Derailing Bedlam: Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Dammit! Part 3 #fiction #adventure

As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence.  It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam.  This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started.  Each one is 99 cents!

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger











Continue reading

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Non-Fiction – The Universal Mind by Peter Weisz (Dip. Psych, HND, BACP)

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to welcome a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore, Peter Weisz, with his recently released The Universal Mind.

About  Peter Weisz

Peter Weisz (Dip. Psych, HND, BACP) was born in London, England in 1961 and practices as a psychoanalyst and therapist, specializing in psychodynamics and the study of the subconscious and unconscious mind. He majored in psychology, music and English language and literature. He is the founding director of “One 2 One Counseling”, an organization offering personal therapeutic support to those with emotional and psychological disorders. He has worked at a number of private clinics and treatment centers since 1996 including the world renowned Priory Clinic in London.

Peter is knowledgeable in ancient and contemporary philosophy, transcendental thought, general science, theology and mystical & esoteric writings, both classical and modern. He is also known as a musical performer, singer/songwriter, producer and stage director and is the founding director…

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Witty Banter

A great post on witty banter!

Rick Ellrod's Locus

Clever Conversation

Billy Joel famously remarked, “I don’t want clever conversation; never want to work that hard” (“Just the Way You Are” (1977) at 1:30).  For my part, though, I find I do want clever conversation.  (And I’m willing to work at it.)  Witty wordplay is one of my favorite things to find in a story.

Conversational sparring comes in a number of varieties—and especially in exchanges between romantic interests.  This post may run a little long, because in order to get my point across I’ve got to quote some dialogue at length.

The Well-Chosen Word

Verbal comedy can arise spontaneously in comedies of errors—misunderstood conversations, double meanings and double entendres, the confusions to which language is ever prone.

Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster

It helps if one character is an airhead.  Bertie Wooster, the amiable narrator of P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories, has been described…

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Luke Callindor vs Clyde: The Angel and Devil in My Mind

Spider-Guy and Poison (I’m kidding!)

Perhaps two of the loudest voices in my head have been Luke Callindor from Legends of Windemere and Clyde from War of Nytefall.  A big reason for this is because they could be considered my two first ‘real’ protagonists.  It’s a tough one to really call since I made them in my freshman year of college, but I designed Sin in high school.  Unlike Sin, Luke and Clyde rose to a higher level for one specific reason:

I became them for a few hours every week.

Not to the extent where I would dress up . . . Well, I did play as Clyde in a live action role-playing game.  Anyway, I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I played ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ and ‘Vampire: The Masqurade’.  In high school, these games were just fun adventures with action, comedy, and very little character.  Once I hit college, the purpose of the games included telling a story.  First, I created Luke (Callindor would be given to him a year later) and set out to be an inexperienced youth who is determined to prove his worth as a hero.  It was fun acting as him during the sessions and I got better at it as the game progressed for 2.5 years.  He went through a lot of growth while I did the same and there were times I enjoyed escaping to his world when classes got tough.  Yet, Luke probably wasn’t my main stress reliever since he had a nasty habit of getting into tense situations.

No, the one who ended up taking me to a point where I lost most cares and found myself in a comforting abyss was Clyde.  That sounds pretty dark, but there was an odd freedom to playing this vampire.  I’ll admit that I went too far at first.  The guy who played Nimby wanted to run a Vampire game, so I agreed to help him practice being a GM.  I made Clyde and basically went on a wild rampage, which resulted in my friend threatening to drop my humanity level to 1 if I ever did that again.  This continued the trend of Clyde being a force of destruction whether he tried or not.  My rolls with him were oddly lucky, so he developed an arrogance.  Things got even more amusing when everyone else wanted to switch to Mage and I was allowed to carry Clyde over.  He was made a day-walker and that put an enormous target on his head, which resulted in some massive battles.  Unlike Luke Callindor whose game ended with no closure, I was forced to retire Clyde because he simply became too powerful.

Now, this is all a lot of background, but it explains why I hear their voices more often than other characters.  I’ve always considered Luke and Clyde two sides of the same coin, which is me.  At least, the me that I wanted to be.  Through Luke, I got to be a noble hero who sought to make a mark in the world and save others.  He was brave and always found a way to get back up after falling.  On the other side, Clyde was brutal and itching for a fight just to be entertained.  He had no interest in saving the world unless he got to feed his ego and become stronger.  There was a stubborn defiance to the way the world wanted him to go that I envied.  Have these traits carried over into their books?  I think so, but I’ll admit that Luke Callindor came off more fragile than I expected and Clyde has odd bouts of mortal humility.  Guess parts of the real me keep slipping in.

One thing I remember distinctly is a problem that still turns up and that’s when the voices get crossed.  Not sure how to explain this exactly, but it really only happens with Luke and Clyde.  There were times in college where I would play one in the morning and the other at night.  Whoever I was first would linger and there would be a problem for a bit where the wrong personality was being used.  I actually never noticed this when I was Luke first because it came off as Clyde trying to be nice.  When I was Clyde in the morning, Luke would suddenly be aggressive, mouthy, threatening, and about as heroic as a drunken gangster.  This would usually end when a player who knew both characters would stop me and bought out that I wasn’t Clyde at the moment.  Oops.

This taught me to compartmentalize the voices a bit more, but they don’t always listen and continue to mingle.  I keep getting this feeling that Luke and Clyde want a chance to tangle with each other.  Both of them at full power would be impressive and it’s something I wanted to write for a long time.  Stuff like this gets me wondering if there are individual entities in my mind because I have to argue with them about this.  I nearly had Lost create a fake Luke Callindor to fight Clyde, but realized Luke hadn’t been born yet.  Those two are fairly persistent and it’s probably going to get worse if I ever get to the other half of ‘The Four’.

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Cover Reveal: The Art of Breaking Things

El Space--The Blog of L. Marie

With me on the blog today is my good friend, the awesome Laura Sibson, who is here for the cover release of her contemporary young adult novel, The Art of Breaking Things, which will be published by Viking.

First, loooooooooook! Take it in! Breathe in the beauty!

Here’s the synopsis:

In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, The Art of Breaking Things embraces the power of a single voice.

Skye has her sights set on partying her way through high school and then escaping to art school and not looking back.

But her party-first-ask-questions-later lifestyle starts to crumble when her mom rekindles her romance with the man who betrayed Skye’s trust and boundaries when he was supposed to be protecting her. She was too young to understand what was happening at the time, but now she doesn’t know whether to run as far away from him…

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Guest Post: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C.S. Boyack #adventure #pirates

(Today I have a special guest.  Lisa Burton is here to talk about C.S. Boyack’s newest book, Voyage of the Lanternfish.  She’s brought both a new picture of herself and a look behind the curtain at one of the story’s colorful characters.  Enjoy!)

“Thanks for having me back, Charles. This is getting to be a regular stop on Craig’s book tours. This visit, the new book is Voyage of the Lanternfish, a pirate fantasy. If you like the idea of monsters, magic, and artifacts mingled with flintlocks, cannon, and tall ships, Lanternfish might be just what you’re looking for.

“My specific topic is a character named Serang. She’s really cool, and a lot cooler than Craig makes her out to be. He’s making me bring you some of his own words to post, and since he signs the checks, here it is.”


There are a lot of wonderful things that happen when we write. Characters take over and turn the story in new directions we never planned. An image can form in your mind that’s far superior to what you had planned for a scene, and you let the story wander because it’s better than your outline.

I had a minor character show up, and insist she was worth more than flavor of the day background. Her name is Serang, and she walked down the dock and wanted to join the pirate crew.

I wanted a bit of diversity on my crew. They’re a bunch of misfits, and society looks down on them all. There are people of color, women in the position of officers, a man with a peg leg, and one with a serious speech impediment.

Serang is Asian in race, tall, beautiful, and deadly. Readers get a sip of her backstory, but it’s enough to get your minds flowing. She grew up pledged to a temple after her father’s fishing boat was taken by the dragon turtle. No trace of him was ever found.

There she studied martial arts and was on her way to some kind of priesthood. The Emperor decided to westernize, and part of that involved a purging of the old temple system. Young Serang was lucky to escape with her life.

She hires on as a sailing mate, and insists she has the skills to be a sailing master, but Lanternfish already has one of those. Eventually, she gets the new position of weapons master, even though she has no experience with pistols or muskets.

One of the things that draws me to her is her confidence. If she makes up her mind to do something, she does it. Kind of unlike a certain author I know. She winds up playing a valuable role in landing parties, and ship boarding parties. Her weapon of choice is a glaive. For those who aren’t familiar, this is a spear length weapon with a large single blade at the end. Think of it like a scimitar at the end of a pole.

She is the last person you want to try mugging in a dark alley, and I can already tell you didn’t bring enough help. She kills without remorse when needed.

She also has another side. She can be peaceful and meditative at times, but can also be a mean drunk. Some of this comes from her family, who did not know about the loss of her father, or her orphanage at the temple until later. Her uncle is the maker of rice wine, and his business is fairly successful. This alcoholic tie is how she frequently remembers her family.

I’m very happy with how Serang came out, and am toying with a different idea. Some authors like to write a prequel to their fantasy stories. The backstory of Serang makes an interesting tale. I like the challenge of it, because anything I’ve already published would be canon. Every word I write in a prequel would have to honor that. In thinking about it, there are some things that happen in Lanternfish, that could be resolutions to issues from the prequel.

I’ve already started drafting Serang’s origin story. It’s a wonderful challenge, and it’s shaping up to be a fun story on its own.


“Okay, Craig had his say. Serang and I have been hanging out a lot lately. It isn’t just Lanternfish, she came along when I posed for the new poster. It was fun representing her, and she corrected my stance a few times during the session. Now that she’s getting her own story, she’s sticking around to make sure Craig gets it right.

“We tried a few poses, and they were all interesting. I talked sean into adding the line drawings around the main poster. It’s kind of old school, but I like it.

“Here’s the poster, and your followers should feel free to put it on Pinterest, use it for computers and gadget backgrounds. That’s kind of what they’re for.”

“I’m taking a personal day to go into the city. New York is kind of famous for shopping, and it gets kind of lonely out at the writing cabin.

“Hopefully, your fans are interested in Lanternfish. I have all the details for you too. Thanks again, Charles.”



An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link:



I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Blog My Novels  Twitter Goodreads Facebook Pinterest BookBub

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How Therapy Dogs Help Struggling Readers

Nicholas C. Rossis

Reading dog | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Photo: Pixabay

When I shared here my guest post for Mom’s Favorite Reads, Reading Tricks for Kids of Any Age, I was once again impressed by the interest you showed in the subject. One particularly interesting comment was by Missimontana, who shared a link to the Colorado Virtual Library website and to a post by Amy Hitchner called, Spotlight on Sharing: Therapy Dogs Help Struggling Readers.

I confess it had never occurred to me that reading to dogs could help children improve their literacy skills but, in hindsight, it makes perfect sense. And it turns out that many public libraries offer “read to a dog” services to help children feel more relaxed while they improve their reading skills.

As one of the programs explains:

This program gives our young readers, at any reading level, a chance to read out loud in a stress-free environment to some very attentive listeners. Therapy…

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