Category Archives: witches

Discovering Self Publishing

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers of all shapes and sizes

Back in late 2009 I finished my first full length novel, The Dark Huntsman (originally titled The Queen’s Huntsman). But I had no clue what to do with it. My chapter members urged me to submit it for publishing, so I pulled on the big girl boots and sent it off to a few agents and editors. Over the course of 2010 I began to receive my very first (very nice) rejections. So sad.

With This Ring

Submitting your baby to agents and editors is like proposing to someone and having them respond, “I’ll be back to you in six to eight weeks.” So you wait, and you wait, and you wait. And they never get back to you. Meanwhile the rest of the world is getting hooked up. Spring is coming, weddings are being planned, and you sit home every Friday night with only the TV and Ben and Jerry’s for company. Finally you screw your courage to the sticking place and write a follow up letter, asking (okay, trying not to grovel, but also trying not to offend because you are secretly pissed off) asking the guy (editor) if he has even looked at your proposal (manuscript). Only to find out he hasn’t even looked at your letter yet. Or worse, he doesn’t even respond.

I went through it all.

Three re-writes later, three years later, and after lots of maybes… I finally received the acceptance letter! Woot!

But…

I didn’t like the contract. Not one bit. Which was a real shame because I truly wanted to work with that editor. But oh well, that is the way this business goes.

So now I was faced with a decision. It was now 2013 and time was flying by. Fairy tales are HOT! But they won’t stay hot forever, so I want to get this book out now. Do I go through another round of submissions? Do I wait months for someone to reject my work, or even accept my work, but then hand me an unacceptable contract? Is there a valid reason for doing that with this book?

I don’t think so.

I’ve taken an amazing class on self publishing from Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger at Author EMS and once again I’m pulling on the big girl boots, but this time I’m putting on my coat and hat and am venturing out on my own. I’ve hired an editor. I’ll be hiring a copy editor for the nitty gritty work as well as a cover artist (because if it’s up to me it would be a very ugly cover!) and the book will be out this fall!

Check back for updates on the saga. So far book one  Tales of the Black Court: The Dark Huntsman, , is due back from developmental edits June 1st. I’ll work on those, consider a second round, then send it off for copy edits. Meanwhile the cover is next on my agenda, as is finishing book two, Prince by Blood and Bone, and outlining book three, Broken Mirror.

I’m on my way!

Have you ever considered self publishing? Why? What would be the catalyst for breaking free of the traditional expectations of our industry for you? Or have you already taken the plunge? What made you do it? Was it the uniqueness of your book? Was it timeing? Was it simply getting tired of rejections while other people continued to tell you how great your book really was?

I’ll be updating my journey here, so check back!

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Marigold and Dandelion Eggs to Celebrate Spring

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

It’s spring, and with Easter coming up I thought it was time for another recipe from A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook, by Patricia Telesco. Ostarra is the holiday most Wiccans celebrate at this time and it has much to do with fertility, hence the symbolism that has carried over into Easter with the eggs and bunnies, and of course, re-birth.

Oh, and I included the variation below with similar magical foods for those of us with no marigolds or dandelions this early in a snowy spring!

a kitchen witch's cookbook by patricia telescoMarigold and Dandelion Eggs (Medieval France)

The marigold is said to be one of the flowers which gives forth small bursts of light, usually near twilight on clear days, like a beacon or flash of insight. In the language of flowers, dandelions are ancient oracles. they are also high in vitamin C. make certain the dandelions you use are free of pesticides.

  • 4 whole dandelion buds
  • 2 tbls butter
  • 2 marigold blossoms, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Pick the dandelion buds when they are just about to open. Melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat. Sauté the dandelions until they open wide. Beat the marigold, eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour over the dandelions, which will poke through. cover: cook over low heat until the egg is set and dry on top. Fold in half. Yield: 2 servings

Variation: For the same magical results without the flowers, substitute 1 cup diced cashews, 1/4 tsp orange rind, and 1/4 cup diced, peeled oranges.

Magical attributes: Sun magic, positive outcomes in legal matters, prophesy, simple joys

Celebrations: Spring and summer festivals, Birthday of the Sun, Samhain, Candlemas, Sun Dance

taken from A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook, by Patricia Telesco, Llewellyn Publishing, 1994

Rituals of Celebrations by Jane MeredithInterested in other Wiccan Celebrations? Check out Rituals of Celebrations, by Jane Meredith.  Lewellyn’s Sabbats Almanac and Seasons of the Sacred Earth, by Cliff Seruntine.seasons of the sacred earth by cliff seruntine

Llewellyn's Sabbats Almanac

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Groundhog day

Thursdays Bite

a blog for the paranormal-not the normal

I’ve always felt that spring starts in February. I know officially we have weeks of winter, but the wind feels a little warmer, there is more sun, and I feel springy. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Well guess what,  I’m right! Just as I’ve instinctively felt fall starts much earlier than our boring calendar, it turns out that the Celtic Pagan Calendar starts spring on February First. Imbolc. This is the pagan day when the goddess Brighid is celebrated. Bridhid has now morphed in our modern world into St. Bridgit and Imbolc has morphed into Candlemas. Or Groundhog day.

Why the date change? Well, the pagan calendar is not set by the date, it’s set by the seasons, so Imbolc usually falls on February 1st, but it might be January 31st some years and February 2nd others. We modern people, however, like rigidity, so our holidays all fall on the same dates and February 2nd is it.

 So how did we get from Imbolic to Candlemas to Punxsutawaney Phil?

There is a pagan tradition that if a hibernating animal casts it’s shadow on Imbolc, winter will last another six weeks. In Pennsylvania, where the people who we call the Pennsylvania Dutch settled (otherwise known as Germans), they brought with them that myth in the form of a hedgehog. I’m sure you can see how they would transfer the hedgehog into the groundhog.

All of this makes sense. What is a little unusual is the now magical tradition of Punxsutawney Phil. Did you know that supposedly this is the same groundhog they’ve been using for one hundred and twenty three years? Every summer members of the inner circle feed Phil a special potion that extends his life another seven years. They even have special top hats and coats, dressing up for their mystical rites. If that’s not spell casting I don’t know what is.

“If Candlemas be fair and bright,

Winter has another flight.

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

Winter will not come again.”

Did you know that Groundhog day had it’s roots in Imbolc? Did you suspect that Punxsuawney Phil was well over one hundred or that he’s a magical being? Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray? It’s one of my favorites!

Don’t forget to find me on Romance and Beyond on Friday where I’m blogging about the other reason (besides spring) that I love February.

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Discover Death’s Storm author Lia Davis

Please welcome author Lia Davis to Thursday’s Bite. Lia not only writes about witches and covens and all things magical in her Divinities series, but she also has a shifter romance series, Ashwood Falls.  Gotta love those shifters! Lia is another participant in the Holiday Gifts of Love Bloghop that starts tomorow, so don’t forget to hop on by her site and leave a comment.

Hi Lia, thanks for coming on the blog. Please tell us a little about yourself and your book. 

Hi! I’m thrilled to be here today. In a few short months, I’ll be turning the big four zero! *shudders* I have two grown children; one still at home and one on her own. I started my writing journey in 2008 and I’m loving it! I write paranormal romance mixed with magic, suspense, and mystery.

I’m currently working on two series. The Divinities has two book released—Forgotten Visions and Death’s Storm. Ashwood Falls is a new shifter series with the prequel, Winter Eve, releasing around Dec 18.

Check out my website for more information: http://www.authorliadavis.com

 Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer?

 Yes! My husband, who can’t wait for the BIG check to come in. LOL I love him. His confidence in me keeps me going.

My writing partner, Carrie Ann Ryan. I love our daily chats, encouragements, laughs and cries together.

Family and friends with their encouraging words.

 Sounds like you have some great support. What are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing?

Actually, writing is my stress reliever. But other than writing, I love to read and spend time with family. I also like making beaded jewelry, book thongs and other creative projects.

That’s terrific. It’s great to have other hobbies that get you away from the computer. Tell me, what do you love about writing? Hate about it?

 I love being able to create new worlds and sharing them with my readers. What I hate? Nothing really. I don’t like the editing process as much as the plotting, but I love the end result.

 I struggle sometimes with both editing and plotting, but in the end, its worth it. Do you write a story clear to the end before doing more than simple editing? Or do you stop after each chapter and completely edit it before moving on? 

I create a chapter outline  that serves as my roadmap of events, then I write it clear to the end.

 How about writer’s block? Do you get it and if you do how do you get beyond it?

Winter Eve cover final amazonWriter’s block use to be a big problem for me when I pantsed it (wrote on the fly without an outline). Now that I’ve found a medium between me and my muse, it’s easier to write through to the end.

I’m also a recent convert to plotting. I agree, it makes a big difference when you get stuck. What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict? 

The characters come first. They drive the story and take away my control. Then I plot and create my chapter outline. 

Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?

I juggle writing with a full time day job, family, and life. Lol. From Monday to Friday I have about three hours per day for writing, promoting, and blogging. The weekends are split between family and writings stuff.

I’m excited about your book, Death’s Storm. Love the cover! Tell us what’s unique about this particular book.

 Death’s Storm is the second book in my Divinities series. When I set out to write, I wanted to create worlds that are different than anything out there. In this series, humans know about witches and try to not know. My witches live in covens and have no supernatural powers, except for the few that are born with a divine gene. Here’s the series synopsis.

Over three hundred years ago children were born to an elite group of witches that were unlike any of the other magical children. These children were born with a mark, a living tattoo of a single rose on the inside of the left forearm. They possess natural divine powers. The magical communities, called Covens, believed the children were gifts from the gods and called them The Divinities.

 For decades the war between witches and demons seemed to diminish. Until recently. Two Divinities are missing. Three are dead, along with their spouses.  The victims were among the Divinities appointed by Hecate to watch over the Sinew–the source of all magic. 

Now it is up to the Divinities to keep the Sinew from the demons and protect magickin and the world from a fate far worse than anyone can imagine.

 Will there be any sequels to this book?

Yes. I have five books planned for The Divinities.

 Five books! Wow, that’s a lot of writing. I can’t wait! Thanks for coming on the blog. 

DS2withlogoAM[1]BOOK BLURB for Death’s Storm

Technical genius and demi-goddess–aka Divinity–Khloe Bradenton relies on no one for help, and she definitely doesn’t need comfort from anyone other than her twin. After her parents died by the demons’ hands over two years ago, she has graciously stepped up to her place in the war between demons and witches. When a creature far more dangerous than the ones responsible for killing her parents claims he is her guardian, she is torn between her desires for the dark predator and the painful loss she has endured at the hands of her enemies.

One of the last death demons still in existence, Jagger has pledged his life to the Goddess Hecate. Charged with the guardianship over the Divinities, he is never to approach them, but to aid them from a distance. When the firestorm, Khloe, sacrifices herself to save her twin and best friend and becomes the prey, he has no choice but to reveal himself to her. He is taken by surprise when the need to claim her as his own emerges. A desire he has never felt before could be more dangerous than the demons out to destroy them.   

Now Available at Amazon | B&N | ARe | Kobo

EXCERPT:

Stepping off the curb to head to the car, Khloe stilled and let the warm air caress her skin. An electrical charge that only the select few magickin—like her and the other Divinities—could detect was palpable in the humid summer air.

Her spine tingled as the supernatural energy drifted on the wind, putting her on full alert. Reaching out with her senses, she relaxed. A little. The energy was familiar in an odd kind of way. Her admirer was nearby.

More like a stalker, really, without the creepy love letters and phone calls.

For the last month, someone had watched her and followed her every move. When the entity was near, a warm shiver rolled over her skin like a caress. The energy didn’t come from a human. Demon? Maybe. But, the power was too intense to be any demonic creature she’d come in contact with. She considered one of the gods, but that didn’t make sense either. The gods wouldn’t stalk her. They would send a messenger or deliver their message in person. She and the others had also thought it could be a guardian.

Whatever the entity was, it annoyed the hell out of her to be followed around and spied upon.

She scanned to mall parking lot and the sidewalk that lead to the various shops. Nothing remotely threatening came into view or reached out to her supernatural senses. Then again, she never saw anything when she sensed the presence. It had shown up last month, right after she and Kalissa had been thrust into an ancient war between witches and demons.

That was when she and Kalissa found a note from their mother telling them about the Sinew—a crystal sphere that held the magic of the worlds—and sent Kalissa on a mission to retrieve it. As Divinities, it was their duty to protect magickin from Khan, the new Bastard Lord of the Underworld.

GIVEAWAY! 

Lia will be giving away a swag pack to two randomly chosen commenters. Please leave your email address in your comments.

Author Bio: 

Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, graphic designer, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!

An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing and designing are stress relievers that allow her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.

Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.

Author website | Fated Desires Publishing | Books Amour | Heartthrob Haven

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