Meet Guest Author, Robbie Cheadle…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Silly Willy meets Jack Frost

Christmas day dawned, grey and overcast. Willy peeped out of the window and chirruped with delight, the window pane was covered with frosty, fern-like patterns. Mom came into our bedroom and smiled at Willy’s enthusiasm. “Jack Frost has been visiting”, Mom said.

Jack Frost?” Willy focused on Mom. “Who is Jack Frost”? “Ah”, said Mom. “Jack Frost is the little elven man who carves the pretty patterns into the frost on the window panes. He visits during the night with his chisel and other carving tools and creates all the pictures of fern fronds, flowers and crystals.

Willy was enchanted. Jack Frost sounded very interesting. “What does Jack Frost look like?”

Jack Frost is very scary looking. He is very, very thin with long arms and legs and very long fingers. His long fingers help him to sculpt the frost pictures on the…

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Apologies and Updates: Warlord of the Forgotten Age

So, I’ve been talking about Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age going live this weekend.  That was the plan, but two things have come up that are going to cause an unfortunate delay.

  1. Jason is doing something special with the cover to have things end with a bang.  I don’t know the details because it’s a surprise, but it’s turning out to be more complicated than previous covers.  All I’ve been told is that he’s doing the cover the ‘Traditional Way’, which I think means by hand instead of computer.  So, we’re making sure not to rush here, which is smart.
  2. My medical thing next Monday means I’ll be unable to really focus on the release and promos.  I’d basically hit publish on Friday, rush through everything on Saturday while doing other things, and then disappear for Sunday and Monday.  That isn’t how it should be.  I really think I should be focused on the book and it would be a sad way to end this series to simply throw it out and leave it at that.

So, I apologize to everyone who expected the book and all the volunteers who have been waiting for the guest post.  I’ve been trying my hardest to get things done, but it feels like obstacles beyond my control keep turning up.  Seriously, how could I have predicted that I’d have to go in for a medical procedure that should really come with a stiff drink and teddy bear afterwards?  Thanks to everyone who understands.

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A little Christmas Romance on #LisaBurtonRadio

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Hey there, all you Christmas Elves and Gingerbread Men. You’ve reached Lisa Burton Radio, the only show on the dial that brings you the characters from the books you love to read. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.

Snuggle down in your easy chair, drop an extra cinnamon stick in your cocoa and help me welcome this week’s special guest. “Welcome to the show, Chloe Upshaw.”

“Hi, Lisa. Thanks for having me on today.”

“Now, Chloe, my bio indicates that you are in the middle of a huge job search. One that could see you moving during the Christmas season. How did that all come about?”

“Well, Lisa, I know you’ve got a pretty sweet deal here with Craig. I’m sorry to report I’ve not been as lucky. I’ve curated for two different museums now, both small, although I left my mark. But a girl can only stare at…

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Announcement: Planting the Seeds of Love Available Everywhere! #romance #ASMSG #IARTG

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing


After being in Kindle Unlimited for more than two years, Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella is available at all retailers, not just Amazon. It’s a smart move for us and give you, the consumer, the flexibility of buying at your favorite e-tailer.


Title: Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, New Adult Romance


The day her grandfather died, Sally’s life changed forever.

Twenty-Two-year-old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles…

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Since I am always looking for ways to bring books to my readers, I jumped at the chance to participate in a book spotlight for Moon Hunt.  Thanks to the good people over at Forge Books we are not only spotlighting the novel but giving away one copy of the book to a winner in the US or Canada.  More about that a little later.  First, let us take a closer look at Moon Hunt and its authors.

bordermoon huntMoon Hunt by W. Michael Gear & Kathleen Gear

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: North America’s Forgotten Past #24

Publisher: Forge Books (November 21, 2017)

Author Information: Website

Length: 416 pages

Whispering Dawn has come to Cahokia as the bride of the living god Morning Star. She brings with her dark secrets. Political intrigue. And deadly magic.

When Morning Star drinks her poisoned nectar, the Night Moth carries his souls off to…

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Meet Guest Author, Elizabeth Blake Thomas…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Who am l? That used to be a difficult question to answer. l was a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, and an entrepreneur. There were so many choices. However, l feel very confident in my response now. l am a creator. l spend all day, every day, creating.

l live with my fifteen-year-old daughter and my Maltese dog called Chai in LA. We live on my boat. 

l don’t live a “normal” life and never have really. That’s not how it was in the beginning though. l believed 2.4 children, a Range Rover and private school were things to aspire to. During my twenties, l realised l wanted the polar opposite. l home-schooled my daughter, traveled as much as l could and lived a very frugal life.

l love my life and I’ve worked very hard to get here. l direct movies in my day-to-day job. I’ve written…

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Art of the Cameo: Using Familiar Faces in Newer Works

Wolverine and Punisher

First, I can’t tell if Wolverine’s eyes are all white or the black in the nose-corners are his crossed pupils.  Sorry if I’ve made it that you can only see that now.

I mentioned yesterday that cameos for the surviving heroes and villains is a strong possibility in future Windemere.  I mean, it won’t happen with War of Nytefall since that happens prior to Legends of Windemere.  Unless we count the gods, but I really don’t.   I did try a cameo for Zaria and Stephen in Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks and it was okay.  Nobody got really excited and there’s a good chance that many didn’t get the connection.  Why would somebody if they never read the main series up to Stephen’s debut and make the full connection?

Since one of my main goals is to create a book world with multiple series, cameos are an important tool.  Showing characters in other stories reveals a timeline and makes it clear that this is the same world.  Not only characters, but locations, monsters, and historical stories.  Though we really only use the term ‘cameo’ for a named figure.  For example, Gaia showing up in every series does drive home the fact that it is the largest city in Windemere, but we wouldn’t call it a cameo.  Luke Callindor occasionally walking into a story would be one even if he’s nothing more than a guy the main character meets at the bar.  By the way, this is very different from characters who are supporting or central to multiple series.  I have at least one of those.

After thinking about this trick for so long, I have come up with a few rules that I tell myself to make sure I don’t go too far:

  1. If doing it for a smile then make it brief and a little vague.  The cameo shouldn’t upstage the main hero in this scenario.  Make a simple ‘look at that’ and move back into the story.  For example, Timoran should not wander through to take out a band of villains that the main hero was going to handle.  It weakens the new guy and serves no purpose for Timoran.
  2. Most cameos need to be for story.  As much fun as it is to slip an old face into the new story, it’s better to give these events purpose.  Not so much a passing of the torch, but an actual interaction that can alter the story’s path.  Again, not to overshadow in terms of power since it will be clear that this familiar face is strong or at least famous.  It can be a conversation, brief mentorship, a new villain might be targeting the old hero, or stumbling into each other.  This really depends on how the person doing the cameo ended their own tail.
  3. Never just throw in an old face for the heck of it and with no forethought.  This can lead to you being sloppy and focus on the wrong thing.
  4. Make sure the cameos make sense in terms of location and personality.  Running into Queen Trinity on Shayd makes sense.  Finding her on a pirate ship crew makes no sense since she wouldn’t abandon her people.  Once you put in a cameo, you’re making a connection that can help or harm continuity.

That last part is incredibly important.  Continuity is a fragile thing and we all slip up from time to time.  Adding a cameo into the mix raises the risk of undoing something you might have forgotten about from the earlier series.  This is mostly in terms of epilogues or the telling of stories, which can be chalked up to bad memory of the character.  I might be thinking more about prequels too on this one.  Having a previous hero show up in a series that takes place before their own can really do some damage.  Betting we can all think of at least one example of this.  Just another reason cameos shouldn’t be thrown out with wild abandon.

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