Guest Post: J. D. Brown author of Athena’s Oracle

Of my September guests, I know J. D. Brown the least. One thing I know is she has a better grip on promoting her books on the internet than I do. If you don’t believe me, take a look at her Facebook Fan Page, where she has almost 900 likes. But I’ve been taking notes, and some of my notes have come from posts J. D. has made on the MuseItUp message board.

But enough about me. Let’s talk to J. D. about book serials, web series, and her newest project, Athena’s Oracle.

DH DL AO Black Banner

What is a book serial?

Serials are books published in episodes or small chunks such as a chapter. This format allows the reader the unique experience of enjoying the story as the author creates it.

What is a web series?

Web series are episodes that are released on the internet, usually free for readers to access and enjoy.

Book serials were extremely popular in the 1800s and, thanks to e-books, blogging, and the internet, the trend is now making a speedy comeback in the publishing industry!

I invite you to check out my online serial book, Athena’s Oracle. Every 1st of the month, a new chapter is added, completely free for your enjoyment, and will continue to do so until the story reaches its conclusion.

AO mock cover 3 med sizeAbout Athena’s Oracle by J.D. Brown:

Leena’s ‘gift of sight’ secures her place as the next great oracle of Athena. Instead of being groomed for wifehood like other girls, Leena spends her days within the walls of the Acropolis, shuffled around by the clergy and doomed to be a virgin forever. Before her ascension, Leena decides to take matters into her own hands. With the help of her father’s book of alchemy, she casts an incantation calling forth her own personal hero. But when that hero turns out to be a rogue vampyre prince with a haunted past, Leena begins to question if her feelings for him are the work of divine intervention, or a love spell gone horribly wrong.

Athena’s Oracle is a prequel to the novels Dark Heirloom and Dark Liaison, also by J.D. Brown. Set in 4th century B.C.E., Athena’s Oracle chronicles the romance between Leena and Jalmari during the very early trials of their immortal lives.

Begin reading Athena’s Oracle here.

Once Upon a Vampire author pic 2012About J.D. Brown:

J.D. Brown writes Urban Fantasy for MuseItUp Publishing, as well as a monthly “how-to” newsletter column for PDMI Freelance Publishing. She graduated from The International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. She is a self-proclaimed expert in vampire and Greek mythology. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance. J.D. enjoys helping her fellow writers and interacting with her fans and leads an active life on the web.

Follow J.D. Brown on her website, facebook fan page, and blog.

Guest Post: Erin Albert author of The Prophecy

This week, I am pleased to welcome a very special guest on my blog. No, it’s not Stephen King (maybe someday), but it is a person very influential in my journey into promoting my writing. She has taught me most of what I know about Twitter and Facebook. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know her. If you’ve seen my author page or Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud page on Facebook, I almost gave up on creating them until she sent me an article describing in detail the steps to take.

By this point you must realize I speak of Erin Albert. A self-professed “Grammar Freak,” and my “Book Sibling” (we each have fantasy novels coming out from MuseItUp Publishing in November–who knows, possibly even the same day, and our books share the same content editor) . She is simultaneously my best virtual friend and greatest publishing rival. We’re like Shakespeare  and Marlowe meet Neo and Morpheus (of course she’d probably prefer a Trinity reference–it’s possible she likes The Matrix). If you don’t know her, I hope you enjoy meeting her now. Heeeere’s Erin!

First of all, let me thank you, Eric, for allowing me to guest post on your blog!  I am so excited to be here and to share the story of my humble writer beginnings with you and your readers!!

I think I have always been drawn to the written word.  My parents and grandparents say I started talking way earlier than most children (and haven’t stopped).  One day, I wandered around my grandparent’s house and stumbled across a copy of Morris The Moose Goes To School.   I studied the book intently for a while and then read it to my grandmother, only tripping over the word “alphabet.”  From that moment on, I read all the time, whatever I could find.  Books took me to places I could never go in reality.  By the sixth grade, I started volunteering in the library.  My single mother worked long hours, so I spent my time afterschool completing my volunteer work then holing up in a corner with a book until my mom came to get me.

In terms of writing, I wrote my first poem at the age of four.  My grandparents own a car dealership, so I composed silly rhyming prose that included “A Honda for Fonda.”  Um….yeah, not my best work.  However, my family made a huge deal about it, and the attention hog inside me squealed with delight at the power of my words.  I began writing for fun and, by middle school, had a gaggle of girls chomping at the bit for the next chapter in my latest tale.

In high school and college, I received the opportunity to bring the written word to life through acting.  What a perfect combination—words and stardom!  LOL!  So, I threw myself into acting, eventually becoming the director of an acting group.  I even got to write plays and watch them performed by talented people.  For a good while, my creative life existed solely in that realm.

That chapter came to a close, as all good things do, but I still yearned to flex my artistic muscle.   I turned back to my first love—words.  One day, the idea for a story hit me like Zeus’ lightning bolt (gotta find a way to work in Percy Jackson).  I wrote non-stop, breathing life into a story I named The Prophecy.

When my friends read and loved it, I decided to give publication a try.  I read all the information I could find about the process and tried to steel myself for the inevitable rejections.   Let me tell you, I received plenty of them but also a lot of excellent feedback and praise.  My family and friends stepped in to encourage and lift me up on the days when I felt discouraged.  I would not be where I am today without them.

The day I received my publication contract, I had gone to get my cat some food at the pet store.  My phone dinged to notify me of an incoming email, so I gave it a cursory glance.  The email’s title said The Prophecy, and my heart sank a little because I assumed the email contained a rejection.  I opened it to the words, “Congratulations!  We loved The Prophecy and would like to offer you a publishing contract.”  I started screaming and jumping up and down…right in the middle of the pet store.  I’m sure people thought I’d lost my mind!  LOL!

So, that’s my story.  The Prophecy releases in November 2013, and I can’t wait!  I hope you will be inclined to give it a read.

Thank you again, Eric, for allowing me to “talk” about myself on your site!

Until next time,


Excerpt from The Prophecy:

Even though she had no chance to escape now, Layla shoved the Elder with all her might. The blow sent him flying into the baker’s door, which splintered under the force, and she darted forward.  The Vanguard soldiers moved to block her.

“We are all Vanguards,” she pleaded. “Please let me go.”

For a moment, they hesitated.  Layla used the opening to slip around them.  She ran as fast as her legs would carry her, but they proved to be too slow.  Within moments, the soldiers leapt upon her, knocking her to the ground.  Wrenching Layla up by her hair, they dragged her back to the Elder, whose face now bled from his encounter with the baker’s door.

“I see you’re going to be trouble.” He brushed the dirt off his robes.  “You can’t escape your destiny, girl.”

Author Bio:

TheProphecy_ErinAlbert_AuthorPhoto_SmallerErin Albert is an author and fitness trainer.  Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word.  She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”  In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing.

Find me online:

Twitter:  @ErinAlbertBooks




Guest Post: Ace Hansen author of Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery

When I met Ace Hansen, he insisted I either read his book, Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery, or give him some gummy worms. Having just eaten my last gummy worm, I had no choice but to read his book. I’ve never been happier to be without gummy worms, except, perhaps, the time I went to a concert in New York, and some bad, brown gummy worms were circulating…but that’s a story for another time. For now, enjoy Ace!

Available July 12, 2013
Thanks, Eric, for inviting me to hang out on your blog today. Some of you Earthlings have been asking what’s so special about my book. Holy asteroid! What could be more special than a book written by me, a humble green alien? The world is farting green! Who will solve the green gas mystery?

What? You want to know why you should read my book? Because you Earthlings like to make that strange sound out of your tiny mouths and noses you call giggling or guffawing or busting a gut or being in stitches and other strange things like that. This book will do that to you, even if you’re an old Earthling (that means more than 13 in earth years, in case you were wondering).

You still aren’t running out to buy my book because you don’t like to read books? Because you’d rather play video games in which you splatter green aliens from one end of the galaxy to the other? Well, if you start farting green one day, I guarantee you’ll want to find out why.  I know the answer. If you’re the least bit curious, this is the book for you.

If you have any questions about this novel, ask them in the comments below. I’ll try to answer them. But don’t ask what causes green gas ’cause you have to read the book to be in on that secret.

If you don’t want to read the book and you don’t have any questions, simply send me a large bag of gummy worms and we’ll call it even, okay?

Thanks for stopping by!
Ace Hansen, the smartest green alien in the Milky Way Galaxy
If you’d like to learn more about Ace (of course you do!) you can find him on:
If you’d like to purchase JULIUS CAESAR BROWN AND THE GREEN GAS MYSTERY it’s available as an ebook now and is coming out in print Fall 2013:

Guest Post: Katie Carroll author of Elixir Bound

We had a great time at in August. We started with discussions about comic book movies and graphic novels–two of my favorite topics. And to kick it off, we had the first ever giveaway. I did my first blog swap, with Susan Royal. One of my best virtual friends, Mary Waibel, dropped by with a royal interview (another first) and another giveaway; and we closed the month with a double feature of excerpts (yep, first) by Christina Weigand.

September has a lot to live up to, but it’s prepared for the challenge. In two weeks my social media mentor and self-dubbed book sibling (we both have young adult fantasy novels coming out in November), Erin Albert, stops by with her book The Prophesy. Next week we have another first when the adorable alien author Ace Hansen pays us a visit (I usually avoid alliteration, but I couldn’t resist). To tie it all together, Ace, Erin, and I all have something in common: we share the same spectacular editor, Katie L. Carroll. (Okay, I’ll stop with the alliteration.)

I believe editors are the best thing to happen to books since paper, but Katie joins us this week, not as an editor, but as an author. She’s kicking off a month-long blog tour to celebrate the release of her book, Elixir Bound, in paperback. Katie has sent a short story prequel to her book, titled Winter Solstice. She’s also touring with a copy of Elixir Bound to giveaway at the end of the month, so don’t forget to click on the link at the bottom of this post to enter.

I’ve read Elixir Bound. It’s an exciting fantasy with a lot of action. I highly recommend it. So after you’ve read the prequel, follow one of the buy links and give it a peak (misspelling intentional, right Katie? 😉 ). You won’t be disappointed.

Elixir Bound Blog Tour Banner

Winter Solstice

An Elixir Original Short by Katie L. Carroll

This short story takes place before the events of Elixir Bound. Siblings Katora, Kylene, and Bhar Kase are performing their annual celebration of the Winter Solstice.

“Do you have the acorns and your offering for the sacrifice?” Bhar asked with an impish grin and a glint in his blue eyes.

Katora raised her right eyebrow. “All but one, and Kylene should be getting it right now.” She thumped her younger brother on the shoulder with her fist. “You know the Great Mother doesn’t approve of sacrifices.”

Bhar laughed as he ran deeper into the trees of Faway Forest. Katora shook her head in annoyance and wondered if Bhar would ever be serious about anything. She shifted her backpack and followed his indelicate footsteps.

She stopped in a small clearing. Bhar stood in the center, a series of stacked rocks interspersed at regular intervals around him. She dropped her pack outside the rocks and sat inside the circle, legs crossed.

Katora had been coming to this place on the Winter Solstice for as long as she could remember. Her two older sisters used to participate in the ceremony, but they had recently moved out of the family home. They now held their own traditions. This was the first year they wouldn’t be there, and Katora wasn’t sure she wanted to be there either.

Still, Katora would honor the Great Mother with Bhar and her younger sister, Kylene. As Katora thought of her, Kylene loped into the clearing, cheeks rosy and long blond hair wild. Quick puffs of breath escaped Kylene’s mouth in the crisp air.

“I’ve got it.” From her pocket, Kylene pulled a small nut ending in woody cap. “Freshly fallen from an oak tree.”

Katora help up her hand, and Kylene tossed the acorn. Katora caught it easily and set it on the ground next to three others, each one collected during a different season. A hearty vine with withered essenberries also lay on the cold dirt. As Kylene sat, her gray cloak, the same color as the cloud covered sky, fanned out behind her and touched Katora’s cloak at the corner.

“Let’s begin.” Katora rubbed her chapped hands, souvenirs from years of farming, together. “Bhar, you did bring the trowel, didn’t you?”

Bhar produced the tool from his pants pocket. “Of course. Do you even have to ask?”

Katora grinned and glanced at Kylene, who failed to hide her smile. They both knew Bhar needed to be asked. He took his place next to his sisters. Behind him, his cloak touched each of theirs and completed the circle.

“Please present your items,” Katora said, tapping her offering of the vine.

A playing card appeared in Bhar’s hand, seemingly from nowhere. With a flick of the wrist, he tossed it among the acorns and vine. Kylene kissed a small book and gently placed it on the ground. The three siblings grasped hands and closed their eyes.

Katora chanted, “Mother Nature, we gather and return the fruit of the seasons. Take these and our personal offerings from our hearts to yours. As the cold of winter takes hold, offer in return safe passage to spring.”

A moment of silence passed before Bhar began to dig a small hole. Except for the scrape of the trowel in dirt, he worked in complete silence, the forest quiet as it fell into the sleep of winter. Katora and Kylene deposited the offerings into the hole. All three scooped the soil back over the hole and patted it down.

They grasped hands again, fingernails caked with dirt, and hummed. Their melody pierced the silent forest and rose to the top of the trees and beyond. A gust of wind swirled through the clearing, lifting their cloaks in the air behind them.

Katora’s eyes widened as Kylene’s hand gripped hers tight. Bhar turned his face to the sky. Katora felt her hair fly about her face as she watched Kylene’s locks do the same. Still, they kept humming. When their tune finally ended, the wind abruptly stopped.

A long sigh escaped Katora’s mouth, deflating the pressure in her chest. Nothing like that had ever happened during the ceremony.

“What was that?” Kylene asked in a whisper.

“A coincidence,” Bhar said with no trace of his playful smile.

Katora pounded her fist on the ground. “That was no coincidence. I’ve always been a bit skeptical that the Great Mother paid any attention to our little ceremony. But now…I believe she does.”

“Yes.” Kylene nodded her head repeatedly. “I always believed she did, but this is a nice confirmation of our faith.”

Bhar blew into his hands. “I’m cold. Let’s go home and heat up some milk and chocolate.”

Kylene’s brow wrinkled as she said with hesitation, “It is cold. And we must be home before dark.”

“I’ll catch up with you two.” Katora gathered up her pack as Bhar and Kylene left the clearing.

She heard Kylene tease Bhar about his offering. “What is Mother Nature going to do with a playing card?”

“More than she’s going to do with a book,” Bhar said. “Definitely more than she’ll do with an essenberry vine. Katora’s offering was definitely the worst.”

Kylene laughed at Bhar’s joke, and Katora was compelled to defend her choice. Every essenberry vine on Kase Farm was a gift from Mother Nature. The vines provided a means of wealth, and therefore survival, for the family. She didn’t bother arguing because her siblings’ voices had already faded away.

Just as she stepped back into the trees, Katora spotted a small bluebird perched high up on a leafless branch. Its beady eyes stared down at her. The bird opened its beak wide and let out one sharp chirp.

“You coming?” Bhar’s shout echoed through the forest.

She glanced back up at the oak tree, but the bird had vanished. As she jogged to catch up, Katora felt Mother Nature’s presence. It wasn’t only in the physical bounty of the forest, but also deep inside Katora’s own heart. She breathed deep and the winter air felt fresh instead of cold.

Elixir_Bound_300dpiElixir Bound blurb:

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Buy Links:

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Author Bio:

KatieLCarrollKatie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote Elixir Bound and the forthcoming Elixir Saved so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app The Bedtime Knight and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at

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