Silent Night – A Christmas Song

I found this treasure today, written by A.J. Alexander, and had to share it! Such a beautiful post, and perfect for the Christmas season. Guess which is MY favorite Christmas carol? A.J. knows.

Writer's Treasure Chest

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A few years ago, the globally best-known Christmas song was determined. Of course, there was a long list of excellent, famous songs, like ‘Feliz Navidad,’ or ‘White Christmas’ to choose from.

But even though Bing Crosby’s song was the most successful, it wasn’t the best-known song.

Also, ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham was very successful and often streamed. But despite it being played almost too often around the world by uncountable radio stations, the song isn’t the best-known Christmas song in the world. However, some people are convinced it’s the most annoying Christmas song.

The best-known Christmas song, translated into 320 languages and dialects, is ‘Silent Night, Holy Night.’

In 1818, in Salzburg, Austria, curate Joseph Mohr wrote the words as a poem first and then searched for a composer who could vitalize his rhymes. Franz Xaver Gruber found the correct intonations and wrote the melody down…

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Canceled and/or Beloved?

Gwen Plano tackles this controversial subject with great insight. As a young reader, I raged at historical images of book bonfires when totalitarian regimes took power. They did not tolerate great thinkers, including great authors. What does that say about the current banning of books written by the authors Gwen lists here? I love her list of timeless advice for writers. What do you think?

Story Empire

Hello SE friends, Gwen with you today. When we last met, the topic was 1984, and we focused on writers who predicted the future. Several of the mentioned books were banned because the content was controversial. Of course, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley were two of those authors. SE writer John Howell had an excellent post on banned books earlier this year. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here.

What was so threatening about these books that they were banned? Let’s answer this by looking at the present.

These days we hear a lot about folks being canceled. Basically, anyone who doesn’t accept the popular narrative is a potential target. That narrative covers topics such as sexual identity, COVID vaccines, demonstrations vs. riots, border walls, gun control, and the list goes on. The finger-pointing is everywhere present.  

For writers, this blame…

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I belong to a critique group with two wonderful authors, D.L. Finn and Yvette M. Calleiro. In this humorous piece, D.L. (Denise) illustrates why groups like this are so important. Her input has certainly been valuable to me, for the same reasons she shows here! Bloopers are inevitable in writing. She handles hers with the utmost grace.

Story Empire

Hi SEers! Denise here, and I’m going to share some mistakes and things I missed from my work. Why? To show why a second pair of eyes or a critique group can be so important.

These are actual mistakes from my current work in progress and the comments from my amazing Critique Partners, Yvette M Calleiro and P.T. L. Perrin. I call these my Author Bloopers. A few, especially the last one, had me laughing out loud once I realized what I had said. The others had me cringing or nodding in agreement. I will follow up with the current corrected version which may change and improve with more edits.

Three eyes in the dark

  1. “They will think I have too much time on my heads, but I’m okay with that…” (heads? How many do you have? I think you meant hands—PTL) Simple fix: “They will think I have too much time on my…

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Have you ever wondered where the ideas for stories come from? D.L. Finn has unlocked and revealed the secrets to finding ideas. If you write, then this might be a great resource for you!

Story Empire

Courtesy of Canva

Hi SEers! Denise here to talk about where ideas for stories come from and how to find them. Here’s the definition of idea.


any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.

a thought, conception, or notion: That is an excellent idea.

an impression: He gave me a general idea of how he plans to run the department.

an opinion, view, or belief: His ideas on raising children are certainly strange.

a plan of action; an intention: the idea of becoming an engineer.

a groundless supposition;fantasy.”—

Courtesy of Canva

Where do some well-known authors believe their “thought, conception, or notion” originates from to create a story?

I get my ideas from everywhere. But what all of my ideas boil down to is seeing maybe one thing, but in a lot of cases it’s seeing two things and having them…

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Welcome to Day 2 of The HYPE Blog Tour @YvetteMCalleiro #Hype #NewRelease #BookPromo #YAFiction #Cheer 

I’m thrilled to introduce you to one of my favorite authors, Yvette Calleiro, and her new book HYPE! As grandmother to an amazing cheerleader, I’ve seen these young athletes in competition. Yvette, who knows the inner workings of the sport from experience as a coach, draws us into the world of high school cheerleading through Cici’s eyes.

GIVEAWAY:  3 e-book copies of HYPELeave a comment below for your chance to win!

Cheerleading – Activity or Sport?

When I was in 8th grade, I joined the JV cheerleading team. Back then, it was about cheering, jumps, and a few small pyramids. As a beginning teacher in 1996, I was asked to sponsor the school’s JV cheerleading squad. Cheerleading was no longer about cute, little cheers and pom poms. It had grown into an athletic competition filled with tumbling, intense stunts, and rigorous routines.

When the Varsity sponsor and I took over our respective teams, there were only girls. We had a JV and a Varsity cheerleading team, but we wanted to combine the best of the best talent to take to competitions. So, we created a competition squad and co-sponsored it. We quickly decided to incorporate some boys on the squad. My co-sponsor was bolder than I and approached a couple of football players about switching sports. She planted the seed, and they came after football season to get a taste. They never left.

That summer, we enrolled the kids in gymnastics classes. They all began learning to tumble and fly when tossed up. Our boys (and one of our girls) learned how to do an awesome (holding a girl in the air with both feet in one hand). We watched these kids become true athletes as they conditioned and strengthened their muscles to handle the routines and stunts that were required for our competition. The practices were long and hard, but they never gave up.

We took them to cheer camp at a local university. There they learned even more skills and techniques, and our cheerleaders got to see the opportunities they could have for cheering in college. We took them to local competitions where they went up against all-star private teams. They lost a few times, but they stayed hungry for more. Finally, we went to Nationals where all their hard work paid off. They became National Champions!

The cheer experiences were amazing, but it had its ups and downs. There was always a bit of drama, which is expected when you are dealing with teens. But the bond they created as a team was beautiful to watch form. I loved seeing the timid and insecure kids on the team blossom into natural leaders.

My co-sponsor and I were always worried about injuries, especially with the tumbling our team did. There were plenty of sore muscles and bruises during practices. We only had one serious injury. One of our flyers (the girls who get lifted up in the air to be on top of the stunts) came down badly and dislocated her elbow. That memory is still vividly embedded in my mind today. I remember going with her to the hospital and comforting her. Luckily, they just popped her elbow back into place, but it kept her on the sidelines for a bit, which she was not happy about.

I only lasted three years as a coach. The almost everyday practices, the nights at the gym, and the weekends at fundraisers were keeping me from going back to school for my master’s degree, so I had to let it go. It was not an easy decision, but I knew the team needed someone who could dedicate more time to them. Still, I hold those memories close to my heart.

In HYPE, the main character is the co-captain of her cheerleading squad. Because of my experiences, I was able to bring to life the practices and the competitions. Here is an excerpt from the story:

Before we know it, it’s our time to perform. Ms. G stands in the coach’s area as we take our places. Our routine starts with a quick cheer which leads into a dance followed by stunts, cheer, dance, and tumbling before ending in a final, complicated stunt.

Our cheer is sharp, loud, and perfect. The music begins, and from that point on, it’s about letting the body do what it’s been trained to do while keeping our expressions fun, energetic, and vibrant. We are the epitome of perfection, and I’m pretty sure everyone hit his or her marks based on the exploding applause in the stands as we perfectly hit our last stunt.

We dismount and head off stage in a professional line as we’ve trained our team to do, but there’s no controlling our excitement once we exit the stadium’s main viewing area. We all jump and scream and try really, really hard not to cry. Ryan meets us outside with his camera since he recorded it all. We watch it quickly as the team after us performs its routine. I see the video three times and can’t find a single area in which we messed up. We were incredible.

Ms. G calls us back in to take our places as the last team gets set up to perform. She whispers to Nicole and me that she’s proud of us. Her expression tells me she isn’t as confident as we are about our win, which makes me replay the video in my mind and begin comparing it with the teams we’ve seen perform. And that’s when the sinking feeling starts to hit me that the Sunset All Stars also performed flawlessly. I try to dampen the doubt creeping into my thoughts and keep the winning smile on my face as the final group performs.

So, when someone tries to place cheerleading as an activity, I strongly disagree. Cheerleading is a sport, through and through, and the season lasts all year. If you enjoyed this sneak peak, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of HYPE to find out whether they won or not. 😉

Author Bio:

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.


Amazon Links:


The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1)

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2)

The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3)

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 4)

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 5)

The One Chosen – A Diasodz Short Story

Breathless – A Short Story

Amazon Author Page

Social Media Links:

Author Blog




Thank you for stopping by today! I have read and loved every one of Yvette M. Calleiro’s books! Get HYPE today! And if you love fantasy, then dive into the Chronicles of the Diasodz, or for a touch of romance with a twist, read Breathless — A Short Story. You’re in for a treat.

To follow along with the rest of the HYPE tour, please visit the author’s blog. Thanks for supporting Yvette M Calleiro and her work!

Remember to leave a comment! You might win one of the giveaways!

Welcome to Day 1 of the Haunted Shores Mysteries Blog Tour featuring #ScarletAtCrystalRiver! @OverbeckRandy @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org @NonnieJules

Love a chilling ghost story mystery with a touch of romance? Dr. Randy Overbeck’s newest release more than satisfies! I loved it! Check it out, and don’t forget to leave a comment! Who doesn’t like cool giveaways?

Watch Nonnie Write!

Hello, friends!

I’m pleased to feature Author, Randy Overbeck on Day 1 of his third tour in the Haunted Shores Mysteries series! This tour is featuring his latest read, SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER.  Today my guest is sharing…


But, before he gets into that, I ask that after you check out all the information here, you leave a comment for the author below as well as like this page and then share it onto your own social media.  The author is giving away two goodies and you can get your chance to win simply by leaving a comment.

GIVEAWAYS:  (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card & (1) e-book or paperback copy of the winner’s choice out of the series

The floor is yours, Mr. Overbeck!

As I’ve shared my program about ghosts with groups around the country, I’ve encountered more than my share of…

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If you’re like me, you may find yourself using certain descriptive words more often than others. D.L. Finn shares how to break out of that habit, and why you should, in her entertaining and educating article.

Story Empire

Hi SEers! Denise here to discuss what happens when people talk to each other and how to apply that to writing.

Have you ever watched people talk? Do they sit and speak without moving or any expression? In my family, I’m surrounded by Italians. Hands are always flying around during conversations. I know who not to sit next to during a meal if knives are being used. It’s dangerous!

Besides hands, heads are moving, faces change expression, bodies are constantly in motion, and tone shifts can take the spoken level from high to low. The speaker’s mood comes out in not only their words but their body language.

Yet, when I first write a dialog for a story, I only put the conversation. I barely tag who’s talking. Later, when I’ve completed the story, I go back and add all the movement that accompanies the words.

Have you ever read…

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YOU COULD WIN $420 In Amazon Gift Cards! @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #WCBE21

OPEN to the PUBLIC! What an opportunity for you to win some prizes, enjoy some games, and meet some awesome authors!

Watch Nonnie Write!

Hello, Friends!

What’s going on in your world today?  Well, I’m spending my days perusing the 6th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo!  Yes, this is the best place to be this weekend, and until it closes on Wednesday, August 25th… let me tell you why.

This virtual event offers so much fun and so many activities for the general public, that you’d be crazy to pass on not visiting!  The first attraction that should get your attention is that there are $420 worth of Amazon gift cards up for grabs, and all you have to do for a chance at having your name selected for each booth’s door prize, is to drop by, check out the (virtual) author booths, and simply leave comments!   It’s that simple!  Winners are chosen at the end of the conference from the pool of comments left in each booth!

You’ll also find…


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#RRBC’s 6th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo

Hello, followers and friends!

RRBC’s 6th Annual Writers’  Conference & Book Expo is LIVE, and we’d like to invite you to drop by! It’s open to everyone!

We have games, prizes, surprises and other goodies, so be sure to visit each Author Booth, take a look around, then leave a comment for your chance to win each Author Booth’s door prize!  

There is a Scavenger Hunt Game to play, a 2 Truths & a Lie Game to play and more!  In each Author Booth, you will find a clue, and if you find the correct answer to all the clues and are the first to submit your answers, you could be the winner of an awesome prize!  

Of course, we’ll have our READING ROOM open and one of our members is going to blow you away showcasing their talent!  

If you’re into BINGO, purchase your BINGO cards and join us for a game or two!

And what we all wait for every year – our RAFFLE!  Yes, each year we raffle off (7) $100 Amazon gift cards and this is open to the public so go on and snag your tickets today!  Raffle tickets are only $5!  How awesome would that prize be?  Some of them also include additional goodies like other gift certificates, ebooks, and more!  Enter for your chance to win one or more of these $100 Amazon gift card gift baskets.  The more tickets you buy, the greater your chances of winning.  (Please do not purchase more than 7 tickets).

This year for the first time ever, we’ve added our BEST BOOK COVER CONTEST!  This contest is open to the general public so go ahead and enter your book cover(s) now!  Share your comments with us and let us know which one you think is best!

Click for a full ITINERARY OF EVENTS!  

We hope to see you there!  In the event of minor time delays, please check the sidebar of the RRBC website for updates.