Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hannukah, Happy New Year...

I could go through the whole list of holiday greetings, but I'm lazy. We'll leave it at that, because I know you are all smart enough to figure out what I mean!

Holidays are good this year. I've been busy working and my schedule is a bit wonky, so haven't worked on revisions in two weeks. Once the holidays are over and things settle around here back to what we laughingly call "Normal", I can get back to it! So excited.

But I wanted to make sure that I wish you all a festive couple weeks, if you celebrate. If you don't, well, I'm sure you'll find a way to pass the time and ignore the rest of us. Still, whether you celebrate or not, be safe out there! Accidents don't care if or how you celebrate the season.

I'll see you all in the New Year! And I'll leave you with a couple funnies:



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review: The Curse Merchant by J. P. Sloan...

Title: The Curse Merchant

Author: J. P. Sloan

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

File Size/Book Length: 1716kb/256 pages

ASIN: B00NLFAYCA

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble (This book was free for a time on Amazon, which is where I got my copy.)


About:

Dorian Lake spent years cornering the Baltimore hex-crafting market, using his skills at the hermetic arts to exact karmic justice for those whom the system has failed.

He keeps his magic clean and free of soul-corrupting Netherwork, thus avoiding both the karmic blow-back of his practice and the notice of the Presidium, a powerful cabal of practitioners that polices the esoteric arts in America. However, when an unscrupulous Netherworker interferes with both his business and his personal life, Dorian’s disarming charisma and hermetic savvy may not be enough to keep his soul out of jeopardy.

His rival, a soul monger named Neil Osterhaus, wouldn’t be such a problem were it not for Carmen, Dorian’s captivating ex-lover. After two years’ absence Carmen arrives at Dorian’s doorstep with a problem: she sold her soul to Osterhaus, and has only two weeks to buy it back. Hoping to win back Carmen’s affections, Dorian must find a replacement soul without tainting his own.

As Dorian descends into the shadows of Baltimore’s underworld, he must decide how low he is willing to stoop in order to save Carmen from eternal damnation… with the Presidium watching, waiting for him to cross the line.

My Thoughts:

Okay, let me just say first of all, that my track record with getting free e-book listings from BookBub has not been the greatest. In fact, 90% of those books need a good editing job, or just need to be recycled.

With that being said, "The Curse Merchant" was NOT one of those books. Holy cow, I got sucked into this book from the start and didn't want to put it down.

Dorian Lake has the exact amount of snark and sarcasm that I love in characters. This book was dark, witty, funny as hell at times. Other times it made me feel something for the characters. I like when I can connect to a character(s)! Makes you feel like part of the story. That's good writing!

Dorian was a great character. I can't wait to read more. The other characters in this story were just as developed as Dorian and near the end, all I have to say is, Karma. You get what you deserve, especially if you ... well, I don't want to do spoilers in this review, so I will leave it at that. If you are looking for a good paranormal read, I highly suggest this! I'd give it more than 5 stars if it was allowed.

My Rating:

Totally 5 out of 5 Skull and Crossbones!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Awesome, Talented Sister-In-Law...


Most of you know my sister-in-law, Cheri Chesley, is a writer as well. I love having a sounding board for stuff and she loves to bounce ideas off of me.

And, not that it's a competition or anything, but she does have a lot more out there than I do.

Darn it.

I'm kidding, I love that she has so much out there. I thought I would help her with a little promotional stuff and do a cover reveal for her Christmas short story that will be available on Friday. I'll reveal THAT cover at the end of this post. You'll have to get through some other links, first.

She has her Peasant Queen series going, which include:

The Peasant Queen:

"After running away from home, Krystal is transported to a faraway kingdom where an evil tyrant is bent on taking the crown - and Krystal's hand in marriage. But when she falls in love with the rightful heir to the throne, she must make an impossible choice: sacrifice her one chance at happiness or face the destruction of an entire kingdom."






The Wild Queen:

"In the exciting prequel to The Peasant Queen, Roweena is the crown princess of Norvallen, a tiny kingdom with only one thing of value—the Healer’s Grove. The trees in this small section of forest are enchanted, giving a sap that can be mixed into potions or salves to heal almost any wound.

And it’s in high demand.

Lucien, the young king of neighboring Demarde, comes to Roweena’s father seeking an alliance, but comes away with a marriage contract for young Roweena’s hand. Furious and stubborn, this untamed beauty vows he will never conquer her. But the contract purposely gives her time to come to terms with her fate.

Before Lucien can return, Roweena’s home is attacked and her parents are murdered. The Healer’s Grove is also attacked—burned to the ground. With nothing more than her horse and the clothes on her back, Roweena goes to the only person she knows can help her. Lucien."


The Tyrant King:

 "Krystal’s peaceful life as queen of Fayterra is shattered when a stranger arrives with a connection to Jareth that threatens to change everything. Soon her loved ones are threatened, her people are under attack, and Krystal must face a devastating loss.

As the future becomes bleaker and the mystery continues to unravel, Krystal’s enemies will learn just how far she will go to defend the people she loves."



She also has a short story called Ghost Bride:

 "Arianne died on her wedding night, but her ghost can't rest in peace."






 And now she has a new short story out called A Haunting Love:


 "When her fiancé, Drew, suggests having their wedding at his family home in the Highlands of Scotland, Alita only thinks about the beauty and romance awaiting her. She’s unprepared for the frosty greeting she and her sister receive from each member of his family, particularly his domineering mother.

But nothing shocks Alita more than the odd, menacing dreams she begins to have her first night at MacColum House. Over and over again she dreams of a grisly murder—with herself as the victim"

She has a children's book out as well, called Lizzie Lilac and the Left Socks, which the proceeds go to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah:

"Little Lizzie treasures her socks, especially the ones her mommy made. When some of her socks start to go missing, Lizzie is determined to find the culprit and get her treasures back. Author’s note: A few years ago, K.C. Rose and I got some devastating news: a sweet friend and mother had an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer. Since I had just launched my first novel into the world, I decided to donate all my royalties for a period of months to the family to help them fight this horrible invader. But it wasn’t enough—we knew we could do more. That’s where the concept of the Lizzie Lilac book was born. This book is not only dedicated to our friend (who is now cancer free!!) and her family, but also to all the families who struggle with this disease. K.C. and I make no profit from sharing this story—everything we raise will go to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah to help them help others. Thank you for being part of our fight. ~Cheri Chesley"

Okay, finally, the one you have been waiting for! This is the cover reveal for her latest short story, which will be available on Friday!





So, see? She's pretty awesome and talented, that sister-in-law of mine. Hmm... now I just need to catch up!

Hope you are all having a good week. What new books do you have out? Please drop a link in the comments!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Beginning Of The Holidays...

Well, I've been revising book two quite a bit. I'm also wanting to work on some of my short stories and revise/edit them and get them out there, too. However, it is the beginning of the holiday madness and I have a seasonal job in retail.

Fun, fun, right? Meh.

I have to work late on Thanksgiving, then again on Black Friday and on the Saturday after as well. So this week affords me two days off. I figure I can do what I can in those couple days. Up until Christmas, things are just going to keep getting busier and finding time to write will become increasingly difficult as well, but I'll muddle through.

I'm looking for artwork to inspire some flash fiction, but that can't be forced either. I'm loving Pinterest. I find some cool stuff there.

Holidays are going to be a little meager this year, what with our move and other things happening right now. We'll make the best of it, we always do. We're spending Turkey Day with our friends and some family here in Washington. Christmas will be spent with family in Oregon, that is, if I don't have to work. Otherwise, I don't know the plans just yet.

Hopefully I'll have a day to myself to spend at a craft fair selling my jewelry. I have a lot that needs to just go!

If you travel for Thanksgiving, be safe and have a wonderful time! What are your plans?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Clark Public Library Authors Meet & Greet...

So Ren Reidy, over at A Little Bit of R & R, shot me an email and asked if I would help spread the word. Clark Public Library in Clark, NJ is having an authors meet and greet. I'll share the info below. If you are in the area, it is a free event.





There will be over 30 authors signing books and meeting readers. Sounds like a cool event to me, and if I were closer, I'd go!

Again, it's free. So help spread the word!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I #Amwriting, I #Amediting...

Things in my writing world are finally taking shape. I currently had some help from a fellow Word Weaver pal. She formatted "Adversarius" for Smashwords. I no longer have vetting errors and I fixed my book cover in Gimp to meet their requirements as well. It is currently being reviewed for Premium Status. Whether or not it passes review, it is now up for sale for all eReaders here.

As my title indicates, I'm editing and revising book two, "Veritas" for publication. Once I've given it the once over, then the twice over, I'll need to find an editor willing to work with me.

I'm also finding that writing my little flash fiction pieces with the artwork is really helping me a lot. I love it. If you haven't seen them, the latest one was on Monday and you can find that one here.

Hope you are all having a good week and I'll see you next time!




Monday, November 10, 2014

Flash Fiction Monday...

Sitting above the city, looking down at the milling crowds, oblivious of the girl high above them. Blood drips from her blade as she contemplates the life she removed from this realm


~ Art by Kim Seung-jin

Friday, November 7, 2014

Slipping Into Writer Mode...


So yesterday and today I sat down at the computer and opened up my Scrivener program to revise book two.

In this last year, I took a hiatus from writing due to my living situation. Now, I have a room dedicated to just computers, writing, gaming, and I'm digging it! I haven't felt like writing much since my move, just because trying to get used to being in our own place once more and living circumstances what they are... Let's just call it a huge adjustment. Again.

But I sat down yesterday and forced myself to revise some of book two. I put on some good writing music, popped on my headphones and got to work. And I worked for two hours. I know, because the music I was playing was on YouTube. Two hours of epic fantasy music sort of thing, you know.

I didn't want to stop. I wanted to keep revising, but I'm trying to pace myself.

In this last year, even though I didn't write on my computer, I did write some things out by hand in notebooks. I read, I wrote and I stepped outside of my fantasy genre. Something I thought I would never do, but I did.

I don't know what has changed.

By change, I mean in a good way. I'm looking to be more concise, more descriptive and my writing is showing my "maturity", I suppose you could say. It's different. I'm reading what I've written before and I'm like, "Hmm... this could be so much better if I wrote it this way. Why didn't I see that before?"

Why didn't I see that before?

Well, I think it is what stepping away from things for a while always does. It offers up perspective. Now, I can't pinpoint exactly what has changed about my writing or when it happened. But I'm embracing the change and I hope it comes through when people read book two of my fantasy series. It won't be the same as book one, I hope. It will be different, but in a good way, as far as my writing skills go.

At least, this is my personal opinion. I'll just have to get it out there for the readers and see what they have to say about it.

Ahh... this feels good.

Have you ever stepped away from a project for a long period of time? What were your results?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Slow Work...

Well, I'm in my new place and back online. Hooray!!  My house is slowly being put together, but my list of things I need just keeps growing. Right now, I've only got one large pan to cook anything on the stovetop. I have a roasting pan and a very large stock pot. Not at all conducive to cooking small meals. I have a microwave, but it can only do so much.

But enough about that. I'm back, I'm in my own place, that is truly all that matters, right? Now I can get back to writing. I even have a whole room dedicated to just computers and work space for jewelry. What more can a girl ask for? Once I find my map of my world, I can get back down to business!

In this last year, I have come up with so many ideas for stories. I just need to apply myself and get to working on them all. My computer screen isn't in my face any more, it's a respectable distance, so I won't be getting headaches. I just can't wait. I'm happy!

I miss you guys and for those of you doing NaNoWriMo this year... Wooohooo!!! Good luck!

Monday, October 27, 2014

If You're Reading This...

Then that means we're in our new place and I have no internet! How exciting! (Haha!)

But that is exactly what this post means. So, as soon as we're able, we'll be getting our internet set up and I'll post once I'm back online.

In the meantime, I hope to get some writing in!

Have a great week, everyone.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Review: Eagle En Garde by Olga Godim

Title: Eagle En Garde

Author: Olga Godim

Publisher: Burst

File Size/Book Length: 1420kb/271 pages

ASIN: B00K4PIH3S

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
(I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.)
 
About the Book:

The kingdom of Talaria is surrounded by a magic-resistant spell. While the king wishes to invite magic back into the country, the fanatical sect of Cleaners is determined to prevent its return. Darin, a mercenary officer, doesn’t participate in the dispute, until he accidentally overhears the Cleaners’ hidden agenda to destroy all magic workers in Talaria, including witches and elves, including assassinating the royal family. Darin can’t allow their treachery to succeed—it would plunge the country into dogmatism and war—but what can a lone mercenary do against a horde of traitors? His only choice lies in trickery and deceit to outsmart his enemies.

My thoughts:

I really, really enjoyed this book. Olga did a bang up job of creating a fantasy world and dragging me along on Darin's adventures! This book kept you moving, as Darin is a busy man, working for the Eagles, a mercenary group. Each adventure takes you through this world that was seemingly effortless for Olga to create. Darin has the right amount of snark and humor. I did not find one spot of the story that lagged at all. The story pulls you in to the pages, the characters are well fleshed out. This was a treat to read. It has something for every fantasy buff out there. I highly recommend this book if you like fantasy.

My rating:

Five out of Five skull and crossbones.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Giving An Update...

Woo! I'm a busy girl! I will be moving this weekend. (And there was much rejoicing. Yay!)

I also just started a part time/seasonal job at Michael's. My dream job, ha! I don't think I will have a paycheck. It's all going to go to craft stuff. Gah!

I'm hoping to be back online rather quickly once we move. I really don't like radio silence much. Or internet silence for that matter. Besides, I can only watch my DVD's so many times before I want to throw the remote out the window.

I've gotten sucked into Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Why have I not seen this show before??? I don't know what I was thinking. I see a lot of me in Lorelai. Oh, the snark and sarcasm. This is totally my kind of show!

Anyway. I just wanted to keep you all posted on what's going on. I'm trying to get my notebooks and writing stuff all situated and packed so I can be ready to write. OH!! I am SO READY to WRITE!!!! I can't wait. AND I'll be able to hang my map up on my wall!!!

*Swoon*

So very excited. I hope you all have a good rest of your week and I'll see you all soon!!

P.S.

Drop by Friday for a book review of "Eagle En Garde" by Olga Hodim. See you then!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Good News...

Well, this last Saturday was my 44th birthday. Woot! I have to say it is the best one so far. The entire weekend was like one continuous gift and I am so, so grateful and thankful for it!

Friday, my hubs had a message on his phone to call the property management place where we've been trying to find a place to live. As far as this whole thing was going, I got so discouraged and bummed out for quite a few different reasons and was about to just throw in the towel. The one place we really, really liked had two people in line for it, so it wasn't looking good. Then another one we found, we couldn't get for reasons I can't talk about on the internet.

I was online last week, posting on Facebook about how defeated I was feeling. So on Friday, when hubs got that message, it was too late to call the office and we both thought, "They're probably just calling us to remind us to put in a new application". But I had a tiny glimmer of hope. I quickly tamped it down, not wanting to feel defeated all over again.

Saturday morning, hubs called. I was still in bed, but, being in this camper, I could hear him on the phone. I suddenly sat up because this call was taking longer than a "come fill out a new application" conversation. When he hung up the phone, he said, "We got it. For whatever reason, the two people in front of us fell through!" I had to go outside to jump for joy for fear of breaking the camper!

Saturday was a big day for us. We put the deposit down on the apartment, I got my free birthday breakfast at Denny's and then we went shopping. The local Habitat for Humanity store is one of my favorite places to shop. We found a couch, a chair and a desk with a hutch we can share for a very reasonable price. Then we had to find some other items and had been depressed by prices, but found the exact items at a locally owned business MUCH cheaper than the other places we were looking. Then dinner and cake and presents back at the house.

Sunday, one of my best friends from high school texted and asked what I would be doing Sunday night/Monday daytime. Found out she was going to be in Portland for a family party! So we went to Portland and spent the night. Hubs went to work while I spent the day with her on Monday.

On Monday, had a great time with my friend and then got a phone call for a seasonal job at Michael's. OMG! Dream job! You all know about my jewelry and I am a crafty girl. Plus, I can teach people! Adults and kids both, especially due to working at the Boy's and Girl's club. So things are looking up! We move in two weeks and then anything can happen! Hopefully, nothing bad. Right? I'm so excited! I can't wait to get back into writing and being a part of this community again. Hooray!!!

Got some good news? Share in the comments!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday...

Well, Friday Funnies may make a comeback. Depending on me, what I can get done. You know. The usual things.

Right now, I'm trying to get things going on my end with writing.

I'm working on revising book two, along with some short stories. I'm also considering taking all those flash fiction pieces I wrote to the artwork and expanding on them. But my list is getting longer and longer!

Not only am I writing, hopefully we'll be moving into our own place mid-October. WOOHOO!!! ::Throws confetti, cleans it up::

Then, sometime in early November, I hope to be at my very first craft fair with my jewelry. Egads! Which means I have to get displays going, make sure I have enough in my inventory. I mean, I have over 100 pieces, but I need some more duplicates to what I've made.

So, back to writing... I'm still learning to outline. I've got notebooks out the wazoo right now, just waiting to be filled with outlines, notes, etc. Got any tips? Advice? I sure could use the help.

Tell me about it in the comments!

Have a good rest of the week, everyone.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Little Musing For You...

When I first started this blog, I had the intent of just writing down some of my random thoughts, using this as an online journal, more than anything.

Now, I look back at it all and I have used it for that purpose, but it is also my platform for my writing. The writing of one book, so far.

That doesn't mean I don't have more in the works, I've stated on here before that I do. But book two should have come along a lot farther than it has.

Now, that has a lot more to do with life, than anything else. As long as I keep moving things forward in my writing, just like in any good story, I'll be all right. But I haven't. I've slacked, I've dropped the ball, and then I ran into roadblocks that flat out prevented me from writing.

Hopefully, this is all going to change. I say hopefully, just because I know how my life tends to go and how my own personal habits are. They aren't as strong as they could be, when it comes to sitting down and writing.

And the honesty of that is harder for me to admit than anything else. It also doesn't help that I'm admitting it to the very community I don't want to let down.

I'll be working with my sister-in-law, partnering up with her every week to help keep each other on track. The two of us seem to always find ourselves in similar writing situations. I believe we can help each other and be each others cheering squad.

I'll be even more honest with you... actually becoming a success at this scares the pee out of me. And more often than not, that is what terrifies me into not writing. But I can't be afraid of it anymore. Not if I want to truly make something of it. So, I hope to get back into the swing of things, stop making excuses, try to sidestep all the speed bumps and roadblocks to the best of my ability and just keep moving my story forward.

Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me and offered up your support!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Flash Fiction Monday...

So I had a streak of creativeness last week and then it filtered out. I got the Change-Of-Seasons-Sniffles, so I wasn't feeling well.

I posted on Facebook that I was trying to find some inspiration and a friend of mine gave me a writing prompt. The goal was 500 words, but again, typing on my phone was more irritating than anything, but the prompt wouldn't leave me:  

"Man wakes up in a well. He is nekkid.. it is raining. 500 words .. go"

So here it is:

Rain dripped down his nose as he lay curled at the bottom of the well. After a moment, it felt as if his body was being pierced by sharp, tiny needles. His eyes fluttered open, reacting in response to the droplets falling on his face. He felt, more than saw, that he was naked and the needles were actually freezing raindrops. He gingerly felt the large lump at the base of his skull. Well, the pain was good, it indicated he was alive and boy, would she be surprised when, and if, he showed up in the morning at the altar. First, he had to get out of this well.

I love how prompts conjure up strong images!

Have a good Monday, everyone! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Tour...

So the lovely Hart Johnson, our very own Watery Tart, invited me to participate in this blog tour. I like the character she introduced last week. Makes me want to read that book when it does come out. If you haven't seen it, you can hop over here to check out her post.

The rules! They are basically this:

MEET MY CHARACTER BLOG TOUR
(the rules) This tour highlights a main character from one of your WIP/recently published or soon to be published work. The person who invites you will have a set day to post. You will post ONE WEEK after that. The authors you tag will post one week after you, and so on.


With that being said, I'm going with Captain Sorcha Lilanthroe, well, because it is Talk Like a Pirate Day! And with that in mind, I figure I'll let Sorcha do the talking while I ask the questions. So here we go! ::Does a crazy Kermit the Frog intro:: Yaaay!
  
Me: What is your name? Are you fictional or historic?

Sorcha: My name is Sorcha Lilanthroe, Captain of the Blue Drake, terror of all the seas...

Me: Erm, yes, yes, I get it.

Sorcha: Well, lass, ye did ask a bloody question. And of course I'm fictional. The only person who hears me is you. ::Snorts::

Me: When and where is your story set?

Sorcha: Iff'n yer talkin' about where I am, well, I'm currently aboard my ship, the Blue Drake. At the moment, it's midday and half the crew is already three sheets to the wind. Iff'n yer askin' what my part in this bard's tale is, then I made the mistake of fishin' a few Nobles out o' the drink. Now they're a barnacle on my backside! We're about to go to battle with a rabid bilge rat called Li'endrin. He's the King, and I use the term loosely, of Relavia.

Me: What should we know about you?

Sorcha: Well, I'm not one to brag, lass. But I have more bounties on my head than I do rats on my ship. Nearly half the kingdoms of this world want me dead. Makes for a very interesting life and I have a wonderful, tropical place where I can hideout and not be disturbed when my crew starts to feel a bit itchy. I'm worried about the effects of my actions. Helping Nobles in not my idea of a good time or a great way to filch some coin. But, I just need to be prepared, make sure I can jump ship when I need to.

Me: So what is the main conflict? What is messing up your life?

Sorcha: Well! I'd like to say it was those bloody Nobles, but truth be told, it's pyrates!! Bloody, flea-ridden sons of goats!

Me: Wait, aren't you a pyrate?

Sorcha: Yes I am! But at least I still have a shred of decency about me. I've only ever attempted to kill another pyrate and now I have half a dozen dogs breathin' down my neck. Why, my own daughter is hells bent on capturing me.

Me: You have a daughter??

Sorcha: Erm, well, yes, I suppose now since that cat is outta the bag, it can't be put back in. Stupid bloody questions.

Me: So what is your goal?

Sorcha: Are ye daft?? Haven't ye been listenin'? To stay alive!

Me: No, there's more than that. Come on.

Sorcha: Bah! I suppose the most important thing is to defeat Li'endrin, make sure I save the skins of my crew and not get caught by some blubbery, pink faced, ungrateful whelp! I don't care what the others have to do, I'm saving my hide first.

 Me: Well, there we have it. That's Sorcha. Thanks, Sorcha!

Sorcha: ::Grumbles and heads for the gangplank::

Me: This is actually from book two. The working title for it is "Veritas", which, of course, is Latin for Truth. I don't have much more about it out at the moment. I've been slowly working on revisions and hope to have it out sometime next year. Hopefully the beginning of the year.

Now I'm supposed to tag other authors in this, so... I can always count on my sister-in-law when it comes to writing! So, I tag Cheri Chesley. Her blog is over here. Check it out and make sure you go back next Friday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Eeek!...

They say it is harder to make a habit, than to break one. I thoroughly agree on that one. I hate to say it, but it was very easy for me to stay off the computer all this time than it was for me to stay on and get things done.

Lazy, some would call it.

However, with my computer monitor literally a foot from my face, well, trust me, after the first dozen headaches, you learn.

It isn't just my writing that has suffered, either. It's my social media, especially my blogging, my gaming, my outlets. I don't remember what most of my World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2 characters look like anymore! Well, I sort of do, I have logged in just to make sure they were still there. But still...

Sadly, having to take a hiatus was my only option. I didn't expect it, or I would have warned all of you. I don't like it, which is why I don't like to talk about it.

But things are looking up! We may be able to find a place to move into by October. I'm so excited! I'll forgo any birthday presents, dinners, etc. to be able to move into our own place again.

ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!!!!!!

::Sighs::

I miss everyone.

Making jewelry has kept me sane. I do love to do that. I've also been writing some stories out by hand. At the very least, getting the major bits written down. There have been days, though, where I just couldn't stand it anymore and just HAD to write, so I sat here and revised book two until my head felt like it would implode.

I do have internet on my phone, now, but responding to blog posts just isn't the same. It takes much longer, and I get frustrated with it very easily.

So catch me up in the comments! Tell me what you are doing! What's the latest? New books? Anything?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Coming Back Around...

I'm trying my best to get back into my old routines. I'll be honest. My writing atmosphere is less than conducive. In a couple of months (hopefully!!!!) we'll be getting our own place and my computer monitor won't be a foot from my face.

That's not an exaggeration.

Due to the location of my computer and monitor, it gives me headaches faster than Legolas can launch an arrow.

But my writing need has been brimming and I'm about to burst if I don't do something!!! I'm frustrated to no end, and I hate coming on here to just whine and complain and spew negativity all over the place.

So forgive me.

I did learn that I could schedule tweets on Twitter. Who knew?! Well, most of you, I'm sure. So it has been a bit of a release for me to sit here for a little while at least and schedule tweets for a couple days in advance.

Book two is SOOOO close to being done. It's been close to being done for some time now! But again, not wanting to sit here and type until I get a migraine, I'm limited.

I do try to sit here and do a few lines a day. Writing, people! Sheesh...

;)

If anything, I'd like to do more of those Fantasy Flash Fictions with the picture attached. I don't like not knowing the artist, and not giving them credit. So I will do my best to start that up again and seek out the artist names to give credit where credit is due.

I miss you all like crazy. ::Sighs::

Thursday, July 31, 2014

So Difficult...

You know how, when you get some really, REALLY good news and you can't share it? The feelings that well up in you, the whole omg-I-can't-sit-still-or-I'm-gonna-just-burst!! feelings?

That's about where I am.

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me spread the word when we needed some funds. No, I didn't get any money, but that's okay, I was not comfortable asking and I know there are others out there who need it more than I do.

The situation was this, though: My daughter and granddaughter suddenly found themselves in a nightmarish situation. Further details will be forthcoming eventually, so I'll leave it at that. Trying to get them both down here and out of the high stress situation they are in now is putting it's toll on me and the hubby, the rest of the family, but it's going to happen.

Things are moving forward really well for some things in our life, and they're not writing related. I wish I could say it was, but it's something we've been waiting for, for a very, very long time. So I took down the GoFundMe campaign, because things are working out. But thank you for your efforts. Thank you for trying to help. It's hard to put yourself out there, ask for help and not give a lot of details.

But I just wanted to let everyone know that things are going to work out, they're going to be okay. It's tough, not being able to tell you all of it. I want to, so, so bad. I will be able to tell you someday and then we can all rejoice and be happy together.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, so again, it is something that is going to drag me away from writing. Kicking and screaming, mind you. I do try to get a few lines edited here and there in book two. I figure if I just keep dropping stones in the jar of water, like the crow in Aesop's Fable, eventually it will rise to the top. The line editing will be done, teeny, tiny bit by teeny, tiny bit.

Miss you all and hope to see you soon.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Spreading The Word...

I'm not trying to make this "All About Me" week, trust me. I am going to offer up a couple of other options here, though.

It dawned on me to use my PayPal for donations and such.

As it stands, my husband and I are trying to get two family members out of an abusive situation. Anyone who can help us, you have our thanks, our appreciation and I am offering up rewards for writers like critiques, proof-reading, editing, etc. I'm also offering up jewelry and/or discounts on some of my jewelry stuff.

If you want to purchase something out right, I have a page on Facebook called Shades of Nightshadow. (Yes, the assassin from my books!)

What you are helping me with:

* Tickets to fly my family members to Washington.

* Helping my husband and I get into a larger place.

* That larger place will be a safe environment. A much needed place where they can get back on their feet and move on.

Why I need your help? Because we only have so much money saved up and this is a bit of a situation where we need to move quickly. We've been blessed with friends who have allowed us to stay at their home, but adding two more people is going to put a strain on everyone. Mainly financial. We'd have all the time in the world to get on our feet if it was just us, but it isn't anymore. So I'm asking for help.

Feel free to contact me directly if you don't want to use the Go Fund Me or PayPal links. I'm a bit desperate, but I can't offer up a lot of private information, either. I wish I could. So my email address is Paridzule.Keep@gmail.com. That is what my PayPal is linked to as well.

Thank you, all of you. Thank you to those who have spread the word! I appreciate it, very, very much.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Little Help From My Friends...

I know my posts here are few and far between, lately. Things are still a bit chaotic in more ways than one.

I share just about everything with you guys, because, well, you're my writing family!

My living situation hasn't changed much yet, and now it needs to more than ever. I have family needing to get out of a bad, violent situation. And as much as it's going to sound like an oxymoron, I need to keep some things private, even though I'm making my needs very public.

I've started a Go Fund Me campaign. I know not everyone will be able to donate, but I would appreciate if you help me get the word out.

You have my thanks in advance and there are some rewards for my writer friends. Hope to see you all soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Finding My Groove...

It's been ages. I know. I hear you whimpering in the corner, having withdrawals of my snark, my dark wit.

It's okay. I'm here to give you a fix. Just a little one, sadly.

My creative processes have been getting derailed. Rather frequently, I might add. Maybe even a little hi-jacked. When we moved from Alaska to Washington, we were given a generous opportunity to stay with friends in a camper in their backyard. We have access to the house, we help clean, cook, things like that. It started out decent. But, as always, a bit of an unplanned, downward spiral. Not for us, mind you, for them. The dad's got stage 4 lymphoma. Both parents are up there in age and the mom is taking care of her spouse as best she can. But it's stressful and there's lots of people in the house.

I've been working on jewelry out in the garage. We all worked to clear up an area where we could paint miniatures, play Dungeons and Dragons, I could make jewelry, etc. Maps are all over the table now. So are paints and figures.

I was writing a little bit here and there, but I have to say... the camper is pretty crowded with me, hubby, the two cats and our computers on the fold down kitchen table. It's comfortable, it's old. Like me. But sitting on the bench/sofa or the bench in front of my computer isn't exactly comfortable for very long. It is better than being up in our friend's room. 3 computers, desks, chairs, a bed and three big people. Meh. It got crowded, it got loud. Well, from our talking and laughing. We all had headphones.

Needless to say, it's been... interesting. However, the good news is, hubby and I are pretty close to getting our own place and hopefully creating some steps to crawl out of our huge hole of money issues. You know, crap. It's a bit of an overwhelming experience, I have to say. The whole move, me becoming a grandmother, my son graduating and both kids out on their own.

We've transitioned slightly, but soon it'll be me and hubby on our own and we haven't had that in a very long time. Well, he hasn't had that in a while, me... I haven't been on my own in well, 43 years.

It's either been kids or parents or whatever. Plus the fact that we have to start from scratch since we left (got rid of) so much stuff. It's all stuff that affects me, my creative processes. I can't focus much on more than one thing at a time, let alone just one thing at a time. So hopefully, things will smooth out in a few months. I'm still line editing, writing on my other stories, making jewelry and drawing. I have to do something creative or I go crazy, I tell ya!

But I miss my blogger peeps most of all. My support, my community, my kindred souls. I hope you are all well and hope to see you all soon, more often!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fantasy Flash Fiction...

The two brothers met and clashed on the battlefield. Each fought with a ferocity unmatched by any other warrior. Each fought for their claim of the land, their honor, and the one woman they both loved. Many wars had been fought over lesser slights than this. Many had been fought over greater insults than this, but most wars started by two men setting their sights on one woman of undefined beauty. More often than not, the reason would be swept over with politics and other, more genuine reasons, but the heart of most wars started in the heart.



Artwork found on a fantasy wallpaper site, artist unknown at the moment.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fantasy Flash Fiction...

Surrounded! They kept advancing, even after she fired her last arrow, dulled all but her last blade. Now, with nothing left but a staff and dirk, the odds were against her. She wouldn't let them take her without a fight. She'd use her bare hands if it came down to it, without a doubt, until her last breath.



 ~Artwork by Yulin Yao.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Some New Writing...

I've worked a little bit on my second book, going through it, editing and all that. I sent it out to several of my friends and betas asking for their help and got some really good feedback on it. Now I'm tearing it up, line by line, polishing it to as much perfection as I can muster. It's slow going, but it is going.

I got involved in writing something else, though. I recently had some really good ideas for (and yes, I know how hypocritical this is going to make me look) paranormal/romance. Not a lot of emphasis on the romance, but it is in there, so I have to acknowledge it.

I've had this story in my head for some time. Even started a notebook with all the details I would need to get it started and I keep writing up notes. I even started to write it out, but it didn't sound right. I couldn't get the voice right. It sounded too... BLAH!

So I opened up a new file the other night, with the intent of writing down something fun. I needed to kick-start my writing, get me in the mood. Well, I ended up writing on this story in first person.

I've never written in first person before.

Hell, I've never written paranormal or even romance before.

Yes, I have vampires.

NO, they are not sparkly nor are they cuddly.

I'm having fun with it. It'll be interesting to write it and get all the info in there that I want.

But I'm writing. It's helping alleviate some stress. The jewelry I work on is my other therapy. Things have just been topsy-turvy around here. That will all change again, soon. For the better. It just takes time. Have a good rest of the week, everyone!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fantasy Flash Fiction...

Here is another piece of flash fiction for you, including the picture that prompted it. Enjoy!


The remains of the Old Gods seemed to watch silently as the heroes passed. They had ventured once to the earth, wanting to better acquaint themselves with the beings they created. However, those beings were primitive and, not understanding who the deities were, waged war and slaughtered their creators. The Gods were weak in their Avatar state, even though they were giants. Once killed, their essences remained, haunting this lonely mountain pass.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fantasy Flash Fiction...

Another Monday, another week. But here is something to help ease you into the workdays.



They stood back to back, weapons at the ready. One of the beasts charged from the darkness. Syl raised her sword, attacking when it got close enough. A howl of pain resounded through the forest as she bloodied her blade, and others encroached on the clearing.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ramblings...

I have not adhered to my normal blogging schedule, and for that, I apologize. Life is hectic, jewelry has taken control of this vehicle I call Life. But I am getting to a point where that is slowing a bit. Just enough to give me some breathing room.

I'm doing line edits to book two when I am able to, I promise, it's getting there!

I can't say whether or not I will get back to regular blogging, but I do know it won't be for some time. so thanks for hanging in there and putting up with me. I know you'll all be here when I return. I do read your comments, even as I am just hopping on to check things "real quick". I don't always have time to answer, and I don't leave many comments on other blogs any more all due to time constraints.

I miss you all horribly. If I can keep up with the flash fiction fantasy stuff, I will. But as it looks right now, I may not.

Wish I could offer up more of an explanation, but, well, it is what it is.

Miss you all and see you soon!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fantasy Flash Fiction...

It's Monday! I know, nothing to be happy about, but here is something to help boost your creative minds for the week.

~Artwork by Steve Bolduc
There wasn't much more Urnf could do these nights. Shunned from his brothers, chased out of human cities by torches and swords, he decided it was best to find some other hobby. Pickings had been slim for adventurers in need of something to slay, or even to hire him for muscle. Sighing heavily as he came to terms with getting older, Urnf plucked the catgut strings on his guitar. The music, such as it was, made even the bravest of nighttime creatures flee, seeking some other place in the forest for the night.



Monday, May 5, 2014

Just A Little Something Extra...

Well, now that the April A-Z Blog Challenge is over, I can share some things with you. April tends to take up a lot of my creativity and time, so extra posts were just out of the question.

Over on Facebook, I was invited to be an Admin on "The Fantasy Tavern" page. One thing I have really enjoyed doing over there is adding fantasy artwork with a short 'caption'.

By caption, I mean flash fiction. Some of the artwork was pulled from wallpaper sites, I have yet to research the artist. But if the artist is known, I will list it.

So I thought I would share some of them with you now that the A-Z is over. Enjoy!


"They stood like stoic statues, forming the line, the barrier the enemy would have to break through. They were the King's Protectors. If they fell, so would the King, and none of them wanted that shame and disgrace tainting their families while they passed on into the Afterlife."

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z Is For Zweihander...

Well, it's the last day. I made it! Maybe not with enough armor components, but certainly with weapons. I'm fascinated by medieval history. I love writing fantasy, because I stick to that era and mix in my own imaginative details. I hope you've enjoyed my Medieval Weapons and Armor from A to Z posts!

Zweihander
Zweihander - (German for "two hander") is a two-handed sword primarily of the Renaissance. It is a true two-handed sword because wielding it requires two hands, unlike other large swords that also can be used with one.
The Zweihänder swords develop from the longsword of the Late Middle Ages and became a hallmark weapon of the German Landsknechte from the time of Maximilian I (d. 1519) and during the Italian Wars of 1494–1559. The Goliath Fechtbuch (1510) shows an intermediate form between longsword and Zweihänder.
These swords represent the final stage in the trend of increasing size that started in the 14th century. In its developed form, the Zweihänder has acquired the characteristics of a polearm rather than a sword. Consequently, it is not carried in a sheath but across the shoulder like a halberd. By the second half of the 16th century, these swords had largely ceased to have a practical application, but they continued to see ceremonial or representative use well into the 17th century. Some ceremonial zweihänder, called "bearing-swords" or "parade-swords" (Paratschwert) were much larger and weighed about 10 pounds.

If I saw someone coming at me with that sword, I don't know if I would turn tail and run due to the size and the strength needed to wield it, or stay and fight because they'd be slow! Hope you all ended the challenge on a high note. And congratulations to you for completing the month!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y Is For Yumi...

Well, here we are in the last two days. I have been unable to find armor components that begin with X, Y or Z, but I have found weapons to finish out the challenge. So here we go with Y!

Yumi
Yumi - is the term for Japanese bows, and includes the longer daikyū and the shorter hankyū used in the practice of kyūdō, or Japanese archery. The yumi was an important weapon of the samurai warrior during the feudal period of Japan.

Yari
Yari - is the term for one of the traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a spear, or more specifically, the straight-headed spear.

All right! That's it for today. I will see you all tomorrow for the final post and letter of the challenge.

Monday, April 28, 2014

X Is For Xiphos...

Well, I certainly did my best to find some sort of armor component to represent the letter 'X' for today. Don't think any such thing exists. At least not in my scope of research, but I do have a weapon for you! Happy blogging and see you all tomorrow!
Xiphos


Xiphos - is a double-edged, single-hand sword used by the ancient Greeks. It was a secondary battlefield weapon for the Greek armies after the spear or javelin. The classic blade was generally about 50–60 cm long, although the Spartans supposedly started to use blades as short as 30 cm around the era of the Greco-Persian Wars. The xiphos sometimes has a midrib, or is diamond or lenticular in cross-section. It was generally hung from a baldric under the left arm. The xiphos was generally used only when the spear was discarded for close combat. Very few xiphoi seem to have survived.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W Is For White Armor...

Wow! W... already. This month seems to go by faster when I do the A to Z challenge. Very zippy. Okay, here we go!

An example of Black and White armor
White armour - or alwyte armour, was a form of plate armour worn in the Late Middle Ages characterized by full-body steel plate without a surcoat. Around 1420 the surcoat, or "coat of arms" as it was known in England, began to disappear, in favour of uncovered plate. Areas not covered by plate were protected by mail sewn to the gambeson underneath. Black and white armour is a different term, for late 16th and 17th century armour that uses a contrast between highly burnished "white" and unpolished "black" areas for decorative effect in large bold patterns over the armour.

War Scythe
War Scythe - A war scythe is a kind of improvised pole weapon, similar to a fauchard, usually created from standard scythes.The blade of the scythe is transformed so as to extend upright from the pole, thus forming an infantry weapon practical both in offensive actions against infantry and as a defensive measure against enemy cavalry.

All right, that's it for today. I will see you all on Monday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

V Is For Vambrace...

Today's corresponding letter is 'V'! For Vendetta... no, just kidding. It's for Vambrace, today.

Vambrace
Vambrace - Forearm guard. May be solid metal or splints of metal attached to a leather backing. Developed in antiquity but named in the 14th century. Vambrace may also sometimes refer to parts of armour that together cover the lower and upper arms.

Voulge - A
Voulge
voulge (occasionally called a pole cleaver) is a type of polearm that existed alongside the similar glaive in medieval Europe. Superficially, a voulge might strongly resemble a glaive, but there are some notable differences in construction. First, the attachment of the voulge blade to the shaft was usually done by binding the lower two thirds of the blade to the side of the pole; the glaive would often have a socket built into the blade itself and was mounted on top of the pole. In addition, while both had curved blades, that of the voulge was broad and meant for hacking, while that of the glaive was narrow and meant more for cutting. A voulge thus looks something like a squashed bardiche, or just a meat cleaver attached to a long pole.

That's it! We're getting down to the wire (and difficult letters) now! Happy blogging and see you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U Is For Umbo...

Well. Today's corresponding letter is a bit tough, I'll say that much. But I do have something for you!

Umbo
Umbo - Shield boss that covers the hand as it holds the grip.

Unfortunately, that's about it, but it does cover both the armor and weapon aspects I have been aiming for. Shields protected the fighters, and if you lost your sword, you certainly had a nice rounded piece of metal with which to bash your opponent.

Happy blogging, all! I'll see you tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T Is For Tassets...

Well, we're getting down to the wire here, folks. I'm so glad you've all enjoyed my A to Z posts so far. Sadly, you don't get a lot of my wit and snark because I'm getting my info off of Wikipedia... I'll have to make up for it all at a later date. Lucky you!

So today we have T's! Here we go!

Tassets
Tassets - Tassets are a piece of plate armour designed to protect the upper legs. They take the form of separate plates hanging from the breastplate or faulds. They may be made from a single piece or segmented. The segmented style of tassets connected by sliding rivets produced during the 16th century is also known as almain rivets.

There isn't much else in the way of armor and weapons that start with a 'T', but this is my favorite weapon:

Trebuchet
Trebuchet - A type of catapult that was used as a siege engine in the Middle Ages. It is sometimes called a counterweight trebuchet or counterpoise trebuchet, to distinguish it from an earlier weapon called the traction trebuchet, which employed pulling men working the mechanism.
The counterweight trebuchet appeared in both Christian and Muslim lands around the Mediterranean in the 12th century. It could fling projectiles weighing up to 350 pounds (160 kg) at or into enemy fortifications. Its use continued into the 15th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder.

I think of siege weapons and I get all kinds of warm fuzzies inside. I think I was born in the wrong time period. I would have been a terror! All right, see you all tomorrow!



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S Is For Sabaton...

All right! S it is! And I'm trying to find other armor parts that have yet to be covered. There are only so many helms I can post about and trust me, there are a lot of variations of helms!

Sabaton
Sabaton - Covers the foot, often mail or plate. Fourteenth and fifteenth century sabatons typically end in a tapered point well past the actual toes of the wearer's foot, following fashionable shoe shapes of the fourteenth century. Sabatons of the first half of sixteenth century end at the tip of the toe and may be wider than the actual foot.

Schynbalds
Schynbalds - These were an early experiment in plate armour for the lower leg. Schynbalds were metal plates strapped over chausses. Each schynbald was a single piece of steel that covered the front and outside of the shin. Schynbalds did not enclose the lower leg: hence, they were not true greaves. Schynbalds first appeared during the late thirteenth century and remained in use during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Spaulders  - Are pieces of armour in a harness of plate armour. Typically, they are a single plate of steel or iron covering the shoulder with bands (lames) joined by straps of leather or rivets.
Spaulders

Sai -  Is a traditional weapon used in the Okinawan martial arts. The basic form of the weapon is that of a pointed, prong shaped metal baton, with two curved prongs called yoku projecting from the handle. Sai are generally used in pairs.
Sai

Shuriken -  is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that was generally used for throwing, and sometimes stabbing or slashing. Shuriken is the name given to any small-bladed object, while shaken is traditionally used to indicate the well-known "throwing star".



Shuriken
They are sharpened hand-held blades made from a variety of everyday items, such as needles, nails, and knives, as well as coins, washers, and other flat plates of metal.

And that's it for today! See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Why I've Been Distracto Girl...

Yes, I've been seriously distracted these past few weeks. I am trying to make sure I get my daily posts out, so in truth, this has really been a challenge for me!

But I do want to share with you what has been keeping me from remembering posts, as well as working on revisions. Hubby got laid off from work again, and I'm trying to help bring in some supplemental income, so I am doing jewelry again. Now that my hands allow it, I'm finding it very therapeutic.

So here are some of the things I've been working on:

Earrings
I have wire wrapped earrings. Lots of different colors in this style. Some are dark brown wire, others are silver.

Ear Cuffs
I've also been working on ear cuffs. These are pretty simple, done in copper. But I do have some I'm working on that will have dangly bits. (Ha!) I also have some plans to make earrings attached to the cuffs.

I've made a lot of pendants. Lots of wire wrapped ones, chain mail ones.

Pendants
Some are pretty extravagant, some are simple. I've even put dice in spiral cages for necklaces and keychains. I spoke to a guy here, locally, that owns a game shop and he's willing to sell stuff on consignment. I can't wait to bring in some of my inventory!

Chain mail dice pendants/keychains
I've made rings, bracelets. I have my Fairy Potion bottles and my mana and health potion earrings and necklaces. So yeah, I've been a busy girl. If you want to drop by my Facebook page, you can see everything there. I'm working on opening an Etsy store soon. Wish me luck!
Bracelets





More pendants


Rings

Even more pendants
Wire wrapped necklaces


Mana and health potion earrings/necklaces

Fairy potion bottles