Celebrating eight years of blogging

This month I’m celebrating eight years of blogging on WordPress. I want to thank everyone who has visited, liked and commented on my blog. As I’ve said many times before, these gestures are like gold to bloggers. I occasionally wonder why on earth I’m doing this. I originally started my blog to keep track of what I read and what I thought of a book. But now it’s mostly to catch up with readers and the blogging community. And I’m talking about people from all over the world. That’s so fun!

Sometimes life gets busy and hard and it’s challenging to put out posts and visit other blogs, but I know we’re all in the same boat. In fact, it’s a boat full of great friends and I feel lucky to know you all.

Today I’m sharing my most popular posts by number of views and number of comments. If someone can tell me how to find the most liked posts on their WordPress blog, please leave a comment. I have a feeling that’s not an option for the free sites.


Top Ten Most Viewed Posts

I’m a little embarrassed by this list because I feel like high schoolers are reading these short stories, looking them up on the internet and landing on my blog. Who knows if my opinions are good ones or if I even “got” the stories right.


Top Ten Most Commented on Posts

One thing is for sure, my author friend Jill Weatherholt deserves all the attention she receives because she gets around to other people’s blogs more than anyone I know. And she always leaves an enthusiastic comment. Hurray, too for these and all indie authors because they belong in the spotlight.

How long have you been blogging? Leave a comment and let’s add up the years!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s Author Update: Tammie Painter

Author name: Tammie Painter

Book to feature: The Undead Mr. Tenpenny, The Cassie Black Trilogy Book One

News to share: I’m thrilled to announce the launch of The Undead Mr. Tenpenny, the first book in my new series, The Cassie Black Trilogy. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but the novel — which is full of dark humor — first came to mind while I was waiting for my grandmother’s funeral to start.

The book begins when Cassie Black, who works at a funeral home, finds her “clients” waking up.

Cassie thinks she has the problem under control, until her latest client (Mr. Tenpenny) insists he’s been murdered and claims Cassie’s responsible thanks to a wicked brand of magic she’s  been exposed to. The only way for Cassie to get her life back to normal is to tame her magic and uncover Mr. Tenpenny’s true killer.

Simple right? Of course not. Because while Cassie works on getting her newly-acquired magic sorted, she’s blowing up kitchens, angering an entire magical community, and discovering her past is more closely tied to Busby Tenpenny than she could have ever imagined.

The novel earned some happy kudos from a branch of the American PEN Women when it won first place in their novel excerpt contest, and again from Apple who selected it as one of their Most Anticipated Books of 2021.

But what’s truly brought a smile to my face are the responses from my early reviewers who have loved the characters, the humor, and the overall premise of the book.

Anyway, If you like contemporary fantasy with snarky humor, unforgettable characters, piles of pastries, and a little paranormal mystery, you’ll love the Cassie Black Trilogy…a fish-out-of-water tale that takes you from the streets of Portland to the Tower of London.

Brief bio and other books: I’m an award-winning author who turns wickedly strong tea into imaginative fiction. With a creative and curious mind, my stories run the gamut from historical fantasy to modern-day paranormal, and magical realism to humor-laced dark tales.

Besides the new trilogy, I’ve got two, complete historical fantasy series under my belt: The Osteria Chronicles and Domna, plus a fair number of short stories.

Website and social media links:
Web: tammiepainter.com
Podcast: thebookowlpodcast.com
BookBub: @TammiePainter
Instagram: tammiepainter
Twitter: @tammie_painter


Are you working on a new book? Have you won an award or a writing contest? Did you just update your website? Maybe you just want to tell readers about an experience you’ve had. Book Club Mom’s Author Update is a great way to share news and information about you and your books.

Email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Open to all authors – self-published, indie, big-time and anything in between. Author submissions are limited to one per author in a six-month period.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Michelle Cameron

Author Name: Michelle Cameron

Genre: Historical Fiction. Jewish historical fiction, to be more precise.

Books: In the Shadow of the Globe – a verse novel about the life and loves of William Shakespeare

The Fruit of Her Hands: the story of Shira of Ashkenaz – about my 13th Century rabbi ancestor

Beyond the Ghetto Gates  – about Napoleon’s freeing Italy’s Jews from their restrictive ghetto during his 1796-7 military campaign. Awarded a Silver Medal in Historical Fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Awards.

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I wish I could be a full-time author! Maybe when I retire…. But my side gig complements my own writing – I am a director of The Writers Circle, a NJ-based organization that offers workshops and events in creative writing to children, teens, and adults. With the pandemic, we’ve gone completely virtual, so our instructors and students come from all over the world.

Favorite author/books: I read (and re-read) daily, so this is a tough question. I am the ultimate Jane Austen fan, however – with the t-shirt to prove it, bought during a Janeite pilgrimage to Bath! And since I wanted to immerse myself in that time period while writing Beyond the Ghetto Gates, I happily re-read every book she wrote while working on my own.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I learn something from every book I read ever since I began to “read like a writer.” And the fact that I attended high school in Israel means I received a far more in-depth education in Jewish history than I would have in the US, something that comes in handy while writing Jewish historical fiction!

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I don’t keep a writing journal. My limited writing time goes to my current project.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I used to belong to a writer’s group when I was just getting serious about my writing and was very much encouraged by my fellow writers. Now that I’m working at The Writers Circle, I don’t have time for a writers’ group myself. However, I have many writer friends who are willing to beta read my work – and I’m happy to return the favor!

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Up with the sun, definitely! When I was still working a full-time job and had a young family, I would wake up at 4:30 am to write – and did that for some five years. These days, that’s not necessary, but I do try and fit in some writing first thing every morning.

How do you get over a writing slump? By sitting down anyway and writing terrible, terrible prose. I call these my “chipping rock” days. Whether I find a kernel of goodness inside that I can further develop or end up throwing the entire section out, I still keep my date with the muse.

This, by the way, is a phrase borrowed by my youngest son, who is himself a talented writer. He called his muse Angela and had a set time of day when he kept his own date with her. Sometimes she’d stand him up, but he always kept faith.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I’m definitely a dialogue girl – it comes naturally to me and I love when my characters speak to one another (and to me). Description comes harder and in fact, I always add a descriptive pass during revision, when I focus on more fully fleshing out the setting. As a historical novelist, getting the place right is critical.

What are you working on now? A sequel to Beyond the Ghetto Gates. Napoleon’s next adventure was a curious military and scientific expedition to Egypt and Israel, mainly undertaken to harm British interests in the region. He gathered some 126 savants – artists and scientists – and brought them along with his loyal troops. He triumphed until he reached Acre (Akko) when a combined Turkish and British force handed him his first defeat.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Find a community of like-minded writers to share the work with and get it into the best possible shape possible. Publication can be a hard and discouraging road these days, so it shouldn’t be the only goal. Loving to sit down and write (or, at the very least, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker, loving have written) has to be any aspiring writer’s ultimate reward.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I love podcasts about books and craft in particular. And a dear friend, Susanne Dunlap, is recording an amazing series about historical novels, It’s Just Historical. I was honored to be one of her early guests.

Favorite escape: Reading. Best done while soaking in a tub.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I have not.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? With just enough pillows so I can recline comfortably. Not too many to prevent me from sitting up.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? I used to love raking leaves on a sunny autumn day, but I don’t do it much anymore. I do still shovel snow out of sheer necessity, but I don’t enjoy it. And I never liked weeding.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? I have all three and wear them interchangeably. I think my plain fabric masks feel the most comfortable and cover the nose and mouth most securely, but they do fog up my glasses, which the disposable paper is less inclined to do. So it depends on what I’m doing out in the world. But I’m fortunate that I’m an introvert anyway and all my work and promotion these days is done virtually. I don’t go out except for walks and to the supermarket.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Ironically, time to write. This is because a lot of planning went into moving all of The Writers Circle’s in-person workshops, summer programs, and events virtual all of a sudden in mid-March. TWC’s response to the pandemic was to offer even more writing programs – an entire new schedule of shorter-session virtual workshops to help combat isolation. Coordinating all of this took a great deal of planning and was complicated by the fact that my novel was published in April. So all of my promotional events had to be either offered via Zoom or rescheduled, and I had to invest much more time into my social media efforts.

Website and social media links:
Website: https://michelle-cameron.com
Facebook: @michellecameronauthor
Instagram: michellecameronwriter
Twitter: @mcameron_writer


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.

Book Club Mom’s October 2020 recap

I had a great October, but it was very busy at work and at home. Despite the busy times, I managed to squeeze in some good books, a movie and some short fiction, as well as keep up with author updates and two new indie author profiles. And I made the leap to Instagram, so far a lot of fun! Click here if you want to connect with me there.

I’ve started using the new block editor, so bear with me as I find my way around.

These are the last of some flowers I grew from seeds over the summer. I forget the name, but aren’t they pretty?

Here’s a rundown of what happened on Book Club Mom this month.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – 5 stars

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand – 3.5 stars

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely – 4.5 stars

Looker by Laura Sims – 4 stars

From left: Carrie Rubin, Jill Weatherholt and Giselle Roeder

Carrie Rubin

Jill Weatherholt

Giselle Roeder

From left: Jonathan Pongratz and Bill Moseley

Jonathan Pongratz

Bill Moseley

Rebecca (1940)

The Best American Short Stories 2004 – “Intervention” by Jill McCorkle

How was your month? I hope you are staying healthy and finding fun things to do.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s September 2020 recap

September was a fast month and now it’s officially fall, my favorite season! My reading was a little slow this month because I had to re-read a book for work (The Escape Room by Megan Goldin), however, I finished the month with two Young Adult books and a short story. New Who’s That Indie Author profiles and Author Updates are underway and I’m working my way through all the author submissions. It’s great to get to know these authors and learn about their books!


Reviews

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

The Raft by S. A. Bodeen

“The Walk with Elizanne” by John Updike


Who’s That Indie Author?

Richard Fulco
Gerald Yeung


Author Updates

Noelle A. Granger
Joanne Kukanza Easley


YouTube

Look at these cool bookish wall tapestries!


Miscellaneous

Happy National Punctuation Day!
New Review of Encounters: Relationships in Conflict by Fred H Rohn


Hope you had a great month. Are you a fall person like me? Here’s a quick video of one of many feeding frenzies at our bird feeder!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Gerald Yeung

Author Name: Gerald Yeung

Genre: Travel Memoir, Humor

Books: Kong Boys (2020); Wannabe Backpackers (2009)

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I am a tech project manager aspiring to be a full-time writer one day.

Favorite authors/books: Authors: Bill Bryson. Lauren Weisberger. David Sedaris. Augusten Burroughs. Books: The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. A Wolf at the Table. Born a Crime.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I love reading about other people’s travels. I live vicariously through books like The Motorcycle Diaries because I don’t have the grit to “rough it out” like many people. When I took a “backpacking” trip with my childhood friends the summer we turned twenty, I decided to keep a journal. One thing led to another and I discovered my passion for writing (and what I like to write about).

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? Only when I travel. A few years ago, I made the switch from pen and paper to my iPhone. Storyist is a good app for writing.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I don’t but would love to one day.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Up with the sun for sure. I go to sleep at 10.

How do you get over a writing slump? I reread my favorite books and passages. They inspire me to tell myself, “well, I think I can do this.”

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Dialogue comes more naturally to me.

What are you working on now? I’m taking a break after releasing Kong Boys this summer. Next I would like to try fiction.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Write something that interests you first. Writing should be enjoyable. Then think about what may interest your readers.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? Yes. Fantasy Football Counsellor is my secret to get ahead in my fantasy league. 🙂

Favorite escape: Golfing on an early Saturday morning

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I have not!

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Without for sure. I even started sleeping without pillows.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Weed. I spent seven years in Upstate New York and have had enough snow for the rest of my life.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Anything reusable and eco-friendly

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Keeping up with my two small kids at home (20 months and 4 months)

Website and social media links:
www.geraldyeung.com
https://www.facebook.com/geraldyeungauthor


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.

Who’s That Indie Author? Robin Delnoce

Author Name: Robin Delnoce

Genre: Women’s Humor Fiction

Book: Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama Of Friendship

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I am not a full-time author. I have had many gigs over the years… accounting, retail store manager, elementary school/juvenile detention center office clerk. I was just getting back into accounting when the world turned upside down.

Favorite author/books: Okay… this is going to be weird list. I love Carrie Fisher! Her wit and cynicism cracked me up! Diane English, creator & writer of Murphy Brown, was my absolute hero going through high school and college. JK Rowling… I know… I know… but I started reading her books to my children when the were young. They would fall asleep and I was compelled to continue reading.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most?  A combination of my friends and family in real life interactions and my imagination. I tend to play out potential scenarios to the extreme and when they don’t transpire, I throw them in the story😊

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I don’t keep a journal. I should. I keep a Facebook account… which I have been advised to shut down and keep a private journal😊

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I don’t belong to a writers’ group. I live with my husband and two daughters who think they are all hilarious, if that counts.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I’m 50… I’m up late, awake for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night, and then up with the sun! I think I do my best work in my pajamas, and that can be any time of day😊

How do you get over a writing slump? A long drive! I’m sure I’ve had several passing cars question my mental stability as they watch me talk to an empty passenger seat.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? DIALOGUE! I have taken over 9 years to make my characters sound incredibly quick witted.

What are you working on now? Getting through this pandemic without a criminal record.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? I don’t think I’m qualified to give advice about publishing a book. I’m new at this and really just kind of faking my way through it. I do, however, have experience in endurance events, and I will give the advice I used to give to new runners who would ask me if they could complete a certain distance. If it doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you aren’t challenging yourself enough.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts. It creeps out my husband because whenever he asks what I’m doing I always answer, “research.” I don’t really want to kill him, but I’ve listened to so many, I’m pretty sure I could get away with it 😉

Favorite escape: Going to thrift and antique stores and buying ridiculous things I have no room in my house for.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I tried it once… maybe I got a bad batch.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? You can NEVER have too many pillows! I like them behind me, and next to me, and most of all, covering up my belly😊

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Shovel snow for sure! Raking leaves isn’t so bad, but I have to resist the urge to jump in the pile. Weeding is the punishment of Satan.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? For comfort, the disposable paper… colorful print is my everyday go-to… but when this whole thing started, I used my Darth Vader voice changing mask. It was more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. That was a bummer.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: I’m lucky if I can set aside enough time to write a grocery list.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.buncothebook.com
Goodreads link to: Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama Of Friendship
Amazon link to: Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama Of Friendship


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.

 

Who’s That Indie Author – you’re in the spotlight!

 

Are you a self-published or indie author looking for a way to tell the world about your books? Who’s That Indie Author is a great way to introduce yourself to readers. It’s also an opportunity to connect with bloggers and expand your network through connections on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and many other social media and business platforms.

And it’s free! So why not take advantage of a chance to showcase your talents? Submit an author profile with your answers to a brand new set of questions and see your name and books travel from blog to blog and tweet to tweet!

Email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com to request an author profile template.

Open to all self-published and indie authors.

Who’s That Indie Author is designed to introduce authors to the reading and writing community and to give others the same opportunity to be featured. Therefore, each author is limited to one Who’s That Indie Author feature on Book Club Mom.


Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s March recap

I don’t think it’s possible to write a light recap of March. Or to write anything that we don’t already know. We’re all going through, or are about to, some version of stay-at-home restrictions, as well as the fear of getting sick. So I’ll just say that I’m working to find new ways to spend my time, inside our house.

The picture above is from the bird feeder we put out on our deck. All winter, there was no activity, but now it’s a hot spot for a few different kinds of small birds. It’s perfect timing to have something like that to look out at.

Here’s a rundown of what happened on my blog in March:


Book Reviews

Howard Hughes: The Untold Story by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske

No Place Like Home by Rebecca Muddiman

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Maid by Stephanie Land

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian


Short reviews from 2013

Fahrenheit 451, The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Weird Sisters

Rebecca, Little Bird of Heaven and The Sun Also Rises


Who’s That Indie Author?

Stevie Turner

David Ruggerio

Gary D. Hillard

Michael J Moore


Author Update

Oskar’s Quest by Annika Perry


What’s That Movie?

The Aviator – a Martin Scorsese picture starring
Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett


Blog Views and other obsessions

Free Photo Library on WordPress

Coping with the Coronavirus


Miscellaneous Posts

Books to Pen – Book Club Mom’s creative writing blog

Books to make you laugh


How are you all doing? I hope everyone is healthy and able to manage at home, whether you are working or not working, and that you are finding the groceries and other things you need. Leave a note in the comments section and tell us how you are managing.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

 

Who’s That Indie Author? Michael J Moore

Author name: Michael J Moore

Genre: Horror/YA/Literary/Thriller

Books: After the Change (YA) (published by MKM Bridge Press 2019); Highway Twenty (Horror) (published by Hellbound Books 2019); Secret Harbor (Literary/Thriller) (to be published by Black Writing in June 2020)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I grew up an hour north of Seattle, in a small town called Mount Vernon, Washington. As far back as I can remember, though, I’ve always had an infatuation with bigger cities and horror. When I was in the fourth grade. I remember writing a short thriller, and the school librarian was so impressed that she encouraged me to enter into some young authors contests. I never did, but I wrote periodically after that. All my English teachers pushed me to pursue writing and in the back of my mind, I always planned to. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I was twenty-nine, that I realized that writing wasn’t just something I was good at, but what I needed to be doing. So I wrote my first book After the Change and I’ve never looked back. I’ve since landed three book deals through different publishers, two of which will be released this year, one of my books was adapted into a play, and was performed in Seattle last year and I’ve had more than a dozen short stories accepted for publication.

How do you balance your work with other demands? With great difficulty. Being a writer and a Father and a husband has all sorts of demands. I just try to make sure I write two thousand words a day and when that’s done, I concentrate on my other responsibilities.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: The happiest moments in my life were the birth of my two daughters, Gaby and Jazi, closely followed by my current horror novel Highway Twenty being placed on the Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel for the Bram Stoker Award.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am definitely a “pantser.” Writing is such a personal and intimate thing, that it’s hard to say where my process differs from others’. I do most of my first draft work in longhand, which I imagine is becoming less frequent these days. I don’t work from an outline. I know some authors do, but it has a negative effect on my creativity. I find the story’s able to play out more organically and less predictable if I don’t plot it too heavily.

Could you write in a café with people around? I could definitely do my marketing and answering of interview questions in a café but I could not write my two thousand words in a café as I need silence. I used to write with the radio playing but I guess old age has affected me and I can’t anymore. Where do I actually write? It’s the most bland, little room you could imagine, with white walls and a tiny wooden desk–two feet, by two feet. It keeps me from becoming distracted during the long hours I spend in it, and allows me to retreat into my real writing space, which is the part of my mind where the stories get stuck after having found their way in.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? No I haven’t but I’d like one day to write a book in Spanish given my Latino roots. I would be delighted however if my books were translated into other languages by a translator. What an honour!

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I’m a huge fan of Stephen King. My favourite book is one of his called Joyland. As for what I’m reading now – once again it’s another Stephen King book called The Outsiders.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I only read books in paperback. My children love ebooks and my wife likes all formats except hardcover. I’d have to say that hardcover is the least favourite in our family.

Do you think print books will always be around? Absolutely, I’d like to think so. When the internet was invented, the postal services feared that they would go out of business yet they are making just as much profit as ever. The same with movie theatres when Netflix became popular. I feel the same way about print books. There will always be a market for them.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I wouldn’t read a book on my phone but my wife and children would. I know my wife does a lot of waiting around for the children and so she often reads short stories on her phone if she’s forgotten her devices.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? My go to device is my tablet. I use any form of tablet I can get my hands on. I write on the tablet too if I’m not at home. I’m not a fan of a certain brand.

How long could you go without checking your phone? I’d say as long as it takes to write two thousand words. So much of my marketing is done on Twitter and Facebook that the phone becomes a part of me as it’s portable and more relaxing to work with.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? No, I don’t listen to audiobooks. My wife used to when she was pregnant and I know she does now. Both of my published books After the Change and Highway Twenty are available on Audible and my wife has listened to both of them.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Social media is a necessity, whether we like it or not. I use mostly Twitter and Facebook but am present on the others too.

Website and social media links:
Email: michaeljmoorewriting@gmail.com
Website: Michael J Moore Writing
Facebook: Michael J Moore
Twitter: @MichaelJMoore20
Instagram: michaeljmoorewriting

Awards/special recognition: Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest; Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel for the Bram Stoker Award 2019


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.