Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Roaring 20’s: A Decade of Stories is another excellent anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, eleven authors share tales of various decades. Although I enjoyed every one of these stories and it’s hard to pick favorites, the ones I liked most included David Lange’s “Flapper and the Captain;” “An Act of Senselessness” by Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl; “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio; and “Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron.

Air Force veteran David Lange tells an interesting tale involving a flapper and an air force captain suffering from PTSD after receiving an injury in World War 1. The story’s origin, which is shared by the author at the end, is even more absorbing than this supernatural-type piece. Also with a strong paranormal element is Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl’s, “An Act of Senselessness” about a couple on Halloween in 1983 that are involved in a car accident with a twist.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio is a fun tale featuring wealthy ninety-something Southampton socialite. Miss Ellen, and her younger companion, Patrice. The ladies come to the aid of a girl at a club where they’re dining who is interested in a man but is having trouble gaining his attention. Miss Ellen gives her some old-fashioned pointers that do the trick. Along the way, Ms. Donadio includes interesting tidbits about Long Island history and popular culture of the 1980’s.

“Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron, is the last story in this anthology. Last but definitely not least. Mr. Rostron reveals his own family history from 1900-1970 in seven connected short pieces that tell their own stories about his relatives.

The one story I didn’t include among my favorites is my own contribution to this anthology, “Growing Up in the Summer of ’71” which is my own semi-autobiographical tale about an eleven-year-old girl in 1971 with an older sister and how the two deal with relationships during the 1970’s era of Vietnam, hippies, and drugs.

These stories make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when people often reflect on the past.

Pick up a copy of The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories here: https://amzn.to/3ywEPLI

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Moments edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Moments is another interesting anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, nine authors share a special moment in their lives. There are some amazing stories here and others that are everyday events that are still unique to the author.

Air Force veteran David Lange, recounts the birth of each of his children in different places in “Welcoming Life.” Swan Rose, a former musician and current poet, writes about various special moments with his daughters and wife in “The Best Time of My Life.” Retired navy pilot, Jim Tritten, describes a once-in-a-lifetime experience he had on a nine-day warrior expedition to Big Bend National Park in “Touched by Rapture.” Skye Ballantine pens “Christmas Kindness,” a story about sharing gifts with those less fortunate and the true meaning of the holidays in simple pleasures of special moments. “When the Music’s Over” by William John Rostron relates his failed attempts at playing in a band and attending Woodstock and what it taught him about life. Nika Jordan Rose completes the collection with a play called “Lost & Found” which explores the deeply human need for connection in a self-isolated world.

These essays and the others in this anthology make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when the opportunity to encounter special moments of your own are more likely. I especially enjoyed editor J.K. Larkin’s introduction to this book and how he began the popular Red Penguin Collection during the pandemic.

Pick up a copy of The Moments here: https://amzn.to/3oQ1hek

Posted in Anthology, holidays

Review: ‘Tis the Seasons: Poems for Your Holiday Spirit edited by J.K. Larkin

*****5 stars

This holiday poetry anthology is part of the Red Penguin collection of books edited by J.K. Larkin. It contains 36 poems by various authors that reflect the wonder, joy, and nostalgia of the holiday season. Some poems are funny; others are sad, but they all deal with holiday feelings and experiences.

Some of my favorite poems include David Lange’s “Needle in the Corner,” a poem with a sad twist; J.S. Manino’s “Thrill Before Christmas” which is a clever takeoff of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” song; Lisa Diaz Meyer’s “Merry Christmas Eve (Grandpa’s Walk); Linda Trott Dickman’s “Still Proceeding”; the funny “A Kiss Under the Mistletoe” by Gary S. Watkins; and two poems that deal with the pandemic: “A Pandemic Christmas” by Meldoy Lipford and “Bright Nights” by Kathryn Sadakierski. My short poem “Advent” is also featured.

I can heartily recommend this collection to get you into the holiday spirit. It’s available as a paperback or eBook and also free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers. Pick up a copy at https://amzn.to/30QiuvO.

Posted in Anthology, Recipe, Reviews

Review of Feeding the Flock: Recipes from the Red Penguin Family

***5 stars

Feeding the Flock is part of the Red Penguin Collection of anthologies of various genres. This one focuses on cooking recipes for large gatherings, although the ingredients can be modified for smaller servings. Whether hosting Thanksgiving, a special birthday party, or other occasion or holiday, this is a perfect book to keep by your stove. What’s unique about this collection is that, besides some interesting yet simple recipes for groups, it includes note about how the cook/author created the recipe. It also features illustrations of each dish. Some of the familiar recipes included are Basic Stuffing Recipe, Dutch Apple Pie, Twice Baked Potato, and Linguine with Clams. Other less familiar recipes featured are Cawl Mamgu, a Welsh dish; Hungarian Krumpli Haluska; and Golabki (Polished stuffed cabbage). My favorite was the “Do You Take Your Peppered Peppers Laying Down or Vertical?” because I love stuffed peppers. I also enjoyed Mussels Marinara in Oyster Bay by Elaine Donadio who shared her memories of when she and her family lived and boated around this Long Island town which is one of my favorite places to visit. If you’re looking for a recipe book with a varied collection of dishes along with some great stories, this is the book for you.

Amazon Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2YHvd3m

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3FgInDZ

Posted in Anthology, author news, Book Sales

July Book Sale, New Releases, and Author News

As July heats up, I have a “hot” offer for my award-winning psychological mystery, Sea Scope, about a murder at a lighthouse. Pick up a copy from June 30 through the Fourth of July for only 99 cents.

Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.

Sarah hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.

After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope. Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home.

When past and present collide, Sarah must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?

Grab this book on sale here: mybook.to/SeaScope

Also, this month, I’m proud to announce that two new releases include my short stories. “The Pyramid Murder” is featured in Ernest Lived: and Other Historical Fiction Short Stories, and “Neighbors” is included in the 2021 Indie Authors’ Short Story Anthology. 

Ernest Lived …and other Historical Fiction Short Stories is a new anthology under The Red Penguin Collection that aims to celebrate the classic genre with over a dozen new entries. Travel across North America in the 1950s by train, sneak around the pyramids of Giza while they were first under construction, fight against the axis in the second world war—so many adventures await!

Featuring the works of the following writers:

Steven Alcott

Skye Ballantyne

Pat Black-Gould

R. J. Erbacher

Christina Hoag

Diane Kane

David Lange

Debbie De Louise

Valerie Ormond

Vaughn Roste

William John Rostron

Swati Singh

Jasmine Tritten

Minoti Vaishnav

Sarah Young

Pick up your copy of this book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1637770820/

The 2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology featuring the theme of moving and moving on, consists of thirty-give stories from twenty-five contributors across six different countries and five continents.

They are:
Thom Brodkin, Tammy Godfrey, Sue MacDonald, Steven McKenney, Richard Newell, Renee Pellegrino, Nina Heiser, Sunny Abernathy, Mustang Patty, © Maruschka Scott, Mackenzie M. Hebner, John K. Adams, Jessica Brimer, Jane Bradshaw, Ellen Eigner, Deidra Whitt Lovegren, Debbie De Louise, Cindy Myer, Christy Kunin, Chris Gibson, Charles Bucklin, C Alexis, Becky Crookham, and Astrid B. Blume

Pick up your copy of this book here: https://www.amazon.com/Indie-Authors-Short-Story-Anthology/dp/B0979M9V42/

In other news, an interview about my time travel novel, Time’s Relative, will be featured in the July issue of the International Thriller Writers’ Big Thrill Magazine. https://www.thebigthrill.org/ Did you catch the article about it in the summer issue of Mystery Scene Magazine?

On July 24, I’ll also be on a panel with other members of the Cat Writers’ Association presenting a Zoom program for the Broward County Public Library.

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review of Behind Closed Doors, the New Mystery Anthology in the Red Penguin Collection

*****5 stars

The Red Penguin Collection of anthologies feature short stories of various genres. Their latest, a mystery collection called BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, includes wonderful offerings by 15 talented authors. Although I haven’t read all the stories, my favorites so far are “Last Lap” by Diane Kane (what a twist); “The Time of His LIfe” by William John Rostron (a story every bored young person should read); and, no bias here, my story, “The Return of the Arch Villain,” about a St. Louis cop who reopens the cold case of his wife’s murder before he retires. This is a great collection of mysteries of all types and one any mystery reader won’t want to miss.

Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2RW3us4

Read more about the Red Penguin Collection in this blog post: https://debbiedelouise.com/2021/01/18/the-red-penguin-collection-a-great-opportunity-for-writers/

Posted in Anthology, Podcasts, Television Broadcast

The Red Penguin Collection – A Great Opportunity for Writers

Do you have unpublished stories hidden away in your files or on your PC? Poems, Essays, or other material? If so, you should check out the Red Penguin Collection, a series of anthologies with a variety of themes. Novice to advanced writers are invited to submit. The collection currently consists of 9 books including their new release, Stand Out, the Best of the Red Penguin Collection Vol. 1. On their website, there are also calls for 8 upcoming anthologies ranging from Feeding the Flock (a book of recipes); A Heart Full of Love (romance stories); The Florist on the Corner (nature-inspired poetry) and more. You can check the Red Penguin site for details and submission dates. I’ve been honored to have had my science fiction stories, “The Felindae Mission” included in both What Lies Beyond and the Stand Out anthologies. I’ve also had my poem, “Advent” included in the ‘Tis the Season anthology, and my essay, “Toasting 2021” included in We Made it!, their New Year’s anthology.

These anthologies are edited by J.K. Larkin, a Long Island based writer and recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College. They are one of the many opportunities for authors that Red Penguin offers. Besides the anthologies, Red Penguin also publishes books using a traditional or hybrid model. Stephanie Larkin, the Founder of Red Penguin, has worked with many writers’ groups, including the New York Chapter of the National Writers Union, and The Long Island Authors Group, on book development and marketing. She’s taught in the Marketing Department at Nassau Community College for the past 10 years, where she enjoys working with future entrepreneurs and marketing professionals. She also works with several colleges in the business and entrepreneurial divisions, including the New York Institute of Technology and the Yale University National Student Leadership program.  Stephanie has been the moderator and host for dozens of author and writing events at libraries, schools and bookstores, as well as scores of online events. She hosts the Between the Covers TV show, The Once and Future Authors Podcast, and the Author Corner Cable TV show. I’ve been a guest on Between the Covers and The Once and Future Authors.

I’m thankful that I was included in the Red Penguin Collection and have appeared on their shows. I hope other authors will consider these opportunities and submit their work to Red Penguin.

Posted in Anthology, Mysteries, New Releases

Introducing Plots and Schemes, Vol. 2, a Mystery Anthology by Solstice Publishing

For me, time is the greatest mystery of all. The fact is that we’re dreaming all the time. That’s what really gets me. We have a fathomless lake of unconsciousness just beneath our skulls.

Anthony Hopkins

I’m proud to have two of my mysteries featured in this new mystery anthology by Solstice Publishing. Check out my cozy mystery story, “Murder at the Lavender Lake Library” and my thriller, “Bullet in the Back.” The other stories in this collection are just as intriguing.

A good mystery will keep the reader engaged in the story while they’re also trying to figure out who done it. Solstice Publishing brings you ten mysteries by nine talented authors that will have you panting for more. Enjoy these stories!

eBook: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07CTTVDTN

Print book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625267851/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1525388581&sr=1-1&keywords=plots+%26+Schemes+vol.+2

A hunter mistakes a woman for a wild turkey. A tragic accident… or murder?

Who killed library patron, Mr. Small?

Escaping violence doesn’t mean you won’t get away!

To the edge of Heaven and back!

With friends like these…

Two high school teachers become vigilantes.

Surprising mysteries lie behind Walt’s death.

Just another unusual day at Farstone Town.

Come on over to Tough Luck Lounge and relax in a Tiki Bar!

For nearly a hundred years, no one knew the truth.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/eLDffF_0dJw

Ten tales by nine talented authors will take you through mysteries of all sorts. Join with Susan Lynn Solomon, Debbie De Louise, Johnny Gunn, Jeffery Martin Botzenhart, Jack Adler, E.B. Sullivan, Palvi Sharma, Lois Crockett, and K.C. Sprayberry for Plots & Schemes Vol 2.

Posted in Anthology, New Releases

New Holiday Anthologies and Novellas

 

A Winter Holiday 2017

The winter holidays are fast approaching. Even the weather is cooperating, giving us cold days and nights, rain, sleet, snow, even icy roads. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than grabbing your very own copy of Solstice Publishing’s A Winter Holiday 2017, or one of the two standalone novellas: An Interrupted Holiday and Lost Soul Barren Holiday 1?

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J5FKJW

Text messages send Halia on a quest.

Can he capture wondrous enchantment?

An unusual stranger captivates Gina’s heart.

Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

Will Sara Anne find a daddy by Christmas?

A rip-roaring ride through a Hawaiian Christmas.

Never Was Mrs. Claus Rocks!

What happened on your best New Year’s Eve?

Follow your heart, trust your instincts.

How does Emlyn Goode celebrate Christmas? Food, friends… and murder.

The incredible talents of Eddie Edwards, Leigh Podgorski, E.B. Sullivan, Debbie De Louise, Jeannie Sharpe, Justin Herzog, Gloria Weber, A.F. Weeks, A.A. Schenna, and Susan Lynn Solomon combine in this holiday anthology. Be prepared to experience the winter holidays as you never have before, with tales that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what the spirit of these holidays is all about.

https://youtu.be/y07ee7a5oXA

And what about those standalone novellas? The first is a winner from Donna Alice Patton, set in her favorite time, those exhilarating days of the Wild West.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J7WB74

In the icy crevices of a blizzard and his heart – James’ Montfort will learn that the invisible world is never too far away.

K.C. Sprayberry offers us her latest series of teens overcoming trouble and discovering that the winter holidays can be good with Lost Soul Barren Holiday 1.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J3Q3C3

The neighborhood knew what Cody Allen Luther endured on a daily basis for five long years. Everyone except Brandy Mason turned their heads. After all, it was a parent’s right to discipline their child. On Christmas Eve, 1969, Cody finally can’t take the brutal abuse any longer, but not for himself—his mother turns her unreasonable anger on his younger stepsiblings and he makes a life changing decision, killing her instead of allowing her to keep hurting his family.

Only one person has ever understood the why Cody reacted as he did that Christmas Eve of 1969. Brandy Mason will do anything to protect Cody, even stand up against classmates willing to petition the governor to have Cody tried as an adult for murder once he is released from juvenile detention.

We at Solstice Publishing hope all of your holidays are wonderful and fun. If you’re stuck inside because of inclement weather, these stories will warm more than your heart.

 

Posted in Anthology, Solstice Publishing

A Reader’s Treat for Halloween: A New Horror Anthology and Novella by Solstice Publishing

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Vol. 6

There’s never enough of a scare factor with just one horror anthology. That’s why Solstice Shadows presents a second Halloween themed collection of stories by an incredible group of authors for your reading pleasure.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B076ZWB84Q

Paperback also available: myBook.to/NLMDS6paper

Are you ready to make sure the windows and doors are locked? That you’ve put out all the necessary spook deterrents? Will those be good enough to keep out the ghosts, ghouls, and other creatures that rule this special night?

https://youtu.be/UJm1DiabtZc

Voodoo, greed, and prejudice mar paradise.

Extraordinary characters create strange bedfellows

Obsession never dies.

Evil Waits in the Darkness

Some whacked game or pure evil?

Ava just wants to play.

Ghost Cat. Don’t honeymoon without one.

What’s the cost of endless cash?

Southern heat can drive you crazy

Her powers were about to lead her to her doom.

Ten tales of horror and frightdom filled with tales scary enough to have you watching your every move are offered for your reading enjoyment. Ten incredibly talented authors contributed to this finale of horror: Noelle Myers, Davina Guy, Ken Newman, David Mannes, Leigh Podgorski, K.A. Meng, Debbie De Louise E.B. Sullivan, Adam Zorzi, and Palvi Sharma serve up stories guaranteed to make your fright night truly fearful.

Don’t miss my story, Haunted Honeymoon,  featuring a ghost cat in Venice and a honeymoon that turns out to be more of a honey doom.

Yet again, we decided these ten stories aren’t quite enough. Grab a peek at Nicole Luttrell’s The Man in the Woods for even more spine tingling enjoyment.