“The Song Caster” Cover Reveal

Hark! Hark!  Greetings from Gant-o’-the-Lute and his fine wordsmith, Danielle Shipley! The day of the next Wilderhark Tales draws nigh! Though the words of such magnificent tale are still hidden from thine eyes, I have been given permission by the scribbler of such stories to share with you the cover upon which her latest words shall be wrapped.  Behold!

Song Caster Cover, front Yes!  Gant-o’-the-Lute is returning in another adventure!

Yes, yes!  Tis unbelievable but true.  What?  What did you ask?  What mighten the tale be about? Good, question and I have such answer here upon this sheet of paper.  The back cover shall read thusly:

The dull doom of impending marriage at his back and a reticent royal at his side, remarkable minstrel Gant-o’-the-Lute is off in search of adventure, and you can be sure he finds it – complete with much music, magicked maidens, and a dangerous power so great, Lute might for once find himself outmatched.

The Song Caster
Book Four of The Wilderhark Tales

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An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love. Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

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The King has authorized me to release the official details to you from the Royal presses: Full Title: “The Song Caster (Book Four of The Wilderhark Tales)
ISBN: 978-0-9891846-3-2
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale
Length: Novella (212 pages)
Release DateTuesday, June 24, 2014
Future availability: Paperback (Amazon.com) and eBook (Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com)

Add “The Song Caster” to your Goodreads shelf today!

And be sure to keep your eyes open for the scribbler of this and other fine Wilderhark tales.  She has been known to pop into our town square before.  She may return again. And, as I am a purveyor and elocutionist of ARCs, I have been awarded the honor of perusing this tale for fair trade of honest opinion in the town square.  Such announcement shall be made in the near future.  Until then, I bid you ado.

Danielle E. Shipley Author PhotoDanielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it at www.EverOnWord.wordpress.com. Her first novel, “Inspired”, is now available through J. Taylor Publishing.

Other books in the Wilderhark Tales:


“Dear Lucky Agent” Contest!

Writer’s Digest has a new contest going and boy, do I love this one!!!  Why, might you ask?  Because this one is open to YA authors!!!!  Whoo Hoo!!  If you’re a YA author, you’re going to love this one, too.

So what are the rules to enter?


  1. You must have a completed YA manuscript.
  2. Send the first 150 – 200 words of your manuscript by e-mail to: dearluckyagent15@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.
  3. You must mention the contest twice through any social-media.  Provide a social-media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your official e-mailed entry so your eligibility can be verified.  Please read all the details HERE.


What is the prize if you win?

Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!

So, do you have a YA manuscript you’ve been wanting to get feedback on?  Here’s your chance, folks.  The contest is open to all genres and all authors, young and old, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.

Go on!  What are you waiting for?  You have until 11:59 PM PST April 9, 2014 to submit.  I’ll race ya!  🙂


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Secret of the Souls cover reveal!

OMGosh, I can finally reveal this cover!  I’ve been sitting on it for over a month.  Isn’t it swoon-worthy?  Too bad I have to wait until October to read it.

Secret of the Souls

Pool of Souls
by Terri Rochenski
Release Date: October 6, 2014
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Fantasy

Back of the Book

Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.

For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.

To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.

On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.

URL: http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/34

About this author:


Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

Other books in this series:

Eye of the Soul

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UNNATURAL Release Day Book Bash!




Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.


To celebrate Unnatural‘s release, CAGED, Holloway Pack 3 is on SALE!

The UNNATURAL Blog Tour begins tomorrow, and throughout the duration of the tour, CAGED will be available for just 99c.


AND there’s a GIVEAWAY!

Up for grabs is:


Enter in Rafflectopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

To grab your own copy of UNNATURAL, click on any of the purchase links below.

J.A. BelfieldBest known for her Holloway Pack Stories, J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, two cats and a dog. She writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy.

Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Booklikes

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Seeking Traditional Publication: How Long Should Your Manuscript Be?

Excellent post. I would like to see more recent ‘norms’ than 2008 figures, but those are all I seem to find when searching the net. I agree…Colleen seems to know her stuff so these are nice figures to keep handy.

H L Petrovic


Greetings Brave Adventurers,

I’ve spent a lot of time researching manuscript lengths on the internet (mostly as either an avoidance tactic to actually writing, or when the word count of my project begins to balloon out of control).

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to suggested manuscript word counts. The good news is that these rules of ‘word counts’ are broken all the time. The bad new is, that they’re usually broken by seasoned authors, sequels or that extraordinary run-away bestseller (and while we all think that’s probably us, it just as likely probably isn’t). Of course, us Fantasy / Sci-Fi writers are the worst culprits when it comes to phone-book word counts. Bigger is better, right?

So what is ‘industry standard’ when it comes to manuscript word counts?

The follow list is taken from the website:


There’s a lot of conflicting information on the internet. Of the…

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Elementary, My Dear Watson! The Astounding Adventure of the Ancient Dragon

Published: April 3, 2014
Publisher:  Curiosity Quills
ISBN13:  9781620075074

In the interests of disclosure, the publisher provided me with an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in exchange for an unbiased review.

When Curiosity Quills, the publisher of this middle grade novel, approached me and asked if I would like to read and review a copy, I enthusiastically said yes.  I’ve always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes mysteries and found the premise to this novel to be fun and interesting.  I was not let down. Let’s look at the back cover blurb so you can get an idea of the storyline.


When 12-year-old John Watson is sent to Candlewood boarding school, he makes quick friends with a boy named Sherlock Holmes, a universally disliked know-it-all and amateur sleuth. Before long, Sherlock embroils his new friend in a covert investigation of the mysterious disappearances blamed on a vengeful ghost. Dodging the meaty fists of the bully Moriarty, and aided by bumbling patrolman Lestrade, they uncover a deadly secret hidden deep underneath Candlewood. But does the duo have the brains–and the brawn–to crack this dangerous case?


One thing I really enjoyed about this tale was that it takes place when Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are twelve years old. The author, Jose Prendes, did an excellent job in capturing Sherlock Holmes’ voice, and Watson’s baffled admiration of his best friend.

The story is narrated by Watson, as always, and I really enjoyed his voice, though at times I did find it strayed from that of a twelve-year-old, sometimes sounding younger, sometimes older.  However, it was never enough to distract me or make me want to put the book down.

The story opens with enough action to keep the reader engaged.  Watson finds himself in the midst of a tragic state of family affairs that requires him to be sent away to Candlewood School for his own good.  The plot moves along at a steady clip throughout, peaking and falling off when it should.  I could picture the settings easily in my mind and the mystery itself, and Holmes’ strategy to figure it out was perfect for Middle Grade readers.  I found the introduction of Moriarty unusually interesting, but the cockney accents of Moriarty’s clod mates was difficult to read and took me slightly out of the story.  However, Holmes’ character quickly brought me back to the forefront and grounded me back to the plot.  I found myself laughing out loud at times.

There were a couple of things I had issues with.  Watson is sent to Candlewood School because of a very stressing family issue that has him quite torn up.  However, once he arrives at the school and meets Holmes, he tends to forget the troubles back home a bit too easily for me.  There isn’t enough angst or worry or feelings of not fitting in on Watson’s part.  I would have liked to have seen a bit more emotional development with him.  There were also times that Watson appeared to be completely clueless when he should have been able to understand a simple matter.  I think the author made him a little too dweebish at times in order to make Holmes look smarter than he really was.  Watson seems like a bungling clod much of the time.  I would have liked to have seen him a bit more confident. In all fairness, however, there was enough growth in Watson’s character to satisfy me and pleased that I took the journey with him.

There was a lot of action that would entertain most middle grade boys.  In addition, the story was filled with sarcasm, humor, mystery and adventure, hidden stairwells, blossoming romance and feelings of friendship and camaraderie.  The story wraps up nicely after a blazing ending that will have MG readers on the edge of their seats.  Overall, Elementary, My Dear Watson:  The Astounding Adventure of the Ancient Dragon was a pleasant read and I would definitely pick up the next book in the series.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for its fun, enjoyable, and quick read.  Thank you Curiosity Quills for providing me with a copy of this novel for reading.

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