Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Free Kindle Books and Tips

Today marks the ending of another F2K session. I'm proud of my nine students who have earned a Certificate of Completion.

I have started an MFA course in Writer's Village University. Currently, we're on Week Two of a sixteen-week class in Narrative Design. Talk about brain exercise. Yikes! I'm going to do my best to hang in and finish up with a well-polished short story.

I'm doing a bit of Hemphill Towers promo. Today, my book will be listed on the Free Kindle Books and Tips blog for .99, and on Amazon. Here's a link Amazon

Here is a link to FKBT for you to check out their other books or how to get on their blog list for your own book. www.fkbt.com

Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour Sunday,  March 8 at 2:00 am.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Chris Weigand ~ Sanctuary of Nine Dragons


Hi Chris, Welcome to Leona’s Chatter. I hear you’re celebrating the one year anniversary of Sanctuary of Nine Dragons, the third book in your Palace of Twelve Pillars series. May I ask you a few questions?

How long did it take you to write all three, from rough draft to publication?

About ten years.

Do you have a favorite from among the three?

It depends on the day. Sometimes its Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two and other days it is Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three

How did you choose your characters?

It was more like they chose me.  They just kind of evolved from the young, inexperienced twins in book one to the adults they became by the end of book three. I never really sat down and said I want this guy for Joachim or I think he would make a good Brandan. They just showed up and grew as the books progressed.

Is it hard to juggle a writing time with family time?

Yes and no. At times I tend to make it more difficult than it needs to be, because I don’t prioritize my time accordingly. Three of my children are grown and the fourth is well on her way at thirteen so it is not as hard to juggle things as it once was, but there are times when because of my scheduling deficiency that my thirteen year old doesn’t get enough of my attention. I try and make up for it when I can.

Do you have a fourth book planned or is this the last one in the series?

Originally there was not even a plan for three books. The series started out as a stand alone book. 

After it was written I realized that I wanted more and one by one the books in the Brandan and Joachim trilogy came to be. But there are still a few teens that were in the first standalone book that kind of got pushed aside by Brandan and Joachim. They still want to have their story told. So the possibility of another book in the series certainly exists in the future.

Before we do the blurb and excerpt, I want to say it’s been a pleasure to meet you, not only as a fellow MuseItUp  author, but also in Writer’s Village University and F2K. How cool is it that you landed in my classroom for this session of F2K?

Leona, I think it is totally cool. We have talked before and gotten to know each other, but to be in the same classroom is pretty exciting. Learning and sharing with a fellow author is always a good thing.



Book Blurb ~ Joachim banishes Brandan to prison island of Hyogo. His infant son, Prince Airyn disappears from his cradle. A chain of events is set in motion that will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parents against children as Brandan and Joachim struggle for control of their sanity and their very lives.

With Brandan declared dead and his son missing Joachim sinks into despair and anger, where those close to him fear he may never return.
Is Brandan really dead and if he is, who is manipulating the Mantion and enemies of Crato?
Can Maeve save her country and her husband from the tentacles of evil pervading the land?

Excerpt:

Joachim cringed as he thought about what he had to do. The council had decided. He didn’t agree completely, but in the end, Joachim knew it was the only way; something had to be done. Maybe Brandan would give him a reason not to send him away.

King Brandan stomped into the room. “Why, Brother, have you no throne prepared for your poor, missing brother? I’m hurt. I expected more from you and my sister-in-law. Maeve, dear, couldn’t you have helped him prepare better?” He stepped toward her, quickly grabbed her hand, and kissed it.

Joachim lunged at him, pushing him from the dais. Brandan staggered then regained his balance and gazed at his brother. “Why such violence, especially when I am so recently injured?”

Stepping off the dais, Joachim stood eye-to-eye with his brother. “Enough! You’re no more hurt than I am. And you have no business touching my wife, or sitting on Crato’s throne.”

Brandan laughed, pushed him aside, and stepped up to claim his throne. Joachim grabbed his twin's shoulder, spun him around, and punched him in the mouth.

Rubbing where Joa’s fist had landed, Brandan smirked. “Well, my brother has finally developed some stones.” He raised his other hand to hit Joachim.

Matthias stepped forward, sword in hand and grabbed his arm before he could hit Crato's king. He pulled the king’s brother away, so Joachim could reclaim his throne.

Jerking himself free, Brandan straightened his tunic. “This has been fun; but as you seem to be in no mood to visit, I shall take my leave. Come to me when you’re in a better frame of mind.”

“Stop! You are going nowhere until I say you can.”

Brandan stopped and looked at his brother. “What did you say to me? Is that how you talk to a fellow king and brother?”

“Yes, it is. As of this morning, you are no longer a king, and I’m not sure I should even call you brother.”

“Why dearest brother, whatever do you mean?” Brandan asked.

“Ever since we were boys, you have done everything you could to make trouble. I was always willing to forgive you and hoped you would change your evil ways. But no more! You have pushed me—pushed this country—too far this time,” Joa thundered at him.

 “What are you rambling on about?” Brandan sneered and bit a fingernail. 

“Brandan, I should sentence you to execution, but there are two things keeping me from that. First: you are my brother, and I hold onto a hope, however faint, you can be reformed…”

Brandan chortled. “Not a good bet, brother.”

“Second, I strongly suspect you of making two attempts on my life.  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough evidence to prove it was you. I punished one innocent man because of the little evidence we do have. I do not wish to make that mistake a second time.”

Brandan laughed again. “So, if we’re finished here, I’ll be leaving.”

As I said before, you won’t be going anywhere until I say so. I may not have what I need to sentence you to death, but after your actions toward the queen this morning, I have some recourse.”

“What are you talking about? I did nothing she didn't ask for.”

Maeve rose from her throne. Joa put his hand on her arm to stop her.

“Brandan, I suggest you remain quiet until I finish.”

“Brother, you do not have the authority to do this. We are equals.”

“Do you not see the Adept Council before you? We met and discussed this matter at length... They have given me the authority.”

“This tiresome group of old men?” Brandan laughed. “They have even less power over me than you do.”

Ignoring Brandan’s comments, the king continued. “First, I strip you of your title. You are no longer King Brandan but will henceforth be known simply as Prince Brandan.” He paused and swallowed. He didn’t know if he could continue. The lump in his throat felt as big as a koali fruit. He swallowed again. Maeve grasped his hand. Warmth and reassurance enveloped him. He knew what he had to do.

“When we have finished here, Rupert, Salochin, and Master Frederick will take you to Rupert’s tower. There, they will strip you of your magical powers. When they are finished, Matthias and Wilhelm will escort you to the Port of Wyrzburg, where you will be put on a ship bound for Hyogo, the prison island. There you will remain for the rest of your life. You are never to return to Crato or Mahorg. You will live in the mountain abbey with the monks and work side-by-side with them.”

“You’re a misguided fool.” Brandan sneered. “If you believe that by exiling me, you are saving yourself from evil—think again. You may have peace and rest comfortably for a short while, but don’t assume I won’t find a way to come back and destroy you.” He stepped up to the thrones and leaned forward, placing a hand on each. The guards on either side of the king stepped forward to stop him. Joachim raised his hand signaling them to stop.

Brandan glared at the guard and muttered, “Freisen!” The man froze where he stood.

Brandan turned back to his brother and sister-in-law. “No, Joa. This is not over and what I did to your guard is nothing compared to the evils you will suffer by my hand.”

While he was speaking, Rupert chanted a binding spell. Matthias came forward and placed his sword tip to Brandan’s back.

The king put his good hand on his brother’s shoulders and pushed him upright as he stood. “You have done enough! Matthias, escort him to Master Rupert’s tower.”


As the prince was escorted from the room, Joa slumped back into his throne. It was done, he thought as remorse washed over him. A tear crawled down his cheek as Maeve squeezed his hand.  

Bio:Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania, returning there after a short sabbatical in Washington. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, or with the church theater group, volunteering at her daughter’s school helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing. 

 Links:Blog: www.weigandchris.com
Twitter: @CAWeigand

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

F2K Calendar


Add caption


Time is running out. Register now for F2K 3 Seven-Week Creative Writing Course. F2K Lifetime Memberships are only $10. The course is free to members. 
https://www.f2k3.com
I'm a Mentor in one of eight classrooms. We welcome both beginning writers or any who need a jump start to get their creative juices flowing. I've been an F2K member since February 2009 and have made writing friends from all over the world. I hope you'll join us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Roche Hotel Season One by Mysti Parker

                                              The Roche Hotel

Season One

A serial romantic comedy by Mysti Parker

            After her husband ditches her for a blonde actress wannabe, Jane Seymour needs a job that pays the rent. The struggling Roche Hotel needs a miracle. With the former owner’s wife butting her nose into the renovations and new owners who are in way over their heads, Jane may be the answer to their prayers. Sure, she can handle The Roche Hotel’s quirky staff. But, can this skittish divorcee keep it all together when handsome Henry the Donut Guy makes his first delivery? This collection of serial fiction stories is a Tudorific romantic comedy that will leave you laughing out loud and hungry for more.

****
THEY say a lot of things, don’t they? Like don’t wear white after Labor Day or don’t fry bacon with your shirt off (that’s probably good advice, come to think of it). Most of what THEY say goes right in one ear and out the other. But, in terms of writing, when THEY say “write what you know”, it makes a lot of sense. So, that’s where The Roche Hotel got its start—from my own experience working in a hotel way back in the ‘90s.

Many of these first 10 episodes are based on some very real incidents that happened during my days as a front desk clerk in a little mid-priced hotel. Sure, a lot of stuff’s made up purely from my crazy imagination, but there were 5:00 AM donuts—delicious being fresh from the bakery. Henry the Donut Guy—not real, but I wouldn’t have argued one bit if he had been! Among the many other true-to-life items that appear at the Roche Hotel are a popcorn machine, a Muzak (think elevator music) that never played at the right volume, at least one “lady of the night”, and a dead body.
To discover all those things for yourself, from now until release day on October 15, you can pre-order your copy of The Roche Hotel, Season One for just $0.99 on Amazon Kindle! After that, the price goes up to $1.99, so make your reservation now and save a buck!




Because I like parties, I’m also inviting all of you to the release day party on Facebook, October 15 from 6-9 PM EST.

You’ll get a chance to win a hotel-themed gift basket which includes:
·       Robe
·       Shampoo
·       Conditioner
·       Lotion
·       Tiny soap bars (so cute!)
·       Ghirardelli chocolates
·       Signed postcards
We’ll also have some fun and games, so I hope you’ll join me. And please bring a friend!


Thanks so much for your support! Happy reading! ~Mysti Parker
****
Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a wife, mom, author, and shameless chocoholic. She is the author of the Tallenmere standalone fantasy romance series. Her other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, Christmas Lites II, The Darwin Murders, Tasteful Murders and EveryDayFiction.

Other writing pursuits include serving as a class mentor in Writers Village University's seven week online course, F2K. She finished her first historical romance this spring and has one children’s book (Quentin’s Problem) soon to be published, with one more waiting for illustrations, and many more stewing in her head.

When she's not writing fiction, Mysti works as a freelance editor and copywriter. She also reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

Visit my webpage: www.mystiparker.com (in construction)
 
   

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Imaginarium Bound

This past week has been an exciting one for me. Not only did I get a huge box of print copies of Hemphill Towers, but the long-awaited Imaginarium Convention was at hand. Both my daughters, Barbara Bray and Rhonda Inman, and my son-in-law, Christopher Inman, made the trip to Louisville, KY with me.


We (they) packed up the rented wheelchair van Thursday night in order to get an early start on Friday. Of course, I didn't sleep much in anticipation of our six-hour trip. But dozing, as we sped along, did make the trip go faster. After arriving at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and convention center, the first person we met was my online friend, Mysti Parker. They say online friends are so different when you meet them in person--not true with Mysti or Veronica Jorden--they were exactly how I expected them to be. (Well, Mysti was a little thinner than I expected.) And my fear of not being able to read their lips flew out the window. 

Mysti and I shared a vendor table which soon held our books and goodies. No sooner had we settled in than a fire alarm went off. We spent about twenty minutes outside before we were cleared to go back in. Barb was up on the 4th floor and had just stepped out of the shower when someone yelled for people to leave via the stairs. She missed being in the photo below.


Leona & Rhonda
 Rhonda made up a fantastic basket with chocolates, crackers, cookies, a bottle of wine from my character's FMartinique winery, and more. People added their names to a bowl and we drew a winner Saturday evening. Congratulations went to Jennifer Laslie. She also won a copy of Hemphill Towers. 

Mysti Parker, Veronica Jorden, Leona Pence
I'm sorry to say that I let my deafness keep me from signing up for workshops and panel discussions. This convention was a learning experience for me. Stephen Zimmer did an amazing job putting it all together. The highlight for me was meeting Mysti and Veronica--and seeing our picture splashed across Facebook, thanks to Mysti's camera phone.


I also met Amy McCorkle who talked me in to leaving my comfort zone and traveling to the convention. She and I exchanged a book which I look forward to reading. I made many new Facebook friends from those I met at the convention. Mysti's family and Veronica joined us for dinner at the Hotel's Blue Horse restaurant. The picture is a bit dark, and Rhonda is missing because she's taking the picture.

The last event we attended was the Masquerade party. Don't you just love Mysti's ears?
Mysti & me

I enjoyed watching people on the dance floor. I don't know the name of the guy in the kilt, but boy could he dance.
All in all, I had a great time. I'd like to say I'll return next year, but...unless I can magically replace my 1995 wheelchair van, it won't be possible.

Rhonda started a gofundme without my knowledge. I was a bit peeved at her and wouldn't let her post it on my Facebook wall. I didn't feel right asking others for money. But, I was amazed at how generous my family and friends were, even complete strangers. When Thomas Bruch wrote an in depth article about me, it generated a lot of donations. A special thanks goes out to Thomas and all those who gave to the fund, and those who cheered  me on.

Thanks to Lea Shizas, my publisher at MuseItUp, for working hard to get my print books to me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Katie Carroll's Elixir Bound Blitz

MuseItUp

Please join Katie Carroll on her Elixir Bound book blitz. What a bargain for a wonderful, enteertaining book. Katie has written a page turner for all ages. I loved the book and I'm no spring chicken.

ELIXIR BOUND
YA fantasy
by Katie L. Carroll

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Elixir Bound excerpt:

“Let me start with what I can tell you,” Pop explained. “The Elixir…well, it’s not just any healing Elixir. It’s the greatest healing Elixir ever available to humans.”

Katora remained perfectly still; her father’s words deflated the balloon of anger building inside her and filled the hole with cold shock.

Pop stood and began to pace while he explained. “Deep in Faway grows the plant that gives the Elixir its potency. The Kase family and our ancestors have harvested this plant and acted as guardians of the Elixir for hundreds of years. We developed methods for increasing its potency and have passed these secrets down for generations. I am the current guardian.”

Pop? The guardian of the greatest healing Elixir ever available to humans? Could it be true? As he stood in front of Katora, his eyes betrayed no hint of a lie. How did she fail to notice this all her life? And what did it mean for her?

Pop’s words came in a hurry. “Even though the Elixir has largely remained a secret, there are several very important beings and others close to this family who know of it. Some are human, but others are greater than human, like Mother Nature and her offspring. These beings use the weather to communicate. Sometimes it’s not very clear what they mean, but I believe the snowstorm arriving as the supply of Elixir dwindles is a message from the Great Mother that we need to stock up.”

Katora put her hands on her hips as if she didn’t care, but subtly leaned against the bookcase at the same time. She doubted if her legs would support her. Not only was Pop the guardian of the Elixir, but Mother Nature herself knew. She sent Pop messages through the weather. If Katora took over the farm, she must take over everything to do with the farm.

Katora’s breaths came in shallow puffs. She realized Pop stared at her with concerned eyes. She silently cursed herself for making such a spectacle.

“I know this is a lot to take in,” he said. “I have a little more to tell you right now. My business partners outside of Tussar have reported unrest throughout the Great Peninsula. There are things stirring in this world, things that I have no control over, and I believe they are going to spin out of control sometime in the near future. When that happens, there will be a dire need for the Elixir. There’s so much I can’t control, but the future of the Elixir is in my power right now.”

Pop stopped in front of Katora, placed his hands on her shoulders, and looked her straight in the eyes for the second time that night. Katora knew what was coming, but she held her breath, hoping maybe she was wrong, maybe she had more time before this responsibility fell on her shoulders.

“Katora, you are next in line to be guardian of the Elixir. Its future is in your control.”


Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:

Signed paperback giveaway on Goodreads until September 28: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15821579-elixir-bound



About the Author:

Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote ELIXIR BOUND and the forthcoming ELIXIR SAVED so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app THE BEDTIME KNIGHT and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at www.katielcarroll.com and follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll) or Tumblr.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Welcome, Joyce Hertzoff

Hi Joyce, welcome to my blog, and congratulations on the launch of your book, The Crimson Orb. I’ve read it and highly recommend it to readers of all ages.

Have you always been a writer, Joyce?

No. Well, not a fiction writer. I spent forty-five years in the scientific information field, writing summaries of journal articles and translating scientific papers and books. I participated in the transition from print to digital publication and the development of searchable databases. The last twenty years of that career, I managed groups of scientists doing that work. I only turned to writing fiction when I retired in 2008.

How did you feel when you were offered a contract for your book series?

Elated! Ecstatic! I never thought I'd ever see my writing published. My publisher, Assent Publications, has been a joy to work with, and the imprint editor for Phantasm Books is incredibly knowledgeable about marketing and promotion.

Did you set out to write a series or did it just happen?

It just happened. The story of The Crimson Orb was gestating in my head for years. I finally started writing it in 2010 for National Novel Writing Month. As I revised it, I fell in love with my characters and realized there was much more of their story I wanted to tell.

What is the genre of your book? Would you consider writing in other genres, like romance or even erotica?

My book is high fantasy. It has overtones of a post-apocalyptic world, romance, and adventure, with touches of science. I've written romance/mystery/thriller stories and I'm still working on those. I do draw the line at erotica. I can neither read nor write it.

What genre is your reading preference? Name four favorite authors.

I love mysteries, especially the ones by Lisa Scottoline, Marcia Muller, Leslie Glass, and Susan Dunlap. If I could name a fifth, it would be Dana Stabenow. I also love fantasy and science fiction.

What are you working on right now?

I'm polishing up book two of the Crystal Odyssey series, developing another fantasy series, and as I mentioned, working on a romance/thriller.

How do you juggle writing with family obligations?

My children are grown and live at opposite ends of the country. We spend about a week at a time with them, and I also love to travel with my husband. But I find time every day to work on my writing, usually when my husband is involved with one of his hobbies.

You mentioned Writer’s Village University in your acknowledgements. Would you tell us more about that?

A writing friend of mine suggested we both try the free survey course F2K a few years ago. I learned a lot from it and have retaken it a few times since.  That led me to try the courses and critique groups at the village. What a find! Not only did I learn from others and the course work and texts, but I made many new friends, including the wonderful writer, Leona Pence.

Thank you for the compliment, Joyce.  I truly enjoy the friendships I've made there too.

What makes Joyce Hertzoff tick? Makes her happy? Keeps her writing?

When I was in school, it wasn't cool for girls to like science and math, but those were the subjects I liked the most. Today, girls can choose any career they want. My passion is to encourage them in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs. If I can do that with books about strong females who fight for the right to participate in male-dominated fields, then I'll be very happy. 

One Word Answers:
(a)  Writing area – neat or cluttered?  Cluttered.
(b) Coffee, tea, or Pepsi? Coffee, but at times only a good cuppa tea will do.
(c)  Favorite season?  Spring
(d) Cereal or omelet?  Omelet
(e)  Fiction or fact?  Fiction
(f)   Hosting or guesting? Guesting
(g) Editing or research?  Editing (my proofreader background likes to come out and play)
May we see an excerpt from The Crimson Orb?
I sat on a carved wooden bench in my favorite corner in the vegetable garden, watching the boys at their morning sword practice with my father and wishing I was out there with them. My brother Blane, nineteen years old and blond like Father, was easily besting the Duke's son Kerr, as he usually did.
My favorite of the pure black cats inhabiting the Manor jumped up on my lap, licked a paw, then curled up and promptly fell asleep. It was that kind of warm summer day when, if I wasn't with the boys, I didn't want to do anything more than sit in the shade of the old apple tree, inhaling its sweet scent. Since I was ten I've dreamed of learning to feint and parry, thrust and slice like Blane, Kerr, and my other brother Donal. But I'm a girl and it wasn't seemly.
Girls of ten to twenty were relegated to the sewing room, where Jannet, the governess and seamstress, taught us the fine art of needlepoint. I couldn't sew a straight line to save myself, and I really wasn't interested in learning. Our only other lessons were in the kitchens. Cook, whose name was Bridey although no one ever called her anything but 'Cook', not even her husband, taught us to boil an egg and make soup from whatever was available. That wasn't so bad, because we could eat what we made and no one else was the wiser when it tasted awful.

Bio:


I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the City University of New York, and spent forty-five years in the scientific information publishing business as a translator, indexer, and, for twenty years, as a manager of other scientists. I saw the business go from printing of paper journals to electronic processing and production. In addition to enabling my staff to be productive and accurate as these changes occurred, I recruited staff, developed training materials, and taught workshops,

After retiring in 2008, I left fact-based writing behind and turned my efforts to fiction. I participated in the National Novel Writing program for the first time that year. I have continued to do that every year since, writing several mysteries and fantasy novels, and even finishing some of them, including The Crimson Orb, which was first written for NaNoWriMo in 2010. It gone through several revisions since.

I perfected my writing skills in classes and writing groups at Writers Village University. Classmates there have reviewed portions of this book. I served as a mentor intern for the F2K survey course on writing at WVU.

My flash mystery, Natural Causes, was published in the anthology The Darwin Murders. A longer short story, Princess Petra, appears in The Way Back.

I live with my husband of forty-nine years in the high desert at the base of the Sandia Mountains, where we can watch the quail, roadrunners and other creatures scamper along the top of the wall around our back patio, and the play of light across the mountain face.

Contact links:

 Buy links:
Amazon print (createspace):
 Amazon paperback:
 Amazon Kindle:
 Barnes and Noble for Nook:


Smashwords (temp for Apple, Kobo,  etc.) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/447186