I recently joined the website BookBub, which is a great place for getting book deals from your favorite authors - you follow the authors you like and get notified on the site about when they're running sales on their books.
So if you enjoy my writing and would like to know when I'm next doing a promotion, just follow me on Bookbub for free. I'll be running several promotions over the course of 2023, especially when I have new books coming out.
I also have some fab news - a creative nonfiction piece of mine recently received 2nd place in a contest on the writing site Vocal - you can read my winning story "Life, Death & Football" for free on their website.
Wishing everyone a happy holiday season. See you in the new year!
I feel like I'm saying this every time I write a post, but oh my goodness, there's so much going on right now in writerly news!
I don't know if it's live, but TONIGHT at 7:30pm EST, I will be chatting with the fabulous Emma G. Rose and Shelley Shearer on the Indie Book Talk Podcast. You can catch the show on their website OR if you'd like to see our lovely faces, you can see us on their YouTube channel.
Then, on Friday, December 2nd, you can catch me reading live at FBomb online at 6pm EST, hosted by author extraordinaire Paul Beckman - if you'd like the Zoom link to catch the show with all the readers this Friday, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send it to you.
Speaking of podcasts, you can also catch me on The Authors Show on Tuesday, December 6th, where I'll be talking about my just-released book The New Empire - what it's about, how I researched it, how to get it, and an excerpt from it.
So there's a lot of things going on as we slide into December and the holiday season - should be a great end to the year!
Hope everyone is having a good week in the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA. Happy holidays to those who celebrate, and wishing a happy week for everyone!
If it's November, that means... NaNoWriMo! For those who don't know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's a worldwide endeavor where writers attempt to write 50,000 words in a month. My latest book was started in NaNo several years ago, and it was published last month - The New Empire. So NaNo can definitely lead to success stories as authors.
Speaking of which, my friend Gabi Coatsworth runs an amazing blog for writers with all kinds of helpful hints and advice, and part of that blog is asking published writers to showcase where they write. She just posted one about... me! Since I just moved to Canada at the end of the summer, I have a brand new writing office of my very own for the first time ever. And I was super excited to show everywhere where I will be writing my next masterpiece... ha, maybe. Here's the post. Hope you enjoy peeking behind the curtain at an author's life! I even have a little Halloween tidbit in there that helps me year-round.
Speaking of Halloween, hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween last night. My kids enjoyed going around the neighborhood with their new friends here in Alberta, and brought home loads of candy and chips and other treats.
I handed out candy as the good ol' standby of a witch (but forgot to take a picture - whoops) and "brewed" a potion to share with parents (a mulled apple cider drink for the grownups, so they could have a "treat" along the way too).
If you'd like to make some mulled cider as the weather turns colder, here's a good recipe:
1 gallon fresh/unfiltered apple juice
3-4 cinnamon sticks
3-4 star anise
1/2 Tablespoon of whole cloves
1 Tablespoon whole allspice
1 sliced orange
1 sliced ginger root (about 1-2 ounces, depending on how much ginger you like)
Throw all of this in a pot (since I was making a big batch to share, I tripled the recipe and used a canning pot) and simmer for 2+ hours. You can serve as-is to kids - or if you'd like the adult version, throw in 1-2 cups spiced rum (depending on how strong you'd like it).
Enjoy - and stay warm this winter!
I was so thrilled to read Anthony Avila's glowing review of my just-released book The New Empire. He called it "a must-read historical fiction novel of 2022" - wow!!!
And if you're a horror fan as well as an alternate history reader, check out Anthony's own list of published books HERE and his other fab book reviews HERE.
I just had my first birthday spent in Canada in quite some time. I feel a bit older, a bit wiser, and a bit closer to being Old old (right now, I'm just hanging out at the edges of Old... but the abyss is waiting, ha).
And today is now the birth of my new novel, The New Empire! It's been a while since one of my own books has been published... I tend to spend a lot of my time helping other people get their books published, and so it's a bit of a strange feeling to have my words going out into the world again. I'm almost as nervous as the first time I had a novel published back in 2018 - isn't that strange? I guess each new book is a new baby for an author. Maybe someday I'll have 50 books under my belt and will be a bit more jaded about the process, but right now... it's still pretty thrilling.
Here's the blurb from the back of the book:
I love history, and researching this book was a gargantuan task but a lot of fun. In the story, the world undergoes a drastic change in the 14th century when Chinese ships land in what is currently known as the Bay Area of California. Fast forward four hundred years to a much different America than we know, a land dominated by a tribal confederacy grown out of a strong alliance with Beijing. Told from the main perspective of Jiangxi, who is a Chinese slave, it’s an epic story that highlights the experiences of characters often overlooked in the history books. In doing so, it tells a unique—but still emotionally relevant—tale of slavery and freedom that will resonate with readers in today’s conflicted and diverse globe.
The question I get asked most often about this book is: "Where did you come up with the idea?" If you'd like to know a bit more about my new book and how it came to be, check out this article about how I won a contest and got my new novel published: "How I Jumped the Line & Got a Book Deal."
And here's a recent interview that peeks behind the curtain of my writing process at the website Book Goodies.
Hope you check out my new book and let me know what you think. Happy reading!
One of my favorite phrases is "I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off." Which essentially means I'm too busy to think, only react. Of course, if you follow that simile through to the end, it means eventually the chicken stops running and falls over dead.
So in the interest of NOT coming to the chicken's end, I want to make some resolutions. Yes, it's not New Year's - or my birthday - or any other day of special significance. But when I find myself nodding off to sleep over my computer every night and waking up in the morning only to open up my computer first thing... when I find my to-do list is longer than my arm and that I never even get to half the items... when I can't remember the last time I didn't rush eating lunch while standing next to my chair (or just skipped the meal because I didn't have time to eat)... well, I don't know anyone who would say that's a healthy or balanced lifestyle.
Okay, I digress. Resolution time.
Since my Canada move is around the corner, I resolve to spend more time having fun - which means hanging out with my friends here. To really enjoy their company and max out the potential time I can spend with them. Even though we'll stay in touch via Zoom chats and the like, I'm going to make the most of however long I'm still in Connecticut.
Also, I resolve to be useless for several moments each day. What I mean by this is to take some time for myself. Not time spent working at my job or hanging out with the kids, not time spent scrolling or talking on my phone, not time spent washing dishes or picking up toys or anything else that could be considered USEFUL. Nope, I will take a few moments - maybe 5 minutes, maybe a quarter of an hour - doing something that I want to do, rather than something I need to do. Such as read a chapter of a book that's not for work. Crochet an afghan square. Fold an origami dragon. Whatever it is, it will be something completely unrelated to work or family or home or anything like that.
Last, I resolve to be comfortable losing my head. Sometimes you just need to fall over (hopefully NOT dead) and get some rest. Let all that frenetic energy die down and go to sleep at a reasonable hour (for me, that would be before midnight). If you don't let yourself recharge, then you'll burn out your battery permanently.
Those three things seem doable, don't they? Friends, fun, and forty winks (sorry, had to get the alliteration in).
What are YOUR mid-year resolutions?
So... Canada's looking good this time of year.
As some of you might know, I'm in the process of figuring out how to move up north. It's been a good run on the East Coast - I've lived here since my mid-twenties, and that was more years ago than I'd like to admit. However, I'm hanging up the towel... or throwing in my hat... or something like that.
More news coming soon!
Nowadays, everyone's a photographer because of the ease of taking pictures on our cell phones. However, does that mean we're all GOOD photographers? Heck, no.
I'm not sure whether I fall in the category of "good photographer" versus "crap photographer," but I was willing to give sharing my pics a try. I often use the open source image site Pixabay for my publishing work, and so I decided to upload some photos there. The site is free to use and download images from, but if you really like an artist and use a lot of their pics, it's encouraged to tip them for their work.
I only have 10 images so far, with 5 more pending, but I figure I'll add a few more each month. If you'd like to check out my page, go HERE. And if you like what you see, give the pics a thumbs up or a download.
Here are three ones I love (but then again, I love all of them or I wouldn't have shared them):
Hope you like what you see! Keep visiting to see more photos go up each month.
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over two hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. Check out my 2024 writing challenge to write a book a week at Author Versus AI. For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
© Alison McBain. All rights reserved