Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tree of Life Collaborative Writing Challenge

I'm participating in the TREE OF LIFE: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge over at Sam Geary's blog. A group of writers are putting story to music. My part will appear today! And...just a hint...there will be unicorns...

I hope you can stop by and check it out HERE.

Want to know more? Check out this blurb from Sam's site:

Welcome to the TREE OF LIFE: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge, where creative minds meet epic movie music. To read the collective story in its entirety as it unfolds and for more details on this groundbreaking collaboration with Audiomachine click HERE.

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – An Unfinished Life – Tree of Life

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nether Fire Cover Reveal

Guess who has a new book coming out?
Check out this cover and blurb. Doesn't it just exude excitement and adventure?

Nether Fire:

After being gravely wounded by her little sister, Ava awakes in Arcadia and the City of Angels isn't so welcoming. She is, after all, Lucifer's Angel of Death and she has only one mission. Open the portal between Arcadia and the Nether World allowing Lucifer's army to penetrate the gilded walls of Heaven. Too bad Arcadia has other plans. Before she has the chance to set Lucifer's plot in motion, they send her and Devon hurtling back to Earth. Now, stripped of their powers, the two must put aside their differences and race against time to save Christa's soul and the shattered remains of Mankind. If they fail, darkness will rule their two worlds and obliterate what is left of Earth. If they succeed, Ava could still lose everything.

Including herself.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What's On Your Bookshelf?

Life has been interesting lately, to say the least. Most of you know that I moved for work a couple of months ago while my husband stayed behind to sell the house. He's still there, but more on that another time.

I couldn't bring a lot with me, just whatever fit in my van, really. Things I thought I'd need or want for a few months. (BTW, it's amazing how few things you really need to be comfortable).

I was just checking out my makeshift bookshelf and the books I brought with me. It's an interesting mix, and goes something like this:

  • The Beloved Works of C.S. Lewis
  • When God Winks: New Beginnings by Squire Rushnell
  • Create Your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino
  • It's Your Time by Joel Osteen
  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
  • Showing and Telling by Laurie Alberts
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
  • Living, Loving and Learning by Leo Buscaglia
  • The Illustrated Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  • The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  • The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
  • Everyday A Friday by Joel Osteen
I have thousands of books (according to my husband) at home, but these are the ones I selected to bring with me. Some of them lend inspiration, and others are simply easy to get lost in. Even a couple of books on writing.
If you had to leave home,
what books would be on your makeshift bookshelf?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sci Fi at it's Best! Taking Time and Other Science Fixtion Stories

I'm thrilled to help Ellie Garratt welcome her book, Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories, into the world! But first, have you seen this awesome cover? I'd pick it up for the cover alone. And when I read the blurb, I shivered and wanted more.

Book Blurb

Science fiction stories of time and space...

The future of humanity must be decided in Next Phase. Winning the Planetary Lottery is not as lucky as it first seems in Schrodinger's Gamble. An apocalypse and its aftermath threaten to tear one couple apart in Daiker's Children. In Life As I Know It a reclusive man finds both his heart and home invaded during an alien harvest. In Taking Time a demon seeking shelter on a distant planet finds himself facing a very different kind of demon, after answering a frontier settlement's plea for help.

Stories range from flash fiction to novelette in length.
Now check out this short excerpt from Taking Time:

A tall, lithe woman of a similar age to Ing approached me. Her short-cropped hair was the colour of darkness, and there was a confidence to the way she swaggered up to me. She was the person in charge.
She stopped only a couple of inches from my face, almost breathing down my throat. I prayed she didn’t notice my lack of breath–the undead had no need for air in their lungs.
“You don’t look well, bounty hunter,” she said.
As I stood taller, so that my already imposing six-foot frame loomed over the human female, I knew I’d have to talk her around. “I’ve not been on solid land for a few months. I’ve been running down illegal passage ships and cargo. Illegal cargo.”
Her eyes flashed bright with something. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but the word illegal had excited her.
She held out a hand for me to shake. “The name’s McCaffrey. Formerly of any planet left to colonise.”
I took her hand and shook it, then re-introduced myself. “Victory Dead. Formerly of Earth.”
McCaffrey dismissed everyone but the scare-faced Ing, and they took me into a bar like all the others I’d passed through since travelling the frontier–a cheap and fast assembly metal-frame construction. It contained only the most basic furnishings. There were more patrons than I could count, and they went silent when we entered.
When I reached the bar, a stone-faced human male behind the counter slid a bottle towards me. I wasn’t sure what it contained but accepted it anyway–to refuse would have been rude and invited trouble. “Compliments of Daring,” he said as I placed my supplies on the floor beside me.
“Thanks,” I replied before pretending to sniff the contents of the bottle. As a vampire, I could only smell blood.
The bartender turned his attention to McCaffrey and scar-face. “Evening, Captain. Thought I told you to keep Ing away.”
Ing scowled and stepped forward, his hands balled into fists. McCaffrey placed an arm across his chest.
“You know it’s not Captain anymore. I haven’t been a captain since I crash-landed here three years ago. And Ing won’t be causing you any trouble while I’m here. You have my word.”
The owner grunted something and then moved off to serve another customer.
I wasn’t sure how long a Revelation year lasted, so when McCaffrey spoke of crash-landing three years ago she could have been talking any number of Earth years or months.
“Well it’s about time,” said a voice behind me, interrupting my thoughts.
It sort of reminds me of Firefly, and who can resist that?!
So, here are the links,
Feel free to share!

Book Links

Win one of two $25.00 (£15) Amazon gift cards and a character named after you in an upcoming novella.



 About The Author

 A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre was published in March 2013 and contains nine previously published stories. Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories is her second short story collection.
Author Links

Monday, July 8, 2013

Creating Atmosphere

As I prepared to edit novel #2 yesterday, I asked myself how to get back into the mood and atmosphere of the series I'm writing. It takes place in the six-hundred-year-old modern day medieval village of Sabrina Shores. Sabrina Shores is modeled after the real life medieval village of Shrewsbury, England.

I absolutely love Shrewsbury, having been there somewhere around 1990 on my first trip to Europe. When I sat down to write my first novel, Shrewsbury came back to me. The old pubs, the half-timbered buildings, the narrow ginnels and cobblestoned streets; all fit the atmosphere I was looking for when my sixteen-year-old American protagonist found herself orphaned with the sudden necessity for an English uncle willing to take her in. And what better place than a modern day medieval village teeming with ghosts to "show off" her special abilities?

And so I look at photographs of Shrewsbury to bring it all back and to inspire atmosphere as I write, and to disappear into the world I create...

Grope Lane, Shrewsbury.
(Aptly named way back in the day because groping was so prevalent).
This is the ginnel that Indigo was chased down by the dark shadow, right before she barreled into Badger. 

The Blind Badger in the market square, next to market hall. Picture a pub sign hanging out front.

The Market Hall in the Market Square (Shrewsbury/Sabrina Shores).
This is where Indigo met Cappy at a market stall.
This is where Indigo and Simon discovered they were being followed.
We walked along the damp, cobblestoned road, taking cover from the weather by sticking as close to the buildings as possible. The jettied half-timber beams leaned in to cast ancient shadows over us. Muted light shone from closed curtains, silhouettes passed back and forth behind them like shadow puppets. We didn’t have anything like this in the States. There was even a castle. The ancient architecture was a marvel, the same buildings standing upright in the same spot for hundreds of years. Nearly upright, anyway, because many leaned. I guessed that the sameness, or lack of change, must have been what kept so much of the spirit world tied there.
Shrewsbury Castle (aka Sabrina Castle).

The train station.
The park.
What do you use to inspire your writing?
Is your setting based on a real location or made up?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Forged By Legacy: A Cover Reveal

I'm so happy to help Angela Orlowski-Peart reveal the cover of her new book, Forged by Legacy: Beginnings!

Here's the scoop:

The third book in the Forged series, Forged by Legacy: Beginnings is coming out on July 10, 2013. Look for it on Amazon first, since their publishing machine works the fastest. Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Sony will follow soon too.

design: Jeannie Ruesch 
cover design: Jeannie Ruesch[/caption]

Genre: Young Adult paranormal.
Synopsis: Forged by Legacy: Beginnings is the second of two prequels to the Forged series. It is a collection of five short stories, each told from a different character's point-of-view.

 These stories explain some of the behind-the-scenes facts from the Forged series. Do you want to know how the protagonists, Jatred and Jasmira fell in love? And what really happened during the deadly plane crash? How about the reason behind Savannah and Logan's breakup? Or how do the teens shape shift for the first time?
Forged by Legacy: Beginnings answers all these questions - and more.

add to

 About the Author:

 Angela Orlowski-Peart was born and raised in Poland. She describes herself as European born, American by choice. She was just seven-years-old when she decided to learn English and translate her favorite Polish fairytales.
Angela is the author of the Young Adult and New Adult fiction novels, including YA paranormal/urban fantasy series, The Forged. First book in series, Forged by Greed, was published on September 20, 2012. There are two anthologies of short stories, serving as the prequels to the series. First of them, Forged by Magic: Origins was published on May 31st, 2013. The second anthology, Forged by Legacy: Beginnings, will be out on July 10, 2013. Next three full size novels, including Forged by Coalescence, will be released in 2013 and 2014.

Angela is passionate about watercolor painting, fashion—especially stilettos, rock climbing, environment, and organic food and gardening. She lives in the Seattle area with her family and a chronically curious cat.
Angela can be found on her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Stay in touch by signing for Angela’s newsletter HERE.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

IWSG: BuNo and NaNo Mistakes

Happy Almost-Independence Day, everyone! I hope you have a fun but safe weekend planned.

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. The first Wednesday of every month we post about our writer's trials and tribulations - and successes, too! Want to join? Go over to the host blog, Alex J. Cavanaugh's, HERE.

Have you ever screwed up a WiP so badly that you just wanted to scrap it and start over? That's where I'm at with A Guilty Ghost Surprised.

Here's where it all went wrong...

I did BuNoWriMo (same as NaNo, only in June) last year. I used an outline (I always need an outline - I'm not the least bit pantser oriented). But apparently, the outline wasn't detailed enough, because I finished the manuscript / items on the outline before I reached 50,000 words (it was more like 40K). So I did the only logical thing I could think of at the time - started writing extra scenes to make word count. Then I did what I thought was the next logical thing - I entered those scenes (5, 6, 7, 8?) into the manuscript where I thought they should go.

No problem, right?


Because now I have wacky things, like:

1)  Indigo explaining a cut on her face before she got the cut.
2)  The name of the ghost dog is used liberally before the name is even revealed.
3)  The mystery is solved in the middle of the book, while the investigation continues afterwards.

And trust me, it's some crappy-ass writing!!! A lot of telling when I should have been showing.  I'm feeling like a total amateur, LOL! It's completely my fault, of course. I wasn't thinking about how out of order it could get or how much rewriting would be involved. Little did I know that rush of satisfaction at the completion of BuNoWriMo was about to bite me in the butt and take a out a big chunk!

So now, I'm going through and writing a synopsis of each chapter (yeah, chapter numbers are not right, either) so I know where things are at and where they should be, and where transitions are needed and where I need to move the investigating chapters forward and the resolution chapters back.


So yeah, I've written and published a book. But I still have a lot to learn. And I will definitely chalk this one up to inexperience and a lesson learned.

Has this ever happened to you? How did you fix it?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fun Monday: Dorothy vs Alice

Today is Lazy Fun Monday!
This comic with Dorothy and Alice commiserating about their lives not only gave me a good laugh, but it got me to thinking. The authors really put their characters through the ringer! When making comparisons between the two, I noticed sort of a formulaic similarity.
They're both being chased by a wicked persona. They both meet strange, but interesting characters. Both meet talking animals and go on an adventure. Bizarre things happen to them. You're never really certain if they're dreaming or if these things are really happening. They both escape and finally get to go home. Check it out...
Wicked Witch after her
Talking Lion
Talking Tin Man
Talking Scarecrow
Flying Monkeys
Horse of a different color
Had apples thrown at her by a tree
Oz the Great scared the crap out of her
She killed 2 witches
Wicked Queen of Hearts after her
Smoking, Singing Caterpillar (a,e,i,o,uuuu!)
Cheshire Cat
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
Card Soldiers
Talking Rabbit
Mad Hatter
Shrunk, then grew out of proportion
Fell down a rabbit hole
Almost drowned in her own tears
I was just thinking that maybe the stuff I think up isn't so off-the-wall after all.  
What do you think?
Who saw the weirdest shtuff, Dorothy or Alice?
Do you use formulas in your writing?