Monday, April 29, 2019

GUEST POST: How to Always be on the Lookout for New Inspiration by Kelvyn Fernandes

Hi, my name is Kelvyn Fernandes, author of The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi. As a writer of a fantastical journey, filled with peculiar characters and wondrous creatures, I’m often asked where do I get the ideas for my tales. Where do I pull my inspiration from? And the long and short answer is: everywhere at once.

The book I sought to write was based on snippets and extracts from memorable moments throughout my life. It is a compilation of every book I wanted to tell my way. Every movie I felt was missing something more. And every song whose lyrics stoked my imagination. A spark of an idea would start, based on a chance encounter or new set of information. And in my mind it would snowball through my backlog of interactions with the world; picking up bits and pieces to form a full character, a full setting, a full scene.

I take detailed notes on the thoughts that gain the most steam. From there I flesh out the narrative and over-arching plot. As such, I’ve formed a few tenets I try to live life by. These tenets help push me towards new, creative revelations. Therefore–in doing so–I keep my ideas fresh and interesting for the reader. More so, for myself.


It's important to embrace new experiences, even if you’re not interested or think they might suck. It’s almost never a bad idea to try something once. And if your bias is confirmed, a bad experience will likely make a great story.

Break away from your genre. Strong stories are found in strong characters. And strong characters can be found anywhere. If you’re writing a fantasy novel, don’t just look for ideas in other fantasy novels. It’s definitely good to familiarize yourself with fellow fantasy authors–and build on their stories. But sometimes if you’re stuck (anywhere within your writing), it’s refreshing to look somewhere outside your chosen genre.

For example, I read Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams as part of my friends’ book club. It follows a documented and real-life wildlife adventure the author took to see endangered species throughout the world. I wasn’t expecting to get so engrossed in a journal of his trip, but it really opened my eyes to the amazing places that exist in the world.

Most importantly, it gave me ideas for amazing places I could incorporate into my own writer's world.

Friday, April 19, 2019

CHOP IT UP: Inner City Blues by Paula L. Woods


What's going onnnnnnnn?  BHAH!  Y'all bare with me.  Y'all know my struggles.  Anyway, this book really did taste like some Inner City Blues.  And one I can't wait to slurp up in the book's follow-up.  Somebody go tell that MOFO to COME ONNNNN!  

:) 

Ohhhh, Sis!  I forgot to mention we get to actually go into the morgue in this book.  TWICE, bihhhhh!  Color me weird, but I love morgue and autopsy scenes in a mystery book.  I guess mystery lovers can relate (as well as those who stay glued to the ID Channel/A&E), but those tantalizing scenes amplify my mood to solve some murders with whatever given protagonist.  It's a rush.  It's a high.  

Now in real life...  Hunniiiiiii, you wouldn't catch my ass NO WHERE NEAR a damn morgue!  Baby, ME-NO play around the dead.  Anyway, major props to Woods for this.  Often times authors only allow the investigator to get the final report–instead of being present with the medical examiner.  So Woods hit the spot with this.  I can't express how her allowing the reader and Charlotte into the bowels of a city morgue raised my confidence in her work.  She was serious about her story.

Inner City Blues (Charlotte Justice #1) by Paula L. Woods (Amazon affiliate link)

"Meet Detective Charlotte Justice, a black woman in the very white, very male, and sometimes very racist Los Angeles Police Department. The time is 48 hours into the epochal L.A. riots and she and her fellow officers are exhausted. She saves the curfew-breaking black doctor Lance Mitchell from a potentially lethal beating from some white officers ― only to discover nearby the body of one-time radical Cinque Lewis, a thug who years before had murdered her husband and young daughter. Was it a random shooting or was Mitchell responsible? And what had brought Lewis back to a city he'd long since fled?"

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Hey, Hey, HEY! New Susan Wittig Albert Novella Release

"From NYT bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert comes the first novella in the mesmerizing Crystal Cave series.Ruby has a rare gift for seeing things that others can’t...
Ruby Wilcox (owner of the Crystal Cave, Pecan Springs’ only New Age shop) has always tried to downplay her psychic gift—until she experiences a horrifying nightmare that just won’t stop. Again and again, she dreams that a woman is abducted on the hike-and-bike trail and knows that the victim is in deadly danger. 
Prodded by her friend and partner, China Bayles, Ruby goes to the police—only to find that her dream has already become far too real. Police chief Sheila Dawson puts Detective Ethan Connors in charge of this no-body case. But Connors is a skeptic who is convinced that all psychics are frauds. And Ruby herself still has plenty of doubts. What will she have to do to prove to Detective Connors—and to herself—that her gift can be trusted?  
Ruby Wilcox has always known that she has a rare gift for seeing things that others can’t. But how can she learn to use it when she’s haunted by the memory of loss, and by all the possible consequences?"
Well, guess this'll hold all the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries lovers over until the 27th Bayle's book's June release.  Especially given we normally get a Bayles book around this time each year.  Sooooooo... novella it is.  Here's to Susan Wittig Albert's NoBODY: A Novella (Crystal Cave Series Book 1).  At least Ruby Wilcox fans will be happy.  Bhah.  That includes me! 

"PICTURE THIS" Book Blogging #1 ~ The Sliced Reviewer

Picture this, book bloggers (in my Sophia Petrillo voice)...

A book you liked or loved and shared more than likely won't land the same adoration by some in your audience. On the flip-side, there are some who may like/love it the same as you. Regardless, the same principle applies to yourself, even when the former situation sneaks up and hurt your feelings just a little bit.

But think about it, pussycat. It’s fair to say we’ve all tried recommended books by book bloggers. And it's fair to find ourselves of the opposite opinion about whether we liked the book or not. Sometimes you like a recommended book from a book blogger, and sometimes you don’t. It's all par for the course in this “business”. Right?

And yet, despite all that jazz, as a book blogger an audience member's dislike of a book you loved and shared on your platform sometimes stings. As it has a personal touch to it. And–if you choose to sit in it–it ruffles with your “credibility” as a reliable book reviewer.

You still with me here, pussycat?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Thought for the Day: How My Week is Set-Up Toward...

...The Emotionally Greedy and Thankless...

Sometimes... you've got to FLIP on their ass and fight back!

... HAPPY MONDAY, FOLKS!  Don't allow anyone to stop your flow with his or her crap.  Continue to enrich the lives of those who enrich yours genuinely, selflessly and with consideration to your well-being.  And, of course, not just how you should always serve theirs.

Friday, April 12, 2019

FauxCast: CHOP (DUB) IT UP ~ High Hand by Gary Phillips


What's up, y'all? I hope everyone is having a blessed 2019. Shootttt. I'm LOVING mine. How about you guys? Yes. Yes. Ye-HAH. I had to do a voice over. I wanted to capture my thoughts about the book RIGHT away. Otherwise, time would slip away and I'll push it over until... well... probably never. Considering I don't think of my videos as reviews (chile, I ain't got that kind of finesse), I figured this casual approach will suit. Actually, that's why I use the slang phrase CHOP IT UP. LOL. I just want to talk about the ish. :) Anyway, thank you all for your support over the years. Hope you have fun and enjoy! And yes. Udder it is. LOL. High Hand by Gary Phillips (Amazon affiliate link).

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Come Get Yer Fixin's | Rocket Fizz Soda Pop Fun


Me and the family took a Friday trip to Chattanooga a few weeks ago for Spring Break.  We were there to visit the Aquarium.  Still, anytime you're in downtown Chattanooga you have to visit the Rocket Fizz shop, as well as the Moon Pie General Store.  And, usually just for me, the used bookstore immediately across the street from them both.  OH, and the cupcake shop.  Almost forgot that.  Well, I actually forgot its name.  Help me out here!

Anyway, to keep personalize this platform.  I wanted to share the four flavored sodas (normally call them "drinks") I got.  To be clearrrrrr, I have a pretty strong Southern accent (though some people think I'm from up North somewhere).  So even I was a little taken aback by the slogan of the Rocket Fizz Soda Pops.

Oooo.  And having finally chugged them over the course of this week.  I can say my absolute FAVORITE was the Sweet Corn.  Second best was the Birthday Cake.  The Cut Grass tasted like an apple Jolly Rancher–a bit.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A Little Library Book LOVE

I love my public library. No, I mean I loveeeee [insert expletive] that place. I’m there 1-2 times a week. And, even as I write this, I want to make a library run. Depending on how sunny it is outside; that place is one of the first stops I like to get out to. Skip the lunch date, eh? Well, unless it's with somebody cute and interesting to talk to. As well as more engaging than a book.

Anyway, there are thousands of reasons why I (and everyone else I hope) love his or her public library. Yet, I wanted to talk about one superficial and simple reason why I love library books themselves. We’ll consider this an off-beat and celebrator post on library book love.

Recently, with purpose, I shelved my trade paperback copy of Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin. Why? Because I favored my library’s hardback copy. Beforehand, I couldn’t read my book club edition copy of Gary Phillips’ High Hand. So, instead, checked out my library’s copy.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Thought for the Day & My One Petty Moment


Take care of yourself people.  You can't be everything to everybody all the time, but you have to be everything to yourself!  So don't ever slip up and get settled playing roles, when looking up all you have is yourself pushing you to reach your goals.  And baby, that's gospel!

After reaching 1K subscribers having busted my ass creating content on YouTube.
Thanks to everyone who has spent years keeping me going!  I get LOVE EVERYWHERE I GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  BWHAHAHAHAHAH! #dontbemad #sowhatishine #imnotperfectbutigotfeelingstoo 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Falling for Paretsy. And, Well, Warshawski Of Course!


The number one reason why now I’m in love with Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski series? Well, I’ve come to realize the books are a mental challenge/exercise for me. And I don’t use the word “challenge” and "exercise" to suggest the books are synonymous with "good" or even "great reads". Don’t get it twisted. Because they are long-winded and sometimes laborious as a mofo to get through (but I refuse to skip a page). They're also loopy and repetitious. How many times Warshawski can walk the dogs in one book makes a dizzying point. How many times Warshawski gets a parking ticket in one book is exhausting to relive. So, without a doubt, they could use some brevity in certain mundane areas outside of the already thick.

Still, they've become a mental challenge/exercise. Once I was so adverse to how convoluted Paretsky's stories were; having to push through with gritted teeth. Now I find myself engaging with the challenge of keeping up with her offerings. From maintaining tabs on her many busybody characters and her funhousing method of plotting a mystery.

Monday, April 1, 2019

3 Popular Cozy Mysteries I'm FENCING | #MarchMysteryMadness



I'm backkkkkk.  No, for real.  The second half of my mini-series on cozy series I read back in December.  Three I liked well enough.  Three needs a little more... well... understanding.  These are the "understanding" three.

Once again, I use the filler phrase "you know" all over the place.  Sorry, folks. 

Books Mentioned (Amazon affiliate links):

1.  Murder is Binding (Booktown Mysteries #1) by Lorna Barrett @ https://amzn.to/2WyMp4q

2.  Fool's Puzzle (A Benni Harper Mystery) by Earlene Fowler @ https://amzn.to/2TNhK1m

3.  Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen @ https://amzn.to/2UkTM1Q

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