Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - Snowy Oldies & Links

Today's [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday consists of a couple more photos that I've posted before. We got a lovely powdery snow the other night, but I missed the opportunity to go to Garden of the Gods for photos, so I thought I'd share some I took previously.

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

Crossed Genres will be taking submissions with the theme of Music from February 1 through February 28. (Their Food-themed issue closes January 31.) Pays $.05/word.

REUTS Publications is accepting submissions in any genre, as long as it is fiction and aimed at YA and/or NA. Full-length novels only.

Fertility Today is open to submissions. 800-1500 words. They have a list of categories for you to write to. For the most part, they seem to want articles from professionals, but they have a "My Story" section. Unsure of pay.

L'iVoire Press is accepting submissions of hunting stories. They pay $1000 per story. They ask that you submit a rough draft and they'll then work with you to edit it.


Crested Butte Writers holds their annual Sandy Writing Competition. Open to both published and unpublished authors. A little birdie told me that they didn't get many entries in anything other than YA, so now might be a good time to enter. Closes February 10. $35 entry fee. 1st place in each category receives $60.

Kazka Press has a monthly 713 Flash Fiction Contest. The theme for February is "Journeys," with a deadline of February 20. Sci-fi, fantasy and horror. 500-1000 words. Pays $15 per story.

Blog Stuff:

Alex J. Cavanaugh is holding his Epic 2000 Follower Giveaway. This runs until he has 2000 followers. Last I looked, he was at 1975. Grand prize is a signed copy of all three of his Cassa-series books, $10 iTunes card, t-shirt of your choice from Neat-rama, and three books donated to the library of your choice. First prize is one signed copy of one of his books, $10 iTunes card, and one book donated to a library of your choice.

Ellie Garratt is looking for writers of Speculative Fiction who might like to guest post or be interviewed on her blog in February.

Anything to add? Anything to announce? News? Interested in any of the links above?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Heinlein's Rules for Writing & Getting Published

I've heard a lot about Heinlein's Rules for Writing lately, and there's a good reason. If you want to get published, this simple set of rules if a formula for success.

First, what are Heinlein's Rules for Writing? As published in the 1947 essay "On the Writing of Speculative Fiction:"

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

Robert A. Heinlein autographing at the 1976 WorldCon.
Courtesy of user Dd-b, Wikimedia Commons

Let's look at them one-by-one.

1. You must write.

This one is absurdly obvious, yet it's not as easy to do as it sounds. People run into time issues. They get distracted by the life events that HAVE to be done (or that, at the very least, FEEL like the things that have to be done.) I need to write, but first I need to do the dishes, check my email, call the dentist, run to the grocery store, make a snack for my kids, pack their lunches for tomorrow, check Facebook, vacuum the living room floor, work my day job, ...

Wow, there are a lot of excuses for why we can't write, aren't there? And many of them are completely valid (work and parenting come to mind). But you're not a writer if you aren't writing. Make the time. Make a date. Schedule it on your calendar. Steal five minutes here, five minutes there. Write on napkins. In short, find what helps you get to writing and then continue doing that something.

2. You must finish what you write.

Again, obvious. Again, easier said than done.

It's easier to start a project than to finish it. We get distracted in the lulls between the exciting parts. We get new ideas. We forget to make time to write. There are probably as many reasons to not finish as there are reasons to not write in the first place, but you have to finish or there was no point in starting. Don't let that turn you off. Make whatever plans you need to be able to write, just as above, and stick to it. If you get a new idea, jot it down in a notebook or make a document on your computer (phone/tablet/what have you) to keep new ideas in. That way, they can continue to evolve in your mind while you finish writing what you've already started.

3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.

Now, this one I have a bit of a problem with, so I'm going to change the meaning for me. You can take it as you want. I've known quite a few writers who get lost in the editing--they never stop. You have to get your manuscript to a good point and let it go. If it gets accepted, the editor will discuss changes. Now, if you self-publish, you should still be hiring a professional editor. At the very least, find someone else to look your work over for some line edits and story flow issues.

If you're submitting to traditional markets and they're asking you to use spell-check, you obviously need to do more editing. But you can't spend the rest of your life editing and never reaching the next step.

4. You must put the work on the market. 

You've written your story. You've edited it to a stopping point. Don't just file it now. Start submitting! If it's a short story, find short story markets, like magazines, anthologies, etc. If it's a novel, start hunting for an agent (if that's the way you choose to go). If you plan to self-publish, get the formatting done and get your book to market, whether that's POD and/or e-book, Create Space and/or Amazon. Nook and/or Kindle. Get your book (or short story!) out there.

5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold. 

Do it.

Okay, I should expand on that more. If you submit to an agent and get rejected, send it to another agent. Even better, as soon as you submit, have the information for the next agent in line. That way, when your rejection comes back, you don't have to hesitate or wallow, you just have to re-label that envelope (or re-write that email), and send it out again.

If you're submitting short stories (or other short works), do the exact same thing. If you submit to a market, know where you're sending it next. If they take simultaneous submissions, by all means submit to multiple places at once. Just be sure to mention this is a simultaneous submission, and to notify them if one market picks up your piece. You don't want to piss off markets you may want to submit to again in the future. And, in my experience, they're super nice when you let them know someone else purchased it. Given, that's limited experience, so don't hold me to it.

6. Shannon's Rule: Continue 1 & 2, even as you do 4 & 5.

While you're shopping those books/stories, you should be writing new ones. Set aside x amount of market research time, submit during that time, then write, write, write. And finish what you're writing. Number 5 is not a good place to stop. If you could see these rules as an image, they'd be the infinity snake, eating its own tail. Always keep writing.

By Elizabeth,

And, yeah, I need to follow my own advice.

What rule would you add? What do you think of these rules? How do you interpret number 3?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - Cover Mania! & Links

For [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday, I thought I'd re-post the various book covers from the releases/reveals in the last month in case anyone missed them.

Fantastic covers!

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

Coeur de Lion Publishing is open for submissions. They're looking for speculative fiction, especially science fiction. Each issue of the magazine will be available to read free online. Pays AUD $100 per story. Current reading period closes February 22.

Despumation Press is open for submissions through February 28. The current issue will be song stories, stories based on your favorite heavy metal song. Pays $10, plus a hard copy.

Fablecroft Publishing is taking submissions for their unthemed seculative fiction anthology, Insert Title Here. 2000 to 12000 words. Submissions close February 28. Payment is AUD $75, plus a contributor copy.

April Moon Books is putting out an anthology entitled Amok!, part of the Short Sharp Shocks series. They seek short stories about someone running amok, for all the various reasons that might occur. Payment is a contributor copy, plus there are five Editor's Choice Awards of $30 each.


Whiteduck Publishing is seeking submissions from First Nation, Metis, and Inuit writers for Thunderbird Stories. Deadline February 28. First prize $1000. 

Blog Hops:

Starting today, Jamie Ayres is hosting a Can You Handle the Truth Book Release Blog Fest to celebrate her book, 18 Truths. Play a little 2 Truths and a Lie in bloggy form. This goes through the 28th, and I believe you can still sign up for it.

Michelle at Writer-in-Transit is hosting the Ubuntu Bloghop, February 18-21 (so you can pick the day of your posting). She's looking for a variety of creative posts to express the idea of ubuntu (defined on her blog).

Anything you'd like to share? Anything of interest above? Have you submitted anything so far in 2014?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Randy Lindsay Book Tour - The Gathering

Today, I'm taking part in Randy Lindsay's book tour for his debut novel, The Gathering: End's Beginning.

First, I want to say a big fat congratulations to Randy! He was the first ever person to let me know he'd used one of the links I post on Wednesdays and gotten published in a magazine. So anyone who likes the Wednesday link posts can thank Randy, because I'm not sure I'd still be posting them if I hadn't known it did some good for someone. I've since heard from a couple other people with the same news, but Randy was the first. He's a fantastic writer, so check out his book!

Robert Williams didn’t expect an early honorable release from his mission, but upon his return home, he sees the reason for the surprise decision. Unemployment, rampant violence, and frequent food shortages have put the United States on the brink of another civil war. As the threads of society unravel, the Williams family must adapt to drastic changes as the long-foretold gathering begins to take place.

Meet the Author: RANDY LINDSAY is a native of Arizona. From an early age, his mind traveled in new and unusual directions. His preoccupation with “what if” eventually led him to write speculative fiction. According to his wife everything is a story to Randy. And it is. Although this is his first novel, Randy has been published in a variety of science-fiction and fantasy magazines. He lives in Mesa with his wife and five of his nine children. If you want to find out more you can check him out at

You can find The Gathering: End's Beginning at Amazon on paperback and Kindle.

Congratulations again, Randy!

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Oldie, but a Goodie & Links

I haven't installed my photo programs on this new laptop yet, so in lieu of a new photo, I'll post an oldie, but a goodie, especially as I'm daydreaming of the beach right now.

Sigh. Salt spray, the sound of seagulls, soft white sand beneath my feet.

Good thing I love the mountains just as much!

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

It can be kind of hard to find publications that don't say "NO Vampires" right on the main page, but Strange Musings Press is seeking humorous short fiction about vampires for an anthology, Vampires Suck. They've actually updated their requirements to being any sort of humorous speculative fiction, not just vampires. Deadline is February 1. Contributor copy and possible royalties. Reprints accepted for one less share of the royalty pool.

Aercastle Narratives Magazine is looking for submissions of all genres of speculative fiction for their first issue. Payment is $.02 per word, plus a contributor copy. Deadline is February 1 for a March issue.

Nashville Review is in their open review period through February 1. They take art of all different sorts, but the current window is for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Comics, film, dance, music, oral storytelling, and oral poetry are accepted year-round. Pay varies per submission type, but fiction and non-fiction are $100, poetry is $25.

Lightspeed is putting together a special issue of the magazine. Women Destroy Science Fiction is a tongue-in-cheek response to those who claim women can't write good science fiction. I would LOVE to see names I know in there! Deadline is February 14. Pays $.08 cents per word for original stories, $.02 for reprints. They also accept flash fiction at $.08 per word. Submissions will be considered for Lightspeed Prime, as well.

Horrified Press is looking for stories for Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers. Deadline is February 20th. It pays in royalties and exposure. They accept flash fiction, short fiction, poetry, and reprints.

Ninth Letter is seeking submissions of fiction, poetry, and essays through February 28. Pays $25 per printed page.

Dark Continents Publishing has put out a call for Guns and Romance, an anthology. They're accepting any genre. Deadline is February 28. Pays $20 per story, plus royalties of the e-book.

Blog Hops (Don't read any further, Gary):

Arlee Bird and a passel of folks are doing the What Works...And What Doesn't...Online Marketing Symposium on January 20. Contribute your own experience as to what works in marketing online. Also, the A-to-Z is gearing up, so keep an eye on the A-to-Z blog for information as the time approaches.

Unicorn Bell has announced their upcoming blog fests, the first of which is the Love is in the Air Blog Fest, January 20-24.

Anything interest you on here? Anything to share? Publishing news? Where are you dreaming of being right now?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Tale of Two Cover Reveals

Hi there! I've got two cover reveals to share with you today. Carrie Butler and J.L. Campbell both have new books coming out! (Quick note: I know I've been doing a lot of cover reveals and book tours lately. I'm doing one more this coming Monday, and then I'll be back to normal posts. It's given me time to put together a few posts I hope you'll find interesting, and provided a bit of a break for me to get back to being interested in my blog topics, which was more necessary than I realized. In the meantime, I'm enjoying supporting all these exciting new releases!)


Title: HONESTY (Mark of Nexus #2.5)
Author: Carrie Butler
Category: New Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cole Blake is more than just a roguish ladies’ man. He’s also a dedicated worker—so dedicated, in fact, that he’s willing to blackmail his boss with a falsified sex tape in order to keep his job. And his proactive efforts don’t end there. After hours, he uses his Dynari abilities to moonlight as a vigilante, keeping his neighborhood safe from drunks, dealers, and would-be thieves.

Until a mistake stops him dead in his super-accelerated tracks.

Now burdened with the closest thing he’s ever had to a conscience, Cole struggles to justify his once-reckless actions. It’d be all too easy to give in to his darker impulses, especially with ERA making dangerous advances toward their goal of revolution, but embracing that hatred could jeopardize the few relationships he actually cares about—including his pursuit of the saintly Rachel Ranford. No, in order to keep everyone safe, he’ll have to come clean about his warring compulsions and ask for help... before his dark side takes over.


About the Author:
Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Her passion for New Adult fiction led her to co-found NA Alley—one of the first websites dedicated to the category. A year later, she started a design business specializing in graphics for the publishing industry, called Forward Authority. Her Mark of Nexus series has appeared on Amazon bestselling, top-rated, and hot new release lists.

Where to Find Carrie:
·         WEBSITE:
·         BLOG:
·         NA ALLEY:
·         TWITTER:
·         FACEBOOK:
·         GOODREADS:
·         GOOGLE+:
·         PINTEREST:
·         LINKEDIN:

Click here to read the first (unedited) chapter of HONESTY! While you’re at it, you might want to listen to its playlist on Carrie’s website. Then be sure to add HONESTY to your TBR list on Goodreads. :)

J.L. CAMPBELL - Chasing Anya

Been there. Done that.

Feisty and independent, Anya Davies lives by her own rules. The one thing she’s hell-bent on avoiding is a conventional relationship. Nor is she interested in romance, thanks to her abusive ex who refuses to stay in the past. The second complication in her life is a secret that condemns her to constant guilt and a solitary life. A series of near misses and escalating threats are a third and worrying factor. Only a special man would understand or live with Anya’s challenges and demands.

Casual not having that.

Enter Christophe Mondesir. Two years ago, Anya dumped him without explanation. An accidental meeting shoots Anya back on Christophe’s radar. He refuses to be denied and plans to breach the fortress Anya has built around her heart—if she’ll commit to more than a casual liaison. He’s also determined to find out what she’s hiding. That’s if the stalker who’s after Anya doesn’t end her life first.

Genre:  Romance, Women's Fiction
Content/Theme(s):  Sexual Content (not graphic), Post Abortion Sydrome, Relationships, Spousal Abuse,
Release Date:  January 13, 2014
Publisher: The Writers' Suite

 photo 85c6c375-f71a-468a-ad8c-b8d2b30deb99_zps986ff285.jpg
He stood before her, pressing kisses to her neck. Then his lips covered hers. Soft. Persuasive.

She resisted him at first, but the memory of his lovemaking warmed her blood and she relaxed against him. The unknown word he’d spoken came to mind and she twisted away from him. “I’m not so sure I should let you touch me, ’specially since I don’t know what you said earlier. What was that anyhow?”

“I said you should stop talking like a slut.”

She mashed his toes with her foot. “How dare you talk to me like that?”

“Ouch! If you insist on treating sex as if it is some sort of pill—”

“If you were sensitive to my needs, I wouldn’t have to resort to asking for sex.”
He narrowed his eyes. “You know what? I’m going to give you what you want.”

That said, Christophe pressed his lips to hers, forcing her mouth open. She fought him, but this time he ignored her attempts to escape.

The intensity of his kiss frightened her. His grip on her arms was too tight and she felt suffocated by his strength. “No, Christophe, I—”

His hand glided under her shirt and the words lodged in her throat. She cast aside her objections, swept away by the fire his touch lit on her insides.

They landed on her bed, struggling to free themselves of their clothing. Minutes later, Christophe reduced her to an orgasmic shudder.

Then they started over.

When they were satisfied, she panted against his chest.

Christophe eased away from her and rolled onto his back to stare into a corner of the room.

Now what was wrong with him? She raised herself up on her elbow. “What’s bugging you now?”

It took him a while to look her in the eyes. “D’you realize I just raped you?”

She almost giggled. “Well, it was the best rape I ever had.”

He sighed. “I’m serious. You said no, and I didn’t listen.”

He murmured something she didn’t hear and rolled onto his side, away from her.

Anya stared at a mole on his shoulder, unable to believe what she was seeing and hearing. Was he serious? Wasn’t she supposed to be the basket case?

She scratched at the skin around the cast. It was itching like hell lately.

Christophe got up and went into the bathroom. The toilet flushed and she waited for him to come back to bed. Instead, he got a pair of jeans from the cupboard and pulled them on, along with a tee-shirt.

Anya gaped at him. “Where the hell d’you think you’re going?”

“Home. I need to think.”

“What d’you need to think about, Christophe?”


She yanked her shirt on and stood in front of him. “Every time I get mad and tell you to leave, you refuse to go. Now, we don’t even have a serious quarrel and you’re running away. What’s wrong with you?”

He slipped both hands in his pockets and wouldn’t look at her. “I have to go.”

Using her hand, she tipped his head so she could see his eyes.

He was in pain.

She didn’t understand what the problem was, but something had gone terribly wrong. She grabbed his arms and spoke softly to him. “Don’t walk out on me now. I don’t know what’s going on with you, or what you think you did, but I need you.”

“I’m sorry, Anya.” He stepped out of her grasp and walked away.

She sank on the bed, rubbing the frown line on her forehead. Would he be all right? Her heart rate went up and she pressed a hand to her chest. Christophe had left, but she needed to check whether he’d locked up.

The lock was engaged and she was alone in the house. She leaned against the front door, feeling as if she’d bought a bus ticket and the driver had dropped her off miles away from her destination.

Her eyes smarted, but she would not cry. While she was sure Christophe’s withdrawal was directly related to her, she sensed there were other factors at play.
If he didn’t want to talk, how could she get to the root of what was eating him?

 photo 59e824c4-9212-448b-9de2-c31e31a3a6ef_zps75626707.jpg
Image of J. L. Campbell
J.L. Campbell is a proud Jamaican, who is always on the hunt for story-making material.

She writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She is the author of Anya's Wish, Chasing Anya, Contraband, Christine's Odyssey, Dissolution, Distraction, Don't Get Mad...Get Even, Retribution, Saving Sam and Hardware (written under the pen name Jayda McTyson).

Where to find JL Campbell:

Social Media

Goodreads: JL Campbell
Twitter:     @JL_Campbell
Facebook:  JL Campbell
Amazon:    JL Campbell

Fabulosity Reads Book Promotions is a book touring website that promotes authors and their precious works to an extensive audience using blogs, twitter, Facebook and other Social Media, with the aim of introducing them to an appreciative readership.

They offer a diverse range of both complimentary and affordable products to help the reach of your book go that much further.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kimberly Afe Blog Tour - Journey to Publication

Back in December (I know, that was ages last year! Oh haha, oh hoho...couldn't help it) I posted a cover reveal for Kimberly Afe's The Headhunters Race. Remember this one?

Today, she's visiting with a tale of her journey to publication.

The Headhunters Race has a bit of a long journey.  The idea was born on June 26, 2011 after a Zelda game commercial inspired me.  The commercial was brilliant and I thought why can't they make a movie that cool?  And then I thought, why don't I write a cool adventure myself! 

So I brainstormed this story with my son over a dinner of spicy spaghetti a couple of nights after the idea came to me.  We worked out the entire novel:  the characters and their motivations, the world, and the details of the race as I frantically wrote it all down.  My husband and daughter also helped me brainstorm items that I needed worked out.  I then spent a little while playing around with Avene's voice and then wrote like crazy.  I finished in December of 2011.  I actually started having critique partners read it in November of 2011 and began querying agents in January of 2012 after more revising.  I also entered it into a few popular contests around the blogosphere in early 2012.  Then I took a very long break due to life circumstances with hubby’s heart and moving.  Early this year I got back into writing.  I’d been thinking about self publishing for quite awhile so when querying a few more agents and a handful of publishers didn’t work out, I decided to go for it, and now, 2 1/2 years later, the book is out there!  Wahoo!

As of January 3rd, The Headhunters Race is available for purchase!

Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.

With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.  

Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.

Social Sites

Website     Goodreads     Twitter     Facebook     Blog   Amazon

Kimberly is holding a Rafflecopter giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for stopping by, Kimberly, and good luck!

I know people loved the cover, as did I! Have you purchased The Headhunters Race?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

IWSG & Links

Today's Insecure Writer's Support Group (usually held the first Wednesday of the month, but that was New Year's Day this month, so it was delayed), which was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. For my IWSG post, I just want to post an encouraging video (it's short) that I think may ring true for many. From Ira Glass: (I don't know how to embed a Vimeo video). This is part of a longer talk by him, which you can locate on YouTube (there's a link to it at the link I posted).

In brief, he talks about doubting your work, and the fact that pretty much everyone creative goes through that. He encourages you to push through it, not to give up. I don't know about you, but any and all encouragement is welcome.

Anyone is welcome to sign up for IWSG. Follow the link to the IWSG above to sign up.

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

Grey Matter Press is seeking dark short stories for their anthology Death's Realm. Deadline January 31. $100 flat rate payment for accepted works.

Glimmer Train is open for short fiction through January 31. Pays $700 and a contributor copy for accepted works.

Chupa Cabra House has an open call through February 1 for Weird Western short stories. Pays $20, plus wholesale price on book purchases. There's also an open call for New Whakazoid Circus, a circuspunk anthology. Token payment and contributor copy. January 31 deadline.

Four Chambers Magazine is seeking short fiction of all sorts. They select a piece to receive $100, plus a possible additional piece to receive $100. Deadline February 14.

Forbidden Lust Press has a bunch of anthologies open for submissions. First deadline is February 1 (Dog Tags & Camouflage). Pays $.0075/word for anthologies.

Alban Lake is seeking "dark fantasy and horror short stories, poems, art, articles, reviews, and interviews for their magazine Disturbed Digest. Pay varies by type of submissions. Open-no deadlines.

Farm and Ranch Living is seeking your stories about ...well... farm and ranch living. Pay varies. Open-no deadlines.

Drunk Monkeys accepts short fiction, poetry, essays, and film reviews. Pay is not mentioned. No deadline.

Blog Hops:

Crystal Collier is holding her Book Release Blogfest on February 10. Her book Moonless is going to be released as a physical book, and she wants to celebrate! She wants to hear who you would want to be promised to in an arranged marriage.

Of Interest:

Hellnotes is looking for reviewers of upcoming horror. $10 payment for reviews, plus you get a free copy of the book.

Anything on here catch your eye? Any publication news you'd like to share? Any links to publications accepting submissions, blog hops, or contests to pass along? What makes you feel insecure?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Labyrinth Wall Monster Party

To celebrate the release of Emilyann Girdner's The Labyrinth Wall, she's hosting The Labyrinth Wall Monster Party, where we each post a little about our labyrinth monster of choice, visit the other monster hunters, and tell you a little about The Labyrinth Wall.

So climb through the doorway my friends, and join us in the labyrinth, where you'll find creatures of all shapes, sizes, and capabilities.

What you may not know is that there are tales that have been buried, an addendum to the myth of the Minotaur. Each victim killed in the labyrinth was brought back from the dead to assist the Minotaur and hamper the next person foolish enough to try their hand. Sporting horns wherever they'd been wounded, these monsters scattered throughout the labyrinth, never discovering the way out, even in death.

Dinerius was one of these monsters. He had been gored through the chest, his head squashed like a ripe melon against the labyrinth wall. When he returned, the horns grew from his sternum, front and back, and only one eye could see from his ruined head. Out of the damaged side grew an additional horn, adorned with symbols and indecipherable writing.

Dinerius was a formidable opponent, having been a strong warrior in life. Skilled in swordplay, he often used this weapon instead of the horns, though they certainly made him look quite fearsome.

When the Minotaur was slain, Dinerius was unaccounted for. He may yet roam the world, looking for his next victim.

That's my monster contribution for the Monster Party! Now let me tell you a little about Emilyann Girdner's The Labyrinth Wall.

The Labyrinth Wall
Obsidian Series, Book 1
Young Adult Fantasy Novel
By Emilyann Girdner
Editors: Nicole Zoltack and James Allen, Sr.

This is the tale of a young woman who discovers that although labyrinth walls confine her and her enemies try to repress her, the power of hope can set her free…

Free Amazon Download (New Year Special!)
Ebook: Now on Amazon

Paperback: Delays on physical copies, look for them later in January through Barnes & Noble and Amazon
Readers have said:
"A fascinating tale of adventure, danger and self discovery. You will not want to put this one down as you are drawn into the quest for something as unknown and distant as a reoccurring, puzzling and incomprehensible dream."

"The Author created a very in depth world that left me even more curious about it."

“Full of exciting situations, humor, and a good look at the human psyche of a labyrinth prisoner, this book pulls you in, and doesn't let you go until the very end.” ~ Desert Rose Reviews

(Read other excerpts at my fellow participants' blogs)

We sit together in silence and pretend like its three weeks ago before my world changed. Extracting the chalk from my box, I spend a few moments sketching on the wall. Creativity often helps me sort out my thoughts. The entire space is covered in my depictions but more always manage to fit. My arm dances in different directions, drawing what feels natural. Not allowing my mind to plan anything seems to extract the best results.

My sketch depicts a person slouched over in tears. With the creation of lines around and above her, the figure becomes enclosed in a cage.

“Guess that’s how I feel.” I look over at Blue sadly. It didn’t take away the aching in me, but the drawing did help me figure out my emotions: that I’m trapped like a prisoner. A prisoner of the bounds set by the Creators and those I’ve brought on myself. After tucking the chalk back in the box, I close its lid.

The Labyrinth Wall Arcade Game: can you help Araina escape the labyrinth?


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Don’t forget to hop around to all the participating sites and show some comment love…
The Labyrinth Wall Party Sites and post dates:


Rachel Morgan (1/2/13)


Julie Flanders (1/2/13)





The Warrior Muse (1/6/13)


Heather Holden (1/5/13)


Fiction and Film (1/5/13)


Cynthia Shepp (1/2/13)


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What monster do you think lurks within the confines of the labyrinth? What do you think of all this cool stuff Emilyann shared? Intrigued by the cover and excerpt? Interested in reading more? Check out the other participants!

May you find your Muse

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year & Links

Happy New Year, everyone! Now's when I struggle to write the correct year on my checks for the next three months. Woot!

I've got a bunch of links for you since I didn't do it last week, so why don't we jump right in and do those?

Please bear in mind that I am not personally vetting these publications and/or contests. I only pass along items of interest I come across. Please do your own due diligence in researching any publication or contest you find on this blog.

Accepting Submissions:

Jamais Vu-Journal of Strange Among the Familiar is seeking dark fiction short stories, book reviews, film reviews, poetry, and non-fiction. They pay $.05 per word in most cases, plus a contributor copy. Current submission window open through January 15.

The Kenyon Review is seeking short fiction, essays, poetry, plays, excerpts, and translations of poetry and short prose. Submission window closes January 15. This is a paying market, but specific pay is not mentioned.

Lamplight Magazine is seeking dark fiction in short and flash forms. They pay a flat fee of $150 for short stories, $50 for flash. Current submission window closes January 15. Personal recommendation: I haven't been published through them, but simultaneously submitted to them the story that ultimately got accepted by someone else (who then folded). When I wrote them to let them know it was accepted elsewhere, I got a nice, friendly email thanking me for letting them know and congratulating me on my acceptance with the other magazine. I thought that was nice of them, so wanted to pass it along. I hope to have another story I feel is appropriate for them sometime. Also, they accept reprints.

Chicken Soup for the Soul has several editions open for submissions. They pay $200 per accepted story. While I am going to list several deadlines for specific topics they're looking for, please note that they accept your heartfelt stories that are not geared toward one of the suggest book titles. Reboot Your Life closes January 30. The Cat/Dog Did What ends January 5. Check their website for specifics.

Lethe Press has several anthology calls out. Daughters of Frankenstein: Lesbian Mad Scientists closes January 31. 2500 to 12,500 words. Pays $.05/word. They are also looking for lesbian and gay fiction published in 2013 for their Best of Compilations.

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is looking for romantic sci-fi short stories. They only publish one quarterly. Must include steampunk elements, as well. Pays $25 per story. Current deadline January 31.

ChiZine Publications is putting out their Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing collection. Deadline January 31. This is a best of anthology, seeking submissions of your work that was published in 2013. Pay is not listed.

Buttontapper Press seeks haiku. Cat & Dog Lovers Haiku closes January 31. Pays in royalties. Futuristic haiku closes same date, same pay. They are also reviewing novella-length ninja-themed manuscripts.

Great Old Ones Publishing is looking for horror. Can be other speculative fiction genres, but must contain an element of horror. $25 flat fee, plus contributor copy and discount on further copies.

Crossed Genres Magazine's current issue theme is "Food." Deadline January 31. Pays $.05/word. 1000-6000 words. Must be sci-fi and/or fantasy.

For the Love of Murphy is an anthology for Roane Publishing. They seek sweet romance stories with a twist born of Murphy's Law. Deadline January 31. Their erotic romance anthology, Bad Boys Rock, is open until filled. Payment not mentioned.


Mash Stories will hold a contest every quarter. This competition is about mashing randomness into stories, so they give you three words/terms that you must wrap into your story. This cycle's are tennis ball, animal rights, and bunker. 500 word maximum. No submission fee. Deadline January 15. $100 reward, with shortlisted stories being published on the website.

Odd Contest, held by OdysseyCon annually, is open for submissions through January 15. Accepting speculative fiction poetry and prose. Adult first prize is $500, youth first prize is $50. Winners pieces will be read a the Con and published in the program and on their website.

Commonwealth Writers and the British Council are holding the BBC World Service International Radio Playwriting Competition. The winner will receive 2000, a trip to London to see your play being recorded, and an awards ceremony. Must be 53 minutes long, any subject welcome. No entry fee. Closes January 31.

Anything of interest to you? Anything you'd like to mention? Good news to share? How was your New Year's?

May you find your Muse.