Final Poem, Blog Schedule/Survey, Newsletters

It’s the last day of April, and also the last day of National Poetry Month! I have to admit, I didn’t read a poem this week. The weather was nice, the sun beckoned, and much yard work (and a little inside cleaning) ensued. But poetry isn’t something that needs to be relegated to one month of the year, of course. And with that, I give you one of the poems my alter-ego, Alex Westhaven wrote last year (raw and unedited, so excuse any mistakes):

Lovely Weather
by Alex Westhaven

Isn’t the weather lovely?
Said the grasshopper to the bee.
It is indeed, replied the bee,
and buzzed off toward his hive.

Isn’t the weather lovely?
Said the grasshopper to the ant.
Can’t stop to chat, replied the ant,
carrying a leaf on his back.

Isn’t the weather lovely?
Said the grasshopper to the fly.
Putrid scents are the best, replied the fly,
and the garbage is perfectly ripe.

Isn’t the weather lovely?
Said the grasshopper to the frog.
Hop along or I’ll eat you, replied the frog.
You’re just the right size for a bite.

Isn’t the weather lovely?
Said the grasshopper to the bird.
In one bold, heartless crunch,
the bird got himself lunch.

Lovely weather, indeed, said the bird.
******************
Thanks for celebrating National Poetry Month with us!

In other news, I’m curious about a few things regarding blog readership. I have statistics, obviously, but I’d love to hear from readers personally as well. If you have the time, I’m interested in your answers to the questions below. Feel free to comment here with your answers, or via direct message/PM on social media, or you can email replies to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com as well.

1. How often do you read the Snake Bites blog?
2. What would you like to see covered on the blog?
3. Is one blog post once a week perfect, too often, or not often enough for your personal tastes?

That’s it – just those three little questions. I’ll look forward to your responses!

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, it may be a day or two late this week. But it will hit your inbox no later than Friday!

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.

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.

Riparian, Release Day Friday

We’re continuing our observance of National Poetry Month this week – have you read a poem lately? 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.

The poem I chose this week was by pure happenstance, and honestly, I was in a hurry. So I opened up my copy of Poems Across the Big Sky II: An Anthology of Montana Poets to a random page, and found Riparian by Sandra Alcosser, Montana’s Poet Laureate from 2005-2007. It’s a short poem about the refreshing nature of…well, nature, and how it can invigorate and refresh us from our encounters with the world at large. Or that’s how I read it, in any case. Which was perfect for the harried state of mind I found myself in at the time.

I love it when that happens – the thing you need to be most reminded of is the thing you read next. Serendipity!

In other news, ebook pre-orders for The Time Stone are still available for one more week at the reduced price of $1.99. After Friday, the price goes up to $3.99, so if you’re interested, order your copy today to lock in that discount price! Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

The print copy is also approved, and should be coming out on your favorite online retailer sites within the next few days. Friday is the official release day, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find a copy sooner if you’re looking.

As soon as the ebook goes live, it will be enrolled in Kindle’s matchbook program, which means you’ll be able to get a free digital copy with each print copy you buy. A great deal if you want one to read, and one for the shelf (or to give as a gift)!

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.

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.

National Poetry Month, Poetry Discussion, and New Writing Prompts

Are you a poetry reader or writer? April is National Poetry Month, and there are plenty of challenges for writers out there, but I haven’t seen many for readers. So, we decided to to have one ourselves! Every week this month, I’ll be reading a poem and mentioning it here on the weekly blog post. If you comment with the title and author of a poem you’ve read recently and a book you’d like to read from our catalog, we’ll send you a free PDF – your choice of books from any category on our site except Humor/Satire.

Just make sure to include your correct email address in the comment form (email addresses will not display with your comment), so we can send your free book!

For this first week, the poem I read is The Poet’s Vow by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It’s a rather poignant, sad tale of a poet who renounces his humanity and the world in order to lock himself away as a hermit, basically. His lady love does not fare well upon his vow, and things progress about as you might expect as the poem goes on. As I was reading, the skies were darkening and a spring storm looming, which matched the mood of the poem rather nicely.

The volume of Mrs. Browning’s poems I have is very old – the copyright reads 1882 and 1886. I found it one afternoon at a local flea market, and as a collector of old books, I had to have it for the $20 they were asking. It’s beautiful and red-speckled, with soft, yellowed pages that immediately implore you to handle it with care. I think with poetry especially, reading from an old, hardbound copy helps the mind really accept and even embrace the older language and phrasing used in these poems.

I have an old volume of Tennyson as well – perhaps I’ll get that one off the shelf for next week.

In other news, the new monthly writing prompts are available below. Let’s write about roses!

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.

The Time Stone Release Date & March Writing Prompts

Happy March!

Just a couple of things today – the first of which is to announce that the release date for The Time Stone will be delayed to April 6th. This will give us a little more time to get the cover art and formatting all ship-shape, and hopefully be able to release both the digital and print versions at the same time. If possible, we’ll make it available it early, but the “official” release date will be April 6th.

The second matter of business for today is our new writing prompts for March, which you’ll find below, as usual. Something to get us in the mood for spring. I hope they’ll inspire you!

That’s all for this time…until next week, happy reading/writing.


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.

Release Week, Excerpt, and February Writing Prompts

It’s release week! This Friday (Feb. 23rd), The Dry Rain by Alex Westhaven will finally be available in digital format. The print version may take a little longer, but it’s coming soon as well. Here’s the blurb:

The earth has a bug problem – one large enough to potentially threaten humanity. But in the small city of Whiskey Creek, Oklahoma, the population has only one thing on their minds: staying alive while the Dry Rain evolves into something much more sinister.

And here’s a short excerpt to wet your appetite (so to speak):
The road was still visible, but there were plenty of maggoty worms trying to answer the proverbial chicken-crossing-the-road question, which meant plenty of bug guts squishing beneath the tires and making the road slick, as if it were raining hard. Poor Bess bellowed her displeasure, and Will figured it was the smell bugging her as much as the trailer slipping back and forth despite the slow pace he was keeping.

“I think maybe we should have stayed put,” May said, one hand clinging to the door while the other held tight to the edge of the seat. “This is almost as bad as that snowstorm we drove through last winter. Except visibility is better, as long as you don’t care about dividing lines and such.”

Will tried to stay relaxed, though his neck and shoulders ached from keeping the rig on the road.

“We’ll make it,” he said, adjusting his grip on the wheel and shooting her what he hoped was a reassuring smile. “Shouldn’t be too much further. Just gotta keep going straight and stay away from the shoulder.”

“Look out!”

*********************
I hope you’ll pick up a copy first thing on Friday! It will be available for 99 cents next weekend only, and then on Monday the 26th, the price will go up to 2.99.

If you’re a writer – or want to be, have you checked out our monthly prompts yet? The deadline for submissions is just a week and a half away…better get 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.

The Heart and the Triangle, and Writing Prompts

The Minister's Maid CoverWednesday is Valentine’s Day, in case you missed the swath of pink, white and read hearts all over the place lately. I was thinking about love triangles the other day, and how there always seems to be one, even if one or two of the people in the triangle are unaware of the other’s feelings. It seems like every time two people get together, someone is left out in the cold, either unintentionally or knowingly, and I think maybe that’s why so many of us have trouble with romance stories involving love triangles and the heart-breaking choices that have to be made to get to the end of the story. It’s hard enough to live it, much less reading about it over and over in fiction.

There can be only two, to paraphrase The Highlander.

Of course three or more people can certainly form cohesive relationships, but it’s a very difficult thing, I’d imagine. It’s hard enough for two people to forge and maintain a lasting relationship, and adding even one person into that mixture of longing and emotion is far easier in fiction than it is in real life.

Maybe that’s why we like to read and write about such relationships. To understand them, and figure out how one might work, in case we’re ever in the not-so-unique position of being attracted to two people at once. I have a hard time writing threesomes, mostly because I have a hard time believing they can work long-term (for life, I mean).

In any case, hearts and triangles are nearly the same shape, and I wonder if there’s ever been a relationship that didn’t leave someone on one side or the other out in the cold. In my experience and from what I’ve observed, there’s always an odd man or woman out (sadly enough).When She Cries Cover

I do think I have written one story where there’s a threesome that works. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which one it is/was (job hazard)! But in light of the holiday, I’m giving away a free download of one of my campy but fun Fantasy Ranch romance novels: The Minister’s Maid. You can download the PDF for free until Friday, and I hope you enjoy the story (which isn’t quite what it seems once you get into it)…

And for those of you who aren’t currently in a relationship, and might be feeling a bit bitter about all this lovey-dovey stuff, please enjoy a free download of When She Cries, by my somewhat more sadistic alter-ego, Alex Westhaven.


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.