Thursday, November 13, 2014

Charter to Redemption Teaser Tour

I'm excited to host a teaser tour stop for Charter to Redemption by D.J. Blackmore. Charter to Redemption is a historical fiction novel that is now available for sale.


About Charter to Redemption by D.J. Blackmore:

At the close of 1821, the penal colony of Newcastle looks to be every bit as black as it's painted. Emma Colchester charters a ride to Australia with a promise of marriage to a man she has never met. But appearances aren't always as they seem. And with a commitment unavoidable Emma learns that shackles are not always forged from iron. Tobias Freeman longs for redemption and hope. After a rough journey to New South Wales, Tobias learns the rations, the regulations, and the reprisal. But neither Emma nor Tobias expect the repercussions.





Britain’s penal colony of Newcastle is as cruel as it is beautiful. With a pledge to marry a man she has never met, Emma sons learns that appearance can deceive, and that shackles are not always forged in iron. Tobias Freeman is anything but what his name suggests. As a convict awaiting ‘his majesty’s pleasure’, he realises he has no rights, especially concerning Emma Colchester. When the unexpected happens, neither Emma nor Tobias bargain on the repercussions.

Excerpt:

The man she thought was the commandant led her down the garden path and clicked shut the white picket gate behind them. Emma glanced up hesitantly and her hand shot to her mouth to still her gasp of surprise.

‘You’re alive.’
‘Aye,’ he nodded, ‘for now, at least.’
‘The commandant?’
‘He is otherwise occupied with a convict who has nothing to do on a Saturday night other than hide in the bushes.’

‘What are you doing wearing his clothes?’ Emma whispered as she glanced back at the manse. Laughter tinkled through the open windows like silverware on china.

‘I am about to take the air with the landed gentry’s niece, and it was hardly fitting, miss, that I should be in the garb of a government man when one such as you appeared before me.’

Emma felt herself colour deeply at the audacious compliment. She looked up in sudden breathless nervousness. Emma saw his eyes glitter and the butterflies in her stomach fluttered madly at the consequences of being in the company of a convict; both for her and him.

‘As a gentleman you should be aware of the fact that a young lady is first asked before being led down the garden path by a perfect stranger.’

The convict swept her a gracious bow and displayed a military bearing that looked as though it had been born to him.

‘But then, miss, I am neither perfect nor a stranger, and certainly no gentleman. I’ve no more chivalry than most of the soldiers in the barracks.’

‘You forget yourself I believe, sir. You cannot know any of the regiment, for you have been here no longer than I.’

‘I heard enough in the garden to know you were destined as the sweets course, that’s for sure.’ Emma frowned at the coarse insinuation.

‘Considering that I am betrothed to Officer Quinn, I hardly imagine that the commandant had any such thing on his mind.’

‘Aye, then perhaps it was not undisguised lust I saw on his face.’

Emma flushed with indignation at his words. ‘I wonder if your thoughts are somewhat the same sir, for the appraising eyes you fix on me have an altogether familiar stare.’

‘I beg your pardon, miss. I never realised I was staring.’ They stood silent for a moment.
‘Can you waltz?’ the convict asked.
‘You are asking me to dance?’

‘That I am,’ he said with a bow from the waist.

Emma took the hand held out to her, but glanced away from the parsonage, away from Gideon Quinn who stood at the open door. She could not see his features, but she could make out the indecision in his stance. Would he cut in on her dancing partner in displeasure? Yet he mustn’t have seen the commandant as a rival,because after a moment’s thought he retreated. Emma had feared he would surely see through this man’s disguise.As the strain of the single violin reached them, he took her in his arms and began to sway in time to the music. Emma noted that the convict’s movements were both strong and fluid.

‘I will say nothing against you,’ she said.

He nodded.
‘Aye, I know.’
‘What you are doing is folly, to say the least.’ She said. He didn’t justify his actions, so Emma continued.

‘Do you know what will happen to you if you’re caught?’

‘Aye, I do.’ For the first time Emma saw him smile. She was surprised to see that his teeth were strong and white, even as she wondered at his apparent unconcern.

‘It’s been a while since I danced,’ he admitted, and Emma stared at him, slightly open-mouthed. ‘And it’s nothing short of boring in a cottage with Kevin.’



About the Author:
D. J. Blackmore is a Hunter Valley, New South Wales author, born and raised. Her convict heritage
and love of history have seen the author explore this in 'Charter to Redemption.' Yet is is perhaps Australian dogged determination has seen this debut author as a new name in fiction. Although amazon reviews reflect her work, it is pertinent to note that the author's story is not unique, although her journey in writing has been. Numerous rejections never daunted the author, and many years after her dream was envisaged, so was the reality. Yet for all the countless doubts that niggle every writer who has lived in hope, it is humbling praise indeed when reviewer F. Stanford writes of 'Charter to Redemption' and Ms Blackmore's work: "this could very well be the benchmark for the standard of modern-day classics."

D. J. Blackmore is currently working on the sequel, 'Consider the Ravens.'


Giveaway:
Two copies of Charter to Redemption 
Open to US, Canada, UK and Australia

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG Wednesday: November Rain



Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

I've finally begun writing again, but it's slow going. Starting is always the hardest thing for me, getting back into the rhythm of daily writing. One week would go by...then two...then three...and I'd still have nothing written down. I can now say that is no longer the case, but I'm far from a novel length. I had hoped to finish my first draft by year's end, but my schedule is shot to hell at this point. Though I'm trying not to be discouraged. I gave myself a deadline, but it isn't an end-of-the-world deadline. As long as I keep working toward my goal, I'll eventually get there.

Which leads me to my plan for finishing my YA series. I plan on releasing the last two books in quick succession. It's important to me to get this series finished so I can begin something new. I'll do some promotion once they're both ready to come out. With my current workload, I don't have the time to write and promote...my 1-2 hours a day doesn't stretch nearly as far as I'd like. It's frustrating, and even more frustrating when that frustration creeps into my writing time and undermines my productivity. All I can do is try to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow is another chance with a clean slate.

Well, it is November and I know many of you have begun your NaNo projects. 50,000 words in a month is my Everest! One day I'll reach it. Good luck to all of you taking the challenge. I'll continue plugging away to increase my word count and trying not to get distracted by too many holiday treats.




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Teaser Tour: Lady Firebird by Orren Merton

Today we have a teaser tour for Lady Firebird to celebrate the release that it's now available for sale! This is a young adult urban fantasy series and this is book two in the Sedumen Chronicles.

Let's see if this news report piques your interest...
News Report from Cambridge, Massachusetts
Carla: This is Carla Hennington from WGBC in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the scene what will no doubt have repercussions far outside the greater Boston area; indeed, this may change everything we know, or think we know, about the universe in which we live.
I'm standing here with Laura Meeks, a junior at John Adams High School. Laura, can you tell me what you saw?
Laura: It was crazy. Some huge guy with, like, two bears or wolves or something grabbed this blond girl—I think she was a sophomore—who was walking home. She started screaming, my buddy Bruce and I were thinking we should do something, when we heard that girl, Lady Firebird, start yelling—
Carla: Can you describe the girl, Laura?
Laura: Oh, yeah. She was off the charts! Her hair and eyes were on fire, her skin was like leather or stone or something, I dunno, hard, you know? And she ran right at the kidnapper and his wolves, swinging her huge curved sword—it had blue flames.
Carla: The man responded?
Laura: Oh man, he sicked his wolves on her. Then Lady Firebird, like, opened up a rip in the air or something—it was crazy—and her wolves started coming out. The wolves fought, she fought the guy, but he cut her open and he and his wolves got away with the girl. It was intense—and really sad.
Carla: And that's when you and your friends aided—
Laura: Lady Firebird, yeah. I walked up, and she talked to us, that's how I know her name. Here, Bruce, why don't you...
Carla: Bruce Williams, ladies and gentleman, another eye witness. Bruce, why don't you tell us what happened from here.
Bruce: Thank you, Ms. Hennington. Yeah, um, we approached Lady Firebird, me first. She was hurt bad, but she could still talk. She told us what to do—we took her blade, and, like, waved it in the air like she said. It made like a slice in the air, and we couldn't see into it or through it, it was all black. I'd never seen—or done—anything like that.
Laura: Some other guys on the scene from John Adams dragged her wolf over, and they all were pulled through the hole in the air by these huge ape hands or something.
Carla: Were you scared?
Laura: Oh my God you have no idea.
Bruce: The whole thing was so intense! We were like...how could this be real? But there it was, in front of us. Some huge monster dude and his wolf kidnapped a girl from my school...it was crazy. But Lady Firebird tried to save her, and said she was going to bring her home.
Laura: Yeah, I hope she's okay, and she can bring that poor girl home. I can't imagine...
Carla: We're all praying for the victim of this horrible crime, absolutely. What a terrifying event. Were you two afraid, not just of the kidnapper, but of the mysterious flaming swordswoman?
Bruce: Were we scared of Lady Firebird?
Laura: I mean, sure, she was scary and all, but I think she was after that kidnapper, you know? She was trying to help.
Carla: We all hope so, that's for sure. Bruce, Laura, thank you both. And I'm Carla Hennington from WGHC, on the scene in Cambridge. For more on this breaking story we return to our Boston studio.

 About Lady Firebird:
Alexandra Gold leads two lives. 
In a universe filled with powerful spirit beings, she is the half human, half-demon Lady Firebird of the House of Keroz. She stopped Dirk Raum from murdering humans whose fresh souls he fed the House of Raum. This won her the respect of some but the enmity of others.
On Earth, she appears to be like every other eighteen-year old girl, but she longs to step forward as Lady Firebird, and let people know that she will protect them—but she worries that once people see her flaming hair, eyes, and long fangs, she will terrify those she wants to help. When Dirk returns and starts a kidnapping spree as part of his plan to conquer both universes, Alex races to the rescue. 
She is ready to meet the challenge; but is the world ready to meet Lady Firebird?


About the Author:
Orren Merton started writing fantasy and science fiction at an embarrassingly young age, mostly for his own
amusement. In high school, he listened to a lot of dark and moody rock, which inspired him to pick up guitar and start playing up and down California in a few bands, culminating in his Industrial rock group Ember After releasing their debut album, Grasping At Straws, and subsequently The Misery EP.  During that time, magazines, developers, and corporations began to pay him to write and edit music software related articles, manuals, and  books. Since then he has written the urban fantasy novel The Deviant and the science fiction novel Skye Entity before working on his current series of YA novels. He lives in Southern California with his family, pets, collection of sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia, and curiously large stuffed animal collection.

Giveaway:

5 ebook copies of Lady Firebird by Orren Merton (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG Wednesday: Fall Back



Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

Where did this summer go? I’ve had a much busier summer than originally planned because my wife and I made a last minute decision to move around the middle of July. We had been talking about it for over a year, but it never seemed like the right time. When a larger townhouse in our association came on the market, we made the firm decision that it was time. And everything moved very quickly from there, and we were able to purchase the townhouse that had convinced us it was time to move. This was my first experience with buying and selling a home simultaneously, and it was more stressful than I’d anticipated. But with all the stress and headaches of the past two months, we are finally settling into our new home and free of our old one.

In the middle of this buying and selling process, we had a large family vacation planned (booked nearly a year ago). Of course our one big vacation for the year would coincide with our home buying. But nevertheless, it was a great experience (I won’t say relaxing…but a great experience). We spent a few days in Seattle and then boarded the Carnival Miracle for an Alaskan cruise. Besides the beautiful scenery and wonderful food, what made this vacation so special was that parents and sibling from both sides of the family had signed up to come with us, some family members flying in from around the country. It will be an experience that I’ll always cherish because who knows when all of us will vacation together again. I've included a few of our billion photos below--two from Seattle and two from Alaska.

So this is where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to for the past two months. The hardest thing for me when my routine’s been disrupted, is starting it back up, falling back into the groove and rebuilding that momentum. I’ve been outlining my fourth and final book for the Lorne Family Vault series over the past few weeks, but it’s been hard to find the time and energy with all the unpacking and little home improvement projects (I’m not handy enough to take on big projects). But I gave myself a goal of starting the manuscript at the beginning of this month and I intend to keep it. It’s time to get back into writing mode. I intend to have a first draft finished by the end of the year. So I’ve got three months. I’ve never finished a first draft so fast, but if I remain focused and keep to my weekly goals, I believe I can. Cheers--with a pumpkin latte (decaf)--to the best season of the year.




Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Stop in the Sidelined Blog Tour: Kyra's Writing Process


I'm thrilled to welcome Kyra Lennon to my blog today for one of her many stops on the Sidelined blog tour. I'm always fascinated with the writing processes of other authors, so I've asked Kyra to share hers. Be sure to enter the giveaway below and pick up your copy of Sidelined! Thank you, Kyra, for stopping by, and now my blog is yours...
When Michael asked me about my writing process, my immediate thought was to panic! Because, while I think most other writers do have a real, defined writing process, I am more a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer.

I have a confession. I loathe writing the first draft of a new story. People often give me strange looks when I admit this – which is why I don’t usually do it, but now you all know! The first draft, for many people, is when the ideas are flowing and the words just pour out onto the page, waiting to be tidied up. For me, every single word fights me in the first draft. It’s like the ideas are so used to waiting inside my head to be written, they refuse to be dragged out of their cocoon. I like to think of it as being similar to giving birth to a really stubborn baby!

A first draft for me will usually take at least two months, if not more. I am envious of people who can fling out a first draft in a couple of weeks – I’d get a lot more done if I was one of those people.

What I love most about the writing process is the editing. I love to polish, and make the sloppy words all nice and shiny, and ready for people to read. For unknown reasons, this part happens a lot faster than the first draft. I suspect this is because I can’t help editing as I write – so there is less to do at the end. I do TRY to just write the first draft without stopping but the only time I’ve managed it is during NaNoWriMo. Maybe I need to do more of that!

What is YOUR writing process like? Are you a fast first-drafter? 

Blurb: At the age of twenty-one, Bree Collinson has more than she ever dreamed of. A handsome husband, a fancy house, and more shoes than Carrie Bradshaw and Imelda Marcos combined. But having everything handed to her isn’t the way Bree wants to live the rest of her life. When an idea to better herself pops into her head, she doesn’t expect her husband to question her, and keep her tied by her apron strings to the kitchen.

Isolated and unsure who to turn to, Bree finds herself falling back into a dangerous friendship, and developing feelings for the only person who really listens to her. Torn between her loyalty to her husband and her attraction to a man who has the perfect family she always wanted, she has some tough choices to make.

While Bree tries to figure out what she wants, a tragedy rocks the Westberg Warriors, triggering some dark memories, and pushing her to take a look at what’s really important.


About the Author:

Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.

Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cover Reveal: How to be Manly by Maureen O'Leary Wanket


 
We're excited to be among the first to see, and to share, the brand new book How to Be Manly by Maureen O'Leary Wanket coming September 2014 from Giant Squid Books. How to Be Manly is a Young Adult Contemporary novel. The cover art is by Jillian Blazek at JillianBlazek.com. 
How to be Manly Cover

"When you start this program, your whole life will change."


When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love.


But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-bakedweed-dealing schemes, Matt’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. And when on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matt suddenly has much bigger things to worry about. It turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought.With the humor and insight of YA favorites Judy Blume and Louis Sachar Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing...even when you’re not sure what that is.



About the Author:

Maureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years.


Maureen's short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith,Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle. How To Be Manly is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @maureenow.



Giveaway:
Giveaway of one paperback Advanced Reading Copy of How to Be Manly (US)
and 3 eARCs of How to Be Manly (INT)
Giveaway courtesy of Giant Squid Books.

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG Wednesday: Doria Falls is Done!



Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally have a completed manuscript of my third novel, Doria Falls, Book 3 in the Lorne Family Vault. I wrote the final words on Wednesday of last week, and over the weekend finished my first round of editing. My beta readers will dive into it over the next few weeks as I begin the next round of editing. Hopefully, I can hand it over to my editor by the end of the month.

Even though this book took me a few months longer than I had hoped, I’m proud with how it turned out. I don’t want to kick myself too much for my sporadic daily word counts and celebrate the steady progress of one more novel under my belt. Doria Falls is a big change from the two previous books, especially SUSY Asylum. Clocking in at a slim 75,000 words (slim by comparison), Doria Falls is a very streamlined novel. The story within Provex City took place over several months, SUSY Asylum over several weeks, and Doria Falls over several days. It picks up exactly where SUSY Asylum left off—to the minute. Now I need to write a blurb for it, which is not something I’m looking forward to.

Along with editing and formatting, I am beginning to plan for the fourth and final book in the series. This will be my first experiment with a thorough, scene-by-scene outline. Hopefully, this will help my productivity during the writing process and maximize the limited time I can devote to my novel each day. My plan is to begin writing by the beginning of September and have a finished first draft by the end of the year. This series will always mean a lot to me, but I’ve reached the point where I just want to get it done and begin something completely new. It’s time to finish up and move on, allowing a whole new chapter in my writing career to begin.
 
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