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.

ANNOUNCING — Dead of Winter: Journey 4, The Old Road

Check out this exciting announcement from Teagan Geneviene for Dead of Winter: Journey 4, The Old Road. Details are available in this post from her blog.

Teagan's Books

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 

The April Journey is finally here!

DoW 4 Wagon Wheel promoPromotional Image by Teagan

Dead of Winter: Journey 4, The Old Road

I never intended to do much writing when I decided to convert this epic novel into an Amazon serial of monthly novelettes.  It was already plenty long.  However, this Journey gave me the chance to tell part of the backstory of two characters — Boabhan and Hallgeir.  To do so, I added an entire chapter, titled “Dig.”  There was already one segment told from Boabhan’s point of view.  

The Boabhan character also designed the wagons in which the Deae Matres travel, hence the wagon wheel in my image.  I suppose it would be fair to say that this novelette features her. 

Journey 4 is notably longer than 1, 2, 3, or 5 (coming in May).  However, it is still novelette-length.

As most of you know, I call the…

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Useful Writing Tools

Check out this great post from Joan Hall via the Story Empire blog titled: Useful Writing Tools

Story Empire

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. You’ve probably heard the terms planner, plotter, and panster. Some writers must have a detailed outline before writing the first word of a novel. Others write by the seat of their pants and let the story (or characters) determine what happens.

I’m somewhere between. When I begin a novel, I have a general idea of where I want it to go. I name my characters, know the inciting event that propels the lead character into action, and how I want the book to end.

Pansting has its problems. Among them are under-developed characters and flat settings (white room syndrome). Believe me, I’ve struggled with both.

To remedy the problem, I searched for various character sketches and settings tools. Some were too sketchy (pun intended), others too detailed. After being ready to give up, what did I do? Made my own. I took ideas…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Memoir – P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by D. G. Kaye

Head on down to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore for the share an excerpt from a previous books 2021 feature. Check out this excerpt from P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by D. G. Kaye. Details are in this post from Sally Cronin.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in theCafe and Bookstorea chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today D.G. Kayeshares an excerpt from her memoir P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy – Debby is taking some much needed time  away from blogging following the passing of her husband, but will respond to your comments when she returns.

About the book

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally…

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Top Ten Things Not to Do While Birdwatching

Check out John Howell’s TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO WHILE BIRDWATCHING from this post on his blog.

Fiction Favorites

Top Ten things not to do

This post was originally run on April 11th, 2016. I hope you enjoy it.

The inspiration for this list is the fact that birds of all kinds are in the process of migration and spring has sprung.  I thought I would start off with a little bird joke.

As migration approached, two elderly vultures doubted they could make the trip south, so they decided to go by airplane. When they checked their baggage, the attendant noticed that they were carrying two dead raccoons.

“Do you wish to check the raccoons through as luggage?” she asked.

“No, thanks,” replied the vultures. “They’re carrion.”*

*Courtesy of http://Hungarianbirdwatching.com

Top Ten Things Not to Do While Birdwatching

10 If you are birdwatching, do not leave home without your species checklist. If you do, at best, you will not know the species of birds in your area. At worst, you will broadcast to every watcher…

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Book Cover 101: Design Pitfalls to Avoid on Your Way to Bestseller – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Melinda VanLone

Whether you’re designing your own covers or hiring someone to do it for you, it’s easy to fall prey to some common traps along the way. Here are five pitfalls to avoid as you navigate the wild world of cover design.

Genre Misfire

A great-looking piece of art that doesn’t represent your genre won’t help you in the long run. If it tricks the wrong reader into thinking they’ve just picked up the romance of the century, only to find it’s a thriller inside, they won’t be happy no matter how pretty you make the cover. And it will lead to bad reviews. If you’re hiring someone to design your cover, make sure they understand your story’s genre.  

Read the rest of this post HERE.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #YA #Adventure – Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind Book 6 by Darelene Foster

Head down to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore where it’s time to share an excerpt from a previous book featuring Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind Book 6 by Darlene Foster
Posted on April 12, 2021 by Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in theCafe and Bookstorea chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Darlene Foster shares an excerpt from book 6 of her YA travel adventure book  series, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind. Amanda’s latest adventure on the island of Malta is released on May 11th and is currently on Pre-Order
About the book

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. She shares a room with Cleo, an anxious classmate who insists she sees ghosts. Although Amanda is…

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Check out this new book from one of my favorite authors, Charles Yallowitz

It’s Monster vs Monster and Only One will Keep His Head!

For the first time in over a century, Clyde will know what it means to feel powerless and weak.

Headless bodies appearing across Windemere is only the beginning as Clyde faces the terrifying vampire hunter, Alastyre.  Able to match the Dawn Fang leader in power and ferocity, this new menace shows no signs of weakness or mercy.  With both friends and enemies getting dragged into the battle, Clyde will have to find a way to become stronger.  For that, he will have to accept an ancient challenge and pray that those he cares about and trusts can hold Alastyre at bay.

Which monster of Windemere will claim the top of the food chain?

Want to hear more?  Enjoy this Teaser!

Alastyre disappears for a moment before reappearing in front of Clyde and grinning at how the Dawn Fang does not react. “I have waited many years for this day. You probably don’t remember me since it has been so long. The temptation to tell Mab the truth when she was my captive was so strong that I knew I needed more time to mature. I should only feel happy and excited when we are about to clash. By the way, your enemies put up an entertaining fight. It lasted no more than a couple of minutes, but I enjoyed it. My hope is that your reputation is true and I will get to use my full power for once. The thought of ripping your head off and adding it to my collection is one of the few dreams that gives my life meaning. Is this where we’re going to fight? I see that there is a lot of sand and giant boulders scattered about. Do you use this courtyard as a large rock garden in order to relax? You are a more amusing monster than I expected.”

“I don’t like you,” Mab growls before she is grabbed by the face.

“A drug-addicted worm should watch-”

“Put . . . my . . . partner . . . down,” Clyde growls from behind the hunter. The illusionary vampire fades away as the real one materializes, his gauntlet sword already pressed against the man’s meaty neck. “You say we’ve met before and you’ve been training to fight me. Looks more like you’ve altered yourself to become a freak. The smell of your blood reeks of corruptive magic and demon influence. There’s a hint of Dawn Fang and dragon in there too. You’re nothing more than a glorified golem. Bunch of parts and auras cobbled together to turn a weak mortal into a monster. I’m not impressed, Alan Stryker. Still trying to strike fear into the rotting hearts of my kind? At least your name isn’t as stupid as it was before.”

“Wait, do you mean that guy who attacked you outside of Lord Shallis’s castle?” Titus asks with a chuckle. He grunts when his sister is thrown into him, the force sending the siblings crashing against the patio’s railing. “I told you that keeping him alive was a mistake, but I didn’t think it would turn into this. You must be angry that nobody believed your story about vampires that are immune to the sun. Is that what this is about?”

With a casual flick of his finger, Alastyre sends Clyde’s sword and arm flying across the courtyard. “No because it was another hunter who survived and told that tale. Your leader was so distracted with Mab biting him that he failed to notice a second mortal that he failed to kill. I focused on recovery and getting stronger because I refused to follow such a ridiculous plan. The fewer people who knew about the Dawn Fangs, the better my chances were at being the one to succeed. Please know that I only want to destroy your leadership. Originally, I wished to wipe all of you out of existence, but that could prove to be impossible. You monsters are more talented at hiding than anything else I have hunted, so I could never be sure of your extinction. The next best thing is to take over Nyetfall and use it as a jail for your kind. All Dawn Fangs will be contained on this island once they no longer have their precious rulers. Don’t you agree that this is much better than extermination, Clyde?”

“I have no opinion because it’s never going to happen.”

“Do you accept my challenge?”

“You never officially made one.”

“I demand that you fight me to the death.”

“Thank you for being straightforward and not making me hunt you down.”

“We fight in an hour then.”

“Why not now?”

Alastyre points while mentioning, “You are still missing an arm. I want to face you at full strength.”

“Don’t say I didn’t give you a chance,” the Dawn Fang says as he continues healing the injury.

Get a copy of this vampire action adventure for
99 cents on Amazon!

Help spread the word by adding it on Goodreads!


Want to catch up on War of Nytefall?Grab the volumes 1-5 for 99 cents each ($5 total)!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Interested in more Windemere?  Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

About the Author:

Cover Art by Alison Hunt
All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Enjoy the fang-filled adventure by clicking here!

What to Do With Books That Are Insensitive to Social Norms

Check out this thought provoking post from John Howell via the Story empire blog with the topic: What to Do With Books That Are Insensitive to Social Norms

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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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order -#Crime – I Am Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #4 by Sue Coletta

Check out the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore where there’s a new book on the shelves. You can pre-order I Am Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #4 by Sue Coletta. Details are available via this post from Sally Cronin.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Congratulations to Sue Coletta on the forthcoming release for I Am Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #4 – On pre-order at 99c/99p for April 20th

About the book

As bloody, severed body parts show up on her doorstep, Shawnee Daniels must stop the serial killer who wants her dead before she becomes the next victim.

But can she solve his cryptic clues before it’s too late? Or will she be the next to die a slow, agonizing death?

With crows stalking her every move, Shawnee can barely function. Things worsen when body parts show up on her doorstep. An unstoppable serial killer wants her dead. Mr. Mayhem threatens to murder everyone she loves, sending Shawnee a piece at a time.

As Mr. Mayhem sits in judgement, his cryptic clues must be solved before the final gavel drops. The game rules are simple—win the unwinnable or submit to a slow, agonizing death.

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Top 10 Success Tips from Prince – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Jenny Hansen

Top 10 List

Over the last few years, I’ve shared “Top 10” lists from several amazing people on the topics of writing and success but I haven’t branched out into musicians. In my humble opinion, there’s no one better to talk about creative success than Prince. (Yes, that Prince. aka Prince Rogers Nelson.)

This massively talented genius, who died in 2016 at age 57, left behind millions of devastated fans. He also left behind a locked vault reputed to hold 1,000+ unpublished or unfinished works. The contents of the vault are unknown as no one can get into it.

Prince wrote scores of hits under his own name, and others you might not have known were his songs, like:

Rather than examine boring things like his estate plan (which was so non-existent, they’re still duking things out in court almost five years later), I’d like to focus on Prince’s own inspiring words about how he built his phenomenal success.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Prince on what success looks like for creatives:

Read the rest of this post HERE.