Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Hard To Be Humble...

Unless of course you're a writer.

I don't think I've met an egotistical writer. At least not an up and coming one. Not that published, established authors are egomaniacs. They're confident in their craft.

As an unpublished author, hopefully soon to be published, I can be confident. Egotistical... not so much. Yes, this is my "baby" I am presenting to the world. People will be kind but some will be downright mean. Let's face it, if people don't like a book and get to write a review, they get to hide behind their computer monitor and be as snarky as they want.

It is sort of like having another kid. You give birth to it, raise it and send it out into the world hoping you have done a good job. That this child will be a productive member of society.

While your book isn't your child, you certainly are presenting it to the world. Your name is all over that book and what's inside is a complete and total representation of... wait for it... YOU.


So now it begs the question: Did you represent yourself well?

Doesn't matter if you are self-published or went through a publisher. Did you represent yourself well? Did you polish that work to a shine? Did you edit, revise and edit again? Did you send it out to people? Did you get feedback? And most importantly... did you listen?

I'm learning that while I may be a good writer, I STILL have room for improvement. I think back to when I started writing and let me just say: WOW.

It's like looking back at my artwork from when I was a kid to now. The scribbling outside of the lines to working my butt off for perfection.

So, I can sit here before you and say, "Man, I love my characters!" or "I love this part!" and it won't come across as egotistical. At least I hope it won't. I'm just proud of the work I have done and will be just as proud when I am published and see my name on the cover. Just like I would be proud of my own kids.

Are you proud of what you've done?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Show Don't Tell...

I've recently had my eyes opened to lots of different things I do in my own writing. Things that, now that they have been pointed out to me, are much easier to spot.

One of the things I tend to do is show the reader what is happening rather than telling them. Things that are vital to a good story. I've recently come across a couple of books where showing and telling were very blatant. It made me frustrated while reading. In one instance, the author told the reader of dialogue happening but no dialogue ensued. It was really rather frustrating. So I'm being very careful now to make sure that I don't irritate my readers in this fashion.

Another thing I came across was point of view switches that happened in such rapid succession that it was very hard to keep up with the story in some places.

Its funny how, when working on these things myself, they crop up in other books more frequently. I'm glad I am taking on this task of re-working my books and gaining so much knowledge that I grow in my own writing. I think of all the advice I can give to authors out there who, after having faced numerous rejections, is to look at exactly what is being said about your work by others and fix it.

I've been so impatient at times I want to just throw my hands up in the air and say forget it, I'm going to self-publish. But what good will that do me? If I try to go the traditional route and get the feedback I need to grow and learn as a writer, I'm harming myself more than anything.

I have nothing against self publishers. I know several authors who have gone the route of traditional publishing, rejected over and over and who do follow the advice of others. Even after polishing their work to a blinding shine, they're still rejected and go the way of self-publishing and are very successful. So for some it has worked.

For me, though, I'm realizing more and more that I still have so much to learn that going the traditional way is what will teach me these things. I need the rejection and feedback to better myself. After that, who knows? But I am confident that I am learning quickly and will have no problem finding a home for my books. But only when the time is right.

So I hope those authors out there who have been so impatient as to just rush their diamond in the rough read this and think a bit longer and heed the advice given. Revise, edit, repeat!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Winner Of Elf Killers...

So with the help of, I drew a winner for the giveaway!

And the winner is:

Christina over at Diaries of a Sunflower!

Congratulations! Drop me an email, Christina and I will send off your free copy of the eBook, Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: Rise of the Raven by Steven J. Drennon...

Hey guys, for those of you who don't know... My Chaotic Ramblings has moved over to Wordpress. So when I do a book review over there, I will link it for you.

I just did a review for Rise of the Raven by Steven J. Drennon.

There's the link. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sunday Funnies...

So since I didn't post up any fun pics on Friday, I thought I would make up for it today. So below are some funny pics to tickle your funny bone before going back to the grind of Monday.


A bit of fantasy fun..
And kitties...

Friday, August 26, 2011

2011 Chesley Award Winners...

I'm fore going my usual Friday post to bring you this:

2011 Chesley Award Winners

Now... I must really be out of the loop or something must be seriously wrong with my head to have never heard of these before. I feel so ashamed.

Not just because of the name, but because of the beautiful artwork!! I wish I were rich enough to commission one of these artists for my books.

Le sigh.

Oh well. Enjoy the artwork!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Forget...

I'm still holding that Giveaway for Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps. You can access the review HERE. That is where you should leave the comment as well to enter into the drawing.

Now I have heard some feedback about my supposed-to-be-simple giveaway and I am willing to compromise for the moment.

If you will tweet, re-post or post to Facebook, I'd appreciate it. However, it will still gain you one entry into the drawing. Those that have already posted a comment should not have to go back to do these things just to get their entry. I am trying to be fair.

Also, do my poll and let me know what you prefer. Of all the giveaways in the blogosphere and the fact that lots of people talk in their posts of how time consuming most giveaways are, I thought I was doing something good.

Duly noted. I will make sure my next giveaway allows for more entry chances.

Thanks everyone and have a great day!

Hi, My Name Is Mel...

Hi everyone, my name is Mel and I'm a fantasy author.

{Hi Mel!!}

I've been writing fantasy since I was about nineteen years old.


I took a break from writing when I was married to my first husband. Yes, I've been married three times.


In my spare time, when I'm not writing, I dress up like an Elf from Lord of the Rings, gather the family to act out scenes from movies like Willow or even Star Wars. If we feel really rowdy, we act out Harry Potter.


I also play online role playing games like World of Warcraft, text based games like Legends of Cosrin and sometimes Oblivion. I also play paper Dungeons and Dragons as well as Magic the Gathering.

There are times when we'll make foil hats and stare up at the sky looking for UFO's or scan the sky through our telescope.

See, I have no life and have entered the 12 step program for fantasy authors and I'm really not looking for your pity, just your support.


Hehe! On a serious note, this is just me being sarcastic and snotty because I am getting tired of the pity I receive from people when I tell them that I write High Fantasy.

Why has this genre been the black sheep of the family? Why... why do I get the "Aww, I'm sorry" head-tilt? Why can't I be given the same courtesy and respect another author gets when they say they write ... well anything other than fantasy?

I feel like they're looking at me as if I have grown a second head. (No, that's sci-fi.)

If you write YA, you're cool. If you write Horror, you're bad ass. If you write Romance, you must be good in bed.

Fantasy or sci-fi? Psshhh.... forget it. They practically grab you by your collar and your jeans and chuck you out into the mud. Then slam the door in your face.

Am I the only one who feels this genre prejudice? Is it just me, as a person? Didn't know my deodorant wasn't working, my bad.

Tell me some of your experiences when you tell people what you write. I'd like to know!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sex Vs. Violence...

Seems this topic has been cropping up all over lately. I had a post all ready to go and decided against it because I didn't want to piss people off.

Before I post this, though, let me just say that all of this is just MY OPINION and I don't want to force it down everyone's throat. I'm not going to tell you how to write your book, but comments have been cropping up and I am going to add my two cents.

First of all, I get a little miffed when I read a blog about these subjects saying that Americans are all over violence like white on rice but will send hate mail to authors who use sex in their stories. It isn't just Americans, people, let's be honest, shall we?

Now ... me, personally, I can do without sex in most stories. I say MOST because there are stories where, face it, it's gonna happen. I'll skim over it because even though it might be crucial to the plot and keep the story moving forward or it's a breakthrough for characters, I still don't want to see it.


Because to me, sex is a personal, private thing. It is to be shared, enjoyed, etc. between two people and not made to be a public display. Seriously, I'd get pissed if I were walking down the street and saw two people going at it like rabbits in some alley. I don't want to see anyone's bits but my own and my husbands.

Call me a prude. I'm not, but I know that's what most will think. Go ahead.

Violence in stories... well I am able to admit I have some violent scenes, pretty descriptive ones at that. I could sit here and tell you war is hell, you have to show those scenes. How else would I be able to get the point across that my female assassin is bad-ass?

Those same arguments can be used for sex in stories too. Okay, fine.

I have a theory on this... mind you it is just a theory and probably will have more holes than swiss cheese.

Violence and sex are two very primal urges/needs. As a whole, we're being bombarded by violence in the news, movies, all sorts of media. It is a drive. People are getting desensitized by violence.

Sex has been kept from the mainstream medias for whatever reasons and we're just now getting bombarded by it more and more. Things take time to be accepted.

While violence doesn't make me bat an eyelash (unless I'm the victim or perpetrator) sex makes me cringe (again, unless I'm involved and in the privacy of my own home). I can't watch a really interesting TV series without having sex shoved in my face. If I wanted something to do with sex, I'd go rent porn. But if I am reading a well written piece of literature, sex just throws it all out of whack. Same with a TV show or movie. (I hated the Star Wars.. episode II?... that had all the mushy love stuff between Padmae (sp?) and Anakin... I was there for action!!) It's like, come on let's get this over with... fade to black or something PLEASE!

Now days, though, when I have read books or watched shows or movies to make sure my kids weren't going to be subjected to it all, they'd roll their eyes. They already know about sex and violence is everywhere. Well, now they're older teens and I don't have to monitor it so much. But neither sex nor violence phases them that much.

However, there are still lots of people out there who don't like either shoved in their face whether it be books or movies or TV. People, and when I say people I mean authors, are just going to have to cope with the fact that this is going to be a touchy situation no matter what.

I buy books for the story. I watch movies for entertainment and ignore the sex. I watch TV shows for the same reason. I don't like it, but there isn't a blessed thing I can do about it.

I read YA books to avoid all the sex. I'm missing out on some good stories because of this, so I break down and read these books that are being highly praised and gloss over the sex parts. It is just something I do. It does effect my opinion of books, movies and TV, but again... this is just MY OPINION.

The sad thing about all of this is, sex sells. People will pick up a book with sex in it more often than one without. Tell me I'm wrong. Sure people might be sending out hate mail about sex being in a book or movie or TV show, but does it stop them from buying that laundry detergent whose ad had sexual undertones?


Sex sells almost everything these days. The only time you will not see sex in an advertisement is if it is for some life-saving drug or if it has to do with baby products. Oh... or death. Unless of course you're dealing with necrophiliacs. Give it time, though. Sex will completely and totally saturate the media marketing and advertising and soon enough people will be desensitized to that as well. Sad, that it will get to that point. But then advertisers might actually have to get clever and try to sell their product on its own merits instead of that plastic surgery blonde bombshell writhing all over it.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, I don't mind a discussion. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Missy's Reads & Reviews 1000 Followers Giveaway...

Missy's Reads & Reviews

I love a good giveaway. I love swag. What can I say, I'm a pirate.

There isn't much more to tell you other than to get over here and check it out.

Missy's Reads and Reviews 1000 Followers Giveaway

Marketing Medias...

So I've been on Twitter a lot more lately. I have to admit, while I was a little skeptical about it, it's become pretty fun.

I've actually been "re-tweeted" twice now. Just silly random things. But it was an odd feeling. You mean to tell me that something I said was funny enough or "cool" enough to be re-tweeted.


I've been utilizing it much more, following more people and more are now following me. I even have a few new blog followers. Welcome! Especially if you came over from Twitter.

Facebook is another cool social media to use, but like everything else it takes a lot of work. I find I spend quite a bit of time tweeting and updating my status to keep things going on the web.

My blog gets lots of traffic, so does my FaceBook and now my twitter as well. What's next? My website. Hehe! It might be a free site at the moment, but someday I will be a Dot Com. Woot!

Okay so I extended the Giveaway for Elf Killers to Monday August 29, 2011. Details are simple. Leave a comment on the review if you want to be entered into the drawing for a copy of the eBook. I'll post the winners like that following Tuesday. Spread the word!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Giveaway & Review: Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps...

Hey everyone! This is the review I promised of Elf Killers. If you want to receive a copy of this book in my GIVEAWAY here is what you have to do:

Comment to this post. One entry per comment and sorry, multiple comments will not garner you additional entries.

Yep, that's it. Easy peasy, right? Of course! I'll announce the winner on Wednesday August 24, 2011.

Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps:

Product description (Courtesy of

It is the very worst time to be in the woods.

Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper.

Dyr's plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.

But on the way, Dyr's brutes stumble across Oisin's gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.

Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?

My thoughts:

Elf Killers is a fast-paced, descriptive ride of emotional turmoil and flight or fight drama right from the get go.

As the young Elves are gathering their seedlings to head off to a new land to regroup and recoup their numbers after being hunted by the Elf Killer trolls for so long, they're attacked once more to be thrown into the cook-fires.

Not knowing if all of the young Elves are dead or alive, the elder Elves have no choice but to sail away for distant lands on schedule, sacrificing the few young ones to save the even fewer of the race.

Carol and Tom provide a glossary in the back of this epic fantasy because of the Trollish language and the Elves Gwaelic speech. If you want to understand the book a little more in-depth, I suggest you read through the glossary first. At the beginning, it was a little difficult for me to get in to simply because the Trollish threw me off guard. Being an avid fantasy buff, though, I was not going to let that deter me.

The book is full of rich, imaginative scenery, Elves (which I absolutely adore and love anyway) and beautiful names, unusual creatures (more so than the Elf Killer trolls) and of course unicorns and Sprites. There is much to learn about this world, which I felt I was only given a bare glimpse of, because the pace was heart racing and the need for survival at the fore-front. But even with such a fast rush, I found the book difficult to put down and the authors found time to show that love can blossom, even in the most harsh of situations.

There were a few errors in the book, but nothing so bad as to throw you off the trail of the story. This book is well written, detailed and smooth. Once you get immersed in the Trollish language, you get the gist of what's going on and can't wait for ... well I can't tell you!

If you like epic fantasy, you will like Elf Killers. A sound story of good versus evil, overcoming all odds in adverse conditions and survival of the fittest.

My Skull and Crossbones rating:

Four solid Skull and Crossbones. What can I say, I'm a pirate and a sucker for fantasy.

Available Here:

Amazon $5.99 Kindle Version
Smashwords $5.99

Okay, now leave your comment below to be entered in the drawing. Winner will be announced Wednesday August 24, 2011. Thanks!

{Edit~ I will leave this giveaway open longer. New drawing date will be Monday, August 29, 2011. Thanks!}

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This And That...

Well, I had a scheduled post ready for today and ended up deleting it. Sometimes my soap box rants can irritate people, so I just let it go.

For those of you who are curious it was about sex in the fantasy genre. Not sexual fantasy, mind you. Just plain old epic, dungeons and dragons, Lord of the Rings style fantasy. I don't like it.

But on that note, I'll just gloss over it and move on. I've been revising, revising, revising! I'm getting there and now I have to change my word count status as well as book title over in my sidebar.

I used to absolutely HATE editing and revising. I still sort of do, but I realize more than ever now just how important it is. I mean, I am looking back on stuff I have written with new eyes and realizing... Wow, I left out a lot of detail just to get the main meat of the story down.

So am I having a change of heart over editing and revising? Eh, sort of. It is still redundant, it still irritates me because I want it done and over with right NOW! but I know that won't happen.

Writing is hard work. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You have to be dedicated to your craft if you want your story to sell. Yes, I know, people all over the blogosphere have said those very words over and over again and now I am repeating them.

Writing every day still is not possible for me, but when I do sit down and write, I get on a roll and end up writing every day even if it is only ten words. I had gotten to the point, before surgery, where I was writing while making dinner. Especially if I had to set the timer. That was awesome!

So I will be changing my little status bar over on the right side of my blog. I have also removed the word verification for comments. I hope to catch any and all spam, but who knows. I want more comments, I know how busy people are when reading blogs and a verification just slows everyone down. Including myself when I read other blogs.

Hope you have all had a safe, fun weekend and have a super week. Don't forget: Tomorrow is my review of Elf Killers along with a giveaway of the book! One comment on the review page is your one entry into the drawing. Multiple comments does not mean multiple entries. Sorry. Just trying to make it simple and fair!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: Griffin's Daughter by Leslie Ann Moore...

Since I got my Kindle from my wonderful hubby I've been enjoying it immensely!

The first book I bought was my sister-in-law, Cheri Chesley's book, "The Wild Queen". That was a no-brainer purchase.

Since my funds were limited, though, I started browsing all the free eBooks out there and came across "Griffin's Daughter" by Leslie Ann Moore. I think someone here in the blog world that I follow must have reviewed it at some point because it sounded familiar. But I follow LOTS of blogs and almost ALL of them do reviews.

So here is mine! Lol!

Product description (courtesy of

BORN BETWEEN TWO cultures, a young woman searches for acceptance. An ancient evil searches for her. A young girl lives as a social outcast due to her mixed human and elven blood. To escape an arranged marriage, Jelena flees into the unknown on a quest to find her elven father. Her journey takes her on an unexpected adventure of magic, danger, and most startling of all - true love. 2008 IBPA Ben Franklin Award for Best First Fiction

My thoughts:

I could not put this book down. Leslie Ann's descriptions were great. The story was smooth and seamless. My only regret is I did not purchase the YA version of it and ended up getting some steamy sex scenes. Sorry people, but sex in fantasy? Puhleeze.... this is a bit much. (It is also a soap box rant for another day.) I am not a prude, but I just get irritated with the "sex sells" crap. Okay, so part of my soap box rant made it in here...

Aside from that, the characters were good and likeable. I connected with them right away. Jelena is sweet and feels like no matter where she goes in life, whether it be human population or Elven population, she will be outcast. She wants to fit into one society at the very least, rather than be treated like the mongrel that she is, forced to work in her own Uncle's kitchens because he wants nothing to do with her. She escapes her human life because she refuses to move from one form of slavery into another, that of being some Nobleman's concubine.

The descriptions in this book are most definitely Asian in nature. Pagodas, embroidered silk clothing, very, very honor bound people, the Elves. I love the combination of mingling Elves and the Asian culture. LOVE it.

However, I give it a 3 and a 1/2 Skull and Crossbones rating simply because of the sex. Without the sex, I give it 4 and 1/2. Sue me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

It is once again Friday, which means the following Monday, not only will I be 4 weeks post-op, but I will have my review of Elf Killers up along with my Giveaway of the book!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment. Multiple comments will not mean multiple entries. Sorry.

At any rate, on to what this post is really for!

Favorite authors/books:
When I was younger, Stephen King was my absolute favorite author because he could scare the crap out of me. Today, his books are okay, but the ones that were out back when I was a teenager like Christine, It, Pet Semetary... those were the bomb diggity. Pet Semetary scared me to pieces. I have issues with death (my own) and I'm not really a big zombie fan, but man.... this book kept me awake at night. My all time favorite though, was the book(s) he wrote with Peter Straub (another one I adored!). Talisman and later, Black House. Well written creep shows! I love me a good scare.
On that note, though, what I don't love to see in horror is an over abundance of unnecessary foul language just thrown in for filler. Yeah, you're scared out of your mind and you might curse, but not every other word needs to be Feck. You get the idea. Or even sex. Where does sex come into play in a horror? Well, I'm going to be the next to die, let's screw like bunnies! ... Not.
Okay, I'm done with that rant.

Favorite movies:
By far, today, it has to be How To Train Your Dragon. I loved that movie. Had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Gerard Butler was the voice of Hiccup's dad. *Coughs* Not a thing!
I loved the dragon! I'm a sucker for Elves and Dragons, people. Let's get this out in the open right now. If I could be an Elf, I would be. If I could own a Dragon... damn skippin' I would! But the dragon reminded me so much of our cat Oona, it cracked me up. Oona certainly is not the smartest cat in the litter, but she's very entertaining.

Favorite music:
Hoobastank! No, that isn't a bad word for those of you who have never heard of them. The Reason is one of my absolute favorite songs in the world. See, I don't just have a list of the top ten songs I love. I have a top 100.
I also have to add to this today and include Warrant as a tribute to the death of lead front man, Jani Lane. Sad. Very sad. He was only 7 years older than me. But I had the opportunity to see Warrant in concert with Poison. Good combination. Good concert. RIP, Jani.

Fantasy art:

And the funny:

Hehe! Okay everyone. Have a great weekend and don't forget! Look for my review of Elf Killers and the Giveaway on Monday.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Interview: Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps of "Elf Killers"...

I had the privilege of reviewing a cool fantasy called "Elf Killers" by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps.

I'll be doing a giveaway of their book. Want easy? How about this, all you have to do is look for the review and then leave a comment to be entered into the drawing! Can't get any easier than that, now, can you?

I'll be posting the review in a few days, but thought you all might like to get to know the authors first. So without further ado, here it is:

1) Tell us all a little bit about yourself and Tom:

Carol Marrs Phipps: Tom and I have spent the last twenty years (not counting the last two) teaching on Native American Reservations in the Southwest. (Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.) Since we own a farm in Illinois, each year when the school year was finished, we would return to the farm for the summer. The traveling was great for most of those years, but it began to wear on us after awhile and we decided we wanted to get closer to home. Meanwhile, what we longed to do even more was write.

We moved back east and Tom took a teaching job in southern Illinois. Jobs for elementary teachers, however, were scarce at the time and we decided to take the opportunity for me to begin writing full-time and hopefully, Tom could do the same in a year or two. That is still the current plan.

2) Tell us a bit about "Elf Killers":

C.M.P.: "Elf Killers" is a story about a peaceful populations of Elves who are being hunted as prey by a large clan of night stalking trolls that believe themselves to be the only true people in the world. Hence, every other creature is theirs to do with as they please, including the Elves who have become the main staple of their diet.

Although the Elves have magical ability, they learned from their very earliest encounters with the Elf Killer trolls that the creatures were utterly immune to magic of any kind.

Eventually, the Elves began to fear extinction of their race and decide the only chance they have to survive is to sail across the sea in search of a new land to rebuild their lives and their numbers.

When the Elves are nearly ready to set sail, a group of young Elves are sent off into the forest to collect seedlings from the trees the Elves have used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the trolls encounter the young Elves and one of the leaders of the seedling expedition is mortally wounded while the others scatter frantically deeper into the woods.

The young wounded Elf manages to mount his unicorn and gives it instructions to return to the beach camp where his people are making the final preparations for their journey. Sadly, when the unicorn arrives at camp, the brave young Elf is already dead leaving his people to conjecture about the fate of the rest of the group of youngsters.

Believing that the group of young Elves could not have possibly survived, the rest of the Elves set sail on schedule. The youngsters are left to cope with the Elf Killer trolls as best they can, save for a small group of the older Elves who refused to believe that their children were all dead.

3) Was collaborating with your husband difficult?

C.M.P.: Actually, no. Collaborating with Tom was amazingly easy. We got to where we'd take long walks together and brainstorm until it was clear where things should be going with the story, then, it just kind of all flowed seamlessly together. Of course, we've been writing together now for about fifteen years. We have an epic fantasy series (nearly complete) that we've written together that we hope to start getting published in the near future.

4) What made you choose fantasy as a genre?

C.M.P.: I love to read fantasy above all other genres, so I just naturally gravitated to it when I began to put pen to paper, as it were.

5) Do you write in any other genres?

C.M.P.: Not yet, but that isn't to say that I/we won't.

6) Do you have any other books in the works?

C.M.P.: As I mentioned in question three, Tom and I are currently writing an epic fantasy series. It is called Heart of the Staff and we have completed the first four books so far. The epic spans the lives of four generations of a wearing family who are direct descendants of the First Wizard.

7) How did you choose the names of the Elves in your book?

C.M.P.: The Elves names are all from a list of Irish names I got from the internet. End of that mystery.

8) And now a completely random question: What is your favorite snack while writing or watching a movie?

C.M.P.: Popcorn...definitely popcorn.

Thanks so much, Carol and Tom! I loved the Irish names, knew they were Gaelic in nature but wanted to make sure. I have a Sorcha as well. ;)

All right, remember, keep an eye out for the review of "Elf Killers" by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps. Post a comment on the review and that will be your entry into a drawing for your very own copy! See you then!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little Known Facts...

About me, of course.

All through high school, I failed English. Oh, I grasped the concept of it all, got things right in class and passed most of the tests. But I never really pushed myself in school.

I started working at the age of 15. I got a job to help pay family bills, not to have my own savings account. So school sort of took a back burner in my mind and so I ended up on the 6 year plan rather than the normal 4 years.

My English teachers loved me, though. All but one, but she was psycho to begin with and she is a whole other story.

One of my favorite teachers was my English Lit teacher. It helped she was Scottish, we had common ground. Each day or sometimes just once a week, she would write journal entry prompts up on the board and we had so much time to write. We would have to pass our journals up to the front and she'd browse through them while we were testing or whatever.

One day she wrote "Describe a forest fire" on the board and I immediately began to scribble out my story, from the viewpoint of the animals. When the time came to pass them to the front, mine caught her eye. She even read it out loud to the class and in her usual manner said, "That was a great piece! I won't mention who wrote it, but her initials are Melissa McWilliams."

Embarrassed the hell out of me. Looking back on it though, she was just one of the teachers that encouraged me to write. Only it took some time.

I didn't really catch the writing bug until I was 19 and started playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I came up with a really cool Elf Ranger... named Kayta. She's evolved quite a bit and she is my very first character ever. To have her in my current books has helped me a lot because she's an old friend, very familiar and she's easy to write about. She is like me, after all.

I think that if it hadn't been for my English teachers, I never would have even thought about writing. Another one of my teachers actually told me I would make a great writer, but passing English was sort of a big deal. That teacher had challenged the whole class with writing our own fable. She gave us the moral and we had to come up with the story. Matter of fact, I still have mine.

Maybe I'll dig it out for you one of these days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You Are Awesome...

I just wanted to drop a short post and tell you all thanks!

Thanks for your feedback on the titles I chose for my books. Thanks for your support in my recovery from surgery. Thanks for just being the best blogger buddies out there!

When I started on this writing/blogging journey, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly did not expect to have as many followers as I have right now.

Which brings me to a warm welcome to all of you who are new! I'm very glad to have you here as well. My books or my blogs would not be what they are without followers like all of you.

I have had a facebook account for some time now and have recently gotten into the Twitter aspect of all this.

I even got 're-tweeted' the other day. Like I posted on facebook, still not sure how I feel about that. Hehe!

Be on the lookout Thursday for my interview with Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, co-authors of Elf Killers. Then Monday, I will post my review along with a giveaway of the eBook. The rules for the giveaway are super simple: Just post a comment to the review! One comment, one entry. No multiples. I know... I'm such a hard ass.

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I had a horrible day yesterday. (Sunday) Bad mood, emotional... yeah this is my third week being post-op. I had a hysterectomy. Note the "hyster" part MUST be "Hysterical".

So despite my bad mood and keeping to myself so as not to bite anyone's head off, I got a surprise today.

I got a Kindle!

My husband and brother-in-law got it for me. Good thing they ordered it before my "hysterical-day" or they would have canceled the order. Ha!

So I now have a ways and means of reading these books without having to sit in front of my laptop or put my laptop on this cute little table that spans my chair, but also sits right on top of my incision. Woohoo!

My hubby loves me. <3 Must love me as much as I love him. ;)

It's Monday...

And officially I am three weeks post-op.

I was feeling great last week and even attempted to sleep on the couch. I was so comfortable that I was out like a light. Two hours later, I woke up to my two youngest cats, Gir and Oona, chasing each other around the house.

Gir used me as her springboard. Right off my incision.

So I spent the better part of the day in pain, back to taking pain pills. I hate pain meds. They absolutely suck. But I did get some good sleep and am feeling better again.

Still isn't a whole lot I can do at the computer, even if it is a laptop. I still feel out of sorts and am adjusting, but I have been revising, I've been reading all your blogs, even if I don't always leave a comment.

I'm staying in the loop!

My goals this week are to get back to reading/reviewing. I have two books I am going to work through and post one review here and the other is for "My Chaotic Ramblings". (Which moved right before I had surgery, so I will link when I get the review up.)

Last week, I had a dilemma. I have a working title for my book, but because it is so long I am busting it up into a trilogy. While the title I had worked for the one, for the moment, it certainly did not work for all three. Each one will probably be at least 70,000 words. We'll see.

However, let me just state right here... I love my husband and my sister-in-law. They're great sounding boards. I spent the better part of a day wracking my brain trying to come up with new titles and within a half hour, the two of them helped me reach my goal.

Should have started with them to begin with.

I have Googled the titles and such and have not found anything like what I have come up with.

The trilogy title I've decided upon is "Shadow of the Rose Book One, Two and Three". (Of course) And then each book will be titled: "Adversarius", "Bellum" and "Veritas".

I'm a Latin freak. I want to learn the language. I chose those titles simply because they're the one word definition of what is happening in the books. Adversary ~ This is the beginning of it all. The discovery of who will be fighting. Bellum means War and that will be book two. Finally, Veritas (Truth) is the last, because some truths will be brought to light and all that fun stuff.

Am I happy with the title? Absolutely. Will they most likely get changed by whoever chooses to publish me? Probably, but I won't fight it. I will try to convince them to keep the titles, though. We'll see!

Hope you all had a great weekend and have a great week as well!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How Do You Pick A Title...

I'm sitting here trying to come up with a more apt title for my books. "Crowning Absolution" covers the whole thing and not each individual book, so I was leaning towards something like "Guardian of the Realm: Age of Deception".

The Age of Deception would be something more like the series title of course. Or even Age of Absolution just to keep that in there. But I have yet to come up with separate titles for all three books.

So is there some secret formula for coming up with a title? I've checked out the internet, trying to research this a bit. I've also come across an article with all of the over used words for fantasy titles. I have to absolutely agree with the author, those were some over used words!

I'm sure it will come to me when I am not thinking about it. I may just come up with something completely alien, like when I combine Elvish with Latin or Drow. But it can't be too difficult to understand.

We'll see. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

Sorry I missed last week's post. I thought I would be on and wasn't, so I'll make up for it today.

Ready? Okay!

Favorite books/Authors:

Let's see, this Friday I'm going to switch genres on you. This week's favorite author of mine is J. A. Jance. I absolutely adore her books! Mostly the Joanna Brady books, because they're set in Arizona. Cochise County, if I remember correctly. I think what connected me to her books in the first place was the description of a street in Tucson, Arizona in one of the first books I read. I knew exactly where the character was, where she was walking and pictured it vividly in my mind. It hooked me 100%. I'd recommend her books to anyone who likes mysteries.

Favorite movies:

Any of the Indiana Jones movies. My first introduction to Indiana Jones was Temple of Doom. I was a kid and loved it. I begged my mom to make my brother and cousin take me. At the time I was like... 12 I think and my brother was convinced I would have nightmares. (Only because he wanted to spend time with our cousin without the hassle of his little sister around.) When I didn't have nightmares and actually enjoyed the movie, my brother was impressed. From that point on, he and I connected a little better and always recommend movies to each other or talk about the ones we like/hate. We have such similar taste, it's pretty funny. He's also the one who turned me on to horror movies, lol!

Favorite music:

Speaking of my brother, he and I also share lots of the same taste in music. While visiting this summer, I got to copy some of his library to my flash drive to take home to add to my iPod. So with all that in mind, another of my favorite groups is The Cars. I've liked them since I was old enough to get into music. They've got a quirky style and one of the best sounds around. Rick Ocasek rules. You can see his cameo in one of my favorite movies I already mentioned. Made in Heaven. (Along with Tom Petty and a couple other rock 'n' rollers.)

Fantasy art:

This week's fantasy art is one of my own. This is Bast. She is an Elf-cat. Part Elf (obviously) and part cat (again, thanks Captain Obvious). In my books, these creatures are known as Kefferlings. One of the more prominent ones is Onetta. (Oh-net-uh) Onetta has black fur and green eyes. She wraps her tail around her arm as if she is holding up the hem of a dress. Do you have any idea how long it takes to clean one's tail?

And the Funny:

My friend Liz commented on this once. She said: "Your evil is showing!". Made me snarf my soda at the time. Haha!

All right everyone, have a great weekend! And don't forget to vote on my poll up above.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


So, sitting here and getting back to business on the computer, I've been thinking about how close I am to getting my book ready for submissions. I'm still FAR from done with revisions, of course, but still.

I have butterflies in my stomach. It's almost as bad as going out on my first date. Okay, not really... those were better butterflies, but you get my drift.

I am also enjoying the fact that I have my laptop. Thanks be to those higher powers that helped me get this laptop. I can at least sit here and read my blogs and e-books. Time to get back to work. Good thing I sit down as an author or I'd be in a world of hurt or in better shape.

Probably both with my luck.

I'm getting used to this whole one space after a sentence instead of two. I'm trying to remember to set up my Open Office auto tab thingy whenever I open up a new document. Just trying to form these habits now so I don't have to worry about it later.

Okay so that was just all random stuff. I haven't been on to ramble in a while and thought you might have missed it. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I guess the one thing I hate most about surgery is the recuperation period. I'm chomping at the bit to get out of the house, to start revising and editing again and to get back to my book reviews.

I've got a book lined up to read. Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps. As soon as I get done, I have to get back to reading for My Chaotic Ramblings. And of course, get back to my own book.

I'm two weeks post-op and doing well. Like I said, I can't stand the recuperation period, but I am still quite happy with the surgery. I actually made dinner last night, but that sort of wiped me out, so I am taking it easy today.

Mostly, I just want to sleep in my own bed. Hurry up and heal, body!

I missed last Friday's post, so I will schedule one for this Friday. I'm sort of liking my little weekly fun post.

Hope you all have a great week and I will see you soon!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Getting Back...

So things went really well with my surgery and I am healing nicely. I need at least another week before I can get back to serious business such as revising, reviewing books... things like that. But I am getting closer to being back online, getting caught up with all of your blogs.

I can say that I feel SOOO much better, though! An awesome feeling, I tell you what.

I'm looking forward to getting back to all of you lovely people! See you soon!