Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Well, here it is. The news you've all been waiting for!

J. Taylor Publishing Signs Seven Authors To One More Day, A YA Anthology To Release December 2, 2013
Six authors to be featured with L.S. Murphy in Young Adult Anthology, One More Day, from J. Taylor Publishing.
Apex, NC - March 27, 2013 - On December 2, 2013, J. Taylor Publishing will release One More Day, an anthology of seven short stories written for young adults, with a world’s end theme.
The anthology’s theme, centered around what would happen if ‘tomorrow’ didn’t happen, produced dozens of entries with seven stories selected. “We asked authors to think on a prompt, particularly what happens as characters feel the stop, feel the shift, as they realize, only they know how to make everything go back to normal,” says J. Taylor Publishing.
With a singular theme, one might expect all stories to be “the same”, but in One More Day, the challenge to create something completely unique was met by all authors. From contemporary to paranormal, fantasy to comedy and mixes of multiple genres, each of the seven stories represents the author’s interpretation and method of ensuring the world doesn’t end—somehow, someway.
The anthology will open with Anna Simpson’s Time PIece, a contemporary romance centering on a girl’s first kiss. Transitioning to a darker sci-fi, paranormal will be Marissa Halvorson’s Dark Rose. The anthology will then move into a more whimsical, twist-filled story, Dragon Flight by J. Keller Ford, perfect for those on the roller coaster ride of love. Anchoring the center is L.S. Murphy’s The 13th Month, a ready-made fight to the end. Following comes a different take on an old fairy tale with Kimberly Kay’s Sleepless Beauty, and afterward, Erika Beebe’s Stage Fright, which is exactly how it sounds. Rounding out the anthology is Danielle E. Shipley’s A Morrow More, concluding with a bit of humor intertwined with fantasy.
“In choosing the stories, we looked for diversity, unique, intriguing stories and solid writing. In our six additional authors, we found a wonderful collection to add to L.S. Murphy, who’s debut Young Adult novel Reaper, released in January 2013,” says J. Taylor Publishing.
About Anna Simpson
Anna Simpson, mother of Bossman, enjoys living the good life near the US-Canadian border, in beautiful British Columbia. You will have better luck Googling Emaginette than her given name. Anna chose a web persona that would standout; so far it's one of a kind.
About Marissa Halvorson
Marissa’s dream of writing came about when she was ten, after reading a particularly inspiring story of dragons and elves. She instantly fell in love with the fantasy genre, and characters soon began to manifest to satisfy her adoration. It started with a forty page handwritten novel, which she dubbed “Dragon Girl” and continued on to more challenging (and better written) works. 
Now, Marissa can often be found to be studying literature in English class, curled up at home with one book or another, or with her eyes glued to the computer screen as her newest set of characters manifest.
About J. Keller Ford
J. Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales. She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and weaves at least one into every story she conceives. Her muse is a cranky old meadow gnome that follows her everywhere she goes and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

When she’s not writing or blogging, the former Corporate Paralegal enjoys listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading. Jenny lives minutes from the beaches of the west coast of Florida with her husband of twenty years, her two sons and a pair of wacky cats and three silly dogs. The pets have trained her well.
About L.S. Murphy
L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for young adults and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to her menagerie of pets as well as her daughter and husband.
About Kimberly Kay
When Kimberly was younger, she was incredibly timid. She didn’t talk much because she was afraid of what others would think of her. Instead, she expressed herself through drawing. Eventually, art alone wasn’t enough. There were some things she couldn’t express with pencils, so she began talking, and when she did, she realized she had something to say. Now no one can get her to shut up! Worse, she's discovered she can put those words into writing to share what she has to say with even more people.
Kimberly writes short stories and novels—usually fantasy fairytale retellings. Scattered within her works are things she loves: horses, fencing, archery, and so much more. With her friends, she writes fun fan-fiction that expands her creativity, (and shows what a nerd she is). 

Through writing, she has found confidence and freedom. 

About Erika Beebe
Inspired by her first grade teacher's belief in her imagination from the first story she ever wrote, Erika has been a storyteller ever since. A dreamer and an experiencer, she envisions the possibilities in life and writes to bring hope when sometimes the moment doesn’t always feel that way.
Working in the field of public relations and communications for more than ten years, she has always been involved with writing, editing, and engaging others in public speaking.
Her two young children help keep her creativity alive and the feeling of play in the forefront of her mind.
About Danielle E. Shipley
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. ...Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.
The cover for One More day, and short summaries for each story, will release on May 13, 2013.
About the Publisher
J. Taylor Publishing is an Independent Publisher who, thanks to the Internet, has a worldwide reach. Our debut authors are in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company produces print and electronic books. For more information about J. Taylor Publishing, please visit

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Interview with Terri Rochenski: Make Believe Blog Tour

Alright so, here it is, folks. I asked Terri if she would mind being interviewed on my blog and she even added me to the blog tour.


Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi's Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare 'me' moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand.

So here you have it. All of Terri's deepest secrets revealed! Actually, I'm not really that dramatic, so just have a look. I'm sure you'll find what she has to say interesting. I certainly did. Especially the secret part.

1. Where and when are you most inspired? Where does the majority of your inspiration come from?
Honestly, inspiration comes from many things & at different times—while music is playing, while I’m sipping coffee early in the morning before the rest of the house wakes. More often than not I do need silence. It doesn’t always happen for me, but those moments where all I hear is the clock ticking … perfection for the muse.

2. How much of your past life reflects in your writing?
The 2-book series, Pool of Souls, I contracted earlier this month with J. Taylor Publishing, initially started as a project to share about a not-so-great time in my life, but it morphed way beyond what I ever expected.
Other than those books, I try to draw on universal emotions most everyone has experienced in one way or another.

3. Where does the depth of your characters come from? Are they based off of real people?
Nope. I just dictate what the voices in my head state about their selves. *wink*

4. Would you mind telling me a little about
the Pool of Soul series and the extensive process you've gone through with it so far?  
Extensive is right. I started researching for the novel without a plot in mind over 5 years ago. Once the world was built and the characters settled in for a long stay with my muse, they finally started telling me their stories.
Countless hours of editing and clump of hair tugged out later, I took the plunge & hit the ‘send’ button.

5. I read the original version of Sacrificial Oath but have yet to read the new version. Could you tell me a little about your editing process and how much the story has changed from when you first wrote it?
I went through a few changes with smaller stuff—adding in better imagery and description to make the story come alive, but the biggest change since you read it is the ending. What I originally wrote didn’t go over well with the publisher. We hashed it out a bit, & I tweaked it to please them and me. Hopefully my readers as well.

6. Was there a specific experience in your life that made you want to write?
I’ve always been a reader & wanted to write like Laura Ingles Wilder, but the drive to actually do so didn’t happen until Anne Tyler told me to chase my dream.

7. What's your favourite part about the creative process?
The research!!! I love digging up tidbits to make a story have a more organic feel—something to make the scenes come alive.

8. So I notice that you write mostly fantasy. Do you read outside of your written genre? Do you have any books to recommend (in or outside of your genre)?
Romance!!! From sweet to steamy, it’s what I go to when I need a quickie read.
I needed a break from Pool of Souls over the summer, so I decided to dive into writing romance. I wrote a short historical romance & sent it in to Still Moments Publishing for their Christmas anthology call.
They accepted it, & Christmas Magic released on Dec. 4th. I just finished up another short to submit to them. We’ll see what they have to say about that one! *fingers crossed*

9. What do you find are the biggest challenges of writing?
Editing. Nothing worse than needing to go back over every word you’ve written and war over changing it to something better. Or deleting it all together!

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Of course I do! The first being something I DON’T do but should … write every day. It’ll keep the creative juices flowing. And 2nd, take critiques & reviews as a grain of salt. You can’t please every reader every time.

11. Do you have anything that you'd like to say to your readers?
Buy my books!  Ha!
Seriously, though, at least give them a look. Perhaps you’ll be one of those readers who will be pleased by my writing. I hope you will be.  J

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Prepare for awesomeness

So, on December 30th, I have the honour of hosting newly published author, Terri Rochenski, here at my blog, as part of her Make Believe blog tour celebrating her new release. Make sure to stop by sometime during the day and take a look.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures

So today is a review of:

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

And here it is from Goodreads:

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

And drumroll rating is:

Four stars! 

Let me start off by! This book had some awesome points to it. In a short list, those would include characters, setting and plot. But there's a lot more to it than that.

So, here's the awesomeness of this book:

Characters I don't even have words. Ethan's need to get out of the small town isn't just told to us. It's shown to us throughout the whole novel when he starts seeing Lena, an outsider. His need to see Lena all the time should almost seem clingy and overpowering to the audience, but it's done in a tasteful and subtle way that allows us to read the book without focusing too much on the relationship. Lena was awesome. She had amazing depth, having seen so much in such a short time in her life. Having lost several relatives and people she loves, she becomes one of the more real characters within the book, even as the other characters try to make her seem like she is unreal, and try to remove her.
The townspeople. I can't even begin to explain my fascination with them. The kids of Jackson High are so, so real. They come across as real small town people, the type that don't like outsiders. The way they treat Lena, the way they try to remove her from their school and their lives and sometimes even treat her as if she really is invisible, is I can't even describe how they drew me into the book. The thing that drew me in most about that book really drew me in to read, it was the townspeople.

The small town setting of the book...well, I suppose I said a bunch about it already, but it was awesome. The characters made the setting very real, instead of the other way around. Ms. Garcia and Ms. Stohl really created a very real world. They made the small town intense with small details. Who knew such small details could create such a wonderful world?

Now, on to plot. It took a few chapters for Ms. Garcia and Ms. Stohl to draw me in, however, don't let that be a turn-off. Once you get into this book, I promise, you get into it. The plot was interesting. The book was more character-driven than plot driven, I found, and so I have a little less to say about plot.

Now for some not-so-awesomeness of this book:

There isn't a whole lot for me to comment on for this. Only one thing.

The pacing of the plot could have been sped up. I found sections of the plot really slowed down the story and took away some of the tension. The countdown, for example. It should have been intense, but instead, Ethan was at school, and it wasn't on his mind as much as I felt it should be, and since he wasn't super tense about it, neither was I. Which, of course, slowed down the tension in an area of the book that should have been super tense. Despite that, however, it was an awesome read.

As for personal experiences and connections, I'll tell you right now, I could relate to almost every character in that book in some way, even the bad ones. That's how real and how developed the characters were. I felt Lena's pain of being bullied, having been there before. I understood Ethan's constant disobedience of Amma, because I'm a teenager and I do that on occasion myself (Not often, mom, I promise!). I understood Ethan's father's withdrawal into himself because I've lost people in my life, too. I understand the feeling. Even the minor characters had depth to them. Development depth, anyway, because some of them were very shallow characters. I was able Emily and Savannah's protest against Lena, because there is a part of me somewhere inside that can be shallow, and if I let it out, would probably not like people who are different from me.

So here's my overall opinion. It was a great book, with a great setting, awesome, developed characters and an interesting plot. Should you read it? Yes. No doubt about it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Stereotypes of Writing

So a while ago, in a class, I was asked to come up with an identity that belongs to me and (surprise!) I chose being a writer. In this assignment, we were address the stereotypes of our chosen identity in a rant. I can't find the rant, but I was thinking about this today and I'd now like to address some of these stereotypes so that maybe (probably not) people might stop grouping me in here.

1. I can't even count the amount of times one of my friends has looked at me and said "Oh, you're a writer, why don't you write it?"

  • Um, several reasons. One, because I don't really like what we're working on and I don't write about things I'm not passionate about. Two, just because I write, doesn't mean I write good (I like to think it does, but it usually doesn't). And three, just because I write about things I'm passionate about doesn't mean I can write just anything. I write fiction. You want someone to write that article for you, how about you go find one of your friends that writes nonfiction. Not my area of expertise. So here's the lesson on this one for all you non-writers: just because someone writes, doesn't mean they can write just anything. Everyone has their specialties, especially writers.

2. Many people seem to think that writers and coffee go together.

  • I'm not saying some writers don't like coffee but that doesn't mean everyone likes it. I don't drink coffee. Can't stand it, actually.

3. Writers are loners.

  • This one is NOT, unless you're, just kidding. As with any stereotype, some probably fall into this category, usually because they're anti-social and prefer the company of their characters. 
So those are just a couple that came off the top of my head. Have any other thoughts on stereotypes? Leave me a comment and I'll address it in my next post.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why I write

Why do I write? There's too many reasons, but here are a couple:

1. I have too many ideas in my head. If I don't write, I will bang my head against the wall to try to get rid of all the ideas. And all my brain cells.

2. I enjoy creating people and things. I enjoy being in power of what happens to my people and things.

3. I am slightly crazy. Or very crazy. Depending on who you talk to.

4. My head might explode if I don't put my creativity down on paper. Just saying

So those are a couple reasons. Hope that helps you to understand why people (including myself) write.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Today's post is short but sweet...okay, actually not sweet. One sentence from the 5th chapter of The Huntress. The chapter is called 'Ominous Shadows'.

“You see this?” The knife gleamed in the firelight. “This is the dagger I killed him with. By the end of this night, it’ll be stuck in your throat.” 

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