Wednesday 27 February 2013

Micro Update

Yes, just a flying visit today to say I hope you'll stop by David Powers King's Cosmic Laire, where your humble blog scribe has been blessed with a most rare honour. Certainly one I never saw coming!

I'm sorry I haven't been around much the last few days. I'm just about finished grappling with the complexities of formatting, quite a learning curve as I'm far from technical, and am currently uploading to all the appropriate outlets. So far, so good! Those who have signed up to help with the launch will definitely receive all the info by the end of the week, including those who had issues with the linky list. (I've been keeping notes!) And you can still sign up!

I'll be back on Friday with something fun, but as I'm helping my other half prepare for a Ladies' Night on Saturday, I can't guarantee I'll be making my usual rounds for the rest of the week either. No rest for the wicked!

Have a great Hump Day (is that Wednesday? I think I'm just getting to grips with this concept). I'm looking forward to sharing my cover and everything else with you; there will be some pieces in the anthology which weren't in the bloghop, which are really special.

Monday 25 February 2013

He Came For Mine Blog Tour

Hope everyone's ready for the start of another week. Today I have a guest post from the talented C.M. Brown, as part of her tour for Part Two of her Protector Series, He Came For Mine. Take it away, Carolyn!

Thanks for being part of my tour Nick and inviting me to your site today.
You have asked me to talk about what inspired me to write the Protector Series, well some might laugh, but honestly it was Stephanie Meyers, Twilight Series which ignited my passion, I actually read each book five times. I said in another post during the tour, I found the music she used on her playlists very moving, opening a doorway to my imagination, sparking my passion to write.
I immersed myself in the music of bands like: Lincoln Park, My Chemical Romance, Radiohead, Muse, Blue October, Jack’s Mannequin and many more stimulating my inspiration to write.  I still like to plug the headphones in and shut myself off to the rest of the world, listening to music when I write my stories.  It seems to be a trigger to my imagination.
When writing the first book in the series, He Came For Me, I would dream large segments of the story.  These I would note down to use as I ventured forth.  I remember one time, waking in the middle of the night, feeling elated, having found the title of the book.  Unfortunately, by the time I woke in the morning, I had lost it.  To this day, I have no recollection of what it was.
So now, when I have these inspiring moments, I make sure that I write them down!
Imagery also plays an important part in my writing, as I tend to visualize the scenes in my head, in a movie type style before writing them.  I received an email from a reader recently, informing me how my writing style seems to allow her to visualize the story as though she was watching a movie.  Of course it was nice to hear!
At present the novel I am working on which is to be titled T.I.N.T was inspired by an image I found on the web, as part of a challenge on a blog site.  The image is a distorted room, full of ghostly figures, where the walls are filled with art.  I was so empowered by this image it seemed as though the whole storyline formed in my mind from the first time I viewed it.
To sum up, I suppose my inspirations come from different sources, a combination of the books I read, music and images I see, as well as my dreams.
Thanks once again for having me here today, Nick. May I leave you and your readers with a question?  What inspires your writing?  Is it one of the above or are you inspired to write by something totally different?
(I suppose that is really two questions. Lol)

BLURB: He Came For Mine, Book Two in 'The Protector Series'

Fending for herself for almost two years,
Jazz worries she will never see Sebastian again.
A new man enters her life, but he holds a secret.

Will Jazz trust him?


Sebastian discovers an ancient ritual which must be performed
on the Chosen One's son before his first birthday, or he will die.

He returns to Earth to find Jazz in the arms of another man.

A man he knows very well.
A man he does not trust....

BARNES AND NOBLE       KOBO     SONY                                   

A long-time lover of Fantasy Novels Carolyn decided to put pen to paper and create her own. Many years spent helping high school students write their assignments from years 8 to 12, has given her the experience to forge ahead with this dream! She lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and shares some of the wonders of this area with you in this book.
Carolyn is married with two teenage, almost adult children, one studying at University the other in the senior years of High School.
 She enjoys reading and writing and spending time relaxing on the beautiful beaches she lives close to walking her King Charles Cavalier, named Toby and swimming.

You can contact Carolyn here:

Well Carolyn, I'm very jealous that you could dream large parts of your book! I've only had useful ideas from dreams a couple of times - most of the time it's gone after I wake up. I would say what inspires me could be anything - a fragment of conversation or glimpse of a character. Some ideas seem to come out of nowhere. I also think we need inspiration throughout the whole writing process, and for me that would be trying to get the story down the way I want it to be told.

Congrats Carolyn! OK, your turn - what inspires your writing?

Friday 22 February 2013

CASSASTORM by Alex J. Cavanaugh Cover Reveal!

It's here!

CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Release date: September 17, 2013
Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN 9781939844002
E-book ISBN 9781939844019

Many will need no introduction to the famous Ninja Captain, but for those who don't know him, he's a dude who spends most of his non-writing time bigging up others, providing a launchpad for their news, organising bloghops, and somehow being frequently first to comment on many of the posts of the 1000+ bloggers he follows!

Hats off to the Ninja, this is a fitting cover for what sounds like a very dramatic ending to the Cassa trilogy, and here's a little more info if you need it...

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Congrats, Alex, and I hope everyone has an excellent weekend!

Wednesday 20 February 2013

She Said What?! Bloghop

This mega fun bloghop is to celebrate the two year blogoversary of Michelle Wallace and one year blogoversary of Elise Fallson, two very cool and talented ladies that I'm glad to know. Congrats to them both. I couldn't resist joining in with this!

All we had to do was add captions to the following comic strips and work in the following bonus words for an added challenge:  twist, cheek, buzz, honour, grey, champagne, tango, vomit.

Simples, right?! Here is my attempt:

Panel 1:

M: Hurry up E, the champagne's getting warm!

E: Well you had a cheek to fly off without me with that dragon about. Anyway I'd rather drink Tango.

Panel 2:

M: Ouch, drinking too much of that stuff has given me a buzz in my head.

E: Never mind that, I'm about to vomit! When I said I wanted to hang out this wasn't what I had in mind.

Panel 3:

V: Hey Dragon, just flying in to honour our weekly poker game. Hey, what's going on with those two chicks and that balloon?

Panel 4:

V: Well, another rescue attempt goes spectacularly wrong.

Panel 5:

M: Good thing that pond is there for a happy twist to this tale of woe.

Panel 6:

E: I think I gave a frog a heart attack.

M: Oh. Never mind, they say algae does wonders for the complexion!

Panel 7:

Dragon: Poor V. What about our game? My afternoon will be very grey now.

M: Oh well, only 57 miles to the balloon repair shop! Better get going...

Don't forget to visit Elise and Michelle to check out the linky list of other entries!

Monday 18 February 2013

Cover Reveal: "1304 - The Harbinger" by Christine Rains

Title: 1304 The Harbinger (The 13th Floor series, #4)
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: March 13th, 2013

Meira Harper loves both her jobs: talking about beautiful shoes and fetching souls for Zeus. But the Thunder God threatens the harpy's loyalty to her job when she receives the call to bring the soul of gorgeous Sam Wright. Meira pleads with her boss to let him live. Zeus agrees, but Sam must fight for his life. If Sam can win three challenges, he can keep his soul.

The gods never play fairly, though, so Meira needs to find ways to help Sam with the challenges. She cannot outwardly cross her master, but she refuses to let the man she loves lose his soul. They haven't even had a chance to start a life together.

Sam's soul is on the line. Meira's will be too if she's caught, but that's a risk she's willing to take.

Author Bio:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has five novellas and eighteen short stories published.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Love... The Second Time Around Celebration

*** If you're looking for my guest post from Christine Rains, you can find it here. ***

I'm running late today but I finally got my entry ready for this timely blogfest hosted by J.L. Campbell, to celebrate the release of her new novel, Retribution.

Here's the details courtesy of Joy:

There is no restriction as it pertains to form or genre. Stories can be fact or fiction. Use your imagination, make them attention-grabbing.You can use something that's pre-written.

Somewhere in there, you must tell the reader why the couple broke up and why they feel compelled to get back together.This can be done from any of your characters’ point-of-view. 

The word cap is 500.

Indicate on your blog post, by the relevant badge, whether you’re in the fact or fiction category. 

There will be voting and prizes, so it’ll be a reader’s choice situation, where you get to choose your favourite anecdote/poem/refection/story. The best piece of fact and fiction—as determined by your vote—will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card, so that’s two prizes.

In the event of ties, there will be trusty bloggers standing by to help with a tie break decision. If we cannot decide on a winner in either category, prizes will be divvied up between the best two entries and the loot (meagre as it is) shared. Stay tuned for further information. 

Well, following my recent trend of trying as many new genres as I can, this is my first foray into the romance genre. I'm not even sure if this qualifies for the requirements, but here is my story of 499 words:

A Second Chance

The second I saw her, my mind flashed back to that giddy, golden week.

I’d come to this nondescript town for the annual work conference. Nothing exciting. A weekend of arid shop talk and meeting up with colleagues from around the country, most of whom had the charisma of a stuffed sheep.

Stepping off the train, I went into the tiny shop before heading on to the hotel. A method of delaying the inevitable, even by just a couple of minutes.

She was serving a customer when I walked in. She didn’t see me but I saw her. And panicked. I shuffled over to the newspaper rack and pretended to study it, stealing another furtive glance to confirm this truly was my long-lost love.

But I didn’t need confirmation.

I’d been seeing that angelic face in my dreams for the past twenty-three years, the way her long chestnut hair swept to the side, occasionally tumbling into those wide brown eyes. When she smiled, she seemed to glow.

It was probably stupid, when you thought about it. We were just kids, on holiday with our parents. At first it seemed those parents had made a poor choice of resort – full of snotty eight-year-olds – but in hindsight it was a spectacular decision. We were the only two teenagers there. She initiated the conversation, which was just as well as there would have been no contact if it was left to painfully shy me.

We’d spent the week hanging out, talking about our home lives and various dissatisfactions, and gradually she’d coaxed me out of my shell. I was mesmerised by her. I’d always felt pretty awkward talking to anyone, and avoided speaking to girls if I could. But it was different with her. I actually began to relax, and felt like I was on cloud nine.

But there was no kiss. I was still too shy for anything like that. And we parted ways without her knowing how I felt. I mean, what if she had freaked out?

I took my paper up to the counter, although I seriously considered just walking out. After all, she might not even remember me.

She looked up as I approached, and I saw her face again properly for the first time. The years hardly seemed to have touched her, and just like before it was those eyes that I was instantly drawn to.

I looked down again and placed the paper on the till.

“Hiya,” she said.

“Hello,” I mumbled.

“That’s forty-five pence, please.”

I sagged, rooting around in my pocket for the change. So she didn’t remember me. Not that surprising. I was a forgettable person in general.

I handed her the money and that brief skin contact sent a jolt through my whole being. She put it in the till, frowning, and then looked up at me again.


We met up for drinks and caught up after work that night. And for once I was glad about going to the conference.


Head over to Joy's to read more entries! You still have time to enter, and voting will open tomorrow.

"1303 - The Dragonslayer" Blog Tour

*** If you're looking for my entry for Love... The Second Time Around, you can find it here. ***

Today I welcome back author Christine Rains as part of the tour for the latest in her excellent 13th Floor series. She's talking about villains again and they don't come much bigger than that featured in The Dragonslayer.


We've seen the trickster in The Marquis and the brute in The Alpha, but The Dragonslayer brings forth an antagonist ancient and wise. A villain that might be admirable if he didn't occasionally raze villages and eat people.

Dragons still exist. They've taken on the form of humans and moved into powerful positions in our society. Movie stars, designers, and politicians. They're in every nook and cranny, pulling the strings, and building their empires. Once upon a time, dragonslayers would rid the world of these monsters, but nowadays if anyone tried to kill a beloved celebrity, they would end up on the FBI's most wanted list.

Governor Randall Whittaker is an old dragon. He has an eye for detail and a hunger for maidens of the rarest kind. The citizens of America love him. When he runs for president during the next election, every poll says he'll win. He's never slipped up and let anyone know he's a fearsome creature from legend.

Yet somehow Xan has discovered Whittaker's true nature. The dragon doesn't rage or go on the hunt. Confidence isn't something he's lacking. He knows the dragonslayer will eventually come to him. And if Xan doesn't come soon enough, there are ways to hurry him along. Just pull the right string and you can make anyone dance.

The evil genius is one of the most frightening of villains. You might out-smart a brute or slip something by a cocky trickster, but what can you do against great intelligence? You best hope that luck is on your side.

What do you think makes an awesome villain?

Title: 1303 The Dragonslayer (The 13th Floor series, #3)
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: February 13th, 2013

On the rooftop of neighboring building, dragonslayer Xanthus Ehrensvard fires at his target, Governor Whittaker. How he missed the shot, he doesn't know, but fleeing the scene, he picks up an unwanted passenger. Gorgeous reporter Lois King saw Xan's face, and she believes it's the story to make her career. Except he can't let her walk away knowing what he looks like. Xan has to show her the Governor is a bigger threat to the world than he is.

Xan knows dragons never went extinct. They evolved with human society, taking on mortal forms, and slithered their way into positions of great influence and power, just like the Governor.
But it's no easy chore proving to someone that dragons still exist, and even more so, they're disguised as famous people. Xan must convince Lois or find another way to silence her. An option, as he gets to know her, he likes less and less.

After all, dragonslayers are no longer celebrated heroes but outlaws. Just as the dragons wish it. But this outlaw must make a plan to slay the dragon or risk its retribution.

Author Bio:

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has four novellas and eighteen short stories published.

Purchase Links for The Dragonslayer:

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Indie Life Bloghop

This is my first post for the Indie Life bloghop, which is designed to foster camaraderie within the self-publishing community. Here's the details courtesy of organiser Susan Kaye Quinn:

Starting January 2013, the Indelibles will be hosting a monthly feature called INDIE LIFE. Modeled after Alex Cavanaugh's awesome Insecure Writer's Group, this will be a chance for indie authors to post about indie life, find each other, offer support, encouragement, news, helpful hints, and anything else that makes life as an indie author a little easier.

What is Indie Life?
How: Sign up on the Linky at the bottom of this page
When: Post on the second Wednesday of the month (starting 1/9/2013)
What: Write anything indie related: something that will inspire or help a fellow indie; something that celebrates a release or a milestone; something that talks about the ups and downs, joys and heartaches of Being Indie.
Grab: The banner above to include in your posts!

Because being Indie doesn't have to mean going it alone.

I'd been thinking about going indie for a while. I'd always been attracted to the idea of doing things off my own bat. It takes such a long time to write a book, something that you're so personally invested in, that it would make sense to retain that sense of control and take command of its destiny rather than throw it out there and take a chance on getting it picked up. (Not that I've ruled out traditional publishing, it's still something I may pursue in the future. But I've decided to focus on self-publishing this year.)

Being indie means instant results. Of course, that's just the act of publishing. Your story still has to be the best it can possibly be, and it's entirely down to you to spread the word. Or is it?

That's where this awesome community comes into play. I recently organised a bloghop with the aim of compiling an anthology on the theme of overcoming adversity. Participants would post either a real-life story, flash fiction, or poem. I am currently compiling these entries and the finished result will go towards fundraising  for my stepson, who has cerebral palsy, to attend a specialist college that will provide incredible opportunities.

If the indie option wasn't available then this project couldn't happen. Certainly not within the timescale I need: the course is set to start in September, and I don't think many traditional publishers take on anthologies unless they feature very well-known authors. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this.) And I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support and kindness that has come our way. During the lead-up to the bloghop, I had a massive smile whenever I came across a blog post or tweet mentioning it, and a good few have already signed up to help out on launch day, announced a couple of days ago.

So being indie is not just a great avenue to get your own work out there - although I aim to do that before the end of the year too. It also allows for all sorts of other possibilities to do good things. I'm thankful for that, and I'm thankful for all the amazing friends I've made.

What do you think about self-publishing? Have you already done it, or thinking about it? Any great experiences you'd like to share?

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Review of "1303 - The Dragonslayer" by Christine Rains

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this third episode of the 13th Floor series on Christine's blog tour for Part 2. This is a superb series! 1303 is released tomorrow and I highly recommend getting yourself a copy as well as the first two entries. Below is my review.

This series just keeps getting better. This is my favourite installment so far. Like the first two books, it features an outsider becoming involved in a feud between paranormal entities, and the hero protagonist then having to protect this character. Unlike the first two, however, I wasn't at all sure at first that any romance would develop between Xan and Lois. Their relationship is extremely entertaining, and I loved the flashes of humour that Rains has injected. Xan, a dragonslayer with a cleaning habit, attempts to kidnap Lois, a strong-willed journalist, when she takes his picture after a botched assassination attempt. But she turns out to be more than he bargained for and despite his best efforts, insists on becoming involved with his mission. As usual, Rains keeps us on our toes as she builds towards a thrilling climax.

On another note, I have to say that I love the concept of deceitful dragons taking on disguises as members of government in order to increase their power. It's not that unbelievable!

I am now eagerly awaiting the rest of the series to see what else the author has up her sleeve.

Come back on Thursday when I'll have a guest post from Christine as part of the 1303 tour.

Add to TBR list on Goodreads

Monday 11 February 2013

Announcing the Release Date for "Overcoming Adversity - An Anthology for Andrew"

Hope everyone had a great weekend! This is just a quick one to announce, well, what it says in the title up there. Barring any major hiccups I plan to release my anthology on Monday, March 4th. There will be physical copies available as well as the ebook for those who have asked.

I am currently in discussions over the cover with a very talented friend who also designed the ant mascot featured on the bloghop badge. I can't wait to see the final result and share it with you!

And, one of the entries is going to be a very special surprise that I'm going to keep under wraps until the launch. I guarantee you'll love it!

On that note, I am exceedingly grateful to those who have offered to contribute stories even though they missed the bloghop or were unable to post then. I would like to announce that I am open to any further submissions, but must impart a deadline of Sunday, February 17th. If you are new here, you can view my post here for all the details of what this is about. Please note the 500 word limit is strictly a guideline, and feel free to exceed it if necessary! Comment below or email mcwilfo(at)gmail(dot)com if you are interested in helping get my stepson the education he deserves.

All that is left is to invite you to sign up below on the linky list if you would like to help spread the word on March 4th, or any time during that week. This is so I can keep track of everyone, and I will send out all the details as soon as they're ready!

Once again, thank you all... this truly is an amazing community!

PS, please scroll down to see the release details for a good friend's book.

Champion in the Darkness Release Party

Today I'm helping celebrate the launch of Tyrean Martinson's debut novel. I enjoy following Tyrean's upbeat and cheery blog, Tyrean's Writing Spot, and was only too happy to help out today!

So here are the details...

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master's blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness.

Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy, and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy.

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Northwest, encouraged by her loving husband and daughters, and reminded to exercise by her dogs and cat. Champion in the Darkness is the first book in the Champion Trilogy, and she has previously published short stories and poetry.
Champion in the Darkness can be found at these links:

Congrats to Tyrean! I wish her the very best of luck for her release and for the rest of the series!

Friday 8 February 2013

Anthology Update

Happy Friday everyone! Once again THANK YOU for the staggering support and amazing contributions to Andrew's anthology. I was totally bowled over by the candour and emotion evident in these pieces. This is going to make a great collection for anyone needing an uplift or just a bit of inspiration. Here's a pic which represents Andrew's reaction to all the people who've been supporting him!

This weekend, I will start compiling the entries and deciding on a running order. Originally, I was going to randomise the entries in the interests of fairness, but I've gone off that idea. I would like the anthology to go through peaks and troughs, heavier stuff interspersed with some of the lighter flash fiction. I've sent out emails to all contributors asking for bios to attach to the pieces, and a title where one was not apparent. Many, if not most have already replied - thank you! In some cases, the title appeared to be in the post title, so I've taken that - feel free to correct me if this is wrong.

I hope to release the book by late February, early March at the latest. I still have one contributor who couldn't make the deadline but will get her piece to me next week. It would be hugely appreciated if you would be able to help spread the word on launch day, or any time during that week. Once I've confirmed a date I will post another linky list in order to sign up.

One date that is confirmed is my "real world" book launch to be held in Carluke Library in my own town on Saturday 16th March! I ummed and ahhed about doing this (being mortally afraid of speaking in public), but in the end decided it really would be a good idea to build interest in the local area, especially as our local paper is already following Andrew's story. I'll be organising materials for the launch soon - posters, bookmarks. One problem is the lack of physical copies, as this is an Amazon book. I'm thinking of just ordering a small number of paperbacks from CreateSpace once it's released and having them at the launch. Does anyone know if there would be any issues with this?

Well, that's about it for now. More updates will come soon. Have an amazing weekend!

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Announcing "How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!"

Today I'm pleased to help out with the launch of what sounds like an excellent book for writers everywhere, written by blogging buddy. L. Diane Wolfe. As someone who's planning to release at least one ebook this year, this is definitely on my TBR list!

Here are the details...

By L. Diane Wolfe

Publishing and promoting made simple!

Have you always dreamed of publishing a book but didn’t know where to begin? This book walks you through the steps of identifying markets, budgeting, building an online presence, and generating publicity. Get the whole story on:
·         Traditional publishing
·         Self-publishing
·         Print and e-book setup, formatting, and distribution
·         Finding your target audience
·         Generating reviews and media interest
·         Networking and developing an online presence
·         Promotional materials and appearances
Uncover your ideal publishing path and numerous marketing options before you begin. Writing is your dream. Give it the best chance for success!
Available February 5, 2012
Publishing/Marketing, 214 pages, Dancing Lemur Press LLC
$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2
$4.99 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0
“She gives an unbiased take on the advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing and self-publishing and publishing paths that combine the two… It's the perfect book for those who want an overview to begin the decision-making process.”
- Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning series of how-to books for writers
“A must-read for writers planning on self-publishing or any writer who wants the ultimate how-to on promoting. Tons of links, advice, and how-to, whether you're going for print or e-publication.”
- Helen Ginger, author of Angel Sometimes
My sites-
Blog - Spunk On A Stick’s Tips -
Website - Spunk On A Stick -

Short Bio-
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association and a motivational speaker. She’s conducted seminars on book publishing and promoting for five years and assisted writers through several author services. Her other titles include “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK!” which ties her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together, and a YA series, “The Circle of Friends.” Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, and contributes to several other sites and newsletters.

Congrats Diane! She's worked hard on this project and I wish her all the best with its success.

Quick Note: I'll be back on Friday with my reflections on the Overcoming Adversity blogfest and what happens next. In the meantime, Andrew and I want to once again say a massive THANK YOU to each and every one of you who contributed, because I know that some of those stories can't have been easy to write and share. It was emotional to say the least. You're all an inspiration and you rock!

Monday 4 February 2013

Overcoming Adversity Blogfest

Hello, and welcome to my very first blogfest! I asked you to contribute a short story on the theme of overcoming adversity, to be compiled into an anthology to help raise funds to send my stepson to a specialist college. The response has been overwhelming. Many, many thanks to all those who entered, and those who spread the word via blogs and tweets. I can't express how we feel at all the warm support that's been offered.

So here is my entry. It's my first go at paranormal and came in at exactly 500 words after the usual editing.

The Outsider

The alpha had scented a large deer on our trail and sent the word out to the pack. I groaned inwardly at the moment I had been dreading. I always ended up giving in, but tonight I was determined.

The smell of our prey hit me. Warm, musky... and tempting. I had to resist. The minds of those around me sharpened as they fanned out to head the deer off. But coming in louder was the panic and fear of the animal as it realised what was happening. I felt it as keenly as if I was the deer, a tightening in my gut and a bitter tang in my mouth.

I was a freak and well aware of it. Every werewolf had the ability to read the thoughts of others in their pack, especially when hunting. But picking up a signal from the prey... well, it sounds like a blessing, but I’d always found it a curse.

If I stayed on the periphery, I would be away from the bloodbath. The animal was trapped in a clearing. I felt the arrogant greed of Drurt, the alpha, as he swaggered towards the terrified deer. The conflicting emotions translated into a sickly feeling as if my belly swarmed with a cold poison.

I could practically feel my peers’ saliva dribbling down their chops as they anticipated the meal. There was no need for it. I was sure werewolves could live perfectly well on nuts and berries. But I needed the courage of my convictions.

A message arrived in my brain, so clear I could see it, flashing like a neon sign. Help me. Who else was going to answer?

I kept my own mind carefully neutral. Venturing closer through the bushes, I could see Drurt playing with the deer, circling around it like the cock of the walk.

We leapt at the same time. Just before we collided in mid-air, I saw his eyes shift to me, radiating confusion and anger. I used my own adrenaline and the element of surprise to pin him to the ground, teeth bared in a snarl to match his own.

What... are you... doing?” he hissed, struggling against me. It was no use. Years of disgust and a burning desire to do what was right combined to give me strength.

“Let that innocent creature go, Drurt. We don’t need to do this.” I mentally screamed at the deer to run, but it wasn’t necessary. I could no longer feel its presence. It had bolted.

Drurt narrowed his eyes and smirked. “This is what we are. I should kill you as an abomination... but I feel like humiliating you instead. Turn tail, and let’s see how long you can survive without meat. You’ll come crawling back, and don’t think you’ll find it easy to get back in the pack.”

So I ran. But I never looked back. I’m a lone wolf, leading a peaceful life. I’m glad I made a stand for what I believe in.

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