Can you believe my luck?

Okay, I know. If you’ve stalked me lately, the luck-theme is wearing a bit thin, don’t you think?

Oh! But how could I not feel lucky?!

Over the weekend, I finally e-published’s second annual Writing forum anthology.


Any of you who have gone through all the work of putting out an e-book, let alone an anthology involving 13 different authors, knows how much work one of these bad boys can be, so why do I consider myself lucky?

It is not because it is finally finished and off my to-do list. Actually, quite the opposite. I think promotion is far harder than editing and herding cats, and would gladly go back to toiling away behind the scenes.

No, I’m lucky because:

  1. Mark Lawrence  accepted my invitation to join us ( and the forum members) despite the fact that he knew absolutely nothing about me and probably regretted his decision the moment he made it.
  2. All the incredible writers who submitted stories. Even if your story did not ultimately make it into the anthology, every single person who entered a story contributed to building this anthology. It wouldn’t have happened without you. Remember, you are the point!
  3. I learned so much from my fellow judges about theme and story structure. I’ll never see a short story in the same light ever again.
  4. A. Lynn produced a fabulous cover for us. I really like it. It even looks better in gray tones.
  5. J. W. Manus rocks! She put together an awesome e-book that actually has a functioning table of contents (not as easy as it sounds – you try it), and looks so clean, never again can I put up with formatting glitches that mar the reading experience.
  6. I have you, dear readers, for encouraging me to keep writing. Though I did not want my work in this anthology, I needed to fill a slot, so I wrote a story. And two folks, whose opinion I value, said they liked my story. (swoon) Can you believe that? I’m sure someone will come along and burst my bubble, but for now, I’ll be walking on clouds.

Are you anxious to find out what lurks behind that great cover?

Well, let me tell you about one ’em!

Though they are all worthy of your time, I have several favorites in this collection and picking just one to highlight here was not easy. I’ve decided to share with you a snippet of a scene from Military Magic by Michael Aaron.

First, allow me a moment to write Mr. Aaron some praise. He doesn’t  have a blog, which is a loss for the rest of us. He’s wry, astute, and honest. And that comes through in his writing. His characters are clever, heart-warming, and fun. Here’s a couple of ’em.

A giant cat, big as a wolf, shot out of the room and looked straight at Marene. She stood perfectly still, stupefied by the beast’s amber eyes. It padded over, claws making a loud tack on the floor with each step. Sleek black fur reflected the colours of the rainbow like a bird’s oily feather.

It sniffed at her feet, then moved upwards.

“Don’t move,” said the Skipper.

A giant of a man came out of the room. He was a true man of the North as Marene imagined them, with long red hair and a great, bushy beard. A scarf of MacNaven tartan covered his shoulders and wound around his chest, held in place by a gold Captain’s badge. Full plate armour glinted underneath. A small knife hung on his hip, but even Marene could tell it was just for show. The man was a magical powerhouse, his mere presence in the hallway making the lights glow brighter.

“Babaneko! Come back here, fleabag! Dinnae fash, lads, she only eats cowards!” He walked over and grabbed her by the collar. “Sorry aboot that. Whut brings youse up here, then?”

The Skipper started to speak, but the Captain held up a massive palm. “Wheesht! I was talking tae the lassie. Whut is it, cat got your tongue, eh? Youse are new, I take it? I’ve naw seen any o’ youse before.” He screwed his face up in disgust. “Somethin’ reeks, lassie, if ye’ don’t mind me sayin’.”

Marene stared at Babaneko, transfixed.

“Fish,” she said.

The Captain’s huge eyebrows furrowed together, then a broad smile spread over his face. “There ye are, Babbie! Breakfast is served! If ye don’t mind, lads, I’ll be takin’ her tae eat. Youse can introduce yesen’ later, or I’ll no hear the end o’ it. Come on, Bab!”

This passage focuses on the antagonists in this story and I really enjoyed the way Mr. Aaron described the Captain and his ‘pet’. If you want to know what happens to Marene, the Captain, and Babbie, go on and check out Lucky or Unlucky? 13 Stories of Fate at these online stores:

And if you do read it and like our efforts, please post a short review over here on Goodreads.



8 thoughts on “Can you believe my luck?

  1. Congrats Nila! I just ordered a copy. It may be a bit before I get to a review, but I promise that I will. BTW, $0.99 seems like a heck of a bargain. Have you thought about raising the price?

    1. The only reason why I am charging is to boost the amount we raise for our chosen charity (Children’s Hospice in the UK for this year). Otherwise, it would be free. The idea is to expose the world to new authors, and give relatively unknown authors the chance to shine.

  2. Congratulations! I just worked on an ebook for someone, did the formatting, TOC, etc. I thought it was pretty cool, it was a learning experience for me but it turned out great.

      1. I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but there’s a series of 4 short videos on YouTube that will explain the entire process. It’s pretty simple. Here’s the first one,

        I downloaded the Calibre program for the actual conversion to MOBI, Epub and PDF (although I think Amazon just needs a clean Word document). If you need any help let me know, I can get through this stuff pretty quickly now.

      2. Thanks!

        The thing is, I spent so much time last year trying to get it right. I read books (didn’t watch videos, so that might have helped!), checked out all the sites with helpful step-by-step guides, and went through the Smashwords guidelines about a bagillion times.

        And I still messed up the files.

        Which is odd. I’m pretty tech-savvy. I work with complex computer models and learn new programs about every three months. But this stumped me. I guess, after writing/editing something, the idea of messing with the formatting just fried my brain. I think if I had be working with someone else’s baby, it would have been smooth sailing.

        Anyway, I didn’t want the same heartache this year, so I hired someone. And it was well worth the money.

        But for next year, maybe I’ll try it again. These videos will definitely help. So, thanks again. 🙂

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