Monday, 14 August 2017

This is why my 2017 Goals are still on Track (mostly) – Part 1

A badge Linzé earned in a group
where writers hold themselves
accountable for daily writing
I wrote my first word of a first draft way back in 2001. While my odyssey to publication took another eleven years, I didn’t just write this one book. This first book was not my first published book, for that, I had to write some more before publication would be an option.
Why eleven years? There is no magic to this number, it was how long it took for me to figure out that I might actually be good enough.
What I did in those eleven years, established the foundation of why I now describe myself as a writer—I wrote.
In fact, I wrote another eight full-length novels: two are published, and the third is planned for October this year. The rest must wait their turn…it is a series after all.
In the years since that first attempt, writing became a habit. A daily habit that to date produced several more manuscripts, to the effect that this year my total creative word count now stands at over 2,200,000 words.
I started keeping a spreadsheet that I update at the end of every evening’s writing session. It was more curiosity in the beginning, but it has become more than that…it’s my daily ‘personal trainer’ if you like.

Source: Medium
Seeing the number of words I have written thus far is inspirational, but it is the words that have yet to come to life, that truly gets my writing brain into gear. So many stories that still need to be told!
Of course, I did not write as many words back then as I do now. In my own defense, it did take a while for my blonde brain cells to truly get the message: if you want to write, it is exactly what you should do. Write. Every day.
Some people set themselves a daily word target, others a daily time to write. I fall into the latter category. With a full-time job, my writing time is limited, and I want to squeeze every second that I can get out of it.
NaNoWriMo months change the goals a bit, but the words still count. They must. With an annual goal of one full-length novel, plus a few shorter stories to keep the creative juices flowing, I simply cannot help myself anymore—I have to write. When I don’t, I feel as if I am going to work without wearing a bra—something essential is missing.
Fortunately, that is one piece of clothing I have not yet forgotten!
I suppose it becomes a habit like brushing my teeth or putting on said bra. So that means when those words are not written, my creative mind will rot in a manner of speaking. Trust me, the zombie look will not look good on me.

Source: Medium
Whatever the target is you set for yourself, time or words, make it a habit. Habits become entrenched in the definition of who we are.
If you write, you will feel like a writer, you will think like a writer…you will be a writer.

Before you disappear back to reality, please take a moment to share this post with your friends. Thank you! 💜

Linzé Brandon is the author of several books and short stories. She is a project manager, closet artist, sometimes blogger and wife to an engineer who likes to play with a camera. The unicorns and fairies love playing with their German shepherds almost as much as their human pack members.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Book Feature: THE GHOST KING by Jeff Altabef

Welcome! Today I’m helping author Jeff Altabef launch his latest book, The Ghost King!

Excerpt: Chapter 5

Dermot’s face looked hard and resolute, as he appeared every bit the King his tribe needed. Done with Eamon, he turned toward Aaliss and softened his tone. “You and Wilky are welcome to join us on the field of battle. We could use your sword and Wilky’s... advice. You both have proven yourself worthy to be members of our tribe. It would honor me if you would join us.”
Join the tribe?
All eyes turned to her, and heat singed her face. She had no desire to commit to the Butcher Tribe. She desired a simple life, but she also needed to keep Eamon and Wilky safe. How could she do that and refuse? She needed time to think. “We will consider your generous offer and let you know our decision in the morning.”
Dermot looked disappointed, but he nodded. “So be it. May the herd be forever strong and the heavens guide us in all matters.” He rose and stalked off.
The War Council dispersed, leaving her, Wilky, and Eamon behind by the Naming Tree. Eamon rubbed his hand through his shaggy hair and walked in circles. “I can’t believe he’s doing this to me. Has he no faith in me?”
Aaliss stood in his path and forced him to stop. She pressed her hand against his chest. “Protecting the Stronghold is important. If the war goes badly, you’ll have to make sure the rest of the tribe is safe.”
“My place is at Dermot’s side. He should see that. I made an oath with P’mina to fight these invaders. I can’t stay behind now.”
Wilky stepped beside him. “You must come to the battle. We all must go. Otherwise, only darkness.”
Wilky might as well have swung a war hammer into Aaliss’s stomach. She seemed to have so little control over events. Surely, the Stronghold would be a safer place for Eamon than the battlefield, yet Wilky’s decree meant that she couldn’t keep him in the stone city behind the sturdy walls.
“We all have to go to the front to have a chance to win? Are you sure?” she asked, even though she knew the answer.
Wilky nodded. “Even then the result is hidden in shadows. I only see glimpses of light.”
Eamon whispered. “That settles it then. We’ll have to escape tonight.” He glanced over his shoulder.
Two armed members of the King’s Guard stood ten paces away, watching them.
Great. Another escape from the Stronghold, and this time we’ll be heading straight into the storm itself.
“There’s more,” said Wilky.
“More?” asked Eamon.
“A witch leads the Wolves. Darkness gathers behind her like a long shadow.” Eamon spit on the ground, his way of warding off evil spirits. Aaliss narrowed her eyes. “Witches can die like anyone else.” Her voice sounded sure, but her heart wasn’t. What did she know about witches?


Who are Aalis, Wilkey & why are they going to war? Will there be more magic & mayhem in this second book? One of the best parts of this release is you can get both books for only 99c right now!
What else is so great about this release? This exclusive excerpt! There are 5 featured excerpts on this tour. One on the Novel Publicity page, one on Jeff Altabef's Website, and 3 spread among the 20+ blogs that have helped Jeff with this release!

You can also enter this rafflecopter for a chance to win $50, signed paperbacks, or crown necklace!

Special note for reviewers! If you reviewed the Ghost King or Red Death, email your review links to Naomi@novelpublicity.com & you’ll get entered for a $50 reviewer only prize!

About the Book

An Ancient Prophecy foretold.
An Evil haunts the land.
A battle looms against overwhelming odds.

Led by a powerful witch, a wild invading army threatens to tear the Soulless lands apart. To survive, the three tribes must join together, but old grievances and hatred divide them. Only Wilky can unite them, but when he glimpses the future, he sees only a glimmer of hope; too much of the future remains veiled in darkness.
As the battle approaches, King Dermot orders his brother, Eamon, to stay behind at the Stronghold and defend against a possible siege. Eamon, who took an oath to fight the invaders, defies his brother, risks everything, and plunges into a desperate race with Aaliss and Wilky to unite the tribes.
Enemies from all sides conspire against them. Only together can they hope to succeed against the witch who will stop at nothing to destroy them. Yet even united, they will need magic to defeat this enemy at their door.
As the battle looms, only one chance at survival remains--the Ghost King--but who is he, and what will be the price of their redemption?

About the Author
Jeff Altabef is an award-winning author who lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of "telling stories," he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, was his debut novel. Evolved Publishing has published Jeff’s second thriller, Shatter Point, which won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Fall 2014 in the category of Best Thriller.Jeff's first young adult novel, Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel will be published in March by Evolved Publishing. He's extremely excited that his daughter, Erynn Altabef, is his co-author on the Chosen Series. As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories.

You can follow Jeff on Facebook, Twitter, or join his newsletter!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Q & A with...Russ Colchamiro

Book @ Goodreads
Today I welcome Russ Colchamiro to the Broomstick.

Q: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A: To become a multiple best-selling author who can retire to a private island.  And, of course, to continue to write the best books I know how to write at the time that I write them. I want readers to have a great time with my books, eager to read the next one. I’d like to spin off into other mediums as well, getting back into comic books, and writing for TV. I’m working on it.

Q: Tell us about your latest release.
A:  Love, Murder & Mayhem is a new anthology from Crazy 8 Press, with 15 stories from 15 authors. While I’m typically a novelist, I served as editor for this one, and contributed one of the stories. Each tale contains at least one act of love or romance, at least one murder, with lots of mayhem, all in various science fiction settings. We have superhero and supervillain stories. Off-world and space cruiser stories. We’ve also got A.I., private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travel, an aliens/monsters mash-up and … one DuckBob!

Q: Give us an insight into your protagonist.
A:  My story is “The Hardwicke Files: The Case of My Old New Life and the One I Never Knew.” It centers on Angela Hardwicke, a private eye in that classic Sam Spade style, fedora, pinstripe suit, knows the angles. She’s appeared in two of my books already—first as a drop-in character in Genius de Milo, and then as being more substantial in Astropalooza—and I plan to write an entire series based on her. But I wanted to experiment first, getting a better feel for who she is, and her rhythms, with her in the lead. I also know her origin story, which I’ll write at some point, and I know where her personal arc is headed. I’m really into crime fiction these days and plan to stick with it for quite a while.

Q: Where do the ideas come from?
A:  Anywhere and everywhere. They usually just pop into my head when I least expect them. Sometimes I know the kind of story I want to write, so I’ll do some research, or just play around with the concept, but more often than not, one minute there’s no story, and the next minute there is.

Q: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
A:  The longer I’m at this the more I do a lot of ‘pre-writing’ and outlining. I usually take 2-4 weeks working out the plot, and putting the basics to paper, including dialogue, setting, and key elements, and then go back when I’m done and follow my own blueprint. It allows me to write with more assertiveness, but also leaves room for inspiration—where the magic happens.

Q: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
A:  Movement. Get up from your desk. Go into another room. Take a walk. Exercise. Just physically move around and change your physical perspective. I do some of my best writing while out walking my dog. I’m also a big believer in talking things out loud – to myself. The more I talk it through the more likely it is that I’ll figure out why I’m stuck. I’ll actually hear the problem. I’ll go through my story or scene and then go, “I really need … wait! Oh. THAT’S why it doesn’t work! I need to do this.” Motion is a remarkable catalyst.

Q: What can we expect from you down the line?
A:  I’ll be sitting down soon to write my first full-length Hardwicke book, and I’m currently about two-thirds done with a top secret project I can’t talk about yet. After that … I have about a half dozen projects in my queue; it’s just a matter of deciding which one to write next.

About the Editor: Russ Colchamiro
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union, and TV Gods 2. He is now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.
As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.




Wednesday, 12 July 2017

COVER REVEAL: Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer

~ Cover Reveal ~
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th July, 2017


Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

About the Author:
Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.
She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 


This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Book Review Tours



Monday, 10 July 2017

Me, myself and the war zone in my mouth

See www.campnanowrimo.org 
Yep, it's been a while, but hey things have been moving fast around here.
First off - I was in and out of a day clinic today. For the mountainous operation to remove my wisdom teeth. Amazingly enough, I don't look that blown up, only wish I could say the same for the inside of my mouth!
So it's soup and water, liquidy and soft foods for me for this week, but I am not complaining. Too much. That is until Francois gets home, pizza box under the arm and I am like - go away!
On the real stuff - my Live in Balance Goals, I am stuck at the same weight for more than a month now. Ha, maybe the liquid diet this week will help to kickstart it once more.
Writing has slowed a little, but editing has gone into high gear. All I can say? Thank you, Camp NaNoWriMo!

And it has been a real ride too. It is the 10th of July today, and in these 10 days, I have edited more chapters in my next novel, than the 10 weeks before July. If all goes well, there are only 3 more chapters (maybe four, since I have to make a big change at the end) to go and then voilá.

Oh, and in two days' there will be a cover reveal here - again. How exciting is that? Pop over and have a look.

Until next time!
LinzéB