Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Blogger Krista Holle on Selkies ~ vs ~ Vampires

Welcome Krista! Thanks for visiting my blog today. Everyone, enjoy Krista's post on Selkies ~ vs ~ Vampires :)

Selkies ~vs~ Vampires

This one thing I’ll admit. I wrote a story about selkies because I figured everybody else was getting tired of vampires. But to my chagrin, I’m learning that most people don’t have a clue as to what a selkie is. Hello? Anybody ever seen The Secret of Roan Inish, or how about Ondine with Colin Farrell? Okay, so that last one was a disappointing flop. In light of these two poorly publicized movies, I’m on a campaign to raise selkie awareness.

The word “selkie” is the Orcaidian dialect for the word “seal”. The selkies traditionally are beautiful seal people that shed their seal skins when they slip from the North Sea, to either bask in the sun or cause a bit of mischief. The males might strangle a sheep or two or seduce the blacksmith’s daughter. In my novel, The Lure of Shapinsay, the selkies are quite a bit more dangerous than the ones from the old fairy tales. Kait Swanney, a fiery blonde who lives on the tiny island of Shapinsay, discovers this when she is blamed for the murder of a half selkie infant. Like sirens of old, Kait becomes dangerously besotted by the very selkie who’d like to have her dead. It’s quite a pickle.

Both selkies and vampires have a penchant for killing humans, so let’s compare these two legendary creatures:

· Selkies are so very cute and cuddly in their seal form (watch out for their claws) and in their human form they are the most beguiling creatures on earth. Vampires, though admittedly pleasant to look at are missing that raw animal instinct.

· Vampires will always lust for blood more than they love you. While it’s true that a selkie’s heart will always belong to the sea, hemorrhaging is a lot less sexy than being drowned in the sea.

· Selkies smell like the beach and vampires…well they have no scent at all unless they’ve been hunting, and then they have blood breath.

· In the winter, selkies come with their own warm blanket, while vampires are ice cold and offer no warmth at all.

· Selkies may roam the land naked, but they don’t know this is indecent. Vampires on the other hand, are proud of their evil deeds.

There’s really no contest as you’ll discover in The Lure of Shapinsay—the selkies come out on top. My new book will be released on Amazon towards the end of the year. If you’d like to keep updated with the cover art and release dates, please visit my blog at I’d also love to chat with you on twitter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Connect Your Reader With The Bad Guy

Connet Your Reader With The Bad Guy
Posted on October 26, 2011 by mandicasey
When I write my novels, there is always a bad guy. In my latest release, Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick, I actually have a few. But in the end, there is always the baddest of the bad. I think to have readers fully connect with your writing, you need to have them experience and feel what the bad guy is feeling, why they do what they do – even though we don’t like it – what perspective they are coming from, and what their background is.

There is a reason the bad guy is bad, and it’s not just because he’s bad. Maybe something happened to them in their past? Maybe someone did something to someone they cared about? Regardless of the fact that they are bad, show the reader how the bad guy feels, make them feel it too.

There is usually some driving factor that causes the bad guy to do bad things, and a lot of the time it’s not just because they like enjoy inflicting pain onto the main characters of the story. Well, most of the time.

Just like the main character, know everything about the bad guy and sprinkle details throughout the story. Another great way for the reader to emotionally connect with your story is make them afraid of the bad guy, make them feel empathy towards the main character and feel happy that they themselves don’t have to meet the bad guy in a dark alley or have the bad guy slither out from under their beds during the middle of the night.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Writing - the process

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” - E.L. Doctorow

These words couldn't be more true. I always knew I wanted to write romance novels with paranormal twists creatively woven in the plot to make my stories fantastical, enjoyable, and able to take the reader away from their current locale, situation, and stresses of daily life. Well, you can't achieve that goal as a writer - it is my personal ultimate goal with my stories - without first knowing how to write. Punctuation, grammer, the use of a comma? I couldn't believe there are entire books out there dedicated in how to correctly use a comma! Oh yes, I bit that one, and I chewed vigorously. Do I have a handle on correct comma use? Probably not. But I'm trying :)

Feel free to comment your funny stories on how punctuation may have landed you hot water. I'd love to hear them :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Check out my guest spot on Brinda Berry's Blog

Check out the fabulous Brinda Berry's blog where I'm her author guest :) You can also check out the first 15 pages of Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sydney Sedrick Interview Coming on 10/20/11

Go on over to, blog of the fabuous Ella Gray, and meet Sydney Sedrick, the newly bitten Selected who everyone either wants to have her on their side, or hunt her down and do away with her. Oh, and then there's Blake, the werewolf that just won't quit. How can you say no to the sexiest man you've ever met? And why the heck would you? You'll have to check out her interview 10/20/11 to find out!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Author Interview: Jami Gray!

Please come and join me while getting to know a great new author, Jami Gray, as we learn what makes her tick as a writer, what inspires her, and how we can find her upcoming releases!

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was eight and had just returned from watching Star Wars at the drive-in theater (yes, the one where you park the car and the clumsy speaker hangs on your window). When I went to bed that night, I spent a couple of hours re-writing the story so Han Solo would have a kick ass female to be with instead of the whiny Princess Leia. Years later, my parents got an electric typewriter so the six teenagers who were in typing class could practice their emerging skills. Needless to say, I took it over and we became inseparable.

2.) What type of genre do you write in?

Urban fantasy—with a dark edge.

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?

I grew up on stories of magic in everyday life. For the longest time I really believed my freckles were directly related to the brownies who were sneaking in kisses while I slept. I grew up on Disney stories, then moved on to Star Trek and other sci-fi books. I hit high school and started sneaking my mom’s romance novels out of the house (sorry, mom!) to help supplement my book habit in-between the fantasy and murder-mysteries I was able to snag from the school library. I headed out into the big bad world at 18, and as I stumbled through the maze of life, I discovered my characters were suddenly becoming harder to hurt (emotionally and physically). I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with this, but needless to say my reading needs changed as well. I started hunting down books where the heroine didn’t always need the hero to ride to her rescue. Sometimes it was more satisfying if she rumbled up to his rescue on her Harley.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?

I wish I could share some profound inspiration, but yeah…no. I always knew magic would be a key component of my world crafting. One of the greatest mind benders for me has always been how would our world react to the existence of magic? How well could the everyday populace handle the reality of werewolves, vamps, necromancers, demons, witches, and every other story ever told? And because life has a darker side and the Grimm Brothers never met Walt Disney, what would those in power do to harness such abilities for their own advantages? So I knew Raine McCord, my main character for Shadow’s Edge, had to be intimately acquainted with the pros and cons of the reality of magic. She’s part of the magical world, but thanks to some human scientists who just couldn’t resist playing god, she’s a bit more than even she expects. I was adopted at 14, so I find my main characters tend to come with some baggage and Raine’s not any different. Since I firmly believe that you have two choices when life starts putting you through the wringer, stand up or fall down, my women (and men) tend to stand up, even if they’re weaving on their feet, faces bruised and battered, they’re up, so bring it.

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?

Okay this question isn’t fair, because let’s be honest, most writers are avid readers. I have hundreds of books. Depending on what life is tossing my way, will determine whose world I’m escaping into that day. Alright…let me think how to narrow this down…
JR Ward, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and her Angel’s series are both fantastic. She has such a depth of reality to her books, you really could walk down some dark alley and believe tall, dark, sexy-scary is a vamp with emotional scars only the strongest, most determined woman can handle.
CE Murphy, The Walker Papers series. She manages to weave mythology effortlessly with the modern world and Joanne is great! Seanan McGuire is another writer who does the same thing with her October Daye series.
Christine Feehan (Carpathian, Ghostwalker and Leopard series) and Nalini Singh (Psy/Changling series and Guild series). These two women are fantastic. Their worlds suck you in and you don’t want to leave. I think for me it’s their ideas—secret government experiments, ancient races, what if the psychic experiments of the 60’s actually accomplished something or angels really lived among us—that’s why I can’t wait for the next book in each series and find myself re-reading them often.
I can’t leave without mention Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels are my heroes. I adore the way both authors merge magic with reality and give their strong woman some hidden soft parts, even they don’t seem to catch. Besides, their relationships with their men are hilarious.
Just so you know, I’m an equal opportunity reader. Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) and Kevin Hearn (Iron Druid series) are at the top of my list as well. Come on, how can you not fall in love with a geeky wizard who makes hard choices for those he loves, or the older druid (1000 yrs and counting) who manages to keep his youthful outlook while taking on various pantheons in hilariously scary ways?

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

I’ve heard a hundred times that every story ever written has already been set to paper. My response, meh! Maybe the basic story outline—hero vs. evil, boy meets girl—but you set a strong, multi-layered character, complete with flaws and strengths in a well crafted universe and that story will leave others in the dust.

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?

Music—I love music. My taste in music ranges from Enya to Nine Inch Nails. I’ve always been amazed at the stories a well written line can spark. The melodies convey emotions and depending on how you’re hearing that emotion, the lyrics can take on their own meaning. Music and stories have always been deeply intertwined for me.
Reading—I know it sounds strange, but reading, especially when I discover new authors, it’s like a brain storming session for me. Something about getting caught up in someone’s world is a magic all its own. Plus it makes me start to brainstorm, because if someone came up with this twist, what would happen if you tweaked this? And then you’re off.

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?

Oh yes! Besides Savvy Authors and ARe CafĂ©, I am a proud member of the 7 Evil Dwarves ( The 7ED emerged from the Swamp a few years back when the seven of us were picking our way through the harrowing world of critique groups. We had been treading water in various romance/literary/mystery groups trying to find similarly warped minds. Then the villagers started chasing us out with pitchforks and flaming torches, so we somehow found ourselves hiding in the same creepy swamp of Speculative Fiction, aka Sci-Fi/Fantasy. My fellow dwarves are instrumental in Shadow’s Edge finally seeing the light of day. If there’s one piece of advice I’d ever give a new writer it’s this: find yourself a critique group. Not just any critique group, but one that will be brutally honest with you because they love you enough to know your story needs to be savaged before it can finally rise stronger than ever.

9.) Do you have a day job?

Unfortunately those pesky bills need to be paid and until my writing can compensate for that paycheck, or we win the lottery, a day job will have to remain.

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?

The submission process is rough no matter what I do. For me, I think I finally figured out how to pitch my book once I was able to sum it up in one to three sentences. Unfortunately, you can’t cull it down that far unless you truly understand your characters and their stories. Once I had that golden kernel, query letters were tighter and somewhat easier to craft.
Writing wise, I’m a pantser—writing by the seat of my pants. I have a general story idea, my main characters are fairly fleshed out, but once I start setting it to paper, I find my characters change the story’s journey. It’s frighteningly exciting, but it’s not something I’d recommend for the faint of heart. I tend to do a little more world crafting before I start my books now, because if I understand the world my characters live in, it helps keep them real.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

Shadow’s Edge is my first book in the Kyn Kronicles and it’s coming out in early November 2011 from Black Opal books. You can find it at or

Happy writing,
Mandi Casey
Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick is set to be released in October through Soul Mate Publishing, and will be available at:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Blog Look, check it out!

Yay, I've now changed the look of my blog, let me know how I did! I am soooo not tech savvy, but this stuff is kind of fun :)
Happy Writing

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Day Before Release - What to do?

So today is the day before the release of Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick. What do authors typically do the day before their big release? I've decided to keep writing on book number two in the series, a lame effort to quell the butterflies swirling around in my exstatic head and the cheerleaders jumping around my chest cheering YAY!!! Okay, I can barely think of anything else. If anyone has ideas on how to productively spend the night before release day, feel free to comment :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Soul Mate Publishing Blog Hop!

Here is the link for everyone to visit for Soul Mate Publishing's Blog Hop Launch Party! Check out the blog of some amazing and talented authors!

Here is the link:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick - book trailer

Hi All,
Here is the official link to my new book trailer, I think I previously post the draft version, tee hee :) Take a look, I'm hoping for 50 views in the next 24 hours!

Only 4 more days until book release!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soul Mate Publishing Launch Party!

Soul Mate Publishing Launch Party is happening October 12th!!! Come by our blog hop, to be posted on launch day, and check out the fabulous authors and their new releases. Great reads to be had! P.S. 6 more days until Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick's release, YAY!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Release Countdown begins!!!

Just got the release date for Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick, coming out on October 12, 2011! Yeah :) Fun and FREE stuff to come. The first 10 people to post on my blog on release day will recieve FREE SWAG!!! Come on, you know you love swag :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First stop on my blog tour!

Hey Everyone, check out my interview on the first stop on my blog tour! Whoot whoot :) Please feel free to comment and share your own answers.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Elise VanCise - Author Interview

Check out this great author's answers about what she does for inspiration!
Author Interview of Elise VanCise

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2006. I set out just to see what would happen and finished In the Dark in 24 days. I sat back and thought…. Wow, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m a writer! Since then I’ve lived by my pen.

2.) What type of genre do you write in?
I don’t really have a specific genre though most of my books/ stories have a paranormal element

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?
I’ve always been fascinated by the unexplained. I still devour a good ghost story every chance I get.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?
My ideas come from everywhere. My Sister-in –heart Rose Wade and I will be talking next thing you know we’re plotting a story lol. I’ve been inspired by people, places, objects, I love looking though photos and finding an image that just starts telling me a story.

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?
Poe, he knew how to get to his reader. Probe the darkest parts of the mind and put them on paper to give you a fright. Mark Twain, he was a true character both on and off the page.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
Strong characters are important, I fall in love with characters and get very involved when reading a story. I’ve been known to talk to my books. “Don’t … Leave that alone.. Noo go back to her stupid!” lol

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?
When my Muse needs a charge I head out to a museum. Walking though displays of history and art can be very inspiring. I am also a photographer so I get a lot of inspiration though my lens.

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?
I do, writing can become very solitary if you allow it. I belong to Lake Writers, a group that meets monthly in Lake County Florida. And I am the Lake County, Florida Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo.

9.) Do you have a day job?
Right now I’m living by my pen. It can be tight sometimes but I do love it.

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?
I’m not really sure I would change anything. Maybe finding ways to get more knowledge before I plunged ahead.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
I have a work in progress, Red Tape. I’m hoping it will be released soon. My first three books In the Dark, Don’t Touch, and HALF are all available at most online retailers and though my shop at