Sunday, February 7, 2016

Always With the Magic

I love magic in my stories. It's second only to romance. For me, magic is as much a matter of the heart as love, I suppose. And this is why:

*We HAVE to believe in magic.
Okay, so it's not mandatory in the sense that you're going to go to jail if you are a muggle. But I don't see how anyone can survive in this world if they are completely lacking that sense of something more lurking just around the corner. It's what gets us through hard times, helps up pull ourselves up by our bootstraps--and sometimes it's what somehow makes everything work out okay, even when it seemed the world was falling apart.

*Sometimes magic fails.
Wait, didn't I just say we have to have magic to get through tough times? Yes. But that doesn't mean it won't fail us at a crucial moment. That's when we find out the truth--that the real magic was inside us all along, not out there in the world somewhere.

*That sounds good, but what has magic done for me lately?
Personally, the magic in the world, and ultimately inside me, has gotten me to where I am today. It hasn't always been pretty. In fact at times it's been downright hell. But somehow when we are challenged in life, we always come out stronger. And the harder, the more excruciatingly painful the challenge, the stronger we become. If that isn't magic, I don't know what is.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

E-Book Piracy

Life on the the high seas.

Or, not.

This week I've discovered two sites at which entire copies of my e-books were being provided for free without my permission. While I'm all for free stuff, this is understandably irksome. I am realistic enough to not spend the next week of my life on some sort of crusade--I'd rather spend the time writing, even if it makes me no money *cough, jackasses, cough*.  But I did want to put this out there so that any of my other independent author friends who don't have people working at big companies whose job it is to take care of these things can be aware. Both sites have removed my work upon request, one via a form, the other via me sending them a cease and desist e-mail--neither with an apology or explanation as to where they obtained my work nor on what planet they think this is okay.

End rant.

If you are an author and want to make sure you are not also sailing the high seas --argh matey-- you might want to look at the sites. Or just google your author name and/or work and see what pops up (that's how I stumbled across this).  Happy sailing.

1) - there is not contact form, but an e-mail address a the bottom of the page
2) - click your book, go down to the bottom right and click on DCRM and there is a form to fill out asking for immediate removal, which is ACTUALLLY immediate.

Now, enough of this seriousness. I can't stand it. I'm going back to the fun part of writing!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Love for Shape Shifters

Alongside wings/flying, shape shifting is another one of my favorite supernatural abilities. The Shifters in Earth and Sky are particularly awesome because they can also do alchemy. To me, being able to change physical forms as when shifting is a parallel to alchemy- the ability to change the forms of the elements/physical objects. So why is this interesting to me? Again, I don't set out with these symbolic ideas in mind...but when I analyze it, this is what it all means to me.

Why do I love Shifters?

*We all want to feel comfortable in our skin- The very obvious reader/writer connection to shape shifters is that they have this dual nature, the normal, accepted outer appearance they wear around other human beings--and the beast hidden inside them just waiting to rear it's head. Sometimes this is a bad thing- think uncontrollable raging werewolf. But sometimes it's a good thing, a hidden inner strength that will save you.

*We all sometimes feel uncomfortable in our own skin- Though we WANT to feel comfortable in our own skin, we often don't. Shifters don't always like their animal. Sometimes its a love/hate kind of relationship.

*Permission to be yourself (or, "it wasn't me, it was the wolf")--There is usually some moment in a Shifter story where the Shifter has to accept themselves, beast and all . Of course there's also the plausible deniability thing...

*Also I just like animals ;)

What is your favorite shape-shifting character? Spoiler- mine is currently a character from the sequel to Earth and Sky who can shift into large felines. Seriously, what is NOT to love about that?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Obsession With Wings

I have been hard at work on the sequel to Earth and Sky, and while doing that I've spent WAY too much time on Pinterest.  I like to create inspiration boards where I post pictures that remind me of the story I'm working on--some in obvious ways and some more subtle.

One of the themes in the boards for Earth and Sky and it's sequel is wings. One of the races in my books are Fallen, a vampiric, magic-using race who boast massive wings.

I love the thought of having wings. From as early as I remember, I've had re-occurring dreams about being able to fly.  In my dreams, if I flap my arms hard enough and run to get up some momentum, I can fly! I am always amazed and exhilarated by this discovery, and am always trying to show someone else- a disbeliever who thinks I'm crazy. Now, I'm a very vivid dreamer, so I confess, I look forward to these dreams where I get to soar around in the air under my own power.

Why am I so obsessed with wings and flying?

I think it's a natural and common thing for humans to dream of flying. After all, it's something we land-based creatures can't do. And there is some great symbolism there. I never set out to write morals or symbolism or deep ideas into my novels, but sometimes they get in there all on their own. Here is what my winged characters represent to me.

--Human potential: We are amazing in our ability to dream, and our ability to follow those dreams to crazy heights. More often than not, my winged characters end up being the ones who dream up impossible things, or encourage those around them to follow their dreams or live up to their full potential.
--Sometimes our wings fail us: Even though we have this amazing potential inside us, sometimes we fail. Sometimes we fall, our wings fail us, they get wet or the magic fades. It's what we do then that shows our true nature. My winged characters are bereft without the use of their wings, but they end up dealing with it anyway and carrying on with their adventures--because in the end it was never the wings that let them fly in the first place, it was something inside them.
--None of us are whole alone: In Earth and Sky, my characters find out that amazing as each race of creatures is, none of them are as powerful alone as they could be together. Who is there for you when your wings give out and you've lost the will to fly? Who would you carry, even when your wings are tired and you feel like you can't stay airborne one more second?

"We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another."
  Luciano De Crescenzo

Check out my pinterest boards for some cool pics of all things winged, as well as lots of other really beautiful pics that remind me of my novels.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Exciting Earth and Sky Updates

Exciting things are in the works for me right now. I am ridiculously excited to share with you that the Earth and Sky saga is in the process of becoming, well... a saga! The rough draft of book II is finished, and I am in the plotting and outlining stages of books III and IV simultaneously (something I've never done before.) This has been a long time in coming, but looking back on it, I'm glad. Earth and Sky was written quite some time ago. While it was my fourth full-length novel to be written, the first three novels were part of a series, and were a completely different genre and feel. AND I was a new writer. Any author will tell you, even having written four whole novels is nothing in terms of growth and experience. I've gotten about eight years, ten full-length works, a few short stories, and some classes under my belt now (though that still doesn't mean I know what I'm doing!)

All that to say, Wren and Ville and the world I created in Earth and Sky are (and always have been) rather dear to me. I love all my imaginary people, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for this one. I always thought there was more to be written in the world, but chose instead to focus on creating new stand-alone novels and worlds in order to continue submissions to agents and publishers- feeling I wasn't successful, I wasn't a writer, I hadn't MADE it, until obtaining that mark of success. I won't go into the whole agent/publisher versus indie thing here. That is a discussion for another day, and one that lots of other far more successful and experienced writers have had in a far more skillful way than I ever will.

What I want to say here is that I think the delay in coming back to my love (Earth and Sky) was a good thing, painful as it is for me to admit it (I'm someone who wants progress and wants it NOW!) I am so very, very excited to now be pouring all of my love and attention into what I think will be a beautiful world of characters. Because I've grown a lot, as a writer and as a person, since I wrote those first few novels. If I had tried to write the Earth and Sky series right after the first book, it wouldn't have worked. I think I'm ready now, and I'm so excited to share the end result with you.

So, bear with me for the next months (or year), while I work for you. I'll do my best to fulfill the promise of Earth and Sky--but you're going to have to put up with my nerdy gushing!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Free Romantic Fantasy/ Paranormal Short Story, Mer!

Hello there. I'm offering a free PDF copy of my short story, Mer.  All you have to do is sign up to my mailing list on the right! I promise, no spam, just launch announcements and freebies. Enjoy :)

Taryn thought she was chasing the elusive creatures living in Lake Huron's chilly depths...but she's the one who ends up ensnared.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Secret Sky- Alien Romance Available Today!

Drum roll please ....
My new e-book A Secret Sky is now available!
A Secret Sky is a light-hearted romance with elements of fantasy and light sci-fi (this is NOT your typical space adventure!) Enjoy a little steamy alien love today;)

It just doesn’t seem right that green men from another planet could be so attractive.  Or so compassionate, intelligent—and infuriatingly moral.  Savannah is beginning to think her thankless life of healing sick critters and battling multiple sclerosis was preferable to the excitement of her own personal alien invasion.

When a group of aliens invades Savannah’s historic St. Augustine Florida home, the unwilling hostess and tour guide slowly finds herself developing feelings for one of the pointy-eared, chi-wielding giants.  Knowing her battle with Multiple Sclerosis will rob her of her future, the young veterinarian gives up her last years on earth to follow the alien biologist, Eirian, across the solar system.  However, Eiri's interest in earthlings brings danger to their doorstep.

A desperate refugee race of aliens, driven from their own planet and aided by Eiri's ex-crewmate, want earth as their new home.  And they plan to extinguish all human life to get it.  Savannah and Eiri struggle to enlist the help of his passivist planet, but are unable to shake them from their position of non-violence and non-interference.  They must unite two groups of people, worlds away in both the physical and spiritual sense, before it is too late for both worlds.