Introducing The Well Read Fish

Hey, everyone. In 2022, when I began planning my retirement, there were many things to consider. I knew I wanted to write full-time. I also considered what I would do in terms of blogging and other writing-related activities.

I also love to read. As an author, I know the importance of book reviews as a way to support other authors, especially those who aren’t traditionally published. I’d considered the possibility of starting a blog just for book reviews and bringing in other authors but never got around to it.

Somehow, things seem to work out. A few weeks ago, I was approached to be a contributor to a brand-new site. It didn’t take me long to say yes. I’m joining four other authors, Vera Day, Mae Claire, Staci Troilo, and Gwen Plano. Most of you know Vera as Priscilla Bettis. Priscilla has recently switched genres, hence her new pen name.

The Well Read Fish launches today. It is a place where we review Christian Fiction. I read a lot of this genre several years ago, and my interest has recently been rekindled. Our plan is to post a review each Wednesday. The first weekly review is now live, but there are several already in our archives to read.

If you enjoy reading Christian Fiction, I hope you’ll join us there. I’ve closed comments on this post, but I’ll continue to share my other book reviews here, usually on the last Tuesday of the month. In the meantime, I hope to see you at The Well Read Fish.

Menagerie Blog Tour: Day One With Mae Clair

Hey, Readers. As most of you know, the release date for Menagerie was Friday, January 13. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be on the road visiting with thirteen generous bloggers and authors.

At each stop, I’ll feature a different story in the collection and tell what inspired the idea.

To start things off today, I’m visiting with Mae Clair. Mae is a fellow contributor at Story Empire and is the author of several books, primarily mystery and suspense, but many are flavored with folklore and legends. Her most recent release, The Haunting of Chatham Hollow was co-written with Staci Troilo. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out on a fabulous story.

The planned stops are listed below. Links will be updated as each post goes live. I’d be delighted if you’ll join me today at Mae’s site. Comments will be closed here.

(Please note there was a slight mix-up on the schedule for yesterday.)

  • Day One – Mae Clair
  • Day Two – Staci Troilo
  • Day Three – Harmony Kent
  • Day Four – D. L. Finn
  • Day Five – Gwen Plano
  • Day Six – Jan Sikes
  • Day Seven – John Howell
  • Day Eight – C. S. Boyack
  • Day Nine – Beem Weeks
  • Day Ten – Stephen Geez
  • Day Eleven – Marlena Smith Burris
  • Day Twelve – Judi Post
  • Day Thirteen – Teri Polen


This Week at Story Empire

Happy Friday, everyone! We’re already halfway through December, and soon a new year will be upon us.

Not a lot happening at the Hall household this week. I’ve been knee-deep in the final edits of Menagerie. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a bit of an introvert. Yesterday, I realized I hadn’t been anywhere in a week. I remedied that by going out to breakfast with my husband. After having thunderstorms and rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather was perfect, but a bit cool. But it’s that time of year. Winter solstice is next Wednesday.

We’re winding down another year at Story Empire. Here are the links to this week’s posts.

No new photos this week, so I’m looking back into my archives. In 2010, we took a trip to Arkansas. I’ll share a couple of pics from our visit.

We spent two nights in Hot Springs. One of the attractions was a walk-through display of Christmas lights. This is one of the photos I took that night. The overnight lows were in the teens, so it was quite chilly for our little excursion.

The following morning, we drove to Mount Magazine. All the trees and vegetation were covered in ice. We learned that’s a common occurrence when there is fog and the temps drop below freezing. It was a winter wonderland!

See you Monday with a new Legends and Lore post!

This Week at Story Empire

October is marching on and I’m knee-deep in edits for my short story collection. I hadn’t looked at some of the stories in almost a year, so I got a few surprises. One that I thought would need a lot of edits turned out to be easily done.

Of course, I can’t write short in the first place. When I edit, I tend to add words. There is one monster story I know will need a lot of work and many words cut. I’m saving it for last.

Our weather has wavered between cool days and warm ones. Typical for Texas. Next week there is a forecast of much cooler temps and hopefully some much-needed rain.

My husband and I are hoping to take a day trip to the Winding Stair Mountains of Oklahoma. We want to plan it around the peak fall colors, which should be the early part of November.

In the meantime, I write and edit in preparation for a January release date. Speaking of writing, it’s been another great week for Story Empire. Here are the links to this week’s posts:

That’s it for this week. I didn’t get a photo of this month’s Hunter’s Moon, so here is a photo I took several years ago. (This is actually the Full Beaver Moon of November.)

See you on Monday with a post about an Arizona legend.

Book Review – The Haunting of Chatham Hollow @StaciTroilo @MaeClair1

Hey, Readers. Last week I was privileged to host Staci Troilo on the first stop of the promotional tour for The Haunting of Chatham Hollow. The book was co-authored by Mae Clair. Today, I’m delighted to share my five-star review.

If you’d like to follow the tour stops, just click on either author’s name above. Both post links on their blogs for the daily stops.

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Love of Money…

I’ve read and enjoyed several books by both authors, so you can bet I was eager to get a copy of this one. The Haunting of Chatham Hollow didn’t disappoint.

Ward Chatham, founder of Chatham Hollow was a bitter and evil man. It’s said the love of money is the root of all evil, and that’s certainly the case with him. When he died there were rumors he had hidden all his gold somewhere within his home, Chatham Manor.

Almost a century after his death, the wife of Chatham’s mayor invites several people, including two mediums, into their home (Chatham Hollow) to conduct a séance. Charlatan Benedict Fletcher attempts to summon Ward Chatham’s ghost. He along, with everyone present, got more than they bargained for and left the citizens of Chatham Hollow believing Ward had cursed the town.

Fast forward to the present day when the renowned television show Spirit Search comes to town during the annual founders day celebration for a reenactment of the séance. Will Chatham’s ghost reappear?

Set in two different centuries, the dual timeline flowed seamlessly. The setting and descriptions made me feel like I was in Chatham Hollow—both past and present. The characters are well-developed. It takes skill for two people to co-author a book. These authors certainly know their craft. If you enjoy a good ghost story, I highly recommend this book.

As you can see, I loved The Haunting of Chatham Hollow. If you haven’t purchased a copy, you can do so by clicking on the link above. You might also want to check out some of their other books. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.