Wednesday, February 7, 2024

IWSG: February 2024

Here we are for this month's Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. Big thank you to the admins of IWSG and our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Please stop by and share your highs and lows in this crazy writing life. And stop by to visit as many of the blogs on the participant list as you can.

Before answering this month's question, if you have a minute stop by my guest post featuring L. Diane Wolfe as she talks about her favorite 'alien' themed movies and announces her newest release, In Darkness: The Alien.

Diane is so talented. She writes fiction and nonfiction, runs her own publishing company, and attends
many events and conferences. And does them all very successfully. I'm very excited to announce that L. Diane Wolfe will be a guest publisher at the 2024 Annual Pennwriters Conference being held in May in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After being online friends for years, I'll get to meet Diane in person. You can too. Find out more about the conference here

This month's optional question:  What turns you off when visiting an author's website/blog? Lack of information? A drone of negativity? Little mention of author's books? Constant mention of books?

I can't put my finger on any one thing. If I go to an author's website, I want to hear about their books or I've followed a link because they're sharing some writing advice. I don't even mind if their newsletter invite pops up. I don't see many author websites that turn me off so I'm interested to read the other posts on this subject.

My writing is going okay. I'm still spending time each day on getting my books back out into the world. I have more than 30 books previously published by small presses that I now have my rights back to that

I'm re-editing and publishing myself. I'm trying to do one per month and have managed that so far. My latest re-emergence novel is my first fantasy novel ever published. The Keepers of Sulbreth is the first book in The Futhark Chronicles. Books 2, 3, & 4 will be forthcoming. I admit, I like the cover I designed better than the one my previous publisher created.

I'm so eager for spring, but I know it's a long way off. In good news, I think sometime within the next week or so, TV networks are finally getting some new shows on the air. I loved Will Trent last season and I'm looking forward to season 2 of Halo. Did you watch The Brothers Sun on Netflix.  Highly recommend.

I hope you're staying warm, and if you're in California, dry and safe. Seems that some kind of dangerous weather somewhere all the time.

Do you have a favorite alien movie? Do you have pet peeves about author websites? How is your writing going?

Monday, February 5, 2024

In Darkness: The Alien, Guest Post with L. Diane Wolfe

It is my pleasure to once again have L. Diane Wolfe as my guest. She writes such interesting posts. Please welcome her and read about her newest release.

Greetings to Susan’s fans and followers!


Since my latest release, In Darkness: The Alien, deals with extraterrestrials, she asked me to name a top five on both sides of coin. (Friendly/evil aliens.)




The obvious – ET. But how about:


The Arrival – Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, this film revealed gentle aliens who only wanted to help man.


The Iron Giant – Voiced by Vin Diesel, the title creature is a gentle giant, befriending a boy who wants to protect him from the government.


Starman – Starring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen, this is a very sweet movie about an alien stranded on earth who takes on the appearance of a woman’s deceased husband.


Cocoon – Staring Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, and Hume Cronyn, the aliens here have only returned to revive and bring back their brethren who were left behind years ago.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Starring Richard Dreyfuss, these aliens are also benign despite abductions over the years, and its special effects hold up even 46 years later.




The obvious – War of the Worlds. But how about:


Aliens – Starring Sigourney Weaver, the aliens on this planet only want to propagate and destroy. It’s a wild ride as the humans struggle to outwit and defeat them.


The Puppet Masters – Starring Donald Sutherland, these alien invaders attach to humans to control and conquer them.


A Quiet Place – Starring Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, the danger of predator aliens who can hear any sound is intense and scary.


Signs – Starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix, it’s one man’s fight for the survival of his family against alien invaders.


The Thing – Starring Kurt Russell, this intense take on the novella Who Goes There, set in the artic, gives us an alien who only wants to assimilate and conquer.


Those are my tops picks. What are yours?



In Darkness: The Alien
By L. Diane Wolfe

Souls shrouded in darkness…

Abducted from her research station, Liz’s life is flung into chaos. Sold into servanthood for her knowledge of planetary mining to a race called the Stren, she discovers her problems go far deeper. She is to marry her alien master, Krist, after enduring a procedure designed to eradicate her emotions.

Desperate, Liz persuades the Stren to grant her the duration of a short voyage to change his perception of emotions. But how can she convince someone lacking feelings of their value? Is there a means of accessing the emotional side of Krist before it’s too late?

Release date – February 6, 2024

From Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Romance-Science Fiction / Science Fiction-Alien Contact / Romance-Paranormal
eBook ISBN 9781939844972 $3.99

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s an editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. - Spunk On A Stick - Spunk On A Stick’s Tips - Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Amazon -
iTunes -
Barnes & Noble -
Kobo -
Everand -

Gardners -
Goodreads -

Do you love aliens as much as I do? Do you prefer friendly or evil aliens? Have you checked out Diane's earlier books in this series?

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

IWSG: January 2024!

 It  can't be 2024, yet here it is. There's a great way to start the year and that's with IWSG. Thanks to the admins and our founder Alex J. Cavanaugh, we can all share our insecurities for another year. Please find more bloggers participating in this blog hop here.

I am going to skip the optional question this month and talk about other things today.

I've said many times that I don't set goals, but I do make plans and right long to-do lists. Writing this post was on my most recent list. Other things on there for January of 2024:

1. Reach out to more reviewers and review sites for The Morbunda Trilogy.

2. Update my Goodreads page and other social media.

3. Continue work on my newest WIP. (No title yet even though I'm almost 30K in)

4. Write more reviews for my writer friends.

5. Help Pennwriters open registration for the Annual Writers Conference being held in May.

6. Begin editing on another of the book series I've recovered my rights for so I can self-published it.

That's enough for January. In the last three months of 2023, I managed to self-publish 3 books, write that 30K, attend a mini-con and set up a book signing for February. 

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." Thomas Jefferson

The holidays were joyful and filled with family and friends. Too much food, but that's what the treadmill and stepper is for. Later this week, I'm heading out to meet a friend at an indie bookstore/cafe. I hope you find time to support those local bookshops and keep them running.

I enter 2024 with more optimism than I felt a year ago about my writing. I wish I could make enough on my books to dent the inflation that is hurting my pocket.

"If you can dream it, you can achieve it." Zig Ziglar

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2024. 

Are you making goals and plans for 2024? Are you feeling optimistic this January? Did you accomplish what you want in 2023? Do you have a favorite indie bookstore?

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

IWSG: December 2023

Welcome to the IWSG blog hop. Thanks to all the admins of IWSG and our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh for keeping this group so dynamic and amazing. It just gets better and better. Check out all the participants on this list. Share your insecurities and let us lift each other up.

This month's optional question:

Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book reviews do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

For me, it's always about what I liked about the book and the writing. I admit to never leaving negative reviews though I might mention something that I didn't like. If I couldn't finish a book or hated something about it, I just don't review it. As a writer, I know how discouraging negative reviews can be and they do help one grow as a writer, but I just can't do it to a fellow author.

I've been hard at work getting the second book in The Morbunda Trilogy, War Dragon, ready to be released. I'm pleased to say it is as of a few days ago. I'm spending this month doing the same with the third and final book in the series. Doing some painful final edits right now.

I'm going into the holiday season being extremely thankful for all I have. A nice house, a steady income, a wonderful, mostly healthy family, and many friends. I have time to do the things I enjoy and am blessed to find joy in many things so I'm never bored. My grown-up Christmas wish is that everyone, or at least more people, could have what I have.

"We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives." John F. Kennedy

I've been working out on my elliptical watching some oldies but goodies like Grimm, Fringe, and the first season of Halo. Most of my entertainment hours are spend reading and doing my most recent jigsaw puzzle.

In the meantime, here's some information about War Dragon.

Battles have been fought. But now it’s war as only a dragon can fight one.

 The invading army rises from winter’s lull and pushes south. Little stands in the way of the fanatics.

 Lady Lyla Logan journeys south to seek help from the great cities beyond the desert even as she grapples with the powerful magic roiling inside her.

 Kerik and Lord Donal Logan lead their few allies and attack the fringes of the Bellamite horde with ambushes and sabotage.

 All the embattled allies face their own fragilities and fears as war rolls over the land and anyone in its path. The freedom of mankind rest on them as they gather the last of their strengths and hopes.

Available through Amazon Kindle and Amazon Paperback.

Do you do many book reviews? Are you looking forward to the holiday season? Do you notice I got through an entire post without complaining about the cold?

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

IWSG: November 2023


Whew, November already. Thanks to all the admins at IWSG and our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh, we're still going strong with our monthly supportive blog hop. Please find the entire list of participants here.

This month's optional question:

November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I have never participated in NaNo and likely never will. It's not how I write, with that hurried urgency to just get words on the page. I admire those who do and will cheer them on. I know many writers have written successful novels during NaNo. I won't be one of them.

I am working on new writing and getting work done of the books I received my rights back from the publishers who previously held them. Not all the books were published before I took back the rights, but most of them have already been through multiple rounds of edits.

My big news is that with the help of others, I've re-released First Dragon, Book One of The Morbunda Trilogy. 

Birthed in fire. Bound by family.
A fast-paced tale of a war smoldering for centuries and waiting for a spark to burn down the fragile peace. The foundling, Kerik, learns his true nature as war rolls over the land of Morbunda. Everyone he cares about is in danger and only he has the power to keep them safe. But can one dragon stand against an entire invading army?

Find First Dragon on Amazon in ebook and print.

I'm busy doing final line edits on the second book, War Dragon. And still working on my new stuff which is a change for me. Usually, I tend to only work on one project at a time.

Not that there's anything to distract me on TV. This week I'm going to try Bodies on Netflix. Nothing else interests me right now. But I've kicked my workouts into a higher gear and am back to jogging after almost two years of walking only. I'm sooooo slow, but it still feels good and I've lost some weight. I hope I can keep it going as cold weather creeps in to ruin my days.

I hope those of you in the USA have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. The family all comes to my house so I'll be busy and exhausted but also surrounded by love and fun. Everyone gets along and there's never drama. I wish that all for you also.

Are you doing NaNo? Are you dreading the cold like I am? Having Thanksgiving at your house?

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

IWSG: October 2023


Here we are again. Time for the IWSG blog hop. Thanks to founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and all the admins of this amazing group. Please share your woes and victories so we can support you and celebrate you. Find the entire list of participants here.

This month's optional question:

The topic of AI writing has been heavily debated across the world. According to various sources, generative AI will assist writers, not replace them. What are your thoughts?

I think AI is the biggest threat to writers there is, and it's only going to get smarter. The Hollywood strike really alerted us to their concerns. If I'm correct in what I know, AI could read a few books you've written and then create a new book using your voice. Not that anyone would want to do that to me, but I think big-name writers need to be aware. It's already been done for music. Soon art? I hope that humanity continues to want human-created content and art, but I fear the point will come when machine generated material will replace so much. A disclaimer here, I'm not even close to an expert on what AI can do, but I'm not sure anyone else is either.

I do know a few fiction writers who have embraced it. I don't understand how they think it improves their work. My family jokes about the coming of Skynet of Terminator fame, but I'm starting to wonder if reality is getting closer to fiction.

But as usual, I just keep on going and doing my thing. I wrote about 10K in my newest work this past month, and I almost have my re-releases ready on Amazon. 

A few entertainment things have given me an hour or two of mindlessness. The second season of the Wheel of Time is underway. I try to appreciate it for what it is and not compare it too much to the books. I find it 'okay.' The second season of Loki starts tomorrow. I'll probably watch it. I started to watch two new shows, Irrational and Found. Not sold but I'll tune in a few more times.

I'm going to a one day conference in Erie later this month. I'm excited about it.

This month marks my blogging anniversary. I started this blog in 2008 so I've been here a long time. I'm not as active as I used to be but I still enjoy keeping up with all my blogging friends. I would love to have you follow me on Instagram and Twitter also.

Are you embracing AI or wearing a foil cap? Getting any writing done? How long have you been blogging?

Monday, September 11, 2023

In Darkness: The Werewolf

 I'm so pleased to welcome L. Diane Wolfe to my blog for a guest post in celebration of the next installment of her In Darkness series, The Werewolf. Most of us know something about Werewolf legends, but how did it all start? Diane is here to tell you.

How the Werewolf Legend Began


The werewolf legend dates back at least 2000 years. Maybe even more.


In Greek mythology. A king called Lycaon served Zeus a dish of his slaughtered son, and as punishment, Zeus transformed Lycaon into a wolf and killed his fifty sons. (Probably where the term “lycan” comes from.) There is also a man called Damarchus who was turned into a wolf after eating the entrails of a human child sacrificed to Zeus. These men were both of Arcadia and there are several other instances of Arcadians being turned into wolves.


In Virgil’s poetic work Eclogues, a man named Moeris uses herbs and poisons to turn himself into a wolf. In Gaius’ The Satyricon, Niceros tells the story of a friend who turned into a wolf. Early Christian authors also mentioned men turning into wolves.


Medieval Europe saw a widespread belief in werewolves. They were mentioned in law codes, religious writings & teachings, and many forms of literature. The word werewolf is German but never appears in medieval German poems or prose. The persistence of werewolf tales continued longest in Scandanavia, including berserkers who wore the skins of wolves.


In more modern times, there were numerous werewolf novels in the early 20th century. The legend gained widespread appeal through movies such as The Wolf Man. It continued with films such as An American Werewolf in London and The Howling. Even in games the myth was represented, with Dungeons & Dragons featuring a lycanthrope, a humanoid shapeshifter.


The werewolf legend has been with us for centuries and it doesn’t appear our fascination with shapeshifters will wane anytime soon. Not so long as the full moon continues to appear…



In Darkness: The Werewolf

By L. Diane Wolfe

Souls shrouded in darkness…

On her own in England, Vicki trains at a prestigious fencing school. Face marred by a birthmark, she’s suspicious of Nicholas’ attention. A dinner date reveals his genuine interest and they begin to connect. Nicholas is attractive and she wonders why he’s so shy and reclusive.

Then one evening she happens upon him changing into a lycan. Every werewolf legend is challenged by the gentle, fearful creature before her. Vickie accepts his secret, but Nicholas knows he’s an unpredictable beast. Can they trust love enough to overcome their physical challenges?

Release date – Sept. 5, 2023
Romance/Paranormal/Shifter, Romance/Paranormal, Fantasy/Paranormal
$3.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844927

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. - Spunk On A Stick - Spunk On A Stick’s Tips - Insecure Writer’s Support Group


Amazon -
iTunes -
Barnes & Noble -
Kobo -
Scribed -
Goodreads -


Did you know where werewolf legends came from? Do you have a favorite werewolf tale? Do you like your werewolf as the good guy or the bad guy?