Monday, April 23, 2018

The Day After... by Author Grace Augustine #OurAuthorGang


Photo courtesy of Ticketspace

Today is not Earth Day...but yesterday was the 48th anniversary of the first Earth Day.  I remember it well.  As part of the day's curriculum, all of the teachers and students from the junior and senior high schools in my home town hit the streets and parks with garbage bags and "cleaned-up" our town.

For those of you who are saying "What the heck is Earth Day?", let me explain. The information below was taken from the https://www.earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day/  site.

A United States Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, was appalled after witnessing the devastation from the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. He was inspired by the student anti-war movement and decided he could ride the energy of their coattails to raise interest in the environmental issues: air and water pollution, oil spills, garbage along the interstates and roadways.

photo courtesy of pinterest

His next step introduced the "national teach-in on the environment" to the media. He persuaded Republican Congressman Pete McClosky to be his co-chair and Denis Hayes from Harvard served as the national coordinator. Hayes'staff of 85 people promoted events across the US, and April 22nd was chosen as "the" day because it was between spring break and final exams.

On April 22,1970, 20 million people across the United States took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to protest for a healthy and stable environment. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, and by the end of the year, the first Earth Day led to the creation of what we know today as the EPA...Environmental Protection Agency as well as the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

photo courtesy of Pinterest

In 1990, Hayes was asked once again to spearhead another campaign..this time a global effort. 200 million people in 141 countries gave voice to recycling and also paved the way for the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro where then President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Gaylord Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom for founding Earth Day. The award is the highest award that is given to civilians for service.

Earth Day's current status as the largest secular observance in the world is celebrated by more than a billion people every year,

photo courtesy of the SNS College of Engineering

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. I encourage all of you to get involved in this movement. Our planet is in serious trouble, and if we don't do something to help her, she won't be around for future generations.

In honor of this milestone, the Earth Day Network is launching an ambitious set of goals to shape the future of the 21st century environmentalism.  You can find out more about this at https://www.earthday.org/earthday/countdown-to-2020/

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Our Guest Today is Author d. Nicole King #ourauthorgang

Welcome, Ms. King. We're so glad you could join us today.


d. Nichole King has always loved the world of books: fantasy, horror, romance, mystery...it didn't matter. If it looked interesting, she'd read it. 

At the age of twelve, King decided to give writing a try. Her first book, KATE'S DIARY, was hand-written and kept secret in a purple three-ring binder. Later, this story was written and became King's best-selling novel, LOVE ALWAYS, KATE.

King writes mostly in the romance genre, bridging the gap between young adult and new adult. She's best known for her ugly cry books and heart-clutching plot twists.

When asked to describe what she writes, King says: 

"I'm a dreamer, an inspirer. I find beauty in weakness, brokenness, and heartbreak. In life, and joy, and happiness. These moments don't define us, but the choices we make in these moments do. I write about these moments, about the choices we make and the paths we tread...about the circumstances that make us who we are and the experiences that will lead us to who we will become.  I write about life, love, pain, and hope."

d. Nicole loves hearing from her readers and may be reached at:
Facebook "friend" page:  https://www.facebook.com/d.nicholeking1
d's Devoted Facebook Group: https://bit.ly/2wT0MrY
Goodreads:  https://bit.ly/2hxd7Y8
  

http://a.co/7rQTVLd

Moments.
Every life is made of thousands of them, each one strung together with the next. Some are yellow and happy, some are blue and sad, and some…
Some wipe out color altogether.
“I love you,” is what I should have told Maverick.
“I’m sorry.”
“I’m still fighting.”
Instead I just watched him leave.
Now my husband, my everything is battling for each breath, and all I can do is stare at the machines as the clock ticks off precious minutes.
The doctors said the first twenty-four hours are critical—but every moment is critical.
You never know which will be your last.
This is our story, and I’m not ready for it to end.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dystopian Fiction: Part 2

Dystopian Fiction: Part 2  

Joe Bonadonna
Image from the film, A Clockwork Orange

For the sake of this blog, and not relying totally on memory, I have used a brief synopsis of each novel mentioned here courtesy of Wikipedia.

Last time out I discussed some of the earliest-known (to me, at any rate) dystopian novels that I read in the last 4 decades of the 20th century. I also talked a bit about why I stopped reading dystopian fiction: to me, they are really horror novels, more or less. As for horror novels . . . I don’t think of them as such. I think of them as just dark fantasies. The only “horror” novel that actually creeped me out, and gave me a nightmare or two was The Exorcist. But dystopian novels such as George Orwell’s 1984, Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here, and Jack London’s The Iron Heel really got to me, and those are the real horror stories.

Today, with the help of Wikipedia, I’m going to discuss a few dystopian novels published in the latter part of the 20th century, novels I consider important and that should be read by those who read and write dystopian fiction. I just hate to see really great novels go unread and forgotten by today’s reading audience, and in many cases younger readers may not even be aware of these novels. So hopefully I will be turning some people on to a few really great reads.

First, a shout out to the late, brilliant Philip K. Dick. Many, many of his novels take place in dystopian futures: this was his niche. And he seems to be as popular with young readers today as he was when I first discovered him in the 1960s. He was one of a kind, a truly unique and gifted writer. A number of his novels and stories have been turned into films, such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (filmed as Blade Runner), The Minority Report, (filmed as Minority Report), A Scanner Darkly, and The Man in the High Castle. He is one of the greats of classic science fiction, with a voice like no one else. His is most definitely a must read.

So onward we go. . . .

Although I had read 1984 and Brave New World in high school, the first dystopian novel I read on my own — long before the “label” was attached to such fiction, was John Brunner’s Stand On Zanzibar. This novel was part of 1960’s New Wave of science fiction. Published in 1968, the book won a Hugo Award for Best Novel at the 27th World Science Fiction Convention in 1969, as well as the 1969 BSFA Award and the 1973 Prix Tour-Apollo Award. Stand on Zanzibar was innovative within the science fiction genre for mixing narrative with entire chapters dedicated to providing background information and world-building, to create a sprawling narrative that presents a complex and multi-faceted view of the story’s future world. Such information-rich chapters were often constructed from many short paragraphs, sentences, or fragments thereof — pulled from sources such as slogans, snatches of conversation, advertising text, songs, extracts from newspapers and books, and other cultural detritus. The novel’s story is overpopulation and its projected consequences. Brunner remarked that the 3.5 billion people living in 1968 could stand together, upright and shoulder to shoulder, on the Isle of Man, 221 square miles, while the 7 billion people who he (correctly) projected would be alive in 2010 would need to stand on Zanzibar, 600 square miles. The story is set in 2010, mostly in the United States. A number of plots and many vignettes are played out in this future world, based on Brunner's extrapolation of social, economic, and technological trends. The key main trends are based on the enormous population and its impact: social stresses, eugenic legislation, widening social divisions, future shock, and extremism.

John Brunner followed up with The Sheep Look Up, first published in 1972. The novel’s setting is decidedly dystopian; the book deals with the deterioration of the environment in the United States. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972. With the rise of a corporation-sponsored government, pollution in big cities has reached extreme levels and most (if not all) people’s health has been affected in some way. By the end of the book, rioting and civil unrest sweep the United States, due to a combination of poor health, poor sanitation, lack of food, lack of services, ineffectiveness of services (medical, policing), disillusionment with government/companies, oppressive government, high incidence of birth defects (pollution-induced), and other factors; all services (military, government, private, infrastructure) break down. This is truly a realistic horror novel.

Probably one of the more famous, latter-day novels of a dystopian future, thanks to the popularity of the film, Soylent Green, is the novel which inspired the movie: Harry Harrison’s  Make Room! Make Room! Published in 1966, the novel is set in the then far-future of August, 1999. (The 1973 film, if I recall correctly, was set in 2022.) In his novel, Harrison explores trends in the proportion of world resources used by the United States and other countries compared to population growth, depicting a world where the global population is seven billion, subject to overcrowding, resource shortages and a crumbling infrastructure. The plot jumps from character to character, recounting the lives of people in various walks of life in New York City (population around 35 million). The novel differs greatly from the film, which has become its “own thing.” In the movie, character names have been changed, the murder investigation is solved, and “soylent green” is just a simple cracker made of soy beans and lentils, and had almost nothing to do with the plot of the story, not in the way it figured so memorably in the film version. I applaud the screenwriters for taking that “simple cracker” and turning it into the crux of the plot, and for adding the element of cannibalism to the story. Making soylent green out of dead people sure solves the problems of both a food shortage and dead body disposal.

Another famous dystopian novel, made even more famous by Stanley Kubrick’s film version is Anthony Burgess’ 1962, A Clockwork Orange. Set in a near future English society featuring a subculture of extreme youth violence, the teenage protagonist, Alex, narrates his violent exploits and his experiences with the state authority’s intent on reforming him. The book is partially written in a Russian-influenced argot called “Nadsat.”According to an essay by Burgess, the title of the book “would be appropriate for a story about the application of Pavlovian or mechanical laws to an organism which, like a fruit, was capable of color and sweetness.” Something organic that is mechanically controlled, as one friend described it. I found the both the book and the film to be a dark and disturbing look at a possible future controlled “by the state,” where gangs roam free and control the streets, practicing their “bit of the ol’ ultra-violence” on innocent victims, just for the fun of it. While not as much of a futuristic horror story as other dystopian novels, it is definitely a most influential novel, even prophetic novel, but not one I’ll ever read again.

Lastly, I come to another famous dystopian novel, this won written by one of the masters of Science Fiction, and of short stories in particular: Ray Bradbury. I’m talking about Fahrenheit 451, of course, which has been turned into two films, as of this date. This is a dystopian novel, published in 1953, that presents a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found. Fahrenheit 451is the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns. The novel has been the subject of interpretations focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas, such as the books burned by the Nazis, and here in the United States; so many more removed from school libraries, too. In a 1956 radio interview, Ray Bradbury stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he described the book as “a commentary on how mass media reduces interest in reading literature.” How true! I’m very proud that my first published short story, in 1984 and in an amateur “fanzine” called Orion’s Child, appeared with a previously-published story Ray Bradbury graciously donated to help us sell magazines. Better than that, my name is on the magazine’s cover, right near his!

That’s all for now. Tune in next month for Part 3, when I’ll be discussing some other writers of dystopian fiction. Thank you!


#heroicfantasy  #childrensbooks  #spaceopera 





Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Gang

Our Author Gang
We are a small group of authors who write various genre books.
What brought us together on this blog:
First and foremost, our shared love for writing.
We like to "hang out" together, helping each another other by promoting each other's books, blogs, events, and doing whatever we can to support one another.
We take turns posting about our books, the rewards as well as the difficulties of publishing and book promotion, and about things we enjoy in everyday life.
We need your support, please visit our blog often, comment on our posts and share our posts.
Thank you!

Mary Anne Yarde is an award winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, the Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury--the fabled Isle of Avalon--was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
Hello out there in cyberspace! I write Heroic Fantasy, Space Opera, Sword & Planet Sci-Fi, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy, Children's Books, and I also dabble a bit in Horror stories.
My fascination with the written and spoken word began as a 6th grader. I was like a sponge. I couldn’t get enough spelling, sentence diagraming, and literature. This passion followed me through junior high and high school and into adulthood.
I’m a Jill of most trades: co-owned a weekly newspaper, administrative office work, kitchen design, custom jewelry creation, wedding planning, floral design, preaching sermons, public relations and marketing, designing social media promotions, copy and manuscript editing, and now add the title author to this mix.

I became an avid reader at a very early age, thanks to my dad who introduced me to many great books. I write alternate history, romantic fantasy, magical realism novels as well as fun, educational, and bilingual books for children ages 4-12 about acceptance, friendship, family, and moral values such as accepting people with disabilities, dealing with bullies, and not judging others before getting to know them. I also like to encourage children to use their imagination and daydream about fantasy worlds.
I originally studied fine and commercial art, way back when dinosaurs walked the earth and eBooks weren't even a gleam in Amazon's eye. I started my career as a graphic artist as the sign maker at the old Nut Tree in Vacaville, California. After a stint at a print shop (ouch), I began working as a book designer for Bill Yenne at American Graphic Systems. While working for Bill, I wrote my first two books, "Ghost Towns" and "100 Medical Milestones That Shaped World History."
Hi there, Toi here. I’m the self-published author of 10 books and counting. I’m also a blogger and vlogger who loves to interview other creatives. A geek girl at heart, I’m also a bit of a techie and foodie, I was born in Texas but consider Virginia to be my home. I enjoy reading, cooking, painting, geek culture, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with my family. 
I also work as a special education teacher’s assistant and find comfort and peace of mind in chocolate, green tea, and naps. My husband and I have been married for twelve years and share our home with a tortoise named Betty and a Redbone Coonhound named Margie, who’s totally taken over the house.
Nicola McDonagh is known for her unique writing style and is the author of the unconventional sci-fi/dystopian Song of Forgetfulness action adventure series. She loves to play around with the written word and the visual image and has been a photographer, actor, director, scriptwriter and other less exciting things, (worst ever job – dishwasher in a trendy bar in Liverpool) before settling in Suffolk with her musician husband, plethora of rescued cats and chickens.
Rebecca is an award-winning author, blogger, and book reviewer. While fantasy tends to be her primary genre she also dabbles in paranormal, romance, and sci-fi. Currently Rebecca has one epic fantasy series titled The Chronicles of the Coranydas. Rebecca likes writing in the the first person as well. Her paranormal fantasy For Their Sins and her Sci-fi action/adventure Neutral Space are both written in this style.
Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a teenage daughter. She is also Nana to four granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania after a short sabbatical in the lovely state of Washington.
She received her BS in Interior Design in 1995, but after a few years of working in the industry God redirected her path with the addition of a fourth child to the family. So she returned to being a stay at home mom, but having been out in the world of school and work she realized she needed a little more, so she took several writing courses and started her second career as an author.
Rich Feitelberg is a poet and novelist, author of the fantasy series, the Aglaril Cycle. He also has four short story collections and a collection of poetry available at fine booksellers everywhere. 
Rich is an avid map collector, and student of popular culture. Growing up on a steady diet of comic books, science fiction, and fairy tales of all kinds, Rich soon began weaving his own tales at a young age. These activities continue to this day, as Rich is working on the next installment of the Aglaril Cycle, and writing more poems and short stories for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Inspired by comic books, part 4, the finale by Toi Thomas

"Hellboy" image by Paolo Rivera via Pinterest 
from the My Geekdom board

I’m so thrilled to share with you the fourth, and final, installment of my “Inspired by comic books” series. Today, I’ll be talking a bit about indie comic books. (If you missed part one,  two, and three, please check them out).

Sourced from Wikipedia.com
First, I’d like to mention some of the more popular or well-known indie comic book companies; what I often refer to as the Big Indie 3 of Comics: Dark Horse, Valiant, and Image. All of these presses have been around for a while and have had plenty of success, yet have not become as mainstream as D.C. and Marvel, and I’m kind of glad. I think one of the reasons these indie or lesser known, though highly profitable and successful, presses have done so well, is because they each appeal to a very specific or niche audience or create products that appeal to niche audiences. Because these presses aren’t trying to appeal to the masses, they achieve the one thing all in the publishing industry strive for, hardcore fans.

Dark Horse, for me, was the one indie comic press that seemed a little dangerous as I was growing up. Those were the comics I didn’t want my parents to know I was into, but as an adult, I’ll tell the world, “I like it.” They are probably most known for such series or character titles as Hellboy, Sin City, Tank Girl, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Valiant Comics logo.
Designed by Rian Hughes.
Sourced from 
Wikipedia.com

Valiant Comics, to me, still kind of seems like that underground press that has produced an amazing amount of content and created a layered and complex universe that leaves you wondering, “Why aren’t more people reading this?” I even put myself in that category having recently discovered their Unity series, which combines many of their staple characters into a team-up comic in the vein of Justice League and Avengers. They are probably most known for their Harbinger series and all its spin-offs plus X-O-Manowar, who’s part of the Unity team-up.

Then there’s Image Comics, who’s totally kill’n it in new, edgy, and creative content as of late. Where Dark Horse was dangerous, Image always seems a little naughty. Growing up I never actually read any of their comics, but I wanted to. I especially remember wanting to read a Spawn comic but being too afraid to bumb one from a friend (I wasn’t going to buy one). Today, they are probably most known for The Walking Dead and Saga, though two of my favorites are Paper Girls and Montress (this comic is so beautiful, you almost forget that the story is very violent and a bit twisted).
 Sourced from Wikipedia.com

Lastly, I’d like to mention a few indie comic presses and or comic titles that I like, to which you are welcome to look up: Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter from WannaBe Press, AlterLife from Village Comics, and Vessels from Card Shark Comics. If you want to discover indie comic book content, try searching on Facebook or Kickstarter. It’s not ideal, but that’s where I’ve found most of my indie comic book content outside of attending live Cons and vendor events.

Before I conclude this geek-a-thon of comic book praise, I want to point out a few things about indie comic books and how they influence me. As an indie author, I find that I have a lot to learn from indie comic writers and artists. Looking to them for inspiration and insight has helped me be a better salesperson and has helped me learn how to appeal to a specific audience. Indie comic writers and artists have helped me to think outside the “traditional publishing” box to find a way that suits me best. And lastly, indie comics have taught me how to stretch the limits of an idea without being afraid of going too far. Indie comics are a way to tell stories that just aren’t meant to suit everyone; however, they will be amazing for someone in particular. That’s what I’m striving for in my own writing.

Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Guilty until proven innocent - Nicola McDonagh



Recently, Amazon put a warning on my book Whisper Gatherers. A Dystopian/sci-fi novel set some 350 years in the future.

They emailed me to say that they have received complaints that the book has an excessive amount of typos. Now, I use a slang-based language that often combines words to make one long one, much the same as George Orwell does in 1984 - Newspeak, crimestop, thoughtcrime, goodthink, oldspeak, pornosec, unperson, and so on.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is a good thing to have quality checks on books, but it needs to be managed correctly so that the author can make necessary changes before their book is published, not after.

I emailed Amazon to tell them that the 'Errors' they cited are not typos but are in fact intentional, and add to the futuristic tone of the book. They told me that I must make the changes they specify or they would keep the warning sign up. What gives Amazon the right to edit, and, re-write my work? If they think the book is substandard, they should not allow it to be published on their platform, yet they are happy to let me use their site to sell my book regardless of the quality.

Here is an example from the email Amazon sent me:

Error Category: Typo; Kindle Location: 1580; Errored text: nanorope,; Context: It was as light as a bub’s eyelash, as strong as nanorope, and as see-through as a raindrop when it came into contact with its owners heartbeat. ; Comments:  "strong as nanorope" should be  "strong as nano rope"

So, using their logic regarding grammar, my ‘nanorope’ is incorrect, yet words such as ‘raindrop’ and ‘heartbeat’ clearly two different words stuck together to make one, are acceptable?

Error Category: Typo; Kindle Location: 1632; Errored text: comtext; Context: A whole load of comtext appeared. ; Comments: "A whole load of comtext appeared." should be"A whole load of context appeared."
This change does not even make sense, especially since the character is talking about some text written on a computer screen, hence the word 'comtext'.

This book, Whisper Gatherers has been for sale on Amazon since 2015 without any complaints. In fact, I have received many 4 and 5 star reviews that enjoyed and recognised the quirky use of language. Here is a snippet from one such review:

5.0 out of 5 stars What a great language!
ByKata Mlekon December 6, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Dystopian is one of my favorite genres and I try to stay up-to-date with the latest novels. How come I missed this one so late? I don't know!

The author created a very complex and appealing world I traveled with Adara with great pleasure. I must say the experimental English was at first hard to understand (English is my second language) but as I got used to it, I found it stunning. It helped develop the feeling of being there with the main character who narrates the story.

You can see more here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YMSP1UA

Anyway, after a week of correspondence explaining my deliberate use of language to Amazon, they emailed me to say that they have taken down the warning sign.

Maybe if they had consulted me before condemning my book, this issue would never have arisen. But it seems Amazon’s policy is to find authors guilty until proven innocent.


For more information on my books, please go to: www.thesongofforgetfulness.com







Monday, April 16, 2018

Women Writers of the Golden Age of Science Fiction – C.L. Moore

By Ruth de Jauregui

One of the few women writers published in the science fiction magazines of the 30s and through the Golden Age of 1938 to 1946, C.L. Moore said that she used her first initials (Catherine Lucille) to conceal her writing career from her employer, the Fletcher Trust Company. While she might have been brushing off the question, using her initials left readers thinking that she was a man.

1957 Galaxy Science Fiction Novel "Shambleau"
Art by Wallace Wood.
Moore's first sale as a professional writer was "Shambleau." Published in the Weird Tales November 1933 issue, it launched her career as a science fiction writer. While she was only paid $100 (a vast sum in the 1930s), the story has been reprinted in at least five anthologies. Moore wove together a tale of Martian smuggler Northwest Smith and his encounter with a lynch mob. The victim, an attractive, brown-skinned young woman, brings out his protective instincts and he claims her. (Northwest is also described as brown-skinned. An interesting choice for a story written in the 30s.) Although he later recognizes that "Shambleau" is not human, he takes her to his room anyway. The story pulls from Greek mythology, the old West and modern science fiction to build to its climactic finish.


October 1934 Weird Tales "The Black God's Kiss" 
Painting by Margaret Brundage
Northwest Smith starred in several more stories, published in the April, May and August 1934 issues of Weird Tales. The October 1934 issue featured a new story and character – Jirel of Joiry – the female protagonist in a traditionally male domain, sword and sorcery. The same month, Moore's "The Bright Illusion" was published in Astounding Science Fiction. She continued writing stories for the magazine market through the 1930s. 

She corresponded with other writers and fans. In 1937, she wrote to L. Ron Hubbard: "And any technical advice you can give me will be deeply appreciated…. Anyhow, thanks a great deal for all the encouragement, and for liking my gilded-gingerbread style of writing."

Galaxy Fantastic Novels "Earth's Last Citandel"
Ironically, her future husband and fellow science fiction writer Henry Kuttner wrote her a fan letter in 1936, thinking she was a man. They were married in 1940 and continued writing in collaboration, often under the pen name Lewis Padgett, which combined their mothers' maiden names. They published Earth's Last Citadel in 1943 under both their names.

After Kuttner died in 1958, Moore's writing career slowed and after her marriage to Thomas Reggie in 1963, it ended.

Moore participated in the Tom and Terri Pinckard Science Fiction literary salon and contributed to literary discussions with many noted science fiction authors. She was nominated as the first woman Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America, but sadly, she had developed Alzheimer's. Her husband asked the SFWA to withdraw the nomination due to her condition. She died on April 4, 1987.

Moore was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Amazon.com: C.L. Moore Author Page
Amazon.com: C.L. Moore search

#GoldenAgeOfScienceFiction  #WomenAuthors #CLMoore  #OurAuthorGang

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Our Guest Today is Author Andi Lawrencovna #ourauthorgang

Welcome, Andi! So good to have you with us today.


Andi Lawrencovna is a fantasy and science fiction writer from Ohio. To date, her books include: CHARMING--A CROWN AND DAGGERS BOOK ONE, THE FIRST BALL--a NEVER LANDS SAGA BOOK ONE, and THE DRAGON'S SACRIFICE--A BREATH OF FYRE  NOVEL in the NEVER LANDS SAGA.
 Andi works closely with WriteNow Publishing, BUT maintains her independent authorship. She currently has three novels and two short story to her name, and her next novel, SO SWEET, will be out later this year. SO SWEET is a tale as old as time whose characters are as equally ancient and waiting to be released. Happily-Ever-Afters have never been bleaker, though Andi promises there’s always hope for rainbows and unicorns in THE NEVER LANDS.
Andi currently resides in Northeast Ohio with her dog and an imagination that has gotten her into more trouble than not. Her education includes a BA in English from Denison University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College. She works as a legal secretary during the day and removes her glasses at night…wrong genre. 
Due to the mature content of her books, they are for 18 years of age and older. 
She loves hearing from her readers and may be reached at:


http://a.co/2DW60ha

Once upon a time, or so the story goes, there was a prince who threw a ball to find a wife.
He was a young prince, by his peoples’ standards, and though he had no wish for a bride, he was honor bound to make the attempt to find one. Of course, Prince Kit knew that it was not just honor that bound him to the duty. Prophesied or cursed, who could say. But since he was a babe, assassins and soldiers had come for him: in the dead of night, in the middle of court, amidst the steps of a waltz. They wished to end his life and with it end the lives of his people and the land he was meant to rule. It was a heavy burden for a young man to bear, worse for a prince kept cloistered for his own good.
But a wife,...well, a wife would provide an heir, and perhaps prevent his peoples’ doom.  And so, he danced with maiden after maiden at ball after ball  until he danced with her. 
She came out of the Darkness, a vision in a black dress and glass slippers, to join the throng for the Prince’s celebration. 
The first night she hid a small vial filled with arsenic in the folds of her gown, but it was knocked from her hand before she could upend it into his glass of champagne. 
The second night she brought a stiletto hilted in her garter that she never thought to draw and returned to her rooms un-blooded. 
The third night Eli ran from him, found her horse, and fled back to the forest from whence she came, desperate to escape his charming smile and the emotions she refused to acknowledge in his gaze that seethed in her heart, too.
He gave chase.  
What is an assassin to do when her prey hunts her down?
One waltz at a ball. One trip of a slipper. One Prince. And one Assassin.
Charming…simply, Charming.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Our Guest Today is Stephanie Morris

New Orleans...
The moment you read that you probably thought about pralines, warm beignets, Po’ Boys, crawfish and the French Quarter. Right?
By Falkue at the German language Wikipedia

Well, so do I. But I also think about one other thing…

Hurricane Katrina.

As I write this, it’s hard to believe that August 29, 2017 was the 12 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall. Yet, New Orleans is still struggling to revive itself. Just a few months ago severe flooding was an issue again. Not because of a Hurricane, but because of faulty water pumps that simply weren’t doing their job.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other issues that have plagued this beautiful city since Hurricane Katrina include but are not limited to: a decrease in police officers, a increase in violent crimes, vacant homes, dilapidated neighborhoods, displaced citizens and an increase in severe health issues due to mold and other airborne pollutants.

But in spite of these issues I LOVE New Orleans!

I visit this city at least once a year. I have family and friends in the area, so it’s a city that is near and dear to my heart. So when I received the opportunity to be a part of a box set that had to take place in New Orleans. I jumped on board. I was more than willing to take on the challenge. I saw this as an opportunity to tell a story about a city that I'm truly fond of.


Sadly, that boxed set is no longer available, but from one story a series was born, about 5 male shifters and their mates. You will meet five heroes that are doing their best to restore New Orleans to the vibrant city that it was before Hurricane Katrina and meet their mates.

As you travel with me on the journey through this series I hope that you will fall in love with the characters and the city of New Orleans as much as I have.

His to Claim will release April 17, 2018, but you can pre-order your copy today. It’s is only $1.99 for a limited time.

Synopsis:
When Serafine Hardy’s best friend tells her all about the hot new club that lets humans and shifters mingle she thinks her friend has lost her mind. As a person who doesn’t believe in the paranormal she thinks her friend has bought into one folklore too many. Still, she feels a thrill at the possibility of an encounter with a hot guy. And what better way to get back to get over her sexual drought than with a ruggedly sexy man?

It doesn't take long for Pierre Mercier to notice Serafine the second she walks in the door of Club Primal. Her luscious curves capture his attention in a way that he never expected. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s his mate. Now he just has to get her to understand what that means because there is just one huge problem.

Serafine doesn’t believe shifters exist…



Bio:
Stephanie Morris enjoys creating a story that combines a sensual energy with a captivating storyline. Sometimes her heroines have an edgier persona to them and sometimes they are of a softer essence. But all the time, her heroines are like real women, just trying to make a living and keep on going no matter what challenges life brings them. She believes in romance and happy-ever-afters. In Stephanie’s opinion, there is nothing like curling up with a good book that you can’t put down, and she is addicted to writing them.

Visit Stephanie at her http://www.stephaniemorris.webs.com to find out about her latest book releases, sign-up for her newsletter or to win free books and other giveaways.




Friday, April 13, 2018

A Few Words of Encouragement #ourauthorgang



Rich Feitelberg


I’m interrupting my regular series of posts for this public service announcement. My series of posts on my fantasy world will resume in two weeks, but first I want to make this offer to everyone …

As some of the readers of this blog may know, I write fantasy novels and have a rich fantasy world in which the stories are set. But it wasn’t
always so. It has taken me years to reach this point after burning out completely to the point where I couldn’t write anything and rebuilding and retraining myself so I could string together a few words and working my way up to stories and novels. In this way, it was very much like a person who has had a stroke and has to retrain to walk and move again.

I say all this so the aspiring writers among you will know that for many writers, the writing process is hard won. A very few can just pluck stories off a tree and have success. This is important to remember as you struggle in your own writing.

As further encouragement to you, let me also point that I do a anywhere from six to twelve events every year where I sell my work. Often at such events I am approached by aspiring writers of fantasy. In all cases I offer to help them with their writing because I believe it is important to give back. No one really helped me get to this point and I want to ease the burden for others because I know it is easy to delay and defer and get lost in rat holes because your thinking is misguided.

And I want to make the same offer to readers here: if you are a writer of fantasy and want help, please contact me. The help can be to review a story and give feedback or discuss and idea or get advice on want you should do solve your current dilemma. Whatever it is, I’m here to help. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity.

I can be reached at rfeitelberg@gmail.com.

Thank you.