Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Friday, November 30, 2012

More Great Books for Christmas!

Looking for books for Christmas? See my last post for a few good suggestions. Here are some more.

For the space pirate lover on you list, check out T.M. Hunter's Aston West novels and short stories. These are action-packed and fun!

And speaking of action packed and fun, you might also give D.J. Butler's books a look. If you or someone you want to buy books for loves adventures, steampunk, or demon butt-kicking fantasy, you should give these a try! (Right now, City of the Saints is only available in e-book form, but a paperback version is coming soon.)

*Please note, that both of these authors books would get a PG-13 rating! Not for young kids.

 What are your latest book recommendations? 
('Cause I'm looking for books for Christmas too!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book News!

All kinds of great book news from me and my awesome author friends! Books make great Christmas presents, right?

Today (Monday) is a book bomb for my good friend Danyelle Leafty's latest book: Bitten. This book is a delight. So well written. If you love fairy tales, if you're a fan of Fablehaven or Robin McKinley's books, I strongly recommend you give Bitten a try! It's only $2.99 for your Kindle or Nook!

Terry W. Ervin II is offering signed copies of his two novels and a short story collection. These novels are terrific. So exciting and fun. The short story collection is great too. (You might even see a quote from me on the cover!)

I just released a Christmas novelette, Joy Ride, as an e-book and it will be in print soon!

Cargo pilot Greg Scanlon intends to spend Christmas Eve alone as usual, but when his boss's daughters want a quick shopping trip off-planet, how can he refuse? The quick trip turns into a disaster when interstellar traffic is suddenly cut off, stranding Greg and the girls in a traffic jam of galactic proportions. But the shopping trip gone wrong will lead Greg to the one place he never expected to spend his Christmas. Home.

My three novellas Consecrated, Refuge, and Renegade are now available in print! You can order them on Create Space or they will be up on Amazon in a few days! (Think stocking stuffers here.)

What books are you looking forward to this Christmas? Any you'd recommend for gifts?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Giveaway Winners!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Thanksgiving giveaway. Think of all the good we did in the world! Way to go.

The winner of the drawing is:

Rochelle Rudd!  

Rochelle wins Checkin' It Twice, Stolen Christmas, and Sing We Now of Chirstmas!

Congratulations. =D

And as a special thanks from me, everyone who commented on the giveaway post gets a free e-copy of my Christmas novelette Joy Ride! (Just as soon as it's available, which should be shortly. Before Christmas anyway.)

Once again, thank you! I hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving.

Now on to Christmas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Hope You Make the Best of It

I stole this from a friend on Facebook. F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Remember, there's still time to enter the Thanksgiving giveaway through Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Short Story Contest Results!

Photo by Julien Tromeur
The results are in!

The Notes From the Writing Chair Short Story Contest received twelve entries from eleven different authors from all over the world. I had a blast reading them, but judging is always so hard!

First off, I want to give a huge thank you to my story wrangler, the incredibly talented and handsome Tracy Lofthouse, who made sure I could do the judging completely blind. He did a great job managing it all.

And now... Announcing the winning entry in the Notes From the Writing Chair Short Story Contest:

The Favourite 
by Almiria Wilhelm!

This is a haunting fantasy about a dance teacher and her star pupil set in a fascinating alternate world. I can't wait to share it with you! The story will be published here on the blog in January. Plus, I'll do an interview with Almiria, so we can all get to know this talented author better.

Thanks so much to all of you wonderful people who entered and helped me promote this contest. I think there will be more short story contests in the future!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A little thanks and giving

You would be hard pressed to find anyone more excited about Christmas than me. I'm kind of like the Whos down in Whoville. Can't wait for trees and lights and carols and shopping and Christmas stories!

But I also love Thanksgiving. I love the food and being with family. But most of all I love the thankfulness. The opportunity to humbly thank our Creator for the bounty all around us. A season of gratitude is just the thing we need to curb the greed that can creep into the Christmas season.

So I thought, why not put some thanks and giving into our Thanksgiving?

Now being grateful and giving to help those in need is it's own reward, but I thought I'd offer a little incentive. Everyone who participates in this little Thankfulness blogfest will be entered to win (what else?) Christmas story collections!
A signed copy of Checkin' It Twice, which contains my story "Broken Things."
A signed copy of Stolen Christmas, which contains my story "Shepherds and Kings."
An e-copy of Sing We Know of Christmas. (I'm not in this one, but all proceeds go to benefit kids with Down's Syndrome.)

Here's what you need to do.

Comment on this post with five unique things you are grateful for. Try to think outside the box. (1 entry)
Donate something to a charity (money, food, clothing--anything). It doesn't have to be a big donation. (1 entry)
Do something kind for someone else. Again, it doesn't have to be big. Just do something to make someone else's day a little brighter. (1 entry)

Fill out this form letting me know you did these, and you'll be entered. In fact, as many times as you do these things, you'll get another entry!

So let's get out there and put some thanks and giving into Thanksgiving! I promise you'll be glad you did.

Giveaway runs through Thanksgiving Day (November 22). Winners will be announced Saturday, November 24!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Career-Changing Performance

Writing is not a performance art. We don't stand up on a stage and create a novel in front of a live audience. Thank goodness, huh? (Actually, I quite like performing, but not in that way!)

Our performance comes when a book or story is published and out there for everyone to see.

I read an article about a rising opera star that really inspired me. It talked about all her grueling hours of rehearsals as she prepared to perform at Covent Garden, and how terrified she was the evening of her dress rehearsal. It got me thinking about how it might apply to writing. Do we not have to put in many grueling hours before our creations are ready for their performance?

This line struck me: Relaxed, focused, and prepared, she entered the stage for the dress rehearsal—and had a wonderful experience.

 Relaxed. Focused. Prepared.
I realized this is exactly how I need to approach my writing sessions.

 The article went on to say:

 “At her core she is incredibly focused, and by the time she had an audience, she was prepared to give a career-changing performance." 

There it is again. Focused. Prepared. And think about it. A career-changing performance. Isn't that what we all want our books to be? 

So, that's what I'm thinking about now. How to put in the time and the effort, the focus and the preparation to see that my novels deliver a career-changing performance.