Artist Date, Blogging, canadian authors, Country Life, Uncategorized, writers life, writing

Taking Time to Refill the Creative Well

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April 30th, 2019

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I blogged about my writing journey. I didn’t write a lot in April. I did, however, spend time planting flowers, walking on the beach, and reading books.

In April, I noticed I was starting to feel stressed out about my novels. The words weren’t coming. I felt like I was scribbling empty words. I would write a chapter and go back and delete it. I know some people suggest you have to write something down so you can revise it. This time felt different.

I needed a creative break.

I took time off from my seafaring project, THE LOST SAGES, and dabbled in another story world for a bit. I wrote snippets of dialogue and explored the setting. I heard back from my wonderful critique partners who read TLS. I have a pile of notes 🙂

Now that we’re on the cusp of May, I’m working on a plan for revisions. I don’t feel burned out but instead excited to dive back in. What do you do when you’re feeling drained?

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Hopewell Rocks, NB (little Maggie May in the corner, haha)

I enjoy going to the beach and walking. I especially love finding sea glass.

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Happy writing, friends ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Blogging, Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Smoke and Key Blog Tour

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Smoke and Key

by Kelsey Sutton

Release Date: April 2019

Entangled Teen

Summary:

A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.

My Review

I really enjoyed Smoke and Key. I found it quite unique and different from the beginning of the novel. I love novels where you feel immersed in the new story world. With Smoke and Key, from the first page, I felt like I was there. There is a lot of atmosphere in this book and I think Kelsey Sutton is a masterful storyteller.

The magical world of the Under is super cool. If you’re looking for something romantic, mysterious, and creepy, definitely consider picking this book up. I think this novel shines in its uniqueness 🙂  4 stars.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase links can be found HERE!

kelsey sutton

About the Author

Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

 

GIVEAWAY:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb554951328/

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24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

Submit Your Stories: Grumpy Old Gods Anthology

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Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

March 6th, 2019

Hi friends, how are you making out?

Today, I’m going to share a fun submission opportunity. I shared about the first Grumpy Old Gods Anthology during #24DaysofWriting. Well, they had nearly 100 submissions and 11 spaces to fill! They’ve decided to send out a call for volume 2.

What’s the Call About?

The editors want stories about mythical Gods or Goddesses who are retired, missing from their post, waning, or ignoring their job responsibilities. They’re seeking speculative fiction at around 3000-4000 words.

The deadline to submit is March 30th, 2019. You can send your submission to grumpyanthology@gmail.com. Find out more information about the call here.

Why You Should Consider Submitting

Personally, I find these submission opportunities a lot of fun. I get to flex my creative muscles and work with a specific prompt. The story I wrote for the first call was a ton of fun. I wrote about Beira from The Winter Crone and created her origin story.

Even though this story wasn’t selected for the anthology, I know where I can use it someday. I’m hoping to research and outline a novel based on Beira and Alaor this summer when I get a chance.

These prompts are fun. You can take a break from editing/drafting novels 🙂 Happy Wednesday!

Until next time,

Loie xo

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

Rewriting and Querying Update

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

February 21st

Hi friends, it’s been a while since I’ve written a personal post. I’ve had a lot of interviews, cover reveals, and reviews so I thought I’d change it up today.

Firstly, how is everyone doing 🙂 ? Have you had a good winter/summer season so far, wherever you might be?

I’m going to share about my writing journey today.

Rewriting

Right now, I’m rewriting my creepy Bluebeard retelling. You can find one version of the fairy tale here.

This was actually the first novel I ever attempted to write. I began it when I was 20 years old and living in Toronto. I went to a local cafe every day, dutifully putting in my hours, haha 🙂 I remember thinking to myself, if I don’t start writing, I’m never going to!

I decided to try my hand at a fairy tale retelling. That year I had been inspired by Marissa Meyer’s ingenious futuristic fairy tale, Cinder.

I began writing that story but came to a dead end at around 30,000 words. That fall, I started a story that would later become THE LOST SAGES, my seafaring fantasy I’m currently querying.

Alas, as I query THE LOST SAGES, I’ve decided to rewrite my Bluebeard story. It’s been so much fun to dive back into that world. I feel excited when I get to the computer. It’s a nice change and helps with the querying angst, hahah!

Querying

Querying isn’t easy. It can be discouraging and upsetting at times. I have to remind myself why I write. If I forget, I get caught up in striving and ruminating about finding an agent.

I’ve read many interviews, and a lot of authors say it only takes one yes 🙂 Don’t give up, friends! Remember why you write ❤ Also, make sure you research the publisher or agent you’re sending your manuscript to.

I hope you feel encouraged. We’ve got this! We can ALWAYS keep improving our craft.  We can work hard and write the best story possible. Find critique partners and swap novels or chapters.

Yesterday, as I reread a chapter from the middle of TLS, I grinned to myself. It read like a real book 😀 What a nice feeling and boost to keep going.

Have a good week. I’m going to return to regular blogging. I’d like to keep posting more calls for submissions and interviews with authors.

Let me know what you’re working on in the comments below 🙂

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

Artist Date, Blogging, Book Love, canadian authors, Country Life, Nature, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

The Artist’s Way

January 17th

Hi everyone! I am rereading Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. In one month, I’ll write up another post about the workbook and exercises.

For those of you who don’t know about Julia’s book, stick around ❤

The Artist’s Way

This is a creative writing method separated into 12 weeks. Julia writes about what creativity is and how to harness it. She suggests you read one chapter a week. There are a series of exercises you should complete along the way 🙂

Morning Pages

Each day, write around three pages in a notebook. You don’t have to plan anything. Write whatever comes into your mind.
I picked up a notebook and reserved it for Morning Pages. I usually write these before I’m about to start work. I write down worries I have, bits of dialogue, or prayers. It’s a pure stream of consciousness.

Artist Date

Once a week, break your routine and take time for yourself. You might listen to music, go for a walk, explore ice caves or paint. Do something that allows you to relax and enjoy life.

Last weekend, I explored Cape Enrage. Wow! What a sight. Not only did I physically benefit from walking about, but I also came up with some new ideas for a short story.

I highly recommend both exercises.

Have Fun Writing

I hope you have a great rest of your week. In a month I’ll blog about my experience with The Artist’s Way.

What are you working on this month? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Blogging, Book Love, Giveaway, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

SECRETS OF TOP SEA Rockstar Book Tour

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Title: SECRETS OF TOPSEA, BOOK 2: THE EXTREMELY HIGH TIDE!

Author: Kir Fox & M Shelley Coats

Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 208

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

 

Talise knows more about the ocean than any kid in Topsea. Any adult, too. As the best-and only-bathymetrist in Topsea, Talise is able to predict important things about the sea, like the next tide (Severely Low with a threat of Wildcard) or the arrival of Seaweed Season. What she can’t predict, however, are her classmates’ behaviors. Sometimes it’s as if they’re speaking different languages.
When Talise discovers a mysterious message in a bottle, her classmates believe it must have been sent by someone stranded on a deserted island. (Not to be confused with a dessert island.) But Talise is convinced the message is meant for her. And it’s telling her to build a boat.
Everyone seems to think Talise is just being silly. Even Talise isn’t exactly sure why she has to build the boat. And who keeps sending those strange messages in a bottle, anyway? All Talise knows is that she’d better finish building her boat fast, because an Extremely High Tide is coming?

EXCERPT 1

 

Typically, Talise spent Saturday mornings with the ocean.

Sometimes she studied tides or examined tide pools. Other times, she put on her wet suit and flippers and buoyancy vest and everything else, and went for a dive in the deep sea—just not the deep-deep sea, since she wasn’t allowed to dive that deep without a buddy.

But the ocean had told Talise to build a boat. So today, she wanted to go to the boat supply shop.

First, Talise had to ask her parents. Fortunately, she was quite fluent in their dialect: Loving/Concerned, usually with a dash of Mystified. She started with her mother, who worked as a consultant. That meant people paid her for expert advice.

“I have never built a boat before, and I am feeling apprehensive,” Talise said. “I would like to consult an expert.

She turned to her father, who worked as a controller. That meant he controlled…Talise wasn’t entirely sure.

“I think that will help me take control of the situation,” she continued. “Along with some boatbuilding supplies, of course. I’ll just need you to accompany me with your credit card—”

“Talise,” her mom said. She had white skin and dark blond hair. “But we had something else in mind for today.”

“We know you’ve been spending a lot of time by yourself lately,” Talise’s father said. He had dark brown skin and black hair.

“Lately?” Talise repeated.

“Especially since Clara is visiting Puerto Rico for the next few weeks,” her mother said. “So we arranged for you to spend the day with Runa!”

“Runa?”

Perhaps Talise looked as upset on the outside as she felt on the inside, because her father patted her shoulder. “She’ll meet you at the pier. I’m sure you’ll have a great time!”

Talise was not so sure.

She squeezed her sea blob as she walked to the beach. She’d really been looking forward to visiting the boat supply shop! Or at the very least, spending more time with her boat schematic. Instead, she was stuck with Runa, the kid Talise had the least in common with.

“She wouldn’t be interested in boat supplies,” Talise muttered.

The air was approximately 71 degrees Fahrenheit, while the ocean was closer to 58 degrees. She’d nearly reached the endless pier when something caught her eye. Her feet tripped, her heart skipped, and she stumbled to a halt, staring at the familiar collection of odd bubbles.

Wiggling her fingers, Talise stuck her hand into the pleasantly mucky sand and grabbed something hard. She wrapped her fingers around it and tugged.

SHLERPP!!!

It was another bottle, even crustier that the first one. Talise pulled out the cork and coughed at the musty smell. She shook out a rolled-up piece of very thin paper, or maybe it was tree bark.

The ocean had sent her another message!

EXCERPT 2

 

Notification: Teeth

 

Courtesy of the Town Committee for Dental and Coastal Hygiene

 

What’s even better than beachcombing for seashells? Beachbrushing … for teeth!

Teeth are a very important part of your skeleton. They’re also fun to collect. Here are some of the types of teeth you might find on Topsea’s beaches.

 

Buckteeth: fun for parties

Sweet teeth: do not eat

Barnacles: these might look like teeth, but they are not actually teeth

Horns: also not teeth

Tusks: also not—wait, these are in fact teeth

Molars: for chewing

Elongated molars: longer than necessary, nobody knows why

Narwhal tusks: fancy sorts of teeth that are often mistaken for unicorn horns; one belongs to a magical animal, the other grows out of a horse’s forehead

Saber teeth: these teeth are extinct

Snapped-off fangs: sharp, pointy, mean-spirited, mostly useless

Oolong: this is a type of tea, not teeth

Pincers: beware

Canines: whimsically named after mythological creatures

Beaks: not teeth—or are they?

Wisdom teeth: these teeth are quite valuable

Baleen: these teeth are a trap

 

There are many places to display your teeth collection: on your windowsill, under your bed, in a heavy-duty safe. Don’t forget to floss!

 

Note: if you ever find a rubber duck with teeth … we don’t know what to tell you.

 

 

About The Authors:

Kir Fox (Kirsten Hubbard) and M. Shelley Coats (Michelle Schusterman) are great friends, longtime critique partners and ardent consumers of the strange and unusual.

 

Find Kir!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Find M!

Website | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will receive a finished copy of SECRETS OF TOPSEA, BOOK 2: THE EXTREMELY HIGH TIDE!, US Only.


Rafflecopter link:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2876/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/7/2019- For the Love of KidLit– Spotlight

1/8/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

1/9/2019- Lisa-Queen of Random– Spotlight

1/10/2019- Character Madness and Musings Spotlight

1/11/2019- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

 

Week Two:

1/14/2019- Loie Dunn– Excerpt

1/15/2019- Daily Waffle – Spotlight

1/16/2019- Twirling Book Princess– Excerpt

1/17/2019- BookHounds YA- Review

1/18/2019- Two points of interest– Review

 

Blogging, Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing

TO DREAM IS TO DIE Rockstar Book Blog Tour

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Title: TO DREAM IS TO DIE

Author: Sarah Lampkin

Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 296

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N

Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It’s something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret’s out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college.

Review

I loved this book so much! It’s a New Adult (NA) book set at Brenna’s college. I hope more NA books will be published in the future. I love reading about older protagonists figuring out life after high school.

Brenna is sarcastic and hilarious. I love her as the main character. Sarah is a lovely writer. The world came alive to me as I read.

One of my favorite parts has to do with Brenna. She walks in the spirit plane – the Fade – when she is sleeping. Also, I’m a huge fan of mystery and this book is full of it. I was always guessing what would happen next.  Intrigued?! Check it out:)

Can’t wait for book 2! 5 stars ❤

Sarah

About Sarah:

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Sarah Lampkin is a 2015 graduate from Lynchburg College with a master’s degree in English. Since graduation, Sarah moved to Northern Virginia to work in the IT field as a Technical Writer while continuing her research for her graduate school thesis. When she isn’t work, Sarah continues her Celtic mythology research and Gaelic studies, while working on the Dead Dreamer series.

Although she currently lives in Northern Virginia, Sarah frequently travels back home to Richmond to visit family, friends, and her godchildren. During the winter months, she is in Richmond more frequently to spend time in the woods hunting and contemplating the meaning of life. She doesn’t always succeed in both endeavors, but the music of nature is worth it for peace of mind.

In her free time, she likes to play RPG video games, and rock climbing. To make sure she can make the most out of her day, she wakes up at 4am every morning to work on her fitness, so in the evening she has time to continue writing. Her passion for writing has been around since high school where she wrote her first short story. It continued as she worked towards her bachelor’s degree, and that is where the Dead Dreamer series began. Although only self- published via online, Sarah’s dream is to write for a living and continue to create fictional worlds where her mind can reside.

Her work mainly focuses on Celtic themes, mixed with elements from the spiritual world. And her characters always have a flair of attitude and sarcasm because writing damsels in distress is something she just can’t do.

READ THE CHILD DREAMER PREQUEL HERE

https://dead-dreamer.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 amazon gift card to giveaway and a Dead Dreamer charm necklace, US only.

1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of TO DREAM IS TO DIE (when available) and a Dead Dreamer Hoodie, US only.

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2872/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

12/31/2018- jrsbookreviews– Excerpt

12/31/2018- Jaime’s World– Spotlight

 

1/1/2019- Texan Holly Reads– Excerpt

1/1/2019- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

 

1/2/2019- Sweet Things– Excerpt

1/2/2019- Bookbriefs– Excerpt

 

1/3/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Excerpt

 

1/4/2019- BookHounds– Excerpt

1/4/2019- Parajunkee– Excerpt

 

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Reese’s Reviews– Review

1/7/2019- Sincerely Karen Jo– Excerpt

 

1/8/2019- Book-o-Craze – Review

1/8/2019- Good Choice Reading– Excerpt

 

1/9/2019- Loie Dunn– Review

1/9/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

 

1/10/2019- Book-Keeping– Review

1/10/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Excerpt

 

1/11/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/11/2019- Whatever You Can Still Betray– Excerpt