New Release: The Yak Guy Project by C.S. Boyack #Fantasy #Dystopian #Adventure

Treat time! I’m uber jazzed to have the fabulous Lisa, spokesmodel for C. S. Boyack drop by today to talk about Craig’s newest release, The Yak Guy Project. Craig is one of my auto-buy authors, but Yak Guy holds a special place for me. I was a beta reader on this book and it’s just so . . . odd. Hey, odd is a good thing! I adore odd!

The story is filled with sly twists and turns, quirky characters and creatures, vivid descriptions, and clever dialogue. Trust me, you’re going to want to one-click this novel. You can do that right here and check out my 5-star review while you’re at it.

Want to hear more? Lisa has the low down about some of the research that went into this one . . .


Thanks for having me over today, Mae. It’s nice to get out of the writing cabin once in a while. My assignment today is to talk about Craig’s new book, The Yak Guy Project. This title has caught people’s attention, and there have been some positive comments about it. All I can say is the guy is a project throughout the story, he rides a yak, and he really doesn’t have a name. He adopts one later in the story so he can interact with others.

book cover of The Yak Guy Project by C.S. Boyack shows man in khaki hunting outfit with samurai sword strapped to his back and a large yak in the backgroundIt may seem odd to talk about research for speculative fiction. There is so much what if going on, and creatures are made up on the fly, that research seems kind of unimportant. The truth is there is always research.

Craig nearly got swept away by the Research Sirens on this one, when he dug into the silk trade. Guess I should tell you, that with a yak in the story, there is an Asiatic vibe about much of the setting. Anyway, the silk trade is fascinating. From gathering the worms, feeding them, keeping them happy with music and temperature controls, it became kind of a distraction. There were entire trade routes established just for the silk trade, and I’m sure there are many stories someone could tell.

That’s kind of the problem. The Sirens want to wreck an author’s ship against the rocks of research. Most of the research in a story leads to a paragraph or two, sometimes only a sentence. Craig spent weeks digging into the silk trade, because it was interesting. It became a distraction.

Fortunately, I was able to pull him back and get him focused on Yak Guy once more. There was other research involved too. Small things like the edibility of bamboo shoots, snakes with legs who wound up looking like Chinese dragons in the story, even color phases of yaks. We spent a day learning about farming and harvesting rice. My point is there is always research, even in speculative fiction.

Yak Guy is the journey of a worthless young man. He learns to take care of himself at the hands of a mentor, who happens to be a talking yak. Then he is taken to a place that’s designed to show him what he can expect out of life. Where he can want something more than survival in the wilderness. What he winds up wanting is a girl, a specific girl that’s a little out of his league.

Anyway, our Yak Guy turns out okay in the end. He learns a lot of life’s lessons, and some are hard lessons too.

The bonus is all the silk outfits I walked away with. I wound up with some beautiful clothing when helping Craig with dialog and positioning. We decided to make some posters of these, and I brought you and your fans one today.

Lisa Burton, a character created by author C. S. Boyack, wearing flowing green silk gown with old fashioned street lantern in background. Lisa's hair is in a Japanese style bun

I’m currently on the lookout for pirate girl outfits. Is there anyplace around here that might have stuff like that?

Blurb:
Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.

This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.

Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.

The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.

Purchase From:
Amazon Universal Link

Biography box for author C. S. Boyack

Connect with Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | My Novels | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest 

Love Letters from Heaven by Debbie Peterson #newrelease #paranormalromance #sweetromance

It’s been a while since my good friend, Debbie Peterson, has visited my blog. I am so excited to have her back today with a new release. If you’re not familiar with Debbie, she writes sweet paranormal romances with a fabulous helping of history in each.

From knights of old and sea captains, to Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers—even a few mystical realms—her tales are filled with exceptional characters, riveting plots, and old-fashioned romance. I’ve devoured all of her books, promptly doing the same with her latest, Love Letters from Heaven, which pairs a modern-day woman with the ghost of a noble and heroic WWII army sergeant. I hope you’ll welcome Debbie with her post:

Fun and/or Interesting Facts about Love Letters from Heaven
that you may or may not want to know…

The character of Sergeant William Malloy Griffin is based on a real soldier who died from horrific wounds suffered at Normandy Beach, on June 6, 1944. (I would love to have known him in person. He sounds like he was quite a guy and would probably make any red-blooded American girl swoon…)

If you have the stomach for it, you can indeed order an “Individual Deceased Personnel File” or (IDPF) of a soldier that died during combat, through the Freedom of Information Act. These files do contain the same kind of information Katie discovers about William, including photographs and copies of letters. (Not all American wars are represented though…)

William’s life in the spiritual realm, as well as what can be seen and found therein (such as homes, horses, breathtaking vegetation, and animal life), was inspired by my vast and continually growing collection of books on Near-Death-Experiences. Fascinating stuff, the lot of them! They kind of make you wish you could have such an experience yourself. Maybe. (It would be my luck that I wouldn’t be able to come back and tell anyone about it.)

While writing, whenever I needed to recapture the hallowed, reverent feelings D-Day inspires, I would watch the YouTube video called “The Boy on Normandy Beach.” It gets to me – Every. Single. Time.

Unchained Melody as recorded by Inka Gold became Katie and William’s song without any forethought whatsoever. I wasn’t even searching. The thing just started playing in my head while I was writing.

Two days before the release of Love Letters from Heaven, I learned it was also going to be released in Audio book format! If you’re a fan of audio books as well as paranormal romance, you might want to watch for its upcoming release.

Book cover for Love Letters from Heaven a paranormal romance novel by Debbie PetersonBlurb:
After a failed, miserable marriage, Katie Adelton vowed she would never let another man into her life. All of that changed with a single visit to the Normandy American Cemetery, and an encounter with a handsome ghost from World War II. A ghost that to her utter astonishment, claimed to be her soul mate.

Sergeant William Malloy Griffin willingly gave his life for his country on the shore of Omaha Beach on D-Day. From that day forward he searched the entire earth for his lost love. Once he found her, it took everything in his power to break through the barrier that kept them apart.

Now a vengeful ghost is intent on destroying the heart of the only woman William will ever love. What if the power of love can’t conquer all?

Connect with Debbie at the following haunts:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

Purchase Love Letters from Heaven from:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Wild Rose Press

Welcome to One Ugly Mug #Password #NewRelease #RomanticThriller

Welcome friends! Today, Staci Troilo is back with her latest release, Password. She’s got a great behind-the-scenes glimpse of the fictional bar she created for use in the story (how can you not love a place called One Ugly Mug?).

I’m always jazzed when Staci has a new book, because I know I’ll get to disappear into the pages of a riveting tale. Password is no exception. You can read my complete 5-star review on Amazon, but I’ll leave you with this snippet of my impressions:

“The twists and turns in this novel really surprised me. Not only do we get two great lead characters who experience plenty of romantic ups and downs, but the story is chock full of suspense, and a mystery that will keep you guessing right up until the end.”

And now, here’s Staci with . . .

Welcome to One Ugly Mug

Thanks for inviting me here today, Mae. I appreciate having a chance to talk to your readers about my new novel. Hi, everybody!


You remember how pretty much every Cheers episode had a scene showing Norm walk in.

He says, “Hey, everybody.”

And they all say, “Norm!” in return.

It is, after all, the place where everybody knows his name.

Keep that image in mind. Now, make the bar a little darker, a little edgier. Dangerous enough that families don’t stop in for the chicken wings but clean enough that feet don’t stick to the floor and the bathrooms don’t look like crime scenes. Imagine many of the patrons are affiliated with the government, but they’re not postal worker Cliff Clavin types. Rather, they’re current and former special forces types.

You’re picturing One Ugly Mug.

shot of bar with with stools, glasses, bottles, beer signs

This fictional bar, set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the local hangout for the guys of Nightforce Security and their military buddies who sometimes come to town to visit.

The waitresses wear whatever they like. Most choose jeans or shorts and button-downs or t-shirts. Even the youngest, flirtiest of them doesn’t wear Hooters-style clothes, but you can be darn sure no one would dare proposition a waitress who chose to. Bouncers aren’t necessary at One Ugly Mug. The patrons take care of each other. And if it happens to be a slow day, the bartender has it covered.

What’s his story, you ask? Well, we’ll learn more about him as the series goes on. He’s only in the periphery in Password. Not named, not even referred to. But we know he’s there… someone has to mix the drinks. He’s a mysterious and compelling guy. I’m looking forward to digging into his background.

When the Nightforce guys get antsy, they can play pool or shoot darts. There’s never a live band, never karaoke (God forbid), but there is the occasional rendition of a song belted out by a too-tipsy barfly. The retro jukebox in the corner is regularly fed quarters. Classic rock is pretty much the only choice. Rap is only allowed if the guys are celebrating the end of a mission or if the bartender has the day off. (For the record, that doesn’t happen often.) Because the guys respect him so much, they never play rap at One Ugly Mug when he’s there. Well, it’s part respect and part the fact that the most recent rap track put in the jukebox was the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right”. In fact, no songs, rap or otherwise, have been added since the bar opened in the 1980s.

There are private booths, semi-private tables, and of course there are always stools where a patron can belly up to the bar. The lighting is dim, the banter is smart, and it’s a good thing One Ugly Mug is so compelling. Why? Because it’s going to be a frequent location in the Nightforce Security series.

book cover for Password, a romantic thriller by Staci TroiloBlurb:

Some passwords protect more than just secrets.

Danny Caruso was glad to be back in the United States, back to his regular job. Back to his comfortable routine of all work and no play. But when his friend Mac asks a favor of him, he can’t refuse. He owes the guy everything. So he accepts the job, even though it means a twenty-four/seven protection detail guarding a particularly exacerbating—and beautiful—woman.

Braelyn Edwards is careful to stay out of the spotlight, preferring to hide in the background and skip the trappings of a vibrant social life. But her privacy is threatened when there’s an attempt on her life and a bodyguard is foisted on her. Compounding problems? He doesn’t just want to protect her. He wants to investigate every detail of her life, starting with her top-secret job.

Danny casts his sights on Charlie Park, her coworker, her partner… the one man who knows all Braelyn’s secrets. She’s frustrated by the distrust until she realizes jealousy fuels Danny’s suspicions as much as instinct and proof. One of them is right about Charlie—but by the time they figure it out, it may be too late to save their relationship. And Braelyn’s life.

Universal Purchase Link

Password is the first story in the Nightforce Security Series. A sequel is already in the works. The next installment will be a novella released in March as part of Susan Stoker’s Special Forces Kindle World. So if this series interests you, you won’t have long to wait.


Author Staci Troilo in a candid poseAuthor Bio
Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Connect with Staci on Social Media:

Web | Blog | Newsletter | Facebook Group | Twitter | Facebook | Other Social Media Links

 

Meet Lizzie from The Hat by C. S. Boyack

Ready for some author fun? Today, Lisa, the robot girl, the spokesmodel for C. S. Boyack is back on my blog to talk about Craig’s latest release, The Hat. She’s even brought along a fabulous new poster to share. Seriously—no one rocks hats like Lisa. Well, except maybe her author and Lizzie St. Laurent.

And just exactly who is Lizzie, you ask? I’ll let Lisa explain…

Hi, everyone, and thanks for inviting me over again, Mae. What’s with all this snow? Idaho has almost none this year.

On a tour like this one, we talk about all kinds of things. Today, I want to talk about Lizzie St. Laurent.

Lizzie is a young woman, working multiple jobs to hold things together. She has two legitimate jobs, and one under-the-table kind of thing where her apartment is.

It all started when her parents bought her a car and shipped her off to college. She lived for a year with her grandmother, but Grandma had to go into assisted living. Lizzie had to make new arrangements, and life got ahead of her as it often does. She dropped out, and took on any work she could find to make ends meet.

After her grandmother died, Lizzie asked for a memento from her grandmother’s things, but her greedy-assed uncle said no. That’s when she stole a random box. This box turned out to have an old hat inside. A hat with deep ties to her grandfather and previous members of her family.

The hat turned out to be a creature from another dimension, trapped in the form of a hat for all time. He can transform into any kind of headwear, and Lizzie tests him on that skill. He isn’t up on women’s fashion or the fact that hats are out of style.

When a ring of baby snatchers take her best friend’s newborn, the hat convinces Lizzie they are uniquely equipped to do something about it. The hat has a few abilities beyond just being fashionable.

To pull this off requires a combination of skills. Some Lizzie has, and some the hat possesses. The hat hasn’t seen modern society for twenty years; he’s not used to our electronic world or modern sensibilities. Lizzie hasn’t seen people at their worst, like they were dating back to the Bronze Age, but the hat has. They’re both going to have to adapt and trust each other to rescue the missing babies.

Craig wants me to remind folks The Hat is novella length, so you can read it in an afternoon. It’s priced at 99¢ and is an incredible deal.

Today, I’m handing out this fun poster. It’s me, wearing the hat on a crisp autumn morning. Nothing paranormal happening, just a nice portrait. This version of The Hat does appear in the story though. Feel free to use it as your iPad background or whatever you like.

Lisa Burton artwork shows Lisa in a green off-the-shoulder sweater, wearing a pink hat and drinking a steaming beverage from a cup

 

Cover for the novella, The Hat by C. S. BoyackBlurb:
Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

Purchase The Hat HERE  

Author C. S. BoyackAbout the Author:
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Connect with Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | My Novels | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest 

 

New release: Jewel in the Mud by Harmony Kent #Zen #StoryEmpireAuthor

It’s been a busy week here at From the Pen of Mae Clair with a number of friends rolling out new releases. Today, I’m happy to have Harmony Kent, one of my sister authors at Story Empire visit with her latest, Jewel in the Mud. The moment I heard the title I was intrigued. So, just what is this collection about and how did it come to fruition?

Harmony explains…

Banner for Jewel in the Mud, a collection of Zen musings by Harmony Kent

~ooOOoo~

What inspired me to write Jewel in the Mud?
My life has been an interesting one and has provided many challenges, as well as seeing a lot of change—both internal and external. It sometimes feels as multi-genre as my books! Along the way, many people have told me that I inspire them. Such encounters led to me writing a series of Monday Musings on my blog, which proved incredibly popular. Seeing this response, and how much my readers valued my musings, I decided to make them into a book, along with a ‘thought for the week’, and Jewel in the Mud was born. It is my hope that this reaches even more people and inspires them in their lives.

for Jewel in the Mud, a collection of Zen musings by Harmony KentBook Blurb Jewel in the Mud
‘Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It relies solely on what you think.’

Have you ever felt angry? Upset? Hurt? Overwhelmed? Not up to it?

This book, with its pithy teachings based in Zen, will help you find the jewel in the inevitable mud of life rather than wallowing in that mud.

Not only does each day offer us a new start, a chance to press reset, but so does each and every breath. It’s never too late to be who you were meant to be, and your history doesn’t have to keep you trapped. And nor do you have to waste endless energy on worrying about all that the future may bring.

Written in an engaging manner, Jewel in the Mud invites you to search within and make your world the way you want it to be. It doesn’t give you strict instructions or homework, but instead, invites you to dive deeper, search further, and question your assumptions.

The book has handy thoughts for the week, and can be read in one go, weekly, or dipped into at random. In short, it has been designed to fit in with you and your needs.

Learn how to take control of your life with these Zen Musings.

About the author: 
Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours and refuses to admit to her age.

If you catch her at work, you’ll see she also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services. Not to mention being passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Connect with Harmony at the following haunts:
Website | Amazon US Amazon UK | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Amazon US sales page Jewel: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078WDZ69K
Amazon UK sales page Jewel: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078WDZ69K

 

New Release: Lazy Days by Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie #Family #Adventure

I have a first time guest on my blog today—or more precisely, guests. Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie, sister authors, are celebrating the release of their new book, Lazy Days. I’ve read two of Anita’s wonderful novels, Let it Go and Secrets already, and Jaye’s are on my list. I will be adding this co-authored work to my TBR as well. I hope you’ll make them feel welcome and check out Lazy Days. They also have a very active blog and welcome new followers. You can find connect with them here.

And now, here’s Anita with a guest post to tell us how their journey toward writing began:

Book tour promo ad for Lazy Days by Anita and Jaye Dawes

Two years ago, when I first started hearing about Indie publishing, I never thought it would be something I could actually do, as the thought of anything to do with a computer filled me with dread.

I had been writing for years, and submitted my work to most of the mainstream publishers. Very nearly made it too, but as they say, a miss is as good as a mile! Which was a shame, for many people liked what I wrote.

So it didn’t take long for the idea of doing it yourself to become something I was determined to do. I enlisted the help of my sister, Jaye, as she is far more computer literate than I. More stubborn too!

What Jaye had to learn was incredible, and unbelievably hard. I tried to keep up with her, but there were days when even she was pulling her hair out. Some of it was easy, which tended to lull us into a false sense of achievement, but we persevered.

Eventually, we learned how to upload one of my manuscripts to Amazon, and I was finally a published author. (Well, sort of).

We didn’t stop there. We wanted to upload my other books and create paperback copies too, proof positive that I was truly a writer. One little success meant there could very well be others, and that was the best incentive in the world.

Learning how to do all that was a nightmare, but soon, four of my books were on Amazon and we were like a couple of Cheshire cats. We were tempted to stop there; after all, I now had four paperback copies of my books on my shelf, as well as the Kindle editions.

But we soon discovered that this was only half of the battle. Apparently, you need a platform, a reader friendly website to promote my books or they would remain in limbo. Then there was all the socialising and networking. So many writers were publishing their own books; we were a very small pebble in a very large pond!

We managed to create a passable website and established a presence on the internet. Not that this is the end of the story, there is no way you can rest on your laurels (that is if you even have some!)

Even if nothing monumental comes from all our efforts, we know we have tried our hardest. But we won’t stop writing, for that’s the fun part!

Book cover for Lazy Days by Anita and Jaye Dawes shows trees over stream, idyllic settingLazy Days Book Blurb:
This novella is the true story of our family’s first proper holiday back in the Seventies. Looking back, I wonder what made us think it was a good idea, but despite all the things that could have gone wrong, we had a fantastic time. I was the Skipper most of the time, and for some reason decided to record our adventures in a small notebook. We were young and without husbands, Anita was a widow, and I was glad to be rid of mine. (and that is another story) Money was precious and scarce back then, but all the saving and sacrifice turned out to be worth every single memory we all cherish.

This notebook has been treasured and kept safe, despite numerous house moves and family disasters, as a symbol of our courage and determination. Renting a boat on the Norfolk Broads could so easily have been one of the stupidest things we had ever done, but even after 40 years, we have such good memories of that time.

Over the years, we often thought of making it into a proper book, but along with everything else in our often-complicated family life, it was something we never got around to. Until just recently, when we were looking for some old photographs, found the now fragile notebook and knew it was time.

It wasn’t as easy as we imagined it would be either, for our logbook writing skills leave a lot to be desired, but there was just enough information entered on those pages to get us started.

banner for Lazy Days Book tour Quiz with starry sky background

Click HERE to join the Lazy Book Tour event on Facebook and take the quiz!

Connect with Anita and Jaye at the following haunts:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Anita’s Amazon Page | Jaye’s Amazon Page 

Purchase Lazy Days from Amazon 

 

Pre-Order Ninja School Mum by Lizzie Chantree

Banner for the book Ninja School Mom by Lizzie Chantree

Today, I’m participating in the blog launch tour for Lizzie Chantree and her new book, Ninja School Mum. Isn’t that a cool title?  And how about the cover—very snazzy!

The official release date is January 30th, but you can pre-order below. I’ve already reserved my copy and look forward to diving in!

Since this is the first time Lizzie has been on my blog, let’s get to know her better through a quick Q & A:

How do you celebrate when you launch a new book?
I jump up and down a lot! 🙂 I don’t usually do too much as my family are all a bit bewildered by the whole process. It’s hard to explain the emotional attachment you have to the stories that have taken so much time and energy to write. Launching them into the world for others to read is pretty scary!

So true, and I don’t think that ever gets easier. I do like your enthusiasm with the jumping up and down, LOL. What’s the best way to market your book?
Networking. Making contacts and actually interacting with them. Don’t just bombard people with marketing, get to know them and tell them about yourself and your writing.

Speaking of writing, what is your process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a panster. I have a basic idea of the story and work out chapter ideas and then I make it up as I go along! The story unfolds to me as I write it. It makes the process so exciting, as I feel like I’m reading the story while I’m writing it and I can’t wait to see what will happen next in the story.

I definitely relate to that. I’m a panster too. What is your favorite color?
Any shade of blue. It relaxes me and I find it inspiring to look at. I love to sit and write by the sea.

Great choice. Blue is my favorite too, with green a close second. How long did it take you to write Ninja school Mum?
It has taken about ten months to write, edit, proof and get Ninja School Mum ready for publication.

Book cover for Ninja School Mom by Lizzie Chantree. Black silhouette of a young woman ninja, hair blowing in a breeze, orange background

BLURB:
Obsessive-compulsive  school  mum, Skye, is a lonely  elite  spy,  who is running from her past whilst trying to protect the future of her child. She tries hard to fit in with the other parents at her son’s new school, but the only person who accepts her unconventional way of life is new mother, Thea.

Thea is feeling harassed by her sister and bored with her life, but she suspects that there is something strange about the new school mum, Skye. Thea has secrets of her own and, although the two become unlikely friends, she hesitates to tell Skye about the father of her own child.

Zack’s new business is growing faster than he could have dreamed but, suddenly, he finds himself the owner of a crumbling estate on the edge of a pretty village, and a single parent to a very demanding child. Could he make a go of things and give his daughter the life she deserved?

When three lives collide, it appears that only one of them is who they seem to be, and you never know who the person next to you in the school playground really is.

Author, Lizzie ChantreeABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree

Connect with Lizzie at the following haunts:
Website | Author Page | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF NINJA SCHOOL MUM

Charles Yallowitz on Writing a Series #tips #epicfantasy

I’m kicking off the New Year with a guest post from fellow writer, Charles Yallowitz. Charles has just released the final book in his Legends of Windemere series. Last summer, I completed the final book in my Point Pleasant Series, and found the experience both challenging and rewarding. It was my first time creating story arcs that spanned multiple books. Three books to be precise. The Legends of Windemere spans fifteen books. Mind-boggling! How does Charles maintain the focus and energy needed to write such an involved series? Check out his tips below—and don’t forget to check out the Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age while you’re at it!

Book cover for The Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age by Charles Yallowtiz

Thank you to Mae Clair for letting me write a post for her blog and helping to promote, Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age.  This is the final book of my fantasy adventure series and it’s been a long road that has spanned 19 years and 15 volumes. It isn’t easy to keep things flowing, especially when you’re publishing 3 books a year. This goes along with a heavy outlining, writing, and editing system, which wear on the mojo. Avoiding burn out is a key to making it through such a massive project, so here are some tricks that I’ve used over the years to push forward.

  1. Rewards for finishing a stage of the process can be a great motivator. I know many say that writing and publishing are their own rewards.  That’s true, but you can’t have enough bronze rings on a long journey.  Just ask Sonic the Hedgehog.  This can be anything too.  I use pizza to celebrate finishing a first draft and publishing a book, which is something I don’t treat myself to when I’m working.  So, there’s a denial aspect in here too.
  2. Side projects can help because they take you away from the main one. You know how people tell you to leave a book alone before you edit?  Well, this is the same thing only it adds the idea of doing something else. Now, this can be poetry, another book, or even something that has nothing to do with writing.  By the time you finish this other project, you’ll be returning to the main one with renewed energy and excited.
  3. Push yourself to the limit, cry in public, and rant about how nobody understands artists. Throw in at least one mention of ‘suffocation’ or ‘stifling’.  End this by thanking everyone for coming over for the holidays.  You can get a good week or two of focus out of this one, but it might cost you some birthday cards.
  4. You know how I hinted that sitting there and doing nothing might not be a good idea? Well, don’t knock lounging around for a weekend or week. It really depends on how worn you are and what you want to do for recovery.  My favorite thing is to choose a DVD boxset and watch that while keeping a notebook nearby.  I don’t consider outlining and character designing as heavy work, so they’re part of my relaxation period. Other options are reading a book, doing a thorough cleaning of the house, and seeing if your family remembers who you are.
  5. Never be afraid to take a day off from writing if you feel that something is off. I’ve had quite a few instances where my mood wasn’t right because of something going on in my life or some other outside influence. Even the weather can wear me out in hours, which puts the writing at risk. Pushing yourself through these periods can work in your favor, but it’s just as likely that you burn out. This sensation of feeling off could really be the onset of a writer’s block or doubt, so pay attention to your instincts.
  6. Believe it or not, exercising can be a good energy booster. It surprised me too when I started using my stationary bike every other morning. Aside from building up some adrenaline and waking up your body, you can let your mind wander on the writing of the day.  Consider the scenes and decide on the points you want to hit or simply imagine what it might turn out like.  This has a secondary benefit of helping you go into the writing with less mental clutter since you’ve already sorted through stuff to some extent.
  7. Talk to other authors. Sure, we aren’t known as the most sociable bunch, but that’s only with outsiders. When you need someone to understand your worries and pains, another author is the way to go. Maybe somebody has a tactic to help you over a hump or you’ll find inspiration for something that was giving you trouble. In the end, it’s just nice to share your thoughts without being judged.

Again, thank you to Mae Clair for giving me this time.  Please feel free to check out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age or help spread the word to those who love fantasy adventures.  Enjoy the adventure.

Author, Charles YallowitzAbout the author:
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Connect with Charles at the following haunts:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Website

All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN

Catch the rest of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE on Amazon!

Book Release: Keeper of His Soul by Lauralynn Elliott #Paranormal #Vampires

I’m excited to have a brand new guest on my blog today. Lauralynn Elliott is a friend and sister author who enjoys exploring the paranormal in her novels. I’ve read several of them (she also does horror!) and found then engaging. Today, she’s here with a new release and has agreed to answer a few questions. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome.

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penLauralynn, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.
I’m kind of boring, really. I’m a mother of two grown sons who have families of their own. I’m very active in the church and love my church family. I’ve always loved to write, and I remember writing my first story at about 8-9 years old, all on note cards.

On notecards? You were definitely determined to start writing, LOL.
Let’s talk plotter vs. panster. I think even plotters veer from their outline to a degree during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely?
I never plot except a little in my head. I’ve tried, but it seems to completely stall the creative process. The story unfolds as I’m writing. I usually know the ending, but sometimes that even changes.

We’re very similar there, although I do make notes prior to starting and as the story unfolds. It’s amazing how easily characters and circumstance can change the course of a plot thread.
I’d love to hear about your latest book.
It’s called Keeper of His Soul, which is a paranormal romance. It has vampires and witches!

Perfect for Halloween. How did you choose your title?
I chose the title because it was a sequel to Soul of a Vampire, and in this book, the main female character is literally the keeper of a soul.

I enjoyed Soul of a Vampire and already have Keeper of His Soul on my Kindle and TBR. Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I enjoyed writing Jude. He’s the vampire without a soul in the book, and he’s very dark, at least at first. He was a lot of fun to write.

Not to mention he has a great name. 🙂 Okay, challenge time: share one sentence—yes, only one—of dialogue or description you love.
I don’t know why I love this so much, but this is where Jude is fighting with a warlock. He says, “If you think your heart is darker than mine, you are badly mistaken.”

A great line, and chilling too! Now for a few quickies on your personal tastes:

Favorite color: Purple
Favorite musical group or singer: The Beatles
Favorite TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite author: Stephen King
Favorite novel: IT
Food you never grow tired of: Pizza

Excellent choices, especially with The Beatles and It. 🙂 Thanks for being my guest today, Lauralynn. It was a delighted to host you at long last.

 If you’d like to connect with Lauralynn you can find her at the following haunts:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

And don’t forget to check out Keeper of His Soul:

book cover for Keeper of His Soul by Lauralynn Elliott

BLURB:
When Jan’s boss asks her and her best friend and co-worker, Tessa, to go to Arizona to pick up an ancient, dangerous book to bring back to the museum for safe-keeping, she never dreamed how that book would change her life. She also never dreamed she would finally find the owner of the soul in the bottle that she had been fascinated with for so long. She longs to return the soul to the vampire it belongs to, but things are never that easy.

Jude has been a vampire for quite some time, and he likes his life just the way it is. No guilt, no remorse. But when a pretty witch comes to him with his soul, it changes the game. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with his soul, but the witch has other ideas.

Will Jude ever get his soul back, or will he reject it? Will the Book of Forbidden Knowledge help or hinder Jan in her quest to help Jude? And will Jan be able to control the book, or will it control her?

Purchase From:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

About the Author:
Lauralynn Elliott is an independently published author of paranormal and fantasy romance books, as well as some horror. She started the indie journey several years ago and has never regretted it, loving the freedom to publish what she wants when she wants. You will find everything from vampires and ghosts to elves and wizards in her novels and novellas. She enjoys putting a little bit of a different twist on some of the old ideas about our favorite fictional characters.

Lauralynn lives in the southeastern United States with her husband of many years. She has two grown sons whom she adores. Reading, playing computer games, and spending time with friends are some of her favorite activities.

Book Release: Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell #RRBC #FamilyLife

Today, I’m happy to share the news that John Howell has a brand new release out. I pre-ordered mine and already have my copy downloaded to my Kindle. There’s still time for you to grab Circumstances of Childhood at the introductory price of just .99c.

Go forth and One-Click! 🙂

Circumstances of Childhood

By John W. Howell

Click for Amazon Kindle

Priced at $0.99 for the introduction

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Blurb:
When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Here is an excerpt.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

Author Bio:

John's Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books:

My Girl front His Revenge Our Justice

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell