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.

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.

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.

Author Spotlight: SM Henley

2016-494 eBook Sue Clynes, Scratching in the Dirt, B01Today I’d like to introduce SM Henley, an urban fantasy writer who rapid-fire published their first three novels, the Written by Birds trilogy, earlier this year. She’s been kind enough to share the inspiration and process behind her first novel, Scratching in the Dirt, with us today! I hope you’ll enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

The Book

A father in Hell, a dead lover, and a demon gangster on her tail. Today is the best day of Tazia’s life.

Demons are taking savage control of the disillusioned and down-at-heel. Half-vampire, Tazia, wants no part in it. She’s embracing her first taste of freedom in one hundred and fifty years. But liberty doesn’t come easily. When her celebrations are interrupted by a psychopathic angel, she is forced into a distasteful alliance to save the demon who was once her jailer.

Assisted by her best friend, a sex-addicted technomancer called Billy, she struggles to free herself from the angel’s evil plan. No easy task, when faced with resistance from a demonic terrorist, and pursued by her ex-lover—a human mercenary now out for her blood. If she fails, will Tazia ever regain her freedom or will she be forced back into a life of tortuous incarceration?

Scratching in the Dirt is the first in the Written by Birds trilogy, and is an adult urban fantasy novel set on the streets of modern-day Turin, London, and Detroit. It treads lightly in the darkness, with not a small amount of blood and gritty humor. Just ask the birds.

Editor Spotlight: Casey Lawrence of 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy

coverToday I’ve got something a little different for you: Casey Lawrence, a good friend of mine and an author who was interviewed here in 2015, has come back to The Dabbler, this time wearing an editor’s hat. She’s spent the past several months working on an anthology entitled 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy, a collection of poetry and prose that focuses on highlighting marginalized voices. We had a lovely chat about the anthology editing process, why anthologies like this one are so important, and how writers can turn their political despair into creative energy. All that below the fold–but first, the blurb!

The Blurb

Presenting the diverse voices of those most affected by the results of the 2016 American presidential election, 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy is a charitable project meant to prioritize and highlight marginalized writers for a good cause. One hundred percent of profits from the sale of this book will be donated to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and the ACLU, the nonprofit organization defending the constitutional rights of Americans.

11/9: The Fall of American Democracy contains the work of a number of award-winning poets and authors including Roger Aplon, Laura Foley, Alan w. Jankowski, Mike Jurkovic, Sergio A. Ortiz, Mindela Ruby, Claire Scott, and Jan Steckel, in addition to a number of unpublished poets and fresh young voices. From a precocious four-year-old writer to octogenarians, amateur poets to Pushcart nominees, American expats to teens who have never left their hometown, this volume collects poetry and short prose reflecting on 11/9/16, a dark day in American history.

#InkRipples: How much of your story should be in your blurb?


Today I’m joining the wonderful Mary Waibel, Kai Strand, and Katie L. Carroll for this month’s #InkRipples challenge, and we’re talking about blurbs. Since my debut, Keeper of the Dawn, came out last month, I’ve been thinking about blurbs a lot. Especially because although I didn’t write the blurb for Keeper of the Dawn, I will eventually be writing my own blurbs when I self publish.

So today I’d like to tackle one of the most important questions in blurb writing: how much of the story should you include? We’ll be using Keeper of the Dawn‘s blurb as the main example, but I’d love you to share some of your favourites (or least favourites) in the comments section!

Author Spotlight: HL Carpenter

Emma 3D Cover Image (Medium)Today’s author, HL Carpenter, is actually a mother-daughter writing team. I met these lovely ladies way back when I worked for Musa Publishing (now defunct), and their first novel, Skyhorse,  was freshly out on its first print run. Musa closing was not going to stop them, and this dynamic duo has not only gotten Skyhorse back into print but also published five more novels. Today they’re here to chat about their most recent novel, A Cause for Murder.

Please give them a warm welcome!

The Blurb

Septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs thinks her neighbor’s death was an accident—until her friend Arnie says he suspects murder.

Arnie is convinced he knows the killer’s identity. He wants Emma to prove it.

Is Arnie right? And is he right in his belief that Emma’s best friend is the killer’s next target?

As Emma navigates madcap mayhem, multiple mysteries, and murderous motives, she discovers more than one person is hiding deadly secrets.

The question is, who has a cause for murder?

#Ownvoices Author Spotlight: Michele Berger

REENU_YOU_FRONTCOVER Today’s author, Michele Berger, is an EXTRA special guest: the second author in The Novella Initiative, which launched with my own Keeper of the Dawn. Her novella,  Reenu-You, came out May second and is available for purchase in most places where books are sold (all buy links below the interview). She’s been kind enough to share some of the inspiration and process behind this amazing book. I hope you’ll enjoy our interview as much as I did!

The Book

New York City, August 1998. On a muggy summer day, five women wake up to discover purple scab-like lesions on their faces—a rash that pulses, oozes, and spreads in spiral patterns. City clinic doctors dismiss the women’s fears as common dermatitis, a regular skin rash. But as more women show up with the symptoms, one clear correlation emerges–an all-natural, first-of-its-kind hair relaxer called Reenu-You.

As the outbreak spreads, and cases of new rashes pop up in black and Latino communities throughout New York, panic and anger also grow. When the malady begins to kill, medical providers and the corporation behind the so-called hair tonic face charges of conspiracy and coercion from outraged minority communities and leaders across the country.

At the heart of the epidemic are these five original women; each from different walks of life. As the world crumbles around them, they will discover more about each other, about themselves, and draw strength to face the future together.

Writing to yourself

LetterToMeIf you’ve been writing for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the advice to write for yourself first at least a thousand times. This is obviously great advice, but today, I’d like to suggest something a little different: writing TO yourself. It’s a technique usually thrown about in self help circles rather than writing circles, and for good reason. Writing to yourself forces you to really consider where you are. There are also a few ways you can use this technique to improve your life.

Today I’d like to talk about a couple that have helped me develop a better relationship with myself.