March 31

Birthdays: Rene Descartes (1596), Andrew Marvell (1621), Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809), Mary B. Chestnut (1823), William Lederer (1912), Octavio Paz (1914), Leo Buscaglia (1924), John Fowles (1926), Beni Montresor (1926), John Jakes (1932), Judith Rossner (1935), Marge Piercy (1936), Ian McDonald (1960)

Octavio Paz won the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Beni Montresor won the 1965 Caldecott Medal for “May I Bring a Friend?”

Quote: “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” – Rene Descartes

Tip: For ideas, look for unanswered questions in other stories. For instance, while Luke’s busy with lessons from Yoda, what are Han and Leia doing? Or while Scarlett is saving the plantation, what is Rhett doing? While Sherlock is searching for clues, what is Moriarty doing?

Jumpstart: Finish this scene: Finally, I checked the closet, and found… (use: glass, lizard, knife, flag)

March 30 Writing Tips

Birthdays: Anna Sewell (1820), Paul Verlaine (1844), Seán O’Casey (1880), Jean Giono (1895), Countee Cullen (1903), Alan Davidson (1924), Tom Sharpe (1928), Tobias Hill (1970), Rosecrans Baldwin (1977),

Anna Sewell’s only published work was “Black Beauty”

Quote: “No one really knows the value of book tours. Whether or not they’re good ideas, or if they improve book sales. I happen to think the author is the last person you’d want to talk to about a book. They hate it by that point; they’ve already moved on to a new lover. Besides, the author never knows what the book is about anyway.” – Rosecrans Baldwin

Tip: Start an idea file. You’ll need three: one for characters, one for settings, one for problems or situations. You can keep these as physical files or in a spreadsheet. Then mix and match to come up with stories.

Jumpstart: Plan the perfect date for your main characters. What will they do? Where will they go? What will they wear? What time will they go? (Maybe plan this for yourself!). Have fun.

March 28 Writing Tips, Tricks, Thoughts

Birthdays: William Byrd II (1674), Maxim Gorky (1868), Nelson Algren (1909), Byrd Baylor (1924), Mario Vargas Llosa (1936), Russell Banks (1940), Jayne Ann Krentz (1948), Iris Chang (1968), Jennifer Weiner (1970), Lauren Weisberger (1977),

Mario Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature

Quote: “Any writer who knows what he’s doing isn’t doing very much.” – Nelson Algren

Tip: Dreams are not only a look at our subconscious but can also be great story ideas. Start a dream journal and write down your dreams—if you remember them.

Jumpstart: You get a call from an old friend you haven’t seen or spoken with in years. The friend invites you to lunch at a posh restaurant—his treat. When you get there, you find your friend is very different. How? What happened? How do you feel?

March 27 Writing Tips, Tricks, Thoughts

Birthdays: Heinrich Mann (1871), Thorne Smith (1892), Budd Schulberg (1914), Dick King-Smith (1922), Barnaby Conrad (1922), Louis Simpson (1923), Frank O’Hara (1926), Michael Jackson (1942), Julia Alvarez (1950), Dana Stabenow (1952), Patricia C Wrede (1953), Patrick McCabe (1955), Kevin J. Anderson (1962)

Louis Simpson won the 1964 Pulitzer for Poetry for “At the End of the Open Road”

Quote: “To be a writer is to embrace rejection as a way of life.” – Dana Stabenow

Tip: Don’t make your hero or heroine perfect. Give them a flaw or quirk. Make them real.

Jumpstart: Finish this scene: The day I died…(use: sunshine, ice storm, valentine)

March 26 Writing Tips and New Reviews

Birthdays: A.E. Housman (1859), Robert Frost (1874), Joseph Campbell (1904), Viktor Frankl (1905), Betty McDonald (1908), Tennessee Williams (1911), Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923), Gregory Corso (1930), Richard Dawkins (1941), Erica Jong (1942), Bob Woodward (1943), T.A. Barron (1952)

Robert Frost won multiple Pulitzer’s for Poetry.

Bob Woodward is best known for his reporting of the Watergate Scandal

Quote: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost

Tip: Begin a writing jar into which you toss your loose change. When it’s full, treat yourself to a writing-related indulgence—a fancy pen, pretty journal, new book, massage, etc.

Jumpstart: Write a short piece using as many clichés, metaphors, and similes as you can.

New reviews are up!

Under Romance:

Forever in a Moment by Charlotte O’Shay

Marked by the Panther by Zoey Indiana

Bang the Drummer by Desiree Holt

Finding Home Again by Darlene Fredette

Under LGBTQ for Adults:

Second Go-Round by Andrew Grey

Under Mysteries:

The Mermaid of Seattle by Heather Blackwood

Spotlight: Terry Segan


By Terry Segan

Thanks for having me today, Vicky. I’m here to share tidbits about my recent release, Precious Treasure. This paranormal mystery has a main character who is plagued with a missing husband, the ghost of a Confederate soldier, and the nagging humor of her favorite brother. She must delve into the past in order to figure out her future.


Eight years ago her husband disappeared. Does a hundred and fifty-year-old journal hold the answer as to why?


Janie Holcomb prays for closure once the courts declare her missing husband dead. Instead, she’s sent spiraling down a dangerous path.

When her lawyer delivers a package held in trust, she finds a cryptic warning along with a Civil War journal promising buried treasure. While seeking a connection between her spouse and the decades-old diary, Janie attracts the spirit of a Confederate soldier pleading for help.

Enlisting her brother’s assistance to chase down clues, they discover that not everyone they know should be trusted. Janie overlooks potential threats when the promise of new love stirs her emotions. Will her digging uncover the answers she craves or doom her to a similar fate?

Sneak Peek from Precious Treasure:

Janie dragged herself out of bed and into the bathroom. Turning on the tap to fill the sink, she bent over and splashed cold water on her face. The refreshing drops rolled down her forehead, cheeks and chin, pulling her out of her funk. Sightless, Janie reached for the hand towel hanging nearby and dried her face as she stood upright. Opening her eyes, she leaned in to examine the damage of the late night on her complexion. Her reflection looked back, as well as that of a young man standing behind her. Janie’s heart leapt to her throat as she whipped around and found no one there. Looking back in the mirror, she saw only herself.

This is too much, she thought. First nightmares and now hallucinations. Janie shook her head. With the assault of information thrown at her in the last twenty-four hours, her imagination cartwheeled out of control.

Knowing the visions were a result of the wine, newspaper articles and journal, didn’t calm the raised hackles on the back of her neck. The foreboding in Brian’s letter snaked its way up her spine threatening to encircle her throat and squeeze tight. His writing had a tone of uncertainty and fear—uncharacteristic of the man she had married.


Terry Segan resides in Nevada. The beach is her happy place, but any opportunity to travel soothes her gypsy soul. The stories conjured by her imagination while riding backseat on her husband’s motorcycle can be found throughout the pages of her paranormal mysteries.

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Spotlight: Kate S. Martin

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kate S. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

“You keep it on the inside because that’s the safest way to hide.”

Fifteen-year-old Elliot ‘Matchstick’ Hart spends his days caring for his mum and hiding from the school bully.

Fifteen-year-old Josh McBride spends his days tormenting Elliot and avoiding his abusive stepdad.

Hoping to save his mum, Elliot embarks on an adventure inspired by a picture in an old newspaper. Little does he know that Josh has decided to join him.

On their journey, strangers and surprises force them to look at each other in a different light. As secrets are revealed, will they reconcile their differences or will the secrets tear them further apart?

Read an Excerpt

I’ve spent the last few years making myself invisible. Many teenagers are blessed with unique talents—speak multiple languages or belch the alphabet backwards. Me? I’ve spent the last few years perfecting my own superpower: the ability to make myself disappear. Over the years, I’ve adapted to my surroundings and taught myself how to vanish, like an animal being hunted in the wild. I’ve fine-tuned techniques like staring at my shoes, hiding in the school toilet, and burying my head in a book. Right now, I’m practicing the art of staring at a notice on the wall while I wait for my appointment with Mrs. Spencer, the school counsellor. “Matchstick!” I’m knocked sideways, and Josh McBride’s leering smile is in my face, the same mocking expression mirrored by his friend, Lewis Pretty. Their laughter echoes down the corridor as they slope off. It would be fair to say that my invisibility training still needs work. “You okay?” Felicity Hooper has appeared to my right, studying the same notice from the drama department. There’s a play every year, and every year I dream of auditioning, but I don’t even have the confidence to hold a conversation with the girl standing next to me. The really pretty girl standing next to me, to be specific. “You’re in my history class?” “Yes. It’s Elliot. Elliot Hart.” Who do I think I am? James Bond? “Well, Elliot Hart, are you okay?” She grabs the pen attached to the board and scribbles her name on the audition sheet. Felicity Hooper is amazing, so it’s a damn shame I morph into a bumbling idiot around her.

About the Author:
Kate grew up in a small town in Lancashire, England with her mum, dad, and two older brothers. A bit of a tomboy, she loved nothing more than going out for adventures with her brothers, as long as she was back before dark.

She studied English at Reading University and gained a teaching qualification at Manchester. Nowadays, Kate spends her days teaching English at a local high school in Cheshire and her evenings are spent writing stories close to her heart.

She believes teenage years can be particularly difficult and wants to create stories that show empathy and hope for her readers. She lives with her husband, two children, and Jessie, the miniature schnauzer.


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March 23 Writing Tips, Tricks, Thoughts

Birthdays: Roger Martin du Gard (1881), Erich Fromm (1900), Eleanor Cameron (1912), Ama Ata Aidoo (1942), Alan Bleasdale (1946), Elizabeth Scarborough (1947), Kim Robinson (1952), Julia Glass (1956), Jonathan Ames (1964), Mitch Cullin (1968)

Roger Martin du Gard won the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Quote: “Understand that success in writing may (a) take a long time (for me, seven years to publish a short story, seven more to publish a book) and (b), once it arrives not offer you much in the way of financial reward.” – Julia Glass

Tip: When you’re ready to quit writing for the day, before you do, set a question or scene that you will have to answer the next time you write. That way, you won’t sit there staring at the page wondering what you were doing or what to do next.

Jumpstart: You’ve been asked to create a character for your favorite TV show. What show is it? What kind of character will you create? Would s/he be a villain or a hero? Or a sidekick? What happens?

Spotlight: Andrew Grey

Title: Second Go ‘Round 
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre:  M/M Western Romance 
Publisher: Self Published 
Release Date: Mar 15, 2022
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook 

Former world champion bronco rider Dustin and rancher Marshall have been life partners for more than twenty years, and time has taken its toll. Their sex life is as dusty as the rodeo ring. Somehow their marriage hasn’t turned out how they planned.
But when a new family moves in up the road with two young boys, one very sick, Dustin and Marshall realize how deep their ruts are and that there might be hope to break them. After all, where they’re from, the most important part of being a man is helping those who need it.

A new common purpose helps break down the deep routines they’ve fallen into and makes them realize the life they’ve been living has left them both cold and hollow. Spending time with the kids—teaching them how to be cowboys—reignites something they thought lost long ago. But twenty years is a lot of time to make up for. Can they find their way back to each other, or are the ruts they’ve created worn too deep?
Continue reading “Spotlight: Andrew Grey”

March 21 Writing Tips, Tricks, Thoughts

Birthdays: Phyllis McGinley (1905), Margaret Mahy (1936), David Wisniewski (1953), Teresa Nielsen Hayden (1956), Lauren Kate (1981),

Phyllis McGinley won the 1960 Pulitzer for Poetry.

David Wisniewski won the 1997 Caldecott for “Golem”

Quote: “I majored in creative writing in college, and went on to get a master’s degree in fiction—but I don’t think those things are necessary to being a good writer. Practice, curiosity, voracious reading, and diligence are more important than any degree.” – Lauren Kate

Jumpstart: You have to create a newsletter for a writer’s group. What would you include? What would it look like? What about a newsletter for your readers?