Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Girls CAN Cry

Even though I have an English degree and have worked in publishing forever, I love to attend writing classes so I can learn what's new. It also reminds me of stuff I've forgotten. Just a while ago, I was in a writing workshop where the leader told us that the heroines in our stories should never cry.

That kinda caught me off guard. How realistic is a character who doesn't show emotion?

But the workshop leader was serious. She told us that our heroines could grimace; but they couldn't flinch. Our heroines could duck; but they couldn't run. Our heroines could think about sorrow; but they could never ever cry.

Now, I'm a fantasy writer. My heroines are strong chicks, but once in a while, the stress and loss is enough to make one of them cry. I'm usually weeping on the keyboard right along with them, by the way. Does this make the heroine weak? (or me?) It doesn't happen often, mind you, but it happens when necessary.

Personally, I think it makes her more realistic. I think it makes her more human. I think it makes her more likeable. If the character Chariss in my Choices series never broke down and cried, I think my audience would start to doubt her credibility and her heart. That means I'm at least one writer who's not afraid to let the heroine cry.

From Sandy Lender
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Book Birthday, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island!

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island
by C.K. Volnek

Hello! It’s so nice to be here and meet so many new friends. And on a very special day, too! It’s my BOOK BIRTHDAY! (Read below for prize details!)

My name is C.K. Volnek and I live in small-town USA in the upper plains state of Nebraska, where I share my home and time with my husband and four Papillon fur-kids. Our three children have flown the nest for college or career. I’m a graphic artist and meeting planner by day, but now keep myself busy writing and blogging by night.

I am proud to announce my debut tween e-novel, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island, is now available. It’s a tween ghost story with a twist of Native American folklore and based upon the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.

And because it’s my Book Birthday, I’m offering one lucky commenter a FREE e-copy of Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island. I Love Free stuff! Just visit my Birthday Blog at ckvolnek.com/blog.html and leave me a note and one lucky commenter will win a FREE e-copy.

Here is the book description:

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island
In 1587, 117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island…disappeared without a trace, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil.

Now it’s up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from the hateful beast that haunts the island.

With the help of newfound friend, Manny, a Native American shaman, and an elusive Giant Mastiff, Jack must piece together the clues of the Lost Colony to discover what really happened. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, it's up to Jack to uncover what the evil is and why it haunts his island. But can he destroy it...before it destroys him?


The Mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island

To be honest, I don’t remember studying the Lost Colony in school, so it was with great interest when I read an article about it a couple of years ago. My muse instantly became intrigued. How could a whole colony of people just disappear? No one knows what happened and it has remained a mystery ever since.

The story actually begins a couple of years before the Lost Colony came to the island 1587. In 1584, the explorers, Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe were believed to be the first white people to set their sights on North Carolina. Having been sent to the area to scout and investigate the land by Sir Walter Raleigh, they returned with glowing reports and two Native Americans, Manteo and Wanchese. The Queen and all of Britain were enthralled with the glowing news of this New World’s wonders.

Queen Elizabeth granted Raleigh a patent to this new land and named it Virginia. The next year, 1585, Raleigh sent a party of 100 soldiers, craftsmen and scholars to Roanoke Island.

This first colony of men was doomed from the beginning. They arrived too late in the season to plant and their supplies dwindled rapidly. Then, upon the supposed theft of a silver cup, Sir Richard Grenville and Ralph Lane led a march on the native village of Aquascogoc and burned it to the ground in retaliation, thus alienating themselves from the natives. Quite the dastardly deed, in my opinion. In 1586, the men had had enough and returned to England with Sir Francis Drake, abandoning their settlement.

Despite this last misadventure, Sir Walter Raleigh was not deterred. He recruited over 121 men, women and children to form a more permanent settlement and sent this new colony to Roanoke Island in 1587. John White was appointed Governor and among the colonists were his own pregnant daughter, Eleanor Dare, and her husband Annanias Dare. She gave birth to a daughter, Virginia, on August 18, 1587, the first English child to be born on American soil.

Unfortunately the colonists did not arrive to Roanoke Island until July and by the end of August supplies were already dwindling. The ships were returned to England, along with an anxious John White, to restock and return with supplies. Upon their arrival in Britain, White and his ship found themselves stuck in England, the invasion of the Spanish Armada imminent.

Finally, three years later, White was able to return to Roanoke Island. Arriving on August 18, his granddaughter’s third birthday, he found the fort deserted and no trace of the colonists. The only clue found was a single word “CROATOAN” carved into a post and the letters “CRO” carved into a nearby tree.

White knew the Croatoan natives were a friendly people, but despite a search of the area, no further clues were found. There were no bodies or signs of war with the natives. The colonists of Roanoke Island had simply vanished.

Today, the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island still remains a mystery. So, my muse decided to come up with her own idea what happened. I threw in a ghost and a twist of Native American folklore to complete the story. I hope you’ll check out Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island.

Thanks to all our readers for stopping by. I would love to hear from you. I always enjoy meeting and greeting my friends. Remember to stop by my blog (www.ckvolnek.com/blog.html) and leave me a message for your change to win a FREE e-copy of Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island.

You can contact me at ckvolnek (at) yahoo (dot) com.
You can join me on my web page: www.ckvolnek.com, or visit me at my blog: www.ckvolnek.com/blog.html.
You can also find me on Facebook (C.K. Volnek) or Twitter (CKVolnek), Good Reads and Jacket Flap.
My book trailer is on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbJEF9TjZzo
My book is available at:

MIU Bookstore: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=105&category_id=10&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Dog-Roanoke-Island-ebook/dp/B005O0K8ZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316656535&sr=8-1

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Will Jeremiah Keep the Prophecy Safe?

Last week the second book of the YA Seraphym Wars Series came out as an eBook. It is completely stand-alone and can be read at any point of the series. Here's a bit of what it's about and where you can find it:

Prophecy Blurb
For centuries the residents of Solsyl lived in peace and harmony with the planet. Then the dragon-demons arrived, causing the Great Shuddering. Majikals from everywhere scurried to find shelter from the evil while humans hid. Laud regretted his rash decision of exiling the demons on Solsyl and asked one of his advisors, a member of The Conscientia, to protect his people. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of Revrum Natura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. But Narciss, ruler of Tartarus and King of the demons, desperately wants what Jeremiah has sworn to protect—a Prophecy of Narciss’s future doom. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible.
But forever is a long time to protect something without ever letting down one’s guard.

All of my books so far can be bought at these locations:
Books Available:

In case you've forgotten about the other two books. Here is a little reminder blurb.

Odessa Blurb--Book 1 of YA Seraphym Wars Series

17-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, struggling with inner demons resulting from an attack when she was 15, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s recent murder as well as many other atrocities in the news. She meets sweet and sensitive Michael, who explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen warriors with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. He accompanies her on the quest, but harbors a secret past that ironically would destroy all the faith she has placed in him. A handsomely roguish Scientist with suspect motives haunts her dreams and makes sudden appearances in unlikely places, while a sensual dragon warrior defends her against her will.
Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald? 

Zarena Blurb--Book 1 of the MG Stardust Warriors Series. The next book in this series, Jeremiah, comes out in November.

14-year old Zarena spends time with a Holy Order of Clerics on their hidden world of Revrum Natura, while she receives training in Martial Arts, Herbology, Astronomy, Weaponry and Mind Control. Destined to become the leader of the Vigorios, child warriors, who will assist the Seraphym in the war against the demon-dragons of Dracwald, Zarena grows up in a hurry. Lonely and homesick, she meets a Mermaid who encourages her to talk about her training. Is this new friend too good to be true? Zarena learns a valuable lesson about trust and betrayal—a lesson that will serve her well as leader of the Vigorios.

Here's the full Release Schedule to keep in mind:
April 2011-Odessa, Seraphym Wars YA Series-available at Amazon
July 2011-Zarena, Stardust Warriors MG Series
September 2011-Prophecy, Seraphym Wars
November 2011-Jeremiah, Stardust Warriors
January 2012-Harpies, Seraphym Wars
February 2012-Laman, Stardust Warriors
April 2012-Mercy, Stardust Warriors
June 2012-Magaelbash, Stardust Warriors

AND don't forget you can find out more information at these websites:
Tween Word Quest   MG Interactive Website with TONS of info about my MG stuff

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finding the Time to Write

By YA Fantasy Author Andrea Buginsky

Now that school is back in session, some of you, students in particular, may be searching for time to write what you want to write. Your teachers will undoubtedly have you writing many papers for your classes, but on subjects and topics that they choose for you. So with a heavy class load, homework, extracurricular activities, and chores, not to mention spending time with your friends and family, where on Earth are you ever going to find the time to write what you want to?

This is a question writers of all ages and genres have been asking themselves for years. In the past two decades, our lives have gotten really hectic. There’s work, family life, taking care of the kids and the house, all of the organizations parents join at their kids’ schools, and so much more. It seems that we as a society are running around like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off. Now that you teens are back in school and loaded up with schoolwork and after-school activities, you see what your parents go through.

But there is a light at the other end of the tunnel. By taking a few extra steps every day, you can carve some free time for your personal writing to make it onto your daily schedule.

1. Create a To-Do List

a. Write down everything you have to do on a given day: go to school, go to your after-school activities, do homework, do chores, hang out with friends and family

b. Write down the times each of these activities take place, including the approximate amount of time each activity will take to complete.

c. Now look at any empty spaces in your schedule, and add the word “write” to them.

2. Use Your Writing Time Wisely

a. Now that you’ve found some free time in your schedule for your writing, use it wisely by setting up everything you’ll need in advance, including making sure your computer is ready to go, your printer has plenty of ink and paper, and you have anything else you’ll need for your writing session ready to go.

b. Know what you plan to write during each session. You can do this by first glancing at what you wrote at your previous session, then continuing; by making notes at the end of each session about what you want to write about next; or by making an outline of your project you can follow during each session.

3. Prepare for the Next Writing Session

a. Before you end your writing session each day, prepare for the next day by writing down some notes on what comes next in your project, cleaning up your work area so it’s ready to go the next day, and organizing all of your writing materials back where they belong.

b. At the end of each session, write yourself some tips and ideas you thought might have helped you during your writing session for the next one.

Although it still might not be your ideal writing situation, by following these ideas, you’ll be more organized, better prepared, and ready to write when your available writing time does pop up. Don’t be too put off if you find you only have a little time each day, or even each week, to fit your writing sessions into your schedule. Be ready for them so that you can make the best of each one. Happy writing!

Andrea Buginsky is the author of "The Chosen," available from Solstice Publishing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September MG/YA Blogathon

Twelve MG/YA authors have gotten together for a massive cross-blogging feat throughout September. This is your invitation to check out books for the younger set. You can find the complete schedule with links here:

I'm promoting my mid-grade (low YA) fantasy, "Bad Spelling." It's the first book in a trilogy called The Witches of Galdorheim. This is the first time I've had a cover that's sort of manga. Thanks to my cover artist Kaytalin Platt for originality. The book will be released October 14th from MuseItUp Publishing.