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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

It's RWA national conference time, which makes me think fondly back to July of 2011 when I attended my first one in New York City.

Not only was having my very own Madcap Manhatten Weekend a dream come true for me, but one of the keynote speakers was Diana Gabaldon, whose Outlander series remains one of longtime favorite reading crushes.

Thank heavens I'm a patient person.

It had already been twenty years since first reading Outlander when I found myself sitting at the conference listening to Ms. Gabaldon. At that time it still seemed that the only vision I'd ever get of Jamie Fraser would be my own version in my mind's eye. 

Look how much has changed since then -- in a few short weeks this series will come to the small screen!

Outlander on Starz premieres Saturday, August 9th

Outlander on Showcase premieres Sunday, August 24th

Photo by Helen Tansey
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Industry Conferences - Do you attend them?

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

Today, I'm on a plane to San Antonio, Texas to attend the RWA (Romance Writers of America) National Conference. I attended my first one in NY in 2003. Having walked away from my executive career with a dream tucked into my heart - that of becoming a published author - I felt it was a great place to start.

I did my research and loved what I found. Three days worth of hundreds of workshops focused on CAREER, CRAFT, INDUSTRY FACTS, MARKETING and much more. You could pick and choose the ones that interested you. It was a street map to travel toward your individual career goals. The fact that the attendees ranged from unpublished dreamers to NY Times Best Selling authors made it even more exciting, adding levels of information to the workshops.

I studied the workshop schedules and highlighted the ones I felt would help me grow in the areas I was unsure of. Back then that included POV (Point of View) and plotting, because I let the story unfold as I wrote. After those first three days, I also learned what my strengths were - my stories were character driven and their dialogue sounded natural with each character having his own voice.

Because I had a finished manuscript, I also made appointments with Agents and Editors to "pitch" my work. Think "elevator pitch", because you had ten minutes to capture the person's attention and tell them what your story was about. As your heart pounded, you waited for one of three responses - "I'm sorry it's just not for me." or "That sounds interesting. Why don't you send me the first three chapters so I can take a look." or "Wow. I love that. Send me the full manuscript."

I floated out of the room when an agent asked for the FULL and an editor asked for three chapters. My work would be read by the industry professionals!!! I was one step closer to realizing my dream.

Year after year, I pitched my books until in 2010, I signed with my agent - an eagle-eyed editor I trust to help polish my words to gems. Six months later we sold my first book. Passions Race. Sisters Of Spirit, an anthology I wrote with a NY Times Best Selling author and two other writer friends was released one month after Passion's Race. (One of the ladies in now my best friend and we met on an elevator at the 2003 Conference. Talk about mystical connections!!)

My third book, Mystical Connections, came out in July 2013. Book #4 should be out soon.

Attending now as a published author, I find I'm encouraging beginning writers to learn the craft, build their BRAND, and continue to be persistent until they too realize their dream.

The venue is packed with energy. Networking with other writers/authors, learning about the changes in the industry are only a layer of the entire weekend. The Readers for Life Literary Autographing is a huge event and has generated more than $800,000 dollars to fight illiteracy. There are Keynote Speakers. This year Sylvia Day, a NY Times Best Selling author of more than 20 award-winning books will captivate the group at our luncheon. General Sessions will enjoy Special Speakers Cindy Ratzlaff and Karen Rose.

The conference will come to a close Saturday night with the "Oscars" of the Romance Writing World. The RITA Awards, promoting excellence in published romance novels, hosted by Simone Elkeles followed by a dessert reception. I can't wait for this plane to land so I can sink my teeth into all that is offered this year.

Tell me, do you attend conferences in your industry? What to you get from them? Have you networked with other professionals and built relationships that last beyond the few days at the conference? What other reasons do you choose to attend?

Until next time - Hugs, Christine.


Find me on Facebook/Christine Mazurk - author
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dark magic meets dark passions as Rowena embarks on another adventure in Book 2 of Land's End

Rowena_and_the_Dark_Lord-600 brightTUESDAY'S REVOLVING BOOK is the fantasy/time travel comedy/romance ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD by Melodie Campbell. (Book 2 in the Land's End series)

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Rowena-Dark-Lord-Lands-ebook/dp/B00CIZZS70

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/rowena-and-the-dark-lord-land-s-end-series-book-2

itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rowena-dark-lord-lands-end/id682933777?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rowena-and-the-dark-lord-melodie-campbell/1115222998

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/339169


Dark magic…dark passions….

When Rowena is abducted back to medieval Land’s End, one thing is clear: she must learn to control her powers of magic. It isn’t easy being a modern girl in an archaic land, and when Rowena accidentally conjures up a Roman Legion in mid-battle, Land’s End is on the brink of a war that could jeopardize everything and everyone she loves.

The stakes are raised when the Dark Lord reappears and traps Rowena in a cyclone of lust and passion. Once again, she is torn between the man she loves and the mage who fires her desire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melodie Campbell

Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Winner of nine awards, including the 2014 Derringer (US) and the 2014 Arthur Ellis (Canada) for The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), Melodie has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and seven novels.

Melodie got her start writing stand-up. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. Her first book, Rowena Through the Wall, was an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller (All books) in Sept. 2014.

Melodie has a commerce degree from Queen’s University, but it didn’t take well. She has been a bank manager, college instructor, marketing director, comedy writer and possibly the worst runway model ever. These days, Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.



Blog tour being organized! Info will be posted on www.melodiecampbell.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

A spooky YA paranormal that will leave you on the edge of your seat! (The Possession by J.D. Spikes)

Secret Journals Posession 1400x2100Today's Sneak Peek is from the YA paranormal The Possession by Lachesis author J.D. Spikes.
Daphne Wentworth is almost seventeen, definitely a red head, and most likely the tallest girl in her class, which is awkward to say the least when it comes to dating boys in her school. But she doesn’t have to worry about school for the next two months since she’s spending the summer at her aunt Dwill’s lighthouse in Maine. What she does have to worry about is seeing ghosts in the lighthouse cemetery, having strange dreams, and hearing the voices of star-crossed lovers who lived two-hundred years ago. And then there’s a local boy named Zach Philbrook who works for her aunt. He’s too gorgeous for his own good. He’s also very tall, with midnight black hair, and the most beautiful indigo blue eyes Daphne has ever seen. Zach is treated like an outcast by the local teens in town. He’s Micmac and therefore not “one of the gang”. Daphne can’t help being drawn to his strength, especially considering that he’s had to live his entire life dealing with ignorance. But the local teens aren’t the only trouble-makers in town. As Zach and Daphne get closer, the lighthouse ghost lovers begin haunting them. When Daphne and Zach try to figure out how to fight them, the spirits get bolder and more dangerous.

The cemetery wasn’t far and wasn’t scary. Not to me. Just a scattering of old stones with ancient memories written on them. People long gone to another life and no one here who remembers them.
I dropped my canvas shoulder bag of goods on the ground near the gate. Wrought iron and rusted, it leaned into the cemetery boundaries at a precarious angle. Thank God I didn’t have to push it open . . . I’d have probably landed on the ground with a rusted spiral in my gut. This place was unfamiliar to me, except in passing. Though I’d known of the cemetery’s existence, I’d never gone in. I had too much to do in the land of the living for my short time here. No one ever came out here, so what difference did the overgrowth make? Aunt begged to differ and insisted I clean the place up. The lighthouse was two hundred years old this summer, she reminded me, and the cemetery belonged to the lighthouse. So, on a bright June day, I found myself alone in a somewhat decrepit cemetery in a clearing in the woods. I made my way around the ancient stones in an attempt to put off the start of my project. Most were upright and clear enough of the tangle of brush that a portion of the inscription could be read. One small stone, nearly buried in the overgrown grass at the north corner, caught my eye. I flattened enough of the green to reveal the single word Sarah, and beneath it Age 3 Months. Sadness flashed through me, unexpectedly. There were babies buried here? I slipped the hand pruners from my back pocket where I’d stuck them and carefully snipped the grass down in front of the headstone. I pulled viney growth from the top corner of the stone, revealing a W. and a P. Sarah W.P. My hand cramped as I diligently snipped away at the grass, clearing the plot. The screech of the gate would have warned me . . . had the gate been in better repair. With its useless tilt, however, I never heard him coming. The bag dropping next to me on the mixed pile of living and dead debris announced his presence. I flipped to the side, tripping myself with my legs, but managed to keep the pruners in front of me. I pointed them into the air in front of my face. Blue-black eyes studied me, one hand hooked into his pants pocket by the thumb, the other paused in front of him, fingers splayed where it had dropped the bag. In books you always read about these moments. Crickets clicked, or birds called, or someone’s watch ticked, marking time. Maybe all three. In real life, the only thing you really hear until you recognize that person is your own heavy breathing, that being indicative of the fact that you are in the middle of nowhere with no possible help nearby. So how do you protect yourself from something that isn’t really there?

Like what you've read? You can get your copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes right here or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe
Connect with J.D. on her web site and on facebook
Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us on twitter.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Can her love save him from a haunted past? (Regency Historical romance New Release!)

Beauty and the Earl b 453x680Today I want to tell you about a new release, here at Lachesis Publishing - Beauty and the Earl by Patricia Grasso. It's a twist on the old fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast". I had a wonderful time working on it with Patricia. It's a revised edition of  To Love A Princess. But Patricia added even more magic to this new edition. And don't you just love the cover? I adore it! LeeAnn Lessard and our cover artist Laura Givens did an outstanding job. Beauty and the Earl is part of a lovely new series that we're calling the Lords of Stratford. This is book 2 in the series but it is a stand-alone so you can read it and enjoy it on its own. We'll be releasing book 1 Enchanting the Duke very soon! 

I know you're going to love Beauty and the Earl as much as I do. Have a great weekend and happy reading! :)

Beauty and the Earl

Book 2 ~ Lords of Stratford Series

A princess in danger . . .

Princess Amber Kazanov needs a husband. She flees her native Russia and takes refuge in England with her cousin Prince Rudolf Kazanov and his English wife. Prince Rudolf knows only one man who has the power and strength to protect his cousin. Arriving with Amber at the Earl of Stratford's home, Rudolf makes the earl an outrageous proposition.

A broken man grieving for his dead wife . . .

Miles Montgomery, the Earl of Stratford, wants to be left alone. Since losing his beloved wife in a fire, Miles has sat in the dark and waited for his own death. Until the day a beautiful princess walks into his home seeking marriage and the protection of his name. Amber's beauty attracts Miles, but her courageous heart shakes him to his core.
Drawn to Miles, Princess Amber sees beneath his masked scars and gruff exterior. Her love persuades him to push his bitterness aside and truly live and love again. Can Miles keep Amber safe when her enemies arrive in England? Or will his past return to haunt them?

You can buy Beauty and the Earl by Patricia Grasso right here.
You can also buy it on amazon.

Connect with Patricia Grasso online on her web site and on facebook
Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us on twitter.