Setting the Scene in “Shadows in the Stone”

When readers stumble upon an author they’ve never read, they often read a few pages of the story to determine if they enjoy the writing style. This can easily be done by checking out the available sample of a book in “Look Inside” at Amazon.

If you’ve never used “Look Inside”, go to Shadows in the Stone by Diane McGyver and click on the image of the book cover. A new window will pop-up. Scrolling downward reveals the front material of the novel as well the first four chapters.

McGyver enjoys opening up a scene as if she’s zooming in or out with a movie camera. In fact, one Amazon reviewer had this to say: “It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle.”

Below is one example of how McGyver opens a scene in Shadows in the Stone.

The evening air cooled, and the sun sank behind the trees. A few clouds drifted through the sky but nothing of any size to prevent the crescent moon from casting a gentle glow upon the landscape. The earth settled into a tranquil nap to rejuvenate from the day and to allow nocturnal creatures to tend to their livelihood under the cloak of darkness. The forest breathed a relaxed sigh. All was as it should be.

Anxious energy shot through the air, awakening slumbering fairies and disturbing the quietude of the woods. As strangers approached, nerves stood on end, and creatures hid or prepared to defend their domain. Waiting in the darkness, they held their breath as danger arrived. The laboured breathing of horses echoed from the shadows. Sprays of white, foamy spit flew from their mouths as they released the oxygen-stripped air. The squeaking of leather against leather beat the same rhythm as the hooves stomping the ground. Their riders kicked them, spurring them forward into the night.

BUY the NOVEL

Shadows in the Stone, the first book in the Castle Keepers series, is available to Kindle Unlimited Members and the world at Amazon.

Download your copy today to start the adventure.

Is Quarter Castle Publishing a Vanity Press?

Late this afternoon, I checked in on Twitter, and a follower left this tweet and tagged Quarter Castle Publishing:

@quarter_castle

I’m sorry that I followed you. I did not read your website and therefore did not discover that you were a fucking vanity publisher disguising it under the label joint publishing packages.

Writers get paid

#writingcommunity

WRITER BEWARE

Then, they added this:

I repeat. I am sorry that I followed you without realizing that you are a fucking vanity publisher dressing it up as shared publishing packages.

Check the website people.

WRITER BEWARE

@quarter_castle

@HartleyJames01

#WritingCommunity

My Response

I was going to ignore the rant, but after thinking about it, I responded with the following:

“I understand some will never accept self-publishing. That’s okay. We teach writers how to self-publish, and they go on to publish additional books on their own. We are here to support them and answer their questions even if a few years have passed.”

AND

“Along w/ publishing books in the traditional fashion, we help writers self-publish their books. You do realize some writers want full control of their creation but don’t have the means to do it, right? A trad. pub. can’t allow that. We support these writers on their journey.”

So

I wasn’t interested in arguing or swapping nasty tweets with this person. However, I wanted others who came upon his tweet and visited our website to understand where Quarter Castle Publishing stands.

Who Am I?

I am Diana Tibert, the founder of Quarter Castle Publishing. I contract out certain aspects of the publishing process because at this stage, I cannot afford to hire someone permanently. I can do much of the work myself, but there are some things I can’t and sometimes I’m too busy or the project is too large. I have a friend who helps when things get busy. Most notably by responding to submissions and editing. I also have a gang of beta readers who provide input on projects.

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NEW COVER: Shadows in the Stone

This week, Quarter Castle Publish has released the updated cover for Shadows in the Stone, the first book in the epic fantasy series Castle Keepers by Diane McGyver.

The novel is available in paperback and eBook. The eBook is available to Kindle Unlimited Members. To learn more about the book and the series, visit its page on our website: Shadows in the Stone.

To read the first four chapters for free, check out the eBook on Amazon and read the “Look Inside”.

Download your copy today and start your adventure into the Land of Ath-o’Lea.

Four-star Review by Don Cram

“This first book in Diane Lynn McGyver’s Castle Keepers series is very well done and will keep you turning pages right to the end. What I particularly enjoyed in this solidly mainstream fantasy is its fresh focus on established themes. It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle.

“The fantasy world McGyver has created has the magical beings you might expect, but you’ll see them in new ways and see their story with fresh insights. At 190 centimeters I’m taller than the average person; the book made be believe I was seeing a magical world from a height a little less than half that. Enjoy.”

Do readers care if you’re traditionally or independently published?

The debate rages on. Which is better? Being published by a traditional company or publishing your own work?

Your answer will depend on where you are in your publishing career.

Many times, travellers on one route are looking down at the other, but there’s no reason for this. We’re all in this together, and one path is right for some while the other trail is right for others.

Unfortunately, mud-slinging has become a popular sport these days between publishers (large and independent) and between authors (both traditionally published and self-published).

What publishers and authors need to know is readers don’t care about publishing companies; most readers can’t tell you the name of the company which published their favourite books let alone which one published the last book they read. Readers only care that the story is good…that’s it…bottom line.

The argument of which type of publishing company produces better work—independent or traditional—is meaningless to readers…and readers are the most important piece in this puzzle.

Do you remember the publishing company of your favourite books? How about the book you’re reading now (no peeking)?

If you’ve written a book and want to self-publish, we’re here to help. Learn more by visiting our Book Publishing Services.

“Passing It On before Passing Away” by H. L. Foster

Quarter Castle Publishing has helped many writers see their dream of publishing a book come true. One of those writers is H. L. Foster, who wrote Passing It On before Passing On. The New Brunswick-born writer, who currently makes her home in British Columbia, published her Insights on Healing from Interpersonal Trauma and Addictions in 2018.

“Foster’s ability to tell her story of discovery and healing and share it with readers is matched with her ability to understand how the mind works to enable healing. It gets readers thinking about themselves and what they can do to improve their circumstances in life.” From Diana Tibert’s review

Amazon Reviews

The reviews on Amazon echo Tibert’s sentiment.

“Lori’s insights are helpful for individuals struggling with recovery from trauma and addictions, for therapists, para-professionals and family members affected by a loved one’s addiction. Most importantly it is accessible and understandable for individuals without a background in psychology.”

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Writer’s Wisdom: Bookism: The Silent Threat to Good Writing

When creating fiction, writers inevitable learn to write dialogue. Supposedly a novel somewhere exists that doesn’t have dialogue, but has anyone seen it? The key to good dialogue is attributing the spoken words to the proper character, so readers instantly know who is saying them.

We do this by using dialogue tags: “The last time I heard this song by Charlie Rich,” Liam said, “you were young, adventurous and in love with me.”

The words Liam said is a direct dialogue tag. It tells the reader without fuss or doubt that Liam said those words inside those quotation marks.

Another method of informing readers of who said what is through an action by the character. This is technically not called a dialogue tag, but it does the same job.

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Happy New Year

With only hours left of 2021, Quarter Castle Publishing is wishing everyone a good night filled with cheer or peaceful reflection, whichever you desire. As with every new year’s eve, many are happy to see the old year end and eager to usher in the new.

We are planning an exciting 2022 with new opportunities and new ventures. We’ll announce one tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Until then, bring on the celebrations, and, please, don’t drink and drive.

Writer’s Wisdom: Connect to the genius in the wall.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert has excellent advice for writers who are looking for success and those who have already found it. Her book, Eat, Pray, Love, was a great success, and that left many asking her what was next? Could she write a more successful book, or was this the pinnacle of her career?

As she explains in her Ted Talk, Your elusive creative genius, she had a choice to make. She could say she’d reached the top as an author and enter another profession, or she could experience writing differently.

She chose to re-evaluate her writing career and along the way, she learned the history of the writing genius in the wall.

School History Books Make Great Christmas Gifts

Do you have someone on your Christmas list who enjoys history books? Someone who loves reading about the schools in Nova Scotia?

Historian John N. Grant has copies still available for both his books on schools: Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016 and A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962-2017.

Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016

A Case Study of Public Education in Rural Nova Scotia

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.

Learn more about this book on its HOME PAGE.

A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962-2017

School Section #98, Enfield, Nova Scotia

John Grant Oldham Consolidated School history

Including an outline of the story of schooling in Goffs, Oldham, Oakfield, and the ‘border district’ of Enfield, NS, from 1820 to 2017

In 1962 the school sections of Goffs (Guysborough Road), Oakfield, Oldham, and Enfield Border were dissolved and Oldfield Consolidated School was built to serve the new school district. School consolidation is never easy. This is the story of the process and the life of the new school.

These communities are near or straddle the borders of Hants County and Halifax County, Nova Scotia.

Learn more about this book on its HOME PAGE.

How To Buy

To purchase either or both of these books, contact John N. Grant by email: jgrant@stfx.ca

The Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion

Today at 9:05 am, we mark the 104th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, the largest man-made explosion at the time. More than 2,000 individuals lost their life and thousands more were injured.

The Nova Scotia Archives lists the names of 1783 known victims. The list includes the name, place, age and date of death, which for most is December 6, 1917.

The first on the list is Lottie Aarestrup of 31 Veith Street, Halifax. She was 40 years old. Next is Foster William Aarestrup, age 8, of the same address. This was probably her son.

Anyone researching this event or family that may have been involved will find this list a great place to start. To dig further into this tragedy, visit the Nova Scotia Genealogy website where birth, marriage and death records are available.

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NEW RELEASE: “A December Knight” Coming Soon

Quarter Castle Publishing is proud to present A December Knight by Diane McGyver. This is our first Christmas novel and is part of our Romance Collection.

Description

When Santa fails to deliver, a knight gives the perfect gift.

It’s two weeks until Christmas, and all Jan Cooper can think about is surviving the rush of holiday shoppers. As the manager of a camera shop, she’s obligated to put on a happy face and wish her customers a Merry Christmas. What the single mother wants to do is curl up in a warm chair with a cup of hot cocoa, read a book and let the season pass without her. When a handsome customer crashes into her well-organised life, she discovers what she really wants for Christmas.

Stay tuned to learn more.

The Halifax Explosion: 104 years ago

The Coldest December

On December 6th, 104 years will have passed since that devastating day on a cool fall morning in Halifax Harbour when two ships collided, causing the largest man-made explosion up to that time. The official death toll reached almost 2,000 but in the chaos, fires and resulting tsunami that washed victims out to sea, the true death toll will forever remain unknown. Some suggest it was closer to 3,000.

An additional 9,000 were injured or blinded, and more than 25,000 people were left homeless.

To remember the victims of the disaster on it’s one hundredth anniversary in 2017, Quarter Castle Publishing released The Coldest December, a collection of short stories written by Nova Scotia authors. The stories revolve around the explosion and the affect it had on those involved.

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What are readers saying about “Natural Selection”?

Over the summer, several people read an advanced copy of Natural Selection by Diane McGyver. Here is what a few said about the young adult dystopian novel.

It was an unexpected tale that could have taken place centuries ago if not for the derelict vehicles. ~ Julia

A gentle love story I’d let my 14-year-old granddaughter read. ~ Ruby

Eloise was my favourite character. She was funny, and I liked that she used a staff to protect herself. ~ Miranda

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Author Interview: Diane McGyver

Quarter Castle Publishing sat down with author Diane McGyver and asked her about her latest novel, Natural Selection. Here is what she had to say.

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

I knew I wanted to a writer in my mid-teens. That’s when I started writing a lot. By the time I was 17, I had written my first novel. However, I didn’t start writing professionally until I became a mom in 1997.

QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?

I write for at least an hour every day. On average, I write for three hours.

QCP: Do you use an outline or do you write free style?

I’ve heard many writers have success with outlines, but I’m not one of them. I’ve tried and failed. I write best when I’m writing free style.

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