How to Critique Other Writers’ Work – by Melissa Donovan… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on Writing Forward: As a writer, it helps to be thick-skinned. Once you put your work out there, people will judge, review, and criticize it. But critiques are more helpful when they are received long before publication. In fact, critiques are one of the best ways to improve your writing. Many writers who want critiques […]

How to Critique Other Writers’ Work – by Melissa Donovan… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

5 Tell-Tale Signs of an Amateur Self-Published Book – by Anne R. Allen… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

When you’re confined to a hospital bed for several months the way I was last summer, you read a lot of books. During my 2+ months of medical incarceration, I read pretty much everything loaded onto my trusty old Kindle (over 200 titles.) Often I didn’t remember how the books got there. I’d just start […]

5 Tell-Tale Signs of an Amateur Self-Published Book – by Anne R. Allen… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

The Future Bride

From the author:

Finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards for Romance (2020).


An entertaining romantic comedy for fans of Outlander, Scottish Highlander romance novels, and the Middle Ages. Do you enjoy the writing of Diana Gabaldon, or tenacious female leads like the Bride (Kill Bill), Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games), and Kat Stratford (10 Things I Hate About You)? Read The Future Bride to discover why protagonist Brigid MacDonald embodies the qualities of each of these women.

Twenty-one-year-old Brigid MacDonald spends her days working at a coffee shop, hanging out with her BFF Selma, and avoiding the low lifes she usually meets at bars – until she suddenly finds herself in a strange castle, in another time, being dressed for a wedding ceremony she didn’t consent to! Of course Brigid steals a horse and flees, but the jilted groom and his brothers aren’t giving up so easily. Unprepared for life in the wilds of Medieval Scotland, Brigid must trust her life to a moody Highlander named Ferghus.

Set amidst the breathtaking landscape of Skye, Brigid soon finds herself caught in a serious feud between rival clans. Will her knowledge of karatedo be enough to save her from ruthless warriors, or must she lower her guard and let someone else into her life?

Accompany Brigid MacDonald, a strong, witty, skilled, and beautiful red-head on her journey through the Scottish Highlands. This historical romance combines comedy and suspense that will have you both engaged and laughing at the human frailties that transcend time and place.

Author’s Note: The Future Bride contains tropes of the romance genre, as well as some carefully chosen historical inaccuracies, to facilitate the plot. For adventure. For love. For kilts.

My Review: I loved this book! First of all, it’s a period piece and second it’s set in Scotland – a country that I imagine in my dreams. The same with Ireland, etcetera. To go from one point in time, the present, back a few hundred years is not something every woman experiences. Not ever. I leave the rest to the reader’s imagination as to how complicated this can be. Double twist at the end. Five stars!

Eight Common Writing Mistakes – by Melissa Donovan… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

On Writing Forward: We all make mistakes in our writing. The most common mistake is the typo — a missing word, an extra punctuation mark, a misspelling, or some other minor error that is an oversight rather than a reflection of the writer’s skills (or lack thereof). A more serious kind of mistake is a […]

Eight Common Writing Mistakes – by Melissa Donovan… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Securing Audiobook Rights: The Rights You Need to Bring Your Audiobook to Market – by Matt Knight… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on Jane Friedman Site: Audio rights used to be the ugly stepsister of publishing rights, often thought of as throwaway rights to be included with a group of other secondary rights in a publishing deal. If you think back to when audiobooks made their big splash in the early 1970s with audiocassettes and Books On […]

Securing Audiobook Rights: The Rights You Need to Bring Your Audiobook to Market – by Matt Knight… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Mysterious Phishing Scam for Authors! — Just Can’t Help Writing

Via today’s New York Times, there’s an extremely strange phishing epidemic that affects both established, big-name authors and newbies alike—basically anybody involved in a querying and/or publication cycle. Someone is impersonating editors and agents, requesting drafts of manuscripts in progress toward publication, then “disappearing” the manuscripts. No one thus far has an adequate theory as […]

Mysterious Phishing Scam for Authors! — Just Can’t Help Writing

Pandemic Reality Part Eight and to the End

Labs, chest x-rays, fluids and medicine given,
Then back home as my husband had driven;
Once home, he helped me inside as bidden,
A simple sinus infection had much ambition.

My husband gently shampooed and showered me,
While I stood next to him, my bone pain beastly;
Gently he combed my hair, dried and dressed me,
Ten steps at a time, dizziness swirled like the sea.

Two weeks of 24 hour cares from my husband, I received,
My cough and shortness of breath unrelieved;
My time on Earth was short, I perceived,
I knew my husband and son would be bereaved.

Sure enough, many more people were stricken,
Businesses and churches closed or destroyed with division;
Wear a mask and wash hands was the new condition,
A mantra of six feet apart was the new volition.

Discharged home with Covid-19 pneumonia,
Loss of taste and scent, no smell from the begonia;
Weakness of speech, now hypophonia,
I was sent home without my nurse, Sonja.

I’m a statistic, one who survived, on the long haul,
Fighting, struggling, yet scared as I bawl;
It seemed life kept throwing a curve ball,
Everyone watched and awaited my downfall.

Too sick to dress or apply makeup,
I went to the doctor for a follow up;
Sipping clean water from a paper cup,
I’m afraid if I fall asleep, I might not wake up,

Now I’m on the long haul of this Covid-19 virus,
One small droplet of a viral germ not desirous;
Relentlessly, it still wreaks havoc like a bad retrovirus,
God’s faithful healing and prayers of many inspire us.

It didn’t matter, my saturations and respiratory failure,
No beds left in the hospital, everything was a blur;
No one there, I felt lost at sea like a lone sailor,
Slowly I became well with faith in Jesus, my savior.

He wanted me alive, my work not yet complete,
I started teaching about Covid-19 via a tweet;
Honest suggestions for all with each heart beat,
Doing His work, teaching, giving of self so sweet.


By Mary L Schmidt, 20 November 2020

This entry was posted on December 20, 2020. 2 Comments

Pandemic Reality Part Seven

The hospital is short staffed and full was his cry,

I don’t want my staff to get sick and die;

I can’t breathe, my lips are blue, said I,

You should have stayed home, was his blind eye.

Three emergency room visits did I make,

Two visits went well, the last doctor a snake;

What do you want, his voice a quake;

I want to breathe, I cried out for my sake.

© Mary L. Schmidt December 2020

This entry was posted on December 20, 2020. 2 Comments