Visiting Lee

Hey all! My mom fell off her horse today, so today was out for doing pretty much anything. She’s okay though, thank heavens. Only hurt her leg (which is now braced).

I’ll try to come back later with something more meaningful, but for now, you can check out my post on C. Lee McKenzie’s blog about my querying process.

…And now I’m back.

So there’s two and a half hours left until NaNoWriMo starts. I’ve arranged my day tomorrow so that I can get more writing done in the morning. Because that’s where I think I’m going to win time. The mornings, when no one’s around to distract me.

But first, I need to get back into the routine of waking up early. But before that, I really really want to be here at midnight to get some words down. Even if it’s just for thirty minutes.

I’ll see how I feel, though. NaNo’s actually a marathon, not a sprint. In the meantime, I’m playing more music to get into the mood, I’m rereading some of my projects, and I’ll be drinking water like a fiend.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the extent of my NaNo Prep.

Are you ready?

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Skye Callahan’s Fractured Legacy

Hey all! I’m hanging out at Laura’s today, talking about my NaNoWriMo/Drafting Method. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, I’m repaying a favor and showing an awesome cover on my blog. ^_^

Can Kaylyn figure out how to stop a spirit that has been looking for her since she was a child?

Available Now!

Fractured Legacyby Skye Callahan

Fractured Legacy

 Kaylyn Anderson’s fascination with abandoned places and dark creatures kindled her work as a paranormal investigator. But when dreams begin to distort reality, she questions what is real and pulls away from everyone she trusts. The opportunity to investigate the Teague Hotel–a long-abandoned landmark that has always piqued her curiosity–provides a chance to redeem herself. Unraveling the hotel’s secrets won’t be easy, but Kaylyn soon finds herself the target of a dark entity that has been trapped in the building for decades. If Kaylyn stands any chance of defeating the spirit, she’ll have to accept that her fears are real and convince fellow investigators that she hasn’t lost her mind.

Buy your copy on Amazon. Read the first 3 chapters on Wattpad Follow along with the Release Tour for interviews, excerpts, reviews, and a chance to win a signed paperback (US), bookmarks and Fractured Legacy swag in the Rafflecopter giveaway.

About the Author: Skye Callahan

Skye Callahan was born and raised in Ohio and has seen enough unbelievable stuff to feed a lifetime of paranormal stories. When not writing or working at the dayjob, she hangs out with her ethnomusicologist husband and pet ferrets, reads, and takes long walks through the cemetery.

Now who else thinks this story sounds right in season? 

Well… this sucks… but let me tell you about this interesting thing…

Mmm. My blog tour host absconded with my post, it seems. Or she’s asleep and the time zone difference is killing us. Or aliens sucked my blog from her schedule.

Either way, although I waited all day for the link to go live, it hasn’t.

*blink blink*

So… uh… *does a random tap dance*

And now, on to a somewhat more regular posting.

I figured I’d do a post on something weird today. Or… not weird. Just different.

See recently, the stresses of my day-job with the magician fruit thieves *snarl* had a massive toll on me. Not only was I becoming about as snappish as a non-extinct and hungry TRex, but my creativity was suffering. As was every single other activity in my life.

It came to the point where I went to a psychologist, knowing I’d never faced this sort of stress before. I needed a way to deal with everything. A healthy way.

Not being one to pop pills, I was pleasantly surprised when he shared my sentiment. The surprise grew when he introduced me to this thing called Emotion Freedom Technique, EFT.

It’s weird. Really weird. Basically, the premise is that our bodies build up with negative emotions until the result is quite similar to an electric short circuit. Our thoughts, memories, basically everything works on electric impulses running through our nervous system. Negative things like fear, perfectionism, anger, trauma etc. mess with the way the impulses flow.

And when that happens, we lose our capacity to perform certain tasks. Or any tasks, for that matter.

I think you guys know what I mean. That sucky feeling you get when you’ve had a bad day, followed by feeling as if you’re writing through goo in your brain? Yup. That’s what I’m talking about.

So far, so normal(ish). The weird thing is that tapping, or rubbing certain nerve points on your body can make it go away. It doesn’t remove the cause or the memories of your problem, but it usually makes the fear and angst associated with it disappear. And when that happens, it’s easier to deal with everything.

The best thing (for me) about it is that it can take as little as ten minutes to get rid of baggage. Sometimes it comes back, but I can get rid of it again, and again, and again.

This month, I basically dropped into the doldrums because of the magical fruit thieves, me not being able to write, the cat dying and all other manners of tiny but significant tortures. Usually I come out of the funk soon enough, but this time, it just kept on coming. So today, I decided to give the tapping a chance.

I’m already feeling a ton better. And I’ll  probably do it again closer to NaNo. In the meantime, I’m rearing to get back into my stories. Guess I should have done the EFT sooner.

Anyway, it’s really easy to learn, but it is in a bit of an experimental stage, so if you think it might help you in some way (and it probably can), please go find a professional who can help you. I think it’s safe, but I’d be irresponsible if I didn’t refer you to those who know better than me.

Anyone hear of EFT or use it?

Re-evaluation completed

Hey all! Before I start, just want to let you know that I’m at S.K. Anthony’s blog talking about how I beat insecurities and at Gwen Gardner’s talking about how I create complex characters.

So, as I mentioned on Friday, I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year, but that at this stage I needed to re-evaluate how I was going to approach it.

I decided I’m going to let myself off the hook while pushing myself at the same time. Sounds crazy, I know, but here’s how I look at it.

As far as drafting’s concerned, I don’t really care what my word counts go towards, as long as I write. So at the moment, I’m a bit too stressed to focus on my current WiPs, but it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t write. Just means I can write without focusing on a given project.

Does it mean I’m wasting my time? Probably not. The way I see it, I’ll be adding words to most of my projects, since I won’t really be able to stay away from them. Maybe not 50k to one, but I’ll finish all of them anyway.

Also, doing prompts will open up my thoughts again. It’s been weeks since I could focus on writing, so I need to get back into the swing of things.

Besides, who knows? Maybe one or more of those random prompts I’ll do will lead to an awesome story.

Who else is doing NaNo? If you want to buddy up, my user name’s iceangel. What will you be working on?

Update Day

Before I start, I just want to let you know that I’m at Tyrean’s for an one-word interview. Also, I’m visiting Alex to share a Nordian joke.

And now, to the point. You know… This month started off on a high. The Vanished Knight got published, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s doing pretty good for a debut.

But other than that, I can safely say the wheels have come off. See, the drafting in my down-time went to hell when my publisher let me know that hey, edits are done and I’d be published a week later. (Not really anyone’s fault, and honestly, it turned out well, so I don’t mind.)

What I do mind is that I’m simply not in a head space to write. Tried to kick-start it by writing 31k by the end of the month. I managed 10k. 8k of which were guest posts.

Then there were family trips, work issues (which I will continue to refuse to dignify with expansion on the internet) and this week, food poisoning. In fact, I’m only starting to feel human again now.

Except I’m feeling a lot like an injured one. Because today, one of my family’s cats died. Just so you know, it wasn’t one of the kittens. It was an older cat. Eight years old, but utterly devoted to my brother. His loss has been closely felt in my family. And I’m crying as I write this. Honestly, he was too young to die, and his illness was way too sudden. It took him in one week. We don’t know why, but maybe we’ll have some answers when the necropsy comes back. I’m just praying now that this isn’t something contagious.

So yeah. I’m currently physically and emotionally tired. And I really need a rest. Blog hiatus is out of the question, though. And I’m NOT going to miss NaNo.

I will, however re-evaluate in this week before NaNo starts. I’m not sure if I want to work on any important drafts right now. Right now, I don’t think I need to feel like writing is work. So I’ll need to figure out a way to get me writing in a way that’ll get me back on capacity. Without pushing me over the edge.

Where are you writing-wise?

EDIT: The necropsy came back. Seems the cat’s cause of death was congenital. He had smaller than average kidneys and liver, and the longest small intestine either of the animal hospital’s vets have ever seen. Looks like Sylvester had been suffering for some time without us knowing, and it was just a matter of time before his systems shut down. 

We did see him before he died, and it seems as if  he’d waited the whole day for us to visit. Because the vet found he’d died within an hour after that. Already missing him like hell. 


Magna’s Plea by Cherie Reich

An excerpt of Magna’s Plea by Cherie Reich

Amora
12-13 Days of Luquiry
Year 1717 AUC
Tendrils of smoke swirled heavenward. The smoldering stench reached Princess Magna at the top of the palace’s northern tower. She wrinkled her nose at the unpleasant odor, yet it still smelled better than the filth plaguing the besieged seven-hilled city.
She’d vowed to protect Amora. Her heart shattered a little more each day at the devastation afflicting her kingdom.
The once grassy and flower-filled plain sprouted dust plumes from the trampling feet. As the sun neared the western horizon, a bloody hue washed over the battlefield. Tiny, metallic dins and men’s shouts rang out. Magical bursts flashed in the sky like Thean’s lightning, beautiful and deadly. A wooden catapult hurled a human-sized stone slab into the city’s wall. Magna jerked away from the opened window she stood before, as if the object had struck her instead. Rock crumbled from the impact, but the barrier held.
When the reddish orb sank lower, the fighting ceased. War’s chaos parted into two orderly sides, and soldiers crossed the field to gather their dead.
She brushed a shaky hand over her cheeks. Tears dampened her face, and she struggled to turn away from the battle before her. Almost two months had passed since the Apenthans had begun their attack Amora. How much longer could the Amorans—she—stay safe behind their impenetrable wall?
Book Description: A princess will rise and challenge Fate.

While her father, brothers, and people fight against the Kingdom of Apentha, tenacious eighteen-year-old Princess Magna can only watch the destruction of Amora, her besieged city and kingdom. Her mother, Queen Vyvian, has refused to allow her heir to join the fray.

But Magna won’t take no for an answer. She seeks out an end of the war from Prince Cyrun of Apentha, their prisoner. If she can’t persuade him toward peace, then Amora may fall.

This short story prequel includes a sneak peek of Reborn, Book One of The Fate Challenges, forthcoming May 2014.

YA Epic Fantasy
The Fate Challenges #0.5
A 5500-word Short Story

To download this short story for free: Amazon / Nook/ iTunes/ Kobo / Smashwords / Goodreads
Read online at Wattpad
Add to Goodreads
About the Author: A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy novella trilogy titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.
Her debut YA Epic Fantasy novel Reborn, book one in The Fate Challenges, will be released on May 23, 2014.

Paul Anthony Shortt on Consequences

Hey all! Today I want to welcome Paul Anthony Shortt to my blog! Before we go into that, though, I just want to let you know where I am and what I’m doing. 🙂

First, I’m doing an excerpt swap with Quanie Miller, author of the up coming book It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy. My excerpt is here. Hers is here. By the way, if you haven’t met Quanie yet, I suggest you check out the writings she’s posted so far. The lady has some kick-ass talent and I’m looking forward to read Jazzy. 

Second, I’m visiting Rebecca to talk about writing a series.

Hope to see you there!

Okay, take it away Paul. Adore the cover, by the way.

Consequences

Today’s guest post is pretty self-explanatory. A good story needs consequences. A character can’t run around, messing with the plans of powerful beings, throwing their own lives into disarray, and expect to get off scott-free.

At the end of Locked Within, Nathan Shepherd has suffered for his actions against the Council of Chains, and his obsession with unexplained murders. One friend of mine describes it as Nathan having “the worst week of his life.” And that’s true.

Or it was, anyway.

In Silent Oath, Nathan has to contend with the demands of his new role. The more he fights to keep people save, the harder he has to work. It’s as if his reward for each heroic act is to be presented with ever more dangerous challenges. He has to learn that it’s not enough to kill a few vampires. He must build something that allows the people of New York to protect themselves. He needs a conclave, a united group of people in the know to stand united against the Council of Chains.

But even that noble goal will have unexpected consequences. Outside conclaves look to Nathan for support. As his reputation grows, amid rumours that he is not just any reborn, but in fact the reincarnation of a legendary hero, he finds that more enemies want to challenge him, which those under his care look to him more and more for guidance.

Nathan must rise to this, and take charge if he is to do any real good.

However, reincarnation is tricky, and Nathan’s memories haven’t finished coming. He has other things to remember; events in past lives that will leave him shaken to his core. His actions, past and present, are leading him, inexorably, to war. For all his determination and strength, Nathan could stand to lose everything he’s built, and he doesn’t yet even remember why.

This is why consequences are so important in a story. As I wrote Silent Oath I thought more about Nathan’s past lives and how centuries of death and rebirth might affect him. What lengths would he go to in order to keep people safe? What if he wanted to have a quiet, peaceful life for a change? Fate has a funny way of dragging heroes back into action, no matter what they may do. This, too, is a consequence. The events that unfold throughout Silent Oath all stem from action or inaction on Nathan’s part. The challenge is for him to not only defeat his new enemies, but come to terms with the way he has changed things in New York, for better and for worse.


Bio: 
A child at heart who turned to writing and roleplaying games when there simply weren’t enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life. Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.

Paul lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica, and is now expecting their fourth child.
Paul’s first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. Silent Oath is the second book in this urban fantasy trilogy.

Blurb:
Hope has returned to New York City. Nathan Shepherd leads a small band of dedicated fighters against the Council of Chains and the city’s supernatural masters. But it’s not enough. Because from the shadows of Nathan’s former lives comes an old enemy, one who knows terrible secrets that Nathan has not yet remembered, secrets that could undo everything he has fought for.

Nathan’s only chance to uncover the memories of his previous existence, and to conquer these new forces of evil, lies in Elena DeSantis. A woman he has fought beside in past lifetimes. A woman he has loved.
Together, Nathan and Elena are the only future the city has.

Links:
Twitter: @PAShortt