ideas take life in Words
A blog following the works (and shenanigans) of J.E. Klimov
"Fractured Ever After", an anthology of fractured fairy tales, has been released April 27th! It is the 7th anthology released by the Just-Us-League.
NORMALLY, I'd be right on the ball, but I admit I have been feeling ill lately. So, I'm regrouping here for those that still have yet to discover this epic release! Check out the blurb, blog tour links, and purchasing links below!
Fractured Ever After BLURB:
Old classics are fractured into exciting new tales in this international collection of magic, mystery, and adventure.
Some heroes go searching for their happily ever after: a dragon cocoon hunter explores the dangerous woods for his sleeping beauty; a prince forces a perfect romance on an unsuspecting maiden; and when a girl leaves town, she must quickly decide to trust—or be wary of—a new stranger.
Destiny is thrust upon others: a disconnected emperor struggles to retain his title; a frog prince leaves his pond in search of answers; and after Rapunzel is rescued, a new quest is awarded to her savior.
Whether it is destiny or choice, all actions have consequences: sibling rivalry pushes one little piggy to extremes and a princess must choose to follow her heart or step up as future queen.
Prepare for an adventure as these eight fantastic fairy tales transport you to places beyond your imagination.
Here are the tour dates and links (to most) of the author interviews. To compliment this info here, please click on the Just Us League blog button! So, if you missed one or any, here's your chance for catch up bed-time reading : )
April 6th - Jebraun Clifford interviews Kristy Perkins
April 10th - Julian Elliot (ME!!!) interviews Matthew Dewar
April 13th - Alyson Bowen interviews Alexander Thomas
April 17th - M.T. Wilson interviews LB Garrison
April 20th - Laurie Lucking interviews Heather Hayden
April 24th - A4A interviews Allie May
April 27th - Heather Hayden Shannon Yukumi
Happy Spring! For those that have been following me, you would also be familiar with the Just-Us-League.
For those that don't know- I collaborate with amazing authors around the world. We've been releasing anthologies for a few years now, and JLA is about the release it's SEVENTH EDITION: Fractured Ever After. JLA has released fairy tale re-tellings in the past; however, this volume shatters the norm!
Today, I'm lucky to guest interview Matt Dewar, one such author in Fractured Ever After:
(And don't stop scrolling- we have a GIVEAWAY at the end!!!)
JE: We've worked together in Scrib for a while- and you've published multiple works over the years. Is there a particular project you're working on now?
Matt: It’s an absolute pleasure working with you, and I just want to take a moment to tell you how obsessed I am with your book, The Aeonians! Okay, back to the interview now.
I’m currently working on a few things. I’m working on a sequel to my Nightmare Stories which I published a few years ago. There’s also another anthology coming out at the end of the year. I can’t say anything about the theme yet, but I’m quite excited about this magical one. I’m also finishing up a Novella that I’ll hopefully publish at the end of the yea, and my young adult fantasy novel is ready to be published, I’m just waiting to find the right agent. So, it looks like a busy year for me!
JE: [Blushing profusely] Aw, thanks! You've always been an incredible supporter when I was writing that novel!!! And that sounds like a busy year for sure- I will keep an eye for all four of those! And since you mentioned another JLA anthology, can you tell us how many anthologies you have participated in , and which one was your favorite to work on?
Matt: This is my sixth anthology with the Just-Us League. My favourite? That’s a tough question. My first, "The Female Warrior", will always hold a special place in my heart. Plus given it was our first there was so much excitement about the whole process. Don’t get me wrong, the process is still exciting, and we’ve ironed out a few kinks, but you always remember your first.
JE: That's very true. Writing is a dedicated art- fun yet torturous at times. When you get frustrated or overwhelmed in the middle of writing or editing, what do you like to do?
Matt: Most of the time I find getting out into nature is a welcome distraction. Taking the dogs for a walk along the beach, or losing myself on a forest trail usually gives me enough distance from my writing. Other times I’ll just have a nice hot bath and try and switch my brain off for a little while – easier said than done!
JE: I, too, love getting some fresh air. New England is finally thawing, so I look forward to my walks! Now, here's an important question: Tea or coffee or other writing beverage of choice?
Matt: I have to have a coffee first thing in the morning, and then I switch to tea in the afternoon. My favourite writing beverages are those sickly sweet, over-the-top, indulgent frappes that are not coffee and basically diabetes in a cup, but I rarely have them. I write a lot after the caffeine and sugar kicks in though!
JE: I hear you there! Now let's get to your story in Fractured Ever After, "True Reflections": Fractured fairy tales usually tell the original tale from another character's point-of-view--(e.g. a villain, side kick) OR modified the story in such a way as to make us laugh at an unexpected characterization, plot development or contrary point of view. You managed to do both in "True Reflections" What inspired your approach in a fractured tale of Snow White?
Matt: Snow White, and a lot of the female fairy tale characters, are quite underdeveloped and helpless in the classics. I wanted to have strong good and evil characters. I also wanted "True Reflections" to be a reflection on modern day society and how toxic social media can be.
JE: When brainstorming "True Reflections", which came first: your characters and their personalities OR the plotline?
Matt: TV is saturated with reality shows at the moment, and I thought what if Snow White was competing in a kind of contest? From there, the personalities started to come out. What if the evil queen wasn’t actually evil, and her side of the story was twisted? What if Snow White’s character buckled under the pressure, and she became the evil one? What if a princess’s identity didn’t match with society’s opinion of what it should be? The plot kind of evolved from there.
JE: "True Reflections" has strong themes that are truly inspiring (I felt like I was given a pep talk and now I'm ready to stand up to being me!)- and I think there needs to be more stories like that- what do you hope readers will walk away with after reading it?
Matt: I hope that readers will be able to reflect on their social media use after reading this story. I hate seeing people so caught up in getting likes by people they don’t care about that they end up hurting themselves, and I hate how much stock people put into the opinions of complete strangers. The real life people around you, your family and friends, those are the people who matter. Whether you have 1 like on your post or 10,000, you are equally as valid and as important.
Some readers will see a bit of themselves in Eva. They might recognize that they are being turned into a jealous person, so I hope they recognize that before it’s too late. And other readers might see themselves in Isabella. Maybe not the asexuality part, but I hope that they can see that there’s no point in hurting yourself or being ashamed of a part of you that you cannot change.
You can follow Matt and his writing journey with these links below!
DATES: April 6th - April 30th
Grand Prize (US only): Two Paperbacks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), book cozy + shoe ornament, 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design), set of four signed illustration prints
First Prize (US only): Two Paperbacks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), charm bracelet, 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design), set of four signed illustration prints
Second Prize (International): Two Ebooks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design), set of four signed illustration prints
Third Prize (International): Two Ebooks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), choice of 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design) OR set of four signed illustration prints
Title: "The Arrangement"
Author: Sarah Dunn
Genre: Chick Lit/ Contemporary/ Romance (with a touch of humor!)
Rating: 4 stars
The novel primarily follows a married couple, Lucy and Owen, who hear of an unconventional idea from their city friends: an open marriage for six months, no questions asked. Okay, so it's not the newest idea; however what makes "The Arrangement" a huge leap beyond a disposable beach read are the multi-dimensional views that shine light not only on this couple, but an entire community.
Lucy is a likable female protagonist- very pragmatic with a biting wit. Owen is just as lovable. Dunn 's segments featuring Owen were fresh and realistic. I continued to turn those pages as I explored their lives, which included raising chickens and tending to their autistic son (the strength and love of the parent-child relationship is iron-clad. Love it!) . While struggling with daily adult/parent-life, Dunn keeps things light with humor. I mean, how else can you get through a day with poop covered walls?
The story straddles other themes- a teacher bravely transitions to her true self, a billionaire struggles fitting in Beekman with his younger wife, and various other couples fight to make it "work" beneath strained smiles.
When I started the novel, I thought it was just going to follow one couple, but Dunn branched out. Secrets slowly become unearthed. True desires are questioned. Most importantly, the end wasn't terribly unpredictable. I mean, I was pretty floored as I turned page after page, daring myself to wonder if this whole open marriage thing would work. (Come on, it never works! ... Right?)
One other thing. Each chapter begins with a quote from a Constance Weaverly. I believe she is a fictional relationship/sex therapist. This is an interesting approach versus using real life quotes.
The end was satisfying enough, but it didn't have the same umph as the tension leading up to the climax (which I won't ruin). I also felt that some characters fizzled out in the latter half- there were so many perspectives introduced, and I was a tad bit disappointed that some voices faded out.
The bottom line? Well, considering I finished the book in one day, it's certainly a worthy blind date. After years writing, reading, and breathing fantasy, this was a great bridge into contemporary romance. There was a quality to it that made it beyond a "juicy" read. I just wish the ending did each and every character justice.
Everything swam before me in a fog... All I craved was a nice, quiet space and a steak and cheese sub. Maybe some Tylenol. I couldn't focus. It was as if my brain melted into pool of gray and white matter, and it was all because of last night.
A late night. A night to end all nights.
In one hell of a bender, I completed my fantasy manuscript! No. No drinking was involved, and yet, along with the sense of achievement, nothing prepared me for my body's complete shut down mode when the sun rose.
Okay, so it wasn't a real hangover, but it sure felt like one.
In addition to the physical exhaustion, there was that *teeny* bit of depression that slammed into me like a freight train. Have you ever been on vacation, and you get that sense of dread Sunday night before you're back to school or work? Yeah, it's a little like that.
Hence, writer's hangover. It's real.
Now, this isn't my first time at the rodeo. This is my third novel; however, I never experience'd writer's hangover this badly before. I attributed it to the fact that I had been working on a trilogy, and trying to end a saga with characters that I fell in love with was like a long, drawn-out, painful good-bye to a loved one. I wasn't ready to let it go, and yet at the same time, I was dying to check off that milestone and work on a shiny new project. (So much for my beloved characters...)
This manuscript took me the longest to complete. I toiled over writing it for almost a year, and the six months of sporadic editing was pure torture. I've changed the ending at least three times. I felt like Sisyphus- pushing that 80k word boulder up the never-ending hill of expectation.
I'm sure any writer who has finished their manuscript has felt that skull throbbing headache after closing their laptop. Or the the sandpaper sensation against their corneas with each blink of an eye. What's a writer to do? Hair of the dog? I guess the author equivalent would be writing some more... Maybe some could manage, but I went with the TLC route. I got some extra sleep, lounged around Barnes and Noble, sipped some coffee, and played Kingdom Hearts 3 (is it me, or the bosses significantly harder than 1 and 2???).
I'm a bit nervous of falling into a hammock of laziness, but I have a few weeks until Camp NaNo. Sometimes it's okay to ease up (At least I tell myself)- so for those experiencing writer's hangover with me: it'll get better. For those that are still writing, don't forget to take care of yourself.
Time for a brownie and a bath.
Lynden Wade is a talented author that I had the pleasure to meet (virtually) through the Just-Us-League. She had done a complete overhaul to her blog, and it's amazing. So, it is an honor to be interviewed by her.
After checking out my interview, you should view her other posts. You may find something magical!
As for me, I've got some good content lined up for spring 2019, so stay tuned.
About "Broken Glass":
About J.M Sullivan:
Teacher by day, award-winning author by night, J.M. Sullivan is a fairy tale fanatic who loves taking classic stories and turning them on their head. When she’s not buried in her laptop, you can find her watching scary movies with her husband, playing with her kids, or lost inside a good book. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., you can find her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks-- she’d love to hear from you.
Need a shortcut to buy her novels?
Exclusive Except As Promised!
She killed another Joker today.
Excuse me. I mean, ‘Guardsman.’
That’s the real joke. The Red Queen cares about the Marked as much as a cat does a dirty litter box. She’ll use them if she must, but otherwise they’re disposable.
Except for me.
She watches me.
I don’t think she knows what to do with me. Not that I blame her. I don’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes I feel like everything is normal, and other times, well—then, at least, the voices tell me that everything is fine.
I don’t quite believe them.
It would be easier if the memories stopped. Of life before. It’s muddled, but there are fragments of purpose and joy, all tied to a quiet, blonde girl. She is strong, stronger than she knows—I know this because I know her better than myself. And yet, I don’t remember her.
I am empty.
The memories are not mine—they belong to someone else. I am a traitor in this body, an unwelcome host. And yet, the longer I stay grey, the more this body calls to me. Like the other Marked.
We understand each other.
They tell me things. Secrets the Queen will never know. I can read them in their eyes. I can feel them in my bones. Words unspoken, but always heard. Whispers, desperate songs, pleading for salvation. And all the while, they watch me. Waiting. Haunted stares as she kills our brothers and sisters. Their pain is palpable, heavy in the air and on my shoulders while they call to me on an undiscovered frequency.
I hear them laughing.
I hear them crying.
I hear them . . .
I hear . . .
The timing couldn't be more perfect. A good author-friend of mine has released another breath-taking masterpiece. Cassandra Fear has been cranking out novel after novel - and I've enjoyed them all! I'm very grateful to know this talented writer!
This time, Fear has released a book about the Fae! Also, I'm privy to share a BLACK FRIDAY DEAL!
What to expect here: 1) Blurb 2) Info on promotion 3) EXCLUSIVE excerpt
Follow Cassandra Fear for all the latest news at:
"Fae Princess" Blurb:
A war fueled by hatred. A girl pushed in the middle.
Humans and Fae are at war—a war Brinna Rogers wants nothing to do with. She is content living with her parents, going to school, and pretending the streets aren’t filled with fighting. Until she has no choice but to face it.
On her way home one damp night, danger strikes, thrusting Brinna down a rabbit hole of change. A binding spell snaps, and she finds out she has been lied to her whole life. She isn’t a human like she thought. Instead, she is Fae, and not just any. Her name is Brinna Blackshadow and she is a Fae Princess.
Within moments, she is shoved over the edge of reality, plummeting straight down until she crashes head first into the war. In order to break free, she must strike a deal with the leader of the human army—one that makes guilt rise to the forefront.
Because when you strike a deal with the devil, you might pay with more than your soul.
Fae Princess is the first installment of The Blackshadow Chronicles. It will appeal to fans of Sarah J Maas’s ACOTAR series and Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey Series.
"Fae Princess" deal!
Fae Princess is out now, and just a click away. You can get this new book on Amazon for only 99 cents through Black Friday weekend, but hurry, the price goes up to $2.99 after that. It’s also available in paperback for only $13.99.
Keep scrolling for an EXCLUSIVE excerpt!!!
"I opened the bag, andinside there were at least a dozen clear plastic vials with covered needles at the bottom. Pulling one out, I held it up in the car between us. “What exactly is this?” My heart raced with fear. Why did Logan have what looked like immunization shots I used to get at the doctor's? And why did he look like he might be sick the moment he laid eyes on the shot?
“It’s a drug. I’m not sure what it’s called, I never asked. It isn’t my job to ask. It’s my job to execute the attacks.”
I quirked my eyebrows toward him. What was Logan talking about? I wanted to ask, but fear held my tongue, made me swallow it so I couldn’t get any more words out.
But, he read my quirked eyebrows as a signal. “Wondering why I have a bag full of hypodermic needles filled with a fluid to make sure people black out and don’t wake up for a while? I’m a soldier, Brinna. One of the Fae soldiers, so when I leave the compound, it’s because I have a mission, a job if you will. Usually I’m going after human soldiers, andusually,they don’t put up much of a fight.”
I’m sure the edges of panic showed through my widened eyes, slightly parted mouth, and heavier than normal breathing. Logan was a soldier. He’d been a soldier since I’d met him. My head spun. I didn’t know what to think. I could hardly breathe. But yet, when I looked at Logan, he looked as panicked as I did. Maybe he’d thought I’d run from him. Maybe he just needed someone to understand who he reallywas.
“So, you’re a soldier. Okay. I think I can handle that,” I replied, wanting him to know he had me on his side. I wouldn’t turn my back on him. Not now, not ever."
Title: "Trouble in Peaceful Haven"
Author: C.R. Leverette
Genre: Science Fiction (Western twist)
Rating: 4.5 stars
A quintessential science fiction with a loving "western" dressing that has a storyline which can be enjoyed by all!
Trouble in Peaceful Haven is a science fiction/western novella that was just filled with pleasant surprises. C.R. Leverette carves his world with beautiful descriptions and fills it with a solid storyline.
When you first crack the story open, you don't immediately realize you're on another planet. The author drops hint and after hint that makes the discovery pleasant for the reader. (A man with ocular implant? Hmmm...) The balance between futuristic tech and a calming old western vibe was done tastefully throughout the story, and the author's attention to detail is really what sets this apart from the staggering choices for your next read. I will say, while western in taste, I wouldn't say it's steampunk.
The story's voice alternates between various points of view- from the conflicted main character Movian Jenks, pleasant tavern owner Bill Conner, to the mysterious Darin (and more!). One thing I love is that the antagonist, Darin, isn't a 2D bully- he is fully fleshed with a heart-wrenching reason for his arrival to shake things up in Peaceful Haven. The prose was well written, and it read smoothly. There was one "reveal" at the end from Bill Conner to Movian Jenks about his fiancé that I didn't understand why Movian didn't know from the start (WHY, Bill???) But I won't spoil it here.
It took me only two (work) days to inhale this lovely story! I highly recommend this.Trouble in Peaceful Haven motivates me to seek outmode novellas and shorter pieces. I also can't wait to see more of C.R. Leverette.
How to Survive NaNoWriMo
(10) Have a go-to writing spot planned out. Whether it's in your room, outdoors, or at a coffee shop. Stake out your creative nook!
(9) Have a go-to crying spot. When you want to pull your hair out with frustration, never do it in your creative space. Keep the positive and negative energy separate!
(8) Have a liquid energy source at all times. The choices are endless: Red Bull, coffee, tea, some fancy-pants chai with soy milk, soda... or water? Rocket fuel NOT recommended.
(7) A distracting, mind-numbing hobby to blow off steam is recommended. For some it's exercising, TV, video games... bird watching, nose picking, sudoku puzzles. Whatever. Just don't feel bad about it.
(6) Know that non-writers won't always "get" NaNoWriMo. Don't bother explaining it to them... unless you want to waste more precious writing time...
(5) Hug a kitten. Or puppy. Whatever animal you can get your hands on.
(4) Create a playlist. Music can really put you in the zone and keep you there. For some, it's classical, others like death metal. For me, I like Zelda soundtracks via YouTube.
(3) Hit a road block? Let your friends help! Let them pick an aspect of your project for you. Example: Have them pick a word you have to incorporate into the story...or even the protagonist's/antagonist's day job!
(2) Laugh. Relax. Does the number 50,000 look intimidating? Draw smiley faces in the zeros and now you only have 5! But in all seriousness, the whole point of NaNoWriMo is to encourage writing of any kind! Whatever you get done in November is a HUGE accomplishment. Don't be too hard on yourself.
(1) SAVE SAVE SAVE SAVE SAVE YOUR WORK. You may laugh....until you get that blue screen of death mid-sentence...
BONUS: Check to see if there is a local group in your town/area that has write-ins! I've done this a few times and loved it.
See you around NaNo!
Wanna be my buddy? I'm The Madpharmacist.
Keep in mind, I'm primarily a fantasy author; however, I am challenging myself with what I consider one of the toughest genres to master- romance! Dun Dun Dunnnnnn!
"Land of Steel and Honey" is coming October 31.
Today is the cover reveal & you can preorder for only 99 cents.
Keep reading to find out more!
Jovi faces a precarious situation when Cappa teams with Belisandre to kidnap her. When she finds herself right back where she started in the castle, she tries to escape. Before she can break free, Cappa forces her on another journey, this time into the heart of Lyenhaus.
It doesn’t take long to learn how untruthful Cappa has been about his life. In order to survive, she must make him believe that she trusts him, and that she still loves him, which isn’t an easy feat when she can barely stand to be in the same room as him.
Lyenhaus is the Dwarf land, and soon Jovi finds a friend in the Dwarf king, who sees Cappa for what he is the moment he meets him. With his help, she might actually break free, but when Cappa escapes, she has an important decision to make.
Can she return to her life as Queen of the Frost Mages knowing Cappa is out there.
Land of Steel and Honey is the second installment in Secrets of Orendor, a YA epic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of Sarah J Maas and Victoria Aveyard.
And Book 1 has a brand new cover too!