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.
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.
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 HYPE! Leave a comment below for your chance to win!
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. 😊
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.
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.
I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire Author, Mae Clair, here to tell us about her new book. I already read it and loved it! Here’smy review.
Hi, Denise. Thanks for hosting me today and allowing me to share my newest release with your readers. Things Old and Forgotten is a collection of short fiction that includes stories in several genres—magical realism, fantasy, speculative, even two that touch on mild horror.
When I’m writing, I often visualize in colors. My father was an artist, and although he would not consider white a color (technically, it’s a shade) it has long mesmerized me. It speaks to the ethereal, visionary, and the otherworldly. The color white floats—a wisp of the insubstantial we can never quite touch, like an echo weaving future and past.
I had all those elements in mind when I wrote Desert White which—among other strangeness—includes a white dog. When I was eight years old, I wrote my first short story, The Night Dog, about a spectral canine. It took me decades to pen another about a white canine. Below is a short excerpt taken from the beginning of Desert White.
“His name is White.” The gravelly tone of the old man’s voice matched his lined and weather-beaten skin.
“It’s fitting.” Micah eyed the dog from his seat at the kitchen table. If not for the German shepherd’s dark eyes, he would have thought the animal was an albino. White had sniffed around his mutilated wrists in the desert, nudging him with a cold nose. Now, curled up on the floor of Floyd Henley’s trailer, the canine didn’t seem the ghostly presence it had under a pale moon. Even so, he wished it wouldn’t lie so close. Large dogs made him nervous.
The shepherd was the last of his worries.
Earlier, he’d caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror above Floyd’s bathroom sink while the old man fussed over his wounds. When he’d driven into the desert that evening, his hair had been ink-black. Now, it was the same spectral white as Floyd’s dog.
I must be dreaming—still.
“Drink this.” Floyd thrust a cup of foul-smelling liquid into his hands. The concoction looked like yellow mud threaded with licorice.
“What is it?”
“Healthy. That’s all you need to know.” Floyd hobbled a short distance away, pausing by the rear door to snatch a plaid jacket from a peg. When he returned, he dropped the frayed garment over Micah’s shoulders. It reeked of must and stale pipe tobacco, but the fabric was warm.
Grateful, he gathered it close. He hadn’t been able to stop shivering since his brush with death. “Thanks.”
Floyd nodded to the cup in his hands. “Drink.”
He forced down a mouthful of the tonic. Tasted bitterness in steeped tea leaves, caraway, and something citrusy. “What were you doing in the desert?”
“I could ask you the same, but no need.” Floyd busied himself filling a basin with water. A crisp yellow towel hung from his shoulder. “We both know what drew you there.”
Shame heated Micah’s face. Tightening his hand around his cup, he studied the dried blood beneath his fingernails. The ugly rust-colored blots on his jeans.
I should have bled to death. Would have, if not for the old man and his dog.
He forced another swallow of the abominable brew, taking perverse pleasure in the way it curdled his gut. At least he was alive to feel the acid.
Floyd drew a chair close then set his basin on the linoleum-topped table. Pale green with chrome edges, the surface had a repetitive design that reminded Micah of boomerangs. How long would it take to count all those angled wedges flying into infinity? Long enough for the blood to drain from his body after slicing his wrists?
The old man had already lined up fresh bandages and gauze pads, well stocked for a recluse who lived in the middle of nowhere. Maybe he had no choice, holed up in the run-down trailer like a hermit. As far as Micah could tell, there wasn’t another soul for miles. Damn fortuitous he and the dog had been there.
A man keeping King Arthur’s dream of Camelot alive.
A Robin Hood battling in a drastically different Sherwood.
A young man facing eternity in the desert.
A genteel southern lady besting a powerful order of genies.
A woman meeting her father decades after his death.
These are but a few of the intriguing tales waiting to be discovered in Things Old and Forgotten. Prepare to be transported to realms of folklore and legend, where magic and wonder linger around every corner, and fantastic possibilities are limited only by imagination.
Thanks again for hosting me today, Denise. In honor of my love for autumn—a fantastic time to curl up with a book—Things Old and Forgotten will be on sale for .99c through October 31st.
Word Weaving is a yearly poetry journal, and for our first issue, we bring you poetry crafted from a broad mix of new and established voices across the spectrum of Japanese and American syllabic poetry forms. Enjoy this collection of poems that celebrate the Moons of Autumn.
Annette Rochelle Aben, Mona Bedi, Nancy Brady, Colleen M. Chesebro, Goutam Dutta, Bill Engleson, Elizabeth F., Andreea Finichiu, D.L. Finn, Jeff Flesch, Ken Gierke, Franci Hoffman, Thom Kerr, Sujata Khanna, Ruth Klein, Jules Paige, D. Wallace Peach, Gwen M. Plano, M. J. Mallon, R.V. Mitchell, Elaine Patricia Morris, Lisa Smith Nelson, Pat Raffington, Susmita Ramani, Kerfe Roig, Aishwarya Saby, Akhila Siva, Merril D. Smith, Willow Willers, and Cheryl Wood.
I’m honored to be included in this amazing book! Colleen encouraged the poets to share their poems that were in this beautifulWord Weaving collection. So here they are mine, and my hope is they inspire you to not only write some poetry but pick up a copy of the book and enjoy some phenomenal syllabic poetry! Thanks, Colleen and Jules 🙂
A lone black cat sits on the edge of our world, under the harvest moon. Her green eyes reflect the celestial beams, and her fur absorbs the stars. She rubs against the night’s promise, and its magic fills her soul.
Today the fairies and I are visiting fellow Story Empire Author, Harmony Kent! Not only does she offer her support to indie authors, but she a wonderful writer. Her book, The Vanished Boy, made the Summer Edition of “Books That Changed Me.” Stop by and say hello to us!
I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire author, Joan Hall, here today to share her latest release, Cold Dark Night. It is a book I loved and look forward to the rest of the series. Here’s my review: LINK
Thank you for hosting me today, Denise. I’m delighted to be here to talk about my newest release, Cold Dark Night. It’s the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series. Each bookbegins with a historical event that ties to modern day.
We both share a love for animals. I think when character has a pet, it tells readers a lot about their personality. Although I like all animals, I’m especially fond of cats. I have two of my own, a seven-year-old tuxedo named Tucker and a six-year-old black Manx named Little Bit. We adopted Tucker, but Little Bit found us.
Both cats, but especially Tucker, are extremely sensitive our moods and emotions. He clings a lot if one of us is sick.
Oscar is a black cat that readers first meet in House of Sorrow. He’s a “mixture” of my two cats. Just as Little Bit “found” us, Oscar “found” Ruth. After her death, he roamed the neighborhood where neighbors made sure he had food and received proper care. Oscar wouldn’t stay with any of them, remaining a bit reclusive, but things changed when Tami moves to town.
And like Tucker, Oscar is sensitive to Tami’s emotions. I’d like to share two excerpts. The first is when Tami first meets her new fur baby. The second scene comes later in the book.
Tami walked to the door with Abbey. When she opened it, a large black cat darted across the deck.
“Fantastic. Oscar finally showed up.”
“Is he your cat?”
Abbey shook her head. “He belonged to Ruth. He’s been roaming the neighborhood since she died. Everyone looks after him and makes sure he has food and shelter, but he won’t stay with anyone for long.”
The cat meowed, reached a paw out to Tami, then twined between her legs.
“Well, hello there. You’re certainly friendly.” Tami bent down to scratch him behind the ears.
“That’s unusual. He’s been standoffish, especially to strangers. But I’ve often heard people don’t choose cats, cats choose them. It looks like you have a new buddy.”
It was mid-morning when the uneasiness gripped Tami again. She’d been in her office, trying to slog through an article for a regional magazine.
After the conversation with Jason, her disparaging mood left. But now she couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was about to happen, as if danger lurked nearby.
Oscar jumped from his spot on the love seat onto her desk, then nudged her arm. During the past few weeks, the cat had acted sensitive to her emotions. It was as if he knew when she was upset or troubled. His presence never failed to comfort her.
“Hey, buddy.” She scratched behind his ears. He rewarded her with a soft purr. “You always know how to make me feel better, don’t you?”
The cat continued to rub his head on her hand before lying across her keyboard—something he hadn’t done before.
“Guess I won’t get any more work done this morning.” Tami laughed as she reached to power down her computer. It was then she noticed the date.
February 16. Lee Hazelton died on this date thirty-eight years ago.
She looked out the window. The expected cold front hadn’t arrived. Three months ago, she’d visited Ruth’s grave on the date of her death. She could do the same for Lee.
Cold Dark Night is available on Amazon for .99 through June 15. After then, the price goes to $3.99, so now is a good time for readers to grab a copy.
New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.
Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.
But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.
Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.
Please welcome, amazing author and friend, Sandra Cox, here today for her cover release and pre-order! She’s gotten me hooked on westerns again:)
Here’s the new cover, blurb, and pre-order link:
An aging bounty hunter and a woman bent on vengeance form an unlikely alliance.
Keeper Tyree is an aging bounty hunter who lives by his own set of rules. He’s a hard man but just and his word is his bond. Keeper’s a loner and likes it that way. Then Cathleen O’Donnell catapults into his life looking to hire his gun. Josiah Pardee has killed her boy, and she’s out for vengeance. Somehow all his hard and fast rules, including working alone and minding his own business, crumbles in the face of the immovable widow he now works for. He finds himself rescuing soiled doves, a myopic bookworm more suited to city life than the Wild West, and a Kickapoo who’s in deep trouble with some angry card players as he tracks down the murdering sidewinder Josiah Pardee.
I’m excited to welcome fellow Story Empire author, C. S. Boyack, here today to talk about his latest release, “Lunar Boogie. ” I’ve loved the Hat Series, and couldn’t wait to dive into this great story. Here’s my review.
Thanks for lending me your space, Denise. I’m here to tell your fans about my newest publication, “Lunar Boogie.” This is book number four in The Hat Series. This is an ongoing series that uses the same main characters in subsequent tales. They are intended to be dark comedy.
I’ll let the cover and blurb do their jobs. Today, I want to talk about what comes next. This is kind of a standard blog tour topic, but it’s a fun one.
Lizzie St. Laurent is a regular twenty-something college dropout. She works hard to make ends meet. I paired her up with a creature from another dimension, known only as the hat. He has supernatural abilities, but they need each other to take advantage of them.
When they debuted in the first book, “The Hat,” it was very well received. This is my best seller, and has more reviews than any other. Many readers asked for sequels and the series was born. They also wanted to explore deeper into the witchcraft world presented in that story. This is something I also wanted to do, but it posed a little problem.
Lizzie is a regular girl. She’s also our point of view into all the strange things going on in this underground environment. This means she isn’t going to attend some school and learn all about witchcraft. She has to observe it as an outsider, and the readers do too.
I wanted Lizzie to get some seasoning before I returned to that environment. After four unique adventures, it’s time to get on with it. The next book in the series will be called “Good Liniment,” and it’s going to take a deep dive into the world of witchcraft.
This will include a bunch of new characters, but they’re going to be unique enough that readers will remember them. As the series grows, I want to have a pool of characters that can appear in future stories.
This poses a challenge for me, because one of my goals is that readers can pick up any volume and enjoy the story without prerequisite reading. I don’t know if I can keep pulling that off, but have every intention to try. It requires a small introduction for the recurring characters, but, as long as it isn’t obtrusive, long term readers might appreciate the reminders. I don’t mind a good challenge, but I can only produce about one of these per year.
Today, you have “Lunar Boogie” to check out. It’s brand spankin’ new, and I’d appreciate some readers and reviews to give it a good launch.
Stick with me, because I have about four more storyboards going in this series, and two of them are ready to write today.
Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.
This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than to stalk him on his own turf. All she has to do is be quicker on the trigger than the wolf is on his feet.
At the same time, the police think they’re after a serial killer. Lizzie tries to keep them alive while also keeping them out of her way. As the body count rises, so do the pressures. It doesn’t help that people are blaming Lizzie and the hat for the killings. This involves an urban myth about them that the locals call Hellpox.
Pull on your boogie shoes and join the hunt. Designed as an afternoon read, this one is tons of supernatural fun.
I’m excited to share the cover and pre-order for my final planned children’s book, “Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories!” It is a chapter book suitable for middle-grade and those young at heart.
Here’s my first attempt at a children’s cover:)
When reality and magic meet in the forest
It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy.
Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.
I ended up picking this date not only because it’s my son’s age, but it’s a full moon and lunar eclipse! An event made for fairies:)
Paperback to follow!
Note: I was focused on this release so I wasn’t around as much on blogs and social media this week. I will try to catch up as best I can, and will be around more next week:)
There will be a Tree Fairy Blog Tour weaving through the end of May and into June. Miriam Hurdle has graciously offered to host on release day to get the tour started. Watch for it, and all the other amazing sites the tree and city fairies will be visiting!
I’m pleased to welcome authors, James J. Cudney & Didi Oviatt, here today to share their new release, “Weathering Old Souls.” I’ve picked up my copy!
Weathering Old Souls
by James J. Cudney & Didi Oviatt
Genre: Metaphysical, Spiritual Historical Fiction
Abigail has always struggled with the voices. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that changes her future.
Moments from the past serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, and also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of the mysterious voices, while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator.
Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between people they meet during the journey, and long-buried secrets come to light in devastating ways. As elements twist, numbers align and spiritual powers connect, no one will be the same again.
Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.