Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post Monsterland

About the Book

Title: Monsterland

Author: Michael Okon

Genre: YA

Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

The last couple years of high school have not been fun for Wyatt Baldwin. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An on-going debate with his best friends Howard Drucker and Melvin over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can rock out with vampires at Vampire Village, be chased by actual werewolves on the Werewolf River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

 

 

Author Bio

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

 

 

Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon (Kindle)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

Guest Post Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?

Guest Post

I started a little exercise about twenty years ago that has really changed my perspective on life, especially when I get uptight about things.

When I was young and in the orphanage back in the 1960’s, and for many years afterwards, I would literally wake up afraid every day. I guess it was because my childhood before I got to the orphanage at 8 was so disjointed and unpredictable, such as to always wonder if were we even going to eat that day, or was my father going to beat my mother, etc., I just learned not to trust or feel secure.

But, as an adult, I was given great advice to look for the good in life and in my past and hang on to that. That is how I discovered gratitude. Today, when I feel afraid or insecure,  I look back on the previous day and I do an inventory looking for the good that happened and I find myself smiling and feeling grateful about just how great life is and how “An average day, is a great day”.

I then realize how fortunate I am that my life has turned out so good. But, it was a lot of kindness from many people who helped me along the way that helped me get to where I am today.

 Just cooking for my lovely wife of 36 years is a great thought. She loves my cooking and I love to cook for her. It is the little things that matter.

About the Book

Title: Did I Ever Thank You Sister?

Author: Sal Di Leo

Genre: Nonfiction

Sal Di Leo returns after 30 years to the Catholic orphanage outside Chicago that he and his siblings called home in 1963. This is the beginning of a journey of discovery and remembrance as Sal is forced to reconstruct his life as it really happened, including some of his most difficult years at Boys Town in Nebraska. As an adult, Sal tried to rise above his turbulent past in an aggressive quest for power and money. Successes soon led to failures. Eventually, a wise friend convinces Sal to go back to his roots and look for the good experiences and valuable lessons he learned as a nine-year-old orphan.

 

Author Bio

Sal Di Leo is the Author of Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?, a Speaker, and an Entrepreneur.

Sal has successfully tackled many challenges in business and in life, and volunteers much of his time serving those in need. With his family, he founded St. Francis Lodge, a free retreat center where nuns, priests and others can reflect and rest to enhance their lives and work.

The State Fish Art contest, which he started in Minnesota to help kids learn about conservation through art, is now offered in all 50 states and 12 countries. Sal has been actively involved with Rotary and the Lions Club, and he has spoken to service clubs around the United States about his life and the importance of gratitude.

His memoir, Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?, rooted in his childhood experiences in a Catholic orphanage, is available worldwide.

He is the proud father of two adult daughters and has been married to his lovely wife Beth for 36 years. A longtime resident of Minneapolis, he is a 1977 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Visit Sal on his website http://www.SalDiLeo.com

 

Links

Goodreads

Amazon

Website: http://www.saldileo.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

Guest Post The Peacock Door

Guest Post

My editing process took several different and rather haphazard forms.  Some sections came out almost exactly as they are now in the book, but, I struggled over many sections and ideas for days or even weeks.

For example, one day, I was sitting in front of an old bookstore in a small coastal town. The sun was creating sparkles on the water and it was simply beautiful.  I happened to have my mini-laptop setting on the back seat.  I pulled it out, wrote a brief description about the place, and saved it with the idea that someday I might be able to use the description in some piece of writing or, worst case scenario, have the description as a reminder of that precious scene. That ended up being the first couple chapters in the book without any changes at all.

There were other times as I was driving or taking a shower or going on a walk that a few words, plot ideas or character motivations suddenly came to me and I quickly wrote them down and put them away in a folder without really knowing if I would ever use them.

By the time I decided to get real about writing my book, there were bunches of little pieces of paper and jotted down notes in a binder or saved in a folder on the laptop.  I bought a binder, and some really smooth writing pens, compiled my notes and pieces of paper and began to put ideas together—those pieces or descriptions ended up all over the place within the book.

For most of the book; however, I had to set goals for myself and just keep on keeping on. I found it best to write one small section or a few pages per week. On the first day of the writing week, I typed out the general idea for the section without worrying about grammar or punctuation.  The next day, I took that section or chapter and began cutting unnecessary ideas and/or rearranging/replacing words. Finally, by the third day, I was generally ready to tidy everything up—put that small section or chapter through spell and grammar check, print it off and add it to the binder.  Even then, however, most of it was not really written in chronological order.

In the end, I took all those sections, rearranged some more, made loose ends go away, filled in holes and put it the entire book through spell and grammar check over and over and over.  I think it might possible to spend a lifetime fixing and changing and putting your work through spell and grammar check; but, at a certain point, I simply decided that I was done.  There is a story of a poet who kept working on the same poem for 20 years and was never totally satisfied.  I can see how that is very possible because there is always feels like something could be better and it always feels like there are more mistakes to be fixed. But, for me, in the end, I also came to a point of accepting some imperfections and just being happy that I had accomplished my goal.

 

About the Book

Title: The Peacock Door

Author: Wanda Kay Knight

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

In a magical tale of adventure, eight cousins sneak through forbidden treehouse doors, only to find themselves separated from each other and lost in strange worlds. In their quests to return home, they must unravel mysteries, escape snares and villains, find one another, and search for the elusive Oracle. The Peacock Door is a rich story of camaraderie, loyalty, love, and determination with a bit whimsy sprinkled throughout.

 

Author Bio

Wanda Kay Knight lives in the Pacific Northwest, teaches literature, strives really hard to keep up with her adventurous/competitive family, makes things out of yarn (mainly unique hats), enjoys collecting pretty rocks, and writes a lot.

 

Links

Website: www.thepeacockdoor.com

Youtube video

Youtube video

Email address:    wandakayknight@thepeacockdoor.com

My personal email:  wkayknight@gmail.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

Guest Post Ariella’s Escape

Guest Post

My editing process for this book was all about getting to know the characters and the world better. Although I plan my stories, I always leave lots of leeway for the characters to surprise me, which they inevitably do. The more I write, the more I discover who the characters are, what they want, and who they want to become.

In Ariella’s Escape, I added more color to the dialogue, little touches that really bring out characters’ personalities. For instance, in the scene where the heroes take shelter in a roadside inn, the innkeeper is a little bit snarky with the guards who are looking for the fugitives, but he’s very snarky and even cheeky in the final edit.

The same thing happened with the main characters. Some of their traits that had not been very noticeable turned out to be absolutely crucial to the story and to the central romantic relationship.

By the time I finished the first draft I realized just how disillusioned Ariella was with life and how Demetrius, on the contrary, was always trying to stay optimistic despite everything he had been through as a slave. I went back and added those little touches that would bring out their perspectives even more as well as the particular traits of this fantasy world, their beliefs in their gods and what that said about the characters.

So the following exchange was added in the final draft:

“Some people believe that the Spheres of Epheor the sky move with purpose, that the stars are gods looking down on us, others believe they’re merely the fires of lifeless realms. What do you believe?”

She frowned slightly, her gaze fixed on the fire. “I believe in the gods, but I think they’re cruel.”

Demetrius didn’t agree, despite everything he had endured. There had always been such a strong hope in his heart for freedom, and he had finally found it. But he did not want to pry, just as she had not pried into his secrets.

However, he hated the thought of such a young woman, so kind and noble, believing that life was essentially misfortune.

“There are so many stars in the sky,” he said, “When I was captured, I decided that among the thousands of stars, thousands of gods, there must be at least one that would shine its light on me… Maybe you are my lucky star.”

About the Book

Title: Ariella’s Escape

Author: Carolee Croft

Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance

Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.

Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.

But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.

Demetrius had been captured in a battle at the age of fifteen, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.

Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.

 

 

Author Bio

Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the west coast of Canada.

Connect with Carolee:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

 

 

Links

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Nook

Kobo

iTunes

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

Guest Post The Sanguinarian Id

I’m hosting L.M. Labat today, with a post about the editing process for her book, “The Sanguinarian Id”. Thank you for dropping by.

What is your editing process?

Multiple layers comprise my editing process. As my writing style and book series progress, I first research and learn more from my previous failures in earlier writings. I jot down all of the crucial mistakes I made and shift my attention to my current project. During the first editing draft, I go over any grammar, spelling, and punctuation issues, while trying to see if I can add more active voices in my work. While passive voice gives a poetic feel to the story, the stronger, more dominant active voice pushes the story and dialogue forward. This voice really enhances the drama and tension in action scenes. Once finishing the grammar, spelling, etc., I reread the first novel in the series, in order to make sure they sync up and that the chronological story line stays stable. I send my edits to my publisher. My publisher sends my work back to me after they edit what they want changed one chapter at a time. We go over the entire book chapter by chapter, and we don’t move on to the next chapter, until we come to a full compromise on what’s best for the reader. My stories are parts of myself, but I’m in the entertainment industry. I have to be considerate to my fans and audience, in order to create a smoother read. The dialogue in the story is its own layer, since I want the speech to be as natural as possible. When writing, I talk to myself…a lot. I talk to myself, while listening to my characters chew me out in my head about how I’d better not make them look like an idiot in the book. I constantly lose sleep, coffee doesn’t work for me like it used to, and, when I’m doing art commissions with my clients, I find myself talking to myself again about what would make the scene stronger. It’s a long process, but it’s worth it all the sleep deprivation, tension headaches, and research.

About the Book

Title: The Sanguinarian Id

Author: L.M. Labat

Artist: L.M. Labat

Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Occult, Gothic Horror

Publisher: Night to Dawn Magazine & Books

She’s been beaten, stabbed, poisoned, and shot, but Hael refuses to die. In her pursuit for vengeance and her origin, the Dhampir Hael hunts down the madman responsible for her fateful transformation. As this half-vampire juggernauts her way through a world at war, Hael battles hordes of Nazi soldiers as she struggles to maintain her sanity. However, while Hael gathers knowledge on how to trap and kill her target, her adversary’s network is expanding at an exponential rate, as his sick obsession with Hael grows deeper. Will she have her revenge? Will she find her origin? Or, will she crumble beneath her own insidious bloodlust?

 

 

Author Bio

Born in 1993, L. M. Labat stems from New Orleans, Louisiana. From the struggles of a broken family and surviving life-threatening events, Labat found refuge within the arts while delving into the fields of medicine, psychology, and the occult. While combining illustration and literature, L. M. Labat was able to cope with endless nightmares as well as hone in on artistic techniques. From confronting the past to facing new shadows, this author gladly invites audiences into the horror of The Sanguinarian Id.

 

Links

The Sanguinarian Id Website

Website Creator: L. M. Labat

https://thesanguinarianid.com/

Night to Dawn Magazine & Books Website:

Night to Dawn Magazine & Books Webiste

The Sanguinarian Id on Amazon

The Sanguinarian Id on B&N

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

Guest Post Your Crossroads. Your Choice.

Guest Post

I am going to choose a topic to talk about and that topic is fear.

As enlightened mammals we are both blessed and cursed with the ability to experience fear. Even the most primitive beings have the fear response, it is what keeps them out of harm’s way.  We are the only ones who have the nightmarish ability to manifest fear in our own minds, a place we can never escape from.

Or can we? Who’s to say that we can not simply and politely push that unnecessary fear into a deep, dark closet and lock the door. Then throw away the key. Having some level of fear is essential to sustaining your life. It’s what keeps you thinking twice about base jumping, driving with your eyes closed or playing outside with a metal rod in a lighting storm. It is the other fear, the stuff we manage to conjure up out of our very own worst nightmares. Why do we do it? Guess what – the answer might surprise you. More fear. That’s right folks – we fear success as much if not more than failure.

Why? Why does being successful create such a feeling of fear? It is for the same reason we fear failure – it is an unknown. If we live in a constant, a cyclical, routine existence then we will always know (for the most part) what to expect. Once we begin to step out of our comfort zone, we lose the ability to predict our future and therefore lose the (false) sense of control we thought we had over our mediocre routines.

When I started writing this book, I felt fear about admitting my true feelings. When it was accepted at Page Publishing, I felt fear that I was making a huge mistake, that I was some kind of fraud unworthy of having my work out in the universe. And when the book went public I felt fear. Fear that everyone was now going to have access to my innermost thoughts along this broken, staggered journey I am on.

Through the writing of Your crossroads. Your choice. I began to recognize this false fear. I began to kick it in the nuts so to speak and send it packing. I have felt the weight lift from my shoulders as I accepted my passion, embraced my journey and turned it into a witty, creative outlook on an otherwise commonplace journey. You see, my new friends, the things that happen to us in life are not what define us. Rather, it is the choices we make that make us who we are. I chose to feel success rather than fear. What will you choose?

 

About the Book

Title: Your crossroads. Your choice.

Author: EJ Apicello

Genre: Self-help

Welcome to my diary, my journey, as I tripped and crawled through the darkest time in my life- when I witnessed  people that I held incredibly close to me shatter my very existence with their words and actions. The things within this book spine are extremely raw and exceptionally real. You and I are going to get very close, the details in this book, although oddly general, are incredibly specific. Yes, I realize what I just said and as you read my words you will see what I mean. As you silently gasp and mentally bitch slap me, please be kind because my story is just that – my story. It is not any more or less special than yours. In fact the only difference between our stories are the choices we made at each of the crossroads in our lives. For most of my life the choices I made were not based on my happiness but on everyone else’s. This book describes what I have experienced in my journey to finding my happiness and hopefully never letting it go. Sadly, it took me thirty six years to find the strength I need to detoxify my life and self view and find someone who is worthy of my awesomeness. Thirty six years to shatter the negative foundation I had built shatter the ultimate representative I created to hide behind and begin the process of building a new foundation. Only this foundation will be built on strength, confidence and above all, happiness. So take a minute or thirty and sit with my story for a while. You never know what you might find out.

 

Author Bio

Welcome to my real, crazy, emotional, probably too honest journey. I am an everyday girl in this everyday world trying to keep my head above water and within the pages of this book you will learn about the things that have broken me down  and the steps I am taking to build back up. You will see, my new friends, that this story is written in a unique, general, conversational voice, which was my choice. I want you to be able to picture yourself in my shoes, relate my trials and tribulations to yours and see that you too can find your happiness. Even if you don’t realize this yet, every single one of us possesses things inside of ourselves that we didn’t know were there. It took my life taking a crazy right turn and dumping me at the lowest possible point before I could see the strength within myself. We are not defined by what we do, we are defined by the choices we make. I decided when I put pen to paper that I want my choices to start defining me as strong, confident, secure and above all else, happy. So, who am I? How about I tell you who I was – a self loathing shell of myself who put everyone else’s happiness before my own. Herein lies my story to find that happiness and all of the ups and downs along the way. See who I was and who I am trying to become and maybe, somewhere in there, you will find out a little about yourself too.

 

Links

www.ejapicello.com

@ejapicello

facebook.com/ejapicello

Amazon

B&N

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

Guest Post Gossamer: The Chronicles of Eledon Book 3

Guest Post

MY EDITING PROCESS

By Joni Parker

 

My book, “Gossamer,” was published in December, so I thought I’d provide the editing process for the book I’m working on now called, “Noble Magic,” the fourth book in the “Chronicles of Eledon” series. Fortunately, I already had a draft of it, but there were several changes in the editing process of “Gossamer” that impacted “Noble Magic.” Before I forgot what they were, I changed them. Then I read through the manuscript twice out loud and two more times silently before I sent it to my editor in late January for the first round of editing.

In early March, I got the manuscript back with a number of corrections to make. Not only does my editor look at the content, she also gives me some help with grammar and punctuation, so I get two jobs for one. I made the corrections and read the manuscript out loud again at least twice and more times silently and sent it back to my editor in late March for a second round of editing.

The manuscript came back to me in late May with more corrections to make, including a recommendation for an epilogue. I’d never written one before so I scrambled a little. I came up with one and sent it to my editor for a quick review. She liked the second draft. Whew!

I just finished reading my book out loud again for the third time this round. My throat is a sore and I need a break—my house needs cleaning. I still found a few changes to make, but I do like the story. It has a lot of action and flows well. After this reading, I think it’s ready to be published. However, if I had some additional concerns, I wouldn’t hesitate to send it through another round of editing.

I use this editing process for all of my books—at least two rounds with a good editor. Understand that each round costs me money. Yes, it can be expensive, but I feel I owe it to my readers to get it right and it’s taught me a lot about writing. Over the years, my writing’s improved, thanks to my editor, and I’ve even won some awards. The first book of “The Chronicles of Eledon” series called “Spell Breaker” was selected as a 2016 Book Excellence Award Finalist and the second book in the series, “The Blue Witch,” was a 2017 International Book Award Finalist. “Gossamer” is my latest effort and I hope you enjoy it.

About the Book

Title: Gossamer: The Chronicles of Eledon Book 3

Author: Joni Parker

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Lady Alexin, Eledon’s Keeper of the Keys must continue to prove her powers when her grandmother, Lady Lestin and her friend, Lady Opaline of the Gossamer Elves are kidnapped by rebels and held for ransom. Alex attempts a daring rescue, only to discover that there is far more to this plot that she immediately suspected and the betrayal extends to the highest levels of the High Council of Elders. Threatened by rebel factions, suspected by Council members and under attack by deadly spiders, the young warrior has only her wits, her fighting skills and the powers of the Keys to help her. But will they be enough to save them all?

 

Author Bio

When I was younger, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Part of my reason for dropping out of college was because I didn’t know what to major in. I was envious of my sister who knew from an early age, she was going to major in math. Good for her, but math was the last subject on my mind. I joined the Navy and found a track I liked. I became a photographer. I covered local news items, accidents, and even shot portraits. It was fun, but not a career path. When I got out of the Navy, I wanted to finish college but I was lost again. What to major in? I chose accounting because all businesses needed it and I went on to get my Bachelor’s and an MBA. After working in the field for a year, I went back in the Navy and asked for any assignment other than accounting.  It worked. After 22 years in the Navy, I retired. My husband and I moved into our motorhome and hit the road. Unfortunately, he passed away and I went back to work at a government job. Then I found writing. I hadn’t written a thing since I was 14 but I was smitten by the bug and have been writing ever since. “Gossamer” is the sixth book I’ve had published and is the third book in a four book series, “The Chronicles of Eledon.” Hope you enjoy it. I had fun writing it.

 

 

Links

Website/blog:  http://www.theblackelf.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoniParker

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ParkerJoni

Google Plus:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoniParker/posts

Amazon link for “Gossamer”:  Amazon

1 Comment

Filed under book tours, Guest Posts