June 2016 Goals

June is possibly my favorite month–and not just because it’s my birth month. I also love the long hours of daylight–the bright mornings and the warm evenings.

Last month I made four modest goals:

  1. NIGHT QUEEN revision. CHECK!  What was once ToB&L, Book 5, Night Queen has dovetailed into the story I will now call ToB&L, Book 4, Mage and Source. Night Queen no longer exists, and ToB&L, Book 5, has a new working title: Light and Shadow.
  2. Post at least 4 new exercises to my Pilates Blog. CHECK. I only have about two more months at this rate to get to the end of the series.
  3. Blog Post about SOMETHING. CHECK. I posted a Seven Questions feature on Sydney Scrogham. I also have a Seven Questions blog prepped for June.
  4. THE BIGGIE: prep STERLING for print! CHECK. I am awaiting the final print proof. In the first one my map of Lethemia was a little blurry, so I am hoping my changes fixed that so it will be ready to go!

June Goals

  1. ToB&L Book 4 revision. This is likely to be on the top for the list for the next few months.
  2. Post at least 4 new exercises to my Pilates Blog. 
  3. Do publicity for STERLING. Her pub date is JUNE 27th–I have a blog and a giveaway planned, and I may be doing a few interviews on others’ blogs, too.



Upcoming Flash Fiction Contest at LCP

Alert to all FlashDogs, FlashMonkeys, FlashDragons, and other flashy types!

In honor of the release of our latest books, Tamara Shoemaker and I are co-hosting a ONE-TIME FLASH FICTION contest on the Luminous Creatures Press Blog.

The contest submission dates will run from June 28-June 30, 2016, so mark your calendars! The prompts will be posted on June 28th, and then you’ll have two full days to create a story of 100 words or fewer to enter. The theme will be fantasy, since the new release books we are celebrating are both fantasy stories. More information and a photo prompt will be posted on June 28th.

To see our rules, please visit the Luminous Creatures Blog here.

Please note: you do not have to be a writer to enter this contest; Tamara and I are hoping for entries from anyone who is interested in winning a free copy of our new releases, whether you’ve written anthologies, novels, flash fiction, or only your name. Come one, come all! It’ll be fun!

Preeminent Flashdog Mark A. King has agreed to serve as our judge. The winner will receive paperback or ebook editions of our two new books: Embrace the Fire, by Tamara Shoemaker, a YA novel set in a classic fantasy world with dragons, elves, and other creatures, and Sterling, by Emily June Street, a fantasy romance with an intricate magic system.


Seven Questions : May 2016 : Sydney Scrogham

My Seven Questions author feature has been on hiatus, but it is not forgotten! Getting it back into full throttle with a May edition, I welcome the lovely Sydney Scrogham, whose new contemporary fantasy about overcoming a difficult past–and flying unicorns!–is coming out in June. Her book is Ariel: The First Guardian.When she’s not writing, Sydney is at the barn with her horse, Snowdy, or she’s catching up on reruns of the best TV show ever–Castle. She lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia with an adorable dachshund named Zoe.

Here’s a chance to get a tiny glimpse inside her mind with Seven Questions:


EJS: Pitch your book in three sentences or less.

SS: Abuse survivor Ariel Harte doesn’t need anyone—ever. But her companion animal is infected with a dark, magical force that can only be cured with the help of another human. Ariel must ask her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Tracey, for help.

EJS: Is your book indie-published or traditionally published? Tell us a little about that journey.

Note from EJS–Sydney has a blog post all about how to make this decision that you can read in full here. However, here is the final portion of that post, from Sydney’s blog at sswriter.com, that explains which way she ended up going:

SS: “I want to have control over my books so I can make them look and feel like I imagine. I want to have higher royalties. Since I’m controlling the majority of my marketing anyway, I’m willing to commit to this for the long haul. I decided to self-publish because it is a good fit for my writing goals in this moment.


That doesn’t mean I’d reject a publishing contract from the Big 5. But I did recently reject a publishing offer.  After reading through the contract I was offered, I decided the only boost they could give me was a little extra marketing.

To me, that wasn’t worth surrendering to a cover I had no control over, signing away my ebook, audio book (even though there was no intention to make an audio book by this publisher), and print rights for three years (!!! – one year is enough…), taking about a 10% royalty from a sale, and having no say in the product price all in exchange for a tiny bit of marketing.

My book would’ve been published through Createspace with that publisher. That’s exactly what I could have done for myself and chosen my own cover, price, and a 70% royalty. Yes, it’s a little more work on my end, but to me, that’s worth it.”

EJS: What are your favorite genres/books to read, and do you think this affects your writing? How?

SS: I read a lot of romance, and then fantasy. I’m a big believer of what goes in comes out, so I tend to aim for the books that are labeled “best-sellers.” But still, if a book doesn’t capture me by the first chapter, I put it down. If I’m going to write things that are captivating, I’m going to only read things that are captivating.

EJS: What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

SS: From Ted Dekker, “Make writing your spiritual exercise.” That’s what I did with Ariel’s story. I journeyed into a painful situation from my past (no, I won’t reveal which one) and as my pain became Ariel’s pain, something shifted in me when Ariel got her moment of healing. I was set free, too.

EJS: What makes a great sentence?

SS: Clear, to the point, and—oh, plenty of personality.

EJS: How and when did you first know you were a writer?

I’ve always lived in a story. It started as a kid playing with toys for hours and hours, and then when I was 11, I wrote my first “book” that was not even 20 pages, a sentence on each page, and I illustrated it myself. Then I wrote a 30-some chapter book series about the Alicorns of Agalrae (creatures in my published books now), and after a lot of hard work, released Chase in 2015. I’ve never really stopped writing. It’s a part of me.

EJS: What’s your secret superpower?

Speaking and interpreting all the languages in the world.

EJS: Many thanks to Sydney for joining me for Seven Questions. You can learn more about her and her various passions at her website: http://www.sswriter.com/.

You can pre-order Ariel now on Amazon.



Sterling Pre-Order & Cover Reveal

Last night I sneakily changed my background picture on Facebook to the official cover for Tales of Blood & Light Book Three, Sterling, so some lucky people got an early preview. Here it is, officially revealed. And you can click on the picture to pre-order the book!


You may be interested to know this tidbit about all the T0B&L covers: each one has a dominant color, which is the color of the narrator’s aetherlight. Readers of the series will know that aetherlight is sort of like one’s aura, the essential energy that feeds a person in the layer of magic.

Sterling now has her own page here on my blog website, where you can also pre-order her story, read a tiny book teaser, or find a link to add the book on Goodreads. Adding the book to your “want to read shelf” on Goodreads is a great, no-commitment way to help it get a little visibility before it is out.


Slug Magazine Interview

About a month ago I spoke with Davey Davis, who–among other myriad projects– writes for the Utah-based SLUG magazine. The magazine features music, bikes, extreme sports, and other underground badassery. This particular issue is the BIKE ISSUE, so if you have an interest in the wheeling life, check out the many interesting articles there.

I originally connected with Davey through a program called The Clovers Project, which is a support/mentoring project for writers at different stages of their careers. Though Davey and I did not share a “clover” (a mentoring group) we discovered we both love bicycles, and once again, the bicycle made good things happen!

Read the full interview here.

Highlights include a discussion about the romance in The Velocipede Races, more info about my thought processes while writing the book, and details about how I designed the actual races.