Monday, November 30, 2015

ShaNo Final Update & December Goal Setting

Well, hello out there. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Before I jump into this post, I wanted to briefly address the Black Friday shooting in Colorado Springs. Some of you know I live in the Springs, and I had a few emails inquiring as to how I was doing. Since not all of you are on my Facebook, I figured I'd let you know all is well here. The shooting occurred about two miles up the road from me, but I was at home when it happened, and none of my family were there, either. So we're all good! Thank you to those who reached out. My thoughts are with those impacted by the tragedy.

(Please do not turn my comment section into a debate on the reasons and politics behind the shooting. I've heard plenty of that this weekend, and have no interest in having it occur here. Thank you for respecting my request.)

I had a big post planned today. I was feeling inspired. And then the big idea for the post flitted away. Flit, flit, flit. I've been trying to remember what it was all weekend. Hopefully it will come back to me. But for now, I'm just going to close out ShaNoShoStoWriEdSubMo (Shannon's Novel and Short Story Writing, Editing, and Submitting Month). Given, there's still time today. If I get anything else completed, I'll update Wednesday.

My goals were:

1. Write 2 new short stories 
2. Revise the 4 short stories/flash fiction currently in need of revisions
3. Submit 6 new short stories/flash this month
4. Complete the current round of revisions on Wendigo Nights

5. Post-outline and mark needed revisions on Lonely Hollow: Synthesis
6. Decide which novel project I will work on next

What I achieved was:

1. I wrote 1.5 new short stories.
2. I revised 1 of the short stories. And it turned out I only had 3 needing revision.
3. I submitted 1 new short story this month (the revised one), but realized it had been stupid to set the goal of submitting the 2 I'd planned to write. I want to run them by my critique group first. So the goal turned out to be submitting 3 (see note above about how many I actually had needing revision).
4. I didn't touch Wendigo Nights. :( 
5. I didn't touch Lonely Hollow: Synthesis. >:|
6. Done!

I didn't do as well as I would have liked with these goals, but I got a lot of things not on the list done, due to things coming up, and I'll continue the remaining goals into December. I need something to keep me going with writing stuff as we go into yet another busy month. 

So my December goals will be:

1. Finish second short story.
2. Revise both short stories and submit to critique group (which means I need to finish in the next week, so it may just be 1 submitted this month.)
3. Revise both short stories after critique and submit for publication.
4. Finish current round of revisions on Wendigo Nights (so close...grrrrrr).
5. Post-outline and mark needed revisions for next round on Lonely Hollow: Synthesis.
6. Start making notes on as yet untitled next novel.

Aaaand, nope. Still don't remember what I wanted to write about today. So I'll see you guys Wednesday. 

How did you do with NaNo? Will you be writing until midnight tonight to finish, or are you done already? If you didn't finish, did you get close? Have you set any goals to keep your momentum going in December?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A View From the Reeds & Links

Happy Wednesday!

I feel like this is a good photo prompt. What do you think?

For the links, bear in mind that I am not endorsing these, merely passing them along. You should always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Broken River Review is accepting submissions. 3000 words or under. Pays $.05/word. Deadline December 1.

Crime Syndicate is open for submissions. Dark, dirty crime fiction stories. 1500-4500 words. Pays $25.

Poetry and Business is open for submissions. Essays and poetry. Due by the end of 2015. Pays $20.16.

The Strand Magazine is open for submissions. Mystery and horror. 2000-6000 words. Pays $25-$150.


The Quantum Shorts Flash Fiction Competition is closing soon. Cash prizes. Deadline December 1.

Words & Brushes is holding a competition. 2000-5000 words. Fiction. Cash prizes. Deadline December 1.

Of Interest:

My Book Cave posted about Standard Vs Block Formatting in Ebooks. Passed along by DeAnna Knippling.

Liesa Malik posted 5 Tips for Using Your Business Card on the RMFW blog.

Do you see a story in the photo above? Do you have author business cards? What information do you include on them? What do you use them for? Any of these publications of interest? Anything to share? Publication news?

May you find your Muse.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Collision Release Day - Emma L. Adams

Please welcome Emma L. Adams today!

It's release day for Collision, Book 3 in the universe-hopping urban fantasy Alliance series!

When Earth suddenly gains inexplicably high levels of magic, all fingers point at the Alliance.

On a distant world, where magic-fuelled forces of nature rule over humans, a disaster is sweeping the land, threatening to knock the Balance across the Multiverse out of sync. When Kay and Ada are sent there with the other Ambassadors, they’re thrown into the centre of chaos. Nature is alive, and angry.

Ada embraces the magic she still half-fears, but learning to control it proves harder than she can imagine. Kay, meanwhile, becomes more reckless than ever when testing the boundaries of his own abilities. When faced with living magic, no one is safe from its influence. Ada and Kay must choose what they’re willing to risk for the sake of saving a world that might already be doomed. Can mortals overcome the gods?

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Heart in my throat, I pulled the stunner. Sparks immediately shot from the end, and I winced.
Carl struck at the creature with his stunner. An electric jolt split the smoke and the creature yelped. A creeping feeling curled around my spine, and I turned in time to dodge a second pair of insubstantial fangs as they snapped inches from my head.
I aimed the stunner at the beast and fired, a jet of red-purple lightning sparking off the walls. The creature screamed, but a louder noise overlaid it: a tremendous roar from ahead.
“Watch out!” Carl yelled.
I spun around in time to see an even bigger monstrosity rise from the smoke–red and long-limbed and snarling.
Where did it come from? Stupid how that was my first thought, but panic made me freeze up for a moment. It lashed out in a sea of sparks, and several guards fell, lightning encasing them. Carl swore, backing up, and other two monsters appeared alongside it–where the hell did they come from?
“My stunner’s out!” Carl yelled. “I’m calling for backup–if you run out of shots, just run!”
I had five shots left. Ignoring my pounding heart and shaking limbs, I ran at the nearest creature, which advanced on the fallen guards, and shot it with the stunner. A blast of magic far stronger than the stunner should have hit the creature in the face, sending ripples of magic pulsing outwards–only by pure luck did it miss the guards on the ground. Damn. If it hadn’t been for the adamantine in my blood, the backlash would have probably knocked me out. I wasn’t in control.
“Guys, stay back!” I yelled at two other guards who’d come to stand alongside me. “It’s not stable.”
I’m not stable.
But I had no choice. I struck with the stunner, sending a searing bolt of lightning at the nearest beast. Except the lightning didn’t come from the stunner. It came from my hand.
A nearby guard swore. “I’m out of shots.”
“Take mine,” I said quickly. “I can fight without it.” Magic seemed to want me to.
“Thanks,” he said, blinking like he was surprised I’d give away my weapon, and caught the stunner.
A snarling bundle of red smoke descended on us. How many of these things were there? For every one I knocked down, two more appeared, sparking and trailing smoke. I struck another with a bolt of magic, aiming at the floor to make sure I didn’t hit any of the other guards. The beast dissolved in smoke… and then divided in two. Like some ghastly hydra. Both halves growled at me, sparks flying out from their clawed, smoky red hands.
Shit. I backed away, thinking hard.
A rumbling sounded, and the ground trembled under my feet. What the hell? I’d thought the reinforced floor was impervious to any kind of hit. The magic. It’s got to be the magic. Lucky my shoes were magicproof, too.
“I’m getting outta this corridor!” someone shouted, and the sound of running footsteps clattered on metal.
A growl sounded, but before I could strike the two smoky creatures down, both dissolved into a formless red haze. Through the fog, guards ran everywhere, shouting, while I struck out with magic, to no effect. The magic-creatures had turned themselves into smoke, and it was like trying to beat up a cloud. At least we all looked equally ridiculous, I thought as I spun on the spot in what probably looked like an undignified ballet manoeuvre. Another guard face-planted, while a second tripped over him and brought the two of them crashing into a heap.
And the floor shook again, the smoke coalescing in the centre to form one formidable beast, filling the space from floor to ceiling. A shower of purple-red danced off the walls. I jumped back, but not before a spark grazed my forehead. The pain was more sharp than electric. Wincing, I braced myself against the wall, out of range of the magic. I still couldn’t see the creature. It was made of pure magic, and didn’t have a solid form. But I could feel the energy burning, and it was all concentrated in one place. The monster had pulled all the magic in the area into itself. It has to burn out. It can’t keep going like that.
But the monster didn’t show any signs of slowing down. Stunner shots mingled with the sparks, and inhuman screams told us at least one hit the target. My hands shook too much to risk aiming another magic shot, even as I felt the creature’s magic surging through the air. A bolt of pain shot through my forehead. I reached to touch the skin, and found it blistering hot. I thought magic couldn’t hit me!

Start the series from the beginning with Adamant (Alliance, #1), only 99 cents this week!

Ever since a devastating magical war tore apart Ada Fletcher's homeworld, she and her family have lived under cover on the low-magic Earth. Stuck in a dead-end job in London, Ada has spent her life hiding her true identity--and her magic. Until she loses her job, is chased by a rampaging monster, and is arrested as a prime suspect for a murder she had nothing to do with. It really isn't Ada's day.

Kay Walker, grandson of the Inter-World Alliance's late founder, expects to spend his first week as an Alliance employee hunting rogue monsters, not solving his supervisor's murder or questioning a strange, fierce young woman caught trespassing in the Passages between worlds. Killer or not, her abilities raise questions about the Alliance's history, and the closer he gets to the truth, the higher the body count rises.

The last thing Ada wants to do is help the infuriating Alliance guard who arrested her, but it soon becomes clear that the Alliance knows too much about Ada's magic. More, in fact, than she knows herself. One thing's certain: she's not the only one keeping secrets, and trusting the wrong person might cost more than her life...

Amazon   Add on Goodreads   Read the first chapter

What reviewers are saying

"Adams delivers high suspense throughout the whole book and manages to get you emotionally attached to the main characters which keeps you worried at every twist and turn. I basically flew through the action-packed story with its monsters and magic." - Goodreads reviewer

"Adamant is a fantastic start to a fun, adventurous and super cool series... Can't praise it enough!" - Alisha at Reality's A Bore.

Discovering she's a walking magical weapon is just the beginning of Ada's problems.

Joining the Alliance might be the key to seeing the worlds she's always dreamed of, but now Ada's in trouble with her family and her boss has put her on goblin-catching duty. With enemies around every corner and a centaur uprising threatening to bring a bloodbath to Earth's doorstep, the Alliance has their work cut out. While investigating the mysterious death of the centaurs' king, Kay and Ada navigate tensions between humans and centaurs and find the real, deadly potential of magic.

Against an enemy they quite literally can't see, Ada and Kay must face up to the power that almost destroyed their lives...

Amazon  Add on Goodreads

The Passages between worlds are out of bounds for a very good reason, but nineteen-year-old Kay Walker sees them as another challenge. Exploring the monster-ridden tunnels offers a thrill nothing on Earth can match. Until a rivalry escalates into a deadly game, and the lure of magic comes with a high price...

Amazon   Add on Goodreads  

Emma is the author of various fantasy novels, including the universe-hopping urban fantasy Alliance series and the YA paranormal Darkworld series.

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction with magic and monsters. She lives in the middle of England, but dreams of exploring the Multiverse. When she's not immersed in her own fictional worlds, Emma works as a freelance editor and proofreader and reads an improbable number of books.

Visit to find out more about Emma's books, or subscribe to her newsletter ( to get a free Alliance short story and monthly updates on upcoming releases.

Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Newsletter

Happy Book Birthday, Emma!

What do you guys think? Have you read the other two? Does she not have a fun author picture?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Man, It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta

Actually, the title of this post started out as something else, but then I forgot the cliche I was going to throw out there, because I'm vaguely sleep deprived (more so than usual.) And then I got that song in my head. So hey, ear worm!

I won't bore you with the minutia of why I'm more sleep deprived than usual, but it involves a trip to animal urgent care with a sick kitten in the middle of the night, several child sleepovers, a husband on a business trip, roofers, and a billion other factors. What I will tell you is that I wrote a short story! It's been at least two months since I wrote a new word, mostly because of a new day job and insanity with my volunteer jobs. And more minutia.

It felt insanely good to be writing again. Several days in a row. Not only that, but it was in a genre I've been wanting to write in for ages.

Time for the ShaNo update.

My goals were:

1. Write 2 new short stories 1 done!
2. Revise the 4 short stories/flash fiction currently in need of revisions
3. Submit 6 new short stories/flash this month
4. Complete the current round of revisions on Wendigo Nights
5. Post-outline and mark needed revisions on Lonely Hollow: Synthesis

6. Decide which novel writing project I will begin writing next Barring change of mind, I've decided!

And a quick thank you for the thorough drenching of this wench last week! Sploosh! I'm still making squick sounds when I walk.

Just for fun:

How's NaNo going? Your personal goals? Get any writing done this weekend?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Haunted Realm Book Launch & Links

Before we jump into this week's links, say hi to Emilyann Girdner, whose book The Haunted Realm just came out yesterday.

The Haunted Realm is the thrilling sequel to Young Adult Fantasy novel The Labyrinth Wall (Tweeted by Sean Astin from Lord of the Rings, Dante Rossetti Award Finalist, 5 Star Reader's Favorite Rated and Amazon Best-Seller).

In this riveting continuation of the story, Araina again faces a series of seemingly impossible magical obstacles. As Araina and her friends search for answers about their Creators and their magical labyrinth world, their journey becomes rife with peril when Araina falls victim to illness. Despite heart-pricking losses in the labyrinth swamps, vengeful ghostly attackers in the Blinking Willows, and many other dangerous obstacles, Araina is determined to succeed. If Araina can’t solve the mysteries of the haunted realm and find a cure for her sickness, she and her friends may never escape the labyrinth, or even live to try.

Obsidian Series Purchase Links:

Stay Connected to the Series via Websites and Social Media:

Happy Book Birthday, Emilyann! As someone who had a youthful crush on Sean Astin, I can't help but mentally squee that he tweeted about your book (and that you got to meet him.)

Now for some links. Please bear in mind that I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting to a contest or publication.

Accepting Submissions:

Pantheon Magazine's ninth issue has a theme of Hestia. They are seeking short stories, poetry, and reviews. They prefer brevity. Paying market. Deadline November 30.

Horror Tree published an open call for the anthology Bumps in the Road, with publisher Black Bed Sheet Books. 1000-7000 words. Pays in royalties and contributor copies. Deadline December 1.

Freeze Frame Fiction is seeking flash fiction of any and all genres. Pays $10 per piece. Deadline for third quarter submissions is December 15. 

Twit Publishing is seeking dieselpunk fairy tales for an anthology. 4000-9000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline December 15.

Red Moon Romance is seeking short stories about geeks in love for their anthology Covalent Bonds. 16,000 words or less. Pays royalties and contributor copies. Deadline December 15. 

Third Flatiron is seeking short stories for It's Come to Our Attention. Speculative fiction. 1500-3000 words. Paying market. Deadline December 15. 

Martian Migraine Press is seeking short fiction for the anthology Cthulhusattva: Lovecraftian Tales of the Black Gnosis. Up to 7500 words, flash fiction and short stories. No poetry. Pays $.03/CAD per word. Deadline December 15. 

Punks Write Poems is seeking short fiction submissions for two anthologies. Melee is for medieval fantasy; Don't Open Til Doomsday is for science fiction. 2000-10,000 words. Both pay $15 and a contributor copy. Deadline December 15. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul wants stories about gratitude. 1200 words or less. Pays $200 per story. Deadline December 15. 

Of Interest:

Sad news. Crossed Genres Magazine will be closing their doors for good after their December issue.

Any of these of interest? Anything to share? Publishing news? How's NaNo? What celebrity would you most like to have share your book? 

May you find your Muse.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book to Movie, Spooktoberfest Runner Up & ShaNo Update

The ShaNo update will be brief, as I haven't accomplished anything from that list. This is not unexpected for me, as none of the things on my list this month are meant to be finished in one week. I should have an update for next week, and I did get some things accomplished this week by re-submitting three short stories that had been rejected, but that was not a goal on the list.

Before I get to the rest of the post, I just found out I was a runner up in the Spooktoberfest flash fiction contest! Woo-hoo! I do love some Halloween themed flash fiction. Congratulations to the winners and my fellow runners up.


Raise your hand if you enjoy when your favorite books are made into movies.

Raise your hand if you [not so] secretly wish your own novels will be made into movies some day.

I don't know about you, but I always have this sense of quiet dread when it's announced that a book I love is going to be made into a movie. When I read the book, it came alive in my head. I visualized the characters and settings. Now I'll be seeing someone else's vision of the story, and I may love it or hate it (or feel meh about it).

On the other hand, I've enjoyed quite a few of the movies made from books I enjoyed. Sometimes those visions are better than, or at least equal to, what I saw in my head. For those with different worlds and major settings, I often enjoy seeing them made into movies (Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Harry Potter) so I can see that vision realized.

Plus, I've had a great time reading novels together with my kids and then seeing the movies with them. It's a wonderful experience, and one we'll keep doing as long as they're young enough to want to. And when they're older, perhaps we'll all just read the book separately, then share the movie still.

This is on my mind, because there is word YET AGAIN that Stephen King's The Dark Tower is officially coming to the screen. While I'm not going to hold my breath (they've been saying this for years), there's no way I'd be able to resist seeing it, despite the fact that I got that same nervous feeling in my stomach. Who will play Roland? In my head, Roland was always similar to Clint Eastwood (at the time I was reading it). A middle aged man, grizzled, but with dark hair. But Eastwood is too old (and his son too young). Ideas others have thrown out for who could play him have not excited me.

Looking at this from the author side, I know that I have incredibly specific pictures of my characters in my head. While it would be exciting to see my book on the screen, what would happen if I hated the actors they'd chosen? What if they destroyed my story?

I guess it really boils down to the fact that, whether you're a viewer or an author, the movie is a separate entity, and often a separate story, from the book (or short story, as that is always a possibility, too.)

How do you feel about books being made into movies? Do you have any favorites? Any situations where the movie was better than the book? What's your least favorite book to movie? How would you feel if someone wanted to make your book or short story into a movie? How is NaNo (or your own personal goal setting) going?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG - Anthology Release, October Stats & Links

Today is the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. 

The Insecure Writer's Support Group was created as an outlet for us insecure writers, our doubts and fears. Share your insecurities or some inspiration for those feeling insecure. 

A thank you out to our esteemed co-hosts this month:  Stephen Tremp, Karen Walker, Denise Covey, and Tyrean Martinson. Stop by and visit them to say thanks!

I'm actually excited this month, because an anthology I'm in came out yesterday! It's only in e-book form for the moment, but other versions are coming out soon. The Deep Dark Woods is an anthology of horror involving...the woods, edited by Christina Escamilla.

Fear abounds. It may be creatures that only you can see, or the fevered imaginations of your nightmares. Perhaps these monsters are the ones that bite and claw, or the ones that come out of the grave. No matter what, when you go walking in the woods at may not make it back out.

15 Short stories from some of the best horror writers around!

My short story, The Blue Mist, is in this collection. It can be purchased for $2.99 on Kindle currently. I'll post the other options on my publications tab when they're available.

Even with this good news having come out just in time for Insecure Writer's Support Group, I'm currently worrying about a magazine I have a story coming out in. All I know is that it's due out in November, but here we are in November, and I haven't heard a peep since the acceptance last winter. Did my return email with the contract not get received? Or does my story not need edits? So far, I've not had any stories returned for editing (remember, I AM the grammar nazi), but the acceptance on this one specifically said there were some editing suggestions they'd have. Maybe there was a change of mind? I have no idea. I guess I'll know if/when it releases, at this point. I'm trying not to stress about it. 

And, of course, by this time next week I'll probably be back in a slump, feeling like I'm a failure and a pretender to the title of author. Ups and downs, that's the roller coaster of being an author.

I do my submission stats each month with my insecurity post to keep myself honest. In October, these were my stats:

I submitted 6 stories.
I got 8 rejections.
I got great feedback on 1 of those rejections.
I got 1 magazine acceptance for a short story.
I have 4 publications pending. Only 1 has an official release date announced (~gnaws fingernails down to stubs~).
I currently have 8 stories on submission.
I have 3 stories I need to turn around and get re-submitted, but I'm holding one for a specific publication that isn't open to submissions currently, and the other two were just rejected this week, so I haven't turned them back around yet.

I also post markets taking submissions each Wednesday, so without further ado:

Please bear in mind that I'm not endorsing any of these markets, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence when researching markets.

Accepting Submissions:

Black Denim Lit is accepting submissions of genre fiction. They prefer literary style. Under 7500 words. Pays $.01/word. 

Mslexia is accepting submissions for their 69th issue, with the theme Monster. Stories up to 2200 words or poems up to 40 lines. This is a paying market, but specific pay is not mentioned. Deadline December 7.

Shenandoah is accepting submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Nonfiction must be related to Shakespeare. I'm unsure of pay, but it is supposed to be a paying market. Submissions close in December.

Scary Mommy is looking for amusing essays and lists. Under 900 words. Pays $100. 

Highlights is accepting submissions of work for kids. They also take submissions from kids! Up to 500 or 800 words, depending upon age group you're aiming for. Pays $150. (Does not pay writers under 16.) 

Inkubus Publishing is accepting submissions for The Supornatural Collection, Volume 1. Male on male erotica involving supernatural creatures. 500-10,000 words. Pays $10 and a contributor copy. Deadline December 4.


Colorado Mountain College is holding the Common Reader Program Art & Creative Writing Contest. Creative writing of no more than 1500 words. Cash prizes. Deadline November 20.

How are you doing with submissions? Writing? What are your insecurities? How do you overcome them? Any good news to share?

May you find your Muse.