Monday, 31 August 2015

6 Authors + 5 Books = 1 Great Evening of Readings and Book Signings…


It’s been a busy summer of new releases from Mirror World Publishing, so they’re throwing a multi-author book launch event to celebrate! If you’re in the area or able, please come out and meet the authors of five new books. Here are the details:

When: September 3rd, 2015
Where: Artspeak Gallery, 1942 Wyandotte East, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Authors:

Sharon Ledwith - Legend of the Timekeepers
Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred - Unintended
Rita Monette - The Legend of Ghost Dog Island
Elizabeth J. M. Walker - She Dreamed of Dragons
Nate Friedman - The Coffee Monster

From children's to middle grade, young adult and adult, Mirror World Publishing is launching creative fiction novels in every age category! Come out and hear the authors read from their new releases, pick up a signed copy, and stick around for your chance to win free books! Plus there’s going to be cupcakes and coffee on tap from local vendors. Yum!

BTW – Rita Monette is the special guest star, as she'll be coming in from Tennessee! So don't miss this opportunity to meet her and get your signed copy of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island! Hope to see you there! Cheers!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Book Blog Tour: Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett & Murandy Damodred...


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for

Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett & Murandy Damodred


About Unintended:

Four people. Four very different lives. Four tales interwoven.

Meet Kenzie enShareed, the High Clan Chief’s daughter who is sent south to fulfill a treaty by marriage only to marry the wrong man; KadreanAuthier, the Crown Prince who must come to terms with his new bride, even if he doesn’t much like the idea; GarronD’Arbonne, a noble Lord who has been commanded to marry a cool and aloof princess he doesn’t love; and Vivianne Chappelle, a young and ambitious woman who is in love with her abusive father’s manservant and must find a way to avoid having her entire future decided for her.

Fate and wills collide in this Shakespearian-style romantic comedy about good intentions and their unintentional consequences.

Book Details:

Title: Unintended

Author Name:  Justine Alley Dowsett and MurandyDamodred

Genre(s): Fantasy Romance, Romantic Comedy

Tags: Fantasy, romance, comedy, Shakespearian-style, romantic comedy.

Length: Approx. 440 pages

E-book:  978-1-987976-08-3
Paperback:  978-1-987976-07-6

Release Date: August 17, 2015

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 
http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/

Tour Host: Sapphyria's Book Promotions 

Purchase Links:

Amazon ~ 



Mirror World Publishing ~ 



Follow the Tour to Read Reviews, Guest Posts, and Spotlights:


Meet the Authors:


MurandyDamodred (left) & Justine Alley Dowsett (right):

With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, MurandyDamodred (left) enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid roleplayer and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she’d rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is an expert in sales and management living in Windsor, Ontario.

From obtaining a BA in Drama at the University of Windsor to becoming an entrepreneur in video game production and later, publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett’s unswerving ambition has always led her to pursue her dreams. Today she lives in Windsor, Ontario and is still writing and publishing fiction novels. When not focusing on growing her business, she enjoys role-playing with friends and developing new ideas to write about.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Blurb Blinging 101…

NOTE: Originally posted on the Emblazon website.

Blurbs. Stop groaning. You know you need one to help promote and market your book. And if you do up a blurb correctly, have an eye-catching cover, and wrote a great story, then you’ve done your job. The blurb is one of the most important marketing tools in getting your book ready for publication. In fact, you've already got a version of your blurb done—the synopsis in your query letter is essentially the same thing as a blurb. Here again, though, there are some significant differences. With a query letter, you're relating the entire plot. With a blurb, you want to entice the reader—to get them engaged with your story so they can come along as you unravel the plot for them. So here again—while the forms look very similar, their purpose is quite different.

Here's a surefire method to develop a quick, cohesive blurb. THINK THREE PARAGRAPHS. In the FIRST paragraph, introduce your main character. Now in the SECOND paragraph, introduce your secondary character— a BFF, love interest or antagonist—and the conflict. Remember, the conflict is what drives your plot.

Then in the THIRD paragraph, you bring it all together. This is where you pose a question to the reader—maybe not a straight out QUESTION but a rhetorical one. You want to give the reader a sense of urgency regarding the plot—what will happen if the characters' attempt to resolve the plot fails. In other words, what the stakes are.

The blurb in its entirety tells its own little story—and that's what keeps people buying and reading this book. You want to set up the protagonist, the conflict, the obstacles to resolving that conflict and to give the reader a sense of the risks involved in failure. What you've done is to create a microcosm—a tiny example of what your book—the macrocosm—is.
 
Writing a successful blurb is a test of any writer's skills. It's darn hard to filter down sixty thousand words into five hundred. But this is a skill a successful writer must learn to do. Throughout your career, whether this is your lone book or the first of hundreds, whether you stay in independent publishing or whether you move on to the Big Six, you MUST LEARN to write effective taglines and blurbs that work. That sell. Your. Book.

Below is the blurb to the prequel of my time travel series, Legend of the Timekeepers, just re-released on August 1st through Mirror World Publishing. Although I didn’t use three paragraphs, I used all the information stated above. Let me know what you think:

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

Intriguing? I hope so! If you’re an author how do you go about creating blurbs? And if you’re a reader, what blurbs have caused you to make that book purchase? Love to hear your comments! Cheers! 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Release Day Extravaganza: Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett & Murandy Damodred...


Welcome to the Release Day Extravaganza for

Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett & Murandy Damodred


About Unintended:

Four people. Four very different lives. Four tales interwoven.

Meet Kenzie enShareed, the High Clan Chief’s daughter who is sent south to fulfill a treaty by marriage only to marry the wrong man; KadreanAuthier, the Crown Prince who must come to terms with his new bride, even if he doesn’t much like the idea; GarronD’Arbonne, a noble Lord who has been commanded to marry a cool and aloof princess he doesn’t love; and Vivianne Chappelle, a young and ambitious woman who is in love with her abusive father’s manservant and must find a way to avoid having her entire future decided for her.

Fate and wills collide in this Shakespearian-style romantic comedy about good intentions and their unintentional consequences.

Book Details:

Title: Unintended

Author Name:  Justine Alley Dowsett and MurandyDamodred

Genre(s): Fantasy Romance, Romantic Comedy

Tags: Fantasy, romance, comedy, Shakespearian-style, romantic comedy.

Length: Approx. 440 pages

E-book:  978-1-987976-08-3
Paperback:  978-1-987976-07-6

Release Date: August 17, 2015

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 
http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/

Tour Host: Sapphyria's Book Promotions 

Purchase Links:

Amazon ~ 



Mirror World Publishing ~ 



Follow the Tour to Read Reviews, Guest Posts, and Spotlights:


Read an Excerpt:

The rolling hills and grasslands of Ismera were strange to her in the beginning. Now, after nearly a month of riding through them, they had begun to seem commonplace. What the High Clan Chief’s daughter was not prepared for, however, were the high turrets of the palace she was headed towards and the sprawling city of Ismer that surrounded it. Even more surprising than all that was the fanfare that greeted her when at last she reached the city’s high-walled gate.
A handsome man atop a white horse rode boldly out to greet her, without so much as a weapon drawn or a friend to watch his back.

They are much more trusting here of strangers than they are back at home, she noted. Unless, it’s only that they don’t consider me a stranger.

Mackenzie enShareed of Haldoram straightened her back, instinctively preparing herself to make a good impression. She felt her breath catch in her throat as he came closer and she realized that the man before her, with his sunny hair, tanned skin and bright blue eyes could be none other than the man she’d ridden all the way here to marry. She felt her usually flawlessly tanned skin flush an uncomfortable shade of red as she watched him dismount and walk the rest of the way to her side, a wide grin spreading across his face at the sight of her.

I didn’t expect him to be so handsome.  Kenzie found that as much as she might want to, she couldn’t deny the pounding of her heart or the fluttering in her stomach. I’m very fortunate to be attracted to him so easily.

If he took notice of her discomfort he didn’t show it, bowing over her hand and kissing it lightly. “Princess Mackenzie, let me be the first to welcome you to the City of Ismer.”

Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, Kenzie reached for the marriage bracelet she’d woven herself for this very occasion. Unhooking it carefully from her belt, she caught his hand before he could take it away and swiftly wrapped the small, white-flowered wreath about his wrist, tying it with a practiced motion.

She could see in her husband-to-be’s eyes that he was confused, but she didn’t have time to explain it to him now. That would come later, after they were entwined together in their marriage bed. Right now, only the ritual mattered.

I have to do this now, she affirmed silently. Once I enter this city of theirs and am completely surrounded by Ismeran culture and politics it will be too late to marry him in my own way, in front of my people and by our customs. It’s the only way I will feel comfortable with his arrangement. I can marry him in the Ismeran way afterwards.

The barest nod over her shoulder was enough to bring Seraphina over. Her mentor and friend had accompanied her this far and now she played her part of the wedding ceremony by bringing forth the wreath that Prince Kadrean would place upon her head, sealing their arrangement and making them man and wife.

Aging Seraphina bowed before the Prince, despite the aching old bones she always complained of, holding out the wreath before her in offering.

“Take it,” Seraphina urged him, her English much less accented than Kenzie knew her own to be. “You must place it upon her head and say the words.”

Looking as confused as ever, the Prince took the woven white flowers and did as instructed.
“What words, exactly?”

“I be bhuragusthu de agamsa,” Kenzie spoke in her native tongue, making sure to properly enunciate each syllable so he could follow along.

“I be burr…” he began, trying his hardest to stumble through the words that were foreign to him, “a Gus who de Gamsa.”

That’s good enough, I suppose…  Kenzie frowned, regarding him. Though I thought that being the heir to these lands, he would have some knowledge of Gaelic.

“You may call me Kenzie,” she told him, dismissing her negative thoughts with a smile, before leaning in to kiss him, as was customary.

Seraphina and the other clanspeople who’d made the journey with her began to cheer, but their cheers were cut short when her new husband pulled back from her in surprise. “Whoa! I don’t know what’s expected between two strangers in the North, but here in the South it’s customary to save that kind of greeting for your husband.”

“Yes?”

“Yes…” he agreed, searching her eyes as if to gauge how much of the language she understood, “so I have a fiancĂ©e and you have a Prince who’s waiting very anxiously to meet you up at the Palace.”

Kenzie suddenly felt ill and more than a little dizzy. “You are not Prince Kadrean…?” The golden-haired stranger she’d just married wore a look of concern mixed with confusion. “Then who are you?”

“Uh…” He cleared his throat, made a little uncomfortable by the stares of the clanspeople. “Lord GarronD’Arbonne…at your service, Your Highness.”

An uncomfortable silence fell over them and the clansfolk, but Kenzie couldn’t find it in her to break it or fill it with anything meaningful. Her entire focus was on keeping herself from hyperventilating.
I just married this GarronD’Arbonne… Not the Prince; not my intended. Kenzie was in full panic at the gravity of the error she had just committed. How can I fix this?! The marriage bond is forever, never able to be undone… A man can remarry, under certain circumstances, but can a woman? Would they even allow such a thing?

My father will be so disappointed in me. He wanted this treaty between our lands to work. I’ve only just arrived and I’ve already ruined it. What am I going to do?!

“Well,” Garron cleared his throat again, “we should be going. I’m sure Prince Kadrean is eager to meet you.”

Gesturing forward, her husband held out his arm for her.

No, I mustn’t think of him that way, she admonished herself. He is my husband, but he’s right, I’m supposed to marry Prince Kadrean. There is a treaty; our marriage is law. It must happen…

Meet the Authors:


MurandyDamodred (left) & Justine Alley Dowsett (right):

With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, MurandyDamodred (left) enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid roleplayer and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she’d rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is an expert in sales and management living in Windsor, Ontario.

From obtaining a BA in Drama at the University of Windsor to becoming an entrepreneur in video game production and later, publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett’s unswerving ambition has always led her to pursue her dreams. Today she lives in Windsor, Ontario and is still writing and publishing fiction novels. When not focusing on growing her business, she enjoys role-playing with friends and developing new ideas to write about.

Monday, 10 August 2015

6 Tips on how Authors can be Artful at an Art Market…

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending my first Art Market with my new publisher, Mirror World Publishing. I looked forward with anticipation to the throngs of new readers I would meet there. I had my bucket of candy good to go. I had signed postcards and trading cards lined up across our table.  I had my Sharpie® marker at my side, ready to sign the copious amount of books I’d sell. And I had Justine, my trusty publisher by my side to introduce me to the world. Um. Yeah. Cue the crickets. What I found out was Art Markets and Craft Shows are not for the faint of heart and may not be the best venue for authors. However, NEVER underestimate the power of connecting with future readers, and getting the word out about your books and products.

Below are six simple tips I picked up from ‘working it’ on the blacktop during those two days at the local Art Market:

1. Usually potential customers (a.k.a. readers) are lured to tables when they see books. That’s a no-brainer. Make sure you have an eye-catching banner running across the length of your table and that your books are strategically placed in stands (you can purchase these at any dollar store) and positioned together in the same genres.

2. Engage readers immediately and ask them what genre they like to read. Then, go for the sweet spot and ask them the names of their favorite authors. Since my publisher had an array of books and authors of different genres splashed across the table, we had a better chance at filling the readers’ literary needs. For example some liked fantasy, others were avid young adult fans, so we steered them toward the appropriate section. FYI – two of the most popular genres were mysteries and historical fiction. I think Justine made a note of that!

3. Next, ask the reader what book covers hook them. You’d really be surprised at their answers. A group of gray-haired women loved to read blood and guts (still laughing about that), yet my cover for Legend of the Timekeepers—the prequel to my time travel series—scared the hell out of one of them! They ended up buying one of the darkest books we had on stock. *Head desk.

4. If children or teens are in tow, move to the front of the table and go for the candy. They’re already staring at the jar, so why not offer something that they love! Just make sure their parents are on board. Even adults love candy, so go with your gut and offer them a sweet temptation.

5. The elements of nature can be a loving force or a force to be reckoned with. Be prepared for anything. My publisher brought a drop sheet in case it rained, but when the wind kicked up we had to hold onto the tent for dear life! Thankfully a kind vendor across from our table loaned us a couple of cinder blocks to batten down the hatches!

6. Finally, never ignore anyone, and always end conversations on a positive note whether they purchase a book or not. Hand them a brochure on your products or a signed postcard along with a smile. You never know. They might just buy your book at later date!


So there you have it! My six tips based on my first experience working at an Art Market. If you’re an author who loves doing the Art Markets or Craft Shows what tips can you add? If you’re a reader—what book covers pop for you? What covers scare you? Would love to read your comments! Cheers!

Monday, 3 August 2015

A Legend is Reborn…

This month marks the re-release of the prequel to The Last Timekeepers series, Legend of the Timekeepers through my new publishers Mirror World Publishing! I found this story much harder to write because I was jolted out of my comfort zone of historical facts and into the fictitious civilization of Atlantis. Fantasy isn’t easy to write. You have to come up with a believable world to lure your readers in. And if you write something that doesn’t jive, you risk pulling your reader out of the world you’ve created and possibly out of your book. That said, I’m so grateful for the editorial crew I was gifted with on this book, and my hope is that you’ll appreciate and enjoy the journey we’ve all been through to make this book possible and believable.

Here’s the tagline and blurb from Legend of the Timekeepers:
         
There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

When The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis debuted, I posted my Dedication and Acknowledgements from that book on my blog. So in keeping with this tradition, here is the Dedication and Acknowledgements from Legend of the Timekeepers:

Dedication:

For my mother, Peggy. You taught me to stand up for myself, and never forget my roots.

Acknowledgements:

I said it before and I’ll say it again: Life is a team effort, and nothing is done without the help and support of others. The following people are in some way connected to the fabric of this work, to which I am eternally grateful:

Thank you to the staff at Mirror World Publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett, Murandy Damodred, and Robert Dowsett who gave this book a second chance. Hugs to my rock-star editor Tricia Schwaab who pushed my creative buttons so far I thought I was going through the change of life all over again. Seriously, Tricia, you made me a better writer. And finally, high fives to my book cover artist Kelly Shorten, who knew exactly what I wanted on her very first attempt at designing my beautiful cover—you are truly gifted.

A special shout out goes to my Wenches of Words family, especially to my cohort, Sloane Taylor. You Wenches have made this past year a special one with your show of kindness, support, caring, solidarity, and teamwork. Love you gals! May your lives be blessed with many bestsellers!

And last but not least, a big sloppy thank you to my hubby, Mike. You put up with enough of my melt-downs and tantrums to clear away any bad karma left between us. Again you acted as my pillar, my post, and more often than not, my anchor. God bless.
  

Cheers, hugs, and happy time traveling!

     

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Release Day Extravaganza for Legend of the Timekeepers...


There is no moving forward without first going back.


About Legend of the Timekeepers:

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.
Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.


Book Information:

Title: Legend of the Timekeepers

Series:  The Last Timekeepers, Book # 0.5

Author Name:  SharonLedwith

Genre(s): Young Adult, Time Travel

Tags: #‎YAlit‬ #‎timetravel‬

Length: Approx. 147 pages

ISBN: 9781619376236

Re-Release Date: August 1, 2015

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing  http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/

Tour Host:  Sapphyria's Book Promotions  http://saphsbookpromos.blogspot.com/

Follow the Tour to Read Reviews, Guest Posts, and Spotlights: 


Read an Excerpt:

“Why are you here?” Lilith asked. “You’ve already got your life seal.” 

“I have more questions for Istulo.” She continued to stare at the disk. 

Lilith sighed. “My name is Lilith. What’s your name?” 

Her shoulders relaxed slightly. A hint of a smile broke out on her face. Her upturned nose wiggled. “She-Aba. I was born here in the Black Land. Both my parents arrived from Atlantis fourteen years ago yesterday. My mother gave birth to me the next day.”

Lilith perked up. “That would make today your birthday!”

She-Aba beamed. “Yes. That’s why I’m here. For my birthday last year, I had my life reading done by Istulo. But recently, there’s been a hiccup in my plans. It’s like my life seal rearranged itself, and now I’m confused. I’m here for a reaffirmation.” 

“What’s the problem?” 

She-Aba traced her life seal with the tip of her perfectly shaped fingernail. “My lifetime occupation was supposed to be to design clothing for the people of the various positions in the court and temples.” 

Lilith smirked. “That makes perfect sense.” 

“I know, right? So why, all of a sudden, would my life seal change from designing clothing to something completely different?” 

Lilith arched a fair brow. “How different?” 

“Well, instead of clothing people in lavish robes and gowns for others to appreciate, the seal suggests that I’ll be doing the opposite by covering up and hiding the truth. I don’t understand it at all. I thought my life was all planned out for me.” 

“I thought mine was too, until my country blew up and slid into the ocean,” Lilith muttered. 

“Hey, look at the bright side, at least your hair isn’t red like mine.” 

Lilith eyed She-Aba carefully. “What’s wrong with red hair? My uncle has red hair and it suits him fine.” 

She-Aba moved in closer. “If you haven’t noticed already, there aren’t many redheads around here. The natives think red is magical, and anyone with red hair is considered a freak of nature.” 

“That’s ridiculous!” Lilith said loud enough to cause an echo down the marble hallway. “Is that the reason why those artists were rude to you? Because you have red hair?” 

“Red is a very powerful color,” a raspy voice said from behind both girls. 

Lilith and She-Aba jumped. They slowly turned to find Istulo hovering over them. 

Wearing the same white gown and orichalcum headband Lilith saw her dressed in before, Istulo nodded slightly before she said, “Red represents the essence of life—if we are drained of blood, we are drained of energy. The people of the Black Land understand this, and therefore red is reserved only for their gods and goddesses.” 

Lilith giggled. “Don’t tell She-Aba that, she’ll think she’s a goddess.”

Purchase Links:

Amazon



Mirror World Publishing



Barnes & Noble



Giveaway Information and Entry Form:

One winner will be selected to receive the following prizes ~

• A signed paperback copy of Legend of the Timekeepers

• A custom crafted ceramic Spiral Life Seal

• A signed postcard

• Two ‘The Last Timekeepers’ wrist bands