Monday, January 18, 2021

In Celebration of Plunge: A Tumultuous Travel Memoir by Liesbet Collaert


Book Blurb Plunge

Tropical waters turn tumultuous in this travel memoir as a free-spirited woman jumps headfirst into a sailing adventure with a new man and his two dogs.

Join Liesbet as she faces a decision that sends her into a whirlwind of love, loss, and living in the moment. When she swaps life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat, she succumbs to seasickness and a growing desire to be alone.

Guided by impulsiveness and the joys of an alternative lifestyle, she must navigate personal storms, trouble with US immigration, adverse weather conditions, and doubts about her newfound love.

Does Liesbet find happiness? Will the dogs outlast the man? Or is this just another reality check on a dream to live at sea?

Links to Purchase Plunge

Amazon global:

Amazon UK:


 Plunge in the US: click

 Plunge in Canada: click 

 Plunge in the UK: click 

 Plunge in Germany: click 

Plunge in Australia: click

 Plunge in Belgium and the Netherlands: click 


Liesbet Collaert is a bilingual freelance writer, translator, editor, and photographer from Belgium who has been writing and traveling her entire life. Her work is published internationally in anthologies and magazines, including Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, Ocean Navigator, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, Islands, Yachting World, Sailing Today, All At Sea, Caribbean Compass, and Zeilen. She also created walking tours for Marigot and Philipsburg in St. Martin.

The author has been interviewed about her alternative lifestyle by Multihull Sailor, Modern Day Nomads, Ocean Navigator, The Wayward Home, The Professional Hobo, and Grey Globetrotters among others. She contributed to extensive cruising surveys for All At Sea and Caribbean Compass and became an assistant-editor for Caribbean Compass in January 2019.

Liesbet loves animals, nature, and the promise of adventure. A nomad since 2003, she calls herself a world citizen and currently lives “on the road” in North America with her husband and rescue dog. Find her stories and photos at and Plunge is her first book.

Monday, January 11, 2021

An Advocate for Victims and Survivors: Guest Author Chrys Fey and The Story Behind A Fighting Chance


Welcome! Today, I have a guest author at my blog. Chrys Fey, the author of The Disaster Crimes Series, and the Write with Fey books, is here to discuss a serious aspect of her romantic suspense series. 


Tyrean Asked: Why are a lot of your characters survivors of domestic violence/abuse or advocates for victims of abuse?


Chrys Fey’s Answer: It’s not something I consciously do. It’s automatic. So many of my characters (published and unpublished) have a history dealing with some kind of abuse, and I think it’s because I can relate to that.

Growing up, I experienced sibling/domestic abuse, as a child and through to my teen years. I never knew it had a name. I didn’t even know to call it sibling abuse until a couple of years ago when I learned this term and realized, holy shit, that’s what I experienced. I had also witnessed child-to-parent abuse, meaning the child (in this case a grown adult) abuses a parent. All of those things impacted me heavily. Still do.

I never discussed it, never understood that for all those years after, even while removed from the person in question, that I was going through PTSD. Knowing that it’s possible, that you can have PSTD from any level of abuse, I can look back and pinpoint moments when my PTSD was aggravated—the fear I had whenever I heard a loud truck outside my apartment or saw a note stuck to my front door.

I am drawn to characters who are survivors, as I am a survivor, although they may have gone through different things. I want to write about these heroines of steel. I want to live through them and feel their strength.

In my life, I also want to be an advocate for those who have or are experiencing abuse, so that’s why my characters stand up for victims of all kinds, as that’s my goal, too.

I will always write about these characters. Maybe not for every single story, but for a lot of them. It’s my calling.


Pages: 154

Genre: Romantic-Suspense

Heat Rating: Hot



*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*

Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he's worried the truth will frighten her away.

And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.

Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?


Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes



Amanda looked up from the current list of up-to-date payments for classes. A movement outside the glass storefront caught her eye. She tilted her head to see a man coming up the sidewalk from the side where the picnic bench sat. Through the vertical blinds, she glimpsed a square face—a short, rugged beard and long, dark hair pulled into a man bun. Her breath fled from her lungs. Her body went from icy cold to flaming hot in the span of a millisecond. She dropped to the floor and slid under the counter, beneath the ledge where they put their purses and cell phones.

“What—” Beth peeked at the windows. Then she snapped her fingers at April and pointed at the stools.

April jumped into action. She pushed the stools in so they blocked Amanda. The bell attached to the door jingled as April removed the jacket she wore and draped it across the stools, creating a curtain to shield Amanda.

From a crack, Amanda watched Beth move to stand in front of the twins, who were in their walkers playing peacefully. “I’m sorry, but we’re going to be closing.”

“I don’t give a shit. I’m here for Amanda.”

The sound of Damon’s voice had her heart beating even harder. That voice had haunted her nightmares, had come back to life in her memories.

Beth cocked her head to the side. “Who? There’s no one by that name here.”

“Don’t bullshit me. I know she works here.”

His voice was closer now.







Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*


The Disaster Crimes Series:

*The Crime Before the Storm (prequel)

Hurricane Crimes (novella, #1)

Seismic Crimes (#2)

Lightning Crimes (free short, #2.5)

Tsunami Crimes (#3)

Flaming Crimes (#4)

Frozen Crimes (#5)

A Fighting Chance (spin-off, #6)

The Disaster Curse (short story, #7)

*Free exclusive story to newsletter subscribers.



***LAUNCHING A WEBSITE*** is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.




Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle





Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

 Newsletter / Website / Facebook Group /Blog / BookBub

Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon


 Thank you, Chrys, for your advocacy and your excellent writing! 



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January 2021 IWSG: Book Problems, Winners of the IWSG Anthology, and the Upcoming IWSG Twitter Pitch

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, The IWSG blog hop gives writers a place to vent, to ask questions, and to encourage each other every month. The website and the newsletter hav loads of helpful information, and the social media pages are a place writers can connect. 

Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

First, I have to say, minor grammar errors don't usually turn me away. I understand the 95% editing standard. It makes sense to me. I own and read grammar guides. I have a college grammar class under my belt, taught by a professor who wrote several English grammar books. I still make lots of mistakes. Typos happen. I don't like turning down the invite of a magical world of bookishness based on a handful of grammar errors.

It usually takes at least three of the following items to turn me away from a book:


1. A LOT of foul language. I grew up in a swearing household. You name it, I said it before I turned six, with one exception ending in "uck" - the only word my mom didn't allow so therefore it was the only word I knew was a swear word until teachers started correcting me. 
One might think this would make me shrug at swear words in books, but instead, I really don't like it if the author decides to throw in swear words more than a few dozen times in a novel. 

2. On the other hand, dialogue that doesn't make sense in the context of the story really bugs me. I know it's hard to keep out our modern words, but "okay" came into usage in 1840. If you're writing 16th century historical fiction, please keep it out. Unless, of course, a time traveler introduces the word.

3. Real world settings gone wrong. We have the internet and google maps. While I'm okay with a few things being different (the world changes constantly and small business change), please be careful with distances and travel times. 

However, I do enjoy watching movies and poking at all the hilarious bits about Seattle. I mean, Meg Ryan walks around downtown in Sleepless in Seattle and visits places that are many miles apart. Maybe she took the terrible public transit system? (For more tips about writing for Washington State, go to this page.)

4. While I've read plenty of excellent action scenes by people who have never been in a fight, or been in a martial arts class, or boxed, or fenced, or done many activities due to disabilities or health issues, I get annoyed when a writer doesn't seem to understand the reality of gravity on Earth.
Even if a writer has never held a fencing blade, or taken a martial arts class, or done anything like that, a writer can think through the actions. If a character is super-powered, super-strong, etc., that's fine with me. A writer can walk/draw/visualize the scene in slow-motion, like an actor preparing for a stage-fight. A writer can also watch some fight scenes in martial arts movies. Yes, the fiction movie landscape includes plenty of badly done fight scenes, but watching a dozen movies and one or two Youtube lessons in the activity/action, a basic understanding can be created. 
And, please, writers, don't let your character walk away unscathed unless they have a super-healing ability or other reason that they can have their head banged against pavement without a concussion.

5. Not always, but sometimes, what gets to me is: improperly formatted dialogue and paragraphing. I don't know why this drives me nuts, but it does. I've made some mistakes here, by dropping quote marks at the end of dialogue sections accidentally, so yes, I get we're all human. If a writer doesn't create a new paragraph for each new speaker, I start to get annoyed. 

6. Too much description. This is a matter of personal taste, but I'm more of a fan of The Hobbit than The Lord of the Rings for this reason.

7. Also, similes are beautiful when they are used to emphasize a certain point, a symbol, or an important piece of character description. Similes in every paragraph or on every page distract me from the book. I start wondering about things like "the shiny highlights in her hair were like the luscious waxy apples under the local grocery store's fluorescent lights." What? I haven't read that in anyone's book, but I did read a novel in which a simile showed up in every paragraph, and some of them were that bad. It started making me laugh every time I read one. 
8. A lengthy introduction in which nothing of note happens. Introductions that last more than eight chapters without an inciting incident/call to action are just too long for me. 

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, I've seen all of these faux pas in traditionally published books as well as indie-published books. Even the professional gatekeepers make mistakes. 

What bugs you in books?


First, as one of the admins who has the honor of pre-reading all of the entries, I can say the entries this year were strong examples of good writing. We had a lot of entries to read, and they were all good science fiction stories. If you sent in an entry and it didn't make it in, I can say there are three reasons:
1. Somehow, the story didn't fit the specific theme or genre parameters we set. 
2. The story didn't fit the parameters of our partner publisher.
3. The judges chose the best of the best, and there were many really good entries.

So, if you submitted and didn't make it, send those stories onward to another short story market. There are many, many short story markets out there. As a short story writer, sometimes it takes me ten or more tries to get a story published. My current average submission ratio to publication is 5:1, but it used to be higher.

So, if you won, wow! Congratulations!

Dark Matter: Artificial

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology


Discover dark matter’s secrets…


What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?


Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Goldin, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.


Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!



Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter.


Release date: May 4, 2021

Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95

EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99

Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies (FIC028040) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) / Genetic Engineering (FIC028110)

186 pages



Artificial - Stephanie Espinoza Villamor

Space Folds and Broomsticks - C.D. Gallant-King

Rift – Kim Mannix

The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans

Sentient – Tara Tyler

One to Another – Deniz Bevan

Resident Alien - Charles Kowalski

Nano Pursuit – Olga Godim

Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller

Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert



BTW - I am planning a belated post about my #101daysgratitude challenge I took on at the end of 2020, and how I plan to do the #365gratitude challenge in my next post.