Beauty in Nature, The Time Stone, Writing Prompts

Have you read a poem this week? Tell us about it, and get a free book from any category in our catalog except Humor/Satire! Simply comment below…

Earth Day was yesterday, and in light of that, I thought a poem about nature was in order. I did a search for “nature poems” and read several that were more metaphorical in style, but then came across this lovely and simple poem by Arti Chopra called Beauty in Nature. It’s free to read and/or listen to online, and I think it has a nice “feel” as an ode to our rather amazing planet.

In other news, The Time Stone by Marie Yoch is out and available now in both ebook and print from your favorite online retailers! The next book in the series will be The Beauty Stone, and is in progress as you read this. Look for that to come out sometime next spring. But before that, get your copy of The Time Stone: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

Also, remember there’s only one more week before writing prompt submissions for April are due! Check out the prompts below, get to writing, and submit your work for a chance at $10!

That’s all for this week – until next time, happy reading/writing!


Monthly Writing Prompts:

  • Prose Prompt: A man running to catch a train/bus/cab drops a red rose. A woman picks it up, and finds a note wrapped around the stem.
  • Poetry Prompt: Using different color rose petals, write a poem in which the narrator picks a petal each stanza (sort of a “loves me, loves me not” rhythm/theme).

Stories and poems for each month should be submitted by the last day of that month to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. The following month, one poem and one story from the previous month will be chosen for publication here on the blog, and also in our monthly newsletter. Authors will receive a flat fee of $10 per poem or story we choose to publish. Items submitted must be original, unpublished works, however we only ask for non-exclusive rights to post the work here on our blog for one year, and in one monthly newsletter.

Release Day! The Time Stone by Marie Yoch

It’s here! The Time Stone is available now at all major online retailers (and some minor ones, too)!

The ebook is $1.99 for today only, and will be $3.99 regular price. If you order a print copy from Amazon, you’ll get a free copy of the ebook as well.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks


Excerpt:

“Did you at least get it to work before it rained?” Ariana asked, wrinkling her nose.

Sydney shrugged. “It’s not really a matter of getting it to work – it’s not like a clock or anything. It doesn’t move. But I did start learning how to read it. It was a little tricky getting the angle of the center part right. And I’m not sure I had it pointed the right way either.”

Cassidy nodded. “Wanna build another one? We could help for the next couple of days…” her voice trailed off, and Sydney knew why.

“You guys leave for camp on Monday, right?”

Both of her friends nodded, looking uncomfortable. Sydney smiled.

“Great! I need your help. Not with the sundial. I need your help figuring out how to get me to the camp.”

Ariana and Cassidy looked at each other, and then back at her.

“You want us to sneak you in?” Ariana shook her head. “That seems like a very bad idea. What if you get caught? Or hurt? Or lost somewhere out in the woods?”

Cassidy rolled her eyes. “If she gets caught, what are they going to do? She’s twelve. It’s not like they’re gonna toss her in jail. Or us, for that matter. Actually,” she looked up for a moment, one finger tapping against her chin. “I think I might have an idea.”


Find out what happens next: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

Ode to Memory, Pre-Orders Available, New Author Site

If you’re just joining us, April is National Poetry Month, so we’re reading and discussing poetry here on the blog. If you’ve read a poem recently, comment below with the title/author, and choose a book from our catalog to receive for free! All book categories except Humor/Satire are available for the choosing.

This week, I read Ode to Memory by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It’s a poem with a lot of beautiful and evocative imagery, but I found myself wondering if Al forgot what he was writing about here and there. It wanders and side-trips and comes back and swirls out again…beautiful, but definitely something that requires a second (or third) read-through…and I’m still not sure I understood what he was getting at in the middle. The opening and closing stanzas are quite clear though. And as I mentioned, it was full of rather beautiful imagery.

In other news, pre-orders for The Time Stone are going up at your favorite online retailers this week! Amazon and Kobo are already live, and Barnes & Noble and iBooks are on the way. The special price of $1.99 is only good until April 21st (one day after release day), so click that pre-order button and lock in your discounted price!

Finally, Marie Yoch has her own web site and blog now! It’s pretty sparse just yet, and the template is subject to change, but if you follow blogs or just want to bookmark her site, that’s where all her latest news will start. You’ll also find links to her facebook and twitter pages in the top right corner, so feel free to connect with her on your favorite social media channel as well.

That’s all for this week – until next time, happy reading/writing!


Monthly Writing Prompts:

  • Prose Prompt: A man running to catch a train/bus/cab drops a red rose. A woman picks it up, and finds a note wrapped around the stem.
  • Poetry Prompt: Using different color rose petals, write a poem in which the narrator picks a petal each stanza (sort of a “loves me, loves me not” rhythm/theme).

Stories and poems for each month should be submitted by the last day of that month to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. The following month, one poem and one story from the previous month will be chosen for publication here on the blog, and also in our monthly newsletter. Authors will receive a flat fee of $10 per poem or story we choose to publish. Items submitted must be original, unpublished works, however we only ask for non-exclusive rights to post the work here on our blog for one year, and in one monthly newsletter.

Writing Prompt Deadlines, Release Date/Preorders, April Newsletter

Happy Spring!

Here in Montana, the bulbs are coming up, the snow is melting, and everyone’s swapping out heavy coats for jackets and getting those bikes back out of the garage. Some afternoons, it’s even nice enough to go out on the porch with a notebook or laptop and do a little writing…maybe using one of our writing prompts for inspiration.

On that note, if you’re planning to submit a story or poem this month, submissions are due on Saturday, March 31st (by midnight).

The monthly newsletter normally comes out on the first of the month, but since April 1st is next Sunday, and also Easter, the April newsletter will be out on Monday the 2nd instead. Watch your inboxes!

One more bit of news regarding The Time Stone. Due to a few things that I’d really like to have set up and done in conjunction with the release of this first young reader adventure series, I’ve decided to push the release date back one more time. This will allow me make sure the print copy is available at the same time as the ebook, and also that a special web site to go with the series is online and ready for visitors with some extra content that I think might be interesting/fun for readers of the series.

Everything will be ready to go by April 20th, so that will be the new release date. That date is firm, and in the meantime, I’ll be setting up preorders at all the distributors that will allow it this week, so you can preorder at a discounted price before the book goes on sale. Look for preorder details in the newsletter and blog post next week! This will be our first preorder offering, so we’ll see how it goes.

Enjoy the nicer weather, and don’t forget to take a book (or two) with you on your adventures!


Monthly Writing Prompts:

  • Prose Prompt: Write a story about a field of sunflowers, and at least two people who meet there one day/night. 
  • Poetry Prompt: Write a poem about the beautiful flower on a plant considered a weed.

Stories and poems for each month should be submitted by the last day of that month to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. The following month, one poem and one story from the previous month will be chosen for publication here on the blog, and also in our monthly newsletter. Authors will receive a flat fee of $10 per poem or story we choose to publish. Items submitted must be original, unpublished works, however we only ask for non-exclusive rights to post the work here on our blog for one year, and in one monthly newsletter.

New Cover & Excerpt for The Time Stone

Did you get your green books on sale this weekend? If not, you have a couple of days yet until I get the prices changed, except at Kobo where the sale scheduling is automated.

I spent a good chunk of the weekend working on the cover for the book releasing next month – The Time Stone by Marie Yoch. It will be the first “young reader” book in our lists, and the first in a series of five or six books that will follow Sydney Pointer as she searches for certain stone talismans in an attempt to find and save her father throughout her middle and high school years. It should be quite the adventure, for young and older readers alike!

Here’s an excerpt – coming soon!

“I have something for you, Sydney.”

 

Sydney Pointer looked up at the old man in rumpled layers of dirty clothing. Her nose wrinkled all on its own at the nasty smell that accompanied him, and she tried to remember everything her mom had taught her in case a strange man ever tried to take her. She opened her mouth to yell for help and grabbed her bag as he slid into the booth across from her.

 

“I’m not going to hurt you,” the man said, sliding a tattered piece of paper to her across the table. “But I need to give you this. It’s something your father was working on until just recently. I’m sure he’d want you to have it.”

 

Sydney forgot her fear for a moment at the mention of her dad – an amateur archaeologist who could never be happy in one place. When Sydney was a toddler, he’d gone off on one of the treasure hunts he was so fond of and never come back. He’d tried, her mother told her with a wistful smile, but after a year of missed holidays and sporadic hour-long visits, they’d divorced and Sydney hadn’t seen him since, even though he still kept a house in town for the rare occasion when he wasn’t treasure-hunting.

 

“You know my dad?” Sydney let her bag fall to the bench and looked closer at the man. He looked…tired. His hair was long and knotted, his beard in serious need of a comb and wash, his teeth crooked and brown, and the lines on his face etched in deep, sunburned furrows. Something in his gaze made her relax a little more. His hunched posture and shaking bent fingers weren’t exactly the hallmarks of a kidnapper. Not that Sydney had ever met one.

 

“I know him very well, child.” He pointed to the list, but made no move to reach across the table. “Your dad was looking for these stone talismans – keys, he called them – when he disappeared six months ago. Insisted that together they would open some sort of ancient treasure trove. One that supposedly holds the secret to life-long happiness for whoever opens it.”

 

Sydney looked at the list, which consisted of six crude pencil drawings with a name scrawled in rough handwriting under each one. At the top the drawing was a circle with a triangle on top. It was labeled The Time Stone. There was also a flower, an arrowhead, a heart with a crack down the middle, and what looked like a scroll of some sort.

 

“He was trying to find these? But how did he know where to look? And if they’re made of stone, aren’t they very heavy?”

 

The old man chuckled. “A talisman is a small object believed to bring good luck to whoever holds it. Your father found the first one – The Time Stone, there at the top of the page. I’ve seen it. It’s a sundial about the size of a half-dollar coin.” He curled his gnarled thumb and forefinger into a circle to demonstrate. “Legend has it that each talisman has a clue hidden with it that leads to the next. Whoever follows the clues and finds the stones will eventually find the treasure as well.”

 

Sydney frowned. “He disappeared? What happened to him? Is someone looking for him?” She looked around the diner for her mother again, but it was strangely quiet. They had to do something. “Did you call the police?”

 

“I don’t know what happened to him, kiddo. And I suspect the police won’t be able to help.” The man hesitated, and then looked her in the eye. “He had some…trouble getting the first stone. As if there were something protecting it. The last thing he told me before he left was that I should pass this list on to you when you turn eighteen.” He coughed, a wet, phlegmy sound. “I’m afraid I’m not going to live that long, kiddo, so you’ll have to take it now.”


Monthly Writing Prompts:

  • Prose Prompt: Write a story about a field of sunflowers, and at least two people who meet there one day/night. 
  • Poetry Prompt: Write a poem about the beautiful flower on a plant considered a weed.

Stories and poems for each month should be submitted by the last day of that month to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. The following month, one poem and one story from the previous month will be chosen for publication here on the blog, and also in our monthly newsletter. Authors will receive a flat fee of $10 per poem or story we choose to publish. Items submitted must be original, unpublished works, however we only ask for non-exclusive rights to post the work here on our blog for one year, and in one monthly newsletter.

Moths, Stones, & Writing Prompt Deadline

In case you missed it, the latest by Alex Westhaven, The Dry Rain, is out and available now in digital format! You’ll find links and a long excerpt over on the book page – and because yours truly had a very busy weekend, the story is just 99 cents for one more day. Around 11pm (MST), it will go up to its regular price of $2.99. Or if you happen to live in the Netherlands and are a Kobo Plus member, you can borrow the book for free!

The print version will be available within the next couple of weeks or so. Sooner, rather than later, if all goes well.

I’ll be adding more BSB books to the Kobo Plus program within the next week or two, so if you are currently a Kobo Plus member, look for many of our books to be available for borrowing very soon.

Next up is next month’s release of The Time Stone by Marie Yoch! I’m currently working on cover art and getting the manuscript scheduled for formatting. Release day isn’t until March 23rd, but there’s still much to be done before that day. It’s a fun little novel, and the start of a whole series that will be set up in the first book. More on that as release day gets closer.

The monthly newsletter should be in your inbox this Thursday, March 1st. The day before that is the last day of February (28th), which is the deadline for this month’s writing prompt submissions. Did this month’s prompts inspire you? Send in your stories by Wednesday for a chance at $10 and publication on our blog and in the April Newsletter!

Until next time, happy reading and writing…


Monthly Writing Prompts:

  • Prose Prompt: Write a story about something quirky a character does only on rainy afternoons.
  • Poetry Prompt: Write a poem about rain, water-based or otherwise.

Stories and poems for each month should be submitted by the last day of that month to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. The following month, one poem and one story from the previous month will be chosen for publication here on the blog, and also in our monthly newsletter. Authors will receive a flat fee of $10 per poem or story we choose to publish. Items submitted must be original, unpublished works, however we only ask for non-exclusive rights to post the work here on our blog for one year, and in one monthly newsletter.

Coming Soon – Insects and Adventure

Are you ready for some new reading material? We’re ready to help you out with that! We have two new books coming out in the next two months – The Dry Rain is an Insecticide novella by Alex Westhaven, and The Time Stone is the first book in a debut young reader series called The Stone Scavengers by Marie Yoch! The two books couldn’t be more different, and that’s just the way we like it around here. If you’re into adrenaline and moths gone out of control, you’ll want to grab a copy of The Dry Rain as soon as it comes out.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of a twelve-year-old girl on the hunt for a set of stone talismans that could help her find out what happened to her missing father, then you won’t want to miss The Time Stone just in time for spring reading!

The Dry Rain will be available on Friday, February 23rd in digital and print formats.

The Time Stone will be available on Friday, March 23rd in digital and print formats.

Stay tuned for cover art, back cover copy and excerpts!


January Writing Prompts

Prose Prompt (1000 word max for submissions): At the end of a certain rainbow, there is a door, and beside it a black pot full of gold keys. The person guarding it is most definitely not a leprechaun…or is he/she?

Poetry Prompt (500 word max for submissions): In like a lion, out like a lamb? In like a lamb, out like a lion? Write a poem about a lion, a lamb, and a magical kind of breeze.

Submit your work to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com by January 31st, and your story or poem could be published right here on the Snake Bites blog and in our February newsletter! Flat fee of $10 paid to the author for non-exclusive publishing rights.