Tuesday Teaser

Today’s teaser comes from revisions to a little project I’ve been working on the side with Jessica Augustsson. Stay tuned for future posts about this special anthology!

DSCN4784_2The little girl who named me sat on her stool and pressed her hand to the wall, where my hand pushed through. Our fingertips brushed together. A smile crossed her too solemn face.

“Una? Why don’t you come out of the wall and meet my mommy and daddy? I tried telling them about you again and they told me to start playing a different game. Why won’t you meet them?”

Pain pricked my solid heart. Ever since the day she started speaking to me it had begun to beat more steadily again. “I cannot fade away. The walls are my home.”

Confusion and frustration crossed her miniature features, a smaller prettier version of her mother. “But Una, how will we ever really go to England together if you can’t leave home?”

“I cannot fade away.” I didn’t know how to be solid like the others. Every time I had tried, whatever tied me to the walls closed a tighter grip round me instead.

“No!” She pushed away from the wall, stamped her foot. She was angry with me. I couldn’t blame her. “Una, you just haven’t tried hard enough! Why won’t you try?”

Before I could open my mouth to answer, her mother entered the room with fear in her eyes. “Adele, darling, who are you talking to?”

“I’m talking to Una, mother. Can’t you see her? I want her to come out of the wall and move with us, but she won’t try like she promised!”

Mother smiled and glanced my way with some amusement. I always wondered what would happen if Adele’s mother actually tried to look. Even now as she knelt onto the rug and took her daughter’s hand in her own, she saw with unseeing eyes. “I think…maybe I can see something.” She pretended to stare and I desperately wished she would want to see. It wasn’t the first time I found myself wishing it was my hand Mother was holding too. I wished in vain.

“Come downstairs, darling,” Mother said with a shrug and sigh. “You’ve spent enough time cooped up indoors.”

“No! Not without Una!” Adele kicked and hollered until Father came rushing upstairs and into the bedroom.

“Do not argue with me this time, Adele!” he shouted, “We’re leaving now.”

“Harold!” Mother cried, pulling at his arm in vain.

“It’s for her own good!” he growled.

“No! No! Una! Una!” She cried and her hand reached out for me. “UNA!”

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Scarlett, Sequel to a Classic

Click on the picture to Read My Review

photo 1

While I went through a rough patch last week, I rediscovered a good old-ish classic. My mother’s copy of Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley (thanks for letting me “borrow” Mom;) includes illustrations of this beautifully controversial sequel to Gone With the Wind.

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Tuesday Teaser

Today’s, or rather tonight’s teaser features a current re-write. Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it by the end of this year. Sometimes the best writing is revisiting past stories, like opening up an old book. It’s like turning the pages of an old friend and breathing life back into it.


Emrys walked around to the tall horses to speak to the hunched over man seated behind them. “Couldn’t have met us sooner, eh Cutterworthy? This forest is crawling with Gwyllion. And don’t even get me started on the bogwrens…”

“Bogwrens?” Amie echoed as she came round to stand with him.

“Oh aye! Foul little devils stalked us from the moment we made it through the outer veil.”

Before Amie could challenge him the elegantly garbed driver tipped up his top hat with a gloved hand

“Kip yer chide, boy! Can’t you see this poor child has been through enough?”

Emrys crossed his arms over his chest and mumbled under his breath.

“I must ask you forgive me, miss!” Cutterworthy addressed to her. “So sorry to have kept you waiting. Though I trust the honorable Emrys kept you in good health? Your uncle has been most anxious to see you.” His pale brown eyes twinkled brightly in his grizzled face.

Amie managed to shut her gaping mouth and inclined her head to the carriage door. “I’m going to Henry’s place in that?” There was no doubt this was the mysterious man’s doing. It sat right up there with his cryptic letters and her father’s old stories. Insanity must run through the family. She glanced over at the brooding Emrys and amended her theory.

Not just the family, then. Something in the water?

The man laughed and eased back in his seat. “Aye!” he said. “’Tis the idea, miss. Least those were my orders from the Master. You are the Lady Jessamiene of Wenderdowne, are you not?” Even his horses stood quietly and inclined their heads towards her then. Amie blinked dumbly back.

Emrys sighed heavily, “Just play along, lass.”

“Shut up,” she hissed at him, then grinned up at the driver. “Whatever Uncle Henry says. Anything’s better than jumping trains and running through the woods with him.” She thumbed at the tall man in question.

Emrys stared at her with a slant of his mouth. “Wasn’t entirely unpleasant.” He winked. She blushed and clenched her fists while he ran a hand down one of the horse’s necks. “Enough chatter. Word will have got to the other side of her arrival and I’m not taking any chances on them popping up.”

“May you get what’s coming to you, boy,” the driver said with a mad chuckle.

Emrys shook his head but called back, “Same to you, old scale back.” And without another word he turned and headed for the other side of the road into an even blacker forest.


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The Fault In My Expression

It is somewhat amazing that I have not posted anything of substance in a while. There are many good real life reasons for this. Alas, I cannot disclose the nature of my personal circumstances. Let me therefore explain the sad state of things instead.

Writing is my biggest passion, besides drawing and piano and dance (of which I know little of). And like all these things I have hardly practiced these passions at all, besides the reading. My beta-bestie, Allison, lent me “The Fault In Our Stars,” which while at times slightly pretentious and way too existential, is a beautiful story. I’ve loved the writing, the characters and the symbolism of the whole thing. It didn’t make me cry, but it made me think long and hard. Practically every time I read this book it leaves me with thoughts of simply everything. So rather than a feeling book or film, this is a story that leaves me thinking and that is a rarity. Because of this, I might even say Mister Green has written a slice of brilliance, just maybe. Even on the normal side of brilliance, he has given us a different perspective and a broader understanding.

Rather than inducing thoughts of death, for me it brought to mind my own writing and the stories I set out to tell. I don’t even know if Mister Green sets out to accomplish this with every book he writes, create a slice of brilliance, that is. Or if he is just intuitive. But I started thinking of storytelling and my mad rush over the last year to just pump those novels out. That’s what everybody says, right? Quantity over quality is the only way to make buck in this game. Well I don’t believe that is true anymore. At least, it isn’t relevant to me anymore. I don’t want to write a dozen books in five years. I want to write one book in five years that matters in some way. If it doesn’t matter to anyone else, I want it to matter to me the same way Stay mattered to me.

I want to write maybe a bit less but a lot more. I want to read in chunks and regurgitate little. For the last month of personal chaos, I could not understand where my drive disappeared to. Why couldn’t I love it the way I should. Why didn’t any of it matter anymore? I lost my relevance. Or maybe life was just so overwhelming I didn’t have time to live fantasy worlds through my fingertips. Maybe it has been a much needed, albeit brief sabbatical, or maybe it was all leading to this single, important revision.

I’m going to change. I already have changed. I want to find ways to tell the stories that need to be told. And find the courage to set aside those that don’t.

My posts may not be so frequent meantime, but rest assured I am continuously laboring over sequels and side projects and above all things, love.

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Alice in the Hollow

Listening to THIS

While working on THIS

Jenn-BusinessCard3Seemed like an ideal fit ;)



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Reaching Farther, Higher, Closer


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. ;)


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. 


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 :)



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!”


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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