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.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at a Wedding

Check out another great list from John Howell via his Fiction Favorites blog with the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT A WEDDING

Fiction Favorites

This post originally ran on June 15th 2015. It still appears to hold some water today.

Unsplash photo by Sandy Millar

Since June is wedding month, I can’t let it pass without making some comments on what we should all avoid if we are in a wedding, invited to a wedding, or married. I hope you enjoy it.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at a Wedding (no matter who you are)

10 If you are a wedding guest, do not be tempted to pick up and shake a few of the wedding presents to see if there are sets of china or appliances inside. If you do, at best those observing you will know you bought a cheap gift or none at all. At worst, you will be asked to step away from the gifts by a large man with the word SECURITY above his left pocket. He also…

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Introducing Cold Dark Night by Joan Hall #newbook

Check out this great post from John Howell’s Fiction Favorites blog where he is introducing Joan Hall’s new book, Dark Night

Fiction Favorites

I am welcoming Joan Hall to fiction Favorites. Joan is a fellow member of Story Empire and a terrific writer. She has a new book to tell us about. Joan the post is yours.

Thank you for hosting me today, John. I’m delighted to be here and to tell your readers about my newest release, Cold Dark Night. It’s the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series. Each book begins with a historical event that ties to modern-day.

I have the utmost respect for the men and women who serve or have served in the military. My character, Connor Hughes, is a former SEAL. He’s recently returned to Madeira after his discharge from the Navy and purchases a gun range.

There are parts of his past that he’s reluctant to share, but he and lead character Jason soon strike up a friendship. Connor plays a pivotal role late…

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Memoir Writing: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started – Part 2 – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

By Linda Ruggeri

A few months ago, I posted my Memoir Writing 101 Series: Getting Started Part 1. Today I’m sharing Part 2, where we discuss with the same authors I wrote about, the positive things and surprises that came out of their memoir projects—the unintended consequences memoir writing can have in our lives.

When I work with memoir writers as their editor and/or writing coach, there is an inherent bond of trust that is forged. They promise to share their best work with me (which usually nobody has seen), and I promise to listen, read, and give them honest and helpful guidance that can make their manuscripts stronger.

It’s a delicate act and not one for the faint of heart (for either of us). I know I’ll be treading through different and sometimes difficult stories: some painful, some rewarding, some that took years to write, and some that are born out of pure passion—so what I say, and how I say it, can break or strengthen a person’s soul, or both.

Read the rest of this post HERE.

Writing Organizations – The Good -The Bad – The Ugly

Check out this insightful post from Jan Sikes via the Story Empire blog titled: Writing Organizations – The Good -The Bad – The Ugly

Story Empire

Hello SErs! It’s Jan here today to talk about something I’m sure we’ve all experienced on our writing journey – Writing Organizations and groups.

Courtesy Alexas Fotos – Pixabay

Let’s face it. Writing is a solitary endeavor. We close our doors, isolate ourselves and block out the world while we create worlds. But that’s where the isolation ends. We are not an island unto ourselves when it comes to publishing our work and marketing it to the masses. We need a support system, or two. So, then comes the big question, ‘where do we go to find the support we need and that we can equally reciprocate?’

To find the answer, we often turn to the internet in search of writing organizations or groups that will be the perfect fit for us as individuals. But more often than not, our association with writing groups comes about through personal recommendations or…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order – #Western #Romance Keeper Tyree by S. Cox

Head over tot heSmorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore for a New Book on the Shelves. Be sure to Pre-Order Keeper Tyree by S. Cox

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Sandra Cox..the western romance Keeper Tyree – On pre-order for June 25th at the special price of $2.98/£2.10

About the book

Keeper Tyree is an aging bounty hunter who lives by his own set of rules. He’s a hard man, but just, and his word is his bond. He’s a loner and likes it that way. Then Cathleen O’Donnell catapults into his life looking to hire his gun. Josiah Pardee has killed her boy, and she’s out for vengeance. Somehow all his hard and fast rules, including working alone and minding his own business, crumbles in the face of the immovable widow he now works for. He finds himself rescuing soiled doves, a myopic bookworm more suited to city life than the Wild West, and an hombre being dragged to death by angry cardplayers, as he tracks down the…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #History Mike Biles, #Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Journal #Memoir Jaye Marie

It’s a busy day over at the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore where you can Meet the Authors featuring Mike Biles, Ritu Bhathal, and Jaye Marie

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 Mike Biles

Mike Biles has lived in Britain all his life and generally loves the place, warts and all. He first learned history on his dad’s knee and went on to study medieval and modern British and European history at university. He was planning on teaching it, but then drifted into a career running his own business. Despite having worked with some of the UK’s most prestigious firms, he is often at his happiest with his nose in a history book, or exploring a historic site where the past is close. Several years ago, Mike began a blog – now an increasingly authoritative website – ‘A Bit About Britain’. He had to write a bit about Britain’s history for the website…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Fantasy Adele Marie Park.

Head over to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore to Meet the Authors featuring Annette Rochelle Aben, Karen Ingalls, and Adele Marie Park

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 Annette Rochelle Aben  

Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her…

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When You Buy A Book, You Buy A Promise – Guest Post by Jaq D Hawkins…

Head over to The Story Reading Ape blog to check out When You Buy A Book, You Buy A Promise, a Guest Post by Jaq D Hawkins

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I recently came across a phrase somewhere on social media, “When you buy a book, you buy a promise.”

It started me thinking about what we promise to readers when we sell them a story. While we all know that book ‘buying’ is a separate hobby from book ‘reading’, every author has to assume that sooner or later, the reader will make time to read the stories they buy and the manifestation of the promises in the book description will determine whether they ever want to read another of the author’s books again.

The purpose of a book description goes beyond just making a sale. The description sends the reader’s imagination into speculation about the story to come. This raises expectations in the reader’s mind. To some extent, the reader has already told themselves a story before the author gets a chance to give them the details and a few…

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The Delta Pearl 75 — Pin

Check out The Delta Pearl 75 – Pin by Teagan Riordain Geneviene from this post on her blog.

Teagan's Books

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Composite image by Teagan R. Geneviene, sourced via PixabayComposite image by Teagan R. Geneviene, sourced via Pixabay

Welcome, my chuckaboos. I hope everyone is safe and well.  The Delta Pearl is almost ready to come into dock.  It’s been a complex story, stretching over many months.  For quite some time, I’ve only been able to offer extra-short episodes.  Happily this one is a normal serial-sized length. 

I’m about to unearth some details from the past, as I tie-off the many threads of this story.  If you didn’t see the recap last weekend, it might be helpful to you.  Use the “Delta Pearl” category on the right margin as a shortcut to all the chapters.


Clockwork creatures continued to emerge from corners and hidden crannies.  A silver swan, a citrine bumble bee, and a sapphire bluebird flew to perch on Cécile’s outstretched arms.  A moonstone monkey, a rainbow fluorite rabbit, a small rose quartz…

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7 Character Lessons from a Real Life Heroine – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Piper Bayard
of Bayard & Holmes

This week on June 8 was Women’s Fiction Day, celebrating strong female protagonists. More and more stories these days are bringing us great female characters. In thrillers and military fiction, one challenge is to write those strong women as authentic, well-rounded female personalities rather than alpha males with lady parts.

One good way to address this challenge is to study the real-life heroines of the past, who used wits, wiles, cunning, determination, and subterfuge to stay alive and conquer their foes. Today, we’ll take a look at the life of a real-life heroine who was feared by the Nazis as “the most dangerous spy in all of France,” Virginia Hall Goillot.

I’ve shared seven precious writing tips from Virginia’s life are at the bottom of this post.

Read the rest of this post HERE.