How to Survive When the Bottom Falls Out
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How to Survive When the Bottom Falls Out
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Soon, Debra Smith will release her third book of the Secrets Beyond Scymaria fantasy series—under the pen name of dj jameson smith—through her new publisher, Inknbeans Press. The target audience of middle- and high school-grade readers and the reluctant reader in particular will find the series captivating. Readers as young as nine, on up to and including adults, are drawn in from the beginning as the young protagonists deal with their middle school classmates and repeatedly encounter a sinister professor. Amy and Ty's friendship with a strange creature creates suspense-filled adventures, especially once they discover their new friend happens to be a guardian of a portal to another world.
All of her books (as they are published) can be found on her Amazon author’s page.
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At least three more books will come out of the Secrets Beyond Scymaria series from my intuitively written tale. I have a vague idea of where I want it to go, but I've found if I manipulate it too much, my characters unceremoniously take the reins, yanking it back to where they have planned.
In 1999, I played with the idea of enlarging on a new story; similar to the stories I’d created in my classroom storytelling. All had two protagonists (not the norm—writers “in the know” kept telling me to stick with one!), some means of transport taking them to and from another world/dimension … and all were G-rated. I’m not one for swearing, or for anything that might be construed as vulgar. I am of a mind that a story can be told without all of that.
Life has a way of mixing things up though, taking its participants in unplanned directions. Mine was a long break from writing—caregiving for my Alzheimer’s-diagnosed dad after my mom died suddenly from an aneurysm. That and raising my daughter with a husband in failing health, then his death, kept me busy—and drained. No ideas. Nothing. I was in a proverbial desert creatively. I was able to keep my storytelling alive by following my daughter, grade by grade, to weave my stories in her classes. I was often an invited guest to spin tales in other classes.
When asked about this series, I usually say 1999, but the real story did not truly begin to unfold until 2007—not too long after my husband’s death. I found myself writing whenever possible—at all hours—until finally, the 80,000-word manuscript was ready to edit. My impatience (and a “stroke of luck”—no such thing as luck, I say) had me dividing the large novel into three novellas—far more manageable for editing purposes and it was then I realized, far better for enticing reluctant readers to crack open a book. Things always happen for a reason, don’t they?
I must confess, I could not have done any of it without the guidance of God—He has been (and still is) my guiding light and I know this story is of His doing.
Not mine. As always, I am merely the conduit.
Visit DJ;s author page at Amazon for Books 1 & 2 of Secrets Beyond Scymaria and watch for Book 3, The Scymarian, coming September 25th, 2015 from Inknbeans Press.
by Ey Wade
To tell you how the concept of Paisley came along is a story within itself. One that is being told at this moment on her blog, When Clouds Touch.
I must say the longer I am on the road as a writer the more my characters have decided they will run the telling of their story their way and in their time frame. I cannot control the flow or the time put into the actual writing.
Making timelines and outlines are out the door for me. It doesn't work. Call me lazy, call me unorganized, heck, call me anything - wait just call me, I can use the distraction.
Setting a schedule, per se, is ridiculous on my clock. I can't tell myself sit in front of the laptop or use my pen and paper at a certain time and I may sit doodling that entire time or researching. I'll never get the story finished.
I won't say I write by the seat of my pants or get stuck banging on a wall, because I tend to know what I want to write, it's the sitting and waiting for the people whose lives I'm recording to speak up. I have to get it right. Which brings us back to Paisley.
The way she told me who she was came as a surprise. I knew the very beginning of When Clouds Touch and I knew pretty much how it would end, but nothing in between. No names for the characters or what their issues were. I just knew this couple loved each other. Have you ever been that way with your writing?
Crash Into Me
(that very first scene, envisioned after watching the wind blowing clouds)
Two clouds, floating ever so slowly through the soft blue sky, one from either direction, moved closer on a path towards collision.
Angels, their beautiful song filling the air like a lullaby, sat serenely on separate pillows of softness, gently flapping their enormous wings to deflect the heat of the sun's rays from the cloud's tiny inhabitants.
The tiny souls, cuddled within the silken folds, glanced across the gap and in lightening recognition, they reached out. Before their chubby fingers could touch, thunder boomed and puffs from their guardian’s breath blew the clouds apart. Continuing in the same direction, yet inches apart, the angels resumed their soothing tunes.
Well, as I was setting up a storyboard on Pinterest, flicking through pictures, all of a sudden I heard an excited voice breaking through my thoughts and it was saying, "That's me. That's who I look like."
I was like wow. She looks so sad. And as I looked into her eyes, studied the vulnerability of the way she hugged, embraced, comforted herself - Paisley told me her story. It all came out like a rush and I wrote quickly. I know the foods she likes, hates, fav. everything, haha. She told me a lot which helped me give her flesh, bone, and humanity. When she began talking about her ailments, I had to slow her down to do research (more about that on her BLOG)
I've learned a lot about Albinism and the horrors directed at the African people living with the disease. Though Paisley is of Asian descent, her parents are a trial on their own, the real conflict in When Clouds Touch. Please join us on her blog to hear her story.
NOAH The National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation.
If you are interested or want to know about the challenges of Albinism, visit
If you have any questions or comments, you can e-mail at
An outstanding magazine - Albinism Beauty, features gorgeous models and informative articles. Please, take a look.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jumpouttheboat Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/itsmeeywade Facebook: http://facebook.com/eywade2
Children of the Death Angel
By Michael Gryboski
A nation torn apart by civil war, a republic fractured over irreconcilable ideologies. As the government split, young men enlisted and regiments were quickly formed. Armies amassed, banners unfurled, and bands playing. They went off to war with rifles, machine guns, and grenades. All the while they wore the bright colors, assumed the old strategies, and were cheered as legions confident of a swift victory. They were going to be home by Christmas. That was six years ago. The optimism of immediate and glorious victory was buried along with countless soldiers in hundreds of ditches across the land. From this brutal world of modern war was birthed a renowned unit.
Some called them the Bringers of Hell, others called them the Death Headers. According to legend, to be transferred to the unit, one had to have at least twelve confirmed kills. They expected their members to be zealously religious and ruthlessly efficient in the craft of battle. Their official name was the Death's Head Company.
In the ruins of the old Republic, this Company garnered a reputation of fear and respect, admiration and dread. Their allies wondered if they were human; their enemies wondered where they would strike next. On a given day, years after the beginning of the seemingly endless conflict, the Company was given their most important mission yet. There were doubts by some about the direction of this operation, whether or not to even perform it. Yet they all in martial obligation fell in line and agreed to do their duty.
Over the next seven days the men of this elite unit will venture through intimidating terrain and personal disillusionment. They will behold the ravages and carnage of the war, from squalid refugees to the wrecked cities they flee from. All the while they are being pursued by a vindictive enemy general who believes that not of them can be taken alive, for a single breath from the Company is doom for their enemies.
Michael's first novel, The Man With Ruby Eyes is available through Inknbeans Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other fine booksellers. Children of the Death Angel is coming August 21, 2015 and is available for a special pre-order price now.
Where has the year gone? We've been busy Spring (and Summer) cleaning, so take a look around. You'll see we've made a few changes. Pardon our dust, though; we're not finished yet.
While there's still some sunshine and beach weather, put on your sunnies and grab a great summer book or two.
Pick up a quick heartbreaker with a happily ever after that almost doesn't get there in time. After running away from an abusive relationship that everyone else thought was perfect, Rachel finds herself in a shabby bed-sit in Bristol, doing menial office work and wondering if she made a mistake or if her abuser was right, and she really was doing everything wrong.
Leo ended things with his wife and his girlfriend on the same day. Out of money, out of his house, out of luck, he encounters a guitar playing philosopher/psychologist/telepath who offers to help him out of his hole for a piece of that 3 million pounds he's embezzled from his employer. The next thing he knows, he's on a jet to Japan as part of the band The Killer Rabbits, living first class and falling in love with a member of the band, whose concept of intimacy is truly mindblowing.