Monday, 31 March 2014

Melissa Maygrove Cover Reveal And An Early IWSG Post

This is my last post until May. I'm not participating in the A-Z challenge like the last two years, time was just not on my side this year. I am however, taking a small blogging hiatus until May. During this time, I hope to get in some much needed writing, reading, and maybe even a couple reviews. But before I go, I have my IWSG entry at the bottom of this post (yes, it's a few days early :P ) AND I'm excited to help with Melissa's fabulous cover reveal! My very good blogging buddy Melissa Maygrove will be releasing her book Come Back, a western historical romance novel on May 12th. Check out this steamy cover and a quick excerpt below!

*****
Sometimes a single choice alters the course of a person's life forever.




Cover design by Carrie Butler,
Forward Authority Design Services


Book blurb:

Left behind by everyone she loves...

Rebecca Garvey had the promise of a California future dreams are made of, until the wagon train her family was traveling with left her behind. Now she’s slowly dying in the wilderness, abandoned and stripped of her self-worth. Once the shock of her desertion turns to embittered despair, she doesn’t want to be found. Then a handsome stranger challenges her convictions and changes her mind.

Headed for Texas, chased by the demons of his past...

Seth Emerson knows exactly what he wants. Working to save for a cattle ranch of his own keeps him busy and keeps his pain buried. Rescuing a stubborn woman from the hills of New Mexico Territory isn’t part of his plan—but she’s exactly what he needs.

Making greater sacrifices than either of them could foresee...

Seth and Rebecca set off on a risky journey and a quest for truth, each healing the other’s love-starved soul along the way. Will they give in to their growing attraction? Or will they honor their commitments when Seth returns Rebecca to civilization... and her betrothed?

*****

Sounds like a really good read and love that cover! :D 



Here's a quick excerpt for you:


(Note: Angel and Rebecca are the same person. Angel is a false name Rebecca gives Seth when she first meets him.)

She glanced back as she pulled the shirt on. A shaft of light lit the fine fringe of her hair, outlining her face in glowing strands of gold—and pointed to a purplish bloom of blue on the front her shoulder. 
Seth closed the distance between them in three long strides. “What’s that?” he asked, reaching for the bruise.
Angel shrank from his touch. “It’s nothing.”
“It’s not nothing, Angel. What happened?” Had she lied about being alone? She was getting supplies from somewhere. “How did you get it?” he demanded.
She pulled her shirt closed and shrank from him even more.
“Did someone hit you?” His blood boiled at the thought.
She nodded.
He’d gladly beat the bastard. “Who?”
She lifted her hesitant gaze until it met his. “You.”
Seth’s lungs seized at her reply. He wished she were lying, but the candor in her pale, round eyes told him otherwise. Angel may have lied about her name, about other things she’d said, but she wasn’t lying about this.

*****
LINKS:

Website / Blog / Twitter @MelissaMaygrove / Facebook / Google+ / Goodreads author page / Goodreads book page


Author Bio:


Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

*****



IWSG Post


Sorry for posting this early, but I've decided to take a month long blogging hiatus starting tomorrow. The issue I've been dealing with lately is simple: I haven't been writing. This is largely due to insecurity, doubt, bla, bla, bla, we've all heard it before. 

I've tried all kinds of things to get out of my writing funk with little success. Just last week I managed to set aside a whole day just for writing, no kids, no distractions--yippieee! Right? Well, you know what happened? That morning, I came down with a bad case of vertigo. Of all the blasted days to get sick!!! 

I felt like someone had dumped my house in the spin cycle of hell. Everything around me was spinning out of control and the more I moved, the worse it got. My eyes were unable to focus on one spot, they just kept ping-ponging back and forth as my world kept swirling around me. I tried to write despite the dizziness and nausea, but it almost ended badly—for my keyboard. The only good thing was the vertigo only lasted a day and not an entire month like it did last time. 

Anyway, that day was pretty much wasted which sucks because it's not easy for me to block off entire days just for writing. But, I'm not throwing in the towel just yet and like I mentioned at the top of this post, I’ve decided to take a whole month off. With any luck I might be able to get in an hour or so of writing. :P

Anyway, I wish everyone a productive month. A lot of my blogging buddies are participating in the A-Z challenge and though I'm sad I won't be able to join in on the fun, I know it’s important for me to recharge and refocus. So here’s wishing all you crazy A-Zers the best of luck and hopefully the GFC problem has been resolved. Catch up with you all in May. :)

****

My thanks to Alex Cavanaugh our IWSG super-host and his awesome co-hosts this month. If you'd like to know more about the IWSG monthly bloghop, feel free to click the IWSG button on my side bar. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

IWSG: Have A Beer With Me


Lately, my writing has taken a nose dive into the dismal abyss of meritocracy. But this time, instead of moaning and groaning, snapping pens in half, popping keys off my keyboard, or setting my manuscript on fire, I’ve decided to take a different approach, a more calm and religious path to my latest self-loathing. I’ve decided to sit back and have a beer. Now I know that’s not very lady-like but at this point, I don’t care. Besides, I don’t always drink beer, but when I do… I make sure it’s a great tasting beer. Name that meme! ;) 


Anyway, this is an IWSG post, not a beer tasting post and yet… I will find a way to transition this in into a beer post, so hang on. 

Have you ever tried describing how something tastes in your writing and gotten stuck? 

No. 

No? Well, humor me for a second. Geez. 

I like drinking all kinds of different beers. One of the things I enjoy is reading the label before I start peeling it off into little strips and making a mess on the table. On the back of one of these labels, I read a short, highly pretentious description of the beer I was holding. Luckily, the beer was a good one and it prompted me to look up some beer tasting reviews. This is where things got interesting. Beer and wine tasting reviews are some of the most imaginative, colorful, sexy, flowery, BS descriptions you’ll ever read. Here are examples I pulled from random beer descriptions online:

“. . .candied sweet hops pucker the mouth; pear and apple make for a perfumed blend, supported by a surprisingly hearty malt base.”

“. . . dark cumulonimbus, Everest-like white climbing head--”

“The foretaste is very prolonged because of its rich and unctuous development throughout the mouth.” I swear this is talking about BEER. 

“Bitter and sugar tendencies compete and come back together to the taster's great satisfaction.”

“It confirms the initial impression in the first mouthful, with a sharp body that is balanced with a certain fruitiness.”

...malty caramel aroma, with obvious cherry and floral notes...”

“Some traces of burnt wood are detectable, but never scorched even if it contains this kind of malt.”

It's not easy describing something as subjective as taste. But even if some of these are laughable, if you keep digging, you'll find wonderful imagery and many creative ways for describing taste through beer and wine tasting reviews. 

So there you have it. 
My writing sucks. 
Cheers.

******
Many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh our IWSG host and his super co-hosts this month. If you'd like to know more about the IWSG monthly bloghop, feel free to click the IWSG button on my side bar.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Elizabeth Seckman, France, and Fate Intended

Hi there! I'm here with the fabulous Elizabeth Seckman. She's published several books and is an all around wonderful person, I'm thrilled to have her stop by my humble blog. Today, we're gonna talk about the French and the love shared between siblings, as well as Elizabeth’s new book, Fate Intended.


****


Hello Elise!



Bonjour Elizabeth!

Long ago, you posted a get-to-know-Elise video (it was marvelous, by the way). In that video, you said some French people wonder...does America really hate France?


Yes, I remember that video. I still live in France and I've gotten that question a few times, especially during the time right after 911.


Lafayette at the Battle of Yorktown
Wow. What a sad question.


It really is, Elizabeth. 

If America ever had a solid friend, it's France.

I will venture to say, there would be no United States of America without France.

It was the French who had our back in the Revolutionary War against the British crown.

Without French gold, blood,and brains...the American Revolution might have gone down in history as a failed revolt.


I agree, Elizabeth--Vive la France! :)


So much gold was spent, the French government was deep in dept.

There were more French soldiers at the Battle of Yorktown (1781) than American. And that battle was a turning point in the war and it turned the war in our favor, thanks to the leadership of the Marquis deLayette (a French dude...can't you tell by the name?)


Yep, and one of his most famous quotes was: "Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.


Thank you France!

Our victory against England was signed, sealed, and a new country was delivered by the Treaty of Paris.

France even gave us our symbol of freedom. Yes, Lady Liberty welcomes her huddled masses with a smile and, “Bonjour!”

Bonjour!

So, see? France is like our big brother. And granted, sometimes big brothers and little brothers fuss, but behind every noogie and wedgie...there is real love.


I can't agree with you more, Elizabeth. France and the US are the best of siblings. And speaking of siblings, in your latest book Fate Intended, a hansome devil named Trip also happens to have siblings as well! Can you tell us a bit more about the story?  :) 



Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.  Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find love. He’s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. She’s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.





Elizabeth Seckman is a simple chick with a simple dream…to write stories people want to read.

photo credit: aherrero via photopin cc

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ubuntu: The Single Most Important Word You Will Ever Learn

Ubuntu is an African word and quite possibly the most important word you will ever learn. It is not a person, or a place, it is a philosophy--a way of life. Ubuntu is often described as "I am who I am, because of who we are." In other words, it is through you, that I am a human being. From an ubuntu perspective, people should be caring, compassionate, empathetic, respectful, loving, and live in harmony with themselves, with others, and the environment.



As part of Michelle Wallace's Ubuntu Bloghop to celebrate her 3rd blogging anniversary, I'd like to share a video I came across while researching the Ubuntu philosophy. Chris Abani, is an award winning Nigerian author and in this video, he talks about humanity and the Ubuntu philosophy through the stories of some remarkable people. It's an uplifting talk, peppered with humor, heartbreak, and inspiration. 


Here are a couple quotes from the video that have stuck with me the last few days:

"What I've come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion--everyday acts of compassion. In South Africa they have a phrase called ubuntu. Ubuntu comes out of a philosophy that says, the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me." - Chris Abani

"You know, you can steel your heart against any kind of trouble, any kind of horror. But the simple act of kindness from a complete stranger will unstitch you." - Chris Abani when talking about his mother. 

If you have time, I recommend watching this video. And to Michelle, happy blogging anniversary my friend, and thank you for bringing this beautiful word Ubuntu, into my life. (((HUGS)))





Friday, 14 February 2014

A Shout Out To Some Awesome Folks


It's Valentine's Day (puke) and I wanted to share the love and give a shout out to some very awesome people.







Samantha Redstreake Geary, and the Composers for Relief: Support the Philippines project that not only created an amazing music album, but also a companion ebook, Beyond the Binding that is now available: 

beyondthebinding_cover_final- Worldwide through Amazon

Smashwords 
  
- Goodreads


(More links coming soon)














DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude will be celebrating his one year anniversary of the Blog Blitz team. Please check it out if you haven't already. The team blitzes random bloggers, and what better way to brighten someone else's day than to blast them with over 100 positive comments!









I also want to give a shout out to Roland Yeomans at Writing in the Crosshairs. Roland is a supportive blogger and prolific writer. He's written dozens of books that are fast paced, action packed, and wonderfully written. I love the imagery and imagination in his books that give Roland a writing style all his own. You can check out Roland's books on Amazon








Have a great day and a wonderful weekend everyone. 
As for me, I'll just be watching my back . . .


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Silent Sunday Smiles



If you're feeling a little blue...




Have a cupcake.


If you're out of cupcakes, then I will unleash the ultimate weapon. No one can resist the power of the adorable fluffy kitten. This kitty was so darn cute, I must have said "awww" enough times to make her think that was her name. 





Happy Sunday.

:)

-comments disabled-

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

IWSG and Beyond...


Today is special, not only because it's IWSG but also because I get to help reveal the cover of Beyond the Binding. 

Last December, I took part in Composers for Relief, a project that is helping to raise money to support disaster relief efforts in the Philippines. The project has pooled together talented individuals from all over the world to create a music album and its companion ebook, Beyond the Binding. 

*****

Cover by Jennifer Redsteak Grey

Embark on an exciting journey “Beyond the Binding” of the imagination with 29 authors from across the globe, in a groundbreaking collaboration where music meets fiction. Surrender to soaring compositions as they surge through the veins of every story, capturing the triumphant pulse of the notes in heart pounding sci fi, enchanting fantasy and gripping slices of realism. 

All proceeds of the Composers for Relief album and Companion Collection ebook will go to Gawad Kalinga (“give care”) and GVSP (Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme), to support the relief efforts for victims of the deadliest natural disaster in Philippines’ history, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). 

Ebook available from Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Diesel & Smashwords.



Composers for Relief album available on ITunesAmazonCDBaby & Spotify










*****



The idea was to pair inspirational music tracks with short stories written under the theme of 'hope.' It's a beautiful project, organized in part by the amazing Samantha Redstreake Geary, and you can read more about it HERE. And though this book is for a great cause, it's also the source of my insecurity at the moment. The reason being is I'm one of the writers who submitted a story for the ebook. 




O.M.G


So it's obvious what my insecurities are. On the one hand, I'm proud to be a part of such a wonderful collaboration. The cover is fantastic, the album sublime, the stories inspiring, and I hope it's a great success. But... BUT, now my work is 'out there' and I can't take it back. It's intimidating being surrounded by so much talent knowing my entry, When Paper and Fire Fall in Love is not perfect. And now, I'm out of time. I can't continue editing. I can't tinker with it any longer. Heck, I can't even hide behind a different pen name...it's simply out of my hands and belongs to the readers now, and that my friend is just a big bag of scary for me. It also leaves me wondering if I feel like this over a 1000 word short story, then how the heck will I ever be able to publish a 400 page novel? 

So, I'm going to suspend my insecurities for a moment and shove them in the padded room in my mind. This project is for a great cause, and I truly hope you will check out this book and album. I know I'm looking forward to purchasing my copy of both, especially the book when it comes out in physical print (I still don't own an ebook-- I know, I know, I le suck).

*****

Thank you all for stopping by today, and many thanks to our IWSG host Alex Cavanaugh and his super co-hosts this month. If you'd like to know more about the IWSG monthly bloghop, feel free to click the IWSG button on my side bar. 


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