"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, October 27, 2019

October Scribbler Box: World Building II

I just received my seventh box from Scribbler. You can learn about previous boxes, and why I subscribed by clicking the "Scribbler" link in the labels below.

Alas, this month is a repeat when there are still so many topics that could be covered... the theme is once again WORLD BUILDING. They've covered this topic before, and while there is nothing wrong with the reinforcement of ideas and examples, I'm a bit disappointed when there are still so many genres they have NOT focused on yet.

As always, the first thing you see upon opening the box is a writing exercise postcard. Each month provides a new challenge for writers to practice.

The "Curated Writerly Gifts" this month include a Halloween style art piece (see the skull card on the left), Gummy fish snacks, a 3 pack of mini journals, a "Writer on Fire" pumpkin + apple + molasses scented candle, and a bookmark and postcard featuring this months selected read.

This months new release novel is HOW FIRES END by Marco Rafala'.

A dark secret born out of World War II lies at the heart of a Sicilian American family in this emotional and sweeping saga of guilt, revenge, and, ultimately, redemption.
After soldiers vacate the Sicilian hillside town of Melilli in the summer of 1943, the locals celebrate, giving thanks to their patron saint, Sebastian. Amid the revelry, all it takes is one fateful moment for the destiny of nine-year-old Salvatore Vassallo to change forever. When his twin brothers are killed playing with an unexploded mortar shell, Salvatore’s faith is destroyed. As the family unravels, and fear ignites among their neighbors that the Vassallo name is cursed, one tragedy begets another.
Desperate to escape this haunting legacy, Salvatore accepts the help of an Italian soldier with fascist ties who ushers him and his sister, Nella, into a new beginning in America. In Middletown, Connecticut, in the immigrant neighborhood known as Little Melilli, these three struggle to build new lives for themselves. But a dangerous choice to keep their secrets hidden erupts in violence decades later. When Salvatore loses his inquisitive American-born son, David, they all learn too late the price sons pay for their fathers’ wars.
Written with elegiac prose, How Fires End delves into the secret wars of men; the sins they cannot bury; and a life lived in fear of who will reveal them, who will survive them, and who will forgive them.

As usual, this box also came with an inside look at the publishing process for this months author, and an exclusive invitation to chat with a publishing professional: Hafizah Geter, editor for Little A and TOPPLE Books, as well as the collectible 'Writing Passport' with the authors discussing this months theme of WORLDBUILDING II.

In August I weighed the pros and cons of this service if you'd like to see my thoughts on this subscription box. I'm still undecided as to whether or not I will continue the service beyond the holidays. If not, hey at least I've received some interesting books and a few cute swag to give away at upcoming events.

To learn more about this monthly box service: https://www.goscribbler.com/

Do you subscribe to any boxing services? Have you heard of SCRIBBLER? Are you tempted to join?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Updated Cover Art and Release Information

HellBound Books Publishing has updated the cover design for our new release. Here is the current design and to the right is the original version, or mock artwork. What do you think?

Description and list of authors below:

For four years now, Bret McCormick and E. R. Bills have been beating the bushes and peering into abandoned wells to seek out the most terrifying tales the Lone Star State has to offer. They have left no stone unturned, no attic unexplored, and no grave undesecrated. Road Kill Volume 4 is the best and grimmest yet! You hold in your hands a grand collection of 16 goose-flesh-inducing prose. But, don't just take our word for it; these sixteen stories speak - or perhaps scream - for themselves.Featuring tales of Texas terror from:Corey Lamb, E. R. Bills, James H Longmore, William Jensen, Patrick C. Harrison III, W. H. Gilbert, Jeremy Hepler, Dan Fields, Thomas Kearnes, Sylvia Ney, Mark A. Nobles, Russell C. Connor, Elliott Baxter, Ralph Robert Moore, Carmen Gray, and Andrew Kozma. 

Now available for purchase on amazon: here.  Book signing and official launch information coming soon!

Do you recommend any new reads for this Halloween season?

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Halloween Seasonal Fun and Free Reads

Fall has finally arrived, although temperatures in our area haven't dropped much and it usually still feels like summer. Orange decor, and pumpkin everything seems to be surrounding us amidst continued clean-up after Tropical Storm Imelda. We usually stay busy all month long with many seasonal activities. 

If you prefer to stay home cuddled up with a good book instead of heading out to crowds celebrating seasonal festivals, try one of my suggestions from 10 Scary Reads to Terrify Your Inner Child.

I also recommend trying something new like "Black Cat Magazine", or my short story "Lights Out" which will appear in the Road Kill, Texas Horror Volume 4 which will be available soon from Hellbound Books Publishing: here.

If you're looking for something a little lighter, try my romantic Halloween short story (about 800 words): Madame Tooshkas Spell.

Interested in FREE scary books? Try one of these!

Need a few scary good costume ideas? Try one of these 10 Minute Literary Halloween Costumes and dress like your favorite characters.

How are you celebrating this season?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG: Reading Others

This Month:

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

OCTOBER QUESTION: It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

MY ANSWER: I firmly believe reading is a MUST! Many believe you'll end up copying other writers, and lose your own voice. This may happen to some degree for a time, especially when first beginning or fighting the dreaded writers block. However, reading widely is essential to expanding your skills. Studying the craft in a multitude of formats and styles actually aids in honing your skills and finding your TRUE voice. 

You can read more of my thoughts on this in 5 Myths About Published Authors.

How about you? Do you believe reading is essential?