Reaching Farther, Higher, Closer

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Tonight I thought I’d just get down and dirty real with y’all :) So beware if you dislike candid, occasionally zany musings from an eccentric chocoholic. Okay, you were warned…

I’ve been reading up everywhere for ways to not necessarily be a better author, but how to make it in this big biz. It seems like everyone is an author these days. You can publish an unedited memoir about texting if you fancy. And I’m sure that somewhere out there, someone is going to purchase it off Amazon. Has the Indie Pub phenomenon taken away the value of what we’re trying to do? Most days I would call it a dream maker. Amazon Kindle certainly answered my dreams two years ago. 

But now I look back with a distanced perspective and wonder if I could and should have waited. Should I have tried to build up a different type of resume instead of books that I continue to change? Even recently, after Silver Hollow came up for free promotion again, a part of me winced knowing it could be better. I even started working on a new new draft of that story, completely revamping the plot. I like to think that in a year or less, maybe more, I can re-release it and give it the kind of polishing I wanted for my first novel in the first place. 

And everyone in this market is always saying how social media is key. How Twitter is essential as all types to get your words out there. But every time I go on Twitter, all I see is a bunch of people shouting at the air. I’ve posted, twice now, asking if anyone out there actually reads these posts and received no reply. So I have to wonder, does anyone actually read other people’s Twitter feeds, or do we just “share” our own news. Before I signed up for Twitter, I felt like it was an even more narcissistic version of Facebook, a way for people to shout out about themselves. It’s difficult for me to see it as a tool, though maybe that’s because I just don’t know how? 

I’ve heard and read all kinds of advice from friends about how to make a mark, to give your stamp to online world. But sometimes I don’t feel like anybody besides a few actually hear me. And aren’t I just as guilty? Don’t I peruse different author sites, looking at books and sometimes advice, but rarely on a regular basis? And how do we even have time to be active participants in the online world? Being absent only a few days seems like an eternity next to the pros who post daily, multiple times a day. I wish I could come up with something just as interesting without repeating myself. 

DSCN4867Some days I wonder if I could have done things differently. And the answer is, yes, I certainly could have. I could have tried to find an agent and publish through a traditional house, where rejection is a common, every-day thing. It might have taken me longer, but I might have been more seasoned and less eager to simply publish. Fact of the matter is, I can’t go back and change things and I can’t simply wish them better. No one becomes a pro overnight and no one sees all their dreams realized in one full swing. Unless you win the lottery and I just know there’s a catch-twenty-two with that. We each have our goals and our individual dreams. And by regretting my past choices, I am kind of slapping myself in the face. Because I have to remember that at the time, my dreams were similar, just not so lofty. And that’s part of learning, part of growing. Every day, I try to seek out new and fresh ideas, ways that can teach me how to be the best author I can be. 

As you can see by this long semi-rant, I don’t have it all together, much as I would like to. It’s all part of the journey and we have to eat away at that elephant one bite at a time. I am grateful for the people who have helped make this adventure possible, and the ones who continue to support and teach and help me grow. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I mean that much more than a simple cliché.

I know I’m not the only one out there trying to figure things out. I would love to hear from y’all too, any advice or thoughts and opinions you might share. And I’m always open to words of wisdom, be they the length of a dissertation or a fortune cookie. 

 

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Tuesday Teaser

Much to my delight and surprise, I found enough inspiration to work on something I had not thought to revisit again. Read the following teaser and see if you can guess what story it is from. ;)


Wenderdowne


Several moments after the rough landing, Amie recovered her wits enough to stand. She stared, disbelieving at the increasingly distant train.

“Well,” the Britt began, “that could have been a lot worse.” He came to stand beside her and dusted off the sleeves of his trench coat.

Amie clenched her fists, her wrath growing in spite of all her efforts to reign in. But her eyes took him in, from his messy, upright black hair and his amused expression and she lost it. “Are you crazy!” she screamed and hit his chest with a fist for emphasis. “All my clothes—my manuscript—everything was on that train!”

He tucked his chin and she thought she saw pity in his eyes before he thumbed at the howling train. “Um, yeah, about that…”

An explosion ripped the words from his mouth and roared in her ears. His arms were around her again as the train burst from the tracks. Fire claimed each car as the train combust from within and a shower of debris and black smoke followed.

“Let go of me!” Amie growled past the ringing in her ears as she ran toward the debris. Surely enough clothes were flying through the air. And for a bitter moment, she thought she saw a pair of her colorful Wonder Woman panties waving like a flag on the wind. She buried her face in her hands and hoped her mortification allowed for a quick and sudden death.

“Right, thank Oberon that’s over and done with,” her companion spoke from behind her.

Amie peeked between her fingers and shook her head as the tall Britt surveyed the scattered debris with something akin to amusement. “Is this funny to you?” She rubbed the scar above her chest to soothe its sudden annoying tingle and stepped in front of her rescuer.

He took in her appearance for the first time and a single black brow arched sharply in thought. Yet when he opened his mouth to answer he hesitate and then seemed to think better of speech. He shrugged.

Amie shoved against his shoulders and shouted over his protests. “You have stranded us in the middle of the English countryside and you think it’s no big deal?”

His dark eyes narrowed into furious slits. “What would you have me do, lass? There’s only so much rescuing I can manage. And let’s just say that in your case, it’s a full time job.”

She laughed. “My life was pretty boring before you showed up!”

He rolled his eyes and then popped a perfectly winning grin as he reached over their heads and caught a piece of black lacy fabric in his hand. Somberly, he intoned, “Oh my, I hope this wasn’t the conductor’s.”

“Hey! Those are mine!” Amie hated being embarrassed almost as much as she hated her fair skin for leaving no doubt to her mortification. She jumped to snatch her favorite panties but they only rose higher against the wind, pinched between his fingers like a flag to pole.

His amusement faded however as he froze and turned his ear to the billowing smoke above. Quickly shoving her nightwear into his back pocket, he grabbed her with his opposite hand. “Come along, lass. Those weren’t any ordinary slitherkin.”

Amie stumbled in her effort to look back at the sick and twisted wreckage. And surely enough, she could almost make out half a dozen of the black and gray garbed attackers picking themselves up from the debris. “Slytherin? Isn’t it a little cliché to be a British Harry Potter geek?”

He shook his head and grumbled, “Perhaps you should refrain from speaking such nonsense while we’re being hunted. In fact, why don’t you shut up altogether, savvy?” He jerked her on towards the thick wood bordering the moor in a manner that did not invite protest.

“Where are we going?” she said as they passed underneath the outermost edge of the tree line. Her converse were not built for hiking.

“Away from here.”

“You aren’t taking me out here just so you can kill me, are you?”

“The thought had crossed my mind.”

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Let It Be

I have not done very much updating here lately. That was in part due to our loverly company we’ve had staying with us the last two weeks. But it was also in part because I’ve had some tough health issues the last couple of weeks. I won’t go into detail about the what/why/when’s but suffice to say I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. 

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Grief is something that takes you by surprise, especially when you were surprised to begin with. But it always sneaks up on you. Several times this past week I’ve struggled with the why’s of our situation. Truth be told there are no definitive why’s. Sometimes you don’t get the answers you want or even an answer period. And that can be a difficult thing to deal with. I’m super blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who have just been there. And above all a husband who reminded me just how much I love him, even if he has a slightly unhealthy gaming obsession ;p It’s hard to describe to you something I’ve decided not to fully divulge and something I’m still processing. 

I’ve been such an emotional roller coaster in my struggle to keep calm and keep in control in a situation I couldn’t control. It has allowed me to rely more on God as well as admit to my husband I’m not as strong as I pretend to be sometimes. As my sister reminded me, there is a reason for this. She encouraged me with a verse out of the Book of Psalms, chapter 140, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night, Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.” 

I know I’m not the only one facing a difficult situation right now. As we try to heal I hope and pray you keep faith. That you remember the dark is like light to God. Which means He can guide us out of even the darkest nights of our lives. And you aren’t ever alone.

Tonight I’m going to drink some hot tea and write more of the Vynasha and spend time with my husband. I’m going to try doing the things I love to do and hopefully find more reasons to smile. I hope you are able to do the same :)

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Tuesday Teaser

Today’s teaser is from Vynasha part two :) Enjoy :)

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But it was not her cries that woke her, rather a cacophony of howls and snarls and human shouts rose up seemingly all around her. She rubbed the sleep from her face quickly and gathered the furs closer as she backed against the longhouse wall. Coals from the fire had left barely any distinguishable light, but it was the light seeping through cracks in the wood that terrified her now. Who was it?

“Ceddrych?” she whispered, fearful to raise her voice any higher. She could not tell his form in the cot at the fire’s opposite end. And when she clenched her teeth to hide their chatter, the voices on the other side of the wall grew louder.

“ –know she’s in there, Wanderer!” a woman shouted.

“Yes,” growled an older male, “why don’t you show them your majik user.”

“We know she came from the castle!”

“—not one of us!”

“—murder our children in their sleep!”

“Witch!”

Vynasha caved into herself and placed her hands against her ears. She did not want to hear any more. How could it be happening again? A sudden flurry of snarls and wolfish barks added to the chaos.

The elder male laughed and interrupted with his booming voice. “Enough! You have all said your peace. Wanderer, you know the rules of our pack. The majik user must not be allowed to live.”

The Wanderer, who had thus far been silent, protested. “NO! Listen to me! Vynasha is my sister. She could no easier harm a hare than one of your children.”

“You said your family was dead!” the woman cried. “He lied to us all!”

“No!” Ceddrych growled. Vynasha pressed her hand and ear to the wall and squeezed her eyes shut. She tried to picture his face, her brother who lived without family as she had. To recover something that was thought to be lost forever… 

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Vynasha Love #3

I finished writing the mob scene last night, yay! Now it’s on to pack stuff and scenes like the one below. I love visiting Tumblr for inspiration. I never actively update my poor profile. Rather than posting original stuff I almost always share or like things created by others. I’m always in awe of people who create digital visual masterpieces or sometimes even minor animations. Either way it’s beyond my need-to-know. So thank you to you brilliant talents and designers. Yep, that means you, Najla Qamber ;)

 

“A sea of endless days and nights followed her trek through the mountains until her hunger and winter’s wrath won. ” -Vynasha, Part Two

 

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Vynasha Love #2

Tonight I’m working on Vynasha Part Two again. Our main character is about to face down a mob in a particularly dicey scene and can’t wait! This is my first mob scene, if I recall correctly, in all my books. Only this mob uses claws, daggers and teeth instead of pitchforks. Hopefully I can deliver the same degree of tension and ridiculousness to the concept ;p 

I have so many exciting things to share concerning Vynasha, but I’m trying to keep quite. So for now, I’m offering another teaser bit to whet your whistle. I love that phrase. Try and say it twice as fast…

Whet your Whistle

Whet your Whistle

eesh it’s even hard to type fast…

“The thorns pricked her skin and unveiled the violet hued blood beneath her fingertips. She stared in wonder as she touched the white roses with it and the liquid only made them shine like stars.” -Vynasha Part 2

 

 

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Upcoming Release of Reign of Shadows by Melissa Wright

Exciting news to be shared today, peeps! While it’s not concerning one of my novels, I’m equally excited about it because it’s by one of my best friends and an all-around classy gal, Melissa Wright. Reign of Shadows picks up where the last novel left off, with powers being restored and impending doom ahead for our favorite characters. 

The Kindle Fire giveaway is still hot & happening HERE and a Reign of Shadows Excerpt Tour, hosted by Prism Book Tours, is going on NOW.

Pre-Order links for Reign of Shadows are available on  iTunesBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords.com

Tuesday (July 29th and the day before release) @CrazyBookWorm93 is hosting aFacebook Event from 7:00-9:00 pm EST with tons of games, fun, and prizes. They have a lot planned, so you won’t wanna miss out!

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Tuesday Teaser

As promised, here is today’s teaser! Once again it’s from Vynasha Part 2, A Wylder Tale. If you feel clueless while reading this, stay tuned for Part One’s upcoming release! 

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Before the castle walls had glowed with some strange otherworldly floating lights. But out here the land was the pale amber and rose hues of a golden sunset. Snow fell peacefully rather than violently and she could hardly feel the bitter sting of cold. The brisk wind was refreshing rather, welcoming her. She looked down to find the roses the Prince had given her. Blood red petals had been replaced by pure and glowing white. She reached down slowly to touch them and the feeling is euphoric in a way only her mother could have understood.

These were her roses, forged by the earth and cold and her blood. They were as much a part of her as she was them. She felt in her skirts for her dagger and frowned when she felt nothing but silk and velvet pleats. Where was her dagger? She looked around for the tools Hvalla often tucked away for her when she was careless. But there was no stash, no wooden chest to protect their things from the elements. And Hvalla was nowhere to be found today.

Vynasha dug her fingers in the earth but it did not feel as solid as it had before. In fact the world seemed to blur and contort shape, so the stone walls faded away and a dark silhouetted stood vigil over a virgin sun. That was when she knew this was a dream, one of his dreams.

“Grendall?” she called. He kept his back to her and she could not help but to trace his frame with her eyes. It felt like forever since she had seen him. Had it been days or moons?

“You came back,” he whispered and the sound carried clear as if he spoke beside her.

She flinched and turned her focus to the roses. They needed tending, whether this was his dream or no. So she pruned them with her fingers. The thorns pricked her skin and unveiled the violet hued blood beneath her fingertips. She stared in wonder as she touched the white roses with it and the liquid only made them shine like stars.

“You came back even though I told you not to,” he continued roughly, stronger now. “I did not ask you to invade my dreams, Vynasha.”

“It’s not as though I wanted to come,” she practically snarled back at him and then sighed. That was not the truth, but lies were easier, weren’t they?

“Yes, lies are always easier,” he answered her thoughts aloud and suddenly standing before her. Instead of a moonlit gray pallor, his skin shone like hot white coals, like the sun gleaming behind him. But his white eyes were sad and angry still. “Lies are what have surrounded your entire life, Ashes. And you are still not ready for the truth. You choose to remain that weak little girl, afraid all the terrible things that have happened are somehow her fault.”

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Vynasha Love

I’m working on part two of my Vynasha, Wylder Tales series and I’m beyond excited about the possibilities! It’s interesting trying to share things with y’all about a sequel. Because I know for a fact VERY few of you even know what Vynasha is. Most of you are probably wondering what’s up with the name and how ever will you pronounce that? Just try it with a Slavic accent and you’ll come close ;) 

Anywho, I can barely keep my eyes open right now from sleep deprivation, but inspiration hit me just right. And it was after a few episodes of X-Files. Not sure what that says about my creative process when I’m writing high fantasy. I actually told my husband that watching that show makes me feel smarter because of all their scientific jargon they throw around. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Pull up Netflix and try a few episodes.

So I have an outline that will get me to at least nineteen chapters! 

I’d love to tell you more details. Like what this story’s all about. But for the sake of my job performance tomorrow, I’ll just offer a snippet teaser. 


“A sea of endless days and nights followed her trek through the mountains until her hunger and winter’s wrath won. The green eyed wolves followed her down the silver path, until she passed through the gate into a lost realm. ” – Vynasha, Part 2

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Tuesday Teaser

Woohoo! Another Tuesday has rolled around and I’m ready to share more of the latest from my new novel, Wylderland :)

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The castle was always dark and drafty. But now the walls seemed to ripple and shiver with moonlight. And tiny blue lights floated ahead of her path, past the tapestries watching her trek through the forbidden halls. She felt no fear and wondered why she could hear no distant roar of the beasts. She froze when a dimly glowing figure stepped out of the shadows.

“You are not truly here!” the rough voice growled, a voice she had come know and crave best.

“Grendall?” she said, but when she moved to greet him her feet were stuck to the carpet. She looked up in panic and gasped to find he had moved closer. Still too far away, yet close enough she could see haunted silver eyes and the fresh scrapes along his jaw.

“Leave me!” He thrust a palm in her direction, as though to ward her away. When she did not move he turned desperate. “No! She cannot be here!” He shook his fists at the air and looked everywhere but her. He sucked in a sharp breath and squeezed his lids tightly shut. “Please do not let her in…do not let her in.”

“Is this a dream?” she wondered aloud. She longed to reach out and touch him, but an invisible force held her back.

He rubbed a hand over his face and let it hang lifeless to his side. His hair fell into his eyes and still he would not look at her. “This is my dream,” he murmured.

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