Friday 27 July 2012

Lazy Days Of Summer Giveaway Hop...

Welcome, and thank you for stopping by on your tour around the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Colorimetry and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

I’m giving away an e-book copy of my novel The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, the first book in my mid-grade/YA time travel series released through Musa Publishing, and available on Amazon, and other on-line book store.
Here’s the blurb:

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.
Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

Good luck, and don’t forget to visit all the other blogs on the hop and enjoy more giveaway fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

§  This Blog Hop runs until midnight on July 27th – August 1st, 2012 and the draw will take place August 2nd.
§  The winner will chosen by Rafflecopter
§  I will contact the winner via email and give the winner 72 hours to accept his/her prize.
§  Prize as stated—no alternatives will be offered.

Monday 23 July 2012

Authors In The Limelight: Rita Monette

I want to thank and welcome author, Rita Monette for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Her book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, will be available for purchase this upcoming November 16th through Musa Publishing, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores.

How long have you been writing, Rita?
I supposed I’ve always written stuff, like poems and short essays, but mostly just for fun. When I was in college, my professors would often read my writings to the class, which made me sort of cringe at the attention. Then one day I was reading a book to my four-year-old nephew and saw how attentive he was to the story, and an idea struck me. I would write books for children. When I retired from my regular job in 2006, I began writing seriously—learning so much along the way, especially from the great folks at SCBWI, The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. And here I am getting my first book published.

Good things come to those who wait! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Legend of Ghost Dog Island?
The Legend of Ghost Dog Island was inspired by my childhood. My father loved to tell stories meant to scare us kids, and the Louisiana bayous are plumb full of legends that can conjure up some pretty scary images.

What sets The Legend of Ghost Dog Island apart from other books in the same genre?
The Legend of Ghost Dog Island is set in 1956. None of the modern day conveniences are around, such as cell phones, TV’s, and video games for the kids to entertain themselves. And kids had much more freedom to explore without fear of their surroundings. This is a perfect time for adventures to take place without using “fantasy” worlds. It also includes historical facts pertaining to the lifestyle and history of the Cajun people. I have also included sources for further research on the topic in the “author’s notes” at the end.

Love the idea about adding sources! Very innovative! As an author, Rita, what is your writing process?
As hard as I try to become a structured writer, I seem to work better when I let the characters take me along for the ride. Sometimes they drag me away from the original story I had in mind. For instance, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island started out as a story of my childhood, of living on the bayous, and being bullied for being from the “wrong side of the levee.” My main character, Nikki, decided on her own to form relationships, become a stronger character than her creator intended, and to take the story to Ghost Dog Island.

How long did it take for you to start and finish The Legend of Ghost Dog Island?
I began writing this story in 2008, after a few attempts at writing picture books. After starting The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, I fell in love with the novel process. The story was “finished” a year later. In 2011, after many, many revisions, I started getting positive feedback from agents and editors. So I suppose it took me a couple of years to feel like it was really complete.

However, the publishing world still didn’t seem to think the story had a place in today’s middle grade market. I was beginning to consider self publishing it, when Musa made the offer.
Do you have any advice for other writers, Rita?

I guess my advice is the same as what was told to me over and over again. Perseverance is the key. So many times those rejection letters make you want to give up. Take the time to learn more about your craft, and keep going. Use any small suggestion or criticism from editors and agents, as well as critique groups, to keep you motivated.
Yes, perseverance is my personal mantra! What’s next for Rita Monette the author?

I have a couple more middle grade/YA novels in the works, including a sequel to The Legend of Ghost Dog Island.
I’ll look forward to that! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series – If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?

Only one choice? Okay…I would love to go to Egypt, back to the time when they built the pyramids, because I am fascinated by them and how they might have been constructed. As long as I don’t have to actually carry those stones.
You can find me at or

Blurb from The Legend of Ghost Dog Island:
Ten-year-old Nikki Landry lives in the swamps and bayous of 1956 Louisiana. Her papa, a fisherman by trade, has just moved their houseboat to an unfamiliar bayou. Nikki has seen and heard something eerie on a nearby island. The following scene is where Papa is telling her of the legend surrounding the island.

I poured some syrup onto my plate and swirled my warm, crunchy biscuit through it. “You gonna put your lines out in that big lake past them islands?” I looked up at Papa, as he sat quietly sipping his coffee. His scarred hands looked real big and strong around the tiny chipped cup. His pale blue eyes seemed out of place against his black hair and dark skin.

“Yup. That there’s Flat Lake,” he said. “This side of the islands is called Bayou Platte.”
“We heard a really weird sound out that way earlier.” I stuffed a piece of biscuit in my mouth.

Jesse stopped eating and watched Papa’s face.
Papa set his cup down. “Weird sound, huh?”

“Yeah, like a dog howling, but scarier.” I opened my eyes wide. “Right Mama?”
“Howing,” Jesse said with a mouthful of food.

Mama smoothed my brother’s curly hair. “It could have been a wild dog. But I’ve got to agree, it did have an eerie yowl about him.”

“I thought I saw something out there on that big island,” I said. “It was mor’n likely just a critter, but I had a creepy feeling about it, like it was watching me.”
Papa rubbed his chin and got a twinkle in his eye, like he did when he was fixing to tell one of his swamp stories.

Mama stood up and lifted my brother from his chair. “Let’s get you ready for bed.” She gave
Papa one of her warning looks and disappeared into the back of the houseboat toward our tiny bedrooms. She knew once Papa got going on one of his tales, there was no stopping him.

The last traces of daylight seemed to disappear in a hurry, as if Papa had ordered it away. The glass globe of the kerosene lamp clinked. He touched a match to the wick and adjusted the flame until it filled the room with pale light and gray shadows. He motioned me to sit next to him on the worn sofa.
I hurried to his side, not knowing what spooky legend he was going to tell this time, but as scared as I’d get, I always enjoyed hearing ’em.

“Mais, there’s a legend told around these parts.” He leaned down so the light from the lamp made eerie shadows across his face.
That was how they always started out. I rolled my eyes, determined not to get spooked this time.

“Folks say there’s something living out yonder,” he went on. “Legend has it the creature lures dogs to the island using evil spells. Then at the peak of the full moon, they’re turned into hollow spirits with glowing eyes.” Papa put on his eeriest sneer. “That there’s Ghost Dog Island.”
“Ghost dogs?” I pulled my knees up against my chest and wrapped my arms around ’em tight. My mind conjured up images of a huge monster with drippy fangs, and dogs with bright yellow eyes. I thought about the feeling I had of something watching me. Was there really a creature out there? Did it have its eye on Snooper? I shuddered.

IEEEOWWWOOOO-oooooooo! The howling sound echoed again across the bayou.

Thursday 19 July 2012

The Wizards Of Words...

Writers. We’re a crazy bunch. Get us together in one big room and see what happens. Madness. Chaos. And close to $15,000 raised in the name of Literacy. Now that’s magic.

Over this past weekend I was privileged to share space with over thirty writers in the 12th Annual Muskoka Novel Marathon, an event held every July, which totes the motto ‘Writers Helping Readers’. All money raised through the Novel Marathon is given to the local literacy chapter to fund and develop new programs to help people raise their skills in reading, writing, and math. One such program called, Savvy Seniors, even assists seniors in understanding and how to use a computer so they can send an email to their grandchildren, connect with old friends, or surf the web. Now that’s magic.

I’ve been a part of this wonderful fundraiser in some capacity for the better part of eight years. This year shows the most growth, not just with the money raised (the highest ever), but the feeling of Esprit De Corps among all of us. Plus being well fed 24/7 is a bonus! Some of the competing authors wrote over 200 pages, and I believe one particular author bested her best and wrote over 300 pages. Now that’s magic!

Sigh. I already miss my author peeps, but thanks to Facebook, we can continue to connect until next July rolls around for the 13th Muskoka Novel Marathon. And that, my readers, is magic.

Monday 16 July 2012

Authors In The Limelight: Lisa Orchard

I want to thank and welcome author, Lisa Orchard for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Her featured book, The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer, can be purchased from Amazon, and other on-line bookstores.

How long have you been writing, Lisa?
I've been writing stories since the 5th grade. I've always known that I wanted to be a writer. It's only now, since I decided to stay home with my kids, that I've been able to focus on my passion.

Where did you get your inspiration to write The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer?
I got the idea from my own exploits as a young teen. LOL! Yes, I wanted to be a detective when I was young and I even formed my own detective squad. Of course, I didn't investigate a murder, but when I look back on my life those years were some of my happiest. I wanted to capture that sense of joy and anticipation that I experienced and share it with young people of today.

I sense a memoir in your future! What sets The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer apart from other books in the genre?
Hmmm…good question. I would say that it's more than a murder mystery. There are life lessons that the characters learn in the process of solving the murder, and my hope is that the readers learn these life lessons right along with the characters.

As an author, Lisa what is your writing process?
Well..I'm going to confess here and say that I'm a "Seat of my Pants" writer. I get the idea and run with it. I've tried the outlining process, and it just doesn't work for me. It stifles my creativity.

How long did it take you to start and finish The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer?
Well…there were a lot of versions to this story before the finished product. I would have to say that it took me about 18 months to write it. But the main reason for that is that I originally wrote it in first person. Then I had an agent read it and although she declined to represent the story she gave some great advice. She felt it would be better in third person…so I rewrote the whole thing. LOL! I was determined. I'm glad I listened to her, because after that rewrite it was accepted by Astraea Press and here we are today!

I know how you feel I had to do a complete rewrite too! Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes. Be persistent. There's a lot of rejection in this business, but if you keep writing and sending out queries, you'll get there.

Well said, persistence sure pays off! What's next for Lisa Orchard, the author?
My second book in the Super Spies series is scheduled for release in July. It's titled, The Super Spies and the High School Bomber. I'm excited about this one because it's an intriguing story and my beta readers really liked it.

Now that sounds like a plan! Okay, here's one for me, since I'm writing a Time Travel series--if you could go anywhere in Earth's past, where would you go and why?
This is a tough question. I guess I would love to travel back in time and talk to Leonardo da Vinci. I'm so impressed with his intelligence and his talent. Then I'd love to talk to Albert Einstein, I'm impressed by his determination. Then I'd like to go and speak with Harper Lee and find out why she only published one book.

I don't think I'd like to stay in any of those times though, I love my modern conveniences!

Book Blurb:
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle's with her sister, Lacey. She's not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission. The Super Spies can't understand why anyone would want to murder the "Cat Lady" until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don't even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it's up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

 You can find Lisa here:




Buy links:


Barnes and Noble:

Thursday 12 July 2012

Musa Publishing is Da Bomb!

Call it an accident. Call it fate. Call it destiny. Call it karma. It was totally by fluke that I submitted my manuscript to Musa Publishing. Thank paranormal romance author S.J. Clarke for that. No really, thank her. She ‘mistakenly’ posted a link to Musa Publishing, thinking it was Muse It Up, the publishing house she was signed with. Yeah. Right. Fate.
I was originally going to submit my young adult time travel manuscript, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis to Muse It Up, but the publishing house wasn’t taking on any more submissions until the fall. So when I got the link to Musa Publishing in August 2011, and found out they were brand-spanking new and open for submissions, I threw caution with the wind, and sent them a query. The query soon turned into a request for my manuscript, which soon turned into a publishing contact. However there was a stipulation. I had to revise my manuscript. Read: tear my story from limb to limb until there only remained one point-of-view throughout the entire manuscript.

My shoulders sagged. Could I do it? Should I do it? Then came the dangling carrot – I was offered a five book deal (one in each of the five major character’s point-of-view). Did I mention I like carrots? I clenched my teeth. Put my fingers to the keyboard and cut and revised for the next few months until out of the ashes of the old manuscript came a new shiny story told in Amanda Sault’s point-of-view. Thank goodness for the caring, conscientious, and hardworking staff at Musa Publishing who saw something of a diamond in the rough in me. If you’d like to find out more about this outstanding publisher, please click HERE. Trust me, you won’t be sorry you did.
123RF Stock Photo 4843986

Monday 9 July 2012

Writing A Series...

Face it. If you’ve written a great book filled with equally great characters, readers will want more. Much more. And the sooner the better. Then, you start to panic. Sweat drips off your face and onto your keyboard. You’re committed now. Legions of readers are waiting in the wings for your next installment.

Don’t worry.

You’ve got this.
If you want to read the rest of this post, clink here:

123RF Stock Photo 10879311

Thursday 5 July 2012

Authors In The Limelight: Kaitlin Bevis

I want to thank and welcome author, Kaitlin Bevis for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Her book, Persephone, can be purchased from Musa Publishing, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores.

How long have you been writing, Kaitlin?
I've been writing all my life. Before I could write I played pretend. I've always loved writing and loved reading. I've never been shy about revising. If something I read or watched didn't end the way I wanted it to, I'd rewrite it. I've taken every creative writing class I could find in high school and college, and spend a good chunk of my weekends with my writers group.

Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Persephone?
Oddly enough the Clash of the Titans trailer. The tag line "damn the gods" somehow got my Brian thinking about Persephone. The trailer was awesome. The movie was so bad that I actually managed to get the entire book drafted in my head while watching it.

What sets Persephone apart from other books in the same genre?
For one thing the gods themselves are the main characters. Not Demi-gods, not humans caught in the crossfire. The myths aren't back story, they are in the process of happening. Also, Hades isn't the bad guy. He's not even a bad guy that the power of love can change. He's a genuinely decent guy, who was just trying to help save a damsel in distress.

 As an author, Kaitlin, what is your writing process?
I get a very rough outline and then start writing. My first draft reads a lot like a synopsis with short bursts of description and dialogue. Then as I start fleshing out my plots, subplots and characters the story gets longer and longer and longer. My next draft deals with details. I'm really bad about getting all of the details into place for a strong setting, so I tend to overcompensate. That's my longest draft. After that I cut all the places I went overboard on details, submit the draft to my writers group, revise, and submit again. Then I let a different group of friends read it, revise based on their suggestions and sent it to my good friend who’s also a copy editor for a final look over before submitting it to my editor.

How long did it take for you to start and finish Persephone?
I started the summer of 2009 and submitted it December of 2011. I didn't really count it as finished until after it went through two rounds of content editing with my editor and copy editing. That just got finished this summer. So three years? 

Do you have any advice for other writers, Kaitlin?
Join a writers group, and listen to their critique. No matter how awesome your story is you don't know more than they do because you'll always be the writer of your story, not the reader. You know why everything is the way it is, so really you can't tell if you did a good enough job conveying it. They can. If only one or two people in a group suggest a change, you can take it or leave it. But if the entire group is telling you "yeah, I really don't get this scene" don't get all smug and act like they're idiots. Because that's the exact scene that's going to stop your book from getting published when a slush reader (who is still not you and is not in your head) reads it and goes "huh, I don't get this." and rejects it.

What’s next for Kaitlin Bevis the author?
Books two and three. Book two has gone through the whole process, so it's just waiting for my editor. Book three just got started. Once I finish with the third book, I've got another trilogy in mind, set in the same universe, and a single book in mind that’s set in a different universe. I can't decide which one I want to work on next. It's a moot point until book three is done anyway. I'm very excited about the direction the third book is taking.

Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series – If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?
That's a tough one! I like Jane Austin times, because of all the pretty clothes and dances and the nice manners. I wouldn't want to stay too long though. I really enjoy indoor plumbing, and air conditioning, and having rights. Then I would travel a bit further in the future, make some deposits in high yield savings accounts, invest in some stocks and such. Otherwise I'm really happy where I am.

The "talk" was but enough, but how many teens get told that they're a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn't until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

Musa Publishing:


Twitter: @kaitlinbevis

Monday 2 July 2012

Authors In The Limelight: Stephanie Campbell

I want to thank and welcome author, Stephanie Campbell for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. This is Stephanie’s second appearance on my blog. Her book, Dragon Night was featured on November 17th, 2011. Please click HERE to read it. Her new book, Hot Wheels can be purchased from Musa Publishing, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores.

I understand you never take a break between books. With all the social media and marketing an author has to do nowadays, how do you juggle your time, Stephanie?
Very carefully, honestly. I section off my hours according to what I'm doing. I'll usually workout from eight to ten just to get my head and stories in order (which helps me focus in the long run and gets my jitters down.) I will then sit down for three hours. I'll write one story for one hour and another story for another. I will then edit for another hour. After lunch I tackle the more business side of things. That's when I query people for the projects that I have available and I blog and try to update my website. I will also self-edit for another hour during this time.

I'll go for a walk around five to keep myself from going insane and then will return to my office where I will edit other people's books for a couple of hours. I even schedule in my own thirty minute reading time slot in the evening because if I don't have it written in my schedule, I'll be too exhausted to do it; however, because I believe that reading is equally important to a writer as writing, it's something that I do no matter what. By this time, seven o'clock has usually rolled around and I'll be dribbling drool from my mouth and staring at the wall. I'll watch television for a couple of hours to help clear my mind.
And that is my schedule. I schedule everything. It's a bit crazy. My friends call me "hermit" because even on weekends I'll be so caught up with projects that they'll have to force me from the house in order to keep me from working.

Whew, you’re one busy woman! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Hot Wheels?
My brain is a very strange thing. I can see literally anything and get a story off of it. An elementary school uses a play that I wrote on gummy bears every year, and I got the idea for the play from a bag of cherry gummies I saw on the kitchen counter. Hot Wheels was a bit of the same thing. It was actually a short story in a contest and was inspired by a YA romance writing prompt. (It won second place.) Kathy Teel, an editor, asked me to make it longer and turn it into a book.

I get strange! What sets Hot Wheels apart from other books in the same genre?
Well, I hope it isn't bad that I say this, but the fact that my protagonist is a girl in a wheelchair sets her apart from other main characters. She has to be strong because of a physical disability in a place that is hard enough when you don't have one—high school. 

How have you evolved as an author since I first interviewed you for your book, Dragon Night last November?
I used to focus primarily on YA, but I have been getting more into adult fiction lately. That could be the fact that I am growing up with my characters. A lot of writers start when they are adults. I didn't do that. I started professionally when I was sixteen. Now I'm twenty one—still a kid by most people's standards, but every year my work gets a more mature feel to it as I turn into the adult I want to be. In a business that is as difficult as publishing is, you have to gain maturity and levelheadedness if you want to survive. For example, you have to be able to bend to your editors' wishes and if somebody says no, you can't get frustrated. To me, traits like that make you an adult.

Yes, you sure have to grow up fast in this business! How long did it take for you to start and finish Hot Wheels?
Not long. Probably about a month, as far as I can remember. It was shorter than what I usually write, but that's one thing I really like about the e-book revolution. Not all books have to be long.

Besides never giving up, what advice can you share with aspiring writers, Stephanie?
Network, network, network. The people that you talk to can make your career. I've made friends with people who have ended up being my mentors. And when you do get rejected—because everybody in this business does—don't talk back. Seriously. I helped a friend of mine while she was on vacation with her slush pile. You would be shocked what people write to you when you politely decline their work. The editors will remember you, but as the person they don't want to work with. 

True that! What’s next for Stephanie Campbell the author?
Oh, I am so glad that this was asked. I am about to start the query process for my book, Racing Death. Racing Death is about this man, Jerome, who meets Death personified as a person. Death tells Jerome that this girlfriend, Bridget, is going to die. Jerome will try anything to save her.

I love it. I don't know why, but my writing had a different tone when I wrote this book. It was like Jerome was writing himself. The story is darker and kind of edgy. Then again I say that about all of my "babies."
Oh, and I also will be a guest speaker at the SLC literary conference this August, so if anybody wants to come talk to me in person, I'll be there.

Best of luck with your speaking gig! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series– If you could time travel and meet anyone in history, who would you meet, and why?
This is random, but I'd want to meet Edgar Allen Poe and I'd bring a copy of that thriller movie based on his final days. I'd want to see what he'd think of it.*Laughs.*

Author Bio:
Stephanie Campbell is a novelist in Ogden, Utah, where she lives with her family and   dogs. Her interests include history, traveling, classic movies, and biographies. She published her first book at seventeen and has continued to write with the goal of being a career novelist. She is the author of the novels Poachers, Dragon Night, Tasting Silver, Keeping Freedom, Late but not Never, Case Closed, Icy Tales of Draga, E is for Eternity, Specimen X, and P.S. I Killed My Mother, all of which are being published or have been published by traditional houses. She has been interviewed by All Romance e-books, Hobbes End Publishing and Night Owl Reviews.

Her blog is

Hot Wheel's Bio:
Lindy thinks her life is defined by her wheelchair, but one secret admirer sees more—he sees Hot Wheels.

Lindy Harris is a quiet, studious high school student who’s in love with books. When she sees a note written in her favorite poetry book to “Hot Wheels”, she’s in disbelief. That’s when she realizes the book belonged to the sender—Mark Ferry, the student body president. She’s all but convinced when she finds out that he, of all people, wants to go out with her.