About Don Massenzio

Don Massenzio is the author of Frankly Speaking - A Frank Rozzani Detective novel and the follow-up, Let Me Be Frank. He has also written several short stories.

Shock, horror: paranoid schizophrenic steps outside – Guest Post by Anne Goodwin…

Check out this great post from the Story Reading Ape blog titled: Shock, horror: paranoid schizophrenic steps outside – Guest Post by Anne Goodwin

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Several years ago, after a family tragedy raised a mountain of unresolved personal issues, I succumbed to a virus – no, not that one! – I couldn’t shake off. My GP recommended a couple of weeks’ sick leave, which stretched to six. When I need a sick note, we quibbled over the diagnosis: he proposed anxiety, I thought depression. I can’t recall who won.

It didn’t matter. Taking myself out for walks between bouts of crying, I didn’t have to drag along an unattractive tag, such as“the depressive” or “the anxiety state”. Not so the people I worked with, whose more serious diagnoses smothered their other identities. Schoolteacher, skater, Scorpio stripped away once they qualified as “schizophrenic”.

This would be less controversial if the mental patient identity defined them only within services. Diagnosis is a ticket to treatment and care. But it extends far wider. Witness the media response when…

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How Not To Start A New Book

Check out this great post with some valuable advice from A.J. Alexander’s blog titled: How Not To Start A New Book

Writer's Treasure Chest

As many of you already know, my writing process is a bit unorthodox. With the books so far written in my ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, I generally worked as follows:

1. Preparation (develop characters and update character sheets)

2. Draft plot and take notes

3. Start writing the first draft of the book by hand

4. Read the first draft, make necessary corrections in red

5. Type the corrected draft into the computer

6. Personal editing I

7. Personal editing II

9. Send book to the editor

10. Additional steps after the book is returned to me, fully proofread, edited, and formatted…

‘The Council of Twelve’ series is published with four books, and books 5 and 6 are written and prepared to be published. I have an additional book connected to the series currently with my editor. Book 7 is in my personal editing; books 8 and 9 are…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #Fantasy K.M. Allan, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

Head over to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore for the Weekly News featuring K.M. Allan, C.S. Boyack, and Colleen M. Chesebro

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is K.M. Allan with a recent review for Blackbirch: The Dark Half

About the book

Now that the origins of his power have been revealed, Josh Taylor’s search for answers continues with the arrival of Kallie-a girl he thought only existed in his dreams.

Running from her own secrets, she shows Josh how to use his gift in ways he didn’t know were possible. But, as they push the limits of their abilities, they discover there are consequences to messing with magick.

Security guard Kered knows the repercussions. Finding a power-filled crystal, he starts a chain reaction that brings a dangerous foe from Kallie’s past to Blackbirch and forces a devastating choice. Is Josh and Kallie’s bond strong enough to save them? And wi

One of the recent reviews for the book

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5 Steps to Creating a Unique Character Voice – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Create unique character voices by varying how they communicate with other characters.

I’m one of those writers who needs to put my characters through a first draft before I figure out who they really are. Tossing them into trouble and watching how they wrangle their way out of it helps me get to know them. Their dialogue and voices are usually interchangeable at first. It’s more about what they say than how they say it, or even why they say it.

The voices usually come to me as I write, and by the end of the first draft, I’ve written snippets of voice that let me see and hear the characters. On draft two, I develop those snippets into fleshed-out characters. 

Since I don’t hear my characters first (like many writers do), I make conscious choices about their voices, and craft them same as I do a setting or the plot. Which keeps my authorial nose out of my character’s business, and lets them be who they are—not extensions of who am. Characters who all sound like the protagonist or the author is a common first-draft issue for a lot of writers.

Read the rest of this post HERE.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #YA #Magic #Mystery – Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) by M.J. Mallon

Head over to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore to check out a New Book on the Shelves featuring Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) by M.J. Mallon

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of M.J. Mallon’s re-release of  Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) –  Book 2 is following shortly.

About the book

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

One of the five star reviews for the previous edition on Goodreads.

Aug 18, 2020Sarah Northwood rated it Five Stars

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What I Learned from High School History

Check out this interesting post from Mae Clair via the Story Empire blog titled: What I Learned from High School History

Story Empire

Hi, SEers. You’re with Mae today, and I’m spinning the clock back to highlight education during my teen years.

High school history taught me numerous events, but it also taught me something about myself. When I was in school, I sorta/maybe/kinda liked history class, but there was something missing. It was only later, as an adult, I’d discover what that something was.


History taught me about events. The American Revolution, the Civil War, the U.S. expansion west, the Plains-Indian War, etc. I found all of that fascinating to a degree, but it lacked the human element. I’m not sure what made me pick up my first nonfiction title as an adult. The book was called The Patriots, written about the men behind the American Revolution. Men who became the founding fathers of the United States.

Suddenly I was reading about the people behind the incident, rather than the…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – #Biographical #Fiction – Ever Rest by Roz Morris

Over at the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore there’s a New Author on the Shelves with the book, Ever Rest by Roz Morris

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to welcome journalist, ghostwriter, editor and writing coach Roz Morristo the Cafe and Bookstore with her books. Today I am featuring her latest release Ever Rest: How far must you go to come back to life?

About the book

I almost regret this is not a true story, because I believed every word.’ Amazon reviewer
‘Highly captivating, highly unusual… one of the best novels to come out of Britain this year.’ Garry Craig Powell, author, Stoning The Devil

Twenty years ago, Hugo and Ash were on top of the world. As the acclaimed rock band Ashbirds they were poised for superstardom. Then Ash went missing, lost in a mountaineering accident, and the lives of Hugo and everyone around him were changed forever. Irrepressible, infuriating, mesmerizing Ash left a hole they could never hope to fill.

Two decades on, Ash’s fiancée Elza is still struggling to move on…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Contemporary Anne Goodwin, #Historical Joyce Hampton, #Family Saga Margaret Lindsay Holton

Head over to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore to Meet the Authors featuring Anne Goodwin, Joyce Hampton and Margaret Lindsay Holton

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Anne Goodwin

An image posted by the author.

Anne Goodwin writes entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice. She is the author of three novels and short story collection published by small independent press, Inspired Quill. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her new novel, Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home, is inspired by her previous incarnation as a clinical psychologist in a long-stay psychiatric hospital.

Books by Anne Goodwin

One of the recent reviews for Matilda Windsor is Coming Home.

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars Matty’s story chilled me to the bone!  Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2021

“Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home” is a poignant reminder of what…

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Top Ten Things Not to do at a School Reunion

Check out another great top ten list from John Howell via his Fiction Favorites blog titled: The TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT A SCHOOL REUNION

Fiction Favorites

Unsplash photo by Baim Hanif

This post was originally run on July 6th, 2015. Since several reunions are going on this summer, I thought you would enjoy it again.

Top Ten Things Not to do at a School Reunion

10 If you attend a school reunion, do not pose for photos that you don’t know where they will be published. If you do at best, the photos will only be traded among classmates. At worst, they will end up on the “what the not to wear, eat, or drink” website. (Which will go viral, and you’ll be getting calls from the Today show to appear on their segment called EXCESS)

9 If you attend a school reunion, do not pretend to be what you are not. If you do, at best, your little fib will be seen as a joke. At worst, your profile on the class newsletter will be…

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