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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Currently Reading

I'm always reading several books at a time. Here is my current selection. What are you reading? Any recommendations?

Monday, January 18, 2021

Chrys Fey, a Freebie, and a Giveaway

Welcome readers! Today, I have a special treat for you. The amazing Chrys Fey has agreed to stop by and share about the newest release in her disaster series. Read carefully for a chance at a free read as well as to participate in a giveaway!

Sylvia Asked: Are there going to be any more disasters or stories with the characters from the Disaster Crimes series?


Chrys Fey’s Answer: No more disasters.

*my characters give a sigh of relief*

I’ve pretty much covered them all, except for a zombie outbreak.

No more books in print or eBook, either.

The Disaster Crimes series is now complete.


The Complete Disaster Crimes Series:

*The Crime Before the Storm (prequel)

Hurricane Crimes (novella, #1)

Seismic Crimes (#2)

Lightning Crimes (free short, #2.5)

Tsunami Crimes (#3)

Flaming Crimes (#4)

Frozen Crimes (#5)

A Fighting Chance (spin-off, #6)

The Disaster Curse (short story, #7)

*Free exclusive story to newsletter subscribers.


But is this truly THE END?

In a sense. I may write bonus content that’ll be available on my website www.ChrysFey.com that’ll likely be a few pages or less. I am considering writing a little something to reveal the new driver of Venom, Donovan’s monster truck. So far, that’s the only bonus content I have in mind.


Pages: 154

Genre: Romantic-Suspense

Heat Rating: Hot



*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*

Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he's worried the truth will frighten her away.

And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.

Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?


Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes



Amanda looked up from the current list of up-to-date payments for classes. A movement outside the glass storefront caught her eye. She tilted her head to see a man coming up the sidewalk from the side where the picnic bench sat. Through the vertical blinds, she glimpsed a square face—a short, rugged beard and long, dark hair pulled into a man bun. Her breath fled from her lungs. Her body went from icy cold to flaming hot in the span of a millisecond. She dropped to the floor and slid under the counter, beneath the ledge where they put their purses and cell phones.

“What—” Beth peeked at the windows. Then she snapped her fingers at April and pointed at the stools.

April jumped into action. She pushed the stools in so they blocked Amanda. The bell attached to the door jingled as April removed the jacket she wore and draped it across the stools, creating a curtain to shield Amanda.

From a crack, Amanda watched Beth move to stand in front of the twins, who were in their walkers playing peacefully. “I’m sorry, but we’re going to be closing.”

“I don’t give a shit. I’m here for Amanda.”

The sound of Damon’s voice had her heart beating even harder. That voice had haunted her nightmares, had come back to life in her memories.

Beth cocked her head to the side. “Who? There’s no one by that name here.”

“Don’t bullshit me. I know she works here.”

His voice was closer now.







Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*




TheFightingChance.org is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.




Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle

Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/23d974a92670/




Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press. https://www.chrysfey.com

Author Links:

 Newsletter / Website / Facebook Group /Blog / BookBub

Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Twitter Pitch, Anthology Contest Winners, and Blurb Contest Results

First of all, don't forget, the IWSG Twitter Pitch event, is happening on January 20th. 

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 20, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

If your new year's resolution is to see your book published, the IWSG is here to help! Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents. 

For more information, check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J.
. Again, that website is

Secondly, you can also see the results of the yearly IWSG anthology contest there. Congratulations to those ten authors who will have their short stories published in the anthology: Dark Matter: Artificial

Release date: May 4, 2021
Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99
Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies (FIC028040) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) / Genetic Engineering (FIC028110)

Finally, a short time ago I shared The QueryLetter.com Writing Contest, which just wrapped up. It was a huge success, with a total of 3,847 submissions!

They've announced the winner and runners up and posted the top 10 blurbs here: https://www.queryletter.com/post/announcing-the-winner-of-the-2020-queryletter-com-writing-contest

Since so many authors are working on their own blurbs, I thought you might like to view a few of their favorites. There's a lot to learn from these expertly crafted blurbs. Let me know what you think.

Are you participating in the Twitter Pitch> Did you submit to the anthology contest? Did you like the winning blurb? Which one interested you the most? Are you working on your own blurb?

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG: Reading Frustrations

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.

Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

MY ANSWER - One of my biggest pet peeves is overly dramatic and nonsensical descriptions. Example: "He walked into the room with all six feet of himself." Really? He walked in WITH himself, or carrying himself? Unfortunately, these are still prolific occurrences in even some of the best publishers. It's also why so much of the romance genre is ridiculed.

DON'T FORGET: The next #IWSGPit will be January 20, 2021 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. For more information, please visit the IWSG pages listed above.

How about you? What frustrates you while reading?

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2021 Conferences, Workshops, and Literary Festivals

This list mostly focuses on Texas and Louisiana (where I am). However, there are some others listed here for you. Also, keep in mind, many are virtual now, so your own location may not matter. Please let me know if you would like to recommend any others to be added to the list.

Since the pandemic, many events have either been cancelled, or moved to virtual. The list below is what I know of as of today.

First, please let me recommend MASTERCLASS. This is an online set of instructional and motivational videos given by some of the industries top professionals and gathered together in one location. These are very reasonably priced, and you can read about my personal experiences with it by clicking on the link in the labels below. There are other genres besides just writing that are extremely beneficial and interesting as well. They just added quite a few more options this past month.

Any Time: More than a dozen authors - https://www.masterclass.com/homepage

3/16-20 - SXSW Film and writers festival in Austin - http://www.sxsw.com/

3/24-28 - New Orleans Literary Festival -  http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/

4/3 - Unconfirmed, so check back: Galveston Island Book Festival - http://galveston.bookfestival.network/index.php/component/users/?view=remind&Itemid=101

6/12-13 - Dallas Writer's Conference - http://dfwcon.org/

8/25-29 - World Mystery Convention will be held in Sacramento, California - http://www.bouchercon.com/

9/17-19 - Austin Agents and Editors Conference - http://www.writersleague.org/38/Conference

9/18-19 - Unconfirmed so check back - Houston Writer's Guild Conference - https://houston.scbwi.org/

10/21-28 - Austin Film Festival -  https://austinfilmfestival.com/

11/6-7 - Unconfirmed, so check back: Austin Book Festival - https://www.texasbookfestival.org/

11/13-14 - Unconfirmed, so check back: New Orleans Book Festival - https://www.everfest.com/e/new-orleans-book-festival-new-orleans-la

Please feel free to comment with any you would like to see added to this list - even if it's not happening in the USA.  You never know when an opportunity will arise. Right? :-)