Thursday, July 18, 2019

Instead of Christmas, Who Wants Halloween in July?

Posted by: Maureen

 By Maureen Bonatch

It’s started. The Christmas inundation in July. 

Sure, sometimes I might like to indulge and watch a holiday movie, but usually I save that for December to help me find my Christmas spirit.

 But Halloween? Magic? Spooky movies, books and all that paranormal? I could do that all year long, and I do.

It’s not just because I love paranormal and supernatural stuff—well I do, but that’s not the only reason I’d love me some “Halloween in July”. It’s also because I love fall. Summer is nice, but once the humidity starts piling up here in Pennsylvania, or I tire of slathering on the sunscreen to keep the red lobster-like sheen from my skin, then I’m ready for the cooler temperatures to return. 

What’s not to love about brightly colored autumn leaves, sweatpants and less humidity to get outside and bike or walk without melting into the pavement?

No Tricks- Just a Treat


To help you get in the mood for some fall fun, I have a treat for you even though it’s not even Halloween—and you don’t need a costume. NOT A CHANCE is on sale for .99cents for a limited time.




The last thing Hope Hallows wants is to become the latest headline. Living in a town that likes secrets, she prefers to keep hers hidden. Avoiding a nosy reporter’s questions about her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with a single touch, and those who crave this bliss, is nothing new. But having her brother’s annoying girlfriend, Berta, go missing is—especially when it makes Hope suspect number one. 

As a triplet, her resemblance to her beloved dead sister causes her family to grieve even more, and her escalating supernatural skills makes Griffith, her half-human-half-Oppressor boyfriend, wary. He wants to put his unsavory past behind him—this could include Hope—since her abilities remind him of the Underworld. 
In her desperate search to find Berta, she stumbles across a tunnel. Phantom voices within whisper that evil has been waiting for a new leader—and isn't she lucky, they've chosen Hope.

Get Your Copy of NOT A CHANCE for .99 cents today!


What do you prefer? Christmas in July? Or Halloween?


Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four
seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

WHY I LOVE RED INK - the Vital Role of Editors

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author

Writing is one thing. Editing is another animal entirely.

My formal career years were spent in communications, including writing for radio, newspaper and magazines. After that I began writing fiction, and I'm currently working on my 10th novel. But no matter what kind of writing I'm doing, one thing has really stood out for me over the years:

A good editor is my best friend. 

Sure, I’m the person creating worlds on my laptop. But let me tell you, after I’ve stared at all that text on the screen for hours or days or weeks, my perspective isn’t worth spit! 

That’s why – both during and after the construction of a story – I can’t express enough LOVE AND APPRECIATION to the people who fill the following roles in my writing life:

  • BETA READERS
  • STORY/CONCEPT EDITORS
  • DEVELOPMENTAL EDITORS
  • COPY EDITORS


These roles tend to overlap a lot, making it tough to draw a definite line between them, or even title them properly. And some talented folks wear more than one hat (which is really good news for those of us on a skinny budget). 

Whatever you call them, the wonderful people who do these jobs are dedicated to saving me from total embarrassment… er, I mean, making sure that YOU THE READER have a pleasant reading experience! 

Actually, it’s the same thing.

THIS IS WHY –

An error in your novel can make you look unprofessional, sure, but that’s not the worst of it. A MISTAKE TAKES THE READER OUT OF THE STORY!  Whether your novel is like a pleasant Sunday drive or a white-knuckle roller coaster, you want the reader happily involved right to the very end. Something as pedestrian as a spelling mistake – or heaven help you, a hole in the plot – are like scattering nails on the pavement, or cutting the power to the amusement park. It interrupts the experience. 

Many promising stories get set aside by the reader, unfinished. Or read but not fully appreciated, because the ride wasn’t smooth.

  • BETA READERS – My first line of defense is my test audience, the Betas, and they have the unenviable job of reading the story IN BITS AND PIECES. Here, please read this scene …  or this chapter … or the fourth version of the beginning of the book. Beta Reader feedback is absolutely vital, and most of it has to do with how they feel. Do you LIKE the characters? Do you CARE about them? Is the world believable? Would someone really say this, or do that? Is the ending truly satisfying? 
  • STORY/CONCEPT EDITORS – The story editor is like an engineer inspecting the STRUCTURE of the story. Does the anatomy of the novel hold up throughout? Is the pacing consistent? Is there a soggy middle? Does the ending deliver what the beginning promised? Are the characters developed enough? Did the story follow the rules of the world the author built, was some detail unresolved, or did something go off the rails entirely?
  • COPY EDITORS – Grammar, punctuation, and spelling have to be inspected by a human eye. The evil that is Spell Check not only doesn’t catch everything, sometimes it makes it WORSE – I mean, just look at your phone! (Yesterday I texted my daughter that I was sending her a pterodactyl...) Like most writers, I have my personal punctuation demons too. I’m totally reliant on my copy editor to catch the incorrect usages of dashes and commas. 
  • DEVELOPMENTAL EDITORS – A developmental editor looks at a good story and sees how the writer could make it even better. These are the folks who tell you kindly but firmly that you have WAY too much backstory. That Chapter Five is redundant. That there’s no driving purpose for that ONE scene you love so much. That a secondary character has totally taken over and another character should be axed. That the story doesn’t begin in the right place... You don't have to do everything the developmental editor says. But you should definitely listen, weigh, and consider.


TO ERR IS HUMAN –

Striving for perfection is good, but that doesn’t mean you’ll reach it, because you’re human and your team is human. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, it’s not only possible but likely that there’s still a mistake or two lurking in your story. Hopefully, it’s just a comma or a typo, but sometimes it’s worse than that. After your novel comes out, you just might bang your head on the desk because something big got overlooked.

And yes, my own desk has a forehead-shaped dent in it. I wrote a full-length novel where no less than SIX professionals read the completed manuscript, and not a single person caught a major plot hole before it went to press.

To say that I was utterly mortified by that experience would be an understatement. I thought about leaving the country, changing my name, taking up drinking... I even wanted to quit writing. However, a good friend pointed out that such things have happened to the Big Dogs too, those writers whom I look up to and admire. If they could live through it, then so could I. Not very happily, but I’d live. 

More importantly, I’d LEARN.

Not all editors, proofers, and betas are created equal, and sometimes you just haven’t got the right combination of skills on your team. I certainly had a lot of people looking over that poor manuscript – but it was like a baseball team composed of five amazing left-fielders, three wonderful second basemen, and a talented pitcher. Something was definitely missing...

And BTW, the size of your team doesn't count. You can have a team of TWO if they have the right mix of skills.

Other things I’ve learned: 

Just because someone has an ad in a writing magazine doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good editor – or more importantly, a good editor for YOU. Not even if they used to work for a publisher (or still do). 

Likewise, there are some fabulously gifted editors out there who have never been formally trained, but have an eye for story like Tony Stark has an eye for innovation. That goes for Beta Readers as well. 

You'll have to do some asking around, and then some testing and trying (many people offer to edit samples of your work before you commit to hiring them). 

I know, I know... My own personality type hates the trial and error process even if it's just to figure out my favorite ice cream. Yet it's necessary in order to find not just the right people with the right talents, but someone who shares your vision for your work AND that you are able to work with. I promise you that it's worth it to make your story the very best it can be.

Your readers will thank you.

Monday, July 15, 2019

HERE BE NEWS for July 15, 2019

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author






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Monday, July 8 
"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the gang at Here Be Magic.

Thursday, July 11 -
CHRISTMAS IN JULY! – It’s been used as a sales theme for decades, but author Ruth A. Casie has hunted down the actual history of this expression. Read all about it at Here Be Magic!


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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Christmas in July!

Posted by: Ruth A Casie

The 1892 opera, Werther by Jules Massenet included a scene of children rehearsing a Christmas song in July. The character’s response—“When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.”
I think we crave the goodwill and congenial feelings that are epitomized during the holiday season. So what is the history of Christmas in July? Is it more than a marketing sales tool?

  • 1933 – Camp Keystone, a girls summer camp in North Carolina, celebrated with a Christmas tree, presents, and a visit from Saint Nick. Perhaps the girls, who only see each other during the summer wanted to chance to celebrate the holiday with the unique summer camp family. 
  • 1940 – The concept was given national attention in the Hollywood movie, Christmas in July with Dick Powell and Ellen Drew. In this story takes place in July, Dick Powell’s character is led to believe he’s won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and proposes to his girlfriend played by Ellen Drew.
  • 1942 – The Calvary Baptist Church in Washington D.C., celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon Christmas Presents in July. It garnered an outpouring of donations. The program was held each summer.
  • 1944 – The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy promoted Christmas in July as an early mailing campaign for service men and women overseas during World War II.
  • Today – American advertisers have been using the Christmas in July theme since 1950. We can find re-runs of Christmas programs on television and many stores run sales. 
  • My offering for Christmas in July? Happily Ever After 
He was the cause of her fall from literary stardom until he became her salvation.

From a fall from literary stardom to becoming the heroine in her own romance story, Beth Holmes has turned around her career and her love life. She owes it all to one very special person.

Jarred Watson has loved Beth since he read her first novel and suspected the heroine was the embodiment of the author. But the road to romance was fraught with pitfalls. He almost lost everything because of a conniving agent and a little white lie that got out of hand. At the eleventh hour, with honesty and hard work, their book sales are off the charts and a movie deal is in negotiations.
Interfering families and changed plans take their toll. Will they go their separate ways or will Holmes and Watson continue their literary collaboration and personal partnership in order to find their own happily ever after?


Available at Amazon  iBook  B&N  Kobo  

Monday, July 8, 2019

HERE BE NEWS for July 8, 2019

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author






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Monday, July 1 
"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the gang at Here Be Magic.

Tuesday, July 2 -

CANADIAN SF/F READS – Author Nicole Luiken lists 10 sci fi and fantasy novels by Canadian writers. Have you read them yet?

Saturday, July 6 -

This week's Bring It Back(list) feature is “THE CHARM”, a Sweet Sci-Fi, Fantasy Romance by Linda Mooney.  Plus, you can get the ebook for just 99 cents this month! Scroll below for all the details.




The trilogy is complete!

MIRACLE of Hope
The Miracle Trilogy, Book 3
Paranormal, Supernatural, Contemporary Fantasy Romance
By Linda Mooney
Word Count: 37.3K
$2.99 e / $9.99 p

My name is Casi Clarity and I draw demons to me like flies to honey. They want me dead. Again. If only to see if I am resurrected a second time, and how. All I want to know is why me?

The road to Texas has been a hard one. I’ve seen some ghosts from my past that I thought were long gone, but learning secrets that were kept from me could explain why I was chosen.  

I know it’s already been written. Coheed knows, Gilly knows, but apparently I have to figure it out on my own.

According to Coheed, though, what’s not written is exactly where, when, or who will triumph, but I know everything happens for a reason. I was resurrected for a reason. Coheed was sent to me for a reason. I just have to trust in God’s plan, and I do. I also know that if I die this time, I probably won’t be allowed another chance.

It’s time for the final showdown. I don’t know if I will survive, or if any of us will. But it’s God’s will, and we must fight regardless of the outcome.

My name is Casi.

The undead call me their angel mouse.

Coheed calls me Earth’s last miracle.

Warning! Contains semi-trailer trucks, a gold medallion, sleet, discovery of a long-preserved secret, ice cream, answered questions, and a final farewell that evolves into a happy forever after for all eternity.








THE CHARM
a Sweet Sci-Fi, Fantasy Romance 
by Linda Mooney

From July 1-31st, you can get the ebook for just 99 cents!  Learn more by clicking the link below.

She sold herself to a dark and angry master. He bought her, hoping she would save his world, and himself.

Tired of letting his people down time and time again, Egan Pri, costell of Unurit, has decided to do whatever it takes to save his people. A Charm is coming to town, and if he can scrape up enough money to buy her, his people could reap the benefits…but he's skeptical. Still, he'll try anything. The only rule? Keep her happy. He could do that.

Genesee ii Duuru, a magical gypsy of sorts, is ready to be sold. She feels the pull of a planet desperate for her help. The sadness, the hopelessness—it's time for her to do her part, what she was born to do. With two offers on the table, does she go with her heart, or the betterment of her tribe?

Genesee finds herself wanting to heal more than just the land and the people. But with this being her first sale, she fears she's gotten in over her head. What had started out as answering a call for help had morphed into her becoming a pawn in a political game she had no business being a part of.

Forgotten enemies, unexpected allies, and a love forbidden.

Warning! Contains puffy balls of light, drought, glass weaving, near starvation, budding knives, internal conflicts, revenge years in the making, and one woman's attempt to revive one man's cold and lifeless heart with her own warmth and love.


*NOTE: This is a sweet romance, but you can get the love/consummation scene for free by clicking the button below. This scene is NOT included in the print or audio editions.

Excerpt and Buy links:  http://lindamooney.com/Charm.htm

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Bring It Back(list) - THE CHARM, a Sweet Sci-Fi, Fantasy Romance by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney
THE CHARM
*Sweet Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance
by Linda Mooney 
Word Count: 60K
$0.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a


From July 1-31st, you can get the ebook for just 99 cents! (Available at this price only on Amazon and my websiteNote: Click BUY EBOOK to get the Nook or PDF version.)



She sold herself to a dark and angry master. He bought her, hoping she would save his world, and himself.

Tired of letting his people down time and time again, Egan Pri, costell of Unurit, has decided to do whatever it takes to save his people. A Charm is coming to town, and if he can scrape up enough money to buy her, his people could reap the benefits…but he's skeptical. Still, he'll try anything. The only rule? Keep her happy. He could do that.

Genesee ii Duuru, a magical gypsy of sorts, is ready to be sold. She feels the pull of a planet desperate for her help. The sadness, the hopelessness—it's time for her to do her part, what she was born to do. With two offers on the table, does she go with her heart, or the betterment of her tribe?

Genesee finds herself wanting to heal more than just the land and the people. But with this being her first sale, she fears she's gotten in over her head. What had started out as answering a call for help had morphed into her becoming a pawn in a political game she had no business being a part of.

Forgotten enemies, unexpected allies, and a love forbidden.

Warning! Contains puffy balls of light, drought, glass weaving, near starvation, budding knives, internal conflicts, revenge years in the making, and one woman's attempt to revive one man's cold and lifeless heart with her own warmth and love.

*NOTE: This is a sweet romance, but you can get the love/consummation scene for free by clicking the button below. This scene is NOT included in the print or audio editions.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Canadian SF/F Reads

Posted by: Nicole Luiken
Today as I write this it is Canada Day (July 1st) so I thought it might be fun to do a quick rundown of all the Canadian SF/F novels I've read so far this year. Here it is in reverse chronological order:

1/ Privilege of Peace by Tanya Huff. SF with a mixed human and alien military. This is the last in the long-running Torin Kerr/Confederation series and the Peacekeeper subseries. Basic series premise: the Elder Races are non-violent and so when their Confederation is attacked by the Primacy, they enlist the help of the Younger Races (human, Krai and diTaykan) to fight the war.

2/ A Magical Inheritance by Krista D. Ball. A charming Regency-era England plus magic but no romance, not even a subplot.

3/The Piper of Shadonia by Linda Smith. I recently found out that this was published post-humously by my dear friend Linda. It is a teen fantasy novel and gives a very thoughtful examination of the price of rebellion.

4/ Jade City by Fonda Lee. This one was nominated for and/or won) a lot of awards last year and it's easy to see why. The world is refreshingly unique: mafia type feuding families who use magical jade to do martial arts. Sequel Jade War is out soon.

5/ Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling. Book two. Alternate history set in a World War I where Teddy Roosevelt won a second term of office. Luz and her lover Ciara are kickass spies who fight very Nazi-like Germans.

6/ Judgment Daze by Jonathan Sean Lyster. Off-the-wall urban fantasy featuring a lot of brothers who are the sons of God and thus have Messiah-like superpowers. A lot of fun.

 7 & 8 / Pile of Bones and Path of Smoke, first two books in the Parallel Parks series by Bailey Cunningham. Graduate students by day, citizens of Roman-inspired city with magic by night.

9/ The Quantum Magician by Derek Kunsken. Genetically-altered super-genius hired to run a con in order to sneak a fleet of spaceships through a nexus points. The plot is clever and the Puppets were chilling.

10/ The Rebel by Gerald Brandt. Finishes up the dystopic/rebellion San Angeles trilogy featuring a courier who finds out too much and is marked for death by the corporations running the world.


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