Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

#writingprompt

One time, when my cousins and I were playing pretend Star Wars in our grandpa's barn, we ...

Friday, June 16, 2017

#writingprompt

Write about an ulikely group of friends making dandelion necklaces.


Kickstart your summer writing with free prompts found on my blog throughout the summer or pick up a free copy of A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts this week (only) at Smashwords with the coupon code: BE23A



Smashwords Link (Remember to use the coupon code!)
Coupon is good thorugh the 16th!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

#writingprompt

From morning to night, we spent all day outside in the summer until ....



Kickstart your summer writing with free prompts found on my blog throughout the summer or pick up a free copy of A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts this week (only) at Smashwords with the coupon code: BE23A




Smashwords Link (Remember to use the coupon code!)
Coupon is good thorugh the 16th!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#writingprompt

What happened at the car wash last summer?

Imagine a scene at a car wash where something unexpected/different/noteworthy happens.



Kickstart your summer writing with free prompts found on my blog throughout the summer or pick up a free copy of A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts this week (only) at Smashwords with the coupon code: BE23A



Smashwords Link (Remember to use the coupon code!)
Coupon is good thorugh the 16th!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#Writingprompt Unexpected Item on a Bucket List #FREE #writingprompt

Create a bucket list for the main character of your story. Include something unexpected.


Kickstart your summer writing with free prompts found on my blog throughout the summer or pick up a free copy of A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts this week (only) at Smashwords with the coupon code: BE23A



Smashwords Link (Remember to use the coupon code!)
Coupon is good thorugh the 16th!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Kickstart Your Summer Writing with #FREE Prompts

I'm kickstarting my summer writing projects today and want to encourage all writers to kickstart their own summer writing goals!

To do this, I'll be doing two things:

I'll post simple writing prompts here at least four days a week for most of the summer, starting today. So, stop by and grab a prompt each day. Comments aren't necessary for blogging politeness with these super short posts, just grab a prompt and run with it!

For this week only, I've generated a 100% off coupon at Smashwords for A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts. Coupon code: BE23A 


Smashwords Link (Remember to use the coupon code!)


The coupon is good through Friday.



Today's prompt: If you're main character of your WIP, or a new character you just met in your imagination, were to take a journey, what would he/she pack? And, how would he/she travel?


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Good News!

The results are in - I don't have breast cancer!!!

Woohoo!!! Praise God!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#IWSG JUNE - "I Quit," Double Graduation, and Summer Schedule

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts: , a Facebook group, a book club, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! #IWSG

OPTIONAL June 7th IWSG Day Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Yes.
I've said "I quit" more than once.
  • When a "friend" shared one of my short stories without my permission ... I quit sharing and I quit writing for a while. 
  • I quit when I couldn't seem to concentrate long enough to write more than 15 minutes at a time when my children were toddler and pre-school age (I truly appreciated If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Moose a Muffin - those books represent early motherhood to me - all the joy and all the messes.)
  • I quit for three months at a time when I waited for magazine editors to respond to some of my early short stories - "Dragonfold" and "The Crystal Sword."
  • I quit for a few weeks in 2015 after a particularly bad book fair - rain all day, books dropped in mud, when painful social anxiety had me huddled in a corner and I couldn't seem to shake it off and I was landed between an ultra religious group that chased people down with their flyers and a young man who self-published his book in found materials that he bound together himself. That particular day, I was told that I "really should write about dragons." That I "had obviously stolen" my author name (it's my real name). That I "shouldn't write Christian fantasy" (once from a fantasy reader and once from a Christian who abhors fantasy). I know I wasn't the only one having a bad day - the lady across from me cried on her husband's shoulder after someone said something rude about her poetry books. (I bought one a few hours later and it was good.) I'm not sure I'll ever attend that fair again since it seemed to be occupied by trolls - or maybe it was just a bad year.
  • I almost quit last year after I had invested time into a new novel project that died a slow, painful, plot-plodding death and I felt like all my marketing efforts were worthless.
  • This year I almost quit during the first waiting part between my first biopsy and the first results. (This week, I'm on my fourth biopsy of the year for a new health concern - it's getting to be a new normal.) Good News as of Thursday - I don't have breast cancer!!!
So, what made me come back?
  • I'm stubborn, hard-headed, and determined.
  • I like to play with words and now and then in my hardest moments, I find it ironic that I've had poetry published when it's my "go-to" for my off writing days, but that irony keeps driving me forward as much as the fun I have with poetry writing. (And I have gratitudefor a particular 10th grade writing teacher who told me to give poetry a chance - Thank you, Mrs. Bee Evans.)
  • I daydream stories all the time and I love writing them down.
  • I write because it helps me process my thoughts, my emotions, my faith, and all my crazy ideas.
  • I came back because I want my daughters to know that it's worthwhile to work hard at a dream, even if it isn't a financially successful dream (yet). 
  • I came back because I refuse to let fear to conquer me.
  • I came back because of the awesome encouragement I receive from family, friends, and IWSG.

BTW - "Dragonfold" found a home at Mindflights in 2009 and "The Crystal Sword" became my first self-published novel Champion in the Darkness in 2013.

Double Graduation?
Is it possible to graduate twice from high school?
Yes, it is - if a student is a home-schooler in Washington State and attends Running Start classes at a local community college.
My oldest went to her first graduation ceremony at Harbor Christian Homeschool Cooperative on Saturday, June 3rd. (She's in the center of the top pick in this photo collage):


Earlier that day, she walked in the Gig Harbor Maritime Parade and that night she went to Senior Prom hosted by the high school with friends:
Anna is in the black skirt.

The next day, she helped lead Youth Sunday Worship at our church - which included roles for every young person in worship, in the short film that we created "High School Parable," in a presentation of a Veggie Tales story, and in a beatifully choreographed dance about the Prodigal Son. The worship ended with an amazing gift of encouragement for all of the high school seniors in words, prayer, and gifts of Bibles which had been highlighted by members of our church with notes and prayers. Of course, the only photo I took comes from a goofing off moment of worship rehearsal before everything started:


It was a jam-packed weekend. 

In two weeks, she'll graduate from Tacoma Community College with a general associates degree and another high school diploma  (this one from an accredited insitution and not just "mom").


So ... I'm headed into my Summer Schedule early.
But, what does that mean this year?
IWSG - first Wed
Goals Hop - last Friday
Potentially a fair number of extremely short writing prompt posts with some off weeks/moments. I won't expect or hope for comments on these, but I plan to put them out there in the hopes that they will be "of service" to my fellow writers.

Hootsuite will have tweets, google+, and facebook author posts on auto-pilot most days.

Have you ever "quit" writing for a while? How do you celebrate the end of the school year? And, do you have a summer schedule?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wandering and a Late Interview Link with #CarolinaReads

Inspired by Jen Chandler's posts on Wandering with Intent, I've decided to do some of my own purposeful wanderings and possibly post about them. If you don't know Jen, check out her blog and/or read her story "Mysteries of Death and Life" in Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life.

To preface this, I am not wandering far these days since although my official intense recovery time is over from my second surgery this year, the doctor told me that I could expect another six months of slow-going until I get to full recovery. I'm only walking up to 2 miles on a "big" day so the walks aren't super long or strenuous. These images are from Penrose State Park (Washington - on the Peninsula):

I love the doorway appeal of the branches arching over the end of the trail to the sea.



I didn't actually hike the trail the first time I went, but I did the second time. Either way, I find trails leading off into the woods a great inspiration for stories.


Here's another view of those arching tree branches, but from farther back.


I thought this shell looked like a hand in skeletal form. My daughter thought it looked like a skull. What do you think it looks like?


The reflection ... 


The crane kept teasing me and I tried to get a closer image by zooming in my phone camera - which is far from a great camera.


Looking down fencelines is interesting. I feel like there's a story in these lines that lead into a horizon. Plus, fencelines always seem to have some kind of story behind them. I wondered why this one was even there other than for decorative purposes because the park extends beyond it on both sides. I guess it is near the walking trail that leads to the shore and beyond it is a bit of shoreline with a 4-5 foot drop off to the shoreline. Maybe it's for decorative safety?

Reflections

The one bit of "hike" I did on my first walk. This literally ended just five feet further around the bend.
What do you think is around the bend?


I wanted to capture the young Pacific Madrone tree (with reddish bark) also called a Madrona tree by many in the area. The Pacific Madrone is declining so it's always nice to see a young one. (We have an older one in our yard.)

The birds had breakfast before I arrived. Many clam shells littered the gravel beach.

There is something about the edge where the land meets the sea that has always struck a chord in my imagination.



Have you wandered lately? Have you ever wandered with intent?
Get any story ideas from these images?

I admit, my main intent was to get outside, get fresh air, and see a different place.
I seem to need a jolt of fresh air to find creative inspiration.
Plus, in places like Penrose State Park, I can see the amazing wonder of God's creation and just feel blessed to be able to experience the outdoors. (And, it was easy - near where I was that day and with a parking lot near the shoreline. I was only there for forty minutes and it felt like my whole day was filled with beauty.)

And, I have a late link to an interview at #Carolinareads last week - somehow, I missed it even with it on my calendar so I feel like I have egg on my face. If you could stop by and give Terri some love, or go check out my post a week late, that would be awesome. Plus, she has an ongoing interview feature that I highly recommend checking out!

Tyrean reads .... #CarolinaReads hosted by Terri A. Wilson


And - I hope you all had a Blessed Memorial Day! Here's a tiny image-poem I wrote on that subject last year:
The wind rolls out our flag’s colors
then stills
red lines dripping down

Whenever I think of Memorial Day, I hear flags snapping in the wind and see rain clouds parted by sun because for many Memorial Days I visited my Grandpa's grave in the windy little town where I grew up. We didn't celebrate it "right" according to all the experts - my Grandpa was technically a veteran who joined the US Army to gain American citezenship. He became a sargeant in the calvary and then a tank mechanic during WWII. He lived a full life and did not die serving during war-time, but I (unlike those who are sticklers for the rules of all things) have always taken time to remember him and all those who have served on Memorial Day, even though I know it's meant only for those who have died overseas during active service. I think it's sad that legalists have decided to make Memorial Day unaccessible for all others. I remember when we used to meet at the cemetary for a service that included everyone - all the graves (even non-military ones) were covered in flowers - and the military service members didn't seem to mind that. What's happened that to make us so legalistic in all things?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Goals Update, Hero Lost, and Spoonman


It's sad, but I had to go back to the end of April to look for my May goals. Sheesh. It's kind of hard to actually do goals when I don't keep them in front of me. Thankfully, I started looking at them again on the 19th. 

So, here they are. Let's see how I did with them.

May Goals:
1. Continue to heal, rest, get renewed. - Yes, I did this. I had an interesting convo with my doctor who told me that I have a total of six months of healing to do to get to 100%. 

2. Market Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life Anthology - Yes.

3. Prepare for my oldest daughter's high school graduation. - Barely yes. There's still more to do. Thankfully, she's graduating twice - our homeschool co-op does a sweet ceremony (18 grads this year participating), and she'll graduate from the local community college with a diploma and an A.A. degree simultaneously on the 17th of June. 

4. Cheer at my youngest daughter's kayaking race in Canada - oops, no. My husband went and cheered while I stayed home to go to a series of events for a missionary who was visiting our church that weekend. This included a catch-up talk on using the Storytelling Method. 

5. Take care of a pile of paperwork that built up while I've been sick - some. It procreated at some point - I know it.

6. Plant something that likes wet roots - well, no. But, my mom did give me a gerarnium for mother's day and it's surviving in our raised garden bed.

7. Work on either Captain Wrath or The Greenling Chronicles and work out the weird world-building/dryad obsession issues. - Yes. I went with The Greenling Chronicles and thought out themes within the whole dryad idea. 

8. Go barefoot outside at least one day or stomp in puddles (weather permitting) - yes, although I just went barefoot on our deck.

9. Keep reading Cling to God - a great devotional by Lynda Young. - yes!

10. Finish reading Chapter from Chapter - the IWSG Goodreads book of the month. - yes. It's an excellent book on the writing craft and the writing life. 

June Goals: 
1. Heal, renew, walk, and take tiny bike rides. Specific walking goal: get to 2.5 miles a day 5 days a week by the end of the month. Specific bike goal: get to 3 miles a day 3 days a week by the end of the month. (And, take celebratory wandering walks!)

2. Continue to Market Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life and other works. Specifically, to use twitter, facebook groups, and google groups, and plan on attending one writing conference/event over the summer months.

3.  Watch my oldest graduate. Have a party! Celebrate!

4. Go to a Montana State University Registration and Orientation session with my oldest daughter.

5. Watch both daughters race at the Ted Houk Regatta in Seattle.

6. Clean up the yard and house. (as able)

7. Go barefoot.

8. Continue working on The Greenling Chronicles

9. Keep reading Cling to God.

10. Sort through job and teaching stuff. Prepare for next fall.

11. Practice Storytelling.

Eleven seems a bit hefty, but I'm hoping that 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9 are restful enough to make the others go easier. I can think of several other things I could/should be doing ... but I'm trying to stay focused and not over-do.


Do you have goals for June or for the summer?

Have you read Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life? I highly recommend all the stories by my fellow authors and I'm thankful for all the support we've received! 
Website
Amazon
Books-a-Million
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iTunes

The Hero Lost Blog Tour is at these sites this week!
May 22 - Christine Rains - Interview 
May 22 - Nick Wilford - Guest Post  
May 24 - Toi Thomas - Interview

And, although it isn't related to goals, I want to simply say RIP Chris Cornell. I liked the sound of Soundgarden. My favorite song was "Spoonman," partly because I've seen the spoonman Artis play at Pike Place Market several times in Seattle and because my grandmother played spoons. She tried to teach me - especially after we watched Artis play spoons - but I didn't have the patience to learn. After Chris Cornell's death, I went on a bit of rabbit trail of reminiscing and ended up discovering that Artis (the spoonman) is still street busking. It feels like story material - all of this - but it's also some of the everyday pathos of life.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Writing Studies and Hero Lost Blog Tour Continues!

As I've been healing up from two surgeries, I've started to study the craft of writing more intentionally,

Chapter after Chapter by Heather Sellers is being discussed at Goodreads (since last week) with the IWSG Goodreads group and I found it to be a great read. I didn't agree with Sellers on all points, but I found that when I disagreed and took notes, I honed my own thoughts on writing to a fine edge. I do love most of the book and agreed with many of her thoughts and tips. I marked with pen and pencil, dog-eared for special places (nearly every page in certain chapters), and I did 70% of the exercises, which is pretty good for me with a writing craft book. I can see applying different exercises at different times in my writing life. While I read this book, I laughed, I thought, I snorted, I shook my head, I almost wept over one part, and I wrote. In short, it was wonderful.

I don't know what the next IWSG Goodreads book will be, but since I already have a copy of Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine, I'm working on that one. I actually started it midway through Chapter after Chapter because I needed a different approach for some of my current WIP. Think to Ink has some fantasy-friendly writing exercises that fit with The Greenling Chronicles (book 1 of a series). Levine's book also has good general writing advice and exercises found in her sections. I'm currently in her section on Character Building (chapters 4-9).

The one part that I keep coming back to from Chapter after Chapter is Chapter 21: Braids. I loved so much of the entire book, but this chapter hit me right in the gut of my current WIP. I needed this chapter and I keep referring back to it as I'm writing. I would love to share the whole chapter, but I know that is wrong, so I'll just give you a few bits here:

"Braided books (or articles or stories) are made up of three or four strands of storyline .... You tell three stories, bit by bit. The juxtapositions lend life and suprise, tension and drama. ... Things stay fresh and lively and manageable."

Oddly, I think I knew this by instinct (from reading) when I wrote Champion in the Darkness, but somehow I forgot it by the time I started writing the last few novels I've attempted. Last year's novel disaster still smarts. I never shared much of it because getting that far in a project and then dumping it is just painful - like an early romance just gone wrong. I think that my best parts of my Captain Wrath WIP include braids, but then somewhere in there, I lost the sense of them and end up with a snarl (fitting for the Captain, but not good for the novel). Although I do want to go back and unsnarl, or at least re-braid Captain, I'm determined to finish The Greenling Chronicles book 1 with a decent braided outline for the rest of the series before I return to the Captain's side.

With Greenling, I have Dunnie, the villain, and the writings of his family and friends. Ray's comics are an important piece but I can't draw so I'm hoping I can find a publisher that will be excited about combining text with comic book pages - at least in a one comic book page every chapter kind of way. I've also been tossing around the idea of including a "science and quest journal" from Dunnie's mom in this first book - she leaves him with his Gran so she can go on a bit of a quest and then she goes missing and leaves her journal behind.

I really want to include different types of imagery and text for this novel. That's one of my big ideas behind it - not a theme, as much as a hope to draw in more visual, artistic readers. I've met a handful of young readers this last year who prefer graphic novels to text novels and I would love to tackle a crossover graphic and textual novel style book for a MG to early YA age group.

Have you ever read a book that contained comic book or graphic novel elements? Am I biting off more than I can chew with my wild crossover idea?

Have you read Chapter after Chapter or another writing craft book lately?

Go Here for the IWSG Goodreads discussion.

Hero Lost - the Blog Tour is happening at these sites this week!
May 22 - Christine Rains - Review 
May 22 - Nick Wilford - Guest Post 
May 24 - Toi Thomas - Interview

Friday, May 19, 2017

Twenty-four Days Book Tour with Jacqui Murray!



My question for Jacqui: 
Is the tech included in the book really possible?
Absolutely. It takes real laws of physics—science in general—and extrapolates intelligently on those to what could be if there was time and money. It follows the model of what is commonly referred to as Star Trek Science. But in the case of Twenty-four Days science, you don’t have to wait centuries. It’ll probably be around in a matter of decades.

You can say you read about it first in Twenty-four Days.

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don't know what it is, where it is, or who's involved.
What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the sentient artificial intelligence who thinks he's human:
An unlikely team is America's only chance
World-renowned paleoanthropologist, Dr. Zeke Rowe is surprised when a friend from his SEAL past shows up in his Columbia lab and asks for help: Two submarines have been hijacked and Rowe might be the only man who can find them.
At first he refuses, fearing a return to his former life will end a sputtering romance with fellow scientist and love of his life, Kali Delamagente, but when one of his closest friends is killed by the hijackers, he changes his mind. He asks Delamagente for the use of her one-of-a-kind AI Otto who possesses the unique skill of being able to follow anything with a digital trail.
In a matter of hours, Otto finds one of the subs and it is neutralized.
But the second, Otto can’t locate.
Piece by piece, Rowe uncovers a bizarre nexus between Salah Al-Zahrawi--the world’s most dangerous terrorist and a man Rowe thought he had killed a year ago, a North Korean communications satellite America believes is a nuclear-tipped weapon, an ideologue that cares only about revenge, and the USS Bunker Hill (a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser) tasked with supervising the satellite launch.
And a deadline that expires in twenty-four days.
As America teeters on the brink of destruction, Zeke finally realizes that Al-Zahrawi’s goal isn’t nuclear war, but payback against the country that cost him so much.
Kirkus Review:
A blistering pace is set from the beginning: dates open each new chapter/section, generating a countdown that intensifies the title’s time limit. Murray skillfully bounces from scene to scene, handling numerous characters, from hijackers to MI6 special agent Haster. ... A steady tempo and indelible menace form a stirring nautical tale


What customers are saying about this series:
One thing I enjoyed about this read is the technical reality Murray created for both the scientific and military aspects of the book. I completely believed the naval and investigatory hierarchy and protocols, as well as the operation inside the sub. I was fascinated by her explanation of Otto's capabilities, the security efforts Kali employs to protect her data, and how she used Otto's data to help Rowe.


The research and technical details she included in this book had me in complete awe. A cybervirus is crippling submarines--and as subs sunk to the bottom of the ocean, I found myself having a hard time breathing. It's up to Zeke and Kali to save the entire country using their brains. If you love thrillers, this is definitely one you can't miss!


Book information:
Title and author: Twenty-four Days by J. Murray
Genre: Thriller, military thriller
Available at: Kindle USKindle UKKindle Canada
Author bio:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipmanhttps://i0.wp.com/ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?zoom=1.5&t=askatectea-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0978780086, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.
..
Quote from author:
What sets this series apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the Naval battle that relies on not just fire power but problem solving to outwit the enemy.
Social Media contacts:
http://twitter.com/worddreams
http://facebook.com/kali.delamagente
http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher


Have you met Jacqui? Have you read Twenty-Four Days? Do you like books that reveal cool technological possiblities?

And, did you know that the Hero Lost blog tour is in these spots this week:
May 15 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - Interview
May 15 - Juneta Key - Spotlight Post
May 17 - Nicki Elson - Interview
May 19 - Chrys Fey - Guest Post

Plus, the Goodreads IWSG discussion has started for Chapter after Chapter and the interview with Heather Sellers is here.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Marked Beauty Cover Reveal!



MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen

Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.
Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.
After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.
As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

ADD to GOODREADS

About the Author
S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

Giveaway
This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.
To participate:
  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.
***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.
Pre-made tweets (you add the image)
"A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul's journey thru death 2 find the cure." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0
"Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse ... steal your soul." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit
An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit
The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Character Interview: Widow Larkin #IWSGanthology #OfWordsandSwords #HeroLost



Please welcome Widow Larkin for a character interview. Widow Larkin is from "Of Words and Swords" in the Hero Lost: Myteries of Death and Life anthology.

Tyrean: Widow Larkin, why don’t you tell us about how Maud came to live in your attic?

Widow Larkin: I take in lost strays and he seemed lost.

Tyrean: I thought he had –

Widow Larkin: He thought a dark attic would help him in his endeavors. I had such an attic.

Tyrean: Do you think it helped?

Widow Larkin shrugs: I can’t say, really. I’m not into that sort of thing.

Tyrean: Really? I thought in your profession words would be of use.

Widow Larkin: There are words and there are words. Some are useful for one profession and not another.

Tyrean: I see. So, you’re saying that specialized language helps in what you do?

Widow Larkin: Some. I’m more musical in my craft.

Tyrean: I thought that Maud was –

Widow Larkin: He had hopes, but we should not speak of that now.

Tyrean: So, what can we talk about?

Widow Larkin: There really isn’t much, unless you want me to give something away.

Tyrean: Something about you and not Maud?

Widow Larkin: All will be revealed in time.

Widow Larkin starts humming a sweet melody and walks out of the room to the sea.

found on Pinterest. Couldn't find original source.



Okay then. I guess I should let readers know that you can find out more about the secretive Widow Larkin in “Of Words and Swords” from Dancing Lemur press in the Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life anthology.


Last Friday, Ellen Jacobson hosted Renee and I for an interview about cookies and adventures. :) The Hero Lost Anthology authors are going strong!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Twist of Fate Five Part Tweet Series + #HeroLost Blog Tour Links

On a completely different note from my last post (well, unless you consider the beginning of the Cinderella story):

Do you like Cinderalla stories? 
If so, do you like more than one of the renditions of Cinderella or only one? 
Do you have a favorite?

From my understanding, there are hundreds of Cinderella stories from all over the world. Just in my lifetime, I can name several that I've read or viewed. I only included blurbs for the ones that I thought were less known that the most popular versions, but if explanation is needed, just let me know in the comments and I'll fix it.

Disney's animated Cinderella 













Ever After: A Cinderella Story (with Drew Barrymore)













Bound by Jo Napoli
Official Blurb included because I'm not sure how many readers have heard of this YA novel.
YOUNG XING XING IS BOUND
Bound to her father's second wife and daughter after Xing Xing's father has passed away. Bound to a life of servitude as a young girl in ancient China, where the life of a woman is valued less than that of livestock. Bound to be alone and unmarried, with no parents to arrange for a suitable husband. Dubbed "Lazy One" by her stepmother, Xing Xing spends her days taking care of her half sister, Wei Ping, who cannot walk because of her foot bindings, the painful but compulsory tradition for girls who are fit to be married. Even so, Xing Xing is content, for now, to practice her gift for poetry and calligraphy, to tend to the mysterious but beautiful carp in her garden, and to dream of a life unbound by the laws of family and society. 



The Egyptian Cinderella
This Egyptian spin on the classic Cinderella tale was initially recorded in the first century by a Roman historian and is retold here by folklorist Shirley Climo. 
Poor Rhodopis! She has nothing—no mother or father, and no friends. She is a slave, from the far-off country of Greece. Only the beautiful rose-red slippers her master gives her can make Rhodopis smile.

This is one of the oldest versions of Cinderella.



Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China

Over 1,000 years before the first European Cinderella story appeared, the tale of Yeh-Shen was part of China's storytelling tradition.











Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella: 2003 Movie Version













Disney's Cinderella 2015














Cinder Ellis and The Glass Hill by Gail Carson Levine

In this unusual spin on an old favorite, Cinderlla is a boy! He's Cinderellis, and he has two unfriendly brothers and no fairy godmother to help him out. Luckily, he does have magical powders, and he intends to use them to win the hand of his Princess Charming-- that is, Marigold. The only problem is-- Marigold thinks Cinderellis is a monster!







Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levin novel and a movie

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift -- the "gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse -- once and for all.













Cinder
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
(This is my my daughters' favorite version of Cinderella.)


I happen to like all of these. I don't have a problem with seeing the familiar story done in a variety of manners. I like the familiar with a slightly unfamiliar twist and I don't feel like I need to do a "best of" comparison of them. I think they each have something interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking to offer us.

I even tried to write my own fractured fairy tale version of Cinderella in five tweets. These were published by Seven By Twenty last week on twitter. (I actually had seven parts originally, but pared it down to five.)
If you are interested, just go to these links in order:

"Cinderalla:Twist of Fate" Five Part Series at Seven By Twenty. May 1-5, 2017.
Part 1: Fairy Magic
Part 2: The Prince
Part 3: Midnight
Part 4: Wishes
Part 5: The Tree

If you really like fractured/twisted fairy tales, I highly recommend these books/authors:
Once Upon a Happy Ending - a great anthology of short stories that will introduce you to several excellent authors all at once.
Anything by Melanie Cellier - but starting with The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea.
Anything by Gail Carson Levine, but most notably Ella Enchanted - the book has nuances and unexpected twists not included in the movie version (which I still enjoyed). 
The Lunar Chronicles - a series by Marissa Meyer that starts with Cinder. 

If Cinderella doesn't interest you, or you would like to know more about the Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life 2017 IWSG Anthology, please check out the blog tour! I've included all the stops because each one is good. :)
May 2 - Stephanie Faris - Guest Post (from Olga)
May 3 - Michelle Wallace - Interview
May 5 - Cathrina Constantine - Spotlight Post
May 7 - Ronel the Mythmaker Interview
May 8 - Bish Denham - Guest Post
May 8 - Patricia Lynne - Guest Post 
May 9 - ChemistKen - Guest Post
May 10 - M.J. Fifield - Guest Post
May 15 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - Interview
May 15 - Juneta Key - Spotlight Post
May 17 - Nicki Elson - Interview
May 19 - Chrys Fey - Guest Post
May 22 - Christine Rains - Interview 
May 22 - Nick Wilford - Guest Post May 22 - Nick Wilford - Guest Post 
May 24 - Toi Thomas - Interview


Plus, there are some great posts by some of the authors of the anthology this week at these spots:
Why you should write short stories
Girls Who Kick Butt
An Exercise in Wandering with Intent
Traditional African Weapons
Indiantown Reunion In Marsh Harbour, Or Stalking People On The VHF





Hero Lost:Mysteries of Death and Life can be found in these places:

So, do you like familiar stories told in unfamiliar ways? 
Do you like any or all versions of Cinderalla? Did I miss your favorite version?
Ever tried writing a Cinderella story of your own?