Monday, October 20, 2014

Books, Books, Glorious Books

It's time to celebrate many book releases and cover reveals, but first, an update for The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond:

The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond
As some of you know, this book has been a lot of hard work editing, proof-reading, collating, formatting. We are super thrilled about it. As a team, we even conquered the synopsis. It's coming together in an exciting way. The articles from over 100 writers across the globe are brilliant, informative, inspiring. There's still a lot yet to be done, but we're on track for the December release!

We even have a snazzy trailer for the book, created by HJ Blenkinsop. 

A Lizard's Tail by Bish Denham
When a feral cat threatens the lives of all who live at Stone Wall, Marvin knows his destiny has finally arrived. But how can a young, vain lizard get rid of such a dangerous enemy?

Paperback, Kindle

Vitamins and Death by Medeia Sharif
YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

Find Medeia:
Blog | Instagram | Twitter

Gears of Brass, a Steampunk Anthology
Release Date: November 10, 2014

Congrats to SA Larsen for her story 'Time Spun Souls' which is included in this anthology.

Soulless by Crystal Collier
New Release
Book 2 of the Maiden of Time series.

Kindle, Paperback

For the last three weeks I've been going through some personal/medical stuff that has been super draining so I haven't been around much. My apologies. It's not over. Unfortunately. Sigh. While it's not life-threatening, it is still something that requires unfun tests and waiting and if I'm unlucky, then surgery. Joy. On a high note, I'll be going to a gaming conference next week. A timely distraction. So I won't be posting again until November 3rd. Prayers and virtual hugs are welcome.

Are you excited about these books? What other books are you excited about? What have you been reading recently?

Monday, September 29, 2014

That Semicolon is Killing Me #IWSG

A sign at the local coffee shop had me giggling and wincing at the same time. It read:

Dear Customers;
EFTPOS is temporarily unavailable.
Sorry for the convenience

The owners of the shop may have heard my guffaw because, not a minute later, the sign was taken down and a new one put up. Convenience was changed to inconvenience. But the semicolon remained. It made me squirm as if I had a tick in my eye.

Do you have trouble ignoring the bad grammar or punctuation around you? Do you correct presenters on TV shows, rewrite sentences while reading published books, chuckle at dodgy sentence structure on goods? Have you influenced your non-writing family member enough that he or she also corrects the bad grammar?

If you’ve said yes to any of these questions, then I have bad news for you: You are cursed. Yes, cursed. There’s no going back to being blissfully unaware of typos, comma splices, or dangling modifiers. You are doomed to annoy your friends (or bite your tongue a lot), fated to spend hours nit-picking over your work, ruined for the rest of your literary life.

The good news is, you’ve also been blessed. Why? Because you are a writer, and being a writer is the best thing in the world. Go on, you can admit it. It’s safe here.

What are some of the funniest mistakes you’ve made or seen? How do you survive the errors everywhere?

This post was written for the IWSG Group. We post on the first Wednesday of the month. Sign up is HERE.

I’m posting early because I wanted to remind everyone about the impending deadline for The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond. It’s chugging toward us at a rapid pace. Not the book, but the deadline for submissions, which is October 2nd. We’re looking for articles on writing, publishing and marketing. For the guidelines, click HERE.

While we prefer email submissions, TheIWSG[at]gmail[dot]com, if you are submitting via your blog, then make sure to use the book sign up sheet so we don't miss your awesome work.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Motivation to Write

Being on a diet, I’m a little obsessed with food and have been craving something extravagant, my favourite indulgence being seafood platters. I turned to hubby and said, “When I get my book published, I’m going to take us out to some fancy restaurant with the money I earn.” He said, “So you’ll be ordering a scallop then?”

Ah, yes, he understands most of us don’t write for the money. We can, of course, dream and work toward achievable goals. If money were my sole goal, then I probably would’ve stopped writing a long time ago.  

What motivates you most to write?

Out now: How I Found the Write Path, compiled by Carrie Butler and PK Hrezo. This is a compilation of letters to our past selves, sharing the secrets of the writing trade. With over sixty authors around the world contributing to the book, it’s well worth the read. I have the honour of my letter being included as well. So go grab yourself a free copy today.

Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords, Txtr, Scribd

The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond
Once again I’d like to thank everyone who has already sent in their submission for the book. If you haven’t already sent in anything, then your deadline is October 2nd. You can find the details here.

Important note: In the interests of copyright laws, we request you don’t use any direct quotes from other published writers unless you know without doubt it's in the public domain eg Shakespeare.

So far we’ve received a lot of submissions on writing, which is fantastic, but we’d also love to see more entries on publishing and marketing so we get a good balance for the book.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Is Self-Publishing for You? And Secrets of Honor

Today I'm over at the IWSG Website with an article about whether or not self-publishing is for you. Please pop on over. I'd love to see you there.

Today is the official Secrets of Honor release day. Yay, Carol!

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

Available on Kindle and Paperback
Thanks to Mark Noce and Sittie for the Versatile Blogger Award. As part of accepting the award, I'm supposed to share 7 things about myself: I love God, garlic, friendship, my gorgeous husband, story writing, reading, and sunlight. 

Congrats to Mark for his two book deal as well!! How awesome is that?!

A note about the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond: We've already received some fabulous submissions. Keep 'em coming! Your deadline is October 2nd. I'd like to encourage every member of the group to consider contributing to the book, even if you aren't currently published yet. What better way to get started?

Don't forget to pop on over to the IWSG Website.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Exciting IWSG Announcement

It's the IWSG Anniversary! Yay us!

Today marks three years since the very first IWSG post. Next month marks one year since the IWSG site and Facebook group opened. And we’d like you to help us celebrate!
The IWSG Team is putting together an eBook that will benefit all writers: The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. And we invite all IWSG members, Facebook members, and followers to contribute.

The details:
The three topics will be writing, publishing, and marketing.

Each contribution needs to be between 200 and 1000 words. Focus on one of those three aspects and give us your best tip or procedure. The essay can include bullet points, top ten lists, and recommendations. (Websites, software, books, etc.)

You can either post it for your October 1 IWSG post or email it directly. TheIWSG[at] or alexjcavanaugh[at] (Since the length can go over the standard IWSG post length.) Include a one sentence byline and a link to your site. Also state that you give us permission to use it in the book and which topic it falls under. (We will only edit for misspellings and grammar mistakes.)

All submissions need to be sent or posted by October 2, 2014. We will compile them into an eBook and aim for an early December release. The book will be free and available for all eReaders.

Thank you for making the IWSG such a huge success!!

A big thank you to Elizabeth Varadan for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Another big thank you to M Pax. On Crystal Collier's blog, I won two of Mary's ebooks, The Rifters and The Initiate. Apparently I'm the very first to receive a copy of the Initiate. It's so new, it's still smoking. I'm super excited to read both.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bits and Bobs and Some Other Meanderings

In my last post about the prejudices within a writer, I seemed to have struck a chord. Consequently, I received many thoughtful comments. One stood out for me and I wanted to share. It was from Carol Riggs: "Readers enjoy all types of books--not everything has to mean something profound. Isn't having readers enjoy a book a profound experience in itself, w/o having to change the world and be on the NYT bestseller list? I think so!" I think so too! Thanks, Carol and everyone who took the time to leave a comment. I appreciate all of them.

I won a $10 Amazon gift voucher from C Lee McKenzie as part of her Double Negative Tour. A big thank you to Lee! If you haven't picked up your copy of her latest YA book, do so today!

I recently read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. So far this is my absolute favourite book I've read this year. Wow, the voice is amazing, the story wonderful. I loved everything about it. Clearly, I need to read more MGs if this is the kind of gem I'll find. No surprises, the book won a Newbery award.

A $25 juicer from Kmart is my new friend (for however long it will last). Yes, I'm cheap. I'd wanted a juicer for a while but they all cost ridiculous prices when I wasn't sure I'd love it. Well, it turns out, I love it. Above is a pic of my more daring blend: kale, cucumber, apple and ginger. Yum. So far, my favourite blend is the good ole orange, apple and ginger combo. Tonight I might try carrot, fennel and ginger. Have you gone juice crazy? What weird combos have you tried (made or bought)?

I also recently mentioned my computer crashed big time. Well, I'm happy to say my tech-savvy husband got it up and running like new again. My game project is back on track. Woot.

Because I'm super busy with writing along with game development, I'll be back to post again on the first Wednesday of September for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. My favourite group! In the meanwhile, happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Prejudices within the Writer #IWSG

The community of writers is a special one. It’s full of insane, generous people who have chosen writing as a pastime—or perhaps writing chose them. However, we’re not immune to prejudices—mostly against ourselves.

There’s a common belief that there are classes of writing. The good, the bad and the ugly. The literary, the genre and the first draft. Like all prejudices, they only damage. Not all writing needs to change the world. Not all of it needs to dig deep to uncover truths meant to change a person’s life. And not all of it needs to be perfect at every stage.

I’m a genre writer, my favourite being anything speculative. In some circles, science fiction and fantasy lack a certain kudos that literary works hold. Romance writers seem to be on the back foot as well and let’s not talk about the poor horror writers. Not only that, it’s easy to get fooled into thinking you’ll never be good enough, never get noticed by a publisher, and certainly never hit the bestsellers lists. That only happens to the lucky people.

Well, excuse my language, but pish posh to prejudices! Don’t let yourself lose focus. When I returned to the roots of why I started writing in the first place, I was suddenly okay with being a genre writer.

Writing is a form of expression that’s crucial to my sanity. It doesn’t matter what type of stories I create. It doesn’t matter that my work won’t turn into classics for generations to come. All I need to do is cast aside the damaging prejudices that are both contagious and toxic, and write what I love.

How about you?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. To join or check it out, click HERE.

Also we, at the IWSG, have a special announcement for the IWSG anniversary coming up. Stay tuned!! (Psst, it's super exciting).

And for those of you who have joined the IWSG Facebook Group, we've turned Fridays into promo day when you can share your links to your books, blogs or whatever you'd like to promote, or simply share any great news you might have.

Note: my main computer died (thus no pics in this post). The harddrive went boom. I'm not a happy camper. Luckily I can write anywhere (yay for crappy old laptops). Unluckily, however, it means my game project is on hold. Sigh.