Friday, February 26, 2016

The Fourth Parallels (Sneak Peak)

Is it really Friday!? Thank goodness. And we were buried in about eight inches of snow, but I am infinitely grateful it wasn't tornadoes or hurricanes. My heart goes out to those of you on the east coast who got far worse than we did.

And you may have noticed, I am sharing two blurbs each Friday from the Parallels: Felix was Here Anthology that will be published May 3 (Pre-order here)(Or visit our group blog here)--for which my primary contribution thus far has been to shout "Hey guys! We should do some stuff! erm...). I'm honored to be part of this, though, seriously. Today is my fourth time sharing two apiece of the blurbs and I've got Melanie Schultz and Sylvia Ney on board!

The Haunted: Sometimes the best things in life are the things you never had.

For five years Andy has been consumed by nothingness. Her life was fine—normal even—and then suddenly it wasn’t. No one knows why, least of all her. Desperate for answers, she seeks out yet another psychiatrist, not knowing that psychotherapy has nothing to do with it, not when the problem is that you’re being haunted.

Melanie Schulz is planted in upstate New York with her husband and three kids on a smallish plot of land she likes to believe is a farm. She plays at being a writer, same as she plays at being a farmer, and nurse, and overall enjoyer of this thing called life. One of the things she enjoys most are people who delight in discussing all things listed above. 

You can find her at:

Win:  The connection is everything.

 Seventeen year-old David Masters has grown up in almost complete isolation, despised by those around him. He is smart, determined, and compassionate. Now, an act of terrorism threatens the lives of millions. Can David help the society who shunned his very existence? Or is all hope for humanity lost? Find out in “WIN”. 

Sylvia Ney is a freelance writer, editor, and speaker. She regularly contributes to newspapers, magazines, and other anthologies. Some of her recurring publications include Houston Family magazine. Southern Writer's magazine, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Sylvia is a member of the Texas Gulf Coast Writers and the Bayou Writers Group in Louisiana.

You can find her at:

Monday, February 22, 2016

March Madness Looms Large!!!

Hallo, fine peoples!!! It is only 8 days until March!!! And around here there is a tradition for March that we call March Madness. Unlike the ball bouncing, hoop throwing, foot tangling thing that is going on among college athletes, THIS March Madness is a self-defined challenge we set to kick ourselves into gear.

Traditional March Madness Projects Include:

* A major edit you want to get done
* FINISHING a book you started at some other time
* Finshing TWO books that are closer to done
* Writing a new book
* Writing a defined number of short stories
* Converting a project (ie, making a screenplay from a novel)

It is anything YOU make of it. We suggest it be about comparable in time commitment to NaNoWriMo, but that is ONLY a suggestion. Mostly what we want to do is give a little adrenaline rush to your writing and create a supportive environment for getting something done.

If you want to join discussions and such on the subject, I manage a Facebook Group, BuNoWriMo, where we can interact more easily. You are ALL WELCOME. Bring your friends. Bring your ideas. Bring some silly shenanigans.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sneaksy Peeksy Threeksy (For Parallels)

What?  You know I make stuff up.

And I can channel a four-year-old when I really want to and four-year-olds love to rhyme. So there.

So I have two more of my fellow authors and their stories to share with you today... two people I didn't happen to really know before this adventure--that is a perk of being part of an anthology I totally hadn't considered. I was excited to see friends on the list, but I am also enjoying this NEW friends piece!

First up is Michael Abayomi

Ground Zero: The ruins of New York City might not be as deserted as they seem.

Thirty years after a nuclear bomb devastates much of the Eastern United States, the survivors are still struggling to deal with the aftermath. Elijah is one of them, a man simply doing his part in the effort to rebuild from what's left. He is also a man on a mission, one that has been fueling what others might see as a morbid obsession with corpses. But he is secretly on a search for answers, a search that has taken him to Ground Zero, the very heart of the irradiated wasteland known as the Red Zone

Michael Abayomi was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He fell in love with the art of storytelling after reading J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. His books include Neuro, The Morning Star, and the epic fantasy series, Guardians & The Lost Paradise.

You can find Michael at:

[And see, I began my writing adventures in earnest after reading (and re-reading) Harry Potter, too. I always WANTED to write, but it took those books to accept the lesson that it is easier to finish and do it well (for me) if I know the ending.]

Okay, Next up is Sandra Cox

Rainers: Save his world or save her own.

Out hiking, Harper Reese tumbles into a parallel universe where a nightmarish virus has infected the sphere’s pubescent children. While there she encounters bad boy Noah Tanner who’s got problems of his own.

Now, they must work together to track down and destroy the source of the disease before it travels to her world and infects her twelve-year-old sister.

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

You can find Sandra here:

If you want to go back and see the other blurbs and authors I've shared, LG and Yolanda are here and Cherie and Crystal are here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wait... Where'd Hart Go?

*sigh*  I'm back at any rate.

Monday and Tuesday I was doing college visits with my boy child. Pondering that in 6 months we'd be getting him packed to go live AWAY... hard to wrap my head around. Now I am doing my (his) FAFSA and trying to create the checklist for maximum options while limiting cash outlay...

But I will be here Friday to share a couple more story blurbs for Parallels: Felix was Here.

In the meantime... Deadpool... OHMYGAWD this was fantastic... if you have a stomach for violence, sex, sex jokes, strong language, and moral ambiguity... But SERIOUSLY.... if you ARE that person, this is the most fun I've had at a movie in ages. I laughed hard, shed a tear or two (I do this more easily than most--you won't cry--none of you, but I did). The jokes making fun of pretty much everything... breaking the fourth wall... BRILLIANT.

DO NOT take any children lower than high school age, and if you are at all prudish, maybe stick to R means R. (being the lax person I am, I would probably let my middle school kid watch it AT HOME when it is available later--but I am totally not a censor for my kids gal)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Parallel Lines Update and More Sneaksy Peeksies!

We have a Publication date MAY 3!!!!  and pre-order links!!!


Barnes and Noble

I know, right?  So exciting!!!

And if you are a bit confused as to what exactly speculative fiction, LG Keltner launched our group blog for promoting Parallels: Felix Was Here with a great post explaining it.

So today I am sharing two more authors and story teasers with you... anyone around the blogosphere knows both of these ladies, and I'm thrilled and honored to be in an anthology with them (the whole group honestly--we've been collaborating on this promotey thing and it is so awesome to not be doing this in a vacuum. Love being part of a team.

First up Is Crystal Collier

The Mirror People:  We think no one is watching, but what if they are? Meet the Mirror People.

Jak Ralston leads an ordinary life. Home, work, church. Repeat.

Unremarkable in every way, except for one. Every day Jak stares into the eyes of a serial killer.

We think no one is watching, but what if they are? Meet the Mirror People.

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror or inspiration. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

You can find her at:

And next we have Cherie Reich

Folds in Life and Death: In 2001, the Curse of Tippecanoe strikes again.

Allyson Moore loves using her gift of paper magics. With precise folds and an incantation, she brings paper creatures to life.

But being a Paperist has its downsides too. She sees spirits, but she can’t revive them. She folds paper lanterns to release souls, but she can’t stomach sending another family member from this earthly realm.

The Curse of Tippecanoe, conceived nearly two centuries before, claims her brother, the President of the United States. She must journey to Washington, DC to be with her orphaned niece and nephew, but nothing—not even magic—can prepare her to see the brother she hasn’t spoken to in two years and release his soul to the sky.

Cherie Reich owns more books than she can ever read and thinks up more ideas than she can ever write, but that doesn’t stop this bookworm from trying to complete her goals, even if it means curbing her TV addiction. A library assistant living in Virginia, she writes speculative fiction. Her books include the paranormal horror collection Once upon a Nightmare and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club, Valley Writers, and Untethered Realms.

You can find her at:
Website | Blog | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

And if you missed last weeks teasers from LG and Yolanda, you can find them here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Ghosts Release Day!!! (by Kendall Grey)

So one of my writer friends has done an amazing experiment... she wrote and published this story online, releasing episodes relatively rapidly, but now, completed, she has pulled the online version and edited the story for book form.

So today is the day! Ghosts releases today! Here is the blurb:

Under the blazing cover of a post-nuclear, technology-crippled world, Sarah Coolidge is an expert at being neither seen nor heard.

She was an afterthought to her abusive parents.

She’s invisible to the criminals she works with.

And she’ll soon be the death-dealing ghost her enemies never see coming—if she can just shake loose the one person who does see her.

The one who could ruin her.

The one who gives her a reason to live.

About Kendall Grey:

A whale warrior, indie freedom fighter, and vodka martini aficionado, Kendall Grey is calm like an F-bomb*. She writes urban fantasy, rock star erotica, erotic suspense/thrillers, and apocalyptic science fiction. Swashbuckling cowboy priests in latex chaps are next on her To Write list**.

Kendall lives off a dirt road near Atlanta, Georgia with three mischievous Demonlings, a dashing geek in cyber armor, and a long-haired miniature Dachshund that thinks she's a cat. 

* Detonation manual not included.
** Just kidding about the cowboy priests. Someone probably already did that.

Website -
Facebook -
Twitter -
Goodreads -
Amazon -

Purchase Links:

Friday, February 5, 2016

First Sneak Peek at Parallels: Felix Was Here

Hello, fine friends!

Today, as I promised last week, I am going to share two blurbs and two author bios from the ten of us who had stories chosen for Parallels: Felix Was Here.

I am starting with LG Keltner, as her tale, Felix Was Here, was selected as top story and gave the anthology its name.

L.G. Keltner has been trying to write novels since she was six years old. She’s wanted to be many things over the years, but the dream that survived into adulthood was that of being a writer. She graduated from Drake University in 2008, but she’s still learning every day. L.G. lives in Iowa with her husband and children.

Felix Was Here: Utopia isn’t meant for everyone.

Betty’s family lived in a small Brooklyn apartment when the 1939 World’s Fair offered the nation a stunning vision of the future. A charismatic man worked with the government to make that vision a reality. Six years later, Betty has a nice home, a good husband, and all is right in her world.

When someone casually mentions the name Felix in conversation, everything changes. Betty’s dreams suddenly revolve around a boy named Felix. A boy she doesn’t recognize. Sleep deprived and confused, Betty begins to question the foundation upon which she’s built her idyllic life.

You can find LG at these places:  

Next up is Yolanda Renée who says:

At one time Alaska called to me and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun, survive in below zero temperatures, and hike the Mountain Ranges. I've traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the memories are some of my most valued. The wonders, mysteries, and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left me and thus now influence my writing.

Despite my adventurous spirit, I achieved my educational goals, married, and I have two wonderful sons. Writing is now my focus, my newest adventure!

Ever-Ton:  Orderly evacuation is the directive to leave our dying world…Salvation awaits in Salus, but only if you meet the requirements.

Leaving the queue of well dressed and military clad residents of Ever-ton, an overweight, and fidgety Quinn Cartier steps up to the ticket counter in sweats. 

“Unplaceable. Me?”

Unplaceable…the words rang through Quinn’s head like an apocalyptic siren. Leaving a dying planet never seemed more unlikely. 

As a lead engineer, I dedicated my life to feeding them...and now, I’m persona non grata~

Nothing made sense. The government promised all citizens a place in the new world. Why all the hurdles then?

Why indeed?

What fate holds for Quinn and all the Unplaceables at Pier 11? 

What secret is revealed by a mysterious old woman who disappeared as quickly as she appeared? 

Quinn has only one night to change her fate…

You can find Yolanda at:

Five weeks of this and we should be near release!!! So exciting!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No No No No No! (When Edits Go Bad)

Hallo fine peoples! And welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Groups Meeting! [They occur first Wednesday of every month]

So know how you have an editing project planned... and it is all moving along a bit painfully, but it takes some hundred plus pages for it to occur to you, “What the HECK am I thinking!?”

Just me then?

Anyway, I had January slated as a FINAL edit for Medium Wrong... but it occurred to me about 150 pages in that this series of events that occurs needs a more coherent thread running through them... a reason.

Which stopped me up 2/3 the way through THAT edit because I realized I really am almost better off starting the edit OVER and after I then do THAT edit, I will need to polish... Last edit becomes 3rd to last... It's funny, this is about the third time exactly this has happened with this book which puts me on about draft 10 of the beginning but only about 3 of the end... if I ever get to truly editing the end... (I did it once, pre-reviewers, but I haven't gotten to it again).

This is why I have 20 first drafts and only 4 that have made it to publication...

I honestly could really benefit from a developmental editor, I think, but that whole professional mentoring thing costs money now. I am pretty GOOD at that role for OTHER people's books. I can spot where the work needs doing, probably because other people have different flaws than I do in how they see things, but on my own I just have trouble.

So that is what has me feeling insecure today.

What about the rest of you? Some piece of the writing process that you seem to have trouble implanting into your brain?

Be sure to go visit OTHER insecure writers today, too!!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Lost and Found: A Writer's Tale and a Poem

First, I should introduce that this is a blog fest hosted by the fabulous Lee (Arlee Bird) at Tossing it Out, who has done more than his share in helping create a close-knit, supportive writing community, so thank you, Lee! You can find the list of participants here.

Second, I will say I CONSIDERED an ode to Facebook where I have found about 99% of the PEOPLE I once thought lost. It's an amazing medium for reconnection.

This is the part of the blog where I participate WRONG

But instead of Facebook... alas, as I got my stuff out to write this yesterday morning, there was my lost manuscript. Found.

You see, I got two weeks off for Christmas Break. I knew the first week would be spent in baking, shopping, wrapping, wine evenings with my buddies, cleaning as I always try to have one of my gifts to my seriously more cleanliness-oriented spouse that I clean up some of my crap for the holiday... But I really planned AFTER Christmas to spend the week immersed in an EDIT. I had printed it out because I see more hard copy. I did this at work as my home printer was broken and 270 pages in the life of an industrial toner is nothing (and I can print two-sided there, which seems more earth-friendly). At home I had taken off the first hundred pages to get started... and set it... somewhere... Blast it if when I went to get started the pages weren't GONE.

I did a couple small writing tasks the rest of break, but I couldn't get really started until I went back to work January 4...

And then about a week after I'd printed the new and gotten started, there was the old at the bottom of the mail pile.

It was the Universe telling me to rest it a bit, I think...

And THIS is the Part where I have read the instructions...

(I'm bad about this—par for the course would have been discovering I'd done it wrong after publishing).
I am to produce a piece of actual writing related to losing or finding someone I love...

Just let me put on my teen angst hat... you see, I've been with the hubs since I was 22—a VERY long time... and I didn't so much “find him” as we sort of settled into each other—nothing instant about it. So the only loss strong enough that I can still channel is the first one. Love's first sting...

Heartache: A Poem of Sorts

It wasn't, then it was, then it wasn't.
Isn't that always the way?
Sixteen, craving love
Craving craving
Dare I say it?
Craving heartache?
To feel so deeply
Love so deeply
That the sad songs speak to you
Every one.
To scream out
Cry out
Hurt so badly.
It is an initiation of sorts
A way of becoming.
A part of a grander universe
A member of humanity
for whom deep feelings forge the connections.
Oh to be sixteen and in love with love.

For the record—I'm still friends with this guy—the one who broke my heart first. So he was lost romantically, and found amicably. Because I don't actually lose people. I collect them. (This is normal for a Cancer)

So who or what have YOU lost and then found?