If You Are a Lover of Clean Fiction, You’ll Love This Magazine!

The Autumn Edition of Clean Fiction Magazine is available!

If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted many Book Reviews here on my blog for a while, it’s because I’ve been writing 11 of them for the Autumn Edition of Clean Fiction Magazine. So, if you read Clean Romance and like my reviews, I wrote 7 of them for this Edition and I wrote 4 reviews of books in the Mystery genre.

The Autumn Edition of Clean Fiction Magazine is AVAILABLE NOW in paperback on Amazon for $15.99. On September 20th, the price for the paperback will be $16.99, so save a dollar while you can. Also, the ebook version is available for preorder for $2.99 and will be available on September 20th. This issue is chock full of some great book reviews, winners of contests, including the winning Fantasy Allegory story of the Windows Into the Multiverse Contest and the Science Fiction winning story of the Windows Into the Multiverse Contest. The new Windows Into the Multiverse Contest is featured on a page. There are some poems featured, and the 2nd and 3rd place winning Clean Fiction Magazine covers are also pictured, and so much more!

You can also join the Patreon and get additional things like 2 “Sneak Peek” pages per months, Book Swag, access to the Patreon section of the Clean Fiction Community Discord, and more. Choose the level you want to join based on the extras you want to receive. Join the Patreon Section at this link: https://www.patreon.com/cleanfiction

Interview of Ten Authors

I have had the unique privilege of interviewing ten authors who have written short stories for a new romance anthology, First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts, which releases on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. I also received a free ebook copy of the anthology to read to aid in creating questions for each author, and to write a Book Review of First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts, which I will post here on Tuesday.

Because there were ten authors to interview, I will post my interview questions and the answers of five of the authors today and the other five tomorrow. This is not an in-depth interview of each author. Instead, in this interview, I ask each author a little bit about the story they wrote for the anthology to whet your reading appetite in hopes that you will grab your own copy of First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts on Tuesday! I have also asked each author where you can find more about them and more of their writing.

The first author is Linda Budzinski:

Q: Where did your idea for the short story, “The Art of Making Doughnuts”, come from?

A: I write young adult romance, so when I saw the anthology’s theme was First Love, I, of course, thought about writing something with teen main characters. But the more I thought about it, the more I was drawn to the idea of writing about someone who finds her true “first love” later in life. And I wanted this character to be happy with her current situation, because although I am a romantic at heart, I absolutely believe that people can be happy on their own as well. I wanted the romance to be a “plus” for her, not a “must”. I needed her to be independent and wanted her to have an interesting job, so a cop seemed like a good fit. And who would a cop fall in love with? Why, the man who makes the doughnuts, of course!

Q: I read that you write mainly Young Adult Fiction, so what inspired you to write about characters that are 50+?

A: I’ve been writing teen romance for about 15 years, so I was a little nervous about writing one for adults. But it wasn’t so different. Every good romance starts with the character, and Gina is a much more mature, self-confident person who knows herself better than any of my teen characters have. She is simply in a different stage of life. She knows who she is and what she wants, and has been working toward it for many years. So her relationship with Pete has a very different sensibility than a teen romance might. I ended up falling in love with both of them as I wrote their story (and, in fact, am currently working on turning it into a novel!).

Q: Where can readers learn more about you and read more of your writing?

A: They can find me at https://lindabudzinski.com/ and can follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LindaBudzinskiAuthor/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LindaBudz

Author Melissa Maygrove:

Q: Your story, “My Heart Approves”, is a Mail Order Bride story. Are you aware of any records that tell of any mail order brides from real life that did include a “real love relationship” and not just a marriage of convenience or necessity?

A: Many mail-order couples corresponded for months before deciding to marry and grew quite fond of each other. On the flipside, there’s the story of Eleanor Berry, who courted by mail, only to discover at her wedding that her groom was the same man who had robbed her stagecoach.

Q: What draws you to writing Western Historical Romance?

A: I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and have always felt I was born a century too late. I love the stoic, hard-working mindset of 19th century settlers as well as their traditional values. I’m also fascinated when I study the details of how they lived.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you and read more of your writing?

A: They can follow me on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Maygrove/e/B00JL4UPCY and BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melissa-maygrove and they can get a FREE book titled Bride for Sale when they sign up for my newsletter at: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/uonrrvm6ze My website is: http://www.melissamaygrove.com/

Author Katie Klein:

Q: I found “How to Save a Princess” a very unique story. What led you to such a unique idea for a romance story?

A: I actually started with a writing prompt I stumbled across online. I was poking around for some inspiration and found a prompt about a handsome neighbor saving a girl from an ex-boyfriend. So I made the ex her first love and the neighbor someone she’d been wanting to meet, and the story grew from there.

Q: Do you always write your main character in first person, and if so, why?

A: I do. I know the genre is divided on this, and every reader has their preference, but I love writing in first person, and I love reading it. It makes me feel fully immersed in the story.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you and read more of your writing?

A: I blog at https://katiekleinwrites.blogspot.com/

I have a free first in series urban fantasy available (The Guardian) at: https://books2read.com/u/mv1MNz

And I’m pretty active on Twitter: https://twitter.com/katiekleinbooks/status/1564271152909979650

Author Templeton Moss:

Q: You’ve written a lot of books for kids, so what inspired you to write a story for “First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts” which is geared more toward adults?

A: For me, the focus is always on telling a good story. One that is of interest to me and (I dearly hope) others. My style tends to gravitate toward the silly and fanciful which is why so many of my stories come out as “children’s stories”.

Q: Would you write a romance story again, and would you consider writing for adults again?

A: In a way, everything I write has been for adults. I think it’s important for grownups to remember what it’s like to be a kid. So while I’m pleased that kids do read my stories, I consider my work to be more “kids’ stories for grownups.”

Q: Where can readers learn more about you and read more of your writing?

A: If they visit http://www.sixtysomethingtrees.com/, readers can read several stories and poems I’ve written (some for kids, some for grownups) as well as links to where they can buy my various books, or books that my work appears in, like First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts.

Author Sammi Spizziri:

Q: How would you explain the importance of fact-to-face interaction to young adults?

A: The importance of face-to-face interaction is something that’s better experienced than explained. It often requires greater risk and vulnerability, but it’s that very vulnerability that allows for a deeper connection. I think you can absolutely make great friends online and keep in touch with old ones long distance but nothing beats being in the same room as someone. I actually met my husband online but we always say there’s a difference between online dating and online meeting. We met online and very intentionally moved to in-person quickly so as to truly get to know each other outside of written communication. This short story explores the difference between starting a relationship purely online–with all the filters and self-editing you want–and one in person, when it’s raining and you’re anxious and all your flaws are all to visible.

Q: Do you find it more difficult to write short stories than novels? Why or why not?

A: Each format has its own difficulties. I don’t read as many short stories as novels so writing them doesn’t come as intuitively for me. It’s hard to develop a character and tell a full story so succinctly. On the other hand, novels require so many moving parts and subplots and details, which makes keeping track of everything its own challenge.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you and read more of your writing?

A: While I don’t have any other published work just yet, readers can keep up-to-date with any new releases on my website: https://sammispizziri.com/ and follow me on social media (links on my website).

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read the interviews of the other five authors who wrote short stories for First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts.

Exciting New Magazine for Book Lovers

Clean Fiction Magazine is a brand new magazine that is filled with Book Reviews of Clean Fiction stories you can find on Amazon and other places Clean Fiction books are sold. Amy Lynn McConahy of Sunset Valley Creations came up with the idea of creating Clean Fiction Magazine to help indie authors of Clean Fiction stories get the word out twice a year–the biggest book buying times of year, December and March–about their great Clean Fiction stories.

When I found out about it, I contacted Amy Lynn and asked if she needed reviewers to help with the project. She said, “Yes. Send five of your reviews to me and I will choose three to include in the magazine.”

Well, I sent her five reviews, and she decided to include all five! So, above is a picture of me with my print copy of the very first, newly released copy of Clean Fiction Magazine’s Winter 2021 Edition, as well as a picture of me with the magazine open to two of my reviews.

If you want a copy of Clean Fiction Magazine, you can get it for Free on Kindle Unlimited, or get an ebook copy for $2.99 — soon to be free for 5 days! You can also order a paperback copy for $14.99. Just go to this link: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B09L8LTLWN

In addition to Book Reviews, the magazine includes full color pictures, book blurbs, information about each author, book related advertisements, a few puzzles, a couple poems, and a few devotions.

I’m very excited to be a part of Clean Fiction Magazine and look forward to writing even more reviews for the next issue. Ms. McConahy has asked me to be the Clean Romance Reviewer for the upcoming issues of this publication and I was honored to accept that position.

Tomorrow I will post the information for the upcoming free ebook issue of Clean Fiction Magazine. If you’re a Clean Fiction reader, you won’t want to miss it!

Used Book Tour #2

Last Saturday, my friends and I took our second Used Book Tour and it was just as much fun as the first (well, a little better in one aspect — I was able to purchase more books!).

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This was stop #1. See the rack to the left that says, “Free Books”? Well, I found one book on that rack that will be part of someone’s Christmas present!

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This was stop #2. I didn’t make any purchases here, but the lady running the store was very friendly and helpful, and the photo below is her sweet doggie/sidekick. He was so well-behaved and quiet, I walked past him twice and didn’t see him! His name is Winston.

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T G Books was stop #3 and it was definitely our favorite stop. The two ladies working there were so welcoming and helpful. I purchased quite a few books here (my biggest haul for the day). The photo below is a cute reading corner they have inside the store.

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Of course we had to include a comic store on the tour. I didn’t buy anything here but at least I was dressed for the occasion.    🙂

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Stop #5 was The Book House and the book rack out front had books that were 25 cents apiece or 5 for $1, so one of my friends and I spent quite a bit of time looking through them. Together we came up with 5 books, then we went into the store and were amazed at how full of books it was! I found many treasures, but didn’t actually purchase anything here.

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Our sixth and final stop for the day was The York Emporium, whose looks were deceiving. It looks quite small from the front, but it turned out to be quite large inside and houses upward of 500,000 books! We spent quite a bit of time in this store.

These are my purchases from the day. My friend, Ben, found the Batman Knightfall book for me at TG Books, and I was thrilled. It’s actually a chapter book, not a comic book, based on the comics! Bane is Batman’s nemesis in this story and the author was a DC Comics editor for some time. Yes, I am a huge Batman fan! Ben also found the Speed Racer DVD (brand new, never been opened) at the York Emporium. When we went on our previous book tour, Ben found the first book I purchased on that tour — an historical western book. So, after this tour I told Ben he has to come with me every time I want to go book shopping because he always finds my greatest treasures!  As for the books in the last photo, I collect Maeve Binchy’s books. I love her stories set in Ireland. I also am a recent fan of Lori Wick, since some friends loaned some of her books to me. Sophie’s Heart is my absolute favorite so far, and since that was one that was loaned to me, I was very happy to find my own copy.

 

Used Bookstore Tour

What fun things happen when you and your friends love books and writing! One of my friends came up with the idea of doing an online search for used bookstores within a reasonable driving area. She found quite a few! So, she planned two “used bookstore tours” for us in two different areas. So, on Saturday, October 5, 2019, we went on our first tour. We left around 10:30 a.m. and didn’t return until 8 p.m., but we had so much fun and found some great stores!

The first store was by far my favorite. It is an old barn that has been converted into a bookstore that sells old used books. It has four floors!

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This is where I sat perusing an old book about Virginia City during the time of the Old West. I ended up buying the book.

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This was our second stop. My friends found great deals here! I purchased one book, that I found completely fascinating, here.

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Okay, so Barnes and Noble isn’t a “used” bookstore, but we stopped anyway, and being from a small town with a one-floor Barnes and Noble, imagine how excited we were to enter a Barnes and Noble with a second floor! We had a lot of fun in this store!

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This is a magnet I found in a bargain bin at Barnes and Noble. I laughed and showed it to one of my friends who then insisted on buying it for me because she said, “It fits.” (I think it’s because I have a strong personality and strong opinions. And, yeah, I don’t have a lot of money.)

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This store only had a small section of “used” books.

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No “used” books here either, and it was a very small store with more gift items than books.

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We thought this store’s prices were kind of high for “used” books.

Our next stop was a comic book store. (Yeah, I know, not a “used” book store.) Also, I forgot to take a photo of the outside of this store, but I took a photo of one of my favorite items inside the store:

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This was supposed to be our last stop, and it was out last “used” book store. This store had three storefronts in a strip mall. Another one of my friends bought a Langston Hughes poetry book here, just because I said, “I like Langston Hughes’ poetry”.

We did actually stop at a Five Below as well. They often have some very cool books for writers.

We had so much fun on this tour. Our next one will be in just a couple days! Have you ever done anything like this?

 

 

 

Special Blog Post — Keen Blog Tour

Keen Blog Tour Banner

Hi Everyone,

My friend Laura Zimmerman’s new book is coming out in one week! To celebrate and get the word out, I am participating in a blog tour. I will post an interview with Laura Zimmerman, here on my blog on July 10th.

Below, you will find the dates and websites where you can follow the celebration of the soon-to-be-released Keen by Laura L. Zimmerman. I do not have direct links for each website in this post, but all you have to do is type the web address in your search bar to find each one.

Keen Blog Tour Schedule

Bride Tree by J.P. Robinson

Bride Tree (Secrets of Versailles Book 2) by [Robinson, JP]

Bride Tree “Secrets of Versailles” Book II by J.P. Robinson is an epic tale of Queen Marie-Antoinette during 1789, when France is reeling from a civil war between its social classes.

This is the second book in the “Secrets of Versailles” series by J.P. Robinson. The first was Twice Born. You can read my review of Twice Born here.

Bride Tree is a story filled with French history, action, romance, betrayal, suspense, and allegory. Characters stretch across the social classes. Some I hated, some I loved, and some I had mixed feelings for. I identified with some of the characters, found it hard to understand others, and pitied others. I cheered for some of the characters. I laughed and cried. To me, that is the mark of a great story — it grabbed my emotions and touched my heart. The characters of Bride Tree will forever remain dear to my heart.

I also love the cover of this book. I find it beautiful and eye-catching.

I highly recommend Bride Tree to adults who love to read historical stories, especially epic accounts. I recommend Bride Tree to adults who like to be emotionally gripped by a book and who enjoy a book that keeps you turning pages — a book you just can’t put down.

This book may also be appropriate for some young adults, but, a word of caution: this book contains some graphic violence and some sexual scenes and innuendo.

 

The Sorcerer’s Bane by C.S. Wachter

The Sorcerer’s Bane by C. S. Wachter, a debut novel by a debut writer. I have to say that this is one of the few fantasy books I have read since reading the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis and the Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien. I loved the Narnia series, but didn’t really enjoy much of the Lord of the Rings, except for a some of the characters. You see, as a reader, I need an interesting plot that keeps things moving, but more importantly to me are the characters — being able to sympathize or empathize with them, feeling their feelings. I need to care about and identify with the characters, and I need to want to cheer them on and need to know how things will turn out for them.

I was introduced to the fantasy genre later in life — in other words, I was already out of my twenties, and I have always been an avid reader of any genre of story that includes some romance as part of the main story line, so fantasy has never really been my go-to read.

However, I have come to have an appreciation for and understanding of good fantasy books, especially Christian Fantasy books because they have a true good versus evil story line that points to the true hope for a happy ending.

Well, imagine my surprise, when I read The Sorcerer’s Bane and found myself quickly entrenched in the worst kind of evil — the enslavement and abuse of a child. Yet, the child grabbed my attention from the start, and held my attention fast so that I was unable to put the book down, even when it made me cringe and flinch, and it disgusted me sometimes.

So, what was it that kept me reading as I fought past these feelings? It was the characters — the boy who had an incredible resolve for one so young, the teacher who desired to teach the boy more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic, the kind young lady who ministered to the boy’s injuries. Even some of the characters that were part of the evil the boy dealt with held my attention because I had a glimmer of something more than the evil they presented that made me hope they may change.

C. S. Wachter has a way of weaving a tale that drags her character through hell but that always exhibits a glimmer of hope and light for something better to come. Even at the end, the knowledge and hope of more to come whets my appetite for the next book in the series of “The Seven Words” by C. S. Wachter.

So, if you love a good tale of good versus evil, I recommend The Sorcerer’s Bane to you, but only if you are a young adult or adult, as some of the violence and situations in the book may be too upsetting to children.

If you have enjoyed my book review for The Sorcerer’s Bane by C. S. Wachter, be sure to stop by tomorrow for a special blog post, where you can read my interview with new author, C. S. Wachter.

Fear is Louder than Words by Linda S. Glaz

Fear Is Louder Than Words: Her stalker taught her fear. Her suspicions taught her terror. by [Glaz, Linda S.]

Fear is Louder than Words by suspense novelist, Linda S. Glaz kept me turning pages until my eyes refused to stay open one more second. Rochelle Cassidy, a radio talk show host, who wants to do what she can to make the world a better place soon ends up constantly looking over her shoulder as her celebrity status draws attention from an angry listener who wants her dead.

Then Ed McGrath, a star hockey player who is content living the all-star, playboy athlete life until he rescues Rochelle in a parking garage after she is attacked.

Rochelle also gets involved with a maniacal doctor when she interviews him and others from his clinic in the interest of doing a piece on the doctor’s clinic on her radio show. He appears to be a perfect doctor helping couples achieve their dream children, but something keeps niggling at Rochelle’s mind. Then when something tragic happens to one of the mothers and another shares her tale of terror to Rochelle, her suspicions reach an all-time high.

I really enjoyed this novel by Ms. Glaz. The pages are filled with suspense, intrigue, and romance. There aren’t as many characters in the line-up as there are in Ms. Glaz’s novel, Blow Out the Candles and Say Goodbye, so I found it much easier to keep everyone straight and to follow the entire story line. I look forward to more books from Linda S. Glaz in the future.