Friday Cool Stuff!

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Women and Words

OMG you guys, did you totally catch this AWESOME call for submissions yesterday that our own R.G. Emanuelle posted? She’s going to be co-editor on it (which makes it even MORE awesome).

It’s an anthology of Christmas-themed stories through Ylva Publishing and all profits go to the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK and the Ali Forney Center in the US. Both are geared toward helping LGBTQ youth who are homeless or living in hostile environments.

How freaking cool is THAT?

Pretty cool. Here are the deets about the call for submissions. Seriously. Writers, get in on this. What a great time and what a great cause. Whip out your mad writing skillz!

Other goofy/cool/fun stuff I found while traipsing around the Interwebz:

This party tent. I mean, for reals. Who WOULDN’T want to party in a tent that looked like the London Tube? You can fit practically 80…

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The Road Not Taken

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I completely agree with you. Sometimes you just don’t know what will happen when you take a chance and take the road less chosen. How funny that Frost’s poem has been in my mind lately as well. ♡♡

R.G. Emanuelle

Many things have changed for me in the last few years, in all aspects of my life—my work life, my love life, and my writing life. And in all those areas, I’m meeting many new people and doing many new things. All of which have led me to a lot of thinking about roads taken and not taken.

It all starts off with realizing that such-and-such event happened as a result of X, Y, and Z, and had I not done X, Y, and Z, such-and-such wouldn’t have happened.

I’m not talking about the results of deliberate efforts, of working toward those particular goals. If you work really hard at your job with the intention of moving up the ladder and you become a VP,  that’s a result of intentional steps taken.

I’m talking about decisions that we make and roads that we take without really knowing what the consequences…

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Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells

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Women and Words

Wait, is it Christmas again? From the looks outside, you’d think it is. It’s halfway through March already and we’re still looking at snow. Ugh.

Well, never mind that. I have some exciting news. I’ve partnered up with Ylva Publishing to work on a new anthology. The theme is Christmas, and I’m inviting you all to submit something. The anthology is going to be a collection of all different types of stories: sweet, romantic, erotic, humorous…

I am going to be co-editor on the project and I think it’s going to be an interesting journey reading the different stories we get. Christmas elicits so many emotions, good and bad, and I get the feeling that the stories are going to run the gamut. And that’s what I’m hoping for—a variety of styles, emotions, and settings.

Whether you love or hate or are completely indifferent toward Christmas, there may be…

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Erik Schubach: The Guest Post

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Music of the Soul - Cover Thumb

Ok, I’ve never done a guest post before so I am totally clueless as to what I should be writing.  I asked my platypus but he just blinked at me.  Fat lot of help he was.  So I decided to talk about the message behind my Music of the Soul books.

One question that keeps popping up about my books is about the Music of the Soul series.  Readers are always curious about the message I am trying to share with everyone.  “Your scars make you beautiful.”

The entire concept is that we all suffer from scars, whether they be emotional or physical.  These scars should not hinder us and we shouldn’t hide them away as though we are ashamed of them.  We should proudly display them to show that we have taken the very worst the universe could throw at us and survived.  They show our boundless strength, not our weaknesses.

These scars are unique to each person, just as every person has a unique personality.  These differences bring people together, to celebrate these differences.  That is where friendship and love are at its strongest.

I know it sounds as if I’m standing on a soapbox, but it is truly how I view the world and the people around me and I want to share that with the world through the stories I tell in my books.

That’s why each of the strong women that I write about wind up showing themselves and the world, that their perceived weakness is their greatest strength.

The other message I like to impress upon my readers time and time again is that bullying, bigotry, and hate have to end.  Bullying isn’t something that is over after an incident, it can have lasting and often lifelong effects on the person being bullied.  It just fosters negativity instead of eradicating it.  The same goes for bigotry and hate.

Each and every one of the Music of the Soul books, carries these messages as well as the simple message that beauty is often hiding where most people never think to look.

 

About the author:

I got my start writing romance novels by accident. I have always been drawn to strong female characters in books, like Honor Harrington. And I also believe that there is a lack of LGBT characters in media. So one day I came up with a story idea that combines the two… two days later I completed the manuscript for Music of the Soul.

My writing style may not be the most professional nor grammatically correct, but I never profess to be an English major, just a person that wants to share a story. I maintain that my primary language is sarcasm.

Each of my books features strong likeable female characters that are flawed. I think that flaws and emotional or physical scars make us human and give us more character than simply conforming to some “social norm”.

I have also started a SciFi series, The Valkyrie Chronicles which features a Valkyrie, Kara, who was left behind on Earth five thousand years ago to help the Asgard race escape the onslaught of the Ragnarok horde. With the aid of a human, Kate, she holds the line in battle to herald the return of the Asgard!

If you like magic, paranormal romance and witches, then my new series Fracture might tickle your fancy. In the first book Fracture: Divergence, Alex King must stop magic from destroying reality. The problem is that Alex must solve the case in parallel universes where in one Alex is male and female in the other.

Music of the Soul - Cover Thumb

You can follow me online via Twitter @ErikSchubach or on Blogger http://erikschubachauthor.blogspot.com/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Erik-Schubach-Author/438534946240951 for more information and to discuss my upcoming books.

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Erik-Schubach/e/B00CZE31UA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Switching Gears: An Interview with Rhavensfyre

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switching gears book cover 001Micah Connolly had spent most of her life trying to please others, starting with her family, and ending with Olivia Holden. When she found out that her beloved grandmother had passed away, she was bereft and sought solace with the only person she thought might offer her comfort. Olivia Holden was full of mixed messages, none of them clear, but most of them leaning towards a keen interest in Micah. Their first kiss was a disaster. Overwrought with emotion, she had meant to tell Olivia she had to go home and get her grandmother’s affairs in order, but instead, the night ended in a volatile exchange of words that sent Micah running.

Well over a year had passed since that fateful night, and Olivia still regretted her strict adherence to a set of rules that made her lose the one woman she felt she could love. Chance and fate changes everything when she recognizes Micah weaving her bike wildly through the busy streets of New York.

When Micah and Olivia finally meet again, it isn’t your standard happy reunion. Micah had changed, a lot. She was now darker, edgier, and carried a secret blacker than the leathers she prefers to wear. This new Micah also wasn’t the sort who would accept Olivia taking charge of their budding relationship. Micah had come to terms with a part of herself she had kept hidden, including some things that she wasn’t so sure the high-powered attorney would be game for.

A subtle and erotic game of power play ensues, one that both surprises and delights Micah, but also leaves her with a difficult choice. The past still haunts her, a past requiring an explanation that could tear down all of her carefully constructed walls. Every risk has its own rewards, but what Micah is risking could destroy her.

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Switching-Gears-Rhavensfyre-ebook/dp/B00GZ0BY04/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393826090&sr=8-1&keywords=switching+gears

switching gears book cover 001

1. Tell us a little about Switching Gears.

Switching Gears is about two women who almost made a connection a year ago, but circumstances make them miss their chance. Olivia Holden finds she regrets her decision to keep Micah Connolly at a distance due to self-imposed rules, so when a second chance to bring Micah back into her life happens— she jumps on it in a heartbeat. The problem is, Micah is no longer the same woman she was a year ago, she is harder, tougher, and has a lot of emotional armor protecting her and the secrets she is keeping. What happens to Micah after she leaves is something that is eventually revealed to Olivia, over time and through a great deal of patience. Micah has a lot of demons to deal with and she isn’t ready to reveal things to the one woman who could unravel her carefully crafted armor.

Micah had learned the hard way that when bad things happen to you, you can let it destroy you or you can decide to step back and take a really good look at yourself. When she realizes that she isn’t living the life she wanted, Micah remakes herself. When Olivia enters her life again, Micah is at a point where she is becoming more comfortable with who she has become. Now, it is up to Olivia to decide if she can be the woman that Micah needs as well.

This story isn’t your simple lesbian romance, the characters tell it like it is, bringing with them all their fractured pasts. It is about two women who love each other and have to find their common ground to make it work, discovering aspects about themselves they didn’t know along the way.

Switching Gears is a story about discovery, acceptance and yes, a bit of healing as they explore the sexual aspects of their relationship. It is also a story about balance, where two dominant women have to learn how to give and take a bit, carving out a relationship that works for them. We wanted the characters to be surprised at what they learn about themselves along the way.

We like to think that there is one person in the world that you know is your one, but that perfect love comes with the risk of losing it all. You can’t hide parts of yourself from them, and you have to learn to trust and take that leap of faith with them.

2. How did you get started writing les fic?

We started writing together not long after we met, but never considered it something more than telling our story. Then, we got an idea for a couple of books that we started writing in our free time, only to give up after a catastrophic loss. We lost a lot of our documents to a bad virus that infected everything, including the backups, and we set it aside for a while. When we took up writing again several years later, it was just for fun on fan fiction sites—just to get our feet wet again. We were able to find some of our old work from email’s we had been sending back and forth to each other, and we decided to consider publishing after we managed to reconstruct a good chunk of our original manuscript.

3. Favorite movie?

Ok, so no one favorite movie. The Labyrinth with David Bowie can be agreed upon by both…I mean, it’s David Bowie!

4. Are you a plotter or pantster?

A mix of both, I think. We have an idea for a good story, and we know where the characters are supposed to go but sometimes things don’t always go as planned and they lead us somewhere wonderful and strange. So, closer to a pantster.

5. Do you have a pet? What?

Oh, gosh. Where to start? We have horses, a whole farm full along with two dogs and various cats.

6. When you write, do you listen to music?

Yes, the right music can really change the flavor of a scene. In fact, we have a list of music that Micah listened to in our first book, Switching Gears. Music is a big part of the creative process for us, especially for KL. For her, a character isn’t just about looks or attitude or behaviors, it is also about what kind of music they listen to, what sports they play, and even what they chose to do in their spare time. She will listen to “their” music while she types and it helps to get into the characters head. One lyric can blossom into an entire chapter if it sparks something inside.

7. Open your book to any page and give us a window into your character’s lives.

Sipping her coffee, Micah had nothing else to do but wait, so she pulled out her laptop. Maybe she could write something, since her art seemed to be suffering again. Pulling up a blank document, she tapped her fingers lightly against the keys, her thoughts wandering around in her head, trying to find something to write about. Unfortunately, her thoughts kept circling back to last night.

Taking another swallow of the tepid coffee, Micah tried an old trick of hers when she was suffering from writer’s block. As an artist, Micah had used this concept many times, letting the graphite or pencil travel across the paper unimpeded by thought or vision. Clearing her mind, she let her eyes lose focus, turning her thoughts inward. Her fingers travelled along the keyboard, typing without thinking.

It is an unfortunate truth that people are destined to repeat the same patterns in their life over and over again, unless something happens to wake you up, makes you open your eyes to new possibilities. It is also true that it is easier to see these patterns in others, while remaining blind to your own.

Focusing on the computer screen, Micah read her paragraph.

            Holy crap. Where did that come from?

            Micah had read dozen of stories that involved characters so involved in themselves; it took something major in their lives to shake them up, to make them re-evaluate their past choices, forcing them to make a conscious decision to change. It was almost embarrassing that she had fallen into the same trap. She was hurting Olivia, and in doing so, she was hurting herself and their relationship. It was ironic. As much as Olivia kept pushing her, at least it was because she was trying to get closer. Every time Olivia got closer, Micah had pushed back, caught up in her own issues. If they continued the way they were going, there would be no relationship to worry about. Micah shook her head. It was a difficult pill to swallow, discovering that you have been your own worst enemy. 

8. What type of character really resonates with you?

We try to write strong female characters. They may be damaged. They might have a past that make them less than perfect and sometimes difficult, but they have an inner strength that will/can lead them where they need to go physically/mentally and emotionally. No one saves them, but love is often the catalyst to bring their inner strength to bear on the important things in life.

9. If I were your favorite cookie what kind would I be? Would you dunk me in anything?

Oh, my! Other than saying that is not allowed, I will play along and say Ladyfingers. They are decadently rich, fun to eat, and you get to lick the powdered sugar off your fingers when you are done. No dunking.

(lol-Erzabet laughs)

10. What are you working on next?

Well, we just put out a self-published Novella called Life Is Not a Country Song, which is a sweet love story with a western flair. Who doesn’t love sexy cowboi’s, horses and dogs? In addition to that we have a new Novel coming out through Sapphire Book Publishing called Ladysmith. It is a fantasy novel with a twist and I think people will really enjoy the storyline. It is, of course, also a romance. It is in edits now and should be out in May!

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Rhavensfyre is the collaborative pen name used by two east coast writers, Roxanne and KL, who have been partners since 2000 and were finally legally married in Washington, D.C. in 2012. They have a small farm in North Carolina where they raise and breed horses with their two dogs and several cats in tow. In their spare time, they try to keep an organic garden and enjoy the fact that their farm is also home to several owls, a mated pair of hawks, one annoying woodpecker and the occasional bald eagle. In addition to the living creatures, KL and Roxanne enjoy cycling various East Coast trails as well as hiking the Appalachian Trail. Both ladies enjoy photography and love to share images from their frequent trips through the scenic countryside.

Roxanne, known to her friends as “Roxy,” is an Oklahoma native who lived in various states before graduating from a Los Angeles area high school. An avid artist, she spent ten years in the military–both Army and Navy–before embarking upon her second career. While serving as a patriot missile operator in the Army, she landed a coveted position as post artist, allowing her to pursue her creative passion on a full-time basis. After transferring to the Navy, she served as a hospital corpsman, deployed twice to the Middle East while assigned to a USN warship. She also worked in security during her last year of active duty before leaving the military for a career in healthcare. Roxy holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in criminal justice and a second in healthcare. Her personal interests include mythology, ancient history, and psychology, and she cites walking through the ancient city of Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as one of the most amazing experiences she had while serving in the United States Navy.

KL was born in Norfolk, Virginia and lived most of her life in the South. She was professionally educated as a horse trainer and riding instructor, and she had innumerable wins in the Western Pleasure circuits until a traumatic back injury in 1999 prevented her from riding for many years. Today, she still pleasure rides, as well as breeds American Quarter Horses. KL is an avid cyclist, but her love of cycling doesn’t end with the local trails. She enjoys collecting and restoring antique bikes as well as tinkering with her own ride, doing all of the work herself. She is also accomplished in metalwork–from her work as a farrier to unique knife designs and artwork with steel and iron. Music is a big part of her life, and in her free time she enjoys strumming any of her three guitars or joining the owls by playing haunting notes on her didgeridoo.

Switching Gears is their first book. 

If you want to hear the Switching Gears playlist go to:

http://youtu.be/uG6UUZHD-Y8

Amazon link to Switching Gears:

http://www.amazon.com/Switching-Gears-Rhavensfyre-ebook/dp/B00GZ0BY04/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393826090&sr=8-1&keywords=switching+gears

Don’t forget to check out Rhavensfyre’s new story:

life is not a country song

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Life-Not-Country-Song-Rhavensfyre-ebook/dp/B00IEJ8GSC/ref=la_B00H7XQ5NO_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393826241&sr=1-2

 

Give Away

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Ylva Publishing

Hidden-Truths-800 Cover reveal and Promotional It’s Sunday, it’s not raining and life is – overall – pretty good at the casa Ylva. So, we decided to do a little give away today:

One signed paperback copy of Hidden Truths by Jae as well as one Hidden Truths mug are looking for a new home.

Interested? Just leave a comment below or send an e-mail to info@ylva-verlag.de and let us know if you would like to win the signed paperback or a mug. The deadline for the giveaway is Monday 11.59 p.m. EST, which means 6 a.m. on Tuesday in Germany.

We’ll do the drawing on Tuesday and will then announce the winners here on the blog. HT mugRecourse to the courts is excluded.

In case you don’t want to wait and see if you won a copy: Hidden Truths is available from Amazon, Smashwords, Bella Books and All Romance Ebooks.

The mug is only…

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On Breaking Rules by Barbara Winkes

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A great series and some good advice.

Women and Words

Hey there! Happy Sunday, y’all! Author Barbara Winkes is with us again today! Woo! She has a new release coming called Spring Fever, but it’s not quite ready yet. It sounds like she’s had some of the same developmental issues that I’m having with my current project, so I’m excited to see the end results.

Want to learn more about Barb? She’s got a website HERE. And she’s on facebook HERE. And you can buy her books HERE.

Today she’s doing a giveaway of TWO ebooks, winner’s choice. Want to enter? Yes, of course you do! Leave a comment below to add your name to the hat. I’ll draw the winner on Friday 3/7. Good luck, y’all!

On breaking rules
by Barbara Winkes

Secrets_150dpi_eBookTwo beautiful girls in the background of spruce forestAutumn Leaves_150dpi_eBook

It’s a common advice, not just during times of NaNoWriMo to follow this rule: It’s best to get out the first draft without too…

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