Thursday, August 10, 2017

Upcoming Anthology

I've always considered myself a writer who enjoys crafting long pieces, but my published works prove otherwise. Short stories and novellas are what I currently have out. Last year, I delved into writing "drabbles" (100-word pieces, two of mine appeared in a fun Halloween-themed collection), and this year I dabbled with flash fiction. I saw a call for Queer Sci-fi's yearly contest and decided to give it a try. This year's theme, Renewal, struck a chord with me. I wound up writing two pieces and then chose what I considered was strongest (only one 300-word piece allowed). 

Writing that short was a challenge. I wrote one scene where the two main characters bypass simply working together to reach each other on another level, to truly connect. Every word I used became so important. I questioned each one, was it needed, what purpose did it serve, did it move the story? Of course, these are questions I ask during revisions of anything I create, but with such a short word count, being able to tell the story my way took careful consideration. I wound up enjoying the experience.

Of course, just before I submitted it, inspiration struck again and I wound up working in one more line (I was actually a few words under, lol, how unlike me). My story, Coffee Break, was chosen. I look forward to reading them all. Read about the contest and see the list of authors here (or: https://queerscifi.com/flash-fiction-contest/).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Adirondack summer vacation

The beauty of NYS.
For my family's vacation this year we decided to stay in state and traveled to an area we weren't familiar with: the Adirondacks. The trip took almost four hours and I was reminded just how beautiful New York State is. We went to North Country, drove through Lake Placid, and along such visually stunning scenic routes, I was afraid I'd overload my phone with my picture taking. Our destination was in Keene Valley in Essex County at a camp located in Owls Head on Indian Lake.

There's something special about entering that driveway to our camp each year (it's our fourth year of lakeside vacations), the way the trees bend to keep it private, the wilderness aspect of the surroundings, and then when the road opens a bit to reveal the cabin or house. I really loved where we stayed this year. It was obvious the home had been built in the 1800's and had many original doors, window frames and details, mixed in with more modern day appliances and such. Calling where we stayed a "camp" is something my mind still hasn't settled around, but that's the term used in that area.

The scenic driveway.
We could see Indian Lake from the wraparound porch and the view was gorgeous. Inside, the home was spacious with just the right amount of rustic elements to make it charming and homey. The bedrooms were up the stairs and the banister was made of tree branches. Little things like that detail catch a visitor's eye and make the place seem extra 'special.'

Having my three kids around was especially nice, since my oldest daughter graduated college in May and has since moved out. The lake was a good size and the lowest depth of any we've been to. The weather was a mix of clouds and sun, with one day of rain and showers on most of the remaining days. The rain and chilly nights didn't bother me, not when freshly made s'mores and ice cold Coronas were plentiful. Once night settled in, common loons serenaded us with their calls.

Indian Lake at twilight.
We tried fishing (nothing to catch on this trip), kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, and simply sitting on the dock and soaking in the sun and views. Most mornings were spent on the deck with coffee in hand, watching the wildlife and hearing the occasional waves lap against the shore. A chipmunk kept us entertained with his or her frequent perusals around the porch in search of a dropped treat. A squirrel also acted the same way, even though its trips weren't as much. There was a nest of baby birds in the breezeway outside the kitchen. As I prepared dinner for my own family, their hungry cries floated in through the windows. I'd take breaks to watch mom and dad feed their chicks. Every morning we checked on them to see how they'd changed. When our week was up, taking in their amazing transformation from scrawny to fluffy babies made us appreciate the gifts of life we witnessed. We also took a few trips into the town of Monroe to check out a farmer's market and have lunch at a bar and grill (at a place called Mo's-we liked it).

Advice my family readily took.
I didn't write as much as I had planned to. I think my muse went on vacation too. What I did do was read--a lot. I read four books, two novellas, and started a handful of novels. I'm all caught up on Sarah J. Maas's fantastic New Adult fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, (though it is marketed as YA), featuring my favorite YA couple, Feyre and Rhysand. Too bad vacations aren't allowed on Velaris. That's one place I'd love to visit. Our camp provided the perfect backdrop to get lost inside a fantastical land of fae with incredible powers and an endearing love story.  I also re-read Throne of Glass and can now continue on with that series.

The lovely landscape did inspire my imagination and I jotted down lots of notes and ideas. I plotted out one novella and planned out another. I've returned rejuvenated and ready to work. And that's what a vacation is really supposed to do: recharge the batteries and offer a break from our everyday existence. I only wished it lasted longer.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Welcome to the Young Adult Summer Scavenger Hunt #giveaway #YA


Greetings to all hunters! If you're following the hunt in numerical order, you're coming from Author SF Benson's blog. Welcome to stop #127 on The Young Adult Summer Scavenger Hunt. The YA Summer Scavenger Hunt runs through June 7th and is sponsored by The Alliance of Young Adult Authors. This is a great chance for readers to meet some new authors, grab free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes! 

RULES

Each author has been given a special keyword, which will be in bold and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES. All you have to do is visit all the author's sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed short story HERE. There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for prizes like free books, Amazon credit and author swag. Make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they're offering while you're on their site for the keyword.

WHO AM I?
I'm a New Yorker who lives in the Hudson Valley with my family. I love to go urban exploring, photographing the abandoned and forgotten buildings and landscapes. I also adore Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki movies, Jane Austen, LOTR movies,  Netflix marathons and Charleston Chews. I write Young Adult, New Adult and adult fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance. 

Even though I've had some of my works published in anthologies, I'm still learning about publishing while I prepare to release my first set of novels. For now I have three short stories and two novellas. Some are already published, the others are waiting on edits and covers. I hope to have those ready by the end of the summer.


This short story and novella are available on Kindle Unlimited and will also be FREE (dates listed below)



WISHED AWAY - a NA/YA urban fantasy short story FREE on Amazon June 5-6

Sometimes wishes do come true. How they’re handled—that’s scary.

College freshman Maire returns home for Thanksgiving break to discover her abusive father is missing, and mom has redecorated. All she’s ever wished for is to see an end to the fighting. A close friend, Colton, hints that a mysterious urban legend might be real. In order for it to work, she has to be an active participant. Could this be the solution she seeks? If she doesn’t get involved, and her father returns, will things go back to the way they were? Maire struggles to make the right decision—for her long suffering family and herself.


If you like urban legends and seeing bullies punished, I hope you enjoy my story.


POWERLESS - a NA/YA paranormal novella FREE on Amazon June 3-4

A paranormal investigator, a cute ghost, and a monster find themselves trapped inside an abandoned school. No, it’s not the opening line of a joke. That’s become my life.

During the day, I’m Cat, a full-time college student and cupcake decorator. My nights belong to the Paranormal Society of Mannor County where I communicate with the dead-a subject that’s fascinated me ever since the plane crash which robbed me of my parents and my childhood memories. Someday, I hope to encounter a spirit who has seen my mom or dad.

I met cute ghost guy during a recent investigation. From his cryptic messages, I get the feeling he knows me. Why does my cat recognize him? Ghost guy won’t say. Instead, he follows me around, popping up unexpectedly. At first he creeped me out and now, I’ve grown accustomed to having him around.

The monster is the stuff of nightmares. Combined with the dreams of strange kids, this monster and ghost guy are connected to my past. Some are trying to awaken my memories, another is trying to protect me, while the other wants me dead.

What can I do to get the pieces of my life back together and stay alive?


Check out my Amazon Author page and sign up for my newsletter for information on my new releases.

MY KEYWORD: WITH


MY GIVEAWAY:
Since I'm having covers done for my upcoming releases and they're not ready yet, I've decided to give away TWO paperback copies of That Moment When, a YA anthology of 40 short stories. The paperback giveaway is open only to US residents (due to postage costs). There was a printing error with the front cover title and the word "Moment" is missing. Otherwise, the book is fine. Enter below.

Next up on the Hunt is #128, author Emily Martha Sorensen. Have fun!


For rules, updates or trouble-shooting, make sure to check out this main post which will stay updated.
a Rafflecopter giveaway