Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's in the Soup?

Today I welcome Mary Pax on the release day for THE RIFTERS! She's like the old woman who lives in a shoe - she has so many books out! But she's not old and lives in slippers... but I'll let you read more about her in this fun interview...

What was your worst subject in school?

I had a really time with math once I reached Algebra. I usually stayed after school or met my teachers during lunch for extra help. I’d struggle most of the school year, then pass the state-wide final with 95% or better.

Aww. I would have tutored you. And that's a great result!
Can you share an embarrassing moment?

Hmm, in grade school, I ate everyone’s tomato soup at lunch once. I loved tomato soup... until I got sick. Really sick. I didn’t eat tomato soup for years after. I eat it now, though, and love it again.

Too much of a good thing...
Would you tell us about your favorite critique?

It was good rejection that led to my publishing career. Good critique has definitely made me a better writer.

That's the best! I live for feedback.
Does your family have a favorite line or saying?

‘Black Creek’ - refers to a story told and heard way too many times started by my father who told us his story about rowing up Black Creek (off the Niagara River in Ontario, actually) with his brother as a kid. That was it. There’s nothing else to the story. But he told us thousands of times.

I think every family has a story that goes no where like that, but always gets a laugh when it's mentioned.
Here's a curious question, What's your favorite cliché?

I suppose I live one as a writer who’s in my slippers most of the day living a fairly solitary existence. I don’t drink much, though. Just a celebratory beer when I finish a novel. And I had to give up caffeine.

Slippers are awesome! And I'd get so much more done if I had a solitary existence... but no caffeine? AHHH!
If you could travel through time (like they do in the Rifters) where/when/why would you go?

I would travel to Sumer and the dawn of civilization, because I am obsessed with Sumer. I have been since I read Gilgamesh in a lit class in college. I have fifteen books on Sumer including collections of their literary work (the birth of written fiction) and workbooks to learn Cuneiform and another on Sumerian grammar. Yeah, obsessed much. lol

That's quite a unique obsession!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Mary! And I love the sound of your book - always like to read about other's images of time travel or other sci-fi stuff!


The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke decides to make a new start and become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens and sends him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves forty years off his age, forty years to live over again and atone for what he’s done.
Starting over is hard to do.

In current day New York, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon. Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. On top of it all, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust.

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.

And to start, Book One is free!
Download from:

Plus, take advantage of the preorder special on Book Two, THE INITIATE. Only 99 cents via preorder from Amazon, iTunes, B&N, and Googleplay. Preorder

Author Bio: M. Pax-- Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers, and one of her cats has a crush on Mr. Spock. You can find out more by visiting her website:

And y'all don't forget to enter our SHELFIE Blogfest! It's easy!
The list of entries is growing...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to measure success

It's September! Yay! I love Fall.

It's also time for another installment in the Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

This month, I ponder about why I started writing. How will I know I've "made it?" I never intended to be a #1 best seller, or have my book made into a movie (though, heck ya that would be awesome!). At first, I just wanted to be published. Then, I was hoping to be in bookstores and get a few more fans than my friends and family... I'm doing as much as I can to put myself out there, but I'm a worrier. Is all this effort worth it? I guess we all need validation, especially from others. Looking at the bright side, I really appreciate the reviews (every last one). I will just have to keep plugging away - it's not in me to give up. Thanks for listening!

What do you do to keep yourself moving forward?

Today is also the release day for my sweet friend, Elsie Elmore. I tempted you last month with her cool cover, now THE UNDEAD - PLAYING FOR KEEPS is out!

The Undead: Playing for Keeps, by Elsie Elmore
Genre: young-adult, paranormal-romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: September 3rd, 2014
Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson

When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.

While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny might be altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.

Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.

About The Author:
Elsie Elmore lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.
With a science education degree from NCSU, she never imagined she would someday write stories that challenge the laws of nature. She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.

Find Elsie Elmore Online:

And lastly, show us your SHELFIE! Grab your phone and snap a selfie with your book, or in front of a bookshelf, or take a pic of a bookshelf... anything to do with books! We need entries!

So far, we have:
Ellie Garrett
L. Diane Wolfe
Gina Stoneheart
Stephen Tremp

Here's a sample from my desk - my muse shelfie!

Come on! It's fun! And so many super fantastic prizes!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 1, 2014

Let Me Know & World Building, take 2

Though my final blog tour stop had a mix up, I'd still like to share my World Building post!

Here are some things to consider when building a new world:
government            school                religion
geography            religion            history
traditions & holidays        slang, fashion & pop culture
transportation & technology

Now, some might be intimidated by the thought of creating a whole new world and having to make up all this background. But, it's not as hard as it may sound... 

When developing these pieces of your world, you don't have to start from scratch. Just look at the world around you and tweak it. By keeping your world grounded with some familiarity, readers can relate to it easier.

The hardest part is introducing your world to the reader. You can't just spell it out for them, you have to incorporate it into the story without confusing or boring them. The author knows the history and background info, but some of it may never come up in the story. Characters live in the moment. Do you think about history on a daily basis?

Here are a few suggestions for incorporating background nuggets into your story...
  • write the scene as it would happen and when a new place, term, or activity comes up, you can elaborate on it - but don't force descriptions into a scene
  • slang can be emphasized by facial expressions or actions so the reader knows what it means
  • let the reader in on a character's internal thoughts and opinions about what's going on, the government, a situation, etc - that also helps with character development
The most important thing about building a new world is living in it in your head. Make the experience come alive. If you imagine being there, you will think of subtleties that will help the reader enter the scene with your characters!

Do you have any thoughts or advice on World Building?

And now, a HUGE THANKS and a BIG HUG
to everyone who helped me spread the word about Broken Branch Falls!
The WINNER of the $25 GC,
chosen randomly from the many reviewers, interviewers, and blog tour hosts,


Thanks and hugs to everyone who stopped by my posts!
The winner of the August Raffle is below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait! I must share - Stina Lindenblatt's dramatic sequel YA release is here!

Blurb for LET ME KNOW

Amber Scott thought her screaming nightmares would end now that her stalker is locked up and awaiting trial. But they return when her slam-dunk case starts to fall apart. Explicit letters she allegedly wrote surface, suggesting she was the mastermind behind her assault, a willing victim.

Amber only feels safe in the arms of her boyfriend Marcus, the one person she can lean on. Until damning evidence from Marcus's past collides with the case and the media circus drags them both down. To protect Amber's reputation, Marcus has only one option: end their relationship. He won't risk further damage to her case, even if it means breaking her heart.

Amber has to find the strength to step into the spotlight and bring awareness to victims' rights before she's convicted in the court of public opinion. And she's really not sure what's worse—that her kidnapper could walk free, or that the seemingly endless attention and speculation will drive Marcus away permanently.

Where To Find The Book:
Nook         Amazon         KOBO         iBooks        Goodreads

Check out Stina's first book from Amber and Marcus' journey,
Lost in You #1, TELL ME WHEN

And we already have our first entry in the Shelfie Blog Hop!

Check out Ellie Garrett's jam-packed shelfie of awesomeness!

Plenty of time to add your own shelfie selfie!