Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Effigy Cover Reveal & Broken Branch Fall Release!

I'm happy to be helping spread the word about new or upcoming releases from two great bloggers and writers today.

First up is the cover reveal for Effigy, the debut novel by M.J. Fifield. Isn't this a gorgeous cover? I'm so happy for M.J. and excited for her debut!

Effigy will be released on July 22, 2014. Here is the blurb for what is sure to be a great book.

The survival of a once-mighty kingdom rests in the hands of its young queen, Haleine Coileáin, as it slowly succumbs to an ancient evil fueled by her husband’s cruelty.
 A sadistic man with a talent for torture and a taste for murder, he is determined to burn the land and all souls within. Haleine is determined to save her kingdom and, after a chance encounter, joins forces with the leader of the people’s rebellion. She gives him her support, soon followed by her heart.
 Loving him is inadvertent but becomes as natural and necessary as breathing. She lies and steals on his behalf, doing anything she can to further their cause. She compromises beliefs held all her life, for what life will exist if evil prevails?
 Her journey leads to a deceiving world of magic, monsters, and gods she never believed existed outside of myth. The deeper she goes, the more her soul is stripped away, but she continues on, desperate to see her quest complete. If she can bring her husband to ruin and save her people, any sacrifice is worth the price—even if it means her life.

 About M.J.

Armed with a deep and lasting love of chocolate, purple pens, and medieval weaponry, M.J. Fifield is nothing if not a uniquely supplied insomniac. When she isn’t writing, she’s on the hunt for oversized baked goods or shiny new daggers. M.J. lives with a variety of furry creatures—mostly pets—in New Hampshire. Effigy is her first novel.


Ravven, the cover artist:  www.ravven.com
Add Effigy on Goodreads

Congratulations, M.J.!! 

Also, you may have heard about a book called Broken Branch Falls that has been popping up a lot lately. Today is its official release and Tara Tyler is blitzing the blogosphere to celebrate!

It's Beastly Blitz Day!

Tara is the first (and as of now only) blogger friend I have met in person. We met at the Ohioana Book Festival back in May and I can tell you Tara is as fun and sweet in person as she is online. So happy for you, Tara!

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014 - TODAY!!
B&N ~~~ Amazon ~~~ Kobo
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL

Friday, June 20, 2014


I'm doing the happy dance to end this week because I FINALLY finished my Polar Night sequel! I had reached a point earlier this month where I was very close to giving up on the whole story because I was so frustrated with it. But the idea of giving up on it gave me the kick in the pants I needed and I finally got a burst of energy to get busy and finish the story once and for all.

I have tons of revising to do, to put it mildly, but I know I will be able to do that now that I finally have the whole story in place. And I am actually excited about the revising and anxious to jump into it. Now I guess I will be hiding in my revising cave. :D

The plan at the moment is for the sequel to be published in January. It's called Polar Day and it is fitting that I finished it during the week of the summer solstice as this story takes place in the summer as opposed to the dark winter setting of Polar Night.

For the sequel, I wanted to utilize the "midnight sun" phenomenon of the Alaskan summers, and Polar Day revolves around the sun, magic, and fire.

Midnight on the Summer Solstice in Bethel, AK

I also plan to release a prequel novella which takes place during the building of the Alaskan Railroad during the late 1910s and includes the same kind of magic featured in Polar Day. I'm going to publish that myself on Kindle in the fall, assuming all goes as planned between now and then!

I'm just really excited now to dig into my revisions and also to get back into blogging and social media. I forced myself to stay off just about everything until I finished this story so now I'm looking forward to catching up. I've missed the blogosphere!

Happy Friday and weekend to all. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

World Building with Cherie Reich

I'm hosting Cherie Reich today as part of her blog tour for her debut novel Reborn. Cherie is here to talk about world building, something that I admit intimidates me as an author. I really admire those who take it on and as I know Cherie is excellent at it I'm excited to share her advice.

Also, as part of her tour, Cherie and the rest of the Untethered Realms authors (including me) are giving away more than $50 worth of books to one giveaway winner. Be sure to enter to win through the Rafflecopter below!

Take it away, Cherie!

Five Ways to Improve Your World-Building

1. Take notes. Remembering the world you created is half the battle.

2. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your story’s world. You don’t have to know your world up front. First drafts should focus more on the characters and plot. As you delve into rewrites and edits, this is where the world-building should start to shine.

3. You may be God, but you also must make sense. We writers are like gods. We create worlds filled with interesting people and animals, but unlike real life, our worlds must make sense. If you go against the rules in your world, then you must have a very good reason—and rationality—to do so.

4. Be an anthropologist. Anthropology is divided into subsets: sociocultural, biological, archaeological, and linguistic. It is up to the writer to be the expert in all those anthropological fields when it comes to your world-building. Think about what we have in our own world and see how you can use it and change it to fit the world you are creating.

5. Be a geographer. Learning a little bit about the land your characters live on will help you. Look at maps. Learn about climate. Knowing a little will help you enrich your world.

Do you have any world-building tips?

 To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Available in Ebook and Print!

Click here to add on Goodreads.

The authors of Untethered Realms and I are giving away over $50 worth of books to one lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Secrets of Honor and A Woman Lost

I'm excited to be helping spread the word about books by two wonderful writers and blogging friends, Carol Kilgore and T.B. Markinson. It dawned on me when I was putting this post together that Carol is one of the bloggers I've known the longest, while T.B. is the opposite. I can't remember how I met Carol, but I know she was one of the first writers I met after I started on this blogging journey. By contrast, I just met T.B. last fall. With both ladies, I knew I liked them immediately. They are both dog lovers, so how could I not? :D

It's kind of amazing to me that while I have some blogger friends I've known for three years or more now, I'm still meeting new friends as well. But enough of that and on to the books!

First up, I'm thrilled to share the cover for Carol's upcoming release Secrets of Honor. I'm a little late to the party here as I saw this cover all over the blogosphere last week, but I'm so happy for Carol. She always has fantastic covers for her "crime fiction with a kiss" stories and this one is no exception.


By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

About Carol:

Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notes to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.

She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol and her books here:

A Woman Lost isn't a new release, but it is on sale so if you want a great read by a great writer you should take this opportunity to get it at a fantastic price. The book is on sale on both Amazon.com and Amazon UK until Wednesday, June 11.

Here are the details and purchase links for the book. In addition, T.B. provided an excerpt from A Woman Lost that I am sharing below. Best of luck to T.B. for a successful sale!

Normal price: $2.99
Sale price $0.99 June 5th to June 11th 

Normal Price: £1.99
Sale price £0.99 June 5th to June 11th


Elizabeth “Lizzie” Petrie has it all. She’s rich, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. None of this matters to her mom. Les-Bi-An. That’s all her mom sees.

Even though Lizzie insists her mom’s antagonism does not bother her, Lizzie distances herself from her entire family. When her brother, Peter, calls her out of the blue to announce he’s getting married, Lizzie’s entire life changes drastically. Peter’s fiancée wants to bring the lesbian outcast back into the family. Will this desire cause Lizzie to lose everything dear to her?

Sarah, Lizzie’s girlfriend, is ecstatic about this change in Lizzie’s personal life. Sarah, the hopeless romantic, wants it all, including settling down with the fiercely independent Lizzie.

Can Lizzie be tamed? And can she survive her family and all of their secrets?

About T.B.:

T. B. Markinson is a 40-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. A Woman Lost is her debut novel.



The hostess watched me approach and asked in a snotty voice, “May I help you?”
“Yes I’m meeting the Petrie family for dinner?”
“Oh, are you a friend of the family?”
“I’m the daughter.” I smiled wearily and straightened my blazer to look more presentable. I had my hair down, instead of in my normal ponytail, and I had put on eye shadow and mascara. Usually, I only did that when I was out with Sarah, but even then, I preferred the au naturel look—or at least that was my excuse.
The hostess tried to soften her bitchy look. “I didn’t know they had a daughter.”
I’m sure she didn’t. My parents didn’t really spread the news about my existence.
“I think I am early, though.” I changed the subject.
“You aren’t early. Your party is already seated.” She tilted her head like a confused puppy.
I looked at my watch and noticed it was a quarter to seven. Nice, Peter— telling me the wrong time.
I followed the hostess through the maze of tables surrounded by overdressed, pompous asses. I recognized several of them—women who had been under the knife and hadn’t changed in the past ten years. Or maybe I didn’t recognize them. Rich women were a dime a dozen here. It was how they made it known they had money. How they made themselves feel superior whenever, in fact, they felt inferior.
“May I ask what time my party arrived?” I quickened my pace to keep up with the lanky hostess.
She turned to me, obviously puzzled. “I think they’ve been here thirty minutes.”
Bravo, Peter. Bravo. Tell me 7:30 p.m. and then show up a little after 6:00 p.m. I should have known. As the hostess led me to the table, she asked, “Do you live far away?”
“Not really. I live in Fort Collins.”
“Oh … you’re right. That’s not very far.” She looked disappointed in me.
“I’m working on my PhD. I don’t have a lot of free time to hang out.” Why was I justifying myself to this girl?
“That makes sense.”
Well, thank goodness the hostess accepted my excuse. As if I needed that haughty girl’s approval for my absences from family dinners at the club. We reached the table.
“Here’s the last member of your party.” The hostess plastered a huge fake smile on her face.
 “Right on time, Elizabeth.” My brother stood to shake my hand. I’d never understood why he always insisted on shaking my hand, or on using my full name. Everyone else called me Lizzie.

Congratulations and best wishes again to Carol and T.B.! And Happy Monday to all. I hope everyone had a great weekend. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG & Flight Fest with Tyrean Martinson

I'm excited to be back from my blogging break just in time for the June meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by our favorite ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. 

As I've written a few times in recent months, I was very nervous about the book festival and signing events I had scheduled for May. The thing that brought me the most anxiety was the panel I was set to be part of at the Ohioana Book Festival on Saturday, May 10.

Believe it or not, I absolutely LOVED being part of my panel at the festival! I didn't feel nervous at all and nothing that I was worried about happened. I didn't forget my name, open my mouth and have no words come out, lose my train of thought while answering a question, etc. It was fun to talk about my books and writing in general. The time actually went by so quickly and the experience was so enjoyable that I was sorry when the panel ended. I had a fantastic time overall at the festival and hope to have the opportunity to participate again.

Now I have a presentation at my local library coming up later this month and while I'm still a little anxious, I'm honestly more excited and enthusiastic than I am nervous. I never could have imagined I would ever be able to say that when I first wrote about my public speaking anxiety. So thanks again to everyone who offered so much support and encouragement. It worked! :)

On the insecure front, while I had a great month and a great time on my trip to Martha's Vineyard, I didn't come anywhere close to meeting the writing goals I set for myself. I really need to get serious and finish my Polar Night sequel and prequel novella once and for all. So I plan to be spending a lot of time in my writing cave for the rest of the summer.

In other news, this week is the release party for Tyrean Martinson's Champion In Flight. Congratulations to Tyrean!

As part of the release, Tyrean asked us this:
What's your favorite way to fly? Dragonback? Griffin? Giant Eagle? 747? Space Shuttle? Millennium Falcon? Enterprise? or on a bike with E.T.?
I get such terrible motion sickness that it's really best for me to stay on the ground, but as long as I could take plenty of Dramamine before taking flight my answer is an easy one. In deference to my Game of Thrones fanaticism I have to go with Dragonback. I'd love to steal one of Daenerys' dragons and take it for a spin. I'd just have to bring it back quickly as she's not someone I'd want angry with me. :D

And now, here is all the info on Tyrean's latest:

Champion in Flight Blurb:

A year after she won the battle for Septily, Clara feels trapped in Skycliff by the Allied Council. As the last pieces of information about the Healing Caves fall into place, Clara is attacked by an assassin. Covert Drinaii mercenaries and the Council aren’t going to stop Clara from her quest to heal her broken blade. As Champion of Aramatir, she must act.
Meanwhile, in the joint kingdoms of Rrysorria and Wylandria, the youngest and still cursed swan prince despairs of ever being whole again. In a moment of anger and desperation, Liam discovers a blood link between him and a dark sorceress.

Clara won the battle for Septily, but her battle isn’t over.

Champion in Flight is the second book in The Champion Trilogy.


Author Bio:

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Dragonfold and Other Adventures, and Light Reflections showcase her short stories and poetry. She is currently at work on the third novel of The Champion Trilogy: Champion’s Destiny.