The 7-Writer Challenge

7-writers get to strut their stuff (The Seven Line Challenge)

The talented Mary Ann Bernal has tagged me into the 7-writers challenge…
Well, never let it be said that I shy away from a writing challenge!
This is your mission:

Go to line 7 on either page 7 or page 77 of your manuscript and do a post with the next 7 lines, then tag 7 people to keep the challenge going.

*This a short and savvy way to see what others out there in the blogosphere are writing.

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Well here we go.  Here are my seven lines from my WIP – Book #3 of The Secret of Arking Down Series; The Second Door.
The Daemons from the Fire Realm are confronted by Hades, Lord of The Underworld…
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“I have been sent by my Master to retrieve the Shield, Lord Hades.” Lady Deumara curtseyed. “These others are merely my bodyguards.”

Nex rolled her eyes. “She says that as if we weren’t able to hear.”

“Well that is why we were sent with her.” Morbus gave a tiny whimper as he looked up at the full daemon.

Lady Deumara absently patted him on the head and Morbus wagged his tail.

“Control yourself brother.” Nex growled softly. “You’re not a lap hound.”

* * *

I’m going to pass this challenge on to…

John Booth

Diane Nelson

Maria Kuroshchepova

James McShane

Greta Van Der Rol

Terry Kroenung

Steven Novak

A Change of Genre…

… well in my reading habits anyway!

It was my birthday this week – yes, I had cake and alcohol; no, I didn’t get massively drunk – and one of my presents was something I have been yearning for… a Kindle.

It wasn’t one of the all singing all dancing ones (we can’t afford those ones as we are  starving artists) but it was a wi-fi connected one. And I love it!

I’ve got an archive of over 100 books stored up to read and now I can.

The one I started with was “Sculpting David” by Nya Rawlyns.

David Michaels, heir to an artistic legacy–his parents, Adrian Michaels, premier sculptor, and Elena Stefanova, patrician Russian impressionist–breaks away to start a Gallery in the shark infested waters of NYC’s art world. David and his General Manager/mistress, Janet, approach Jacqueline Maurer, the talented daughter of Adrian’s archrival, to showcase the Gallery’s opening salvo. Jackie will not disrespect her Papa, the redoubtable Jacques Maurer, and declines.

David pursues Jacqueline using a fake identity and masquerading as a fellow student. Intent on pressing his case, he loses himself in his art and the incomparable talent of his prey. David volunteers to model in her oils class, leaving nothing to chance and nothing to the imagination.
Jacqueline has complications of her own–a relationship with her swimming coach–and a plea from Jacques to come home to Paris to work in his studio. Torn between opposing factions and unsure of her heart, Jacgueline embraces her dark yearnings to produce the image that will ultimately captivate David.
Elena Stefanova must enter stage left to manipulate the warring muses, star crossed lovers and irascible enemies. Romance smiles wisely as David’s creation, The Raging Bull, pulls free of its confines.

I don’t normally read Romance novels, but the blurb drew me in and once I started reading, the beautifully realised characters and emotionally charged scenarios held me hostage and I lost all sense of being a reader. I was instead a fly on the wall in the story.

Nya Rawlyns paints with words, every one perfectly placed and shaded with emotion. David comes across as a sexually charged, tortured artistic genius. He’s every art student’s dream of a life model, beautifully proportioned and intriguingly muscled. You find yourself lusting after him in the same way as Jackie, his counterpart in this story. The sex scenes are realistic and massively erotic and I can honestly see this as a movie or tv series.

I have never been able to lose myself in romance or erotica and I am always sceptical of the claims of publishers when it comes to their marketing of this genre. I am too much of a writer to ignore spelling, grammar and formatting mistakes in genres that I don’t read a lot of and find that those kind of problems drag me away from the storyline.

In the case of “Sculpting David” , I did lose myself and that it happened is purely due to the genius of the author.  I can fully recommend it!

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As I make my way through my kindle collection, I am going to post reviews of all the books I have on it… there are some authors that I have reviewed before, some that I haven’t and I hope that you’ll stay with me for the trip!

Writer Wednesday: um… Me actually.

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my own writing on my own blog. So I thought that today, my Writer Wednesday feature could be about me!

I’ve been told that I don’t blow my own trumpet enough. There is a reason for this and that’s because I never actually know what to say. It’s a bit like writing a personal statement for a job interview; you don’t want them to dismiss you as useless, but at the same time you don’t want to come across as arrogant about your abilities.

Maybe this will be good practise then…

I’m much more than a writer of course, and if you’re a regular subscriber / reader, you’ll know that, but for those that don’t, let’s get the other things that I do out of the way, in no particular order:

1) I am the partner of an incredibly talented, but highly self concious artist with bottoming out self esteem – TOH is brilliant at what he does (he has an exhibition coming up in Barry soon) and everyone else can see it, but he needs so much validation that I have had to become a part time Life Coach!

2) I have two energetic, wonderful, polite and mischievous children. NOS and PT are the centre of my existence as a mother… but they can be damn annoying and seriously messy, so I have to add Laundress/Seamstress, First Aider, Interventionist, Entertainer and Prison Guard to the jobs list.

3) Because of the first two, I also have to be a Housewife. This is not a role that comes easily to me (damn you mum!) and I hate washing up with a passion – I’ll do anything else other than that particular chore…

4) I have the honour of being an Assistant Leader at the local Guide troop. This means I have to be a Teacher and add a few of the roles that I play as a mother as well as supporting my fellow Guiders.

5) I have a passion for sparkly, twinkly things that is blossoming into a job – yes, I make jewellery and accessories. There’s a separate website for that though, so I’ll just say that I have to add Designer/Maker, Secretary and Marketing Assistant to the list.

6) I am the Editor of Welcome to Wherever Webzine. Again there is a separate website to look at, so I’ll leave you to imagine what that entails…

…Okay then, having got those out of the way, let’s get on with my writing…

I have a small catalog of books at the moment (if you pop up to the menu bar and look at the bookshop menu, you’ll be able to find out about each one) but, the thing is, I don’t think many people actually  realise that I have actually got books published and that they only came out this year, so I’ll run through them now for you –

The first book to be published was “Pika the Phluph and the Gribblebid Tough” in collaboration with illustrator/writer, Maria Kuroshchepova.

Book One of “The Land Far Away” Series

“Look under your bed and what do you see, A place full of dust or a magical tree? Crawl under your bed and continue the tale, There’s a ship by the tree and it’s about to set sail.”

So begins the journey into Land Far Away – a magical domain filled with strange creatures, like the Phluphs, the Linzers, the fearsome Grungegogglers, and the gentle Snuggles.

Join the author Kira Morgana and illustrator Maria K. on the first Land Far Away adventure, as Pika the Phluph sets out to conquer the heart of the savage and uncouth Gribblebid

Pika is one of my favourite characters, mostly because she is my Daughter’s creation and so much like PT it brings tears to my eyes. Pika is pink and fluffy with an adventurous spirit, no fear and very little good sense!

Publishing this book with Maria was a wonderful experience and we have several more in the offing…

The next book was my own self publishing effort “The Necklace of Harmony”.

My first story collection!

One of the fun things about being a writer is responding to a challenge. This book is full of the results of such challenges…

From the wedding celebrations of Greek Deities, to mermaids, ghosts and superheroes, a whole gamut of creatures await your eager eyes. 

This is a short story collection that basically charts my progress through the world of publication from Flash contests to Anthologies and allows the reader an insight into my mind as well.

I think my favourite story of the whole book is “The Horse Knows Best” – a story set in one of my favourite worlds and connected to the next book that was published…

“The Tower and The Eye: A Beginning” was published in February…

Published Spring 2012

Peace came at a price…

The Black Tower War lingers in memory and the stories that spark fear in children lie in truths long buried. Tales of the Dungeons of Doom, a fearsome Overlord and The Eye that rules all, remind the people of the Heart Kingdoms of Quargard that harmony must be earned.

…and danger lurks just below the surface.

When the Overlord and his Creatures re-awaken, Heroes and Heroines must arise to stem the tide of evil. So it is decreed. So does Legend say.

From each Kingdom, a Champion…

…born to become a Dungeon Destroyer. But the tales and legends leave much to be desired and not all who venture into the Dungeons of Doom will emerge alive.

As with everything, each quest will have a beginning…

…and the Kingdom of Galivor provides an unlikely collection of candidates who seek to plunder an abandoned dungeon.

Little do they know they are being watched…

… by Pfoxmoor Publishing, under their Pfoxchase imprint.

Quargard is one of the best worlds I have created so far and I am forever coming up with new ideas for stories to take place there; it’s almost as if the world really has come alive and wants to be written about!

Some will appear in a story collection- “Quargard Chronicles” -which I am planning, although I don’t know if it will be self published or picked up by Pfoxmoor yet.

I am however going to continue with the self publishing. I have two books lined up for publication this summer:

Turn a city upside down and shake it – what falls out? 

The Treaty that binds the Vampires, Werewolves, Humans and the rarely seen True Dragons, is over 1000 years old. It provides stability and safety for all the citizens of the city of Te Ling. Triads and Yakuza are not welcome here and Tourism flourishes like a well fed swan amongst the parks, temples and theaters by day,  and under the bright lights of the night clubs and other leisure facilities by night.

But many lights cast a multitude of shadows, and they get darker as you get deeper.

Li is as deep into the darkness as you can get: cop by day, shadow by night, he eats and drinks the lifeblood of the city. A threat to the current Te Ling Triang Leader is a threat to the City and The Black Dragon cannot be risked. Li is handed the responsibility of tracking down and removing the threat…preferably permanently .

This is one of the first books that I ever wrote and while it has changed substantially from the original text, thanks to the intervention of a series of Beta Readers and Editors, the story and the characters have stayed strong and alive (well, undead) to me.

This will be published under my other Pen Name, A. E. Churchyard and you may discover that you like this darker side to me.

Which would be good because the second book I am publishing is also under that name –

The Darkness in Mind

Apologies for the lack of cover – I only conceived of the title this morning and I don’t have a cover designed yet.

This is going to be a short story collection, but where “Necklace of Harmony”  was sweetness and light, fantasy and fun; “The Darkness in Mind” will be horror stories so it really is the opposite side of my psyche coming out to play.

A lot of my early published work was horror and although much of it was published in anthologies by House of Horror Webzine a couple of years ago. I thought it would be fun to bring them out in a book and add a couple of stories that didn’t see the light of day at the time. More news on this closer to the time…

Apart from that, I have a YA series being written and I’m working on a couple of SF stories. I have no idea if they’ll see the light of day, but you never know. Oh and by the way, I do have an amazon page so, if you don’t hear from me for a while, keep your eyes open and on the page – anything new published should appear on there!