Monday, June 25, 2018

It's Summertime and there's a Murder at the Marina


I'm so excited to be celebrating the wonderful Ellen Jacobson's new release, Murder at the Marina today. I had the honor of receiving an ARC, and this cozy mystery hooked me completely. I laughed out loud so many times! You can read my review HERE.

The story takes place at a marina with a small sailing community in the summer. Summer is my least favorite season. I know that shocks a lot of people, but I don't handle the heat well. I much prefer it to be chilly. I'm also very fair, and I burn within 15 minutes of being out under the sun. Burn and freckle!

There is one thing that has recently made me look forward to the summer, though. That is Camp Brosius. It's a family camp tucked away beside a lake in Wisconsin. There's plenty to keep the kids busy and a variety of activities for the adults. Plus loads of family fun. You can also choose to do absolutely nothing. Just lounge by the lake and read.

Last year was our first year at Camp Brosius. I hadn't relaxed so hard in a decade! We want to make this an annual family trip. It's the type of summer vacation I want my son to remember fondly when he grows up. Maybe the type of vacation he wants to bring his family on some day.


* * * * *


A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?

A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #1

Buy Links:

Author Bio: 
Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and sci-fi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn't working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor.

Sail away with Ellen here:
The Cynical Sailor Blog - http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/
The Cynical Sailor Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/TheCynicalSailor/
Newsletter Sign-up - http://eepurl.com/dpy5sv

Thursday, June 21, 2018

I'm visiting the Writing and Wellness site today!



I'm excited to be at the Writing and Wellness site today. Colleen M. Story interviewed me about writing and how it affects my physical and mental health. Come say hi!

This amazing site shares information on all aspects of health from studies, experts, writers, and artists. I love the author interviews and all the wonderfully creative ways we each deal with our unique situations.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Elements of Untethered Realms


Enter our mysterious realms where the stories are as varied and rich as the types of soil on this and other planets. Enchanted forests are knotted with roots and vines. Dreaded paths take us through stranger, unexplored places.

Investigate new worlds and a house frequented by ghosts. Come across witches and wizards and an assassin tasked to kill Death.

Meet hot robots, hungry winds, and the goddess of chaos. Explore alien lands, purgatorial realms, and a shocking place where the people bury the living with the dead.

Encounter paranormal detectives, imprisoned dragons, dark demons, cursed jewels, and handsome prophets. Search shifting worlds trapped in mirrors and a disturbing future where the president seeks to rid the world of Otherkind.

Experience a haunted ride on a riverboat, water sprites borne of pennies, preternatural creatures, ancient serpents, and the lady of the lake who lurks in dark waters.

From USA Today bestselling and popular science-fiction and fantasy authors comes Elements of Untethered Realms, a supernatural compilation of Twisted Earths, Mayhem in the Air, Ghosts of Fire, and Spirits in the Water. These forty thrilling tales feature authors Angela Brown, Jeff Chapman, Cathrina Constantine, Julie Flanders, River Fairchild, Gwen Gardner, Misha/M. Gerrick, Meradeth Houston, Graeme Ing, Simon Kewin, M. Pax, Christine Rains, Cherie Reich, and Catherine Stine.

Coming October 2018.

Love this cover! I'm so excited about this collection. Untethered Realms is an amazing group of authors, and wow, these stories.

We are prepping to take on another big project writing stories in a shared world. (Think Wild Cards created by George R.R. Martin.) It's going to be epic!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fabulous new release: Write With Fey


NEW RELEASE & GIVEAWAY!


Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!

Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication offers an abundance of data in one handy book. From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. You’ll also discover how to write specific scenes and characters, adding depth to your work.

•        Spark One: Being a Writer
•        Spark Two: Story Essentials
•        Spark Three: A Book’s Stepping Stones
•        Spark Four: How To
•        Spark Five: Character ER
•        Spark Six: Editing
•        Spark Seven: Publishing
•        Spark Eight: Marketing
•        Spark Nine: Writing About
•        Spark Ten: Final Inspiration

With so much information, you’ll take notes, highlight, and flag pages to come back to again and again on your writing journey.


BUY LINKS:




 AUTHOR BIO:

 Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Fey realized she wanted to write by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes.
 
Chrys Fey’s Links:




GIVEAWAY!

Open to all from June 4th 2018 – July 6th 2018
Click here to enter or use the form below.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

#IWSG for June 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

This month's optional question: What's harder for you to come up with: book titles or character names?

Book titles. By far! I love coming up with character names. I have lists and lists of names. Book titles are incredibly difficult for me. I usually ask my writer friends for title suggestions. I try to keep my titles simple, but even then, I'm banging my head on the desk to find something that encompasses the story.

This month's insecurities: Time. I'm so behind on everything. This is not unusual for me. I know in the summer, I have precious few hours on the computer to work. Family comes first. I try to make to-do lists to reasonably fit that. But I'm looking at my June list and shaking my head. There's so much I want to do. I should be easier on myself. I tell myself to not worry. But my creative juices want to propel me forward at a speed that is hard for me handle. Then I berate myself for not getting enough done. I'm kinder to myself than I once was, but I'm still my own worst boss.

What are your insecurities this month?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Starting off the summer with free geeky romance!


It's the first day of summer break in my household. While I'm excited about getting in some family time, I'll be losing a lot of a writer time.

To help my sanity, once a week, a group of gamer buddies come over to our house and we play for hours. We scheme, roll dice, and laugh like madmen.

 I'm sharing all that fun with you. Plus a little extra bit on the naughty side! Laughs, nerd talk, and steamy scenes.

The Dice & Debauchery series is FREE for five days!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Making of a Cover - Harnessing the Winds


It's tough making your book stand out. There are millions of books out there, and one of the best ways to grab a reader's attention is to have to a fabulous cover. (One day my house will likely have an interior like that!)

I'm not a graphic designer nor do I have any aspirations to be one. Everything I've learned about making covers I've researched on my own and experimented in Photoshop. It's a long and tedious process, but I thoroughly enjoy playing around with images. And since you all seem to really like it I share my process of making a cover, I'm here with one I created for an author friend.

I will always recommend writers hire a cover artist to create their covers or buy a premade one. Yet these things aren't cheap. There are plenty of free images sites, and one I really like to use is Pixabay. Images on there are free to use for commercial ventures. Always be certain you have permission to use an image.

My friend, Morena Silver, is a fantasy romance author. Her debut novel is about pirates. Arrrr! A whole ship of women pirates at that. The book features the captain who can harness the power of storms.

Morena chose the model.

She's wearing a bikini... I'm assuming. And sitting on a rock like that can't be comfortable. Her poor bottom! Anyway, good choice for a model. The background is clear. Easy for me to cut the model out of that image (and off the craggy rock) and insert her into the new background.


Beautiful, isn't it? I love the drama and the color. Both these images are from Pixabay. While I do like the whole image, I cropped it to feature the ships. I didn't think it looked stormy enough, though. So I added in more billowing clouds and played on the oranges.

The actual cutting and pasting of the model onto the background was easy. Who wouldn't want to be there by the sea? The toughest part came when Morena said she wanted lightning. On the woman's arms. Okay, okay. It was time to learn a new skill, and you know what? It was surprisingly simple. I read a short tutorial about how to create lightning in Photoshop and BAM! Or should I say ZAP!


I'm so pleased with the way it turned out and so was Morena. The cover screams romance. It screams fantasy. It screams don't mess with this woman!

I mentioned tons and tons of layers in the post about making the cover for Of Gods and Sorrow. There aren't many layers to this one. The little bolts of lightning I connected to make that effect took the most layering. Simple and elegant.

What do you think? If you're an author, where do you get your covers?