Friday, May 29, 2009

An action-packed excerpt from Woman of Honor

Since Woman of Honor is fantasy romance about knights, it is jam-packed full of action and adventure. Here's a piece from one such scene where Duke Harold, Aislinn, and several pages are searching for some bandits. The duke had sent some pages ahead to scout when:


Suddenly, horrifying screams filled the air. The noise stopped almost immediately. “Onward, soldiers, into battle!” Harold cried, triumphantly raising his sword.

The other pages responded and followed the duke to the right. Aislinn rushed her horse but he panicked from the commotion and required precious seconds to calm down. Finally, Dream Rider galloped and they rushed into a clearing.

The two pages were bloodied, lying in a hapless mass in the center. Twenty or so bandits surrounded the bodies, each with a weapon tightly gripped in their hands. Some had weapons in each hand. Hideous looking, with little or no teeth, greasy hair, dyed skin, and wild eyes full of rage and hatred, the bandits made serious foes.

“If you want ‘em,” one stated, nodding to the pages, “come and git ‘em. But ye’ll be needing to git through us first.”

One look and the Arnhemians realized that the pages were dead. Aislinn grew sick and her stomach heaved. The duke had sent them to their deaths at her vision. But if I had not seen the movement, they could have ambushed all of us and we all could be dead now. She slowed her breathing and tried not to let her sense of guilt overwhelm her.

Before the duke responded, a toothless, bald man with eight fingers, threw a spear. It nearly hit Harold, only his shield saved him.
All pandemonium broke loose. Following the duke’s lead, the pages fought valiantly but many fell wounded as the rouges fought as if possessed, as if they did not fear death.

A bandit came up to her, his mouth leering, showing his two teeth. “A girl, eh? I be claiming ya as me own.”

“I think not.” Aislinn, still on Dream Rider, used her added height to her advantage as she kicked his dagger. The weapon stayed in his hand but it served as the diversion necessary for Aislinn to take her own dagger and slice his throat, blooding rushing everywhere.

She felt lightheaded. Although killing another living thing was a reality they had been taught to expect, actually feeling his warm blood on her hands was a feeling she never imagined. She had to look away from the fallen bandit and glanced around. Three men surrounded Adamina. The other girl was on the ground. Where was her horse? They circled her, most likely spewing comments similar to the bandit Aislinn had killed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Demon Contest Entry

I sent in my entry for the Demon Anthology, Shadow Rage. The story centers on Shadow Rage (the demon) fighting Alessandro, a knight whom I already have another short story about. I'm proud of this short, it's compelling and full of action. Hopefully, it'll be included in the anthology. We shall see!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

“Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win” Contest!




Some friends and I have put together an exciting contest to kick off your summer! Beginning June 1st, we will be giving away a prize a day. That’s right: 30 days, 30 treasures! There should be something for everyone: romance, mystery, historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction; children’s picture books; a variety of non-fiction; and just to liven things up even more, we’ve included a few exciting non-book prizes: a free 30 page manuscript edit, for you aspiring authors out there; an e-bay gift certificate; and a gift-certificate for a Vinyl Expressions Quote.

How can you win one of these fabulous prizes? Follow the rules below:

SUMMER TREASURE HUNT RULES:

You can send in an entry for each day’s prize, or only for those prizes that strike your fancy. The rules are simple:

(1) Go to the website or blog indicated for each day, find the answer to the question for that day, then email the answer with your name and mailing address to jdipastena@yahoo.com.

(2) Please send a separate entry for each day and type the day you are entering in the subject line. (Such as: June Treasure Hunt, Day 1; June Treasure Hunt, Day 2, etc).

(3) Deadline for each day: Midnight PST

(4) The winner will be contacted and announced on the day following the deadline.

You do not have to wait until the designated day to enter. You can start sending in your entries right now, or begin entering at any point along the way. And check back here each day between June 2nd-July 1st to read the names of the winners.

If you have any questions, feel free to email Joyce DiPastena at jdipastena@yahoo.com.

And now…let the treasure hunt begin!

June 1
SPONSOR: Aubrey Mace
PRIZE: autographed copy of my new YA fiction book, My Fairy Grandmother.
QUESTION: What is the title of my upcoming book to be released Fall 2009?
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.aubreymace.com
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:

June 2
SPONSOR: Rachel Rager
PRIZE: By Love or By Sea, romance, autographed copy
QUESTION: What question does the stranger ask Alice? (Hint: Read excerpt of By Love or By Sea on the “Reading Room” page.)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.rachelrager.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 3
SPONSOR: Josi S. Kilpack
PRIZE: An autographed copy of culinary mystery Lemon Tart OR a pre-ordered copy of English Trifle (release date is August 2009)
QUESTION: How many original recipes are included in the culinary mystery, Lemon Tart? (Hint: click on “Lemon Tart” tab on website)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.josiskilpack.com
USA ENRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 4
SPONSOR: Cindy R. Williams
PRIZE: Arizona Glyph Award Finalist: Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today Children’s snuggle, giggle picture book. Autographed by the author and the real Chase McKay.
QUESTION: What is the name of the dragon book Cindy is completing?
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.cindyrwilliams.com
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:


June 5
SPONSOR: Kersten Campbell
PRIZE: Autographed Copy of the Motherhood humor book: Confessions of a Completely (In)Sane Mother
QUESTION: What does the dog beg for when he escapes into the neighbor's house in the book Confessions of a Completely Insane Mother? (hint: if they click on the book they'll find the answer)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.kerstencampbell.com
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:

June 6
SPONSOR: Lara Niedemeyer
PRIZE: $20 gift certificate towards merchandise and shipping at my store—8pizza on eBay
QUESTION: What is the lowest priced item and what is the highest priced item listed in 8pizza’s store? (Hint: use the “Sort By” feature).
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://stores.shop.ebay.com/8pizza
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 7
Sponsor's name: Kathi Oram Peterson
Prize: Autographed copy of The Forgotten Warrior, YA Inspirational Time travel
Question Who is Tarik?
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.kathiorampeterson.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 8
SPONSOR: Donna Hatch
PRIZE: Autographed copy of paperback of the Regency Romance, The Stranger She Married
QUESTION: What is Cole accused of doing?
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.donnahatch.net (Hint: read the excerpt under “Bookshelf” tab for The Stranger She Married)
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: IN THE CASE OF AN INTERNATIONAL WINNER, AN E-BOOK VERSION OF THE STRANGER SHE MARRIED WILL BE AWARDED
WINNER:

June 9
SPONSOR: Diony George
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Torn Apart, a fictional novel based on a true story. "If it could happen to Alyson, it could happen to anyone..."
QUESTION: What TV station interviewed Diony about her book? (Hint watch video for the answer)
WEBSITE/BLOG: diony-george.blogspot.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 10
SPONSOR: Tina Scott
PRIZE: autographed copy of Coyote's Grand Adventure - children's picture book
QUESTION: What did Coyote always dream of doing? (Hint: Look under “Library” tab)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://tinascott.net
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:

June 11
SPONSOR: Cindy Beck
PRIZE: Winner's choice of one of the following anthologies featuring Cindy's stories (autographed copy): My Dad is My Hero, Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors, or Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers.
QUESTION: What was the name of my horse? (Hint: You can find the answer by going to the website and clicking on the button marked "Books."
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.bythebecks.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 12
SPONSOR: Valerie Ipson
PRIZE: $15 gift certificate and free shipping for a Vinyl Expressions’ Vinyl Lettering quote (check out http:vinylsignsanddesigns.blogspot.com for examples of prize)
QUESTION: What is Valerie’s personal writing quote? (Hint: see quotes in right sidebar under “OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF WRITERLY PEOPLE: Valerie’s “personal quote” means just that…her very own quote!)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://valerieipson.blogspot.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 13
SPONSOR: Joyce DiPastena
PRIZE: 2007 Whitney Award Finalist: Loyalty’s Web, medieval romance, autographed by author
QUESTION: What is Heléne’s prayer when Gunthar brushes her cheek with his thumb? (Hint: Click on “Excerpt” tab on website)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.joyce-dipastena.com
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: IN THE CASE OF AN INTERNATIONAL WINNER, A $20 AMAZON.COM E-CERTIFICATE WILL BE AWARDED TOWARDS THE PURCHASE OF A COPY OF LOYALTY’S WEB
WINNER:

June 14
SPONSOR: Joan Sowards
PRIZE: LDS Word Puzzles
QUESTION: What is Bednar?
WEBSITE: http://joansowards.com/node/110
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 15
SPONSOR: Anne Bradshaw
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Please, No Zits! & Other Short Stories for LDS Youth, but non-LDS will enjoy it, too! - YA genre (12 upward)
QUESTION: What does author Jeffrey S. Savage say about Please, No Zits? (Hint: scroll down right sidebar on blog)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://annebradshaw.blogspot.com
USA ENTRANTS ONLY
WINNER:


June 16
SPONSOR: Laurie LC Lewis
PRIZE: an autographed copy of BOOK ONE of her Free Men and Dreamers series, Dark Sky at Dawn.
QUESTION: What current political situation has caused a verse of the Star Spangled Banner to be nearly forgotten? (Hint: click on “news” link on website)
WEBSITE: www.laurielclewis.com
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: IN THE CASE OF AN INTERNATIONAL WINNER, A $25 AMAZON.COM E-CERTIFICATE WILL BE AWARDED TOWARDS THE PURCHASE OF A COPY OF DARK SKY AT DAWN.
WINNER:

June 17
SPONSOR: Jaimey Grant
PRIZE: FREE download of the eBook of your choice (Betrayal, Spellbound, Heartless, or Redemption)
QUESTION: What was the title of the very first Regency romance that Jaimey wrote from beginning to end? (Hint: Check out the post titled: "My Mind : What a Twisted Place to Live")
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://jaimeygrant.blogspot.com
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:

June 18
SPONSOR: Danyelle Ferguson
PRIZE: Free 30 page edit of your manuscript ($30 value)
QUESTION: How does Danyelle's business card describe her? (Hint: check right sidebar on blog)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://queenoftheclan.blogspot.com/
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: Danyelle says: “If they live in the USA, I will print their 30 pages, hand edit, then mail back. If they live outside the USA, I will edit the .doc file and email back.”
WINNER:

June 19
SPONSOR: Walnut Springs Press
PRIZE: I Can't Believe It's Food Storage by Crystal Godfrey (non-fiction)
QUESTION: What is the most recent new release listed on our blog? (Hint: check out post for April 13, 2009)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://walnutspringspress.blogspot.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 20
SPONSOR: Caroline Gregory and Shawnette Nielson
PRIZE: Puppy Stew, Children’s Picture book. Finalist for Foreward Book Of The Year award. (NOTE: not an autographed copy)
QUESTION: “In order to stay warm, what do you wear underneath your shoes?” (Hint: look under the “Witchisms” tab on website)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://puppystew.net
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:

June 21
SPONSOR: Marion Webb-De Sisto.
PRIZE: An autographed copy of her ground-breaking book, Crystal Skulls.
QUESTION: Does this book explore ancient crystal skulls or contemporary ones? {Hint: Take a look at “Books” in the main menu)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.marionwebb-desisto.com
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:


June 22
SPONSOR: Inglestone Publishing
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Counting the Cost by Liz Adair
QUESTION: What is the name of the main male character in Counting the Cost?
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.inglestonepublishing.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 23
SPONSOR: Cecily Markland/Inglestone Publishing
PRIZE: Autographed copy of children’s picture book, If I Made a Bug, by Cecily Markland
QUESTION: Who is the illustrator of If I Made a Bug? (Hint: the “bookstore” tab)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.inglestonepublishing.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 24
SPONSOR'S NAME: . Jacquie Rogers
PRIZE: Faery Special Romances (YA novel)
Autographed in USA, not autographed elsewhere.
QUESTION: Why does our family support Neurofibromatosis research? (Hint: Click on “Neurofibromatosis research” link and read Mercedes Rice’s story)
WEBISTE: http://www.jacquierogers.com/faerysr.html
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: WINNER LIVING IN A COUNTRY NOT DIRECTLY SERVED BY AN ONLINE BOOKSTORE WILL RECEIVE A PDF COPY.
WINNER:


June 25
SPONSOR: Terry Deighton
PRIZE: Cup of Comfort for New Mothers (non-fiction, anthology)
QUESTION: Name any two titles from the Cup of Comfort series. (Hint: Look in the store.)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.cupofcomfort.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:


June 26
SPONSOR: Leatherwood Press
PRIZE: Messiah: The Little-known Story of Handel’s Beloved Oratorio, by Tim Slover
QUESTION: Who was the art designer for Messiah: The Little Known Story of Handel’s Beloved Oratorio? (Hint: see post for May 15, 2009)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://jdp-news.blogspot.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 27
SPONSOR: Dawson Publishing
PRIZE: Copy of The No Cussing Club by McKay Hatch
QUESTION: How many members of the No Cussing Club are there to date
WEBSITE: www.nocussing.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 28
SPONSOR: Nicole Zoltack
PRIZE: Woman of Honor (fantasy romance ebook)
QUESTION: What color is Caelan's eyes?
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://nicolezoltack.blogspot.com/
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES
WINNER:

June 29
SPONSOR: Sarah M. Eden
PRIZE: An autographed copy of the Sarah M. Eden Regency romance of your choice
QUESTION: "Name all 7 Jonquil brothers." (Hint: check out "The Jonquil Brothers Series" tab)
WEBSITE/BLOG: www.sarahmeden.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

June 30
SPONSOR: Marsha Ward
PRIZE: LDStorymakers Writing Secrets
QUESTION: Who is Rulon? (Hint: Click on “Man from Shenandoah” under “Novels” link on website)
WEBSITE/BLOG: http://marshaward.com
USA ENTRIES ONLY
WINNER:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Demons: A Clash of Steel Anthology

Submission call.

Short story (2.5-5k) so even though the deadline is May 27th, you could whip something up for it.

A story about a daring knight or paladin versus an evil demon.

More details here.

I've started a piece and will be submitting myself. Worse they can do is reject me but I think this story will get picked up somewhere, even if not for this anthology.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Excerpt from Woman of Honor

Caelan looked down at their hands, turning hers over so his fingertips could brush her palm. A shiver ran down Aislinn’s spine and her cheeks bloomed hot. She knew the effect of his touch had to be evident to him, but felt no embarrassment because it was clear that he was not unaffected. Caelan drew in a long, deep breath and folded his hand over hers.

"I have been trying to save myself."

"From what?" Aislinn bit her lower lip to stop herself from speaking further. All she'd done was ask him questions.

"Aislinn," he said softly, and his eyes slid for a moment to look at the bookshelf where they had kissed. "Do you remember our kiss?"

She blushed. "Yes. Of course."

"I wanted you very badly then. But you weren't ready to be with me or anyone else."

"Then…"

He leaned a little closer so their faces were only inches apart. In this part of the library, the way they sat, no one would see them unless they intentionally approached the table. It was late and the library was nearly empty, so Aislinn doubted they would need to explain to anyone why the crown prince and would-be lady knight sat so close together.

"Are you ready now, Aislinn?"

Aislinn closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath. She thought about Catherina, about how much she loved the little girl, about how cruel the world had been to the child. She thought about her parents, about how happy they were, about the love they shared. And she thought about all the times she’d spent with Caelan since coming to the castle. She'd despised him once, but now she couldn't picture her days without him. She smiled when he came into a room, and she looked forward to dinner just so they could talk. Her heart nearly broke whenever she thought of all the times he'd been hurt, or could have died. Not because he was the prince and would someday rule the kingdom, but because he was Caelan.

She opened her eyes to find him still watching her, waiting for her answer.

"Yes," she whispered.

Caelan smiled, but the smile didn’t quite reach his sapphire eyes. He raised his hand and laid the back of his fingers against her cheek. His skin was warm and Aislinn leaned into the touch. Caelan turned his hand and laid his palm against her cheek, his thumb brushing her lip. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the soft, gentle touch.

"Nothing will save me now," he said softly — so softly she almost didn't hear him — before he moved closer and touched his lips to hers.



If you liked what you just read, here are some purchase links: Desert Breeze, All Romance eBooks, and Amazon (kindle edition)

There's also a yahoo group you can join for all the information about Desert Breeze Publishing and its releases: Desert Breeze Publishing Connections I hope you join!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rejection

Well, Doomia's Treasure received a rejection letter.

"This is a perfectly good story, but it doesn't quite have the feel I want for Sword & Sorceress. Try it on another market."

So I need to find another market. I'll let you know whenever it does get accepted. When, not if!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

SS24

Well, I just sent in my submission for Sword and Sorceress 24. This story takes place before story I had written that grew into a novel idea. Has some of the same characters-Melinda, an adventurer, and Doomia, a dragon who hates humans. The story is called Doomia's Treasure. Basically, Melinda wants to steal some treasure from Doomia so she can have her sword enchanted. But the story doesn't end there, someone has a quest for her where she needs all the magic she can have on her side if she wants to survive. They say they have a fast turn around time, which is good and bad. Keep your figners crossed!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Are you the next Mark Twain?

A contest for fellow writers:

There is an unfinished work by the great Mark Twain, now on sale. The contest is to finish the story ("Conversations with Satan). The deadline is May 31. Visit http://twainia.com/contest/for more details as well as the prize for this contest.

Good luck to all who decide to participate!