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.

CANDY HEARTS VERSUS BOW-CHICK-A-WOW-WOW guest post by Jami Gray

I’m excited to welcome Jami Gray to my humble abode. Congratulations are in order for her recently released tenth novel, MARKED BY OBSESSION (I’m in thrall with it right now). Today she’s come to talk about the heat level in romance, which is perfect for the month of February and because she’s got it down.

CANDY HEARTS VERSUS BOW-CHICK-A-WOW-WOW

In the romance genre stories run the gamut from sweet-handholding-blushes-demure-glances to wild-raunchy-OMG-can-a-body-really-do-that and everything in between. There is a huge variety in romance because our reading audience is composed of, well, a huge variety of humans.

When I first started my writing journey, I approached the daunting world of publishing with an Urban Fantasy series where romance played a secondary role. Of course, the majority of publishers wanted ROMANCE (yes, in all caps). So no surprise I received a plethora of rejection letters that shared a common theme: There’s not enough romance.

Some even went so far as to suggest I add a few heavy breathing scenes to up that elusive romance quotient. When you’re trying to get published, it’s very difficult not to buckle under the pressure, but I gritted my teeth, declaring my characters weren’t at that particular stage in their relationship, and kept going.  As a writer of UF and Paranormal Romantic Suspense, romance plays a crucial part in all my stories, but that romantic connection needs to come about naturally, not be forced through the bedroom door.

Long story short, I did get my UF series picked up, and yes, in the second book there is required ROMANCE. Not because that’s what my publisher wanted (they loved my story just the way it was), but because that is where my couple naturally ended up.

So why am I sharing this? Well, writers are victim to the “sex sells” mentality as much as any other artist. In fact, if you read a ton of romance you’ve witnessed it firsthand. There are those titles that are all about the sex with thin plots and even thinner character development. Then there are those stories where sex plays understudy to the relationship.

And then there are those that nail it. It’s like they find the perfect recipe of intriguing-heart-attack-inducing-story, suck-you-in-until-you’re-drowning depth of characters, and the breath-stealing-fantasy-inducing sex. These books aren’t always labeled erotica (though there are some really great series out there), but they are labeled romance. This is because the emotion behind why the characters we love fall into each other’s arms is something we can connect to and the evolution of their relationship feels real.

Romance readers read their genre because we are fascinated by the emotional aspect of human connections—how does the cynical heroine overcome past betrayals to take a chance on happiness with the hero she feels is out of reach, or how does the weary hero find peace in the arms of a strong woman. We want to see our flawed characters get their happy ever after. There is something so beautiful about two people finding each other despite what life’s thrown at them, that gives us, the readers, hope for the same out here in our crazy, everyday world.  And there’s not a darn thing wrong with that.

So the next time you encounter that person who rolls their eyes because you read romance, remember there is a depth to romance that goes beyond the bow-chick-a-wow-wow, and dives into the heart of what love really means.

MARKED BY OBSESSION

markedbyobsession_m

 

Some betrayals hide behind love, others obsession…

The loss of her beloved brother and a series of unexplained events plunges Meli Dwyer into a dangerously unfamiliar reality. Alone and floundering, she turns to the sexy and unsettling Wolf Kincaid, PSY-IV Team’s skilled telepath, for help even as her battered heart whispers to steer clear of a man more dangerous than what hunts her.

Will Meli find the answers to her personal nightmare before one man’s obsession costs her the heart of another?

Pick up your copy here:

MuseItUp Publishing: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/print-books/romance-print-books/romantic-suspense/marked-by-obsession-detail

Amazon: http://a.co/9WVE4Yw

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/marked-by-obsession-jami-gray/1125298655?ean=2940153541624

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/marked-by-obsession/id1184185022?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/marked-by-obsession

 

Want a sneak peak?

“That’s it angel. Keep going.” He watched, offering quiet encouragement until I was breathing normally. His hand stopped its gentle movements, but didn’t move away.

“Better?”

I nodded. “I’m sor—”

“Stop,” he growled, literally growled, as a fierce light made his eyes bright. “There is nothing to apologize for.”

Logically I knew that, but logic didn’t stand a chance against old habits.

He released my wrists and turned his hand to tangle his fingers with mine, giving me an anchor. “You up for continuing?”

He asked the question like I had a choice. Despite the evidence to the contrary, I wasn’t blind to the fact that I needed to share what had happened. If I could do that with Wolf, maybe it would dull the jagged edges of the memories. What worried me was sharing and then watching Wolf realize I wasn’t the type of woman he needed or wanted. Broken and barely mended didn’t hold a candle to strong and sure. Unable to look away, I slowly nodded.

“Okay.” The hand under my breasts disappeared and he rose to his feet, still holding my other hand. “You’re going to come sit with me on the couch. That way, we’ll both be more comfortable.”

Meli the Milquetoast I may be, but there was no way I was turning down a chance to be close to him while I could. Part of me warned to hoard the experience while I could because he wouldn’t be staying. Too battered emotionally, I chose to ignore the pessimistic voice. For now. He tugged on my hand, and I uncurled my legs and stood shakily, waiting for the pins and needles to fade. Wolf stood patient and quiet, waiting for me.

We moved to the couch. He sat down, reached up, and pulled me into his lap. His warmth was better than any blanket and being held in his arms against his solid chest gave me the illusion of protection. Nothing could touch me, so long as he held me. I tucked my head in the hollow of his shoulder. When his chin brushed my temple, I closed my eyes, gripped his wrist at my waist, and sank into him.

 

jami-gray

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.

 

Hunt her down at:

Website: www.JamiGray.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/JamiGray

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/JamiGrayUFWriter

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/JamiGrayAuthor

Google+:  https://google.com/+JamiGray

 

Theresa Sneed Comes to Visit with her Band of Fairies

Faires, wizards, and pixies, OH MY!  Welcome, welcome, to our guest this week, Theresa Sneed. In her recent release, Theresa takes us on another adventure in her SONS of ELDERBERRY Series. It’s a unique mystical world with daring adventures and a sweet romance that makes our hearts melt.

In effort to uncover this mystical writer beyond her back cover bio, I asked her to tell us a little about herself and she wasn’t shy.

What are TOP TEN THINGS we should know about Theresa Sneed?

  1. Born and raised in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.milo-feb-2015-003
  2. Became a “ghost writer” in 3rd grade when she gave her friend a poem she had written which won first place and was published in the local newspaper under her friend’s name!
  3. Loves the outdoors – especially in New England.
  4. Strongly believes that we are all brothers and sisters and ought to treat each other as such regardless of our ethnicity, religious preference, or political affiliation.
  5. Loves, loves, loves to write and spends inordinate amounts of time in front of her computer!
  6. Loves classical music – listens to it while writng.
  7. Doesn’t mind growing old – adheres to Edgar Allen Poe’s words “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream,” and believes that this life is for but a moment and a greater existence awaits.
  8. Deeply in love with her husband of 38 years.
  9. Wishes she knew her distant grandchildren better.
  10. Loves to read and recognizes the correlation of being an avid reader and an effective writer. Loves Stephen King’s sage advice, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

 

We’re also lucky enough to get a sneak peek inside the covers of her recent release, SONS of ELDERBERRY and don’t miss out below on the free GIVEAWAY.

wood-fairies-front-cover-2017

When Elias of Elderberry introduces his best friend Jaron Finley to his magical world of fairies and castles, wizards and yōkai shape-shifters, will Jaron ever want to go back to his dull world of school and homework, especially after meeting Elieli, the fairy princess of Estraelia? It’s doubtful, but he must—the mortal that he is. Will Elias have to alter his memory and erase all that his friend has seen, or will Jaron be able to keep the secret that Elias Rey—a sophomore at PVHS, is a wizard and the youngest heir of Elderberry?

Reviews from Elias of Elderberry, Book One:

Elias of Elderberry is a truly marvelous book! The action, concept, and mysteries contained in this novel are intensely compelling and exciting. Not satisfied with simply writing an entertaining story, Sneed fills the pages with lessons about temptation, addiction, and the morals of right versus wrong. – R.L. Drembic

The Sons of Elderberry! Book One, Elias of Elderberry, was fantastic! I am eager to read the continuing sequels. Do any of us really know who we are and what our real worth is? Fifteen-year-old Elias was soon to discover things beyond his wildest imagination. This is about present day with regular school attendance, yet also, time travel with castles, dungeons, dragons and more! There were many characters well-defined and realistic. Also, the scenes were portrayed very well so the reader was able to easily picture them occurring. My Review of this book offers a Five Stars rating. – LAWonder10

 

EXCERPT from THE SONS OF ELDERBERRY

In the fairy kingdom of Estraelia, the birth of a fairy is a spectacular event. It happens much like the Merwing, once every thousand years, when hundreds of infant fairies enter their world for the first time. Elieli beckoned for Elias and Samuel to follow her. They slipped away from the feast unnoticed, as the others continued talking and eating Elderberry pie, topped with swirls of white-lemon cream.

“Hurry! I want to show you something.” They followed her through the chamber and on through the ballroom, but instead of leaving the donjon the way the boys had entered, she took them down a long hallway, then up a narrow flight of circular stairs that tightly hugged the castle’s stone wall. The evening sky greeted them, as they neared the top of the sixth tower. Though they stepped out to a spectacular view of the woods and the tiny village far below, it was the stars that stood out the most. The heavens danced, as they twinkled brightly, setting off bursts of energy that filled the sky with gentle fireworks of bluish-white lights.

Samuel pointed to the sky. “What is this? I’ve never seen the stars look like that!”

“It is the Dance of the Fairies,” Elieli said, gazing up at them. “They do look like stars, don’t they?”

Samuel glanced from one shining orb to the next. “They are stars, Elieli. Aren’t they?”

“No,” she said, with a sigh, “not stars.” She looked at the boys then took a small, clear stone from her pocket and held it up to the shimmering display of lights. “Look!” she exclaimed, pointing through the stone to the lights.

“Wow!” Elias said, with a gasp. “It’s hundreds of wood fairies!” He could see them clearly now, even though they were in the sky—lifting their magnificent wings slowly up and down in beautiful, synchronized patterns of dance miles away.

Book Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wood-Fairies-Estraelia-Sons-Elderberry/dp/B01MR4QT6F/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33958367-the-wood-fairies-of-estraelia?from_search=true

Rafflecopter Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/330006f8281/

WANT MORE OF THERESA?

Official Facebook Event pagehttps://www.facebook.com/events/616599811870520/

website: www.theresasneed.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheresaMSneed/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheresaSneed

Author email: tmsneed.author@yahoo.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/theresasneed/

 

 

 

 

 

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Robin Glassey comes for a visit with the last novel in her Azethra Series for YA

I welcome Robin Glassey to my humble abode and am excited to learn about her latest novel, Azetha Rising, the last novel in the Azetha Series. Before digging into her recent release, I wanted to know more about her and her writing process.

  • As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten.  Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

What did I want to be before I was ten? Wow! That was a long time ago. I know my mom tried to convince me to be a nurse, but I couldn’t stand the sight of blood, I freaked out with minor toe bleeds. I’m pretty sure when I was a child I was dreaming of being a princess, but thinking if that didn’t pan out, I would become a teacher. I played school often with my friends (and, of course, Barbies). In high school, I had this crazy idea I was going to be an accountant. It was crazy because I was terrible in my regular math classes and fabulous in my accounting class.

  • We all have favorite characters, either main or secondary, and there are always bits and pieces of them we don’t share with our readers, but keep close to our hearts.  Choose your favorite from your cast of characters and tell us a couple of things that you haven’t shared in your books/writing.

This is so hard for me because I have so many favorites. I love so many characters and hold them close to my heart. But if we’re going for revelations that haven’t been shared, I choose Death, otherwise known as Tynan. Tynan pops in an out of my stories and has a unique sense of humor. Readers know that items have been stolen from Tynan such as the Cup of Death and the Veil of Death because of his weakness for drinking. What they don’t know is that Tynan fell in love with the sorceress, Shareena, and she tricked him into revealing to her all of his secrets. She then passed those secrets along to Mortan, who used the information to steal the Cup and the Veil from Death.

  • Growing up, what was your favorite book, comic, game or movie and did you create a character/player that might resemble you?

I had a couple of favorite movies when I was growing up that I saw at the local drive-in theater. The first was the original Star Wars and the second was Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I fell in love with life on other planets, space travel, talking robots, Wookies, and I had a crush on Luke, Han Solo, and Buck. In one of my current works in progress I have created a character with some of my characteristics. The story takes place in 7th grade and so I looked back at my 7th grade self and inserted some of those characteristics into Alexa, as well as a brother that drives her crazy, and some unusual clothing gifted to her by her grandmother.

  • Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys.  Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting).  Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

I was at the end of book three in my series, Journey to the Mercy Mines, and I was really struggling with Rhallina, a minor character in the story, who plays an important role as a traitor. I had battled earlier in the story with a possible plot line that I’d thrown away and now I was at the end of the story, trying to kill her off. And I just couldn’t do it. I even had the scene written in my head with grass and flowers growing up through the snow over her grave, but I couldn’t go through with it. Because I was having such a hard time with the ending of the book, I set it aside and wrote the rough draft of another book called Snotty’s Revenge for a middle grade audience. Then I returned to the story with a fresh perspective and let Rhallina live. In the end, I loved how her fate worked out in the final book, Azetha Rising.

  • What is the best advice you can share with others? 

I have two pieces of advice: One—Never give up. There are going to be times when you want to give up whatever dream or goal you have set for yourself. We all experience years, months, days, even moments, when we think we don’t have it in us, when we are done, or when we are afraid that we just aren’t cut out for this. And I say . . . you can do this.

Two—Support your fellow authors. Share posts, tweet each other’s work, review books that you have read. Uplift each other and do what you can to cross-promote. As you support others you may be surprised to find your own sales and influence rising.

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Blades, guns, fists or feet?       I would definitely pick feet. One of my older sisters and my younger brother would try to hold me down and tickle me when we were kids and I always fought them off with my feet. Although, come to think of it, the one time I went shooting I was really, really, good. So maybe guns wouldn’t be a bad choice.
  • Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?     I always loved the traditional fairytales so The Little Mermaid was one of my favorites, but even more fascinating and less well-known is a fairytale called The White Cat. It’s about a jealous king who fears his sons will ascend to the throne so he keeps them busy with difficult tasks, such as finding the smallest dog and linen so fine it can pass through the eye of a needle. One son comes upon an enchanted castle with a talking white cat who helps him to fulfill each of the tasks the king gives him.
  • Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?       1. A Practical Guide to Dragon Magic Dungeons & Dragons 2.Utopia Thomas More 3.New Sight Jo Schnieder
  • Greatest one liner of all time?      “It is not a tumor,” from Kindergarten Cop. I don’t know why my husband and I quote this all the time when someone gets sick, or has a headache in our house, but we do, accent and all.
  • Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?     How about Northern sweet and occasional Sarcastic Geek. That about sums me up.
  • Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?      The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells. I bought this giant book a long time ago as research for my series, along with an encyclopedia of monsters. I had it sitting on my stairs this one day when the piano tuner came over to work on the piano. He looked at the book and then looked at me, giving me a funny sideways look. But he didn’t say a word, and I almost burst out laughing.
  • Favorite supernatural creature?     Dragons are beautiful, fierce creatures that also come in a variety of colors, types, sizes and temperaments. I love to read dragon stories, watch dragon movies, and I just recently bought a gorgeous dragon pen on Kauai. I’m currently working on a dragon story, hence the Practical Guide to Dragon Magic on my nightstand as part of my research.

 

Azetha Risingrobin-glassey-cover-azetha-rising

THINGS HAVEN’T GONE THE WAY TIKA HOPED OR PLANNED.

Yes, she has passed the Prime Council’s test and has been accepted into the il Alluminon House, but Death has been breathing down her neck. She’s been betrayed by her fellow countrymen, captured and collared, and forced to fight her best friend in Sicor’s Arena.

Then there is the matter of Mortan. While other 16 year olds are busy courting and attending festivals, Tika is trying to evade the Elven sorcerer’s deadly plans for her demise. Maybe Tika is the promised Azetha, and maybe she isn’t. But even if she is and manages to learn to control her powers in time, will she be strong enough to defeat Mortan, or will he become ruler of Fathara forever?

Azetha Rising is the last book in The Azetha Series—a cross between Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time for a YA audience.

Purchase Robin’s books on AMAZON   or enter the Goodreads Giveaway HERE

ALL ABOUT ROBIN GLASSEY

Robin grew up in Canada across the bay from a leaky nuclear power plant, giving her the not so secret power of deactivating electronic devices.  She moved to Utah in 1994 to attend BYU and fell hopelessly in love with Brett Glassey (although he has not fallen in love with BYU).

Robin admits to having several imaginary friends as a child, including a giant who protected her from the Sleestaks that lived in their basement. The Sleestaks have all moved out and now Robin writes clean YA fantasy novels, including the now completed Azetha Series.

WANT MORE ROBIN? 

Find her at her author page: robinglassey.squarespace.com  ,  or on Twitter @RobinGlassey

 

 

 

Why We Love Tragedies.

I’ve recently finished binge watching The Gilmore Girls, and yes, I’m a few years behind the times. (X-files was more of my love when I was a teenager.) With the witty banter and romance, I can see why Gilmore Girls is so popular. But when looking at the show, I see it for what it is, a tragedy. By the end of the show (I’m referring to the original, though the new Year in the Life applies as well), Lorelei has ruined her chance at happiness with only the promise of a kiss with Luke. Given her previous history with love, it isn’t much. Rory, while finally graduated from college, also loses in love and only has a promise of a low paying journalist job. The show is definitely missing its Happily Ever After.  I can keep complaining about the girls’ poor choices and week parenting, but I was glued to the show like everyone else.

Then why do we watch? Is it the promise that somehow, they’ll pull their lives together? Maybe in the hopes that Lorelei will one day make a commitment or that Rory will go for the too good to be true rich boy, Logan.  Maybe we watch because real life is more complicated that a simple fairy tale.

I look at another tragedy, one of my favorite novels, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. In the end, his life is over, everything and everyone he knew is gone. The only hope is a small group of old scholars that go around, sharing the books they’ve memorized. They have no chance at freeing their ignorant society or over throwing their government. They live in the misery of their knowledge, with barely a hope. I love that small hope.

Like Shakespeare himself, tragedies span the history of storytelling.  Maybe we revel in the pain and suffering of tragedies, because we can relate to them. Life is ugly, messy, and complicated. We make stupid mistakes and have to suffer through them.

In these tragedies, though, the characters also find happiness and humor in small bits of joy and love, and in those small kernels, we may find the reason for this life.

Tragedies remind me to find the pleasure in the path ahead however challenging. Like Lorelei, we can rip open ten different bags of candy and watch an old movie, criticizing their judgments and escaping our own reality for a time.

While we each experience our own tragedies, small or large, I hope we can find joy in the journey and peace in the quiet times, and maybe we even experience a happily ever after now and again.

SPOILER ALERT: If you have finished the Year in the Life on Netflix, I love to hear your thoughts, and maybe your guess on the father.

 

10 Great Gifts for Book Lovers

Sometimes buying books for a book lover on your list can be difficult, especially when you’re not sure what they have already read. So my list is branching beyond books. Happy shopping everyone!book-scarf

  1. A Scarf from their favorite book. This one is from Etsy featuring Anne of Green Gables, but they have Game of Thrones, To Kill a Mockingbird, and more starting from $29.00                                                                                                                                vinyl-quote
  2. Vinyl quotes: You can have them put on wood to hang, or even straight on the wall. Etsy has custom quotes starting at $6.00.                                                                 mercys-garage-shirt
  3. Wearable Words: There are many shirts from popular books. You can search Amazon or Etsy or go directly to the author’s web page. One of my favorites is from Urban fantasy author Patricia Briggs’s Moon Called Series.                                  cute-notebooks-11
  4. A cute notebook to take notes in or write down ideas.                                                                magnetic-scrabble
  5. Scrabble magnet that you can play on your fridge. Found on Amazon for about $11.00.                                                                                                                                     laptop-sleeve-typewriter
  6. Laptop Sleeve for around $25 on Amazon.                                                                                       literary-pendant
  7. A variety of literary pendants on Amazon, my favorite is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. There are several with pictures of books, and a variety of quotes.                                                                                                                                                      vinyl-laptop
  8. Decorate for your laptop. Great vinyl quotes and pics that can go on directly on laptops. Starting from $5.                                                                                                           embosser
  9. Personalized custom embosser for books. You can get a custom seal, embosser and foil labels for
    under $100 at customembosserpro.com.                                                                                     water-tumbler
  10. Last on Etsy (which as a slew of great customized gifts) is an ‘I love books’ water tumbler or $12.00.

 

Good luck with the gift giving and I wish everyone the Merriest of Holidays!!

Thankful for Authors

‘Tis the season of thanks, and I thought I’d expound my list of gratitude by adding some of my favorite authors to it. Some of these books have gotten me through hard times, comforting me like an old friend. Many have inspired me with their well-crafted words. Whatever the case, I am grateful to these wonderful authors for their gifts.

patricia-briggs

 

Patricia Briggs – Her urban-fantasy Mercy Thompson Series and Alpha & Omega Series will keep you flipping the pages. I love her main characters. This is a world, I never want to leave. Moon Called is the first book. Thank you Patricia!

these-is-my-words

 

Nancy E. Turner – One of my favorite love stories is These is my Words: A Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine. It’s a sweet story based of the author’s grandmother as she settled with some of the earlier pioneers in Southern Arizona. It’s one that I’ll always remember.

John Steinbeck – While Steinbeck isn’t on my binge list, I find a comfort in his beautifully crafted words. They inspire me to be a better author and have changed me for the better. Grab any one of his books and savor his prose.

I hope peace and gratitude find you this Thanksgiving Holiday, and of course, a good book too.

~DeAnna

be-thankful