Thursday, October 21, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Underneath, A Merfolk Tale, by M.N. Arz├║


 

Get this book. Find a comfy seat. And strap yourself in for an exciting ride. A man is walking along the beach in Maine. He sees a lump on the beach ahead. As he gets closer, he realizes the lump is the body of a sea creature and it’s still alive. But barely. He calls an ambulance.
A taut, exciting tale of rescue and humanity, this well-written book will have you believing in, and liking, the merfolk who live underneath.







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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

GUEST POST: Schooled by the Novella by Kathy Bryson

Schooled by the Novella

by Kathy Bryson



Sounds like a spicy Regency romance, 

doesn’t it? Nothing so exciting. 

But I am very happy

 to have reached the end

 of my novella series, 

all 6 adventures of 

Giovanni In Med School










Writing a series is nothing new. Authors regularly cranked out books in on-going installments,but with the growing popularity of self-publishing, the pressure is on to release books more frequently. When I was between jobs as an adjunct professor, I could manage a book a year. But I went to full-time work, that year stretched to two. 

 




I started Giovanni Goes To Med School in 2016, writing a short story to entertain my coworkers. I had just finished a full-length novel, Fighting Mad, and was looking around for my next project. Since I’d just read about how some authors were writing novellas so they could post something new on Amazon every 6 months, I thought I’d try it. A hundred pages every 6  months should be easier than 300 pages in a year, right?

 




Well, 5 years later, I finished 6 novellas. Poor Giovanni has had to deal with zombies, witches, voodoo curses, werewolves, vampires, and hospital bureaucracy! It was a fun series to write. Novellas lend themselves to action packed stories because the pace is condensed. Comedy works well because dialogue can be short with one-line quips. In Giovanni’s case, a lot of screaming as he ran through the hospital pursued by zombies, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and co-workers!

                                                                                                              


Not only did I get to have fun torturing my hero, I got to explore ideas in many new creative ways. This series became as much the creation of the co-workers who inspired it as I worked to include them in the stories and as they suggested new challenges for poor Gio. A friend of a friend contributed illustrations, another friend created the covers, and my brother recorded the audio version. The series ended up being a chance for a lot of people to try something new, something different!

 

But the novellas did not end up being easier to write and certainly not faster! I have gotten much better at writing in layers. Get the first ideas down and add layers. The draft doesn’t even have to be a formal outline, but I do find a chapter list essential to keep track of plot lines and manage the pacing needed to build up to the key scenes. You don't want everyone’s action to hit during the scene and you don’t want to forget any additional character’s plot line, leaving them hanging! 

 

Novellas are a lot like old movie serials. Even if they are a stand-alone story, they should entice the reader into the next installment. However, I find the cliff-hanger annoying, so I tried for a clear beginning, middle, and end in each novella. After a while though, I had to leave story threads hanging until the next episode because the overall story arc took more than a hundred pages to explain, then wrap up. Even a pantser is probably gonna need extensive notes to remember who did what and when.

 

One area that requires as much work as a full-length book includes research. Any story with any complexity means hitting up the internet or library to verify all the details. Beside looking up decomposition, I had to learn about assorted diseases and routine medical practices. And because I was writing about zombies, I especially had to learn about voodoo. It’s important when dealing with a culture outside your own to know enough not only to sound credible, but to write with respect.

                                                                    

There’s not much room for more than action and dialogue in a shorter format, so description is both easier and harder. Setting and character may be confined to a single sentence, so the challenge of developing characters with depth and avoiding inconsistent behavior becomes even harder. The whole thing can start to feel more like an outline than a fully fleshed story. You may not have room to explain motivation, but you still don’t want simplistic stereotype characters either. This is one area I definitely needed the whole series to address!

 

In the end, my average was still about a hundred pages a year, same as in my full-length works. Life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans. In the past 5 years, I’ve changed jobs twice, moved three times, and then of course, there was the pandemic. You might think you can run the vacuum and write a chapter, but it’s hard to come up with the words when you’re trying to remember if you filed a report and  or turned off the stove. So for my next book, I’m planning a true stand-alone in 2 years. And now I have a body of work to stay current - several bodies in fact! ­čśé






The Med School

The Med School (6 book series)
Kindle Edition
From Book 1: an EPIC 2017 eBook Awards Finalist – Fiction Short Works 

You don't have to be a medical student to know the dead don't walk. Anyone who's buried a pet in the backyard knows they don't even lurch. 

The night-shift in the morgue was supposed to be a chance to study in peace. So Giovanni is stunned when his patient sits up and starts scolding. Now he's got to convince an unbelieving medical community to take action, so he can get back to learning about the dead – not the undead! 

With Full-Color Illustrations! You think the zombie is bad? You should see the drool! 

1st in a series of 6 novellas! Follow Giovanni's adventures and uncover the hidden secrets where the twisted worlds of the supernatural and medical science collide!

 



About Giovanni In Med School - 

Giovanni dreams of becoming a doctor. But he’s finding medical school has some unexpected challenges! You think anatomy is tough? Try zombies, ghosts, werewolves, and roving voodoo curses!

That’s just the beginning of Giovanni ln Med School as he grapples with classes, labs, AND the hidden secrets where the twisted worlds of the supernatural and medical science collide. Get all 6 of Giovanni’s adventures in this spell-binding, side-splitting collection you won’t be able to put down!

Available in ebook at https://books2read.com/b/bwaory

 

About the Author - 

Kathy Bryson is the award-winning author of tongue-in-cheek fantasy that ranges from leprechauns to zombies. She’d like to say she’s climbed tall mountains, rappelled off cliffs, and saved small children, but actually she tends to curl up and read, is a life-long advocate of Ben & Jerry’s, and caters to spoiled cats. She works regularly with student writing, so she can claim to have saved a few term papers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

BOOK: Belterra by Carol Ann Kauffman

Belterra https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0072F88NM

In a post-apocalyptic world divided into four segments, one woman envisions a united land and dares to love an outsider. A Romeo and Juliet tale where they are both alive at the end. 2.99 or Free on KU. #scifi #alienworlds #amreadingromance












The bottom green cover was the original Belterra cover. The yellow one, the current Belterra cover, speaks to the romantic fantasy story of lovers from different parts of their world who fall in love despite warnings and admonition from everyone. Is their journey together easy? 


 Belterra is also about relationships. Father and daughter. Mother and son. Sister and a pack of wild brothers. Best friends. A leader and his second in command. A strong, independent woman and a man who’s used to being in charge. Lovers. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

ART: Japanese Printmaker Hastings Kawase



Twilight at Itami 1930









 





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Sunday, October 17, 2021

SCHEDULE: October 18 - 22, 2021


 Mon., Oct. 18 - ART:
Japanese Printmaker
Hasui Kawase
Tues., Oct. 19 - BOOK:
Belterra, Time After Time
by Carol Ann Kauffman
Wed., Oct. 20 - GUEST POST:
Schooled by the Novella
by Kathy Bryson
Thurs., Oct. 21 - BOOK REVIEW:
Underneath,
A Merfolk Tale
by M. N. Arz├║
Fri., Oct. 22 - BOOK:
Sea Witch
by Carol Ann Kauffman







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Friday, October 15, 2021

BOOK: April Yellow Moon, A Cat Collier Mystery, by Carol Ann Kauffman




In this fourth installment in the Cat Collier Short Story Mystery Series, a dear, old friend comes up missing and Cat Collier must scramble to find her before it's too late. 

A powerful enemy resurfaces and claims responsibility for a personal attack on Cat's family. 

Nola relives Trent's murder. 

Carter proposes...again.


Mary Catherine Collier, also known at Cat, started at the bottom of the ladder in the newspaper business. Literally the bottom. She wrote obituaries in the basement of the Heaton Valley Herald in a small town in northeastern Ohio.

But what she really wanted to do with her life was open her own investigation service business. 

The Cat Collier mysteries have been called a cross between Nancy Drew and Mike Hammer. As the author of the now nine-book series, I've always thought her more as a cross between Jessica Fletcher and Jessica Jones.


The Cat Collier Mysteries are written as a serial series. It is best if you beginning with January Black Ice. Characters from the first book pop up in others. Problems... grow. 

These books are short, easy reads. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I've enjoyed writing them. I am working on October Masquerade now and hope to have it out to you by the end of 2021, leaving November Chill and December Wish for 2022.





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Thursday, October 14, 2021

ENTERTAINMENT: Attraction A Russian Sci-Fi Alien-Human Love Story



Okay, it's a Sci-Fi love story. Except the human girl falls in love with the alien. And worse? She dumps her perfectly good boyfriend for said alien, and the boyfriend turns into a mean, mad pyscho-killer.




Great special effects. Good acting. A plot. I am not the only one who liked this one, because they ordered a sequel!





















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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: MoonShadow Murder, A Manny Rivera Mystery, by Rich Curtin







MoonShadow Murder, A Manny Rivera Mystery, was another heart-thumping page-turner from the talented Rich Curtin. A beautiful young woman who lives in a commune is strangled in the high desert. Deputy Manny Rivera investigates the murder, but only comes up with more dead bodies. Three bodies, unrelated in any way. They have to be connected. What is he missing?  Good detective work and a bit of luck lead Manny to a satisfying ending. I love Manny Rivera. I highly recommend this and all Rich Curtin books.







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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

BOOK: Blue Lake, Time After Time, Book One by Carol Ann Kauffman


Their love has survived many lifetimes, but not without sacrifice and heartache. Their relationship is never easy. After their first meeting, fate tends to keep them apart until they're ready to find each other.


Fate rubs its hands together with glee after playing a cruel joke on them this time by placing them on different continents, twenty years apart.


Nicole was born in Ohio. She doesn't remember her past life. She had a career, got married, and was later widowed. 
Richard entered life twenty years later in Britain and became an actor.


But fate cannot keep them apart. What they have is more than love. They're eternal soulmates.

When they finally meet in Albuquerque, they remember their love and feel overwhelming joy, but the twenty-year age difference plants the painful thorns of doubt, worry, and fear. Their unlikely but undeniable love pulls them closer and closer, while careers, family, and other relationships pushes them farther and farther apart.


The ten-year period they spend together in this lifetime takes them on many exciting adventures from beautiful New Mexico, across the Atlantic to England, Ireland, Italy, and Aruba. Nicole and Richard have an incredibly strong connection, but they must face not only happiness and joy but the dark side of life and love as well. 


Come. Start the adventure with Richard and Nicole, where everything changes, but love remains the same.

Are you ready?


Amazon Buy Link:  https://tinyurl.com/yag286vn









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Monday, October 11, 2021

ART: Melanchole, A Sculpture by Albert Gy├Ârgy

Grief. It touches us all at one time or another. This is one of the most emotionally touching pieces of sculptures I’ve ever seen. As heartbreaking as it is, it is still beautiful.