Thursday, October 31, 2013

M. Gerrick's New Book The Vanished Knight and Why She Wanted It Published Traditionally

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.


Check out Misha Gericke's Blog

I knew from the beginning that I’d follow a more traditional publishing route with The Vanished Knight. 

While I see self-publishing as a viable option these days, I knew it wouldn’t suit me for various reasons. For one thing, I’m too perfectionistic to release something of a standard lower than traditionally published books. Besides that, my business training told me that moving into a market with so much competition, with a lower quality product, was stupidity. I also knew I had zero experience with pro editing, formatting, graphic design etc. 

Which meant that if I wanted to produce something of a standard acceptable for me, I’d have to pay for everything. Up front. In dollars. Which is ten times my home currency. Yeah… not a pretty calculation to make.

So agents and editor contracts it would be, then. When I finished my novel, and did the edits as far as I could possibly take them alone, I started querying. 

And querying. 

And querying. 

See, writing is in a highly subjective market. I tried to figure out if something was off with my novel and edited it two more times. Still nothing. Agents just weren’t interested in my huge-ass manuscript. In fact, I think there are exactly two out of almost 160 agents who read what I’d sent in.

It really made me jaded with the whole process. But that’s not what I want to go into today. I just want to say that I was almost done with querying. As in, I’d made it official on my blog that if I didn’t get joy within two months for that date, I’d find a way to self-publish after all. 

That day, I impulsively sent a mmm… What shall I call it? I sent an inquiry to a new editor at Etopia Press. Assuming that it’d be another no, I started writing the sequel so that I’d have it ready for self-publishing. Within a few days, the editor came back and asked for my full manuscript. A few weeks after that, I got a yes and a publishing contract. 

Sure, it came with a few hoops for me to jump through (I had to split my manuscript into two), but my editor saw what I was heading for with the story and loved all of it. So I signed. And the book came out within a few days of the anniversary of me starting to query. There’s just something so poetic about that, isn’t there? 

But yeah, if you know that you’ve got something good, don’t give up on it. You only need one person to get you before you get your lucky break. Keep going! 

About the author
M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.
She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Christine Rains. Her Grammarness Rears Her Crowned Head Again.

I'm really excited to have this 


Children run through the halls of the building, giggling and knocking on doors. Their excited energy has rubbed off on everyone, including you. Good thing too, because the elevator is packed, and you have to walk up the stairs to get to your friend's apartment for her Halloween party. Oh, did I mention your costume looks awesome!

As you're climbing the stairs, you stop on the landing of the 13th Floor. How had you never noticed there was a 13th floor before? You feel a chill as the door swings open. No kids skip down this corridor, but the jack-o-lanterns decorating the hall tell you people are home. Feeling the Halloween spirit, you decide it might be fun to go trick-or-treating. Okay, maybe you're a little too old, but it could be fun if you knocked on just one door.

But which one? There are six apartments.

  • 1301 has a wicked looking pumpkin with devil horns.
  • 1302's jack-o-lantern is painted to look like a wolf.
  • 1303's is green with a tail. Is that a mini lance sticking through it?
  • 1304's door is elegantly decorated and the pumpkin is uncarved.
  • 1305's jack-o-lantern is blinking. Wait... not the pumpkin. Is there an animal hiding in it?
  • 1306 has a pumpkin with long fangs.

Whose door do you knock on and why? If you'd like, tell us what you think might happen when whoever lives there opens the door.

Have fun! Lee will choose the response she likes best, and that person will receive a free digital copy of the 13th Floor Collection.

I'm already scared, but scare me some more and you'll win that free copy of Christine's book! And here's a brief glimpse of what you're in for come October 13 when it's released.

Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn't exist.

Six novellas telling their tales.

A retired demon acquires a price on his head. 
A werewolf is hunted by her pack.
A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.
A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.
A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find. 
A banshee falls in love with someone who's death she has seen in a vision.
And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all. 

All the stories take place at the same time intertwining their lives together on the 13th Floor.

*Includes “The Shadow,” a bonus short story.

About the Author

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has eight novellas and twenty-one short stories published.


Her Paranormal Romance: Thirteenth Floor Collection is here.



Separate Words and Combined Forms

As far as I know standard English still holds to these forms as being correct in standard writing. Anyone disagree? I always double check for errors with these guys. They're sneaky or my brain's leaky. 

all ready (adjective phrase) 

The reviewer was all ready to read Snarkle's book when she peeked through the crack in her door and fainted.

already (adverb of time)

Snarkle's book was already a New York Times bestseller by the time she heard from the agent.

all right (adjective phrase)

Snarkle's book seemed all right to me, but the school banned it. 

all together (adjective phrase)

There were seven critics all together. Why were they frowning at Snarkle? 

altogether (adverb, meaning wholly)

Snarkle missed the deadline, so that was altogether a different matter. 

a while (noun)

Snarkle wrote for a while before tossing her computer out the window.

awhile (adverb)

Snarkle wanted the agent to represent awhile longer. "Nope," the agent said.

may be (verb phrase)

It may be that Snarkle's work isn't that good after all.

maybe (adverb, short for "it may be)

Maybe she needs a refresher course in how to write.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mary Pax Does It Again! Lexa Cain's Brilliant Cover Reveal AND-Small Things To Celebrate


Fans Influence on Story

M. Pax 

Before I began publishing, I believed I would write the story I envisioned and never cave to fan pressure. I was wrong.

It’s not even pressure, it’s just a desire to do right by those who love what I do.

Before I published Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge [book 2 in the Backworlds series], a fan sent me an email based on the excerpt at the back of The Backworlds [book 1]. His note led to a slight revision of the early chapters in Stopover, because his comments were right.

No matter what, I want to deliver the best book I can.

More fan letters arrived. Many said how much they loved Talos and Lepsi, two of the main character’s [Craze] friends.

I wrote book 2 before book 1, and originally it was Lepsi’s skull found in Stopover. Before I finished book 3 [Boomtown Craze], I knew that couldn’t be true. Fortunately, I hadn’t boxed myself into his death.

Beyond the Edge was written for those awesome, supportive fans. Craze and his companions find out what happened to Lepsi and more than they wanted to know.

What are your thoughts on fans influencing your story?


M. Pax-- Inspiring the words she writes, she spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. She writes science fiction and fantasy mostly. You can find out more by visiting her at: 


LEXA CAIN has this very special COVER REVEAL. 


Lexa’s Cover Reveal Challenge

Can you find the error on this cover?
To win a prize, find the cover error in each of these 10 blogs:

Alex J. Cavanaugh -
PK Hrezo -
Father Dragon Writes -
Bards and Prophets -
The Write Game -
Ellie Garratt -
Klahanie -
Julie Flanders -
In High Spirits -
Mainewords -

For the correct cover, rules, and prize list, go to


SOUL CUTTER releases from MuseItUp Publishing on December 6, 2013.

and now for some small things to celebrate

  • I'm celebrating getting through an estate sale of my mom's home without crumbling. 
  • I'm celebrating rounding the half-way mark on my sequel to Alligators Overhead. 29K as of last week.
  • I'm celebrating October and all its fallness.
  • I'm celebrating not shooting Blogger or Comcast--hold me back!
Hope you'll buy Mary's books. Find the error on Lexa's cover. And be sure to visit others in the Celebration of the Small things and tell us what you're celebrating. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Amazing Race Starts Today:OPEN CALL for Submissions

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse) have added two more books to their Descriptive Thesaurus Collection: The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws. To celebrate, they are hosting a race, and not just any old race, either. It's the...

Photo Credit: Tharrin
Writing is hard, isn't it? Create the perfect hook. Make your first page compelling. Craft an amazing 25 word pitch. Knock out a query that will blow an agent's mind. On and on it goes. And sometimes, well, you just wish someone would help.


From October 21st until October 27th, Writers Helping Writers is posting an OPEN CALL for writers. You can fill out a form, requesting help with critiques, book visibility, social media sharing, blog diagnostics, advice and more.

An army of Amazing Racers are standing by (ME INCLUDED! YEP. I SAID I WANTED TO BE A PART OF THIS. WHO WOULDN'T?) waiting to help with your submissions. How many people can we help in a week? Let's find out! Did I mention there are Celebrity Racers too--amazing authors and editors who know their way around a first page. Maybe one of them will pick your submission to help with!

Each day this week, there's an AMAZING giveaway, too. So stop in at Angela and Becca's new Writers Helping Writers website and find out how to take advantage of this unique, pay-it-forward event for writers. I'll see you there! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bronze Blog Tour

Bronze The Glister Journals: Bronze Allison Anderson knows she's a little different, but it hadn't bothered her too much-until now. Moving away from everything she's ever known to a new house, new neighborhood, and new school is bad enough, but it's her first year of high school too, making it even more intimidating. She's more aware of her social and physical limitations than ever before. And then there are the new people she meets: the tough-looking girl in her home room; the cute but dangerous-looking boy she first saw before school even started; the quiet, older girl who keeps to herself; the sullen-looking, seemingly isolated junior that doesn't seem to trust or like her at all. Can she trust them? While the peaceful situation of her new home only amplifies the sound of her own doubts, she begins to learn that things are not always what they seem, and her world is turned upside-down by these new friends, two-legged and otherwise. Life soon becomes more complicated, and much more interesting!   About The Glister Journals series: The Glister Journals series is told from the perspective of a normal but not average teenage girl. It is not obvious, but Allison has a mild pervasive developmental disorder (autism spectrum). She thinks and experiences things a little differently from most of the other kids. In the past it has caused her to be alienated at best and bullied at worst. After the family moves, she becomes involved with a group of teens that open up new worlds to her. The four book series follows her through high school but is equally about her friends who have their own problems, fears, and aspects of their lives they’d rather keep quiet. There is action—mostly in the form of equestrian and extreme sports—and though there are only hints of it in Bronze, there is a love story which will play a more prominent part as the series progresses. The main story is about assumptions, acceptance, love, and friendship, though there are other themes running throughout the series.
  Praise for Bronze Allison narrates a gentle coming-of-age story that has a strong equine subplot…undeveloped plot points hint at future complications and will likely keep readers looking for the next entry. — Cindy Welch Booklist Online Written with intelligent humor, this tale follows an awkward girl as she enters a new school...This is a strong first book, both for Shepherd and for the series. The friendships the characters build are realistic and lifelike, strong, and durable, just like bronze. — Beth VanHouten ForeWord Reviews The story is well-written and sweetly told. Allison’s anxieties and insecurities are true-to-life, and so affectionately and clearly portrayed as to make anyone who’s ever been through adolescence wince in sympathy. Dave, Robin and Chris are complicated, intelligent, three-dimensional characters whom the reader enjoys getting to know, and all of the minor characters are vividly drawn and believably real. The author is adept at setting a scene, both external and internal, bringing Allison’s mind and world to vivid life. — Catherine Langrehr IndieReader "Bronze: The Glister Journals" is a well-written novel of teenagers and their world. It is also a story of horses and teenage horsemanship. The main character Allison is a totally delightful fourteen year old girl whose innocence and awkwardness is refreshing. — Alice DiNizo Readers' Favorite  

Meet Robin Cowell: An Interview

A phone interview with Robin Cowell, Allison’s best friend: (after Bronze)

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Into the future. There’s nothing in the past. I just want to grow up and be able to take care of myself and Gran. She won’t have to worry about me if I’m an adult.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
Just about anywhere! But I guess I’d mostly want to go to Ireland. That’s where my Gran’s family is from. She’s told me a lot about it and it sounds so beautiful. I guess I’ve got some family there too. I’d like to meet them.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
A cowboy. I used to watch the guys at the Caldera’s ranch and think that working with cattle and horses was the best thing in the world. I still think it’s great, but not what I would want to do as a career.

Favorite sport?
Barrel racing! I play softball at school though.

Craziest thing you ever ate?
Dave once dared me to eat dog food. So I did. Almost puked too.

What are your favorite TV shows?
I don’t really watch much TV. I usually just watch with my Gran in the evening. She likes those crime shows, you know? They’re pretty cool, I guess, but sometimes I don’t like them. She also likes British shows, especially the historical ones. I guess I like those too.

What group did you hang out with in high school?
I’m still in high school, but I’ve hung out with Dave since junior high…though we’ve been best friends since sometime after third grade. We have a lot of friends, but the group changes. Most of them are either into sports or horses, but some aren’t. There’s Dave, of course, and Matthew, Tanner, Kyle, Jessie, and Stacie. The others kind of come and go. Cris is usually around somewhere. And Allie. But Allie sometimes eats lunch with another friend.

What would we find under your bed?
A lot of stuff. Hold on, I’ll go take a look. Some boxes…I’m not sure what’s in them…old homework and stuff I think. Last year’s yearbook…I look so funny! Hahaha…Dave looks even funnier! Some clothes…ew…I should put those in the laundry. I wondered where that shirt went! A lot of magazines and some paperbacks…I need more shelves in my room. Old, melted-down candles…I should probably throw those out. Some horse models…the broken ones that won’t stand up by themselves anymore. I’ll glue them one day. Some saddle soap…that should go in the garage…. 

What makes you happy?
Hanging out with my friends. And taking care of Gali…that’s my horse, Galahad. 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I live alone with my Gran, but I’m not exactly an only child.

You have won one million dollars—what is the first thing that you would buy?
Something for Gran…like a new house or maybe just really fix up this house. I’d like to take her to Ireland too. She still has family there but hasn’t been able to go for a really long time.

What one word best describes you?
Implacable. At least, that’s what Allie says. I looked it up and it has a couple of meanings and I think she was exaggerating anyway. I assume she means I don’t give in easily so I can be…implacable…with others. I guess that’s about right.

  BBAuthor B.B. Shepherd A graduate of Cal Poly with graduate work at Chapman and U C Santa Cruz, B. B. Shepherd has lived most of her life in California and loves the diverse beauty of its many landscapes. Music, horses, literature, and art have been her passions as long as she can remember. She enjoys road trips, almost all horse sports and extreme sports (as a spectator), and is addicted to research. As a writer, Shepherd enjoys exploring emotions and motivations: why do people do what they do? She also likes trying to find the funny side of things. She admits to being a hopeless romantic and often gets in trouble for her sense of humor. Bronze is her debut novel, the first in a series of four called The Glister Journals. She currently works full time as a music professional and educator, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her youngest daughter and a very silly cat.
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Monday, October 14, 2013

How Did You Sell Your First Book?

How Did You Sell Your First Book?

This is a question a lot of authors ask. It never seems to be one that non-authors ask. And that’s because if you’re not a person who writes books, you don’t understand what it means to make that first book sale.

I have to admit that I didn’t really understand that either. 

Here’s why. 

I did almost everything backwards. My first sale was easy. I only queried two times before an editor asked for a full, and then offered me a contract. 

“So how hard can this publishing business be?” I asked myself. 

Even my second book went quickly from the writing to the sale. And then my publisher and the editor who “got” me vanished. That was something I hadn’t expected.

Now I’m going through what most writers go through when they start out. I’m querying, I’m trying to find another person in the business who thinks I write books worth publishing. I’m learning just how hard promoting my published books is while trying to work on another W.I.P. In other words, I’m answering my question. 

“This publishing business is very hard.”

Wish me luck because I know a lot of what happens in book publishing is having your manuscript land on the right desk at the right time. Luck is a huge factor, but persistence and writing well are equally important, and that’s what I’m working on every day.

So how did you sell your first book? Or did you go Indie right away? If you had a multiple choice test about your experience with the publishing business what would your answer be?

A. Frustrating 
B. Challenging
C. Discouraging
D. Exciting 
E. All of the above

This post is shared with UncommonYA. It's a new group of authors who write YA with an edge. Hope you'll stop by and say hello.


I'm going to be posting on Thursday this week as well as Friday. There's a new book out that looks very interesting and B. B. Shepherd put together a great piece about it. Hope you'll be here on Thursday and read what she has to say. Then be sure to enter to win a copy of BRONZE part of the GLISTER JOURNALS. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Stephen Tremp Publishes Again! And Then I Have a Small Thing to Celebrate

Another CHASE MANHATTAN adventure is here! 

Be sure to visit STEPHEN TREMP and check out his blog.

Stephen's Breakthrough and Openings are on Amazon.

VikLit's LINKY
I love Halloween. It brings out the very best in me. It's my favorite holiday. Here's are some of my Halloween celebrations from the past. This pointy hat gets a lot of use during October.

I'm making a Halloween cake with Betty Crocker's help--Dark Chocolate in a box!

I'm surrounded by creepy skulls at Kepler's Books. Black is the new black.

Have you read any of Stephen's books? What do you think about Halloween Celebrations? How do you get in that dark and witchy mood?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Market Your Book In Person. Connect With Your Readers. Check Out UncommonYA

Every writer knows that writing the book and selling it to a publisher is only part of the project. You have tons of work to market what you’ve created. There are all sorts of online ideas for enticing readers to buy your book, and that’s great, but when I thought about my own book buying habits, I had to admit that I don't like social media as the only way to showcase my work. 

Other authors say the same thing. Here’s what one author wrote just recently.

“I don’t wait to buy a book until I read the first chapters in the library or a bookstore. I buy a lot of books that I haven’t read one sentence in. Since Amazon, I buy a lot books I’ve never picked up in my hands.”

So why do many people buy books?

  • They’ve heard the author speak.
  • They’ve gone to a book signing.
  • A friend said, “Don’t miss this one.”

There's nothing better than talking to someone who has just brought your book!
It’s personal.

One great personal way to put your book into the hands of readers is to do a workshop. I’ve done several of these. Some for young adults and more recently, with the release of my Middle Grade novel, for eight to twelve-year-olds. 

These writers are my readers, too. And I love knowing them.
This year I did a Young Writers’ Workshop at our town center. Twenty, eight to twelve year-olds attended, and every one of them wrote a story or created a draft of a story, so they had a taste of the process. I created the workshop around three simple premises.

  • In the beginning, the main characters must want or need something badly.

  • In the middle, the main characters can’t get what they want or need. Every time the reader thinks that might happen, snatch that something away. 

  • In the end, the main characters either succeed (happy ending) or fail (sad ending) to get what they want or need.

The workshop is about four hours and when they’re done they at least have an idea about the structure of a story and what holds a reader’s interest. That’s a great time to let these readers hear your first chapter.

They write amazing stories.

I read once that you don’t have to do much to persuade people to buy your book. Readers only need a single reason. So at the end of the workshop, I read the first chapter of my book and ask them if I’ve done what I told them to do in the beginning part of their stories? I ask if they like my characters based on this brief sample. And I always ask them to guess what they think will happen in the middle? In the end? 

I’ve created curiosity. I’ve created the single reason for someone to want to read my story. I never take home any unsold books. The kids have the experience of getting their own autographed copy, and each year I have at least four who return to do the workshop again. The only problem I have is writing a new book in time for that next workshop. 

Have you had a chance to meet your readers in person? What was your experience? Do you prefer in-person promotion or social media online? Any hints for other writers who are telling about their books? 


There's a new group of Young Adult authors that is offering some
books for the teen+ reader. I hope you'll take a look and spread the word.