and a happy, safe New Year! See you in 2015!
Merry Christmas everyone. Thea Devine here, and I wish you all a happy and productive New Year.
This is my favorite time of year, for all the cliched reasons: joy, hope, love, new year, new beginnings, family, friends, gifts, drowsing by the fireplace, cozy in my house as it snows. I love Christmas. My boys have said I become a child at Christmas.
You bet. Why not?
We get to see family and friends, and best of all, I get to shop for presents. I’ve always loved the shopping part.
Years ago, when we lived in Brooklyn, we exchanged presents with a small circle of friends — until, that is, the Christmas that we and one couple in the group gave each other exactly the same gift.
I don’t remember what it was after all these years, but I do know it signaled “enough.” We knew each other so well, too well, that nothing more needed to be given — or said.
A Christmas lesson for us all.
Thea Devine is the author of 27 contemporary and historical erotic romances and a dozen novellas. Five of her early books are available in Kindle editions. Look for the sequel to “The Darkest Heart” in 2014.
Merry Christmas Eve!
PJ Sharon here, there, and everywhere, currently coming to you from the coziness of my living room. I’m wrapping last minute packages and the smell of fresh baked cornbread is wafting in from the kitchen. I hope you’re all taking some time off during the holidays to spend with loved ones. I’m grabbing a few days off, but since writers are never totally on vacation, here’s what I’ll be up to until the end of the month.
For the past ten days, I’ve been part of the Sleigh Bells Ring, Are you Listening, giant audiobook giveaway hosted by Rita Award winning author, Wendy Lindstrom. Today is the last day to enter if you want to be in the running for a chance to win some awesome audiobooks, an MP3 Player, or even an iPod Nano! Just click here to bring you to the Sleigh Bells Ring are you Listening contest page where you’ll find a Rafflecopter entry form. It’s super easy, and only takes a minute, I promise! You might even win an audiobook of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES.
I’m also participating in the Awesome Indies Holiday Book Bonanza, where dozens of e-books are on sale for only .99 cents between December 26-30th. If you aren’t familiar with Awesome Indies, it’s a great organization of Industry professionals who read, rate, and review books by Independently published authors. They have very stringent criteria that have to be met, so you can rest assured that approved books are top notch! I’m proud to say, WANING MOON and WESTERN DESERT made the cut and are now listed on their front page! For my writing friends out there, check out their website at http://awesomeindies.net/ for some invaluable resource material (check out their criteria for submission info).
Bookmark this page and come back during the sale for easy links to the books on Amazon or find links on the Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza Book sale page. With all those new Kindles under Christmas trees everywhere, I couldn’t think of a better time to offer WESTERN DESERT up for FREE! If you’ve got teen readers at home or enjoy reading YA dystopian romance yourself, here is your chance to get both books for less than a dollar. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Please help me spread the word about this great opportunity by sharing this post on your Facebook page, twitter, or other social media. Simply click on the social media button of choice below and add a note of encouragement for friends to download WESTERN DESERT for FREE from Thursday to Saturday this week. Promotions like this are the best way authors can give back to readers, and readers can show their support of their favorite authors by spreading the news, leaving reviews, and chatting about the books with friends and family. As always, your support is greatly appreciated and means the world to me. May you be blessed with good health, peace, prosperity, balance and harmony in the coming year!
So that’s where I’ll be and what I’ll be up to for the next week or so. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays, squeeze in some “healthy” food choices, and plan a nice hike for after your Christmas dinner.
I’m making our traditional spiral ham. How about you?
Welcome Scribers and Readers, PJ Sharon here. I have with me as today’s guest, Brenda Maxfield. Her short story, SEEKING CHRISTMAS hit home with me since neither of my two sons has a relationship with their dad. Brenda Maxfield’s perspective from the minds of teen siblings, Courtney and Dennis, truly reflected how I imagine my sons dealing with this situation. And may I also say, I LOVE this cover!
Blurb for Seeking Christmas (an Ocean Mist short story Two):
The Christmas season has eighteen-year-old Courtney crossing the state line with her little brother Dennis to rendezvous with the man who deserted them years ago. Courtney remembers him only as the tall man who ran away. Dennis doesn’t remember him at all.
Courtney is furious, but Denny is curious. Will their meeting result in a happy Christmas memory or another miserable disappointment?
I asked Brenda what made her write this as a short story. Here’s what she had to say.Take it away Brenda…
My first thought is that “Short Can Be Sweet”. But there was more to my decision than simply wanting to write a short story. Here’s what happened.
Open Call for Submissions: Such musical words of opportunity to any writer’s ears.
Except when such writer is buried deep in her latest work-in-progress and stretched thin between a day job, family, and uh, well, trying to stay sane!
That’s where I found myself a while back when my publisher put out a call for submissions. Sometimes emails are ripped open like paper envelopes showing checks through tiny little windows — and that’s how I opened that one. Yet even while my eyes flew downward over the content, censuring comments such as, “Who are you kidding, Brenda? You’re insane. All you need is another project…” coursed through my mind.
You know how it goes, scolding yourself even as you continue with whatever you were doing. (Hmmm, now I’m thinking about that luscious half-eaten piece of dark chocolate cake. But I digress.) My scolding continued until my eyes landed on the phrase, “Short stories only. No longer than 5,000 words.”
I major perked up. That I could do! That I could find the time for!
I’d never considered short stories as part of my writing career. I love the YA novel, the joy of unfolding a character’s crisis, angst, redemption, and growth over the course of chapters. I didn’t realize the fun of writing a short story: the smaller time frame to completion, the opportunity to give readers a taste of your style, and the possibility for those same readers to get hooked and become fans of your novels.
I did answer that open call and send a short story to my publisher. I’ve also self-pubbed two other short stories. The first was Player, which introduced the characters in Buried Truth. (Writing about two-faced Daniela in Player turned out to be a blast. Oy, I couldn’t stand the girl!) And this season, I’ve released Seeking Christmas, dealing with the aftermath of Cornered, which is releasing in a few weeks.
Christmas in September
I couldn’t bear to let the Christmas season go by without a release. So in September, I started playing with the characters from Cornered in my mind. I wondered what would happen if Courtney heard from her jerk of a dad — the guy who deserted her and disappeared like so much water down the drain years previously. Would she want to see him? Could she swallow her anger long enough to hear him out? And what about her little brother? Would taking Denny to meet the guy result in a disaster? What kind of Christmas would it turn out to be?
The characters wouldn’t stay quiet, yet I knew I didn’t have time to write another full. Thus, the short story Seeking Christmas was born. (It’s @ 8,000 words.)
I loved it. I loved the whole process. We writers are fortunate to have many avenues to get the stories out of our heads and onto the page. Short stories are just one of those ways. I heartily encourage all writers to give them a whirl!
And of course, I’d be totally thrilled if you’d give Seeking Christmas a read. During this season, take a bit of time to curl up with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate (if you’re in the northern hemisphere) and take a trip with Courtney and her little brother in Seeking Christmas. I hope you enjoy it!
Seeking Christmas Purchase Links:
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/jvktfxz
Ocean Mist Books: http://brendamaxfield.com/ocean-mist-series.html
I’m a teacher so I spend most of my waking hours with young people. I love chatting with them and hearing their views on love and life. My students are magical, and I am honored to be part of their lives.
I’ve lived in Honduras, Grand Cayman, and Costa Rica. Presently, I live in Indiana with my husband, Paul. We have two grown children and three precious grandchildren, special delivery from Africa.
When not teaching, I love to hole up in our lake cabin and write — often with a batch of popcorn nearby. (Oh, and did I mention dark chocolate?)
I enjoy getting to know my readers, so feel free to write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Join my newsletter at: http://mad.ly/signups/85744/join. Visit me to learn about all my books and some smart and sassy, clean teen reads: www.brendamaxfield.com Happy Reading!
Contact Links for Brenda Maxfield:
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6570620.Brenda_Maxfield
Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/psj82bj
Don’t Miss any News! Join my Newsletter Gang: http://mad.ly/signups/85744/join
Thanks for joining us today, Brenda! Readers, if you have any questions or comments for Ms. Maxfield, please don’t be shy!
How about you? Do you like to read short stories? Have any favorites you’d like to share? Are you reading any wonderful Christmas stories right now? We’d love to know!
Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here.
With the holiday season in full swing, I wanted to share some of my favorite books in case you’re looking for gifts or something different to read in all your “free” time.
Either because of the characters or the adventure, these are the stories that have stuck with me over the years. Sometimes, I re-read them (except for #6, explanation to follow), other times, the memory is enough to make me smile.
By no means, is this a list of all my favorite books. Absent, but no less loved, are The Lord Of the Rings trilogy, A Christmas Carol and all of Harry Potter. Instead, I wanted to offer more obscure titles that maybe you’ve never encountered. And I do admit that some of these have a sci-fi/fantasy bent (but I can’t help that!).
1.In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker – a 24th century cyborg named Mendoza time travels to Elizabethan England to the garden of Sir Walter Iden. While there, she falls in love with a monk name Nicholas Harpole. While there’s a romance, this is really speculative fiction and is the first of an epic series about the mysterious Company – Dr. Zeus, Inc.
2. Spring Moon: A Novel of China by Bette Boa Lord – I first read this book as a teen. I distinctively remember that you could choose among an assortment of different colored covers. I choose a pink one with red lettering (which I still own). At the time, I knew next to nothing about China, let alone about the turmoil at the turn of the twentieth century. But I never forgot this tale about Spring Moon and how she survived her country’s massive social upheaval. I re-read this book several years ago and it was still as poignant as I remembered. If you are a fan of Lisa See, check this book out.
3. A High Wind In Jamaica by Richard Hughes – this book was out of print for many years but returned in the early 2000s, when I first learned about it. This story is a dark comedy about a group of siblings on their way home to England after their Jamaican plantation home is leveled by a hurricane. Along the way, their ship is hi-jacked by pirates who have no idea what they are in for. And it begs the question, who is more wicked? The children or the pirates?
4. The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett – A wacky variation of the story about the guy in the in the red suit. In the land of Discworld, Hogswatchnight is in danger when the beloved Hogfather goes missing.Death’s granddaughter has the task of finding him before disaster ensues. With appearances by a down on her luck tooth fairy, a nasty assassin, and Death himself, this is a satirical holiday tale like nothing you’ve read before.
5. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote – A short story that I read in high school English class. Young Truman recalls holiday visits with his aunt and their annual mission to find ingredients to make fruitcake. I believe this tale sneakily contributed to my fascination and enjoyment of fruitcake. Yes! I admit it. I like fruitcake!
6. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks – This book scares the crap out of me. Written in fast-paced, first person, documentary style, this story is so plausible, it’s freaky! And, since Brad Pitt will be starring in the movie version (which I am sure will bear no resemblance to the book), you might want to check this out. If you read Stephen King, you can handle this. Don’t be put off by my nightmares! I’m just a big scaredy cat when it comes to zombies
7. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley – Everyone has a book that they read a zillion times as a kid. This was mine. I took it out of the library so often that I knew its exact shelf. My love of Beauty and the Beast traces back to this book. And I suspect my love of romance too.
Who wants to share their favorite (not as popular) stories? And what books are you looking forward to reading in 2013?