Tag Archives: Sisters of Spirit Anthology

Writing an Anthology with Friends by Christine Mazurk (romance author)

A good meal can always lead to good conversation and creativity. http://echoesoflaughter.ca/2013/05/40-amazing-family-renunion-ideas.html

A good meal can always lead to good conversation and creativity. http://echoesoflaughter.ca/2013/05/40-amazing-family-renunion-ideas.html

We were sitting around after a nice dinner at one of our writers’ retreats when the idea blossomed to write an anthology together. Not just any anthology either, not four stories with a similar theme, but four stories connected by the characters as well as the theme.

We’re sisters, not of blood, but of spirit, connected by the Universe, so the title came easily. Sisters Of Spirit. One of our favorite activities while we’re together is to beachcomb, so naturally our characters would too. Instead of finding stones and colored glass like we do, our characters would each find an artifact that changes her destiny.

We briefly discussed the scenes where our characters could come together in each story, but how would we pull it off if we were writing without being together? The reality of writing our stories in our own homes made it daunting, but we soon realized, our bond is so strong, we finish each other’s sentences, know when one is in need of a hug, and are mentally on the same page.

Once we sold the idea of the story, the writing began. We shot copies of what we’d written back and forth a few times, but it became clear that we were connected in more ways than we’d ever realized. It was as if four unique styles of writing blended into one. We overlapped seamlessly. Our characters showed up at the appropriate times to strengthen each other’s stories, and the last story morphed into a fifth “happily ever after” ending. The readers were in for a treat, not just the four outstanding stories, but a fifth overall arc that would pull everything together.

Were there any moments of stress? Ugly times? Not really, but we all had moments of doubt or second guessing our strengths and weaknesses. Thank goodness we never fell into that trap at the same time. There were always three of us handy to talk the other one off the ledge. In the end, I think the experience strengthened our bond.

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERWould we do it again? Absolutely!! But right now, we’re all so busy working on our individual projects, the plot idea for book two sits on the back burner, simmering for attention at a later date.

Thank you, Lynn Jenssen, Jeanine Duval Spikes, and (New York Times Bestselling author) Annette Blair for the priceless opportunity to share this experience.

I’m Blessed to have found these very talented ladies, to call them my friends, to share a passion for telling stories from the heart.

Christine Mazurk is the author of the novella  Identity in the poignant romance anthology the Sisters of Spirit  published by (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. The anthology also features novellas by authors Christine Mazurk, Jeanine Duval Spikes and Annette Blair

You can purchase the Sisters of Spirit Anthology at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Christine Mazurk on her web site and on facebook.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

 

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Filed under ANTHOLOGY, Best-selling authors, Bestselling Authors, books and reading, CHRISTINE MAZURK, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, Lachesis Publishing, LOVE, LOVE STORY, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, ROMANCE NOVELS, SENSUALITY, SEXUAL CONTENT, WOMEN'S FICTION

A woman loses 100 lbs, runs a marathon, and falls in love. Wow! What a transformation.

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERToday’s Sneak Peek is Identity by Christine Mazurk, one of four novellas in the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

What It’s About:

Four life-long friends face the biggest changes of their lives.

Four sisters—not related by blood—but by spirit, each embark on a quest

Four women find out what they’re truly made of, and what love really means.

In “Identity” by Christine Mazurk, a young woman embarks on a complete life-change after losing more than 100 pounds, and through a twist of fate finds herself training for a marathon under the guidance of a super sexy coach. But when she starts falling for the hunky trainer, can she trust her new-found confidence to take her to the finish line?

EXCERPT:

“I found it on a beach on Munnatawket Island.” The girl’s dark green eyes sparked, or glistened with unshed tears. Mike couldn’t tell which. “Since it’s engraved, I thought it might be valuable.”

He huffed out a breath, staring at the luggage tag—a gift he bought for his dad last Father’s Day. “It is valuable, in more ways than you know.”

She stared at him, an odd expression on her face. She started to say something, then stopped, and instead rested her right hand on his arm. Warmth seeped through his skin, and the freshness of his loss re-surfaced.

Two weeks; two long weeks ago.

His throat tightened as hot tears rose, and he coughed to cover his emotion. He shifted, unsure how much to share with this girl, a stranger who brought him a gift, one that punched him in the gut and sliced open his heart.

“Do you want to talk?” she whispered, her gaze drinking him in. “When I touched it, I felt a wave of sadness. Now, I feel that from you.”

Oh shit, not here, not in front of the staff.

“Come back to the office,” he said, his voice unsteady.

She followed him, and he counted the click of her heels as a distraction to tamp down his pain. Long limbs in tight jeans. In the office, she stared up at the wall of medals, and he couldn’t help but notice the tight curve of her butt. Even in her high heels, the top of her head barely reached his shoulders. He stepped away to put some space between them.

“They’re my dad’s. He was an Ironman.” He fingered one of the awards.

“Was?” She had a beautiful face and thick dark hair that shimmered in the light.

“Sit, please.” When she did, he sat down next to her. “I’m about to spill my guts, and I don’t even know your name.”

“Bryce Evans,” she said as a soft blush washed over her cheeks, causing her eyes to appear an even darker green. “I should have introduced myself, but I was taken by your emotion.”

“That apparent, is it?”

“It’s the way you handled the tag.” She shrugged and seemed embarrassed.

“He was returning from Ironman St. George in Utah when his private plane went down in the Sound.” This time, he didn’t bother stopping the tears. He let them flow. Something about this girl opened the floodgates, and his words tumbled without faltering.

“St. George was his fifteenth race. When he called me, after the finish, he sounded excited but exhausted. He said it was one of the toughest courses he’d ever done, so it wasn’t his fastest race. He described the aggressive climbs on the two loop course, and the scenic mountainous run, but he was just stoked to cross the finish line to add one more medal to the wall.”

“I’m so sorry,” she said as she took his hand. He watched as tears spilled over her long lashes, and his heart clenched. “You must have been close.”

“We were. The ironic thing is I left my career as a regional sales rep to strengthen our bond. I became his partner less than six months ago, and now, he’s gone.” A sob escaped. “I’ll never see him again.”

Bryce surprised him, when she dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. She hugged tight and cried with him.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, a voice whispered, Don’t let go. And Mike wondered what he should hold onto, the memories of his dad, or this girl who just popped into his life?

Like what you’ve read? Check out “Identity” by Christine Mazurk in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Christine Mazurk on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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Filed under CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, IRONMAN, Lachesis Publishing, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, SENSUALITY, SNEAK PEEK MONDAY, Uncategorized

What Inspires My Writing? by Lynn Jenssen (women’s fiction and contemporary romance author)

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERToday’s guest blog is by Lynn Jenssen, author of the novella  New View  in the poignant Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends.

What Inspires Me To Write?

I’ve been thinking about this question since it was first posed to us, and it’s a difficult one for me to answer. There are conditions that make my writing possible, conditions I need to make that writing productive.  But inspiration?  My muse delights in the wonders of nature — a walk in the fall colors, a stroll on the beach, a drive thru the mountains.  Even mowing the lawn gives my mind time to work through scenes, discover a character’s flaws and idiosyncrasies, and design new ways to torment the hero or heroine.

But inspiration?  I suppose it comes from the continuous flow of stories that come into my head, with an insistence that can’t be denied. And it comes from the ever-present support and encouragement I get from my family and friends. Their interest and caring help fuel the fire to keep going, work through the hard times, those ‘stuck’ moments. Friends listen, brainstorm, help me wonder “what if . . .”  And family — it’s the safety net, the fabric woven through my writing.

So I guess that’s my answer — my inspiration is nature, family and friends, and those noisy characters in my head!

Connect with Lynn Jenssen on her web site and on facebook.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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Filed under Lachesis Publishing, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC ELEMENTS, WOMEN'S FICTION

Q and A Monday: Get to know our Lachesis Authors (Christine Mazurk)

passions-race-500x724Today, Christine Mazurk is our guest for our Monday Q&A. Christine is an author and a Ironman (Ironwoman) triathlete, whose stories reflect the inner strength in all women. Christine has two titles with Lachesis Publishing, including the women’s fiction  Passion’s Race about a young woman who embarks on journey to become an Ironman pro athlete and overcomes her struggles. And a short story called Identity in the Sister’s of Spirit Anthology about the transformation that a woman goes through when she loses more than 100 pounds and trains for a marathon. Both stories have strong romantic elements as well. SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVER

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and why?

I was ten years old when I started my first novel, because one of my teachers said I had talent. (Nancy Brooks if you’re out there, thank you!!!) Alexandra Chase and Tyler Daniels stayed with me as I finished college and climbed the corporate ladder. My career continued to grow, taking me all over the world, putting my dream of writing a novel on hold. In 2001, I was a senior executive for the Mid-Pacific Region of a large retail company. We lived on Guam at the time. After 9/11, my husband suggested I quit my job to write that book I always talked about writing. Alexandra and Tyler finally made it into the spotlight. The Chase is Over, was my first manuscript. I have since gone on to writing and publishing several other books. The first one needs revising, but I hope one day it will be available for you to read.

Describe your favourite place to write?

I have three favorite places to write. My home in Florida is across the street from the ocean. I sit at the dining room table and enjoy the view of the waves lapping the sand, my fingers dancing over the keyboard. The second place is in St. George, Utah, with the red rock mountains as my view. It’s beautiful, peaceful and my imagination runs wild. The third is a friend’s home on an island off the coast of Connecticut. I went there for the first time in 2003, after meeting Lynn at the RWA National Conference in NY, and it has become our annual writing retreat get away. Ocean and mountains, what more could a writer ask for?!

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

Pictures of my family, my Sisters Of Spirit mug filled with colorful pens and markers, and Dot Com, a gnome – she types on her seashell laptop – that I bought for Lynn’s mother when I visited the island that first year. A notebook filled with plot points for my current story and the profiles for each of my characters.

What is your tea/coffee beverage of choice when you’re writing?

Morning is coffee, brewed with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and afternoon is herbal tea. I also keep a bottle of water on my desk to sip on throughout the day.

What do you love to read?

Everything!!! Romance, suspense, paranormal, adventure. I loved historicals as a girl, and though I read less of them now, I still enjoy them. I can name my favorite musician, but if you asked me to pick a favorite author, I’d be at a loss. I couldn’t do it.

What is some good advice you can give to an emerging writer?

Write. Write. Write. Then, persistence. Persistence. Persistence. If you don’t write it and knock on doors (submit your work), you’ll never realize your dream. Keep learning about the craft as you go, so you can continue to grow as an author.

What do you do after you finish a book?

Do you celebrate or take a nap? Celebrate for sure. Pop open a bottle of champagne, dance around the house, and then start my next book.

You write meaningful women’s fiction with strong romantic elements. Your first book for Lachesis, is Passion’s Race. It follows the journey of a young woman who embarks on a career as an Ironman triathlete and follows her struggles and triumphs. What inspired her story?

I’m an Ironman triathlete. Some of my best creating is done while I’m out there training for hours on end. I was also a business woman, so Ironman was only a hobby for me, but I thought ‘what if’ my character made a decision to leave her career to race fulltime? What highs and lows would she face on her journey? CJ Fallon also struggled with low self-esteem thanks to her toxic, emotionally-distant mother, so I wondered if becoming a pro would help her gain strength and belief in herself or would it be too much? You’ll have to read the book to find out how her coach, Nick Madison, and her twelve male teammates helped or hurt her throughout her trek in the world of professional athletes.

You also wrote a short story for Lachesis in the anthology Sisters of Spirit about a young woman who undergoes a physical transformation in weight loss and becomes an athlete. Writers have different reasons for telling stories, what are your reasons for writing the kinds of stories you write? What do you want women to get from reading your books?

I’ve always believed a person can achieve anything she sets her mind on. We overcome adversity by stepping out of our comfort zones. Having courage and taking risks makes us grow. I want women (and men) reading my books to understand that a positive attitude, courage and taking risks can take anyone to the next level, mentally and physically. And of course, I also weave a good love story into my books!

What are you working on next?

The working title is Passion’s Spirit. Mike Dawson, Nick Madison’s best friend in Passion’s Race, owns the resort on Guam that the team visits when they train on the island for half of the year. He’s described as a laid-back surfer dude and a player, because he chases tourists. He doesn’t do relationships, so he just enjoys himself with the ladies while they’re visiting the island.  In this book, the team arrives for their annual visit, but this year, they bring their new team doctor along. Natalie Walsh is a buttoned-up lone-wolf, who’s a fanatic runner. She’s so serious, almost too serious for the team of men who train hard, but love to have fun and goof around. Did I mention, she’s drop-dead-gorgeous too? Imagine the fun I’m having throwing her into the mix with all these men and their host for six months. (I’m hoping to have it finished and in my agent’s hands by the end of the month!)

Connect with Christine Mazurk online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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Filed under ANTHOLOGY, Books, CANCER, CHRISTINE MAZURK, FLORIDA, Lachesis Publishing, LOVE, LOVE STORY, ROMANTIC ELEMENTS, ROMANTIC FICTION, RUNNER, SENSUALITY, SPORTS, SPORTS ROMANCE, WOMEN'S FICTION