Update: Contests, Book Blog Tours and Conferences!

WordCrafter

There are exciting things going on at WordCrafter, and there a few new or up coming deadlines and events which I really need to share with you. We have a submission deadline coming up, the lanch of WordCrafter Book Blog Tours, and a fabulous virtual writing conference in the works. Read on to learn more.

Where Spirits Linger

WordCrafter wants your paranormal stories. The submission deadline is fast approaching for the 2021 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest on April 30th. All entries are eligible for consideration in the WordCrafter paranormal anthology, Where Spirits Linger and the winner receives a $25 Amazon gift card and guarenteed inclusion in the anthology. You can find full submission guidelines right here, on Writing to be Read.

WordCrafter Book Blog Tours

WordCrafter Book Blog Tours has launched with three successful tours in February: The WordCrafter Press Spirits of the West anthology, Feral Tenderness poetry and photography collection by Arthur Rosch, and Barbara Spencer’s fantasy novel, The Click of a Pebble. Book blog tours are affordable advertising for authors, and a great opportunity to get the word out about your book and turn potential readers into fans. WordCrafter Book Blog Tours include host blog sites with author interviews, book reviews, banners and promo images. We are currently booking tours for March and April. Learn more and book your tour here.

2021 WordCrafter New Beginnings Virtual Writing Conference

I’m excited to be hosting the 2021 WordCrafter New Beginnings Virtual Writing Conference, May 3 – 5. I can tell you that we have a great line-up of presenters on board for this year’s conference,which you’ll see below, including a Keynote by horror author Paul Kane. We will be offering both interactive workshops and panel discussions, as well as a free pre-conference Facebook book event where attendees can learn more about the conference, purchase tickets, and mingle with readers, authors and conference presenters. I’m still setting up on both platforms, but more details will be coming soon, so watch for them here, on Writing to be Read.

Mario Acevedo
Dan Alatorre
Kevin J. Anderson
Chris Barili
Jeff Bowles
Russell Davis
Keith R.A. DeCandido
Anthony Dobransky
Paul Kane
Kevin Killany
L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright
Radha Marcum
Jim Nesbitt
Ellie Raine
Erin Robertson
Rick Wilber

I do hope you’ll all join us in one or all of the above listed events. I look forward to your stories for the Where Spirits Linger anthology, and to promoting your books on WordCrafter Book Blog Tours, as well as hearing from you at the 2021 WordCrafter New Beginnings Virtual Writing Conference.

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Day #5 of “The Click of a Pebble” Book Blog Tour: My Review

The Click of a Pebble Book Blog Tour

What they are saying on Amazon:

“This was a great coming of age fantasy story. I really enjoyed seeing these young characters struggle to survive in the aftermath of the massacre that leaves them only each other to depend on. Their journey drew me in and had me reading this entire book in one sitting, I’m looking forward to reading more books set in this fascinating world.”

The Click of a Pebble

In her Day #3 post for this tour on Robbie’s Inspiration, author Barbara Spencer talks about magical realism. I really loved her definition. She describes it, “Magical realism takes place in our world and follows its rules, except occasionally those rules are skewed.” I haven’t read a lot of magical realism, but what I have read have mostly were silly stories that were just kind of fun to read, with no real buy in because they were so ridiculous.

Not so with this skillfully crafted tale, which begins to lay a solid basis for the magical elements of the story. The Click of a Pebble had my buy in from the first pages and maintained it throughout the story. It was sweet and tragic, but there was nothing silly about it.

The Click of a Pebble is the tale of three children, Yost, Zande and TaTa, the only survivors of a massacre of their people. Ripped away from all they have ever known, they must stand together and go on, holding on to who they are in a place where things are new and different and try to fit in. They quickly learn that they dare not reveal their true origins, or risk falling prey to the same bigoted thinking that brought on the demise of their clan, because they are different, gifted. As they grow to know the family which welcomes them into their home, they begin to develop attachments with those around them and feel as if they belong. But, they are carinatae, children of Zues and what lies ahead for them is very different from the futures imagined by those who take them in.

The Click of a Pebble

Barbara Spencer has done a marvelous job of drawing the reader in and making her care about the characters, masterfully weaving historical detail into this wonderful coming of age fantasy. It touches on issues that ring true for many of us, at the same time portraying a time and culture in detail, with well developed characters readers will relate to. As the first book in her The Children of Zeus trilogy, Spencer does not tie everything up with a nice bow, but instead chooses the perfect point in the story to close off this chapter and leave the reader with a need to learn how all the loose ends will be resolved. I give it five quills.

Five Quills

In case you missed a blog stop along the way on The Click of a Pebble Book Blog Tour:

Day #1: Writing to be Read

Day #2: Patty’s World

Day #3: Robbie’s Inspiration

Day #4: This is my Truth Now

The Click of a Pebble

Get your copy of The Click of a Pebble today.

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Book you WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Welcome to WordCrafter’s “The Click of a Pebble” Book Blog Tour

The Click of a Pebble

When I picked up The Click of a Pebble to review for this tour, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The cover was ellegant, yet a bit mysterious, which had a certain appeal for me, and the title doesn’t give anything away, although it does add to the sense of mystery. I wanted to know more about this story. Only after I’d begun to read, did I understand why the author, Barbara Spencer, had chosen that particular title, and why it was the perfect introduction to this touching coming of age story.

 Known as swan-people for their ability to shape-shift not only into the swanlike form of the carinatae, but also the celeste, the winged shape of Zeus himself. The children of Zeus although peace-loving, have always been forced to live apart from humans, persecuted almost to extinction.

Three children survive the latest massacre: Yöst, Zande, the son of the Black and destined to be the clan’s next leader, and a small girl, Tatania, who insists on being called TaTa.

This is their story.

The Children of Zues trilogy, of which The Click of a Pebble is book 1, is a delightful coming of age fantasy, which I was soon emmersed in. It’s about the carinatae, or Swan People, decendents of Zues, who live among and pass themselves off as humans. When I started reading, I didn’t know what carinatae meant, or where this wonderful myth came from, but it didn’t take long for my curiosity to peak, and I wanted to know more.

The Children of Zues trilogy

So, I began to explore the internet to see what I could learn. Wikipedia defines carinatae as, “Carinatae is the group of all birds and their extinct relatives to possess a keel, or “carina”, on the underside of the breastbone used to anchor large flight muscles.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carinatae). This makes sense, since swans are then carinatae. But, I still wasn’t familiar with this particular myth, so I set about brushing up on my Greek mythology. The only mytholgy I found that dealt with swans in any way, was the story of Zues and Leda, which seemed to fit in with Spencer’s story.

The Year the Swans Came

When visiting the author’s blog site, Two Sides to Every Story, I learned that this myth was indeed at the heart of The Children of Zues trilogy, which is a prequel to The Year the Swans Came. This information excited me, because what it means is that Barbara Spencer has created a new set of mythologies from the old myths that we are all familiar with. Wow! Isn’t it fabulous that as authors, we can actually do things like that? And Spencer has done an excellent job of pulling threads from the original myth and weaving them into a mythology all her own. Now that is what being an author is all about!

It is my pleasure to present the The Click of a Pebble Book Blog Tour this week. Our wonderful blog hosts have lined up a greast tour for us, with reviews on Patty’s World and Writing to be Read, and an author spotlight on This is My Truth Now, and hear from the author,, on Roberta Write’s, and finishing off the tour on Barbara Spencer’s blog site, Pictures from the Kitchen. I hope you will join us and follow the tour to learn more about Barbara Spencer and The Click of a Pebble.

The Click of a Pebble

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Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Feral Tenderness – Just My Opinion

Feral Tenderness Book Blog Tour

Feral Tenderness, by Arthur Rosch, is a poetry and photography collection like no other I’ve ever encountered. I can say this with confidence, because I am the editor and compiler for this book, however it exempts me from posting my opinions of this collection on Amazon. But Writing to be Read is my blog, so I’d like to tell you about this interesting and unique collection of creativity here, taking into account that the author is a friend of mine, so the opinions expressed are likely to be biased. Be that as it may, I’m proud to associate myself with this work of creativity, a collection of poetry and photography worth more than just a casual glance. Arthur’s works need to be savored, like a fine wine, simmered over, like a sweet glaze, and appreciated for their unique and delectable flavors.

As I’ve mentioned on several occassions, Arthur Rosch sees the world in a unique way. Through his creative endeavors, those who care to look are allowed a glimpse of things through his eyes. His photography is amazing. The images that he captures with his lense say so much in a single moment. His poetry, on the other hand, is often a lengthy, social commentary on higher powers, human behavior, or the world at large. Yet, even his short poems seem to have a lot to say.

To illustrate my meaning, the following poem is minimal, yet it speaks volumes. It is my favorite of Arthur’s short snippits of poetry and the only one for which a true companion photo was also available from his photo library for inclusion in the collection.

Dewdrops
Dewdrops on spiderwebs:
sit lightly with life

Little Web

Another of Arthur’s profound poems, “Stars“, declares, in part, (I did mention that some of his poems are rather lengthy, too much so to be reprinted here in full),

” …Stars know what they are.
Stars are alive and individual,
quirky with personality,
often pulsing and drawing
gravity blood, gas and heat,
combining with other stars
combining and mating with other
stars and forming unions of
higher imaginations
in order to serve the Master of Stars… “

Another poem is an expression of nature, as seen through Arthur’s eyes. This one is one of my personal favorites.

Hunted By The Hawk

Make joy from stones.
Make wit from mud,
make humor from blood.
The tiny finch flies crazily,
for the sheer fun of it,
though it knows, each morning,
that it’s hunted by the hawk.
We too, each morning,
are hunted by the hawk.

The cover image for Feral Tenderness also came from Arthur’s photo library. With this photo, I was able to create an awesome cover design, if I do say so myself. We created cover images using several of Arthur’s photos, but in the end, this one grabbed both author’s and publisher’s hearts.

Feral Tenderness Cover

The poetry and photos featured in this collection are so varied in subject matter and tone, that several book promotions with very different appeals seemed applicable to me. I used one of Arthur’s photographs for the background of one of them. Can you guess which one? Let me know in the comments which you like better.

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Welcome to the First Blog Stop on the Feral Tenderness Book Blog Tour

Feral Tenderness Book Blog Tour

I first met Arthur Rosch online. That was back in 2008, when I was just dipping my toes in the as yet uncertain waters of the internet, and although I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, I started my own social network called “Writer’s World”. Art stumbled onto the “Writer’s World” network somehow and he’s been loyal follower and supporter, and over the years I’ve come to respect him and his writing, and also to call him a friend and valued team member for Writing to be Read.

Arthur Rosch Author/Poet

I’m introducing Arthur Rosch here today because he has a great new poetry and photography collection out, Feral Tenderness. I’m excited about it because I had a hand in editing, compiling and publishing Arthur’s book through WordCrafter Press. Art writes poetry that remains down to earth and real, while hanging out with universal truths. It’s true that some of his ideas may be a little wild, but so are the ideas of many writers. Maybe writing is a safe outlet for all of our crazy thoughts and that’s what motivates us to put words to paper, or screen, as the case may be.

His biography, from the back of his wonderful new release reads:

Arthur Rosch is a mid-westerner, who became a Californian as a young man. A lover of jazz, poetry, painting and photography, and writing, as well as a passion for astronomy, photography, history, psychology and the weird puzzle of human experience. After receiving Playboy Magazine’s Best Short Story Award for a comic view of a planet where there are six genders, he was immersed in circles that could have taken him to the top, but it was short lived. Arthur found himself reeling, struggling with depression and addiction on the streets for almost a decade, and repairing and rediscovering himself was a defining event in his life, nurturing his literary soul…. “

All of the above is true. These are all truths about Arthur Rosch, yet they are surface level truths; truths that the author chose to share with the world at large, in the back of his book. Let me introduce you the Arthur Rosch, the author who I know.

Art is an undiscovered talent, who once was near the threshold of discovery, only to plummet back down into the depths of reality. But he never let go of the dream, although at times it altered its shape and appearance. He is a literary craftsman and wordsmith, whose words can be found on his blog, Write Out of My Head, on my blog, Writing to be Read, in his books, and various other places online.

Stepping into the world of Arthur Rosch can be a surreal experience, as it was for me when I reviewed his science fiction novel, The Gods of the Gift, because he is a talented craftsman of the written word. Quite a different effect was achieved with Confessions of an Honest Man, a tragic tale of familial dysfunctionalism, mental illness, drug addiction and emotional abuse that has the ability to make the reader suspend disbelief and feel for the main character beyond the conclusion of the book. And his humor shines through his words and is sure to leave readers chuckling in his memoir about life in an R.V., The Road Has Eyes.

Feral Tenderness

His poetry has this same ability to evoke desired images and emotions from within the reader. His photography captures views seen with a unique and unusual eye. The cover for Feral Tenderness was created from one of his photographs, and others are interspersed among the poetry throughout the book, making it an extra special treat for readers.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction enough to make you want to get to know more about Arthur Rosch and his poetry and photography, by following this tour. We’ve got two interviews with Arthur, and a review of the book coming later in the week, plus some author generated content that promises to be interesting. Stay with us and visit each blog stop as the tour progresses, with a closing post on Art’s blog, Write Out Of My Head, on Sunday. Please join us. You can purchase Feral Tenderness in digital and print on Amazon.

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Spirits of the West Book Blog Tour

Spirits of the West Book Blog Tour

Welcome to the first official WordCrafter Book Blog Tour featuring the WordCrafter western paranormal anthology, Spirits of the West. We’ve got a great tour lined up, so let me tell you a little about this unique anthology and the stories featured within. I hope you’ll all follow along with the tour as the week progresses, to learn more about this colorful story collection.

It’s no secret that I love ghost stories, which is why the theme each year for the WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest always seems to lean toward the paranormal genre, although other genres may be involved. It’s also no secret that my first novel was a western and I enjoy writing and reading this genre, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the 2020 theme was western paranormal. I didn’t get a lot of submissions, but the ones I did get were top notch stories, and the resulting anthology, Spirits of the West, contains eight stories with western and paranormal elements, from six very different author’s worlds. The theme for the contest was not a traditional genre mixture, and there’s not much that’s traditional about the anthology.

My story, “Don’t Eat the Pickled Eggs”, is a western paranormal mystery, to confuse the genres even more. It’s a colorful story, about the disappearance of a saloon owner, a ghostly nighttime visit to leave a warning, and a young boy named Stinkweed, who holds the key to the mystery. You’ll be able to learn more about the inspiration behind this tale on Jessica Bakkers.

Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributed two South African western paranormal tales, which help to make this anthology very unique. “The Thirstyland Journey” and “The Ghost in the Mound” tell stories of pioneers, traveling across the South African wilderness – a different type of western, but with just as many ghosts. Both are powerful stories of survival, courage and determination and are welcomed additions to Spirits of the West. Robbie will be telling us more about both of these stories on Roberta Writes and Robbie’s Inspiration.

Jeff Bowles, the author of the winning story in 2019, contributed “Wenekia”, an excellent story of Native American folklore and traditions. When two young boys sneak out to eavesdrop on the tribal council gathering, they learn more than they bargained for when they witness the reality of legend. Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo will have a post for us about Jeff’s story on Saturday.

“The Clouds in the West”

Arthur Rosch contributed a science fiction western paranormal story, “The Clouds in the West”, which takes the cowboy to another world, where the rider may not always control of his mount, and leaves the ending open to reader interpretation.

The winning story in Spirits of the West was submitted by Enid Holden. “High Desert Rose” is a more traditional western tale of revenge, but Holden does it with a heroin, rather than a hero, and the spirits are watching. Patty’s world will feature an interview with Enid on Wednesday and wrap up the tour on Sunday for us.

“Gunsmoke”

Also included in the anthology are two stories that were not contest submissions. Tom Johnson’s story, “Gunsmoke” really doesn’t have a paranormal element, and is included as a tribute to Tom as his only western story in a lifetime of science fiction and pulp titles, as the author is no longer with us. And Enid Holden contributed a second story, “Queen of Spades”, which didn’t make the submission deadline, but is every bit as good as her winning story.

“Queen of Spades”

Time constraints did not allow for posts on some stories, but I hope you’ll join us on the tour this week to learn more about this very special collection of stories and their authors.


 

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Exciting Happenings for Writing to be Read and WordCrafter

2021 is off to a great start and today, I wanted to take a minute to update you on the really cool stuff scheduled on Writing to be Read in the coming months. I’ve talked about some of these new additions previously, but one or two have only come together recently and I can’t wait to share them.

Dark Origins

You’ll find Robbie Cheadle’s new series, “Dark Origins”, posted on the fourth Wednesday of each month, and the first post will be this coming Wednesday, January 27th. Robbie will be delving into the origins of nursery rhymes and fairy tales, which can be very dark indeed, so be sure and watch for it.

Jeff’s Game Reviews

Jeff Bowles already shared the first post in his new video game review series, “Jeff’s Game Reviews”, where shared his thoughts on Hitman 3. This series will post the fourth Friday of each month, and each post includes a link to the video version of the review.

WordCrafter Book Blog Tours

Last but not least, February will see the launch of WordCrafter Book Blog Tours. The first tour will be for the Spirits of the West western paranormal anthology. Later in the month, tours are scheduled for Arthur Rosch’s poetry and photography collection, Feral Tenderness, and Barbara Spencer’s first book in the Children of Zues trilogy, A Click of a Pebble. I do hope you’ll all join us in learning about these wonderful books and their authors. Tours include interviews, book reviews and informative posts by the authors. You’ll find the complete tour schedule, as well as instructions for scheduling your own book blog tour on the WordCrafter Book Blog Tours page.

Where Spirits Linger

I’d also like to remind everyone that there is still time to submit your story in the 2021 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, and to have it included in the resulting anthology, Where Spirits Linger. See the full submission guidelines for details. There is a $5 entry fee, which you can pay with a button right on the contest post, and the winner receives a $25 Amazon Gift Card and guarenteed inclusion in the anthology. But don’t wait too long. The deadline is April 30th.

2020 was a pretty good year for Writing to be Read and WordCrafter, in spite of the unusual circumstances of the pandemic and the “new normal”, which isn’t normal at all. After all the lock downs and mask mandates and social distancing, I think everyone needs a little makeover, and this blog is no exception. Writing to be Read may be getting a facelift with new types of content which will change it’s appearance a little, but the end result is that the blog will be so much better for them. Jeff’s and Robbie’s new series, the WordCrafter Book Blog Tours, and this year’s contest and anthology, are all welcome improvements, and I for one, can’t wait.

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Become a WordCrafter Book Blog Tour Host

WordCrafter

Greetings fellow bloggers, authors and readers. I have exciting news to share with you. In 2021, WordCrafter will be offering affordable book blog tours to help create buzz for your books. During times when in person events can be hazardous to your health, book blog tours are a great way to get the news of your release out there, create reader awarenesss, and an opportunity to stir up reader engagement, all from the safety of your own home. WordCrafter Book Blog Tours will offer custom tour packages including combinations of author interviews, book reviews or author provided guest posts at reasonable rates that will make WordCrafter Book Blog Tours affordable, even for struggling authors.

I want the blogs on which tour posts are featured on to make WordCrafter Book Blog Tours something special. That’s why I’m reaching out to my fellow bloggers today, in search of those who would like to become tour hosts. Becoming a WordCrafter Book Blog Tour host is a great way to provide blog content for your blogs. The host bloggers will have access to the WCBBT schedule, and opportunity to sign up for the book tours of their choice, and also choose the type of content they want to post for their tour stop. If an author interview is selected, hosts will be responsible for providing interview questions. For book reviews and ARC copy will be provided and host will be responsible for reading and posting a review. Guest posts will be provided by WordCrafter, and all they need to do is post it. I still have openings for WCBBT hosts, so if you’re one of those special bloggers and you think your blog can give personality to WordCrafter Book Blog Tours, then I’d like you to become a part of the WCBBT team. Contact me at kayebooth@yahoo.com.

And I want to assure all Writing to be Read‘s loyal readers that the coming of WordCrafter Book Blog Tours will not interfere with the great content and regular blog series that you’ve all come to know and love. We’ll still continue to offer “Words to Live By”, “Growing Bookworms”, “Craft and Practice”, “Treasuring Poetry”, “Jeff’s Movie Reviews”, and “Mind Fields”. In fact, although it is too early to announce the changes for 2021, I can tell you that even more new blog series and exciting new content is in store. There are two ways that you can follow Writing to be Read: via email or via the WordPress Reader. Click the button of your choice in the top right corner, under the WordCrafter logo, to subscribe and keep updated on the great blog content to come.

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