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A Cover Contest… WHAT?

You heard it right!!!

I’m having a cover contest!

Go ahead and hop over to my website for all the details, or keep reading!

What is this cover competition?

This is a competition for all up-and-coming cover artists who do it for fun or for a job!

The anthology is called “Foresaken Sons of Fire; An Anthology of Short Pirate Stories”.

RULES:

– No explicitly copyrighted material (watermarked items are a-okay, I’ll pay for them if you win). Explicitly copyrighted materials are signed art, characters from franchises like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, and celebrities.

– Please make sure the resolution is at least 2,560 x 1,600 pixels. If you don’t know how to make the resolution high enough, just zoom in and make sure it doesn’t get too fuzzy.

– The end result should look ‘artistic’ or graphic drawn, but if you can pull of real-life looking covers, then go for it!

– If you are submitting JUST the kindle version (2,560 x 1,600 pixels), and not for the whole paperback, please use a background that will be easy to connect to the back.

– All covers MUST be submitted by September 16th, 2020. Results will be posted most likely that weekend!

PRIZES: 

1st place- $35 (plus the payment for any clipart/stock pictures/etc that has watermarks), use of the cover for the anthology, obviously seen on all social media websites!

2nd place- $15 for the cover, and a blog post featuring you on my blog, and all other websites!

All other places- honorable mentions with covers shown on my website, Instagram, Facebook, etc!

How Do I Submit?

You can submit it using this google forms link!

If I Am Like You and Forget Everything, Can I Get Updates?

Yes! Follow me on my LinkTree and I’ll keep you up-to-date on all medias!

Where Can I Find the Layout for the Cover?

Right here!!

What is the Kind of Feeling You’re Looking for in the Cover?

I don’t know. That’s why I made this cover contest! But! Here are some examples, I suppose!

Good luck to everyone! Make sure to spread the word! I can’t wait to see what amazing creations you all send my way!!

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NEW NOVEL RELEASE! “White Hot Veins”- a steamy romance!

Good morning everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well!

I’m doing fantastic, and I have a wonderful surprise for you!

I’m so excited to finally talk about my new release White Hot Veins.

I’ve been really hesitant in talking about it only because, like, ooooh, steamy romance, big wow, much gross. But, it’s done! What’s done is done. It’s gone through the editor. I’ve got the cover back. It’s set to be published soon!

So, no holding back now!

Without a single further ado, I present to you, Dawn Dagger’s very own,

White Hot Veins

Release Date: July 5th, 2020

Genre: Erotic Romance, Adult

Main Characters: Jackson Stilton and Jessica Annelise

Synopsis: All her life, Jessica has been lonely. A driven woman of 25, she’s got everything except her one true love. She has recently been promoted to acting board member of the new clothing company, The Apparel Initiative, she has a lovely penthouse in New York, close to the central park, and she is always invited to all of the best parties held in New York. Attending one such party, she meets him: Jackson. Not only is he the most ruggedly handsome man she has ever seen, she can’t explain the undeniable attraction she has for him. But, as handsome as he is, he is also flirty. Every women knows him, and wants him. How is Jessica supposed to compete, while being lonely and working hard on The Apparel Initiative? Could she ever really hope to capture the full attention of Jackson, or is it just a steamy dream?

Excerpt: His hands trailed down her arms, his fingertips brushing her skin with a maddening softness. She could feel her breath hitch in her throat, and it took everything to stand. Her knees were jello, threatening to give out at any given moment. She could feel every vibration of bass that pulsed through the room, but her heartbeat was louder than the music, thundering so hard her head hurt. “I like this dress on you,” he said again, in his simple, deep voice. His knuckles brushed against her collarbone and she found it was impossible to breathe. Goosebumps rose on her arms, and she felt her whole body tremble under his touch. “Would you look better with it off, though?” He asked in his soft, half-musing tone. But, before Jessica could respond, not that she could have if she tried, his fingertips left her skin and he vanished into the crowd.

So, are you excited for this book? I sure am!

Not.

I’m not.

Haha.

Got’cha.

April Foooooooooooools!

You didn’t actually think I wrote a smutty romance, did ya?

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REMINDER: Last Day for Cover Contest!

Don’t forget you guys– today is the last day for the “Forsaken Sons of Fire” cover contest! If you have an entry that won’t be finished by tomorrow, be sure to comment, or email me at dawnelizabethdagger@gmail.com and I’ll extend the deadline for you!

I’m so excited to see your great work!!

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Are Rideshare Apps Like “Uber” and “Lyft” Safe?

Are rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft safe?


This is a question that we as a society have been asking since the two apps’ releases in 2010 and 2012 respectively. Everyone was wary at first. We had been told ‘don’t get in a strangers car!’ so much that the idea of getting in a car with a stranger, and paying them, seemed insane! And, in the beginning, we were right! Both of these apps were risky for the user.
As have been noted in Ankin Law Office’s Are Rideshare Companies Doing Enough to Protect Passengers?, “Uber and Lyft… are currently under investigation for numerous allegations of physical assaults, rapes and sexual assaults… and other forms of inappropriate conduct by their drivers.” In both this article and the article When Uber Drivers Are Drunk, they note that the majority of the problems have blossomed from 2014-2018.
However, both articles are semi-outdated, and a lot has changed in the last three years. We aren’t hearing as much about Uber and Lyft issues. It’s not major news, and the apps are still running strong.

So, are rideshare apps safer now? What are these apps doing to ensure our safety?

Well, first things first, Uber and Lyft have both implemented background checks on their drivers before they can begin work. These implementations began back in 2018, a whopping 8 and 6 years after the apps’ release dates (insane, I know!). Unlike apps like Postmates or Doordash, where you download the app, put in your bank account information, and are off to the races, you do have to complete a background check to be a driver for these rideshares.
As CNN stated in their 2018 article Uber tightens driver background checks, “Checkr’s background checks typically screen potential Uber drivers’ records within the past seven years. Driver candidates cannot have a conviction for a felony, violent crime or sexual offenses, or a registration on the US Department of Justice National Sex Offender public website.” It is also worth noting that even though they said they would be tracking more criminal offenses in real time, they have not released which 3rd-party would be doing so. That leads to a doubt: do they really have a 3rd-party tracking offenses, or are they just saying that for face, since it took them seven years to implement background checks?
It’s important to note as well that they also do not require fingerprinting in any state except New York, where it is mandated. So, you can rest easy knowing that your Uber driver has not committed a felony in the last seven years.

But what about popular rideshare app, Lyft?

Lyft is actually doing a little more to keep you safe. As according to HyreCar’s 2020 article Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know, “Lyft uses a third-party company to complete their background checks, called Sterling BackCheck. This company will use your social security number to perform an extensive check on your driving history and criminal records (if applicable). This check complies with federal and state standards.Lyft not only does an extensive background check, more than the 7-year period that Uber does, but they also reveal who their background checking company is, as we can see, Sterling BackCheck. Even better than both of these, is the fact that they look at what’s pretty important: driving record. So, although they also fail to fingerprint their drivers, they at least do more research.

Now, we know that Lyft has the upper hand of safety when it comes to rideshare apps and background checks, but what happens after you get hired? Are you free bird? As long as you have your license, are you free to work, to tote, and to tear up the town? Well, for Uber, the answer is unclear at best. In the Uber driver’s help FAQ, under the question “Why is Uber running another background check report they state “To maintain safety standards, Uber reruns your background check annually at a minimum (in some cities, more frequently). This is required in order to retain access to the Uber app. Uber may also request additional background checks during the term of your relationship with Uber.” It does not sound like they are really going out there to try and make sure these people are clean. They say ‘may’ and ‘minimum’ a little too much to be comfortable. It also doesn’t say what warrants an extra background check. How does Lyft stand in the light? According the aforementioned Lyft Background Checks article, “Lyft doesn’t only perform this background check when you apply. They also perform yearly checks, and re-run all of your information to make sure you haven’t had any changes in your driving record or criminal history. So, even if you are accepted as a Lyft driver, you’ll want to keep your driving record clean to avoid deactivation.

So, to summarize so far, Uber does not easily reveal their background check party, they do background checks for only felonies in the last 7 years, and do annual background checks. Lyft does a background check for any crimes and driving records, does frequent checks, and openly describes which party they use.

It would appear that to a degree, yes, both rideshare apps are generally safe for their users, and has been getting safer as the years progress. It appears that although they cost about the same, Lyft is safer than Uber.

But, the next question to be asked is: what can these companies do to make their programs safer for everyone; the drivers and the riders?

Well, the first thing is most definitely fingerprinting. Fingerprinting is actually required in almost every state. A quick search asking whether Lyft or Uber does fingerprint brings up dozens of results stating they don’t, but that they are under heavy pressure from state officials requesting that they do. So, the first obvious answer to this question is to start requiring fingerprinting.

In addition to fingerprinting, Uber has a few ideas on what they can do to make their rides safer for both riders and drivers, and it is the best ideas we have at the moment. According to Here’s what Uber says it’s doing to make your next ride safer, a 2019 article published on The Points Guy, Uber is adding preventative safety measures such as verification of drivers with a PIN code, implementing a sexual misconduct training for drivers (something that should be required nation-wide, for schools and jobs alike), recording the audio in a car, a feature called “Ride Check” that will use the accessible Uber GPS to detect if anything has gone wrong with the vehicle, and will prompt the driver and the passenger to call 911, or say that everything is fine.

Lyft has successfully implemented at least two of these features, as described on their website. They have both a shareable ride feature, in which you can allow a friend or family member to follow you in real-time, and sexual-misconduct education for all drivers.

What is excellent about the “Ride Check” and shareable ride features is the fact that it also keeps the driver safe. There have been some cases where passengers have hurt drivers. With these two features, the driver has easy access to be able to call the police, and more people are aware of the car if it is not going where it should be going.

So, the answer to the question is yes.

Rideshare apps, as of 2020, are safe and continue to get safer. Although Lyft appears to be leading the safety charge while Uber falls behind, it isn’t a gap big enough to be largely concerned by. And besides what has already been implemented, the planned implementations are enough that there are very few suggestions to be made.

Use them at your disposal, and remember: its 2020. You’re in good hands.

Posted in Kethaltar, writing

Vote “Slave of the Sea” for Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t seen on my various social media platforms, Slave of the Sea and her cover are currently participating in the AllAuthor Cover of the Month Contest!

So, if you could pop on by and throw in a vote, I would be ever so grateful!


Currently in the Top 100, I will be moving onto the next round of voting starting tomorrow, but please make sure you vote if you love “Slave of the Sea”s cover!

Click me to vote!

Thank you so much!

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June- A Month In Review

*long suffering sigh*

*a chair squeaks noisely against the floor even though I’m in a rolling chair on carpet*

*as if in a YouTuber apology video, my exhausted face slowly pops onscreen*

Oh lawd.

It’s July.

So, a quick recap on June:

A lot of drama, very little got done? I got a fantastic new computer, an amazing microphone, recorded my first ever gaming YouTube video (not yet up), planned my courses for college, went to IKEA for the first time ever, and wrote a lot!

And, as June is over, it means that my first quarter of Quarterly Goals from Writer’s Relief is also finished, so we gotta review how that went!

(Guys I’m so tired).

College Courses

Super excited about college, don’t let me lie to you. I genuinely considered never going to college, but I toughed it out, and here we are! I’m very excited to start my journey at the College of Wooster on my path to an ESL Major.

For my first year, I have to share a dorm. I’m rooming with a girl named Rahel (one letter off from my name), and have to learn to leave my clothes all over the floor. I should be moving in later this month/ early August.

For my courses this Fall Semester I’m taking

Beginners Chinese

Conversation French

Global Engagement

Intro to Education

First-Year Seminar: Propaganda During Vietnam

I’m very excited about these courses, and I’m sure I’ll post lots about them!

Writing

So, my quarterly goal was to complete 25k of The Chronicles of Salt and Blood: Secret of the Monarch (because it would just make sense to write the sequel to my fantastic series), to finish my pirate anthology Forsaken Sons of Fire as a placeholder until Secret of the Monarch was finished, finish The Atlantic Island; Mosaics; Fractures in Stars, to post five podcast episodes, to post 10 blog posts, and to have a cover contest for Forsaken Sons of Fire.

I… um… Had a time with this.

Secret of the Monarch

I only did 5632 words of Secret of the Monarch. I know a lot of what I want to do, but I just… don’t feel it right now. I need to read more books.

Forsaken Sons of Fire

So, I technically did finish this anthology. But then my lovely editor told me I had to add more to Drunk and I was just like… no. But she’s right. And I have one more character picture to commission and grab, then I can start formatting. Once Drunk is finished. Of course.

Cover Contest

Yeah I realized a fatal error in my thinking. I kind of have to have the book formatted so I know book cover sizes. Sometimes I’m dumb. So it didn’t happen

The Atlantic Island; Mosaics: Fractures in Stars

I finished, got it edited, got that fantastic cover I posted about earlier, and it’s up for preorder! So, if you wanna grab it, click on the cover below and get it preordered before it releases!

Blog and Podcasts

*we all join in laughter together*

Click the podcast image to listen to the one episode I got out in the last three months (though due to having a new microphone I am pretty excited to start making more!)

Shadow

Yes, you know this book. The one I post about every year and never do anything with because of lack of development/ inspiration/ other amazing books?

WELL BABY GUESS WHAT SHE’S BACK IN BUSINESS

With a whopping 32k words in July, Shadow is back and ready to kick some butt!

Honestly I’m hoping to have her done by the end of September, have her edited in October, Beta-Read in November, and have her polished and ready for querying by January of next year!

*excited clapping*

You can actually get all the amazing information about Shadow by following the picture below to my WIP page on tumblr!

And that’s all for now!

WordPress updated and its nearly impossible to do anything on here uuuggghhhhhhhh

How are you all? Got any Camp NaNo projects? What did you do in June?

Posted in writing

“FRACTURES IN STARS” COVER REVEAL!!

I’m so hyped, not gonna lie.

“It’s been over a year since Dierdre, Clayton, and Amy have escaped from the time-travelling bad guys who maimed and tried to kill them. Hiding in a quiet, no-questions-asked shelter in the present, Clayton continues his search for the turtle artifact, while Amy struggles with herself, and Dierdre simply tries to survive. But everything changes when a face from the past appears, with information that changes their entire lives.”

Isn’t she gorgeous???

You can preorder her for only $3.99!

I promise, you don’t want to miss this exciting adventure!

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Facts About Gingham (Because I Found it Fascinating)

So… instead of doing my job (to be fair, everything was caught up), I was writing Secret of the Monarch, and I wrote that Levanine was getting dressed in a gingham dress in shades of brown. Avondella, and Kethaltar in general, is a magical world that sort of follows the way the real world worked.

So, as its 16th-17th century themed, I was trying to figure out whether gingham actually existed already.

And it did. 

Image

The journey of gingham is kinda cool.

So, it originated in both India and Dutch-colonized Malaysia and Indonesia. (Not gonna lie, had no idea that the Dutch colonized anything in all of history, much less… those places). Then it came to Europe in the 17th century, then was manufactured in the US in the 18th century

Gingham was also used traditionally for many different things in different parts of the world 

India – gamucha, gingham patterned towel used for drying the body

Indonesia – Contrasting colors symbolize the struggle between good and evil

Japan – Spiritual, used to wrap statues when a child died

African Masaï tribe – has used check patterns for thousands of years, traditional costume

Cambodiakrama, many uses, both practical and decorative

Germany and Italy argue that they originated it, while the USbelieves gingham is super US 

What is gingham associated with/ used for ?

“In Europe gingham is associated with the authentic: country-style, rustic symbolism. This is no different in America where the fabric became synonymous with cowboys, the wild west and the frontier

This country-style, wholesome symbolism has made gingham a popular choice for tablecloths, curtains, aprons and practical workwear.

Gingham has been used for school uniforms throughout the world: everywhere from Australia; the Philippines; South Africa; France; England and the USA. It is also synonymous with children’s clothing, baby bedding and now bistros, tablecloths and curtains.Colonialism is somewhat to blame for the popularity and much of the image that the fabric has in Western civilisation.“

– V is for Vintage, “GINGHAM FABRIC, A CHEQUERED HISTORY”

So, I can’t find examples of the 17th century gingham, but to put it in context, here’s some paintings from that century

So, yeah. That’s a fun fact you know now!

If you wanna see a lot more of what a post, hop on over to Tumblr and give me a follow! I post more often on there because the user interface is friendlier than that of Facebook or here on WordPress, and the Writerblr community is super fun, so I fulfill a lot of prompts on there!

Posted in Uncategorized

I'm Extremely Bad at Adventuring- A Trip to Cleveland

So, back at the beginning of the month (before the world fell apart, RIP March 2020), my friend Molly and I went adventuring up to Cleveland!

The plan was simple.

Work from 10-3, drive up to Cleveland, go to the art museum, hit a few of the cooler spots, then go down to the Cedar Lee theater to see a fun showing of Amélie, a french film.

It… didn’t work out that way.

Instead of an hour and a half, it took us three hours to get up to Cleveland. Didn’t feel like three hours, but the clock didn’t lie.

About halfway up to said Cleveland, I realized something horrifying.

Everything closed at 5.

Absolutely everything.

Now, we had looked at the times, but we had looked at them for Friday. Why everything in Cleveland closes at five on Saturday, I have no freakin’ idea! But they do.

So, drive up to Cleveland. Okay, we can go to AffoGATO for lunch (it will be open, right?), hope over to the Goodwill (it ought to have some super awesome stuff), and then we skip-dee-do-dad down over to Cedar Lee Theater.

So… uh… yeah.

We got lost in the worst part of Cleveland. Like, there was more trash than there was family help centers and salons and Rally’s. And there were, like, five or six salons on every street. I’m not even exaggerating.

We kept passing these ‘corner shops’. Like, okay. I’m from the country(ish). Our corner shops are dirty little things, full of food with the little stickers on them, but are generally quaint, and a good back-up in case of a zombie apocalypse. However, this corner shops were small, dirty had barred windows, and you couldn’t see inside.

They made me extremely uncomfy.

And just as I went to say that, like halfway through my sentence, we saw a massive billboard that said, “if you’ve been raped, there is help.”

Un

Comf

Y

So, we get out of that part of the world, and end up in a super industrial part of Cleveland. All pot holes and dirty water (there was a huge boat??) and just kinda honestly thought we were going to turn into lizard people from toxic waste.

So, we escape that. It’s 7 o’clock. It’s 30 degrees. Molly and I haven’t eaten since probably eleven or so. We are so ready for AffoGATO. Cute cats (I’ve always wanted to go to a cat cafe) and coffee and food? Yes. Freakin’. Please.

Yes, that’s a little flower *distant sobbing*

So, we climb out of her car after three hours of driving only to find…

They were booked for the day. We couldn’t go in.

So, we lovingly took a picture of darling Sir here.

Okay, now what? Everything’s freaking closed. We’re on the outskirts of a city we’ve never been in before.

Lucky’s Cafe is right down the road? Let’s go get a burger.

We walk in the completely wrong direction and instead run into…

Tandul.

Tandul is the cutest, smallest little fancy Indian place I’ve ever seen. I’ve never had Indian food before!

So, we went in, and had the best time. Tandul was small, but clean. It had lots of Indian decoration and Bollywood playing on the TVs. The entire menu was Indian food. There were no kids meals, no Pepsi or Coke products, no American beer.

It was 100% Indian.

It was the best food I’ve ever had. Butter chicken and cheese naan. AND OMG THE COCONUT ICE CREAM. We had super awesome (and super weird) lentil chips with an apple-butter tasting sauce.

*dreamy sigh*

I talked about it for days.

The people in there were super duper nice and eager to please too. They were so cute, and I was so happy. It was wonderful.

So, we still have an hour or so before the movie. Let’s go… bowling! The bowling alley is open! And five minutes away!

We start driving.

We encountered

  • Three cop cars
  • Two people parked in the middle of the road
  • So many drunk people
  • Four sketchy buildings (like, the school was in a wild condition)
  • A construction car
  • Thirty minutes of trying to find a parking space
  • A five minute walk through streets super dark in 25 degree weather

Now, I feel the need to rant.

If… if your bar is called HI AND DRY BOWLING AND BEER. And on Google maps you have pictures of bowling. And your website shows bowling.

This is their website!

DON’T YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO BOWL?

Alas, you would be wrong!!!!

We walked in to the most crowded bar I’ve ever seen, without a single part of bowling in sight. I thought it was going to be a bowling alley. It was a bar.

So, we struck out.

We cross the street and look at this super cute clothing store, Banyan Tree. The lady’s super nice, the clothes are soft and cute, the building is warm. I buy a cute shawl.

During this time, two idiots outside of the shop are screaming at two police officers who have their lights on and are yelling back with megaphones.

Ah, yes. Comfort and class, amiright?

Back to the car, as the shop is about to close and we are going to go see the movie now.

On the way back to the car we got called ‘sk*nks’. That was a lovely new experience.

We get to the theater scot-free. There’s minimal confusion about parking. We get into the Cedar Lee theater, get our tickets.

Me: Where do we say ‘bonjour’ for popcorn?

Snack Dude: Here.

Me: *asks for popcorn in French*

Snack Dude: (in the most deadpan, condescending voice) you just had to say bonjour.

There was a French man there who was a little tipsy, so he was being super nice to everyone and talking in both French and English and it was super cute and sweet.

We watch Amélie, which is a top notch film. It’s super cute and lovely. It’s fully in French with English subtitles, which was so cool. There’s a lot of nudity, but it’s always… non-offensive.

Watching it was an amazing lesson in culture and story building.

Also, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack since I was, like, thirteen or something because it helped me sleep, so when the piano part played in the movie I about cried.

It was amazing.

Then we walked out, and I was worried that, for a whole minute, we had been transported to the wrong dimension.

I hadn’t realized that the Rocky Horror Picture Show extravaganza was happening when our movie was done, so walking out into a whole theater of people dressed in corsets and fishnet leggings with tattoos and millions of piercings and black eyeshadow was very interesting.

Like there was a dude absolutely covered in tattoos, with fishnet leggings, a tiny black maid’s dress, and giant black heeled boots.

Wild time.

Then we went home and I slept.

We also almost died, like, four times because of dogs. Yes, we hit a curb looking at a pupper in a car.

We are very bad at adventuring. And, um… that’s all there is to it.

And we think we’re going to Tennessee at some point.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Best Classics Book Tag- Dawn Dagger Edition!

Rules (as enacted by the wonderful Esther)

  1. Thank the creator of the tag: Esther@ Writers of the Valley 
  2. Thank the nominator
  3. Answer 4 Questions
  4. Nominate 3 people or as many as you’d like.

The Questions go as followed:

  1. What is/are your favorite classic(s)?
  2. What is/are your favorite scene(s) from that/those classic(s)?
  3. Which character in that/those book(s) do you mostly relate to?
  4. If you could travel back in time to where that/those book(s) is/are set and meet any character, who would you like to meet?

My Answers

  1. My favorite classics include Their Eyes Were Watching God, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Doll’s House, Death of a Salesman, Little House on the Prairie
  2. Narnia is my all time favorite, so I’ll refrain from going on. One of my favorite parts of Their Eyes Were Watching God was the description of love as the main character sits beneath the pear tree. It really captured it well.
  3. I mostly relate to Joe from Little Women, because I’m feisty and absolutely adore writing
  4. Aslan, Mr. Tumnus, and Lucy

My Nominees

  1. Anyone viewing this post.