It’s release week for our Mardi Gras-themed MASKS anthology! Isn’t it pretty?
This anthology includes 11 dark stories full of suspense, horror, and the supernatural! You can order MASKS from Filles Vertes Publishing. Click here for more information.
I’m so excited to share my short story, Spirits of Le Petit! Here’s a sneak peek!
Welcome to this leg of the Filles Vertes Publishing MASKS blog hop! I’ve partnered with Filles Vertes Publishing and the other authors included in the anthology to share about the main characters in our short stories.
If you somehow landed on this page and haven’t heard about the blog hop, click here.
If you haven’t already, add MASKS to your Goodreads TBR here: http://bit.ly/MasksAnthology
Also, pre-orders are available at FVPub.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, or your fave bookseller. Convenient links are listed below:
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Masks-M-Dalto-Myra-Fiacco-Marlena-Frank-RJ-Garcia-Kristin-Jacques-Merry-Jones-Sarah-Lampkin-Melissa-Ousley-Candace-Robinson-C-Vonzale-Lewis/9781946802569
Enjoy this entertaining glimpse of Spirits of Le Petit, one of the intriguing stories awaiting you in MASKS. Remember to look for the keyword/phrase and take a note of it!
Spirits of Le Petit
Allow me to introduce you to Rachel Stein, manager of the Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans. Rachel, tell us about your experiences working in a theater that is rumored to be haunted.
Rachel: Rumored is the right word for it. In my years working here, I’ve heard a lot of stories, though I can’t say I’ve ever seen a ghost myself.
Stories? Do tell.
Rachel: Well…I mean, every theater has stories. Theater people tend to have a flair for drama, and we can also be pretty superstitious. We say “Break a leg!” instead of “good luck” before a performance, because saying “good luck” is thought to be bad luck. Ironic, I know. There’s also that thought that if you have a bad dress rehearsal, your show will be a big hit. The biggest taboo in this business is to say “Macbeth” in a theater. Say that and your production will be cursed, supposedly because some of the lines in the play are a nod to incantations that call on evil spirts. We get around it by referring to Macbeth as “the Scottish play.” Everybody will know which play you’re talking about.
What if you accidently do say Macbeth? Is there a counter curse?
Rachel: There is. Some folks believe the play Two Gentlemen of Verona is lucky, so reciting any line from that should ward off the curse. Alternatively, you could recite a line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream: If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here, whilst these visions did appear.
Is the Le Petit Theatre cursed?
Rachel, laughing: Gosh, I hope not! I can’t tell you how many evenings I’ve been there by myself, working late into the night, making sure everything is reading for a production’s opening. If the theater’s cursed, I’m in trouble. Seriously though, I don’t think it is. It’s such a beautiful building, and I feel so lucky to work there. There’s so much history and culture, both in the Le Petit and in New Orleans. When I was hired, I couldn’t believe the amazing opportunity I’d been given to manage this place. I just looked around and thought, what mysteries might this old theater conceal?
Quite a few, if the rumors are to believed. Tell us about the ghosts.
Rachel: Okay, I’ll tell you about one, since it’s related to theater lore and curses. The legend goes that the theater is inhabited by the ghost of a nun, and apparently, she can be rather testy. Not evil, but she has zero tolerance for bad theater. I know, everyone’s a critic, right? Even the dead. Anyway, if an actor flubs their lines, she’ll appear in front of them and slap them across the face. Pretty intense feedback. Not even our director is that harsh.
Wow—I’ll keep that in mind next time I visit! Thanks for talking with us, and I hope everyone enjoys Rachel’s story, Spirits of Le Petit.
Dave Wickenden’s Blog
(Click on the stop number below)
Blog Stop: Seven
Posted 5/12/17: It’s launch day for Pitcher Plant! The release party begins in 20 minutes. Come hang out with us on Facebook!
Posted 5/4/17: Check out the cover reveal for my new suspense novel, set on the Oregon coast! The book releases on 5/12/17.
Posted 10/11/2016: Thanks to everyone who’s been reading Sunset Empire over on Wattpad. Over 2.4K reads! If you haven’t read Sunset Empire yet, now’s your chance. It leaves Wattpad on 10/21. More about that soon.
Posted 10/9/2016: Had a fantastic time last evening at the release party for the North Coast Squid at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita. I got to read my short story, Sacred. It was wonderful to meet so many other authors and artists as well.
Posted 9/5/2016: Just found out my short story, Sacred, was accepted for publication in the North Coast Squid! *feeling grateful*
The story is set in one of my favorite places in the world, Oswald West State Park, just north of Manzanita. I’ll be reading an excerpt at the release party at the Hoffman Center on October 8.
Posted 6/23/2016: Exciting news! My writing and editing shop is now open for business! Check out the author services page to see what’s new.
Posted 5/20/2016: Wow–what a week! Tonight I’ll be reading from Selkie, my short story for Rain Magazine, at a reception for the release of this year’s edition. Congratulations to all the authors and artists included in the publication. I’m also thrilled to share that my third book in the Solas Beir Trilogy, The Sower Comes, received an honorable mention in the young adult category of the Eric Hoffer Book Awards! I’m so grateful for the recognition. Congratulations to all the authors honored. Finally, my short story, Laid to Rest, has been published in a humor anthology called Chicken Poop on My Sole, now available on Amazon.
Posted 5/13/2016: New blog post: a list of what we’ll take in a natural disaster, and what we’ll have to leave behind. I’m afraid the piranha will be a goner.
Posted 5/5/2016: Woohoo! My short story, Laid to Rest, will be published in an upcoming humor anthology, available Memorial Day. Stay tuned! Also, check out my latest blog post about the perils of owning a smart dog.
Posted 4/28/2016: Pitcher Plant is complete! I finished writing this week and am now editing.
In other news, here’s a new post about politics and critical thinking. I won’t tell you how you should vote, but I will challenge you to think.
Posted 4/21/2016: Time to stop making excuses and get busy living. New blog post.
Posted 4/15/2016: Am I the person who skips off happily when somebody does something nice for me? Or do I take time to express my appreciation? New blog post on gratitude. Speaking of, I’m so thankful for smart students who ask great questions. I’ve been having a wonderful time teaching a publishing and marketing class. Next week is our last class, but I hope to teach this course again in the fall.
Posted 4/8/2016: Usually, when I get in a sticky situation, I save myself. But what happens when I can’t? The problem with working to look like you’ve got it together is people can’t always tell when you need rescued. New blog post on being self-reliant and asking for help.
Posted 4/1/2016: A short story in honor of April Fool’s Day. A seasoned assassin finds her breach of etiquette isn’t the only snafu at a friend’s party.
Posted 3/25/2016: Northcoasters! This spring I’ll be teaching two classes at our South County Campus (1455 N. Roosevelt, Seaside).
Fiction Writing: Nuts & Bolts, Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm, March 28-May 2, SCCC Computer Lab, $49, PER013526
We will be learning the basics of fiction writing and talking about what to do with stories once they are finished. Students will learn the elements of style and how to engage readers. This is a great class for anyone considering writing fiction or for writers who have already started projects and aren’t sure about next steps.
Publishing & Marketing Your Fiction, Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm, March 31-April 21, SCCC Computer Lab, $35, PER013527
We will be talking about the publishing industry and creating marketing platforms to generate exposure for writing projects. Students will create a personalized, practical marketing plan that they can implement. This class will provide guidance for writers who hope to publish fiction either independently or with a publisher.
To register, call 338-2411 or go to the college’s website.
Thanks for spreading the word–we’re going to have a lot of fun! Also, here’s a new blog post on material goods.
Posted 3/18/2016: New blog post! This one is about how to handle unsolicited advice, which is something everyone has to deal with, from what to eat to how to write.
Posted 3/11/2016: What a week! Birthday celebrations and hurricane force winds. New blog post with all the details.
Posted 3/4/2016: The End! This is it, the very last chapter of Sunset Empire. Thanks so much to everyone who’s been following along. Hope you enjoyed it. And on a different note, here’s a new blog post, in which I share some thoughts about traveling. Also, about a naked old man.
Posted 2/26/2016: We’re almost to the end of Sunset Empire! I posted more today, and next week I’ll be adding the very last segment. Thanks to everyone who has been reading along. I also added a new blog post to my Monsters of the PNW series. This week I’m talking about Colossal Claude, my local sea monster. Enjoy!
Posted 2/19/2016: Congratulations to the winner of the Goodreads giveaway! I’m headed to the post office today to mail your signed set of the Solas Beir Trilogy. In other news, I hope you’ll enjoy part two of the Monsters of the Pacific Northwest series on my blog, in which I introduce an urban legend you’ve probably never heard before. And finally, I just posted the rest of chapter 17 for Sunset Empire. Things get…messy. Which means I had a whole lot of fun writing this part.
Posted 2/12/2016: Thanks for sticking with me on Sunset Empire–I hope you’ve been enjoying it. I just posted the next installment, in which a beloved Oregon coast bookseller finds herself in a heap of trouble. Had to be done. Somewhat related, I’m discussing monsters of the Pacific Northwest on my blog, starting with sasquatch.
Posted 2/5/2016: Hi guys! I just posted more Sunset Empire. Hope you’ve been enjoying it, because we’re nearing the end! Thanks for reading. I also have a new blog post to share about a doll that gave me nightmares. One of the many reasons I write horror.
Posted 1/29/2016: Do ghosts feel protective of the living? Maybe they do. There’s a new ghost story on my blog. I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you too. Thanks for reading!
Posted 1/22/2016: Happy Friday! If you’ve not yet entered the Goodreads giveaway for a signed set of the Solas Beir Trilogy, scoot on over there and do it! It closes February 18.
I’ve got a new blog post on synchronicity to share too. Have you ever had a dream that seemed to come true? If so, I want to hear your story.
Finally, this week I saw that Sunset Empire has over 2K reads! Thanks to everyone who has been following along. I appreciate the support, and just uploaded more of the book today. Hope you like it.
Posted 1/14/2016: I heard a great ghost story this week–check it out. I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear if the ghost shows up again. I was also on BookDaily.com. If you enjoy writing and struggle with point of view, this article might help. Lastly, I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you. Head over to Wattpad to read the first part of chapter 17. Enjoy!
Posted 1/8/2016: Happy 2016! Ever feel like the universe is giving you a sign? I do. This week’s blog post is all about synchronicity, the idea that there are meaningful patterns of coincidences that occur in life. Deep thoughts and all that jazz. Also, I uploaded the last part of chapter 16 in Sunset Empire. Hope you like it. Just a few chapters left to share, so thanks for reading.
Posted 12/30/2015: Last post of the year! I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you. Hope you are enjoying the story. Stay tuned–there are just a few chapters left. And here is my last blog post for the year. You wouldn’t think bath time with toddlers could be creepy. But it can be, if you live in a haunted house. Happy New Year! See you in 2016.
Posted 12/22/2105: Happy holidays, everyone! I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you–check out part 1 of Chapter 16. If you’re in the mood for a spooky Christmas story, I’ve got one of those too. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Posted 12/18/2015: Hey everyone! The rest of Chapter 15 for Sunset Empire is now up on Wattpad! (Major spoilers in this one, so read the prior chapters first). Hope you like it. And if you want to read a ghost story, there’s a new post on my blog. I swear it’s true. Thanks for reading!
Posted 12/11/2015: Thanks to everyone who has been reading Sunset Empire. The first part of chapter 15 is up on Wattpad. Also, anybody interested in vampires or mythology? Check out a new novel by Chanrithy Him that reimagines vampires, inspired by Asian mythology. Have a great weekend! Tomorrow I’ll be participating in a holiday market at Pier 11 in gorgeous Astoria, Oregon. Can’t wait.
Posted 12/4/2015: Today I’m on My Crazy Corner’s Holiday Blogfest! Meet Lucia & Cael, enemies turned allies, & enter the giveaway! Also, did you know there’s a monster living in the Columbia? Meet Astoria’s legendary river monster when you check out the rest of chapter 14 in Sunset Empire on Wattpad. And finally, there’s a new blog post about a creepy building where I used to work. Enjoy.
Posted 11/27/2015: So many things to share today! First, if you’ve been waiting for more Sunset Empire, you’ve got it. Check out Wattpad to find out what happened after Elyse made that nasty little discovery. Second, look at this new blog post with guest author Mike Nettleton. He’s got a delightfully creepy ghost story for you. Third, My Crazy Corner’s Holiday Blogfest kicks off today with Black Friday Deals from some of your favorite authors. And finally, if you’re looking for a good deal on my books, all the Kindle editions in The Solas Beir Trilogy are on sale today for $1.99, so you can get all three books for $6. If you want print copies, use the Amazon code “holiday30” and you’ll get an extra 30% off any print book (up to $10 savings). Enjoy!
Posted 11/20/2015: I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you! Chapter 14 starts out gross. Sorry–had to be done. Also, check out the new blog post, about a haunted rocking chair.
Posted 11/11/2015: Hey there! Want more Sunset Empire? The rest of chapter 13 has been uploaded to Wattpad.
Posted 11/6/2015: Tomorrow!!! If you’ll be in The Dalles area, please stop by Klindt’s Booksellers, Oregon’s oldest bookstore! The store is downright magical (they’ve even got a resident ghost), and you’ll get to chat with eleven regional authors during the Northwest Author Festival. I’m so excited to attend! Click here to see the awesome author lineup.
Other news…if you’ve not read anything by Carolyn J. Rose, I recommend you do! She has a great sense of humor and is a wonderful mystery writer who has written several ghosts into her stories. When she told me about her own encounter with the supernatural, I begged her to write a guest post for my blog. Check out her story. And, of course, I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you. Head over to Wattpad to read a new section with Phantom and Elyse.
Posted 10/30/2015: Is Oregon’s oldest bookstore haunted? Read about the ghost of Klindt’s Booksellers in a new post on my blog. I’ve also got more Sunset Empire for you. Check out chapter 13, just in time for Halloween.
Posted 10/26/2015: I’m so excited! Halloween night I’ll be riding on the Riverwalk Trolley in Astoria, telling ghost stories. If you’re on the Oregon coast, we’ll be boarding at 6:30pm at the Maritime Museum. Thanks to everyone who has been reading Sunset Empire! It’s been on the hot list for Paranormal on Wattpad for a week, and I’ve just added the rest of chapter 12. Enjoy!
Posted 10/23/2015: What’s your worst nightmare? I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours. There’s a new post on my blog. I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you too. The ghost of Burning Helen is revealed–enjoy!
Also, much appreciation to everyone who came to the Seaside Public Library last evening, and thank you to Jon Burke for hosting us! I had an amazing time swapping spooky stories with you all.
One audience member told me this cool story about visiting a haunted pub in New Orleans and trying to capture a picture of a ghost. She had just put new batteries in her camera, but when she tried to take a picture, her batteries had been completely drained. Her tour guides told her the ghost had a habit of doing that, draining energy to gain power. Electrical appliances tended to malfunction in that room. She left and got new batteries. She came back, leapt into the room, and started snapping photos like a ghost-hunting ninja. She was rewarded with a picture of an orb.
Posted 10/19/2015: Sunset Empire is #250 in Paranormal on Wattpad! Much appreciation to everyone for your support. I’ve added a new section–hope you like it.
Posted 10/14/2015: Wow–so many updates to share with you guys. First, today I’m chatting about collaborating with other authors with the always wonderful DelSheree Gladden on her podcast, “Write. Publish. Repeat.” Bottom line: never be afraid to reach out and take risks. Yeah, you could make a fool of yourself, but what if something amazing happens? Connecting with other authors is one of the best things about this job. Thanks so much for having me on the show, DelSheree!
Second, what are you doing on Saturday? If you’re on the Oregon coast, join me and 17 other authors (including many of my friends and favorite Oregon writers Nancy Slavin, Matt Love, Kate Dyer-Seeley, Carolyn J Rose, Paula Judith Johnson, Honey Perkel, Brian D. Ratty, Gloria Linkey, and Greg Zschomler) at Beach Books for the Written in the Sand Author Fair! The fair is from 11-3, and then at 7, Nancy Slavin will be reading from her new book of poetry, Oregon Pacific. It’s going to be amazing.
Third, remember Moaning Myrtle? What is it with ghosts and bathrooms? How rude. There’s a new ghost story on my blog. And finally, I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you. We’ve got over 1K reads! Thanks to everyone for your support.
Posted 10/9/2015: Hey guys! I’ve got a new ghost story for you. This post is about one of the freaky things that happened when I worked in an old building at a university. Also, what are you doing this weekend? If you’re on the north coast of Oregon, stop by Lucy’s Books in Astoria. I’ll be there on Saturday night (5:30-8pm) during the Artwalk.
And, I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you–I just posted the rest of chapter 11. Here’s a sneak peak.
Jackson was quiet a moment, his fingers tapping the wheel. “You know, just because I’ve never seen anything doesn’t mean something wasn’t there. Astoria’s the oldest settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were ghosts walking around.”
Elyse nodded. “Yeah.”
“You shouldn’t talk to dead people, though,” he added.
Elyse looked at him. “Why not?”
“You might not like what they have to say.”
Posted 10/2/2015: Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to Sheri Levy, author of Seven Days to Goodbye. Check out her spooky story on my blog, and then head over to Wattpad, where you’ll join Elyse for a tour of Astoria’s infamous tunnels. While I was doing research for Sunset Empire, I got to spend time in the tunnels under the Liberty Theater. It was just as creepy as I hoped it would be.
Posted 9/25/2015: Have you ever lived in a haunted house? I’m pretty sure I have. There’s a new ghost story on my blog, and I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you. Elyse and Phantom have a moment. Sort of. Check it out.
Posted 9/21/2015: Who’s ready for more Sunset Empire? Part 1 of chapter 11 is now available on Wattpad. In this chapter, I’ll be taking you on a tour of Astoria’s infamous underground. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!
Posted 9/18/2015: Remember the Bloody Mary myth? On the blog page, there’s a new post from Oregon coast writer Julie Dawn, author of Yosemite Rising. She shares her version of the urban legend. Also, the rest of chapter ten for Sunset Empire has been posted to Wattpad. I think you’ll like it. Greasy Jim gets a nasty surprise. Thanks for reading!
Posted 9/14/2015: Hi guys! I’m on BookDaily.com today, talking about different ways writers can define success. Take a peek and then head over to Wattpad. I’ve got more Sunset Empire for you. You’ll get a clue about Phantom’s nickname. Thanks for reading!
Posted 9/11/0215: Do you sleep with your closet door open? You won’t after you read my new blog post, The Thing in the Closet. In other news, a new section of Sunset Empire is available today. Thanks so much for reading!
Posted 9/10/2015: Hi guys! It’s been a busy week with the start of school for my kids, but I finally had a chance to post more Sunset Empire on Wattpad. I hope you like chapter ten. Tomorrow I’ll share more, along with a bogeyman story from my aunt (which I’ll be posting on my blog–stay tuned).
Also, if you’re a fan of the Solas Beir Trilogy, did you know that you can propose a dream-cast for a movie on If List? Who knows, if we get enough supporters, maybe something cool will happen. Fingers crossed.
Posted 9/4/2015: Want to be seriously freaked out? There’s an awesome new post on my blog from DelSheree Gladden, USA Today Bestselling Author! DelSheree writes about growing up in New Mexico, and hearing stories about skinwalkers. Scary!
Also, the rest of chapter 9 is now available on Wattpad. Thanks for reading Sunset Empire!
Posted 9/3/2015: Sunset Empire has over 500 reads on Wattpad! Thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting. I’ve posted the first part of chapter 9. Hope you enjoy it.
Posted 8/30/2015: Woohoo! Sunset Empire is currently #279 in Paranormal on Wattpad, with almost 500 reads! Thanks so much for reading. I’ve posted the rest of chapter 8. Enjoy!
Posted 8/29/2015: Have you been wondering who lives in the creepy house featured on the cover of Sunset Empire? You’re about to find out. Chapter 8 (Part 1) is up on Wattpad.
Posted 8/28/2015: Happy Friday! I posted a new ghost story on my blog. It’s called Whistle. And, I’ve uploaded the last part of chapter seven in Sunset Empire to Wattpad. Thanks for reading!
Posted 8/27/2015: A creepy park and broken glass. One of my favorite scenes from Sunset Empire is up on Wattpad. Happy reading!
Posted 8/26/2015: Voila! All of chapter six is up on Wattpad. Thanks for reading Sunset Empire! Tomorrow I’ll upload more.
Posted 8/25/2015: I’m on BookDaily.com today, talking about bad reviews. Good times, right? Bad reviews are never fun, but they can help you improve your writing. Or give you writing fodder. On a more pleasant topic, I’ve uploaded more of Sunset Empire. Thanks for reading!
Posted 8/24/2015: Alrighty, the first part of chapter six is up on Wattpad. I’ll try to get all of chapters six and seven uploaded this week. Thanks for reading Sunset Empire, and much appreciation for the great comments! This is a photo of Fort Stevens during the day–doesn’t it look like a great place to film a zombie movie?
Posted 8/23/2015: Oh wow! Sunset Empire is now #317 in Paranormal!! Thank you so very much for reading, everyone. I just uploaded the last part of chapter five, and it happens to be one of my favorite scenes with Phantom.
Posted 8/21/2015: Hey there! Much appreciation to everyone who has been reading Sunset Empire on Wattpad! It jumped forward in rank to #370 in Paranormal, so many thanks for all the votes and comments. I just uploaded more of chapter five. I also added a new blog post about a time I got into hot water at school. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!
One more thing, this week I had a wonderful time listening to Holly Lorincz talk about her novel, Smart Mouth! It’s about a young woman who starts working as a teacher, and the challenges she faces in becoming a “real” adult, navigating an abusive relationship and dealing with the stress of suddenly being in charge of kids not much younger than she is. I highly recommend it.
Posted 8/19/2015: Hi guys! It’s my day as a featured author on My Crazy Corner’s YA/NA Blogfest! There’s an interview with the boys of the Solas Beir Trilogy, and a chance to win a signed copy of one of my books. There are more opportunities to win on our Facebook event page—check it out! And, I just posted more of Sunset Empire on Wattpad. I hope you like it!
Posted 8/18/2015: Alrighty, all of chapter four is now up on Wattpad. Thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting! Tomorrow, please join me on My Crazy Corner’s YA/NA Blogfest. There will be an interview with the boys of the Solas Beir Trilogy and lots of prizes. You can check out all the fun here: mycrazzycorner.blogspot.com.
Posted 8/17/2015: This year’s Northwest Author Fair was amazing! I loved coming back for a second year to chat with readers. Diana and the staff at Bob’s Beach Books do a fantastic job with this event. I loved talking with all the authors too. It was fun to catch up with the always wonderful Kate Dyer-Seeley, and I also got to meet New York Times best-selling author Phillip Margolin. Fellow Oregon coast author and friend Greg Zschomler also attended–if you’re a zombie fan, you might want to check out his work. With all the genres represented, there was truly something for everyone.
Highlights for me were connecting with a reader who had bought one of my books last year, seeing The Rabbit and the Raven in the store window, and hanging out with two of my closest friends, who traveled up the coast from Coos Bay to see me. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I was featured in Oregon Coast Today. That was an unexpected treat.
Much appreciation to Bob’s Beach Books for a fantastic experience! Also, I’ve added a new section to Sunset Empire on Wattpad, so I hope you’ll give it a read. Thanks!
Posted 8/14/2015: I’m so excited for the Northwest Author Fair tomorrow! If you’re in the Lincoln City/Newport area, please stop by Bob’s Beach Books and say hello! This fair is amazing–readers come from as far as Portland to attend, and there will be a variety of genres represented.
I’ve also posted more of Sunset Empire on Wattpad! I hope you enjoy chapter four. You’ll get to meet Elyse’s possibly evil grandmother. Thanks for reading!
Posted 8/12/2015: Sunset Empire is now #342 in Paranormal! Thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting! I’ve just posted the second part of chapter three. Enjoy!
Posted 8/11/2015: I’ve posted the first part of chapter three in Sunset Empire on Wattpad. (You’ll get a hint about the book’s title.) Hope you like it!
Posted 8/10/15: It’s only Monday, but it’s not too early to start thinking about plans for the weekend. I’ll be at Bob’s Beach Books in beautiful Lincoln City, Oregon for the Northwest Author Fair. Last’s year’s fair was amazing, and I’m so excited to attend again this year. Check out the author lineup–there’s something for everyone!
I’ve also uploaded the rest of chapter two on Wattpad, so head on over if you’ve been reading Sunset Empire and want to know what happens next. Enjoy!
Posted 8/9/2015: Want to know what happened after the fire in Sunset Empire? I’ve posted more of chapter two on Wattpad. Thanks for reading!
Posted 8/8/2015: Sunset Empire is on fire! Overnight it went from #475 to #439 in Paranormal on Wattpad. Much appreciation to everyone who has been reading it!! You made this possible. To say thanks, I’ve uploaded part of chapter two early. Fittingly, this chapter is all about fire.
Posted 8/7/2015: Exciting news! Sunset Empire is #475 in Paranormal on Wattpad! Want to read more? I just added a new section, so all of chapter one is available.
Posted 8/3/2015: Want to know what happened to Elyse after she got busted? I just added a new section of Sunset Empire to Wattpad.
Posted 8/1/2015: I just posted a new section of Sunset Empire to Wattpad! We meet the main character Elyse during a summer monsoon in Tucson, Arizona. Enjoy!
Today is also the first day of the 2015 My Crazy Corner’s Annual YA/NA Blogfest! This fest is huge, with so many amazing young adult and new adult authors!! The featured authors for today are Kelly Anne Blount and Scarlett Dawn. Take a peek!
Posted 7/30/2015: You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster, and the car is going up, up, up, and things are just about to get interesting? This is the feeling I have right now, because I’m about to do something crazy with my writing career. I’m going to start posting my new book, Sunset Empire, to Wattpad. Which means you can read it for free. I’ll post a new section each week. Enjoy.
Here’s a photo of trees similar to those you’ll be reading about in the prologue. I spotted these on the Fort to Sea trail near Astoria, and they inspired the opening scene to Sunset Empire.
Posted 7/25/2015: Hey all, if you’re on the North Coast, stop by the Clatsop County Fair this week. I’ll be there on Wednesday, but we’ll have great authors all week, Tuesday-Saturday. Many thanks to Lucy’s Books in Astoria for sponsoring our booth.
9:45 – 3pm Susan Glen
2:45 – 8pm Karen Leedom
9:45 – 3pm Melissa Eskue Ousley
2:45 – 8pm Florence Sage & Robert Michael Pyle
9:45 – 3pm Mary Lou McAuley
2:45 – 8pm Cameron Pierce
All day Tim Murphy & Lisa Marie Costanzo
9:45 – 3pm Robert Lewisohn Hamm & Ellie Alexander
2:45 – 8pm Maggie Stuckey & Wendy Delaney
Posted 7/22/2015: For any writers out there…I’m on Book Daily today, talking about partnering with fellow authors, including two lovely writers with equally lovely books, DelSheree Gladden and Paula Judith Johnson. Take a look!
3 Reasons to Partner with Other Authors #AuthorTips
I’m also excited to share that next week I’ll be joining other authors at the Clatsop County Fair in the Lucy’s Books booth. I had a great time with this event last year.
Posted 7/20/2015: I’m feeling very grateful today. First, USA Today Bestselling Author DelSheree Gladden gave The Sower Comes a 5 star review:
“I was so excited to get my hands on this book! I’ve loved the series overall and I had high hopes for this final installment and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The characters continued to be complex and engaging, pulling me in with their internal and external struggles. It was heartbreaking to sit next to them through certain parts of the book (no spoilers) and experience their suffering along with them. I teared up in a few places and I loved how expertly the author was able to write characters that you both loved and hated, rooted for and hoped for their downfall. It was such an emotional journey with these characters. The plot was well crafted as well, wrapping up all the questions and giving me a satisfying ending that it so difficult to find in many books. I highly recommend the entire series. Wonderful conclusion!”
DelSheree is the author of The Aerling Series, which I highly recommend. This young adult series is a contemporary fantasy with romance and danger, and it’s a delight to read. I love her books–she writes both YA and romance.
I also received a 5 star review for Sign of the Throne and a lovely note from a reader thanking me for inspiring her own writing, which is always nice to hear. The launch party and author fest on Facebook went well, so thank you to everyone who participated, especially the ten authors who joined me to share about their books. Finally, I appreciate everyone who bought a copy of one of my books during launch week for The Sower Comes. The numbers are still coming in, but I’ll be donating $1 for every book sold to student scholarships.
Posted 7/11/2015: Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the launch party! It was great to be at Beach Books again–they had a wonderful window display of my books, and I am so grateful for the support Karen and her staff give to authors.
Much appreciation to Brian and Tess for the beautiful flowers–you two are so sweet. Thanks also to my amazing assistants Aiden and Elliot for all the help setting up and for just generally being charming, and many thanks to Chris for taking photos. I am feeling blessed. Please join me tomorrow, when the celebration continues via Facebook!
Posted 7/10/2015: Tomorrow! The Sower comes tomorrow! For every book sold from The Solas Beir Trilogy from July 11-18, I’ll be donating $1 to student scholarships for college (up to $500). By purchasing a book, you’ll be helping students gain access to education. The books are available online from retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and from independent booksellers like Powell’s.
Here’s one last teaser, a hint about where Abby went after her hellish encounter with the Daughters of Mercy.
In the middle of the counting, the girl who had come to call herself AbigailsometimesAbby became aware of a rhythmic pecking sound. A sharp pain had crept into one of her hands, the one cupping the scarlet sand. Her disconnected mind slowly associated the pain with the pecking, and she absently brushed away the thing doing the pecking. Then she returned to her own rhythmic plucking of sand from her open palm, naming each grain with a number and letting it drop back onto the ground beside her crisscrossed legs. She was counting. She couldn’t be bothered with anything else.
AbigailsometimesAbby began again, scooping up a fresh handful of sand, methodically mumbling the numbers to herself. The pecking began again too. It went on for some time before she noticed that the sand in her cupped hand had grown darker, a deeper red than before. She let the sand fall through her fingers to the ground and held her hands out in front of her face, studying them up close as if they were foreign objects.
Her hands, both of them, were bleeding. Rivulets of blood ran down her palms to her wrists. There were stray grains of sand caught in the blood. With dismay, she realized she had dirty hands. This would not do. She wiped her hands on her dusty dress, leaving long red stripes on the grimy white fabric.
Posted 7/8/2015: Two days until launch, two more teasers.
Marisol Cassidy has been spending her time interrogating prisoners. It’s not as fun as it sounds:
“What is this mark you keep talking about? I don’t have any mark on my body.” Marisol’s patience was wearing thin, and she hadn’t had much tolerance for this woman to begin with. Lucia was just like the monster Malden—nothing but riddles and games and a sick sense of humor.
Lucia narrowed her eyes. “It is not a physical mark, silly child. Do you really think it would be? Some kind of special birthmark designating you as the chosen one? Please. The creature has your scent—he can smell the essence of your very soul, and it doesn’t matter how far you run. He will find you. You are his and there is no escaping that fate. He will destroy you as he destroyed your mother.”
Marisol stared at Lucia, as shocked as she would be if the woman had reached through those bars and slapped her face. “But my mother is still alive.”
“For now.” Lucia stepped away from the bars and sat on the wooden bench lining the back wall of her cell. The shadows fell across her face, but Marisol could still see Lucia’s eyes, eyes that were much too black to be human, burning into hers. “Malden has always been rather sentimental about his girls—he was never one to snuff out a life quickly, not if the life belonged to one of his marked ones. He likes to savor the process, to let his beloveds fade like a flower after its glorious bloom—”
“Stop it,” Marisol said, her anger now just a flimsy cover for her horror. Her hands were shaking. She gripped the iron bars of Lucia’s cell to steady herself. “Stop talking like that.”
Lucia shrugged. “You asked the question.”
“How do I save my mother?” Marisol asked. “How do I get rid of the mark on me?”
“Kill the wretch.”
Marisol eyed Lucia suspiciously. “Why would you want me to kill Malden? I thought the two of you fought for the same side.”
“Not at all,” Lucia smiled. Her black eyes glinted in the darkness like hard, shiny stones. “I want you to kill him because I want him dead even more than you do.”
As the new king of a world in turmoil, life for David Corbin is grim, at best:
It had been easy to hate Lucia when he thought about all the pain she had caused, but now that he was here, standing face-to-face with her, he couldn’t help remembering the woman he’d once known in the form of Aunt Moira. He had cared for her once, before she had hurt him so deeply. He had to stay objective, professional. That was the way to get through this.
David gathered his thoughts and cleared his throat. “You should know that this is not a social visit. I’m here in my official capacity as Solas Beir. You know there will be a trial?”
“Yes.” She looked down at her feet.
“Good. Then you must also be aware that as Solas Beir, I will hear from witnesses and the court council before deciding your fate. If I determine that your crimes merit execution, I am required by law to put you to death. Do you understand this?”
Lucia nodded. “Yes. I understand.” Her voice was flat, almost robotic.
“Wonderful.” David narrowed his eyes. He felt frustrated. He wished that he could sense what she was feeling, that she would show some sign of regret. He didn’t want to be her executioner, but she wasn’t helping herself. It was like she wanted to die. Maybe she thought she was out of options and had already resigned herself to her fate.
He sighed. “Then you also understand this is your one chance to redeem yourself. If you help us, I may not have to kill you.”
Posted 7/7/2015: Check it out! These are just a few of the awesome sauce bookish prizes we’re giving out at The Sower Comes Book Launch Party & Author Fest. There’s going to be a fight over the library card socks, I’m sure. Join us and partake in the madness.
And, here’s a little teaser, for those of you who have been curious about what happened to Jon Reyes:
Jon had just dozed off when he was awakened by light pouring into the long corridor between the cells of the dungeon. He shielded his eyes against the harshness of it. After being in the dark for so long, he found that the brightness of the torchlight made his eyes sting and water.
He could hear someone entering the prison, cautiously navigating the steps. Hope rose in his chest. Which of his friends had finally found him? David? Abby? Cael? Maybe Marisol? He missed her most. It had almost killed him to leave her on the edge of the Barren, to watch tears streak down her face after the last kiss they shared. If it was her, he’d scoop her up in his arms and shatter the record for world’s longest kiss, just to make up for the last one.
He leapt to his feet and crossed over to the cell door, craning his neck to catch a sideways glimpse at who was coming to rescue him.
A wave of nausea washed over him when he recognized who it was. The footsteps echoing in the corridor didn’t belong to a friend coming to break him out of jail. They belonged to a monster, coming to break him.
Posted 7/3/2015: And we have books!! Commence countdown sequence…prepare for liftoff!
I’m so excited about the upcoming launch! I’ll be reading at Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon at 1pm on July 11. And then, on July 12, we’ll be doing a huge launch and author fest on Facebook. I’ll be joined by ten amazing authors in multiple genres–you should definitely come and check out their work.
Finally, congratulations to the winners of our most recent Goodreads giveaway! I’m packing up your prizes today.
Posted 6/25/2015: Last chance to get your hands on a signed ARC of The Sower Comes before launch day on July 11! We’re also giving away signed copies of the first two books in the trilogy, but hurry, the new Goodreads giveaway ends July 2.
Also, if you’re in the mood for a story about a dead fish (I mean, who isn’t?), check out my short story, Eulogy for a Goldfish, featured on Upper Left Edge.
Posted 5/12/2015: Hey guys, I’m on Book Daily today, discussing cover reveals! I had a great time on Saturday, attending the Indie Author & Book Fair in gorgeous Cannon Beach! I enjoyed chatting with readers and fellow authors at Jupiter’s Books. Thanks for hosting us, Watt! And, as if Cannon Beach weren’t magical enough with its beautiful rock monoliths, there are wild white rabbits hopping around town. Abby? Is that you?
Posted 4/8/2015: Great news! We’re giving away an advance reader copy of The Sower Comes, so one of you will get to read it before it’s released in July. The Goodreads giveaway is open internationally, and closes May 6.
Also, check out my latest article on BookDaily.com, which discusses tips for working with an editor.
Posted 3/31/2015: Thanks to everyone who came to the cover reveal party! Winners have been posted on the Facebook event page. Today I’m stopping by Chuckles Book Cave, and during the month of April, we’ll be doing a giveaway on Goodreads for a signed ARC of The Sower Comes. Lots of fun ahead as we countdown to launch for the third book in this series.
Posted 3/27/2015: It’s the Cover Reveal for The Sower Comes! Enter the giveaways on Facebook for your chance to win an advance reader copy.
Posted 3/20/2015: Please join us for the cover reveal of The Sower Comes, the third book in The Solas Beir Trilogy, the award-winning young adult series described by reviewers as an enchanting fairy tale filled with vivid characters, action, and romance! We’ll be sharing the cover, an excerpt, and chatting about the upcoming release (July 11, 2015).
How it works: check out the Facebook event any time from midnight to midnight PDT, Friday, March 27 to Saturday, March 28, and enter to win prizes (giveaways are open to international entries).
We’ll also be giving away a signed advance reader copy on Goodreads, so I’ll post more about that soon.
Posted 3/10/2015: Authors, you’ve worked hard to bring your book into the world—now you get to celebrate its arrival. Here are some tips for throwing a successful launch party, via BookDaily.com. If you’ve held a book launch before, chime in with advice on what worked best for your event. I’ve included a few lessons learned from my own experiences.
Posted 3/2/2015: Do authors really need a website? Yes. Check out my latest article for BookDaily.com to find out why and for tips on content for your site. If you’re an author with a website, chime in with advice on what works best for you.
Posted 2/10/2015: For those of you who are interested in book marketing, check out an article I wrote for BookDaily.com. It’s called How to Create a Book Marketing Timeline, and it provides tips for pre-release book marketing. The most important advice I can offer is to start early–at least six months before your launch.
Posted 1/18/2015: Exciting news–The Sower Comes will be released this summer! And, I’m on The Shadow Portal today, chatting about The Rabbit and the Raven! Many thanks to Kyra Dune for hosting me. Check out the excerpt, which features my favorite bad boy and sociopath, Tynan Tierney.
Posted 11/25/2014: A Special Kind of Crazy Christmas Book Bash is going to be awesome! A full day of authors hosting games and giving away prizes via Facebook, and you are all invited. Check out the author lineup, and please join us! Many thanks to DelSheree Gladden of Invisible and the Wicked Hunger Series for including me.
Posted 11/11/2014: I’ll be helping out with Small Business Saturday at two of the most magical bookstores on the north coast of Oregon! Lucy’s Books in Astoria and Beach Books in Seaside are amazing indies, and they support authors and the community year round. I encourage you to stop by on Saturday, November 29th to #shopsmall and local. Also, there will be cookies. This will be fun. #indiesfirst (I’ll be at Lucy’s from 10am-noon, and Beach Books from 2pm-4pm, and other authors will be helping throughout the day as well. Come say hello!)
Posted 10/20/2014: Happy Monday! I had a fantastic time this weekend at the Northwest Author Festival at Klindt’s Books in The Dalles. Many thanks to Tina, Kristin, Joaquin, and all the other fabulous folks at Klindt’s for hosting us. Here are a few photos and highlights from the festival:
•As always, I LOVE meeting readers. This is the best part of any event. I was thrilled to be able to share about my books and hear readers’ recommendations on which books I should add to my to-read list.
•Klindt’s is the oldest bookstore in Oregon, and a visual delight. I loved the wood floors, the charming displays, and the mix of old and new titles, stationary, and bookish accessories. I found it impossible to leave without a shiny new set of notecards and gifts for the husband and a friend, among other things. (I also found potential swag related to Sunset Empire, so that may be part of a giveaway later.)
•They have a KILLER young adult section, and I had the pleasure of camping out in the middle of it during this event. (Note to self: potential refuge in case of zombie apocalypse.)
•Everyone I met working the festival was incredibly nice, and I loved their enthusiasm. The staff members at Klindt’s are passionate about books, and it shows. Many thanks especially to Tina, for your hard work in organizing this, and also for your kind words and shout-outs about my books.
•I loved having the chance to chat with other authors, and it was great to meet people across many genres, from middle grade to history. There was something for every reader.
•I also had the pleasure of chatting with Rodger Nichols, who interviewed me for Cover to Cover Book Beat with the Gorge News Center. Rodger has a deep love of reading, and I had a wonderful time talking with him on his show and at the festival.
•Did I mention the food? There was ale from Clock Tower Ales and brats from Dog-Gone It food truck. Amazing.
Posted 10/11/2014: Next Saturday! What could be better than books, beer, and brats? If you’ll be in The Dalles area, come check out the Northwest Author Festival, hosted by Klindt’s Booksellers and Stationers.
Posted 9/3/2014: I’m thrilled to share that Sign of the Throne is a 2014 Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Winner in the Young Adult Fantasy category! I’m honored to see it recognized.
Check out all the award winners in the various categories for this year’s Readers’ Favorite Award Contest. Congratulations to everyone!
I was also excited to hear that the second book in The Solas Beir Trilogy, The Rabbit and the Raven, has been nominated for a 2015 PNBA Book Award. There are amazing books on the list of nominees, including April Henry’s latest, The Body in the Woods, and Christine Finlayson’s mystery, Tip of a Bone.
Finally, thank you to everyone who entered the Summer Reading Giveaway on Goodreads for a signed copy of The Rabbit and the Raven. Congratulations to the winner! I’ll be heading to the post office with your prize soon.
Posted 8/18/2014: The Northwest Author Fair was amazing! Thank you to Bob’s Beach Books for hosting this wonderful event. If you missed it, the bookstore still has signed copies available from over 50 authors who attended.
I loved meeting readers, especially an adorable little girl who had several authors sign her book bag. Another highlight was chatting with fellow PNW writers Kate Dyer-Seeley and Christine Finlayson.
I highly recommend their mysteries, which are filled twists you won’t see coming. Check them out:
Scene of the Climb
Portland, Oregon, is the perfect fit for someone like Meg Reed. It’s a city with a small town feel, where she can crash on the couch of her best friend Jill, now that she’s graduated from journalism school. . .
But a girl needs a job, so Meg bluffs her way into writing for Northwest Extreme magazine, passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel’s Rest–a two-thousand-foot peak–to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can’t imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate. And if the climbing doesn’t kill her, a murderer just might. . .
Tip of a Bone
Hidden bones, a missing eco-activist, and a deadly fire?
It’s not what Maya Rivers bargained for when she moved to the coastal town of Newport, Oregon, seeking a fresh start. Yet when her brother Harley is accused of an unthinkable crime, Maya insists on adding “amateur sleuth” to her career options. She soon discovers an eerie clue . . . but the closer she gets to the truth, the closer a murderer follows.
Posted 8/11/2014: This Saturday! If you’re around Lincoln City, Oregon, stop by the Northwest Author Fair. It’s fun, it’s FREE, and you can hang out with over 50 Northwest authors while supporting Bob’s Beach Books, a fantastic indie bookstore. I’ll be there, signing copies of Sign of the Throne and The Rabbit and the Raven. Come say hello!
Posted 7/21/2014: What’s on your summer reading list? Here are five must reads from mine.
The Serpent of Venice, Christopher Moore
Fool might have been my favorite book by Christopher Moore, so I can’t wait to read more about Pocket’s hilarious adventures. “Greed, revenge, deception, lust, and a giant (but lovable) sea monster combine to create another hilarious and bawdy tale from modern comic genius, Christopher Moore.”
The Ghost Files, Apryl Baker
Soon to be a major motion picture, this book looks deliciously creepy. “Mattie’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too.” Problem is, there’s a killer on the loose, one who may have murdered Mattie’s foster sister. And Mattie might be the next victim.
Intangible (The Aerling Series) (Volume 2), DelSheree Gladden
I loved the first book in this series, so I’m on pins and needles to find out what happens next. DelSheree Gladden’s books are wonderfully inventive, with lots of twists and turns. “Mason is not imaginary. He’s not a ghost, either. And he’s most definitely not a hallucination. Mason is an Aerling, and the Sentinels’ number one target. Separated to keep each other safe and alive until Mason’s eighteenth birthday when Olivia is expected to guide him back to the world of the Aerlings, neither one was prepared to be stripped of their best friend, of the person they love most. The pain being away from each other causes is the least of their worries, though, as the Sentinels intensify their search for Mason and bring the threat of danger to a whole new level.”
High Maga, Karen Rita Gastreich
This is the second book in a series that has been met with high praise, and I do love an epic fantasy filled with magic. “Lands Ravaged. Dreams destroyed. Demons set loose upon the earth. War strikes at the heart of women’s magic in Moisehén. Eolyn’s fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered. Devastated yet undaunted, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. But even a High Maga cannot survive this enemy alone.”
Rising (The Rising Series Book 1), Holly Kelly
I can’t let summer pass without reading at least one tale involving merfolk mythology, and this book sounds amazing. “In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do… kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair. She’s a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet… Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.”
Posted 7/15/2014: Headed to the Clatsop County Fair? Stop by the Authors’ Booth, sponsored by Lucy’s Books! Several North Coast and Portland authors will be signing books. I’ll see you there on August 2nd!
Posted 7/14/2014: I’m thrilled to share that Sign of the Throne is a finalist for a Readers’ Favorite Book Award in the YA Fantasy category! Winners will be announced September 1, 2014.
Posted 7/11/2014: If you’ll be in the Lincoln City, Oregon area on August 16th, please stop by Bob’s Beach Books for the 2014 Northwest Author Fair! It’s FREE, and you’ll get to talk books with many amazing authors. I’ll be there, armed with a sharpie and the first two books of The Solas Beir Trilogy.
Posted 6/8/2014: 5 Stars to Sign of the Throne from Readers’ Favorite! Read the review here.
Posted 5/20/2014: Congratulations to the winners of the blog tour giveaway for The Rabbit and the Raven with Buy the Book Tours! I’ll be visiting the post office tomorrow to send out your books. Thanks for reading!
Posted 5/19/2014: I’ve been tagged by my friend and fellow Oregon author Christine Finlayson to answer four questions on writing. Christine is the author of Tip of a Bone, a mystery set in beautiful Newport, Oregon. If you’ve not read it, you should! It’s a thrill ride full of action and twists that keep you guessing.
Christine is also an editor and erstwhile water scientist. She’s now writing two suspense novels, both mysteriously featuring the Columbia River. In her spare time, Christine loves to photograph all things weird or wild in nature and explore the Northwest’s beaches and bike trails. Please visit her here.
Here are the questions Christine asked:
What am I working on?
I am working with my publisher on final revisions to The Sower Comes, the third book in my young adult fantasy series. This final book in The Solas Beir Trilogy will be released in 2015. Themes in my books include the multi-faceted nature of evil and the possibility of redemption. I’m also writing a young adult novel set in Astoria, Oregon, which is where The Goonies was filmed. I can’t say much about it yet except that there is danger, romance, monsters, and a vengeful ghost.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The most convincing lies are those grounded in truth. This is true with fiction as well. I like to ground my stories in history, psychology, and mythology and then provide a paranormal twist. I also like to include strong female characters and villains with complicated motives.
Why do I write what I do?
Because it’s FUN. When I read, I want to be transported. I love a story with a mix of adventure, magic, romance, and a little horror on the side, so that’s the kind of story I write. When I write, I am telling myself the story first. When I get lost in the world of the story, it’s so thrilling it doesn’t feel like work.
How does my writing process work?
I see writing as a process of unearthing a story, and I try to stay open to what the characters want to do rather than forcing them to stick to a rigid plot. Although I may have plot ideas when I begin, I often discard those ideas as I learn more about my characters. I have learned that the stories are always better when I sit in the backseat and let the characters drive. My job is to stay out of the way and capture what is happening.
Now it’s my turn to tag a couple of authors. Please check out posts from authors Alys Arden and Paula Judith Johnson on Monday, May 26.
Alys Arden is the author of The Casquette Girls, which Kirkus Reviews hailed as “Satisfying teen entertainment but also a cathartic, uncompromising tribute to New Orleans.” She grew up in the Vieux Carré, cut her teeth on the streets of New York, and has worked all around the world since. She still plans to run away with the circus one day. I loved her amazing book, and I encourage you to check it out here.
Paula Judith Johnson and I are both in Writers@Work, a great group for writers on the northern coast of Oregon. She loves history, primarily the Mountain Man period between 1800 and 1840. She and her husband are members of a black-powder club, where they have learned about historical weaponry. Her historical romance, Sweetbriar, takes place in the years leading up to the War of 1812. She also writes contemporary romance, and her book Starting Over is set in the charming town of Seaside, Oregon. You can find out more about her novels here.
Posted 5/14/2014: Indies First Storytime Day, Saturday, May 17
As part of Indies First Storytime Day, Beach Books will host two local children’s authors who will be reading their books and other favorite children’s stories. G.S. Coltman, author of Max’s Great Sea Adventure will be in the store at 11 am. Following him at 12 noon will be Melissa Eskue Ousley, author of the Solas Beir Trilogy.
I’m thrilled to share that Sign of the Throne has won an Eric Hoffer Book Award. Thanks for your support and congratulations to all the winners!
First Runner-Up, Young Adult Category
“Sign of the Throne, Melissa Eskue Ousley, Castle Garden Publications – From the first chapter to the last, this novel holds the reader’s attention with a suspenseful story of a child-king kidnapping from one reality hidden in the reality of the present. Abby, a teen character, will grip the heart with her wits and wisdom. She is the only one that can lead David Corbin to see he has been shielded from the real truth of who he is and his destiny. The two are attracted to each other and give strength to one another beyond both their worlds. The author does a wonderful job of developing the main and supporting characters. With only days before the dark reality is released into present day reality, Abby must shake David from the veil of lies to reveal his true identity and power.”
Posted 5/5/2014: Sign of the Throne is a finalist for the 2014 Eric Hoffer Award! The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing. Thank you Castle Garden Publications and Indigo Editing & Publications for making this possible! I am truly honored.
Posted 4/8/2014: Want to listen to an excerpt from The Rabbit and the Raven? Yesterday on Blog Talk Radio, I talked with Buy the Book Tours about my new YA series, The Solas Beir Trilogy. Click here to listen.
Posted 3/29/2014: Thanks so much to the always charming Lucy’s Books for hosting me today! I really appreciate everyone who came, and the homemade cookies were delicious. And check out this amazing sign Lisa (a.k.a. the Queen of Books) created from salvaged letters. Brilliant. I absolutely love this, and may have to steal the idea for my own interior design projects.
Posted 3/28/2014: Saturday, North Coasters! Come hang out with me at the enchanting Lucy’s Books (348 12th St., Astoria). I’ll be reading from The Rabbit and the Raven at 2 pm, and then we’ll do a little Q&A, followed by the signing of books, and giving away of a prize. Plus, you get points for doing a good deed as you support a wonderful local business and wonderful local students: for every book sold throughout the galaxy between now and March 30, I’ll be donating a dollar to student scholarships at Clatsop Community College.
Posted 3/15/2014: Launch Day! Thanks so much to everyone who attended the launch party for The Rabbit and the Raven, and to Karen for hosting me at Beach Books! The support for local authors in this coastal community is amazing. Even Oz the bookstore cat offered encouragement.
The Rabbit and the Raven is now available at Amazon, Redroom.com, and Barnes & Noble. No matter where you buy, your purchase helps a student. For every copy of The Rabbit and the Raven sold between March 15-30, I will donate $1 to student scholarships at Clatsop Community College (up to $500). Thanks for your support!
Posted 3/14/2014: My interview at Arts! Live and Local with Carol Newman at Coast Community Radio is online! Thanks Carol. I had a great time, and I truly appreciate the support for local authors and local bookstores.
Posted 3/13/2014: In two days! Please join me for the launch of The Rabbit and the Raven at Beach Books in Seaside, OR. Or, you can follow along with the blog tour here and on Goodreads.
Posted 2/28/2014: $10 Amazon gift card giveaway and interview with me today on Parajunkee! Tierney makes an appearance too. Only two weeks until The Rabbit and the Raven launches on March 15th! Enter the giveaway here.
Posted 1/31/2014: Authors, want to know how to make the most of your giveaways on Goodreads? Here are some tips.
Thank you to the amazing folks at Indigo for letting me share about my experiences!
Posted 1/26/2014: The last line of a trilogy…
Last night I stayed up writing until you-don’t-want-to-know-when o’clock, but it was well worth it. I stopped when I wrote the last line of The Sower Comes (the third and final book in The Solas Beir Trilogy). There is always something special about writing the last line of a book, but it’s even more satisfying to write the last line of a series.
Is the book done? No—not by a long shot. There are rough sections in the middle of the story that need more detail, and the entire book needs to be revised before I can hand it off to my brilliant editor to work her much needed magic. But, essentially, it’s all there. So, (here’s a morbid thought) if I get hit by a bus, my loved ones will be able to publish it posthumously, assuming they can decipher the cryptic notes typed within the manuscript and scattered about my desk, hastily scribbled on scratch paper in my horrific handwriting. Still, it’s a comforting thought to actually have things on paper, and not locked away in my head.
Posted 1/6/2014: Want to read The Rabbit and the Raven before it’s available to the rest of the world? My publisher is giving away a signed advance review copy on Goodreads, plus the winner’s choice of either a signed copy of Sign of Throne or a $10 Amazon gift card. Good luck!
Posted 12/29/2013: Happy almost 2014! I wish you all the best in the new year. I’m happy to share that the book trailer for The Rabbit and the Raven is finished!
Posted 12/5/2013: Hello Northcoasters! If you’re looking for something fun to do on Saturday, come have lunch with me and three other authors at Lum’s. Here’s the scoop: Gloria Linkey, Honey Perkel, Paula Judith Johnson, and I will be reading excerpts and signing our books from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at Lum’s Auto Center, 1605 SE Ensign Lane, Warrenton, OR. We will donate a portion of all proceeds to SMART, a literacy program. (Thank you Lum’s for hosting us!) This will be a fun afternoon benefiting a great cause, and a wonderful opportunity to grab a personalized holiday gift for your favorite reader.
The four of us write in different genres, so what we share with you will be pretty diverse. I’ll share a little about Sign of the Throne (and I’ll have paperback copies available.) For my reading, however, I decided I would give you a sneak peek of The Rabbit and the Raven, which will be released this March. You’ll get to hear from the King of Blood and Shadows himself, in honor of Tierney being a good character this week and helping me get a lot of writing done. He has promised to behave himself, but you never know.
Posted 12/1/2013: I had so much fun yesterday at Beach Books visiting with Oz the bookstore cat and helping customers find great books. I even got to recommend a few of my favorite young adult and middle grade books. My thanks to Karen Emmerling, for inviting me to help out on Small Business Saturday.
For those of you who are local to the north coast, I encourage you to check out the Wishing Tree in Beach Books. School librarians have written their wishes for books to add to our school libraries, and if you buy a book to donate to a local school, you’ll also get 20% off on a book for yourself.
Posted 11/29/2013: Tomorrow!! Please join me, Catherine Al-Meten, Nancy Slavin, and Matt Love on November 30th at Beach Books (616 Broadway, Seaside, OR) as we serve as “Booksellers for the Day” for Small Business Saturday. (I’ll be there from 10am-noon, so please say hello.)
This is part of Indie’s First, Sherman Alexie’s challenge to book nerds (a.k.a. authors) to support independent bookstores by walking in a bookseller’s shoes for the day. This is a great opportunity to shop local and support a wonderful bookstore! Come hang out with us and let us help you with your holiday shopping. Because really, is there any better gift than a book?
Posted 11/21/2013: Want a signed copy of Sign of the Throne? If you’re on the Oregon coast, here are some upcoming events that may be of interest.
On November 30, please join me, Catherine Al-Meten, Nancy Slavin, and Matt Love at Beach Books (616 Broadway, Seaside, OR) as we serve as “Booksellers for the Day” for Small Business Saturday. It’s part of Indie’s First, Sherman Alexie’s challenge to authors to support independent bookstores by walking in bookseller’s shoes for the day. This is a great opportunity to shop local and support a magical bookstore! Stop by to pick up a book sold by a local author!
Then, on December 7, I’ll be at Lum’s Auto Center with Paula Judith Johnson, Gloria Linkey, and Honey Perkel for author readings and signings to support the SMART Literacy Program! Lum’s is generously hosting a BBQ lunch from noon to 2 pm. Please join us to support a great cause!
Finally, on December 21-22, Paula Judith Johnson and I will be at the Astoria Winter Market (11 am-4 pm at the Astoria Event Center). This award-winning market features up to 200 vendors offering locally-made products that have been hand-crafted, grown, created, or gathered by farmers, craftspeople, and artisans. Hope to see you there!
Posted 11/18/13: Free on Amazon today! Sign of the Throne for your Kindle! For top 100 free books, it is currently #2 for Romance, #2 for Fantasy, and #3 for Sword & Sorcery!!
Posted 11/11/13: It’s cover reveal day for The Rabbit and the Raven! Win a signed ARC of The Rabbit and the Raven and a signed copy of Sign of the Throne on Pretty in Fiction!
Posted 11/9/13: Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway for the #signofthethrone blog tour! Many, many thanks to Buy the Book Tours and all the amazing bloggers who hosted me and spread the word about Sign of the Throne! You can find links to their wonderful blogs here. Check them out!
Posted 11/5/13: #5 Most Requested! Thank you to everyone for your amazing support!! With over 3100 entries on Goodreads Giveaways, Sign of the Throne was #5 for most requested title when the giveaway ended! I truly appreciate all the votes, and congratulations to the winner!
Please join me here on November 11, when I’ll reveal the cover for The Rabbit and the Raven (Book Two in The Solas Beir Trilogy, available March 2014). And stay tuned for a new giveaway with a chance to win a signed advance review copy!
Posted 10/13/13: Thanks to everyone who attended the Written in the Sand Author’s Fair at Beach Books! I had so much fun chatting with you and my fellow regional authors! Many thanks for your support, and special thanks to Karen Emmerling for hosting all of us.
Posted 10/9/13: Northcoasters! If you’re in Seaside this weekend, stop by Beach Books (616 Broadway) for the Written in the Sand Author’s Fair on Saturday from 1-5 pm. I’ll be there, along with many regional authors: Darren Barber, Rebecca Harrison, Paula Judith Johnson, Deena Lindstedt, Gloria Linkey, Gregory Nokes, Cara Olson, Honey Perkel, Brian Ratty, John Rekart, and George Byron Wright. We’ll sign your books as you enjoy wine and cheese. I hope to see you there! Also, there’s a new opportunity to win a copy of Sign of the Throne and a $10 Amazon gift card at Goodreads. Check it out!
Posted 10/8/13: Highlights from Wordstock and the PNBA Tradeshow:
Chatting with people who love books!
The opportunity to share Sign of the Throne with readers, writers, librarians, bookstore owners, and more.
Hanging out with an awesome group of editors at Indigo.
The steampunk dragon on the cover of On Discord Isle! (Steampunk air pirates, anyone? The first book in the series, Chasing the Lantern, is a fantastic adventure. Check out The Dawnhawk Trilogy by Jonathon Burgess.)
Dinner with the fine folks at Gazebo Gardens Publishing.
Talking with Marissa Meyer about The Lunar Chronicles and getting an advance review copy of Cress! I know! (If you’ve not yet read her YA series, get it post-haste. I am completely hooked.)
Posted 10/4/13: Headed to Wordstock this weekend? Come hang out with me on Sunday. I’ll be doing a signing at 3 pm at Indigo’s booth (#813)!
Posted 10/1/13: Come join the Meet the Characters Blogfest and enter to win an AMAZING 40 book prize! Seriously! 40 books! You may need to buy yourself some new shelves. And if you’re headed to Wordstock this weekend, visit the booth for Indigo Editing & Publishing (#813). You can meet authors there on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be doing a signing on Sunday, October 6, at 3 pm. Stop by and say hello!
Posted 9/25/13: Win a signed copy of Sign of the Throne AND a $10 Amazon gift card on Goodreads! And, if you’d like to know more about Sign of the Throne or hear an excerpt, click here to listen to an interview with me on Blog Talk Radio.
Posted 9/20/13: Sign of the Throne has been nominated for a PNBA Book Award! Also, signed copies are now available through Beach Books. This is a great opportunity to grab a signed copy and help a wonderful independent bookstore!
Posted 9/16/13: The Sign of the Throne Blog Tour and Giveaway begins today! Enter to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card or one of ten signed copies! Check out the tour schedule here.
Posted 9/15/13: Thanks to everyone who attended the book launch at Beach Books and to all of you who showed your support online! Thank you to the wonderful folks at Beach Books for hosting me! It was amazing to be able to share about the book, and I appreciated all the great discussion questions and incredible support.
Posted 9/14/13: Sign of the Throne is now available at Redroom.com and Amazon.com!
Posted 8/31/13: Interview with me and review of Sign of the Throne on Parsons’ Rant. 5 Stars!
Posted 8/19/13: A very humbling and flattering mention about Sign of the Throne on The Parsons’ Rant, and a great review from UK book blog Chuckles Book Cave.
Posted 8/16/13: Interview with me about writing and sociopaths on The Edible Bookshelf..
Posted 8/8/13: Win a $10 Amazon gift card at Silver Inked Sky. The deadline to enter is August 15, and there is a guest post from me about fear. Also, check out this great review of Sign of the Throne from Novels On The Run! 4.5 Stars!
Posted 7/31/13: Whoa! Over 1700 entries for the Goodreads giveaway for Sign of the Throne! Thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to the winner! When the giveaway closed, the book was #29 for most requested title. Much appreciation for the support. A new giveaway will be posted on September 14 to celebrate the release of the book!
Posted 7/23/13: Win a signed ARC of Sign of the Throne! An international Goodreads giveaway is now open. Deadline to enter is 7/30/13. Good luck, and thanks for your support!
Posted 7/11/13: I’m reading a really fantastic YA urban fantasy called Wicked Hunger by DelSheree Gladden. Check it out! Here’s a blurb: Vanessa and Zander Roth have spent their lives battling an uncontrollable hunger for pain and suffering that will either gain them limitless power or lead them to their deaths.
Posted 6/17/13: Be one of the first to read Sign of the Throne. My publisher is giving away 10 Advanced Review Copies of Sign of the Throne on Goodreads! Deadline to enter is July 17, 2013.
Posted 5/25/13: I’m thrilled to share that Novels On The Run is doing a book blitz on Sign of the Throne, sharing an excerpt and the book trailer. I’m also excited that I now have an author page on Goodreads. Join me there for updates on The Solas Beir Trilogy, as well as for reviews and book recommendations!
Posted 5/10/13: The book trailer for Sign of the Throne is here! Check it out!
Posted 4/16/13: I’m excited to share that Pretty In Fiction has posted an interview with me and an excerpt from Sign of the Throne! Enjoy!!
Posted 4/15/13: Congratulations to Nadia M., who won the cover reveal giveaway at Pretty In Fiction!
Posted 4/8/13: I’m thrilled to share that Sign of the Throne is being featured today on the young adult blog, Pretty In Fiction! And, as promised, there is a second giveaway contest. The clock is ticking though, so enter posthaste!
Posted 4/8/13: It’s cover reveal day! And the winner of the Sign of the Throne cover reveal giveaway is…Margaret Maloney! Congratulations Margaret! I will contact you soon with details about the prize.
If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, because there will be more opportunities to score an advanced review copy. More details soon!
Posted 4/4/13: The Book Launch Party for Sign of the Throne will be Saturday, September 14, 4pm, at Beach Books in Seaside. Thank you to owner Karen Emmerling and her wonderful staff for their willingness to host me. This charming independent bookstore is a short walk from the beach, and you can always find an amazing read in the store or through their online services. Although, if you visit the store, you can hang out with Oz, the bookstore cat. Check them out.
Posted 3/29/13: The cover for Sign of the Throne is DONE! Join me for the cover reveal on Monday, April 8, when I’ll post the cover and announce the winner of the cover reveal giveaway.
Prizes for the giveaway include an advance review copy of Sign of the Throne and a silver-plated nautilus pendant, not unlike the one Abby wears. (Pendant in photo enlarged to show detail.)
Three ways to enter the drawing: Like me on Facebook, tweet using #solasbeir, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline to enter is Sunday, April 7, 12pPT.
Posted 3/24/13: The postcards for the cover of Sign of the Throne are here! If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll be receiving one soon. If you’re not on my list and would like to be, email me at email@example.com. Stay tuned for details on the upcoming cover reveal and prize drawing.
Posted 2/27/13: The cover for Sign of the Throne is almost finished! Special thanks to the very talented Aaron Cheney, an artist from Seattle, who has done an AMAZING job. I can’t wait to share in the cover reveal with you, but until then I’ll leave you with this teaser: the most effective predators are insidious, hidden in plain sight….
Posted 2/20/13: It’s official. I’ve signed with Castle Garden, the young adult division of Gazebo Gardens Publishing, to publish The Solas Beir Trilogy. The first book, Sign of the Throne, will be available fall 2013. As I countdown to launch, I’ll post new details here. Stay tuned!
© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2012