Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nesting Osprey

This weekend marks the third year I've been doing this blog.  I've found some new friends, and invited others to do guest posts.  I've enjoyed sharing things with readers, like my idea for my new book, "Say Cheese Before You Die" and exposing my inadequacies in "The Earnestness of Being Important."  But mostly I've enjoyed sharing my precarious relationship with the wildlife.

A couple of weeks ago I lugged a sixteen pound bag of cat food across the parking lot at the Jantzen Beach Shopping Center and heard the insistent call of a bird.  I looked up in time to see an Osprey gliding overhead.  But the desperate command continued, and I looked around the parking lot until I found it.

The Osprey nest, on top of a light fixture in the middle of the parking lot, was occupied.  I used to see Osprey when I kayaked on the Northwest rivers, watching as they circled the river in search of a tasty fish dinner.  The Osprey is a large raptor, though not as big as an eagle.   Their nests are huge, and they like to use flat surfaces.  I would think it would get warm on top of the light fixture.  Will the branches catch fire?

Lovely birds.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sophie Moss, The Selkie Spell

A while ago, I entered a contest on a blog by Sophie Moss.  The prize was a copy of her book, The Selkie Spell, and I won.  Normally the only thing I win is drawing for random drug testing at work, so I was thrilled.  The book was fabulous, and I wrote a review on Goodreads.  Someone "liked" the review and I decided I liked her book so much, I should invite Sophie to do a guest post for me.  She was hesitant, but after I sent her a bunch of questions, she gave in and answered them.  Without further ado, here is the guest post from Sophie Moss, author of The Selkie Spell.
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Tell us about your road to publication... Is this self-published or through a press? Why?
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today, Melanie! I’m happy to share my road to publication. Yes, The Selkie Spell is self-published. I decided to “go indie” for a number of reasons, but mostly because the opportunities for self-published authors now are tremendous. Self-publishing offers an incredible sense of control and ownership of the publishing process. It allows you to connect directly with readers and find and build your audience in a way that is fundamentally transforming the publishing industry.

Did you send out query letters?
I tried the traditional route: querying agents and editors, pitching at conferences, joining writers groups, and entering contests. But watching the indie author revolution take shape last fall, I decided why wait around trying to be discovered by a publishing house when I could jump into this publishing party right now?

Tell us a little bit about The Selkie Spell… 
Photo by Joseph Mischyshyn
The first book in The Seal Island Trilogy is about an American doctor whose life is transformed when she travels to an enchanted Irish island and discovers she has the power to break a 200-year-old curse. At first, Tara Moore laughs off the villagers’ speculation that she is descended from a selkie—a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island. Desperate to escape a dark and dangerous past, Tara struggles against a passionate attraction to handsome islander Dominic O’Sullivan. But the enchantment of the island soon overpowers her and she falls helpless under its spell. Caught between magic and reality, Tara must find a way to wield both when a dangerous stranger from her past arrives, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone on the island.

How did you come up with the idea for The Selkie Spell? 
When I was living in Ireland, I took a weekend trip to the magical, windswept island of Inishbofin. The moment I stepped off the ferry, I felt like I was home. It was the strangest feeling: being so far from  home and yet sensing I belonged. After returning to the states, I discovered the movie, The Secret of Roan Inish, and first learned of the selkie legends. Intrigued by the thought of seals who can transform into beautiful women on land, I decided to weave my love of romance novels, Ireland, and fairy tales into one delicious novel!

Blasket Islands, County Kerry, Ireland  Photo by Snalwibma
When do you expect to release the second book in The Seal Island Trilogy? 
The Seal Island Trilogy continues with Caitlin and Liam’s story, The Selkie Enchantress, coming out this summer! As readers of The Selkie Spell know, Irish islander, Caitlin Conner, has been in love with professor of Irish folklore, Liam O'Sullivan, for as long as she can remember. But just when he's starting to look at her as more than a friend, a mysterious woman arrives on Seal Island and captures his heart. As Caitlin discovers the truth behind the woman’s lies, she realizes Liam is trapped in a dangerous enchantment and the only way to break the spell is to uncover a secret Irish fairy tale that has remained hidden for hundreds of years. But when the petals of a white rose grown in winter start to fall, the legend is set in motion. And Caitlin must find a way to change the ending before the last petal falls.
Sophie Moss

Author's Bio:  

Sophie Moss writes contemporary Irish fairy tale romances. Her stories are full of magic, mystery, and small-town Irish charm. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Vermont. When she's not writing, she's tending to her garden. She has a strange knack for finding four-leaf clovers and writes best while sipping a Guinness.

You may purchase The Selkie Spell by clicking HERE.