books

#ShareYourGlass Free Book Giveaway!

#ShareYourGlass with @inksmithpublishing for your chance to win a copy of D.A.Sciortino’s debut novel, Just How Long is a Lifetime! Just snap and post a photo of your wine glass, tag us in your photo, and use the hashtag #ShareYourGlass for your chance to win this love story that transcends time and space.
#love #freebooks #lovestory #wine#contest #giveaway #free #fiction#bookgiveaway #sip #liquidgrapes
Contest ends November 1!

Winner will be notified via Instagram message.

 

About Just How Long is a Lifetime?

When Luisa, a young girl in nineteenth-century Sicily, falls in love with Giovanni, she is destined for heartache. Luisa’s father has plans for her – to marry the heir of the vineyard that both Luisa’s and

Giovanni’s families work on. Avoiding trouble, Giovanni’s father decides to leave the vineyard after the young couple is caught together.

Following her father’s orders, Luisa marries the heir, Lorenzo, and together they build a family. But fate leads Giovanni back to the vineyard, this time working for Luisa’s husband. All too soon, Lorenzo learns of their past and jealousy sets the barn on fire.

While Giovanni perishes in the flames, Luisa remains unharmed – and extraordinarily, eternally 32. As her family ages around her, Luisa is forced to adapt to each new decade, the mystery of the fire burning in the back of her mind. Will Luisa finally find the answers to a happy ending, or is time against her even when things start to fall into place?

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The Funeral Portrait Gets a New Cover!

If you haven’t heard yet, The Funeral Portrait by Vincent Viñas has received a facelift!

The Funeral Portrait is a fictional, literary satire packed full of humor!

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Guy doesn’t smile easily. He could be described as fundamentally glum. Tallulah doesn’t die easily. She could be described as annoyingly immortal. What if you wanted to die but were unable to? Such is the case with Guy Edwards and Tallulah Leigh, who want to end their miserable lives for different reasons. The only problem is, she’s been stricken with an unexplained (and unwelcome) case of immortality while he lacks that final, sorrowful piece of inspiration he needs to effectively do himself in. What better way to solve this dilemma than to help kill each other. However, a bigger problem has emerged–one of them is falling in love with the other. They’ll now have to decide what is a more frightening option–dying or taking one last shot at happiness? The Funeral Portrait is a very dark and comedic (but often horrific) tale about two lost souls who find each other and soon realize the only thing that may be worse than death is commitment.

Ready to read the book yet? If so, click here and get your copy today! And don’t forget, the best gift you can give a talented author is a review, so if you read Vincent’s amazing novel make sure to stop by Goodreads  and Amazon and leave a review!

 

Tasty Grey Stone-Inspired Double Chocolate Scones

Author, and blogger, Jean Knight Pace shared a tasty recipe on her food blog, The Tasty Cheapskate, recently. What is so exciting about it? Well, the Double Chocolate Scones were inspired by one of her characters from Grey Stone! Read her blog post here and make sure to visit her food blog for more tasty Zinnegael-inspired baked goods. Enjoy!!

Double Chocolate Scones

Ah my friends. In addition to this blog, I’ve spent the last few years doing a whole lot of novel writing. This month some of that work is coming to fruition and my teen/YA fantasy novel, Grey Stone, is available for purchase. The only thing better than celebrating with food is celebrating with food made by one of the characters in my new book.

(Isn’t it lovely? Click HERE to order.)

Zinnegael is a young witch with a bunch of cats, a slightly enormous vendetta against the shape-shifting king, and (naturally) a love of baking.

When she first meets one of our heroes, she brings him a tray full of goodies. Here’s a sneak peek at that scene:

“Wittendon noticed the faint smell of smoke as he and the cat entered the clearing. No one else seemed to notice or care. In front of him, the table was set for tea. Two cups rested on saucers and several cookies sat on a tray as though travelers stumbled to these haunted woods every day. Sprawled behind the table lay two large white cats. They sat up when the newcomers entered, but did not bother to look in their direction.
 
“Good afternoon, prince,” said a voice that came from a little hut to the right of a large garden. “The scones are a bit dry today; I do hope you will forgive that. Don’t worry, I’ve spread them with chocolate to make up for any lack.”
 
A girl entered the garden, stepping across the stone path as though every bump had been memorized a lifetime ago, though she couldn’t have been more than fifteen. In one hand, she held a tray that was piled so high with pastries he could not see her face; in the other she carried a vase with pale purplish-blue roses.”

Today we don’t have to worry about the scones being dry (they’re not). And we’re going to do more than spread the scones with chocolate. We’re going to make them with chocolate and then put chocolate bits inside. It’s a tiny bit like eating brownies for breakfast. Zinnegael would totally approve.

Double Chocolate Scones
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
makes 8 scones
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $2.60
flour: .10, whole wheat flour: .10, oat flour: .05, cocoa: .20, sugar: .10, butter: .60, cream: .50, egg: .10, chocolate chips: .85

Note: To healthy this up just the slightest little bit, I couldn’t help but use some whole wheat flour and oat flour (Zinnegael would never have done such a thing, but I did). They were delicious and while the oat flour makes it a tiny bit crumblier, I think it also helps it stay moist and gives it a depth of flavor that is fantastic.

1 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C whole wheat flour
1/3 C oat flour
1/3 C cocoa
1/2 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 C (1 stick) butter (frozen or cold)
1/2 C plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (oh, and we were short, so we threw in some white chocolate chips too)

Glaze: 

Note: This glaze adds more sweetness, but it also sort of seals the scone so that it doesn’t dry out. The original recipe recommends dipping them in this glaze, but I just drizzled it rather thoroughly over the top of the scones, and that was way easier. (Yay for laziness and stuff.)

1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put baking rack in middle-low position. Line it with parchment paper (seriously–this is a good idea).

In a bowl or food processor (I use a food processor and it makes things like this so fast and easy), combine flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Cut the butter into chunks with a knife and toss those in. Give the food processor several pulses (or mush them into the dry ingredients with your hands, or a pastry cutter if you must).

In a small bowl, whisk the cream, vanilla, and egg. Pour it into the food processor and process until combined. Don’t overmix it. A bit crumbly here is better than being it to death.

Dump out your mixture and press it together until it forms a bit of a ball. Knead it 10-12 times. Don’t knead the heck out of it. You just want it to come together and be combined. That’s all. Scones are sensitive little things and if you overmix or overknead them, they will be dry. So err on the side of underdoing it. You won’t regret it.

Form into a ball and roll or press it into a nice circle that is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut this into 8 triangles (like cutting a pizza).

(Sorry that this pic is a little blurry, but wanted to show you the correct thickness)

Put these on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or just until they lose their shiny look. Again, err on the side of too little. Cook too long and they dry out.

Remove and let cool slightly.

Prepare glaze by mixing all those ingredients together and drizzle thoroughly over scones (or use a pastry brush, which is easiest). You want the glaze to pretty much cover the top and sides as much as possible (you’re welcome).

Eat warm or not. They’re delicious.

Grey Stone Available for Pre-order!

Grey Stone by Jean Knight Pace and Jacob Kennedy is finally up for pre-order! While you wait for your copy, check out these amazing terms created by the authors for the YA dystopian, fantasy novel! In addition, take a peek at the map of the world focused on the Motteral Mal!

Grey Stone Map.jpg

Terms:

Veranderen (Vər-an-dər-ən). The Veranderen are the wolf-shifters. This word refers to them as a people and as the plural. Generally, they are able to shift at will and have strong magical abilities. They are the ruling class.

-Verander—Singular

-Veranderah—Feminine (singular)

Blødguard (Blewd-gard). The lowest class of wolves, starved so they will hunt humans after dark.

Königsvaren (Kəh-nigs-vah-rən). The wolf class that forms the king’s guard.

Motteral (mah-tər-ahl). The hill on which the Sourcestone was once placed. The highest point in the land.

Motteral Mal (mah-tər-al mahl). The tournament held among the Veranderen every hundred years at the summer solstice.

Shining Grey (shi-ning gray). The metal that can weaken or harm Veranderen

Verlorn (vər-lorn). A Verander without magic.

Wolken (wohl-kən). The wolvish form of the Veranderen.

Septugant (sep-tu-gahnt). Those who wish to rebel against the king and usher in a 7th Era.

Mördare (mərh-dah-ray). The half-life assassins the king uses to protect his treasure.

Rotherem (roth-ər-əm). An herb that can mask a wolf’s scent.

Pallium (pal-ee-um). A metal that can contain or deflect energy.

River Rylen (Ri-lən. ‘I’ long as in kite). Main river in land.

Zonnesteen (zohn-ə-stayn. The ‘A’ makes long ‘a’ sound as in stain). The stone of the sun.

Steenmacht (stayn-mohkt). The place where that stone can be empowered.

 

New Ink Smith Release!

It’s almost here! Grey Stone by Jean Knight Pace and Jacob Kennedy is coming to you July 28, 2016! This Teen/Young Adult novel is one of the newest editions to the Ink Smith family. This fantasy novel takes a unique twist on the werewolf legend and myths surrounding them.

Jean Knight Pace and Jacob Kennedy have created a world in which werewolves rule, dogs sing and humans serve – all under the constant light of the red sun.

Grey Stone Cover.jpg

In the land of the great red sun, wolf-shifters reign—able to wield magic and shift form at will while privileged wolves serve them. Dogs rove through the woods in packs speaking, singing, and scavenging—afraid to befriend the humans who live repressed. As the lowest of all four races, the humans work at mines, fashion metals, and send over half their gains to the wolf-shifting king.

However, when Pietre, an impoverished human boy, finds an unusual, orphaned pup in the woods, the wolf-shifting prince is sent to arrest his father. It’s then that boy and prince begin to realize that obeying the rules might be just as dangerous as breaking them. Unfortunately, breaking the rules means they’ll have to learn to work together if they want to change their world before it turns on them.

Stay tuned for the link to pre-order this new YA fantasy novel!

Arguing With Your Editor

You’ve written that last sentence and completed the manuscript you have been working on for seven years. You submit to your dream publisher and a few days later you get THE publication offer. Dreams do come true!

The email comes from your editor with some details about the contract, royalties, information about cover design and the sentence, “I made some notes.”

Notes, of course, you think, I must have missed a few typos. Still on your high from all the wondrous things happening you open up the attached manuscript with “some notes” and need to blink a few times.

RED.

RED EVERYWHERE.

Are you sure about this title?

Her green emerald eyes stared up at me from the pillows on the floor. (How did they get on the floor?)

My heart stopped. cliché, get creative!

 

My advice to you at this moment: Breathe. Read the comments. Then, read the comments again. Sometimes there is praise amidst the notes, comments and corrections!

Editors are not out to destroy you work. In my experience it is never our intention to do so. The reason we offered you a contract is because we saw a spark of genius in what you sent us. We want the book(s) to succeed just as much as you do, so make sure to review all comments with an open mind before discarding the changes or the comments.

There will be some instances where you want a particular sentence to stay where it is. Instead of demanding that it stay there, support your reason why it needs to be there. Occasionally, a great sounding line just isn’t properly placed, or needed. If you can’t defend the line’s necessity, reevaluate if it really adds anything to the story. Get familiar with the: Kill your darlings phrase. Does another line before or after this absolutely gorgeous line say the same thing? Does it paint a picture, or tell us what is happening? Editing is not just typos, grammar or elimination of overly used adverbs. It comes down to the nitty-gritty of the plot, character development, believability.

Make sure to pick your battles – and this goes for the editors out there, too! For example, I dislike the Oxford comma. I’ve had writers who LOVE the Oxford comma. Is it grammatically incorrect either way? No. Will I delete every comma and tell them it can’t be in there? No. I pick my battles.

I battle when I know the author has more in them then: The handsome man turned and stared at her. What do you mean by handsome, how was he staring? Or maybe the timeline doesn’t add up enough – and changes need to occur there. The note I most often make, is when a character starts losing his/her voice – a gentle reminder to the author to strengthen that character so he/she doesn’t fade into the background is something I’ll fight for as an editor. But if, as an editor I make changes and alter the voice into something not like the character – the author should say something, kindly so that we can assess the situation.

Open lines of communication are essential. Writers, this is your story and the editors want you to tell it. But choose your battles – the comma in paragraph four on page ninety-four is not the end of the world, normally. But if it is, be able to defend it!

 

(House style may trump the writer, so make sure to discuss that with your editors.)

Keep your wits about you as you enter into the editing process, it is long and grueling, and your only ally is your editor.

 

 

Corinne can be reached at AndersonEditingServices@gmail.com

Connect with me on Twitter! @AndersonCorinne

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

Author Interview with Ashley Townsend

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Ashley: I typically write in my room, surrounded by fluffy pillows and the sound of my writing playlist. But I’m trying not to be such a hermit when I’m in the zone, and so I’ve branched out to coffee shops, Barnes and Noble, and the outdoors to get some fresh air while I create. And what do these places have in common? Coffee goes great with them! I’m good to go as long as I have my music, notes, and coffee—or the “life blood” of champions, as I call it. ^_~

 

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea of Chasing Shadows? How long did it take you to write?

Ashley: This has been about a ten-year process that started back in middle school, and Sarah’s story has evolved dramatically since then. It was just a little 8-page creative project I cooked up, and then I added to it over the years as new influences took over and fresh story ideas interested me; I wanted to challenge myself and play around with the gang in Serimone—see how hard I could push them if certain obstacles got in their way—and I am so pleased with the place they took their stories to!

 

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Ashley: The saddest question any bibliophile must answer, especially since I can’t list my own books or characters, even though I love them so much. *sighs dramatically* Okay, here goes nothing:

Anything that Ally Carter touches, and I mean anything, especially her Heist Society trilogy and The Gallagher Girls. This lady has an incredible knack for writing the most hilarious and creative tales imaginable, and I always look forward to her new releases. Follow her on Twitter; she’s a riot!

A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. The author is a good friend of mine (and the best dancer I know!), and her Out of Time series is so packed full of emotion, depth, and understanding of the human condition that it is difficult to put down.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. One word: Arin *sighs*

The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh. I fell in love with this Arabian Nights retelling instantly and then had the pleasure of meeting the author at Comic-Con last year. She is not only incredibly intelligent, but also hilarious and sweet.

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. This book, and the entire trilogy, is just—wow. A dark gothic and emotional retelling of several of my favorite classic tales (like Frankenstein), and she has such a knack for drawing you into Juliet’s story and the world she created. This series is a must if you enjoy any gothic literature.

 

Meet the Author

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogyDefying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016. Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

What You Know vs. Branching Out

When I was first starting out as a writer, people constantly told me to “write what you know.” That makes a lot of sense. Writing what you know gives your story a solid basis in reality, accurate reality.

What do I mean by accurate reality? You can create any reality you want as a writer. A world where dogs live on the moon, where people are born with hands as their ears–any world you want. But it has to make sense, it has to be believable. Connection to the reader matters.

One of the reasons people love books, is the idea that it represents someone or something they can connect with in addition to reading for enjoyment. Even though your manuscript falls into the fiction category, it doesn’t mean the entire book is made up. Relationships, people, emotions: they are based in reality.

I came across this conundrum during a class in my master’s program at Lindenwood University. We read the book, Rose Metal Press Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers and Writers in the field. It talked about truths and making sure that when you are writing about certain types of people that you get them accurate. (A great source for writers – in addition to the Writing Flash Non-Fiction edition as well!)

If you aren’t someone who is intimate with the particular group of people you are writing about, than you need to be careful about writing about them. You don’t want to misrepresent their culture just because you felt like writing about them one morning. This goes for any group or culture–misrepresentation does two things: offends the group you are misrepresenting and provides inaccurate information to people who are not familiar with said group/culture.

The basis of belief for Quakers, is that God exists in every person, and therefore should be treated in accordance with that belief. LGBTQ have their own slang, different parts of the U.S. have different accents, it is impolite in some countries to wear your shoes into the house–these facts may seem inconsequential to someone who is on the outside of these groups, but is essential in the representation of the culture.

So, if you are looking to write about the Aboriginals – do your research, make sure you understand their way of life. If you can, submerge yourself in the culture, talk to some of the people. Experience is the strongest learning tool.

Make sure you understand them and their way of life before you write. In essence,  the notion of “write what you know” is 100 percent accurate. You may want to write something new, but make sure you do the research and write the truth!

Happy writing, and happier researching!

 

Connect with me @AndersonCorinne on Twitter!

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing, with an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. She is currently pursuing her MPS in Publishing at George Washington University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing, and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

Meet Julie Flanders

Julie FlandersJulie Flanders is an academic librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also an animal lover and has written features about pets and the importance of animal rescue for media outlets such as Best Friends Animal Society and Cat Fancy. Julie is a television addict, an avid walker, and an obsessive fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Although a lifelong Ohio resident, Julie nevertheless has an ongoing love affair with the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Julie’s novels include the paranormal thrillers Polar Night and Polar Day as well as the historical love story The Ghosts of Aquinnah. She is also the author of the horror novella The Turnagain Arm, and her horror short story “Cardinal Sin” is part of the Mayhem in the Air anthology. Julie is a history buff who loves incorporating history into her stories, which she affectionately calls “mysteries untethered by time.”

Find Julie at www.julieflanders.net or visit her blog at julieflanders.blogspot.com. Also visit her on Twitter at @JulesFlanders or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julesflanders/

Polar DayPoalr NightThe Ghosts of Aquinnah

Author Interview with Wade Beauchamp

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea for Scream If You Wanna Go Faster? How long did it take you to write?

Wade: A few years ago I wrote a story called “Triggers” about a Gold Star mother whose son didn’t make it back from Vietnam, and how she struggled to ignore all the daily things that reminded her of him. Chief among those being his abandoned Ford Galaxie 500 sitting in the shed behind their house, waiting for its owner to come home. I had written that one just for myself, really, to try to work out some feelings I had about someone I was missing. A while later I went back and wrote a story called “American Butterflies,” told from the son’s perspective, and how his memories of the Galaxie and his best girl kept him going when things got particularly bad over there. Not long after that I wrote “Nowhere Fast,” a story that tried to capture the feelings of freedom and potential and excitement I had felt cruising the Strip every weekend with brother and best friend when we were in high school.

Scream if you wanna go fasterI realized that all of those stories shared a common thread of the automobile and I began to wonder how many lives one particular car could affect from assembly line to junkyard. I wrote about the man who bolted on the bumpers at the factory, the greasy salesman who sold it to its first owner, a woman who chased down her independence in it, the mechanic who busted his knuckles on it, the father and son who restored it. Before long I had a pretty complete portrait of this car as seen through its drivers and passengers. All told it took about four years to put it together, but a few of the scenes and ideas have been floating around in my head for the better part of a decade.

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Wade: I actually do most of my writing in my head, daydreaming while driving and listening to music, or trying to fall asleep or wake up, or when I’m supposed to doing my day job. I spend a lot of time scribbling notes down on paper, or putting notes in my phone, and trying to decipher them and somehow turn them into semi-coherent sentences later on. My family is my top priority in the evenings, so sometimes it’s pretty tricky to devote time to write. Most days that time comes late at night when everyone else has gone to bed.

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Wade: I’m a big comic book junkie and love Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Matt Fraction, and Kurt Busiek. But actually my biggest writing influences are usually lyricists. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Jay Farrar of Son Volt, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley of Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell. I’m always blown away by what they can do, the complete pictures they can paint with just a few carefully chosen words. Perfect example, the very first line of “Cass” by Lucero (written by Ben Nichols): “Five sisters and she’s the one.” Just like that you’ve got an idea of this girl and her story in your head.

One of the coolest things that happened to me while writing Scream If You Wanna Go Faster was getting Mike Cooley’s permission to use one of his lyrics from “Zip City” for the epigraph: “I get ten miles to the gallon. I ain’t got no good intentions.” He did in one sentence what I struggled to do in 200 pages.

 

Meet the Author

Wade Beauchamp bioWade Beauchamp is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He and his wife, Ronda, have one daughter. His writing is heavily influenced by fellow Southerners Junior Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Devil.

Visit Wade and Scream If You Wanna Go Faster on Facebook!