Friday, July 26, 2013

SFFSat Snippet: "The Islands of Hope" in Galaxy's Edge


Find other wonderful snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!


"The Islands of Hope"

This story was originally published in Sails and Sorcery: Tales of Nautical Fantasy, then picked up again by Galaxy's Edge. It is one of my personal favorites. In this scene the crazed captain comes out of seclusion long enough to show his first mate, Julian, a secret set of sea charts, which at first looks to be their salvation....

--

"They're the Islands of Hope, Kami's home," the captain said.

"Are they nearby?" Julian hadn’t heard of them before, but new islands were being discovered and added to the charts every year.

"Hope is always near." The captain flopped in his chair. "But it fades…like the islands. When we first set sail there were thirty. Now…."

Julian ran his hands over the smooth paper, trying to understand the captain's ravings. "There are only five here."

While Julian watched, another island faded until disappearing completely.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PHOTOS: Pennwriters 2013 Conference

PHOTOS

I finally had time to post a photo recap from the Pennwriters 2013 Conference. It was such a wonderful time with wonderful people. Very inspiring!

Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller
Photo by Matt Betts

Timons Esaias, John Edward Lawson, Matt Betts, Jason Jack Miller, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jonathan Maberry, Jennifer Barnes

Shawn Nicholls and Hank Phillippi Ryan

Jason Jack Miller

Jack Hillman


Matt Betts


Jason Jack Miller and Nancy Martin

Jason Jack Miller, Nancy Martin, K. M. Walton, Jenna Bennett, Jack Hillman

John Edward Lawson, Jason Jack Miller, Matt Betts, Heidi Ruby Miller, Joe Crawford

John Edward Lawson, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, Jennifer Barnes, Jess Williams


HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Dana Faletti

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Dana Faletti

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
My favorite character in the Whisper Trilogy is Silas. He is a miniature angel called a Micro, and he is one of Callie's trainers who show her the ropes of being an Arc. I love him because he is hysterically funny without meaning to be. He steals Callie's scarves and other accessories and reads her teen Cosmo magazines. He is a die hard radio Disney fan, especially when it comes to boy bands, and he can't get 21st century lingo right to save his life. He drives Callie nuts, but, although she wouldn't admit it for all the noodles in China, she has a soft spot for him.


2. Tell me about your travels.
I love to travel, especially in Europe.

My favorite place in the world is Reggio, Calabria in Southern Italy, where my grandmother was raised and my father was born. Much of my family - aunts and uncles and a million or so cousins - still live there. There is a beach there called Saline that is all tiny pebbles and the clearest of water. You can sit on the shore and watch Mt. Etna, steaming in the distance. This is where I hope to have a summer home some day.


4. What else can you do besides write?
I'm fluent in sign language. Teaching Deaf students was my first career, and I absolutely loved it!

I'm also a great cook - it's in my blood.

I sing a mean Natalie Merchant on the Karaoke.


5. Who are you reading right now?
I am reading Let's Pretend this Never Happened by, Jenny Lawson - it's quite possibly the funniest book I've EVER read - and The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett.


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
My kids. My family. Everywhere. People are funny, and I'm always inventing new stories based on Joe Schmoe from the local grocery store or Miss Daisy from the PTO. For me, the story starts with a strong character and continues with crazy stuff that happens to him or her.

My inspiration for my protagonist, Callie, in The Whisper Trilogy was definitely my niece, Cassie. She is a masterpiece of beauty and talent mixed with a healthy serving of melodramatic teen angst. Her mood swings are hourly and seriously scary, but when she's up, you feel like you could fly right next to her. She's super strong and would definitely be able to slay the hello out of the Darks, just like Callie does. She also doesn't realize just how special she is, much like Callie.


9. Food you could eat everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I run and do Pilates almost every morning. It eases stress and gets me in the right frame of mind for the day. If I don't get my workout in (and my coffee downed) before my kids wake up, I'm in trouble. Actually... they're in trouble, because I'm likely to swear, yell, or even cry before our mad dash out the door for school.

Other than exercising, I'm too clumsy for sports. I was always picked last for kickball in gym class.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Dana Faletti is the author of the Whisper series. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and currently resides in a northern suburb of the city with her three wonderful children, a loving husband and a hypoallergenic Siberian Forest cat named Fluffy G.

Whisper is her first published work.

DESCRIPTION

Whisper is Book One of the Whisper Trilogy

Callie Evans is named after a muse from Greek mythology. Little does she know she is actually an angel, an Arc sent from Heaven to do battle with Darks on Earth. Her specific targets are Raysers, demons who prey on the souls of teens.

Callie’s mind has been Cloaked for the past sixteen years, so she has forgotten who and what she really is. On her sixteenth birthday, all she really wants is a cell phone and a date with Joshua Pride, the super-hot new guy at school who harbors a secret of his own. Instead, Callie is visited by Silas and Jules, a pair of outlandish Micro Angels whose job it is to coach newbie angel warriors in training. The gift they bear is her true identity. While the rest of the world grows up and moves on, Callie will stay sixteen forever, a permanent structure on the teenage social scene. After all, this is precisely where the battle between good and evil is being waged, and she is a highly sophisticated weapon.

Now, Callie isn’t sure whether her biggest problems are the stinky demons she must seek and destroy or the celestial law stating that Arcs are meant to be solitary soldiers. Her unexplainably magnetic attraction to Joshua and the fact that he seems to dig her right back is also a source of confusion for Callie. Should she allow herself to get close to him if he is ultimately going to forget her after a year or so passes, and what is it about him that draws her in and steals her senses? Will she be able to fall for Joshua without falling into the hands of the evil that's out to destroy her?


- http://www.amazon.com/Whisper-The-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B007GHJVGY



Find Dana online at these links:

WEBSITE - www.danafaletti.com


- www.danafaletti.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Mary Sutton

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Mary Sutton
Photo by Dawn Biery Photography

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Any character from any story? Wow. Um, I'm rather partial to my PA State Trooper from my Laurel Highlands series. I think he looks like a younger Mark Harmon, so that might be why. But I also like my protagonist from Hero's Sword - she's got the spirit I wish I had when I was 13.

2. Tell me about your travels.
Travels? I don't travel that much, and when I do it's usually because of a taekwondo tournament or something. But I did get the opportunity to spend 6 months in Puerto Rico and St. Croix courtesy of the federal government (temporary job), which was amazing. I learned SCUBA, dove to a 100-foot depth, ate some amazing food and met some awesome people. I would go back to Puerto Rico in a heartbeat. In fact, my fantasy best-selling author writing retreat is in the mountains of Puerto Rico.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea. Never got the taste for coffee. I am especially weak for chai lattes - but they are so bad for the hips!

4. What else can you do besides write?
I play piano, violin, and viola. And I'm a martial artist.

5. Who are you reading right now?
I am reading Change of Heart by Jenna Bennett. I adore Rafe Collier - swoon!

6. Pop culture or academia?
Geez, probably academia. It's got issues, but not as many as pop culture (I cried when Snooki got a book deal).

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
Toughest scene I ever wrote was actually for a scene-writing class. The assignment was love scenes, and I was always squeamish about those. So I decided to challenge myself and write an all-out sex scene. It actually didn't turn out too bad - the class leader liked it.

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Everywhere! Stories my 13-year old tells me from her day at school. News stories. When that awful fertilizer plant explosion happened in Texas, I immediately thought, "What if a killer used the explosion to cover up a murder?" Random conversations I hear in Starbucks. Too many sources!

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Dark chocolate. Or potato chips. Dark chocolate covered potato chips?

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
As I mentioned above, I do martial arts - taekwondo. It's a lot of fun because I only have to compete against myself - it's very individual. I also like to swim, but I don't get as much time for that as I used to. I used to be big on hiking and biking, but I've got a bum knee that has kind of put a crimp in those activities.

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
All kinds, it really depends on my mood. I order my writing playlist based on what kind of scene I'm working on. But just for sheer "blow you away" factor, few things really mesmerize me like Beethoven. Just the fact that he could write such emotional music without hearing a note just blows me away. The Ode to Joy makes me feel like I can do anything.

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I don't outline, but I do write a 3-5 page summary of major plot points. That's my starting point, but from there the story just takes me where I need to go.

13. Celebrity crush.
Johnny Depp, hands down. Since I was, like, 13. =)

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
I can never dream of being her, but Agatha Christie is a long-time idol just because she was such a huge force in mystery. Hank Phillippi Ryan, because she didn't write her first book until she was older than I am now, so it gives me hope that I haven't wasted my entire life. Jonathan Mayberry because he was the one who made me think maybe I could write middle-grade fantasy, even though I'd never tried it.

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Absolutely! Phineas & Ferb is awesome, but what I really love is a good, old-fashioned Looney Tunes marathon.


A software technical writer by day, Mary Sutton has been making her living with words for over a decade.

She writes the middle-grade fantasy ebook series Hero’s Sword for Delabarre Publishing under the name M.E. Sutton. Power Play: Hero’s Sword Vol 1 is available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony KoboBooks, and the Apple iBookstore.

She also writes crime fiction, including The Laurel Highlands Mysteries police-procedural series, under the pen name Liz Milliron.

She is a member of Pennwriters, Sisters in Crime, the Mary Roberts Rinehart chapter of Sisters in Crime (of which she is the secretary), the Sisters in Crime “Guppies,” and the Mysteristas.

Mary is a red-belt student of Songahm taekwondo and writes for her school, Oakmont Martial Arts. She writes a personal blog at www.summaria.net.

She resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two children. She hopes to have a dog again soon.

Find Mary online at these links:

WEBSITE: - marysuttonauthor.com


- theresabodyinthelibrary.blogspot.com


- https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarySutton


- https://plus.google.com/u/0/115902957875587363938/posts


- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6588083.M_E_Sutton


- https://twitter.com/mary_sutton73



Find her M. E. Sutton books online at these links:

Power Play: Hero's Sword Vol. 1


- http://www.amazon.com/Power-Play-Heros-Volume-ebook/dp/B00AAN4GCU


- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-play-heros-sword-volume-1-me-sutton/1113833330?ean=2940015768572

KOBO - http://store.kobobooks.com/books/Power-Play-Heros-Sword-Volume-1/N4mmTpvg_kuoZn5cSY9B3Q

IBOOKS - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/power-play-heros-sword-volume/id580705207?ls=1

Storm Clouds: Hero's Sword Vol. 2

- http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Clouds-Heros-Sword-ebook/dp/B00CIUR7HO


- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-clouds-me-sutton/1115467010?ean=2940016415536

KOBO - http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/Books/storm-clouds-hero-s-sword-vol-2

IBOOKS - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/storm-clouds/id649061424?mt=11


Monday, July 15, 2013

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Kayleen Reusser

PATHS TO PUBLICATION

Blue Banner Biography: Taylor Swift

After publishing 9 non-fic children’s books with the same publisher, I chose to work with a new children’s book publisher for 2 titles that should be released in 2013 and 2014 (can't say much about the company or the books just yet). I can say that I’m excited about them as one is an ethnic cookbook for kids and the other a biography of a popular pop singing group (Guess who!?)

-Kayleen Reusser
August 2013


Kayleen Reusser has written 11 non-fiction children’s books, including biographies on Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Leona Lewis; Celebrities Giving Back; Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia; and 3 books on Greek gods. She writes regularly for newspapers and magazines and has had several articles published in Chicken Soup books. She enjoys speaking to children and adults about the life of an author.

Taylor Swift gave up going to slumber parties at age 10 to sing at karaoke contests, fairs and festivals. When she was 11, Taylor sang for thousands of people at a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game. She also went door-to-door in Nashville handing out CDs of her singing and asking for record deals. But no one was interested.

Taylor Swift lived on a farm in an area of the country where country music was not popular. She often felt alone and isolated from people. It would have been easy to give up on her dream of being a popular singing star. But Taylor was determined to do what it took to make people notice her as a singer while still living with integrity.

Hard work and a firm belief in her talents helped the tall blond from Pennsylvania mold herself into one of the top singers and songwriters in the history of country music.

--

Find Kayleen online at these links:

EMAIL - kjreusser@adamswells.com

WEBSITE - www.KayleenR.com

Facebook: Kayleen Reusser

Twitter: kjreusser

Pinterest: Kayleen Reusser

amazon.com/author/kayleenreusser

LinkedIn: Kayleen Reusser