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Monday, April 30, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Jackie Gamber, author of Sela

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Jackie Gamber's Sela Blog Tour hosted by Seventh Star Press.

About Jackie:

As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud.

She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion. Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves. 

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Welcome back to Darlene's Book Nook, Jackie! 

Jackie has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.

"In Between Inspiration"
by Jackie Gamber

Some writing days are smooth, almost effortless jaunts. I know where I’m going, I have all day to get there, and life feels just as it should.

Other days, not so much.

Early on, when I was struggling to take myself seriously as a writer, I tended to use my smooth days as a gold star. The red A+ on my report card. I’d rise from my chair after a good several pages and say to myself, “See? I am meant to do this. Look what I can do!”

The other days, when letters refused to pull into actual words to form actual coherent sentences (let alone a decent plot structure), I would wield that red pen at myself like a sword. Hacking and slashing at my self-esteem. “What in the world ever made you think you could do this?”

Oh, and then there were days when I didn’t even want to try. I knew I should write. I knew my goals were on the other side of that story. But I just didn’t want to.

Panic! What if “it’s” gone? What if I can’t finish the story? What if I never finish another story ever again? What if I’m as far into my career as I’m ever going to get, cut off as the bloom is just beginning to unfurl?!

Not proud moments, to say the least. But wrapped in panic, my brain sometimes forgets where the “eject” button is for those kinds of thoughts. A little silly, really.

I mean, yesterday I walked into the kitchen to deal with dirty dishes, and thought, “Ugh. I do not want to do that.” Did I whirl myself into a froth, terrified I’d never wash another dish for the rest of my life? That plates and tableware would just pile and pile as high as the window, and we’d run out of things to eat from, and to cook with--reduced to licking yogurt from our fingers and slurping water from the faucet?

Or when the time came for a trip to the grocery store. Trust me, I did not want to go. But I didn’t flop onto the floor in a dejected heap, fretting that I’d doomed my family to starvation. I didn’t picture any worst-case scenario of the Gamber family groaning on the kitchen floor, bemoaning our shrunken stomachs, surrounded by pots and plates so filthy we didn’t have anything to eat food from, anyway.

I didn’t react in either situation with panic. Of course not.

I got my kids to take care of the chores for me.

But the point is that most things in life don’t come in “all or nothing, one size fits everyone or no one.”

Inspiration comes and goes. Abundance doesn’t make me a writing superhero. Lack of it doesn’t make me a writing failure.

I’m a writer because I keep coming back to the page.

If I’ve learned nothing else about myself, it’s that I keep coming back. Just like to those dishes. Or to the grocery store. I might need a moment, a day. To take a walk. Or a nap. Smell some roses. Bask in the sun. Watch a cheesy science fiction flick. Hang out with my family.

That’s just life; it’s nothing to panic about.

Because I’ve got a lot of stories yet to tell. Inspiration or no, I’ll definitely be back.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Jackie! 

One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of Sela, the second book in the Leland Dragon series.

Peace was fleeting. Vorham Riddess, Venur of Esra Province, covets the crystal ore buried deep in Leland's mountains. His latest device to obtain it: land by marriage to a Leland maiden. But that's not all.

Among Dragonkind, old threats haunt Mount Gore, and shadows loom in the thoughts of the Red who restored life to land and love. A dragon hunter, scarred from countless battles, discovers he can yet suffer more wounds.

In the midst of it all, Sela Redheart is lost, driven from her home with only her old uncle to watch over her. As the dragon-born child of Kallon, the leader of Leland's Dragon Council, she is trapped in human form with no understanding of how she transformed, or how to turn back.

Wanderers seek a home, schemes begin to unfurl, and all is at risk as magic and murder, marriage and mystery strangle the heart of Esra. A struggle for power far older and deeper than anyone realizes will leave no human or dragon unaffected.

In a world where magic is born of feeling, where the love between a girl and a dragon was once transformative, what power dwells in the heart of young Sela?

The book also features illustrations by Matthew Perry:

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. 

This giveaway is open to Canada/US only until 12:01 AM EST on May 7, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

March 28  Watch Play Read
March 29  Stuck In Books
March 30  Fade Into Fantasy
March 31  Ian's Realm
April 2   Once Upon A Time
April 3   A Book Vacation
April 4   Jess Resides Here
April 5   Soliloquy
April 8   Sci Fi Guys
April 11  Workaday Reads
April 12  Eva's Sanctuary
April 14  Babs Book Bistro
April 16  Fade Into Fantasy
April 19  Ali's Bookshelf
April 20  Sheila Deeth
April 21  I Heart Reading
April 24  One Thrifty Gurl
April 25  Evie Bookish
April 28  I Smell Sheep
May 1st From The Bookshelf of T.B. (special tour encore and wrap-up visit)


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