Welcome to the WordCrafter “Resurrection Mixtape” Book Blog Tour

Join us for the opening day of the WordCrafter Resurrection Mixtape Book Blog Tour. This week we’re celebrating the release of the amazing new novel by author Jeff Bowles. We have an interview with the author, and you’ll get to hear from him about this unique and wonderful book, along with a couple of interviews and a fatastic giveaway. So follow the tour to learn more about Resurrection Mixtape, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. You’ll find the tour schedule with links below, but of course, the links won’t work until each post goes live.

Tour Schedule

Resurrection Mixtape – December 5 – 9

Day 1 – Interview with author Jeff Bowles – Writing to be Read

Day 2 – Guest Post from author Jeff Bowles – Robbie’s Inspiration

Day 3 – Audio Excerpt & Review – Writing to be Read

Day 4 – Guest Post from author Jeff Bowles – Roberta Writes

Day 5 – Guest Post from author Jeff Bowles & Review – Carla Loves to Read

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Giveaway!

For this tour we’re giving away 3 signed print copies of Resurrection mixtape and a $25 Amazon gift card. To enter, just tell 

us the top three songs on your mixtape in the comments. Come on now. We really want to know.

Winners will be chosen in a random drawing.

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The Book

Emily has been dead a year, but that doesn’t stop her from crashing in on her former best friend’s life in a whirlwind of mayhem, dark magic, and music. She’s been resurrected by a supernatural mixtape full of excellent but probably evil pop tunes. Amazing powers of transformation flow through her, piece-by-piece endowing her with abilities beyond anyone’s understanding. Within and without, a dark presence dwells, ready to express itself in all sorts of colorful and destructive ways. It’s all in the music, man. Press “PLAY” at your own risk.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Mixtape-Jeff-Bowles-ebook/dp/B0BKYG2JJQ/

The Author

I met Jeff Bowles while earning my M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Western Colorado Sate University back in 2014. It was immediatey apparent that this guy had some immense talent when it came to writing, paired with an amzing imagination. He has been a member of my blog team since 2017, and has done several popular blog series on writing, as well as reviews of books, movies and games. His current blog series, “Bowlesian!”, which is featured the first Wednesday of every month and usually features his short fiction, is currently featuring a serialized version of his latest release, and featured book of this tour, one chapter at a time.

Resurrection Mixtape is his third novel, but he also writes short fiction, and has published three short fiction collections, in addition to stories featured online and in anthologies. In fact, he has short fiction featured in three different WordCrafter Press anthologies, and was a contributing author in Ask the Authors 2022. He lives in Colorado with his lovely wife, Carrie, and despite life throwing him some pretty big curves, he is a talented writer and author, among his many other talents, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be able to feature his interview here today.

Interview with author Jeff Bowles

Let’s start with the very basics – Can you tell your readers, or potential readers, who is Jeff Bowles?

Hello there! I’m a Fantasy and Horror writer from the mountains of Colorado. I’ve had lots of short story publications, but as a novelist I’m an indie guy. I’ve published three novels so far, plus three short story collections, all of which you can find on Amazon. Resurrection Mixtape is my third book. I’m very proud of it, so please do check it out. I got my MFA in Creative Writing at Western Colorado University a few years back, and I live very happily with my wife and our animals in the foothill region of Southern Colorado. Nice to meet all of you!

Please tell us a bit about your latest novel, Resurrection Mixtape.

Well, this is my pandemic book, if I can call it that. I’ve been battling serious mental illness for a while now, and Resurrection Mixtape was my keep-sane project while COVID was at its worst. The book is about music and the afterlife, death and love; there’s plenty of humor, and quite a few surprises. Basically, a singular conglomeration of supernatural beings decides to resurrect this woman, Emily, using a special mixtape designed to endow her with incredible abilities. Her former best friend, a guy who’s been in love with her for years, finds her on his doorstep almost a year to the day since she burned to death in a house fire, and he’s pulled into a wild string of events that culminate in a pretty fun and exciting way.

What was your inspiration for the story of Resurrection Mixtape? Where did the idea for the book come from?

That would by my wife, Carrie. She had this idea that a mixtape could bring someone back to life, though I’m pretty sure she envisioned the concept as more of a romance than a superpowered rock and roll horror romp! I have a deep and abiding passion for music of all kinds. I’m a musician myself, and I’ve been playing guitar and writing songs since about the age of ten or eleven. So this book is really a love letter to the music that made me who I am. As a matter of record, I began writing Resurrection Mixtape without any notes or an outline. I had no idea where it was going, but fortuitously enough, it found its conclusion after months of hammering a fairly rough story into place.

Can you give an introduction for the main players in the story? Who are these characters?

Emily is the subject of this particular resurrection. She died almost a year ago, and in the bowels of the netherworld, she became convinced her husband, Guy, was the one who killed her. Jason, her former best friend, is there to try to convince her otherwise. That doesn’t go very well. The two of them have gone through plenty of ups and downs together. Emily used to be fair-minded, generous of spirit, a music lover (hence the hexed cassette). But now she’s something else entirely. An evil presence dwells within and without, and Jason is helpless to do anything but go along for the ride.

What part of the novel was the most fun to write? Why?

One of the characters (or should I say group of characters) has a really fun voice that was always enjoyable to write. This mass of spiritual entities calls themselves the ICM (Interspecies Conglomeration of Mack), and they’ve got a kind of stately, if kooky way of putting things. The ICM owns the narration through some of the book, and I look back on writing that stuff fondly. It’s still fun to read, even after picking through it dozens of times!

What part of the novel was the most difficult to write? Why?

I’d say the writing was the easy part. Editing and compiling and revising the blasted thing once the rough draft was done, this was some of the hardest writing work I’ve had to do to date. Like I said, I went in without any notes or an outline, and this inevitably made more work for me on the back end of the project. Which was fine, because this is a passion of mine. But gosh, next time we’re going back to the outlining. Another tricky thing was trying to get in my word count every day. For mental health reasons, I limit myself to four or five hundred words per day, which is much less than what I used to aim for. So the long-haul nature of the project began to wear on me towards the end. More technical issues than anything specific to any section or scene from the story itself.

If  Resurrection Mixtape was made into a film, who would you like to play Emily?

Oh man, awesome question! Emily would be fun to cast, because she’s got her background identity, the person she was before she died, but then she also becomes something much stranger and more egoic. This actor would have to wear prosthetics for later sequences in the film … hmm, I’m going to have to go with Amy Adams. She’s got a serious amount of range, from humor to drama to horror, all of which would be required for Resurrection Mixtape. That would be incredible. Could we make that happen someday?

I know that music is a big part of your life, listening as well as creating, and it is a key element in the story. Do you listen to music while you write?

Actually no, I can’t write to music to save my life. I’ve always gotten that advice from other writers and have tried it on various occasions, but the truth is whenever I hear good music I can’t help but stop everything and listen. It’s like I’ve got special musical ESP or something. When I’m writing, I find it incredibly distracting. I’m just too sensitive to good tunes, but that also means I usually need to write in silence, which can be pretty boring for me and everyone else in the house.

What is the strangest inspiration for a story you’ve ever had?

Well I’ve had some pretty weird ones. Between concepts my wife and I have come up with, my stories have ranged pretty far and wide as far as weirdness goes. One of my favorite short stories was about a little guy or girl camped out on everyone’s heads, acting thereon as a physical voice for our id, our inner desires and fears. It’s called “Itsies,” pretty funny little story. The inspiration for that one came from imagining a little dude in a teddy bear costume living under my hat or something. Kind of a weird thought, but it turned into a published story, so there you have it. Actually, the dark zaniness of so much of my work comes from my own short attention span and inability to stay bored for longer than a minute or two. If I’m feeling bored, I figure my readers are too. In that case, I may just take a left instead of the right. Doesn’t matter where I end up. All just grist of the mill.

(“Itsies” was recently featured on Jeff’s blog series “Bowlesian!”. You can find it here.)

What is the one thing in your writing career that is the most unusual or unique thing you’ve done so far?

I’ve worn a few hats. I was a private editor for a while, I wrote for the local newspaper, went to school for creative writing (specifically for genre fiction), and I’ve even been a technical writer for Lockheed Martin, of all places. That was just a normal desk job, but it might’ve been the least likely place to find a writer like me plying his talents. Here I am now, writing about cursed mixtapes, but then I was at work detailing technical systems and reviewing incredibly dry schematics, editing user manuals for government computer systems twenty or thirty years old. Plus, I was still in my early twenties, way too young to understand most of what my superiors were trying to communicate. I did my best, and earned a few merits. Maybe I had no idea what I was doing, or maybe they didn’t. Either way, Lockheed Martin turned out not to be my thing. Much happier writing about spirit conglomerations and the awesome but probably evil pop songs that drive them.

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Jeff Bowles is a science fiction and horror writer from the mountains of Colorado. The best of his outrageous and imaginative work can be found in God’s Body: Book One – The Fall, Godling and Other Paint Stories, Fear and Loathing in Las Cruces, and Brave New Multiverse. He has published work in magazines and anthologies like PodCastle, Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, the Threepenny Review, and Dark Moon Digest. Jeff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at Western State Colorado University. He currently lives in the high-altitude Pikes Peak region, where he dreams strange dreams and spends far too much time under the stars. Jeff’s new novel, Love/Madness/Demon, is available on Amazon now!

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Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Mind Fields: Ideas, Poems, Thoughts

I don’t know what to call my writings any more. Poems? Not really, or not always. Sometimes these things have a poetic rhythm, sometimes not.

I Forget

September 26, 2022

I forget that evil tyrants run the world.

I forget that poets and artists

barely exist, barely scratch by

with a sigh, with patient resignation.

I forget that kindness is hindered

at every turn by evil intentions of those who command

the power of Calamity. I forget

that bad guys have no love

but don’t even miss it. I forget

that tenderness is

but a beginning to ever greater tenderness.

I forget that

we create ourselves in versions

of the pattern laid down within

a larger memory whose boundaries extend

beyond the edges of everything.  I forget everything

except that I exist and sometimes I forget that, too.

What I remember is this: I am aware of you. I am aware of your scent and the streams of feeling that flow between us. 

That I Can Never Forget.

The Big Bang

The Big Bang was the beginning of consciousness.

As consciousness is not confined by the laws of physics

it presents to us an enigma that we strive to unravel.

We take the first tentative steps towards this end with Quantum Mechanics. Quantum science acknowledges the influence

of the observers’ consciousness. That is only the first baby step

on the road to full awareness of the sheer magnitude of existence.

We may find existence terrifying and baffling with its beauty. That is up to us, not up to God or anything else. As entities with any degree of consciousness we are tasked with the responsibility to love our own awareness and then love it in all other beings.

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Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

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Calling All Bakers! Announcing My Second Annual Virtual Cookie Exchange

This is a cool idea for those of us whose creativity comes out in the kitchen, as well as on the page. I’m haven’t baked in years, but I know several of you who do. What a grand way to celebrate the Christmas season.

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! Last year, I got the idea for a holiday cookie recipe swap. But I got it kind of late, so participation was a little low. Six bakers fit it into their schedules, and we got tons of comments (and compliments and downloads) by readers. Many of you said you’d have loved to participate but didn’t have enough notice.

Consider yourself notified.

In early December, I’ll be hosting my second annual cookie exchange. The first was fun. Let’s make the second FABULOUS.

Many cookies freeze beautifully, so maybe you’re beginning your holiday baking now. Or perhaps, like me, you refuse to embrace Christmas until Thanksgiving is over (because autumn) and won’t bake until December rolls around. Either way, community members want your recipes!

Like last year, when I bake this year, I’m going to take photos of the steps as I go, then (of course) I’ll take a picture…

View original post 307 more words


Lessons learned from NaNoWriMo

Let me start by saying, I did not write 50,000 words in November. I can’t say that I accomplished the goal, but I did come out with a manuscript of over 50,000 words, so I didn’t walk away empty handed.

For NaNoWriMo this year, I decided to work on my Western time-travel romance adventure, The Rock Star & the Outlaw. I already had a start on this story of 21,175 words, so I figured if I did manage to do 50,000 words, I would damn near have a full novel. And I did that, so I’m pleased with the results of this experience.

I’ve known that I am not a prolific writer like some authors I know. I will never crank out four or five novels in a year’s time, and I’m okay with that. But NaNoWriMo did teach me a few things about my own writing process which help to explain why I’m not prolific, which is like to share with you.

Time Management

I began this endeavor with the idea of trying out some of the writing strategies offered in Booked to the Gills, by Aisley Oliphant. It’s one of the books included in the valuable Writer’s Career Toolkit Bundle, curated by Kevin J. Anderson. (By the way, this is the lady day that you can get that bundle here.)

Her time blocking strategy was of particular interest to me, and I did find it to be useful. I found that when I put in the time without distractions, I was able to get a lot of words on the page, which was cool. But for me, the time blocks didn’t always work because life kept getting in the way, and things kept coming up that had to be tended to, so my blocks got cut short, or canceled. I found that it worked better for me, if I used smaller time blocks, with short breaks to do non-writing activities in between.

Although I did make the daily wordcount once on a workday by waking in the early morning hours before going to work, for the most part I found that I shouldn’t expect too much productive writing for these days. I found that these days, I’m generally too tired in the evenings to manage much in the way of productive writing, often only managing somewhere undr 500 words per day. Trying to time block my evenings on workdays didn’t work well and I was forced to accept that lower word counts were the norm on these days.

I was surprised to realize this, because I used to be able to write after work into the late night or early morning hours, and I did so frequently when I was earning my degrees in genre fiction and screenwriting. I must be getting old. Other things I used to be able to do, that no longer work for me include writing in the car while someone else is driving. I now get car sick when I try this tactic. Also, writing in bed. I can no longer stay awake into the late night hours, so I end up dozing off with my computer in my lap. But I also found that I am often awakening in the early morning hours and not being able to go back to sleep, and I am able to use those times to effectively write.

I also found Ms. Oliphant’s suggestion to take frequent breaks helpful. I used to be able to sit at my computer for hours on end, but it wears on me more as I get older. Frequent breaks to do other things allowed me to keep my head clutter free and improved my focus when I was writing. And I was surprised that most of these lessons are more about time management than they are about writing.

The Rock Star & The Outlaw

Writing Process

After compiling two Ask the Authors anthologies and organizing two virtual writing conferences, and working with over fifty authors, there’s one thing I’m sure of. Not every writer’s process is the same, and it is important for you to understand your own process. Some writer’s are pantsers, writing blind and allowing the story to develop organically, while others are plotters who outline down to the last detail, but most are somewhere in between. Some writers need quiet while writing, and others like to write while their favorite playlist plays in the background. Some writers are binge writers, who lock themselvews in a room and don’t come out until the book is finished, or they set crazy word counts for themselves each day and write like mad, while others take their time pecking out every word and editing as they go.

Now I know that for NaNoWriMo the idea is to get out a first draft, which is supposed to be rough. I get that. It doesn’t have to be perfect. There will be time to refine it later. However, my writing process doesn’t work like that. Try as I might, I repeatedly ran into scenes where I had to go back and add in foreshadowing for the story to work. Binge writing without editing as I go simply is not part of my writing process. I’m not wired that way. This could be a part of the reason that I am not prolific, but for me, editing as I go is essential.

I started with a rough outline for this story that I hadn’t looked at in almost two years, and 21,175 words already written, so I really only wrote about 24,000 words when I reached the 50,000 word mark. What I ran into early on was that my outline had a logic error which I had to go back and fix, so this quickly became a working outline, which changed as the story progressed. But that meant that any time I changed something in the story, I had to go back and change the outline, too. Again, this takes extra time away from the actual writing, but it was necessary to keep my story moving smoothly.

It also made the second half of the month a blind writing process, requiring time to think through things and figure out what came next. You can’t write fast when you don’t know what you are writing. And many of the events added later required me to go back and foreshadow the new event, or change things which had come before and no longer worked.

Although the goal was to write 1,677 or more words per day, very seldom was I able to meet that goal. Binge writing works for some, but it doesn’t work for me. However, it did help to make the story a priority. Not one day went by that I didn’t add at least a little, even on workdays. My lowest day was 123 words.

When I set out to get my M.F.A. in 2012, I thought I was a pantser, mainly because I hated outlines and prefered to just write. Unfortunately, that process left me with several stories which went no where. Then, I learned that outlined could offer my story direction which I didn’t have otherwise, and it helped to have some idea of where my story is going. So, it turns out that maybe I’m a plotter, and I’ve gone along believing that ever since, which is why I already had an outline for The Rock Star & The Outlaw.

Fortunately, outlines can be changed, since the trajectories for my stories frequently change. My characters often do things that were unexpected, which change the direction of the story, and I must go back and change things in both the story and in the outline. I now view my outlines as working outlines and change them as the story changes, and I changed this one frequently. I guess that makes me a plantser, which is somewhere in between a plotter and a pantser, because I plan, but remain flexible enough to adjust things as I go. It probably takes more time, but that’s how I roll.

Although this story was inspired by the music of The Pretty Reckless and others, I did not try listening to music while I wrote. I did however, listen while I was commuting or cleaning, or ironing, because this is when I do my pre-writing, thinking out the story as I did these mostly automatic tasks. Music is what inspired this story, and it plays a huge role, but if I try to listen while I write, I often catch myself singing along instead of writing.

The Main Take Away

I think what is important to take away from all of this, is that you have to do what works best for you. Every writer’s process is different, and what works for one writer may not necessarily work for the next. The advice offered in Booked to the Gills is valuable, but some of it just didn’t fit my lifestyle. However, I was able to find ways to adapt it by creating smaller blocks that worked better with my busy life and many obligations. Binge writing didn’t work for me either, but I was able to apply some of the same dedication that binge writing requires. And I adjusted my process when my outline wasn’t getting me to where I needed to be, and I went back and revised the story when I felt it necessary, because that is the way my writing process works.

Every author needs to explore different avenues until they find the methods which work with their life and writing styles. Then they can develop a writing process that works for them. There is no right or wrong way to write. Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, or somewhere in between, whether you’re a binge writer or edit as you go, whether you listen to music or talk your books on a mountain trail. Whatever works for you is the right way for you, and don’t be afraid to try new methods and strategies.

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For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is a passion. Kaye Lynne is an author with published short fiction and poetry, both online and in print, including her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction; and her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets. Kaye holds a dual M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing with emphasis in genre fiction and screenwriting, and an M.A. in publishing. Kaye Lynne is the founder of WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services and WordCrafter Press. She also maintains an authors’ blog and website, Writing to be Read, where she publishes content of interest in the literary world.

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Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.


WordCrafter News

A look back at 2022

Before we begin to look forward to the coming year, we must first look back to assess the successes and failures of the past year. It’s been a busy year, and we’ve accomplished much

For WordCrafter Press, we published 5 books in 2022.

In April, we released Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships, with an eight day blog tour, which did well enough that I’m looking forward to the release of Poetry Treasures 3 next year. Robbie Cheadle hasn’t shared with me what the theme will be for 2023, but I’m sure it will be a good one.

In May, we released Ask the Authors 2022: Writing Reference Anthology, with a ten week long blog promotion series. Seven of the contributing authors for this book, including me, editor Kaye Lynne Booth got together for a round table discussion on the Stark Reflections Podcast to share writing wisdom and promote the book, here. And it is still available in Kevin J. Anderson’s Writing Career Toolkit Bundle, which you can purchase here. The bundle is only available until December 1, so be sure to grab one while you can.

In July, I graduated from the Master’s program at Western State Colorado University with an M.A. in publishing, and I saw the publication of both my student projects, Gilded Glass: Twisted Myths & Shattered Fairy Tales, which I was on the editorial team for, and Weird Tales: Best of the Early Years 1926-27, which I compiled & edited with Weird Tales editor and award winning author, Jonathan Maberry.

In August, WordCrafter Press published the first of three short fiction anthologies, Once Upon an Ever After: Modern Myths & Fairy Tales, with a six day blog tour and giveaway. Featuring contemporary stories in the classic fairy tale tradition which I handpicked.myself, to create an exceptional by-invitation-only fantasy anthology. This anthology has been our biggest seller in 2022.

In September, the second of the three WordCrafter Press anthologies, Refracted Reflections: Twisted Tales of Duality & Deception, with a five day blog tour. Also, by invitation only, these reflective tales may not be what they seem.

October was a big month, with the release of Visions, the 2023 annual WordCrafter Press anthology. In addition to contest entrries from the annual WordCrafter Press Short Fiction Contest, this year’s anthology had more contributions by invitation, making it the largest anthology WordCrafter Press has ever published. We ran an eight day blog tour with three days of double stops. It was quite a production. Then, we joined up with Sonoran Dawn Studios for the big Halloween book event, All Hallow’s Eve – The Web We Weave on Facebook, where we promoted all 2022 WordCrafter Press releases, with games and giveways, music and movies.

In November, I’ve been trying to do the NaNoWriMo thing with The Rock Star and the Outlaw, a time travel romance adventure novel, inspired by the music of The Pretty Reckless and other artists. It’s not finished until the last day of the month, so I’m still hard at it. I’ve written 28,940 words since the beginning of the month, so I’m not even close But I started with 21, 175 words already written, and I passed the 50,000 word mark this morning.

Also in the month of November, Ask the Authors 2022, is available in the Writer’s Career Toolkit Bundle currated by Kevin J. Anderson. Also included in this bundle are writing references by David Farland and Kevin J. Anderson, Joanna Penn, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, L. Jagi Lamplighter and Aisley Oliphant to name a few. You decide what price to pay for five core books and/or ten more bonus books, all valuable author references, and you can still get it for a few more days.

Preparations and plans for the year ahead

December is pretty much dedicated to the prepartions for the coming year, and I have some really cool things planned. This past year, WordCrafter Press published a total of five anthologies involving around 30 different authors, which was amazing. In 2023, I plan to focus more on my own writing, and I only plan to do the two annual anthologies WordCrafter Press publishes each year; one poetry and one short fiction. The poetry anthology features the guests of Robbie Cheadle’s “Treasuring Poetry” blog series, and she also acts as my co-editor of the Poetry Treasures anthology.

The short fiction anthology is connected with the annual WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest. However this last year, for Visions, I combined the contest entries with stories acquired by invitation, and the other two anthologies were by invitation only. I liked the results of including the invitations, and plan to do the same thing in 2023. The themes for these anthologies will be announced after the first of the year.

As for my own books, I have quite a few planned. I plan to re-release Delilah as a part of the Women in the West adventure series, to be launched with a Kickstarter with lots of cool stuff available for your support around the beginning of the year, so be sure and watch for that. If things go well, I may also be able to release Sarah before the end of 2023.

Also, of course, I will be launching my NaNoWriMo project, The Rock Star & the Outlaw, in the coming year. This western time-travel romance adventure will keep readers on their toes. Based on the music of The Pretty Reckless and other artists, it’s a wild ride that will keep readers guessing.

I’m also planning to put together a collection of my own poetry, which I think will appeal to all the poetry lovers out there, and I am working on several short stories which I hope to find homes for. As always, at least one will go into the annual WordCrafter short fiction anthology. And I’m planning to start a Patreon, and I’m thinking of serializing my science fantasy Playground for the Gods series for that.

2022 was a really good year, and 2023 promises to be just as good, if not better. I would love to hear your thoughts on any of my plans for the year to come. Which potential covers do you like or dislike and why? Which books will you look forward to? What would you like to see offered as rewards for my Kickstarter, or my Patreon? Let me know in the comments. Your feedback is appreciated.

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Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.


Book Review: Ashali and the Blue Horseman

Ashali and the Blue Horseman, by Jordan Elizabeth is a superhero medley that is sure to please, although the protagonist may be more of a super-antihero. Ashali knows she has powers, which she has kept hidden, but when she meets the Blue Horseman, all of that changes and she finds herself on a hero’s journey, whether she wants to or not. Where do these powers come from? How did she come by them? These are the questions readers will find themselves asking, but fear not. By the end of the story, all questions are answered and then some.

What starts out as a simple date with a super-hunky guy, turns Ashali into becoming an unwitting target of the super crime syndicate, Ives. Will the powers she has taken such care to keep hidden be enough to keep her alive? And will the hunky, but hostile superhero be able to defeat Ives without her? And will she hook up with the superhero’s hot alter ego? … I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

Ashali and the Blue Horseman

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Ashali-Blue-Horseman-Jordan-Elizabeth/dp/B0B9R26W47

Fun and entertaining. I give Ashali and the Blue Horseman four quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.


Dark Origins – Myths and legends of the Khoikhoi (previously Hottentots)

Introduction

At the time when European settlement began, the Khoikhoi were settled in modern day Namibia, the north-eastern Cape and the south-western Cape. The name Khoikhoi means “real people” or “men of men”. The Khoikhoi are closely related to the San (Bushmen) and are sometimes referred to together as Khoisan. There is a theory that the Khoikho and the San were once the same race. The Khoikhoi broke away to raise cattle, build huts and lead a pastoral life while the San remained true to the wilderness and the elements.

The Khoikhoi were nomadic, moving around in search of grazing land for their animals which consisted mainly of goats, cattle and sheep. They also manufactured animal skins into clothing, bags and blankets and used reeds to make sleeping mats and mats to cover their round and mobile homes. The Khoikhoi also made pottery which could be tied to their oxen or to hut poles when they moved.

All the male children in Khoikhoi families are named after the material side and all the female children after the paternal side. The eldest daughter is highly respected and the milking of the cows is left entirely to her.

God and the afterlife

The Khoikhoi attach special significance to the moon and new and full moons were historically times for rainmaking rites and dancing.

The Khoikhoi deity is called Tsui-Goab and he is believed to be the founding ancestor of the Khoikhoi. He is the creator of the world, of man and of the elements. He provides for man and gives them full bellies and happy hearts. His opposite is Gaunab, who is primarily an evil being who causes sickness or death.

Tsui-Goab lives in a beautiful heaven of light and sunshine while Gaunab lives separately in a dark hiding place. Tsui-Goab, meaning the Read Dawn, bring the light and life to the world. The Khoikhoi always pray in the early morning with their faces turned towards the east where the first light of day appears.

Monsters

According to Khoikhoi legend, a man-eating monster called the Aigamuxa/Aigamuchab dwells among the dunes. The creature is mostly human-looking, except that it has eyes on the instep of its feet. In order to see, it has to go down on its hands and knees and lift its one foot in the air. This is a problem when the monster chases prey, because it can’t see when it runs. Some sources claim the creature resembles an ogre.

Another monster legend is Ga-gorib. This creature sits near a deep hole in the ground and dares passers-by to throw rocks at him. The monster’s intention is for the the rocks to bounce back and kill the passer-by, who will then fall into the hole. According to the myth, when the hero Heitsi-eibib encountered Ga-gorib, he declined the monster’s dare. When Ga-gorib was not looking, Heitsi-eibib threw a stone at the monster and hit it below its ear, causing it to fall into its own pit.

Hai-uri is an agile, jumping creature who is partially-invisible and has only one side to its body (one arm and one leg). It is known to eat humans.

Reading of The Night Walker, a Hottentot myth

I recorded an interesting story about the Hottentot myth, The Night Walker, which you can listen to here:

Here is a picture of a Night Walker with a kerrie taken from the book Myths and Legends of Southern Africa by Penny Millar:

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has 11 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

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Tales from the Bird Sanctuary: Rescuing a baby flicker

Today as I was out doing my landscape maintenance for the bird sanctuary, walking on the path which goes around the water feature, which is only half full this time of year as I prepare to drain it for winter, I saw a baby flicker sitting on top of the drainage pipe. I set down my bucket and stopped to have a better look at him, expecting him to fly away as soon as I approached. But he didn’t. Instead, he just sat there, staring back at me, holding very still.

Now I have wondered through the trees on my property for over an hour, trying to get a picture during mating season, when the trees were filled with flickers and the air was filled with mating calls, only to hang my head on defeat after concluding I wasn’t going to get close enough for a good shot of any one. That’s how skittish flickers are, so the behavior of this little guy was unusual, to say the least.

The fact is, the little guy was scared, and I realized that his tail was in the water, which could hinder flight. He was stranded, too scared or too wet to make an attempt at a getaway. He just sat there staring as I got closer, providing some great photo opportunities. I didn’t want to frieghten him even more by obliviously clicking pictures, so I set down my phone and got down on my knees at the pool’s edge. I reached down very slowly and placed a gloved hand around his body. Trying not to scare him more, I reached over with my thumb and stroked his little feathered head a few times, hoping to let him know that I was trying to help and meant no harm. Even through my garden glove I could feel the softness of his feathers. He hardly weighed aything at all as I scooped him up gently and released him onto the ground, where he flapped his wings and hopped off into the trees, reinforcing my suspicions that the wet feathers was what prevented him from flying off like I expected.

I tried to follow him just to be sure he would be able to fly once he dried, but I lost him in the trees. Had I not stepped in. I have no doubt that he would have sat helpless on that drain pipe until a coyote or other wildlife snatched him away. It was a satisfying feeling to know that I had helped one of my little bird friends and had at least, offered him a chance to survive.

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For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is a passion. Kaye Lynne is an author with published short fiction and poetry, both online and in print, including her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction; and her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets. Kaye holds a dual M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing with emphasis in genre fiction and screenwriting, and an M.A. in publishing. Kaye Lynne is the founder of WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services and WordCrafter Press. She also maintains an authors’ blog and website, Writing to be Read, where she publishes content of interest in the literary world.

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Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.


Mind Fields: Poetry & Such

Ideas Like Never Before

Boulder breakers and charcoal makers

the poor

wait for something they don’t know what

just breaking rocks to earn a penny,  rocks to pave

gravel roads that go away. Anywhere

is better than poor in Africa, Asia, America, the poor are broken just like the stones they break.

Ending poverty is the work of a civilization. If we can’t end poverty anywhere in the world, we are not a civilization

What to Believe

These days I can’t believe anything. A lie

hovers overhead day and night. All the competing agendas clash

and the books, videos, news,  none remain without a stink

of mendacity. The liars hold the highest offices. They control

information. Their tech is the latest but

their lies are old, ancient, lies told by tyrants to the innocents.

Those who are brave defy their terror and protest. In Iran,

the women are sick with disgust at control by tottering old men wearing white fezzes and large skullcaps. Liars! I can’t

hold enough outrage! I see things daily

I never expected to see, ever. People are murdered by lies. 

It was said, “A lie is both murder and suicide in the world of the spirit.” Mostly these days it’s murder. The suicides will have to wait

to write their notes. The supply of pencils, pens and paper

has been interdicted by the Lie Police.

Will Truth set us free? Perhaps in the Kingdom of God, but here

Truth has been split asunder and reality can’t be recognized by anyone but other liars, and those are so far lost from Truth that they would not know it

IF IT BIT THEM IN THE ASS.

Saving What’s Left

“It’s broken.” My grandson stands over his red fire truck. The wheels have come off. The boy’s lower lip thrusts out and I can see that his heart is broken too. If I tell him that it’s just a toy, he won’t be comforted. This was the only truck in his world and now his grief will carry him to a child’s little hades, for just a minute. What is a minute to a three year old? It may as well be forever. For the duration of that minute all hell breaks loose and his tears and rage fill the room till all the grown-ups flee. Except me. I’m the baby sitter. I know how he feels. 

The world is broken, our world.  And it was we who broke it, stuffed it, neglected it, tore its roots out. Has it come to this? My grief for a broken world carries me to my own hades, my underworld of sorrow where what has been done cannot be undone until we have atoned like ancient Jews on Yom Kippur.? What punishment do we receive if we fail to atone? Regret, more like: oh the regret we have yet to feel as the land sinks and the seas rise. Our earth is frangible, it can be waylaid like the victims of highway robbery. “Hands up, planet!” The men in dark suits are digging holes. “Can’t you see we’re busy here? Go away with your storms. We know how to deal with your kind!”

They’re only doing their jobs, they’re following orders. 

“Take them away”, croaks the man in the suit and tie. “Take them away and hide them in the deepest mines.” ]

It’s broken. Can it be fixed? The next generations are tasked with this inhuman mess. They will have to be strong beyond what we know. They will have to develop themselves in unforeseen ways to have the stamina to work within the broken systems on the derelict highways. Armageddon will be indefinitely postponed. It already happened and we missed it. We were busy fighting. The next apocalypse will hit us before we’re ready. That is the nature of things. We have only the promise in Luke and Mark and John, Christians before Christianity, who learned that the lilies of the field will always be in their raiment, even if it is only in heaven. 

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Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

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Treasuring Poetry – Meet poet and writer Penny Wilson #poetry #poetrycommunity #treasuringpoetry

Which of your own poems is your favourite?

Trying to choose a favorite poem of my own, is like trying to choose a favorite child! Writing is an incredibly personal thing and our creations become our “babies”.  Looking back through poems that I’ve written in the past, I will come across one that really strikes me as being exceptional.  I’m often surprised by what I find on these journeys of reminiscing. 

But to answer your question, today, right now, I think my favorite poem is called Poetry Of My Heart .

The poetry of my heart

spills onto the page

in blue ink

and fervent sighs

The poetry of my heart

is written on the wings

of dreams

and nights

of longing

The poetry of my heart

negate shadows of terrors

not voiced

The poetry of my heart

stands tall

against this world

What inspired you to write this poem?

I don’t know if any One Thing was the inspiration for this poem.  In essence, I’m saying that my poetry will speak for me when I cannot and I find a lot of power and freedom in that. 

What are your plans for your poetry going forward?

I am currently going through past poems of mine, published and unpublished in order to compile them to submit for publishing in a book or Chapbook.

What is your favourite poem?

My favorite poem?  This is a very difficult question.  I have many, many beloved works of poetry.  Since joining the WordPress community, that love has expanded 10-fold and continues to grow. 

My mother dedicated a poem to me when I was very young, called “Ordinary Miracles”, by Erica Jong.  This is probably still a favorite poem of mine.

Spring, rainbows,
ordinary miracles
about which
nothing new can be said.

The stars on a clear night
of a New England winter;
the soft air of the islands
along the old
Spanish Main;
pirate gold shining
in the palm;
the odor of roses
to the lover’s nose. . .

There is no more poetry
to be written
of these things.
The rainbow’s sudden revelation–
behold!
The cliché is true!
What can one say
but that?

So too
with you, little heart,
little miracle,

but you are
no less miracle
for being ordinary.

Why do you like this poem?

I like this poem because it always reminds me of my mother and her love for me.  To her, I was her “little miracle”.  It has always held a special place in my heart because of that.

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Thank you, Penny, for being a wonderful guest. I really loved both your poetry choices and am delighted at the idea your mother dedicated a poem to you. What a lovely idea. I look forward to reading your book in due course.

About Penny Wilson

Penny Wilson is a freelance writer who writes in several genres. She has written articles for WOW Women on Writing.  Her poetry has been published in online journals, such as Ariel Chart, Spill Words Press and the Poppy Road Review.  Penny is a member of the Austin Poetry Society. Her poetry has been featured in the publication America’s Emerging Poets 2018 & 2019 by Z Publishing, Poets Quarterly and Dual Coast Magazine published by Prolific Press. You can find more of her writings on her blog at https://pennywilsonwrites.com/ and follow her on Twitter @pennywilson123.

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9 about Count Sugular and his family who hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.

Robbie has published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to https://writingtoberead.com, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to https://writingtoberead.com called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com. where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVyFo_OJLPqFa9ZhHnCfHUA

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

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Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Treasuring Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you found it interesting or entertaining, please share.