Friday, September 24, 2021

Epic Fantasy Queen of Crows


Queen of Crows
SL Wilton
Fantasy, 366 pp
August, 2021, Atmosphere Press
$7.99 ebook
$18.99 print
Buy on 
Barnes and Noble

About the Book
In a world of strange magic, dangerous creatures, and villainous wyverns, an ousted young queen struggles to regain her throne.

Sophia Pendergast’s quest is complicated by deep-rooted misogyny embedded in her culture and religion. Her lover, a dashing young knight, offers her a life in obscure comfort, but she refuses to abandon her people to the usurper’s whims. To retake her throne and set prophecy on its path, she must embrace a long-denied secret and discover a prophecy’s hidden meaning.

In S. L. Wilton’s Queen of Crows, we discover simple truths may not exactly be simple. 

My Review:

Wilton has created a wonderful new realm of epic fantasy in his debut novel. Warriors and magic, when it works, and wondrous deeds of valor and sacrifice combine with wyverns and even a little romance to right the wrongs caused by all greedy throne-stealers.

Sophia is a spoiled young princess who thinks she has plenty of time to grow up and step into her father’s kingly slippers and, with his guidance, lead her people with justice and dignity. But stuff happens, and that time is now, and without her papa. Who can she trust?


Follow Sophia and her ragtag band of faithfuls, ousted and abandoned knights, and the downtrodden “crows,” commoners, as she learns how to fight for freedom and her rightful throne while having her eyes opened to the plight of everyday folks. “Why can’t the people rule themselves?” Sophia’s young ward asks at one point when Sophia tries to explain their quest. A thoughtful question indeed.


Told mostly through Sophia’s point of view but with a healthy sprinkling of other colorful characters, readers of fantasy slanted less toward magical creatures and more toward occasional magic and plenty of sword-fighting and things soldiers do will find much to love about Queen of Crows.

About the Author:
S.L. is a retired Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army. He and his wife live in rural central Wisconsin with their Chihuahua, Willie.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Write Now Literary Tour giveaway with Eurita Taylor and surviving abuse

 Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour and $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway for His Strength In My Weakness by Dr. Eurita Taylor. 

The book tour will run Sept 20- Oct 1, 2021. 

Genre: Inspirational Nonfiction, Memoir




Dr. Eurita Taylor is gifted to understand the unique struggles of single mothers. As a survivor of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, she penetrates their pain, frees them from binding insecurities, and directs them to His glory. Accountant by day and counselor by night, Dr. Eurita uses her personal experiences, professional skills, and Ph.D. in Christian counseling to empower women struggling with low self-esteem, homelessness, and financial stewardship.






What happens when children can’t trust the adults who are supposed to protect them?

With childhood innocence snatched from her, Dr. Eurita Taylor questioned God. For years, she ran from Him and into the arms of abuse, hunger, and depression. With her personal prodigal son experience, she released the hurt, betrayal, and abandonment to make her way back to the lover of her soul. His Strength in My Weakness chronicles her journey from wallowing in pity, doubt, and unbelief to reconnecting with Her Father. Showered with grace, mercy, and an abundance of love, she understood that the power to overcome was always in reach.


In this book, you will discover:


• Why God wants to turn your self-hatred into self-love

• Strategies to boost your confidence and faith 

• How to shift your perspective to see failures as steps toward success

• Scriptures, prayers, and inspirations affirming that He is always with you

• Forgiveness as a tool to bless others and yourself




Praise for His Strength In My Weakness


“Dr. Taylor’s story told in her book, His Strength in My Weakness, is powerful, compelling, and at times, raw. She provides a roadmap which shows that no matter how difficult life can be, you can experience hope, breakthrough, and triumph with God.”

—Pastor Michael Kelly, Grace Fellowship Church Columbus, Ohio


“As I laid in the hospital bed and heard the doctor say, ‘You should have been dead,’ I thought about how reading His Strength in My Weakness comforted me. I am not a spiritual person and had limited understanding of the Bible references, but I read them over and over. Now I believe that He has a reason for keeping me alive.”

—Cheryl Kaiser, Manager at Speedway




Website          Facebook          Twitter




Amazon            Barnes & Noble



$25 Visa Gift Card


Answering the question below will enter the reader in a chance to win the Visa Gift Card. 

In my book, His Strength in My Weakness (, I mentioned that my ex-husband left me to birth our son alone. Was it our first, second, or third son?

I am giving away a $25 Visa card to the reader who correctly answers that question and posts it at


Tour organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Write Now Literary Tour for the Hard Conversations novel


Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-month book tour and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway For Hard Conversations: Book 1: Breadcrumbs To The Past by BJ Communicates. The book tour will run Sept 6-October 29, 2021.  

Genre: Urban Fiction 



BJ Communicates, aka Dr. Brad Johnson, LSSBB, CSM, is a Kingdom writer, a communication practitioner, and an influential Bible teacher. Given the assignments of assisting urban believers in articulating their stories, finding resolution, and gaining the language of the Kingdom, BJ continually creates and releases inspirational media content that highlights their stories and experiences. “The Holy Spirit is constantly giving me things to write; sometimes it’s a book, sometimes it’s an article for a Christian publication, sometimes it’s something for my blog site or social media, and sometimes it’s a song for me or another recording artist, I’m just the pen in His hand,” says BJ. In addition to faith-based media creator, he is the owner of Communic8 Life Consulting, a communication consulting firm that specializes in assisting couples, families, and business teams in improving their interpersonal communication skills; and is the co-pastor of the urban cafe church Transformed City in Richmond, VA.

Sometimes it’s the conversations not had that do the most damage to the people in our lives. Hard Conversations is a collection of short stories detailing the lives of five urban people who are standing at the intersection of their past and their potential. Sensing that something is still off in the lives that they have built, each has to make the crucial decision whether to address their secrets long buried, or to continue living in the uncomfortable matrix they created. Only they can decide what their future will bring.

Our gifting often becomes our prison. I wrote this book to pull back the mask on our experience in the hopes that it compels us to confront our learned ability to white wash our pain with our talent and giftings. We are often taught that the greatest value that we bring to the world is solely present in what we do, what we earn, or how well we play. In reality our greatest value is in the stories that we can articulate to those we influence once we have reached the other side of trauma. Trauma that tried to silence our voice, trauma that caused a part of us to die in the fight, and trauma that threatened us to stay silent after our experience with it because we should just be grateful that we made it to the other side.   


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Faith based memoir on overcoming abuse from Frederick A Moore

Beyond Forgiveness 
Frederick A. Moore

Faith-based Memoir
July, 2021 
Paperback: $16.99 
Hardcover: $28.99 
Ebook: $2.99 - $3.99

Buy on:

My review:

Moore’s account of a lifetime of learning to deal with abandonment issues and all the effects is a poignant testimony to the transforming love of Christ to the surrendered heart. A lovely cycle story, Moore takes his readers to the depths of depravity and back up to the mountains of joy. 

Beginning with the touchpoint of his father’s abandonment, Moore shares the ups and downs of childhood with a volatile father and an enabling mother. These qualities drove Moore to become a self-identified “nerd” who delved into escapism to endure the home and school bullies he encountered. Never tough enough, never good enough, he had resigned himself to a fate of blue-collar work to give his siblings a boost from the pit of life. A high school counselor stepped in. Moore was given the opportunity to attend college through a well-designed financial package.

“Mr. Alvarado changed all our lives, directly or indirectly. Why me? I was this world-weary, illegitimate white boy, who, when offered the opportunity of his life, ungratefully dragged his feet until he almost missed out,” Moore says.

In a bit of a jumpy bit of story-telling, Moore backtracks to another important event during high school. Moore was led to faith through a whimsical Bible gift and a Seventh-day Adventist. After studying the Bible, “This seventh-day Sabbath makes perfect sense to me,” Moore shares.

Though Moore made a sincere pledge of faith, it didn’t change the deep hurt of his father’s betrayal, and a resulting thirty-year vendetta. “As long as I dishonored my father in this fashion, I could never wholly be in Christ.” In college, Moore met and married his wife Susie, and after graduation followed his love of language with a career in media relations. The birth of his first child was a life-altering moment and showed him he could overcome the abusive parenting he’d suffered.

After years of perfectionism in his career and a downhill faith life, his life began to break down in emotional and physical illbeing. The deaths of his mother and boss/mentor put him into a tailspin, and by 1997, due to encouragement at work, he was on his way to the Weimar Institute for a three-week stay to put his life back into perspective.

A moving and thoughtful memoir, Moore challenges his readers to reach deep within and examine ourselves rightly before God.

About the Author
Frederick A. Moore has been an award-winning public relations professional, a teacher, a sales and marketing professional, a public address announcer at community events, as well as at high school and small-college sporting events, a guest relations representative for a West Coast League baseball team, and a photographer. He and his wife, Susie, have toured most of the United States and portions of eight countries – all the while capturing thousands of photographic images. They currently live with their daughter and son-in-law in Central Texas – along with the ‘K-9 Corps’ of four Dachshunds and a Shima.


Friday, September 10, 2021

Heavy Metal Fiction with Amanda Berthault


Shadows Unveiled by Amanda Berthault
EdenEcho Publishing, Chicago, IL, August 10, 2021
Electronic, Print, 229 pp.

About the Book
Heavy metal singer Shadow McKinley has faked his death to leave behind what he considers a torturous life. While disguised under his new identity as Shanley, a traveling pool hustler, he meets Macy, a teenage runaway and fan of his former band. Her plan to find her father in Los Angeles has fallen apart, and together they begin a cross-country road trip to get there. But Shanley makes one huge mistake, and their adventure turns into a desperate escape from the police and a struggle to stay alive. And with Macy unknowingly tormenting him with flashes of his past, Shanley must fight to keep his secret—not only from her, but from a world that is determined to find him. 

My review:
Shanley, a mysterious pool hustler, arrives in Kansas with little more than a truck to live in, dwindling cash in his pocket, and a need to earn money yet stay on the move.

The drama escalates when a young girl, obviously alone and defenseless, arrives in town wearing a t-shirt that means trouble to Shanley.

This contemporary action adventure opens with a noir feeling as Shanley’s favored costume is a black fedora and sunglasses worn at all times. As we peel back the layers of secrets, we’re drawn into a life on the run. Shanley and Macy are engaging people, lovingly drawn and wholly engaging. Who couldn’t cheer them on as Shanley reluctantly agrees to help young Macy travel across country? Their innocent adventure turns harrowing as they encounter the underside of humanity.

Shanley and Macy come from deeply flawed backgrounds and fight for survival after emotional and physical abuse. Shadows Unveiled shows the reader through narrow points of view and flashbacks how each of them learns to take the best of themselves to work together to accomplish a common goal and face the consequences of their actions.

Ultimately a story of survival and friendship, Berthault, a native Chicagoan with a passion for music, offers a novel that will start serious conversations about how we listen to each other and care about ourselves and our friends. I appreciated the reality of hearing how it sounds when I think I’m offering helpful advice. Plumbing the depth of someone else’s pain, letting them speak their story and not pushing them deeper into an inability to cope by sharing platitudes and empty shoulders isn’t true support. Shanley is able to turn his experience around and do something that helps teenage Macy, whose outside life seems idyllic, as much as his own is obviously dysfunctional. And maybe Heavy Metal Fiction will become a shelf label. I was intrigued by the way Berthault’s characters were so deeply affected by the music and lyrics in different ways. Shadows Unveiled is the first book in a planned trilogy and I look forward to reading more.

About the Author:

Amanda Berthault is an author, editor, and music lover who wants to make “Heavy Metal Fiction” a real genre. She has a BA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and has had multiple musically themed short stories published over the past two decades. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she runs a freelance editing business helping other independent and self-publishing authors.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Allison Wall writes sci fi

Welcome Allison Wall and her debut self-publishing short story adventure. Allison and I met at Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp a few years ago.

Footnotes on a Space Opera: A Musical First Encounter Short Story
sci fi short story
.99 ebook
buy on Amazon

About the story:
In the year 2026, aliens landed on Earth. But they didn't come to take our planet or to annihilate us. They came for the last thing anyone expected. They came for opera.
Told from the distant future, this first encounter short story imagines a reality in which opera--one of Western culture's greatest but most polarizing musical traditions--becomes planet Earth's greatest interstellar export.
Arrival meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
In Footnotes on a Space Opera, author and classically trained soprano Allison Wall fuses her love of opera with a dry, brilliant humor that will have readers laughing out loud. 

Allison, what do you love about your story?
So many things! The form. The combination of two of my favorite things: science fiction and opera. Most of all, I love the "what if" the story asks: What if aliens arrived and they were interested in the last thing we thought they'd be? Because that seems to me like the most likely option—not that real aliens would necessarily be classical music fans, but that their intentions and goals are probably nothing like what we imagine. I think that's the strength of fiction, and what interests me about speculative fiction in particular, the ability to ask a fantastical "what if" question and follow cause and effect to see what might happen in a scenario like that.
Introduce us to your best-behaved character.
Interesting question... Because the short story is in an unconventional format—that of a paper or a chapter in a history book—characters don't show up on the page in the way they typically would. It's not always clear who's behaving well and what people's true intentions are! I suppose I might put forward the narrator, but even she is breaking rules, though she's doing it for the right reasons.
What do you want readers to tell other readers after they've read the short story?
I would love for readers to compare their favorite humorous moments. There are so many to talk about. A few are classical music inside jokes, but the vast majority are very accessible. I would love for readers to talk about the treasure hunt of the footnotes, and what they revealed about what was really going on in the story. I would also love for readers to talk about opera! It's an art form that the majority of contemporary society has never learned or forgotten how to listen to, which is a shame, because, as the aliens in Footnotes on a Space Opera convince the world, it is an extremely powerful medium.
What are you reading now?
I just finished reading The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers, a German writer with a really fun, whimsical style. It's a comedic adventure novel about writers, literature, and the publishing industry, and the main character is a dinosaur named Optimus Yarnspinner. I highly recommend it.
What’s next for you?
I have several novels in the works! Currently, I'm editing and exploring publishing options for The Violet Tamarind, a futuristic speculative fiction novel, in which a crew of cyborg airship pirates go hunting for a legendary treasure.
About the author:

Allison Wall
is an American writer. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University and has published short fiction and personal essays and book reviews.

Allison is trained as a classical singer and pianist, and she works as a music teacher, dissertation editor, and academic tutor.

In the general chaos of 2020, Allison found out she is neurodivergent (autism, ADHD). She is passionate about sharing her experiences, advocating for empathy, and contributing to a world in which neurodiversities are seen on an inclusive spectrum of brain differences, not pathologized as illnesses. To that end, she runs NEURODIVERSION, a monthly newsletter that centers neurodiverse news, research, and current events. Connect with Allison on her website or Twitter

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

It's time once again to enter the CWA first chapter contest


CWA's 6th Annual First Chapter Contest is
Open for Entries
You may join CWA HERE.
Are you writing a novel? Submit chapter one of your work, up to 10 pages, to CWA's 6th Annual First Chapter Contest.

First prize is a full scholarship to attend either the All-Genre Novel-In-Progress (NIP) Bookcamp & Writing Retreat on June 12-18, 2022 or the Speculative Fiction NIP Bookcamp (date to be scheduled), at the Cedar Valley Center & Spa, 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee, near West Bend, Wisconsin (value: $1385).

Second and third place winners will receive cash awards of $150 and $75, respectively.

The top three entries will also be published in CWA's Write City Magazine. 

Please read and follow the guidelines before submitting.
A non‐refundable fee of Fifteen Dollars ($15) must be made online on the same date as the author’s entry is submitted.
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