BLOG – NEW RELEASES, BOOK REVIEWS, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
It gives me great pleasure to announce the release of We Lived It and Laughed – Tales of Chuluota, Florida by Mark Perrin. This book of personal essays recounts life in the seventies while growing up in rural Florida.
I ran into Mark about six weeks ago while I was sitting at a book booth in Tallahassee trying to sell books. He had a notebook with him, and he wanted to ask some questions about publishing. He said he had some true stories from his youth he wanted to publish. I mentioned that I was an editor as well as an author, and further, I could help him take his manuscript from Word to a published book.
And here we are a few weeks laters with those essays now published in a lovely book of humorous tales from a time and place very far removed from where most of us are today. I laughed out loud while working on the essays because I knew these people! I grew up at the same time 1,000 miles away in Michigan. But I lived in a small town where teenagers had to find their own fun or suffocate on boredom.
Congratulations to Mark and his perseverance and hard work to turn his stories into a wonderful chronicle of a time fast fading from memories and wholly unknown to the youth of today who fight boredom with electronics!
Here’s a little bit about the book:
Mark Perrin recounts the humorous parts of growing up in a small rural town in central Florida in
Mark Perrin recounts the humorous parts of growing up in a small rural town in central Florida in We Lived It and Laughed. Boredom, dysfunctional families, and testosterone equal tales bigger than life.
The characters who populate the stories rise to mythical stature created by a storyteller who recounts some true tall tales from decades ago. Through it all, the author’s dry sense of irony, comedic overtones, and casual style paint a portrait of young men who found a way to survive the perils of adolescence without much supervision.
Instead of resorting to violence or crime, and relying mostly on humor, the boys of Chuluota form their own tribe and find a way to make something out of nothing. All the while, they raise themselves and learn together how to survive by using ingenuity born of boredom.
This collection of reminiscences will transport you back to a time before technology, cell phones, and iPads. Lazy summer days spent devising ways to defeat the boredom of poverty and abandonment from their parents remind us all that humor and ingenuity can create heroes.
From row boat ski tows to brick wallpaper to dead sharks, We Lived It and Laughed entertains with humor and enlightens with honesty.
About Mark Perrin – Mark Perrin grew up in the small town of Chuluota in central Florida. He lived there from 1962 to 1985 and remained in that area for a few more years before moving to Wakulla County, Florida, near Crawfordville, in January 1988. The love of nature and history has been a constant in his life, and the area where he now lives is rich in both.
As a lover of history, he joined the local historical society shortly after moving to Wakulla County where he’s been on the board of directors for many years. The thought of preserving a piece of history was one of the factors that led to the writing and recording of these stories for We Lived It and Laughed.
Mark Perrin operates a small home improvement business. The flexibility of this occupation allows him to pursue the hobbies he enjoys, such as hiking in the surrounding nature, fishing in local waters, searching for old bottles, and using a metal detector in his rural environment.
Behind the Love contemporary romance series continues with the release of the newest story in the saga of Victory, Florida. Behind the Door stars Sally Jean, who played pivotal roles in the three preceding books in the series. Often misunderstood and always seeking love, Sally Jean needed to have her story told to show why she sought love, yet felt at the same time she didn’t deserve it.
When I first started writing romances in 2014, I thought it would give me a break and help recharge my writing batteries. With the completion of the first book in the Behind the Love series, I’d been revitalized, and even though, there is a formula or pattern that most romances follow, I could write the plot happenings with my own touch.
I discovered romance didn’t have to be light and fluffy. It could deal with real life issues while still bringing the hero and heroine together in the end. It happened without much thought. I’ve always said language is the most powerful tool we have, and if we can tell a story to convey an important message, all the better.
Behind the Altar, Book One brings out issues of child abuse–sexual and mental–and domestic violence. It also starts a thread about homelessness and the tragedy of our veterans coming home to face an unwelcoming society. Leah, the heroine of Behind the Altar, helps the homeless in her small town by running a soup kitchen. Throughout the series, Soup’s On becomes a focal point for each plot as it grows and expands.
Behind the Bar, Book Two shows how the past can inform our present, and not always in positive ways. Domestic violence takes a starring role in the love complications between Susie and Reggie. Before they can give their love a second chance, they must unravel the complications caused by hiding secrets from their youth.
Behind the Curtain, Book Three follows Susie’s sister as she always struggles with the fallout from having an alcoholic father who beat his wife. Lisa protected Susie until the father left, and then Lisa became the sister who needed protection. Also, Soup’s On and its residents from homeless veterans to migrant farmers hoping for a better life play an integral role in the plot.
Behind the Door, Book Four covers PTSD and its fallout, particularly with veterans returning home with no safety net. Also, Sally Jean’s childhood comes to the forefront. She was a neglected child as her parents were more interested in one another than they were Sally Jean. She was an intrusion to their love affair, which caused her to seek love in all the wrong places and from all the wrong people. She reveals she doesn’t deserve to be loved, and the plot takes her on a journey to find out she does.
All of the books give glimmers of hope even in the face of tragedy. Readers have often responded to the stories and related the situations to their own lives. Maybe that’s not what romance should do. But it’s what I do. One reader suggested I should provide help information for the issues in my books, so when I revamped the first three books this year, I added phone numbers and websites to help with each of the issues profiled within the plot.
A reader recently received an advanced review copy of Behind the Door. She thought I’d captured the tragedy of PTSD vividly. She knew because she’d been suffering from it for years.
Click on the titles below to download your copies of all four books in the series.
Thanks to the Eternal Scribbler for hosting me on her blog today!
This week’s guest poster is the wonderful P.C. Zick, who discusses revamping her contemporary romance series. Enjoy!
Creating a functional family within fiction
By P.C. Zick
“I’m from a dysfunctional family.”
We’ve all heard this statement so much, it’s a cliché—overused and meaningless.
However, as an author, I can turn the cliché into something meaningful. But first, I must make my fictional families as dysfunctional as possible to create the necessary conflict and tension. Once I’ve done that, I can turn them into my ideal version of functional. I don’t mean the vision of what we’d been told a “real” family looks like. Those ideas were created with the 1950s sitcoms, and probably messed us all up when we realized we didn’t have Donna Reed in an apron in the kitchen cooking dinner. Or Mrs. Cleaver greeting the Beaver and Wally with homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk when they…
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Hello – It’s an exciting day for me. The past few months have been spent re-vamping my contemporary romance series, Behind the Love. Each of the first three novels, Behind the Altar, Behind the Bar, and Behind the Curtain have new covers and new content. All three are now full-length novels. And while working on them, I was also writing the fourth book in the series, Behind the Door, which is set to release May 16. Make sure you scroll all the way down this post to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card to celebrate the reveal of the new and improved Behind the Love series.
Announcing the Word Weaver Writing Contest!
Enter your amazing piece of writing! We have over $400 of valuable prize packages!
YOU will have the month of April to enter an amazing piece of your own writing to our contest.
Here’s what you do:
Uh, enter a piece of your writing in the contest. I thought that was obvious.
Here’s what you GET:
The FIRST PLACE Winner will receive THIS prize package valued at over $200:
$125 Professional BOOK COVER designed by Select-O-Grafix, LLC (www.selectografix.com)
$50 Amazon GIFT CARD, compliments of ME
PUBLICATION of their winning piece on this website
Signed copies of a multi-book package from several published authors who graciously donated their books to our contest (see list below).
A GUEST BLOG POST or AUTHOR PROFILE to appear on this site (that’s priceless, really)
a video interview with me, should they so choose, also to appear on this site**
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Sometimes the muse leads us where we need to go. In early 2002, I was working on a novel set on the Suwanee River. I was also a reporter for a 5,000 circulation weekly newspaper in north Florida. I covered one of the more contentious city commissions as WalMart began doing what WalMart does best – disrupt small town America.
One Tuesday morning in February, I made my rounds of the local city police departments to pick up the police reports for the past week before heading to the newspaper’s office. When I turned the corner, police tape encircled the building, and I saw my coworkers wandering around outside.
“Don’t worry – no one was hurt,” the publisher said as he rushed toward me when I got out of my car. “They were able to detonate the bomb before anything happened.”
He thought I already knew someone dropped a bomb off in the paper’s drop box. When it was discovered, the local police called the county bomb squad. The bomb, filled with little bits of glass and nails, shot seventy yards outside the building when set off by the experts.
We were barely six months past 9/11, and the world reeled around us. The national media started calling, but the FBI said it would be months before a full-scale investigation could begin. Around the same time, mailboxes were being blown up in the Midwest, and our little bomb scare, with no deaths, amounted to nothing after the first twenty-four hours. It amounted to nothing for everyone, except those of us closest to the action such as me. I went away to the Keys a few days later for a planned vacation. After the bomb, I really needed to get away.
Several days later, as the breezes blew through the curtains of the beach house on Big Pine Key, I woke with a sentence in my head.
“The bomb sat on Kelly Sands desk for an hour before she noticed it.” I went
I immediately rose and went to my laptop and typed the line into my computer. Then I spent the next year writing a new book while I covered the same small town politics. Every time I left a contentious meeting and started my car, I thought it might be the last time I did anything. If a bomb had been left at the paper, why couldn’t one be attached to my car just as easily?
It was a crazy time, but the writing of the novel helped to heal me. I wrote a wild story about politics in rural Florida. The story nearly wrote itself. I was simply the conduit through which the characters and plot unfolded.
When I eventually published Tortoise Stew the line that woke me that morning in the Keys opened the novel. And Kelly Sands became the heroine of a novel that used a bit of fact to create a fictional world not so far apart from reality.
And the best part? The writing of Tortoise Stew helped heal the fear that had taken up residence in my head. Of course, it helped when I stopped covering small town politics in Florida where crazy and wacky are the standard bearers for the norm.
Happy to share Viv – the Owl Lady – interview!
This week’s guest poster is author Viv Drewa, the Owl Lady. Check out her answers to these interview questions 🙂
with Viv Drewa
Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
When I was 9-years-old I read a book that made me want to be a writer. It was “The Whistling Sword” by James Robert Green. I was so impressed by how he used true people in fiction. I bought the book from a library that closed just to have it.
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Colleen Chesebro has made a splash with Book 1 in her Swamp Fairy series, The Heart Stone Chronicles. Not only is it the first book in this series, but it’s her first published novel. And it’s a gem of a story.
All right, puns aside, this novel will fascinate and inspire young women on the cusp of adulthood. Set in the swamps of northwest Florida near Pensacola, Ms. Chesebro uses the setting of the swamp to create a magical story mixed with the reality of being a teen uprooted by the death of a mother and the abdication of a father.
Fortunately, Abigale Forrester, at the age of fourteen, has plenty of people rooting for her from her mother’s best friend in Chicago, where she’s left without either father or mother, and a dear sweet aunt in Florida where Abigale is sent.
It is in the rural setting of Florida where she discovers her true legacy and begins to understand the non-understandable. The book is fraught with the nightmares of an abandoned teenager, the bullies–both peer sand adults alike–and grown-up issues facing her aunt. Abigale is forced to become an adult before her time. Fortunately, when she moves to Florida, she discovers friends who are also facing these same issues. Together, they form a bond that resists the forces that try to destroy them.
But Abigale has a secret. She understands animals through a silent communication. And they understand her. Her nightmares are foretelling the future, and she can talk to the fairies in the swamp. All the reasons why and more are what gives this novel both its surreal and magical qualities.
I kept thinking while reading the book that Abigale’s situation in her everyday life could be the story of many young teens facing the sometimes rough world as they transition from child to adult. But with perseverance, faith in herself and her abilities, and the love of an extended family beyond the bonds of blood, she can survive. I highly recommend this book for its qualities of magical realism and its storyline of hope.
Well done, Colleen Chesebro. You’ve written an outstanding book of love for those who need it. Your story will lend a light to young women and men and show them that even the worst of situations can be conquered.
Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.
Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.
But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.
As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.
Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?
About the Author: Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017.
The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.
Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative.
Purchase: Amazon US
Blog – A Mindful Journey
Generous offer from Colleen Chesebro regarding reviews.
As an avid reader, I have spent the last few years reviewing books on my blog and on other websites that help to promote Indy Authors. It has been an honor to read and review over one hundred and forty books in the last couple of years.
There are several reasons why I engaged in the review process:
- Writing a review has been my way of saying thank you to the author. Writing a book is a long and detailed process, and as an author, I know how much work I put into my own writing. I can think of no better way to let an author know that I appreciated all the hard work they put into writing a novel other than helping to spread the word of their success.
- My reviews contributed to spreading the word to other readers about authors and books that I enjoyed. I have…
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