Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG and an Excerpt from Yolanda Renee's Latest!

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts,  Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle .Wallace, and Feather Stone!

This month's question is: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Well... For my historical fantasy novel about Tibet, A PIECE OF THE SKY, which took -- off and on --about ten years to research, I ran across a lot of cool stuff. One of the more interesting things was the epic oral poem about King Gesar of Ling. It's believed to date from the 12th century and is considered the longest poem in the world. To date the stories of the massive epic have been compiled in 120 volumes, more than one million verses! And this is just from Tibet. Stories of King Gesar can be found from Nepal to Mongolia and are as varied as the people.
Alexandra David-Neels
King Gesar is the original superhero, come to do battle against the demons and evils of the world. He spends his life as a great and fearless warrior bringing hope to all, teaching love and compassion. His birth is miraculous and, at his death he is lifted into heaven. It is believed, he will come again one day to save humanity from itself. 

I read a "shortened" version THE SUPERHUMAN LIFE OF GESAR OF LING compiled and translated by the astonishing Alexandra David-Neel, the first European woman to visit Lhasa in 1924 disguised as a beggar-monk. Alexandra is a story unto herself, a most remarkable explorer and Buddhist who traveled all over the Orient and India, spent several years as a hermit in a cave, and wrote many books about Tibet and Buddhism.
It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Yolanda Renée’s THE SNOWMAN Blog Tour through MC Book Tours today.

At one time Alaska called to me, and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun, survive in below zero temperatures, and hike the Mountain Ranges. I've traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the memories are some of my most valued. The wonders, mysteries and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left me and thus now influence my writing.

Despite my adventurous spirit, I achieved my educational goals, married, and I have two handsome sons. Writing is now my focus, my newest adventure!

You can connect with me here:
Blog    *     Facebook     *     Twitter     *     Pinterest     *     Email

A prequel to the author’s Detective Steven Quaid Mysteries, THE SNOWMAN tells of Steven's first case as a rookie detective. It takes place 10 years before the events in MURDER, MADNESS & LOVE, the first book in the series.

The author is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring both print and eBook copies from her series. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

It takes a true artist to pursue his victims in the art of seduction, and Stowy Jenkins is no exception, especially with blood as his medium.

          Stowy Jenkins, aka, Stone, and as Alaskans refer to him, the Snowman, is a true artist. His muse, Gigi, is the ultimate inspiration for his painting. Her rejection inspires him to use a very unusual medium...blood.
          While art may be his passion, the taste for blood is his obsession, and multiple murders, the result.
          Rookie, Detective Steven Quaid, is no fan of the Snowman’s murderous exhibitions. A twisted and deadly relationship bond the two men and neither knows who will come out of it alive.

An Excerpt from THE SNOWMAN
Chapter II
Dead Weight
June 10th

Although the morning was frigid, Stone knew summer would soon arrive. Always grateful for the reprieve from the darkness, he took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. Good riddance to winter: the gloom, the extra-thick clothing, icy streets, and biting winds. “God, I hate Alaska. Damn you, mother. Keeping me in this frozen tundra because of a stupid job. I need the warmth. I want to go home. This is June, and I’m still freezing.”

Stone grunted when he threw the body over his shoulder. “Shit, Maggy, for such a tiny thing you suddenly weigh a ton.” After placing her body on the bed of the truck and covering it with a tarp, he slammed the tailgate. The sound echoed in the stillness.

The drive back to Anchorage took an hour. Singing along to his favorite country tunes, Stone made it to town without any trouble. “Who would know the difference between a dead animal and a dead woman in the back of my truck anyway? Especially this early in the morning.”

The park was empty. In the distance, the tide pulled away from the shore, but the subtle splash could barely be heard. No cops were in the area. Stone’s police radio scanner informed him they were busy working a hit-and-run near Merrill Field. He checked for intruders, and then took the body to the exact spot he'd scouted a week earlier.

◊ by Yolanda Renée
◊ Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
◊ Publisher: TRACE Enterprises
◊ Series: Detective Quaid Mystery
◊ Novella
◊ Print & eBooks
◊ Contains explicit sex & violence

You can find out more about the author and her other books by following the tour HERE.

This tour-wide giveaway features both print and eBook copies of the four books in the Detective Quaid Series. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, June 6.

The prizes include:

* Grand prize - Winner receives a print copy of all four books in the Detective Quaid Series (U.S. and Canada only).
* First place - Winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
* Second place - Winner will receive eBook copies of all four books in the Detective Quaid Series.
* There will be 3 runner-up winners and each will win an eBook copy of THE SNOWMAN or one of the other books in the series (winner's choice).

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Yolanda on her month-long tour. You never know what you might find out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ever heard of King Gesar? Of Alexandra David-Neel? Doesn't Yolanda's books sound spooky scary? What's the most interesting/weird thing you've researched for a novel?


  1. I can see where it would be so easy for me to get lost in the research. I love it when you're searching for a fact and you find one but it leads you to two more and they lead you future and so on.

    Bish, thanks for also sharing an excerpt from THE SNOWMAN and being a part of Yolanda's tour.

    MC Book Tours

    1. Indeed researching, for me, can almost become an excuse not to write! I'm happy to have helped out with Yolanda's tour.

  2. WOW! 120 volumes, amazing. But Alexandra, now there's an adventurer! Cool! Someone I'd love to spend a day with, can't even imagine her stories! One brave lady!

    Thanks, for hosting The Snowman!

    1. I've read several of Alexandra's books. She was quite the explorer. I'd love to see a movie done of her life.

    2. Me too! Can you say Wonder Woman! Truly!

  3. Hi Bish - amazing history about King Gesar and Alexandra - fascinating. The Yolanda - I'm cold now and can feel Stone's cold ... and of course where is the body going to be put, and why etc ... lots of mysterious ideas here ...

    Congratulations to Yolanda ... and to you for the epic result following your research into King Gesar et al ... cheers Hilary

    1. What's nice about the King Gesar story is that you can reread it and always get something new out of it!

    2. Thanks, Hilary!
      Stone is a very 'cold' killer!

  4. Tibet is so fascinating. And the woman explorer who went there disguised as a monk sounds really interesting too.

    1. Tibet is fascinating and what China is doing to it is a total and complete disgrace. I would have loved to have met Alexandra.

  5. You could spend a lifetime just reading that one poem. At least you weren't lacking for research material.

    Congrats to Yolanda.

    1. Yes, easily. It can take several people a week or more to recite the whole thing. The Iliad and Odyssey on steroids!

  6. Yolanda! *tosses cheese confetti* Awesome, awesome stuff.

    Bish, what fascinating research! That totally kicks the trash out of my "how to melt a body" research.

    1. I don't know, Crystal. How to melt a body sounds pretty bizarre to me.

    2. Love the confetti, Crystal! "How to melt a body" got to read that!! :)

  7. Just bought Yolanda's book. Can't wait to get stuck in. Fabulous writer. Great post, Bish. I hope all is well with you. Take care.

  8. Sorry, me either. But we know him now!

  9. That many volumes still boggles my mind.
    Big congratulations to Yolanda!

    1. Thanks, Alex! We've got to quit meeting like this! :)

  10. Oh. Researching Tibet would be fascinating! :)

  11. I would really like to read that shortened version. Thanks for sharing!

  12. That is a long poem, I struggle just writing a verse!

  13. Wow! The longest poem in the world and I've never heard about it? Thanks for letting us know. And, of course, I've entered to win Yolanda's latest book.

  14. Ten years to research? Wow, I'm impressed!

  15. Writing about faraway exotic places can be a risk though most people probably wouldn't notice if there was something not quite right. Good for you for putting in the intense research.

    All the best to Yolanda on the book release. Sounds like a good one!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  16. Over a million verses? Oh my! King Gesar reminds me of someone else with his miraculous birth, teachings of love and compassion, and the expectation of his return. Coincidence?

  17. That is one long poem Yolanda researched! Wow!

    This sounds like an interesting book and series. Those covers really set the scene! Wishing Yolanda all the best. :)

    1. Hi, DMS:
      Bish did that research! But thanks for stopping by, and the best wishes. I do love the new covers!

  18. 120 volumes with more than one million verses! Wow! That's a long poem, Bish. I'm wondering what portion of your 10-year research period was actually spent on this poem...5 or 6 or 7 years? Probably difficult to say...
    Yolanda, good luck with the tour! I hope you sell loads of books!

    1. LOL, Michelle! The version I read is a very abbreviated, a slim volume of a mere 271 pages.


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