New Release: “Life & Soul” by Harmony Kent! @harmony_kent #poetry #newrelease #writingcommunity #whattoread

I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire Author, Harmony Kent, here today to talk about her upcoming release, Life & Soul. I loved her first collection of poetry and I’m eager to read this book. I definitely have my copy preordered.

Hi, Denise. Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s always wonderful to visit with you. Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry …

From Loving Soul:

 

Love Sick

Who knew love

could be such

a visceral thing?

 

Until you

I always thought

love sick a mere phrase

 

Off my food

butterflies in my belly

smitten with you

 

This malady

I pray

never to recover from

This poem comes from when I first met and fell in love with the man who would, eventually, become my husband.

Love Sick is about that first flush of love, and the nervousness that often comes with it. All those days and nights spent holding in your vulnerable emotions and feeling them physically, until you finally take a leap, put it into words, and get it out there. I hope you enjoyed this poem and would love to know what you think.

Life & Soul blurb

Life & Soul is the second book in the Soul Poetry Series by acclaimed author Harmony Kent.

This beautiful collection of over fifty poems will take the reader through the highs and lows of everyday life via contemporary poetry in a range of styles and themes. Within these pages, you will find reflections on the Lonely Soul, the Seeking Soul, Brief Soul, Friendly Soul, and the Loving Soul—states of mind and living and longing we each experience over the course of a life.

Life & Soul offers something for lovers of poetry from all walks of life.

Praise for Slices of Soul, Book 1 in the Soul Poetry Series: 

“I found my answer in this wonderful treasure-trove and have already read it three times.” Robert Fear

“I found in Slices of Soul something approaching aesthetic bliss, a sense of being connected in some way to other states – like tenderness, kindness, ecstasy – where art is the norm.” Colm Herron

“A stunning collection of poems that I read in one sitting! Unable to simply put this down until I had read the last. I love the clarity of the short poems, such clear images created in so few words or phrases. Many of them touched my heart and I will be giving them a 2nd and 3rd read!” Audrina Lane

Universal Link: mybook.to/LifeAndSoul

AUTHOR BIO: 

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015 

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree 

The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

Harmony’s Website

twitter: @harmony_kent

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

BookBub: Harmony Kent

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent

 

“The Darkness of Placata Montis” by DLM Johnson, Cover Reveal and PreOrder! @DLMJ18 #writingcommunity #newrelease #fantasy #debutauthor

I’m thrilled to have a new author here to talk about her upcoming debut release, and I might take a small moment here to be a proud Mom!

Here’s my youngest daughter, Danielle, to talk about “The Darkness of Placata Montis.”

First of all, let me introduce myself. You will get to know me in this space as DLM Johnson, daughter of D.L. Finn.

Like my mother, I have spent many years expressing myself through words. Mostly, I wrote poetry, trying to understand my own emotions and feelings as I was becoming an adult.

Writing without expectation. What a joy, right?! So who in the heck thought it would be a good idea to put my fancy words into an entire book?! Well. Me. And my friends. And my family. Darn supportive bunch of people.

That being said, this journey of mine started six years ago. It’s been through many journeys as I fought my way through accepting my own mental illness and job changes and loss and COVID and… AND.

You get it. You’ve been there. Not only that, but that first book is your BABY. It can do no wrong! And anything people say about it cuts deep… even when it’s a compliment like “I can’t wait to read it when it’s finished!” when you’ve just let them read your full 100k word book.

*large deflate*

Anyway. After letting my edits sit for nearly a year, I finally came back to it. I let go of this idea that it had to stay how it was from the beginning because that’s the only way the words would be true. But honestly, even reading back on that vs what I can say nowadays… Well, it actually makes me excited for what more I can come out with in the future. Book 2? A crime thriller? Why not! Give me it all!

That being said, thank you to everyone in this community who has helped me at some point along the way, even if it was just a favor to D.L. Finn. I will do what I can to return the support (though time isn’t really something I have much to spare).

Either way, I hope you find some joy reading my words. Well, if you so choose to read my words, I hope you enjoy at least parts of them. I hope it releases you temporarily from this world and plunges you into another. And, if you find yourself wanting more, know that I have indeed planned out a second book, and hopefully it won’t take another six years to reach its end. But, who knows!

BLURB

“You were never meant to fight this on your own.”

The words might have provided some level of comfort if everyone Eliana loved and trusted hadn’t let her down. Twenty-two years ago when the prince had abandoned the people of Panis Montem, that fight fell onto the shoulders of a young girl. She used the pain she felt from his departure and transformed it into a driving rage. When her parents lost their fight against evil one evening, Eliana was transported to a different world. While the chase continued, she did everything she could to vanquish the enemy. But as The Darkness continued to consume the land, those with magic would have to fight back or else themselves become consumed.

Will Eliana be forced to finish this fight alone, or will she find another way?

“You were never meant to fight this on your own.”

The words might have provided some level of comfort if everyone Eliana loved and trusted hadn’t let her down. Will she be forced to finish the fight against The Darkness alone, or will she find another way?

EXCERPT

The night was heavy as a storm consumed the sky, casting a chill into the unusually humid air. A lightning bolt shot across the clouds, momentarily revealing a breathless figure lurking in the shadows among the trees. Her green eyes widened with frantic searching as she supported herself against the unforgiving bark. When the world went silent again, a gust of wind blew the rain sideways, stinging the bared skin of her arms as she shielded her face.

In the distance, a raven cawed continuously, as if in warning, and a rumble of thunder answered, shaking the ground. The electricity-filled sky joined in on the conversation, brightening the surroundings enough to reveal a large, crooked house in the distance. The raven’s persistent beckoning called through the chaos of the sky.

When the shadowed night returned, the woman crept from the shelter of the trees, chancing the dangers of being revealed. A quiet step onto the rocks of the beaten path caused the excess water to squeeze from the sides of her leather shoes. She paused a moment, listening in the silence between the unrelenting rain as it cascaded down her clothing.

Amazon PRE-ORDER LINK US

Amazon PRE-ORDER LINK UK

While DLM Johnson is new to the world of publishing her written work, she is not new to the world of writing, or even sharing her art. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Computer Engineering and one in Dance. Just like her degrees might allude to, DLM never wants to be boxed in by one label. What better way to break down walls and apply a plethora of skills than writing?

When DLM is not filling her free time with creativity in its written form, she spends her days working as a Software Engineer for an augmented reality company, and her nights she splits between teaching dance and GYROKINESIS®, attending rehearsals for both aerial and modern dance works, playing RPG, and catching up on TV. When she finds a moment to spare, she also enjoys taking motorcycle rides with her husband, being out in nature, and going on hikes.

If you want to keep up with more of the happenings inside of her mind, subscribe to her blog https://tinyurl.com/dlmjohnson, follow her on Twitter @dlmj18, and follow her explorations on HitRecord https://hitrecord.org/users/damnielle01/records.

Where else to find Danielle:

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Blog

New Release! “Good LIniment” by C. S. Boyack. #writingcommunity #newrelease #hatseries #whattoread

I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire author, C. S. Boyack, here today to celebrate his latest release, Good Liniment. I have read all The Hat stories and was eagerly looking forward to this one. I wasn’t disappointed. Here is my review: Link

So thankful you loaned me your space today to talk about my newest book. This one is part of The Hat Series, and is called Good Liniment. These are short novels, designed to take no more than an afternoon to read. They can also be read as stand-alone titles, so readers don’t feel like they have to be read in order.

Good Liniment expands the world of Lizzie and the hat exponentially. It not only expanded on witchcraft, but introduced a lot of new elements to the story.

There’s a reason for this. Lizzie has done some pretty off-color things as a fledgling monster hunter. Remember her first adventure involved exacting some justice on a ring of human kidnappers. This increases the need for a secret double-life. That works just fine… for a while.

Eventually, there’s nobody for Lizzie to talk with about whatever is eating at her psyche. The hat is always there for her, but isn’t quite someone to understand the emotional toll things could take on her. Her best friend is her drummer, Tanith, but she hasn’t got a clue about the supernatural world.

In Good Liniment, Lizzie meets most of a coven of witches. They understand the need of keeping secrets. While they aren’t exactly friends, they get some of it.

This led me to other things in this world. Some of the witches have familiars, one of which is a small demon. Something new to add to the mix.

There are a married couple who both have goblin blood and work for the coven to operate a special tavern named Good Liniment.

I introduced a headless horseman who drives a Bronco these days and is a contractor for the coven. I’ve been mapping out a specific story for him somewhere down the line.

I even went so far as to introduce a pair of godlings; Castor & Pollux, Attorney’s at Law. While they don’t make an appearance, they will in the very next volume. Those of you into Zodiac things will understand some of their build.

I’m excited to have Good Liniment out in the world now. I hope some of you will give it a shot. A bit of dark humor with an expansive world to let your imaginations roam. I’ll be out there imagining with you as I tailor subsequent volumes.

Someone is murdering members of the local witches coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.

A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.

This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.

Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.

Convincing her strong willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?

Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.

The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky dark humor and can be easily read out of order.

Purchase Link  

Series Link

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New Release—Jagged Feathers by Jan Sikes! @jansikes3 #RomanticSuspense #WhiteRuneSeries #newrelease #whattoread #writingcommunity

I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire Author here today to share her good news—the release of Jagged Feathers. I just finished it, and LOVED it! Here’s my review on Amazon.

Thank you, Denise, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.

I am a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway. He was such a brilliant writer, but he also possessed deep insight into certain aspects of life. I’ll never understand what drove him to commit suicide.

In Jagged Feathers, Nakina Bird keeps a Hemingway quote next to her computer, and it gives her hope for healing from her grief after losing her parents in a horrific accident.

EXCERPT

She(Nakina) flashed on the Hemingway quote that was taped to the wall above her computer back home. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Finding the quote shortly after her parent’s death, she knew she had broken in places that would, by force, eventually be stronger. She wondered if it was the same for the soldier who had rescued her and so unselfishly and tenderly nursed her back to health.

***

I’ve given Hemingway’s words a lot of thought and find it them to be true. When my husband passed away, there is no question some part of me was broken. But when I started writing our story, piece by piece, the broken places began to mend and are now stronger than before. So, from a personal perspective, this quote is significant. Does the quote resonate with you in any way? I’d love to hear from you.

BOOK TRAILER

BLURB

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.

Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK:

https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

WEBSITE

BLOG

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

PINTEREST

GOODREADS

BOOKBUB

LINKEDIN

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

New Release— Golden Healer by M. J. Mallon! @Marjorie_Mallon #newrelease #YA #fantasy #bookrelease #writingcommunity #readinglist

I’m excited to welcome Marje Mallon here today to share her newest release Golden Healer The Curse of Time Book 2! I thoroughly enjoyed Bloodstone and Golden Healer. Click here for my review of Golden Healer: LINK

Dedication

Dedicated to the one and only rollercoaster that I ever rode. It was in Portugal, and I was on holiday with my young family. I’ll never forget that day, I overcame my fears and rode a rollercoaster with the encouragement of my much-loved family, my husband, David, and daughters Natasha and Georgina. So, it’s time to ride another rollercoaster… I hope you will come along with me for this crazy ride! Let’s meet our fears together…

Blurb

Golden Healer is The 2nd in The YA Paranormal Adventure Series – The Curse of Time.

I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. NOTE: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Series name: The Curse of Time Book 2

Release Date 23 January 2022

ASIN: B09R1MTQPY

ISBN: 979-8407305149

Page Count 336 kindle

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

The Series is inspired by:

The Corpus Christi Chronophage clock on King’s Parade, Cambridge. Find out more here:

http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/

https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/17/poetry-inspiredby-the-dragon-chronopage-colleens-weekly-poetrychallenge-no-50-haiku-tanka-haibun-voice-watch/

And Juniper Artland – artist Anya Gallaccio’s sculpture The Light pours out of Me. https://www.jupiterartland.org/art/anya-gallaccio-the-light-pours-out-of-me/

And the 2nd book Golden Healer mentions a popular old haunt of Cambridge which has since closed down – Clowns Cafe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these two vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

Her motto is to Do what Your Heart Desires.

And her favourite genre to write is fantasy/magical realism because life should always be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Accolades: M J is a finalist in the Fantasy category of N. N. Light’s Book Award for her novel Bloodstone and a finalist in the International author. She has also contributed best-selling short stories to Dan Alatorre’s Box Under The Bed anthologies.

Winner of the Blogger’s bash blogging prize with her flash fiction piece The Queen’s Dress Down Day. https://mjmallon.com/2018/03/21/the-bloggers-bash-blog-post-competition-2018-the-queens-dress-down-day/

Winner of Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Contest with her murderous piece: Mr. Blamey https://carrotranch.com/2017/12/19/winner-of-flash-fiction-contest-7/

Also By M J Mallon

Next Chapter Publishing

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1)

https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

http://mybook.to/bstmm

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

Kyrosmagica Publishing

Mr Sagittarius (Poetry, prose and photography)

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

This Is Lockdown (Anthology/Compilation)

Kindle: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Paperback: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity (Poetry Collection)

http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Contributor to:

Writing Skills Anthology

100 Ways to Write A Book compiled by Alex Pearl: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09PHHC2YX/

Chasing Driftwood’s A Year of Writing Through Lockdown:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown/dp/B09JF88YHW/

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilations

Nightmareland edited by Dan Alatorre

Scrabble Boy (short story)

Spellbound edited by Dan Alatorre

The Twisted Sisters (short story)

Wings & Fire edited by Dan Alatorre

The Great Pottoo (short story)

Authors Links

Authors Website

Authors Amazon Page

Buy Link Bloodstone (multiple platforms)

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page

Twitter

Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Goodreads

BookBub

Author Instagram

Instagram

New Release—Pour It On (Keystone Couples Novella) by Staci Troilo @stacitroilo #writingcommunity #newrelease #indieauthor #whattoread #bookreview #romance

Today I’m sharing the good news of fellow Story Empire Author, Staci Troilo’s latest release—Pour It On and my review!

BLURB

Bold, complex, vibrant. The wine is, too.

Despite Romy Chandler hosting a romantic meet-and-greet at her restaurant, she’s all business. When her sommelier quits without any notice—to work for the competition, no less—she goes into mega-mogul-mode. The last thing on her mind is finding a man. She’s looking for someone who knows his way around a Bordeaux, not the boudoir.

Rick Santucci grew up in his family’s vineyard. After years of hard work, he’s turned his grandfather’s humble produce farm into a profitable winery. Once he gets their bottles into the right establishments, he’ll be able to acquire more land and move into the next phase of the company’s expansion. His mother thinks the next stage should be a wife and children, but his sights are set on different fertile grounds.

When Rick and Romy meet, they both forget all about their ambitions. The evening becomes less about revenue than romance, and they get distracted by the music and wine. She thinks he’s the man she needs, both in the restaurant and out. He finds her to be the perfect partner on the dance floor and believes she’ll be the perfect business partner, too. But a series of mix-ups could put an end to everything they’ve started—personally and professionally.

FIVE-STAR REVIEW

Pour It On (Keystone Couples)

by Staci Troilo

“Pour It On” is the second novella in the Keystone Couple series, of which I was already a fan. Romy owns a restaurant, and her sommelier quit right before Valentine’s Day and an event. Luckily, she was able to get three candidates to interview for the job. Romy is simply trying to resolve what seems like an impossible situation, and I sympathized with her. Her quick wit, strength, and determination to make her business a success made her an interesting character to root for. I loved the humor in this story, along with the misunderstandings and miscommunications. Rick works for his family winery and is looking to expand sales and do right by his family. I love when — and how — Romy and Rick meet. “Pour It On” pulled me in from the first line and made me smile. I can highly recommend this quick read and fun love story that captivated me.

You can pick up your copy here: PURCHASE LINK

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor.

Staci is a multi-genre author. Her fiction is character-driven, and despite their protests, she loves to put them in all kinds of compromising or dangerous situations.

You can find out more about Staci on her website! 

 

New Release! “Wreck of the Lanterfish” by C. S. Boyack @Virgilante #newrelease #whattoread #writingcommunity #mustread

I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Story Empire Author, C. S. Boyack here today to celebrate the release of Wreck of Lanternfish. I’ve been looking forward to the final book in this series and here’s my review.

Thanks so much for lending me your space today. Spreading the word about a new book is so important. Today is all about concluding my Lanternfish trilogy with ‘Wreck of the Lanternfish.’

Somehow, I wound up with a theme behind these stories. I tried not to make it obvious, but fatherhood became something I kept going back to. It all started with James being forced into trying to start a war with the neighboring country.

Turns out James’s father was a somewhat shady character who did similar things. The only reference James had were stories his father told him as he grew up. Early on, he was forced to rely upon his father’s advice.

Dan is James’s best friend, and later brother-in-law. His father is still alive, and lends his own teachings here and there. It seems simple enough, but there’s more to it.

The two of them rescued a slave who turns out to be a witch doctor. Mal fills a fatherhood role for James as he turns to piracy to save the woman he loves. In that event, they rescue Mal’s own son as a bonus.

The crew gets saddled with a boy they call Mule. This involves retrieval of a magical item, but the price is taking the boy with them. James becomes his adopted father, and does the best he can for Mule.

Serang has her own daddy issues. She grew up without a father, but there were male tutors at the monastery. If you dive into her supporting story, there is one monk that serves as much as a father as he does her master.

Even such supporting characters as Don Velasco have a history with their fathers that shaped who they are today.

I never set out to do this, but I’m pleased with it. Fantasy/Adventures aren’t known for deeper themes, and I claim dumb luck. Luck doesn’t get enough credit sometimes.

Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns one more time. It’s time to bring this trilogy to a conclusion.

Wreck of the Lanternfish purchase link 

Trilogy link

Blurb:

James Cuttler created a peaceful spot for he and his wife to settle down. Far from the war that ravages their homeland, far from the reputation he earned as the notorious pirate Captain Bloodwater, and far from responsibility.

A royal Prelonian houseguest is a constant reminder of what’s at stake half a world away, of the friends he put ashore to fight the war. He lives in a dream world that’s temporary, at best. It’s only a matter of time before his guest is identified and the black assassins come for her.

He mortgages his precious vineyard to pay for repairs to his ship. If nothing else, Lanternfish will be one of the most powerful ships in the war, if he’s not already too late.

James will have to merge the skills of commander and con man into something new to make this work. He’ll need to avoid those on his own side who would hang him for piracy.

Serang is half a world away, leading her army of mercenary swordsmen toward the Fulminites. Mistrusted by both sides of the war, she appears as a third combatant on the battlefield. She may eliminate the mysterious order, only to succumb to the demons of her own tragic past.

Strap on your swords and hoist the colors one more time as the thrilling Lanternfish Trilogy comes to an end.

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Welcome to Day 7 of The HYPE Blog Tour @YvetteMCalleiro #HYPE #NewRelease #BookPromo #YAFiction #writingcommunity

I’m thrilled to welcome fellow author, Yvette Calliero, here today to celebrate her latest release, HYPE. Here is my review: LINK

 

GIVEAWAY:  3 e-book copies of HYPELeave a comment below for your chance to win!

Creative Writing

I wrote my first poem when I was twelve years old. I don’t remember what it was, but I know I felt proud of it because it was my own creation. My English teacher, Mrs. Hoffman, loved to give us time to explore our imagination through writing. Recently, she sent me this gem that she found one day.

One of her assignments was to use affixes and root words to create an imaginary animal. We had to draw the animal and decorate it using art supplies and other materials., and then we had to write a story about it. I don’t remember the story, but I do remember my animal had three legs, a hippo’s body, and a horse’s head (or maybe its tail). I don’t remember the other parts. What I remember from the name was tripodequihippo… I loved that activity!

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. It has always helped me get my thoughts and emotions out of my head. So, when I began writing Hype, I knew I wanted to incorporate creative writing as one of Cici’s classes as well as an outlet for Gaby, one of her antagonists. The class plays an important role in their relationship.

One of the activities I incorporated into the story is called a RAFT. It stands for Role of the author, Audience, Format, and Topic. For several years as a high school teacher, I challenged my students to write a RAFT about the Holocaust. They had to take on the role of something other than the humans at the camp. The audience was other people. The format was a poem, and the topic was the atrocities that took place at the concentration camps.

My struggling learners wrote the most incredible poems. Some of the roles they chose were discarded glasses, rats who lived in the camps, the clubs used to beat them, the barbed wire, and the stale bread. There was no doubt those students truly grasped the horrors that took place during the Holocaust.

For Hype, I chose a bit of a more festive RAFT, but one’s perspective of a holiday doesn’t always turn out the way others might expect. Here is an excerpt from the story:

School is a blur for the next few weeks as the holiday break gets closer and closer. My creative writing teacher gives us an assignment to pretend to be an inanimate object that symbolizes the holidays and write a piece from its point of view. Mr. Garnett loves inanimate objects coming to life, and we tend to write crazy stories to humor him.

I decide to write from the viewpoint of wrapping paper as it wraps its arms around new treasures. I build the excitement up toward the moment when a bubbly, little kid removes the paper from the gift and squeals with glee. Of course, my wrapping paper is delighted to provide such wonder and anticipation for the toy, but she also wishes she, too, got to stick around and play with the kid. It’s cute. It’s humorous, but it’s nothing out of this world.

When it comes time to share, Mr. Garnett makes the mistake of calling on Grub. The whole class quietly moans. We all know Mr. Garnett doesn’t like anyone to be ridiculed in class and believes in having an environment in which everyone feels comfortable enough to share, but to call on Grub? Really. I mean, it’d make perfect sense to have called on her when we were writing a Halloween piece, but Grub and Christmas don’t mesh.

Mr. Garnett glares at us, and we shut up and prepare ourselves for her piece because one of his other rules is everyone shares. Grub comes up to the front, takes the podium, and begins. I half-expect her to complain and ask for someone else to go before her since it was close to the end of class, but I guess she finds some horrible pleasure in torturing us.

“I wrote about a Christmas candle,” she starts, takes a deep breath (for dramatic emphasis, I’m sure), and continues. “For years, I was the beautiful centerpiece, the home’s elegant, most prized decoration. I was bright and cheery, tall and elegant. Everyone always stopped to admire my beauty, to comment on how special I was. Until one day…”

Again, she pauses and stares at her paper. I roll my eyes, thinking not for the first time, that she really should have joined the Drama Club.

“Go on,” Mr. Garnett encourages her.

She looks up at him and then back at her paper.

“Until one day, someone thought it would be a great idea to light a match and see how well I could withstand the heat. I could smell the rancid sulfur as the matchstick caught fire. It was then I discovered what true fear felt like. The sensation of the intense heat violating my wick was too much to endure. I screamed and crackled at the fire’s invasion.

“I cried tears of wax as the blaze melted my beauty away. I wished there was some way to stop it, to keep it from taking away all that was pure and perfect about me. I wanted someone, anyone, to blow out the flame, to save what was left of my beauty, but no one could hear me. No one was even paying attention to my withering loveliness.

“I cried and cried until there was no wax left to cry with, and when all my beauty was gone, the flame finally burned out and I was discarded. No longer did anyone admire me. No longer did anyone care. I was alone, abandoned, dead.”

The whole class sits silently, stunned. Mr. Garnett starts clapping while we sit there shocked. One kid from behind me says, “There wasn’t anything holiday-ish about it.”

“I disagree,” Mr. Garnett says. “It completely held to the assignment’s directions. It was very compelling.”

Someone else whispers loudly, “Her name should be changed from Grub to Grinch.”

I now sponsor a poetry club called Writer’s Ink. My poets write both written and spoken word poems and enter contests and competitions. I am always amazed at the ideas and images they create with their words. It’s an opportunity for them to speak their truths, to be seen and heard, and to be accepted. I hope readers of this book will enjoy the activities shared, and if you want to try your hand at a RAFT, I’d love for you to share it with me. 😊

BLURB

Cici’s junior year in high school is going to be the best year ever. Popular co-captain of the varsity cheerleading team, she’s dating the starting quarterback. Even her jealous co-captain’s attempts to steal her boyfriend can’t curb her enthusiasm.

When her mom moves in with her fiancé, a handsome, wealthy man, only one small detail threatens Cici’s perfect life. The school’s social pariah is about to become her stepsister, and Cici wants nothing to do with her.

Everything changes when someone Cici cares about throws her life into a tailspin, and the one person Cici couldn’t stand becomes her only ally.

Warning: This story contains scenes of sexual assault.

Available on Amazon and Smashwords

Author Bio

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

Amazon Links

HYPE

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1)

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2)

The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3)

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 4)

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 5)

The One Chosen – A Diasodz Short Story

Breathless – A Short Story

Amazon Author Page

Social Media Links

Author Blog

Twitter

Facebook 

Goodreads

To follow along with the rest of this tour, please visit Yvette M Calleiro’s  tour page.

New Release! “No Such Luck” by Staci Troilo— A Book Review. @stacitroilo #bookrelease #bookreview #mustread #whattoread #writingcommunity

Amazing fellow Story Empire Author and wonderful human being, Staci Troilo, just released a new romantic novella, “No Such Luck.” She’s making the rounds on her release tour so don’t miss out on that! I know I’ll be following along 🙂

Today, I decided to give “No Such Luck” its own special review day in honor of its release. You will see this review again in December on my regular book review post too!

BLURB

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.

The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.


 MY REVIEW

No Such Luck

by Staci Troilo

When things get bad for Piper, she heads home. It’s here she runs into not only her best friend from high school, Jack but her crush, Tommy. Piper is a character who is likable even in her not-so-stellar moments. She maneuvers through what is real and the musings of a teenage girl. This is a quick read that I devoured in one sitting to see if she got her happily ever after. “No Such Luck” is a sweet novella that emphasizes what and who is important. A fantastic beginning to the new Keystone Couples Series that I can easily recommend.

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK US

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK UK

Embrace that inner child by reading a good story—like “No Such Luck!” D. L. Finn

Cover reveal for “Sleigh Bell Tower: Murder at the Holiday Gala” by James J. Cudney! @jamescudney4 #newbook #coverreveal #preorder #writingcommunity #indieauthor

Hi! I’m excited to share James J. Cudney’s cover reveal and pre-order link for “Sleigh Bell Tower: Murder at the Campus Holiday Gala.” Looks like a great holiday read and I’m looking forward to reading it.

BLURB:

When Bell Towers decides to build their newest boutique hotel in Wharton County, Braxton establishes a hospitality program as part of their university expansion. Despite the Ingram and Lynch family ties to prominent citizens, a dispute over the proposed landsite pits citizens against each other. One takes matters into their own hands and slays the hotel magnate during the campus holiday party. As the list of suspects increases, long-lost family members are anxious to keep their secrets from being revealed, complicating Sheriff Montague’s ability to determine the murderer’s true motive. Even Kellan’s forced to cast doubt on his friends and colleagues when it becomes obvious someone he knows committed the ultimate crime. April and Kellan are also celebrating their first Christmas and Hanukkah together, exchanging gifts based on the classic Twelve Days of Christmas song. While they trim the tree, light the menorah, and experience all the traditional holiday festivities with the kids, Nana D delivers her sarcastic brand of humor and endlessly tortures the town. Among Eleanor’s surprise news, Augie’s new girlfriend, and Myriam’s hilarious demands, Kellan’s dealing with unexpected holiday drama. The poor guy simply wants to spend the merry season with his family before he’s forced to trek to Scotland to fulfill his promise to the late Constance Garibaldi. What kind of quest has the psychic sent him on now?

PRE-ORDER LINK AMAZON