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Making History Current by Wanita May

Making History Current

I love history – all of it.  The famous people, the infamous ones, the real and make believe ones.  Don’t get me started on architecture, furniture, clothing or jewelry – especially jewelry.  I grew up with an appreciation for vintage things as my parents owned an antique store.  I now own an online antique 7 collectables shop specializing in jewelry and porcelain.  I married an very handsome Englishman who puts up with my need to see castles, monuments, historical buildings, museums, cities every time we go back to see his family, or on any holiday.  It’s in me, in my bloodstream and inside my genetic make-up (DNA).

I write YA, mostly Fantasy/Paranormal YA. That doesn’t make history very relative for a story of today.  However, it still gnaws at me and I feel the need to slip it into an MS – well, every MS actually – that I write.

So how does one make History current/relative to a YA story that is going to keep young adult readers interested?

In Rae of Hope – the first book in the Chronicles of Kerrigan – I used Tudor history – it’s a fascinating time, and everyone knows something about King Henry IIX.  Guilder Boarding School, where the story is set in current time, was built by King Henry.  The buildings are all original and I used Tudor architecture to name each building (eg. Joist Hall is the male dorms – where the male students can learn to lean into and support each other. There is a Refectory (where students eat, Aumbry Hall, an Oratory, Scriptorium, etc…)

The school was originally built and is continued to be used today as an educator for those who become tattooed (tatu) on their sixteenth birthday. The ink enables a person to have a unique ability/supernatural power that is based on the design of the ink-art. King Henry opened the school to try and find a way to get the legitimate son he so longed for.

There is also a Privy Council. It is the original PC that King Henry used, except consists of tatued individuals who swore to help protect the king and country.  Which is still used present day in the series.

I’ve included so much more Tudor background to create the setting of the entire chronicles.  While entertaining YA readers,  I’m also able to show a bit of that inner DNA strain – and maybe even teach them a few historical terms or key events that helped mold things into what they’ve become today!

Rae of Hope is officially available November 15th by Mitchell Morris Publishing.  It can be purchased through the usual online facilities (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc…)

Rae of Hope by Wanita May

Fifteen year-old Rae Kerrigan is used to being invisible. Living in New York with her Aunt and Uncle after having been orphaned at a young age by a terrible fire, her life has been quiet, filled with excellent grades and not much else. Then came the letter from Guilder Boarding School, a mysterious place Rae had never heard of which will change her life. She crosses the ocean to enter a world she’s never known existed, one where she’s center stage and has a very important role to play.
Will the sins of a father choose her path? Or will she have the courage to change her fate?  The decision will be made, by fate or teen, in the Rae of Hope.
The question is, as hero or villain? It seems most of Guilder is voting the later, and it’s up to Rae to prove everyone wrong and bring hope to her world. But will she succeed, or will the shadows draw her in and swallow her whole?

About W.J. May

Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario – St.Catharines.  Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.

The youngest of six — four older brothers, and a sister –  taught her at a young age to be competitive in all aspects of life.

At sixteen, she began competing in athletics (track and field) and before she turned seventeen, she was representing Canada in high jump.  She continued to compete, breaking Canada’s JR High Jump record (1.92m – 6′ 3 1/2″ for those metric-ly challenged).  She attented University of Toronto, and Kansas State University – winning CIAU’s and becoming All-American 6x – NCAA Indoors Runner Up + more.

After her father passed away in 2009, from a six-year battle with cancer (which she still believes he won the fight against), she began to write again.  A passion she’d loved for years, but realized life was too short to keep putting it off.

Her first book, Rae of Hope – from the Chronicles of Kerrigan - is available Nov 15, 2001 by Mitchell Morris Publishing.  It is currently scheduled for a four book series and available in ebook form through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords.

She is currently represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Wanita is a writer of Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction and where ever else her little muses take her.


My links and bits:


Facebook: Author W.J. May

Twitter:  @wanitajump



Men In Uniform Anthology *Raaawwwwwr*

Well, Veteran’s Day came and went with a whoosh. I called the men in my life who kept me safe at one time or other and thanked them. They all appreciated it. My dad especially loves this call. I’ve made it every year since 9/11 when though I was full grown, was the first time I really let it sink in…soldiers put their lives on the front lines for us. They know what they’re in for and they sign up anyway. *blink* Would I die for my kids? Anytime. Without hesitation. Husband? Parents? Friends? Their kids? How about their neighbors? The farther removed from my life, the more time it takes me to say “Yeeee—ah?” But our service men and women  fight for us,  for strangers, everyday. They are the most noble, honorable, and respect worthy people I’ll ever know. When I saw my publisher Turquoise Morning Press planned an anthology to honor them, submission was a no brainer. I was honored to find my story included in this amazing new anthology.

If you have a love of romance and enjoy a story where a serviceman is the hero, definitely pick up a copy. I wrote a short story called Faith, Love & A Coast Guard. I’m all about the Coast Guard. Here in Ohio, pretty far from a major body of water (Lake Erie not withstanding) its easy to let the Guard slip out of our minds. I wanted to make sure we had a Coast Guard hero. Thank you to TMp for including me in this collection!! *Big Hugs*

If you haven’t thanked, hugged or pinched your favorite service man on woman yet today…right now would be a great time :)

Men in Uniform on Amazon!

My Journey to Publication by Tahlia Newland

Today we have a guest post by Tahlia Newland. She writes young adult/adult urban fantasy with a touch or more of romance in it and a focus on challenging readers’ perception of reality. I have five ebook copies of  her short paranormal romance, ‘The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice’, to give away, and A Matter of Perception, her anthology of urban fantasy & magical realism stories, is  available on ebook  for the special release price of 99c until the 14th November.   Get it on Amazon or Smashwords.

My journey to publication.

My first novel, Lethal Inheritance took three years and a lot of learning before I found an agent. I leapt around and screeched with joy, thinking it was only a matter of time before I landed that publishing deal, but time moves very slowly in the traditional publishing world and eighteen months and two revisions later, I’m still waiting – but only for that book.

In several of the rejections, the publisher said they were impressed with the quality of what they read. One said she really would like to publish it, but like the others, she already had her quota of young adult fantasy filled for the year. Others weren’t interested because they thought books with demons in them were out of fashion.  I missed out, not because it wasn’t good enough but because others got in first or because someone had decided that all demons were alike, (mine come from the eastern tradition and have nothing to do with God or the devil) We’re still waiting for two more publishers to get back to us.

To fill in the time, I wrote some short stories, started on a novella prequel to ‘Lethal Inheritance’ and investigated publishing options that didn’t require me to wait for months just for someone to get to look at my submission. Independent ebook publishing would allow me to retain control of my work, get most of the profit for my efforts and publish at a time of my choosing. A publisher friend (unfortunately, she only publishes non fiction) convinced me to stick with the traditional system for ‘Lethal Inheritance’, because of the advantages they have in product visibility and the distribution of print books.

But what about my short stories and novella?  Traditional publishers don’t publish short stories much and never by unknown authors, nor do they publish novellas because they’re not cost effective in print, but they’re a perfect length for ebook. So after lots of research and with the encouragement of some writer friends, I decided to try the indie route myself. At last I could stop feeling impotent and get on with what I wanted to do ie get my writing into the world.

First, my husband and I expanded our production company to include a publishing arm called Catapult Press, then we made a business plan. Luckily, I’m an artist as well as an author, so I created my own covers, which I think are pretty decent. What do you think? Then I had to learn to format for ebook. You can do it simply for Smashwords, but for Amazon, if you want a professional result, you need to learn some HTML. David Gaughran’s ‘Let’s get Digital’ (a must read if you’re considering indie ebook publishing) put me onto Guido Henkel’s formatting guide and off I went.

I finally published my two ebooks and then – gasp – the real fun started, telling people about it. But marketing is another story. At this stage, I’ll just say that indie publishing is not for anyone who isn’t organised and methodical, and that marketing is incredibly time consuming. I hope it all starts rolling on its own soon because my business plan says that ‘Realm Hunter,’ my paranormal romance novella, is due out in December and I plan to make sure it will be, because it’s looking awesome.

I hope you’ll pick up ‘A Matter of Perception’ before the 14th and get the flavour of my writing so you’ll be keen to read ‘Realm Hunter’ when it comes out. If you like my books, don’t forget to give them reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Thank you.

About A Matter of Perception

Do you see what I see? Take a bunch of supernatural beings, a battle of magical light, a mysterious hole in the pavement, a dream of a future past and a pair of rose-coloured glasses, mix them with a little romance and a smidgen of philosophy and you might be left wondering if it isn’t all just a matter of perception. This thought-provoking collection of urban fantasy and magical realism stories includes ‘The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice’ and ‘The Boneyard’, a semi finalist in the Aussiecon 4 Make Ready fantasy/scfi competition of 2010.

About The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice’.

Are you willing to stake your future on a butterfly’s shampoo preferences? Julia’s not sure. She knows that relationships made in heaven can end up in hell, but if she can avoid having her memory wiped, she just might end up with a god of her own.

Author links




Goodreads Author page

Amazon Author page –

About Tahlia:

My name is Tahlia Newland.  Apart from ‘Lethal Inheritance’ and the second draft of the sequels, ‘Stalking Shadows’, ‘Demon’s Grip’ and ‘Eternal Destiny’, I’ve written scripts for theatre in education and a book of short stories for children. As well as being an author, I’m a casual high school teacher ( dance, drama, art and whatever else they throw at me) and a maskmaker. I live on a beautiful property in rainforest about two and a half hours drive south of the city of Sydney in Australia. I have a teenage daughter, Kimberley, and a husband, Chris, who is also a teacher.  We live only 6 km from the main highway but grid power doesn’t reach us, so our electricity is solar and  water generated. For most of my working life I was a performer . I started as a dancer, then moved into mask, mime and visual theatre. I spent five years doing a niteclub dance/mime act with my husband in Sydney and about 13 years performing in schools in Australia and New Zealand. I’m a hopeless case of being slave to my creative impulses, but I’m never bored. I love cats but I don’t have one because they eat native birds.  This is my favourite LOL cat. I have studied the mind my whole life and practiced  meditation since 1996.

I’m Talking About Opening Chapters!

As you know, I’m up to my elbows in words right now! Word wrangling is tough and time consuming and writing 2,000 words a day makes my head spin! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and it challenges writers to write 50,000 words in 30 days! The community spirit is amazing and I’m making as many new friends as I am writing words. LOL It’s so much fun to be a part of this huge event in the writing culture. Definitely an experience I’m proud to have in my hat.

So, today I’m not here :) Today I’m guest blogging about those all important first words. That first chapter holds the power to draw readers in or land your manuscript an auto rejection. Writing that chapter in the flurry of Nano is a whole new consideration!

Come see me today and learn about writing your opening chapter! I’m blogging for Nano on the WriMos FTW! Blogspot.

WriMos FTW!

From NaNoWriMo to Print! Please Welcome Ciara Knight!

From Nanowrimo to Print

NaNo can be more than just meeting a 50,000 word goal while living in a caffeine and sugar induced fog. You can take that jumbled mess of characters swirled in drama with a dash of love into a masterpiece that others will want to read. Yes, you need to write the manuscript and that is what NaNo is all about, don’t stop to edit, don’t change characters, don’t alter story-line, etc. AND, when the month ends give yourself a pat on the back and set your baby aside. THEN come back to this article to read how I took two Nano books from jumbled mess to publication.

Here are a few tips on how to take your stories from NaNo madness to print:

  • Do NOT submit your manuscript to agent/publisher two days after Nano ends. I’m sorry, but your book is not ready. Yes, I’ve heard many, many, many authors bragging about finishing Nano and sending off their masterpiece only to sob over their quick rejections.
  • There was an agent once at a conference who stated she hated the first two weeks of December each year because she receives a ton of ‘NaNo projects.’ This agent had a form rejection ready each year for all of those submissions.
  • If you are new to writing, take a few classes. There are many opportunities through organizations such as Romance Writers of America, Savvy Authors, and/or the RWA special interest chapter, Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal.
  • Implement these new skills you’ve learned into your story. BUT make  sure you do not take instructions as hard fast rules. In both books I sold, Rise from Darkness and The curse of Gremdon, the editors had me add some telling phrases and adverbs. I was shocked. After all those classes that told me NEVER to have a word with ‘ly’ and NEVER ‘tell’ and always ‘show’ something.
  • After you let the project sit, get involved in an editing group or class. There are some great ones you can check into like EditPalooza at Savvy Authors or NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month).  If you prefer to work in small groups, get involved in a critique loop or work with a few critique partners.
  • Do NOT over edit. If you join a critique loop be cautious. Try not to have more than two people critique your work and make sure they love and understand your genre. Otherwise, you’ll only find their comments confusing. If you receive multiple differing opinions, look at your manuscript and decide what works best for your story.
  • If grammar is not your strength, have someone proof your manuscript, query letter, synopsis, and anything else you will be submitting.
  • Now you’ve spent 1-3 months editing your NaNo project so you are ready to submit, right? NO, now you need a beta reader. Find someone who is NOT a writer but who reads the genre you’ve written. Please, stay away from close family members; they just cannot be objective.
  • Once you receive the beta read back and you’ve made any necessary changes, and make sure to proofread it again.
  • Now, you are ready to send out a few partials (if requested) and see what kind of response you receive. If you receive two or three rejections stating the same reason, than you know there is an issue you need to fix. If not, and it is a ‘we love your writing but we already have two books slated this year with this same subject do you have anything else to submit?’ then you move on and know you are headed in the right direction. (Yes that is a reject I received. J )
  • Most importantly, do NOT rush and make mistakes by sending in an inferior product. Take your time to make your Nano project shine.
  • Even after you do all of these things and you contract your story with a publisher, your editing has just begun.  Remember, no matter how hard you work there will always be more to learn.J

Good luck with Nano, everyone! I hope you meet lots of fellow writers and have a fantastic time.

Rise from Darkness, book I of the Battle for Souls series, one of my Nano stories, will be released March 2012.  Love’s Long Shadow, a prequel novella to the Battle for Souls series, is available now.

About Ciara:

Ciara is happily married and enjoys family time. She has learned to embrace chaos, which is a requirement when raising three boys, and utilizes the insanity to create stories not of this world including, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, and Young Adult Dystopian.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She’s backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.


Love’s Long Shadow (Young Adult Novella, Paranormal)

Sammy Lorre was cast from Heaven for conduct unbecoming an angel. Living in a demon-infested small town with no memory of her previous life, she faces never-ending purgatory until Boon saunters into her life with a promise of angelic love. But is he an angel from Heaven or a minion from the underworld preying on her human emotions? To discover his true identity, she must risk eternal damnation and her heart.

Length: 12,000 words, novella
Price: $1.99

Now available : TMP bookstore . Amazon Kindle . Smashwords . Bookstrand . All Romance Ebooks/OmniLit


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