Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Leaves of Fall by Patricia Lynne

Post one: Five facts about trees

Five Incredible Fact about Trees

It's only apt that since trees are a major character in Leaves of Fall that I share just how incredible they are in real life (despite not being able to shape shift into human form.) Here are five incredible facts about trees.


1: Trees can tell if deer are trying to eat them. Due to their ability to detect deer saliva, trees defend themselves by producing excess acids that cause their buds to taste bitter so that the deer will lose interest and leave them alone. (source)

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3: One of the most dangerous trees in the world is the manchineel tree found in Florida and the Caribbean. Its sap is so poisonous and acidic that merest contact with human skin causes a breakout of blisters, and blindness can occur if it touches a person's eyes. (source)

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5: Trees that live in cold climates stop growing during fall in anticipation of the first frost. Trees that had been embryos during cold winters stop growing a few weeks earlier than the rest of the forest. (source)

Blurb:

Armory was born into a post-apocalyptic world torn apart by war between man and nature. Trees are the enemy. But when she’s kidnapped by nomads and taken far from her home, a tree nymph is the one who comes to her rescue.

Birch promises he can get Armory home. He says not all trees wanted a war. Armory has no choice to trust him if she wants to see her family again.

Together, they trek across the ruins of America, meeting both human and trees who want nothing more than the fighting to stop. But the hatred between the two may be too deep to heal. Armory isn’t sure her friendship with Birch will be enough to convince the human race to take a chance on peace. Birch has a plan, though. He’s just not sure he’ll survive.


Snag on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or Smashwords for $2.99. (or 99cents if the pre-order price hasn't changed yet. ^_~)


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About the Author

Patricia Lynne is the author of Young Adult Paranormal, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head and began learning all she could about writing. That was the start of it, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes New Adult Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance under the name Patricia Josephine.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Find Patricia around the web.
Website - http://www.patricialynne.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/plynne_writes
Facebook -  https://www.facebook.com/plynnewrites/
Patreon -  https://www.patreon.com/patricialynne07
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/635444.Patricia_Lynne
Amazon Author Page - https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01EM6YLAW
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/patricialynne

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

#AuthorToolBox Blog Hop: May 2019

Much thanks to Raimey Gallant for running the monthly blog hop, Author Tool Box. I learn a few things every month from the talented and smart writers who participate. Find the entire list here. I try to visit every blog because I don't want to miss anything.

Like many writers who have been in this business for a while, I've had publishers close their doors or as one said, change their direction, leaving my published books as orphans. When this happens, there are two choices. Publish the books myself or find a publisher who will take on a previously published novel.

It would be nice if I never had to make that decision because the small presses I've been contracted with never went bankrupt. But it happens all the time. So far, I've had three different small presses go away while my books were with them. The first one declared bankruptcy and all the authors had their rights tied up for months. Fortunately, RWA stepped in with a legal team and helped us. My book hadn't even been published yet, but it was under contract.  I did learn that those bankruptcy clauses in contracts are meaningless.

A little more than two years ago, I had two different fantasy series with two different small presses. I had signed a four book contract with one and had two books under contract with the other. Both publishers closed their doors within weeks of each other and within days of one of my books being released. I had blog appearances and other promotions all lined up when it happened. At least both presses made sure to return rights without any prompting.

It's difficult to tell how reliable a small press is and if they will stay in business. I've avoided self-publishing because I'm too lazy to do all the work involved. I want to write, edit, and rewrite, not design covers or hire outside editors. I don't want to do formatting or deal with Amazon. So, my romance publisher, NCP,  offered to take on the four book fantasy series. It hasn't sold a lot but I trust the publisher to stay in business.

The second series has been sitting while I work on my romance career. I was determined to find a small press that would take on a previously published book. I've gathered three rejections and am waiting to hear back from another submission. I don't send out queries to just any small press. Here are the things I do first:

*Is their website professional?
*Is it more than a one person operation?
*How long have they been in business?
*How many books have they published?
*How many authors write for them?
*Are their book covers professional and attention grabbing?
*Do their books have good rankings and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads?
*I always buy and read at least two of their books in my genre to check quality of writing and editing.
*Check their social media to see if the publisher does promotion.

The small press I'm waiting to hear from fits all the above criteria. Hopefully, by next month, I can tell you if they've accepted my submission. If not, it's back to the search.

Do you or have you worked with a small press? Have you ever tried to place a previously published book with another publisher? Have you had the frustrating and depressing experience of having a publisher close on you?


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

D. M. Burton: Rescuing Mara's Father


I'm amazed over and over again by the wonderful books available for young people compared to the number of titles I had access to at the MG grade level and especially science fiction stories. I don't usually include excerpts when I have guests on my blog, but this short one from Diane is too good to not include. Take it away D.M.

Thanks, Susan, for inviting me to share my new release, Rescuing Mara’s Father, a science fiction adventure. This was my first attempt at writing juvenile fiction (suitable for age 9 & up). My older grandchildren (ages 9 and 12) have always known I write fiction and that they have to grow up before they can read my books. An idea popped into my head about a teen girl living with her father on the frontier of space, the Outer Rim. I was busy writing the fourth book in my Outer Rim series, a science fiction romance and ignored the idea. But each night before I went to sleep, the story of the girl and her father returned. Sometimes, a writer has to listen to her Muse.

Every writer knows that somedays the writing flows, you’re “in the zone.” And other days, it’s a struggle. Writing about Mara and her father seemed to flow, most of the time. I’m a pantser, writing by the seat of my pants, instead of a plotter. Generally, I know what will happen in the story. The big, black moment in this story gave me fits. I think I rewrote it five times. But once I found the right scene, the rest of the book flowed.

My grandchildren are reading the book now. Grandson (9) says it’s a lame title. He offered to help with the next story. 😊 He’s nothing if not outspoken. I hope my younger readers (and their parents) enjoy Rescuing Mara’s Father.

Blurb:

3 friends, a hidden starship, a quest

Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately.
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off their planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.

Excerpt

“There you are!” Jako kneels next to me, his urgent voice and torchlight in my eyes wake me up.
I gasp, my heart racing. I must have fallen asleep. I was dreaming about being chased.
“I’ve been looking all over for you!” He lowers his torch and scoots back.
As I sit up, I shove my hair out of my eyes. My braid came undone while I was sleeping. Automatically, I reach up and use my fingers to comb through my long hair. Jako is breathing hard and heat rises off his small body.
“Why were you looking for me?” I ask as I rebraid my hair.
“I was afraid they got you, too.” He gasps for breath. “I didn’t see you when they took him on board, so I ran back to your house. The Dunpus brothers were laughing about how the goons hauled you away, screaming and crying. I knew they were lying. You wouldn’t cry.” His eyes grow wide. “You should’ve seen their ship, Mara. It was so cool. It was a—”
“Hold on. Took who?”
“Isn’t that why you came up here? To get away from them?”
“Them who?” I might be awake, but my mind is still muzzy. “Slow down. You aren’t making any sense.”
Jako grabs my arm. “Your father, Mara. Coalition goons arrested your father.”

Buy links:

Ebooks:  Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ B&N ~ Smashwords

Print:  Amazon

About the Author:

The first time D.M. Burton saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope, she was hooked on science fiction and space travel. The Star Trek movies made her want to travel to other planets. Alas, she is still Earth-bound. D.M. and her husband live in Michigan, close to their two children and five grandchildren.


Join D.M. Burton's readers’ group on Facebook.
For more info and excerpts, visit D.M.’s website: http://www.dmburton.com

She writes adult fiction as Diane Burton, where she combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online.

                 http://www.dmburton.com
                    D.M. Burton’s sci-fi adventure group on Facebook
Goodreads:   Diane Burton Author
                        https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19005868.D_M_Burton
Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

 How cool would it be to live on the Outer Rim? I bet the stars are beautiful out there. Did a movie or book hook you on a particular genre? Can you beat Diane's five rewrites on a scene?


Monday, May 6, 2019

Optimistic Outlook

Whew, this writing business can get one down. Low royalty checks. Social media blues. Pirate sites and pirating writers. We can all afford to go after the thieves like Nora is, but we can cheer her on. Oops. I was feeling upbeat when I titled this post, but I might have depressed myself.

Those who wish to sing always find a song. Swedish proverb

Let me start all over again. About ten days from now, I'll be on my way to the 32nd Annual Pennwriters Conference. This year, the conference in being held in Pittsburgh, PA. It's about a four hour car drive for me, but I like driving. I like it best when I'm driving by myself. Lots of plotting gets done during that time. Once at the conference, I'll reconnect with friends I haven't seen for a year and make some new ones. There's is an amazing amount of energy and positive vibes during the three day event. I always come away with dozens of ideas and the motivation to do something with them.

In addition, there are speakers and workshops that will give me new ideas for editing, promotion, and networking. I'm on the Pennwriters' board of directors and this conference takes a lot of man hours (mostly woman hours) to put together. A lot of the work is done before time, but there's also things to take care of on the weekend. And all those hours are put in by volunteers. Most people know that but few take the time to thank all those people working behind and in front of the scenes.

Many online communities are the same. Maintained by volunteers. And they give us so much as they use their time, their writing time or family time, to keep websites and blogs current and helpful. I don't want to start naming the ones I visit regularly and benefit from because I don't want to forget any of my favorites. What I want to say is THANK YOU.

The upcoming conference, the newsletter I subscribe to, and all those websites that give me ideas and motivation keep me going even when industry news tries to knock me down.

Not sure how I'm feeling about this season of GoT. I was so excited about the season going in, but I'm afraid they might drop the ball on all the buildup they've done over the years. All the hints and prophesies couldn't be misdirection, could they? I'll have to wait and see.

On the other hand, my other favorite show, The 100, had a great first episode for this season. Hope it keeps up the twists and tension. And season 4 of Lucifer is coming to Netflix this week.

Also, please return to visit on Wednesday when Diane Burton will be my guest to talk about her MG novel, Rescuing Mara's Father.

In the bad news category, weather forecast is for rain nearly every day this week. Blah. The weeds are taking over my landscape. Please send a little sunshine by way.

When the Sun rises, it rises for everyone. Cuban proverb

Are you a volunteer for an online or other writing group? What motivates you to stay with your writing career if not the income?

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

IWSG: April 2019

Welcome to the monthly IWSG bloghop. This amazing group was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh years ago. LOL. Each month we share our concerns, give and take advice, and celebrate each other's successes. Find the entire list of participants here.

The optional question this month:

What was an early experience when you learned that language had power?

Can't think of a specific experience, but as I watch my granddaughter learn to talk, I believe that humans learn very early that language has power. Being able to communicate changes everything. She can let us know what she wants, what she needs, and comment on what's happening around her. Not all her words are clearly spoken, and I find myself acting as an interpreter for her with other people, but every day she learns a new word. It's always amazing to watch a child develop their language skills. She has many pieces of songs memorized and a few books such as Brown Bear.

I've finished that first draft of my next space opera romance that I expected to have finished a month ago. I'm letting it sit for at least another week before I start revising. Lots of works needs to be done before I send it off to my editor.

Happy May Day to all. The month of May come from the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. I wish Maia would slow down the growth of all the weeds in my flowerbeds. So much rain is making it impossible to keep up with them. I haven't even thought about planting yet.

Plan your year in the spring, your day at dawn."  Chinese Proverb

Game of Thrones has delivered on a terrific last season so far. I hate to see it end, but am also glad they're not trying to make it last beyond its story. Let's not talk about Avengers: End Game. Too soon.
Supernatural had an amazing cliffhanger to make sure I come back for its final season in the fall. The 100 returned for its short season on Tuesday so I have one show to keep me going through May and June. Killjoys will return sometime in the summer for its final season. Looking forward to it.

I started reading the Expanse books by James S. A. Corey on which the show was based. The books are pretty good. I've only read the first one and the TV series followed the books closer than most adaptations do.

Can't wait for fresh vegetables to be available at the local farmers' market. Cucumbers, sweet peppers, and berries of any kind are my favorites. I'm not so excited to have to mow the grass every six or seven days. A week without rain now and then would be good.

Are you ready for spring? Planting your own veggies this year? Any good TV you're looking forward to in the next few months?