Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Terri Bruce Revisited

I think I saw you have a double take. Yes, today is a Blog Ring of Power day. We are mixing things up a bit so that you can get the whole interview in one day. No more waiting till the next day to see what else our authors have said. It's good for you, good for us. It's just plain good.

BRoP Logo Revised

Interview with Terri, in all it's parts:
Part 1 @ Teresa
Part 2 @ Emily
Part 3 @ Sandra
Part 4 @ Vicki


Part 5 @ Terri


So let me restart this with a wave to the powerful leader of our group. Terri Bruce. *Waves* Hi Terri. If you haven't heard, Terri has gone through the ringer with her books and has decided to let them out into the world self published. So here she is, back and beautiful with her first book Hereafter out and about, embracing the world. 

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her second novel, Thereafter (Afterlife #2), will be released May 1, 2014.

Section #2: The Writing Life


BRoP: With two published books under your belt, have you found that your writing process has changed at all? Any new habits or tricks that you’ve developed since your last book was released?
Terri:  I’ve learned to deal with writers’ block much better. I’ve come to understand that it’s a warning bell, telling me something isn’t working. I’ve learned not to obsess about it and to trust myself/my brain to figure it out. I write around or past the problem or work on something else until I figure out the problem. Often writing around/past the problem helps because when I know what comes before and what comes after the problem area, I can figure out how to connect them, which means I can figure out the problem of why they aren’t connecting.

BRoP: What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written?
Terri: That there were people who thought there was romantic tension between Irene and Jonah in Hereafter because at times one or the other blushed. I thought that was strange because people blush for a lot of reasons—including self-consciousness and embarrassment.

BRoP: What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author?
Terri: When I was going through the problem with the publisher, there were people commenting on various blogs about my writing skill—based entirely on a one sentence snippet of my work. There were people saying that my writing sucks, that using italics in a novel is weak writing, etc. Stupid, gross generalizations pulled out of thin air that should have been easy to ignore, but which, of course, fed into my insecurities at the time (it’s very hard to go into a fight with a publisher/editor in which you are asserting you know better than them—there is a lot of self-doubt at that moment, trust me).

BRoP: Now that you have two books out, has dealing with negative reviews or criticism become easier or harder?
Terri: From the outset, I’ve believed that readers have a right to their opinion and knew that not everyone would like my book. That’s a fact (er, possibly two facts). Of course, I’m human, so I still feel a twinge whenever I get a negative review. But I just remind myself that I don’t love every book I read, either.

BRoP: How does it feel to have two books published? Does having two books out there feel different than having just one?
Terri: In some ways there is even more pressure—not to have just written a good book, but to have written a book that is equal to or better than the first, on top of the pressure of showing that you aren't a one-hit wonder. On the other hand, I feel more like a “professional author” and that I’ve got a more stable leg to stand on when I say I’m an author. One book didn't seem like much of an accomplishment, but two books…woohoo! That’s something!

Here's where you can find Terri Bruce:


Book Back Cover Blurb:


Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife. 







The Blog Ring of Power (BRoP) is a consortium of five speculative fiction writers who have banded together to bring you highlights from the current speculative fiction market--news, reviews, and interviews with speculative fiction authors--with an emphasis on small-press and self-published authors. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and relax. Have we got a story for you...

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Monday, January 20, 2014

European Dragons



Monday is hard enough to get through. So why not have a few more dragons to make you smile. Today we are going to look at the European Dragon. 


dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan (namely the Japanese dragon), Korea and other East Asian countries.[1]

European dragons exist in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe. Dragons are generally depicted as living in rivers or having an underground lair or cave.[8] They are commonly described as having hard or armored hide, and are rarely described as flying, despite often being depicted with wings.
European dragons are usually depicted as malevolent under Christianity; pre-Christian dragons, such as Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon of Wales, are seen as benevolent.

We will get to the Chinese dragon and many more as the weeks continue. There are more than just two dragon types, as any dragon lover will know. I plan on showcasing them all.

So lets get some more detail on our fire-breathing buddies. 
SMAUG by moonxels

Hey Smaug, what's up (Images of dragons are from DeviantArt madizzlee There be dragons page. None are owned by me.) When you have time, check out the rest of them.

So the legend goes that dragons breathe fire, have 7 limbs. (4 legs, 2 wings and tail) have lizard like features with horns coming out of their heads. 

Possible spikes that run all the way down to the tail. Such as Toothless is showing off.

Toothless by alicexz

Dragons lay eggs that need to be kept extra hot in order to hatch. Volcanoes are the ideal nesting place.

File:VarnaDragons.jpg


Despite the European way of thinking, dragons have been depicted as both malevolent and benevolent. With a high intelligence and wisdom they can either be highly selfish or giving depending on the color of their scales. D&D shows that chomatic scales indicate goodness where as basic colored dragons are evil. 


Smaug by liga-marta

Sorry Smaug, you're brown, you must be bad. 

With more books coming out, the color scheme has fallen away. No longer indicating the alignment of the dragon. 

How do you see dragons? How many neutral dragons have you seen in stories? What's your favorite dragon?

I'll be going over the Chinese dragon next week. If there is a particular dragon you'd wish to look at, please let me know.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Tracy N. Jorgensen

Welcome to another Friday with the Blog Ring of Power. Is it just me or is this month flying by? Just me.. oh. Well any-who, I'd like you guys to check out my friend from AQC. Meet Tracy N. Jorgensen.

Tracy and her cute hubby design products for a living in beautiful Washington state. Her bucket list includes writing a novel (check!), shaking hands with a president, going to China (nimen hao!), and rock climbing. She loves to draw, ride dirt bikes, and watch nerdy shows like Dr. Who, Firefly, and Star Trek. Oh, and she writes, too. If you ever meet her, ask her about the time she poked a guy in the butt with a fork or how she once cut her hair off with a knife (on purpose even).





Don't forget to head over to the other Blog Ring of Power hosts to find the rest of the interview.

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Part 1 @ You are here - Friday, January 17th 
Part 2 @ Sandra - Monday, January 20th 
Part 3 @ Vicki - Tuesday, January 21st 
Part 4 @ Terri - Wednesday, January 22nd 
Part 5 @ Teresa - Thursday, January 23rd 

Section #1: About You

BRoP: How long have you been writing? 

TJ: I have been writing for almost seven years. Oh my goodness, I feel old now. But don’t tell anyone that because I am clearly not.

BRoP: When and why did you begin writing? 

TJ: I started writing because I was bored in my interior design class in college. I wrote a short story about a boy and a girl meeting in a cemetery. It wasn’t until later that I decided to make a novel in honor of my dead mother, who wanted to be a writer.

BRoP: Tell us about your early works—what was the first thing you ever wrote? 

TJ: As a kid I’m sure I wrote lots of silly things. But I was never a writer until this novel. And I wasn’t even a writer when I started it until I committed to it. It had to be more than a passing thing. That said, my earliest memory of writing was a fan fiction story for the Animorphs book series. I think I was ten at the time. It was an awful Mary Sue story, but that’s where you start at ten. Isn’t that beautiful though? You explore yourself, your confidence, and your imagination and then you can delve into the minds of others.

BRoP: When did you first consider yourself a professional writer? 

TJ: Oh shoot, I still don’t. Should I? Probably. I suppose I felt the closest to being professional when I signed my contract. That was the big moment for me. I was going to make money here. Someone wanted to invest in me.

BRoP: What genre do you write? 

TJ: Young Adult Fantasy and Sci Fi.

BRoP: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about? 

TJ: I love the exploration you can do in another world. My WIP is a YA Sci Fi. I started with this idea of someone selling their memories in a very real way. They lose a piece of who they are with every one sold. But I knew the easy route would be someone who didn’t like their life or want to remember things. So instead I thought of the strongest character I could. The daughter of a dictator. She’s strong, smart, confident, and on her way to her dreams. So why would someone like that sell her memories? And that’s what I explored and it became this character I love and this novel I am excited to write.

How to find Tracy and her book:

Even in a world without names, where neighborhoods are built on giant pillars and magic lurks in dark corners of humanity, usual people meet in typical ways—at work or by hiring a matchmaker. Boys do not meet girls sitting on their own headstones, or while running from giant cougar-like creatures. However, the Girl with Brown Eyes is not a usual girl. And the Boy, still with no title, is about to find that out for himself.
The Boy has no idea why mutant beasts keep attacking him. It’s possible he spends too much time strolling through cemeteries. But, maybe these attacks aren’t random at all. Perhaps they are attempted murder, though nobody believes his claims. Yet. That all changes when the Boy plummets off his home pillar while being pursued by a flying monstrosity. The Girl with Brown Eyes is there – if not to save his life, then to at least verify his tale.
Now, unsure if she’s trustworthy or even where she came from, the Boy must make his way back up the pillars and discover who his assailant is . . . lest they learn the dangerous secret of the impending demise of the Girl with Brown Eyes.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cover Reveal for Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro

Author friend of mine, Angie Sandro is showing off the cover of her newest book: Dark Paradise. I'm just excited I get to help flaunt this beautiful cover. She's also running a giveaway. Eye candy and Amazon play money. What's better than that to get you through hump-day!





DARK PARADISE
Angie Sandro
July 1, 2014
Grand Central Publishing/ Forever Yours


DARK LEGACY
Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of “witch women,” she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She’s haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.


DEADLY SECRETS
Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he starts to wonder if all the rumors about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister’s killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their lives.

GIVEAWAY:
Angie is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card.



ANGIE SANDRO:

Bio:
Angie Sandro was born at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Within six weeks, she began the first of eleven relocations throughout the United States, Spain, and Guam before the age of eighteen.
Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father's family in Louisiana inspired this story.
Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador


Author Links:




Monday, January 13, 2014

Dragon time: Dragon Lady Art Studio

Picture


I've been following this artwork for a while on FaceBook. I'm in love with the majestic elegance of it, so I couldn't help but share.

Her artwork can be transposed onto coffee mugs, book marks, and other things. Click on the picture above to head over there and check her out! She even has a few things offered for free.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Kelly Oram

BRoP Logo Revised-1
Welcome to another Blog Ring of Power Interview. Today we have Kelly Oram here to discuss her Creative Process. Check out the cover of her book Chameleon and Ungifted. They caught my eye. I think they may do the same for you.


Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Don't forget to check out the rest of her interview:

Part 1 - Wednesday, January 8th @ Terri Bruce
Part 2 - Thursday, January 9th @ TW Fendley
Part 3 - Friday, January 10th @  You are here. *hi*
Part 4 - Monday, January 13th @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazon
Part 5 - Tuesday, January 14th @ Vicki Lemp Weavil


Section #3: The Creative Process


BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?

Kelly:Anywhere and everywhere. Song lyrics, movies/TV shows. Books I read. Random things my kids say. The dark, scary corners of my mind that should never be allowed to function…. 

BRoP: Do you have a specific writing style? 

Kelly: I typically write in first person, and I tend to be sarcastic. I have been called “fluffy” before and I’m okay with that. My favorite thing in the world is a book filled with witty banter and a happy ending. 

BRoP: How do you deal with writer’s block? 

Kelly: Cry. Pull my hair out. Avoid my manuscript with things like twitter. Cry some more… Also, sometimes I try to go back to my outline and figure out why I’m stuck. Usually writers block stems from a plot hole you haven’t discovered you have yet.
BRoP: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula? 

Kelly: It varies. Sometimes I have a great idea that wants to plot itself while others I’ll want to write a specific kind of story and have to come up with a plot. Other times I've just had a great character I wanted to use and had to come up with a good story that suited them. 

BRoP: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)? 

Kelly: I think I’m a combination of both. I outline the basic structure of the story and main plot points, then fill in the rest as I go. 

BRoP: Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not? 

Kelly: I have a writers critique group that I go to monthly and I adore them to bits and pieces. I also have a couple of people I use as beta readers. These people are all vital to me. Really, they should be vital to any writer, because you can’t always see your manuscript as objectively as someone who didn't write it. Honest constructive feedback will always help strengthen a book. The hard part is finding beta readers/critique partners that you work well with and trust. 

BRoP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write? 

Kelly: Description and heavy action. I don’t really have the patience for a lot of description when I read or write, and action is just hard for me. It’s definitely one of my weak points.
Here's where you can find Kelly

Even though her father is running for President of the United States, Grace St. Claire is as normal a girl as they come. She’s clumsy, shy, and an outcast among her peers. She even manages to nearly die in a freak accident in front of the entire school. But when Grace survives a vampire attack she quickly learns that she is anything but ordinary.

There’s something about human Grace that has all the supernaturals around her going crazy. Her best friend’s brother suddenly wants to date her. Her worst enemy has sworn to protect her even against her wishes. Someone with very powerful magic wants her dead, and the vampire that attacked her has developed an obsession with making her his eternal mate.

In order to survive—and not as Count Dracula’s undead bride—Grace dives head first into the terrifying world of the supernatural. She teams up with a charming but mysterious warlock who strolled into town causing trouble and spouting stories of a Prophesy and Chosen One that looks exactly like Grace. Together they must figure out why Grace is different, who wants her dead, how she’s connected to the Chosen One, and who they can really trust.

You can grab Kelly's book at the following links:

16047646
Goodreads: CHAMELEONUNGIFTED Available February 25, 2014   
Amazon: Chameleon  
BarnesandNoble: Chameleon

Book is available in both print and e-bookBrop-Members

Friday, January 3, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Theresa Crater

Welcome to another Friday, and hey look, it's the first Friday of the year!
Today the Blog Ring of Power would like to welcome Theresa Crater!

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DSC_0975-2Theresa Crater brings ancient temples, lost civilizations and secret societies back to life in her paranormal mysteries. In The Star Family, a Gothic mansion reveals a secret spiritual group and a 400-year-old ritual that must be completed to save the day. The shadow government search for ancient Atlantean weapons in the fabled Hall of Records in Under the Stone Paw and fight to control ancient crystals sunk beneath the sea in Beneath the Hallowed Hill. Her short stories explore ancient myth brought into the present day. The most recent include “Bringing the Waters” and “The Judgment of Osiris.” Theresa has also published poetry and a baker’s dozen of literary criticism. Currently, she teaches writing and British lit in Denver. Visit her at http://theresacrater.com.


Don’t miss the rest of her five-part interview at:
Part 1 @ Terri Bruce - Wednesday, Jan. 1
Part 2 @ T.W. Fendley - Thursday, Jan 2
Part 3 @ Emily LaBonte – Friday, Jan. 3
Part 4 @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazon – Monday, Jan. 6

Part 5 @ Vicki Lemp Weavil – Tuesday, Jan. 7

Section #3: The Creative Process

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?
TC: This last one came from a book I picked up called William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision. Little did I know his mother belonged to the church I was raised in, and that it was quite mystical in those days. My latest idea came when a house on the Giza Plateau collapsed because the people who lived there had been digging into the foundations looking for artifacts.

BRoP: How do you deal with writer’s block?

TC: I respect it. My psyche is telling me that my subconscious is still working on things and I’ll see a sprout soon. Just relax. 

BRoP:  Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?

TC: I’m a plotter for the most part. I’ve learned some basics about structure and tend to sketch out my inciting incident, three major surprises, darkest moment, then the resurrection so to speak.

BRoP: Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?
TC: Oh, yes. They can see so much more than I can. They find everything from plot holes to typos.

BRoP: How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?
TC: How much time I spend on research depends on the project, but I can tell you I always do too much of it, maybe because it’s so much fun. It’s like I do a Ph.D. dissertation for every novel, at least so far. I’m going to take the advice I heard at Left Coast Crime. Write in the mornings. Keep a list of what you need to research or check on a separate piece of paper. Don’t stop writing to do it, because one piece of juicy research leads to another. Spend the afternoons researching. This is for full time writers, obviously. For people with full time jobs and children? When you can. I once heard of a woman writing while she was in labor. Now that is too much.


Author Contact Information - please let us know where your readers can stalk you:

 

A secret spiritual group
A recurring dream
A 400-year-old ritual that must be
completed before it is too late

Jane Frey inherits a Gothic mansion filled with unexpected treasures. A prophecy claims it hides an important artifact – the key to an energy grid laid down by the Founding Fathers themselves. Whoever controls this grid controls the very centers of world power. Except Jane has no idea what they’re looking for.

The Star Family . . . explores the esoteric aspects of a progressive Protestant sect called the Moravian Brethren and weaves their history into a fascinating piece of speculative fiction. What if the Moravians had continued to observe some of their controversial practices in secret? What if their rites and music have played a role in withstanding the malignant forces that threaten to overwhelm modern society? What if one woman who discovers her true ancestry could oppose dominion of darkness through music and erotic spirituality? What if a town in North Carolina holds the key to bringing harmony to the world? Readers who enjoyed The Historian and The DaVinci Code will enjoy The Star Family.”   
Dr. Craig Atwood, Moravian College
Director of the Center for Moravian Studies

Buy/Book Links: 
Goodreads: 
Amazon: Amazon,
BarnesandNoble: B&N
Smashwords: Smashwords
Other: Kobo
Is your book in print, ebook or both? Both Paperback
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Blog Ring of Power: Year in Review Winners


First off, I'd like to thank all the people who came to visit our Blog Ring of Power series all year. It's been great having you stop by. I'd also like to thank all of the authors for letting us pick through their minds and being so generous as to offer prizes for our giveaway!  Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't say it enough!
Now the moment everyone has been waiting for:
WINNERS of the Prizes from the Blog Ring of Power — 2013 Year in Review Edition!
$25 Gift Card: Carolsue Anderson

T.J. Loveless’ Going Through Hell Paperback: Shannon Aleene

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan’s Twinned Universes ebook: Steve Webber

Beth Barany’s Henrietta the Dragonslayer ebook: Coleen Burright

Bonnie Milani – Home World & Trades ebooks: Krizia Almiranez

Ellen Larson’s In Retrospect hard cover: April Davis Woods

Michelle Hauck’s Kindar’s Cure ebook: Kami Bryant

Tracy Lane’s Entwined Courage ebook: Debra Martin

Heidi Vlach’s Render ebook #1: Leann McKenzi     Render ebook #2: Coleen Burright     Render ebook #3: Sherry Fundin

A.W. Exley’s Nefertiti’s Heart ebook: Aria Glazki

E.B. Black’s Medusa’s Desire ebook: Aria Glazki

Kate Evangelista’s Taste, Reaping Me Softly, Unreap My Heart ebooks: Doreen Hayes     Romancing the BookWorm ebook: Leann McKenzi

Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s Skeletons in the Swimming Hole paperback #1: Nancy Allis     Skeletons in the Swimming Hole paperback #2: Alan Saxton     Bad Apple paperback #1: Suzinski Suzy     Bad Apple paperback #2: Heather Wright Dingman

Gail Z. Martin’s Ice Forged paperback: Julie Ryan

Lori Sjoberg’s Grave Intentions ebook: Stacy Povin

$20 Amazon Gift Card: Marlene Moss

$10 Amazon Gift Card + signed copy of Hereafter second edition: Laurie Cavanaugh

BRoP Logo RevisedCongratulations to all the winners!

Authors of the giveaway will be contacting each winner via e-mail. Thanks again!