Tag Archives: reading

Looking Through Sad

Poetry isn’t my best ‘thing’ but it’s a wonderful way of exorcising intense feelings. I wrote this because someone I love is dying of cancer, a scenario all too common these days. I’m also sending hugs to everyone out there who has lost someone they love to the hateful thing called death.

Looking Through Sad

I’m looking through sad
My heavy gaze
Barely touched by my smile.
Weighed down by sorrow
The press of recollection
Of a truth better not known
That lies at the end
Of everything

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Author Kelly Stone Gamble Has a Question for You

bio shot Kelly Gamble

One of my awesome author friends, Kelly Stone Gamble, has just had her debut fiction, They Call Me Crazy, published by Red Adept Publishing. In honour of the release, and because she’s running around doing the promo thing all of us authors must do, she’s visiting to ask you all an interesting question:

Journaling-Yes or No?

Dear Diary,

Mark is the cutest boy ever! I want to marry him someday.

Kelly + Mark=forever!

These are the words I was taunted with for several months in the fifth grade. Of course, writing them in my diary should have made them private, but when you have an older brother, especially a nosy one that knows exactly where to find your private diary, you aren’t always guaranteed that your inner most thoughts will remain private.

As an adult, I don’t keep a diary, nor do I journal. I tried, but I found myself too worried about what someone might learn about me if they found it, so I held back, or just lied. Lying to your journal kind of defeats the purpose. But I do see the value in writing things down: thoughts, ideas, dreams. But is there a point where you limit yourself? And am I being foolish for caring what others would think?

One of my favorite aspects of writing is the research process, and when I was working on a historical fiction novel set in the 1930’s, I spent a lot of time going through the writings of those that lived during the period. It’s amazing what you can learn about people by reading their thoughts, especially those from a time long ago. So another side of me thinks that if I started journaling, my words may be valuable to a writer in the future, and what a wonderful gift I could share with them.

But every time I try to start again, Mark, (the cutest boy ever) pops into my head, and I can’t write a word. Not. One. Word.

So maybe I should just stick to fiction.

Do you keep a journal? Why or why not?

Thanks for the post Kelly! I hope we get some answers. I don’t keep one, but I used to — it always helped when I was going through ‘stuff’. And if anyone wants to check out her new release, which looks amusing and suspenseful, click on the book cover below and you will be magically whisked away to Amazon. If you like Kelly’s style, you can visit her website too.

They Call me Crazy

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My Writing Process Blog Tour

Hey everyone. I don’t often do blog tour thingies, but I couldn’t say no to the awesome Lorna Suzuki when she asked if I’d participate. Lorna has written a truckload of books, and the first three books in her Imago fantasy series are being turned into movies. I can’t wait to go see them and brag to my kids that I know the author. If you want to find out more about Lorna and her work, click here for her website.

So, to play the blog tour game, I just have to answer four questions about, you guessed it, my writing process. Here goes.

What am I working on?

I’ve just finished writing the last book in my epic fantasy series The Circle of Talia. Realm of Blood and Fire is with the editor at the moment and will be released through iBooks on 21st July as an ebook. They’ve been really good to me, so I’ve given them a one-month exclusive on the ebook, but the paperback will be available from Amazon on the same date. So I have editing and reading through to come, and when I’m finished, I’m going to start on the next book in my Doris & Jemma Vadgeventure series (yes that’s women’s fiction, not YA fantasy).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I wouldn’t say that everything I feel is fairly original has never been done before, but I don’t think there are a lot of books out there at the moment being written with the same fantasy tropes as mine (cue a hundred people naming books in the comments thread). I have strong female protagonists, animal companions that can speak to their realmists mind to mind, an original magic system, and sentient dragons who have their own culture and city. I also have gormons, and I know no one else has those :).

Why do I write what I do?

I love fantasy because I love to escape, and I’ve always loved dragons, so I had to have them in my books. And no one can tell me I’m wrong. It’s my world and I made it up, so I’m right ;). I also write horror, women’s fiction and suspense. I write different genres because I enjoy it, and I love pushing my writing boundaries, which I really have with Close Call, my women’s fiction (if you think I’m exaggerating, go read the blurb on Amazon).

How does your writing process work?

I usually know where I want my characters to end up, and I know where they start from, but I’m what’s known as a ‘pantser’—I make it up as I go along. I can write at any time of day or evening, but my brain is usually fried by 10 pm, so if I’m awake, which I usually am at that time, it’s tv or reading that I do rather than writing. If I come across plot problems, my brain works them out quite nicely just as I’m falling asleep or waiting in line at the shops—my brain is fairly good to me and it hasn’t let me down yet (fingers crossed).

After I finish writing my book, I read through it and then send it to the editor. When it comes back from the editor, I go through the edits, and when I’ve done that, I give it one more read through before it goes out. I also used a proofreader for my last book, and I’ll probably do that for this one too (although time is always tight).

Thanks for stopping by and having a read. I’m not sure if I’ve enlightened anyone about anything worthwhile, but hey, you’ve just procrastinated for a couple of minutes—now get back to work! ;).

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One (High) fantasy writer to another (MG) fantasy writer.

aretesans banner

I guess I should introduce myself before starting this post. I’m Cas Peace, the UK author of the Artesans of Albia fantasy series. The reason for this post (and many thanks to Dionne Lister for inviting me on to her blog!) is that I’m relaunching the series now that the first trilogy is complete.

Of course, that hints at more books to come. Yes – there are two more trilogies – making nine books in all! The first three, King’s Envoy, King’s Champion, and King’s Artesan, are all available RIGHT NOW on Amazon, and for the duration of this blog tour (December 12 – 18) will be offered at some great prices.

So, the theme of this post is one fantasy writer to another. I’ll confess that I didn’t know much about Dionne or her books before this, but I do know a few things. I know she writes epic fantasy, and that she writes about dragons. Ok – two of my most favorite things! My own books are epic fantasy, although mine are usually classed as High Fantasy, and mine are aimed primarily at adults, whereas Dionne’s target readership is a touch younger. Yet from what I can see, our respective readerships would cross over quite easily. I have had 12-yr-olds read and really enjoy my books, and Dionne has clearly had the same reaction from adults. Fantasy readers are some of the most accepting readers out there, I think!

My fascination with fantasy started with Anne McCaffrey’s dragons of Pern, and I’ve yet to see a writer ‘do’ dragons better (I’m prepared to be persuaded, though!). When I began my own writing, everyone who knew me assumed my books would be about dragons. They were astounded when I told them there wasn’t a single dragon in them! The creature depicted on the front of King’s Envoy is as close as I come: it’s called a tangwyr and it’s a sort of eagle-cross-bat. Nasty guy!

The other thing I know about Dionne is that she likes to use ‘proper’ English. This is another area where we are alike as writers. I treasure our language and as a fantasy writer, I’ve created my fair share of fantasy names and words. Language is wonderful like that – it really lends itself to being bent and moulded to our needs. But what every reader needs in order to appreciate a writer’s work is a good grounding in the basic rules of language. I feel very strongly that children should be taught how to spell properly and how to punctuate. It’s not that hard if taught correctly!

Dionne also likes poetry. I’m not a big reader of poetry per se, but I do use it in my books in the form of songs. I’m also a singer/songwriter, and my main female character, Sullyan, is a musician and singer. She has music in her background, and so it was inevitable that she would sing at some point in my books. I decided that this would be a good USP for my books, and so I recorded all the three songs from my first trilogy, and they are offered on my website as FREE downloads. They also feature in the series trailer. See the links below.

I don’t know about Dionne, but I sometimes find myself writing prose that almost comes out as poetry. Fantasy novels lend themselves to this, I think. Much of Tolkien’s writing has a very lyrical quality to it, and of course, there are songs in his books, too.

The last thing I know about Dionne that links us is that she likes chocolate. Me too! Many a difficult chapter has been written to a chocolate accompaniment. I believe it fuels the brain cells, and I won’t hear anyone tell me different! What do you think, Dionne? Ha! I agree, Cas. And the prose/poetry thing is right too. It’s our way of being lyrical. And thanks for joining me today, Cas, it’s been a pleasure learning all about your writing. Now everyone should go and check out her awesome fantasy books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

cas-peace

Cas Peace was born in Hampshire UK, in 1957, and has lived there most of her life. Her first career was as a horse-riding instructor, and horses remain very close to her heart. She then spent 13 years working for the British Civil Service before leaving the UK to live in Italy for three years, 1991-1994. She speaks passable but by no means perfect Italian, and loves to return to Italy whenever she can.

Cas’s other great loves are anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses, (she supports many animal charities) and also singing. Cas loves folk songs and along with her husband, who plays guitar, has performed in many a Southern England folk club. Sometimes they even asked her back! She writes folk songs to accompany her fantasy novels, and offers them as free downloads from her website.

Artesans of Albia series synopsis.

On a foolhardy foray into a foreign realm, Taran Elijah is attacked by a terrible weapon known as the Staff. Killing its wielder, he escapes into Albia, inadvertantly carrying the Staff.

Concerned by the vicious raids that follow Taran’s actions, Major Sullyan of the High King’s forces crosses into Andaryon to seek diplomatic resolution to the crisis. She is captured and tortured by Lord Rykan, aspirant to the Andaryon throne.

Slowly dying, Sullyan escapes his clutches. She offers her skills to the Hierarch in defense of his throne, finally confronting Rykan on the field of battle.

Her handsome Captain and lover, Robin Tamsen, embarks on a desperate quest to recover the Staff. But Rykan’s greedy General, Sonten, is two steps ahead of him. If Robin cannot lay hold of the weapon before Sonten does, Sullyan’s life and the lives of all Artesans are forfeit.

The race for the Staff has begun.

ADVANCED PRAISE FOR King’s Artesan

“One of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. The balance between background story and action is just perfect. I’m very glad I found this author. You won’t want to miss this series!” ~Denyse Cohen, author of Witch’s Soulmate, Book 1 of the Living Energy Trilogy

“Splendidly written in a wonderful voice, drew me in immediately. Ms. Peace’s imagination alone gets 5 stars. Spectacular worlds and enchanting scenes. Anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a world of a charming fantasy with plenty of layers and a host of intriguing characters won’t be disappointed!” ~Rosary McQuestion, author of Once Upon Another Time

“As soon as I finished this book I was eager to start the next. I highly recommend this book. Great Job!!” ~Janus Gangi, author of Elizabeth Rose and That Morning After

 

Find Cas Peace on her website: www.caspeace.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cas.peace

Her Blog: www.peacewrites.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @CasPeace1

See the Artesans of Albia Trilogy Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ORbCO_wGI

There are also some awesome giveaways associated with Cas’s tour, so check out her website for details and maybe you’ll win.

promo poster

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Close Call: A Doris & Jemma Vadgeventure Cover Reveal

Well, here it is, the moment I’ve been waiting for. My alter ego, Eloise March, has written something exciting, fresh and fun — think Bridget Jones Diary meets The Vagina Monologues. And now I get to reveal the most amazing cover done by awesome cover artist and graphic designer (among other things) and dear friend, Sol Pandiella-McLeod. So, here it is. Drum roll….

Doris jpeg ebook cover

Close Call: A Doris & Jemma Vadgeventure is chick lit, or as they now say, contemporary women’s comedy fiction. It’s the first of a series of novellas, each one it’s own story but with the same characters — kind of like a tv series. So, what is it about? Read on.

Twenty-two year-old Jemma can’t seem to get her life in order. Her track record with men stinks, she constantly worries about getting fat and ending up a spinster at thirty, and to top it off, she has to be a bridesmaid at her most-hated cousin’s wedding. She feels like her life is over, until Doris decides to help out. Who’s Doris? Doris is Jemma’s vagina and she thinks more of Jemma than her own brain does. Doris is on a mission to save Jemma from herself, but is the task too much for one vagina to handle?

If you’re as excited as I am, don’t worry; it will be available as an ebook and paperback from all the usual outlets on 1st December, 2013. Visit the Facebook page or twitter to get the links when it goes live.

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Author Feature — A Visit From Tara Maya

I’ve been getting a bit social lately, and I’d like to introduce my second guest in a week! Fellow fantasy author, Tara Maya is joining us today. Welcome, Tara!

Initiate_cover

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya

BLURB

DEADLY INITIATION

A DETERMINED GIRL…

Dindi can’t do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi’s clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

AN EXILED WARRIOR…

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don’t kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father’s wars and his mother’s curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her… assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

EXCERPT

Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn’t appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

“Join our circle, Dindi!” the fae voices gurgled under the water. “Dance with us forever!”

“No!” She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, “Dispel!” but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn’t be coming up again.

“Dispel!” It was a man’s voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

“Better?” he asked.

She nodded. He was young–only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

“Good.” He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi’s hand touched skin–he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

“It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that,” he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. “What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?”

LINKS

Tara’s blog http://bit.ly/12dFdNy

Tara’s Twitter http://bit.ly/162sCtE

The Unfinished Song on Facebook http://on.fb.me/1400mMq

Amazon http://amzn.to/15ciwYc

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/13yM5Dr

Kobo http://bit.ly/1aFhg1P

iTunes http://bit.ly/1baddhN

Smashwords http://bit.ly/17zK8Xn

Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

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Say G’day to Author Seumas Gallacher

Today I’m hosting a guest post by best-selling Scottish author, Seumas Gallacher. Please excuse his accent and sorry if you have to listen carefully to understand what he’s saying ;). Have to say, I love the book covers! Now I’ll pass it over to the man himself *claps in welcome*.

wall copy-1

If yeez don’t ask, yeez don’t get… Readers/Book Bloggers of AUSTRALIA, this ol’ Jurassic needs you! … #TBSU…

…in my acne-and-angst-ridden teens, pursuit of members of the fair sex was a lottery… in the Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull, we youths often entertained ourselves at weekends by attending  ceilidhs and dances at the local village halls around the island… despite not yet having reached the age of 20, Dutch Courage was much fortified with the electric soup (whisky…uisge beatha…the water of life… liquid seeds of hangovers)… quarter-bottles of Johnnie Walker/Lang’s/White Horse/whatever-distilled-poison the Scotch-liquor salesmen were then currently peddling to the off-sales shops appeared in rotation from sundry inside-jacket pockets…outside the dance hall area, of course… we Scots do have some decorum in our getting p*ssed… resolve thus strengthened, the ritual began… the asking-some-fair-lassie-if-she’d-like-to-dance routine… yeez may be surprised to learn that frequent refusal to indulge in toe-trampling with drunken youths was the order of the day (evening)… undaunted, yer bold Master Gallacher would go on down the line… asking… asking… asking… trying to appear less desperate than he felt… eventually some charitable wee damsel would consent to risk life and limb to clamber onto the dance floor… the lesson never left me… if yeez don’t ask, yeez don’t get… relevance of all this, Mabel?… fast forward to the present… the Great God Amazon Kindle has recently loosened the strictures on downloading in AUSTRALIAKindle is now live in OZ… another WUNNERFUL new market opens up for the self-publishing eBook brigade… which includes yours truly… time to practice what I’ve been preaching for the past couple of years… BUILDING THE PLATFORM… developing a base of like-minded souls to share with in situ from Brisbane to Perth, Melbourne to Darwin, don’t omit Tasmania… I’m searching for AUSTRALIAN-BASED READERS AND BOOK BLOGGERS willing to carry stuff on this ol’ Jurassic and his books… Guest Posts, Q and A pieces, yeez know the drill… any takers, please? I can be reached on seumasgallacher@yahoo.com  LUV YEEZ … see yeez later…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

seumas picSeumas Gallacher was born in the cradle of the Govan shipyards in Glasgow in the so-called ‘bad old days’, which were really the greatest of days, where everybody was a true character of note.

An early career as a trainee banker led to a spell in London, where his pretence to be a missionary converting the English fell on deaf ears.

Escape to the Far East in 1980 opened up access to cultures and societies on a global scale, eventually bringing the realisation that the world is simply one large, extended village.

The lifelong desire to write resulted in THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, the first in a planned series. Seumas’ sequel novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK was launched in early July 2012. The third, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was released in late 2013 with at least two other books to follow in the same vein. Ebook downloads on his novels exceed 70,000 to date.

Seumas lives in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

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