Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter is a Shapeshifter

History, and how our perceptions as society change over time, is fascinating to me. Is it fascinating to you?


For instance, where did the word Easter come from?


Originally it was called "Pascha," meaning Resurrection Sunday. (From the Jewish pesach, or Passover.) The word Easter comes from "Eostre," originally Ostarmanoth (or Eostremanoth), the name Charlemagne replaced April with. Eostre is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "the month of opening" or "the month of beginnings," aka, SPRING. So because the Pascha fell in the season of Eostre, it eventually took on the name of Easter. (Word evolutions are a funny thing.)


You've probably heard that "Easter" came from pagan roots. That's what I'd heard. That may not be so. In fact, Easter eggs were a sign of new life. Bunnies were a symbol of new life as well in the sense of fertility. Might they have entered the picture later as a pagan symbol? Sure. But maybe not.


So whether you're religious or not, whether you believe or not, this recent holiday celebrates a sacred, religious moment in history. A moment that gives me hope.



Two weeks ago, JA Andrews shared A THREAT OF SHADOWS along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win an eBook, and if the randomly selected winner guessed the lie correctly, they would win the bonus A KEEPER'S TALE.

The game:

1. I have aphantasia, which is the inability to make pictures in my own head.
2. I hate aluminum foil so much that I refuse to touch it. Or anything it’s wrapped in. 
3. I have a degree in rocket science.

The lie: #2.  

From Simone: Huge lie. I actually have OCD and I'm a neat freak! I can't stand any extra clutter or things out of place. I like my house to look like a museum. Sometimes I drive my husband a little nuts with all of my organizing and getting rid of things we don't need, but our home is very peaceful. 

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Liz!

Congrats, Liz!

And now for an AWESOME fantasy:

When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she’s safe, her new “friends” show their true colors.

Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea’s monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there’s something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

Buy your copy on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

When S. M. Boyce graduated with a degree in creative writing, she realized that made her well-qualified for serving French fries. It would take years of writing hundreds of thousands of words of all kinds before she became the fantasy and horror novelist she is today.


Boyce specializes in action-packed stories that weave in fantasy, mystery, and heroines with a knack for mischief. All romantic leads are based loosely on her husband, who proves that soulmates are real.

You might stumble across her munching on brie and apples.

S.M. Boyce gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win an eBook of LICHGATES(Open internationally.IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT WITH AN EMAIL ON THE PROFILE, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL IT TO crystal@crystal-collier.com WITH YOUR SCREEN ALIAS.

You have until Tuesday, May 2nd at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on May 3, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. Before quitting to write full time, I used to work as a software tester and was even promoted to lead/deemed the project expert of the software.
2. I planned a cross-country move from Maryland to Washington state in 2 weeks, from idea to move-in.
3. Due to an addiction to glittery things, I own 24 carats worth of diamond jewelry.

So sleuths, which is the lie? How do you feel about Easter? Do you celebrate it, and if so, how? Have you met S.M. Boyce? Do you like portal stories?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why You Will Always Fail, Always

Do you ever feel like a complete failure? (*points to self* On a daily basis.)


Q: What is it that makes you feel like a failure? (Barring clinical conditions.)

A: An expectation that you have not yet or are unable to meet. Does that expectation come from you, from society, from a friend or spouse?

As a mom to 4.5 (see my last post if you missed the announcement), it's easy to fall into this trap. There's a house to keep clean, clothes to mend, schedules to keep, school lessons to plan and execute, food to make... But here's one quick life hack I've learned:

Simplify.

Hate cleaning that self-stirring pitcher? Toss it. (True story. Hubby saved me AGES of sanity.) Can't make it to sewing up the holes in pants? Up the clothes budget and shop at less expensive stores. Struggling to keep up with fifteen schedules in the same house hold? Set limits. (One extracurricular per person, or less.)

And more than that. Cut the guilt. So what if your neighbor's family is always wearing the newest fashions, attends really awesome concerts & shows, goes on AMAZING vacations, has the star kid on the community baseball team AND a future concert pianist AND are 3rd degree black belts AND delivers homemade cookies at Christmas to everyone, and and and...

You are you. You're different than anyone else--in your capabilities, your sanity level, your strengths, etc, and the sooner you recognize that, the better.

So cut back on the commitments and stop trying to be everyone's perfect vision of success. Do what keeps you sane. More importantly, celebrate the fact you are a success.

Otherwise you are doomed to always fail. Always.


This has been an IWGS group post. The question for this month:

Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

Yes to all three. The results were awesome, but I wanted to sleep for a year afterwards.

THANK YOU, CO-HOSTS! Chris @ Madness of a Modern Writer, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!

Led by Ninja King, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

And now for the FREEBIE of the week...


Two weeks ago, Simone Pond shared HIDDEN SIGHT along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win a PRINT book.

The game:


1. I saved someone's life giving them the Heimlich maneuver.
2. I was baptized in the Pacific Ocean.
3. I'm a hoarder.

The lie: #3.  

From Simone: Huge lie. I actually have OCD and I'm a neat freak! I can't stand any extra clutter or things out of place. I like my house to look like a museum. Sometimes I drive my husband a little nuts with all of my organizing and getting rid of things we don't need, but our home is very peaceful. 

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Jess!

Congrats, Jess!

And now for an AWESOME epic fantasy:


Once Alaric was a Keeper. He protected the land with his knowledge and his magic. He advised the queen.

Once he was a good man.

Until, in a futile attempt to save his dying wife, he delved deep into dark magic, betraying everything he believed in. But now there is one last chance to save his wife, buried in an ancient Wellstone. With a map from a disgruntled dwarf, and the help of an inscrutable elf and an inept wizard, Alaric just might find it.

Except there are other, darker forces searching for the Wellstone. And if they find it first, they’ll use it to awaken a terrible evil. 

To face this growing threat—and have any chance at saving his wife—Alaric needs the strength and power of a Keeper, not the brokenness of the man he has become.

Can he overcome the darkness in his past? Or will it be the shadows within himself that destroy everything?

Buy your copy on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

JA Andrews is a writer, wife, mother, and unemployed rocket scientist. She doesn't regret the rocket science degree, but finds it generally inapplicable in daily life. Except for the rare occurrence of her being able to definitively state, "That's not rocket science." She does, however, love the stars.  

She began writing stories and creating coloring books because these sorts of things need an outlet. And now good markers are a deductible business expense.  

She spends an inordinate amount of time at home, with her family, who she adores, and lives deep in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, where she can see more stars than she ever imagined.


You might stumble across her at The Melting Pot downing their huge fondue pot of cheese on her anniversary. It’s happiness melted into a pot. 


Yup. I totally agree. =)

JA Andrews gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win an eBook of A THREAT OF SHADOWS(Open internationally.) And if you are the selected winner AND guessed correctly, you will receive as a bonus, A Keeper's Tale. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT WITH AN EMAIL ON THE PROFILE, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL IT TO crystal@crystal-collier.com WITH YOUR SCREEN ALIAS.

You have until Tuesday, April 18 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on April 19, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I have aphantasia, which is the inability to make pictures in my own head.
2. I hate aluminum foil so much that I refuse to touch it. Or anything it’s wrapped in. 
3. I have a degree in rocket science.

So sleuths, which is the lie? Have you met JA Andrews? Do you like epic fantasy? Do you feel like a failure? What is your greatest success or most unique talent?