Miles and Miles of No-Man’s Land

Libba Bray

This is the hardest blog I’ve ever attempted to write.

For the better part of eight months, I have been struggling under the thumb of a rather intense depression. This is a monster I’ve battled many times in my life; it is not new. Yet, this has been a particularly brutal one, and I’m not out of the woods yet.

As a writer, I try to write about everything. But it’s hard to write about depression. For one, there’s the fear that the minute you say, “I’m suffering from depression,” people will look at you funny. That they will nod at you with wincing, constipated face, place a hand on your arm and say, with all good intent, “How are you?” And your pain will war with your desire to be “normal” and not looked at funny by sympathetic people at parties. So you will answer, “Fine, thanks” while you’ll…

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Blog Tour: ANNEALED (Pipe Woman Chronicles, #5) by Lynne Cantwell [Interview + Giveaway]

It’s zero hour…

Naomi has just two weeks to find a new home for Joseph’s grandfather. The old Ute shaman is fighting for his life against a mysterious injection of toxin he received at the hands of the Norse Trickster god Loki. If Naomi is to defeat Loki once and for all, she must learn what it is he seeks under the old man’s wickiup.

She has just one week before she must mediate between the Earth’s pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God. If her efforts fail, all of humankind will suffer the consequences. And her baby is due any day.

In this, the fifth and final book of the Pipe Woman Chronicles, Naomi is in a race against the clock to balance the demands of her body, her family, and her friends – and she must do it while the whole world is watching.

Naomi Witherspoon lives in interesting times.  At the winter solstice, she was Seized by a Native American goddess to mediate a power-sharing agreement between all the pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God. 
Then, as her relationship with her new boyfriend Fissured, she Tapped a wellspring of strength – her Native American heritage. Now, Gravid and due any day, she must conduct the mediation of her life. 
Will she succeed?  Or will it all go up in smoke? The answers to those questions, and more, can be found in Annealed, the final installment in the Pipe Woman Chronicles, an urban fantasy series by Lynne Cantwell
It began at the winter solstice
And it ends…
1. Can you tell us what inspired you to become a writer?
When I was in the second grade, the kid who sat in front of me brought in a story that he had written. It was probably something about rockets or cowboys – second grade was a long time ago now – but I remember looking at his book and thinking, “I could do that.”  So I went home and wrote a book that I called, “Susie and the Talking Doll”.  And the rest is history.

2. How long did it take you to write each book in the series?
Seized and Gravid were my NaNoWriMo projects for 2011 and 2012, respectively, so the first drafts took about a month to write.  I started Annealed in mid-March of this year and finished the first draft during CampNaNoWriMo in April.  I write pretty clean first drafts, owing to all those years I spent in broadcast journalism, where a first draft was all I had time to write.  But still, the
two-month turnaround for Annealed was tough. I don’t ever plan to do that to myself again!

3. What inspired you to write this particular book?
I needed to finish the series! The Pipe Woman Chronicles’ story arc is set up in the the very first book: White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman enhances Naomi’s powers of persuasion so that she can mediate a power-sharing agreement, if you will, between the Christian God and all the pagan gods and goddesses whose worship He supplanted.  Annealed is the book in which the Big Mediation happens.

4. Do you have any special or unique rituals? Do you write in the day or night?


I’m a night person, so I tend to write at night.  I usually get started after dinner and keep at it ‘til my eyes are slamming shut of their own accord.  Also, when I’m working on the first draft, I’ll often put in a full day of writing on the weekend.  But as for rituals, no.  Journalism pretty much beat that sort of hing out of me.

5. Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?

Naomi is pregnant through most of this book, and the baby has a personality all its own.

6.  What was your favorite scene to write and what was the most difficult?


I wrapped up a number of storylines in this book, and so I can’t talk much about my favorite scenes without giving a fair amount away.  But the most difficult scene to write, by far, was the big mediation. A whole lot of wisdom traditions from all over the world are represented there, and I needed to make sure that I was fair to all of them.  In addition, I had to make God and Jesus believable characters.  I spent a lot of time dreading the writing of that scene.

7.  Do you have a favorite story to tell about being interviewed about your book?

I did a launch day interview for Annealed with Bill Thompson of  He caught me
off-guard when he asked me whether I was surprised that I had so many fans.  Later on, someone suggested a great answer: “Why, no – I like to write with a breeze blowing on me, and in
fact I installed ceiling fans in every room in the house!”  I’m memorizing that for next time.

8.  What question are you never asked in AN interview but wish you were?


I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

9.  Which (if any) authors have been most influential to your own writing?


My favorite urban fantasy authors are C.E. Murphy and Carrie Vaughn.  I love it that their protagonists are smart, funny women, and I tried to make Naomi smart and funny, too.

10.  If you were not writing, what would you want to be doing for a living?
What are some of your other passions in life?

You are assuming that I write for a living.  I wish I could say I do, but alas, I still have to have a day job in order to keep the cats and me in kibble.  My other interests include reading and knitting.

11.    If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?

Any of the Harry Potter books would do. I’d love to have J.K. Rowling’s royalties on even one book.

12.  Tell us about the biggest challenges you face in your writing process.


Probably finding the time to do it (see “day job” above).  I’m still trying to find a balance between my writing business and the rest of my life, including work, family, and friends.

13.  Please list seven random likes; then do the same for dislikes, go way random.

Likes:  chocolate, bananas, my daughters, our cats (most of the time), my car (a bright blue Honda Fit named Fitzy), writing, autumn.

Dislikes:  movies where the plot is replaced by stuff blowing up real good, most TV shows, dust, sweet tea, boiled hot dogs, writers who do not think they need an editor, summers in DC.

14.  Is there anything that you are working on that we need to be looking out for?

I am thinking of starting another urban fantasy series, which would be set a few years after the end of the Pipe Woman Chronicles.  The mediation’s going to have some fallout, and I think it might be fun to explore those changes with a new set of characters.  However, it is very early days in the
planning process. 

Lynne Cantwell has been writing fiction since the second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her showed her a book he had written, and she thought, “I could do that.”
The result was Susie and the Talking Doll, a picture book, illustrated by the author, about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks.
Today, after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master’s degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. In addition, she is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited and writes a monthly post for The Indie Exchange.


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Tour Sign-ups: PLAYING HOOKY by Rita J. Webb

Title: Playing Hooky
Author: Rita J. Webb
Publication Date: 1/17 13
Pages: 100 pages
Publisher: Robot Playground, Inc.
Find it: Amazon |Goodreads | B&N
Genre: Fiction | Romance | Paranormal


Valentine’s Day.

And my 21st birthday.


Just another college day full of classes and more homework than is humanly possible.
…until Jason, my best-friend-since-kindergarten, shows up to take me out for the day.

Like old times: the two of us on a wacky adventure, playing hooky from real life. With his lopsided grin and tickets to a circus full of misfits and monsters, he introduces me to a whole new world—one full of magic and mystery—and turns my reality upside down.

Except nothing goes as planned, and we end up running through the city to find a missing siren before someone brews a love potion with her blood. Sirens and love potions, witches and elves, and Valentine kisses. Nothing will be the same for me again.

The blog tour for PLAYING HOOKY by Rita J. Webb has space available if you are interested in participating. 

This tour will consist of reviews, author interviews, guest posts from the author, as well as a tour wide and individual giveaways.
The tour is scheduled to run from August 12th – August 16th.
All review copies are provided by the author in eBook format.
If you are interested in participating in this tour, please fill out this form.

Leaving the house to go to school, I had schoolbooks spilling out of one hand, the other holding my place in a Nancy Drew novel, and bunny slippers still on my feet. My mom was a wee bit upset.

 I haven’t changed much. Still always have a book (or two) in my hand or creating stories in my head, and although I don’t have any bunny slippers, I love writing in my jammies and snuggly slipper socks.

 When I grow up (maybe a hundred years from now), I’d like to be a superhero, but for now, saving the day, one page at a time, suits me just fine.
With my husband TJ (my own cuddly werewolf), I home-school our three girls, who keep us busy with art, science projects, books to read, dance classes, and walks about the park. 

Hosted by:
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Some of My Favorite Men. In YA

During the month of April my good friend Evie at Bookish hosted the event MEN IN YA.
How cool is that? I absolutely loved the idea and offered to help. So, today I am going to share with you some of my favorite male-written novels. 
Ten of my favorite YA in no particular order and then as a bonus, I’ve also shared a few of my all-time favorites. 

Evie and I both would love to hear what some of your favorites are.

1.  Hostage Three by Nick Lake

2. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
3. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
4. Life is But A Dream by Brian James
5. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky 
6. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
7. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
8. Rotters by Daniel Kraus
9. Open Wounds by Joe Lunievicz
10. Zombies Don’t Cry by Rusty Fischer
And just because I can’t stop with ten books, I’m going to throw a few more of my all time favorites in. 
Please don’t judge. (At least too harshly.)
“Suddenly, I viddied what I had to do, and what I had wanted to do, and that was to do myself in; to snuff it, to blast off for ever out of this wicked, cruel world. One moment of pain perhaps and, then, sleep forever, and ever and ever.” Anthony Burgess
 “I laugh maniacally, then take a deep breath and touch my chest- expecting a heart to be thumping quickly, impatiently, but there’s nothing there, not even a beat.” ― Bret Easton Ellis

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

“My mother began to go crazy. Not in a ‘Let’s paint the kitchen red!’ sort of way. But crazy in a ‘gas oven, toothpaste sandwhich, I am God’ sort of way.” ― Augusten Burroughs
                                                                                                                                                                 “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ― Jack Kerouac 

“Your heart is my piñata.”― Chuck Palahniuk

“There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.”― Kurt Vonnegut
        american psycho