Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bellatrix Press Halloween Blog Hop! @Bellatrix_Press #Halloween #witches

 Magic comes in all shapes and sizes, and so do the people who use it. To celebrate Halloween, four authors got together to interview their magic-using characters and share the responses. And, as always happens when the four of us get together, to make some fun trouble.

That being said, the four of us have decided to break the interview pieces up so you can read them across our blogs. My Interview is with Marling Ellis from The Unlove Spell by Kendra L. Saunders.

Q: Do you remember the first time you used magic? If so, please tell us about it.
Please don't tell anyone this, especially not my magic tutor Kyran, or anyone at the New York Witch School, but I have never used magic in the traditional sense. Or, well... I don't think I have. However, I have always had this crazy ability to know if something is going to go on sale soon. The first time it happened to me, I was about 8 years old, and I told my mom not to buy a pair of sparkly pink boots, because they would be on sale the next day. Sure enough? They were. I can also guess a man's income just by looking at his watch. That has to be a sign of magic too, right?
Q: What is something you wish you could do with magic but haven't been able to yet?
Make Chris Hemsworth fall in love with me.
Q: What is something you wish you had never done with magic?
I wish I had never accidentally put the unlove spell on myself. It's a complete bummer to miss out on chances with hot guys, especially ones you meet while on a work trip to Cancun.
Q: Do real witches have broomsticks and/or black cats?
I can't really have cats, thanks to being crazy allergic to cats. I also don't really like broomsticks, thanks to being crazy allergic to housecleaning. However, if an actual flying broomstick ever comes onto the market, you'd better bet I'll own one. It would cut out so much traffic.
Q: If you lost your magical abilities tomorrow, what would you pursue instead?
That would mean the unlove spell was broken, so I'd probably go back to Cancun. And make sure I used those apps that keep you from paying too much for online shopping.


Magic has certain rules. You can’t really make someone fall in love with you, but you can make damn sure they don't fall in love with anyone else. That is, if you’re any good with magic in the first place.

Marling Ellis is a young witch who accidentally places a spell on herself to prevent her heart from ever belonging to anyone but Viktor Arson, the sexy, aristocratic Russian writer she shared a passionate, but brief, fling with. Marling’s spent the five years since their fling alone, occupying her personal time with the internet and hot chocolate. Viktor, a fae prince, has gone on to become a world-famous writer. Most importantly, he can also still make a killer good cup of coffee, and wear the hell out of leather pants. Vital skills in any relationship.

Now, Marling finds herself caught up in a plot by Kyran, one of her former magic teachers. She ends up in Russia, hunting Viktor down and trying to figure out if she really loves him... or if her feelings are just a product of the unlove spell.



Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can't learn karate (or ballroom dancing). She's the author of the Alien Pop Star series, magic realism novel Inanimate Objects, the dark comedy Death and Mr. Right, and the poetry collection Geminis and Past Lives.

Below are all the blogs participating in the hop. Go check 'em out and tell me what you think about the witchy women of of Bellatrix Press.

Jennifer Allis Provost (wait, you're already here!)
Kendra L. Saunders:

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2The Virgin Queen is on sale for 99 cents:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Finding Time To Write In Three Easy Steps #WriterWednesday #amwriting #goals #inspiration #findingtime

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” -- Robert Louis Stevenson

 And that's exactly what you're doing when you write, whether it's a grocery list or participating in NaNoWriMo, planting seeds. Unless you're going for instant gratification via social media or blogging, when you write something it takes time for it to pay off. But no matter what or why you're writing, you need to get the writing done first.

Which leads me to the following list, my release schedule for next year:

Rise of the Deva'shi (Parthalan #3) - February 2017
Changing Fates (Changes #3) - April 2017
Gallowglass - June 2017
Golem (Parthalan #4) - September 2017
Bride of the Gallowglass (Gallowglass #2) - November 2017

Well, that's certainly ambitious.

There are lots of reasons why 2017 will go down in history as Release Madness, the main one being that three of the above titles are extremely close to completion (they don't need more than a final edit/proofread and finalized covers), and the other two are very close to final draft status. Still, that's a helluva schedule, and I'm not even mentioning my DDJ (Dreaded Day Job), wrangling the Wonder Twins and Wonder Dog (the parrot is above our shenanigans), or grad school. So how the heck will I find time to write?

Simple: I will make time.

Honestly, that's really all it comes down to. Whenever we have something we're passionate about, be it writing or woodworking or running marathons, we find the time to do it. We all get the same 24 hours each day; some of us choose to use them wisely, others binge on Netflix (says the girl who watched 2 seasons of Daredevil in four days. What? It was, um, research.)

Here's how I find time to write:

I write at the same time every day. For me, that means after the Wonder Twins get on the bus, and my husband goes back to bed. This gives me about an hour of peace and quiet per weekday. Of course, I can write at other times, but having a set schedule is very helpful.

I strive to meet my word count. usually my word count is 2000 per day. I don't hold myself to that if I'm in deep edit mode, since I'm often deleting while writing, and keeping track of all that is maddening.

I take days off. Forcing yourself to write is not the way to create compelling stories. I get much more quality work done when I take breaks from writing, and 500 good words beats 2000 filler words (that will likely get deleted) any day.

That's how I do it! How do you find time to write? Tell us in the comments!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Kind Of Pencils do You Use? #WriterWednesday #amwriting #inspiration

In my never-ending quest for blog post topics, I asked my husband what I should write about today... and I got the title you see above you. And while I initially dismissed his idea, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Artist need tools to create, right?

 But I don't want to talk about traditional writing tools, like pencils and notebooks and word processing programs. I want to talk about the tools that make writing possible, tools that you can use to smash through writers block or jump start your inspiration. one of the tools I use for this--and I have many--are newsletters.


I subscribe to a wide variety of newsletter, some because they're writing related, some for inspiration, and some just for fun. Below are a few of my favorites.

 Travel + Leisure: This is a list based newsletter, which features things like "25 Waterfalls To See Before You Die" and "Top Ten Towns For Foodies". It's a great way to get inspiration for a scene, or research a location without leaving home.

 Tasting Table: Features a wide variety of world cuisine, and has restaurant and chef profiles. It's fun learning what's eaten for breakfast in Sweden, and how chefs create those amazing meals.

 Atlas Obscura: As the name implies, this newsletter features some of the strangest and most out of the way stuff on earth. I've read articles on Spring Heeled Jack , a church decorated with dragon bones, and a unicorn skeleton. Now that's some inspiration.

 What tools do you use for inspiration? Tell us in the comments!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It's Not Too Early To Talk About 2017 Goals, Is It? #WriterWednesday #goals #amwriting

Last week, I talked about the goals I wouldn't be achieving in 2016. That led me to make a list of twelve possible goals for 2017, and by making it public with y'all, I have accountability. Um, eek.

While not all of these are specifically writing-related, they will all propel me toward my ultimate goal of leaving the DDJ (that's Dreaded Day Job, a term coined by Nick Stephenson), giving myself the time and space to devote to my writing, and living a simpler, happier life with my husband and the Wonder Twins. 

And Maggie, the Wonder Dog. (Don't tell the parrot I couldn't find a picture of her.) 13094379_1019973338090052_2862874367491170561_n                     

Without further ado, here is my 2017 goal list:
  1. Increase readership - because let's start the list with a crap ton of work. More detail to come on this.
  2. Have a beginner homestead up and running by 12/31/2017 - Did I tell you I'm attempting a homestead on my city lot? Stay tuned for more info!
  3. Pay off LTG - LTG is this stupid creditor that's been hanging around for YEARS. I only owe them about $1500, so 2017 will be the year to make that disappear.
  4. Lose the 20lbs I gained when I started working from home - I can do that in a year. Right?
  5. Double my email subscribers - tripling and quadrupling would also be acceptable.
  6. Read 100 books - because good writers are readers first.
  7. Do twelve new things with the Wonder Twins - new fairs, new museums, the sky's the limit here.
  8. Make 2 extra car payments - a big part of the plan to leave the DDJ is to reduce expenses, and ditching the car payment will definitely help.
  9. Stay current on all expenses - again, all in the name of reducing costs and not needing the DDJ
  10. Restart my craft business - BWT (Before Wonder Twins) I used to make and sell jewelry and paintings. Now that the kids are in school, I have the time and space to restart that portion of my life.
  11. Learn how to bake bread - because who doesn't want to be able to whip up a fresh, crusty loaf of bread?
  12. Finish The Chronicles of Parthalan to book 6 - finish as all in a rough draft state, not finished as in published. I'm not that crazy.
Okay, so that list is a bit...daunting. But you know what? I can do each and every item on that list, and each item will propel me closer to my ultimate goal of leaving corporate America behind, and giving me more time to devote to my writing. It's easy to say "I will write more" or "I will submit more often", but sometimes you need to do some background work before that's possible. If you want to write more, first you have to find the time to write.

Will I ever be a full time writer? Honestly, I don't know--but I can't wait to find out.
 Do you have any 2017 goals yet? Let us know in the comments!

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