Monday, June 10, 2019

WEP Challenge -- Etoile

Cyla might never have seen a chick, or even an egg, but now she knew why they’d worked so hard to get out of those shells.

This tiny room wasn’t much larger than her bunk, and it felt like it was shrinking. The walls were covered in controls she didn’t understand. Wasn’t allowed to understand.

The explosions had stopped, but Darra hadn’t answered his link.

She’d snuck out to explore when Etoile had shaken so hard, Cyla had been tossed through an open door into this room. Darra would be so annoyed. She wasn’t supposed to leave their room without him—ever—and now she was trapped.

Cyla stood up and pressed the rectangle closest to the door, but nothing happened. Where was Darra? Why wouldn’t he talk to her? How was she supposed to get out?

Darra had told her red meant danger, so she didn’t want to press those controls. Black or blue?

She tried her link again, but when Darra didn’t respond, she pressed the highest button she could reach beside the door. Symbols flashed on the screen, but she hadn’t been taught symbols yet. Too young. Too dangerous.

A siren shrieked and Cyla ducked to cover her head. The steady shriek changed to a pattern. Three long, three short, three long bursts. A pause then repeat. Something else she hadn’t learned.

Etoile shuddered, sending Cyla crashing into one wall and then another. And another.

Battling tears, she steadied her hands against the sides of the room and pushed to her feet. She had to get out. Find Darra.

While Etoile lurched, Cyla tried pushing button after button. The only response was symbols on the screen. The door remained locked. She pounded her fists on it, calling for help.

Another jolt sent her flying and she couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.

“Darra!”

The shaking continued, but Cyla gained her feet again and used her fists to slam all the non-red buttons she could reach. Nothing.

More controls sat higher than her head but there was nothing to stand on. Those had to be the ones. Cyla jumped and managed the first one. More symbols.

Screaming her frustration, she jumped again and again, slamming her fists into the wall.

The familiar hiss of doors opening had her smiling through the tears, but the door remained closed in front of her. A higher-pitched siren joined the other, this one screeching in short, repeated bursts.

A frigid wind rushed in behind Cyla and she tried to turn even as the wind wrapped around her and yanked her with it.

Away from her hiding place.
Away from Etoile.
Away from Darra.

She’d pushed the red button.




This story is part of the WEP/IWSG challenge. Check the link to find all the details and check out the other entries. It's fun to see how differently people interpret the challenge!

How about you? Any stories you're working on about being trapped? Anyone else feeling like a freed bird now that the nice weather has arrived?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG & Picking Favourites

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

***
June 5 question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I love so many genres - both for reading and writing!

I've been immersed in the world of nonfiction recently getting ready to publish Dancing With Dementia. It holds a huge part of my heart because it deals with my family and how dementia has affected all of us.

Nonfiction is a different beast from fiction and it's had its own set of challenges and joys.

Because it's consumed my world for the past few years, it's definitely my current favourite genre. Writing a deeply emotional subject is obviously not easy, but writing it with the purpose of helping others makes it easier to do.

I'm looking for early readers for Dancing With Dementia. If you're interested, send me an email (jemifraser@gmail.com), let me know in the comments, or sign up for my newsletter over in the righthand sidebar of the blog. (The newsletter will be for all my writing, not only the nonfiction.) Thanks!

Once this book is out and about, and I start focusing on my romance stories again, I'm sure that genre will zoom back into my favourite spot!

How about you? Do you switch up your favourites depending what you're working on? Anyone interested in an early copy of Dancing With Dementia?

Monday, May 27, 2019

News News

Dementia has been part of our family for a few years now. My sister and I are first-generation Canadians and we didn't have an older generation around for us to see the differences between normal aging and dementia.

As a writer, one of the ways I process things is to write about it. The result is Dancing With Dementia which I plan to publish sometime this summer.

I've got a YouTube channel coming up too that will be filled with Quick Tips that help people dealing with Loved Ones in the early stages of Dementia. I've also got another blog set to go that is focused on Dementia.

In preparation for stepping out into the publishing world, I've created a newsletter signup. You'll find the link in the right sidebar of the blog. -->

I promise I'll only send out newsletters for new releases and sales. I'm not a spammy type person so there will definitely not be an overload of newsletters.

The newsletter will focus on all of my writing - Nonfiction, Romance, Short Stories. My Bloo Moose Romances aren't too far off in the future.

I'm also looking for early readers for Dancing With Dementia. More info will be in the newsletter or you can let me know in the comments or via email (jemifraser@gmail .com) if you're interested in being an early reader. I'm hoping to be able to have a few honest reviews ready to go by launch date.

So, that's my news - what's up on your end?
Any tips & hints for setting up my newsletter? I'm using MailChimp and I'm mostly getting it! 😀



Monday, May 20, 2019

Where's Jemi?



Hi everyone!

I'm over at the WEP blog today talking a bit about how I started writing shorts 
and a bit about my whole writing journey.

I hope you'll pop on over and say hi!



Wednesday, May 1, 2019

IWSG & The Power of Story

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

***

May 1 question - What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Great question!

One of my earliest memories of the power of the written word was when I read Little Women.

Major Spoiler Directly Ahead!

In the book, one of the characters, Beth, dies. It was the first time I'd read about the death of a character. It was the first time fiction ripped into my soul and cracked my heart.

Devastated, I sobbed, raced through the book, and started it again.

Maybe this time, Beth would be okay.

I was obviously pretty young - young enough to hope that the words might have magically changed, that this character I loved would live.

Not sure I ever looked at fiction the same way again. The power of story continued to lure me, but I kept one eye on the author, wondering what choice he or she would make. And why.

How about you? Do you remember that first tragedy that you read?The first book that broke your heart?

Monday, April 15, 2019

WEP Challenge: Play On

Update!
I'm thrilled to share this badge announcing this little story placed 1st in the WEP challenge this time around. Thank you so much! Definitely check out this link to the rest of the fabulous stories for the challenge!



***
Tinny music filled the room as the ballerina twirled on her stand. Scratches marred the pink tutu, but her smile remained intact.
Beethoven attempted to soothe the soul.
Or was it Bach? Brahms?
Da da, da da, da da, da da, dum.
Maybe Tchaikovsky.
He’d heard her play it so many times. Her hands had moved like butterflies over the keys. When they’d first met, he’d told her that her music was magic made to lure men in.
As they’d gotten to know each other better, he’d called it foreplay. And they’d made good on all the sensual promises in the notes.
Da da, da da, da da, da da, dum.
Beethoven. He was sure it was Beethoven.
He brushed the diamonds he’d given her in Venice. Her joy had shone brighter than the full moon. He’d professed his love that night while the gondolier serenaded.
The music slowed and he reached to wind it again before it stopped.
Da da, dum.
They’d traveled to so many wonderful places while she played for audiences, each one larger than the last. He’d bought her baubles and bits to make her smile. Silly tourist keychains meant as much to her as the sapphires and rubies.
He cradled her hand, seeing the agile one that once stroked the ivories with such grace. And love. She’d touched everything with love. Especially him.
He held her hand while Beethoven played and the ballerina twirled.
He held her hand while he relived their love and their lives.
He wound the box again and again.
Da da, da da, da da, da da, dum.
He held her hand as it grew cold.
And still he held her hand.

***
This is an entry for the WEP Challenge for April: Jewel Box.
Check out the link for links to all of the other entries - the entires are always amazing. Love seeing how the prompt ends up differently for everyone.

How about you? Do you enjoy writing flash fiction? Do you find prompts easy to work with or do they drive you batty?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Elizabeth Mueller & Masquerade: Oddly Suited

The latest IWSG anthology looks like another winner! Today, I've got Elizabeth Mueller, one of the authors, here to answer some questions!

***

Have you written YA romance before this short story?
Yes, I have. They are my favorite kinds of romances to write. Darkspell is my first published out there.

What was it about the prompt that intrigued you?
The prompt was YA Masquerade Romance—I find each one in itself: I love YA, romance,
and masquerades. Imagine what all three can do? Whoa!

What was your favourite part of writing this short story?
I loved creating the mysticism behind it, the implied history of their romantic intrigue.

As a writer, do you tend to start with characters, setting, or plot when you first get an idea? Oh, how do I answer that? It’s always a combination of things that come at me all at once I can’t possibly tell one from the other. Sometimes it’s a concept: like a character bound hand and foot by the queen’s body guards as he glares up at her (both are love interests). The story then unfolds as I imagine how he got himself into that mess and why. So fun!

Introduce us to the main character in your story.
Meet Ivy. Independent, smart, honorable. Curious. It’s what gets her into the mess to begin with but if she hadn’t have listened to her instincts, all would have been lost!


About my Short Story, ‘The Cog Prince’
Falling in love, saving the day, and a masque—oh my! The clock strikes the thirteenth hour and Ivy is sucked into a masquerade ball of whirling dancers where the Cog Prince has summoned her. A mysterious darkness seeks their destruction and she alone holds the key. Will Ivy save them in time?

Author Bio
Award-winning author Elizabeth Mueller lives in Texas with her husband, five lively children, five indoor kitties, a few outdoor kitties, and seventeen chickens. While she enjoys homeschooling her kidlets, she thrives as a full-time writer of any genre that captures her heart. She loves to hear from her readers!


***

Masquerade: Oddly Suited Tour Banner

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Masquerade: Oddly Suited, a young-adult romance anthology from The Insecure Writer's Support Group which is coming out on 30th April 2019!

About the Anthology

Title: Masquerade: Oddly SuitedRelease date: April 30th, 2019
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
Genres: Young Adult Fiction: Romance – General / Paranormal / Contemporary
Print ISBN: 9781939844644
EBook ISBN: 9781939844651

Book cover for Masquerade: Oddly Suited

Find love at the ball...
Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?
Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…


Stories Featured

Oddly Suited, LG Keltner
The silliest situations may be oddly suited for romance.
Behind the Catcher’s Mask, Jennifer Lane
Who can help her through a meltdown on the pitcher’s mound?
The Dark Charade, CD Gallant-King
The new girl in town falls in love for a mysterious boy who is maybe, probably, most definitely, a vampire.
The Cog Prince, Elizabeth Mueller
Falling in love, saving the day, and a masque—oh my! Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince?
A Diver’s Ball, Angela Brown
You can be anything you want in the online world of Cumulus. A human. An elf. A powerful beast mutation from your wildest imagination. But can you be in love?
Flower of Ronda, Myles Christensen
What if life's price of servanthood could be changed?
Fearless Heart, Deborah Solice
Is he a figment of her imagination conjured to keep her sane, or is he something else…something more?
Charleston Masquerade, Carrie-Anne Brownian
Can two worlds come together and find love?
Sea of Sorrows, Anstice Brown
What could a shapeshifting siren know about love?
Remedy, Chelsea Marie Ballard
Everything is against Remy and Rudy, but on the night of the Masquerade Ball, they must choose: each other or their lives?
You can find out more about the authors of Masquerade: Oddly Suited here.

Giveaway

The authors of Masquerade: Oddly Suited are giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one winner. To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open internationally from 12:00 am GMT 17th March to 12:00am GMT 6th May.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Visit the other blog tour hosts below to find out more about the stories and authors featured in Masquerade: Oddly Suited.
***
So excited for this book to come out! Can't wait to see if Ivy saves the day!
Thanks for the visit, Elizabeth!

How about you? Do you start with characters, setting, or plot first? Or do they all come in a blend the way they do for Elizabeth?