New RELEASE: “Poetry Treasures”

I’m thrilled to announce the release of “Poetry Treasures,” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on Writing to be Read in 2020.

Open the book and discover the poetry treasures of Sue Vincent (Author), Geoff Le Pard (Author), Frank Prem (Author), Victoria Zigler (Author), Colleen M. Chesebro (Author), K. Morris (Author), Annette Rochelle Aben (Author), Jude Kirya Itakali (Author), and Roberta Eaton Cheadle (Author). 

This book is also available on Draft2Digital.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find myself in the company of my favorite poets. If you’re not familiar with the blogging collaboration of Kaye Lynn Booth and Robbie Cheadle and more, at Writing to be Read, you will want to check out the opportunities for poets and writers.

Currently, the book is in kindle form. The print version will be available soon.

Reshare | Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary | Time Is Now Upon Us, To Open our Hearts In LOVE ~ Seek The Truth!

If you don’t follow Sue, you should. Often, she shares clarity when nothing else makes sense to me. In these dark times, we need to embrace the truth.

From my friend, Sue Dreamwalker: 

The TIME now has come for me too to share more Knowledge, more insights, and More Truths…  I have no intention of changing anyone’s mind or controlling how you think.. …. We all of us have free will, all of us have the opportunity if we so desired to dig deeper as I have over the last thirty-plus years since my awakening…  And as I have said before…Truth is often stranger than fiction…  So I leave you with my poem and the video…

The Most Honest TRUTH… Is LOVE Changes Everything… Love is the Message of this Video… And it’s up to each of us Now to choose LOVE over FEAR! 

Please click on the link below to visit Sue’s poetry and to listen to David Icke’s thoughts.

Source: Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary | A Sanctuary for Enlightenment and Peace through Poetry and Inspirational Thoughts as we go through Life

Authors Supporting Authors: Frozen Stiff Drink, by James J. Cudney, $.99 Sale 5/18/2020 – 5/22/2020

Frozen Stiff Drink: Death at Danby Landing, the 6th book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, will be available as a .99 Kindle download. Below you’ll find several highlights, and if you are interested in reading the book, you can purchase it as a physical book or a Kindle version via Amazon.


About Frozen Stiff Drink

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Gumshoe – A Next Chapter Imprint

(March 18, 2020)
Digital Edition – ~270 Pages

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

5 out of 5 stars
This was a really great book! The suspense was just right and I had only a small inkling of who the villain MIGHT be.
~Valerie’s Musings

The story is well-written and James Cudney does a great job pulling all the storylines together to give us a wonderful conclusion.
~Carla Loves to Read

Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney is a complex plot with multiple crimes and intriguing characters.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Mr. Cudney has written an intricate story that is multifaceted with subplots twisted together and Kellan in the middle of them all . . . Full of twists and misdirections, the pace is at a constant high. The ending was exciting and full of surprises.
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

This was good clean cosy mystery that will keep you guessing, once again I thought I had the culprit down but a few red herrings made me rethink and once again I was off the mark! Now that makes a good mystery in my eyes,
~eBook addicts

Where to Buy It



Large Print:

Blog Tour


March 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 19 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

March 20 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW


March 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 26 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

March 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 27 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

March 27 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT


Book Excerpt

“Grrr! Argh! Blech!” Circling the shopping district’s downtown lot for the third time, I begged the parking gods to graciously relinquish an open spot. Everyone and their mother roamed the streets in frenzied pursuit of supplies and their cowering sanity. A vicious blizzard barreled toward Wharton County, and all four towns had flipped their lids in fear of Doomsday’s imminent arrival. I insisted Madam Zenya’s premonition of the disaster was a hallucination despite worrying she often hit the proverbial bullseye.

“Was that gibberish? Are you speaking English, Kellan?” Lara, a late-forties former supermodel turned news reporter, bellowed through the staticky phone. We’d met the previous year when she moderated Nana D’s mayoral debates. After the charming Ms. Bouvier had co-investigated a suspicious death that summer, we’d become good friends and colleagues on our television show, Dark Reality.

I hurled the headset onto the passenger seat, switched my cell to speakerphone, and gripped the steering wheel with such ferocity it permanently imprinted my palms. “Sorry, the hands-free device cut out. It’s good you didn’t hear my mumbling. They weren’t the most flattering words.”

“For heaven’s sake, park in the loading zone outside Nutberry Pharmacy. Your grandmother is the mayor. You’re dating the sheriff. I doubt you’ll get a ticket.” Lara chortled with amusement regarding my current predicament. “Unless they’re conspiring to exact revenge on you… ummm… on second thought, you’re right. Drive around one more time. I suspect you’ll get lucky soon.”

“Yep, Nana D and April rarely get along, but torturing me is the one pastime they share in common.” Upon noticing an empty spot in the far corner, I swiftly cut the steering wheel and expediently navigated toward it. “You were right! I found one.”

It was my second trip in the last hour to the drugstore. My visits hadn’t exactly delighted the Nutberry family ever since I’d discovered the crimes one of them committed the previous spring. Murder wasn’t known to unite people in blissful harmony. Neither was the threat of inclement weather.

Fresh off a full day of teaching students who prayed for the cancellation of next week’s classes, due to the monster-sized winter storm whizzing our way, a dozen last-minute errands still plagued my to-do notes. After I’d ticked them off the list, my fifteen-year-old cousin informed me he’d run out of deodorant. Ulan had become my ward after Uncle Zach extended his African expedition to protect a rare elephant species. Under normal circumstances, notwithstanding the teenage hormones and noxious fumes emanating from his bedroom, I’d wait until tomorrow to buy it. Procrastination wasn’t possible this time. Ulan and my seven-year-old daughter, Emma, were leaving for Disney World in the morning.

“Excellent. We need to discuss Hiram’s Dark Reality segment. Although he’s improved since emerging from the coma last month, his recovery will take months. He’s agreed to step down and recommend a temporary replacement judge before the next election,” Lara exclaimed after her impromptu visit to Willow Trees Rehabilitation Center. Judge Grey, her former father-in-law, was recuperating from a haunted hayride accident that’d threatened his life four months ago.

“And Wharton County collectively breathes a sigh of relief. Nana D will dance an Irish jig when the crusty magistrate vacates the bench. Sayonara to the ancient red tape she’s trying to eliminate.” Truthfully, the man had no chance of re-election. When news leaked about his conspiracy with a psychiatrist to murder a healthy and sane patient years ago, citizens would revolt. The only reasons for a delayed uproar were his submersion into a coma and inability to perform judicial duties.

Lara raved about Nana D’s plans for ridding our county of corruption. “When I got there, some young girl with a pastel green streak in her hair yelled at him about destroying families. Good for her!”

“Judge Grey is a blight on Wharton County. Did he reveal his replacement nominee?”

“Nope, he refused. It honestly looked like the Grim Reaper was knocking at his door. My heart swells for Imogene. My daughter loves her grandfather in spite of all the shameless things he’s done.” Lara shared an update on Hiram’s condition: alive, more arrogant than usual, and begging for someone to sneak in a bottle of expensive bourbon. “Can you believe that man stashes a special crystal tumbler at the rehab center for his hourly cocktails? Even that persnickety red-haired nurse threatened to clobber him if he barked one more order at her.”

“Given my frustrations at this unbearable moment, Hiram’s demands don’t sound half bad.”

“You need to relax. Finish your errands, meander home, and drink something potent to squelch your attitude.” Lara suggested we meet for breakfast the following morning at the Pick-Me-Up Diner, my sister’s famed cozy eatery, to plot the episode we were filming on the Garibaldi and Grey families.

“Duly noted.” I slammed on the brakes, causing my neck to crash into the seat’s headrest and seesaw until I practically collided with the dashboard too. “I don’t believe it! Who does he think… of all the moronic things… what the—”

Lara interrupted before I could mutter another stream of obscenities that would prompt Nana D to wash out my mouth with soap. “What’s going on? You’re back to gibberish again, darling. For a literature and film professor at Braxton, words don’t come naturally to you, do they?”

“Some idiot stole my parking spot. He gunned ahead of me.” I rolled down my window, shivered at the frosty gusts pricking my cheeks, and waited for the sneaky louse to exit his tiny red sports car.

A tall, well-built man in his early thirties, the same age as me, stepped out of the convertible and strolled by without a care in the world. I swear he bobbed his head and hummed Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” I grunted and stink-eyed the jerk strutting around in dark jeans, a black V-neck tee, and a Nordic ski hat that covered most of his unshaven, structured face. The guy had zero body fat to speak of—how did he walk the streets dressed like we weren’t approaching an ice age again? It was the middle of February and colder than the Arctic. No matter how hard I tried—regardless of growing up in this snow globe—I couldn’t acclimate to the harsh Pennsylvania winters after living in LA for the last decade.

“Hey, sorry, man. Didn’t realize you wanted that spot,” he carelessly called out, shrugging as he sauntered away with a poorly concealed and immature chuckle. “Better luck next time.”

As he turned, a tattoo of a snake—with the longest tongue I’d ever seen—roamed the entire length of his beefy arm, both surprising and confusing me. Although I didn’t know everyone in our small town, I was certain he hailed from other parts. “Seriously? You’re gonna walk away like that?” While idling in the middle of the lot, I snarled and shifted the car into park, remembering Lara lingered on the phone. “Hold on. That was the last spot, and I’m in a rush.”

“Life’s short, dude. You gotta take what you want and never look back.” The obnoxious spot-stealer winked, sped into a jog, and waved at a shorter, dark-skinned man near the corner of Nutberry Pharmacy. He proffered the other man a small package, and in return, the spot-stealer collected a bank envelope he discreetly stuffed inside his back pocket. Had I witnessed a drug deal in progress?

Lara hollered my name. “Let it go. Find another space. See you tomorrow morning if we both survive the impending apocalypse. Ciao, babe.”

“Thanks for the advice!” I swallowed my rising anger and considered my options. It would take five minutes to run into the store, select a stick of deodorant that’d protect us from Ulan’s death sweat, and dash back to the car. With the decision unanimously agreed, I parked behind the red sports car, ensuring its delinquent driver couldn’t back out, and executed my errand. It was rare I fought fire with fire, but he deserved my wrath, and I would return before him—most likely.

As I approached the counter in our local family-run pharmacy, frowning at the five people in front of me, I held up the deodorant to Tiffany Nutberry. I gestured something that volunteered I was in a hurry or had gotten my tongue stuck to an icy pole, then begged her to add it to my tab. My brother’s former college gal pal nodded and focused on her next customer. Sometimes living in a small town where everyone knew your name was a beneficial curse.

I retreated to the front door, scanning the area for the creep who’d stolen the spot, but found no sign of my newest mortal enemy or the stranger he’d surreptitiously met. While I catapulted across the lot, a note on the windshield and an empty parking space garnered my attention. The spot-stealer had driven over the low curb rather than wait for me to return. I anxiously read the message:

Your plan backfired. Mine won’t. I know how to get even. I also don’t give up easily.

A petulant man would’ve kicked the tires in frustration. An intelligent guy would’ve shaken it off and escaped without a colossal tantrum. Judging by the throbbing in my foot when I pressed the gas pedal to dart away from the vacant space, my level of maturity sputtered in a non-ideal direction.

It had been a day. If I could’ve returned it for a refund or shoplifted a new one from a discount rack, I’d have been better off. While driving to Danby Landing, Nana D’s organic orchard and farm, I conjured ways to avenge the spot-stealer and heeded the tail end of a regional weather report—or desperate warning that we’d soon march to a painful death. I couldn’t decipher his bleak tone.

To recap for those who missed my detailed forecast, temperatures will drop like atom bombs overnight into the teens. By afternoon, snow flurries will descend on us poor, unfortunate souls. Although the weekend will sprinkle only a trifle of snow, be cognizant of fierce and major precipitation by Sunday evening when you will become unavoidably trapped—housebound for days like suffering prisoners. Some are nicknaming it the blizzard of the century, and one thing’s for sure, folks… don’t leave your pets and shoes outside this weekend. By Monday, we will greet three feet of snow with another six inches dropped on us by dinnertime. No one wants to lose a pinky toe to frostbite or visit the local taxidermist.”

I switched the channel and snorted at the static blasting through the speakers. “It’s a good thing my parents and the kids are leaving on vacation.” Though I spoke to myself, it was better than listening to the weather forecast. I’d wanted to escape with them on the trip, but Braxton’s Spring Break wasn’t until the following week. I couldn’t abandon my job. My parents were doing me a favor by watching the kids, which allowed me extra time to address the premier episode of Dark Reality with Lara. We needed to focus all our spare energy on preparing for the thrilling series revitalization.

I’d also spend quality time with April. Our lack of intimacy had descended into sore subject territory. Although we’d shared a romantic Valentine’s Day earlier that week, a burst pipe in the sheriff’s office had slashed our time shorter than a matchstick. The kids were always a priority. And ever since she’d revealed that a divorce from her husband had not formally taken place years ago, we’d been tracing the mysterious man’s whereabouts to resolve the itty-bitty complication.

During April’s and my first official date on my birthday last Halloween, Madam Zenya interrupted to warn us she foresaw danger imminently hurtling in our direction. Months had passed without Beelzebub’s fireballs singing us, but she’d also suggested it would prevail during a winter blizzard. Could the approaching storm be what she’d hinted about?

That night, April had also given me a birthday present—a fake certificate awarding me an honorary degree in meddling and nuisance studies. The gift came with a plastic badge she brazenly directed to affix to my lips whenever I yearned to solve murders. Irony prompted half the town to refer to me as The Unlikely Death Locator. I’d somehow innocently involved myself in five of her murder investigations in the last year, and despite the frequent trouble it caused, we’d still developed a fiery attraction to one another. Unfortunately, my separation from a not-so-dead mobster wife, Francesca Castigliano, had just begun, and April’s split from her globetrotting not-so-divorced husband, Fox Terrell, was an unexpected new obstacle. Quite a pair of hot messes, weren’t we?

As I drove past the Danby Landing cottage, my brother and his boyfriend zoomed down the path on his motorcycle. Of all the idiotic things to do given the threat of a snowstorm, Gabriel would be the one knucklehead to risk his and Sam’s lives on a bike. I hastily waved through the window, knowing we’d scheduled dinner for Sunday, unless the looming winter disaster rendered that impossible. I’d decided to introduce my girlfriend to my family in a non-official capacity by testing the waters with Gabriel. His sarcasm and humor were on par with mine. It would be easy to relax in a group setting while Sam was on a break from graduate school. They’d been dating for six months even though the long-distance had occasionally caused a few issues cum calamities. Gabriel could be quite an obnoxious handful.

Author, James J. Cudney

About The Author


James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.


Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog




Next Chapter Pub:


Social Media









Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

“Frozen Stiff Drink,” by James J. Cudney, $.99 Sale 5/18/2020 – 5/22/2020. Grab your copy now!

Authors Supporting Authors ~ Jim Webster’s Newest Releases

Hi, everyone. Jim Webster has two more new novellas coming out and I offered to help spread the word. This post is part of “The Gentlemen Behaving Badly Blog Tour.”

Jim shares that both novellas are the usual format containing just over twenty short stories featuring Tallis Steelyard. The stories do have a theme as they are all tales of gentlemen behaving badly! I can only imagine what’s inside those pages!

For my readers, Jim has written a story to whet your appetite for more of his writing. Please enjoy.

Every last penny

There is a time and a place for household economy. There have been times when I had so little money that I knew each sadly debased copper coin personally. I was familiar with their little foibles, the scars that a long lifetime of close proximity to other coins had left on their surfaces. Indeed the well-worn faces of long forgotten monarchs and eponymous archons were more familiar to me than mine own.

Still whilst I might cherish them, I confess to having a somewhat casual attitude to their arrival and departure. Yes I might lament their leaving, but I never recorded the sad event. I might have been taught my bookkeeping by Miser Mumster, but I saw no reason to allow such things to demarcate my own life. The idea that the wonder that is Tallis Steelyard could be reduced to regimented columns of figures parading in lockstep across a page saddens me.

Still not everybody thinks as I do, and perhaps Quarran Bleer was my antithesis. He recorded everything. Every coin earned and every coin spent and what he spent it on. He even recorded a quarter dreg picked up in the street. These small coins were minted by the notorious lordlings of Dawn Shadow Keep and frankly they contain so much lead I’ve known people punch holes in them and use them as bearings.

Every evening the day finished with the family gathered round the table as Quarran read from his great book, telling them of that day’s entries, and checking that none of them had further additions or subtractions to make.

Now I don’t want you to think he was mean. Quarran was no miser, he never earned enough to be a miser. It’s just that I’ve never known anybody catalogue their gestures of spontaneous generosity so minutely. If he gave a child a twenty-five dreg piece to purchase themselves some trifling sugar fancy, he would, under a subheading, note how much the fancy cost, and what the child did with the rest of the money.

In later years, as his eyes failed him, and reading became more difficult, his son would keep up the accounts for him, and was trained to meet his father’s demanding standards. Indeed when Quarran died, his son, Kastaff, continued the detailed cataloguing of his family’s finances. 

It was Kastaff who tentatively approached publishers with his father’s tome, wondering if it could be published. He met with universal rejection and even quiet mockery but eventually he decided to print a small run himself. He approached Glicken’s Printers and they tendered a price he felt he could afford. Even as they laid the type out in the forms, Silac Glicken knew they were on to a winner. It took them twice the time to set up than he had expected, so fascinated were he and the other compositors with what they were reading. Although Kastaff had only paid for a hundred to be printed, Silac took a gamble and printed twice the number, and sold them all within the first week.

All in all, the work proved to be a modest success. I heard a comment that ‘The account books of Quarran Bleer’ is one of the most widely referenced and quoted works in the university library.’ Regularly one will read slogans such as, “The price of our ale has not risen since Quarran Bleer’s time.” Indeed, I remember one lady writing a strong letter to the Port Naain Intelligencer, stating firmly that the lady Quarran Bleer had paid two vintenars to for ‘erotic services’ was not her but her grandmother of the same name.

The success of the venture has of course encouraged Kastaff to promise the world that he is following firmly in his father’s footsteps in this matter, and intends to publish his own account books, perhaps in twenty-year instalments. As the city waits with bated breath for this happy day, Kastaff is wisely keeping his family in the public eye.

He has published his father’s monograph, “The evolution of beer bottles in Port Naain.” We knew from the account books that old Quarran had been partial to a bottle of decent beer, and once or twice he mentions money he got from selling bottles he’d found. What we now discovered was that throughout his adult life he’d been studying and cataloguing the beer bottles of the city. Now each one, with an appropriate sketch, was recorded for posterity.

Silac Glicken mentioned to me in passing, that this book sold in one month more copies that all the volumes of poetry he prints, added together! There are times when I feel that I ought to change my genre. Lancet Foredeck, when he heard this, took to writing his poems on labels which he planned to stick to beer bottles. I feel his project would have gone better if he hadn’t chosen a brand of rather inferior milk stout to apply his labels to.

Then there was Quarran’s collection of ‘final demands,’ and entreaties to pay outstanding accounts. I confess that I purchased a copy of this, slightly foxed, and found it fascinating. As somebody who has received many missives in this genre I suppose I read them with the eye of a connoisseur. Indeed some of them I recognised having received one in the same hand. I briefly considered publishing my one collection, but alas it is sadly depleted. Those written on poor quality and absorbent paper have long been used for the purpose they were best suited to. Those on better paper have served me well when I have been working on some of my verses. It is always handy to have a scrap of paper to jot something down on, and it must be confessed that it a role that suits them.

Still there is one small entry in the Quarran’s account book that I do have a certain sentimental attachment to.

“Paid, to Tallis Steelyard. One vintenar, Port Naain, recent minting. For some verses for my lady wife upon the celebration of our wedding anniversary. She commented that it gave her immeasurable pleasure.”

Somethings are indeed beyond price.

And now, we’d better hear from Jim Webster.


“Jim Webster is probably still fifty-something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this, he has a wife and three daughters.

He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing fantasy and Sci-Fi novels.”

Now with eight much-acclaimed fantasy works and two Sci-Fi to my credit it seems I might be getting into the swing of things.

Amazon Author Page: Jim Webster

So here I am again with another blog tour. I’ve released two collections of short stories from Tallis and if you’ve enjoyed the one you just read, you’ll almost certainly enjoy these.

So what have Tallis and I got for you?

Well, first there’s, ‘Tallis Steelyard. A guide for writers, and other
stories.’ The book that all writers who want to know how to promote and sell their books will have to read. Sit at the feet of the master as Tallis passes on the techniques which he has tried and perfected over the years.

Tallis even has a blog of his own at

As well as this you’ll have music and decorum, lessons in the importance of getting home under your own steam, and brass knuckles for a lady. How can you resist, all this for a mere 99p? ($1.26 U.S.)

Then we have, ‘Tallis Steelyard. Gentlemen behaving badly, and other
stories.’ Now is your chance to see Port Naain by starlight and meet ladies of wit and discernment. There are Philosophical societies, amateur dramatics, the modern woman, revenge, and the advantages of a good education. 

So come on, treat yourself, because you’re worth it.

Many thanks to Jim Webster for sharing such a delightful story. Looking for more stories? Find Jim at his blog: Jim Webster, Books & Stuff.

New Royalty Share System for Co-Authors from Publish Drive – Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center

Big news as PublishDrive launches a new royalty share system for co-authors. Now co-writing is easy as royalty sharing becomes simple and pain-free.

The New Royalty Share System

“PublishDrive​’s new service, Abacus for Co-Authors, provides the perfect solution. ​Abacus​ calculates royalties for co-authored books published directly through Amazon’s KDP (including Kindle Unlimited books). It also generates detailed royalty reports and streamlines co-author accounting.​ This much-needed solution will make it easy to manage the financial side of collaborative projects, such as small press anthologies or sci-fi novels with shared universes…”

Source: New Royalty Share System for Co-Authors from Publish Drive – Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center

Colleen’s Coming Attractions: Two New Novellas by Author, @JimWebster6

Hi, everyone. Jim Webster has a couple of new novellas coming out and I offered to help him spread the word.

Author, Jim Webster

Someone once wrote this about me…

“Jim Webster is probably still fifty-something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this, he has a wife and three daughters.

He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing fantasy and Sci-Fi novels.”

Now with eight much-acclaimed fantasy works and two Sci-Fi to my credit it seems I might be getting into the swing of things.

Amazon Author Page: Jim Webster

Today, Jim shares a story to accompany the image below. Enjoy. ❤

Occasionally one has to do the right thing.

Benor woke up one morning feeling vaguely guilty. He mentally ran through the past few days to see if there was anything that could legitimately be a source of guilt, or perhaps he’d forgotten to worry about a father or husband seeking vengeance but could think of nothing.

Then he realised that he’d rather abandoned Faldon the priest. Whilst he’d been working for Gumption Silvernant he had passed along Slip Pike Lane and had seen Faldon standing outside his front door cutting somebody’s hair. Benor had thought the priest looked somewhat tired and drawn and had meant to drop in and see how he was.

He washed hastily, dressed and made his way ashore from the barge. On his way to Slip Pike Lane, he purchased some coffee. Then he purchased a loaf of bread still hot from the oven and at a butcher’s shop next to the baker’s bought some rashers of bacon, ready cooked. He borrowed a knife off the butcher, sliced the bread and stuck the bacon in between the slices and then dropped one more slice of bread into the frying pan and let the butcher fry that for him as well. He commented on the weather as he sprinkled salt generously on his fried bread. Then, as he paid the butcher, Benor winked at the butcher’s young wife, bowed with exaggerated formality to the butcher’s grinning mother, and finally left the shop in high spirits, chewing his fried bread.

Faldon was obviously not a morning person. He was still asleep when Benor arrived, so Benor lit the fire and started to boil water. The priest finally woke and clutched the mug coffee Benor passed him. “What brings you here Benor?”

“I just dropped in to see how you were and how you were getting on 

Faldon sat on his bed and leaned his back against the wall. “It’s going 

“No demon problems.”

Faldon rubbed his face with his free hand. “I’m exorcising it the hard way.”

He noticed Benor’s surprised expression. “Anybody can use ceremonies and rituals and by and large they work, at least for a while. But if you want to get rid of one for good, you’ve got to just be there. By living the right sort of life you defeat it not once, but time after time. Each victory is tiny, but the effect of all those tiny victories is far more profound than just one spectacular exorcism.”

“Oh,” this left Benor somewhat at a loss. Exorcism was a field that trainee cartographers don’t cover in detail. As far as he could remember his course had covered the topic briefly. They’d got a list of religious orders that appeared competent and were told not to try doing it themselves.

“Still, if you hadn’t turned up, I would have been sending for you.”

“You would be? Benor was even more surprised.

“Could you be here at noon today, there’s somebody I want you to meet.”


When Benor returned at noon he was surprised to find Wast Divot sitting on a stool talking to Faldon. Benor was about to make his excuses and leave, thinking the young man wanted to talk to a priest alone but Faldon beckoned Benor in.

“Close the door, we don’t want to be disturbed.”

Obediently Benor shut the door behind him and sat down on the remaining stool. Faldon turned to Wast Divot. “Right Wast, tell Benor what you told me.”

Wast looked distinctly nervous, “Well Benor knows some of the story, he
was who delivered Santon and I to those two women.”

“Delivered!” Benor was incredulous. Faldon shushed him and Wast continued his story.

“Santon and I have continued to visit the two women and might be said to be  ‘walking out’ with them. Santon is infatuated with the older sister and I am ‘walking out’ with Minny. Santon urged me to keep going with him to see them so that he could have Jan, the older woman, on her own. Anyway, Minny got more and more affectionate and I had trouble keeping her at arm’s length.”

Benor had to stop himself staring at the younger man. Wast continued, his voice trembling slightly; “Minny started hinting that we’d make a good partnership with her money-making skills and my clerking ability. I played this down but she insisted that I was the sort of partner she wanted.”

Here Wast took a deep breath. “Then yesterday I got a note, could I drop in to see them during the early evening?”

I arrived and discovered to my surprise that Minny and I were alone in the shop. She said that she wanted to show me something that would convince me that we could have the perfect business arrangement. She led me upstairs and into a dark room. She whispered that the curtains were drawn so there would be no eavesdroppers. Then she lit a candle, put it on an occasional table and went to the bed.

From under the mattress, she took a box and unlocked it with a key she kept fastened to her belt by her purse. She then beckoned me across to look in the box. When she opened the lid there must have been at least a thousand alars in gold.” He looked across at Benor who was stunned. Fifty alars a year wasn’t a bad wage for a working man.

“I can see you doubt me?”

Benor shook his head, “No, but… “The coins were ten alar pieces, Port Naain minting. I’m a clerk working for a usurer, it’s my job, I know these things.”

“But what was she doing with all that money?”

“She told me that she’d been paid to do a job and some of the gold would be spent on doing the job. Apparently, we were halfway towards doing it, what with Santon handling the account for Jorrocks Boat Yard and me being the assistant on the ship brokering side of Muldecker’s business.”

Benor glanced towards Faldon and realised that Faldon was watching him carefully. Benor asked, “How real were the coins; were they fakes?”

Wast reached into his pocket and produced a gold ten alar piece. “Scratch it if you want. Benor examined it. It seemed real enough.

“As you can imagine, I was stunned. I dropped down on my knees and just stared at the money. But in the box, there was also a folded piece of paper, it might have been a letter.”

“Tell Benor what it said,” Faldon commanded.

“I couldn’t read all of it, Wast continued. “I could just make out a few sentences toward the end.

‘So, if the two lilies will die from salt water, how are you going to kill the little dragon? I trust that too will look like an accident.’ Then it was signed, ‘Ulgar-Zare.’

Then Minny came up behind me, reached into the box and gave me one of the coins, told me gold suited me.”

“Did she mention anything about whatever this job was?” Benor asked.

“No, I stood up and turned to face her and realised she was starting to undo her blouse. I ducked past her to leave and discovered she’d bolted the door. I managed to fend her off as I unfastened the bolt and then I just fled. I cannot go back, I dare not even go to work or Santon will doubtless want me to get involved again.”

Benor looked at the young man. He was obviously very frightened. Benor thought back to Minny. She had come across as self-possessed and forceful. He had made sure he was never alone with her.

Faldon asked, “So have you decided what you’re going to do?”

“Calan Jest has signed a condotta with one of the Partannese warlords and is raising a company to head south. I’ve signed on as company clerk. They’ll provide me with a horse and give me some training in arms, but they desperately need somebody capable of handling the finance. I ride south tomorrow.”

With that Wast seemed to sit up straighter, as if telling the tale had taken 
a weight of his shoulders.

Faldon prodded Benor in the ribs. “So, what are you going to do about it?”

“Well, I cannot stop Wast riding south if his heart is set on it.”

“Not that you idiot, what are you going to do about this Minny. Who is going to be killed ‘by accident’? You’re the one who helped create this monster by giving her good references and finding her the victims she wanted!”


I’ve thought long and hard about blog tours. I often wonder how much somebody reading a book wants to know about the author. After all, as a writer, I have gone to a lot of trouble to produce an interesting world for my characters to frolic in. Hopefully, the characters and their story pull the reader into the world with them.

So, does the reader really want me tampering with the fourth wall to tell them how wonderful I am? Indeed given the number of film stars and writers who have fallen from grace over the years, perhaps the less you know about me the better?

Still, ignoring me? You might want to know a bit about the world I created.

Over the years I’ve written four novels and numerous novellas set in the Land of the Three Seas, and a lot of the action has happened in the city of Port Naain. 

They’re not a series, they’re written to be a collection, so you can read 
them in any order, a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories in that regard.

So, I had a new novella I wanted to release. ‘Swimming for profit and 
pleasure.’ It’s one of the ‘Port Naain Intelligencer’ collection and I 
decided I’d like to put together a blog tour to promote it.

But what sort of tour? Then I had a brainwave. I’d get bloggers who know Port Naain to send me suitable pictures, and I’d do a short story about that picture. It would be an incident in the life of Benor as he gets to know Port Naain.

Except that when the pictures came in it was obvious that they linked together to form a story in their own right, which is how I ended up writing one novella to promote another!

In simple terms, it’s a chapter with each picture. So you can read the novella by following the blogs in order. There is an afterword which does appear in the novella that isn’t on the blogs, but it’s more rounding things off and tying up the loose ends. Given that the largest number of pictures was provided by a lady of my acquaintance, I felt I had to credit her in some way.

Here is ‘Swimming for profit and pleasure’

Benor learns a new craft, joins the second-hand book trade, attempts to rescue a friend and awakens a terror from the deep. Meddling in the affairs of mages is unwise, even if they have been assumed to be dead for centuries.

The second novella I’m releasing is ‘The plight of the Lady Gingerlily.’ 
It too is part of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection.

No good deed goes unpunished. To help make ends meet, Benor takes on a few small jobs, to find a lost husband, to vet potential suitors for two young ladies, and to find a tenant for an empty house. He began to feel that things were getting out of hand when somebody attempted to drown him.

Here’s Where to Find Jim Webster

Blog: Jim Webster:

Twitter: @JimWebster6

MeWe: @JimWebster

It’s cold and snowy here… I’ll be reading Jim’s books. See you later!

Authors Supporting Authors: Introducing C. S. Boyack’s New Release: “Voyage of the Lanternfish”

Hi everyone. Today, I’m visited by Lisa Burton and C. S. (Craig) Boyack. I’m thrilled to share that Craig has a new book that he recently published on New Year’s Eve! Let’s welcome them both to my blog today.

“Oh, my gosh, Colleen, thanks for having me over today. Winter is a good time to get away from the writing cabin.

“Craig wanted me to deliver my poster, then let him discuss the character of Fala. It seems I drift off topic too much for him sometimes. I brought his statement, and you can include it, but Fala is a cool character. She’s been through a lot and came through it tempered and stronger.”

“I’d better let Craig have his say, or he’ll have a hissy fit… again. Here you are.”

Thanks, Lisa. Craig has hissy fits? Wow, I didn’t know that. I guess we know that now… Erm, well then, we’ll let him get to it!

Okay, everyone, you’ve met Lisa, now here’s C.S. Boyack to tell you all about his new book, “Lanternfish.”

While drafting Voyage of the Lanternfish, it occurred to me that life in earlier times wasn’t easy for anyone. Pick any era you like, and they faced plagues, discrimination, abuse at the hands of so-called superiors, and more.

The character of Fala literally walked into a scene and wanted to bring some of this up. Women have been treated horribly throughout history. Few people were charitable, and they expected something from everyone.

Fala is a supporting character who is fleeing from abuse. She’s willing to work, and work hard. She seems to have been pushed toward the oldest profession by employers who deny her a living wage, enough food to eat, or a safe place to sleep. Of course, she could better her position if she took on some additional duties.

At the moment of her debut, she’s had enough of it. She’s wandering in the wilderness and doesn’t much care if this marks the end of her life. Her attitude made it fairly easy for her to transition to piracy.

It takes her a long time to trust other people, particularly men. This is mingled with her fatalistic view of life for a woman. I thought it fairly realistic for her to not give a damn one moment and then be a bit standoffish in another.

It turned out that working in taverns taught her about basic math. She knows about supply, warehousing, and other valuable tasks. This led her to the position of Quartermaster aboard the Lanternfish.

Fala and several others are what I call mid-level characters. They aren’t the leads, but they aren’t random crew either. I thought it was important to give these mid-tier folks a bit of a character arc even if it only encompasses a few pages.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is a pirate fantasy. You can expect tall ships, sea battles, and all the pirate trappings you love. It’s also one of my books, so there are monsters, black magic, and even a magic item or two. I hope you’ll hoist the colors and come along for the voyage.

“That hoist the colors line was supposed to be mine. Whatever the boss wants, I suppose. Let’s get to the poster.”

Lisa, Posing as Fala

“I really enjoyed posing as Fala. I’m an animal lover, and her anvil bird is so cute. He says a few things and adds a bit of color to life aboard a ship. Your readers are welcome to save the poster or share it on Pinterest. They make good backgrounds on your computers and gadgets.

“I have a few more stops to make and intend to use some personal time while I’m away from all those snowdrifts. Hope your readers take a chance on Voyage of the Lanternfish, and thanks for having me over.”

Glad to have you visit any time, Lisa. Thanks for giving me the scoop about Craig’s new book!


An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

You heard from Lisa Burton, now meet the author, C. S. Boyack

Author: C. S. Boyack “hoisting his glass”


I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Here’s how you can get in touch with C. S. Boyack:


My Novels  





Thanks for stopping by. I managed to get a pre-publication copy of “Voyage of the Lanternfish” from Lisa. Stay tuned… I’ll review this book soon! ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – The Eleventh Day of Christmas with guests Colleen Chesebro and Anne Goodwin.

Anne Goodwin and I were lucky enough to be featured on Sally Cronin’s 11th day of Christmas celebration. There’s food, great memories, drink (a little too much), and great friends. Happy Yule and Merry Christmas. ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Just two more parties to go before the big day and for this celebration I am delighted to welcome writers Colleen Chesebro and Anne Goodwin, both of whom will be sharing their most precious Christmas memories.

I thought that we could not talk about Christmas without preparing something for the pets in the family. In the old days, and that was in fact only about 30 years ago, pets were fed on scraps as they had been for the thousands of years as our companions.  I appreciate that most of the animal foods available today may be rich in nutrients and full of vitality but I am afraid that I steer clear of dried food and prefer to go the natural route.

It is tempting to give pets the same treats that we enjoy but I am afraid that at Christmas treats like human chocolate are extremely dangerous. Chocolate

View original post 2,500 more words

Exposing Your Work on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

C. S. Boyack is the creative genius behind Lisa Burton Radio. He’s shared a fabulous roundup of free promotional opportunities for authors and bloggers that you will not want to miss. ❤

Hi, all, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. This week is a special edition, because it’s geared to all you authors out there. It might give some good ideas to bloggers who want to host guests too.

Today, I’ve collected a group of power bloggers who host authors on their sites. This gives an author a way to reach a larger audience than they might if they were simply posting about date-night or something. This means when you have a new book to promote, or maybe to give an older title a secondary push…

Click the link below – then share this post to your social media channels. ❤

Exposing your work, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Guest Post: “Poetry & Me” by Robbie Cheadle

Today, Robbie Cheadle, stopped by to talk about a topic that is dear to my heart: poetry. I’ll be reviewing this book soon. ❤

Robbie and her friend, Kim Blades, collaborated on a poetry book called “Open a New Door.” This is a new release and you will find links to the book below.

Author & Poet, Robbie Cheadle

I always like reading poetry. I enjoyed the descriptions, rhythm and word combinations. When I was a very small girl, I enjoyed nursery rhymes and rhyming songs and as I got older, I read books like The Hobbit and Emily of New Moon and really enjoyed the poems included in these books.

As an adult, there have been a few poems that have completely captured my imagination.

“Dante’s Inferno”

The first poem is “Dante’s Inferno,” which is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem, Divine Comedy. The Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet, Virgil.

In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles, representing a gradual increase in human wickedness and the related fitting punishments, and culminating with Satan trapped in the centre of the earth.  Lucifer is trapped waist-deep in a frozen lake from which he cannot escape. This is the depiction of Lucifer from the poem:

“… he had three faces: one in front blood red;
and then another two that, just above
   the midpoint of each shoulder joined the first;
   and at the crown, all three were reattached;
the right looked somewhat yellow, somewhat white;
   the left in its appearance was like those
   who come from where the Nile, descending, flows…”

“The Temple of Nature”

Another fascinating poem that I came across “is The Temple of Nature,” by Erasmus Darwin. Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, was a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham and one of the key thinkers in the scientific, economic, political, cultural and legal manifestation of theAge of Enlightenment that developed in Birmingham and the wider English midlands. He was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave trade abolitionist, inventor, and poet.

“The Temple of Nature” was Darwin’s final long poem and waspublished after his death in 1803. It is about his concept of evolution and isconsidered to be his best work. The poem depicts the progression of life frommicro-organisms to modern man.

“Still Nature’s births enclosed in egg or seed

From the tall forest to the lowly weed,

Herbeaux and beauties, butterflies and worms,

Rise from aquatic to aerial forms.

Thus in the womb, the nascent infant laves

Its natant form in the circumfluent waves;                   

With perforated heart unbreathing swims,

Awakes and stretches all its recent limbs;

With girls, placental seeks the arterial flood,

And drinks pure ether from its Mother’s blood.

Erewhile the landed Stranger bursts his way,

From the warm wave emerging into day;

Feels the chill blast, and piercing light, and tries

His tender lungs, and rolls his dazzled eyes;

Gives to the passing gale his curling hair,

And steps a dry inhabitant of air.”

My poetry

Robbie and her son, Michael

I started writing rhyming poetry with Michael to help him learn to read and write. At the same time, I wrote poems for adults about children and parenting. Over the past few years my poetry has evolved into an outlet for my personal anxieties, frustrations and general thoughts on life.

One poem I wrote is about my own chronic back pain. I have suffered with three degenerating discs in my upper back since I was twenty years old and it has become worse over the years. I now take a mild anti-inflammatory pill every night and see a physiotherapist once a week to keep my condition under control. Most of the time I manage but stress causes it to flair up and I have a few bad days every couple of weeks.


Pain, a persistent and stealthy foe,

Shoots well-aimed arrows from his bow,

They strike deeply into mind and soul,

‘Though our physical body exhibits the toll,

As the poison seeps into muscle and bone,

It’s a fight that you endure alone.

Its relentlessness causes the mind to tire,

Happiness and joy sink into a mire,

It must end, you must forward stare,

While your body this test does bear,

At the edges of your mind, there is hope,

Which provide the tools for you to cope.

© 2018 Robbie Cheadle

“Open a New Door,” is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades, and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporate and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, freestyle, haiku, and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following poems:

What drives me to write?
To share my innermost thoughts
The answer is clear
It’s my personal attempt
To make some sense of this world.
Inspiration blossoms
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose

© 2018 Robbie Cheadle

Books by Robbie Cheadle

Here’s Where You Can Find Robbie:




Thanks for stopping by to learn more about Robbie and her love of writing poetry!

Robbie Cheadle is part of the dream team of poets who participates in my Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. Writing poetry is the gateway prose to writing better books! ❤

P. S. I used the new WordPress Hemingway editor to create this post. It took me longer than normal. I also found that cutting and pasting from a word document distorted many of the words and I had to spend time fixing the spacing between the words. It looks like the spacing is correct on the draft, but when you preview it, the words are not separated. 

Some of the titles, I couldn’t center. It doesn’t like cut & paste used within the editor either. It does allow you to change the background color of certain blocks (like this one). It’s not terribly hard to work with, but my first impressions tell me that it is glitchy! It will take some getting used to… but, I didn’t die. 😀 ❤