Sunday, 22 February 2015

"So long and thanks for all the fish...." - bye bye Musa!

I wonder if Douglas Adams knew how much that line would be used? :) But I digress.

It's with a sad heart that the Musa authors learned a couple of days ago that the Musa Publishing doors will be closing on 28th February.

Yep, that soon.

The decision was only made this past week by the Directors to shut shop - they stopped for good business sense, by not going forward and changing the integrity of the business.  Here's the blog post from Musa.

While I'm saddened by the news that a publishing house that put its authors first will be closing its doors, I can not regret my experience with Musa. I had great editors, great cover art, and learned a lot about the publication industry. The staff were always positive and friendly. It was a really great experience for me to begin my career with. And of course, I met the lovely Wenches (never fear, we will continue to band together)

But what does this mean for my work, I hear you ask?

Well from the 28th February, I get my rights reverted to me. Musa are such an amazing group, they've already got the letters ready for their authors, instead of letting us hanging, which has been the case for many other e-book publishers who have shut their e-doors.

That means that Enchanted Realms, Gateway to Hell, and SNOOP will not be available for sale any longer.

Big boo hoo.

I can either sub somewhere else or go the self publishing route. I'm not sure of my path yet, but I've got enough happening in my life that self publishing may not the best time for me now, but still I need to consider it.

But there's a silver lining to everything.

This week (until 28th February), Musa have slashed 80% off the prices on their website. That's right 80%!

You can get Enchanted Realms for only 20c*, Gateway to Hell for 60c, and SNOOP for 40c. Click on this paragraph to go buy them while you still can.

*that's in US currency.


I've been grabbing some Musa titles that I've wanted to grab for some time while I can, especially by the lovely wenches - let me name them for you so you can check out their work on Musa site (just click their names):-



As you can see, Musa published such a range of titles. I was lucky I could publish fantasy (Enchanted Realms) and paranormal (romance with Gateway to Hell; Noir with SNOOP) with them. Too bad our journey together had to end here.

I'll keep you updated on any news on these titles.

To all my fellow Musan authors, good luck and I'll keep an eye out on the web for you! To the Directors, thanks for the hard work you put into the company! I know I'm a better writer because of the opportunity you presented me with. 

Yia sou!







Monday, 16 February 2015

Wenchy Monday - Holley Trent: Tex-Mex Meatroll PLUS free reads!

Welcome to the Taverna, Wenchy Holley Trent, who has a mouth-watering recipe on offer AND some free reads. 
~~


Holley’s Tex-Mex Meatroll
by Holly Trent

This meatloaf spin-off has ground up tortilla chips. Its airier texture is due to rolling the meat rather than patting it into shape. This dish is a perfect substitution for pickier eaters, and the cheese in the middle adds a little something for the kiddos.

Ingredients
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. mustard powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (can substitute Pepper Jack)
3 cups crushed corn tortilla chips
¼ cup mild salsa

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix meat, egg, and seasoning in a bowl.

On waxed or parchment paper, pat the meat mixture into a rectangle as wide as your loaf pan or slightly less wide than the width of your paper if you're baking on a cookie sheet.

Cover the surface of the beef with the tortilla chips. Just eyeball it. You don't need to use the full three cups - just make sure you have good coverage.

Spread the cheese over the top. Pretend you're building a pizza.

Take one end of the paper and roll the meat as if it were sushi, but don’t catch the paper in the roll. Gently tease the roll to the end and carefully transfer to a greased pan.

Pat the ends so they're rounded and the ingredients inside don’t fall out.

Brush the top of the loaf with salsa. Water it down a bit if doing so makes it easier to spread.

Cover with foil. Mold it against the roll a bit to provide structure to the meat holds its shape as it cooks.

About 45 minutes in—when the roll has firmed but not completely cooked—remove foil. Apply another brushing of salsa.

Bake until a thermometer reads 160°F.

Let the meatroll rest for at least ten minutes before cutting.



While your dinner is baking, check out some of my free reads over at my website.


  




Holley Trent is the author of Executive Decision, Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas, and Her Resident Jester – all available now from Musa Publishing's Calliope Romance Line.

To see all of Holley Musa Publishing books, please click HERE.

Learn more about Holley Trent on her blog and follow her on Twitter.






~yia~

Friday, 13 February 2015

Fragment Friday - Dragon's Quest

Today, I introduce Fragment Friday. The day where I bring you a fragment (or snippet) from my work.


Today it's from Dragon's Quest, a flash fiction story published by Antipodean SF back in June 2011. 




News of the dragon's capture reached the castle. But not of who had caught the elusive beast. The Prince of Renu? The Lord of Rawry? Or any of the other dozen in pursuit?

The Steward Mikhail waited, hoping this ridiculous show would cease. He kept this to himself. Here on assignment, he would see it through. For the sake of the dragon.

And her keeper.

Over the next day, many of the pursuers trotted back to the castle — but not the one he waited for.

"Mikhail, what ails you?"

Caught off-guard, he schooled his features. "Nothing of import, Sire."

King Patrik raised his bushy eyebrows. "I know you and my daughter are firm friends."

Mikhail inclined his head. "Indeed. With all these men vying for her hand, and a dragon on the loose..." He trailed off, for the first time finding it hard to speak.

The King gave him a sad smile. "I understand, Mikhail. But the law is the law. Anyone who captures the dragon has her hand in marriage." He hastily looked away.


You can read the rest of the story here.


If you'd rather hear me read the story, it's located here.  (My story begins at around 19.20 mark)


Hope you enjoy it!

~yia~ 


Monday, 9 February 2015

Wenchy Monday: Marci Bourdeaux on Romances Over 40

Today, Wenchy Marci Bourdeaux has a treat for you - romances with characters over 40. Gasp! Yep, you read that right! How could that be? Here's Marci with the lowdown.

~~~



Romance Over 40 
with Marci Bourdeaux

There has never been a time in my life when I’ve closely associated with the twenty-something crowd. Not that there was/is anything wrong with them. I just wasn’t one of them, even way back then, and I certainly am not now.

When I started writing, I tried to associate with them. I tried to write romance for them.

It didn’t work.

All my characters wanted to be older, to have more history, and to have lived more life.

With each book, I got closer and closer to writing characters my age—40-ish.

Finally, I simply decided to embrace this with my new series, Stonehill Romances—in which just about everybody is old enough to have adult children. The first in the series, The Road Leads Back, will debut this year. 





The Road Leads Back delves into the journey of Kara Martinson and Harry Canton. They were in high school together, but both were a bit nerdy and too shy to say they liked each other. Then one night…

Twenty-seven years later, Harry discovers Kara has a gallery opening in Seattle, where he is on a business trip. He decides to surprise her, but it doesn’t quite go as planned.

When Harry and Kara spent their one night together—the night before he left for college—Kara got pregnant. For years, she’s blamed him for abandoning her while doing the best to raise their disgruntled son Phil. When Harry shows up out of the blue, she’s all set to give him an earful until it dawns on her…he was never told he was a father. All these years, Harry’s parents never told him Kara had turned to them for help and they sent her to a community for unwed mothers.

Once they start putting the pieces together, Kara is left feeling betrayed and abandoned all over again, but Harry wants nothing more than his family—including the mother of his only child—to come home with him. Kara is hesitant to face her demons, but her only other choice is to watch her son and granddaughter move across the country without her.

Once back in her hometown of Stonehill, Kara and Harry have a lot of past to overcome. Harry has to face his mother’s deception and Kara has to face the parents who disowned her. Most importantly, they all—Kara, an eccentric artist; Harry, a straight-laced business owner; Phil, who has spent a lifetime blaming Kara for not having a “normal” life; and Jessica, Phil’s daughter with Down Syndrome—have to find a way to be a family.

There are a lot of emotions wrapped up in this one. Harry feels betrayed by his parents. Kara has to find a way to forgive and move on but understandably has a huge amount of anger. Phil is forced to recognize that a lot of the grudge he’s carried most of his life was unfounded. And they all have to jump in and make sure seven-year-old Jessica adjusts to the move.

The second book in the series, Friends Without Benefits, revolves around Kara’s best friend Dianna who is going through an unexpected divorce with near-grown children, a suffocating mortgage, and a realization that her life had so revolved around her soon-to-be-ex that, save for a small handful of friends, she’s very nearly on her own. Her husband’s mistress’s husband Paul becomes Dianna’s emotional support system because—really—who else could possibly know what she is going through?

In The Forgotten Path, the third in the series, Paul’s sister Annie has to face some hard truths about herself after the world she’s fought to build for year threatens to come falling down around her. She prides herself on her independence, but even the strongest people need someone else every now and then. Enter Marcus—Annie’s faithful employee and the only man who has ever made her heart trip.

I’ve heard time and again that because my characters are 40-ish and older, my books are women’s fiction. I disagree. I feel like women’s fiction has a completely different angle than what I am writing. There may be elements of women’s fiction—the emotions may run a bit wider than just falling in love—but, to me, women’s fiction is more soundly focused on the woman’s journey. I think my books focus on everyone involved.

Harry has guilt for not raising his son and anger toward his parents. Kara’s angry, hurt, and has to find a way to forgive herself, her family, and Harry’s family for turning her out and she has to learn how to cope instead of running away. Phil didn’t give him the life he felt he deserved. And they all have to handle the way people treat Jessica secondary to her Down.

But even with all of that, Harry and Kara are falling in love again. They are rediscovering all the things that they admired about each other in high school and toying with their mutual attraction.

So, in my mind, I am writing romance. It just so happens that my characters have more problems, history, and life scars to deal with along the way. As do most 40+ year olds.







The Road Leads Back – Coming April 3, 2015


Kara Martinson and Harry Canton weren’t exactly high school sweethearts, but they did share one night neither will ever forget. Twenty-seven years later, Harry surprises Kara at an art gallery opening and discovers he left her with more than just memories when he went away to college. Desperate to connect with the family he never knew existed, Harry convinces his son to move to Stonehill—and pleads with Kara to come, too.

Kara hasn’t stepped foot in their hometown since the day she was sent away to a home for unwed mothers. Now Harry’s back in her life and as they put together the pieces of his parents’ betrayal, old heartaches start to feel anew. She wants to be near her family, but returning to Iowa means facing some things…and some people…she isn’t quite ready to.

Can Harry convince her to forgive the past so they can embrace the future they were robbed of so long ago or will the pain of the past be too much for Kara to overcome?








Excerpt:

Kara had told herself a million times that Harry didn’t owe her an explanation. It’s not like they had been in any kind of relationship. She’d drooled over him from afar, but other than an occasional smile in the hallway, he’d barely acknowledged her existence in high school. Even if he hadn’t gone off to start his Ivy League college career the day after graduation, he likely never would have looked at her again. Well, at least not until she could no longer hide the truth of their one-night stand from the world.

The sting of what he’d done returned, though slightly numbed by the alcohol she’d downed.

“I expected so much more from you, Harry,” she said sadly.

His shoulders sagged a bit. “I know.”

“Why didn’t you ever write me back?” She was surprised at the hurt that his neglect still held. “I must have sent you a hundred letters.”

He creased his brow. “Letters? I didn’t get any letters.”

Kara searched his eyes. He looked genuinely confused.

“I sent them to…” she started, but her words faded. Suddenly the tequila-induced haze wasn’t so welcome. “Your mother said if I wrote to you, she’d make sure you got my letters.”

“My mother? She never gave me any letters.”

“But you sent money.”

Harry shook his head slightly. “What the hell are you talking about? Why would I send you money?”

She stared at him as realization set in. He hadn’t responded to her letters because he hadn’t received her letters. And if he hadn’t received the letters, he hadn’t been the one who sent her money. And if he hadn’t sent her money, he hadn’t known that she needed it. Her head spun, either from the alcohol or the blurry dots she was trying to mentally connect.

Leaning onto the bar, she exhaled slowly. “She never told you, did she?”

“Told me what?”

Kara couldn’t speak. Her words wouldn’t form.

She jolted, pulled from the intense stare they were engaged in, when an arm wrapped around her shoulder. She turned and blinked several times at the man who had just slid next to her.

“Sorry to interrupt,” he said, “but I need to get home.” Leaning in, he kissed her head. “Congratulations on the opening, Mom. It was great.”

“Thank you, sweetheart.” She flicked her gaze at the man sitting next to her. The longer Harry looked at her son, the wider Harry’s eyes became.

Phil cast a disapproving glance at Harry then focused on his mother again. “Jess is expecting you to help make pancakes in the morning. You promised.”

“I haven’t forgotten.” Kara returned her attention to Harrison. His jaw was slack, his cheeks pale.

Phil nodded slightly at Harry, as if he were satisfied that he’d made the point that his mother didn’t need to be staying out all night, and walked away. Harry watched him leave while Kara waved down the bartender and pointed at her glass. He hesitated, likely debating the ethics of giving her another shot. She pointed again, cocking a brow for emphasis, and he filled her glass.

“Kara…” Harry’s voice was breathless, like he’d been kicked in the gut. “Was…was that my…son?”

No. His mother definitely hadn’t given him the letters Kara had written. She lifted her shot, toasting him. “Congratulations, Harry. It’s a boy.”

~~~

Marci Boudreaux lives with her husband, two kiddos, and their numerous pets. She recently hung up her journalism hat to focus on content editing for several publishing houses, as well as writing.


Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn't like when she does that in real life. Find out more at www.marciboudreaux.com





You can also find Marci on: 



~yia~

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Super Sunday


The Plug

Check out this workshop by the talented Carla Caruso at the SA Writers Centre



Writing RomCom with Carla Caruso 

Flowers, heart-shaped chocolates, and hand-written love letters… we’ve got love and romance on our minds. After all, it’s Valentine’s Day! Bridget Jones’ Diary, Confessions of a Shopaholic and The Devil Wears Prada have nailed the art of having us fall in love with the characters whilst chuckling with every page turn. Now it's your turn!

This workshop will brush up on your romantic fiction writing skills and learn how to craft a love story that’s both memorable and funny. Participants will learn about the different romance genres, diverse romantic characters, where to get published and how to connect with the romance writing community locally.

Carla Caruso is an Adelaide romantic comedy author published by Penguin and HarperCollins. Previously she worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist and fashion stylist. Some of her titles include Catch of the Day, A Pretty Mess, Second Chance and Cityglitter. She’s made the top 21 in Mills & Boon’s international New Voices competition and is a co editor of the Romance Writers of Australia’s monthly magazine.



10:00 am - 1:00 pm, February 14, 2015

BOOKINGS HERE 



The Quote

"A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one."
~Mae West


The Funny


The Picture


I came across this in my files. I have no idea where this is, but the attribution seems to be V.Borg.






The Reading

Just finished reading:

 



Currently reading:

  

 


Re-reading:






The Editing
Healer's Destiny






Have a great week!!


~yia~
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