Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Melusine Muse Press now taking submissions for "Walking with Daddy" (letters from fathers to daughters)

Now taking submissions for "Walking with Daddy: A Collection of Letters from Fathers to Daughters"


If you were ripped from this Earth tomorrow, what would you want your daughter to know? What message would you want to leave behind for her? If you knew that you could write her a letter and she would take every word of the letter to heart, what would you write?

Melusine Muse Press is now taking submissions for the "Walking with Daddy" anthology. This anthology is a collection of letters from fathers to their daughters, written in letter format. The title and cover shown above are just a "working title" and a "working cover" and may not be the title and cover used on the finished anthology.

1. Your submissions must be written in a letter format addressed as "To my daughter," "To my daughters," or "Dear Daughter." Tell your daughter what is in your heart. What do you want her to know? What are the things you love about her? What hopes do you have for her?

2. In an anthology like this, I shouldn't have to even say it, but please keep it PG.

3. Letters cannot be less than 500 words and should not go over 2,000 words. 

4. Please follow the formatting guidelines as stated on Melusine Muse Press's page. Go here to read the formatting guidelines.

5. There will be a prize for the BEST letter, as determined by me, of three free print copies of the anthology. Second place will get two print copies of the anthology and third place will get one print copy of the anthology.

6. Author bios must be sent in - around a paragraph each, links may be included, and must be written in 3rd person. These will be included in the book. 


7. Short, one- or two-lines long, dedications may be included with your submission, and will make this book even more special to have on hand for your daughter as she grows.

8. The deadline for submissions is September 15th, 2014, but I would prefer to get submissions in earlier.

9. E-mail submissions as a file attachment to Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net.

10. You may submit individual letters up to the number of daughters you have. You may write one letter that is inclusive for all of your daughters, or, if you have more than one daughter, you may write separate letters for each one and submit them.


11. your daughter doesn't have to be a little girl still. Even if she is all grown up, you can still write her a letter for the anthology.

Anthologies will be made available in both kindle and print formats.


The goal is to have the book out on World Daughter Day in 2015, which is on January 12th, but it might come out earlier to make Christmas purchases possible.

Only a limited number of letters will be included, so there is no guarantee that your letter will be selected if you send it in, but you will be notified of whether or not you letter has been accepted by November 1st.

Deadline: September 15th, 2014
Special note: If you have a touching "daddy and daughter" photo which you would like included with your dedication, send it in jpeg or png format to the same e-mail address as the letter submissions.


Authors retain all rights to submitted stories. If your story is accepted, you will be e-mailed a contract.

Melusine Muse Press now taking submissions for "Paw Prints" anthology of cat stories

Now taking submissions for "Paw Prints: Cat Stories to Warm the Heart"

Paw Prints: Cat Stories to Warm the Heart

This is an anthology of cat stories. Each story must have a GOOD photo of the cat written about to go with it or, if the story if fiction and you do not have an accompanying photo, we will provide a photo. If you are providing a photo, you must have permission to use the photo.

This anthology is a great way to remember those cats who have left paw prints on your heart. Stories can be fiction or non-fiction.

Stories must be either moving, funny or cute. The word count should be between 300 words and 1,000 words. All stories should be kid-friendly, but do not have to be written specifically for children.

Melusine Muse Press will also accept a limited number of cat-themed comics.

This is a new anthology series.

Please follow the formatting guidelines as stated on Melusine Muse Press's page. Go here to read the formatting guidelines.

You may submit up to three stories.

E-mail stories to Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net.

Proceeds from this anthology will be going to the Cat's Protection League in Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.


About the Cat's Protection League: 
"At Cats Protection, we help more than 218,000 cats and kittens every year thanks in no small part to our network of over 250 volunteer-run branches, 29 adoption centres and two homing centres. Our rehoming and neutering programmes, together with our work in reuniting lost cats with their owners ensure that more than 218,000 cats are given the chance of a better life every year. This work would be impossible without the dedication and commitment of our volunteers."

Deadline: August 15th, 2014


Authors retain all rights to their stories.

Melusine Muse Press taking submissions for SupeHERo Tales - Volume 2

This is the cover for volume one, designed by Julia Lela Stilchen.


SuperHERo Tales (Volume 2)


This series of anthologies was created with the idea in mind that girls do not have enough female superhero stories to read and female superhero characters to look up to, at least not as avidly represented in the media as the male superheroes, so we, as writers, want to create and provide our own.

You need to create a character. She is female and a superhero, but what she looks like, what her powers are, what she wears and what kind of personality she has is all up to you. Start by outlining these specific things:

Name of female superhero:

Name of human alter ego, if different:

Superhero Appearance (hair, eyes, body type, etc.):

Human alter ego appearance (if she has an alter ego):

Costume:

Personality:

Brief description of how the superheroine gets her powers (i.e. born with them, radioactive accident, mad scientist experiments on her, etc.):

Powers:

Anything else important:

Once you have filled these details in, write a flash fiction or short story, no less than 300 words long and no longer than 1,000 words, that is a complete scene. This scene can be one that shows how your character develops her powers, how she becomes a superhero. It can be a fight scene, showing how she uses her powers. It can be a romance scene (PG, please) showing how she interacts with her love interest (if she has one). It can be anything you want it to be that shows some aspect of your character, something important to her life. It doesn't have to be a complete story, but it must be a complete scene. Think of it as if you have your own TV series dedicated to your superhero, and this short story is one episode of the series. (That suggests it should at least have an end to the scene, even though everyone watching/reading knows that the story continues.)

At the beginning of the page, before starting the list, type your name and the word count. Then type the word "anthology:" and add "yes."

E-mail your story to Melusine Muse Press at the e-mail listed below.

You may submit up to three stories.

Because this is for charity, there will be no payment, but your name will be listed as a contributing author and you will have an author bio (which you will have to send in) near the end of the book. The book will be published in e-book and print formats.

Note: If you contributed a story/superhero to the first SuperHERo Tales, you may write about the same superhero, but must have a different piece of flash fiction about her - readers must learn something new about your superheroine that they did not learn in the first anthology.

Deadline: September 30th, 2014

Art submissions: This anthology is for a charity that benefits girls, and as we are creating female superheroes in the comic tradition, we are looking for some superhero drawings to represent the superheroes. E-mail me for a list of the descriptions of the superheroes that have been added to the anthology so far if you plan on submitting a drawing or more than one drawing. Because this is for charity, there will be no payment, but your name will be listed as the artist and you will have an artist bio (which you will have to send in) near the end of the book. We reserve the right not to use any illustrations in the anthology. We are looking for superheroines drawn in the comic book style only.

You may submit multiple illustrations.

Deadline: September 30th, 2014

E-mail story and art submissions to Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net.

Authors retain all rights to submitted stories. If your story is accepted, you will be e-mailed a contract.

Proceeds from the anthology will go to Because I Am a Girl. From the website:

"Because I am a Girl is a global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty.
Girls in the poorest regions of the world are among the most disadvantaged people on the planet. They are more likely to live in poverty, more likely to be denied access to education, more likely to be denied medical care, and more likely to be malnourished, simply because they’re girls. And yet, studies show that if you give a girl enough to eat, an education and a safe environment, she’ll work to raise the standard of living for herself, her family and her community.
 We operate a wide range of programs worldwide to improve the status of girls and give them equal access to health care, education, protection, independence, and an opportunity to participate in society.
Our State of the Worlds Girls report series is an ongoing investigation to shine the light on  specific barriers to young girls’ development and their access to basic human rights."


Melusine Muse Press taking submissions for pirate and mermaid anthology

Now Taking Submissions for "Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea"#ChaBooCha


Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea

This is the second volume of the Teapot Tales anthologies. The first one was "Teapot Tales: A collection of Unique Fairy Tales," published in 2013.

The theme for the 2014 Teapot Tales anthology will be " Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea." In fact, the full title of the next Teapot Tales anthology will be: "Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea," or something very similar.

1. Your stories must be about pirates, mermaids or other creaturess of the sea. But "monsters of the sea" can be loosely interpreted and basically, your story should have the sea or the ocean somewhere in it. Think of it in terms of sea-related fairy tales.

2. Stories do not have to be FOR children, but they do need to be child-friendly in that there should be no bad language, no sex and, although kids love gore and violence, please keep it PG.

3. Stories cannot be less than 300 words and cannot be over 800 words. Last time, the limit was 700 words, but several went over. This time, I am hoping everyone can keep it concise enough to stay within the allotted word count. The point of the title "Teapot Tales" is that each story is a short piece of flash fiction - a story short enough that a person can sit and enjoy a cup of tea while enjoying a story or two. People should be confident that they can sit and read a story in a short span of time, easily fitting story-reading into those briefly-snatched, relaxing moments throughout the day.

4. You MUST be an officially signed-up member of the Chapter Book Challenge in order to submit a story to the Teapot Tales anthology. You can sign up here. (You can read more about the Chapter Book Challenge by browsing the site or clicking on the "about" section at the top of the blog.)

5. Please follow the formatting guidelines as stated on Melusine Muse Press's page. Go here to read the formatting guidelines.

6. Proceeds from sales of the anthology go towards supporting the Chapter Book Challenge. Right now, the proceeds help pay for the prizes (we do a lot of prizes during the challenge) and the posting of those prizes. In the future, if proceeds increase, they will also help towards advertising ChaBooCha to bring in more members, advertising of the Teapot Tales anthologies (and other ChaBooCha anthologies) to help get them to a wider audience, donating our anthologies to libraries, setting up a more professional website and more. The goal is to grow membership of the Chapter Book Challenge, so we can better help each other towards our publishing goals. The Chapter Book Challenge is FREE to join and will remain so.

7. Illustrations (line art - black on white) will also be accepted.

8. Author bios must be sent in - around a paragraph each, links may be included, and must be written in 3rd person. These will be included in the book.

9. The deadline for the Teapot Tales submissions is July 31st, 2014.

10. E-mail submissions as a file attachment to Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net.

You may submit up to three stories.

Anthologies will be made available in both kindle and print formats.

Deadline: July 31st, 2014

Authors retain all rights to submitted stories. If your story is accepted, you will be e-mailed a contract.

A few late submissions will be allowed, on a  case by case basis.


Melusine Muse Press now taking submissions for pirate and mermaid anthology

Now Taking Submissions for "Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea"#ChaBooCha


Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea

This is the second volume of the Teapot Tales anthologies. The first one was "Teapot Tales: A collection of Unique Fairy Tales," published in 2013.

The theme for the 2014 Teapot Tales anthology will be " Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea." In fact, the full title of the next Teapot Tales anthology will be: "Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea," or something very similar.

1. Your stories must be about pirates, mermaids or other creaturess of the sea. But "monsters of the sea" can be loosely interpreted and basically, your story should have the sea or the ocean somewhere in it. Think of it in terms of sea-related fairy tales.

2. Stories do not have to be FOR children, but they do need to be child-friendly in that there should be no bad language, no sex and, although kids love gore and violence, please keep it PG.

3. Stories cannot be less than 300 words and cannot be over 800 words. Last time, the limit was 700 words, but several went over. This time, I am hoping everyone can keep it concise enough to stay within the allotted word count. The point of the title "Teapot Tales" is that each story is a short piece of flash fiction - a story short enough that a person can sit and enjoy a cup of tea while enjoying a story or two. People should be confident that they can sit and read a story in a short span of time, easily fitting story-reading into those briefly-snatched, relaxing moments throughout the day.

4. You MUST be an officially signed-up member of the Chapter Book Challenge in order to submit a story to the Teapot Tales anthology. You can sign up here. (You can read more about the Chapter Book Challenge by browsing the site or clicking on the "about" section at the top of the blog.)

5. Please follow the formatting guidelines as stated on Melusine Muse Press's page. Go here to read the formatting guidelines.

6. Proceeds from sales of the anthology go towards supporting the Chapter Book Challenge. Right now, the proceeds help pay for the prizes (we do a lot of prizes during the challenge) and the posting of those prizes. In the future, if proceeds increase, they will also help towards advertising ChaBooCha to bring in more members, advertising of the Teapot Tales anthologies (and other ChaBooCha anthologies) to help get them to a wider audience, donating our anthologies to libraries, setting up a more professional website and more. The goal is to grow membership of the Chapter Book Challenge, so we can better help each other towards our publishing goals. The Chapter Book Challenge is FREE to join and will remain so.

7. Illustrations (line art - black on white) will also be accepted.

8. Author bios must be sent in - around a paragraph each, links may be included, and must be written in 3rd person. These will be included in the book.

9. The deadline for the Teapot Tales submissions is July 31st, 2014.

10. E-mail submissions as a file attachment to Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net.

You may submit up to three stories.

Anthologies will be made available in both kindle and print formats.

Deadline: July 31st, 2014

Authors retain all rights to submitted stories. If your story is accepted, you will be e-mailed a contract.

A few late submissions will be allowed, on a  case by case basis.

Melusine Muse Press taking submissions for Ghostly Echoes anthology

Now taking submissions for "Ghostly Echoes: Spooky Tales from Around the World"


Ghostly Echoes: Spooky Tales from Around the World

Melusine Muse Press is now taking submissions for a new anthology of spooky stories and Halloween-themed stories.

There is a 1,200 word limit (with a 300-word minimum).

Stories should be kid-friendly, but do not necessarily have to be written FOR children. Your best bet is to aim for stories that would be okay for 10 to 14 year old children to read.

These stories need to be spooky. Ghosts, goblins, demons, ghouls and anything else that can be thought of to frighten is welcome.

Stories are preferred, but we will accept some (a few) poems.

Artwork will be accepted (black and white/line drawings) and is encouraged.

We will also take book cover submissions. (If no one can create a suitable cover, Melusine Muse Press' artists will provide one. If several possible covers are submitted, participants will vote on their favorite.

As with Teapot Tales and Jingle Bells, proceeds will go towards the Chapter Book Challenge. The book will be made available in Kindle and print format. For print format, we are going to need to have the edited stories in and ready no later than July 31st, 2014. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that the print version will be available by Halloween.

If you are American, your story will keep its US spellings and colloquialisms. If you are Australian or English, your story will also retain the spellings and colloquialisms for your area.

The Kindle version will maintain the clickable linking format that it had in Teapot Tales, and unless your are new at writing for Melusine Muse Press and the Chapter Book Challenge, your bio from Teapot Tales or Jingle Bells will be used (unless you request a new one). If you are new, an author (or artist) bio will be needed.

We will need to reach a minimum of 25 stories for this to be published in print form though.

You may submit up to three stories.

It is not limited to only ChaBooCha members! Anyone who can write an enjoyable story can submit a story.

E-mail submissions to Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net.

Deadline: July 31st, 2014

Authors retain all rights to submitted stories. If your story is accepted, you will be e-mailed a contract.


Melusine Muse Press taking submissions for "Ghostly Echoes: Spooky Tales from Around the World"

Now taking submissions for "Ghostly Echoes: Spooky Tales from Around the World"


Ghostly Echoes: Spooky Tales from Around the World

Melusine Muse Press is now taking submissions for a new anthology of spooky stories and Halloween-themed stories.

There is a 1,200 word limit (with a 300-word minimum).

Stories should be kid-friendly, but do not necessarily have to be written FOR children. Your best bet is to aim for stories that would be okay for 10 to 14 year old children to read.

These stories need to be spooky. Ghosts, goblins, demons, ghouls and anything else that can be thought of to frighten is welcome.

Stories are preferred, but we will accept some (a few) poems.

Artwork will be accepted (black and white/line drawings) and is encouraged.

We will also take book cover submissions. (If no one can create a suitable cover, Melusine Muse Press' artists will provide one. If several possible covers are submitted, participants will vote on their favorite.

As with Teapot Tales and Jingle Bells, proceeds will go towards the Chapter Book Challenge. The book will be made available in Kindle and print format. For print format, we are going to need to have the edited stories in and ready no later than July 31st, 2014. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that the print version will be available by Halloween.

If you are American, your story will keep its US spellings and colloquialisms. If you are Australian or English, your story will also retain the spellings and colloquialisms for your area.

The Kindle version will maintain the clickable linking format that it had in Teapot Tales, and unless your are new at writing for Melusine Muse Press and the Chapter Book Challenge, your bio from Teapot Tales or Jingle Bells will be used (unless you request a new one). If you are new, an author (or artist) bio will be needed.

We will need to reach a minimum of 25 stories for this to be published in print form though.

You may submit up to three stories.

It is not limited to only ChaBooCha members! Anyone who can write an enjoyable story can submit a story.

E-mail submissions to Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net.

Deadline: July 31st, 2014

Authors retain all rights to submitted stories. If your story is accepted, you will be e-mailed a contract.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stories and How They Affect Us - Writers Reveal - July 2014


Today's Writers Reveal topic is "The story that changed my life" and was suggested by J.C. Wolfe.

The problem I have with this topic is that I can't think of any particular story that changed my life.  So instead, I thought I might write about stories in general and how they affect us.

Stories can be good for an escape from your day to day life. They can whisk you away to different places, different times and different worlds. They can introduce you to new people. Through stories, you can experience, love, tragedy, passion, adventure, mystery and danger, all vicariously from the safety of your own home.

Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has experienced different things throughout their life and it is an amalgamation of those experiences and emotions, with a large dose of creativity and imagination,  that make up the variety of stories and characters we read about.

I am a wife. I am an American living in England. I am a mom to seven children. I have been morbidly obese and have lost over 145 pounds to reach a healthy weight. I was an outgoing, confident child who gradually became more insecure and more introverted as I aged until I reached a certain point in my life where my self-confidence and belief in myself slowly began to return. I am a cat owner and a dog owner. I am a writer. I blog. I run a yearly writing challenge. I always look for the good in people. All of these things, and the journey I have taken to get where I am, are a part of my personal story. Like any great story, the bits and parts that seem disconnected when looked at separately, are woven and intertwined so that they all come together to make a completed whole.

What's your story?


*****

Find the Writer's Reveal topic covered in other Writer's Reveal blog posts at these blogs:


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kundalis Storm Dragon Book Tour and Review


I recently agreed to be part of a book tour for the book "Kundalis Storm Dragon" by author Frances Pauli. I had not previously heard of this author, so, although I  have a love for stories about dragons, I was a little bit wary. 

The blurb:
 
"Karin knows she’s gone completely insane—nuts—absolutely batshit crazy, when she 
spots an insidious blue dragon twining through the trees at a  rest stop in the Cascade 
Mountains. Despite agreeing to join her roommate at a psychic fair, she’s never believed 
in anything metaphysical. She’s pretty sure the Reiki treatment she succumbed to has 
brought on a frighteningly realistic hallucination—until they roll their mini-van in the 
middle of I-90, and she is rescued from the vehicle by the same monstrous blue figment 
of her imagination. 

She awakens to find that she’s been delivered to a cabin high in the mountains instead 
of to a proper hospital. The “doctor” looking out for her is more of a new-ager than a 
physician, and the people who own the  house, including the urban highlander version 
of Fabio, don’t have any intention of letting her leave.

Faced with the unimaginable, and strapped to an all-too-real dragon, Karin must decide 
how to tame the beast or risk losing herself to it forever."

My review:
The cover, as you can see, is beautiful, and although the book was only an ARC copy which still hadn't had 
its final edits completed, I found it to have few, if any  grammatical or spelling errors. The book was very 
well written and a delight to  read. In fact, once I got past the first few pages and started to understand the 
story a bit more, I became thoroughly engrossed in the book. I read it within a couple of  hours and pretty 
much didn't want to put it down until I finished the story. I highly recommend it if you like the idea of 
reading a dragon story that has an interesting twist on the idea of what a dragon really is.
 
Spoiler (Don't read beyond this point if you don't want to read a spoiler): My favorite line in the book: 
"We are not enlightened. We are broken." (That may not be an exact quote; it's just from memory.)

author Frances Pauli

Purchase Link:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Book Crush: Book Boyfriends Are Here!

What would you say to over 80 titles with many undeniably-hot BOOK BOYFRIENDS that leave you wanting more? Yep, we've got you covered. The second annual SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event runs this year from June 19th through June 22nd. Don't miss it, or you will have to wait a full year for the next one! main banner2 So many ways to fall in love with just a right BOOK BOYFRIEND! And the best part? You can purchase your dream Book Boyfriend for only 99¢ each, but for a limited time only.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons- Writer's Reveal June 2014


This month's Writers Reveal topic was provided by Melissa: When life gives you lemons... how do you keep on writing?

I try not to focus on the lemons that life gives me.

When my laptop crashed, I focused on the positive which was that my husband had a desktop computer and, although it required some changes in how I did things, I was able to move my work to his computer. I was fortunate in that my work was saved and I was fortunate in that we were able to purchase a new laptop for me within months.

When my son was ill and had to stay home from school, missing seven full school days in a row, it meant that I only had to take my kids to one school during that time, which significantly shortened the time I spent on the school runs. I saw it as gaining me an hour a day of writing time. My son eventually got over his mysterious fever and was back at school, and, in the meantime, I managed to get in a little bit of extra writing.

Currently, I am suffering with severe hayfever. It's too the point that my eyes are so watery, itchy and puffy that I can barely see out of them and I can't breathe at all through my nose. I am suffering from allergy-related migraines, and the allergy medicine makes me very sleepy. But it can't be all bad,because I have managed to sit down here and type up this post.

So I guess you could say that when life gives me lemons, I decide that I like lemons and then make the most of it. Yes, I'm a "make lemonade" kind of gal.

But if something happens which absolutely prevents me from writing and editing, here is what I do:

1. Try and be productive in other ways, if at all possible. Maybe that's cleaning house or organizing my files, or maybe it's just about spending more time with my kids.

2. Think about my stories and how they can be improved or what direction they will take next. Often taking a small break from writing helps to renew my creative juices.

3. Read some books and watch some television. I love to read; it helps keep my mind active, helps me learn new things and even helps generate new ideas. Watching television shows and movies can spark creativity too, but it doesn't take as much thought as reading so it's a great way to just rest and recharge my batteries.

4. Spend time with friends. Between raising my children and working on my books, I often find myself spending less and less time with my friends. It's healthy for me to spend some tie with my friends and renew those friendships that have been lax.

5. Volunteer to help someone else. When I am unable to write or edit my work, but I am able to talk and go out in public (i.e. I'm not sick), then I offer to help at my children's schools or to give a talk at the local library.

*****

This post is part of the Writer’s Reveal monthly blog challenge. To read some of the other posts, visit the blogs below:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quirky Writer's Habits - Writer's Reveal April



Here is this month's question from the Writer's Reveal group, supplied by Ashley Howland:

Quirky Writer’s Habits: We’ve all got them so it’s time to share. There must be something you do that you know is strange or your friends think is strange? Let’s have a laugh and see where this takes us.


This post is going to be a bit shorter than my usual because I am currently writing posts for the Blog Your Book in 30 Days challenge and writing a short mermaid story every day for Mermaid's Muse this month, and those two projects are keeping me very busy right now.

I have two edible things I like to have on hand when I am about to jump into an epic writing session: Red Vine licorice (the red ones) and Diet Mug Root Beer. Neither of these are easily found in the UK though. I do know how to get them here, but the price is high, so I don't do it often. I usually have to settle for coffee, and the caffeine kick I get from coffee goes a long way in helping me continue with those major writing sessions.

The other quirk is that I set myself frequent deadlines. Without them, I procrastinate and get nothing done, so I need those deadlines, even if they are self-imposed, to keep me writing.

What quirks do you have?

To read about some other quirky habits, read the other Writer’s Reveal posts below:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Bloodlust book blast and guest post by author Nicole Zoltack

Today, we have a guest post by my good friend Nicole Zoltack, author of the newly-released Bloodlust (along with a host of other novels). Nicole has offered to tell us a little about creating conflict between the heroine and hero of the story. And she's even offered to share an excerpt from her new novel.

By the way, how amazingly wonderful is this cover? I love the fact that is shows a woman who looks as though she has just come from battle.





When writing a romance, regardless of whether it’s contemporary or historical, fantasy or paranormal or not, there is always going to be conflict between the heroine and hero. And when the heroine and hero are different races that hate each other, talk about conflict!
Barbarian-Princess Ivy hates that she needs goliath Lukor’s help to find an interpreter for trollish coded messages. Plenty of back and forth and arguments and tension, even battles between them. How can these two ever get together? You’ll have to read Bloodlust to find out! 
Excerpt:
   Grinning, he peered over his shoulder at her. "Enjoying the view from back there?"
   Her tanned cheeks burned. "Your backside leaves a lot to be desired." She quickened her pace to be only an inch behind him.
   She was used to leading. That she needed him must irk her something fierce. He smiled again. Irking her was quickly becoming a favorite pastime.
   As they walked around the base of the mountains, the teal grass melted away to blue bushes and sand. Her strides were just as long as his, but she moved quicker, and soon was a step ahead. Her shield bounced on her back. So tantalizing. He could reach out and snatch it.
   But she'd hunt him down. Probably could outrun him. He'd never make it back to   Ordisium in one piece.
   The shield though. He never thought barbarians used a defensive weapon. True, it did have a spike in the center, but it still struck him as against everything he knew about barbarians. Regardless, if it should be sent back to Barbadia without its owner, war was all but assured.
   Once they bypassed the last of the mountains, he halted. "Time for a meal."
   "Let's press on."
   "The Spirit Realm is not a location to traverse during the dark hours."
   Her small eyebrows rose in perfect arches. "Why would we bother to go that route? The    Smog is a desolate place, yes, but it will be quicker—"
   "Not if you know a certain route through the Realm." He was asking her to trust him.     When he didn't trust her either. And had given her no reason to trust him.
   After a tense moment, her hand resting on her hilt, she nodded. "I'm hungry anyhow." She sniffed. "I think I smell your cousin nearby."
   A pig was not far from them. Snorting, cowardly creatures, how could she compare a warrior to such a timid animal? The insult had him unleashing his axe before conscious thought.
   Her sword met his weapon, a spark flying from the joint metal. With a shrug, she scampered off into the small spattering of nearby trees.

Fun giveaway: 
Oh, and the first ten people who email (Nicole.Zoltack@gmail.com) proof of purchase of BLOODLUST will be gifted another one of Nicole's stories. Spread the word about this and you might win another novel!


Desperation…

Barbarian-Princess Ivy is unwilling to allow her father to provoke the other races into war and forms an unlikely alliance with Lukor the goliath to save her people from utter destruction.

Betrayal…

Unbeknownst to her, Lukor blames the barbarians for murdering his sister and plans on sabotaging her goal.

Bloodlust…

Almost despite each other, they grow to respect each other on their journey to decode secret messages from the trolls. But nothing Ivy can do will prevent the war as her father is blinded by Bloodlust and incites it himself. Not even killing him and becoming Barbaroness can stop the tide. And when Bloodlust claims Ivy, forcing her to kill everyone in her path, she must make a choice to destroy even Lukor, who she may have started to fall for and him in return.

Add it on Goodreads. Buy it at Amazon, B&N, and Kobo.

Author Bio:
Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially fantasy romance. When she's not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they're unicorns!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dress in garb. She'll also read anything she can get her hands on. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit her blog.



Monday, February 24, 2014

My Writing Process - Blog Tour #mywritingprocess

I was asked to join in with this blog tour by Lizzie Koch, so here are my answers to the questions given.

1)     What am I working on?

This question could take me some time to answer, but I will try and be brief.

I am writing the 28 Day Challenge as blog posts currently. The posts will be done in about 4 or 5 days and then I will need to start editing it and shaping into a book for publication. It's a non-fiction book about health and fitness.

I am also working on some children's picture books. I have several written that I am still fine-tuning, and I've recently been bombarded with ideas for several more. My muse has been very active lately.

I am running the Chapter Book Challenge in March, which begins tomorrow, so I will be writing more of my chapter book called "The Day My Shadow Tried to Kill Me." It's a busy month for me, but I am usually able to fit my writing in at the same time as I coordinate all of the author guest posts and prize give-aways during the challenge.

I have written several novels during NaNoWriMo, but during NaNoWriMo 2012, I wrote a novel that was over 100,000 words. It's called "Prophecy Girl" but that is just a working title and will change by the time my editing and revising is complete. It's the novel I plan on focusing my editing on in the near future.

I will be writing another non-fiction book on the month of April during the challenge I am running called Blog Your Book in 30 Days. It's still being researched so I don't want to go into too much about it yet.

There are other writing projects I am working on at the moment, but the above writing projects are the ones I will be focusing most of my energy on in the near future.

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Gah! Awful question for me! I am not sure how it differs! At the moment, it differs because it isn't published yet.

I think I tend to write stories full of hope. It is very difficult for me to put my characters in seemingly desperate situations, but I am working on changing that about my writing, not getting rid of the hope, but making it appear as if the hope is lost, at some point, when it is really there all along.

3)     Why do I write what I do?

This is a little bit complicated to explain because I write so many different types of books, and I have a different reason for writing each type.

For my health and fitness books, it comes down to the fact that, having been morbidly obese once upon a time and overcoming it, I know what it is like to be struggling to live a healthy lifestyle and to be struggling with weight issues, health issues, self-esteem issues and the like. I know what it is like to feel weak and unhealthy. I guess, having overcome it, I just want to help others do the same. 

The 28 Day Fitness Challenge was designed to make fitting fitness into your daily schedule easy to do, and it also helps increase your daily fitness so that, at the end of the challenge, you will find yourself stronger and more fit than you were when you first started. At the time I started the challenge on my Skinny Dreaming site, I also had fallen into not-so-great fitness habits, so it was also a way to get myself back into a daily fitness routine. It's freely available on the website for anyone to use, but I know that sometimes people find having the whole challenge in their hands where they don't have to go searching for it easier, so I'm turning into a book.

For my children's books, from the picture books to the chapter books and middle grade books, I write them because I love children. (I'd have to love children to have had seven of my own, right?) I love the sense of fun that children have and the fact that they are so easy to convince that magic is real.

For the record, magic IS real. I don't care that science can explain most things. For example,the miracle of birth: If you have ever seen the birth of a newborn infant, you'd feel the magic too and know it was real. Nothing will convince me otherwise.

For my novels, it just simply comes down to my love for stories. When I read stories, I sink into them and experience them through the words on the page, and I always feel the urge to create my own stories, to create my own worlds and characters to share with others. There is never a time when I am not feeling the pull to write, as if the stories in my mind are really floating in the air around me with whispy fingers that are constantly reaching out and tugging at me.

4)     How does your writing process work?

I would really, really love to say that I have an outline and a firm plot in mind when I write, but sadly, it wouldn't be the truth. I write best when I am winging it. I start with an idea, sometimes not even a fully formed one, and I start writing. There are times when I am just as surprised by where the story takes me as anyone reading it would be. 

I would also really like to say that I have a set schedule for when I write and some sort of plan for how I go about my editing and revising, but I don't, which is why I have many finished first drafts and very little writing that is ready to submit anywhere.


Here are threeof my friends who will be posting the "My Writing Process" blog tour posts on the 24th. Please go and visit their blogs.  Their posts will go up on March 3rd.

Melissa Gijsbers KhalinskyMelissa Gijsbers is an Australian author and blogger. She has had flash fiction stories feature in a number of anthologies, including Teapot Tales: a collection of unique fairy tales.  When she’s not writing or coming up with ideas for stories, she’s running around after 2 active boys and working in the family business. You can find her online at www.melissagijbers.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/melissagijsbers

Ashley Howland - 
Ashley Howland lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband Ross, two daughters, Maddy and Aijay, her spoilt Labrador, Stitch. Her girls inspire her every day to write children’s books and the dogs often provide the material. Ashley also works as the curriculum manager for Labs ‘n Life. This requires random extra Labradors to appear in their lives and of course in Ashley’s stories. You can find more information about Ashley and her books here: http://ahowland.org/
Cecilia ClarkCecilia Clark’s short stories have featured in several publications including The Book of The Tribes, a tribute to Clive Barker’s Cabal/Nightbreed, Steve Dillon Producer (August 9 2013) Teapot Tales; a Collection of Unique Fairy Tales, Melusine Muse Press (August 10, 2013) and ezine AntipodeanSF at http://www.antisf.com.au. She writes flash fiction for competitions and is a winner in the 2013 NaNoWriMo April Camp. Cecilia Clark is a member of the Federation of Australian Writers and Romance Writer’s Australia. Her author page can be found at Amazon.co.uk author central. She currently resides in Warrnambool Victoria Australia. Her "My Writing Challenge" post will found here: http://ceciliaaclark.blogspot.com.au

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Advertising - Writer's Reveal February 2014


This month's Writer's Reveal topic is "advertising."

I'm really not a fan of advertising. I don't like watching advertisements on the television. I don't like getting advertisements in my e-mail inbox. I don't like those advertisements that show up on Facebook. I really, really hate SPAM.

How then, am I supposed to "sell" my books? If I don't like advertising, then what am I supposed to do in order to insure that people hear about my books or find out about my blog posts?

Honestly, I have no idea. I post about them on my blogs, but,as they are my blogs, my readers expect to read about my books from time to time. I have links to my books or my blogs in my e-mail signature.

I might mention my books and blogs to my friends sometimes, on Facebook, Twitter and in real life, but I make sure not to mention them too often. After all, I have the friends that I have because I LIKE them, and, I hope, they like me. The only way for this mutual like to happen is for us to know a lot about one another and to share things with each other. I share about my interests, about my family and about the things that make me ME. I share about my life more than I share about my books.

I share my friends' books and blog posts, because I know that they probably encounter the same difficulties with this whole "advertising" thing that I do. And sometimes, they share my books with their friends, or they share my blog posts.

But this "advertising" thing? It's not really for me.

What's your answer to the subject of advertising and how to get the word out about your writing?

*****

And now, with that topic dealt with above, I am going to "advertise" two writing challenges that I run, one in March and one in April.



Write a first draft of an early reader, chapter book, middle grade book or YA novel in the month of March, from March 1st through March 31st. Learn from guest posts by prominent authors and agents in the KidLit industry and get the chance to win a variety of each week.



Write the first draft of your book by blogging each chapter. (Actually posting it to your blog is voluntary). Write a chapter a day and finish your book in the month of April. Learn from daily blog posts on the topic and get the chance to win one of several prizes offered during the challenge. The challenge runs from April 1st through April 30th.




28 days of fitness challenges for you to follow. You can choose either beginner, intermediate or advanced level. The fitness challenges increase in intensity every day. Officially, the challenge started on February 5th, 2014, but you can join at any time, and, until March 5th, you will be eligible to win prizes. You can start at the beginning level and, after the first 28 days, you can start over again at the intermediate level and so on. The challenge will be available in book form sometime in the near future.


*****

And while I am "advertising" my challenges, I would also like to share my friend Melissa's new project, Writing Prompts (for writers).



Weekly prompts for blog posts to share on your author blog.

 ***** 

Find the Writer's Reveal topic covered in other Writer's Reveal blog posts at these blogs: