Thursday, October 31, 2013

COVER REVEAL: The Zodiac Collector

For almost-16 year-old Anne Devans, the annual Renaissance Faire means
three things—her dad spending weeks in the smithy, her bipolar mom
doing some manic costume making, and another ruined birthday for her
and her twin sister, Mary.

This year, Anne wants things to be different, and she's going to do
things her way.

On the eve of the Faire, Anne (along with a reluctant Mary) conjures
up a spell that will make their 16th birthday party a whirlwind event.
Little do they know that it's a literal request.

After the mini tornado in their room subsides, the girls realize
they've invoked the power of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux.
That's the good news. The bad news is they also caught the attention
of a sorceress named Zeena who has been collecting children born under
each Zodiac Sign to enhance her power. Once she captures Anne and
Mary, Gemini twins, the entire Zodiac—and the world—will be hers.

Anne leads the fight against Zeena, but her one-sided decisions could
throw them into a world so far from home, even the Renaissance Faire
would seem like a brilliant vacation. Between managing their new
Zodiac powers, dodging their manic mother and trying to stop Zeena,
they'll get a 16th birthday they'll never forget.

Title: The Zodiac Collector
Author: Laura Diamond
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( Please feel
free to use any images, text. Links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-63-5
Release Date:  May 2014
Formats: Paperback, e-book

If you’d like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our
website ( ARC’s will
ship in or around March 2014.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Musical Manuscripts

Let's face it. Eveery now and then in life things happen and our entire schedules can be turned upside down. That happened to me a few months ago. I was moving from New Jersey to Texas and had way to much to do. The problem now is getting back into the writing grove. Things have begun to slow down and we are getting into a routine here in Austin. But, my writing is still lagging. And not for a lack of will.

I sit down to write, but my brain strays, too often. I have been juggling three separate projects. Hoping one will stick and catch my attention. I finally had a break through a couple weeks ago on one of those manuscripts. Still I can't get my mind fully on this one and away from the other two. I can't seem to focus long enough to really get much done.

So I have been playing musical manuscripts. I grab one binder out, make notes, open files on my computer, and do a little bit of work. Before long, my thoughts turn to a different project. And the same process takes hold again. It's been a confusing month around here.

A couple weeks ago I posted that I am going to dive into NaNoWriMo this year again. I'm hoping this will help get me back into my daily habit of writing. And make me settle on one project.

Have you ever had a hard time sticking with one manuscript long enough to get anything done? What are your solutions to this problem?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NaNoWriMo Madness

When I first heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I thought everyone participating was possibly out of their minds. I mean, who could write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days? Not this writer! Then again, at the time I had been slaving over the same manuscript for ages. I was convinced I first needed a perfect outline and then I needed to edit every chapter before I moved on to the next. Needless to say this method was not working out for me. And I had yet to implement a new method. I needed a change. Yet, I had no idea what that was.

Fast forward to the following year. Yes, I was still slaving over that same manuscript. Yes, I may have possibly been on the third rewrite of said manuscript. A few days before NaNo was set to start I shelved my hated beloved manuscript aside. I shelved it for another more promising manuscript. Then on Twitter, I noticed all of the millions of NaNo tweets. My feed was inundated with madness. I attempted to ignore it. Until one of my twitter pals tweeted me asking if I was planning to join the insanity, less than 48 hours before November 1st.

I read the tweet, shook my head, and thought "are you crazy?" Fifteen minutes later I had talked myself into joining the insane masses. Not only had I convinced myself to attempt this madness, I had also decided to pull that dreaded manuscript back off the shelf and rewrite it for the fourth time.This time I was going to fly by the seat of my pants and write what felt right. No outline needed this time.

No, I didn't hit the 50,000 word mark, but I did complete a rough draft that was manageable. It also gave me back my confidence. I knew what worked best for me. I needed to keep writing straight through without stopping to edit. That's where I was losing my momentum. I also learned that I do need an outline. A good outline. And that took me some more time to figure out. And the second year I participated, I did hit the word count. And it was a well outlined manuscript. I have now found my process.

This year I am rewriting that original manuscript, yet again, for NaNoWriMo. I'm doing it with a nice clean outline. One that has been poured over for a full month before the writing madness descends upon us. I've also taken out all of the vampires. *cough, cough* It's also no  longer a YA, but rather a NA this time around, as it was on the second or third rewrite. I forget now. Either way, I'm joining the insanity once again.

Now the question is, who is with me this year?

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago... and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting.

Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to--one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder--a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe.

Title: Forest of Whispers
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Cover designer: Lisa Amowitz
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN: 978-1-937053-56-7
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Formats: Trade Paper, e-book
If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website.