I invite you to take an hour out of your day and visit one of the coolest Writers’ Conferences & Book Expo that I know. I guarantee you will have fun. There are games, prizes, authors’ booths and door prizes at each booth.
The Grandma Force is an informal, global, multi-cultural network of grandmothers working singly and together to better the lives of grandchildren.Are you a member of The Grandma Force?
GIVEAWAY: (2) $5 Amazon gift cards
Harriet Hodgson has been making books since she was eight years old. In her 43-year career as a freelancer, she has written 44 books and thousands of print/internet articles. Major publishers, such as Warner Books, John Wiley & Sons, and Hazelden, have published her work. Harriet loves writing so much she writes in her sleep.
Becoming the grandmother of twins changed Harriet Hodgson and altered her life course. According to Hodgson, we live in a fast-paced, complex time, a time when too many grandchildren are victims of bullying, Internet scams, and sexual abuse. Hodgson believes that grandmothers are needed today more than any other time in history.
“Grandmas can’t be passive,” she declares. “Every grandma has the power to protect and guide her grandchildren and needs to tap this power.”
This narrative weaves Hodgson’s personal story with research findings. It’s packed with ideas for helping grandchildren. Hodgson’s age, child development degree, life experience, teaching experience, witness to history, and extensive research converge to make this an inspiring read. Working individually and together, grandmas are changing the world.“The Grandma Force is about the power of love and the power of one,” Hodgson says. “One-by-one, grandmas are standing up for grandchildren and creating a hopeful future for them.”
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE. Thanks for supporting this author and her work!
“Overbeck enchants readers with his picturesque details about a remarkable old town and keeps them on the edge of their seats with unpredictable plot twists.”–ReadersView
My series is called the Haunted Shores Mysteries for good reason. For my stories, the setting ranks up there in importance with interesting characters and a twisty whodunit puzzle. In some ways the setting comes first and defines each tale. I work hard to craft a narrative and choose a social issue that exudes organically from this specific setting of my books.
BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE, the first entry in the series, takes place on the beautiful, scenic Eastern Shore, home to memorizing sunsets and some of the best sailing around.
Amidst this natural grandeur, the area and the people struggle with a dual personality, part New England culture and part still stuck in a southern (as in Confederate) past. This dichotomy is one of the aspects that makes the Eastern Shore so interesting and made it the perfect location for my mystery about a young man who is murdered as a result of bigotry and prejudice.
The setting for my second novel in the series, CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY, was chosen with just as great a care. I found Cape May to be the perfect locale for my tale of a bride slain on her wedding night, her murder tied to an even more heinous crime, human trafficking. With its prime location near the New Jersey and Pennsylvania turnpikes, Cape May has easy access to major shipping routes in the Northeast for all kinds of commerce—including the illicit varieties. And it is one incredible resort. On the Shore side, the town boasts one of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast, the most impressive collection of Victorian architecture this side of the country and a storied, one-hundred-fifty-year old history as a go-to resort.
And for the pièce de résistance, that is, the Haunted part, Cape May is recognized as the most haunted seaport on the East Coast.
All in all, I believe, a perfect setting for my ghost story/mystery. But readers are the best judge.
Here are a few of their comments.
“Sooo atmospheric. Cape May, with its history and Victorian mansions, has no end of ghostly stories. And the Haunted Bride is a doozy.”—V. Williams, an Amazon reader
“I enjoyed Mr. Overbeck writing style, and I could easily visualize the scenes through his detailed descriptions. I definitely recommend this book. Five stars!”—another Amazon reader
“The hauntings were very descriptive, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading these scenes. There’s immense research involved here which I appreciate. Randy Overbeck’s writing style is stark yet descriptive.”—N.N. Light, an Amazon reader and reviewer
“Henshaw’s character is immediately interesting, and his surroundings are so well described that the story is for me, completely believable.”—Goodreads reader and reviewer
There is an unbelievable but true sale on the entire Haunted Shores Mysteries series! BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE-$.99, CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY–$1.99, SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER (pre-publication price)—$2.99.
For all of you who don’t know him, here is a lovely bio of Author Randy Overbeck, along with a excellent Blurb over his book, CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY
Dr. Randy Overbeck is an award-winning educator, author and speaker. As an educator, he served children for more than three decades in a range of roles captured in his novels, from teacher and coach to principal and superintendent. His thriller, Leave No Child Behind (2012) and his recent mysteries, the Amazon and B & N No. 1 Best Seller, Blood on the Chesapeake and Crimson at Cape May have earned five star reviews and garnered national awards including “Thriller of the Year–ReadersFavorite.com, “Gold Award”—Literary Titan, “Mystery of the Year”—ReadersView.com and “Crowned Heart of Excellence”—InD’Tale Magazine. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next exciting novel or sharing his presentation “Things Still Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.
BLURB—CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY
No matter how far you run, you can never really escape a haunted past.
Darrell Henshaw—teacher, coach, and paranormal sensitive—learned this lesson the hard way. With his job gone and few options, he heads for Cape May to coach a summer football camp. The resort town, with gorgeous beaches, rich history and famous Victorian mansions, might just be the getaway he needs. Only, no one told him Cape May is the most haunted seaport on the East Coast. One resident ghost, the Haunted Bride, stalks Darrell, begging for his help.
He can’t refuse. Joining forces with Cassie, a street-wise teen and another sensitive, he investigates the bride’s death and discovers her murder is connected to a far greater horror. But can Darrell and Cassie expose those behind the crimes before they end up being the killer’s next victims?
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit theauthors’ tour pageon the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please clickHERE. Thanks for supporting this author and hiswork!
Woke Up this morning. Shades of pink speckled the white cirrocumulus clouds, Spread thinly across portions of the blue Heaven, Outside my window.
Beautiful to behold, I lay in my bed, Watching, As words of thanksgiving poured out of my mouth from the most profound depth of my soul.
A year of dealing with goodbyes, Loneliness, Confusion and dread spiked my past. Leaving me with only one question: how long, Lord? As I thanked Him for each precious day, Each treasured breath, And each cherished memory I am taking with me.
There are always new beginnings, But how often do we forget, That new beginnings herald leaving the old, And stretching toward the new.
Stepping forward, The beginning vaporizes the old into sweeping recollections. With each step taken, A door closes that we see no more.
Our circle gets smaller. As we begin to climb. The price is high, but it is even higher if we don’t move.
So, I greet you this morning, In the middle of a pandemic that seems to have no end, From a world filled with hungry people who have barely enough to eat, From a world where immigrants are condemned to living in tents in freezing weather, And for wanting better homes, schooling, and yes, opportunities for their children, From a world flooded with conspiracies from left and right, A world where we have elevated ourselves upward as gods, Yet, we have no answers to what’s happening on our planet.
Could it be that a voice speaks to us from within that we fail to listen to?
Despite all that’s taking place, Despite my fears and doubts about man’s ability to get it right and do what needs to be done… I am thankful. Because God is faithful. He is still good.
I say all this to announce that my first baby (book baby) will enter the world on February 23rd. Yes, truly, I am thankful.
I am most pleased to have Charles Breakfield and Rox Burkey on my blog today. I first met Rox upon my return to RRBC. She hosts the RRBC’s EYES ON THE BOOK SHOW. The show is fantastic.
Both Breakfield and Burkey have something to say. The Enigma Threat, Book Twelve of their series can be pre-ordered now. I have already pre-ordered my copy.
They are also giving away a $25 Amazon Gift card & (10) e-book copies of the “shorts” in the Enigma Series.
In the new digital world, there is no tolerance for privately owned supercomputers. Globally, computers are hunted and destroyed for the greater good, by the new cyber police CESPOOL. The information this group receives is manipulated by subversive hidden machine learning devices, the MAG running on the dark net.
Judith and Xiamara are freebooters who steal machine time for their PaaS, porn as a service business. The machine they chose for delivery is the last untapped supercomputer not in the hands of a sovereign. Their activity is spotted by the MAG, but the renegade R-Group steps in to alter the outcome. Leroy teams up with Zara to help these opportunists escape prosecution. They are drafted as reluctant participants in the fight.
Jacob and Quip are trapped in the Chihuahuan Desert trying to reconstruct the base of ICABOD’s logic core. The stress of their isolation is taking a toll. Their wives and children are safe in Brazil for the time being, but Interpol is prowling for answers.
The R-Group has assembled a way to communicate with orphaned satellites. While the next R-Group plans the ultimate honey pot to trap their nemesis who is driving their corrupted agenda. The odds are against R-Group’s success, but they have creative surprises on their side.
The stakes have never been higher. The R-Group young and old must rise to defeat the MAG.
Breakfield is a 25+ year technology expert in security, networking, voice, and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges. He’s also a fan of wine tastings, winemaking, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.
Burkey is a 25+ year applied technology professional who excels at optimizing technology and business investments. She works with customers all over the world focusing on optimized customer experiences. She writes white papers and documentation, but found she has a marked preference for writing fiction.Together they create award-winning stories that resonate with males and females, as well as young and experienced adults. They bring a fresh new view to technology possibilities today.
Below Breakfield and Burkey share some good advice to new aspiring writers.
Authors are often asked for their advice for new aspiring writers. We have a few opinions we thought we would share.
People start writing for so many different reasons. Sometimes it is a critical life situation such as an illness for someone close, caretaking of a parent or child, or death; other times, it is for entertainment or fun.
The first thing we put on our list for aspiring writers is to define, Why are you writing? We suspect you have a terrific concept for a story, poetry, self-help guide, how-to, etc. If you bring this concept to reality, you will want to sell the published piece before starting your speaking tour. If that aligns with your thought, you will need to do some homework to reach your goal. Below are some steps we have found helpful.
Once you determine why you are writing, you can easily slide into the next item on the list, Who are youwriting for? This is undoubtedly important for the age group or market you wish to target.
Children’s books, for example, have word usage appropriate for specific age groups and graphics to increase the engagement time of the related age.
Young Adult, or YA as is the common term today, have situations and character types which are more appealing to that age. There are several genres for this target audience. If you want to understand how much segmentation goes into book publishing, review the over 70 current publishing genre categories available for your work.
Knowing your audience’s likes and dislikes is critical. It might help to visit the library or a local bookstore to gain additional insight into the particulars of a genre you are considering. Fans of some genres such as romance have specific expectations the write needs to fulfill or be ignored to death. Use the library and bookstores to learn what your competition is for a given genre. This information is also useful for your marketing plan development.
Once these two steps are completed, you should be able to isolate What genre are you writing? Is your choice fiction Fantasy because you had a dream about Dragons and Fairies living in a beautiful world of make-believe that you create? Did you live through your child becoming an opioid addict, and you want to help others with a non-fiction self-help book? Perhaps like us, you want to leverage your professional career in technology but weave compelling stories selecting elements of people, places, and things that have really happened but are much more fun than fiction. Remember the cardinal rule of fiction writing: it has to make sense! (Non-fiction doesn’t have that requirement)
Whatever story you tell, identify the market and reader expectations. Children’s books for ages 6-10- or first-chapter books as they are sometimes called, should use the typical 4,000 to 15,000 words delivering somewhat complex subjects and stories. However, they do not contain adult subjects as they are supposed to be fundamental life lessons. Our counsel is not to lead with Quantum Computing or advance physics when approaching the children’s market. Each market has rules to help target the market as readers have certain expectations for the book they want. If you put forth a romance novel without a kiss and cuddle, it won’t sell.
As you put together your thoughts for writing your masterpiece, the next consideration is When is your story taking place? Regardless of genre or fiction versus non-fiction, once you set on a timeframe, it is essential to carry that from start to finish. And remember, it can be as simple as writing in first person or third person.
Lastly, you need to consider Where is your story occurring? If you decided to write a fictional Western Romance, there are requirements such as a western setting. No digital electronics are seen. When a hero and heroine need to fall in love, they may face turmoil, which they need to overcome separately or together, depending on the distance and communication methods you establish. Additional research on the genre you choose will help keep the timeframes correct. If you are writing about a historical character based in France in the 1500s, then the surrounding area highlighted in the story should be appropriate to that time, rather than descriptions from a 2019 travel brochure. Nothing ruins a reader’s experience of your work with made-up research or incorrect facts. Remember, the Internet knows everything and tells all.
Our book series is considered Fiction – TechnoThrillers. People use smart devices and other technology elements to weave into relevant storytelling that can occur to any adult today in work or at play. Security and cyber thugs are vital elements we leverage to keep the intrigue and mystery moving from start to finish.
One last thing we’ll add to your list, making it a plus 1. Will your book only be for digital eBooks and printed media, or will you be offering an audible as well? We decided to take our properties into audibles as well so people can hear the drama. We are lucky as we have a virtuoso as our narrator. Maybe yours is a property that should go straight to audible and skip the printing. Just a word to the wise, if you believe audible formats are for your work: just reading your property out loud is NOT the same as having an excellent voice actor delivering mesmerizing characterization of your story to an audience. It’s the difference between listening to a grade school play versus a sensor-round movie with professional actors. Your target audience will punish your work for a shoddy audible.
Lots to consider, but we believe you can accomplish your dream. Many people will help guide you. Ask an author. It takes a lot of work to get your product to market, then it takes a lot of marketing. Success can take time. Be patient and do not give up. We are still learning; most writers are.
With our latest book in the series, The Enigma Threat, we hope to gain support for creating a screenplay. Toward that end, we set up a Kickstarter campaign aligned with our live date of January 8th, 2021, book release. We have created the ebook, paperback, and audible formats to release simultaneously but are seeking help for screenplay creation. We invite you to check it out.
Breakfield and Burkey can be contacted on the following links:
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit theauthors’ tour pageon the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please clickHERE. Thanks for supporting these authors and their work!