Category Archives: Guests

75-100 Best Fantasy Experiences Blog-to-Book Overview

Shelley Hitz of Author Audience Academy suggested in a FB session that I post this question about my blog-to-book plan for 2017-2018 and ask your opinion. I decided to include the whole layout, so you can get a general idea what I’m planning to share with you. And you can tell me if it’s something you’d love.

So thank you for your opinion, if you’d give it at the end!

I decided to come up with some serial blog posts/stories with lasting meaning for readers, not for writers. Not because I have anything against writers, (I’m one) only because most of you are YA, fantasy, and speculative fiction buffs. And so am I, and this is something I treasure. I’d love to make a book with you!

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K M Weiland’s Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide

Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars This book will stay on my shelf., November 15, 2016
This review is from: Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure (Helping Writers Become Authors) (Volume 7) (Paperback)

This book is so good. I was given an e-copy for an honest review, and I just bought the print copy.

I’m a real write-by-feel historical fantasy author, but this comprehensive breakdown of how characters and their arcs tie in and support and drive plot is invaluable. I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to this book again and again. And the nice thing is, the author doesn’t give you the impression that “this is the way it is,” but “this is what’s possible,” and “discover greater possibilities.”

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YA Treasure Hunt and FB Birthday Party

I’m so glad you’re thinking of joining the fun!

If you love YA reads, from fantasy to urban adventure, you’re in the right place. If you enjoy free books, even better. And if you crave adventure without smut, you’re on your way!

Not to mention finding new friends and fascinating characters, from authors, terrifying villains, tough heroes, and scrappy heroines to prizes galore!

This Tuesday, May 31st, 2016, join 14 YA authors, Indie and Traditionally published, from 2:00 to 10:00 pm Eastern time, or 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Pacific (my time). Click here for the party on May 31st!

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Falcon Flight is launching – only $0.99

Today’s our day!

It’s launch day for Falcon Flight (a medieval fantasy adventure),  $0.99 today 5/13, through Monday 5/16, click here. And be sure to grab your ebook copy of the first Chronicle, Falcon Heart, free the 13th – 16th. Click here.

Then my friends Mariella and Ashley’s books (I’ve read them, they’re very good) are a steal. Continue reading

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That last book report is easier than you think

A fascinating study of literary adventure by email:

I had the privilege of mentoring a teen student recently. Victoria’s questions about her book report were so well laid out, I thought our talk might be helpful and entertaining to you. At the bottom of our post is a link to a free medieval poem, Falcon’s Ode. Plus a link to Falcon Flight, a young adult medieval fantasy, free 5/13 – 5/16. Family friendly of course. But definitely adventurous! 🙂 Continue reading

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10 epic fantasy quotes for young adults

Click on any of these books for their descriptions or sales page on Amazon.

 Queen's poisoner The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler

“Courage isn’t the absence of fear, Owen. Courage is moving forward even when you’re afraid.” (Check out Jeff’s article on Virtue. A great read! So encouraging.) Continue reading

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Intriguing…a book review.

Midnight_Captive_Front (2)

Midnight Captive was an intriguing read for me, and this review is a few of my thoughts on it.

At first I was a little put off by the confused similes and metaphors and the less-than-stellar grammar. But I was drawn into the story and came to care about the characters deeply.

True, they could use fleshing out, but they hold crystal truths up to a reader’s eyes all the same. Prince Sheridan’s discovering his own identity apart from his brother, Princess Hermione daring to believe in sacrificial love, the minstrel, Alyn’s, bravery in so many ways, and Phaedra’s perseverance and hope of freedom from her and her sister’s curse. Even the evil Seanan was a person with more than one facet.

I would love to see Midnight Captive rewritten in a fuller version.

Some of the logical transitions between various characters’ actions are missing. As in the king’s sudden change of heart toward his daughter after four years of trying to free Phaedra from the curse. His change of mind needs to be shown—how it came about. I hope this makes sense. And if you don’t mind my two cents, a different book cover might serve you better. Midnight Captive’s current cover says Victorian/love story era to me, not fantasy. (I’m a fan of Cameron Dokey’s fairy tales. You might like them too.)

Thank you for the privilege of reading your work, Emilie. Keep writing. I see a lot of promise in how you wove Cinderella, the Pied Piper, and other tales into a new story. Just be true to the vision you see in your mind, see the vision as clearly as you can, and find words that fit that vision. Be picky about the words. They make or break your tale.

Alyn’s climb into the tower to see Princess Hermione and the humor there was good. J In the end, this line of the book stood out to me. It rings with Midnight Captive’s theme of freedom:

“Do it for yourself, Minnie. You are just as cursed as I am. You might see the day physically, but you are not seeing the real beauty of it. You are too much a prisoner of the night.”

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The Ultimate Self Publisher’s Resource Guide review

Not quite what I thought, but still good. I give it three stars.

At first look I thought the Self Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide was a tome inches thick. (I did not pay too much attention to the description since I’d been pleased with my experience as Joel Friedlander’s customer and blog follower before.) So I was a little dismayed when he asked for a review of his and Betty Kelly Sargent’s book within about a week.

Still, I had signed up, and was determined to do my best to keep my word to give a review of this giant resource for Indie writers. The contents looked extensive. I began reading.

On the one hand I was pleasantly surprised that the topics were flashing by, but wondering on the other if this resource was all the title touted it to be.

I finished the last section on consumer protection agencies. I was disappointed. I had mistakenly thought this was more than a generic index of resources. A place to begin. The Ultimate Guide, I felt, should have more advice and how-to.

But there are many books and blogs, etc., on how-to methods, with endless advice. In fact, the Guide lists many of them. These resources put the ball in my hands and spread the park before me. That is a good place to begin.

There are numerous links in each resource field, and the Guide states that it is a beginning. More information will be added. On top of this, the resources listed are relatively time-tested and customer vetted. This is invaluable.

How many sites have you gone to looking for info on a subject, and come up with info or a company you wished had a track record? An easily accessible record, made by people like you, entrepreneurs with roughly your experience and goals? Many times. If you’re new like me. I have not personally tried and tested these resources, but I’m willing to bet Joel and Betty have done good background checks.

This Guide is especially useful for the beginner. Just don’t stop here. Despite its name, no book can contain all the resources in the world. Many are developing, imploding, or being created at this moment. If you need resources, Indie entrepreneur, search out these and then bravely go beyond. But keep the Ultimate Guide on the shelf for reference.

All the best to you on your journey. Search and try: fail, search, try again. Succeed. Never give up.

One note to the Guide’s formatters: it would be nice if you would add a little more space between listings. It’s slightly hard to read and keep track of my place on the page. Thank you.

Also, I have been given a free ebook version in return for my honest review, though I would pay $8 to own the Guide. It might have saved me a half-year of research time when I started my writing and editing journey. And I may have need of a cover designer soon. 🙂

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Guest: Land of My Dreams, Norma Gail Thurston Holtman

Change in Plans

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

The tiny bundle placed in my arms was warm and sweet, the answer to years of prayers, heartache and uncertainty. My husband and I stood in the chapel at the adoption agency with tears of joy in our eyes as we looked at our son. The day of delayed flights and rushing through airports was a microcosm of the turmoil of tests, surgeries, and years of waiting.

Four long years of hoping for a child were over, culminating in the joy of a three-week-old baby boy, wide awake and somehow aware that his world was changing forever. He looked around, taking everything in. A sensitive, reflective child, he has always had a tender heart and gentle spirit.

Twenty-one months later, a phone call during the Super Bowl brought us a baby girl who has never ceased to bring excitement into our lives. Arriving two years earlier than we thought possible, becoming an amazing athlete and never slowing down once, she never fails to surprise us.

My husband and I had often talked about adoption when we were dating. We were products of the “zero-population” generation. We talked about having two children and then adopting two more. God’s plans didn’t include the biological children. He had something so much more special, a plan to show us His loving control over our circumstances, while accomplishing His perfect purposes.

As friends had two or even three children in the time it took us to have one, we learned that God’s plan is unique for each of us, but always meant to make us fall on our knees and acknowledge His loving sovereignty.

Perhaps you have seen your dreams all turn to dust and your hopes fall to the ground, nothing growing to fruition, nothing turning out the way you planned. You may carry the scars from battling disappointment and confusion about where God is leading you. It may seem He doesn’t care and has turned a deaf ear to your prayers.

When doubt and disappointment seem to follow you everywhere, turn to Jesus and lay your hopes and dreams at His feet. Commit to serve Him no matter where He is leading and He will establish a way for you that is far higher and better than anything you ever imagined.

Copyright April 16, 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman. All rights reserved.

Land of My Dreams Norma blog

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico, released in April 2014. She is a former Bible Study Fellowship discussion leader who established the first weekly women’s Bible studies in her church in 2003 and continues to lead a weekly small group. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who loves family research, history, and Scotland. Norma lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.

Norma Gail - Author

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Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail/dp/1941103170/ or

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/land-of-my-dreams-norma-gail/1119606864 ?ean=9781941103173

 

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