paranormal

Shawna Romkey Book Launch Tonight “Speak of the Devil”

Tonight 5pm-9pm AST at the Lower Deck Taproom Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Author Shawna Romkey reveals her debut novel “Speak of the Devil” to the public!

 

 

ShawnaRomkeyAuthorPhoto2

About Shawna:

Shawna grew up in around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, two rescue dogs and one overgrown puppy from hell. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.

 

She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook.  She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.

She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same.  She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.

 

 

 

 

http://www.shawnaromkey.com/

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/1939173191/?tag=trkaz-20

 

 

 

Here’s her excerpt for you:

Rain fell, not uncommon for late spring in Missouri. “If you don’t like the weather here,” my grandfather would say, “wait five minutes.” Of course, I’d visited distant relatives in Maine once before, and they said the same thing.

Julie fumbled with the wipers while I pulled the sun visor down to check my face in its little rectangular mirror, even though I’d only left my vanity like five minutes ago. The lights on either side lit up the interior of the car. I reached into my tiny party purse to find my lip gloss, which was easy to locate since I’d only packed the essentials in my bag: phone, some cash, and make-up. As I glanced at myself, I saw Mike in the reflection, smiling at me from the back seat. I stuck my tongue out at him, making him laugh, and put on the lip-gloss, fully aware of how flirty I acted.

The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the sudden downpour. The pitter-patter turned to thumping. Hail came down in gumball-sized pellets. “Damn.” Julie jerked the steering wheel to keep The Whale off the curb.

“Slow down, Jules.” Mike gripped Julie’s headrest. “We can pull over until it passes.”

“Yeah.” She squinted to see the road before her.

I pressed my lips together to smooth out the gloss. “Damn is right. I didn’t bring a jacket.”

The Whale swerved to the right crunching along the gravel on the side of the road. I braced myself in my seat. Julie leaned up to the steering wheel and peered over it as my grandmother sometimes did when she drove. I squinted because of the stupid light up visor mirror. I slammed it shut, but Julie panicked and over corrected, pulling The Whale to the left and careening over the yellow dotted line in the middle of the street.

“Julie!” Mike shouted.

Time slowed and ticked out in heartbeats.

Ba bum.

Julie cringed, her hands moving up to shield her face. Her head turned away from the highway.

Ba bum.

Mike reached protectively from the back seat.

Ba bum.

The headlights illuminated the rail of the overpass.

Ba bum.

The car hit the rail on the opposite side of the road with a hard thud.

Ba bum.

Crap. We’re going over the bridge.

Ba bum.

The Whale’s nose pointed down toward the water.

Ba bum.

A jolt forward and my forehead slammed into the dashboard.

Ba bum.

The Whale flipped in the air. I’m upside down.

Ba bum.

Pain.

Ba bum.

Did my mom say good-bye when I left?

Ba bum.

Cold water rushed into the car.

Ba bum.

Is this it?

Ba bum.

I can’t breathe. Oh my God, I can’t breathe. I can’t see or breathe!

My heart quickened. It pounded. The Whale leaned on its side under the surface of the water which rushed in fast, and I couldn’t see a damn thing.

Calm, stay calm. Don’t panic. They say when you’re drowning not to panic because you use up your air faster.
Dammit, am I drowning?

I tried to get myself upright and jerked out of my seatbelt. Luckily, it gave way. I fought the latch to open the door facing up, but the pressure of the water from Black Water River held it closed, trapping me inside.

Jesus. I know this river. It’s more of a creek. It can’t be more than fifteen feet across and ten feet deep.
I pushed at the door. Opening my mouth to scream, I swallowed water.

I couldn’t see or hear Julie or Mike. My watch ticked. Or was it my heart beating?

Ba bum. Ba bum. Ba bum.

Darkness.

Silence.

Cold.

Wet.

Defying gravity.

Nothing.

The dreams came. Like a good sleep you don’t want to wake up from. I felt heavy and floaty. I wore this long white gauzy gown and the wind blew my dress and my hair like in some feminine hygiene commercial. I could breathe slowly and deeply. Completely relaxed and at peace, but I was alone.

I floated along in a white space for a while. Drifting. Breathing. Relaxing. Had I gone to a spa? After an immeasurable amount of time, others appeared. They wore white clothing, too, and they floated like me, reaching out. They opened their arms as if to welcome me to them.

I stopped and frowned. I heard no sound, and I didn’t know who these white floaty people were or why they welcomed me. They smiled, genuinely happy, and held their arms out to me. I panicked.

Where’s my mom? My family? Wait, Mike and Julie were just with me, where are they? Are those wings?
I noticed the others floating with me had white feathery wings.

“Lily,” one of them called out.

Holy hell. I’m dead.

An Unpublished Author’s Check List Re: Author Shawna Romkey’s post

As I read Author Shawna Romkey’s latest blog post (found here http://www.shawnaromkey.com) I thought – OMG!  I feel pressure from reading that.

 

The next thought I had was – I’m a *little* different as I’m unpublished.

 

1.  Write.  This is the most important one for an unpublished author IMHO.  Not only do you need to practice the craft of writing and take workshops offered through a writing group like Romance Writers of America (http://www.rwa.org) but you need to keep writing after the first manuscript is done.  Why?  So you’re writing can improve and so when you pitch an agent or editor you have a backup when they ask “What else are you working on?”  Also, markets change for books each year.  One manuscript may not sell but the other one might.

 

2.  Read.  My recommendations are:  (A) Read in your genre.   (B) Read books to help you write such as “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler.  Pick up books or workshops online/offline on grammar, beginnings, middles, ends, story, dialogue…Another great book is “Goal, Motivation and Conflict.”

 

3.  Listen.  Find at least one critique partner.  Someone you trust to read your book (not rewrite it) and give commentary on story and grammar.  Or, find an editor and pay them to read your work plus provide a copy edit or a story edit.   I use Angel Editing http://www.angelediting.com  but there are others.  Nancy Cassidy has The Red Pen Coach at http://www.theredpencoach.com  and I haven’t used her but it’s a great place to start as she’s also an author under the name Lilly Cain and a member of my writing group.  Be prepared to mentally argue every point but reliquinsh your hold on your novel as a pristine object.  It’s time to dig in and think about the changes they all suggest.  Grammar has to be done.  Story has to unfold.  Your work can only get better.

 

4.  Travel.  Or enter contests or check out Savvy Authors http://www.savvyauthors.com  I travel to conferences to pitch my work to people I won’t be able to see and to get around being in the slush pile.  However, I also recently just entered three contests to have my work judged by editors/agents/writers to see if there’s a new suggestion I can use and see how I do.  Check out this article written by an agent http://pubrants.blogspot.ca/2012/08/68-queries-in-60-minutes.html  and realize that while this process is daunting to you it is also daunting to the people in the industry but they tackle new submissions with what fits them.  Your work may not fit an agent or editor.  Have a cry and move on to submitting it to someone it might fit.  But keep submitting!

 

5.  Make your promo list now.  You have the time and energy.  Local media, online media, radio/tv/paper, reviewers, giveaways…  Start with your calendar and learn what the peak times are for your genre.  If you know where your book will enter the market start searching and making friends on Facebook/Twitter/Blogs.  You’ll need another author’s promo on your published work and it’s easier to do it if you’ve had a conversation with that author.  Plus, for my genre, there’s outfits like Author Buzz and Eye on Romance that have specific databases that let you in to a world you can’t get into yourself:  reaching The Reader.   Also, check out Goodreads if you haven’t already.

 

6.  Write some more.  Use Twitter’s #1K1HR for support as you slave over your computer hoping for the best possible outcome for your unpublished work.

 

7.  Let yourself refresh each day with something you enjoy.  This “writing thing” that your family labels for you is a long process.  I’ve heard authors at conferences speak about the length of time it took to find an agent or editor – some are 2 months and others are 3 years.  Do not give up but treat yourself to do something besides staring at the rejection letters.  You’ll need to re-energize once a day.  Listen to music with a candle or watch a movie.  Go for a walk.

  And sometimes you just need a little wine…

 

 

Greece and other pics – a short, sweet summer of memories.

I just came from a great Writer’s Retreat at White Point Beach Lodge past Liverpool in Nova Scotia with RWAC.  Very productive.  Time to submit stuff!  We watched the films “It’s Complicated” and “Due Date.”  Love, love Meryl Streep.

http://www.romancewritersac.com

P.S. Get Ready for 11/11/11  http://juliaphillipssmith.com

Adirondack Chair overlooking a lake next to the Atlantic Ocean

I know I’m lucky.  I managed to find a second job that pays well and it’s in direct selling with Fifth Avenue Collection (My Open House is Oct 28 7-9pm, Oct 29 2-4pm, Oct 30 2-4pm if you’re interested stop by).  This second job has given me the freedom to take a few “extra” trips this past year that I ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to take.  I went to Calgary, Alberta is August and saw my Grandmother before her 104th birthday and I’m glad I did as she passed away October 2nd, 2011.  When Debbie Ford from TPI Travel said, months ago, that she had a Greek trip planned and there were a few more seats available my hand went up.  I hummed and hawed over going to Greece the past year and realized, like Whistler, B.C., New Zealand, Australia and Runaway Bay, Jamaica that if I could go I should just do it.

The Greek trip was amazing.  I saw a lot of great islands, our group was not affected by the strikes, I climbed up to the Acropolis in Athens but forgot my memory card, did some shopping and sat by a harbour eating Apple Pie with ice cream while enjoying a latte in Mykonos and saw plenty of beaches.  I hope the people of Greece climb out of their economy like Germany did years ago and realize their strengths (which is why Germany is so successful today in its economy).  For now, here are some photos.

CRETE, SANTORINI, PAROS, MYKONOS

nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image

@Apieceofmymind author Julia Phillips Smith and RWAC in New York

Producing video has been always something I enjoyed due to the people I get to work with.

Working on this book trailer that can be seen at Author Julia Phillips Smith website was a lot of fun.  It was work, don’t get me wrong, and we shot weeks ago but thanks to everyone who worked on it, cast and crew plus our editor we have a finished video.

http://juliaphillipssmith.com/

Julia is also on Twitter @apieceofmymind and Facebook.  Her manuscript about vampires is one of the most compelling stories I’ve recently read in part due to the fact that these vampires don’t want to be your family pet and they don’t glitter in the sun.  We have blood (as we’re human) and they want our blood.

The story that erupts between Peredur (the main hero) and Tanwen (his love interest) is honest and tragic.

So, knowing that Julia Smith is heading to New York City this week for the Romance Writers of America Conference I wish her well.  I don’t know, much like when I first started to read her manuscript, how it’ll turn out but I know one thing – I liked her book and as a paranormal/fantasy reader I know I want to see it on a bookshelf or on an e-reader that I have paid for.

Sure there’s a lot of authors out there doing the e-pub thing.  I’m going to be one of them at the end of this year.  However, I know that this story written by Julia will be an interest for TOR and HQN publishers as I read their lines all the time and she fits into their genres.  What happens next is all up to the author and whatever way she decides to publish.

Good Luck, Julia and the other 12 authors going down from our writing chapter!  http://www.romancewritersac.com/

 

New York Times Bestselling Author Yasmine Galenorn

Whew!  Loved, loved, loved this tale of elaborate enemies and an unknown warrior.

http://www.galenorn.com/

What an amazing read.  I’ve been stuck for the past three days in the grips of a powerful migraine which released today around 2pm.

Determined to keep the day off from work and school I picked up the book “Night Myst” written by Yasmine Galenorn.  I just finished it at 8:30pm tonight and did not put it down for hours!  Which reminds me that I need something to eat after this blog post.

Who is Cicely?  Well, we think we know as we’re introduced to her as the heroine of the story.  However, the adventure begins as soon as she returns to a small town after a loss in the family and she ends up battling three different forces to try to save her family members.  She has some help with a cousin and friends but only makes a small win against these three immortal forces.  The real win is when she realizes who she is and wins some freedom for her family.

Set in the forest the scenes are ethereal yet show a forest corrupted by the new evil Cicely must fight that feeds on its inhabitants.  Spiderwebs of poison penetrate the forest and watch the town.  Also, the townspeople who go missing every day.  No one is safe.  The police aren’t even interested in figuring out why the people they are sworn to protect are disappearing.  There is no help.  And then… there’s Cicely, her cousin and their friends.  A few heroes against three dark and manipulative forces who describe their wars as a “chess game” not caring who dies or who gets hurt along the way.  Information is key in the balancing act Cicely must play as she learns more about her enemies and herself as the story continues.

Action. Love. Sex. Dark Forces.  What a great read!  Powering up the Kindle now to download the others in the series… hope I get some sleep tonight.

Night Myst is available on Amazon.ca for Cdn $9.99 in paperback.

Vampires, The Fae and The Vampiric Fae fight over Cicely

 

Vision Board – have you made yours? Break out the glue, scissors and magazines

Recently, after a conversation with a friend about having a visual aid to focus on I realized that I needed to do the same.

I need to have a visual every 3 months that I can get to.  As a reference.

At the Fifth Avenue Collection Mini-Seminar in January 2011 we worked on our goal setting board.  Yes, we cut up magazines and put images to what we wanted to do with our business.

Vision Board from Fifth Avenue Collection

At the Highland Coaching Creative Business Retreat for the Solopreneur I did the same thing but about my Charlie Mac Productions Inc. business.

Vision Board from Highland Coaching Retreat

And, now I have one for me.  A personal visual board – that is the upcoming trip to Jamaica.  Bconnected (a local networking group) offered a great deal with Limetime Travel to go to Jamaica and I paid for it last year.  I’ve never been to the Caribbean or anywhere in that area before.

A good friend of mine had her wedding in St. Lucia in the ’90s but I couldn’t afford to go.  I need this vacation like a fish needs water.  To sit on the beach and do nothing seems fantastic.

My wishing well is now fulfilled.  I can scratch off two points off of my bucket list – I’m visiting the Caribbean and I’m taking a real vacation.

What are you doing on your bucket list? Maybe you should make a vision board…

Blog ready…

Just had a great workshop today by Julia Smith on how to blog, what to blog and how to find your blog community.

http://julia-mindovermatter.blogspot.com/

We are both members of RWA Atlantic Chapter.  I know both myself and my guest enjoyed the workshop.

Thursday night 6-9pm we have an event at the Argyle Fine Art Gallery on Barrington Street in Halifax, N.S. where authors and business professionals will meet to mingle with each other.  Fruit art by Fruitful Expressions will be there as well as catering by George & Lito’s Catering.  My company Charlie Mac Productions Inc. is working with Rich Graphics on this event and we’re hoping that the great community that is Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford/Lower Sackville join in and say hi to each other.

RWA Atlantic Chapter really is the group where I can just relax and let my mind think of creative ideas for my writing.  The retreat I went to back in October was intense (I had to leave early) but unbelievably productive.  I got my character out of a deep pit and started the re-jig of my author website plus blog.  I never thought I would find such comradeship.

Also, yesterday I finished a 1.5 day Creative Business Retreat for the female solopreneur and I’m looking forward to working Jac McNeil into our lives more.

http://www.highlandcoaching.com/

Are you in?  Because I know I am.  I know where I am.

RWA and Bconnected meet Thursday Feb 10th at the Argyle Fine Art Gallery

Monsters vs Witches: Lana and Gareth

Introduction

Gareth turned in his seat as Lana came into the room.  He couldn’t get her scent out of his nose and she wore Kat Von D’s Sinner which was intoxicating with her body chemistry.  He could tell with his senses that she had just ran down the hallway as her breathing was erratic and her hair was a little out of place.  He let his gaze wander down her young body and he felt the wolf inside stir out of desire.  They’d had time to recover from their trial battle for school and now they had to listen to what the Head of the School was going to tell them.  Hopefully, they weren’t kicked out.  A werewolf kicked out could always return to his family’s pack and have a life.  A witch on the other hand would return in shame and disgrace as schooling was one step closer to their career whatever their focus was.  A witch kicked out of school was usually considered by families to only have a breeding focus and pump out children.  Gareth again let his gaze caress her body that had an hour before laid next to his, immobile not in fear but with the power of her working.  She was a true powerhouse and her potential was untapped.  However, her view of her own self-importance and subsequent ego left much to be desired.  If only she wouldn’t be such a snob he thought as she opened her mouth saying “I’m not sure why we are here!  I clearly won the battle” and she tossed her hair.

Back at it in 2010!

Due to a hiatus as my business took off and I only had spare time for my dogs and family I am back!

I’m conjuring up spells and stories for a short story publisher and ebook publisher.  I’ve been developing ideas for paranormal romance over the past year but lacked the comittment to sit down and write them out.

I’m afraid my RWA group may hate me but I’m going to self-publish my first book.  I just can’t find the time for anyone’s schedule besides my own.

Check out some great musicians:  Crissi Cochrane and Mike Bochoff on MySpace

http://www.myspace.com/crissicochrane

http://www.myspace.com/mikebochoffmusic

http://www.charliemacproductions.com for what I’ve been up to this past year besides a fantastic visual journey into New Zealand and Australia with some dubious people -ahhh! I love Contiki bus crowds. When they’re sober.

I’m also working on my MBA at Walden University in International Business.  Finished my first semester already and into the next one.

I’d like to thank Dane Sanders for telling me at a PhotoPLUS conference at the Jarvits Center last October that falling on my head is not only ok but sometimes required.  Check out his blog at http://blog.danesanders.com/

And Professor Ed McHugh – thank you so much for your continued support in our lives in motion on this planet.

Russel Cook and family – keep rockin’ it and asking me what my word count is.

xxoo Tara