Monday, March 25, 2013

Guest Post: Marissa Carmel Blog Tour

We are honoured to join Marissa Carmel today as she reveals her brand new cover for the eagerly awaited follow up to iFeel, Gravitational Pull.

Gravitational Pull is due for release on 4th April 2013

Touch me, and bring me to life...

How do you move on when you don’t even know where you were going in the first place?

The Spirit Stalker is dead and I have finally started to erect my life. But I quickly discover, that just because the structure is built doesn’t mean the foundation is sturdy. As much as I try to manage my abilities, I can’t completely control them. The physical impossibility of the relationship I have with Justice has reached a boiling point; our fundamental problem is my inability to control myself from absorbing his power, and his fears of touching me because of it.

As if that wasn’t deal-breaker enough, a new threat looms on my horizon - Darklings.
They are grim reapers of the immortal world who surface every five-hundred-years to feed off the souls of magical beings who are weak, aimless, lost; those who have given up and want to move on.

They also hunt power. Which means, they’re hunting me.

Abandoned by the one person I need the most, I find myself in Melenia’s realm.  There, I’m courted by Siberian, a dangerous pixie who covets me, hunted by Death personified; all the while hiding my powers and my ancient bloodline. The pixie prince is alluring, and I feel so broken and vulnerable. I know giving in to him means giving myself over to him. But right now, I don’t care. All I want is to feel anything other than the loss and rejection Justice left me with.
Anything other than pain.

So what do I do when I’m scared to be touched, even though I know it’s the only way to bring my soul back to life?

Marissa Carmel has been writing since a young age and although it has always been for personal enjoyment, she finally decided breakout and share her imagination with the world. She hopes that her universe is as fun and intriguing to her readers as it is to her. Marissa Carmel is originally from NJ but moved to Maryland several years ago, she enjoys reading, writing, and catching up on her ever growing DVR library. She is currently working on the sequel to iFeel, Gravitational Pull and the third and final installment of the Vis Vires trilogy, Constellation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm Going Amish

At least, in my writing.

My new story is available now.

Promise of Tomorrow
An Amish of Tomorrow Series
Volume One: Salvation

I've written in the Amish genre before. Some of you may have read the Defective Amish Detective series. It is sometimes silly and sometimes sweet. We are currently working on Volume 4, but if you have not read it, you can find part 1 for Kindle here:

While the Defective Detective is fun to write, I am taking a more serious turn with Promise of Tomorrow. That's not to say there won't be humor, but it will not be outright slapstick. In this new series, I am excited because it gives me a chance to explore my own faith. I am not converting, not packing up to head to Pennsylvania. I put a little more of myself into this one and, at the same time, taken it far beyond where I could ever physically go.

I like the quote from Joss Whedon, "I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of." I feel like that on this new story. Funny thing, my writing music for this one was the Firefly soundtrack (and that was before I read this quote).

You can find this first part of my 10 part series on eBook.

Now, here comes the fun part! My publisher, Helping Hands Press, has a new event that will take place every Wednesday on their Facebook page:

There will be fun discussions and exciting giveaways! I am one of the featured authors this week (3/20), so who knows what you might see when you stop by from 7 to 8:30 PM EST!

And if you don't make it to Wacky Wednesday, be sure to check out the widget at the top right of my blog. We are doing a Goodreads giveaway too!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Guest Post - Lyra McKen Blog Tour

Lyra McKen launches a new blog tour with us today. She has a little something to say about her chosen craft. It is a good message for any writer!

But, I'm a Writer 

I have made this the title of one of my boards on Pinterest, which is totally addictive by the way, because I think it adds up to the struggle writers have on a daily basis. That struggle is just believing in yourself.

I have a mild panic attack when I upload to Amazon. I briefly think to myself that it isn’t good enough, it needs ten more beta reads, or a fourth edit, but I just have to let go…

I have that struggle to believe in myself daily when I write a new chapter, or someone reads my book. I feel like I am just pretending to be good at writing and they are going to hate it. That nagging little voice in the back of my head says, "But, I'm a writer." This is when I snap out of it. I am a writer because I write. It's the same thing that happens when an editor sends me my work back covered in comments and corrections. "But, I'm a writer." I know they make it better, and my editors do an amazing job, but it still gives you that momentary what am I doing feeling.

Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is hard, your work is your baby and you are metaphorically feeding it to the wolves. I have learned a lot about the writing process over the year I have been working on it and I am beyond thrilled to have great friends and publishers that have helped me along the whole way.

So when you find yourself knee deep in edits or someone gives you a two star review and you say, “But I’m a writer,” remember that we all struggle with the same feelings of inadequacy. You just have to suck it up and take out the ‘but.’ Declare it loud and believe in yourself.

“I am a writer!”

Lyra McKen (aka, Emily Walker) resides in the mountains of North Carolina. She lives on top of a mountain quite literally with her other half of nine years and her fur baby, Rebel. After a couple of jobs ghost writing for other successful authors she embarked on her own journey to write a novel.


Zombified available on Kindle:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

All That Sparkles

The One series continues with a debut author.When I tell you that this debut author is my wife, I say it from the vantage of a blessed and fortunate man. Not only does she support me in my writing, I suddenly discover this new side of her. What she reveals in her story, Questions, in some ways is new to me too. We are coming up on our fourteenth anniversary and now I get this glimpse of a person filled with faith and enchanted by the simple magic around her. It truly is my privilege to present this new voice to you.

Mark Miller's One
Story Two

This one is sort of a family thing. I have always known my oldest son as a boy, and young man, to have a generous heart. He is both sympathetic and empathetic. When we lost my wife's brother late last year, my son wrote a moving piece for his mother that is included in this volume.

If that's not love...?

Questions is available on all major ebook platforms.
Get it on Kindle here:

100% of the author’s proceeds will be donated to Bridge to Ability Specialized Learning Center, a not-for-profit organization serving the educational and therapeutic needs of fragile children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. The authors, creator and publisher are in no other way affiliated with this organization.

Mark Miller’s One 2013 is a spiritual anthology examining True-Life experiences of Authors and their Faith. As the series evolves expect to discover what it means to have faith, no matter what that faith is and no matter where they live. Remember that we are all part of this One World.

In Story Two, debut author Traci Miller tries to find answers to some questions she has. Along the way, she explores the things that give her hope and faith as she reminisces about her grandparents and her childhood. Traci’s sixteen year old son, Zakary, commemorated the passing of his uncle in a short Afterword, entitled Chapter End.

First time author Traci Miller is a mother of four and wife of an author. Growing up in Missouri, Traci fostered a relationship with the theatre. From high school and into college, she honed her skills behind the scenes as a lighting technician and scene designer. Her behind the scenes efforts did not end there. Traci has dedicated many hours as a beta reader and editor for her husband. In real life, Traci works full time helping others decide their career paths and enrolling in college. As she says in her debut story, Questions, Traci’s goal is to improve the life of her children and ensure their success. It is unknown if Traci will continue to write, but there are a lot of crazy ideas bouncing around inside her head.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Blog Tour: Kate Tenbeth

Over the next several weeks, I have the pleasure and privilege of being the launch blog for a few talented authors on their latest blog tours. To kick things off, here is my friend from across the sea: Kate Tenbeth.


 I wrote the first draft of Unlucky Dip over 6 years ago. It’s hard to believe it took that 6 years to tweak, edit and then publish but, like so many other authors, I have to juggle a lot of other things – I work full-time, run a house, a son, cats, father, etc. - it can be difficult to find time to draw breath sometimes, let alone sit down and write! 

With this particular story all I had in mind was the first section of the plot i.e. where Holly is thrown into the Thames by her step-mother. I didn’t sit down and work on a complete outline plot, I just let it go its own way as I wrote. Sometimes I do write in a more organised way but this time Unlucky Dip just took on its energy. I think it was helped along by the fact I constantly had a house full of teenagers around me so it was easy to pick up the way they spoke and thought about life – I just had to grab the moment while it was still there. I have, in fact, dedicated the book to my son and his friends because without them I wouldn’t have been able to write the book in the first place!

It took me a long time to come up with a title. The book had been written and was ready to go and really, you’d think it would be easy to come up with a title, but no, it really wasn’t and I ended up with pages and pages of ideas. Unlucky Dip came to me in the small hours of the morning (3.34am to be precise!). I woke up, wrote it down in a barely discernible scrawl on the notepad that I keep next to my bed and promptly went back to sleep! Unlucky Dip just seemed perfect to me - I like the tie-in with the ‘lucky dip’ sweets I used to buy when I was younger, i.e. life is just a unknown mixture of randomness, you never know what you’re getting and that feeling of surprise reflects the character of the storyline, although in Holly’s case her surprises are not necessarily nice ones! I also like the fact you can have a ‘dip’ in the water which ties in with the start of the novel when Holly is thrown into the Thames.

I had the book, I had the title and then all I needed was a front cover. I knew that one of my son’s friends, Elizabeth Eisen, was an artist and when I looked on her website, I absolutely loved her style so I invited her to design a cover for the book. Other than asking her to read the book I gave her no guidance whatsoever – I know that I work better when I’m allowed free rein, so I let her do what she wanted. I could not have been more pleased with the result; I have an unusual and eye-catching cover that is most certainly a one-off. Thank you Liz!

I have many stories, mostly YA fantasy, that are sitting on the hard drive of my computer but Unlucky Dip was the one I chose to publish first. I learnt a great deal along the way, mostly through trial and error about how to structure a story, the importance of character development, continuity, etc. I learnt that loving writing isn’t enough, it’s actually very hard work if you want your story to be captivating. I also learnt the importance of editing – you have to edit, edit and edit again! The reviews I’ve had from Unlucky Dip have taken me to the next step of actually believing that perhaps I can write, that I do have some small talent so that’s something else I’ve learnt!

At the moment I’m torn between completing the other YA works I have sitting on my hard-drive and seeing if I can build on my children’s books I have published already, The Burly and Grum Tales, because they seem to be doing well and I’m being invited to speak to school children, take part in events, etc. It’s a hard choice but one that I’m going to have to make a decision about very soon.

I can’t imagine life without writing but there’s so much more I know I need to learn in order to improve skills. I want to write wonderful stories that people can enjoy and being able to write full-time is certainly something that’s high on my agenda!

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog.

You can get Unlucky Dip here:

About the author: I live in Essex with my son, who is studying at University, and my two cats, Puzzle and Bud. I’ve always loved writing and in January 2011 I got together with some friends and set up a writers’ group at our local library. One of our first guest speakers was a young lady called Penelope Fletcher who talked to us about self-publishing – I was so inspired I went back home, found some stories I’d written for my son when he was young and started the process of learning how to self-publish. I published 3 books in the Burly & Grum series and then in July 2012 was lucky enough to be signed up by GMTA. I’ve enjoyed every single second of my journey so far, learnt an incredible amount and I’m looking forward to the future!

About the artist: Elizabeth Eisen is 23 year old freelance illustrator from North London. She graduated from the University of Westminster with a BA Hons in Illustration in 2011 and has since worked on commissions ranging from album artwork to editorial. Further examples of her work can be found at

About the book: There are always high stakes to play for in the world of gambling, but it’s a world 15 year-old Holly Maddon knows nothing about until her step-mother tries to kill her. The race is on as she tries to discover what her step-mother is up to and whether her father was murdered. She comes up against gangsters, multi-million pound land deals, treachery and deceit, she’s kidnapped, shot at and loses just about everything she loves – it’s a rollercoaster of a ride and Holly's intent on turning the tables.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Less Than 30 Days

Authors in the Park returns to picturesque Mount Dora on Saturday, March 30th for the “Spring Into Art” event featuring twelve authors from the Central Florida area. The event will feature a casual author meet and greet from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and an exclusive gallery walk from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring the artwork of Amy Sellers. The event will be held rain or shine inside the Renaissance Building at 411 North Donnelly Street in downtown Mount Dora. 

Mark Miller, co-founder of Authors in the Park, said, “We are excited to be back in Mount Dora. It’s my adopted home town. The people are great and the downtown is unique with fabulous dining and delightful shops.” His website is

In addition to Amy Sellers artwork, she will have her children’s picture books available. The other participating authors include: Janet Beasley, president of JLB Creatives (The Hidden Earth Series); Valerie Hart, a member of the Association of Food Journalist and weekly food writer for the Leesburg Daily Commercial (The Bounty of Central Florida); Jean E. Lane, young adult science fiction (Lill and Mewe and the Secrets of Mars); Gary Larson, local businessman (HighFive Your Life); De Miller, local Christian filmmaker (Murder in Mount Dora); Jeanne Selander Miller, London International Book Festival award winner for Best Spiritual Book of 2012 (A Breath Away); Mark Miller, young adult fantasy and inspirational (The Empyrical Tales); Theresa Oliver, writer and independent publisher (Angels Among Us); Keith Rommel, psychological thriller (The Cursed Man); C. Kevin Thompson, Christian suspense (The Serpent’s Grasp); and Elise VanCise, photojournalist and award-winning author (Don’t Touch). 

“Since our debut event last December, Authors in the Park has grown beyond our wildest dreams,” Janet Beasley, one of the three co-founders of the event along with Mark Miller and Jean E. Lane, said. “Our long term goal is to help promote and support the many talented authors we have in Lake County, and throughout Central Florida.” 

During the meet-and-greet, readers and fans are encouraged to come speak to the authors, get autographs and discover some incredible new books, which will be for sale during both the afternoon and evening sessions. For the gallery walk, expect to hear live entertainment and taste complimentary appetizers provided by event sponsor One Flight Up CafĂ© ( Amy Sellers art will be presented at each of the authors’ tables and she may even have a few surprises, Miller said. 

Authors in the Park can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter (@AuthorsPark, #AIP). Follow them for upcoming events and special announcements. According to JLB Creatives executive Jean E. Lane, “Authors in the Park plans to have at least four author events each year and plenty of opportunities to showcase local and independent authors.” 

The March 30th event starts at 2:30 p.m. and after a brief intermission, the gallery walk begins at 6 p.m. It all happens in downtown Mount Dora at the Renaissance Building, 411 North Donnelly St.