Tag Archives: supernatural

Vacation day one: Author problems

I worked on Lizzie and the hat this morning, and am struggling with a few different things. This usually means it’s time to jump stories.

As I take this series further, I’m getting great mileage out of expanding the supernatural world around Lizzie St. Laurent. If you’ve followed the series, Good Liniment is a prime example. The witches coven is fertile ground to spawn new tales.

I’ve done some of that, but don’t want it to become a theme. I never want to feel like I’m dialing it in because I have access to more powerful characters to help Lizzie in her efforts.

My intent is for Goodbye Old Paint to be more light-hearted and geared more toward the humor side. Past tales did this with a scoop of graphic violence, but this one doesn’t really need that.

I finished my chapter this morning, and the monsters behind the story have all been dealt with. Problem is that I’m at just over 30,000 words. I want all these to come in at slightly over 40K. That’s one hell of a denouement.

I added a section about Night Bump Radio and that always seems to fit into these stories. What’s left is returning some of the blackmail to the government agents who forced Lizzie into this project, a gig with her band, then a girls night with her new besties. (Two witches)

At the outside, I could include an epilog about the government domestic spying. Kind of like horror films always show you the real monster still exists.

Including any or all of these things feels right, but I don’t know if there’s 10,000 words there.

Part of the fun of writing an ongoing series is all the new ideas. I came up with a cool character that’s going to force me to dive into philosophy, and a monster that’s kind of gruesome and unique. Fortunately, I have years to think about them and find a plot for them.

I’ll have to figure out how, with my monster killing the homeless people and leaving no evidence behind, how is Lizzie ever going to get on the trail in the first place. Right now my options are Detective Joe Yoder, or Kevin the vampire. Maybe something else will come to me in the next year.

I need to figure out my new unaffiliated witch/circus midget/former philosophy professor and what kind of monster Lizzie will be chasing to lead her to his door. Then it’s all going to lead to a bipolar talking toilet, because it is one of those stories.

I’ve started cheat sheets for both characters so I don’t forget anything.

It really does feel like time to switch back to Mari’s story in the swamp. Maybe something will pop into my head while I’m being more serious.

29 Comments

Filed under Writing

A Voice in the Silence

It’s my honor to welcome D. L. Finn to Entertaining Stories today. She’s here to tell us about her newest publication, and it sounds pretty good to me. Denise is a friend, a Story Empire partner, and a great author. I hope all of you will make her feel welcome, and don’t forget to use those sharing buttons at the end.

***

Thank you for having me here today, Craig, to celebrate the release of A Voice in the Silence.

I’ve never had a pet who wanted a bath. Our dogs thought it was a punishment when I went from water to soap, while the cats would attempt to end all water contact with their front claws and propelling back legs. So, I had fun writing the bath scenes that included animals.

Imagine Drea’s surprise that they seemed to enjoy it, not only the dog Charlie, but the cat Jane, and rat Ben too. You’d either think they were the best-behaved and trained animals ever—or wonder. I know my mind would come up with an unusual scenario or two, but never consider these animal’s truths.

Still having a dog, cat and rat show up just when Drea needed it was an enormous boost for her in the depressed state she was in. She deserved that small moment of peace to bond in everyday chores like bathing these animals before her life, and theirs, unraveled.

Fun Finn Facts

1. Could there be labs trying to create talking animals? If they do and they escape they are welcome at my house.

2. Do our loved ones who have passed on try to communicate with us? I believe so.

Blurb

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.

Excerpt

Drea gasped and sat up on the couch. Her heart was racing like her nightmare of falling off a cliff had been real. Although it was still dark out, dawn was peeking through the veil. She had slept soundly through the night. The familiar crackling of the fire was absent. She shivered in the cold room, wrapped the blanket tightly around her, and took the simple route of turning on the central heat over rekindling the flames. This time of year, she preferred the warmth of a woodstove over forced hot air, but since becoming a widow, she chose where to put her energy.

The animals were curled up on the blue wool hearth rug and hadn’t stirred. A pleasant sensation passed through her— a sense of belonging, or being needed. That inspired her to pull on her snow boots, coat, and gloves and grab her new black fabric wood carrier. She shut the door quietly behind her without letting it latch. The garage door creaked open, exposing her to the winter chill.

The headlamp fit snuggly across her brow. A simple flick of a switch lit her path across the pristine snow to the woodshed. As the narrow beam of light guided her forward, her boots sank into the covered landscape. She quickly filled her carrier with oak and turned to go back into the house when her path crossed another set of footprints.

Her heart raced as she studied the tracks. They were bigger and deeper than the ones she’d made. The square heel left out any possibility of being a forest animal, and the tracks led away from the house into the trees. A quick scan of the area didn’t offer any answers.

She took a deep breath to push her fear away. Next time, she’d bring her gun. How stupid to go outside alone with a killer on the loose.

Charlie’s paw swept the door open, and he sprinted to her side.

She met the dog’s wide-eyed gaze. “Someone’s been here.”

Charlie sniffed the air, nodded, and fell in behind her. His head bumped against her legs, quickening her sluggish pace. Looking to her right, she spotted more footprints—right outside her front window. Time inched forward as goosebumps crawled over her skin.

Finally they were inside the garage. She dumped the load on the concrete floor and raced to the button that would shut the door and offer her protection from the outside world. Charlie stood statue-still next to the closing door, which moved at the speed of a turtle. She sighed in relief when the outer metal door thumped shut and quickly gathered up the wood.

Amazon Purchase Link US
Amazon Purchase Link UK

Author Bio

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Author Amazon Page

36 Comments

Filed under Writing

Some statistics for you

Hi, everyone. I’ve neglected this site again, but there were tour posts all over the place. Thanks to the group of you that followed along. This post is for my fellow writers out there, and you might find it interesting.

The tour ended prematurely, but one of my potential hosts is quite ill. I have her in my thoughts, and you didn’t miss a lot. If you feel like you missed something, check out Lunar Boogie in the sidebar. It was the book of the day.

To recap, I toured each book in The Hat Series for one week during October. Books one & three had free days, and to support those, I hired Fussy Librarian for some extra push. Let’s look at a visual.

I doubt you can read that, but it’s the image that helps anyway. The blue graph above shows my free promotion days. You can see the pattern is almost identical. Day one hit nearly a thousand free copies, after that it trailed off.

If I turn off the freebies, the graph shows book sales, but at best there were ten one day. That’s why they don’t show up with the freebies turned on.

The lower graphic is pages read via Kindle Unlimited. To me it’s more important. Most of my book earnings have been via this platform for a couple of years now. The patterns are similar, and not different enough to determine why. The better days were around 500 pages per day, with one that broke 1000. I’m not getting rich here, but I’m calling the promo a success. Nearly all of those pages were in the The Hat Series. In fact you can see a small bit of action on the far left before the promotion started. That’s what my graph normally looks like.

So far, I’ve gained two star-reviews where they rated the book worthy of five stars, and one actual review. I love both of those formats, so thank you whoever you are.

This also happened.

Yup, that’s Mrs. Molony in the #1 spot. It held onto the top ten throughout the free period.

There’s one post left that relates to the promotion. It’s my annual visit at Colleen Chesebro’s place on Halloween. It’s about the series, but it’s also about what comes next for Lizzie and the hat. I’ll be checking in on Sunday, so make sure to visit me.

25 Comments

Filed under Writing

Lisa Burton visits the Murder Blog

I sent Lisa Burton over to visit Sue Coletta today. Sue is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve read most of her books. She also has one of the most interesting blogs out there. Make sure you check out her blog and wares while you’re over there. I recommend all of them highly.

***

Join in me in welcoming Lisa Burton. Did I mention Lisa isn’t human? She’s a robot girl and spokesmodel for my buddy Craig’s writing career. Shawnee Daniels and Lisa go way back to when Lisa hosted her own radio show. If memory serves, I believe I had to drag Shawnee out of there before these two went head-to-head. So, if you’re reading the Mayhem Series, please don’t tell Shawnee she’s here. 😉

Welcome to Murder Blog, Lisa! Keep reading here.

9 Comments

Filed under Writing

The best month of the year

It’s October, and I love it. Things are cooling off after the outrageous summer we had. Leaves are starting to turn, and everything feels right again.

I was an October baby, so maybe that’s part of it. Old What’s Her Face made me some pumpkin cinnamon rolls for breakfasts. They’re nothing fancy, just the Pop & Fresh kind, but it was sweet of her.

I’ve been working my way through a variety pack of pumpkin beers from Elysian brewing. The Dark ‘O the Moon Pumpkin Stout is really good.

Pumpkin isn’t the only Fall flavor in my world. Mom sent up some of her homemade chokecherry jelly. I would have preferred syrup, but I had it on a pancake this morning anyway. It’s a taste of Fall from my childhood.

We’ve been fiddling with Halloween themed shows to watch. RL Stein has a more adult themed series of films on Netflix. Old What’s Her Face loved the first one, but I had a tough time getting into it. It’s a long month, so there could be something good coming up.

She used her birthday money and bought a Traeger Grill. She loves her gadgets and had to have the one that connects to her phone via wifi. She likes the idea of adjusting the temps while out doing other things. This meant she had to name it. She called it “The Chamber of Barbecue Secrets.” I figured you guys would get a chuckle out of that, I did.

Things are going to get busy at Entertaining Stories, too. I’m taking the entire Hat Series out on tour. This involves having written a bunch of unique posts, so they’re all worth reading. I’ll reblog everything here in an attempt to drive traffic to my hosts. There are going to be some free days, so if you’ve wanted to get into this series, this is a good month to dive in. One volume per week, and it all kicks off at Teri’s Bad Moon Rising event. Promoting a paranormal series in October feels like the right thing to do.

It’s important to support your hosts. If any of you feel so inclined, share the posts from their sites. This could boost their traffic and net them some new followers.

I’ll be watching the comments all month, so let me hear from you along the route.

I sent the second to last chapter of Good Liniment out to my critique group, and Lanternfish is in the hands of my formatter. This means starting all over again when I publish Lanternfish, and getting ready for Good Liniment in the late winter sometime.

Are any of you excited for Fall, October in general, or Halloween? Let me hear from you.

28 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Writing

Indie Feature Friday: C.S. Boyack’s Lizzie and the Hat Paranormal Mystery Series

I discovered this review post over at SC Jensen’s place this morning. It feels like the perfect welcome to October for me. Stop over and check it out. I’ve read Jensen’s first Bubbles in Space novel, and it’s well worth checking out, too.

Have you ever been completely caught off guard by a series?

Have you picked up a book that sounds interesting–if a little quirky and weird–and then been totally blown away?

I know, I say “quirky” and “weird” as if that’s not exactly what I’m usually looking for. You know I love quirky and weird. The challenge is finding quirky and weird and good all together in once place.

Read the rest, here.

8 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

41 Comments

Filed under Writing

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/

3 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

41 Comments

Filed under Writing

House of Sorrow #Newbook #IARTG

Hi gang, gather ’round. Joan Hall is here with her latest release. Joan is one of my Story Empire partners, and a great author. This one is smart, because it’s a prequel short story. I like the idea of something to whet appetites for the main event.

Make sure she feels welcome, check out her book, and use those sharing buttons before you leave. We all thrive on comments, so don’t be shy. I’ll let Joan take it from here.

House of Sorrow: April 1970

Thank you for hosting me today, Craig. I appreciate the opportunity to tell your readers about my newest release.

House of Sorrow is a short-story prequel to my upcoming novel Cold Dark Night, book one of my Legends of Madeira series. It’s the story of Ruth Hazelton, a reclusive older woman who lives in a two-story Victorian house in the fictional town of Madeira, New Mexico. Ruth reflects on her life, particularly when she and her husband Lee first moved to town.

Most of the scenes occur in the late 1960s/early 1970s, so I included historical events into the story along with a few personal memories. Today is the fifty-first anniversary of one such event.

In April 1970, John Wayne won his first Oscar for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Midnight Cowboy received the award for Best Picture.

But not all was rosy that month. Paul McCartney announced the break-up of the Beatles on April 10, leaving thousands of fans in mourning. The following day their song, “Let it Be” reached number one on the charts, where it stayed for two weeks. A rather bittersweet farewell.

The Beatles, Public Domain

On April 13, an explosion crippled the Apollo 13 spacecraft carrying astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert. The next four days were tense as NASA worked diligently to bring them home alive. With the command module virtually useless, the lunar module became a lifeboat.

A replica of an Apollo Lunar Module – Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Many people believe the number thirteen brings bad luck, including Ruth’s neighbor, Sam. He’s a bit of a curmudgeon who doesn’t believe men should be “Messing around in the heavens.” Sam tries to convince Ruth the Apollo 13 accident was inevitable.

Excerpt:

Like many Americans, Ruth had grown accustomed to moon launches. When Apollo 13 blasted off on April 11, she didn’t give it a second thought. Even Lee had grown disinterested, which was a good thing since none of the major television networks carried the astronaut’s live broadcast on the evening of April 13.

The following morning, Ruth sat in the porch swing, enjoying the cool spring breeze.

The Marsh girls waved to her from next door as they left for school.

“I’ll have cookies when you get home from school.”

“Chocolate chip?”

“If that’s what you want. How about you, Tina?”

The older girl shrugged. “Whatever.”

“Is something wrong?”

Tina shrugged again.

“She’s in mourning,” Amanda said.

Ruth cocked an eyebrow. “Mourning? Why?

“Because the Beatles broke up.”

Ruth suppressed a smile. She’d been a teenager and knew what it was like when inconsequential things seemed like the end of the world. She watched until the sisters were out of sight.

Sam waved to her from his yard. It was Millie’s day to volunteer at the nursing home.

“Did you hear about Apollo 13?” he shouted.

“No. I haven’t turned on the television.”

He hurried across the street. Sat in his usual chair. “There was an explosion.”

“Explosion? How horrible. Are the astronauts okay?”

“Had to move them into them lunar module, hoping to keep them alive. NASA is working to bring them home.”

“Let’s pray they do.”

Sam shook a finger. “What did I tell you about messing around with the moon? Somebody’s trying to tell us something.”

Blurb:

Dream home or damned home?

Ruth Hazelton is over the moon when her husband Lee agrees the nineteenth-century Victorian in Madeira, New Mexico, is the perfect home for them. While he starts his new job as police chief, she sets about unpacking and decorating.

But it’s not long before Ruth needs more. She becomes a fixture in the community, making time for everyone, volunteering, hosting events—she’s every bit the social butterfly her husband is not. Through her friendships, she learns several former residents of her home met with untimely deaths. If she were superstitious, she might fear a curse, but such nonsense doesn’t faze her.

Until the unthinkable happens.

Now, as the end of Ruth’s life draws near, she must convey her message and stop the cycle to prevent anyone else from suffering in the house of sorrow.

Purchase Link:

https://www.Amazon.com/House-Sorrow-Legends-Joan-Hall-ebook/dp/B091HX4BHR

Connect with Joan:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Goodreads | Instagram

38 Comments

Filed under Writing