A surprising holiday gift

A little while ago, I moaned on this little blog that my beloved computer had died. I finally got it back and we have renewed our loving relationship. However, it didn’t have Word working on it. The computer kept asking me for the Key Number and the box was lost in the depths of our basement.

Along the same time, I got a little surprise from D. Emery Bunn, a writer and editor who I believe will go far. He had finished the second book in his series Darkness Trilogy and wanted me to have a look at it. I had checked out his first book, Darkness Concealed and loved it, so I was super excited that I got his second book as a holiday gift.

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The only problem was that his book was in Word.

Here is where the magic of the holidays came back in because today, my lovely hubby (who loses more things than the Bermuda Triangle) found the Key for me.

I’ve started reading Darkness Revealed…

I’m pretty pumped. And I’m pretty scared. This is not a book for the faint of heart.

But you can bet there’ll be a review in your future of the book… 🙂

For Authors

This is for those among you who are authors. Positive Writer has this great compilation of fantastic blogs just for you. In fact, they have the top 50 from 2016 with their top posts ready for your inquisitive click.

Here’s the link: http://positivewriter.com/top-50-writing-blogs-for-2016/

And a huge, HUGE thank you to Positive Writer for that awesome gem of a post!

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For authors

I spotted some really great resources for authors and I had to share them. Here they are, with a tiny explanation as to why they’re awesome.

  1. How to query. This one is from Heather Webb an editor and writer herself, from Romance University. She tells you what to do and what to avoid in those so-important queries.
  2. If you’re writing a query, you must start by finding an agent. You can look everywhere, or you can go to Agent Query. Truly the best site on the web for such a search. It’s not only the largest online but the most up to date.
  3. If point number one only ended up terrifying you (which happened to me), then hang on and read these posts on the Fear of Writing from Kelly Leiter or try this one from the Tiny Buddha on how to transform Self-Criticism into Self-Appreciation!
  4. Finally, if you’re shouting, great links, Taylor but I want more! Here’s a great resource site from Tina Hunter with tons of links. Her site rocks! Just check out this page filled with reviewers by genre!

Yeey links!

 

Pay It Forward: Heather B. Costa

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple of pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

Today I’m focusing on Heather B. Costa.

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I apologize for the tiny picture but Heather is a little shy. This is her avatar.

She says of herself:

“My name is Heather B. Costa and I am an aspiring writer who one day hopes to have her own book published. I only began writing seriously in 2012 and it has gone from being a hobby to a way of life.

I devote as much time as I can to learning my craft and developing my skills and I am now taking my first serious steps towards achieving my goals and becoming a published author in my own right.”

Heather is an aspiring author who’s working hard at her dream. She has an awesome blog that has several amazing features.

Check out her Writing Resources. She also does music and media film reviews here.

Heather is even open to reviewing other books, indie or traditionally published.

Heather has a fantastic sense of humour. Check out the section in her blog dedicated to silly, fun stuff.

Most importantly, Heather is incredibly talented. Check out one of the fantastic pieces of fiction she published in her blog. Here was her prompt: “I’m telling you this story because you are the only person I can trust not to judge me . . .”

“I’m telling you this story because you are the only people I can trust not to judge me. Ever since we first met, when your eyes met my own, I knew we had a connection. You looked at me with such trust that I felt some of the walls I’d built around my heart crumbling and falling away.

We’ve known each other for long enough for me to tell you the truth. This may be hard to hear, but knowing this will save you a great deal of heartache in the future.

There are bad people out there, some closer than you think. Even people who were meant to love and protect you will be the ones who’ll hurt you the most. Who knows what drives the darkness in their hearts, but know now that your trust and respect should be earned by those around you. Make sure that, whoever you open your heart to, you choose wisely, for once a heart has been broken it can never be truly mended. Those scars will stay with you for the rest of your life, fading with time, but a painful reminder of past hurts.

For some, you will never be good enough, no matter what you do. There are people in this life who want to hurt you for no good reason. Don’t give them the time of day and NEVER let them know that their cruel words have left their mark. Look those people in the eye and know that you are better than they will ever be.

Life is full of mistakes, but learning from them is what counts. Trust me, I’ve made a few of my own. When something goes wrong, use the experience to do better in the future. Don’t blame yourself for mistakes made, for that is how we learn and grow as people. Have courage in your convictions and stand up for what you know is right. Your heart is pure and untainted – keep it that way.

Time is precious so spend it with the ones you love and don’t be afraid to tell them how much they mean to you. Live and love with all of your heart; you can be anything you want to be.

You’ll grow, get older and probably outgrow my company, but know this: I will be with you every step of the way, teaching you, guiding you, supporting you to be the best that you can possibly be. I’ll be there for every birthday, every Christmas and every life event in between.

I’ll be there to remind you of your aunt and how much she loved you, how delighted she would be in the progress that you’ve made and everything you’ll ever achieve. I can never replace her, but I can try to fill some of the void that her passing caused.

She’ll live on through us all – in our hearts, in our minds and in our memories.”

Wanna know more? Want to give her some support? You can follow her on Twitter @HeatherBCosta or check out her blog Trials of a Wanna-Be-Published Writer.

Karma

Karma

Pay It Forward: Callum McLaughlin

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple of pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

Today I’m focusing on Callum McLaughlin.7400503

He says of himself: “Born and raised in the Scottish countryside, Callum McLaughlin works as a freelance content writer and in November 2013, published his first book, The Vessel. His next release came in October 2014 with False Awakening.

Outside of fiction, he is a keen poet and released his first collection in 2015.

A lover of all things literature, music and nature, he takes his biggest inspiration from the world around us.”

His influences are: “Thomas Hardy, JK Rowling, Henry James.”

A very talented author, Callum has already published two books.

the-vessel-ebook-ad-versionThe Vessel is a suspense thriller and Callum’s first book. Here’s the blurb:

“The story follows nineteen year old Eva Cole as she struggles to expose the truth in a world equally as ravaged by famine and disease as it is ruled by corrupt government. With extreme measures being taken to try and save the dying population and innocent people becoming embroiled in secrets and lies, she could be the only chance the people have to obtain justice.”

It is available to buy now via Amazon UK, both as a paperback and a Kindle download here or in the same formats via Amazon USA here. You can also find it on Goodreads here.

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False Awakening is a mystery thriller and Callum’s second book. Here’s the blurb.

“The story follows teenager Abi Watson, who wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of the incident that put her there. She must strive to uncover the truth from the depths of her own mind while dealing with the various complex relationships with the people around her.”

It is available to buy now via Amazon UK, both as a paperback and a Kindle download here or in the same formats via Amazon USA here. You can also find it on Goodreads here.

But that’s not all. Callum is also an amazing poet. His first poetry collection is available now. Check out the incredible cover.

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You can click on it to find out more or head to Goodreads. It’s also available for purchase at Amazon.com or Amazon.uk.

You can also check out his site callummclaughlin.wordpress.com Callum is also incredibly supportive. Contact him at this link! He loves to hear from “readers and writers alike”. Why not check out this talented author?

Karma

Karma

 

BE PREPARED FOR ACTION! #MONDAYBLOG #1000SPEAK

Inspired by this post from Melissa Barker-Simpson, I thought I’d join in and add some beautiful quotes on compassion. Meanwhile, to find out more about the project, click here.

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Pay It Forward Friday: Wanted

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple of pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

So far, I’ve been picking people but it occurred to me that some might not appreciate it or the timing might not be what they want. Instead, I thought I’d ask.

Are you interested in getting a little attention? Is there a date that might suit you? My blog is humble but I promise to give it all my shouting power. You can contact me through the Contact tab and keep your comment private. Or you can suggest someone else who might be too shy to speak for themselves.

Or you might be sick of this feature, ask that I stop, in the name of all the gods above, and get a new idea. I’m good with that too.

Karma

Karma

BE PREPARED FOR ACTION! #MONDAYBLOG #1000SPEAK

Inspired by this post from Melissa Barker-Simpson, I thought I’d join in and add some beautiful quotes on compassion. Meanwhile, to find out more about the project, click here.

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Posts I loved this week

This week was absolutely incredible in posts. I try to keep these posts manageable because there’s a limit to ridiculousness but these couldn’t be kept out, ridiculous length or not. Like teens say, they’re absolutely ‘Tha bomb’.

The 100 best websites for Writers is an awesome post that I immediately added to this list. A huge thank you to The Write Life for that great resource.

In April, there’s a great Blogging challenge to blog topics from A to Z. It’s awesome and not just because of the letters but because truly great posts appear. Check out the schedule for Sourcerer and a little intro on the challenge. This is going to be soooo good! I can’t wait.

I love If We were having Coffee posts. Just eat them up. I think they might have started off in Part Time Monster. They’re intimate and personal and I feel like I get a little update of the person and how they’re doing. Check out this one by Winter Bayne. Isn’t it lovely?

This week, Positive Writer posted the Top 50 Writing Blogs for 2015. A fantastic post you can check out here.

Okay, this one is a little self-serving but Just Gene’O came out with this wonderful new feature to share some blog love around. It’s just like him because he’s truly a very kind person. But don’t go too far. Check out this other post on the same blog with some very cool ideas and news coming up in this awesome blog!

If you’re looking for a little promo for your book, check out this post by Ch’kara Silverwolf. Isn’t that an awesome gesture of kindness? A huge thanks to her for that wonderful gift to all authors.

I found this post through Steve Vernon. He often reblogs awesome posts and this one is one of them. 6 Reasons why you should be reading books by Alana Munro. I had no idea reading was so beneficial!

If you’re trying to contact a literary agent but don’t want to go the traditional ‘query letter’ route, try this post on 4 different ways to do so from Writers In the Storm.

The 1000 Voices Speaking for Compassion is doing awesome. Check out the brand new blog at WordPress supporting this great project.

Natacha Guyot‘s debut post on Sourcerer was a thing of beauty with a wonderful message. Check it out here.

I’ve spoken about The Story Reading Ape before but this blog is amazing. Not only is it full of every resource an author could want (everything from places to get reviews, to covers, to editing help), it also has reviews of other books so you can find your next great read.

Okay, don’t miss this post. I absolutely loved it. It’s got humour that made me laugh, a beautiful story, pictures and fantastic writing all in one post. A big, huge thank you to Just Ponderin’ for this one…and…have you ever thought of writing a book?

For all those fans of Melissa Barker-Simpson (like me!) out there, here’s a very special bit of good news! She’s taking part in the A to Z challenge this April. Her writing is fresh, funny and so captivating. Those posts are going to be awesome!

Looking for a good book for February? Check out this post from the BookChick with all the upcoming releases in that month and covers to tempt your taste buds!

So true, Wise Ink has these 5 Myths about Self-Publishing.

On a completely different note, I loved this post by The Tiny Buddha10 Things to Stop Doing If You Want to Be Happy. So wise and true!

Melissa Barker-Simpson is looking for contributors to the Writing Room 101. Check out the post and see if you’re interested.

A beautifully written post on Feminism, Gene’O explains the whys and reasons in such a kind, fluid way that it reminded me of Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nations on the same topic. A huge thank you to Part Time Monster for that wonderful post.

The Story Reading Ape reblogged this great post with five videos of Real Editors giving Writing Advice. A great resource in an amazing blog.

Finally, a friendly quote from a famous doctor. 🙂

(credit:earlymoments.com)

(credit:earlymoments.com)

Pay It Forward Friday: Victoria Davenport

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple of pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

Today I’m focusing on Victoria Davenport.

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She says this of herself: “Victoria is a 19-year-old student, artist, and writer. She has been telling stories since before she knew how to write, and can’t imagine life without it. She is a full-time college student majoring in psychology. A few months ago she decided to start seeking publication for the first time.

She lives with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and an immune deficiency that have significantly impacted her life, but she is determined not to let her health stop her.

While Victoria has written four complete manuscripts across different genres, her current manuscript is young adult fantasy, and she is currently seeking representation. As an artist, she has been recognized locally for several pieces, and has also been involved in musical theater, choir, and modeling. She drinks (at least) two cups of coffee a day and loves all things weird, nerdy, and creative. Preferably she would live in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, or as an elf on Middle Earth.”

She might be busy with college, but Victoria doesn’t let that stop her. Here are her writing projects:

*The first is a YA fantasy titled: Nightfire. It is 67,000 words long and it’s completed.

Here’s a little blurb:

“Sixteen year old Kera has been trained to survive, in a world where shadows kill as easily as bullets. With her mother and sister, she carves out an existence in the far north of the wilds. Humanity has locked itself away from the shape-shifting monsters called Shadows, but Kera has been taught to believe humans are even more dangerous than the monsters.

When a Shadow attack leaves Kera with fragmented visions, her mother half-dead, and her sister missing, she must turn to the enemy–humans–for help. The commander of their army takes her in, though she can’t understand a human that doesn’t want her dead. She must survive in the heart of a civilization in turmoil, ostracized and alone, and forbidden to leave. Her escape lies in becoming what she hates most–a soldier. But being a soldier isn’t enough. To get what she wants, she’ll have to join up with the commander of the army himself. They set out to find her sister and find the truth about the Shadows, but there is much more to the Shadows than humanity wants to believe.

With her visions and the world of Shadows haunting her every step, Kera must become the enemy and make allies out of foes in order to find her sister, and find home again.”

* The second is titled: Ember. It too is a YA fantasy. It’s 80, 400 words long and Victoria is currently querying it.

Here’s the blurb:

“Seventeen year old Falcon has spent her entire life running. Locked outside the glittering empire of Aurata, survival is a numbers game, measured in stitches to seal a wound or minutes to make a drug run that keeps her family fed. But the streets are not safe for a girl with magical Amaranthine blood when she’s worth more dead than alive.

Crow’s arms are etched with scars, and a hundred eyes haunt his dreams. As an assassin for his thirteen year old sister, the leader of the Dregs’ most violent gang, his mission is to purge the Dregs of men as vile as their father. But when Falcon becomes his latest target, his black and white world blurs to gray, and he must choose to kill this innocent Amaranthine girl, or leave everything he knows behind.

After her sister’s murder, Electra fills her role as empress but the real power lies with the corrupt Sovereign. She must cross the Barrier to join Falcon’s family in exile, in order to convince the young street rat girl to claim her birthright and forge her into the leader the empires need.

On the wrong side of the Barrier that locks the Dregs into exile, a fear of magic sparks violence and the Dregs becomes a trap. In the face of civil war and genocide, these three must find a way to survive and fight back as their world falls apart around them.”

* Her third is titled: Blaze and is a companion to Ember. It’s a 50 000 word YA fantasy and Victoria is currently working on it.

Here’s the blurb:

“After two years in the work camps, Falcon believes she has lost everything: her pack, her life, and her humanity. When she lashes out and kills her overseer, she is taken to be executed–but is brought instead to the palace of Aurata, where an old pack member awaits her. Falcon learns her ties to royalty, and the role she must play in the rebellion.

She is the Eve–the sacrifice destined to be harvested, in order to keep the Sovereign alive. She enters a deadly dance with the volatile Sovereign and the restless people, earning both sides’ love and trust without revealing her purpose, and trying to keep the empire from exploding into violence before the rebellion can carry out its plans.

On the other side of the world, her best friend and two other members of her pack have freed themselves from slavery and escaped to the empires across the ocean. Now, they must unite the four empires and rise up in another Great War, to free Aurata from the Sovereign, and bring peace to the empire forever.”

A very talented artist and author, Victoria is certainly going places. Check out her blog to find out more about this promising young author!

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