Category Archives: Rachel Morgan

A book trailer for The Big Smoke, courtesy of Morgan Media

I’ve often considered making a book trailer for The Big Smoke, but never managed to find the time.  So you can imagine my delight when my dear blogging buddy, Rachel Morgan, offered to do it for me. I’m thrilled with the results. Here it is:

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Pretty cool, hey? You might be wondering WHY Rachel offered to make me a book trailer. Well, apart from being a generous person, she’s also launching a new business called Morgan Media, which will provide “quality services to indie authors at affordable rates”.

Here’s what Rachel has to say about her new business…

“I’m an indie author, and it’s taken me many, many, MANY hours of work to figure out how to navigate every step from finished manuscript to published work. There’s the ebook formatting and the print book formatting and the ebook cover design and the print book cover design. Then comes the marketing–of both yourself and your book–and for that you need blog tour buttons and blog headers and Facebook fan page cover images and artwork for bookmarks and button badges and postcards and whatever else you might want to give away as part of your book launch. All of this takes a spectacular amount of time that you probably don’t have, especially if you’re busy promoting one book and trying to write the next one. So why not get someone experienced to take care of most of these steps for you? That’s what Morgan Media is for.”

I ‘met’ Rachel when I first joined the blogosphere more than two years ago (we even hosted our first blogfest together!), and I can confirm that she is a talented, organised, creative and switched-on gal. I have no doubt that if you use Morgan Media’s services, you won’t be disappointed.
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To celebrate the launch of Morgan Media, Rachel is giving away 1 x $20 Amazon gift voucher and 2 x $40 Morgan Media vouchers in this Rafflecopter giveaway. It’s very easy to enter so go do it now!
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You can find Morgan Media in the following places online:

9 Comments

Filed under Marketing, Rachel Morgan, The Big Smoke, Writing

Cover reveal: The Faerie Guardian

I’m thrilled to be able to take part in today’s cover reveal for Rachel Morgan’s The Faerie Guardian! Not only is it a beautiful cover but the book itself is also a fantastic read.

So… here it is!

And da blurb!

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until a cute human boy who can somehow see through her faerie glamour follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a dangerous plot—and it’ll take all her training to get out of it alive.

[This novel was originally published in four separate parts: GuardianLabyrinthTraitor and Masquerade. It includes bonus scenes at the end.]

Giveaway time!

The bonus scenes at the end of the book are NOT written from the main character’s point of view. If you’d like to win a $10 Amazon gift card, all you have to do is guess whose point of view these scenes are written from! Head on over to the cover reveal post at Rachel Morgan Writes and fill in the Rafflecopter form. There’s a list of characters there that you can choose from. Good luck!

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Filed under Competitions, Rachel Morgan

Creepy Hollow launch!

I’m delighted to announce that my awesome blogger friend Rachel Morgan has launched her Creepy Hollow series, which kicks off with the release of the first story, GUARDIAN. I’ve had the pleasure of a sneak preview of GUARDIAN, and I can honestly say it’s a fantastically fun and entertaining read.

GUARDIAN introduces readers to the magical world of Creepy Hollow, a realm where fae creatures both safe and definitely-not-so-safe dwell. Things are cool as long the fae stick to their own realm. It’s when they find their way into the human world that things start going wrong…

1. Receive assignment.
2. Save a life.
3. Sleep.
4. Repeat.  

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments—a human boy who shouldn’t even be able to see her—follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? But Nate and Vi are about to land themselves in even bigger trouble—and it’ll take all Vi’s training to get them out alive.
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To help us celebrate the launch of Creepy Hollow, Rachel has dropped by to answer a few questions – in video no less! – about the series and her decision to self publish.
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Thanks so much, Rachel! (Readers, please don’t comment on the fact that Rachel raises one eyebrow more than the other. She’s very embarrassed about it. ;-))
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You can get your hands on an e-copy of GUARDIAN at Amazon US, Amazon UK or Smashwords now.
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The Creepy Hollow Series
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Author Info
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To find out more about Rachel, the Creepy Hollow series, and its characters, check out the blog tour that’s happening over the next two weeks.

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18 Comments

Filed under Rachel Morgan, Writing, YA fiction

We have a winner!

Yes, the time has finally come to announce the The Power of Tension Blogfest winner!

…….

Congratulations, Trisha!

Trisha, the Tension Legend!

Trisha’s winning excerpt:

I make it to the corner store with minutes to spare.

Rushing down the kitchen and bathroom aisle, I dart around the corner and see the storeroom door. Suppressing a yell of triumph and relief, I fly at the door and rattle the handle—it turns. I fall on it, push, slip inside. My breaths are harsh in my ears, but at least they’re still coming. Read more.

Trisha has won a $15 Amazon voucher plus an interview on my and Rachel’s blogs OR a 1st chapter beta read by Rachel and me.  Let us know what you’d like, Trisha!

2nd prize goes to….

Gabriellan!

Congratulations, Gabriellan!

Gabriellan’s winning excerpt:

 For the past week, I’d had a countdown clock of sorts in my head. Now, the countdown clock read 00:00:01.

The door to my cell opened. Slowly, the steamy interior of the cell cleared.

“Angelica.”

“That’s not my name.” I made my voice as cold as I could.  Read more.

Gabriellan has won a $10 Amazon voucher plus an interview on my and Rachel’s blogs OR a 1st chapter beta read by Rachel and me.  Let us know what you’d like, Gabriellan!

and 3rd prize… is a tie!

between

Damyanti!

Congratulations, Damyanti!

AND

Sarah!

Congratulations, Sarah!

Damyanti’s winning excerpt (note: violence warning):

I mean to kill. I know it is only a matter of time today, I’ve chosen my spot well.

A man on the hospital escalator going down watches a woman on her way up. A staircase separates the two escalators, perhaps for busy doctors who can’t get enough cardio into their week. The man turns, raises his head to gaze at her trim little figure. She does not notice him watching her, nor does he know  I hold him in my sight. Read more.

Sarah’s winning excerpt: 

Emily walked the bird block.  Large almost-birds hissed and whispered in the trees—Bird hater, bird hater.
               
This last block to school belonged to the birds for a week now, though no one else heard them. Emily didn’t look at them.  If she did, they would slide around on the branches like shadows.  She wouldn’t be able to tell where their beaks ended and their heads began. The largest of them would open his mouth in a great yawn, and for a second, Emily would feel all swallowed up.  That’s what happened the first day.  The day after they’d lost the softball championship. Read more.

Damyanti and Sarah have each won a $5 Amazon voucher.

Honourable mentions

Honourable mentions go to our two remaining finalists, J. C. Martin, Fighter Writer and Steph from Word by Word. Between them, they received over 20% of the votes in the competition, which just shows how close the results were.

Thank you!

Thanks again to everyone who entered the blogfest, to everyone who voted, and to everyone who commented. You helped to make the competition a wonderful success!

Yay for tension! 😀

20 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Rachel Morgan, Tension blogfest, Writers, Writing

Tension blogfest finalists announced!

Power of tension blogfest badge

Choosing the top six finalists for the Power of Tension Blogfest was seriously tough. I knew it would be tricky, but I had no idea it would be THAT hard! My
co-host Rachel and I almost came to blows over it…

Okay, that last part was a lie. Considering I live in Australia and Rachel lives in South Africa, you probably guessed that. But we did have some terse emails shooting back and forth across the globe as we narrowed it down to the top six. Why was it so difficult, you might ask? Well, duh. Because there were so many AMAZING entries. I was blown away by the quality and just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who took the time to enter and make this blogfest a success.

Okay, sorry. I’m rambling. This level of responsibility makes me nervous. But I shall dilly dally no longer. It’s time to announce the finalists. Drum roll please…

kid playing drums

Thank you, kind sir

Our top six (in alphabetical order)

Please join Rachel and me in congratulating our finalists!

Where to from here?

Since it was so hard to narrow it down to six, we’ve decided we’re not going to choose who comes first, second and third. Instead, we’re handing that tricky job over to you!

You have until 11.59pm AEST time Tuesday (which is 9.59am Tuesday in New York, if that helps) to cast your vote on who should be crowned The Tension Legend. Choose wisely, because you only get one vote. Rachel and I will announce the winners on both of our blogs at 10pm AEST next Wednesday 8 June (8am Wednesday, New York time).

(PS the poll is working. We’ve intentionally hidden the results from you because we’re mean like that. Plus it will make the  announcement of the winner more exciting.)

28 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Rachel Morgan, Tension blogfest, Writers, Writing

Tension blogfest wrap-up

I’m delighted to say we had 48 entries in the Power of Tension Blogfest.

The variety in the entries is fantastic – we’ve got zombies, teenage crushes, kidnapping, rekindled romances, elves, vampires, aliens, and of course, HEAPS of tension. Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to participate!

Rachel Morgan and I are now making our way through the entries to determine who’ll be in our top six, which we’ll announce on both our blogs this Thursday. Then it will be over to you, our readers, to vote for your favourite, with the winner (as well as second and third prize) announced Monday 6 June.

In the meantime, have fun reading the entries and let the authors know you’ve stopped by!


  1. Amy Lunderman
  2. Sari Webb
  3. Sarah Ketley – Precocious Scribe
  4. Liam McGinniss: Something Doesnt Feel Right
  5. Charity Bradford–My Writing Journey
  6. Sticky Note Stories
  7. Vicki Tremper: All the Worlds in Words
  8. Susan Fields
  9. Crystal Colliers Crossroads
  10. Lissa Writes: Tension
  11. L. Blankenship – Notes from the Jovian frontier
  12. Teralyn Rose Pilgrim
  13. Lindz
  14. Grace At The Wild Pomegranate
  15. J. C. Martin, Fighter Writer
  16. Brenda Drake writes. . under the influence of coffee
  17. Wendy Tyler Ryan
  18. Trisha @ WORD+STUFF
  19. Mark Muratas Suburban Fantasy
  20. WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS
  21. Stuart Sharp
  22. Madeleine
  23. Been there, done that
  24. Michael @ In Time . . .
    1. Libby Heily – Building Tension
    2. Raquel Byrnes, Edge of Your Seat Romance
    3. Gabriela Lessa – An Aspiring Writers World
    4. Word by Word
    5. Thumbin My Way
    6. The Bird Hater: Power of Tension Blogfest
    7. Of a Writerly Sort
    8. The Speech Contest
    9. Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
    10. Sharon Bayliss
    11. Sarah McCabe- The Aspiring Sub-creator
    12. Little Bundle of Contradictions
    13. Cally Jackson Writes (non-eligible, just for fun)
    14. Rachel Russell
    15. Summer Rosss entry
    16. writing with shelly
    17. Run Gwen, Run!
    18. Kittie Howard
    19. Views From the Bald Patch
    20. Confessions of a Bibliophile
    21. Ellie Garratt
    22. Susanna Leonard Hill
    23. Strange Pegs (accepted late entry)
    24. Scheherazades Writing Life (accepted late entry)

This linky list is now closed.

4 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Rachel Morgan, Tension blogfest, Writers, Writing

Tangled tension

Did you really expect me to run a blogfest without participating??

But considering I’m one of two judges who will be determining the top six, I’ll do the honourable thing and exclude my entries from the competition. 😀

If this is the first you’ve heard about the Power of Tension Blogfest, firstly, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL WEEK? Secondly, you can find out more info on this dedicated tension blogfest page.

Seeing as Tangled (my novel in progress) is told from two points of view, I thought it might be fun to show the different ways my two main characters describe and react to tension.

So, here’s goes!

Tension, Ceara style

Mum and Uncle Tom came out of the kitchen, and I could tell they were leaving before Mum even opened her mouth. If she could have read me as easily as I could her, she wouldn’t have left. She would have known that with each passing second, I was becoming more and more terrified about being left alone with those two. What was I going to do? How could I possibly make this work? I could barely contain the panic building inside me as Mum reached out and stroked my cheek.
    ‘We’ll leave you to it, Cee. Call if you need anything,’ she said.
    Uncle Tom pulled me in for a hug and I wondered if he could feel my heart thumping against my ribs. ‘Have fun, kiddo,’ he said.
    ‘Come on, Phoebes. Time to go,’ Mum called out.
    ‘Already?’ Phoebe came out of my bedroom with one of my Harry Potter books in her hand.
    I knelt down and hugged her tightly. ‘You can borrow the book, Phoebes,’ I said, trying to stop my voice from shaking. ‘I’ll be home to visit all the time.’
   She wrapped her skinny arms around my neck so tight she almost choked me. ‘Thanks, Cee. Love you.’
   I walked them out to the four-wheel-drive and, as they waved goodbye, I wrote ‘miss you’ in the dust on Phoebe’s door with my finger. My gaze followed the car until it disappeared over the hill.
The second they drove out of sight, I turned and walked straight to my bedroom. Then I s
hut the door, leaned against it, and tried to make my stupid, childish tears disappear.

Tension, Seb style

When I got home, I went straight to my room but then stopped in the doorway, cos Luke was standing at my desk. Even though he looked as guilty as hell, it still took me a few seconds to realise he was looking through my sketch book.
    ‘What the hell are you doing?’ I said.
    ‘I was just seeing if you had any dishes for the dishwasher. I wasn’t snooping or anything.’
    ‘That’s not what it looks like.’
    ‘This was already open, I swear. I couldn’t help noticing the pictures. They’re pretty… disturbing. You’re not, like, stalking someone, are you?’
    ‘They’re just drawings, dickhead. Get out of my room.’
    Luke raised his hands. ‘Whoa, you’re sounding pretty defensive. What’s going on? You’ve been acting weird all week.’
    ‘What part of “get out” don’t you understand?’ I lunged for him.
    I’d like to think I was just trying to scare him, but if he hadn’t ducked and run out, I reckon I probably would’ve decked him. I thought about chasing after him but decided to punch the wall instead.
    Great idea, that. Made my knuckles bleed. I’m lucky I didn’t punch a hole through the wall. Dad would’ve loved that.
    I came pretty close to ripping my sketch book up then. Just tearing it to pieces and throwing it out the window. Maybe chucking myself out after it too.
    But I didn’t do it, obviously. Just kicked the bed a few times, chucked my back pack on the floor and swore a lot.
After a while, a note came under my door. It was from Luke, telling me he was pissing off to his parents’ place for Easter and that I needed to get my shit together. What a friggen loser. I picked up the note and ripped it to bits.

Let me know what you think! And if you haven’t entered the blogfest yet, get your skates on. You’re running out of time! 🙂

41 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Rachel Morgan, Tension blogfest, Writers, Writing

The Power of Tension Blogfest

The Power of Tension Blogfest is on!

What’s it about?

We all know that in fiction, tension is vital. Tension ramps up the emotional stakes for your characters and keeps readers burning through the pages to find out whether that tension is resolved. Tension comes in many forms – it could be animosity between family members built up over many years, sexual tension between strangers, or jealousy between work colleagues as they vie for a lucrative promotion.

We want to see how tense your fiction can be. Give us an excerpt (up to 300 words) from your manuscript or recently completed work (or just a random scene) that drips with tension and will tie us in knots wanting to know more. It doesn’t matter what the piece is about, as long as it screams tension.

 What are the prizes?

  • 1st prize: $15 Amazon voucher + interview on Cally Jackson Writes and Rachel Morgan Writes OR 1st chapter beta read by Cally and Rachel
  • 2nd prize: $10 Amazon voucher + interview on Cally Jackson Writes and Rachel Morgan Writes OR 1st chapter beta read by Cally and Rachel
  • 3rd prize: $5 Amazon voucher

 I’m in! What are the rules?  

  • The blogfest will run on Cally Jackson Writes and Rachel Morgan Writes from now (Monday 23 May) to Friday 27 May. Post your entry on your blog and then add a direct link to your post to the linky tool on this page before 11.59pm Friday 27 May AEST.
  • Come back on Thursday 2 June to see the six finalists (chosen by us), and then again on Monday 6 June to see the winners!   
  • All genres and forms of tension are welcome, but if your entry includes anything graphic, please include a warning at the beginning of your post.

 Anything else I should do?

Glad you asked. These aren’t mandatory, but they’d definitely be appreciated:

  • Include our badge in your sidebar during the duration of the blogfest. Download PNG file or JPG file.
  • Post and/or tweet about the challenge as much as you can.
  • Throughout the challenge, check out as many other entries as you can and give the entrants some comment love!

 Can’t wait to read your entries!

12 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Rachel Morgan, Tension blogfest, Writers, Writing

The power of tension blogfest!

Yes, that’s right. Together with Rachel from Rachel Morgan Writes, I’m hosting my very first blogfest!

What’s it all about?

We all know that in fiction, tension is vital. Tension ramps up the emotional stakes for your characters and keeps readers burning through the pages to find out whether that tension is resolved. Tension comes in many forms – it could be animosity between family members built up over many years, sexual tension between strangers, or jealousy between work colleagues as they vie for a lucrative promotion.

 We want to see how tense your fiction can be. Give us an excerpt (up to 300 words) from your manuscript or recently completed work (or just a random scene) that drips with tension and will tie us in knots wanting to know more. It doesn’t matter what the piece is about, as long as it screams tension.

 What are the prizes?

  • 1st prize: $15 Amazon voucher + interview on Cally Jackson Writes and Rachel Morgan Writes OR 1st chapter beta read by Cally and Rachel
  • 2nd prize: $10 Amazon voucher + interview on Cally Jackson Writes and Rachel Morgan Writes OR 1st chapter beta read by Cally and Rachel
  • 3rd prize: $5 Amazon voucher

 I’m in! What are the rules?

 The blogfest will run from Monday 23 May to Friday 27 May. (We figured all of you A-Z challengers might need some downtime so we’ve given you a few weeks breathing space!)

  • At 12:01am (AEST) Monday 23 May, a linky tool will go live on both Cally Jackson Writes and Rachel Morgan Writes.  Post your entry on your blog and then add a direct link to your post to the linky tool on either blog before 11.59pm Friday 27 May.
  • Come back on Thursday 2 June to see the six finalists (chosen by us), and then again on Monday 6 June to see the winners!   
  • All genres and forms of tension are welcome, but if your entry includes anything graphic, please include a warning at the beginning of your post.

 Anything else I should do?

Glad you asked. These aren’t mandatory, but they’d definitely be appreciated:

  • Include our badge in your sidebar during the duration of the blogfest. Download PNG file or JPG file.
  • Post and/or tweet about the challenge in the weeks leading up to spread the word.
  • Throughout the challenge, check out as many other entries as you can and give the entrants some comment love!

 Can’t wait to read all of your entries. Please leave a comment to let us know you’re planning to enter. 🙂

26 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Rachel Morgan, Tension blogfest, Writers, Writing