Monday, January 25, 2021



I've kissed a boy.

I've been to another world.

I've seen death.

By M.B. Chapman

Author: M.B. Chapman
Publisher: Light Messages / Torchflame Books
Pages: 268
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Fiction

Almost two weeks ago I was just a normal girl getting ready to start my senior year of high school, deciding where I wanted my life to go. And now?
I’ve kissed a boy. I’ve been to another world. I’ve seen death.
And I don’t know what my life’s become.

Banewind tells the spellbinding story of 18-year-old Genevieve DeWinter, a typical high school girl who finds herself entangled in the throes of adventure, romance, and survival after discovering the existence of a group of magical beings known as Formulists and their co-existing world, Banewind.

With the arrival of several mages in her hometown of Parma, Ohio, Genevieve soon learns that these extraordinary secrets are rooted deep within her family’s history when it is revealed her deceased mother was a heroic warrior in a long lineage of female protectors called the Holy Guardian. Now, a vengeful group of Formulists known as the Voidweavers have returned and set their sights on Genevieve, believing she might be the next Holy Guardian and the key to awakening their fallen leader, the Void King, who had been destroyed by Genevieve’s mother when she sacrificed herself a decade earlier to save Banewind and all of humanity from an unthinkable evil.

With the help of new allies, Genevieve must fight to stay alive as she unravels the mystery and danger that have shattered the stability of the life she once knew before the Voidweavers succeed in shadowing the world in chaos and darkness once again.

Now that he’s in better light, I can get a good view of him. I’m right on the age part—he’s probably eighteen or nineteen—and he’s very attractive. He has black hair that swoops over the side of his forehead, and blue eyes that are sparkling like sapphires. His face is beautiful, with high-set cheekbones and a slender nose. His skin is pale and ashen, but it suits him well. And his body appears fit beneath the turquoise track jacket and matching track pants he wears. “Want me to help you look for him?” He takes another step toward me. “It’s okay. Thanks.” I back up. “You don’t have to do that.” “I don’t mind.” He stares at me with a wolfish grin, and I feel as though his blue eyes are piercing through my body. “It really isn’t smart for you to be out here alone.” “What about you?” I snap back. “I mean, really. A girl can’t spend her time alone in the woods, but it’s perfectly acceptable for a boy?” His eyes widen in surprise. “I-I guess you make a good point.” He bites his lips. They have a blue tint to them. “What’s your name?” “Genevieve.” Can he tell I’m caught off-guard? “I’m Scythe. Nice to meet you.” We both stand there in awkward silence. “Okay. Well, I’m going to go find my dog. Take care.” “Wait.” He jerks his hand towards me. “Why don’t you stay here, and I’ll go find the dog and bring him back to you.” He looks proud of himself for suggesting this. “If not, you might get lost.” “These woods aren’t that big. I’ll be fine.” I’m beginning to get agitated with this punk. “I appreciate you offering to help. But seriously, I’m just going to—” The tree behind Scythe explodes into thousands of splinters, crackling while the red blaze ascends to the top. As I fall to the ground, I see him bound to the left and roll behind a hollowed trunk, taking cover from the hissing flames. The clearing illuminates with a fiery orange light as the trunk bursts into dancing embers. I cover my eyes, blinded by the fire’s brightness as it continues to engulf the shrubbery around me. My face is drenched in sweat, and my breathing is swift and shallow. Up and down, up and down, up and down. My chest rises and falls so fast I’m afraid I’ll pass out if I don’t get myself under control. Another explosion. I cover my ears and scream. I drag myself over to a stump and hide behind it, scanning the clearing to see what has become of the boy. About twenty feet from me, his body lies sprawled out, with flames flickering just inches from his clothes. A nearby tree explodes and falls to the ground, revealing a figure in a hooded red cloak standing in its place.

"This story has a great mix of fantasy and young adult romance. Love the strong female protagonist at the center of the story! It is like Harry Potter, but with a unique, imaginative world all its own. There is a rich backstory of the fantasy land woven throughout the book that makes me excited for future books by this author!"
-- Amazon Reviewer

"I think this could be the next big thing. I would love to see this made into a movie or tv show. The story is intriguing, the characters easy to imagine, and the writing is great. Super easy read and kept me invested the entire time! Ready for book 2!"
-- Amazon Reviewer

I don't think this is a series but it sure could be! The mixture it has sets this into a good read! Especially if you are snowed in. Well written and thought out plot and characters! Very interesting read that you will find yourself completely drawn in and lost from the reality of life!
-- Amazon Reviewer



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M.B. Chapman is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive your gift card
  • This giveaway ends midnight March 31.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on April 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


Matt Chapman grew up outside of Cleveland and now lives in St. Louis, Missouri where he is completing his residency in Psychiatric medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine where he obtained his MD and a graduate of Saint Louis University where he majored in Biology.

Matt has had a passion for writing and reading since childhood and continues to find time for these interests among his other pursuits, including medical education and leadership studies. He is currently working on his next novel in The Banewind Series.





Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Character Guest Post: Clarence the Snail of Sybrina Durant's CLEO CAN TIE A BOW #characterday


Today is character guest post day! We have Clarence the Snail from Sybrina Durant's new children's book, CLEO CAN TIE A BOW. Enjoy!

“Hello! - Name’s Clarence. Yeah, I’m the little short guy -  the one trying to stay out from under everyone’s hooves and paws. Luckily Birdy prefers worms to snails so I’m safe from her beak and claws, too.

Birdy and I live in Tie-Land Forest with Doey and  Foxy.  Recently we’ve all made a new friend. Her name is Bunny.

Poor little rabbit had quite a scare when she first arrived all bedraggled with leaves and twigs in her ear fur. That first day, she actually thought Foxy was going to eat her! Ha! Everyone around here knows Foxy is a vegetarian but Bunny didn’t know it, then.

In fact, she didn’t know much of nothin’ about the big, wide world - being from the city and all. She spent most of her younger years living with a bunch of rabbits just like her…all of them spending most of their time in wire cages.  I don’t even want to imagine how dreadful that must have been. . .it’s no way to learn survival skills, I tell ya.

Anyhoo, the first time I ever laid eyeballs on Bunny, she was a mess. She didn’t even know how to keep her ears from dragging the ground. Their tips were full of twigs and leaves and all kinds of other debris. Luckily Foxy got right on it. She’s like some magical bee-you-tishion or something. . .and before I could say ‘razamataz and all that jazz’ - she fixed that pitiful Bunny’s raggedy ears right up. With those little fingery-toes on her paws a’flyin, Foxy maneuvered those extra-long ears into a big beautiful floppy bow.  We were all impressed with her skills and Bunny was so happy that that’s how she wears them every day now.  It's the cutest thing you ever did see. That girly-look perfectly suits her sweet personality, too.

Oh my, look at the time.  It’s been nice chatting with you but it’s time for me to skedaddle.  I don’t want to be late to the picnic!”


Author: Sybrina Durant
Publisher: Sybrina Publishing
Pages: 38
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Cleo can tie a bow. She learned what she knows from a rabbit and a fox. They can teach your child how to tie a bow, too. This fun picture book is intended to be a family bonding parent-child activity. It’s a great way to learn to tie shoe laces.


Cleo Can Tie A Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story is an educational picture book for children written by Sybrina Durant and illustrated by Pumudi Gardiyawasam. Cleo loves bows! All of her shoes have bows, and she always has a bow in her hair. If you look at her dress, you’ll notice that it has a bow and a sash around her waist. Even her fingernails are decorated with little bows. And her bedroom? Yes, you guessed it. There are bows everywhere — on the bed, on the curtains over her windows; even her stuffed bunny’s ears are tied into a bow. Cleo learned all about tying bows from a story about a rabbit with very long, droopy ears and the friendly fox who had the perfect solution.

Sybrina Durant’s Cleo Can Tie A Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story is two stories within a story. Children are introduced to Cleo who then introduces the story about how she learned to tie a bow. In her introduction to the book, Durant recommends that parents share the story with their children, so they can learn to tie a bow along with Cleo. She suggests using long ribbons to simulate the fox’s moves or shoelaces. Both stories are engaging and fun to read, and the instructions given by the fox work quite well. I was pleased to note the author cautions that, despite the storyline, one must never practice bow tying moves on a real bunny. Pumudi Gardiyawasam’s colorful and fun illustrations work quite well with the story, and the profusion of bows on Cleo’s wardrobe, room, and bunny will entice young readers to try their own hands at tying a bow. The author also provides a link for a video version and the “Cleo can tie a bow song.” Cleo Can Tie A Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story is highly recommended.

–Readers Favorite


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Sybrina Durant is the author of The Rabbit and The Fox Learn To Tie Series of Books which include Learn To Tie A Neck Tie With The Rabbit and the Fox in English, Spanish and Tagalog; Ned Can Knot A Neck Tie; Nellie Can Knot A Neck Scarf and the newest addition, Cleo Can Tie  A Bow. She also the author of The Blue Unicorn Series of books and has an online book store which features, unicorns, rabbits, foxes, and how to tie books plus gift items related to those things plus lots of bow-themed gifts.






Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Character Guest Post: Mayor Sampson of Jon Bassoff's CAPTAIN CLIVE'S DREAMWORLD #characterday

Today is character guest post day! We have Mayor Sampson from Jon Bassoff's new horror novel, CAPTAIN CLIVE'S DREAMWORLD. Enjoy!

What do you know about vision? What do you know about empathy? What do you know about innovation? And, most importantly, what do you know about job creation? I would reckon that you know nothing about any of it, so if you feel the need to criticize the great Captain Clive and his sons, you’ll pardon me if I turn around and leave this bar, you’ll pardon me if I don’t listen to a damn thing coming out of your foolish mouth.

Now if you grew up in the 80s, you might vaguely remember hearing about Captain Clive, you might vaguely remember hearing about Captain Clive’s Dreamworld. Oh, it was a magnificent park, filled with laughter and happiness and dreams. But it wasn’t just the park! It was the town, too. Angels and Hope. Every Victorian house, water fountain, and green park conceived by Captain Clive himself. It was a place where neighbors greeted neighbors in the quiet of summer twilight. Where children chased fireflies. Where porch swings provided an easy refuge from the cares of the day. All the rumors about the accident, all the rumors about those girls gone missing are just that: rumors.

And what about Captain Clive himself? How much do you know about him? In my mind, he embodied the American ideal, the ideal that with enough hard work and determination anything is possible. A brief history: his father, a tired and stooped man, made a living picking tobacco. His mother died in childbirth, bled out on a dirt floor. As a child he lived in a dilapidated shack and considered himself fortunate if he got a single meal each day. But, as a young man, through his own innovation in the world of plastics (he developed a catalyst that enabled polymerization at room temperature), he became rich—very rich. He started his own company that produced, among other things, plastic flowers for export. By the time he was thirty years old, the captain’s net worth was estimated to be more than two hundred million dollars. He could have pocketed the money, used it to buy cars and mansions and small islands. But instead, he wanted to give to others. His vision was of a place where young and old could be exhilarated full time. A place where magic was around every corner. A place where we remembered to dream. And so the park. And so the town.

But you know what happens when outsiders show up? They begin poking around. They begin seeing blood where there is only red wine. First it was Deputy Stewart. Asking all those questions. Writing all those notes. We couldn’t have that. We took care of him but good. I don’t mean to suggest there was any violence. Only some well-placed emotional pressure. And so he left town, and things were like they used to be, like they were supposed to be. But then the next deputy came to town. Deputy Hardy. Don’t get me started on him. Self-righteous. Unduly suspicious. Downright rude. We did our best to treat him well, to make him feel at home. But it turned out that he was even naughtier than Stewart. He left us no choice, you see. No choice at all.  

But enough of that. Let’s talk about Captain Clive again. God, what a man! You know those paintings of Jesus at the last supper? Well, I’ve got one of those hanging in my living room. Spreads across the entire wall. My wife thinks it’s obnoxious, but what does she know? And in my painting, do you know who’s sitting right next to Jesus, holding his hand? Captain Clive himself. Now you’re laughing. You think that’s ridiculous. You think I’m an idiot. I’m no idiot, at least not when I’m sober. I was the mayor of Angels and Hope, for Christ sake! I know what’s real, what’s fantasy. I know that Captain Clive never met Jesus. I know he wasn’t at the Last Supper. It’s an artistic representation, you see? What we call a metaphor. And metaphorically speaking, I do believe that Captain Clive sits next to Jesus. I do believe he went to battle with Washington and tended to Lincoln when he was shot and whispered the words for Roosevelt to say during his fireside chats. I do believe that Captain Clive is a hero of the greatest kind, a savior of the poor, a heeler of the wounded.

But nothing lasts forever. I recently returned to the park, to the town. It had been so many years since I’d been back, ever since they shut it down over those bogus claims. But I missed it so. I drove through a desolate two-lane highway surrounded by dirt and shrubs and tumbleweed, and eventually to Angels and Hope, to Captain Clive’s Dreamworld. It was a shame. The only thing left of the park were wrecked rides—a dilapidated Ferris wheel, a disintegrating skeleton of a roller coaster, bumper cars overrun with weeds. The only thing left of the town were rotted houses and empty asphalt. Heavenly Lake had been drained, and the people were all gone. Every single one of them. I’m not too ashamed to admit that I hung my head and cried.  

But I know what I’ll remember. I’ll remember Captain Clive, beautiful Captain Clive, standing inside his palace (a two-story, six-thousand square foot glass structure with panoramic views of both Dreamworld and Angels and Hope), his face inches from the glass, gazing down at his creation, knowing that he’d created a masterpiece, knowing that he’d created heaven.  

Author: Jon Bassoff
Publisher: Eraserhead Press (print & ebook) Blackstone Audio (Audio)
Pages: 234
Genre: Horror/Horror Literature

After becoming the suspect in the murder of a young prostitute, Deputy Sam Hardy is “vanished” to a temporary post as the sole police officer in Angels and Hope, an idyllic town located in the middle of the desert, miles from any other sign of life. Hardy soon learns that Angels and Hope was constructed as a company town to support a magnificent amusement park – one to rival Disneyland – known as Captain Clive’s Dreamworld. When he arrives, however, Hardy notices some strange happenings. The park is essentially empty of customers. None of the townsfolk ever seem to sleep. And girls seem to be going missing with no plausible explanation.

As Hardy begins investigating, his own past is drawn into question by the people in town, and he finds himself becoming more and more isolated. Soon his phone line mysteriously goes dead. His car’s tires get slashed. And he is being watched constantly by neighbors. The truth – about the town and himself – will lead him to understand that there’s no such thing as a clean escape.

Straddling the line between genre fiction and something more bizarre, Captain Clive’s Dreamworld is a terrifying vision of the collapse of the American mythos.


Captain Clive’s Dreamworld winds its way through an eerie, Lynchian landscape, populated by Stepford citizenry, cursed lives, and all the bleak sensibilities of the most dire Cormac McCarthy tale. Bassoff’s latest is a must read for fans of the genre, or any reader who prefers their fiction with a sense of the off-kilter. Highly recommended!”

-Ronald Malfi, author of Bone White

“Jon Bassoff’s nightmarish bizarro novel Captain Clive’s Dreamworld reads like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone mixed with Twin Peaks mixed with Dante’s Inferno. Unremittingly dark, this roman noir is a trenchant attack on the empty promises of capitalism…a hopeless rebuke of the bright plastic flesh built around the broken, crumbling skeleton of the American Dream.”

-Jeffrey Thomas, author of Boneland

“Jon Bassoff mines an imaginative seam that remains unexplored by any other writer I know working today. I wish I knew his secret, but I’ll settle for reading Captain Clive’s Dreamworld.”

-Tony Black, author of Summoning the Dead

Captain Clive’s Dreamworld is a masterfully rendered, very disturbing cautionary tale of pathological consumerism and nostalgia for a mid-century America that never was. Jon Bassoff’s vision is relentless and unsparing, his prose like a bone saw laying bare the corruption and perversion lurking beneath society’s superficial pieties.”

-Roger Smith, author of Dust Devils

“In Captain Clive’s Dreamworld, Jon Bassoff has created a haunting, suspenseful masterpiece that straddles the line between mystery and horror with expert skill.”

-S.A. Cosby, award-winning author of Blacktop Wasteland


Amazon →

Jon Bassoff was born in 1974 in New York City and currently lives with his family in a ghost town somewhere in Colorado. His mountain gothic novel, Corrosion, has been translated in French and German and was nominated for the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, France’s biggest crime fiction award. Two of his novels, The Drive-Thru Crematorium and The Disassembled Man, have been adapted for the big screen with Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild; Once Upon a Time in America) attached to star in The Disassembled Man. For his day job, Bassoff teaches high school English where he is known by students and faculty alike as the deranged writer guy. He is a connoisseur of tequila, hot sauces, psychobilly music, and flea-bag motels.