Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Briton and the Dane: Second Edition gets Audible

Historical fiction author MarryAnn Bernal's epic tale The Briton and the Dane is now available in audio-book.

About The Briton and the Dane
King Alfred the Great has thwarted the Viking threat against his kingdom of Wessex. Signing a treaty with the formidable Danish King Guthrum, he succeeds in pushing the heathen army back to the rolling fens of East Anglia.

An uneasy peace holds sway: The King establishes a standing army under Lord Richard, who takes command of the citadel at Wareham.

Richard and his army are accompanied by his daughter, Gwyneth, an impetuous and reckless young woman - at once striking, intellectually gifted, but dangerously vain and imprudent.

While Richard broods on the Viking threat, Gwyneth falls in love with an enemy prince - only to discover that she has been betrothed to a Saxon warrior twice her age.

Refusing to countenance her grim fate, she flees the fortress, but is soon kidnapped by a Viking warrior and taken to the camp of King Guthrum while Saxon search parties scour the land.

In captivity, a hostage to fortune, and the focus of political intrigue, Gwyneth is submerged in a world of expediency, betrayal, and black treachery. Slowly, she realizes the truth is suspect, nothing is what it appears and her reality cannot be trusted.

And all the time, against this background, she desires nothing more than to be reunited with her dashing Danish prince.

Where to get The Britton and the Dane audio-book

About Author MaryAnn Bernal
Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane novels, is an avid history buff whose area of interest
focuses on Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain during the Viking Age. While pursuing a degree in business administration, she managed to fit creative writing classes and workshops into her busy schedule to learn the craft, but it would take decades before her “Erik the Viking” novel was ultimately published.

Mary Ann is also a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm. She has appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work. She has also been a featured author on Triangle Variety Radio, The Phil Naessens Show, and The Writers Showcase, and has been interviewed extensively by American and European bloggers.

Follow MaryAnn around the web

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Those Off Kilter Days

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in. I feel like I’ve been off planet part of the time. There has been so much activity going on in my house and life that my poor blog has been suffering from neglect.

My writing has been the same a bit. Usually I write every day, but lately it has been sporadic and short bursts. I feel very off kilter when I don’t write at least a few paragraphs in a day. I feel like I’ve forgotten something very important all day long. 

Though some of the distractions have been super exciting things that could lead to rising up another rung or two on the ladder of success. I was honored to give a workshop at the Fall Conference for Florida Authors and Publishers Association. What a fantastic experience that was!

I was inspired and thrilled to meet wonderful authors and publishers from all over the state. If you aren’t a
How to energize your platform
with technology workshop at FAPA's
Fall Conference
member of FAPA I do encourage it. They are a fantastic group of people who strive to help authors and publishers succeed. It was a hugely positive experience that I hope to have again next year!

My next big distraction was the primary elections. I’m not a very political person and I keep my views to myself. (most of the time *wink*) I do pride myself on being an election poll worker. I am Clerk of Precinct 3500, Marion County, FL. This is my 20th Year as clerk there. I absolutely love working elections.

Yes, it can be stressful and tedious when things go wrong or very few voters show up at the polls. The day is a long one about 16hrs long for a clerk, but, it is also very rewarding to know I’ve been a small part of history being made.

Now, though those distractions are past and it’s time to buckle down and set some goals that will get my muse back on track and stories moving again.

Goals for the week of 9/7 thru 9/13
1) Write at least 1000 words daily
2) Get 2 articles finished for Orlando Destinations
3) Get one part 1 of special project completed.
4) Go someplace that will inspire the muse.
5) Post one more blog for this week at least.

I think that should get the muse moving and back in kilter… I hope! When big distractions loom or events take place that knock everything off kilter, it can be difficult to set it right again. Getting back into a grove can feel very disjointed until that smooth rhythm can be found again.

Now it’s your turn to set some goals and follow where your muse leads you this week. How do you battle those off kilter times that spring up? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet Ben Mason of Outlaw Born

I was invited to participate in the Meet Your Character Blog Tour by fellow author Juneta Key. After you meet the handsome and deadly Ben Mason be sure to visit her blog and meet her character Heiden Grim.

Now let me introduce you to Ben Mason main character of Outlaw Born.

What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historic person?
Ben Mason is a historical fictional character. Yet he is based on the story of two brothers who came home from fighting in the Civil War only to find their family hanged and the homestead burned. The family had refused the railroad's offer to buy their land. The rail company wouldn't give in, bullying the family, in the end they took measures to destroy them and took the land by force. The brothers were good men, but they vowed to avenge their loved ones and turned outlaw to do so.

When and where is the story set? 
The story is set at the end of the Civil War, a historical western. The story begins getting to know Ben as he leads a regiment of men for the North. Then we head for the wild west, New Mexico/Arizona, where Ben's home and family are. 

What should we know about him?
Ben Mason is haunted by his father's legacy. A legacy of crime, murder, and hate. Outlaw blood runs through Ben's veins and he's faught the tendencies he learned as a child to become a good man. Yet he must face those dark needs on his journey in Outlaw Born. 

What is the personal goal of the character?
Ben's goal in the beginning is simple. To come home to his wife and son, build his ranch and live as a good man should. That all changes when he discovers the deaths of his family. He embraces that darnkess to get the justice they deserved. 

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Outlaw Born is the true title for the novel. You can read a rough draft of the first two chapters on my Wattpad  And be sure to follow my blog for tidbits through Weekend Writing Warriors posts. 

When can we expect the book to be published?
My goal is early 2015 Jan/Feb, though it may be more into spring if LIFE jumps in. 

Outlaw Born Blurb: 
Orphaned at 8 years old and raised by a preacher's family Benjamin Mason became a good man. He wanted to forget and erase his real father's legacy of blood and violence from their name for his own son.

Then tragedy struck. The law wouldn’t give him justice, so he would take it. After all, wasn’t he born to be this kind of man, an outlaw filled with hell and vengeance in his blood? Ben Mason is outlaw born.

My vision of Ben Mason

Ben woke with a gasp; it had felt more like a vision instead of a dream. His wife and son trapped in fire. He could feel the heat of the flames as he reached out to them. “Ellen… Joseph…” 

Sarah sat up in the chair next to him. “Lieutenant Mason, just lay back, your fever broke, you’ll be alright now.”

It ached to take a breath, recognition set in and so did the ache of his heart. It had just been a dream, but he woke back to the nightmare of war.  “How long have I been here?” 

The nurse gave him a gentle grin as she checked the wound. “Four days, not so long.” 

Ben sighed as he took the offered sips of cool water. Not so long, but it felt like an eternity. He couldn’t shake the nightmare, it had been a long time since he’d gotten a letter from home. 

The nurse left him to assist another. The soldier next to him rose from his cot and took the nurse’s chair. The older man clutched his arm to his chest, careful of it as he sat. Something about the old man put Ben on edge

The man grinned and offered his only hand. “Jorge Wilson, Boston.” 

Ben shook the hand, “Ben Mason, New Mexico.” 

Jorge looked at him for a moment as if he seemed familiar. “New Mexico… I knew you had a familiarity. Benjamin Alexander Mason, Johnny’s boy?” 

Ben’s expression went blank almost cold. “No. No John’s on the tree.” 

Jorge chuckled. “No sense denyin’. You got your ma’s eyes. I remember you hidin behind her skirts in the saloon.” 

Ben glared at him and forced his weak body upright. He reached out and gripped the man’s wounded stump. “You remember nothing old man. The laudanum has you seein things not there. No, John Mason in my tree.” 

The old man’s eyes widened with the sharp pain as he gave a brief nod. Ben let go and leaned back, his breath came in pants with the effort. He didn’t want to hurt the old man but the past needed to stay as dead as his father. 

I hope you enjoyed this peek into Ben Mason and Outlaw Born. Do stop by for more about Ben and his journey, writing news, and a bit of fun on Gladiator's Pen. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pompano or Bust Heading for the FAPA Fall Conference

One of the possible meeting rooms for the FAPA workshops 
Camp NaNo filled July with lots of words and a good hunk of a novel written. Writing is always a thrilling adventure, but on August 8th and 9th I’ll be taking on a different kind of adventure.

I will be traveling to Ft. Laurderdale/ Pompano Beach with JLB Creatives Publishing CEO, Janet Beasley. We have the honor of teaching workshops during the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) Fall Conference.

This isn’t my first endeavor into teaching a workshop, but it will be my first at a writer’s conference. My workshop is titled Energizing Your Author Platform Using Technology. The purpose of the course is to teach authors to utilize tools to not only energize their platform, but, tame the marketing monster into a manageable, easy to use form that will give the writer more time for noveling.

Janet will be teaching a class on Book Trailer Basics. She will be teaching authors how to use book trailers for marketing and how to build one themselves. You won’t want to miss either of these classes!

I will also be representing JLB Creatives Publishing as their Media Director. We’ll be talking to authors and fellow industry professionals about our company and what we can do for their manuscript.

What our room could be like at the hotel.
Wow! Oceanview, gorgeous, I feel like a queen for a weekend :) 
There are going to be some other fabulous speakers and exhibitors at the event. There’s still time to register if you want to come down and join us. Just visit the FAPA site for all the information.

Not only is it exciting to be going to the conference and staying at the beautiful Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, I get to show my son a bit of where I grew up. Bonus! We head for southern Florida a week from today. I can’t wait for this adventure begin.

Pompano Beach or Bust! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

WeWriWa & Camp NaNo

This is the first week of Camp NaNoWrimo! For those who don't know what that is, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, participants race to write a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days.  The main NaNo event takes place in the month of November but Camp NaNo takes place in April and July. It's kind of a NaNo Light, you can choose your word count starting at 10,000 words.

Yes, it's probably a little nuts to try and write 50k words in just 30 days. Yet it is also exhilarating, inspiring, and just plain fun! It forces your brain to shut off that inner editor and inner voice that says that might not be good enough, that sentence doesn't sound right, and lets you just fill the page with your story.

This week for Weekend Writing Warriors I'm going to share 8 sentences from my Camp NaNo WIP, Worth. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this new thriller.

Dean Cross waited impatiently for his estranged wife to step off her flight. He has hope that after three years of separation they can put their marriage back together again. The last passenger disembarked, no Lucinda. Had she missed the flight, changed her mind?

Kidnapping isn’t just a crime; it’s a multimillion dollar business. Most believe only rich kids or missionaries in a foreign country are held for ransom. The Cross’ find out anyone can be taken, it only matters what you're worth.

8 Sentence Excerpt
The stranger stepped over to the sink next to Lucinda. She glanced over with a friendly grin. “Anxious about flying?”

Lucinda gave her back a slight grin back in an attempt to be polite. “No, anxious about the destination.” She pulled a couple of towels from the machine, the crinkle of the rough paper echoed in the empty bathroom she rubbed her hands dry.

Lucinda turned from the woman to drop the towels in the trash, when a cloth covered her nose and mouth. She tried to move away, but was trapped by the woman's body and the sinks. Lucinda struggled to pull the hand from her face, but that only made her feel more woozy.

Lucinda tried to scream, but the deep breath she took to belt one out made the room spin. The next second the room turned grayish and hazy as she felt her body go limp in the stranger’s arms.

To read other great Weekend Writing Warrior excerpts go HERE

Stalk me on the web and find my other published novels here... 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

WeWriWa 8 sentences from Outlaw Born

Welcome to my second post as a Weekend Writing Warrior. *swings nunchucks. Goes well until, smack... rubs nose as she tosses nunchucks over her shoulder* Maybe I should stick to the pen as my weapon of choice. 

Anywhoo... My focus was totally blown this week and didn't get much writing done on WIPs, but it was still a good week. Finished bullet points for my Camp NaNo project and while rereading the first part of this WIP I fell in love with Ben Mason all over again. I remembered how strong, fearless and sometimes utterly ruthless he could be and how much fun he is to write. I hope you enjoy the next snippet of Outlaw Born.

Orphaned young and raised by a preacher's family Benjamin Mason became a good man. He wanted to forget and erase his real father's legacy of blood and violence from their name for his own son.

Then tragedy struck. The law wouldn’t give him justice, so he would take it. After all, wasn’t he born to be this kind of man, an outlaw filled with hell and vengeance in his blood? Ben Mason is outlaw born.

8 Sentence Excerpt: 
The twelve-pound Napoleon cannons would settle the odds in favor of the blue. The Federals were out of range for the Rebs artillery, one fact of the day Ben was more than thankful.

The enemy still approached, but no volley had begun. Ben looked back toward the large artillery. The two cannons were unmanned. His heart fell. He knew this battle would be over quickly if they couldn’t thin out that line.

Ben turned to the trenches as Confederate fire began to rain down. “Charlie, Dawson with me.”

To read other great Weekend Writing Warrior excerpts go HERE

Stalk me on the web and find my other published novels here... 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Outlaw Born 8 Sunday Weekend Writing Warriors

This week I’m going to join other writers who battle through the pages. The rules for Weekend Writing Warriors are simple. Sign up on the week’s linky list then post 8 sentences from your current WIP to your blog the next Sunday.

This week I’m working on Outlaw Born.
Orphaned young and raised by a preacher's family Benjamin Mason became a good man. He wanted to forget and erase his real father's legacy of blood and violence from their name for his own son.

Then tragedy struck. The law wouldn’t give him justice, so he would take it. After all, wasn’t he born to be this kind of man, an outlaw filled with hell and vengeance in his blood? Ben Mason is outlaw born.

8 Sentence Excerpt
The sound of gunfire and men’s shouts began to fill air as they moved closer. Soon the sound of the wounded could be heard, the thump of some of them falling to the hard earth. One of the mounted officers near Ben took a shot in the throat.

Ben dismounted to blend with his men. Officers were always the first picked off if Johnny Reb could manage it. His pistols in hand he ordered the men to take positions in the trenches and fire at will.

Several fell before they could get to the lower ground. They cried out as lead tore into their flesh. Ben felt something hot burn through his coat into his shoulder. Then his shirt being soaked with blood.

He pressed his bandana to it as he continued to call orders down the line. He looked out into the wheat field in which they fought.

He could hear Confederate officers shout orders to their troops as they took more of the field. Ben could see them fully now. They were in a greater number than when he had last met them. He waited for the volley to begin.

Be sure to visit other Weekend Writing Warriors by clicking HERE.

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