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This Month In Writing

It's been a crazy month here with the blog tour. I hope everyone enjoyed it. At least you'll have some new books and new authors to check out. Today is the last day, and there are some posts, so check 'em out if you want!

Meradeth Houston - “Colors Like Memories” on Kim Baccellia
Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on Marva Dasef
Marva Dasef - “Bad Spelling” on Barbara Ehrentreu
C.K. Volnek - “Ghost Dog of Roanoke” on Lawna Mackie

Believe it or not, I've actually been very busy with writing, also. It's mainly been edits, but I've been working.

I sent off final edits for a zombie story the other night and did a final run through on my paranormal romance. That story is supposed to be out in the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted. I wrote a zombie short for an anthology and sent it to my beta reader. Hopefully, she'll have suggestions back to me next week and I can finalize the story. I came to the conclusion that Finding Eden has to be completely rewritten, so I've been working on that.

The nonfiction editor sent back edits to my slasher book, and I have those waiting in the wings. I was a little daunted by his suggestions, but he also sent them to me at the height of my illness. After having time to think about them (and procrastinate), they aren't that bad. They'll just require time. Too bad I don't have more of that!

My goal is to have Finding Eden finished by October 15, then I will start edits on the nonfiction book. After that, I need to get back to the YA zombie sequel. Phew! It's going to be busy!

Another Review

As an author, it's very important to get your work into the hands of reviewers. In a lot of cases, their opinions will influence others. While it's important to send your work to professional reviewers, don't forget the power of the regular reader.

Word of mouth is some of the best advertisement you can get. Since my zombie story is a YA novel, I thought I'd ask one of my young fans to read it for me. Here's what he had to say:

I got the copy a couple of weeks ago, and finished it a couple of days ago. I really liked it and am ready to review it! :)

Right from the start, I liked the relatability of the main character, Krista, as an average teenager, who seems a little disturbed with her obsession with serial killers. Then the story quickly turns to its main focus with the practical disbelief of the family presented with the notion of zombies. But the story lured me in wanted to know just what was going to happen, after that attack occurred in their neighborhood street. What really moved on the plot for me was the loss of both parents, and that she had to fend for herself. I liked how the deaths made sense, that in crazy times people fail to act rationally. I liked that she had to be resourceful, and team up with other people in order to survive. Then after getting to Florida, with security only when giving up all personal rights, she realized that she had to get out of there. The whole cousin drama I thought was really great, it tells just how confusing her life is and that she really couldn’t trust anyone. And with her Wyoming love, it has the love story that brings a book full circle. I oddly really liked that there was no grand resolution with the end of the book and that with taking control at the end that nothing was truly figured out. I feel like it set up a sequel nicely and that it answered enough that I wasn’t angry by its ending. Some books don’t answer enough and makes it too apparent the author just wants to write another book. I didn’t feel that way.

I really enjoyed the book overall. It was a genre that I don’t read, and was a well-written book that has a good overall flow and has enough captivating moments to make it a book that you feel like you want to read. I really loved reading it and thank you a lot for the great opportunity. Thank you!!

Chaim, Laramie High School Student

Makes me happy to know people are enjoying my book!

Last Guest Blog

My final guest blog for the month is over at Lawna Mackie. Check it out!

Don't forget, in October I'll be getting back to my regular post topics, so you can read about the movies I watched and other rantings and ravings. AND I will be having a contest! Good times will be had by all!

Battling Bugs

No, not the Starship Troopers kind, although they are probably a lot easier to kill than these dang germs I have. I have been battling sickness for over a week now. I'm over it. If I'm going to stay home, I would at least like to be productive. That doesn't so much happen when you feel like death warmed over.

Okay. I'll quit complaining. This is the last week of the blog tour. You can still find some fabulous reads at the following places.

Chris Verstraete - “Killer Valentine Ball” on Barbara Bockman
Lawna Mackie - “Enchantment” on Barbara Ehrentreu
Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on Shellie Neumeier
Barbara Bockman - “Wounds” on Chris Verstraete
C.K. Volnek - “Ghost Dog of Roanoke” on Rebecca Ryals Russell

Also, in October, I'm going to have some contests. I have four fabulous prizes to give away, and I'll do it every Friday. The only thing you have to do is leave a comment either here or on my Facebook page that links to the blog and you'll get a chance to win!

"If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor" by Barbara Ehrentreu

Today my guest is Barbara Ehrentreu. She is a retired teacher with a Masters degree in Reading and Writing K-12 and seventeen years of teaching experience who lives with her family in Stamford, Connecticut. When she received her Masters degree she began writing seriously. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara’s first YA novel, was inspired by Paula Danziger. Barbara is a NY Literature Examiner for Examiner.com with several articles for them. Her blog, Barbara’s Meanderings, http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/, is networked on both Facebook and Blog Catalog. She hosts Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children's story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online She writes book reviews for Authorlink.com. and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity CafĂ©. She is a member of SCBWI. Writing is her life!

Interview with Carolyn Samuels from If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor.

Today my guest is a girl who has suddenly been thrust into the media. Recently she gave a talk on Karen’s Chaise Lounge and now she is a featured guest on this blog. How is it affecting this young girl who has graciously agreed to talk about the events of her freshman year in high school. Since Carolyn was a little nervous about her first big interview she asked the author of her story, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara Ehrentreu, to interview her.

Welcome to both of you. Barbara and Carolyn.

Barbara, please ask your first question.

Carolyn, would you please tell us a little about yourself?
There’s not much to tell. I live in Mill Valley, which is in Westchester, NY and I attend Mill Valley High School. My best friends are Becky and Janie and I love Math. Oh, yeah, I have a Newfoundland dog named Max and my favorite cookie is chocolate chocolate chip homemade by my mom. My mom works for an ad agency in the city. That’s what New Yorkers called New York City. My dad is a criminal lawyer. I’m an only child, but you couldn’t ask for better parents. Except they don’t pay much attention to me.

On the surface it looks like you have a great life. Why, then did you come to me one day crying and telling me you hated Jennifer Taylor and she made your life miserable? Who is Jennifer Taylor and why do you hate her?
Jennifer Taylor has made my life a living nightmare since middle school. I call her Miss Perfect, because she is a size two and her father owns half the town. She’s on the path to be an Olympic gymnast so she’s excellent in gym. Jennifer is the most popular girl in the freshman class. I think she knows everyone in the class. And to top it all off she has this hot boyfriend, Brad, who is a Junior and the quarterback for our football team. He’s so amazing and I don’t think she deserves to be with him. Okay, maybe I have a crush on Brad myself.

What happened last year on the first day of school?
I’m not sure I can talk about this, because it brings back awful memories. Do you want me to go all the way back to the rope line incident? I mean that’s what started all this.

Yes, tell us as much as you can.
Well, I got up on the first day of school after having this incredible dream where I was popular and a cheerleader and my boyfriend fed me a piece of chocolate cake because I was thin and blonde and didn’t gain weight. Of course the truth is I am a little overweight and my hair is dark brown and hangs like shriveled spaghetti. But still this was a great dream, wouldn’t you agree? I wanted to stay in bed, because when my alarm rang I realized I might run into Jennifer Taylor.

You see I hate her and I also want to be like her. It’s awful and here’s how it started. When I was in seventh grade we did the ropes course. One part of it , the zip line, required you to climb up to this platform and you were given a harness. When you got up there you had to clasp yourself to the line and then you could slide down. A few people went in front of me and then of course, Jennifer did it perfectly. When my turn came I froze. Then I started breathing funny, because I have this thing. I hyperventilate when I’m nervous and that day I started turning blue. If I can’t start breathing I can faint. I started feeling dizzy and couldn’t clasp myself onto the zip line. Jennifer was on the ground and saw me. The teacher saw me too and raced up the ladder to the platform. She said to me, “Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Then Jennifer started saying too and soon all the kids who had been on the line echoed her. As I came down the ladder I wanted a big hole to open up and swallow me. So then Jennifer started bothering me at odd times every day. She’d sneak up and say “Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Or she would whisper it in class when I had to go up to the board. We were in Math class together and I started to dread it. So when I was in her Math class again and the teacher put us together as partners I didn’t know how I could stand it.

What happened?
Well the first day of school after being pushed together with her for a Math project I was put in front of her in line for gym. I don’t know what happened, but all of a sudden I didn’t want to be anywhere near Jennifer and I started hyperventilating until I fainted. I guess that’s when I got connected to Jennifer in a much more serious way.

Oh, my goodness, your story has more to it?
Oh yes, I learned way too much about Jennifer and wound up holding her secrets until the end of the year. I mean, I did meet Brad and well, I don’t think I can say anymore. This is all really painful to talk about, you know?

Yes, Carolyn and thank you for telling us a little bit about your story. I guess if you want to learn more about what happened that year you will have to read the book, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor coming from MuseItUp Publishing in September as a cool e-book.

Thank you, Pembroke, for hosting us today.
Yes, thank you Amy. This was my first blog interview and thank you Barbara for helping me through it.

My pleasure, Carolyn. I know talking about these things is hard for you, but you did very well.

Blurb from If I Could Be LIke Jennifer Taylor

Carolyn Samuels’ freshman year becomes a series of lies to cover Jennifer Taylor’s terrible secret in return for popularity.

Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too heavy for fashion body and not being a cheerleader. Hyperventilating when she gets nervous doesn’t help. When she is paired for a Math project with the girl who tormented her in middle school, Jennifer Taylor, she is sure it is going to be another year of pain.With Carolyn’s crush on Jennifer’s hunky Junior quarterback Brad her freshman year in high school looks like a rerun of middle school. After Jennifer’s the only student who knows why she fell in gym class, Carolyn is blackmailed into doing her math homework in return for Jennifer’s silence. Jennifer takes on Carolyn as a pity project since she can’t be seen with someone who dresses in jeans and sweatshirts. When Jennifer invites Carolyn to sleep over to make her over and teach her to tumble, Carolyn learns Jennifer’s secret and lies to her own friends to cover it up. Will Carolyn become a cheerleader and become popular? Does she continue to keep Jennifer’s secret? Or will she be a target of this mean girl again?


Feeling my old hatred of gym, I glance across the locker room and see Jennifer in red designer shorts and a tight sleeveless shirt to match. She's standing in front of the only mirror in the room turning back and forth.

Becky and I slide into our loose camp shorts and a T-shirt, and once they're on, we race onto the gym floor. Always better to be early for gym the first day. You never knew what kind of teacher you'd have. My athletic ability is zero, so I don’t take chances. Once I was a few minutes late, and the gym teacher in middle school made me run around the gym ten times. It took me the whole gym period.

Becky and I sit on the low seats in the bleachers, but Jennifer and her group saunter into the gym and choose the highest seats avoiding the rest of us. Miss Gaylon, the gym teacher introduces herself and gives us a few minutes until the last stragglers come from the locker room. For those few minutes, I almost feel comfortable. My breathing returns to normal. I hear giggles from Jennifer and her group, but I ignore it.

"Maybe it won't be so bad this year, Carolyn." Becky always tries to cheer me up now. This wasn’t true a few years ago. I had to cheer her up a lot. Becky’s brothers are just turning five, and they’re both in kindergarten. Her mom remarried after being divorced for ten years. Becky was just getting used to her new stepfather when her mom got pregnant. I remember how miserable Becky was the first year of middle school when her mom spent so much time with her twin brothers and didn’t have enough time to help Becky with her homework. Luckily, Becky’s stepfather is a history teacher, so she got very interested in history and current events.

"Right, Becky, and maybe I'll learn to be a gymnast in ten minutes. Reality check, remember last year?"

"Okay, I'm hoping it won't be so bad."

"You mean like the dentist finding you only have one cavity and filling it the same day?"

"You’re so lame, Carolyn. Since we're all older, maybe she'll treat us differently. People change over the summer you know."

"Look at her, Becky."

Becky turns to look over at the group at the top of the bleachers and then turns back to look me in the eye. “You know you have to put that stupid day behind you.”

I pretend not to know what she’s talking about. “What stupid day?”

Like I don’t remember every detail.

“The zip line day.”

“Oh, that day,” I say with a combination grimace and smile. “The day I wound up having to climb off the platform. I wanted to bore a hole into the ground so I wouldn’t have to walk past them but couldn’t, and everyone screamed at me: ‘Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.’”

“You have to admit it was funny the way the gym teacher ran up the ladder like a squirrel to rescue you. Everyone laughed at how stupid she looked. Jennifer got the whole class going with that ridiculous ‘breathe, Carolyn, breathe.’” Becky looks behind her to Jennifer. “You know I wanted to run over and punch her, but I couldn’t because I was still on the platform, and it was my turn to go.”

“Yeah, if I had a few more minutes, I would have been able to get up the courage to grip the zip line and hook myself to it. Stupid teacher didn’t give me a chance. This not breathing thing when I get nervous really sucks.”

Becky nods because she knows me so well.

“So then Jennifer started with that horrible chant, and of course, the whole class followed her, like always.” My eyes fill with tears as I remember, and my breathing is getting worse by the minute.

“I thought it was a dumb idea to do ropes course stuff in school. We did it at my camp the summer before, and no one was forced to do it. Anyone could get nervous with Jennifer in front of them,” Becky comforts me.

I continue talking as if I’m in a trance. “Remember how last year whenever I ran into Jennifer she would whisper ‘breathe, Carolyn, breathe,’ so no one could hear it except me. Once she did it just before I had to go up in front of the class in math. Sometimes she would do it in front of everyone and, of course, get a big laugh while I wanted to turn into a piece of furniture.”

Becky grabs my arm. “Do we have to go back over this again? You need to forget about it.” She takes her hand away from my arm as I continue to speak.

“Becky, I can’t. The thing is it’s this bad movie in my brain looping the same horrible scenes. The funny thing is, most of the time, she would ignore me. I would never know what she was going to do. You have to admire someone so single-minded she managed to get to me at just the right time.

You remember don’t you? And today did you see how she wore the same outfit as me? It’s spooky.”

My funny breathing returns as Miss Gaylon tells us to line up on the yellow line alphabetically. I hope there will be someone to go between Jennifer and me. No luck. Jennifer is going to be behind me all year. I hold my breath. I couldn't stand more of the same this year. I pray for the day to end soon. A glance at my new watch shows me fifteen more minutes left of the period. Is Miss Gaylon's voice getting lower? What is that pounding in my ears?

Jennifer turns to face me, and I hear, "Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Then my world turns black.

More About Me

Want more insight on what I'm like as a writer? Check out my guest blog on Dasef's Book Central!

“Ghost Dog of Roanoke” by C.K. Volnek

Hi Pembroke. Thanks for allowing me to visit your blog today. It is such a treat to be able to visit with so many new people. I’m so excited to be here today. Today is my Book Birthday! And I’m so excited I’m offering a FREE copy of my e-book or a free t-shirt to one lucky reader who leaves me a comment!


In 1587, 117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island without a trace, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil.

Now it’s up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from the hateful beast that haunts the island.

With the help of newfound friend, Manny, a Native American shaman, and an elusive Giant Mastiff, Jack must piece together the clues of the Lost Colony to discover what really happened. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, it's up to Jack to uncover what the evil is and why it haunts his island. But can he destroy it...before it destroys him?

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
GHOST DOG OF ROANOKE ISLAND was actually inspired after reading a news article about the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. To be honest, I don’t remember studying the Lost Colony in school so the story truly intrigued me. I was fascinated by the mystery and my muse went wild coming up with a story of what she believes happened to the missing 117 colonists. I was also appalled by the actions of Sir Richard Grenville and Ralph Lane. They destroyed an entire Native American village simply because he thought one of them stole a silver cup from his ship. This action warranted my muse to create a story evoking the value of acceptance and tolerance and the power of forgiveness.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
The story itself did not take the longest to write. I believe I was done writing it in less than four months. But it was another year before I was pleased with its entirety, after making its rounds through my wonderful on-line critique group, The Middle Critters.

Q) Can you talk about the story's evolution and publishing history?
GHOST DOG OF ROANOKE ISLAND made its way to several agents and publishers. Though a few expressed some interest in the story, I didn’t have a lot of bites. A friend told me MuseItUp had started accepted tween stories so I decided to query Lea Schizas. I’d come to know Lea and respected her quite immensely through her MuseItUp conference. Within two weeks of subbing the manuscript to her, I had my first book contract.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have two additional books coming out from MuseItUp. A HORSE CALLED TROUBLE is a horse story (of course) for tween girls and comes out in December, 2011. A troubled teen must overcome her abusive past to save the defiant horse that taught her to love and trust again.

THE SECRET OF THE STONES is the first of a series called THE LOST DIARIES OF NORTHUMBERLAND and will make its debut in April of 2012. THE STONES is a much lighter story and is a Harry Potter meets Merlin the Magician kind of story. A Merlin-loving tween is thrust into magic mayhem when the gift he’s been entrusted to protect turns out to be the enchanted object detailed in a mysterious prophecy.

Q) Where can readers find you?
My readers can contact me at ckvolnek (at) yahoo (dot) com.
They can join me on my web page or visit me at my blog.
They can also find me on Facebook (C.K. Volnek) or Twitter (CKVolnek), Good Reads and Jacket Flap.
My book trailer is on youtube.
My books are available at the MuseItUp Book Store, as well as Amazon and many other fine book locations on-line.

Thanks Pembroke, for allowing me to join you today! And remember everyone… I’m offering a FREE copy of my e-book or a free t-shirt to one lucky reader who leaves me a comment!

C.K. Volnek

I also have a guest post up here. Check it out! I talk about contests I had with my brother growing up.

"Driven" by Shellie Neumeier

Today I'm hosting Shellie Neumeier, who will be talking about her book, Driven.

Shellie Neumeier holds a degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a minor in Psychology, Sociology and Social Studies. A devoted mother of four, Shellie previously worked on staff with Northbrook Church as the King’s Kids ministry assistant (serving children in grades 2nd through 5th). Shellie’s YA novel, Driven, is available from Risen Fiction and her middle grade chapter book The Wishing Ring will release February 2012. She is an active member of SCBWI and ACFW as well as a contributing author for various blogs. Shellie is located in southeastern Wisconsin.

Buy Link: Driven

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
What inspired me to write this book was the desire to encourage the next generation. They have an amazing access to their world with the ease of travel and the internet. They also have the opportunity to change their world unlike any previous generation has. But they’re also bombarded with harsh realism and even harsher dramatized “realism.” It would be very easy to forget that they have a good and Godly purpose.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
It took me three weeks to write Driven, another three months to edit it, and off it went to the publisher.

Q) Can you talk about the story's evolution and publishing history?
Driven evolved over the dinner table and during several long walks with the dogs through the country. Once the story was complete and edited, I submitted it to a clearing house of sorts where it found its way into the hands of my publisher, RisenFiction. Once it was contracted the story made it through edits to ebook in four months and to paper back in another three. It was a whirl-wind experience to say the least.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have a novella romance releasing on October 1, A Summer in Oakville (co-authored with Lisa Lickel) and a mid-grade chapter book, The Wishing Ring, releasing in February. I’m currently working on a sequel to The Wising Ring and another young adult novel about a seventeen year-old boy who lands himself in a treatment center and must figure out how to get home.

Q) Where can readers find you?

Needles and Tight Spaces

I don't have an unnatural fear/phobia of either, but after being at the doctor in the past few days, that could easily change.

I had an MRI on my shoulder on Friday. Never had one before. My spouse has had several, and he made sure he warned me of all their horrors. He's claustrophobic, so I just kind of shrugged him off. The rantings of a loon, if you will. As I lay there on the bed, getting all hooked up and ready to go, I thought, "This is easy. I can do this." Then, the technician slid the bed back.

Don't ask me why, but the first thought that ran through my head was, "Oh, this must be what it feels like to be in a coffin." My breathing became rapid, my heart rate increased. I thought about layers and layers of dirt over me. I felt trapped. I almost had a panic attack. I talked myself out of it, though. I focused on my breathing and the music playing through my ears. By the end, I was better, but I never want to do that again.

Yesterday, I went into the doctors for the MRI results. Thankfully, nothing major is going on, just a bone spur/arthritis causing impingement. Yes, it hurts, but I'll survive. His solution to the issue was to give me a cortisone shot.

As he sprayed the Lanacane on my arm, I thought I'd be funny and told him, "Ow! That hurts." It really didn't, and he wasn't impressed. I don't know if he was trying to show me what pain really was or what, but he stabbed that needle into my arm and wiggled it around something fierce. THAT hurt. I've had tetanus shots, I know pain.

I took deep breaths and tried to ignore the agony in my shoulder. I walked out of there hating the doctor and feeling worse than when I went in. When I got back to work, the Lanacane wore off and I could barely lift my arm.

I told my spouse about it, and he thinks the doctor did something wrong. He told me every time he got a cortisone injection, his pain went away instantly.

I've decided that MRIs and cortisone injections are forms of torture. I'm trying to figure out a way to incorporate them into a story. Don't worry, you'll be the first to know when I accomplish that!

Rebecca Russell

Please welcome Rebecca Russell to my blog! She writes MG and YA Dark Fantasy and Horror while living with her family in a Victorian house on five acres of North Florida countryside. She also runs a Vacation Rental Log House on the property: Florida Black Bear Cabin.

She is a fourth generation Floridian. She was born in Gainesville, grew up in Sunrise, lived in Orlando and Jacksonville before moving outside Lake City to care for ailing parents.

The daughter of an Elementary-school principal and secretary, for fourteen years she taught Middle Grades, preferring English and Creative Writing. She had several students’ works published in anthologies as well as her own poetry, photography and stories. Her main interests are her four children ages 22, 19, 16, 11 and Irish hubby of 35 years. She enjoys spending her time writing, drawing, going to movies, reading, discussing philosophy with her 17-year-old son.

Over the course of the next few years she has several books being published.
Be sure to check out the special interactive Middle Grade Reader website for tons of information about Stardust Warriors as well as the other projects Rebecca has in the works.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I was inspired to write Seraphym Wars YA series and Stardust Warriors MG series as a way of alerting our young people to the creeping evil that is taking over entertainment and our very lives without anyone noticing. Every evil event in either series comes directly from actual news events over the past few years. I made up NO evil for the demons to do.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I planned and prewrote the series for 30 years. The actual first book, which became 2 books of the Seraphym Wars and 6 books of the Stardust Warriors, took 4 years.

Q) Can you talk about the story's evolution and publishing history?
The story evolved through research and collection of news articles; planning and designing the world of Dracwald where the demon-dragons live; creating the characters who became the Vigorios - teen demon hunters with special abilities; then the writing, six rewrites and finally finding a publisher, editing and putting the stories out for the kids to read.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Readers can look forward to the next book, Prophecy of the Seraphym Wars series to come out this month; next month Jeremiah of the Stardust Warriors series comes out; then in January we have Harpies Seraphym Wars, February is Laman Stardust Warriors, April is Mercy Stardust Warriors, June is Magealbash Stardust Warriors. I'm planning out Majikals, the next Seraphym Wars book now and revising the next 3 Stardust Warriors books - Long Tu, Phoebe and Lobo.

Q) Where can readers find you?
I have several websites and blogs where readers can check on my various works in progress, latest releases or newest giveaway/contest news.

Author Website
MG Website
YA Blog
Author Facebook Page
Series Facebook Page
Personal Facebook Page

Zarena Blurb

14-year old Zarena spends time with a Holy Order of Clerics on their hidden world of RevrumNatura, while she receives training in Martial Arts, Herbology, Astronomy, Weaponry and Mind Control. Destined to become the leader of the Vigorios, child warriors, who will assist the Seraphym in the war against the demon-dragons of Dracwald, Zarena grows up in a hurry. Lonely and homesick, she meets a Mermaid who encourages her to talk about her training. Is this new friend too good to be true? Zarena learns a valuable lesson about trust and betrayal—a lesson that will serve her well as leader of the Vigorios.

Prophecy Blurb

For centuries the residents of Solsyl lived in peace and harmony with the planet. Then the dragon-demons arrived, causing the Great Shuddering. Majikals from everywhere scurried to find shelter from the evil while humans hid. Laud regretted his rash decision of exiling the demons on Solsyl and asked one of his advisors, a member of The Conscientia, to protect his people. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of RevrumNatura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. But Narciss, ruler of Tartarus and King of the demons, desperately wants what Jeremiah has sworn to protect—a Prophecy of Narciss’s future doom. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible.
But forever is a long time to protect something without ever letting down one’s guard.

Odessa Blurb

17-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, struggling with inner demons resulting from an attack when she was 15, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s recent murder as well as many other atrocities in the news. She meets sweet and sensitive Michael, who explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen warriors with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. He accompanies her on the quest, but harbors a secret past that ironically would destroy all the faith she has placed in him. A handsomely roguish Scientist with suspect motives haunts her dreams and makes sudden appearances in unlikely places, while a sensual dragon warrior defends her against her will.

Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?


April 2011-Odessa, Seraphym Wars YA Series-available at Amazon
July 2011-Zarena, Stardust Warriors MG Series
September 2011-Prophecy, Seraphym Wars
October 2011-Don’t Make Marty Mad (adult Horror story)
November 2011-Jeremiah, Stardust Warriors
January 2012-Harpies, Seraphym Wars
February 2012-Laman, Stardust Warriors
April 2012-Mercy, Stardust Warriors
June 2012-Magaelbash, Stardust Warriors

Yet Another Guest Blog

I've got another post up at Barbara Bockman's blog. If you've ever wanted to know how I got into social networking, check it out!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

"Spirit Stealer" by Sue Perkins

Today, my guest is Sue Perkins. She lives in the South Island of New Zealand. Her favorite genre is fantasy, and she has several adult fantasy romances published both in ebooks and paperback. She also has a few contemporary and historical romances published.

In October, Spirit Stealer, her first Middle Grade fantasy book, will be released by MuseItUp Publishing. Reva’s Quest, another book of the same genre, will be released in January 2012.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I love reading and writing fantasy. The middle part of this book came to me full blown and was easy to write, but the rest took a little longer. The inspiration came from a need to keep providing entertaining books for Middle Grade children. It’s not exactly difficult to keep in the age group but it is something you have to keep in mind.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
From the original idea to acceptance by MuseItUp Publishing it took several years. Mainly because I got sidetracked into writing other books. Also I knew the beginning but the end of Spirit Stealer kept eluding me. I believe it was worth waiting for though.

Q) Can you talk about the story's evolution and publishing history?
Evolution, hmm. As mentioned above the middle evolved before the rest of the book. I entered the middle in a competition here in New Zealand but the comments were it was too short. Another competition with the same comment made me decide to spread the story a bit wider. I finished it about the same time as I discovered MuseItUp, and to my delight they accepted it.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
More Middle Grade, more Young Adult but definitely fantasy. Reva’s Quest another Middle Grade fantasy will be published in January 2012 by MuseItUp. A Young Adult fantasy will come out the same month with another publisher. My adult fantasies will also keep appearing. At the moment I’m writing one of each age group.

Q) Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me on my blog or website. On the blog this month I will be hosting other authors who are taking part in this blog tour. Visit and lease a comment to be in to win an ebook of Spirit Stealer when it is released.

Spirit Stealer Excerpt

Dark eyes glared down at Tyler. He could see orange lights flickering in the bottomless pits of blackness. The huge gaping mouth loomed closer until it swamped his vision. He wanted to run, but at the same time, he couldn’t move. Sweat dripped into his eyes, blurring his vision. He blinked.

His sight cleared, and the front of the old building returned to normal. The dark eyes changed to large, windows reflecting the late afternoon sunlight. The gaping mouth resumed the shape of the open library door. Tyler glanced around to see if anyone had noticed him behaving so stupidly. No one nearby had paid him any attention. Mum kept telling him he had an over-active imagination, but the face on the library had seemed so real! He took a deep breath and walked into the building to the Chief Librarian’s desk.


My Life is Like a Stagnant Pond

And that's how I like it. It's calm, predictable, scheduled. People don't mess with it because it's full of parasites. Occasionally, ripples of great news travel across the surface. Sometimes, splashes of bad news disrupt the serenity.

That's how this week has been. It started on Sunday and has been going strong. Today seems to be getting better, but the day isn't over yet! It's nothing major, and I will survive the onslaught, but I hate it when my stagnation is interrupted.

It's also taken some time away from writing. I really need to get back on my schedule. I hope I can get there after this week...

The bog tour continues. Check out today's blogs here:

Shellie Neumeier - “Driven” on Marva Dasef
Barbara Bockman - “Wounds” on Lawna Mackie
Lawna Mackie - “Enchantment” on Sue Perkins


I have another guest blog up at Meradeth Houston's blog. You can check it out here.

Got Some to Spare?

Holy cow! Time is flying right before my eyes! It's already close to the middle of September, and I haven't accomplished nearly half of what I wanted to accomplish. I need more time. If you have some extra, please feel free to send it my way!

I've been working, but I haven't been able to finish anything. I'm doing edits and creating a new story. I really need another vacation. A writing one. Not like the writing one where I went to the workshop, but an actual writing vacation. I could get caught up on so much stuff! Maybe in December... Keep your fingers crossed for me!

For those of you who are still following the blog tour, here's the posts for today:

Barbara Ehrentreu - “If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor” on Sue Perkins
Lawna Mackie - “Enchantment” on Rebecca Ryals Russell
Meradeth Houston - “Colors Like Memories” on Chris Verstraete

"Enchantment" by Lawna Mackie

I have a guest blog over at Sue Perkins today. I talk about how I find time to write, and how my cat has fallen into a rut. Please check it out.

Please welcome Lawna Mackie to the blog.

Please tell the readers a little about your book.

I have always believed in fairy tales and when I got tired of the old ones I made up my own. Each story would have a hero and heroine, but they were anything but typical.

I devoured my first romance novel when I was a teenager. I couldn’t read them fast enough. Years later I stumbled across my first paranormal romance…an injustice would be done if I tried to explain my joy when I found this genre of romance. My passion was finally in print.

Now, with the help of my bizarre dreams and crazy imagination, I have started to write and intend to share my stories with you. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

I am truly blessed. My husband is my inspiration and soul mate. We live on a small acreage in Didsbury, Alberta, with our most beloved companions, Dozer, Daisy and Mandarin.

Happy reading everyone and please stop by to visit me.

IMPOSSIBLE TO HOLD – December 19, 2011 released through Liquid Silver Books
ENCHANTMENT – January 13, 2012 released through Muse It Up Publishing

We have a new character for you to meet today…and a very interesting character at that. Welcome, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself, and where do you come from?
Hello everyone. My name is Threeo and I’m a Hippo-Dog-Burrowing Owl from the world of Enchantment.

Well Threeo, that’s quite a mouthful. Exactly what is a Hippo-Dog-Burrowing Owl?
I resemble all three earthly creatures. I have a small hippopotamus body, and fluffy dog tail, and my head is the burrowing owl. I was created by magic.

I see. Can you tell us a little about your world of Enchantment?
Enchantment is a great world, or at least it was until she arrived. I have visions, so I knew she would come. Enchantment doesn’t allow foreigners of any sort. My master is the Enforcer for the world and he was supposed to get rid of her.

Oh my! That sounds harsh. How was he to “get rid of her”? And who exactly is she?
Meeka came to Enchantment from earth. She fell in the water and some how managed to cross the dimension and into Enchantment. Most creatures die. Kerrigan, my master should have sent her back, but he was scared she’d perish. What he didn’t know at that time was that she is a very powerful sorceress.

Tell us more about your life Threeo.
Okay, well, like I said Kerrigan is my master, I’ve been with him for a very long time. Oh…I also have babies. Baby Threeo’s! They are born in glass tubes and I raise them. When they are old enough they go to live with others like Kerrigan. The babies really like Meeka. Kerrigan’s parents Todd and Paddy Beaver are my favorites to visit. Paddy always has treats for Threeo.

“Beaver” you almost make that sound like they are Beavers?
Yes, they are beavers, but not like your human beavers. They adopted Kerrigan as a baby. Kerrigan is actually a dragon.

So what is happening in Enchantment these days?
{He shakes his head} It’s very scary in Enchantment. I’ve had a dream that Meeka kills Kerrigan, and she destroys the world.

Really? Is Meeka that type of person?
No, she’s not that type of person, but an evil Enchantment Counselor is going to try to capture her. If my vision is correct she will become a weapon of destruction. Kerrigan will try to protect her. They have feelings for one another.

It sounds scary Threeo. I hope your visions don’t come true. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Enchantment?
I think everyone would like our world. It’s beautiful. We have seven moons, which are actually like your sun, but the seven moons are a different color each day, making our world change color daily. We have pixies in Pixie Field, and we also spend time at Funny Fish Lake. We have Itchits and Fur Balls…everything is magical. Thanks for talking to me I do have a tendency to talk a lot. I really hope you’ll enjoy Enchantment.

"Bad Spelling" by Marva Dasef

Please welcome Marva Dasef to my blog. Below you will find all the information for her fabulous book, "Bad Spelling." Take it away, Marva!

BAD SPELLING – Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

by Marva Dasef
Twitter Handle
Book Trailer

Release date: October 14th MuseItUp Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/3daem4r

Marva Dasef is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a fat white cat. Retired from thirty-five years in the software industry, she has now turned her energies to writing fiction and finds it a much more satisfying occupation. Marva has published more than forty stories in a number of on-line and print magazines, with several included in Best of anthologies. She has several already published books of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery. A few more are scheduled for 2011 and 2012 from her super duper publisher, MuseItUp.

Book Description:
If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home.

Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her warlock brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way. At the Troll Kingdom, a young troll, Andy, joins the siblings in their quest to find the shaman and kill the curse.

Win a free ebook drawn from comments. Select either MG fantasy "Bad Spelling" or adult mystery "Missing, Assumed Dead."

Meet Mordita – The Baddest (in a good way) Sorceress on Galdorheim Island

In Bad Spelling, Kat wants to leave Galdorheim Island to find her father's Siberian family. With no magic of her own, she needs help...lots of help. Yes, her best bud/bro Rune is always up for adventure, but she has to find a powerful witch to help her out.

She figures it can't hurt to ask Mordita. What's the worst that can happen? Well, maybe electrocution from a nasty door knocker or something crawling up her back.
Still, Kat is not deterred. She goes to the creepy, slimy, unlit shack where the Sorceress (the old lady prefers that over Witch) Mordita resides.

Mordita knows all about Kat's slight, ahem, magic deficit disorder (MDD) and is happy to pull a fast one on Thordis. The two don't get along much.

While Mordita has tons of magic, she prefers to maintain her old hag appearance just to keep the Galdorheim witches from stopping by to visit. Mordita is alone, and she likes to keep it that way. She's not quite alone if you want to count a fat orange tiger cat named Kudzu.

Mordita is a mystery. Why did she come to Galdorheim if she doesn't want to consort with the witches and warlocks? Maybe that mystery will be solved, but not in Bad Spelling. You'll have to wait for the second book in the series, Midnight Oil.

Mordita leaned back from the scrying crystal with a groan. She had been hunched over it for hours, and her old joints and muscles were protesting. In all the time spent staring into the crystal, she caught only brief glimpses of Kat and Rune, but she’d seen enough to follow their progress.

“Time,” she said aloud.

The clock answered, “Five-fifteen p.m.”

Good. Thordis said she’d come to take up the watch at five-thirty. Mordita stretched once more to take the kinks out of her strained back. When scrying, she lost all awareness of her body and the world around her. She should have set a timer to take breaks and stretch.

The door said, “The Witch Thordis approaches.”


Thordis strode into the older witch’s front room, demanding in her usual bombastic style, “Well, what are they up to?”

“Good Even, Thordis. How nice of you to drop by.”

“Sorry, Mordita. Good Even to you, as well.”

Mordita nodded in the direction of the scrying crystal. “The trolls gave them quite a ride through the Mountain King’s caverns. They came out on the east side of the Urals.”

“Hmm. What are they doing?”

“A werewolf pack carried them by sled north toward a Sami village.” Mordita picked up her teacup and tasted. She made a face. “Cold.” She stuck her finger into the cup and stirred. Steam rose from the cup. “They ran into a small problem with some quickmud, but the werewolves pulled them out.” Mordita gestured to the scrying crystal. “Take a look for yourself.”

Thordis sat at the table and examined the crystal. “Hmm, nice. Hardly any flaws.” She settled in the chair, glancing at Mordita. “I’m going to concentrate on Katrina.” She stared into the crystal, and her eyes rolled up in their sockets until only the whites showed.

An hour later, Thordis looked away from the crystal, rubbed her eyes, and accepted the hot cup of tea Mordita offered.

Check Me Out

I have a guest blog up at C.K. Volnek's blog. You can check it out here. It gives some insight on what influenced me to write, and the things I enjoyed reading as a kid. There is also some stuff on there that some of you might not know about me. Like how many tattoos I have!

The other blogs that are up are:

Sue Perkins - “Spirit Stealer” on Barbara Bockman
Barbara Bockman - “Wounds” on Sue Perkins
Marva Dasef - “Bad Spelling” on Rebecca Ryals Russell (part 1)

A Quick Trip Down Memory Lane

Before I post today's blog tour blogs, I wanted to reminisce about my childhood. My spouse took the boys to get movies yesterday. The 2 year old picked Superman, and the 4 year old picked a He-Man movie. It's been retooled (thankfully), and it was fun to watch.

I don't know if you remember the original cartoons from the 80s, but they were a little one dimensional. The bad guys are really bad, and the good guys always win. The dialogue is cheesy, and there's a moral at the end. There's still a moral at the end of these cartoons, but there's more action.

I collect toys. I used to play with the He-Man toys as a child, but we sold them all at a garage sale. Why we did that, I have no idea. I guess at the time I didn't think I'd want them. A while ago, my friend let me have all of her brother's old toys. The 4 year old was thrilled to be able to play with them. It really brought back some old memories.

Okay, enough of that. Here are the blogs:

Lawna Mackie - “Enchantment” on Kim Baccellia
Kim Baccellia - “Crossed Out” on Barbara Ehrentreu
Barbara Bockman - “Wounds” on Shellie Neumeier
Chris Verstraete - “Killer Valentine Ball” on Marva Dasef

Another Guest Blog

Today I'm over at Shellie Neumeier's blog. Check it out. Get some insight of what I would do if I didn't write, and see what projects I'm working on now. You can also check out other authors on these blogs:

Kim Baccellia - “Crossed Out” on Barbara Bockman
Barbara Bockman - “Wounds” on Kim Baccellia
Barbara Ehrentreu - “If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor” on Rebecca Ryals Russell

More Blogs

Don't forget, I'm not doing my regular blogs this month because I'm taking part in a blog tour. I don't have any guest blogs today, but check out these others.

Lawna Mackie - “Enchantment” on Marva Dasef
Sue Perkins - “Spirit Stealer” on Lawna Mackie
Chris Verstraete - “Killer Valentine Ball” on C.K. Volnek

Blog Tour Continues

I'm over at Barbara's Meanderings today. You can check it out here.

Hope everyone is having a wonderfully long weekend!

Wounds by Barbara Bockman

I'm very excited for my first guest, Barbara Bockman.

She is the author of Wounds, which you can find at MuseItUp Publishing.

Here is some more information for you. Enjoy!

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Near my home in north Florida, someone tried to cut down a five-hundred-year-old oak tree. I wanted to incorporate that violation into a children's story. At first I thought about doing a magazine piece, but I knew I couldn't do either the tree or my protagonist justice that way. The next step was to create a plot involving middle grade kids.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
It's hard to remember exactly how long it took me to write Wounds. I think it was about a year. It went through two critique groups. Then when I decided to submit to Muse, I realized it was almost five thousand words too long. So I took a couple more weeks to get it down to size.

Q) Can you talk about the story's evolution and publishing history?
Like many new novelists, I thought the story was done before it actually was. I submitted it once and it was rejected. Then I worked on it a lot more, trimmed here and fleshed out there until it got better.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I'm working on a YA historical novel set in ancient Rome. I've done a vast amount of research, but there again--it needs to be trimmed here and fleshed out there. This one I'm not rushing.

Q) Where can readers find you?
I would be thrilled to hear from your readers. My email address is: bbockman@bellsouth.net ; my blog is http://barbarabockman.wordpress.com ; my twitter handle is @babs22582.

I want to tell your readers today about the setting for Wounds. The period is the present. Craig, the main character, lives in a rural area near a small north Florida town I built and named Magnolia Crest. I didn’t name the city that is the county seat, but I refer to it casually. Craig’s friend, Nelson’s mother, Mrs. Ark, takes some of the kids to the movie there. And that’s where the hospital is, although Craig is not taken there after he is wounded; he is taken to the local clinic in Magnolia Crest.

Craig lives in a small house on the Ark property. But most of the story takes place at the Ark home. This is an old house dating back to the late nineteenth century. I visualize it as being painted white and having a front porch with posts and banisters. There is also a back porch and a modern garage attached to the side. Mrs. Ark loves to garden. She has a lovely rose garden on one side of the house and a more casual-style butterfly garden on the other side. Camellia bushes line the front boundary of the property and the other three sides are surrounded by woods. Mr. Ark, with Nelson and Craig’s help, build her a coi pond. The family carpet store is located in Magnolia Crest, but there are no scenes there.

The tree on the book’s cover is a major part of the story and is located in the Ark’s back yard.

In later blog postings, I will tell more about Wounds. But for anyone wishing to read about the plot, I would like to invite them to go to Rebecca Ryals Russell’s blog, Plotting Worlds, for my posting of yesterday.

Thanks again, Pembroke. I’m always tickled to talk about Wounds. Better put your fingers in your ears on September 16 because you will hear me screaming for joy.

Wounds, an ebook, will be available on September 16 from these venues:
My wonderful publisher, Lea Schizas and MuseItUp Publishing.

And this is my buy page.

Amazon.com, for download to computer or Kindle.

The Blog Tour Begins!

To begin the tour, Marva Dasef will be posting on C.K. Volnek's blog.

Barbara Bockman will also be posting on Rebecca Ryals Russels' blog.

Don't forget, Life After the Undead ebook is now for sale. You can purchase your copy here. The print book should be available in the next few months. Hope you enjoy!