In Marsha A. Moore's Words: The Enchanted Bookstore Legends

Let us wander around the words of Marsha A. Moore; she is here to guide us through the Enchanted Bookstore Legends.

 My new release, the third of the Enchanted Bookstore Legends, is an epic fantasy romance. Adalyra McCauley opens an enchanted book and confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save Dragonspeir from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. In Lost Volumes, the third book of the series, Lyra learns residents of Dragonspeir’s Alliance are suffering with a deadly plague at the hands of the Black Dragon. She doesn’t heed the warnings of her fiancé, wizard Cullen Drake, to remain safe in her human world. After all, she’s the present Scribe—one of five strong women in her ancestry who possessed unique magic, each destined to protect the Alliance against the evil Black Dragon of the Dark Realm. With Cullen dependent upon Alliance power to maintain his immortality, the stakes are doubled for Lyra.

She puts herself at risk for the community afflicted by black magic. To find a cure, she and Cullen travel into the vile, lawless underworld of Terza to strike a bargain with an expert. Their efforts further enrage the Black Dragon, vowing to decimate the Alliance and avenge the murder of his heir.

In order to overpower his efforts, Lyra must secure the three lost volumes of the Book of Dragonspeir. Written by the three earliest Scribes, each book contains energy. Possession of the entire set will enable overthrow of the Dark Realm. Following clues into dangerous lands, Lyra and Cullen seek those volumes. His assistants, Kenzo the tiger owl and Noba the pseudodragon, prove invaluable aids. Only if they succeed, will the Alliance be safe and Lyra reach closer to the immortality she needs to live a life with Cullen.

The wizard’s assistants play big roles in this third book. For this reason, and because with Books One and Two, readers commented so much about them, they are featured on the cover of Lost Volumes. These secondary characters often bring laughter or encourage Lyra and Cullen to persevere.

Noba, the pseudodragon, is not a true dragon. His kind is much smaller, being only three feet long, including their tails. In my legends, serving as a wizard’s familiar is a typical role for this species in Dragonspeir. Noba has a heart of gold that melts people.

However, he surprises everyone when the group travels into the mysterious underground world of Terza. There, the lovable and naïve little dragon becomes a real star. Pseudodragons originated in that strange land, and Noba discovers the incredible strength of his heritage. He is not just a sweet pseudodragon wizard’s familiar, but also a powerful Matan, capable of altering the use of all magic in his presence as in this scene where Lyra, Cullen, Kenzo, and the bronze dragon, Yasqu, battle a fearsome scorpent, led by skeleton-people called Vizards.


A Wizard’s Familiar, Noba the Pseudodragon

“How do we use Noba?” Lyra asked, glancing down at him. If he could help, it was worth a try.

The familiar’s small muscles bunched and released while the pupils of his black eyes were open wide, sending out more light than before.

Lyra held a hand out to him. “Come here, Noba. We need your help.”

After Lesot and Angom released him, the pseudodragon hugged both forearms around Lyra’s leg.

“Go on. They’ll be afraid of whatever you do,” she said, giving him a gentle push between his wings.

He took a cautious step forward, brushing next to Cullen. Noba looked both ways along the main tunnel. His limbs twitched even more, his scales catching the light in ripples.

All eyes locked on the pseudodragon, and the battle halted. The scorpents froze, all but their tongues, which flicked more actively.

The Vizards hunched, and a few dropped lower, lying prostrated on their stomachs. Only the leader stood tall.

“Master, what is Noba needed to do?” the familiar asked.

“Use your instinct,” Cullen replied. “You will know what to do.”

Noba shook his head. “Don’t know.”

The head Vizard cackled. “You don’t know how to command your matan. We’ll show you—”

Before the leader finished, Cullen shot a powerball squarely at his chest.

Doubled in pain, the Vizard forced a skeletal arm upward, his wiry fingers twirling in the air as he sunk to the ground.

From that cue, the scorpents lunged at Yasqu, biting hard on his tail.

“Noba, wave your barb at them!” Lyra pleaded.

Instead of following her guidance, the familiar clung with legs, arms, and wings wrapped tightly around the side of his master’s leg.

Lyra shook her head, desperate to find of a way out of the situation. Surprisingly, her aura prickled in her fingertips without her command. Acting by instinct, she lifted her arms, and the electricity of her power crackled, jumping between her fingers like she’d never seen before. Vaporous threads of effluvial magic coursed toward her hands. Seeing the black magic channeling at her, Lyra jerked. Various shades of gray smoke, given off by different beings, comingled at the surface of her palm, as if fighting to enter.

Seeing their effluvium vanish into her hands, the Vizards cowered, despite the haunting grins plastered on their mask faces. A moment later, they blew new clouds from their pipes as fast as they could breathe, and the scorpents puffed a thick screen from their nostrils.

Lyra’s new ability matched their pace.

During this confusion, Yasqu whipped around and hurled long flames at the two new scorpents, searing wide burns along their necks and flanks.

The pair retaliated with teamwork, one in charge of maintaining the debilitating effluvial cloud while its partner attacked with open mouth and dripping fangs.

The bronze dragon took a serious hit, a deep bite at his shoulder that looked like it cut through his wing tendon. The main sail sagged lower than the one on his other side.

Kenzo soared to perch on a spine near Yasqu’s wound. With spread wings, the owl’s beak gaped and his face contorted as he tried his best to ward off another attack.

“Noba, you are my familiar and I command you—mico cauda hostes hostium!” Cullen’s voice carried above the din of roars, hisses, and groans. His hand glowed blue with his aura as it rested against the scales of the pseudodragon.

“Noba will serve Master.” With his barbed tail held high and no longer shaking, he walked deliberately into the midst of the battle. He stopped directly in front of the single scorpent. He tilted his head back and looked up at the beast nearly fifty times his size.

The scorpent watched, unable to move.

Noba’s tail whipped in a circle, and the tip glowed orange. Abruptly, he extended it forward, and a spark shot out like a missile at the beast’s chest.

The scorpent let out a guttural moan that shook the ground and echoed along the tunnel walls.


As you can see, pseudodragons are very good-natured. They are very playful and curious. Definitely fun to have around! So far, every reviewer has wanted one of their own! If you’re considering adopting one for your home, Lyra even found a way to teach Noba to use a kitty litter box. Her only problem was a language barrier, trying to find words for the job she wanted him to do with the box—a comical scene! However, Cullen didn’t find it so funny she had domesticated so much wildness out of his familiar. Despite being the Imperial Sorcerer of the land, his love for Lyra left him without much control over that decision. Love is very powerful!

If you’re worried about safety, pseudodragons can bite, but won’t unless provoked. However, their tails can be a hazard—barbed and poisonous. Noba often gets excited and forgets to watch his! But for Lyra and Cullen, having Noba around is always worth that small difficulty. I’d love to tell you more about Noba’s antics, but I don’t want to spoil the book for you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the adventures of Noba, Kenzo, Lyra, and Cullen in Lost Volumes: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Three. 


Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!



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Illustrating Grit City Emotobooks

Today, Grit City Emotobooks Illustrator Zach Revale (Grit City, Swing Zone): 

 Being an illustrator for Grit City is an exhilarating experience. Illustrating Emotobooks brings about a really fun creative streak in me that I was not always aware of. Our editors do an excellent job of finding stories that work well with this unique style of illustration. Working with the creative team at Grit City makes my job as an illustrator almost easy. If I have a problem or get stuck with an illustration, there are many people who can help me out and support me within our community.

Emotobook illustrations operate in the abstract realm. Coming from a background of comic book and graphic illustration, this initially took some adjusting for me. Eventually, I began to realize that it was okay to “push” whatever emotion I was trying to display. After I figured this out I found myself becoming totally engulfed within my work, which is always good!

Illustrating emotions within a story is, at first, tasking. I want every picture to have diversity. Sometimes, I have three illustrations that produce the same type of feelings. This is where the job gets both stressful and fun. Just when I think it’s impossible to differentiate between depicted emotions, I make a line here or adjust the light there and I am back in business because I’ve just changed the mood completely.

Doing the covers of Emotobooks is especially stressful. Covers are, without a doubt, the most important aspect of an illustrator’s job. They are what everyone’s going to see first. Creating a poor cover automatically sets our authors, who work immensely hard on their stories, in a hole. So a lot of pressure builds up!

Everything comes out the way it does because of the flow between creative, hardworking people who continuously give advice and words of encouragement to help make everything look as good as possible. When it is finally time to release an Emotobook, are plenty of kind words and pats on the back because, as a team, we finally get a chance to collectively breathe a sigh of relief an accomplishment.

 Thank you, Zach, for taking the time to stop by my blog!


Grit City Illustrator Zach Revale

Born and raised in Sharon, PA, Zach’s been an artist since his playground days, pouring his imagination on paper, and fulfilling his dreams of publishing success. These dreams led him to gain a B.S. in art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His love for all things cartoon forces him to see the world as a hijinks filled character. These ideals drew Zach into the Emotobook world of GCP, where possibilities are limitless. Find his blog here.






Writing and Publishing Grit City Emotobooks

Today, Grit City Publications creator Ron Gavalik (Grit City):

Who would’ve thought that a small group of dedicated individuals from Pittsburgh would change the world of fiction, by creating the new medium of emotobooks?

That’s right, no one.

Just what the hell is Grit City. How about I write the short pitch here, and if you want the in depth stuff, visit the website.

Grit City is a dark and calamitous world in the throes of self destruction. The main character, Dillon Galway, is a freelance journalist and blogger. He’s our idealistic, yet hard-boiled hero that’s doing everything he can to pull the city he loves from the brink of self-destruction. He tends to rely on Alyssa Stephano (hottie with guns, as my friend called her) to help him out of jams and expose the perpetrators to their rightful demise.

Now, here’s the kicker that will piss-off the fans of detective stories, and hopefully delight the younger urban fantasy crowd. Dillon is going to come across someone special that will forever redefine his reality and at the same time, help him in his idealistic crusade of sorts.

Oh, it’s going to be great fun.

The next things I suppose I should do is define what the term emotobook means. Again, I’ll divulge the nutshell here and you can visit the website for the whole kit-and-caboodle. The term emotobook is something I came up with one day while sitting on the can and forgot to bring something in with me to read. See how quiet moments of thought can lead to great inspiration? Anyways, an emotobook is a short (about 30-pages) serialized story that uses emotional representations (illustrations) to enhance a character’s emotional state in certain key scenes of the story.

I’m fortunate to be partnered with Zak Revale for this task. He’s the illustrator I work with to create the expressionistic images. Once a month we sit down with a copy of the issue I’ve written, and the talented Rebecca Hoffman has proofed and edited. We’ll discuss which portions of the story deserve an emotional representation. Usually, we decide on four or five illustrations for each issue.

Don’t expect to buy a comic book or picture book full of drawings. Grit City is not a comic book. It’s an emotobook. You’ll see when you read a copy or visit the website.

The truth is, I really can’t take the time to rest on my laurels. Only the first leg of a long and arduous journey has been completed. What most writers tend to believe is, “Hey I’ll write a book, get someone to publish it and I’ll be a famous person that everyone wants to love and throw small pickles at, because I’m so awesome.”

Ummm, not so much, fruit loop. 

To write a short story, novel, or serial takes work. You might say, “Sure, Ron. I’ve heard that before from other writers, professors and others, but what does ‘work’ really mean?” 

I’m not going to get into a long winded explanation of the writing process or the post-publishing marketing approach a writer has to take, but I will say that AWARENESS is your friend. If no one knows about your story, how can you possibly convince someone to read it? It’s impossible. Suffice to say that a comprehensive marketing approach is needed. I’ll try to find some time in the future to discuss some of the smarter tactics to use. As a professional who’s worked as a communications manager and technical writer, this kind of stuff is my background. 

With all of that said, Grit City has simply been born into the world. It now needs fed, clothed, doctors, dentists, and not just a little tender loving care. And like most parents, it’s the job of the creative team to show it off to every single person in the world. 

No problem. We’ll have it done by lunch, right?. (Chuckles.)

Writing Grit City Emotobooks is an ongoing labor of love. Enjoy it.

Thanks, Ron, for stopping by my blog today!


Ron Gavalik GCP Publisher

Ron’s extensive background and education in fiction and nonfiction writing led him to innovate the revolutionary medium of Emotobooks. Grit City is GCP’s maiden EmotoSerial. When not writing, he runs GCP for others to find publishing success and uses his free time to read fantastic stories or dole out writing advice. When weather permits, you can find Ron biking, hiking, of fishing in the outdoors of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Ron blogs here.







Editing Grit City Emotobooks

Today, Grit City Emotobooks content editor Rebecca Hoffman (Lily Dair, Suburbians):

From a young age, it became clear that editing would be my passion. As early as first grade, I was bored with my spelling tests and my teacher let me create my own lists with harder words. Hey, when everyone else is still learning how to spell “cat” and “pen”, being advanced enough to be learning “alligator” is quite an accomplishment! As time went on, I could always be found with a book in my hand. As my family watched television at night, I would have my nose in a novel and learned to drown out all the background noise, much to my mother’s annoyance at times.

Once I entered middle school, I gained a passion for writing poetry and short stories. In high school, as I started to consider what I wanted to study in college, I didn’t even have to think about it; I knew my future was in English and writing. During my time at the university, I found that I gained a greater feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction from editing the work of my peers than I did in writing my own works. I put more focus into learning the details of proofreading and editing and set my sights on becoming an editor with a publishing company.

Now, six months after graduation, I have spent five months editing for Grit City Publications. As soon as I heard about their revolutionary approach to writing, I knew I had to be a part of it. By combining the best genre fiction (or popular fiction, if you like) with emotionally-packed abstract art, Grit City’s emotobooks present a sensory experience that heightens emotions and helps the reader create a more solid connection with the story unfolding before them. These past few months have been extraordinary, for many reasons.

The best part of working with Grit City is that the editing work presents a challenge. It is certainly a challenge that can be overcome, but it also strengthens my skills as a result. Not only do I have to worry about such physical things as punctuation, spelling, and grammar, but it is important to identify places where the emotions need to be heightened and absorbing. These five or six places in each emotobook have to be built upon in order to support the illustrations that will be created to fit the piece. It is my job to help the author anticipate these insertions and provide the best possible set-up to ensure that the illustrations and writing work together.

Another challenge in creating emotobooks is the specific formatting that must be done before a novel or short story can be considered ready for the public eye. After all of the writing details are nailed down and the perfect illustrations are created, I have to put them together and change the formatting to fit the requirements of each company, from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to Apple. This is a lot to juggle, especially when it gets closer to the deadline (each company publishes on a quarterly schedule), but it reminds me how important it is to multitask.

Overall, editing for Grit City Publications and supporting the emotobooks revolution has been a far different experience than I ever imagined when I decided to become an editor. However, I wouldn’t trade a single moment, because I know it has made me a better professional and has shown me how to work with multiple genres. The unique approach to eBooks that Grit City offers has allowed me to grow as an editor and, for that, I will be forever grateful.

 Thank you, Rebecca, for taking the time to stop by my blog! 


GCP Editor Rebecca Hoffman

A huge fan of spelling, grammar, and sentence structure since she was old enough to write, Rebecca Hoffman was destined for an editing career. Always open to adventure, she jumped at the chance to work with Grit City Publications. Rebecca graduated from Slippery Rock University in PA with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing. When not attached to her red pen, she enjoys walking, listening to songs from musicals, and dancing her butt off! Find her blog here.