New Witch on the Block
(Midlife in Mosswood, #1)
June 30th 2020
She thought she was running away from her past, not catching up with it.
Rosemary Bell just wants to live a quiet, happy life and raise her daughter as far away from her toxic ex-husband as she can get. But when they move into a decrepit cottage in the woods of Mosswood, Georgia, Rosie realizes her life will never be simple.
A gang of meddling neighborhood do-gooders want to run her out of town. The vicious laundromat machines keep eating her spare change. Not to mention her buff Irish stalker who insists that he’s a Witch King and that it’s her royal destiny to be his Queen.
And to top it all off, strange things keep happening around Rosie when she least expects it…
She could deal with it all, but her ex won’t rest until he tracks her down. When her ability to protect her daughter is threatened, Rosie shows them all that nobody messes with the new witch on the block.
PracticalMagic meets Bridget Jones’ Diary
in this fun, heart-warming short novel about starting over, putting family first, and finding love when you least expect it
By Rosemary Bell – Heroine of New Witch on the Block
What made you decide to write my story?
As someone who has spent time as a single mum, I am fascinated by the plight of women who are striving to slay it in their everyday lives: mums who work full-time, mums who are at home full-time (because that has a whole other set of challenges), mums who are in-between, or run their own businesses… the list goes on! I knew I wanted you to be a witch, and that I wanted moving to have to be a difficult experience for you. Giving you a downright reprehensible ex-husband whose influence you needed to overcome so that you could bloom into the woman you always were deep down inside meant I got to see your grow throughout the book. Adding the witchery on top of all that seemed like a logical step – but you needed to believe in yourself before you could believe in magic!
I see. Randy sure is a piece of work, so thanks for that I guess? Moving on – why Mosswood?
I’ve always been fascinated with the United States, ever since I was a little girl. A few failed attempts at visiting has meant that for the short-term future at least, my experiences of the US will need to happen through books, TV shows, and movies. I love the pictures painted of places like Bon Temps (Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series) Mystic Falls (L. J. Smiths’ The Vampire Diaries series) and New Orleans in general – so it made sense to set my series in the South. My editor is Southern and is an incredible source of real-life info, helping me adapt my language. And then once I knew I wanted a really tiny town surrounded by woods, I got my ten year old daughter to draw me a map! Kids are so inventive, and she thought of things that I never would have thought of. I loved collaborating with her on the project, and the story is so much richer for it.
That’s actually adorable, bless her! But for real now – was the palmetto bug really necessary? And the biceps? Were the biceps really necessary? And the laundry machines? The skunks?! Actually nevermind, we aren’t speaking.
Stop being overly dramatic, it was just a bug? And sexy biceps. And… well okay, the skunks probably didn’t need to scare the crap out of you, so I’m a teeny bit sorry for those.
Did you feel even remotely bad for any of the hurdles you threw my way during the course of the book?
Not really! The scene with the eggs was difficult to write, because I was actually imagining it happening to myself and my daughter as I was writing it and I shed a tear or two, I can’t lie! But everything that made it into the book was totally necessary for your growth and development as a character, so I can’t be too sorry! And I mean, sure Declan is annoying, but could you really call him a ‘hurdle’? Heh.
What about the naked magic casting? Did you feel bad about that? Because that was just unfair.
Not in the slightest, and I will do it again in a heartbeat. You needed to come out of your shell, figuratively and literally – and those scenes really demonstrate your transition from Randy’s Rosie to your own person in so many ways. In fact, the last of those scenes might just be my favourite scene in the whole book!
What’s in store for me in Jealousy’s a Witch? The title sounds ominous.
There will be a huge raft of new characters, and new places in Mosswood to explore in-depth! The plot definitely takes a turn – you discover that Declan’s been keeping a pretty big secret from you that makes you re-think your whole association with him. Maggie will experience a lot of growth in the book too, and the main plotline revolves around some dangerous situations for her. It’s gonna be a wild ride!
That makes me worried for Maggie! Will she be okay?
Absolutely – but it wouldn’t be the type of book I write without a little drama! She will come out of Jealousy’s a Witch with a rather cool experience of her own – but I don’t wanna spoil it for you!
Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.
Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.
She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.
She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.
The Diary of a Late Bloomer; A quirky coming of age novel
by L.M.L Gil
Genres: Coming of Age, New Adult, Romance, Sports
Publication date: June 29th 2020
Every wallflower blooms at their own perfect time, but some like quirky Lo, take longer than others.
Lo is a sheltered 20-year-old who loves baking, manga/anime, and octopi. When she spots her college swim team’s tryout flyer sporting her favorite sea creature, an octopus she knows it’s a sign that she must join the Flying Octopi. The only things standing her way are her social awkward nature and the fact that she just learned to swim.
Late Bloomer is a new adult novel that is a cross between Bridget Jones’s Diary, Baywatch and Kuragehime
What LML Gill did during Lockdown – her hobby!
Like Joan in The Diary of a Late Bloomer, I love to read Tarot cards. There is something magical about creating a story based on the different cards that are out on a spread. They give so much insight, pointing out blind spots in our logic.
I can still remember how excited I was when I brought home my first tarot deck, Legend; Arthurian Tarot, which I got at Costco.It was an impulse buy, but I was drawn to it because I loved the Legend of Arthur and Merlin. One of my favorite novels when I was younger was The Return of Merlin by Deepak Chopra which turned me on to Merlin and his legend. Great novel by the way.
Learning how to read the Tarot took me a long time. I had to memorize the cards, all 78 of them, and their meanings. The pictures on the cards always helped but I felt proud when I could name the cards and what they represented. It was sort of like learning a new language.
At first, I only did readings for myself, mostly questions about my crushes and how I would do in certain classes. Then to test out my new skill I read the cards for my family. As I began to feel more confident, I read them for my friends. It was a pretty amazing feeling when my predictions came true.
Over the years I didn’t play with the tarot as much because life became hectic. But during the quarantine I found YouTube tarot readers to watch which rekindled my love of reading the cards. As a bonus I learned how to us oracle cards in my readings.
They all made tarot card reading look like so much fun and they used pretty props. I couldn’t resist joining in the fun, so I recently started my own YouTube channel where I do Pick-a-card readings. It is a whole new adventure for me.
My channel is still young and I am learning things constantly, especially after making a ton of mistakes, but like Lo I’m giving it my all. As My tarot card deck and oracle deck collection keeps growing, so does my fascination with the art of reading tarot cards.
Alpha Girls #9
Paranormal, Young Adult
Ink Monster LLC
May 12th 2020
Tessa—part witch, part werewolf, raised human and now the unofficial leader of a newly minted supernatural alliance—thinks nothing of her brother, Axel, texting her and Dastien to meet up. The location pin is in a weird spot, but maybe he found a magical anomaly? But when Tessa steps into the darkened warehouse, she doesn’t expect to see her brother laying in a pool of his own blood, smell the sulfuric scent of black magic, or feel the pain of her mate being shot full of silver.
Tessa has seconds to make a choice, but there’s only one thing she can do to save the two most important men in her life—sacrifice herself.
The last thing Dastien hears from Tessa is her plea—help Axel. Then their bond goes silent. He can’t hear her. He can’t feel her. And there’s no sign of the attackers who took her.
Dastien does everything he can to save Axel before calling his friends in a panic. It takes all of them to find Tessa, but when Dastien’s finally reunited with her, there’s no sign of recognition in her eyes.
No magic in her touch.
No wolf beneath the surface.
I’m never sure what to write for the “author’s choice” guest posts, so I reached out to my Superfans group and someone asked this question:
What do you do when you hit a “wall” to get your creativity going again?
I thought that could be helpful to any other writers out there. So, here goes:
For me, I’ve found that hitting a “wall” means that I’ve messed up somewhere in the story. It’s like my subconscious is stopping me from going any farther into the story. I have to go back, look at what I’ve done so far, and see what needs fixing.
It took me a looooong time to figure that out. I used to force myself to keep going, and my productivity would slowly get worse and worse and the wall would get thicker, taller, bigger, until I wanted to quit. But, that’s just me and my experience. I know right away what to do now. I take a break, re-read what I’ve written so far, talk to my developmental editor about how to fix whatever isn’t working, and then I get back to work.
But that won’t work for everyone, especially when you’re first starting to build your creative life.
Figuring out what’s building that wall up and why it’s there is the key to tearing it down. Sometimes it’s nothing to do with the story. Sometimes life is crazy. Sometimes there are just too many stresses, anxieties, and things happening to leave enough headspace to be creative.
The key there is to minimize everything that’s going on in your life—to quiet it—so that you can focus on being creative. And if you’re not under a deadline, maybe think about giving yourself a break to deal with all the things life has thrown at you, until you have that quiet space in your mind.
But life is always kind of chaotic. Things happen. It’s hard. This is your passion, and you don’t want to give it space or time. How do you keep writing through all the ups and downs of life?
You do what you can to quiet everything else when you’re writing. You set a goal for how long you’re going to write and where you will write it. Whether it’s taking a walk before you sit down to write or go to a spot in your house that relaxes you or another place outside your house that you find peaceful. Find a spot that you will consistently go to. It will key your brain into—this is time to write. Then, set a timer. Put away your phone. Turn off your WiFi. No distractions.
This is your writing place, and this is your sacred writing time. Set the timer for 15min. Don’t stop until it goes off.
Was it easy? Okay. Set it for longer. Was that painful? Okay, keep it at 15min every time until it becomes easy. Then, set it for longer. Aim to write at least a little bit every day. Even if it’s just setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier so that you can get that little bit in before your family is awake or before work or before school. It doesn’t have to be hours at a time. If you write one page per day, in less than year, you’ll have finished a book. 250 words per page. For 300 days. That’s 75K or a full novel.
The thing to keep in mind is that creativity is a muscle. It gets stronger the more you use it. If you start out thinking that the words are supposed to be flowing out of you during your writing time, then you might be setting yourself up for failure. You can’t go from being a couch potato to running a marathon. So, why do you think that you can go from writing nothing, to spending four hours solid writing and get 100 pages written in one session.
That’s not a thing.
Writing takes time. It takes consistent, constant work. Letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence you will get there.
And if you sit down to write and hear a little voice in your head telling you that you can’t do it, that you suck, that this is a waste of your time, that you should give up now, or any variation of that, then you’ve met your Inner Editor. Every single writer has one, and all of them—all of them—are complete and utter assholes. Tell them to shut up. Ignore them. Keep going.
At first, finding that creativity to break through your “wall” can be really hard, sometimes seemingly impossible. You’ve got life in your way, distractions galore, and that jerk of an Inner Editor is back, taunting you again…
Writing is hard. Full stop. But the more you do it, the more you keep at it, the easier it gets. The more creative you get. The faster the words come. The better your writing becomes.
Until you reach a point when you find yourself in front of a wall, and it’s not tall, thick, impenetrable anymore. It’s a thin fog you can walk right through.
You can do it.
Just keep writing.
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
The Secret Brokers
(Secret Brokers, #1)
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
April 7th 2020
Dallas August runs a dangerous business—an organization of elite spies for hire.
The secrets trade.
Nothing is off limits, and no price is too high.
When asked to uncover what recluse Gwen Marsh knows about a Mafia kingpin’s death, Dallas poses as a bodyguard to get close to his target, but the stubborn Asian beauty wants nothing to do with him. As the FBI and the Mafia close in, danger drives them together, but can he protect Gwen, or will Dallas be the one risking everything to discover what she is really hiding?
Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of the Secret Brokers.
Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
The tale of the undercover spy has always intrigued me. The danger and surreal settings have drawn me as a reader since I was young. A big influence on my desire to write in this genre was Ian Fleming—yes, the creator of the James Bond Series. His take on the character, and his details into Bond’s psyche, riveted me to every page. If you haven’t read the books, I highly recommend that you do. Fleming presented an in-depth course on how to write a character—one to which readers are drawn. Yes, James Bond was sexy, dangerous, and intriguing as a character, but he also had a vulnerability not captured in the films. Many of the James Bond novels were about the evolution of the character. His mistakes, broken heart, and failures as a spy made him confoundingly appealing. When I set out to write The Secret Brokers Series, I wanted to recreate the same flawed character in Dallas August that Fleming had mastered. After all, it’s the humanity of a character that draws us in. Knowing someone can be as unsure gives us hope that we’re not as different as we feel.
What makes The Secret Brokers stand out from other thriller genres will be the characters. They will be human, weathered by their flaws, but also retain a humorous side that makes them unforgettable. The world in which they live will be unique. As spies for hire, Dallas and his specialists—that is the term for his spies—steal secrets and sometimes sell them to the highest bidder. Their assignments will not always be deadly, some will be comical, but the dark world where many of Dallas’s specialists work will provide countless tales of deceit, infidelity, theft, betrayal, and murder. Stories will take place in museums, governments, colleges, hospitals, labs, drug companies, businesses, homes, and will involve men, women, children, cheating husbands, desperate wives, business moguls, leaders, diplomats, dictators, nurses, doctors, and politicians. The plotlines won’t be fantastical but relatable. In the stories, many may see their experiences mirrored. Adventure, romance, intrigue, and humor will be the cornerstones of The Secret Brokers Series. I hope it will entertain readers for a long time to come.
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.WEBSITEGOODREADSFACEBOOKTWITTER
adult, history, YA,
A must-read gripping adventure based on the true story of Nancy Wake, Gestapo’s most wanted. Soon to be a major feature film.
February 1933: Nancy Wake is a gregarious twenty-year-old looking for adventure. Having fled her unhappy family home in Sydney, she becomes a journalist and is thrilled when she is posted to Paris. The city is glamorous, brimming with journalists, artists, and a growing number of refugees.
Later, in the French Riviera, she uncovers more than news following a chance encounter with wealthy industrialist, Henri Fiocca. Their relationship blossoms as Hitler makes waves across Europe. While on an assignment in Vienna in 1938, she witnesses Nazis whipping Jews on the street and she vows to fight for justice if ever the opportunity arises.
When Henri is called to the Front to fight, Nancy, determined to help the war effort, joins the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. Every day she witnesses atrocities. When Paris falls, Nancy flees the German oppressors and returns to Marseille.
A chance encounter with a British officer draws Nancy into the heart of the Garrow escape network, despite Henri’s reservations. Soon she finds herself caught in a deadly game of espionage.
As the iron fist of the enemy tightens, neighbours denounce neighbours. When the enemy closes in, Nancy and Henri face an impossible choice. Has she done more harm than good?
Based on a true story, Madame Fiocca weaves an extraordinary tale of survival and redemption in wartime.
Q: Can you
tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write
about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your
approach is unique?
Nancy was, like so many of her generation,
amazing, determined, and an exceptionally strong spirit. When I first read
about her, some years ago, I was quite amazed, just as I was when reading about
all of the women who joined the Special Operation’s Executive to carry out
clandestine work in enemy territory during WW2. All of the biographies and news
articles portrayed her as this fierce Guerrilla fighter and I marvelled at how
brave she was, and how dangerous the work was. How cruel war is. But then I
went digging and uncovered more of the real Nancy. What I discovered both
saddened and amazed me and I was entranced. The main points most people know about
her are that she joined SOE, dropped into France, fought and led thousands of
Maquisards into battle against the Germans. Half true. I wanted to show her
other side, her feminine side and her life before the war. No other novel to
date has done that.
long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have
a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before
making a decision as to which topic this time?
Deciding what to write about is a good question! I
read widely, and my main interest lies in the WW2 period. I’m still not sure
why that is, but that’s how it is. So, I retain all relevant newspaper articles
for my own interest, as one never knows whether they’ll provide a glimmer of
inspiration one day. If a story or a person piques my interest, I will note
that down. For me, the process involves making notes, physical or mental, as I
go along. Sometimes an idea pops up and it’s something I can make a story from.
Sometimes, as in the case of my last two books, the inspiration came from real
people and real events.
long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
Research can be so lengthy, but I feel it’s a much
longer process with the first book. My first novel, The Beauty Shop, took
around a year or so to do the basic research, and then another two years of
writing, edits and further research.
Writing about real people is definitely a complex
process. I have to know enough about the person’s character, their personality,
how they spoke, dressed, the list is endless. That takes time. In another
period of history, I might have been forgiven for using more creative licence
there, but for my time period, the real people in my books have descendants
alive today, along with friends and others who knew them.
resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
When writing and researching, I utilise numerous military
history books, personal biographies and newspaper articles. I also use Google a
lot to conduct research. I also make use of the BBC Archives from WW2 which is
a fascinating resource brimming with first-hand witness accounts from the war –
locals and veterans. There are also sites such as Bomber Command, the Imperial
War Museum and the National Archives where I was able to purchase copies of
Nancy Wake’s war records.
helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you
say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your
So far in my writing, the only people I have
approached for information or interviews have been either related to veterans,
or veterans themselves. For my debut novel, I contacted a very helpful person
from a museum which is dedicated to the men of the RAF Guinea Pig Club.
Everyone has been most generous with their time and help. In seeking help, I
have found the best way is to contact via email or letter in the first
instance. Occasionally I have made enquiries via a third party who has managed
to pass me a telephone number, having gained the person’s consent first. With
regards to police or medics, I have never had any need to contact them for
research. With medicine, I have quite an extensive knowledge myself as I
previously worked in healthcare.
Q: If you
need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance,
do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?
I’m in the process of completing a contemporary
romance, a brief escape from my beloved hist fic genre, but even that has
required research. It seems there’s no escaping it. The general advice is write
what you know, but if you do that there will still be things you need to research.
One can never know everything. However, in search of the story, I’m a big fan
of writing what you don’t know. So, a number of writers will blog about their
recent adventures in Spain, or Canada, or somewhere exotic, all in the name of
writing research. The reality is that unless it’s your family holiday, many
people will not be able to make those trips and thanks to the internet, it
really isn’t essential. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to various places
around the world, and also within my own home country. So, I’ve found that I
can make use of my travels, and my memories of places quite well. As for the
locations I use and have never visited, Google Earth is fabulous. I love how
you can zoom right in and even drop the wee yellow man onto a street.
you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a
publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring
I would definitely advise any new writers to
establish a platform for themselves prior to approaching agents and publishers.
I think that if you’re writing stories, then keeping a blog is a great idea.
It’s a great base to grow from, and you will gradually discover an audience
there. At the same time, set up your social media accounts. For me, I believe
Twitter is vital. It delivers and I reach a wide audience. Facebook is useful
as even if you don’t find much of an audience there, it’s full of useful groups
for writers so it’s a valuable resource of information. Instagram is growing
and reported to be a great platform for writers. So yes, do all that before
pitching to agents. There is no need to self-publish first if having an agent
or a publisher is important for you. Yes, it will bring you more experience,
but it also means you have all the financial outlay. No agent or publisher
worth their salt will expect this of any writer. They will take you on based on
the quality and marketability of your writing. It’s that simple. And even the
greatest writers get rejections. In building your platform, you will have a
leg-up when you finally have your first book published, and that is so
From my own experience, keeping a history blog for a
few years prior to my debut release brought me a fair bit of exposure.
Interestingly, while I am based in the UK, around 75% of my audience was and
still is in the USA. And now the majority of my book sales are in the USA.
writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before
Writing and income is such a sticky topic. For me
right now, it’s not a sustainable income, but I’m relieved to say that it has
at least paid for itself with more left over. My editing bill for each book has
been around £900, and then there’s book covers, book tours, set-up costs for
paperbacks (if not using Amazon), proofing, advertising. However, I’m thinking
positively of the future and I hope to increase the number of books over the
coming years and see my income grow.
I know of a handful of successful self-published
authors who are not so prolific on social media, but by the power of
advertising have a very nice income, in excess of $70,000 per year. And then I
know of others with more books than them who make nothing like that. So, it’s
quite a fickle topic to speak of as there are so many factors involved. The
best advice is not to give up the day job, if you have one.
Q: What is
your favourite genre?
Well, that has to
be historical fiction. I can’t help it, and believe me, I’ve tried. I read
widely but try as I might I have yet to discover a crime novel I can truly
enjoy. With historical fiction, I don’t just read WW2 stories either. I read
stories about the Tudors, Vikings, and the odd regency.
of your books are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of
my debut novel, The Beauty Shop, for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was
astonished by the real character, Archibald McIndoe, a pioneering plastic
surgeon that not only fixed up RAF pilots and crew, when they were badly
injured, but he helped them psychologically too. And I was amazed at the
camaraderie and support of the club those men belonged to – the Guinea Pig
Club. Not many people knew about it, and that was one of the reasons I wrote
The fact that I
completed the book, and self-published it, also makes me proud. There were some
moments along the way that really did test me, mentally, and it took a lot of
courage and foresight to persist, make the book the best I could, and publish
it. Had it not have been for my amazing editor at the time, I may not have made
it. She believed in me and the book, and she helped me enormously. I learned
more from her during the editing process than from any writing event I have
ever attended. KT Editing – she is a remarkable person.
lives with her husband and two sons in Cumbria, England, on the edge of the
Lake District. In a previous life she was a Midwife but now works from home as
a freelance writer and novelist.
While researching her family
history, Suzy became fascinated with both World War periods and developed an
obsession with military and aviation history. Following the completion of an
Open University Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she began to
write and write until one day she had a novel.
She writes contemporary and
historical fiction and is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Suzy’s debut novel, “The Beauty Shop”, has been awarded the B.R.A.G.
Her next novel, “Madame Fiocca” will be published in December 2019.