Category Archives: Guest Post

Welcome Shared Whispers Author Julie Eberhart Painter

SharedWhispers-Ebook-180x280Julie Eberhart Painter,  a Pennsylvania transplant now living in Central Florida, is the author of ten  books. She  took advantage of her knowledge directing a sanctioned duplicate bridge game to  create Kill  Fee, a cozy mystery that received the CTR Book award in  February 2012, and Kill  Fee won  the Champagne Books Best Book Award for 2011. A frequent  contributor to blogs, Julie is a regular columnist at Cocktails, Fiction and Gossip Magazine,  an online slick where she talks about fun stuff, such as families, books,  art, music, dance and travel. One of the many places includes China,  where she met The Wall.

Blurb & Excerpt  

North of the ancient city of Xi’an, the rolling hills gleamed in the  afternoon sun. Looking up the road Meng-Jiangnu saw a boy walking slowly toward  her parents’ home. He was dragging a ragged, quilted coat behind him.
“Mother, come quickly,” Meng called. “There is a stranger  approaching.”
One by one, round faces popped above the open spaces and peered at the  oncoming stranger. Stepping out over the god of their door, the family members  entered the small courtyard and made their way toward the boy. “What’s wrong?  Who is he?”
Meng gestured from the ragged boy toward the place in the hills where the  incline began to rise sharply.
“A boy, Mother, look! He comes from the mountains.”
The family peered into the distance watching the approaching figure. “He  is a starving youth,” her mother stated. “When he arrives, bring him inside and  ask if he has eaten.”
Meng noted that the boy’s skin was weathered brown from the sun and his  arms and legs stuck through his ragged clothing as if he had grown during the  journey. She thought him a very handsome boy, proud. He did not bow his head,  but walked on straight to them. Yet, she could tell this was a young man used to  hard work. When he reached the gate, Meng approached him the way her mother  had instructed. “Have you eaten?”
He smiled at the familiar words and shook his head, while he repeated  the traditional response, “Yes, I have eaten.”….

Buy Shared Whispers at Champagne  Book Group or your favorite outlet.  Check out Julie  Eberhart Painter’s at Bewildering Stories HERE  and Cocktails Magazine HERE. View her Champagne titles or WEBPAGE .

BG450x122J

Visit Rita Bay at Rita Bay’s Webpage & Blog
Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Guest Post

Welcome Shared Whispers Author Michael Davis

BeyondForever HighResWOTI’s first Shared Whispers guest author is Michael Davis. Mike coordinated the Shared Whispers project and contract. He’s the author of “Beyond Forever,” a contemporary romance with a twist—though he’s also at home with thrillers, suspense, and science fiction.  Each author submitted a pic for their story. I think Mike’s is one of the best. Check out the blurb, excerpt, and awesome reviews.

BLURB

“Everyone deserves resolution.” Hanna’s organized life has been fractured by one mistake, one incredible night of unparalleled pleasure, and now her world has descended into unbearable solitude. Days burning sunlight in a mind numbing haze, nights staring into the black void enveloping her empty bed, until a stranger, a peculiar man lost within his own shadows, offers a path to resolution. He suggests a course from her self-induced darkness, if only she can see the truth behind his words. To purge the memories that hound her thoughts, block her return to a normal existence, she must allow herself to circle back where it all began.

EXCERPT

She licked both lips, savoring the residual flavor. The hint of almond captured from the depths of his mouth teased her senses. She pushed further against the furnace of his taut abdomen with her bare rump. Low moans escaped her throat while his muscular hands explored…

Hanna Griffin shot erect in the solitary bed. She blindly groped the emptiness, the frigid void` to her left, then covered both eyes with barreled fists. The pain of separation, the abyss between what she and Aaron were and the loneliness she now felt consumed her.

I can’t take it, this ache in my chest. Help me out of the darkness.

“Please, no more.” Her brain registered the words, yet her heart ignored the plea, remained locked in the memories, the night of unparalleled pleasures when they were connected in body and mind.

Subtle reminders prevented her escape. The sensory shock when some stranger sauntered by, his masculine cologne invading her nose, or the man at work that walked with pride, just like Aaron, churned knots in her gut. What course could end this journey to nowhere, ricocheting from one numbing task to another just to burn twelve hours of daylight. Hanna studied the blackened ceiling for an answer, a way out of this pit. A one word response across her sleep starved mind blared out.

Resolution.

She must purge everything he was, that they were, but how?

Of course. I must stand in the dragon’s breath.

Internship with the yellow jackets of Larimer County had convinced Hanna fighting wildfires was not the dream of her childhood fantasies. Yet the back-wrenching hours, scoured by sun and marred by ash, conveyed one lesson: only fire can conquer fire. She must return to the spark that ignited this consuming flame of yearning that would not be quenched.

The lodge at Peaks Valley.

Hanna pawed the lamp by her bed, tapped the switch and bolted toward the shower. Half way across the room, she stopped.

A day trip’s not enough. It has to be a sleep over. Get through one night, endure the shadows alone, and I’ll be free.

Redirecting her route from the bathroom, Hanna scurried around the hollow apartment cum prison, and stuffed two days’ worth of clothes in a worn overnight bag. She darted for the door, caught the flash of a determined woman, thirtyish, peering back from the mirror, paused to examine her thin nude profile and giggled to no one.

Forgot something, didn’t ya.

She diverted to the dresser, then the closet, rifled through a dozen options and declared, “Yes, this should work.” Hanna grabbed her purse and luggage. She juggled an apple and surveyed the room for any forgotten booty, then raced out the door.~ * ~

Sixty miles north of Roanoke, Virginia, Hanna pulled into a closed visitor center, exited the sub compact, propped both arms across the roof, and ogled the horizon.

Timing is everything.

REVIEWS

“Beautifully written, Beyond Forever is passionate and romantic. I found the story within the story captivating as I was teleported to The Lodge at Peaks Valle. Readers will pull up a chair as Mrs. Johnson explains the particulars surrounding the heartwarming legend of Peaks Valley while encouraging two young lovers to explore the possibilities discovered by embracing and understanding the past. The story is award-winning material.”  Romance Reviews

“What I liked: Sweet, well written, and satisfying are the three words I’d use to describe this short story. The plot flows, you’re pulled along, and you don’t want it to end.. What I didn’t like: Can’t think of a thing! In sum: Here’s a good one for us romance junkies. Pick it up.” 5 stars, Critique De Book

Thank you to Michael Davis for visiting.  Learn more about Michael and his books at his WEBPAGE.

Click HERE to buy Shared Whispers.

Tomorrow, Shared Whispers author, Julie Snorkel.

RitaBay450x122J

2 Comments

Filed under Guest Post

Introducing Shared Whispers

CLICK TO BUYThis week Champagne Book Group released SHARED WHISPERS, an anthology of fifteen  short stories about romance, mystery, adventure, and the paranormal contributed by authors of the Champagne Book Group.  The WOTI group, Champagne authors all, have invited the Shared Whispers Anthology Authors to visit WOTI and share their stories, their journeys through their personal Worlds of the Imagination.

Michael Davis was the project coordinator and will be our first guest tomorrow. Last year, Mike brought up the idea of the anthology to introduce readers to Champagne authors. He developed the idea into a cohesive plan with a timeline, recruited the authors, kept us on track throughout, then coordinate the publication of Shared Whispers with Champagne. For now, check out these short blurbs from Shared Whispers:

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Beyond Forever by M. W. Davis – Two ill-fated lovers from the past show a modern day couple the real meaning of love.
Special Delivery by Linda Rettstatt – During a blizzard, a road sign promised sanctuary from the storm until a woman running from her past learns the doctor is a veterinarian.
The Setup by Victoria Roder – Blowing off a blind date might mean avoiding an unpleasant evening with a stranger—or being saved by one.
Life at Full Speed by Ute Carbone – Sparks fly when a prosecutor and a man she almost sent to prison meet under unusual circumstances—a speed dating event.
Frozen Section by Jane Toombs – An acknowledgement of a past loss does more than thaw a woman’s heart. It opens the path to an unplanned future—and a family she never expected to have.
After the Tears by Angelica Hart and Zi – Grief darkened the future, until love took a hand.

HISTORICAL ROMANCE/WESTERN
Colours by Chris Fenge – One woman seeks to escape the grey coloring her world and return to the bright colors of yesteryear and her true love.
Wailing Down the Wall by Julie Eberhart Painter – A Chinese legend comes to life amidst the creation of one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels.
Journey Home by Linda LaRoque – Life is hard and dangerous on the Texas plain for a couple separated by time, distance, and duty. Love brings them together—forever.

FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION WITH A ROMANTIC CORE
Solitude by Ronald Hore – All Keith Sommerville wanted was a little time alone aboard his sailboat. What he found was a future beyond belief.
Cymru Am Byth (Wales Forever) by Jude Johnson – The freedom of Wales came at a price—love. Centuries later, fate intervened
Heart of a Rebel by Dani Collins – Plans can be undermined when love and destiny take charge.
Heaven by Elizabeth Fountain – Angels are not always found in heaven.
Nimue’s Daughter by Rita Bay – The past and the future collide when the Merlin of King Arthur’s court seeks his true love in a world on the precipice.
Gods and Zombies by January Bain – Do humans dance at the whim of the gods or do we write our own destiny.

Click HERE or the Cover to BUY.

Tomorrow, Worlds of the Imagination welcomes Michael Davis

out_of_the_darkness_300siRita

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Post, Uncategorized

Guest Interview & Giveaway with Susan Stec

leaf background flowered frame Soahc low pix

Thanks so much to Susan Stec for being our guest today. Susan is the author of the Grateful Undead series, the Dark and Deadly Novella series, and is here today to talk about her YA fantasy, The Other F Word. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free ebook copy of this fun fae story!

Susan, if you could pick any fantasy world to live in, which would it be and why?

I have two choices:

I’d like to be a pixie and live among the fae. I love to laugh, and being a pixie trickster, all full of pesky fun, would be so amusing, especially since most humans would not be able to see me. I might let them hear me giggle, though. Still, it might be fun to let them see me, but you have to believe to see the fae, and then it’s just a wonder-filled second that is, later, usually explained away as something else.

My second choice would be to feel the forest as a shape shifter–probably a wolf—nose to the ground, taking up the hunt and being able to run, all lean, muscled, and agile, with an ability to scent my prey and stealthily follow. Roll on the ground, swim in a pond, and prance along a riverbed with no human inhibitions. Wild animals have a strong passion for the basics in life. I think werewolves take that passion with them into the real world.

What makes the fantasy world in your novel different from the regular world?

The setting is in Wandermere, a humanized fairy world where faelings are allowed to dress, live, and basically adapt any type of behavior from the other side of the portal. The plan was to acclimate two very special faelings to the behaviors of humans, enabling them to better interact in that world. But not everything on the fairy side of the portal is what it appears. The elders of Wandermere soon learn the other children, the ones they’ve deemed unimportant, have created a nightmare that will cause the extinction of their race and the death of the two Marked and Fated to save it.

What inspired this book?

I’ve always loved fairies; had dreams of the small wicked or helpful creatures running wild in our woods, lakes, homes, and gardens. I’d like to think they put the luck in our lucky situations, like being in the right place at the right time; or those karma kickbacks for our not so smart moves. Heck, I bet they’re responsible for missing socks in the dryer or misplaced keys, might even be why our cats get all wonky, jump, hiss and swipe at thin air for no apparent reason. Yep, very well could be fairies that create unexplained surprises or mini nightmares.

One day I was turning the pages of one of my Brian Frond or Judy Allen illustration books, can’t remember which, both are awesome, and I pondered the question, “What if fairies decided to dress and act like humans?” 

The visuals made me laugh. Come on! How funny would a one inch fairy with wings, wearing jeans, a tee shirt and tennis shoes, rocking to an mp3 player, or texting on an iPhone be? Especially if they displayed some major attitude. As I began to write, I visualized the kids driving butterflies, centipedes, or other bugs to school, and the most unpopular girl getting stuck with a big ugly dragonfly that was not only directionally challenged, but ate other bug vehicles. From there I thought about a buzz (rave) where the popular kids meet to dance, and I wondered what would happen if someone spiked the honey and fairies began to disappear. That’s when a plot started to form.

What’s your process like when it comes to world-building? Any tips for other fantasy authors?

Research! Research! Research! And add as much as you can about what you know or have experienced.

With this book, I revisited a great deal of folk lore and myth, researched Disney movies, teen books, slang, and fads over the years. I wanted to create dialogue with unique slang and actions that could be peppered with myth, kid’s entertainment and human traits. I also wanted to bring bugs into my world; bug jargon, bug vehicles, and bug insults. I researched insects in Florida because my portal from the fairy world would lead into an area in Florida that I was familiar with. I mentally adapted everything to size, like an ordinary oak tree and what it would be like to live inside the tree, how a hollow would look from the inside out. What it would be like to be small enough to live in and around cypress knees on the edge of the water. How it would feel to drive a dragonfly, sit on a palmetto bush covered in Spanish moss, or skim mosquito larvae from a pond.

Tell us what The Other F Word is about in 25 words or less:

A fairy girl deals with intolerance, forbidden attraction, friendships, betrayal, and her race’s expectations.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=susan+stec&x=14&y=23  https://www.facebook.com/GratefulUndead http://thegratefulundead.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-other-f-word.html

Twitter: @suesan0814

This month we’re doing the 7,7,7 challenge on the WOTI blog, would you like to participate?

Here are three sections from The Grateful Undead Series:

pg77, line 7 from Blood Sweat and Demon Tears: “And someone put some duct-tape across her mouth,” Warren ordered.

pg 7 line 7 Gator Baitin’: Christopher actually offed her, and then turned me. That won him a seat on our team of vamp-animal extinguishers.

Page 7 line 7 They’re so Vein: JoAnn’s eyes jumped to the mirror. She screeched and turned around in her seat. “You…you… you have big teeth! What the?

Great snippets, Susan! Thanks so much for being here. And now, tag, JA Garland, you’re next for the 7,7,7 challenge! Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an e-copy of The Other F Word.

7 Comments

Filed under 777, Guest Post

Misa Buckley’s 777 Challenge

Author Misa Buckley joins us today for the 7,7,7 Challenge.
Here’s seven lines from her latest work in progress, Comfortably Numb, a sci-fi romance:
“I’ll speak to Doctor Phaedas and make sure he tells you everything.”
“Thank you.”
I could relax now, and leant back against the pillows as she undertook a few tests and a sample of my blood. She made more notes on her tablet before hurrying out. Guilt twinged at the speed at which she left; I hadn’t wanted to make her feel uncomfortable. But then by the same measure, I didn’t want to be kept in the dark any longer. I needed to know what had happened so I could take control. I needed to know how bad things were so I could figure out if I’d be able to race again.
 
This one is still in the works, but for more information on this and other books by Misa, visit her website: misabuckley.com.
And now, tag, Olga Godim, you’re it!

Leave a comment

Filed under 777, Guest Post, Uncategorized

The PROS and CONS of Being A Multi-Genre Author

This week’s guest author is Clare Marshall, who is here to talk about her three YA books with Faery Ink Press. Clare Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little  television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She has  a combined honours degree in journalism and psychology from the  University of King’s College, and is a graduate from Humber College’s  Creative Book Publishing Program. She is a full-time freelance editor,  book designer, and web manager. She enjoys publishing books through  her publishing imprint, Faery Ink Press. When she’s not writing, she  enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats. If one of the cover catches your eyes, click on it, and you’ll get more information on it. 

~L.T. Getty

 withinfront400

The PROS and CONS of Being A Multi-Genre Author

I never really thought of myself as a multi-genre author. Not until I was interviewed by a book blogger on the Stars In Her Eyes blog tour, when she asked about the pros and cons of writing in multiple genres. Sure, I knew that my three books are in three different genres (Within: YA Supernatural thriller, The Violet Fox: YA Fantasy, and my newest, Stars In Her Eyes: YA Sci/Fi). But I guess I identified more with being a multi-genre publisher than a multi-genre author. Such are the perils of being both the author and the publisher of your work.

 So I thought about it, and here we are. Advantages and disadvantages of being a multi-genre author-publisher, coming right up.

PRO:

 1. Planting more seeds yields more crops

 This one is pretty obvious. Not only does writing more books increase your chance of a reader stumbling upon your work, but writing more books across more genres increases this chance even more. Science fiction fans might not appreciate my slow-building supernatural thriller Within. Those who like contemporary settings might not like my detailed, magical fantasy land of Marlenia in The Violet Fox. But a person from each of these interest-groups may like part of my work, and gaining readers is always a good thing.

CON:

 1. Spreading yourself too thin = not good for the brand.

 Science fiction and fantasy tends to go hand and hand. But fantasy and westerns? Science fiction and erotica? Yes, you could argue there are some great genre-crossers that successfully pull it off, but not everyone can be a winner. Because the typical fantasy fan but not be a western fan, writing/publishing books in these two genres can be tricky when it comes to promoting the books. You don’t want to alienate half of your audience in favour of a select few.

 A lot of authors use pseudonyms–thereby establishing different “brands”–to solve this problem. But this could also double your workload: two different websites, two different facebook pages, two different twitter accounts, if you really want to keep everything separate. This may only be the case if you’re writing in genres that could conflict/cause tension with your readers (a good example: writing for children & also writing erotica).

 Take a look at the notes for the books you’d like to write. How many of them fall into the same genre? How many would appeal to what demographic? If there are some that fall into different categories/demographics, decide how you want to handle these books and their marketing. Planning ahead might save you some headaches later.

 tvf500

PRO:

 2. Flexibility with Setting

 I’m a human being. I like a million different things. If I don’t feel like working on my science fiction novella? Cool, let’s work on the fantasy epic today. I have the freedom to play in a variety of story playgrounds.

 Because I write in a couple of different genres–whether together in one book, or in separate books–I have the flexibility to create my own world (like I did in The Violet Fox), set a story in a town I know well (Within is set in Halifax, Nova Scotia), or create a fantastical but realistic town in a real province (I created a university run by aliens in Alberta for the Sparkstone series). If I only wrote contemporary fiction, I would be bound by a set of rules–for example, the book would have to be set in the present day, and probably in a real town, or a realistic, fictional town.

CON:

 2. Too much flexibility leads to stagnation, or abandonment

 If you’re an unfocused writer who throws in too many themes, too many settings, too much of Genre A with Genre B, too many characters with no personality and no chemistry, you may lose your reader. Or you yourself might grow bored/tired of the project. People like to know what genre they’re reading before they read it (see below), because there are certain expectations within every genre. Reading a fantasy book? There’s probably going to be a magic system. Science fiction? It might be set in space, involve time travel, explore humanity’s place in the universe, or be set in the future, etc. Romance? Two people will fall in and/or out of love and there might even be some sexy times.

 Related: if you can’t explain to me in less than five or ten seconds what your book is about–either through comparison to something else, or in a snappy one-liner, it’s going to be hard to sell this to your readers, or a publishing house.

 By branding yourself as a multi-genre author, you are opening many doors at once. And if you’re not disciplined with your writing schedule, and your publishing plans, and your marketing strategy, you might end up spinning in circles and not going through any doors.

PRO:

3. I can write cross-genre stories!

 I canz has a queen and her court on a moon base with zombie-creature attacks? Yes, I canz! (See my serial, Faces In The Mist (http://www.faeryinkpress.com/fiction/faces-in-the-mist)).

 If I want to write a time travelling story for teens, I can do that. My science fiction and fantasy readers will love that. Make it thrilling, and my horror/thriller fans might appreciate it too. Like I stated above, not all cross-genre combinations are winners, but they can spark the imagination of the reader.

 starsinhereyes_01

 CON:

3. Cross-genre books are hard to market

 Story time. My first book, Within, was an odd first book for Faery Ink Press to publish. It just barely fits with the spirit of Faery Ink Press. It’s not a science fiction novel, it’s not fantasy, and the horror/thriller part starts towards the middle. So when I started submitting the book to book bloggers and talking about it, I was pitching it as a supernatural, somewhat-fantastical thriller–but I was sending it to paranormal romance bloggers. Yes, there’s a romance that’s central to the plot, and it’s got a supernatural angle, but it’s a weird triangle that typical paranormal romance fans aren’t looking for.

 So when readers started posting their reviews, I got a lot of three stars, and quotes like, “Well, I didn’t not like it, it was well written, but I don’t think this is really my kind of story.” Three star reviews are actually the most useful to you because they are the reviews that give both the pros and cons about the book–and you can use this information to make your book marketing more productive.

 On the anniversary tour for Within, I got better reviews because I specifically stated in my request for reviews that a) The plot is slow to build b) the romance is atypical and c) the supernatural portion is subtle and more Stephen-King-esque and d) there are POVs that are teen and adult. Because I was more upfront about what the book was about, and who it might appeal to, it better attracted the right kind of readers to the work.

Conclusion:

 A lot of the problems with writing in multiple genres–or writing cross-genre stuff–lies in the marketing. If you don’t know how to explain to your potential readers what kind of stuff you write, you’re gonna have a hard time getting people to read your work. But I firmly believe that if you make a plan–recognize the challenges of what you’re getting into and come up with some solutions–you will have success. Will the success come easy? No. Publishing is an uphill battle. You have to fight everyday to make yourself noticed. Writing in multiple genres is just another layer in the never-ending struggle to be recognized for your work.

smallclare

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Post