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  • October 9, 2021
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I still haven’t been able to write anything except for journal entries and Facebook posts. I still want to be a writer and an entertainment journalist. The problem is that I had been trying to do both of those things at once before. I was writing books as Michael Beaulieu and I was running my website Love is Pop, which mostly covered music and for which I did an average of two interviews per week for. It was not easy doing Love is Pop while writing books. And because I was trying to do both, I was never particularly successful at either. I was spreading myself too thin. And I suffered from severe burn out. I was so exhausted. As much as I hate this damn pandemic, when it started it almost became a relief on some level because I finally had an excuse to take a break from doing Love is Pop and writing books. I was spending over 40 hours a week on each of these things, which was mentally and emotionally exhausting. And both of these things brought me a lot of disappointment because I never achieved much success with either.

I’m sure part of the reason I wasn’t more successful with my books or Love is Pop is that I’m not the greatest writer. I know I’m really good at doing interviews so I can toot my own horn about that but I know I’m not the greatest novelist. I’m sure if I was a better writer my books would have done better. What do you think? Do you think I’m just a mediocre author or do you think my books didn’t take off because I couldn’t afford to advertise them much? Just curious. Please be honest. Even if you think my books suck, I’d love to hear from you. And I’d love to hear your advice. What could I do differently to make my books better?

I do still want to be an author and will probably start writing a new book soon. But I don’t think it will be a Book of Shadows novel. I miss writing those books sometimes but you can only write the same thing so many times. I do still want to write Book 5 and give the series a great ending but if I’m being entirely honest I was putting so much pressure on myself when I was writing that one that I had something of a nervous breakdown. I’m bipolar and I have PTSD and a panic disorder so I really struggle sometimes and the level of pressure I was putting on myself to make Book of Shadows 5 perfect was just too much. Again, I still want to write Book of Shadows 5. I might look at the manuscript I was working on and see if I can salvage any of it. I’ve just been reluctant to revisit what I’d already written because I’ve been afraid it would trigger another breakdown. But maybe it’s been long enough that I could revisit it now. I also want to turn a screenplay I wrote years ago called Gas Money into a novel so I might do that, too.

I still have one unpublished book, which is my memoir Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles. It’s about the first year I lived in the Los Angeles area. Much of it is about my eating disorder as I was severely anorexic at the time. But it’s also very much a love story. I don’t know why I haven’t published it yet. I want to revisit it and make some improvements but it’s very triggering for me to read that. Right now I’m trying to lose weight the healthy way because I’ve gained 30 pounds since the pandemic started and it’s hard not to revert back to my anorexic ways and if I started reading that book again right now I would probably wind up anorexic again. I’m still eating disordered but not anorexic or bulimic. Many people with eating disorders don’t fit the textbook definitions of anorexia or bulimia. We’re what they call “ednos” or “ed nos,” which stands for “eating disorder not otherwise specified.” My problem right now is that I get up and eat during the night. It’s mostly because of medication I take for sleep. I guess it’s what they call “sleep eating.” You know you’re doing it and you don’t want to do it but it’s like you can’t control yourself. As someone with a history of anorexia who used to pride myself on my self-control, it’s very upsetting to be doing this. I don’t want to do it. Every night I go to bed vowing not to get up and eat during the night but most nights I still get up and do it. And I hate myself for doing it. It makes me feel weak and out of control and I hate it. I want to lose this weight I’ve gained. I guess I just need to stop eating during the day so that the calories I consume during the night won’t make me gain weight. I’ve definitely cut back on what I eat during the day and I’m not really gaining any more weight because of that but I guess I need to eat even less during the day if I am going to lose this weight. Oh, and I do exercise. I ride an exercise bike for at least 50 minutes every day, often as long as 80 minutes. And it’s an exercise bike that doesn’t have handles. It’s just the base; the seat and the peddles. So your arms are free to do other upper body exercises while you ride it instead of just holding onto handles. So I do aerobic type exercises with my arms while I ride the bike. And I sweat my ass off. Only my ass isn’t shrinking. Anyway, yeah, I’m struggling with all of this so revisiting my memoir right now probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

I might just publish my memoir the way it is right now without revisiting it. I suppose that’s a possibility. Just format it for publication and put it out as an e-book. I just don’t know if anyone would read it. I don’t know if I should market it as a love story or an eating disorder memoir. It’s definitely both of those things but since it’s about 50/50 it’s hard to know how to market it. Not that I have any money to advertise it with. To tell you the truth, I’m broke. My books don’t even earn me 50 dollars a month. In fact, this website will be disappearing in a couple of weeks because I can’t afford to have it hosted anywhere. If you want to help me with that and you haven’t bought all of my books yet, you could buy the ones you don’t own yet. That’s really the only help I’d feel comfortable with. A couple of people have offered to send me money on Paypal but I’d feel to weird about that. Especially where I feel like I’ve failed my readers by not being able to finish Book of Shadows 5.

I think that the reason I haven’t been writing a book right now is because I feel like I’m obligated to write Book of Shadows 5 before I can allow myself to write something else. But at the same time I’m afraid to revisit Book of Shadows 5 and give myself another nervous breakdown. I guess I’d like to write something different for a change but I’m afraid I’d anger what few readers I have if I publish something other than Book of Shadows 5 next. I hate that I’ve let people down by not being able to finish writing that book. I really do feel like a failure. And not even being able to make enough money from my books to afford this website anymore is very depressing. But I’ll still have Love is Pop since a friend hosts that for me. Love is Pop is mostly a music blog with the focus on interviews. I just interviewed a friend named Justin Masters recently but I’ll probably start doing more interviews soon. And if I have anything to say about my books I can guess I can just post it there. I’ve interviewed some other authors for the site and would like to pick the brains of more authors but I’ve rarely posted on there about my own books. Because I’ve never wanted Love is Pop to be about me. I want it to be about the people I interview, not me personally. But since this site will be going away I guess I’ll have to use it as a platform for talking about my books, too. So, if you want to keep up with me, bookmark Love is Pop.

As I said above, I’m sorry that I was unable to finish writing Book of Shadows 5. I still hope to finish it someday but I guess I’m still burned on out on that. And I worry that revisiting it right now would be bad for my mental health. The other thing is that I’ve been pretty traumatized by this pandemic. I am so afraid of this virus. Especially the delta variant. And there are other variants that are even worse but so far they haven’t really taken off here in the United States. In any case, I am fully vaccinated but I don’t want to put too much faith in the vaccines. Over 6000 people who probably thought they were immune because they were fully vaccinated have died from this virus. So, vaccinated people do still get Covid and over 6000 of them have died. So I’m not going to go out and do things that I think are high risk. Part of me is very angry with the unvaccinated, to be honest. We could have really brought this pandemic to its knees and nearly ended this pandemic in this country if everyone would have done the right thing and gotten vaccinated. You don’t just get vaccinated to protect yourself. You get vaccinated to protect those around you. It’s not just about keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping EVERYONE safe. You get vaccinated to protect people like your parents and your children and your friends and neighbors. Anyway, you can do what you want but I would highly recommend that you get vaccinated. I’m just frustrated because I barely leave the house since the delta variant is so widespread here in Massachusetts even though we have most people vaccinated here. I mean, I haven’t eaten at a restaurant once since early March of 2020. I haven’t eaten at a restaurant since this pandemic started. The only times I leave the house are to go shopping for essentials and to go to medical appointments. That’s it. I only leave the house maybe three times a month and just to do those things.

I bought a ticket to go see St. Vincent on October 14th but I’m way too scared to go. I’ve seen footage of recent concerts and they’re packed with people who aren’t even wearing masks. Not even at indoor concerts. That many people packed in like sardines screaming and singing their asses off is definitely high risk. If masks were required at concerts I might go but I just can’t go and be surrounded by thousands of unmasked people. My nerves just can’t handle it. The other thing is that I live with my parents. And they’re in their 70s and have some health problems. So, I can’t do risky things because if I caught this virus I would definitely end up giving it to my parents and there’s a very good chance that it would kill them. So, everything I think about doing, I have to think about my parents, too. I wish I didn’t live with them so I could go out and eat a restaurant or go to a concert. I’d probably take more risks if I didn’t live with them. But I can’t afford my own place so I’m stuck living with them and have to think about them whenever I think about going anywhere. But if everyone would have gotten vaccinated and we’d nearly eliminated this virus from this country then I would’ve felt comfortable going to restaurants and such by now. Honestly, I don’t know when I’ll ever feel safe eating at a restaurant again. It’s because you obviously can’t wear a mask while you’re eating. So, the idea of being in a crowded restaurant without a mask on is just too terrifying for me. If I said I’d go out to eat with someone right now I know I’d wind up having a panic attack in the car before we even arrived there. And I wouldn’t be able to get out of the car when we got there. I just couldn’t do it. I’m too scared of this virus. I have health problems and I think I would definitely die if I caught this virus. Yes, I’m fully vaccinated and I had the Moderna, which I believe is the best one, but as I said before over 6000 fully vaccinated people have still died from this virus.

When I first was vaccinated, I felt a bit less anxious about Covid but then the delta variant emerged and started spreading like wildfire in this country and my anxiety skyrocketed again and it’s been high ever since. And now they’re talking about people needing boosters because your immunity wanes as the months go on but they probably won’t make Moderna boosters available to people my age (48) because they only made them available to certain people with the Pfizer vaccine. So, I just feel like my level of protection from the vaccine is probably pretty low at this point so I just don’t feel like I’m protected anymore.

Well, this has turned into quite a rant. Thank you for reading it. And, again, if you haven’t bought all of my books yet and you could buy the ones that you don’t have I would really appreciate it. If my sales went up and I even made 200 dollars then I would be able to keep this site. My host wants 177 dollars for another year and I understand that’s a pretty average rate.

If anyone has their own server and would be willing to host this website for free, that would be awesome and I would dedicate my next book to you. But I would rather that people actually buy my books and I be able to raise the money that way.

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I’m sorry

I was never able to finish writing Lia & Shar. I haven’t even been able to finish a short story since the pandemic began. At first, it was nice to take a break from writing books but I do miss it now. I just can’t seem to find the inspiration to actually start writing something. Everything is just so discouraging. Just look at how cases, hospitalizations and deaths are surging now due to the delta variant and the failure of 50% of Americans to get vaccinated. If everyone would’ve gotten vaccinated, we could have essentially ended the pandemic in the United States. But too many assholes are putting their “personal freedom” and “my body, my choice” bullshit above doing the right thing. People should want to get vaccinated to not only protect themselves but their families, their friends and their communities. I don’t care if you think the vaccines are experimental because they only have emergency use authorization right now. Even if the vaccines killed 1 in every 10,000 people, which they definitely do NOT, you should still want to step up and do the right thing to protect everyone around you. These people know that but they’re putting their worries about side-effects or egotistical bullshit above all else. These vaccines have been given to over 150 million people and have been proven safe and highly effective. Even if you’re taking a risk if you get vaccinated (in your mind), you should still want to do it out of concern for others. That’s why it’s so infuriating. And then when you consider that many of these same idiots are going around without masks on even though they’re unvaccinated and could be spreading the virus, it’s even more upsetting. I’ve tried being nice and sharing articles from credible news sources and science journals on Facebook but these anti-vax morons have already made up their minds. Everyone who could be convinced to get vaccinated has already been vaccinated at this point. I mean, yes, a small number of people are still getting vaccinated every day, so I suppose there’s some leeway, but not for most anti-vaxxers. They’ve just decided to be selfish assholes and I hate them. I really mean that. It’s their fault I’ll never feel safe eating at a restaurant again. It’s their fault all of these concerts I’m seeing advertised right now will probably have to be canceled and if they’re not then they’ll be super spreader events. It’s because of these selfish idiots that I only leave the house once or twice a month to go shopping for essentials and to go to medical appointments. That’s it. I’m a complete shut-in.

We could have been in such a better place right now. We could be seeing under 200 new infections a day in this country. We could have made our country safe again. Or at least as safe as any country is ever going to be until this virus is eradicated around the globe. Actually, who am I kidding, this virus is never going to be eradicated around the globe. That would require every country in the world to make vaccines mandatory and that’s never going to happen. We’ll be lucky if we’ve eliminated this virus entirely by 2035. I’m dead serious. At the rate this virus mutates, by the time you could give everyone in the world vaccines for the current variants, there will be 20 new and worse variants. We’ll never be able to trial new vaccines and get them produced and out there and into arms around the globe fast enough to keep up with the variants. Ask any doctor or scientist about this and they’ll tell you the same thing. We’re going to constantly be in a race against the variants. There’s already a variant they’re calling the “delta plus” variant in India that’s worse than the delta variant that’s sweeping the globe right now. This is so scary. But we could have really brought the virus to its knees in this country if people would’ve only gotten vaccinated. I’m so, so angry with these people who refuse to do their part to keep their communities safe by getting vaccinated.

Anyway, I’d love to write Book of Shadows 5 and so many other things but my nerves are just too frayed by all of this to concentrate and I’m completely void of inspiration. I’m sorry if I’m disappointing anyone. I doubt anyone was really waiting for Book of Shadows 5 but if anyone was then I’m sorry that I’ve failed you. No one is more disappointed with me than I am.

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A Book of Shadows Story

I am working on a Book of Shadows short story. It’s called Lia & Shar and focuses on them. I’m not sure how long it will be. Maybe it will wind up being a novella. I have it plotted out pretty well so I’m pretty confident that I’ll finish it. The events in the first four Book of Shadows novels all take place back to back in 2016, the year the book was published. The story I’m writing now takes place in 2020 during the pandemic. Lia and Shar are college students and work at George’s Magick Shop and Emma, January and Pete own a private investigations agency. That’s all I want to say about it for now. And I’m still hoping to write Book of Shadows 5 at some point, but I wasn’t getting anywhere with that and I was inspired to write this story. And I figured you’d rather get a Book of Shadows story that takes place four years after the books than no new Book of Shadows material at all. Maybe writing this will get me past the writer’s block I’ve been having with Book 5. Can’t hurt.

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The Decision to Begin Again

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  • January 4, 2020
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I have made the necessary decision to do a page one rewrite of Book of Shadows 5.

I hate wasting the 100+ pages I’ve already written, but they’re truly best chalked up to the learning experience.

They simply contain too many subplots. Meanwhile, several things happen that I’ve never been able to come up with a good explanation for.

Trying to figure out how to resolve all of these things and explain what doesn’t add up has been the source of my writer’s block, which is to say that I don’t think I’ve been blocked so much as I just marched myself right into quicksand. With each move I made, I was just sinking deeper. So, I stopped moving. And I’ve spent months trying to figure out how to dig myself out to no avail.

I’ve finally come to the realization that the only way to do so is to start over and simply avoid stumbling into quicksand in the first place. And it’s a relief.

As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I have found a thousand ways that won’t work.”

Now that I know what was working and what wasn’t, I can begin again and write the great ending for the series that you deserve. I hope you can understand.

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Get All Six of My Books for FREE

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  • December 28, 2019
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That’s right — for free!  No strings attached.
Hi Friends!
Happy Holidays to you all!  

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas, Yule, Festivus, or anything else you might have celebrated or are celebrating right now.  And that you all have lots of dreams come true in 2020.  I’m approaching it with optimism and the attitude that it has to be better than this year!  Who’s with me? Spreading cheer and goodwill aside, I’m dropping you a line today to make sure you know that all six of my novels are now free on Prolific Works.  You can get them all through my author page right here: 

https://www.prolificworks.com/discover/author/9470/michael_beaulieu 

Now I have to talk about the neon pink elephant in the room.  I know I’ve disappointed some of you this year by failing to finish Book of Shadows 5, but believe me when I say that no one is more disappointed about that than I am.  

Unfortunately, the seasonal aspect of my bipolar depression kicked in early this year and I’ve also been dealing with some health problems, one of which I chose to deal with via surgery last month and I’m sorry to say that having that surgery is one of the biggest regrets of my life.  It fixed the problem it was supposed to but created five others.  Suffice to say, I just haven’t been able to muster up the positive energy I need in order to write.  If you can send me some, please do!  Healing prayers, spells, etc, are welcome, too.

All I can say is that I will finish Book of Shadows 5 next year.  Eventually, spring will get here and I’ll be able to sit outside and smoke a cigar and write in my notebooks again.  It’s like there’s magic in the air when I do that and I overflow with creativity.  I’ve tried writing in notebooks in the house and in cafes and it just hasn’t worked.  Apparently, I need sunshine and nicotine.  To that end, I sometimes chew nicotine gum, but it doesn’t do much for me.  There must be some other things in tobacco that enhance my creativity.  In any case, I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone else start smoking cigars.  Or other things, for that matter.  I’m simply sharing my experience.

One thing I’ve been tempted to do lately is making a final pass at my unpublished memoir, Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles.  I really need to get that published already.  Goddess knows it will probably have a wider appeal than my other books.  It’s about my descent into anorexia and a relationship with a woman I’d only later find out had DID, disassociative identity disorder, otherwise known as multiple personality disorder.  Suffice to say, that was one complicated relationship.  But I loved her and the book is very much a love story.  It’s a love story about someone who loves someone so much that he starves himself in hopes of making himself more appealing so she’ll love him back.  (I should save that for the blurb.)

The reason I haven’t been working on Fear & Self-Loathing is that I’ve felt like I’d be betraying those of you who are waiting for Book of Shadows 5.  Thinking that if I can’t work on that then I shouldn’t be allowed to work on anything else.  But I’ve finally realized how ridiculous that is.  For one thing, maybe working on something else would open up the well of creativity then I would be able to work on Book 5?  As Emma would say, “On ne sait jamais.” Translation: one never knows.  Besides, time spent doing nothing is time wasted so I might as well edit Fear & Self-Loathing now and at least get something done.  I’ve barely even written anything for my music and pop culture site, Love is Pop, the last few months because I let myself feel like I wasn’t allowed to do that either if I wasn’t working on Book 5.  I see how absurd that is now, too, but for a while there I truly was taking on too much for the site and it was preventing me from writing books.  So, I took a month off.  A month during which I was determined to finish writing Book of Shadows 5.  But I just couldn’t do it.  Please accept my sincere apology for that and know that I’ll finish it as soon as I can.  And please try to understand if I publish the memoir in the meantime.

That’s all for now, peeps! 

Have A Safe & Happy New Year!

Cheers,
Michael 
Click here to claim your six free books!

Mister Lucky Logan Black endorses Michael’s Christmas presents.

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#AMWRITING

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  • October 17, 2019
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Hey there everyone! Thanks for coming to my site. This is just a quick post to let you know that I am continuing to work hard on Book of Shadows 5: Black Magick, just as I said I would be. In fact, I’m taking the whole month of October off from my music and pop culture site Love is Pop so that I can work on it.

In the meantime, you can still grab all six of my novels for FREE on Prolific Works right now.  https://www.prolificworks.com/discover/author/9470/michael_beaulieu

Book of Shadows centers around a trio of 16-year-old, female witches and the trouble they get themselves into as they learn the hard way that spells can have unintended side-effects. I would say it’s an upper YA series recommended for people 16 and older as my characters swear as often as real teenagers and the storylines involve gun violence, PTSD and other more mature themes. So, if you prefer light-hearted, squeaky clean young adult fiction then they’re not for you. I should also mention that two of the main characters are a lesbian couple, one half of which is an Indian girl — I’m all about diversity. Most of the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are very positive!

Reckoning Daze is what you might call a downhill racer sort of novel as it follows a self-destructive actress who is anorexic, abuses drugs and cuts herself. It’s a very graphic book that isn’t for the faint of heart. Not by a longshot. People seem to either love or hate this book.

Becoming Madonna is a new adult novel that I wrote in 1998, which remains the book’s pop culture riddled setting. It’s about a soap star who wants to be a serious actress and a pop star, just like her idol, Madonna. It’s a satire and contains some politically incorrect humor. If Bret Easton Ellis wrote a book about a pop star, this would be it. You’d also likely enjoy it if you’re a fan of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing.

If you could leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads after reading my books, I would appreciate it tremendously. The more reviews you have, the more Amazon shows your books to people as they browse their site. Plus, readers just plain prefer to buy books that have lots of positive reviews. In other words, you could say reviews are the lifeblood of indie authors like me.

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My Latest Newsletter

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  • September 30, 2019
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I know it’s been a while since I’ve written to you and I apologize for that. It’s just been because I haven’t felt like I have much to say recently and I’ve been waiting until I have big news to tell you.  That’s just something that I haven’t had lately.  I still kind of don’t, but I figured I at least owed you a status update about Book of Shadows 5.  

I have continued working on BoS 5, but at a snail’s pace to be honest.  I’ve just been so wrapped up in my music and pop culture site, Love is Pop.  The trouble I’ve been having is that, well, I have OCD — not severely, but still — and I have to hyper-focus on things to really get a lot done.  It’s possible for me to do Love is Pop and write books, as I’ve done it in the past, but lately it’s been a real struggle.  So, I have decided to take the entire month of October off from Love is Pop so that I can focus on Book of Shadows 5.  And when I go back to it after that, I’m going to be really picky about what I do and only spend time on things that excite me, whereas in the past I have done things just to keep the site updated regularly.  

I have the first 33 chapters of Book of Shadows 5 all typed up now.  I was having trouble keeping my head straight before because I’d only be up to typing up chapter 27 meanwhile I’m writing chapter 33.  This caused me to confuse chapters and insert some in the wrong order.  I’m also having trouble because I keep forgetting what I’ve already written with my memory problem getting worse all the time.  (I’m seeing a neurologist about that on Wednesday.)

The next thing I want to do is come up with an outline for the rest of the book, which will ultimately help me write faster and stay focused better.  And I’ll be able to remember what’s already happened in the book easier because I can just refer to the outline.  

When I’m having trouble working on BoS 5, or at a point where I’ve written all of it that I can for the day, I’m going to be working on doing a final edit to my memoir Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles.  The book is about the first year I lived in California.  About moving to Los Angeles and the very rocky relationship I had that year, as well as my descent into anorexia for the second time in my life.  I think the subtitle is going to be “A Tale of Love and Anorexia.”  In any case, I’m itching to finally publish it.  It’s a little scary because it’s brutally honest and at first it will feel weird knowing that it’s out there for anyone to read., But everyone who has read it has said it’s the best thing I’ve written thus far so I feel like I owe it to myself to put it out there.  Plus, it’s not doing me any good just sitting here.  

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Book of Shadows 1 – 3 free, Book 4 will soon be free as well

Check out this new Book of Shadows advertisement/promo made by my super-talented friend Gael Welch. Feel free to spread it around, my friends.

Get Book of Shadows 1 – 3 free from my Prolific Works author page: https://www.prolificworks.com/…/author/9470/michael_beaulieu

Book 4 will be free via the same page but I think I have to wait until the 28th because even though I unenrolled the book from Kindle Unlimited, apparently I had a 90-day contract that doesn’t expire until then. My only concern about breaking it would be that Amazon would ban me from selling books on their site forever. That’s the only punishment I can think of and they do like to punish people so just give me a few weeks. I’m not sure when I have to wait until yet, but Becoming Madonna will also be free on Prolific Works at some point.

You can also get my non-ya, new adult, racy novel Reckoning Daze from my author page, but I do have to warn you that it may be triggering for anorexia, cutting, rape, incest and drug abuse.

I should also mention that the protagonist is a downhill, self-destructive racer and the book is her descent into madness so don’t expect a HEA. So, who would like Reckoning Daze? People who like edgy, alternative literature. People who like to be shocked. People who don’t mind books without a traditional plot. People who like those “anonymous” books.

In some ways, I think Reckoning Daze is the best thing I’ve ever written. And I love that it gets extreme reactions from people. It’s a love it or hate it sort of book. If you look at the reviews, there are people who’ve said it’s the best book they’ve ever read. No kidding. And others say it’s a piece of trash, that it’s the worst book they’ve ever read. I like that it gets such strong reactions from people. I can’t wait to give away Becoming Madonna and finally have people reading that book, which should prove almost as controversial, largely because the protagonist starts off a bit racist and homophobic. That said, she does wise up by the end of the book. I bet people will read half of it and write reviews calling me a racist, though. I don’t want that to happen whatsoever, mind you, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what happens.

#BookofShadows #book #books #bookstagram #bookgram #bookbuzz#booknerds #booknerdigans #ya #youngadult #iwriteya #readingya#amreading #nowreading #booklist #witchcraft #witchcraftrelated#witchythings #Wicca #Wiccan #witch #witches #femalewitches#freebooks #freebook #free #livre #LivredesOmbres #roman #writer#writers #writersofinstagram #amwriting #nowwriting #ecrivain #ecrivaine #ecriture #fiction #ecrivainsdinstagram #romancier #romanciersdinstagram

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Book of Shadows 5 Progress

Hi Magickal Peeps, as I call my e-mail list subscribers. If you’re not among them, you can subscribe near the top of the column to your right. I send out newsletters more often than it occurs to me to post things here, so if you want to be among the first to learn the volume name for Book of Shadows 5 or to see its cover, I strongly suggest you subscribe. But if you do and you don’t enjoy my newsletters or wish to unsubscribe for any other reason, you may do so whenever you’d like. The link to my privacy policy is in the header at the top of this page.

Today, I am happy to tell you that I’ve written the first 18 chapters of Book of Shadows 5! 15 of them are all typed up. The other 3 only exist in a notebook so far, but I’ll be typing them up soon enough. Not to mention writing more chapters.

It’s a weird time for me right now because I really should be getting back to doing interviews for Love is Pop, but I’m having so much fun writing Book of Shadows 5 that I haven’t been able to pry myself away from it yet. I will finally be doing a couple soon-ish, though. And, oddly enough, they’re not with musicians. One is an author and the other is a filmmaker. But I can’t tell you their names just yet, lest I jinx myself and have them fall through.

Have you read the first four Book of Shadows novels yet? If not, you can get them via the following links:

Book One: Casting: https://amzn.to/2OgTqpV (free)

Book Two: Rising: https://amzn.to/2Oea8qe

Book Three Hunting: https://amzn.to/2Oefp0U

Book Four: In Memoriam: https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG (this volume is in Kindle Unlimited, so you can read it for free if you’re a subscriber)

Here’s a trick, though: If you Google “Michael Beaulieu Prolific Works” it should take you to the page with all of my books that are available for free through the site. This includes Book of Shadows 1, 2 and 3! And they’re available in epub and mobi.

If you’ve read any of them but haven’t left a review yet, I would appreciate it tremendously if you could take a minute to leave one now. Even a one sentence review would be great. And you can leave reviews on Amazon even if you grab the books from Prolific Works for free. If you get them from Amazon, it will tag them as verified purchases, which looks a little better, but you can still leave reviews without buying the books from them.

I know you’re always hearing authors asking for reviews, but they really do help. Whenever someone leaves a positive review, it triggers Amazon to show your book to more people. Plus, people who happen across the books at random, or by looking them up, will be more inclined to buy them if they see that I have a lot of positive reviews. Thankfully, most of my reviews are positive. There just aren’t enough of them. More importantly, there haven’t been any in quite some time so I could really use some new ones. Just be honest. If you want to leave a negative review, that’s fine, too.

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POSTS

Check out A Well Read Woman’s 5 Star Review of Becoming Madonna

The wonderful book review blog A Well Read Woman has reviewed Becoming Madonna. They gave it 5 stars!

Here’s a quote:

“The plot of Becoming Madonna is clever and original. I liked how there was a story within the story–while she was still on set with the soap opera. It was fun seeing her dashing back and forth like a chicken with her head cut off between acting and recording in the studio. And it was amusing/and almost comical to witness her panicking over her father seeing her very risque music video for “Touch Me… There”. Laurie learns that becoming a pop superstar like her idol Madonna comes at a steep price, literally and figuratively. “

Of course, I recommend you head on over to the excellent blog and read the entire review:
https://awellreadwomanblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/awrw-book-review-becoming-madonna-a-novel-by-author-michael-beaulieu-paris365-loveispopdotcom-bookreview-bookblog-amreading/

In other news, I’ve now completed 11 chapters of Book of Shadows 5! So, yes, progress is definitely being made. I don’t know how long it will take me to complete the book, but I’m hoping to have it written and ready by Thanksgiving. Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam took me a little over an entire year to write, so that might be a tough deadline for me to meet, but I’m going to do my best. Speaking of Book of Shadows 4, it continues to get a lot of positive feedback. I just wish you folks who write me such wonderful fan mail would post your thoughts on Amazon or Goodreads, too. Reviews truly are the lifeblood of indie authors, such as myself. You might think your comments aren’t worth leaving if they’re only a couple of sentences, but, trust me, even one sentence reviews can make a difference. The more positive reviews, the better. Of course, I only want you to leave honest reviews so if you didn’t like one of my books please feel free to leave a review stating that. If you could indicate what I could’ve done better, I would appreciate it, but, if not, no worries.

Here are the links to buy or leave reviews for the first 4 Book of Shadows novels on Amazon:

Book One: https://amzn.to/2OgTqpV

Book Two: https://amzn.to/2Oea8qe

Book Three: https://amzn.to/2Oefp0U

Book Four: https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG

On another note, I wanted to mention that my friend Bill’s cat, Magique, was found. He was actually hiding under Bill’s bed for three days, shy about getting to know his new home! When he finally did start coming out, he turned into quite the terror, trashing the house on several occasions, but I understand he’s calmed down and adjusted well now. And, yes, Magique is the French word for magic. However, he was already named that when Bill adopted him. So, it’s a strange coincidence that my friend’s cat wound up with a French name and an even stranger one that it should be the word for magic, which is one of my favorite things, as you well know.

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Book of Shadows Pets
Hi Magickal Friends!

How goes it? 

Things are pretty well here.  I’ve been super busy with Love is Pop lately, but you’ll be happy to hear that I’ve still managed to write seven or eight chapters of Book of Shadows 5.  They’re in one of my countless notebooks and need to be typed up, but once I do that then I can put them in the correct order and from that point going forward I will be writing everything in order because I’ve learned that I don’t like writing chapters out of sequence.  Because it makes you picture things happening in the wrong order and it gets confusing.  And you might have a character say something in one chapter then something contradictory happens in another chapter and you didn’t realize this because you were writing them out of sequence.  I think that writing them out of order can benefit some writers, but for someone with a legit memory problem, like me, it’s just too confusing. 

I also wanted to mention that I’m taking the next couple of weeks off from Love is Pop to focus on writing fiction. Thought you’d be happy to hear that.

In other Book of Shadows news, I’ve come with ideas for two Book of Shadows short stories.  I’m not sure when I’ll write them, though.  I mean, do I stop writing Book of Shadows 5 and write one or do I keep writing Book of Shadows 5 and write them later?  I think I might have to stop writing Book 5 and write a short story because I need to find a way to get more people into the series.  I’d hoped that word of mouth would keep the ball rolling but that isn’t happening so I need to take action.  If I write a short story, I can put it on Prolific Works and have them feature it in a newsletter and on their blog.  And people who read that might go ahead and read BoS 1 since it’s free everywhere.  Then some of those might continue to read the rest of the series.  

One of the short story ideas takes place about 5 years after the Book of Shadows novels and is about Emma and January, who own a private detective agency and are a happy couple.  The other is about Shar’s sister Arja and what happens after Emma, Lia and Shar cast a love spell to make her co-worker fall in love with her.  Let’s just say that the spell works too well and in just about every way possible.  This would be one of the sub-plots in Book of Shadows 5, but in the book, you’ll be reading from Shar, Emma, Lia and January’s POVs.  Not Arja’s.  In the short story, however, it’s from Arja’s POV and you get the whole story, not just the bits that she tells Shar in the book. Which of these two ideas do you think I should write first?  Email me at michael@michaelbeaulieu.com and say DETECTIVE if you want Emma and January’s P.I. story or say ARJA if you want her love spell story.  (You don’t need to use all caps.)

On a different note, my friend Bill’s cat Magique is missing.  His name is the French word for magic, but he didn’t name it that.  That’s the name it already had from the humane society.  Well, the cat managed to get out the same day he’d adopted him and he’s been missing for about 48 hours now.  So, I’m doing everything I can to help my friend find him.  (You know what a cat lover I am.)  He went missing from Neofotistos Circle in Dracut, which connects to Hampson Street, which connects to Kinsella Ave and 7th Ave, as well as to Pleasant Street near Lakeview Ave and Parker Ave on the opposite end of the street.  So, if you happen to live in the area, please be on the lookout.  And if you have friends who live in Dracut or Lowell, MA, perhaps you could forward this to them. 

This is Magique:

If you see Magique, please e-mail michael@michaelbeaulieu.com so I can notify my friend. Much thanks! Ciao for now!

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Becoming Madonna

BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

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  • February 5, 2019
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There’s a meme going around on Facebook where people are listing the books that changed their lives and how they changed them.  I thought I would share my responses with you.

BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

On Writing by Stephen King convinced me to continue writing when I was at a low point and thinking I should quit.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac inspired me to jump in my car and just start driving. Didn’t stop until I wound up in Quebec City. First time I had ever left the country.

Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger showed me that your main character can be a bit of an a-hole and the book still be embraced by millions.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis showed me that you can write anything — really, really repulsive things — and still get published and have the book do well — and even get turned into a movie.

Violet & Claire and The Hanged Man by Francesca Lia Block showed me that you could write about characters with anorexia without having them get help or undergo a big transformation and start eating normally by the end of the book. Also, her book Nymph showed me that you can write young adult books then write erotica and publish them under the same name and still be just as adored.

Wasted by Marya Hornbacher inspired me to keep starving myself when I was anorexic. It’s supposed to have the opposite effect on me but it was just what I needed for thinspiration at the time.

Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D.H. Lawerence by Geoff Dyer showed me that you can write any sort of book you want. It follows him as he tries to write a book about D.H. Lawrence but finds himself unable to. Accordingly, it’s both about D.H. Lawerence and his inability to write the book he wanted all at once.

Paris, Trance by Geoff Dyer was one of the reasons I went to Paris the first time. Ditto for Paris to The Moon by Adam Gopnik and Almost French by Sarah Turnbell.

Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman showed me that you can write about hair bands and still be considered a hip writer.

The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson showed me that you can shock people and be brilliant at the same time. And that I wasn’t the only one who grew up afraid of becoming possessed.

Screenwriting by Syd Field is what taught me screenwriting and inspired me to write screenplays. To date, I’ve written over 30, although none since I started getting serious about writing books.

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland is a huge reason why I became a witch.

Contacts (textbook) by Valette and Valette taught me most of the French I know.Suffice to say, books have been a huge influence on my life!
In other news, my lost 1998 novel Becoming Madonna is out now.  Due to popular demand, I decided to surprise release it last week.

One thing that a few people have been saying is that they don’t like the way it ends.  Personally, I think the ending brings everything full circle, but I suppose I can understand people wanting more.  To that end, I’m working on an epilogue and will add that to the book once it’s finished.  If you’ve already purchased it, e-mail me your receipt or a screenshot of it and I’ll e-mail you the revised version once it’s ready. And I will leave you with the Becoming Madonna blurb…

BECOMING MADONNA:

Soap Suds Weekly has crowned her “the breakout star of 1998,” but Laurie Saint-Germain hates it when she signs an autograph and the so-called fan is upset that she signed her own name, not that of Sandy Lemonde, her happy-go-lucky character on daytime’s sensational Passionate About Love. Especially since her master plan is to become a movie star and pop goddess – just like her idol, Madonna!

When Dime-A-Douzaine Records, home of Back Alley Boyz and *4Guys, offers her a chance to record a demo with the option of signing her, Laurie jumps for joy so hard she breaks the ceiling. However, they have to like her, too, which could be a problem because her wise-ass mouth and brutal honesty create a perfect recipe for fireworks.

As if keeping her harsh opinions to herself wasn’t difficult enough, Laurie’s life is thrown into turmoil when she finds herself falling for a woman for the first time as she flirts with her beautiful hairdresser, Beth. Then there’s the matter of a potential record deal causing complications with her soap contract.

Becoming Madonna pursues 18-year-old Laurie through her coming of age life choices and her struggles to become the next Madonna. Get this hilarious satire today.

On sale for just $2.99 or read free with Kindle Unlimited.

If you’ve already read the book and could leave an honest review, it would be much appreciated.
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Becoming Madonna

OUT NOW: BECOMING MADONNA

  • By
  • January 30, 2019
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I am happy to say that my lost 1998 novel, the literary fiction satire Becoming Madonna, is out now!

DESCRIPTION:

Soap Suds Weekly has crowned her “the breakout star of 1998,” but Laurie Saint-Germain hates it when she signs an autograph and the so-called fan is upset that she signed her own name, not that of Sandy Lemonde, her happy-go-lucky character on daytime’s sensational Passionate About Love. Especially since her master plan is to become a movie star and pop goddess – just like her idol, Madonna!

When Dime-A-Douzaine Records, home of Back Alley Boyz and *4Guys, offers her a chance to record a demo with the option of signing her, Laurie jumps for joy so hard she breaks the ceiling. However, they have to like her, too, which could be a problem because her wise-ass mouth and brutal honesty create a perfect recipe for fireworks.

As if keeping her harsh opinions to herself wasn’t difficult enough, Laurie’s life is thrown into turmoil when she finds herself falling for a woman for the first time as she flirts with her beautiful hairdresser, Beth. Then there’s the matter of a potential record deal causing complications with her soap contract.

Becoming Madonna pursues 18-year-old Laurie through her coming of age life choices and her struggles to become the next Madonna. Read this hilarious satire today. BUY IT NOW OR READ FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED!

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POSTS

BECOMING MADONNA – SURPRISE RELEASE!

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  • January 30, 2019
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Yes, you’ve read the subject line correctly.  I have decided to surprise release Becoming Madonna instead of putting it on pre-order!  It should be live on Amazon by this time tomorrow.  I’ll send you an e-mail with a link once it is.  If you’re not subscribed to my list, what are you waiting for? Just fill in your first name and e-mail address in the column to the right of this post and then you’re all set to be the first to hear about my upcoming books. You’ll also see cover reveals and I’ve been known to give away free books and short stories!

The main reason I did to surprise release Becoming Madonna is so that you can post your reviews as soon as you write them.  This way, nobody has to remember to post them on a release date.  You can just post them as you finish the book and feel like doing so.   It would especially be appreciated if you could review the book if you received an ARC.  You’re not obligated to, but it would be a nice gesture.  And be honest.  Just try to keep in mind that I wrote this book way back in 1998 and my writing skills weren’t what they are today just yet!  Although, in some ways, I think I might have been a better writer back then, which is a scary thought that I’m trying not to ponder too much.

Since the book will be available to buy tomorrow and will be an Amazon exclusive, I will not be able to send out any additional ARCs.  But I’ve already been quite generous and sent out many more copies than I’d intended to.

So, I’ll be back in touch soon with the link to buy Becoming Madonna.  And if you have Kindle Unlimited you will be able to read it for free!

BLURB:

Soap Suds Weekly has crowned her “the breakout star of 1998,” but Laurie Saint-Germain hates it when she signs an autograph and the so-called fan is upset that she signed her own name, not that of Sandy Lemonde, her happy-go-lucky character on daytime’s sensational Passionate About Love. Especially since her master plan is to become a movie star and pop goddess – just like her idol, Madonna!

When Dime-A-Douzaine Records, home of Back Alley Boyz and *4Guys, offers her a chance to record a demo with the option of signing her, Laurie jumps for joy so hard she breaks the ceiling. However, they have to like her, too, which could be a problem because her wise-ass mouth and brutal honesty create a perfect recipe for fireworks.

As if keeping her harsh opinions to herself wasn’t difficult enough, Laurie’s life is thrown into turmoil when she finds herself falling for a woman for the first time as she flirts with her beautiful hairdresser, Beth. Then there’s the matter of a potential record deal causing complications with her soap contract.

Becoming Madonna pursues 18-year-old Laurie through her coming of age life choices and her struggles to become the next Madonna. Read this hilarious satire today.

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My latest author newsletter is online

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  • December 24, 2018
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Hi Magickal Friends,

My latest author newsletter is online and can be read at https://preview.mailerlite.com/j1c3o1

The post includes an update about my forthcoming novel Becoming Madonna, which will be released early next year. I am currently looking for proofreaders for the book. If you’re interested, you should e-mail me at michael@michaelbeaulieu.com asap and let me know. However, the book may be offensive to some readers so you should definitely read the newsletter before you decide to offer to proofread it.

A limited number of ARC copies will be made available once I’ve made all of the corrections my proofreaders find necessary.

I hope that you’re all having a blessed holiday season, regardless of whatever holiday(s) you celebrate.

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Book of Shadows

Please vote for Book of Shadows 3: Hunting on Readfree.ly so I can make the top 50 and win a prize

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  • November 17, 2018
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Hey there Magickal Friends!

I’m writing to you today because I could really use your assistance.  You see, so many of you nominated Book of Shadows 3: Hunting for Readfree.ly’s best indie books of the year contest that I’ve made the top 100!  That’s quite amazing, considering over 2000 books were entered!  So, thank you so, so much.  I am humbled by your kindness.

That said, it’s the top 50 that win the prizes, so I really need you to pretty please go and vote for the book now.  If you could,  it would be tremendously appreciated.  And you can actually go back and vote for it a second time — if you’d like — because you’re allowed to cast two votes in each category and you can cast them both for the same book.

Just go here and it’ll take you directly to the page where you can vote for the book: http://www.readfree.ly/50-best-indie-books-2018-prefilled/?indie50title=BOOK+OF+SHADOWS:+HUNTING+by+MICHAEL+BEAULIEU&indie50genre=Paranormal

Thanks so much if you could do that.

On a slightly related note, I could really use your help spreading around this ad that I made for Book of Shadows 4:

If you would like to link the image to the book on Amazon, that would be super awesome.  It’s https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG. But even if you could just post the image without the link, that would still help make people aware of the series, which would totally rock.

A while ago, in one of my polls, I asked if you would share images advertising the books if I put quotes from the books on them and they looked really cool, so I’m hoping that this ad or placard or whatever you want to call it meets those requirements.

If you have any favorite quotes from the books that you’d like me to put on something like this, please let me know.  I want to make things that you’ll be happy to share so we both win.

To show my appreciation for your votes and sharing, here’s a link to where you can grab Book of Shadows 2: Rising free from Prolific Works:

https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/Kdg76

You’ll probably notice that I modified the cover a bit.  Previously, it didn’t have the name of the volume (Rising) on the cover and there was a huge pentacle.  Well, now there are two small pentacles and it has the name of the volume on it.  Not major changes, but I think it’s a big improvement.

Now, I’m only making available for free for a short time, so be sure to grab it now.

And remember starting on the 19th of this month until the 2nd of January, you’ll be able to score Book of Shadows 3: Hunting for free via the Prolific Works group giveaway FIre Side Fantasy: Stories to Curl Up With:

https://claims.prolificworks.com/gg/Xxx9KFBAuN7ynXYhgbAF

Why am I giving away these free books? Because I want to share my work and grow my audience.  And, of course, I’m hoping that people will read the books and love them and want to buy Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, I’d love it if you could buy it now.  It’s priced at $2.99, but I’ll be increasing it shortly so make sure you take advantage of the sale price now.

Below you’ll find the blurb. If you want to remain 100% spoiler free before reading Book of Shadows 3 then you’ll want to stop reading now.  Otherwise, here it is:

Following Book of Shadows 3’s harrowing battle with an evil witch who wanted to take their lives for their magick, 16-year-old witches Emma, Lia, Shar and friends finally believe the worst is behind them. Until they start at a new school the very next day and discover that half the students think they’re murderers following the devastating events at their last school.

Meanwhile, Emma starts to feel like she’s losing her mind as her thoughts turn darker and darker. It could be that it’s the black magick she absorbed in book three or it might be something far more sinister.

Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam takes place during the days leading up to the memorial for a friend who met an untimely death in volume three. Emma and the group are worried that they’ll be blamed for their demise until they receive signs that something much worse is about to take place.

Read Book of Shadows 4 today and find out what happens when you’re faced with evil below, evil above and evil inside!

Buy Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam today!

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Book of Shadows

LOOKING FOR HALLOWEEN LISTENING? CHECK OUT BOOK OF SHADOWS – THE SOUNDTRACK

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  • October 27, 2018
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A few months ago, it dawned on me that I’d never seen any of my fellow authors make a soundtrack for their books.  So, I went on Spotify and made one for my teenage witch series Book of Shadows.  The playlist below is the soundtrack for books 1, 2 and 3.  And the songs are arranged in the order they would appear in if I ever made a movie out of the books and was able to get the rights to every song that I wanted.  Of the 32 songs on the playlist, almost all of them are about witchcraft or related things like the moon and magic.  But you can easily create a playlist of your own and copy all the songs from mine then delete the songs that aren’t about witchcraft and related things: Kerli’s “Tea Party,” David Bowie’s “Breaking Glass,” Zola Jesus’s “Vacant” and Garbage’s “Medication.” Either way, I recommend you listen to it when you’re celebrating Halloween.  It’s the perfect time for music about witches, isn’t it?

Not familiar with my young adult, urban fantasy series Book of Shadows? You can get the first book in the series for free on Amazon right now: https://amzn.to/2OgTqpV

Here’s the description:

“What would you do if you found your late great grandmother’s book of shadows, better known as a spell book, and learned that you’re a natural born witch? If you’re 16-year-old Emma McGlinchey, you try a candle lighting spell and recruit best friends Lia and Shar into starting a coven after it works.

Soon the girls cast a glamour spell to make everyone like them at the religious high school where they’re being forced to begin their junior year. It works perfectly on all but a nasty group of zealots who bully Lia and Shar for being a lesbian couple.

Meanwhile, a love spell they cast for Emma to charm the boy of her dreams succeeds, but the guidance counselor comes onto her, too.

The girls attempt to deal with these side-effects using other spells, but will they be able to set things right before catastrophe ensues?

Read Book of Shadows Volume 1: Casting today and find out!”

If you’re not down with Amazon, you can also get it free from

Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book-of-shadows-michael-beaulieu/1126095028?ean=2940154329504

and

Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/book-of-shadows-volume-one-casting

Book of Shadows 1 Books2Read Universal Link to even more places where you can get the book for free:
https://books2read.com/u/mvYwkJ

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Book of Shadows New Releases

MY FIRST AUTHOR TAKEOVER

  • By
  • October 12, 2018
  • Sticky

I will be doing an author takeover on the Bookies blog’s Facebook page —  https://www.facebook.com/Bookiesfan/ — on 10/19/18 from 2 PM – 4 PM Eastern Time U.S.

Lots of fun stuff will happen!

If you’re a Book of Shadows fan, you simply must come.

Well, if you’re able to.

Not that I’m telling you what to do.

Nope.

Wouldn’t do that.

Just a friendly suggestion.

From one author to his fans.

PS: I’ll also be talking about my upcoming books Becoming Madonna and Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles.  You might even be allowed to see the covers…

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POSTS

BOOK OF SHADOWS 4: IN MEMORIAM: OUT NOW

  • By
  • October 6, 2018
  • Sticky

Hi Magickal Friends!

Happy Saturday! It’s finally the weekend and, hopefully, we can all breathe a little easier now.  I know I’m glad that Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam is live on Amazon and that you, my wonderful readers, are really enjoying it!  That is the most important thing in the world to me.  (Well, aside from my family, friends and pets.) It’s such a relief to know that you’re glad this was a longer book.  That’s what I’d hoped for, but I couldn’t be sure until the reviews started pouring in.  Of course, I realize that there are bound to be some folks who wish it wasn’t so long, but thus far I’ve only heard from people who’ve been happy about it.  Regardless of your opinion, I would love it if you could leave a review.  Just go to https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG if you’d like to do so! 

I have 2 contests going right now. The prize for each is a signed, first edition copy of Book of Shadows 1: Casting.

THE SHARE MY BOOK CONTEST:

One prize will be awarded to the person who shares my posts, or posts of their own, featuring Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam, the most times.  I’d love it if you guys could spread the word all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, Pinterest, etc. You’d be helping me out and you just might win the prize!

THE MAKE MY AD CONTEST:

The other prize will be awarded to the person who makes the Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam ad that I end up liking the best. It simply has to feature the title of the book, my name, and the words “out now.”  Otherwise, you can quote a review or take quotes from the book.  I’d LOVE to see ads with quotes on them. 

Very few people have entered these contests. I want to give people more time to get their creativity on, but I do think I should set a deadline. So, the deadline for both contests will be 10/19/18. That’s roughly two weeks from now.

On another note: ARC readers, if those of you who’ve chosen to review the book could post your reviews soon, it would be tremendously appreciated. That said, I know it’s a longer book and that life happens and people can’t just drop everything to read a book.  So, of course, I’ll light up like a Christmas tree with a bright, shiny star on top whenever you can post them.  

The same link is where to go to post reviews, and/or buy your copy, or to read the book for free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber!  https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG

When posting ARC copy reviews, be sure to write something like, “I received an ARC copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review it,” so that Amazon doesn’t think I forced anyone to review it.  

If you do review the book, I’d love it if you could send me a link or screenshot so I can be sure not to miss it.  (E-mail me at michael@michaelbeaulieu.com).

Winners must reside in the continental U.S. only, please. Void where prohibited by law and all the usual yada, yada, yada.

Eight readers have already reviewed the book on Amazon. Here are some excerpts:

“I really enjoyed the mischief they cause at school in book 4. Some of it’s light-hearted, which is a sweet change of pace for the series. I also have to say it was very interesting to see how the girls dealt with the black magic inside them all now.” – C.C.

“I found this to be the lightest-hearted book so far and I mean that in a good way. It was nice for the girls and their friends to have a little breathing room.” – M.K.W.

“Book of Shadows 4 did not disappoint! I loved diving back into the series with this book. It shows them trying to lead normal lives. But with everything that comes their way that’s virtually impossible. I loved the longer length of this book.” – S.S.

“I highly recommend this story to everyone and if you buy this story you will not be disappointed.” – S.E.

Here’s the Book of Shadows 4 description:

Following Book of Shadows 3’s harrowing battle with an evil witch who wanted to take their lives to steal their magick, 16-year-old witches Emma, Lia, Shar and friends finally believe the worst is behind them. Until they start at a new school the very next day and discover that half the students think they’re murderers following the devastating events at their last school.

Meanwhile, Emma starts to feel like she’s losing her mind as her thoughts turn darker and darker. It could be that it’s the black magick she was forced to absorb in book three or it might be something far more sinister.

Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam takes place during the days leading up to a memorial for a friend who met an untimely death in volume three. Emma and the group are worried that they’ll be blamed for the friend’s demise until they receive signs that something much worse is about to take place.

Read Book of Shadows 4 today and find out what happens when you’re faced with evil above, evil below and evil within!

______

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Book of Shadows New Releases

Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam is Out Tomorrow (10/3/18)

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  • October 2, 2018
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Hi Magickal Friends,

How is your Tuesday going? I’m very busy doing promotional things with Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam coming out TOMORROW

Can you believe it’s finally coming out?  I’m so glad you’ll all be able to read it at last.  I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Here’s the link: https://amzn.to/2QjkRwG 

I would appreciate it big time if you buy a copy.

Those of you who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited will be able to read it for free.  It’s going to be an Amazon exclusive, as you have to make it exclusive to enroll it in Kindle Unlimited. 

If anyone needs an epub version, go to Bookfunnel via the link below and grab an ARC copy before they expire at the end of the day today. https://dl.bookfunnel.com/zgjm40tdds

If you review the book, which would be appreciated more than words can say, please send me a link or screenshot so I can be sure not to miss it.  (E-mail me at michael@michaelbeaulieu.com).

Here’s what a few people who reviewed Book 3 had to say:

“The best book of the series so far and still another to come. Great bit of escapism and fantasy, with an interesting set of close friends and also their coming of age and relationship trials and tribulations.”

“I have read all of the books in this series by Michael Beaulieu who is a wonderful writer.”

“Full of action and a great storyline! You will enjoy this book! I highly recommend this series!”

In other news, popular book blogger Sarah Foil recently interviewed me here: https://www.sarahfoil.com/blog/an-interview-with-michael-beaulieu.  Check it out.  I think you’ll find it both interesting and informative!

By the way, I now have an author Instagram account where I’ve been doing the #Bookstagram thing, showing folks photos of my books and books by author authors in cool settings.  Follow me here and I’ll follow you back: https://www.instagram.com/authormichaelbeaulieu/

Finally, I should mention that I send out newsletters regularly — much more often than I think to post here —  featuring lots of cool stuff that I’m sure my readers would get a kick out of.  Just look to your right for the subscribe box!

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Blog

#AuthorConfessions Day- 10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

So, today is #AuthorConfessions day. You’re supposed to write about 10 things people might not know about you, especially things pertaining to writing. I’m overdue for updating my author site and sending out a newsletter, so I figured I’d do this and just post it everywhere. I already have a list of surprising things about me on my author site, but this is a bit more personal while also being more so about writing.

Here goes…

1. I usually write or edit between 11AM and 6:30PM. I used to force myself to quit at 4PM because that’s when my brain starts to fry, but more recently I’ve just kept working, often until 6:30.

2. I write on the weekends, too. It’s something I usually enjoy very much, so why wouldn’t I write on the weekend?

3. I don’t always write every single day. I do take a Saturday or Sunday off once in a while and there are days when I go out to various cafes with a friend, so I’m doing some writing, but I’m also socializing.

4. I’m bipolar and that plays a role in my writing because the more I write, the more excited I get. Sometimes when it’s going really well and I do it for several hours I’ll get manic and have a hard time coming down. It’s invigorating and gets the creative wheels in your brain spinning at full speed.  The more “up” I’m feeling, the more creative I’m feeling.  I also feel more confident when I’m manic.  That’s the only time when I think I’m a great writer.

5. I have fibromyalgia and there are days when it’s torture just sitting at my desk. I have a Sealy Posturepedic desk chair, too, so it’s not the chair that’s the problem. It’s the fibromyalgia, which causes me pain every day. Some people have days when they don’t experience any pain, but mine never goes into any sort of remission.

6. I always need to have a tasty beverage when I’m writing. Lately, I’ve been drinking iced tea in the morning and a Pepsi (the kind made with real sugar) in the afternoon. Yet when I go out, I always get an iced coffee or an iced latte. I do drink hot beverages at times, but rarely.

7. One of the reasons I don’t drink hot beverages much is that I am allergic to heat. Seriously, I am allergic to heat. If I get too heated up by hot weather, or spicy food or from exercising, or because it’s hot in a store, I get awful itching attacks. The allergy isn’t as sensitive as it used to be, thank Goddess, but it hasn’t gone away completely. I was getting itchy a couple of times just yesterday when I was in the hallway where there’s no a/c.

8. In addition to Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam, I have two other books that I intend to publish this year. One is a memoir called Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles. The other is a satire called Becoming Madonna. Becoming Madonna was written in 1998 and I hadn’t looked at it for years until recently when I discovered that it’s not half as bad as I thought. I basically just have to edit it because the protagonist — a soap opera actress who wants to be a pop star — said a lot of things that were far from being PC. Some that would offend people nowadays even though people would’ve laughed about how nuts she is if it was released in 1998. Speaking of which, the book is going to be a period piece because it will still take place in 1998. Otherwise, I’d have to change A LOT of it, considering how people are glued to their smartphones now and social media exists and everyone uses it.

9. Before I started writing novels, I wrote over 30 original screenplays. (Once I hit 30, I stopped counting.) Some of them were good, but most of them were quirky stories that would never get made by a studio. They’re the type of scripts where you’d have to find your own funding and direct the movie yourself. I really would like to do that someday. If I become a successful self-published writer eventually and have the money, I’ll definitely finance and direct a movie.

10. Some of my screenplays would make excellent novels. I plan to use my Gas Money and Inspiration, Paris scripts as outlines for new novels. But I think I’m going to write something brand new first.

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Pets

INTRODUCING MISTER LOGAN BLACK

I call the above photo of my new 11-month-old kitten, Mister Logan Black, Just Out of Reach.  I can’t remember if he’d just caught the mouse and I was pulling it away or if he’d tried to catch it and failed. What I do know is that if you’re thinking “that looks like a really long cat,” you would be absolutely correct.  Logan might be an 11-month-old kitten, but he’s a big guy.  He weighs 11.5 pounds and he’s not even the least bit overweight.  And a big reason for that — literally — is that he’s an especially long cat.  In fact, he doesn’t quite fit on my lap  I have to sit with my legs up, such as on the recliner, and then he lies down the long way on my legs.

So, how have you been?  Is your week off to a good start?  I hope so.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, as you could probably tell from my last message.

It’s my nature to over-analyze everything.  That often entails a certain degree of paranoia.  And I can convince myself of things sometimes that aren’t entirely accurate. On the day I wrote my last update I was really missing Mister White and I’d been beating myself up, wishing I’d had more time with him during the weeks leading up to his death.  But that’s how we always feel when anyone dies, right?  And what good does thinking like that ever do anyone?  None.

Now that I’ve had time to look back with a clearer head, I don’t think I spent less time with Mister White before he died.  It’s just been bothering me that he’s not here with me, bonding, while my roommates are away right now.

Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely love Logan and he’s great company.  I would not have survived the loss of Mister White without him.  But making a new friend doesn’t mean that you don’t miss your other friend who died, ya know?

In that last e-mail, I wrote that writing Book of Shadows 4 had kept me away from Mister White and that I hated it for that reason, but now I realize how silly that was.  If I wasn’t busy writing Book of Shadows 4 then I’m sure I would’ve been just as busy doing interviews for Love is Pop, or trying to make music with Acid Pro, or what have you. I’m a creative person and I spend my days in my home office working on my various projects.  I could just as easily been working on a new remix when Mister White passed away.

The bottom line?  There’s no reason to hate Book of Shadows 4.

Speaking of which, as I may have mentioned, the other day I had a wonderful breakthrough.  I thought I’d sorted out the end of Book of Shadows 4 and paved the way for one of the main plot elements of Book 5.  Well, when I woke up the next day I realized that there were a few little problems with that big idea I’d just had.  Things that fans could point at and criticize the book for, had I done things exactly as I’d first thought of them.  Well, the good news is that I sat outside for a few hours today and smoked a big, fat cigar and gave it further thought and came up with a solution to those issues!  I swear, I do all of my best thinking when I’m smoking a cigar.

Usually, I’ll have a Tabac Especial.  The maker of those dips the tobacco leaves in premium, organic coffee before they’re cured.  So, the tobacco tastes like coffee.  And the caffeine makes it give you a bigger buzz.  C’est formidable.  But today I had a Kuba Kuba, which is made by a company called Acid.  If I understand correctly, they cure their tobacco in rooms where they put out flowers and oils so that the tobacco picks up flavor from them, resulting in a unique tasting cigar.  The Kuba Kuba tastes like rose petals, honey and lavender.  Well, mostly, it tastes like tobacco.  But it has notes of those.  But, of course, you shouldn’t smoke.  You definitely should not smoke.  Anything.  Ever.  But, you know, what’s a man without vices, as they say?

So, tomorrow morning I plan to open up Book of Shadows 4, take 46 and work on the very end so that things will end perfectly and set the stage for Book 5, which I’m eager to begin writing.  Very eager!

Oh, also, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Book of Shadows soundtrack for books 1 – 3 that I made on Spotify then you’re really missing out.  Check it out here: https://open.spotify.com/user/12133221248/playlist/23i86YfJkx61qCkODoeyJR?si=Y1NqXrQUQ86nz0wm1bSzHA

I think the soundtrack has something to offer you regardless of what type of music is your favorite.  Most of the songs are about witches and witchcraft, so if that interests you then definitely give it a listen.  And let me know what you think!

Here’s hoping the rest of the week proves to be agreeable for all of us!

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Pets

A (KIND OF) EULOGY FOR MISTER WHITE, BELOVED CAT

by Michael McCarthy

Mister White had two female owners before I adopted him from an organization called Pets in Need. Both women had him in apartments where they weren’t allowed to have pets and ended up having to give him up after a year or so. You might find it amusing to know that his first owner had named him Piglet. I guess she was a big Winnie the Pooh fan. It was his second owner who was a wise woman because she is the one who gave him the name Mister White. We thought it was an adorable name for a cat and we didn’t want the poor guy to have to learn yet another name, so Mister White he was to remain.
Some may find this bizarre, or even in poor taste, but I adopted Mister White the same night my previous cat, Footprints, was put to sleep. I loved Footy like a son. A rebellious son prone to mischief, but a son nevertheless. You see, before being put to sleep, Footprints had been sick for a couple of weeks where we’d been to the animal hospital – Wignal in Dracut – just about every other day. There at Wignal, was a single cat in a cage. That was Mister White, who’d been placed there by a rescue organization called Pets in Need and I’d fallen in love with him long before I knew Footy was losing his battle with a large tumor that we hadn’t realized he had until it was too late. When I would go over to say hi to Mister White he’d meow and stick his paw out of the cage so I could pet it. He had the sweetest little meow. He was a three year old male at that point, but he sounded like a six month old kitten. When the women who worked at Wignal would walk by his cage, he’d stick his paw out and tap them on the bum to get their attention. Half the time they just ignored him, which made me feel bad for him. There was one time when I even heard the women working there whining about who had him – Mister White – that day. Like it was such a big burden to feed him and clean his little litter box. I felt like getting up and saying, hey, you don’t want to take care of him, let me, I’d be happy to.

The night Footprints died was traumatic for me. Absolutely. My parents were away so I’d had to have my Aunt Paula drive me to the appointment where I’d have to make the decision to have him put to sleep. It killed me to give that permission, but Footy wasn’t eating or drinking and forcing him to was only making him more miserable. He was in pain and I didn’t want him to keep suffering, so that’s why I made the decision that I did. I felt like the biggest hypocrite in the world, too, because I’d always sworn that I would never have one of my pets put to sleep, that I’d never give up on them. I guess I was young and naive and didn’t realize that was the kind thing to do in some instances, as the vet that night assured me. He told me how some people will take their animal home to die and it can end up suffering horribly for days before it finally passes. He said that when people do that they’re mostly doing it for themselves, not for the benefit of the pet. It made sense enough.

I stayed with Footy while they gave him the injections. There was no way I was leaving him to die alone. I was petting him and talking to him right up until the end. I held it together for that. Then I completely lost it, collapsing to the floor and crying hysterically, saying I was going to go home and kill myself. My aunt said she’d buy me another cat and I found the idea offensive. I didn’t want another cat, I wanted Footy back! She said that didn’t mean I couldn’t love another cat. I wasn’t even considering her offer until I calmed down a bit and suddenly remembered Mister White  out in the waiting room in that small cage. Then it was like a bell went off in my head. I yelled, “I want Mister White!” My aunt and the nurse or technician – I never know what to call them – were confused until I reminded them that he was the cat on display out there.

Someone from the animal hospital told my aunt that you had to go through an adoption process with the rescue organization to adopt one of their cats. That you couldn’t just pay for it and take it home right on the spot. Well, I wasn’t having that. I said I wouldn’t leave without him. “He’s been stuck here too long and you don’t love him and I want to give him a home,” I said over and over until the animal hospital person and my aunt stepped out of the room to talk. I just sat there and cried about Footy while also worrying about Mister White. Footy I couldn’t save, but I could save Mister White, liberate him from that small cage.

I don’t know what kind of strings she had to pull or what she had to pay, but my Aunt Paula worked a miracle that night because I did indeed leave there with Mister White. It was the strangest day of my life, carrying one cat into the vet’s and leaving with another. In the same carrier, of course.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted another cat for months after Footy died if it wasn’t for Mister White being there and needing a home already. I’d read his story about the two previous owners on his card from Pets in Need and the idea that someone else could adopt him only to give him up offended me. No, I had to take him home with me. I would never give him up. Or, as it turned out, give up on him. Because it was obvious that he loved us and would never give up on us.

I still grieved Footy even though I had Mister White, but having Mister White to love and to love me certainly helped. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Mister White kept me from falling too deep into the darkness. Nothing like a pet dying to send me plummeting into a dark night of the soul. But I had to soldier on. I had Mister White to take care of now.

It’s impossible for me to write any of this without tears. Mister White truly became my best friend. It hurts so much now that he’s gone. Our house feels so empty. Part of me does wish I could die and just go be with Mister White already. (The idea that I might have to live another 40 years without him feels like torture.) But I asked for a sign that he was in a better place and a few days after his passing I was in the kitchen alone when I heard him meow. Just like he was right there beside me.   That was reassuring.

I always felt so lucky to have Mister White. He didn’t come visit me in my room every day, but whenever he did I always felt so special. It felt like Christmas, that my sweet little boy was coming upstairs, going out of his way, just to see me. “Hi, my Mister White!” I would say and immediately stop what I was doing – no matter how important – to get down on the floor with him to pet him and give him a good brushing, which he always seemed to enjoy. And when my feet would be falling asleep or my back would start killing me, I always felt guilty when I got up. But most of the time I stayed there on the floor with him until he’d finally get bored with me and leave my room. Throughout the entire 12 years we had him, I always felt just as lucky and special whenever he’d come to my room. I just did. And during the eight years that he was sick with an immune system disorder, I felt even luckier to still have him.
I thought I would tell you a few interesting things about Mister White.

When we were trying to get Footprints to eat when he was sick at the end we bought him Fancy Feast canned food, which I’ve since been told is like the fast food of cats. Well, we had a lot of it left when we adopted Mister White so we fed it to him. Little did we know that he’d get so addicted to it that he would then refuse to eat anything else. Only during the last year of his life did he eat a few other things, probably because he was tired of Fancy Feast after over a decade. You see, Mister White was much like a person in the sense that he would not eat the same food two days in a row. They loved us at Petsmart when I would buy his food for the month and they’d have 75 cans to scan because there was such a large variety.

You might also find it interesting to know that Mister White wouldn’t eat anything that sounded gross. From chicken hearts to liver to giblets to sardines or trout, he wouldn’t touch them. He did have some Fancy Feast favorites, though. He loved Savory Salmon Feast. That was one of his biggest faves. He also loved Fish and Shrimp – the type with the chunks of shrimp in it, not the pureed version – Grilled Beef and Whitefish and Cheddar. He also liked a line of Fancy Feast food made with scrambled eggs and was disappointed when they stopped making them. Seriously, I’d feed him and even if it was something he loved, after a while he’d give us the sad eyes, which was his way of telling us we’d given him the wrong food. It was weeks after they’d stopped making the eggy food, as we called it, before Mister White stopped looking for it. So, damn you, Fancy Feast, for discontinuing it.
There was a new line of Fancy Feast gourmet foods that came out a couple of years ago. “The green cans,” we called them, simply because that was their color. The other big difference between those and the regular Fancy Feast varieties is that the green cans cost 30 cents more a pop. So, don’t you know Mister White went through a period where that was just about all he would eat. Eventually, he stopped being so obsessed with them and welcomed back his old favorites. At that point, the only green cans he would eat were the patees. Mister White was a big fan of patees. Except for when it came to Fish and Shrimp then he needed actual chunks of shrimp to munch on.
When it came to the actual act of eating, Mister White thought he was human. When eating his canned cat food, he would usually scoop some up with his paw and eat it right off of his paw, which I swear he learned from watching us eat with utensils. On a related note, Mister White always loved to eat human food. Provided it was fresh. My parents eat cold cuts for lunch often enough and Mister White would be seated on the floor in between them looking for scraps. My mother would have to give him some meat before she even made her sandwich because he’d start pawing her until she did. Interestingly, Mister White would only eat cold cuts that were no more than a few days old. While they usually stay good for a week, he would not eat them after day three. He could tell the quality was going downhill, apparently. Or maybe his sense of smell was so great that he could smell that they weren’t fresh anymore come day four? Somehow he knew and would only fresh ones.

Mister White didn’t just come to the table for cold cuts. Whatever type of meat my parents were eating, he would want some. You’d think he wouldn’t eat meat with sauce on it, but it didn’t phase him much. In fact, he actually loved tomato sauce, especially on chicken and meatloaf. During recent months, we discovered that a generic version of Fancy Feast had Chicken Cacciatore and he loved that one. Sometimes he’d even just slurp up the tomato sauce and leave the meat, although he usually ate it later.

Much of Mister White’s eating was done at night. He’d just pick at his food some days but then you’d get up the next morning and his bowl would be empty. I know from the many times I’d go down to the kitchen for a midnight snack that Mister White was usually wide awake during the evening. Just not so much so during the last six months we had with him because he was prescribed melatonin for its immune system boosting properties and he probably needed a long nap after that. Speaking of naps, Mister White loved his naps. He had his favorite places to lie down and he could usually be found napping in one of those spots. Which isn’t to say he slept most of the time. I don’t believe he slept any more than your average adult cat. But he had his spots and he’d look annoyed with you if you bothered him when he was lying in one of them and you disturbed him.
For the last eight years that we had Mister White, I had to give him meds twice a day, sometimes three, mostly for his immune system disorder. With his disorder, which is extremely rare, the white blood cells mistake the red blood cells for bacteria or something that doesn’t belong there, and thus these white blood cells aggressively killed his red blood cells. To that end, he was always on a steroid, prednisolone, to increase his red blood cell count, while also taking Cyclosporine to suppress the white blood cells so they couldn’t kill as many red. Cyclosporine is actually a drug that they give donor organ recipients to suppress their immune systems so that their system won’t reject their new organs. And cheap it was not. But, I always told Mister White, “I would do anything for my little boy.” And I did. For the eight years he was sick, I constantly put him before myself. I couldn’t afford to take a vacation or even date, but I rarely complained about that and when I did it was never me complaining about spending my money on Mister White. Never.

You might think that an older cat with chronic illness would not have any patience with kids, but Mister White was actually great with them. It’s like he knew they were just children because they could get away with petting him three times as long as I could. I mean, Mister White loved attention and he loved being petted. But after, say, ten minutes, then he would decide that he needed some alone time and he’d either hurry off away from you or, most likely, smack you with his paw, sometimes with claws out. Or, if you were me, he might bite you. During the 12 years we had him, the only time he ever bit my mother was when she was picking him up on the day that he ended up passing and he was obviously feeling miserable and in pain at that point, so it’s totally understandable. I don’t know why he liked to bite me. I think he might’ve did it because he knew that I never really got mad at him. So, he knew he could bite me without any retaliation or even screaming. When he did that, I would just get up and walk away. But there were times when he’d bite me just because we were playing and he got so excited that he just kind of lost control for a moment. Even when he bit me out of anger, I don’t think he was trying to hurt me. He was just expressing how he happened to feel in the moment.

Mister White had a game that he liked to play, especially when it was time to take his meds. He would just find a really good hiding place and wait for me to come find him. As soon as I did, he’d start purring and purring. I don’t know if he did that because he was pleased with himself because it took me 15 minutes to find him or if he was just happy to see that his Mister Mike looked for him and found him.
Sometimes Mister White would stalk you around the house. Something you’d do would irritate him – often you didn’t even know what – and he would parade around the house behind you and claw you or bite you if he caught up with you. He chased my mother up the stairs a few times. But that was when we first got him and he was only two or three years old. By the time he took ill in 2010, he wasn’t doing that at all anymore. It wasn’t funny when it was happening, but now I look back on it and I think it’s hilarious.

Losing Mister White when we did was hard. Losing him anytime would’ve been the worst day of my life, but what made losing him now even worse is the fact that my parents are going away for a few weeks soon and I was looking forward to that for one reason only and it wasn’t because I’d have the house to myself. It was because Mister White would spend more time with me when they were away. Normally, he’d stay downstairs with my parents much of the day. Maybe once or twice a week he’d come see me in my room. It was like Christmas whenever he’d go out of his way to come see me. Getting back to my point, when my parents would go away I’d be able to sit in the living room on the recliner and watch TV downstairs so I could be with him. Recently, he’d started lying on the recliner beside my mothers legs and I’d so hoped he would do that for me when they were gone on their trip. Lately, I’d been busy writing a novel and not going downstairs to see him quite as often, but I kept telling him that he’d have me all to himself when the ‘rents were gone on their trip. I still feel so cheated that we won’t have that time together. Or any time together. Not in this lifetime anyway. My friends keep telling me about this rainbow bridge that animals cross to get into Heaven, or to get into Summerland, depending on which religion you are. There, animals happily play until the day you pass and then they come running to you before you even meet up with your dead friends and relatives. I so hope that’s true. I’ve lost a lot of people that I love, but I still think I’d always want to see Mister White first when I arrive in the afterlife.

I could tell you more about Mister White because I could talk all day about my late best-friend. I’ve loved all my cats, but if I’m being entirely honest, Mister White was my favorite. He was so different from most cats that it seems like I’m insulting him when I call him a cat. To me, he was my little boy. And he was also my patient since I had to give him meds twice a day, including insulin shots after he developed diabetes a year or so before he died. I think that nurse/patient relationship brought us even closer than people usually are with their cats.

Mister White was such a good sport when it came to taking his meds. I’d sit him on my lap with his back facing me and then I’d tilt his chin back and bring the pill popper – this thing that shoots the pill into their mouths – to his teeth and he’d open his mouth and take the medication. Sure, there were times when he would lock his jaw shut for ten minutes just to give me a hard time, but that was pretty rare. And I swear he would grin when he finally opened his mouth, proud that he’d played games with you. Usually, though, he’d just keep his teeth shut for ten seconds if he wanted to mess with me.

I don’t want to stop writing this because once this eulogy is done, that’s one less Mister White thing to be taken care of. Coming to an end with this is making his death feel even more final than before. Another thing that reminded me that his death is indeed permanent was when we went to Chelmsford Animal Hospital today to pick up his ashes. I had an individual cremation and got his ashes back in an urn. Although, the urn is pretty small. About half the size of Footy’s urn. Makes me wonder if they gave me all of Mister White’s ashes or if they just gave us a small amount. Obviously, I wanted them all. But the people who do the cremations scatter ashes outside on their property, which I’m told is really nice. So, I guess it’s OK if some of Mister White’s ashes are there. Maybe I should let them all fly free? I don’t think I could ever do that, though. That would feel like losing him all over again and I know I could not stand ever losing my sweet little boy again.

Do me and yourself a favor and hug your pets today. And try to spend more time with them. Otherwise, someday they’ll be gone and you’ll hate yourself for not having cherished them more.

Oh, Mister White. I truly hope you’ve crossed over the rainbow bridge that animals cross to get to the Summerland (or Heaven, if you’d rather call it that). I miss you like crazy and not a day will go by that I don’t think of you even if I live to be 100 years old. You were so special and amazing. You were my everything.

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Book of Shadows Cover Reveals

COVER REVEAL: BOOK OF SHADOWS 4

And here’s a new photo of me, just in case you’re curious about what I look like these days…

The things strapped to my arms are tennis elbow bands.  The reason I’m wearing them is that I have severe tendonitis in both arms from typing too much.  Guess I’ll be wearing them forever because it’s not like I can stop writing.  I tried to do less of it for a while, but I was miserable.  So, this is just another painful condition I have (like fibromyalgia) to live with.  Oh well, that means more books for you to read!

In addition to Book of Shadows 4, I’m also gearing up to release Becoming Madonna (see the previous post here) and my memoir, Fear + Self-Loathing in Los Angeles.  The memoir is about the first year (of three) that I lived in Los Angeles.  During that time, I dealt with the usual pains of moving and soon fell back into an old habit of mine called anorexia.  Not fun.  I was also in a relationship that nearly drove me to suicide.  Suffice to say, it’s not exactly what you’d call an uplifting read.  But if you like complicated love stories and/or memoirs about eating disorders then I suspect you’ll love it.

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Book of Shadows

THE FIRST DRAFT OF BOOK OF SHADOWS 4 IS DONE + POLL (YOUR OPINIONS NEEDED)

Yes, it’s only taken me nearly a year to write, but Book of Shadows 4: In Memoriam is complete.  Well, the first draft anyway.

What happens next?  I read through the book and make little adjustments that need to be made.  Also, fixing any typos that I spot.  After that, I will ask my readers who were kind enough to proofread Book of Shadows 3 to do the same to Book of Shadows 4.  There are school teachers and English majors among them, so I’m not just asking a random friend to look at it.  No, these are trustworthy people and believe me, they found a TON of typos in Book 3.  I couldn’t believe that I’d missed that many.  But I did and I’ll freely admit that.

Once it’s been proofread and I’ve made all of the necessary corrections I’ll be on the hunt for a cover.  I’m not sure what that is going to look like because I don’t have any additional photos of the model who appears on the first three books.  I’m going to go through Shutterstock again and see if I can find one, but it’s pretty unlikely.  Besides, I made a Book of Shadows poll, which I’d love you all to complete, and it looks like January and Lia are actually more popular than Emma!

I’m not surprised about January being so popular because I tend to have the most fun writing about her and she’s kind of like the class clown to some degree.  As for Lia, she’s the real wisecracker of the group, always finding something sarcastic to say in the face of, well, just about anything.   I suppose, also, that fans are getting a little tired of Emma because she’s narrated the first three books.  I’d think that would make them like her the most, but she’s a bit of a neurotic one so I can see how she might get on people’s nerves after a while.  That said, one of the reasons why I waited so long after Book 2 to release Book 3 is that I didn’t want my readers to get burned out, especially on Emma.  It doesn’t bother me that people like January and Lia more, however.  People are free to pick whoever they want to be their favorites.  Hell, so far it looks like Mister Black is the character they would like least to die since I asked which character’s death would make them stop reading the books and he’s in the lead so far.  I can understand people loving cats, but I’d like to think that they were at least half-joking.  After all, he’s only in the books occasionally.  Still, worry not, I have no plans to kill Mr. Black.  As Emma would say, pas du tout (not at all).

If you’ve read any of the Book of Shadows novels — even just one of them — I would love it if you could complete the survey.  Just click here and be honest.

And click here to read my latest newsletter, which includes links to a couple of great giveaways fellow author Megan Crewe is doing with some killer prizes.

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Becoming Madonna, my deliberately lost novel

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  • February 17, 2018
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The following was written as a post for my personal Facebook account, but it ended up being so long that I know most of my friends wouldn’t read it.  I figured it might be of interest to you, my readers, so I’m posting it here.
Way back in the year 2000, I wrote a novel called Becoming Madonna. It was about a soap opera actress who basically wants to be Madonna, who she worships. Well, she wants her sort of career, to be able to act in movies and be a big pop idol. I wrote it in notebooks while hanging out in cafes. But I did type it up after and tried to get an agent with it but the two or three who wanted to read it passed.
 
I wrote Reckoning Daze in 2005 and stopped trying to get an agent with Becoming Madonna, using the new book instead. Then I pretty much forgot all about Becoming Madonna. I told myself the book was crap because the agents didn’t like it. I just chalked it up to the learning experience and started telling people that Reckoning Daze was my first novel. Before long, I believed that it was. Totally forgot about Becoming Madonna. When I’d notice the folder on my computer once in a great while, I had no desire to even take a peek at it, afraid to see just how awful my writing was back then. I was also afraid to learn that my writing today is the same as it was back then, which would mean I’ve never improved. And if that was true, well, what hope would there be for me? If I haven’t gotten better since the year 2000 then you could pretty much assume that I’m not capable of being a better writer. Suffice to say, I believed that no good could ever come from me looking at that book again.
 
Well, when I just opened my novels folder I decided to take a peek at Becoming Madonna. Looking at the file info, I saw that I hadn’t even opened it since 2003. Now, I wanted to see how awful it was so that I could feel confident about how my writing is better today. Totally expected it to be crap. Hell, I wanted it to be crap. Again, so that I could see that I’ve improved.
 
Well, guess what? It’s actually not bad. I only read the first chapter, but it was actually pretty good.
 
When I wrote Becoming Madonna, I was obsessed with Bret Easton Ellis. I’d only discovered his writing a year earlier and I remember I was reading Glamorama as I was writing the book. So, you can totally see the influence Ellis had on it. I was also obsessed with the soap opera Passions at the time, hence the soap the protagonist stars on being called Passionate About Love. (I discovered Passions because I read an interview with Sarah Michelle Gellar and she said that they shut down filming Buffy every day to watch Passions. So, I figured if it was good enough to shut down Buffy then it must be worth checking out.  At first, I didn’t care for it. But I figured I’d give it a week. And I wound up hooked. I think the fact that there was witchcraft in it was probably why I stuck with it. I only stopped watching it when my favorite star left the show, which happened after a few others left. It ruined the suspension of disbelief. I just couldn’t accept different people playing those roles. I felt like I was watching imposters. Then I went to Paris for a month in 1999 and when I came back I just didn’t watch it anymore. Hmm, you know what? I might have written Becoming Madonna in 1999 then. Because I was still watching Passions. So, it must have been 1999.)
 
The satirical vibe of the humorous parts in Reckoning Daze is definitely present in Becoming Madonna. The big difference is that — so far as I remember — Becoming Madonna is a fun, perky book, whereas Reckoning Daze is nothing if not dark and chilling. Thus, Becoming Madonna would have a much wider appeal.
 
So, I think that I’m going to re-read Becoming Madonna and make some improvements and perhaps release it. The funny thing is that now it’s a period piece since it takes place in the year 1999 or 2000. I mean, I don’t think they even use cell phones in the book. Well, maybe, but they would’ve just been basic cell phones that were only good for phone calls. MAYBE there’s some texting, but they definitely didn’t have smartphones. And there was no Facebook or social media. Maybe Friendster but I think that would’ve been it. Possibly Livejournal, too. In any case, I think the fact that it takes place in 1999 would add to its appeal. I also think it could be considered a young adult novel. Not sure about that, however. I don’t know what the sex parts are like. I can’t even remember what age the main character is. But if it could be YA then I would think teens today would be curious about what life was like way back in 1999.
 
The only thing that might be an issue is that the book is only 65,000 words. Typically, novels are around 85,000 or longer. But young adult books run shorter so if it would be suitable for the young adult market then its length would be perfect. If it wouldn’t be OK for YA then I’d be calling it literary fiction or new adult fiction. Of course, after I re-read it I might have ideas for expanding it. I tend to add more than I subtract when editing. So, who knows, it could wind up being 85,000 words by the time I’m done the revisions.
 
Suffice to say, now I might have *three* unreleased books: Becoming Madonna, Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles (my memoir) and the just-finished Book of Shadows 4. They say to be successful as a self-published author you need to keep your audience engaged and really get them hooked. That’s why they say to write a series because people will want to read all the sequels after the first one if it’s any good. But not all of your books have to be part of a series.
 
I am hoping Becoming Madonna could be a YA book because then I could promote it to my Book of Shadows fans. 
 
I would definitely publish Becoming Madonna as Michael Beaulieu. Even if it’s not YA. I mean, I do have an audience. Book of Shadows 3 has now been downloaded almost 900 times. It would be stupid to publish it under another name and have to start all over with a new author site and social media accounts, etc. Besides, Reckoning Daze was published as Michael Beaulieu and there’s zero chance that Becoming Madonna would have more mature subject matter than Reckoning Daze. 
 
There is one thing that Reckoning Daze and Becoming Madonna have in common, though: the protagonists are both television actresses. When I wrote Becoming Madonna, my knowledge about that just came from reading celebrity interviews in magazines all the time.  But when I wrote Reckoning Daze I was going out with an aspiring actress and she inspired me to some degree. 
[Side note: I used to read sooooo many magazines back then. I even collected them. I was probably subscribed to about 15 of them and bought, even more, every month. I’d go into Boston and hit up all the newsstands that carried French magazines and buy anything that had Mylene Farmer or Vanessa Paradis in it. I also special ordered magazines from a French record store. I ordered so many that I became friends with the owner. He had me to dinner a few times during my first two trips to Paris. But I was a dumb American who never thought to bring anything and I think that’s why he said he was too busy to get together the third time I went to Paris. I made quite a few dumb American mistakes during my first trip. I’m going to write a book about that someday. Or I might just publish my Paris journals from 1999 when I spent 5 weeks there. (I’d give 5 years of my life to get to do that again.)]
 
The really weird thing about all of this is that I have no idea what happens in Becoming Madonna aside from the basic premise. It’s like reading a book that someone else wrote. I don’t feel like I’m reading my own work. I suppose you could say I’m not the same person I was when I wrote it. Don’t they say your body is new every 7 years, that by the time 7 years has passed every cell in your body has been replaced by new cells? I don’t know if it’s true or not. Maybe it’s an urban legend. In any case, reading it is a trip. And kind of fun.
 
I really can’t tell you how awful I expected the book to be. Watch it wind up becoming my most popular novel. The one that everything I write now will be compared to. Wouldn’t that be strange?
 
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Book of Shadows New Releases

MY NEW NOVEL, BOOK OF SHADOWS 3: HUNTING, IS OUT TODAY (2/8/18)

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  • February 8, 2018
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It’s official, my new novel, Book of Shadows 3: Hunting, is one of the books featured in #Instafreebie‘s newsletter (and on their site) today. That means, yes, I’m giving this one away for free, too! It’s an Instafreebie exclusive so go get it: https://www.instafreebie.com/book/50659 

In this volume, Emma, Lia, Shar and company face their biggest threat yet: an evil witch who wants to kill them and steal their magick.

Here’s the book description:

16-year-old witches Emma, Lia and Shar can’t catch a lucky break. The coven’s spells tend to have unintended side-effects, they’ve been the victims of hate crimes, and now witch hunters are on a mission to capture them. Witch hunters who are working with a powerful black magick witch hellbent on killing the girls so she can steal their magick.

Of course, the hunters have to catch them first and these girls have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Like becoming hunters themselves instead of just prey.

First, the girls will need to find out where the evil witch and company sleep. To do that – and to defeat them – the girls will call on all of their friends, including Emma’s powerful witch boyfriend, a fireball-hurling fairy and an advanced hacker. But do they really have what it takes to defeat an evil witch who’s slain and stolen magick from dozens of witches already?  Go grab your free copy and find out today: https://www.instafreebie.com/book/50659

NOTE: The book is published under my pen name, Michael Beaulieu.  Beaulieu is a name that was in my family for generations but eventually died off.  So, using it as my pen name is my little way of bringing it back.  It’s a French last name that literally means beautiful (beau) place (lieu).

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Book of Shadows

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Book of Shadows 3 & 4, etc.

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  • January 2, 2018
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I know, I know — it’s been forever since I’ve updated this little author site of mine.  It’s not that I’ve been out of touch with my readers, however.  I’ve been sending out newsletters, usually once a week, during all of this time that I haven’t thought to jump on here.  Of course, I should’ve also posted the newsletters as updates here, but I’ve been so busy writing Book of Shadows 4 that I just haven’t thought to do so.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “He’s working on Book 4?  We haven’t even read Book 3 yet!”  Well, I plan to rectify that in the near future.  I’ve just been so busy writing Book 4 that I haven’t wanted to stop and work on Book 3.  Not that Book 3 needs much work.  It just needs a prologue, or else I need to tweak the beginning of the first chapter, so that if someone picks it up and starts reading it without the benefit of reading the previous two books first then they’ll at least have a vague idea about what’s going on.  Obviously, I would prefer people read the books in the correct order since they all happen back-to-back, but there are always those random people who start with the newest book first and I have to try to keep them happy along with my longtime readers.

If you would be interested in reading an advance reader copy (a.k.a. an ARC) of Book of Shadows 3, please let me know.  I will be letting a limited number of people read the book ahead of its release datew.  I simply ask that you leave a review once it’s released.  Even if you don’t like the book, a review would still be appreciated.  After all, listening to criticism is one of the ways authors learn to hone their craft.

One of the reasons why I didn’t think to update this site during the past few months is that my cat, Mister White, took sick when his immune system disorder reared its ugly head again.   He always has an immune system disorder — he’s had it since around 2010 — but normally medication keeps it in check.  Unfortunately, his system grew too accustomed to the meds he was on and his white blood cells killed nearly all of his red blood cells again.  He was even having internal bleeding because of this, being that his platelet count was practically zero, and he required an emergency blood transfusion to save his life for the second time since I’ve had him.  That required a hospitalization, but the fine folks at Chelmsford Animal Hospital managed to save his life once again.  (They joke that he’s on his 11th life now.)  I’m eternally grateful for them.   If only their services were free.  Anyway, on top of the immune system disorder, Mister White has had diabetes for about a year.  Lately, his blood sugar has been higher than I would like, but they haven’t wanted to increase his insulin just yet because his system is still getting adjusted to his new meds and such.

Another thing — just after recovering from his near death experience with the immune system disorder, Mister White managed to scratch his right eye really bad.  The way it healed, there was a bubble there.  The doctors said that if the bubble were to burst, he would lose the eye.  Fortunately, the eye drops they gave us — er, sold us — ended up making it continue to heal and now there’s just a thin scar where the bubble was.  So, no more bubble, which is awesome.   Also, the scar is located above the white part of his eye, so it doesn’t affect his vision.  I just have to put the gooey type of refresh tears drops in the eye twice a day so that the scar doesn’t irritate the eye and make it weep, but otherwise, he’s doing great where that’s concerned, too.

Needless to say, this Christmas was a happy one because my feline companion was still here with me and doing well.  That’s really all I wanted for Christmas.  I did get a few other things, though, but I’m not going to sit here and list them because it always sounds like bragging to me when people do that on Facebook.   The only present I will mention is that my parents gave me a ticket to go see Lana Del Rey on the 13th of this month, which I am very excited about.  I’ve loved Lana ever since the first time I heard “Video Games” and I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan with each album she’s released.  Her latest, Lust for Life, is my favorite with Ultraviolence being a close second.

Well, I hope you and your families had a great Christmas, Solstice, Festivus or whatever else you might have been celebrating this season.  I also hope you had a blast ringing in the new year.  To that end, I am wishing you all a very healthy and happy new year for 2018.  My resolution is to release a music single this year.  I have Acid Pro, which is similar to Pro Tools and Garage Band, and really enjoy fooling around with it.  Mostly, I’ve just done a bunch of remixes so far but I want to write and record a single to be released this year.  I can sing and bought a professional microphone a year or so ago so all I need to do now is write a great song.   I’m not expecting it to be a big hit, mind you.  I’ll just be happy if I have a song on Spotify and iTunes and such.  If people like it, awesome.  If not, well, at least I’ll still have the satisfaction of having made and released it.

My other resolution is to write at least three books this year.  That will include Book of Shadows 4 since I still have half the book to write.  It’s going to be a long one, too.  But I think its length will simply give you even more time to enjoy hanging out with Emma, Lia, Shar and company.   Hopefully, you’ll agree.   As for the other two books I intend to write this year, one will be a stand alone “literary fiction” type of novel.  I need something that my adult friends who won’t read young adult books can read.  Technically, Reckoning Daze is a book intended for adults, but since it’s about a 19-year-old anorexic and drug addict and involves a lot of taboo subject matter, it’s not something I have encouraged my relatives to read.  So, one book will something everyone can enjoy.  The third book will be the first in a new series.  I have ideas for a few of those so it’s just a matter of deciding which one I want to write most.

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Book of Shadows

Would you read Book of Shadows teleplays? In pdf format?

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  • October 1, 2017
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Happy Sunday!  Today is October 1st.  Can you believe it?  Here in Massachusetts, September delivered mostly wonderful weather.  Lots of warm days.  In fact, yesterday was the first time that I had to wear regular jeans — as opposed to shorts — and socks.  There were two times I wore jeans last month, but I hadn’t worn socks since around the middle of June.  I just found my Sketchers to be even more comfortable than normal without them.  I’ve never liked the way socks feel on my feet anyway, so I’m not very happy that I’m wearing them right now, but today is as frigid as yesterday.  As Emma would say, il fait froid.   But onto more interesting things…

For starters, you can now get Book of Shadows 2: Rising for free just about everywhere e-books are sold, including AmazonBarnes & Noble and Kobo. You can even grab it from BookFunnel. The main reason why I decided to make Book of Shadows 2 free for the time being is that people were complaining that people with Kindle Unlimited could read it for free but those without it had to pay for it.  There were also complaints about the book only being available from Amazon.  So, I decided to make it free and available from several retailers.  That said, I hope that nobody who bought the book will complain because I gave those of you who did so the short story Out and About in Paris as a reward.  Plus, you were able to read it almost two whole months before anyone who grabs it for free now.  If anyone who doesn’t have Out and About in Paris still wants to read it, you’ll have to leave a review of Book of Shadows or Book of Shadows 2 and send me a link.

Did you know that when I created Book of Shadows it was originally intended to be a television series?  Not only did I write the pilot, I wrote four additional episodes.  I would like those of you who are interested in reading them to be able to do so, but I’m not aware of any way to take teleplays and convert them to epub or mobi files without the formatting creating an unreadable mess.  That’s because you have to use tabs to set the dialogue and character names towards the center of the page when you write teleplays, just like movie scripts, and tabs create a disaster when you format for e-books.  That said, you can take a teleplay and convert it to pdf with the formatting intact.  Would any of you be interested in reading them if made them available in pdf?  I’m still thinking about what I should do with them, but I thought I should see if there’s any interest before I stress myself out trying to figure out what.  When Book of Shadows 3 comes out, perhaps I’d make them available as a free bonus for people who purchase it.  Or maybe I’d give away the first episode now.  I’m really not sure.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but one thing I will tell you is that they’re quite different from the books.  The first two episodes are similar to the Casting, the first Book of Shadows volume, but beyond that they’re quite different.  Also, I was still finding the characters’ voices when I wrote the scripts so they don’t quite “sound” like they do in the books.  Emma is arguably more sarcastic than Lia in the scripts, for example.

In other news, I recently interviewed sci-fi author Jason Werbeloff for my music and pop culture website, Love is Pop.  If you’re a writer or aspiring writer, you should find it especially interesting, as we spoke in-depth about writing and self-publishing.  Of course, we also spoke about his excellent series, Defragmenting Daniel. I’m normally not a big fan of sci-fi, but I downloaded the first book in the series when it was listed for free in Freebooksy or the like and it quickly sucked me in.  I loved the idea of this man who grew up in the poor part of town (the “gutter”) — where he was forced to donate organs to the wealthy — heading to the rich district (the “bubble”) and taking his organs back.  I love a good vigilante story and when you pair that with a revenge plot I’m a sucker every time.  Defragmenting Daniel was quite the page-turner, too.  In fact, as soon as I finished reading book one I immediately purchased book two and started reading it.  And when I finished book two I did the same with book three. I highly recommend them if you like sci-fi and/or good ol’ revenge.

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Book of Shadows New Releases

BOOK OF SHADOWS 2 IS OUT NOW, AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON AMAZON, FREE SHORT STORY AVAILABLE TO ALL WHO BUY IT

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  • August 10, 2017
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Hello Readers, Fans, Friends and members of the Official Mister Black Fanclub,

The day has finally come… Book of Shadows 2: Rising is now on sale, fresh out of Pandora’s Digital Box!  And it’s an Amazon exclusive, which means that if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited then you can read it for free!

Those of you who’d like to buy Book of Shadows 2 can head on over to Amazon right now http://amzn.to/2wuVQWi and get your copy.  It’s on sale for just $2.99, a small fraction of what most new e-books cost.  I’m really hoping that people won’t mind paying for this one since I’ve already given you two books for free, Reckoning Daze and Book of Shadows 1.  Besides, today is my b-day and you can help me celebrate by buying your copy today. 🙂

If you were one of the awesome people who asked for and received an ARC of Book of Shadows 2 in exchange for an honest review, I would be forever grateful if you could head on over to Amazon and post yours now: http://amzn.to/2wuVQWi  If you haven’t finished the book yet, just try to remember to post your review when you’re done.

It’s my dream to become a successful writer and to be able to support myself with my writing and you guys showing me some love by buying my book and/or reviewing it would really help me get closer to that goal.  I can’t tell you just how much I’d appreciate it and what a confidence booster it would be.

To show my appreciation, I have completed a Book of Shadows prequel short story that I started some time ago and never got around to finishing because I wound up so busy writing all of the full-length books.  The story is called Out and About in Paris and it’s about when Emma and her parents took Lia and Shar with them to Paris the June before the girls started at Noah’s Catholic.  So, they aren’t witches yet.  I felt it was an important story to tell, though, because it shows Emma having a couple more of her often vague premonition feelings that she always experienced even before she found out she was a witch.  That said, the biggest reason I always felt like I needed to write this was so readers could find out how things went when Lia and Shar came out to Emma and told her they were a lesbian couple.  It’s something I kept writing and revising in my mind and I’m so glad I’ve finally committed it to the page.  I needed to know exactly how it happened, too!  I really think you Mister Black Fanatics will like it.  Most certainly, you Lia and Shar shippers.

So, how do you get Out and About in Paris?  Simple: buy Book of Shadows 2.  When you buy it, simply send me some form of proof of purchase.  You could forward me your receipt from Amazon or take a screenshot of the thank you page Amazon shows you after you buy the book.  You could also show me that you now have the book on your Kindle or other device by taking a photo of it with the book open so I can see you have it.  Or a photo of your device’s library, showing the Book of Shadows 2 cover there with your other books.   If there’s some reason you can’t do any of these things, let me know and we’ll sort it out.  You can forward your receipts, photos or whatever to me at Michael@MichaelBeaulieu.com.  And be sure to tell me if you’d prefer it in mobi format or epub format.

If you’re not buying Book of Shadows 2 because I gave you an ARC copy, just send me a screenshot of your review, or at least a link to your review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and you’ll have earned your copy.

It might not be until next Monday that I start sending it out, however, as I have plans from now until then because for some reason everyone wants to celebrate my birthday this year.  (Je suis populaire ici maintenant!)  To get things started, I just had a nice lunch with my parents and sister at Sakura, a Japanese restaurant in Chelmsford, MA that I love.  It’s one of my favorite restaurants and my birthday is about the only time I ever get to go there so I certainly enjoyed my vegetarian things. (Yes, like Emma, Lia and Shar, I am a vegetarian. Have been for decades.) For starters, we all shared a bunch of maki, my favorite being cucumber, avocado and cream cheese rolls (something I created when I was living in Glendale, California; my friends used to call them Mike Rolls).  The waiter always looks at me like I have nine heads when I request them, but I bet if they tried it they would add it to their menu.  Otherwise, my main entree was teriyaki tofu, which is so, so sweet and yummy. Before they put the tofu on your plate with the teriyaki dressing, they actually batter it and deep fry it. Then it’s served on a hot skillet.  It winds up being too hot when it first arrives but if you wait for it to cool off a bit then you can really enjoy the heck out of it.   It came with a huge plate of teriyaki noodles and white rice, miso soup and your typical Japanese restaurant salad with that orange dressing they put on it.  I only wound up eating a few bites of the tofu, however, because last night I was unable to sleep more than four hours, perhaps excited about Book of Shadows 2 launching today, and I have a very small appetite when I’m sleep deprived.

Getting back to Out and About in Paris, it still needs to come back from the editor and then I have to convert it to epub and mobi formats to give you guys.  I’m not sure if it’ll have cover art.  I only have so many photo stock type photos of Emma left and I’m going to need one for books 3 and 4 so I can’t see wasting one on a short story.  Maybe in the future, if I end up selling the short story on Amazon for 99 cents in a few months.  I’d have to have a cover at that point.  But I don’t think you folks would mind if a free short story has no cover art.  Or would you?  Do tell… I always love hearing from my readers.

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Book of Shadows New Releases

Twitter, Book of Shadows and assorted ideas

Right now, I have tons of tweets scheduled for the next week and a half. Until the 12th, I believe. I just started scheduling a bunch for the next few days yesterday and then I was like I might as well keep going until the day after my b-day — the day Book of Shadows 2 comes out — so I would have time off from twitter until then.  A nice little break where I can spend more time working on Book of Shadows 4, which I’m up to page 52 of and I think it’s coming along nicely so far.  Of course, I’ll still hop on Twitter to see what’s going on in the world and I’m sure I’ll post some #nowplaying tweets about whatever I’m listening to as I write.  But tweets promoting Book of Shadows and Book of Shadows 2 are all scheduled, which is a huge weight off of my chest.   I wish I could find something for scheduling tweets that would work better than Twitter.  I’d like to be able to write one tweet and then check off all the dates I want to run it and specify the times you want it to run and be done.  Anyone know of a Twitter client that does that?  Even if it’s not made by Twitter itself, I’d check it out.   Ideally, I’d like something free, being that I’m a disabled individual living below the poverty line, but if there’s something fantastic that costs 5 bucks a month or something I might consider it.

I just hope Book of Shadows 2 gets good reviews. Caution: I’m about to divulge a spoiler. Read no further if you hate those…. SPOILER: It ends with the characters unsettled after the witch hunters announce their arrival by sending Emma something that sends her spiraling down a long hall of hallucinations. Horrifying hallucinations. During that whole part, which is an entire chapter, it shifts a bit from being urban fantasy and into horror. I think that chapter is one of the best things I’ve ever written. It’s a little long, but if you were exposed to the amount of hallucinogen that Emma is exposed to, well, you’d be tripping your ass off all afternoon and into the early evening, too. (I say this from experience. Sort of. When I was a kid and my parents gave me Dimetapp it made me hallucinate. I took it like once a day in the morning and it had me seeing things for 24 hours. I had a whole week of hallucinations before people finally figured out that I wasn’t just seeing imaginary friends, that I was seeing some crazy shit and needed to stop taking that shit. I’ll have to write about that trip sometime. Might make a good blog post for my author site.)

Caution: I’m about to divulge a spoiler. Read no further if you hate those…. SPOILER: It ends with the characters unsettled after the witch hunters announce their arrival by sending Emma something that sends her spiraling down a long hall of hallucinations. Horrifying hallucinations. During that whole part, which is an entire chapter, it shifts a bit from being urban fantasy and into horror. I think that chapter is one of the best things I’ve ever written. It’s a little long, but if you were exposed to the amount of hallucinogen that Emma is exposed to, well, you’d be tripping your ass off all afternoon and into the early evening, too. (I say this from experience. Sort of. When I was a kid and my parents gave me Dimetapp it made me hallucinate. I took it like once a day in the morning and it had me seeing things for 24 hours. I had a whole week of hallucinations before people finally figured out that I wasn’t just seeing imaginary friends, that I was seeing some crazy shit and needed to stop taking that shit. I’ll have to write about that trip sometime. Might make a good blog post for my author site.)

SPOILER:  Book of Shadows 2 ends with the characters unsettled after the witch hunters announce their arrival by sending Emma something that sends her spiraling down a long hall of hallucinations. Horrifying hallucinations. During that whole part, which is an entire chapter, it shifts a bit from being urban fantasy and into horror. I think that chapter is one of the best things I’ve ever written. It’s a little long, but if you were exposed to the amount of hallucinogen that Emma is exposed to, well, you’d be tripping your ass off all afternoon and into the early evening, too. (I say this from experience. Sort of. When I was a kid and my parents gave me Dimetapp it made me hallucinate. I took it like once a day in the morning and it had me seeing things for 24 hours. I had a whole week of hallucinations before people finally figured out that I wasn’t just seeing imaginary friends, that I was seeing some crazy shit and needed to stop taking that shit. I’ll have to write about that trip sometime. Might make an interesting blog post.)

I’ve thought about writing a Book of Shadows stand alone book that’s more of a horror novel than urban fantasy. And it wouldn’t be designated as young adult. It could be about something that happens to Emma when she’s in college. Maybe she comes back for a weekend and Lia and Shar are supposed to be home that weekend, too, but then they don’t show up and everyone’s worried and Emma has to find them along with Tim, January, Juliana, and Pete. Would be a good opportunity to explore those characters further, since the book normally focuses on Emma, Lia and Shar. And people might like the fact that it’s a stand alone.   Could even be a good book to introducte people to the world of Book of Shadows with.

Another idea is to write a stand alone Book of Shadows novel where Emma, Lia, Shar and January go to Paris for a few weeks during the summer. Maybe they go to the catacombs under the city, where millions of people are buried, and spirits attach to them and make them sick or something.  Then they have to do that.

ANOTHER SPOILER: On a related note, I’m still working on a short story where Emma, Lia and Shar are in Paris a few years before Book of Shadows starts and that’s when Lia and Shar tell Emma that they’re a couple. They actually come out to her on the Eiffel Tower, thinking that being at one of her favorite places will soften the blow. I’m not saying if it does or doesn’t. I was thinking about giving the story to people who pre-order Book 2. They can forward me their Amazon receipt and then I’ll send them the short story. The only trouble about it is that I’d need a cover for it. I’m sure I could find some png clip art of the Eiffel Tower to use. I might even have one in those 5 Minute Covers templates that I bought for Photoshop.

I’m full of ideas anyway. Just about every day for the past month I’ve had an idea for a new novel. Some of the ideas are two typed pages long and very detailed with all the major plot points. Others, just a paragraph or two. But they’re almost all really great ideas. I’ll probably write something different after Book of Shadows 4. Unless the series is making serious money — I’m trying to make a living doing this — at that point and I need to continue to keep the money coming in. But if it’s only moderately popular I’ll write something else and in the meantime and there will be four Book of Shadows books for people to read so it’s not like new fans will be complaining if I do one different book.  Longtime fans might be frustrated if they’re dying for Book of Shadows 5, but it’s only natural for a writer to want to write about new characters and such after a while and I think writng four Book of Shadows novels back-to-back is about all I can handle.

This was almost the cover of Book of Shadows Volume One. But then I found the photo of the girl I ended up using on a stock photo site and she looked much more like Emma than this girl so I made a completely different cover. What do you think about this one?

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