Monday, April 22, 2019

Masquerade Ball Blog Hop Day 4: Remember Me


The release day for Masquerade: Oddly Suited is just over a week away! In the Easter Tradition of Masked Balls, the contributors to the anthology have gotten together to host a special mystery bloghop leading up to the book's release on April 30th.

(What, you don't have Masked Balls for Easter where you come from? Where I'm from we dress up in hoods and burst into strangers' homes wielding improvised weapons for Christmas. You just don't know how to celebrate your holidays.)

Today I'm hosting one of my fellow authors. He or she will share a teaser from their story in the upcoming anthology, but you have to guess which author/story it is. Each author will "unmask" his or her own character and story on April 30th. Got it? Are you still coming down off the sugar high from chocolate bunnies yesterday? 

Welcome to the Masquerade Ball Bloghop!
Art by Elizabeth Mueller


Remember Me
by ???

Excruciating pain rippled through me, sucking the air from my lungs as I lay on the ground. My vision and sight vanished. They returned the moment I was able to draw in blessed air. I gasped, tears burning down my cheeks.

I became aware of strong arms lifting me from the hard ground, pressing me to a strong body wearing stiff clothes textured with rough lace and jewels.

The sound came to me as though I’d slipped far beneath the surface of water. “Wilmot, fetch the royal physician. Hudde, you oaf of a lout, did I not say the beast was not ready for a lady?” The speaker’s deep voice resonated from his chest to my ear.

Muffled conversation reached me followed by a shrieking sound that reminded me of a cat. It called a few more times until I realized it belonged to that of a peacock.

“Lady Iva.” The voice gentled. “How fare you?”

I cleared my throat, my body still in shock from the fall. After gathering my wits and blinking against the brilliance of what I discovered as sunlight, my eyes came to a sharp focus on a face carved out of translucent alabaster—his cheekbones high, nose narrow, lips full. His dark brows furrowed and long lashes swept into an upward curve. At first, I believed it to be a statue until he blinked his liquid gaze of amber.

I gasped, lifted a trembling hand, and grazed my fingertips along the strong angle of his smooth jaw. He closed his eyes and brought my hand to his warm lips. The simple touch sent a jolt of heat down to my toes. My body then remembered itself and I could move.

“Are you well?” His musical voice strummed a familiar chord deep inside me and I couldn’t place where I’d seen him before.

“I am now,” I whispered, wiggling my toes.

His smile cleared the clouds from the sky and stole my breath. He loosened his hold from around me until my feet touched the ground. His arm stayed fast as he redirected his breathtaking gaze.

“Because of you, Hudde, Lady Iveta had lost herself. Thankfully she is well now.” He spoke to someone who moved nearby. I followed his gaze and found a scruffy man with a bowed head. He wore a simple brown shirt tied with a leather belt over loose-fitting leggings and leather boots.

“Please forgive me, my Prince Dominic,” Hudde said.

Prince Dominic?

I didn’t want to see stress marring his face, so I said, “I found it enticing to keep myself from riding such a fine horse, my prince, and so I ask your forgiveness on behalf of Hudde. I had stolen away while he busied himself in the stables.” I didn’t know where that explanation came from but it felt right.

The hard glint in the prince’s eyes softened, his brow smoothed. “My lady’s heart is as wild as the open sea.”

I nodded, staring into his hypnotic gaze.

The prince held his free hand high. “Hudde, prepare us my carriage.” He lowered his eyes to me, his tone lively. “Would the Lady Iva care to visit the headlands?” A wistful expression clouded his eyes. “’Tis as timeless as can be.”

Hudde bowed deeper and scurried off to do his bidding.

When we were alone, Prince Dominic’s gaze deepened as a shadow formed at his brow. “There will be a time when we will not be together and I would that you never forget me, my love.”

I stared up at him in awe. How could I forget someone like him?

His worry smoothed over and he brought my head to his lips with a sigh. “My heart and your heart are bound together by the sands of time. Please remember that always.”

I pulled from him with a sad smile, confused by his melancholy. “I will remember you always.”

ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS GUEST AUTHOR

I have enjoyed writing for as long as I remember. I started out with short stories in elementary school, expanded to angst poetry the first part of high school, then explored epic novel-writing my senior year. I can write 50k words under a week if the kids cooperate. The best part of writing for me is when the characters come to life on their own--better than going to the movies! I love my writerly friends.

Can you guess who our guest author is?


MASQUERADE BALL SCHEDULE


Thur. April 18th: L.G. Keltner https://lgkeltner.blogspot.com/

Fri. April 19th: Jennifer Lane http://jenniferlanebooks.blogspot.com

Sat. April 20th: Deborah Solice https://thefabulistdotblog.wordpress.com/

Mon. April 22nd: CD Gallant-King http://www.cdgallantking.ca/

Tues. April 23rd: Elizabeth Mueller https://elizabethmueller.blogspot.com/

Wed. April 24th: Chelsea Marie Ballard https://www.facebook.com/masqueradeoddlysuited

Thurs. April 25th: Carrie-Ann Brownian http://carrieannebrownian.wordpress.com

Fri. April 26th: Myles Christensen http://www.myleschristensen.com

Sat. April 27th: Anstice Brown https://dustingthesoul.com

Mon. April 29th: Angela Brown http://publishness.blogspot.com/

Tues. Apr 30th: Book Release and The Unmasking (Just follow links above)!


BONUS CONTENT!

In case you're looking for a little extra helping of the Masquerade: Oddly Suited contributors today, be sure to swing by Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog to check out a short piece where ALL of the authors discuss their favourite romantic movies! Can you guess what mine is? Be sure to visit Alex's post today to find out.



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pencils Down! (#IWSG April 2019)


I am currently smack-dab in the middle of the busiest time of year at my day job, so I will keep this brief.

Usually, during March/April, I moan and beat myself up for not getting any writing done. I often work through lunch breaks, have to take work home with me, and if I'm not working I'm usually exhausted, so there's not much hope of getting any words in. This year I decided up front in mid-March that I wasn't even going to try to write for the next few weeks. Sure it's scary to willingly stop writing for any amount of time, but what is the point agonizing over word counts when I know I'm not going to meet them? I don't have any particular deadline to meet, so the only person I was hurting by failing to meet expectations was myself.

It's been a huge weight off my shoulders, and one less stress to worry about during what is inevitably a very stressful time. And you know what? I've actually sneaked in a few words here and there, too, because there was no pressure to do so.

So far, this has actually been a positive experiment.

MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED

There is one thing I have to mention though, and that's the upcoming IWSG/Dancing Lemur Press anthology that is scheduled to release at the end of THIS MONTH! There will be plenty of events and blog posts and other fun over the next few weeks, but the big one I have to direct you to right now is a Rafflecopter we're running to give away a FIFTY DOLLAR ($50) AMAZON GIFT CARD! (And that's US Dollars, too!) All you have to do to sign-up is spread the word about our great little book on social media, so why not throw your name in the hat and help us out at the same time?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to drop in on the full blog tour we're running across the interwebz to help promote the Masquerade Anthology. Full schedule is below:


APRIL 3 IWSG QUESTION:
If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

This one's easy. I've got five chapters at the beginning of my current WIP that I know I have to go back and re-write but I have been avoiding. Pick any one of those and I'll be happy.

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

FOREST OF GHOSTS by J.H. Moncrieff REVIEW


Take a hike through the most haunted forest in the world…

I haven’t read the previous installments in the GhostWriters series, however I loved Moncrieff’s book “The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave,” so when offered an advance proof of “Forest of Ghosts” in exchange for an honest review, I happily jumped at the chance.

Forest of Ghosts is a fast, creepy tour through the darker side of modern Transylvania. The author has first-hand knowledge of many of the settings in the story, and the descriptions are vibrant and detailed. Creeps and weirdness abound as our hero, Jackson Stone, attends a writers retreat where other guests disappear and the owner of the hotel harbours a dark secret. Moncrieff expertly weaves a tale of mystery and suspense, and she takes her time to make her characters and plot logical and sensical for the modern day. Being more of a “supernatural mystery” than a true horror story, Moncrieff’s characters make sensible choices and there is internal logic to everything that happens - the danger and suspense is built into the setting and are not merely plot contrivances, which is a refreshing touch.

The main character Jackson is relatable - sure he's seen ghosts and spooks before, but he still has reasonable questions and doubts about the weirdness around him. He's also a guy who will stand up for what he believes in even if it's uncomfortable or difficult, which makes him easy to cheer for, and you can believe his struggles to do the right thing and help people.

All in all a fun read that I breezed through in just two sittings, which is impressive for me; I’m generally a pretty slow reader. That says something about the smoothness and accessibility of the author’s prose! Definite recommend for fans of supernatural mysteries, suspense and ghost stories. Now I have to go back and read the previous volumes...

FOREST OF GHOSTS officially drops this Friday, March 22. 

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J.H. Moncrieff's City of Ghosts won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense.

Her work has been described by reviewers as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure.

She won Harlequin's search for “the next Gillian Flynn” in 2016. Her first published novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, was featured in Samhain’s Childhood Fears collection and stayed on its horror bestsellers list for over a year.

When not writing, she loves exploring the world's most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class.

To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, go to http://bit.ly/MoncrieffLibrary.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I MADE A LIST! (#IWSG March 2019)


I've been having trouble focusing largely. I just have so many projects I want to work on, and no where near enough time to write them all. I made a list for myself to try and keep track of exactly what I was working on, and to try and prioritize some of it.

In just the last week or so, I've worked on, thought about, or should have worked on:

  • six blog posts/interviews/reviews
  • edits for one of the anthologies I'm a part of
  • my main WIP, to which by added somewhere between 5000-7000 words in February, which is pretty good for me lately
  • three separate short stories, two of which are complete but need major revisions, and I started a new third one for some reason
  • revisions for a completed manuscript I've been submitting to a few places
  • outlines or tinkering on three other novels that are bouncing around in my head
  • another special project that could take considerable time and I don't even want to mention because it will probably never happen
I should have started with some easy stuff.

That's a lot of stuff. Can you imagine how much work I would get done on a single project if I concentrated on one thing? I just can't seem to focus. Some things are driven by deadlines (such as blog posts and edits), and I do make a point of dedicating at least a couple of hours a week to my main WIP. But for everything else, whenever I get a few free minutes or an idea pops in my head, I open up a document on my phone or laptop and add a few lines to whatever strikes my fancy in the moment. It's good because I am getting lots of ideas and I'm feeling creative, but it's also frustrating because I'm not going anything done. 

After I made my "to do" lists I broke it down basically into two columns: stuff that is deadline-dependent, and stuff that is open-ended. That way I can schedule the deadline-stuff, and when there's nothing pressing there I can work on the other list. That one is harder to prioritize, though I think I'm going to try and stick to my one novel WIP and one short story (the one that needs the least work) for now. 

Though of course, if another idea pops into my head, it would be foolish not to write it down...

And I really should get that other manuscript out, I just need to do a few revisions and fix my synopsis...

See? I just can't do. 

Please send help.

Pictured: Me, reading my writing to-do-list right through the commercial break.

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Hey, I also have a post on the IWSG Anthology Blog today, talking about my story in the upcoming Masquerade: Oddly Suited. Be sure to stop by and check it out.


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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February '19 Audiobook Reviews

Here we go again! I've been tearing through audiobooks so far this year, let's see if I can keep it up. I started last year hard and fast too, and burned out quickly, but here's hoping I can top my record for books read/listened to in 2019.

Heir to the Empire - 20th Anniversary Edition by Timothy Zahn (read by Marc Thompson)

I think I've talked before about how important "Heir to the Empire" was to my Star Wars fandom in my teens. This book, and the West End Games Role-playing game, kept Star Wars vibrant and alive for me in those dark years between Return of the Jedi and (ugh) The Phantom Menace. Not only was it the first "Star Wars" we got in ten years after Jedi, Heir to the Empire was a really good book. Or at least I remember that it was, though it had been some 25 years since I'd read it.

I remembered it very well - I could recite some lines and even full paragraphs exactly along with the narrator as I listened. But it was a lot more... juvenile than I remember it being. I'm not saying that as a major critique, it's just very obviously targeted at young adult audiences, which I guess I didn't notice at the time since I was, at the time, a young adult myself. The language is very "secondary-school," for lack of a better word, which really stands out when it's read aloud in an audiobook.

That being said, the plot is very well thought out (a hell of alot more than most Star Wars movies, to be honest) with genuinely shocking twists and turns throughout the book and the trilogy. The villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn, is without a doubt Zahn's greatest contribution to the Star Wars universe (that and the name Coruscant for the capital planet). Thrawn is a well-developed, Sherlock-Holmes-esque character, who uses his considerable intellect for evil, yet you can't help be drawn to him because he's just so darn interesting. His plots and schemes are ridiculously elaborate and yet well-thought-out and logical, far more than the simple "and now the bad guys ambush the heroes" we usually get in the movies.

So yeah, the book is still pretty good, but I cringed at the audiobook. This was the most over-the-top, over-produced audiobook I've ever listened to. It had a full soundtrack and soundscape, using all the official music and effects from the films. Every scene was highlighted by laser blasts, lightsaber hums, explosions and monster growls. Even during quiet dialogue scenes, there was always the background noise of starship engines humming in space or animals chirping on-planet. It was really unnecessary, and totally distracting at first. Maybe some people really like this kind of full presentation, but as I've said before, I really just prefer one voice telling me a story.

Marc Thompson is a good narrator, but like most male American narrators I find him a little too slick. It always sounds like the voiceover guy from movie trailers. Plus, he did all the voices (or attempted to do all the voices) as impersonations as the characters from the movies. His Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and C-3P0 were quite good, but many of the others left a lot to be desired. Luke Skywalker sounded kinda bored, Lando sounded like he was trying to seduce everyone all the time, all of the female characters were terrible (a pretty common complain when male narrators try to do female voices), and Han Solo sounded like Patrick Warburton (the voice of Joe Swanson on Family Guy, Kronk from the Emperor's New Groove, Elaine's boyfriend Puddy on Seinfeld and Lemony Snicket in the Netflix version of A Series of Unfortunate Events).

Actually Han Solo in this sounds exactly like the Han Solo from the Lego Star Wars cartoons, but that's neither here nor there.

Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith (read by Hugh Laurie)
My wife has been bugging me to read this for years, and while I have nothing against it I admit it took me far too long to get around it to. This is my first McCall-Smith book (I've never touched his much more famous No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, either), and I quite enjoyed it.

Charming is probably the best word I can come up with to describe this book. It wasn't gut-bustingly hilarious (though my wife insists the next book in the series is), but there were a couple of pretty funny moments. The opening chapter about three very un-athletic academics trying to learn how to play tennis using only a 100-year old rule book was brilliant. And then they tried to learn to swim from a textbooks, too... But most of the book is cute, witty, and leaves you with "ah, I see what you did there" moments. 

Ostensibly the book is a number of short stories about the lead character, Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, a professor of "philology" (study of the history and structure of a language - I had to look it up) whose big claim to fame is writing a 1200-page treatise on Portuguese Irregular Verbs, an incredibly comprehensive (and by all accounts, dreadfully boring and unnecessary) volume about the history and usage of... Portuguese Irregular Verbs. It's a book that all his colleagues appreciate and respect but no on in the right minds would ever want to read. Every chapter and story somehow ties back to this ridiculous book, about how von Igelfeld is trying to get others to read it, or buy it, or how he got the idea to write it, and so on. It's just the right amount of absurd for me, and if you are an academic or know any of them very well, it will entertain you on an whole other level.

My favourite part of the book, however, was definitely the narration by Hugh Laurie. My previous experience with him was reading Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome, which if you recall I was pretty disappointed with (Laurie's reading that is, the book is great). He is a million times better here, taking his time and narrating with a gleeful joy that really makes what could by a dry story far more entertaining. In fact, Laurie's narration here bumps whats would probably be a three-star book for me up to an easy four.

Noir by Christopher Moore (read by Johnny Heller)
I'm a big homer for Christopher Moore. I unabashedly list him as one of my big influences as a writer (I'm not talented enough to write like Kurt Vonnegut, or British enough to write like Terry Pratchett). Hard-boiled detective stories are also my jam. Mickey Spillane is a dirty pleasure, even though his books are horrifically racist and misogynistic. So when you mash the two of them together, I just knew this was going to be a bitchin' ride.

From the opening line, "She had the kind of legs that kept her butt from resting on her shoes," I was hooked. It was full of Moore-isms like this, where he captures the style and tone of the genre he's satirizing/parodying, but twisting it to make it all his own. It was a classic story of a tough, regular Joe who gets caught up with a crazy dame and some illegal shenanigans, and then all hell (and murder) breaks loose. 

Set in post-WWII San Francisco, Moore deftly navigates the racial and social prejudices of the time, being honest about how people thought and acted in the 1940s without being too cringe-worthy for our modern sensibilities. And he touches on a lot of tough points, too. Japanese internment camps, the flourishing west-coast China Town, the Southern blacks who moved to California to build warships, the women who worked to run the country while the men were away but then were shuffled back when the war ended, even the underground but growing gay and lesbian culture. I've read other novels actually written in that period when all of those groups were treated like second-class citizens as best, and manipulative, horrific villains more often than not. The fact that Moore was able to not ignore the racism and bigotry while still making all of the characters real and well-rounded was an impressive feat.

Of course, this being Christopher Moore, there are aliens and secret government conspiracies. Honestly his noir pastiche was so good I would have been happy if he played it straight, without the supernatural elements, but you can't have a Christopher Moore book without talking animals and some kind of otherworldly creature murdering people. It's his gimmick, and bless him for it. I know I love it.

The narrator, Johnny Heller, was solid. He captured the noir/hardboiled vibe wonderfully, and he managed to pull off most of the varied cultural voices without delving too deep into racist caricatures (*cough, cough* Stephen Briggs *cough, cough*). Fun times.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BIG RED by Damien Larkin REVIEW

Nazis on Mars. Alien space bugs. Secret government conspiracies. Time travel. This book has it all, and, amazingly, makes it all make sense.

When I first saw the publicity material referencing the setting, particularly the "Nazis in Space" part, I thought for sure this had to be some kind of parody, or at least written with tongue planted firmly in cheek. (Which I would be super down for, by the way) I was eager to dig into it after Dancing Lemur Press offered me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Big Red plays it straight, and pulls it off. It's earnest, and honest, and believable, thanks to the grounding of a realistic, decent protagonist as our guide and narrator.

The packaging says "military sci-fi" but this is a thriller through and through. The pace is fast and the twists and turns are dizzying. Every time I thought I had the story figured out Larkin threw another curveball, and I could barely keep up. It felt like the Twilight Zone or Black Mirror at times with the way it completely subverts expectations. Honestly sometimes it almost feels like there's too many twists happening, but the author pulls them all together, catches all the loose threads and ties everything up nicely in the end. If you're cynical like me and you're asking yourself after three or four chapters "how the hell is he going to pull this together?" then trust me: Damien Larkin pulls it off, and pulls it off with style.

It's hard to get into the plot too much without revealing spoilers (and like I said, the crazy revelations are the best part), but the back cover blurb gives you a pretty good set up. A soldier wakes up on Earth after a year-long mission to Mars goes disastrously wrong. He has only fractured memories of what happened and his commanding officers are desperate for answers he doesn't have. The story alternates back and forth between the main character's time on Mars and what's happening on Earth, as the reader experiences each memory first-hand as the narrator remembers them himself. It's a neat trick and is a wonderful way of slowly unraveling all of the interconnected story threads, as bits of info revealed in each storyline reveals or explains what's happening in the other.

The military aspects of the novel feels real and grounded, despite taking place on Mars, which is obviously due to Larkin's own experiences in the military. His first-hand knowledge really makes the action seem believable, and he provides just enough detail to add to the story without going overboard with the jargon. Likewise with his sci-fi tech - functional and interesting without going into too much minutiae. All of these touches add to the plot, giving the setting an immersive, lived-in feel without bogging it down too much.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed Big Red and highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in Sci-Fi. A very impressive debut from Damien Larkin and I look forward to future works from the author.



Big Red
By Damien Larkin

Release date - May 14, 2019

Print ISBN 9781939844606
EBook ISBN 9781939844613
Science Fiction - Military/Alien Contact/Alternative History

We have always been here…

Suffering the side effects of Compression travel, soldier Darren Loughlin wakes up screaming from a gunshot wound that isn’t there. Despite a fractured memory, he is forced to recount his year-long tour of duty on Mars to uncover the mysterious fate of Earth’s off-world colonies and the whereabouts of his shattered battalion.

With time running out, Darren recalls his tour of duty with the Mars Occupation Force in New Berlin colony, their brutal MARSCORP masters, and the vicious war against the hostile alien natives.
But as he exposes the truth, Darren suspects he is at the centre of a plot spanning forty years. He has one last mission to carry out. And his alien enemy may be more human than he is… 


Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. is dedicated to bringing outstanding and inspiring science fiction & fantasy, new adult/young adult, mystery, paranormal, middle-grade, non-fiction, Christian, and more to readers!

http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A Lesson a 6-Year-Old Should Be Able to Understand (#IWSG February 2019)

The other day my son was working on a drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog. I thought he was doing a great job, creating an image that is perfectly on the level expected for a 6-year-old. He, on the other hand, was not at all satisfied with it. He complained the nose was not right, the ears were too big, etc. Eventually he started to get frustrated and upset, and started erasing and re-drawing things and was ruining the overall picture.

I told him I loved the drawing and asked if I could keep it. I said if there were parts of it he wasn't happy with then he could change them next time. I told him everything we make, every task we complete, is a learning experience. Nothing is ever perfect; we should be proud of what we did well, and look for the things we can improve in the future. My wife and I have been trying to impress on him lately that improvement and rewards come from hard work, and that there are triumphs and setbacks every step of the way. I'm not sure if he believed me, but I really struck a chord with myself.

The past few months I've been working on a new manuscript, a sequel to Hell Comes to Hogtown that I had put off writing for two years. The reason I put it off, which was confirmed as soon as I started writing it, was because I knew it was going to be hard. I can see what I want it to be, but the pieces just aren't going together the way I expect them to. I knew this was going to happen because I encountered a similar issue when I wrote the original. I had fun writing the initial draft, but when that was done it took a lot of work to put it together in a sensical order. I had to almost completely re-write the story in the second and third drafts.

It's a working title.

I'm about a third of the way through the sequel and I'm still fighting the choice I need to make: Either I just have fun now, letting the story and characters go in weird and unexpected ways but with the knowledge I'm going to have to fix it all later; or I force the story into a rigid narrative structure, and let everything feel flat and boring now and hope I can instill life back into the characters in the re-writes. No matter what I choose, I'm setting myself up for more work down the line.

I need to take the same advice I gave my son, the advice that even a six-year old should be able to understand: This is a learning experience. Be happy with what I'm getting done now, and when this step is done, take what I learned and use it next time. The way I see it, when I finish this first draft one of three things are going to happen:
  1. In the best care scenario, it will turn out better than I'm expecting.
  2. It may turn out badly, but fixable. I already know there are parts I will have to change, but other parts that I'm quite happy with that I should be able to use. The first draft will take some work to salvage, but there will be decent story in there somewhere. Fixing it will teach me things that will make my job easier next time.
  3. It will turn out to be terrible and unusable. And that's fine. I will finally know that this isn't going to work, and I can put these characters and this story to bed and move onto one of the other thousand ideas I want to write.
It's a hard lesson to learn when you're in the thick of it. I thought I had learned it last time, but apparently I'm still working out the details. It will come, eventually. And maybe this really is my brain's way of telling me that this book doesn't need a sequel, that I should put it down and move onto something else. But I've got to try, just to be sure.

MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED RELEASE DETAILS

In case you missed it, the cover for the latest IWSG Anthology (featuring yours truly) was released last week. Here it is again in all it's tentacled-faced glory:

Are you interested in helping to promote the new book, by sharing your blog for a guest post as we get closer to the release date of April 30? If so, please check out the Blog Hop Signup below:


Here are the full details on the book:

Masquerade: Oddly Suited

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Release date – April 30, 2019
Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary
Print ISBN 9781939844644
EBook ISBN 9781939844651

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…


MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED contains the following tales of romance:

Oddly Suited, LG Keltner
Behind the Catcher’s Mask, Jennifer Lane
Fearless Heart, Deborah Solice
The Dark Charade, CD Gallant-King (that's me!)
The Cog Prince, Elizabeth Mueller
Remedy, Chelsea Marie Ballard
Charleston Masquerade, Carrie-Anne Brownian 
Flower of Ronda, Myles Christensen
Sea of Sorrows, Anstice Brown
A Diver’s Ball, Angela Brown


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.
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