Call for Submissions: “The Sea, Our Home” Short Story Collection

Quarter Castle Publishing is making a Call for Submissions for a short story collection to honour those who lived and died by the sea.

Atlantic CanadaThe goal is to tell the stories of life by the sea. It’s a unique existence, one in which the tides and winds set the pace. There are many joys, hardships and tragedies from living by the constantly changing waters gracing our shores in Atlantic Canada. For families who have spent generations breathing in the intoxicating saltwater-laced breeze, the sea is in our blood; it is our home. We will live here and die here.

The collection is entitled The Sea, Our Home – Honouring the resilient men and women who forged a living along the rugged coastline of Atlantic Canada throughout the centuries.

The contest is open to all residents of Atlantic Canada, and those who once lived here and still love and miss the sea. First-time authors and seasoned veterans are welcome to submit their short stories.

The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2021.

To learn more about this call for submissions, visit The Sea, Our Home Short Story Collection page.

Fall Sale: The Coldest December

From September 17th until December 31st, The Coldest December eBook will be on sale for 99 cents, and the paperback copy will be drastically reduced.

The Coldest December

a Short Story Collection to Remember the Halifax Explosion

The Coldest DecemberOn December 6, 2017, Nova Scotia commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. More than two thousand people were killed and another nine thousand were injured from the largest man-made explosion of its time.

To pay tribute to the many victims, survivors and heroes who emerged from the disaster, Quarter Castle Publishing gathered a collection of fictional short stories connected to the Explosion. Stories are set immediately before it, during it or in its aftermath.

Pick up a copy today at the following online outlets.

eBook: 99 cents

Paperback

(prices stated in either CAD – Canadian Dollars or USD – US Dollars)

To learn more about this book, including the authors who contributed, visit The Coldest December’s page at Quarter Castle Publishing.

 

LAST DAY of Sale

Northern SurvivalDiane McGyver: “Northern Survival is about Olive, who is vacationing in Summer Beaver, Ontario, to do research for her next book and to get a little hiking in on wild, unfamiliar trails. When she is called home unexpectedly, she boards a chartered plane that crashes soon after takeoff. She and the man who chartered the plane are the only survivors. Together, they battle the elements, the terrain, hunger and each other’s wit and sarcasm in an attempt to escape the wilderness before it consumes them.”

Northern Survival is on sale for 99 cents, and that sale ends tonight at midnight. Tomorrow when you wake, it will have returned to it’s regular price of $1.99.

Get your copy now to read later.

Kindle Unlimited members read for FREE.

Go ahead; step into the great outdoors where knowing how to build a campfire is a life skill that will keep you alive in Northern Ontario when autumn leaves have blanketed the landscape.

What are Readers Saying About “Northern Survival”?

Northern Survival“Dialogue is important to me and I enjoyed the back and forth – there was tension, humour and on a couple occasions my eyes welled up and I had that burning lump in my throat!” ~ Barb

“Cover is very tempting, I want to pick it up and read it. It looks so good!” ~ Anonymous

“I loved the story. I especially liked the ending when … [removed to prevent spoiler], because that I wasn’t expecting.” ~ Lynn

This is what beta readers, who received an Advanced Reading Copy, have said about Northern Survival. Have you read it? Please, share your thoughts in the comments. If you’d kindly leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads it would be greatly appreciated.

The 99-cent sale continues until September 10th. Get your copy now.

Kindle Unlimited members read for FREE.

Book Launch: Northern Survival – 99-cent Sale

Northern SurvivalTo celebrate the release of Diane McGyver’s Northern Survival, the eBook is half price for the next seven days. That’s right. For 99 cents (half the price of a medium double double), you can download the eBook and delve into the wilderness of Northern Ontario now.

Northern Survival is a fast-paced story that follows two characters through the brush, searching for a highway they hope will deliver them to civilization.

Download the eBook Now

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read for FREE.

Description

Surviving the plane crash was the easy part.

Olive Tweed planned her trip for two years. She’d vacation at Summer Beaver, gather the research material needed to write the next book and spend a few days hiking the vast wilderness. When she is called home unexpectedly and boards a chartered plane, she never dreamt it would crash, leaving her alone with a man who knew nothing about survival or the woods. If they don’t put aside their differences and work together, they’ll never escape alive.

 

99-cent Sale

Book Launch Sale: Healing Stones

To celebrate the release of book 4 in the Castle Keepers series, Healing Stones by Diane Lynn McGyver, is 99 cents from May 14th to May 20th. Grab your copy of the eBook today at Amazon.

Description

A good man isn’t down until everyone who matters has lost hope.

Isla of Maura hasn’t seen Liam Jenkins for six years, since they pledged to unite. Her thoughts often drift to him and not long ago, his thoughts invaded hers. She sets out to find him, but the man she finds is far from the one in her childhood memories, and the secrets he keeps threaten her life and the lives of her travelling companions.

If you love stories of adventure mixed with magic and romance set in archaic landscapes, you’ll love McGyver’s Healing Stones. Unlike many fantasy novels, family plays a central role in this story, so be prepared for the hero to have her heart strings plucked by the song of home.

Healing Stones is the 4th book in the Castle Keepers epic fantasy series. It picks up the story of Isla and Liam where her kidnapping and the murder of his das tore them apart.

McGyver wields her pencil in a similar realm J. R. R. Tolkien and Terry Brooks released their imagination. It is traditional fantasy of old with magic, legends, dragons, hauflins and dwarfs.

Buy Healing Stones today and continue your journey into the Land of Ath-o’Lea where magic and sword clash.

Favourite TV Shows mentioned in Diane McGyver’s Northern Survival novel

Northern SurvivalWe all have our favourite television shows, and author Diane McGyver is no different. She grew up watching shows in the 70s and 80s. In a scene from Northern Survival, McGyver mentions several of her favourites.

Here’s the clip. Olive and John have been lost for many days, and they stumble upon an abandoned cabin in the middle of the wilderness. As they approach, they talk about who might own the cabin.

The structure, no more than 20 by 20 feet, had a covered porch and one window on the front. A pair of snowshoes were attached to the wall to the left of the door and two chairs rested to the right as if the occupants would walk out at any moment and enjoy their evening with a cup of tea. A stone chimney consumed a section of the right side of the cabin. Beside it was a crude table with a stool next to it.

John stepped on to the porch, and the wood creaked. “This is not the time to discuss The Cabin in the Woods.”

“Didn’t see it.”

He cast her a raised eyebrow. “Lucky you.”

“I prefer shows like Grizzly Adams, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie. Dusty Trails.”

“Let’s hope the owners are as friendly as the folks in those shows.”

Blade of Truth eBook Free for 3 Days

Blade of Truth by Diane Lynn McGyverThat’s right. The short story Blade of Truth by Diane Lynn McGyver is available for download for free for February 4th, 5th and 6th. Get your copy today and help celebrate February the Fantasy Month.

Blade of Truth: Tale 02

Staring Bronwyn Darrow, age 18

Innocence is shattered when a young man falls victim to a horrible prank.

Youth and innocence still reside in Bronwyn Darrow. When he attends a celebration with the girl he admires most, he’s elated but extremely nervous. He hopes the night will be one they’ll never forget. Instead, he should have hoped for one easily forgotten.

February is Fantasy Month

Fantasy author, Diane Lynn McGyver, is participating in February is Fantasy Month. To mark the start of the event, her short story, Destiny Governed their Lives, will be free for February 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Amazon. Grab a copy for your Kindle now!

Destiny Governed their LivesDestiny Governed Their Lives: Tale 01

Staring Catriona Wheatcroft, age 17

When a young woman casts a Sight Visitation Spell, it changes her life forever.

Catriona Wheatcroft is an apprentice who aspires to be an impressive sorceress.

When she discovers a scroll for a powerful spell, she hopes to prove to her teacher she is ready to take advanced lessons.

The spell is cast, and the unexpected brings tragedy to her life.

 

“Shadows in the Stone” Review

epic fantasy novel coverSan Giacomo’s Corner – A Place to Connect with Readers reviewed Shadows in the Stone, Book 1 in the Castle Keepers series.

Diane Lynn McGyver stands head and shoulders above other indie authors. Her dialog flows well, as does her setting and internal descriptions. She knows how to show and not tell better than most. There is also a skillful knowledge of writing at work. 

To read more, visit San Giacoma’s Corner blog.

Learn more about Shadows in the Stone.

Two Paths to Completing that First Draft

Coming Soon

The first draft of any novel is like climbing a mountain that has its peak concealed in thick clouds. Many people start writing it but few finish. There’s many reasons for the lack of success. If you’ve completed your first draft, congratulations. Take a moment and bathe in the beauty of reaching the top of the mountain, breaking through the cloud cover and feeling the sun on your skin.

While writers may not understand why they failed to finish the first draft, one reason might be the use of the wrong technique. There are as many ways to write a book as there are writers. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. You have to find your way to write the novel. It won’t be the way your English teacher told you how to do it. It won’t be the way the famous writer you met at his book signing did it. The author giving the workshop in the community hall has a different way than you to write a novel.

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The Coldest December: Big Ramblin’ Mike by Annemarie Hartnett

One of the stories in The Coldest December short story collection was written by Annemarie Hartnett. Here is the biography that accompanied her submission.

First published in 2006, Annemarie Hartnett has written stories under various pseudonyms in just about every genre. Her young adult historical romance set during the Halifax Explosion can currently be read at Watttpad. A Mount Saint Vincent University graduate, she grew up in Halifax, where she still lives, and works in the non-profit sector.

Find more about her writing and what she’s working on next by visiting her website Annemarie Hartnett.

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The Artist Behind the Cover Art for “Throw Away Kitten”

Throw Away Kitten Candy McMudd children bookQuarter Castle Publishing has received many compliments about the artwork on the cover of Throw Away Kitten. When they hear it was done by a teenager, they are more impressed.

Meet Sam Smith, author of Boys Ride, Too. She’s been creating art since before she could write her name. Her early works, mostly of horses, revealed she had an eye for detail. By the time she was ten, she could accurately sketch a horse in any position in about five minutes.

She created the kitten on the cover of Throw Away Kitten when she was 15 years old. It was done in pastel on sketching paper. It was done for fun and because she loved kittens.

“Revelation Stones” Epilogue leads into “Healing Stones”

For those who haven’t yet read Revelation Stones, the epilogue leads into the next Diane Lynn McGyver novel, Healing Stones, the 4th book in the Castle Keepers series. It’s a teaser of what’s to come. Here it is.

The end of the cobblestone street froze Liam in place. It had been four years since he had ventured from the city, and now the forest beyond appeared scary, dreadful. Animals that could eat him and bugs that would pester him non-stop lived out there. He didn’t know them like he knew those that would eat him alive and pester him here in the city. These were not animals in the sense folks thought of them, but beings of intelligent races that acted like animals.

Living in the centre of large buildings and streets of stone meant he never walked through mud, was scraped by thorns or slept on the ground. He knew Wandsworth, what to expect from the people who lived here and where to steal food. Leaving it meant he’d cast aside his safety nets and survive by other means. It might mean his death by morning.

He clenched his fists in his pockets, hiding his hands from those who passed, either entering the city or leaving it. They wore suitable clothes, carried packs and many had horses. He had none of that. His worn boots might not survive a week trekking through the woods. His trousers were thin, given the warm weather, and his button shirt had only short sleeves. His only defence was a dagger strapped to his thigh. The few coins in his pocket would buy a little food to aid him in his journey, yet he had nothing to carry that food in.

Glancing back from where he came, he thought about the few items in his quarters that might help him, but he couldn’t return for them, not if he wanted to escape the men who controlled him. He had to walk, get as far away from Wandsworth as he could before they discovered him missing. Yet… He gazed into the forest, fear consuming him. Maskil was so far away, he’d never make it without someone to help him.

He grasped his necklace and pressed the small dark-blue stone into his palm. Isla had made it and gave it to him for his tenth birthday celebration. He’d taken it off only once since, to replace the leather strap. Sometimes when the ache in his heart overwhelmed him, he held the stone to his cheek, imagining her beside him. He had done this less often the longer he stayed in Wandsworth, but he did it now, wishing to find her, hoping she’d forgive him for breaking the pledge he’d made.

A sharp pain in his heart generated doubt. She’d never forgive him, yet… He had to ask. If he didn’t ask for forgiveness, he might as well lay in the gutter and drink himself into oblivion; the pain would not cut deeper.

The searing sensation on his right shoulder blade overshadowed the pain in his heart. That curse, delivered only a week ago, had driven him mad. If not for Isla’s hand holding onto him, he’d have surrendered completely, but he had managed to expel some of the poyson to ease the pain and maintain control of his actions. The other branded men hadn’t been as lucky and had succumbed to the whims of The Mavericks.

He pressed the stone to his cheek, closed his eyes and imagined her face: young, innocent, beautiful. The Isla he knew could never love a man like him. He was as dishonourable as the worst criminal that roamed the streets, and she was as honourable as her das. Still, he ached to see her even if it was only to be turned away. A tear slipped down his cheek. He was wasting time. The Mavericks would start searching his familiar hangouts; it might be days before they discovered he had escaped. That would give him a head start.

Tucking the necklace beneath his shirt, he took the first step, his boot striking dirt and stirring up dust. His journey began, and there was no turning back.

Look for Healing Stones this fall.

Upcoming Book: Write that First Draft Free Style

How are  novels written? This question has been asked for years. How do you write a novel? Well, everyone writes it differently, so there’s no concrete rules. That’s the hard part; you have to figure out how to write one on your own. However, there are methods to help writers on their journey. They are as different as the types of books on a library shelf. Ideally, a writer tries several, sees what works for them, or takes a little bit from each process and creates their own.

There is no right or wrong way to write a novel. It can be written with one sentence a day or 5,000 words a day. It can take ten days or ten years to write. It can be written in a word processing document on the computer or with a pen or pencil on paper, lined or unlined. It can even be written in crayon on the inside of cereal boxes.

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Halifax Explosion Remembrance Book

On December 6, 2019, the twin cities of Halifax and Dartmouth will mark a devastating event in their histories. On that morning in 1917, a cataclysmic event occurred, leaving large sections of the two cities in ruins. It would go down in history as the largest man-made explosion of its time and would remain there until the atomic bomb in 1945.

The SS Imo, a Norwegian vessel chartered to transport relief supplies overseas, struck the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship en route from New York to France. Loaded with wartime explosives, the Mont-Blanc caught fire. It raged out of control and ignited the cargo.

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Where Does Candy McMudd Find Character Names

Throw Away Kitten Candy McMudd children bookCharacter names come from many places. They may be those of family members, friends and neighbours, names heard on the radio or television, favourite characters in other stores (including TV shows and movies) and sometimes, they are chosen because of their meaning.

We asked Candy McMudd where she found the names for the characters in her story Throw Away Kitten. Here’s what she had to say.

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Schooling in Guysborough County by John N. Grant

John N. Grant, author of A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962 – 2017, has a new book for history enthusiasts. In late August, he released Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016A Case Study of Public Education in Rural Nova Scotia.

Description

The history of schooling reflects the impact of economic, political, military and other social forces on the local community. The history of schooling in Guysborough  County covers almost 300 years. In 1735, there was one school in the County; in 1959, there were almost one hundred; in 2018, there were three. This is the story of what happened in between.

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