A to Z Challenge

Saturday, August 31, 2013

WeWriWa - Return of the Crown - When we first meet Ena

Another weekend and more incredible scenes dripped across the pages in eight short sentences!  So many different styles and genre's, it's a literary smorgasbord!  If you are interested in how this whole thing works, visit the folks at WeWriWa (this is a great place to find those other flavors on the buffet today as well!).

Okay, so everyone seems to have been enjoying Ena, and I thought that I'd do something a little different this week.  I'd share some bits from Return of the Crown, which is my first published novel.  I thought you all might like to see how Ena's friendship with Ravyn began.  To sort of set the scene, Ravyn's raft is in need of repairs, and she's landed on Draconis Island, where's she's made a sort of makeshift camp...

A scream woke Ravyn with a start; she rubbed her arms trying to chase away the shivers. She wiped at her eyes, thinking she’d dreamt it, and then the anguished cry ripped through the air again, so she grabbed her things and rushed into the shadows. 

A huge shape flashed in front of the trees, casting shadow over the entire campsite. A monstrous scarlet dragon crashed down in the camp, scattering bits of embers across the sand. Its huge scaly head swiveled left and right, sniffing and growling all the while. It pounced on the raft, snapping the mast like a twig. Ravyn watched in wide-eyed horror as it ripped the sail free of the mast, the ropes snapping like string. A quick blast of fire from its smoking jaws turned everything into a raging bonfire, and the wood crackled and sparked, feeding the hungry flames.

If you are interested in checking out more about Return of the Crown...click here.  I happen to know the author will give folks copies on occasion if they are interested in reading and giving an honest review.  You could always ask for one : )

Friday, August 30, 2013

Indie Blog Hop - Media Tip

My networking and media tips:

1.  Treat others how you would like to be treated (I think I'm stealing from the good book here, but it sort of covers so many areas).
2.  Try to find balance between networking and writing.  If the balance goes awry, do not beat yourself up over it.  Reset your priorities and start over.  No biggie.  (BTW, if you find a good and permanent way to keep the balance - please share)
3.  Have fun.  If it's not fun, it's not worth doing.

For me, that sort of sums it up.  Oh and give a super big THANK YOU to those who provide you with opportunities to meet others and share your work and insight!  So, Dawna and Fel, you two are my HEROES!!!

I had a great time these past couple weeks meeting you fine folks and reading about your work, your interests, and just the general camaraderie that ensued!  Don't be a stranger, let's keep in touch.  And if I can help you in the future in any way, please don't hesitate to ask!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Book A Decade...Sort of

I thought a fun way to look at the topic of my top 5 books, would be to choose a book from each decade, that I really enjoyed.  Now, I have not actually hit the big 5-0, nor am I quite there yet...but I'll add a recent book to this list at the end.  Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

1.  When I was just a little bit, in my momma's arms...I couldn't get enough of one author in particular.  The amazing Dr. Seuss!  My favorite - Green Eggs and Ham, which I think is splendiferous!  Did you know that amazing book has a mere 51 different words used?  You do not like them, so you say, try them and you may...try them and you may I say!
2.  Ten year old me loved James and the Giant Peach and any other books of fantasy I could get my hands on.  Roald Dahl delighted me with his outrageous stories, that I oh so wished could really truly happen! 
3.  Young adult me...when not reading books that related to my school education loved Piers Anthony.  He is so punny : )  The Xanth novels are so much fun, and very clever!  Not sure if I could pick a favorite, as they are all equal in silliness...
4.  As a young momma, I fell in love with Harry Potter and as you can see, dressed the girls up in homemade costumes and dragged them to the midnight sales!  JK Rowling became an inspiration to me, and always reminded me that I could pursue writing if I chose to.  BTW, I can't pick just one of the Harry Potter novels...nope, and you can't make me.
5.  And, now at this point in my life, I would have a hard time choosing an absolute favorite.  I guess I'd have to say, my favorite book so far, has been reading The Hobbit with my daughter Sierra.  Yup, that'd be my favorite.  It's my precious...

So, I'm guessing you might've noticed a pattern or two.  My top 5 all make their homes in the realm of fantasy!  And, I'm a great big goofball geek that likes to have fun!  Any of the books on this list tickle your literary bone?

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's a girl to read? Indie Blog Hop - 5th Post

My current TBR list is enormous!  I have so many things sitting in wait, it's not funny.  Recently, I had the fortune to win three books in a rafflecopter thing-a-ma-jig!  How cool is that?  So, I'm reading the first of my winnings...

I have only just started into it.  Maybe third chapter, but so far, so good.  It is about a girl who hears voices in her head...and they want her help.  Needless to say, she's kind of freaking out, because the voices can be pretty insistent.  Looks like there will be a couple love interest options, sensitive young men who want to help her...we'll see how that all works out. 

So far, it's been good.  Lots of tension and plenty of unanswered questions (I am just a couple chapters in).  So, I'll have to post a full review when I get it finished.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

WeWriWa #8: Ena dreams of sushi...

Welcome friends to WeWriWa and the snippets o' eight.  I think this will be my last week to share on this scene...we've had so much fun with Ena, Ardan, Rowan and Ravyn!  

Last week, Ena teased Rowan about trying to use a shillelagh to attack a dragon.  If you've forgotten what happened last week, you can find it here!

Ena sniffed, insulted.  “Princess Ravyn is my friend.  I do not harm my friends.”
“Well then, do ye harm Princess Ravyn’s friends?” 
Ena smiled, her sharp teeth glittering in the afternoon sun.  “I had thought I’d get to try seafood,” she chuckled, “but I suppose I can have it another day.  I’ve never tried Selkie before.”

Ronan gulped and took a half step back.

If you'd like to read loads more snippets, please click the link that will lead you to WeWriWa.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Indie Block Party - Meet Skye

On this writing journey, it's such a delight to come across fellow travelers that know what its like to travel the literary road.  I feel so privileged to share some information with you on fellow traveler -- Skye Callahan. 
So, most of us know that in order to be a good writer, we need to be prolific readers.  What book are you reading now?
Biting Bad by Chloe Neill :) I love my Chicagoland Vampires. Particularly Ethan... and Jonah... and Jeff (who is a shifter not a vamp)... I'll shut up now.

Many of us daydream of being someone else.  If you could be any character from any book, who would you be?
Well, I wouldn't be a character from any of my books, they always end up in heaps of trouble. As do most of the characters I like... but, I would be Diana from Discovery of Witches. She's an intelligent academic, strong-willed, able to time-travel, and she gets Matthew!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Right after I learned to write my name. I've always loved creating stories and fantasy lands—they were usually complete with ghosts and vampires and heroes on motorcycles.

Best time of day to write and why?
There is no hope for me in the morning, I work afternoons, evenings I'm at about 50% but once 9pm rolls around I'm wired to work. I typically go from 9ish to about 2am.
What’s the BEST writing advice you ever received?
Just write. It's not the most profound advice... or is it?

I know this next question may seem odd, but really I've been told people are dying to hear the answer...Toe socks, tube socks, or dress socks?
I prefer no socks when I can get away with it. Although I also prefer no shoes. If I must wear socks and shoes, then I prefer some nice cotton socks with my Harley-Davidson boots. I guess I have no in-between setting. Hmm, I'm seeing a real love of the two-wheeled vehicle...

Again, I have a question that really must be answered.  It ranks right up there with the socks...Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
LOL, never Unless I'm putting on new sheets, but that consists of putting on the fitted sheet, new pillowcases and tossing the blanket into a pile in the middle.  Girl after my own heart.

Last one that seems pointless, but I'm sure it has extreme literary value...Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?
Only mosquitoes, flies, and gnats—they're all pesky little buggers. Aside from that, most bugs don't bother me. I once had a 4-legged spider named Mort that lived in the back of my truck for a month and another spider, Archibald, that lived in the bathroom window for a summer. Mort...as in death? 

Okay, let's get serious here.  What does your protagonist think about you? Would she want to hang out with you, the author, her creator.
Kaylyn is the main protagonist in Fractured Legacy, if not for the awful things she goes through under my pen (many of which I refuse to be blamed for because it's not like I control where the story goes) we could totally hang out and cause chaos together. 3:) There are two other MCs that will be featured through the rest of the series—Kaylyn's sister Cole and their boss Jonah. Cole is almost my opposite, so we would have our moments. And I'm sure that I grate on Jonah's nerves, he spends a lot of time frustrated with the story developments. Poor Jonah!

Start to finish, how long did it take to write Fractured Legacy?
I'm likely going to be “in the process” up until the last minute, but I wrote the first draft in about 3 weeks. That's amazing!

Look at that cover!  It's great, doncha think?  Look for it, coming this fall!
Find Skye:
Blog: skyecallahan.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skye.callahan.16?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Skye_Callahan

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Don't go Dragon my Heart Around...

Good day you all!  I'm so excited to be bringing Ena out of Aigerach to meet you, but I'd better get you all prepped before she arrives.  She is probably one of my "favoritest" (yes, I know that's not a real word, but I like the way it sounds) characters (don't tell her that though, it'll go right to her head).  She is a momma dragon.  So, she looks and acts a bit scary, but I promise her smoke is worse than her flame. (Millie cups hand to ears) Ah, here she comes...I recognize those wing beats a mile off.  If you have any loose sheets of paper about, you might want to weigh them down.


E:  Well, I'm here.  I'll have you know I passed over a very nice herd of cows on my way here.
M:  (Cringes) Ena, I'm on a budget.  Please tell me I don't owe an angry rancher thousands of dollars...please...
E:  I didn't eat his cows, I did however enjoy his goats!  Did you know that goats can faint?  Funniest damn thing I ever saw.  I swooped down over the herd, and they all started ya-a-a-am-mer-ring then they got all stiff-legged and keeled over.  I had to make three passes, it amused me so much!
M:  (Sigh) How many did you eat?
E:  I ate before I left Aigerach.  Put, your wallet away, I didn't eat a one.  Now, what kind of silly questions did you want to ask me? 
M:  Well, the people following the Indie Blog Hop would like to know a little about you, like how would you describe yourself, you know, what you look like...
E:  Bah, this is ridiculous.  You brought me here for me to boast about my magnificent scarlet scales?  My sleek profile, my glistening white teeth?  You want me to brag about being the most intelligent, brave, and fiery dragon one could ever hope to meet?  Well, too bad.  I just won't do it.  You'll have to tell them about me, that is your job as the author, isn't it?
M:  (Chuckle) Sure thing, Ena likes to come across as a toughie, but she's got a golden heart to go along with her golden eyes.  She is fiercely loyal, and really doesn't despise humans as much as she pretends.
E:  I do too!  You are a chaotic, self-absorbed race that doesn't always pay attention to what your actions have on others and the world around you.  Killing dragons for their skin, their bones.  Stealing eggs.  Tramping around the world, claiming anything that isn't nailed down as belonging to you.  Humans are worthless!
M:  So who's your best friend?
E:  Ravyn...
M:  And she's...
E: (Growl) human.
M:  So, c'mon fess up, what do you like about human's?  There has to be something you like.
E:  I like Ravyn.  She's brave.  The first time I met her, I thought she'd stolen my egg, and I'd set fire to the remains of her raft, and I have to admit, I was a little out of control at the time.  She stood before me, bare before my teeth and talons, a shish kebab before my flame.  She didn't flinch, didn't waver.  She earned my respect that day.  Even took responsibility for her aunt stealing my egg, and promised to return it to me if she could.
M:  That's nice.  Anything else you like about humans?
E:  I like that you keep your herds outdoors!  Fly by dining...so clever!  And in the case of the goats, dinner and a show!
M:  Okay, so let's just change the subject.  If you could flambĂ©' one character from either Return of the Crown or Zelera's Revenge...who would it be and why?
E:  Hmm...interesting question.  Are  you planning on killing someone off, and would like me to do it for you? 
M:  No, just curious who you would be tempted to eat, if I'd let you...
E:  If you'd let me! (Snort) Well, there's that His Nibs character.  I've never eaten a Clurichaun.  They're drunk all the time, so I wonder what that would do to the meat?  Might give it a savory flavor.  Or there's that Selkie lad Ronan.  I've been dying to get a seafood sample.
M:  So you don't want to eat Zelera?  She stole your egg, she's the villain...wouldn't there be some justice in eating her?
E:  Now, if you'd just asked about flambĂ©ing and not eating, I'd have said Zelera.  But you then clarified your question by asking who I'd like to eat, and she would taste like crap, so I'd just want to torch her!  But those other two really pique my palate...no?  Not going to eat one of them? 
M:  Nope, not right now...
E:  Well, if that's all, I'd like to get back to Aigerach.  I've got some new skills to teach to Ardan, we've been working on wake turbulence and wind-speed.
M:  Thanks Ena, I think everyone had a good chance to get to know you a little.
E:  Please let your friends know, they look delicious, they're lucky I have no time today.
M:  Alright, get back to your business.  Thanks for taking the time to visit!
So yeah, I promise, you were never really in any danger.  She is completely under my contro--(ducks head as large stream of flame erupts)
E:  Oops, sorry, had a little hiccup!

Join other participants by clicking here!

Monday, August 19, 2013

WIP - Zelera's Revenge (At least that's what I'm calling it now)

My WIP is the sequel to Return of the Crown, released last July.  It is Ravyn's tale and that of Aigerach four years after the Return of the Crown.  I write in an old quest style, and the world is populated with all kinds of fantastic and mythological creatures.  I don't care where they come from either...I'll borrow from the Greek to pay the Celts.  In addition to the Wolves, Dragons, Harpies, and Unicorn that were in ROTC, the WIP contains a Mara, Selkies, a Clurichaun, and more...since it's still a WIP, who knows who else might show up!

Here's the first draft opening of Zelera's Revenge:

Ravyn squeezed her eyes tight, the silky fabric fell over her shoulders, caressing her as it slid down her skin.  Her dreams came true today.  Today she'd marry Blade. 
The door crashed open, and Queen Lareina burst into the room.
Ravyn glimpsed her mother in the mirror, eyes wide at the unexpected intrusion.  Her normally calm and patient mother rushed into the room, her hands clutching the dresser for support.  Her breath came in ragged gasps.  "Kes, Kestrel!  Where are you?"  Her voice rose into a shriek.  Her stormy blue eyes devoured the room, hungry for her son, but it was empty save for Ravyn and Lady Angelique.
"Mom, Kes isn't here, he's with Nurse Mayweather."  She took a step toward her wide-eyed mother, shivers of fear danced along her spine setting her senses tingling.
Lareina stared past her daughter, sinking to the floor.  "They're gone," she whispered, "gone."
"That makes no sense.  Where would they have gone?  Today of all days.  Kes is the ring bearer."  Ravyn dropped to her knees and put her arms around her mother.  "Surely they’re just working off some of his energy," she patted her mother's hand and kissed her pale cheek.  Lareina began rocking back and forth, muttering Kes' name, frantic eyes scanning the room.
Ravyn turned a nervous eye to her Lady in Waiting.  "Angelique, go get my father, please."
Angelique nodded before she raced out the door, her slippered feet sliding across the polished tile in the hallway.
Ravyn slid her legs out to the side, her silky dress twisting and crumpling beneath her.  "Mom, shh, it's okay.  I'm sure they're just out in the gardens."
Lareina lifted a trembling hand and turned it palm up.  Her eyes carried a weight of guilt that threatened to drown her in a sea of culpability.   A crumpled piece of parchment emerged from her tight grasp.
"What is it?"  She reached for the note, but her mother’s fingers still gripped it tight.
"No, no, it can't be," Lareina murmured.  She stared past Ravyn still searching for signs of Kes.
Ravyn unclenched her mother's fingers and the paper scraped across her skin further grating Ravyn's nerves.  Her stomach knotted and she spread the parchment out across her lap.  You should have killed me when you had the chance. -Z

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Who's that girl?

Well hello there, it's day one of the Indie Blog Hop.  Time for me to give you the nitty gritty about little ole me.

I'm... 40-something or other,
proud wife and mother,
Dreamer of things that I wish could be.

I'm a hoper and prayer,
Dragon lover - not slayer,
Writer of magic for others to see.

I'm happy go lucky,
Undaunted and plucky,
Fighter of publishing independently

I'm a poet, (not really)
In fact, this is silly
Rhymer girl Millie, that's me!

But truly I hope,
you don't think me a dope,
Wisher that you will agree

By the end of this blog hop
I hope that it won't stop
Friendship - between you and me!

If you want any more information about me...you can read my very first blog post here!

Please click here for a list of other participants, meet them and share some Indie love!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

WeWriWa #7 - Ena has a bit of fun...

Welcome!  It's another wonderful Sunday, with exciting snippets o'plenty!  The fine folks at WeWriWa host this wonderful blog hop weekly, where writer's from across the globe share eight sentences.  You'll be amazed at how much emotion can be packed into just a few lines.

This week, I'm sharing another #eight from my WIP.  We left off last week here, with Ronan safe and sound on land...

Ronan scrambled backwards across the ground, looking very much like a scuttling crab.  He backed up to the edge of the house, and pushed himself up on shaky legs.  Ena flicked the shillelagh back across the ground, where it rolled to a stop at Ronan’s feet. 
“You look a bit unsteady lad,” she rumbled, “you might use that club for something more worthwhile than whacking a dragon.”  She threw her head back and chortled, her long neck bobbing with each growling chuckle.  Her large golden eyes misted with mirth, “Really, attacking a dragon with a stick, what possessed you?”
Ronan reached down, his eyes never straying from the large sinewy creature, his hand wrapping around the golden ball of his blackthorn club.  He settled the point in the ground and leaned on it for support, “Aye, a wee bit daft am I...I thought ye were harming the Princess.”

I will not make most of my rounds today, during the day.  But I will get around to you all in my little cracks of time!  I've gotta know what's going on in some of these stories!  Alas, I must sacrifice myself to the lake again this week, though this time, I plan to hit the wakeboard!  Happy Weekend All!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

WeWriWa #6 - Ronan's feet safe on the ground?

Welcome!  Another wonderful weekend has rolled up on us.  Another opportunity to read eight little teasing sentences from a variety of genres.  So many styles of writing are waiting for you to happen upon them!  For you to ponder what comes next...Please click this link for WeWriWa (the sponsors of this great weekly event) and find out how to join in on the fun.
Last week here, Ena (a momma dragon) had told her son, Ardan, to drop Ronan who was dangling from his talons high up in the sky..."No," Ravyn cried, "Don't drop him!"
Ena swiveled her head toward Ravyn and rolled her golden eyes.  “Very well, bring the boy down.  It appears the damsels are not in the dire distress we'd heard.”

Ardan swooped down, causing Ronan to yelp with fright.  The dragon jerked up at the last moment and dropped Ronan in a pile at his mother’s feet.  He landed for a moment and nuzzled his head against her shoulder before leaping across the grasses to poke his head in under the canopy of trees.  Birds burst into the skies screeching and squawking at the intrusion.  His long scaly tail swished back and forth in delight as he sniffed the unfamiliar grounds.

I will make every attempt to get to everyone's pages in a timely manner, but as it is the last weekend before school starts...I might "have" to go out to the lake for some kayak and stand-up paddle board time.  Please forgive : )  If I don't make the complete rounds today, I'll get by tomorrow!  There are too many slices of #eight I need more of : )

One other little tidbit of info today.  See that Indie Block Party Button off to the side, just to the right?  That's happening a little later this month and is hosted by a really wonderful Indie author, Fel Wetzig.  If you are an Indie and haven't signed up, click this link here and check it out.  It will be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet fellow authors with the purpose of giving and receiving support.  (And having fun at the same time).  Hope to see you at the Block Party as well!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

We WriWa #5

Good day to you.  If you've found yourself here, you are probably looking for an eight sentence snippet.  You've probably followed a link from WeWriWa.  If you didn't, then all the more lucky for you.  Every sunday, folks across the world gather to share little enticing bits of either published work, WIP's, or poetry.  Please follow the link to learn more and to find other authors work! 

Sharing more dragons today.  If you remember last week, a dragon snatched Ronan up in his talons and whisked him up in the air.  Ravyn's had the wind knocked out of her, so is having difficulty communicating to the dragons that she is not in need of a rescue.  If you'd like to refresh your memory, click here!
Lareina stepped out of the door, throwing her hands wide and casting an arc of Light that danced across the skies.  Ribbons of color streamed from her fingers and danced across the magnificent ruby creatures, wrapping them in the power of the Light.  “Stop,” she commanded.

Ena stilled her angry thrashing, and gazed across the trampled grasses at Lareina.  She curled up on the ground and looked up to her son, Ardan, who hovered over the woods.  Ronan still dangled from his grasp, arms wind milling and fear a-flutter in his eyes.

“Drop the boy and come on down,” Ena growled.

“No,” gasped Ravyn, “Don’t drop him.”
I hope you enjoyed.  All comments delightfully anticipated and welcomed!!!