Submissions

Submissions Open for On My Own

On My Own: How to Format your Ebook and Print Layout in Microsoft Word

On my own formatting_coverWhat we are looking for:

Articles or blog posts about interior formatting. Reprints and old blog posts acceptable. Multiple Submissions are also accepted. We are interested in Step-by-Step or problem solving articles relating to formatting layouts, preparing images for prints, uploading to KDP and KDP Print, using Kindle Create, and so on. We will also accept personal experience pieces as long as they relate to formatting. For example, a humorous article about the mistakes you made with your first format will be accepted while an article about marketing your first book will not. We are most interested in articles relating to Microsoft Word, Calibre, KDP, and Photoshop, but will also consider other articles involving other platforms like Adobe InDesign or comparing the various programs one might use for formatting. The aim of your article should be to instruct authors on how to “Do It Yourself” or to encourage them as they do it themselves.

Deadline: October 5, 2018

How to Submit:

Please send your article as a Word file or Google Doc, in Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, to dragonwriter84@gmail.com with the subject line: SUBMISSIONS: (Author Name)/(Submission Title). Images or graphics are welcome.

Rights:

Looking for ongoing, non-exclusive rights to your article. This means you are free to publish it else where at any time.

Payment:

A one time payment of $5 per article will be paid to the author upon acceptance. NOTE: No royalties will be offered, only the one time $5 payment.

Blog, Reviews

Spice Bringer by H. L. Burke

61Cz37rf6tLThis was one of those stories that pulls you in and digs deep into your soul. It will make you laugh; it will bring you to tears; it will linger long after you finish the last page. It isn’t a story for the faint of heart. After all, it’s about a young girl dying from an incurable disease so how can it be a happy story, right? But it is. Somehow, it is.

A few things I loved about this story:

  1. The characters. They were so well developed and so multi-faceted. Even the “villain” of the tale, the future empress, wasn’t just a mindless face of evil, but a young woman with a heart and story of her own. Niya was the perfect balance of fragility and strength that every heroine needs. Jayesh was swoon-worthy, beyond words, in all the ways: flawed and yet so romantic. I’m not sure I can tell you the one thing I loved most about him because it contains spoilers. Alk–oh, horrible, sweet, awful, wonderful Alk! His story arc, to my surprise, touched me almost as deeply as Niya’s: not something most sidekicks can boast of.
  2. The setting. This fantasy world is so vivid and colorful. Set in an ancient realm reminiscent of our own far eastern cultures, Spice Bringer is a delicious blend of jungles, waterways, and spices. The people are just as diverse, some wonderful and others horrid.
  3. The religion. This surprised me most of all. I went into this book knowing the religion wouldn’t be a strict representation of Christianity, but since I’ve always been fascinated with other cultures and their beliefs, I wasn’t worried. However, I wasn’t prepared for how deeply I would like this culture and the gods they worshiped. Instead of One God with Three Persons, Ms. Burke created a three god culture that each represented a characteristic of the One God (Kind, Just, and All-Knowing). And the religion wasn’t just a vague backdrop in the story, but it actually played a huge role in the characters’ development and worked its way into their discussions so naturally. It was thought-provoking and fascinating.

I could go on and on. I tried hard to think of something I didn’t like about this story–because I do like to be honest and open with other readers–but this story truly earned its Five Star status in my eyes. My one regret was that it was such a sad book…but this ended up being one of the things I also loved most about it. So if you love books that make you smile and sniffle in turn, if you love being swept away to foreign worlds and strange cultures, if love going on quests with consequences that reach farther than most of us could ever truly imagine, you are sure to adore Spice Bringer.

PHOTOAbout the Author:

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

She is the author of a four part fantasy/romance series entitled “The Dragon and the Scholar,” the Award Winning (2016 Realm Award for Young Adult Fiction) Nyssa Glass Steampunk series, and MG/Fantasy “Cora and the Nurse Dragon,” among others .

Sign up for her monthly newsletter at http://www.hlburkeauthor.com.

Purchase Spice Bringer here

Blog, Interviews

Worth of a King Blog Tour and Interview

Today I am honored to have the talented Kendra E. Ardnek visiting my website to talk about her new release, Worth of A King. She will be telling us a little bit about herself, her writing process, and her characters.

Hello, Kendra! What inspired you to write this fantastical story? 

The desire to write a book with my friend, Jack Lewis Baillot. We both loved twins and king stories, so this seemed to be the natural choice. Unfortunately, she had to drop out of the project, but … writing with her was fun while it lasted.
Are any of the characters in your story inspired by real people? 

Not that I can remember, no. Well, except Laura was based off a character who was originally a self-insert of myself.
Tell us about your writing space: what does it look like? 
Currently, it’s a state of flux, as I’m moving from my bedroom out into my living room.
Do your characters talk back to you?
All the time. These characters in this book weren’t so bad (apart from Nadilynn, who kept showing up to ask if she could pretty please be the main character), but I’ve had characters go as far to throw shoes at me in the past.
What is one thing you LOVE about Worth of a King?
Twin awesomeness.
Can you share a brief quote from your book with us today?
“Like cake will make up for finding out that his entire life has been a lie.”
And, finally, a dragon invites you over for dinner: what do you do?
Make sure that I’m wearing my official Dragon Trainer badge and bring Sunset, my dragon, with me.
Thanks for joining us, Kendra! Now let’s hear a little bit about Kendra’s book and where you can connect with her.

the worth of a king 4Book Description:
Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.

Opening Chapter

Add Book on Goodreads

Kendra E. ArdnekAuthor Bio:

Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon 

Giveaway!  Kendra will be giving away a paperback copy of the book and a 15ml bottle of Peppermint oil (US only). She also has a special prize for whoever leaves the most comments across the blog tour – and that one is international. So comment away, dear friends! You can find out about the rest of the  blog tour HERE! This is today’s schedule as well:

Saturday, September 1st
Knitted By God’s Plan: The Fall of a Star
Reviews:
Books, Baking, and Cowboy Boots
Interviews:
Dragonpen Press – Kendra E. Ardnek
Regarding Reading, Writing, and Sometimes Life – Kendra E. Ardnek
Cobonha – Adelaide

Sneak Peek:

Adrian heard the door, then a long silence before Father announced, in a regretful voice, “She chose Ossian’s boy.”

Mother gave a small gasp.

Frankly, Adrian didn’t see what was so surprising about the news. Obsidia was far from the first Dialcian princess to marry the son of the king who had killed her father.

“This means that we have to tell him,” Father continued.

Tell him? Him who? Tell him what?

“I can’t believe that this day has already come,” said Mother. “It seems only yesterday that Adelaide…”

“Do we really have to tell him?” This was Jerolin. “Right now?”

“There’s no time like the present,” said Father. “In my opinion, we should have told him years ago. Celeste, can you get the letter?”

“Yes, yes, of course,” said Mother, distractedly.

“But right now?” Jerolin repeated, voice rising. “He’s still asleep!”

“It’s nearly noon,” Father replied. “It’s high time the boy woke up. We can give him cake to soften the blow.”

Jerolin snorted. “Like cake will make up for finding out that his entire life has been a lie.”

Adrian went to his bedroom door. It was now clear that he was the “him” in question, but how was his life a lie? What did it have to do who Princess Obsidia chose to marry?

He pushed the door open and stared at his father, seated at the kitchen table, and Jerolin, pacing frantically. “What blow?”

Adrian had never experienced a more awkward moment of silence than the one that followed.

Blog, Reviews

Review of “The Loathly Princess of Edimor”

Another day in the Tales of Ever After blog tour. Today I will be sharing a little review of “The Loathly Princess of Edimor” by the talented L. Palmer.

L PalmerAbout L. Palmer:

L. Palmer has spent many years traveling fictional worlds and building tales of grand, epic adventures. She is the author of The Pippington Tales, where motorcars bump down old city lanes and fairy godmothers are disguised as high-society gossips. In between exploring fantasy worlds, L. Palmer works in public service and lives in South Texas. She is an award-winning speaker and has lunch with dragons every Tuesday. Learn more about L. Palmer here!

Tales of Ever After LPALMER Graphic

What a charming and humorous tale this turned out to be! It has everything a fairy tale should: a spoiled princess, a handsome and honorable hero, a villain, a witch, and of course…MAGIC! When Princess Selene’s plans to be turned into a swan are thwarted (I can’t tell you how without spoilers), the story takes some amazing twists. I think one of the funniest things in the story is how the princess WANTS to be turned into a swan because she doesn’t want to marry the handsome hero and is disappointed when something else happens. There’s humor, there’s romance, there’s heart…and in the end, the princess learns a valuable lesson about herself, her people, and her heart. This is a great story to end the anthology on.

To see what other blogs have been sharing fun tidbits and whatnots, visit Kendra’s blog.

And don’t forget to enter these amazing Giveaways:
US ONLY
(All books are paperbacks, and possibly signed.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
INTERNATIONAL (All books are ebooks of the winner’s file format of choice) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to comment on all the blog posts this week. The person who comments the most times will win a small collection of sneak peeks to some of the authors upcoming works!

Blog

Sarah Ashwood’s Favorite Retellings

Another day in the Tales of Ever After Blog Tour. Today, I have a new friend over to talk to us about her favorite fairy tale retellings. Please welcome Sarah Ashwood!

38289200_2017846911613425_6268765361357717504_n (1)About Sarah:

A genuine Okie from Muskogee, Sarah Ashwood was raised in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma. She’s tossed plenty of stones out of the dirt roads she grew up on, which provided the inspiration for Calden in “The Princess and the Stone-Picker.” Sarah loves mixing fairytale elements with fantasy, as in her Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy and her brand-new series, Beyond the Sunset Lands. In her imagination, she soars effortlessly through magical or historical lands. In real life, she lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and three sons. Learn more about Sarah!

These are a few of my favorite fairytale retellings…

By Sarah Ashwood

Fairytales. Most of us are familiar with the classics, especially the classic Disney movies, however far removed from the original fairytale they may be. Personally, while I’m a big fan of original fairytales, I’m also a big fan of fairytale retellings, even the watered down Disney versions. In some cases, I like the Disney spinoffs better. Case in point, Sleeping Beauty. Disney’s version is gorgeous and romantic with a perfect HEA ending, and the princess doesn’t have to sleep for a hundred years. The original story, with its secondary ending of an ogre mother-in-law who ultimately meets her fate in a tub full of vipers and other nasty creepy-crawlies…eh, not so Disney-esque. Can’t blame Disney for stopping before that point.

Anyway, as much I honestly do enjoy the usually darker and more grownup original fairytales, here are a few of my favorites retold by both indie and traditionally published authors:

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier is a retelling of The Six Swans with a Celtic twist. I love the Celtic setting of the novel, as well as the deep relationship between the two main characters Sorcha and Red. (Caveat: this book does contain a few difficult scenes, and I’d definitely stick it with at least a PG-13 rating.) Exciting, suspenseful, sad, and satisfying, Daughter of the Forest is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve read it.

Coiled by H. L. Burke. The Psyche and Eros tale, remarkably like the fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon, has long been a favorite of mine, so when Coiled released last year I was ecstatic. Coiled is a unique spin on both stories, with a gigantic snake and a cursed sister teaming up against a terrible spell.

Beastly by Alex Flinn. Of course Beauty and the Beast has been retold a million different ways, but I still enjoyed this modern day take! I liked the movie too. What can I say? I’m a hopeless fairytale addict, and I never turn down a good Beauty and the Beast retelling.

The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, another of my favorite fairytales. (Does anyone remember the Little Golden Book edition of that story with the gorgeous illustrations? I must have read it a million times as a kid!) I love Lea’s fun spin on this tale, with a goose, a somewhat creepy underground world and…well, I sorta pitied him, sorcerer-prince. A must read for any fan of the classic story.

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright is another movie tie-in to the film of the same name. I honestly really enjoyed this book and movie. I thought it was the perfect blend of creepy and unusual, with, at least in the movie, some gorgeous cinematography.

There you have it—a few of my favorite fairytale retellings. I hope you enjoy!

To see what other blogs have been sharing fun tidbits and whatnots, visit Kendra’s blog.

And don’t forget to enter these amazing Giveaways:
US ONLY
(All books are paperbacks, and possibly signed.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
INTERNATIONAL (All books are ebooks of the winner’s file format of choice) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to comment on all the blog posts this week. The person who comments the most times will win a small collection of sneak peeks to some of the authors upcoming works!

Blog, Reviews

Book Review for “Wake the Moon”

Here we are again on the Tales of Ever After blog tour. Today, I will be sharing a little review about Annie Louise Twitchell’s “Wake the Moon.”

14095754_1577656472539579_3144586480881309648_nAbout Annie:

Annie Louise Twitchell is a homeschool graduate who is obsessed with dragons and fairy tales. She enjoys reading, writing, poetry, and many forms of art. When she’s not writing, she can often be found reading out loud to her cat, rabbit, and houseplants or wandering barefoot in the area around her Western Maine home. Learn more about Annie!

 

Tales of Ever After Annie Graphic

“Wake the Moon” was a story that surprised me. From the very first moment, the intensity of the story pulled me right in. How could you not be sucked in by such lines as

“The silence bound her there in the forest, behind the endless lines of marching trees, behind the shadows. The silence was her captor.”

And the surprises don’t end there. What began as a thrilling Native American-themed fairy tale retelling about a sleeping maiden turned into a powerful message of forgiveness and redemption. The message of the story is what really spoke to me. I loved the characters, as well. Jesse, Lunessa, Sue…they’re all endearing and realistic, but its the message of forgiveness that truly touched my heart. Such a rich, compelling, and thrilling little story. You’re sure to love it, too!

To see what other exciting posts are scheduled for today, visit Kendra’s blog.

And don’t forget to enter these amazing Giveaways:

US ONLY
(All books are paperbacks, and possibly signed.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

INTERNATIONAL (All books are ebooks of the winner’s file format of choice) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to comment on all the blog posts this week. The person who comments the most times will win a small collection of sneak peeks to some of the authors upcoming works!

Blog

H.L. Burke’s Snarky Surprise

This is Day Number Two of the Tales of Ever After Blog Tour, and today I am inviting the amazing H.L. Burke to visit with us and share about an exciting (and snarky) surprise.

PHOTOAbout Heidi and her story “At the Corner of Elm and Main”:

Hello! I’m H. L. Burke, writer of fantasy of many varieties. The majority of my tales are geared toward teen-to-adult readers, but as a mother of two boisterous Superhero Princesses, sometimes I like to write a tale for them. This is one of those. My other works include: YA steampunk with sarcastic computers; fantasy adventures with snarky magicians; romantic fairy tale retellings with cursed princesses and princes who sometimes turn into giant snakes … and of course, many, many dragons. If you’d like to check out my tales of wonder, adventure, and snark, you can find them at my website.

www.hlburkeauthor.com

Of Oven Timers, Adorable Desk Lamps, and Kindly Lampposts

by H. L. Burke

I talk to the timer on my oven.

Seriously, the dang thing is impatient and hecka annoying. I’ll set it for ten minutes and get involved with something and it’ll start beep, beep, beeping at me, and I’m like, “Just a minute!” and it keeps beeping. It NEVER listens even if I just want to plant a few more crops in my game of Stardew Valley or send a friend one more cat picture.

It’s all, “Now, now, now, now, now,” until I run over and take out the pork loin (fifty more seconds isn’t going to hurt the stupid loin, Oven. It’s already dead.).

But yeah, it’s weird how we humans anthropomorphize things. We get emotionally connected to toys as kids, sometimes even blankets which don’t even have faces. We name our cars. We feel sad when inanimate objects break.

It’s possibly Pixar’s fault, but then you have The Brave Little Toaster and The Velveteen Rabbit, so I guess I can’t put all the blame at the feet of that adorable desk lamp.

So when an image crossed my Facebook feed of a lamppost designed to look like it was holding an umbrella over a park bench, my first instinct wasn’t, “Oh, what a clever design.” It was, “What a sweet, good-hearted, faithful lamppost. I want to huggles him.”

It was obviously a he lamppost. Don’t ask me how I knew that.

But I wanted to know more!

What sort of personality would a kindly lamppost have? (beyond, of course, being kindly)

What would a lamppost want the most out of life?

Who would his friends be?

What caused him to realize his destiny, holding an umbrella for some poor, soggy human?

And what would his reward be for this good deed?

I found out, of course, but to discover what I did, you’ll have to read “At the Corner of First and Elm,” my short story in Tales of Ever After.

-H. L. Burke

Thank you, Heidi, that was a hilarious post! I’m sure everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Now, be sure to visit Kendra’s blog to find out about the other exciting things going on today during our blog tour.

And don’t forget to enter these amazing Giveaways:

US ONLY
(All books are paperbacks, and possibly signed.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

INTERNATIONAL (All books are ebooks of the winner’s file format of choice) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to comment on all the blog posts this week. The person who comments the most times will win a small collection of sneak peeks to some of the authors upcoming works!