Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG - Query Letters, Progress & Links

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. All are welcome to participate in airing their insecurities or supporting those who are feeling insecure. To do so, click on the link above, sign up, and post your insecurities in about 300 words or less. Then hop around and visit some of the others airing their doubts.



Today is a little different, because it's also the day we're to turn in our submissions for The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond. You can post it as part of your IWSG post or email it in, which I'm choosing to do. It can be on writing, publishing, or marketing. Click the link for more information. I submitted a piece on query letters since there were a lot of submissions flowing in for the writing aspects.


I've been using IWSG day as a reminder to check in with my publishing progress each month, while airing the insecurities innate in the submission process. My update this month is not up to par with past months. I hit a slump this month, got too many rejections at once, and thought maybe I needed to pull everything as it was rejected and edit it through before submitting again.

But then I didn't do that.

I kept jotting down where I could submit, but didn't do it. I was too caught up in punishing myself for not editing, writing, and submitting, and too depressed about the influx of rejections.

Of course, I was beating myself up for nothing, and what I should have been doing was what I'd been doing before: turning those pieces right back around and re-submitting them elsewhere. I know that now, and will be jumping back in. I was also busy this month putting together and coordinating a bunch of extra programming for the organization I volunteer for in the next two months, which distracted me from my own writing. I should have been putting my writing first, but I allowed my stress to put on events without major flaws to overrule that and push my writing into the background. I have to stop that.

Well, I've warned you that the numbers this month are pitiful, but I want to stick with my monthly updates, so here we go:

2 rejections since last month's post
20 rejections for the year
2 stories out on sub
10 stories to re-sub
4 stories from critique group needing editing before sub

Believe it or not, I'd like to see that rejection number higher, because it means I've submitted more, but I also want to see a lovely number on there for acceptances.

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

Walrus Publishing is looking for short stories for Building Red: The Colonization of Mars. Respond to the prompt. 1000-6000 words. Deadline November 1. Science fiction. Payment is $25, five free copies of the anthology, and 50% discount on more copies.

Literary Hatchet is taking submissions through November 1. Dark fiction. Essays, short stories, poetry, photography, and art. Pays between $5 and $15, depending upon type of submission.

Liz McMullen Show Publications is looking for a Valentine's Day Anthology. Deadline November 1. Genre is open, but it must follow the theme of "appetite." 3000-4000 words. Pays $30 and 2 copies of the anthology.

Ellipsis is seeking poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Deadline November 1. Paying market, though exact pay is not listed.

Contests:

Apex Magazine is holding the Steal the Spotlight Micro Fiction Contest. Five categories. 250 words or less. Deadline October 15. Five winners will be in the November issue, get paid $.06/word, get a free 12 month subscription to Apex, and get a short story critique from an Apex editor.

The Center for Fiction is accepting submissions for the 2014 Christopher Doheny Award. Book length manuscript by an author dealing with a life-threatening illness (their own or a friend/family member's). $10,000 prize and publication. Deadline October 30.

Zimbell House Publishing is holding a contest for placement in The Fairy Tale Whisperer, an anthology. Must be on one of the 7 topics they've put up. Deadline October 31. 20,000 words or less. First prize is $250, 2nd is $100, 3rd is $50.

Blog Stuff:

Susanne Drazic and Sherry Ellis are hosting the Bucket List Blog Hop on October 20. Simply post your bucket list to take part.

The theme for the WEP (Write Edit Publish) October Challenge is Ghost Story. All genres. Up to 1000 words. Flash fiction, poetry, nonfiction, artwork, or photos.

The Armchair Squid hosts a monthly gathering called The Cephalopod Coffeehouse. You're asked to post about the best book you've read this month on the last Friday of the month, which will be October 31 this time around.

What are your insecurities? Are you submitting a piece for the IWSG anthology? Any of these links of interest to you? Participating in any of the blog hops?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dueling Blog Tours - Chrys Fey "30 Seconds" and Kitsy Clare "Private Internship"

I'm delighted to welcome both Chrys Fey and Kitsy Clare today, promoting their new books! Chrys Fey brings us a romantic suspense novel, 30 Seconds, that sounds tense and action packed, while Kitsy Clare is releasing a romance novel, Private Internship, featuring a sexy artist with what sounds like a deep, dark secret. Both sound fantastic!


When a woman finds herself in the middle of a war between a police force and the Mob, 30 SECONDS is a long time.

Title: 30 Seconds
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Heat Rating: Spicy (PG13)
Length: Novella (105 pages)
Format: eBook
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Published: 09/10/2014


BLURB: 

When Officer Blake Herro agreed to go undercover in the Mob, he thought he understood the risks. But he's made mistakes and now an innocent woman has become their target. He's determined to protect her at all costs.

The Mob's death threat turns Dr. Dani Hart's life upside down, but there is one danger she doesn’t anticipate. As she's dodging bullets, she's falling in love with Blake. With danger all around them, will she and Blake survive and have a happy ending, or will the Mob make good on their threat? 


EXCERPT:

       She panted with fear. What if they see the chest? What if we get caught? What if my breath stinks and I’m breathing right into Officer Hottie’s face? She shut her mouth and let oxygen flow through her nose.
Her eyesight slowly adjusted to the darkness and she could see Officer Herro’s silhouette. His head was turned and he was listening to the thuds of heavy boots getting louder; the intruders were coming their way.
Then the thunder of footsteps sounded right next to them. “There’s no one here, Red,” someone announced.
“Look for documents,” a man ordered, who Dani could only assume was Red. “I want the name of the person I’m going to kill.”
A moment later, there was a reply. “All the mail is addressed to a Dr. Hart.”
Hearing her name said aloud by one of the men who had ransacked her place made her want to gasp. Her mouth fell open and her breath was reversing into her lungs, but before she could make a sound, Officer Herro lowered his lips to hers, silencing her. Stunned, she could only lie beneath him with her eyes wide and her body tense. She couldn’t believe he was kissing her. She wanted to push him back, but knew if she did he might hit the inside of the chest, giving away their hiding place. That was when she realized he was kissing her so she wouldn’t gasp.
She let her body relax. After her initial shock faded, she was able to feel his lips. They were comforting and caused a reaction deep inside her. She couldn’t stop her lips from reacting to his. It was an innocent connection, a soft touch of lips. Until his hand slid from her shoulder to her neck and the kiss deepened into something else.

BOOK LINKS:

Chrys Fey is a lover of rock music just like Dani Hart in 30 Seconds. Whenever she's writing at her desk, headphones are always emitting the sounds of her musical muses -especially that of her favorite band, 30 Seconds to Mars, the inspiration behind the title.

30 Seconds is her second eBook with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Hurricane Crimes, is also available on Amazon.

Discover her writing tips on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook. She loves to get to know her readers!

AUTHOR LINKS:
QUESTION: If armed intruders came into your home and you couldn’t escape, where would you hide?

Sounds tense and terrifying, Chrys! Thank you for stopping by today, and good luck with your book launch. Now for Kitsy's Private Internship.





Private Internship Blurb:

Sugar’s not so sweet and secrets can be deadly … especially with matters of the heart

Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna get the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—sweaty and practically shirtless and swinging from chains while he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish challenging Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.

She knows she should get away fast. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and begins to unearth his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz.

Book reviewers are saying:

"Beautiful. Amazing. A fantastic read that left me wanting more." -XoXo Book Blog



"A juicy read full of passion and magnetic chemistry that will have you hooked from beginning to end." -From the Purple Matter Book Blog

Excerpt:
He locks his rich, hot-chocolate eyes on me, and studies my every curve and angle, seems to be piercing right through my skin into the alleys of my mind and heart. Curious, he’s so curious. I sense him asking where I’m from and why it took me so long to find him, and what kind of art I do, and whether I’ve ever sold it or gotten a review, or who I know, who I hang out with, and how much experience I’ve had in galleries, in school, in the world, in bed. My neck heats up. Did I just think that? Or was that something in his head that crossed wires and invaded mine? He’s close to me now, still staring boldly, when suddenly I feel his inner questions stop. And a wall, like one of those metal store gratings, clatters downward and slams. Closed for business, closed for questions, closed for good.
This, all before we’ve exchanged one word. When I come back into myself, I’m embarrassed to realize that I’m wringing my hands—the old-fashioned hysterical Victorian damsel in distress kind of wringing. I stop, immediately. Rub my sweaty palms on my dress. Buck up! I scold silently. And I extend my hand. “I’m Sienna. I’m your new intern.”
Casper Mason doesn’t take my hand. The nerve. He’s standing there, boldly, legs wide apart in some twisted warrior stance, arms folded across his wide chest. Jaw jutting out rebelliously, eyes daring me . . . to do what? So after an excruciating few seconds, I retract my hand.
“My new intern?” Caz mumbles as though an intern is a radioactive space rock or some otherworldly object and he never ordered one. “Well, it’s about time. That last one was a disaster.”

BOOK LINKS:

Model Position (first in series) is on sale at Amazon!

Kitsy Clare hails from Philly and lives in New York. A romantic at heart, she loves to write about the sexy intrigue of the city, and particularly of the art world. She knows it well, having shown her paintings here before turning to writing. The Art of Love series includes Model Position (novella) and Private Internship. Kitsy also writes YA as Catherine Stine. Her futuristic thriller, Ruby’s Fire was a YA finalist in the Next Generation Indie book awards. Fireseed One, its companion novel, was a finalist in YA and SF in the USA News International Book Awards, and an Indie Reader notable. Her YA horror, Dorianna, launches on Oct. 24 with Evernight Teen.


FIND KITSY CLARE AT:
Or subscribe to her newsletter!

Enter the drawing in the Rafflcopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Caz sounds like a handful, but definitely intriguing. Thank you for stopping by today, Kitsy, and good luck with your book release!

May you find your Muse.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

These Are Not Fish & Links

About two weeks ago, we took our kiddos to the Denver Aquarium. There are a bunch of interesting fish at the aquarium, but there are also creatures who have nothing whatsoever to do with what one might expect at an aquarium. Here are a couple examples:




Yes, there are tigers at the Denver Aquarium. I'm not certain how I feel about that. 

Now for some links!

Accepting Submissions:

Midnight Breakfast is open for submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and interviews. 1000-10,000 words. Open to all genres, but prefer literary and speculative. Pays $50. If you specifically want to submit to the October issue, the theme is "breaking down the barriers between the real and the unreal." The deadline for this issue is September 26. Otherwise, there is no deadline.

Tor.com opens for short stories and poetry in the speculative fiction genres September 30. It is preferred for stories to be below 12,000 words. Pays $.25/word for the first 5000 words, $.15/word for the next 5000, and $.10/word for all after that. They also have nonfiction specifications on the website, including blog posts.

Horrified Press is looking for submissions for their Malevolent Mansion anthology and their Something in the Woods anthology. Flash fiction, poetry, short stories. 2000-4000 words. Deadline October 30. Pays royalties. Not interested in these two themes? They appear to still have others open, so scan the page for more chances.

Chicken Soup for the Soul closes for submissions to Hope and Miracles on October 30 and Thanks to my Mom October 20. 1200 words or less. Pays $200 per piece.

Cohesion Press is seeking short stories for Blurring the Line. They want horror that blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction. 5000 words or less. Deadline October 31. Pays $.08/word AUS.

World Weaver Press has two open anthology calls: Corvidae and Scarecrow. Speculative fiction. Up to 7500 words. Payment is $10 and a copy of the anthology. 

FireGoat Books is seeking holiday and winter tales for their Solstice Special Collection. No horror. Flash fiction and short stories between 500 and 6000 words. Deadline October 31. Pays $10.

Sixpenny Magazine wants your pocket sized stories. Engaging literary fiction. Six minute read/1000 words. Deadline October 31. Pays $100. It appears your story will be animated.

Blog Stuff:

The WEP September Challenge will have the theme Changing Faces. To occur September 24-26. While it has already started, you can still sign up. Write 1000 words or less of flash fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, or post photos and artwork. All must meet the theme. All genres accepted.

Tara Tyler, Heather M. Gardner, Christine Rains, Vikki Biram, CD Coffelt, M.J. Fifield, Elizabeth Seckman, Rena Rocford are putting on the Shelfie Blog Hop now through October 6. You're asked to photograph you and your books. They can be books you've published or just your favorites. The more you share your Shelfie, the more chances you have to win the bundle of books in the Rafflecopter.

Do you have an aquarium? Does it only hold fish (and other water creatures) or do you have extra critters there? Any of these links of interest to you? Anything to add? Publishing news?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Books of Your Nightmares!

Two excellent lists about the scariest books out there recently found their way to my attention, courtesy of a couple friends. Since I've only read a portion of the books on each list, I've decided to read my way through both of them, along with my partners in horror. We're hoping to do some fun stuff with it, including keeping up with our progress on our blogs and discussing/reviewing the books.

If you're interested in the lists, here they are:

Nightmare Magazine's Top 100 Horror Books

Short List's Definitive Scariest Books Ever Written

One of them, M.B. Partlow, has already started. Here's her first post on her progress and what she's doing with the project.

Here are the ones I'm certain I've already read (there are several I'm iffy on, so I am NOT including those until I know for certain I read them):

The Exorcist
Dracula
American Psycho
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Lord of the Flies (multiple times)
Pet Semetary
Frankenstein
The Silence of the Lambs
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Love in Vein
The Haunting of Hill House
Bag of Bones
It
Night Shift
Salem's Lot
The Shining
Skeleton Crew
The Stand
The Bad Place
Strangers
I Am Legend
Interview With the Vampire
The Vampire Lestat
Floating Dragon
Lost Boy, Lost Girl
Rosemary's Baby
Best New Horror, 1st Edition
Sunglasses After Dark

Have you ever undertaken a challenge (of sort) like this? How many of these books have you read? What do you think of the lists? What would you ADD to the lists (I might just incorporate your suggestions into my challenge)?

May you find your Muse.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - ALS Walk & Links

The ALS walk was this past weekend. All but one of my siblings was able to make it, as well as a few friends. The best part was that a couple of our long-time family friends (who may as well just be family) flew out the day before the walk to surprise my parents and do the walk with us. There's not a lot of positive for people with ALS. There is constantly a new negative, a new element they weren't aware of, a new issue. So to see my parents so happy was amazing. Here's our team, Dad's Defiant Defenders, after the walk. (I'm the one with the red wig-Jean Grey/Phoenix, hubby is Magneto.)


The walk was on Saturday. On Monday, my parents opened the local newspaper to discover an article about the Ice Bucket Challenge their neighborhood put together on their birthday, including a picture of my dad and the dry pre-IBC neighbors, who did the challenge then stuck around to surprise my dad with cake and goodies for my dad's birthday. Here's the article.


Overall, it was a great weekend, with lots of friend and family time.

Mushy gushy stuff aside, it's time for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

A Murder of Storytellers is putting together an anthology about your childhood fears. Beyond the Nightlight is a horror anthology. Deadline October 13. 500-1300 words. Pays $15 and a contributor copy.

Jamais Vu's current submission window closes October 15. Short fiction, book reviews, film reviews, poetry, and nonfiction. Pays $.05/word and a contributor's copy. Horror, thriller, dark fiction.

Lamplight is looking for horror flash fiction and short stories. Deadline October 15. Pays $50 for flash fiction, $150 for short fiction.

Ticonderoga Publications is putting together an anthology of horror in an urban fantasy setting, entitled Bloodlines. Blood must factor into the story in some way. 1000-7500 words. Deadline October 15. Pays AUS $.02/word, plus 2 copies of the anthology.

Shooter Literary Magazine is open to submissions of short fiction for their new magazine. Theme of the first issue is "Pulling the Trigger." Deadline October 15. Pay varies depending upon type of story.

Lakeside Circus wants your short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Speculative fiction. They also accept essays. They pay $.02/word for fiction, $.01/word for nonfiction. Additional for audio rights when requested.

Third Wednesday is seeking short fiction, poetry, and artwork. Rolling deadlines, but seasonal work should be sent three months in advance. Pays $3-5, plus a contributor copy.

Romance Flash is seeking your romantic stories of 1000 words or less. Token payment of $3.

Contests:

Mash Stories is holding their Mash Competition #4 right now. Deadline is October 15. Current keywords are "alphabet," "love," and "oxidation." Winner gets $100. Those who are short listed get audio podcasts of their work (I noticed a fellow blogger's piece listed as short-listed!) Up to 500 words.

Blog Stuff:

A bunch of Young Adult authors are holding Young Adult Reader Appreciation Week next week. Check it out! There's a giveaway and a whole lot of talented participants.

Any of these of interest? Anything to share? Publication news to share? 

May you find your Muse.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Watchers Book Trailer and Giveaway

Today, I'm pleased to host Deirdra Eden, and the trailer for The Watchers Book 1, a story that looks to be full of adventure and fun! You'll find a giveaway at the end of this post.

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light



 In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.


The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watcher’s Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions




About the Author


"My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."
-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looks like a fun and exciting story! Thank you for stopping by Deirdre. 

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Busy Cleaning & Links

Oy! I'm trying to get my house ready for company, but I didn't want to skip Wednesday links, so without further ado....LINKS!

Accepting Submissions:

Long Count Press is seeking science fiction stories about space exploration and human ingenuity for their anthology Golden Age. Deadline September 30. Pays $20 plus a percentage of the profits and a contributor copy.

Rose Lemberg and Stone Bird Press are seeking stories that don't necessarily fit in elsewhere, and that fit the genres included in Speculative Fiction. 500-1400 words. Deadline September 30. Pays $.06/word for originals and $.03/word for reprints.

Dark Regions Press is taking submissions for their anthology I Am the Abyss. Adventure stories of horror and/or dark fantasy. 10,000-18,000 words. Deadline October 1. Pays $.05/word, plus royalties, plus contributor copy, plus signed print of artwork.

Whitefish Review is accepting submissions for Issue #16 - The Geography of Hope. Deadline October 1. They pay $10/printed page, minimum of $25, maximum of $50.

Unlikely Story is reading for The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography. Deadline October 1. Up to 8000 words. Pays $.06/word.

Lectores Coffee accepts short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which they print directly on their coffee bags. 350 words or less. They take submissions at any time, but have specific reading periods. Current reading period ends October 1. Pays $20 and a free bag of coffee.

Brain, Child is a literary magazines for moms. They take several types of submissions, which they're open to year round, but they have a deadline of October 1 for a series of blog posts they're looking to fill. One is on LGBT families and the other is adoption-themed.

If you are a member of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, you can submit to the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. Your piece can be on either writing, publishing, or marketing. Deadline October 2. 200-1000 words. The e-book will be free, and there is no pay associated with this.

that's life! is open to your fast fiction. Multiple themes and genres (see the link for details.) Pays per published page, from 600-2600 words. Pays $200-$500, depending upon number of pages.

Dark Fuse takes dark fiction short story submissions for their magazine and anthologies. 2000-5000 words. Pays $50 (with the addition of royalties for their anthologies).

Please bear in mind that these are just links I pass along, not publications I can personally recommend or guarantee in any way. Always do your own due diligence before submitting to any publication.

Any of these interest you? Anything to pass along? Publishing news to share?

May you find your Muse.