Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Cover Reveal for Walker (Gallowglass #2) #urbanfantasy #PNR #IARTG #Gallowglass


Walker (Gallowglass #2)

Available everywhere December 5, 2017

Preorder for 99 cents here à http://amzn.to/2xKvRKI


Who is hunting the gallowglass?

When Karina and Robert relocated from Scotland to New York, they expected things to settle down. New York is known for many things, but a hotbed of supernatural occurrences isn’t one of them. Karina returned to her life as a graduate student, and agreed to teach a class over winter break. That was when things got weird: first she and Robert encountered an angry centaur, then a fairy enrolled in her class, and Karina learned that her mentor just might be a deity. When the Seelie King started making unannounced visits to Karina’s apartment in the middle of the night and warning her and Robert to be careful, she knew things were serious.

All of these events led to a single question: Who doesn’t want the gallowglass on American soil?

Meanwhile, Chris has problems of his own. The university grudgingly restored his teaching position, his agent and publisher are hounding him for a sequel to his worldwide bestseller… and he wonders if he can teach again. Write again. Hell, he can barely even speak to a woman after what happened between him and the Seelie Queen. Then a woman—a fairy woman—comes into Chris’s life, and damn it all if he doesn’t want her to stay there.


The god plays their hand, and the Seelie King calls Robert to his side. Alone and more frightened than she’s ever been, Karina tries to solve the mystery of who is hunting the gallowglass. Will Karina find the answer in time, or will Robert be lost forever?

Book one is available now:



Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xIQE1b
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Writer Wednesday: How To Research Your #NaNoWriMo project #amwriting #IARTG

Hello readers and writers! Last week we talked about the three steps to NaNoWriMo success. this week, I thought we'd dive a bit deeper into the first item on the list, research.

Research is just as important to your work as proper grammar. You need to have a working knowledge of what you're writing about, and you need to integrate concepts seamlessly into your work. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will kick a reader out of a story faster than an obvious error on the author's part.

Some resist research (I get it, research is hard) and use the excuse of having built a second world, usually in a fantasy or science fiction setting. That's all well and good--and you get to make up place names and holidays for whatever society you've created--but what about those aspects of your world that are common with the one we live in? For example, horses and guns.

People get horses and guns wrong all the time. In the case of horses, I've read books where the characters ride for hours or maybe even days, and never stop to rest or feed their horses. They also never remove their tack, never rub them down... Really, the list goes on. These poor fantasy horses are not happy!

Guns are treated just as badly. In one memorable instance, a character loaded their modern automatic weapon by sliding bullets down the barrel, like a Pez dispenser. If only they'd Googled "how to load a gun" and spent the next five minutes reading, they could have avoided that egregious error.

I may know a lot about a little and a little about a lot, but I'm not arrogant or foolish enough to think I know everything. When I incorporate certain elements into my work, I research them. To expand on the examples above, I have very little first hand knowledge of horses, but I have friends and relatives who do. I hit them up for information, and sometimes I score free horseback riding lessons. I know even less about guns, since I've never even held one, and I tackle that issue in my own unique way: I don't write about them. I do, however, have characters who wield swords and other edged weapons, so I'm definitely filling my weapon research quota.

For my upcoming NaNo project, the bulk of the story takes place in County Cork, Ireland. I have been to Ireland, so I do have a feel for the land. In addition to my memories, I've subscribed to Irish periodicals, purchased a few maps and travel guides, watched Irish television (hello, Father Ted), and I've been learning Irish. I've also gotten a few YA titles set in Ireland, but I'm saving them to read in December, after I hit my 50k and before I start editing. My intent is that this low-key immersion in contemporary Irish culture will lend my main character an authentic voice. Even if it doesn't, I adore all things Irish, and learning is never wasted.

How are you researching for NaNoWriMo? Tell us in the comments!

Learn more about NaNoWriMo (and sign up!) here.



Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?



Britt Sullivan, part time model and full time aspiring artist, is sick of living alone in the city…

Taking lame jobs just to make ends meet is leading Britt nowhere, and she knows something has to change. She needs some excitement, and when she meets blue-eyed Midwesterner Sam MacKellar at a photo shoot, she realizes he’s perfect for her in every way—well, except for the fact that he’s gay.
A devastating childhood trauma turned Sam’s whole life into a lie…

Sam came to New York City to escape an existence that had become unbearable, and when his job as a photographer’s assistant leads him to Britt, he realizes he’s finally met someone who sees him as he really is. But plagued by nightmares and trapped by his own deception, he doesn’t know how she can truly be part of his life.

Friendship leads to a passionate encounter and hidden dangers…

Britt comforts Sam though his nightmares, and they begin to explore their mutual attraction, but the tables are turned when Britt faces unwelcome attention from a manipulative art instructor and Sam must come to her defense.

Sam is terrified to reveal the source of his nightmares, sure the truth would shatter his complicated relationship with Britt, but when she suffers an unspeakable trauma of her own, only Sam can help her pick up the pieces.

When Britt learns the magnitude of Sam’s lies, will his reasons and the depth of their feelings be enough to allow her to forgive him? Does she have a future with Sam, or does his deception also include the reality of changing teams?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Three Steps to #NaNoWriMo Success #IARTG #amwriting

Happy Wednesday, readers and writers! October is just around the corner, which means you have just over thirty days to plan your Halloween costume, and finalize your NaNoWriMo plan of attack.

Plan NaNo now, you ask? Why, it's still September! Yes, yes it is, but believe me that in order to win NaNo--in other words, write 50,000 over the course of the 30 days in November--you need to plan, plan, and plan some more.

Regular readers of this blog know that I'm a huge fan of NaNoWriMo. In fact, two of my currently published novels, Changing Teams and Gallowglass, were both written during NaNo. However, last year's NaNo was an epic fail on my part, and it was all due to poor planning. I had my story idea, and I'd done a bit of outlining and research, but not nearly enough. It wasn't long before the story had gone so far off the rails there was no way I could fix it in 30 days. You can read all about that disaster here.

But this year will be different! I've done my homework, and I expect that even if I don't have a finished story by November 30, I will at least have my 50,000 words. Here are the steps I'm taking to stack the deck in my favor:
  1. Research - Then do some more research, ask a librarian for help, and maybe book a trip to visit any real-life locations. Really, you're not going to get too much information so go all in.
  2. Outline - A nice detailed outline is key. One incorporating the classic three act structure would be ideal, but you want a strong map to follow. Think of it like you're downloading the newest map software onto your Garmin, as opposed to using a paper map printed in 1952.
  3. Character Profiles - Who's the protagonist? Antagonist? What do they want? What are the stakes? What will happen if they don't get what they want? Again, you cannot have too much information.
Next week, I'll share some of the research I've done for my NaNo 2017 masterpiece. Okay, pending masterpiece. In the meantime, click the links below to learn more about my two most successful NaNo projects. Happy reading!

Learn more about NaNoWriMo (and sign up!) here.



Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?



Britt Sullivan, part time model and full time aspiring artist, is sick of living alone in the city…

Taking lame jobs just to make ends meet is leading Britt nowhere, and she knows something has to change. She needs some excitement, and when she meets blue-eyed Midwesterner Sam MacKellar at a photo shoot, she realizes he’s perfect for her in every way—well, except for the fact that he’s gay.
A devastating childhood trauma turned Sam’s whole life into a lie…

Sam came to New York City to escape an existence that had become unbearable, and when his job as a photographer’s assistant leads him to Britt, he realizes he’s finally met someone who sees him as he really is. But plagued by nightmares and trapped by his own deception, he doesn’t know how she can truly be part of his life.

Friendship leads to a passionate encounter and hidden dangers…

Britt comforts Sam though his nightmares, and they begin to explore their mutual attraction, but the tables are turned when Britt faces unwelcome attention from a manipulative art instructor and Sam must come to her defense.

Sam is terrified to reveal the source of his nightmares, sure the truth would shatter his complicated relationship with Britt, but when she suffers an unspeakable trauma of her own, only Sam can help her pick up the pieces.

When Britt learns the magnitude of Sam’s lies, will his reasons and the depth of their feelings be enough to allow her to forgive him? Does she have a future with Sam, or does his deception also include the reality of changing teams?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Query Letter Do’s and Do Not’s (Because You Actually Want To Publish that Piece, Right?) #amwriting #amsubmitting #IARTG

So you’ve completed that piece, be it an article, short story, or the Great American Novel, and you’re ready to send it off to potential publishers. Great! Assuming you’ve done your due diligence you’ve assembled a list of possible homes for your work (if you want extra credit, make a multi-tiered list including dream publishers, second choice markets, etc.) and made sure your work matches their submission guidelines. You’ve done all that? Awesome! Your next step is a biggie, because you need to write a query letter.

Ugh.

Query letter research and writing are among writers’ least favorite activities, right up there with crafting a synopsis and reading your work aloud to a roomful of people who haven’t read a book since college. As tedious and frustrating as the submission process may be, query letters are a necessity. I’ve also got a few pro tips to help you stack the deck in your favor.

Read the rest of this article on the MASFFA blog: http://masffa.com/2017/09/18/query-letter-dos-and-do-nots/

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Cravings--Go On, Give In (To The Literary Ones, At Least) #WriterWednesday #craving #IARTG

Cravings generally get a bad rap. If you perform an internet search for cravings you'll get thousands of hits, the vast majority of them describing how to resist them, or how to end your cravings altogether. But, what if we as writers gave into them, at least occasionally?

Now, I'm not suggesting you go out and eat an entire cheesecake, as yummy as that would be. I'm talking about indulging your literary cravings.



What's a literary craving, you ask? Well, it's a desire to read a book-perhaps scandalous, perhaps not-that exists outside your literary comfort zone. It could be a vampire romance, a historical fiction, or even a comic book. In fact, comics are the inspiration behind this post.

We've all heard about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, right? A coworker of mine loves the movies, but craved more backstory on the characters. Since movies are expensive and therefore much rarer than your standard paper comic, I suggested she read a few back issues.

I kid you not, she was shocked when I suggested this. Her, a grown, respectable woman reading comic books? What would her coworkers think? As resistant as she initially was, she wanted to know more about Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers (and Miles Morales, after we had a particularly heated discussion on Spider Man). She downloaded a few collections for her Kindle, then a few more, and to make a long story short last year she cosplayed for the first time. AS MYSTIQUE. (She wouldn't let me include a picture, no matter what bribes I offered.)

Mystique


Now replace "comic book" in the above anecdote with whatever other genre you've been eyeing. I know so many people, both writers and readers, who rarely if ever stray from their comfort zones, and they really are doing themselves a disservice. After all, think about all the adults who took a chance on reading a children's book called Harry Potter.

I task all of you, dear readers, with reading one book your craving, be it a vampire romance or treatise on string theory. Have you recently read one of your cravings? Tell us about it in the comments!

As for me, I'll be over there with a slice of cheesecake.

~~~

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.


One click to purchase---> http://amzn.to/2wWspQ4

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles. 

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Using Chemistry To Define Character Relationships #writerwednesday #amwriting #science #IARTG

Yep, I'm talking about using chemistry, that good ol' science requirement, to help define your characters relationships within your work-in-progress. Honest, it works!


First, a bit of history regarding yours truly: my first (and some would say one true) love is science. I have a degree in environmental science, and am therefore well acquainted with the building blocks of that discipline, namely botany, biology, and our friend chemistry. Today we're going to discuss denaturing. Here's the definition according to Merriam Webster:

denatured; denaturing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 2:  to deprive of natural qualities :  change the nature of: such as a:  to make (alcohol) unfit for drinking (as by adding an obnoxious substance) without impairing usefulness for other purposes b:  to modify the molecular structure of (something, such as a protein or DNA) especially by heat, acid, alkali, or ultraviolet radiation so as to destroy or diminish some of the original properties and especially the specific biological activity.
Basically, when you denature something you alter it to a point that it becomes a different substance. A great example of this is when you bake a cake: when you have just the dry ingredients--flour, baking powder, cocoa, etc--you could (theoretically, with a very powerful microscope and very tiny and precise tools) separate all the ingredients out into their component parts. It's really nothing more than a few types of powdered substances sitting in a bowl.

Once you add the wet ingredients, things get interesting. You could still separate the ingredients, but that's fast becoming a Sisyphean task. Then comes the point of no return--you put the batter in the over and apply heat.

When heat acts upon the various ingredients and changes their chemical composition, that's when denaturing happens. The components can no longer be separated out into the sum of their parts. The ingredients have been changed, and there's no going back. This change is permanent.


Let's take this concept and apply it to our characters. What forces have acted upon them? Have they merely been tossed into a situation with a few other characters, and will eventually emerge relatively unscathed? Or have you added heat in the form of an action or chain of events that will forever change them? These are important plot points that every author needs to consider in some form or another. After all, who wants to read 80,000 words about a few characters who stumble from one situation to another and never change their approach or outlook? That would leave your story devoid of character growth, and that would be a very bad thing indeed.

Chemistry: it's not just for lab work.


Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

Click to purchase---> http://amzn.to/2vKKEU9

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Rejection, The Dirtiest Word In A Writer's Lexicon #writerwednesday #IARTG #amwriting

Without a doubt, a rejection is the most soul-crushing blow that can be dealt to a writer, its sting far worse than bookstore returns or one star reviews. Quite often they're also bewildering; you read the submission guidelines, crafted a piece especially for said guidelines, and stayed within word count and on theme, yet they still said no. What gives?

Adorable smile 
Sorry, no contract for you!

There are myriad reasons why a publisher chooses to reject a particular piece, and many of them have nothing to do with the writer or what's been written. For instance, when I read submissions for a mid-sized press, one particular imprint had eight slots for the coming year...and we got over one thousand submissions. You don't even need math skills to understand that I sent A LOT of rejection emails. Publishers are companies that rely on revenue, and once those initial eight slots were filled we just did not have the capital to take on more work, no matter how awesome it was. Was it discouraging, to both us and the writers? Yes, it was. It was also an opportunity for the writers to expand their reach and keep submitting, and for us as a publisher to surpass our sales goals so we could take on more stories. Remember, publishers WANT great stories.

Here are a few other reasons your work might be rejected:
  1. Your project is too similar to something recently published - Let's say you've written an awesome retelling of Snow White. We (the publisher) love it, but we just acquired a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (insert theme of your choice here). Unless we want to be known as the fairy tale retelling press, odds are we're not going to publish two retellings in one year.
  2. Your project is too long for the genre - My first novel was 177,000 words. Yup, it was a crap ton of words long, and the only reason I got away with that (by the skin of my teeth, mind you) was because it was an epic fantasy. Certain genres have generally accepted word counts, and epic fantasy is one of the few that can swing the occasional door stopper. Many other genres don't stray above the 80k mark, so if you're fielding a lot of rejections you might want to take a second look at your total word count.
  3. You live in a different country from the publisher - You know what they say, location, location, location! All kidding aside, when the writer is on one country and the publisher is domiciled in another, contract negotiations can get tricky. Many publishers circumvent the issue altogether and only sign those from their native country.
There you have it, a few of the million reasons why your work might get rejected. These points aren't meant to discourage you, but to encourage you to keep writing, hone your craft, and keep on submitting. The world needs nothing as much as great stories, including yours.

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 1

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaTKuM
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11