Monday, September 12, 2016

TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal

Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

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Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Gift Of Visiting The Setting Of Your Novel (MS) With Your Grandfather (Samuel George Johnston) and Meeting Blog Friends

May is one of my favorite months. Most years I am blessed, by my brilliant husband, with a trip to my homeland to visit my family. Samuel George Johnston never ceases to amaze me. We lost Nanny three years ago, yet at 95 he still pushes on with no issues. To my surprise, Grandad George purchased an IPad before I arrived in England and was already on his way to mastering it, but he had a bigger surprise for me...

We were going on a road trip! Grandad (the correct spelling according the 1918 British dictionary) drove us from the south where he lives to Leek,in the north, where he was born and the setting for my MG manuscript (yet to be published). It took five and a half hours to get there, but we arrived safely and after a short nap we took off on foot...

The buildings, paths and walls were magical. I hadn't been to Leek since I was a little girl. My memories and research about the location were everywhere I looked. But I learned more about my grandad than I ever expected...

On the first night in Leek, we walked two miles to The Pride of the Moorlands. It looks like a typical pub, but it's far from that. This is the spot my grandad was born. Before the pub was built, a WWI corrugated steel Operating Theater stood here. After WWI, housing became an issue. My great grandfather acquired the Operating Theater and it became my grandad's birthplace and first home.

The owner of the pub and the patrons treated Grandad like an old friend. We each had a drink and then walked the two miles back to the former Talbot hotel, now a Premier Inn.

Grandad's second home was a couple houses down from the pub. After a quick pic...

We strolled down memory lane.

The Waterfall Cottages in Endon were beautiful and they were the birthplace and home of my lovely Nanny Phyllis.  They had been renovated, but...

The path behind the house leading to the privy had not been altered. My heart and mind raced with excitement as I saw pieces of my grandparents' love story unfold in front of me.

Nanny and Grandad were married at this Methodist church, not far from her home. Nanny taught Sunday School here.

We think this home was were Nanny's dad worked. It is one of the many places I mention in my MG Manuscript.

We walked up Sandy Lane. It connected Grandad's childhood home to his school. It ran alongside the cemetery.

Seeing my Great Grandfather Samuel George Johnston's grave touched my heart. From his grave you could see both the Pride of the Moorland and Grandad's second childhood home. He was a pretty amazing man. He managed Leek's first electrical company! One of his sons installed all the electrical lines in the then town.

You've heard of Rudyard Kipling, right? This is Rudyard Lake...The Kiplings honeymooned and spent holidays here and named their son after the lake. This was the location of my grandparents first real date.  Talk about a special spot! Grandad took Nanny out in a rowboat.

Although I don't mention this war memorial in my manuscript, it is located in the town square. Grandad walked around it and read the WWII soldiers' names and shared with me the ones he knew.

During WWII iron fencing was cut off and used for the War Effort.

My trip was full of places I recognized and of ones I didn't...

The Green Dragon held a special place in Grandad's heart. He and Nanny held their wedding reception there...a great story goes along with this place, as having a wedding and a reception in two different towns created great hardships during the war. (I'll leave that to another day.)

The Snug, the bar, the hall and The Room were important places in the Green Dragon. The Room has an exceptionally interesting story...

For most of my trip my hair was a great big fuzz ball. I figured out if I put it in a French roll, it looked a lot better.

The Mermaid Inn played a big part in my first version of my MG manuscript. But with help a great agent (Abigail Samoun) and critique partners, I realized my manuscript had to change in the last third of the story. The Inn is still in the story, but plays a much smaller role.

It's no longer a pub and inn, but can be rented as a holiday/event house. A bunch of blokes were having a bachelor party there and were kind enough to show me the mermaid in the capped well in the bar area. (Very cool!)

Do you see the green spire? It's made of copper and Grandad built it right before he joined the RAF. Ecton Hall or Ecton Castle has an amazing story behind it. It's located on Ecton Hill.

Ecton Hill was mined for copper and lead dating back to the bronze age.  The current owner's of Ecton Castle (Claire and Oliver) were wonderful. By the end of the day, I felt like I had made life long friends.

The green in this stone is an example of the copper. It was in one of England's beautiful walls that cover the countryside. We hiked to the top of the hill...

It was well worth the hike.The views were amazing. And Yes, 95 year old Samuel George Johnston did the fact, he led the way!

We walked carefully. We didn't want to fall in any shaft openings.... We went back to the hotel and had a long rest before a special friend came to visit us!

Penny came to see me! If you don't know Penny, she's a blog superstar and she Tweets! And...

We got along like fish and chips.... She brought along another special friend...Her beloved owner Gary Pennick!

Gary is a wonderful guy. He blogs about the world, mental health issues and being a decent human. It's important to realize how many people struggle and Gary stands up for them, if Penny lets him do a post.  :)

We had a lovely breakfast and visit with Gary and Penny. Penny has amazing manners and a wonderful smile! If you don't know them, please hop over to their blog Klahanie and say hello.

(You've got to love my fuzzy hair do, right?)

You would think my adventure was over, but...
                                                                   I will continue it next week.

When you get the chance to meet one of your blog friends...
                                                                                      Go for it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happy Book Birthday to Tracey M. Cox

Talk about a cute book!

What kid doesn't like bubble gum? On top of all of the cuteness, it's an educational book. It is a counting and learning colors activity book.It's also a great book for teaching sorting. As a teacher and mom I can see all the fun you can have with this book. Get your own bowl of bubble gum gumballs and do the activity as you read the book. Too much fun! Kids all love books that involve food activities!

Tracey not only wrote it, but also did the adorable illustrations! If you don't know Tracey, she is a wonderful resource for writers! You can check her out on her website, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on UTube and you can purchase her adorable book on Amazon. You can also check out all the books she has published!

Please check her out! We've been writing friends for close to five years. She is a great inspiration and an example of a working writer.

See you on next Wednesday, when I reveal who I had a meeting with in England...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I've Been A Naughty Blogger...

Have you ever noticed bird footprints in the snow? They go this way and that way and this way and that! Well, that kind of describes how I've been going for the last few months.

I've been editing for people, working on my own writing and submitting, traveling, visiting family and old friends and am now about to celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary with a remote fishing trip in Canada. I can hardly wait. If you read my last post on character development, you'll know this trip is research. (Don't tell my brilliant hubby though.)

I WILL be back in July to share some special pictures from England. You will never believe who I met over there???

Hope your summer is going well and I will catch up with everyone in July!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

ISWG-Knowing Your Characters

It's the first Wednesday of the month and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group posts. If you haven't heard of the group, pop over to the blog and check it out, then check out the Facebook group. It's a great group full of supportive people including our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. Who continues to motivate us even in his busy published life.

So I'm super insecure on a few sending query letters and talking to agents and editors at conferences, but I'm pretty confident about knowing my characters are "realistic." So I'd like to share one of my techniques with you I'm using for my current WIP.

The main character, Brittney, has runaway from home and is going to survive on a trail until things get too tough. As an adult, my life has been pretty blessed. So now a days roughing it would be a Motel 6. To immerse myself into Brittney's life I had to become (kind of) her. I spent a lot of time on the trail she would be hiding on, looking for resources, places and ways to build shelter, how to avoid being seen and how to get to small communities if she (I typed I there, LOL) needed to. I also needed to know what tools she would need to build a shelter, to protect herself and to capture or catch food.

Shelter is pretty darn important, so that was my first focus. I thought about the surroundings and how I could use the leaning trees and the cliff faces to make a lean to with some smaller branches. I didn't have a hatchet, but I had a bow saw, so I cut down a smallish tree with it and cut it into pieces.

Then I thought maybe Brittany would chop down a tree with a hatchet. She might want to use bigger trees for shelter.
Let me tell you...know one though I could chop down a tree with a hatchet, but I did and I learned a lot.
The main thing I leaned is Brittany would not chop down a tree with a hatchet. There would be no reason to cut down a tree this big unless she was planning to build a log cabin, and she is not physically well enough to do I learned a big lesson about my character that day. Plus I showed my husband, daughter and in-laws I would chop down a tree with a hatchet.

I knew Brittany would need fire, so I collected some tinder from the scrapping the bark off the first tree I sawed down and let it dry in an Altoids tin. It's a good survival tool to keep a little dry tinder in or other small items, like fishing gear. (I'll be trying that theory out later.) Plus, if you get a fire started you can save a hot coal in it and move it from one location to another. (From what I've read.)
 My good friend Lenny Lee send me a survival bracelet for Christmas and it has a fire-starter on it. So one night I worked and worked trying to get my box of tinder to ignite. Finally, my husband said go get some dryer lint and add it to the tinder. Wham O! I MADE FIRE!!!!!! It was so exciting! 

Sorry for the long post...I have been dying to tell you about how I get into my character's head/life for a long time. I hope it helps some of you get into your character's head a bit more.

Have a wonderful month! Thanks for stopping in!