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

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October Scribbler Box: Outlining

The October box from Scribbler has arrivedYou can learn about previous boxes, and why I subscribed by clicking the "Scribbler" link in the labels below (although I did take a break).

This month the box offers coverage of the theme: OUTLINING.

As always, the first thing you see upon opening the box is a writing exercise/contest postcard. Each month provides a new challenge for writers to practice. The deadline for this month is November 13. 

The "Curated Writerly Gifts" this month include a wooden sign with the words "YOU CAN" upon it, a bag of colorful vanilla flavored popcorn, a magnet with a writing quote, a notepad for daily writing goals, and a sheet of writing inspired stickers

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: Literary Agent Abby Saul.

Also included  is the collectible 'Writing Passport' with the author discussing this months theme of  OUTLINING.

This months new release:

A shocking thriller by the bestselling author of Girls of Glass.

It seems like an open-and-shut case for FBI special agent Lucy Thorne when Eliza Cook walks into the field office. The teenage girl confesses to murdering a young boy. Disturbingly composed, she reveals chilling details only the killer could know. Beyond that Eliza doesn’t say another word, leaving a vital question met with dead silence: Why did she do it?

To find the answer, Lucy goes to the scene of the crime in the small Idaho town of Knox Hollow. But Lucy’s questions are only mounting. Especially when she’s drawn deeper into the life of the victim. Then a combing of the woods yields unsettling evidence that Eliza isn’t the only one in this close-knit rural community with secrets.

Getting to the truth is becoming Lucy’s obsession. And it’s a dangerous one. Because for the good folks of Knox Hollow, hiding that truth will take more than silence.

Have you read anything from this author? Do you subscribe to any boxing services? What do you recommend? Have you heard of SCRIBBLER? Are you tempted to join?

Monday, October 12, 2020

Halloween Reads

2020 has had its share of SCARY situations. Fall is here now and many are contemplating whether or not to try to enjoy the haunting season at all.

One safe way to celebrate Halloween is with a great read. Not all seasonal reads are scary. If you're looking for something a little lighter, try my romantic Halloween short story (about 800 words): Madame Tooshkas Spell.

If you prefer to stay home cuddled up with a more traditionally good scary book, try one of my suggestions from 10 Scary Reads to Terrify Your Inner Child.

I'd also like to recommend my short story "Lights Out" which appears in Road Kill, Texas Horror Volume 4 from Hellbound Books Publishing: here.

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 7, 2020

IWSG: Working Writer

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.

When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

MY ANSWER - I feel like a working writer could be anyone who receives pay for their services - hopefully on a regular basis. I see myself as more of a hobbyist now that I spend so much time teaching at the high school and college level. While I am still publishing it is not on a regular or consistent schedule. I write when I have time or the mood strikes. I get published when someone else finds it worthy or matching their own goals.

How about you? How do YOU define "working writer"?

Friday, October 2, 2020

Jerusalem Book Launch and Giveaway


“The novel’s women are tough and subversive, pushing those around them toward more nuanced approaches to religion and life…Jerusalem as a Second Language [is] a sensitive novel about how religiosity is adapted in liminal spaces.” -Foreword Reviews, July/August 2020


Please join me in spreading the word about JERUSALEM AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (Trade Paperback; Aubdae Publishing; ISBN 978-1-951547-06-6; $19.95), the wonderful new novel by the late Rochelle Distelheim.  Rochelle was an award winning short story writer whose debut novel, Sadie in Love, was published in 2018, when she was ninety! She passed away just a few weeks ago at the age of 92, but I hope we can bring attention to her and her writing and honor her legacy.  


SYNOPSIS: It’s 1998.  The old Soviet Union is dead, the new Russia is awash in corruption and despair.  Manya and Yuri Zalinikov, secular Jews – he, a gifted mathematician recently dismissed from the Academy,  she, a concert pianist -- sell black market electronics in a market stall, until threatened with a gun by a Mafioso in search of protection money.  Yuri sinks into a Chekhovian melancholy, emerging  to announce that he wants to “live as a Jew” in Israel. Manya and their daughter, Galina, are desolate, asking “how does one do that,” and “why?”


Thus begins their odyssey, part  tragedy, part comedy but always surprising. Struggling against loneliness, language, and danger, Yuri finds a Talmudic teacher equally addicted to religion and luxury; Manya finds a job playing the piano at The White Nights supper club, owned by a wealthy, flamboyant Russian  with a murky history,  who offers lust disguised as love. Galina, enrolled at Hebrew University,  finds dance clubs and pizza emporiums and a string of young men, one of whom Manya hopes will save her from the Israeli army by marrying her. 


Against a potpourri of marriage wigs, matchmaking television shows, disastrous investment schemes, and a suicide bombing, JERUSALEM AS A SECOND LANGUAGE confronts the thin line between religious faith and skepticism.


BUY LINKSAmazonAubade Publishing


Please comment below for a chance to win a FREE copy of  JERUSALEM AS A SECOND LANGUAGE and Rochelle’s first novel, Sadie in Love

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rochelle Distelheim, a Chicago native, earned numerous short story literary awards, including The Katherine Anne Porter Prize; Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and Fellowships; The Ragdale Foundation Fellowships; The Faulkner Society Gold Medal in Novel-in-Progress; The Faulkner Society Gold Medal in Novel; The Gival Press 2017 Short Story Competition; Finalist, Glimmer Train’s Emerging Writers; and The Salamander Second Prize in Short Story. In addition, Rochelle’s short stories earned nominations for The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize.  Her stories appeared in national magazines such as Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World, Working Woman, Working Mother, and more.  Her first novel, Sadie in Love, was published in 2018 when she was 90 years old.  She lived in Highland Park, IL. Here is the obituary that ran in the Chicago Tribunehttps://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?n=rochelle-distelheim&pid=196338405&fhid=2000.

Don't forget to comment below for a chance to win a copy!