Yes I know it’s ages since I last wrote a blog post, but WordPress went and changed everything didn’t they? It took me months to learn to navigate the old version and now I had to start all over again. And, frankly I just didn’t have the time or the energy or the inclination to do that.

I’ve been happy to re-blog posts which I think are worth sharing for one reason or another but now, I have a new book out and I want to tell everyone about it, so here I am.

I first began writing about the Brand family in 2019 and published A Year in the Life of Leah Brand, a psychological thriller. I took a break while we were in Australia and India and then lock down arrived with it’s peace and quiet and I wrote two more as a follow on.

I have just put book 4 up as a pre-order A Year in the Life of Belinda Brand. So, if you can please, please pass the word on I would be so grateful. I’m so hopeless at marketing I never know where to begin.

Each book can be read as a standalone but it’s more fun if you follow the saga all the way through and, as each book is now only $/ÂŁ0.99 they are affordable in these hard times.

Belinda writes a best seller. How many of us have dreamed of that day? But celebrity status has its downside and now she is in the spotlight she is also in danger. The past continues to haunt the Brand family and threaten their lives.

Author page link where you can find all the books author.to/Lucinda

and the pre-order link for Belinda

Well that didn’t work did it? I typed in the link and it brought up the cover, but there is no preview on pre-orders. Sigh – defeated by technology again! I may on the other hand have embedded the link but I’ll have to post to try it out.

Yeah! I found the preview button and I did embed the link – that has made my day 🙂

In the meantime, stay safe and take care.

Choose The Correct Verb To Test Your Writing Knowledge – by Derek Haines…

A fun quiz to try.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Just Publishing Advice:

With every sentence you write, you need to choose the correct verb.

You can choose between a strong or weak verb or an active or static verb.

Often it depends on collocation and an expectation of which verb will suit your sentence the best.

As with all aspects of writing, you are the decision-maker.

Continue reading HERE

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What to Do With Books That Are Insensitive to Social Norms

We need to think carefully about how recent actions are eroding the freedom of speech.

Story Empire

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Hi SEers, John here with you today. The last time we were together, I talked about sensibilities in writing. I made the point that authors should be careful when writing characters of a specific race, gender, age, nationality, and sexual orientation because of changing social norms. I also stated that I didn’t believe writers should not exclude themselves from writing about these groups because they are not part of them. If you would like to read that post, you can go HERE.

Today I would like to take it one step further and discuss books written in a different time of our societal development. I intend to explore the idea of what should happen to books or stories that reflected older periods and older thoughts about race, gender, age, nationality, and sexual orientation.

We have heard that Gone with the Wind has come…

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10 Common Writing Myths Every New Writer Should Ignore – by Derek Haines…

There is a whole lot of truth here.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Just Publishing Advice:

It’s easy for a new writer to believe many of the writing myths you read about online.

However, most of them are untrue or are at least stretching the truth. If you are a new writer, a lot of the advice you read can affect your confidence.

Writing and publishing might not be for everyone. But if that’s what you have your heart set on doing, there’s nothing to stand in your way.

Forget all about the myths, and focus on your passions, strengths, and what you want to achieve.

Continue reading HERE

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 21st -27th March 2021 – Editing, 1960s Music, Ball Boys, Reviews and humour.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord

I hope you are all well and have some decent weather. Ours is still mixed at the moment with freezing showers forecast for tonight. The sun is shining at the moment and whilst still nippy it is a welcome sight.

As you know I prefer the Classic Editor. I did a trial of the block editor and whilst I appreciate that many are very happy with it. I don’t find it helpful for me, because of the posts that I upload. For example this weekly round up which I try to update daily as even with the original classic editor it would usually take an hour. There was an update about three weeks ago which added more steps into the process. Whilst they have said they will not support the editor I had hoped…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – #FREE Book Marketing Opportunities 2021 – Making the most of your promotion Sally Cronin

Great offers of help from Sally, the Queen of sharing with other authors.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

There are a few things going on in the Cafe and Bookstore and I thought this was a good time to have a recap of existing promotions and some new or revised ones coming up in the next few weeks.

I am always delighted to welcome new authors to the shelves of the cafe and if you are new to the blog then here is the link that tells you what I need from you to create your first promotion.  It also shares some tips on how to get the best from your promotion.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves 2021 – #Free book promotion

For existing authors in the Cafe and you can check Cafe and Bookstore for your entry and if you have changed covers or have a new book recently released that I have missed please email me with the Amazon link to…

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Her last post. Your job? Say #GoodbyeToo @ SCVincent

Sue’s wisdom will live long after she has left us. RIP Sue we will miss you.

Barb Taub

Today Sue Vincent shared what may be her last blog post. It’s so like Sue that it’s a message of hope as well as gentle regret.

Sue has given so much and so freely—to family, friends, and uncounted thousands she’s touched online. This post of loss and love is deeply personal. But it’s also universal. The world has faced loss and grief on an unprecedented scale over the past year. Sue is part of that pandemic recording. It might not be the coronavirus that ultimately beats her (a far older and even more egalitarian cancer will be credited with that victory) but it played a lead role in delaying treatment which might have bought time.

So here’s my challenge. Please share this post. Please share a tweet and add names of those you’ve lost this past year. Because the world needs to remember every loss, every person whose death was…

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Story Resolutions: Mastering the Happy-Sad Ending – by Gilbert Bassey…

A great blog as I related it to A Year in the Life of Leah Brand as I didn’t want the usual tie up soppy happy ending but to leave the reader wondering. Did I do right or wrong? Who knows but it bothered a lot of people. The answer is in book 2, if you’fre curious. 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Writers Helping Writers:

It was 10pm, and I was trying to sleep when my door flew open and my sister came in, wailing like a wounded puppy. “Why did you kill him?”

I cleared the sleep from my eyes. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Michael! You killed Michael!”

At that, I couldn’t help myself from laughing. Not a nice thing, I know.

Curiously, she went ahead to profess love for the story—particularly the ending that made her cry. Fascinating, right? My story was able to create such a strong emotional reaction because it avoided the safety of a happy ending and the depression of a sad ending. Instead, it opted for the more fulfilling happy-sad resolution.

Why Happy-Sad Endings?

Before we answer the question of why, let’s explore the story endings that we commonly see. To put it bluntly,

  • A sad ending is when the story ends…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Reviews #Psychological Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Thriller Alex Craigie,

Thank you so much Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

And the first book today with a review is A Year in the Life of  Deidre Flynn – by Lucinda E. ClarkeAbout the book

Deidre is determined to protect her adopted niece Leah, but despite fleeing the country, the menacing threats continue.

They believe their enemies can’t reach them now, so who is behind the life-threatening attacks? The incidents escalate, each more horrifying than the last.

How can they fight back when they don’t know who the enemy is and they have no idea what they want.

A fast-moving, page-turning, psychological thriller that will leave you breathless, as once again, Leah is the victim of a cruel conspiracy that lurks in the shadows.

A gripping thriller for fans of Louise Jensen, Avery Bishop and Claire McGowan.

One of the recent…

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We’ve Got Mail—Nice, Nasty, and Just Plain Nutty. Writers Review Readers – by Ruth Harris…

Thoughts from the early days – two excellent articles.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Anne R. Allen:

My encounters with reader mail go back a long way. My first job as a very young editor at Bantam included slogging through the slush pile and answering reader mail. No internet or email those days. Everything was done the old fashioned way — by hand.

I’ve written before about my adventures in the slush pile.

Reader mail was an entirely different learning curve. Generic mail received a polite form letter thanking the sender for his/her interest. Letters from readers wanting to contact writers were forwarded to the writer’s agent who would take it from there.

We received quite a bit of mail from prisoners whose return address included the name of the prison and the prisoner number. Without omnipresent TV and certainly no WIFI, reading was their main source of diversion. I responded via the usual form letter thanking them for their interest, and…

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