Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy Ghoulidays II is OUT!

Today's the birthday of Happy Ghoulidays II! Happy Ghoulidays II brings horror to the holidays in a follow up to Happy Ghoulidays. The first one covered Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day (and Lupercalia). Happy Ghoulidays II picks up where the previous one left off, covering St. Patrick's Day through Halloween, with pit stops on April Fool's Day, Mother's Day, Election Day, the 4th of July, Easter, and Beltane.

Title: Happy Ghoulidays II
Release Date: March 17, 2023

The holidays elicit a mixture of emotions, from joy and revelry to despair and rage. In these stories, we examine the dark side of the holidays with a twisted Easter egg hunt, a desperate St. Patrick's Day curse, a monster that's only visible in the light of fireworks, a mother's guilt on Halloween, and more in this follow up to Happy Ghoulidays that embraces the underlying shadows of our favorite holidays.

Available in e-book on Kindle, Nook, Apple, Scribd, and Smashwords. Universal link

Available for paperback from Barnes & Noble: B&N paperback 

Amazon paperback: Amazon paperback 

Amazon International: UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | NL | JP | BR | CA | MX | AU | IN

Signed copies are available from my Square Storefront. You can also get the Ghoulidays box set, which has both 1 and 2: Warrior Muse Press Square Storefront

Monday, March 13, 2023

More Blog Visits for Happy Ghoulidays II!

I'm visiting some more folks this week to talk about Happy Ghoulidays II. The book releases this Friday, March 17th! Schedule below:

Monday, the 13th

Marcy S. Hatch - Maine Words

Natalie Aguirre - Literary Rambles (I'll be in her follower news, but she always has a great post so I recommend visiting her!)

Wednesday, the 15th

Patricia Josephine - Twisting Myths

Jeff Wood discussing a short story career

Thursday, the 16th

K.A. Olgren - Stories 'n' More for an author interview

And a final one on April 5

L. Diane Wolfe - Circle of Friends

Thank you to everyone who hosted me and everyone who visited, commented, and shared! You can check out last week's posts at Guest Posts at Alex's, Anna's, and the Colorado HWA. (DeAnna's post was scheduled after I titled it, but the link is in the post).

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

IWSG - Cover Reveal & April Submission Roundup

It's time for the March IWSG!

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a monthly blog event where writers can post about their insecurities and lend support to other writers. Anyone can join. Click on Alex's name above and add your blog to the linky list.

This month's co-hosts are Deidre Knight, Tonya Drecker, Bish Denham, Olga Godim, and JQ Rose. Be sure to stop by and visit them!

This month's optional question: Have you ever read a line in a novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

Oh yeah. I am constantly awed by glorious wording (and occasionally plot twists, though I find those harder to come by). I love a good plot twist, but I can't think of one off the top of my head that awed me. The entire opening sections of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca are worth reading for the fantastic wording. Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has some great descriptive sentences. And the opening line of Stephen King's The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger is a great one, as well.

I'm skipping submission stats this month, because I haven't been submitting while I finished getting Happy Ghoulidays II ready. Speaking of which, how about a cover reveal? I don't have the paperback pre-order link yet, but I'll post the e-book link below.

Happy Ghoulidays II releases Friday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day), as the first story in the book involves St. Paddy's. The universal link for e-books is HERE.

If you're willing to help with my book launch this month, you can sign up HERE.

And look what my husband (my cover designer) did!

If you missed L. Diane Wolfe's guest post last week, she wrote about tying books in a series together. Check out the post and her new book!

Open for Submissions

Bear in mind, I'm merely passing these along, not endorsing them. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Dragon's Roost Press is seeking submissions of weird, dark speculative fiction for The Midnight Zone. Must involve a new monster. 1000 to 5000 words. Pays $.03/word. Deadline March 30.

Aurealis is open year round for authors in Australia and New Zealand, but they're open to international submissions once per year for the month of March. Speculative fiction. Pays $20-$60 AUD per 1000 words. Deadline March 31.

Masks Literary Magazine is seeking poetry and prose up to 3000 words. Pays $20-$25. Deadline March 31.

Gordon Square Review is seeking poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Word limit varies per type of submission. Up to 7500 words for prose. Pays $10-$25. Deadline April 1.

ev0ke is seeking pieces with the theme "sex magic." They take a variety of submission types. Pays $5. Deadline April 15 (does not open until April 1.)

Dread Stone Press is seeking horror flash fiction. 500 to 1000 words. $.02/word. Deadline April 15. (Opens April 1.)

Seaside Gothic is seeking flash fiction. Up to 1000 words. Pays .01 pounds/word. Deadline April 16.

Reservoir Road Literary Review is seeking literary fiction short stories and lyrical creative nonfiction. Up to about 8000 words (no hard limit). Pays $5. Deadline April 30 (does not open until April 1).

Khoreo is seeking speculative fiction. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.10/word. Deadline April 30.

Dragonsoul Press is seeking stories featuring pirates for Pirate Gold. Yes, that even includes space pirates. 3000 to 20,000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline April 30.

Inklings Press is seeking speculative fiction mystery stories. Up to around 5000 words. Pays $10. Deadline April 30.

The First Line is seeking stories starting with the line: "All the lawns on Mentone Avenue are mowed on Wednesdays." 300 to 5000 words. Pays $10-$50, depending upon submission type. Deadline May 1.

Rock and a Hard Place is seeking literary noir stories about rich people behaving badly for the anthology The One Percent: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved. 2000 to 5000 words. Pays $25 to $35. Deadline May 1.

December Magazine is seeking literary prose, poetry, and nonfiction. Up to 1000 words. Pays $10 per page. Deadline May 1.

Three Ravens Publishing is seeking post-apocalyptic stories for Tales of the Apocalypse. 5000 to 10,000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline May 1.

What are your insecurities? What's your favorite line from a novel (or what novel is it from)? Have you written a series? Any of these publications of interest?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Guest Post - L. Diane Wolfe: How to Tie Together a Series

L. Diane Wolfe is stopping by today to discuss her new book with a guest post about tying series together.

How to Tie Together a Series 

Sometimes writers plan out a series. Sometimes one book turns into more. And sometimes a writer conceives of multiple, seemingly unrelated stories. How can one tie it all together? 

Here are some ways you can groups stories into a coherent series: 

Continuation of the characters: 

Take the main character and continue his/her adventures. Each story can stand on its own or each one can progress forward in time. There are a lot of examples in the literary world: Sherlock Holmes, Jack Reacher, Nancy Drew, etc. Readers who fall in love with the main character will enjoy more stories surrounding that person. 

It doesn’t have to be the same character, though. The main character’s best friend could become the main character in the next book, and so on and so on. Many of the secondary characters will cycle in and out of the stories, keeping readers grounded in the cast. I did this with my new adult series, The Circle of Friends. 

Set in the same universe: 

Think DC or Marvel comics. Many superheroes across one large universe. Sometimes they cross over, sometimes they are merely referenced in another story. The stories can also be set many years apart. The Imager series by L.E. Modessit is an example of a single universe series, as is Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. 

Using a theme: 

If the characters don’t overlap and neither does the setting, then stories can be tied together by theme. The theme can be simple or complex. It can tie specifically to the stories’ genre. But some key element binds the stories to a series, a theme that readers will enjoy regardless of the exact setting or characters. Theme is what I used to tie my In Darkness series together—each main character(s) deal with a darkness in their lives, whether it’s due to their supernatural nature (vampire, shark, werewolf, alien) or human flaws and baggage dragging them down. 

If you have some stories written and would like to tie them together, consider one of those three options. If you’d like to plan a series or turn a single book into one, now you have some ideas. Series do well, so if you can get one going and it’s successful, you’ll gain dedicated readers for years. 

In Darkness: The Vampire 
By L. Diane Wolfe 

Souls shrouded in darkness… 

Stuck working as a barmaid for her demanding father, Anna dreams of adventure. When mysterious strangers enter the bar, she overhears they seek Zancrela, an ancient fortress filled with treasure and a magical library. Taking her chance, she offers to guide them. The conditions: deliver Zancrela or die. 

As they journey through the wilderness, she discovers their secret: they are vampires. And most view her as food. One takes interest in her and her heart dares to hope, but it might not be enough to change her fate. Will Anna find Zancrela or become a vampire morsel? 

Release date – February 7, 2023 
Romance / Paranormal / Vampires (FIC027320), Fantasy / Paranormal (FIC009050), Fantasy / Romance (FIC009090) 
eBook ISBN 9781939844903 
$3.99 eBook available in all formats 

Buy Links: 

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Submission Stats & Open Calls for March

Since I didn't have time last week to add the usual onto my IWSG post, I'm doing it this week. 

First, my submission stats for January. They're awful, BUT that's because I'm busy working on Happy Ghoulidays II, so I don't even feel bad about it. HGII releases March 17!! (I'm looking for folks interested in helping spread the word about HGII in March. You can sign up here. Thank you!)

In January:

3 submissions

3 rejections

12 currently on submission

So. many. needing. submission.

Okay, now for publications taking submissions with deadlines in March. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Hexagon Magazine is seeking speculative fiction short stories. Up to 10,000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline March 7. (Note they are only open for submissions from the 1st to the 7th.)

Solarpunk Magazine is seeking stories by BIPOC authors only for a special themed issue. 1500 to 7500 words. Pays $.08/word. Deadline March 14. (Note they are only open for submissions from the 1st to the 14th.)

Eye to the Telescope is seeking speculative poetry with the theme of Fungi. 1-3 poems. Pays $.04/word. Deadline March 15. 

EvOke is seeking speculative fiction stories with the theme Gods and Goddesses of Witchcraft. Pays $5. Deadline March 15.

Nunum is seeking flash fiction. Up to 500 words. Pays $20CAD. Deadline March 15.

The Ex-Puritan is seeking a variety of works, including short fiction, poetry, and essays. Pay is between $35 and $200, depending upon type of submission. Deadline March 25, but deadlines roll, so they are continuously open for submissions. Deadline merely determines which issue you're being considered for.

Dragon Soul Press is seeking stories featuring East Asian warriors for the anthology Honor. 3000 to 20,000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline March 25.

Munster Literature Center is seeking short fiction for Southword. Up to 5000 words. Pays 250 euros. Deadline March 31.

Cohesion Press is seeking military horror short stories for Snafu: Punk'd. 2000 to 7500 words. Pays $.05AUD/word. Deadline March 31.

The Woodward Review is seeking poetry and prose. Up to 5000 words. Pays $50. Deadline March 31.

Be sure to stop by on February 22 when L. Diane Wolfe stops by!

Have you been submitting? How's it going? Any of these of interest?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

IWSG - Book Covers & Book Launch Help

Ack! I almost forgot to put together this post! Note: I will have to either post this month's submission calls in a separate post or add them to this one later. It's been a crazy (albeit good) day, and I just didn't have time to get it together.

It's the first Wednesday of February (I am never, ever ready for a new month, it seems), which means it's time for another round of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG serves to create an environment for writers to share their insecurities and support their fellow creatives. Anyone can join. Simply click on Alex's name and put your blog on the linky list.

The co-hosts this month are: Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

The optional question is: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

I'm Indie, and my husband makes the covers for me. I find it amazing that I can tell him some events/items to focus on, and he comes up with these great covers. 

And he puts together marketing images. This question is oddly timely, because I should be sending my newsletter out within the next week featuring the cover reveal of Happy Ghoulidays II! My newsletter subscribers get to see it first. If you're curious, you can sign up for the newsletter over to the right. He's putting the finishing touches on it as we speak. Getting the official cover is one of my absolute favorite parts.

If you're willing to help with the book launch in March, between Monday, March 6 and Friday, March 17 (release day is the 17th), you can sign up by clicking HERE.

I will have to do my submission recap in a separate post with the submission links, because I have to get up really early for a work meeting, and it is way past when I should have gone to bed for it (not that I can sleep when I go to bed earlier than usual, anyway, but I can at least be in bed reading until sleep is a possibility.)

What are your insecurities? Who does your covers? How much say do you get? Which of your books has your favorite cover?

May you find your Muse.