Monday, October 21, 2019

Guest blogger: David W. Thompson

                                                   Sons and Brothers: Legends of the Family Dyer by [Thompson, David W.]

Sons and Brothers continues the tradition of its award winning predecessors in the “Legends of the Family Dyer” trilogy. This third installment, although stand-alone, follows the descendants of the accused 17th century witch, Moll Dyer. Another century has passed and divergent family lines are reunited.

Two cousins from different backgrounds, Garren and Brodie, meet at a camp in the Potomac highlands. One hails from the flatlands of Southern Maryland; the other calls the mountains of West Virginia home. The Dyer family’s ancestral foe, the dark entity Laris, doesn’t care where they came from because he knows who they came from. Disguising his intentions, he has one last chance to complete Lilith’s demonic hit.
Three friends oppose the ancient evil: Anna—a hesitant Native American spiritualist, Lenore—a teenager discovering shape-shifting abilities, and Garren—a regular teenage guy with too much to lose...and plenty to gain. The terrors of the past are revisited and the corruption of the past seeps into the present.

The friends embark on a life and death challenge with help from Anna’s spirit guide. All three, a “hero triumvirate,” embrace their newfound talents in an attempt to save their loved ones from the encroaching darkness.

In this often bloody and heart wrenching tale, dark family secrets are revealed, temptation is embraced and the circle of life is renewed. Does love conquer hate? Should some truths remain untold? Can some sins not be forgiven? What would you do?

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Help for families going through Medical issues

Hospital stays are expensive!

Simple as that. The dollar amounts add up. 

I know. I have a son with Epilepsy and we have had a number of hospital stays. The gas money and the food money add up after the days count on.

I want to help families with this. Any amount will help. Families struggle through the hard times.

They spend their every last dollar putting gas in the car to get back and forth when it's long periods of time. 

Simple things like groceries for their house can be a choice. Gas in the car or a couple items of food for the house.

If you want to help stop by my fundraiser page and donate. No amount is too small.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Yogurt Pie

Yogurt Pie

You can make this completely sure free if you or low fat depending on the ingredients you use.

I graham cracker pie shell
You can buy store bought or get a box of graham crackers and crush them to make your own shell.

2 small containers of yogurt ( Any flavor)
1 container of cool whip
1 box of jello
¼ cup of hot water

How to make:
Mix your box of jello with ¼ cup of hot water. You are not making Jello. All you are doing is mixing the powder up with the small amount of water.

Next add your 2 containers of yogurt

Then add coolwhip

Mix everything together and put in the pie shell.

If you can get your family to leave it alone LOL Put it in the refrigerator for about an hour to get all hardened up and nice and cold.

As I said you could make it sugar free. Simply buy sugar free yogurt, jello, graham crackers. It still tastes yummy 😊

Monday, October 7, 2019

5 Star review for "Locked In A Castle"

Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
Locked In A Castle by Lizzy Stevens is the story of a young woman named Kelly with simple needs and simple likes. However, she is not like your average woman. While most girls her age would be out and about, living their dream life and falling in love, Kelly is stuck inside her castle. She is locked there and she can never leave its premises. She spends the nights as a human and the days as a ghost, never in the reach of anything. She is cursed to live this life until someone comes by and breaks the curse for good. She can’t leave the castle so how can she bring someone into her life that will break the curse for her? Figuring this out is taking a toll on her mind and body and there isn’t much she can do about it. Will she ever find someone to break the curse for her? Or is she doomed to live like this forever?

This story was the perfect slice of life. The author has done a wonderful job of writing a concise and complete story. This is a fast-paced and lovely romance where you will find a mixture of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty all mixed into one modern tale of romance. I really enjoyed reading the interactions between Kelly and Jack; they had a very sweet relationship which added depth to the story. Dane is such a charmer; he is considerate, determined and well-suited with Kelly. I enjoyed reading this story a lot more than I anticipated. Really good!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Guest blogger Glenn Berggoetz

                                                         Image preview

Image preview

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Please tell us about your latest book.

My new book is Waiting for Evening to Come. The book is about the friendship that develops between a young white boy and an elderly African American man in rural Indiana in the 1950s. I’ve also written a screenplay and stage play version of the story, and I’ve landed an agent to represent those versions. The agent is first attaching some names to the script before trying to sell it to a producer or studio, and Dennis Haysbert, the older African American gentleman in the Allstate insurance commercials, has read the script, loved it, and signed a Letter of Intent to play the lead role of Benjamin in the film adaptation of the book. This has me excited for the possibilities for not just the book getting turned into a film, but also for future book sales and a possible stage run for the tale.

What can we expect from you in the future?

While I’ve had seven books published, I’ve also written the screenplays for twelve produced feature films, and I have nearly twenty other completed feature film scripts that maybe my agent will be able to eventually sell. Because I enjoy writing in various styles – novels, poetry, screenplays, stage plays – and write in many genres (drama, comedy, horror), I pretty much follow my whims at what and how I will next write.

How do we find out about you and your books?

I’ve set up a Facebook page for my books titled “The Books of Glenn Berggoetz” that’s located at I also have a website that’s devoted primarily to the dozen feature films I’ve written and directed and for scheduling speaking appearances. This website is located at

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

A fair amount. With Waiting for Evening to Come, much of the dialogue is similar to the racist talk I sometimes heard while growing up. I also put a lot of my grandfather into the main character of Benjamin. Benjamin is a wise and kind man, as was my grandfather John Hayes. I also included some stories in the novel that I heard when growing up. For example, when Benjamin is telling a story to Jack, the young white boy, about Benjamin’s deceased wife, much of what he tells Jack are the tales I heard about my grandmother, Bridget Hayes. The same typically can’t be said for the screenplays I write (with the exception of the screenplay version of Waiting for Evening to Come). My screenplays are typically close to, if not all, fiction.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?

I first wrote in the summer of 1988, writing a short story and a novella. Like so many other writers, I felt I had thoughts in my head that had to be shared. It wasn’t until a couple years later that I finally thought I had written something decent enough to be published and started querying magazines about my short stories (this was pre-internet days) by sending out dozens
and dozens of letters, then spending a small fortune going to stores that made copies of documents to get plenty of copies made, then spending another small fortune paying for postage.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I have no schedule. Sometimes I go a month without writing anything, then I’ll go months where I write pretty much every day.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

Since I live by myself, this is not a problem for me – I write when I feel like it.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

I’ll watch college basketball and football, go for long walks (typically very early in the morning when the stars are still visible in the sky), or go visit my favorite people, most of whom live a thousand miles away.

Where do your ideas come from?

Many of them come from personal experiences or from the thoughts floating through my head on my long walks.

Do you feel humor is important in books and why?

Absolutely. While Waiting for Evening to Come sticks very closely to the dramatic tenor of the book, my first novel (also published by Solstice Publishing), Two Loves, certainly has some light-hearted moments mixed in.

What kind of research do you do?

With Waiting for Evening to Come I didn’t have to do any extra research because, as an undergrad, I was a history major and have a bachelor’s degree in that subject, and since Waiting for Evening to Come is historical fiction and reflects some of the mores of 1950s America, I was already very familiar with what was going on in the U.S. during that time.

Please tell us about yourself.

I try to be a thin book – easy to read. Besides that, I’ve never married nor had any children. I’ve always lived pretty simply, at one point going years without owning a TV, then going years where the only TV I had was a five-inch black-and-white model. I work as a college professor teaching writing classes, British and American literature, and cinema. Since my little doggie
died two years ago, my life is pretty quiet for the most part. I keep telling myself that at some point in the near future I’m going to start to do some traveling.

What are some of your favorite things to do?

I love hiking, but now that I’m living in Indiana (after a decade in Colorado) I don’t have many chances to do that. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to reduce the amount I eat to about 40%-50% of what I used to eat, so on those rare occasions when I actually eat a full meal I enjoy that. I certainly enjoy reading, and I enjoy watching college sports.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?

I wrote my master’s thesis over some of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, so he’s an author I enjoy reading. I’ve developed quite a fondness for Stephen King in the last decade. I’ve also long enjoyed reading Leo Tolstoy’s works.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m hoping my agent will be able to sell a couple or three of my screenplays so that I have enough money to stop teaching and start traveling and hiking on a regular basis.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?

I’ve had seven books published, but the first three novels I wrote (back in the 1990s) have not been published, so I’ve written ten books total.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

I’ll buy some copies to give to other people, but typically after all of the rewrites I’ve done, then the more rewrites after working with the editor, I’ve already read the book a dozen times or more, so I usually move on to read other books I’ve never read and have long wanted to read.

Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?

I am quite partial to Benjamin and Jack in Waiting for Evening to Come. It seems as if their relationship with each other is the most interesting relationship I’ve ever written, and I love that Benjamin is a quiet hero, the kind of hero all of us can be. And for right now at least, Waiting for Evening to Come has supplanted my stream-of-consciousness, extended prose poem book Guernica Still Burning as my favorite book that I’ve written.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Hearing from someone who has read the book who tells me that the book made them feel something.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be watching too much TV.

What is your greatest desire?

To be happy as often as possible!

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Write what you feel you have to write, whether anyone will end up reading it or not. Writing is something I do because it feels as if I don’t have a choice, I simply have to do it, so I’m going to do it whether anyone reads my words or not. Be like Emily Dickinson, letting the words be part of who you are, not worrying too much about how others perceive your writing.

My Solstice page –
Amazon Waiting for Evening to Come page –
Amazon Two Loves page –

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Guest Blogger: Debbie De Louise

I'm proud to announce the release of The Mistaken Mission, my time-travel short story that's a sequel to "Stitches in Time," a story I wrote in 1999 for the anthology, Cat Crimes Through Time.

eBook & Kindle Unlimited: (Link will be sent on October 1st)
Nineteen years ago, Gina Garrett’s father disappeared into the past using a time-travel disk he and his partner created. The only person who believed Gina when she explained what happened was her father’s partner’s son. When he, now a detective, shows up at her door claiming that he needs her to help him prevent a murder that happened a year ago, she hopes they can find her father, too.
A few minutes after I hung up, there was a knock at my door. Checking the peephole with Stripey at my ankles, I saw a tall man with red hair and a matching beard. He wore a police uniform. I opened the door hesitantly.
“Gina Garrett. Sorry I came so late. I was just off my shift. Did your mother tell you I called?”
I swallowed a gulp of my own saliva and almost chocked. “Yes. She did. Come in, uh, Mr. Logan.”
“It’s Andy, remember?” He walked through the door.
“What’s wrong? Maybe that’s a silly question.” He paused. I was aware of him looking down at me. Even as a boy, he’d been taller than the tallest girl in the neighborhood.
“I know you must be surprised, even shocked to see me after all this time. When we moved away, I should’ve written or called you. I’m sorry.”
I turned around. “Have a seat. We can talk. I’ll make coffee, or maybe you’d like tea?” I led him into the small kitchen.
He straddled a chair, his long legs looping over it. “Nothing, thanks, but you can go ahead and make yourself a drink if you want.”
“I was about to have some champagne. I don’t drink often, but I was . . .”
“Celebrating your birthday,” he finished for me.
“You remember?”
“How could I forget? I was sorry for you when I heard what happened. Mother agreed that your father ran away with another woman. I never believed that.”
“Neither did I.” I sat across from him, and he turned his chair.
“Looking back, now that I’m a detective, I realize things didn’t make sense. Your dad took nothing with him – no wallet, money, or clothes.”
“They said he had another set of clothes and a fake ID, that he left the state or country with his mistress.”
The smile Andy had greeted me with faded. “Gina, I’m here for another reason than to dredge up old memories. I need your help with a case.”
“Why me? I have no police experience unless you count some of the stories I’ve covered.”
“I know you’re a reporter. I checked you out, but that’s not why I’m here.” He gazed at me through his blue eyes, and I saw images of him and me as kids riding our bikes around Boston Public Garden, playing softball in the street with a few other friends, taking walks through the neighborhood.
“I never doubted what you said all those years ago, about your going back in time. Recently, I may have found proof that you were right.”
Ghost Cat. Don’t honeymoon without one.
Francesco and Gina are not your typical engaged couple. They met in a cemetery and spent their dates watching horror movies. But when Francesco suggests they honeymoon in a haunted house in Venice, Gina is shocked when she learns the place may actually be Francesco’s childhood home where his parents were murdered.
When college student Susan Shaffer wakes up on the wrong side of the bed in her dorm room, strange things begin to happen. Time seems to shift and draw her into an imaginary deadline that would rival those of the stories she writes for the student paper. Unable to face horrible news that she can’t remember happening, she traces the events of the last few days. Discovering the awful truth of why these hours are a blank, she must meet a deadline that is truly deadly.

On the one-month anniversary of the death of her beloved cat, Librarian Margaret Goodley, uses her excellent research skills to cast a spell to bring Bluebell back to life. Unfortunately, there are unexpected consequences when two other women who have lost their own loved ones on the same day interrupt the ceremony.
Author Bio

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the four books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and the standalone mystery, Reason to Die. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.
Amazon Author Page:
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up:

Friday, September 20, 2019

Guest Blogger: Lauryn Dyan


As lead singer of popular, emerging rock band, Tracing Stars, Kennedy has the swagger of a badass, or at least she used to. While caught up in the booze, passion, and chaos of her first major rock tour, her dreams are erased by a string of ever-worsening blackouts. Now the instability of her mind has landed her in a psychiatric hospital. Despite being convinced one of her tour mates sabotaged her, she lacks any evidence. Trapped in the asylum, she alternates between the past and the present determined to recover her lost memories so she can return to her band before she’s just a footnote in their rise to fame.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Guest blogger: Consuella Harris

                                                The Surrogates by [Harris, Consuella]

What can we expect from you in the future?
I plan to write an autobiographical story.

How do we find out about you and your books?

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
My first two books were fiction and had no relevance to my life.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I’ve always been interested in writing. Over the years, I’ve written Plays, songs and ultimately two books.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I go with the flow, however, for my next book, I intend to set a daily schedule.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
I’m retired and live alone with a dog and she respects my time.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Read and take naps.

Where do your ideas come from?
My first book “The Surrogates” came as a result of the increasing number of children born from Surrogates. As a writer I became to think, “What if?” I then began to think of different situations which could affect the surrogacy process. Through my book I chose multiple Surrogates, and different races and various plots.

Do you feel humor is important in books and why?
It depends on what the Writer is wring about.

What kind of research do you do? I had to research the subject of surrogacy in order to make the story as realistic as possible.
Please tell us about yourself.
I am now a 72 year old African American, with one child (a girl); five grandchildren and five Great grandchildren. I’m retired and lie alone. I love reading and staying current with the world around me. I love to travel and meeting new people.

What are some of your favorite things to do?
Reading, bowling and traveling.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
Too many to answer, usually, I select a book based on the topic, not the author. In addition, I love mysteries.

What do you think of critique groups in general?
I don’t know a lot about them.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
77 years old and with my autobiographical novel being published.

How many books have you written, how many have been published? Two and both have been published.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
Yes, I’ve purchased the books and read them.

Among your own books, have you a favorite book?
Favorite hero or heroine? Yes, “The Surrogates” My favorite heroine was Denise, she took a traumatic situation and tried to help others.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
To see a thought become something real involving people, complicated situations and hopefully in the end a message of hope.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
I can’t imagine anything else, my life has including writing songs, plays, poems, essays and books.

What is your greatest desire?
To see “The Surrogates” become TV movie.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers? Yes, never give up!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Guest Blogger: R.B. Shifman

                                            Everyone Leaves This Place: Savage Spells Book 1 by [Shifman, R.B.]

Please tell us about your latest book.

“Everyone Leaves This Place” is about an eighteen-year-old young woman, Evee Salazar, who undergoes an out-of-body experience. In her senior year, Evee butts heads with her mom and wavers between two guys, one of whom she thinks might be stalking her. To slow her down, her mom sends Evee to sit with her Gramma Cynthia at assisted living on Friday nights. To teach her granddaughter some gratitude, Gramma, who’s descended from Pilgrims/witches, decides to switch bodies with Evee temporarily. Mayhem ensues, and, worse, a mysterious figure steals Gramma Cynthia’s spell book and threatens to ruin Evee’s life forever.
The story starts off sort of light and fun, Freaky Friday-ish, if you will. However, I pleasantly surprised myself at how heartfelt the last third of the book turned out. Beta readers thought it’s funny too.

What can we expect from you in the future?

This book is part of an Upper YA/NA series, Savage Spells, in which I plan to write two more novels. The series becomes darker and more deliciously devious and mystical with each novel. In Book 2, the simple witch story from Book 1 will take some wicked turns and involve some science fiction elements. The next books will incorporate a level of mysticism absent in the first book—they will expand the mythology surrounding Evee Salazar and the ‘Witches of America.’
I’m also starting another series, probably a trilogy, for Upper MG/YA. It’s tightly under wraps. The only thing I’ll say is that it’s SWEEEEET!

How do we find out about you and your books?

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Let’s say enough of my life experience is in my work to make my wife mildly uncomfortable.

But seriously, I always write about what I know, usually from experience. For example, as a slightly-past-middle-aged man, I felt qualified to write about the interactions between three generations (Gen Z, Gen X, & the Silent Gen) in my debut novel. I also take inspiration from my current hometown of Doylestown, PA in creating the fictional Dairytown, PA.

In other works, which are unpublished for now, I’ve drawn on intensely personal and painful experiences.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?

I wrote some stuff in my early teens, but I truly began writing with a passion when I hit my mid-thirties in 2002. At this time, I felt compelled to write a novel that harkened to the nostalgia of my childhood – “Riverwood: Remembrance,” which is part of my “Seams Along the Near World” series. I wrote four books in that urban fantasy series from 2002-2018. I’m proud of “Dark Water & the Maiden,” which I wrote last, from 2013-2018; this story is a prequel. This book, set mainly in 1973, could be the most emotionally resonant work I’ve ever created. I submitted ‘Dark Water,’ because it had all 5-star reviews on a free site, but it didn’t get picked up.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I try to write in the morning, for a few hours, at least a few times a week. I do work a contract job, where the work is variable, so I often need to adjust my schedule.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

People leave me alone. Mostly.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

I work out. I walk because I have a bad knee and can’t run anymore. I listen to music. And, last but not least, I chill with my wife, Sheri, watching TV or hanging out around Doylestown.

Where do your ideas come from?

The ether. Seriously, sometimes it feels like my ideas come from another dimension.

Do you feel humor is important in books and why?

Yes. It keeps people engaged and makes characters likable. I’ve never understood people in real life who are humorless, as they seem to take themselves too seriously. A certain amount of humor keeps the ball rolling so to speak, moving that narrative forward.

What kind of research do you do?

For this debut, I researched the Salem Witch Trials and the Pilgrims to help create Gramma Cynthia’s backstory. An expert on late-seventeenth-century English helped me with dialogue for a short, ‘cut-scene’ chapter in 1692. I researched online how people lived in the colonies in the late seventeenth century. But most of the rest of the novel is inspired or informed by my real-life experience. Though of course, as I said earlier, everything in the story—people, places, and situations—is fictional!

Please tell us about yourself.

God is the most important, guiding force in my life. Without God I truly believe nothing else in my life would fall into place. Doesn’t mean God always makes things perfect for me, but because of God, my wife and I have a close, loving relationship, and I learn more every day about my purpose here on earth.

My family is important to me, including my wife, son (20) and daughter (18). My daughter is transgender, and LGBTQ rights are important to me (they were important to me before I knew she was transgender).

I’m a writer by nature. I wrote an awful book when I was fourteen on a typewriter. I’ve worked as a market researcher, but a writer is what I am.

What are some of your favorite things to do?

If you want to know about my interests, outside of hanging with my wife—I like dancing to DJ Earworm when nobody is watching, reading all sorts of stuff (from bestsellers like ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ to YA like ‘We Are Okay.’), working out/walking (I was a wrestler in high school and a coach for youth wrestling many years), and watching University of Miami Football. I do like a good Netflix series. We just finished Season 2 of ‘Dark,’ which was mind blowing.

I’d like to travel abroad someday.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?

C.S. Lewis. Other than that, a wide array. I like the Fredrik Backman books. I love ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ by Neil Gaiman

What do you think of critique groups in general?

I don’t know much about them.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

If things proceed as I desire, writing full time. We’ll see. I do like market research contracting, but if I could make a full-time living by writing, I probably would.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?

My Seams series has four books. And there’s this debut that is published. So five total.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

Haha, I’m doing that now. It’s hard because I read it dozens of times during editing.

Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?

Evee Salazar from ‘Everyone Leaves This Place,’ is near and dear to my heart.
After this, Paul Branch from ‘Dark Water & the Maiden.’

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

When somebody says your book touched their heart. If you write from the heart, you tap into this universal need for connection and permanence, which I believe is Divine. If a book makes you shed a tear, that’s where it’s coming from. My debut, at first, seems very light-hearted (sort of like the reader’s first impression of Evee), but I believe it taps into some deep emotional territory. I hope it resonates with people, which is most rewarding.

Also, when you write something, and you know it’s super-hot (well crafted, sharp, highly readable, engaging, etc.). That’s a GREAT feeling because it only happens, for me, about 20-25% of the time.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

I honestly don’t know.

What is your greatest desire?

To see my wife and children thrive and to serve a higher purpose here on earth. I know that’s two things. I believe these two things are connected though.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Sixteen years. That’s how long it took me between writing my first novel and publishing. Also, keep your mind open to advice and learning new things to improve your writing. It helped me for sure.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Guest Blogger Robert Hoppensteadt

The Shelter by [Hoppensteadt, Robert]

Please tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is titled The Shelter and was released in May by Solstice Publishing. It is a timely
story about a virus, frozen in permafrost since the Ice Age, thawing out and wreaking havoc.
Near Nome, Alaska, an ancient hut is discovered made of mammoth bones. Inside, the
skeletons of six prehistoric hunters are found, but the site also contains the virus that killed
them. Once thawed, it enters the human population once again. The story has some really
strong characters, some romance, a few billion deaths and an ending that won’t make you feel
like crying for a week.

What can we expect from you in the future? I am finishing up on another virus related story,
this one set a thousand or more years after our modern world is destroyed by a weaponized
virus that also causes gigantism is some of the food chain enters and a mutation in children
born of mothers who survived. The story itself is set on the west coast of America in a world
where technology is shunned and where raiders, monster predators and tribes of mutant
humans all threaten a fortified city built on a hill just outside the ruins of San Francisco.
I am also working on a fictionalized auto-biography. I had a wild and interesting youth.

How do we find out about you and your books? You learn more about me at these links:
Follow me on Facebook:
Buy my books here on Amazon:
or here at Solstice:
You can also follow me on Twitter @RHoppensteadt

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing? A lot, I draw on people I
knew, emotions I have experienced and places I have been to make certain my characters are as
authentic as I can make them.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms? People
have told me I should write for a long time. About 20 years ago I took a year out of my career to
write a novel but it didn’t get very far. I had people to support so I went back to the corporate
world where I was pretty successful. I wrote a lot of poetry over those years, some of that
published. I was able to retire early and now I am writing full time.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow? I go with the flow, I am a
night owl though and I often find myself writing until two or three in the morning.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there
constant interruptions? My wife doesn’t interrupt me, my two cats have absolutely no sense of

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries? I live in a great historic and scenic area so
I walk, I read, I go to movies, we travel, I do yoga a few times a week. Living in the DC area
these days and there are a lot of very cool places to go, a lot of museums to see and most of
them are free.

Where do your ideas come from? I am not sure, sometimes I will see a story somewhere and run
with a tangent, sometimes they pop into my head and won’t go away.

Do you feel humor is important in books and why? If the story calls for it, some things aren’t
very funny but even then scenes can contain humor as a way to ease tension and give the reader
a break.

What kind of research do you do? For The Shelter I did a lot. Average temperatures, sunrise
and sunset, a lot of research on viruses, the CDC, the Alaska National Guard, Native Americans ,
Nome, local flora and fauna, everything necessary to be as true to the setting as I could be. I
didn’t travel there but I have lived in small remote towns. My HS graduating class was 9 people
in a town of 375 where the nearest place that could be called a city was almost to hundred miles

What do you think of critique groups in general? I have been in some good ones and some bad
ones. It really depends on the people you surround yourself with – do they do the work, are they
empathetic and pay attention to detail, and are they good enough themselves to give valuable
feedback if it is a writing group. I found it worked better for me in poetry where you could focus
on the project and workshop it, and some of the people I had in that group have gone on to be
fairly successful poets.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully alive and still enjoying life.
How many books have you written, how many have been published? I have written three books,
one self-published long ago, one published by Solstice and one I am just getting set to query.

After you;ve written your book and it;s been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it? I do
but not for at least a few months, the editing process requires reading so many times I really
don’t need to look at it. I do buy it just to see the finished product.

 Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine? I don’t really have
enough out there to have a favorite, but in The Shelter I did grow attached to Matt and Molly.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
If you weren;t writing, what would you be doing? I have a lot of other interests I would be
pursuing, probably focusing more on my hobbies. I like to collect things.

What is your greatest desire? To live a happy and fulfilled life, to be of service to the people I
love and care about, to have no regrets about things I wanted to do but never got around to.

 Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers? Sure – just keep trying. I
queried over one hundred agents and publishers before I found a home for The Shelter. There
are something like eighteen million books out on Amazon, and agents and publishers in these
days of electronic submissions can get dozens of queries a week. Do your best work, make sure
what you send as a completed product is professional in its presentation and that you have done
the absolute best you can with the story. Also, if you think writing is the hard part you will
probably be wrong unless you are also a marketing genius and extrovert.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Guest blogger: Paige Etheridge

Please tell us about your latest book.
“Cyber Knot” is a Cyberpunk where nature has reclaimed Earth, which is generally not the case
in that genre. The book deals with the part of the definition of Cyborg not currently being
explored. The return of Pagan religions and other trends are also covered. Oh and there’s the
cool Cyborcas! I promised to bring them into the world and I was true to my word!

What can we expect from you in the future?
A novel dealing with the Pink Weredolphins based on the Encantado myth surrounding the
Amazon River Dolphins. I’ve been haunted by dreams of an Indian Woman on the border of
Pakistan waiting for me to write about her, so that’s coming too.

How do we find out about you and your books?
Here are some links to follow me and find out more about my work.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
All my life. There was never a point I wasn’t desiring to tell stories. I just knew that at some
point my writing was finally ready.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I follow the seasons as well as astrological currents. For example, I tend to start a new book in
Aries season in the spring and wrap up in the winter months around Capricorn and Aquarius

Where do your ideas come from?
Dreams. Random thoughts during the day. All my books are expansions on one of those.
What are some of your favorite things to do?
Walking around cool places. Gaming; I play a lot of Metal Gear Solid and Pokemon Go. Yoga.
Swimming. Cooking foods from all over the world. Photography. Journaling. Writing.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
It was Twain, Gaiiman, and Hawthorne for years. Recently my love of reading has been on
hiatus and I’m wondering if it may be gone forever. I’m not sure if I’ve just been over-saturated
from reading so much for so long. But likely, it’s just time for people to focus on producing my
own books and stories rather than others. Recently, I’m only reading when it’s research for a
current project of mine.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I’ve completed two “Kissing Stars Over the Rising Sun’ and “Cyber Knot”. Both are published.
I’m currently editing my third and playing around with my fourth a bit by cooking Indian Food.
But I am still married to my pink dolphins so they are my priority.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I love having a copy. But once a book of mine is done, I don’t read it again except for the
occasional excerpt as I create my own book ads for marketing. I’ve read and reread my own
book so many times before it’s published, so by the time it’s out in the world it’s all for the

 What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Producing an idea that was in your head and turning it into something physical into the world.
Watching those stories and characters take on a life of their own once you release your book
into the wild.

What is your greatest desire?
Own a house in Salem. Be able to camp out in Tiger Lily Cafe whenever I want. Things like that.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my life though.

 Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
If producing books is something you really want to do for the right reasons, there’s a way to do
it. Follow your gut in getting where you want to go.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Guest blogger: Judi Getch Brodman

Dark Secrets by [Getch Brodman, Judi]

Please tell us about your latest book.
“Dark Secrets” has just been released by Solstice Publishing and is receiving very good reviews.
As one reader wrote, she was “captivated, riveted, and fascinated by the life changing quest
that Brielle Garnet, the attractive, reserved owner and editor of a woman’s fashion magazine
drew me into.” She added, “I especially enjoyed being transported to and from Boston and
Paris through Brielle’s adventures. I felt as though I was right there with her as she experienced
overwhelming heartache, intense danger and an exceeding turbulent love life.” I don’t think I
could describe “Dark Secrets” any better than that.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now, I working on two new books – one is an “Oyster Point Mystery” bringing the
beloved characters from “She’s Not You”, Jack and Jamie, back together solving a very creepy
cold case; the second in progress novel introduces two new characters, Elle and Gabriel, who
become involved in a time travel mystery involving an antique locket. “The Looking Glass
Labyrinth” was so well received that I had to write another time travel mystery; readers loved
that one a lot. Sometimes you just can’t help yourself as an author, certain stories call to you.

How do we find out about you and your books?
You can find me at:
My blog:
My website:
And my Facebook page:
I’m also on Twitter: @judigetch
My books can be found on:
Barnes and Noble: :
8q8?_requestid=1324175 although “Dark Secrets” has not been posted yet.
and Books-A-Million

 How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I think the more life experiences the writer has, the more authentic their writing will be. You
know how loss feels… family, a love, a pet or a friend. You understand what it’s like to live in
different parts of the world – what the people and places are like – so many of those
experiences find their way into your stories. I had a reader ask me how I wrote the chapter in
“She’s Not You” where Jamie learns that her parents were killed in an automobile accident. He
said it made him cry remembering when his son died. I told him that I wrote about that event
remembering how a young me felt when my father died… quickly of a heart attack. Because of
my heartbreak, I could experience Jamie’s loss, her rage at God and her abandonment deep
inside me. I cried writing it and cry reading it even today. That’s how deep you have to dig as a

In “Dark Secrets”, Brielle, an only child abandoned by her mother, experiences the death of her
beloved canine companion Blackie, at a very young age. It was her first experience with death
as it was mine when I lost my much-loved Blackie. It’s draining to write those scenes, but if
you’re not authentic, readers won’t identify with your character and that’s how you as an
author connect to your readers.

In “The Looking Glass Labyrinth”, the house that’s the centerpiece for the story is based on an
old Wellfleet Captain’s house that I stayed in. It was of the same vintage with servants’
quarters, warm parlors and living rooms with tall windows and large fireplaces, so I could close
my eyes and walk through those rooms as I wrote.

For “Dark Secrets”, I took you back to Paris, land an apartment in Montmartre where I lived.
It’s a city I adore. The scene in the church is authentic… that’s all I say here.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
 I’ve always written – for my college newspaper, in travel journals as well as for technical
journals in my career, so writing came naturally, or so I thought. Technical writing is “passive;”
creative writing is “active.” Therein lays the very big difference. I began writing fiction years
ago because I felt that I had a creative flow that hadn’t been tapped and had a few stories to
tell, but writing them well, making them interesting and having them come alive was the
challenge, but obviously with study and determination, I overcame that challenge. Not that I’m
still not learning, as a writer you are always reading and learning. And “She’s Not You” was my
first manuscript submitted, then rewrote, resubmitted and rewrote and submitted again. I was
lucky that my first novel was picked up by Solstice Publishing.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I write every day… 4-5 hours. Sometimes I’m editing earlier pages and sometimes I’m writing
new pages. I usually have at least two books going at the same time. And I don’t outline my
books; I let my characters take me where they will.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there
constant interruptions?
I have an office so when I’m in there, I’m alone – with my music. I’m also great at blocking out
background noise; college taught me that lesson

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I used to be a runner but surgery stopped that so I walk a lot… miles and miles. It clears my
head and sometimes that’s when my characters solve any story problems I might have. I
scream and cheer at the kid’s hockey and baseball games. I garden… have done that for many
years. I love to cook for family gatherings and holidays. And of course, I love to travel. But
writing is also very relaxing for me…

Where do your ideas come from?
That’s a tough one – could be a conversation that I overhear, a newspaper article that I read
that peaks my interest, or an idea that comes to me. I do a lot of research so many ideas come
from digging into fixations that I have.

Do you feel humor is important in books and why?
Humor for the sake of humor doesn’t work for me. That said, I like my characters to have a
good sense of humor, like Jamie in “She’s Not You” – she’s cut, bleeding and is about to
blindside her abductor, but she worried about the blood stains on her Carolina Herrera shift
that had cost her two months’ salary. Will they come out? I like the characters to be sassy and
quick witted when appropriate. I like them to laugh and joke with each other. In “Dark Secrets”
Brielle jokes about being a spinster with a load of cats… I like that kind of humor.

What kind of research do you do?
I do tons and tons of research… on the subject, the place, the styles, the times… everything.
Take for example the “Looking Glass Labyrinth”. I take you back to 1804 into a sea captain’s
house in a seaport town on Cape Cod. Rachael’s transported there unexpectedly… what does
she find, see, smell and feel. I’m sure that those reading the book can’t imagine the hours of
research that went into every detail of the house, the dresses, and the men of the times and
yes, even the maids and what they wore and called their mistresses. I scoured articles on what
women studied in those times and how my character became so educated in 1804. I even
researched trading routes to see where Nathaniel, the sea captain, might sail to and what items
his ship would carry to and from destinations. Everything you write should be as correct as you
can make it. I think a reader will stop if there’s an error and say, “What, that can’t be.” And I
don’t want that to happen. I want my reader to be immersed in the story and times.
In “She’s Not You” I have old yellowed letters from two young college students writing back and
forth to each other about the beginnings of WW II. He becomes a pilot over France – she waits
for him, but experiences dreams… tons of research to paint a short picture of these two young
lovers and what they went through.
In “Dark Secrets” we learn about Paris before and after the Germans marched on it; we look at
an apartment that is a time capsule of the 1940s.
As for plots, I scour the Internet and newspapers for stories that ring a bell in my head 

Please tell us about yourself.  
My background is not that of the usual author. I’m an engineer with degrees in Math and
Physics and a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering. My work has taken me around the
world including the Marshall Islands. I have published many technical papers in journals. I’m
also an editor for Wiley’s technical journal on software process improvement.
But I’ve always loved books and good stories. I wrote when I was in college, but it wasn’t until a
few years ago that I began to write in earnest. I also knew that, like any profession, you didn’t
just sit down and write a best seller; if that were true, there would be a lot of best sellers out
there. So I joined a writers group, took both college creative writing courses and on-line writing
courses and worked hard. I learned how to write well… to dig deep and expose feelings. And
after I took an on-line course from an author whose writing I love, and who challenged me to
write fuller and deeper and in doing so, changed my writing, I was blessed that Solstice
Publishing saw something in my writing and story and published “She’s Not You,” the first
mystery in the Oyster Point Mysteries. The rest is history as they say. “The Looking Glass
Labyrinth” came next and now “Dark Secrets” was just released.

What are some of your favorite things to do?
LOL… write!! I walk, garden, spend time with family and friends. I also love to travel…
anywhere at any time! We are heading off to Hawaii soon.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
I’m not sure I have a favorite book, but I do have favorite authors. I love to go back and read
Dickens and Hemingway, but then love Nora Roberts and John Grisham mysteries. Sometimes I
find an unexpected local author like Eugenia Price whose books I found when visiting Saint
Simons Island; in Ireland, I read Maeve Binchy’s books. I love a taste of the local culture
wherever I am. So I guess that I haven’t found my favorite author yet.

What do you think of critique groups in general?
Absolutely necessary for every writer in my opinion. Good writers groups! I was lucky and
landed in a super group for years and I truly believe that was how my writing improved initially.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
On the Red Carpet or the Best Sellers List??? LOL Somewhere unexpected doing something
fantastic and still writing!!

How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I’ve written and had published one technical book; then two children’s books – the Fiona the
Firefly series; and three novels, “She’s Not You”, “The Looking Glass Labyrinth” and “Dark
Secrets”. So, six books in total.

After you;ve written your book and its been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

Interesting question. I’ve read the Fiona series to children. And when I’m invited to speak to
groups, I usually choose passages from the books, so I do go back and reread parts of them. I
think authors have to be careful when going back and rereading their work that they don’t
judge their own writing. I’ve seen authors whip themselves over passages that could have been
written better, etc. But we have to realize that we’ve grown since we wrote the last book. Not
that I don’t do the same thing… I find a passage and think, “How much more powerful it would
have been if I had written… whatever.” I think that’s okay – you are learning from your own
writing and need to recognize that your writing has changed.

Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
I have to admit that I fall in love with all my heroes and heroines. But my readers love Jack in
“She’s Not You.” And I do too which is why he’ll be returning with Jamie in the next Oyster
Point Mystery. But that being said, Nathaniel and Rachael are an awesome twosome in “The
Looking Glass Labyrinth.” Then, there is Jacques and Brielle in “Dark Secrets”. I’m sure all
authors hate to come to the end of a story and say goodbye to the characters that they’ve
spent months and months with. But I find that the next characters I create are just as lovable.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
I think the most rewarding thing is when you hear from readers that they loved your book and
can’t wait for the next one. That’s why I enjoy going to book clubs… feedback is real-time and
you discuss everything. Also when you receive that first copy of your new novel… priceless!!
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
Painting. I’m also a professional watercolorist.

What is your greatest desire?
As an author, maybe to have my work recognized? Made into a movie? In my personal life, to
keep traveling, stay healthy and have my family around me ALL the time!. I love to be
productive on all fronts.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Never stop writing… never stop learning… work hard, learn to take constructive criticism and
use it to become a better writer. WORK hard. Becoming a “good” writer comes after many
years of learning, writing and rejection. But never give up – the best seller might be right
around the next corner!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Guest Blogger: Franca Pelaccia

A Female Indiana Jones in the Making!
On her dismal 30th birthday, unassuming scholar Mackenzie Braden receives a package from her Aunt Sara, urging her to locate Moses’ rod. The most powerful weapon in history will start global chaos if it lands in the wrong hands. Sara was an agent for the top-secret Vatican Archaeological Service. But she’s dead and the agency inactive. Mackenzie’s only clue is a Moses figurine and except for ex-military pilot Eoin Reilly, her allies are as inept as she is. 

But nothing will stop Mackenzie from fulfilling her mission and making Eoin her birthday present. She sets off for the Middle East where she fends off a dysfunctional family of treasure hunters, a fake Mossad operative, a manic former VAS agent, underground tunnels, terrorists, and rocket launchers. But this is training for Mackenzie’s ultimate clash with her aunt’s and now her greatest foe, a deposed Saudi prince with world domination on his mind.