Please welcome my critique partner, Ashlyn Chase, today. Finding a writing buddy is a real blessing for a writer. It's hard to overestimate the value of a fresh pair of eyes on your newly formed work. I've been asked if it's important to find someone who writes in the same genre, shares the same outlook you do. I don't think so necessarily. Ash and I have some striking differences. She's a Wiccan and I'm a Christian. She writes funny contemporary paranormal and I write historicals. She's a life-long New Englander and I've bounced around the country from one coast to the other. But we're both passionate about the craft of writing and determined to help each other hone our skills.
Writing is such a solitary occupation. Finding a critique partner means finding a friend who cares enough to tell you the truth. Priceless!
Ok, Ash, my blog is now yours.
Witch meant “wise woman” to our Pagan ancestors, as it does to me. I cannot think of any more appropriate term. Laurie Cabot (the official witch of Salem, MA) warned, “Do not teach this craft to fools.” I don’t think I hear that quite enough. There is great power, thus great responsibility, at our wand-tips. Those who are governed by knee-jerk reactions or vindictiveness have no business wielding magic as a weapon. For those who fear modern day Wicca, know that the number one fundamental lesson we are taught is “Harm none.”
A craft is something creative. It’s also something we practice. Authors create and practice their craft each time they write a story—Wiccans may draw a magic circle and put an intention out to the universe as part of practicing their craft. Because I wish to be a wise-woman, I never told a certain ex-friend that I was involved with the craft. She had a hair trigger temper and revenge was something she thought was good to get. Right after Hollywood released, “The Craft” she asked me if I knew where she could learn witchcraft. I told her she should probably realize that Hollywood wasn’t real. I went on to mention that Witches today were more like a bunch of earthy, peace-loving hippies. She quickly lost interest.
In my recent release Strange Neighbors, not only do I have a ghost haunting the apartment building, but an array of paranormal characters who live there. Among them are shapeshifters of various types, a vampire, and two witches who are roommates. The elder is teaching her sometimes foolish younger cousin the craft with an emphasis on responsibility. I had great fun with these characters. So much fun in fact that although they show up in each book, the third and final book in the series features the witches prominently.
Having just finished writing that manuscript, I had to say a bittersweet goodbye to these characters. Meanwhile, I’m delighted to share the fruits of my labors with the world. Book 1 Strange Neighbors is available now; Book 2 The Werewolf Upstairs is coming Feb 2011. And I hope to be talking up book 3 The Vampire Next Door at about this time next year. I’m delighted with my adorable book covers, and hope you like them too.
I’ll be signing Strange Neighbors at the New Jersey Romance Writers conference 10/23—just in time for Halloween. If you can’t make it to that but would like a signed bookplate (or 3) just let me know. I’ll be happy to mail them to you, your book club or bookstore customers. You can contact me via my website.
Buy it here!
When all-star pitcher and shapeshifter Jason Falco buys a small apartment building, he sees it not only as an investment but as a place to escape the demands of Major league baseball.
That is, until he meets his tenants—a sarcastic unemployed vigilante vampire; a wereraven with a morbid sense of humor; a super friendly salesman werewolf; and two witches with an owl familiar who work as phone sex actresses. Not to mention a ghost haunting the place and an all too human nurse he’d like to get to know better. But with all the hooting, howling and hollering going on, how’s an all American shapeshifter supposed to sweep a girl off her feet?
Thanks for sharing today, Ashlyn. As you all know I don't do reviews, but I will give recommendations. After living with this story since its infancy, I can heartily recommend STRANGE NEIGHBORS. Ash has filled her world (and her hero's brownstone!)with hysterical characters you're going to love.
If you have questions for Ashlyn, be sure to leave a comment. She's giving away a copy of STRANGE NEIGHBORS to one lucky commenter today!