Guest posts

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Guest post by Keira Michelle Telford - author of a dystopian lesbian romance.

KM Telford headshot.jpgMagistrate 12 ecover.jpgTitle: The Magistrate
Author: Keira Michelle Telford
Genre: Dystopian SF / Lesbian Romance

Poverty is rife in twenty-fourth century London, England. Crime rates are at an all-time high, and living conditions for many are bleak. Capital punishment and public hangings have been reinstated, and Magistrates, in their new role, are tasked with patrolling the streets to enforce arrest warrants and ‘terminate’ any civilians who attempt to evade justice -- which isn’t always a noble pursuit.

The laws are strict, illiberal, and unsympathetic. If you can’t afford to feed and clothe yourself, you’ll be sent to the workhouse. If you fall behind on your rent, you’ll be sent to debtors’ prison. If you’re gay, you’ll be hanged.
For Carmen Wild, the latter becomes a potentially deadly problem when the discovery of a murdered prostitute brings her back into the life of her first love -- the Madam of an East End cathouse -- and the illicit passions between them are swiftly reignited.Michelle Telford is the award winning author of a series of post-apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction books, The SILVER Series, featuring the character Ella ‘Silver’ Cross, and now also The Prisonworld Trilogy – a dystopian lesbian romance. She’s a British ex-pat, now living in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and 10 guinea pigs.

Yes, 10 guinea pigs :)

Fun fact: Her pet guinea pigs (all adopted from animal rescue shelters) were the inspiration for the monsters in The SILVER Series, the first one of which, SILVER: Acheron (A River of Pain), was released in November 2011.
Amazon Author Page:

Outline In Pencil, Eraser To Hand

I never used to outline anything. Quite often, I’d start writing a book and be 20,000 words in before I had even the slightest clue where I was going with it. If I got to 30,000 words without developing some kind of solid idea, I’d start to get a little bit nervous.

When I confided this to someone not that long ago, they looked at me as if I was Frankenstein’s monster. They wondered why it didn’t frighten me to leap into something with no destination in mind, and no clear path to get there, and flat-out couldn’t fathom how I managed to pull a well-paced book together after having drifted aimlessly through the first 20%.

But the thing is, it never feels aimless. I always sort of trust that my brain knows what it’s doing, and I just follow it blindly. I might not consciously have any design, but that doesn’t mean my subconscious isn’t completely in control of what’s going on. (At least, I hope it is. And I’m not necessarily talking a consecutive 20,000 words, either. Sometimes, I might start at the beginning. Other times, I write random scenes that leap into my head and have no relation to one another whatsoever).

I’ve also started writing chapters backwards, which is most odd. Finding myself stuck at the beginning of a chapter, I’ll start at the tail end of it and piece it together in reverse order. That doesn’t feel at all logical, but somehow, it seems to work. I don’t question it. I just let it happen.

The Magistrate was one of the few books I almost plotted out completely, but the book I ended up with scarcely resembles the original plan at all. For example, the relationship between Carmen and Lina—the entire focal point of The Magistrate—wasn’t in my original outline. The first love story arc was completely different, but as soon as I started writing, I knew it didn’t feel right. After I wrote the first scene with Lina, I knew she was the one Carmen was meant to be with. (I also fell a bit in love with her myself, but that’s a confession for another day).

I almost did the same in my current work-in-progress—SILVER: Lex Talionis—as well. I plotted it out from beginning to end (which is very unusual for me, and moderately disconcerting), but I had to rework the entire ending. Again, my love story arc felt inauthentic and forced, and the trajectory I ended up taking was drastically different from the way I’d first imagined it.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that outlining can be a great way to organize the cluttered thoughts inside your head, but if you’re not willing to be flexible and go with the flow as you write, I think the danger is that you’ll end up with something strained and disjointed—you have to do what feels right. I’m not saying all writers should just completely wing it (jumping in with no organization at all can feel like freefalling from a plane without a parachute), but don’t carve write, I think the danger is that you’ll end up with something strained and disjointed—you have to do what feels right. I’m not saying all writers should just completely wing it (jumping in with no organization at all can feel like freefalling from a plane without a parachute), but don’t carve your plots out in stone. Outline in pencil, and always keep an eraser handy.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I'm back....

For a while now I've thought that my writing days were over.  I felt quite heartbroken about that, but my life stage, family demands, a busy career, my mother's death, and getting totally stuck on my Cleah sequel pretty well did me in. I gave myself some thin comfort through the writing I do on my blogs, but I was really living win a hollow place.

Well, yesterday morning, I was driving to work, and without forethought or warning, the entire book for a sequel to the Shay James mysteries downloaded into my brain. I had the plot, the characters, some of their important lines, the was all there as if I had always known it. Very weird. Of course, this came to me at a time when I am overloaded, already getting up at 5 a.m. to get my tasks done for the day, but I can write when a client does a last minute cancel, or if I travel I can write in an airport....the time will open up for me, I know that.

So, now I am energized and I feel quite jubilant. I am also energized to start promoting other writers again so will renew author guest posts next week.

I'm looking forward to being back, to connecting and re-connecting with you all.

Writing is a funny thing, eh.

Have your best day possible.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest post - by author Jeannette Pekala YA paranormal

Author: Jeanette Pekala
Genre: YA Paranormal

CULTURE SHOCK is a witty tale of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.
Macy Holmes is a seventeen-year-old socially-isolated introvert since her best friend’s death a year ago. When her family decides to move from Manhattan to the quaint country town of Bougainvillea, Florida, Macy finds she’s in a completely different world. Macy is no longer the outsider hiding behind designer clothes when she is sought out by three strange students, one of whom she is particularly interested in. The more time she spends with Chad the more things don’t add up. When his true identity is finally revealed, Macy is pulled into a supernatural society with its saturation of inhabitants residing in Bougainvillea.
You would think she has enough on her plate, but no, then her dreams become infiltrated by an external magical force, Macy and her band of supernatural misfits must find the culprit behind the magic-induced nightmares. They must dodge zombie assassins, shifty shape-shifters and high school bullies in order to stop this perpetrator before Macy, her friends or her parents pay the ultimate price. Especially when Macy has the sneaking suspicion that these dreams are reality...
Photography Fuels Creative Juices
My photographer friend and I found babysitters for the day, so the moment we shut the front door of her house, we turned to each and laughed. Freedom! We ran to my truck and hopped in. She, with her camera in hand and me, with my notebook. A writer and a photographer on a journey for inspiration. We had a plan in mind; we were going to Cedar Key, the setting of Shock Wave, the second book in the CultureShock Series.
I’ve been to Cedar Key a few times, but I couldn’t quite describe it as thoroughly to give the reader a pure visual of what the island town is like. Even internet searches turned up nil. I needed to go to Cedar Key. Period.
Once we arrived in Cedar Key, we found the main hub in town and pranced around snapping pictures. I opened my notebook and sat there on the pier while writing. The sea air, the birds, the people, the old historic buildings built from shells, and the salt-washed wooden structures basked me in a frame of mind that was inconceivable from an internet search or memory of vacations passed.
That day we traveled through the old graveyard, the bustling main street, passed historic beach homes, the ancient shell mound, and observed the people who call the island their home. The pictures we took that day have inspired me long after the trip ended. Just last weekend I was struggling on a scene, trying to make it more realistic and see how the locals would react to a certain scenario. I flipped through the pictures taken that day and it helped to immerse me in the culture of Cedar Key and become one of the locals in order to give the reaction I was looking for. Photography has helped me “see” things from a new perspective which is an invaluable asset to a writer.

Author bio
My name is Jeanette Pekala and I write urban fantasy for young adults. After getting my degree in Sociology from the University of Florida, I became a stay-at-home mom of two and started re-evaluating my life. What do I want to do? Yes, I was thinking about that in college. And no, I had not come up with an answer. So staying at home raising my children while my husband was deployed overseas was what I did. On a lonely night with nothing to do and a striking concept for a book, I figured I would give writing a shot.
    Turns out I have a knack for it. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I wrote my first novel Culture Shock in three months. I was inspired by the country setting in which I live and that's why I based the setting of my first book in gorgeous north central Florida. Oh, and did I mention the wicked nightmare that led to the concept for the book?
    Though the Culture Shock series is based on a real setting, the actual town of Bougainvillea, FL is fictious. There is virtually nothing but "nature" along the highway between the towns of Micanopy and McIntosh so that has become the home of Bougainvillea.
    The characters are witty and one of a kind.
 Make sure to check out the character profiles and the town's profile.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Guest post by Nicole MacDonald author of the Birthright Trilogy

Author BioImage of Nicole MacDonald

Nicole MacDonald is a thirty something year old Kiwi who loves to read and moonlights as a novelist. From a young age she fantasized about being the heroine in the books and/or movies she watched and credits the series ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ for really inspiring her. Writing only occurred to her a few years ago after reading an abysmal tale with silly useless females where upon she decided to write a tale solely for herself where the girls got to kick butt without the usual sob story—betrayed/abused/abandoned etc. That little tale eventuated into the BirthRight Trilogy.
Nicole’s current daydream is that Joss Whedon (aka the genius of film) will discover the BirthRight Trilogy and demand the film rights to it. Until then, she’s working on several other writing projects and aiming to explore the world with her partner.

A whole new world

Writing fantasy is both a blessing and a curse. A whole new world is yours for the creating, but, if you don’t plan it carefully and abide by your own rules, you can turn it from fantasy to pure nonsense. Having now completed a trilogy of fantasy novels I’ve experienced researching like I never would have fathomed prior to it. For example;
-                      How far can a griffon fly in a day? Or an hour? What is ‘top’ griffon speed.
-                      How would syrens work, and why? Because as silly as it might seem debating a mythical creature, to make it believable in a tale it has to seem logical…
-                      Why do dragons breathe fire? And would they all?
-                      If you have dragons and griffons, what would they eat? Surely a cow wouldn’t be big enough.
-                      How long would an ‘average’ human live?
-                      What colour are the oceans, and why?
-                      Is there magick on this world, and how does it work?
Creating another world, with believable creatures and characters, all in a completely foreign setting requires some meticulous note taking (well, that or flicking back and forth between your drafts *grin*) and an absolute dedication to make it read as logical as possible. It can create some writer’s block like you’ve never experienced but at the same time the sense of freedom, and adventure, in being the first to pioneer your ‘ne world’ makes it all worth it.


The first book, The Arrival, is FREE everywhere.
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Friday, February 8, 2013

Book promo for Trinity by Clare Davidson



Title: Trinity
Author: Clare Davidson
Genre: YA Fantasy
‘Trinity’, released July 2012, is Clare Davidson’s debut novel. It is an epic fantasy, targeted at young adult readers, with strong crossover appeal into the adult market.
Kiana longs to walk through a forest and feel grass between her toes. But she is the living embodiment of a goddess and has enemies who wish to murder her. Her death will curse the whole of Gettryne. Locked away for protection, she dreams of freedom.
Her wish comes true in the worst possible way, when her home and defenders are destroyed.
Along with an inexperienced guard and a hunted outcast, Kiana flees the ravages of battle to search for a solution to the madness that has gripped Gettryne for a thousand years. Pursued by the vicious and unrelenting Wolves, their journey will take them far beyond their limits, to a secret that will shake the world.

Author Bio

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fibre craft hobbies.
Purchase Trinity:
Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK
eBook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Smashwords | Sony | iTunes | Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest post by KH Lemoyne for her book Destiny's Choice

Cover for 'Destiny's Mark'

K.H. LeMoyne has been writing romance ever since someone told her that she had to grow up and get a real job. Then she switched to writing romantic fantasy to keep real life from getting in the way of a good story. The love of things mystical and magical keeps her writing, with characters who fight for never-ending love against insurmountable odds. Well, that and occasionally she gets to write about elves and dragons … but that’s a different story.

Published by Digital Crystal Press

The difference between fate and destiny is choice. 

Tsu Halan, Guardian defense master, has honed his skills and waited patiently over the centuries for the covenant’s promise of a mate to share his soul and a family to cherish. Close enough to taste fulfillment, the dark echoes of the past threaten with danger and death.

Jai Dashkov harbors her own painful secrets of harsh betrayal and tender loss. Her desperate search to reclaim her life doesn’t allow room in her heart to deviate for love.
Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

Brenda, thank you for hosting my on your blog today!

The main character in Destiny’s Mark, Tsu Halan, is the defense master for the remaining members of the Guardian race. Some readers might think there is a correlation between him and the more famous Sun Tzu of eastern battle strategy and philosophy fame. Well, yes and no. Tsu does share a geographic past with the renowned originator of the Art of War. He shares a deep commitment to logic and philosophy as well. However, the approaches of these two men differ quite a bit. I thought I’d share something that I ran across during my research for the Guardian series. I hope you and your readers enjoy.


Interesting Research Tidbits

I read and research a lot of mythologies, fables, and religious principles looking for items to pepper my stories or morph for fun. I'm no expert on any of these subjects, but I am a lover of taking tidbits and daydreaming about ‘what if.' Out of this process, I created the Guardians' world, the rules that govern them, their individual powers, their homelands, and many of their difficulties.

Each book in the series focuses on a different Guardian from Eden’s Sanctum: their struggle to win the hearts and respect of their mates, their battle against the evil intent on destroying them, and their effort to realign the Guardian covenant to provide protection for mankind’s evolution. They represent different geographic regions of the world and so I read through a lot of information, and search through too many name databases to mention. Cool, but a huge stack of info. This is the reason I print most of my research and keep huge binders with lots of Post-it tabs.

Sound pretty dry? Not really. I run across wonderful information – most of which I’ll never use in the story, but no information is wasted on the imagination.

Here’s an example. The main character in Destiny’s Mark is Tsu. He is the Guardian weapons and defense master, and he and his sister Quan originated a few hundred years ago from an eastern province of China.

My Tsu loosely shares a name and some traits with Sun Tzu, from the Art of War fame. While the book, The Art of War, is a tangible item, there is mixed conjecture as to whether the Chinese general, Sun Tzu actually existed.

That said there are some fun mythologies and stories about the man.

One being that King Ho-Lu tested Sun Tzu’s skills by ordering him to train the king’s harem as soldiers. Hmm, you can see this problem coming miles away. As the story goes, two of the King’s favorite concubines were positioned in command of the remaining hundreds of concubines. Ordered to perform their maneuvers, the concubines…giggled. To be fair, Sun Tzu gave them a second chance. The giggling repeated. Tzu had the two favorite concubines executed, beheaded. His resolve and judgment was tied to the idea that “If the instructions are not clear, if the orders are not obeyed, it is the fault of the general. But if the instructions are clear and the soldiers still do not obey, it is the fault of the officers.” The two women were replaced with a clear message sent to the troops and needless to say, further training efforts went smoothly.

That character profile didn’t fit with my Guardian Tsu character, but I loved the trivia and the notation remains in my series notebook – never know when you might be able to use, reuse, or twist some detail.