Sarah Maury Swan is a dynamic personality who has the can-do spirit that allows her to achieve her goals. Becoming an author and connecting with other authors is one of her passions. With the help of her friends Julie McKeon who runs the New Bern Farmers Market and Michelle Garren Flye owner of the Next Chapter Book and Art Store she has put together close to 40 authors and vendors for our third Author Sunday!
Also at this event you will find David Smith, a retired Marine, husband and proud father who converted a 1998 school bus into a food truck. Meet the Burger Bus! Craft burgers and more to delight your palate!
If you’re thirsty try Sippin’ Sunshine with an array of artisan teas and lemonade brought to you by New Bern native Nicole Houston. Nicole is wife, mother and entrepreneur. She has a Master’s in Public Administration but found her calling in making people smile with her tasty drinks. She is right at home at the Author Sunday because she loves to read!
If you’re looking for your next favorite book or a gift for the upcoming holidays, come out to the New Bern Farmers Market Sunday, October 29th, 1 to 4 pm.
Many authors will have more than just books for sale and some will share excerpts from their books during reading sessions.
Are you any good at crossword puzzles? If you have read my books, this one is easy. I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Fill out the puzzle send it back to me and get your name added to the drawing. I will draw Halloween, October 31st, 2023 and announce the winner November 1st!
I will be at the Fish and Farm Festival in Aurora Saturday, September 9th. Come by and visit if you’re in town and if you want, you can buy a book. Remy’s Dilemma, the final book in the Harrell Family Chronicles is available along with all of my backlist. Come on out and join the fun. Food vendors, crafters, musicians, games, tractor pull and more. I had so much fun last year. I can’t wait.
After the festival, books will be available at the Blue Crab in Aurora, The Next Chapter Books in New Bern, and as soon as I can get there, the Riverwalk Gallery in Washington. If you want a signed copy of any of my books, email me at email@example.com, $16 per book in continental United States.
If you prefer ebooks, my Harrell Family Chronicles are on sale for $1.99 each, don’t miss your chance to get them for this low price. (Regular price $3.99 each)
Do you like Horror Movies?
Carnival of Darkness starts Friday, September 22nd at Raised in a Barn Farm, and continues through Saturday at the historic Turnage Theater where the Haunted Pamlico will be showing submissions to their Carnival of Darkness film competition. With hundreds of film entries from all around the world, live action entertainment, awards and attractions, the Carnival of Darkness starts the haunting season with a true carnival experience. If you love spooky and things that go bump in the night, you won’t want to miss this event!
In honor of my friends at Haunted Pamlico I’m giving away a free ticket to the Carnival of Darkness weekend to one lucky winner, a $25 value. To get your name in the drawing, all you have to do is post a review of any of my books and email me a link to the review(s). The review has to be current 2023. It can be on Amazon, Goodreads or Bookbub. Each review will get another chance to win.
The drawing will be Wednesday, September 20th. The winner’s name will be given and they will be able to pick up their ticket at the event. Good Luck!
Sorry I’ve been absent lately. I have been trying to finish the last book in the Harrell Family Chronicles series, Remy’s Dilemma.
This book should have been out before now but sometimes life gets in the way. No excuses but I do think it will be worth the wait. I hope you agree.
Dive into the town of Leeward one more time and get your goodies at Goodie Galore Bakery. Roxanne and her business partner, Kendra have opened their bakery and are making a sweet impact on the town.
Get you grub at Hole in the Sky Pub where the beer is out of this world. Ethan quit college to brew beer but don’t worry, who needs a fourth degree.
Janie and Mike are finally tying the knot if their wedding doesn’t go up in flames.
If Sothy doesn’t run away, she might make a success of her new craft store.
Remington Harrell is the oldest of the Harrell siblings and the one expected to fix everything. Whether it’s a friend accused of murder or saving the local phosphate plant there’s nothing he can’t do, except relationships. After his last girlfriend threatened to kill his sister and sell her child on the black market, he’s been a little apprehensive about dating. With cyber-attacks on the phosphate plant escalating along with threats to the employees, Remy worries his family and friends will be the next targets. When he realizes the threat comes from someone in Sothy’s past. They must team up to stop the cyber-attacks. But if Sothy isn’t willing to share her secrets, can Remy trust her with his heart?
What do horror stories and romance have in common? My husband is an avid horror movie buff and he reads sci-fi and medical thrillers, but he also likes to watch romance movies and those reunion clips on YouTube. You know the ones where a military person is reunited with their child, spouse or other family member. It always makes me cry.
I have never loved horror movies. I like vampires and werewolves, and some horror/thriller movies. I enjoy reading some of the darker books with some horror elements but I don’t consider myself a true horror fan. I have worked in haunted houses and I’ve marched in parades dressed as a clown, yet find it difficult to go into a haunted house and clowns can be a bit creepy.
While I was doing research for this blog, I was curious about what scientist and psychologist say about our love for horror. As a romance author, I have heard speakers talk about the affects of romance novels on readers. Stories can make people more empathetic, understanding, open-minded and there is a feminism to modern romance stories. Yes, readers still want the happy ever after of old but we see women who choose careers over having a family, we see their love-interest being supportive of their goals and willing to make sacrifices to help them achieve them. There are still some traditional romances where the couple marries and have a family, but they aren’t the only option. What surprised me when I was doing the research was that horror fans are also thought to be more empathetic and intuitive. While it’s true, some movies can feed aggressive behavior, such as movies where there is a lot of fighting, and the theme is might is always right. For the most part, as the master Stephen King explains, horror itself is a sort of safety valve, a symbolic cantharis for our cruel and aggressive behavior.
From WebMD blog “Why We Love Scary Movies” by Richard Sine, his interview with Joanne Cantor, PhD, director of the Center of Communication Research at University of Wisconsin, Madison states, “most people like to experience pleasant emotions.” We fall in love alongside the characters in a romance, experience their journey to their happy ending and are left feeling as if we’ve just fallen in love.
Professor Glen Sparks believes horror movies may be similar to our ancient rite of passage rituals. Young men especially feel the need to pit themselves against something bigger, meaner, and prove themselves. In watching a scary movie, the fear is real. Our bodies haven’t learned to filter out what is on screen and what is real danger. We react as if we are the ones hunted by the monster; our heartbeats increase, our palms sweat, skin temperature drops, muscles tense, and our blood pressure spikes.
Psychologist Glenn D. Walters identified three factors that feed the attraction to horror entertainment: 1) Tension-by including elements of mystery, suspense, gore, terror, and shock it ramps up the tension. 2) Relevance-including elements viewers identify with which plays on the psychology of fear, the most universal, the fear of death, the unknown, or cultural relevance. 3) Unrealism-having all of these “real” elements coupled with the knowledge that it is not real and probably won’t ever happen, allows the viewer to experience the fear, test their mettle within a safe environment.
Stories were originally told as a form of education. Don’t go too far from the cave or you’ll be eaten by dinosaurs. Don’t go into the woods or you’ll be attacked by wolves. Our first stories were horror stories told to keep us safe and warn of dangers.
Going into a haunted house or watching a scary movie allows us to conquer our fears. For many, horror and other violent entertainment is a way to deal with actual fears and real violence. Just as a person might learn how they wish to be treated by a lover from a romance book or movie, they can also learn to cope with evil from watching or reading horror. Fiction, no matter the genre has a way of telling us what other options are available to us. It can open our eyes to possibilities. While I don’t expect to meet a Duke and live in a mansion, having a husband who treats me as his priority and he mine, is a big part of what romance taught me. Being brave enough to face down demons from hell with only a bottle of holy water and a crucifix, well, maybe not so much. I think I’d prefer to be armed with a flamethrower at least. But whether you are a fan of horror or romance, sci-fi or action-adventure, I hope you will open your eyes and heart to people, their differences and similarities. Most of us, no matter where we come from, the color of our skin or our religion, we’re just trying to survive, find love and enjoy a few moments of peace and happiness.
WebMD-Why We Love Scary Movies by Richard Sine
Washington Post-Why We Like Scary Things by Richard Sima
Why I love Ethnic Movies and Books, I love learning about different cultures and discovering our similarities as well as what makes us unique.
I was watching Wedding Season last night. It is a charming television movie about two Indian families. One family wants their daughter to marry and find happiness. She works hard but has closed herself off to love after a bad relationship. Her sister is getting ready to marry a white guy who is trying too hard to embrace the Indian culture. He loves her so much. He wants to show her family he is worthy of her but in the process is making her a little crazy. The second family, the good son has disappointed his father by dropping out of college, the father won’t listen to the young man when he tries to talk to him about his life and his work. The old man assumes he’s a bum and won’t be able to find a wife by telling the truth, so he makes up a profile for his son. The mother of workaholic daughter makes up a profile for her, and the two are coerced into meeting.
Now many of us would say, why don’t they just refuse. Why don’t they contact the ap and have their profile taken down? What compels them to do this crazy thing for their parent? Is their culture so different than our own?
Growing up in the south, I can relate to the Asian and Indian culture of the importance of family. My parents were loners and tried to avoid a lot of family events but even they understood the importance of family. If my dad’s sister requested his presence at an event, or my mom’s mother, then they would attend, perhaps grudgingly, but they’d attend. You do a lot of things because of family expectations, go to a preferred school, join certain clubs, make career choices… If my parents arranged for me to meet someone, I’d feel compelled to at least show up and meet the guy.
One of my daughters-in-law is Cambodian. She and my son had two weddings in order to appease her parents and also have the wedding they wanted. They had a traditional Cambodian wedding which lasted three days (it would have lasted a week if my son had been Asian too), and then they had a Christian/civil ceremony a few weeks later.
As I watch these movies or read books with strong matriarchal or patriarchal societies I can relate to a degree because there is a certain amount of pressure to please our parents and grandparents especially if you have a close family. Add in the struggles many of these families have had just getting to America and building their lives here, some having left home with little or nothing, possibly not even knowing the language, and you can see how the community becomes an extended family.
My daughter-in-law’s family were refugees. They were prepared to go to France. Her father was a teacher. He spoke French. But when things fell through and they were unable to go to France, they came instead to America where they were not prepared, did not know the language, and the hardships they faced put a strain on their family. The Asian community helped them find work, places to live and even helped them acclimate to life in America.
In rural North Carolina, I grew up with a sense of community and that community was part of my extended family. I grew up as a neighborhood kid. I was part of the community and they were a part of teaching and training me. As I write my stories, I bring family and community into my setting and characters. Like many of the ethnic stories I read and watch, I feel a kinship because here in our small town we are invested in each other’s lives.
Reading books and watching movies that entertain us and give us a little taste of what someone else has gone through, and suddenly the world becomes a little smaller, strangers become neighbors, and our differences don’t seem so foreign because they are the uniqueness of a friend or the peculiarities of a neighbor, so they are not as frightening as those of a stranger, nor a foreign as someone living half a world away.
sherrilhollister.com/Suspense She Writes Bookstore Dismiss