Friday, June 19, 2015

Celebrate The Small Things - 19 June #CTST

It's Friday and time to Celebrate The Small Things (or big things) that happened this week.

Received a couple 5-star reviews this week. WooHoo! Reviews are always pleasant surprises, especially if they are from someone you don't know.

Still slogging away at the novel. Even with an outline, details of the plot are changing as I go, which requires keeping notes for later revisions or making changes in earlier chapters now to keep it all in sync. I'm thinking about offering my email list subscribers a chance to beta read. How early in the writing is too early to beta read? Should I wait until the first draft is completed?

Keep writing and keep hoping. What are you celebrating this week?

Want to join in the fun that is Celebrate The Small Things, sign up here. Thanks to the very talented Lexa Cain for hosting this hop.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Post #12

It's the first Wednesday of the month again. Time for another IWSG post.

Been working on a novel lately. It was supposed to have been a short story but I quickly realized there was way too much story to cram into a short form. I have a detailed outline, which I'm modifying and adding a few scenes as I work through it. My challenge? I can't hold the whole story in my head all at once. I could do that with shorter works. I guess that's why I didn't need much of a written outline before. With this project, I have to consult the outline frequently so I can remember to make connections with previous chapters and upcoming chapters. Has anybody else experienced this when moving from short forms to long forms?

If you're a fantasy/scifi writer or reader, consider signing up for BookBreeze. You'll receive a weekly email with a free fantasy/scifi title along with links to other works of interest from the author. This isn't one of those pricey email blast promotions. I signed up as an author member a couple weeks ago. I can't say what the results are yet but I'm hoping to find some new readers. If you're interested in the author membership benefits, click here.

Until next month, keep writing.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cover Reveal: A Wish Made of Glass

Today is the cover reveal for Ashlee Willis’s fairy tale novella A Wish Made of Glass. Ashlee appeared on the blog in August to talk about her fantasy novel The Word Changers. You can find the interview here.

What is A Wish Made of Glass about? Here’s the blurb:
Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

Ashlee expects A Wish Made of Glass to be available this summer.

Ashlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy forest rambles, photography, and playing the piano.

You can find out more about Ashlee at these links:


Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Release: Blood and Beauty and Other Weird Tales

Blood and Beauty and Other Weird Tales is currently available for pre-order. The release date is May 21. The six short stories collected here are on the darker side of fantasy and weirdness. If you're a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Greek mythology, or biblical-inspired fantasy, you might find something interesting here.

"Blood and Beauty" tells the tragic love story of a satyr and a dryad.

"Sutter’s Well" records the weird encounter between two boys and a Lovecraftian monster in Appalachia.

"Morphine and Chocolate" draws inspiration from the medieval poem Pearl as it follows a father's search for his missing daughter from one weird landscape to another.

"The Facts in the Case of M. Hussman" takes inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and records the horrific consequences of artificially extending life in a steampunk world.

"Shafts to Hell" returns to the Old West and takes the reader inside the mind of an insane miner.

"Good King David" combines the tales of Hamlet and Absalom in a Biblical fantasy world.

Store Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Friday, May 8, 2015

Celebrate The Small Things - 8 May #CTST

It's Friday and time to Celebrate The Small Things (or big things) that happened this week.

On the Altar is finally out (Amazon US). My goal this year is to put out five new titles. So that's one down. I'm almost done proofing Blood and Beauty and Other Weird Tales, a collection of previously published stories that I plan to release next week. That will be two titles done. Now I have to get busy and write the other three.

For my current work in progress I'm trying a new outlining technique that I learned from Libbie Hawker's Take Off Your Pants. I think it will help me avoid getting stuck, which is what usually trips me up. So far the writing is chugging along. Haven't been blogging much lately. Sorry. I've been too busy writing.

Keep writing and keep hoping. What are you celebrating this week?

Want to join in the fun that is Celebrate The Small Things, sign up here. Thanks to the very talented Lexa Cain for hosting this hop.

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Release: On the Altar

Are you enjoying the plethora of posts in the A to Z Challenge? If you haven't already, click over to Untethered Realms to check out the cool book teaser/picture posts that we're doing for A to Z. Find more blogs on the A to Z Challenge site.

On the Altar is finally coming out after a brief delay. The big day is April 28th. On the Altar is currently available for pre-order.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Apple | Kobo | MuseItUp

Friday, April 17, 2015

Good Books to Read

Odd and the Frost GiantsRead anything notable lately? Here's a couple books for fans of Norse mythology and the apocalypse. (Can someone really be a fan of the apocalypse?)

Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman is a charming tale about a young boy who teams up with Thor, Odin, and Loki to save Asgard from the frost giants. Odd's father, a master wood carver, dies while on a raid. An accident leaves Odd lame, forced to hobble about with a crutch. Odd's mother remarries, but no one has time for a crippled boy. One year, when spring is unusually late, Odd leaves home for his father's cabin in the wood and there comes across a strange trio of beasts: a bear, a one-eyed eagle, and a fox. Odd uses his wood chopping skills to save the bear. He later learns that the animals are Thor, Odin, and Loki. A frost giant has captured Asgard, turned the gods into animals, and exiled them. Eternally confident, Odd offers to help.

From the Amazon page:
In this inventive, short, yet perfectly formed novel inspired by traditional Norse mythology, Neil Gaiman takes readers on a wild and magical trip to the land of giants and gods and back.

In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing winter is making villagers dangerously grumpy.

Out in the forest Odd encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle—three creatures with a strange story to tell.

Now Odd is forced on a stranger journey than he had imagined—a journey to save Asgard, city of the gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it.

It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter.

Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever . . .

Someone just like Odd.
Gaiman tells the story of Odd and the Frost Giants with his usual mix of humor and pathos. Odd uses his wits and ingenuity to prove himself a more clever trickster than Loki. Highly recommended to fantasy readers and anyone with an interest in Norse mythology.

The Girl at the End of the World The Girl at the End of the World, by Richard Levesque is a very compelling story of a young girl's struggle to survive and find trust in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Scarlett is an average teenager with an average set of problems until she attends a baseball game with her father and his new wife and kids. A neighboring spectator dies horribly. Fungus-like stalks explode out of his face. The contagion kills within hours and spreads via airborne spores. Scarlett is certain she's going to die and locks herself in her room, hoping to shield her mother and sister from harm. Scarlett's world comes crashing down. Everyone is dying, except Scarlett. By some freak of genetics, she is immune. Scarlett gathers supplies and heads out into a very different world. There must be other survivors she reasons, but can she trust them?

From the Amazon page:
Her fight begins the day the world ends.

Scarlett Fisher is an average California teenager. She likes hanging out with her friends and talking on the phone. She does all right at school, and she's made the best of her parents' divorce. But in one way, she's special: on her fifteenth birthday, a fast-moving plague wipes out everyone she’s ever known, yet somehow it passes her by.

Her family dead, alone in a corpse-strewn metropolis, she has no choice but to survive. She needs food, shelter, a safe place to sleep. She discovers that an ordinary girl is capable of extraordinary things, and that she's more resilient than she imagined. Even so, she wishes more than anything that she could just find another survivor.

Unfortunately for Scarlett, not everyone who survived the plague is looking for companionship. And she’s about to find out just how difficult survival really is.
Levesque paints a terrifying picture of a world gone mad, where life and death survival is a constant concern and the rules of society no longer seem to apply. I don't read many apocalyptic stories so I can't say how this one compares to similar stories, but this compelling tale is hard to put down.