Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

 Wow, the first Wednesday of December! 2022 is almost gone. And what a year it is/was!

Today's post is for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, or IWSG as we lovingly call it! Thanks to our Ninja Captain, Alex J Cavanaugh, who started this and it has exploded into something reliable, respectable and credible.

This month's question is:

It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on your writer goals?

For me, it depends. It used to be a time for me to fall behind on writing when I had a lot of family around. My kids and such. However, it's become a time for me to catch up since kids are out of the house, holidays are spent with family, but seems like after a few hours of good food, good fun and all that, we're back home and just doing whatever.

As I'm getting older and have an elderly parent in a care facility, I'm going to be spending time with them as often as possible. I've moved over Thanksgiving, but still spent time with family. I (hopefully) will be starting a new job. So that will limit me more than the holidays will, but I've managed it before, I can manage it again.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and hope you have more happy holidays ahead of you.

Don't forget to go visit the others on this blog hop!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Book Review: Beast Hunters, Book Two: Dark Sovreign

 Boy, for those of you who read book one, hand on tight! Book two is going to take you on a fun ride!

What it's about:

A mysterious corpse, beastly assassins, and a basement full of cadavers dissolving in acid lead the beast hunters towards an enigmatic candidate, favourite to claim the throne of Ashbourn.

Despite not wanting to get involved in the coming coronation, Ara and the two beast hunters cannot deny the beastly nature of the clues they discover. Ara must adopt fake personas, infiltrate political galas, and pursue shadowy assassins. Still, the candidate’s monstrous nature eludes her. With the future of Ashbourn at stake, Ara has to solve the mystery before the new king is crowned.

Strangely, Ara’s abilities from Cornstead seem connected with the incidents that transpire during their investigation. Whispers in her mind foretell of sinister events, which she slowly sees come to life. The venom that grants her powers, seems to intertwine her fate with the dark creature threatening to be crowned king.

The second book in The Beast Hunter of Ashbourn series, Dark Sovereign offers a grand conspiracy, building on the events from the first book. Can Ara escape her connection to the ominous entity manipulating the Capital?

My thoughts:

All right, so we still have our favorite Beast Hunters: Ara, Khendric and Topper. But we get introduced to quite a few more characters and one insane mystery! Christer Lende kept me guessing as to what was going on. Shapeshifter? Doppleganger? Vampire!? Nope, nope and NOPE.

You'll have to read it to find out! I have to say, one event in book one shocked me and I got so mad! I can't tell you, it'd be a spoiler! But things worked out. I wonder if you can guess.

In Book Two, I had a lot more shocks, none to get mad about, but boy! I honestly did not see those things coming, so. Just read it to find out and then we can share notes or something.

This second book is definitely a bit of a wild ride, head scratcher, breath taker kind of story and I love it. It's been a very long time since I was able to read a book that kept me guessing. I've read three now, in the past few months, so that's awesome! Two of those books are the Beast Hunters books.

My Rating:

Totally giving this 4.5 skull and crossbones out of 5! A must read, especially if you've read book one!

Monday, November 7, 2022

Book Review ~ Beast Hunters by Christer Lende...

 It has been a hot minute since I did a book review! But I definitely wanted to review this one. It's fantasy based with some modern elements, such as language and weapons. It might be a bit jarring to be reading about swords and armor and have a pistol mentioned, however, it isn't that jarring in the first of this series, so hang on for the review!

The Beast Hunters by Christer Lende


When a monster brutally kills her parents, Ara is saved by two beast hunters. Becoming their apprentice, she discovers serums, secret bestiary knowledge, and remarkable abilities-all to save unsuspecting souls from the same fate her parents suffered. But, terrifying creatures lurk everywhere and Ara must master the art of beast hunting quickly if she is to uncover the elusive beast plaguing the village of Cornstead.

My Review:

This is definitely fantasy. There are some modern elements, as stated above. In all honesty, the first reference to a gun was a bit jarring and made me think Steam Punk, but no, there are no elements to that.
Christer Lende has created a very interesting fantasy world. Full of unusual beasts, hence the name, it has much more to offer for a fantasy driven story.
His take on Dwarves is highly unique and very clever! I loved every aspect of it all. The beasts, they were the best.
Not to give away any spoilers, there is a book called "The Red Book", used by the Beast Hunters of the story. In it, there are descriptions of the beasts, what harms them, what to look out for, etc. At the end of the book, Christer Lende includes a little more detail about the beasts hunted in this book as well as some other peculiar things.
Again, not going to spoil it! However, it's a great read, especially with your own little "Red Book" at the end. It makes you feel like you could train to be a Beast Hunter in his world.

Ara, the MC of the story, is a great character! I feel like young adults would quickly relate to this girl. The two Beast Hunters, Khendric and Topper, area great duo and the perfect pair to help Ara adjust and train to become a Beast Hunter.

All in all, I do give this 4.5 Skull and Crossbones
There were a few minor errors, nothing that can't be fixed, otherwise it would have been a full 5! Well done!

If you click on the image above, it will take you to the Amazon purchase page.

If you'd like to follow Christer Lende, you can find him:

Twitter: @ChribsterL
This website contains all the social media links you could want, including a link to his podcast.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

NaNoWriMo 2022...

 It's the first Wednesday of the month of November! Not only is it National Novel Writing Month, it's IWSG!

This month's question:

November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I have indeed participated in National Novel Writing month. I've been a member since 2008. This blog was started in 2009.

I started writing, probably in 2006 or so.

Anyway, I have participated a few times. I've won a couple times and other times, I almost made it but not quite.

No big!

I do like to have buddies and I also get on to Twitter to help cheer on anyone else doing NaNoWriMo. Even if I am not participating.

So far, I've earned two badges this month. Hopefully more by the time you read this. I have a story going that is completely different from anything I have ever written in my life.

It's contemporary. No romance, just a sweet mainstream story. No monsters, no supernatural beings.

If this becomes a best seller someday, I'll give myself a swift kick to the backside, LOL!

I hope, if you are participating, you hit the goal! If you'd like to be buddies, look for Caledonia Lass. That's me!

Good luck everyone and happy writing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

In Place Of...

 It's Wednesday!

I should have a podcast up this week, but my editor got sick, too. So in place of my podcast, I figured I would do a blog post.

This is the last week of October and we're gearing up for National Novel Writing Month! Yes, you too! We don't do this alone, you know that. Like I said in last week's podcast: A whole month dedicated to the madness and chaos that we call writing.

I've got things set and as predicted in my podcast, I am changing my story. Ha! I knew I would.

It'll be a fun month. I've been working hard on getting stuff done, scheduled and up out of the way so I can concentrate not just on NaNoWriMo. No, no, no, your girl can't just do one thing. Nope. I have to move in the middle of the month, too. I mean seriously, did you really think I'd be focused on a single task?

Psh, foolish mortal. ::cackles::

The best thing about this move... it's into my very own house! We have bought a place. Finally! After many long years of being renters, we've bought a house. I'm so excited to get in there, get settled and save up a little money to start remodeling. Lots and lots of plans!

I will have my own studio, hubs will have his own office. It's perfect. Don't have to worry about paying for mystery damage or getting yelled at for putting a nail in the wall. It's going to be such a huge deal and a welcome adventure.

Hopefully I will have stuff ready to go by Thanksgiving! Keep your fingers crossed.

Are you ready for NaNoWriMo? Add me as a buddy! Find me here.

Monday, October 24, 2022

New Post, New Look...

 It has been a seriously crazy week.

Tested positive for Covid on October 17th, and just now getting back on my feet. My husband and I both were sick, and quarantined. We did good. I slept for 3 days and had weird fever dreams.

Two things I remember...

One, I wondered, if the entire world all stopped/woke up at the exact same time and chanted "Oooohmmmm" for 30 seconds, what would happen?

I sort of imagined a worldwide cleansing much like putting some dirty jewelry into the ultrasonic thing and just watch it fly off into the universe.

The second thing, I had a story sitting in my computer for years. Just a sweet, simple, contemporary thing, nothing fancy. No horror, no weirdness. I plotted that sucker out.

While blearily leaning over my phone and using the speech to text ... 

Yeah. Are you as confused as I am?

Okay. Good.

Once I started feeling better, I really did a harsh self-reassessment. So I got my happy arse to work.

And now I have some nice changes and stuff. Lot more in depth and more focused. I feel like I've spent the last few years being a sloppy writer/blogger.

Well. That's done. So, enjoy and check out links, give things a listen, or a watch if you prefer, and share!

Because you are all awesome for sticking with me for so long. You're the best.

Let me know what you think of things in the comments below. I also have a new page on Facebook, and that's where I'll primarily hang out over there. Otherwise, I'll be on Twitter.

Have a good week!

Monday, October 10, 2022

Updates and Things...

 Hey everyone! Just a short post to update everyone on things around here.

After such a long hiatus with my writing, I have decided to upload chapters to Kindle Vella. Why? Well, for one, it is forcing me to get my stories edited and out there. If I release a chapter a week, it gives me lots of time to prep the next chapter, edit and so forth to get it out there for the world. I'm literally forcing myself to get stuff done! It's a win/win at the moment.

I've also launched my first podcast episode. Going forward, I will be doing author and editor interviews. I'm hoping to add agent interviews to that.

Round table discussions with authors is another feature of my podcast. I also do solo stuff. Q & A being one, and writing tips for another. I've had so much fun doing this podcast already! I have a few done and waiting to upload and now I will just keep plugging along!

I've decided to do ebook formatting for $20 and simple book covers for $20 as long as you have paid for the stock images. If I have to pay, the price will increase and I'm trying to help any indie authors out there get stuff done.

I feel very good about the direction I am taking with these projects. I feel at peace and I'm not so stressed about writing or editing. By doing the Kindle Vella stories, once they're complete, I can format into a book and it's done. Again, win/win!

I have lots of writing projects sitting in the wings. This definitely helps me break it all down into smaller chunks of time so I can still concentrate on my family and elderly parent. Such a relief! Really.

I live in a small town and a couple years ago, they opened up an art center, Painted Sky Center for the Arts. People who are crafty or artistic can teach classes, and you guessed it! I'll be doing a beginning drawing class once a week. Later on, I can include more things if it gets popular. Things like beginning watercolor, making your own paper, upcycling crafts and much more. All the classes are only an hour to an hour and a half, so it isn't like I will be giving up so much time away from my writing projects. I do a lot of my recording in the morning when my husband is at work and the house is quiet.

I craft at night and do cross-stitch during the days when I don't have much to do on the computer, until I lose the natural light. So I think I have my time managed pretty well. If things get squirrely, I can always say no to my outside of the house projects.

That's it for me! Please take a look at my links and help me spread the love!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022


 Hey! It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means, it's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop!

Woo, guys, it's been a crazy month already! Lots of things happening for me in the writing world.

I've decided to do e-book formatting, simple book covers, and my writing podcast launches today! I've also got a couple stories being released as serial episodes on Kindle Vella!

But today is also about IWSG. On my podcast, you'll hear my answer from this blog in audio form, but to be in compliance, you'll get it here, as well.

So this month's question:

What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

So, okay, I have more than one favorite genre. I'll start with fantasy. I love so many characteristics of fantasy. I love the freedom to create basically whatever I want. Characters, kingdoms, races, religions and hierarchies. I don't think there's anything about fantasy I don't love.

My other favorite is horror. I mean, where else can you get away with a murderous rampage, if not in the horror genre? I get asked a lot why I like horror so much and I'll be honest, I have been through some crap in my life. Crap that makes it so I'm not scared of much anymore. Horror is an outlet for me. A way to look at it and say, "What the hell are you doing?"

A lot of horror fans feel the same. A lot of them have been through some darkness and to us, horror is the light. We know it can happen because truth is stranger than fiction. It's an escape, because a lot of it, frankly, is laughable.

All right guys, that's it for this post! Go check out what other people wrote by going here:

Monday, September 19, 2022

Expected Release Date For Podcast...

 Hey all! OMG am I excited about launching this writing podcast! I cannot begin to tell you. 

Well, I can. 

And I will.

I may even be more excited than him!

So my writing podcast will not only be audio, but I am going to brave the world and record myself doing the podcast. There will be lots of opportunity to see/hear it as it will be up on YouTube.

I will announce some things during the first episode, where you're kind of getting to know me. I'll BE HONEST! I tend to swear. A lot. But I am going to tone it down and maybe have my editor put in a suitable beep.

I am looking to launch October 5, 2022, barring there are no earth shattering shenanigans going on, or in my case, real life issues.

Now, with that being said and something DOES happen, well, I'll just release on Dia de los Muertos. The Day of the Dead. {Insert dramatic music and maniacal laughter} Ahem. I love the word Muertos.

I'll still be looking out for authors, editors, agents or voice actors who would like to be interviewed or join round table discussions via Discord. (Once a date is set, you will be invited.)

You now have several ways to get a hold of me to let me know:

Email me HERE.

Find me on Twitter, either my username MelMcC7 or with the hashtag #CaledoniaLass

You can leave a comment here on this page, I will see it.

Or you can just yell into the void and my demon minions will come chitter your name in my ear.

Please leave a comment or share this post. Link will be on Twitter!