Spotlight on Highland Hope – Free on Amazon!

Madelyn Hill is sharing Highland Hope, Book 1 of The Wild Thistle Trilogy…It’s available free on Amazon, today through Thursday.

Blurb

“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon Australia

Bio

Madelyn Hill is an historical author who loves the lure of Scotland, captivating Highlanders and the strong women they love.

Many of her novels were finalist for the National Rone Award, which honors literary excellence in romance writing. Highland Honor was awarded the coveted Crowned Heart by In’Dtale Magazine.

Madelyn’s first book, Wolf’s Castle has been #1 in the Historical and Scottish Romance category at Amazon.

Madelyn lives in Western New York with her husband, three children and a naughty puppy named Cannoli.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub | Amazon | Goodreads

Are You Ready to Suspend Disbelief?

On May 27, 2012, Discovery’s Animal Planet channel aired Mermaids: The Body Found. The documentary featured video of a mermaid sighting in the Greenland Sea and an exclusive interview with former NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientist Dr. Paul Robertson.

The show followed a scientific team’s investigative efforts to uncover the source behind mysterious underwater recordings. It opened with video footage of a mermaid perched on a rock. Later in the program, a webbed hand touches the observation window of a submersible craft manned by a team of deep-sea divers. As the creature swims away, the divers catch glimpses of an alien-like face.

This program attracted the network’s biggest audience in its history: 1.9 million viewers.

Continue reading on Chris the Story-Reading Ape’s blog.

The Pomodoro Technique

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.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Follow the instructions in this infographic and watch your productivity soar!



Your Life in Six Words

Whenever I attend workshops, I take note of any icebreakers. While some participants may groan, I find these short, introductory exercises very effective in creating community and stimulating creativity.

One of my favorites is the “Six-Word Memoir,” a spinoff of the challenge once given to Ernest Hemingway: Write a story using only six words.

His reply was quick and succinct: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In November 2006, Larry Smith, founder of SMITH Magazine, asked his fans to describe their lives in exactly six words. Intended to be a one-month contest, the project took on a life of its own. Since that time, Smith has received millions of responses, from the hilarious to the bittersweet to the inspirational.

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


This is It by Lao Tzu

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.

Whenever I struggle with staying in the moment, I reread this short, insightful poem by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.



More #NaNoWriMo Success Stories

nanowrimocrestIt’s hard to believe that it’s Day 25 of the NaNoWriMo writing challenge. When I started writing at the beginning of November, I had no idea what to expect. Several friends wished me luck and proceeded to ask for updates throughout the month. Others were more cautious, not knowing whether to ask or wait for me to bring it up.

I feel the same way about my NaNoWriMo buddies. Whenever I update my progress, I check to see how they are faring. Many are staying the course (like me), a few are speed demons (Peggy Jaeger!), while others are floundering. I thought I’d boost everyone’s morale with today’s post.

Here are four NaNoWriMo success stories:

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Alan Averill wrote the first chapter of The Beautiful Land several months before NaNoWriMo and then put aside the manuscript. When he learned that his friends were planning to participate in NaNoWriMo, he decided to join them. He wrote 60 percent of the novel and finished the rest in January. He credits the experience with helping him create a fast-paced book: “One of the great things about NaNo is that you don’t have time to think about what you’re doing. You’re basically a Writer Shark, and if you don’t keep swimming forward at all times, you’re going to die.”

In 2008, Marissa Meyer (author of Cinder) heard about a contest in which the Seattle-based writer who clocked in the most words during November would win a walk-on role in an upcoming episode of Star Trek. A chronic overachiever, Marissa took on the challenge and ended up writing three novels: Cinder (70,000), Scarlet (50,000), and Cress (30,000). Unfortunately, she didn’t place first but finished three novels that she polished over a two-year period. While much of the original material was scrapped, Marissa has no regrets: “I may not produce anything of quality during NaNoWriMo, but I always come away with a great road map.” She had offers of representation from three agents, and when the series went to auction, Macmillan’s Feiwel & Friends placed the winning bid.

Carrie Ryan started writing The Forest of Hands and Teeth during NaNo 2006. During that month, Carrie wrote between 20,000 and 30,000 words and then kept on writing afterward, finishing the first draft in April 2007. Later in 2007, Carrie sold the rights. The first of a trilogy, the book became a New York Times best-seller, and the film rights have been optioned by Seven Star Pictures. Carrie’s advice: “If you want to sell a book, you have to write a book. And if NaNo is what it takes to motivate you, then jump in with both feet. If you fail, the key is not to give up—the key is to keep writing.”

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen wrote the first draft of The Compound during NaNo 2005. It then took six months to edit and polish the manuscript. The book sold to Feiwel and Friends in July 2006 and then went through another fourteen months of editorial revisions before final publication in late 2007. A long journey, filled with ups and downs, but definitely worth the wait. Seven more Young Adult books followed. Stephanie’s take-away: “This book is a symbol of how never giving up helped me realize a dream.”

ONWARD ♦ AVANTI ♦ EN AVANT ♦ WEITER ♦ ADELANTE ♦ AVANTE