Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Release- Darkness And Light, Earth and Sky Book 3

I've just released the next installment of my steampunk romantic fantasy saga, Earth and Sky! Book 3, Darkness and Light, is available now on Amazon, and coming soon to Smashwords for all other e-book formats. Check it out!

Caron is the strongest preternatural in the world. Or, so he thinks. Divine like himself are balanced, empathic, and semi-prophetic. He can manifest spirit wings, perform magic, and shift to any form, human or animal. Why then, is he so powerless to help those he loves? 

Yun is a broken Shifter. Unable to control his powers, he puts everyone around him at risk as he loses himself to his beast more and more every day. What’s worse, he is doomed to love a man he can never have, one who loves him back but can only suffer as he watches Yun self-destruct. 

Sylvi is a Fallen Angel with no powers. Her stunted wings and lack of magic make her a burden to her aristocratic family and a target for the stronger preternaturals around her. She has long been convinced she has no place in the world, whether among her own kind or the powerless humans—until she meets a beautiful Divine who insists she is missing part of her soul. And he knows how to find it. 

Caron struggles to unite two opposing forces and re-unite two halves of a fractured soul. If anyone can succeed, it’s him. He is a Divine after all. But he soon runs afoul of a monster more powerful than anything he has ever seen. The creature Is the deranged result of a madman’s sick experiments. And he has plans for Caron and his friends that will make Caron question even his own place in the world. 

***Books in the Earth and Sky Saga are stand alone novels, complete by themselves. Subsequent books center around different characters in the Earth and Sky world.***

The Most Important Thing I've Learned From Self-Publishing

With a title like this, I bet you think I'm going to talk about the mechanics or economics of writing. Maybe about how much work goes into creating a self-published novel, or how if you can you should hire professional editors, how to market your books, yadda, yadda, yadda....


The single most important thing I've learned from self-publishing my novels and short stories both on-line and in print?

Self-confidence and self-reliance.

No, I'm not joking. Yes, I feel this is important enough to write about it on the internet.

Because as an author you are going to get a lot of crap thrown at you. A lot of feedback from critique groups and fellow writers, some good and some bad. A lot of rejection slips after you've slaved away on that manuscript and sent hours upon hours crafting the perfect query letter to send to hundreds of agents and editors. A lot of your own inner voice telling you "well, you must just suck then. You should give up." Even family and friends won't get it. (I had a family member tell me my book was crap, my main character was annoying, and I shouldn't write novels at all--some support there peach!)

But at the end of the day NONE of that crap matters. All that matters is you. Do you want to write? Are you writing something? Then you are a writer. Many great, famous authors were told they were crap and should just give up. But they persevered. For that matter many crappy authors are now famous and making millions of dollars on their "crap." So there world.

If there is anything I've learned from this journey, it is that I can quite literally do just about anything I set my mind to. Don't know how to make an e-book? Learn. Don't know how to format for print? Learn. Can't afford to pay someone to make your book covers? Get Photoshop, open up google, and learn.

It's really that easy. And that applies to every damned thing in your life.

Image result for Go!Never say you can't do something because of external factors. In this day and age there are so many things available to you. Throw your shoulders back, pick your head up and DO them!

Good luck!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Random Book Review: Howl's Moving Castle- Book Versus Film

I first came to the magic that is Howl through Miyazaki's animated film adaptation. Since I watched the movie before I read the book, I admit there might be some bias here, but these are my thoughts. Typically I'm a "the book was better than the movie" girl. BUT, in this case while I enjoy the book, the movie will always be one of my all time favorites.

Howl's Moving Castle, the book by Diana Wynne Jones:
This book is uniquely written. It has fantasy and magic and a unique main character who believes any adventure she engages on is doomed to failure because she is the eldest daughter and everyone knows the eldest always fails at adventure...
The book contains more magic, in a way, more worlds and covers more real estate, let's say. But I found the plot at times confusing, not very coherent, and a bit meandering. I felt there wasn't really a big "point." Mostly it was Sylvi rambling. Even the romance is more a faintly implied thing than an actual occurrence. You kind of think Sylvi and magician Howl might grow to like each other despite their constant bickering, but it doesn't really develop much. Until at the end they hold hands and grin at each other and so they must be in love? ... meh.

Howl's Moving Castle, the movie by Hayao Miyazaki:
There is more plot to this story, more purpose. Howl's character has more depth, as you see that what appears superficial in him is actually hiding many things--a curse, a missing heart, and his ongoing attempts to save the world from self-destructing in war. Sylvi's character is more fun in the movie somehow... perhaps because you see her as intrinsically kind and pragmatic, rather than intrinsically dull and lacking in redeeming qualities (which is how she sees herself). The romance between Sylvi and Howl is also much more well done in the film (like it actually exists-cough). The other pieces of the plot, including the witch of the waste, the missing prince, etc. are make much more sense in the film than in the book.

So, there you have it. The book is okay. The movie is magical. If I had to choose, I would choose the film every time. But I think the book is still worth the read simply for it's uniqueness.
Image result for howl's moving castle

Friday, January 6, 2017

Critique Site With Good Turnaround: Try You Write On

I have tried several on-line critique groups and forums over the years in the hopes of getting feedback to help me improve my craft. Some have been good fits, some have not.

One of the most frustrating things about getting feedback, in my opinion, is how LONG it can take. I have time frames and deadlines in my head, always. So when some forums have wait lists that are several weeks or a month long before your work gets reviewed, it gums things up for me. By that time I can have written most of a draft of a novel. I need to keep MOVING.

If you are a writer and have similar frustrations, or even if you aren't as impatient as I am, I suggest you try out You Write On. The rules are simple. You review some submissions, you get credits. You upload your submission and dole out your credits for an equal number of reviews. The best part is, there are time limits on how long you get to finish your reading assignment, which means that you get your feedback from your assigned credits within a few days. Yay!

There is also a nifty rating system where reviewers are asked to rate your characters, plot, voice, etc. on a numeric scale to give you a more objective measure of your performance. This is available after you get 3 reviews.

In addition, there is a process by which you can earn a professional review if your piece is rated high enough (I think you need 7 reviews?), and you can link a completed story to the submission to generate sales if it is available somewhere. Mostly though, I just use it to get speedy reviews and hone my own editing skills. Go write on!

Best of luck!

Random Book Review: Wolfsong

So, I am devouring books lately. This one was hard on me. Mostly because I couldn't STOP reading the thing and it cost me sleep. Books will be the death of me.

I reviewed one of my all time favorite books last year by TJ Klune, The Lightning Struck Heart here. This book is just as amazing, but in a completely different way. The tone is nothing like LSH, but the author's awesomeness remains.

Wolfsong has this tone about it, this submersion in the character's voice and in his head that is beautiful and perfect and  straight to the point. It is a werewolf book, but like no other I've ever read, infused with Klune's amazingly awkward and TRUE hilarity, but also with a depth of emotion that was staggering. Loved it beginning to end. I am still amazed how he packed this massive story, spanning 10-12 years into one book in a way that didn't drag on, but that makes you feel like you've been following these characters for years. I felt that same awful sense of "oh no, it's over and now what will I do?" that I feel when a really good 15 book series I've been reading for years ends. It was that good.

So, enough with the gushing. Go read Wolfsong now.
Wolfsong by [TJ Klune]

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Random Book Review: The Magpie Lord Series, by K.J. Charles

It's been a while since I shared what I've been reading--and it's been a really mixed bag lately! Currently I'm re-reading Howl's Moving Castle... but I digress.

This post is about a wonderful little trilogy (with some related books I haven't read yet) that I found and had to share with the uninitiated.

Romance, magic, men in dashing suits, and a bit of horror... what more could a girl want?

I won't say much about this series other than to say I loved it. This author builds a wonderful world and some really interesting characters who's flaws make them even more endearing than their good points. I love flawed characters :)

Check  the books out here

Friday, October 21, 2016

E-book Bargains (Free or Greatly discounted)

I've got several steals going on right now that I'd like to share with you. There is something for everyone who loves romance and magic- from edgy erotic urban, to sweet steampunk, to  sexy fairytales. If you enjoy vampires and werewolves, fallen angels and shape-shifters, or mythical woodland creatures you'll find it here. Enjoy!

My Paranormal romance/Urban Fantasy with erotic elements, Moonlight Calls is FREE on Smashwords (pretty much every format but Kindle) or 99 cents on Amazon (Kindle format). 

My Fantasy Romance/Steampunk Novel, Earth and Sky, is FREE on Smashwords (pretty much every format but Kindle) and 99 cents on Amazon (Kindle format) . 

And My Short Romantic Fairytale,Crow, is FREE on Smashwords