Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Official - Midnight Oil Release January 13

And a lucky Friday the 13th it is. After all, my books are about witches. A witch coven has 13 members. What's not to like about that!

I gave a preview of Midnight Oil a few posts ago, so you can check that post for the lowdown on this second book in the Witches of Galdorheim series.

The brillian cover artist, Kaytalin Platt, is putting on the finishing touches, so I'll have an official cover soon. Here's a wee bit of what will be the final product.

Oh, yeah. Here's Midnight Oil's buy link at MuseItUp. Not for sale yet, but getting there!

Now, to get back to that galley proof!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kindlegraphing Your Books

I decided to check out the Kindlegraph deal. Briefly, authors register their books with Kindlegraph and give out the page to whoever they can shanghai. I'll be adding my Kindlegraph author's page on my website and in my applicable links for all my books.

Go here to see my author's page on Kindlegraph.

Once registered, readers can click to either the specific author's Kindlegraph page or to the front, where they can browse through over 10,000 books from 2500 authors.

Before you go off requesting autographs, you need to fill in some things so you can receive your kindlegraph on your Kindle reader. I know, it's scary to allow somebody to be a valid email on your Kindle, but it's necessary so that the completed kindlegraph can be delivered to your kindle. What you get when you request a 'graph is a PDF of the book's cover with a personalized note to you and a facsimile of the author's signature.

When I registered my books, the site owner immediately requested an autograph (probably has that automated), and I wrote a cheery note addressing him by name. To see what I'd get from other authors, I requested an autograph from a fellow writer. Her book cover and note jumped into my Kindle soon after I turned on the WiFi.

This is a neat way to autograph ebooks, something not so easy to do in the non-virtual world. Try it out with one of your books (if you're an author) or request a signature for one of my books (you don't even have to own it).

Become an autograph collector!

Authors using a touchscreen device can add their real signature. I am not adept enough with a mouse to sign my name, so I used the standard font for both note and siggy. Still, not too bad. Maybe a future featured would allow authors to upload a scanned signature.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Time In Space

I discuss how multiple planets can coordinate Christmas Cheer, or corporate rule as the case may be on Jessica Subject's Mark of the Stars blog. The month is all about SFR and holidays. Should be some interesting stuff.

Ultimate Duty by Marva DasefFirst Duty

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Seasons of Reading Ebook Winner

The comments are in, Christmas is behind us. Time to announce the winner of a free ebook for the Seasons of Reading blog hop:


Terri selected BAD SPELLING for her free ebook. A good choice.

In addition, I donated a print copy of TALES OF A TEXAS BOY to a Senior Center Library.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day Special at MuseItUp

From the MuseItUp Fearless Leader, Lea Schizas:

December 26, MuseItUp Publishing will be hosting a one day 40% off (wow!) Boxing Day Special. Use the code in the bookstore at checkout before paying via PayPal. The code is:


The code can be used for any purchase, however, using the code to buy my books would be nice.

Missing, Assumed Dead
Missing, AssumedDead

Bad Spelling

Bad Spelling

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wizards and Warlocks Visit Adriana Ryan

I'm representing the letter D on Adriana Ryan's blog today. This definitely feels like I'm on Sesame Street, give that my book, "Bad Spelling," is all about kids, magic, and mayhem.

About Adriana from her website:
My name is Adriana Ryan. I write supernatural romances.
My books contain a sprinkling of the “what if” side of life. I’ve always wondered at events in life we can’t explain scientifically. My books are an attempt to connect with others out there who’ve felt that sense of wonder too.
My first novella, Nisha, Awakened, is a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. It will be out in January 2012. If you’ve ever thought your connection with your pets might be something science cannot explain, you might enjoy this one!
I also have a contract with Muse It Up Publishing for a contemporary paranormal romance called Her Heart’s Desire, that will be out in March 2012. Hint: The main characters are all human… the magic is elsewhere.
I love to hear from passers-by and blog stragglers, so contact me at: I always write back.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

C.K. Volnek's New Release - A Horse Called Trouble.

by C.K. Volnek
Published by MuseItUp Publishing

(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.

Greetings, Marva. Thanks for allowing me to visit your blog today. It is such a treat to be able to visit. I’m so excited to be here and announce my newest tween novel, A Horse Called Trouble! I would also love to offer a FREE copy of my e-book to one lucky reader who leaves me a comment! (I hope you love free stuff as much as I do.)

My readers can contact me at ckvolnek (at) yahoo (dot) com.

They can also join me on my web page:, or visit me at my blog:

I am on Facebook (C.K. Volnek) or Twitter (CKVolnek), as well as Good Reads and Jacket Flap.

Also, check out my book trailer on YouTube at:

(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.

My newest book, a tween horse story called A Horse Called Trouble, just made its debut and is available in both e-book and print.

A Horse Called Trouble

Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Tara Cummings has been passed from foster home to foster home; not wanted anywhere by anyone. At thirteen she’s skeptic and suspicious, with no family, and no friends.

Horse therapy “will teach trust, perseverance, respect, and the value of teamwork,” or so says the program’s instructor. Tara is unconvinced. Trust only broke her heart, perseverance meant more failures, and no one respects or wants to team up with the misfit foster kid.

At the farm, Tara meets Trouble, an angry and defiant horse, bent on destroying everything and everyone around him. Tara is frightened of the enraged horse, until she realizes Trouble is as misunderstood and untrusting as she is. Pushing aside her fear, a special bond is formed, much to the surprise of everyone at the farm. Trouble trusts Tara, and Tara in turn finds hope and acceptance as well as the will to love and trust again herself.

But, Tara’s confidence is shaken as an even greater challenge looms ahead. Trouble’s mean and manipulative owner is the one and only Alissa, Tara’s nemesis. Can Tara overcome her own limitations and fight to save the horse who freed her heart and gave her life value and meaning? Or will Alissa destroy them both?

A Horse Called Trouble can be found at the MuseItUp Bookstore:

At Amazon:

As well as other great on-line bookstores.

I’m also happy to have my tween ghost story, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island available in both print and e-book as well.

(Q) Where did the concept for the book come about?

I have always loved horses. Such marvelous creatures they are. Proud, elegant, powerful yet gentle, compassionate. And I was fortunate enough to be able to call several of them my friend and confidant as I grew up.

I knew I wanted to immortalize some of my treasured equine friends but I never expected to write the story of Trouble in such a fashion as I did. It was after visiting a horse farm that also entertained a horse therapy program for troubled youth that the story sky-rocketed. Tara came to life and shared her entire sad story with me and I couldn’t help but oblige and put it down on paper. And Trouble? He’s a mix of several of the horses I knew. Full of spunk, spirit, trust and devotion. It’s a horse story, full of conflict, with antagonists you’ll love seeing get what they deserve.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

The story of Trouble spilled out in less than six month, but it took over a year before I had a manuscript I was ready to shop around. I am lucky to have a very thorough critique group. That is a must for any author.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

I love to read. And I take away something from every book I read. So it is hard to pick just a few authors who have really impressed me but two come to mind right away. Jane Yolen and Jay Asher. The book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher still haunts my thoughts and I adore the rich prose of Jane Yolen. Her book, Briar Rose remains one of my favorites

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

I dabble in a variety of things other than writing…spending time with my family is a priority but I also love love to dabble with flower gardening, jewelry making, hiking, and taking long walks with my Papillon pups… I am officially known as the ‘dog woman’ around our small town. Lol.

(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

I’m a night-owl. And I have a laptop. So most of my writing is done sitting in my most comfortable chair in the front room with at least two pups sitting by me or on the ottoman. I have my I-pod, loaded with Yanni, and a Diet Coke at hand and I’m ready to write, write, write.

(Q) If you could time travel (accompanying Doctor Who in the Tardis, of course) to any point in history, when/where would it be and why?

Oh, my that is a pivotal question. I didn’t like history when I was a child…too many dates to remember. But now I am so intrigued by it and would love to witness so many things…like what DID happen to the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, were the Knights of the Round Table as valiant as I think them to be, or how would it feel to be standing on the streets of Rome as Emperor Constantine went by. But most of all I would love to witness the time of Jesus’ birth. I would love to be with the shepherds on the hill as the angels announced the glorious birth.

(Q) Plotter or pantser?

Actually I am a bit of both. I do outline some, and then continue to outline as I write by the seat of my pants. I can’t do the whole outline before I start writing or my muse will revolt and take the story a totally different direction. And what my muse wants, my muse usually gets.

As for when I write…I am a night-owl, so most of my writing is done at night. I work a day-job (at least for the time being ;-) and am able to check e-mails and blogs from there, leaving me free to put my feet up in my favorite chair and write, write, write on my laptop. I try to write at least 15 minutes every night on my WIP. If I don’t, my muse gets cranky and will jump ship to a totally new WIP. I already have three WIPs going so I don’t want to give my muse any further reason to start another one. lol

(Q) What are your writing strengths? Weaknesses?

I think my greatest writing strength is my muse. She is incredible with the number of stories she comes up with. I can read a news article and she’s already posing questions to turn it into a story.

My weakness is also my muse! I can’t keep her under control and often find her taking me off on another adventure before I’ve finished the last one. Sigh…she’s a fickle beast but I love her to death.

(Q) Favorite movie of all time?

I blush as I say this, but my favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice. I love watching this type of historical romance…and what woman wouldn’t want a man to look after her the way Mr. Darcy does Elizabeth? Sorry, I’m a romantic at heart.

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on?

I am excited to have two other books to chat about. The first, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island is a tween ghost story and is already available in both print and e-book. It’s a ghost story with a twist of Native American folklore and based on the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.

In April, The Secret of the Stones will make its debut. It is the first of a series called The Lost Diaries of Northumberland. It is a lighter story, a Harry Potter meets Merlin the Magician kind of story. . A Merlin-loving tween is thrust into magic mayhem when the gift he’s been entrusted to protect turns out to be the enchanted object detailed in a mysterious prophecy.

(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

That is a loaded question! Marketing is a giant beast, as big if not bigger than writing the novel. When I received my contract one year ago, I knew nothing. I started to build a platform by building a website, getting involved on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Jacketflap. I’ve joined local writing groups and on-line groups. I’ve also joined several boards such as Kindle Boards, Verla Kay, KidlitChat, Shewrites, and BookBlogs. Each day I try to make one small baby step forward. With baby steps, I have come a long way to gaining recognition and setting up my writing platform, but I know I still have a long way to go. I’m still a little fish in a very big pond!

(Q) If you'd like to add anything, please do so.

I would love to offer a free prize to one lucky reader who leaves me a comment. I’m offering a FREE e-copy of A Horse Called Trouble as an early Christmas present!

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?

A Horse Called Trouble…

The massive barn towered up, into the Midwest sky, a prison of whitewashed boards, sunlight glinting off it. Might as well be barbed wire. Tara Cummings blinked, momentarily blinded.

So this was her punishment—horse therapy?

She shook her head, letting her mousy brown hair fall over her face. Another time she would have been thrilled to be here, to see a real horse, to actually touch one, not watch it on TV or the internet.

Her fingers tightened into a fist. This time was different. This was a sentence of shame—for something she hadn’t even done. She didn’t steal Alissa’s purse!

Tara struggled to swallow the lump in her throat, the dryness in her mouth refusing to release the knot. Alissa had set her up—she was sure of it. She’d planted the purse in her locker. Why? What had she ever done? Because she wasn’t cool…or popular…or wear designer clothes? Because she was a foster kid?

Resentment and desire burned as one in her chest. She’d never have money or popularity. She’d been born a have-not and the world was making sure she would always stay a have-not.

A cool morning breeze blew across the farmyard, cold fingers reminding the world that despite the sun and the absence of snow, it was only early spring and summer was still a long way off. Tara shivered and withdrew into her shabby sweatshirt, wrapping her skinny arms up in its scratchy fabric. She should have tried harder to prove her innocence to Principal Jackman. Should’ve made him listen.

A long breath whistled through her teeth. It wouldn’t have made any difference. He wanted to be rid of her, like everyone else in her life. Teachers, foster parents, her own mother. All too happy to wash their hands and dump her onto someone else. No one cared. Why would Jackman be any different? He couldn’t wait to ship her off to Marvel’s, the east side’s alternative to regular school. Marvel was, after all, the best place to dump all the 8th grade scum no one wanted.

Tara gazed from the barn to the crisp, white fences and luscious green pastures surrounding them. Marvel was known for its unusual methods in dealing with problem students. But she had totally not expected this. It had to be some kind of mistake. The other kids had moaned and groaned, certain they were headed for a work-camp, cleaning up horse crap, hauling hay, painting, and all that stuff. Listening to them, Tara had envisioned smelly, peeling barns, and broken-down fences. This was quite the opposite. The farm was actually quite tidy. Nice. Peaceful. Not the kind of place she’d expected juvies to be sent to at all.

Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

A leaf rustled on the path in front of her, its dry brown contrasting against the spring-green grass. It twirled and danced on the gust of wind making its way from the barn toward Tara…along with the horrible stink. She pressed a ragged sleeve to her nose. Eww! It was everywhere. Like a subway toilet that hadn’t been flushed in weeks.

Who had she been kidding? This wasn’t some nursery rhyme Old McDonald’s Farm. This was a place to be disciplined and chastised. She pressed her sleeve hard against her nose. Her classmates were right—they just wanted to make them clean up the stinky horse crap.

A horse screamed. A flock of sparrows took flight from the tree next to the barn, swirling into the air, a dark cloud of feathers chattering their irritation. Tara searched for the animal and jumped as it screamed again.

“Whoa,” a man’s voice bellowed from inside the gaping doorway. “Blast it, I said, whoa!”

A short, thick-necked man stumbled out, heels digging into the hard dirt as he fought to hold onto the red horse dancing in circles around him. He clung to the thick reins with one hand and pulled a leather whip from his rear pocket with the other, snapping it at the horse with a loud crack.

The horse laid his ears flat, flashed a mouthful of large teeth and dove at his captor, hatred sparking in his eyes. Stumbling backward, the man let loose of the reins, surprise and fear flooding his face.

Tara gasped, a small, barely audible squeak coming from her mouth.

The horse spun around to face her, ears swiveling, black hooves stamping and pawing at the ground. Rage flared his black nostrils.

Tara froze, a scream stuck in her throat, staring wide-eyed at the red horse.

“Get back, Miss,” a voice ordered from behind her. Rough hands shoved her to the side of the path and a dark-haired man rushed forward, grabbing at the horse’s reins. The horse reared, lashing out, black mane rippling like a nest of angry snakes. The dark-haired man held on.

The horse blared again, his eyes wild, white rings surrounding the black.

Tara backed away as quick as she could, unable to take her eyes off the crazed horse. Her heart pounded in her ears. She wanted to get away. She needed to get away from this wild animal. Staring into the horse’s eyes, she couldn’t move. There was something…something in his eyes. She understood his look of pain.

“Are you crazy, Richard?” the black-haired man yelled, glancing back at Tara before turning his sole attention to the horse. “You know we aren’t supposed to have him on this side of the barns today. Beth’s therapy class is here.” He glared at the fancy leather saddle on the horse’s back. “And, what’s this dressage crap doing on him again?”

Richard stepped back toward the barn door, his face a mix of stubborn anger and impatience.

“I had my orders, Sam,” Richard grunted. “Miss Jordan called and told me to saddle him up. She wants to ride him.”

Tara blinked. Jordan? Alissa Jordan? Here? The hair on the back of her neck prickled. Her stomach rolled, the acidic taste of bile rising to her throat. She forced it back down. It had to be a different Jordan.

Sam pulled the horse down the path away from Tara, moving to avoid the dangerous hooves. “No way is anyone riding him, especially not in this get-up. He’s not ready. And this stunt is going to set him back even further.”

Richard snorted. “Don’t know why you’re wasting your time on this stupid animal anyway.” He extracted a dirty handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his glistening brow. “That horse ought to be shot. The only thing he’s good for is dog food.”

Sam stopped and stared back at Richard, anger darkening his eyes, his face turning almost as red as the horse. “I think you better mind your chores, Richard, before I do something I might regret—like tell Mr. McDonald you’ve been slacking on those stalls.” With a loud grunt, he directed the rearing horse toward a small corral between the two barns. “Let me take care of this horse,” he yelled over his shoulder.

Richard stuffed his handkerchief back in his rear pocket, the end sticking out like a grimy plaid tail. “You wait ‘til Miss Jordan gets here,” he scowled. “Then we’ll see who ‘takes care’ of that horse.”

Turning, Richard spotted Tara. He narrowed his eyes and growled to himself. “Slackers. Beth’s asking for trouble bringing these punk kids here.”

Tara shoulders tightened, anger biting at her tongue. Slacker? She wanted to scream, tell him, and everyone there, that wasn’t her. She blinked hard and retreated under her hair, letting her shoulders slump. What good would it do? Everyone assumed she was trouble because of who she was—because of who her mother was. And even though she may not be trouble, trouble always seemed to find her.

Richard pushed the open barn door closed, revealing a large wheelbarrow filled to overflowing with filthy dirty straw. A black cloud of flies hummed around it like bees to honey.

Tara gagged and covered her nose and mouth again with her sleeve.

With a loud grunt, Richard boosted the wheelbarrow’s handles and drove the smelly refuse down a winding path, disappearing behind a large shed at the bottom of the hill.

Finally, with Richard and the wheelbarrow gone, she dared to take a breath, coughing at the leftover stink, wishing she was somewhere else…anywhere but here. She didn’t belong here.

Rejection bit at her.

She didn’t belong anywhere.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lawna Mackie - Impossible to Hold

by Lawna Mackie
Liquid Silver Books

Raven knows no one will believe her. Giant tiger-like creatures did not just leap from the clouds, and invisible forces do not just save your life during Sahara Desert sandstorms. Impossible, they always said, scolding her at the age of twelve. Ten years later, Raven knows the impossible is possible, and finds herself tormented with many unanswered questions concerning her birth and her mother’s mysterious disappearance.

Perhaps falling in love with Nevar, an emotionless and bodiless Storm God isn’t a good idea, but the attraction they feel for one another is impossible to deny. Soon it becomes clear that he is the only one who can unravel her puzzling past and perhaps save her life. But an evil Sea Goddess knows exactly who Raven is, and even more importantly…what she is.


(Q) You must be excited about your new release? Can you tell us a bit about your book?

I’m really excited, more so than I can put down into words. IMPOSSIBLE TO HOLD is an action packed paranormal/romantic fantasy with my different creatures.

(Q) Sounds interesting. What made you decide to write this type of story?

A dream started the idea. Stormcat is one of the characters in my novel, but I had a dream of him, where he pounced down through the clouds at me in a storm. He had no intentions of hurting me, but he was quite annoying. I was trying to get through the storm to save my parents.

While the book doesn’t have that as part of the story, it does have Stormcat jumping from the heavens above down to earth, often.

(Q) He sounds like quite the character. What other type of other characters do you have in the novel?

My hero is very unique, especially in the beginning of the book. He is a Storm God so he has no physical form, other than elements of nature. He takes the form of rain, snow, mist…I think you get the drift. Eventually he ends up with a human type body, but the first part of the book is intriguing. Oh, he also has no emotions.

(Q) Where is the book set?

I jump around all over the world, from the Sahara Desert, the Grand Cayman Islands, the Canadian Rocky Mountains, to eventually scenes taking place under the sea.

(Q) Who is the publisher and where can readers get a copy?

The publisher is Liquid Silver Books. So everyone can go there and check it out.

(Q) Perfect. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us today?

Yes, one more thing. My great friend’s Myriah and James Reed from Sodipop Studios have created a wonderful trailer for me. I encourage everyone to visit at my website. It should be read for tomorrow.

Thank you very much for hosting me today. It’s been great.

Books by author, Lawna Mackie:

QUINN’S CHRISTMAS WISH – December 1, 2011, Amazon in both print and eBook

IMPOSSIBLE TO HOLD – December 19, 2011, Liquid Silver Books

ENCHANTMENT – January 13, 2012, Muse It Up Publishing

Lawna's Bio:

I have always believed in fairy tales. Each story would have typical heroes and heroines but from untypical worlds. Daily, I made up new stories, with perfect happy endings.

I constantly tell my husband, friends and family of the adventures I have during my sleep. Most of the time they just shake their heads in disbelief. Every now and again I’d write them down, but my stories usually end up in the recycling bin, piling up beside my ever-growing stack of read romance novels.

I devoured my first romance novel when I was a teenager. I couldn’t read them fast enough. Years later I stumbled across my first paranormal romance. An injustice would be done if I tried to explain my joy when I found this genre of romance. My passion was finally in print.

One summer, I set aside my fears and began to write a story. It took me a long time to realize I didn’t have to be perfect to write. So I picked up my pen and began to write my first novel. I cried, cringed, laughed and fell in love with every minute of the process. I have many stories to share with you and I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

I am truly blessed. My husband is my inspiration and knight in shining armor. We live on a small acreage in Didsbury, Alberta, with our most beloved companions, Dozer, Daisy and Mandarin. I love mountains and water even more so. Maybe in my next life I’ll come back as a water nymph, or perhaps in my past life I already was!

Happy reading everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Preview of Midnight Oil

MIDNIGHT OIL Book 2 of the Witches of Galdorheim Series

Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
I haven't got a specific date for the release of Book 2 in the Witches of Galdorheim series. I haven't got a cover yet. But I have seen a first proof from wonderful cover artist Kaytalin Platt. Of course, I can't show you the rough draft. No. Argue all you want, it just wouldn't be ... okay, maybe just a teensy peek at one section. Mind you, it could change before the final.

Kat discovers that an evil forest spirit has kidnapped her brand-new boyfriend. She sets out with her brother, Rune, from her Arctic island home on a mission to rescue the boy. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding that the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

Here are a few more images I've been collecting for creating the book trailer. Hang on for a wild ride following Kat and Rune on separate adventures that converge into one crazy finale.

Mordita is always watching out for Kat. When Kat, Rune, Nadia and Ivansi set out to return Kat's frozen father to Siberia, the ancient witch gives Kat a good luck token. Kat wonders how an image of Medusa could possibly be lucky.

Tossed into a stormy sea along with her father's icy coffin, Kat tries to call for her old friend Salmon the Orca for aid. Alas, Salmon is nowhere to be found. Instead, an unlikely legendary creature comes to her rescue.

While Kat is floating atop a large ice cube, her brother and grandfather are sent in another direction. The storm pushes them to the shores of Novaya Zemlya, an island forming the northern end of the Ural Mountains.

The unfortunate Nenets tribe were victims of Soviet nuclear testing during the cold war. Problem is that nobody bothered to tell them to get off the island. The radiation affected the newborn children making them mutant outcasts of their own people.

When Rune and Ivansi show up, the Nenets see an opportunity to obtain the magical healing Midnight Oil. The mutants can't seek out the oil themselves. They are not allowed to ask the Nenets gods for directions. Ivansi is a Sami, a close cousin tribe. He should be able to find the location of the Midnight Oil: In Finnland's forests in a root cellar. Well, sort of a root cellar, if you think of tree roots and the word cell.

Rune and Ivansi begin their journey to recover the oil from a forest elemental spirit, Ajatar. Little did they know that the evil elemental has kidnapped Kat's boyfriend, and is holding him hostage.

In the meantime, Kat is trying to find a way to reach her mother for help. The sea serpent's island is sadly lacking in telephones, so she has to find another means of communication. Atop the volcanic dome of the island, she enlists the aid of a greedy sea bird, who is more than happy to help out if provided a lifetime supply of eggs. Kat can only hope the big bird lives up to his word and brings help.

Buy the book when it's released in January to find out what happens next.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cheap Reads

Free on Kindle

Tales of Abu Nuwas will be promoted as a freebie for five days in June 2012.  Click the Buy From Amazon thingie below to check it out. I will let you know when it's free on my blog. C'mon! Work a little bit. If you don't want it free, I probably don't need you as a reader anyway. I take that back. I WANT you as a reader. That's why I'll be having free days.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Loglines - Bad Spelling

Bad Spelling featured on the Loglines Blog today.

A new book featured everyday. Does the cover and logline intrigue enough to make you want to read the book? Check it out.

Buy Bad Spelling at:

MuseItUp Publishing


Watch the award-winning book trailer on YouTube.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Going Once, Going Twice SOLD!

I received word that another of my middle-grade fantasy books has been accepted for publishing with MuseItUp. That's five now and counting.

I'll admit to all and sundry that the book, "Setara's Genie," has been around the block a time or two. Here's its history, which I think is both interesting and instructive.

Way back in 2006 or so, I switched careers from writing technical documentation and programming to writing fiction. I dragged out all the half-finished stories--some of them a quarter century old--and looked them over. Was there anything salvageable? I thoughts so and proceeded to edited and fill out multiple stories.

There was this story, "Cadida and the Djinn," I wrote for kids. I made it funny and sweet. The short story was published not once, but thrice. Hey, I knew a good thing, so I wrote "Cadida and the Cave Demon," then "Cadida and the Sultan's Horse." I was on a roll, and ended up with "The Seven Adventures of Cadida." It was published as a print book by a small press. I let it run its course in print, then decided to smooth it into a novel. How do you do that with seven separate tales? I had always thought of these stories as somewhat Aladdinesque or 1001 Arabian Nights style. I captured the whole lot within a frame story using an old story teller in a bazaar earning a few coins by relating the tales of the adventurous girl and her genie. I had pulled the character names out of the air when I first wrote the stories. I decided to get a little bit authentic to middle-eastern mythology and selected Arabic names for my characters. The book became "The Tales of Abu Nuwas" and I self-published it since very few publishing houses want reprints.

In the meantime, I'd written and sold a few other books to my current (and forever) publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. A small Canadian startup press, I was immediately drawn to the friendly atmosphere created by the publisher (Lea the Wise), all the editors, cover artists, and the authors. We do think of ourselves as a family. It was such a warm, inviting atmosphere, and I had an excellent experience with my first book with MuseItUp (a murder mystery). I had no hesitation sending Lea the Witches of Galdorheim series. All three books were accepted, the first published in October, and the other two in the queue for January and April 2012.

While perusing my contract, I noticed the clauses about making sure that if a work was previously published that the author had all the rights returned. Ah ha! MuseItUp did reprints! Happy me! I sent off "Setara's Genie" explaining that it had been round the block a few times, but still had some spirit in her. Matter of fact, she was better than ever with the help of my fantastic critique partners (especially Liz Brenaman and Lorrie Struiff).

As you might be thinking, I do have a recycling policy in effect. If I can sell a story once, why not moosh it about a bit and sell it again, or put it together with some other stuff and sell that.

One thing I have never, ever done is leave any of my stories unpublished. I am confident that my stories are good enough for publication, so I make sure that they are published. With the new wonders of ebooks, all sorts of writers--good, bad, and ugly--are self-publishing. I fail to see that as a crime. It's annoying to have to shuffle through the vast numbers of books and stories looking for something with a modicum of story value and a reasonable grasp of grammar and punctuation. That's what sampling is for. You can snag a chunk of a book. Possibly waste a half-hour deciding it sucks, and you're not out a dime, just a bit of time. On the other hand, you might find the newest best writer in the world. You never know.

I will never claim to be the best writer in the world. I'm awestruck by some of the talent I see out there, and that talent is not always published through the traditional routes. I know by my own experience that it's a frustrating business trying to get one of the few slots available with an agent, and then have that agent actually sell your book to a publisher. That frustration has led to a tremendous upsurge in ebook self-publishing. Heck, it's really easy to do. Yes, a lot of it's dreck and why should you waste your time searching for a few gems amongst the slush? Because that's where you find gold. In the mud, sluiced out of a creek bed, a few little sparkles catch your eye. All that mud dredging becomes very worthwhile.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Spotlight on Seasons of Reading

I'm visiting Jo Ramsey's Seasons of Reading blog hop today on her blog. This post is in conjunction with my own Seasons of Reading Gift Book post of December 4th. I'm featuring two very different books. My gift book post is about how I gifted my father by writing his stories and creating his own book, Tales of a Texas Boy. On Jo's blog, I talk about murder on the Oregon high desert.

Tales of a Texas BoyMissing, AssumedDead

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Loglines - Missing, Assumed Dead

Missing, Assumed Dead featured on the Loglines Blog today.

A new book featured everyday. Does the cover and logline intrigue enough to make you want to read the book? Check it out.

Buy the award-winning (Best Cover July You Gotta Read Covers)Missing, Assumed Dead at:

MuseItUp Publishing


Watch the book trailer on YouTube

Monday, December 05, 2011

I'm the 99

Not only am I part of the 99 percent, I also sell a lot of ebooks for only 99 cents. Coincidence? I think not!

Visit my page on Smashwords to be within an easy click away from some good readin' on the cheap.

or download to your Kindle from Amazon. (Don't buy Fish Story here. It's free at Smashwords.)

If you can't see the header on this blog (maybe you're using Google reader or SMS feeds), here are covers for the 99 cent books.

First Duty

Tales of a Texas Boy

Eagle Quest

Tales of Abu Nuwas

Quest for the Simurgh

MixedBag II

Mixed Bag

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Seasons of Reading Blog Hop

Gifts and Giving Blog Hop

For the full list of author pages on the blog hop, go to Jo Ramsey's blog.

This hop has to do with the impact of a book, either one you have received or one you have given. Jump from here to Jo's blog to continue the blog hops. Giveaways are available at every stop, so be sure to visit them all.

Now on to my gift book post.

Legend in His Own Time - Tales of a Texas Boy

You've heard the phrase "A Legend in His Own Time." That's when somebody does something so extraordinary they create a legend around themselves. As time moves on, the legendary aspect grows and morphs into something bigger and, well, more legendary.

Then, there's the play on words, "A Legend in His Own Mind." That's when a person's ego grows beyond reality. They believe themselves to be so wonderful, they're a legend. Of course, they are the only ones who think so.

Then there's another type of legend. It's when an author bases a book on a real person, but exaggerates the person's feats to make for good reading; the writer creates the legend. Can you think of a case where this has occurred? I imagine there are many, considering possible biographers who hero-worship their subject past the point of reality.

Then I come to my own mini-legendary person: Little Eddie from Tales of a Texas Boy. The stories are mostly based on some brief vignette passed to me from my father. Those of you who have read the print edition might have slowed down enough to peruse the Foreword where I lay out that Eddie is my father and some additional background on his life. Nothing too exciting there. He just happened to have a few incidents in his life that I could turn from a passing comment into a short story.

I made my father a legend. The stories I wrote about his experiences are so enhanced, they have become the stuff of legends. Yes, a very small part of the population know the stories. However, how long will the Tales books be out in the world? I published the first edition in June, 2007. In four years, more than 3000 people have had possession of the book in some form. They may have even read it. If I keep the book in print, how many people will get to know Eddie in ten years? 

What's my point here? Not sure other than to state my realization that even not so famous people can become legendary to some extent from some author deciding to write about them.

I think that my "gift book" that had the most impact is this one. "Tales of a Texas Boy" was a gift to my father. He certainly enjoyed hearing "his" stories and quite a few people now know him who would not have without that book. I think making somebody a legend in his own time is about as big an impact as a book can supply.

My giveaway book is obviously going to be "Tales of a Texas Boy." However, the winner, whoever they may be can choose another in my collection. I have descriptive pages with information on my books at my website: . I'll select a winner at random from comments on this post and Jo Ramsey's Seasons blog post. I will be donating a copy of Tales to the school across the street. The local library already has a copy on the shelves.

Tales of a Texas Boy is only 99 cents for the ebook version on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other on-line bookstores. The Large Print paperback edition is very popular with the more mature among us, especially if they grew up in a rural area. They often recognize something in Texas Boy that relates to their own coming of age.

Here are some links to buy sites and a link to the book trailer:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Large Print Paperback

Book trailer:

Friday, December 02, 2011

Penny Ehrenkranz With One, Two Books

Marva, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I wanted to announce a contest. Everyone who posts a comment on one of the blogs during my tour will be entered into a drawing. There will be two winners picked. I am giving away one copy of Lady-in-Waiting and one copy of Mirror, Mirror.

First the books in brief, followed by a Q and A and excerpts.

Lady in Waiting
Through a series of misunderstandings, Mabriona is forced to live a lie, but when the man she loves awakes from his coma, will she confess her deceit?
Buy link, released November 18th:

Mabriona is cousin to the beautiful and spoiled Princess Alana. When Alana is forced to marry a man she despises, Mabriona is torn between her loyalty to her cousin and her attraction to the handsome Prince Blayne.

Tragedy befalls the cousins on the way to Prince Blayne’s castle. Servants, believing Mabriona to be Alana, refuse to listen when she tries to explain.

While she waits for Blayne to recover, Mabriona meets his equally handsome younger brother, Madoc, a bard.

When Blayne awakes, will Mabriona choose life with a future king, will she be sent home in disgrace because of her inadvertent lies, or will Madoc win her love with his poetry?

Mirror, Mirror
Lindsay Baker’s purchase of an antique mirror sends her back in time to salvage a love torn apart by class restrictions.

Blurb: Lindsay Baker is intrigued by everything about the middle ages, but when she purchases an antique mirror and a costume to attend a Renaissance Faire, she suddenly finds herself transported back in time. There she finds she’s been called by a witch to right a terrible wrong.

Graham loves Prudence, but he can’t marry her because he’s landed gentry, and she is only the baker’s daughter. Before Lindsay can return to her own time, she must convince Graham to marry against his father’s wishes. Unfortunately, she also finds herself falling for the handsome gentleman.

Can she find her way back to her own time, or will she be stuck in a time when women had no rights?


(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.

My website is:
My blog is:
My Facebook page is:
My Twitter is:
My author page at MuseItUp Publishing is:

(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.

I’m releasing two books this fall from MuseItUp Publishing. Lady-in-Waiting is scheduled for release around November 20th. Mirror, Mirror is due to be released during December. Both books are novelettes and romances. Lady-in-Waiting is set in medieval times, and Mirror, Mirror is a time travel, which takes the female main character, Lindsey Baker, back to medieval times.

Lady in Waiting released November 18th. Buy link

Mirror, Mirror will release in December. The Muse bookstore link:

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

I’ve been interested in the medieval period for a long time and thought it would be fun to write a story during that time period. Once I started to think about it, I also wondered what it would be like for a woman who fell in love with a man she couldn’t have. Mabriona wanted her story told, and she was the perfect character. Beautiful in her own right, she’s the lady-in-waiting, not the lovely princess.

I am also intrigued by Renaissance Faires. I live in a small community, and we were treated to one several years ago. As I walked around and observed, I decided it would make a great story if one of the folks who frequented these fairs was actually thrown back in time and had to survive. I’d been doing some research for a story with witchcraft and came across scrying mirrors. It seemed like a perfect conduit for a little time travel.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

The actual writing of each of the stories took about a week, including revisions. Sending them off as submissions took another couple of months, waiting for responses. Then the actual editing process with the publisher took another couple of months between content and line edits. Waiting for the cover art took another month. Waiting for final galleys took another couple of months.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

I tend to read a lot of fantasy, but I’m not sure if any of the authors influenced my writing. I have my own style. I like to throw in a little bit of romance in my stories. I also am not good at writing long novels, which are what I mostly read. My stories tend to lean more toward short and novelette size. The closest to novel sized books I’ve written are my two middle grade novels, which will be published next year by 4RV Publishing.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

I am a grandmother now, and I love it when I can spend time with my grandchildren. I also try to keep healthy by going to water aerobics and walking with a friend. When our Oregon weather cooperates, I like to spend time in my garden or playing with my dogs. My husband I also enjoy going out to ethnic restaurants and spending time with friends. When I’m not busy with other things, I’m reading or crocheting.

(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

I don’t like to listen to music when I’m writing. I find it distracting. I tend to “see” my stories playing like a movie as I’m writing. When I write, I’m usually in my office with one or both of my dogs lying on the floor beside me. I have a lovely view of my garden outside my window.

(Q)  Do you secretly want to write another genre, but don't think you can do it?

No. I already enjoy writing in several different areas. I write fantasy, soft science fiction, and romance. I also write non-fiction articles in the areas of writing help, parenting help, and teen self-help. In addition, I write for children and have two picture books under contract as well as two middle grade paranormal mysteries.

(Q) Plotter or pantser?

I am definitely a pantser. I have never been able to outline, even in school it was a challenge. I get an idea for a story, or a character begs to have a story told, and I let it go where it wants to go. I will sometimes make a very loose plot line, especially when I’m working on my MG novels. I also will keep track of character descriptions and traits. For short stories, I don’t make notes at all.

(Q) Coffee or tea?

I drink one cup of coffee in the morning with a splash of 1% milk. The rest of the day, I drink tea, chai being my favorite, with peppermint a close second.

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they? (optional if you don't have a WIP to talk about)

I’ve started a couple of different projects, but am I waffling about which one to concentrate on. I have a teen witch who wants her story told, and I’m working on the next book in my middle grade paranormal series.

(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

I send out press releases to our local newspapers. I contact our local libraries. I send emails to my email contacts and family. I send out tweets with links to excerpts on my author web site. I do virtual book tours when my books are released.

I learned about marketing by taking some classes offered by the MuseOnline Writers Conference, which occurs every October. I have subscriptions to a number of newsletters, including some which offer marketing tips, and I check out blog posts related to marketing. It’s an ongoing learning experience. I know there is still a lot I don’t know about marketing. I tend to ask a similar question to some of my own blog guests, hoping to learn more.

(Q) If you'd like to add anything, please do so.

I write my stories because I enjoy the whole process from the first words to the published book. I hope my readers enjoy what I’ve written. I love to hear from people who have read my stories. Anyone who has questions or comments can reach me at pennylane97053 at yahoo dot com

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?


Lady-in-Waiting excerpt:

“Today’s the day, Mabriona,” Princess Alana said as Mabriona entered the chambers. She wiped tears from her eyes with an embroidered linen. “Prince Blayne will be here, and soon I’ll be his wife. I think the worst part of being father’s daughter is marrying someone I’ve never even met.”

“You’ve always known your marriage would be arranged for the benefit of the kingdom, Princess, but I’m sure he’ll be very nice,” Mabriona replied as she opened the heavy drapes covering the windows. She looked at her cousin and sighed. She wanted to feel sorry for Alana, but they’d had this discussion so many times. Mabriona was tired of it. Alana had known from the time she was a child that she would not wed for love. Why can’t Alana just accept her fate? Outside the day was as wet as the one before and the one before that.

“Nice? Who wants nice? I want someone handsome and dashing. A knight in shining armor who will love me forever. I certainly don’t want someone like my father who will make me do everything I don’t want to do.”

Mirror, Mirror excerpt:

After Stefany left, Lindsey adjusted the water spigots on her tub. A few drops of bubble bath went into the water, and the soothing scent of lavender filled the moist, steamy air. While the tub filled, Lindsey tried on her Renaissance outfit for the upcoming Faire. She couldn’t believe her good luck at finding the perfect pieces. She tested the bath water to be sure it was the right temperature. Then she picked up her antique mirror to get a better view. Was this a scryer’s mirror at some point in time? It slipped from her wet hands into the bathtub.

“Nuts,” she mumbled as she leaned over the tub. She pulled one sleeve up on her blouse and fished around in the bubbles for the mirror. When she pulled the mirror from the water, spots appeared in front of her eyes, and she felt faint. While she watched her reflection in the old mirror, the background changed. She no longer saw the inside of her bathroom. She closed her eyes as the room around her went black.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Mark of the Stars Holiday Hop

Jessica Subject has put together a great Holidays line-up of SF related posts. This is just a heads up to keep an eye on Mark of the Stars blog in December. Here's the schedule of authors. Most (including myself) will show up on Jessica's blog, but I've included the links to the authors' websites so you can check them out on their home turf:

1 – D.L. Jackson
2 – Lisa Lane
5 – Gini Koch
6 – Heather Massey
7 – Jessica E. Subject @ 30 Days of Decadence Holiday Blog
8 – Rebecca Royce
9 – Bella Street
12 – Sara Brookes
13 – Maureen O. Betita
14 – Jessica E. Subject @ Jennifer Lane’s blog  TRS Book-a-day Giveaway
15 – Ann Mayburn
16 – Jeanette Grey
19 – Melisse Aires
20 – Diane Dooley
21 - Jessica E. Subject on Lisa Fox’s blog
22 – Azura Ice
23 – Eve Langlais
27 – Ella Drake
28 – Cathy Pegau
29 – Marva Dasef
30 – Misa Buckley

See you there!