Erin Ritch

Writer, Blogger, Mom

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Book Review ~ “Broken Angel” by Michelle Craig Snively

I’ve been looking for ways to expand the blog and thought doing a few book reviews would be a great addition (also it will encourage me to read more *bad author Erin*). So without further ado – here’s my first book review on No Wyverns!

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“Broken Angel (The Broken Series Book 1)” by Michelle Craig Snively

I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle at the Northwest Book Festival last month in Portland, Oregon. It’s always great to meet another Fantasy writer and we connected a few weeks later to exchange stories.

Here’s a short synopsis for “Broken Angel”~

Daeris believed the ancients were the wisest elves, totally devoted to Alfheim’s ruling family. Why wouldn’t she? She had grown up listening to songs and stories praising the ancient’s wisdom and how past kings and queens had prospered, heeding the ancient’s advice. Not until her mother’s murder does she question their loyalty and finds the ancients are not what they seem. No one, especially her father, will listen even when presented with evidence. What will it take to convince them of the enemy with in their ranks, and if she can, will it be in time?

My thoughts~

I really loved Michelle’s descriptions in this book – the details truly take you there, whether it’s a cozy kitchen with the smell of warm scones or a bubbling stream in a quiet forest. Daeris is a fiery protagonist but vulnerable as well as she tries to find her place in both the human and magical realms she encounters. I love that there is a wide variety of mystical creatures in this book, from brownies to gods. It’s a different take on human/magical creature interaction and I liked it. I was left wanting to know what happened next (always good in a series), as there is much more ahead of Daeris in her journey.

You can get a copy of “Broken Angel” on Amazon here!

 

About the author~

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Michelle Craig Snively has always believed there was some truth to myths and, in her world, myths are the norm. When her children were young, instead of wanting a book read, they begged to hear an impromptu story about their pet dragon, Pete, who would fly into their room and whisk them off on an adventure visiting gnomes, sprites, and other forms of fae folk. She amused family and friends with her observations of animal antics and was advised many times to write a book to share her creative imagination. February 2016 she published Broken Angel which received an honorable mention at the Northwest Book Festival shortly after.

Author links~ (pssst, follow her Facebook page! She posts great deals on her books!)

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Website

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Northwest Author Fair/Lincoln City, OR

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You can’t beat the Oregon coast. (Don’t worry, those are kites, not UFO’s. Or are they…?)

Last weekend was fantastic! My little family and I travelled to Lincoln City, Oregon to participate in the NW Author’s Fair at Bob’s Beach Books. Since it also happened to be approximately 100 million degrees inland, we left early and turned the weekend into a mini-vacation. Turns out, quite a few other people had the same idea!

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This is what a crowded beach looks like in Oregon.

I really enjoyed the event on Saturday, the best part was having my husband and daughter joining me at the table. I love meeting other indie authors and bouncing ideas off each other to see what worked/what didn’t. I find it very inspiring to be around artists who are at least trying to get their work out there and I have to say indie authors are the best group yet. We all admit “Hey, I’m not selling much, but I’m working on my dream” and that’s what it’s all about.

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Is there a frustrated three year old hiding behind Myth? Yes. Yes, there is.

 

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Don’t worry, she got her four hours at the aquarium.

That was my last book festival/author event of the summer and suddenly, summer is almost over. I’m back to work on my next book The Reanimation of Robert (ETA late fall!) and planning/strategizing website changes for both this site and erinritch.com. Have I mentioned that 2016 has been freaking awesome?

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Good bye, misty coast. Till next time!

Summer pics and Snapchat

This summer has been amazing so far…with great things still planned for the future. I’ve been trying to capture it with random pictures. We are going to the coast in 2 weeks. Please prepare for ten thousand pictures to follow.

 

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And, of course, there’s been Snapchat. Lots of Snapchat.

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The Northwest Book Festival – Portland, OR

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Hello from booth 50!

Last weekend went GREAT at the NW Book Festival! It was a super long day (leaving Eugene at 5 am doesn’t help…) but well worth it! We got there far ahead of our load-in time (by the way, the event was organized super well!)

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Hidden under the table….lots of cookies. Lots.

We sold over a dozen books and met dozens of other great authors – mostly indies! It was so fun to speak with my new readers about my books and see their excitement over the story.

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I think our table setup worked perfectly, but I learned some great options from other author’s tables for future events. There were a few whispered questions from passerby’s about “What the heck is No Wyverns??” – but hey, it got your attention! 😉

We definitely saw it as a success…and we’ll be back next year!

Updates and the NW Book Fair

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It’s been a great week…Myth has been released into the universe and I’m gearing up for tomorrow’s NW Book Festival. If you’re going to be in Portland, come see me at booth 50. Thankfully, the weather will only be in the low 80’s, so I shouldn’t melt into a puddle. (Please bring ice cream just in case.)

A few updates on Myth – both the e-book and the print book are live! Did you catch my interview over at Nya Reads? What a great site, I loved her interview and her readers!

And to celebrate the launch, I’m also running Myth on a promotion with Story Cartel! If you haven’t seen their site before, check it out! By downloading books (for FREE) and leaving reviews on the author’s Amazon/Goodreads account, you get entered in a drawing for awesome prizes. Basically, everyone wins – what’s better than that? It only runs a few weeks and Myth is already in the tops of the popular books!

That’s it from me, I’ll be back next week with an update on the festival. Stay cool out there!

It’s release day for Myth!!

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Finally, it’s here!

It feels like forever ago we released Myth for pre-order only…and now release day is finally here! Both the e-book and the print version are live to purchase today. I hope you all love it and please, share with your friends!

Get your copy of Myth here!

Event at Another Read Through!

Yesterday was awesome! I had my FIRST table signing at a wonderful bookstore in Portland, Oregon called Another Read Through.

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Behold!

I brought copies of Myth and Quinn Family: The Mayan Ruins – both covers really drew attention! It was great talking with passerby’s about the books and also my fellow Willamette Writers who were at the event.

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That’s me!

All in all, I learned a lot and left three copies of Myth and Quinn Family at Another Read Through – go check them out!

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Complete the Story…”The Gray Man’s Street”

Now that Myth is locked in and launches in LESS THAN A WEEK (*breathe*), I’m allowing myself some time to actually watch TV and not feel guilty about it. I used to follow many, many shows but now it seems the only ones I make time for is Game of Thrones or Big Brother. (I feel this sentence sums me up very well.)

Then I learned about a Netflix series called Stranger Things. It quickly became my latest obsession, it reminds me of The X-Files and Twin Peaks with all sorts of paranormal goodness. And it’s set in the 80’s?? You have me hooked, Netflix. Hooked. I may only be three episodes in, but I love the story and style of the show in general.

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It got me inspired to try one of the story prompts from Complete The Story, a gift from my husband for my birthday, intended for moments precisely like this where I want to write a quick, easy story. I wanted to write a story that happens in the world (or world similar to) that of Stranger Things.

 

 

 

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This is a really fun book, there are literally (tee hee) story prompts for every situation you can think of, with only a single page commitment.Unless you’re like myself, that is, and quickly spilled over into three additional pieces of paper.

 

 

 

 

 

So I hope you enjoy…and if you love the paranormal and haven’t watched Stranger Things yet…go watch it!

 

THE GRAY MAN’S STREET

(Words in bold are taken from Complete the Story)

They were safe, for the time being. But it was no time to let their guard down. Slowly, Samuel opened the car door, trying his best not to make a sound. He looked both ways down the street. All he could see was darkness with occasional pools of light beneath the bleary street lights. He returned inside and locked the door, checking it twice.

“Did you see it?” Melanie whispered. A small trickle of blood traveled down the side of her face. She had experienced the worst of the impact, her light frame tossed like a rag doll as they spun across the street.

Samuel wiped his hair out of his face. He became aware of the condensation building on the windshield. He hoped it wouldn’t draw attention.

“Nothing,” he said finally. “I don’t know what direction it took off in. It was so…fast.”

“Let’s keep going! Please!” Melanie begged.

“Shh!” Samuel snapped. “We can’t! The engine, I’m not sure it will start. I’m not willing to risk-“

“I see it!” Melanie squealed, sobbing into her hands.

A figure appeared at the end of the dim headlights, crawling on its belly towards the car. It was the creature that hit their car, a flash of gray that forced them into a spiral. They had injured it, too. Samuel knew from the cry it made at impact. He fumbled with the keys and tried the ignition. It ticked but failed to spark to life.

“C’mon…” Samuel urged, pumping the limp accelerator.

The figure crawled closer. It wasn’t an animal. It wasn’t a man. But it had eyes and it met Samuel’s gaze without flinching. And without fear.

“Get it in the back seat,” Samuel shouted, unbuckling Melanie’s seatbelt  and helping her over the seat. “Stay down!”

“What are you going to do? Shouldn’t we run?” she sobbed.

Samuel tore through the contents of the glove box, watching as the creature bumped against the headlights. He saw a glimpse of slimy gray skin, stained red with blood. Dark eyes drew up to meet Samuel’s gaze as it thumped atop the hood of the car.

“Back!” Samuel shouted, pointing his father’s flashlight in the creature’s eyes. It howled and dropped to the side, scratching and fumbling with the locked door. Samuel held onto the door. “No!”

Then there was nothing. The air was so quiet that Samuel could hear the far off bark of his dog, probably watching for him from the living room window. Melanie tried to muffle her sobs from the floor of the backseat. Samuel carefully lifted his fingers from the door, one at a time. In a breath, the door was ripped from the vehicle and thrown into the woods.

Samuel!”

“This song is the best! The absolute best, turn it up!”

Todd nodded and increased the volume of the car radio. He accelerated, trying to keep up with the beat of the music. Tiffany hummed with the music, settling back into her seat. She watched the twilight treetops flash by, a blur in her sleepy state.

“Is that Samuel’s dad’s car?” Todd shouted as he turned down the music. He pointed to the vehicle ahead of them, overturned on the side of the road.

“Oh my gosh…” Tiffany gasped, sitting up. “It totally is! And I bet you Melanie is with him, too.”

“Should we stop or something?” Todd asked with a shrug.

“Are you crazy? That’s all on them.”

“But maybe we should help-“

“Just let the Gray Man do its thing,” Tiffany yawned, settling back into her seat. “And turn the music back up!”

“Myth” release date announcement…and e-book pre-orders open!

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Cover illustration by the talented Char Houweling

I can’t believe this day is finally here but…my Young Adult Fantasy book “Myth” has a release date of 7.25.16!

Get your e-book pre-orders here!

If you know me and my writing, then you’ve probably heard me talk about this book at least a hundred times. What started as notebooks full of handwritten pages has turned into a novel. It’s traveled with me from Oregon to Vancouver B.C. (where those handwritten notebooks were almost stolen – thank you, nice Canadian thieves, for leaving them in my parent’s car), then to California (where I packed them with my valuables when we were almost evacuated from fires), then back to Oregon, tucked safe atop my bedroom dresser.

Where it sat. And sat. And the paperclips of notes between the pages grew rusty with age. It sat some more until one day I needed this story again. And those characters were still there, dutifully waiting in the place I had left them.

That was August of 2014. So I picked up where I left off, writing “Myth” while working full time. I’d write on my lunch breaks. I’d write after my toddler went to bed or on my days off. I don’t know how many ideas I’d repeat to myself over and over during my commute between home and work – don’t forget it, don’t forget it until you get home and jot it down. It went painfully slow but at least it went.

I was able to scramble one edit through the finished manuscript before taking it to a writer’s conference in August of 2015. I pitched it to several agents and editors, all who displayed interest. But then “Myth” had to sit and wait again. So it sat and sat, waiting for the response from those “interested” agents that eventually arrived, if at all.

Now it’s 2016 and this story is tired of sitting and waiting. When I started No Wyverns Publishing, I knew I’d have total creative control over “Myth.” And while that’s stellar, it’s also a lot of work. You need to get as much feedback as you can. You need to hire and seek out help from professionals. You need to edit and revise and edit again (then again. Oh, and again). It also helps to be married to a brilliant book format expert and all around problem-solving-genius.

But guess what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It takes a lot of patience to write a book. Unfortunately, I’ve had to say ‘no’ to some things and drag myself to the computer when I just wanted to go to bed instead of editing until 1 am. But through it all, I couldn’t put this story down and never tired of it and I hope readers feel the same way.

It’s going to be an exciting and busy summer and I have twenty emails to write about this announcement. But right now I’m going to sit back and reflect on how far this book has come. It’s survived theft and fire and age and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

So that’s the story of how “Myth” came about…but what’s the book about, you ask?

Shogun Saban dreams of becoming a woodsman like his grandfather; to fly between the trees and listen to their stories. But his father wants to keep him rooted on the ground and far away from his childhood friend, a girl of the sea named Madigan who can control the elements.

Beyond their little corner of the world, an evil has sprouted and is quietly spreading; corrupting its victims and marking them with eyes full of shadows. When it reaches their sleepy hometown of Shrunken Hollow, Shogun and Madigan search for the origin of the darkness – but the answer lies in an old myth about a place that only exists in dreams.

With the aid of the forest and the sea, Shogun and Madigan must unravel the myth before the darkness takes over their world – and themselves.

 Thanks to everyone that helped me with this book, got excited with me about this book, put up with my pickiness, waited while I “just need to finish this last paragraph,” or just offered a “that’s awesome!” We did it!

The of Summer ’16

I’m excited to say I am thisclose to finishing the third draft of “Myth” and the artwork for the cover is looking amazing. The release of “Myth” will be timed perfectly with the two book fairs I will be attending this summer. I’m really looking forward to bringing No Wyverns Publishing to these events and meeting/networking with other authors. Oh yeah, and selling books!!

Here’s where I’ll be this summer!

 

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www.nwbookfestival.com
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
Pioneer Square/ Portland, OR
Booth # 50

I’ve been assigned the booth near the Starbucks…man, did they figure me out or what! 9 Bridges is an organization of writers based out of Portland. I signed up for this festival immediately once registration was open back in January! No Wyverns Publishing will have our own table there. I’m really excited about the other authors that will be at this event as well. It’s in the middle of summer so I’ll be well-hydrated…oh yeah, and also well caffeinated.

 

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www.bobsbeachbooks.net
Saturday, August 20th, 2016
1747 Hwy 101/ Lincoln City, OR

Finally! I’ve been wanting to join the Northwest Author Fair for several years now, but due to limited space and the popularity of the event, I haven’t been able to get in until now! Again, the list of authors that will be here are amazing…and I get to spend the day at the coast. Sign me up!

I’ll be selling/signing copies of all three of my titles at these events – “Memories Wait Alone”, “Quinn Family Adventures” (with its brand new cover!) and “Myth.” I can’t wait but I have a lot to do before then…so its back to editing and…oh yeah, more editing. Cheers!