New Release from Pam Eaton

 

Glad to have Pam Eaton over to share her new release. This one just got moved up on my to-read pile. Hope you enjoy!

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Synopsis

 To be extraordinary is rare, but to be unique is downright dangerous.

Rebecca Hunter thought senior year would be all about hockey games, parties, dances, and college applications. When Becca’s absentee mom dies, things take a drastic turn. She just inherited a super power, but has no idea what it is. And now instead of worrying about homework, she’s got a secret group from the FBI at her door looking to recruit her.

Her days of being an ordinary seventeen year old are over, because she’s one of a hundred people left in the world with superpowers. This covert group, Project Lightning, offers to train her, but soon they discover she doesn’t just have her mom’s power, she has more. And that’s never been seen before.

As they try to help her manipulate this new power, agents from Project Lightning go missing, and a few turn up dead. They’re being hunted. And when two men almost kidnap her, she realizes she’s being hunted too. What was supposed to be an amazing senior year has turned into brutal training to find the lost, protect those she loves, and harnessing this new power.

Buy the Book     Amazon

About Pam Eaton

 

Pam Eaton lives in the deserts of Arizona, but she’ll always consider herself a New Englander at heart. She graduated from Arizona State University with degrees involving education and history. While she loves history, it’ll always take a backseat to the fictional world she stumbled into as a young girl

She lives with her husband, two kids (with one on the way), and two crazy, but lovable labs. It’s a chaotic life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Especially since they let her read an insane amount of books, and watch way too many Food Network shows.

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The Roller Coaster of Writing

Any author can tell you, there are many ups and downs to writing. Like any career, there are victories and defeats of many shapes and sizes, some that dump you right on your ass. When I began writing, I thought all I needed was to publish a book, and I would be set. If only I could whack myself upside the head, I would. I celebrated my first contract, rightly so, but signing a contract is only the beginning.

One day, I’m frustrated with a marketing problem, the next I’m celebrating a positive review. Some days, writing makes me feel bi-polar like I’m on a roller coaster that I just can’t get off. Yet, that is life, good, bad, and ugly. We dance in the rain and when it starts to hail pull out the umbrella.

I write because I love it, and most writers I know feel the same way. It reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s quote about love:

Follow your dreams

This is writing in a nutshell, if you really love it. We go through the anxiety, depression or discouragement, because our love of writing drives us to keep going. The love of art pushes us to create. Hopefully, we have some good friends to pick us up along the way.

June Trop’s New Release: The Deadliest Sport

I’m happy to have June Trop over to visit my blog and share her newest release, The Deadliest Sport.

BEST cover THE DEADLIEST SPORT June Trop Cover

Help Miriam solve the locked-room murder of a spindling, jackal-faced slave…

The Deadliest Sport is a locked-room murder mystery; the victim, a guest at The Pegasus, a sleazy waterfront inn where Miriam goes to investigate the disappearance of an elderly friend’s will.

Could the bashing of a jackal-faced slave’s skull have anything to do with that will? And who killed him anyway? Miriam’s brother’s buddy, the soon-to-be ex-gladiator who was sentenced to the arena for murder? An itinerant dwarf whose walking stick was the murder weapon? Or the inn’s husky hostess, a tart with both an appetite for sea captains and lofty connections to Nero’s magistrates? Why else would she be so eager to get Miriam off the premises?

Only Miriam is shrewd enough to penetrate a monstrous, multi-layered scheme and bold enough to risk her life to expose the mastermind behind it.

 

Earliest reviews for THE DEADLIEST SPORT

 “The story has a ring of truth that is rare in historical fiction, and it is clear that the author knows her history. A really good read.”  Taylor Jones, Reviewer

 The Deadliest Sport is filled with well-developed and realistic characters, plenty of tension, and an intriguing mystery, as well as a strong authenticity that was a real treat. This is one you won’t want to put down.” Regan Murphy, Reviewer

 

You can pick up a copy HERE at Amazon or HERE from Black Opal Books.  You can also find June Trop on her blog HERE.

Strong Secondary Characters & A Free Short Story

I was recently asked in an interview about which characters I love. My mind immediately went to some of my secondary characters. While I love my main characters, I enjoy my minor characters because they have so much story left that the readers never see. When I start a novel, I begin with the characters. I write short stories, journal entries, and whatever I need to get inside the characters mind. Then when I began writing, the characters take off. Sometimes they do as expected, but every now and then they take a twist I didn’t see coming and controlled chaos ensues. It’s part of what makes writing fun.

One of my favorite secondary characters is Grace. We meet her halfway through the story, as a product of the magicians’ slave trade. She’s compliant and defeated at first, but she never loses her brazen personality. When she is given a second chance, she fights with everything she has.EvilEtched in Gold (1)

Another character that makes a brief appearance and strong impression is Nevada. He struck me so much that I wrote a short story about him, Evil Etched in Gold. I’m offering this story for a limited time on my website when you sign up for my newsletter (click HERE). Nevada is an illusionist with the power to look like anyone. He is on the run from the local coven and with Nevada, nothing is ever as it seems. We’ll be seeing more of Nevada in book two, Unholy Sundering out with Black Opal Book 2018.

Hope you enjoy!

DeAnna

Peek at my New Release, DEMON RISING

Over the weekend my debut novel, DEMON RISING, was released on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Kobo. One reviewer, Taylor Jones said, “For a debut novel, the story is extremely well written, filled with wonderful characters, strange happenings, and fast-paced actions. I, for one, found it very hard to put down. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.”

I have the first page below for those that want a sneak peak. Also remember if you sign up for my newsletter (click here to sign up), I have a free short story based on one of the characters from Demon Rising, Nevada. He’s one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy.

2x6_bookmark - side 1 DEMON RISING

The tattoo on Becca’s neck prickled as she walked the crowded path to work. Searching for the possible source of magic, she continued forward, with coffee in one hand and the other resting by the knife at her waist.

She moved amid a throng of people, shuffling along the worn walkways. Heavy clouds were scattered across the sky, while dilapidated buildings surrounded them, a haunting reminder of what once was. A young man pushed past Becca, dressed in blue coveralls. He must be heading to the line. The tattoo on Becca’s neck prickled as she walked the crowded path to work. Searching for the possible source of magic, she continued forward, with coffee in one hand and the other resting by the knife at her waist.

The warehouse traveled up twenty stories high, the tallest building in town with a large fountain in front. It must have once been a beauty. Now the fountain, covered in graffiti, ran dry and the boarded up windows could barely keep the wind out.

A familiar, lanky guard stood watch on the side of the road. Could he have been the source of the magic warming her tattoo? He scanned the crowd with a demon dog at his side, a German shepherd with unnaturally large black eyes.

Turning forward, she let her dark hair fall into her face, not wanting to draw his attention. She stepped past the guard undisturbed. She could handle herself with the guards, but her boss, Nikko, constantly nagged her about keeping a low profile.

The crowds pressed together, and a large man knocked into Becca’s side, tripping her. She stumbled, spilling the remains of her coffee all over her black jeans. Someone swore as the crowd surged forward, and she stepped to the side.

At five-foot-five, she was on the small side, but strong enough to cause pain and scrappy enough to avoid it when she could. The crowds weren’t her problem, though. That would be the presence behind her, causing her tattoo to burn.

Cover Reveal: Demon Rising

I’m excited to announced my debut novel, Demon Rising, will be released with Black Opal Books mid-August 2017. As this is my first book baby, I’m a ball of nerves. But I’m already done with book two and it’s under contract. So ready or not, here we come.

DeAnnaBrowne_ADemonRising_eCover_1400

Thirty years ago, dark magicians unleashed new power on the earth fueled by demons. Governments toppled, millions died and magicians ended up on top of the food chain.

Twenty-four-year-old Becca survives these dangerous times by relying on her wits, her fists, and the limited goodwill of her boss, a local crime lord. When news comes of a fire back home and the family she left behind dead, she realizes her dark past has finally caught up to her.

On the hunt for her missing sister, she must rely on Darion, a treacherous ex-boyfriend with ties to the local coven for back-up. Problem is he’s a pyromancer that can’t be trusted, especially with her heart. Becca’s forced to navigate a dangerous web of deceit and must decide what’s she’s willing to sacrifice to save her sister.

 

 

 

Don’t Let Research Opportunities Pass You By

One of the best parts of being a writer is research. Research can take you to different cities (or websites when funds are low), unusual restaurants, meeting exotic people with rich history, or in my case, a longsword class. I wanted to share what I learned, not only to help others with their writing, but to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone a bit more.

I attended an ancient European longsword class taught by New York Times Best Seller, Melissa Marr. The sword, surprisingly, only weighed two and a half pounds. Light at first, but soon the weight of the sword burned my arms as my speed increased. Yes, my forearms were sore the next day. The names of positions were German, and we walk through several at the beginning of class.

Soon, we were practicing a particular set of strikes against another person. Then we walked with these attacks. The purpose was muscle memory and to strike at one’s opponent without thought.

One thing I learned was often the movies get it wrong. Opponents don’t clash in a bind (when two swords meet) and then proceed to struggle in that same position to give insults. There are many responses to a bind and they all happen very quickly. A few are: the void, where one steps back; disarming one’s opponent by a variety of methods; and maneuvering the blade to strike at one’s opponent (a few being the wind, undercut, or take off −where you try to behead your opponent).

Not only was this class a blast (yes, I’m going back), but I learned so much about fighting. When writers don’t do their research, whether it be about location, tools, weapons or even food, it shows. Next time I write a fight scene, I have so many more options in my toolbox.  So work outside of your comfort zone, now and again. Like the saying goes: “We often regret what we don’t do.”

National Poetry Month, Let’s Write

I am thrilled to have my friend, Stephanie Abney, visit my blog today to talk about poetry and encourage everyone to give it a try. She is an amazing teacher and poet, and is having a poetry book coming out soon. I could go on, but I’ll hand the reins over to her.

Greetings – DeAnna and I are in the same writers group and I’m excited she invited me to share something I love about writing with you here on her blog today. Here’s why I’m happy April has arrived: every APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!! And I love poetry.

Now, stay with me please, even if you think you don’t enjoy poetry and especially if you think you can’t write poetry. As a retired teacher, I’m of the opinion that ANYONE can learn to write poetry, especially with the easy to follow instructions that I post on my blog, “Stephanie Says So.” I started this challenge of writing 30 poems in 30 days a few years ago and one friend, who basically had not ever written any poetry, has since gone on to write more than two thousand poems. Yep, she even writes a poem or two about her day and includes it in her personal journal. She writes poems to give as cards to friends on special occasions. Heck, she would even write a poem about a trip to the dump. ANYTHING that you do, see, feel, experience, and/or think about . . . is fair game to write a poem about and it’s so much easier than you may think!!

Not only did I use these methods when I taught 8th grade English and Creative Writing to a bunch of middle schoolers, I even used them when I went to China and taught English, particularly how to write poetry, to some teenage students. It was awesome and the poems my Chinese students wrote were delightful, funny, heartfelt, profound and just plain amazing. And you can do the same!!

There SO MANY KINDS OF POETRY out there, that not only could you give it a try, you could actually write a DIFFERENT style of poem each day. (I also have a FB group for this purpose: “A Month of Poetry – 30 Poems in 30 Days” ~ totally OPTIONAL ~ just ask to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/178557275869627/?ref=bookmarks).

We’re going to start out this year with a basic and simple poetry form call a “Lantern Poem.” The instructions are waiting for you over at my blog: “Stephanie Says So.” Hope you will join in the fun!! Cheers!!

Like I said, even if you think you can’t write poetry, I’d love to prove to you that you can!!! So many poems have actual patterns or forms to follow; some are almost “fill in the blank.”

Below are a few sample poems. What will you come up with?

This poetry from is called a “Cinquain” poem. It has a specific number of syllables per line:

Comfort
Feeling secure
Where judgment has no place
Wrapped in the safety of your arms
Husband

©  Stephanie Abney

A ball of fireSlips behind the horizonA summer goodnight© Stephanie Abney

I hope you’ll join me this month! Cheers!Stephanie Abney headshot 2015

Stephanie Abney

“Stephanie Says So”

http://stephaniesaysso.blogspot.com/

 

The Balance between Creativity and Constraint

In all art forms, there is a thin line between creativity and constraint. As artists, we all want to push that envelope, to create a unique story or piece of art, to let our mind be free and uninhibited. That is why I create. Those few moments of bliss in creating something you love.

But as an artist that wants to make a paycheck and to be marketable in this economy, there has to be some constraints. For writing, you need to learn the technique and grammar needed to sell a book.

“Paradoxically, creativity thrives on the tension between freedom and constraint,” says Brent Rosso, an organizational psychology professor at Montana State University. “They’re the yin and yang of creativity.”

Remember though, the individual artist is the negotiator of this balance and always has the final decision. I think of my muse as a beautiful little monster whose creativity needs to be feed with freedom and exercised with restraint. Here are a couple things I use to keep my muse well feed and in check.

  1. Have a trusted writing group whose feedback I trust. They will let you know when you get too far off the beaten path.
  2. Give myself permission to fail. This may be the hardest one yet. Shut the door to the peanut gallery. Do your thing, and if you believe in it that’s all that matters. Experience is sometimes the best teacher.
  3. Try new things, whether writing in a new point of view or possibly a new genre or prose. Try your hand at poetry or short story maybe. Even drawing or coloring can open creative pathways. Don’t be afraid to try.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite sayings. I look at it often as I’m now finishing up edits on book two of my The Dark Rising series.

Write without Fear

Finding Perspective in Your Writing Career

As I anxiously await the release of my new book, my To Do List is growing by the minute. I can be easily overwhelmed by the promoting, editing, blogging, blog tours, and the list continues.  But before I spiraled into crazy land filled with sticky notes, red pens and caffeine IVs, I sat down and wrote this list of how to keep things in perspective.

  1. Don’t Compare Myself to Others: Online I find amazing authors who have the blogging, promoting and reviews down to an art. As a debut author, I can use ideas of things that work for others, but once I start saying I should be more like X, or I’m not as good as Y, then things will travel from bad to worse. Every artist is different, and we have to acknowledge and honor that difference in ourselves.
  2. Set Realistic Goals: I have pushed back my deadline to finish edits on book two for the third month and continual rake myself across the coals for it. I wasn’t being realistic though setting a goal in December when I have five kids. It wasn’t going to happen. At this time in my life, I may not be able to complete a novel in six months. It goes back to #1 on my list. Set goals that work for me, not others.
  3. Time Management: This is a hard one for me. Many writers have other full-time jobs, and it’s a challenge to make time for writing. I just make it a priority to at least do something little each day. I want to make a habit and feel good about keeping that habit. Others may have to do big chunks of time on the weekends. Find whatever works for you and do it.
  4. Enjoy the Journey: Sometimes I have to take a step back from the edits and blogs and reviews, and just write for fun, or maybe even read a great book. If I don’t, I’ll forget why I picked this career and lose myself in the stress of it. It’s not worth it.

I’d love to hear what helps you stay grounded for I’m sure I’ll need this more than once.