Mark Venturini was on blogtalk radio yesterday. His debut YA novel will be released in July. Here is the link to the show, catch it live or on the archives:
Two lives, two worlds, bound together by one accident.
When the young elf Strum first heard the whispers, some on Eversong called it a gift. After all, he is the first of the Iunctus Unus (United Ones) born in centuries. But the whispers are from a bizarre land called Chicago where twelve-year-old Jason Snider lies comatose in a hospital after a terrible accident, an accident that binds the two lives together. If Jason dies, Strum dies.
Forcing open the long-locked portal throws Strum and a pintsize baby dragon into the terrifying world of Chicago. Worse, Her Royal Pain torches the hospital lobby and escapes before Strum can revive Jason.
Strum must find the lost dragon and heal Jason before he can hope to return home. He teams up with a street-smart girl who has her own painful ties to Jason, and the battle is on. For not only is all Chicago chasing them, so are evil mages banished to Earth centuries before. Strum is their chance to return and conquer Eversong. He must stop them, even if it means forfeiting his chance to go home--or worse, his life.
Mark Venturini’s short fiction and flash fiction has appeared in various print and electronic magazines over the years. He founded the Pittsburgh East Scribes critique group in 2010 with the aim of helping aspiring writers pursue their dream of publication. The group has flourished beyond his wildest dreams.
By day, Mark is a Senior Software Engineer for a large regional bank. He enjoys the outdoors and loves to kayak and backpack through the beautiful mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Mark and his wife Kathy also provide pro bono IT services to a variety of nonprofit organizations.
…then Murray Pura has just the right Best- Selling series for you!
What is this series all about?
Sarah Nunley is her Uncle Thomas’ favorite niece. Uncle Thomas is a godly man, telling her stories about Jesus and the Bible and taking her for walks in the Virginia woods to point out the marvels of Creation when she is a child. But war comes to Virginia when Sarah is a young woman and soon Uncle Thomas is famous and known by everyone, friend and foe alike, as Stonewall Jackson. But to Sarah Nunley he remains her beloved Uncle Thomas and Seven Oaks remains a plantation of peace in a time of war.
To date Murray Pura has released 4 stories in the series with the fifth one –“A Wedding in Virginia” set to come out June 21st.
Here is what some have said about “Seven Oaks” so far:
“I have always thought a lot of Thomas Jackson when I would read history books. This story was one that helped bring out how all people should be treated with dignity and have the right to an education and not be left as slaves!!”
“Murray Pura brings these characters to life with his wonderful writing style. I could envision all the characters and the great plantation on which they lived.”
“I'm enjoying the historical description, the Christian conversations (rather or not I agree) and the expected high quality writing that Murray Pura puts into all of his work.”
The “Seven Oaks “ series is available on Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle. Here is the Amazon Kindle link:
What's on Your Playlist?
The sound of an approaching horse met her ears and she returned to the living room to look out the window. It was Gunner. She headed straight for the door, slowing long enough to grab the Winchester rifle leaning against the wall.
“Lynette, wait,” Ma called out behind her.
The gun made a clicking sound when she cocked it. “Get off our property.”
Gunner halted the mustang, his face grave. “Nettie, I need to talk to you.”
“Talking time is over.”
He raised a hand in the air. “Come on now, Baby.”
Lynette lifted the rifle to her shoulder and leveled the barrel on his chest.
Lynette Ellis, the female protagonist from my story Athena Creek, evolved one day when I was listening to Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." Instead of smashing a truck, I could easily picture a jilted female, with her long braid and billowing skirts, chasing her fiancé from the house with a rifle or stealing his horse in revenge. From there the story took shape into a novel about Lynette's dream of starting over and finding a hero. A feisty woman always makes for an interesting protagonist, and who better to tame her than a marshal!
Authors find inspiration from numerous sources. Many of my characters and plot points sprouted from music. My second story, Willow Ridge, was inspired by the song "East to West" by Casting Crowns. In a series about lawmen, there must be at least one outlaw who struggles to overcome his past, and thus, Barrett Walcott was born. To round out his backstory, I was reminded of the testimony of Nicky Cruz, a gang leader turned minister who was never arrested for his crimes. I wanted to convey that sometimes our merciful God doesn't require a punishment.
Although the third story, Castleton, wasn't based of any particular piece of music, I did find several love songs that prompted some of the scenes. I won't bore you with a list, but what I've done to help harness the inspiration is to create specific playlists in my iTunes account. For example, I have a list of fast-paced country songs, 80's love songs, sad lost-my-love songs, and Lindsey Stirling's violin music. I choose the playlist that fits the scene I'm writing to keep me motivated. Honestly, I've even been inspired by High School Musical and Barbie! Go ahead, laugh. It's ridiculous even to me. But this is the way God made me, and it works.
Maybe one of these days I'll list on my website which music inspired what scenes/characters/stories. You might be surprised by what you see on the list!
Jen Cudmore's first story Athena Creek, separated into two volumes, was just recently released. The next book in The Lawmen of Clayton County series will be available later this summer. For more information, visit www.jencudmore.com