Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holly and Ivy by Selah Janel

After losing her job and her boyfriend, Holly returns to her parents’ farm. Embarrassed and hopeless, she doesn’t expect to bump into a forgotten childhood friend that wasn’t supposed to exist. Ivy is not only a dryad, but she lives in the pine trees Holly’s family grows to sell at Christmas. As the old friends reconnect,Ivy not only shares her strong opinions, but gives Holly a charm that will change both their lives. As days melt into weeks and the seasons change, Holly’s life magically turns around. Christmas not only brings surprises, but a choice for the human woman. What’s more important: stability, success, and love, or keeping a promise to an old friend?

What do I do with it?” I asked. I told myself I was just playing along, suspending reality to make Ivy feel better. Although if that was the case then perhaps I should have really examined the fact that Ivy was real and not me suspending reality to make myself feel better.
You hold it now until it gets to know you. You keep it safe in your possession and it shall bring you ease and grace,” the tree sprite giggled.
And that really works?” No matter how I tried I couldn’t hide my skepticism.
She turned up her pointed nose. “How else would I have survived so well with murderers on the loose? It’s worked for a good long while.” I raised an eyebrow as a sly grin spread just a little too far across her face to make the smile look human. “Do you remember when I snuck to school with that sapling you took for show and tell?”
The next smile didn’t hurt quite as much as I traced the delicate edge of the tiny plant with the pad of a finger. The petaled head shivered and softly brushed against my calluses. “I thought everyone was going to have a heart attack when you burst out of the thing and started singing to everyone! Mrs. Robinson finally played it off as the whole class playing a trick on her. We had to go without milk time for a week.” I’d gotten in so much trouble with my parents for lying in school and saying that I had a magic plant. Given that I was adamant that I’d been telling the truth, it was a hell of an ordeal for a six-year-old.
“’Twas so much fun!” Ivy paused mid-pirouette. It was downright disgusting that she could hold the arabesque for so long and not even wobble or suffer a leg cramp. “Though I would not want to live in such cold halls all the time.” She paused and took a long breath, much longer than I or any other human could possibly inhale. Before my eyes her skin became greener, infused by the crisp clean air. “You need to be in the trees, Holly. Mortals refuse to understand that they must live where things grow. Now that you’re home, let’s play!” She leapt over my head and landed effortlessly beside her home tree, staring at me expectantly.
Maybe it was being back home or maybe it was just being back in the good fresh air, but her suggestion made me giddy. It suddenly sounded like the exact prescription I needed, the one thing I’d been missing through all those frustrating years. My fragile mind and heart demanded an escape. They couldn’t take any more disappointment, any more expectations or responsibility, and they especially couldn’t take any more reality. I nodded and tucked the strange clover deep in my pocket. The breeze had dried my tears and the heavenly scent of grass and pine put the sudden urge to run in my feet. Suddenly the heavy air and the blazing sun didn’t matter so much and my anxieties were willing to take a momentary backseat to the chance to goof off for an afternoon. “Are you sure you’ll be okay?” I hesitated, hand still at my pocket.
Ivy flashed a bold grin and stretched up on her toes; her fingers wiggled over her head, making her resemble an odd, scrawny plant. “With you here? Of course! Just remember to come look after my tree when the murderers come around the winter harvest time. You can even help me choose which tree will be my final home so you’ll know where I’ll be.” The words were no sooner out of her mouth when she tore off, dodging branches and bark as quick and swift as a deer. I groaned as I pulled myself to my feet and tumbled after her, muscles screaming at the sudden exercise. Still, I found myself laughing the entire time.

Holly and Ivy available at:

Author Bio:
Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.
She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.
Catch up with Selah and all her ongoing projects at the following places:
Blog – http://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com
Fandom Scene Column – http://www.fandomfestblog.com/blogs/selah-janel
Facebook Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/authorSJ
Facebook Book Page – http://www.facebook.com/intherednovel
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5622096.Selah_Janel
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346815995&sr=1-2-ent
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/SelahJanel

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book Review: 'The Tyrant King' by Cheri Chesley

 This book review was done by Brian Bowyer

Title: The Tyrant King
Author: Cheri Chesley
Available: Smashwords
Rating: Five out of five stars

Back Cover:

Krystal’s peaceful life as queen of Fayterra is shattered when a stranger arrives with a connection to Jareth that threatens to change everything. As the future becomes bleaker and the mystery continues to unravel, Krystal’s enemies will learn just how far she will go to defend the people she loves. 

Brian's Review:

The Tyrant King by Cheri Chesley is an excellent, highly-exciting read. The writing draws you in right from the beginning and keeps you turning pages to the end. The characters are fully realized (I must admit I think I fell a little in love with Krystal), the action is breathtaking, and the magic is magical. It's also a gorgeous-looking book; the editing and formatting is superb. I recommend this novel to readers of all genres, and can't wait to read more from this author in the future.

Monday, December 3, 2012

'Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose: Book One' Available Soon

Our very own Mel Chesley has a book coming out this Friday, December 7, 2012.

This book will be available at Amazon.com.

Back Cover:

Two kingdoms, two goals.
The king of Relavia is determined to wipe out his warring neighbors in Paridzule. Generations of rulers have proven to be worthy adversaries for over five hundred years. News of an arranged marriage between his son and the daughter of his lifelong enemy has fueled the temper of Relavia's tyrannical king. What he doesn't realize is the true measure of his son's honor and how far the young couple is willing to go to gain peace

Look for Adversarius soon!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Day of Thanks

This week, all of our authors here at Word Weavers were asked what they were thankful for. And here are there answers.

Have a safe and happy Holiday!

William Clyde Morrow ~ "Thankful to be home and enjoying being an American. Being deployed sucks. Every movement is limited, living space is cramped,and FOB stinks of piss and shit. So thankful to home."

Joseph DeRepentigny ~ "That there are people out there who see fit to publish my short stories in their magazines and anthologies. That every now and then a check for a few dollars appears in my PayPal account because of these people. Finally I’m thankful for discovering that I have a few fans."
Mel Chesley ~ "That I don't live in a big city and have to deal with 'Black Friday' shoppers in Alaska. Can you imagine what those stores must be like? Shotguns... moose... "

Dawn Lexi Lorree ~ "I am thankful to have two beautiful, Healthy, talented daughters that still call me best friend."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: 'Was Once A Hero' by Edward McKeown

Title: Was Once A Hero

Author: Edward McKeown

Publisher: Hellfire Publishing, Inc.

Pages: 356 (Print), File size: 431 kb


Purchase: Amazon

Summary from Amazon:

Reluctant privateer Robert Fenaday searches the stars for his lost love, Lisa, a naval intelligence officer whose ship disappeared near the end of the Conchirri War . He’s joined by the genetically engineered assassin, Shasti Rainhell, whose cold perfection masks her dark past. Both are blackmailed by government spymaster, Mandela, into a suicidal mission to the doomed planet Enshar. Leading a team of scientists and soldiers, they must unravel the mystery of that planet’s death before an ancient force reaches out to claim their lives.

My Thoughts:

Sometimes it is difficult for me to get into a science fiction story. Some of the terminology used can be quite confusing. Not this time around, though. It was an easy read for someone like me who isn't a hard core sci-fi fan.
Robert Fenaday's loss of his wife is heartbreaking and his search for her seems fruitless. Now, with the Conchirri War over, funding his search becomes a bit of a problem. Enter the little Enshari who is about to change all of that. Granted, the government wants to see Fenaday go on this mission ... and not come back, but this isn't why Fenaday chooses to accept.
Shasti Rainhell is definitely not a woman you want to mess with. She lives up to her surname in lots of ways. Always by Fenaday's side, she isn't about to let him go to the Enshar planet without her.
This book contains a myriad of aliens and robots, cyborgs and intrigue. Enshar was attacked by an unseen force and McKeown keeps you guessing until the end as to what exactly wiped out almost an entire species and then some. Very well written, great plot and strong characters. I would definitely read more from this author.

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

~ Review done by Mel Chesley.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writing Wednesday

For those of you who are new to Twitter and need followers, well, if you're an author have I got some tips for you!

First, I'd like you to go check out WJ Davies website where I read this great post. Go ahead, I'll wait. Just come back, there's more!

Okay, so some of the things I have learned about Twitter are as follows:

~ Follow 'like minded people'. The more people you follow, the more will follow you back. This is how you build your base. Look for editors, publishers, review blogs and of course, other authors.

~ See a cool Tweet such as an author promoting a book or blog post? Retweet it! My first retweet felt sort of odd... but I got over it.

~ Share what you are doing. Okay, don't go as far as "Sitting down with coffee and scratching my butt..." Um. No. We don't want THOSE kinds of details. Use the hashtags Davies suggests. I will share a few of my own in a moment.

~ Be yourself. I'm sort of off-beat and whacky, so the other day on my paper route when a goose honked at ME, I posted about it. I found it quite humorous and so did others. Then the next day, that goose brought back up in the form of a duck. Game on! Get it? Hehe.

~ Always retweet your blog posts throughout the day. You'll get more people sharing your links and retweeting them the more you share.

Once you make it known that you are an online presence that will do your share of supporting other authors, you'll begin to get the same courtesies. When I began Twitter, I was a little overwhelmed. Now I just make sure I get on there every day, check who is following me and give them all an SO (Shout out).

Which leads me to some Twitter-logue:

SO = Shout Out. Give a shout out to new followers! How do you find this? Go under your 'connection' tab when logged in. It tells you who is following you. What I do is click on each one, see if I want to follow them (if I'm not already) and then I write down their @soandso name on a sticky note. Once I am done with this list, I click back over to 'Home' and start typing in the SO's. As long as you type in '@' and then the first couple letters of their name, it will bring up a box of who it is you're trying to mention. If the right one is highlighted, hit 'Enter'. This will automatically space out those names so you can type in '@' and begin the next one. You can only put in about 4-5 names and then add, "Thanks for the follow!". It is a bit time consuming if you don't keep up with it every day.

#FF = Follow Friday. Got some great friends and want everyone to follow them? Use the #FF hashtag and add in names just like you would for the SO's.

If you aren't sure what a hashtag (#) means, Google it! I do. That's how I learn everything. If I have a question about how to do this or that, I Google it and look for my answers.

I hope this helps get you Tweeting! If you have a Twitter account, post it in the comments for us to follow you.

To follow Word Weavers, look for @WeaversofWords

To follow Mel, look for @MLChesley

To follow Jenna, look for @JennaSheWolf

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Post by Sabne Raznik

NPR had a discussion on the Morning Report on November 6, 2012 about how Random House and Penguin are possibly merging due to the rather negative impact that digital publications are having on physical books. That is, except coffee table books and art books. These are generally large, trophy books. They tend to be expensive, but they continue to sell well. Why? Because they are extraordinary books and usually collectible.
The average person now expects a book to be more than a book. They want it to be a completely rounded work of art in every way. As a poet, I tried to take a lesson from that years ago when I read a blog (Well-Read Life) which argued for writing in and annotating your books, because doing so will make them heritage items, something people want to save because of the personal mark you made in them.
That is why I demand to maintain full control of my books, including inside and cover images. Even though, so far, this has meant that I have to publish independently. Because now - more than ever before in history - every aspect of the finished product is important. It is not just about the words anymore. It is about multi-media and presentation. Without these, your book will never even be seen, let alone read.
These days, authors have to be more than wordsmiths. We have to be complete artists and obsessive about the whole package. It takes an industriousness and determination that may be completely unknown to past generations of authors. Also, when a reader buys a copy of my book from eBay, not only do I sign it, but I try to include a note specific to that copy and date my signature. We must make our books unique to sell them, we must write better and stronger than ever before, we must be creative in multiple ways.
The book will survive, just as the radio has survived television, and both of those have survived the internet. The question is: will it be your book? The answer depends much on the effort you are willing to put into your work.

~ written by Sabne Raznik

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Network: Jennifer L. Miller, With Post

Today, with Facebook, Twitter, Smart Phones, the internet, and so much more, it is truly a visual age. People associate imagery with just about everything these days. Don’t believe me? Look at your live feed on Facebook, even quotes by famous dead guys now have a visual associated with them. It’s true.

It also makes it very easy to become distracted, procrastinate, make excuses to make time for games, or reading the funnies on your live feed. However, if you want to truly dedicate yourself to your writing, do yourself a favor and do not procrastinate when it comes to your writing obligations.
To save some time, make yourself a little press kit, of sorts, and save it onto your computer in its own little folder. Include in it:

·         Several versions of your biography, varying in length from a short paragraph blurb to several paragraphs, a “full bio” if you will.
      A few author photos in both landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) forms. Make sure they are as professional looking as possible. Also make sure they are at least 300 dpi.
      Synopsis’ of your printed works. Book covers in varying size (at least 300dpi). And purchasing links to your work.
      If it applies, information and imagery about/from your publisher. Remember the links!
      Your own personal website/blog/twitter/facebook information.
      In today’s visual age, most editors will want an image of you and your work to go with your biography and/or book synopsis and website information. Have all of it ready!

If you have everything ready, you will save time hunting it all down on your computer or the internet. You can then return the information request in no time at all. Simple, right?

There is one last thing that cannot be stressed enough. Never leave your editor waiting. Do not make them ask you repeatedly for something. If you are busy, if it slips your mind, if you’ve had a rough week, if something is going on and you simply cannot get the information in, then contact them and explain why and when you plan to do so.

For I guarantee you that if your editor sees you procrastinating on FB or twitter (which if they are on your list, they will), when they have asked you five times for information, they will feel that you just don’t have the dedication and passion that they are looking for in their project. Do yourself a favor and put your writing first whenever you possibly can. 
~ written by Jennifer L. Miller
Ceremony of Chaos: An Assortment of Chilling Tales by Jennifer L. Miller

Ceremony of Chaos features 12 Short Stories from the twisted mind of Jennifer L. Miller. Within the pages you will find supernatural and real world horrors sure to keep you up at night. With one new tale of terror, Black Widow, Ceremony of Chaos also contains short stories penned for Darkened Horizons Magazine, such as The Shewolf and Slither, as well as Black Water City from the Horror Anthology Concrete Blood: Dark Tales of the City. Short Stories that appeared in several Word Weavers Anthologies also are included in this collection. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: First Frost by Liz DeJesus

Title: First Frost

Author: Liz DeJesus

Publisher: Musa Publishing

Pages: 233 (Print), File size: 377 kb


Where to buy: Amazon , Barnes & Noble

Reviewer: Mel Chesley. (This book was given to me by the author to review. )

Summary from Amazon:

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

My thoughts:

First Frost by Liz DeJesus is a great read! Adults will love it as much as teens. If you like the Grimm's Fairy tales, you will like this book. While it does not go into the details the Grimm brothers dove into, it does give you a more in depth look at the fairy tales and the magical world they stem from.
Magic is alive and well, Bianca can attest to it!
When a witch opens a portal right in her back yard, Bianca witnesses the clash of power between her mother and the witch. Who knew!? Kept in the dark for most of her formative years, Bianca suddenly has a lot to learn. But when her mother is kidnapped and Bianca is forced to trade the Evil Queen's spellbook for her mom, she drags her best friend to the Magical Kingdom in hopes of rescuing her. And of course, find a handsome Prince and his bodyguard along the way. But Bianca has to wait for her Happily Ever After.

I loved this book. It was a great, fast read and clean. Definitely a good book for YA. Very few errors, nothing that interrupted the flow of the story. With that being said, I give this book:

Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Mel Chesley

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Also known as IWSG, brought to you by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Once a month, writers post their insecurities or advice and on this blog, there is no limit of both of those! Here are three authors from this group offering up some of their own experience:

Joseph DeRepentigny ~ "The biggest problem facing writers is rejection. Some people write hundreds of stories or novels and send out nothing. Then they dream of making it big like Rowling or Hemingway. The reason they give for not submitting are varied but it all boils down to a fear of the word “No.” I had it.

Then one day I said to myself, that no wasn't a bad word. Therefore, I set myself a goal, of twenty submissions in a month. I bought a copy of the Writers Market, picked one hundred magazines, and sent two submissions a day to sci-fi magazines. I did the next twenty the next month and so on. 

Within six months, I had over 90 rejection form letters or e-mails. However, I had ten notes on what I was doing wrong. Therefore, I fixed the story, resubmitted, and by the end of the year, I published my first four stories. The next year I did 10 and so on. Now I know what a publisher is looking for and if I can, I fill their needs. I still get no’s and form letters but they are the exception."


Stephen Wayne ~ As a writer, I've been asked more than I’d like to admit as to just how long I’ll be keeping up with my current hobby. They ask in mistaking art for some sort of cry for help, though I assure everyone that I keep the paper cutting of my wrists to a minimum.
Being a writer has little to do with everybody else and I've tried telling myself that with a straight face. Writing is a lonely task. It requires every inch of your being to produce a good story and you can’t lie to the keyboard, or else your story will tell on you. I like to think of the keyboard as an Ouija board through which I correspond with my subconscious. Literature takes on a life of its own and writing it can be likened to speaking to your reflection in the mirror and it telling you the cruelest truths in reply.
Every writer will tell you that you can’t exist in the business without thick skin and any decent writer has built a solid layer off of their own self loathing developed during the editing process. (No worries, you typically make up with yourself afterwards.)
The necessity for thickened skin is simple: people will hate you. People will read you, meet the real you and hate you. There’s no avoiding the scars they leave behind and the wise among us have learned to cherish their scars.
My greatest insecurity is that my readers will feel nothing at all.


Hydra Morningstar ~ A lot of writers feel uncomfortable writing bios, but most editors and publishers request them and won't write them for you. This means you're going to HAVE create a bio eventually, and probably rewrite and refine it as years past.

Here are a few good
 rules of thumb when writing bios are:

1. Avoid comparing yourself to other authors. This can often come off as pretentious, but more so than this readers and editors can be brutal, even without cause. Why set yourself up for that kind of judgement?...oh, this guy thinks he writes in the same style as H.P. Lovecraft? Well, we'll just see about that, won't we?

2. Share two or three publications you've been in, but don't list all your writing credits, even if they all fit into the word count. Pick the two or three credits you are most proud of or which are the most recent.

3. Share some personal details about yourself, but not too personal. Where you're from, how many kids you have, a hobby or interest you have outside of writing; these are all examples of good things to share. The list of antipsychotics your doctor has you on, the name of the girl you lost your virginity to, how you wet the bed until you were sixteen; these are all examples of things better kept to yourself.

4. Include a link to your personal website, blog, or email, but don't load your bio down with a link to every social networking site you belong to on the web.

5. ALWAYS write your bio in third person.

Hope that helps anyone out there that doesn't know where to start with their bio.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Network: Jennifer Miller

Ceremony of Chaos: An Assortment of Chilling Tales by Jennifer L. Miller

Ceremony of Chaos features 12 Short Stories from the twisted mind of Jennifer L. Miller. Within the pages you will find supernatural and real world horrors sure to keep you up at night. With one new tale of terror, Black Widow, Ceremony of Chaos also contains short stories penned for Darkened Horizons Magazine, such as The Shewolf and Slither, as well as Black Water City from the Horror Anthology Concrete Blood: Dark Tales of the City. Short Stories that appeared in several Word Weavers Anthologies also are included in this collection.

You can purchase Ceremony of Chaos here.

Monday Network: Electa Graham

Electa Graham is a fairly new author. Here is a link to her first book, 'Blood and Loss' as well as information on her second book, 'Blood and Redemption'.

 You can find Electa on Facebook.

If you lost everything that made you who you are could you recover?
Would you be stronger than before or would you crumble under the mountain of grief?
When Cassandra Myles is faced with this question her answer is to do what ever it takes to move on. She rebuilds her life and finds happiness once again. She doesn't do it alone, she has two very special men in her life, who have been there for her while she has recovered. 
One is her boss. His name is Quintus and he is a very old and very powerful vampire. He took her under his wing when she needed someone and now she would do anything to repay that debt. 
The other is her roommate Declan. He is caring, charming, gorgeous and in her eyes perfect in every way except one. Cassandra feels they are meant for each other and Declan feels he is meant for every woman who walks in his bar. 
Life might not be perfect, but it was filled with possibilities and she was going to meet them with strength, courage and when all else fails a huge dose of sarcasm.
Then Quintus comes to her and tells her what was once lost can now be restored. A painful part of her past can be undone. Will this make her life complete or should some things remain buried.
This novel contains several erotic scenes that may cause an increased heart rate and other more pleasant side effects. This novel is not meant for a younger reader.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review: "Fox's Bride" by A. E. Marling

Title: Fox's Bride

Author: A. E. Marling

Publisher: AEther Publishing

Pages: 269 (Print), File size: 1004 kb


Purchase: Amazon

Summary from Amazon:

A desert fox. An enchantress. And a sacrificial marriage.

Everyone in Oasis City worships the fennec fox as a sacred animal, except for the one woman forced to marry him. Enchantress Hiresha believes her fiancé is possessed by nothing more divine than fleas, and she also objects to the wedding venue: the afterlife. Priests will trap her in an airless sarcophagus with the fox. She has only four days of engagement left to live.

Her escape attempt ends in disaster, leaving her at the mercy of the city's vizier as well as her own pathological sleepiness. She wishes she could trust help from the Lord of the Feast, a past acquaintance with forbidden magic. He warns her that a sorcerer with even fewer scruples than himself may have arranged her marriage, to murder her. To find the truth before it's too late for her and the fox, she must slip off her silk gloves and break into pyramid tombs.

My thoughts:

A. E. Marling and Hiresha continue to capture my heart! The stories I have read by this author (this book and 'Brood of Bones') keep me coming back for more. Marling's writing is clean, well defined and cut as exquisitely as any of Hiresha's best gems.

When Hiresha arrives in Oasis City, she thinks her time spent there will be a bore as everyone scampers to do the fennec's bidding, believing that it is possessed by one of their gods known as 'The Golden Scoundrel'. But when the furry little avatar circles her feet three times, everyone is delighted that he has chosen his bride! While the details are a bit fuzzy, (no pun intended) Hiresha is certain she does not want to marry a fox.

While we get to meet some new faces, a few old ones return as well. Hiresha's maid, Janny and the dark one himself, the Lord of the Feast, Tethiel.

This time, the Lord of the Feast is not as prominent and the story focuses more on Hiresha and her Spellsword, Chandur. Because Hiresha does not want to rely on Tethiel as much as she did before, she discovers some new strengths of her own. Going against the wishes of the priest's, Hiresha makes her choice: Save the city or asphyxiate with a furry spouse.

Once again, Marling captivated me and Hiresha charmed me. I have to give this book a 5 star review.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Guest Post by Selah Janel

As a writer, I’m used to surprises. Characters suddenly piping up with new tangents don’t freak me out anymore. New plot twists, subplots, or taking out something that just doesn’t work isn’t new. Still, it seemed that In the Red was a title that was determined to throw every single curve ball that it could in my direction.
From the start it combined my love of fairy tales, my love of rock music, and my love of the Midwest (though the characters perceive don’t exactly appreciate that last one).Originally it was a much (much, much) shorter piece, more of a narrative, and more of a “punch line” story, where the ending was a shock and the rest was buildup. It would have been right at home on a new style of Twilight Zone, and it wasn’t a bad short story. I got a lot of decent feedback on it, but still, something bothered me about it. I adapted it and worked with it off and on for eight years, putting it away, pulling it out, making it shorter, making it longer, and just trying to figure out what it needed.
And suddenly, at the eleventh hour, I knew. I don’t even remember what spawned this sudden epiphany, but I was chilling out one evening, rereading one of the shorter versions, and suddenly realized that there was more story to tell – a hell of a lot more story, in fact. I didn’t realize it at the time; I assumed it would be a novella, maybe a short novel. It definitely had plans for me, though, because it kept going, and going and going…I began to wonder if I was at the mercy of my imagination, being dragged along by my ideas for the ride. At the end of the day, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It had to be this way. I didn’t have it in me to give Jeremiah (my lead character) his original fate. He had a lot more growing to do, and he deserved to be given the time to do it. The other characters, too, had a lot of surprises up their sleeves. His sister, Daniella, evolved from a single reference to an important character. Jeremiah’s wife grew important enough to warrant a grisly little scene of her own that to this day makes me shudder and makes me feel sorry for her.
All of the supporting characters that I had swept aside before had something to say, and longings of their own. While they don’t all go through their own character arcs, you get glimpses into their lives, former lives, and own personal hells. Even Jack Scratch, that shadowy, ruthless manager, has his moments. That was what was fascinating to me. When I took my time and gathered the courage to add in the sleazy moments, the painful moments, the slow and fumbling moments, it made me look at nearly every character in a whole other light. I had a definite plot in mind, but the twists and turns the book took towards getting there definitely made it a better work. I’ll go out on a limb and say I needed that time, too. I needed the time to gain confidence in my skills as a writer, time to get over my trepidation about people I know reading some of the scenes, and time to really get to know and appreciate my motley cast of characters for who they really are and what they had to go through.
I had to decide what I’d be willing to trade for if it was me in Jeremiah’s place. I had to remember my frustrations and loves of small town life so I could reflect it through his eyes. I had to decide what I would do if knocked to my knees and faced with the long climb back up. I had to decide what the people in my life meant to me so that I had some sort of comparison of his feelings. We’re very different personalities, but in a lot of ways I had to really get in touch with myself so I could understand Jeremiah’s conflicting viewpoints. I go around these days asking readers “Are you in?” but really, that’s exactly what I had to ask myself as I was writing it. Before I could toss around a clever tagline, I had to take a deep breath and forced myself to slow down as I expanded, polished, edited, and re-edited. I had to gather my courage and my personal feelings and jump right in.

~ Selah Janel

You can purchase 'In The Red' here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and No Boundaries Press

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips

Hey everyone! Good to see you all here.

So there's been several blogs circulating the web these days on whether or not all authors need to blog.

First, let me just say that this is NOT a necessary thing for authors. Each of the blogs talking about this topic have asked publishers and agents if this is something they look for in an author.

Seems the stress of blogging (if you feel any and if you do, in fact, blog) is all on you.

Personally, I do not find blogging stressful. Hell, I have my own, plus I add to the blogs here on WW. What stress?

I do have a few tips for you, though, if you want to start a blog and maintain it. Mind you, these are things I learned from other bloggers, authors and lots of trial and error.

* Be consistent. If you want to blog, but don't have a lot of time, then figure out what you can commit to. Choose how often you want to post. Be it once a week, twice a week or every single day, you better figure that out now. Of the blogging sites I know of, Blogger and Word Press both allow you to schedule blogs in advance. Utilize this. Spend a day writing up some blog posts and scheduling them to appear throughout the week. It would also be a good idea to connect your blog with your Facebook and/or Twitter account. This way, the moment your blog is published, a link is automatically sent out. You have very little to do other than send out the link again every so often.

* Comment. Not only on other blogs you follow, but respond to comments left on your own blog! Be interactive. Even if you just check up on your blog once or twice a day, take a moment to respond to comments left.

* Be concise. Don't ramble on too much in your post. (I have a very bad habit of doing this sort of thing.) You want people to read your blog, leave a comment and possibly share the post. So be short and to the point.

* Help the reader. Okay, what I mean by this is simply: DON'T make them have to put in a Captcha code to leave a comment. I have a huge blog list I follow. When I leave a comment, I want to just hit one button and go. Having to leave a comment, type in the captcha and then wait... well, sometimes the captcha is wrong so you have to retype it. The frustration of doing such a thing will piss off your followers and they'll never comment. They also will skip over your blog, knowing this. Blog sites are pretty good about catching all the spam comments. I have to delete maybe one every three months.

Something else that helps the reader: Have share buttons handy. Want this posted to Facebook? Twitter? Have a button nearby.

Now, while blogging is not a necessary tool to get your book published, I will say this: it will help your reader connect to you if that is what you are looking for. If you don't want people to connect with you, then don't blog. I followed a couple of author blogs loyally for a short while. What irritated me was the fact that I would leave a comment and the author would ignore it. I watched for awhile and realized that people either didn't comment or they did, knowing they would not receive a response. Sorry, but if you are blogging, acknowledge the reader who took the time to leave a comment. It's a modern day version of fan mail. Don't be a jerk.

If you liked this topic, I do have more things I can share with you. Leave me your comments and you know I'll get back to you!

~ Mel

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Network: Hearse-Say Magazine

David Lingbloom offers free advertising and promotion and greatly encourage that it be mutual (the more people know about Hearse-Say Magazine, the more people know about you, etc.). His numbers on the Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress fronts are growing gradually, and it's all because of great people like you wanting to connect and enrich each one's personal lives.
David takes on links to personal/professional blogs, sites as well as excerpts and full stories. 

Concerning stories: "I have no true limit, but no novels please. You all know what would be a worthy subm
ission. Also, I'd like to stay in the realm of horror, paranormal, mystery, crime, and sci-fi/fantasy. 
Please go ahead and send submissions to advertise.hearsesay@gmail.com and take a look and see what I'm doing with the site by clicking on the banner above."

Monday Network: Selah Janel

Monday is all about networking. Each person who sends me their "promotional packages" will get their own blog post throughout the day. I'll follow up with Twitter, as in each post will get its own 'Tweet' all day long on Monday. Feel free to help me spread the word on these posts!

Meet Selah Janel:

 Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town.
Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

'In The Red':

What kind of a rock star lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere and plays at weddings and funerals? That’s what Jeremiah Kensington is thinking after an unsuccessful bar gig one night. Then Jack Scratch comes into his life, ready to represent him and launch him to stardom.
Jack can give him everything: a new band, a new name, a new life, a new look, and new boots…although they aren’t exactly new. They once belonged to The One, a rocker so legendary and so mysterious that it’s urban legend that he used black magic to gain success. But what does Jeremiah care about urban legend? And it’s probably just coincidence that the shoes make him dance better than anyone, even if it doesn’t always feel like he’s controlling his movements. It’s no big deal that he plunges into a world of excess and decadence as soon as he puts the shoes on his feet, right?

But what happens when they refuse to come off?

Here is where you can find Selah Janel:

Monday Network: Infernal Ink Magazine

Monday is all about networking. Each person who sends me their "promotional packages" will get their own blog post throughout the day. I'll follow up with Twitter, as in each post will get its own 'Tweet' all day long on Monday. Feel free to help me spread the word on these posts!

Infernal Ink Magazine:

Meet Hydra M. Star, creator of Infernal Ink Magazine and 'No One Makes It Out Alive' anthology.

Volume 1, Issue 1 for October, 2012 ~

Infernal Ink Magazine is a different sort of a literary magazine, in that we are focused on publishing extremely dark fiction and poetry, of all genres. We favor pieces with erotic, sexual, or humorous aspects, but love anything that disquiets the minds of our readers. In addition to our fictional offerings, we offer non-fiction content in this same vein with columns, articles, and interviews that explore everything from music to the paranormal.

This month's issue includes an interview with Les Hernandez lead man of the horror punk band The Quintessentials, true stories of the paranormal, and the sorts of violently erotic tales that Infernal Ink is known for.

October's issue is on sale now in Print, PDF, Kindle, and Nook.

No One Makes It Out Alive: an end of the world anthology

"No One Makes It out Alive: an end of the world anthology" is in short a collection of writings about the end of the world. The genres and subject matter of these stories stretches from zombies to nuclear war and from comedy to erotica, with mostly everything else covered in-between.

This anthology was edited by writer, columnist, book reviewer, and magazine owner Hydra M. Star.

Cover art provided by Dave Lipscomb.

Foreword by Garth von Buchholz.

Includes stories from; Andrea Dean van Scoyoc, Joseph DeRepentigny, Josephine Seven, Ken Knight, Larry Lefkowitz, Magan Rodriguez, Tibbie X, and W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh.

On sale in Paperback, Kindle, Nook, and PDF

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Is All Of This?

So, I'm sure some of you are asking by now just what the heck is all of this? Word Weavers, just what is it you guys do?

Well, I'm more than happy to tell you.

Q: Who created Word Weavers?

A: Word Weavers was founded by Jennifer Miller and Mel Chesley way back in 2006.

Q: How did it all come about?

A: Well, Jennifer and Mel were both published by Publish America at that time. Neither one of us knew what a scam it was until Jennifer found some links on Absolute Write dot com's Water Cooler. I don't want to speak for Jennifer, but I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.

But let me back up a bit. When you are a part of PA, they have forums on their site. Other 'authors' (I don't want to belittle the term or some of the people who knew full well what they were getting into with PA...so... sorry) would ask for reviews in their book's genre. As you can imagine, fantasy wasn't a thriving posting thread. I think Jennifer and I were like the only two on there. I had a couple other people offer to read mine, but they weren't too thrilled with my choice of genre. So Jennifer and I decided to help promote each other as well as ourselves.

Q: Where did the Trading Card idea come from?

A: That was Jennifer ~ "I stumbled upon an online trading card editor - so we took the idea a step further, designed our own templates/icons/card designs, and then went out on a limb asking our members if they'd like a free one.

A lot of them did - that began a trading card ring - where they would host each others cards for a week - spotlighting them on WW and other places, and then being asked to mail a printed set to the trading card museum."

Q: So what exactly does Word Weavers do?

A: Word Weavers consists of a group of authors who are looking to get the word out about their books. Word Weavers offers up several different avenues to help. We have the Facebook 'Like' page, the Facebook group, this blog and a website.

Every week, we spotlight an author. This gives them the opportunity, for a whole week, to promote. They're given a day for links to all of their pages and sites. Links to purchase their books, etc. They get a day of Q & A where they have the option to give away a copy of their book(s) to anyone who posts a question. They have links and information on our website. And finally, we offer them the opportunity to share their own books on this blog. We also ask that they guest post and/or do book reviews for the blog as well.

I hope this helps shed some light on what exactly Jennifer and Mel do. Their efforts would be for nothing if not for the support of the group. While they manage the group and maintain a lot of the different aspects of it, there is always a way for someone to help out. In the writing industry, you get further by supporting your fellow author.

If you would like to contribute, please read our policies and contact us through the contact page of this blog.