Friday, January 27, 2017

Do You Have Goals? January 2017 Highs and Lows . . .

This is a wonderful hop full of awesome people who are keeping track of their dream goals!
Hosted by Misha!

1. Attitude of Gratitude (Thanksgiving every day). Decided to change this one to:
Attitude of Love! (Working on it.) I had some accountable, measurable goals for this month, and I didn't really do them, unless we count praying when I'm actually irritable.

2. Writing between 10,000 and 25,000 words a month, depending on the month. 
I'm at around 7,000 words. I felt excited and then I fizzled. Stress happened.

3. Submit a short story, poem, or article twice a month.
Eek! No, Well, maybe . . . if you count a certain article for a joint blog with the 2017 IWSG Anthology authors for our upcoming website.

4. Walking: 700+ miles for the entire year.
This started awesome! I walked 27 miles in the first two weeks of the month! Then, I got sick.

5. Back to Biking: 1500+ miles for the entire year.
Started slow but built up momentum and had 25 miles biked on an indoor bike when I got sick.

6. Yoga: Each month, do 10-20 sessions of 20 minutes each.
Hahahaha. Nope. I did 2 sessions of 20 minutes with my youngest daughter who is in a yoga class.

7. Reading: keep new book consumption between 25-52 books for the year. I have a budget on time and money. (see #11)
Well, I read library books, then I re-read Freefall and Unreal Encounters. I spent some money on e-books. 

8. Pursue storytelling.
Yes - I started a Biblical storytelling group at my church and went to the first meeting. They've met twice without me now, because (you know why, right) I'm sick.

9. Continue to teach writing.
Um, well, Yes, and No. I taught twice and then got sick.

10. Enjoy my family. 
Yes and no.
Good- My husband celebrated his 50th birthday! We had lots of friends over.
Not - Homework (for 2 daughters) and work-work load (for my hubs) have been heavy.
Good - My oldest turned 18! She celebrated quietly - but her friends made some plans for her.
Not so good- I was too sick to really prepare much of a celebration for my daughter.

11. Travel. 
This is an ongoing goal. I am looking at making flight reservations for the United States Nationals for Canoe and Kayak in Florida (in August). 

12. Self-publish 2-3 simple writing prompt books 
For a while, I had numbers that seemed to show that I've marketed myself as a writing author who writes about writing. (That's definitely true here.) My writing prompt books sell steadily, so I'm considering two more "lengthy" writing prompts books this year.

13. Submit/Query Captain Wrath novel (needs better title) to a publisher/editor/agent.
Not ready yet.

14. Pay attention to marketing 
Um, didn't happen other than my monthly check-in.

15. Finish home organization projects.
Definitely didn't happen. 

So, the sick thing really hit me hard this month. I have multiple issues going on with my upper digestive tract (stomach and esophagus) and some gallbladder issues that I hope will be resolved soon. It's going terribly slow - or at least it seems like it since I'm in pain, exhausted, nauseous, and I've had to give up caffeine. Really, I mean to find out that I'm really, really sick is one thing, but to take away the caffeine - it's cruel and unusual punishment. I'm mainly joking about this, trying to keep a good sense of humor desite having some super-stressed days about all of it.

My goal for February is to regain health.

On the good/awesome news side of things (because there is always good news), the IWSG Anthology group of authors for 2017 is awesome! We are working on a website - well, someone more talented is, I'm just writing a few small bits. One of my hint fiction stories was featured in The Best of 2016 at Nail Polish Stories, and I got paid some gratuities for my novella, Eight if By Sea - more than I expected, that's why I mention it. All good things. 

Do you have goals?
Sign up here:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Amazing Writers and Updates: Cathrina Constantine, M Pax, Milo James Fowler, and Hero Lost Cover Reveal!

Please note that this post was pre-scheduled and I have been ill (see the bottom lines for more details).
However, I am still excited about all of this news!

Cathrina Constantine has a new book coming soon! Her cover reveal was Friday, but hey - sometimes there's more blog traffic on Monday! :)

Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.

Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.

With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.

The release date is March 10, 2017
Genre: YA/Coming of Age

M Pax has the newest installment of her Backworlds' series out and it's an awesome continuation of character development with an action-packed plot. Reluctant though he may be, Craze is an awesome hero and his friends show their heroic inner strengths as well. One thing I love about these books is that they truly delve into the horizons of space - with truly varied possiblities for characterization, aliens, and plot twists.

The first shot of a new war echoes through the galaxy. Craze has high hopes for what the alliance with an old enemy, the Foreworlds, will do to defeat a worse enemy, the Quassers.

The test of a highly-advanced weapon, created by the efforts of the alliance, pushes tensions over the brink and kills thousands. To make it worse, the Foreworld ambassador is keeping secrets.

Conventional warfare against the Quassers isn’t working, and if the alliance ends, Craze has become the most hated man in the galaxy for no reason.

With nothing left to lose, Craze sets in motion one last chance for survival.

Hero is another word for D.E.A.D.

Book Landing Page - all the buy links are here

Milo James Fowler is a speculative fictioneer whose talent and perserverance put him at the top of my TBR list, but I admit I fell short this last fall when he asked me for a review of his latest short fiction collection. I finally have a review ready - three months late. Go to Goodreads to read that, or just skip it and go read the book:

Horror, humor, and science fiction collide in this collection of weird tales about possible futures, warped present-day realities, and alternate history.

Unreliable narrators run rampant alongside aliens, ghosts, bullies, cannibals, home invaders, heroes, villains, unimaginable creatures, and gifted individuals of all ages.

Paranoia, fear, and bizarre situations abound in these reality-bending stories guaranteed to take you places you've never been.

40 Short Stories - Horror / Science Fiction / Humor

Milo's career is taking flight these days and he works hard as a teacher so his blog has comments turned off, but I highly recommend seeing what he's been up to, like with his Ubooks stories through Black and White Publishing, and all other sorts of hijinks. 

William Michael Davidson is new to me, but his publisher requested a review a while back (note that this does coincidentally land near the same time that I mean to review Milo's book and M's book). My review is going to come here as part of the blog hop, but it is already up at Goodreads and Amazon. (I liked it, did you guess?)

One nation, without God...

Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants—those who display symptoms of faith—and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety. Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.

But Colton's steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.

Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?

Chrys Fey has been rocking through the blogsphere with her latest book, Tsunami Crimes. I was part of a blog fest for that last Friday, but thought I would give it another boost here:

Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

There are many more awesome new books out there, and I'm having trouble keeping up!

I'm excited about a book coming out in May from Dancing Lemur Press :

Hero Lost
Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

Release date: May 2, 2017
6x9 Trade paperback,  pages,
Fantasy (FIC009000) Freedom Fox Press
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378
Order through Ingram, Follett Library Resources, or publisher direct
EBook available in all formats

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, two Facebook groups, and a monthly newsletter.


Freedom Fox Press

A division of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

P.O. Box 383, Pikeville, NC 27863-0383

My story - "Of Words and Swords" - will be in there.
In a time of dragons and dragon-slayers, Maud has lost his taste for battle. He wants only to put his swords to rest and follow his life-long dream to become a bard.

I'm super excited to be working with an amazing group of authors - 12 of us total - and with Dancing Lemur Press for this book
More news to come in weeks ahead!

BTW, on a personal note (and to help make the lack of my comments more understood), I have been ill. I have been to the doctor twice and should visit again today, and the hospital once, have had a few tests and will have more. I will visit and comment, as much as I am able. 

This comes, of course, when I just felt like I was getting some momentum going for physical fitness, blogging, and writing.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I Survived Blogfest

"This is Chrys Fey reporting for Disaster 5 News. I am at Dungeness Spit Lighthouse where a tsunami hit yesterday morning. I have Tyrean Martinson with me, a survivor of the tsunami. Tyrean, can you tell our viewers what happened, and how you survived?"

'Yes, I can Chrys. We were hiking on Dungeness Spit when we felt the quake. My family and I struggled to stay standing.
Dungeness Spit view from the air - wikimedia commons - photo taken by Nat Bocking

We were a quarter mile from the lighthouse, and when the earthquake ended, we ran towards it since it was closer than the shoreline.

One of the volunteer lighthouse keepers told us to get inside. Huge waves rolled in from the ocean. The lighthouse is only thirty feet tall. I wasn’t sure it was tall enough.We prayed. I didn’t know what the lighthouse keeper volunteers believed in, and it didn’t matter. We all just prayed.

There were still hikers on the spit, and they were too far away to make it to the lighthouse when the waves hit. Some of them ran to the inland side, which is a refuge for seals, but the waves crashed over all of them. I didn’t have time to do anything but pray for them and us.

The waves were at least ten feet tall and the lighthouse took a beating, shaking and shuddering around us. We just kept praying and crying, and praying.

Finally, it stopped. We are still alive.We’ve been helping the lighthouse volunteers and the rescue workers search for survivors on the spit. I'm so thankful that I remembered some of those old tsunami drill videos from my school days. That knowledge helped us survive because I knew that we only had fifteen minutes to get to some kind of high ground between the quake and the first waves."

 I had a lot of fun writing this fictional interview. To learn more about The Dungeness Spit, the Lighhouse Keeper program, and Tsunamis on the Washington Coast, click on the links. I live further down the Peninsula - towards the narrow end of the Puget Sound, so we have a lot of land mass protection from tsunamis. After writing this and reading more about "The Really Big One" (earthquake) we could have, I was reminded to check our emergency supplies. I don't think about it much since I used to live near Mt. Rainier - in the potential mud and lava flow zone, so I think of earthquakes as somewhat bland (yes, I've been doing earthquake drills since I was in kindergarten), and I live outside the tsunami zone, so I often don't think of that. The reality is, if the "big one" hit us, our 60 year old house would probably collapse. If we survived, we would have to either live at my parent's house next-door - a steel, earthquake proof structure - or in a tent with our emergency supplies. If the tsunami was huge enough to cross the mountainous (non-volcanic) peninsula to where I live or hurled water down the Puget Sound, our house is on a ridge about a half-mile above sea level. We own a very small power-boat, two old camping canoes, a racing kayak and a racing canoe so we have some possibility of movement/travel if everything is water-logged. The Narrows airport is a half-mile uphill near us, and has earthquake proof buildings, so that would also provide possible shelter and an evacuation route. The bridges near us would probably go down if we had a 9.0 earthquake although the newest one might survive. Most people I know have some emergency supplies tucked away - it's part of life in an earthquake zone. I don't know if I know how to live any other way.  However, I think I'm running low on bottled water, so I should probably go get some.

Oh, and this is a fun video to show visitors who might come to our house. It's the original bridge and this is just what some wind did to it. They built the next one and the newest one with a bit more planning. 

Title: Tsunami Crimes
Series: Disaster Crimes #3
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Page Count: 272

BLURB: Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again. 



99 CENTS: Amazon
And everywhere ebooks are sold. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Writing and Vlogging

I'm terribly camera shy.
However, all the awesome writers like Tara Tyler, Misha, C. Lee, and The Hungry Bookworm are making videos, and even making videos about how to make videos, or reviewing books.

So, I decided to try.

I videotaped my cat.

I videotaped my dog.

I videotaped my notebook:

Someday, I may videotape myself - but not yet.

I'm just getting used to the sound of my voice on camera - remembering that I'm the product of my family heritage and the Pacific Northwest. My mother was born half deaf. My grandmother who took care of me most afternoons after school had a cleft palate and later had a stroke. I drop my sentences like any Pacific Northwesterner, and I have a pronounced nasally "r" like my father's family from Eugene, Oregon. It all shows. Speech therapists usually an interesting time talking to me, trying to figure all of that out without my telling them anything in advance. Yet, I've acted in plays, I've given speeches, I teach. I've worked on my vocal clarity before, and I'm working on it again.

According to my kids, my voice is too montone in these videos, but I was trying to do one take and not say "um."

Facing the camera can wait a bit, but I can still produce a few short videos.

Have you tried Vlogging yet?

Have you seen these youtube channels by awesome authors who vlog?

Tara Tyler

The Hungry Bookworm

Misha Gerrick

C. Lee McKenzie

Everyday #Writer #WritingPrompts

What does it mean to be an everyday writer?

I think it means to write a little every day.

This year, I'm going to write a variety of "everyday writer" posts on a near-daily basis.
These posts are not meant to be comment-driven, 
but are meant as encouragements to write.

Scenario Prompts give the writer a character, a scene, and a dilemma. I try to keep mine around 100 words so the writer has more of an open horizon to write into ...

Today's Scenario Prompt:

With her "to-do" list half-done, but the day drawing to a close, Shayla didn't have time for anything fun. Well, except for that double-fudged layered cake sitting in the break room. At least, that was something "fun" she could have on her coffee break.
She decided she could run off the calories later.
The dim office muted any conversations to silence. She figured everyone had sunk into a late afternoon slump.
As she opened the door to the break room, she screamed.
The monster grinned at her and . . . 

Please don't comment today, unless you really feel the need.
Just Go Write!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Everyday #Writer #Writingprompts

What does it mean to be an everyday writer?

I think it means to write a little every day.
This year, I'm going to write a variety of "everyday writer" posts on a near-daily basis.
These posts are not meant to be comment-driven, 
but are meant as encouragements to write.

Today's prompt is a question-driven prompt. 

What if someone could only see infrared? 
What would that be like as a child?
A teen?
An adult?
A senior citizen?
What kind of difference would it make if they could only see in infrared for real or because of a psychological syndrome, or if it was a metaphor he/she used for life?

Please don't comment today, unless you really feel the need.
Just Go Write!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Have Goals? and #NewYearNewReads Blog Hops

This is a double hop post! Please scroll to the area of your interest! 

It's a new banner for a new year! Normally, we post on the last Friday of each month, but this time in honor of New Year's Day, we are all posting sometime during New Year's weekend. 
This hop is hosted by Misha and Beth!

My December goals were:
1. Christmas Cheer! - I was slow on this, but I got there. :)
2. Walk 50+ miles. - Hmm. I walked 40 miles.
3. Yoga x 20 days of the month. - Nope. I did Yoga with my youngest daughter for three 20 minute sessions. 
4. Write/Revise 25,000 words. - I wrote about 5,000 words, plus a Christmas letter that required four revisions.
December goals - 1/4.

Moving onto 2017! 

1. Attitude of Gratitude (Thanksgiving every day).

2. Writing between 10,000 and 25,000 words a month, depending on the month. 

3. Submit a short story, poem, or article twice a month.

4. Walking: 700+ miles for the entire year.

5. Back to Biking: 1500+ miles for the entire year.

6. Yoga: Each month, do 10-20 sessions of 20 minutes each.

7. Reading: keep new book consumption between 25-52 books for the year. I have a budget on time and money. (see #11)

8. Pursue storytelling.

9. Continue to teach writing.

10. Enjoy my family. 

11. Travel. 

12. Self-publish 2-3 simple writing prompt books (more on this subject in my end of January goals post - there's a reason).

13. Submit/Query Captain Wrath novel (needs better title) to a publisher/editor/agent.

14. Pay attention to marketing (sounds loose, but I have a small plan lurking behind this one). 

15. Finish home organization projects. (This ties in with #11 again)

Believe it or not, much of this list ties into #11. It's too much to explain in a dual-hop post, so I'll come back to it in February and March. I'm only posting 3-4 times a month next year.

Hosted by StoryDam and Patricia

If you have a new gift card, a new device, or just a new desire to download books for 99 cents, then New Year, New Reads is for you!

Nearly 20 authors from all genres have banded together to create 99 cent offers for their beloved readers!

Here's what I'm offering for 99 cents until mid-January. 
I'm not good about putting up and taking down price changes quickly, so you have a few weeks to take advantage of these bargains.

Like a bulb flickers, these stories and poems flicker to life for a moment, or a few pages. Some are vignettes, some are full stories, some are experimental, and some are traditional. It's an eclectic mix of over 90 short works, most of which I've had published previously (which is a way of saying that other readers/editors actually liked them enough to publish them).
  Kindle      Nook      Smashwords,     Kobo 

A year after she won the battle for Septily, Clara feels trapped in Skycliff by the Allied Council. As the last pieces of information about the Healing Caves fall into place, Clara is attacked by an assassin. Covert Drinaii mercenaries and the Council aren’t going to stop Clara from her quest to heal her broken blade. As Champion of Aramatir, she must act.

If you've already downloaded the first book for free (still available that way!), then you can pick up the second in The Champion Trilogy for a limited time for only 99 cents!

  Kindle     Smashwords    Nook       Kobo   

5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Write!
25 Speculative Fiction Prompts within these pages will help new and old authors alike to fight the dark nemesis of the blank page. This book is broken into five sections for five different types of prompts: scenario, quote, question, book title, and simple. These prompts will help the writer defeat the blank page and write into new horizons!

For more deals, check out Story Dam and Patricia Lynne's blog
(I tried to add the linky list, but failed. Please, please, check out these links and all of the other awesome authors in this hop!)

Happy New Year!!!