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.