Book Tour Day 5: The Haunting of Chatham Hollow #newrelease #ghoststory #spiritualism #mystery @gmplano @stacitroilo

Promo ad for The Haunting of Chatham Hollow shows book in various formats, lighted park path in background

Hello, friends, and thank you for joining me on the short blog tour Staci Troilo and I are rolling out for our co-authored release, The Haunting of Chatham Hollow. We’ve been taking turns introducing various characters, and today I’m up!

I’ll be visiting Story Empire colleague and friend, Gwen Plano. I am so thankful to know Gwen, one of the kindest and most respectful people you’re likely to meet online. In addition to being a sweetheart of a person, she’s also a talented author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

I’ve been swept away by both her memoir (written as Gwendolyn M. Plano) and her fictional series, the latest entry being The Culmination which I found particularly strong. The entire series can be found on her Amazon Author Page.

After you’ve had a look-see at Gwen’s titles, hop over and join us on her blog where I’ll be introducing the second set of sisters who factor into my 1888 timeline in The Haunting of Chatham Hollow.

Comments are closed on this post, but I hope to see you THERE.

Book Tour Day 4: The Haunting of Chatham Hollow #newrelease #ghoststory #spiritualism #mystery @stacitroilo @harmony_kent

Promo ad for The Haunting of Chatham Hollow shows book in various formats on table beside ornate candle holder, window with sheer curtains in background

It’s day four of The Haunting of Chatham Hollow book tour! Thank you for visiting with me and Staci during our short tour for our co-authored release. We’re highly chuffed (“chuffed” in honor of our Brit friend, Harmony Kent) about this book and excited that Harmony is hosting today.

Harmony is a brilliant multi-genre author, with a wonderful sense of humor. She’s also one of the founding members of Story Empire. Her most recent release, Life & Soul: Book 2 in the Soul Poetry Series is an exquisite and reflective collection that I highly recommend.

I’ve read numerous releases by Harmony, all of which you can find on her Amazon Author Page. Be sure to browse her many titles which span the gamut from fiction and non-fiction, to short stories, poetry, and novels. When you’re through, be sure to visit Staci and Harmony as Staci introduces her female protagonist Greer Faraday, editor of the Chatham Hollow Chronicle.

Comments are closed on this post, but you can join in the fun HERE.

Book Tour Day 3: The Haunting of Chatham Hollow #newrelease #ghoststory #spiritualism #mystery @BeemWeeks @stacitroilo

Promo ad for The Haunting of Chatham Hollow shows book in various formats to left of lamppost at night, tree silhouettes in background

Happy Monday! It’s a new week which promises to be a busy one for the short tour Staci Troilo and I are unrolling for our new release, The Haunting of Chatham Hollow.

Today, I’m visiting Story Empire colleague and amazingly talented author, Beem Weeks. If you’re unfamiliar with Beem’s work, I suggest correcting that oversight post-haste. Beem is a literary story-teller who excels at character voice and narrative. Whether writing short fiction or novel length, he’s guaranteed to keep you flipping pages. Having read all his short story collections, and his novel, Jazz Baby, I can easily vouch for that!

You can find all of Beem’s work on his Amazon Author Page. After you’ve had a good browse, hop over to join us on Beem’s blog, where I’ll be introducing a pair of sisters who don’t always see eye to eye.

Comments are closed on this post, but I hope to see you THERE.

Book Tour Day 2: The Haunting of Chatham Hollow #newrelease #ghoststory #spiritualism #mystery @JanSikes3 @stacitroilo

Promo ad for The Haunting of Chatham Hollow shows book in various formats on black marble background

Happy Thursday! Today is day two of the short blog tour Staci Troilo and I are unrolling for our new release, The Haunting of Chatham Hollow.

Today is my turn for visiting, and I’m kicking things off with a talented lady, friend, and Story Empire colleague—Jan Sikes.

Jan’s latest collection of books is her White Rune Series. I’ve already pre-ordered book three, Saddled Hearts, the final release in this romantic suspense trilogy, and can’t wait for it’s October 19th release.

You can see all of Jan’s books on her Amazon Author Page, including her Flowers and Stone series, a fictional retelling of her life with musician, Rick Sikes. Be sure to check out her work, then hop over to visit us on her blog, where I’ll be introducing Aaron Brock, a newspaper editor from the town of Chatham Hollow—in 1888!

Comments are closed on this post but I hope to see you THERE.

.

Book Tour Day 1: The Haunting of Chatham Hollow #newrelease #ghoststory #spiritualism #mystery @maeclair1 @stacitroilo

Promo ad for The Haunting of Chatham Hollow shows book in various formats beside old fashioned ink and quill and rolled parchment paper

Hello and happy Tuesday! If you live in the U.S., I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and holiday. Today kicks off the short blog tour Staci Troilo and I are unrolling for our new release, The Haunting of Chatham Hollow.

Staci is starting things off with a visit to Joan Hall.

Joan is a good friend and a sister blogger at Story Empire. She’s also a talented author with a roster of fabulous releases that encompass mystery and romantic suspense with a splash of folklore. I highly recommend her Driscoll Lake Series and Cold Dark Night, book one of her new Legends of Madeira Series. You can find all of Joan’s titles on her Amazon Author Page. Pick a title and you’re certain to swept away in the small town settings she creates.

Comments are closed on this post, but I hope you’ll hop over to Joan’s blog where Staci will be introducing her protagonist, Aiden Hale. Just follow this LINK!

Release Day: The Haunting of Chatham Hollow @maeclair1 @stacitroilo #ghoststory #mystery #spiritualism

promo ad for the Haunting of Chatham Hollow shows book cover of paperbac, ereader and phone versions overlaid on spooky nighttime forest

I’m delighted to announce today is the release of The Haunting of Chatham Hollow, the dual-timeline mystery I co-authored with Staci Troilo. We are both super excited about our ghost story/mystery, and invite you to pick up your copy if you haven’t already.

BLURB:
One founding father.
One deathbed curse.
A town haunted for generations.

Ward Chatham, founder of Chatham Hollow, is infamous for two things—hidden treasure and a curse upon anyone bold enough to seek it. Since his passing in 1793, no one has discovered his riches, though his legend has only grown stronger.

In 1888, charlatan Benedict Fletcher holds a séance to determine the location of Chatham’s fortune. It’s all a hoax so he can search for the gold, but he doesn’t count on two things—Victor Rowe, a true spiritualist who sees through his ruse, and Chatham’s ghost wreaking havoc on the town. 

More than a century later, the citizens of the Hollow gather for the annual Founder’s Day celebration. A paranormal research team intends to film a special at Chatham Manor, where the original séance will be reenacted. Reporter and skeptic Aiden Hale resents being assigned the story, but even he can’t deny the sudden outbreak of strange happenings. When he sets out to discover who or what is threatening the Hollow—supernatural or not— his investigation uncovers decades-old conflicts, bitter rivalries, and ruthless murders.

This time, solving the mystery isn’t about meeting his deadline. It’s about not ending up dead.

PURCHASE LINK

Although I’ve closed comments on this post, I hope you’ll join me and Staci as we pop the virtual bubbly to celebrate our book birthday. Thank you for your support! 🎉🍾

An Exciting New Experience!

Hello, friends! Remember the excitement of publishing your first book? For writers, every release is special, but occasionally, the stars align for “WOW!” moments. Today, I’m excited to announce something I’m super excited jazzed giddy over-the-moon about!

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me say I’ve been sitting on two finished manuscripts. What I neglected to mention is that I also had a THIRD project in the works, and that’s the one I want to unveil today. Click play on the video below for a surprise.

Drum roll, please. . .

And now you understand the “An Exciting New Experience” referenced in the title of this post. Although I have been writing for a long time, I have NEVER co-authored a work with anyone. It’s not that the idea didn’t appeal to me, but the timing was always off, or I didn’t have the right person to partner with—and then—the stars aligned!

Working with Staci was a fantastic experience! I couldn’t have asked for a better partner and collaborator. We are delighted to announce the upcoming release of The Haunting of Chatham Hollow and hope you’ll join us in celebrating our pre-order.

This is a dual-timeline ghost story. It includes curses, an alleged missing treasure, arson, and murder, with a mystery spanning centuries and three lineages of characters whose paths continuously cross throughout the years.

Next week, we’re kicking off a short tour, where a few of our major characters will talk with a medium. We’ll give you a brief lead-in then share the transcript of their chat. I’ll be introducing a selection of characters from 1888—Victor Rowe (my protagonist), and Benedict Fletcher (his rival), plus two sets of sisters, and Aaron Brock, a newspaper editor. Staci will have three posts introducing several of her characters in the present-day timeline.

I hope you’ll join us for the tour. On the days someone hosts us, we’ll have brief announcements along with links on our blogs to lead you to the appropriate stops.

In the meantime, I hope you’re enticed by the blurb:

One founding father.
One deathbed curse.
A town haunted for generations.

Ward Chatham, founder of Chatham Hollow, is infamous for two things—hidden treasure and a curse upon anyone bold enough to seek it. Since his passing in 1793, no one has discovered his riches, though his legend has only grown stronger.

In 1888, charlatan Benedict Fletcher holds a séance to determine the location of Chatham’s fortune. It’s all a hoax so he can search for the gold, but he doesn’t count on two things—Victor Rowe, a true spiritualist who sees through his ruse, and Chatham’s ghost wreaking havoc on the town.

More than a century later, the citizens of the Hollow gather for the annual Founder’s Day celebration. A paranormal research team intends to film a special at Chatham Manor, where the original séance will be reenacted. Reporter and skeptic Aiden Hale resents being assigned the story, but even he can’t deny the sudden outbreak of strange happenings. When he sets out to discover who or what is threatening the Hollow—supernatural or not— his investigation uncovers decades-old conflicts, bitter rivalries, and ruthless murders.

This time, solving the mystery isn’t about meeting his deadline. It’s about not ending up dead.

The Haunting of Chatham Hollow will release on August 30, but you can pre-order through the link below:

PRE-ORDER LINK

Thanks for joining me today for my special announcement. I look forward to chatting with you during the tour. Staci and I both wish to thank you in advance for your support, and should you pick up a copy of our hot-off-the-presses supernatural mystery, we hope you enjoy the read!

New Release: Good Liniment by C. S. Boyack #superherofantasy #urbanfantasy #lizzieandthehat #writingcommunity @Virgilante

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

Hello, and happy Thursday. My guest today is good friend and Story Empire colleague, Craig Boyack, here to talk about his latest Lizzie and the Hat release. I’ve read all of these novellas and thoroughly enjoyed them all. After you check out Craig’s post, be sure to take a gander at my review for Good Liniment listed at the end. And now, here’s Craig…


Thanks for letting me borrow your space again, Mae. I’m here to talk about Good Liniment. This is the newest entry into The Hat Series. Remember, this series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re also stand-alone stories, so you can start anywhere you like without feeling lost. Maybe somewhere like Good Liniment.

I have my spokesmodel, Lisa Burton, out touring around with her posters, and those always lead to a few clicks. That leaves me to talk about the craft elements of my stories.

One thing I strive for is to avoid low hanging fruit. I’m not saying I haven’t used zombies or vampires in my stories, but I try to make them different somehow. Those who know about Kevin the vampire will understand that he’s not a sparkly and romantic hunk of a guy.

Whenever I can, I try to come up with something new. Speculative fiction has enough dragon riders, schools for the magically gifted, and others. This brings me to creatures I created for this story; bog trogs.

A bog trog is a magical creature about one story tall. They’re amphibious predators who live underground. Inside their gut, they produce the most powerful magical element of all, magical ambergris.

One of my new characters, Cyrus Yoder, makes a living by harvesting the occasional bog trog then selling ambergris to members of the magical community. Finding a creature that lives underground is no mean trick.

Cyrus is acutely aware of herd management, and only harvests one every few years to replenish his stock. Otherwise, he monitors their locations using a sequence of archaic tools and notebooks to determine when they might move again.

He has to wait until one of the trogs relocates to gain access to them. Bog trogs cause sinkholes when they move, so it’s not a very safe battleground when the time comes. They’re also not above eating him.

Good Liniment happens at a time when Cyrus is out of ambergris and desperate to restock his supply. Even the cult that’s trying to kill off witches won’t keep him home when one of the creatures decides to relocate.

I try to be peripherally aware of many things. Sometimes they come together in strange but wonderful ways. A news bit about sinkholes, a bit about finding ambergris washed up on the shore and what it’s worth, then one day a bog trog shows up at the writing cabin. I keep notes and bookmark interesting tales I come across online. I also use Pinterest as a great visual resource that helps me remember items.

If you would like to go hunting for a magical creature that has no problem eating you, using nothing more than a spear on unstable ground, then part of Good Liniment might appeal to you. Oh, and Cyrus does it all while someone else is trying to kill him simply for being a witch.

book cover with imposing four-story gothic looking building against night sky

BLURB:
Someone is murdering members of the local witches coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.

A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.

This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.

Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.

Convincing her strong willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?

Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.

The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky dark humor and can be easily read out of order.

PURCHASE GOOD LINIMENT
SERIES LINK

bio box for author, C.S. Boyack

Connect with Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | My Novels | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest | BookBub


Bog trogs, sinkholes, magical ambergris—Craig is at his usual imaginative best with his latest Hat story. Be sure to hop over to Amazon and ONE-CLICK your copy. Before you go, however, here is my review of this entertaining story!


Another good entry into The Hat series, Good Liniment has Lizzie and the hat coming to the aid of a coven of witches… more precisely, they’re hired to find a killer who murdered one of the coven and is looking to up the score.

The first order of business is getting Lizzie and the Hat together again, given the way the previous novella ended. Boyack does that quickly and efficiently, while providing a glimpse into Lizzie’s family background. There are also several new characters, most of the supernatural variety.

My favorite is “Noodles” a quasi pet-like creature belonging to Cyrus Yoder, a witch and key player in this story. As usual, Boyack’s imagination runs wild with the variety of witches he dreams up, and an amusing foray to a comic con.

There’s plenty of adventure, cameos from past characters (Kevin the vampire, Joe Yoder the cop, and a surprise guest). More music from Lizzie and the Pythons, snark from the Hat, sightings of Hellpox, and a personal favorite of mine—forays into Night Bump Radio. But there are also tense moments, and a hard hit for Lizzie (you’ll have to read the book to discover what that’s all about).

A fun and imaginative tale with a universe that just keeps growing!

New Release: Jagged Feathers by Jan Sikes @jansikes3 #RomanticSuspense #MilitaryRomance #WhiteRuneSeries

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

Happy Guest Author Thursday! It’s my pleasure to welcome friend and Story Empire colleague, Jan Sikes with her newest release Jagged Feathers.

Jan has been burning up the blogosphere with the launch of book 2 in her White Rune Series, and I’m delighted to participate in her tour. You can find my review of Jagged Feathers (which BTW, reads perfectly fine as a standalone) HERE. I was smitten with her two leads, Vann and Nakina, and Vann’s dog, Champion. I also enjoyed the layers of symbolism and folklore in the book. Today, Jan shares how some of that came about in her post below. Take it away, Jan!


Thank you, Mae, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.

I have always been fascinated by Native American Folklore and spent a lot of time reading and researching different beliefs, especially concerning animals. Birds are believed to be messengers between worlds. My late husband had a strong connection with owls. To some tribes, the owl is an omen of death while to others it is a sign of wisdom.

In my story, Nakina Bird spent many summers of her youth on the reservation with her grandmother, so it was natural that she’d adhere to some of the Native American beliefs and traditions. The blue jay held special significance for Nakina. Not only are the blue feathers striking, but they are unique songbirds in that they mate for life. She recalled many of her grandmother’s teachings throughout the book, but this one seemed to stand out.

Banner ad for Jagged Feathers by Jan Sikes on shows book on chipped, painted wooden floorboards

EXCERPT:

“Tell me about the shooting incident in your past that freaked you out so much.”

Nakina recounted the incident when the boys taunted her, and then how she accidentally shot the bird. “It made me physically sick. When the blue jay fell to the ground after I fired, it took every ounce of energy in me not to throw up right there in front of those boys.” She drew in a sharp breath. “After they left, I performed a sacred ceremony and buried the bird, but not before taking a special feather from him.” She twisted her hands together on her lap. “And now you understand why I reacted the way I did when you found the blue feather in the bottom of the boat. Ever since that day, blue feathers have been a good sign for me. Almost like the bird’s way of forgiveness.”

Vann whistled. “I can understand how you felt when you shot the jay.”

She stared out the window. “When I told Grandmother what happened with the bird, she said that to Native Americans, the blue jay represents trickery or mischievousness. Then she told me that blue jays mate for life, and that was symbolic for me. Of course, as a teenager, I dismissed all of it as folklore. But I did keep the beautiful blue feather to always remind me of what I’d done. And I never painted on it.”

“That’s quite some story. I’ve observed plenty of jays, and they’re generally aggressive and noisy birds, but I never thought of them as being symbolic of anything. I’ve watched them run off birds twice their size to get a ripe berry.”

“The Native American people have a story or some sort of symbolism for most everything, and they believe in spirit animals that walk with us and help us on our journey.”

***

Have you ever had a spirit animal or an experience with an animal that went beyond the norm? I know D.L. Finn has with bears and C.S. Boyack with Eagles. I’d love to hear about your affinity to a certain animal and what it means to you.

BLURB:
Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.  

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.

Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK

Connect with Jan Sikes at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Bookbub | LinkedIn | Amazon Page


bio box for author, Jan Sikes

I had no idea blue jays mated for life. Yes, they can be aggressive and noisy as Vann points out, but they’re also amazing birds. I always liked watching them flit around the feeder in my rear yard.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post as much as I did, and will help me in cheering on Jan with her new release. Drop her a comment, then hop over to Amazon to ONE-CLICK your copy of Jagged Feathers!

New Release: Brother of Interest by Karina Bartow @KarinaBartow @WildRosePress #mystery #familylifefiction #detectivefiction

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

Hello and thanks for joining me today as I welcome Karina Bartow to my blog. Karina is a first time guest who reached out to ask if I would be interested in taking part in her blog tour. Of course, I said “yes!” I hope you’ll make her feel welcome as she shares a story I think all writers can relate to…


The Power of Perseverance in Publishing
By Karina Bartow

Yesterday, The Wild Rose Press released Brother of Interest, the sequel to my debut novel, Husband in Hiding! This was the culmination of five years of waiting, hoping, and yes, a little crying. But a lot more work went into it than that.


I’d already finished the sequel when Husband in Hiding was released in 2015. My publisher at the time seemed eager to continue the mystery series, so I thought I was set to have a new installment out every year like the big-time authors do. I broadcasted it to just about everyone who bought the book, which began an endless game of hearing, “When’s the sequel coming out?” The anticipation thrilled me, but as matters started to fizzle out with the company and the sequel’s publication appeared ever more unlikely, the question became wearisome to discuss.

At a crossroads, I decided to shift my focus until the dust settled and pursue my second novel, Forgetting My Way Back to You. In fact, I first discovered Wild Rose when I was shopping that to companies in 2017, but it didn’t end up being the right match for them. I proceeded with Vinspire Publishing and hoped they might be a good home for the Brother of Interest, but they didn’t feel that it was right for their catalog. Nonetheless, they gave me input that helped the plot along. While it changed the way I originally wanted the beginning to unfold, I saw the advantages of implementing their advice and how it would better attract readers and prospective publishers.

Fast-forward a year, I came across Wild Rose again and realized they also publish mysteries, so I figured I’d give it another shot. After reading the first three chapters, the editor wanted me to make some tweaks but said she’d be willing to look at it again once I did so. When I resubmitted it to her, she complimented me on my adjustments, but she felt the story still needed some work. She suggested I read Revision and Self-Editing for Publication as I continued to sculpt it further, so I ordered the book that day.

Between its guidance and hers, I looked at the plot with clearer vision and adjusted elements I may never have thought to without it. I didn’t even intend to submit it to her again, but I didn’t want to waste the insight she gave me. I knew it’d benefit me regardless.  The week I resumed sending out queries, I mustered the nerve to contact her to thank her for her help and ask if she’d like to review it once more. To my surprise, she did, and it led to a long-awaited acceptance letter.

I wanted to share this experience for the hard-working, often frustrated, aspiring authors like me—and dreamers of all sorts. Perseverance and persistence does pay off, but it involves more than pure willpower. You can’t close the door on a company just because of past rejections. You also can’t squander the wisdom the right people provide. When it comes to publishing, very few editors/agents give you anything past a straightforward rejection, so you should appreciate it when someone takes the time to give you tips. They could give you just the leg-up you need to find success…sometimes where you least suspect it!


Book cover for Brother of Interest by Karina Bartow shows old-fashioned baby buggy with handcuffs dangling from handle

Brother of Interest
(Unde(a)feted Detective Series Book 2)

BOOK BLURB:
When Minka Avery left the police department and her life as a deaf detective, she thought chasing after her toddler daughter and keeping tabs on her mischievous husband would be the extent of her excitement. Before long, however, her brother lands on the list of suspects in a high-profile crime and throws her world into chaos.

Torn between her conflicted feelings for him and her desire to see justice carried out, she decides to unofficially explore the matter on her own. She begins to see that the case is bigger than it seemed at first glance, but before she can unravel it further, she discovers Robin using her garage as a hideout from the authorities! Now forced together, can Minka overcome the many distractions to figure out the massive scheme that’s really playing out? And can the bizarre circumstances somehow improve her and Robin’s chilly relationship?


PURCHASE FROM
The Wild Rose Press | Amazon | Walmart | Books-A-Million

Author, Karina Bartow

AUTHOR BIO:
Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio.  Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her.  Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want.  Her debut novel, Husband in Hiding came out in 2015, followed by Forgetting My Way Back to You, 2018.  She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!

To learn more, visit https://karinabartow.com/

Social media:
Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads


I love celebrating new releases, and am delighted to be hosting Karina just a day after the release of Brother of Interest. Don’t you just love that book cover? And how about that post? We all know this is a tough business with a lot of ups and downs. I’m glad Karina stuck with her dream and didn’t give up. It just goes to show that bridges are never burnt, doors are never closed, and there’s always room to keep trying. Happy book birthday to Karina!

PURCHASE BROTHER OF INTEREST FROM
The Wild Rose Press | Amazon | Walmart | Books-A-Million