Sunday, June 24, 2012

Memories Fuel Stories

I was sitting outside last night having my last smoke for the day, looking down my driveway, porch light on, gazing at my car. Not that I think it’s something but you know how it is when you’re thinking about nothing you just happen to stare at anything. Anyhoo...
Suddenly, images flashed in my mind from the past:

As a four year old during my very first visit to Greece...looking up at this tall man with the biggest and kindest smile on his face, bending down and twirling me in the air. That was my very first time I had ever met my grandfather from my dad’s side and it was the very last time I ever saw him again. I don’t remember anything else about that first visit to our homeland other than my grandfather’s smile and how connected I felt to him. He died several years later.

Images fast forwarded now to a point in my life when I was in the hospital around the age of 9 or 10, the second time I was in there. I had never seen my dad cry before and I don’t think he saw me because he simply sat there wiping tears. Only years later did I find out that he had gone to church that day, bought and donated an icon to the Greek church and made a prayer for me to get better, not to have my right leg amputated from the knee down. Mom and dad, as any loving parents, were in that hospital room every single day. Those needles around my knee cap every day were always followed by tons of ice cream and “What does my Leaki want?” comments. Leaki is an endearment for Lea. What they didn’t realize is that as a youngster I rather enjoyed the ice cream, the toy room, and attention and games from everyone. The needles, operations, and poking I could have done without.

Images came in fast now of our family every Sunday night drive around Montreal and eating out, making sure Mom didn’t have to cook at least once a walking in from work exhausted, his stomach looking like Santa Claus because he had stuffed so many chocolate bars, chips, and other goodies for me and my siblings, he couldn’t button up his shirt...the way my parents looked at each other like newlyweds...

Images of high school friends...the excitement of leaning over the girls bathroom window having a quick smoke while others stood guard by the door...meeting my husband in high school and how that Spidergal tingling told me he was the one for me...

My wedding...birth of each of my visits for one or the other sick child...images of people I’ve loved who passed away...

All these came about by simply staring at my car. My smoke had since burned out yet I never noticed because I was too drawn into these memories and images to care.

Every writer has the ability to go back in time and pull a memory and all its emotions. That is what a story is all about...pulling your reader into an emotional roller coaster where their senses are elevated to a degree where they can actually envision/smell/taste/hear/touch everything your character experiences.

So never hesitate to open a forgotten door because...
Memories Fuel Stories.

Review of Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris

 I'm delighted by this review by Maggi Anderson of my novel Tangled Love set in England in Queen Anne's reign 1702 - 1714.
In 1693, loyal to his oath of allegiance to James II, ten year old Richelda's father follows James to France. Before her father leaves he gives her a ruby ring and makes her swear an oath to try and regain their ancestral home, Field House.
The story begins when Richelda at 18 is orphaned, and lives in run-down Belmont House with her mother's old nurse and her dog, Puck. Richelda can only dream of living the life she was meant for and hopes her childhood friend, Dudley, will honor his promise to marry her.
When Richelda's wealthy aunt, who had been disinterested in her welfare up to now, takes her to London and arranges her marriage to Viscount Chesney, the new owner of Field House. Richelda is both delighted and dismayed. She cannot trust the handsome Chesney, even though she is desperate to honor her oath to regain Field House.
I enjoyed this historical romance very much, it's well written and Morris knows her history and understands the society of the period well. The heroine and hero are both attractive and likeable. I wanted to see them get together in the end. What stood out for me in this romance is the shrewd knowledge of human nature, Morris displays. Her character's rash actions, mistakes and foibles are always understandable, and never detract from the good characters of both,
All the best,
Rosemary Morris

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Comedy of Terrors Trailer

A Comedy of Terrors
by Graeme Smith
 Humorous Fantasy

Segorian Anderson’s an Idiot. But that’s fine with him. It’s a well paying job with no heavy lifting.

Nobody ever remembers Segorian. It isn’t magic - he just has the sort of face his own mother could forget, and she’s been trying to for years. But being forgettable is a job requirement for an Idiot.

No, he's not the Court Jester. He doesn’t wear motley (whatever motley may be). That's a different union. He’s the Idiot. In a Queen’s castle, wine spilt down the wrong dress can lead to war, so someone unimportant has to be blamed for it. That’s the Idiot’s job. He’s the Idiot that did it, for any value of ‘it’. Of course, as soon as he’s exiled-for-life out of the castle gate, he uses his back-door key and sneaks back in. But that's not all. Someday, something really bad will happen. Really, really bad. Badder than a bad thing on a very bad day with extra badness. When the world’s about to end (or the washing up won’t get done – whichever comes first), who you gonna call? No, not them. They haven’t been invented yet. You call the Idiot, someone nobody will miss if things don’t work out. And now Peladon has a case of dragon.

But the dragon may be the easy part. Segorian has woman trouble, and he’s the only person in the castle who doesn’t know it. Because to Segorian, women are an open book. The problem is, he never learned to read.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Special Offer;Sunday's Child a Regency Novel by Rosemary Morris

Sunday’s Child – Announcement

I am proud to announce that my novel Sunday’s Child set in the Regency era will be published on the 15th of June by MuseItUp publishing, and that there is a pre-publication discount of 22%.

The idea for Sunday’s Child came while I read about modern day soldiers suffering from post traumatic syndrome, and the effect on the families of those who lost a soldier in war.  

What, I asked myself, would be the effect on Sunday’s Child whose beloved father and brothers died while fighting against the French in the Napoleonic Wars, and on a brave major who underwent a horrific experience, in the days when there was no counselling for post traumatic syndrome? How would they overcome their experiences?

Sunday’s Child
Hertfordshire, England

Fourteen year old, Georgianne Whitley leaned over the banister to watch her aunt’s butler admit a handsome cavalry officer dressed in uniform. One day, her mamma frequently assured her, she would marry such a military man, a member of her dear father’s regiment. Of course, this officer was probably too old to ever be her husband. However, in future, she was sure she would meet someone equally handsome with whom she would fall in love. She giggled. ‘Love is not the main prerequisite for marriage,’ Mamma always claimed. According to her mother, rank, lands, and wealth were more important whereas, according to Papa, love was the only reason to marry.
She turned her head to look at her cousin, Sarah Tarrant. “Who is he?”
“Don’t you recognize him? He is my half brother, Rupert, Lieutenant Tarrant.”
“Of course, but he has changed so much since I last saw him five years ago. He is taller.
Careless of whether or not he would look up and see her, Georgianne inched forward until, bent almost double, she could still gaze down at him.
Rupert removed his shako, revealing his thick, sun-kissed fair hair. 
Sarah put her arms around Georgianne’s waist. “If you are not careful, you will fall.”
Georgianne gripped the rail of the highly polished oak banister while she straightened.
“Look at your gown. It’s crushed. You’re such a…a hoyden.”
She stamped her foot. “No, I’m not.” 
“Yes, you are. My mamma says you are.”
“Well, she is wrong.” In spite of her denial, rueful, she looked down at her crumpled, white muslin gown. What would her aunt say if she knew Papa had taught her to shoot? Once again, she peered over the banister. A ray of June sunshine from the window illuminated the gold braid on Rupert’s scarlet uniform. Yes, one day she really would marry such an officer to please herself, and her parents. 

Chapter One
Hertfordshire, England
November 1813

             Rupert, Major Tarrant, caught his breath at the sight of seventeen year old Georgianne.  Black curls gleamed and rioted over the edges of her bandeau. Georgianne’s heart-shaped face tilted down toward her embroidery frame. Her hands lay idle on her gown. It was lilac, one of the colours of half-mourning. A sympathetic sigh escaped him. She wore the colour out of respect for her father, who lost a hand and leg, during the Battle of Salamanca, and died of gangrene more than a year ago.
        There had been so many deaths since he last saw Georgianne. Not only had her  brothers died during the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo but his elder brother had drowned six months ago while bathing in the lake on their father’s estate. 
        He advanced into the room with Adrian, Viscount Langley, at his side. Georgianne looked up and smiled. He caught himself staring into her hyacinth blue eyes, fringed with long black lashes. Colour crept over her high cheekbones. Her arched eyebrows drew together across her smooth forehead. Egad, she had the sweetest countenance he had ever seen; one with the lustrous, milky white sheen of china, and bow shaped rose pink lips to catch at the heart.
        Georgianne stood. 
        He bowed. “My condolences.”
        Sarah, clad in full mourning for her older half-brother, stood to make her curtsy to Langley. “I trust you have everything you require, my lord?”
        Langley bowed. “Yes, thank you.”
        “My lord, allow me to introduce you to my cousin, Miss Whitley.”
        Georgianne curtsied as his lordship crossed the parlour to make his bow. 
        Tarrant inclined his head. “Ladies, please excuse us, we must see to our horses.”
        Sarah shook her head at him. “See to your horses? The grooms can do so.”
        Georgianne gurgled with laughter. “Ah, Sarah, have you forgotten how cavalrymen fuss over their mounts?”
        “Excuse us.”

        After the gentlemen left, Georgianne glanced at her cousin. She had seen little of her since Sarah yielded to the family’s persuasion to marry Wilfred Stanton, heir to his uncle, the Earl of Pennington. 
        Despite her reluctance to leave home because of her mamma’s unfortunate habit, and extravagant displays of grief over the loss of her husband and sons, Georgianne agreed to visit her cousin Sarah, who suffered from melancholy after the birth of a son. 
        Anxious for her mamma and two younger sisters, she reminded herself Whitley Manor—on the southern outskirts of Cousin Stanton’s Hertfordshire parish—lay a mere fifteen minutes away by carriage.
        “Are you daydreaming, Cousin?”
        Georgianne pretended to be busy untangling another strand of embroidery thread. “No.”
         “Did I tell you Papa wants Tarrant to resign from the army now he is Papa’s heir?” Sarah’s needle flashed in and out of her work.    
        “Yes, several times.” Georgianne shivered, stretched her hands toward the fire, and fought a losing battle with the draughts in the old vicarage.
        “Are you not interested in dear Tarrant?”
        Georgianne bent her head. Once, she had wanted to marry a military man. However, after the loss of her father and brothers, she changed her mind for fear death might snatch him from her, either on the battlefield or as a result of wounds sustained in combat. She shook her head, remembering the dreams she harboured three years earlier when she last saw Major Tarrant. How her life had altered since then. Most of the time, she lived cloistered at home in reduced—yet not impoverished—circumstances. She spent her life in an endless round of mending and embroidery, both of which she detested. Her only escape from this drab existence consisted of daily walks, rides, or reading her beloved books. A yawn escaped her. Oh, the tedium of her days at home.
        “You have not answered my question.”
        Georgianne gathered her thoughts. “Yes, Sarah, I am interested in Major Tarrant. After all, we have known each other since we were in the nursery.”
        “Good, but what are you thinking about? You are neglecting your sewing.”
        Georgianne picked up her needle and thrust it in and out of the chemise, careless of the size of her stitches. Already she loathed the garment and vowed never to wear it.
        “Papa wants Tarrant to marry,” Sarah rattled on.
        Eyes downcast, Georgianne set aside her sewing and wrapped her arms around her waist for comfort. Before they died, her brothers and father had expressed their admiration for Major Tarrant in their letters. She shrugged. Once upon a time, she had built a castle in the air inhabited by Major Tarrant, a mere lieutenant when she last saw him.
        Mamma still insisted on love not being the prime consideration for marriage, but novels and poems contradicted her opinion. Georgianne wanted to fall in love with one of the many eligible young gentlemen available: maybe a titled gentleman like Viscount Langley, provided he was not a military man. She shrugged. Certainly her mamma would regard the Viscount favourably. His lordship was wealthy, possessed good manners, and his height and broad shoulders equalled Major Tarrant’s. However, although she found no fault with him, Mamma might not approve of the Viscount’s skin—almost as dark as a gypsy from exposure to the sun while serving abroad—and his hair and eyes, sufficiently dark to rival any Spaniard’s. Her spirits lifted. The rectory would be a happier place with two fine young men in attendance. She was glad to be here, despite her acute concern for her family.
                 Sarah’s voice ended her musing. “Have you heard Tarrant inherited his godfather’s estate and fortune? Besides his pay, his income is thirty thousand pounds a year.”
        Georgianne nodded. “Yes, I know. Major Tarrant is exceptionally fortunate.” Sarah blinked. “Why are you smiling?”
        Georgianne stood and crossed the room to look out of the window. “I am happy because, so far, Major Tarrant and Viscount Langley have survived the war, which has taken so many lives and affected everyone in some way or another.” 
        She must force herself to remain cheerful. Papa had died eighteen months ago. It was time to set grief aside, if she could only find the means.
        Thankfully, there was much to look forward to. After her presentation at court, she would be sure to meet many engaging gentlemen, one of whom she might marry. In time, she could help her sisters to escape their miserable existence.
        Georgianne drummed her fingers on the windowsill. Her thoughts darted hither and thither. She glanced around the parlour, inhaling the odour of potpourri and lavender-scented beeswax. 
        Wilfred Stanton entered the room. He stood with his back to the fire, hands clasped over his paunch. “Mrs Stanton, my uncle, the Earl of Pennington, has arrived unexpectedly, and  is resting after the rigours of his journey. Tarrant and his friend are busy with their horses. No, no, do not disturb yourself, my love. No need to bestir yourself on my uncle’s behalf.”
        Cousin Stanton’s lips parted in a smile revealing yellowed teeth. “Ah, I know what you ladies are like. Have you been matchmaking? There must be a dozen or more eligible members of the fair sex amongst our neighbours who would be eager to meet Tarrant. If they knew of his visit, I daresay all of them would harbour thoughts of marrying him.”
        “Indeed,” Sarah said in a colourless tone of voice.
        Accustomed to taking long walks every day, Georgianne fidgeted. She found it difficult to tolerate Sarah’s sedentary habits. 
         “Sarah, will you not come for a walk? You know the doctor is concerned by your continued lethargy. Do not forget he encourages gentle exercise to improve your health.” She stared out at the dark grey clouds. Suddenly they parted and sunlight bathed her. It heightened the colour of her gown and warmed her. She reached up to smooth her bodice and noticed a movement in the shadowed east wing. Was someone peering at her through the small, diamond-shaped panes? There were no menservants in the household. Could it be Cousin Stanton’s uncle, the earl?
        Sarah stepped daintily to her side, and slipped an arm around her waist. “Come, it is time to change our clothes before we dine.” 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Open and Honest Thoughts

I've been debating since last night whether or not to pen this post but felt in my heart I needed to get it off my chest. Many know me as a person who has an open book policy:

I read an email where it showcased several top known authors and the millions they've gained. Kudos to them.

I believe, and I may have the percentage wrong, but it's only a very small number, li
ke 4-7% of authors, who actually do make it big the first time around. The rest need to work hard, sweat a good sweat, to get their books out there. Unfortunately, that's the name of the game, especially nowadays where we have tons of new writers and new houses popping up left and right.

I recently read the Hunger Games trilogy, and although the concept of the book was excellent and innovative, I found myself flipping through tons of pages to get to the meat of the book. I was jarred out of the storyline several times with all the backstory, and then when I ended up in the present again, it took me a few seconds to grasp my bearings where the actual story had left off before the long-winded backstory intruded my read.

The reason I bring this book up is the following and the reason for my post:

as small publishers we are often overlooked or criticized by many who believe the quality of the writing is lacking, the cover art is lacking, the editorial department is lacking...not true. I might venture out there and say that small to mid-sized houses may work harder to prove to their readers that we do care about our authors/readers and will do our best to produce as tip top a book as possible.

In the Hunger Games, it was the backstory from this large house which jarred me from my reading pleasure. In other books, such as some of the Potter books, there were tons of editorial mishaps. There are some things that do go unnoticed and regardless if it's a small or large house, these things happen unfortunately.

My main point is that I have read so many books from new authors and new houses that are simply amazing, books that top some of the biggies. My heart goes out to them because I know how hard this industry is to get a name for yourself.

All I want to say is do NOT give up. Continue to promote, ignore comments from some who shun you when they hear you are with an 'unknown' publisher. Your book deserves to be read, remember that, otherwise your publisher (a reputable publisher who actually cares for both authors and readers) would never have contracted it.

This post has nothing to do with MuseItUp as much as reaching out to some authors who have emailed me offlist, authors who have been disillusioned by negativity by family and friends, and ready to hang their writing pens for good.

Keep the passion! Reflect why you began writing in the first place, and lock the door to outsiders who will never understand that deep commitment you have to entertain readers.

You matter! And there are readers out there waiting for your stories...I know I am.

Thank you

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Pre-Order Special

MuseItUp Publishing now offers you a discount of 20% when you pre-order and purchase one of our upcoming ebooks.

Once the ebook is released, the various formats will be sent to you as attachments.

This is our small token of appreciation for supporting our authors. 

Imagine a world without books...

without the words that transport us out of our everyday duties...

allowing us the time to sit and relax...

this is what talented authors offer...

but without readers there would be no motivation for writers to pen their amazing stories.

So to all the writers and readers I'd like to say a BIG thank you for helping us continue to fill those bookshelves and e-readers with quality stories. 

Lea Schizas

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Charlotte Henley Babb's

Fantasy Humor


I had such a good time! Ms Babb takes the old fairytale standards, dusts them off and shakes them up for a delightful journey through Faery. The characters have unique and believable dialogue(well, within the context of a fantasy novel...)and I was never quite able to predict how or where the story was going to go.

As this is Ms Babb's only book listed, I presume it is her first. I very much look forward to seeing what else she comes up with.


A Preditors and Editors award-winning story:

Grounds for Murder

by John Russo
Short Cozy Mystery Story

Someone has tainted the sugar at the newly opened Café Caffé coffeehouse In the village of Eastport and Nora Huggins, mystery buff and want-to-be sleuth had to get involved.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sci-fi Dark Fiction Bundle: 60% OFF

Save 60% now  for a  limited time when you purchase not 1, not 2, but Kevin Hopson's 3 ebook bundle!

Someone is illegally moving death row inmates between prisons, and one prisoner finds out firsthand what the perpetrator wants with them. 
When their friend disappears on a small lighthouse island, two fishermen try to find him before becoming victims themselves. 
Two friends get more than they bargained for when a volcanic ash cloud lays siege to their world. 
Special won't last long...


Friday, June 1, 2012

MuseItUp Publishing's Mega June Event

That’s right! MuseItUp Publishing is hosting a super duper mega event for our readers...perfect time to fill those e-readers this summer with quality e-books at affordable prices.
The entire month of June will be fast paced with...
*SUPER DUPER Discounts
*FREE Downloads
*Discount Codes
You’ll need to be fast because deals will be changing on the hour, maybe two hours, perhaps for a day...who knows? It’s SUPER DUPER JUNE MEGA EVENT and discounts, free downloads, doorprizes will be zooming by quicker than you can say, “Oh, I want that!”
To join the fun, all you need to do is LIKE our Facebook page:
because that’s where...yep, you guessed it...
*SUPER DUPER Discounts
*FREE Downloads
*Discount Codes
will be announced. You don’t want to miss this event! Oh...I almost forgot...

there will be five lucky winners drawn first week of July from members who like us on Facebook until the end of June:
And what will they win?
MuseItUp Publishing will be giving away:
*one $25.00 Muse gift certificate
*two $15.00 Muse gift certificates
*two $10.00 Muse gift certificates
So what are you waiting for? Like us on Facebook! Today! The fun is about to begin...tell your friends it's the perfect time to load up that ereader with awesome summer reading at affordable prices. Happening right here, at MuseItUp Publishing.