Sunday, February 18, 2018

Life




Sometimes life gets in the way of everything. Know what I mean? You stay so busy with work and shuttling the kids back and forth that everything else seems to fade away. 

It happens to me on a regular basis, especially with blogging.

Sorry.

I'm going to take a minute to catch you up on things happening in my world. 

My youngest nerdling gets her braces off today!! Yay! I know she's excited. So am I. This is a big moment for my eleven-year-old.



I had to say goodbye to my sweet Belle-dog just a few days ago. She was fifteen and had lived a good life. It's hard to let your fur babies go when it's time for them to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, but I know she's not suffering any more.

I have a short story that will be included in the Crazy Fools Anthology! I'm thrilled to be included with such talented authors. The blurb, book cover, and preorder link are below.


“We’re all mad here.”

- Cheshire Cat - ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Crazy Fools: A Crazy Ink Anthology

It takes all kinds of crazy to make the world spin and keep people interesting. The line between sanity and insanity can be threaded with the thinnest strings. Sometimes, walking that edge takes stepping into the madness…

Six authors, six stories with varying degrees of insanity and one common theme – exploring the crazy condition called life. 
What makes your head spin? Where is your line? What’s the difference between madness and sanity? How far would you be willing to travel into madness to feel again?

With something for everyone, Crazy Fools will toss you into the delicious mayhem it sometimes takes to feel alive… 



Also, just in case you didn't know . . . I have three short stories you can read for free on Wattpad



Those Who Wait is a Christmas story of less than a thousand words. 



When You Know is a short story about Marion, Hope's best friend from Red Hot Reunion



Love Me Again is a sweet second-chance short story that will always be exclusive to Wattpad.


(Don't forget to follow me--signing up for a Wattpad account is free--and vote and comment!)

I know that's a lot to throw at you at once. I promise to do better next time.








Thursday, January 18, 2018

My 2018 Word of the Year



This is my first blog post of 2018, and it only seems fitting that it's about the word I've chosen to be my Word of the Year.

This is the first time I've chosen a word of the year. I had never heard of doing so until a few days ago, when prolific author and blogger Charlotte Rains Dixon made her own blog post about it. After reading her post, and the reason for choosing a word of the year, I decided to give it a try.

The word I chose is: COURAGE.



I hope I can live up to the word. I chose it for several reasons. Sometimes, as a writer, I lack courage to reach out and try harder for the things I want. Sometimes, as a person, I lack courage to speak up and say no when something bothers me, or to ask for help if I need it. So . . . 

I want the courage to make 2018 a year I can look back on with pride.
I want the courage to meet, if not exceed, my personal goals this year.
I want the courage to reach out to others and ask for help if I need it.
I want the courage to say no to things and people that harm me.
I want courage. I will find courage. 

This is my promise to myself. 

What is your word of the year for 2018?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Author Spotlight: Marissa Danielle

Marissa and I are both members of Wattpad and the same author group on Slack. She's an amazing person, a talented author, and a future star in the literary world.



Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written? Do you set your stories in the area you live in?

I am from Texas. I write a variety of book but they are mainly of the romance genre. I have written about eight books so far. At times I do use the areas around me to use in a book but also make up towns as well.

Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?

I have a large collection of books, ranging from horror, mystery, romance and various mangas. Mainly anything that captures my interests I will add it to my shelves. I’m open to a lot of new stories and books, just as much I am with older ones.  

Let’s play a quick game of “This or That”.
Real books or e-books? Real books.
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Sweet or savory? Sweet.
Dogs or cats? Both.
Summer or winter? Winter, definitely.
Morning or night? Night.

Would you mind telling us about your writing style? Such as: Do have a routine? Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late nite writing?

Sure, I don’t really have a routine but I always have plenty of pens within reach when I’m working. There are times where I do like to write in silence but most of the time I do write to music. Mainly, I write at night when my ideas seem to be flowing more and I am more awake.

Do you have a favorite “writing” snack?

I do and it mainly consists of candy, chips and Sprite. So I guess you could say snacks really.

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?

The last one has always been the hardest because it’s when you are truly ending that story or book.

What is your biggest distraction while writing?

Pinterest

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Write even when you don’t feel like it. Keep writing and by the time you realize it, you would have written a story.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Your first draft is the worst your story is going to be so don’t dwell on the imperfections, work and mold it to what you have envisioned it to be. It will all come together in the end.

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?

I have been working on my series ‘Out of This World’ for science fiction genre and that will be my main focus in the next couple months.

Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.

Twitter : @hiddenheart_18
Facebook: @AuthorMarissaDanielle
Instagram: @hiddenheartprincess
Ask.fm: @AuthorMarissaDanielle
Wattpad: @hiddenheartprincess



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Author Spotlight: Holly Sparks

I met Holly on Wattpad and quickly became a fan of her writing. Our online meeting progressed into friendship, and I'm pleased to feature her and her books today. Keep reading to see her books and my reviews of them.


Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written? Do you set your stories in the area you live in? 

  • Hi! I’m Holly. I’m the author of The Enrule Series and currently a student at University studying Creative Writing. I’m from the United Kingdom and apparently I have a British accent but I can’t hear it myself. Ha! I don’t think a lot of us can hear our own accents. 
  • I’ve written two books currently and I’m taking a break from my series and working on a fantasy retelling as we speak.
Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?

  • I am such a passionate reader that it breaks my heart at the moment, as I’m so clogged up with essays and deadlines with my student life, that I haven’t had a chance to read anything. I’ve been reading the same book for about two months now. It sucks.
  • My favourite genre is typically fantasy/dystopian and I do like he occasional horror and contemporary.
  • My favourite book is WITHOUT A DOUBT ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J. Maas. I’m so excited as I’m going to see her on stage in two weeks! I’m a total fangirl.

Let’s play a quick game of “This or That”.  Real books or e-books?  Coffee or tea? Sweet or savory? Dogs or cats? Summer or winter? 
Morning or night?

  • REAL BOOKS! Definitely! I love the smell, the feel and I love looking at my bookshelves! 
  • Tea. I loooove tea. I hate coffee…however, I adore coffee cake. I know…I’m a total weirdo.
  • SWEEEET! Total chocolate addict over here.
  • Dogs are the cutest thing in the entire world.
  • Summer girl here.
  • Morning… I love mornings. There is so much the day can bring. I’m scared of the dark so I hate nights.
Would you mind telling us about your writing style? Such as: Do have a routine? Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late nite writing?

  • Well, I love to plan out time to write and organise myself. I haven’t had a chance to write anything new for a while being a student but when that summer holiday comes I’ll be writing every day—morning through to night until that first draft is DONE. I’m more of an early morning writer and I like to have silence as I can’t seem to concentrate otherwise. That’s very difficult to get seeing as my sister does not stop gossiping. 
Do you have a favorite “writing” snack?

  • Anything covered in chocolate and lots of tea.

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?

  • The last one. I ADORE first sentences. They are the first selling point of the book.

What is your biggest distraction while writing?

  • My family tend to disrupt me quite a bit and I always get distracted with food. I’m a foodie, what can I say?

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

  • The first draft is always AWFUL. Ha! Never forget that one.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

  • Keep at it. Read. Write. Read. Write. The better reader you are, the better writer.

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?

  • I’m currently writing a fantasy novel based on a Cinderella retelling but with a HUGE twist that you may not even recognise the fairy tale within.
Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.







  • Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/hollgal123 
  • From Amazon: I remember waking to the scream. I remember calling my sister's name. I remember seeing the blood smeared along the staircase. I remember the creature's green eyes. They say there's a cure. They say there's a way to stop this madness, a way to stop the hunger. I think they're lying. My name is Ella, and this is my story. In this exhilarating debut, Holly Sparks presents a horrifying post-apocalyptic world, a remarkable heroine, and an unforgettable adventure.

  • My Review: (5 stars) Holly Sparks is a new author to keep your eye on. I don't often read books with this concept. With that being said, I have to tell you that I fell in love with Enrule. Sparks has created a world that the main character, Ella, must navigate carefully in order to survive. Ella is strong and determined, the supporting characters are well-written, and the description sucks you right it. The writing flows smoothly, and there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. I'm so impressed with Book 1 that I'm actively wishing for Book 2.

  • From Amazon: ‘She sits back on her throne, picking the flesh off the bones that surround her, grinning like the demon she is.’ I am a murderer. I am a monster. We trudge on for hours. The orange glow of the sun at its highest point fills us with warmth, protecting us from the harsh chilly night. It rises into the sky as I watch the beautiful scene play out, as if the world is worth living in, as if the sun is telling us to keep on fighting. Just when things seem to be going according to plan, an odd smell fills the air. A familiar smell. The rotting breeze travels with the wind, wrapping around my senses. I grab my sword and look around slowly. My breathing becomes hauntingly ragged as I clench my hands into fists. Crimson stained eyes. Mangled skin. A roar of starvation. Zombies.

  • My Review: (5 stars) This is a fantastic follow-up to Enrule. I'm blown away by the imagery and action in this book. Sparks knows how to engage your emotions from the first page. This is an author to watch, and I'll be reading her future books.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Author Spotlight: Alana Greig


Today's featured author is Alana Greig. I first met Alana when we were connected to the same publishing house. I'm happy to say we became friends and I'm glad she's answering some questions for us.


Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written? Do you set your stories in the area you live in? 

Thank you so much for inviting me to take part in this interview. I am originally from London. I moved to Bristol when I was 11 and stayed there until I was 22. Then It was a 9 year stint in North East Scotland and now I ma back on the west coast in a town called Weston Super Mare.
I mostly write books that have a fantasy element. Recently I have been trying my had at new genres such as paranormal romantic comedy and horror.
I have three books out, come October 31st;   with other ongoing projects in the works.
Usually no I don’t set my books in real places as I am not all that good at directions or geography haha. Having said that one of my upcoming titles is set in the town that I know live in. only briefly though.

Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?

I love to read, it is my first love. Recently I have not had a lot of time to do so. I am hoping to change that in the coming weeks. I really enjoy horror. I like a book to get me thinking but not be so complex that I feel there will be test questions at the end. I also enjoy paranormal romance from time to time and books that have an element of truth to them. I am not very good at setting my books in the real world so reading ones that are is a bit of an adventure. 
My favorite book. That is like asking me to pick my favorite child. There are so many authors that write the most amazing books. 1984 is in the top 10 for sure as is the Dairy of a Serial Killer but Erin Lee and forever and always by Beverly Hollowed. Anything by Shani Struthers as well she writes amazing paranormal horror.

Let’s play a quick game of “This or That”. 
Real books or e-books? Hard one love real books because they are wonderful to hold and smell. But due to my dyslexia reading a paper book is not always easy. My kindle I love it is small and fits in my coat pocket. But it is cold and needs charging. So I guess kindle for ease but paper books are my true love.
Coffee or tea? I only drink herbal teas.
Sweet or savory? Savory every time.
Dogs or cats? Both I have two cats Milo and Ralph but I loves dogs as well. I even had a parrot.
Summer or winter? I guess out of those two winter. I like spring best. I hate being hot. 

Would you mind telling us about your writing style? Such as: Do have a routine? Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late nite writing?

This horrified my editor, I don’t have a routine I never plot my books either. Authors everywhere are cussing me editor too haha.  My writing style has chanced a lot since my first book. I cant really tell you what it is. I write however the book comes to me.  Music is an interesting one. When I was writing the start of PULSE which is the book that follows on from my first novel The Aurora Stone I had upbeat music on because the lead works in a nightclub. Other titles I have to have either classical instrumental’s or silence. One of my tricks is to sit with my headphones on with nothing playing. They shut me off from household sounds and that helps me to concentrate. I am not a morning person at all. I write best from lunch time onwards. It is not unusual to find me typing away at 1am.

Do you have a favorite “writing” snack?

I try not to eat at my laptop, It makes a mess and then I have to go wash my hands. I am OCD about hand washing and I hate a messy keyboard. Usually I just have my cup of tea on my left and I am set.

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?

The last. I am always unsure of how to conclude a story; and quite often change the ending a few times. My newest book was the first one that I wrote start to finish and changed very little. The ending is the same now as it was in the first draft. But that is rare for me.

What is your biggest distraction while writing?

Social media and teaser making. I really need to turn off my WIFI when I ma writing.  With all my friends living in America it is not an easy thing to do. This is one of the reasons I wish I was a morning person as they are all asleep then.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Write what you want to write and be your only competition.  So many authors it seems are so busy trying to be better than their peers that they forget that every book they release, every review and every sale is a success. I try very hard to only worry about what my spread sheet says and how my writing is developing and hopefully improving.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Do not be afraid to fail. There is no failing in this business there is only room for improvement. Get a good editor and proof reader if you are self-publishing. If you are looking for a publisher check them out first and never sign anything until all your questions have been answered. Most importantly enjoy what you are doing. Writing is a great form of expression and you are now the master of the worlds you create. Lastly never delete. Save it in a new file you never know when that paragraph might be just what you need in another title.

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?

My newest title Love you in Pieces is something very different from my other works. ~I think for my readers it will be quite a change. In the coming months I hope to have short stories in three anthologies and another two next year. I am also writing my first Horror which will be out  by summer 2018 and finally the last two installments of my co-written Reality series will be released early 2018. So there is a lot happening and I hope that with each title my writing improves and I can deliver on the new genre. Its exciting and extremely daunting.



Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.

I am a fair few places so here are my links 
TWITTER @AlanaGreig84

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Author Spotlight: Autumn Breeze

I first met Autumn on a Nanowrimo message board. We discovered we shared a love of writing and root beer, just happened to live in the same town, and quickly became close friends. I'm thrilled to introduce you to her and her work.

Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written? Do you set your stories in the area you live in? 

According to my mother, I was born in a hospital and wasn’t raised in a barn—which is debatable—in Northern Tennessee, just a little bit outside of Nashville, so close to the Fort Campbell Air Base we could watch the paratroopers training. Now, I reside in Mississippi with my husband, son and our beast of a dog—Bristol. 
Mostly, I write the kinda of books I hope people want to read but more often than not, I write novels of the romantic variety with a little fantasy thrown in here and there. Currently, I have three novels—Loving Anna, Grim Life, and After The I Do—on the market but you can find more of my unedited, rough drafts on my Wattpad account.  

Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?

Since I was a little girl, I have had a torrid love affair with books. Some of my favorite authors are Tessa Dare, Sara Maclean, Eloisa James, Elizabeth Rolls, and Lynsay Sands, which, if you are familiar with any of those authors, exposes me for the Regency era romance reader I am.
In truth though, since I was about thirteen, my favorite book has House Of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. 

Let’s play a quick game of “This or That”. Real books or e-books? Coffee or tea? Sweet or savory? Dogs or cats? Summer or winter? Morning or night?

Real Book : the smell of old paper; really who can pass that up?
Both : so long as neither are black—like my soul.
Savory : but also, really . . . food.
Dogs : I had a cat once; he was my husband’s archenemies. 
Winter : let it snow; let it snow. 
Night : preferably after the Demon Seed is abed. 

Would you mind telling us about your writing style? Such as: Do have a routine? Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late nite writing?

You mean . . . people have a writing style? I usually spend a couple hours moaning and groaning about all the work I need to be doing but am not doing to anyone who will listen before pulling out my notebook, turning on Pandora and trying to make the word vomit happen before the husband, the child, or the dog need my attentions. 
Most often, the word vomit happens after eight o’clock Tuesday through Thursday after I have taken my Demon Seed to school and let Bristol, Destroyer of Furniture, out to potty or somewhere around midnight when I am high on caffeine and unrealistic dreams. 
Coincidentally, it is a Tuesday and 8:30 A.M. 

Do you have a favorite “writing” snack?

I might be making a wild assumption here but I’m assuming my finger nails don’t count so . . . I suppose, not really. I can’t eat and type because than my key board becomes a minefield of crumbs that I could very well be tempted to Hoover away with my mouth once I get three chapters deep into a project. 

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?

In my opinion, or maybe the proper term is experience, the first sentence is always the hardest to write. 

“Heinrich,” cried he, “the first step is always the hardest, as the Devil said when he began to carry millstones, but—” In the Year '13: A Tale of Mecklenburg 

What is your biggest distraction while writing?

Besides the husband, the Demon Seed, and the Destroyer of Furniture, I would say the internet is my biggest distraction. I go from looking up a necessary fact for whatever project I am engaged in to learning that female Kangaroos have three vaginas, male Kangaroos have two penises and there are more Kangaroos in Australia than people. 
Plus, they can unhinge their jaw as if looking like a bunny on steroids wasn’t scary enough. 

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Stop bitching; write. —by probably my mother but could also be my good friend Ashley C.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Run; run away and never return, but, if you’re determined to stay and lose your soul, my best advice is don’t give up. There are going to be some really hard days. You’re going to feel like crap, like you’re wasting your time, like the solution is to quit but push forward, keep going, write another word, another sentence, another paragraph, another page, another chapter, another book. One day, you’ll still have some really hard days, you’ll still feel like crap, like you're wasting your time, like the solution is to quit, but you’ll have pushed forward. 
Hopefully by than, it will have paid off or you’ll have gone to far to give up. 

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?

Right now, I am in-between projects as I take a break and enjoy the aftermath of publishing my third novel, book one in the Meeting At The Fault Line series After The I Do. 
Once I begin to work again, the possibilities are endless. I may work on book two in the Meeting At The Fault Line series, Before The I Do, which will not be available on my Wattpad account at any point unlike book three, a spin off from book one and two, Results May Vary. 

Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.