Thursday 22 March 2018

Mina's Children is Top 5 in Wattpad's Open Novella Contest

Mina's Children is Top 5 in Wattpad's Open Novella Contest

The Open Novella Contest at Wattpad is over!

They announced the top 5 winners yesterday and my novella, Mina's Children: The Legacy of Dracula, came in at #5. Woohoo!

I have no idea how many people entered originally, but I can say that after Round 1, 550 novellas went on to Round 2, then 217 to Round 3 and there were 36 finalists. I can only imagine how much work went into organising the contest. Kudos to the organisers.

Wattpad is a free to read platform, so all the winners are there for your reading pleasure. Here's mine :), but check out the other four from the top five too - links below.

Mina Harker (née Murry) was changed by Dracula's attentions, and so were her descendants. Reggie comes from this line of vampire hunters, nature's definitive balance to the darkness. Her whole life has been building up to this one mission in Romania, to face the evil that started everything for her family.  Unfortunately there are others with their eyes on Dracula too, and Reggie has run right into them. She must make them allies or remove them from the game before she can face the ultimate foe.

genre: vampire, paranormal, action adventure

Other Winners

Monday 19 March 2018

#AtoZChallenge 2018 Theme Reveal

#AtoZChallenge 2018 Theme Reveal

It's AtoZ Theme Reveal day!

Quick recap - AtoZChallenge, runs through April, 26 posts, each inspired by a letter of the alphabet, lots of bloggers, lots of wonderful posts, and lots of us have themes. P.S. Anyone can play and there's still time to join.

A theme links all of our posts together. Themes are not compulsory, but they are fun.

My theme this year is:

Movie Monsters

Every day I will be talking about some of my favourite movie monsters and the films they come from. Well, okay, for some letters, not my favourite, because I was scraping the barrel, but definitely interesting, and, yes, I have seen every one of the films and monsters I will be talking about.

  • Some of the monsters will have human faces
  • Some of the monsters are animals
  • Some are vicious aliens/paranormal creatures
  • And some of them aren't as bad as they might seem at all.
A few letters are a theme within a theme, for example, I bet those who have visited my blog before never would have guessed that "V is for Vampire" - other days will be a mixture of monsters whose names begin with that letter.

I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone in April and checking out all the other wonderful posts. Now I have to go and write mine :). Good luck to all taking part.

Go here for all the details on the official blog post about the Theme Reveal.
Go here to see all the blog participating in the Theme Reveal

BTW, while we're waiting for April, if you'd like to see what I've done in other years my themes so far have been:

Thursday 8 March 2018

Happy International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day

This year's International Women's Day theme is #PressForProgress to obtain gender parity. They have a great website that explains it far better than I can. Their 'take action' section is very comprehensive and their values are very important. It's not all about marching on the capital of the country, it's the small things too.

Also, feminists, always remember those who struggle against even more than just the fact they are women:
  • women of colour
  • lesbian, bisexual, asexual and transgender women
  • disabled women
  • all other women who face obstacles on more than one level
The future is bright, but it dims if we do not remember all women, everywhere.

Ladies, you are amazing, let your light shine forth.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Read an eBook Week 2018 - eBook Sale

It's Read an eBook Week 2018 at Smashwords and to celebrate eBooks all over the site are marked down in price. At Wittegen Press we love to get involved in anything that celebrates books, so we have enrolled many of our eBooks in the promotion. Some books are FREE and others have between 25% and 50% OFF.

Below you will find all our discounted eBooks and links to Smashwords.

Title: The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
genre: contemporary fantasy
Cat's Call 100% OFF
Cat's Creation 50% OFF
Cat's Confidence 25% OFF
Title: The Burning Web
Author: Sophie Duncan
Genre: horror, ghost, LGBTQ+
Length: novella
Title: Dead Before Dawn: The Vampire Curse
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: paranormal, LGBTQ+
Length: novel
Title: Dreams and Reality (Dark Reflections 2)
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: sci-fi, LGBTQ+
Length: novel
Title: In the Event of Death
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: horror
Length: 2 short stories
Title: When Darkness Beckons
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: horror
Length: 2 short stories
Title: Myriad Imaginings
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: various genres
Length: Anthology - 28 stories
Title: Night Blood
Author: Sophie Duncan
Genre: contemporary paranormal, vampire
Length: novel
Title: Blood Sacrifice: The Avebury Legacy
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: contemporary paranormal, vampire
Length: novel
Have fun, and don't forget to check out all the other fab books on offer this week at Smashwords too.

Monday 5 March 2018

It's Nearly #AtoZChallenge Time! Sign-ups Have Begun!

It's Nearly #AtoZChallenge Time! Sign-ups Have Begun!

It's that time of year again, the AtoZChallenge is only a month away. Yay! The challenge runs all the way through April and is a great place for bloggers to meet other bloggers and find new traffic for their site. If you have a new blog you're trying to get people interested in, this is a great way to do it.

This is my 6th year participating and I love it.

They even have a snazzy new logo this year as well as the traditional one for those who prefer old school.

What is the AtoZChallenge?

The AtoZChallenge was originally the brain child of Arlee Bird back in 2010 and keeps growing year by year. Hundreds of bloggers all sign up and then create a blog post for each letter of the alphabet, which they post through out April (1st=A, 2nd=B etc). Sundays are usually non-posting days (which is how you get 26 days out of a month), but because the 1st is a Sunday this year, the first Sunday is a posting day.

Blogs of all different kinds sign up, which is more than obvious by the list of categories they have. Everyone from food bloggers through writers and artists, to self-help bloggers post and visit each other's blogs.

Categories are optional so we don't have to categorise our blogs when signing up, but it makes it much easier for people to find us if we do.


Now it is perfectly okay to create completely unrelated posts for each letter.
  • A is for Apple - where we wax lyrical about our love of the fruit growing industry
  • B is for Bear - our critical analysis of which kind of bear is the dorkiest in its natural habitat. etc
However, I am a big believer in themes. This is where we link all our posts together with an overriding theme that runs through each of them.

My themes so far:
As you can see my themes kind of have a theme, and I'm going with a similar idea this year, but you will have to wait until March 19th, which is theme reveal day, to find out what it is.

I love themes for two major reasons:
  1. From a blogger's perspective, it helps with the creative process of coming up with all the posts. We might have to cheat a little on the odd letter (Q, X and Z) but it make life easier in the long run.
  2. From a surfer's perspective, it encourages return visits and gives the reader an idea of what to expect so may make them more likely to click on our blog to begin with.

Where to Sign Up

This post on the AtoZChallenge site has all the details of how and where to sign up.

Tips to Stay Sane Through the Challenge

It can be a little overwhelming to post every day during a month if it is your first time, and it can seem daunting when others have been doing it for years. These are my words of advice:
  1. Create posts in advance of April and have them scheduled. Some people can write posts every day on the fly, but creating them all first means no worries during April. Even if not all of them get done in advance, having a head start with some will really help.
  2. Visit and comment on at least ten new blogs per day when possible. There is a master list and there will also be a daily post to advertise blogs, but the key to getting lots of new visitors is to visit other people. Most bloggers with visit you back and, if they enjoy your blog, will keep coming back.
  3. Make it easy for people to visit back. When commenting always leave a link back to your blog so you are just a click away. I always make a signature to paste into comments. A few blogs do not allow html so links must be just text, but most will let you put in a direct link.
    <a href="">Tasha's Thinkings</a> - 
    Theme Name
    Tasha - Theme Name
  4. Keep track of who you have visited. I use a spreadsheet, but you could use a new folder in your bookmarks or anything similar. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing you found a fantastic blog and then not remembering which one it was. We are fallible creatures, and making notes really helps.
  5. Try to keep up on comments and visiting back other blogs. The first thing I usually do of a morning during the AtoZ is reply to the comments on my blog and visit everyone who has visited me. I also note it all down in case I get interrupted and forget where I got to. Only after that do I check the list for new blogs to visit.
    Sometimes it's impossible because real life gets in the way, but I find it's good to make it a rule to try.
So there you have it, my take on the AtoZChallenge. It really is a great time for blogging and meeting new people and making friends. I have lots of people I love to visit every year on the challenge. It's so much fun. Best blog hop of the year by far.

Friday 2 March 2018

Menagerie by Natasha Duncan-Drake #FreeFictionFriday #Paranormal #humour

It's far too cold for March! Today I have a free read for everyone to raise a laugh and keep us all warm. It's the first Friday of the month which means Free Fiction Friday.

At Wittegen Press we like to make our newsletter subscribers happy, so every month we give away a free short story. If you're not a member yet, don't worry, it's very easy to join—just fill in the form at the bottom of the page and check your email. Even if you miss the announcement email to the list, the password for this month's short story is in the welcome email when you sign up.

Our newsletter is for:
  • announcements about books and our authors
  • competitions
  • free fiction friday
and we promise, no body else will ever hear of your email address from us.

Come join us, we are friendly and give away free stuff.

This Month's Free Short Story

by Natasha Duncan-Drake
genre: paranormal, romance, humour, lgbtq+

Sid is half-fae, but that's only part of his secret. Another part is he's also a little bit - okay a lot - attracted to Jamie of the perfect abs and lovely nature. When Sid gets over excited there's glitter and you don't usually get a lot of glitter in a zoo.

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