WordPress Has New Features – Guess Who’s Taking Advantage

WordPress Has New Features - Guess Who's Taking Advantage

Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while might have noticed some changes recently. There might even be more to come in the next few weeks.

WordPress is letting people try their new post builder, Gutenberg. It has a lot of features that the existing post builder didn’t have, and I’m excited to be testing it out.

In fact, this very post was created using it.

What Does That Mean For Readers?

Well, hopefully, it should mean that there will be more flexibility in how  build each post. Already I’ve started to use it’s column feature as a way to solve some of the age-old problems with formatting text around images.

It might seem like a small thing, but there are a lot of new features coming with that will make embedding videos, etc into posts.

If you’re interested in finding out more, check out WordPress’s own post at: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/

Let Me Know What You Think

I’d love to know what you think in the comments…

  • Did you notice the changes in formatting?
  • Are you excited to see what the future might hold?
  • Do you have a suggestion of what you’d like to see in my posts?
  • Is there something about the new post formats you don’t like?
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31 Days Of Halloween Is Coming – Guest Posts Welcome

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The Annual 31 Days Of Halloween Event Is Just Around The Corner

I can’t believe how fast this last year has gone by. It seems like it was only weeks ago that I was reaching out to my fellow indie authors to bring you a full month of Halloween themed posts.

And now it’s coming again. I’m reaching out to my fellow authors again, and am excited to see that many of them are as excited as I am.

If you’re an indie author, or reader, and interested in contributing an interview, guest post, article, or book spotlight click one of the buttons below. The first two have forms to fill out, but in all cases I’ll let you know what the next step will be ASAP.

What happened last year?

  • 31 Posts over 31 days, including:
  • 16 Book Spotlights
  • 5 Author Spotlights
  • 1 Halloween Movie Review List
  • 1 Exclusive Character Interview
  • 2 Exclusive Stories
  • 2 Top-10 Lists

So What’s Coming Up?

I’ve just started talking to people to see what they’re interested in contributing. If it’s anything like last year, we’re going to have an amazing line up, including author interviews, book spotlights, and more.

But here’s the best part. Several authors have already talked about donating ebooks toward a drawing that we’ll promote as part of the event.

One of those books will be my own contribution, “Wolves In The Desert”, which will be releasing on October 26th.

I’ll be posting more information as it becomes available, including a schedule of posts. So don’t forget to follow this blog, by email, or through the Wordress Follow button in the sidebar.

Cover Reveal – “Wolves In The Desert”

Watch The Cover Reveal Trailer

Learn More About The Story

WITD-Tablet-CroppedWhen his squad is deployed to Iraq, Gunnery Sergeant Garfield Feldman leads them in a series operations against forces loyal to Saddam Hussein.

Recently rumors have been flying around base that the enemy has learned a few new tricks, and found ways to ambush Marine units from buildings that had been declared clear.

Now Feldman’s team has received orders to conduct a snatch-and-grab mission deep in enemy-held territory. But what lies behind the walls, and what can Feldman do to ensure the success of the mission?

Follow the release news: Facebook, Twitter

Discover The First Two Books In The Set

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Seattle News Headline Meets Urban Fantasy Author

Seattle News Headline Meets Urban Fantasy AuthorSometimes when you’re a writer, you come across a news article that you’re sure would fit right into one of your stories.

I setup Google Alerts this week, and asked it to produce alerts for articles, news and events in Seattle, Washington. And the top item on day one was something amazing…

From KIRO 7 came this headline:

Woman arrested after trying to break into Seattle family’s home through a dog door

My Thoughts…

  • This headline has story written all over it
  • As an urban fantasy writer, this sounds like something that would fit in my stories easily
  • Since I write about shapeshifters, I’m thinking I missed the boat when it came to drunk shapeshifters
  • I may well have myself a new character to feature at some point
  • It’s a shame this headline wasn’t about a guy caught doing the same thing, I could have used it as a promo for “The Lupine’s Call”

So… Who Was This Woman?

I didn’t see a lot of information about the would-be burglar, so that got my thoughts churning. And yeah, this is pretty much the order I wrote my notes down…

  • In the Seattle of the “Shadows Over Seattle” stories she would likely be a member of the Lupine breed of shapeshifters.
  • Since the supernatural creatures keep a low profile she’s probably an outsider to the city who’s visiting family.
  • She was probably drinking because of a loss in the family (the reason for her visit).
  • Having mistaken the house for her family member’s she’d tried to open the door but found she’d lost the key, or left it behind when she went out.
  • She’d tried under the doormat for a spare key, and couldn’t find one.
  • The dog door was her drunken solution to not wanting to wake sleeping family members.

And that’s how my brain works sometimes…

Book Reviews – June to August

Book Reviews-June-August-2018New Feature

For a while now, I’ve been considering adding book reviews to my line up of regular features. The problem has been that I have a huge back-catalog of reviews, and I really didn’t know where to start. I read both fiction and non-fiction books, and time allowing I can read three or four books a month.

Usually my fiction reading covers Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy/Paranormal genres, but I sometimes read outside those areas, if a book catches my interest, or it’s by an author I’ve come to trust.

My non-fiction reading ranges from author advice, to marketing, and topics related to stories I’m writing, or planning. I also pick up the occasional books on science, animals, and even biographies, or other subjects that catch my attention.

As a blogger, I often feature book spotlights as part of my regular posts, so don’t be surprised to see some familiar titles in my review posts. I’ve yet to decide how often I’ll be posting these review spots, so feel free to drop suggestions in the comments. Would you prefer to see each book review posted as soon as it’s live on the book sites, or does a round-up like this work best for you?

Reviews For Readers

FoolsOfParodyTitle: Fools Of Parody

Author: Scott Moses

Genre: Science Fiction, Satire

Rating: 4 Stars

Sci-Fi Political Parodys are a rarity

“Fools of Parody” was a fun read, but there were times when I felt a little confused by the motivations of some of the characters. Thankfully a lot of those confusions were resolved by the end of the story, as more information was revealed.
I would have liked to see certain characters fleshed out a little more, or at least more time on the page, especially given how instrumental they were expected to be in the outcome of events. However, it was a fun read, and I thankfully didn’t have to wade through a lot of hard science to feel that this was well placed in its genre selection.

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback


TheHiddenCourtTitle: The Hidden Court (The Paranormal University Files: Skylar Book 1)

Author: Vivienne Savage

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense

Rating: 4 Stars

A suspense-filled school year for the paranormal students, with a splash of romance

This book is a great read, and the romance element just adds to what would be an otherwise great story.
Starting a new school can be difficult enough, but when you’re going to a school for supernatural students things are always going to be a little different. I loved how each of the races had a unique perspective on not only each other, but the history of the magical world, and the events that are going on around them.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a suspense story without something going on to raise the tensions between the various races, or the individuals, and the author delivers on this in a wonderfully entertaining way.
What really surprised me though, is how much I came to care for the supporting cast of characters, just as much as I did for the protagonist and the love-interest. There is a great variety in the characters, and each of them has qualities that set them apart, as well as compliment each other.
I received a copy of this book as an Advanced Reader Copy, in return for an honest review, but I’ll definitely be adding more of this author’s work to my collection.

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback


Reviews For Writers

LayerYourNovelTitle: Layer Your Novel: The Innovative Method for Plotting Your Scenes (The Writer’s Toolbox Series)

Author: C.S. Lakin

Rating: 4 Stars

This book made me rethink my book writing process

Lakin has produced a book that made me rethink my entire book writing process. Thanks to this book, I now have a way to help resolve problems I’ve been having with the plot of my current novel project.
I’ve been struggling with the plot for my first novel for years now, and this book came to my attention at just the right time. I was literally pulling my hair out at time as I wrestled with my subplots, and making sure they entered the story at the right time. But after reading through this book, not once, but three times, I’ve come away with new ways of looking at story structure, outside the basic three-act structure.
Lakin breaks stories into layers, and layers into key scenes according to how the layers fit in the story. The best part is that the entire process takes you from story premise to basic outline, and into layers of action-reaction and subplots that add depth to your story, and flesh out your characters in the process.
I’m glad that I picked this book up, even if it took multiple readings to wrap my head around the potential changes I can make to my writing process. I’ve actually made great progress breaking down the mess that is my current draft, and look forward to reshaping the subplots so that they actually make sense.

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback


 

The Wait Is Almost Over!

If you loved “Under A Hunter’s Moon” and wanted to learn more about Richard Parsons, the wait is almost over.

“The Lupine’s Call” is the second in the “Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels” series of short stories. It continues the story of Richard Parsons, the wolf-shifter (or as they prefer to be called, Lupines) after he broke into a museum, and the hearts of readers in “Under A Hunter’s Moon”.

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Here’s What People Said About “Under A Hunter’s Moon”

“An amazing take on Lycans. I love the dark view taken but also the unique point of view that makes you want to care for the dark creatures.”

“I enjoy the author’s twist on the old werewolf lore, creating a whole new version and calling them Lupines, to allow him to break the rules of the legends without really breaking things, if you know what I mean.
This is a great teaser to the main character, his motivations, and his drive. Jump on in and then go yell at the author to hurry up and finish the book, just like I’m doing!”

“If you enjoy shifter stories, this one is a great Urban Fantasy short story that introduces you to some characters that you’ll definitely need to know more about!”

If you haven’t read “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, you can get your copy at all major ebook retailers