Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Awesome Editor- Judy Roth

Today Margaret is hosting an interview with Devlin, the male MC (main character) from Quest of the Hart over at Unique Visions. Stop by and see who else shows up!

My amazingly talented and wonderful to work with Content Editor, Judy Roth, graciously agreed to answer a bunch of questions I had about the editing process that I thought you would all find quite interesting. So, without further ado, I give you Judy!

Thank you Mary for having me on your blog today. You are a terrific writer to work with and I always enjoy your stories.

Aww, thanks, Judy. I really love working with you, too! You always get where I am going, and make sure it reads as it's supposed to. Now for some questions.

When you're given a book to edit what do you do? What's your process? Do you read through it and make notes? Read through then go back and make notes?
As a writer I am a pantser all the way so I have tried very hard as an editor to be a little more organized. I have lists I check off to be sure I am thinking of everything and I try to have the first round be all about the big picture, the second a real look at consistency, and have each round after that go to the smaller and smaller picture until, wa-la, we’re done. In reality, however, once a pantser always a pantser, it’s just how my mind works, and I tend to do a little of everything all at the same time. To answer your question more specifically, yes, I read through and make comments within the manuscript, and I also keep a sheet of notes to discuss with the author and a sheet of notes to remind me of things that don’t need to be taken care of right away.

After you make your comments and suggestions and send it back to the author, what is your next step? Do you ever look at the changes they've made and think they went way off track from your suggestions? If so, do you try and turn them back on track or see where the new path takes them?
One of the things that amazes me most about authors is their willingness to accept feedback and go with it. I am continually impressed with how much thought authors put into my comments and how they creatively solve issues. Almost always they go beyond what I imagined or asked for and I get to write a big fat “PERFECT, GOOD JOB” on the bottom of the comment. The occasional strays off the path seem to occur when I haven’t been clear enough about what I was asking or I was misinterpreted. The one thing I tell all my authors so many times they must want throttle me is to ask questions when they don’t understand where I’m coming from because that’s when they can go off track. [Love seeing those Great! and Yes! when I get back a round of feedback from you- gives me a great sense of accomplishment.]

How many back and forth passes do you usually do with an author?
As many as it takes. Never less than three and often several more.

What happens if an author doesn't want to make a suggested change? Do you talk about it? Agree to disagree?
That depends on whether I’m working on the ms for a publishing house or I’m working with an author independently. In both cases, I feel like it’s my job to help the author’s voice be heard, and to that end, if we are not seeing eye to eye I try rewording my suggestion to see if I am not being clear, but ultimately it is the author’s name on the beautiful cover and it’s her story. So to me, there is no agreeing or disagreeing. It’s about getting the story to where the author wants it. The only time I ever have to put my foot down is if a publishing house has a specific guideline.

How many books do you work on at a time? What genres?
While I may be working with five or more authors at a time, I only work on one pass of one manuscript at a time. I really like and need to get into the story and put all my energies into it so I notice plot inconsistencies etc. I also judge contests and I am a mentor for my local RWA chapter, CTRWA. I edit most genres. A captivating story with terrific attention grabbing characters can take place anywhere, any time.

What's your favorite genre to work with?
I can’t answer that. I’m a sucker for terrific characters and I’m willing to go back in time, forward, dig into a mystery, hang with the vampires, heat it up, or enjoy a lovely fantasy world as in your beautiful stories.

Do you write? If so what? And where can we find you on the web?
I have a writing and critique partner I’ve been working with for about seventeen years. He is a better marketer and has three published manuscripts. I tend to write the story and put it under my bed. We are currently working on two projects, one is a romantic suspense and the other is non-fiction. Along with writing, I have devoted much of my time for many years now to editing other writers which I truly love. I do have a website for my editing business and that address is judy-roth.com. I can also be reached by e-mail at judy.b.roth@gmail.com or phone at 203-500-0041.

Thank you so much for sharing all that with us, Judy! And if anyone is looking for an editor, swing by Judy's site and check it out. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

A winner and Two Blogs, One Day!

Congratulations to Angela Brown for winning a copy of Quest of the Hart. Please e-mail me at mewaibel(at)gmail(dot)com  within 5 days to claim your prize.

Today I am at Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight sharing a casting call for the characters in Quest of the Hart.

I'm also over at the new MuseItYoung & MuseItYA blog, introducing myself. If you've ever wondered how I got to where I am, stop by and see!

MuseItUp is looking for questions from Tween's and YA's for authors. Have a question you want to ask? Head on over to https://www.facebook.com/MuseItUp and ask away!

And be sure to come back tomorrow for a special interview with my content editor, Judy Roth.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Character Interviews

Toady I'm pulling double duty. You can find an interview with Sabrina at Laura Diamond's blog and an interview with the ladies Maeryn and Deirdre at Jenna Storm's Blog.

As I just realized when I opened my e-mail this morning that I sent them the wrong Rafflecopter links, I am posting the Rafflecopter here. Be sure to enter to win a copy of Quest of the Hart! 

Be sure to stop back on Monday, when I'll announce the first lucky winner!!

Have a great weekend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How Authors Write-Kay LaLone

Today I am over at the fabulous T.C Mckee's blog for an interview where we talk Quest, kilts and what do men wear under them. Stop by, visit, (she LOVES visitors!) and enter to win a copy of Quest of the Hart.

Now, I am thrilled to introduce you to Kay LaLone as she shares her writing process and a sneak peek at her novel, Ghostly Clues.

I’m Kay LaLone. Ghostly Clues is my first middle grade novel published by MuseItUp. I live in Michigan with my husband and teenage son (two older sons and a daughter-in-law live near by) and two dogs and a cat. I love to get up every morning and write about ghosts, the paranormal, and anything that goes bump in the night. Or anything that interest my characters. Making my characters come to life for readers is important to a good story. I’m an avid reader of just about any type of book. I do reviews on the books I read and post them on my website and blog.

What do you write?
I write MG and YA. Mostly mystery with a hint of the paranormal.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I like to use mostly 1st person because I like to read books that are in first person, plus it helps me get into the mind of my characters better. Ghostly Clues is in 1st person. Family Secret, a manuscript that I recently sent to MuseItUp is in 3rd person. So it depends on the story. I haven’t tried to write multiple POVs yet. But I have read some good stories with multiple POVs.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
Mostly a character’s voice will pop into my head. They will introduce themselves with a name. Then other times an idea will pop into my head before a character will introduce themselves.

Do you draft quickly?
Usually I’ll come up with a rough first draft in about a week or month. (depending on how much time I have to write and if the story is flowing) My first draft is not usually too detailed. I rather add detail later. [Ah, I do this, too!]

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I research during. I’ll come across something that I might not know too much about and feel the story needs more details to make it believable, so that’s when I’ll do some research. Not a big fan on research.

Do you outline? How?
Sometimes I wish I could outline. It might save me time on revising. Not a big fan on outlining, but I do outline after several revisions to check for plot holes.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I leave comments for myself, so that I don’t lose the flow of what I am working on.

Do you work with CP's (Critique Partners) or Beta's (Beta Readers)? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I work with CP’s. I don’t let them see my work until I’m happy with it. That takes several drafts.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
When I first started writing, I would get a lot of books about writing. The most helpful books I have found are on plotting because that is my weak point. Now I get most of my info online with other writer’s blogs and websites.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
How important critique groups are. I wouldn’t be a published author without the support of my critique groups. When I first started writing, it felt more like an isolated job or hobby. But now I know there are other writers out there willing to help me develop my craft.

Where can we find you?

I can be found at the following places:

My website www.kaylalone.weebly.com
My blog www.kaylalone.blogspot.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ghostlyclues
Twitter https://twitter.com/kaylalone

The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom.
Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know.
Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave. As the evidence piles up, Mom still refuses to accept the possibility Sarah Kay’s father is alive.
Sarah Kay finds Dad’s parents. A set of grandparents she didn’t realize existed. They make it clear her father is alive but days and miles separate the father and daughter reunion because Dad is a truck driver on a long haul.
Sarah Kay waits. The news reports a fatal car accident involving a semi and Sarah Kay fears the worse. She runs away which leads to Dad and the truth, Mom wanted Dad to remain dead.
Dad had faked his death so why not just stay dead. The ghostly clues of Grandma wouldn’t allow Dad to remain dead to Sarah Kay.

The house was blanketed in a quiet slumber. I snuggled under the sleeping bag with Allison, trying not to think about ghosts, as I drifted to sleep.
Random pictures floated in my mind like ghostly images.
I tiptoed among tombstones and my heart ached as if I had lost something or someone. He had to be here, somewhere. The gravestones rose like stone walls. No names engraved on them. No dates. No R.I.P. Nothing. Just smooth, flat stones. Ghosts—grayish, smoky forms with black eyes—floated over the tombstones. I shivered, suddenly cold, freezing. My breath visible like a little ghost. I didn’t want to look at the ghost anymore so I looked down at my feet. A tombstone with Grandma’s name appeared out of nowhere. The earth moved. The dirt around the headstone broke away and gnarled fingers clawed their way into the air, searching, grasping. Shriveled fingers clutched my leg.
Something grabbed at my leg—the hand, I screamed and frantically wiggled out of my sleeping bag, bumping MJ as I tried to get away from the hand I thought I felt grab at my leg.

Wow! Sounds great, Kay! Interested in reading more? Ghostly Clues  can be found at the following vendors:
MuseItUp Publishing:

Barnes & Noble:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Visiting To Write or Not To Write

Today I'm visiting with Katie, my first ever critique partner. Stop on by To Write or Not to Write for an interview with Sabrina. No, not the teenage witch, but she is the daughter of a witch!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hanging with the Brainerd's

Join me over at David and Heather Brainerd's blog Driving Blind for a special interview with Midnight, one of the horses in Quest of the Hart.

Monday, April 22, 2013

How Authors Write-Christina Weigand

Today I'm over at Blackwood's Forest, sharing a long excerpt with Lisa Blackwood., and at The Observation Desk, Katie Carroll interview's Devlin, the prince from Quest of the Hart. Stop by and enter to win a copy of Quest of the Hart.

Now, I am pleased to introduce to you Christina Weigand. Christina was supposed to be here last week, but I messed things up, and she graciously agreed to coming in today. So, please give her a warm welcome!

Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Washington State after a lifetime in Pennsylvania. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, or with the church theater group, volunteering at her daughter and granddaughter’s school in the library as well as helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.

What do you write?
YA/Christian Fantasy

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
Usually I use 3rd person with multiple POV

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
Varies from story to story. It’s probably a toss up between idea and character.

Do you draft quickly?
Depends on the story and whether or not my characters have taken control. I try and do NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) every year and the beginnings of the first draft for all three books in the “Palace of the Twelve Pillars” trilogy were started in that month.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
Depends on the story. I try to research ahead of time, but most of the time I end up doing it as I write. But then I get bogged down in research and I don’t write. Then I have lost momentum. I guess I would say its mixed. I try and do the bulk of the research up front and then if something comes up while I’m writing, and it always does, then I will stop and research it.

Do you outline? How?
No I don’t outline. I tried it once. I thought I knew what happened before the story and what had to happen at the end and the path I thought the characters needed to follow. Unfortunately my characters did not agree with my outline and staged a revolt. It was the second week of November (NANOWriMo) and I couldn’t write. Once I threw the outline away and let the characters tell the story then I was able to write and finish the story.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
A little of both.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I have a wonderful Critique group. I let them see the book at probably the second draft, although I have been known to take a first, unfinished draft in to get a little guidance on where the story should go and maybe a different way of telling it.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
Thesaurus and Dictionary, Institute of Children’s Literature, Longridge Writers Group, NaNoWriMO

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
That it’s not going to happen overnight.

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?

Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One: Release date April 26, 2013 (You can pre-order it at MuseItUp Publishing)
Palace of Three Crosses: Book Two Release date September, 2013
Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three Release date TBD
I put together a short Video Book Trailer for the Palace of the Twelve Pillars. Check out the Video Book Trailer for Palace of the Twelve Pillars on you tube. The link is http://youtu.be/PD0Jp99jZA4

The Peace Summit was in shambles, the prince kidnapped.

When the rival king realizes he kidnapped the wrong prince, hostilities escalate. Loyalties to each other and country are tested for the twin princes of Crato, Joachim and Brandan.

Joachim, captive of King Waldrom, faces deception and betrayal as he struggles to find his way home. Brandan, at home with a father focused on rescuing Joachim, wrestles with his own demons as he searches for his place in the world and the favor of his father.Torn from the safety and peace of their childhood, they are thrust into a world where bonds of family, brotherhood and roles as heirs to Crato are tested. Through war, spiritual journeys, death and marriage, will they choose the path of good or evil? Who can be trusted, as the world they know slips into a whirlpool of chaos?

The High Wisdom raised the crown from its golden case. A loud scream tore the silence in the tent. Joachim turned to look at the entrance. A soldier fell through the opening, blood spurting from a slit stretched across his throat.

As he bounded off the dais, Waldrom screamed, “What’s going on here?”

A wild rush of wind ripped the tent flaps open, and a horse and rider burst through. Joachim gaped at the body of the dead soldier. His heart raced and leapt to his throat. His gaze traveled up the horse’s legs. A man’s black boots. A scream caught in his throat, and tears filled his eyes. He stared into blue eyes.

The horse pawed the ground and snorted. The rider dismounted and stood next to the dead guard.

Wriggling free of Waldrom, Lilia ran to the rider. She threw her arms around him. “Brandan, you’re here. You’ve come to free us.”

The prince pushed her aside. “Brother, I see you are trying to usurp me again. It appears I got here just in time.”

“No, you’re wrong. I have no desire to take anything rightfully belonging to you.” Joachim stepped toward his brother and reached out a hand to him. “I want to help you and see what we can accomplish together.”

Swatting his hand away, Brandan laughed. “Help me? You’re the one who needs help. Anything you have to offer is worthless to me. Now out of my way. The king and I have business.”

“No, listen to me. You can’t do this.” Joachim spun him around.

He clouted Joachim, knocking him down. “King Waldrom, we need to talk. He’s deceiving you.” He spat at Joachim then turned and bowed to Waldrom. “I’m at your service, My King.”

Regaining his feet, Joachim pushed Brandan into the guard standing behind him. The guard wrapped his muscular arms around Brandan. “What should I do with him, Sire?”

Brandan flipped the soldier to the ground and put his black booted foot on the man’s chest. “The one you should be detaining is standing there, you fool.” He pointed at Joachim.

“What are you doing?” Lilia grabbed Brandan by the arm. “Stop this, or Waldrom will imprison us all. Why are you jeopardizing our lives?”

He looked at his mother. “Don’t worry, Mother. The only one in any danger here is the traitor you see standing before of you. First, he betrays me, next he kills Father, and now he would betray you and Waldrom. Guards, seize him!”

The king stepped forward and raised his hands to stop the guards. “What do you mean a traitor, and how do you know this?”

“Because I know my brother, and that’s the way he thinks. He’ll lie, cheat, and kill to achieve his own ends, and his goal is to have both countries under his to rule at any cost.”

“Why should I trust you over him?”

“Because I’m just like you,” Brandan responded.

Walking around the twins, Waldrom rubbed his goatee thoughtfully. “My boy, you present an interesting dilemma. How do I choose one over the other? How do I know which one to believe? Guards seize both of them.” Two guards stepped forward, and each grabbed a twin.

“You’re wrong.” Joachim struggled to break free. “This is wrong. I’m not a liar. I only want what’s best, and that’s for us to be together.”

“You’re the one who’s wrong.” Brandan pulled his arm free. “I’ve no use for you.” He turned to Waldrom. “Get him out of here, so we can finish.”

Joachim broke loose, stepped across the gap and grasped his brother by the tunic. Brandan jerked around and punched him. He rubbed his jaw and shoved Brandan, who fell to the ground “What happened to you? You’re not the brother I know.”

Standing up, the black prince pulled his sword. “Nothing is wrong with me. I just realized who I am and who truly cares about me...and it’s not you.” He rested the point of the sword on the cut Waldrom had given Joachim. As Brandan pushed the tip in the scratch, he re-opened the partially scabbed wound. Joa laid his hand on the side of the sword and pushed it away. Guards grabbed Joachim’s arms.

“Enough! I can see you two will not make this easy. I put before you a challenge, which will determine my choice. You will travel to the Cave of Njori and extinguish the flame of Asha. Melvane will accompany you and testify to its completion.”

Brandan replaced his sword and walked over to his horse. “I don’t see the need for this. It’s obvious I am the one, but I’ll go along if that is what you want.” He remounted his horse and reined it around to exit.

Still in the grasp of the soldier, Joachim yelled, “No, Brandan, stop! You can’t do this. We can’t. It’s the light of Asha, never to be extinguished. If you do this, you’ll destroy all hope and any chance we have of defeating this evil.”

Brandan laughed and kicked his horse. “All the more reason to get this done quickly. Guards, find a mount for my brother.”

“No, I won’t go. I can’t do it.”

The king raised his hand. “The choice is made. Guards, take Joachim to the prison tent. Brandan, we will deal with this inconsequential flame later. Right now, we have more important business to attend to.”

He signaled two of the guards to remove Joachim and then, as if it were his own idea, said, “I knew all along he was a traitor. I was only crowning him to draw out the true Prince of Sidramah. Brandan, thank you for arriving so soon and before these Wisdoms regretted what they did here today.”As the guards dragged him from the tent, Joachim struggled and screamed, “No, he’s lying! Brandan, why are you doing this?” His cries echoed through the camp as Waldrom returned his attentions to those remaining in the tent.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Today is Q day, for those doing the A-Z Blog Challenge, and what better day for the release of Quest of the Hart? To celebrate the release, I'm hanging out with Michael Di Gesu at In Time  for his parade of covers, and with PK Hrezo at Fearless Fiction, where I share a short excerpt.

Be sure to stop by and enter to win a copy of Quest of the Hart.

For more information, and to order your own copy, please visit MuseItUp Publishing

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quest of the Hart Blog Tour Schedule

Quest of the Hart is releasing tomorrow from MuseItUpPublishing.

To help get the word out, the following fantastic bloggers have offered to have me on their sites on the dates listed below. There will be character interviews, author interviews, samples, and lots of fun things to see.  I am raffling off a copy of the book, so be sure to stop by and enter the drawing, and spread the word to your friends!

Quest of the Hart Blog Tour

Wednesday, April 17th
-Gloria Oren-Gloria's Corner
Friday, April 19th (Release Day!)
Monday, April 22nd
Tuesday, April 23rd
Wednesday, April 24th
Thursday, April 25th
Friday, April 26th
Monday, April 29th
Tuesday, April 30th
Wednesday, May 1st
Thursday, May 2nd
Friday, May 3rd
Monday, May 6th
Tuesday, May 7th
Wednesday, May 8th
Thursday, May 9th
Friday, May 10th

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let the Blog Tour Begin

Today I am interviewed by Gloria Oren at Gloria's Corner. Stop by and learn my reading preferences and what sparked the idea for Quest of the Hart. Be sure to enter to win a free copy of Quest of the Hart.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Release Week Excitement

It's hard to believe that Friday, yes this Friday, April 19th, Quest of the Hart releases to the world.

Right now, it's available at MuseItUpPublishing for pre-order.

To celebrate the release, I will be doing a blog tour (more details Thursday) and a reading/signing at Your Home Public Library in Johnson City, NY on Saturday 4/20  from 2:30PM-4:45PM. If you're in the area I'd love for you to stop in!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Laura Diamond

Author Laura Diamond had such a blast sharing her PRIDE series with you that she’s decided to self-publish a spin-off short story. Set in 1890’s Kenya and based on the man-eating lions of Tsavo, this young adult paranormal short has a decidedly horroresque bent to it. Here’s a teaser trailer:

Rogue shapeshifters, Santamo and Legeny, believe they are kings blessed with the power to shift into lions. Using that strength, they brutally defend their land from the British building the Ugandan Railroad that threatens their way of life. On a particularly ruthless raid, Santamo meets his match—Naserian. He spares the girl’s life, a move that fractures his relationship with Legeny and blurs his visions of cleansing his territory of invaders. While the pile of bones in Santamo and Legeny’s cave grows, so does Santamo’s attraction to Naserian. When she challenges him to give up his murderous ways, will Santamo stay on the path of death he believes is his duty, or will he choose Naserian, and love?

TSAVO PRIDE is NOW AVAILABLE via Amazon for $0.99! Amazon Prime members can borrow it for free. ;)   at Amazon.com

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. Her Young Adult Paranormal Romance novelette, NEW PRIDE, and novel, SHIFTING PRIDE, debuted late 2012 from Etopia Press. A spin off short story based on the lions of Tsavo, TSAVO PRIDE, is now available. A short story, CITY OF LIGHTS AND STONE, is in the DAY OF DEMONS Anthology by Anachron Press and another short, BEGGING DEATH, is in the CARNAGE: AFTER THE END Anthology Volume One by Sirens Call Publications. Forthcoming novels include a young adult adventure, ZODIAC COLLECTOR, and young adult dystopians, ENDURE and EVOKE. When she's not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion. She is also full-time staff member for her four cats and a Pembroke corgi named Katie.

Find Laura Diamond on the web:
Blog: http://lbdiamond.wordpress.com/ 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/diamondlb 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laura.diamond.52 
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraDiamond
Website: www.AuthorLauraDiamond.com 
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Diamond/e/B009Y7L432/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1353277817&sr=1-2-ent Author’s Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?AuthorID=168059 
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5815639.Laura_Diamond 

at Amazon.com                  



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cover Reveal for Milayna by Michelle Pickett

Today I am happy to reveal the cover for Michelle Pickett's newest novel, Milayna. I know this is going to be a MUST READ for me!  Congrats, Michelle! It's gorgeous!

Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn't a choice--it's a job requirement. And it's a job she can't quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half-angel isn't all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell's Angel, wants Milayna's power, and he'll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.
With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting with her is Chay, a demi-angel who's sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love... or her nemesis in disguise?

Because when she learns of a traitor in her group, there's no one she can trust... not even the one she loves. 
Title: Milayna
Author: Michelle Pickett
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN:  978-1-937053-83-3
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Formats: Paper, e-book
It’s not too early to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website and get yours before they’re gone!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Killarney Sheffield and Through Gypsy Eyes

Killarney Sheffield joins us again today to talk about her new release, Through Gypsy Eyes. But first, I have an announcement from her concerning her post on Marie. Take it away Killarney.

Thanks all for commenting! I put your names in a hat and my 11 yr old son pulled out Trisha! Congrats. Please email me at  killarneysheffield(at)gmail(dot)com  with 'Marie Winner' in the subject line and let me know what format you prefer. Thanks again and happy reading! Please remember when you read any book to post a review on any book buy sites you like or send it directly to the author. 

Congrats, Trisha!!!! Now, for more from Killarney.

Hello, let me introduce myself. My name is Killarney Sheffield, the author of ‘Through Gypsy Eyes’ releasing from Crimson Romance on April 15th 2013. ‘Through Gypsy Eyes’ is my 8th published novel.

Many people have asked me just how I came up with the idea of a blind heroine and a guide animal in the form of a seeing eye pony named Jester. Like many authors I sometimes struggle with ‘showing’ vs ‘telling’ and developing the sensory dimensions in a novel. I started writing a short piece from a blind woman’s pov. Obviously my character could not ‘see’ the world around her but had to interpret it through touch, taste, smell and the sounds around her. It is a wonderful exercise that really helped me connect with Delilah. The story just took off from there and refused to stay quiet until I seriously wrote her story and for me as a Canadian farm gal a book is never complete without some kind of animal sidekick.

Most people would have gone with the guide dog approach but, I hate to offend anyone here, I am just not a dog person. My whole life has been spent around show horses of various breeds and disciplines. As I was thinking on an animal sidekick I remembered an old show I saw once on ‘Animal Planet’ about a lady in the USA who trained miniature horses to be guides for the blind. She used a harness similar to a dogs, put cute little sneakers on the pony’s feet for traction and house trained them. These remarkable little creatures could do everything a guide dog could and posed less allergy problem. From this simple show the idea behind Jester was born and he quickly became a most endearing character who threatened to steal the story in more than a few scenes! You can view a quick teaser of the tale here: 

True to my love of critters big and small I am currently polishing another historical romance novel with suspense, adventure and paranormal aspects to it titled ‘Love’s Magic’. It is the story of a female magician and her unusual sidekick, a black Holland rabbit named Dexter. 

Delilah Daysland doesn’t see herself as marriage material. After all, who could love a woman locked in darkness? Try telling that to Lord Tyrone Frost. He’s determined to do his duty and see her wed to a suitable gentleman, as the King commands.Delilah has other plans. Convinced her father’s death was no accident, she must depend upon her pony Jester to guide her through everyday challenges as she seeks the truth behind mystery, murder, and deception. Though drawn to Tyrone she’s afraid to trust him, until she sees the world and love through gypsy eyes.

Pre-release review for Through Gypsy Eyes:

Through Gypsy Eyes is not your usual romantic novel, and is all the better for it. The author has a compelling way of writing her stories. She is a master at choosing the few words that make a character come to life for the reader, of offering you people and situations larger than life but with the ring of truth. Ms. Sheffield's characters have virtues, flaws, and challenges, traits that make you want to read on into the night. And of course, in Through Gypsy Eyes, there is the pony, a very endearing addition.

Heather Haven, author of The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries and The Persephone Cole Mystery Series.

Through Gypsy Eyes is available at Crimson Romance

Award Winning Author Killarney Sheffield- Because, 'Love Makes You Believe'.
Guilty Kisses- 2011 Covey Trailer winner, 
A Courtesan's Desires- 2012 YouGottaRead Cover award winner & 2013 Epic Ebook award finalist. 
Inventing Love- 2012 P&E best Steampunk winner.

Releases from MuseItUp Publishing: Guilty Kisses, Stand & Deliver Your Heart, The Horseguard's Lady, A Courtesan's Desires, Inventing Love, Love's Deception & Marie.

Releases from Crimson Romance: Through Gypsy Eyes.

http://author-killarney-sheffield.spruz.com  & Twitter @authorkillarney

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How Authors Write- Tammy Lowe

Today, MuseItUp author Tammy Lowe share's her writing process with us. Welcome, Tammy!

What do you write?
I write Tween/YA. THE ACADIAN SECRET is a time travel, action adventure.
    Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
    I like to write in 3rd person and use multiple POV’s.

How did you come up with the idea for this book?
As a kid, I loved to read books and watch shows like Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. I loved anything set in the “olden days”. [Two of my favorite shows to watch. I have to admit, I never read the books, though!]

When I was about ten years old, I began to wonder about time travel. My biggest wish was that I’d end up back in the pioneer era. I wanted to go and hang out with spoiled Nellie Olsen. I don’t remember why I wished for Nellie over Laura Ingalls, but I think it had something to do with the fact that her parents owned the candy shop.

I had it all figured out. I didn’t want to live in the 18th or 19th century; I’d miss my family too much. And I can’t live without modern comforts. I wanted the freedom to travel back and forth through time.

My wish to time travel was so strong; I even dressed the part, as much as I could, without raising anyone’s suspicions. I wore dresses to school every day, when all my friends wore jeans and t-shirts. I had to be prepared just in case it worked and I was whisked through time. That summer, I even begged my mom to buy me a bonnet. She did. I wore that white bonnet everywhere. If I ended up in Walnut Grove or Avonlea, I was prepared. [I love this!]

By the sixth grade I was old enough to realize that time travel probably wasn’t going to be a reality for me, so I decided when I grew up, I’d write a story about a girl who could travel back and forth through time.

Do you draft quickly?
I am very detailed with my drafts and spend quite a while plotting the timelines. I have notebooks and spreadsheets and post it notes scattered everywhere. This story is like a big puzzle with different eras and storylines. In a sense, it was written in layers and woven together.

Do you do a lot of research?
Since much of my novel is based on historic events that took place in both Nova Scotia and in Scotland, I did a LOT of research from beginning to end. I love that part though.

A few years ago, we brought our son on an adventure across the Scottish Highlands. We stayed in the stone tower of a fifteenth century castle. We wandered the glens and sailed across Loch Ness in search of Nessie. That’s the best kind of “research”. [Sounds wonderful and exciting!]

Scotland will always hold a special place in my heart. I swear there is a magical quality you can feel in the air. It’s not surprising that so many legends spring up from that part of the world. After being there, you start to wonder if maybe there’s some truth to them.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I do name everything up front, but I also have no problem changing things at a later point. I believe four of my main characters were renamed in later drafts.

Many of my characters were real people in history. There was one young lady I needed to include in the story, but I was having trouble finding her real name. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah kept floating around my brain, so I called her Sarah, with the intention of changing her name once I discovered it in my research. When I finished writing, and I couldn’t imagine my Sarah being called anything else, I discovered her real name. It was Sarah. That gave me goose bumps. [Now that is cool!]

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
I highly recommend On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King. It’s as entertaining as it is helpful.

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share? 

My novel, THE ACADIAN SECRET  is out April 5th, 2013 with MuseItUpPublishing. [Congrats!]

Elisabeth finds she can play in the past;
when bosom friends, treasure hunters and tormented alchemists are still the norm. 

Elisabeth London is keeping her new friends a secret from her parents. Not only do they live on the other side of the world in the Scottish Highlands, they lived more than three hundred and fifty years ago. Her mom and dad would never allow her to go gallivanting about seventeenth century Scotland. They won’t even let her go to the mall by herself yet.

Twelve-year-old Elisabeth is old enough to know there is no such thing as magic, but when her quartz crystal necklace has the power to transport her back and forth in time, she no longer knows what to think. The only thing she is certain of is that she loves spending carefree days with Quinton, the mischievous nephew of a highland warrior, and sassy little Fiona, a farmer’s daughter.

However, Elisabeth’s adventures take a deadly turn when she is charged with witchcraft. At a time and place in history when witch-hunts were common, those found guilty were executed, children included. Elisabeth must race to find her way back home, while trying to stay one step ahead of the witch-hunter determined to see her burned at the stake.

You will find me at www.tammylowe.com and you can purchase The Acadian Secret at MuseItUp Plublishing

Monday, April 1, 2013

Marie by Kilarney Sheffield

Few people know the time and day of their own deaths, she mused. Mine will be August tenth, seventeen ninety-two.

Marie Antoinette. Beheaded in the prime of her life. What if her fate was changed? What if she escaped that night the castle was stormed? What if she was mistaken for a common woman? What if she found herself aboard a convict ship bound for Australia? What if she had a second chance at life and love?


  The blistering hot sun baked her skin as they trudged along. Marie wiped the sweat from her face for what seemed like the thousandth time. Long shimmering waves of heat blurred the path ahead. She forced herself to put foot after foot, her heels blistered and stinging with sweat and red dirt that worked its way into everything. Scratching at her peeling nose she sighed. “Can we stop for a while?”
  Reagan did not look back. “We have to keep moving and put as much distance as we can between us and the settlement.”
  "But I am so hot and thirsty.” She bit her lip hating the whine edging her voice.
  This time he paused and handed her a water skin. “You had best keep up, or I will leave you here for the vultures.”
  She took a swallow of the cool liquid and then frowned. “Vultures?”
  "Those.” He pointed up at two large birds circling in the cloudless sky above them. “They eat dead and dying things.”
  "Oh.” Giant birds that prey on people, is he jesting? She took another swallow of water and handed the skin back to him. With one last look up at the scavengers she resumed walking. It was pure torture. Her feet hurt, her legs where shaking, her skin felt like it was about to peel from her body and her head began to throb. A bead of sweat trickled down her bare arm and dried to a salty spot by the time it reached her wrist. How do peasants survive such conditions?
  Marie tied the bandana Reagan gave her earlier around her neck wishing she had thought to soak it in the cool water to ease the burning of her skin before giving the sack back to him. Shading her eyes she focused on his back as they trudged along. “So, where are we going?”
  "How do you know which way we are traveling?”
  "The sun.”
  She glanced up at the bright hot orb and then tried again to strike up a conversation. “Why are we going north?”
  "That is where Brisbane is.”
  "What is in Brisbane?”
  He sighed, or was it a growl? “A ship to get us off this God forsaken isle.”
  The remembrance of her last ship voyage filled with seasickness, cold, fear, disgusting sights and sounds made her cringe. Of course, she reasoned, passage on a luxury sailing ship would be so much more comfortable than the hold of a prison vessel. She looked down at the red earth kicked up by their feet. Anything will be better than walking. “What are you going to do after you see me safely to Austria?”
  "What makes you think I am going to escort you to Austria?”
  Startled she lifted her gaze, stopping short when Reagan spun around to face her. The muscle in his jaw twitched. Arms akimbo she fixed him with a stubborn stare. “I paid for your protection.”
He lifted an eyebrow and scowled. “You paid for my protection at the settlement and my help to escape.”
  "Surely you are not going to just leave me in this Brisbane place, alone?”
  "Surely, I am.”
  Well of all the nerve. She glared at him. “But—”
  Holding up a hand he silenced her. “Once we get to Brisbane you are own your own, princess.”
  "Queen!” she spat. Taking a step forward she shook her finger at him. “Now see here…”
  He marched to within an inch of her nose and her intended sentence trailed off. “That was the bargain that was struck, princess.” With a look brokering no further argument he turned and stalked off.
  At first she stomped after him. How dare he just leave me to fend for myself. Does he have any idea what kind of horrors could befall a woman traveling alone? If he were my servant why I would...She bit her lip. He wasn't her servant. He was simply a man who made his living doing whatever he could to survive and apparently the key to survival was money. Perhaps the way to gain his cooperation was through her purse strings. Well, her brother's purse strings. She stopped and crossed her arms.        
  “Perhaps I have gone about this entirely wrong. It seems I have forgotten the huge reward my brother will offer for my safe return.”
  He paused midstep and turned around. “Reward?”
  She noted the gleam of greed in his eyes with satisfaction. “Oh my, yes. My brother will offer you anything you desire if you return me to him safe and sound.”
  With a snort he turned his back and continued up the ditch. “I assure you I will desire more than a mere shilling, or a donkey or two for returning you. Your brother no doubt could not spare enough to make it worth my while.”
  Oh the cad! A donkey? Did he just insinuate I am worth no more than a pathetic beast of burden?
  “Fine! Go ahead without me then.” She climbed up on a waist high log and pulled the pearls from her bodice. “Since you are unwilling to fulfill your part of the agreement I shall just keep my pearls. Let's see you book passage off this, as you call it 'god forsaken isle' without any coin.” He stopped and turned back around. With a triumphant smile she bounced the pearls up and down on her palm a couple of times before tucking them back in her bodice.

Available now at:

Award Winning Author Killarney Sheffield- Because, 'Love Makes You Believe'.
Guilty Kisses- 2011 Covey Trailer winner,
A Courtesan's Desires- 2012 YouGottaRead Cover award winner & 2013 Epic Ebook award finalist. 
Inventing Love- 2012 P&E best Steampunk winner.

Releases from MuseItUp Publishing:
Guilty Kisses, Stand & Deliver Your Heart, The Horseguard's Lady, A Courtesan's Desires, Inventing Love, Love's Deception & Marie.

Releases from Crimson Romance: Through Gypsy Eyes.
http://author-killarney-sheffield.spruz.com  & Twitter @authorkillarney