Tag Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post by Chrys Fey: Real-Life Memory in Frozen Crimes

When I was in fifth grade, I slept over at my best friend’s house, which wasn’t a strange thing for me to do. Nearly every weekend I’d sleep over at her house. We’d either slumber in her bedroom or set up a bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor in her living room. One night, we stayed up late watching TV in her living room. When we turned off the TV, the comforting glow disappeared. We settled down to sleep, chatting in whispers to each other.

Minutes later, we noticed strange lights flashing on and off, lighting up the living room. Shaking with chills, we sat up and followed the lights toward the kitchen, which was separated from the living room by a low wall. We peered through the opening in the wall and watched the kitchen window lit up with a car’s headlights. It’d snap on and off, on and off.

Staring at those lights, our minds ran rampant. Who was out there? What did he want? Did he know we were in the living room, two young girls? When the lights didn’t stop flashing, my best friend scurried to her parents’ bedroom to tell her dad. He hurried into the closet, got down his gun, and ran outside. But the car and the person were gone.

For Frozen Crimes, I had to write scenes where a stalker torments Beth, my pregnant heroine. I needed to do it gradually, and I wanted to do different things than what may be expected. Something I like to do for all my stories is to slip in things from my real life, and that’s what I did for this scene:

EXCERPT:

A clatter sounded from the kitchen, and Leighton hurried into the living room. “Beth, Beth, there’s someone outside.”

Beth’s insides froze. “What?” Although she had been afraid, she hadn’t believed the person, if it was a person, would come back to taunt her. And not so soon. “Did you see him?”

“Him? No. There’s a car in your driveway. The lights are flashing.”

Frowning, Beth pushed to her feet. Surely Leighton was mistaken. Someone could be having car trouble and put on their flashers. Or maybe it was her neighbor and their car’s blinker was on as they backed out of the driveway.

As she approached the kitchen, she saw the glares coming through the window, filling the room with yellowish flashes. She slowed her steps instinctively. Her hand flattened onto her belly, like a shield. She stopped behind the wall and inched closer so she wouldn’t be seen.

“Beth, be careful,” Leighton whispered.

Keeping her belly safe behind the wall, Beth peeked past the corner. All she could see was the flashing lights dominating the window space. Needing to be sure the lights were malicious, she made her way to the kitchen window.

“Beth, don’t.”

She shifted to the side and peered out the window. A dark-colored car was parked in her driveway. The inside of the car was pitch-black, and the front headlights came on and off. She studied the flashes, seeing if there was a pattern—like SOS—but there wasn’t. As soon as the lights went off, they came back on again. It was a deliberate act. Someone was sitting in that car, flashing those lights into her home.

When disasters strike around every corner, is it possible to have a happily-ever-after? 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get any better…until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn’t long before his menacing goes too far.

Hoping for a peaceful Christmas, Donovan takes Beth to Michigan. Days into their trip, a winter storm named Nemesis moves in with the goal of burying the state. Snowdrifts surround their house, and the temperature drops below freezing.

Except, the storm isn’t the only nemesis they must face. Everyone’s lives are at stake—especially that of their unborn child. Will they survive, or will they become a frozen crime?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

about the PRIZES

Disaster Crimes eBook set: Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes; set of  four Girl Boss Magnets; Inflatable Cup Holder; set of two Adventure Fuel To-Go Cups; Anchor Fashion Scarf; set of two Mermaid Nail Clippers; Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle; Snowflake Handmade Bookmark; and Insulated Cooler Bag.

Giveaway Ends: October 30, 2020 12:00am Eastern Standard Time

International Eligibility and only One Winner

Click here to get your name in now

To get the exclusive prequel to the Disaster Crimes series, sign up for Chrys’ newsletter. By signing up, you agree to receive Chrys Fey’s newsletter. After you confirm subscription, you will receive an email (so check your inbox and spam folder) with directions on where to snag your eBook copy of THE CRIME BEFORE THE STORM.

Click here to sign up and get The Crime Before the Storm FREE!

 About Chrys

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

Find her online

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Guest Post: Sherry Ellis

Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure

By

Sherry Ellis

Print ISBN 9781939844750
EBook ISBN 9781939844712
Juvenile Fiction – Action Adventure/Legends, Myths, Fables-Caribbean & Latin American

About the Book

An ancient Mayan civilization!

That’s what Bubba and Squirt find when they travel through the mysterious vortex for another wild adventure. There they meet archeologists who are unearthing priceless artifacts.

But someone is stealing them. And an encounter with the Tate Duende awakens magic within Bubba. Throw in the mysterious Alux and a new discovery and things get sticky.

Will Bubba and Squirt solve the mystery, or will they be stuck forever in the jungles of Belize?

Q&A With Sherry

What about Mayan Culture drew you in?

About twenty years ago, when I was an avid SCUBA diver, I went on several dive vacations—many to places in Mexico and Central America. When I wasn’t diving, I took side trips and visited ancient Mayan ruins, such as Chitzen Itza, Tulum, and Altun Ha. Naturally, seeing these places made me want to learn more about them and the people who built them.

What surprised you?

Have you ever seen Mayan artwork? Many of the people are depicted with flat heads. I thought the artists were using artistic license to make people look that way. It surprised me to learn that those flat heads were real. The ancient Maya strapped boards to babies’ heads for six years to get them to look like that. I’m sure glad we don’t do that today!

Guest Post: What difference does your writing make by Damyanti Biswas


About the Book:

It’s a dark, smog-choked New Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious Police Commissioner Jatin Bhatt – an irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.

Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the center of it all…

In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long held secrets before it is too late.

What difference does your writing make in this world?

In another life, I used to work in the fashion design industry. In the New Delhi alleyways where I worked on projects involving embroideries and stitching, I saw many children and women in poor conditions. I myself earned very little.

Over the years, as my life improved, my memories of those places did not fade. I continued to follow the news, and found that every day on this planet, there is an injustice, a darkness, a tragedy. Like a continuous assault, they kept pinged on the windows of my consciousness.

A few years ago, after a life-changing event, I realised that the assault had reached unbearable proportions.

I asked myself the question: what difference are you and your writing making in this world?

In response, I decided to do two things at the same time.

  • Document specific realities as I saw them
  • Find a way to change, redress an injustice.

In 2009, I’d been fortunate enough to meet Anouradha Bakshi, who runs Project WHY, a tiny organisation with a big heart: each year, this little non-profit helps about 1200 children, and  dozens of women, make a better life.

While visiting Project WHY, I visited alleyways similar to the ones I had seen during my work life, and decided to get involved. I helped with small donations, with work on social media, more visits, workshops with teachers.

In the meanwhile, my writing journey took off, and a novel took on a life of its own. Its world was quasi-real—I have been to many of the settings in the manuscript that ended up as You Beneath Your Skin. The slums of New Delhi. The Government hospitals. The police stations. The roads, of course. Posh homes. Shanties. The old monuments. The restaurants at 5-star hotels, and roadside eateries. In these locations I found dozens of stories, and also much inspiration to try and help wherever I could. I wrote them down and they began to interconnect.

There are characters in the novel based on the women and children I met. A few scenes, and definitely a lot of the setting came from Project WHY. While researching the novel, I began interacting with acid attack survivors at Stop Acid Attacks (Chhanv Foundation).

I heard so many stories. Stories of pain, of rage, of grief. Of deprivation. Of prevailing against the odds. Of small joys. Of friendships old and new.  Of change. Of remaining the same. All of these trickled into the novel, and over numerous drafts and years, You beneath Your Skin slowly took shape. In the meanwhile, I had developed not just a huge friendship with Anouradha Bakshi and what has now become my family at Project WHY, but also relationships with acid attack survivors.

Their stories are devastating—faces and bodies burned by friends, lovers, husbands, cousins—and yet, despite the attempt at obliterating their identities, these women have returned into society. They are undergoing painful surgeries and combating health issues caused by the attacks. The smiles on their faces tell a different story: a sisterhood of survivors, whose camaraderie and joie de vivre would touch one and all.

The tale of You Beneath Your Skin is fictional, and plotted as a crime thriller, but the issues dealt with are real. If the story resonates with audiences, it would be a way for me to be able to raise awareness on the issues I care about: the empowerment of women, and the right of all children to a safe childhood and an education.

Early reactions so far have been encouraging: there have been numerous discussions raised on misogyny, patriarchy, parenting, violence against women, and the education of children. Many ARC readers have also appreciated the book just as thriller—a whodunit that has kept them up at night, with characters who have remained with them long after they finished reading the story.

All my proceeds from You Beneath Your Skin go back to the women and children whose stories have informed the novel.

To join hands with me on empowering the very brave women and children who have been part of their novel’s journey, please pick up a copy, and if it moves you, leave a review, or donate a little to Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks. You could also reach out to them via social media, or visit them if you ever visit India.

In a big bad world of injustices and darkness, I hope to create from this book a small, good thing.

About Damyanti

Damyanti lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi’s underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. You can find her on her blog and twitter.

 

 

 

Toolbox 24: Guest Posts

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

~~~oOo~~~

How it works

The most common guest post I’ve come across—and participated in—is the virtual book tour. The post theme is promotion and can be any one of these: Fabulous Five, Top Ten, Giveaways, Interview with Author or Character, Playlist for Writing, or a random blog post on any personal interest or how-to on writing.

But guest posts can be arranged between two like minded sites as well. Where one blogger will post as a guest on a host’s blog. If you’re approached and  don’t know the blogger well, I strongly suggest that you check them out before accepting. Be sure they are reputable and that the post will help reach more of your target audience.

If you’re the Host

To encourage more guests, add a form to your menu. List your expectations, and guidelines. The goal is to expand both readerships, so it’s important to only accept posts that will benefit your readers.

Help your guest if they ask for suggestions on what to post. Many times I’ll offer a list of ideas to get them started. I don’t expect them to choose only from the list. It’s just some ideas to get the gray cells firing.

Also suggest that the guest invite their followers to drop by and read their post—using links and subject matter to encourage a visit.

If you’re the Guest

Always look for red flags before agreeing to post. Visit their site. Do an internet search to discover who they are.

Once your satisfied and you’ve agreed to post, make sure you use your best content

Your niche is your attraction. Ask your host for some ideas on what to write about. If they don’t have any, take a look at other guest posts on their site and use them as a guide. Another choice is to parallel a post with something the host has written.

Respect that your host has a life so give them ample time to post your content. No last minute changes or additions. If it’s not ready a week before, that reflects badly on you. Disrespect burns bridges.

When closing, include a little something about who you are, what your blog is about, and the links to it and your social media. Keep it short. Think business card like the one below:

 

Elements of Emaginette:

A blog for New Writers

Twitter | WattPad | Amazon

 

 

 

Addition: Don’t forget to drop by and reply to the comments when your guest post goes live. This is where new relationships are built. 😉

If you’d like to reach beyond the bloggers you’re acquainted with, check out:

Links open to guest post applications.

And there is always the horse of a different color:

If you would like to get paid for your content—not that you’ll make much initially—you could try Upwork or another site for freelance writers, however, this would not be a guest post, but a hired job. They’d expect you to know about SEO, keywords and how it all works so your employer’s site shows up in an internet search.

Feel free to add more advice, I admit I only touched on the basics. 🙂

Murder at the Marina by Ellen Jacobson

Thanks for hosting me on your site today to celebrate the release of my cozy mystery, Murder at the Marina. This is the first book in the lighthearted and humorous Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery series, featuring a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth.

My own sailing adventures and misadventures inspired me to write this series. My husband and I bought our first sailboat in New Zealand in 2012. After a couple of years cruising in those beautiful waters, we returned to the States and bought a bigger boat which we moved onto in 2015. We’ve since cruised in Florida and the Bahamas, labored over endless boat projects, and worked to keep our cruising kitty (savings) topped up.

I wanted to reflect my experiences learning to sail, cruising and living aboard a boat, and being part of the boating community in my cozy mysteries. You could say that there’s a little bit of me in my main character, Mollie.

I thought I’d share one of the boating tidbits which I wrote about in Murder at the Marina—namely, pets on boats. Mollie encounters a Japanese bobtail cat, Mrs. Moto, at the marina who lives aboard a boat with her owners. Mrs. Moto loves to run around the place, jump on other people’s boats, and chase seagulls on the beach. Mollie falls in love with the cat and quickly discovers that Mrs. Moto has an uncanny ability to find clues which help solve the mystery.

While we’ve had a dog and cats when we lived on land, we don’t currently have (or plan on having) pets on board. So, I like to live vicariously through other people’s pets. At our current marina, we have friends with dogs who have to be carried up and down ladders while their boats are up on the hard. A few slips down from us, there’s a boat with a cat door which enables its resident tabby to go in and out as she pleases. It’s fun to watch these critters explore the marina and make friends with them.

If you’d like to learn more about Mollie and her sailing adventures, you can find details about Murder at the Marina below.

About the Book

Murder at the Marina—A Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery #1

by

Ellen Jacobson

Print ISBN 978-1-7321602-1-7
eBook ISBN 978-1-7321602-0-0

 

A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?

Where to buy

Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Kobo

Barnes & Nobel | Apple iBooks | Google Play

About Ellen

Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and scifi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn’t working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor.

Ellen’s Links

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter |