Tempting Fate – LIVE today!


✰✰ NEW RELEASE ✰✰

Title: Tempting Fate Anthology

Authors: Maria Vickers ~ Amy Marie ~ Taylor Anhalt ~ Amy McKinely ~ JC Santo ~ Jade Royal ~ Rosie Chapel ~ Maggie Adams ~ Shannon Nemechek ~ Crystal St. Clair ~ Samatha Harris ~ Elizabeth Princeton ~ Bella Emy ~ Shelby Reeves ~ Ellie Mack ~ Jasmina Siderovski ~ Darlene Tallman

 

 

 

 

Release: June 1, 2018- Which means it’s LIVE today!!!!!!

Genres: Contemporary/NA/MM/YA Romance

Designer: Nemo Designs

Photographer: CJC Photography

Model: David Wills

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38332960-tempting-fate

Blurb:

Sometimes in life, something happens that will not only affect you, it will create a ripple effect, encompassing your family and friends. Hope will help you to overcome and survive, but your life and outlook are forever changed.

This collection of stories is about overcoming obstacles, surviving when it seems hard or impossible, and dealing with life-changing events.

 

**All proceeds will benefit Cancer Research Institute.

 

 

 

Authors:

Maria Vickers, Amy Marie, Taylor Anhalt, Amy McKinley, JC Santo, Jade Royal, Rosie Chapel, Maggie Adams, Shannon Nemecheck, Crystal St. Clair, Samantha Harris, Elizabeth Princeton, Bella Emy, Shelby Reeves, Ellie Mack, Jasmina Siderovski, Darlene Tallman

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://a.co/aYsS1M3

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2GUq0qN

Amazon CA: http://a.co/gGFrLh7

Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/4gtK6ky

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2Hw67Yi

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2GVK9kA

Universal Link for everything else: https://www.books2read.com/u/3nOdM5

 

This has been an amazing project and I am blessed to be included in this! Thank you, Maria Vickers, for all that you’ve done,  Thank you to David Wills – your foreword summed it up beautifully, Thank you, TA Black – it looks beautiful inside, Thank you Shannon Nemecheck for the beautiful cover! 

If you have preordered, your book should download today.  IF you haven’t,  then buy it now! ALL proceeds go to Cancer Research Institute.

Please leave a review after reading to let us know what you think.  If you feel you can’t leave an honest good review, please contact me, or one of the authors to tell us why.

I received an ARC copy of this book for review,  and my review is on Amazon –  5 STARS!

Thank you!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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Cover Reveal: The Awakening


I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.

Today I get to share with you the official cover for

The Awakening: Book 1 of the Valkyrie’s Curse series!

https://media1.tenor.com/images/6bfbf4938de27861ba931635c2f20160/tenor.gif?itemid=5292331

https://media1.tenor.com/images/1a5ef388675bef5e3323bb2cb9f11327/tenor.gif?itemid=6141069

Are you ready?

 

Available for Preorder NOW on Amazon

Release date – June 20, 2018

Link: The Awakening

I think Shannon at Nemo’s Designs did an amazing job! Thank you Shannon!!!!

My cover model is Savanna Rundel. She will be the model for the entire series.

I”d like to get them all done now,  but $$$$$$.

Patience –  have to learn some.

BLURB:

Helena Eskildson is obsessed with Vikings and Norse Mythology. Neither Helena nor her sister knows they are Freya’s daughters – Valkyries, the shield maidens to Odin.
When her obsession leads her to a remote site at Roskilde and it’s two monolithic rune stones, her destiny is awakened.
While the team wages a battle between a cursed site and a sociopathic killer, time is ticking closer to Ragnarok.
Will her friends be able to save her before the gjallerhorn sounds?

 

Do you want a little sneak preview? I’ve been sharing snippets on Sundays WEWRIWA of this soon to be released book! 

EXCERPT 1:

He felt he had the favor of the Norns, the three goddesses associated with destiny, that were akin to the Greek gods of fate.

Having the favor of the gods meant success in his goals. He was destined to be Lif, the last man standing, the lone man that would repopulate the earth after Ragnarok. In essence, he would become the new Adam.

The rituals were necessary, an integral part of the process before using the key. Unfolding the linen handkerchief carefully, the ancient bronze key looked nothing like what most would think of as a key. A circular piece, about six inches in diameter spanned from his thumb to the tip of his middle finger. Runic writings along the outside edge written within the form of the great serpent Jormungand, the great dragon conquering the gripping animal grouping in a circular band about two inches wide, the design in the eternal triskell pattern. Inside of that, written in runes was the location of the gjallerhorn. At the center were nine swords pointing to an amber stone, nine strands over an open area, the stone center raised with a square notch in the back. It had to be positioned precisely at the solstice.

 

EXCERPT 2:

Helena dreamed of flying. In the past, it seemed that she miraculously flew, but in this dream she had wings. Great wings with silvery white feathers that shimmered in the sun’s rays. Her hair shone in brilliant golden hues. Her skin had a radiance from within, her cheeks rosy, her lips full. She felt an inner beauty and confidence that although unfamiliar fit her perfectly like a glove. She rose into the air, watching the warriors below.

Brave men poured from a hidden passage into the courtyard. Moving with quiet stealth, they moved to stations waiting for a signal from the leader.

Her eyes scanned the scene, watching. Which one was the leader? Then with a quick raise of his hand, the men advance with a great war cry. Waiting, observing the men working as a unit together to accomplish a greater goal. This would please Odin!

A young man poked his head from the tunnel, then ducked back inside. A few seconds later he darted across the courtyard to a smaller building. Drawing his sword he entered.

She dropped lower, so she could see inside, seeing a large wooden cabinet and another man fleeing. The young man approached the cabinet, searched it and found it empty, then pursued the other man.

The encounter was brief, easily taking the treasure from the thief. Confidence flooded over her. At last, a worthy warrior to claim.

 

 That’s right,  it’s ME!!!

Author Bio:

Since leaving the corporate world for the title of MOM, Ellie Mack has pursued her writing dreams. This former columnist is using her sassy opinions to shape her writing in novels. She lives near St. Louis, MO with her husband and two daughters. Ellie is a breast cancer survivor and wants to encourage others who are going through this battle.

When she’s not writing she can be found bullet journaling, crocheting, or cooking. You can find her musings on her blog: https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com

 

OTHER BOOKS BY ELLIE MACK:

Red Wine & Roses

Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass

Roxy Sings the Blues

Tempting Fate: Charity anthology

 

Follow my Amazon Author page – Ellie Mack author 

Follow me on BookBub It’s fun and easy, and you’ll never miss out on meeting new authors or having a chance to win great prizes. Here’s the link – Ellie Mack
Follow me on Goodreads – Ellie Mack
Facebook  Ellie Mack author

Twitter- @Mack_Ellie

Pinterest- Ellie Mack

My blog- Quotidiandose  You’re already here!

Be sure to order yours now!

I’m so excited!! SQUEEEEEEE!

Write on my friends, write on!

Viking Battle


Hello everyone!

Weekend Writing Warriors.

HOW IT WORKS

This is the description on their site:
       Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog, and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 01/27/18 and 09:00 AM on Sunday 01/28/18. Visit the other participants on the list and read, critique and comment on their 8sunday posts. 

I think they said it better than I could.

Look below the linky list for genre categories.
Spread the word, share the love, warriors. Twitter hashtag #8sunday.

It’s simple and fun. Sign up on the linky list with your name, blog URL, and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 to 10 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.
~~~~~~~~~
For my longtime readers, The Awakening, Book 1 in Valkyrie’s Curse series is slated to release on June 20th – I had to push it back a week as I don’t yet have the cover from the cover artist.  The cover reveal was supposed to go up Wednesday, May 9th. Can’t reveal a cover you don’t have now can you? The preorder is up however – 99 cents until release date! The cover on there is not the final cover – it’s a placeholder.
So let’s jump in shall we?
This is from the prologue, continued from last week.
~~~~~

Aella saw a shadow move beyond the curtain. He took the sword from the hand of the second guard he had killed. Now armed with two swords he moved forward cautiously, muscles tensed at the ready. Aella moved behind the altar and found the secret compartment in the back opened. The key was gone!

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a movement. He had to get that key! Aella moved to follow the thief. Swiftly he thrust his sword forward spun around and struck again with both swords, removing the thief’s arm. As the arm fell to the ground, the key dropped free. For a split second, his eyes followed the key, enough time for the man to raise his broad axe, but Aella was faster and thrust again. One sword found its mark in the enemy’s chest, the other slashed across the man’s throat.

~~~~~

 Let me know what you think!
Be sure to check out the other author’s snippets as well HERE

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Write on my friends, write on! I need to go read those snippets –  catch ya later, gator!

Weekend Writing Warriors -Awakening


Hello everyone!

Weekend Writing Warriors.

HOW IT WORKS

This is the description on their site: Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog, and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 01/27/18 and 09:00 AM on Sunday 01/28/18. Visit the other participants on the list and read, critique and comment on their 8sunday posts. 

I think they said it better than I could.

Look below the linky list for genre categories.
Spread the word, share the love, warriors. Twitter hashtag #8sunday.

It’s simple and fun. Sign up on the linky list with your name, blog URL, and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 to 10 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.
~~~~~~~~~
Greetings! It’s been a while since I’ve tried to share anything for this. I’ve been plugging away at two shorts and revisions on the next novel. Before I shared from The Blood Key which was one of the shorts I was working on.  The anthology was canceled unfortunately. I will release this one though after I get the first and second books from the Fae series out.
For my longtime readers, The Awakening, book 1 in Valkyrie’s Curse series is slated to release on June 12th.  The cover reveal and preorders will go up soon, I promise.
So let’s jump in shall we?
~~~~~
Olaf, Sven, and Aella glanced between themselves nodding. They had fought together in other battles, but this was the first in their homelands. They touched their swords to their chest and made the family sign, mouthing silently together “united by birth, bound by blood”.
An insurgent had taken their lands, their women, and killed their king. Now it was time to reclaim what was rightfully theirs.
The ship slowed as the V-shaped hull found the soft sand. Jorvic gave the forward motion. Two men steadied the ship as the others slipped into the surf. IT was only knee-deep, the men sloshed forward as quietly as possible. By the stealth of moonlight, they slipped through the secret door on the outer wall.

 

~~~~~

 Let me know what you think!
Be sure to check out the other author’s snippets as well HERE
Write on my friends, write on!

Who’s Who In Mackworld


Welcome readers to Week 18 of the MFRW Blog hop.

Week 18: How I work up Character/Setting Profiles.

 

How do I “do” characters and setting?

You really want to get into this? Surely there are better things to discuss, like plot points, the beach, coffee. 

*waits for MFRW to change their minds* 

NO?  OK, well this isn’t going to be pretty.  You might want to grab a rain poncho or something.

Characters:

My characters come to my mind, as if they had popped into the office and made a request. Imagine that you are the receptionist for a small company and a woman comes in.

“Good afternoon, how may I help you?” My fingers move from the keyboard to grab the pen and notepad.

She looks around nervously. “I have an appointment with Mr. McDaniels for ten.”

“Please fill out these forms.”

I pass the clipboard across the counter to the woman as I open a new client screen. When she returns the clipboard,  I enter her name, address, the reason for visit, and any other pertinent information. I begin to process what I’ve entered and then it gets weird. It’s like I trade places with the “boss” whether he’s a private eye, a counselor, or a physician. The character then tells me the details of her visit.

As she tells me what’s going on and what her concerns are,  I begin to learn who she is.

Now, in reality, I may be working at the day job.  I may be doing housework or I might be driving in the car. All of this goes on inside my brain until I can get to a point where I can sit down and start jotting thoughts down. A friend gave me a character development worksheet that I fill out, but to be honest it’s only partially filled out before the story fully develops.

I’ve said before that I am a plotter –  I have been using the W method that the wonderful Karen Docter taught me. This gives me a basic outline that I can fill in the important scenes in between the 9 major plot points. This still allows the freedom to “pants it” while I am making my first draft.

Usually as I am learning my character,  the details on setting come out from their first “visit”.

I have had some characters come to me fully developed and practically begging me to write their story, and then others seem a little shy and I have to play twenty questions to dig the information out of them.

Bran, the brother in Kiss of the Dragon came to me fully developed, showing up in my “office” stark naked, fully muscled, demanding my full attention RIGHT NOW.   Unfortunately,  I was really green when I did the draft of that one during nano and it needs major revisions, which is why it’s still in the files.

Julia from Red Wine & Roses was the shy one.  She was hesitant to talk about herself.  I had to pry the information from her while Derek wanted to talk inside my head for hours. Great dude,  shut up while I find out about Julia!

Settings: As I learn the character and their story,  the setting becomes clearer. Whether it’s the town they are in, the state, or a small little convenient mart, it’s part of them, part of their story.

I know it would make more sense to make up characters by sitting down and deciding OK, this one will be a male,  dark hair, beard no wait a goattee,  blue eyes, a scar above his brow, thin lips, tats on his arms and chest, a scar on his thigh. Let’s say he got the scars from a car accident. Let’s call him Joe.  It doesn’t always work that way. By the way,  this is the description of a character for a piece that I’ve been working on in the background, kind of a pshycho-thriller. If you are judging by appearances you might think he’s the antagonist but he isn’t. He’s sort of an antihero. but I don’t have my W worked out, or what his goal is, or his end game. We just met a few weeks ago, so I don’t even know his name yet.

Nathan’s story unfolded quickly. It was like I was a fly on the wall watching his story unfold like a movie behind my eyes if that makes sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to Preorder your copy of Tempting Fate: Charity Anthology today!

You can go to the blog hop and check out what other authors have to say about this by clicking on MFRW BLOG HOP.

Write on my friends, write on!

Love In Its Many Splendid Forms


Welcome readers to Week 17 of the MFRW Blog hop.

This weeks prompt is: Favorite Romance Genre to Read or Write.

I started five times to do last week’s prompt and walked away with it unposted. Last Friday was my anniversary date for diagnosis and I was an emotional wreck.

Sorry guys,  I tried but just couldn’t seem to string together cohesive thoughts.

However, today is a new day and this week – I got this! I can sum this whole blog post up in one sentence:

My Favorite Romance Genre to Read or Write is a satisfying romance with a happy ending.

What do you mean that isn’t a genre? Yes, it is.

AHEM> It seems management is not happy with my answer so let me expound. (Like you didn’t think I would?  Is this your first time here????)

Favorite Romance Genre to Read:

I have read everything from Steeple Hill Christian romance to Triple X erotica and everything in between.  I have read Historical Romance and some I greatly enjoy like Lynn Kurland – I love her world and how her characters all link together. Ms. Kurland’s books often involve time travel to a previous century. She also has some about ghosts. Outlander is an Historical Romance as well as time travel. If you have not read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series – from start to finish at least once,  then how can you call yourself a romance fan???

I know that most everyone expects Nora Roberts to be at the top of a romance fan’s list, but I have to be honest. Meh!  I like some of her older stuff. The Reef had me turning pages! Key of Knowledge, Key of Valor – I liked those. Rising Tides and that series was awesome. The series – sorry I can’t remember the titles – about the Irish brothers and sister, those were phenomenal. But, in my humble opinion, her stories just got too formulaic for me. No, I have not read her work as JD Robb.

I can’t talk about romance without my favorites – Katie McAlister always has number one position. It doesn’t matter which book, I love her sense of humor whether it’s a contemporary or paranormal. Trust me, I’ve read them all.  One day I will have an autographed book from her.

My second favorite is Karen Marie Moning’s  Highlander series. Love those Scots! Then, of course, we get into The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Christine Feehan and of course we can’t leave off Charlaine Harris. I mean after all, who doesn’t love a southern vamp?

I’ve read many Indy authors as well as mainstream. I am a diehard Jane Austen fan since high school. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Catherine Coulter, Karen Docter, and Gena Showalter’s Darkest series all have high marks from me.

I prefer traditional male-female romances. I tend to reread authors I liked, hence the list above.  Many times I’ve perused the shelves and had three or four in my hand,  then selected two out of those for purchase – one from an author I’ve read before and a new author. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many Harlequin romances I read. Some were good some were meh and some were really bad.

To me, the most satisfying romance story is one that meets the happily ever after ending.

Ironically, Katie McAlister’s Aisling Grey series aren’t HEA, but I adore them.

I have to mention here another favorite, Louise Rennison. When my daughters were in their early teens,  we picked up the first of her books –  Angus Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging.

I About Died from laughing so hard!

Ms. Rennison’s books are teen romances, full of angst, melodrama, and hilarious hijinks. If you haven’t read them  – DO IT! Everyone needs a good laugh! The only other book that I laughed as hard was Katie McAlister’s Corset Diaries.

As to writing, so far I’ve written contemporary romance but this next one that I am working on, which is actually written and now in revisions, is a paranormal romance.

I don’t think I could write a historical romance,  you have to be such a stickler for details.  I greatly enjoy reading them,  but I don’t get all hung up on whether they have twenty-six buttons down the back or a tie string on their pantaloons,  and oh wait, they didn’t wear pantaloons beneath their dressed at that time. I’m more interested in the interactions between the hero and heroine, and what happens between them whether it ends with a first kiss or full disclosure details that you feel like you need a smoke afterward;  and I don’t smoke!

All of my books have an element of romance,  although romance isn’t the main focus of this next one. The basic desire in each of us for companionship, passion, desires, and to have someone who loves us unconditionally, I believe is a very real driver for the vast majority of us. Fans of romance get that when they read our books.

We can experience vicariously the rollercoaster ride of falling in love, heartbreak, restoration, danger, mayhem, terror, and satisfaction without leaving the safety of our living room. Isn’t that the root of all successful books?

What subgenres in romance do you like to read?

Mine, right???  RIGHT??? 

Well, if you haven’t read mine yet,  here’s a little bargain for you to try them! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can go to the blog hop and check out what other authors have to say about this by clicking on MFRW BLOG HOP.

Write on my friends, write on!

What’s Going on In Your Neck of the Woods?


Forgive me, readers, it’s been weeks since my last confession. I mean blog post. Well, sometimes they are about the same thing.

At the beginning of each year, I make plans.  Often, big plans! One of those plans was to get back to regularly posting. If I could figure out how to get onto my blog from my tablet, it would speed things up tremendously. Sometimes I am technically inept. I’ll figure it out eventually.

My husband is an IT guy. A code monkey. Name the electronics, he masters it. He writes in SQL all day at work. I was lost back in the day when I had to use Fortran and Cobol. Yes, I’m showing my age but oh well.

Until I have the time, (*cackles hysterically* time,  as in extra time – a delusional thought that most authors fantasize about) I’ll keep coming back to the laptop to enter my posts. Now that I’ve met my deadline for the anthology, I can return to a more manageable writing schedule.  Well, more manageable for me anyway.

My friend Vicki Locey is like a writing machine. She doesn’t use any dictation aids,  she just plugs away every day at her writing while managing a small farm. I don’t know how she does it. Other author friends have to juggle their home life, some with jobs whether part time or full time outside the home and still manage to crank out the books.

OK, a year ago I would have been stressed to the max over that,  but not anymore.  It is what it is and if nothing else, I’ve learned over the past year that I have to put blinders on to what “Other authors” do and DO what I can do. PERIOD! So, let’s do a little catch-up, shall we? Since I’ve been in absentia, maybe one or two of you have wondered where I disappeared. You did, right? Right?

January I had big plans! Some, I realize are on the dream level because if you never aim for the stars, you won’t ever clear the trees. I was super focused on decluttering our home and preparing to move closer to my husband’s work. We did great on that,  taking several carloads full of plunder to Goodwill. The estimated dollar value for all of the stuff we removed from our home –  $3500. Yes,  you read that right. Between clothing, (mostly mine in larger sizes that I am proud to say no longer fit!) furniture, small appliances, children’s toys that somehow got stored in a corner of the basement, and a plethora of knick-knacks. I should mention that our kids are adults now. I was shocked to find that we still had toys from their grade school years.

Just a word of advice –  if you are planning to make donations to a charity,   if you limit the donation amount to under $500, you are less likely to be audited.  We wrote off most of the stuff because I doubt that we are going to be able to itemize anyway.

The house was looking better,  after each purge we let the dust settle,  literally. Had to give a day or two between sessions because the dust aggravated the sinuses. Then we found the shop vac –  and began to be more proactive.

One shocking bit of purge –  books.  I know, I know,  y’all are shocked. I got rid of over 100 books. A few of those were my books from college, my husband’s books from college, reference books, and many old novels. I kept my first edition copies, despite the hubs protests.

February – decluttering continued but I was more focused on writing.  Value of things hauled out of our home to Goodwill or set on the curb with a sign  – FREE estimated at $2600.  (Not that I’m bragging if anything it’s embarrassing to admit how much stuff I didn’t need that I purchased with retail therapy over the years.) I had two anthology submissions to have in by the beginning of April.  The doctor appointments,  weekly therapy for lymphedema and aquasize classes kept me more than busy and by the time I got home from the aquacise classes and the therapy, I was drained.  My stamina is greatly improved since radiation treatments,  but I’m still not there yet.Fatigue is a very real issue.

I spent the majority of the month writing The Blood Key for the 12 Realms Fantasy Anthology while I worked out a plot line for my short novella for the Cancer Research anthology. Then I went gangbusters on that one. More about this in a bit.

March – this is where the train comes to a screeching halt while our lives are derailed. Things were going well.  We were making progress on the house. We could start renovations mid-March if we kept going at the same pace.

March 12 – 16, our oldest daughter was home for Spring Break. She didn’t get to go to Ft. Lauderdale or anywhere cool because she had doctors appointments, dentist appointments, and had to get her regular scheduled auto work done. While home she told us her big plans for the following school year, which were quite frankly ridiculous.  Her plans were to move back in with us and commute every day. Now, that may not sound like a problem except that the commute would be an hour and forty minute drive one way, every day, to and from.  That’s three hours on the road on a highway that semis use regularly. Sometimes she works late hours.

Being a mom,  I was terrified!  What if the semis push her little car around and she has an accident? What if she is so tired that she falls asleep driving?  What if she starts skipping classes because she’s tired of driving????? 

The following week I spent a day researching available apartments in Cape.  I set up appointments for the next day when she would be available to go see them.  We viewed 14  apartments in about four hours. They ranged from roach motel to the Bates Motel, to meh, to College Life Resort center. Obviously, we didn’t want her to be in the roach motel, and we couldn’t swing the Resort.

So, our plans for renovations are on hold for a while so that we can help her finish to get her degree. Our plans to move closer to his work are on hold because, . . .  well,  moving costs money. There are closing costs, moving expenses and we have decided that our daughter’s safety is more important.

This put a big kink in the writing for a few days, so then I was back at it like gangbusters when I got news that the 12 Realms Fantasy anthology was canceled. SIGH

I’ll take The Blood Key and work on it some more,  develop it more. 15,000 words were limiting, I was just getting warmed up at 10,000! Now I can put in some of those scenes I had in my mind. It will have to be worked into the schedule for writing though as it’s been pushed from top priority to about fifth down the pipeline.

Now the good news! Break Line is complete! Cover Reveal for the anthology, next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought things were getting back on track and then . . .  hospital. People need to stop getting sick and hurting themselves! I’ve been to the hospital more times than I can count over the past few weeks.

Life always throws you a curve ball when things are going smooth, and sometimes the ball machine goes haywire and throws out multiple balls when you’re already under the gun!

For now, things are calm and I’m back to writing or rather revisions. Valkyrie’s Curse has been on my desk for a while, a couple of years. In 2016, I did revisions on it and realized that it wasn’t a complete story. Back to the drawing board. Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening is in revisions again. This time I’m checking my grammar before sending it off to my alpha. The release date for this one will be in a couple months,  I’ll have more of a set date next week.

So, now you know what I’ve been up to. There was a funeral,  sickness,  and dealing with anxiety all thrown in the mix as well. More about the anxiety at a later post but for now,  I need to get a couple more chapters done for today.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Thanks for stopping by! Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

From Leslie’s Pen


Greetings!  It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and even longer since I’ve done my guest spots. 

Have y’all missed me? As one of my writing buddies has been saying, I’ve been working on a “super secret” project. Only, in my case, I suppose it hasn’t been super secret. I think I shared here that I was invited to be a part of this project for Cancer Research. 

So while I’ve had my nose to the grindstone plugging away on my short story for this,  I thought I’d let Leslie Moise have the platform today. Please give a warm welcome to Leslie!!

Five or six mornings a week, after I eat breakfast and let out my dog, I write.  Most often, I sit down in the comfy chair by my window overlooking the woods and close my eyes.  Then I ask a character in my novel-in-progress what she wants, or what he’s afraid of, or how she feels.  I keep still until the character walks me up to me in my mind and shows me the answer.  Then I open my eyes and write down what she’s done or experienced.

A couple of decades ago, my friend Rita and I attended a writers retreat led by author Louise Hawes.  She taught the participants how to listen to our characters and to write down what they genuinely did and wanted, instead of forcing them to do and feel what we thought they should.  Have you ever read a book and felt the characters didn’t ring true and the action felt forced?  The author must’ve had her own agenda and was making the characters move about in the book like stick puppets.  At that workshop, I learned to keep faith with my characters–and my readers.
For example, years later, I listened to each of my characters while I drafted my historical novel, _Judith_.  There were a number of times when I felt certain what Judith showed me could not be historically accurate.  I’ll change that after I fully research it and revise the manuscript, I thought.  Imagine my shock during research when I saw what Judith had shown me depicted on Assyrian tiles commemorating wars won by the Assyrian army.
But what about those mornings when life gets too disruptive for me to sit down in my armchair, or at my desk?  Like the week my 89-year-old father had stomach flu.  Or the day after I only slept for four very broken hours, and had minor surgery scheduled that afternoon.  Non-writers may imagine those are the times when a writer settles on the sofa with a glass of Merlot and binge watches a favorite series on Netflix.  People who think of writing as a hobby might treat days like these–when the muse is mute or unavailable–as days when the writer shouldn’t even try to write.  Reality is more prosaic and more inventive than that.
I may not produce lots of words on any given day–even a good day–but cumulatively, I produce many pages in a week.  And I average a drafted novel in a year, plus who knows how many poems, the occasional essay, and so on.
On those difficult days, I at least make notes for questions to ask my character/s on a better day, jot ideas about character dynamics (like who tends to see themselves as a victim, who is a bully, and so on).  At the very least, I do some preliminary research about how doors were hinged in 70 B.C.E., or the types of workboats commonly used on the Chesapeake Bay.   And I take at least one action a day to help promote my books already in print, submit a poem to a literary magazine, or contact an agent about my newest manuscript.
If I only get to take an action to promote my work in the morning, I may squeeze in some revision time in the afternoon.  Though I draft the best in the morning, when I’m fresh, revision or editing can work later in the day.
Before my stroke five years ago, I took a Client Attraction Seminar led by Sandie Griffin.  We talked about the importance of taking time off as part of the creative process.  Up until then, I never took a day off from writing, and felt guilty when circumstances meant I couldn’t write on a particular day.  Now, I choose a day or two to take away from writing each week, and if a day happens when I can’t write, I choose that as one of my days off.  But I try not to take many days in a row away from writing.  A day off after several at work refreshes; too much time away from the notepad and pen, or the keyboard, makes it difficult to get back into the flow.
There is a benefit to keeping my writing a priority:
When life happens and I can’t do any drafting for several days in a row
–when I can’t manage more than jotting those questions to ask my characters later, the way I had to when Dad had flu–something inspiring happens.  Decades ago, when I only wrote when the muse struck, this didn’t happen.  But now, if I don’t write for several days in a row, a poem will pop up, often later in the afternoon of the third or fourth day.
My mother died a year and a half ago.  For most of that time, I drafted poems about and for her, but none of them came alive.  Then, several days into Dad’s bout of flu, early one evening I read an article about spark birds, the bird that sparks a birder’s interest in birding–learning about them.  It set me thinking about my own spark bird, and a poem rolled through me about watching birds with my mother.  Neither of us knew or cared which birds we saw, but now I easily identify all the birds that come to my feeders.  I wrote about the Juncos my mother called “milk birds”, my spark bird.  I wrote about my love for birding that grew out of the love I shared with my mother.
It turns out that I’ve shown up for writing so often and so long, now if I don’t show up to write, writing shows up for me.  I am not the only writer I know of who’s had this happen.  A poet friend of mine would have poems force themselves into her daily life if she couldn’t find time to write when life got busy.  She worked at a meat counter in a butcher shop, and if a poem thrust itself on her at work, she jotted many a draft on butcher’s paper between customers.
Writing is like jogging.  If you do a little bit most days, soon you find yourself running longer, faster, farther.  It’s not about how much you accomplish in one day, especially if your life interrupts your writing time that day.  It’s about how much you write in a week, a month, a year–a lifetime.
No matter what life throws at you today, carve out five minutes to write.  Sit down with a notepad in your lap, if nothing else.  Put pen to paper, and write for that five minutes, even if it’s just wondering about your character, jotting down a poem idea, capturing a few ideas for an essay.  Sitting and staring out the window doesn’t count.  Writing does.  By keeping creativity’s door open for little things, you make it more likely big ideas may show up eventually, over time.
P.S.  I drafted a chunk of this blog post after a night of little to no sleep.  If I can do it, so can you.
Thank you Leslie, for sharing this insight. I hope you’ll come back and be my guest again soon! 
Leslie Moise’s historical novel, _Judith_, won a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, as well as an International Book Award Finalist Medal in 2015.  _Judith_ and Moise’s knitting memoir, _Love is the Thread_, are published by Pearlsong Press, and are available on the Pearlsong site, as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powells.
Her poetry chapbook about her friendship with another woman writer, _Linked by the Joy of Words_, is published by R. C. Linnell Publishing, and is also available on Amazon.
She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River.  She is on Facebook and welcomes discussion with other writers and fans.
Go check out Leslie’s books and follow her!
Trying to get back into my schedule for my blog posts, and now that the end is in sight for this one,  I have a little breathing room.
Write on my friends, write on!

A Drop in the Bucket


Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!

Welcome to week 7: Top5 Things on My Bucket List


Let’s get right to it then, shall we? I never really put much stock into a bucket list until last year, when I thought I had waited too long. All sorts of images from worst case scenario to the ten worst possibilities flooded my mind. I thought that the first thing on my list would never get accomplished, and if I was lucky I might be able to do number 3 and 5.

Prior to my surgery I actually sat down and made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish or experience before I kicked off, or kicked the bucket. As that day seemed rapidly approaching, I spent most of those days in tears not knowing how I would be able to do any of them.

I’ve mentioned it before, but yes I tend to be overly dramatic at times. It’s kind of difficult not to when you get the big C diagnosis. I have been intensely focused on the first one, and this year I plan to make a serious dent in the first one, second one, and the 5th one. (I’m really pulling for all 5,  but hope to complete #2 and #5 this year!)

Ellie’s Top 5 Bucket List Items

  1. Publish 20 of my books. I have a huge file of partially completed and completed stories that I have been clinging to, reluctant to release my babies. Then what did I write them for? Why do I write in the first place?  To entertain others. How is anyone going to enjoy them when they are squirreled away in a locked file?
  2. Decorate my home the way I want!  I spent many years, trying to pease my mother, trying to win the approval of my mother in law.  I spent so long trying to fit in with everyone else,  I didn’t put things on my wall that I like. Currently,  we have very little on the walls. I can’t really use the excuse of we just painted because we painted over 5 years ago. I need to minimize the clutter in my home and organize, and put up minimum decorations in this house, in order to sell.  But when we move, Katy Bar the Door! I’ve got some great ideas saved on Pinterest.
  3. Travel!!! Nova Scotia, Western Caribbean, Hawaii, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Venice, Rome, Australia – not sure I want to go to the outback and experience the wildlife like black mambas – crikey! There are places in the US that I haven’t been to yet, and I want to go. The Badlands, Grand Canyon, and many others!
  4. Be the Keynote Speaker at an Author Event. Someday. I have done public speaking before,  that’s not the challenge.  The challenge is to do it for other writers. It will be so much more fun than speaking of scientific type stuff.
  5. MY OWN OFFICE!!!!  Let me clarify, my own home office. If you’ve read last week’s post about the office you will understand. And here is where we have the hole in the bucket.

What do you think?  Do you think they are attainable? How about you? what are some of the items on your bucket list?

As this is a blog hop, there are many other authors who are participating.  You can check them out HERE: when I scheduled this,  the list wasn’t up yet so hopefully you will be able to go there and get the fresh list.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

This Year’s Plan


You may have noticed my absence. I got one post in for this year’s 52 week blog hop and then I got hit with the flu. Along with feeling ill,  I’ve been uber frustrated with not getting my blog up. Sorry guys and gals!

This is the first time I have ever gotten a flu shot,  at the direction of my oncologist and I got the flu anyway. *Levels look*

The past few days I haven’t been online because I have been tackling the decluttering/organizing for our home that is at the top of my goals for this year. OK, part of this is avoiding the anxiety I am having over my scheduled mammogram –  the first since my diagnosis last year.

Timeout for a sec:  It is my intention to avoid talking about cancer,  to stay focused on the present,  the future, and not give any more attention to the hell that was last year. Having said that,  ultimately this is the cause of my current anxiety because I sure didn’t expect the diagnosis last time.

I’ve removed 5 bags of stuff- clothing, bedding, linens, miscellaneous stuff to take to Goodwill,  but it’s still sitting by the front door as it’s been too cold to get out if I didn’t have to. It’s going to be warmer tomorrow,  so it goes bye bye with me when I leave!!

I think that is a fair amount of progress for this week, that equates to a full trash bag per day!  I’ve been too embarrassed at the mess – seriously,  the whole time I was going through treatments,  it was all I could do to cook a few meals,  to sweep the floor on occasion, and swish the toilet. Since nobody else bothered, the accumulation of stuff is overwhelming.

Stuffitis is a serious issue here. But this year,  2018 –  the Year of the Dog, we are going with close to austere existence.  Minimalism is my new favorite word.

In fact, I’ve been pondering my word for this year.  I’ve seen several of my friends post here or there that their word for the year is. *fill in the blank*. I didn’t have a word.  I was looking for something spiritual I think, but yesterday it hit me like a 12-pound bowling ball on a rope –MINIMIZE!

  • Minimize the clutter and stuff.
  • Minimize the clothes that no longer fit or suit me.
  • Minimize the pantry contents.
  • Minimize my schedule.
  • Minimize my measurements –  making progress on that one!!!!
  • Minimize the emotional baggage I’ve been carrying.
  • Minimize wasted time.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I figured out that this is my word for the year.

So for this year on the blog,  I have a few things planned but I’m not promising that I won’t go off track.

There may be recipe shares, craft shares, writing shares,  health and diet information. ( I found a couple really interesting things I want to share.)

So,  I realize we are in the third week of January –  but my first two weeks have been mostly occupied with sickness.  So, here’s hoping for a great year –  for all of us!

Write on my friends, write on!