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FREE ONLINE JOURNALING WORKSHOP SEPT. 18-24

In 1951, Pulitzer prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck “warmed-up his writing arm” with a letter to his editor each day before working on the novel East of Eden. Those letters were later published in a book titled Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters. Crime novelist Sue Grafton (“A” is for Alibi) kept a journal for every book she wrote that included ideas, positive self-talk, and more to help her stay on track. Author Anne Lamott has written two memoirs that are formatted like journals, and Virginia Woolf’s diaries examined what it was like to be a female author in the world of writing and publishing during the 1930s and 40s. It’s refreshing and renewing to read the journals of published authors and recognize some of our own struggles in the pages of those who forged successful careers before us. We’ll look at the journals of the authors mentioned and explore what we can learn from them and how we can emulate some of their personal writing habits to support our own lives and work. Each lesson will include examples of journal entries narrative lesson on a particular aspect of journaling for writers an activity for you to try discussion questions for deep learning.

Tentative schedule LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS: THE JOURNALS OF PUBLISHED AUTHORS

Welcome, Schedule, and Student Introductions    

Lesson 1-Learning from the Masters: John Steinbeck’s Journals

Lesson 2-Learning from the Masters: Sue Grafton

Lesson 3-Learning from the Masters: Virginia Woolf

Lesson 4-Learning from the Masters: Anne Lamott

Lesson 5-Found Journals

Wrap-up: The Answer to a Supposedly Empty Mind tools for inspiration beyond the blank page and a pen.

This is a FREE seven-day/one-week, self-paced online workshop taught in a private Groups.io forum.

Register here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1e9bclT86pCZRjo-lsr487AFQtEmcMrngozSGxTX3vsQ/edit

Reach out if you have any questions!

All good things,

Joy

 

 

 

 

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Collected Stories by DON TASSONE

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

Collected Stories by Don Tassone

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Don! So happy you’re here to tell us about your book COLLECTED STORIES.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book? 

DT: This diverse collection features 50 short stories organized by five themes:  blessing, fantasy, journey, sorrow, and joy.

JH: What inspired you to write COLLECTED STORIES?

DT: When a writing friend suggested putting this story collection together, I was initially hesitant, in part because “Collected Stories by Don Tassone” sounds like I’m dead. But then one day I was with my beautiful goddaughter Alice. She is one of my nine wonderful grandchildren. Alice is four years old. She has Down syndrome. When I look at Alice, I am reminded of why I write. I write as an invitation to appreciate life more deeply. Alice helps me appreciate life more deeply. I’ve dedicated this book to Alice, and I’m giving the proceeds to the National Down Syndrome Society, the leading human rights organization for those who, like Alice, have been given an extra chromosome.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

DT: Writing brings me joy.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

DT: I’ve written a novella called The Liberation of Jacob Novak. I wrote it with today’s “loneliest generation” of young people in mind. I wanted to write a story that resonates in this time of isolation yet offers a sense of hope. I’m now seeking a publisher.

JH: How can readers contact you?

DT:

https://www.dontassone.com

Don Tassone

BIO:

After a long career in the corporate world, Don Tassone has returned to his creative writing roots. He is the author of two novels and six short story collections. He and his wife Liz live in Loveland, Ohio. They have four children.

JH: Thanks, Don. What a wonderful idea and way to give back to a great cause. Please come back by to update us on your novella THE LIBERATION OF JACOB NOVAK.

All good things,

Joy

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Beyond the Last Page: Five Ways to Keep Readers Engaged with Your Book

Word Search Puzzle

It doesn’t have to be over at “the end!”

Joy E. Held

Readers are precious. They should be treated with appreciation and some fun ways to relate to your books! Writing the best book possible is a first step in cultivating a lasting relationship with readers, but what else can we do to encourage this special commodity to remain engaged with our books beyond the last word on the last page? Most authors don’t type “The End” when the story is over because they would like to remain connected to a reader beyond the satisfying conclusion of the plot.

Yes, marketing is important, but this is not book marketing.

Yes, publicity is important, but this is not book publicity.

Yes, promotions are important, but this is not book promotions.

These are ways to foster relationships (hopefully, happy, long-term ones) with readers and methods to share behind-the-scenes information, research, author details, and content that goes beyond a Facebook page or website.  Having said what this is not, these ideas could easily improve your status as an author thereby becoming a sort of marketing, publicity, and promotions technique.

Absolutely go on social media to market, publicize, and promote the book, but including any of the following jewels of engagement for readers is sure to keep your book and persona top-of-mind when they are shopping, sharing, and posting book reviews.

Here are five great ways to extend reader engagement with your book. They will

  • increase the amount of time and effort a reader devotes to your work
  • encourage more thought on the topics you write about
  • expand their knowledge about you or other elements of the book
  • create a deeper bond between author and reader

This can lead to future sales, positive word-of-mouth recommendations, and better reviews. Win-win-win!

The book is written, edited, polished, published, and it’s in the reader’s hands! Mission accomplished, right? Mostly, but can you increase a reader’s enjoyment by giving them opportunities to go further with your story? Yes! Let’s look at five ways to extend reader engagement with your books.

The five ways to increase reader engagement include:

  1. Internet scavenger hunt
  2. Puzzles, games, and quizzes
  3. Playlists
  4. Members-only bonus content
  5. Reading discussion guides

Internet Scavenger Hunt

Internet scavenger hunts are a fun way to involve readers in your book’s ideas and improve traffic to your website. The sky is the limit for how to create an internet scavenger hunt, but an important element is the payoff. Besides learning more about your book, there must be some sort of ‘prize’ at the conclusion of the hunt. The simplest process for this is to enter finalists (those who complete the hunt and submit their answers by the deadline) into a special drawing for a gift card or tangible incentive item like a custom-made t-shirt.

Start by having a page or blog on your author website and social media accounts devoted to the scavenger hunt with instructions, items to locate, and the submission deadline. You might want to create a Google form for this with instructions and places for players to submit their finds. If you wanted to get fancy, you could create a Facebook page (public or private is up to you) dedicated to the internet scavenger hunts associated with your publications and have seekers post their answers and adventures there. It doesn’t matter how many readers participate and answer all the clues because you’re having a drawing at the conclusion to determine the prize winner.

One idea for creating an internet scavenger hunt associated with your book is to walk readers through some of the websites you visited during the research portion of writing your story. Did you do an actual in-person visit of places in the book or were you inspired to write the book by someplace you visited? Online links to these websites help readers understand all the work an author puts into a book. They will appreciate your research and be better able to visualize scenes in the book after visiting the links. At each website, remember to have the reader collect and report something specific from the site as part of the hunt.

Also, the overachievers among us could design and provide a downloadable internet scavenger hunt worksheet with all the deets in a single, printable document. Teachers love assigning virtual information hunts to their students as a fun way to develop data collection and research skills. Visit LessonPlanet.com for examples of virtual scavenger hunts then adapt them to your book’s content.

https://www.lessonplanet.com/search?keywords=internet+scavenger+hunt

Puzzles, Games, and Quizzes

Play is learning! You can increase your readers’ focus on your book by creating crossword or word search puzzles with names, topics, places, details, etc. from the book. There are websites where you can create interactive online puzzles or downloadable documents that readers can print out and complete. Extend the interest by encouraging players to post pictures of their completed puzzles on social media. This is another opportunity for a contest drawing for a small prize. A search online for free crossword/word search puzzles will net several easy-to-navigate sources. Super Teacher Worksheets is my go-to for creating customized puzzles.

https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/generator-word-search.html

Are there any games, activities, or hobbies mentioned in your book? Share with readers the research or Pinterest board you created about them. What is the history of it? Are you a fan yourself? Is there an interactive site online about the game? Could you design and create a game using the characters in your book? This content can also be fashioned into easy quizzes to share on your reader group/street team social media sites and in your newsletter. For an amazingly simple to use website for creating all this fun, engaging play visit Flippity. Bookmark it! You can thank me later😊

https://flippity.net/

Playlists

Curate a collection of songs and share the link with readers who will enjoy the mash-up of music that reminds them of the people, places, ideas, things, and more in your book. Did you personally listen to a particular type of music while “composing” your book? Share it. Does music play any part in your book? Share it. Does one of your characters have a crush on a particular music artist? Share it. Create a playlist of some of the popular songs from the year or time your novel is set. Nonfiction authors can do all this too. Amazon and Spotify make this super easy to do.

For many of my online courses such as “50+ Ways to Leave Your Muse: Creativity Hacks for Writers” I supply a link to a song that relates to the content of each lesson. At the end of the course, students listen to and analyze Paul Simon’s 1976 hit “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” It’s a fun way to make the learning stick.

Here’s my playlist at Amazon for the course

https://music.amazon.com/user-playlists/0e1a36e74ea04ea8b5e32cc324d45986sune?marketplaceId=ATVPDKIKX0DER&musicTerritory=US&ref=dm_sh_SoiAsXtGODG9z8uAvr0P52os3

Members Only Bonus Content

Don’t throw away anything while writing a book! Everything is fair game for creating bonus content to share in a newsletter or private social media groups where your readers are eager to learn more. Recipes, a bibliography, photos you snapped on research trips, character interviews, outtakes from the manuscript, timelines, maps, journals, and more are fair game.

Remember to thank each player who participates in your bonus activities by posting on social media, and don’t forget to encourage them to sign up for your newsletter at the same time!

Reader’s Discussion Guides

Book clubs are HOT. They love finding a set of inspiring discussion questions at the back of a book to use as a springboard once they get together to talk about your book. Publishers recognize the value of reader’s discussion guides and provide them as free downloadable documents on their websites. Teachers ADORE discussion guides to help students with further research and to think deeply about a book. What kind of questions are included in a reading guide? Everything above can be there in some form, but it is generally a list of questions covering the topics, events, themes, etc. in the book.

I offer a self-paced online course to authors, educators, editors, and anyone tasked with putting together a discussion guide for a book. My course delivers seven modules that include worksheets, a progress journal, and an array of ideas for why and how to create an intellectually stimulating book discussion guide. Once an author understands the purpose of a reader’s discussion guide and has the template for it, it’s applicable to any book.

For $197, you can access the course here <insert course logo>

https://joyeheldwriterwellnessworkshop.thinkific.com/courses/create-a-discussion-guide-for-your-books

Which of these ideas have you tried? What were the results? Which of these ideas do you think you will try soon?

All good things,

Joy

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LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS: A FREE Online Course Starts September 18

In 1951, Pulitzer prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck “warmed-up his writing arm” with a letter to his editor each day before working on the novel East of Eden. Those letters were later published in a book titled Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters. Crime novelist Sue Grafton (“A” is for Alibi) kept a journal for every book she wrote that included ideas, positive self-talk, and more to help her stay on track. Author Anne Lamott has written two memoirs that are formatted like journals, and Virginia Woolf’s diaries examined what it was like to be a female author in the world of writing and publishing during the 1930s and 40s. It’s refreshing and renewing to read the journals of published authors and recognize some of our own struggles in the pages of those who forged successful careers before us. We’ll look at the journals of the authors mentioned and explore what we can learn from them and how we can emulate some of their personal writing habits to support our own lives and work. Each lesson will include examples of journal entries narrative lesson on a particular aspect of journaling for writers an activity for you to try discussion questions for deep learning.

Tentative schedule LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS: THE JOURNALS OF PUBLISHED AUTHORS

Welcome, Schedule, and Student Introductions    

Lesson 1-Learning from the Masters: John Steinbeck’s Journals

Lesson 2-Learning from the Masters: Sue Grafton

Lesson 3-Learning from the Masters: Virginia Woolf

Lesson 4-Learning from the Masters: Anne Lamott

Lesson 5-Found Journals

Wrap-up: The Answer to a Supposedly Empty Mind tools for inspiration beyond the blank page and a pen.

This is a FREE seven-day/one-week, self-paced online workshop taught in a private Groups.io forum.

Register here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1e9bclT86pCZRjo-lsr487AFQtEmcMrngozSGxTX3vsQ/edit

Reach out if you have any questions!

All good things,

Joy

 

 

 

 

Buy at Amazon

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Charlotte’s Story by CAROLYN KORSMEYER

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

Charlotte’s Story by Carolyn Korsmeyer

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Welcome to BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS, Carolyn! Happy to have you as a guest today to tell us about your latest release CHARLOTTE’S STORY.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

CK: Charlotte Lucas, a character first appearing in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, has made an unfortunate marriage to the loquacious William Collins, reckoning that his tedious conversation is a small price to pay for the prosperous home and family she desires. However, trouble brews within the first months of marriage, for they are not nearly as good a match as she had hoped. To ease the strain of their relationship, Charlotte leaves her husband to visit the fashionable city of Bath with several women companions. The weeks there prove to be a time for self-discovery and freedom, and the marital frost begins to thaw. However, events in Bath result in an unfortunate, even calamitous, consequence. Charlotte devises an audacious solution that combines bold connivance and compassionate duplicity, pursuing her hope of happiness with the wit and courage to seek it.

JH: What inspired you to write

CK: Like so many, I’m a great fan of Jane Austen. But I have often felt that her comic sensibility (which I greatly appreciate!) gives short shrift to some of her secondary characters. This is the case with the main character of my novel, Charlotte Lucas, so in my story, I pursue the life she might have after marrying for realistic but highly unromantic reasons. Many other characters from Pride and Prejudice also appear, some with the personalities and behaviors that Austen herself portrays, others expanded in directions that readers might find surprising–such as Mary Bennet and Anne de Bourgh.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

CK: Chiefly, the opportunity to enter another world, one that grows beneath my typing fingers. While I write with some sense of how a plot should develop, there are times when I just let a scene unfold from sentence to sentence. This isn’t always efficient, so, fortunately, I also enjoy revising.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

CK: My second novel, Little Follies: A Mystery at the Millennium, is due for release in January 2023. As you can tell from the title, that one takes place in 1999. I also have written a historical novel that is at the query stage, and my work in progress is based on a trip my great aunt took to Japan in 1936.

JH: How can readers contact you?

www.carolynkorsmeyer.com

Carolyn Korsmeyer

 

BIO:

A longtime admiration for Jane Austen led Carolyn Korsmeyer to write Charlotte’s Story. Her second novel, Little Follies, will be published in January 2023. She is also the author of numerous philosophical works, including Things: In Touch with the Past, Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics, and Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy.

JH: Thanks, Carolyn. This sounds wonderful. Please make room in your schedule to return to BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS as soon as you can to update us on Little Follies: A Mystery at the Millenium. Scrumptious title, by the way!

All good things,

Joy

 

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Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity Joy E. Held

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: In Search of the Magic Theatre by KARLA HUEBNER

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

In Search of the Magic Theatre by Karla Huebner

Purchase at Amazon

 

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Karla! We’re excited to hear about your new release In Search of the Magic Theatre!

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

KH: Why, the rather staid young cellist Sarah wonders, should her aunt rent their spare room to the perhaps unstable Kari Zilke? Like the nephew in Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, Sarah finds herself taking an unexpected interest in the lodger, but she is unable to stop at providing a mere introduction to Kari’s narrative of mid-life crisis and self-discovery and develops her own more troubled tale of personal angst and growth, entwined with the account Kari herself purportedly left behind. Generational tensions, artistic collaborations, and even a romance steeped in Greek myth follow as Kari and Sarah pursue their very different creative paths in theater and music. And while Kari seems to blossom post-divorce, Sarah must grapple with the question of what the role of mothers, fathers, aunts, mentors, and male collaborators should be in her life as a young musician.

JH: What inspired you to write In Search of the Magic Theatre?

KH: In part, moving into my middle years prompted me to think about writing what became Kari’s midlife shift. I needed a change and so I came up with a character who made one. The novel also takes inspiration and some of its shape from Hesse’s Steppenwolf, another examination of midlife.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

KH: I think that the thing I love most about writing is experiencing the story develop–partly the thrill of seeing my concept take form and read well, but also the excitement when it takes on life and does unexpected things. For example, in this novel, there was originally no Sarah, but once she came into existence, she took on a major role.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

KH: I’m working on several new projects (some more than others), but it looks like the next in line for publication is a novel currently titled TOO EARLY TO KNOW WHO’S WINNING, under contract for 2023 with Black Rose Publishing.

JH: How can readers contact you?

KH: http://www.karlahuebner.com/

Karla Huebner

BIO:

Karla Huebner has lived on a boat and worked in factories, offices, theater, publishing, oil refineries, private investigation, and adolescent drug rehab. Over the years, her fiction has appeared in such places as the Northwest Review, Colorado State Review, Magic Realism, Fantasy Macabre, Weave, and Opossum; she teaches Art History at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and her prize-winning book Magnetic Woman: Toyen and the Surrealist Erotic is available from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her novel In Search of the Magic Theater just came out from Regal House, and her collection Heartwood was a finalist for the 2020 Raz-Shumaker award.

JH: Thanks, Karla. Please come back soon to bring us up to date on Too Early to Know Who’s Winning when it is available.

All good things,

Joy

Note: Heat rating-The sex is mostly not very explicit, and there’s not a lot of it.

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation by LARRY F. SOMMERS

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation by Larry F. Sommers

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Larry! Glad you’re here and ready to tell us about your super new release (today!) of PRICE OF PASSAGE: A TALE OF IMMIGRATION AND LIBERATION.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

LFS: It’s 1853. ANDERS, the law at his heels, sails from Norway to seek a life of honor and respect in America. MARIA, a boat builder’s daughter also seeking a new start, knows that she is just what Anders needs. DANIEL, a young plantation runaway, flees northward to “free soil.” Newlyweds Anders and Maria find him in their barnyard, hiding from slave catchers who can legally capture and return him to his master. Daniel’s plight draws Anders, and drags Maria, into the conflict that is tearing the country apart. Price of Passage is a tale of three pioneers whose lives depend on one another. The coming of civil war puts one in the Navy, one in the Army, and one at home, where she strives to save her farm and herself from a merciless creditor and finds a unique solution. Their harrowing journeys—filled with death and despair, love and hope—take Anders, Maria, and Daniel from New Orleans up the Mississippi River, into America’s wild heartland.

JH: What inspired you to write PRICE OF PASSAGE: A TALE OF IMMIGRATION AND LIBERATION?

LFS: My great-great-grandparents, who came to America from Norway in the turbulent years before the Civil War.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

LFS: The freedom to explore hidden aspects of human reality through the brutal process of crafting sentences and paragraphs.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

LFS: I have a middle grades historical novel about a boy growing up in the 1950s, nearly ready for submission to agents and publishers. After that, there is the beginning of a personal memoir, and some wispy ideas for a World War II novel about two brothers.

JH: How can readers contact you?

LFS:

https://LarryFSommers.com

Larry F. Summers

BIO:

Larry F. Sommers writes to seek fresh meanings in our common past, to explore what knits us together as human beings and why we are sometimes driven apart. Three of his short stories have been published by the Saturday Evening Post, one winning Honorable Mention in the 2018 Great American Fiction Contest. Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation is his first published novel. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and dog.

JH: Thanks, Larry! You have such interesting projects in the works. Please come back and tell us about them when they are ready for the world.

All good things,

Joy

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: The Reversible Mask: An Elizabethan Spy Novel by LORETTA GOLDBERG

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

Loretta Goldberg

 

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Loretta! Thanks for popping in to chat about your book The Reversible Mask: An Elizabethan Spy Novel.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

LG: Intrigue, lust and war combine in this debut spy thriller, meticulously researched in events and settings. Young Catholic courtier, Sir Edward Latham, has a brilliant future in Protestant Elizabethan England. His loving family made the necessary accommodations. He cannot. Patriotism and religion wage war in his heart. He throws away title, kin and land to serve Catholic monarchs abroad in missions that propel from Paris to Constantinople and places between. But wandering doesn’t quiet his soul. When war threatens his beloved homeland patriotism prevails. He becomes a double agent for Queen Elizabeth. Life turns complicated and dangerous as he balances protecting country and Queen while entreating both sides for peace.

JH: What inspired you to write The Reversible Mask: An Elizabethan Spy Novel?

LG: A dilemma grabbed me. I was in bed at night, reading. Suddenly I screeched “Oh no! Standen’s blown!” I had been doing work on Elizabeth I. I came across a spy who provoked admiration, even affection, from some scholars but distaste from others. Intriguing. After centuries, consensus usually coheres about a person’s basic character. So I was chasing the spy in the papers of Anthony and Sir Francis Bacon, Elizabethan brothers and his spymasters. He was a handsome English expatriate double agent, cover now gone. At my screech my patient partner grunted, “Who cares?” That question began the novel. His choices felt modern, urgent. My imagination filled in the sketchy dispatches in Bacon’s papers: he loved his Protestant birth country; he loved his Catholic faith. The imperatives tugging at him were irreconcilable. This was a time when people believed in a physical hell, when many were burned alive over defining the bread and wine in the Mass; were the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ (Catholic) or a symbol (Protestant)? A monk’s life wasn’t for this spy. He wanted to make his world better. He used his spying, and the resulting access to advisers to Protestant Elizabeth I of England and Catholic Philip II of Spain, to excoriate them for extremism. Modern life is full of moral compromises. Most of us can compartmentalize. My spy COULDN’T. Here was the Platonic form of conflict, contained in one body. What did it feel like, year after year? Act by act, lover by lover? I fictionalized Standen to Edward Latham, peopled his world and thrust him at the era’s pivotal events.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

LG: I love putting my complex characters in unfamiliar historical settings, evoking the smells, light, architecture of them, and pushing my protagonists to overcome the obstacles life and chance throws at them. It’s a privilege and boatloads of fun. In this novel I had to find out what the Milan Duomo and St. Denis Cathedral looked like in 1580, how it was in Constantinople, because my spy was there, penetrating plots, loving and getting into scrapes. My previous careers were financial adviser and concert pianist. Great things. But in writing I feel I have come home. I never resent rewriting, because it gets me a tad closer to what I wanted to say in the first place and hadn’t managed to.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

LG: My spy, Sir Edward Latham, has more plots to unravel, so I have lots of material for a sequel. But at the moment I am in the first draft stage of a novel set in Papua New Guinea in World War II. The protagonist an Australian Jewish doctor in the Australian army when the Japanese invade. Wish me luck. This is a tremendous challenge!

JH: How can readers contact you?

https://www.lorettagoldberg.com

The Reversible Mask: An Elizabethan Spy Novel by [Loretta Goldberg]

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BIO:

Australian-American Loretta Goldberg earned a BA in English Literature, Music and History at the University of Melbourne. She came to the U.S. on a Fulbright scholarship for piano performance. After careers in music then financial services, she sold her financial services practice to focus on writing. She is on the steering committee of The Historical Novel Society, New York Chapter, where she started the chapter’s published writer public reading series at the Jefferson Market Library, New York, now migrated to Zoom. Commuting between NYC and Chester, Connecticut, she lives with her partner, enjoying extended family, friends, colleagues and animals.

JH: Thanks, Loretta. I hope you’ll come back soon and tell us more about the work of Sir Edward Latham!

All good things,

Joy

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Really? At Your Age? by JACQUELINE DIAMOND

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

Really? At Your Age? by Jacqueline Diamond

 

JH: Welcome to Books By My Friends, Jacqueline! So happy to learn about your new book Really? At Your Age?

 JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

JD: Is it too late for her dream of motherhood to come true? Betrayed by her former husband, Dr. Cody Matchett has reached the age of 52 with a thriving medical career but no children. After a quake rattles her small town, she’s jolted into considering the fate of her half-dozen frozen embryos—and her long-simmering attraction to hospital attorney Ben Wright. But when Cody sets her sights on love and motherhood, she uncovers shocking secrets. Then there’s the challenge of choosing a surrogate… who might be Ben’s grown daughter! Unexpected twists, heart-tugging truths and moments of laughter fill USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond’s novels. Welcome to the first book in her Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances series, part of the Better Late Romance line.

JH: What inspired you to write Really? At Your Age?

JD: Although I’ve published a number of romances focusing on women having children and on medical settings, Really? At Your Age? was inspired when a small group of other authors–fellow critique group members–and I decided to write loosely related romances featuring couples over 50, set in a fictional California town. We call the collection Better Late Romances. My book has now given rise to my own series, Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances. Book Two is Don’t Be Silly! At My Age? The third novel, Going Home, At Your Age? comes out this summer.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

JD: When the characters spring to life, say funny things, and tug at my heart.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

JD: Once the third book in the Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances series is published this summer, I’ll be writing the fourth book. My working title is The Secrets She Learned.

JH: How can readers contact you?

www.jacquelinediamond.net

Jacqueline Diamond

BIO:

USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold romantic comedies, medical romances, mysteries and Regency romances—more than one hundred titles! A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie is best known for her Safe Harbor Medical series, and has been honored with a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. She currently writes the Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances series, part of the Better Late Romance line featuring older couples. Learn more and sign up for her free newsletter at jacquelinediamond.net.

JH: Thanks, Jacqueline, for visiting today. Please come back some time and tell us about the next book in what sounds like a great series!

All good things,

Joy

Note from JD: This is a “clean and wholesome” contemporary romance; no sex.

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: The Potrero Complex by AMY BERNSTEIN

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The Potrero Complex by Amy L. Bernstein

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Amy! Thanks for dropping in for a chat about your new release The Potrero Complex.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

AB: A battle-scarred journalist confronts dark, authoritarian forces while racing to uncover the shocking truth behind a missing teen in a small town running short on hope.

JH: What inspired you to write The Potrero Complex?

AB: I began writing The Potrero Complex very early in the pandemic. I felt that we were living through a bit moment in history, and I wanted to capture something about it using an expansive, fictional lens.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

AB: I love discovering connections and themes in a book I’m writing that I had not intended to create. The serendipity of creative surprise–it’s wonderful.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

AB: I’m in the difficult stages of mapping a complex novel full of intersecting stories. I don’t know why I’m torturing myself with this nearly impossible task. But anyway, I write across multiple genres, and I expect that will continue.

JH: How can readers get in touch with you?

AB:

https://amywrites.live

Amy L. Bernstein

BIO:

Amy L. Bernstein writes stories that let readers feel while making them think. Her novels include The Potrero Complex, The Nighthawkers, Dreams of Song Times, and Fran, The Second Time Around. Amy is an award-winning journalist, speechwriter, playwright, and certified nonfiction book coach. When not glued to a screen, she loves listening to jazz and classical music, drinking wine with friends, and exploring Baltimore’s glorious neighborhoods, which inspire her fiction.

JH: Thanks again, Amy. Please come back and let us know how the book mapping turns out and when that book will be available.

All good things,

Joy