Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Being Part of a Writing Community

I am a member of two primary writing communities, RWA and the Authors Guild.  I've also been a member of my local RWA Chapter, the Rose City Romance Writers for going on ten years.  I very much believe in writer's communities whether you are just starting out or a seasoned pro.

I joined Savvy Authors in September 2012.  I must admit, I haven't been very involved with the site due to too little time and too many books to write. However, I do subscribe to their feed and often take a few moments to read an interesting article or learn more about the changes in publishing. Savvy Authors is dedicated to helping writers and I jumped at the chance to be a small part of their blog tour to help people learn more about their new and improved site.  Today I'm hosting Elizabeth W. Gibson in a guest post about her experience with Savvy Authors.

Unlikely Bedfellows

You’ve seen it before.  If not in your own home, on Facebook or Pinterest, the fearless kitten snuggling with the big family dog.  You see it and suddenly you’re in an oversized terry robe you’ve borrowed, along with rabbit slippers, (yup, the ones with the big floppy ears) and you’re holding a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on top.  Plus there’s a smile or maybe a chuckle, whichever, you’re feeling all’s well with the world.  
Okay, perhaps I’m projecting here.  But, the warm and cozies I get with this image of pure heaven is how I feel about online writing communities.   They bring writers with diverse backgrounds, varying levels of experience and a trainload of different genres to bed down together.  Figuratively speaking of course.  Although, romance and erotica writers can get pretty frisky, but it’s all on paper.  But, it doesn’t matter what you write, if you’re published or unpublished the door is open 24/7.
I joined Savvy Authors, around November, 2010 and I’ve spent most of my free time hanging out on the site.  I met my crit buddies in a workshop and we have met online in the chat room every night for the last two and half years.  We sprint, critique, make fun of each other, talk about books, the business of writing or simply support each other to keep going.  In our little group, which we call, Critters, Clubs and Corsets we have different styles of writing and write in different genres.  Nonetheless, we still managed to help each other grow.  In the group, one writer now has a contract with Entangled Publishing and another recently went to a conference and had agents pushing their business cards on her after reading her first page.  As for me, I’ve had an editor ask for a full manuscript.  
Now would any of this have happened without the writing community or the critique group.  Probably.  We’re a determined group, but I believe the environment that Savvy fosters, writers helping writers was a key to our continued growth.  
Another group within Savvy Authors I’m honored to be a part of is the Fantasy Forge.  I’ve been with this group almost as long as the other one.  We formed our own blog for the diverse genres we write in called Speculative Salon.  I considered these women my dear friends too.  
I’ve also been a volunteer moderator at Savvy Authors for two years plus.  For me, it’s a way of giving back the wonderful experiences I have had within their cyber space walls.  Savvy Authors has also giving me the opportunity to co-write a monthly feature interviewing different professionals that might pique the interest of a writer as a profession for their characters.
I suppose, I’m biased regarding Savvy Authors because they continue to give me the warm and cozies.  But let me list the benefits for you:
         1. Learning in workshops with professional writers
         2. Opportunities – pitching for agents and editors
         3. Friendships
         4. Networking

I could go on but I think you get the idea.  Whether it’s Savvy Authors or another online writing community, it’s a place where you can gain your confidence as a writer.  I could sing the little ditty in the Army’s recruiting commercial, but I won’t.  
Do you belong to an online writing community?  If you do, share with me your experiences.
Till next time,

Elizabeth W. Gibson writes YA Fantasy with romantic elements.  She is a member of SCBWI, RWA, Savvy Authors and YALitChat.  At Savvy, she is a moderator and co-writer of a monthly blog featuring industry professionals.  Over at YALitChat, she is the staff coordinator for Agent Insider.  Elizabeth is also an artist and studied in Paris for four years.  
Contact Elizabeth on the Web:
Website | Speculative Salon Blog

Join the Savvy Authors admin and volunteers as we tour the blogosphere in anticipation of the launch of our improved and updated website. We are excited to share our love of Savvy, and all writing communities, with each of you during the summer months. Below is a list of stops we’ll be making – please feel free to stop by and say hello! (and definitely check out the new look of our site)

June 10th – Ella Gray on The Speculative Salon
June 12th - Elizabeth Gibson on Maggie Faire and on Maggie's Meanderings (You are Here!)
 June 19th – SharonPickrel on Pen of the Dreamer
June 21st – Riley Darkeson Writing Secrets of Seven Scribes
June 25thLeslie Dow on A Writer’s Musings 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dark Musicals Trilogy - Phantom and Demon, Books 1 and 2 by Laura DeLuca

Who doesn' t like Phantom of the Opera?  I know when I saw the play on Broadway I was mesmerized, then memorized most of the music.  Now comes a thriller trilogy of stories inspired by musicals of that type. The first two books in the trilogy involve young actors putting on the musical and running into mysterious problems. First is Phantom of the Opera, and the second is The Demon Barber of Seville. I'm dying to know what the third book will be titled. Are you? In this Book Blast, Laura DeLuca is featuring the first two books in that trilogy in a Book Blast today.

I have to say they definitely intrigue me and I will be adding them to my TBR pile.


The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

Buy Links: Amazon * Smashwords * Barnes & Noble



When Justyn and Rebecca set off for the New York School of Performing Arts, they think their dreams are about to come true. To their dismay, they aren’t in high school anymore, and the competition is steep. Rebecca must compete against accomplished singers for a role in the production of Demon Barber, including a stunning Gothic diva with her sights set on Justyn.

It doesn't help that things keep disappearing from their apartment or that Rebecca's father refuses to accept that Justyn is an essential part of her life. Yet, all this seems minimal in comparison to the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.

Consumed by fear and obsessed with revenge, Rebecca and Justyn start living the story of Sweeney Todd—both on and off the stage.

Excerpt from Demon

“What the hell are you looking at?” Livy demanded.

At first Rebecca just ignored her hostility. She walked back to her cubbyhole and opened it to stowaway her bags until practice was over. She was going to forget the whole stupid idea and just walk away. But Livy was still standing there, leaning against the lockers, looking just as sad as she did angry. Rebecca couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She was reminded of how horribly everyone had treated Justyn during the production of Phantom and thought perhaps Livy was just as misunderstood.

“Livy,” she started, “can we talk for a minute?”

The Goth just gave her a dirty look. “I don’t know what we could possibly have to say to each other.”

“I just wanted to apologize about what happened at the party,” Rebecca spoke with as much sincerity as she could muster. “No matter how we feel about each other, I never meant to … to embarrass you the way I did.”

Rebecca had never seen the cliché of flashing eyes come to life like it did at that moment. “Don’t you dare!” Livy spat. “Don’t you dare pity me!”

“That’s not what I meant,” Rebecca tried to explain, though she knew she was fighting a losing battle. “I just regret—”

“Do you want to know what I regret?” Livy interrupted and actually shoved Rebecca against her locker. “I regret not ripping every strand of hair out of that pretty little head of yours when I had the chance. This isn’t high school, Becca! We aren’t going to be friends. And I’m not going to stop until Justyn is mine and you run back to New Jersey with your tail between your legs. Is that clear enough for you, deary? Don’t try to make nice with me again.”

Livy stomped away, and Rebecca just stood there, feeling shocked and a little stung. She couldn’t believe how vicious Livy could be. So much for olive branches. Instead of trying to hand her one, Rebecca should have shoved it straight up her….

“Wow.” Frankie came up beside her, shaking his head. “It’s girls like that who give PMS a bad rep. I seriously think the next play she should star in is the Taming of the Shrew.”

“There’s no taming that one,” Rebecca replied, still shaking her head.

Buy Links: Amazon Smashwords * Barnes & Noble

If you haven't read the first book in the series, now is a great time to get your copy. To celebrate the release of Demon, Phantom is now on sale for only $1.99 exclusively on Amazon!

About the Author

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon. She also has short stories featured in two anthologies called HerStory and A Celtic Tapestry.

Catch Laura on the Web:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Pinterest

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

Laura will be awarding to a US Only Winner: a signed copy of Phantom with original cover, crystal geode, rough crystal point, stone pendant, sterling silver pentacle pendant, mini Buddha figurine, smudge stick with abalone shell, 2 Gothic style key chains, incense set with leaf holder and lavender purification bath salts to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow The Rest of the Tour Today!

Be sure to check in as many places as possible to increase your chance of winning the prize.  Here are all of the stops happening today!

1:  My Love For Films And Novels
2:  All in One Place
3:  Fantasy Powered by Love
4:  Welcome to My World of Dreams
5:  It's Raining Books
6:  Books in the Hall
7:  Straight from the Library
8:  Long and Short Reviews
9:  LizaOConnor
10:  Lindsay's Scribblings
11:  Rookie Romance
12:  Love, Laughter, Friendship
13:  Author Jinni James
14:  Woody's Favorite Books
15:  Jodie Pierce's Ink Slinger's Blog
16:  Bunny's Review
17:  Farm Girl Books
18:  Maggie Faire
19:  Maggie's Meanderings
20:  Beckstar Reviews
21:  Nickie's Views and Interviews
22:  Margay Leah Justice
23:  Sandra's Blog
24:  Out of the Lockbox
25:  Frankie Blooding's Bookshelf
26:  Hope Dreams. Life... Love
27:  Reading In Twilight
28:  Andi's Young Adult Books
29:  Imagine a World
30:  Jacqueline's Reads
31:  Andi's Book Reviews
32:  Charity Kountz
33:  fuonlyknew
34:  Queen of All She Reads
35:  Pen and Muse
36:  Jodie Pierce's Ink Slinger's Blog
37:  The Write to Read

Saturday, June 1, 2013

First Book Available in Ebook NOW! Print on June 8th.

Surprise! First book, Chameleon: The Awakening, is now available throughout the World in ebook for 99 cents.  That price is only good for June though. So get your copies because then it goes to the normal retail price of $4.50.

For my FB and Twitter fans in Europe you can pick it up in your own currency on Apple, Amazon, Kobo, XinXii and several other places. For My UK fans, it is at Amazon UK, WH Smith, and Barnes and Noble UK in pounds sterling.

The print book is "officially" available June 8th.  I haven't even received MY copies yet, though I understand they will be arriving any day now. :)  But I did see a few places that had it in print ready to purchase.  So, I know they are out there.

Book 2 is looking more like release June 15th or so. I'll keep you posted. 

Thanks everyone for your great support.  I'm hoping to start seeing some reviews soon. Saw my first one on Amazon today. Thanks romancehound!

Buy Links:
Windtree Press | Jan's Paperbacks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | XinXii

Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble UK | WH Smith