Thursday, April 18, 2019

Deadly Deception Book 1

By P. J. Mann

This has been the first series I have written in my short career of writing. At the moment I have published the first two books of what is supposed to be a trilogy, and quite soon I will be able to publish the final book.
So let’s start with the first one. Just like many times it happens, this was not supposed to be a series, rather it was just a way to experiment something new; a novella.
I found it quite challenging because I had to squeeze in a short amount of pages what I generally describe in a full novel.
As I was going to finish and making it ready for the editor, something strange happened, I wanted to know more about the story, and the characters got better ideas. It was then when I thought that since I was experimenting a novella, I could have also experimented a series, and so I modified it in a way to create the premises for a second book, at least.
But let’s talk about the story.
The first book is about a young man, Ethan Jackson, who had his life ruined by a compulsive lying disorder. He believes, and he wishes to tell the truth, but his brain is messing up facts and people when he tries to remember it.
He will seek for help at the studio of Dr. Wright, a psychiatrist who seems very interested in Ethan’s problem and offers him a very unusual therapy: traveling the world and keep records on a diary.
Everything seems to go as smooth as velvet when in the middle of the treatment, he finds himself in Georgia, he is accused of murder. As usual, the embassy helps him find a lawyer, and his family and friends will offer moral sustain. However, Ethan is sure he would never kill anyone, but he cannot remember anything about the previous night. Everything he remembers is that he was with the girl who had been murdered the night before.
With his freedom and sanity at stake, the truth seems to be further from Ethan’s grasp than ever. But then, if he wants to keep his freedom, perhaps lies are all he can depend on.


I was agitated the whole night, and when someone knocked at my door the next morning, at 11:30 A.M., I felt like they drove over me with a truck.
It took me what it seemed an eternity to stand up on my feet, as whoever was on the other side of the door, knocking, already became my enemy number one.
“I am coming. Please, a bit of patience,” I said as I was dressing up.
I opened the door, and a man with two officers asked me if they could come in.
“Yes, of course. I just woke up, so it is a bit messy,” I said, welcoming them in.
“We are sorry for this inconvenience, I am Detective Giorgi Bochorishvili, and those are Officers Esadze and Kazbegi,” he said, coming in.
“I don’t understand. Is there anything wrong?” I asked, still wondering about that visit.
“You can say so. Between yesterday evening and this morning, a woman has been killed in this hotel,” he said, taking out a picture. “Have you ever seen her?”
I took the picture in my hand and looked at it carefully. She looked familiar, but my mind was still foggy.
“I don’t think so. I am not sure, though. Maybe I have seen her in this hotel,” I replied. “Is she a guest?”
“Not really. She is an escort and used to go around telling people that she works for this hotel - which is not true - offering a safe sexual service,” he explained as the other two officers looked around.
“A murder…” I mumbled to myself, trying to recall whatever happened the evening before, knowing anyway that my brain would have messed up some, if not all, the details. However, something I was sure about was that I hadn’t killed anyone, nor had I heard anything coming from the corridors.
If there had been a murder, the assassin must have been very cautious in not making any noise, I considered.
“Is there anyone else you are sharing this room with?” asked the Detective.
“No, I am alone.”
“Could you explain this, then?” he said, grabbing a lipstick from the floor. “It doesn’t seem to be your shade.”
I stared at it, not knowing what I should say.
“So?” he pursued.
“I don’t know. I don’t remember.”
“Let’s put it this way,” he started to say, “I am not here to put someone in jail for having sex with a prostitute, but to nail a killer. Are you telling me the truth when you say you haven’t seen this woman?”

Links to the book:
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amazon author page:

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt

Christina Weigand

I’m going to continue my Author series with Natalie Babbitt. Until recently I must admit I had never heard of Ms. Babbitt. That is a sad thing, because recently when I heard about one of her books Tuck Everlasting, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard about her. So I went out and found a used copy of her book and purchased it. I have yet to start reading it because my TBR pile is quite high. I did however read the back cover blurb and realized it was a book I wanted to read and an author I wanted to know more about.

Natalie Zane Moore was born July 28, 1932 in Dayton, Ohio. She went to school in Cleveland and later Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts and Kirkland College in Clinton, Oneida County, New York. She married Samuel Babbitt and they lived in New Haven Connecticut where they had three children.


Her first journey into the writing and illustrating world, The Forty Ninth Magician, a picture book, was a collaboration with her husband. 

After this book was published her husband became too busy to collaborate, so he encouraged her to continue writing and illustrating. She wrote two short books in verse before moving onto children’s novels.

In 1970 she published Knee-Knock Rise and was awarded a Newbury Honor in 1971.

After that she went onto write many children’s novels including Tuck Everlasting in 1975, named ALA Notable book,

and The Eyes of the Amaryllis in 1977 and many others.

Both Tuck Everlasting and The Eyes of the Amaryllis were adapted as movies. Tuck Everlasting was also adapted as a Broadway musical.

Along with being a writer she was also an illustrator. Valerie Worth wrote Small Poems along with a couple of others which she asked Babbitt to illustrate. 

In 2016 Babbitt was diagnosed with lung cancer and died at her home in Hamden, Connecticut on October 31, 2016. So even though her body was not immortal her works drink from the spring of immortality and leave a lasting legacy for children across the world.

Photo Credits:



To see more of my posts on dragons, characters and authors go here.

Thank you for visiting our blog!
Enjoy our past and present blog posts


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

That Pesky Comma: Part 2 by Erika M Szabo

Where does it belong?
By Erika M Szabo

I learned English as an adult and the comma became my worst nightmare when I started writing.
Where it's needed and don't need it?

I rely on the editors to catch my mistakes, but I really should use my cheat-sheet more often. I bet my editor would have fewer headaches.

Read the first part of my cheat-sheet here:

My cheat-sheet continued:

Use a comma to separate each element in an address. Also use a comma after a city-state combination within a sentence.
I work at 234 South Street, New York, 10045.

Also use a comma to separate the elements in a full date (weekday, month and day, and year). Also separate a combination of those elements from the rest of the sentence with commas.
March 15, 2019, was a strange day.
Friday, March 15, 2019, was a strange day.

You don't need to add a comma when the sentence mentions only the month and year.
March 2019 was a strange month.

Use a comma when the first word of the sentence is freestanding "yes" or "no."
Yes, I saw a fox when I went running.
No, the fox didn't bite me.

Use a comma when directly addressing someone or something in a sentence.
My boss often asks, "Cathy, did you read the new policy yet?"

Incorrect placement of the comma leads to confusion and misunderstanding.
Stop clubbing baby seals!
It looks like an order to desist harming baby seals.
Stop clubbing, baby seals!
Now it prompts baby seals to stop clubbing.

Use a comma between two adjectives that modify the same noun.
I saw the big, mean fox when I went running.

Use a comma to offset negation in a sentence.
I saw a fox, not a baby seal, when I went running.

Also use commas when any distinct shift occurs in the sentence or thought process.
The cloud looked like an animal, perhaps a baby elephant.

Use commas before every sequence of three numbers when writing a number larger than 999. (Two exceptions are writing years and house numbers.)
10,000 or 1,304,687.

Read the first part of article about the Pesky Rules:

Next week we'll talk about "its versus it's", "then versus than", "nor versus or" and many other pesky rules. Don't miss the post!

Yesterday was a great day, my book trailer video was chosen to be on of the winners in the Bookish Video Contest:
 Cursed Bloodline 

See the winners here:

Monday, April 15, 2019

Winners of the Bookish Video Contest

Congrats to the winners!

The following 3 videos received the highest number of votes and ratings in the contest.
See the entered videos here:

The Winners
Chaos of Souls 


 Ethereal Custody: Anthologies 


 Cursed Bloodline 


Congrats to the winners, great job!

Our next contest:
Read about this contest here:
If you participate in this word hunt blog-hop, you might win one of the prizes.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

6 Days Blog-Hop May 12-17 at Our Author Gang

Play and win prizes

Visit every blog that participates in this fun blog-hop and collect 12 words (hidden in the text of the posts between 6 asterisks (such as ***different words on each blog***)

If you visit every blog on the list at the end of this post and collect the 12 words, you'll have a quote about writing.


Grand prize $30 gift card
or one of the 3 smaller prizes: $5 gift card each.

How to enter the contest

Visit every blog from May 12-17 on the list below and find the hidden word in each post. On May 17 at the last stop of the 6 days long blog-hop you'll be directed back to this post.
We will add a Google form where you can enter the 12 words long sentence which you'll collect word by word from each blog.

The blog-hop dates and links:

#1 stop May 12
Erika M Szabo's blog:

#2 stop May 12
Christina Weigand's blog:

#3 stop May 13
Eva Pasco's blog:

#4 stop May 13:
Rebecca Tran's blog:

#5 stop May 14
Sonnet O'Dell's blog:

#6 stop May 14
Heather Hobbs' blog:

#7 stop May 15
Dorothy Garino's blog:

#8 stop May 15
Cindy J. Smith's blog:

#9 stop May 16
Patty MacFarlene's blog:

#10 stop May 16
PJ Mann's blog:

#11 stop May 17
Karina Kantas' blog:

#12 stop May 17
Erika M Szabo's blog:

Have fun!

Friday, April 12, 2019

The 'Yay Journal"

The ‘Yay’ Journal~

Lorraine Carey

I had read about keeping a ‘Yay’ journal a few weeks ago in one of my magazines. The purpose is to find all the good things that went right in your day—be it big or small. This concept is to promote positive thinking by having to list at least three things and building up to as many as you can muster. The end result is that it will cause one to not only see the little things were actually just as important as the bigger things but your list will get longer and longer. And the magic is that positive brings positive and you’ll find that your days actually do look brighter.

Okay—so I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens. Why did I feel as though I needed this? I was in a slump, feeling low and literally no motivation to write. I also was fighting off a bout of depression. I figured this just might be the tool to get me looking on the brighter side and would boost my mood to get my juices flowing.

I have to admit, it was hard for me to start this process. When my husband asked me what I wrote in my journal I had to tell him I couldn’t find anything to ‘Yay’ about.  So with that I went back and really had to analyze my day. I did manage to come up with a few small events. It was hard to even find one. Pretty say, I’d say. As the days went on I began to find more things to list and my mood lifted. I actually began to realize smaller things that I would never have given a thought to before would be the ones I would consider of value to list in my journal.

My daily list has increased from three items to at least 7 or more! I have to say this concept is working—at least for me. My mood is brighter and I feel so blessed to see so many good things that have occurred in my day that I never would have thought were so valuable before.  And the real beauty is going back over the past few days and reading all of the ‘Yays’ from the previous days.

And with that, I can now list another ‘Yay’ now that I have finished this little blog. 

Author Lorraine Carey

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Jasmine's Wish Fulfilled

Gift to My Angel


    In 2011, I found myself traveling down a road I never dreamed I would.  I have written poetry as long as I can remember.  I write whatever comes into my head.  All feelings, all problems faced directly.  Some were based on personal experiences, others just on observations of the world.  I usually write in the first person, so no one would feel targeted should they happen upon one of my notebooks and read a poem. I wanted everyone to know they were not alone, even if I would not let them see my words. Because of one teacher, rarely would I let anyone outside of my immediate family see my scribbles. My daughter, Jasmine did send one of my poems out for a contest.  When it was selected to be published, she felt she had proof my poems should be in a book.  I let her send them off and when no response was ever received, I declared the proof on my side.  She read every thing I wrote and never stopped encouraging me to put them out into the world. But, I never let her talk me into sharing again.

   After her passing, I joined Facebook in an attempt to connect with her profile to share with her daughter when she grew up.  I found friends who helped me cope with my heartache and loneliness.  A chance share on social media of a poem led to the publication of my first book, Voices In My Head. The whole experience seemed like a whirlwind. So many friends supporting me, encouraging me to put my words out there.

   Their continuous spurring on was fed by my daughter's voice whispering in my mind.  Even from her perch in heaven, she was still urging me to publish, to share my thoughts with the world.  In her memory, and to quiet my friends, I did publish. I had no idea how many poems should be in a book, so I just put every one on my computer inside. With a feeling of excitement and dread, I sent my heart out into the world.

  The pats on the back from my internet friends fed my ego and I almost started to believe I might be a poet. Perhaps I really did write good poems, ones that would give hope to the reader.  As the novelty of the new book faded, the blinders I had been wearing disappeared.  Finding readers willing to purchase my poems was not going to be easy. 

  Lots of people are willing to say you write well and they really love your work, as long as they are able to read it for free.  Testifying to how much work and money goes into publishing seems to fall on deaf ears.  Although many will pay big bucks for a cup of coffee, spending money to help support a friend's dream is a completely different matter.  Even suggesting they could help in a way that is free, like telling people how much they enjoy your work or just sharing your promotions appears to be imposing too much.

  Still, I tried to believe in their praise.  The dream of being understood dangles like a carrot in front of my eyes.  Publish again, they said.  A second book will get people to buy the first one.  Well, I did publish again 2 years later.  Then I tried a sample book 2 years after that.  Funny, despite little interest, I published 2 more books.  This year, I finished the series that started with Voices In My Head. The tribute to my daughter's dream.  "QUIET! Please?" and "Silence" will join "Voices In My Head" and "They Won't Shut Up".  My personal viewpoint, my life in rhyme, collectively called Jasmine's Wish, finally fulfilled.  Will any care, probably not many.  But I will know I did my best to fulfill my daughter's dream and she will be smiling as she looks down on me.


My daughter's wish
At last fulfilled
Path to success
Mostly uphill

Obstacles found
Along the way
Kept my desire
My faith, at bay

Her opinion
Kept me going
Though my doubt was

It took her death
To make it real
Poems no longer
Would I conceal

As she looks down
I hope she knows
My love for her
Forever grows

I dedicate
These books to her
Fulfilled this wish
Only for her

She's now a star
I wish upon
Shining on me
As I move on

Jasmine dear
You shine so bright
Hope these tomes bring
You some delight




Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Pesky Rules #1

Learning the English language rules is not easy!

Oh, the joy of learning English!
In March I shared my cheat-sheet about the pesky comma.
I learned English as an adult and the comma became my worst nightmare when I started writing.
Where it's needed and don't need it?
I rely on the editors to catch my mistakes, but I really should use my cheat-sheet more often. I bet my editor would have fewer headaches.
I will continue sharing my cheat-sheet next week about the use of the pesky comma.

But this week let's talk about some of the pesky rules:

Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession: "I took Mandy's purse."
Apostrophes can also replace omitted letters: "I don't, I can't."
When used as a possessive pronoun: "The dog had a toy. I took its toy."
For the shortened version of "it is" use the version with the apostrophe: "It's raining outside."

Fewer or less?
We use "fewer" when discussing something countable: "Fewer than ten people saw the flying object."
We use "less" for intangible concepts: "I spent less than one hour coloring the picture."

Dangling modifiers
These are ambiguous, adjectival clauses at the beginning or end of sentences that often don't modify the right word or phrase:
"Rotting in the pantry, our Mandy threw the onions in the garbage." The structure of this sentence implies that Mandy is a zombie rotting in the pantry.
But when you place the modifying clause right next to the word or phrase it intends to describe:
"Mandy, threw the onions, rotting in the pantry, in the garbage." Then we know the onions went bad in the pantry and not Mandy.

Me, myself, or I?
Me and I always function. as the object.
"My friend and I went to lunch."
"Sara asked Betty and me to go hiking."
"I ate five apples."
When you've referred to yourself earlier in the sentence: "I made myself breakfast."

Who or whom?
It's not always easy to tell subjects from objects but to use an over-simplified yet good, general rule: subjects start sentences (or clauses), and objects end them.
"Who is a bully?"
"Careful whom you call a bully."

Lie or lay?
This is a pretty confusing rule:
The word "lay" must have an object, so we don't say: "I'm going to go lay down." Someone lays something somewhere: "Mandy lays her pen on the table."
You lie. Unless you lay, which means lie but in the past tense:
Present Past
Lie Lie Lay
Lay Lay Laid

Next time we'll talk about nor versus or, than versus then, irregular verbs and a few other things, and I will continue sharing the pesky comma rules cheat-sheet. Don't miss the posts!

In this short story collection I mentioned a few stories about the humorous part of learning a new language along with stories from my nursing years.

Available in eBook and audiobook:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully

Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully

Christina Weigand and Ricci Moore

Nathan and Paul have a bully problem. Billy, the school bully, has chosen them to be the target of his aggression. Paul along with Sir E. Robert Smythe of the Galactic Safety Council discovers the root of Billy’s issues and strives to convince the bully to change his ways.
When Billy runs away from home, Paul goes after him. Billy’s dad, the cause of Billy’s anger, finds the boys and threatens them. They are rescued but not before each are injured and Billy’s dad escapes.
During their recovery they learn more about each other and face Billy’s dad once again. Can they overcome their differences and confront the bullying going on in their school in before someone gets seriously hurt?


Paul plopped on his bed and stared at the computer screen. Mom had grounded him and said no computer time, except for homework, for a week.
     He tried to explain what had happened without ratting out Billy, but hadn’t been successful. He didn’t know how long he could keep this up. Sooner or later something was going to have to change. “I wish there was someone I could talk to about this,” Paul said out loud to no one, “but mom said no computer time so I can’t even call Nathan.”
     While brushing his teeth he thought about the great uneaten lunch mom packed, and the paper airplane Billy threw. He didn’t even see what was on the note before Mrs. Chrinshaw took it from him. It wasn’t until he was in Ms. Harris’s office that he got a glance at it and saw the monster that Billy had drawn. He had to admit Billy was a pretty good artist and wished he could draw like that. The only thing he could do well was run fast, and climb trees. There wasn’t much chance to use those skills in school, unless running away from Billy counted.
     Well no use worrying about it now. He might as well try and get some sleep. Paul pulled the blanket over his head and switched on the flashlight he had under the pillow. Grabbing the book he was reading for school, A Neverending Story, he finished a chapter before falling asleep.
     The bed shook and a bright flash of light startled him awake. The book fell to the floor as he threw his blanket off. Sitting on the foot of his bed was a creature unlike anything he had ever seen. Paul wasn’t sure whether to be afraid or brave. The purple and lime green creature had the head of the family’s Saint Bernard, the body of a large jack rabbit and the tail of a lion. A bowler hat sat on his round head and a monocle graced his one eye. He wore an orange vest with a chain and watch attached to it. In his hand he held a jade blue parasol.
     “You asked for someone to talk to,” the creature said in a proper British accent.
     “I did? Oh yeah, I guess I did. But what…who are you?”
     “Quit blubbering, Paul, we don’t have much time.”
     “You know my name? Who are you?”
     “Of course I know your name. As to who I am, Sir E. Robert Smythe, Senior Safety Ambassador for the Galactic Safety Council, at your service. You may call me Sir E. Robert. I have come from the planet of Gwill. Queen Sage realized you were in trouble and sent me to aid you. Now tell me about your problems.”
     Paul proceeded to explain everything that happened. When he finished, the creature sat on the bed in silence for several seconds and Paul began to wonder if this was real. He pinched himself. “Ow, that hurt.”
     “Of course it did. Why would you hurt yourself?”
     “I thought maybe I was dreaming.”
     “This isn’t a dream. Humans can be so obtuse at times. Now be quiet while I think.” They sat on the bed a few more moments and the creature started to talk. “We seem to have a twofold problem here. First, this Billy person has some anger issues. We have to discover the source of his angst and then we can better confront what is bothering him and put an end to his torturing you. Second, I sense that Morton the Morph has a hand in this and Queen Sage will need to be notified posthaste, before we can begin to solve the problem.”
     Before Paul could respond there was a flash of light and the creature disappeared.
     “Hey, wait! Where did you go? I still have questions.”
     A voice echoed in his room. “I will be there when you need me.”
     Paul punched his pillow and pinched his arm again. “Not a dream. Not much help either.”

     The next morning, he met Nathan and they walked to school together. Paul told Nathan about his dream, or at least what he thought was a dream. He still didn’t believe that Sir E. Robert Smythe had been real, even though he had felt the pain of both pinches to himself.
     “Yeah, probably a dream.” Nathan voiced his doubts. “But sounds like a cool dream. I hope it was real. That would be totally cool.”
     “I guess so,” Paul said as they walked up to the school. “What am I going to do about Billy?”
     “Let’s get in the school before he gets here.” They headed toward the door and saw an old, beat up extended cab pick-up pull into the driveway. A grizzled, middle-aged man drove. Billy sat with him in the front seat and a small woman occupied the rear seat. The man was yelling and smacking Billy’s head. The passenger side door opened and Billy jumped out of the truck before it could speed away.
     The bully ran toward the door, noticing Nathan and Paul standing there. He pushed Nathan out of his way. “What are you looking at, squinty eye?”
     “Nothing. I didn’t…see anything,” Nathan answered.
     “Good thing. Now get out of my way.” He pushed Nathan again and stormed into the school.
     “Wow, did you see that?”
     “Yeah, that guy was really beating on Billy. Do you think that was his dad?” Nathan said.
     “Not sure. I’ve never seen his dad. I didn’t even know he had a dad.”
     Nathan shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t be silly, everyone has a dad.”
     “I know, I just never heard him talk about his family.”
     The two boys walked into the school. Billy and his gang left them alone for the day, but Paul still wasn’t happy. He had detention today because of what Billy did yesterday.

To see more of my posts on dragons, characters and authors go here.

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Enjoy our past and present blog posts