BC Mom’s Author Update: Kevin Brennan announces publication of new political thriller: Eternity Began Tomorrow

Welcome to Book Club Mom’s Author Update. Open to all authors who want to share news with readers. I recently caught up with Kevin Brennan, who has news about his new political thriller, Eternity Began Tomorrow. Here’s what Kevin has to say:


After taking three years away from indie publishing to query agents on some literary fiction I had in my vault, I decided to write a new novel for the indie market. With climate change in the news nearly every day, and Greta Thunberg storming the nation, a political thriller surrounding the climate-change debate and our current political condition is the result: Eternity Began Tomorrow.

Here’s the jacket blurb:

When Molly “Blazes” Bolan, a young hotshot reporter for an online news outlet, is assigned the biggest story of her career, she’s eager to run with it. Her subject, John Truthing, has built a cultish organization called “Eternity Began Tomorrow” to fight climate change, and it’s starting to snowball big time. As Blazes digs in, she’s both impressed and disturbed by Truthing, a charismatic eco-warrior with revolutionary ideas. Disturbed because his followers are mainly millennials, all hooked on a drug called Chillax and so devoted they would jump off a cliff if he asked it of them. Fact by fact, Blazes uncovers the truth about Chillax, the truth about its maker, Lebensraum Enterprises of Liechtenstein, and the truth about Truthing himself. And just as Molly’s own brother, Rory, gets recruited into the group, Truthing announces his run for president in 2020 as an independent. Blazes knows that the final story in her EBT series could destroy his movement, but she’s torn. The cause is worthy. The stakes are high. And the election of 2020 could decide the fate of life on earth. If Trump wins reelection, it’s all over.

A provocative exploration of society, politics, and human nature in an era of conflict and mistrust, Eternity Began Tomorrow shows us that the truth is never easy to confront and the political is always personal.

One awesome benefit of being an indie author is that we can write and publish our books in a super-timely manner, so EBT, as I like to call it, is actually set in today’s world, i.e., right now. It starts in October 2019 and takes us through the summer of 2020, when—as you might predict—all hell is likely to break loose.

I don’t expect the events in EBT to actually take place, but the book offers plenty of food for thought in this crazy political climate. The world is getting hotter, and so is our own national scene.

Eternity Began Tomorrow is an Amazon exclusive, available right now as an eBook, for $0.99, with a paperback to come in 2020. Check it out here.

In addition to Eternity Began Tomorrow, Kevin is the author of five previous books: Parts Unknown, Yesterday Road, Occasional Soulmates, Town Father, and Fascination. Learn more here.

Be sure to check out Kevin’s WordPress blog, What the Hell. You can also find him on Facebook @kevinbrennanbooks, on Twitter @kevinbrennan520 and on Goodreads.


For information about Book Club Mom’s Author Update,
email bvitelli2009@gmail.com.

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Christmas books – there are more than you think!

I recently discovered a genre of fiction I’d never thought about much. Christmas themed books. I’m not talking about the classics, like those pictured here. I’m talking about Christmas mysteries and suspense, Christmas romances, sweet stories, warm stories and stories with dogs. Do a search on Goodreads, Amazon or your local library catalog. You will find too many to count! Here are some classics:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

And here are some others that caught my eye:


Are you looking for a holiday mystery? Many mystery writers are in the game.

19th Christmas by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Christmas at Timberwoods by Fern Michaels
Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Christmas Cookie Murder by Leslie Meier
Christmas Crumble by M.C. Beaton
The Christmas Scorpion by Lee Child
Cremas, Christmas Cookies and Crooks by Harper Lin
Festive in Death by J.D. Robb
Hark the Herald Angels Slay by Vicki Delaney
Homicide for the Holidays by Cheryl Honigford
Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan
The Usual Santas by Peter Lovesey

How about a sweet story? There are plenty of those.

An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller
The Christmas Boutique by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Christmas Return by Anne Perry
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
Home for Christmas by Nora Roberts

Books with dogs? Did you think there wouldn’t be any?

1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber
A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron
The Christmas Wedding Swap by Allyson Charles
Dachshund Through the Snow by David Rosenfelt
Pupcakes by Annie England Noblin
Puppy Christmas by Lucy Gilmore

Maybe you’re looking for something a little racy…I won’t tell!

Cowboy Boots for Christmas by Carolyn Brown
A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas by Kim Redford
Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear
My Favorite Things by Lynsay Sands
An Outlaw’s Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
A Scottish Lord for Christmas by Lauren Smith

Or maybe something new or different.

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Tru and Nelle by G. Neri
Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb

I may try one or two of these during the holidays, especially Tru and Nelle by G Neri, which is about Truman Capote and Harper Lee as children and Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, recommended by my work friend K. How about you? Do you like reading Christmas fiction? What are your favorites?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing
by
Delia Owens

Rating:

Kya Clark is six years old when her mother walks out of the shack they call home. The falling-down structure is hidden in the marshes of North Carolina, outside the fictional coastal town of Barkley Cove, a place where racial tension and small-town prejudices are firmly in place. The shack is the only place the Clark family knows, where her father’s abusive rages have terrified Kya, her mother and her siblings. Soon her older siblings run, leaving only Kya and her father, who provides her with nothing but fear. And then one day it’s just Kya, known in town and shunned as the wild Marsh Girl.

The story begins in 1952 and jumps to 1969, when a young man named Chase Andrews has died. In alternating chapters, readers learn Kya’s story of survival and how she becomes part of the investigation into Chase’s death.

Kya may be a “marsh girl,” but she has extraordinary talents that enable her to devise ways to survive and battle her loneliness, trying to understand why everyone has left her. Fearful of other people, she learns how to live as one of nature’s creatures, reaching out to just a few trusted souls who help her.

Then one day, she meets a boy, Tate Walker, who shyly leaves her presents, and a tentative friendship begins. “She’d never had a friend, but she could feel the use of it, the pull.” Their relationship grows and changes with them, opening her eyes to a larger world. But time and outside pressure soon bring disappointment and loss, leaving Kya alone once again.

I don’t want to give away too much, because the joy of this fantastic story is in reading it first-hand. I have always loved books that include nature as a character, with themes of its strong influence on human behavior. Delia Owens, with her unique background as an award-winning wildlife scientist, has created a beautiful coming-of-age story in which nature’s beauty and harsh instincts play a major role. I read this book non-stop over the course of three days, not because I wanted to get through it, but because I was so invested in Kya’s world.

If you’re looking for a high-quality read to fit it before the end of the year, I highly recommend Where the Crawdads Sing. It measures up to all the hype and the hundreds of thousands of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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New fiction in 2020 – on my list!

Image: Pixabay

I don’t like to overcommit to reading lists, because then where’s the fun of picking up a book on a whim? But I like to see what’s ahead by authors of books I’ve liked and pick a couple new ones. Here are two I’m excited to read:


The Glass Hotel – Emily St. John Mandel

Due out March 2020

From Mandel’s website:

“My fifth novel is a ghost story that’s also about white collar crime and container shipping.”

Knopf’s jacket copy:

“Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent’s half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.

Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the towers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.”

I have only read Station Eleven, but I enjoyed it very much. You can check out my review here.


All Adults Here – Emma Straub

Due out May 2020

From Straub’s website

A warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family–as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. From the New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers.

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.

This is Straub’s third book. I had a lot of fun reading The Vacationers (read my review here), and I’m looking forward to this one!


Have you read any books by these authors? Do you line up books for the coming year? What reads are in your future?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s November recap

Well Thanksgiving week threw me for a blogging loop and, while I did read a book during that time, I didn’t get on my blog much!

But I had a good November, so here’s a rundown in case you missed anything:


Just three books this month, but sometimes that’s how it goes.

Back of Beyond by C. J. Box – we read this for my mystery book club at the library where I work. Our whole group gave it high ratings. C. J. Box writes a lot of books and he knows what he’s doing!

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben – I like Harlan Coben’s books, but this one was a little disappointing. Still, I’m sure I’ll read more by him.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer – By far one of the best books I’ve read all year. Less won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017. I highly recommend it.


BC Mom’s Author Update:
Author Roberta Eaton Cheadle announces
publication of Through the Nethergate

BC Mom’s Author Update is open to all authors who have news to share.
Email me at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

I introduced two indie authors this month, Cage Dunn and Chloe Helton. Be sure to visit these posts and say hello:

Who’s That Indie Author? Cage Dunn
Who’s That Indie Author? Chloe Helton

If you are a self-published or indie author and would like to be profiled on Book Club Mom,
email me at bvitelli2009@gmail.com and I’ll send you a template.

I love thinking about book trends and here’s one I discovered:

Books with commanding titles – a new trend?


Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Here are the top 20 on my list:

Book Club Mom’s top 20 historical fiction books


Source: brainsonfire.com

I’m always thinking about blogging and the news that Instagram has been considering permanently doing away with “likes” got me talking. I’m not an Instagrammer, and I don’t care much about Facebook, but I think WordPress bloggers want to see the likes.

Blog views and other obsessions – followers, views, likes and comments


Images: Pixabay

We all make grammar mistakes, so it’s good to review some of the rules:

Grammar check – past tenses of dream, learn, dive,
loan and lend – what are they?


Just a sentimental memory as we gear up for the holidays:

Thanksgiving Memories When You’re Small


And this post got a lot of discussion. Most of you think the classic editor is the way to go. Someday we will all have to move to the new WordPress block editor. Despite the negative comments, I’m still considering the switch.

Blogging with the new WordPress Editor – are you using the blocks?

That was my month – how was yours?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

The Passengers by John Marrs

The Passengers
by
John Marrs

Rating:

When eight self-driving cars suddenly change course, counter to their pre-programmed destinations, their passengers don’t know what to think. Soon, they are told that “it is highly likely” they will be dead in two and a half hours: their cars are set to meet in a fiery crash.

What to do? They have no control. No steering wheels, no brakes. They can’t open the windows or doors and their Internet has been hacked. Cell service is out and their only communication is with the hacker.

Meanwhile, Claire Arden has been called for jury duty, of sorts. She’s the only civilian member of the Vehicle Inquest Jury, formed to decide who’s at fault in a fatal crash involving driverless cars. “Either man or machine is to blame, and you will decide,” she is told. As the debate unfolds, the jury is suddenly alerted to the situation on the roads, which has gone wild, first on social media and quickly picked up by all news organizations. Camera feeds from each car reveal the hostages inside, and their images are plastered for the world to see, and comment on, of course. And it isn’t long until the jury is charged with a new task, an impossible decision.

Set in London, sometime in the near future, citizens are living in the time of a Road Revolution, in which there will be a ban on non-autonomous vehicles within ten years. But there is something more sinister going on, slowly revealed as the story develops.

In addition to his commentary on social media and the overreaching role of government (for this is a dystopian story), Marrs covers many themes, including religion, racism, mental health, sexuality, marriage and parenthood.

Although far-fetched and a little preachy, I enjoyed the original and modern premise of The Passengers. Marrs writes a fast-paced story, matching the frantic efforts to avert disaster. There are many shocks and several interesting sub-plots, including a possible romance, which kept me interested in the story’s outcome. Characters are slightly one-dimensional and stereotypical, however, and Marrs seems to include one from every category. The finish is wild and implausible, but maybe that’s part of the genre. All-in-all, I enjoyed reading The Passengers, which is an easy read and escape when the rest of your life is busy.

While I thought it was a pretty good read, lots of book bloggers loved The Passengers, so be sure to also check out these selected reviews.

The BiblioSanctum
Book Reviews | Jack’s Bedtime Reading
Dee’s Rad Reads and Reviews
Diary of a Book Fiend
Stephen Writes

Have you read The Passengers? Leave a comment and tell me what you thought.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Blogging with the new WordPress Editor – are you using the blocks?

Have you made the switch to the new WordPress Editor? I’ve seen and ignored the prompt for a long time. I’d heard it was hard to use and that once you switched you couldn’t go back to the Classic Editor.  But after my blogging friend Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies told me that her new star ratings graphic was an option with the WordPress Editor, I think I’m going to make the switch.

The Learn More link provides a lot of good information about the new block editing feature.

Here are a few facts:

  • Each section of your post is a separate block, for headings, text, quotes, images and more. It lets you move things around more easily. And you can customize the format of each block.
  • If you switch, your existing content will not change. Your previous posts will all be put in what they call a Classic Block.
  • If you use the Business Plan version, you will have more customizing options with plugins than with the free version.
  • You can switch back to the Classic Editor if you don’t like the block editing. This wording makes me think that eventually all sites will need to use the new WordPress Editor, though, so don’t count on this always being an option: “At this time, as we’re introducing the WordPress Editor you’ll be able to switch between the WordPress Editor and the Classic Editor for posts and pages…”
  • The new WordPress Editor works with all themes, but only some may support certain layout features.

Now that I know more about it, and since I’m planning a blog overhaul in 2020, I think I’ll make the switch. Also, it sounds a lot like Constant Contact, a website/program I use at work to create our email newsletter. So I don’t think it will be a big adjustment.

Do you use the new WordPress Editor? Leave a comment and tell me what you think of it!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s top 20 historical fiction books

Image: Pixabay

Historical fiction is one of my favorite reading genres, and I know I’m not alone! Here’s a list of my top 20 historical fiction books:

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier


The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan


Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Refugee by Alan Gratz
The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Some definitions of historical fiction state that the book needs to be set 25-50 years prior to when it is published and that most of the novel’s concept and background should be based on the author’s research of the time period. There is some debate over certain books, like To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published 24 years after the time period and The Grapes of Wrath, in which the characters represent “nameless thousands.” I have always considered both historical fiction. What do you think? Are there any books on my list that don’t fit the definition? Check out the links below for further discussion.

bookriot.com
study.com on To Kill a Mockingbird
study.com on The Grapes of Wrath
wikipedia.org
What is historical fiction and does it have to be totally accurate?

What are your favorite historical fiction books?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Chloe Helton

Author name:  Chloe Helton

Genre:  Historical fiction

BooksThe Red Pearl, Culpa, Sanguis (and more)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  At age 10, my first novel about Queen Elizabeth I was published on Wattpad and became popular after it was featured. Since then, I’ve written five additional historical novels from various time periods – the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and a duet about Ancient Rome.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I also work full-time in real estate. I get up early before work every morning to write, and on nights and weekends. I’ve found that small, consistent steps can work wonders – so the fact that I write every day, even if it’s not always a lot, allows me to finish things quickly.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  I sat in the front row of a Paul McCartney concert!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Both. I usually “pants” the first draft and then use it as a basis to plot the second draft. It can be difficult to plot without having a sense of the character’s voice, which is why I usually wing it the first time to get into the character before using the second draft as an opportunity to lock in the structure of the story.

Could you write in a café with people around?  That’s how I do it every morning! My local Peet’s knows to put extra whipped cream on my drink.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Not much, but I’ll throw in words. For example, my characters in Culpa and Sanguis would have spoken Latin, so I peppered their speech with some Latin words when appropriate.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  Mm! Right now, I’m reading The Alchemy of Noise by a fellow indie author Lorraine Devon Wilke. Normally, I stick with historical fiction: Philippa Gregory, Kate Quinn, and Michelle Moran were the ones who got me started, so anything by them is a favorite.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Kindle. I spent a lot of money on Kindle books.

Do you think print books will always be around?  Yes.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have done so – I prefer a Kindle because, even though I can see the book fine on my phone, it just feels wrong somehow. I try to use my phone only for texts and calls as much as possible, and not use it as a “smartphone.” It’s difficult!

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  Android. I’ve had a few Android phones in a row now and I prefer them.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I often shove my phone to the bottom of my purse and won’t check it for several hours. My friends love it when they’re trying to get a hold of me.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  Yes! Podcasts, too. Usually while driving, because I do a fair amount of driving for work.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I love my email newsletter! (You can join it on my website). But blogs have been a great source of attention. Goodreads and Bookbub are also great.

Website and social media links:
Book and newsletter sign-up: chloeheltonbooks.com
Facebook: @chloeheltonbooks
Twitter: @heltonbooks


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Links I’ve Enjoyed This Week – 24/11/19 #WeeklyRoundUpPost 🔗📆 🔗 #SecretLibraryBookBlog

I visited nickimags @ the Secret Library Book Blog today and found this terrific list of bloggers. What a great way to connect – Take a look and you will see that I’m right and you will find more quality blogs to follow. Thank you nickimags, for putting together these links!

Secret Library Book Blog

Good morning and welcome to my weekly round up inspired by Novels and Nonfiction. It’s time to grab yourself a cosy spot and a hot drink and have a browse at all the lovely links I have for you this week.

rain

Recent Reviews

Cosy Books – The Glittering Hour
Bookidote – Hawkeye (Vol. 2) & The Colour of Magic
Jill’s Book Cafe – The Giver of Stars
Always Need More Books – My Dark Vanessa
FromBelgiumWithBookLove – The Six
Anne Bonny Book Reviews – Before I Let You Go
Book After Book – 17 Church Row & Love Songs for Sceptics & Messy Wonderful Us
Bee Books Beauty – The First Time I Saw You
Jennifer~Tar Heel Reader – History at a Glance
Sarah’s Vignettes – Magic Under the Mistletoe
Chocolate’n’Waffles – 17 Church Row
For winter nights – The Seven Sisters
Over The Rainbow Book Blog – Furious…

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