Category: Blog Tour

‘Fix the World’ Blog Tour: What We Need is Hope

What We Need is Hope


Two years ago, an idea came to me for a new anthology. This was a year or so before Covid19 ravaged the world. Still, we were in the midst of a torrent of lies and deception, and the blows came daily, both from representatives of our own government and from Mother Nature herself.


Then Covid arrived, and everything changed.


I read a fascinating article about what happens to people when they can no longer project a positive future for themselves. We shut down. We lose our desire to keep going in the here and now – what’s the point if there is no future to look forward to?


This has a lot in common with depression or life after a traumatic event.


In effect, we all suffered a mass trauma, and we are trying to feel our way forward out of it bit by bit.


In this strange environment, this project took on a new urgency. I needed to have something to hope for. I was like Mulder from the x-files. I wanted to believe. I just needed someone to help me get there.


So I put out the call for writers to take a current problem and write a story about a future where that problem had been solved, and over the next few months I was astonished as story after story poured in. In the end, we received 65 tales, dealing with issues from climate change to policing issues to all-out war.


‘Blood Moon’ Blog Tour – My Writing Process By Catherine Lundoff

My Writing Process

Catherine Lundoff – Blood Moon Blog Tour


“Writing process” sounds so very organized and planned, like it’s a thing you can rely on and replicate. I mean, I know some writers can, and sometimes I am one of them, but it’s not quite as straightforward as that for me. I’m a pantser, as you may have guessed. I have tried not being a pantser, but that generally leads to me getting bored and wandering off into other things so a pantser with some very general outling, I remain.


But using terms like “pantser” or “plotter” is like putting baby in a proverbial corner, at least in the sense of “all writers do it this way, always” and “pantser” is often just used as a synonym for “disorganized.” Since nobody puts baby in the corner around here, this is what pantsing looks like for me: an idea pops into my head, often in the form of either a first line or a character. The can be inspired by music that I’m listening to or guidelines for a project I want to write for or some other source.  (more…)

Orange City Book Tour: How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Avoid‌ ‌the‌ ‌Rejection‌ ‌Blues‌

How to Avoid the Rejection Blues

Rejection and being an author go hand in hand. Fiction is very subjective so what one person may like, another may hate. I have had two novels published, one by the indie press, New Pulp Press, and the other by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s; but before that, I had three novels rejected over the course of a few years and a lot of rejections from agents before I landed with Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory. There were many times I thought I wouldn’t make it as an author, but I’m stubbornly determined and driven, and I used the rejections to make my writing better so I wouldn’t be rejected the next time. 

The first set of rejections came from literary magazines until a few finally hit. Lit mags are a very smart way to start as a career as an author, since agents and editors and publishers will want to see some type of publications on your Writing Resume. It is guaranteed that more magazines will say no as opposed to yes. However, once one magazine accepts your work, you have a greater chance of getting another to bite, since you are beginning to establish yourself. The idea that you will be published in The New Yorker automatically will not happen, so forget about that. Begin with online journals and don’t worry about not getting paid, the exposure, even if it’s small, is better than a check. 

The same goes for agents. Most agents will reject you because they are flooded with submissions. They also want to shape a writer’s career so they want to believe in you rather than just your one book. Have a follow up ready. More importantly, take the advice that they give if you’re lucky to get notes. My agent liked the book I initially sent him, but had a lot of revisions before he could sign me on. I listened to everything he said. 

WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Catherine Lundoff

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror.
Hi there! Thanks for including me! I write a fair amount of horror and horror-adjacent work, including a lot of ghost stories and classic tale retellings, often seen through a queer lens. You can find my collected horror and dark fantasy in a collection called Unfinished Business: Tales of the Dark Fantastic (Queen of Swords Press, 2019). You can also find my work in publications like American Monsters Part 2 and Fireside Magazine and in media tie-in anthologies for World of Darkness games such as Vampire the Masquerade and Wraith. In addition, I write “horror-adjacent” work such as my Wolves of Wolf’s Point menopausal werewolf books and vampire erotica as Emily L. Byrne.

Apart from that, I’ve always loved certain kinds of horror – ghost stories, the kind of monster stories that hum along just below the surface of fairy tales and thoughtful smart horror like Ginger Snaps and Shirley Jackson and Angela Carter. I like the snark and diverse representation of new shows like The Dead Lands (2020) as well as Victorian-style horror books and films like Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black and Del Toro’s Crimson Peak. I like a good scare, but am not big on gore.


Chaos in Milan Blog Tour: Character Arc Over Several Novels—Grow or Die

Character Arc over several novels—Grow or Die

By: Edale Lane

Like a plant, you’re either growing or dying. This is also true of the characters in the worlds we create through fiction literature. One factor I always kept in mind while writing the Night Flyer Trilogy was to show growth in my primary characters as well as in their relationships. Of all the players on my stage, Don Benetto Viscardi underwent the greatest transformation. 

In Merchants of Milan, Don Benetto first appears as a ruthless Mafia type boss who has gained wealth and prominence as an arms dealer. While he runs a legitimate company, he is not above lying, cheating, and engaging in unscrupulous business practices. However, those you dare cross or cheat him are likely to end up dead. Ambition and greed, along with the manner in which his father raised him, led him to believe this was the only way to succeed. He treats his wife with callous indifference, his son is off to university, and he has forbidden his daughter to speak to the young man she has fallen in love with because he dislikes the boy’s father. He also made the mistake of killing Luigi de Bossi, an inventor he thinks double-crossed him but was actually innocent. 

This act unleashes the inventor’s daughter, Florentina, who takes up the traditional Italian vendetta to enact vigilante justice on the perpetrator. Don Benetto is surprised when the mysterious Night Flyer attacks his merchandise caravans and robs him of large sums of gold because he was certain de Bossi had no sons. He gets angrier and angrier as his business is systematically destroyed, striking out in frustration as everyone around him. His role in book one climaxes with the Night Flyer burning his warehouses and mansion to the ground, but “he” stops short of taking Benetto’s life. Instead, the Night Flyer puts a scar on his chin and says to let that remind him that he was given a second chance. 

Secrets of Milan opens with Benetto and his family having moved to his vineyard in the countryside, the only property he still owns. He is angry and insulted to have lost his fortune and is forced to live in an old country manor house, but it is Christmas and his wife, daughter, and brother want to celebrate. His son comes home only to chew him out and leave, and his brother states the obvious—that he only cares about himself—and then he leaves to find alternative employment and place to live. Benetto worries that his wife and daughter will abandon him too, and he will have nothing and nobody. 

Considering the Night Flyer’s words that he is being given a second chance, Benetto reflects on his life and how his actions may have led to his current situation. He observes that his wife and daughter and moving on with their lives, making the best of things, and decides he much change or die alone as a bitter old man. So he makes a point of trying to treat them better and while not encouraging it, allows his daughter to correspond by letter with Antonio, the young man she wishes to marry, who is away with the army. When this book ends, he has reconnected with his wife only to discover that she is suffering from a condition (lead poisoning) which the doctors cannot identify and have no cure for. 

When Chaos in Milan opens, Benetto is devastated over the news of his wife’s illness, but because he needs her and doesn’t want to be left alone. He still struggles with his inner demons but is more determined than ever to become a better father, husband, and human being. But change is hard. Because the Night Flyer had salted the soil at the vineyard, he can’t produce eatable grapes, much less wine. But sudden inspiration gives him the idea of using what grapes he has for vinegar. Having renewed hope and purpose he begins to see a future for the vineyard and for himself. Can he stay on the path to redemption, or will his old nature win out? At the end of his arc, Antonio returns from war a mature and fearless man to claim his bride one way or another. But Benetto hates Antonio’s father and doesn’t want to lose his daughter now that they have repaired their relationship. Will he agree to the marriage or take on the young man in a duel? Will he ever come to love his wife? Will he ever be able to love himself? 

If I tell you how his part in the story ends, it may ruin the experience for you as you read Chaos in Milan. Don Benetto started out as a villain, and he may never become a saint. But a near death encounter and hitting rock bottom can be a catalyst for change. The truth is that people can change; they just usually don’t. Habits, ways of thinking, feeling, and acting become ingrown in one’s personality and it requires deliberate thought and a strong desire to change. Change is hard, but it is possible. To me, Benetto’s struggle to become a better man represents an important theme in the trilogy and one that most of us can relate to on some level.

Book Synopsis for Chaos in Milan:  

One woman stands between chaos and order – the Night Flyer.

When chaos strikes at the heart of Milan, it is up to Florentina’s alter-ego the Night Flyer to stop it. As Florentina and Madelena’s love deepens, so does the well of danger surrounding them. The race is on to discover the mysterious Shadow Guild and uncover who is behind the deadly rampage, but Florentina’s mission is threatened by a gang of assassins. Can the Night Flyer prevail, or will Maddie’s love be ripped from her arms?

Chaos in Milan is the third book in Edale Lane’s Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like action and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and a sweet romance, then you’ll want to complete the Night Flyer saga.

Tour Schedule and Activities


2/3 The Literary Underworld Guest Post

2/3 Jazzy Book Reviews Author Interview 

2/4 The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E Glenn Guest Post

2/5 Kim Smith, Author Guest Post

2/5 Oohana Children’s Church Video – Interview Response

2/6 Horror Tree Guest Post

2/7 The Seventh Star Blog Guest Post 

2/8 Jorie Loves A Story Review

2/9 Afshan Hashmi Guest Post

2/10 Sapphyria’s Books Guest Post

Tour Page URL:

Links for Chaos in Milan:

Kindle Version:

Amazon Print Version:

Barnes and Noble Link:

Edale Lane


Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. Please visit her website at:

Author Links: 

Twitter:   @EdaleLane

Official Site:

Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs Tour: My First Memorable Journeys into Fantasy (Dark Fantasy) Left a Deep, Lasting Impression

My First Memorable Journeys into Fantasy (Dark Fantasy) Left a Deep, Lasting Impression

By Jeanne Marcella

I always wrote and told stories. Ever since I could remember. Horses, unicorns, and princesses. But I think my first exposure into dark fantasy was going to the movie theater to see the animated Raggedy Ann and Andy film in 1977. I was eight years old. I’d already had rag dolls of the two characters and loved them. (I loved Raggedy Ann more!) I didn’t know it was a dark film at the time. There were some very adult situations—some gross sexual micro actions that went over a kid’s head, but were pretty visual. Candid hints of drug use, and other grim adult themes.  

In the last year or so, now in my early 50s, I went back and skimmed the film online. Damn. It was dreadful, long, and boring. Also a bit grotesque and repulsive. The music was fantastic, lively, yet also full of gloom. As an adult, it feels just as fantastic and lively, yet now fills me with horrific anxiety and slight repulsion. 

I think what initially drew eight-year-old-me was that 1) it was a musical 2) the French doll Babette and 3) the human character’s first name was Marcella.  Side note: In fact-checking the spelling of Babette, I ran into a 2015 blog post that called this movie “The Most Screwed Up Children’s Animated Movie Musical Ever” by Mark Robinson Writes, and I wholeheartedly agree. I’d also run into this article previously, when I skimmed the movie online. 

The second exposure into dark fantasy was at a matinee with my cousins to see a double feature.  I can’t remember the first movie, but the second feature was Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings. It was 1978. My cousins were super bored and wanted to leave. I refused. Because I was hooked, fascinated. What was this strange cartoon filled with elves and monsters? All the while wondering how it was possible they did cartoons so realistic. 

Tribute in Blood Blog Tour: Crafting a Historical Thriller Tribute in Blood

Crafting a Historical Thriller Tribute in Blood

Horror Tree asked me to submit an article targeting writers; terror sets in. Can I succeed in satisfying their insatiable hunger for novel ideas, their thirst for a gold nugget they may claim and remold as their own, or will I be dragged into the depths of a cobweb-infested chasm of doom by my inadequate words and phrases, never to surface again? Choosing the right topic and crafting witty quips and insightful nuances for regular people is one thing, but geared toward other authors—the horror! And so, I set out on my quest to inform and entertain the most discerning of audiences: you.

The genre I have chosen to focus on under the penname Melodie Romeo (my actual name) is the historical thriller. I’ve done a bit of supernatural and straight horror, but I prefer suspense to gore, an unexpected twist to a predictable slaughter. With my academic background, it feels more natural to place my tale somewhere in the past. I was always told, “Write what you know;” I know history, or at least how to research and excavate the information I require for a story. 

I have been writing stories, poems, songs, and novels since I was six years old, but never had anything published until 2002. It is a dicey and difficult business, fraught with pitfalls and dangers, risks and obstacles, and seemingly unsurmountable challenges—especially when raising two children on a teacher’s salary. I had just completed an exciting historical fantasy manuscript, Viking Quest, with a female protagonist, mystery, high seas adventure, epic battles, and the inner struggles of the characters; no one wanted to publish it. Only a handful even bothered to send a rejection letter. I tried agents. They weren’t interested in me or my book. It was a frustrating blow as this was my first novel that I deemed worthy to put into print. So, I consulted writer’s resources, mostly in hard-copy because the internet was not as developed as it is today, and concluded that I may need to gear my next work toward what was selling at the time, to write for the market instead of myself if I ever wished to be published. Topping the best-seller lists were books like Hannibal, disturbing serial killers who would chill you to the bone with just one look.

I needed an idea for a thriller with a super-villain, one as shocking and intriguing as Hannibal Lector, but I wrote historical fiction (don’t want to waste the money I spent on that MA), so who could I find? Research led me to several possibilities, but the malefactor who fit the bill was Vlad the Impaler. There was enough factual information about him to prove he was just as sadistic as any fictional human monster, and ample missing from the accounts to allow me leeway to craft a story about the protagonists who face and ultimately defeat him. 

Composing a historical thriller requires the investigative skills of a Ken Burns and the writing instincts of a Stephen King; throw in romance and you need the talent of a Nora Roberts to complete the triangle. Therefore, if I was to craft a piece worthy, I would have to be at the top of my game. 

This blending of genres adds a realism element to the horror novel that supernatural and fantasy tales can’t produce. Sure, they can be vastly suspenseful and infinitely chilling, keep you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, afraid to turn the next page, but at the end of the day you know it will never happen in real life. With a story based on terrors that actually occurred, you can’t get off that easy. Hence, the historical thriller has the potential to be even more unsettling. 

How did I mix all the ingredients into Tribute in Blood, you may ask? I began with an examination of the primary subject, Prince Vlad III Dracula. The internet had a few little articles, but not the reliable sources I required, so I ordered scholarly books on his life and times, scoured libraries for period background information, dug up photographs and artists’ renderings of the places I would be writing about. I longed to hop a plane and fly to Romania to experience the mystique of the Carpathian Mountains for myself, but that was not possible. I did my best to get inside Vlad’s psyche—a very scary place to be indeed. I also studied other real-life personalities, such as King Mathias of Hungary, Stephen the Great of Moldavia, Prince Basarab of Walachia, and Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire. 

But I was including fictional characters as well, so I set out to form them into believable individuals with backstories, motivations for their attitudes and actions and dropped them into the setting of Curtea de Arges, a small town near Poenari Castle. Chief among them are the two protagonists, Nicolae and Maria.

Next came hammering out the plot, fitting it into the accumulated accounts, and making room for romance to bloom amid a barrage of life and death situations. As is typical of me, the outline metamorphosed as the writing process proceeded and I reached for more intrigue and excitement. I deliberately determined to utilize cliffhangers at the end of chapters to create a sense of urgency and prompt the story to be a quick read. I hope I have succeeded.

The sub-genre of historical thriller is one that is wide open for authors to explore as it has not yet become saturated with an immense volume of novels. Some writers may prefer fantasy or straight fiction, fearing that the constraints of facts would bind their creativity; I find it to be the opposite. Coloring inside the lines of the chronicles is a discipline akin to composing music within the rules of classical style. It preserves focus and prevents me from straying too far from the core of the tale. Fully developed characters placed in moral dilemmas can be accomplished just as easily, and isn’t that the true crux of storytelling? 

If you are considering delving into the inky waters of historical thriller writing, then I encourage you to take the plunge. A word of advice, though: dig deeper than Wikipedia for your biographies. Look at your subjects from all angles and present them as they were—real people who lived real lives, be they saint or sinner, or perhaps a bit of both.

Get ready for thrills and romance immersed in a historical setting as you explore Tribute in Blood, by Melodie Romeo, in a new blog tour taking place November 25 to December 2!

The return of Vlad the Impaler brings Nicolae and Maria together through mutual tragedies, and only they dare to try to stop his reign of terror! A thrilling read for the coming holiday season!

The Tribute in Blood Blog Tour features reviews, interviews, guest posts, top ten lists, and more!

About the author:  Melodie Romeo, who also writes under the pen name Edale Lane, is the author of the award winning 2019 novel, Heart of Sherwood, and the Night Flyer Trilogy. As Melodie Romeo, she has written Vlad a Novel (soon to be re-released as Tribute in Blood), Terror in Time, and others. She founded Past and Prologue Press in 2019. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Melodie is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.


Book Synopsis for Tribute in Blood:  Tribute in Blood, a Tale of Vlad the Impaler, by Melodie Romeo (previously released under the title, Vlad, a Novel)

The most terrifying horrors are revealed in the pages of history.

After killing over 100,000 people during his first reign as Prince of Walachia, Vlad has returned, ready to inflict tortuous death on anyone he chooses. Only Nicolae and Maria, drawn together through mutual tragedies both inflicted by the ruthless Prince Dracula, dare try to stop him. Can Nicolae fulfill his plan of justice and revenge while winning the heart of the lovely Maria, or will he become the Impaler’s next victim?

With heart-stopping danger at every turn, detailed historical accuracy combined with fictional characters, and a myriad of surprises, Tribute in Blood is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Order this historical thriller-romance today!   


Author Links: 


Twitter:   @EdaleLane

Official Site:


Tour Schedule and Activities


11/25 Afshan Hashmi Guest Post

11/25 Armed with a Book Top Ten List

11/25 The Literary Underworld Guest Post

11/26 Author Interview 

11/27 Jazzy Book Reviews Author Interview

11/27 Saphhyria’s Books Guest Post

11/28 Horror Tree Guest Post

11/29 Sheila Deeth Guest Post

11/30 The Seventh Star Blog Guest  Post

12/1 The Book Lover’s Boudoir Review

12/2 The Bookwyrm’s Guide to the Galaxy Top Ten List

Links for Tribute In Blood:

Kindle Version:

Amazon Print Version:

Barnes and Noble Link:

Tiny Planet Filled With Liars Blog Tour: Stephen M.A. Tackles Interview Transcripts

[The Interviewer]

Thank Jupiter, this is the last of these we have today, right?


[Stephen M.A.]

Yeah, I’m pretty sure.


[The Interviewer]

Thank fu—uh, thanks for the memories, that is. This one’s about your writing process.


[Stephen M.A.]

WHAT? I literally just got done doing that! I don’t want to talk about it.



You’re the one who booked this, I don’t know why you’re yelling at me, especially since I’m in here with you to begin with. Capital letters still hurt my ears, you know.



For crying out—

Alright, fine. Go ahead.



How much did your film background play into your obvious continuing addiction to screenplay-style formatting as revealed here, when you decided to write the book originally?



None at all, actually. I literally did not realize this was going to become a story about interview transcripts until that first interview with Bartimus suddenly popped up after the introduction chapter. I think I was doing it as shorthand at the beginning, to be honest. But very quickly I started giving myself the freedom to make jokes with the format itself, and that sealed the deal.



Yes, you do like to make yourself giggle, don’t you.



We’re due some missing years on that front, wouldn’t you say?



Valid point.



Anyway, I’m actually very happy with how it turned out. I’m aware that this is a more complicated style of writing than most popular fiction in 2020—especially genre fiction. I think, even for the readers who are completely on-board with my voice during the prose chapters, there’s still so much utility to be found in breaking that up with … completely straightforward, momentum-driven dialogue interludes. I think I’ll find it difficult to go back to doing it the usual way for whatever future series takes that honor.



And only then can I finally rest.



Alright, drama much. Let’s just wrap this up, it’s dinner time.



Probably for the best. Do NOT have nachos again, I can’t stand the sound in here.



I really hate you sometimes.



Yes, I’ve seen your notes. Until next time, folks! Thanks so much to Horror Tree for having us! Grab Tiny Planet Filled With Liars, out now on Kindle Unlimited!