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 2, 2018

IWSG, Tick Tock... it's HERE, C. Lee McKenzie, Hurricane Update, and Being Thankkful

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: E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose,C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

Got a lot going on here today. Forgive me for this being rather long. BUT, there are books and people to acknowledge!
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime

Insecure writers take the leap and submit their stories to this newest anthology!

Tick Tock: A Stitch in CrimeAuthors risk rejection every time they write and submit their work for publication. It's the reality of this business. And with rejection comes that dreaded INSECURITY. "I wasn't good enough. " "My story sucked." "I wasted my time." But we have to let these self-doubts and negative thoughts go. Send them packing because if we don't we may as well take up a new career. 

Instead, put all of those nagging doubts into perspective: "My story might not have been a fit this time." "It didn't suck, but maybe I can make it better." "No writing is a waste of time. I'm chalking this up to practice and learning to be a better writer." 

Last year, a lot of us took a leap of faith and wrote stories to the theme of Tick Tock--that ticking clock that just might beat those characters who are racing it against it to survive or save others. This is an old theme, but one that never ceases to keep us reading. 

Here's some of those races against time that you'll find in this anthology: Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR List, Preorder your copy today. Also available at B&N Enjoy the stories, and please leave us a REVIEW!

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic 
(Dancing Lemur Press, 5/15/2018)
Here's the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie to tell us a little about herself and her newest middle grade coming out this month!

Hi Bish,
Many many thanks for helping me tell people about my latest book. First, here’s just a tad about me, not enough to bore readers, I hope. 

Armed with a Masters of Arts in Linguistics I teach creative writing workshops, write my own books (I don’t have celebrity to interest a ghost writer), promote and market those books, all while trying to lead a semi-normal life, sans take-out.    

I love to read. I love to hike, and eating is right up there with everything that gives me joy. I’m a country girl at heart, and only venture into big cities when I have to. 

A question that people ask me a lot these days is how I juggle marketing and press of my books and still continue to find time to get the stories in my head down on paper.

This is the biggest challenge I face, actually. I find that as I network online, do workshops, read and edit manuscripts, and do presentations I have less and less time to write, which is what I got into this business to do. The only way I can do all of this and not become a permanent part of my computer chair is to have a system. Mine is to blog once a week, visit other blogs twice a week (becoming more difficult because of the numbers), go to all my social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram) at least once daily. I also try to visit my groups on FB, and if there's something going on, I like to poke my nose in or leave some information. I use the scheduling feature as much as I can. 

Because I'm the Social Media Liaison for The Insecure Writers Support Group, I try schedule all of the re-occurring things like FB and blog posts for the month. The rest of the time I give to IWSG is finding interesting partners or promotional opportunities to enhance our group.

People also ask me how I learned to market my books.

My answer is I realized I had to use the old Sink or Swim tactic. That's how I did it. I didn't know diddly-squat about promoting anything, let alone a book--my book! When my first book came out, I was invited to join a debuting writers group, and they helped a lot. So many of them were PR savvy and very willing to share. That probably saved my writerly butt. The rest has all been by trial and error--a lot of error. I’m still not good at branding. And part of that is because I write and read just about anything that interests me. It would be much easier if I only wrote Young Adult or Middle-Grade, but I can’t do that, so my branding is just ME. 
And now my promotional moment is here! My new book is called Some Very Messy Medieval Magic (Dancing Lemur Press, 5/15/2018). It’s the third book in The Adventures of Pete and Weasel series. The first two are Alligators Overhead and The Great Timelock Disaster. 

I do have one more stand alone called Sign of the Green Dragon. I think it will stay a single book. At least, that’s my plan at the moment.

If you'd like to see what else I've written my Amazon Author Page has all of that. I’d love people to visit my website  When they do, they can take advantage of a gift. I offer one of my unpublished short stories to my visitors. 
Thanks again, Bish. 

Here's my review of Some Very Messy Medieval Magic.

This is the third of Ms. McKenzie's Time Lock series, and my favorite to date. Pete and Weasel have to go back in time to save the life of an important historical figure and keep history on it's correct course. Only trouble is, it's 1173 England and both boys (not to mention Pete's familiar Fanon the alligator) are totally out of their element. They don't know quite how to behave as medieval boys, or speak the same English. But they must succeed, or the world they know may well cease to exist!

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic is fast-paced without being breathless. In this book the reader gets closer to Pete and Weasel and their relationship and sees it begin to become more personal. One understands them a bit better and how, even though they have opposite personalities, they have a few things in common which bring them closer together.

There is magic and monsters, humor and bravery. And, there's a hint that Pete and Weasel may have another adventure in the future

Hurricane Update - Eight Months Out
Carnival happened last week on St. Thomas! Despite the storms, people came out to celebrate. The crowds were thin. Certainly not as many tourists as there usually is. The Children's Parade and the Adult Parade (held on Friday and Saturday 4/27-28 respectively) had about half the number of entries as in former years. Still, it warmed my heart to see people were happy and having a good time. 

From the Adult Parade
A Moko Jumbie, in traditional garb. He symbolizes healing. 
Behind him is the Rising Stars Steel Pan Youth Orchestra

 From the Children's Parade
A splash of wonderful color.

the stark reality that, at the end of the day, many people returned home to a blue FEMA roof.
This is just one residential area on St. Thomas. 
So much still to be done.

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for Moko Jumbies in all their various guises and for all they represent: 
A Healing,  guiding, protecting spirit of love and celebration.

What are you thankful for? Have you read any of Lee's books (I've read them all). And how about Tick Tock? Congratulations to everyone!


  1. Beautiful pics! Looks like a ton of fun. I adore the cover of C. Lee McKenzie's book Sign of the Green Lantern. Her other books sound wonderful as well!

  2. Loved learning more about you, Lee. And I really like your social media schedule. I need to get on Facebook and Twitter once a day too!

  3. Lee, you do juggle a lot, but you do it well. And hopefully all of that tied together helps to feed each one.
    Glad the carnival was a success. Probably lifted a lot of spirits.

  4. Thanks, for the shout out Bish! And congratulations, Lee. How exciting two books in one month!

    It's good to see the celebration, but what a long journey!

  5. Wow, Bish. This was an amazing post. From Tick Tock to Moko Jumbies. Thank you so much for supporting the anthology and my new middle-grade. So appreciate this and even more so since I know what a devastating time you and your family have had. This "carnival" was the sign that the indomitable human spirit is alive and well. Here's to healing and rebuilding and continuing in the face of all adversity.

  6. Thanks for the shout out for the anthology, and promoting Lee. She's an excellent writer and has marketing down. Your carnival pics are wonderful. So glad to see the healing and recovery from the natural disaster.
    Mary at Play off the Page

  7. I also have less time to write because of marketing and editing and other responsibilities, as C. Lee said. That's one reason why I'm blogging less. I'm trying to write more, but I have so much stuff to do. And I've been burned out from my fiction writing for a long time.

    Congrats to Lee on her book!

    It's nice to see the carnival images. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Love Lee's books! Pete and Weasel are such fun characters!!
    Thanks for hosting the anthology! :)
    I hope the Moko Jumbies bring all the healing they can to your area

  9. Wow, what a great post! Thanks for the shout-out about Tick Tock, and for the info on Lee's books--those sound interesting.

    You hit it about the need for perspective when submitting stories, but it sure is hard to get it and *keep* it!
    My IWSG Post

  10. Yay for the anthology, and Lee! I love that sink or swim concept because it is 100% true, not just in marketing but every aspect of life, eh?

  11. That's a lot of blue roofs.

    Lee is excellent at book promotions. Trust me!

  12. Hi Bish - so good to read your post and notes re authors ... all good - Lee's and the anthology. Great to see an update on St Thomas's ... let's hope the summer gets a lot of work done so people can settle down again - cheers Hilary

  13. Just the name Moko Jumbies makes me smile. Looks like the event brought out a lot of smiles in your area. Thinking of you all on overwhelm after such a storm and overcoming its effects. Lee had some great advice for us. Thanks so much for this uplifting post!
    JQ Rose

  14. It's good to see people having a good time (or in some cases, only trying to) after such devastating occurrences. I remember how, after 9/11, late-night TV shows seemed almost afraid to be funny for a while.

  15. Thanks for hosting the Tick Tock anthology. Love hearing about Lee, she is all over the place and I love her books!

    Have a great week!

  16. Looking forward to reading TICK-TOCK. I'm glad the islands are moving forward with the clean up and restoration process, even though it is a slow go. Maybe the Jumbies will help them along.

  17. I'm looking forward to reading Tick Tock. Thank you so much for your hurricane updates. Loved the pic of the children's parade. Their dresses made me think of candy corn. :)

  18. Moko Jumbies -- I headed straight to YouTube and wow, I'm feeling so out of shape. Nice post you have here. Good luck to everyone involved in the anthology and to Lee on the launch of her book. Most of all those still recovering from hurricanes.

  19. Lee is a busy lady! So glad to see her featured here. I've purchased the anthology. Looking forward to reading it.

  20. Lee is an amazing writer! I have read the first two books in her Adventures of Pete and Weasel series, as well as some of her other middle grade books.
    Those are such cheerful and colorful celebratory pictures, Bish! Really heart-warming! Thank you for sharing. 😀

  21. Love learning more about Lee and I read this book and thought it was such fun. I hope there is another Pete and Weasel book!

    Awesome celebratory pictures. So uplifting after everything that has been going on over the past 8 months.

  22. Great article..I am looking so forward to your blogcomment and
    I love your page on your post.. That is so pretty..


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!