugation, cruelty and even corporal punishment can be justified for the greater good filtered down to how people in colonies viewed their children.– how neglect, abandonment or abuse is passed on to their daughters and that pattern is continued. 

Migration is also a very personal issue. At the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth, dozens of security guards were of South Asian origin. According to an Indian Ministry of External Affairs report, 32 million Non-Resident Indians live outside India, overseas Indians comprise the world’s largest overseas diaspora, and over 2.4 million Indians migrate overseas yearly. Our family was just one in this ocean of movement. So the themes aren’t heavy, but 

illustrates how politics always becomes personal and affects families.  

When I wrote it, I did not expect it to resonate with so many people across continents. Michael Portillo for Times Radio was moved by the story of Poppet, the child in the book. Anita Rani of Times Radio was moved by the story of migration. The Observer found it was reminiscent of the times of the Raj in India, which has connected India and Britain for generations.

Advertisements

About the Author

Ira Mathur is the author of Love The Dark Days – a Peepal Tree published a memoir on the emotional ruins of Empire on three generations of women set in Trinidad, St Lucia, India and the U.K., bookended with a weekend with Derek Walcott. Love The Dark Days was selected as a UK Guardian Best Book of the Year 2022 ( Memoir and Biography)

Mathur is an Indian-born Trinidadian multimedia journalist and columnist with a body of writing that includes over 800 columns over 20 years. (www.irasroom.org) She was longlisted for the 2021 Bath Novel Award for Touching Dr Simone. (Out in 2023)

Mathur studied creative writing in London with The University of East Anglia/Guardian & the Faber Academy with Gillian Slovo, Maggie Gee, and James Scudamore. In 2019 Mathur was longlisted for the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize. She holds degrees in literature, law and journalism. 

Purchase on Amazon U.K.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Dark-Days-Ira-Mathur/dp/1845235355#detailBullets_feature_div

Purchase on Amazon U.S.: https://amzn.to/3YaoVmH

Witching Moon by K.E. Bonner Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman who has always sought something more in life saves a man from a shipwreck, and discovers a new path that leads away from her comfortable home and into the world of immortals in author K.E. Bonner’s “Witching Moon”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Every once in an eon, when the Earth eclipses the moon on a winter solstice, an immortal is born under a witching moon. Anne has always had the strangest feelings—memories she couldn’t place; strangers she inexplicably yearned for. After she rescues the enigmatic Phillip from a shipwreck, her comfortable life on the island of Cusabo is shattered, and the mystery of her destiny starts to fall into place. Anne leaves behind the life she’s always known and sets out with Phillip on an arduous journey to Amaranth, where her ancient family awaits her. But the path is dark and daunting, and Anne’s powers have only just begun to manifest.

The Review

This was an incredible blend of YA Historical Fiction meets YA Sword & Sorcery Fantasy! The world-building the author goes through in this book is incredible, as the author delves both into the tail-end of the American Civil War in South Carolina and quickly delves deeper into this fantasy world of magic and power beyond imagination. The imagery and adventurous tone the author strikes keep readers on the edge of their seats as the story becomes more and more engrossing. 

The way the author was able to capture the era for which this narrative hails and balance it with fantastic character development was what really kept me invested in this story. The wonderment that protagonist Anne views this new world through after leaving behind the only place and life she’s ever known made this story so profound, and the coming-of-age tale of this young woman discovering her power was both inspiring and entertaining to read and see come to life on the page.

The Verdict

Captivating, engaging, and harrowing, author K.E. Bonner’s “Witching Moon” is a must-read fantasy meets historical fiction YA novel. The magical nature of the narrative blends well with the protagonist and her historical era upbringing, and the twists and turns in the character’s arc will keep readers glued to their books as the story winds down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

K. E. Bonner, author of Witching Moon,was always the first kid to sit down during a spelling bee. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she was diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained why she always had to study three times harder than her peers. Being dyslexic taught her perseverance and kindness, her two favorite attributes. She lives in Georgia with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. When not writing, she loves to read, swim, explore new places, and meet fascinating people. If you have a dog, she would love to scratch behind its ears and tell it what a good pup it is.

Learn more about K.E. Bonner on her website or follow her on Instagram @kebonnerwrites. 

You can purchase a copy of Witching Moon on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add Witching Moon to your Goodreads reading list.

Blog Tour Calendar

December 19th @ The Muffin
Join WOW as we celebrate the launch of K.E. Bonner’s blog tour of Witching Moon. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book!
https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com


December 20th @ Mindy McGinnis’s blog
Stop by Mindy’s blog to read “Release the Idea of Getting Rich or Published and Focus on Your Craft.” by K.E. Bonner
https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

December 20th @ Rockin’ Book Reviews

Join us as Lu Ann reviews Witching Moon.

http://www.rockinbookreviews.com

December 21st @ All the Ups and Downs

Join Heather as she spotlights Witching Moon. Enter to win a copy of the book!

https://alltheupsandowns.blogspot.com/


December 23rd @ Michelle Cornish’s blog
Visit Michelle’s blog to read her review of Witching Moon.
https://www.michellecornishauthor.com/blog

December 24th @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra as she features a spotlight of Witching Moon.
https://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 27th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews blog
Join Lisa for an interview with K.E. Bonner.
https://lisahaselton.com/blog/


December 28th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Join us today for author Anthony Avina’s review of Witching Moon.
http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Revisit author Anthony Avina’s blog to read “The Best Writing Advice I Received” by K.E. Bonner. 
http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com


January 4th @ Bev Baird’s blog
Join us on Bev’s blog as she reviews Witching Moon.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com

January 5th @ The Knotty Needle
Stop by for Judy’s review of Witching Moon.
http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com

January 6th @ Bev Baird’s blog
Meet us back at Bev’s blog for “Ideas are Everywhere” a guest post by K.E. Bonner.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com


January 6th @ Look to the Western Sky
Join Margo as she reviews Witching Moon by K.E. Bonner.
https://margoldill.com/

January 7th @ Chapter Break

Visit Julie’s blog where she interviews author K.E. Bonner about her book Witching Moon.

https://chapterbreak.net/

January 9th @ Sue Edwards’s blog
Visit Sue’s blog to read “Magical Realism Surrounds Us” by K.E. Bonner.
https://suebe.wordpress.com/


January 10th @ Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Visit Kathleen’s blog and read her review of Witching Moon by K.E. Bonner.
https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/

January 10th @ World of My Imagination
Stop by Nicole’s blog where K.E. Bonner is a guest for “Three Things on a Saturday Night.”
https://worldofmyimagination.com


January 12th @ Life According to Jamie
Join us as Jamie reviews Witching Moon
http://www.lifeaccordingtojamie.com


January 14th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Join Linda as she interviews author K.E. Bonner.
https://bootsshoesandfashion.com

January 15th @ Fiona Ingram’s author blog 

Stop by Fiona’s blog to see her spotlight feature of Witching Moon

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

January 16th @ the Freeing the Butterfly blog
Visit Freeing the Butterfly to read “Life is Short, Do What You Love” by K.E. Bonner.
https://www.freeingthebutterfly.com/blog

January 18th @ Jill Sheets’s blog 

Stop by Jill’s blog to read her interview with K.E. Bonner. 

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Post: Resistance by M.D. Grimm

Advertisements
Resistance - M.D. Grimm

M.D. Grimm has a new MM sci-fi romance out, Saga of the Bold People book 3: Resistance.

Can a retired assassin be the savior his people need?

How does a former assassin save his fellow humans from extinction? By allying them with mrrogs of course!

But that’s easier said than done as humans are understandably distrustful and suspicious of sescurei, the official species of the InterGalactic community. Leopold must convince them that Mastrodai’s offer of alliance isn’t a trick, which means diplomacy, patience, and tenacity. Times like this make him grateful that he has two strong mates to lean on. And when it comes to understanding his own people, he’d be wise to follow Alex’s lead.

Alex has been too long away from her family and is thrilled to see them again. But with reunions come old pressures, old doubts, and old wounds. She must negotiate who she was with who she is, while helping her mates and her colony come together with the shared goal of freedom.

Mastrodai, meanwhile, finds himself in the minority for the first time in his life, and the constant hostility has him doubting the wisdom of their choices. But he’s devoted to his human mates and determined to see things through no matter the discomfort… or danger.

Not everyone wants what Leopold and his mates have to give, and he needs to break through the resistance humans have built up after generations of degradation, humiliation, and fear. He must win his people’s trust, solve the riddle of his parents’ rings, and navigate the new complexities of his love life.

Being an assassin was so much easier.

Series Blurb:

Leopold is a human in an alien-dominated InterGalactic Community. He gained a reputation as the assassin Voidstriker, until his identity was revealed. He soon finds himself reassessing his life, his mission, and his own identity.

Having spent his entire life driven by hate and fear, he soon finds himself motivated by hope and love. He decides on a new mission in life: freeing the human species. It will be a long, hard road, and one he can’t walk alone. Even as his allies grow in number, he will most depend on his mates–Mastrodai, the mrrog prince, and Alexandra, a fellow human, his best friend, and their lover.

Along with Sasha, a young girl with extraordinary abilities. Leopold is no stranger to challenges but this might be his greatest trial yet.

Universal Buy Link


Excerpt

Resistance meme - M.D. Grimm

After I docked and killed the engines, the hangar doors closed and the airlock door slid open. In the doorway stood a panting young man, who resembled Alex enough I surmised that was Darius. He had the same pale skin, the same fair hair, and the shape of face was reminiscent of Alex, but his eyes were a dark brown. He stared at the DV as if afraid it would vanish.

I’d kept the opaque shield over the viewing glass to keep Mastrodai hidden for as long as

possible. I suspected there were cameras here, and I needed the reveal to be on my terms.

Alex let out a strangled breath before jumping to her feet and running. She didn’t wait for the DV’s doors to lower completely. She jumped off the ramp much to my and Mastrodai’s panic. We hurried after her but I pressed a hand to Mastrodai’s chest to hold him back. I peeked around the corner and even my stone heart softened a bit. They collided in a flurry of tears and laughter, and he swung her off her feet. They peppered kisses over each other’s faces before he set her back down. But they didn’t let go. Instead they talked over each other, and despite knowing Terran, I couldn’t understand a damn thing.

“Stay inside a bit longer.”

Mastrodai growled.

“Shhh!”

Glowering, he crouched in the shadows of the DV, and I patted his head before trailing after Alex.

Darius was a strapping young man in his black, armored uniform. Two aeunni were holstered at his hips, much like how I wore mine. Both shoulders had a triangle patch. I couldn’t make out the details but they were yellow. He looked like he needed a good sleep but other than that, he appeared well-fed and alert.

Though his eyes were now red from crying.

I stood near them for a moment before Darius noticed me. It amused me when he held his sister tighter, his eyes narrowing. I recognized instant defender mode and couldn’t fault him for it. I was a stranger and that was his beloved, long-lost sister. A sister who’d helped raise him.

I kept my expression neutral and my hands in sight. I nodded to him.

“Hello. Good to meet you.”

“Alex?” he asked, that one word dripping with suspicion.

Alex took a breath and stepped back, breaking his grip. She took my hand and laced our fingers.

“Darius, this is Leopold. He’s my partner, so stop glaring at him.”

Darius’s eyes widened as he flicked his gaze between us. “He… you… what? What happened?”

“I’ll explain everything later, I promise. But we need you to meet our other companion, and you need to help us get an audience with the entire leadership.”

“Why? Dammit, Alex, you have to tell me something. You show up here after cycles of us believing that you were dead or worse, and now you have a partner who looks like he could kill me with his little finger, and you’re acting all mysterious.”

I swallowed a laugh. He wasn’t wrong.

“I will.” She grabbed his hand and squeezed hard enough that he grimaced. “But this is important. Veryimportant, to all of us. Just stay calm while we introduce you to our other partner.”

“‘Other partner’?” Darius scratched his head, looking dazed. “I am so confused.”

Alex bit her lower lip.

I called over my shoulder. “Now’s a good a time as any, Mastrodai.”

I made sure to pronounce his name correctly, not the way I normally did, with all the required growls.

Mastrodai’s heavy steps down the ramp had Darius bracing. I shifted my weight to the balls of my feet and let go of Alex’s hand while taking a subtle step in front of her. Mastrodai wore the armored suit I’d made him almost a Mragin year ago, just as I wore my armtina breastplate, but his head wasn’t protected. It was a gamble that I hoped would pay off. A helmet would other him more than he already would be among a ship full of humans. Mastrodai stepped into view, standing tall and proud, but weaponless and showing his hands.

Darius yelped and went for his aeunn.

At the same time, alarms sounded, proving that someone must have been watching the cameras. Mastrodai glared at the flashing lights, his ears flat against his head in deference to the noise.

“Darius, no!”

I leapt and tackled Darius, disarming him and tossing away his second aeunn. He struggled and fought, screaming. He had strength and passion but I had training and years of practice. I managed to roll him onto his stomach and with a knee to his back, I yanked up his arm behind him, pinning him.

“Don’t hurt him! Oh Void, Leopold!”

“Show him, Alex! Show him that Mastrodai isn’t a threat.”

With a sob, Alex ran to Mastrodai and hugged him. He held her tightly, purring, eyes and ears alert for any other aggression. Alex looked back at Darius, pleading with her eyes.

Darius stilled, frozen in shock.


Author Bio

M.D. Grimm Logo

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4574220.M_D_GrimmAuthor

Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.D.-Grimm/e/B00I0KZMY6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Other Worlds Ink logo

Advertisements

And Now, Here is a Message and Excerpt of Resistance from author M.D. Grimm

Good day lovely readers! Thank you for joining me. I am M.D. Grimm and I am here to promote my newest release, Resistance. This is the latest entry in the Saga of the Bold People. I am thrilled to release a new book in this series. These are super-novels and take twice as long as my other books to write (if I’m lucky). So, if you like grumpy, pessimistic former assassins and their long-suffering mates, as well as a dystopian setting with hope hanging on by a thread, this series might be for you!

Check out the below excerpt to learn a little bit about Alex, the woman who captured both a former assassin’s heart (Leopold) and an elite alien’s (Mastrodai). I was thrilled to finally present her voice. This is from the prologue:

***

“Alexandra Petrov, you get your ass down here now!”

Before I could answer, others shoved Mila down farther, wanting the relative safety of the dark bunker. I let her be torn from me and backed away to help the other mothers.

“Sara, you dropped your blanket, here. June, be careful, the first step is slippery. Here, let me take that, Gabe. No, no Devon, support the head.”

Devon, a new father, shaky with terror, managed to comprehend my words and held his newborn tighter to his chest. Amy, his wife, clung to his arm as she shuffled as fast as she could. She’d been forced to have a C-section, and I feared she’d pass out. I grabbed her other arm and steadied her down the steps, while trying not to block others.

I struggled to count heads in the dark and worried there were too many of us for the bunker. That was the main reason for Gerald coordinating descents. It was for safety as well as to make sure everyone got a turn.

Garbled Veruvian came closer, and the hair on the back of my neck rose as if our pursuers were breathing down my neck.

“Hurry!” I whispered.

But they weren’t moving fast enough and the bunker was almost filled to bursting. Raiders would soon be upon us. I had a choice to make.

A choice that would mean goodbye to everyone and everything I knew and loved. I caught Layla’s frantic glance over her shoulder. I gazed at Tula and Talia, twins who’d also given birth to twins, and their spouses, Roger and Edna. These people were my extended family, forged through shared experiences, both good and bad, rather than blood. 

Tears threatened but I swallowed them back. As with every other time when fear tried to consume me, I bricked it up behind a wall of numbness. Of emotionless instinct. When my father yelled at me, beat me, I’d grown numb. When my mother insulted and berated me, I’d grown numb. And now, it would be my salvation once again.

Mila and the others and their babies were all that mattered.

I turned to face the raiders and ran straight for them. It was too dark for anyone to notice, which gave me a chance at a semblance of stealth. I followed the voices, sticking as close to the shadows as I could. My heart still raced, and my mouth and throat were as dry as a desert, but my mind was focused. Distraction. Time. I needed to give both so the others could close the door to the bunker and secure themselves.

Our little village wasn’t in the best shape, and I used that to my advantage. I grabbed a flimsy plank of wood and broke it into smaller pieces on my knee. The sounds made a few raiders shift away from the rest to investigate. My vision had adjusted to the darkness and, considering none of them had lights on their helmets or rejlfei, they probably had natural night vision. I couldn’t determine their species, and I didn’t much care. It didn’t matter.

With a courage I knew Mila would be proud of, I screamed at them and threw the wood shards at their heads. They flinched, the suddenness of my attack catching them off guard.

“To the Void with you aliens! I spit on your home planets!” I said in Veruvian.

Someone barked out a harsh order, and most came after me. It would have to do. I ran. I ran in the opposite direction. I ran until daggers scraped my lungs, until my legs burned, until fatigue made me stumble. I knew I couldn’t escape. Didn’t matter. Time. Distraction. My freedom was already gone.

They didn’t shoot at me, wanting me alive. Though that didn’t mean they wouldn’t harm me, punish me for the insults. I tightened on the numbness that protected me like armor. It was just my body they would hurt. Not me. They would never touch Alex Petrov. Not where it mattered.

A tranq finally stopped me.

***

The first three books of the Saga of the Bold People are available for purchase at Amazon (also in print!) and Smashwords. I have a newsletter that I send out monthly with all the goodies you can expect in the future. That’s the best way to find out about my current and future projects.

For fans of The Stones of Power series, I have finished the first draft of Jade: First and Last (9) and am now rigorously editing it. I hope to release it in Spring 2023, so keep your eyes peeled for that! I will be releasing Crimson Purity, the next in the Shifter Chronicles book, in January 2023. I am also working on an MMF single title with dragons and outlining the next Shifter Chronicles book. Wish me luck!

More information on my catalog can be found at my website.

I hope you stay safe and healthy, and may dragons guard your dreams,

M.D. Grimm

Androids & Aliens by J. Scott Coatsworth Blog Tour & Author Interview

Advertisements
New Release / Giveaway: Androids & Aliens - J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi collection out: Androids & Aliens. And there’s a giveaway.

Androids & Aliens is Scott’s third short story collection – eight sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from cyborgs to (comedic) alien invasions:

Rise: Because of the rise in sea levels associated with climate change, Venice vanished beneath the lagoon half a century ago. But what if we could bring it back?

Ping: I was a real estate agent by day and a museum curator in the evenings at a sci-fi museum. What I saw one night changed everything.

What the Rain Brings: Miriam struggles to make a living in post-climate-change Vancouver. But her friend Catalina has it even worse in the Arizona desert. So Miri hatches a plan.

High Seven: Zan dreams of making full reals – immersive live virtual reality skins – but his low test score may doom him to a life of cheap graphic coding.

Full Real: Dek’s given up his life of spying for the city. But one more case awaits him. Will he regret it more if he takes it. or if he turns it down?

Shit City: The Bay Area’s being walloped by a hurricane, and seventeen-year-old Jason Vasquez has been relocated to a refugee city in the Nevada Desert. Will it be temporary shelter, or a change of life?

Firedrake: Kerry has always wondered about his deadly powers. But a mysterious bunch of violet roses start him on the path to discovery – even if he’s not sure he’s going to like what he finds.

The Last Human Heart: I’m one of the Remainers, the few cyborg humans still living on this busted planet. But if my still-human heart finally gives out, I may not live to find out the truth.

This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place, and the first time the Pacific Climate Tryptich – What the Rain Brings, High Seven, and Full real – have been published in any form.

Warnings: Full Real contains attempted kidnapping and references to off-page physical and sexual abuse.

Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47265/?


Excerpt

Androids & Aliens meme

From The Last Human Heart

I slip out of the culvert as the sun falls behind the tawny hills on the horizon, a green flash lighting the sky. My heart beats at a steady pace.

Climbing back up onto the highway, I check the co-ordinates. With luck and a steady pace, I should reach the Trading Station by morning.

The stag crosses my mind again, that strange stare, beast to beast. There’s so little out here for it to live on or in, no trees or shade or shelter from the blistering sun. Just grass. Lots and lots of grass. Where did you go?

Taking one measured step after another, I start on my way, timing them to the beating of my heart.

A heady sense of possibility fills my chest. It’s strange, something I haven’t felt in years. I’ve traveled the length of the continent, from New York to California. I’ve been to Alaska and as far south as the isthmus, where rising seas finally finished the work of the Panama Canal, severing North and South America. In a few short centuries, humankind accomplished what Nature had labored for eons to do.

An hour later, I get my first look at the towers of Sacramento. I haven’t been here in decades, but it looks much the same as before. Its hulking skyscrapers and superscrapers look like bloody teeth in the infrared. Many are broken. Some still standing, others long since crashed back to the ground whence they came. They glow with stored heat, slowly bleeding it off into the atmosphere as the air cools.

Whence they came? I snort. I’m in rare form tonight—practically Shakespearian. Erik would have teased me endlessly for that.

I frown. He’s been on my mind a lot lately. Mortality having her fun with me?

I flash back to nights in Shanghai, fighting with my metal brothers and sisters in the street-to-street combat of the last wars. Flashes of light and explosions as nano bombs fell into civilian neighborhoods, eating everything in their path—stone and brick, flesh and bone.

I shudder. I should delete those memories—they only bring me pain. And yet… sometimes we need to remember the pain, so we don’t repeat it. But we can’t let it define us.

Who said that? Erik? My father?

No. It was Cassie. My erstwhile traveling companion for a couple years after the upload. When all that remained in this empty, broken world were the bots and empty, broken cyborgs like Cassie and me.

She’d finally shut herself down two decades ago. I’m tired of living, David.

Pain leaches away some of my good will. Maybe she had it right. Maybe it’s time for me, too, to give in to the inevitable. But I’m not quite ready yet, so I just keep moving.


Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscoatsworth/

Author Mastodon: https://mastodon.lol/@jscottcoatsworth

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jscottcoatsworth/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth?from_search=true

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ

Other Worlds Ink logo 

Advertisements

Author Interview

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.

Yes, always! Ever since I started writing seriously, I’ve made a point of including folks from across the LGBTQ spectrum. I’ve also written BIPOC characters, a deaf character, and one with OCD. In Androids and Aliens, most of the characters are gay, but there’s a non-binary character and a lesbian couple as well. And do cyborgs count? 😛

How do you approach covers for your indie stories?

I create most of my own these days. I’ve been using photoshop in our day job for years to work on photos for our websites, and have learned to use it more creatively these last three. I’ve also had some help with typography and cover design from Kelley York at Sleepy Fox Designs. She did the type for A&A too. 🙂

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Astronomer. Writer. Rock Star.

I always loved signing, but somehow I just didn’t have the rock star vibe. I wanted to be an astronomer, and then I found out how much math it took to be an astronomer. I just wanted to look at the pretty nebulas, planets and stars. So that left “writer”!

What action would your name be if it were a verb?

To bounce one’s leg in a frenetic fashion.

“That guy scotted his leg so hard he knocked over the table.”

*grin*

What are you working on now?

I’m just about finished with a new four book trilogy. Yeah, you read that right. It was supposed to be three, but the last book was too long so I split it in half. It’s called the Tharassas Cycle, and it’s loosely connected to my other two trilogies. Book one, The Dragon Eater, will release in March.

The audiobook version of Skythane, my first novel, will be out in audio in February.

And next, I’ll be starting on Coredivers, book two of the Redemption Cycle, after Dropnauts.