Weekend reading: “Belonging to the Alpha” by Mel Hankins

"Belonging to the Alpha" by Mel Hankins
This weekend, get wrapped up in our Book of the Week at ChapterBuzz! Belonging to the Alpha is a fantasy work-in-progress by Mel Hankins:

Layla is a teenage girl who also happens to be a werewolf. Her dad is a high-ranking warrior in the most dominant pack that Silvermoor City has ever seen. She is destined to be the Luna of an extremely powerful Alpha—but she bonds with an unworthy Omega. To complicate things, the Alpha chooses Layla. After being brutally attacked by her Omega, Layla must decide which path to follow. Her wolf or her destiny? Read Belonging to the Alpha now!

Chapter 1

I sighed, rolled over, and looked at my phone. 7.32 am.

Doesn’t that boy sleep?

I roll back over and cover my eyes with my arm. Another day a lie in is out of the question.

Down the hall, you can hear an enthusiastic 5-year-old making plane noises from his bedroom. I sigh again as the noises show no sign of stopping and I swing my legs out of bed.

I catch sight of myself in the mirror. Chocolate brown eyes look back at me. I have long brown hair that tumbles in loose waves over my body. I’m not fat nor skinny. I’m not particularly muscular either.

That’s due to lack of training, I thought.

Gym holds no interest to me, but I know soon that I’ll have to start training. A weak wolf is no good to any pack. You see, we are not normal people. We are werewolves. Not the type that shifts at full moon and kills every human on sight, but the type that can shift whenever we like at choice and have decided to live peacefully alongside humans. We are strong, fast, and powerful. We only shift in cases of emergency and danger or to protect the pack from enemies. Our wolf forms look like normal wolves, only just slightly bigger. Not like the ugly, dangerous, vicious beasts depicted in books.

Read Belonging to the Alpha now!

Weekend reading: “Scathed Bones” by Leah Lindeman


This weekend, sink your teeth into this Scathed Bones, a historical fiction work-in-progress by Leah Lindeman at ChapterBuzz:

Almost two years after outwitting her blackmailer and father’s murderer and discovering her father’s gold vein, Rose Wood returns to the Cariboo region of BC to reunite with her fiance and prepare for her wedding. However, missing persons and evil practices upend her happy return. Can she and Dave, her fiancé, work together after so much time apart to catch a serial killer? Read Scathed Bones now!

Chapter 1

Glorious land! Goodbye to stomaching rat-eaten cheese, vomiting the contents of supper because her body had succumbed to food poisoning, tasting wine only to spit it out because vinegar had somehow taken its place in the bottle! Rose thanked the Lord the ship’s crew had bought new supplies at the port of her Mother’s beloved birthplace Ushuaia, cradled in the bosom of Tierra del Fuego. If they hadn’t…

She had weighed the benefits versus the dangers of embarking on the longest route from England to Victoria, Canada, a route that required more time and more fortitude to travel around the entire continent of South America. The route also didn’t cost as much though that was not an issue for Rose. The discovery of her father’s gold vein a year and half ago had put her in a position in which she need not depend on any man or well to do family for life’s necessities and pleasures. She was set for life. Fitting since she had almost lost her life in the process.

Her heart lurched for joy at beholding Victoria after so long. During these long months of sea-hardened travel, it had been the beacon of hope shining in her dreams. It was the city in which an unlikely encounter with a smug cowboy had altered the course of her life. That testy friendship had transformed into a committed partnership which had then blossomed into an unbreakable romance. She would make her home here with the man she loved more than all the gold she owned.

The wind whipped loose tendrils of Rose’s hair as she leaned over the starboard railing.

Read Scathed Bones now!

Published author? You could win Book of the Year

Learn more about TimAre you an author who has published (or is about to publish) a book?

Now, give it a huge boost by entering the Book of the Year Competition.

Our community of readers and writers are eager to discover you!

The Book of the Year Competition is a great way to get your novel in front of readers, get more reviews, and take home one of 5 awards…

…and possibly the big one: Book of the Year!

Our grand prize includes extra publicity, credit towards a publishing package for your next book, and an interview with you in our community magazine. We’re excited to help you build your author career.

Get all the details here and enter today. It’s free!

It’s party time! Join us for the September Book Reading Party

Learn more about TimIn just a few months, when we start putting away the beach balls, hanging our towels up to dry, and switching out our iced coffees for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the event of the year will be upon us: the September Book Reading Party.

It’s just like a book fair, except it takes place in the comfort of your home. All of the published books we’ve been working so hard on this past year will be on display and available for you to read—and you’re highly encouraged to lounge around and read ’em all!

Then, at the end of the month, one of these books will receive the most prestigious literary award we’ve ever handed out: Book of the Year. It’s an achievement that comes with quite a prize package, including free publicity and a year-long premium membership to ChapterBuzz.

These are the books we’ve been hard at work on all year. In fact, you may have given feedback to some of these same authors and helped make their books even better—and poised to win Book of the Year.

But it’s not just about authors and their books.

Since book reviews play a crucial role in determining our winner, we’ll also be crowning a Reviewer of the Year—an award that recognizes excellence in book reviewing.

Readers, meanwhile, receive an equally delightful prize: a treasure trove of fantastic published books (and book reviews) to discover and enjoy.

This September, there’s a little something for everybody!

Be sure to RSVP now to the September Book Reading Party, and if you’re a writer wishing to enter your book in the Competition, get all the details here.

Timothy Pike is the founder of ChapterBuzz and editor-in-chief of Books & Buzz Magazine, and specializes in helping authors publish beautiful books on Amazon.

A summer full of delightful books…and one big winner!

Books & Buzz Magazine, May 2020, Volume 2 Issue 9

This summer, we prepare to choose the winner of the most prestigious literary recognition we’ve ever given: Book of the Year—an award that will go to a published book that our community simply loves.

And as part of our community, you get to help us choose the winner. It all happens at our September Book Reading Party, a virtual book fair where every chapter you read and “Buzz” propels the book toward the big prize. The Book Reading Party starts September 1st, so RSVP now!


This is an excerpt from the latest issue of Books & Buzz Magazine. Not a subscriber? Start getting all of our great articles by subscribing for free!


In the meantime, be sure to stop by and check out our Beta Shelf section, where you can help authors by giving them last minute feedback before their books go to press. Our Hot Off the Press section has several published books ready for you to read.

If you’re a writer who has published a book, now’s the time to enter your book in the competition!

There’s so much to look forward to in the coming months, but let’s check out what’s in this month’s issue:

In yet another exquisite poem, author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes a raging storm. “All night the wind rattled the clanging chimes in the backyard and drove itself mad in loud rushes against the houses and buildings,” it starts out. From there, we journey to a summer memory, then into a place deep inside our very being—that “placeless place” where poetry comes from.

Next, Pallavi Sareen, professional book reviewer and journalist—who also graces our cover this month—reviews one of her favorite books, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami. The book, Pallavi explains, “is a compilation of incidents that led to the Tokyo gas attack collected through research and interviews.” And of the author: “I was impressed by his ability to stick to the truth while weaving an interesting story.” It’s an excellent review, and you can read the whole thing in this issue.

Pallavi also sat down this month to answer my questions about her life and career. A native of Jammu and Kashmir, India, this insightful literary critic tells me that by the time she turned eighteen, she had already read no fewer than 1,000 books and written 400 reviews. “What no one tells you about book reviewing is that just having a passion for reading is not enough,” she says. In her feature article, Pallavi reveals what else she could spend all her time doing, the book genre she doesn’t like at all, and what it takes to write great book reviews.

In our final article, I explain more about how the Book of the Year Competition works, and how there’s a little something for everyone: readers, authors, and even book reviewers. That’s right—because ratings from our expert book reviewers help determine, in large part, the Book of the Year winner, we want to recognize excellence in reviewing by crowning a Reviewer of the Year. Who will it be?

For many of us in the world, this time of year brings rising temperatures, backyard grill-outs, and spending as much time at beaches as is legally allowed. So today, mix up your favorite iced drink, have a seat in the shade, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz MagazineSubscribe now for free!

To be a successful writer, how many words must you write every day?

Learn more about TimMany successful novelists, when asked how they did it, will talk about how driven they were to write at least 1,000 words a day. 1,500 words. 3,000 words. Every day, without fail.

That’s certainly one way to do it, but what about that little thing called “life” that for the rest of us, always seems to be getting in the way?

Here’s an easy way to get around that: the 20-Year Novel Club at ChapterBuzz.

Life won’t have a chance to get in the way—because all you have to do is sit down in the morning and write 10 words. Some days you’ll write more, of course, but as long as you’re there every day, ready to write, you’ve already succeeded.

They say 80% of success is just showing up, and that’s the whole idea behind the Club.

Little by little, day by day, you’ll find that your word counts are adding up. Pretty soon, you have a whole chapter written! And your readers like it! Now, start in on Chapter 2.

Make steady progress, meet other writers, and read what others are writing while you work on your novel. The Club is also great motivation to start sharing your own work, even if that scares you a little.

This doesn’t happen everywhere, but it’s happening now in the 20-Year Novel Club. Join us today!

Sharing your writing with the world…do you dare?

Learn more about Tim

I thought I had writer’s block, but I was simply worried that I had nothing to say. When I put my work out there, I was surprised when people liked it.
—Author Shirley Holder Platt

Ever get a little nervous wondering what people will think of your novel? Many of us do.

At first, it can be a scary prospect.

But eventually, your idea will see the light of day, your novel will be out there for all to read.

And you’ll realize you had nothing to be worried about all along.

The best way to do it? Just do it! Here’s a great way to start: join us in the 20-Year Novel Club, where we’re posting our chapters, giving each other feedback, and sharing our writing knowledge.

It’s an easy way to connect with other writers and get motivated to write every day.

Come on in, the water’s fine!

When telling a story, avoid “head hopping” – it can confuse your readers!

Learn more about TimSure, we are dedicated to writing at least 10 words a day as members of the 20-Year Novel Club. And of course, we keep cranking out new chapters and sharing them with each other.

But that’s not all the Club is about.

We’re also sharing our experience with writing and life—via quotes.

Tier IV Rising Star Author L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)Today’s quote comes from one of our top writers, Tier IV Rising Star Author L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.), author of Love, Or Something Like It and WARNO: Critical Ploy:

“I’ve learned that “author omniscient” is not always the best point of view because it can lead to “head hopping,” which can be confusing to the reader. Pick one POV and stick with it, and if you need to switch, use a change in scene to indicate the switch.”

—L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Now, we’d like to hear YOUR writing tips and advice! Join the Club and share them with us.

Here’s what we’re already doing in the 20-Year Novel Club:

  • Making steady progress on our novels every single day
  • Getting more exposure for our work
  • Meeting motivated writers who push us to write more
  • Discussing topics related to life & writing (coming soon!)
  • Publishing that book as soon as it’s done!

Join us today!

Writer’s block? It may just be worry

Learn more about TimThe 20-Year Novel Club is about much more than just making progress on your novel every day.

It’s also about sharing things we’ve learned about life & writing with each other.

Award-winning author Shirley Holder PlattToday’s quote comes from one of our top writers, Tier V Rising Star Author Shirley Holder Platt, award-winning author of Mama Needs New Shoes and Moon Dance:

“I thought I had writer’s block, but I was simply worried that I had nothing to say. When I put my work out there, I was surprised when people liked it.”

—Shirley Holder Platt

What’s something you’ve learned or realized along the way? Join the Club and share! Learning from each other helps all of us.

As a member of the 20-Year Novel Club, you can also:

  • Make steady progress on your novel every single day
  • Get more exposure for your novel
  • Meet motivated writers who will push you to write more
  • Discuss topics related to life & writing
  • Publish that book as soon as it’s done!

Share your wisdom with us…join us today in the 20-Year Novel Club!

Can I quote you on that? Your life & writing wisdom is needed

Learn more about TimWhat have you learned about writing, or about life, that you’d like to share with your fellow writers?

And can I quote you on that?

The best part of being in a writing group like the 20-Year Novel Club is that we all help each other out—which also means motivating each other to achieve new heights in our writing.

So what kind of quotes are we looking for?

It could be…

  • A trick that works for you
  • A challenge or struggle you overcame
  • A lesson you learned
  • Practical tips & advice
  • General encouragement

On topics like…

  • Writer’s block
  • Rejection
  • Confidence in writing skills
  • Juggling life & writing
  • Publishing your book(s)

These are just a few ideas to get the wheels turning, but obviously there’s much more to life and writing, so I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Join us, and be a part of something larger as you write your novel!

How to submit your quote:

  1. First, join us in the 20-Year Novel Club
  2. Next, submit your quote here
  3. That’s it! I’ll share it with everyone and give you credit.

Happy writing,
Tim