Guest posts

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.
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