Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #YA #Fantasy A.J. Alexander, #Scifi Richard Dee, #Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle, #Thriller Gwen M. Plano

Sally Cronin published a post, mentioning ‘Bounty Hunter’. Thank you so much for the shout out and all your support and help, Sally!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author today isA.J. Alexander, with a review for her latest release Bounty Hunter, Book 4 in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series

About the book

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the…

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7 Tips to Balancing the Humor and the Heavy – Written By Charles Yallowitz

I like to included humor in my stories.  Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as comedies.  I like to touch on heavy topics in my stories.  Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as serious dramas.  That means I need to have both and keep things balanced.  That isn’t nearly as easy as some people believe.  You can’t throw the two around whenever you feel like it in the hopes of creating an equilibrium.  Humor and heavy can clash like battling titans instead of uniting like pieces of a puzzle.  So, what are some ways to handle this?

  1. Whichever one is going to be the main tone of the story should be introduced from the beginning.  If you want to have a serious story with humorous sections and conversations then you need to set the heavy stage.  If it’s supposed to be a comedic tale that moves into serious territory then start with the funny.  You do have a runway to work with since the opening is more character and world introduction, so the tone may be neutral first.  Eventually, you need to decide on who gets the bigger slice of pizza.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Picking A Consort For A Council Member

 

The Council of Twelve Series has four published books so far.


Now, as compared to four published books, so far nine books in the series have been written. That means, there are not many Archangels without a consort anymore. 

But how do I pick the Archangel consorts? What skills, what powers, what strength do they need to become an Archangel consort? How do they have to look?

These questions are answered quite simply:

  1. There’s only one rule: there is no rule anyone knows about it, except the Archangel’s Creator and Father.
  2. See rule #1

We have Katie, an Angel, who became an Archangel consort. In book three there is a Demon Tracker, Zepheira, or Zye, as her friends call her, who, with her unusual looks and two ram-like horns became an Archangel consort, and obviously is the only woman in existence who can take the Fire-Angel’s unshielded heat. In book four, we have a Bounty Hunter, Simin Arnatt, who carries a big secret, is immortal, and an Archangel consort.

The Council of Twelve fights against the ‘other side’, fights evil, tries to protect humans from being taken over. The war ‘Good vs. Evil’ is omnipresent. The other side gains strength and power. The good side is keeping up with unexpected power…

But how are the consorts found? How do they become consorts?

Let me find an example for you.

Sundance’s story ends with a ‘cliffhanger’. The young warrior-angel finds herself in a dreadful situation. She needs help, support. What I needed was a strong, independent, almost stubborn woman, with wit, boldness, and courage. I needed an experienced woman with her own set of skills. That’s how Zepheira was created. I wanted her extraordinary, not only in character but her looks too. That’s why I gave her the horns. Of course, she’s beautiful. And her inner bravery and her physical appearance, including her height, gave me three Archangels to hook her up with. In Zepheira’s case, these were Tsechirel, Zachariel, and Uriel. I had another woman in mind for Tsechirel and excluded him from the contest. After some more thinking, I decided on Uriel. And don’t they make a wonderful couple?

Of course, the further the series progresses, the less available Archangels are left, and the harder it gets, to find a suitable consort. If anyone has an idea for a consort, please let us know in the comments.

There are more consorts to show up, more stories to tell, and more lonely Archangels.

Continue reading ‘The Council of Twelve’ series!

 

5 SELF-CARE SECRETS THAT MAKE ME A BETTER WRITER @ABIGAILYARDIMCI #AMWRITING – Written By Lucy Mitchell

Lucy Mitchell informs us with a post on her blog about five self-care secrets that make her a better writer. I find it a very interesting article and wanted to share it. Thank you, Lucy.


 

Have you been stuck at the literary coalface for sometime? Are you in need of writer self-care?

This fabulous guest post from author Abi Yardimci is for you.

If you’ve not checked out Abi’s books than I strongly suggest you do. Her books are funny, enchanting and carry several inspirational life lessons.

Over to you, Abi.

Five Self-Care Secrets That Make me a Better Writer . . .

Anyone who knows me will tell you that they have heard me bang on about the importance of self-care on many occasions.

It only took me forty-two years to reach the conclusion that without self-care we simply cannot be what we need to be in the world. Whether that’s a friend, a lover, a parent, a sibling, a dreamer, a go-getter, a tea-drinker, a Doritos-devourer or all of the above, without caring for ourselves even a teensy bit, none of those things will have much longevity.

(And let’s face it, who doesn’t want longevity when it comes to Doritos?)

I won’t bore you with the many, many self-care strategies I have developed over the years. There are too many of them to count now. And it’s different strokes for different folks, isn’t it? One person’s scented candle collection is another person’s hell on earth.

I’m not here to tell you how to spend your precious time but I would definitely promote the avid noticing of where one gets one’s thrills. If it makes you feel good then it could improve EVERYTHING if you make it a priority. No guilt. No excuses. Just do it.

And I’m living proof. It wasn’t until I started taking notice of what made my soul sing that I started doing what I’ve always secretly wanted to do: write.

So here are my top five self-care secrets that I know, from years of experimenting, make me a better writer (and a better person too):

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

5 Ways To Avoid Info-Dumping – Written By K. M. Allan

K. M. Allan writes a phenomenal post about authors and info-dumping. Read about it on her blog. Thanks a lot for your advice, K. M. Allan.


When you become a writer, one of the “rules” you’re advised to learn is to avoid info-dumping.

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s when the writer bombards the reader with everything they think they should know—all at once.

While you might think there’s no way you do that, info-dumping is an easy trap to fall into. It’s one of those writer-blind spots where we can easily see it in other’s work, but don’t notice it in our own.

It can worm its way in like typo gremlins, but here are some likely places you’ll find info-dumping so you can work out ways to avoid it.

5 Ways To Avoid Info-Dumping

Check The Starts

Info-dumping likes to live at the start of things, such as the first chapter, the first introduction of a character, or the first instance of world-building. It sets up home there because the writer makes it the perfect place to build.

Think about what happens when you’re penning the first draft. You’re discovering the story, telling it to yourself, and getting it all on the page. Once it’s there, we forget to examine it in later drafts for info-dumping.

As an example, let’s say it’s the first time your MC has visited the place your story is set. Trying to work out where you’re going with it, your writer-brain brought in another character with a lengthy explanation of the town’s history and why no one goes near the creepy abandoned two-story house on Cliché Crescent.

You needed to know those things to move onto your next chapter, but it’s likely the reader doesn’t need to know it all on their first read.

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

Is There a Point in Character Bios? – Written By Charles Yallowitz

On the ‘Legends of Windemere’ blog, Charles Yallowitz published an interesting view on character bios. Thanks a lot for this post, Charles!


I can already hear at least once pantser preparing to explain why they don’t do this.  If it helps, person with fingers at the ready, you’re right.  Character biographies don’t work for everyone.  They aren’t even universal because everyone has their own way of doing them because every author has different needs.  Some even change from story to story or as our own skills grow.  I know that I’ve been all over the map as you’re about to see.

Character bios are where I started since tabletop games were my first inspiration alongside fantasy books.  This resulted in my originals being more about numbers stats and basics instead of depth.  I had hair, eyes, height, weight, skin, and physical attributes with very little variety.  I couldn’t tell you what the real difference between a 4 and 5 in strength really was.  A 1-5 ranking was probably a dumb choice.

CONTINUE READING HERE

The Real Witches – Written By Nicholas Rossis

I found a phenomenal article written by Nicholas Rossis, where he writes about witches, in a very unique and still sensitive way, combining myth and history, as he usually does. Thank you for a fascinating post, Nicholas.


I kick off the new year with a matter close to anyone who’s ever flirted with fantasy writing: witches. I mean, what’s fantasy without witchcraft? Probably a rather boring Medieval existence, that’s what.

Of course, there’s a big difference between fantasy and reality. Witchcraft has been a topic for discussion since forever and witches have been surrounded by countless myths through the centuries.

This guest post by John Dickinson, a writer from SuperiorPapers, discusses the myth and reality of witches.

The Real Witches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witches were traditionally pictured as ugly hags with warts on their faces, a pointy hat with a wide brim, stirring a huge cauldron with a green liquid or cackling through the sky. However, modern pop culture has portrayed them as a kind, nose-twitching suburban housewife; an awkward teenager learning to control her powers, and a trio of charmed sisters battling the forces of evil.

A similar confusion seems to surround their punishment. We believe that witches were burnt for their sin of practicing witchcraft. But this, along with other myths, was an unusual punishment that probably became popular because of Jean d’Arc.

Here are some more interesting facts about witches I hope you will find at least as interesting as I did!

CONTINUE READING HERE

Thanksgiving 2020

It’s Thanksgiving 2020… a day we should find things to be thankful for, even though the year was a hard crisis for many of us, and will most likely not change with the upcoming new year.

Still… at this moment I want to see the positive things, that I have in my life and those are the things I’m grateful for!

I want to say thanks for so many things:

A roof over my head

Something to eat in my fridge

My amazing sister

Wonderful friends

My car

California Sunshine

And that my heart still can LOVE and HOPE


Of course, I’m grateful for the God-given talent to write and that I had the chance to publish three books (and the fourth in the queue…


Last, but not least, I’m grateful for the wonderful subscribers, readers, followers, and friends that make my writing, social media, and blogging so much fun! Thank you!


If you have the chance to spend this holiday with your loved ones and family, please enjoy it. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see my family this year. I want to wish you and your family members:

THE MAGICAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WRITER AND THEIR NOTEBOOKS #AMWRITING – Written By Lucy Mitchell

Lucy Mitchell explains why there is a magical relationship between a writer and notebooks. Thanks so much for your post, Lucy! How many people don’t understand that bond.


#writingcommunity #writerslife

This weekend will be spent clearing out my dressing table and creating a temporary work desk. As I am working from home in my day job, the teenagers are off school due to half term, my husband is also working from home and we are in the middle of a strict lockdown, I cannot spend the next two weeks working from the living room. Not only will I have to put up with pyjama clad teens wandering about in the background while I am on Zoom calls, I will also have to listen to my loved one shouting at everyone to keep the noise down from his desk.

Underneath my dressing table there are three large boxes filled with notebooks. Some of my old stories were born inside these notebooks and some still reside between the pages. I have to write this post because I think my family believe this will be the weekend I finally clear out all my boxes of notebooks.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Author Spotlight – Steve Anderson

Welcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

I’m Steve Anderson, a ten year veteran of the US Navy, a world traveler, and lately, a teller of tales.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

At age twelve, my father gave me a manual typewriter.  I wrote my first fantasy story with it to go with a map I had drawn of a magical world.  I wrote on and off while on active duty, and as a personal past time after leaving the service, but I didn’t get serious about writing until 2017.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

The sheer joy of creating a compelling story.  Having an immersive world is nice for the reader to escape their daily life.  Connecting to characters, living through their struggles, and their victories reaches deeper into what makes us human than escapism in general.  I like to provide both.

 

 3. What genre do you write in, and what made you chose this particular genre?

Both Science Fiction and Fantasy, but my focus for the past year has been exclusively Fantasy.  Specifically, the contemporary fantasy world I’ve been building.

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

It may sound anachronistic, but I want to spread hope.  My stories involve perseverance despite overwhelming odds.  My protagonists exude hope the way Lady Liberty holds her torch.  I’d like my writing to reach a broad audience, but mostly, I just want to share my stories with like-minded readers who seek a little bit of awe and wonder in their reading.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block, and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I don’t believe in writer’s block.  I can always write; it may not always be great and may throw a night’s work away after I’m done.  I still believe it’s essential for this author to write every day.  I wrote over a million words in the past two years because I believe that a writer’s job is to write.  When I got serious about the novel I wrote I finished it in five weeks.  For me, writer’s block is a sign that I’m struggling to overcome how to present an idea or a scene in a story, not that I can’t write at all.

  

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? Write.  Don’t focus on craft to the exclusion of your voice.  If you write enough, your voice will come through, and you can learn the craft as you go.  The most important thing is to put words on the page.  You can make them pretty, or horrifying, or technically correct after they are out, but until then, they are just ideas in your mind.  The world needs to hear those ideas, and you alone hold the key to their freedom.

  

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

My work is expansive.  I have six short stories set in the same world as my first novel, Fantastic America.  The premise is that magic has always existed, but was largely absent throughout recorded human history.  It came back on December 21st, 2012.  The world didn’t end, but it changed forever.

Fantastic America looks at how people react to the return of magic, through the lens of a reporter caught up in those changes.  She doesn’t believe everything about magic is evil, despite prevailing wisdom to the contrary.  Her antagonist is a federal agent willing to do anything to prevent the miracles, monsters, and magic representing those changes from tearing apart the world he knew before the solstice.  He’s like a modern-day little Dutch boy trying to hold back the ocean with his finger.  What neither of them know, is that a dark and deranged killer has learned to harness magic to unleash a killing spree that will affect both of them and the world at large.

That’s just the first book.  It gets weirder from there!

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Steve’s Books:

 


Meet the Author:

I’m originally from Raleigh, NC, but now live in Ottumwa, Iowa.  I’ve traveled all over the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  My hobbies include sharing drinks and good food with friends, gaming, studying history, and collecting comic books since age five.  I’ve been a sailor, a security guard, a tax preparer, an insurance salesman, a telemarketer, a DJ, and a bar manager.  Traveling and doing, I’ve seen a lot and love telling stories, some true, some not.  Which is which?  You decide!


Connect with the Author:

www.renegade-galaxy.com  And soon: www.thesorcerersrealm.com

https://www.facebook.com/ReneGalaxy

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-anderson-1b371810/

https://www.pinterest.com/sea52501/