Contest Results & Writing Prompt

BSB News & Contest Results

First, congratulations to Carol R. Ward, who’s latest release, An Elemental Earth, is now available for purchase in both digital and print. It’s not quite available at Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo just yet, but it should be in a week or so. If you aren’t reading this series, then you should be!

As far as the contest on her Author Interview post goes, since there were only two people who entered, both Leanne Young and Ann Partridge will receive a prize package from me that includes a print copy of An Elemental Earth.  I’ll be emailing you for your addresses in the next few days. Congratulations!

The free download last week was Heart Knocks, by Jamie DeBree. Don’t forget to look through our Available Books and find the free download for this week!

And of course, if you missed it, feel free to go back and this week’s writing prompt story: The Scent of Dust by Alex Westhaven.

We’ll skip the topic of the week for this particular week since this post is late already. But check below for this week’s writing prompt!


Writing Prompt of the Week: A woman is out walking her dog, and finds a mostly-used roll of duct tape tossed into the mud. A little farther along, she spots a pink envelope, and a little farther from that, half of an empty cigarette box.

Write a 500 – 1000 word story based on the prompt, and email it to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. We’ll pick the one we like best to post right here on the blog the following Saturday.

Author Interview & Contest: Carol R. Ward

An Elemental Earth Cover

If you haven’t read one of Carol R. Ward’s books, you should start now, because An Elemental Earth, the fourth book in her Ardraci Elementals series will be available this coming Monday! You can read the books out of order and not get too lost, but there’s a whole weekend between now and release day. What better way to spend it than catching up on the first three books!

Today, Carol’s agreed to have a little chat with us about her books, and cats in space. Pull up a comfy chair and get a nice cuppa! While you’re reading, consider what flower might spontaneously pop up (so to speak) if you were makin’ out with your main squeeze surrounded by nature.

Now, let’s chat a bit:

Wind, Fire, Water and now Earth. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write this sweeping “elemental” space opera series?

Uh, actually, you did. LOL You talked me into doing a serial story for my blog, so I dipped into my well of story ideas and came up with one that started out as kind of a revenge thing on another world. The resulting novel was An Elemental Wind and bore only a passing resemblance to the original idea. The elemental aspect of it took me by surprise, and once I was finished I figured I might as well continue the underlying story using the other elements.

If you could have one of the Elemental powers, which one would you choose, and why?

Hmm. According to the Chinese zodiac my element is earth, and I have to say that would probably be my first choice. I love plants and could only imagine what my garden would look like if I was able to help it grow. And I could avoid the winter doldrums by making it stay green all year round. My second choice would be fire because, you know, fire!

There are rumors that Gra’anna kept a journal much like Wynne Ignitus did in An Elemental Fire. Will we get a peek into that in the next book?

Man, you and your journals! LOL If Gra’anna kept a journal, it’s news to me. Plus, considering she’s ancient, even by Illezie standards, it would span many, many volumes. The journals in Fire and Water served a purpose – they told the back story and a little foreshadowing without bogging the story down with unnecessary detail. While it might be interesting to have someone recording the events that take place in An Elemental Spirit, I’m not quite sure how I’d work that in, nor who would be writing said journal. I could see starting each chapter of Spirit with a couple of lines from the prophecy Gra’anna was talking about in Earth, but of course first I’d have to come up with the whole prophecy.

Well, it was worth a try, anyways. *sigh* For those of you who have no idea what we’re talking about here…go read the first three books! 

What’s the first thing you would order from the food replicator system if you’d just come out of a decades-long stasis?

That’s a hard question to answer! I love food, especially food that’s bad for me. If, during my time in stasis, I was cured of both my diabetes and IBS, then I’d go for a Canadian pizza and a side of New York fries with the works and honey garlic chicken wings, with a strawberry daiquiri to wash it down with, and coconut cream pie for desert. Or maybe an apple dumpling with caramel sauce. Or that mile high chocolate desert thing they have at Montana’s. Or maybe just bring me the desert sampler. And then you’d better have a bucket handy for when I’m sick after eating all that junk food. LOL

The Illezie are quite the enigmatic bunch. Will we ever learn more about them and their end-game?

I’ve given you hints about the Illezie throughout the first four books and seeing as a lot of the action of the final book takes place on their home world you’ll be learning a lot more about them. There are two possible end games, and I haven’t quite figured out which one it will be. This is one of the pitfalls of writing an unplanned series – I’ve been setting things up for the end to be one thing, but I’m actually leaning towards a different end than the one I first envisioned. I might have to *gulp* plot it out.

I know you’re a cat person – why do you think we never see cats on spaceships in fiction? Would you ever consider writing about a “spaceship cat” or cats?

Seriously? Not a Star Trek fan, are you? Data had an orange tabby named Spot on the Enterprise and it even made an appearance in the movie Nemesis. Don’t make me recite Data’s poem, Ode to Spot. And wasn’t there a cat (also an orange tabby) on Ripley’s ship in Alien? In literature we have The Hani in the Chanur books by C.J. Cherryh who are a race of space faring cats; Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough created the “Barque Cats”, who were bred to live on spaceships; George R.R. Martin features genetically engineered cats on his space ship in Tuf Voyaging; there’s Tales of a Starship’s Cat by Judith R. Conly – I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. 😉

As to the second part of your question, yes, I have considered writing about a cat on a spaceship. It might be a novel, or it might be a series of stories, I haven’t quite decided yet.

Note: I am a Star Trek fan. Not so much a cat fan, so I tend not to notice cats. Yours truly is a dog person, of course…

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on overcoming my addiction to on-line solitaire and hidden objects games so I can move forward with Wandering Wizards (the half-written third installment of the Moonstone Chronicles) and get started on the fifth and final elemental book, An Elemental Spirit.


Thanks for chatting with us, Carol! I can’t wait to see how Wandering Wizards turns out…

Everyone remember that question I asked you at the beginning – the one about which flower might spontaneously grow when you’re getting all hot and bothered out under the stars? Great! Comment either here, on Facebook or on Twitter with your answer – just the name of that flower – and you’ll be entered to win a print copy of Carol’s new book, along with a surprise gift basket! 

Entries will be accepted until noon next Monday (February 20, 2017). Must be 18 yrs old or over, no purchase necessary to win. The winner will be announced here on the blog first thing next Tuesday morning (Feb. 21st)! 

Cinderelleper – Contest Results!

Cinderelleper Cover

The results are in! Three people entered the contest to win a print copy of Ford Forkum’s new book, and after many folded slips of paper (had to fill the container to make it random), we have a winner!

Lia Londen-Gubelin!

Your surprise gift basket will be in the mail this weekend! Congratulations!

For  Carol and Kit, our other two entrants, I have smaller prize packages for you, and you’ll be hearing from me shortly as well. 🙂

I hope you’re all enjoying Cinderelleper!

Cinderelleper Release Day & Contest Update

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cinderelleper Cover

It’s finally here…the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Cinderelleper is now available for purchase in both ebook and paperback format! The ebook is exclusive to Amazon for now, but you can order the paperback online, or at your favorite bookstore.

Buy Digital: Amazon
Buy Print: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

There are currently three eligible entrants to the contest for a print copy of Cinderelleper and gift basket. The entrants so far are:

Lia
Carol
Kit

The contest entry period has been extended to 7pm (MST) tonight, so there’s still time to read the interview with Ford, guess which question(s) he’s lying about, and get entered to win!

Buy the book. You won’t regret it!

Excerpt:
In the days leading up to the ball, Cinderelleper was mostly left alone by the other women of the house. They were too preoccupied with the ball to bother her despite their curiosity as to which part of her was going to fall off first.

But just before they left on the night of the ball, they made sure to parade themselves before her in their glorious ballroom attire. “Well, Cinderelleper,” the stepmother said. “We’re off to spend the evening at the palace for the royal ball in honor of his majesty, the prince.”

Cinderelleper remained motionless on her straw mat on the floor. “Have fun,” she replied, without a hint of enthusiasm. “I’ll just stay here and rot.”

“Well, after tonight, you can have the house to yourself, because your stepsisters and I are moving into the palace! Come on, girls! Let’s bag ourselves a horny prince!” They went up the basement stairs and out the front door.

The house was dark, save for the fireplace, and all was quiet. Cinderelleper sat up on her straw mat and looked up through the window at the starry night sky. Staring deep into space, she thought about her mother. “Soon, mother,” she whispered. “Soon we’ll be together again. If you’re with father, please punch him in the face for me. I miss you.”

As she stared, a cloud blocking the moon drifted slowly away, and the full moon shone down a beam of light so intense it made her squint and turn away. She rubbed her eyes for a few seconds and opened them to see a kindly old woman standing in front of her. “Hello, Ella,” the old woman said soothingly.

Cinderelleper rubbed her eyes again, but the old woman was either no hallucination or a very persistent one. She backed away until her back hit the wall. “Who are you?” she asked. “How did you get here?”

“I’m your fairy godmother,” the old woman replied. “And I’ve come from Fairy Godmotherland to help you save the kingdom!”

“Me? Save the kingdom?” Cinderelleper asked. “But I’m on death’s doorstep!”

“Ah, but there’s still time for you to fulfill a great destiny!”

“What destiny?”

“You see, dear, tonight the prince will choose a woman outside the royal family to be the princess. Your stepmother will stop at nothing to gain access to the royal family’s power. And if she succeeds in marrying off either of your stepsisters to the prince, the entire kingdom will fall to ruin!”

Author Interview & Contest: Meet Ford Forkum

Cinderelleper Cover

Cinderelleper releases on Valentine’s Day (next Tuesday!), and today, we’re pleased to interview the author himself, Mr. Ford Forkum! You’ll want to pay close attention to his answers, because our dear Mr. Forkum has *lied* on a few of his interview questions (tsk, tsk!). If you spot one of these lies, and can tell us at least one question he lied on, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a gift basket that will include your very own print copy of Cinderelleper!

Without further ado – let’s have a chat with our less-than-truthful scribe:

Ford, the number one question on everyone’s mind after they read the blurb for your book is probably: why on earth would you take a well-loved fairy tale character who already goes through hell and give her leprosy on top of everything else?

Apparently, it’s because I have a sick mind. Seriously, though, I wanted to contrast the Disney Cinderella, which is the familiar rendition of the story, with the original Brother’s Grimm tale, which is appallingly gruesome in places. But I wanted to take it a step further and go even darker than the Brother’s Grimm while staying true to the conventions that the Disney version popularized.

I think it’s important to point out to potential readers that every awful thing that happens to Cinderella is still in the context of the sanitized Disney version. So, even though she gets leprosy, it’s a cartoonish version. It’s “body horror” on the level of The Simpsons. There’s no gross-out humor involved. In fact, though the leprosy element is a primary twist in the story, it was really just a place to begin. The real fun is in the mashup and mockery of the original story and the Disney elements to the extreme.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? What do they look like? How long have you had them?

I don’t have a favorite pair of shoes. Or a favorite shirt or tie or anything. As long as what I’m wearing is reasonably comfortable and appropriate to the situation, it’s all good.

Have you ever found a lost shoe (with or without a foot inside)? What did it look like? What did you do?

I have never found a lost shoe. I have, however seen a pair of sneakers that were tied together and intentionally thrown in the air to get caught on utility wires. I saw this once when I was working “on location.” I asked my coworker, rhetorically, why someone would do such a thing. My coworker replied, in a very matter-of-fact tone: “It lets you know you’re in the hood.” My only response was a somewhat delayed, “Oh.”

Have you ever lost a shoe? Was it ever found/returned?

I have never lost a shoe. I did, however, lose a pair of pants. I have no idea what happened to them. But I was miffed because they were new pants and, last I knew, I was wearing them at the time. I don’t want to get into the specifics of how I could “lose” a pair of pants I happened to be wearing. But I think any possible conjecture might have an element of truth to it. And that’s enough said about that.

If you had to pick a theme song or playlist for Cinderelleper, what would it be?

The playlist would include the following songs: “Nobody’s Fool” by ‘80s hair band Cinderella, the 1993 song “Hey Cinderella” by Suzy Bogguss, Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) by the ‘80s hair band Cinderella, the song “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman, and “Gypsy Road” by 80’s hair band Cinderella. Also “Cinderella Man” by Rush, just because it has the name “Cinderella” in the title. Also because Rush rocks (but not as much as ‘80s hair band Cinderella.)

Have you ever shared your home with a mouse (intentionally or not)? What was his name?

I once lived in Boston in a rented apartment. And let me tell you, there are three primary animal life forms you will encounter if you spend any time in Boston: mice, pigeons, and cockroaches. The mice and cockroaches are your roommates and the pigeons are your travel companions if you’re walking anywhere.

Those frigging pigeons will crowd around your feet as you walk and you’ll get the illusion that you’re walking on a moving patch of land that are controlled by the pigeons moving at your exact pace. It’s totally disorienting and you literally can’t “watch your step” as you step up from the street to the sidewalk because every step you take disappears into a flowing mob of pigeons. If you kick at them to try to scare them away, they’ll just dodge you like it’s nothing.

It’s just as bad as the mice that won’t stop coming no matter how many of them you trap or how diligently you clean. Eventually, you just give up. The only name I’d ever give a mouse is “Filthy.” Mice suck Except, of course, for the main mouse in Cinderelleper. As far as fictional mice go, he’s a stand up kind of mouse.

Have you ever smashed a pumpkin?

You’re posing the question as though that’s something I don’t do whenever possible

Can you tell us a little about the last time you stayed out past midnight?

My brain turned into a pickle. I had to summon the Ibuprofen Fairy to change it back.

Can you tell us anything about the next story you’re working on?

It’s actually a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs parody that I put aside when I got the idea for Cinderelleper. One of the twists in the story is that the dwarfs are all different from the originals and there are more than seven of them. When I started writing it, it hadn’t occurred to me what great source material it is to have fun with. Now that I’ve picked it up again, I’m on a roll, and, if I do say so myself, it’s coming together in amazing ways, conceptually and in readability and humor. As long as I don’t get carried away and screw it up, it should end up a very tight and funny read with ample content to leave the reader nicely satisfied. I’m excited about it, and it will be a great follow-up to Cinderelleper.

Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Ford! I know I’m looking forward to your next fairy tale parody…

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Readers, do you know which question(s) Ford lied on? Leave a comment here on the blog, on the BSB Facebook page, or on our BSB Twitter stream. Be sure to tag us so we see your answer! Everyone who guesses at least one lie correctly by 5pm (MST) Monday, February 13th will be entered into a drawing to be held next Tuesday evening (February 14th). A list of qualified entrants will be posted in the early morning, February 14th. Good luck!

***Contest Extended! Entries will be accepted all day Tuesday until 7pm Mountain Standard Time. Post your guesses! Drawing winner will be announced Wednesday morning, February 15th! ***

Must be 18 or over to win, no purchase necessary.