Category Archives: misc

stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else

The Faery Tales Bundle

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I’m so excited to announce that this bundle is live … and I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of it as BOTH my author names *LOL* Debbie Mumford is the curator and Deb Logan is a bundle author. Exciting!

I love fairy tales and this bundle contains TEN full-length novels, all for the amazing price of $4,99 … but that’s 1/2 off it’s normal price, so grab the bundle now before the price goes up!

What are these novels about? Here’s the concept:

Faeries are an enduring fable. How do various authors portray them? Cute little pixies … tricky, but harmless? Lovely fairy godmothers … benevolent and wise? Or a beautiful, but deadly race older than humanity and approached at your peril?

Enter the realm of Fae with this bundle of ten fantasy novels and see how the fair folk have chosen to reveal themselves to each of our authors.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll get:

Faery Tales montage

What a GREAT deal! Visit BundleRabbit today 😀

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Author Spotlight: Jade Kerrion

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a fellow author who participated in last years Advent Calendar. You might remember her: Jade Kerrion.

She’s an USA Today bestselling author, defying (or leveraging, depending on your point of view) her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy, as well as her MBA, to embark on her second (and concurrent) career as an award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance author.
 Her debut novel, PERFECTION UNLEASHED, won six literary awards. Jade writes at 3 a.m., when her husband and three sons are asleep, and aspires to make her readers as sleep-deprived as she is. You can find her on www.jadekerrion.com

Together with 22 other authors, she’s presenting a bundle of books for next to no money which will be released officially on 22nd of August. It’s well worth checking out. The other authors are: Kerry Adrienne, Bec McMaster, Felicia Beasley, L.B. Gilbert, Anne Renwick, Lisa Lace, Melle Amade, Michael Trozzo, Lily Thorn, Ilana Waters, Erin Richards, R. E. Vance, Cheri Schmidt, Tristan Hunt, CC Dragon, Bradon Nave, D.A. Roach, Katalina Leon, Boone Brux, Eric Padilla, Izzy Shows, M.H. Soars

What’s really cool is that you can get 15 of the eBooks right away if you preOrder the books on any eBook shop and let the authors know (it is NOT a signup page for the individual authors’ mailing lists, just a way to get your up-front books to you). As a bonus you’ll also get a coloring book (I think that’s a cool idea).

About the Bundle:

MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.

Abolished magic returns to Earth. The Minotaur and Achilles clash. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes.

All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today’s hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!

From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love…

If you’re ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination.

PreOrder today on Amazon to secure YOUR copy of this exciting collection or use a link from the page with all stores (Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo): http://books2read/mmsff). And don’t forget to let the authors know, so they can send you your up-front books and the coloring booklet.

Author Spotlight: Caimh McDonnell

A little while ago I read a sample from a book a reviewer recommended to me. I got sucked in so fast, I barely hear the whoosh. Naturally I signed up for the author’s newsletter, and when I got the opportunity to review his new release, I jumped at the chance. Let me introduce Caimh McDonnell, or the white-haired Irishman as he is called. I’ll tell you more about his new release as soon as he answered some question I asked him. But introductions first:

caimhCaimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.
His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.
During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

Now, tell us some more about you, Caimh.

Why did you become an author? Was it a childhood dream?
I’m sure it was in there somewhere but frankly, I think I wanted to be everything at one time or another when I was a kid. I definitely remember wanting to be an Apache Indian, a priest, the drummer in U2, an international footballer and a comedian. I achieved one of those things (comedian) and I’m still holding out for that call-up to the Ireland football team. I have rather gone off U2 so Larry Mullin can keep that job.
I did always want to tell stories as a kid but any chances of my being a writer were held back by the fact that my handwriting was and still is truly awful. Every time I wrote an essay, nobody could read it. Teachers kept telling my mother that I might not be that bright, she was perpetually standing her ground going ‘no, he’s a smart kid, you just can’t understand what he is trying to say.’
Then after I left school, the world got access to Microsoft Word and all of a sudden, people could at least understand what I was trying to write.

What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
Time. I have a head over-flowing with ideas and there’s a permanent sense of frustration that I can never get them all out. I think the most surprising thing about being an author is how much time is taken up by things other than writing. The reality is that when you write a book, you are starting your own business, whether you’re traditionally published or doing it yourself.

I’ve been lucky enough through my various jobs writing for TV, to have been a professional writer for over a decade before I wrote my first novel. I think that gives me a very different perspective on writing. If you’re writing for TV nobody cares if you’ve got ‘writer’s block.’ Everyone is on a deadline, so you learn to be disciplined or you don’t get the work. I prefer to think of writing as a craft than an art-form because craft implies you can work hard and get better at it, whereas art-form implies you’re sitting around staring at cloud formations, waiting for your muse to show up.

What makes the world of your novel different from ours?
My novels are set primarily in inner city Dublin but it is a version of it that is tinged with my inevitable nostalgia from living in the UK for the last 15 years. Also, my version has a little more of the Wild West about it. Certainly, Detective Sergeant Bunny McGarry, who is one of my central characters, would probably last about five minutes in the real Irish police force.

What was the most exciting thing happening when you wrote your novel?
I don’t know if exciting is the right word, but certainly the oddest thing involved reality spookily mirroring the world of my imagination. In The Day That Never Comes a group of homeless protesters take over a building owned by the Irish government that had been left vacant for years. That exact scenario played out in real life in Dublin just before Christmas. The real building is called Apollo House and it was about a 4-minute walk from where I’d placed the imaginary one in my head.

Who is your favorite Indie author?
Tough question but I’d go with Sean Platt, David Wright and Johnny Truant a.k.a the boys from the Self-Publishing Podcast. First and foremost, through their various combinations they write really well and they’ve also been phenomenal mentors to me on a personal level. I’m amazed by how much quality work they produce while at the same time giving so much to the Indie community.

Who is your favorite traditionally published author?
So hard to pick just one but if you’re twisting my arm, I guess I’d go with Dennis Lehane right now. I’m amazed more people don’t know his name. Put it this way, have you heard of the films Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island, The Drop and the recently released Live By Night? Did you know they were all based on books written by one author? That’s Dennis Lehane!

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

Chocolate would taste like celery, celery would taste like chocolate.

About the Book

the-day-that-never-comes-coverThe Day That Never Comes
Published 23 January 2017
McFori Ink
340 pages

Remember those people that destroyed the economy and then cruised off on their yachts? Well guess what – someone is killing them.
Dublin is in the middle of a heat wave and tempers are running high. The Celtic Tiger is well and truly dead, activists have taken over the headquarters of a failed bank, the trial of three unscrupulous property developers teeters on the brink of collapse, and in the midst of all this, along comes a mysterious organisation hell-bent on exacting bloody vengeance in the name of the little guy.
Paul Mulchrone doesn’t care about any of this; he has problems of his own. His newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence?
When the law and justice no longer mean the same thing, on which side will you stand?
The Day That Never Comes is the second About the Bookbook in Caimh McDonnell’s Dublin trilogy, which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit.

My Review

OK, so I hardly ever do this in public, but this time I’m making an exception. The Day That Never Comes convinced me on all fronts. back in the time I used to love crime stories. However,after a while I found them boring. I mean, there are only very few motives to work with (love-problems, money/greed, power, or a combination thereof) and it’s really hard to write something that twists these elements into something I haven’t read before. But Bunny McGarry’s (whom I fell for in the previous book, A Man With One of Those Faces, currently available for 99ct on Amazon) disappearance caught me off guard.
I loved the way Caimh managed to make the Irish and their capital come alive with very few words. He mostly focuses on his extremely interesting characters. Although I did see one plot twist coming from a mile off, it was still fascinating enough to watch the characters involved struggling through revelation. Also, the rest of the book kept me guessing. I had all the necessary clues, but the resolution of the murderer still took me by surprise which I loved. Really, if you like crime novels, give this a try. It’s well worth it.

If you want to learn more about Caimh or his books, you can visit his website. Also he’ll be on these blogs in the next few days (you’ll have to search for the blog names since I’m extremely pressed for time. I need to hand in another 6000 word short story by tomorrow and I’m only 2000 words in, plus my first ever grandson keeps distracting me 😀 ):
the-day-that-never-comes-blog-tour

First New Titles of 2017!

I’m excited to announce my first new titles for 2017 … one for each of my pen names and both with a deep blue ocean theme 😀

First, Deb Logan gives us a new tale of supernatural discovery. We know you’ll enjoy meeting Maris, a fifteen-year-old girl whose world is about to be turned upside down when she encounters Salt Water for the very first time.

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by Deb Logan
Audience: Juvenile | Siren | Short Story

Maris, a fifteen-year-old girl from Wichita, Kansas has never seen the ocean. Intentionally. Her parents have an unreasonable fear of the sea. When Dad allows Maris to accompany her best friend on a family vacation to Portland, Oregon, he has no idea that their ultimate destination will be Cannon Beach … and the wild waters of the Pacific Ocean. Maris is about to learn the truth behind the family taboo against salt water.

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Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

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Next, Debbie Mumford takes us on a mysterious ride as Meredith discovers the meaning of her dreams of drowning in deep water!

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by Debbie Mumford
Audience: Historical Fantasy | General Audience | Short Story

Meredith has vivid dreams … of drowning in deep blue water, but she’s not unduly worried since she lives in St. Louis. When her father announces that he has accepted a prestigious position in Bermuda, she begins to wonder if her dreams have been precognitive. What will happen when she finds herself living on the edge of the deep?

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Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Author Spotlight: Donna Usher

donnausherToday, I’d like to introduce you to Donna Usher whom I met (virtually) through one of my Facebook groups. We got talking and I was fascinated by her story. It resembles the journey of many, many writers, don’t you agree?

The book she’s presenting today is the first in her trilogy. You can get it on Amazon for 99ct or for free on her website if you leave her your eMail address. The choice is yours, but you should really be reading this.

Why did you become an author? Was it a childhood dream?
I kind of accidentally became an author. I always enjoyed writing, and I loved reading, and I actually started writing a book when I was about 8. But then I had an English teacher that put me off and I kind of forgot about writing for a long time.
After I sold my dental practice I had a few months off and I started writing during that time. It took me a few more years before I actually sat down and wrote my first novel.

What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
I don’t really have many obstacles with writing. I guess that makes me lucky. I’ve learnt over the years to recognise the signs that there is something wrong with the plot – that normally can cause what some people might call a writer’s block, but what for me is writer’s confusion. So now I go for a long walk and let the book play in my head like a movie and I normally work out pretty quickly where I have gone wrong.

What makes the world of your novel different from ours?
Well Faery Born is set in England, but it is a magical England where witches live freely with humans. There is also an overlay land in which the faeries live. And although there are cars and televisions and other modern conveniences, there are no weapons of mass destruction and no firearms.

Who is your favourite Indie author?
There are too many fantastic Indie Authors out there, and I have to admit often I’m not sure if what I am reading is Indie or not. But I really enjoy Shannon Mayer’s work.

Who is your favourite traditionally published author?
There are so many. I think Jim Butcher would be in a neck-and-neck tie with Stephanie Meyers. And lately I have been loving Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan Series.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Hmmmm – More hours in the day, or to need less sleep. I think one of the things I am so jealous about in the Twilight Series is that the Vampires don’t need to sleep. I could get so much more done it I had that extra 7-8 hours a day.

faerybornAbout her Book

It’s been thirteen years since the Dark Years ended. Thirteen years since the mad War Faery responsible was imprisoned in stone. Now, with goblin attacks on the rise it seems Galanta, the Goblin Queen, is intent on returning the land to chaos and terror.

Isadora Scrumpleton is trying not to think about the Dark Years. She’s just been chosen by her ‘familiar’, found out she’s half faery, and discovered she’s dating the second-in-line to the Faery Throne. That’s enough for one teenage witch to handle. But when goblins attack her village, Izzy is forced into action, ultimately joining the elite Border Guard and attracting the attention of the Goblin Queen.

As Galanta weaves a web of deceit, Izzy struggles to control her powers. Will she be able to stop the Goblin Queen in time, or will the world be plunged into a dark new reality?

A few words from Donna Usher

Hi there, I’m Donna Joy Usher. I started writing my first novel when I was seven. With no idea about plot or character development (I mean I was only seven) my storyline quickly disintegrated into a muddled jumble of boring dialogue between two horses. Disillusioned, I gave up writing stories for quite a while after that. Instead, I concentrated on my studies, eventually graduating as a dentist.

After many years of ‘drilling and filling’ I turned to writing in an effort to escape the seriousness of my day job. During that time I created my first book, The Seven Steps to Closure, and discovered that I love nothing more than making other people laugh. Well that, and my husband and two miniature schnauzers, Chloe and Xena.

I currently live near the beach on the Swan River in beautiful Perth. When I am not working or writing, I love to paddle board, walk along the river and sip chai lattes at the local cafe.

Good-bye, 2016 … Hello, 2017!

I’m thrilled to announce that WDM Publishing has released my final SPUN YARNS Short for 2016: NEW YEAR … just in time for the arrival of our real New Year: 2017 😀

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by Debbie Mumford
Audience: Science Fiction | General Audience | Short Story

A mother’s agonizing attempt to come to terms with the death of her beloved daughter turns to excitement as she realizes her adult child has solved the riddle of time travel

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Indie Authors’ Advent Calendar

Indie Authors' Advent Calendar

Today is the 4th of December and silly me forgot to let you know that the annual Indie Authors’ Advent Calendar has opened its doors again. If you love a surprise story every day, it’s THE place to bookmark. And if you sign up for the alert, you’ll get a bonus every day (a picture, a poem, a recipe or another story), and the eBook with all stories and bonuses on Christmas Day.

Have a wonderful Advent and do come by and read the stories. It’s completely free.

a near miss

(cross posted from my personal blog)

I sent in one of my fairy tale retellings (an adaption of Cinderella) to the Writer’s of The Future Award, one of the best known competitions in the US where hundreds of aspiring authors present their manuscripts every quarter. Naturally I had hoped for the best, but I didn’t count on it, being a non-native speaker/writer. And now this (self-explanatory):
Certificate from Writers of the Future
I’m bursting with pride and had to tell you right way. Go on, celebrate with me. Here’s sparkly wine (German naturally, but I’ll have still water please) and chocolate (yummy). 😀

More New Releases

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I admit, it was a little quiet on this blog, but we’ve all been extremely busy behind the scenes. Many of us prepared new releases. Last week, you may have noticed that Debbie announced a Halloween anthology. And today, I’ll show you what I’ve been up to (beside writing nearly 100,000 words and translating them).

51ydyl5cnrlThe first of my new publications is already available. It is book #7 in the fairy tale retelling series, Treasures Retold (German versions of #1-6 are in the middle of the banner above). “Royal Swans” is an adaption of “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen, and I wrote it upon a request from a German blogger. It tells the story of Prince Laurent and his siblings when he angers the princess of the visiting neighboring royal family by rejecting her proposal.

The next release is, naturally, a horror short story. It will be available in time for 51kivdr5pdlHalloween. “Insider” shows us the other side of death as a scientist discovers the truth about the light at the end of the tunnel (Beware, this story is NOT meant to be read by children or sensitive people).

coverIn November, you can become an active participant in a non-linear time travel story. “Troubled Times – Time Troubles” is a branching, interactive short story with several different endings where you can choose the path through the story. It started as an experiment after I had been asked in which time forms and points of view I’d already written. I found that I’d covered most combinations except second person and future tense, so I tried to find out if that could lead to a valid story. My beta readers thought it did, so here it is. An experiment for you. Do you dare? Look out for it by mid-month.

coverNaturally December is reserved for all things seasonal. Since I’m not overly fond of the commercial push Advent and Christmas get these days, expect something more subtle from me. My short story collection “The Christmas Dragon and other Seasonal Stories” will be available on December 6th, 51r9htcyytlpreceded on December 1st by the eighth fairy tale retelling “The Challenge“, an adaption of “The Cold Heart” by Willhelm Hauff where a charcoal burner wants to improve his lot in live and makes a mess out of it. In my version the two magic entities that complicate the charcoal burner’s live are featured much more strongly.

And right after New Year, I will publish the most complicated story I ever wrote: an interactive non-linear murder mystery novel that tells a complete story. What do I say, it tells several complete stories. There are more than 20 endings for the reader to explore.grimm-e.jpg

As a child I loved “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, but I hated the second person point of view and the lack of a story line with a vengeance. So when I set out to write this novel, I was determined to tell a story of connected events in one of the more traditional points of view (he or I) and settled on 1st person. This/these story/stories were a lot of fun to write but a nightmare to revise. It took me several years to get the novel into a shape where it could go to my editor. But now it’s nearly there, and I hope you’re just as excited as I am.

Maybe one of the books will make a nice gift for you, before, for, or after Christmas. Let me know what you think before I head into NaNoWriMo (a November writing challenge).

Binge Reading

With video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, it’s become popular to watch a whole television series at once, instead of waiting for a new episode each week. The term for this is now “binge watching” and I admit that I do it myself sometimes, like when Netflix releases an entire season right at the start of a weekend. (I know that I’m clearing my calendar for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in November!) But the other day, one of my friends asked a thought-provoking question: is there an equivalent for “binge reading?”
I would say absolutely yes—I’ve been doing this my whole life, long before there was a name for it. Back in those carefree days of childhood, I loved to go to the library, check out an entire series of books at once, and sit down to do (almost) nothing but read for a weekend or a vacation. As an adult, I have less free time to read a lot, but I still make the time for a good “binge read” every now and then—and sometimes I don’t get to pick when it happens.
Sometimes a book just grabs me and I can’t put it down. This happened to me a few months ago when I discovered the Towers Trilogy (Radiant, Defiant, and Towers Fall) by Karina Sumner-Smith. I was only about two-thirds of the way through the first book when I went online and ordered the other two books, because I knew I had to know the rest of the story. Fortunately, I was traveling at the time, and sitting on an airplane or in the airport was the perfect time to pick up a book.
Ebooks make it even easier to binge read because you don’t have to wait for the next book—you can just click a button and download it in seconds! Sometimes, you can get an entire series at once in a “box set” which is awesome, especially when they’re on sale. And I admit that I have at least one subscription which lets me read an unlimited number of books for one monthly fee. Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that I’ll never run out of books to read . . . but on the other hand, sometimes it feels overwhelming. How will I ever find time to read all of these books?
rorylibrary

Rory Gilmore freaks out when seeing a library and realizing how many books she has yet to read.

We have a lot of options for entertainment in our modern world: there’s an endless stream of movies, television shows, video games, websites, music, and more, all competing for our attention. We only have so much free time that we can spend on enjoying the things we love, and I know that a lot of people simply stop reading after they finish school because they’d rather watch TV or do something else for entertainment. And I feel sorry for them because they don’t know the joy that comes from getting lost in a book world.
deadtreehallucinate

I actually enjoy doing both!

And for those of us who still love to read, I think this is the best era ever for reading. We have so many choices, whether we like ebooks, print, or both! It’s so easy to get books, whether new or old, and you can always find great recommendations from reviews on Goodreads and blogs. So binge read away!
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