JANUARY

Celebrating

New Releases and Debut Authors

01/23/2021 – Marcia King Gamble

Friday, January 22, 2021

Starting over...with a little wisdom

 One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the amazeballs Maya Angelou, and I repeat it to myself often. 



Never has this thought been so profound in my writing life as it is right now.

When I started writing as a child I wrote like a, well, child. My short stories were a series of "and then his happened-s,"  run on sentences, and prose packed with adverbs, flowery descriptions and analogies that had no real comparatory basis behind them. My fiction read more like a diary entry than actual crafted story telling. But I found great joy in the writing.

My graduate thesis was written from a scientific methodology viewpoint, and reads like the driest medical tome ever penned. Facts, figures, graphs, statistics. Boring with a capital BORING. But I loved writing it.

As I began writing non-fiction articles on motherhood and the life of a 30-something for magazines after I had my daughter, I wrote with an easy, I'm-just-talking-to-you-over-coffee style. Nothing craft-heavy at all, no real plot or story structure, just a simple imparting of info laced with humor and self deprecating insights. Writing these articles was a labor of love that made me feel lighter and more confident with myself as a new mother and a woman trying to navigate through a crazy world.

Even blog writing, which is more of a conversation with me in the driver's seat brings me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I can pop a blog post out in less than a half hour most days, never have to edit it for content - only spelling mistakes - and then hit post without worry. Love that!

When I first began writing fiction in my 50's I knew nothing about plot, structure, conflict, subplot, sub-text, or character motivation. I simply had a story in my head and wanted to get it on paper. I look at my debut romance novel, SKATER'S WALTZ from The Wild Rose Press, now and think, yeah, it was a decent story...but really could have been better. But I wrote that book with such joy in my heart during a time in my life that was very challenging. The sense of accomplishment and utter jubilation that it was actually published was a top ten event in my life.

Now that I write romantic fiction in a few sub-genres - RomCom, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense lite - I have to write in a way that brings the reader into the story, gets them hooked on the characters, and that leaves them at the end of the book satisfied and wanting more from me. I have an obligation to the reader to present a satisfying product to them.

No easy feat, this, and one which - daily - gives me agita! I've gotten too worried  this past year about selling books, marketing, and learning new digital ways to publish just to get my books in front of people that I've lost my way a little in the writing from my heart department. The joy just hasn't been there and I think it's shown in my writing.

So, after close to 30 books published, I've decided to do something that sounds a bit crazy, and, in all honesty, probably is.

I'm starting over. 

See? Crazy.

What it really means is that I'm going back to basics, armed with the wisdom I've managed to gather these past 5 years since I was first published. Readers want a story that they can tell the author just loved writing. They want to fall in love with the hero and heroine much the same way the characters fell in love with one another, and that the writer did as well as she was bringing them to life.

I want that, too.

Those are the books I want to read, the stories I want to fill my soul. 

They are also the stories I want to write.

So, with age and experience, comes wisdom and I am taking that wisdom into 2021 and writing my heart out. I've got a list of books that will be written and released this year, some traditionally published and several new indie releases as well. I'm not worrying about marketing, sales, getting on bestseller lists, or even winning any awards this year.

What I am going to do is simply write my heart out because that's what makes me happy. And I know when I'm happy, my readers are, too.

See? I know better now...so I'm going to do better.

Looking for me? Here I am: 

Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Amazon Author  // Website/blog 







Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Welcome to 2021 ... Delsora Lowe

I’m not telling you anything new—2020 was a rough year. And I assume a year most of us want to put behind us.

It’s always exciting to look forward to something new. A new year that is full of possibilities is always a treat, as each of us think about our goals, hopes, and dreams for 2021.
In the last month of the year, we experienced a phenomenon with two planets lining up on the winter solstice, we wandered through the holidays, whichever ones you observe or celebrate, and then we rang in a new year. Hopefully signaling a new beginning to slaying a killer viral dragon and working toward a healthy and hopeful year.

On a personal level, as a writer, it was a rough year. There isn’t much that keeps me from my love of creating–writing the stories of my heart. But late 2020 shut me down completely. Something I have never experienced even in the darkest, dreariest days of winter when it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other on some days for months on end from fall into winter. Even then I am only dragged under for a few hours or days.
In order to function, I had to relieve myself of all negative energy. And that meant not looking at the news, and not dealing with social media, something that is essential to my work as a writer. And essential in another way—that of keeping up with family and friends when writing becomes a lonely business with just me and my computer.
I was lucky to have several groups of writers who ZOOM, so that helped me stay sane. But energy levels remained at a stand-still for the months of November and December.

But onward into 2021. I vow to renew my spirit by setting realistic writing and personal goals. Goal setting is a tool that always works for me (except this year.)
I belong to several goal-setting groups. The very act of telling others your goals and then reporting in to others, keeps me on track. And when I have a bad day or week or month, those same authors are there to cheer me up and encourage me, just as I do for them. And those same people validate my feelings and my need to take a break. I need those relationships, as I am a champion at beating myself up when I can’t write. They bring me back to earth, empathize, but are also honest in giving me advice that I need to hear. And I do the same for them. .

So my advice, as we welcome in 2021, is to find those friends or colleagues who both hear you and help steer you out of the depths and back into the heights of enjoying your world, your family and friends, and valuing yourself. Set goals. Goals are a guidepost to give you the tools to reach for a wished-for outcome.
And whatever you do, give yourself permission to change those goals if need be, and permission to not beat yourself up, if you don’t reach every single one. Goals are meant to be tweaked. And there is no shame in that. They are just goals, after all, the very meaning of the word is “an aim or desired result.”

If circumstances change, then our aim or desired result may also change. All you’ve done is changed the trajectory or placement of that goal. Because yes, life does get in the way. Roadblocks appear out of the blue, and sometimes one needs to take an alternate route to reach your destination.

I’m raising a glass to the new year where anything is possible if we have the right mindset.
Happy New Year and Happy 2021!


The Love Left Behind

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Love-Left-Behind-Hartford-Estate-ebook/dp/B08L5N5DS9/

Books2Read
books2read.com/u/mglVqK

~ cottages to cabins ~ keep the home fires burning ~

Delsora Lowe writes small town sweet and spicy romances and contemporary westerns from the mountains of Colorado to the shores of Maine. .

Author of the Starlight Grille series, Serenity Harbor Maine novellas, and the Cowboys of Mineral Springs series, Lowe has also authored short romances for Woman’s World magazine. Her new novella, The Love Left Behind, will release in late fall, 2020.

Social Media Links:
Author website: www.delsoralowe.com Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/delsoraloweauthor/community/ Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Delsora-Lowe/e/B01M61OM39/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 Books2Read Author page: https://www.books2read.com/ap/8GWm98/Delsora-Lowe BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/delsora-lowe-93c6987f-129d-483d-9f5a-abe603876518 Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16045986.Delsora_Lowe Instagram: #delsoralowe / https://www.instagram.com/delsoralowe/ .

Clip Art:
2021 Banner: free clipart new years 2021 - Google Search Writers Block: writer-s-block-words-road-construction-barrier-barricade-sign-stopping-you-making-progress-writing-novel-article-40955648 Goals: free clipart goals - Google Search Smart Goals: Png Free Library Smart Goals Clipart - Strategic Planning And Csr, Transparent Png - 1222x1230(#1673204) - PngFind Raising a Glass: Raising A Toast Stock Illustrations, Cliparts And Royalty Free Raising A Toast Vectors (123rf.com) Footprints in the Snow: Free CLip Art footprints in the snow - Google Search Computer: Free Computer Images Free, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on Clipart Library (clipart-library.com)

Monday, January 18, 2021

New Year's Writing Resolutions by Kristin Wallace

While most people make New Year’s Resolutions, authors tend to make Writer’s Resolutions. At least I do. Every year I have grand plans to write X number of books. Unfortunately, I made very little progress is my writer goals due to continuing health issues that mess with my ability to focus, which makes creative writing extremely difficult. 

Plus, the craziness of 2020 made it hard to even think about writing. But once again, I'm hoping to get back on track for 2021. I do have plans and plenty of ongoing projects to keep me busy.

I still want to reissue my inspirational series, COVINGTON FALLS CHRONICLE. I also hope to continue with that series. There are so many characters begging for stories in my quirky Southern town. I also want to get back to working on a new series called THE LOST ROYALS about separated siblings who find out they are royalty. 

Plus, I just agreed to be part of a Christmas Box Set with a "fake date" theme. The set will be out in October so I have to get writing on the as yet undecided project!!! 

Finally, there is a joint project/series that I want to publish with one of my author friends. It’s a modern-day take on Cinderella featuring a pair of magic shoes and a cursed Stepmother who might not be as bad as everyone thought. 

So those are my plans…now to get writing! 

Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. The Christmas in Shellwater Key boxes et will release this winter. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Do you want a free Novelette?


by Diana 
McCollum



Authors have a need to write. Whether a non-fiction or a fiction writer the need to share their wisdom or fable with readers is ingrained into their DNA.

 

If authors write and no one reads what they have written, what’s the point? Sure they obliged the urge to write, but come on, we really want someone to read what we’ve written. That is what inspired me to release one of my favorite stories from the anthology, “Love & Magic”, as a stand-alone. I wanted to reach new readers.

 

Featured

 

I have been featured in two anthologies and have decided to pull a novelette from the anthology “Love & Magick”. There are five other wonderful stories by two impressive authors, Sarah Raplee and Judith Ashley.

 

Each story takes one on a journey with a touch of Magick. I’ve loved all the stories my fellow anthology authors have written. But I digress. 

 

The novelette I’ve chosen to make available as a stand-alone, and for the low price of  .99, "The Crystal Witch".


 

I created the cover in a program called Canva, and in doing so I learned a new skill. I have a brand new website, Diana McCollum Author, where you can click on the book page to purchase the story.

 

Free story

 

On my website there is a contact page and a newsletter sign up on the same page. By signing up for the newsletter you automatically get “The Crystal Witch” as a FREE download. The e-newsletter is filled with entertaining tidbits, recipes, information on new books, contests, and much more! The newsletter comes out about once a month!

 

Story excerpt

 

The Crystal Witch

 

October 30, 1692

Waxing, MA

 

The day in the village of Waxing began as a quiet fall morning, with a break in the rain which had plummeted from the sky for the past several days. Henrietta took the pail off the hook by the hearth and left to fetch the morning water. She was sixteen years now and considered a woman. Papa had died in a hunting accident last year and Gram shortly after. Now there was just her and Mama. The depression that had plagued Mama since Papa’s death was consuming her, and Henrietta helplessly watched Mama shrink a little more each day.

Henrietta had prayed to the goddess asking for help in the matter of her mother’s illness. The Goddess had come to Henrietta in a dream last night, and told her to go into the woods on the full moon, to the sacred circle, and Mama would be cured. Tonight was a full moon and Henrietta was determined to follow the instructions from her vision.

She worked the squeaky crank on the well, pulling up a fresh bucket of water, and lifting it over the edge and then dumped the water into her own pail.

“Ho, Henrietta, I’ll carry your bucket,” said Waya. He picked up her pail, his arm muscles bulging under the weight. “Have you time for a lesson?”

Waya, the Cherokee shaman’s son, was a few years older than her. She had been instructing Waya in his letters for several months now. In return, he brought venison, birds and grains for her and Mama. If not for Waya, they might have starved. He was a great hunter just like his namesake, the wolf.

“Of course, I have time for you. Mama needs her morning meal first. Come along and you can join us.” His nearness sent a shiver up her spine. They had grown close over the past few months and the bond went both ways. She felt good in his company, safe; yes, she felt safe. He’d kissed her a few times. She would welcome more. She glanced sideways at him.

They were careful with their friendship, since personal association with anyone from the tribe was frowned upon by the community elders.

Waya had kissed her yesterday. Not the quick kiss, friendly thank you type of kiss, but a passionate kiss. She had daydreamed of being crushed in his embrace; their clandestine relationship was the most thrilling thing to ever happen to her. Thinking about the kiss sent butterflies fluttering in her stomach.

Yesterday she would have made flummery save for the lack of sea moss and milk, two key ingredients. Then she could have served the pudding to Waya this morning.

They reached the picket fence and Waya set the pail of water down.

“Do you have chores, Henrietta? I can help today.” He scrunched up his forehead, searching for the right words. “I have no teachings today from Adahy. I am free as the  — ,” he said turning his hand in the air, fluttering his fingers, “bird.” He smiled and his eyes twinkled; he looked quite pleased for finding the proper words.

“Henrietta!” Declan Blackthorn called out, his tone disapproving.

“Yes?” She turned to see the preacher’s son barreling down on them.

“What are you doing with this heathen?” Declan looked Waya up and down. “He’s barely dressed! Cover yourself, man. Henrietta is a decent God fearing woman and you dare to seek out her company?” Hands on hips and long black coat flapping around his legs, he was an imposing sight at six foot and five inches. He was older than Henrietta by five years.

“I’m helping him with his handwriting and reading proficiencies. Declan, he is good to Mama and me. He brings us venison and other food. Otherwise we would have starved after father perished!” Such a fury boiled inside her, it churned in her stomach and rose up to her heart, increasing the rhythm of the beat till she thought her heart could surely be heard by both men. She must keep her fury restrained; she summoned her will power and tried again. “Declan, sir, step away from us, begone.”

“Get out of here, heathen, and don’t come back.” Declan flung his arm wide and pointed toward the woods.

Waya seemed to grow taller in front of her eyes. He was majestic with his long black braids, muscular chest and snapping black eyes.

“Ho, Henrietta, I wish to cause you no trouble. The tree we talked of….” Waya touched the carved bone moon hanging on a beaded cord around his neck. He tipped his head slightly in acknowledgment, turned and walked toward the woods.

I’ll be there tonight, at the full moon, Waya’s voice whispered in her head.

Henrietta, stunned to have heard Waya’s silent words, could only stare at his retreating back. She turned back to Declan so fast her long skirts flared out. “What is wrong with you? He is human like us, and he is very nice. You have no reason to treat him so.”

“He is the shaman’s son. There is devil magick there and you’d best watch what magick you want to be associated with.” Declan walked around her looking her up and down, measuring her like one of his prize horses. His boot landed in a puddle and sprayed the edge of her dress with muddied water.

“And what would you know of magick, Declan? Aren’t you the preacher’s son? Isn’t magick the devil’s tool?” Her hands balled up, her arms shook in a desperate attempt to control the building rage.

His green eyes flashing, he leaned in close to her till their noses almost touched, so close in fact she counted three small hairs growing out of the mole on his left cheek.

“I know of magick. I know of magick in your family, Henrietta. Watch your back,” he spat out. He turned and took his leave.

The fury rolled out of her extended hands, scooping up the muddy puddle and slamming it against Declan’s back with the intensity of an Atlantic Ocean wave, sending him hurling to the ground.

“What… who… did that?” Sputtered Declan. He wiped his muddied hands on his wet coat.

Henrietta grabbed the pail of well water, passed through the gate, and hurried through the door. She set the pail on the floor and leaned against the wooden door.

This was the year when her magickal abilities would reach full force. Gram had told her what to expect. Mama didn’t know. The powers were passed down to the firstborn girl on her father’s side of the family. The magick had been showing up in bits and pieces. Was the fury now coursing through her part of the magick? And how could she hear what Waya whispered in her head?

 

 

If you click on this link it will take you to my newsletter signup and your free download of The Crystal Witch.

 

 


What book or books are you reading now, and what genre?

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Welcome to 2021

 

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories with a romantic soul. And welcome to 2021. I can't say I've seen much improvement so far...

But 2020 wasn't all bad. Despite everything, I did put three pieces into edits, finished two of them, and published one just before the end of the year. The second will be releasing on the spring equinox. And I finally committed to edits on book three of my mine series in June. So I guess I'd better get tapping away at those keys.




So what else does 2021 hold? Well, right now I'm working from home as best I can - my job is not really a do from home. We can't deliver science practicals to students, and wouldn't be able to even if we were in school as the decision was taken to stop doing them during the continuing COVID crisis. So far I have fixed and sorted plugs and electrical leads,  reassembled and got working a couple of lasers, and studied a few physics practicals (my weakest science!). Our internet is struggling with three students home, including my uni kid who we fortunately had persuaded to delay her return, just before they banned them going back!


This year also marks a special date for me as I will be turning 50. Half a century! Hubs and I had planned a special holiday before Christmas as my present, but obviously that didn't happen. Maybe at the end of this year...
In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy the extra time home by helping my two boys with their studies, the extra time with my eldest not being at uni, and being home before hubs! Let's hope things will get better.
A winter sunset.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wellness and Writing for 2021 by Lynn Lovegreen

I don’t have traditional resolutions, but I do have goals or watchwords for each year. Last year, my word was wellness. Ironic in a year of a worldwide pandemic, right? I did pretty well with it considering the circumstances, but thought I’d give wellness another try in 2021.

 

Here are some of my personal goals about wellness:

Drink tea and eat nurturing food, in moderation

Get enough sleep, even if it means sleeping in to catch up

Exercise three times a week and stay active (yoga, walking, hiking, etc.)

Spend time with loved ones once a week (often done online right now)

Those things help me stay healthy and well-grounded. I encourage you to try similar goals if you are working on your own wellness this year.

 

I also have some writing goals for 2021:

Write five days a week (writing, planning, revising, etc.)

Participate in critique groups

Give three online classes

The first of those classes is an online workshop for the Yosemite Romance Writers:

THE PERFECT SETTING = YOUR PERFECT NOVEL

Amp up reader interest with a great setting! 

Dates: Feb. 1 – Feb. 26

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

https://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/copy-of-workshops-2

Please feel free to check it out if that helps you with your writing goals this year.

 

May 2021 be a year of wellness, hope, and love!



Lynn Lovegreen has lived in Alaska for over fifty years. After twenty years in the classroom, she retired to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and volunteering at her local library. Her young adult historical fiction is set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.