Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Drinking the Novel

Writers have a long history of drunkenness (Both real and completely Exaggerated). In the spirit of authorly angst and punchy "I"m finally almost done with the book" fun, I have procrastinated all  morning devising the following drinking guide to the story creation process.

Drinking the Novel:

Inspiration strikes(Glorious): Glass of wine
Plotting(Intellectual time): Gin
Facing the blank page (Nerves): Shot of Vodka
Inciting Incident: (Getting excited) Appletini
Commitment Point: (Go time)Stout Ale
Midpoint:(Shifting Gears) Rum
Downtime:(Relaxing) Fuzzy Navel
Dark Moment: (Tragedy) Shot of Whiskey
Main Conflict: (Ahhhh!) Tequila
Third Act Twist: (Surprise) Grab anything!!
Resolution: (Tie it up neatly) Kahlua
Finished the book: (Celebration) Champagne
Editing:(Kill me now) Rum, Tequila and the rest of the Whiskey

Don't try this at home, kids.
*above guide is intended for novel creation of a long and arduous nature. For the freaks of nature who whip theses things out in a weekend, alcohol poisoning is no laughing matter.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Favorite Heroines Blog Hop

Today we are playing in the Favorite Heroines Blog Hop. I'll be sharing some of my favorite heroines, and if you follow the links to the other blogs, you can meet even more. In addition, each blog will be holding some  kind of giveaway. For my prize, one commenter below will get their pick of either a first print proof copy of HORDED or an electronic copy of any one of my books.

Best of luck on all your hops!

First let me say that my favorite heroines are not "badass" in the usual sense of the term. I mean, sure I like a girl that can kick butt as much as the next reader, but to be honest, the ones that really stand out for me are the heroines that are strong in a different way.

I appreciate strength of character, perseverance, gentleness,personal growth and okay, a lot of badass magic too. So, my picks are less kicking butt and shooting targets and more, delving the inner reaches of their own psyches to route out some pretty ugly personal demons.

That being said, my all time favorite heroine is Sybel from Patricia McKillip's, Forgotten Beasts of Eld. She's a high wizard who calls ancient, mythological animals to her and keeps them as her servants. Sybel starts out powerful as hell, but her journey is about learning to be soft, allowing herself to need more than just power, and I am absolutely enamored with her character arc and her story.
(I own two signed copies to my great delight)

Gillan from Andre Norton's, Year of the Unicorn, is a very close second. In truth, it's probably a tie.  Gillan is studying to be a nun and herbalist when her story begins. In order to save a friend, however, she takes the girl's place in secret and ends up offered as a bartered bride to a group of wer riders from out of the wastes. No one knows anything about these men except that they are dangerous. Despite the fact that she is low-born and was never meant to be a part of the bride tribute, Gillan is the one who uses her strength to uncover the truth about the mysterious wer riders, and then uses her own power to battle for her life and the man she loves.
Gillan's battle is also internal, though she faces outward foes as well along the way. In the end, she is trapped inside her own mind and forced to find her true self and her own way back out into the light.

Both stories are lyrical and beautiful and I suppose, show how my own work has been influenced. The themes are certainly some of my favorites to use as well. The inner journey, facing down the shadow, and personal growth... In my book, that's some badass heroine-ism.

So, what are your thoughts? Do heroines have to kick butt and take names to be badass? Can they do both? Comment for an entry into my giveaway, and hop via the links below to enter the rest!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Okay, so I skipped a few weeks. I'm still trucking along on the Shrouded Princes novel, so here's the (somewhat) weekly excerpt. :)


(disclaimer- from the W.I.P excerpts are from works in progress and therefore not edited or proofed. Please expect errors)


 “I think we should contact the king,” Jadyek whispered, but it wouldn’t matter if Jarn had their room bugged.
“Shh.” He’d had the same thought a dozen times. If they turned themselves in, begged King Peryl for mercy, it would mean prison again, but Shroud had no death sentence. At least they’d live. Knowing what he did about the king, it would probably mean they could see each other, even if only on occasion. The heartbond was too revered on Shroud to be blatantly sundered… even for traitors.
Dielel put up a hand and leaned his head to the side. Did Jarn listen to them? Did the demon know they’d happily go back to a hole in the ground than remain at his mercy? There had to be a way to do neither. He chewed on that thought all the time now. Throughout the lifeless days and all through the nights he spent half awake, waiting for some sign that their air had been terminated.
“We still might get away together,” he said. “Jarn will find us a safe port, and then we can start over somewhere alone.”
“I know.” Jadyek managed to smile for him. Hope sparkled in his wide eyes that didn’t, couldn’t, possibly still believe in that future. “It’s been longer than I’d thought is all.”
And they’d both seen the looks Jarn cast in their direction when they dared venture from the cabin. Unless he’d summoned them for a purpose, their pilot wanted them out of sight. Until he needed them, he wanted them only as something to torture.
Maybe screwing with them helped him pass the time. Maybe it helped Jarn sleep, though Deiel hadn’t managed to catch him at that. He’d fancied it a dozen times, catching Jarn fast asleep and summoning the courage to slit the man’s throat before he could wake, but even in his fantasies Dielel suspected he’d never have the guts to really do it.
He’d have to find another way to be rid of the madman. He’d have to, for Jadyek’s sake. And they’d have to think of it in a hurry, he suspected. If Jarn found a use for them, the man wouldn’t hesitate to seize it. When the time came, there wouldn’t be any room for contemplation. They’d have to act, fast, and that had never been Dielel’s style.
Jadyek’s hand settled over his, a warm comfort. “It will be fine, Deilel. You’ll see.”
Looking into Jadyek’s pale face, he could almost believe it. He breathed, felt the heart beating in his chest, and the ship they rode on lurch to one side as something impacted the hull.
The devil’s voice screamed through the intercom, Jarn, coming through the walls to reach them. “Get out here! The bastards have found us.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From the Work In Progress...

It's work in progress Wednesday! I am still slogging through draft one of the third Princes of the Shroud book. (book one and two are available from Zharmae books) Let's see what the characters are up to today...


(disclaimer- from the W.I.P excerpts are from works in progress and therefore not edited or proofed. Please expect errors)

“Yes? What shall I ask?” She looked him in the eye, held her thoughts under a sharp thumb and smiled for her boss. “What do you want to know?”
Dern’s eyes squinted into slits when he tried to shield himself. He shouldn’t have bothered. Corah saw his plan forming, a dark seed wrapped in intrigue and weighed from all directions against Gervis’ goals. How could he use this man, that was his real question. What could Gervis Dern do with a lookalike to the planetary governor’s mate. She read it, and she understood now exactly why this particular slave had been singled out, why he waited now on a chair in an empty room enduring what was supposed to be torture. She understood it better than Dern did, and she saw her chances in that understanding too, and angle she might play as well.
She hid that quickly, waited for a probe from Mawl or Santel, for any sign they’d caught her deceit and meant to turn her out, to trade her life for an ounce of favor from their master. Nothing. No fingers in her mind, no invasion. She breathed and focused on her hearing, on the next words from Gervis Dern. She felt him huddled around his idea, happy with it, but nervous too. When the question came, Corah was ready for it.
“Can I trust him?”
She needed time. If the man was here for murder, she needed to make sure it happened in the way that would serve her purpose too. If he was here for anything else, then she’d need time to sway him, to get him on the right side or else, to get rid of him before Dern could make him his. For now, she needed him alive, but not in Dern’s pocket as of yet.
“Corah! Can I trust the man or not?”
“Not.” She watched Dern, felt his impatience flutter dangerously close to disappointment, to a final decision to kill the man and be done with the whole thing. Not yet, Dern. Not until I’ve had a chance to use him too. “You can’t trust him yet, Gervis.”
“Ahh.” Dern smiled, a wormy twist of lips that made his face into a parody of itself. “Dear Corah. Of course. I’m too eager, too careless. Good. Yes. Not yet, but… eventually?”
“It is possible.”
“I knew it.” Gervis clapped his hands together and turned the wiggling smile on the viewing wall. The prisoner shifted on his perch, turned his head in a swivel that brought the eagle to mind again. “Not yet, of course.”
The lilac man found her, somehow, though no vision could pierce the one way wall. His eyes found Corah just the same. They pegged her down, accused her and named her all at once. Betrayer. She heard his thoughts in her own head, through shields that no one had ever breached. Heart.
She heard it in the blood pounding against her temples. Heart.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday

Since I missed WIP wednesday this week, and some great authorly friends of mine partake of Flash Fiction Friday, I decided to hop along for the ride.

Check their great stories out too:

Future Gazing
first published on Romance Flash  website

“I don’t see anything.” She tossed her hair, long, luscious blonde, and frowned at him. The expression set his knees trembling. “Are you sure?”
“It’s tonight,” he said. “I’m certain I read the tables correctly.”
“Well.” She flopped back onto the grass and shrugged. “We’ll see, won’t we?”
Tam nodded, but his hands shook. He bent over the eyepiece and checked the view again. A circle of night sky, a spattering of stars, and no sign of the comet. He sighed. The dials all read correctly. He checked the book on the TV tray they’d lugged outside. Tonight. They should be able to see it by now. He looked through the telescope one more time.
“Joe Milligan said you could only see it in the southern hemisphere.” Lily’s voice tittered from his lawn. Its music was tainted by the whiff of suspicion and by the name of his nemesis.
“Joe Milligan got a B minus in astronomy last term.”
“I know.” Lily leaned back onto her elbows and eyed the sky. “He said he just partied too much.”
Maybe he had. Tam could see them attending the same campus events, Lily had the popularity to fit in with that crowd. She had the looks as well. Tam clenched his fists and shook off the image of her dancing with Joe Milligan. She had too much brains for it, should be able to see through idiots like Joe.
He eyed the tables and re-calculated the viewing angle. Then he tweaked the dials and took another look. Behind him, Lily sighed again. He heard the rustle of her changing position and knew her patience had just about run out. He was going to lose the moment, his moment, and his once chance to impress the girl he’d been in love with since the fourth grade.
“I don’t know, Tam. It’s getting late.” She stood up. He’d blown it.
“Wait, Lily.” He spun around, bumping the TV tray and sending the tables spilling to the grass. He dove to catch them, and his elbow smacked the eyepiece. The scope swung to the left. “It’s tonight. I’m not wrong.”
His papers littered the hillside. His heart cracked as a breeze lifted one and scuttled it farther out of reach. He crawled after it on hands and knees, like a dog, a kicked dog who’d never have another moment alone with the girl of his dreams, who’d hear about her years later. He’d share her future through the town gossip. Did you hear about lily and Joe Milligan? Honeymoon in Tahiti, another baby on the way.
Tam’s throat closed at the thought. His lungs pressed in. He’d left his inhaler by the bed, hadn’t wanted to use it in front of her, to remind her he was the geeky kid next door--still.
Of course crawling down the hillside after his astronomy tables looked so much cooler. God, why did he invite her? Just because she’d always liked the stars, because they’d been able to share that much over the years.
“What?” He sat up and turned back toward the apex. Lily Anderson leaned over his telescope. Her golden hair blocked her face, but she looked through the eyepiece and her voice drifted down the slope to catch him.
“Come back, Tam. I think I see something.”
“Really?” He’d hit the thing pretty hard. It had to be half a sky away from the comet. He stood and brushed his pants free of dry grass, then did his best to climb the hill with a little decorum. “It might be a galaxy,” he said. “What are the readings?”
“It’s the comet, Tam. Look.”  Lily shifted to the side a few inches, but she didn’t move away. When he bent for his turn at the eyepiece, their shoulders brushed. Her hair tickled his forearm.
Tam swallowed hard and closed his left eye. His comet blazed against the circle of sky. Front and center. “How?” He leaned away for a second and caught sight of her grin. He double checked the view. “But, I must have knocked it off a good--”
“Well, you’re not the only one who knows how to work that thing.” Lily whispered right at his side. “It’s not like I haven’t paid attention in class. I got an A.”
Tam turned to find her staring at him. Her eyes had stretched wide, and her lips twisted into an amused little pout. “You didn’t party too much?” He held his breath.
“Not my scene, Tam.”
His heart danced. Their arms still touched, and her eyes narrowed just enough to make him wonder if she hadn’t known all along, if she hadn’t asked about the comet for a different reason. He blinked and imagined kissing her.
“Tam,” she whispered again, his angel.
“You’re hogging the view.”
“Right. Oh! Sorry.” He leaned away, and Lily Anderson squeezed in beside him. She looked at the comet he’d found--they’d found--and only giggled when he put an arm across her shoulders.
“It’s beautiful, Tam, isn’t it?”
The breeze danced across the hill, and sent his tables wandering again. It was late. They had a few more weeks of school. He should pack it in, put the scope away and see Lily home. The lights were still on at Mr. Murray’s house across the street. A few cars slow as they passed two kids on a hillside in the middle of the night.
A honeymoon in Tahiti, another baby on the way.
Tam could imagine the rumors already.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

From the W.I.P.

My new year is just now kicking into gear. I know, right? A bit on the lazy side? Anyway... I am hip deep in a new Work In Progress and have no plans on not being so for the rest of pretty much my life. So, I'm going to try to post at least weekly (probably more) with a little excerpt from whatever it is that I am writing. Trying to make some kind of regular meme/posting/content out of it, but we'll see.

I don't do commitment so well.

For now, however, here is the first installment of From the W.I.P. Today's excerpt is from Eclisped, the third Princes of the Shroud book, my romantic Science Fiction series from Zharmae Books.
Books one and two are available already. Gods willing, book three will join them on schedule.


(disclaimer- from the W.I.P excerpts are from works in progress and therefore not edited or proofed. Please expect errors)

Inhale. Shuffle forward. Mof’s chain buddy passed into illumination, and the official flicked a glance out and back. Not good enough. They needed him looking, paying very close attention. He let the rumble have full rein this time, growled with all his breath, for all he was worth. The slave ahead hurried his feet. The guards’ heads swiveled toward the hold. Mofitan growled like a shadow cat on steroids and stepped, fully upright, into the light.
The slaver emitted a girlish scream and backed into the port official. The cargo manifest, so carefully checked and re-checked, fell to the ground with a sharp, expensive-sounding crack. Mof kept his eyes on his target, on the thin, well-dressed man who was definitely paying attention now. He met those calculating eyes with his own, flicked a half grin for the man’s benefit and then held his chains up between them and flexed once.
Metal snapped. The cuffs came free of one another and it took only one good jerk of his fists to separate the looped chains, to free the other slaves from the futile and blatantly stupid thing he was about to do next. The rain of links rattled against the open hatch. Mofitan growled over the sound, winked at the man he’d bet belonged to Gervis Dern, and then bolted straight into the nearest line of guards.
They should have been fired to a man. He’d never have hired anyone so incompetent in the first place. Spectre’s protection fell away in the face of the lavender giant. They parted courteously and let Mofitan slip between them. Damn. If he got away the whole wretched ruse would be for nothing. If the idiots in Spectre couldn’t catch a rampaging Shrouded prince, why had he come in the first place?
He slowed his feet after passing them, growled in real frustration now and heard, at last, a thin voice shouting orders. Mofitan pretended to flee while avoiding anything truly helpful. He leaped over a motorized cargo sled, ran past at least three dark alleys, and kept himself in the light, visible, as obvious as a man of his size and color could possibly be.
Like a vein of heartsone in a basalt matrix.
Mofitan glowed against the night. He shouted and feigned a stumble. A web of darts landed against his bare back. Electricity fired from the studs, lanced through his body and curved his spine backwards. Pain, lightning through his veins. He howled it out, let his muscle spasms feed Shayd’s mind shield, let it keep his thoughts genuine. Pain and freedom… Shit that hurt.
He fell forward, no pretending now. The electric web embedded in his back zapped his spine again and turned his limbs to jelly. They had a remote on it. The ground slapped against him and he lay on it twitching and imagining what sort of weapon fired a unit like that. Useful. A good non-lethal option. He might look into picking some up if he survived this shit.
They gave him another jolt after he was down. Probably to keep him there. It blazed through already raw nerves and, possibly, made him drool a little. The ground might have been wet before he whacked it. Now, something sticky clung to his face and his body registered the impact of the fall as a dull background to the fire of pain from the dart net.
Perfect really. When they rolled him over, he burbled something he’d meant to be an argument. It came out in bubbles that might have contained blood. Possibly, he’d done his job a little too well. The men glaring down at him didn’t look amused. They shuffled aside for their boss, but someone triggered to jolt again, just to be sure.
Mofitan screamed. His back arched, lifting his considerable bulk from the pavement until only his shoulders and heels touched down. He saw stars outside and inside, and he heard the enemy for the first time, the soft chuckle of a man who he prayed actually worked for Gervis Dern. The stars winked and began to fade. Dark, dark and more dark. A voice snapped like the metal whips of the net in his back.
“Well now. Isn’t this just something.”

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Guest Author: Elle Boca

I have an amazing Urban Fantasy guest today, and I'm super excited that she found us here and wanted to come share her world. Her characters sound seriously original and she's going to give us a little more information about them and her newly released book
Welcome, Elle! Take it away....

Do you wonder how or why it is that some people stand head and shoulders
above others in their work? It there someone you admire especially? Say,
a celebrity, athlete, singer, guitar player, chef or dancer. Perhaps the
person you noticed is not known outside his or her field. It could be
anyone, a dog walker who has a knack for understanding your pet pooch;
an organic farmer with a green thumb, a steak rub maker with an uncanny
ability to match flavors to perfection; an athlete who breaks world
records; or a diver who can do impossible things in the water you.

Perhaps they are Weeia (pronounced way-yah), superhumans who are like
you or me in almost every way except that they have extra abilities.
They live hidden among us unnoticed. Who is Weeia? It's hard to know. It
could be your neighbor, the person behind you at the grocery store, your
banker, boss or doctor, maybe a person you’ve known all your life.
Although many Weeia live in secluded communities, from time to time a
few Weeia choose to live with people, usually in big cities where
they’re most likely to blend in with the crowds. The abilities of Weeia
among us are always explained away. They look like us; they hurt and
bleed like we do. Test their DNA. Go ahead. You won’t find anything

Their superhuman abilities, which vary by type and strength, fall into
four main categories: Emotional, Material, Mental, and Temporal. Weeia,
it’s the same word for one or many, can be Lowes, Medius or Maximus.
Lowes is the most common which might explain how extraordinary beings
have lived on the same planet with ordinary ones for a long time without
anyone, or hardly anyone, discovering their existence.

Weeia abilities are varied, some common and some rare. For example,
there are Weeia who can move so quickly no one sees them. Others heal
hyper fast. Some can read people’s thoughts; pick up impressions from
inanimate objects; or move things with their mind. Others can influence
people and issue commands that must obeyed without fail. Rare Weeia
control reality through dreams or travel in time.

Weeia abilities first manifest in young adults. Something strange is
happening and the most recent generation is not developing abilities the
way they should. Amy McKnight is an exception. Raised as a human, she discovers her true Weeia nature and rare abilities without warning or preparation.


About Elle Boca

Elle is the author of the Miami Weeia urban fantasy series about superhumans. Unelmoija: Paradox, the final book in the series, was recently published. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading. She makes her home with her husband in South Florida. Find her at


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Missed a Release Day!

Well my brain has officially derailed. Call it old age, not enough coffee, brain damage, whatever you like. They probably all apply. The second Princes of the Shroud book is out, and while I think I put it up on the books page. (reminding self to go check) I missed an actual, like announcing it. it is. A day late and....well you get it.

Princes of the Shroud
book two


now available  :)

Rowri is a priestess with prophetic dreams—and she’s dreamt of her soulmate. So when she volunteers to be the gifted bride in a peace negotiation between her own peoples and the Tolfarians, she is certain that the lilac-skinned man in her visions is the Tolfarian leader she is to marry.

But prophecy is never simple, and visions are never clear. Shayd, a seer and one of the Shrouded, is summoned to transport Rowri to her new husband-to-be. When Rowri sets eyes on his lilac skin, she knows she’s made a terrible mistake—one she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life if she wants to save her people and prevent war.

The two are drawn together, and the fates of two races hinge on the decisions they make. On the precipice of volcanic eruptions, galactic terrorism, and mercenary attacks, Shayd and Rowri must give up every hope of happiness for their people, or sacrifice everything for true love.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Decoy Bride Review

Whenever I find a new author movie, it's like a little dose of Christmas time out of season. Even if the flick turns out to be a stinker, it's another title to add to the list, and most days I'd rather watch a so-so movie about writers than not watch one. :)

Though, I'd usually still rather watch Star Trek.

I found The Decoy Bride by accident, someone mentioned it in a thread and didn't really say much about it, so I hunted it up on the suspicion that it might be "authorly." (It was a writer's page that posted the comment.) After I read the movie description, I still wasn't sure. So I popped open the Netflix queue and decided to watch and see.

I'm happy to say, The Decoy Bride, is in fact about a writer... sort of. It's actually about two. Two, awkward, understated, less than successful writers who are sort of thrown at one another by circumstances. Let romantic comedy ensue.

Actually, the romance portion of our film was not my favorite part. I'm not a huge David Tennant fan (I know, I know. You can throw rocks at me later) and the heroine was a tad too desperate, pathetic, etc for me to really latch onto her. That being said, I still enjoyed the movie. It's still worth watching, but the highlights for me fell into the "other" category.

The story itself is a bit predictable, but the side characters, the local quirks, and the island charm were enough to keep me entertained throughout. I love non-American films and this one didn't disappoint by offering a full dose of quirky, dry humor and quaint situations that kept me chuckling and watching with full attention.

It reminded me a great deal of other quiet films like Local Hero and The Matchmaker, and I would definitely recommend it. In particular if you are not handicapped by an irrational lack of Tennant-itis as I am. I actually liked the actress fiance that you were NOT supposed to be rooting for quite a bit. Her character really surprised me. I expected a spoiled, air-headed Hollywood starlet, and while she has some of that for certain, her character really morphed into a show stealer for me, and I found myself really rooting for her romance to blossom more than the main one. Go figure.

It's a cute film, has writing, books, true love etc.
Definitely worth watching.