Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Musings: Holiday Wishes

Happy Sunday.

I can't believe it's that time again, the last Sunday Musings of the year. Once again Musers would like to send their wishes and holidays thoughts to you:

Moments of contentment and companionship in a chaotic world.

I wish everyone a happy, blessed Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year and extend the same heartfelt good wishes to those celebrating other holidays at this joyous time of year.

In a world that is more aware than ever, of differences, this holiday season, I'd ask everyone to look for the similarities between us. We may not always agree with other people's opinions, nor like their personalities, but if we look hard enough, there is always something that we share, that we can respect. So, whichever religious or secular festival we celebrate this December, let us forget our differences and remember our similarities, then let us celebrate those.

Thank you! Readers, and other supportive authors, you are deeply, deeply appreciated. I am grateful for everyone who enjoys a story now and then. Keep reading! Joyous Noel and a Fulfilling New Year to you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I wish for all of you and yours, very happy and safe holidays this year. And for next year, I hope that everyone has the love, happiness, and well-being that everyone deserves. See you next year!

Wishing all our Muse readers, friends, and family a wonderful holiday season. May your days be filled with love and laughter, and your nights find you cuddled up with a great book!

May all your holidays and 2017 be bright with great reading.

Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men.

While the holiday season is a time for celebrating and enjoying traditions, it's also stressful and hectic. It's especially bittersweet for those missing loved ones, or facing challenges and uncertainties--my heart goes out to you.

So, here's my wish for you...slow down, hug often, speak your love (shout if they're hard of hearing), breathe slow and deep when "they" test your patience, cherish the ones you love (fur-babies included) and every chance you get, Wish Upon A Star (knowing it'll come true). Wishing you and yours a joyful, magical and safe holiday.

MJ LABEFF, New Mainstream author

This has been a spectacular year. I’m grateful and excited to be part of the Muse It Up Publishing family and wish everyone at MIU a joyous holiday season and best wishes for the new year. To my fellow authors around the world, may 2017 be a year that brings more story ideas than you have hours in the day to write, many new book releases and joy shared with family and friends. To all of the book lovers and readers, glorious, wonderful readers, who connect with us on social media, take time to write reviews and share our stories, keep on reading and may you and yours have a merry little holiday and a happy new year filled with peace, love, prosperity and great health.

Dear Reader, I wish you a memorable interval of DIFFERENCE.

If you have a daily commute, I hope you may stay at home for a couple of days - if you are the domestic goddess I hope you may be removed from the kitchen to a place of pampering with a MuseItUp book and a glass of something to your taste while Another cooks dinner - if you are a person much depended on by others I hope you may secure a worry free break while someone else takes that strain - if you're an underemployed senior I hope the below generation may allow you a little responsibility...

Whatever the DIFFERENCE is that would make your Holiday I hope you achieve it. Remember that old saying, 'A change is as good as a rest'.

My holiday message would be for peace.  For the conflicts in the world to end. For people to find a way to live with each other and respect the others way of life, religion and opinions. I would love not to see the children in the world starving, or growing up with bombs exploding around them. Christmas is a time for peace.  If one person could extend the hand of friendship to their enemy, then one small gesture may spread the word to others.

To all who support MuseItUp I would wish you a very Happy Christmas and all good wishes for 2017.

Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at

Sunday, December 4, 2016

MuseItYoung December Special

Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, godparents...
this holiday, offer the gift of e-reading to your avid middle grade/tween enthusiast in your life. 
We've already got some amazing deals going on, and now, until the end of December, get an extra 20% OFF from your total purchase.

Add code YOUNG2016 in your Muse cart, save, 
then finalize your order.

Sunday Musings: Authors world voices

Hey, Sunday!

Is everyone ready for December and the fun chaos it brings? Come on, you know you love this month and you know it gets crazy. Yes, some have a difficult time this time of the year, too. And, there's some major changes coming for our American Musers. Then there's the world and the worries, fears, and heartache. Makes you want to hold on tighter to those you love, doesn't it?

Well, this is something we're wondering about today: In times of turmoil do authors owe the readers their voice?

Because authors use words to express themselves, I look at this as more how we write about what is happening around us as a way to understand. The world fuels our imagination and through that we voice our opinion via the story and characters. If we're lucky, others connect to us because they agree, even disagree but perhaps see something different than what they thought before.

A reader can easily make assumptions about an author’s politics and beliefs. But can the subject matter of a story, or its characters’ dialogue be assumed to reflect the author’s personal views? In my historical novels I portray realities I am not that keen on, such as the widespread use of prostitutes by Victorian men, gambling, the effects of war, colonialism. So the answer is probably not. But I suggest we all have boundaries which determine our own “no-go” areas which we would not portray in our fiction.

Nevertheless it is quite valid for authors to expose issues (contemporary or historical) through their fiction. Charles Dickens is an example of this. Is this different to an author speaking out in public on an issue they feel strongly about? In the first case, they expose the issue to the reader through their characters in a fictional story; in the second they “nail their colours to the mast” and speak out as a citizen, if they are fortunate enough to live in a regime where this is possible. I am not a famous author, so I doubt the few letters to the press I’ve had published would be of widespread interest. For the more famous…well, that’s up to them!

The message intended by an author may be subject to different interpretations by readers. If you belong to a book group you’ll have experienced this. George Orwell wrote “Animal Farm” as a satire against Stalin. When I taught in a small central African “one party democracy”, it was one of the set books, believed to encourage students in anti-Communist sentiments. Someone in the regime suddenly realised it was also a metaphor for how their own dictator had come to power. It was banned overnight and a replacement book had to be rapidly studied in time for the school certificate exams. Ironically it was “The Diary of Anne Frank”, a true story of where autocratic power can lead.

No, not in the sense of wading into the fray, unless maybe as a voice of calm and reason if it's possible to cool things down that way.  There is always more than enough screaming and chaos live and on the various media without throwing more fuel into the firestorm.

My feelings and opinions can be found in my books, in some more than others depending on the situations in which the characters populating them find themselves, but I write to tell stories.  I've never reduced them to platforms for pushing personal or public agendas.  Please God, I never will.  Readers want my works, my characters, not my big mouth (no climbing on a soap box by the author, thank you).  May I always remain true to their trust.

No matter what we authors say about and in times of turmoil, we’re going to annoy half our audience. I write fiction, my audience enjoys a nice clean story to get away from reality for a while, or to make sure the side they’re rooting for wins, despite reality. I owe you my consistency.

Well, I'm not sure I adequately understand the question, but generally speaking, I never thought of the author owing the readers a voice during times of turmoil. Sooo, I do not think so. Now, during something horrendous such as 9/11, the author may give voice to their own thoughts and thereby provide a voice that readers can relate to. Or during a national event such as the Iraq War (2003-2011, 2015-Present), again the author may express their personal thoughts and provide a voice that readers can relate to. But, the bottom line is that I do not think that we owe the readers a voice. I believe the readers are able to express themselves, from their heart and soul, without authors "speaking/writing for them."

Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at