“Blue Ice” has been published!

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The latest issue of The Corvus Review is out and page 25 features my short story, “Blue Ice”. This is a six page dynamo of a story that I love dearly. The tale of a woman forced to face her sister’s abusive husband at his funeral, this story is creepy and packs a wallop. I hope you love it as much as I do. Please check it out. I’d love to hear what you think about it. It can be found in Issue 8S. Enjoy.

Release Day Blitz: When Planets Fall

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Today, I am working with Rockstar Book Tours and Abby J. Reed to tell you all about Abby’s new novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL. If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and swag, US Only, courtesy of Abby and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About the Book:

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Title: WHEN PLANETS FALL (Stars Fall Circle #1)
Author: Abby J. Reed
Pub. Date: May 10, 2017
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Pages: 420
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonBarnes & Noble, TBD,  Goodreads

On a planet where the only difference between three tribes is their blood color, war is on the horizon. Breaker, an amputee, wants peace for his family and home. Malani, a kidnapped POW, wants to return home. Luka wants justice for his home. All three teens come together when Breaker is given seven days to fix a wrecked enemy starship or their home, and peace, is forfeit..

“In this richly imagined start to a new sci-fi series, Reed brings optimism to the goal of solving entrenched violence in a galaxy far, far away . . . A propulsive, sharply crafted tale about a planetary war.” –Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt:

I cupped my hands around my mouth. “Brody! Brody!”

Nobody was allowed to break boundary unless you were on hunting rounds and wanted a shot at the deercorns—three-horns, good meat—or on boundary duty. The land between here and the Heron Mountains in the west was technically neutral territory and belonged to no one. Too many good game trails passed through and everyone needed good protein. You’d think this meant a peace card for any who marched through the area. Then a handful of cycles back, attacks started becoming more frequent. Now, neutral territory meant open hunting season on everyone.

And if you were in trouble . . . the compound wouldn’t help.

I couldn’t leave him out there. I had to go over the fence. Beyond the compound’s boundary.

I was going to murder that kid.

The tree branches on the opposite side created a tunnel. Ravines on either side had been dug deep for a grave ditch in case of a future blood bath. Water filled them now. No need to waste time or tears while shoveling, just dump the bodies in the pre-dug ditch. Time and pain in the past saved time and pain in the future.

I set my foot on the lowest rail. The wood jiggled. Bangit. I couldn’t climb over the stupid thing. I pocketed the pick, got back on my bike, reversed, and aimed it at the fence. Even though the bike ran on solatech energy, the magnetic polarity of mineral deposits in the ground kept it afloat. In theory, the bike should pass right over the fence, since the fence wasn’t quite solid, so the bike would never lose complete contact with the ground.

I revved the bike. A surge of solaenergy sent me flying toward the fence. I shoved on the handles right before I hit the broken rail, bouncing and soaring right over the fence. The bike didn’t even bounce on the ground on the other side.

My chest tightened a notch.

I just broke boundary.

I hadn’t broke boundary in eight cycles.

I swear there was still a faint smell of cinnamon, though the gun smoke couldn’t have hung in the air this long. Lining the ravine were the twelve gravecrosses. Rainwater ran like thinned-out blood off the names carved into the bars. The letters were slowly being erased by weather and time, as though the people were being slowly erased from our memory until they never existed.

About Abby:

abby-j-reed-headshot-smiling.jpgAbby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Pinterest | Instagram | TumblrGoodreads

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of WHEN PLANETS FALL & Swag, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjU4Mw==/?

 

Camp NanoWriMo 2017!

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For anybody who doesn’t know, I’ve spent the last month doing Camp NanoWriMo. Now, most people know about NaNoWriMo. It takes place in the month of November and writers, or people who want to try something new sign, up to write 50,000 words of one novel in a month.

Camp Nano is a bit different. The writers who join up can set their own word count, hours worked, or even pages edited. It doesn’t have to be spent working on one thing either. And it takes place in April and July.

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I decided to work on my new YA Fantasy novel, Never Say Never. For a look at what the project is about, you can check out its project page on the Camp NaNo site.  Things came up, and I ended up devoting about 35,000 words of my word count to the new novel, about 10,000 to a new first chapter for The Order of the Key, and about 5,000 to a new project called Not Just A Headache–a letter to my teenage self about how to cope with migraines that I wrote for an anthology I’m hoping to be accepted into.

I’m gonna go ahead and toot my own horn here. This month of writing came with a sinus infection that wouldn’t go away for two weeks, a surprise trip to the emergency room (I’m okay, I promise), and both medical and emotional ups and downs for other people I hold dear. To say I’m tired would be putting it lightly.

But I’m not going to stop working, because I’m crazy. And also, a life without writing for me, is no life, so I’ll persist. 😉 For the next couple of months, I will continue working on this book, continue querying the one before, and clean up my outline for the new book, which my writing this month made irrelevant in some places. In the meantime, I’ll find space for some blog posts and social media, because I always do.

Then…I’ll be back to Camp Nano in July.

Thanks, as always, for sticking with me on this incredible journey.

~Justine

 

 

 

Entangled Teen Presents: Urban vs. Epic Fantasy Week!

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In my continuing effort to talk all about YA literature and the fantasy genre as well as introduce you to new authors and books here on the blog, I am participating in Entangled Teen’s Urban vs. Epic Week! 

The Urban vs. Epic Fantasy Week is a chance for readers – like me and you – and Entangled Teen authors to make their allegiances to either urban or epic fantasy known. You may have kept your preferences a secret until now, but now it’s time to confirm your #TeamUrban or #TeamEpic tendencies loud and clear over the course of the week. You bet I will.

Here’s what we’ll be doing over the course of the next few days.

Urban vs. Epic Fantasy Week Schedule: 

  • Tuesday, February 28th: Team Urban vs. Team Epic Fantasy Twitter Chat @ 9-10 pm EST
  • Wednesday Mar. 1st: Bloggers post a feature with authors who ascribe to #TeamUrban
  • Thursday, Mar. 2nd: Bloggers post a feature with authors on #TeamEpic
  • Friday, Mar. 3rd: Bloggers and authors can write / share related posts, including: why they’re Team Urban or Team Epic, their Top 5/10 Fave Urban or Epic Fantasy Reads, and/or the Top 5 Reasons They Loved _____ (an urban or epic fantasy read).

Wednesday-Friday’s events will be taking place on my blog as well as many others!

Enter the Giveaway hosted by Entangled:

As for me, I’m pretty sure you know where I land…

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See you for the rest of this week!

Show or I’m Telling

I’m posting to let you know that it has been a great month so far. Both of my special projects are off the ground! 

The Inkwell Council has completed its first manuscript review and we’ve posted a blog about our experience that includes some great writing tips. 

Personally, I’m discussing show vs. tell and why it’s not really one or the other, but how to use both. If you’re interested, check out the Roundtable

I hope everyone’s New Year is going strong! 

Guest Post: The Real Story Behind Creation

Hello all! First, I want to apologize for not being a timely poster. These days, while working on cleaning up my main book and preparing it for submissions, I have been figuring out what needs to be done on a rewrite for another book, and simultaneously brainstorming two projects, one of which will become my Nanowrimo project in November. So, my time has been used elsewhere, and I apologize for my inconsistency. An original post from me is forthcoming. In the meantime, I’m preparing some guest posts for you. Today, I am joined by the lovely CA Morgan, who is here to discuss, aptly, what goes into the act of creation. I hope you enjoy her post!


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Success is elusive. It’s true – and it stops most of us in our tracks on our way to “becoming” all that we could be. We cower before the doors of destiny, knocking timidly, if at all, offering only halfhearted attempts to enter into the lives we were meant to lead.

But, here’s the thing: Those doors only open inward. You have to push to get through. How could it be otherwise with all the frightened, huddled masses blocking the way?

“Not everyone is born for greatness,” you may argue. “Some of us belong right where we are. We don’t want to push. We don’t want to change. We don’t want to grow. If we don’t try, how can we fail?”

Failure is inevitable – this is true, too. Some time, some where, we all fall short. Everyone has within them the potential to be more than they are, yet not one of us fully lives up to it. We are human beings, after all, not gods. But, that shouldn’t keep us from striving to be better human beings.

If we are really content, why then is there still so much need and discontent in the world? Why do people grumble about their lot in life, the have-nots begrudging the haves and vice versa? If we were all our best selves, wouldn’t everyone have enough?

I think, perhaps, we all know we could do better.

Some of us see those who succeed as a threat to our mediocrity, as if we are being graded on a bell curve. We despise that student who gets the “A+” because we know we didn’t put forth our best effort. Or we work and work, and feel like we still don’t measure up. On the flip side, some of those top-of-the-curve students resent sharing the fruit of their labor, and hide it away, not grasping that basic tenet of childhood: Good kids share and play fair.

Also true, not everyone wants more for themselves. And that’s just fine. But in a world that has such great need, we should at least want more for others. We should want to create a world where bell curves are unnecessary. The best way I know how to make that happen is for ALL of us to try, to push forward and give it our best. It may not be required or even expected, but it’s sure to be appreciated by someone who needs what we have to offer the world…

…and that’s what makes it worth the effort.


CA Morgan

C.A. Morgan is a wife and mother of five, author, illustrator, singer, performer, music & art teacher, blogger (www.camorganwrites.com and formerly http://imustbeoffmyrocker.blogspot.com/) and is currently working to put kids thru college — in other words, a very busy woman! An avid reader and self-taught writer, she earned her degree in Commercial Art from Michigan’s Ferris State University eons ago, but now calls Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom home. She is currently working on a prequel and sequel to round out her YA Fantasy Emrysia series, along with several other projects including picture books.

Visit the Author on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/reademrysia/ or her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GXA6NVG


Learn about CA Morgan’s Three Sisters Trilogy:

 

Welcome to Emrysia

Step into the light and you’ll see them… Forget everything you think you know about fairies, mermaids, and fauen – pretty little tales to put children to sleep. Enter the magically shifting landscape of Emrysia, where sentient swamps and ancient forests enchant disobedient daughters – to death! Journey with three youngsters: Aryelle, a winged healer with an amazing gift; Lureli, who shimmers with secrets as deep as the sea; Eleanor – she has horns, even if you can’t see them! Three “sisters”, separate races, one common destiny. Enter their world, part fairy tale, pure fantasy, but not for the faint of heart! Because here in the light, the shadow is growing…

From Emrysia: Awakening:

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Defying her father Elazaryn’s wishes, Aryelle – luminarie maiden and heir to the Seat of Ka’Andharra – empathetically “assumes” a wounded messenger who arrives bearing portentous tidings. In response, Elazaryn sends Aryelle on a two-fold journey of self discovery, charging her with the care of her younger cousin, Karril. They are joined in ancient Wellwood Forest by Lureli of the Mer and her four mute slaves, as they seek to overcome the Reign of Shadow by attending a Summit meant to unite the varied races of Emrysia. Overwhelming obstacles challenge the trio along the way, including a run-in with three ancient, cannibalistic hags. These “Omniscients” – the keepers of the Swamps of Dire – unwillingly offer the key to conquering the present darkness. With the help of Eleanor and her foster father Nodd, fauen of the Aurrac clan-herds, the youngsters finally ascend Mt. Cor only to find that the Summit is a sham. Borrac, Aurracan Head Chieftain, shows his true colors, which are as black as his beard. The luminaries, along with their new companions, Rona the praircat and a handful of others, escape with their lives, if not spirits, intact. But at least one of their number is not to be trusted as they begin the perilous journey homeward…

From Emrysia: Lament:

picture3Barely into the homeward journey, disaster strikes as Lureli’s servants vanish and her precious transformation potion is lost. Tensions rise and the group splits up, reaching Rona’s warren separately. But before they can query the Stone of Seeing or even witness the birth of Rona’s pups, they are swallowed in a timeless void. Traveling through what they come to know as the Connectedness Locus, they encounter Lydian shape shifters, an angry Dezrot, and Lureli’s evil former mentor, Japhra. Alone, but now certain they are the Chosen who must save Emrysia from the Reign of Shadow, Aryelle, Lureli and Eleanor go their separate ways until fate calls them together once again.

From Emrysia: Endurance:

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Sent home by Mandelbrot to prepare for their role as “Chosen”, each of the Three Sisters finds herself in unexpected circumstances from which there is no easy return. Will they learn what is required and be able to reunite in time to save Emrysia?