Out of Body by Kimberly Baer – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Those weird dreams Abby Kendrick has been having? Turns out they aren’t dreams after all. They’re out-of-body experiences, like the ones her cousin Logan is having. At first Abby has fun with her new ability, using it to spy on her neighborhood crush and spook a mean girl. But when Logan gets in trouble on the astral plane, the game changes, and Abby must bend the rules of out-of-body travel as she journeys to a distant realm. Her mission is a perilous one, and success is not guaranteed. Can she save Logan and find her way home again? Or will the cousins be lost forever on the astral plane?

Enjoy an Excerpt

It had been a tiny, meaningless dream. Not much to offer plot-wise. Why was it thumping so insistently inside me?

You know why, said a firm, quiet voice in my mind.

But I don’t.

You do. It’s because—

I walked faster, trying to outrace the voice. Knowing I couldn’t.

—because there was something different about that dream.

No, there wasn’t!

Something strange.

“No,” I said, as if uttering the word aloud would give it more weight. “It was just a dream. A normal, stupid dream that didn’t mean a thing.”

Except it didn’t feel like a dream.

Yes, it did.

It felt like real life.

That’s crazy! That’s impossible! That’s—

Like. Real. Life.

The words slammed into me like three bullets. I stopped walking.

Like real life. That was how Logan had described his dreams before he’d realized they were out-of-body experiences.

Had the Roscoe dream been an OBE?

“No,” I moaned, sagging against a hefty oak tree in the Hoffmans’ front yard.

It wasn’t true. It couldn’t be. Out-of-body travel was Logan’s thing, not mine. I was letting my imagination run wild. My mother always said I was impressionable.

Then again, was it so crazy to think I might have the same weird ability Logan had? After all, we were cousins. Maybe it was a trait we shared, like our thin brown hair and knobby knees.

A violent shiver rippled through me, even though the sun was once more warming the air. The notion that I might have left my body like a dead person and flown off into the night was terrifying.

And also exhilarating.

About the Author:

Kimberly Baer is an author and professional editor who was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a town marginally famous for having endured three major floods. She even lived there during one of them. She enjoys power-walking on days when it’s not too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, or too windy. On indoor days, you’re likely to find her hard at work on her next novel or binge-watching old episodes of Survivor, her favorite guilty pleasure.

Kim has had her nose in a book practically since birth. Her first story, written at age six, was about a baby chick that hatched out of a little girl’s Easter egg after somehow surviving the hard-boiling process. These days she writes in a variety of genres, including adult romantic suspense, young adult, and middle-grade. Her books are published by The Wild Rose Press and have won several awards.

Out of Body Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYzqrZ2gl-I

http://www.kimberlybaer.com | https://twitter.com/KimberlyBaer14 | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | BookBub Author Page

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks/a>, or BookBub.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Go, Gabbie, Go! by Hollie Noveletsky – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Go, Gabbie, Go was written as a gift to my illustrator and friend Gabbie Studley. Gabbie is a young woman with a big dream to fly. The only thing bigger than Gabbie’s dream is her heart. Read along as Gabbie achieves her dream of flight. Thank you, Gabbie, for your beautiful illustrations and friendship.

About the Author: The author is an ornery old woman who lives with her crotchety old husband in the woods of New Hampshire. Her greatest joy is watching her grandson, Pip, on his great adventures.

Series Website | Facebook
Amazon the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Critique Groups by Dana Hammer – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dana Hammer will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Critique Groups

As a writer, it’s important to let others read your work, and get feedback on it. When we create, we have blind spots, things that make sense to us, but maybe not to a general audience. We make typos. We repeat ourselves, or use certain words over and over and over again. We head hop and skip around in time and forget who we killed off in previous stories. And so, we need to get other sets of eyes on our writing, which is why critique groups are so important.

I have been a member of a few different critique groups, and I have found them to be valuable, not just in terms of having my work critiqued, but also in terms of networking and building my audience. I highly recommend joining a critique group, no matter what type of writer you are.

That said, you have to be careful when taking critique, because — and I cannot stress this enough — NOT ALL CRITIQUES ARE GOOD. And that’s because, like in any group, there are people who know what they’re talking about and people who don’t. Here are a few of the types of people you will find in most critique groups, and my thoughts on whether you should listen to them or not.

1) The Friend Who Doesn’t Write Much
This person is in the group for social reasons. She might write the occasional short story, but she has no real intention of pursuing writing as a career. She is super nice, and has wonderful compliments for everything that is submitted. She usually brings snacks. You should treasure this member as the lovely person she is, but she will not tell you if something you wrote sucks.

2) The Dude Who Fancies Himself a Bit of a Professor
This person is kind of a pretentious prick. He has lots of thoughts on your writing, and he will deliver them with the wry, sardonic tone of a wealthy dilettante addressing the help. He will quote genius writers, a lot. He refuses to read anything written by anyone who is still living. Take his advice if you want, but it will only encourage him.

3) The Soulful Genius Who Hates Himself
This dude can seriously write, but everything he submits is dark, and depressing, and you feel horrible after reading it. He will not submit his work to agents or markets of any kind, because it does not meet his high standards. You should absolutely take his advice, because he knows what he is talking about. But he may not fully appreciate comedic works, or romances.

4) The Socially Awkward Cat Lady
This lady is in every critique group, and usually there is more than one. She writes cozy mysteries or fantasy novels. She reads more than she writes, and she writes a lot. She has lots of other interests, like crocheting and gardening and witchcraft. She is fun to talk to, and you should try to make her your friend. She will absolutely read your book when it’s published, and write a nice review, especially if you praise her cats. If you write in her genre, you should absolutely take her advice, because she is an expert. If you write in another genre, her advice will be to make it more like a cozy mystery or fantasy.

5) The Student
This woman has a masters degree in creative writing, and it will come up, a lot. Her critiques are all things that she heard her professors say, like “Show, don’t tell” and “Your protagonist has to protag” and “don’t use adverbs”. She has no tolerance for experimentation, improper formatting, or works that do not follow the same structure that Star Wars does. She has strong opinions about fonts. She means well, but her creative spirit has been crushed by academia. Disregard.

I love my critique groups. I’ve made some wonderful friends and colleagues there, and have received some truly valuable feedback, which has improved my writing tremendously. I have also met some insufferable blowhards who need to shut up. When you join a critique group, which I hope you do, you will meet all kinds of writers, and each of them will be useful to you on your writing journey — either because they gave good feedback — or because they are the inspiration for a villain in your next book.

Dion Isaacs (the reincarnation of Dionysius), Athena’s brother, is wreaking havoc. After to an unfortunate bee-venom poisoning at his wine business, he is down on his luck and crashing at Athena’s place. But the former god of wine, feasting, and excess is a bad influence on Fanny’s best friends, with his partying, wacky business schemes, and general debauchery. Sure, Dion is a fun guy. But there is such a thing as too much fun, and Fanny seems to be the only one who sees it.

Meanwhile, Fanny’s mother is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which basically means she pukes all the time, because she’s pregnant. With her mom unable to work, her dad is taking extra shifts to make more money, and things are getting tense at home. Fanny is excited to be a big sister, but all this sickness and stress over money are starting to take their toll on her.

Can Fanny save her friends from Dion’s negative influence, while also solving her family’s money problems? Of course she can. She’s Fanny Fitzpatrick.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I wake up in the morning to the sound of my mom puking. She’s not a quiet puker. It sounds like she’s trying to vomit up all the organs in her body while also running a chainsaw or something. And, worse, she’s been doing it for days now. Last night, we were eating dinner and she couldn’t keep any of it down. She said it was the onions, but she normally likes onions, so I think she’s just very sick.

At first, I thought it was just a stomach bug or maybe food poisoning. I remember one time I got food poisoning from some bad tacos, and it was the worst thing ever. I was so miserable I wanted to die.

But like I said, it’s been days now. She should be feeling better. And for the first time I’m really worried about Mom. I wonder if it’s something serious. I remember a couple years ago when Toya’s mom was vomiting all the time because she was having chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her mom is fine now, but she was really sick for a long time.

About the AuthorDana Hammer is a novelist, screenwriter and playwright. She has won over forty awards and honors for her writing, few of which generated income, all of which were deeply appreciated. She is not a cannibal, but she is the author of A Cannibals Guide to Fasting. Dana is also the author of middle grade fantasy My Best Friend Athena which was inspired by a desire to write something her 9 year old daughter could read.


Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rocketship Ride by Franco D’Auria – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Come for a journey through the minds of two loving brothers as they explore the world around them using their imagination!

Join them in their rocketship as they barrel through space, meet with remarkable aliens, get in and out of extraordinary situations, and find the time to enjoy the company of amazing friends and family.

Let them take you on this incredible journey, and hopefully they inspire you to have your fantastic adventures too!

About the Author: Franco D’Auria discovered a passion for writing and world-building through his long career as a game designer for HitGrab Labs. Lending his voice to the game MouseHunt and its whimsical fantasy world of Gnawnia, his imagination was bursting for new creative outlets.

What started as an innocent request from his children to sing a bedtime song about rocketships gradually evolved into this book. It celebrates the boys’ love of books, their special relationship as brothers, their adventures with family, and the spark of imagination that they share.

The book is FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hudson at the Track by Alexis Levesque – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alexis Levesque will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Character Creation

Good day everyone!

My name is Alexis Levesque and in today’s blog stop, I am talking about the process of my character creation.

I had this vision to create a book for my own child where he could be the main character in the story. While at the engineer school, I’ve decided to use efficient time management between lunch time and breaks to draft my vision onto paper. I am by no means an artist but good enough for someone to understand the pictures with a clear description of the illustrations.

My plan was to create a book about motocross for my son, Hudson, who is already riding his bike at home and including us, his parents, and his little brother that we also feature in the book.

Once my story was in line and my illustrations were all completed to the best of my ability, I connected with Tellwell publishing. Tellwell was very helpful and provided me with all the tools I needed to bring my project to life and to a high standard. I was able to connect with a professional illustrator and editor through a project manager who was assigned to me to ensure the product in creation was in line with my vision.

I decided to bring this project to life so Hudson, my child, could have his own book and to also show him that everything is possible and doable if you take the time to focus on the task. He is very proud of his book especially when he sees that customers are buying it from a store where he dropped off copies on consignment.

Readers, hope you enjoyed this short story and follow us next week for another blog stop!

Please leave us an honest review 🙂

Discover the importance of safety gear, perseverance, and bike maintenance in this thrilling motocross adventure. Let the story be the starting point of your child`s imagination. Encourage them to step outside of the book into the world of motocross where they set the limits and make anything possible.

About the Author: Alexis Levesque is from Québec, Canada, and always had an interest in motocross. Fueled by this passion, he embarked on a creative journey to craft a children’s book centered around motocross, featuring his son Hudson as the main character. Today, Alexis, along with his family of four, resides in New Brunswick, Canada.

Instagram | Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Canada’s Kiddie Geography and History in ABCs by Marena Woodsit – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marena Woodsit will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Who said geography and history can’t be fun? Marena Woodsit’s new book, Canada’s Kiddie History and Geography in ABC’s, points out various interesting facts and places in an easy-to-read style (H for history, G for geography) that will captivate children of all ages. A map and legend of the great country of Canada can help pinpoint where much of the facts take place along with fun and real life characters.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt


G= Geography

H= History

G- Y: stands for Yonge Street, the longest street in the world. It starts in Toronto Ontario and goes all the way to Rainy River Ontario which is over one thousand kilometres away.

H- Y; represents the Yukon/Klondike goldrush of the late 1800s along the Klondike River in Canada’s far north. Communities were set up for miners searching for gold who would move their entire families there to stay.

About the Author Ms. Woodsit, a retired teacher, has been writing for fun for years and is now publishing children’s books. During her time as a teacher she felt students needed more basic facts about their country, such as learning we had a queen, that the capital of our provinces and territories weren’t known and what some of our natural resources and wonders were. She has also helped with composing lyrics to a number of songs with her songwriting and performing friends. She loves travelling, swimming and taking care of her animals.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon CA, Booktopia, Barnes and Noble, or Walmart.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winter Blogfest: C.W. Allen

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win one ebook copy of The Secret Benefits of Invisbility.  

The Perks of Writing Holiday Stories by C.W. Allen

Christmas in my home means a lot of things. It means dusting off the decorations I put away in January, taking a moment to admire each one and perhaps reminisce about the person who made or gifted it before finding a place to display it for the season. It means digging out stained and splattered recipe cards, coating the kitchen with flour in pursuit of familiar flavors—gingerbread and spiced cranberry and peppermint. And the celebrations of the season wouldn’t be complete without pulling old friends off the bookshelf and getting reacquainted with Scrooge and Marley, Saint Nicholas, and of course those incorrigible Herdman children.

In short, holidays are about tradition. And that’s exactly why you should consider adding a holiday story to your writing lineup. Whether it’s Halloween or Hanukkah, Thanksgiving or Talk Like A Pirate Day, including holidays in your writing can earn your story a treasured place in your readers’ seasonal routines.

One of the most famous holiday stories is A Christmas Carol. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you are undoubtedly familiar with the miserly old grump’s supernatural stroll through his memories in search of a change of heart. The word “scrooge” doesn’t even belong solely to the character anymore, but to every penny-pinching misanthrope, just like every lip balm is called chapstick. It’s like the old saying goes: you either die a hero, or live long enough to become a generic noun.

You’d think a story with such universal appeal must have launched with a multi-bajillion dollar ad campaign and the backing of a powerful publishing tycoon, but no—after his usual publisher rejected it, Charles Dickens decided to self-publish the book. It was released just ten days before Christmas, and yet the initial print run sold out well before the holiday arrived. You don’t need any gatekeeper’s approval to send a great story out into the world. And a great holiday story will inspire its readers to come home to your words year after year.

Of course it may be a tad ambitious to aspire to A Christmas Carol’s level of readership and cultural impact. The other benefit of holiday stories takes just the opposite path, in fact—finding an unexplored niche. If the holidays that capture your heart are not of the over-commercialized variety, you may be able to remedy a serious lack of representation in the market. And by speaking to people who feel the same way, you can cultivate a loyal and enthusiastic readership. (Believe it or not, one of my favorite books includes a chapter about Arbor Day.) So if you want to add some literary traditions to your Ramadan, Holi, Purim, Winter Solstice, or Pi(e) Day celebrations and find your options lacking, maybe it’s time to write the stories you want to see in the world.

“Snowflakes the size of baseballs were falling outside, which was ironic, since baseball didn’t exist anymore.”

For Zed and Tuesday, adjusting to life in modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim means normal is relative. Lots of kids deal with moving, starting new schools, and doing chores. But normally, those schools aren’t in underground bunkers full of secret agents, and the chore list doesn’t involve herding dodos. The one thing that hasn’t changed: all the adults treat them like they’re invisible.

When a security breach interrupts a school field trip, the siblings find themselves locked out of the Resistance base. With the adults trapped inside, it’s up to Tuesday, Zed, and their friends to save the day. And for once, being ignored and underestimated is coming in handy. After all, who would suspect a bunch of kids are capable of taking down the intruders that captured their families, let alone the murderous dictator that put them into hiding in the first place?

Turns out invisibility might just have its benefits.


C.W. Allen is a Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by experience, a Hoosier by marriage, and a Utahn by geography. She knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she read The Westing Game at age twelve, but took a few detours along the way as a veterinary nurse, an appliance repair secretary, and a homeschool parent. She writes long stories for children and short stories for former children. When she’s not writing, she helps other writers hone their craft as the President-Elect of the League of Utah Writers.

Her debut novel Relatively Normal Secrets is the winner of the Gold Quill award, being named the best children’s book of the year by a Utah author, and was NetGalley’s #1 children’s audiobook of 2022. The Falinnheim Chronicles series continues with The Secret Benefits of Invisibility (Cinnabar Moth, 2022) and Tales of the Forgotten Founders (Cinnabar Moth, 2023). She also has shorter work published in numerous anthologies. Keep up with her latest projects at cwallenbooks.com.

Website | Blog | Twitter 

Buy the book at Amazon.

Winter Blogfest: Vicki-Ann Bush

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of Alex McKenna and the Geranium, and I’ll mail out a little witchy bag of swag. And a bonus surprise that will be in the envelope!

Happy Yule! By Vicki-Ann Bush 


Happy Yule!

Yule is soon approaching and during this time I find myself with one foot in the past. I remember my parents, grandparents, and all of my family and friends that are kept safe in my heart and alive in my memories. I’ve had a charmed life. Not because of money, or homes, or cars, or things…but because of people. Always knowing I’ve been loved and appreciated has been the true treasure in my life.

Over the years I’ve gone from a catholic Merry Christmas to a pagan Happy Yule. My family still believe in the church and Catholicism, but they’ve never tried to sway me. They understand who I am and what I believe to be my truth. To have that support has been my strength over the years. Loving someone not because of their blood connection but truly embracing who they are, is in my opinion, the true path to peace. Life is a bumpy road, and why would you make it more challenging for the ones you love?

My blog for December is simple. I wish for all of you this kind of life. Years filled with memories that make you smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Hugs that last a few seconds longer, a call when you need it the most, or someone who is content to just sit by your side. A life of moments to carry you through the hard times and reassure you that someone, somewhere, is always on your side.
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Yuletide, Merry Christmas, and a Blessed Kwanzaa!



The dead need him.

Seventeen-year-old Alex McKenna is a transgender boy who comes from a rich history of Strega witches. Possessing the ability to communicate with the dead, he uses his talents and understanding of what it means to be different to bridge the gap between the living and the beyond. With his girlfriend Margaret and his spirited great-grandmother by his side, Alex helps lost souls resolve their earthly connections and move on.

When a series of murders plagues his neighborhood, Alex discovers the gruesome truth behind a sixty-year span of deaths and the sinister being responsible.

Will Alex save the next victim and stop the murderer for good? Or will this be his final case?


Born Vicki Ann Guidice, on January 14th, 1962, her journey into the realm of the spiritual and supernatural was initiated at birth. Her early years were spent in Queens, New York known for having more people passed on than alive, as well as having several Gothic cemeteries within walking distance of its communities. At the age of 15, she moved to Los Angeles California taking her fertile imagination with her. After meeting her future husband, Ronald Bush, her new homeland became Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a mother of two, her first published book in 2008, Winslow Willow the Woodland Fairy, took her love of fantasy and spun it into a heartwarming children’s book. The progression to the young adult literary market took root in her novels that captured the haunting qualities of the Las Vegas desert surrounding her, but it was New York that called her home. Alex McKenna, the main character in the book series first published in 2019, is the embodiment of her Italian-American roots, memories of adolescent outsider status, and the strength it takes to live an authentic life.

Ms. Bush is a co-founder of Coffee House Tours, an events-based collaboration between local bookstores and coffee shops allowing authors to represent themselves and their works. Additionally, she is a frequent podcast literary guest and has a special relationship with The Center LGBTQIA+ Las Vegas where Alex McKenna has been an inspirational focus as a transgender Paranormal teen. Now starring in the short film Alex and Margret’s Beginning, inspired by the book series, Ms. Bush is an award winning short screenplay writer and Producer. Bringing her moving and unique storyline and character to a broader audience.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter 

Winter Blogfest: Diane Billas

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win one digital copy of my young adult sapphic contemporary romance book Does Love Always Win?


The Holidays: A Musical Time by Diane Billas

Growing up, when everyone was prepping for the holidays by baking, shopping, and decorating, I’d be doubling down on practicing my French horn for all the holidays gigs. If you don’t know, the winter holidays are a brass lover’s dream. There are so many opportunities to play your instrument and have ALL of the gigs you ever dreamed of. I’d perform solo horn pieces during Christmas Eve services and also play in groups that would perform Christmas carols in various locations including in the streets.

A friend came over to my house during Christmas and saw the number of French horns that donned my Christmas tree and remarked, “I don’t think I realized how much French horns signified Christmas until that moment.” Granted, everyone and their brother knows I play the horn so I’d get a new horn ornament almost every year and I married a French horn player, so our number of horn ornaments probably doubled, but the holidays really is a time for music, even more specifically my instrument.

My favorite part of performing during the holidays is playing Christmas Carols at nursing and/or assisted living homes. I can always tell how much hearing music really brightened up their day and isn’t that what the holidays are really about?

I now have an 11-month-old son and I’m looking forward to having him experience the holidays with old family traditions and creating new traditions together. And of course, I want to show him how it feels to give the gift of music to others during the holidays. I can’t wait for him to have, like I did, a musical holiday experience.


Does Love Always Win is a sapphic coming of age young adult novel that explores coming out and understanding one’s sexual orientation.

Sam “Shorty” Daniels has a plan for her senior year, but her romantic life being a hot mess was not part of the agenda. Shorty quickly discovers she’s not attracted to her newest boyfriend and fellow marching band member Zack, despite her many hours of daydreaming of what it would be like to date him. Their previous flirting had been so intense that those feelings have to come back again, right?

When Shorty’s asked to show the snarky new girl around high school, Shorty’s instantly intrigued by Kristy’s wit, and they bond over their love of writing. They quickly become inseparable, and Shorty has a breakthrough moment realizing why none of her other relationships worked out.

Just as Shorty is about to break up with Zack, her bitter ex-boyfriend Bryan threatens to out her to the entire school and Shorty’s conservative parents. Will Shorty be able to overcome Bryan’s ridiculous blackmail scheme and get her dream girl?


Diane Billas is the author of the young adult sapphic contemporary romance novel DOES LOVE ALWAYS WIN? and the young adult superhero LGBTQ+ novel SUPERFICIAL releasing September 2024 from Creative James Media.

Diane Billas lives in Philadelphia with her husband and son. When she’s not writing she can be found reading multiple books at once, performing the French horn and piano, or dreaming of the next country she’s going to visit. Diane can be found at dianebillas.com, on Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook @dianebillas, and on Instagram @dianebillaswrites.


Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at the vendor of your choice via Books2Read.

Winter Blogfest: Dana Hammer

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win one free copy of Fanny Fitzpatrick and the Brother Problem. 


The Nightmare of Caroling by Dana Hammer

Its Christmas season, so naturally, a lot of blog posts are going to be about Christmas, the holidays, winter, etc. This is good news for me, because my new book, Fanny Fitzpatrick and the Brother Problem, takes place in December, and there are a lot of holiday themes going on in it. Yay for serendipitous promotion opportunities!

One of these holiday themes is Christmas caroling; specifically, a new character in the book HATES caroling. His name is Dion Isaacs, and he is the reincarnation of the Greek god, Dionysius. While doing research on Greek mythology, and Dionysius in particular, I learned that Christmas caroling (like lots of Christmas stuff) was first a pagan practice, where worshippers sang songs to and about Dionysius. So now, Dionysius hates Christmas caroling, because it reminds him of everything hes lost, and how nobody worships him anymore. Christmas songs make him fly into a rage, and he hates carolers as if they are all personally insulting him.

Now, I dont relate to Dion much. Hes an extrovert who loves parties and makes a lot of rash decisions. But on this one thing we can agree. BecauseI also hate Christmas caroling.

Before all the Grinch and Scrooge comparisons start flowing, let me just say that this isnt some war on Christmasthing. I love baking cookies and the Nutcracker and driving around looking at lights and I even like sending Christmas cards. But carolingjust no.

First of all, I dont like unexpected guests, at all, and that includes family members and close friends. If you dont give me a heads up before you come to my house, you will not be met with a warm welcome. I will not put my bra on for you. I will not feed you. I will not stop reading my book, or doing my chores, or watching my movie, just because you happened to show up on my doorstep. You need entertaining? Thats a you problem. You dont like my incense or my dog licking you or the temperature I keep my home? Well, you should have called to prepare me so I could make adjustments for you. But you didnt. So.

This is my attitude with people I know and love, and carolers are typically neither.

There are also weird social demands associated with receiving carolers. You have to stop what youre doing and GO OUTSIDE IN THE COLD. AT NIGHT. Not only do I need to put on a bra, I need to put on boots and a coat. And then I have to juststand there, listening to songs, that, frankly, arent that great. I know theyre traditional, and some of them are nice to listen to, but even the most beautiful song in the world sounds awful when youre freezing and annoyed and have other things you need or want to be doing.

Ive heard that some people love carolers and will even make them hot chocolate or cider and bring it out to them. I cannot discourage this practice strongly enough. If you like carolers, by all means, go listen to them, and clap, and say thank you (when you can get a word in edgewise.) But do not feed them. Do not give in to their demands for figgy pudding and shit. It only strengthens them and keeps them going in hopes of finding new and better treats.

In addition, its just a bad idea to hang out outdoors in cold weather, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves for condoning the practice. Thats how you freeze to death. Its just irresponsible when you think about it. There is a time and place for Christmas songs, and its indoors.

And so, when Dion yells at my protagonist for her insensitive singing, know that I did not write this to make you hate him on the contrary! I wrote this because hes a fallen god, and when songs were sung to him, it was on a sunny Greek island, where there was no chance of frostbite. Hes just a lonely dude who misses the good old days, when people had sensible ideas about what should be done in the dark and the snow.

I hope if you check out my book, youll forgive him for his crankiness in this regard. You will be much less willing to forgive him for his other misdeeds.


There’s a new god in town, and his name is Dion. The reincarnation of the Greek god Dionysius, he has fallen on hard times after the failure of his wine business. Now he’s living at Athena’s house, partying, making messes, and generally disrupting everyone’s lives. Can Fanny get Dion under control, before he does something dangerous? Of course she can. She’s Fanny Fitzpatrick.


Dana Hammer is a playwright, screenwriter, short story writer, and novelist. Her screenplay, Red Wings, has been optioned by EMA Films, and her adult horror-comedy novel, The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting, was released in September, 2022 by Cinnabar Moth Publishing. Her middle grade novel, My Best Friend Athena, was published by Cinnabar Moth in 2023, with a sequel coming February 6th, 2024. She was a Writer in Residence Hypatia in the Woods, in summer of 2022. She has received over seventy awards and honors for her writing, few of which generated income, all of which were deeply appreciated. Her works have been and will be published in many anthologies, journals, and magazines. Two of her one-act plays will be produced in 2024 by The Wayward Artist, and a few more of her one act plays have been produced by Force of Nature Productions. Many of her plays have received staged readings.