This blog is officially 10 years old today! Wow, time does fly. I cannot believe it has been that long. Thank you to everyone who has taken part and read the blog. I really appreciate your support.
2024 will bring brand new interviews, articles and more.
Here is to the next 10 years :)
Do you have a writing schedule?
In the past, I would write whatever I wanted, often abandoning certain projects for a long time for new ideas. While this was fun, it didn't help me finish a series or I forgot to release a book I promised. As a writer, this isn't a good thing. Readers like consistency and they want to complete a series as quickly as possible.
In 2018, I started creating a yearly schedule for myself to ensure I met deadlines and completed the books that needed to be completed. While I originally found it to be a little stifling due to my ADHD, in time I got used to this new system and turned it into a challenge instead.
A few months before a new year, I will map out what books need to be written and when they are due. Unfortunately, in the beginning I had a habit of overestimating my time and ability and adding far too many projects and not taking into account free time for myself. As you can imagine, I soon became burned out.
Here are some important things to consider if you are making a schedule for yourself -
A schedule can be a great way to keep on top of your writing and to ensure you are releasing books in a timely manner for your audience. There are a lot of free programs online to help you plan or you can keep a simple diary.
1) Tell us about your book
This year has been rather rough but there is one story that I always manages to save me.
The title of the book is When the Wind Blows. One night I went to sleep had a dream about a young girl trying to find her way back to her brothers, she mets this man Michael and they fall in love. He promises to bring her back home to her brothers.
2) What themes does your book explore?
The theme for this story is love does die and the promise that her brothers and Michael give to Athalia.
3) Tell us something unusual about your main character.
Athalia is never afraid to fight for the people she loved and determination to find her way home.
4) Is this a standalone book or a series?
There is another part to this story--it is a novella called Love Doesn’t die and it based on what happens after the dream.
5) What is next for you?
Homecoming and a few shared series. I don’t titles for them yet but one is called Matteo, and the Last Billionaire.
6) What genres do you write in and why?
It’s kind of hard to say what genres I write because I write whatever idea pops in my head.
7) Describe your writing style?
I was told by others I have a niche for storytelling and a compelling voice.
8) What inspires you to write?
Writing to me is like Breathing-- I need to help me get through the rough patches.
9) Who are your favourite authors?
Stephen King, The Stand will always be the best book, it captivated me and I read the book in one sitting, I couldn;t move nor put it down.
Jude Deveraux-- A Knight in Shining Armor
Anne Rice--The Vampire Series and Witching Hour
J.R.R Tolkien--Lord of the Rings
Edgar Allen Poe--Everything
JKk Rowlings--Harry Potter
Jodi Picoult--The StoryTeller
Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead)
When the Wind Blows Blurb
A whisper in the wind, “love never dies,” proves to be more than just a figment of Athalia’s imagination. Her life was normal, bordering boredom, but one night of sleep opens her eyes to a past life she never knew existed.
Time travel with Athalia, a seventeen year old girl with no idea what to do with her life, as she discovers dreams are so much more than just dreams.
Back in time, Athalia is sent away from her brother’s castle to live as a peasant. Unsatisfied with this life, she sets off on an adventure to find her way home.
She doesn’t expect to fall in love with her champion.
Or learn why she was sent away in the first place…
Born in a small Pennsylvania town called Altoona.
Story telling came natural ask the nuns at Sacred Heart Church.
Because of You, is her debut novel, the first of a series.
Editing is key when it comes to polishing your book and creating the best product possible. Before you send your book to an editor, you must first do a self-edit. Here are a few common mistakes writers make and what to look out for.
1) What genres do you write in and why?
I write mostly urban fantasy but occasionally I will dabble in poetry or literary fiction. I was a teenager in the era of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I saw the movie when it was new, and I was fairly impressionable which meant it kind of became my whole identity. I loved the ultra-femme heroine battling against (primarily) male enemies with superhuman strength. She was the kind of girl I thought girls should look up to. At the time, I was writing psychological horror/thrillers a la Fear Street but as I got older, I saw more of that Buffy influence in my writing. All of the elements of horror were still present—shadow creatures, vampires—but in a less horrific way.
It wasn’t until recently, probably in the last ten years or so, that I learned about urban fantasy. Ironically, I learned a lot from reading male protagonists like Harry Dresden but the more I dug, the more I learned, Buffy was the rule, Dresden was the exception. Urban fantasy had come out of a rebellion against the predominately male gatekeeping in high and epic fantasy and as such urban fantasy was predominately female battling against (primarily) male enemies with superhuman strength. In essence, urban fantasy adopted me rather than the other way around.
2) Describe your writing style
I try to keep narration informal and conversational, as if I were telling the story to a friend, adding in bits of humor to keep things from getting too dark. I weave music in wherever I can, as well, through visual allusions to lyrics, character names taken from songs, or characters who are musicians.
3) What inspires you to write?
I get a lot of ideas from dreams and music. Music is probably truly the only thing that has been present in my life longer than stories. I learned to read and play songs on the jukebox about the same time.
4) Who are your favourite authors?
Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Jim Butcher. I admire the way all of King’s hundreds of stories connect in some way. I love Gaiman’s use of whimsy to offset sometimes extreme darkness. And I have a great appreciation for Butcher’s adaptability. Many only know him for the Dresden Files but he has completed another series of high fantasy called the Codex Alera and it is a completely different style and I only hope I am able to create such notable distinction in my varied series.
5) Tell us something unusual about you
I didn’t learn to ride a bicycle until I was eleven years old and the counsellors at a sleepaway camp didn’t give me a choice. I never got very good at it.
As you may know, we launched our official podcast in late September. Season 1 consisted of six episodes and concluded on Nov 1st. Season 2 will launch in late February 2024. The aim of the podcast is to help new and struggling writers to improve their craft and hopefully improve their sales. You can follow the link below to listen to our first six episodes.
We love feedback so please do get in touch if you have any topics you would like discussed in the future.
1) Tell us about your book
Under Fire is the first book in a new series featuring a dragon shifter called Seraphina. She loses her memory and is trying to figure out who tried to kill her. Her life is saved by a vampire named Victor, but she isn't sure what he wants from her.
2) What themes does your book explore?
Finding your identity, trust and dealing with trauma.
3) Tell us something unusual about your main character?
Well, apart from being a dragon shifter, we later learn that she can do things few dragon shifters can do, especially the females. She can walk through fire without being burned and she can manipulate fire too.
4) Is this a standalone book or a series?
This is the first book in a five book series. The first four books are up for preorder now and the fifth will go up in late September.
5) What is next for you?
I have two other series' planned - a paranormal academy duology and my series Grimm Descendants which I am very excited for. I will also be writing a few short stories for some boxsets early next year.
Addison Sinclair is a UK author who writes paranormal fantasy books featuring dragons, fantastical creatures, and even the Big Bad Wolf himself.
A huge book nerd, you will often find her reading or doodling in her many, many notebooks.
You can join Addison's newsletter to receive a free book and keep up to date with all her latest releases.
Guardian of Monsters
Sleuths of Shadow Salon
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Supernatural Private Investigation Thriller
Publisher: Konjur Road Press
Date of Publication: August 6, 2023
Number of pages: 236
Word Count: 65k
Cover Artist: Christian Bentulan
Tagline: Supernaturally on the case! Celestine LeBlanc and Luna Finley are the Sleuths of Shadow Salon.
Guardian of Monsters (Sleuths of Shadow Salon, urban fantasy PI series, Bk 1)
Celestine, witch and wolf shifter has a talent for prophetic drawings. She’s shocked when she draws her landlord Ray with his eyes gouged out and a strange winged-mermaid leaning over him. Later she finds an eyeless Ray dead on the sidewalk. All she wanted to do was open a gallery, but first she must apprehend his killer. In a note she found after he died, Ray revealed he wasn’t just a leather-smith but a supernatural pirate mage. Years back, his Jekyll crew trapped the evil Demon Three Eyes clan. Ray had feared they’d escaped, were stalking him, and would soon wreak havoc on Savannah.
Oryn, a fellow student in Celestine’s continuing ed art class, is a fae and a thorn in her side, when he asks nosy questions about the case. Yet, she’s drawn to him when he’s her masseur at the spa she frequents, and he’s clever at brainstorming leads regarding Ray’s case. He insists his air magic could come in handy.
When pirates in Ray’s old crew are murdered, their body parts stolen, Celestine puts more horrifying clues together. She’ll need everyone on board, including Oryn and Luna, a mermaid asking to show her sea-glass sculptures at Celestine’s new gallery—the very same mermaid in Celestine’s tragic drawing of Ray. Otherwise, the lethal monstrosity Demon Three Eyes is unleashing on Savannah will destroy the city and everyone in it.
This series may appeal to fans of Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris.
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Mics were thrust in her face as she stepped toward the front stairs.
“How do you feel about Ray Bartello’s murder?”
“Do you have a statement for the press?”
“Is it true that your drawing predicted Bartello’s death?”
“Why would you draw him eyeless?”
“Are you the murderer?”
She waited until that last crappy question—more an accusation—to say anything. Then she stared at the reporter. With scalding rage contained in a deceptively quiet hiss, she said, “Ray Bartello was a good friend of mine. I’m heartbroken by his passing.”
She glanced at Oryn for moral support. His slightly narrowed eyes seemed to say, Go slow, you don’t owe them. She agreed. After the supernatural attacks, she was not going to hint that she knew a damn thing, because the more that bad entities knew she was trying to figure out the case, the more they would try to maul, even kill her. Oryn gave a faint nod, his eyes tinting green. She went on.
“I know nothing about how this happened. You could camp here for days, and I still couldn’t tell you more. The proper place to provide any tips or leads is to the Savannah Police.”
As she pushed through the group, Oryn walked slightly behind her, since the reporters were busy photographing them together, no doubt fuel for salacious media.
“How do you know Miss LeBlanc? Are you dating her?” some ballsy reporter asked Oryn. He didn’t answer.
“Did you know Ray Bartello? Did you or Miss LeBlanc have a fight earlier on the day he was found?” asked another.
“Can you tell us anything more about the case?” asked a third.
Oryn face wrinkled in disgust. “Look, Miss LeBlanc needs peace. She’s said what she can. Yes, we’re friends, not that it’s your business,” he added sharply. “You may as well go get some sleep. Camping out here won’t get you what you seek.” He swept his arm around
Celestine, and they hurried up the stone stairs leading to her place.
Oryn stopped on the stoop while Celestine unlocked the door. “So, I’ll see you at class tomorrow? Will you be okay?” he asked. “If you want, I can cast a few air wards around the house so you can get a worry-free night’s sleep. Otherwise—”
“It’s not your job to protect me,” she said, gazing up at him and realizing how very much taller he was, next to her five-foot, seven-inch frame. Good goddess, the man must be six and a half feet tall if he’s an inch.
Witchy and Supernatural Power of the Feminine Fun Facts!
Compiled by Author Catherine Stine
Before people had hospitals and surgeons to fix people, they had midwives and herbalists. When babies or moms died in childbirth, or the herbal fix was insufficient to cure what we would now know was a fatal disease, who do you think was blamed? The same women who delivered babies and gave expert herbal remedies! In a fearful and ignorant world, they were labeled as witches, or agents of the devil.
Ironically, in ancient Rome even though women were housebound with zero political power, the most revered, influential people were the high priestesses presiding over the oracles, such as the one at Delphi. These women were said to be able to predict the future, wield supernatural powers and have innate knowledge of the divine realms. Greek citizens would go on pilgrimages to seek out their womanly wisdom.
In Chaucer’s and Boccaccio’s European middle ages (mid 1300s) people were expected to be devout in their Christianity. Many believed literally in the devil and the power of witches. Interestingly, as devout as they were to the going religion, they also prayed to the sprites and night nymphs of their recently dropped Pagan beliefs. They also believed in Fortuna, or the wheel of Fortune: that fortunes rose and fell by the whirl of a wheel, often portrayed by a beautiful woman, Fortuna. How’s that for supernatural female power!
During the Victorian Era in 1899 Charles Godfrey Leland published a book called Aradia or Gospel of the Witches. This Aradia goddess, the incarnation of Diana/Artemis was going to bring magic to the Victorians and hopefully free women from the oppression of the times.
Tamsin Blight 1798-1856 was a famous English witch healer, able to remove curses or spells from a person. She was also said to have put spells on those who displeased her. She was also known as Tammy Blee and Tamson.
In the 1920s and 30s there was a craze for psychics, card readers, and mediums who claimed they could communicate with people’s dead relatives. Harry Houdini, the famous magician, ironically made it his life’s work to try and debunk these folks. Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the Sherlock Holmes series was a huge believer in the supernatural. He had heated debates with Houdini.
The Tarot fascinates me. I collect cards for their variety and amazing images. They are thought to have originated all the way back in ancient Egypt, as a cosmic source of wisdom and divination of the future. The Egyptian word TAR means royal and ROmeans royal – thus the royal road to wisdom. Later, in northern Italy, a complete deck for card playing and gambling was devised. In France in the 1700s, a “cartomancer” named Jean Baptiste-Alliette created the imagery in the decks we often see today. There are cups, swords, wands, and pentacles. And the Major Arcana cards that hold great symbolism, such as the hermit, the world and the death card (which can also mean rebirth!)
Here’s a playlist I created for the spooky season with all things supernatural. Enjoy!
I Put a Spell on You – Nina Simone
You Make me Feel Like it’s Halloween – MUSE
Wake the Witch – Karliene
Alice Underground– Avril Lavigne
Season of the Witch – Donovan
Heartless – The Fray version
Black Magic Woman – Santana
Hunting for Witches – Bloc Party
Heavy Like a Witch – All Them Witches
Do You Believe in Magic? – Lovin’ Spoonful
About the Author:
Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal, urban and historical fantasy, all with romance and suspense. Witch of the Wild Beasts won a second prize in the Romance Writers of America’s Sheila Contest. Other novels have earned Indie Notable awards and New York Public Library Best Books. She lives in New York State and grew up in Philadelphia. Before writing novels, she was a painter and fabric designer. She’s a visual author and sees writing as painting with words. Catherine loves spending time with her beagle Benny, writing about supernatural creatures, gardening and meeting readers at book fests. Learn more at catherinestine.com
1 signed paperback of Guardian of Monsters with stickers and a bookmark.
Halloween is almost upon us! Time for some book recs to get you in the mood for spooky season.
Stephen King's IT - a favorite of mine. A killer clown preys on children in the small town of Derry. A group of friends work together to find a way to stop it before IT kills again.
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke - People are disappearing around an old lighthouse said to be cursed. Twenty years on, one of the missing children reappears but she hasn't aged a day.
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill - Victoria McQueen goes up against a vampire who takes kids off to Christmasland, a place they can never return from. She escapes him, but years later, he comes for her son. Can she stop him again?
Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall - Sara's sister Becca disappeared when she went searching for an urban legend. A year on, she decides to follow the same path in a bid to save her.
All these books are available through major book retailers.
Suspicious Minds is an upcoming book in the shared universe of the Accidental Zodiacs. People have unusual powers depending on the zodiac sign they are born under. I chose Scorpio as mine as that is my zodiac sign.
My main character Cordelia has the power to control a person's emotions, though she has trouble controlling her own. When she is framed for murder, she must work with a Zodiac Enforcement Agent to clear her name.
There are three types of zodiacs - Sinless, Wandering and Fallen. Sinless are the good guys who usually work for the ZEA. Wandering are on the fence, not good and not evil, like Cordelia. Fallen have crossed the line and cannot be trusted.
New books are revealed every couple of months and you can grab Suspicious Minds in November, or preorder now.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”