Happy Thanksgiving!

Advertisement

Interview with Katie Groom

I’m happy to welcome author Katie Groom. Today, Katie shares her creative journey and new release, Fixed Moon.

Interview

What is your favorite quote?

This is such a great question, and sometimes my answer changes depending on my mood. Right now, I quote enjoy this quotation from the Twelfth Doctor at his time of regeneration:

Never be cruel. Never be cowardly. Hate is always foolish. Love is always wise. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.

I think the world needs a little bit of everything that he said in that moment.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I believe that everyone has little superpowers. They are little seemingly-mundane things, so no one really notices. For me, my superpower is getting a really great parking spot! When I first started to notice this, no one believed me, but I started to take pictures to prove it – hahaha! Then one day, my family and I were at an extremely busy shopping center, and I *magically* got the best spot in the entire lot! They really started to believe in my “special” power then.

If I had to pick a traditional superpower, I think that I would pick a power that would let me take on someone else’s power with just a touch. It would never get boring, that’s for sure! I’m not sure if that’s a thing, but if I can dream it, it can be. Maybe I’ll add that superpower to a character in possible future stories in the Cardinal Moon Saga (Fixed Moon is the first novel in the saga, but Cardinal Moon is Hugh’s “origin story” — a short story in the Darkest of Winters side of Cinnabar Moth’s winter 2021 anthology).

Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

I love music. I used to play the clarinet regularly, but it has been a while since I’ve done that. However, I love love LOVE live music. My favorite band is Hanson, and I go to see them any time they are in a nearby (and sometimes not-so-nearby) city.

I also am very interested in tarot, and have been teaching myself about the cards and how to read them. Additionally, I casually enjoy reading oracle cards and runes.

One other hobby I enjoy is learning Spanish. I took four years in high school, but it’s been more than twenty years! I’m refreshing my skills because I want to go to Spain (and another one of my favorite things to do is travel).

Any advice for aspiring writers?

I have three simple things that I try to remind myself, and I think they are good things for any writer.

One: Believe in your work. No one else will ever believe in your work if you don’t. You have to lead by that example.

Two: If you write, you are a writer. Even if no one ever reads the work — if it stays hidden in your laptop — you are a writer.

Three: Stay true to your style. Yes, grow and improve, but stay true to your voice.

What are you working on next?

I cannot say much, but Hugh’s story is not over. I’m very excited about what potentially comes next for Hugh & Co, but there’s not much to go on yet — just a feeling and the beginning of some ideas.

Blurb

After breaking her engagement and traveling 800 miles to start her life over, literature student Zoie is ready to live her life within the books she reads and the worlds she creates on the page. She will live her life solo — only her stuffed animal Judy by her side.

Werewolf and literature professor Hugh has long been wary of letting people into his life, even for someone who’s almost 200. His life in Birmingham, Alabama, and his only two friends in the world are enough to keep him content. Not happy, but as near as he figures is possible.

Neither is ready for the literal sparks that fly when they meet. But Hugh knows those sparks mean his heart belongs to Zoie, whether she wants it or not. Desperate to prove he’s worthy of her, Hugh takes Zoie to places mortals are forbidden, drawing dangerous attention to them both.

Now, together with their closest friends, Hugh and Zoie fight against ancient foes and even more ancient laws for their lives and their love.

Excerpt

Stevie placed her hands in front of her as if she was holding a big beach ball and closed her eyes. The boat shook ever so slightly and then the water started to rise above the sides of the boat.

Terrified that they were going to take on water, Zoie latched onto Hugh’s arm. She watched as either the water continued to rise above the boat or, maybe, the boat was sinking below the water.

As the water arched over their heads and created a ceiling, a fish fell at their feet. “Do I release it back or will that be an issue?” Zoie picked it up and waited for the signal — a nod from Stevie. Then she tossed it back towards the wall of water before it wiggled out of her hands.

The boat travelled further down into the depths of the ocean, slowly at first — as Stevie gauged Zoie’s potential reaction to increased pressure around the boat. The water grew a darker and darker blue until the only light was what was held in their own bubble.

Zoie was standing at the edge of the boat, holding the railing, when she saw a small light. She leaned forward to get a better look. Squinting her eyes, she tried to make out what was holding the light. She leaned further forward only to be inches from the wall of water — and inches from many rows of giant, pointy teeth.

Jumping back, she gasped and placed her hand over her mouth.

Author Bio and Links

Katie Groom grew up in rural Pennsylvania, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from PITT and her master’s in Employment and Labor Relations from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2016, she decided to move to Alabama in order to avoid as much snow as possible (and to advance her career in Human Resources).

When she isn’t working, Katie enjoys reading, writing, jokingly critiquing movies and TV, and campaigning that the plural of moose should be meese. She also loves to take in live music (especially Hanson) and traveling, with the goal of reaching each of the continents. Katie’s favorite pastime, however, is spending time with her beloved Shih tzu, Delta.

Website | Twitter | Book Links | Amazon Buy Link

Giveaway

Katie Groom will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Katie on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

Think Preparation Over Plans

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Award-winning author Terri Trespicio shares this inspiring story in her recent release, Unfollow Your Passion:

In 2013, voice teacher Sarah Horn was called up out of an audience of several thousand at the Hollywood Bowl to sing “For Good” from the show Wicked, with the woman who originated the role of Glinda on Broadway, the one and only Kristin Chenoweth. Horn did not plan for this to happen, which would have been impossible.

When Chenoweth asked who knew the song, Horn simply raised her hand. She got up onstage and proceeded to sing the song, blowing away not just her friends and thousands of people but Chenoweth herself, who was visibly taken aback by Horn’s performance. Her friend caught it all on his phone in the last few seconds of memory he had, and that video went viral overnight, racking up more than a million views in twenty-four hours.

Not only was that an incredibly exciting and lucky moment, but it opened doors for Horn, who was invited back by the Hollywood Bowl two weeks later to emcee an event, and it continues to draw all kinds of opportunities to her. Horn said it’s as if she had saved up all the luck in her whole life for that moment.

She didn’t plan it, no—but she was prepared. When you watch that performance, you see a woman crushing onstage with a major star—but what you don’t see, says Horn, is what allowed her to turn a lucky moment into a life-changing one. What you don’t see, she says in her TEDx talk, are the weekly voice lessons she’d had since she was eight; the times she sang when she was sick, so that she could make sure she could sing without sounding sick; the hours spent singing “For Good” on repeat in her bedroom, memorizing the harmonies on both parts.

What happened was a chance thing, for which she had no warning, no plan, but when the planets lined up for one miraculous moment, she was ready. And all that discipline, that preparedness, she said, led to what she calls her “moment of freedom.” Because that’s what you’re seeing there: a woman who committed to her craft and had planned on nosebleed seats that day—not on being “discovered.” Planning for any of that would have been crazy, but if she hadn’t been prepared it wouldn’t have happened.

Source: Unfollow Your Passion, pp. 189-190

Virtual Book Tour: The Story That Made Us Stronger

I’m happy to welcome author Iris March. Today, Iris shares ten of her favorite foods and her new release, The Story That Made Us Stronger.

My 10 favorite foods – and how most of them are incorporated into this book!

Thanks for having me, Joanne. I’m really excited to be talking about my new novel, The Story That Made Us Stronger. It was inspired by my sister’s struggle of having Hodgkin’s lymphoma while pregnant with twins. Her story is told indirectly through the veil of the main character’s obsession with discovering the past uses of an abandoned building on his running route. The character based on my sister, Katie, helps Connor, the main character, from her hospital room, where he cares for her as a nurse during her stem cell replacement procedure. He’s training for a half-marathon and is trying to eat very healthily during the period of the novel. I am not always a healthy eater, but I still incorporated a lot of my favorite foods into the story.

1 – Indian Food. Connor orders Indian food take out, makes aloo gobi at home, goes on a date at an Indian restaurant, and is overjoyed when his sister-in-law makes chicken masala food for dinner. He loves Indian food and so do I!

2 – Not so much meat. I’m not a vegetarian, but I could be one. Connor too. When given the choice over a vegetarian dish or chicken or beef, I usually pick meatless or fish. Connor asks his mom to make meatless meatballs over spaghetti for his pre-race dinner. He never mentions making a meat-based meal at home but eats it when other people make it for him, mostly at his brother and sister-in-law’s house. I never outright say any of this in the novel and wonder if readers notice or not. Let me know!

3- Popcorn. I have a lifelong love of popcorn. I eat it nearly daily. Connor makes popcorn for his nieces when they sleep over. It needed to be included somewhere!

4 – Oatmeal. I eat oatmeal with chocolate and almonds almost every day for breakfast. Connor eats oatmeal frequently too but makes healthier choices for toppings.

5 – Chocolate. I have such a weakness for chocolate. Connor doesn’t struggle with this, but Leah tells him that there’s no reason to eat a sundae without chocolate. Agreed, Leah.

6 – My hometown pizza. General pizza is not my favorite. I could almost do without pizza, to be honest. But I will never turn down pizza made by my hometown pizzeria. That specific pizza is my very favorite. Their sauce is unique and their crust is not too crispy, not too soft. When Katie is leaving the hospital, she mentions that she’s craving her hometown pizza. Since Katie is based on my sister, she has the same hometown pizzeria and that’s the one I had in mind.

7 – Aloo Gobi. Going back to Indian food, aloo gobi is my favorite. It’s just potatoes and cauliflower in a light tomato sauce, but it’s just so so tasty. I’ve tried at least six recipes at home and just can not get it right. I pretend like Connor has a recipe figured out, but I sure don’t.

8 – Salmon. One night, Connor’s sister-in-law makes grilled salmon and asparagus. Salmon is my very favorite protein. Slow smoked over the grill is my favorite, but his sister-in-law didn’t have time for that.

10 – Falafel. Connor goes to a middle eastern restaurant and orders what I would: falafel with baba ghanoush. He says he could eat baba ghanoush all day. Me too, buddy!

Do we have any favorite foods in common? Anyone else eat popcorn every night after their kid goes to bed?

Blurb

An abandoned building. A motivated runner. A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer survivor.

Connor Jackson has been training for a half marathon for the past six weeks. Katie Brandt has been training to beat cancer for the past 50. When Connor discovers an intriguing secret in a tiny, abandoned building on his running route, Katie finds that the mystery is what she needs to help her get through her three-week stem cell replacement procedure. Together, Conner and Katie must find the strength to achieve their personal goals and, in the meantime, expose the many past lives that the tiny building led.

Excerpt

The Stem Cell Replacement Ward

Connor Jackson

The next morning, at the start of my shift on the stem cell replacement ward, I was daydreaming about what might be inside the building. Why was it so small? What was the huge pole for? Did it connect to something inside the tiny room? Was there a dirt floor? Had animals invaded, and were they living in there now? Was there a basement?

After saying hello to coworkers, I looked over the patient charts. Then I set off to check in on my first patient of the day, Katie.

“Good morning, Katie.” I said as I entered her room, knocked on her door, announced my arrival and entered. This was her third day on the floor, and she was still feeling about as healthy as she had when she arrived. We jumped right into her daily weigh in.

“How was your night, Connor, my man?” Katie asked as I made notes on my laptop. Katie had shoulder-length, curly blonde hair and the most decked-out room I’ve ever seen in my six years working on this ward. The rooms are large, as comfortable as they can be for a hospital. She had brought her own bright-pink quilt and pillows, had strings of lights up and pictures plastered everywhere. One entire wall was covered with photos of amazingly cute kids. Katie and her husband, Travis, had a boy who would be three in a few months and twin girls who were just born five months ago, when Katie had full-on Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This lady had a lot to live and fight for. She was there to get a stem cell transplant to make sure she never had lymphoma again. It would take three weeks, and her health would really fade in the next few days as we killed all her white blood cells.

“I went on a run and played some video games. I was in the mood for Indian. Well, I’m always in the mood for Indian, so I made some aloo gobi,” I said. “Kind of boring.” I took her temporal temperature and made another note.

“Not as boring as my night. I’m already totally done with watching TV and movies.” She was twirling her hair. “I miss my little people so much.”

Author Bio and Links

Iris March grew up the oldest of three sisters whose names all began with the same letter. Her sisters are still her best friends. March works in the sustainability field and also writes cozy mysteries in the Succulent Sleuth Series. She lives in Ohio with her husband, young son, and three cats.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway

Iris March will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Iris on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

Finding a Happier You

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Darlene Fredette. Today, Darlene shares her reinvention story and new release, Derailed Hearts.

Here’s Darlene!

Thank you, Joanne, for hosting me today!

Briefly describe your first act.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher or a veterinarian. However, university or college were not financially feasible. So, after high school, I took various night classes and online courses in secretary/administration. I held several titles before achieving my career goal, such as cashier, mailroom clerk, and accounting. But I soon found my place as an administrator in pharmacy benefits. I stayed with that company for twenty years, but when I was offered a position as director of administration and marketing, the job was too good to pass. I had finally reached my career objective.

What triggered the need for change?

Unfortunately, the demands of the job resulted in health issues, forcing me to leave that employment. After a year of being away from the workforce, I grew accustomed to being home. I loved taking my daughter to school, doing household chores during the week instead of rushing around in the evenings or weekends, walking with the dog to pick up my daughter, and cooking supper before my husband came home from work. No more hustle and bustle. I felt at peace, and my health did too.

Where are you now?

I’m still home – health and happy. I started writing while working but now had the opportunity to give it my full-time attention. I have ten published books, but I believe I am approaching my third act. I’m not sure how much longer I will continue writing. As I get older, I find the days pass quicker and I want to enjoy a slower pace. I rediscovered my love of art and started drawing and painting.

Do you have advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act?

Make sure you are in a good place to move onward. Security in your health and finances are important. Sometimes it’s good to take that leap of faith to find a happier you.

Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?

I like this quote by Richard Branson… “If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow.”

Tagline

Nana Marley has her heart set on more great-grand babies, and with the help of a folklore legendary rabbit, she might receive her wish.

Blurb

Single father and ER doctor, Ethan Marley, is ready to put down roots. He and his daughter embark on a train adventure across Canada from west to east coast. Boarding the train, he meets a woman who steals his breath, and he learns that she too is headed to Redford Falls. He is intent on maintaining a friendship only, but Jenn makes his heart race faster than the train.

Fashion designer, Jenn Martini, travels by train to Redford Falls to visit her father. Her plan for a solitude escape derails after meeting Ethan and his daughter. Sharing a confined-spaced cabin sparks an immediate attraction, and by the end of the trip, she longs to be a part of their family. Only as she opens her heart to love, do the scars from her past begin to heal.

With more in common than relatives in Redford Falls, is their love strong enough to overcome the truth behind the accident…and save their future?

Excerpt

Avery pointed to herself, Ethan, and then Jenn.

Ethan rested his forehead against his daughter’s. “You want Jenn to come, too?”

Avery nodded.

The little voice in Jenn’s head told her to return to her cabin and to stay clear of Ethan and his daughter. They were as enticing as strawberry ice cream. “I would love to join you.” The words fell from her lips.

Ethan stood and set Avery on her feet.

The child held onto her father’s hand and reached outward with the other.

Jenn accepted the tiny hand and in doing so, she sensed a comfortable connection to this family—a connection she suspected would be incredibly hard to break.

Author Bio

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, or painting, or drawing, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador.

Website | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Universal Purchase Link

On Leaving Your Comfort Zone

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from What It Takes by award-winning entrepreneur Zahra Al-harazi:

Larry Alton, a journalist for Huff Post, believes there are three big benefits to leaving your comfort zone.

You’ll overcome fear—the thing that holds us back most in life. Your mind tends to exaggerate what can go wrong. Commit to an adventurous spirit, and fear will cease to be a paralyzing factor in your decisions.

Your creativity will skyrocket. Your brain will get a workout. When it’s flexed and challenged to really think, your creative side is stimulated, which affects every area of your life.

You’ll learn about yourself. No matter your age, if you’ve been living the same day on repeat for many years, you’re probably missing out on some of your unique likes and dislikes. Consider that you don’t know yourself as well as you could. As you experiment, you’ll naturally recognize who you are and who you want to become.

So live a little. Do some things that are out of character, and risk loving them. They might be delicious.

Source: What It Takes, Page 327

Excerpt Tour: God of Summer

I’m happy to welcome award-winning Wild Rose Press author Kat Chant. Today, Kat shares her new release, God of Summer.

Blurb

Back in the Bronze Age, Angus McCraggan sacrificed his life to break the Celtic curse laid on his kind. He failed. Millennia later, he returns to modern Ireland to find his people have become feral, vengeful shadows. With his hollow hill now packed with tourists, he uses his power to keep his past hidden.

Until an American call him out.

Since a banshee attacked her as a teen, Erin De Santos has been tormented by dreams of a boy she’s never met. Armed with a new identity, she returns to the Emerald Isle determined to face her nightmare. But her discovery turns fatal.

When the banshee strikes again, Angus surrenders his heart—and his hope of freeing his people—to save her. With his life now hers and his curse descending, Erin must make a terrible choice: kill her savior or share his doom.

Excerpt

“Air in,” Angus said.

It was excellent advice so Erin took it, inhaling not any old air, but the smoke’n’sunlight scent she couldn’t get enough of. Her eyelids snapped open to find Angus’ firm, generous lips parted an inch from her own, close enough to kiss. His eyes were closed, the dark points of his lashes distinct against the white of his skin. Heat shifted from her arms to settle in the center of her chest and his expression turned pained.

“Ah, how you care, mo chroí, most especially when you pretend you don’t.”

She looked down. His hand pressed against her sternum while her heart bashed against her ribs as if seeking to return to its rightful owner and lodge in the palm of his hand. His fingers twitched and she looked up. A storm raging across his face, a tempest of desire, fear, and frustration.

“No! Don’t take it!” Extracting her hands from her thighs, she shoved against his shoulders. She might as well have tried to shift Newgrange. “I need it.”

Thundercloud brows twitched into a frown. “It’s yours to keep, Erin.”

Air in.

Not an instruction, but her name as she’d never heard it before, like she was something he needed to live. Had she known it was a loose thread that could unravel her, she’d never have shared it.

“What are you doing, McCraggan?”

“Feeling what you’re feeling.”

For a second, her shock wrote itself across his face.

Then his mouth pinched and his brow puckered. Her panic transmuted into a feverish heat. The heart he’d given her must be to blame, because her own had never felt like it was a furnace. The mix of the emotions churning inside her smelted into a single core of something new and precious and unfamiliar.

Author Bio and Links

Kat Chant is an award-winning writer. A bookworm who grew into a history buff, she swapped beaches for castles and moved from Australia to the UK. When studying medieval history, she fell in love with a lad from Ireland…and fell in love with his country, too.

She and her family live in the heart of Ireland, surrounded by fields in forty shades of green.

Kat is a keen cook and often experiments with traditional farmhouse foods such as making bread, cheese, jam and liqueurs. She also decorates the occasional cake.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | TikTok | BookBub | Amazon | Buy Link | Booksirens | Booksprout

Giveaway

Kat Chant will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Kat on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

When Nobody is Watching

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

On Fridays, I receive Hope Clark’s newsletter, Funds for Writers. Here’s a thought-provoking essay from a recent email:

You know the song. The one with the lyric, “Dance like nobody’s watching.” You get the meaning. Let yourself be the real you.

You know how you are in the car, alone, when the perfect song you sang to in high school comes on the radio. You belt it out, maybe even attempting harmony.

But when we post our writing online, we do so with the idea that someone is waiting to judge. Suddenly we become more homogenized with the others hanging out there, like ourselves, who are weighing what to say so that the audience likes us. We debate with ourselves on how to write something that will garner applause so that we fit in better.

We don’t want to run the risk of being too different. We often dumb ourselves down, when the crying shame is that there is a uniquely different person behind that screen, behind that pen, behind that keyboard.

The world is crying for sincerity.

The world thirsts for people who are themselves.

That’s not saying everyone should be their weirdest self. Just that they ought to be true to themselves, and that includes in writing.

We too often want to know what’s selling, what’s remarkable, what’s garnering the most likes before we put our own words down, when in fact we ought to do the opposite.

Somebody wrote the first vampire story. Somebody wrote the first sci-fi tale. Somebody dared take fairy tales and turn them into epics of wild creatures on human quests. Write like nobody will ever read it. Dare to bare on the page. Edit, for sure, but get the real you down first and see what remarkable material has been locked away in your brain for far too long.

Sign up to receive Hope Clark’s newsletter here.

Interview with L.T. Getty

I’m happy to welcome paramedic and author L. T. Getty. Today, she shares her creative journey and recent release, The Mermaid and the Unicorns.

Interview

What was your inspiration for this book?

I wanted to write a book for my niece, who was just starting into chapter books. I aimed it for a little older than she was, now she’s in High School but that’s kind of how it goes in the publishing world. I basically wrote a book that I would have liked to read at the age of 8, but catered it towards things she enjoyed.

What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?

I love being creative. To me, writing is about making sense of the ideas in your head, and giving them form and structure, and making a product that can be enjoyed by others. In particular for this project, I made something for someone else, even if she technically outgrew it before I decided to go ahead and publish it. You have no idea how happy she and my other nieces were when they saw their names in the dedication.

The worst for me is the elitism and the sense that some stuff is worthy, other stuff is rubbish and some people are real authors and writers, and then there’s us plebs. Don’t get me wrong: There’s plenty of product that doesn’t appeal to me and I’m very likely to talk about the quality of the writing of something I’ve read, but I’m not someone who is going to pretend that anyone’s intrinsic value is more than anyone else’s. My work can speak for itself and it’s also not for everyone. I’d rather ask you what you like to read, and steer you to another table then sell you a book I suspect you won’t enjoy.

Describe your writing space.

I have my own office, but 90% of my writing takes place at my kitchen table on my main floor when the sun’s out. At night, I’m likely to go upstairs and write. I love the natural light in my house, plus I’m in close proximity to the tea pot so I don’t have to run down the stairs for a top up.

What is your favorite quote?

I’ll give you my favourite from a book, then a favourite just in general.

From “Till We Have Faces” by CS Lewis

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to be able to fly.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Usually when you’re starting out you have really good taste but you don’t have the skill level to pull off what you want to do. There are exceptions, but even if you are very gifted in writing I’m sure by the time you’re on your third or fourth title, you’re looking back at your first one going, “I really should have…” that’s normal.

My general rule is write the best you can, and get feedback from people who know what they’re talking about. When you’re starting out, generally speaking you’ll get feedback from whoever, and sometimes that’s great, but I find that different people want to focus on different things in a book. Usually great advice may be out of place for certain types of genres; for instance the general rule is “Show, don’t tell” the audience. If you’re writing a very technical science fiction novel and you have an audience who actually would like to know, it’s a rule you can break but I think it also needs to be broke with caution.

I’m not saying you can’t take advice from someone who writes very different than you, but I think if you and I are both writing an intermediate middle grade book, we should find someone who’s more familiar with the market and audience expectations then someone who has been writing for a very intellectual adult audience. I think lots of people can offer different insight and can help you grow the book, but what might be a deal breaker for say, someone who likes contemporary fiction might be a great plot twist for someone who reads science fiction.

If you want to write a certain genre or length, read that genre or length. One of my problems was acknowledging that most publishers were scared of books much longer than 100k, and I was regularly reading books in the 150k+ range and meanwhile I was trying to write a short story without really reading them. I’m not saying know market trends, I’m saying learn how they pace their books and hey, if you’re hung up on an issue – let’s say, you’re not certain how to communicate how mermaids speak under water – see what other people have done and how they’ve dealt with the same issue. Most people are okay wih Aquaman talking below the sea without any explanation, but a certain audience may want specifics.

What are you working on next?

I signed the second book of the Rogue Healer series with Champagne, and they have the third book under consideration but I have work to with the editor on book 2. I’ve technically started work on book 4, but really the plan is to really go at it for NaNoWriMo. I am finishing up a YA novel that’s about the Puppeteers from The Mermaid and the Unicorns, but it needs to percolate and I’ll send it to my niece/creative consultant and get her to tell me what she likes, what she doesn’t. I also have to pick a project that’s written to edit for self-publishing for next year; there’s no rush and I’ve narrowed it down but I lack commitment at this time.

Blurb

Daphne’s a typical mermaid, and at least according to her, that’s a problem. She’s courageous and has a beautiful singing voice, but lacks the power of an elemental, the ability to command water with the sound of her voice. Jealous of her best friend, she makes a deal with a sea-witch, only to be betrayed, in place of her beautiful tail and flukes Daphne’s left beached with a pair of human legs. The spell keeping Daphne looking human will become permanent, unless Daphne can hunt down and bring the scheming Lorelei a unicorn horn before the next full moon.

Unable to reach her friends and family for help, Daphne doesn’t know how to walk, much less where to find a unicorn or how to catch one. Even if she’s successful, Daphne’s still not sure if she can trust Lorelei and her pint-sized kraken to keep their end of the bargain and let her return to the sea.

Excerpt

“What’s wrong?”Esperanza asked as Daphne went to retrieve the arrow.

“Nothing,” Daphne said, unstringing the bow. “Not like I’m ever going need to use this skill. Let’s just pack up and go.”

“What are you talking about?” Esperanza asked. “You’re already better than I am. Here, let me have a try and I’ll show you.”

“I’ve already unstrung it,” Daphne snapped.

“Fine,” Esperanza said, matching Daphne’s tone. Esperanza went to go get more water from the river with the large buckets to boil so that they could wash their dishes.

“I’ll do that. Water’s heavy,” Sean said, ignoring Daphne as she struggled to take their tent down.

“Here, let me help you,” Esperanza said to Daphne once Sean started towards the river.

“Sure—let’s send the person with the tallest reach to the river, great plan,” Daphne muttered, climbing onto the wagon to reach the tip of the tent as Sean descended towards the river.

“What’s your problem?” Esperanza demanded as soon as Sean was out of earshot. “We’re helping you get to Taralee. Sean didn’t have to come all this way, you know.”

“He didn’t come for me, Espy. If it was just me who wanted to go, he wouldn’t care that I had to walk the whole way. What do you want, me to kiss your feet and sing your praises? Wait, I forgot—you’re the better singer, you should sing your own praises. I might not do it good enough without a four-stringed harp and a cat to squeeze for background noise.”

“Our voices are different. Neither one is really better than the other.”

“It’s just… do you know what it’s like to be overlooked?”

“All the time,” Esperanza said. She looked away, towards the river. “Hey, wait… be quiet for a minute.”

“Don’t you tell me what to do—” Daphne became mildly insulted when Esperanza put a hand over her mouth.

“Listen.”

They heard singing. A beautiful, high pitched and soft melody, barely audible above the breeze. The sound had a haunting quality. “Doesn’t sound like it’s Sean’s range,” Daphne muttered, but then really heard it. She ran, and got the arrow and the quiver as well as Sean’s knife and axe. She quickly strung the bow before heading towards the river bank.

“What are you doing?” Esperanza asked, following after Daphne.

“Stay with the wagon!” Daphne ordered.

***********NOTE: The e-book is only $0.99***********

Author Bio and Links

L.T. Getty is a rural paramedic from Manitoba. She enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy and generally being creative.

Blog | Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Giveaway

L.T. Getty will be awarding a $20 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow the author on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.