Friday, March 25, 2016

Do You Have Goals? Updates, News, Fandom, and Links (the mega-post)

Please scroll down to the section you would like to read (because this post got a bit long)
First: Goals
Second: News
Third: Fandom/Reviews (with ratings?)
Fourth: Links

1. Write Strong (Monthly goal - 25,000 words).
I struggled to land on the next, big, fiction project. I have a couple of non-fiction projects in various stages, and then I had three, then four, fiction projects that were jumping up and down and shouting for my attention. I struggled to decide, but kept finding myself working on one of them - the one that wasn't supposed to be a long project. Ironically, the working title is Patience.

So far this year with short works, I have subbed 8 works so far. One was long-listed at Brilliant Flash Fiction, but not published, so I've re-subbed it, and IWSG accepted a short article for the next newsletter! (For the newsletter sign-up, click on this text-link.)
So, the rate of subbed works is: 1 Acceptance, 1 Long-listed and re-subbed, with 6 (+1 re-sub) in the Wait-Zone.

2. Market with Strength
I asked a blogging buddy about creating a book trailer because I loved hers (see below in news), and then, after thinking of costs, I decided to make my own with images and pictures I already own, and with free music. So, this is The Champion Trilogy book trailer (less than one minute):

This project actually came out of another project for my short story, "Letting Go: A Siren Song" for The Thing That Turned Me Anthology:
It's crammed into ten seconds, so if you blink, you might miss it:

And, I re-booted a newsletter (more about this in IWSG April). If you sign up for it, you'll get a free smashwords coupon code for Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry in the next issue. You can sign up in the little box between "Let us encourage" and the Google+ button.

3. Publish with Strength:
Champion's Destiny is in paperback. (Whew. Finally.)

Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry is out in all formats. (This one's been brewing for two years in a semi-formatted version, so it was actually easy to finish and I felt excited about getting it off my desk so I just went for it.)

4. Live Strong
Um. I walked 25 miles, biked 15, and did some other exercises. I'm definitely not where I wanted to be at this point in the year.

5. Worship Strong
I loved Lent. I went to an awesome Story Revolution workshop by Global Seed Planter Diane Brask. Now, I'm loving Holy Week. My oldest daughter is speaking tonight at our Good Friday worship along with six other young adults. They are taking turns to speak about the last words of Jesus on the cross. My daughter's portion centers around "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23).
I didn't finish my "whole Bible" challenge for Lent, but I did read from Genesis through Jeremiah, with a bit from the book of Matthew (added out of order). I plan on finishing my seventh read of the Bible throughout the spring.

6. Gratitude = Grace (Thanksgiving and Invitational Attitude)
Well, I've invited a few people to Good Friday and Easter. Plus, I've invited a few people to Paddler's Cup in Gig Harbor (if you live nearby, come and watch or join the races!)
I'm thankful for my church family, my family, my friends, and the amazing love of God.

And, I've invited a few bloggers to take part in the Five Reasons to Write series of guest posts. If you would like to join in on this in August or the fall, please check out the 5 Reasons to Write tab above, and e-mail me at tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com.

7. Rest
Well . . . I took a few hours here and there to read fiction, but life has been moving like a freight train. Can I sleep after Easter or after Paddler's Cup (a paddling event the weekend after Easter)?


Lori MacLaughlin has a new book coming out in May, and there is a really awesome book trailer to go with it!

M. Pax and seven other sci-fi authors have a #FREE collection of books out - Galactic Empires

The Thing That Turned Me: An Anthology is coming May 31st from Stay Classy Publishing! My short story, "Letting Go: A Siren Song" is about a young siren who discovers that she can't avoid her gift forever. And yes, my title is an intended spoof of "that" song, and give a nod to another song. (Obviously, the reason I don't regularly write to music is that I would end up writing musical fiction.)

Movies I loved in March (DVD/Netflix and Theater) - Photos from IMDb:

The Intern - my whole family loved this sweet drama-dy about friendship that crosses the boundaries of age and gender. It's funny, sad, sweet, and fabulous!  (PG-13)

Risen - Told from the viewpoint of a Roman centurion, I thoroughly enjoyed this awe-filled, after-resurrection story about Jesus. We went with our church youth group and nearly bought out one of the theaters.  (PG-13)

Books I enjoyed in March:

Camp Never by Shelley Sly - a piercing but lovely story about a young teen girl who has been sent to "remedial" summer camp. As always, I was impressed deeply by Shelley Sly's story writing, and the way she handled tough material. (All audiences)

Firebird by Kathy Tyers - beautifully written, action-packed Christian science fiction with a strong heroine!

I think this is a new favorite of mine, and it's hard for me to realize that I didn't know this book existed until a few weeks ago even though the original edition came out in 1999. This made me thankful once again for the longevity of e-book and pod publishing. (PG-13)

Radio Hope by Sean MacLaughlin - an apocalyptic novel without zombies, but with some gritty, hard-edged characters who are desperate for hope. Excellent writing! (PG-13+)

Westward, Tally Ho by Milo James Fowler - a western, coming-of-age farce in true spaghetti western style. The main character's inability to cope with the grittiness of the wild west is hilarious and adorable, and his butler rocks! (If I tell you too much . . . well, it would spoil the fun.) (PG)

Okay - why the rating? Because I found that some kids in my writing classes actually read my blog/reviews. Whoa. So, I imagined the youngest, 10-12 year-old students reading the books mentioned.

I'm thinking . . . oh no, what have I recommended? If little Susie reads that, I'm going to be tarred, feathered, and pitch-forked. Many families with students in my classes have a stricter idea of reading lists than I do, and I know I'm not going to please anyone, but I decided to try a rating system based off of the one that's used for movies. At some point, I may need a pseudonym.

If it's PG-13, then I think it has either language, violence, scary images, or content that put it firmly in a category where 13 year-old kids should be the youngest readers. If I say something's "steamy," then there is a sex scene in it. If it's "sweet," then there isn't. If I say it's "gritty," then there is language, violence, or edgy content. If it has a "+" by it, then it means that my rating might be considered too low by some families.

However, if I haven't read the book and have no idea, it's a blank slate. (Most of the "NEWS" books are in this category.)

Market Links
Circuits and Slippers - Fairy Tale/Sci-fi mash-ups, 2,000-10,000 words. Needed by April 8th, 2016. See site for very specific details about the type of mash-up!

Anthologies for TDR Publishing - Due April 30th. Women POV heroines. See site for details.

Sword and Sorceress 31 - Reading period starts April 16th. See site for details. Paid Market.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spotlight on: Revival and Mark Koopmans

Revival by Donald Braswell and Mark Koopmans came out last fall, but it's never too late to spotlight a book and the authors, right?

How a Tenor Lost His Voice but Found His Calling
by Donald Braswell with Mark Koopmans 

Five years removed from his 1990 Juilliard graduation, Donald Braswell is set to be "the next Pavarotti." Braswell's successful career ends, however, not with a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall, but alone, lying in a dirty ditch. 

Following the hit-and-run accident that steals his voice and future, the "Texas Tenor" struggles with depression and despair—until the night his daughter, Aria, is born. Understanding this new and immediate life change, Braswell fights to relearn how to speak and sing—and how to share this gift of second chances with others. When he auditions for America's Got Talent, his family, his faith, and his entire future hangs in the balance.

Praise for Revival

"God never wastes a hurt, and His plan for us is far beyond what our human minds can imagine. In Koopmans' first book, he takes us along the personal journey of Donald Braswell, who in the midst of health challenges, found faith and strength in God. No matter what you're going through, you will be blessed and inspired by REVIVAL as you turn every page!" 

 ~ Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship, Honolulu, HI 

"Revival—The Donald Braswell Story proves that when all is lost, miracles can indeed happen through perseverance and faith in a higher power." 

 ~ Matthew J. Pallamary - author of Spirit Matters and Land Without Evil 

"Revival is more than the story of one man's struggle to overcome—it's a testament to the power of God." 

 ~ Alex J. Cavanaugh, Amazon Best Selling Author of Dragon of the Stars 

About Donald

Donald Braswell II is an American actor, classical crossover tenor and composer. Braswell was on a fast track to become an internationally acclaimed opera singer when he suffered a car accident in 1995 that made him unable to speak for almost two years. After that, he lived a quiet life outside of the spotlight until his appearance on the 2008 season of America’s Got Talent where he was a Top 5 finalist, which gave him another chance at a career in entertainment. Since then, he has entertained audiences both internationally as well as shore to shore in the United States in concerts, television appearances, inspirational speaking and radio. He boasts an international fan club with fans from over 25 countries. Learn more about Donald

About Mark

Mark Koopmans is originally from Ireland. After working in Holland, Spain, France and England, he won his U.S. “Green Card” in 1994, and is an American by choice since 2003. Koopmans began his writing career with a feature for a regional magazine in California. Since then, he’s worked as a staff writer for newspapers in Florida and Texas. Koopmans is also a proficient blogger and is working on his next book, a novel. Koopmans lives in Virginia and is a married, stay-at-home dad to three active boys under the age of nine. He writes at night. 

Find Mark’s blog at

Okay, I admit, the reason I picked up this book is that I've followed Mark's blog and I think he's genuine, funny, and wonderfully Irish. :) You really couldn't meet a nicer guy in the blogging world. I highly recommend the book and I highly recommend finding Mark's blog and reading all about his adventures. 

Find Revival at:
Amazon     Barnes and Noble

News that I know: (if I don't by random chance know it, I can't post it)
Sean McLachlan has a new book out! Radio Hope is a Post-Apocalyptic novel without zombies (yay, I"m glad that's still possible to write), and after reading the first few chapters, it had my attention! It's gritty good. :)

Got News? Know and love Mark? Have you read Revival? Or Radio Hope?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Claire Banschbach Splotlight on the Villain from Adela's Curse and a Cover Reveal for Miss Jack's Brothers-in-Arms

Marek is one of the human characters in Adela’s Curse and fulfills the role of villain. He is a noble and holds a significant tract of land. He has dark hair, deep brown eyes, and a narrow face. His sister Malvina has become a practitioner of black magic and lives under his protection.
Marek has a certain well-deserved enmity towards faeries. When he was a young man, he and a young faery girl fell in love. Her brother found out and may have overreacted slightly. He forbade his sister from seeing Marek ever again and placed a curse on Marek that would kill him if he ever stepped foot outside the borders of his land, effectively separating them forever. This changed Marek considerably and he has sought revenge on the faery kind since. It is thought that Malvina, in seeking a way to undo this curse, found black magic and became a powerful sorceress.
At the time of this story, Marek is seeking a way to expand his land. He does this by targeting a certain Count Stefan, his neighbor to the south.
Fun Fact: Marek’s rather tragic back story was not present until one of the final re-writes when he was kind enough to share.

A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.
Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.
Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

Unlock the rest of the series!
Discover more of the magical world of Myrnius!
5 new newsletter subscribers by Wednesday, March 9, to get a sneak peak of Book 2!
Newsletter link:
10 Facebook likes by Friday, March 11, for a first look at Book 3!

3 winners! Prizes include 2 copies of Adela’s Curse, and a paperback version of The Rise of Aredor to celebrate its 2 year anniversary on March 11! Open to international entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Participating Blogs

Author Bio
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing. 

Contact Info

Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler's Germany?

Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high. 

Author Bio

Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers-in-Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.
When Jack isn't writing, which doesn't happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies – such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea – which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.
She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn't quite equal to Prince Adam's but will be given enough time and a secret doorway.

Contact Info

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG March 2016: 5 Reasons to Write, Flicker, and News

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG will be Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard! 
And, let's not forget our Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh!

My insecurity this month: Can I keep track of what I need to do to complete my goals?

I don't know. I've tried putting stuff on the calendar. I've e-mailed myself.

The reality is that life is sometimes a little wild (two sets of wisdom teeth were removed in our house last month - not mine), and I get dizzy spells if I'm on my computer too long.

So, I have to reserve writing time, teaching prep time, and social media time separately, and that means it's a little hard to keep up with all of it.

How do you keep on track with your goals?

Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry is out! 

So, I'm kind of proud of this little collection that's taken me nearly 3.5 years to pull together - 90 short stories and poems, 49 of which were published in online and paperback publications over the last three years, some lighthearted, some dark and grim, some about superheros and some about human trafficking victims, a few about criminals and villains, and seven sonnets from the point of view of a depressed artificially intelligent robot who wants somebody to love. So, the collection is diverse and odd, and I'm still thankful for all the writing that went into it. In a way, it's my answer to the criticism, "you always write the same story," and the answer to the statement, "now that I've read your novel, I know exactly how you think." If you are over 15 (some PG-13 content), you could check it out. 
Readers wanted: 15+

If you are interested in getting a pdf copy for review, please e-mail me at tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com.

There is no blog tour . . . my dizzy spells mean that I have to limit my blog time to once a week for posts, and random moments for visits. Random shout-outs and unexpected spotlights are always greatly appreciated. :)

And why can I tweet these days? - I've started (hangs head in shame) using an automatic feeder. (Please let me know via e-mail if I can add something into my tweet feed for you.)

Five Reasons to Write:  I am opening up my blog for more guest posts. Please see the 5 Reasons Tab above, because I'm looking specifically for posts that start with 5 Reasons to Write _____ (you fill in the blank). I have a list of possible topics, but new topics can always be created. :) I have about 5 guests signed up for the next four months.

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot has a new book coming out: Brothers In Arms. Check out her blog for top secret details and updates! Blog tour coming soon.

Shelley Sly has a new book coming soon! 
Typer Stockton should not spend her summer at Camp Caspar.
Camp Caspar is a “behavior camp,” full of delinquents. Kids who steal. Kids who beat up other kids. Twelve-year-old Typer may not have made the best choices during her sixth grade year, but she’s nothing like these wacko and hostile campers.
Yet, her parents insist that Camp Caspar is the consequence she deserves, so she’s sleeping in a bleak, nearly empty cabin for the next month. As Typer spends her days trying to earn “smiley points,” while avoiding some of the biggest jerks she’s ever met, she can’t help but wonder:
What is she doing here? How is it fair that she’s stuck at this ridiculous camp where she doesn’t belong?
Or, even worse, what if she belongs here after all?

Misha Gerrick also has a new book coming soon!

Tara Tyler has a new, awesome, unconventional project out: Jolissa - An Anti-Princess Story - in e-book and as an ongoing series on youtube - how cool is that?! (Extremely! Tara rocks!)

And, I belatedly made a donation to Peace Rehabilitation Center for all the sales of my Summer Vacation Devotions booklet from last year (and a few early sales from this year). My sales proceeds totaled around $27 and I gave them $50 because it is a really good group of people, helping the victims of human trafficking in Nepal. For those of you who purchased that book, I want to say - Thank you! You didn't just support me with that, but you supported women in desperate need. Thank you! I'm going to continue to donate to them and plan for the sales proceeds from that book to be a part of that process. 
And . . . in case you are curious, the book is actually a very lighthearted devotional book for families on summer vacation. It's kid-friendly and discusses God's word tasting as sweet as s'mores, and God's armor being like sunscreen. The only part about the work that Peace Rehabilitation Center does is in the back matter of the book and it doesn't get detailed. 

And, I'm sure there's more news out there . . . 

Do you have news? How do you keep track of your goals? Interested in Flicker?

And . . . from the mama "brag" files, there's this pic from all-winter training (family calendar explosion):
(my girls are the two on the far right - a high kneel canoeist and a kayaker)

A day on the water, training for the upcoming season. Most of this group have their goals set on competing in the 2016 Olympic Hopes Regatta this fall in Hungary. Can you spot Payton?
Posted by Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team on Monday, February 29, 2016