Her Father’s Herd ~1,200 words


I met a bunch of great researchers in my field, and thought I’d repost this since its a good scifi intro to my writing.

Originally posted on The J. Aurel Guay Archive:

(Image source)

 Join a young shepherdess as she guides and protects her herd to ensure her family’s future in the depths of space! This story was written for a writing challenge.  I challenged myself to write a 1,000 word short story based off of 5 images.  The result was one of my all time favorites.

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Contact by Laurisa White Reyes – Coming soon!

Title: Contact
Author: Laurisa White Reyes       
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy


Expected Release Date: June 23rd, 2014
It takes only half a second…


 …Like those commercials where a crash test dummy rockets forward at high speed and slams into a wall.
…In that instant, every thought in Emma Lynn Walsh’s head collides with mine—every thought, memory, hope, disappointment and dream.
…I open my eyes to see Dr. Walsh peering at me, a puzzled expression on her face.
“Let—go—of—me,” I order though clenched teeth.
Mira wants to die. She’s attempted suicide twice already, and failed. Every time she comes in contact with another person, skin to skin, that person’s psyche uploads into hers. While her psychologist considers this a gift, for Mira, it’s a curse from which she cannot escape.
To make matters worse, Mira’s father is being investigated in the deaths of several volunteer test subjects of a miracle drug. Shortly after Mira’s mother starts asking questions, she ends up in a coma. Although her father claims it was an accident, thanks to her “condition” Mira knows the truth…but proving it just might get her killed!


After earning her B.A. in English in 1995, Laurisa White Reyes spent many years writing for newspapers and magazines before gathering enough courage to live her dream of writing novels. Contact is her third published book. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in creative writing, is a book editor for Hamilton Springs/Xchyler Press, and is the Editor-in-chief of Middle Shelf Magazine. She lives in Southern California with her husband and five children.


Conversation with Ben Ireland ~ Author Interview

Today’s post is a transcript from a recent conversation with author Mr. Ben Ireland, which occurred during his visit to my little corner of the etherverse.  Ireland is an up and coming novelist and acquaintance of mine through Xchyler Publishing.

You may be interested to know that as a thank you to his fans, Ben Ireland is giving away a set of his books loaded on a Kindle Fire 7″ HD TabletLIKE Ben Ireland on Facebook and be entered to win. Enjoy 3 great books on the best e-reader available! One winner will be randomly chosen in March, June, September and December of 2014. Increase your chances and LIKE Ben Ireland today!

Enjoy the discussion:

1924852_209039592626439_190463130_oJ. Aurel: Hello Mr. Ireland, It was so good of you to accept my invitation for an afternoon drink at the ‘Grog-and Dart’. Pull up a stool.

Ireland: Thanks for having me, I love this place. It has good feng shui.

J. Aurel: I understand that you have a new work of fiction. Can you tell us a little about your story?

 Ireland: Kingdom City ~ Resurrection is the first in the Kingdom City trilogy. It’s a science fantasy novel set in the near future in the peaceful, totally normal metropolis, Kingdom City. Six months prior to the opening of the novel a terrorist attack rocked the city by killing a quarter of it’s police force. Things start to fall apart when they don’t stay dead.

No, not a zombie book. It’s about love, fighting for what’s important, and the consequences of technological progress without moral constraint.

 J. Aurel: Wait, wait, I lost you as zombie. They’re not zombies, or it’s not about the zombies?

Ireland: Both. No zombies in Kingdom City. Sorry.

J. Aurel: Oh, my. Now I really have to read it to sort this out. In the meantime, what moved you to become an author?

Ireland: I’ve always felt the need to express myself creatively. When I finally accepted that I was a mediocre musician, I tried my hand at writing. Kingdom City started life ten years ago as a screenplay. When that was done, I asked my wife ‘what on earth do I do with this?’ She replied ‘turn it into a novel.’  The rest, as they say, is history.


J. Aurel: It is a wise man that listens to his better half. So, how is it that you came to be published by Xchyler Publishing?

Ireland: I’m acquainted with one of the staff, and am friends with them on Facebook. I mentioned in one post that I was writing a novel. They messaged me and told me to submit. I was reluctant at first –I’d never published anything before- so I dithered. While investigating Xchyler, I saw that they had anonymous anthology contests. An anonymous contest seemed like the safest way to have my dream crushed. I submitted Kissed a Snake (one scene of which I wrote eons ago in college) to the thriller anthology contest, Dash of Madness, and was accepted. So I figured, why not try to send them my novel.

J. Aurel: Very clever, I read ‘Kissed a Snake’ not long ago and was thoroughly entranced by the raw and twisting plot. What else have you been working on writing wise?

Ireland: Thank you, I appreciate that. I had not seriously pursued a writing career until recently. I piddled around with Kingdom City for nine years, learning how to actually write most of that time. So I’ve only been published in two Xchyler short story contests, Dash of Madness and Moments in Millenia. I hope to expand my resume as time permits. 

J. Aurel: Marvelous, I’ve got a copy of Moments in Millenia on my shelf waiting to be read. Which story is yours?

Ireland: Fairykin. It’s about a tribe of fairies struggling to survive in a world where nature has been eradicated.

 J. Aurel: Well, there’s another one added to my list then. Can you tell us about some of your most favorite authors?

Ireland: Jim Butcher. Period. Go get his Dresden Files series, starring the only practicing wizard-detective in Chicago, Harry Dresden. Jim’s characters are colorful, lovable, and deep. You can pretty much learn everything you need to learn about writing from that man.

J. Aurel: You seem to be quite the fan of urban fantasy and fiction. What is it that inspires your writing?

Ireland:I’m mostly attracted to people who are smart enough and strong enough to solve the problems they face, it doesn’t have to be urban fantasy. It just so happens that the best books on the planet are.

Primarily my inspiration comes from sharing stories that make people feel. I loved the thrill when Atreyu was soaring with Falkor, or the adrenalin when Ripley was kicking alien ass (ok, yeah, I was probably too young to have watched that when I did…) So, if I can cry or laugh or thrill with you as you read my stories, then I can feel satisfied that I’ve done my job.

J. Aurel: Well put my friend. Do you have any words of wisdom for the burgeoning authors reading this interview?

 Ireland: As I’m a burgeoning author myself, I’d have to say, GET OUT OF MY WAY. Ha ha ha. But seriously, don’t cross me.

But seriously, seriously, my advice is to not give up. Sharing stories is a joy, and hearing the different perspective of each reader is a marvelous experience. It’s worth the pain. If you’re having trouble landing your story with the big guys, submit to an indie publisher. Xychler has some wonderfully talented people that I am a better person for having worked with. Don’t give up, and never think you know enough.

J. Aurel: Splendid advice, and I’ll myself will stay out of your way in hopes of catching your tail wind to success. Now, what is next for you?

Ireland: For now, it’s back to the daily grind of network administering. In my free time I’ll be hashing out Kingdom City part 2 and 3. Kingdom City ~ Retaliation (working title) should be out some time in 2015. I have another fantasy series I’m working on that I hope to have ready for publishers soon. I’ll keep you posted on that. 

J. Aurel: This has been marvelous Mr. Ireland, simply marvelous. Now at this point I usually ask my guests to compete in a friendly game, however seeing as we nearing dinner, lets simply order a dish. The Grog and Dart pub serves a surprisingly decent selection of foods including Leonopteryx Omelets, Spice Melange Noodles (there’s only just a touch of the stuff in there really), and my favorite Poutine. Take your pick, this one is on me.

Ireland: *stares blankly* Oh, um. I’ll have the chicken.


Ben Ireland can be found on: FacebookTwitterG+, and Goodreads 

His upcoming Novel Kingdom City ~ Resurrection will be released on Febuary 28th 2014


Be sure to watch for it on Amazon and other online retailers, and check the Kindom City ~ Resurrection page on Xchylerpublishing.com for updates!


This is Shadow - my buddy. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but he loved snow just as much as me.

Help: I’ve Returned to an Old Piece of Writing, and I Can See Influences From My Past


A great blog post by the remarkable Shannon A. Thompson with a little shout-out to the J. Aurel Archive!

Originally posted on Shannon A Thompson:

Recently, I have truly enjoyed writing up my personal posts instead of focusing on writing or publishing tips. Sharing my story opened up a channel for me to hear your stories, and it was really nice getting to know more of you on a deeper level.  If I continue this in the future, I hope to hear more from others. If you have an idea of a topic – any topic really – you can always comment below and suggest one. I will even credit your blog as the inspiration for the post. No matter what, thank you for reading and commenting. 

Today, though, I wanted to talk about a topic that is very much a personal twist on the writing spectrum. Yes, writing is always personal to the writer, but I wanted to discuss how certain writings can be influenced by a particular time in your life and/or how…

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Great writing advice, from 300 Script critiques

Thanks bluebird for this:

A professional script reader read 300 screenplays for five different studios, all the while tracking the many recurring problems. The infographic he made with the collected data offers a glimpse at where screenwriting goes wrong.







Faeries & Animals & Anthos! Oh My!


I saw the call when Scott asked for short stories for these anthologies, but didn’t get to submit. The finished products look really exciting, I can’t wait to read them. Follow Scott for more Calls and info from Seventh Star Press.

Originally posted on Scott M. Sandridge:

Today’s the day!

For the ebook release of the three anthologies we’ve all been waiting for!

And now for some press release copypasta! Yum!



Fey, Faeries, and Animals!  3 New Anthologies Out Today!

Seventh Star Press is pleased to announce that three brand new anthologies are now available in eBook format!

Links for the Kindle and Nook versions are live and can be found as follows.  Kobo, iBookstore, and others will be live at any time.
Hero’s Best Friend Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Heros-Best-Friend-Anthology-Companions-ebook/dp/B00IAHEI1W
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heros-best-friend-scott-m-sandridge/1118591414?ean=2940148285502
A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-chimerical-world-scott-m-sandridge/1118591415?ean=2940148285519
A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-chimerical-world-scott-m-sandridge/1118591426?ean=2940148285526

Synopsis are below:
Hero’s Best Friend Synopsis: How far would Gandalf have gotten without Shadowfax? Where would the Vault Dweller be without Dogmeat? And could the Beastmaster been the Beastmaster without his fuzzy allies? Animal companions are more than just sidekicks…

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Steampunk with Heart: The Heartbeat of Steampunk: Romancing the Machine

Steampunk with Heart: The Heartbeat of Steampunk: Romancing the Machine

with Jacqueline Garlick and MeiLin Miranda

**see bottom of post for steampunk giveaways**
**see Steampunk With Heart Page for Facebook Party schedule**

It’s no accident steampunk has become so popular; here in the 21st century we’re facing an information revolution, just as the 19th century struggled through the industrial revolution. The rise in wearables, Internet-connected everything and, perhaps most troubling, governmental and corporate mining of personal data can alienate one a little. Even as we depend on tech more, we feel less in control of it and the changes it’s bringing to the world.