Monday, December 24, 2012

Make Believe Giveaways and Christmas Cheer

Today: Over at Burning Impossibly Bright Ambur is interviewing all six authors in the Make Believe anthology. How awesome is that? She is also hosting a fabulous giveaway, so pop on over and check it out.

December 28th: there will be a review of Make Believe at Once Upon a Time, plus a giveaway.

December 31st: Kindle and Me will be hosting a spotlight and review of Make Believe plus there will be another e-book giveaway. Woot!

I will be enjoying the Christmas break with family and friends and will return in the new year.

Please have a peaceful Christmas 
and a safe and happy New Year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Make Believe Blog Tour with J C Martin

Today I'm with J C Martin, fabulous author of Oracle, a fantastic crime thiller which I highly recommend. JC will be interviewing me about life, the universe and everything. Okay, so maybe no quite as deep as that, but pop on over for a visit, and we will talk about scary things like what might be my catch phrase... (You'll know what I mean when you read it)

This is part of the blog tour for Make Believe, an anthology of fantasy and paranormal stories inspired by the cover.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas in Australia and #MakeBelieve

It's time for the Holiday Spirit Blogfest hosted by Denise and Donna for the Romantic Friday Writers group. They are looking for fiction, non-fiction, memoir, recipes, traditions, inspirational articles...or just photos of your decorated home. Your choice. Share in the Holiday Spirit Blogfest. To see a list of those taking part, click here.

Christmas in Australia
Due to my Make Believe book tour, I've been super unorganised this Christmas. I don't even have my tree up yet. With only a few more days to go, the tree is probably not going to happen. This will be the first time ever that I won't have a decorated tree up for Christmas. While this makes me a sad panda, a tree does not make Christmas.

I usually spend Christmas with family and, despite the hot weather, we enjoy a hot roast lunch. The afternoon involves sitting around chatting and/or sleeping, and in the evening we gather around the dining table and play poker. We bet using one and two cent pieces, which then get returned to the coin bottle at the end of the day for another year.

Another thing us Aussies do around this time of year is travel. The weather is perfect for luxurious cruises, visits to tropical islands, and lounging in the sun. The image above is a photo I recently took on the South Pacific island of Lifou. A gorgeous place of powder-white sand and turquoise waters.
This is a photo my hubby took of me writing while on the cruise. Yes, cruises are currently my favourite form of travel. What's your favourite form of travel? What's your Christmas tradition?

If you'd like to know what I was like in high school, and other unusual things, then pop on over to Rebecca Hart's blog where she is interviewing me as part of the Make Believe book tour. I'd love to see you over there. Click HERE.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Make Believe with Julie Reece

Today, as part of the Make Believe anthology book tour, I’m with the lovely Julie Reece, author of Crux. She will be interviewing me. Exciting!! So I encourage you to pop on over. I’d love to see you there. Please click HERE.

Also, there will be an ebook giveaway of Make Believe over at Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books.

Libby Heily is giving away 5 copies of her book, Tough Girl, on Goodreads for US residents.

Congrats to Terri Rochenski for signing a two book deal with J Taylor Publishing for her Pool of Souls series, including Eye of the Soul and Secrets of the Soul. Woo hoo, Terri!!

I also received The Addictive Blog Award from Melissa Maygrove. Thank you so much!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Character Interview and Review for #MakeBelieve

Christa is the main character in Birthright, my story published in the Make Believe anthology. For something a little different, she will be with Susan Rocan today at mywithershins for an interview. If you'd like to learn more, please pop on over. I'd love to see you there. Click HERE.

Susan also wrote up a wonderful review of Birthright, which really made my weekend. You can read it here.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meet the Authors of Make Believe

I’ve always been interested in what draws people toward writing and how they got started, so today I’m asking the authors of the Make Believe anthology this very question:  What got you started in writing?

In order of their story appearance in the anthology:

Terri Rochenski
I went to public school starting in 8th grade. Those 'choose your own adventure' stories were all the craze. I read every one the library had to offer and thought, "I can do this!" I wrote three or four which I read to my younger brothers till they fell apart. Then I thought, "I'm going to write a novel". It was a fantasy adventure about a little gnome named Gundi. That was only the beginning of my dreaming. :)

J. Keller Ford
I started writing when I was around five years old but it wasn’t until high school I realized I had potential. My English teachers loved my writing and encouraged me to pursue my talents. Like so many of us, though, I ended up going a different direction and I put my writing aside. Twenty-five years later, I returned to writing. In 2011, I completed the first manuscript in a YA fantasy trilogy. I am currently working on the remaining two, and my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, was published by J. Taylor Publishing. Other short stories are in the submission stage.

Lynda R. Young
I blame an ear infection. Sounds odd, but it rendered me close to deaf when I was young. For a long time no one suspected because I’d learned to read lips. But I didn’t catch everything, so I stopped trying and retreated into my own little worlds. My mum discovered the problem and I had an operation which fixed my hearing, but by then it was too late. I’d fallen in love with those worlds. Matched with the discovery of the joys of reading, it was inevitable I’d turn to writing.

Kelly Said
I started writing as soon as I learned how to hold a pencil to paper. I would find a quiet space to drift away into my own little world, sketching scenes and scribbling short stories. My mom still has some of those early pieces, hehe! It wasn’t until after I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in drawing though, that I started letting the words fly, dedicating time to honing my ability to bring my imagination to life. It’s exciting to experience that flash of an idea, to write it out, edit, and rewrite until it’s told just right.

Jennifer M. Eaton
I have been writing ever since the bug hit me in high school, when for some demented reason I decided to write a story for my friends. I ended up writing one chapter a night (under high peer pressure) and 800 or pages later (yeah, ouch) I had my first novel. Well... several novels later I finally decided to try and get something published, and Whalla! Here I am. Before now, writing was more of a pleasure sport for me. I really enjoy the process and the creation of a new world. I am so thrilled to now be able to share one of my stories with the world. It is really an amazing feeling.

J.A. Belfield
What got me into writing is a question I get asked a lot. Whilst I’d love to have some deep and meaningful answer, I just don’t. The truth of the matter is, the reason I started writing was because I had crazy-a$$ed dreams most nights, and even crazier-a$$ed daydreams, and way too much time on my hands due to being a housewife and the kidlets being in school. I mean, there’s only so much housework a bird can do before she starts to get a little stir-crazy, right? So, I sat down one day … and I began to write.

How did you get started in writing?

As part of the Make Believe Blog Tour:

I’m over with Kelly Said at her blog for a glimpse into my writing world (scary). I'd love to see you over there. Click here.

I am also over with Jennifer M Eaton so I strapped on those roller skates again. I'd love to see you over there. Click here.


Monday, December 10, 2012

6 Reasons Writers Should Read

Today I’m discussing 6 Reasons Writers Should Read over at Carol Kilgore’s awesome blog, Under the Tiki Hut. This is another stop on the exciting Make Believe Blog Tour. I’d love to see you over there. Click HERE.

Today is also the start of AlexFest, officially titled, ‘Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest.’ It’s hosted by the marvellous Mark Koopmans, the fabulous Morgan Shamy, the great David King Powers, and the irrepressible Stephen Tremp. This fest is all about celebrating a terrific writer, blogger and friend: Alex J Cavanaugh, author of CassaStar, CassaFire, and soon to be released, CassaStorm. Because Alex is such an amazing person, I’m taking a moment’s pause in my busy Blog Tour schedule to take part. 

What does Alex look like? Below is my impression of what Alex looks like. Between scheduling and visiting, I whipped this image up in photoshop. Sorry, Alex, I just had to reveal the truth!
Who could play Alex in a documentary? Johnny Depp. But then, Johnny could play anyone and I’d be more than happy to watch him.

Who does Alex remind you of? Someone who lives by his faith, who is generous with his time, and humble. A cowboy wearing a white hat!

A flash fiction using all these prompts: Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, Guitar.
The Lost Ninjas
The cosbolt named Cavanaugh shoots through space carrying a band of guitar-carrying ninjas on their way to planet IWSG. Their trajectory swerves, the ship stutters off course. Warning lights blink on, but the ninjas don’t notice. They’re too busy fighting over who will get to read CassaStorm first. They’ve missed IWSG and are careening into unknown space, never to be seen from again.

A comment for Mrs Cavanaugh: Thank you for looking after our Alex, for keeping him sane while he writes, for enjoying his music and supporting him in everything he does. As we all know, behind every great man stands an even greater woman. You must be truly amazing. Blessings to you, Mrs Cavanaugh.

To see a list of everyone taking part, click HERE.

Thank you to Rachna for showcasing Make Believe last Friday. You are a good friend.

And don’t forget to visit Carol under the tiki hut! Click HERE.

Make Believe

Saturday, December 8, 2012

8 Benefits of Writing Short Stories

The lovely Theresa Milstein has kindly offered to be a part of my Make Believe Anthology Tour. I didn't even have to twist her arm (which is good because my brother tells me I twist like a girl). I will be talking about 8 Benefits of Writing Short Stories. Yes, there are benefits! I'd love to see you over there. Click HERE!

I am also over with Terri Rochenski at Scribbler's Sojourn being interviewed! Yikes!! I'm in two places at once! I must be a super hero (or just a crazy person on roller skates which seems more likely). I'd love to see you over there!! Click HERE!

If you have time and want a little chuckle, Chris Andrews, an Aussie writer I met at GenreCon 2012, has written up a hilarious post: Successfully Pitching to an Agent or Editor – The Cretin’s Guide

Thursday, December 6, 2012

J. A. Belfield Interviewed, Author of Blue Moon

Today I'm privileged to have J. A. Belfield here with me. She willingly accepted to be my very first interview victim subject:

Tell us about your exciting new book release, Blue Moon. What’s the story about?
Oh lordy! How to explain without massive spoilers?
Hmm, okay, Blue Moon is the second full length novel in the Holloway Pack series and shows how Jem’s place in the pack has become more established since Darkness & Light. It also shows how her relationships with other pack members have developed. So when a couple of the male pack members find themselves new girlfriends—or the new girlfriends find them—Jem believes she has every right to a say on the matter. And with good reason. ;)

What makes this story stand out from other werewolf stories?
This ain’t just about werewolves howling at the moon and searching for a mate to have steamy romance scenes with. It’s full of a whole lot of magic that drives the story forward and takes the reader on a completely different journey to Darkness & Light even.

How did the creation and inspiration for the story evolve?
Honestly? I wanted magic in my book, so I perused a tome of traditional spells (apparently all tried and tested), found some seriously cool ones, and worked out how I could weave a story around those.

You are also the headline author for the Make Believe anthology. How have you managed to juggle your time, what with all the writing, deadlines, marketing, networking and life in general?
I don’t juggle—if I do, I end up dropping all the balls. ;)
I’m naturally very disorganised, and my head flitters a LOT. So I have to mark every single thing I need to remember outside of my WIP in a calendar and set reminders so I don’t forget. As for the networking around writing? That’s the easy bit. It’s called procrastination. ;)

Sweet or savoury? Depends on my mood? Okay, I’ll go with sweet—simply because it’s far more important to my mental health to have chocolate in the house than it is a pork pie. ;)

Which of the 12 dwarfs would you be? Bwahahahahaha, crikey, I dunno. Probably Dopey. Ha!

Favourite colour? Blue in general. Grey in clothes.

Mountains or the Ocean? Both. That cheating? I do a lot of coastal walks with the fam, so we tend to be on kind of mountainous edges whilst overlooking the sea. But if I abso had to choose, it’d probably be ocean. That stuff can drown out even the roughest of nightmares.

Tea or coffee? COFFEE!!!!!!!!

And lastly, how can we find you? 
Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

Blue Moon Purchase Links:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books On Board

Congrats: I'd also like to quickly send out a huge congrats to PK Hrezo for signing with an agent! Woot!

Make Believe: Taneesha at Kaidan's Seduction will be posting up a review of Make Believe as part of the tour. You can check it out HERE

Author Interview: Also, as part of the Make Believe tour, I'm over at J A Belfield's blog being interviewed. I'd love to see you over there! You can find out a little more about me and the inspiration behind my short story, Birthright. Click HERE.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I’m Not a Real Writer If…

‘I’m not a real writer if…’ statements might sound absurd, but I’ve heard them muttered by more than a few writers. We use them when our doubts begin to wash in. Before long, they threaten to  carry away our confidence*.

I’m not a real writer if I don’t write every day.
By the same logic doctors aren’t real doctors if they don’t see patients every day. Writers need to live a little to be able to write because our best writing comes from experience. We need to earn a living since writing doesn’t pay except for the rare few. We can be constantly thinking about writing, constantly observing the world, but we don’t have to be writing all the time or every day. There are benefits of writing every day, as I’ve explained in a previous post, but it doesn’t somehow make you a failure if you can’t.

I’m not a real writer if I’m not published.
For a long time I didn’t tell anyone I was a writer because the first response I got was, “Oh, you’re a writer! Where have you been published?” While I’m able to answer that question now with a happy collection of short story achievements, for a long time I thought publication validated me as a writer. But here’s the truth: Publication doesn’t make a writer, it’s simply a means of sharing a writer’s work.

I’m not a real writer if I haven’t written a novel.
I know plenty of writers who have found a fulfilling career from writing short stories. None of them are somehow less of a writer. They found a niche they take a great deal of enjoyment from.

I’m not a real writer if I don’t have more than one idea for a story.
For a long while I stressed over this one because I struggled to come up with new ideas. After a reminder from my hubby that I have a tendency to focus on my current project in a way that sets up blinders to everything else, I realised that’s okay. The moment I finished the manuscript, the ideas started flooding in. But even if you are a writer with one idea, that’s okay too. Pour all you have into that idea and give it all you’ve got. If you do, then you’ll create something special.

I’m not a real writer if I take more than a year to write a book.
Tolkien took around 12 years to write The Lord of the Rings. Apparently Suzanne Collins took about two years to write The Hunger Games. George R R Martin, author of the Game of Thrones, is notorious for being a slow writer with 10 years between books. And let’s not forget it takes a while for the ideas to percolate before a writer even starts to write.

There are, of course, more statements I could add here, but I think I’ve made my point. We all work differently and what works for one writer may not work for you, and that’s okay.

Whether you're a writer or not, do you have a tendency to think this way? What do you do to remove this kind of negative thinking?

This post was written for the Insecure Writers' Support Group hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.

*This is not to say our confidence is a coconut but I just had to use this pic I took on the Isle of Pines ;)

And now for the Giveaway of an ebook copy of Make Believe. Everyone's names of those who helped me with the launch and will be helping me in the tour went into the sparkly hat. A huge thank you to everyone who took part, but there could only be one winner. My adorable husband drew the winning name...

And the Winner is...
Congratulations, Libby!! 
Please send me an email detailing which e-format you'd like Make Believe in.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Make Believe Author Interview and Thanks

Today is the Make Believe Tour Day 2. I’ll be over at J. Keller Ford’s blog. Jenny is the author of The Amulet of Ormisez, the second story featured in the Make Believe anthology. She will be interviewing me today. Exciting! Check it out HERE.

Before you pop on over to read the interview, I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who has generously helped out on launch day to spread the word about Make Believe. Tomorrow I will announce the winner of an ebook copy of the anthology. More excitement!

An extra special thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh, Carol Riggs, Libby Heily, Carol Kilgore, Medeia Sharif, Leslie S. Rose, Rachel Morgan, Golden Eagle, Marta Szemik, Nick Wilford who went to the extra trouble of finding and posting those pesky purchase links because I was unable to hand them out before I lost access to the internet.

I’d also like to thank M.L.Swift, a new follower who found my blog via Google, and ‘fell head-over-heels in like’. Aw, thank you so much for the support!

And to Susan Swiderski for the fabulous champagne launch post.

I’d also like to thank Nas from Romance Reader for sending me not one but three romance novels!! Wow! You’re awesome! Dr Chandler’s Sleeping Beauty by Melanie Milburne, St Piran’s Rescuing Pregnant Cinderella by Carol Marinelli, and St Piran’s The Wedding of the Year by Caroline Anderson. I have much wonderful reading to do this month.

Australian and New Zealand Romance authors might be interested in this post about Escape Publishing. 

While I was away I read Leigh T. Moore’s novel, Rouge. Wow! I loved it! It’s set in historical New Orleans and shows the darker side of theatre life. It sucked me right into the story and didn’t let go. Leigh has a wonderful talent for bringing setting and characters alive. I’d recommend this more for adults rather than teens, but it’s well worth the read. I’ll write up a full review soon, but I just had to mention it here.

Read any good books lately?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Launch Day! Let's Celebrate #MakeBelieve

This is it. The time has come. After what felt like a mammoth wait, my short story, Birthright, has finally been published by J. Taylor Publishing!! Happy, happy, happy dance!!

You'll find Birthright in the Make Believe anthology which is officially launched as an e-book TODAY! The collection of stories range from paranormal romance to fantasy, all inspired by the image on the cover. So exciting!!
Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead. 

Blurbs from all the stories included in Make Believe can be found on the J. Taylor Publishing website HERE.

Purchase Links: 
Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Amazon UK / All Romance / Diesel eBooks / Books on Board

And so the tour begins:

To kick off the blog tour, Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance will be hosting an e-book giveaway. After you've enjoyed some celebratory cake, please pop on over to check it out.
A huge thank you to everyone who has rallied around with their enthusiasm and generosity to celebrate this exciting event with me (listed below and in my Blog Tour). Have some extra virtual cake, bubbly and streamers... and lots and lots of chocolate!!!

A special thank you to Carol Riggs who kindly offered her expert critique of my short story while it was still in its early stages. You rock!

I will pop around to everyone as soon as I can get back online.