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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Miss Gracie Makes a Stand

Miss Gracie is sick of the manuscript deadline and Spell Struck launch madness. Her demands are as follows:
1. Reinstate Toy Time.
2. Reinstate TV Time.
3. Reinstate Popcorn Night.
OR she will hop the next flight to SFO, join a coven, and never speak to Ms. Moon again.

Spell Struck, Book Two in The Teen Wytche Saga
By Ariella Moon
Release Date: July 18, 2013 
Book Three in The Teen Wytche Saga will be available in December 
if Ms. Moon makes the deadline
Stayed tuned, and watch the airports for Miss Gracie!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Spell Struck, Book 2:The Teen Wytche Saga ~ Cover Art Complete!

I just got my first glimpse of the final cover art for Spell Struck, Book 2: The Teen Wytche Saga. Artist Amanda Matthews, you rock! I am beyond happy! Next up: the revamped cover for Spell Check, Book 1: The Teen Wytche Saga. Big reveal for both on Spell Struck's release date, July 18th.

So who is on the cover of Spell Struck?

Hint: The mysterious newcomer brought to Jefferson High by a love spell, and the bewitching Goth Girl/Fledgling Wiccan who cast the spell.

What if the one person who saw through your lies and loved you, 
harbored a secret that could cost you everything?

Spell Struck, Book 2:The Teen Wytche Saga
Ariella Moon
Available July 18

Amy Mullen Writes about Love and Revenge in A Stormy Knight

When I heard Amy Mullen had written a novel set in 12th century England - the same era as my yet to be published Middle Grade fantasy - I was thrilled. Love the cover! Don't you? I suspect Amanda Mathews's handiwork. I'll reveal the covers she designed for my Teen Wytche Saga on July 18. Meanwhile, here's more about A Stormy Knight by Amy Mullen.

A Stormy Knight - By Amy Mullen

Will his love burn brighter than his need for revenge?
Book Back Blurb:
In twelfth century England, Gemma de Vere and Nicholas de Reymes find love at a young age. Too naïve to truly understand what is happening, their fledgling relationship is torn apart by political games and scheming minds. Nicholas and his family disappear into the night and Gemma is left with a shattered heart.

Seven years later, Gemma still harbors a broken heart, and retreats into a life in which she will not be foolish enough to fall in love again. Mysterious deaths and accidents begin to plague those living within the walls of Blackstone Castle, and her father falls ill. She has no choice but to seek the assistance of King Henry.

Help arrives in the form of her childhood love, the handsome and imposing Nicholas, who is now a fierce and loyal knight bent on revenge. The pain and anguish he feels over the fate of his family casts Gemma as his enemy. To him, she represents all the misfortune in his life as he tries to keep her at arm’s length and far away from his heart.

Their journey towards truth is riddled with treachery and danger from an unlikely source. Will they find their way back to each other, or will his need for revenge outweigh the love he feels in her arms?


     "You defy me," he said as he spun around to face her, "and you do it at every opportunity. You have caused me great pain, and I will have no more of it. You lead my men astray and cause them to be weak. I cannot be lord with you undermining my authority within these walls!"
     Gemma steadied her voice, her only option clear, "I shall leave then. I will go to my uncle in Wales. We shall remain married. There is nothing that can change that, so your hold on this land is secure. 'Tis all you care for. I once loved it here, but living with a man who does not know how to trust me is too much to bear."
     "You are my wife, like it or hate it, and you will do as you are told! You will stay out of my way, and you will not step foot outside of the keep until I say so." His entire body was tense, his voice harsh.
     "Nay," she said while lifting her chin, "I shall leave. What you do not know, Nicholas de Reymes, is that I love you."
     He froze as she spoke but did not say anything.
     "And because of that love" she continued, tears falling in earnest, "I can no longer abide this life. For the second time, loving you has been a mistake. My feelings betray me, and they anger you. I will be gone before I cause you more pain. I will take Isabel with me, and my father can come when he is up to travel. All I ask is you treat him well in my absence."
     "You will do no such thing!" he said. "It makes no sense, and I will not have you telling me what you are going to do. You are my wife, and you will do as I say. I will keep you safe, and I cannot do that if you are not here."
     "'Tis not up to you," she said, her voice low, "and you will not stop me. I love you, but I must be stronger than love. I realize now you feel I am the cause of all pain here. 'Tis only right I lift the burden and leave so all who reside here are safe." She abruptly left the room, unable to face him for a moment longer.

About The Author:

Amy Mullen is a freelance writer and romance author living in Corning, NY, with her husband, Patrick, two children, Rayna and Haylen, and an orange cat named Steve. Her first novel is a medieval romance titled “A Stormy Knight.”

Amy has been writing about love both lost and regained since she was old enough to have her first broken heart. Her love of history and her intermittent jaunts into amateur genealogy led her to a love affair with writing historical fiction. When not writing, she snaps pictures, enjoys the company of her children, and when time allows, loves to bury her nose in a good book.

Buy Links:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Build A Literary Community: Invite Readers to Participate

Today I'm happy to welcome guest host Barbara Millman Cole, an award-winning short story author, magazine columnist, editor, writing teacher, and creativity coach. The following article originally appeared in Author Entrepreneur Magazine, and is reprinted here with permission.

Scaffold Your Literary Life

Build a Literary Community: Invite Readers to Participate
By Barbara Millman Cole

“Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” 
 Jodi Picoult, Second Glance

Reading this passage by Jodi Picoult causes our emotions to well, our thoughts to awaken, and our imaginations to travel deep into the story community she creates. Without blatantly asking us to join her, she pulls us in with her literary style. We pause a moment to ponder her subtle idea. In this short passage, she defines the act of building community as “people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.”  These words make us think about our own relationships to the people in our communities and how we forge relationships by giving of ourselves, in the simple hope that someone else will feel compelled to reach out for us in return.

 As authors, we aim to stir imagination, engage minds, and ultimately, invite our readers to participate in our work. Simply, in so doing, we hope to find and build our own literary community.

 When we are young, we are taught to include everyone in our games on the school playground. We are taught to find ways to make the game fun for all, and as children we readily alter the rules of our games to involve the whole group. We build our friendships by letting everyone participate and add to the game. As writers, we are charged with the same social duty – to bring our readers into the circle and let them play along with us as we construct our stories.

No matter our style, there is a community of readers thirsting to find and join us in our efforts to express our stories. We literally will build our literary communities by writing in a way that makes our readers feel they are partners in our work.

What do I mean by ‘partners in our work’? A good piece of writing mesmerizes its audience to such a degree they forget their own lives for the moment, leave their world, and enter into the world the writer creates. As authors, we strive to illicit audible gasps, awes, or sighs; physical sudden jerks, sharp pains, or sweet longings; and mental solutions, predictions or, vows in the hearts and minds of our audience. Swept by atmospheric tides, pulled into tumultuous eddies, or caught up in emotional currents purposely placed before them, the readers cannot help but choose to participate in what they are experiencing.

What better way to approach our writing projects than with this laudable aspect of artistry at the fore of our personal mindsets? How do we begin? By tapping into our own intuition, allowing ourselves to go deep into our own minds and hearts to discover what we want to impart as artists. If we ourselves are swept up, pulled, and caught by the tides, eddies, and currents of our own imagination, imagine how that will translate into our stories.

When we invite our audience into our stories, provide them with images, phrases, and metaphors that stimulate them to weave the story along with us, we allow our readers to be part of our work. Readers who feel fully engaged with our stories will become part of our literary community. As authors, we begin our novels, short stories, memoirs, plays, poems, and personal essays with the goal of inviting our readers to participate with the simple hope they will reach out to us and join our literary community in return.

Barbara Millman Cole is an award winning author of Short Literary Fiction, content editor, and creativity coach, who helps writers delve deep to discover their true meaning. Understand why you create so you know what to create. Contributing author of Creativity Coaching Success Stories and author of the forthcoming book, The Painted Woman and Other Short Stories, she can be reached at Find Barbara online at  ©2013 All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Elaine Cantrell Plunges into Romantic Fantasy with The Enchanted

Elaine Cantrell first came on my radar through her enchanting posts on the Astraea Press Authors' loop. When I discovered her heroine had one of my favorite magical names - Morgane - I had to know more! Whereas I had started out writing historicals then switched to contemporary YA with my Teen Wytche Saga, Elaine's writing career had the opposite trajectory. But I'll let her tell you about her switch from contemporary to historical writing. But first, here's an introduction to The Enchanted. 

The Enchanted
By Elaine Cantrell

Forced by his father into a marriage he didn’t want, Prince Alan soon finds that his bride isn’t the sweet, submissive creature he expected. Morgane has the heart of a dragon and beauty beyond compare, but she isn’t thrilled about the marriage either. When black treachery threatens the kingdom, Morgane and Alan embark on a perilous journey that has an excellent chance of ending in failure and death for them and all their people.
Morgane advanced on her enemy with deadly purpose.

"No!" Alan roared. "She has a knife."

Morgane tried to retreat, but it was too late. Aili's knife caught her in her thigh. Blood spurted as if from a fountain. Renweard was closer to her than Alan. His sword rose. Aili breathed her last as Morgane swayed and slipped to the floor.

Alan ran across the room and cradled her in his arms. In seconds he was coated with blood. "ʺWe must stop the bleeding!" he cried. "Where are the healers?"

ʺI will find one." Renweard left the room at a run with King Bowdyn right behind him.

Morgane's eyes fluttered open. "Your arms around me. No heaven can compare.ʺ

Alan pressed a kiss to her hair. "I love you, my brave Morgane."

Morgane sighed. "I could not let you face this battle alone.ʺ

Author’s Note:
After spending most of the last ten years writing contemporary romance, I decided it was time for a change. So in the spring of 2012 I wrote my first romantic fantasy, The Enchanted. Several challenges immediately presented themselves. First, I knew that I didn't want the fantasy to overpower the romance which meant I'd have to balance my world building details with the romantic elements.

Challenge two was finding characters who'd fit into my newly created world. I didn't want plastic, stereotypical characters. I wanted real people with warts and human imperfections, people whose lives and problems would draw you in and make you care about them.

My third challenge was to craft a plot that included fantasy elements, yet at the same time allowed my characters to be in charge of their own destiny and in the process grow and change.

I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I enjoyed the experience so much I have another fantasy/sci fi romance in the wings waiting for December and its turn at publication. Given my new love affair with fantasy romance, will I write contemporary romance again? I sure will. I'm working on one right now, and I just love it. It will be my first full length romantic comedy.
Author Links:
The Enchanted is sold at most online retail outlets.

A sweet story, easy read, fairytale/fantasy/romance 5 stars. 
Teresa Cypher on Amazon
A wonderful story that has swept into my heart. I will be remembering this one for a long time and reading it again.
                                                   Tifferz Book Reviews on Goodreads