Sunday, 7 December 2014

Free newsletter from MuseItUp Publishing Inc

The MuseItUp Newsletter has big discounts for its subscribers, new releases, a sneak peek, and a 100% free book --it's mine till Dec 12th, The Unhewn Stone -- and an exclusive author interview. Guess who? hehe. It really is worth subscribing. It's Free and it's Easy.

MuseItUp Publishing: Sign Up to Stay in Touch

The December issue is out now!

Newsletter subscribers will be the first to read exclusive author interviews, get special discount codes no one else is privy to, get a download code for the free book, take a sneak peek into upcoming releases, and much more... well, see for yourself. Christmas is special at MuseItUp.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Elixer Bound Book Blitz

YA fantasy
by Katie L. Carroll

Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek

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.


Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:

 To Win a Signed Paperback of Elixer Bound on Goodreads until September 28,  Enter HERE

About the Author:

Katie 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 and follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll) or Tumblr.

Katie's Book Blitz Schedule.
Check out all the other blogs on the list and don't forget to enter for her giveaways.

But first, come back here tomorrow and treat yourself to Katie's wonderful article on  'The Women in Elixir Bound'.



Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Women of 'Elixir Bound' by Katie L. Carroll


I originally conceived ELIXIR BOUND as a there-and-back-again quest, a sort of tribute to my sister Kylene, who died at the age of 16. I had hoped to give her a fantasy tale of her own. When it proved too hard to write the story from the POV of a character inspired by her, I decided to try from a different character's POV: her sister Katora's.
This really changed the direction of the story. Where Kylene was sweet, sensitive, and wore her feelings on her sleeve, Katora was stubborn, independent, and also sensitive but would never want to show it. ELIXIR BOUND then became a story about a young woman (Katora) who must go on a quest to find out whether or not she will become guardian to a secret healing Elixir and bind herself to it.
The binding part was key because it wouldn't allow to just use the Elixir as she wanted to; the binding would force her to use it in a way that also served the Great Mother (who is also called Mother Nature, and is basically the highest form of being in Katora's world). Now I had a story where a very independent character was forced to make a decision that would seriously hinder her independence and impact the path the rest of her life would take.

Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek
This whole story line was a personal journey that was paralleled by a physical journey in which Katora and her companions had to find the secret ingredient for the Elixir. Notice the total lack of mention of a love interest. It was really important to me that Katora's motives for the quest had nothing to do with a boy.
It was also important that Katora be chosen for this quest, not either of her two older sisters or her younger brother. I've always wondered why in so many real and fictional worlds the oldest son is the one who is entitled to the inheritance, so I wanted Katora to be neither the oldest nor a boy. The reason Katora was chosen as the next guardian of the Elixir, taking over for her father, was she was person who was best suited for the job. 

As I started writing ELIXIR BOUND, I realized I wanted these themes to be reflected in Katora's world as well. I think a lot of these themes spilled out of me unconsciously, and only in revision did I become consciously aware of the feminism in them. Suddenly Katora's world had turned very pagan with the people following a female deity (the Great Mother) closely tied to nature. From there I sort of ran with the idea that females would, in a sense, rule this world. Though I kept it that Katora would take over for her father because I wanted some balance in the world. Women didn't need to rule everything. 

And Kylene was still there on the quest and plays an important role (though not the starring one). I wanted her there to contrast Katora's personality because there are other strong female characters besides the bulldozer type, which is kind of how I think of Katora. I needed a female who was strong in character but not in your face about it. Also, Zelenka, a member of the miniature demick species, was an interesting female character. In many ways very much like Katora, but also a bit of an adversary to Katora. They never quite get along, mostly because they are so alike. 

There does end up being a love interest on the quest. One I had to emphasize and play up more as I went through revisions because several of my early readers didn't think it played a big enough role. Katora initially resists forming a relationship with Hirsten, the handsome son of a famous mapmaker. She doesn't want anything to distract her while on her mission and while she has such an important decision to make.  Though the quest part of the story is not driven by romance, Katora's ability to realize her capacity for love (and in turn why she has resisted her feelings for Hirsten) does play into her decision on whether or not to become guardian of the Elixir. 

As you can see, I thought a lot about the role of females in the made-up world of ELIXIR BOUND as I was writing it. I'd like to think my story offers a feministic look at females and hopefully speaks to teenage girls in a positive way. Although, I didn't want to force any certain didactic message about feminism in the story...more an offering of female characters and how they take control of their lives and futures. Themes I certainly plan on considering while writing future works as well. #

Come back here tomorrow for the 1st day of Katie's Book Blitz and Giveaway of Elixir Bound.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Book Launch made news

At the Book Launch of The Unhewn Stone print book, the Lake Times newspaper sent their photographer to take a photo, and the editor wrote  this nice article which appeared on Wednesday, 27th August 2014. For the actual article click here.

The Unhewn Stone is now available in print from the Amazon stores in all countries, MuseItUp Publishing    Barnes &Noble , the Book Depository UK, Fishpond au, Angus & Robertson au. and  Holistic Page in Newcastle, NSW.

Also available to order from bookstores in Sweden, Finland, South Africa and Russia  (in English language).The Russian site has The Unhewn Stone priced at  $577aud so you mightn't want to buy it from there. :)

 Published by MuseitUp Publishing. Also available as an ebook.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fun Book Launch for The Unhewn Stone

Here at last! The award winning  e-book is now available in PRINT! 
The three day book launch event, in Shellharbour, NSW, for my YA historical novel, The Unhewn Stone, was hectic and satisfying.

The SVES -Shellharbour Village Exhibition Space, venue for the book launch.


 Because the novel is a new take on the Wilhelm Tell legend, and my hero travels back to 1307 AD, I thought I should dress for the medieval era. So I made this costume and felt way too comfortable in it. I wondered if I'd actually been in the 13th and 14th centuries before.

 Bürglen, Altdorf, Lake Luzern and Hohle Gasse retain a medieval atmosphere and they certainly feel like home to me.   They are important settings in the modern world and the medieval world of the novel.

Medieval music in the background, and the twenty-five minute, on location, photo display at the book launch made it possible for the reader to walk in my fictional Stefan Gessler's footsteps as he attempts to prevent the Legend of Wilhelm Tell from happening.    
Birthplace and home of my Stefan in The Unhewn Stone, and Wilhelm Tell, Switzerland's national hero of liberty.  The chapel marks the site of Will Tell's house.

This lovely old guesthouse in Bürglen, built in 1578, inspired the fictional 'Gessler Inn' owned by my Stefan's parents in The Unhewn Stone.
Altdorf -Fountain Square

The Wilhelm Tell monument marks the spot where Tell shot the apple off his son's head.
Lake Luzern


This chapel is on the rock Tell jumped onto when he escaped from Governor Gessler's boat on Lake Luzern

Hohle Gasse - The Hollow Way

the narrow path where, legend has it, Tell ambushed and killed the tyrant governor. The chapel marks the spot. 
Weeks of hard work and promotion  went into this event, but it was well worth it to be surrounded by so many smiling people and well wishers.
We  danced to the medieval music and ate authentic Swiss cookies and meringues. 
Now my book is a tangible reality, thanks to MuseItUp Publishing.
The Unhewn Stone is available from all  online book stores including Angus & Robertson and Fishpond in Australia.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Anticipating the arrival of The Unhewn Stone

My first copy of the paperback version of The Unhewn Stone has been shipped by Amazon and is expected to arrive on 16th July. Ironically this is the birthday of Peter, my late baby brother. So, if the book does arrive then, the date will have huge significance for me.
Cover Designer: Tiger Matthews
I'm also waiting for the pack of books from my publisher so I'll have them for sale and display at my exhibition/book launch in August.
This is a three-day, one-man showing, in the gallery organized by the City Council. So much planning and expense is required. I had no idea what I'd let myself in for when I registered, but I'm getting excited now.
I'm trying to create a medieval world with a combination of music, some bought and some written by my son; a continuous widget of Swiss landscapes and medieval photos on one wall; wall posters,  a table display of items used in the book;  a medieval costume to be  worn  by my granddaughter on one of the days; an outside sandwich board. Door prizes, and the books to be signed, of course.
If I can organize to have a friend bake the Swiss cookies from the book, then they will be there as well.
No doubt more ideas will come to mind. I need plenty of items to create the genuine medieval atmosphere and interest, in this new take on the Wilhelm Tell legend, set in the Switzerland of 1307AD, seen through the eyes of a modern day time traveller.
Writing the Media Kit and Press Release for the book is underway but...that isn't easy. e.g. 'add a quote that is not a testimonial.' Just a small point among the many more difficult ones, for me.
Exciting but nerve-wracking. Oh well, at last this Aussie author is at work.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Jolie Pethtel's new Romantic Cosy out today.

Congratulations to author Jolie Pethtel on the release, today, of her fascinating novel Poison Pens, Book 2 in her Jezebel Jinx mysteries, from MuseItUp Publishing.

Cover designer: Celairen
Because Jolie is unable to  relish this wonderful occasion today, I want to share this exciting time with the reading public on her behalf.

Set in the 1920s prohibition era,  Poison Pens has everything to keep the reader enthralled. The strong female character in Jezebel Jinx, aka Mrs Finn Mackenzie,  the feisty but agoraphobic mystery writer, takes us through twists and turns with murder, mystery, humour, romance and revenge. This is a fabulous cosy and much more.

We know from the blurb that suspense will be high:

‘Truth or die” is the name of the game, when a killer hijacks a murder mystery weekend for writers... One by one, [Jezebel's] fellow writers are being poisoned, and the only way to get the antidote in time is to discover the secrets that link them all together as victims, as well as potential murderers.

The post card which opens the novel, immediately sets the mood:

You are cordially invited to an exclusive gathering of the Poison Pens Society for a weekend of murder and mayhem, to commence on Friday, November 13th,  at the thirteenth hour. Suspects may bring an alibi.

Judging by the reviews of Ms Pethtel's earlier novel, Painted Jezebel -

...there is surely nothing that can pry it from a readers hands once they get started. A whirl wind from start to finish...

 Painted Jezebel is a hilarious adventure with more twists and turns than the most elaborate spiral staircase you'll ever find anywhere.

...some scenes will make you laugh like a loon - 

So, Poison Pens promises to be a very entertaining read.

Available from MuseItUp Publishing and Discounted for a short time for a crazy $2.99.

and at Amazon Kindle and the other online book stores.

So raise your glasses and wish Jolie much success with her new novel and may she write many more.

Cheers, Jolie!!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Book Review, A Horse Called Trouble

A Horse Called Trouble
by C.K. Volnek 
                        My rating: 5  stars

Perfect read for teens

This is a lovely uplifting book about a troubled girl and a troublesome horse who find love and trust in each other. The ranch setting is appealing and provides a great contrast for the dark, internal and external conflicts which drive the story.

In A Horse Called Trouble, Ms Volnek explores the sensitive issues in childhood and adolescence of ‘the haves’ and ‘have nots’, of friendships and jealousies, of rejection and bullying, and shows us a strong central character who fights on, and grows, in spite of the odds. We are drawn into the story from the start, and held there, feeling we are participants in 13-year-old Tara’s life. How we love Tara and Trouble.

Beautifully written, evoking a gamut of emotions, A Horse Called Trouble is a lesson for bullies and encouragement for those who are treated unfairly. But more than this, the book is a gripping adventure to be loved and passed on from generation to generation. A Horse Called Trouble is up there with the classics. I loved it.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Good Music Climbing the Charts.

Informed Planet's Music - is currently Number 1 in Australia in the Reverb Nation's Charts in World music genre.
 Globally  its Position #119  in World music. Now #113

Listen to the haunting melody and message
                Mr Earthling_Sleeping Beauty

                                                  and break free

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Writing Paranormal - A Writing Tip.

Multi published author, poet and painter, JoAnne Myers, lives in the famous Hocking Hills, in South Eastern Ohio. Surrounded be thick forests, cascading waterfalls, deep rocky gorges and amazing rock formations, it is little wonder all this natural beauty should draw out her creativity.

JoAnne writes in the fantasy, paranormal, mystery and true crime genres. She has recently  released her paranormal mystery anthology containing seven long and short stories,
Wicked Intentions.

Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Today, JoAnne talks about writing the paranormal story.

When it comes to fiction writing, almost anything goes. That is why I love writing paranormal and fantasy stories. The author can go completely over the edge and make something unbelievable seem believable.

For my ghost stories, I get a lot of my inspiration from real life experiences. Not necessarily my own, either. I watch television programs with the supernatural and paranormal flare; documentaries from ordinary people who claim they experienced either an afterlife experience, or a haunting.

Some of the stories from my anthology, Wicked Intentions, are based on actual hauntings.  In The Legend of Lake Manor, I placed my young psychic, Cassandra Lopez, in a haunted mansion I fashioned on my knowledge of a three-story mansion in my hometown and information from television about a restaurant/bar in Ohio, supposedly ruled by demons so violent that the local police are constantly closing it down.

A television documentary about a young mother plagued by ghost sightings since childhood, inspired The Haunting of Barb Marie and her gift/curse. And The Apartment, in which my newlyweds, Bill and Gayle, are plagued by sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and theirs lives, originated from a real apartment haunted by the ghosts of two homosexual lovers who died violently. The legend says no tenant is able to stay there until the spirits are chased off by a paranormal investigation team.

On the Discovery Channel, I learned of the colonial explorer Jonathon Carver who lived during the 1700s and whose ghost is believed to be haunting the Summerwind estate, built in the early 20th century. Carver’s ghost is, supposedly, searching the house’s foundations for deeds to a vast tract of land (10,000 square miles) given to him by Sioux Indian chiefs as a reward for the peace treaty he created between two warring tribes. In my Summer Wind, 29 year-old Ginger is mysteriously drawn to the old mansion, and like the many owners of the real mansion, the haunting had a negative and profound effect on Ginger and her family.
Another investigative program concerned one sister’s psychic premonitions about her twin’s murder. This led to my story, Blood Ties, and my heroine, Audra Roper’s dark, disturbing visions of her sister’s disappearance and the roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue that followed.

Dark Visions came from reading a newspaper story while sitting in a diner. A young woman began having visions of her father's disappearance that was actually his murder from years earlier. So, my Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday and believes these ‘dark visions’ can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.

I set my murder mystery, Truth Behind the Lies, on Norfolk Island after following a three year long murder investigation on that island from 2003. In my story, Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian faces attacks, more murders and ghostly occurrences, and the killer is closer than anyone realizes.

So, the next time you get Writer’s Block, or need a new idea, try switching on the television, open a newspaper, delve into history or simply look and listen. You will find something to stimulate your muse. #

Learn more about JoAnne  at
her website Books and Painting by JoAnne
                   Amazon - JoAnne Myers
                   JoAnne's Author  Page

Wicked Intentions is available in print and ebook at

 Other book by JoAnne Myers include,  Murder Most Foul;  Loves, Myths, and Monsters; The Crime of the Century; Twisted Love; Flagitious; Poems About Life, Love, And Everything In Between

Sunday, 2 March 2014

And the Winners Are...

Congratulations to the lucky winners from the Book Launch Party.

To Pat McDermott

goes Book Two, Exiled: Winter's Curse
by Rosalie Skinner

To Karen Cote

goes Book One, The Bowdancer
by Janie Franz


Friday, 21 February 2014

Yay! It's Party Time! Book Launch!

Come and have fun with the MuseItUp authors,
Rosalie Skinner,  Rosemary Morris, and Janie Franz.

 Plenty of weird and wonderful quests and cyber food laid on. Bring a plate if you like, and your fictional characters are most welcome.  These parties usually go on for days!! So come,  go, come again, as you please.

This is fancy dress, so wear something fitting from these three new books.
From fantasy dragons and pirates, sorcerers and witches to Regency nobility and sea captains, to feisty Medieval healers, wedding guests and horsemen, the range is vast.

You could be one of the winners of these amazing books!

And the books are --

  7th book in The Chronicles of Caleath series
Adrift - In Search of Memory
Cover Designer  Delilah Stephens


Rosalie Skinner

Genre: Science Fiction - Fantasy Novel

Back of Book Blurb

Tag Seawell’s strange turns are frightening his shipmates. Each time his eyes turn black unexpected things happen. He can’t explain why.

When strangers come to town searching for a man of his description, the locals fail to mention his existence. The stranger’s arrival and departure before Tag returns from sea, give him his first hope of learning about his past and perhaps curing him of the unexplained fits he falls into. Leaving his woman behind Tag follows the strangers and embarks on a perilous and confusing voyage of discovery.
Nothing prepares Tag for the revelations his journey brings. From pirates, to warring dragons, whales, starships and an alien god, new experiences jog old memories. Discovery comes with a price. Why does Death want his unborn child? Why does a race of sorcerers want his help? How is he supposed to influence dragons and how does he know and do things he should not know?

Now available from MuseItUp Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the other online bookstores.

Learn more about Rosalie at her Website


 The Captain and the Countess

Cover Designer  Charlotte Volnek

Rosemary Morris

 Genre  Historical Romance Novel

Back of Book Blurb

Why does heart-rending pain lurk in the back of the wealthy Countess of Sinclair’s eyes?
Captain Howard’s life changes forever from the moment he meets Kate, the intriguing Countess, and resolves to banish her pain.

Although the air sizzles when widowed Kate, victim of an abusive marriage, meets Edward Howard, a captain in Queen Anne’s navy, she has no intention of ever marrying again.
However, when Kate becomes better acquainted with the Captain she realises he is the only man who understands her grief and can help her to untangle her past.

Now Available from MuseItUp Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the other online bookstores.

Learn more about Rosemary at her Website

The 1st Book in the Bowdancer Saga
The Bowdancer

Cover designer: Cora Graphics


Janie Franz

 Genre Fantasy Romance novella.

Back of Book Blurb

Jan-nell, a young healer and keeper of village lore, despairs of ever finding the child who will be the next bowdancer or a man worthy enough to love.

When a village wedding is interrupted by four strangers, Jan-nell treats the injuries of one of them. The leader of these men, Bastin, is an arrogant, intelligent rogue who also is searching for an equal. His presence questions the bowdancer's life choice and stirs more than her mind.

Now Available from MuseItUp Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the other online bookstores.

Learn more about Janie at her Website  and her new website which is being updated
The gates to the secret garden are now open. Welcome one and all.
Oh, I should mention . . . don't drink the water . . . hehehe