Tag Archives: paranormal

All quiet here

Old What’s Her Face decided to visit her brother this weekend, leaving me to take care of the dogs. It wasn’t my first choice, but I decided to make the best of it.

I spent my time writing. I actually got a lot accomplished, but it wasn’t what I had in mind. There really isn’t any need to start a new tale this year, but it gives me something to do.

It’s kind of fun expanding the witchcraft world in the hat universe. There is a challenge, though, in that Lizzie and the hat aren’t part of that environment. They can only learn what they are told or observe themselves.

I solved some of this by introducing two new characters. By alternating sections, readers can get a bit more than what Lizzie will discover on her own. It’s been fun, but I still intend to leave some of that mystery without complete explanations. It allows readers to use their own imaginations.

Each member of the witchcraft community has different magical roots. I’m not explaining these either, but there are clues if readers want to figure it out on their own. It shouldn’t be too hard, but won’t be required if someone just wants to blast through for a good story.

I also did a section that was a bit of character soup. We’ve all been to a gathering where we met a bunch of people, but didn’t get to know all of them. It feels realistic to me, but maybe my critique group can give me some advice here. My secret intent was to glance across some characters that could be used in future stories.

At this stage, I’m tired. I’m not at a slog of any kind, but it’s time for me to rest my brain. Hope everyone had, or is having a great holiday.

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Blog Tour #NewBook #paranormal

I’m over haunting Harmony Kent’s house today. This is part of my tour for Lunar Boogie. Today’s topic is writing an ongoing series.

Harmony is one of my Story Empire partners, and a great writer. One of her stories is next on my reading list. Stop over and say hi. We already have some good comments going, and I’ll be checking throughout the day.

All you have to do is click here: https://harmonykent.co.uk/lunar-boogie-the-hat-series-by-c-s-boyack-virgilante-newbook/

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Executive Decision

I really didn’t want to publish Lunar Boogie over a weekend, but reality hit me sometime Saturday night.

Once I go back to the office, I’m not going to have any time to deal with things. To deal with those things, I needed a purchase link.

Amazon can take up to three days to push a new story through it’s mill, and that’s happened to me before. I went ahead and pulled the trigger Saturday night.

Now I can update my banner (Cool full moon), the sidebar, claim the book on BookBub and others. I still need to do it on Goodreads, but could find time today.

A link also lets me finalize any tour posts before sending them out. These are all things I can’t do during the work week.

For your reading pleasure, you can check out the sidebar for a link to the new story.

This is also the direct link: http://mybook.to/LunarBoogie

It’s a book now. Lisa Burton and I will be touring it around for a few weeks, and I hope to see you along the route. I’ll be sharing those posts here so they’re easy to find. Each post is unique, so they won’t get repetitive.

I hope everyone will give it a chance. Short novel length, dark humor, characters that everyone has enjoyed before. Check it out.

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A good day for writing

I didn’t get to the writing cabin very early. I allowed myself to sleep in, took my time tending the dogs, then browsed through a bunch of sites.

By the time I got there, Lisa had already set everything up for me in the paranormal office. She wore one of her favorite bandage dresses with a cherry pattern and red heels.

“What’s all this?” I asked.

“It’s your first real writing day in weeks. I put the coffee in a thermos beside your desk, and disabled the WiFi in here so you won’t get distracted.“

“I won’t get distracted.”

“I know. There’s no WiFi. I’ll turn it back on so you can save to the cloud when you’re finished. Now see if you can help that poor girl find the killer.” She left to take care of other duties.

I read back over my last chapter, made a few corrections, then forged ahead. It felt like a slog, because everything is starting to come together. There were a couple of times I had to go back and adjust the plants that were starting to pay off in the story.

My detective character still can’t remember his encounter with Lizzie and the hat. His wife’s spirit talked him into asking his father for help, but that happened off the page. I spent some time with him going over the six silver bullets his father provided him, and kind of like the way that scene came out.

Because of this POV character, I’m using more section breaks now. As the story comes to an end that always seems to be the case.

Meanwhile, Lizzie finished blinging up her pawn shop jacket and earned some new snow tires, because it’s the little things that count. She also spent the evening with one of her bosses at the diner. When chasing a monster that only shows up a few days per month, she also tends to get a little grouchy.

I enjoyed her evening with Dave at the diner, and it’s a nice reminder that she had friends before the hat upended her life. The diner was quiet, it was a major snowstorm, and a killer is stalking their streets. Makes the dinner shift kind of slow. I’m not totally out of my mind, because right after they locked up, Lizzie went monster hunting on the first night of the full moon.

Because of the blizzard, their night was mostly a stakeout. They spent some time listening to the idiots who call in to Night Bump Radio, then checked what appears to be a favorite travel path of the monster. They just reached the drainage when the sound of distant gunfire pulled them into action.

That’s where I stopped for the day. While it felt kind of laborious, I’m happy with the scenes. I was surprised when my word count came in at 3000 words, because it felt like about half that.

Sundays usually make for lousy writing days. I need to put something together for Story Empire so I’ll dedicate my time to that. I have a couple of things roughed out, but I need to find some graphics. I know posts always do better with graphics, but rarely use them here.

I’m calling it a win. I got some words down, and actually like what happened. Tomorrow I’ll get my next SE post scheduled.

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A Banner Day for me

I knew company was coming this weekend and really wanted to get some things done before they arrived. They’re here now, but I made the most of this morning.

I have dual points of view in this story. Obviously, Lizzie is getting the bulk of screen time, but there is a detective, Joe Yoder, who is chasing what he thinks is a murderer. He’s kind of cool, because he communicates with his dead wife during the story. Neither Joe, nor his wife, have any paranormal abilities.

The day started out with Lizzie staking out the monster, but did not work out according to plan. As the victims pile up, she and my cop wound up on the same lonely street.

It wound up not being a great moment for him, but he’s chasing something he cannot understand. This is clearly Lizzie’s territory. She’s kind of soft hearted and doesn’t want him to get killed while trying to do his job. This led to a conflict that involved some of the hat’s special powers.

What I liked is that Joe also has a supernatural father. I’ve known this since before I started drafting this one. Joe plays a prominent role in this story, but he started off in my imagination as the herald to the next story which will heavily feature his father.

I used this section to discuss the secret between Joe and his dead wife. That way, readers get a clue, but Lizzie and the hat do not. The next book is going to dive deeper into the witchcraft community, and Joe’s dad will be a big part of that.

Joe got a lot of depth from this, because he blames his father for letting his wife die. He’s wrong, and I’ll have to weave in some kind of minimal reconciliation.

The trick is going to be keeping these as stand-alone stories in the series. Right now, I don’t think readers have to read Lunar Boogie in order to understand Good Liniment. My critique partners will help me on this point.

It was a banner day for me. I didn’t hit 5000 words, but I broke 4900 before I ran out of gas. I’m pretty happy with what I produced.

The weekend is for enjoying my company. I might get another writing day on Monday.

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My Annual Assessment, 2020

Well, here we are. We all know what this year was about. Political strife, a global pandemic, and seeing humanity at its worst, with glimpses of us at our best.

With the Christmas holiday, I kind of checked out. We went to our son’s and spent time with the grandkids. Our daughter was here for Christmas dinner, and we’ve been watching movies. I enjoyed myself, despite the restrictions we all face.

This is supposed to be about my annual assessment, so I’d better get on with it. Some of you are probably expecting some doom and gloom, and nobody will blame you, but that’s not how I see my year.

It all started out with such promise. 2020 was the Year of the Rat. I was born on the Year of the Rat. My first publication came out on Chinese New Year, and it features a couple of rats and the parade in San Francisco. It seemed like the table was all set.

Grinders did okay. It has some great reviews, but could use some more. Reviews seem to be harder to come by these days. I think it’s some of my best work and would like to get it to a few more readers.

Performance and reviews are kind of going to be the subject for a few paragraphs. I had an ambitious schedule and succeeded in publishing three books. The next two were continuations of series, which is something new to me.

HMS Lanternfish is book two of a trilogy. It sets up some things that will happen in the final volume, which I’m writing currently. I don’t know what it means, but HMS Lanternfish has less than half the number of reviews than Voyage of the Lanternfish.

I know Voyage has been available for a year longer, so that makes some sense. I also know that it’s a small dataset. Hard to draw conclusions with those kind of numbers.

Rumor has it that with trilogies sometimes the sales pick up after the whole trilogy is available. Some readers have been burned by authors who never finished the job. I understand that, but am working on the concluding tale.

Then there is the Ballad of Mrs. Molony. This is the third entry into the world of Lizzie and the hat. These have all been well received, but nowhere near as popular as the original volume. This is my open ended series, and I intend to keep it going for a few more years. I’m also currently working on volume four of this series.

It’s important to remember that reviews aren’t the same thing as sales. Most books sell more than what they garner in reviews and mine are no exception.

I also took most of the summer off. Three publications per year, for two consecutive years, got kind of draining.

I wanted to post at Entertaining Stories somewhere between two and three times per week. The year started off that way, but in the last month or so I’m lucky to get one weekend post put up.

I will blame some of this on Covid. My blog includes a slice of life along with the antics of Lisa Burton, or my word metrics updates. With Covid, there hasn’t been much of a life at all, let alone a slice worth sharing with the world.

Another excuse is also blog tour fatigue. When promoting three publications, there are a lot of blog tour posts. They fatigue me, and my readers. I keep every post unique, so they’re worth reading, and that is a bit draining.

The Story Empire blog is another pet project. I kept my end of the bargain and covered all my assigned days. I write this every year, but I’m wondering how much more I have to offer over there. I love helping others, and will keep chipping away at it. There comes a point where I have to rewrite and repackage some of my content. New writers are always showing up, so it kind of works. I already have my first January post written and scheduled.

To wrap all this up, I think 2020 was successful. There was a lot to overcome, and we’re all still dealing with it. However, I published three books, interacted with many of you, and met all my goals. In a different year, I might whine a little about low success, but in 2020 I’ll take it.

Once 2021 arrives, I’ll trot out a business plan and we can all converse about that.

Talk to me. How did your business year play out?

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It wasn’t supposed to be like this

I planned on writing today, but forgot Old What’s Her Face had the day off. This usually means a day of television blaring, playing with bulldogs constantly, and no way of writing.

They’ve been working her hard, including at least one 16 hour shift. She’s tired. At one point she fell asleep, so I took a shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

I made a title sheet and copyright data. I prefer having a title, even if it’s a working one. Since I jumped ship, this one will be the next adventure for Lizzie and the hat.

The working title is “Just Plain Wered.” Note the spelling on that last word. Make of it what you will.

I started off with a new character. He’s an old cop and has a dead wife. Since this is part of my paranormal series, I wound up spending some research time on vintage perfumes. (The things we do for our stories, right?)

I settled upon a perfume named Emeraude. My cop found a way of communicating with his dead wife by using his sense of smell. Emeraude was her standard scent.

I kind of like it. These stories need some recurring characters, and I have plans for him briefly in the subsequent story. I’m still trying to keep people from having to read each book, so I may need to work on his intro for the next one. I think it will work, though.

Lizzie and the hat appeared while playing one of their nightclubs. I added a bit of mystery already and wound up including some emoji’s in my dialog. (Remember, this is the corny series.) My formatter ought to love that. It’s the clapping hands emoji. The song they played is called “Clap for the Wolfman.”

I even made the piano player, Fat Larry, do the voice over part for Wolfman Jack. I gave him new dialog, so as not to risk any copyright issues. Titles aren’t protected and new dialog ought to be safe.

Lizzie paid the band out in the parking lot under a beautiful full moon.

  • Just Plain Wered
  • Clap for the Wolfman
  • A beautiful full moon

Anybody want to venture a guess what this one might be about?

All told, it was just under 2000 words. Not a bad writing day at all. It needs some work, but it exists, so it can be fixed.

It feels like a bonus in a way. I like doing stuff like this, because I’m still trying to figure out whether Serang is going to attack a fortress or not. Something about swords vs stone walls has me sidelined. It will happen later in the story, so I think I’ll skip it in the early section. No new Lanternfish words, but no wasted time either. Now I have something started for Lizzie and the hat.

Talk to me people. The Internet has been maddeningly quiet lately. Do any of you remember or have an opinion about Emeraude? (Apparently the new version isn’t the same concoction.) Have you ever put emojis in a story? Does anyone remember The Guess Who or Wolfman Jack?

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The Ballad of Mrs. Molony #paranormal

Harmony Kent is a dear friend, and one of my partners over at Story Empire. She’s graciously offered to host me on this tour, and the topic is recurring location in my new series.

Make sure you look around Harmony’s site. I’m not the only one who writes Halloween stories and really enjoyed The Glade. You might enjoy her stories, too.

***

Hi everyone. Today, it gives me great pleasure to host fellow author and friend, Craig Boyack to showcase his latest book in the fab and funny The Hat Series. I’ve enjoyed both The Hat and Viral Blues and look forward to feasting my eyes on The Ballad of Mrs Maloney. If you’re a fan of magic and mayhem and humour, then you’ll love Lizzie and The Hat in all their incarnations.

Take it away, Craig >>>

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Welcome Marcia Meara with The Emissary #Series

Welcome Marcia Meara to Entertaining Stories. Marcia is one of my partners over at Story Empire. She’s hosted my book tours, and it’s time to repay the favor. She’s here to tell us about her Emissary Series, specifically book three of the series. Make her feel welcome, and please use those sharing buttons on your way out today.

***

Thanks so much for having me here today, Craig. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be visiting you and sharing a bit about my newest release, The Emissary 3: Love Hurts. This is the final novella in the trilogy, and I hope your friends and followers will enjoy the excerpt I’m going to share. I know this one will make the post a wee bit longer than I’ve kept them on this tour, but as the final stop, I wanted to introduce folks to Azrael in a more personal way. The scene takes place in a hospital room where Jake has just broken one of Azrael’s most important rules. He used his emissarial power to convince an ill-tempered nurse not to throw them out of the room where they’ve been keeping watch over someone of importance to his adopted son, Dodger. He fully expected the archangel to be angry, but he’s still caught off guard when the Boss shows up—unannounced, as usual. Hope you’ll enjoy the interplay between the three main characters in this series. Here goes:

A Sleeping Patient, Two Scared Emissaries,

And a Ginormous, White-Winged Archangel,

Crowded into One Tension-Filled Hospital Room.

JAKE SCRAMBLED TO his feet, but it was Dodger whose urgent whisper addressed the scowling angel.

“Azrael, please don’t be upset! He was only tryin’ to help me.”

The angel’s expression didn’t change. “I am aware of what he was trying to do, young emissary. What I fail to comprehend is why he used his power on the nurse instead of on you.” His fierce gaze swung to Jake. “Did you not even consider that option?”

“Not for a single second. Play mind games with my son? Only if his life were in danger would I ever consider something like that.”

Azrael’s eyes glowed brighter and his frown grew deeper, but Jake plowed ahead. “It wouldn’t have solved the problem, anyway. Maybe Dodger would have calmed down, but we’d still have been forced to leave this young lady alone, and neither of us was prepared to do that.”

For a moment, the angel said nothing, then to Jake’s surprise, he nodded. “Yes. I can see that would not have worked for either of you. But what you did was unacceptable. Such a thing is against every precept of the emissary program. You have been granted powers no human has ever had before, but you must never forget that with them comes great responsibility. You may not nudge people simply because you would like your wishes accommodated. I am sure you see the wisdom of enforcing this rule, do you not?”

Jake’s heart sank. “Enforcing? So I’m to be punished for this infraction.”

Dodger’s anger level skyrocketed at least ten degrees. “Not fair, man! Jake’s a great emissary. He never messes up, and you need to cut him some slack this time.”

Azrael’s eyebrows shot up. “I beg to differ. I do not need to do any such thing. I have a job before me, just as you do, and rule enforcement is part of it. Let us not forget that I am, as you both like to remind me, the Boss. Enforcing the rules is not only my job, it is my sacred responsibility. Are we quite clear on that?”

Jake’s shoulders slumped and even Dodger nodded, finally cowed by the nearly visible emanations of power radiating from the archangel.

“What was that? I am sorry. I do not believe I heard an actual response from either of you.”

“Yes, Azrael,” they said in near unison.

“We understand,” Jake added. “And I’m sorry I upset you. I accept whatever punishment you think suitable, and whatever advice you’d like to add.”

The angel looked back and forth between them a moment longer, then nodded. “That is more like it. I shall commence with your punishment.”

Jake took an involuntary step back, remembering the huge sword the angel had wielded when they first met.

Instead of an instrument useful for all manner of smiting, Azrael reached inside his robe and withdrew a book bound in white leather. He opened the cover, flipping through a few pagesuntil he found what he was looking for.

“Ah-ha. Here we are.” He pulled a long, white quill out of the air, made a notation inside the book, then snapped the covers shut. “Done.”

For a moment, Jake was too surprised to speak. The same was not true of Dodger.

“Wait.” The boy cocked his head to the side. “That’s it?”

“Do not be cavalier young emissary. Each one of you has a book like this, wherein a permanent record, both good and bad, is detailed for all time. This is Jake’s, and I assure you, it is no small matter for him to acquire a black mark beside his name. Henceforth, I would highly recommend you both follow the rules you have been given. The day will come when a tally will be made.”

Though the archangel had drawn himself up to his full and imposing height to deliver this proclamation, his glowy eyes no longer gleamed in righteous indignation. A corner of the angel’s mouth lifted slightly as he slid the white book back inside his robes, and Jake knew he’d gotten off lucky.

Buy Link for TE3

Buy The Emissary 3: Love Hurts HERE

Blurb:

The archangel created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of his team falling in love with one.

~~~

Azrael’s emissarial program was growing daily, but it still met with stubborn opposition from many on the Council of Angels. Dodger’s request to be allowed to experience what falling in love was all about didn’t help matters, but Azrael thought the boy was onto something. He agreed emissaries who’d shared a loving relationship during their mortal lives would have a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations, thus enhancing the skills they needed to do their jobs.

With that in mind, Azrael gave Dodger one chance to search for true love. He then laid down a daunting set of stringent rules and guidelines that could not be broken under any circumstances lest dire happenings occur. But while the angel sincerely hoped Dodger would find a way to make this endeavor work, he feared an avalanche of unintended consequences could be in store for his youngest emissary.

Sometimes even angels hate to be right.

~~~

Will Azrael ever tire of popping up behind Jake just to see his first emissary fall out of his chair in shock? Will sharp-eyed motel owners ever notice a big red and white semi mysteriously appearing and disappearing from their parking lots overnight? And will Dodger be able to track down the mystery girl who caught his eye two weeks earlier to see if she’s really The One?

To find the answers to these and other angelic or emissarial questions, come along on one last adventure with Jake, Dodger, and that ginormous, glowy-eyed archangel, Azrael. They’re waiting for you!

Bio:

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big, spoiled cats.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish her first book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

Contact & Buy Links

CONTACT MARCIA HERE

marciameara16@gmail.com

The Write Stuff

Pinterest

Twitter: @marciameara

Find Marcia’s Books Here:

MARCIA’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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October

October is my favorite month of the year. I’ve made no secret about it. The temperatures suit me just fine, I like the Autumn colors, and seeing pumpkins everywhere. It’s the month of my birth, so maybe that’s part of the attraction. I think you can see how some of that influences my writing choices.

I’m about to go back on the road with a new book. I always try to have something for the Halloween season. It’s been a good month for me, year in and year out.

Somewhere along the way, I’ll give Entertaining Stories a facelift. Some kind of creepy background and an updated banner to help with my new story. By the time this goes live, I may have already done it. No firm commitment, but it’s happening.

All of my regulars have read at least some of my work, but there are new people surfing through all the time. Today’s post is to give you some samples, but sticking to the October theme.

Let’s start off with FREE. I appeared in an anthology along with some other great authors called Macabre Sanctuary. These are all dedicated to Halloween themed scary stories. You can’t really argue with free, and there are some great tales inside these covers.

There is another anthology with a science fiction bent called Quantum Wanderlust. As you might guess, this one is about time travel. It’s also FREE. Most of the speculative genres have found a home during Halloween, and I’ve had any number of robots and even a couple of Dr. Whos trick-or-treating at my house. In my story, the hero winds up exploring King Tut’s tomb, so you might see the tie.

Now we come to the 99¢ price point. I have several collections of my own at this price. Two of them are called The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. (One and two.) If you might be interested in the nefarious things magpies do, or ever wondered about the Soup Ladle of Destiny, this might be the collection for you. There’s even a nuclear murder in one book.

What I like about collections and anthologies is the ability to read an entire story while waiting at the DMV, or during lunch. The anthologies are a great way to find new authors you might enjoy.

Now we come to the novels. I price my novels at $2.99. I have several that fit the Halloween theme. Maybe you want to chase a demon through the jungles of Panama, or help Patty Hall solve the mystery of the Will O’ the Wisp before it kills her. You might prefer a more urban setting with a secret society out to stop a possessed businessman before he brain washes the nation’s children. If so, then The Playground is for you.

There are other titles, and if your imagination stretches to fantasy as a possible Halloween genre, I have some things you might consider. This post is already link heavy, so I won’t include individual titles.

I also have a series of short novels that fits the theme perfectly. These are short enough that you can read the whole story in an afternoon. I like the length, because sometimes we don’t have three days to read a longer piece. I’ve also worked pretty hard to keep you from having to read them in order. It’s possible to pick up any of them and not feel lost. I admit, I’m one of those who has to read in order, but you really won’t lose much if you don’t.

This is The Hat series. It’s about a hard working, twenty-something girl named Lizzie St. Laurent. She comes into possession of her grandfather’s old hat, but it’s not what you might expect. The hat is actually a being from another dimension who’s been trapped here by witchcraft. Together, they form a symbiotic relationship and take up monster hunting. It’s full of snark, dark humor, and a few scary moments along the way.

Book one, creatively titled The Hat, is the origin story. Lizzie and the hat take up a new case in Viral Blues, and it involves a team-up similar to some of the recent super-hero movies you all bought millions of tickets for.

I’m about to take my show on the road to promote The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. I’ve priced it at 99¢ to get it a good launch. It’s respectful of your time and your wallet for a while. You might even have a sinister laugh along the way.

Halloween 2020 is likely to be a shadow of its former self. Festivals, parties, and even trick-or-treating will be drastically stepped down. You can still curl up with a good book and have a good time. I hope you’ll consider some of my work when you do.

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