WIPpet Wednesday: “No harm ever came from reading a book.”

One of my favorite movie lines is “No harm ever came from reading a book,” from the movie “The Mummy.” Of course, as anyone who’s seen the movie knows, a great deal of bad can come from reading a book, as the characters soon learn. Today’s WIPpet is in the same spirit: an old book, a curious mind, and impending chaos.

Here’s an excerpt from my WIP “Be True.” Abbey Travers is cleaning out her great aunt’s attic when she finds a book of love spells. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, she toys with the idea of attempting a little harmless magic.

For those who aren’t familiar, WIPpet Wednesday offers writers the chance to share excerpts from their works in progress (WIPs) on their blogs. The only stipulation is that the snippet must relate to the date in some way. Today’s math is simple: four paragraphs for March 4.

Click here to read other WIPpeteers’ work.

From “Be True”

It was insane. But then, it was only for kicks, Abbey told herself. What could a little spell hurt? She’d have her fun, have a good laugh, get some entertainment value, and then allow the spell to find its completion in her story, bringing Anastasia and Prince Neal together for good.

She grabbed a butterfly bookmark and marked her page, not daring to dog-ear the well worn, slightly brittle paper. There was a new-age shop in town, run by a woman who claimed to be able to read tarot cards and tea leaves. Tomorrow, Abbey would stop by and pick up the ingredients. Then she’d stand barefoot in the Massachusetts winter in mid-February and perform the ridiculous spell.

Just for kicks, she reassured herself.

She lay awake for hours, thinking about her story, wondering why her aunt had bought such a strange book. Picturing the chivalrous Prince Neal, his dark eyes gazing into hers.

A midweek ROW80 check-in…

Writing goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 3,593 words in “Be True.”

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 3/4. Continued rereading “Plot and Structure” by James Scott Bell.

3.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. On track to meet this goal. These pages are quickly becoming a vital part of my creative process.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal.

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

***

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

What about you? What’s your favorite movie line? How are your projects, writing or otherwise, coming along?

Sunday ROW80 check-in

photo from Dreamstime.com

photo from Dreamstime.com

I’m ready for spring—ready to go hiking, to play tennis, to attend outdoor concerts and spend my mornings writing in the sunshine. I’m planning to grow geraniums and basil, among other things, in the small container garden on my balcony. I’m ready for fresh air, green leaves, and summer thunderstorms, ready for bare feet and iced tea and trips to the farmers market.

What about you? Are you looking forward to spring? What’s your favorite part of the season?

Lastly, a Sunday ROW80 check-in…

Writing goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Revised one chapter in “Called by Magic.” Wrote a plot outline for “Be true.” Wrote 1,722 words in “Be True.”

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 3/4. Started rereading “Plot and Structure” by James Scott Bell.

3.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. 4/5.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Met for every day except Monday and Wednesday.

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met.

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. Met for Tuesday and Thursday, not for Monday or Wednesday.

***

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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Cover reveal: “Torn” by Kate Sparkes

Please join me in welcoming to the blog Kate Sparkes, for a cover reveal of her upcoming release, “Torn.”

Torn (Bound Trilogy Book Two)

by Kate Sparkes

torn_fullAren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. The mission seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she should be a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving her family—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

(Mature YA Fantasy)

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON.COM

Release date: March 31, 2015

Limited time launch price: $2.99

Cover art by Ravven

Disregard the Prologue (blog)

bound sale 1

The 2015 Liebster Award

liebster-award11Thanks to Cindy Scott for nominating me for this year’s Liebster Award. Here are my answers to her questions—and I’ve added my own and nominated a few people at the end of this post. Thanks, Cindy!

  1. Who is your mentor? And why?

I don’t know if I have a mentor. I do have a lot of writers whose work has inspired me—Ursula K. Le Guin, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, and Yasmine Galenorn, to name a few.

  1. If you could take only 3 books to the Eloi (The Time Machine by H.G. Wells) in the far future, what 3 books would you take?

Hmm. That’s a tough one. I guess I’d have to say “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling and “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

  1. What is the one food you hate the most? Why?

Peaches. They’re fruit that’s fuzzy. Yes, I know it’s irrational, but there it is.

  1. If you could sit down with 1 famous person (alive or dead for lunch/coffee/tea), whom would it be? Why?

Jane Goodall. She seems like a very humble, down-to-earth person, she’s super compassionate, and she has done amazing things in the world.

  1. Favourite band/artist? Why?

Dar Williams. I love how clever and meaningful her lyrics are. (Don’t believe me? Listen to her song “Buzzer.”)

  1. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I don’t know. It’s one of life’s great mysteries, I suppose. :)

  1. Biggest fear, what is it?

Being in a car accident

  1. If you could perform/act/sing with one person, whom would it be? Why?

Oh, that’s tough. Jim Parsons (Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory”) because he’s a king of visual comedy. Not sure I could keep a straight face, though.

  1. What is the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

I believe life is about the simple pleasures and the people (or creatures) we share them with. Drinking tea with an old friend, snuggling up to watch a movie with our significant other, a day spent hiking or reading poetry in the summer sunshine.

  1. Greatest desire?

To be a published author.

  1. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

One: Buy a house, preferably one with a nice yard where I can grow roses. Two: Take a trip to some place I’ve never been before—maybe California or Hawaii. Three: Donate to the local animal shelter.

New questions:

1.) What most inspires your writing?

2.) It’s a cold and stormy night. What book do you curl up with?

3.) What was your favorite book when you were growing up?

4.) Who is your greatest inspiration?

5.) What’s your favorite movie? What do you love about it?

6.) Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or no chocolate? What’s your preference?

7.) If you could travel to any place, real or imagined, where would it be?

8.) What do you do when you’re not writing?

9.) What’s your hidden talent?

10.) If you were a supernatural/paranormal creature/being, what would you be and why?

11.) Finish this sentence: The perfect day involves…

I nominate:

1.) Karen McFarland

2.) Jennette Marie Powell

3.) Gloria Weber

Lastly, a Sunday ROW80 check-in…

Writing goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 1,999 words in “Stolen by Magic”—second draft is finished. Wrote 838 words in “The Phoenix Feather.” Did a read-through and took notes on the first draft of “Called by Magic.”

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 3/4. No progress to report.

3.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. 5/5. Goal met.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Goal met!

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met!

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. Goal met!

***

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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WIPpet Wednesday and a Midweek ROW80 check-in

Welcome to another installment of WIPpet Wednesday, the blog hop where writers share excerpts from their works in progress (WIPs). Since every WIPpet must have something to do with the date, and since today is the 18th, here are nine paragraphs from “Stolen by Magic” (1+8=9). Click here to see other WIPpeteers’ WIPpets.

Some background: Gwynn, bard of the Seelie Court, has just tried to escort lost human Laurel Cabot through the portal in the faerie realm and back to her world. Unfortunately, the portal won’t work. I should also add the Beltane is the name of his horse. :)

“It should’ve worked.” Something flashed in his eyes, like a realization dawning on him. A curse escaped his lips.

“Hop on,” he said, quickly mounting Beltane and offering his hand.

“Where are we going?”

“To Vanarra, to get some answers.”

“Vanarra?” The name was all too familiar—I’d heard Granny mention her adventure there more than once. “The city, home to the Seelie Court?”

“That would be the one. “ He sounded surprised. I guessed most humans weren’t familiar with faerie realm geography—but most humans weren’t witches, from a long line of magical adventurers.

“What’s in Vanarra?” I asked.

“Home,” he grunted. “Home—and answers.”

He gave Beltane a firm kick, and we were off at a canter, heading toward Vanarra.

Midweek ROW80 check-in…

Writing goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 1,999 words in “Stolen by Magic.” Second draft is finished!

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 3/4. No progress to report.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met! Did a cover reveal for Patricia Josephine yesterday and today’s WIPpet/ROW80 check-in post.

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

Life goals

1.) Do yoga or tai chi or meditate three times per week. 0/3.

2.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. On track to meet this goal.

***

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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Cover reveal: Michael, Path of Angels by Patricia Josephine

I’m pleased to be handing the blog reins over today to Patricia Josephine for a cover reveal of her upcoming novel, “Michael: Path of Angels.” Without further ado, here’s the striking cover:

perf6.000x9.000.indd

There is only one path.

Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with a specific role: hunt fallen angels and send them back to Hell. He is determined in his mission, never straying from his appointed path, until he meets Lake Divine, and discovers there may be more to his beliefs than blind duty.

But Lake is not who he seems. Offspring of a human and a fallen angel, a Nephilim, Lake must choose his own destiny: give in to the coldness and embrace the dark, or seek the light and rise above the sins of his father.

Two paths lay before them, but only one has the potential to destroy them both.

Add to Goodreads.

About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/plynne_writes

Website: http://www.patricialynne.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108938106639683446081/posts/p/pub

Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/patricialynne07

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13460894.Patricia_Josephine

Yearly goals: Sunday ROW80 check-in

This year, I have two main goals: write at least 300,000 words, and read at least 75 books. Last year I read about 59, so hopefully I can increase that this year. This is also the first year I’ve kept track of my monthly/yearly word counts; I used to do just daily/weekly word-count totals, and then move on as soon as a new week started.

Late last year, I wrote a post about taking my writing to the next level, and that’s what these goals are about—pushing myself a little harder, challenging myself a little more. I’m aiming to write somewhere around 1,500 words/day, Monday through Friday. (January was a slow writing month, so I have some catching up to do.) Last year my goal was 1,000 words per day.

I also have a new way to keep track of word count when revising, an approach that my friend and long-time critique partner Kathleen Foucart told me about. You create hot keys to change the color of the words as you revise, so new words are in, say, gray and the older copy is still in black. I’m using Ctrl-alt-j. Then you use a macro that counts only the different-colored words—in this case, gray—and boom, you have a way to track word count while revising. I’m lucky that my husband is an IT guy and was able to create the hot keys and macro for me.

The thing is, goals are satisfying to me. There’s something incredibly rewarding about setting a goal and then pushing myself to reach it. I enjoy the challenge. And I’m looking forward to working toward these goals this year.

What about you? What goals have you set for 2015, and how are those goals coming along? I’d love to hear from you!

Lastly, a Sunday ROW80 check-in…

ROW80LogocopyWriting goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 7,629 words in “Stolen by Magic.”

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 3/4. Finished reading “Beginnings, Middles, and Ends” by Nancy Kress.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Goal met.

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met.

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. Goal met.

Life goals

1.) Do yoga or tai chi or meditate three times per week. 1/3.

2.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. 5/5. Goal met.

***

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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