Monday, September 30, 2013

Thunderous Negotiations

Today is your chance to meet Jeffe Kennedy, one of the authors included in the Thunder on the Battlefield anthologies, right here on my blog. A two-volume anthology, Thunder on the Battlefield offers great Sword and Sorcery tales, just waiting to take me back to the Dungeons and Dragons of my student days. I almost want to get on my bike and visit a friend again, shove the furniture aside, sit cross-legged on the floor, and roll my dice with nervously trembling wrist as the tale is spun...

But instead I'll sit at Jeffe Kennedy's feet and learn how a call for stories in an anthology can come at just the right time to help an author explore her characters. Over to you Jeffe...

When I saw Tuck’s call for stories for his Sword & Sorcery anthology, I’d recently completed The Mark of the Tala – and sold the trilogy, The Twelve Kingdoms – to Kensington Press. Mark of the Tala wouldn’t come out until the following June (2014), but I’d sketched out the arc of the trilogy for my agent and editor. So my characters – the three daughters of the High King – were heavy on my mind. 

Particularly, their mother, who died while birthing the youngest, had become this larger-than-life, absent character: Salena, a woman and sorceress whose great influence continued to extend past her grave. 

I’d realized that I needed to put her story together. Certainly, I found myself in the position of laying out exactly what kind of bargain she’d originally made with General Uorsin, the man who eventually becomes High King – with Salena’s help. Tuck’s anthology offered me the perfect opportunity to do so, and in a short-story form. I started as a writer with short stories and essays, so it felt like coming home to write something short again. 

But I worried a little if the story would be “right” and if it would fit in Tuck’s anthology. After all, though Uorsin carries a sword, he’s just been wounded in battle. He’s not going to be swinging that sword anytime soon. And Salena, though she uses her innate magic to trap Uorsin, there’s not a lot of shapeshifting or spellcasting to be done once she has him where she wants him. 

There’s a reason the story is called “Negotiation.”

They battle it out, all right, but with words and wit. They’re two people who are strong-willed to the point of obstinacy, used to power, accustomed to getting their way. Though they come to respect each other as a worthy adversary, there’s no love lost between them. In the end they come to an agreement – one that will affect the future of the Twelve Kingdoms for decades to come.

It’s a story about politics.

To my great relief, Tuck loved it and, to my great pleasure, decided to lead off the “sorcery” side of the dual anthology with my story. So much for the great stock Uorsin puts in his sword – Salena and her sorcerous ways won the day.

I suspect she’s quite pleased with that outcome.

I suspect readers will be pleased too, and I'm looking forward to settling down on a sofa with both books and eager fingers turning the pages...

More about the author, Jeffe Kennedy:

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in Facets of Passion has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up books, Platinum and Ruby, are climbing the charts. Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency. The first book in Covenant of Thorns, Rogue's Pawn, has won numerous awards and the highly anticipated sequel, Rogue's Possession, releases this fall.

Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.

Find her on Facebook ( and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website

She is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Jeffe, and for letting us in on the secret swords and sorceries of your characters. 

And now, there are lots more interesting posts floating around the internet about these great anthologies, so please read on, dear reader, with trembling hands and multi-facted dice held ready to roll, as you find out more...

JamesRTuck_ Anthology Editor, James R. Tuck: James R. Tuck was born and raised in The South. Brought up on a steady diet of country music, Jesus, and guns; he's always been a little weird. Now he writes yarns about monsters, guns, hard-eyed men, and tough as nails women. He puts the DARK in Dark Urban Fantasy.  

SWORD_COVER_1200X840About Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword Book Synopsis: HARK! to the sounds of battle. Mighty men and women who take their destinies with the strength of their arm and the sharpness of their blades. These are tales of warriors, reavers, barbarians, and kings. Lands of wonder populated with monsters, black-hearted sorcerors of Stygian power, and heroes who have blood on their hands and on their steel. This is SWORD AND SORCERY. Edited by James R. Tuck, acclaimed author of the Deacon Chalk Novels, the Sword volume features tales from the following authors:  

G. Gerome Henson Jay Requard D.T. Neal John F. Allen Marcella Burnard David J. West Alexis A. Hunter James R. Tuck Loriane Parker W.E. Wertenberger Stephen Zimmer J.S. Veter

SORCERY_COVER1200X835About Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery Book Synopsis: BEHOLD! the clash of war. Steel upon steel and heroes fighting shield to shield. The only true victory is a brave death and the destruction of your enemies. These stories harken back to a barbaric past that never was. A time when heroic men and women cut glory from the cloth of a sorcery-filled world and stole gold from the hands of the gods themselves. This is fiction that takes no prisoners. No quarter asked. No quarter given. This is SWORD AND SORCERY. Edited by James R. Tuck, acclaimed author of the Deacon Chalk Novels, the Sword volume features tales from the following authors:

Jeffe Kennedy Alex Hughes Selah Janel Steven Grassie James R. Tuck M. B. Weston Brady Allen S. H. Roddey Steven S. Long D. A. Adams Mark Taverna Steven L. Shrewsbury

Editor James R. Tuck’s Links:

Tour Schedule and Activities  

9/30 Spellbindings Contest  
9/30 Come Selahway With Me Interview w/ James R. Tuck
9/30 Sheila Deeth Guest Post by Jeffe Kennedy
9/30 Book in the Bag Review  
10/1 Library Girl Reads and Reviews Guest Post by Alex Hughes  
10/1 Kayla’s Reads and Reviews Guest Post by James R. Tuck  
10/1 Deal Sharing Aunt Review  
10/2 Cabin Goddess Interview w/ Steven Shrewsbury  
10/2 Workaday Reads Review  
10/2 Jess Resides Here Interview w/ James R. Tuck  
10/2 Bee’s Knees Reviews Guest Post by Jay Requard  
10/3 I Smell Sheep Guest Post by James R. Tuck  
10/3 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post by Steven Grassie  
10/4 Azure Dwarf Guest Post by Steven S. Long  
10/5 The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Guest Post by Dave Neal  
10/5 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Guest Post by Mark Taverna  
10/6 Cabin Goddess Interview w/ James R. Tuck  
10/6 SpecMusicMuse Review  
10/6 Illuminite Caliginosus Guest Post by Brady Allen  
10/6 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Guest Post by Alexis A. Hunter Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

Amazon Links for Thunder on the Battle Field: Sword and Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery Print Version  
Kindle Version

Other eBook formats:  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

If variety is the spice of life...

If variety really is the spice of life, I should be hot and spicy by now. But maybe it's the balm of a Sunday afternoon's reading.

In between writing more Nazareth Neighbors stories, and getting my blog tour for Bethlehem's Baby going...

... and writing blogposts, and making new friends as I trail around the internet...
... and falling asleep over cups of coffee and tea...

I'm still reading and reviewing books in their curiously enticing and strange variety, so here are eight--yes eight--more for your reading pleasure. Pull up a chair. Grab a mug for your coffee, and see which brew takes your fancy.

Saving the best till... first... I'll start with the wonderful Harper Lee and Peppermint Candy, by Paula Hennessy. Classic, humorous, down-to-earth, honest... what else can I say? A literary novel that pairs Harper Lee with Twilight during a teen book club run in a psych ward by an aging grandmother. As one protagonist faces the end of the life, another finally lets her life begin, and the whole is thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and beautifully told. Enjoy with a rich, elegant, complex and smooth cup of 4-star coffee.

Much shorter and darker is the scarily real story of a boy and his bike: Bike, by Eric Carney. The boy's afraid of his father's anger, but everything he tries to put right goes wrong until, at last... An intense, dark short story, this one demands a bold, dark, intense cup of 5-star coffee.

Ctrl-Z, by Danika Stone, continues the dark themes of Bike into a novel of two young adults making mistakes on the city streets. But real-life mistakes aren't so easy to undo as just pressing keys on a computer, and you can no more erase the past than you can hide the future. Enjoy this bleakly real romance with another 5-star intense cup of coffee.

Next comes Confessions of a Worrywart, by Susan Orlins, a collection of blogposts and essays (short and long) nicely combined into a memoir that's well-organized, easy to read, and easy to pick up and put down. Enjoy it with a well-balanced full-flavored cup of 3-star coffee.

Come Home to Me Child, by Sally Jones and Lazarus Barnhill, is an enjoyable short mystery novel where a brain-injured mother takes the lead in investigating a child's disappearance from the house where she's staying to recover. It's not exactly the restful stay in the country she imagined, but it's a pleasingly well-balanced novel, best enjoyed with a well-balanced full-flavored 3-star cup of coffee.

Finding my Escape, by Fran Veal, adds a touch of the maybe-paranormal to a modern-day mystery when a teenage girl walks in on a home invasion and ends up the sole survivor in her family. Struggling to start a new life, clinging to her best friend from the old, who is suddenly turning into more than just a best friend, wondering how dreams and reality intersect, she tries to find out why her parents were killed and ends up hunted by their killer. The voice is convincing and the story feels happily complete, even while leaving the reader eager for book 2.

Heading into a rather dystopian near-future, with zombies and history, If It Kills Me, by Jason Morrow, is the second novel in his Starborn Saga. Like most seconds of trilogies, it's got a lot of material to cover, but the author does a really nice job of combining storylines (and even times) without making it stodgy or confusing. You'll probably want to have read book 1 first, to learn how the characters are related. But now I'm eager to see book 3. Enjoy the intense action and dark past with a 5-star dark intense cup of coffee.

And finally, rounding out the collection and heading even further into the future:I'm due to read Rogue Hunter Inquest soon, so I prepared for it by reading a trio of short Rogue Hunter Stories by Kevis Kendrickson. Into the Abyss, a short, action-packed, sci-fi story with a comic-book feel to it, introduces the bounty hunter, Zyra Zanr. Intruder fills in some of the backstory with mega-sci-fi backgrounds, rather like the next level of a computer game, and Legacy rounds out the trilogy with a surprisingly haunting ending. Read these with some 2-star easy-drinking coffee, and look out for my review of Inquest soon.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What Part of Clandestine Don't You Understand?

Wandering warily to my computer, checking over my shoulder, checking inside the screen... is someone watching me?

Today I'm listening in as author John F. Allen interviews Ivory Blaque from The God Killers. So make sure your artwork's firmly fastened to the wall, get Grandpa's ancient pistols out from under the bed (yes, my Granddad really did have a WWI gun hidden away--I found it when I was playing hide 'n seek one day), and make sure you don't have any scarily incriminating documents lying around...

Sitting down warily at the computer, may I welcome John and Ivory:

John: Hello everyone! Today is day four of the John F. Allen book tour. I’d like to thank my publisher, Seventh Star Press for this fantastic opportunity and also Sheila Deeth for hosting today’s stop on the tour. This entry is an interview with the protagonist of The God Killers, Ivory Blaque.

What is your real, birth name? What name do you use and why?
Ivory: My birth name is Dominique Blaque, but I work and operate under the name Ivory Blaque. Ivory is the nickname my father gave me because of my light complexion due to a rare form of albinism.

Do you have a job? If so, what is it?
Ivory: Yes, I own an art gallery in River North; Chicago, IL called The Blaque Gallery. I also recover stolen art for private owners/collectors. Lately a clandestine government agency has been after me to work for them…I’m not completely sold on that idea.

What agency is it?
Ivory: What part of clandestine don’t you understand?

Err…yeah, moving right along. When did you go through whatever made you supernatural?
Ivory: I was born with the ability to see the auras of both humans and supernatural beings. So, in some respects I’ve always had some inherent supernatural ability I suppose. But, things really took off when I first touched the God Killers, a pair of powerful mystical pistols.

What do you think now of being supernatural? Is it cool, or have you been screwed?
Ivory: It has its advantages for sure. Enhanced senses, strength, speed, endurance, agility and healing. I can also say that it usually ends up getting me into some sort of problem as now I’m forever tied to the supernatural world. I’ve always been an action junkie, but this takes it to a whole other level!

Is it true you hate vampires? If so, why?
Ivory: Apparently you’ve never met one in person? They also happen to be the most ruthless, manipulative, arrogant and egotistical bastards to ever walk the earth. I hate them because they were responsible for the death of my parents. Only one of them has earned my respect and that was only because he’s never lied to me and hates them almost as much as I do.

What do you think of the other denizens of the World of Darkness? Why for each? (If you haven't met something, do you think it exists, and if it does, is that bad or good?)
Ivory: I’ve come to accept that all of the creatures of fairy tales, myth and folklore that go bump in the night are real. I have encountered werewolves and although they tend to be extremely aggressive, possessive and bordering pathological, they can be good friends. Another thing they have going for them is their general disdain for vampires. As for other creatures, zombies are mindless animated corpses and mummies are animated corpses wrapped in cloth only they are possessed by the spirit of their last inhabitants or somebody with an ancient relic that controls them.

Do you believe in God? If so, what do you think God thinks of you and what you do?
Ivory: Yes, I believe in God although I often struggle with my faith. I’ve been told that my ultimate destiny is earth changing and prophetic. If that’s true, I’d think God must find that I’m on the predestined path that has been chosen for me.

What kind of equipment do you consider indispensable in your line of work, and why?
Ivory: I wear an iron and silver cross at all times. Most preternaturals are extremely allergic to iron and/or silver. I also wear a specially designed bodysuit made of flame, cut and bullet resistant material. The bodice is plated to protect my major organs from most types of gunfire and puncture weapons. I also carry several blades made of titanium still and edged with silver. Of course I’m always armed with The God Killers, which never run out of ammo and can kill any sort of supernatural baddie out there, including gods, hence the name.

What is your greatest fear?
Ivory: As cliché as it may sound, my greatest fear is fear itself. I still experience fear, but I’ve never let it cripple me and that type of fear is what I fear most because that can get me killed. Even though I’ve grown extremely difficult to kill, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.

Well, it appears our time is up. Thank you for the interview Ivory.
Ivory: You’re welcome, thanks for having me.

Please join me tomorrow for another entry of The God Killers blog tour. I’d again like to thank Sheila Deeth for hosting this entry.

Thank you John, and Ivory. It was a pleasure to host you both.

About John F. Allen: John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. John began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John's debut novel, The God Killers was released in 2013 with Seventh Star Press. John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.

9781937929169-tradecover.indd Book Synopsis: In The God Killers, the first book of The God Killers Legacy, former professional art thief Ivory Blaque is hired to procure a pair of antique pistols and gets much more than she bargained for when several attempts are made on her life. Her client turns out to be a shadowy government agent who reveals that she is descended from a race of immortals, and that the pistols are linked to her unique heritage and the special psychic gifts she possesses. He uses the memory of her father to guilt her into working for him. Ivory eventually gives in to his request, and in return, he presents her with her father's journal, which was written in an unbreakable code. Bishop believes that she is the only one capable of breaking the code and unlocking the plans of the vampire hierarchy. But when the city's top vampire is a sexy incubus with an attraction for her and she's assigned a hot new lycan enforcer to protect her, she finds herself caught between two sets of rock hard abs. To regain her autonomy, clear her name, unlock the secrets of her past, and protect the lives of those closest to her, Ivory must play along with the forces trying to manipulate her. Ivory's life is rapidly spiraling out of control and headed for an explosive conclusion which she just might not survive.

Author Links:
Website/Blog -
Facebook Author's Page -!/johnfallenwriter
Twitter -
Facebook Fan Club Page -!/groups/650402134970441/  

Find out more by following the Tour:
9/23 A Haunted Head Interview
9/23 Azure Dwarf Promo Spotlight
9/24 SpecMusicMuse Review  
9/24 Come Selahway With Me Guest Post  
9/24 The Dan O’Brien Project Promo Spotlight  
9/25 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review  
9/26 Beauty in Ruins Review  
9/27 Readings Sunshine Promo Spotlight
 9/27 Word to Dreams Promo Spotlight
 9/27 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post
 9/28 Sheila Deeth Character Interview  
9/28 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews Guest Post  
9/28 Workaday Reads Review  
9/29 Jess Resides Here Author Interview  
9/29 Illuminite Calginosus Promo Spotlight    

Buy the Book at:
Amazon Print Version
Kindle Version  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Making Stuff Up: How one Author gets from beginning to end before it's too late

Today I'm welcoming Eric Garrison, author of Four 'Til Late, on his Tomorrow Comes Media tour. He's telling us about the joys of planning, pantsing, and generally telling stories. So... do you like to know the end of a story before you read the beginning? Are you one of those readers who always has to check out the last page first? Or would that seem like cheating? Even heresy?

What about when the author knows the end before the beginning? We trust our authors to have an end in sight when we start to read. But do authors have to know where they're going before the story begins, or might directing it be part of the craft?

Over to you Eric, and thank you for visiting my blog:

Making Stuff Up: Planning, Pantsing, and Me

by Eric Garrison

In any writing circle, writers, especially novelists, self-identify as planners or pantsers. It seems to be as fundamental a division as eye color, handedness or Star Trek vs Star Wars fandom.

Planners want to know every detail of the story's path before they start to write. They do charts of story arcs, character arcs, do questionnaires to flesh out character histories and family trees. The framework of their outlines is as detailed and solid enough to make a computer programmer cheer with recognition. It's sensible and has many advantages. The writer need not keep all those details in her head. She can refer back to it later if the main character's cousin's dog's breed gets forgotten by Chapter 37. Often, the book's synopsis can be created with little effort from this planning.

There are many varieties of planner, from simple outliner to fans of Scrivener software to devotees of the Snowflake Method. I'd only recently heard about the Snowflake Method, it's intriguing and seems like a wonderful way to approach a big project by successive approximations, each pass adding and refining the story more detail until you have a novel. I may have to try it sometime.

On the other side of the coin are the pantsers. Writing by the seat of the pants is the oldest form of the art, predating the written word. I was at a writer's retreat once, and sat in slack-jawed awe, listening as one of the other writers there spun a story *live* for all of us sitting around. Just made it up on the spot. No notes, no paper, no computer, nothing but her brain and her voice. And it was good. Sure, had it been written down, it would have needed editing and trimming and such to make it more readable and suitable for publication. But this was a raw, improvisational exercise that held the room spellbound as the oral story unfolded.
My first couple of novels, including Four 'til Late, were entirely pantsed. With Four 'til Late, I started out with a concept: an amateur ghost hunter protagonist and his friends set out on a haunted road trip. I had no idea what was causing the haunting at first, all I knew was they'd be beset by supernatural troubles the whole way from Indianapolis to New Orleans. A couple of chapters in, after the characters interacted with each other, I discovered what kind of people they were, what the main character's history with each was, and this made the source of the hauntings more obvious to me. All I had to do was steer the story toward the hazy ending this suggested, and with each passing chapter, it became more and more inevitable in my head.

Of course, a pantser isn't free at that ending. No, instead of doing all the structural work up front, they save it for the end. Having made up a full story, they can go back and revise and refine the story, hack out parts that don't fit, build up new parts to better support the ending, and so on.

Both methods require some form of this. Beta readers help reveal parts of the story that are clear to the author but not so clear to the reader. Editing helps refine both awkward parts of the story and the grammar, spelling/typos, and general language polishing.

I said my first couple of books were pantsed. I have not become a detailed planner, but I've seen the value of at least a little preparation before starting down the road to writing the novel. I do what I call laying down rails for the story to run along. Similar to the Snowflake Method, I start out very rough, just an idea of a beginning/middle/end in three acts, then I break those down into smaller pieces, what I think will become chapters. At the very least, this grocery list approach to sketchy outlining lets me know what comes next when I find myself stalling out on forward momentum writing. Pantsing has that risk, and when I wrote Reality Check, my outline was TOO sketchy and I almost gave up on it. Instead, I wrote a grocery list outline for the rest of the book and got my story back on rails and regained my momentum.

So am I a Pantser or a Planner? I'd say I'm still a Pantser at heart, but I like those rails to run my story on. If it jumps the track, it's usually because the story seemed too forced. So, I'll stop at the at point, see where the new direction is taking me, and lay down new rails. I know my way isn't for everyone, but I thought I'd share to show there's not just two ways to approach storytelling. There are many, within and outside of the two broad categories.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog Eric. I suspect I'm half planner half pantser too, and I'm really looking forward to reading Four 'Til Late.

ericgarrison-PhotoAbout the Author: Eric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and four cats. He also enjoys gaming and homebrewing beer. Seventh Star Press published the first of his Road Ghosts trilogy, Four 'til Late, in July of 2013. The other two are expected to come out later in 2013. Eric's novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. This book reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon's Kindle store during a promotion in July 2013. Eric's short story, "Drag Show" appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of Strange, Weird and Wonderful Magazine and Volume 2 of that magazine's anthology series. His flash piece, "Dark Reflection", appeared in the Indiana Horror 2011 anthology. He's competed twice in the Iron Writer Challenge with two 500-word flash pieces, "Killer Cure" and "Moby Me".    

FourTilLate_CoverAbout the Book: In Four 'til Late, amateur ghost hunter Brett and his friends Gonzo, Jimbo, and Liz are on a road trip with dangerous detours, dreadful dreams and dire warnings. But that won't keep them from reaching their goal: New Orleans. Along the way they discover that some spirits leave you with more than a hangover and regrets. Can they get there in one piece, or will they be stopped and rest in peace? The bags are packed, the engine's running. Turn up the radio and get moving because the road ghosts are waiting, and it's Four 'til Late. Four 'til Late is the first book of the Road Ghosts Trilogy.

Author Links:

 To find out more, follow the tour:

9/23 Laura VanArendonk Baugh Blog Contest
 9/23 Lost Inside the Covers Review
 9/23 The Dan O’Brien Project Promo Spotlight
 9/24 The Flipside of Julianne Guest Post
 9/24 Celticlady’s Reviews Promo Spotlight
 9/25 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post
 9/25 Jess Resides Here Character Interview  
9/26 Pick of the Literate Promo Spotlight
 9/26 Word to Dreams Review
 9/26 Come Selahway With Me Interview
 9/27 MikesFilmTalk Promo Spotlight
 9/27 Sheila Deeth Guest Post
 9/27 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
 9/28 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Promo Spotlight
 9/28 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews Character Interview
 9/29 I Smell Sheep Promo Spotlight
 9/29 Mochas, Mysteries, and More Promo Spotlight

 And to buy the book, go to:
Amazon Print Version
Kindle Version

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meeting Destiny

Today I'm delighted to welcome Andrea Buginsky to my blog, author of The Chosen middle-grade series, and the new Destiny series. Andrea's offering a free mobi copy of her novel--scroll down to enter your details in the rafflecopter. And today she's going to tell us about what Destiny means to her. Over to you Andrea, and welcome to my blog:

What Destiny Means to Me
by Andrea Buginsky
Destiny is a book I’ve been working on off-and-on for several years. It started out as a project for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), an annual event that takes place in November in which you are supposed to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote…and I burned out. I couldn’t complete the competition.

But the good news was that I had a great, no, an awesome start, on a brand new book. And it was a book I really enjoyed writing. But because of the burnout, it was a book that I put away and hid from for a long time. Every so often, I would take it out and work on it a little at a time, then put it away again.

Finally, at the beginning of the year, I decided to set a goal for myself: I planned to finish the book and get it published before the end of the year. And here we are, September, and I have completed my goal!

Having Destiny completed means so much to me. It shows me that I can reach the goals I set for myself, that I can, as I tell my readers, reach for the stars and make my dreams come true. It is such a wonderful feeling. And the cherry on top of the sundae is that I did this book on my own. It is my first self-published book, and I enjoyed the process immensely. I had a wonderful support and creative team behind me, including my loving editor and fantastic cover designer. I also have a fantastic mentor who helped me so much throughout the journey.

So now, here I am, enjoying the big release of my book, and seeing how far my baby will go. My other books will always mean a lot to me, too, of course, but Destiny is now the baby of the family, and, as we youngest children know, the baby gets a lot of attention.

Until the next baby is born, at least… (Stay tuned)

Thank you Andrea. I, for one, will certainly stay tuned. I've never dared try NaNoWriMo 'cause November's such a busy month anyway. But I did do my own OctWriMo one year, and I know what you mean about the burnout.

So... a few more details about Destiny and Destiny's Tour... (And don't forget to scroll down for the rafflecopter!) 

Destiny--New Avalon, by Andrea Buginsky is the first in a new middle-grade/young-adult series combining the mystique of Arthurian legends with the modern down-to-earth feel of Harry Potter, and satisfying my childhood wish for more female heroes. The author, Andrea Buginsky, is touring the internet with her new novel (and a great rafflecopter opportunity to win your own mobi copy--scroll down to enter).


Constantly teased and taunted by the popular girls, Elena Baxter desperately wants to fit in. On her sweet sixteenth, she receives two shocking gifts: telekinesis and the surprising truth about her heritage. With high hopes that things will be different now, Elena returns to school to find that nothing has changed. Only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand.
When her powers explode, chaos ensues and she learns that her new ability is greater than she ever desired. As she learns to control her powers, Elena discovers there’s so much more to her heritage than she ever imagined.


Lonely Elena’s looking forward to seeing her Godmother Isabel when she turns 16. But her family has some surprises in store as Arthurian myths become Pagan reality in the modern world. The effects of uncontrolled magic in a normal American school in a normal town are a little dramatic. But Elena has unexpected friends who can help her out, and soon she’s travelling to the secret Island of Avalon of the coast of England, where mystery and history combine.
Being English, of course, I wanted to know more about where Avalon might be, why people would take planes rather than trains to travel around England, and precisely which Arthurian legends would qualify as real. But bigger questions give this story its depth: the relationships between good and evil, power and responsibility, and unity and control for a start. It’s a pleasing novella where a studious American high-school girl enters a magical boarding school, meets prophesy and destiny, majors in pizza and alchemy, and learns where she belongs. The story’s light with just a hint of darkness in the wings, nicely tuned to middle school readers, and a fun way to start a new series.

Disclosure: I volunteered to read a free eARC and give my honest opinion.


As Elena bounded back up the stairs, her mom watched, smiling, thinking about the last 16 years, and of all this next one would bring.  She knew there would be a lot of changes, more so than Elena could possibly know, and she was looking forward to every one of them.  She could hardly wait for Isabel’s arrival the next day so they could finally tell Elena the truth about who she was, and help her to blossom and start to become whom she was meant to be.

 Find out more at the other stops on Andrea's Tour:
Emerald Barnes 9/16/2013 Interview
Wayne Murphy 9/17/2013 Excerpt
A.R. Silverberry 9/18/2013 Interview
Tammy Hall 9/19/2013 Review/Promo
Sharon Martin 9/20/2013 Promo
Laurie Jenkins 9/21/2013 Author Spotlight/Character Interview
Vincent Morrone 9/22/2013 Guest Post
JLB Creatives Blog 9/23/2013 Interview
Sheenah Freitas 9/24/2013 Guest Post
James DiBenedetto 9/25/2013 Guest Post
Sheila Deeth 9/26/2013 Guest Post
Lisa Day 9/27/2013 Author Spotlight
Alexia Boesen 9/28/2013 Review
Bonnie Trachtenberg 9/29/2013 Guest Post

About the author:

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen,” a middle-grade fantasy novelette, was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea is currently working on another series: a YA fantasy. To learn more about Andrea, visit her on her website

or link up with her in one of the places below:

Twitter: @andreabuginsky

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