Monday, March 30, 2015

Guest: Patricia Josephine: What's in a Name?

What’s in a name?
A character’s name can be important. It’s not always random. Sometimes there has to be a meaning behind it. While Michael is the common name to pick when writing about archangels, there is a reason behind it.

Michael
Angel of Miracles
Michael is an archangel who strengthens the spirit during difficult times or dangerous situations. His name means "he who is like God" and he is the chief over the dominion order of virtues, angel of repentance, righteousness, ruler of the fourth heaven and conqueror of Satan. It is commonly believed that Michael was the angel that Moses communicated with in the burning bush and that he also saved Daniel from the lion's den. He inspires truth, patience and love in the human heart. In Roman Catholic tradition, Michael is considered to be the patron angel of policemen, guiding and guarding them as they protect us. He is also thought to be the one who gently leads our souls to heaven. (source: http://whisperingworlds.com/angel/angelnames_m.php)

In Path of Angels Michael is the leader of his brothers and the one who took Lucifer to Hell after the rebellion.

There is only one path.

Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with a specific role: hunt fallen angels and send them back to Hell. He is determined in his mission, never straying from his appointed path, until he meets Lake Divine, and discovers there may be more to his beliefs than blind duty.

But Lake is not who he seems. Offspring of a human and a fallen angel, a Nephilim, Lake must choose his own destiny: give in to the coldness and embrace the dark, or seek the light and rise above the sins of his father.

Two paths lay before them, but only one has the potential to destroy them both.


Tweets to share:
Walk the path. Face evil. Defeat it. #PathOfAngels
#urbanfantasy #NA #NewAdult

Michael thought he knew what lay on his path, but he didn’t see Lake coming. #PathOfAngels #urbanfantasy #NALit


Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/plynne_writes
Website: http://www.patricialynne.com
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108938106639683446081/posts/p/pub
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/patricialynne07

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13460894.Patricia_Josephine

Friday, March 27, 2015

Celebrations and Do You Have Goals Mixed Together

Celebrate The Small Things and Do You Have Goals Mixed Together - The Insanity Edition

Many thanks to Lexa Cain, LG Keltner, Katie, Misha, and Beth for these two positive hops!

I realized that my goals might be slightly insane. In fact, I decided around March 10th, that I might tear out all my hair need to slow them down a bit for sanity. But here is a glimpse of the work I've been doing. (Beware, although I am celebrating, there's a bit of a vent in here, too.) Hit bold highlights if you need to run . . .


Dynamic Writing 1 ground me into my desk and gave me formatting for e-book nightmares. I struggled and decided to put out a "sample" book with the first 15 lessons . . . on a whim. Not sure it's the right move, but it's available via kindle for 99 cents. 



After looking at curriculum prices and noticing that most curricula don't come via e-book and that they usually cost over $25, I thought I might split Dynamic Writing 1 into two different e-books, for first semester and second semester. Then, I decided to "improve" a few of the lessons by changing some of the order around. Formatting nightmares ensued. I had first semester out for kindle and Smashwords for a few days and was happy that no copies sold because it didn't pass the Smashwords Epub check and I can't figure out why. Is it because it's in 2.0 spacing? I need at least the writing samples to be in 2.0 spacing because that's the required spacing for my students when I teach the class. It's either that or the numeric lists of questions and answers for the sentence variation practice problems. I don't really want to pay an exorbitant fee to get the formatting done, so currently I'm planning on finishing the paperback in late May, and if I can fix the stinking e-book formatting issues by then, I'll re-release the e-book version.

Dynamic Writing 1 contains 185 lessons in writing that cover journal practice writing, sentence variations practice, and a multiple draft process for essays, poetry, and short fiction. I've been using a "casual," private print version for a year now with one of my classes. It's basically all the notes that I had for class bound into a book. And, I have Dynamic Writing 2 and 3 drafted out that way as well. However, taking it to the "public" and formal level has had me banging my head on my desk. I think I should have avoided the idea of an e-book and just gone for a print format first.

Celebration point for that mess: Progress.

In my tiny, experimental, "crazy" writing, things have been going much better.


Ashes Burn Season 2: Ashes Stirred has been merrily airing three times a week for a few months now, and I just compiled it all into it's own little e-book. Today is release day for Ashes Burn Season 2: Ashes Stirred! The first five official (with a comment) visitors here, at the Ashes Burn blog and at the Wings of Light Publishing blog can get a free download via a Smashwords coupon, if so desired. It's available for 99 cents at:
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords
Kobo



And Ashes Burn Season One: Ashes Away is #perma-free since it is a strange experiment in tiny writing form.
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords
Kobo







Other writing goals for 2015 have received a paring down to size that will allow for some sanity. Dynamic Writing 2 and 3 may or may not be released this year. Champion's Destiny and some short stories are my next top priorities, along with surviving A to Z as a Commando Muffin. (Oh, and finishing at least the paperback of Dynamic Writing 1 before June. Agh.)

Exercise: I'm back to it! I can walk 1 mile, bike 30-40 minutes on an exercise bike without much tension on it, and I can do yoga.

Prayer: every day, all the time, as much as I can. Bible study: some days, yes. some days, less.

Relational: the invitational attitude idea kind of suffered when my kids were sick earlier this month and I was tearing my hair out over projects. We did invite friends to see a movie with us. Our niece came to dinner one night. And, I had some guests and spotlights here at my blog, including Shelly Sly, Elizabeth Seckman, Lori L. MacLaughlin, Emma L. Adams, and Nick Wilford. I'm planning to celebrate them again, along with a few others, for A to Z!

Write 1 Sub 1 goals: I wrote and subbed a flash fiction story to Brilliant Flash Fiction's photo prompt contest and . . . the results of that are below. (Happy dance)

Lexa Cain, awesome leader of the Celebrate the Small Things hop, requested some pics of the kayaking and canoeing race from last weekend, but the wind came up, the rain came down, and my girls both had a really rough day (falling in, broken rudder on the kayak, etc.) so I'm going to wait until I have a cheerier pic to show.

On a last, and unexpected, celebratory note:
I had a fun-to-write-but-quirky flash fiction story, "The Biggest Waterslide," short-listed at Brilliant Flash Fiction's last photo prompt contest. It's the seventh story on the page. I was in stinky armpit mode the day that I wrote it - hard to explain, unless you read it.

And I have a couple of tiny twitter stories up @7x20 this week: "Buzz" went live yesterday and "almost spring" will air later today.

What are you celebrating today? Are you staying sane in pursuit of your Dream Goals? 

And, if you can, please check out that story for free, or pick up a free copy of Ashes Burn Season One, or a 99 cent copy of Ashes Burn Season Two. :)







Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cover Reveal for Nick Wilford



Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Contemporary speculative fiction
Cover Design: Rebekah Romani
Release Date: May 25th 2015

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.



Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.



Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Monday, March 23, 2015

A to Z Theme Reveal



A to Z is almost here!!!

Theme Reveal



My 2015 Theme is: CELEBRATIONS!




All month long, I'll be celebrating authors and bloggers who have inspired me with their determination, spunk, and style.

And, on the last day of the month, I'll be celebrating my blogaversary with:
Virtual Chocolate - some real eye candy. :)
Actual Chocolate (for the first three visitor/comment-ers from the US)
A Free First Page Critique Giveaway for visitor #10.
and . . . some free e-books.


And, I'll be hanging with the Muffin Commando Squad, celebrating muffiness - a special brand of awesomeness. :) Muffin Commandos: C. Lee Mckenzie (Fearless Squad Leader), Carrie ButlerYvonne VentrescaDonna McDinePatricia LynneTara Tyler, andTammy Theriault.








Friday, March 20, 2015

Guest: Lori L. MacLaughlin and mini-celebrations

Please welcome guest Lori L. MacLaughlin, author of Lady Thy Name Is Trouble



What Bilbo Baggins and I Have In Common

One of my favorite scenes in the beginning of Tolkien's The Hobbit, is when Gandalf spreads out on Bilbo's table the map of the Lonely Mountain, given to him by Thorin's father, Thrain. Gandalf speaks of the secret passage into the mountain, and Bilbo's curiosity gets the better of him. Though he wants no part of an adventure involving dragons, he loves maps and can't resist having a look.

I, too, love maps — particularly those drawn from imagination. They speak to me of paths unknown, adventures that await if only I'd take that first step. When I draw maps to go with my stories, I can create vast forests or soaring mountains, walled cities with mighty castles or frightening places in the deepest dark. New worlds flow from pencil to paper, ready to be populated by the denizens of my mind.

The story fragments swirling in my head give birth to landforms and waterways that expand into worlds that, in turn, help me visualize the emerging plot. I find that having a map solidifies my story and makes it more real to me, though both map and story are fluid until the final word is written.

In a previous post on my blog, I shared the map I drew for Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble. Now, I'd like to share the map that goes with it for Book 2, Trouble By Any Other Name. I actually drew this map first, but realized the story started way before my characters reached this part of the world.





My kids and I watched an animated movie a while back, where the characters found a topographical map that covered the floor of a room in a lost pyramid they'd discovered. They stepped on the map and fell through into the mysterious world the map represented. I always wished I could do something like that. Imagine the adventures one could have...


Does anyone else out there draw maps to go with the stories you write?



Lady, THY NAME IS TROUBLE

Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos... and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.


Available at:




LoriL. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.


Mini-Celebrations for Celebrate the Small Things:
1. It's Friday.
2. My daughter's dance performance last weekend was fun!
3. Both of my daughters are racing this weekend - flat-water sprint canoe (oldest) and kayak (youngest). 
4. Guests: Shelley Sly and Lori L. MacLaughlin
5. Maps. :)