Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What I've been reading: Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I seriously love this book. It is intelligent and thought provoking. I've been leaning more towards the non-fiction lately, I really don't know why. I tend to go in phases like that. I'm sure eventually my mind will feel like it wants to explode with all this new information and I'll have to read something strictly for pleasure.

What I've been writing: I'm on the last week of NaNo, so I'm working like crazy on The Guardian, which is Steven's version of The Newstead Project. I'll probably get to 50,000 by midnight on Friday, but since none of my books are actually 50,000 words long, I'll probably be working just as hard on it on Saturday.

What's inspiring me right now: Thankfulness. I'm really in that mindset right now. Even with the closing of my unit and all the stress that goes along with it, I'm feeling really blessed right now.

What else I've been up to: I'm working on Thanksgiving, so I was able to opt out of turkey making duty, which has me just bringing a pie and the infamous green been casserole to my parent's house. The part of the world I live in is covered in snow right now, the nice thick kind, so my kids are getting ready to go outside to build a snowman, and I think I might join them.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 25, 2013

In Lord Shadow's House part five

In Lord Shadow's House, part five

Read part one here
Read part two here
Read part three here
Read part four here
The street that had always ended just past the second bend, didn’t. It continued on, going closer to the river than Jarius was comfortable going, but his desire and curiosity bid him onward.
     The road began to look like one that may have a Manor on it. It dipped and rose, and flourished with trees and other flowering plants. Far in the distance, Jarius could make out a stream of smoke drifting into the sky, as from a chimney.
      Jarius began walking faster now, now that he was convinced his walking wasn’t in vain. The grand house presented itself on top of a hill Jarius had never seen before. It was the perfect placement of a perfect house. It had neither too many windows, nor too few. It was entirely lovely, a house of dreams.
     Jarius traveled up the lone drive that cut through the gardens, leading to the estate. There was no sign of life, at least not as far as Jarius could see. None of the windows were open to let in the summer breeze; the front door appeared quite unapproachable.
     Jarius reached into his pocket and pulled out the calling card he had received. His thumb ran alongside it, over it, as he convinced himself he was indeed, most welcome.
Jarius knocked on the door, a very feeble sounding knock that disappeared the moment his knuckles ceased rapping. He waited for several seconds, convinced that no one had heard him, and if they had, they weren’t coming.
     Much to his surprise, the door swung open, revealing the man who had been in his office just that morning.
     “Mr. Taylor?” Jarius asked, astounded.
     “Mr. Knigglesby,” the man responded, not nearly as surprised as Jarius was.
     “If this was your residence, than why did you leave such a card with me?”
     The man smiled. “But this is not my residence, sir, not anymore. I am just leaving. The man you are looking for is Lord Shadow. He will be most pleased to see you. Now, if you will follow me, I will take you to him.”
     A very perplexed Jarius followed behind the broad back as it led deeper into the Manor. Now Jarius was not all that perceptive, but he did note that as they were walking Mr. Taylor’s clothes seemed to be changing. No longer did he appear to have a woolen coat, instead it seemed to be a rather shabby muslin. Even the boots that Jarius had noted before did not appear the same. They were scuffed and had several holes filled in with newspaper.
     When the man finally stopped and turned to face Jarius, he was so completely altered that Jarius almost didn’t recognize him. No longer did he look like new money or old money, or any money. He looked as poor and as uncleanly as the beggars who hassled Jarius daily on his commute to and from his place of business. But it was none of those things that stuck with Jarius as the man pushed open the door. It was that he looked happy.
     Jarius stepped past him through the open door. He wanted his own happiness.
Come back next Monday for part six.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Newstead Project by Melanie Schulz

The Newstead Project

by Melanie Schulz

Giveaway ends November 29, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Friday, November 22, 2013

Express Yourself and Celebrate the Small Things

The question for this week is what do you carry around in your purse/wallet? I'm thirty-seven years old and I finally started carrying around a purse a couple years ago. I just never liked them- too bulky I guess. But my lovely Aunt Jen (waves hi) had this little plaid purse that I fell in love with, and because my Aunt is amazing, she gave it to me. Now that purse went the way of purses about a year ago, but I became hooked. I now have a fossil one I love, still small, still me. There's really only room in there for my wallet and phone, and maybe my lip gloss if I really work at it.

The small things I'm celebrating this week are:

1. I finally went to one of my local NaNo write-in things. It was at a local Spot Coffee. I went with my lap top and it turns out all sorts of wrong ideas. I thought it would be a group of people sitting side by side, soaking up the collective energy of the moment and just writing their hearts out.
Boy was I wrong. There was a group of twelve or so very writerly types sitting off in a closed circle with their lap tops all up. Obviously no room for me. So I went to the next table over and got myself some jasmine tea and plunked away. I ended up having one of the most productive hours of writing I've ever had. Maybe there is something to be said for getting out of your comfort zone after all.

2. NaNo (again) Forgive me. It's November, so I'm deep in the midst of it. My word count is in the upper thirties, which means you'll probably see a little NaNo winner badge gracing this blog at the end of the month, but more importantly, I actually like this story. It's Newstead from Steven's perspective, which has been really fun (and sometimes really hard) to write.

3. I went to see Captain Phillips with the hubbie the other night. I'm having a bit of post-traumatic stress over the whole thing, really. It reminded me a lot of my job. Not the guns and the shooting, but the high tension where you're in charge of the safety of everyone and you have to make some quick decisions or people will get hurt. And being the person front and center, more than likely that person will be you. It happens more often than I like to admit. So maybe it's a good thing that as of January I won't be doing it anymore.

So what about you? Celebrating any small things? What do you carry in your purse or wallet?

Monday, November 18, 2013

In Lord Shadow's house- Part Four

Read part one here
Read part two here
Read part three here
In Lord Shadow's House- Part Four
     The man reached inside his coat and pulled out a small card and put it on Jarius’s desk and turned and went out the way he’d come in without saying another word.
     Jarius reached for the card, and seeing that it was a name card, sat down to see what it was about.
The Lord Shadow of Eveningswood Manor
hereby requests the honor of your presence.
     He flipped it over and read the back side that had an address posted on it, followed by one other line:
Giving you the one thing you desire.
He held the card in his hand for several minutes before standing to leave through the same door that Jethro Taylor had left through some time before.
     Jarius knew the place well. He’d lived there most of his life, had established a business for himself, and was welcome in most of the homes of its most upstanding citizens. He’d never heard of a Lord Shadow before, nor an Eveningswood Manor. He did, however, recognize the street in which the card claimed it to be.
     It was the middle of the morning when Jarius headed out on foot, in fear of the embarrassment it would cause him to give an address to a coach, only to have it end in nowhere. The streets were relatively empty, as they usually were that time of day.
     He consoled himself with the notion that such a mission was to be handled delicately, and in any case the street in question was only a few short blocks away.
     The sun beat brightly down on Jarius’s head, making him feel the fool. And a fool he was, on a fool’s errand when there was work to be done, and to top it all off, he’d forgotten to bring his hat, making him appear to be far less grand than he hoped to look, should there actually be a Lord Shadow to find.
     The street in question was not one for Manors, or houses. It was a road facing the river on one side and the back of businesses on the other. Jarius knew this. He knew this, but still he went in search of a house and a man who could make his one dream come true.
Come back for part five next Monday.
Don't forget to sign up for The Newstead Project giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Newstead Project by Melanie Schulz

The Newstead Project

by Melanie Schulz

Giveaway ends November 29, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, November 15, 2013

Express Yourself, Celebrate the Small Things, Realms Faire

The question for this week is: What are the tip five TV shows you're watching right now? A lot of what I watch right now is just because my husband is watching something and I want to spend time with him. And that tends to be stuff like Duck Dynasty, Mountain Men, Moonshiners, Doomsday Preppers, and Alaska, the Last Frontier. But after he goes to bed, and it's just me...I put on The Big Bang Theory.

Right now, I'm 24,000 words into NaNo, and I really like where the story is going. The plot is strong, and I'm in-love with at least three of the characters. On another note, I don't know whether this is something to celebrate or not, but I will officially be a full time writer in January. God is giving me the big push. The psychiatric unit I've worked at for the last five years is closing.  I will no longer be a nurse/writer on the side. Scary, but good.
Don't forget about the Realms Faire! Today is the last day for some great prizes!
What are you celebrating today? Have you ever made that leap into full-time writing (if you wanted to or not) What are your top five favorite TV shows?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indie Life and Realms Faire

It's that time of month again, time for us to share what we've learned about this whole indi-publishing thing.
Today I have one word for you: BookBub. This is an awesome resource for indi-authors, for two reasons: You can build up your libraries while on a limited budget and on the flip side, you can get you book in the hands of litteraly thousands of readers. 
How it works: You sign up. That's it. Every day there's an email in my inbox waiting for me with a list of ebooks on sale (or free). If you're an author  and want to use this service, you also just sign up. There is a fee, and they are selective, but their is great potential for reaching upwards of 100,000 people with your book.
How cool is that?
The link is here 

Also don't forget about the Realms Faire, happening all this week.


Events I will be participating in:

The Joust

For those of you who want to know, my key words are Sir Burns, Newstead, and enchanted, put these words on your comments for the joust this week!

Come check out are wares! 
Don't forget to sign up for The Newstead Project giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Newstead Project by Melanie Schulz

The Newstead Project

by Melanie Schulz

Giveaway ends November 29, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, November 11, 2013

Moonless, Realms Faire, In Lord Shadow's House, part 3

Today, I am beginning with a review of Crystal Collie’s debut novel, Moonless. The book is set to be released in three days, but I (aren’t I lucky?) received an ARC in exchange for this review.
First off, thanks Crystal for sharing this with me. I’m a sucker for stories with authentic romance at the core of the tension, and this was certainly it. From the very beginning you’re caught up in Alexia’s world(s), which are both elegant and horrifying.  What I liked most, besides the romance of course, was the peeling back of the story. You discover along the way that things are not what they appeared, including Alexis herself.  Great job Crystal!
Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. 

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble

It all begins today! The Realms Faire:


Events I will be participating in:

Attend the Masquerade Ball, guess who the masked writers are before they’re revealed.

Prizes will be drawn everyday for each day’s attendees who comment on Angela’s event.


  • Cas Webb
Dueling Bards

How will the matchups between dueling writers turn out? You decide. Winners drawn each day from the comments.

The Joust

For those of you who want to know, my key words are Sir Burns, Newstead, and enchanted, put these words on your comments for the joust this week!

  • M. Pax

  • Can anyone beat the 2012 champion, Ghost Knight? Angela Brown turned out to be a formidable opponent.

    Prizes will be awarded everyday to those who cheer on the knights in the comments. The names will be thrown into a hat and randomly drawn by my Husband Unit.

    The Rules: A knight scores a point by the crowd using her/his words of valor. Up to three points can be scored per comment. A commenter can cheer up to three times a day. Each comment gives them an entry into that day’s drawing for prizes. Grand prize at the end of the week.

    Commenting will be open from 3:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. US eastern time each day. All winners will be announced Monday, November 18th.

    The knight with the most points wins a year of promotion in the sidebar of my site, including their badge, link to their website and a scrolly featuring their books. Other prizes include an M. Pax paperback of choice and chocolate.

    The 10 Knights:

    Come check out are wares! 
    And finally, my latest installment of In Lord Shadow's House.
    Read part one here
    Read part two here
    Part three
    Jarius, shattered and broken, turned to finish his walk to his place of trade. For the first time in nary a year, thoughts of Bridget O’Fallen did not fill his head.

         The man that both he and she had ignored became alive again and fell into line behind him.


    Jarius, although a man of trade, did extremely well for himself.  He owned his own estate, and even had plans for a second in town. He was well liked, but more importantly he was well respected. More than one young lady saw him as a most eligible bachelor, and several more mothers had already claimed him for their daughters.

         All this being true, Jarius was still unhappy. The tawny locks and bright smile of a certain coffee maiden kept his mind otherwise engaged, so as to always keep him from being content. This was noticed at once by the man who followed him to his warehouse.

         Jarius had just settled at his desk when a knock came on his door.

         “It is open,” he called, not looking up from the papers before him. Jarius was often engaged with matters of business, so it did not occur to him that this person might be of some interest.

         The door opened and in stepped a tall man that Jarius swore he’d never seen before in his life, although that was not true; he passed him by nearly every day, and indeed had stood next to him just that morning.

         “May I help you, sir?” he asked, rising to his feet.

         The man smiled. “No, but I believe I can help you.”

         Jarius blinked, unsure of what matter of address this was.

         “I will take it from your silence that you wish me to continue,” the man presumed, not entirely incorrectly.

         “My name is Jethro Taylor, and I have something I wish to pass on to you.”

         Jarius’s eyes narrowed, taking the man in.

         It was fortunate for Jarius that for the first time in a year, his head was not full of a certain young lady, because at that moment he needed all the use of his faculties.

         The man standing before him was tall and broad shouldered, not what one would call a gentleman, but still there was a certain presence about him. He had money, wither old or new, Jarius could not determine, but from the look of his woolen trench coat and his polished new boots, money was certainly not on the list of this man’s concerns.

         But more than any of that, the man appeared eager. He was leaning forward, rocking slightly from side to side, as if the meeting was of vital importance to him. Jarius noted that and wondered why, if it was for his good, was this man so eager to give it?

         “Proceed, sir,” Jarius said, after a few moments of silence.

         The man smiled, seeing his victory already half won. “I am here on an errand of the most delicate of natures,” he said, stopping to weigh the mood in the room. Satisfied, he continued, “All of us want things, and for each of us those things are different.”

         Jarius nodded, picturing bright eyes and smooth creamy skin.

         “But is there one thing that stands out from the rest? Is there one thing that you desire more than anything else?”

         Jarius nodded as the picture completed itself in his head.

         “What if I told you that you could have that one thing?”

         Jarius licked his dry lips. “Anything,” he whispered. “I would do anything.”
    Don't forget to sign up for The Newstead Project giveaway:

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

    The Newstead Project by Melanie Schulz

    The Newstead Project

    by Melanie Schulz

    Giveaway ends November 29, 2013.
    See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

    Enter to win

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

    Today I’m doing something a bit different. I’m participating in the Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest given to us by:

    Thanks Andrew, Alex, and Matt!

    Next week we’ll get back to regular scheduling, but you know me, I just can’t resist a good blogfest.

    Who I miss:

    B at Faith Laces- This woman is amazing. I met her on the last A to Z when she was eight months pregnant and using her blog as kind of a diary to keep as a record of the last couple months of her pregnancy. And she’s a runner. As in marathon runner. I know she’s busy with her new baby and keeping up her running pace, but boy do I miss her.

    Elise Fallson- I love Elise. She is funny and witty and sweet. And she went away for about a month and I really missed her daily insights. But the good news is, it appears she’s back!

    Who I would miss:

    Jaybird- Sorry I don’t know if this is her real name or not, I’ve looked and that’s all I’ve come up with, which tells me she’s a pretty private person, but you’d never know that because her posts are so open and authentic. She is very generous with herself, sharing herself on her posts. I feel like we’re old friends every time I read them. I would really miss you Jay!

    There are of course a lot more of you I would miss than just Jay, but she has always felt like a kindred spirit.

    Who would you/do you miss?