#Writing Challenge – Tell us a Story About Your TBR Pile at Myths of the Mirror

Author, Diana Peach has a fun writing challenge going on – Write a story about your TBR pile. Great topic as so many of us writers and readers make jokes about how fat our Kindles are. I’ve written a poem about my BFK – My big fat Kindle.

If you’d like to play, here’s how it works:

  • Deadline is January 23rd
  • Post the story or poem on your blog
  • Link back to this post or leave your link in the comments below
  • Keep it family friendly
  • I will reblog as many of the entries as I can through the end of the January
  • Please reply to comments when I reblog your story or poem
  • I’ll post a summary with links in early February
  • You may use the (attribution free) pixabay image above if you want to
  • And most of all, Have Fun!

MY BFK (My Big Fat Kindle)

Stories and more stories
We cannot get enough.
Amazing how many books, 
Makes choosing one to read real tough.

No more books we chant
While adding just one more.
Adding different genres,
Excuse to add some more.
 
Promotional or free,
An author friend's new release,
My enthusiasm heightens,
A brand new read for me.

That's how fast it happens,
Before realizing the count.
What's one more book,
As the rising number mounts?

We are fooled by our Kindles,
At the lack of hefty weight.
Do we even know how many,
No matter because books are great.

So my Kindle and bookshelves,
Spill over with stories and words.
Yet another book is added,
My no more books plan is for the birds.

Though I know my Kindle
Is bursting at the seams,
I'll continue to hit the buy button,
To read more, fulfilling author's dreams.

©DGKaye2022

If you’d like to hop on this challenge, please visit Diana’s page below:

Original Source: Writing Challenge – The TBR Pile | Myths of the Mirror

Sunday Book Review – The Ferryman and The Sea Witch by Diana Wallace Peach

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. As many of you know, I’ve been on a whirlwind of reading books that are helping me to get through my personal journey of grief. In between these books, I have stuck in a few ‘pleasure’ reads that had me lost in story, which I’m finding is the perfect antidote to engage me as a perfect diversion from the dark abyss I often find myself in since I’ve moved and settled into my solo home. Diana’s book was great medicine for me in that department. The Ferryman and the Sea Witch was a spectacular world build that took me right into the story of Callum – the Ferryman who sailed the deep sea, for a debt he owed to the Sea Witch, which begins the story of good versus evil. A vast array of intricate characters including two warring kingdoms where Callum’s ship crossed waters between both. Only, with every journey came a new threat and Callum’s job to play middle-man between the feuding royals.

 

 

Blurb:

 

The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.

The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.

Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.

Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.

And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.

Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.

 

My 5 Star Review:

 

A twisted tale of an evil sea witch who commands the sea at her whim. A fantastic voyage of love, hate, obedience, power struggle, blackmail, revenge, secrets and death. The merrow (half mermaid, half siren) control the waters of the deep for the Sea Witch. In the beginning, the fishermen caught a merrow in their net, and when Callum tried to cut the merrow loose, he was ordered to leave her for dead. But despite his efforts, he couldn’t save her, and that merrow just happened to be the daughter of the vengeful Sea Witch. And that’s where the story begins.

 

The Sea Witch demanded that the Ferryman (Callum) would have to pay penance by killing a royal and throwing them to the sea as punishment for the death of her daughter. She sank all other ships that crossed the ocean and would allow Callum’s ship to cross between the two kingdoms, but could never again step on land until such time as a royal is killed. Callum would have to dump one prisoner a day into the sea until such time as a royal is drowned to remain able to sail through the deep. The politics of the sea between the two kingdom rulers – the evil Queen Caspia of Haf Killick and King Thayne of Brid Clarion, and the Sea Witch, Panmar, set the story for deceit and foolery.

 

The action is plentiful, as there are a sea of characters to keep us encapsulated while Callum must deal with the daily antics of Caspia who becomes a threat to his own family. Callum is inundated with requests from both Caspia and Panmar, on a daily basis. Both their edict requests will keep us flipping the pages while the action on the sea keep us gripped as we continue to read and wonder who will win out, the good or the evils?

 

Stunning world-building – especially the underworld of the sea, well developed characters, deliciously descript, and the tension that will keep you glued in waiting as to who will survive and who will die in this ultimate sea adventure about the battle for power and survival. If you love fantasy with rich world-building, you will want to read this book.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Q & A with D.G. Kaye, featuring Diana Peach and Hot #NewRelease – Liars and Thieves

Welcome to September Q & A where I’m thrilled to be featuring Fantasy writer and world-builder extraordinaire, Diana Peach on blogtour now with her hot new release, Liars and Thieves – the first of another riveting trilogy, in the Unraveling the Veil series. And of course after the book intro, Diana will share some of her own thoughts on her writing.

 

Diana Peach

 

About Diana:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

 

 

 

Unravelling the veil series

 

It looks as though Diana fans are in for another riveting read! I already have my copy and for all you fantasy reader addicts, Diana’s book is still on pre-order price, so grab your copy for .99 cents!

 

Blurb:

Behind the Veil, the hordes of Chaos gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

 

First Review:

Jacqui Murray

Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2020

D. Wallace Peach’s latest fantasy novel, Liars and Thieves (2020), Book 1 in her new fantasy series, Unraveling the Veil, is one of those stories you wish you could read again for the first time. The concept is simple–bad guys cause havoc and good guys must stop them. What makes it a story you won’t forget is how Peach reveals the characters, the plot, and the amazing world where they live:

“…they fed the Veil’s mass with heat harvested from the mountains’ core, from pristine forests and wildflower meadows, from creatures of hoof and wing. All withered, browned, and blackened. Then they stole the light from the dawn.”

“The Veil thinned and solidified, releasing the energetic mass that had fortified it against the storm.”
Her choice of words, always spot on, are never wasted:

“…the ambition of a well-fed cat on a sunny sill.”

“Then they stole the light from the dawn.”

“He sniffed the air. Scents of blue snow and dank earth mingled with something new—the electric tang of power.”

The stunning reality she has built includes an eclectric mix of elves, changelings, and goblins, some purebred and others mixed, and all the problems and challenges that go with different cultures intermingling. To stop chaotic events that could destroy the world, these folks find themselves working with old enemies, relying on those they previously distrusted, and discovering new alliances. Though presented as a fantasy world, it will remind you of real-life. As you read, you will never really know what the truth is, when something you thought you knew turns out to be upside down. This made for an excitingly fresh tale like few I’ve ever read. The detail she includes is riveting and in large part why you will think this world could really exist. To give you an example, read Diana’s explanation of what happens to an individual’s bones, hair, organs, and muscles when switching from animal to human.

“The skeletal changes came first. He sank to his knees as his oblong skull crushed inward at the muzzle and bulged in the cranium. His neck compressed. Shoulder blades and ribcage shrank while hip bones expanded and rearranged their connections to fibulae and spine.”

As with every book Peach has written, her world building is believable, her characters likable, and her plot never stops surprising readers. Grab a copy, sit back, and enjoy.

 

Excerpt:

(In this scene, my characters just discovered that they’re stuck with each other. It’s not
pretty.)

 

A shower of sand rained from Alue’s hair as she scraped her fingers over her scalp. The endless heat and humidity, the dirt and sweat, fouled her mood as much as it fouled her nose. She needed a hot soak with oils and soap, a hair wash, and something to eat that didn’t taste like an unwashed shirt.

Arianna had released the three of them onto the trail heading north to the railway spur, a three-day walk. Any deviation from the path, any mention of what had occurred in the jungle would result in a gruesome death, and Alue didn’t doubt the queen’s willingness to see the threat through.

Still a day from the spur, Talin led them to another tree-stand, the changelings’ method of spending a night safe from cats if not insects, snakes, and monkeys. She sat on the platform’s edge, one leg dangling, while she attempted to lob balls of light from her fingers—without them disappearing the instant she let go.

The goblin wrinkled his nose.

“What is your problem?” she snapped.

He scowled at her. “You have the odor of an ape.”

She gaped at him. “I haven’t had a chance to bathe.”

“Elves always smell like apes.”

Talin blurted out a laugh. He sat at the platform’s other end, eating some kind of hideous, withered root.

“Is that so?” Alue was tempted to push Naj over the side, but he sat against the tree in the middle of the platform. “And I suppose goblins smell like jasmine petals.”

“Goblins don’t sweat,” Naj informed her. “Changelings bear the scents of animals, but not as pungent as elves.”

“You can’t smell your own breath,” Talin said. “It reeks from eating meat.”

“Speaking of food…” Alue plucked up one of the roots Talin had gathered for her and tossed it over the edge. “I’m famished.”

“Don’t throw good food away,” Talin muttered. “You’ll be forced to ask Naj to spear you a snake.”

“Don’t make me vomit.” Alue shook her head when Naj glanced her way. His glaive had been confiscated in Glenglisan along with her pulser, and though he acted as if its loss didn’t matter, the ropey muscles in his neck tightened at its every mention. “I thought changelings forbade the killing of animals?”

“We do.” Talin brushed the dirt from a flesh-colored root. “We never know when one of us might be mistaken for a wild creature… like a panther.”

Alue stared at him, her empty stomach rolling over. “Was that… was the panther…”

“A man named Janu.” Talin slouched, dark eyebrows lowered in her direction. His chin bristled with rough scruff, and his long hair needed a comb almost as much as hers. “You shot him near the falls, and Naj finished him off.”

“I ate his…” Alue’s hand slapped to her mouth, and she closed her eyes, reeling. If Naj hadn’t gripped her arm, she might have fallen.

“He was the aggressor,” Naj said as if somehow that justified chewing on a man’s heart.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Alue shrieked. “I ate a changeling, a person!”

“Thank you for acknowledging that we’re people,” Talin said.

“Gah! I never said you weren’t. We’re all people. And that’s beside the point. You tricked us.”

“I saved your life,” Talin yelled back. “I didn’t need to do any of it. I could have left you in the pit, left you in the cell. Gone on with my life.”

“Why did you help us?” Naj asked.

Talin crossed his arms. “I thought I knew. Now I don’t remember.”

 

And now that we’ve all had a delicious sampling, let’s get to know a little bit more about Diana and her personal thoughts on why she prefers self-publishing, and she shares some worthy advice for writers – seasoned and new. 

 

What’s your opinion on self-publishing?

I love self-publishing. I started out on the traditional route, and overall, the publisher was honest and cooperative. But after six books, I cancelled all my contracts and self-published. I haven’t regretted it for a moment.

In some ways, self-publishing is more work. I’m responsible for every step of the process and every cost from engaging with an editor to hiring a cover designer. I have all the responsibility for the final product, and there’s definitely more upfront cost. But here’s the thing… after I switched, not only did my sales and margins go up, my covers improved, I didn’t have to pull teeth to promote, and marketing was much LESS work. A lot less.

How is marketing less work? I was responsible for that chore either way. Marketing is easier if you have control over pricing, which allows you to discount and promote. Traditional publishers control pricing, and in my experience, they don’t like low prices and are resistant to discounts. At full price, promotional opportunities are limited and a lot of work. Low prices, discounts, and promotions are a great way to get readers if that’s your goal. You’ll have a much larger distribution, and though your prices are lower, you’re not sharing the profits… which meansyou have more revenue for more promotion and more readers and more revenue. Thus, the cycle continues.

D.G. – I appreciate your thinking, these were my same thoughts when I decided to do my own thing on my own time. Oye! Nope, I’m happy to control my own publishing too and not collect 1000 rejections waiting, lol. But it’s nice to hear it from someone who moves from trad to indie.

 

Do you have any advice you can share for new writers?

I’d suggest that every serious writer seek out criticism, not from our moms or best friends, but from other writers.  Join a local writer’s group, find critique partners online, pay for an in-depth edit of your first three chapters if it’s all you can afford. Ask for tough love, soak it up, and painstakingly apply the principles.

Of course, positive comments are nice. But the most valuable feedback you’ll ever receive is constructive criticism. I was a member of a writers’ critique group for five years, and I never would have landed a publisher without feedback from my fellow writers. I longed to improve and grow, and to accomplish that, I needed to know everything I was doing wrong. I learned a tremendous amount about the craft and had an opportunity to find my voice.

Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone provide an unsolicited critique of someone’s blog post! But when requested, private, constructive feedback with contextual examples encourages growth. Though I’m no longer part of a group, I do swap editing projects with a writing partner or two. I’m still learning!

D.G. – I love your answers Diana. We are always learning, and if we aren’t then we’ll get left behind. The best education came from my own editor, teaching me how to properly self-edit learning from her feedback.

 

If you’ve published more than one book, do you find or notice your writing changes or evolves with each new book?

Oh, yes! Practice makes… better. It’s no secret that the more we write the better we become. Hopefully we are lifelong learners, seeking tips from bloggers, reading books about our craft, taking classes, sharing critiques, and writing our little hearts out. That can’t help but change how we write.

But I also think we’re influenced by the things happening in our lives and environments. Our stories change with our moods and perspectives and age. We’re influenced by what we watch on television and what we read, what we care about and what interests us. I’m very influenced by my reading selections. It’s one reason why my writing has become darker with time. I love reading dark fantasy. At the same time, I don’t think inspiration follows a straight line. So who knows what the next story will bring.

D.G. – I so agree with you on how we grow. I think many writers can agree, we can see how our writing evolves with every next book. And yes, we are influenced by what we read as we grow and learn and what hangs around our minds. It has certainly influenced my poetry.

 

You have a new release: Liars and Thieves, Book 1 of the Unraveling the Veil series. What was the inspiration for this story?

US politics to be honest. I’m disclosing this on your site, Debby, because we’ve shared rants, and you haven’t “unfriended me.” Lol. I started this series in 2017. Blaming based on untruths had started taking the national stage in the US, not for the first time, but in blatantly disturbing ways. Bias and blame ran (and runs) rampant through my country as opposed to taking responsibility, working together, and making the hard choices for positive change.

So, I created a world where the First of Chaos, a god named il Drakk, creates an inciting event. It stirs old biases and activates cycles of blame. My three groups of people – goblins, elves, and changelings – don’t seek the core truth of the situation. Instead, accusations escalate. Civilization spirals downward because truth and cooperation aren’t valued or are too hard. Il Drakk gets to sit back and watch the people become the “Lords of Chaos.” Only by coming together and seeking the truth can they overcome the dire mess they’ve created. There is hope
for my characters, and perhaps for my country as well.

D.G. – OMG I got goosebumps reading this. And I have to tell you, when I first saw the title of your book, I couldn’t help but wonder what inspired it! Of course we write about what’s at our forefronts – if we aren’t digging back to the past for something else. The way you described your story sounds eerily similar to Sinclair Lewis’s book – It Can’t Happen Here, written in 1935 similar idea, fiction, but not fantasy, the take-over of America. My review written two years ago.

 

Books by Diana

Books by Diana Peach

 

 

Find Diana on Social Media:

 

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dwallacepeach

 

©DGKaye2020

bitmo live laugh love

 

20 Symptoms of Writeritis | Myths of the Mirror

Reblog Share

 

Here’s a fun post from Diana Peach – 20 Symptoms of Writeritis, which I’m sure many of us can relate to.

20 Symptoms of Writeritis

 

This 2-yr-old post was one of my most popular, and for those who missed it, I once again share the symptoms of this incurable condition.

***

As some of you know, a pervasive syndrome has troubled a segment of society for centuries. After years of research, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders finally classified these symptoms under the diagnosis: Writeritis. 

Writeritis is defined as a persistent, maladaptive pattern of writing that leads to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by six (or more) of the following within a single month:

  1. A marked craving for increased amounts of writing, and longer periods of time to write.

  2. An unquenchable thirst for coffee.

  3. Repeated efforts to cut down or control word count are unsuccessful.

  4. Withdrawal occurs when writing is discontinued or suddenly reduced. Symptoms include shakiness, moodiness, and/or irritability.

  5. A tendency to rapidly relapse into extreme patterns of excessive rewriting – even after periods of abstinence or control.

  6. After writing, a compulsive urge to return and edit.

  7. An inability to initiate household chores until a plot hole is resolved.

  8. A clinically significant preoccupation with the motivations of imaginary people.

  9. Obsessive attempts to manipulate and control the lives of main characters.

  10. A tendency to forget the time, fail to make dinner, and/or eat in general.

Continue reading more writing ailments . . .

 

 

Source: 20 Symptoms of Writeritis | Myths of the Mirror

Muse for Hire | Myths of the Mirror

Reblog Share

 

Twice a month I host author guest interviews here on Fridays. I try to keep my in-between Friday posts relevant to books and writing, and because I’m deep into revisions in my latest WIP. I chose to reblog a fantastic and entertaining post about writing with a muse by Diana Peach. I hope you enjoy this and I hope you don’t have a muse that is as tough as Diana’s muse is, lol.

 

(Please note: My website crashed yesterday and I’m trying to recreate everything that went out since last Tuesday. This post came out earlier Friday and vanished, so I’m reposting and hoping you all will reshare. Thank you. <3)

 

Muse for Hire

 

The day is half over and I open the door to my writing room. My coffee sloshes over the rim at my sudden halt. The man’s jaw swivels my way, and I swallow. “Um…Who are you?”

“Your muse,” he growls.

“Oh.” I edge into the room and leave the door cracked for a quick escape. “Where’s my other one? You know, the… usual one?”

He stares at me like I’m a bug. “She hired me.”

“You’re a mercenary muse?” I trap a nervous laugh behind my lips. The guy looks cranky. Dried sweat coats his bulging muscles, and bloody grit etches the gold lions adorning his skimpy outfit.

He points a finger at a wooden chair, my humming laptop on the table beside it. “I’m here to make sure you keep your commitments.”

“What commitments?” I sit, my smile as shaky as my hands.

“Summer off, then a new series, full time, starting September first.” He taps his ragged fingernails on the armrest. “Your muse thinks you’re an oil-tongued shirker who’ll attempt to cut yourself a part-time deal. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

“Oh, that. Well, I’ll have you know, the prep work is coming along nicely.” I lift my chin, every speck of rickety indignation putting on a solid show, and I turn my laptop so he can see. “In fact, I’ve created a map!”

His lips curl in a sneer. “Don’t get cute. She says you love making maps, so that doesn’t count. What about the rest? The bios?”

“Ninety percent done.”  I show him the files – images and profiles for all main characters and most secondaries. “I’m still tweaking, but you know they don’t settle in until the story starts. World building is progressing too. I have sea-cliffs, waterfalls, and cities with layers of arching bridges. And, I’ve got a great magic system.”

I wasn’t expecting applause, but a smidgeon of encouragement wouldn’t have hurt. Instead, his little pellets for eyes are waiting to pelt me. Continue Reading . . .

 

 

Source: Muse for Hire | Myths of the Mirror

Writing Chapter One – Tips | Myths of the Mirror

Reblog Share

 

Today’s share is a fantastic reblog from Diana Peach of Mythsofthemirror . Diana is sharing with us about the importance of the first chapter of our books, writing tips about what elements should be part of those first chapters, and her take on when the rules can be broken.

 

Writing Chapter One – Tips

chapter-one-tips

I’ve wanted to write about first chapters for a while, primarily because they’re so important. After all, they’re the gateway to Chapter 2 and getting a reader to Chapter 2 is a fantastic idea.

I did some research and almost instantly the rule-resistant rebel in me kicked in. She’s the writer who scowls at formulas, who insists that form has to fit the story, not the other way around. She’s the reader who doesn’t want to read the same story over and over with different titles.

Well, I suppressed the first-born smarty-pants part of my personality and learned a few things.

First, I learned that there are actually a number of perfectly legitimate types of first chapters. Writer’s Digest has a great article by Jeff Gerke that describes 4 approaches with examples (summarized here):

  • The Prolog – A prolog is an episode that pertains to your story but does not include the hero (or includes the hero at a time well before the story proper begins, when he’s a child). It might not be “Chapter 1” per se, but it can serve as a legitimate opening—if it works.
  • The Hero Action Beginning – In a hero action beginning, the hero is onstage, doing something active and interesting related to the launching of the core story (it need not involve explosions and car chases, but it certainly can).
  • The In Medias Res Beginning (in the middle of things ) – With in medias res, you start at a point deep in the story, show a bit of activity to intrigue the reader, and then you hit the rewind button and spend some or all of the rest of the book catching up to that moment.
  • The Frame Device – The final major way of beginning your first chapter is to use a frame device. In this, your story is bookended on the front and back (and usually a few instances in the middle) by a story that is outside the main story. The primary tale is framed by this other story.

With that out of the way, I went in search of tips that apply to Chapter 1’s regardless of the book, tips that I could apply as I conceive of, write, and edit my stories. As usual, there are exceptions to these tips, and the list is not exhaustive. Continue Reading . . .

 

Source: Writing Chapter One – Tips | Myths of the Mirror

Goodbye Traditional #Publishing, Hello Indie – Results | Myths of the Mirror

newsworthy

 

Today’s post is a reblog from Diana Peach of Myths of the Mirror.  She is sharing her detailed accounting of what it was like for her to abandon traditional publishing and become an Indie author, and loving it!

Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results

 

Eight months ago, I started the process of canceling my traditional publishing contracts and re-releasing all my books as an indie author. My reasons for the switch were detailed in two posts Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie (Part I) and (Part II).

The process went more smoothly than I could have imagined, and I wanted to share the results:

1. I left myself 8 months to convert 6 books. Two months per book would have been easier as I was reproofing as part of the process. The advice: Create a schedule and then give yourself extra time.

2. New covers had an instantaneous sales response. Covers do matter whether traditional or indie publishing.

3. My old reviews ALL carried over to the new books. All I had to do was ask Amazon to combine the old (publisher) and new (indie) editions leaving only the new editions visible. The same phone call also combined the kindle and paperback editions so that they’d show as one “tile” (the standard Amazon presentation).

4. Though I priced my ebooks significantly lower than my publisher did, I’m earning a greater per-book royalty. The healthier royalties now support further promotion, while the lower prices encourage more readers to try my books. Continue Reading

 

Source: Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results | Myths of the Mirror