Monday, October 17, 2016

Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries Virtual Book Tour begins.

My virtual book tour for Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries begins today. I'm listing the dates and links below in hopes that you'll stop by, say hi, and wish me luck. That would mean a lot. Plus I'd like you to meet my hosts; they've volunteered to give a shoutout about my latest novel, and I am more grateful than I can say. Another reason why blogland is such an incredible place to hang out. 

As many of you know, I've been having issues with my dear ole Mac and internet connection problems, which have created a mild case of panic. Feeling a little overwhelmed going into this tour. Seems like a terrible time to be tooting my own horn and introducing you to my latest baby. But I am doing just that, and I hope you like my baby. 

Did I mention there are Tour-wide giveaways (US and INTL)? This giveaway is for three (3) print copies that are available to those living in U.S. only and one (1) eBook copy available international. 

Here's the link to the giveaway, which ends November 22, 2016

 My hosts and their links: (I'll be updating daily)

Oct 17 – Mojito With a Twist – Review & Interview
Oct. 18 – Rockin Book Reviews – Review
Oct. 19 – Medeia Sharif – Social Media Post
Oct. 20 – Patricia Stoltey, Author – Guest Post
Oct. 21 – The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Review, Excerpt
Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt
 Julie Flanders – Excerpt
Oct. 24 – Thoughts in Progress – Review
Oct. 25 – Hank Quense’s Blog – Excerpt
Oct. 26 – Books and Spoons – Review, Excerpt
Oct. 27 – Mel’s Shelves – Excerpt
Oct. 28 – Careann’s Musings – Excerpt
Oct. 31 – All the Doodles ‘n Scribbles – Interview
Nov. 1 – Ali – The Dragon Slayer – Excerpt
Nov. 2 – A Bluestocking’s Place – Excerpt
Nov. 3 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Review
Nov. 4 – Writing in Wonderland – Feature, Excerpt
Nov, 7 – – Feature, Excerpt
Nov. 8 – A Holland Reads – Feature
Nov. 9 – Author Annette Drake – Interview
Nov. 10 – Bookworm 1102 – Excerpt
Nov. 11 – The Book’s The Thing – Guest Post
Nov. 14 – Christine Rains – Writer– Excerpt
Nov. 15 – Rosie Amber – Review
Nov. 16 – Bookjunkie’s Book Blog – Excerpt
Nov. 17 – The Girl With Book Lungs – Excerpt
Nov. 18 – Celtic Lady’s Reviews – Review
Nov. 19 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Excerpt
Early Reviews – Stuart Aken
You can check out the giveaway HERE. It will begin Oct. 17 and end Nov. 22.

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery... When Canada's retired Minister of National Defence, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife's unsolved murder. The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him. Danny finds himself with a difficult choice-indict his prime suspect, the dead minister's horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife's murder and the guilt that haunts him...

Publish Links for Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries

Barnes & Noble

Amazon US

Amazon UK


Monday, October 10, 2016


Q.  Do you think continued learning is necessary for writers throughout their writing lives?

To answer this question, let me begin with a true story.

Several years ago a fiction writer I knew had several of her books traditionally published.  Then somehow her new book proposals were not getting the traction her previous book proposals had gotten.

I suggested that she consider taking a writing class or two to help her go to the next level of writing.  The writer did not like my advice and I am not sure she got subsequent traditional publishing contracts.

My personal viewpoint is that writers – just as people in all different fields – should never stop learning. And we should definitely have an open mindset to tackling new things – see a favorite nonfiction book of mine titled MINDSET: THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS by Carol Dweck for the concept of an open mindset to being willing to fail at new tasks.

What does this have to do with book marketing?

Improving our writing has a great deal to do with book marketing.  As authors marketing our books we have to compete with an enormous number of other books in our same genre, writing style, historical or contemporary period, etc.  This means we need our books to be the best they can in order to stand out in the sea of other books.  And in my opinion being the best means continuing to improve our writing as well as exposing ourselves to new ideas.

(I recently joined a book club that meets twice a month because I wanted to be required to read books outside my comfort zone.  Who knows how this exposure to new ideas may impact my writing?)

When I first started learning how to go from newspaper writing to fiction writing, besides taking writing courses I bought several Writer’s Digest books, which were tremendously helpful.  Such nonfiction writing books as these can often be borrowed from public libraries in physical or ebook formats.

In researching for this post I discovered that Writer’s Digest now has a subscription platform for writing video tutorials – see – and I plan to soon check out this opportunity.  (First I have to complete watching the online fiction writing course taught by James Patterson as well as complete the eight-week screenwriting class with , which requires reading the book MINDSET before the first class.)

Sometimes even the smallest nugget of an idea can improve our overall writing.  For example, Corey Mandell talks about creating stakes that matter, and I am now engaged in doing the homework for his class to work on this aspect of writing.

And remember the free dialogue “tutorial” that is available for all writers – eavesdropping in restaurants and other public places.  While this eavesdropping is NOT for us to copy the dialogue exactly, the purpose is to stimulate our minds to think of new ideas and ways to express those ideas.
In the comments below, add your best tips and techniques for continuing education for writers throughout their writing lives.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) blogs on book-related topics at and her fiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at and her nonfiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG: The Bowl and the Stone

It’s time for another group posting of the IWSG: Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

IWSG is the brainchild of our noble Ninja Captain and leader Alex J. Cavanaugh

Our hashtag is @IWSG

The awesome co-hosts today are:

Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!

Please visit their blogs and thank them for volunteering their time.

Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open – fantasy/hero lost is the genre/theme. We have changed the word count! It’s now 3000-6000 words. See the site for full details.

Because IWSG is about supporting other writers, today I'd like to do something a little different. I'm spreading the news about Bish Denham's new novel, The Bowl and the Stone.  Because, as many of you know, Bish is always supporting and cheering on her fellow authors. It seems fitting to shine a light on her newest accomplishment.

Please give a big cheer for:

Pirates. Explorers. And spooky ghost hunters.

It’s 1962. Sam and her best friend, Nick, have the whole island of St. John, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, as their playground. They’ve got 240 year-old sugar plantation ruins to explore, beaches to swim, and trails to hike.

But when a man disappears like a vapor right in front of them, they must confront a scary new reality. They’re being haunted. By whom? And why? He’s even creeping into Nick’s dreams.

They need help, but the one who might be able to give it is Trumps, a reclusive hunchback who doesn’t like people, especially kids. Are Sam and Nick brave enough to face him? And if they do, will he listen to them? 

As carefree summer games turn into eerie hauntings, Sam and Nick learn more about themselves and life than they could ever have imagined.

Available now at:

St. John in 1962

What was is like growing up in the Virgin Islands in the 1950s and 1960s? My story, The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, takes place on St. John in 1962. Things were quite different then, than they are now.
Cruz Bay, St. John, 1970s

Following old, Danish trails, roads were bulldozed through around 1950, and the first Willys Jeep arrived in 1952. In 1956, after buying about two-thirds of the island, Laurance Rockefeller donated the land to the National Park. 24-hour electricity from St. Thomas, sent through an underwater cable, was made available to people in Cruz Bay by 1958. However, for most of the island, people used kerosene lamps and were without indoor running water. By 1960 a telephone line arrived, but only places like the police station, the clinic, and a few businesses had them. It wasn’t until 1962-63, that fiber optics made it easier to have a phone, but not everyone wanted or could afford one.

Television came to St. Thomas in 1961. Before that time, a good external antenna could pick up a station out of Puerto Rico and you could watch American shows dubbed in Spanish. As it was, very few people had TVs. There were two movie theatres on St. Thomas, but nothing on St. John. The main source for information, entertainment, and communication was through the one radio station out of St. Thomas, and the mail.

By 1962 many of the roads remained unpaved and required a 4-wheel drive vehicle to traverse, and lots of people still got from one place to another on donkey, horseback, or by foot.

With a total population of around a thousand, everyone knew everyone. It was safe for children to explore the island on their own; they knew if they did anything wrong, word would reach their parents long before they got back home.

Life was simple, uncomplicated, and filled with magic and wonder. Twelve-year-olds Sam and her best friend Nick, couldn’t have a better setting in which play imaginary games, explore 250 year-old sugar plantation ruins, and swim pristine white-sand beaches. But when a ghost begins to haunt them, their carefree summer games turn into a whole new reality.

Cruz Bay, 2004.

About the Author

Bish Denham, whose mother’s side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over one hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. She still has lots of family living there whom she visits regularly.

She says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. The ruins of hundreds of sugar plantations, built with the sweat and blood of slave labor, litter the islands. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. It is within this atmosphere of wonder and mystery, that I grew up. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic.”

The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, is her third book and second novel. You can find Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail, at

To learn more about Bish, you can visit her blog, Random Thoughts, at www.http:/
She can also be found on Facebook:
Twitter @BishDenham
And Goodreads:

November's Question: What is your favourite aspect of being a writer?
*Add this question and your answer to your November IWSG post.