Welcome to Day 5 of The HYPE Blog Tour @YvetteMCalleiro #Hype #NewRelease #BookPromo #YAFiction

Today, it’s my pleasure to host Yvette M. Calleiro with her new release, HYPE. She’s brought along a compelling guest post and is offering a giveaway. See below, and please welcome Yvette!

Tour banner with QR code for HYPE by Yvette M. Calleiro

GIVEAWAY:  3 e-book copies of HYPE!
Leave a comment below for your chance to win! 

School Counseling

It’s hard for anyone outside of the school system to understand how vital school counselors are for our youth. Students cannot leave their problems at home. They carry them everywhere they go, including school. When a child is struggling emotionally or physically, they cannot focus on learning. Teachers are the first level of comfort for many students, but there are certain areas that need more in-depth help, and that is where our counselors come in.

At my middle school, we have two regular counselors, a TRUST counselor, and a mental health counselor. A TRUST counselor is a special counselor that focuses on being a beacon of help for our students. Our TRUST counselor is amazing. I could spend pages trying to explain all the ways she helps our students, but I’m going to focus on the one that applies to my novel, HYPE. She listens with no judgment and helps keep the student physically, mentally, and emotionally safe. I cannot tell you how many lives she has improved (and has saved) because of the work she does with our students.

In HYPE, Cici is referred to the TRUST counselor by her best friend when Cici’s behavior changes. Here is an excerpt from the story:

Mr. Cooper comes from around his desk to shake my hand. The first thing I notice is his happy eyes. They seem to smile all on their own. Curly, brown hair curves around the sides of his head, leaving the top bald. His bushy mustache almost completely covers his mouth; it’s good his eyes smile for him. I want to relax around him. He has this positive energy about him, but I keep my guard up.

“Come in. Come in. You must be Cecilia.” He shakes my hand and points to a chair in front of his desk. Instead of going to sit in his chair, he closes his door and sits in the chair next to me. “I’m Mr. Cooper, the school’s TRUST counselor. A friend of yours is worried about you and asked me to meet with you.”

Dee. It has to be.

“I’m not sure if you know who I am or what I do.”

I shake my head, although I have a pretty good idea what he’s about to say.

He smiles. “I am not a regular counselor. I don’t handle schedules and high school credits. I deal with more sensitive issues. Students come to me when they want to speak privately about issues such as homosexuality, relationship problems, anorexia, bulimia, suicidal thoughts, physical or emotional abuse, rape, problems with friends, etc… You can talk to me about anything. You and your thoughts and words are safe here.”

I like Mr. Cooper, despite what his job is, and I really want to let it all spill out of my mouth. “And everything I say is confidential?”

“Yes, everything is kept private between us. However, there are three details I cannot keep private for your own safety. One is if you want to harm yourself. Another is if you want to harm someone else. And the last one is if you are being abused or have been abused in any way. Your safety is the most important thing to me, and to keep you safe, I cannot keep those details confidential. I would have to get additional help, but I would be with you through every step.”

I shut down.

“Cecilia-”

“Cici,” I correct him.

The smile again. “Cici, I work with plenty of troubled teens. The teenage years can be the most difficult in anyone’s life. I can help you get through whatever seems to be troubling you. Each person’s problems always seem bigger than they are. Sometimes, sharing them with a stranger who will not judge you and will hold what you say in confidence can help you work through it.”

I say nothing and stare at him. What I want to share is something he could not hold in confidence, so I stay quiet.

It isn’t easy for a student to open up to a complete stranger, but TRUST counselors know how to create those safe spaces to allow students to have a place where they can share their struggles. I know this from my own experiences in high school.

During my junior year, I became very depressed. I stopped eating and had difficulty sleeping. My parents tried to take me to a psychologist, but my stubborn self refused to talk to him. A teacher referred me to the TRUST counselor. At first, I was hesitant about speaking with him, but he slowly showed me that he was there to listen to me. I felt seen and heard, without judgment or expectations, for the first time in a long time. It was a turning point for me, as it is for many students.

The dramas of my yesteryears still exist, but today’s teens have so many more issues to deal with: school shootings, COVID, social media bullying, and so many more. Counselors are needed more than ever in the schools, and I hope this story shines a little light on them and their vast importance to our youth.

book cover for TYPE by Yvette Calleiro, two teen girls in front of pen and ink drawing of a girl's face, masking tape in form of X across her lips

BLURB:
Cici’s junior year in high school is going to be the best year ever. Popular co-captain of the varsity cheerleading team, she’s dating the starting quarterback. Even her jealous co-captain’s attempts to steal her boyfriend can’t curb her enthusiasm.

When her mom moves in with her fiancé, a handsome, wealthy man, only one small detail threatens Cici’s perfect life. The school’s social pariah is about to become her stepsister, and Cici wants nothing to do with her.

Everything changes when someone Cici cares about throws her life into a tailspin, and the one person Cici couldn’t stand becomes her only ally.

Warning: This story contains scenes of sexual assault.

Available on Amazon and Smashwords

AUTHOR BIO

author, Yvette M. Calleiro

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

Social Media Links:

Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Visit Yvette’s AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE for a complete list of all her novels

PURCHASE HYPE

To follow along with the rest of this tour,
please visit Yvette M Calleiro’s tour page. 

Thanks so much for visiting in celebration of HYPE. Teen years are especially difficult, but I can’t imagine what it must be like today with the added pressure of social media and 24/7 scrutiny. I thought Yvette wrote an excellent post about the importance of TRUST counselors. To participate in the giveaway, don’t forget to drop her a comment, then help spread the word about HYPE with the sharing buttons! 🙂

New Release: No Such Luck by Staci Troilo #sweetromance #holidayromance #novella

Happy Tuesday! Although I’m mostly offline this month to concentrate on NaNoWriMo, I’ve made several exceptions to host new releases on my blog. First up, is No Such Luck a sweet holiday romance from Staci Troilo.

Staci is a dear friend and one of the founding members of Story Empire. She’s also a super talented author who always delivers a phenomenal story. Her latest is no exception. Look for my five star review at the end of this post, but in the meantime, say hello to Staci!


I appreciate you inviting me here today, Mae. Hi, everyone. Thank you for chatting with me about my new release, No Such Luck. It’s a fast and fun clean romance perfect for the holiday season.

Piper Seidel’s life-long best friend is Jack Rhodes. He’s always been there for her, and even though she moved away right after high school—first for college, then for her career—he never stopped staying in touch with her. When he says, “I’ll always be there for you,” he means it. They have history, even if she can’t remember it. This brief excerpt shows how far back it goes.

Teaser Graphic for or No Suck Luck by Staci Troilo shows couple in silhouette with background of red carnation, teaser text over top

“Where’d you park?”

“At the lodge.”

“At the—How do you get the tree down there?”

“We drag it.”

“You and your father drag a tree down the side of a mountain?”

Piper nodded and smiled.

“It’s no wonder it takes you so long.”

She shrugged.

“Grab the top, Pea.” 

“Stop calling me that.”

“Never. You earned it.”

“Did not.”

“Did, too.”

“How?”

“Third grade.

“How?”

“Guess you don’t remember that one.” Jack shook his head and sighed. “Grab your end.” When she complied, he hefted the trunk, then started down the hill. He called over his shoulder, “Come on, Frank.” 

She worried about her Dad. He was still on the phone with Pam and didn’t look happy. 

The three of them made their way back to the lodge. 

While her father paid for the tree and got it loaded in the bed of his truck, she thanked Jack again. “I’m really sorry about Pam. You didn’t need to come here.”

Jack got a bottle of water and bandana from his center console, then turned to her. He dabbed at the cut on her head, cleaning the blood off her face. “I’ll always come for you if you need me, Pea. Always.”

“Stop calling me that.”

He smiled. “No.”

She shook her head, but he kept wiping at it. 

“There. That’s better.”

“What are you doing?”

“Taking care of you. The way you should be cared for.”

“I don’t know what to make of that.”

“Think about it. Think about third grade, too. You need a better good luck charm.”


I have to admit, I’ve sustained an injury or two Christmas tree shopping. But I never walked away with my forehead bleeding. Good thing Piper had help. 

I hope you enjoyed that quick sneak peek. No Such Luck, the first installment of the Keystone Couples series, is available now on Amazon.

Book cover for No Suck Luck by Staci Troilo shows couple in silhouette  with background of red carnation

Blurb:

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.

The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

PURCHASE FROM AMAZON

Bio box for Staci Troilo

Website | Blog | Social Media | Newsletter | Amazon ​| BookBub ​| Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a sweet, breezy romance that instills a feel-good glow. Piper Seidel has lost her job as a journalist and ends up returning to her hometown for an extended winter vacation, uncertain of her future. Reconnecting with her past includes crossing paths with her old high school crush, Tommy Burnett, and her childhood best friend, Jack Rhodes. Both bring complications into her life and have her re-examining what matters most to her.

This is a short read, but one that is tightly written with a fully fleshed out plot. I loved the near-to-Christmas time frame (especially when Piper and her dad go searching for a Christmas tree) and the small-town feel. Piper grows over this story, learning truths that she was too blind to see previously, but I like to think the other characters (one in particular) experienced personal growth, too. Definitely a charmer!


Thanks for joining Staci and me today as we celebrate the release of No Suck Luck, Pop the virtual bubbly, and drop a comment to cheer on Staci with her newest book, the first in the Keystone Couple Series. I for one am definitely looking forward to more!

Happy Halloween and NaNoWriMo

Black cat silhouetted against large, partially full moon

Happy Halloween! As I’ve done for the last several years, I’m going to be vanishing offline for the month of November to participate in NaNoWriMo. I’ve woefully neglected my WIP for most of 2021, and hope to make significant wordcount progress during the insanity that is NaNo. Wish me luck!

You’ll still see me at Story Empire, and I have a few guests already scheduled with new releases. I may also pop in now and again to comment on a blog post, but for the most part, I’ll be AWOL throughout November.

I couldn’t vanish without wishing everyone a Happy Halloween. If you’re a writer, whether you’re participating in NaNo or not, I hope your muse is kind and showers you with inspiration and word count. I’ll catch you on the flip side of November! 🙂

Guest Author Thursday: Welcome Marie Sinadjan with Hotel Fen #newrelease #urbanfantasy #norsemythlogy

red quill pen on a piece of old parchment paper, with an ink well with words Welcome Guest in script

Happy Thursday! I’m excited to introduce new friend and first time guest to my blog, Marie Sinadjan. If you haven’t already connected with this talented lady, I suggest rectifying that pronto! Not only is Marie a sweetheart, she brings a unique perspective to the world of authors. Her debut release, Hotel Fen, (co-authored with Meri Benson) is a mesmerizing blend of Norse mythology and modern day. I devoured the book in two days, and was especially taken with the vintage hotel and snowy Norwegian setting.

So what’s up with the unique perspective I mentioned? Marie is not only a writer, but a musician/singer/performer with an ethereal voice and a passion for musical theater. I’ll let her tell you more. Take it away, Marie!


Hi, Mae! Thank you so much for having me today and allowing me to share with your readers my debut novel, Hotel Fen, which I wrote with my friend Meri Benson. It’s an urban fantasy, Norse mythology-based story about two unsuspecting strangers who find themselves trapped in a dreamy, vintage hotel.

We know how those kinds of stories go, right? 🤭

In lieu of a written excerpt, however, let me offer you one… in song form. Here is Elevator, an original song I collaborated with some friends to celebrate the book’s release, and in true musical fashion (I’m a musical theatre fan), it tells of a pivotal scene in the beginning of the novel — the meet-cute the blurb talks about!

I don’t entirely remember how we ended up choosing Norse mythology, only that it’s something I’ve long been interested in (the Norse pantheon is ridiculous and insane and I love it) and that Meri has Swedish and German roots. As for me, I’m from the Philippines, and we already have plans to showcase my side of the world’s myths and folklore in future stories, with the dream of someday creating an interconnected mythological universe.

Anyway, here is Hotel Fen. We also have a Spotify playlist for the universe’s all-original soundtrack, with new releases coming soon. And if you ever want to collaborate on a song for your books, just let me know and we can work something out! I love collaborations, as this project has been so far.

Book cover for Hotel Fen by Meri Benson and Marie Sinadjin

BLURB:

Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime?

Victor has always had a passion for Norse history and mythology, but after hitting a dead end with his book on valkyries, not even that passion is enough to move him forward. Just when he’s ready to abandon the project, he receives an email: he’s won a free trip to Hotel Fen, a remote vintage resort in the Scandinavian Mountains.

Silje has always felt that her life was fairly unremarkable. She cares deeply about people and
that has led her to find her purpose at a nursing home in Oslo. When a resident dies and leaves her an all-expense paid vacation package to Hotel Fen, however, she takes the opportunity to experience something different.

It all starts innocently enough, with a little meet-cute in the hotel elevator that takes forever to arrive on their floor. But the longer Victor and Silje remain together, the more dangerous the hotel becomes, and the more they question where reality ends and the impossible begins.

Thanks again for hosting me, Mae!

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK

AUTHOR BIO:

Author, Marie Sinadjan

Marie Sinadjan is an indie author and singer-songwriter from Cebu, Philippines. She’s always loved theatre and music, as well as trading stories, worldbuilding, and collaborative writing. Hotel Fen is her debut novel, written with her US-based friend Meri Benson, and aside from the sequel, she’s also working on the series’ soundtrack and the accompanying short stories. When not crunching numbers for her full-time job, spending time with her family, or dreaming up more worlds, she’s recording songs in her bedroom or dressing up as Disney princesses for kids and special events.



CONNECT WITH MARIE AT THE FOLLOWING HAUNTS:
WEBSITE | BLOG | SPOTIFY | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON


Thanks for visiting today. I hope you’ll make Marie feel welcome in the comments below. As a new author, she’s working on building her blog following and has been making regular rounds in the blogosphere. There’s plenty of connect buttons and sharing buttons above. I hope you’ll use both, then hop over to Amazon and ONE-CLICK Hotel Fen. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series. If you love Norse myth, you don’t want to miss this one!

Book Tour Day 12: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

ebook of Things Old and Forgotten by author Mae Clair on top of ring of small gourds, and fall leaves and berries

Whew! Can you believe it? Today is the final stop on my blog tour for Things Old and Forgotten. What a whirlwind it’s been! I’ve had so much fun visiting my friends on the web. Thank you to everyone who popped in during a tour stop to say hello. I hope you enjoyed the excerpts I shared, and had as much fun as I did.

Today, I’ll be visiting Miriam Hurdle. Miriam is a lovely friend who shares a wide range of uplifting posts on her blog The Showers of Blessings—everything from amazing photos encompassing her family and gorgeous garden, to book reviews, travel posts, photography challenges, and slice of life thoughts. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as an author of poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. You can find all of Miriam’s work on her Amazon Author Page, including her latest children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd, and Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude, a collection I found inspiring.

Miriam is so sweet, she contacted me and offered her blog after I already had my tour in place. How could I possibly decline such a generous offer, especially given Miriam is tour stop 12? Twelve just happens to be my favorite number. You see how that all worked out? Hop over and visit me at Miriam’s place. She is wonderfully supportive of others and would enjoy seeing you every bit as much as I would!



Book Tour Day 11: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

book, Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair on wooden steps with carved pumpkin, flowers and dried autumn leaves

Welcome to the last week of October. I’m winding down my tour for Things Old and Forgotten.

Today, I’m with my friend Judi Lynn who writes several cozy mystery series and the Muddy River urban fantasy mystery series. I particularly love her Jazzi Zanders cozies and her Muddy River (Raven and Hester) urban fantasy mysteries. Her newest release, Posed in Death is a mystery/thriller which pubbed the end of September. You can’t go wrong with anything Judi writes. Hope over to her Amazon Author Page to browse her large collection of titles and series.

Strangely, for my next to last tour stop, I’m going to be sharing a post on the origin of the title, Things Old and Forgotten. It probably would have made better sense to share that at the start, but I like to color outside the lines. 🙂

I hope to see you at Judi’s place. Thanks again for all the support this month. I am so thankful for each of you!



Book Tour Day 10: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

glowing jack-o-lanterns behind mobile phone display book cover of Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair

I know what you’re thinking! I’m never around on weekends, and that’s normally always true, but I wanted to participate in Bad Moon Rising, an annual bookish Halloween event hosted by Teri Polen, and Teri had this date available. Bad Moon Rising is something I look forward to each October. I know it’s a huge undertaking for Teri to pull together. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it this year, and hope you have been, too.

Teri is a talented author of young adult novels covering various sub-genres—from the spooky ghost story, Sarah, to her latest, Subject A36, a dystopian novel. I’ve read all of her work, which you can find on her Amazon Author Page.

Today, it’s my turn to answer Teri’s Bad Moon Rising questions. I’m sharing the urban legend that frightened me the most as a child, and what I once remember seeing in my peripheral vision as I continue my book tour for Things Old and Forgotten. If you’re online this Saturday, pop over and say HELLO!



Book Tour Day 9: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

Book Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair on white boards surrounded by dried autumn leaves and pinecones

I am on the road again! Today’s tour stop for Things Old and Forgotten, is a 2-Fer!

First up is Jacqui Murray who writes amazing and meticulously researched prehistoric fiction. Her most recent release Laws of Nature is part of her Dawn of Humanity Series. Jacqui also writes the Rowe-Delamagente Series of technothrillers. The first book To Hunt a Sub held me spellbound, and the second is waiting on my kindle for reading consumption. You can view Jacquie’s many books on her Amazon Author Page.

While visiting Jacqui today, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from my short story, The Festival of Magic and Blood which is my tip-of-the-hat to Ray Bradbury. Curious what it’s all about? Check it out HERE.


I’m also honored to be a guest on the blog of Jill Weatherholt. I’ve recently connected with Jill through the wonderful and heartwarming books in her Love Inspired Series. Small town settings, engaging characters, and sweet romantic tales laced with Christian values make these stories a delight from cover to cover. There are hardships to overcome in each tale, but I know I can count on an HEA at the end, and I love that! Be sure to check out Jill’s books on her Amazon Author Page.

I’m going to be sharing an excerpt from my short story, Miss Lily Makes a Wish, while visiting with Jill. The tale is a lighthearted look at genies and granting wishes. I hope you have a moment to hop over and say HELLO.



Book Tour Day 8: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

Book, Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair in front of backdrop of old brick wall at night, bluish tint to ground and wall

Wow! Where did October go? I can’t believe it’s the twentieth of the month already! For day eight of my blog tour for Things Old and Forgotten, I’m visiting with one of my oldest blogging friends, C. S. Boyack. Craig is an original founding member of Story Empire and an all around good guy with an extremely vivid imagination. His work as an author covers speculative fiction, cyberpunk, science-fiction, fantasy and all things odd.

He is the author of the highly popular Hat Series and Lanternfish saga (root monsters!), but my favorite work of his is Grinders, a vividly imagined tale set in the not so distant future. I recommend you check out them all. Craig has a huge collection of work which you can find on his Amazon Author Page.

While visiting Craig today, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from my short story, The Chaos Stone, a straight up fantasy tale of sorcery and good vs. evil. If you have a moment, I hope you’ll VISIT!



Book Tour Day 7: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

ebook Things Old and Forgotten by author Mae Clair laying on top of open hardback book with large dried maple leaf to left

Happy Tuesday! It’s week three of my blog tour for Things Old and Forgotten. Hopefully, you’re not sick of me, LOL!

Today I am with friend and Story Empire colleague, Harmony Kent. Harmony is the sole Brit among all the American yanks of SE, and it’s always fun to get her take on things. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is a multi-genre author writing everything from supernatural horror and psychological fiction to erotic romance, dystopian, writing craft books and poetry. I highly recommend her most recent release, The Vanished Boy, which kept me flipping pages well into the night. I’ve read numerous releases by Harmony, all of which you can find on her Amazon Author Page. She has quite the varied collection for browsing!

While visiting Harmony today, I’m going to be sharing an excerpt from my short story, Guardian, which is probably the most Halloweenish tale in the book. The plot involves a witch and her familiar, plus two brothers and a strange storm. To discover more, drop by Harmony’s corner of the blogosphere. I’ll see you there!