Sunday, August 16, 2015

Meet me at Sasquan!

Are you headed off to World Con in Spokane this year?  Tear yourself away from George RR Martin for just a moment and come hang out with me and other 47North authors!  Free food!  Free signed books!  Dragon parking available!  Swing by!

When:  Saturday August 22   03:30 PM to 05:30 PM (120 minutes)
Where:  Grand Hotel - Cedar Ballroom

47North and Amazon Publishing invite you to join them for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and book giveaways. Come meet the event’s honored guests, including authors Kevin J. Anderson, Greg Bear, Joseph Brassey, Kate Danley, Camille Griep, J.D. Horn, Marko Kloos, Scott James Magner, PJ Manney, Neve Maslakovic, Jodi McIsaac, Cooper Moo, Melissa F. Olson, Roberta Trahan, and Jeff Wheeler.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Demons & Djinn Boxed Set


Immerse yourself in thirteen enthralling fantasy worlds by NYT and USA Today bestselling authors. Demons, djinn, and bad boys of other worlds ignite this set of action-packed urban fantasy and steamy paranormal romance. Thirteen heart-stopping stories with fierce and feisty heroines, diabolic intrigue, romance, adventure, danger, and mystery … Passionate heroes, magic and mayhem abound. Ignite your imagination and your heart, download this collection before it's gone!

Only 99-cents!

Chosen ~ Christine Pope
When a fatal fever nearly wipes out the entire world's population, the survivors of what became known as "the Dying" believe the worst is in the past. Little do they know….

Three Wishes ~ Debra Dunbar
A malevolent djinn, a cyber-crime, an angel with a mission, and a demon who just wants to have fun. Be careful what you wish for.

Marked by Temptation ~ Deanna Chase
When sex witch Mati Ballintine meets the sexy Vaughn Paxton, their hot one-night stand changes his life forever and threatens hers.

Jinn's Wish ~ Marie Hall
Paz and Jinni only wanted one thing in life. To find their soulmate. Too bad they found each other on a doomed flight across the Atlantic. Trapped in magically induced coma, there’s only one way for them to return to the land of the living, and that's to trust in a love that defies all logic and reason before the final grain of sand drops and they lose each other forever.

Sacrifice Me: the Complete First Season ~ Sarra Cannon
On her twenty-first birthday, Franki Smith receives a dozen black roses and an invitation to a mysterious nightclub. The dark gift leads Franki to the doorway of a strange and glamorous new world, where forbidden romance and dangerous truths await.

I Bring the Fire Part One (A Loki Story) ~ C. Gockel
Amy Lewis is being pursued by a very bad wolf. Can Loki, God of Mischief and Chaos, save her…or even save himself?

Secrets ~ Liz Shulte
While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, a world of demons, angels, jinn, and guardians watched her, waited for her to change everything.

A Spirited Manor ~ Kate Danley
A séance unleashes something sinister in this gothic penny dreadful. Will widow Clara O’Hare and dashing medium Wesley Lowenherz be able to stop it?

Xoe ~ Sara C. Roethe
Fighting to save her best friend from a psychotic werewolf, Xoe has to make peace with her unique heritage...and resist an alluring vampire.

The Noru ~ Lola StVil
A half demon/half angel with a dark past abandons the angel world. When the only girl he has ever loved is hunted by a relentless, powerful new evil, he is forced to return.

Stronger Than Magic ~ Melinda Van
LoneTarian Xannon fights demons like the rest of us. This time, the demon just happens to be real.

Beyond the Veil ~ Pippa DaCosta
Muse must decide whether to trust a Prince of Hell, or the assassin sent to kill her. Little do they know, she’s more dangerous than both.

Death’s Hand ~ SM Reine
Elise Kavanagh doesn't want to hunt demons anymore. But when the daughter of a coven member has been possessed, Elise is the only one who can help…and there may be more to this possession than just one witch's life.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dramatists Guild

It has been an absolute pleasure to attend the Dramatists Guild national conference. If you are a playwright, you absolutely MUST join this amazing organization.  Free legal advice for members, free access to contracts, submission opportunities... It has been a mind and eye opening experience.  They are leading the conversation in gender parity in our professional theaters that has changed my world and I will be posting shortly about what they had to say.

But in the meantime!  I had the pleasure today of presenting a panel with Roger Bean (creator of The Marvelous Wonderettes) on self-publishing and licensing.  Several of the people who attended the panel asked for a list of the sites and people I recommended, so if you are one of those people, welcome to my blog!  And here is a link to that post that gives you all the information you could ever want or need.

Another Anniversary Come and Gone
(it is a post about publishing!  I promise!)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rest in peace, Maravene...

I lost a very important woman in my life today.  A woman named Maravene.

I met Maravene when I decided to transfer from a terrible college to a wonderful school called Towson.  She was the head of the theater department at the time.  I came for a tour of the school and Maravene's secretary took my picture.  I thought that was odd until I arrived that first day.  Would you know that Maravene had memorized the faces of every single student in her department and greeted us each by name?

She taught a class called conservatory.  It was five days a week, three hours a day and worth eight credits.  To fail this class would mean to fail the semester.  She informed us that if we were not five minutes early, we were ten minutes late and that if we were late even once, we would fail.  The only excuse was death or hospitalization (and not like a trip to the ER for the flu.  Like, you had to be in coma.)  The only time she allowed this rule to slide was when a student was pulled over by the police and she brought the cop to class with her and forced him to explain to Maravene that he was the reason she was late.  Maravene said if Cal Ripkin could make it to 100 games, we could surely manage to get to class on time for a semester.  And you know what?  We all did.

I didn't know how important this class was, how intimidated I should be.  Instead, it seemed like the one thing my heart had been aching for.  We met in a blackbox theater.  She ran every scene like an audition and afterwards gave us professional level feedback.  But my first scene was not stellar.  It was Mary Queen of Scots and my partner and I were stiff and faux formal.  Now, most teachers would just tell you that you had a bad scene, but not Maravene.

She invited us back to the theater that night, and when I arrived, she had created a jail cell lit only by candlelight.  She brought us shawls and skirts and had us do the scene between Mary and Queen Elizabeth not as queens, but as two people, one who had been thrown in prison and one who knew she had to kill the other despite not wanting to.

I had never had a teacher willingly give up her entire night just to make sure that I "got" a lesson.

Her class was filled with hour long improvisations.  They were couched as merely a way to understand characters whose shoes we needed to fill.  But instead, they ended up being experiences that changed my world view.  We were to improvise a soup kitchen with all of us playing homeless people.  To prepared, she first had us serve in a real soup kitchen, and it was at that moment that the homeless ceased to be these criminal destitutes, but human beings worthy of respect and compassion.  They were just people.  She then asked us not to eat for twenty-four hours before the improv to understand what it meant to be hungry when you only get one meal a day.  Some even chose to sleep out on the street that night.  And the next day, we shuffled in to our soup kitchen where we were fed the most delicious soup I have ever tasted.  I was Maravene's teaching assistant the following year and you know what?  That soup?  Her strict instructions were to buy the cheapest, most generic vegetable soup I could find on the shelf.

Maravene was about empathy.  She was about learning to view the world through someone else's eyes.  We did improvs about being in a nursing home and the terror of a fire drill when you are unable to move.  We regressed to kindergarten and remembered what it was like to play, but also the cruelty of being young.  I chewed on my hair in kindergarten class and she sharply reprimanded me, and though I was a grown woman, I found myself crying at my desk that a teacher would yell at me for chewing my hair.  Remember what it was like to care so much about school?  Later on the playground, when everyone else was playing ball, I picked the daisies and she came over and gave me a peppermint lifesaver and all was healed.  Because sometimes just a small kindness is all that it takes.  My nemesis as an actor was being able to cry on stage, but we played inmates in a madhouse and I learned that emotions are like swimming.  You just have to dive beneath the surface and they are all there.  Nothing has been repressed to the point of disappearing.  She taught us more esoteric things, too, about how thoughts and energy can be transferred from one person to another, and that's why you have to believe.

I went on to become her teacher's assistant.  And then to become her personal assistant, bringing in fruit salad for whenever she had important guests and remembering to water her plants, which she always killed.

Her life changed when a dear friend of hers, the dean of the college, was killed in a car accident and she was promoted into his place.  She told me one night that she never believed she would do well as an administrator instead of a teacher, but began to see that she could actually make change and break through the bureaucracy to help people.  And so she did, becoming the vice president of Towson, the president of Wilkes, the president of Mansfield, and then finally was brought home to be the president of Towson.  I was honored to be there for her commencement.  She put me up in the best hotel room in town and left a box of chocolates for me.

She used to invite me over to her apartment for breakfast and cook me a full meal of eggs and bacon.  Her favorite color was purple.  She hated smoking and that was the only thing that would make someone lose esteem in her eyes.  She introduced me to my first psychic and taught me to look at the world and all its wonders.  She brought me back an amber necklace from Russia and offered to pay for a trip to Normandy to see the white cliffs which moved her and her husband on their last grand adventure before dementia stole him from her.  She taught me not to settle for men who did not want me to be my best person.  She cheered me on whenever I made a bold move.  She gave me the best bit of advice I ever received.  I was leaving New York and called her in tears and panic late one night, and she said to me, "It's okay.  If it doesn't work out, you can always move back."

I sent her flowers every Mother's Day and she always sent me a check for my birthday.  This was the first year she forgot, and it was because she was dying.  She was diagnosed with cancer in November and given weeks to live.  She didn't want people to know.  She didn't want to be a bother.  She wouldn't let me come and see her.  Every time I booked a ticket, she would block the visit and tell me to come later.  I think she wanted me to remember her as she was, alive and vibrant and strong.  And that is how I shall remember her.

She lives in me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Moon has Risen!

Presenting book two in my epic fantasy series, MOON RISE!

Just because the battle was won does not mean the war is over. Aein, Lars, and Finn are sent back to the swamps to protect the one object which may save their pack. But in the recent turmoil, the border has been left unguarded and nightmarish creatures are slipping through. There is a reason why two people must always be there to hold the boundary, a lesson which Aein, Lars, and Finn are about to learn.

Book Two in the Twilight Shifters series.

If you read and enjoy Moon Rise, please consider leaving a review on your favorite retailer site!  It means more than you can imagine!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rocking Self-Publishing

I was so honored to be invited onto the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast.  For those of you new to the indie publishing community, this podcast is one of the best-of-the-best and an amazing resource chock full o' tips from some of the biggest authors in the industry.  If you'd like to hear about my bizarre journey to becoming a full-time writer and pick up some helpful hints along the way, click through for a listen!  Plus, Simon's voice is dreamy.

(Simon Whistler also has some fantastic books on indie publishing for free or next to free if you're so inclined)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy (Official) Release Day to Melissa Olson!

Help me welcome fellow 47North author Melissa Olson to my blog!  She's got a brand new book and it looks like it is going to be a humdinger!

Thank you so much to Kate Danley for being part of this multi-webpage blog blast. If you’ve already heard of me and my books, you can click on through to go straight to the contest entry. Otherwise, please let me introduce myself.

My name is Melissa F.Olson, and I mostly write urban fantasy novels, which are stories about the intersection of two worlds: the real one that we live in and a world that involves something supernatural: fairies, vampires, werewolves, mutant killer hedgehogs, or all of the above. My new novel Boundary Crossed is about a young woman, Lex, trying to protect her baby niece from bad guys who have discovered that the baby has serious value on the supernatural black market. Lex is determined to keep her safe, but unfortunately she dies at the end of the first chapter.

No, seriously. She dies. But then she gets better, because it turns out that there’s more to Lex than she ever knew. She needs to figure out why she’s still alive and what the bad guys want with her niece, and she’s going to need a lot of help to do it.

The book has been available all month as a Kindle First deal on Amazon, but it comes out in paperback and audiobook for the first time today. To celebrate this release, I’m giving away signed books, a $20 Amazon gift card, and some killer swag. (That’s a metaphor; the swag will not hurt you.) To enter, just click on this link.  Enter up to four times for the four prizes. Thanks for reading!

Melissa Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa landed in Madison, WI, where she eventually acquired a master's degree from UW-Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, a teaching gig, two kids, and two comically oversized dogs, not at all in that order. She loves Madison, but still dreams of the food in LA. Literally. There are dreams. Learn more about Melissa, her work, and her dog at