Exciting Announcement!


On December 3, my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, will be published in Make Believe and released into the big wide world.  My words, no longer mine but everyone’s.  It is every author’s dream.  No matter how many times you sign that contract, a glow happens inside knowing a publisher believed in your hard work and it will be read by hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions.  How very exciting!

A few early reviews have already trickled in and I’m thrilled to say they are all positive.  Have a look below:

Rachel Morgan at Goodreads writes:  “MAKE BELIEVE is a magical collection of short stories. Just the right size for someone like me who falls into bed too late every night and doesn’t have much time (or energy) left to read!…Fantasy-lovers should definitely check this one out.”

Jen – At Random says:  “…With mystery, deceit, fate, grief, greed, romance, and action each story has its own engaging elements but all are sprinkled with a morsel of magic. Definitely a great read!”

And, an overall 5 star review on Amazon.com had this to say about my story in particular:  “There’s lots happening in this story but to say much more would reveal too much of the tale. I also enjoyed this tale…as I have not read a great deal about selkies. I would look out for other books by the author and dependent on blurb seriously consider reading them…”  She gave the story 4/5 stars!!  You can read the full review here.

There is so much more I have to share with your about the anthology.  The official Blog Tour kicks off on December 3 and all the authors appearing in Make Believe are promoting tons of giveaways and contests, so make sure you visit each of their blogs/websites to see what’s going on. On Sunday, I will post information about my blog tour, AND share a little secret about what I’ll be doing the whole month of December to celebrate the release of Make Believe.  It’ll be pretty cool.

Also, if you want to participate in launch day celebrations and enter for your chance to win an e-copy of the Make Believe anthology, make sure you leave your website/blog information in the comments section of my blog between now and November 30.

Oh, and if you can’t wait until December 3 to get your own e-copy of Make Believe, a little bird told me Amazon.com and Barnes and  Noble just might have a little treat for your Kindle or Nook at this very moment.  You should head over and check it out.  Go on. You know you want to.  Take some friends with you.  Grab some coffee while you’re at it.  Kick your shoes off.  Relax.  Who needs to work today when you can Make Believe.

Giveaway Alert!


I just received some fantastic news!  My publisher, J. Taylor Publishing, is hosting a giveaway for the MAKE BELIEVE anthology!  In case you don’t know, this e-anthology features my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ! :D

If you’re a book blogger reviewer and are interested in snagging a copy for your review stacks, please click HERE for the details on how you can enter to win a copy of the e-anthology. 8-)

You don’t want to miss this chance to read and review before everyone else.  It’s a GREAT antho. It is.  Really.   🙂

MAKE BELIEVE Blog Tour Coming Your Way!


I can’t believe in less than a month my first short story to ever be officially published is releasing into the world.  THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ, one of six stories appearing in J. Taylor Publishing’s Make Believe anthology, will officially hit virtual shelves on December 3, 2012.  I never thought this day would come.

If you would like to participate in getting the word out, that would fantabulous!  Just snag the blog tour button in the side panel and leave your blog/website url in the comments below so people can connect with your blog.  The tour officially starts December 3  and runs through January 3.

Thank you all so much for your help and tagging along with me on this journey. Got a YA novel you need help promoting? Send me an e-mail and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.

And now for a little excerpt from THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ:

Felicity inched forward and sat next to him, fidgeting with a linen handkerchief. “Sire, please forgive my imposition. I understand if you wish to punish me—”

“Punish you? For what?”

“Eavesdropping, Sir.”

“Good heavens, girl, if I had a therap for every time I found someone spying on my conversations, I’d be as rich as the king. Now tell me about this amulet. What did you call it again?”

“The Amulet of Ormisez.”

Win an ARC of the upcoming anthology, MAKE BELIEVE


I have some über exciting news for you!  I received the okay from my publisher, J.Taylor Publishing, to give away an ARC of the Make Believe anthology!  Whoo Hoo!!!  You have no idea  how much this thrills me.  Only a few lucky people will receive an ARC of the anthology before it’s officially release on December 3, 2012, and you might be one of them!

Read all about the anthology here.  Curiosity piqued?  All you have to do to find out how they end is enter the giveaway.

What do you have to do to win?

Leave a blog comment telling us your favorite fantasy as a child.  Did you dress up like Superman?  Did you dream of being a rock ‘n roll star?  An actress?  Come on.  Don’t be shy.  When done, head over to my website and fill out the rafflecopter form to validate your entry.

Contest for readers/reviewers will run from October 3 to October 15 with the winner chosen at random on October 16.  Leave me your e-mail address along with your comment so I can contact the lucky winner!

J. Taylor Publishing will send out the ARC in ebook format.  Good luck everyone and thanks for participating.

#FreeviewFriday – #MakeBelieve


 

Hi all.  I was over at J.A. Belfield’s blog today and she posted a #FreeviewFriday of her short story, Escort to Insanity (read excerpt here) that will appear in the Make Believe anthology in December.  She invited those who wanted to participate to jump on board, so here I am!

Like Julie, I posted an excerpt from my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, a few weeks ago.  If you missed it, you can read it here.  I’ll give you some time to read it.

Yay, you’re back!  Did you like it?  As you can see, Elton Fletcher has been warned  of changes in his brother, Cayden.  Let’s take a look at Elton’s and Cayden’s first encounter since Elton’s return home.

****

Ferris poured two glasses of apricot brandy and handed one to Elton. “Her name is Felicity. She is your brother’s wife’s handmaiden.”

The sweet, nutty liquor spewed from Elton’s lips. “Wife? Cayden married? When?  Why wasn’t I told?”

“Four months ago,” Cayden’s deep voice drifted from the open doorway, “and how could I tell you? You were gallivanting across the open seas, chasing some silly dream.”

Gone was the scrawny appearance of youth. In its place stood a chiseled, broad-shouldered man, clean-shaven with steely, wide-set eyes and an olive complexion. A black and red orchid had been inked into his rippled chest. Clad in white silk pajamas trousers and an open black and gold silk robe, Cayden faced Elton with the arrogance of a Greek god.  Elton was certain that if he’d met his brother on the street, he wouldn’t recognize him.

Elton didn’t like what he saw or the tone that lingered on Cayden’s words.

Things have changed.

****

There you have it.  No more, no less.  What did you think?

Do you want to share a #FreeviewFriday snippet of your published story or W.I.P?  If so, feel free to grab the hashtag #FreeviewFriday and post 8 – 10 sentences on your blog of a W.I.P. you’re working on or a published piece.  All I ask is that you link back to my blog and/or post a link to your post in the comment section below.  I’m all about spreading the word and driving up numbers.

Also, if you are interested in getting first dibs on the Make Believe anthology before anyone else, stay tuned.  Exciting details coming within a couple of weeks and you won’t want to miss them!

 

And the marketing begins


I cannot believe the MAKE BELIEVE anthology releases 90 days from today.  It just boggles my mind.  What boggles my mind even more is the amount of marketing that needs to be done.

I have never been one for tooting my own horn so all of this is so new and foreign to me.  It seems so selfish, so egotistical to say ‘Hey, hey, check out my book and please buy it.”  I’m much more comfortable promoting other people’s books and touting their successes.  That’s not to say I don’t believe in my work or that I’m not proud of it. It’s just weird to put myself in the spotlight.

Which is why I’m asking YOU, my lovely fellow bloggers, to put me (and all the other amazing authors appearing in the anthology, if you would like) in YOUR spotlight.  🙂  I don’t bite, at least not hard, and I never leave marks.  I also would love to get my feet wet with a blog tour.

If you have participated in a blog tour, either as host or author, I would love to hear from you with pointers about what you learned and how to make the event run smoothly.  What would you have done differently if you could have?

For those interested in hosting the blog tour, I put a huge page on my website and would love for you to check it out under the News and Events page.

As I am not one to abuse a favor, if you are a YA and/or Fantasy author who would like to trade promotional efforts, I’m all game.  I’ve done author interviews, character interviews, and book reviews on blog tours, and I’ll be more than happy to help you get the word out about your novel or short story.

What do you say?  Up for the adventure?

A sneak peek at The Amulet of Ormisez


Several months ago I shared the great news that J. Taylor Publishing accepted my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ, for their MAKE BELIEVE anthology coming out December 3, 2o12.  I was thrilled beyond words and all of you were so sweet and wonderful, sharing all your congratulations and good wishes.  I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful followers who support each other in their endeavors.

Today I hit another milestone in this whirlwind publishing process.  So many of you have asked when they will get a sneak peek at the stories in the anthology and I’m happy to say today is the day!  Below you will find the first 250 words (or thereabout) of THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ.  The editing process has been fantastic and there were very, very few changes to the opening page.  What you see here is pretty much the way it looked upon submission, which makes me really, really happy.  I guess all that studying and taking  notes and practicing and reading about opening hooks and the importance of 1st pages paid off in this case.  I want to give a HUGE shout out to my beta readers and critique partners.  Without you, AMULET, may not be where it is today.  You guys rock my world and I can’t thank you enough for all your help and late nights, phone calls and multiple reads.

My story is just one of six fantastic short stories and I am thrilled to appear beside an amazing group of authors.  Please take the time to visit all of their websites over the next several months and get to know them as I have.  As today is the official release date of our sneak peeks, they may have their excerpts up today, too, so make sure you make the rounds, introduce yourself and tell them I sent ya!  Also, if you don’t mind, please click here to add it to your To-Read list.

And now, for your reading pleasure, may I present the first page of The Amulet of Ormisez:

Elton Fletcher urged his horse through the wind and sleet toward the enormous shadow rising from the moors against the darkness.  Sagewick Castle.  Home. Faster and faster he rode, speeding past the hedges and trees hiding the royal palace of Trumwald, his cloak snapping behind him. The horse galloped through the archway of the gatehouse, its nostrils flaring, hooves clopping against cobblestones.

A stout man rushed from the stable house, wool cloak over his head, oil lantern in hand.

“Welcome home, Master Fletcher.”

“Thank you.” Elton dismounted and handed over his horse to the welcoming marshal. “It’s good to be back. Tell me, has Master Cayden retired for the evening?”

“He has not, Lord Elton,” replied a familiar voice, “but might I suggest you tidy up a bit before socializing.”

“Ah, Ferris!” Elton grinned at the man on the steps. “What a pleasant sight! I assume my room has been prepared.”

“Of course, my lord. We’ve been expecting you.”

“Splendid. I’m cold as a corpse. Perhaps you’d like to join me for some apricot brandy and something to eat? I’m famished.” Elton embraced Ferris.

“The brandy is already in your room. I’ll have the servants fetch whatever you wish once you are settled.”

Inside, a slew of servants, waiting by the doorway, greeted Elton with exuberant smiles on their faces.

“Welcome back, Master Elton.”

“It is good to see you again, my lord.”

“May I take your coat, Sir?”

A young boy of no more than ten years stood before Elton, his arms outstretched. Elton smiled and draped his sodden, fur-lined coat and leather gloves across them. Reaching inside his coin pouch, Elton withdrew a gold therap and tucked it in the boy’s trouser pocket. “For your troubles,” he said, tousling the boy’s hair.

The young face beamed with delight as he ran down a marble corridor shouting for his mother, the coat dragging the ground behind him.

“You’d best be careful of your treatment of the hired help, Sir,” said Ferris. “Your brother would not approve.”

“Why?” Elton walked with Ferris down the entrance hall, flanked by roaring fireplaces set between massive columns. His boots echoed with each click upon the black marble floor.

“Things are not as they were when you left two years ago.” They climbed the wide, stone stairway and followed a maze of corridors. Vibrant, handmade tapestries popped against the limestone walls while slender red carpets lay underfoot. Oil lamps flickered against the stone.

It seemed all had remained as Elton recalled.

“Lord Cayden has … changed,” Ferris continued, his face drawn. “He is not what you remember. Watch your step and your generosity.”

Now for a bit about the anthology:

Make Believe

by J.A. BelfieldJennifer M. EatonJ. Keller FordTerri RochenskiKelly SaidLynda R. Young

Release Date: December 3, 2012

Target Reader: Adult

Keywords: FantasyParanormal RomanceRomance

Description

Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.

With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.

After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she’s never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.

Petrified by Kelly Said
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.

The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton
Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.

The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.

Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield
From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong.

Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.

Websites of MAKE BELIEVE authors:

J.A. Belfield

Jennifer M. Eaton

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

‘Thanks for Writing’ Award


I love blog awards.  It’s not so much the award itself but why they even exist.

Think about it.  The person handing out the award recognizes the blogger who gave it to them, usually with a link back to the blogger. The receiver of the award recognizes and passes on the award to one or more bloggers with links to their blogs.  What a great way to spread the word about other bloggers!  Word of mouth.  The oldest and most successful marketing tool.  I can’t tell you how many fantastic people I’ve met because I hopped around to other bloggers’ sites who won these awards.  What an awesome way to drive traffic to other blogs and to get other people to connect from all over the world.

When I get an award, I don’t post it to say “Hey, look at me and how great I am.”  It’s actually to say, “Hey, check out the blog of the person who gave this to me AND check out the blog(s) of those I’m giving it to.  Sit back with them and strike up a conversation. They’d love to hear from you.”

I feel bad about singling out bloggers because all of the ones I follow are fantastic.  I decided for most awards when I get them, I’ll forward them all onto those who stop by my blog and want them.  Hopefully they’ll comment and say thanks and build more connections that way.

Today’s blog award is a little different because it is specific:  it’s the ‘Thanks for Writing’ award.

The lovely Charissa Stastny, author of Eyes of Light, gave me this very tasty delight on July 9 and I have been very lazy in thanking her publicly for the award.  Charissa…thank you so much.  It means a lot to me that you thought of me for this award.  I am humbled and grateful.  It was also one of the most original and yummy blog award giveaway posts I’ve ever read.

I’m going to pass this award to two ladies who have impacted not only my writing but my life so much that I can’t thank them enough:  Jennifer M. Eaton and Julie Reece.  I met both of them online through writer’s forums, Jennifer through Nathan Bransford’s website and Julie through Scribophile.com.  These two women, every day, keep me grounded, keep me laughing, keep me motivated, keep me reaching for the stars and have become my writing soul mates.  They are both amazing authors with hearts the size of the universe.  They are not just fellow bloggers, writers, beta readers and critiquers.  They are my friends and I would be lost without them in my life.

Jennifer, Julie…thank you for everything you bring to my life every day.  Because of you (and my family), I push on to complete my novel and get it published.  Because of you, I am reminded every day that there is nothing I can’t accomplish.  Because of you, I don’t feel so alone in this writing and publishing world.  Thank you for standing behind me to push, beside me to hold my hand, and before me so I may follow your lead.  You are both amazing women and I’m honored to know you and have you in my life.

There is nothing you need to do to accept this award.  Take it and know that what you do and who you are does affect someone in a positive way. Thank you for being you.  Thanks for Writing.

Summer Blogging Schedule


After much deliberation, I’ve decided to cut my blogging schedule back to two days a week – Monday and Thursday.

I have three novels in the works, one with a deadline of August 31, and another with a deadline of September 30 (might be pushing that one).  I’m also preparing for an exciting YA Author blog takeover happening here on July 22 – 30.  Mark your calendars; it’s going to be fantastic!  There is also marketing I need to do for MAKE BELIEVE, which includes my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ.

I do plan to read a lot over the summer, so there may be a few book reviews posted on off days.  Keep an eye out for my next review of Veronica Roth’s INSURGENT.

So, there you have it.  Enjoy your weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.

MAKE BELIEVE Digital Goodies Released!


Hi there loyal peeps!  Guess what?

J. Taylor Publishing has said YES to the release of the MAKE BELIEVE digital tchotchkes!  Woot Woot!  🙂

Check out the soon-to be released bookmarks (front and back):

and my soon to be released e-mail signature:

Aren’t they just fantastically beautiful!!!  You can see all the goodies J. Taylor is releasing here.  I still have to pinch myself to remind me this is real.

What do you guys think of the goodies?

And while you’re drooling over the digital goodness, go ahead and click here to add MAKE BELIEVE to your TBR list.  You won’t regret it.  The stories are fantastic and it will be a perfect digital gift, just in time for the holidays.

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