Monday, May 21, 2018

MMGM~Some Very Messy Medieval Magic by C.Lee McKenzie

Hi! *flailing wave* It's me. For today's MMGM, I'm handing over Writer's Alley to a wonderful writer and friend. Please give C.L. McKenzie a warm Alleyway welcome! She's celebrating the release of her latest middle grade book.

Hi Sheri. I was going back in ye olde archives, trying to remember how long we've been in touch. Quite a while it turns out. Remember being a MOD? 

Haha! Yes I do remember our old days at YALitchat.

Great days. Great fun. And here we are still talking books and writing and promotion. Thanks so much for giving me this space on your blog today. 

You are so welcome. I'm going to step back and let you tell the readers about your latest middle grade book. Have fun!
Book #3 in The Adventures of Pete and Weasel arrived May 15. Some Very Messy Medieval Magic was as much fun to write as the others, and I loved getting into the history during the time of Richard II!

Here's some of what I learned while doing some research:
  • Moats were not quite the romantic, protective water that surrounded a castle or manor house. Nope. Kind of stinky, really.
  • Pages served knights to learn the trade and one of their jobs was to keep the armor rust-free. They used salt to scrub the metal, then rendered fat to protect it.
  • Richard II, who later became Richard the Lion Hearted, was a party animal and he loved to sing. He even led his church choir. 
The 1100s were an interesting time during this medieval era, and I'm glad I had a chance to explore them. I hope readers will enjoy traveling back to the days of knights and castles and kings.

The Adventures of Pete and Weasel now has three books
Some Very Messy Medieval Magic arrives
May 15
Instead of writing a tagline to explain what this series is about, here's the trailer that sums of the three books very quickly.

Here's how this latest adventure begins. 

By the fourth week of eighth grade, everybody in class, including know-it-all, Curtis Lamont,  decided that having Dr. Dread Wraith as a teacher until June was going to be worse than a bowl of turnips for dessert.

The pop quizzes weren’t even a surprise anymore because he gave one almost every day. And all any kid had to do was squirm when Wraith was giving one of his lectures on the theory of general relativity, which nobody—even Weasel—had ever heard of, and he’d slap them with detention.

They cringed every time they heard his name. It was a cringe-able name after all. Pete wanted to tell the kids the reason Dr. Dread Wraith called himself that, but he didn’t want to bring up how their sub was really a bigwig in the Cross-Temporal Consortium of Witches and Wizards. Or that he had to go toe to toe with bad dudes like Genghis Khan. Like Wraith told him, without his bone-chilling name, he didn’t have the clout he needed.  

If Pete did explain all of that, then that would lead to having to explain how Wraith, who wasn’t really a bad guy, just a menace of a teacher, had followed Pete and Weasel back from their last time trip.  And that. . .well, that was just too much for any eighth grader to swallow.

All my books are available online. 

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic is available at these locations. 

Print ISBN 9781939844460 / EBook ISBN 9781939844477

Order through Ingram, Follett, or from the publisher

EBook available in all formats 

My publisher has created a library request letter that I'm including. If people want to check out the book, rather than buy a copy, this is one way to make that possible. 

I hope you enjoy this next adventure, and if you do, please leave a review. That's the only way any author knows what you think about their work. I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to write a review for me. Thank again for letting me appear here, Sheri. 

Of course! It's always great to chat with you. I can't wait to read this one!

For more MMGM, participants, and great middle
grade reads, visit Greg Pattridge on Always In The Middle.

What about you MGers? What's your favorite kind of middle grade adventure? 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

IWSG~The Road To Wisdom & A Favor

I was going through old posts the other day and found this one. I've pasted it below for your convenience. It was a perfect find for me with what's been going on with my writing, lately. In short, I've been working on this manuscript for just over ten months. I'm at the end. I can see the homestretch - the last four chapters. But then, out of nowhere, I realize that I've veered so far off from my original main plot that I must go back to the beginning to restate and reinforce the main plot. 


My brain was already done with this manuscript and had already mentally sent it to my editor. 

After sound advice from some amazing author peeps I know what I must do - rewrite the synopsis alongside the manuscript to see where the holes are and to alter the main plot. Then I can finish the last four chapters and send it off. 

Here's that post I found from 2015. 
(💙And please scroll to the end of this post. I have a favor of support to ask of you.)

Writerly Wisdom Wednesdays, posted on the third Wednesday of the month, is a regular meme for writers to share lessons they've learned along their path to publication and beyond. I haven't used it in forever. But I noticed that last year was tough on a lot of us, so I decided to bring it back to the forefront. Feel free to join me! The only requirement is that the post be brief. 

image credit
There are days when all seems bright and airy. Then again, some are filled with doom and gloom. And with the fast-pace of life today, the two can sometimes blur. The one certain we have is the current moment we're living in. Right now. Yeah, that one. Other than that nothing is assured. 

A multitude of variables bombard us each day that influence, affect, and change our activities, goals, attitudes, and motivations. I don't know about you, but every time I think my day is going smoothly WHAM! the unexpected happens. Wisdom: The unexpected really should be expected. 

Although this quote could be relative to many people in numerous different walks of life, it is a hard-fast truth for writers. I could spend a dozen posts on methods of deciding whether to remain steadfast with a manuscript or shelf it; that will be for another day. The most valuable lesson I've learned about writing is that loving the craft will not always feel good. It's sacrifice.

💙Quick plea before I ask my IWSG post question💙

Marked Beauty is a finalist in the 2018 Maine Romance Writers 'Strut Your Stuff' Awards!!! I'm super excited because this is the first local award my work has been considered for. 
Could you take a moment to give my debut YA novel blurb & then cover a 5 Star vote each? Voting is open until May 4th. 
***Being a finalist puts me in the Reader's Choice round. The three finalist books are not being judged in comparison to each other. They are being judged individually by their own merit, presentation, & book blurb. I can't thank you enough for your support!

So tell me IWSG readers: what's the wisest writing or life advice you've been given? 


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