"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, July 28, 2014


I'm in that place where I've spent so much time editing a piece, I wonder if it's even the same thing I started with, if it can be fixed, or if it should just slither into the trash to die. Break time...

How is your WIP coming along?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

75 Years of Batman and Freebies

It's the 75th anniversary of Batman. To celebrate, many stores such as 2nd & Charles are giving away posters, bookmarks, masks and more themed memorabilia. Call your local bookstores and see if they are participating.

Can't make it to a nearby store for the freebies? Not to worry. Gizmo's Freeware has published a directory and reviews of free download sites. This directory includes sites for downloading free E-books, Audio books and even comic books.

The first site I visited displays the first issue of Action Comics, dated June 1938. This is the issue that introduced Superman to the world. A year later, Superman got his own series. According to Gizmo, a copy of this issue recently sold for $1.5 million, but now you can view it online for free.

Thanks to free resources like these, it’s easy for us to reread classics as well as enjoy new and entertaining publications. 

Were/Are you a fan of comic books? Who is your favorite superhero or villain?

Friday, July 18, 2014

SOULLESS (Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy)

SOULLESS (Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy) 
By Crystal Collier
Coming October 13, 2014

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power. 

And risk losing everything. 

You can get book one at a discounted price for a limited time. To sign up for a chance to get them FREE, or join her blog tour - visit the author's blog here. Congratulations Crystal!

What great reads have you found lately?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last Call for July 2014 Submissions

1) The Labletter needs Prose and Poetry for Annual Issue - Annual literary journal The Labletter (est. 1998) needs writers and poets to submit essays, fiction stories, and poetry for the 2015 issue. Deadline: 07/18/2014 Pay: $150/story; $25/poem Genre(s): Poetry - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-poetry-submissions#sthash.SrMZhNnA.dpuf

2) GREAT LAKES COLLEGES ASSOCIATION NEW WRITERS AWARDS   http://glca.org/programs/new-writers-award --- NO ENTRY FEE. Poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. In each category, the submitted work must be an author’s first published volume. For this year’s competition GLCA will accept entries published from the spring of 2013 through the spring of 2014. GLCA will also accept galley proofs for works to be published in late spring or early summer of 2014. Publishers submit works on behalf of their authors; the key criterion for this award is that any work submitted must be an author’s first published volume in the genre. The winning authors tour several of GLCA’s member colleges from which they receive invitations, giving readings, lecturing, visiting classes, conducting workshops, and publicizing their books. Each writer receives an honorarium of at least $500 from each college visited, as well as travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and hospitality. Deadline July 25, 2014.

3) Ghost Proposal / Deadline: 7/30/14 / Poetry, essays, hybrid, images

4) FreeFall Literary Journal Open for prose and poetry submissions - Canadian literary journal FreeFall is accepting submissions for the Winter 2014 issue (published in January 2015) as well as submissions for a special 25th Anniversary issue. Deadline: 07/31/2014 Pay: $100/story Genre(s): Poetry - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-poetry-submissions#sthash.4nVpFFS9.dpuf

5) The Misfit Journal seeks prose and poetry inspired by Shakespeare - The Journal wants literary works that resonate with the Misfit culture, featuring the works of emerging, unappreciated writers whose talents deserve recognition. Deadline: 07/31/2014 Pay: $100/prose or poetry Genre(s): Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-poetry-submissions#sthash.GSyAm1dW.dpuf

6) DREAM QUEST POETRY AND WRITING CONTEST http://www.dreamquestone.com/ Deadline July 31, 2014. Writing Contest entries may be written on a maximum of five pages, either neatly handwritten or typed, single or double line spacing, on any subject or theme. Poetry Contest entries may be written on any subject or theme. All poems must be 30 lines or fewer and either neatly handwritten or typed, single or double line spacing. Poetry: first place $250, second place $125, third place $50. Fiction: first place $500, second place $250, third place $100.

What are you working to complete?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Revising and Editing: How to Critique any Manuscript

Turning to a piece of writing to revise and edit can feel discouraging. Remember while reading, it’s important to mark down the things you like as well as issues you believe need to be addressed. It’s important to remind the writer of the good just as much as catching the bad or questionable.

Whether you are reflecting on your own work or someone else’s, reading through the following questions and suggestions will help you reflect and become more self-sufficient in the writing process. These tips will work on both fiction and nonfiction.

1)       Is the purpose for writing clear?
2)       Does the introduction or lead succeed in grabbing the reader's attention?
3)       Do the paragraphs flow from one to the other well?
4)       Have ideas been organized in a way that makes sense?
5)       Have the questions and concerns of the audience been considered?
6)       Is the piece written in the form and style appropriate for this genre?
7)       Have sufficient examples and supporting details been provided? 
8)       Does the conclusion successfully bring the writing to a close?

1)       Read the writing aloud to catch run-on sentences, over-used words, spelling errors, and typos. 
2)       Read backwards. Start with the last sentence of the piece and read one sentence at a time from the end to the beginning. By focusing on one sentence at a time, you'll notice ways to improve the writing more easily than reading quickly through the draft from start to finish.
3)       Share the writing with multiple readers for the most effective feedback.

Try these 15 questions for the reader to help focus revisions. Or, for more specific examples on dialogue and style, try reading over these nuts and bolts of writing. For lengthy examples, there are also many craft books with great tips. Try James Scott Bell's Revision & Self-Editing which is part of the Writer's Digest "Write Great Fiction" series.

What helps you when critiquing a manuscript?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Family of Rejects

My story "Family of Rejects" will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life which is set for release on September 16, 2014.

We all fall into ruts at times, with our jobs, our relationships, our lives. This anthology is a collection of 101 personal stories of change. They are meant to inspire, invigorate, and empower you to break out of your own rut. With its powerful stories of taking chances, positive life changes, and finding new paths to happiness, you will be inspired to find the courage to reboot your own life! I hope they will motivate you to find your own new path to happiness.

You can already order this title from most major retailers.

Interested in submitting your own stories for publication in future Chicken Soup titles? Keep an eye on their Possible Book Topics page.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Captured by Love and American Independence

Jody Hedlund has once again succeeded in creating a moving tale woven with beautiful descriptions, lovable characters, and enough suspense to keep me turning pages when I should be handling other responsibilities. Now available for purchase, Captured by Love is based on real events and places.  You will feel like you've not only read a wonderful piece of fiction, but also learned about a time and place of which you knew too little.

It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur--a fur trader who left his family home to find freedom and adventure. He's been gone five years and when he returns, his family's farm is at the mercy of the British invaders. 

Torn between the life he's grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, he's drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique Mackenzie, a beautiful local girl who's been befriended by the daughter of the British commander. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases, both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love.

Hedlund is also the author of Rebellious Heart. Both of these novels make wonderful 4th of July reads! For a chance to win a FREE copy of Captured by Love check her blog: http://www.jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/ She is a truly gifted writer whose generosity knows no bounds. Her love for the Lord, her country, and her readers is evident in everything she creates. I highly recommend reading all of her novels.

For a 4th of July writing exercisehttp://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2012/07/happy-4th-of-july.html

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Expect An Adventure!

It's July 1st and summer is in full swing! Today also marks the release of a new Southern Writer's magazine issue, and I have the cover story!

In this issue, I talk with award-winning author DiAnn Mills. A prolific writer, she enjoys combining an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. 

Her first book was published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books published. Her titles have appeared on bestseller lists and have won many awards including the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.
To learn more about this magazine or to order a copy, please visit: http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/
How are your manuscripts or other projects coming along? Are you reading any great books or magazines?