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.

A Writer’s Guilt – Guest Post by A.J. Alexander…

Head over to the Story Reading Ape blog to check out A Writer’s Guilt – Guest Post by A.J. Alexander

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I’m breaking out of the YA Fantasy genre with my new book, stepping into an unfamiliar field. My latest novel has some crime, flawed characters, and a protagonist who doesn’t always make the best choices… and smokes like a chimney.

Now, as compared to the YA’ The Council of Twelve‘ series, I don’t have to limit what my characters say or do. I can add intimacy, attraction, passion, crime, and one or other swear word if I want.

And, I can add cigarettes. But is that a good idea? In a time when the world around us shrinks ‘smoking zones’ to a woeful nothing, where entire cities declare their public places smoke-free environment, and where health warnings are printed on every cigarette pack, should my protagonist smoke?

Theoretically, I know pretty well, my protagonist is doomed to a possible existence with lung cancer. But I also admit, I could…

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Finding Your Writing Rhythm – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Karen DeBonis

For those who were born with the instinct to write, you probably figured out your writing rhythm—the ebb and flow of your writing practice, and the beat and tempo of your unique voice—early on. I wasn’t one of those kids who filled notebooks with short stories, or wrote under the covers at night by flashlight. As a teen or young adult, I never aspired to write the next great American novel or publish my prose in a magazine.

In other words, I’m not a born writer. Latecomers like me often write to the beat of someone else’s drummer until they discover their own rhythm.

Read the rest of this post HERE.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #YAFantasy Deborah E. Bowman, #Psychological #Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Adventure Audrey Driscoll.

It’s time to head over to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore to Meet the Authors featyrubg Deborah E. Bowman, Lucinda E. Clarke, and Audrey Driscoll.

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 Deborah A. Bowman

Deborah Bowman has been sharing her stories and poems her whole life–her first poem published in a 4-H magazine at just 12 years old. She loves just about all genres of fiction and collects classical literature. Deborah’s recent selections are close to her heart. She has a passion and a crusade for the headline-driven factual and historical material which she weaves into novels and novellas.

Deborah has a 20+-year history as well as formal education in writing, editing, proofreading, and publishing. She believes strongly in helping first-time and seasoned writers alike create quality books and eBooks at clasidconsultantspublishing.com. She does free reviews and critiques. “Books are timeless; readers are forever.”

Deborah has various upcoming projects, but is always…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #Shortstories #Crime Jane Risdon, #Thriller Gwen M. Plano

Head down to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore to Meet the Authors featuring Balroop Singh, Jane Risdon, and Gwen M. Plano

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 Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, an educator, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #WWI – #Historical – Sheep On The Somme: A World War I Picture and Poetry Book by Frank Prem

Head over to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore for a New Book on the Shelves featuring Sheep On The Somme: A World War I Picture and Poetry Book by Frank Prem

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of the latest release from Frank Prem – Sheep On The Somme: A World War I Picture and Poetry Book  – in hardback and paperback this is a memorial to those who endured the horrors of the Battle of the Somme.

About the Collection.

In this Picture Poetry collection, journey with the AIF, the ANZACS and the German and French armies at war on the Western Front during the Great War of 1914 – 1918.

Have your photo taken in a studio in Cairo, and your heart broken on a small street in Ballarat.

The bombs are falling in an endless fusillade of artillery fire from both sides of the conflict, turning the Somme into a clagging stew of slurried mud and maddened men.

Frank Prem has taken images of men at war and created verse stories to accompany them and to tell you…

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Developing Your Villain

Check out this great post from Staci Troilo via the Story Empire blog titled: Developing Your Villain

Story Empire

Caricature by J.J., SVG file by Gustavb, Re-png’d by VirtualRash  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Ciao, SEers! I’ve been talking to you about some of my favorite character types the last couple of times I was with you. We’ve already gone over sidekicks and red herrings (if you missed them). Today, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I, the writer who delights in killing so many of her characters in so many different ways, is talking to you about the villain.

I feel like I could write a book on the subject. Many writers already have. Today, however, I want to focus on three points: power, motivation, and success.


A villain needs to be a worth adversary for your hero. By worthy, I mean he needs to be slightly more powerful. Yes, more powerful. Not equal, not less. More.

If he’s too strong, he’ll never be beaten. Too weak…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #Contemporary Anne Goodwin, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Crime #Thriller Fiona Tarr

Head over tot he Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore for the Weekly News featuring Anne Goodwin, D.Wallace Peach, and Fiona Tarr

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves. Today a a catch up with some of the new additions to the Cafe.

The first author with a recent review is Anne Goodwinfor her latest release Matilda Windsor is Coming Home 

About the book

“In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect.

A brother and sister separated for fifty years and the idealistic young social worker who tries to reunite them. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart?

Told with compassion and humour, Anne Goodwin’s third novel is a poignant, compelling and brilliantly authentic portrayal of asylum life, with a quirky protagonist you won’t easily forget. Published by Inspired Quill.”

One of the recent reviews for the book 

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Pixar’s Screenwriting Tips

Check out this very interesting post from Nicholas Rossis’ blog titled: Pixar’s Screenwriting Tips

Nicholas C. Rossis

In my last post, I discussed how to create memorable characters the Pixar way. This one has some more writing tips from No Film School. This one includes several tweets from Director and Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats (@lawnrocket). I hope you find them useful!

Pixar's rules for writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Character tips

  • Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  • You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
  • What is your character good at; comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  • Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
  • If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations. What would make YOU act that way?
  • What are the stakes? Give us a…

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Memoir Writing 101: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started – Part 3 – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

By Linda Ruggeri

Earlier this month, I posted my Memoir Writing 101 Series: Getting Started Part 2. Today’s Part 3: different ways we can revise our memoir once we’ve finished writing it. (In case you missed it, here’s Part 1.)

Somewhere along your memoir writing path, you probably asked yourself “Why am I writing this?” As an editor, I like to follow that question with: What is your goal with writing this? What are you hoping to accomplish? Who is this really for?

Knowing your “Why?” is key to discovering if you’re accomplishing your goal when you start revising your work. The answer to that question (which you should tape to the bottom of your screen) becomes the “bar” you return to again and again during the revision process, when other questions come up, such as Does this part make sense? or Do I really need this story?

Once you know your purpose, and have that guideline, then you can move on to developing a revision checklist and a schedule. Below is what I use, and by no means is it exhaustive or exclusive but it’s a roadmap of what you can do to make the process easier. Feel free to add your own revision pit stops as you work and new things come to mind.

Read the rest of this post HERE.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Romance Lizzie Chantree

Head down to the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore to Meet some great Authors featuring Jacquie Biggar, C.S. Boyack and Lizzie Chantree

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 Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

A small selection of books by Jacquie Biggar

One of the recent reviews for The Seal’s Temptation: Wounded Hearts- Book 7

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but start with Book One  Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2021

Another awesome action/romance mash-up from Jacquie Biggar, and this one ranks toward the top of my favorites. After a disastrous mission and…

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