All Because of Chickens

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ask the Author

Welcome to our new feature, ASK THE AUTHOR, where readers ask the questions and MuseItYoung and MuseItYA authors answer!

For our inaugural post, reader Brandee Hack posed a downright difficult question! Brandee wants to know:

  • What is the most egregious error you have committed whilst in the process of writing your book/work and how did it effect you?

Wow, Brandee, that is a tough one. Thanks so much for posing the question.

Muse authors, you're on! Post your answers in the comments and readers, feel free to join in the conversation!

Readers, be sure to keep your eyes on our MuseItUp Facebook page for our next call out for questions! If your question is chosen, you'll get the credit and you'll get your answers!

Weaving Magic by Mindy Hardwick

He loves magic. She loves romance. Can illusions be shattered without disastrous consequences?

Story Blurb: He loves magic. She loves romance. But the biggest illusion is the one Shantel and Christopher perform together.  Sixteen- year- old Christopher fights to stay sober while fifteen-year-old Shantel struggles in the aftermath of her mother’s death and seeks refuge in a fantasy world. But the unacknowledged roots of their problems refuse to stay buried and soon, the two are headed toward a deadly magic trick. Can Shantel and Christopher move beyond magical illusions to find love?

Reviewers have this to say about WEAVING MAGIC:

“…Not only do we see things from Shantel’s point of view but also Christopher’s.  I really enjoyed this aspect of the story as Christopher is attending AA meetings and meets up with his sponsor.  I was fascinated by what Christopher was going through in his life….” Novels, News and Notes from Your NW Neighbors

“…The main boy, Christopher, is the kind of magician you’d find in a talent show- just a normal boy, no special powers and no absurd levels of perfection about him…”A Book So Fathomless

You can find a FREE discussion guide here:

WEAVING MAGIC is available at MuseItUp Publishing and all on-line bookstores.

About the Author:
 Mindy Hardwick enjoys writing romance for all ages. Her books for tweens and teens include:   Stained Glass Summer and Weaving Magic. She has also published four, sweet,  contemporary romance novellas. When Mindy is not writing, she facilitates a poetry workshop with teens at Denney Youth Juvenile Justice Center.  The youth’s poems can be seen at Mindy is a frequent school and library presenter and included on the Washington State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster. You can learn more about her at, follow her on Twitter @mindyhardwick or read her blog:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Introducing Mary Waibel

Hi! I'm Mary and I write YA fantasy.

Wow, that sounds like an introduction at group help meeting. But I promise that's not where I"m going with this.

I'm a newly published author here at MuseItUp. My debut novel, Quest of the Hart, released to the world on April 19th, and I am currently waiting line edits for Charmed Memories, a companion novel.

I played around with writing for a long time, always trying to write my own romance. I entered a couple of contests at the Harlequin site, no luck, but it was tons of fun.

Then I decided to write a story based on character my husband and our friends were role playing. I ended up with some really cool characters and no true plot. Next it was the superhero story, again based on characters we were role playing. This time I had plot, but POV issues arose. (Just for the record, these are two stories I want to go back and try and fix and eventually publish.)

Then I found Writer's Digest, a place where writer's and authors hung out, giving feedback and advice (sadly the groups are no more). I hooked up with some awesome Critique Partners (CP's) and began working on an idea a friend gave me- tell a story about the girly-girl who has to rescue the prince. So, I wrote Quest of the Hart. Or at least one of the early versions of it. After receiving feedback from my CP's I crafted a query letter and sent it out to agents. While I waited for an offer of representation, I worked in book two, The Lost Princess (recently retitled to Charmed Memories). And received nothing but rejections.

In the meantime, NaNoWriMo came up, and I started working on a new idea-a girl with a weapon so powerful, the cost of using it was the life of the one she loved most. Again, I sent it out to agents, and this time had a few nibbles, but alas, no takers.

At this time, I decided to go back to Quest and really take a good look at it. I wrote an entire new draft, then tweaked and tweaked some more. And when it was ready, I sent it out to a few small publishing presses. It came down to two places, and I finally found my home at MuseItUp.

And I am so thankful I have. The journey here has been worth it all. I love the editors and cover artists I have worked with, and Lea, the publisher, puts her heart and soul into all she does for her authors.

You can find me at the following places:
Twitter: @mewtweety14

You can find Quest of the Hart at:

MuseItUp Publishing
Barnes and Noble

Here's a short excerpt:

Arabella’s fingers trembled on the hilt of the dagger as desire for the animal swept through her. He was perfect, not a point out of place or a blemish on his coat. She gazed longingly at him, until a sound from Kaylee brought her back to the task at hand.
Shaking her head to clear it, she watched Kaylee speak to the creature. Did she honestly expect him to answer? Arabella stopped her snort before it gave away her presence. There would be no better chance than this.
Holding the dagger before her, she lined up Kaylee with the tip of the blade. It had to be a perfect throw, as she would not get another chance. She dipped the blade forward once, twice, thrice, then let it fly through the air with a flick of her wrist. The blade spun, end over end, sailing forward. Arabella held her breath, watching, praying her aim was true.
The dagger flew on target, but just before it buried itself in Kaylee’s back, the princess moved, and the dagger embedded itself into the chest of the hart.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Introducing Margaret Fieland

Over the next little while, the Muse tween and YA authors will be introducing themselves and their books.  I'm Margaret Fieland, Muse author and administrator of this blog. My tween sci fi novel, Relocated, came out last July. I have another tween  sci fi novel coming out in November and an adult sci fi novel due out this July. I'm also author of a poetry book, co-author with five others of another, and contributor to several anthologies.

I'd written poetry for years, but up until 2006, I'd never written any fiction. In 2005 I wrote a poem  I wanted to keep, which led me to complain to my youngest son about not ever having my stuff on the computer I was on. He pointed me to Yahoo Briefcase, and I put up all my poems. Fast forward to December of 2005, where, because they were online and handy, I submitted a poem to an online ezine's poetry contest. I was a finalist, and thus psyched, found a couple of online poetry groups.

Somewhere in there I heard about the Muse  Online Writer's Conference and I signed up. There I "met" Linda Barnett Johnson and I joined her writing forums.

Linda is first of all a story writer, and we all had to write both poetry and fiction if we wanted to participate. I'd never written any fiction up to that point. What's more, I never had the *urge* to write fiction.

So what happened? I got hooked {smile}.

You can "blame" all of my fiction and a lot of my poetry on the Muse Online Conference -- see above. If it weren't for Linda, I wouldn't have a published novel, another coming out next year. I wouldn't be working on finishing up the editing on two more. I wouldn't be editing for 4RV publishing - I "met" Vivian Zabel at the Muse conference as well.

Stephen Leacock was my father's favorite writer.  I never read any of his work while my father was alive, but after he died, I did. He's a hoot, and eminently quotable.

Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself - it is the occurring which is difficult.

Here is the beginning of Dad's favorite story:

It was a wild and stormy night on the West Coast of
Scotland. This, however, is immaterial to the present
story, as the scene is not laid in the West of Scotland.
For the matter of that the weather was just as bad on
the East coast of Ireland.
--Stephen Butler Leacock (1869—1944)
Canadian humorist.
Opening lines of "Gertrude the Governess; Or
Simple Seventeen" in _Nonsense Novels_ [1911].

So why Relocated,  and why the other novels? I'm a huge sci fi fan, and in 2010 I decided to "do" NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) as a way to overcome my phobia about writing in the genre. Because the world-building intimidated me the most, I spent most of the six or so weeks before the beginning of November on that. I outlined a couple of pages of plot, including my main character, a fourteen-year-old Black male who has to come to Aleyne when his father accepts a deployment.

A lot of personal stuff went into this. The Federation base on Aleyne resembles the US bases in Afghanistan, which is where my second son, a captain in the army, was stationed at the time. My main character is plunged into a situation where he's forced to communicate in Aleyni, a language in which he is fluent. But, as I can attest from personal experience, there's a difference between being fluent and being a native speaker, and I drew on my own experiences in Europe, in France and in the Netherlands, when writing Keth's.  

As well, secrets play a huge role in the novel, as indeed they did in my own family. The biggest, from my point of view, of my own was the ten years my mother took off her age. She was in her late thirties when she gave birth to me and my sister. I'm in my sixties now, so this was quite exceptional at the time, and she was self-conscious about it. My sister and I didn't discover the truth until she went to get working papers. We were both in our teens at the time.

You can find Relocated here.

Here's a short excerpt:

          I gazed across the table at Orodi. My heart thumped. I needed to say something. Orodi looked pretty and sweet. “Mazos says I can come tomorrow afternoon to start learning glass blowing. In the meantime, would you like to go for a walk this afternoon?”
          Orodi smiled, and her eyes crinkled at the corners. “There’s a park around the fountain in the center of the city.”
          Shaffa swallowed his bite of stew. “It’s lovely, lots of flowers and trees, and hidden grottoes simply perfect for two.” He slapped me on the back. “You’ll love it.”
          I frowned at Shaffa. “Isn't three or four more usual?” Embarrassment filled me, but I asked anyway.
          Shaffa grinned at me. “Two is a good start.”
          Shaffa loaned me his bicycle, a sort of mauvish pink like his sister’s. Orodi jumped on hers and started down the street, with me wobbling after her.
          Don’t believe what they tell you when they say you never forget how to ride a bicycle. I hadn’t been on a bike in years -- Washington, D.C, had too much traffic and no bicycle paths -- and it showed. Fortunately, the other cyclists gave me a wide berth, and I steadied by the time we reached the park
 “I’m sorry I’m such a poor rider,” I lamented as we pulled up to the park, ashamed of my poor biking skills, and wondering what Orodi thought of me now.
 “You’ll improve,” Orodi smiled at me, and I realized she didn’t mind.
          We parked our bikes in the rack in front of the park entrance. Orodi took my hand and pulled me along one of the paths into the park. “Come on, we have to visit the fountain first, and you need to take a drink. Afterward we can go explore a little.”
As Shaffa said, they made a park from the oasis, with a red ground cover, short and thick, and beds of flowers. Several paths led into the park, winding out of sight behind purple rocks. The umbrella trees provided welcome shade.                        
          I stared at our clasped hands, enjoying her soft skin against mine. Orodi’s hand appeared broader than mine, but my fingers were longer. When I glanced up, she smiled at me.
 “You’re going to kiss me. I know the perfect spot.”
 My mouth dropped open and my face flushed. Orodi laughed, and I observed the mischievous glint in her eye. Excitement bubbled up my throat, but nothing came out of my mouth. We walked along in silence until we reached the fountain.
          The fountain had a large basin made of shiny purple stone. Water spouted from a hole in the center, reaching a height of eight feet before splashing back down. Scattered along the rim, men and women dipped their hands in the water and drank. I trembled as I gazed into Orodi’s eyes, wondering what would happen next.
          Orodi pushed me up to the edge. “You first.”
          I leaned over, scooped the water, and slurped out of my hand. The cool, sweet water trickled down my throat.
          Orodi leaned over, drank, smiled at me, and led me down one of the many paths winding away from the fountain. We ended up in a secluded grotto with a bench carved into the purple rock and we both sat down.
 “My water tasted sweet. Did yours?”
 I nodded. “The sweetest water I ever tasted.”
          “It’s supposed to tell you if the other person likes you or not.” She smiled. “Mine tasted sweet, too.”
          I wanted to kiss her badly, but I didn't know what to do. I’d never kissed a girl before, and I didn’t want to do anything wrong. Orodi leaned over and kissed me. I put my arms around her and kissed her back. Her lips felt soft and warm. I opened my mouth in surprise and her tongue darted in. Our tongues touched, and my whole body tingled. By the time we stopped I could barely breathe. When I looked around, the whole landscape sparkled, and the colors appeared brighter and clearer than ever before.
          Orodi tugged on my hand, pulling me to my feet. “Come on, let’s go somewhere more private.” I glanced around, afraid I would find everyone staring at us, but they were too busy kissing each other to mind us. Orodi led me around the fountain and down another path to a bench cut into large rocks. The rocks, purple and ten feet tall, formed a curved wall. The perfect private spot for two. I put my arms around Orodi and we kissed again. We sat and held hands. I don’t remember what we talked about.
          We walked back out of the park, retrieved our bikes, and started back to her house. I grinned the whole way back.
“It’s a good thing you kissed me, or we might still have been sitting there when the sun went down,” I said as we put the bikes away.
 I noticed the mischievous glint in her eye again. “I know.”

Where to find me on the web:

I also post on the 4RV Publishing blog on the last Friday of the month

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reserved for Penny Estelle

Visiting Sarah Carr Today

Visiting Sarah Carr Today

Hi everyone,
I am being interviewed on Sarah Carr’s blog today. Here is the link
Pop on over and check it out. She has a great blog and we had lots of fun with the interview
Tomorrow is the release of Palace of the Twelve Pillars. Keep following my posts to get hints about what’s going to happen.  Here is the link to the video trailer:

Meet Owen

The following is the first in a series character profiles from the upcoming novel Unveiling the Wizards' Shroud.

Owen is the fifteen year old son of King Kendrick. He lives in Innes Castle in the Central Domain of Wittatun. Peace has prevailed in the kingdom the three years since the Wizard Rebellion attacked, killing many people at Innes Castle, including Owen's mother, Beatrix. But Owen's attitude toward magic, and those who use it, has grown more belligerent.

At the celebration for Owen's fifteenth birthday, King Kendrick prepares to make an announcement that will determine Owen's future. But when he stands to make the announcement, he crashes to the ground--unconscious.

Owen must do everything in his power to revive his father, to save his future and the future of the kingdom, even if it means teaming with someone he hates. Someone he holds responsible for the death of his mother. A filthy sorcerer named Cedric!

Check out my website for future updates about Owen, King Kendrick, and the rest of the characters in Unveiling the Wizards' Shroud, as well as articles with writing tips and news here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Thankful; T is for Theodric

T is for Thankful; T is for Theodric

Welcome to our New Blog

My conception of Aleyne's Landscape

Welcome to the new MuseItYoung and MuseItYA blog. Over the coming weeks you'll meet our fabulous contributors, learn about their books, coming attractions, contests, and much more.

Stay tuned.
Margaret Fieland, Fearless Administrator
Author of Relocated

Monday, April 22, 2013

The journey begins ...

Thanks to Muse for setting up this exciting site. New adventures and challenges await.

Pamela Kelt
Ice Trekker
The Cloud Pearl