The Magic of Muggles

Born to Be Quote Necklace

Eleven years ago today, on a misty southern morning, a Muggle mother met her magical little girl. A willful bundle of beauty, the wee baby was so enamored with the waking world that she never slept for more than a wink. As her wispy charm grew, so did her uncanny ability to transform the everyday into the extraordinary. With the soul of an artist and mind of an inventor, the young girl was bound for nothing short of greatness.

She sought the stories of others, like herself, who were kind, creative and courageous. Stories that stirred her imagination. Stories that encouraged daring and dreaming. She discovered kindred spirits in the characters created by a renowned Muggle mind, and they made an indelible mark on her journey to becoming who she is meant to be.

Muggles possess their own kind of magic. It is a simple, yet powerful force of positive energy that, once cast, will guide and protect and strengthen the spirit.

The power to INSPIRE is the most potent Patronus in our arsenaluse it well.

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Really Slow Motion – ELEVATION – Eternal courage – Cesc Vilà Aulina

Happy 11th Birthday dear Isabelle!


author photo HRElevate Your pitch

Enter our music-inspired pitch challenge by January 28th for a chance to WIN a FREE RSM Elevation track license for your book trailer, a digital copy of the album AND signed copy of guest judge, Guilie Castillo Oriard’s The Miracle of Small Things! Swing by HERE for more details!



InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG, a community of brilliant writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh, meets the first Wednesday of every month. Visit the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website and database! You’ll find  everything from writing to marketing, along with encouragement and support!

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Turn the Tide

World Peace

Humanity is at a pivotal tipping point. We are drowning in a sea of senseless violence that threatens every corner of the globe, every culture and creed. History is marred by the mistakes of ignorant minds. If we don’t learn from these mistakes, then we’re destined to follow the same mindless path, leaving only death and destruction in our wake.

I refuse to embrace the defeatist momentum that’s infiltrated every facet of society, from profiteering politicians polluting government while preventing progress, exploitative media misleading the masses, to corrupt corporations whose insatiable greed bleeds the earth and its people dry.

WE must be the ambassadors of peace. Every voice matters. Every act of kindness and compassion combats cruelty. Every moment spent cultivating understanding, wisdom, and acceptance, is a step towards turning the tide.

Well chosen words have the power to influence and evoke change. Use that power to manifest a positive future, where we consciously turn away from an apocalyptic fate and work towards restoring the balance between humanity and nature, while fostering relationships that respect diversity.

Together, we stand on the precipice of possibility. This world belongs to all of us–it will take all of us to save it.


Wishing you & yours a peaceful, happy holiday!
the-christmas-song-chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire.jpg.500

Aeralie Brighton’s The Christmas Song,  Cover by Ryo Ishido

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) by Aeralie brighton

Available on Loudr

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author photo HRElevate Your pitch

Swing by Dec. 4th to enter our music-inspired pitch challenge for a chance to WIN a free RSM Elevation track license for your book trailer, a digital copy of the album AND signed copy of guest judge, Guilie Castillo Oriard’s The Miracle of Small Things!

 



UntitledTHE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS

Available Now:
Paperback
epub eBook
Kindle eBook
iBook eBook
Kobo eBook
Barnes & Noble Nook (coming soon)
Facebook
Goodreads

Truth Serum Press
What People are Saying about MIRACLE
Tastes of MIRACLE


InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG, a community of brilliant writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh, meets the first Wednesday of every month. Visit the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website and database! You’ll find  everything from writing to marketing, along with encouragement and support!

Love Notes

Love Notes Art Quilt by Susan Redstreake Geary (Mom)

Love Notes Art Quilt by Susan Redstreake Geary (Mom)

When is the last time you sent someone a love note? Not the hastily scrawled flirtation with glittering hearts and crinkled notebook paper   meant for a middle school crush, but the sharing of something genuine.

A hand-scribbled post-it of appreciation. A thoughtful message. A supportive email. A compassionate text. A cheerful tweet. In a world where everything rushes by in a blink of an eye, we tend to lose track of what’s worthwhile.

The real currency in this world isn’t money. It’s kindness.

Our lives are a patchwork of moments connected by a running stitch of light and dark. The shade of thread is up to you. Every moment of compassion and respect, courtesy and love, brightens the pattern.

Let this be my love note to you. For your time and support, unfailing encouragement and unwavering optimism, loyal friendship and endless inspiration, and love–I thank you. You add light to my life. 

Hugs, Sam


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Really Slow Motion – ELEVATION – Cascade of Emotions – Tanuj Rattan Tiku


author photo HRElevate Your pitch

Swing by Dec. 4th to enter our music-inspired pitch challenge for a chance to WIN a free RSM Elevation track license for your book trailer, a digital copy of the album AND signed copy of guest judge, Guilie Castillo Oriard’s The Miracle of Small Things!


blog tour banner 02 light-longUntitledTHE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS

Available Now:
Paperback
epub eBook
Kindle eBook
iBook eBook
Kobo eBook
Barnes & Noble Nook (coming soon)
Facebook
Goodreads

Truth Serum Press
What People are Saying about MIRACLE
Tastes of MIRACLE


InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG, a community of brilliant writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh, meets the first Wednesday of every month. Visit the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website and database! You’ll find  everything from writing to marketing, along with encouragement and support!

Of Miracles and Music

blog tour banner 02 light-long
A Novel in 13 Stories

Mexican tax lawyer Luis Villalobos is lured to the tiny island of Curaçao anticipating a fast track to the cusp of an already stellar career. But the paradise we expect is so rarely the paradise we find.

The author, Guilie Castillo Oriard, is a Mexican export herself; she transferred to Curaçao “for six months” — and, twelve years later, has yet to find a reason to leave. Her work has been published online and in print anthologies, such as Pure Slush’s 2014 A Year In Stories and gorge. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS is her first book.

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THE GIFT OF MUSIC
by Author Guilie Castillo Oriard

When I worked in the corporate world, I kept a sleek set of iPod speakers on my desk. During office hours, music was mellow: ballads, soft jazz, easy pop. Volume appropriately low. But come 6 (or 7, or 8… we put in long days), the decibels got free rein, and the genres shifted to the Dark Side. (Yes, Pink Floyd. Smashing Pumpkins. Lenny Kravitz. Pearl Jam. AC/DC. The Brandenburg concertos, maybe the Four Seasons. Rock it, Antonio.)
+++In those last, solitary two or three hours, I got through double the work than I did in the previous ten. Less interruptions. Less calls. Less colleagues wanting to chat or bounce off ideas. But my money, for Most Influential Cause, is on the music.
+++Because music makes me happy, and it does so in a way that has nothing to do with what the world insists is happiness-inducing: money, relationships, possessions, achievements. Music puts me in the right here, in the now, and the happiness I get—from the beat, the harmony, the poetry in the lyrics—comes from nothing else than the miracle of being alive.
+++That happiness—that bliss—does wonders for my concentration. It puts me in the zone.
+++But that’s not the only gift music brings. Though I only discovered that when I’d been writing fiction full-time for a couple of years.
+++This happened: I couldn’t get a scene right. A man at a moment of melancholy. Of that weird kind of nostalgia for what never happened. And… it sounded teenage-sulky.
+++No. No.
+++This man doesn’t sulk. He’s a kick-ass, superstar tax attorney. Someone in love with the adrenaline of board rooms, the thrill of working under maximum pressure, of discovering a legal loophole at the eleventh hour to save a client (and their millionaire bank accounts).
+++I was ready to throw the whole thing out. But my iPod, in all its wisdom, chose that moment to bring Leonard Cohen to the surface of its shuffle ocean.
++++++ He wants to write a love song
++++++ An anthem of forgiving
++++++ A manual for living with defeat…
+++This man was, to paraphrase Roberta, singing my scene with his emotionless words. The whole gravelly, pseudo-upbeat mood of the song nailed the atmosphere I wanted.
+++I put the song on repeat, and rewrote the scene from scratch. And there it was: the nostalgia without the sulkiness, the sense of defeat without the self-pity.
+++Since then, I make Writing Playlists: scene-, mood-, even character-specific.
+++In the same way we read poetry to get in touch with our edgiest, most succinct, cut-to-the-marrow syntax and lexicon, I believe through music we’re able to delve ever deeper (and more accurately) into ourselves. Music brings out magic in us, whether through memory or emotion, or both—and through imagination.

How does music influence your own creativity?
If you’re a writer, have you ever used music in a similar way?
How do you get in the zone? Any tips you’d like to share?


RSM LogoReally Slow Motion – ELEVATION – Until The End – Jesse Clinton

Pélagie’s coming down the walk with Al. They both smile when they see Luis, but only Pélagie speaks. “So this is your secret lair, Mr. Hotshot Tax Attorney?”
+++ Luis wants to lob back the banter, but his glibness has gone the way of the wooly mammoth. Emotion is building at the base of his throat, and he realizes that what he wants, more than his bed or the snugness of his duvet, more even than to feel well again, what he needs, actually, is this woman’s arms around him. Which is mad, beyond unhinged, and not just because he’s never felt those arms, has no idea how they’d feel, and how can he need something he’s never had; no, all of that is true, and valid, but the reason it’s certifiably insane to feel this way is because Pélagie isn’t just out of his league: she’s a different sport altogether.
+++ He takes hold of Al’s collar. “Thanks for bringing him back.”
+++ Pélagie squints at him. “You look—not well. Bad cold?”
+++ “Dengue.” There’s a certain pride in not being vulnerable to just any common virus. He kind of wishes it was malaria now.
+++ The square of skin between her eyebrows furrows. “How’s the fever?”
+++ “Under control.” He shrugs.
+++ She comes closer, lifts her hand. Before he can back away or say anything, she’s touching his forehead. Cupping his cheek. Small and cool, that hand quiets the tomahawk army that’s taken up residence in his skull. He leans into it, closes his eyes.

© Guilie Castillo Oriard 2015

UntitledTHE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS
Available Now:
Paperback
epub eBook
Kindle eBook
iBook eBook
Kobo eBook
Barnes & Noble Nook (coming soon)
Facebook
Goodreads

Truth Serum Press
What People are Saying about MIRACLE
Tastes of MIRACLE


author photo HRGuilie Castillo Oriard is a Mexican writer and dog rescuer living in Curaçao. She misses Mexican food and Mexican amabilidad, but the laissez-faire attitude (and the beaches) are fair exchange. And the island’s diversity provides great fodder for her obsession with culture clashes.
+++ Her work has appeared online and, in print, as part of several anthologies. Her first book, The Miracle of Small Things (Truth Serum Press) was published in August 2015. She’s currently working on a full-length novel.
+++ She blogs about life and writing at http://guilie-castillo-oriard.blogspot.com and about life and dogs at http://lifeindogs.blogspot.com/.

author photo HRElevation Writing Contest

Swing by Dec. 1st to enter our music-inspired writing challenge for a chance to WIN a digital copy of RSM’s ELEVATION album and signed copy of guest judge, Guilie Castillo Oriard’s The Miracle of Small Things!


A to Z Theme Reveal_A Glimpse Behind the Curtain

FINAL A to Z Theme Reveal It’s finally here! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! The coolest virtual social gathering leading up to the largest and longest international party on seven continents, The A to Z Challenge *sign up here*!

Special shout-out to the Magnificent Seven of #TeamDamyanti for hosting this historic event! Be sure to visit my fellow house elves, Vidya Sury, Anna Tan, Csenge Zalka, Guilie Castillo Oriard, Jemima Pett & Mary Wallace, and our fearless leader, Damyanti!

 

Check out the hundreds of REVEALS HERE!

Damyanti Team BannerNow, for a sneak peek behind the red curtain. *insert drum roll here*

Wait for it.

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Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel

Oh, hello Henry. Thrilled you could swing by, but it’s not time for you yet. Ahem, BEHIND the guy wearing the red curtain.

Castle in the Mist by Gray Artus

A to Z THEME

Welcome to Olympus, where the Muses of Greek Mythology are charged with the responsibility of discovering, inspiring, guiding, and molding the young incarnations of legends past until they once again take the form of greatness. Enter a world steeped in ancient mythology and mystery. Embark on a journey through the imagination with an enchanting cast of characters as they uncover who they once were and who they will become.

Join me, and a host of brilliant composers from the film music industry, this April, as I unveil sneak peeks of an epic YA fantasy series inspired by my backyard neighbors, the Biltmore Estate!

Oh, and there will be PRIZES! I adore comments. So much so, that I’m willing to part with a very tempting Biltmore-themed prize pack, that may include three of a writer’s main food groups: Coffee, Wine, and Chocolate.

Every comment = a coveted entry into the proverbial hat for the prize pack!

Should you feel compelled to FOLLOW this site, LIKE my author FB and FOLLOW me on TWITTER I will happily reciprocate and throw in some extra entries!

AND that’s not all!

Speaking of EPIC, I’ve another surprise glimpse behind the cinematic red curtain!

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Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Also in the month of APRIL, I’ll be hosting the mother of all WRITING CONTESTS with my favorite composer gang over in Hollywood and leaders of the film music industry, AUDIOMACHINE! As part of a global, cross-industry promotional project for audiomachine’s upcoming public release, PHENOMENA, we’re introducing a groundbreaking campaign to encourage the next generations of authors, artists, musicians & composers! And YOU can be a part of this historical event!

PHENOMENA’s EPIC HEROES CONTEST

Open Internationally!

▶ Create your own Superhero and give us an extraordinary tale, under 1200 words, geared toward Young Adults and inspired by the PHENOMENA album track, “Fortress of Solitude“.

Entries will be accepted April 1st through May 1st. Entries must be posted in the comments section of the dedicated PHENOMENA page (opening April 1st)

The Top 3 Winners will be determined by myself and audiomachine. PHENOMENA-themed prizes will be awarded to our Top 3. The 1st place winner will be PUBLISHED in the first ever audiomachine album companion ebook for PHENOMENA.

Stop by April 1st for more details on this incredible event, including a special contest announcement for ARTISTS!

Speaking of Heroes, I’m thrilled to announce the latest release from my dear friend and literary hero, M. Pax!

worldsonedgeWEBWorlds on Edge, Backworlds Book 5

AmazonUS / Amazon UK / Nook / Smashwords / iTunes / Other Outlets

War is coming. A horde of merciless aliens poise just beyond the Edge. In a matter of weeks they will devour the worlds.

Racing ahead of the apocalypse, Craze returns to the Backworlds to warn them and plan a defense. Only he can’t go home. Banned from Pardeep Station, he must wage a more urgent battle. His moon is under siege, and his friends are dying.

Bad things come in threes, and the galaxy is no exception. An old enemy returns, attacking moons and defenseless globes, leaving a wake of destruction. Worse than that, they threaten to join forces with the alien horde.

Defeat seems inevitable. Craze may not be able to stop it. Yet home is worth the fight.

The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal

FINAL A to Z Theme RevealWith the greatest international blog event ever created, The A to Z Challenge *sign up here*, hovering on the horizon, you may be asking yourself, “Should I invest in a few more pounds of coffee?” or “Should I send the kids to Grandma’s for the entire month of April?” or “Should I rent a cabana on a remote island for the duration, with unwavering internet service, a full open bar and an on-call massage therapist who resembles Henry Cavill and articulates like Benedict Cumberbatch?”, the answer to all of which is a resounding YES.

When faced with a tougher question, such as “to theme or not to theme?” during the 26-day regimen, look to the Magnificent Seven of #TeamDamyanti to “unofficially” advise you.

Themes are fun. They make an impression on your audience. For instance, if you, perchance, plan on incorporating tantalizing images of attractive Australian members of the male persuasion into your “cooking up something hot” theme–chances are, I’m gonna visit. Often. Themes also make the idea of 26 consecutive posts *minus Sundays, when we swim in a vat of wine and snack on cheese crackers* less daunting.

Inspired by my talented girl, Mina Lobo, who initiated the “Theme Reveal Blogfest” during last year’s A to Z, my fellow house elves, Vidya Sury, Anna Tan, Csenge Zalka, Guilie Castillo Oriard, *with technical support from Jemima Pett & Mary Wallace* and I are thrilled to host a virtual social gathering where you can reveal your upcoming theme BEFORE the fun begins in April!

I know what you’re thinking? How do I pitch in for the wine & crackers? I’ll get to that later. For now, add your blog to the Linky List below, and come MARCH 21st, publish a post that WOWS us with your A to Z Theme! This is the perfect opportunity to gather drinking partners an audience before the challenge even begins. Think of it as amassing pre-orders for your new release, thus ensuring your opening week is a smashing success!

Sam’s THEME REVEAL (opens March 21st)

Grab the Great & Powerful A to Z THEME REVEAL badge above, slap it on your side bar and sign up for the party!

Click HERE to join the Great & Powerful THEME REVEAL party!

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