Books Claire Rudy Foster Duet Books Instagram Interlude Press Kevin Craig Short Fiction Short Story

Instagram Live with Claire Rudy Foster! Tuesday Feb 9th…

When I first opened THE GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, the newest short story from CLAIRE RUDY FOSTER, I accidentally got swept away into my own thoughts and I found myself landing somewhere back in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Naturally, the title of the story made me think of Johannes Vermeer…the artist of the famous painting by the same name as the story. This made me think of The Lacemaker, another painting by Vermeer…one which I actually saw in person. For the full circle, it was at the Louvre that I saw The Lacemaker.

I had to reel myself back to the story. And such a delightful story it was! If you haven’t read the first story in the INTERLUDE PRESS/DUET BOOKS Come What May series, you REALLY SHOULD pick it up! The Girl With a Pearl Earring is a delight. It’s all punky and pondering and cute sexy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It brought me back to my punk days, to my museum days, and to so much more. It’s all the vibes!

It brought me to my own contemplation of the differences of the people in my punk community…how we all arrived there for different reasons and from different backgrounds. This aspect alone of The Girl was insightful! There was a passage in the story that brought me RIGHT BACK to those punk days of my own…the moment the narrator realized their friend was on a different path than them:

“For the first time, I sensed how wide the gap was between us and knew, that she had always been aware of it; knew its depths and contours and its glacial creep, taking us in separate directions. I’d thought we were the same because I couldn’t see those things, or that I could somehow shake off those differences by doing a better impersonation of the people I desperately wanted to belong with.”

I was super delighted, also, to discover that The Lacemaker actually makes a cameo appearance in this story!

Here’s an AMAZON link to pick up a copy of THE GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING. OR, you can get a copy of this short story wherever ebooks are sold.

Girl With a Pearl Earring Synopsis: In 1992, Laura and Thea live together in a punk house in Washington, D.C. Thea, a brash and unapologetic trans girl, lives the punk life to its fullest. But Laura leaves her leather and safety pins at home each day when she leaves for work in a government job—hiding her anti-establishment lifestyle from her co-workers and her mainstream tastes from her housemates.When she invites Thea with her to see a Vermeer exhibit, Laura finds the courage to open up to Thea while viewing her favorite painting. Thea—normally critical of mainstream art—is charmed by both the painting and by Laura.

Now, I guess I digressed enough. As you can see, the title of this post has nothing to do with what’s transpired thus far in the post. But if you’ve read my posts in the past you probably already know I’m really good at digressing. I just wanted to SHOUT OUT Claire Rudy Foster’s short story first, before I announced tomorrow night’s Instagram event!

There’s all the details! TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9th @ 7PM Eastern Time. This will be hosted on Claire Rudy Foster’s Instagram Account. If you go follow them now, you’ll be alerted when we go live tomorrow evening! Go follow them. Now. (-:

There will be giveaways and our novels will be on sale at the Interlude Press Store. We’d love to see you there! Please come…interact! We’ll be talking about…well, I guess whatever suits our fancies at the time. The announcement from our publisher is as follows:

Join Claire Rudy Foster and Kevin Craig live on Instagram talking writing, Vermeer, punks, the Camino de Santiago and pretty much whatever they feel like. They’ll also have giveaways of their new short stories,”Girl With a Pearl Earring” and “Billions of Beautiful Hearts.” And be sure to stop by, where we’ll have their novels on sale 2/7-14.

They officially said, WHATEVER THEY FEEL LIKE…so, like, we’re allowed to do whatever! Come see what happens!

(One quick note: my story is the only YA story among the 4 Come What May stories…just an FYI for readers.)

Oh! PS! My own Come What May short story comes out tomorrow! The special preorder price of 99 cents will be disappearing soon! Here’s the Amazon link to pick up a preorder copy: BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS. This one can also be purchased wherever ebooks are sold. GET IT NOW! (-:

Billions of Beautiful Hearts Duet Books Giveaway Interlude Press The Camino Club

The Camino Club Giveaway!

I have a new short story (BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS) coming out! Yay me! To celebrate, I’m giving away TWO print copies of THE CAMINO CLUB!

1 – to a USA READER


All you need to do to ENTER to win one of these print copies is RETWEET my PINNED tweet on Twitter. That’s the tweet pinned to the very top of my Twitter Profile. It looks like this:Actually, if you simply click the photo of the tweet above, it will take you to the actual tweet.

If your geographic location is not stated on your profile page on Twitter, I’m asking that you instead QUOTE TWEET (QT) the tweet letting me know which country you are entering for.

Here’s the novel’s description:

After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselors. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the unlikely friends try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but they may not make it to their destination—the Cathedral in Santiago. If they do, will they each find what they’re looking for, and will their newfound friendships endure?

Head over to Twitter and RT now for your chance to win!

My short story comes out on FEBRUARY 9th, which is NEXT TUESDAY. Let’s have the contest open until the end of Tuesday then. RT my pinned tweet by end of day Midnight Tuesday February 9th. I will announce the winners on Twitter on Wed Feb 10th!

Good luck!

Billions of Beautiful Hearts Book Review Duet Books Interlude Press Net Galley NetGalley Short Fiction Short Story

FLASH ACCESS! Billions of Beautiful Hearts on Net Galley for a Hot Minute!

If you blink, you might miss this one!

My awesome publisher–INTERLUDE PRESS/DUET BOOKS–found a way to include BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (and all the other COME WHAT MAY short stories) on Net Galley!!But you need to be SUPER QUICK! Act now! You must request it now because it releases TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9th, 2021 and won’t be on Net Galley for long! If you’re unfamiliar with Net Galley, it’s a website where publishers offer books for review. Once the books are posted to Net Galley, reviewers can log in and request to read/review. The publisher vets and approves readers and they have access to the book ahead of publication, for review purposes.

I found out overnight that BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS went live on Net Galley, but it will be gone in a hot minute, so…act fast!


A short story from the Interlude Press COME WHAT MAY collection.

Wen Devante is Insta famous with a massive following and a flare for fashion. At almost 18, they have already published a book on gender nonconformity, released several songs on Spotify and appeared on television. During the first wave of Covid-19 lockdown, they reach out to an unsuspecting Kaye, one of their 2.3 million followers. The two form a bond, first through Instagram messages and then through Zoom. They discover there are ways to have a meaningful relationship despite the bleak circumstances. In fact, the pandemic seems to make reaching out even easier than it used to be.

I was invited by my publisher (they published my latest novel, THE CAMINO CLUB in October of 2020) to write a short centring around love and relationships in the time of Covid. At the beginning of the pandemic, I promised myself that I would never include the nightmare in my fiction. In my fiction, 2020 would just be a normal year. But then, when I was invited to be a part of this project…I realized that life has to go on…whatever the challenges we face. And love…it happens…COME WHAT MAY. So, here we are. This is how Billions of Beautiful Hearts came to be, and how I wrote about a pandemic I vowed not to recognize in my fiction.

PREORDER IS LIVE NOW WHEREVER EBOOKS ARE SOLD. REMEMBER, THIS IS A SHORT STORY. Click here to go to my BOOKS page (it’s the 2nd book down the list) for multiple preorder links for 99 cents!


There are 4 short stories in the COME WHAT MAY series! Visit THIS LINK TO READ ABOUT ALL OF THEM.


Camino de Santiago WorldTowning

More WorldTowning – A Wanderlusting Fix!

When I was preparing for my second walk on the Camino de Santiago, I searched through Youtube to find videos made by fellow peregrinos…to put myself in the Camino mindset. That’s when I first discovered WorldTowning™. I devoured their Camino de Santiago series on Youtube. It was the next best thing to being there! Well, today I have begun a re-watch of the Camino series. I’ve been immobile with this pandemic for too long, feeling claustrophobic with a little bit of cabin fever on the side.


They are a family of four…Will & Jessica, and their two children, Avalon & Largo. From their FACEBOOK PAGE:

WorldTowning™ is a family-run travel company committed to helping you broaden your global experiences through concentrated and immersive exposures to the world’s cultures through coaching, group trips and YouTube vlogs!

Who are we? The short answer is Will, Jessica, Avalon and Largo the WorldTowners. Well, at least we were the original WorldTowners. However, over the years, WorldTowning has expanded beyond the four of us. It has become a global movement, a lifestyle choice, a world-changing community that spans six continents and continues to grow (someone get their butt to Antarctica please).


What is WorldTowning? The concept of broadening ones global understanding while bridging the people and cultures of the world.


Who is a WorldTowner? Someone who is living and changing the world through travel – one hometown at a time.


Will, Avalon, Largo and I (and the rest of our team) are full-time travelers, digital nomads and serial dreamers. We are seven years into our “new” normal with no end in sight and now we want to help you bring your travel dreams to fruition.


We embrace and share the WorldTowning lifestyle, because we are passionate about family, travel, learning and helping people live out their dreams. We chronicle our experiences and those of other WorldTowners to inspire, educate and encourage our viewers.


Join our community. See first-hand how WorldTowners live. Share in the joys and challenges of the WorldTowning lifestyle, and discover how you can become a part of the WorldTowning movement.


That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the Sueiro family. On October 6th, 2014 they began an epic journey of which they are still on to this day. They are currently in France (in lockdown) learning how to operate their new sailboat…preparing for more future epic adventures.

Their Camino de Santiago series is so thorough, it takes those who have walked the path back to it…and shows those who dream of one day walking the path just what they will be in store for.

You’re HOME. You have time. Maybe today is a good day to begin the epic WORLDTOWNING™ Camino journey!

Join WILL, JESSICA, AVALON & LARGO on the 800 mile trek across Spain, from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to the end of the Camino! Here’s the playlist specific to their Camino:

When their Camino is over, though, you don’t have to stop…look around on their Youtube site, as them been to a lot of different places and their videos are always entertaining.

WorldTowning™ Links:

Website | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Patreon

Give them a follow, a like, a Patreon support, a share…

Buen Camino!

(PS: I know the secret’s out already, but I wrote a young adult novel set on the Camino. THE CAMINO CLUB…you can find buy links here on my LINKTREE.)

Biography Jeanette Manning Lauren Manning Non-Fiction Tidewater Press Walking Away From Hate WCDR

Walking Away From Hate – Jeanette and Lauren Manning

Today I wanted to shine a spotlight on an upcoming book release! Jeanette Manning is a fellow member of the incredible writing community I’m fortunate enough to be a part of…the (WCDR) Writers’ Community of Durham Region.

The book buzz?

Walking Away from Hate: Our Journey through Extremism by Jeanette & Lauren Manning


How an ordinary family fell into the dark world of white supremacy, and how love ultimately triumphed over hate

RELEASE DATE: May 15th, 2021


As a troubled teen, Lauren Manning sought refuge online in the angry world of black metal music. When she met a recruiter who offered her the acceptance she craved, the doctrine of white supremacy supplanted the values of her middle-class upbringing, and Lauren traded suburbia for a life of violence and criminality on the streets of Toronto. Told from the perspective of both mother and daughter, Walking Away from Hate chronicles Lauren’s descent into extremism, her life within the movement and her ultimate reconnection with the family she once denounced and the mother who refused to give up on her.


Lauren & Jeanette Manning

Jeanette Manning is active in the Writer’s Community of Durham Region, the recipient of a 2019 Writescape Scholarship and a volunteer with Life After Hate, a non-profit dedicated to helping people escape extremism. After a difficult period of self-deradicalization, Lauren Manning works in the construction industry and as an outreach specialist with Life After Hate. She welcomes opportunities to share her story. Both mother and daughter live in Whitby, Ontario.

You can preorder WALKING AWAY FROM HATE now!

Indigo Chapters | Amazon Canada | More buy link options to follow

Jeanette & Lauren also have a Facebook page for their book: WALKING AWAY FROM HATE ON FACEBOOK

Look for more about Jeanette and Lauren in the near future, including a cover reveal and interview! In the meantime, be sure to preorder your copy of WALKING AWAY FROM HATE. Coming to bookstores May, 2021!

To learn more about Jeanette and Lauren’s experiences, you can head over to LIFE AFTER HATE for this interview: My daughter was a white supremacist. This is how we survived.

Both Jeanette and Lauren are active volunteers in the Life After Hate organization.

Claire Rudy Foster Come What May Duet Books Interlude Press Jude Sierra Short Fiction Short Story Young Adult Young Adult Fiction

Short Story Release Day is 2 Weeks Away! Billions of Beautiful Hearts…

It’s almost that time! My short story BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS will drop two weeks from today!

This is a story I was invited to write as part of INTERLUDE PRESS‘s series called COME WHAT MAY. The idea for the series was that no matter the circumstance, love finds a way. Whether it be during the chaos of a pandemic, or any other impossible situations…love finds a way, come what may. My story is one of FOUR stories in the Come What May series, mine being the only young adult.

In BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS, I write a cute YOUNG ADULT story about two nonbinary teens who quite possibly find each other during the opening chaotic months of the Covid-19 disaster.

It releases on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9th, 2021…but you can PREORDER it now for half price at 99 cents. Preorders help the author, and the independent publisher, greatly! So if you’re even considering eventually picking up a copy of this short story, there’s no time like the present.

Wen & Kaye are two teens who find themselves in an unprecedented situation, lost in the new world of social distancing and screen-only interactions. Find out what they do with this new world order. Preorder BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS today!

BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (Duet Books/Interlude Press)One of Four Short Stories in the COME WHAT MAY project – Wen Devante is Insta famous with a massive following and a flare for fashion. At almost 18, they have already published a book on gender nonconformity, released several songs on Spotify and appeared on television. During the first wave of Covid-19 lockdown, they reach out to an unsuspecting Kaye, one of their 2.3 million followers. The two form a bond, first through Instagram messages and then through Zoom. They discover there are ways to have a meaningful relationship despite the bleak circumstances. In fact, the pandemic seems to make reaching out even easier than it used to be.


Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | Kobo UK | Interlude Press Store | Barnes & Noble Nook

As I mentioned above, BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS is one of 4 short stories in the COME WHAT MAY series. To read about the other 3 stories, CLICK HERE to be taken to AMAZON where all 4 stories are collected. The remaining stories are; GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Claire Rudy Foster, AND ALWAYS COMING BACK by Jude Sierra, and, SUNNY PASTURES by Lilah Suzanne.


A Little Light Must Shine – 2020, The Good…

There are always good times. Even amidst our deepest darkest days, there are breaks in the clouds…there are rays of light getting through. Why should 2020 be any different.

Michael and I started off our year with a bang. January found us in the Dominican Republic. Sun, sand, beauty. But first, I actually began January 2020 by doing what most of us would be doing some 2 1/2 to 3 months later. I baked. No, it wasn’t banana bread! I baked a Tarta de Santiago. Some call them Camino Cake.

It’s the tasty almond cake that is offered along the Camino de Santiago. Pilgrims everywhere have come to love it. One of the many things one brings home with them from the Camino.

As mid-January approached we were off to the Dominican!

We explored the island and had some great down time on the beach and by the pool, unaware of what was brewing in 2020’s near future.

It was the time of our lives…and just in time.

I carried those walks along the beach with me for the rest of the year, a ballast against the harsh new reality we found ourselves in.

January became February became March and one day we found ourselves at Congee Queen. Our last supper before it all came crashing to a halt.

We all know what happened in March. We were not immune to the Banana Bread Epoque of the Pandemic either. We too imbibed.


And…more banana bread…

And…more banana bread…

Soon, we realized we would have to live this way for a while. We had to get out sometime. Move around. The banana bread was starting to… take.

It was a pandemic, but we still had beauty…

April came and so did the socially distant visits with the grandbabies!

There was loss in 2020 for everyone. It was such a difficult year to lose loved ones. So many lost opportunities to share in the burden and come together to mourn. I never want to experience loss in a pandemic ever again. We love those we lost this year, in this of all the years to lose loved ones.

May was time to act like Spring had come, to gather together a little garden in our little oasis in the sky.

Thanks to Michael’s generous sister and brother-in-law, we were even able to get to one of my favourite places…where you need only open your eyes to experience the beauty…

We said goodbye to May with one more Tarta de Santiago!

June came. Every garden should bloom as pretty…

July came, and with it…the arrival of my ADVANCED READER COPIES! ARCs. Advice time: Never release a novel you love with all your heart during a pandemic!

July was also for quiet nights at home…maybe with some red! We enjoyed our quiet evenings with Molly…awaiting the arrival of our soon to be new family members…

We were brave enough, come August, to go out for the odd walk. We are close to so much nature, even in the city.

It was also time to start enjoying the gifts of our garden…

AND MORE WALKS! And…patios. Cautiously, socially distantly…PATIOS…

And MORE walks!

Come September, the great escape. Two weeks in paradise, thanks again to Michael’s sister and brother in law. It wasn’t what we had in mind going into 2020. We were going to spend these weeks in Paris. But a birthday in this paradise is a wonderful thing, nonetheless!

September also meant AUTHOR COPIES. The final version of THE CAMINO CLUB!

October. A dying plant gives us the end of its harvest…

OCTOBER 6TH! The Camino Club is LIVE…in the world!

This is where our trip down 2020 Memory Lane comes to an end. Christmas was hard. Not seeing those we love in those moments when we usually see more of them is just…bad. We ended our year with our surprise new arrivals. DollyAnn & LollyPop are here…and they’re a handful at the moment. So December has been a very busy time for us.

Happy New Year! May your 2021 be filled with hope, health and heart.



The Pendulum Swings – 2020 becomes 2021…

“And after a glimpse
Over the top
The rest of the world
Becomes a gift shop…”

Gift Shop. The Tragically Hip. I think of this song whenever an old year draws to a close. More specifically, I think of the three little words in the song, THE PENDULUM SWINGS. It is about to swing again. Another year has come to an end.

Some of us didn’t make it to this impending swing. Sadly, some of us here this morning, won’t make it to the swing at the end of this day.

It’s been a barbaric year for the human race. We’ve been forced to watch as a pandemic raced across the surface of this planet while those in charge showed the rest of us just how fallible and inept they can be in the face of a grave situation. We’ve in fact shown how fallible and inept each and every one of can be. In the middle of this catastrophe, we each yearned to forget–just a little–the rules that could save us, we each ignored–just a little–the signs of impending disaster. We have each shown ourselves and each other how hopelessly selfish and undeserving of survival we could be. By not considering every single person we’ve come into contact with to be vulnerable and the next possible victim of this unforgiving virus, we have each–at one time or another–thrown caution to the wind. We traded surety for an ice cream cone, we traded safety for a burger and fries. We traded risking our loved ones’ lives for a lottery ticket or a pack of gum.

I’ve learned a lot this year. Even the most diligent among us is willing to take risks every now and then because they think, ‘It won’t happen to me.‘ But they’re not willing to imagine beyond that scenario, that ‘it won’t happen to the people in my life.

“I’ve been really good. I stayed in. I didn’t go anywhere. I quarantined in place throughout this ordeal. Well, I did go to the store for chips…but man, I craved a salty treat. Yeah, that ice cream in July was necessary…it was frigging hot!”

One moment. One slip up. That’s all it takes. None of us know the meaning of ESSENTIAL. I’ve learned that essential means something I want so much I have to go and get it, come what may. “I’ll wear a mask, I’ll wash my hands, it’ll be fine.” I wonder how many of the 341,000+ Americans who died thought that as they ran out to do whatever it is they ‘had’ to do? Or the 15,400+ Canadians? OR, how many of those numbers actually didn’t go out, but had a loved one who did?

This year is a total mess. It’s shown us that we no longer know how to care for/about each other. Disheartening to say the least. How many of us are going to slip just a little bit further into the pandemic fatigue everyone’s talking about? How badly do you need that lottery ticket, those new pants, that thingamajig?

All of the things will be here after the pandemic is over, when we get to begin anew in our new normal. Will you be here to enjoy them? Will your loved ones be here to do that one thing that’s been missing and absent in this year of begrudging and selfishness? Will you get to hug them again? Will you (and I) learn that hunkering down more firmly and waiting this thing out will ensure our survival and the survival of those around us? Will we be here long enough to get the vaccine?

The Pendulum Swings…

Claire Rudy Foster Come What May Duet Books eBooks Interlude Press Jude Sierra Kevin Craig Kobo LGBT LGBT Fiction LGBT Teen Fiction Lilah Suzanne Short Fiction Short Story

Come What May – February 2021 – from Interlude Press!

Last week I announced my upcoming short story, Billions of Beautiful Hearts. I also mentioned that it’s one in a group of short stories being published by Interlude Press. There are 3 other stories in the Come What May project.

All 4 of these shorts are available at your favourite ebook retailers, including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple Books and more. Below, you will find the Direct-from-the-Publisher buy links for the 3 remaining stories:

In GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Claire Rudy Foster, Laura and Thea live together in a punk house in Washington, D.C. Thea, a brash and unapologetic trans girl, lives the punk life to its fullest. But Laura leaves her leather and safety pins at home each day when she leaves for work in a government job—hiding her anti-establishment lifestyle from her co-workers and her mainstream tastes from her housemates.

When she invites Thea with her to see a Vermeer exhibit, Laura finds the courage to open up to Thea while viewing her favorite painting. Thea—normally critical of mainstream art—is charmed by both the painting and by Laura.

Available here for the special pre-order price of 99 cents

In AND ALWAYS COMING BACK by Jude Sierra, at first, David and Evan found a silver lining to quarantine in togetherness. But as the months wore on, the novelty wore off. At the seven-month marker, David broke down—but not because of what was happening outside. Recognizing that loneliness could wield power even when you’re not alone, David and Evan commit to rediscovering the silver that lines togetherness.

Available here for the special pre-order price of 99 cents

In SUNNY PASTURES by Lilah Suzanne when Frankie’s glamorous big city life falls apart, the only place she has left to go is her grandmother’s retirement village where she’s charmed by her grandmother’s friends, and a beautiful home health aide named Claire.

Available here for the special pre-order price of 99 cents

Covers are on their way for these 4 short stories. The release schedule is as follows:

The Girl with the Pearl Earring – February 2, 2021

Billions of Beautiful Hearts – February 9, 2021

And Always Coming Back – February 16, 2021

Sunny Pastures – February 23, 2021


Duet Books Interlude Press Short Fiction Short Story

Billions of Beautiful Hearts! Come What May…

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce a second project with INTERLUDE PRESS/DUET BOOKS! This time around, it’s a short story. Releasing on February 9th, BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS will be my contribution to the small series of stories in their COME WHAT MAY project!

From the publisher:

In our COME WHAT MAY project, authors Claire Rudy Foster, Kevin Craig, Jude Sierra, and Lilah Suzanne explore relationships born from, changed by, and discovered in isolation in short stories released individually throughout the month of February.

After their release, these quick reads will be $1.99 each. But until February, they’ll be available in a pre-order special for only 99 cents each.

And here’s a link to the full announcement, complete with a synopsis for each story: COME WHAT MAY ANNOUNCEMENT

All Stories are available now, either directly through the INTERLUDE PRESS STORE, or your favourite ebook retailer (Including Amazon & Kobo)!

Might I add that I love the title of the series for a few reasons, but mostly because it shares a title with one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite movies! COME WHAT MAY from Moulin Rouge!

Preorder the shorts now and save! Only 99 cents each until February!

Musical interlude coming up in 3, 2, 1…

Or… What about WHAT ABOUT US?! That song inspired the title to my story…