Category Archives: Make Believe

Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop! #Giveaway

Welcome, welcome to my stop for the Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop. As usual, I would first like to thanks Kathy over at I am a Reader Not a Writer for all her hop organising, and to Oasis for YA for co-hosting this hop. I would also like to encourage you to click on the hop badge ==>>, which will take you to the full list of participating blogs. There are tonnes of giveaways happening and loads of chances to win. And who doesn’t want to win over Christmas? :)

Okay, then, onward with my post. Given the hop in question, and given that wintry scene above in the hop badge, I couldn’t think of a better prize to offer up than the Make Believe anthology that released December 3rd 2012.

Check it out:

Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski (fantasy)

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford (fantasy)

Birthright by Lynda R. Young (fantasy)

Petrified by Kelly Said (fantasy)

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton (dystopia)

Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield (paranormal romance)

Short stories are awesome for curling up with, for snatching snippets of reading pleasure in between visits from the fam. So, to be in with a chance of winning this coolio antho that has had some pretty decent reviews so far, simply follow the link to the RAFFLECOPTER FORM!

Wishing you all a GREAT Christmas, a safe and merry New Year, and best of luck!

Author Love: Jennifer M. Eaton

Today is the final day for introducing you to my Make Believe buddies. So last, but by no means least, meet: Jennifer.

Hi, Jennifer. Tell us a little about your story—and how does it relate to the prompt given for the anthology theme? 

My story has everything to do with the writing prompt.  I wrote fresh from staring at that picture for two weeks.  Honestly I’d given up, as nothing was coming to me.  Then I decided to use an old writing trick of mine.  I took the girl in the picture, described her, and had her take a step.  That was all I needed.  Once she stepped into the snow, and her red silk slipper dampened in the thawing slush—I never turned back.  Emily was born, and her story simply flowed from my fingers.

How did you choose the title for the story? 

I actually wrote the last six words of the story on the first day of writing.  I am not really sure where they came from, but from those words, the title “Last Winter Red” was born.

Are you working on another title at the moment?

Can you tell us about it? Oh Yes!  I am currently working on a new novel entitled Fire in the Woods.  It is a far stretch from Last Winter Red.  “Fire” takes place in New Jersey (on the East Coast of the USA) in present day.  My heroine is a seventeen-year-old girl who meets a boy in the woods after a plane crash, and he turns her life upside down forever.  Fire in the Woods is a fast-paced explosive YA story that I can’t wait to put the final finishing touches on.

Sounds awesome. I’m really into YA at the moment.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I would really love to go to Egypt.  I find the Pyramids and Egyptian artefacts fascinating.  At one time, it was one of my goals to climb the great pyramids.  Things as they are, though, I’ve backed down on that goal somewhat and have my eyes set on climbing the Mayan pyramids.  I just love ruins of all kinds.  I recently scampered around the ruins of Jamestown, Virginia (of Pocahontas and John Smith fame)  I just eat that stuff up! Oh, am I still answering the right question?  Sorry!

Meh, don’t worry about it. Have you ever read a book more than once? If so, what was it?

I read the first three books of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series multiple times.  I just loved the stories immensely.  The characters, the deep plotlines… it all just drew me in.  Every time a new book came out, I’d read the preceding books just to get the story straight again.  Yes, that means that at one point I basically knew the first book by heart.  I stopped doing it after a while… because those books are REALLY LONG!

 And now for some randomness:

Plotter or panster? 

I used to be a pantser.  I wrote for the simple joy of writing and never knew where the wind would take me.  The first thing I ever outlined was Last Winter Red.  Yeah, that went pretty well for me.  The outline is now my friend.  Fire in the Woods was written from an outline, and the writing is very crisp and tight.  I don’t think I will ever write something (seriously) from the seat of my pants again.

Steak: rare or well-done—how do you like your meat?

Cook it baby!  My husband and I were out at a restaurant the other night, and he got something “pan seared”.  We didn’t realize that meant RAW INSIDE.  He said it was okay, but “got full” quickly.  We bought our meal home, and cooked it— thank you very much.  Nope, we don’t like our meat raw and wiggling.

*Snicker*

Ice cream … or fresh cream? 

What the heck is fresh cream?  I went to a farm and milked a cow once.  The milk was oaky, but it was not cold, which was a bit weird.  Let’s say Ice cream.  I’m American.  No fresh cream for us over the pond.  :)

The bird doesn’t know what fresh cream is? O_O This is a travesty! :| 

Coastal walks … or extreme sports?

Coastal walks.  I’m not a real extreme sports type of person, although I actually LOVE snorkelling and hiking.  Hiking can get a little extreme sometimes, and I did have a run-in with a school of squid once, but that’s a story for another day.  :)

And finally … in no more than three sentences, tell us why we should read your story? What about it will grip us by the shirt scruffs and drag us along for the ride?

The world as we know it has ended.  Emily stumbles into the woods looking for love, and discovers a secret that will change her life forever.  You can never know how the truth will affect you, until you are forced to confront the unthinkable.

This is very true. Sounds like a great read! Let’s take a look at Jennifer’s blurb for Last Winter Red:

Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.

The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.

Sounds very cool, eh?

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to catch up with Jennifer on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or her Blog, and say Hi! 

A HUGE thanks to all of you who’ve visited us this week. Don’t forget to check out all the Make Believe blog tour posts that will be happening over the next few weeks. Due to there being 6 participating authors, there are quite a few, but more stops means more chances to win an Ebook of Make Believe or other goodies are bound to arise. :) :) :)

Author Love: Kelly Said

MASSIVE welcome to my fellow Make Believe author, Kelly.

I’m a HUGE fan of Kelly’s writing since loving her story Pearl of Pau-maa in the Tidal Whispers anthology so I’m muchero excited that she’s here on my blog.

So, Kelly, can you tell us a little about your story—and how does it relate to the prompt given for the anthology theme?

When I first saw the image of a girl in a red cloak standing in a snow coated field, I studied *every* detail. How the snow was falling, how come there were no footprints in the snow? Why was the girl out in a blizzard with bare arms, as if the weather didn’t bother her? What happened to the trees and animals? Why was she alone out in the middle of nowhere? If she was summoned there, how and why? The cover image is actually a scene in the middle of my story, so once I had those questions answered, I knew how things would start and how they would end, but it had no intrigue yet. So, when I read the publisher’s prompt of “Where illusion can’t hide all the secrets,” I knew that one of the characters in my story would be harbouring some incredibly powerful secret, perhaps using “illusions” to keep people from discovering the fact that – well now, “that’s” a discovery readers will make at the end of the story, hehe! *wink-wink!*

And I’ll bet they can’t wait to find out. :) So what can you tell us about the book that the blurb doesn’t tell us? Preferably without giving the entire plot away?

Hmm, let’s see… something NOT in the blurb…. *looks up, bites lip, ponders* There’s a catfight scene, well, maybe not a “fight” per se, but rather a “skirmish.” ;)

Ooooh, very intriguing. :) And how about the title for the story, how did you choose that?

I really like how the word PETRIFIED has different meanings. For instance, it can mean to benumb or paralyze someone with astonishment, horror, or other strong emotion. Or, it implies making something rigid or inert; harden; deaden. It felt to me like both meanings of the word PETRIFIED embodied a major plot element in the story. :)

 And now for some randomness:

 What book(s) are you reading now?

Divergent by Veronica Roth and After Dark by Emi J. Gayle

LOVED both!

Paranormal or dystopia—which do you prefer?

Can’t we have both? Hehe! Hmm, on a scale of 1-100, I’m 50.5% more paranormal preference to 49.5% dystopian. ;)

You know that’s cheating, right? Okay, how about: Werewolves or vampires (what’d you choose: hot bloodied or blood sucker)?

ah-ooooo! Werewolves! I know a couple of hot ones from The Holloway Pack stories ;D

Ha! Yeah, I’d go with weirdwolves every time. ;)

Cats or dogs?

Dogs

And finally … in no more than three sentences, tell us why we should read your story? What about it will grip us by the shirt scruffs and drag us along for the ride?

I like stories with buried secrets, secrets so huge they rumble and shake the ground until nothing can keep them from being exposed, keee-rack! ultimately shifting a person’s perspective like a tectonic plate. PETRIFIED takes readers to a place where winter has strangely devoured summer, where mysteries are the mortar binding the bricks in castle walls, and where Prince Sterling August and Lochlyn of the North are about to discover that some secrets, no matter how vehemently guarded, will surface and change them both forever.


Dum-dum-duuuuuuum! Sounds awesome! Let’s take a look at Kelly’s blurb for Petrified:

A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.

The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.

Sounds very cool, eh?

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to catch up with Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or her Blog, and say Hi! 

Don’t forget to call back tomorrow for a ‘chat’ with Jennifer M. Eaton. :)

Author Love: Lynda R. Young

MASSIVE welcome to my fellow Make Believe author, Lynda.

Having only know Lynda since she sent in a wee story and had it accepted and then signed a contract that just so happened to land her in the same antho as me, it’s been a lot of fun getting to learn more about her. And I get to share that with you.

So, Lynda, tell us a little about your story—and how does it relate to the prompt given for the anthology theme?

The red against the snow was my main inspiration, though I didn’t want to write a story with a snowy setting. I wasn’t sure how to get around that problem, but I did have a particular character in mind. I ended up just writing based on the character, and the image of blood on snow.  How I turned that image into a hot Florida setting, you’ll have to find out by reading the story.

Love how everyone saw something different in the image. How did you choose the title for the story?

Either titles come to me instantly as if predestined, or I’m doomed and I scramble around in a fluster in search of the title. In the case of Birthright, I had to do some serious brainstorming and mind mapping. I came up with titles ranging from the ridiculous to what-were-you-thinking! For a long while I thought the story would end up titleless or worse. In the end I sent the publisher a choice of two titles after they nixed the first one. I’m glad they pushed me for a better title, because this one fits the story so well. Oh, and no I’m not going to say what the other titles were. I’d like to bury them forever and pretend they didn’t exist ;)

LOL. Where did the idea for your hero come from? Is he based on anyone tangible?

There is a little of my adorable husband in my hero.  I can’t help myself. My hubby is the perfect man.

*Sigh* That’s adorable.

Have you ever read a book more than once? If so, what was it?

It’s rare for me to read a book more than once. There are too many other books I want to read. The only books I’ve read twice or more are fantasy titles: The Lord of the Rings (read four times and I often dip into it and read it from random places), The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey (read twice), oh, and Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series for children (read twice).

And now for a little randomness:

Favourite spot to write?

I love to write on the couch with warm sunlight flooding into the room. I also love to write on picnics or at the local coffee shop.

 

Coastal walks … or extreme sports?

I used to be into semi-extreme sports—paragliding, ballooning, eating chocolate (hey, the way I eat chocolate, it could be considered extreme), but I think, deep down, I’m a slow-stroll-in-a-picturesque-setting kinda girl now. It gives me time to dream up new stories.

 Chocolate eating an extreme sport. *snort* I definitely like your way of thinking.

E-book or print?

I’d definitely choose e-book because of its quick access to books, comfort to handle and carry around with me, and fabulous readability (I use a reader with the ink technology rather than one that’s backlit). However, if the book is an absolute favourite then I’ll buy the print version as well so I can flip through the pages, hold it and admire it on my shelves.

 Totally with you on that.

And finally … in no more than three sentences, tell us why we should read your story? What about it will grip us by the shirt scruffs and drag us along for the ride?  

I think you should read Birthright because it includes all the story tasties such as mystery, danger, and romance.  It’s about Christa who has been running from everything–her grief, her destiny, even herself.  When she comes to a small town in Florida and meets a stranger with an unknown agenda, she keeps running from her life when she should be running for her life. 


Destiny and a stranger and romance … *sigh* Let’s take a look at Lynda’s blurb for Birthright:

Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she’s never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.

Sounds cool, eh?

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to catch up with Lynda on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or her Blog, and say Hi! 

Don’t forget to call back tomorrow for a ‘chat’ with Kelly Said. :)

Author Love: J. Keller Ford

MASSIVE welcome to my fellow Make Believe author, J. Keller Ford.

I met Jen (virtually) on a writing site quite a few years ago, and have stayed in touch since so I’m very excited to have her on my blog today and for the opportunity to introduce her to you.

So, Jen, tell us a little about your story—and how does it relate to the prompt given for the anthology theme?

The Amulet of Ormisez is a story of love between brothers, love between husband and wife and the sacrifices both spouse and brother must make to save the one they love. 

The first three words that popped into my head when I saw the prompt were blood (the dress), sacrifice and purity (the snow).  As the castle was in shadow yet surrounded by snow, I knew the person inside must be pure of heart as well, but troubled, hurt.  The woman had to be his savior, but not without some sort of sacrifice on her part.  After two months of staring at the prompt, the idea for the story finally came to me.  Within three weeks, The Amulet of Ormisez was born.   

Love how each of us have been inspired in different ways. What can you tell us about the book that the blurb doesn’t tell us? Preferably without giving the entire plot away?

I am a fantasy writer.  As soon as I saw the prompt with a castle, my heart leapt for joy.  Any chance I can bring fantasy elements, including creatures, to a story, I’m happy.

What about the characters? What three words best describe your MC? How about the supporting cast?

My main character, Elton Fletcher, is a warrior, compassionate and committed.

His brother, Cayden, is arrogant, malicious and confused.

Cayden’s wife, Marsalí, is mysterious, resentful, yet merciful.

Marsalí’s handmaiden, Felicity, is temperate, loyal and noble.

Which character from your story would you most like to meet?

Elton Fletcher.  He’s so incredibly kind-hearted, empathetic and would do anything to protect those he loves.

He sounds adorable. 

Have you ever read a book more than once? If so, what was it?

I’ve read lots of books more than once.  I’ve read Great Expectations at least four times.  I recently finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the fifth time (it’s my favorite out of all the entire series).  I recently finished The Fault In Our Stars for the second time.

Now for some randomness:

Paranormal or dystopia—which do you prefer?

That’s a hard one because I like both.  I do have to say that most of the books I’ve read lately are dystopian so I’m going to go with that one.  It is subject to change at any moment, however. 

Coastal walks … or extreme sports?

Coastal walks, hands down.  What’s not to love about the Gulf beaches of Florida?

I’m with you.

Cats or dogs?

I have an assortment of both.  There is no way I could choose between them.

Yep, I’m with you again. 

E-book or print?

PRINT!  PRINT! PRINT!  E-books have their place, but I love the feel of a real book in my hand.  When I stumble upon really old books, I’m elated, as if I’ve just stumbled upon a piece of history.  As an author, I like the idea of signing books. No matter how hard one tries, an author can’t sign an e-book.  In addition, you can gift real books over and over again whereas you can’t do that with e-books.  Finally, as an author, reading my published book on a screen is no different than reading my final, unpublished manuscript on a computer screen.  Digital is digital.  They all look the same whether in draft or final. The only difference is one has a cover and an ISBN# and the other doesn’t.  Call me old fashioned, but this gal plans to cling to the tangible ‘written’ word for as long as I can.  :)

For some reason, your answer doesn’t surprise me, hehehe.

And finally … in no more than three sentences, tell us why we should read your story? What about it will grip us by the shirt scruffs and drag us along for the ride? 

The Amulet of Ormisez is a tragic tale of betrayal entrenched within a story of boundless love, devotion and selfless personal sacrifice.  It’s a story filled with hope and a promise that no matter what evil threatens our lives, true love will see us through and conquer all.  Last, it is a heart-wrenching reminder of what we can achieve if we only take the risks and believe.

Sounds awesome! Let’s take a look at Jen’s blurb for The Amulet of Ormisez:

There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.

After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

Sounds very cool, eh?

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to catch up with J.Keller Ford on Twitter, Facebook, Website, or her Blog, and say Hi! 

Don’t forget to call back tomorrow for a ‘chat’ with Lynda R. Young. :)