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“Scoop:” A Classic Satire About Foreign Correspondents

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(I continue to receive requests that I repost my piece on Evelyn Waugh’s “Scoop,” the classic book that lampoons foreign correspondents.  Here it is. Enjoy.) If you have never read Evelyn Waugh’s wonderful satire of British journalism entitled “Scoop,” get thee to Amazon or to a bookstore and buy the book. You won’t be disappointed. “Scoop” ranks number 60 of the 100 best novels of all time. For good reason. It’s fast, funny, wonderfully written, and most of all in an era online journalism, blogs, and social media it still has an undeniable ring of relevance and truth about it even though it was published in 1938.       Evelyn Waugh The book is based partly on Waugh’s own experiences as a gr...
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: No More Time to Dance (The Story of Catherine Howard Book 2) by G. Lawrence


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US No More Time to Dance is book two in The Story of Catherine Howard, by G. Lawrence July 1540: After eight months as a maid of court, Catherine Howard has become Queen. Separated from past friends and surrounded by people who resent her rise to the throne, the sole close companion she has left is Jane Boleyn, the infamous Lady Rochford.  And this is not the only strain upon Catherine. People from her past come calling, the threat that the King may find out she is not the pure, innocent maiden he thinks she is puts her in peril. Catherine must imitate the Queens of the past in order to survive.  And she must ignore her love for another man.  On the day of h...
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: The Devil's Slave, by Tracy Borman


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US Compelling, sensual, suspenseful, The Devil's Slave  is a standalone sequel to The King's Witch  Frances Gorges has already survived the accusation of witchcraft. But if her torturers at the court of King James knew of her love for Tom Wintour, one of the executed members of the gunpowder plot, it would mean certain death. Pregnant with Tom's child, hiding under the reluctant protection of her spiteful and ambitious brother, Frances lives in fear - until she is offered the chance to make a respectable - if loveless - marriage and return to court. She will not be expected to sleep with her husband. The only price she must pay for safety is to give up the cause f...
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Taking a Few Steps Back…

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Every so often we come to a realization that something we’ve been doing hasn’t been working as well as we’d hoped. Admitting you didn’t do something right the first time is not a sign of weakness, it actually shows growth. Learning from your mistakes is just as important as getting things right the first time. Recently, during a book release party (for someone else) a mutual friend who is a librarian started talking to me about the Para-Earths series. She’s watched trends and keeps a close eye on what’s popular in the industry and she pointed out to me that the Para-Earths might actually do better aimed at a Young Adult (YA) audience. This would still make the books quite available to the ad...
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State of the Author: Hot Hot Hot!

I returned from our mini writers’ retreat at the Olympic Village in Squaw Valley, Calif., to a heat wave. No joke. I went from weather in the 50s to weather in the 100s in one fell swoop. We got a lot done, though, during that retreat. We had plot breakthroughs , outlining sessions, laughter, a lot of good food, and great companionship. Having great author pals like Dover Whitecliff and T.E. MacArthur makes a huge difference; we support one another through the difficulties. While it’s true that I had a much-needed plot breakthrough on Second Chance in the Vieux Carré, I also had a “side hustle” come through in the form of a formatting gig. Having something else to focus on for the immediate ...
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Are You a Passionate Book Reviewer? #MustRead

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If you are a passionate book reviewer, I have some great news for you. Would you like to know about a website where you can access hundreds of books for free before they are published, and earn money while doing what you love? It exists! It’s called Reedsy Discovery. Read new books for free before […] The post Are You a Passionate Book Reviewer? #MustRead appeared first on Stephen Bentley . Original link
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Good news, for (a few) authors.

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We live in an ever-changing world, one where change is happening at ever increasing speed. The truth of the old adage which says, “If you stand still long enough you’ll end up going backwards” has never been so evident. This competitive hunger for transformation is affecting all areas of the publishing world, from the major players like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, to Random House, Harper Collins and Hachette Livre. It is no surprise then, this onslaught of rapid change is influencing and shaping the future of the indie author and writer markets in ways never seen before. The warning is, most writers are, “stuck in their ways.“ Too many indie authors have become comfortable and clearly rel...
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Music Monday: “Delta Dawn”

Hi, everyone. Today I’m sharing a song I’ve liked for a long time. This is “Delta Dawn,” as performed by Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile and guests during the 2019 CMT Music Awards. The harmonies are gorgeous.   Original link
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How can I support authors I like, you ask?


Well, maybe you don’t ask. But now you want to know, because once you fall in love with a book, you want more like it. Review it! Many online stores and book sites allow readers to post reviews. A person is more likely to take a chance on a book that 50 people say they loved than 5 people say they do. Recommend it! Readers have friends who read, and you likely have an idea of their tastes. A recommendation makes a person more likely to find out more about an unknown book. Some authors, such as J.K. Rowling, got further by word of mouth recommendations and kids buying it for their friends, than by traditional marketing methods. Gift it! I’ve been running a special– the book retails at $12 eac...
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11 of the Funniest Quotes about Books – Interesting Literature

Below is our pick of these pithy quotations: the funniest and truest quotations about books we’ve found. All of them are sourced, with a bit of context for each, since many of these quotations appear elsewhere online but without any information about their origins, or even whether they’re genuine. And as Abraham Lincoln never said, ‘The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.’ A truly splendid gathering of quotations may be found in the linked article. via 11 of the Funniest Quotes about Books – Interesting Literature Original link
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Why I Love Shakespeare – WordyNerdBird

My love for Shakespeare isn’t about the person: it’s about the language, the writing, and the craftsmanship that combine to be the genius of the writer. What his name was doesn’t matter one bit. As someone who also admires the Bard of Avon, I heartily endorse this article. via Why I Love Shakespeare – WordyNerdBird Original link
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Sample Saturday: “Second Chance in the Vieux Carré,” My Current Work in Progress

Hi, everyone. It’s the penultimate day of our mini writer’s retreat, and thanks to my colleagues I’ve had a breakthrough on a story with which I’ve struggled. This is very much a first draft, which means that things may change a little bit by publication time. Meet Hope Rutherford, the heroine of my latest tale. No one wants anything to do with me. I wish I understood why. Hope Rutherford hit the “end call” button on her cell phone. If there was a way for the day to get worse, she couldn’t imagine it. Yesterday, she’d been laid off from her job at the insurance company. There was a “nice package,” as they called it; she wouldn’t have to work for at least a year, which left her plenty of time...
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5-Star Reviews for “Forever’s Too Long”…


The first installment of “The Forever Detective” series now available in Trade Paperback and E-Book formats And the review are just starting to come in… 5.0 out of 5 stars   “ Clever writing without being campy “ “This genre mashup of 1940s detective/vampire novel must have been a challenge for Helen Krummenacker to write, but she pulled it off beautfully….”   5.0 out of 5 stars “ Fun Chandler-style with a twist “ “Had so much fun reading this book…” You can read the rest of the reviews by clicking on the link below: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF Original link
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Weekend Reads: “Tradition”

Tradition!: The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World's Most Beloved Musical
Hi, everyone! I’m writing to you from Red Wolf Lodge at Squaw Valley , where fellow authors Dover Whitecliff , T.E. MacArthur , and I have created a mini writing retreat. We’re staying mere steps away from the former Olympic Village. It’s quiet and peaceful, and we have a great view (as long as you overlook the ski lift equipment). I woke up this morning with a wee bit of altitude sickness, which is not too surprising. I’ve taken something for it and will be lying back down for a bit. Here’s this week’s book review. Tradition!: The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World’s Most Beloved Musical by Barbara Isenberg My rating: 5 of ...
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Historical Fiction – How, What, When & Why?

One aspect that seems to dissuade writers from tackling historical fiction is research. They dread making a massive slip-up that will shatter the reputation of their novel. (Yes, it is important to check that if your character enthuses on the view from the top of the Empire State Building then it was actually built at that time!) But you can allow yourself a degree of leeway. This is fiction after all, and unless you are lucky enough to have a Ph.D in the year you choose to set your novel, that means a lot of reading and note taking – but no more so than if you were setting your novel in the present but in a foreign country you’d never set foot in. via Historical Fiction – How, What, When & ...
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Why Historical Fiction Is Important for 21st-Century Kids | Brightly

Historical fiction tells the stories of ordinary people living in extraordinary times, and extraordinary people living in ordinary times. For me, it’s like a time machine. When I visit the past, I don’t want to go as a tourist, just getting the highlights. I want the backstage tour. I want to look around corners and peer into windows and get to know the people of the neighborhood. I want to be there as events unfold, seeing them through the eyes of a character for whom this time is not “history” — it’s just everyday life. via Why Historical Fiction Is Important for 21st-Century Kids | Brightly Original link
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Author Rescues Dogs from Kill Shelters

Originally posted on Indie Lifer : Paulette Mahurin is an international best-selling literary fiction and historical fiction novelist. She lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science. Semi-retired, she continues to… Original link
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“Two Days in June” Release Day!

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Hi, everyone. It’s release day for Two Days in June, the latest iteration of Pocketful of Stories. If you pre-ordered, you’ll find it on your device. If you didn’t, you will find purchase links at the end of this post. I chose the release date deliberately; 137 years ago today, the students of the Sorbonne led an unsuccessful uprising against King Louis-Philippe of France. History books would most likely have remained silent on the June Rebellion had one man not been caught behind the barricades and thus unable to get home. That man was author Victor Hugo, whose novel Les Misérables details the politics that led up to the event and described its awful aftermath. Back cover copy for Two Days ...
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Frequently Asked Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

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Today’s question comes to us from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group .  It’s one I’ve answered before . My favorite genre to write is historical fiction. Here’s a quote from the previous blog entry, explaining why: I think what draws me most to historical fiction is the glimpse into how people lived in other eras. I have always found that fascinating. Social mores, fashions, even food! I recently completed a course on royal food and feasting from the Tudor to Victorian eras. I enjoy the process of researching a story, and I love the richness of detail that comes from doing that work. I’m one of those rare birds who treats research as a treasure hunt rather than a chore; the hardest thing I ...
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Music Monday: “Ode to Billy Joe”

I couldn’t resist sharing this tune, which starts “It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty delta day.” When I made my 2017 research trip, I drove across the new Tallahatchie Bridge (the original wooden one was destroyed by vandals). Please enjoy Bobbie Gentry’s performance of “Ode to Billy Joe.”   Original link
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