Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Elves and Escapades out--Fairies and Felicitations free!

I am excited to announce that Elves and Escapades, the sequel to Pegasi and Prefects, has been released today. (On my birthday!)

It feels like it's been forever since Pegasi and Prefects came out, but actually, it's been about three months. :)

To celebrate, the stand-alone prequel novelette Fairies and Felicitations is free for five days.

Monday, 16 March 2015

YA Spring Fling Guest Post: Milda Harris

YA Spring Fling Giveaway Fantasy and Urban Fantasy header

The YA Spring Fling Giveaway gets underway on the 20th. It's not too late to be guaranteed a free YA ebook of your choice if you sign up to the mailing list by the 20th March. (Including Pegasi and Prefects if you haven't read it yet, just in time for Elves and Escapades.) There are tons of books in different YA genres available, as well as swag and goodies.

One of the books you can win is terrific scifi paranormal Doppelganger by Milda Harris. I'm very pleased to host her author interview below.

What’s your favourite thing about spring? I enjoy the change of weather from winter to

spring. Flowers bloom! It's such a pretty season!

What’s the best thing about being a writer? I love creating new stories and making up

adventures. It's the best job ever!

What’s the worst thing about being a writer? Sometimes it is really, really hard to create.

Sometimes you don't feel like writing at all. Still, part of being a writer is writing no matter


Tell us more about your books. I have two main YA series for sale right now. One is

The Doppelganger Trilogy, which is a YA sci-fi/paranormal romance series. My book

Doppelganger is the first in the series. It is also the book that I have in the Spring Fling

Giveaway. Doppelganger is the story of Citrus Leahy and how one day she goes to school and

finds herself already in class! Luckily, the boy she has a crush on has the same problem.

The other series I have out is The Funeral Crashing Mysteries, which is a YA romantic

mystery series starting with Adventures in Funeral Crashing. That book is currently free to

download. Adventures in Funeral Crashing is about a funeral crashing sixteen-year-old girl who

ends up solving a murder mystery with the hottest guy in school.

I've also written a few other books. My other YA titles are The New Girl Who Found a Dead 

Body and Connected (A Paranormal Romance). I also wrote a new adult romantic comedy called

Crashing Prom. 

Coffee or Tea? Coffee!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, I like tea too.

Plotter or Pantser? Pantser, but I so wish I was a plotter.

Are there any books involved in the YA Spring Fling that you’re secretly lusting after? 

A ton of them look like fun reads. Maybe Never Sleep, Kissed, Fashion Fraud, Miss Popularity,

Watermelon Summer, or Unclaimed.

What was the last YA book you read? I just started reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Why do you write YA? I have loved YA since I was in high school and I never stopped. I

read everything, but YA still holds a very special place in my heart.

What are your top tips for surviving a bad review? I try not to read it! I skim them. I

think bad reviews are very important for potential readers and writers. Still, as a writer I

can't take the blow to my ego so I only try and take away helpful criticism from them. The

truth of the matter is, one book is not meant for everyone to like. You have to keep it in


What are your top tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse? Run! Stock up on supplies.

Get to high ground or somewhere fortified. Lastly, hope your luck lasts long enough to


What inspires you? I'm inspired by books I'm reading, movies, television, and most

importantly - real life!

Where can readers find your books? Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Google

Play, Smashwords, Createspace, and more!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

I'm an app addict. I'm always looking for a better tool. That being said, I thought I'd share a quick and dirty guide to the apps I find invaluable as a writer. No affiliate links here, just gushing.

Scrivener (Mac and Windows: I have both). Price: $40 Windows, $45 Mac, and frequently discounted (e.g. for various Nanowrimo events).

This gets pride of place, because... what can I say that hasn't been said before? Moving from word processors into a custom-built writing app is a revelation. Structuring, outlining, editing, making notes, compiling into an ebook... There is absolutely no part of writing that Scrivener doesn't make easier. It's incredibly rich in features, each feature well thought out.

My first books (treating Elves as second writing-wise), I used it more tentatively, and it was still a miracle. From Fairies onward, I've made much heavier use of its features. I love writing with my outline, scene synopsis and guiding notes visible, in particular.

Distraction-free writing? Phooey. I like it all there. There's a mode if you like that kind of thing, though.

If only I'd had it when I was working on my thesis.

Calibre (Mac and Windows) Price: Donationware

Calibre more than earned its donation. Once I've compiled an ebook, I load it into Scrivener at the touch of a button and look at it in its viewer. If I see changes to be made, it's back to Scrivener. If not, I send it, at the touch of a button, to my kindle and my editor's email.

Googledocs (Any platforms). Price: Free (or your soul)

This is what I use to write on the go. It doesn't matter if it's my Nexus, my iPad or even my phone--it all syncs seamlessly, for future dropping into Scrivener.

A Novel Idea (iOS). Price: Freemium (the paid version was less than $4)

This is my brainstorming app of choice. Nothing like lolling back with a tablet, coming up with ideas. A Novel Idea has places for characters, scenes, ideas, books... and best of all, they can be linked and cross-referenced to your heart's delight. I love this.

Celtx Index Cards (Android and iOS). Price: Free

I haven't found anything as purpose built as A Novel Idea for Android. The Index Cards application belonging to screenwriting app Celtx is the best alternative I've found. Being a Scrivener fan, I'm used to plotting in index cards, and they are easy to reorder and colour codable, and Celtx plays nice with Scrivener. Nice (and free!) little app.

Contour (iOS, Windows and Mac) Price: $10 for iOS, $40 Mac and Win

I started using Contour while plotting Mermaids. My God, I love it. I'd bought it on an impulse, thinking I was wasting $10 on something I would play with and never seriously use. I was a pantser, after all. I was wrong.

Contour is a screenwriting planning app based on a proprietary system. It guides you, through questions and fields, through an extensive planning process aimed at a tightly structured work. By the time you've worked through the starting questions, you should know if your concept is going to fly, or if you need to go back and do more work. There is a detailed manual, and more information is available at a touch.

I've read a lot of craft books talking about the four act structure. Nothing ever made it all click into place like Contour. Planning through it is challenging and joyful, and means I've gone into Mermaids knowing what each scene is going to achieve and what it's place is in the overall structure. Pegasi and Elves had structure imposed on them afterwards, with a lot of time consuming rewriting. This time, I know my structure going in.

It's a great feeling


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. Find out more here.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

YA Spring Fling Giveaway!

In the run up to Elves and Escapades being released on the 25th, Pegasi and Prefects is part of the YA Spring Fling giveaway. It runs from March 20th to April 3rd and gives readers the opportunity to win ebooks, paperbacks, audiobooks and swag from some of the most awesome YA writers around.

To be in with a chance of winning head over to Sarah Dalton Books after the giveaway opens.

If you sign up to the mailing list before the 20th you’re guaranteed at least one free ebook of your choice!


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. FInd out more here.