Artist Date, Blogging, The Creativity Diary, writers life, writing

The Creativity Diary W.1

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Irishtown Nature Park

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful week so far!

I didn’t complete all my goals, but that’s okay :). Before I share my diary log, let’s take a look at how creativity and health are connected.

Creativity and Health 

I wasn’t surprised to come across an article about how a creative life helps our health. People feel happier when they create, are resilient, and are less anxious.  It’s an exciting find for sure.

On a personal level, writing has filled my life with purpose and joy. I love learning about the craft and studying stories. My world is fuller because of the friends I have made in the #writingcommunity.

How has your artistic pursuit helped you?

Creativity Log 

Friday – I free wrote for around an hour and a half. Worked on worldbuilding questions and rethought some of my character arcs. Honestly, the best thing I did was unplug from the wifi :). I felt hopeful after my session.

Saturday – Reread the first 50 pages of my Celtic fantasy and added revision notes.

Sunday – Played around with a watercolor set and watched a few YouTube videos. I haven’t completed anything yet, but it’s a lot of fun 🙂

Monday – I received notes on my Bluebeard retelling and edited the first 50 pages 🙂

Tuesday – Revised five chapters of my Celtic fantasy. Made an Excel spreadsheet to track every scene in the novel.

Wednesday – I went to Irishtown Nature Park for the first time with my friend in the morning. Snapped some nature shots. Photography is a passion of mine, and I love nature. It’s a nice change from sitting at a desk.

Thursday – Wrote a poem and took some photos of the ocean.

Next Week

I have family visiting next week, so I’m going to try and wake up earlier. Here are my goals:

  • Finish revising the next five chapters of my Celtic fantasy.
  • Revise the next five chapters of Bluebeard. ( Hoping to send these two projects to betas and CP’s soon 🙂 )
  • Attempt a flower watercolor piece

How about you? I would love to hear about your creative pursuits from this past week 🙂 ! What do you hope to accomplish next week?

Until next time,

Loie xo

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Artist Date, Blogging, The Creativity Diary, writers life, writing

The Creativity Diary Blog Series

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Photo by Amber Lamoreaux on Pexels.com

Hey everyone,

How are you doing? Happy Friday! The weekend is near 🙂

Today I’m celebrating my 28th birthday. As I was driving to a local cafe, I started thinking about new goals for this year. I want to focus more on writing and other creative pursuits (crocheting, painting, candle-making, pottery, crafting, etc.).

That’s why I’ve decided to start a brand new blog series called The Creativity Diary 🙂

It’s so easy to say we don’t have any time to pursue our creative dreams. I know I did that a couple of years ago and still do depending on the week. I feel frustrated when a week or two goes by, and I haven’t done anything to further my creative journey.

I want to encourage you to chase after your dreams. You can start by making a small step forward.

Every Friday, I’ll write up a post about how my week went and what things I did each day. I may share some interesting finds on creativity and ways to stay focused.

Each day will look different. Today I unplugged from the internet. I wrote in my journal and brainstormed ways to strengthen the plot in my Celtic fantasy. Maybe tomorrow I will work on my rag rug while watching an episode of a kdrama 😀

The goal is to pursue art every day, even if it’s something small 🙂 Victoria Schwab tweeted about how she doesn’t write every day but keeps the creative door open. I love that.

Goals for the Upcoming Week

  • I want to finish revising the first 15 chapters of my Celtic fantasy.
  • Play around with my watercolors and paint.
  • Research a local pottery class.

What about you :)? What are your creative goals for the week? Is there something you’ve been putting off? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Blogging, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

DeepMagic E-Zine Submission Opportunity

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Hi everyone!

I hope you’re having a lovely summer so far. Hard to believe it’s August. I have decided to post writing opportunities as I find them.

Here is a submission call for those of you who write sci-fi and fantasy. Consider sending your stories to DeepMagic.

DeepMagic Submission Details

They seek science fiction and fantasy stories ranging from 1,000 to 40,000 words. Please note, DeepMagic caps payment at 10,000 words. They pay $.06 per word.

They do not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions. DeepMagic seeks family-friendly stories. Don’t send them stories with mature sexual themes, profanity, or graphic violence. Read more about how to submit your story

If you want to get an idea of what stories they publish, pick up a copy of their inaugural issue. For this submission period, they close on September 30th! Happy writing, friends.

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

Blogging, Book Love, Giveaway, writers life, writing

LINEAGE Takeover Tour by C. Vonzale Lewis

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Synopsis

Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.

 

With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.

 

Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.

 

Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?

Chapter One

Looking for bright, responsible, career-oriented, self-motivated individuals who have excellent people skills and are able to take high volumes of calls while maintaining a positive attitude. Ability to work with others is a must. 

I glanced down at the advertisement in my hand. I had none of those qualifications according to my last employer—and pretty much all my other previous ones as well. I was, however, a “foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, under-performing”—still didn’t understand that one—“sarcastic, waste of space.” Although, to be fair, only one of the previous employers actually called me a waste of space, and that was because I had stopped sleeping with him. 

This unfortunate lack of options was the reason I stood in the parking lot of Tribec Insurance, smoking the last of my apple-flavored cigars—a habit I learned from my father—wearing a cream-colored dress suit and a pair of matching pumps. I couldn’t afford either of them, and I really hated pumps. But I needed the job, so I dressed the part of the career-oriented, self-motivated candidate the ad was searching for. 

Most of the jobs in the area required a college degree, or at least several years of experience. I had no college degree, and the longest I’d ever been employed at one job was six months. Thankfully, Tribec Insurance was always hiring and had no such requirements—a rarity in the uptight community of Alice where Tribec was located.  

Through a ring of cigar smoke, I took in the phallic structure that was Tribec Insurance. My eyes landed on the small, stone, pyramid-like shape at the top of the building. It reminded me of an Egyptian Obelisk—a symbol to the god Ra. The Egyptian word for it, “Tejen,” meant “protection” or “defense.” 

Why would the occupants of Tribec Insurance erect a symbol of protection or defense on top of the building?  

A slight breeze blew over my bare arms, carrying the salty scent of the ocean and stirring the beads of sweat that had formed on them. My new blouse had molded to my back, and my feet had started to sweat. I was generally used to Tulare Island’s oppressive heat, but the anxious jitters in my stomach had caused my skin to flush. 

I tried to dispel the nervousness in my stomach. Despite the obvious, I didn’t want to show that I was desperate. My best friend Kara spent most of last night trying to prep me for the interview. She advised me to not ask annoying questions, make sarcastic comments, or let my disgruntled attitude show. 

Essentially, she advised me to not be myself. There was a message in there somewhere, but I was choosing to ignore it. 

Out of our original group in high school, Kara was the only one who was still in my life. The only one who actually gave a damn about me. Marta and I hadn’t spoken in years, and as for Steve… Well, it was a long time ago. 

I glanced at my watch. Damn. I guess I had procrastinated long enough. I put out my cigar, grabbed my blazer from the front seat of my car, shoved the advertisement back in my overly large purse, and headed for the building. As I walked, I attempted to wrap my head around the fact that I was essentially asking Tribec Insurance to let me spend my days chained to a desk, listening to complaints from strangers. 

Maybe I should look into prostitution. At least I’d enjoy the job. 

Kara also told me to smile a lot, so I pasted one on, pulled open the glass door, and stepped inside. Only to stop dead in my tracks at the entrance. 

The walls—painted a burnt gold color that reminded me of the sunset—were lined with Egyptian art. Four glass displays, filled with half-head replicas of deities and artifacts, sat in each corner of the room. Green foliage hung from black ceramic pots near the entrance and the elevator. Something was off about the elevator. It wasn’t stainless-steel. No, more like marble. Black marble with gold striations that, at first glance, appeared to be moving. Odd. 

And everything, including the guard station—which sat sunken into the foundation in the middle of the floor—was set up in a spherical configuration. Directly behind the guard station was a set of mahogany double doors, with gold Egyptian hieroglyphs carved around the frame. They were also etched around the guard station. 

Most people on Tulare Island either practiced one of the four principles of magick or knew someone who did. There was, however, a small group of people who, despite the evidence, still refused to believe in magick. They usually carried picket signs outside of herbal and occult shops, telling people they were going to burn in hell, not realizing they were actually practicing faith magick every time they went to church.

Judging from the set-up of the room, and even the obelisk on the top of the building outside, I could hazard a guess—more like an assumption—that the occupants of Tribec Insurance practiced magick. 

Despite my assumption, I couldn’t figure out which of the four principles—earth, elemental, mind, or faith—the people at Tribec used. There was, however, a fifth principle—blood—that to my knowledge, no one practiced anymore. And sadly, I didn’t know enough about it to recognize any symbols associated with its practice. Yet, symbols from the other four were etched all over the walls. Odd. Especially since people only had the ability to practice one. Not all four. 

If it was a job requirement for me to use magick, I was running the hell out of here. I would live in a cardboard box before I got involved with magick. And if I didn’t get a job soon, that was exactly where I’d be living. Especially since I refused to move back in with my parents. I had to grow the hell up sometime.

I moved farther into the lobby; the scent of desert sand wafted around me. It had that baked-on smell that emanated off the ground when the sun was at its peak. It was unusual, but the décor could explain the smell. Especially if they added sand to some of the displays for authenticity. The odor that was definitely out of place was the one directly underneath it.

Blood. It was faint. I could almost chalk it up to imagination. Almost. If it wasn’t so overpowering. 

I moved forward cautiously, my heels clicking on the white-tiled floor, as I tried to pinpoint where the scent was coming from. But the farther away from the door I got, the less I smelled it. I turned and started back toward where I’d first detected the smell. A chair creaked, stopping me in my tracks. The space between my shoulder blades started to itch. I turned.  

The guard behind the desk was watching me. 

I stood there, debating whether or not I should just leave. Yes, I was desperate, but the smell of blood? Was I imagining it? I pulled in a deep breath, trying to find the scent again. Nothing. 

Get it together, Nicole. 

After a short pause, I shook myself mentally, and continued toward the guard station with the guard’s black eyes boring into me. Sizing me up. 

“Can I help you, miss?” He rose to his feet and crossed his arms across his chest.  

I placed him in his late twenties. He had a solid frame, close-cropped black hair, deep set black eyes, and no facial hair. The dark brown suit he wore looked as if it had been poured onto him. Had to be ex-military. 

The gold tag on his shirt read “Oliver Strong.” It suited him. 

“Yes, my name is Nicole Fontane, and I’m here for an interview with…” I set my purse on the counter, ignoring his pointed glare, and pulled out my tattered notebook. “…a Francine Delaporte at eleven.” 

“Have a seat. I will call someone down to escort you.” He inclined his head in the direction of the red leather couch on the right.  

“Okay, thanks,” I said as I mentally extended my middle finger. Everything about him rubbed me the wrong damn way.  

I sat and placed my purse beside me on the couch—the damn thing weighed a ton—and picked up one of the brochures for Tribec Insurance. While I sat there leafing through it, another security guard walked up and blocked my view of the sun. Well, he would have if there had been one inside the building. This burly bastard had tree trunks for arms and a head that resembled a boulder. Did they chisel him from a mountain?   

“Ms. Fontane?” the guard grumbled. It sounded as if his voice came from a gut full of rocks.

 I stood, which put me at eye level to his massive chest and the name tag pinned to his shirt that read “Duncan Glass.”

Maybe when they hired their guards, they assigned them names as well. 

“Yes.” I tried to push myself up a few inches more. I was already wearing three-inch heels, bringing my total height to five nine, yet this massive behemoth still towered over me. 

“Follow me.” He spun around abruptly and led the way to the elevator. 

I was tempted to salute him, or give him the finger—the damn bossy bastard. 

Calm down, Nicole. You need this job. 

Duncan pulled a card from his pocket and inserted it into a slot located on the right side. I guess that answered my question about the oddity of the elevator. Besides the strange composition, they didn’t have a call button. They sure did have a high level of security for an insurance company. Maybe they denied more claims than they approved. Greedy bastards. 

When the doors slid open, Duncan extended his arm out. “Ms. Fontane.” 

I stepped inside. 

Once the doors were closed, he inserted his card into another slot, and a display lit up with a list of floors. 

The number thirteen was among them.

I had once read somewhere that all older buildings either omitted the thirteenth floor or renamed it. It all stemmed from a superstition that the thirteenth floor was unlucky. I wasn’t superstitious, but I did find it interesting they chose to include it. 

“They have a thirteenth floor,” I said.  

“It comes after twelve.”

While I was no stranger to snide comments I really didn’t like others using them on me. Bastard.  

A few moments later, the elevator doors opened and, thankfully, deposited us on the seventeenth floor. I followed Duncan to a set of offices in the center of the floor. He stopped at the first door in a row of three that faced the elevators. The silver name plate affixed to it read: Francine Delaporte. After he rapped on it three times, he planted his feet a few inches apart and placed his hands behind his back. 

Maybe Duncan thought he was still in the military.  

I took in the room while I waited. Cameras inside small black orbs dotted the ceiling. A hazy gray tint covered the windows, allowing minimal light to filter into the room. Industrial gray walls sported a few framed “inspirational” quotes that referred to “teamwork” and “having a positive attitude.” They even had the stupid “Hang in There” poster with a cat hanging off a wire.

Even the partitions that divided the employees’ desks were gray. The only break up in the ashen color were the fake wood desks. 

It reminded me of a mental asylum. 

The majority of the people in the office were women, with a few men thrown in here and there. Did they believe women were more suited to talking on the phone? Either way, everyone in the room was pasty, their eyes sunken in, wearing expressions that suggested they had given up on life. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were all former tenants of the asylum, dressed up in over-sized clothes and forced into the role of “employee.” 

The fact that no one looked up when Duncan and I got off the elevator supported my theory. They just sat there in their little black chairs, talking into their headsets, all repeating what sounded like the same practiced spiel in monotonous tones, a few minutes behind one another. Like a rolling set of waves crashing against the most boring shore imaginable. 

I turned back to Duncan. He still stood at ease in front of Francine Delaporte’s door. What the hell was taking this woman so long? My feet were killing me. Like an idiot, instead of breaking the shoes in after Kara left last night, I had curled up on the couch with a bottle of Samuel Adams, contemplating my limited options. My little pity party of one ended at midnight when I realized my only option was one I wasn’t willing to entertain.  

As I switched my purse from my right shoulder to my left, I caught sight of a faint circular line drawn around the cubicles. I stared at the ground, unsure if I was seeing things, or if there really was a line drawn on the floor. I straightened and moved to the left, trying to follow it. As I stood there transfixed, someone brushed their frigid hand across my exposed neck.

Coldness raced down my spine, and the scent of sand filled my nostrils.   

I whipped around. 

Duncan was gone. 

In his place stood a woman wearing a red paint suit. Given that she was at least five feet away from me with her hands down at her sides… Who the hell had touched my neck? 

Francine extended her hand and smiled. “Hello. Ms. Fontane?”

I stepped forward, my legs suddenly weak, and took her hand. “Hi.” I cleared my throat. “Yes, I’m Nicole Fontane.”

“I’m Francine Delaporte. Let’s get started.”  She let go of my hand and walked into her office. 

I rubbed the back of my neck, trying to warm the sudden chill that had settled there. I glanced around the room. The employees remained at their desks, staring rapt at their computer screens. 

A cool breeze circled the room, pulling my gaze toward the ceiling. An air vent sat directly above me.  

Before I entered Francine’s office, I glanced down at the floor. The markings were gone. Maybe I had imagined them. And maybe the air-conditioning explained the feeling of someone brushing their fingers across my neck.

Yes—for sanity’s sake, I was going to go with that. 

Just my overactive imagination. 

Tour Wide Giveaway

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Prize:

  • Paperback Signed copy of Lineage & Book Swag (US Only)

  • Lineage E-Book

  • To enter:

  • – Must be following  @theparliamentpress and @carlavlewis

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bed2728519/

Rules:
-No giveaway accounts
-Must be 18 + or have parents consent

-Must be able to provide an email for the E-Book.

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any other company.

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Author Carla V. Lewis

Author – Instagram: (carlavlewis)

Facebook: (CVLauthor)

Twitter: (cvonzalelewis)

Website: (www.cvonzalelewis.com)

Publisher

Instagram: (@theparliamentpress) Twitter: @parliamentbooks

Facebook: The Parliament House

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Collateral Damage by Taylor Simonds TAKEOVER TOUR

Collateral Damage by Taylor Simonds

Publisher: The Parliament House

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Book Synopsis

Power. Courage. Invincibility. The marks of a true hero.

 

Meg Sawyer has none of these things.

 

Meg has never stopped a moving bus with her bare hands, been bitten by a radioactive insect, or done anything moderately resembling saving the world. She doesn’t have to. She’s a background citizen, a nobody, one of the swarms of faceless civilians of Lunar City–where genetically enhanced superhumans straight out of the comics have thwarted evil for years.

 

For as long as the Supers have existed, Meg has had one goal: to not become a casualty in their near-daily battles for justice. And for the last seventeen years, she’s managed to do just that. Sure, her minimum-wage job at the local coffee shop isn’t great, she can’t even leave her apartment without loading herself up with protective gear, and her car was just hijacked to throw at a supervillain (again), but she’s not dead yet.

 

But when Meg accidentally finds one of the city’s perfect, invincible protectors murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, her whole “innocent bystander” strategy falls apart. After being coerced by his determined girlfriend into a mission to help prevent the deaths of the remaining Supers, Meg finds herself forced into the foreground of a story she never wanted to be part of—one that challenges everything she thought she knew about both her city and herself.

Pick up your copy today 🙂

Author Taylor Simonds

Author – Instagram: (@taylor_on_tour),  Twitter: (tay_simonds),

Visit her website!

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Q&A with Taylor Simonds

  1. Q: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.

 

A: I don’t know if two books is enough to supply a scientifically justifiable pattern, but pretending it is, here’s the process: 

1) A book premise and ending drop themselves into my head fully formed. I know who my characters are and where they’re going and I have no idea how they’re going to get there. 

2) I pants. I write without an outline. It is bad. “The first draft is telling the story to yourself!” I scream at myself as I write many, many bad words that I know I will delete later. 

3) Somewhere around the 40,000-word mark, I realize that I have made a crucial error in developing one of my lead characters. That personality isn’t right at all. I have to fix it. Wait, I need to change the opening scene to match the characterization I actually want them to have. Wait, none of these characters are right. This worldbuilding is so half-baked. This would make a much better inciting incident. What am I doing? 

4) I move all 40,000 words to a file labeled “WIP Dumping Grounds” and start over from scratch. 

5) I do this three more times until I have 40,000 words I don’t hate and then I finish the book, still screaming.

 

  1. Q: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

 

A: I have to know who my characters are before I start writing, or the story will never get written—I’m the world’s worst pantser, so all I ever know going into a book is who my book is about and where they’re trying to get to. For COLLATERAL DAMAGE I had a set of references for each character to use as a template for if I got stuck (Meg was Mia Thermopolis x Veronica Sawyer x Darcy Lewis x Haruhi Fujioka, for example, mixed with a few friends I know in real life). I feel like if I can understand my characters on as many levels as possible—what they want, what they fear, what they’re trying to accomplish, who or what raised them, how they connect to others, how they talk and move—they’ll become as familiar to me as real people. And if I let them act like real people, they’ll naturally make choices that create the plot.

 

  1. Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

A: DISNEY WORLD RESORTS. I’m so lucky that I live so close to them. I work from home as an editor most of the time and if I had to stay in my bedroom all day I’d go crazy, so my favorite thing to do is go work at one of the themed hotels. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation, and it’s so easy to be inspired when every aspect of the Disney brand relies so heavily on thematic storytelling. My top three spots are Beach Club, which makes me feel like I’m on a cruise ship, Wilderness Lodge, which makes me feel like I’m on a writing retreat in the woods, and the Grand Floridian, which is just fancy.

 

  1. Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

 

A: Yes! COLLATERAL DAMAGE is a play on the superhero genre, which I’m a huge fan of, so there are Easter eggs and references all over the place. No real names or exact details are used, of course, but they’re clear enough for a potential fellow nerd to be like “Wait, this feels like Spider-Man. That’s a Flash joke. That thing covered in gemstones they just walked past in the vault is totally the Infinity Gauntlet.” Stuff like that.

 

  1. Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

 

A: I prefer each book to stand on its own! One of my favorite concepts is “leave the reader wanting more, not needing more.” I’m an advocate for letting books work on their own as a self-contained unit; I don’t like it when a story ends with all of its ends still loose. I shouldn’t have to buy another book to know how the first book’s conflict wraps up! I think of it as a TV series—you know how each season typically has a central theme, antagonist, character arc, collection of new characters, etc.? By the end of the season, almost everything that has been presented should have reached a conclusion—but then the last episode will hit you with a tease that there’s more to come, like the camera shift to the looming Upside-Down after the school dance scene at the end of Stranger Things. I prefer books in a series to work in the same way—when a reader picks up a book, they’re being invited on a journey, and it’s unfair to the reader to cut that journey short. Without giving anything away from the end of COLLATERAL DAMAGE, there is definitely room for a sequel eventually because it’s superheroes, but I don’t think anyone would feel confused or infuriated if this was the only book in this world that ever got written. I like to put bows on things!

Publisher

Instagram: (@theparliamentpress) Twitter: @parliamentbooks

Facebook: The Parliament House

Tour Wide Giveaway

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Prize:

  • US ONLY: Paperback copy of Collateral Damage

  • INTERNATIONAL: Collateral Damage E-Book!

  • To enter:
  • – Must be following @theparliamentpress and @taylor_on_tour

– Go to @theparliamentpress and click on the link in their bio to enter.

For 1 extra entry share the giveaway image (swipe to see giveaway image) in your IG story and tag author and publisher.

Rules:
-No giveaway accounts
-Must be 18 + or have parents consent

-Must be able to provide an email for the E-Book

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any other company.

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Blogging, Book Love, canadian authors, Cover Reveals, writers life, writing

Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto Cover Reveal

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share this gorgeous cover for Nicki Pau Preto’s upcoming novel, Heart of Flames! Isn’t it lovely? It is the sequel to Crown of Feathers. Check out the synopsis for this book below. Kekai Kotaki is the artist behind this amazing cover 🙂

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Veronyka, Tristan, and Sev must stop the advancing empire from destroying the Phoenix Riders in this fiery sequel to Crown of Feathers, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake calls “absolutely unforgettable!”

You are a daughter of queens.

The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders.

Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire.

Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself.

Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin.

As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process.

I pray you are able to pass through the flames.

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Can’t wait for this book 🙂 It releases in February 2020. I’m part of Nicki’s street team, First Riders. It’s been a blast connecting with fellow book lovers. ❤ Happy reading, everyone!

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Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Hook & Crown by Nicole Knapp TAKEOVER TOUR

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Publisher: The Parliament House

Book Title: Hook & Crown

Q & A with Author Nicole Knapp

Q: Who are your favorite authors?

A: My all time favorite authors are Sarah J Maas, Tahereh Mafi, Stephanie Garber and J.K. Rowling

Q: What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

A: Rowling I used to really dislike the Bronte sisters, but as I read their novels again at an older age I really enjoy them now.

Q: What is the first book that made you cry?

A: The Fault In Our Stars, I was a mess reading it.

Q: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

A: I would much rather be original than cater to a specific audience. I want to gain my own readers by standing apart from the crowd.

Q: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.

A: Honestly, my writing process is a mess. I jot down random ideas all the time and mull them over until inspiration strikes, then I take it from there. I tend to end up with a lot of not finished writing projects.

Q: Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?

A: I really relate to Elena from Hook & Crown. A girl trying to find her place, sick of relying on relationships to make her happy, but a hopeless romantic deep down. I put a little of myself into all of my heroines.

Q: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

A: Typically I have a good idea of who I want them to be, but as I write, and the story takes shape, the characters do change a bit. I like to start off with a good base of who they are and let them grow like a real person. I feel that makes them more real and relatable.

Q: What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

A: Fallen by Lauren Kate or Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Those series don’t get enough love and are great books!

Q: What is your favorite childhood book?

A: Peter Pan, of course!

Q: Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

A: Absolutely! I go through times when I read 3 books in a week, and other times where I won’t touch a book for months. It’s a vicious cycle.

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

A: I like to write on my couch, in the middle of the night. That’s when I do my best work.

Q: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

A: Writing a male character is definitely tough! The hardest part is writing from their POV because I truly don’t know how they think sometimes, and I don’t want them to sound too feminine.

Q: How do you select the names of your characters?

A: I keep a list of names that I like, and I pick from that.

Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

A: I love using bits of my real life in my writing, or bits from conversations I’ve had with people in real life as dialogue in my stories. The only people who would ever notice are the ones who were there for the event or conversation.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write (without giving spoilers of course)?

A: The scene inside Skull Rock in Hook & Crown! It took me forever to get it just right. Switching between the three characters POVs and making the timing of all three line up was tough! Plus it is a major scene in the book and it needed to be perfect.

Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

A: I would love for my books to connect to each other! Obviously, not ever single book I wrote, but the current ones I’m working on, yes.

Q: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar?

A: A cat for sure! Loves naps and lounging in the sun, kind of a jerk sometimes, and nocturnal. Me all the way!

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

A: Start writing seriously sooner.

Q: How many hours a day do you write?

A: At least 3, mostly at night, but also throughout the day. Sometimes as much as 8 hours a day on a good writing day.

Q: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

A: Too many!

Author Nicole Knapp

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Author – Instagram (@author.nicole.knapp)

 

Publisher

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Facebook: The Parliament House

Giveaway

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Prize:

– US ONLY Winner – Set of four Hook & Crown inspired candles from Talking Candles and Hook & Crown E-Book.

 

-International Winner – Hook & Crown E-Book!

To enter:

– Must be following @theparliamentpress @author.nicole.knapp

For an additional entry follow @talkingcandles

– Go to @theparliamentpress and click on the link in their bio to enter.

For 1 extra entry share the giveaway image (swipe to see giveaway image) in your IG story and tag author and publisher.

Rules:
-No giveaway accounts
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Enter here.

Book Synopsis

You’ve heard of Neverland and its inhabitants… Fairies, pirates, mermaids and a boy who didn’t want to grow up. But you can’t always believe the stories.

 

Elena Hart arrives in London, bound for a new boarding school operated by her estranged uncle. A fresh start is exactly what she needs. But when strange things begin happening, things she can’t explain, she begins to wonder if she has lost her mind.

Until the night a strange girl appears in her room, claiming to be a fairy from Neverland, come to take her to the fantasy world at the request of its ruler.

Skeptical, Elena refuses. But the following night, a young man with strange green eyes appears, and though she tries to resist his charms, something about him draws her in and Elena is whisked away from the world she knows, to a world she always thought was make believe.

But when she arrives in Neverland, it is nothing like the stories and Elena realizes that she must figure out for herself who the true heroes and villains are.

Pick up this book here 🙂

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