I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
Readers, Please research and use wisdom before buying

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#TuesdayTreasures Guest post by Lori Benton

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Today's guest is new to me and our blog and brought to us by LitFuse Publicity, so please welcome, Lori Benton!

For the past year or so one of my treasures has been my Kodak Easy Share camera. It’s more complex than a point and shoot, but doesn’t boast all the features that some cameras do. You can’t attach lenses, but there are various settings and ISO speeds and the ability to zoom with the built-in lens. There are much bigger, faster, stronger cameras out there, so why do I love this little camera so much?

Before I became a writer in my early twenties, I was a wildlife artist. I drew and I painted. I was passionate about the visual arts. My work hung in a gallery alongside that of Robert Bateman (my all-time favorite wildlife artist). Then the writing bug bit and I allowed painting to fall by the wayside.

Writing is more demanding of me creatively than painting ever was. After about twenty years there came a season where I was feeling drained. Burned out might not be overstating matters.

Then, through a friend with a passion for photography and the outdoors, I discovered Instagram and “woke up” to the gorgeous state in which I’m blessed to live (yes, I was actually in danger of losing my awe about the Pacific Northwest as well!). I decided to learn how to use my little camera beyond treating it like a point and shoot. I studied what other landscape photographers were posting on Instagram. I grew adventurous. I discovered new trails, new mountains, new coves and beaches and waterfalls across Oregon and neighboring states.

I bought a tripod. I learned how to edit my photos and discovered that was half the fun for me. The visual artist in me had reawakened!

And, unexpectedly, my creative well started filling up again—a good and necessary thing for a writer to be sure she’s doing in the midst of the long and demanding process of bringing a novel through from concept to publication.

Check out more of my photos on Instagram.

I love taking photos too, Lori! These are beautiful and definitely something to treasure. Thanks for sharing with us. Now please tell us a little more about yourself and your new book.....

 Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of “Burning Sky,” recipient of three Christy Awards, “The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn,” Christy-nominee “The Wood’s Edge,” and “A Flight of Arrows.”

Find out more about Lori at http://loribenton.blogspot.com

Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would. . . .

In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son . . . especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Wow... wishing you the best of luck and God's blessings with your new book, Lori!

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends, and that you'll check back each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

REMEMBER: The Rafflecopter Giveaway of a Kindle Fire is wrapping up soon so enter today!

Until next time take care and God Bless.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Pamela Jannarone

Good Morning Friends,

Pamela Jannarone has visited and shared treasures with us before, so please welcome her back....

Create, Research and Experiment Recreate! By Pamela Jannarone Scott

Thank you Pamela for having me return as a guest on your blog today.!  I am excited to be here and most grateful for your invitation! Today’s topic is creative fiction, with tips and tidbits.
Its all up to the writer to deliver to the reader, entertainment.  The kind that they will remember for years to come. 

This article focuses on writing creative fiction.  Creating rich characters deep in characterization in a real life setting entertain the reader in fictional stories. The richer the factual information is formulated into the story plot, the more it will come alive on the page.  The pen at hand is the magic to a witer’s fictional world.  Make it your own magic and write your own world!
It doesn’t matter the size of your world, the time or place.  It’s all in the story and about the story. Idea - Create - Research-Experiment-Recreate.

There are many ways to accumulate your research especially if you don’t know much about your subject and are under a deadline to perform.  Often it is said, write what you know, yet you can also write what you like and have may readers following you because they can resonate and like the same things that you do. 

Researching facts and  trivia online and in the library help make a story come together where it makes sense,  not to mention it gives ideas for the writer to  move the plot plan forward to a satisfying end.

Asking questions or conducting informal interviews with those more experienced in the subject will lend rich texture to you craft.  Tiiny tidbits of iformation can be gaathered from just one conversation when you choose to ask someone ‘what is it like’ and they will be happy to describe it to you in their own words recollecting actual experiences. 

Experimenting with the elements of nature often lead a writer to a territory full of rich description setting for his or her story by actually experiencing the occasion whether it be swimming, hunting, fishing or traveling, camping, cooking, the subjects are endless.  Visiting an old museum and actually placing yourself in the time rich of history will invigorate the writing soul and inspire the moment.  You may even pick up a tip or factual research that will give even more ideas about future stories.

In my particular story Reign of the Forest, published by Centum Press in One Hundred Voices, Volume III, (https://www.centumpublishing.com/) the above tips and tricks were used in creating my story.  It started out as an assignment in a creative fiction class a story I chose to include in my professional portfolio.  With a few minor changes, and deeper editing, I sent it off to a publisher in hopes of being published.  There is nothing more exciting than being able to have a professional portfolio where an actual story was accepted and published.  It can be used for future clips when submitting other stories and is a recent clip in sync with today’s readers.

Experimenting with several publishers is always key to hone your craft.  Some publishers will provide cover art and others don’t.  This is where the imagination of the writer is challenged in description that is called upon to make the story blend but not overly descriptive.  Being in a scene whether it be a forest or a beach, a writer will be using all five senses where inspriation truly comes alive in the scents, the sights, the sounds, the taste, and the touch.  This is what needs to be passed on to the reader where the can relate and feel like they are actually there.  In my story I found a medium where opposites attract, Deer hunters and Nature Lovers and opposites differ depending on fate and destiny.  With a rounded twist of spiritual guidance, the story came to life. 

In my story Reign of the Forest, there was no cover art for each story provided yet this is where the reader will use their own imagination in the way that the writer describes the setting, the action plotted moves within and around the settings that may even change, twisting along with the plot, leading the reader to a happy ending or thoughts to ponder afterwards. When creating the story I actually based it upon experiences from hunters that told their stories and watched non-hunters experience the awe of such sights.  There is nothing more beautiful than to spot a deer in the forest, its young ones following behind.  The species and gender, a beautiful Doe and her fawn or a Buck built with tall and protruding antlers showing off its age and wisdom.  When they sense danger, the Buck will make a short snorting sound, or a blow.  It can also be scary to a deer hunter if the Buck is nearby and behind the hunter where it suddenly blows and warns its own kind and kin. The mating call of the wild is also a unique sound where the Doe bleeps.  The sounds of nature become more obvious if one just sits quietly (very quietly) and listen.  The wild has its own camouflage in order to feel protected.  While the forests here are full of deer where a current population exists of 1.27 million among a human population of 10.31 million, the suburbs and urban areas are also plentiful with deer but not easy to define in terms of additional population.  The forest is full and the world full of many types of deer with the exception of the Antarctica and Australia. 

Deer are plentiful and can often cause accidents on the roadways. While humans must take care with respect to the wild and nature itself the opposite (the wild) doesn’t know any different.  Be cautious when deer hunting and have your survival pack handy.  Deer meat provides lean nutrition and is often a staple in regions and in family tradition and marriages, where hunting for survival is a God gifted ability, therefore it should be treated with the utmost respect.  No poaching, no shining and abide ball laws that apply.  Be cautious when driving on the roads home at night, because the deer will cross the road and will be intimidated by a vehicle’s headlights. And if you are just into deer gazing then enjoy this photo......

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the endless tasks in a writer’s career is to help market the story and get it out there to as many readers as possible.  After all, one is in the paying profession.  If you are interested in reading Reign of the Forest, please accept a discounted code offer of 10% (Discount code 100V3-79)  to be used for purchases at the website here: https://www.centumpublishing.com/.

Thanks Pamela! Good luck and God's blessings with your story and the anthology!

Pamela Jannarone Scott is a Freelance writer based in the heart of Georgia.  She is a born and raised Jersey girl and loves the seashores of the east coast. 

She writes flash fiction, short stories, interviews, confessions, and loves family, and wild sunsets!

Her blog can be found at http://thewritingvineyard.blogspot.com/

Hope you enjoyed today's post, friends and that you'll stop by each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#ThursdayThoughts with Mike Befeler

Good Morning!

I can't even begin to tell you where this month, much less this year has gone. I guess it's true time flies when you're having fun! Today's guest has shared thoughts with us on a couple of occasions and he continues with more interesting information about GeezerLit Mysteries. So, please welcome Mike Befeler back.....

The Importance of Older Characters in Mystery Novels

Most of the mystery novels I write feature older characters. I affectionately call these geezer-lit mysteries. So why is it important to have older characters in novels? There are lots of books with young heroes and heroines playing quidditch, racing cars and jumping out of airplanes, but there is also a place for the older characters who have life experiences that provide wisdom, even if their footsteps have slowed.

Since mysteries involve solving a puzzle, the mind of the sleuth is very important. I have a protagonist who has short-term memory loss, yet he can use the functioning part of his brain to discover the perpetrator. As Hercule Poirot says, you need to use the gray cells.
As a mystery writer I enjoy putting ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances. This includes solving a murder. An older character can surprise the villain by applying life learning to a difficult situation.

I enjoy mixing the generations. In my Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, my protagonist often teams with his preteen granddaughter, Jennifer, to solve mysteries. They also tell each other politically incorrect geezer jokes, much to the consternation of Jennifer’s mother.
So don’t write off the oldsters. And if you’re the bad guy, watch out because you may overlook them, but they’re paying attention and will get you.

THANKS so much, Mike! I know several people in my circle of reading friends who might enjoy GeezerLit Mysteries!

Mike is past-president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. He holds a Master’s degree from UCLA and a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford. He grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now lives in Lakewood, California with his wife, Wendy.

Find out more about Mike by visiting the 'About' page on his website and connecting with him at the following locations: http://www.mikebefeler.com 

Friends, you can pick up a copy of Mike's book at Amazon (Kindle) and B&N. Check out Mike's previous Thursday Thoughts on GeezerLit Mysteries HERE and HERE.

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll join me each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

#TuesdayTreasures with Jacqueline Seewald!

Good Morning Friends!

Today's guest has shared treasures before and been in our spotlight as well, so please welcome back one of my long-time author friends, Jacqueline Seewald!

Time for Thanksgiving by Jacqueline Seewald

Pam has asked me to write about something I treasure. As we once again approach our national Thanksgiving holiday, this seems particularly appropriate.

First and foremost, I treasure my husband, my children and my grandchildren. I treasure good health. I also treasure the fact that I am now able to be a full-time writer.

My husband, Monte, encouraged me to write something that would be meaningful and significant. I thought long and hard about how to fulfill that suggestion.

On November 8th, my novella THE BURNING was published by Annurlunda Enterprises. The Burning is based on a play I wrote which won the Playhouse 22 Playwrights Award (in the late 1980’s) and was performed on stage. I decided to approach the story in another genre.

THE BURNING is faction, part fact, but also fiction, about what happens to a family in Pennsylvania as the result of a coal fire burning under the town. Members of the Ferris family face his or her personal hell, barely coming through it alive, forced to acknowledge painful truths and deal with issues of faith. It’s based on real events that occurred in Centralia. Unfortunately, such problems continue to plague coal-mining communities in different places. And there are no easy answers.

Here is a brief excerpt from the novella:

Chapter Four

George drove home on autopilot, detached, barely aware of his surroundings. The talk with Baines kept turning over in his head. He’d worked so hard for so many years to provide a good life for his family. Was that going to end now? The whole thing seemed crazy. Could some underground fire wreck his life and that of his family? He shook his head, refusing to accept this as inevitable.

The living room of George Ferris’s house usually offered a refuge, but he didn’t want to walk inside yet. Instead he stood in the front hallway praying for composure while silently lurking. He could see Amy was sitting on the sofa attentively reading a book, feet tucked under her.

Every so often, she coughed. Liz came into the room. She was dressed in brown slacks and a casual cream-colored blouse. He admired how beautiful his wife was. With her natural good looks, she wore very little make-up and didn’t need it. George was reminded of how much he loved her. Liz was the real deal. What would this news do to her? She deserved so much better in life. For a few minutes, he watched Liz straightening up the room, but then she stopped to listen to Amy’s recurring cough.
THE BURNING is now available both in print and as an e-book. You can check out the details from the publisher at: 


Your thoughts and comments most welcome!

Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Seventeen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies such as: THE WRITER, L.A. TIMES, READER’S DIGEST, PEDESTAL, SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE, OVER MY DEAD BODY!, GUMSHOE REVIEW, THE MYSTERY MEGAPACK, LIBRARY JOURNAL, and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. One of her inspirational poems took first place in the Reader’s Digest 2015 Poetry Contest. She’s also an amateur landscape artist and loves blue grass music.

Her author’s blog can be found at: http://jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

PS: Don't forget, the Kindle Fire Rafflecopter Giveaway ends on 11/29 so enter today! Also, Mistletoe, Snow and Suspense is available for a limited time and only 99cents so get your copy today!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Dianna Vagianos Armentrout & Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart

Good Morning from Beautiful San Antonio, TX!

You know me, I'm on the road again LOL! Short, turn-around trip to attend an Abraham-Hicks event. But of course, the spotlight must go on.

Today's guest is brand new to me and brought to us by Virtual Author Book Tours, so please support our guest by leaving a comment and sharing the post, and check out VABT site.

Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart: A Journey of Pregnancy, Grief and Infant Death breaks the lonely, silent suffering of bereaved mothers facing infant and pregnancy loss. Dianna Vagianos Armentrout details her pregnancy journey with her daughter, Mary Rose, who died an hour after birth of trisomy 18, a random genetic illness described as “incompatible with life.”

For five long months of pregnancy, she knew that her baby would not live and thrive, planning a funeral and seeking hospice for her unborn daughter. The heaviness of this grief, which most women bear alone, is shared here and will comfort mothers who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.

With eloquent language, fierce honesty and a record of the rawness of grief, readers in the midst of their own suffering will recognize the path that bereaved parents walk. Dianna’s experiences with infertility, motherhood, infant loss and miscarriage infuse her writing with compassion for all women.

Through journal entries, essays and poetry, Dianna invites the reader to process grief and honor the life of the child, no matter how brief. In addition, readers will learn how to support the bereaved by remembering the baby and pregnancy.

Finally there is a book to honor the pregnancy, baby and loss, loving the children past their death, loving the wombs that nurtured them and accepting the sacred path of mothering children whose bodies are broken, but whose souls are intact and perfectly whole. This book shines with love and the knowledge that even the briefest life is holy.

Read it. Share it. Spread the word. We no longer have to grieve our infants and pregnancies alone.

Praise for Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart by Dianna Vagianos Armentrout

“This beautifully written story of loss, and redemption, is a must-have for anyone who has faced the devastation of losing a child. Yes, you will cry with Dianna, but you will also admire the beauty of her soul.”- Mary Potter Kenyon, author of ‘Refined By Fire’, ‘Chemo-Therapist’, ‘Mary and Me’, et al

“Pregnancy is often thought of (and typically is) a time filled anticipation and joy.  The deep, dark secret is this: pregnancies are sometimes lost.

Dianna Vagianos Armentrout, author of Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart, shows us the inner workings of that harsh reality. With beauty and rawness, she shows the innermost parts of her heart as she journeyed (and journeys) through the “diagnosis” of a Trisomy 18 baby. She shows us her emails, journals, poems, and the “art” of grieving. She explains that the loss of a child is not the end of loving that child. Nor is the grief something that goes away a few weeks after the funeral.
It is a heartfelt and honest read that I would highly recommend to any woman who has dealt or is dealing with a defect. It would also be beneficial to any woman who is dealing with the loss of a baby. Dianna writes the way her spirit is: open, raw, beautiful. She walks with every mother who has ever lost a child.”- Gloria Miles, Simple Miricles Birth Services

“Dianna Vagianos Armentrout takes the grief and heartache of her journey and creates a space that opens hearts. Dianna has written a seminal book that will resonate with those who know the primal pain of losing a child from stillbirth, miscarriage or newborn death. To moms reeling in deep grief, Dianna offers words and comfort and, in doing so, creates a circle of tear-stained realness, fortitude and big love. Brava! This book poignantly and beautifully sings the heart’s song of infant loss.”- Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., author of ‘Making Peace with Suicide’ and ‘Balancing Act’

“Dianna is an amazing woman and a brilliant writer. This book is useful to anyone who has experienced an infant loss or anyone who supports families experiencing infant loss. The work that she is doing in sharing her story is so important to help give perspective and help move through the natural process of death.”-Mr. Books, Amazon Reviewer

Wow...definitely sounds like a wonderful book that will help people all over the world! Now let's find out a little more about Dianna....

Dianna Vagianos Armentrout is a published writer, teacher, workshop facilitator and poetry therapist. She graduated from Adelphi University’s Honors Program and earned her MAW from Manhattanville College. Dianna’s pregnancy with her daughter, Mary Rose, who died an hour after birth of trisomy 18, changed her life completely. Her blog, Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart, was launched in April 2015 as a way of offering support to others going through pregnancies with difficult and fatal diagnoses.

Dianna wishes to change the cultural fear of death and social awkwardness around the bereaved by educating others to be present and open to the natural process of death. Not knowing what to say is fine. Let’s sit together quietly not knowing what to say about our most difficult and sacred losses, because a loving community is vital to the healing of the bereaved in our broken world. Dianna volunteers with Isaiah’s Promise as a peer minister, and can’t help sending “Healing Companion” cards to mothers facing pregnancy and newborn losses.

Dianna’s poems, short fiction and essays have been published in several journals and anthologies, including The Vermont Literary Review, The Connecticut Review, The Dos Passos Review, Melusine or Women in the 21st century, Sacred Fire Magazine, Sensations Magazine, and Inkwell. She has taught at Southern Connecticut State University, Quinnipiac University and The Graduate Institute, and has facilitated poetry workshops in the tri-state area. As a poet and teacher, she believes that everyone has the inherent gift of poetry. Her workshops create the space for people to be still and access their own words, images and metaphors as they step into their healing.

She lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. When she isn’t writing or reading, she spends her time outdoors walking and gardening. Dianna also tinkers with recipes for paleo cookies and shares them with those around her.

Find out more abut Dianna by visiting her Website, connecting with her on Facebook (Book page), Twitter and Instagram.

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll join me each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God Bless.