Greetings, Beardies!A while back I had mentioned on Facebook (and by default, Twitter) that, in honor of reaching 500 Likes on our Facebook Page and 1000 Followers on Twitter, I would be holding a Giveaway.A Giveaway, there shall be...and it's a doozie! We have some great prizes, donated by some great authors. In addition to their generosity, I've decided to donate a prize of my own.
The Prizes & Their Benefactors:
World-Building Critique & Feedback. With this service, I'll review your world-building material and notes for consistency and clarity, discrepancies and weaknesses, strengths and uniqueness, among other factors. I will offer a thorough critique with detailed feedback, pointing out places in your world that need work or reinforcement. The service includes the initial email exchange of your notes, my critique and feedback, and two, thirty-minute sessions via Facebook or iMessage (in addition to an initial 30-Minute Consultation). Prize valued at $70
Her parents took the sisters to see Shakespeare plays as well, and as a seven-year-old, Cidney interrupted the actors performing The Merchant of Venice when one of them lied to another in Elizabethan English. Cidney recalls seeing the actors onstage breaking into choked laughter when she called out, “You liar!” No one mentioned to her that Shakespeare was difficult to understand, so she simply followed along, commenting when she couldn’t stand the fibbery anymore.
By the time she turned nine, Cidney read and wrote stories constantly. She found Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and became convinced the author had modeled her character “Jo March” after her. As a teen, she fell hard for fantasy and science fiction and soon wrote her futuristic tales in Tolkien’s Elven script. (Which also came in handy for hiding journal entries from her sister.)
Cidney traveled with her teacher-parents every summer, driving through Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and a dozen European countries by the time she reached high school age. She was able to travel abroad three out of her four years in college as well, adding Israel and Eastern Europe to her list.
Through her twenties, and into her thirties—which she describes as her “decade of giving birth”—Cidney journaled, wrote poems and essays, and started novels that were never finished in between chasing chickens and changing diapers. She also started two successful businesses and home-schooled her kids with her husband’s help. She describes those as great years for taking in life, an activity she highly recommends for any aspiring writer.
Cidney lives with her husband and assorted animals and kids in Oregon where she writes full-time, planning her next novel and her next international adventure with equal enthusiasm. She no longer, however, interrupts theatrical performances. Even if someone’s lying. One (1) copy of Defying Mars. One winner will be handsomely rewarded with a copy of Defying Mars, the second book in the Saving Mars series.
Jessamyn has escaped Earth with food for her starving world, but her troubles are just beginning. She must rebuild her life without Pavel, the Terran boy whose kiss haunts her. Her success is further tainted by the loss of her beloved brother. Ethan disabled the deadly lasers orbiting Mars, but this has created a fervor to re-open trade with Earth which Jess knows would be disastrous. Add into the mix a secret which could launch an interplanetary war, and Jess finds herself at the center of an intrigue where, in order to save the world she loves, she must defy it.
In third grade, Lana wrote in her autobiography that she wanted to be a mother, a writer, and the church organist. The organist thing didn’t work out very well, but the other two dreams made up for it. Her work has appeared in Highlights, High Five, Spider, Babybug, The Friend, and Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul. Freakling is her first novel. She also has a picture book under contract with Candlewick.
Before she remembered she wanted to be a writer, Lana worked as an office manager, a stay-at-home mom, a preschool teacher, a Spanish teacher, a bilingual kindergarten teacher, a swimming instructor, and a reading tutor. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and youngest daughter. Her three older children are off having adventures of their own.
Lana has tried psi many times, especially in association with cleaning house, but could never make it work. She does have a few mildly supernatural abilities, which include untying knots, peeling oranges, and dominating in board games. Her perfect day would include reading, writing, swimming, cooking, telling jokes, spending time with family, and pie.
Two *SIGNED* Copies of Freakling.
In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi — the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he must hide his lack of power by any means possible. But a humiliating incident at a sports tournament exposes his disability, and Taemon is exiled to the powerless colony. The "dud farm" is not what Taemon expected, though: people are kind and open, and they actually seem to enjoy using their hands to work and play and even comfort their children. Taemon adjusts to his new life quickly, making friends and finding unconditional acceptance. But gradually he discovers that for all its openness, there are mysteries at the colony, too — dangerous secrets that would give unchecked power to psi wielders if discovered. When Taemon unwittingly leaks one of these secrets, will he have the courage to repair the damage — even if it means returning to the city and facing the very people who exiled him?
Brian began working from home, finally finding the time to write down the story that had been growing in his mind for over a decade. At times he felt like a juggler in motley while he balanced the writing of code and the writing of fiction, but it’s all been worthwhile.
He is currently working on writing Fifth Magic, the seventh book in his World of Godsland series.
Centuries ago a group of Elves committed an unholy ritual. But the ritual was a spectacular failure. It transformed the Elves into the Noctivagae - the beings we know as vampires.
Striving to maintain a fragile peace, the ancient Elves and Dwarves negotiated an accord, which they've renewed every year on the summer solstice. The ceremony depends on the magical Rune Stone, but it's missing. If it is not found—and quickly—the consequences could be dire, and not just for Elves and Dwarves.
Four children, Rob, Jack, Eleanor, and Flora, stumble into the fantastical excitement when they happen across a wise being who inhabits a nearby cave. He is the Keeper of the Realm. He befriends the children and enlists their help.
The adventure that follows is based on my suspicion that Elves and Dwarves came to Maine with the ancient Norse in the time of the Red Paint People. The story is filled with suspense, magic, adventure, and charming supporting characters. It’s both heart-warming and heart-pounding.
Three Copies of In Siege of Daylight. This new epic literary fantasy follows Calvraign, who is an apprentice to the king’s bard. His studies are filled with prophecy, romance, mythic enemies, and magic, and he contents himself with such fantasies until the day that he is suddenly called to the capital city. His best friend, Callagh, the most skilled huntress in their village, senses something isn’t right with Calvraign’s hasty summons and follows him. Her instincts prove true, as his arrival throws the king’s court into chaos, and the two are abruptly torn from their simple country life and plunged into a real-life version of Calvraign’s tales. A menacing prophecy reveals that an all-encompassing dark magic has already been loosed upon the world, and there is only one way to stop it. Calvraign must reverse the Darkening before treachery takes the life of the crown prince and plunges the kingdom of Providayne into chaos. And Callagh must keep him alive long enough to do it….
Daniel Harvell wrote one short story at the age of 10 about a pit on the moon laden with poisonous hamburgers, and suddenly he was an author. That’s the way he saw it when “Murder on the Moon” became an instant hit with his fourth-grade classmates. He’d always been a voracious reader, but upon sharing his little yarn with friends, Daniel suddenly realized the freedom (and power!) of becoming the storyteller. Over the next few years, he would go on to write several short stories, mostly involving murder mysteries and his schoolmates.
The thrill of whodunits subsided when he discovered the long and (theoretically) rewarding payoffs of the soap operatic style of telling tales, which was followed quickly by his unearthing of the superhero fiction genre (which is just soap operas in spandex). Fast-forward to Daniel's last semester at Florida State University, where he was starting to regret my decision to pursue a business management degree instead of something more literary. He had big stories in his head. Instead of second-guessing his educational path, however, Daniel used his free time to pursue his passion. A few months later, his first novel had arrived in the world—and it wasn’t pretty. Like all writers, though, he had to start somewhere.
Daniel went back to the drawing board with his ideas for The Survivors—a contemporary fantasy story about what would happen if real people found themselves empowered with superhuman abilities. But The Survivors wasn’t so pretty either. The concept was fun but the execution was rough. It was temporarily shelved while he set out to learn how to be a better—and publishable—writer. And 10 years later, Daniel thinks he may have learned a thing or two.
He wrote another novel in the interim years (more on that soon!), but The Survivors will always be his baby. In many ways, the work of an artist is like his or her child. Now his little one’s ready to play with the big kids. After the many years of edits and rewrites, Daniel is proud of the novel into which it has grown.
Two Copies of The Survivors. When seven strangers impossibly survive a horrific airplane crash, they find themselves changed in remarkable ways. The survivors are endowed with powers that defy explanation. Some are blessed. Some are cursed.
Going their separate ways, they adapt their extraordinary "gifts" to their ordinary lives. The results, however, aren't always pretty—particularly when one of them engages in a killing spree. With little more to go on than the psychic link that they all share, the survivors seek out one another to uncover the murderer and bring him or her to justice.
The fireman, the grandmother, the psychiatric patient, the basketball player, the mute girl, the rich blonde, and the man in the wheelchair—they all have secrets worth hiding. They can't trust each other. They can't even trust themselves.
S.M. White has read a metric ton of text in his life. You could probably crush a dozen men beneath the weight. He studied creative writing at Spalding University, which turns out is simply reading and writing; that was nice. He has spent countless hours watching fantasy films, at times awed and at other times disappointed. He has held swords and shields and dead things. He once undertook a daunting quest to recover the stolen car keys to his mother's station wagon. Maidens have handed me favors ranging from bracelets to perfume-drenched letters to lengths of fake hair. When he encounters dragons, he keeps his wits about him and his gold coins close. He is a liar. He is a thief: he has stolen words out of men's mouths and claimed them as fictional musings. His friends often question him on his whereabouts (they seldom check Medieval Outfitters). He is not a serious person; of this, he is serious. He spent his formative years training to be a ninja. In this, he can don dark clothing and climb the tallest trees, he can do a front roll and a cartwheel, and he can fashion a smoke bomb from a tennis ball and match heads. If you were to ask him a question, he would instantly become evasive and confusing (mostly as a product of his uncertainty, but also because he's super mysterious).
Say something poignant, the Internet says.
Very well. He has won many insignificant things and has lost many precious things. This, he feels, is important. It is one thing to hold an object in your hand knowing its worth is a paltry measure in regards to what you might have been holding. This idea of loss is a vibrant and living thing. It lets you see that what is offered is not always what should be taken, and that what should be taken is hardly ever offered. And there waits cynicism, the most powerful of writerly attributes. If you don't know hopelessness, or dejection, or heart ache, you do not know conflict. Pain can be observed on television, or read about in the paper. But to live it, that it what molds a heart and moves a soul. His writing can be dark and terrible and harsh. This is not a product of formal training, or awards, or degrees. It is a result of his humanness, of his longing to understand agony and love and how the two survive in the same world. His stories are studies of the human heart, of humanity's need for good, and of the dreadful movements of evil as done by minds capable of love.
This installment starts the tales of Mhets Sorrowbringer, a man wronged and angered in life. He owns a past riddled with atrocity, betrayal, and death, but here is where his true story starts. Here is where the man called Mirthless Mhets begins to write his legend.
The Tour Hosts:
I Heart Books is a page whose focus is on the promotion of reading, books, and their authors. They provide service for both trad-pub and self-pub authors of all genres. They strive to bring their readers fun and positive posts, while keeping up with current news in the “book world."
Good Choice Reading focuses mainly on Young Adult, New Adult and Romance in all genres. The blog is coordinated by a wonderful group of girls who love to read and share the love they have for books with others!
Fae Books is run by Sarah Fae Graham, a 24-year-old Army wife who lives in Catterick Garrison in the United Kingdom. Fae Books is all about promoting authors, bloggers, writers and everything bookish in between. It hosts a lot of giveaways as well as free book posts, excerpts, interviews, and guest blog posts from the people with whom Sarah Fae is working. She runs a reviewing team who are in high demand and tend to book six months in advance. She's also in the process of beginning her own Tours. You can find more information on Sarah Fae and Fae Books by clicking on the above banner—it's never too soon to get Fae Books involved.
Alexis Holcomb is currently a writer, but aspires to one day be a full-time author. She specializes in fiction and loves inspiring others to follow their passions and dreams. She's a hands-on type of person that can just as easily fix a 3 course meal for a group of friends as she can do maintenance on her or her husband's vehicles. She's proud to be an Air Force sergeant, a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a writer.Alexis is also a contributor at The Bearded Scribe.
Wordweaver. A child of the American Great Plains, Court Ellyn moved wherever the oil industry took her family. Born in the panhandle of Texas, she has lived from one end of the Lone Star state to the other, as well as New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Indiana. She is settled at last, or so she hopes, in a growing town southwest of Oklahoma City with her husband, her fat cats, and her writing.
Having to move frequently, drove her to fill her playtime with characters and stories that, at first, she acted out with her sister. Then, when she was fourteen, she began writing what she calls “poor and unrealistic historical fiction,” primarily because her mother discouraged her from reading and writing in the fantasy genre. But because of films like The Never Ending Story, The Princess Bride, and Willow, her fate was sealed. Throughout high school her tastes gravitated toward the fantastical until she secretly purchased her first fantasy novel at a gas station. Her mother warned her, “Be careful.” And so Ms. Ellyn has been carefully reading and writing fantasy ever since.
Ms. Ellyn attended the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, which she claims provided an excellent liberal arts education but failed to dispel the dragons. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2000 with a degree in English and History and an emphasis in Creative Writing. Shortly after, she married her high school sweetheart and determined to write professionally. Sadly, she learned the hard way that a college education does not guarantee book sales. Regardless, Court’s stories have since appeared in numerous magazines such as Kaleidotrope, Silver Blade and the Dead Robots’ Society’s Explorers: Beyond the Horizon anthology. In the spring of 2012, she celebrated the publication of the first novel of a fantasy series, over which she labored for a more than a decade. After a literal outpouring of sweat and tears, both Volumes of Book 1 are available at CreateSpace and at Amazon.Court is also a contributor at The Bearded Scribe.