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Actually taking a damn break


I’ve been talking for years about how important it is to take time for self care, but I’ve also been terrible at following my own advice. Today is a civil holiday here in Canada, so while everyone else is taking a three day weekend, I decided to take a proper two day weekend instead of my usual one day off.

I’ll be playing video games with the hubby – what do YOU do to relax? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

Author Spotlight: Giselle Marks of Princess of Zenina

princess real coverToday I’d like to introduce you to Giselle Marks, author of fantasy Princess of Zenina. She’s been kind enough to come over and share her inspiration, the challenges and tribulations of self publishing, and more!

Without further ado, let’s get started:

The Blurb

Princess Marina, who is on a hunting expedition to the Royal reserve, Planet Qu, rescues a group marooned by pirates. They are protected only by a one-armed, disgraced, former Markaban officer, Major Heneran Bromarsh. The Zeninan race has many abilities most humans do not have, including healing powers.

Marina carries the refugees home to Hemithea, capital city of Zenina, ruling planet of the Zeninan Empire. Zenina is ruled by Marina’s mother, Queen Kerina. Here men are sex slaves and the rapacious women are stronger. It is a dangerous place for unprotected men.

Bromarsh strives to discover why he was framed for causing a massacre of civilians and seeks revenge. But the plot is not easily unravelled, and during his journey of discovery he falls under Zenina’s spell. Bromarsh is befriended by the gorgeous Charles, Marina’s slave. Charles, though deeply in love with his mistress, is a leader of the movement for the liberation of Zenina’s slaves. Princess sets the scene for Marina to fulfil her destiny, but there are many difficulties in her way

Leibster Award/Tag Round One

LiebsterThe past couple of weeks have been pretty exciting in my internet world, featuring two nominations for the Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is a blogging award where blog writers can nominate other blogs they believe should get some extra recognition. The writer then has the opportunity to add some background information about themselves by answering the questions their nominator listed and also pay it forward by nominating their own choices. Every writer makes up their own questions, so each nomination is an opportunity to share more about yourself — which means you’ll be seeing two of these posts this month!

This nomination is from Drew McVittie over at The Scribblings, so I’ll be using the rules listed on his blog.

The tortured artist stereotype is killing our best and brightest

Linkin Park QuoteOn May 18th of this year Chris Cornell, one of my favourite singers and a minor rock and roll legend, died by suicide. I wrote part of this article, then shelved it, too heartbroken to finish. I nursed my wounds, the moment passed, and life went on.

On July 20th Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park,  was found dead, another suicide. And I knew I had to finish this, no matter how much it hurt. This is a conversation we need to have.

A note before we get started

I don’t presume to know why Chester Bennington–or anyone else–felt suicide was the only way out of his pain. What I’d like to say is rooted in my own experiences as a creative person who’s struggled with depression for almost thirteen years. Several artists and writers I know have admitted to struggling with similar thoughts and issues, but I cannot presume to speak for them.

All I can do is tell you my own story and hope it will mean something to you.

Author Spotlight: Sharon Ledwith

CoverLostandFoundsmall Today I’m thrilled to introduce a dear friend of mine, author Sharon Ledwith. I’ve known her since back in the Musa Publishing days (2011-2014) and I’ve been thrilled to see her go on to do bigger, better things with her books. Today she’s here to celebrate the recent release of her latest novel, Lost and Found: Welcome to Fairy Falls.

The Blurb

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with this freakish power, all the while trying to lead a normal life. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected…

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the

animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Using Twitter chats to connect with other writers

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2
Hi folks! Today I’m once again participating in the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, a blog hop for writers who want to learn from each other and build a community. This month I’m going to write about one of my favourite ways to connect with other authors: Twitter chats! Of all the things I’ve tried, I’ve found Twitter chats the most effective way of building my professional network and social media prowess. With any luck today’s advice will inspire you to harness this wonderful opportunity to propel your own career forward.

#Ownvoices Author Spotlight: Meredith Katz

hairtothethrone400 Today I’d like to introduce author Meredith Katz. Her Pandemonium series of fantasy novellas is filled with a cast of remarkably varied queer characters. She’s shared some of the process behind her most recent novella, Hair to the Throne, along with her views on representation in publishing–and how we can all work to improve it.

I hope you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed chatting with her!

The Blurb

The city of Flecton is ruled with an iron fist by Demon Prince Vehr, whose human citizens suffer under demonic enslavement and live in fear of her ever-watchful presence. The prince herself is never seen, living in her underground palace and sending demons to kidnap skilled humans to serve her.

Ten years earlier, Merle’s best friend and closest confidante Abeille, a promising silversmith, was taken to Vehr’s palace. Now, Vehr seeks a hairdresser, and Merle has exactly the skills she needs. Surviving the hairy situation will take more than wits—it’ll take good people to rely on, old friends and new.

Why you should never feel guilty about taking time to write

stressAs a freelance writer and an author with 20 books outlined and only one published, I always feel guilty when I do literally anything other than write, but I know the opposite is true for many writers. They–and probably you–have day jobs, families, and friends vying for their limited time, not to mention all the things that need to happen to keep their homes and bodies running properly. They feel guilty taking time away from these things to write, and when they do get their butt into the chair, there’s always a voice nagging them with all the other things they could be doing.

Once upon a time, I struggled with this type of guilt too. Then I realized how much it weighed me down, how it made it difficult to get into the flow when I finally did get to work, and how it was generally ruining my life. So every time the guilt reared its ugly head, I reminded myself why this writing thing I do is so important, and why it’s worth the time.

If you’re struggling, these reminders might just help you too.

#InkRipples: Why I’ve always been drawn to villains


This week I’m joining the wonderful Mary Waibel, Kai Strand, and Katie L. Carroll for this month’s #InkRipples challenge, and we’re talking about heroes & villains. Those of you who follow me on the social medias (@DiannaLGunn on Twitter or d_l_gunn on Instagram) won’t be surprised that I’ve chosen to focus on the villains. You see, I’ve always been drawn to them. Villains fascinate me, and often I find myself empathizing more with them than with the heroes.

Today we’re going to talk about why.

Author Spotlight: Emily Mundell

tsatsfront.jpg Today I’m thrilled to be introducing Emily Mundell, a fellow young author whose first published book, The Sorceress and the Squid, came out earlier this month. I’m excited to pick up a copy of this hilarious-sounding novel and I hope you will be too!

The Blurb

In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes pity on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard. On their journey they face challenges and revelations that will ultimately decide not only their own fates, but the fate of all of Perth.