Thursday, May 11, 2017

Prophecy of Solstice's End- a Cover Reveal

Today, I've something exciting for you--a cover reveal! Diantha Jones has sent us an advance peek at her latest release.


Summer Solstice is here. Let the games begin.
Nothing but lies (some of them her own) and deceit have brought Chloe to Olympus for the Solstice Olympic Games. As the Oracle and the special guest of the King of Myth, Chloe becomes immersed in a life of unfathomable luxury, taunting history, and overwhelming excitement. Though scheming and untrustworthy, the gods remain on their best behavior as the tension and anticipation builds around the outcome of the Quest of the Twelve Labors, the deadliest competition of the Games. All seems well on the celestial front...until athletes start turning up dead and a philosopher missing for months returns with a most terrifying story...
But that’s not all.

As Strafford confronts his troubled past and more is learned about the Great Unknown Prophecy, Chloe grows close to another, setting off a chain of events that will bring her face-to-face with a truth that will rock both of her worlds to their core.

And it’ll all happen before Solstice’s end...


Book Links:
Amazon  | B&N | Goodreads

 Author Bio:
Diantha Jones loves writing fantasy books filled with adventure, romance, and magic. She's the author of the Oracle of Delphi series, the Mythos series, and the Djinn Order series (as A. Star). When she isn’t writing or working, she is reading or being hypnotized by Netflix. She is a serious night-owl and while everyone else is grinning in the warmth and sunlight, she’s hoping for gloominess and rain. Yeah, she’s weird like that.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Goodreads (A. Star) | Amazon | Pinterest | DJ's Book Corner



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Talking About Super-Heroines


By Eilis Flynn


I'm giving a presentation about how to create super-heroines to the Evergreen Romance Writers of America chapter in a couple of weeks. I've given variations of this, but like life (super-hero life, at least), it's updated and refreshed a bit. And in honor of those super-females, here's a Q&A on the topic that may or may not be up your alley:

How are super-heroines created? To get some idea, let’s look at some Qs and their As about some super-heroines in pop culture!

Q: Who was the first super-heroine of the 20th century? (See, I have to be specific about the century, but I’ll get into that later.)
A. Wonder Woman
B. Miss Fury
C. Edith Cavell
D. Sonya

The answer is (B). Believe it or not, it wasn’t Wonder Woman. Journalist Tarpe Mills came out with Miss Fury almost a year before psychiatrist Charles Moulton Marston, the developer of the X-ray machine, introduced Wonder Woman. And Mills came out with her character on her own, as opposed to Marston, who spearheaded a committee to come up with Wondie. Wonder Woman is notable because she battled evil through the 1940s and the 1950s and went on from there, never really going away to this day, while Miss Fury fought crime in one incarnation or another before she went off into the sunset in 1953. (Wonder Woman, of course, continues to live, no matter how many versions of male creators try to kill her off. I'm certainly looking forward to her movie debut!)

Edith Cavell was a real-life hero of World War I, a nurse who worked on the front. Amazing woman! But not our topic today.

Of course, Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian, also introduced a woman warrior in a short story. It wasn’t a very big intro in 1934, and only diehard fans remembered her, but decades later, in 1973, Marvel Comics came up with Red Sonja, based on Howard’s character. There were big differences between Howard’s Sonya and Marvel Comics’ Red Sonja. Howard’s feisty character, who showed up in just one short story, was based in modern times, while Marvel’s Sonja was a contemporary of Conan the Barbarian and also held her own in a fight. Also interesting, but also not our topic today.

Q: Who’s the comic chick who went from girl to woman to girl?
A: Wonder Woman
B: Hawkgirl
C: Supergirl
D: Disco Dazzler

Sorry for the broad hint! Ahem. The answer, of course, is (B). Before super-heroines were big—and super-heroes had barely come on the scene themselves—there was Shiera Sanders, introduced in 1940, just a while after Superman and Batman. But she wasn’t super yet; she was super-hero Hawkman’s girlfriend. By 1941 she had gained super-powers and she fought alongside Hawkman as Hawkgirl. She faded after World War II, but a new version was introduced in 1963, by then Hawkman’s wife—but she was still Hawkgirl. Twenty years later, Hawkgirl became Hawkwoman, but she wasn’t any stronger and she was still very much a sidekick. Another twenty years later, she was Hawkgirl again—but there wasn’t a Hawkman in sight. She was also more likely than not to relax by starting a brawl than taking a bubble bath. (Her secret identity moniker went between Shiera and Shayera, but again, not the point.) The latest version of Hawkgirl was part of the TV series Legends of Tomorrow. She’s as persistent as Wonder Woman herself!

Wonder Woman, of course, was always Wonder Woman (A). There were Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot too, but they were different characters.

Supergirl was always Supergirl (C). There has been a “Superwoman” from time to time, but only for a single story line, and never for long. And of course, she’s got a TV series of her own these days!

Disco Dazzler (D)…oh, that’s a topic for a whole ‘nother workshop!

Q: For those of you who’ve seen the Marvelverse movies, what about the character that Scarlett Johansson portrays? Codenamed Black Widow, Natasha Romanova (1964) was:
A: A Russian spy
B: A ballerina
C: An actual widow
D: All of the above, depending on whom you ask

Natasha has been a complex and many-lived character (D). That black catsuit she often sports? Not original to her. That costume she’s become best known for only began to be her usual outfit in 1970. No, Emma Peel (1965) of the British TV adventure series The Avengers(!) wore the sleek black catsuit before the Black Widow. Natasha started off as a Russian spy who later defected, becoming at one point a freelance agent of the government agency SHIELD. At one point she was implanted with false memories of having been a ballerina; at another point it was revealed she was married, but her husband faked his death before he ultimately died; and she dated Daredevil, Hawkeye, and others. Busy, but when you’re one of a relatively small pool of super-heroines in a mostly male genre, you probably have your pick.

Q: Why was 1976 a notable year for heroines of all stripes?
A: Miss Piggy was introduced
B: The original Charlie’s Angels debuted
C: Phoenix of the X-Men was revealed
D: Apple Computer was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

Kidding! A, B, C, and D all happened. (For those of you who are curious, Jean Grey of the X-Men was first known as Marvel Girl, then became known as Phoenix or Dark Phoenix in the “new” X-Men depending on whether she was threatening to destroy all of humanity, but mostly as Jean Grey. Also popping up in the Marvelverse are Miss Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Captain Marvel, all female. There was a male Captain Marvel, but he was killed off. Also not to be confused with DC Comics’ Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel—male—both of whom must be the topic of yet another workshop, and that Captain Marvel was recently renamed Shazam. So if you’re a longtime Marvel Comics fan, their favorite phrase “Make Mine Marvel” has many layers.)

Q: Why do we remember Supergirl (1959) and Batgirl (1967)?
A: One is Superman’s cousin and the other is not related to Batman at all
B: From their movies. Oops, sorry, Batgirl never had her own movie, and the Supergirl movie is not spoken of in polite company. Alicia Silverstone as “Batgirl” in the Clooney version of Batman isn’t spoken of, either
C: No idea
D: The possibilities are endless!

It’s (D)! Remember when I mentioned that “Superwoman” as a character has popped up from time to time, but never for long? Supergirl has been the cousin since her introduction in the late 1950s, and she’s stayed that way. (She does have a doppelganger of sorts in the form of Power Girl, the slightly older and definitely more zaftig clone/parallel dimension version, who has gone through a number of different changes.) The same isn’t true for Batgirl. Since the version you’re probably most familiar with is Barbara Gordon (Commissioner Gordon’s daughter or niece, depending on the writer), it may come as a surprise to you that before a series of recent company-wide resets of the DC universe, Barbara fought crime as wheelchair-bound Oracle, leaving the titles of “Batgirl” and “Batwoman” to others. For the moment, anyway.

Q: Not precisely a super-heroine, but she’s pretty darn super nonetheless: How many incarnations has the declared dead ex-junkie turned deadly assassin Nikita had since she was first introduced in 1990?
A: One
B: Two
C: Three
D: Four

Oh, this one’s a gimme (D). La Femme Nikita was the original French film, which came out in 1990 (with Annie Parillaud); Americans were so intrigued by it that they came up with their own version under the title Point of No Return in 1993 (with Bridget Fonda as the lead character, renamed Nina); TV got interested in the character and came up with Peta Wilson (1997–2001); and the latest one on TV just ended with Maggie Q as Nikita (2010–13). It’s had four incarnations in 20 years. Why is this character so popular? We’ll discuss it in my workshop!

Over the years, Eilis Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic book stories, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, a young adult, a graphic novella, and self-published historical fantasies and short stories (most published under the name of Eilis Flynn). Check out eilisflynn.com if you’re curious about them. As Elizabeth Flynn, she’s also a professional editor and has been for more than 35 years, working with academia, technology, finance, romance fiction, and comic books. She can be reached at emsflynn.com. Most days, she hangs out at Facebook at eilis.flynn. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A New Release- Only a Mistress Will Do


Looking for something new to read? Jenna Jaxon would like you to check out her new release—Only a Mistress Will Do.

The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman.

Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another . . .

Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves. . . .

ORDER LINK:  https://www.amazon.com/Only-Mistress-Will-House-Pleasure-ebook/dp/B01I85NPZ0/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8




Here’s an excerpt.

“You heard me playing?” She didn’t know whether to be excited or terrified.
“I came in about halfway through. Just before you broke free.” Straightening, he handed her the sheets of parchment. “It was like watching a bird leave the ground and soar.” His fingers brushed her palm as he passed the music to her.
The spark that leaped from him to her sent her reeling. She stumbled back and he caught her wrist, scalding her, making her tremble inside.
“I do beg pardon. I shouldn’t have startled you so. Come, sit down here.” He escorted her to a chair before the fire. “Let me get Mrs. Parker. She had brought the tea tray while you were playing, but I selfishly sent it back.” His eyes were warm and dark. “I didn’t want you to stop.” He disappeared into the passageway, calling for the cook.
Torn between the elation of playing music again and the shock of Tristan’s touch, Violet sat in the chair, allowing the warmth of the fire to soothe her for a moment or two, until he reappeared. At least he had liked her playing, although she was mortified he’d heard her stumble so badly at the end. She would practice hard so when he heard her again he would be even more pleased. And she did want to please him. A small repayment for his numerous kindnesses, but something within her power to do.
Tristan entered bearing the tea tray himself and she rose, holding out her hands to take it from him.
“No, my dear. Please sit.” He nodded to her chair and she sank down again. “You’ve given me a treat after a long and taxing day, so indulge me by allowing me to serve you.” Once he had settled the tray on the music chest, he pulled a small flute-edged table in front of her. “Mrs. Parker assures me the shortbread came out of the oven not ten minutes ago.”
Violet inhaled aromas of fragrant tea and sweet pastry and her stomach gave a growl. She clamped her hands over the offending organ as heat rushed to her face. Curse it. Just when she might have become comfortable with him.
“You are ready for tea, I see.” He grinned, taking some of the embarrassment out of the moment. “Well, I could tell you have worked hard for it. That is why you are so accomplished.”
“Not very accomplished now,” she said, accepting a napkin from him.
“Nonsense. I’ve no musical ability myself, but I recognize true talent when I hear it. Sugar? Milk?” He poured a cup, then hovered over the bowl of sugar with a pair of tongs.
“One lump and a splash of milk, please. I have not played for a very long time. And even longer since I had the opportunity to practice regularly.” She sipped the tea, deliciously hot and sweet, and took a bite of the still warm petticoat tail. “Ummm.” Violet couldn’t hold back the sigh of contentment. The confection all but melted on her tongue.
“Mrs. Parker’s shortbread would rival Mrs. McLintock’s I’m sure.” He leaned back in his chair opposite her and crunched into a wedge. It disappeared in two bites and he reached for another one.
“Who is Mrs. McLintock?”
“The Scottish woman who apparently invented shortbread about thirty years ago.” When he laughed, his face turned boyish. “At least she gets the credit for writing it down in a recipe book before anyone else. Mrs. Parker told me the first time she baked them for me.” His laughter died as he looked at her, his gaze traveling from her head to her feet. “I see you met with Madame Angelique.”
“Yes, I did. It was quite a surprise.” Completely aware of his scrutiny, Violet sat straighter and smoothed out her skirt. “I cannot thank you enough, my lord.”
He glared at her over the shortbread. “My lord?”
“Tristan. Tris.” She blushed and could do absolutely nothing about it. “You have been more than generous to me. I cannot think how I shall ever repay you.” There. She had given him the opportunity to issue the suggestion she still half expected. Better to get it out in the open and be done with it.
He raised his eyebrows as he lifted his teacup to his lips.
Those very full, very sensual lips she could still feel kissing her body.
“Can you not, my dear? Perhaps I can think of a way you could repay me that will be to our mutual satisfaction.” Tris set his cup down and took her hands.
Her pulse raced and her mouth dried to dust.
“Will you become my mistress?”

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical in all time periods because passion is timeless.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats. She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as Vice-President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France.

She currently writes to support her chocolate habit and she’s been pretty successful at it. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing her about writing, her life and her new release.


1. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I always seem to learn more the more I write. This book taught me about varying sentence structure and to try to make my characters’ lives as miserable as possible before giving them an HEA.

2. What do you do when you are not writing?
When not writing I have a day job that includes teaching and theatre. I also love to read and binge watch TV shows with my daughters.

3. What is #1 on your bucket list?
To ride in a hot-air balloon. I’m deathly afraid of heights, but I think hot-air balloons are so beautiful and so airy, I just want to go up in one.

4. Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet?
Beowulf Malloren, Marquess of Rothgar from Jo Beverley’s Malloren series. God, is he HOT!

5. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Of Mistress? I think my favorite parts to write was the beginning when Violet is about to become a prostitute in the House of Pleasure. I really enjoyed trying to make the reader sympathize with her.

6. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Fact checking against the other two books in the series. I had to make sure the dates worked out correctly and that the timeline worked out with travel times in the 18th century. Very detailed work!

7. Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?
My H/h are some of my favorite characters. I put them through as much emotional baggage as possible and kept turning the screws. But Tris is tough and gallant and honorable. Violet is plucky and warm and generous. They weren’t inspired by any real person, though.

8. How did come up with your villain? Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

No, the villain just sort of sprung up of necessity. He’s one of my nastier villains—I’m quite proud of him, actually.

9. Do you read the same genre you write?
I do. I love historical romance. I read other genres—just finished a contemporary and am reading a sci-fi romance, and I love Stephen King as well. But historical romance is my first love.

10. What led you to write this book?
I was reading a Mary Balogh book, A Precious Jewel, and the situation of her heroine led me to ask, “What would it be like for a lady to have to sell herself in a brothel just in order to keep from starving? What would it be like to have her first customer?” And Mistress was born!
11. What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Married to the Cyborg by Cara Bristol.

Favorites Flash Round:
Martial arts move: Huh?
Weapon: Rapier
Beverage: Iced Tea
Book boyfriend: Jamie Fraser
Animal: Cat
Comedy: Notting Hill
Comeback line: Only if I like you
Ice cream: Heavenly Hash
Movie:  Argo
Video Game: Tetris
TV show: The West Wing or Downton Abbey depending on my mood
Drink: Miami Vice
Shoes: Flats
Artist: Van Gogh
Sports team: Washington Redskins
Guilty pleasure: Writing!

If you’d like to know more about Jenna or her new release, here are her links.

BLOG:  https://jennajaxon.wordpress.com/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Jenna_Jaxon

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Jaxon/146857578723570

Monday, April 17, 2017

Blog Tour for Izzy Szyn's Resurrection of Artemis



It’s my pleasure to interview fellow Wild Rose Author, Izzy Szyn about Resurrection of Artemis.


1. Tell us about your new release.
Resurrection of Artemis is about Amy Wilson who was once known as Artemis, she helped people recover the money that was owed to them, whether it was from back child support, pensions that were not paid. She was caught when she accidentally caused a major blackout.
Instead of jail time, she agreed to help the government put security measures in place to stop it from happening again, and five years probation from working in the tech industry.
Her probation is almost up when someone starts to pick up where Amy left off, but instead of helping people the Hinderer was harming innocent people. But he needed Amy’s help to do what he wanted, to hold technology hostage.
But Quail City’s super heroes Dark Master and Calypso also known as multi-billionaire Noah Adams and his assistant Vanessa London want Artemis to join them to bring Hinderer to justice.

2. What led you to write this book?
I work in a call center for a cell phone company, I got the idea one day when there was a huge outage in Texas and people were freaking out. I thought what if?

3. Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book? I learned a lot on how a huge blackout like Amy caused could easily happen.

4. What author do you love who doesn’t get a lot of hype? Cynthia Sax. I absolutely love her.

5. Which is more important characters or setting? Characters, they are the ones with the story to tell.

6. Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet? I’d love to meet Eve Dallas and Roarke from JD Robb’s In Death series.

7. What do you hope readers take away from your work?
That they had fun reading it. Reading should be fun, let people forget for awhile what problems they have.

8. What’s your current WIP? Right now, I’m working on a short that’s coming out this summer in an anthology, tentatively called Oh What a Night.

9. Do you read the same genre you write? Yes, also read contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal.

10. What is #1 on your bucket list? Going to Australia

11. Can you share some places readers can find you and your book?

Izzy loves to keep in touch with her readers. Email her at izzyszyn@gmail.com.


Find her on Facebook :) https://www.facebook.com/Izzy-Szyn-379714942215154/timeline/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/izzySzyn
Blog: https://izzyszyn.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13836241.Izzy_Szyn
Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/100905614042668276073

12. Want to know more about Resurrection of Artemis? Here’s an excerpt.
“Amy? Turn on your TV, now,” urged Ruby.
“Why? What’s going on?” Amy grabbed her remote and turned on her favorite news station.
“Are you sure you were at work?” questioned Ruby.
 “Is Artemis back? That’s the question authorities are asking this evening, when money started shooting money from ATMs across Quail City,” the news reporter was saying.
“Mom, I swear I didn’t do it,” Amy defended herself.
“I believe you. But will the authorities? Or even worse, your father?” Ruby sounded worried. “This almost looks like what you used to do. You just might be seeing Dark Master and Calypso sooner than you think.”
“I wonder if that’s the intention of whoever is behind this?” asked Amy. “What if they’re trying to pin the blame on me? Divert everyone’s attentions in my direction, while having something even more sinister in mind? Maybe that’s why they showed up at the coffee shop?”
“I’ve thought about that, too,” Ruby admitted. “But why? More importantly, who?”
Amy’s stomach flipped when there was a knock on the door. Telling herself that it could be the pizza guy, but knowing in her heart that it was no doubt them. They were here, at her door. About to undo everything she’d accomplished in the shower. “Mom, someone’s at my door.”

Favorites Flash Round:
Martial arts move:  Karate Chop
Weapon:  A Knife
Beverage: Pepsi 
Book boyfriend: Hmm, thinking have to think Dracula. I love vampires
Animal: Dog don’t trust anyone that doesn’t like animals.
Comedy:  Legally Blonde movies
Comeback line:  
Ice cream:  Chocolate
Movie:   Pitch Perfect
Video Game:  Dr. Mario
TV show:  Big Bang Theory
Drink:  Pepsi (Pepsiholic here)
Shoes:  flip flops
Artist:  Music? Prince
Sports team: Detroit Tigers
Guilty pleasure:  M&M with peanuts and popcorn.


Izzy will be awarding a $10 Amazon to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter


enter here

Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here. http://reviewsbycacb.blogspot.com/p/resurrection-of-artemis-izzy-szyn-izzy.html

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thirteen Pictures from the New Berlin Library's Local Author Fair

This was my first appearance as a published author and I was thrilled to be in the company of so many fine writers. 

Emma Cobb- the Fair's Coordinator (She did an awesome job.)

Barbara M. Britton and Christine Schimpf

Jane Kelley

Sandy Goldsworthy

Katie Kolberg Memmel


Laurel Bragstad

Sheila Griffin Llanas, Sandy Goldsworthy, Barbara M. Britton,  Christine Schimpf and Mia Jo Celeste

The back page of the Local Author Fair

Author Panel


Michael Young, Mia Jo Celeste and Christine Keleny

Kerry Crowley

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

LOOK WHAT THE WIND BLEW IN


LOOK WHAT THE WIND BLEW IN
Dig Site Mystery #1
by Ann Charles

I have to confess: I know nothing about Hispanic culture. Food, of course—who hasn’t had nachos, salsa, pollo con arroz? And the only phrase I know in Spanish comes from the warning in New York City subway trains, advising the passenger that subway tracks are dangerous (just in case you didn’t know). And I visited Mexico once, for five minutes, when we were down in San Diego and I was curious and so we took the train to Tijuana—and then we promptly went back. I keep meaning to learn Spanish, because it’s a good language to know, but I haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve been busy. Yes, I’m embarrassed.

Anyway, so when I read Ann Charles’ Look What the Wind Blew In, I was intrigued and became curious about the history and the cuisine beyond the nachos, etc. The story is a mystery in an archaeological dig site in the Yucatan Peninsula (not that far from Cancun, where I also haven’t gone, even on vacation; I am a newbie about anything international unless it’s about Japan, unfortunately), and it’s also a bit of a romance, and a bit about the mythologies stemming from the Maya culture, which exists to this day. (Now Mayan is another language I’d be interested in learning, but I have a feeling I won’t get around to learning that, either. I’m feeling downright lazy.)

Anyway, I enjoyed the book. The locale is exotic, but fairly close to home! It’s about Angelica Garcia, an archaeologist in charge of the site, and Quint Parker, a photojournalist who arrives at the dig site, but he has an ulterior motive other than the article he claims he’s working on for a magazine. And you know when there’s an ulterior motive, there’s a secret or two that has to be ferreted out, and yes, there is. In fact, the ex-husband of the archaeologist then also arrives, and he’s got more secrets than a confessional. In fact, even the setting and scenery do, and that’s what I enjoyed most of all: the setting and scenery are characters in and of themselves, and it actually ADDS to the mystery and storytelling, not stopping it cold!

This story has a little of everything: mystery, romance, paranormal, anthropological culture, and description about cuisine. Even the CUISINE has an integral part to play in the story. I vaguely knew there was more to Hispanic cuisine beyond tacos, burritos, nachos, and salsa, but now…I demand to taste panuchos. I have no idea what they are, but I want to taste whatever delicious sauce that the Maya cook comes up with. People are getting hurt, threats are being made, but between the ceremonies (some involving blood) and cuisine, I found my anthropological roots being satisfied as well as my reader’s instincts.

Go read it. You won’t regret it.

Elizabeth MS Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic books, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies and more (most published under the name of Eilis Flynn). She’s also a professional editor and has been for 40 years, working with academia, technology, and finance nonfiction, and genre fiction. If you’re looking for an editor, she can be found editing at emsflynn.com and reached at emsflynn@aol.com. If you’re curious about her books, check out eilisflynn.com. In any case, she can be reached at eilisflynn@aol.com.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

An Interview with Laura Zats


Photo: Luca Bravo Unsplash


Hi, I’m interviewing Laura Zats at https://tinyurl.com/gl7ufg6
 Come by. She’s got lots of interesting things to share. 

THE HERALD OF DAY

The Boar King’s Honor Trilogy
by Nancy Northcott

Long, long ago—back when we were young and our hearts were whatever—my friend Nancy Northcott told me that she had written a book using some of her favorite topics: fantasy, history, the much-maligned Richard III, and the riddle of what really happened to the two princes in the Tower. I read the first draft, or at least part of it, and found myself wondering about these mages in the alternate history existing throughout history, and remembering how witches were executed, mostly because there was property that someone wanted and making such an accusation was the easiest way to get it without actually paying for it. Such magical folk are the heroes of this story, then and now, now that it has finally been polished and published.

Northcott manages to merge known history with possibles, with history and never-was; her hero, also a Richard, has lived under a generations-old family curse, and is determined not to have children to make sure the curse dies with him. But of course, he finds himself summoned by another mage, a woman, who is unaware of her potential powers, and he decides to train her. And before too long, he finds that he has his own part in alt-history to play, to defeat the family curse at long last and to defeat his arch-enemy, who has designs of his own and is willing to kill to conquer.

If you’re a fan of historical romances, epic fantasies, and anything about Richard III, you’ll like this. I was so pleased to see this final version after so many years and enjoyed reading Herald of Day. I think you will too.

Elizabeth MS Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic books, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies and more (most published under the name of Eilis Flynn). She’s also a professional editor and has been for 40 years, working with academia, technology, and finance nonfiction, and mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and romance fiction. If you’re looking for an editor, she can be found editing at emsflynn.com and reached at emsflynn@aol.com. If you’re curious about her books, check out eilisflynn.com. In any case, she can be reached at eilisflynn@aol.com.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thirteen Thoughts and Bits of Advice on Sprained Ankles



Earlier this week, I stepped off the curb and turned my ankle. It hurt, but I figured I’d walk it off. Then, yesterday when I got up, I couldn’t put weight on my foot. It was all swollen up, so I went to the doctor. 

The doctor diagnosed my injury as a mildly sprained ankle. I guess that wasn’t too surprising. Ankle injuries happen a lot. According to the American College of Sports Medicine 25, 000 Americans sprain their ankles each day. What is a sprained ankle? Well, it’s the tearing of the ligaments, those bands of tissue that connect bones and cartilage. Usually people injure the outside ligament when their ankle rolls. That’s what happened to me. My doctor recommended the typical treatment, known as RICE. It is rest, ice, compression and elevation. She told me that I should try to stay off my foot as much as possible. Apply ice during the first day or so after the injury. Consider wrapping my ankle, and sitting in a recliner. Good news though, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that, “studies have shown that the sooner you return to activity, the better and typically the faster you will recover.” They advise, “If pain allows, start moving the ankle early.” Cool. I started hobbling around.

Of course, common sense had to be applied as well. Drayer Physical Theory’s blog said that it takes about two to four weeks to “regain full mobility and for the swelling to fully resolve,” when a person has a grade one sprain. 

What does this have to do with writing you might ask. Well, first, I can write while I’m applying the RICE treatment and second, this experience gives me fuel for my fiction. As Natalie Goldberg puts it in Writing Down the Bones, “Writers live twice. They go along with their regular life, are as fast as anyone in the grocery store, crossing the street, getting dressed for work in the morning. But there's another part of them that they have been training. The one that lives every second at a time. That sits down and sees their life again and goes over it. Looks at the texture and details.” 

What experiences have you had that you want to record sometime? Please share. 


Sources
http://anklerollguard.com/ankle-sprain-stats--info.html http://www.anationinmotion.org/ortho-pinion/ankle-sprains-whats-normal-whats-not/
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/ankle-sprain-overview#1
http://www.stack.com/a/how-severe-is-my-sprained-ankle
https://drayerpt.com/blog/ankle-sprains-what-is-the-recovery-time/
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/937841-writing-down-the-bones-freeing-the-writer-within?page=2
https://unsplash.com/search/ankle tirza-van-dijk






Wednesday, February 8, 2017

IT’S COME A LONG WAY, BABY


by Eilis Flynn

Back in the mid-1980s, I got a freelance gig, copy editing manuscripts for a famous romance publisher. I was interested, because I’d read romances and I was curious about how the genre was put together and because I’d worked in a couple of male-dominated industries by then, I was also curious about how it had to feel being in a female-dominated one. Afterward, I was inspired, and so I wrote a romance. That was in 1986.

Soon after I finished and sent it in (paper and everything; it was an earlier time), I got a revise and resubmit letter the following year. I didn’t realize that was a good thing (because networking with other like authors was far, far in the future), so I had to think about how to make good on those suggested revisions. Time passed and I had to set that aside—because that was 1987 and Wall Street, where I worked, collapsed (famous stock market crash; you can look it up) and my company collapsed and in one day let go thousands of employees, of which I was one. More time passed—I found a temporary job and then another temporary job and my mother got sick and died and by then, it was 1989 and we moved across the country. By the time I actually revised and resubmitted, several years had gone by and the romance publisher wasn’t interested anymore.

Life went on. I joined Romance Writers of America, wrote other things, and then, a few years ago, I was asked by a digital publisher if I were interested in pitching a story for a graphic novella. I said sure, and trotted out the story I was just telling you about. They said sure, I wrote the script, and it was accepted. A few years passed (yes, more years. Don’t worry, I’ll get to the point sooner or later) and the publisher asked if I were interested in basing a novella on the graphic novella, which was based on the original manuscript. I said sure, I trotted out the original work once again, cut and rewrote (because I’ve been editing, cutting, and revising work for a long time, I can do this without much problem).

The publisher accepted it—but this time, we couldn’t come to terms, and so the newly updated work was back in my hands again—and I knew it was time. So, at LONG, LONG last, the novel, now a novella, is published. It’s titled His 30-Day Guarantee (original title 30-Day Guarantee), and at the moment, it’s only available in digital for Kindle (coming up) and print now from CreateSpace. But I have it in my hands; it’s real; and only THIRTY YEARS after I wrote it!

What’s the moral of this (long-winded) story? Never throw anything away. You just never know. 

Over the years, Eilis Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic books, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies, and short stories. She’s also a professional editor and has been for 40(!) years, working with academia, technology, finance, genre fiction, and comic books. She can be reached at eilisflynn.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Interview with Laurel Wanrow, author of Passages


Mia Jo has welcomed me on her blog today to share my book release, but first congratulations, Mia Jo, on your release of Other Than! It’s such an exciting feeling to let your novel out into the world. Mia Jo and I critiqued together as part of the RWA fantasy chapter’s Mudpuddle group, and now how fun is it that we have releases so close together?



I’m excited to share some highlights of my writing process for Passages, my science fiction romance, and my writing in general.

1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to write Passages.
I had a dream about a fellow on the run who was trying to help his grandmother along with him. Then, she fell and couldn’t continue. She was telling him how to help her, but the words came out confused in that way things do in dreams. He should let her pass, but she wouldn’t be dying, is what I understood, just changed, but the same. It would be a passage, and the grandson would be helping her to make it. When I woke up, the word ‘passages’ was repeating in my head. I pretty much had the first scene of the novel, and asked myself, what happens next?
Many storylines boiled up from that one question, but the one that stuck was this fellow would be lost without his grandmother, because he has amnesia.

2. Is this the hero, then? What about your heroine?
He is. It took me a long time to work out Quinn’s backstory and his reason for being on this alien planet, which means it’s revealed to the reader in pieces, too. In the meantime, Eve, the heroine, had a very clear story—she died during the Great Pestilence. Yes, died, and was given a second chance to use her emphatic gifts of an electorg—a human with electronic implants—to help others. Eve’s first life helps her fit into her second as a community mediator with several other electorgs.

3. What genres do you write in? Why?

Everything I write is fantasy. My settings may change—historical to contemporary to futuristic—but the story will always have a thread of magic. Hand-in-hand with magic is mystery, every story has something mysterious going on, and a happily ever after, of course!

That’s fantasy, mystery and romance, but I have a science background and lifelong love of nature, which means my characters’ stories also reflect their connections to nature and the land. There is no ‘book category’ for that, so I’ve made up my own: ‘fantasy tuned to the magic of the land.’

4. Do you believe writers are born to write or learn to write?
I believe storytelling is innate—it’s how we passed time around the fire, the kitchen table, the TV and, now, our monitors. But one needs to learn the techniques to best present the story, and that’s different for every person. A wealth of resources is available, in books, online and in person. Two books I recommend are The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler and Save The Cat by Blake Snyder. The online writers forum I use is CritiqueCircle.com

5. If you had one take away piece of advice for writers, what would it be?
 ‘Never give up. Never surrender.’ I first heard that quote from Galaxy Quest in a motivational keynote speech by Jo Ann Ferguson. It was my 2nd RWA conference and the advice made such an impression on me that I’ve never thought I wouldn’t publish.

6. What is up next for you?
 I’m currently writing the 4th novel in my fantasy series The Luminated Threads, but I’ve toyed with a sequel for Passages. The secondary character, Evard, is such a tease he’d be a fun hero. I’ve included an excerpt with him in it, too.

Thanks for having me, Mia! 
Hi, Mia Jo here. I'm really excited about Passages'publication. I used to wait for Laurel to post chapters, so I could continue on the adventure in this story. I asked Laurel to share an excerpt, so you can see why I liked Passages.

Excerpt:
Eve shoved him aside and pulled me against her. “Evard, you’re scaring him. Intimidating, threatening…don’t.”
Her reprimand hardly registered, since it wasn’t for me. I had the woman pressed to my side. A first in my fractured memory. Everything about her was soft and warm—her arm around my waist, the swell of breast at my ribs, and the curve of hip against mine. Each point of contact was duly noted and registered like a brand upon my brain.
Scents of leather, the musty books and a hint of lilacs wafted to my nostrils. I couldn’t say how it happened, but my arm lifted, draped around her shoulders and brought her even closer.
Her wide gray eyes snapped to mine. Her lips parted around my name, and at the warmth of her breath, my muscles tightened. “Evard is just excited.”
“Just excited!” He tugged at her arm, cutting through my daze.
It was as he’d said earlier. She knew both that I was startled by Evard’s gesture and that he meant no harm. Of course, the signs were all there—expressions, intonations, physical cues—but she’d “read” them instantly, eerily so, but not entirely out of the realm of scientific believability.
“Evy, you don’t understand. He’s living on Edge. This is so much more than exciting. An adventure in the making—”
“No! No discussing it, not now. Quinn, go shower.” She rotated neatly from under my arm and shoved the jumpsuit to my chest. Her firm hand directed me to the door while she squabbled with Evard to force him back to work.
I lingered to watch them, reveling in the memory of Eve’s softness pressed to me. Eve had hugged me. Never mind that she now focused on her run-mate, holding him by the chin and then the ear, like he was a toddler whose attention she had to refocus from an unattainable toy. I grinned at his predicament.

Follow the Passages Blog Tour to read more science & fantasy tidbits!

Blurb:

“Find someone you can trust.”

For decades, Eve and her fellow electorgs—part human, part machine—have worked on the quiet planet of Aarde, beating back toxic spores that threaten to poison the native people. When the new commander halts work right before a deadly spore release, Eve frantically plots to protect the villagers she considers friends and family.

On the run after an ambush, Quinn holds a secret that nearly got him killed. If only he knew what it was. Though the attack scrambled his memories, Quinn is sure of one thing—he can’t trust the electorgs. But they know information he desperately needs to puzzle out who wants him dead, and why.

With the fate of life on Aarde in the balance, the logic of joining forces with Eve overrides Quinn’s fears…and erupts into an attraction that could prove fatal for both of them.

Because the planet’s commander might just be Quinn himself.

Passages is on preorder & sale for .99 through February 5th.
Add Passages to your Goodreads shelf!





Author bio:
 Before kids, Laurel Wanrow studied and worked as a naturalist—someone who leads wildflower walks and answers calls about the snake that wandered into your garage. During a stint of homeschooling, she turned her writing skills to fiction to share her love of the land, magical characters and fantastical settings.

When not living in her fantasy worlds, Laurel camps, hunts fossils and argues with her husband and two new adult kids over whose turn it is to clean house. Though they live on the East Coast, a cherished family cabin in the Colorado Rockies holds Laurel’s heart.

Find Laurel at:






Below are the bloggers participating in the Blog Tour for Passages. Each stop will have excerpts and tidbits about the science & fantasy, and a chance to win the tour prizes: a $10 Amazon eGC or a sign paperback of Passages. (Giveaway open to US/CAN)

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Do You Binge Watch?




Yesterday, I didn’t get much done. Instead, I binge-watched Rick and Morty with my son. It’s an animated sitcom about the adventures of a granddad and his grandson; however, it just so happens that the grandfather is a brilliant scientist and a sociopath.

Rick and Morty isn’t the first series of binge watched. Over thanksgiving, my friend and I spent a day learning about the good people of Coal/Hope Valley in When Calls the Heart.

I’m a fan of this quick, extreme viewing practice. Watching an entire series in a short time allows the viewer to see the character arcs clearly and there’s no problem remembering the details from one episode to the next.  A couple of years ago, I got into Breaking Bad. I borrowed the DVD of the first season from the library over the weekend and loved it. I requested the next seasons and I still remember waiting on pins and needles over the next weeks for them to come in. I had so many questions. Would Skyler and Hank catch Heisenberg? Would Jesse find love? Would Gus finally get the better of Walter?  Yep, I truly was a binge-watcher. I still am, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. The Statistics Portal, a site that claims to report statistics and studies from more than 18,000 sources, states that, “according to a 2015 survey, some 86 percent of trailing Millennials and even 33 percent of those over 69 years old engage in binge-watching TV series.”



Are you, like me, one of these people? What have you watched? What do you want to watch? Here are thirteen shows I have watched.


1. Breaking Bad
2. Friends
3. Sherlock
4. Downton Abbey
5. When Calls the Heart
6. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
7. Doctor Who
8. Parks and Recreation
9. The Walking Dead
10. Game of Thrones
11. Orphan Black
12. Firefly
13. Rick and Morty

I guess marathon-viewing might be a bad thing if a person allows it to get in the way of his responsibilities or his interaction with loved ones., but it could also be a good thing. An article on the Readers Digest site says, “if you get into a show with your partner or pals, experts argue it could bring you closer.” The post goes on to say that talking about a show and the characters in it can help an individual start conversations and express her opinions about life.  Let’s do that currently. What shows have you watched? What series have I missed? Do you have any suggestions?



Sources
https://www.buzzfeed.com/tahliapritchard/brb-watching-tv-forever?utm_term=.xwyn7N58rM#.vk2m29z5LJ
http://www.ranker.com/list/best-tv-shows-to-binge-watch/ranker-tv
http://www.rd.com/culture/binge-watching-unhealthy/
https://www.statista.com/topics/2508/binge-watching-in-the-us/


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year Wishes and Thanks



Hi! I'm grateful to have enjoyed 2016 with you and I'm looking forward to sharing 2017 together. I've some good news to share at http://www.miaceleste.com/?p=694.

I invite you to visit and find out what it is.


I wish you all the best in 2017!

 
ja