Big Announcement!

Hello all!

I wanted to announce that, due to unforeseen circumstances, I will no longer be publishing my series, Keys & Guardians with Distinguished Press.

I will now be publishing the series with Fantasy Works Publishing. Though my release date may be pushed back slightly because of this change, the team at Fantasy Works is already hard at work getting book 1, The Order of the Key, ready for the world. We’re still looking towards a late Summer, early fall release.

In addition to the acceptance of my series by Fantasy Works, I will also be joining the staff as a line editor. I am very excited to be working with this group of passionate and inspired people.

I’ll keep you posted on further information as it comes in!

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Distinguished Press Presents…The Amethyst Chronicles, Book 2: Croceus Poison

Hi everyone! Another of my Distinguished Press sisters, K.G. Stutts, is releasing the latest in her Sci-Fi Romance series, The Amethyst Chronicles. Book 2 is called Croceus Poison, and it is available now! Learn more about it and K.G. below.


How far would you go to get back what you lost?

The second installment in KG Stutts’s Amethyst Chronicles is now available!

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Synopsis:

Ember Wilson lost it all when she lost her Amethyst transformation. Her abilities, her team, and her self-confidence seemed to vanish with her purple eyes. She has to find out who she is when she’s not Amethyst. Her internal conflict will tear at those who care the most.

Through her soul searching, she pushes everyone away. She’s afraid to accept herself, let alone the love of the men who desire her. When a lead to resolving her situation is presented, she will risk everything to follow it. In the end, is Amethyst worth risking her heart?

Excerpt:

She gripped the staff with both hands, moving to strike Lewis’s wrists. At the last second, she flipped it up and struck him on the side of his head. Lewis stumbled back, cursing and sputtering.

She didn’t give him any time to recover before moving in. But he was ready for her tactics. The end of his weapon hit her mouth, busting her lip open, before swinging down and hitting the back of her knees. Ember fell on the mat, the air rushing out of her body as her staff fell out of her hands and rolled away. Lewis stood over her with his staff pointed at her face.

“And that’s three,” he said.

She looked up at him, breathing heavily. Her head pounded and sweat rolled down her face. She touched her lip and frowned at the red droplets of blood on her fingertips.

“So it is.”

“Are you okay?”

She nodded. He tossed the staff aside and extended his hand, moving so she could get up. He gently touched her chin and frowned.

“I didn’t mean to bust you open.”

“It’s a tiny cut.”

“Looks pretty deep to me.”

“Only because you’re used to me healing already.”

“It’s going to take a while to get used to you not being -” He stopped, sucking in a sharp breath as she raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Me not being what? Finish your sentence.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “I can’t.”

“Finish your sentence,” she ordered.

“Not being purple,” he said, letting out a haggard breath.

She smacked his hand away and walked toward her clothes.

“Come on, Wilson. You know I’m sorry.”

She snorted as she pulled on her pants. “Of course you are. Everyone is. The doctor is sorry he didn’t catch the croceus poison before it nearly cost me my life. The nurse is sorry she aided in the blood transfusion. My father is sorry I can’t rejoin my military commission. Commander Stewart is sorry he can’t recreate the procedure. Liam is sorry he can’t understand what I’m going through.” She spun around, fire raging in her eyes. “And I’m sorry I let myself wallow in misery. But I’m not sorry anymore. Now I’m just angry!”

She stormed out of the training room, leaving her shirt on the floor and Lewis alone with his jaw hanging open. She brushed past the people in the hallway, not caring about the gawking looks she got for walking away in her bra.

Amethyst Chronicles: Croceus Poison is on sale this weekend for $.99 at Amazon. Get caught up on the series with Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss, also on sale for $.99 at Amazon. Please join us for fun and games on Saturday, May 30th. We’ll be partying all day on Facebook with the entire Distinguished Press crew!

About the author:

014K.G. Stutts is the author of several sci-fi romance series as well as couple of romance stories. She has a degree in massage therapy. As a contributor to Independent Writers Association (IWA) her insights can be seen regularly there and on her own blog at kgstutts.blogspot.com and her website at kgstutts.com

When she’s not weaving words, she enjoys reading, playing RPGs, hockey, wrestling, and football, and is a big sci-fi nerd. Currently she resides in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Brad.

Ignore No Opportunity: How I Found My Publisher

Hello all!  Today I am guest blogging over at the wonderful YA blog, All the Way YA.

Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll find there:

There are plenty of traditional routes towards getting published, and when I started shopping out my manuscript for The Order of the Key, Book 1 of my series, Keys and Guardians, I systematically went through all of them.

  • Cold query agents? Check!
  • Spend hundreds on an informative Writer’s Conference with the added benefit of pitching to various agents? Check (thanks to my day job’s Christmas bonus)!
  • Chatted with an agent I met? Check (Lesson: I’m awkward. My husband is MORE awkward.)!
  • Ask published writer buddy to hook a sister up? Check!
  • Cold submit directly to small presses? Checkity-check!

I was hitting brick walls left and right. Even when I got a step closer, pitches leading to partial manuscripts ended up leading to zilch. I wasn’t at it for very long, but I’ll admit that I was beginning to get discouraged. I’m an efficient organizer, which means that in six short months I managed to rack up an impressive number of rejections.

For the rest of the article, go visit the main post! 

Enjoy! And feel free to comment back here, if you have any feedback!

Writing at a Write-In

 

IMG_0791Last summer, me, my husband, Ismael, his sister, Megan, and our friend Louis Santiago agreed that we would try to do some more writerly activities to try to boost our creativity. In some cases, it would be actually writing related. In others it would be some sort of research activity. The problem was making it work. We each had our work schedules. Ismael and I would have to find a babysitter for Logan. We would have to make this happen on dates we could actually make it to and that took awhile. Until March 13th, to be exact. As it turned out, when we finally found an activity, Megan couldn’t make it, due to a sudden school assignment fiasco. So it ended up just being me, Ismael, and Louis, on this particular mission.

Our first assignment? The Gotham Writers Write-In! In the beginning, nothing about this assignment went right. Aside from Megan having to drop out the day before, the trains we each had to take to arrive at the location on time, were behaving horribly. Louis was supposed to meet me at my job while Ismael was supposed to meet us at the location. After several minutes of Louis and I frantically calling and texting each other in an effort to communicate how we were going to handle the fact that he was trapped in the subway (which, for you non-New Yorkers, barely has any kind of cell phone reception), we decided that we would all meet at the location.

When I get out of the train and call Ismael to see where he is, he asks me if there is anything he had to bring.

“Did you bring paper? A pen?” I asked.

“No, I thought they probably give that to us. Don’t they?” Ismael asked.

“I can not [expletive deleted] believe you wouldn’t bring something to WRITE ON to a WRITE IN.” I was very stressed out about running late. Also…if you transcribed most of my life, there would be a lot of deleted expletives.

We rushed off to Duane Reade to buy a pad and pens for Ismael. When we finally met up with Louis, we all headed upstairs and guess what was waiting for us at the sign in table? Yes, you guessed right! We each got our own pen and pad. And maybe, just maybe, I’m a bit of an idiot.

No matter (or rather, no matter to me. My husband would go on to bring this up once every fifteen minutes or so, each time in it’s own hilarious way, which I certainly earned). The three of us headed to our seats, surrounded by other authors. At first it was very quiet. Except for the three of us, of course. We were chattering quite heartily. Then the teacher, Hasanthika Sisisena, a short story writer, entered the room and provided us with our prompt by writing it on the whiteboard in front of us.

 

THE BET

 

We had fifteen minutes to write on the topic, but I got NOTHING. I finally started to get some germ of an idea, continuing off the idea for my flash fiction, Tunneling, with Grayson’s friends betting on when he would fall back off the wagon. I didn’t like it as I was writing it. The characters seemed crass and cruel and I had already decided that, should I decide to continue that story, I would handle it delicately and with compassion. This felt like wasted writing time. I glanced over at Louis, who was writing on his tablet, just in time for his tablet’s word processor to crash. That’s what real wasted writing time looks like.

When it was finally time to break, I felt like I was in Calculus class again, praying nobody called on me to speak. Thankfully, reading aloud was voluntary here and the writers who did choose to share their work were all rather talented and fun. It was amazing how quickly we were sucked into the scenes they created.

After a few readers shared, we got up for some wine, cheese, snacks, and conversation. Once the wine started flowing, the hearts having already been bared, the writers became much more chatty. Even us. Ismael struck up a conversation on self-publishing with the writers beside him, while Louis and I chatted with a writer about the joys and sorrows (and mostly SORROWS) of revising. By the time we were called to order again, we were reluctant to end our conversations.

The next prompt?

CHARM

 

This, I could do. I’ve been working on a short story for an anthology. It is supposed to take place within the world of my Keys & Guardians series, so I crossed the theme of that anthology with the prompt and what I came up with can be found below.

*****

The trees in the forest behind the Estate had long since lost their leaves, bare branches pointing into the sky like long, bony fingers, blocking the view of the stars blinking in the night sky. My cheeks hurt, my fingers numb with the cold.

The crunch of Drew’s boots on the dry, frozen ground alerted me to his presence. He had found me.

“Gana, what are you doing?” Sometimes, he said things with a laugh on the end, even when he wasn’t joking. Sometimes, he said things like that when his words were most grave.

What was I doing? I didn’t know. I was lying, flat on my back, on the cold hard ground, my arms crossed over my notebook, the real reason he was out here. Not to spend time with me. To learn what I had learned.

“I’m lying on the ground.” I stated flatly.

He grinned, and it was adorable, and I brought my head up and back down, smacking it against the cold floor.

“We can sit by the tree, if you want.” He danced around me, trying to make me laugh. I was more little sister than anything. That’s why he played the goofball for me.

I glanced at the tree – the one my older sister, Jacklyn, and her awful boyfriend, Kyp, met near. God only knew what happened by that tree.

“Nah, I’m good.”

He laughed, that hoarse little laugh of his and it almost brought the feeling back to my fingertips. It was like he knew what I was thinking. When I didn’t laugh with him, he knelt down in front of me. “You know it’s cold outside. We could talk about this some other time.”

“I’m not cold.” Either my nose just grew or that was frostbite setting in.

“No? Then what’s wrong?” He frowned and sat down on the frigid ground beside me. His ass didn’t even touch the ground before he was right back up on his feet with a yelp. “Shit that’s cold! What’s wrong with you?” Little laugh at the end of every sentence.

“I wish I was more like Jacklyn.”

“Like…athletic?”

“Like her. Fun. Interesting.”

Drew punched me in the arm, all sibling love. “Nah kid. You’ve got your own brand of charm.”

Well, I supposed I’d have to take what I could get.

*****

Once we completed the second prompt, we read again. While the first time around, the group of us remained silent, this time, Ismael was the first to speak up. Emboldened by the strong reaction to his work and possibly by the wine (it doesn’t take much), I spoke up next and also received an uplifting reaction. Louis sat this one out, not particularly inspired by either of the prompts. This is bound to happen with any event like this, because prompts either trigger something or they don’t, and even when they do, it’s way more likely to be an odd little rambling thing you can’t get a handle on then an actual story seed.

When dismissed, we headed out of the building, joking with some of the other writers about how the fact that we would likely never see each other again helped make us more comfortable with sharing with each other. As our group split off from the rest, we discussed the changed experience of Ismael being able to share something in the fantasy genre with the group without having the strange reactions we sometimes encountered when sharing our work in college.

The conversation of the change in paradigm and the joy of having friends with shared interests followed us to dinner and all the way back home. The first adventure of our writing crew was a marked success.

 

Distinguished Press Presents…The King’s Mortal!

Hi everyone! Another of my Distinguished Press sisters, Armada West, is releasing a paranormal thriller, The King’s Mortal, on March 6th. The book is the first of her series, Wintertide. In celebration of that, allow me to introduce you to The King’s Mortal. Be sure to read all the way down to the charity info below. It’s a good cause.

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Synopsis: Join me in Cimmerian, the frigid vampire realm—and home to the huntsmen of God. They have been tasked with slaughtering the humans who’ve released the plagued doppelgängers of mankind from their hellish prison, and it is an eternally uphill battle. Hope comes in the form of young Lana Corvin, a psychic lingering on the cusp of death with a blood disease, and wasting her precious days as the main squeeze of a notorious drug dealer.

As she becomes the target of Cerberus, a kingpin drug lord, Fate will teach her that life—no matter how much or how little of it you possess—gives no second chances. That is, unless the rogue Vlad Dracula, hellbent on usurping the throne to claim Cimmerian for himself, doesn’t teach it to her first.

Check out the book trailer here: 

Here – have an excerpt: 

“This is a private meeting,” Gavin said. His arms hung at his sides casually, but everything about his stance was ready to move as he stared at Cerberus and his henchmen. There were ten of them, not including the dogs bristling at the ends of their chain leashes. Dear God, what kind of dogs are those? They were massive, standing only a few inches shy of her mediocre five feet, and covered with bushy fur. Maybe they were bears, not dogs at all. Lana glanced warily from Cerberus to Mónica, Donatien, and Béla. Mónica had locked up the artillery, and Lana noticed the appearance of a holster holding a gun at her hip. Donatien and Béla were now on each side of her and Gavin, and she got the uneasy sensation they were for her, not Gavin. Meanwhile Blair, Russ, and Johnson were all starting to reach for the heat they were packing.


“I was giving you the benefit of the doubt my invitation was just misplaced.” Cerberus’ beady eyes moved over to Lana’s friends. “It looks like I was mistaken.”


“You were.”


Gavin’s tone never wavered as Cerberus strutted forward. Lana shied away behind Gavin, biting down on her lip—Cerberus didn’t miss the motion. Immediately his eyes flashed to her. He was a lone wolf who scented blood.


“I know you. You’re Vic’s piece of ass.” His eyes had a cruel glimmer. “If you’re here, he won’t be. That’s rather disappointing.”


It was a slap to her already wavering confidence and Lana physically winced at the comment. All it took was that momentary distraction. She didn’t see him pull the gun out; she only heard the safety clicking off.


“Now, this is going to be nice and easy from here on out. You three” —he waved the muzzle in Blair’s direction— “will load all of that into my car. I will pay you for the merchandise.”Cerberus was mindful enough not to point the gun at Gavin. “And you…” He eyed her with hunger. “You can get in my car, dear.”


“I’d rather shit in my hands and clap,” she said.

Interested? Grab it up here.

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100% of proceeds from release day of The King’s Mortal will be donated directly to To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

If you would like to make a donation to To Write Love on Her Arms independently of the book purchase, Ms. West requests you do so in the memory of Nick Turek.

Author Bio:

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Armada West is an American author and model from upstate New York. Her first notable recognition was for her comedic play, “The Loo Cue”, which won a playwright competition and starred actress Fiona Hutchinson. An avid gamer, West wrote articles and tech reviews for TheGamersHub.net

Her foray into publication began at Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly in 2012 with the release of her romance novella Undefeated and her first full length novel, Bottom Feeders. A short story, Underneath (The Christmas Tree), was included in the first Hot Ink holiday anthology Milf and Cookies.

West co-authored a romantic sci-fi short story, Space in the Fall, with fellow author and friend, Jadeleath. The piece premiered in the Persephone’s Song anthology from Keith Publications.

In 2014 West was contracted by Distinguished Press for her series Wintertide, a re-vamping of Bottom Feeders. The King’s Mortal will be available March 6, 2015. When the Gloves Come Off, a full length novel adaptation of West’s Undefeated, was picked up by Roane Publishing in 2014. A release date is still pending.

As a model, Armada West has been featured in Riot Vixen magazine (February 2014) and on Inked Girls. She also worked with game developer, Jaime Fraine, for his 2014 “Tree Translator” Kickstarter campaign and was featured in two of his promotional videos.

Announcement: The Order of the Key

I have to be honest – I, the writer, cannot actually put my excitement into words. The Order of the Key, my young adult contemporary fantasy novel, has been contracted for publication by Distinguished Press, a relatively new publishing company that specializes in the publication of series. Yes, you read that correctly. Series. Which means, not only has Order been picked up, but the entire Keys and Guardians series.

The contract was finalized yesterday and the Distinguished Press family has already welcomed me with open arms, and by family, I mean the staff and the authors. I can already tell this is going to be a fantastic experience.

For those of you who don’t already know, the story of Jacklyn Madison, my main character, was the first thing I ever wrote in my adult life. The first incarnation of this story was an epic trilogy at 600 pages apiece because I had no idea what I was doing at the time. I wrote this insane unwieldy thing that doesn’t look remotely like the thing you will get to see in your hands when this book is released. It has been a ridiculously long journey with this character and I have reached a new stage, a new adventure.

My novel is getting published. Everything will be different from here on out.

To those of you who have enjoyed listening to me ramble on about my writer’s journey, I hope you will enter a new stage with me because I can’t wait to share it with you.

Thanks again for all of your love and support. I’ll keep you posted on all the release information once I know!