Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cover Reveal of A Touch of Darkness

Today, we are so excited to bring you something special...a cover reveal! It's A TOUCH OF DARKNESS by Tina Moss and yours truly. We are absolutely thrilled to share the cover with you all!

Release Date: This Fall
Publisher: E-Lit Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy

If you'd like to help us reveal the cover, please feel free to re-blog, tweet, facebook, instagram, pin it, shout it from the rooftops, etc.
Bonus points for creativity!

About A Touch of Darkness

Cassie’s working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner, dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to hide her hands that glow purple whenever she ...well, whenever.

So, when a mysterious stranger walks out of her dreams and into her life to spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet, when the stranger’s predictions start to come true, she discovers a world that could shake up her humdrum existence.

About the Authors
Becoming fast friends and martial arts sisters, Yelena and Tina soon discovered their passion for writing. However, in the past, both of them had hit road blocks in their individual writing careers, and they knew the answer to their problems might be found in their friendship. For a full Q&A with Yelena and Tina, check out E-Lit Books.

Thanks so much for all of your support! Tina and I are super excited to have this book in the hands of readers very soon.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Quote of the Day

Don't accept the idea that you are bad or weak or incomplete. You are a human being. This imposition of the idea that you are bad or good is due to your habits. Do not accept defeat from either adversity outside yourself of from your own negative thinking - go on, and you will overcome it. You can achieve that through willpower; you have that willpower.

 Swami Rama, The Art of Joyful Living

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Guest Post - The Value of an Editor by Sean Wallace

As writers, we all know the value of having an editor, and it becomes especially important when working on releasing your book through self-pub means. Today, I'm happy to have Sean Wallace stop by to talk about why it is so important to have an editor.

The Value of an Editor

So, I get to the point in my novel Dust and Sand where I have read each chapter ten times, where I have read the whole thing through another two or three, and I'm sure I've ironed out every possible mistake. There can't be any more in there! I've picked out typos, incorrect word usage, missing words, repeated words, everything. The human genome has not been examined as closely as this novel. It's ready. People can read it.

However, I know from experience that this feeling is a peculiar version of false hope. When I released my free eBook Deep Echoes, I felt exactly the same way. And I was a fool to do so: one of my first readers contacted me to say I'd swapped the two main characters' names half a dozen times. Then, when I re-read Deep Echoes after this, I found a bunch more mistakes, a horribly galling and awful sensation.

Having learned my lesson, I decided to hire an editor for Dust and Sand. I sent it off and twiddled my thumbs (i.e. worked like crazy on other projects). A couple of months passed. Then my editor replied, her efforts sitting in an email, a carefully-combed through Word document.

I opened it up, expecting a few minor plot points but nothing major. My main characters weren't similar enough that I'd repeat the naming mistake again! I read through it. There, on the second page, my editor pointed out that Dust somehow knows a character has scars without ever looking at them.

Somehow, I'd missed that in every single reading. Which just goes to show that, no matter how many times you've read a piece, there will always be mistakes in your writing, things which your mind glosses over without consideration: of course Dust knows that character is scarred, my foolish brain went, because I know that character is scarred.

The edit was full of tips like that, such as my anachronistic usage of some words and an almost-frustrated lecture on how little I know about horses (clue: I know sod all about horses). My editor also considered the whole of the plot, made some interesting suggestions, many of which I took. They were invaluable, and I am so grateful that they helped make Dust and Sand as brilliant as I think it is now (and, hopefully, the agents reading the manuscript will feel the same way!).

There are some mistakes and problems which an author cannot see for themselves: in writing, you cocoon yourself in you world, in your characters. Whilst that helps creation, it hinders objective analysis. Friends and family can only do so much for you as well: a brilliant beta reader can give you broad themes, maybe delve into the particulars of a piece if they are dedicated, but they will not put in the work to find out whether 'egghead' was a word in the 19th Century (hint: it wasn't). They will not explain parts of geography for you, which they themselves have learned to be sure in the point they're making.

An editor is an expense, and one I understand many can't afford. I would implore you, though, to seriously consider whether you could tighten your belt for a few months and splash out on one. Because a good editor, a dedicated soul who loves stories and will put their heart into helping you make yours shine, is worth eating Ramen noodles and tins of sweetcorn for a few months.


Sean is a writer, a gamer, a project manager and also a bit of a self-deprecating self-aggrandizer. In his spare time, he just about manages to sleep.
To connect with Sean, check out his website and follow him on Twitter:

Twitter: @SeanPWallace

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Secret News...Revealed!

I'm so excited to finally bring you this amazing news that Tina and I have been waiting to reveal for awhile! So here goes...

We signed a deal with E-Lit Books for our novel A TOUCH OF DARKNESS!!!

Here are the pictures of us signing the contract the cool way - electronically! :)

Check out more on Tina's blog! And more details to follow soon!

We are so grateful for the writing community for all the support and inspiration. We are super excited and can't wait to have our book in the readers' hands. 

Stay tuned for more details.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Quote of the Day

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quote of the Day

From Out of the Crowd by Ronald Pratt

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
~ Ernest Hemingway

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quote of the Day

"I can't change the direction of the wind,
but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

~ Jimmy Dean

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Art & History Feature - Tomoe Gozen

Tomoe Gozen by Yuhime (
When people think of Samurai warriors, they usually think of men. However, the wives and daughters of male samurai were also considered samurai. All of them adhered to the samurai values and principles, such as obedience, self-control, strength and loyalty, and learned enough self defense to be able to defend their home and family when the husbands were away fighting. In fact, a samurai woman had the responsibility to protect her home.

There were, however, a few samurai women in Japanese history who distinguished themselves as fighters and warriors on the battlefield. One such extraordinary woman was called Tomoe Gozen.

Tomoe Gozen

Tomoe Gozen by Yoshitoshi 1880, Library of Congress Prints Collection
Tomoe Gozen lived in the 12th century Japan and was a concubine of Minamoto no Yoshinaka, a late Heian Period general. According to some tales, she was one of his main captains and he often used her in battles.

"Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors." - The Tale of the Heike

It's believed that she have fought in, the Genpai War (1180–1185), alongside Yoshinaka, and survived it. During that time, she is said to have taken at least one enemy head. However, Yoshinaka's forced were heavily outnumbered and eventually defeated. Yoshinaka sent Tomoe away before committing suicide.

Following her escape,Tomoe supposedly gave up the sword. According to some tales and legends, she was defeated by Wada Yoshimori, who was so smitten with her that she became his wife. After his death, she probably became a nun in Echizen.

While it is not hundred percent clear if Tomoe was a real historical figure, some manuscripts point to the fact that she was. She is an example of a true samurai woman, brave and loyal and ready to stand up to her enemies.

Tomoe Gozen with Uchida Ieyoshi and Hatakeyama no Shigetada. Woodblock print by Yōshū Chikanobu, 1899

Quote of the Day

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
~ Carl Bard

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Quote of the Day

Evening Star Woman, by Betty Albert

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children

~ Native American Proverb
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