Sylvermoon Chronicles VII: A New Release Anthology

Sylvermoon Chronicles is an annual short story anthology created by The Confederacy of the Quill, an international writers’ cooperative. I am very proud to have one of my stories, Contaminus, included in the 2019 issue of this highly regarded anthology series.

While the book releases on Valentines Day, it should not be mistaken for a romance collection.

Rather, I like to think of it as a gift for those who, like me, would sooner read genres other than lovey-dovey romance, and a welcome distraction from all the kissy-face sentimentality often associated with February 14th. The Sylvermoon Chronicles series features stories in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Adventure. 

It is an honor to be published in a series which I have very much enjoyed as a reader, alongside a number of authors whose work I have previously read, reviewed and fangirled over. I was both excited and slightly surprised when my story was accepted, especially given the inspiration behind the writing of Contaminus.

New worlds await you in the newest Sylvermoon Chronicles collection, which hit the shelves today. The ebook is widely available now, and the paperback will be available soon. 

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Women in Horror: Baileigh Higgins

Baileigh Higgins, author of the bestselling Zombie Apocalypse Series, Dangerous Days, lives in the Free State, South Africa, with hubby and best friend Brendan and loves nothing more than lazing on the couch with pizza and a bad horror movie. Her unhealthy obsession with the end of the world has led to numerous books on the subject and a secret bunker only she knows the location of. 


Gen z – The Undead Adventures of Chas

For birthday girl Chas, life just got a whole lot weirder…

Chasity is celebrating her fourteenth birthday at the local fair when zombies crash the party, stranding her and her two best friends on the Ferris wheel. With a bird’s eye view of the carnage below, they have to use their wits to survive.

Grab your cotton candy and run…

Unarmed and outnumbered, they face a perilous journey through a once idyllic community in the hopes of reaching their loved ones. With only each other to rely on, Chas and her friends are pushed to their limits as the undead hordes close in. Can they make it to safety in time to avoid becoming another human happy meal?

Refuge is just a few blocks away…

Customer Review: H. Bala TOP 100 REVIEWER 5.0 out of 5 stars 
FYI: a zombie outbreak does not a good birthday present make


Last Another Day

Humanity falls…

Survival is just the beginning…

Trapped in the shower by her undead husband, Morgan prays for rescue but quickly realizes she’s on her own. She escapes, only to find that the horror has spread and now threatens everything she holds dear. With each passing moment, death becomes more certain.

The Zombie Apocalypse has begun…

 Logan returns to his childhood home and teams up with Max, an army deserter racing against the clock to save his family. When the infection outruns them, they face the real possibility that everyone they know is already dead. Or worse, undead.

All it takes is one mistake…

As the sun sets against the backdrop of the African veldt and living nightmares walk the streets in the shape of their loved one’s bodies, humanity’s last hope rests in the hands of ordinary men and women called to do extraordinary things.

Review: Brianna Mace5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast paced and full of action!
I LOVED this book. You can’t help but love many of the characters. If you like zombies, then this is a must read zombie story. Lots of action and lots of gore, you won’t get bored reading this one. It made me emotional at times. Can’t wait to read the next one!


Visit Baileigh’s website at www.baileighhiggins.com to get the latest news on all her projects including a FREE starter library for new subscribers.

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You can find and follow Baileigh Higgins on
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WordPress V Facebook

I found this blog post interesting, and what Kazzmoss says here is true: WordPress is a great community, and you can do everything here that you do on Facebook.

I guess, though, that people like the “pretty” and the “instant” rather than thinking about and choosing what they read and see. Facebook is, in some ways, a monument to mental laziness.

The Magic of Stories

I was reading a post on Instagram where someone wondering whether to start a blog. Of course, I immediately came on and said yes, and extolled the virtues of WordPress.

It was only as I was doing so; I realised just what a community WordPress is. Suddenly I began comparing it to Facebook.

For a long time Facebook has ruled our lives. We writers have built platforms there, a place to tell everyone about our books and blogs. We have a friends list and can comment, like, and share. It is a community.

That’s when it occurred to me that WordPress is the same, only better. Everything we can do on Facebook, we can do with WordPress.

Unfortunately, Facebook dislikes books links on your personal page, they want you to put them on your business page. Then, they restrict the amount of views its gets because they would like you…

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Eva’s Byte #196: When No One’s Watching

Given that I am both a teacher and an Indie author, I found this post by Eva Pasco highly relatable.

I do hope you enjoy it, and I encourage you all to follow her blog and to look up her books. Eva is an evocative and thought-provoking writer, and her books are excellent.

EVA's Bytes

One of my treasured books gifted to all faculty members by the school principal of Northern Lincoln Elementary where I finished my teaching career in the third grade trenches was What Teachers Do When No One is Looking by Jim Grant and Irv Richardson.  I can attest that most teachers unselfishly contribute after-school hours and money to make a difference in the classroom—when no one is watching. Scrounging yard sales for materials and attending seminars barely scratch the surface.

Which brings me to the career I embraced shortly after retirement—that of a self-published Indie author who wishes more people were on the lookout for my books and making a mad dash to acquire them.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d share the nature of this week’s writing sessions for my WIP in the genre of Contemporary at the juncture of part 2, chapter 21 which delves into my protagonist’s past—when no one’s…

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Introducing: Lac Du Mort!

Lac Du Mort is available for preorder now, in anticipation of its August 24 release.

I’m very excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming release, Lac Du Mort and Other Stories. 

This breathtaking cover is the work of Renee Gauthier at RM Designs.
Thank you, Renee, for a top quality piece of work that definitely has that “chilling story” feeling about it.

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From the macabre to the deeply disturbing, Lac Du Mort and Other Stories delivers eight chilling tales that will please lovers of horror and dark fiction.  

The title means ‘lake of death’, which is also the title of the first story in this collection of original and evocative tales. These stories often draw on typically Australian settings that add an extra layer of originality and interest, and there is actually a town not far from where I live named ‘Mortlake’, which means the same thing. I wonder how many locals have thought about that! However, I don’t want to be held responsible for a decrease in tourism or business in the area, so Lac Du Mort was probably a better choice.

There is one story that contains some mature content, so this is a book for grownups rather than YA audiences.

Preorders are now open on Google Play, Kobo, and Amazon, and will be opening soon in other digital stores. You can reserve your copy via jvlpoet.link/ldm

This is a ‘universal book link’ that will allow you to choose from among the stores in which the book is available, or to your preferred store if you’ve already set your preference at books2read.com.

It’s “all systems go” for release on August 24, when Lac Du Mort will slide happily into the device of everyone who has preordered. Some of the stores are offering a discount for preorders, so that’s a great way to support an author, grab a great new read, and get a bargain at the same time!

Lac Du Mort will also be available in paperback from a wide range of stores, for those who prefer staring at dead trees instead of glass.

Mayday Madness!

Are you looking for some great book bargains?

Take a look at these fabulous sale items, just for May Day!
Various genres, for all interests.

Thank you to the generous authors who offer these discounts so that we can fill up our devices with fantastic reads!

Working Title Blogspot

Fill up your Kindle for less dosh today!

All the books below are only 99p/99c on May 1st. Why not check them out and see if anything floats your boat?

Fantasy

zpop100

Aaspa’s Eyes by Jane Jago
Wyrd Creatures and overweening ambition.

Dark Space Opera

zpop1000Trust A Few by E.M. Swift-Hook
The ‘City has always been a dangerous place to live: now it’s lethal.

Sci-fi

Zpop1
Generational by Norman Turrell
Things are not as they seem on Eos.

Fantasy

zpop12Salvation’s Dawn by Joe Jackson
War is coming to seven worlds…

Fantasy Romance

zpop700The Lion and the Tiger by Lyra Shanti
Lovers and warriors, immortal in love.

Fantasy

zpop13Royal Tournament by Richard H. Stephens
To win, you must be prepared to die.

Medical Sci-fi

zpop600Bud by the Grace of God by S. E. Sasaki
Could you love an android willing to sacrifice itself to save you?

Fantasy

perf5.500x8.500.inddWrath of the Fury Blade by

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Weekend Wind Down – Spouse Errant

I’ve just read this brilliant story, and I’m passing it on so that you can enjoy it, too.

Please remember to “like” the story when you’re done. 🙂

Working Title Blogspot

When a man who never talks at breakfast clears his throat meaningfully at eight o’clock on a Monday morning, it’s an even bet he has something momentous to say. Jill Franklin looked at her husband to signify her attentiveness then waited for him to speak. He cleared his throat again.

“I’ve been a bit of a prat.”

She raised her eyebrows.

“What sort of a prat?”

“The usual sort.”

“With?”

“Secretary.”

Jill fought the sudden temptation to throw the contents of her large cappuccino in his handsome face. Instead, she sighed.

“That’s such a cliche. Middle-aged man. New young secretary. I find myself insulted.”

He had the grace to blush.

“Yeah. I suppose you might at that. Look. I’m sorry. But it gets worse.”

“Worse than rank stupidity?”

“Much worse. She wants to marry me. And her uncle is Maximilian Shaw.”

“Jim. You are beyond idiocy. Whatever possessed you to…

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Author Interview: Fiona McVie chats with Joanne Van Leerdam

For the first time in a long time, here’s an author interview where I’m the author, not the interviewer!

Thank you, Fiona McVie, for making this happen.

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.

Hi Everyone! I’m Joanne Van Leerdam. I’m old enough for my spine to think it’s 90, and young enough for my brain to think it’s still 25.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in a country town in south-western Victoria, Australia. It’s not too far from the beach, and close enough to the city to visit if I want to, so it’s a perfect spot for me.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I’m married with two furkids. I teach senior high school English and History part time, and am also involved in my local theatre company.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I just spent a week camping by a river, where I spent my time…

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Using Imagery to Make a Point: The Duel.

When I was a kid, I loved watching those Saturday afternoon spaghetti westerns with cowboys, a town sheriff, swinging saloon doors and the customary cowboy gunfights…

Folks have asked me from time to time to share some insight into the imagery and ideas I use to deliver particular messages in my poems.

I love using word pictures and different ideas to present a new perspective or my feelings about a particular situation in my poetry. It’s a time honoured tradition that even Jesus made good use of, so I work hard to get it right.

I’ve just posted a new poem called ‘The Duel’ on my WordyNerdBird Writes blog, so I figured that’s as good a place as any to start.

When I was a kid, I loved watching those Saturday afternoon spaghetti westerns with cowboys, a town sheriff, swinging saloon doors and the customary cowboy gunfights. There were always pretty girls wanting both cowboys to win, but everyone knew that wasn’t the way those things worked. The bartender spent more time polishing the bar than any bartender in any pub I’ve ever seen, but hey – he had to be doing something when he wasn’t serving the cowboys their shots of dutch courage. 
 
It’s the gunslinger imagery I’ve drawn on in ‘The Duel’.
Promo X The Duel
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We all know that movies don’t reflect the truths of real life as often as we thought they did when we were kids. But that’s the beauty of writing: I can make my characters do anything I want them do when I’m wielding the pen. If I can make them deliver a lesson while they’re doing it, even better.

So, I conjured up some cowboys – or cowgirls, if you prefer. I put spurs on their boots and pistols in their holsters. And I made one of them challenge the other to a duel.

Hopefully, you’re interested enough to the rest for yourself.
 
Cowboys. Resentment. Gunfight.
 
I’d love to know what you think of the poem, but I’m also keen to know if you’re interested in reading more insights like this. Don’t worry, though – I have no intention of explaining every poem. I’d like to think my poems do that pretty well for themselves.

The Importance Of Minding One’s Manners On Social Media.

The choice between being either the low point or a bright spot in someone’s day isn’t so complicated.

I was motivated to write this post by an experience I had a few weeks ago.
I posted a question on a blog post by someone who presents himself as a successful and popular author.  He probably is, but his response to my question was quite scathing. When I explained why I hadn’t read every blog post he had posted, he was so rude that I took screen shots. Of course, he had no idea that I took screenshots, but it made me feel better because I had evidence to support my increasing dislike for him and his condescending attitude. Who did he think he was, anyway?
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ScreenHunter_410 Mar Asshat Identity Concealed 2
(I’ve concealed his identity here because I don’t feel like getting sued or anything like that.)
At this point, I made a decision to never buy his books, nor to help promote or encourage him in any way. I suspect several others probably made the same decision. When a friend went to read the exchange between us, he had deleted the whole thing, so I am sure he realised it wasn’t a good look for him. I highly doubt that it might occur to him to apologise for his rudeness, but I will never know, because I had promptly unfollowed his blog, deleted him from my twitter feed and blocked him on all social media.

Sure, my question might not have been the brightest or best he’s ever read. Even so, his response was condescending and made me feel really low. Who needs that kind of negativity in their life? I certainly don’t.

As an author who uses social media to build a following and hopefully sell my books, I can confidently state this is the least desirable outcome from interacting with others.
There is a valuable lesson that, whatever our profession might be, we can all take from this: never, ever, be an asshat to someone on social media. It’s far too easy to damage a reputation or a brand that you’re trying to establish and promote.
The choice between being either the low point or a bright spot in someone’s day isn’t so complicated. If people ask a question about your book, your blog, or your dog’s hind leg, simply be thankful they are interested enough to ask. Engage with them. Being friendly doesn’t cost anything, nor does it mean you have to pledge eternal friendship.
You will walk away with your integrity and your potential readership intact, if not a little more loyal towards you. As a writer, you can’t put a price tag on that.
*My original working title for this post was, in fact, “Why One Should Never Be An Asshat On Social Media”. I tidied it up a little. You’re most welcome.