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Weekend Reads: The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum (Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum #1)
I was in the mood for good cozy mysteries this month, and I embarked on a marvelous new series.  Here’s my review of the first entry: The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss My rating: 5 of 5 stars I was in the mood for a good cozy mystery and remembered that author Kirsten Weiss had a new series. This is the first book, and I’m hooked. Newly unemployed Maddy Kosloski has returned to her California home town, San Benedetto, and she’s commiserating with her girlfriends Harper and Adele. Adele is opening a tea room in the building she’s inherited … the other half of which houses the town’s paranormal museum. She convinces Maddy to run the museum while she’s looking for other wo...
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Author Appearance: Modesto Classic Comic-Con

I will be one of the featured authors at the Modesto Classic Comic-Con (previously known as Steamhouse Con).  I was on-hand for year zero, and I can tell you that you couldn’t ask for a nicer group of folks.  I hope you can all come on down to say hi! Original link

Author Appearance: Campbell Con

Hi, everyone.  I just confirmed today that I will have a table at Campbell Con.  This is a first-time event for me, but it’s the third year for the activity.  I’m super-excited.  I hope that those of you in the area will come by to say hello! Original link

Get Caught Reading!

Believe it or not, there are people who wonder why I always have a book in my bag. This list will give you an explanation; I’m constantly trying to squeeze in a little more reading time. Bas Bleu Bluestocking Salon Guess what? May is Get Caught Reading Month! We suspect most avid readers haven’t truly been “caught” reading surreptitiously since you snuck a flashlight and book under the covers as a child or hid a novel inside your textbook during math class. But for those of us ( Bas Bleu editors included!) who never leave home without a book or who feel our day isn’t complete until we’ve tackled a few chapters, Get Caught Reading Month is the perfect excuse to share some of our favorite oppo...
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Blast from the Past: Improving a Story to Death

Hi, everyone.  A text-only version of this article appeared in my GoodReads blog on June 29, 2009.  The lesson on writing with care remains the same today. The story I referenced is now entitled “Betrayed by a Kiss,” and may be found in my always-free short fiction collection, Around the World in 80 Pages .  Enjoy! I learned a harsh lesson this month. I entered one of my favorite short-short stories, “The Judas Kiss,” in two different competitions. It was a strong, intelligent story with a twist, and I was very proud of it. One of the decisions I made when I wrote the story was to deliberately never identify the gender of the protagonist. I thought it was a real strength of the story. Except...
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12 Interesting Facts about French Literature

I am a huge fan of French literature; enjoy these interesting bits of information! Interesting Literature The best facts about French literature French literature has often been one step ahead of the literary curve, to risk mixing our progressive metaphors. Before T. S. Eliot and other Anglophone poets had found a way to write about the modern city, Charles Baudelaire had already shown a way forward. In the realm of medieval romance, French writers and troubadours led the way. Gustave Flaubert influenced James Joyce, Henry James, and countless others. So, in this post, we thought we’d pay homage to French literature and Francophone writers by sharing a dozen of our favourite interesting fact...
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Weekend Reads: The Language of Silence

The Language of Silence
It’s taken me a little bit to get back in the swing of things after the Blogging from A to Z juggernaut! Before I do anything else, I wish to thank and welcome all of my new readers.  I hope you will enjoy my writing.  I have a few semi-regular features, which you’ll find in the Categories list.  Weekend Reads is one of them.  With that, here’s this week’s review: The Language of Silence by Peggy Webb My rating: 5 of 5 stars From the very first page, I was enchanted by this book. There is no other way to describe it. Each character’s voice was so distinct, and Webb’s prose so evocative, that I wanted to spend the day doing nothing but entering the world created here. Ellen is fleeing an abus...
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A Summary and Analysis of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Speckled Band’

I’m a long-time Holmes fan, as I’ve mentioned in the past. This analysis of “The Speckled Band” is both detailed and delightful. Interesting Literature A reading of a classic Sherlock Holmes story ‘ The Adventure of the Speckled Band ’ is one of the most popular Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Doyle himself recognised that many readers would include ‘The Speckled Band’ among their list of favourite Holmes outings. It’s easy to read Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and enjoy them, with no additional analysis deemed necessary. But closer inspection reveals its links to previous detective fiction and the reasons for its status as one of the finest of Doyle’s short st...
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Why Being Nominated Is a Win – Guest Post by, Mike Martin…

I always advise my fellow authors to be proud of nominations, honorable mentions, etc. It serves as tremendous validation that your hard work has paid off. It really is, as the saying goes, an honor just to be nominated. Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog Sometimes just being nominated is a win, at least it is for me. My book, A Long Ways from Home, just got shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award . The book was chosen from scores of entries to the Bony Blithe Awards which every year recognizes the best in Canadian light mysteries. The Bony Blithe Award (officially the Bloody Words Light Mystery Award) is an annual Canadian award that celebrates traditional, feel-good mysteries. Now in its six...
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Shopping with Character: Amos Boudreaux

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Yesterday, I reblogged an article that suggested we get to know our characters by mentally taking them shopping with us.  Last night, it occurred to me that we actually see some of my characters’ shopping decisions in the text of the book, so I thought it would be fun to examine how those shopping trips give us clues as to who they are.  Up first: Amos Boudreaux, from Bayou Fire . Here’s a quick list of things we know that Amos has bought, or buys during the course of the story: He buys produce for his restaurant himself, and does it at the farmer’s market.  He’s supporting local farmers. When we first meet him, he’s wearing faded jeans and his university T-shirt.  Later, for a date, he’s we...
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How To Get To Know Your Characters – Take Them Shopping! #SundayBlogShare #Writers

This is a really clever idea. It’s challenging for those of us who write historical fiction. However, when I was researching “Bayou Fire” in New Orleans, I lucked into an exhibit at the Historic New Orleans Collection about the shopping experience in 19th C. NOLA. How might you apply this to your own work? BlondeWriteMore   Do you want to get to know your fictional characters? Do you feel like you and your characters need to bond? Don’t despair!I have an amazing new trick for writing better characters. It involves two of my favourite pastimes; writing and shopping. As writers we need to create interesting and compelling characters because no one will enjoy reading about them if they are dull...
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“Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions” Bonus Track

Hi, everyone.  It’s been kind of a crazy week.  I released Bayou Fire and Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions on May 1.  The latter is a re-work of a previously released memoir, with a new cover and several updates.  I write about my days in the Portland, Oregon, music business in the early 1980s, as well as some of my experiences and observations.  I won’t lie; I also deal frankly with the domestic violence I experienced at the hands of a boyfriend during that time as well … so be ready for that when you read. The main thing I talk about, though, is the music.  I spent a lot of time in local clubs, and I had some favorite groups whom I made a point of seeing regularly.  One of them was Thin Ma...
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A New Anthology Release!

Congratulations to fellow author Lillian Csernica on this new release! Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons by Lillian Csernica on May 5, 2017 I am very happy to announce that my story “The Heart of a Diamond” is now available in Literal Illusions from Digital Fiction Publishing . The spirit trapped in the heart of a large, priceless diamond has watched Princess Tavia grow into a strong, beautiful young woman. Now, on the eve of Tavia’s wedding, the spirit must face losing her to the political and financial demands placed upon her.  Secret enemies conspiring against that wedding force the spirit to risk everything to save both Tavia and the future of her realm.
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“E” is for “Entertaining” and “Educational”: Ten Picture Book Biographies Tweens, Teens, and Teachers Will Love! by Maggie Bokelman

I love picture books (I have a collection of Little Golden Books and Junior Elf books). They not only have gorgeous illustrations, but tell good stories. The trend toward great picture book biographies pleases me immensely. Nerdy Book Club Even though the “E” on a picture book spine stands for “Everybody,” sometimes it’s mistaken for “Easy.” That’s unfortunate, because many picture books are complex and thought-provoking. In their 2009 book, Teaching Literary Elements with Picture Books, Susan Van Zile and Mary Napoli write, “A majority of current picture books are particularly geared for adolescents.” Lately, a slew of fabulous picture book biographies have hit the shelves, all of them rife...
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13 Things To Do After Publishing Your Next Book – Guest Post by, Toni Pike…

Some good basic advice here. Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog You have already published your first book. As part of that process, you set up your author pages on Amazon and other distribution sites such as Smashwords. You also established your own website, Facebook author page, Goodreads Author page, Twitter account and accounts on other social media platforms. Now the time has come to publish your next book. You upload it and, hey presto, a short time later your precious creation goes live. Here is a list of thirteen housekeeping jobs to attend to before beginning the hard work of post-publication marketing. 1. Assemble your Buyer Links Assemble a list of the new buyer links for adding t...
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Author Appearance: Clockwork Alchemy 2017

Hi, everyone.  My first appearance of 2017 will be in the Author’s Alley at Clockwork Alchemy .  Be sure to stop by and say hello!  I’ll have copies of all of my paperbacks available for sale and signature.  I look forward to seeing you there! Original link

The Death of Sherlock Holmes

As a long-time lover of the Sherlock Holmes stories, I just had to share this with my readers. Enjoy! The Dastardly Past The Dastardly Past:  the Death of Sherlock Holmes. Forget Star Wars.  The true importance of May the 4th is that it’s the day Sherlock Holmes died.  In Arthur Conan-Doyle’s story “The Final Problem,” set in 1891, Holmes and Moriarty meet at the Riechenbach Falls in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland.  They glare at one another.  They charge.  They fight.  They plunge into the torrent, locked in battle, and fall to their deaths. Finis. The reading public, however, rejected this (or any) end to their analytical hero.  Conan Doyle, who had wanted to pursue other projects, he...
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Frequently Asked Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

I follow the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog, and their question this month happens to be one I get fairly often: what is the weirdest/coolest thing you’ve ever had to research for one of your stories? That’s actually kind of hard to answer.  Part of the reason for this is that I’m an anthropology major; whether or not something is strange becomes a matter of perspective after a while.  Still, there are some things that stand out. Over the years I’ve studied 19th century mental health treatments for women (which were pretty brutal, since they were based on the idea that women were essentially overgrown children who had to be prevented from using their brains too much), Florence Nighting...
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Reflections on Blogging from A to Z

At the end of March, I made an impulsive decision to participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge . I didn’t even know such a thing existed until a friend and fellow author revealed her theme for the project, so I was already a little bit behind the power curve.  However, I hurriedly came up with a plan and jumped in with both feet. So, what happened during April?  I posted at least one blog article every single day except one (my most active month).  I doubled my readership (which wasn’t huge, but still … more eyes!).  I was able to share facts from my various historical fiction projects, and create some buzz about the release of Bayou Fire … which happens today!  Most importantly, I m...
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Tomorrow’s the Big Day for Book Releases!

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Tomorrow’s the big day on my two new book releases.  Bayou Fire and Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions are in the last hours of pre-release ordering for both ebooks and paperbacks.  In addition to the links provided, you will find the titles on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBookstore, Kobobooks and all of its affiliates. Book blurbs: Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions: During her teenage years, award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart dreamed of working in the music business. She lived that dream for seven years, beginning at age 18. Unfortunately, she learned that dreams can turn quickly to nightmares. Sharon found herself in a world of not only of music, but also one of domestic viol...
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