Writing Opportunity with Mozark Press

Here’s an opportunity to get your short mystery story published in an upcoming anthology. Mozark Press is a small publishing company dedicated to creating quality books. They publish inspirational, general fiction, nonfiction, and short story collections. Here is the call for submissions:

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A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman Mozark Press – Call for Submissions
Submissions Deadline July 25, 2014
$20 Paid for Stories Published in Anthology

Mozark Press seeks short mystery fiction for A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman. For this anthology, we are looking for mysteries with a female protagonist. Send us your cozies, soft-boiled mysteries,
suspenseful tales, capers, or whodunits with a strong emphasis on character, plot, and good old- fashioned storytelling.

What’s in it for you?

  • If your story is selected for the anthology, you will be paid $20 upon publication.
  •  Authors whose work appears in the book will be given a one-time opportunity to pre- purchase books at 60% of retail price + postage.
  •  You will receive a free copy of the book with your story in it if you pre-purchase a minimum of one copy at the author’s discount.

Of course, you don’t like rules, but we have a few:

  •  Stories must be between 2000 – 3,500 words.
  •  Only previously unpublished works will be considered.
  •  Keep the story clean—consider a PG rating.
  •  No poetry.
  •  Must be written in English.
  •  One entry per person.

Electronic submissions only, subject line: “That Mysterious Woman” email to publisher@Mozarkpress.com.

  •  Twelve point, Times New Roman, double spaced.
  •  Send title page and story in a single Microsoft Word document attached to email.
  •  On the title page, give your name, contact information—address, phone number, and email address–word count, a short bio (150 words or less) written in third person, the title of the story, and first line of the manuscript.
  •  No identifying information on manuscript, but do provide story title and page numbers in header or footer. (Also, be sure to include the title and first line you put on the cover sheet.)

For the best chance of success:

  •  Proofread. Typos and grammatical errors will send your story to the bottom of the pile.
  •  Read your work aloud to see how it flows.
  •  Start with action.
  •  Use conversation to move your story.
  •  Don’t get hung up on back story. We want to know what’s going on now.
  • Have a critique group read your story.

To help the editor:

  •  Do not use styles—with fancy formatting. You wouldn’t believe how hard they can be to remove!
  •  Use one space following the period at the end of a sentence. (I learned to type with two and you can break the habit with practice).
  •  Use paragraph indents.

By submitting to the anthology, you give first publication rights to Mozark Press for print and electronic publication if your story is selected. You also give Mozark Press permission to publish excerpts for publicity or on the publisher’s website without further compensation. You certify your story is original, unpublished, and written by you. If selected, your story will be published unless you send a written withdrawal within thirty days of the submission closing date. Payment will be made upon publication. Stories withdrawn shall not be eligible for payment.

Approximately 20-25 stories will be selected for the anthology. Impartial judges will select the stories eligible for publication. The judges’ and publisher’s decisions are final. The publisher reserves the sole right to cancel the project if not enough qualified entries are submitted to justify publishing the anthology. Publication will be late fall 2014.

 

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It’s Christmas in May for Comic Book Lovers

Holy Hallelujah, Batman! It’s Free Comic Book Day on May 3rd!

Every year, on the first weekend in May, comic book stores celebrate the genre by giving customers free copies of favorite comic books.

How can you prepare to meet up with Wonder Woman and Spiderman?

1. Find a participating comic book shop near you. You can use the FCBD store locator.

2. Contact your local store to find out what their policies are and what they’re giving away.

3. Get there early. As with anything free, the earliest Super Power fans get the Super Comics.

4. Visit the Free Comic Book Day Facebook page. You knew there had to be one, right? They have daily giveaways leading up to the main event.

5. Have fun and take pictures. You can win more prizes when you post your pics with the hashtag #FCBD2014 or #FCBD. Check out the Photo Sharing Contest rules.

One final tip from me:

Practice all the Holy ____ phrases Robin says to Batman. Holy Ravioli, Batman! There’s an entire list of them on Wikipedia!

Careful by Randy Anderson

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For two decades Tyler Gibbons has been keeping a secret from his family. At the tender age of sixteen, Tyler embarks on a student exchange program. Sent to the Andean city of Ambato, Ecuador, he finds daily adventure as he tries to fit in at school, connect with his host family, and navigate through a world of beaches, volcanoes, and jungles. But tucked deep inside this year are events so profound, so unexpected, they forever shape the man he will become.

 

Now, 25 years later, his mother pulls these soaring tales from her son, exposing, for the first time, the source of a deep unhappiness. While these memories contain the wounds of an unresolved past, they also possess the power to heal his painful present.

 

Thoughtfully crafted and boldly told, Tyler’s journey takes the reader on a wild South American adventure, while illuminating a mother’s unyielding power to heal her child.

Excerpt From Careful:

Cuidado was the first word I learned on my own. I didn’t ask anyone for a translation. I learned it the same way a child learns words in their native tongue. Patricia said it so often to Enrique when we were playing in the water that I came to know its meaning without explanation. Of course, the danger in learning words on your own is that you may not always be correct.

“¡Oye mijo, cuidado!” Patricia would shout to Enrique from under the safety of her giant hat and umbrella. Enrique and I shared a love for playing in the waves. While the swells weren’t big enough for me to bodysurf, they were deliciously dangerous to Enrique. He’d run into the water, lifting his feet as high as he could until a wave tripped him and he’d fall face-first into the sea. He’d stand up laughing, hoping someone had seen him—I always had.

I’d applaud and he’d race back to dry land to do it all again. Sometimes he’d go out too far. He’d chase the receding waves and be surprised when the water level suddenly climbed over his head. Overcome by the ocean, he’d throw his arms up and quickly open and close his hands in rapid succession—fist to flat palm. I called them “grabby hands.” This was his sign to me that he needed help. I was under strict instructions. If the “grabby hands” didn’t appear, I was not to assist him.

“¡Cuidado!” I’d shout, when I saw the “grabby hands.” I’d scoop him up, carry him closer to shore, and toss him squirming and giggling back into the shallows.

 

Randy will be awarding an eCopy of Careful and a $25 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

When you follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the banner below.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Randy AndersonRandy Anderson is a novelist and playwright. His first book was published in 2011. On Making Off recounted his adventures running The Beggars Group, a downtown theater company that produced over two dozen productions at the turn of the millennium. He is also the author of several plays including; Kill the President, The Dwelling, and Yippie! Randy currently lives in Brooklyn where he writes, reasons, and reacts. You can contact him at www.onmakingoff.com, or on twitter @onmakingoff.

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Celebrate April Poetry Month with Cherie Burbach

Every time I tell my class we’re going to study poetry, I get eye rolls, groans, and heads falling on desks. By the time we’ve finished the first day, the students are telling me, “This is fun!” or “I didn’t think I liked poetry, but now I do.” And the most common response is, “This is poetry? I didn’t know  poetry could be this cool.”

Yep, poetry should be fun, and cool, and something we love to read. Here’s Cherie Burbach, a friendly, talented poet, who took the time to stop by and offer us ten reasons to get into poetry now.

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See that smiling face? Yeah, she’s always like that, in every picture of her I’ve ever seen. Judging from her mugshot, poetry makes you happy.

10 Reasons to Buy a Poetry Book Today (Even If It’s Not Mine)

My Soul Is From a Different Place coverI’m celebrating the release of my sixth poetry book, My Soul Is From a Different Place, this month. It’s been ten years since I published my very first book, The Difference Now, and as I look back on things I realize one reason I’m so proud of being a poet is because I think the world needs more poetry in general.
Do you read poetry? Have you purchased a poetry book lately? Here’s ten reasons to buy a poetry book today, even if it isn’t mine.

10) It’s Poetry Month!
Let’s not forget that the entire month of April celebrates the works of the world’s best poets. (Here’s some background on poetry month.)

9) Poetry makes the world a better place.
No really, it does. It is a way to document our history as a society, it encourages critical thinking, and it allows our minds to open up in a way that other types of reading do not. It helps us develop a more expansive view of the world.

8) It’s a healthy means of expression.
Good poetry (which I define as “poetry that speaks to you personally”) is non-destructive way to study, understand, and release emotion. You don’t have to share the same experiences as the poet to appreciate the poem.

7) It’s cheap.
Can we talk money? Poetry books are usually very affordable so you can treat yourself without spending too much coin.

6) Poetry books make great gifts.
Buy a friend a poetry book you think they’ll like and they’ll thank you. It’s not a gift everyone gets very often.

5) Poetry can be digested in little chunks.
So many people tell me they don’t have time to read, and my answer is: poetry! While there are some epic poems that will take you awhile, most poems are short and can be read easily in your spare time. Read one or two and then go about your day while your mind works on digesting it. See what happens after a week or two of doing this. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

4) Poetry helps with conversation.
It gives you one more thing to talk about with friends. Everyone has at least one poem that they like, and if they don’t, that’s a conversation in and of itself. Buy a poetry book today and use it to start up a conversation later on.

3) Poetry needs support.
Let’s face it, the word “poet” is synonymous with “poor.” People don’t make money off poetry, in part because readers say they don’t understand it. It’s not a universally loved medium, but if you purchased a poetry book, and encouraged others to do the same, it would help educate people about the benefits of poetry.

2) More poetry makes you a likeable person.
Okay, I made that up. See how creative poetry makes you? But there is some truth to this… if you buy a poetry book, that poet will appreciate you.

1) Poetry helps inspire other art forms.
Reading poetry puts your mind in a creative place. If you have a hobby (woodworking, painting, cooking, scrapbooking) it encourages to go out and celebrate your own means of creative expression.

Bio:
Cherie Burbach is a writer, poet, and mixed media artist. Her latest poetry book is My Soul Is From a Different Place. She’s written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, and more. Visit her website, cherieburbach.com.

Floats the Dark Shadow

If you love historical fiction, if you love mystery, if you love Paris, you might love Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey.

During this blog tour, Yves will be awarding a hardback copy of Floats the Dark Shadow (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the banner at the bottom of this post.

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Floats the Dark Shadow is the winner of four Indie awards in both mystery and historical categories.

Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She’s tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill. When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend—could be the man she loves. Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass. Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France—Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc’s lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children. Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.

My Review:

Once I began reading Floats the Dark Shadow, I was so immersed in Belle Époque Paris that I felt I could see the dark streets, smell the perfumes, and taste the gritty air. Yves Fey’s writing is authentic and lyrical, using masterful strokes much as Theo, the main character of her book, does with her art.

The story opens with the crime. Children are disappearing from the streets of Paris, and not much is being done to find out what’s happening to them. Inspector Michel Devaux gets involved in the case, and as he works to find the criminals, the reader is led into a dark underground society.

Part history, part mystery, and part occult, this novel will keep you reading late into the night.

I was lucky enough to get to a copy of this award winning book in exchange for an honest review.

Excerpt from Floats the Dark Shadow:

A thousand candles burned in the darkness of the catacombs.

A thousand flames wavered, golden lights bending and rising with the doleful ebb and flow of the music.

Repelled and fascinated, Theo watched their flickering glow caress the curved domes of the skulls. Tinted by candlelight, the naked bones took on a sepia patina like sacred reliquaries carved from amber. A shiver swept her. Nothing—not her delight in the outrageous, nor the wickedly delicious thrill of the forbidden, not even the inspiration the images would bring to her art—nothing overcame her sense of oppression. They were deep in the earth. Room after endless room of bones surrounded them.

The black hollows of the eye sockets seemed to watch the concert as attentively as the audience of chic Parisians still clothed in mortal flesh and fancy silks, still breathing the dank, stifling air of the chamber. As the last notes of Chopin’s Marche Funèbre echoed, the gathering applauded with fervent solemnity, saluting the musicians’ skill and their own daring in coming here. Elegant in their tuxedos, the orchestra lowered their instruments with a flourish and rose, first bowing to their guests, then once again to their skeletal hosts. Theo smiled and clapped with them, fighting off her apprehension.

“They call this the Empire of Death.” Averill leaned close and Theo bent to meet him. In the eerie light, the smile hovering at the corners of his mouth shifted from sweet to sinister and back again. His breath caressed her face and she caught a hint of absinthe. The scent churned up a chaos of emotion—concern, frustration, anger, yearning.

A pang of jealousy.

How perfectly Parisian, she thought, to be jealous of a liqueur.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Yves Fey AuthorYves has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, and a BA in Pictorial Arts from UCLA. She has read, written, and created art from childhood. A chocolate connoisseur, she’s won prizes for her desserts. Her current fascination is creating perfumes inspired by her characters and by Paris. She’s traveled to many countries in Europe and lived for two years in Indonesia. She currently lives in the San Francisco area with her husband Richard and three cats, Marlowe the Investigator, and the Flying Bronte Sisters.

http://yvesfey.com/

https://twitter.com/YvesFey

https://www.facebook.com/YvesFey

For a list of tour dates and stops, click the banner.

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Writing Process Blog Chain

Good day, everyone! My fabulous writing friend Cathy C. Hall invited me to join this blog chain. She always has something fun and funny going on, so how could I resist? So here it goes with my link in the chain:

What am I working on?

I’m currently finishing up some edits and revisions in the second book of The California Argonauts series. Gold Rush Deluge continues the story of Lucinda and George as they head to Sacramento, just in time for the 1850 floods, cholera, and fires. It’s hard to believe all those things happened in one year. Lucinda begins working with a doctor who also happens to be a murderer, (oops!) George envisions a plan to build levees and dams to protect the city of Sacramento, but Hardin Bigelow got the credit for that amazing project. Mix into that a society woman who wants to claim George for her own, and you have a love triangle/murder mystery/historical fiction story that I hope you’ll enjoy.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There are stories and more stories of the gold rush. Many of them take place in the Yukon, and there are a few stories set in Australia and in California. But mine is the only one I know of in which the heroine wants to be a doctor. The stories are filled with medical practices and anecdotes from the mid-1800s. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female doctor in the United States. She led the way for women to join the medical profession as doctors. She’s the inspiration for this series.

Why do I write what I do?

That’s simple. I write it because I find California history fascinating. (The teacher in me is showing.) The part I enjoy the most is the research. When I’m procrastinating about writing, I research. When I want to relax and have some downtime, I research. I find the personal stories and diaries the most interesting. Each time we drive to the Sierra Nevada mountains, I’m reminded of the people who came out here in wagons. Their strength and fortitude kept them alive, and I honestly don’t know if I could have lasted a month in their shoes. Their stories are truly amazing.

How does your writing process work?

I do a good deal of procrastinating/research. Then I think about the story, a what if scenario, and I get a picture in my mind. After that, I start sketching out a three act plot line. Then I embellish the plot points, and start adding more details. About that time, I start adding more details and characteristics to the characters. Finally, I write. Usually, I can write the novel in about six weeks. But it could take months or even years for me to get it edited and revised into a good story.

How about you? How does your writing process work? I’ve invited some other writers to join me in this blog chain, and I’ll be publishing the links to their posts soon. So keep the love going and check out:

Bridgette Booth, author of The Literature Club Project

Mindy Shafer, author of Hannah, Hannah, One-and-Two

Previous posts in the Writing Process Blog Chain:

Margo L. Dill, author of Caught Between Two Curses

Cathy C. Hall, author of bunches of fabulous and funny stories for children and adults.

Next Stop on the Writing Process Blog Chain (Hint: It’s Me)

TeacherWriter:

Aye ‘n’ begorrah! My good friend and funny writer, Cathy C. Hall is on the Writing Process blog chain, writing about her latest shenanigans!

Originally posted on Cathy C. Hall:

2009-02-10 16.23.12 Sure, t’is a lovely day to be writing.

It’s a wee bit rainy on this St. Patrick’s Day morning, but that’s all the better for this lass to keep her pounding at the keys. If the sun were shinin’ bright, a certain strawberry blonde might be up to all sorts of shenanigans. So a big thank you to the good Lord who brings the rains, and a big thank you to Margo L. Dill, who is any day now releasing her new novel, CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO CURSES! Margo invited me to answer a couple questions on the writing process (and if you want to know all about Margo’s news and process, check out the last stop on the blog chain here.)

On to the Writing Process questions!

1. What am I working on?

Whew! Just last night, I had a wee bit of a panic attack, wondering how I would…

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