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Uncontrollable Burn (Covencraft #5) – Blurb and cover!!!

LOOK WHAT I HAVE HERE!!!

I’m still on target for an early June release. I’m aiming for June 6 or 13th!

You can face your past, but it doesn’t mean you’re free…
Jade thought facing a Gorgon and her past demons (including the one that shows up in her pantry on occasion), meant she’d get over stuff. Auto-magically, so to speak. It turns out, it’s not that simple. Still recovering from her time in the Dearth and her meeting with Medusa, Jade tries to understand her feelings for Paris. Is she ready to deal with her past as an assault survivor and move forward? Or is she perpetually stuck where she is?

Jade also struggles as Lily pushes for them to be independent. Now that they’re no longer sharing a body, they can lead separate lives. It should be everything Jade ever wanted.

Sometimes for the future, something has to burn…
While Jade struggles with her personal life, the Coven is called upon for magical assistance. A forest fire rages out of control, unable to be stopped by mortal forces. Any witch proficient with fire is called to help. If there’s one thing Jade is certain about, especially now when nothing else feels right, it’s fire.

Out of the frying pan…
If Jade can’t get the fire under control then landscape, houses, cities, people are in jeopardy. It’s gotta be easier than dealing with her feelings, right? Or has she just made the biggest, most fatal, mistake of her life?

Edits – and some notes on book 5 (Covencraft)

I’m editing book 5 (will have blurb up shortly) and sometimes, a particular song sticks with me through a book. For this one, it’s ben The Razor’s Edge by Digital Daggers.

This one really speaks to me for Jade and her struggles.  Here are the lyrics. Bold emphasis is mine.

“The Razor’s Edge”

I think I’m lost
I think I’m broken
It’s not what I wanted
The verdict won’t change
I’ve gone off the razor’s edge
Thought it would be different
Was treading the water
‘Til it took me under

Quick retreating
So stuck in these feelings
I’m taking the beating
It won’t let me go, go, go

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

Seems I forgot
Which way I was going
Echoed mistakes (mistakes)
Repeating again

Quick retreating
So stuck in these feelings
I’m taking the beating
It won’t let me go, go, go

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

 

I also have a song that I’m listening to for book 6 [Untitled as of yet] by Digital Daggers, BUT I CAN’T TELL YOU BECAUSE OF SPOILERS.

BUT IT’S THERE. AND I KNOW IT.

2015 – a reading Round-up!

Like most writers, I am an avid reader. or rather, I try to be. This year on Goodreads, I pledged to read 40 books and I made my goal with some to spare! Some books were hardly book length (more like short stories), but I counted them all. Especially since I don’t count the fanfic reading I do on goodreads ;). I don’t finish anything I don’t really like, so if I finished it and it’s listed below, I enjoyed it. Here are the snapshots of my Goodreads list!

 

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Okay, Ravenwood is my OWN book. It still counts! I read it, like, 12 times while doing edits.

What stuck with me:

The Success Principles [Non Fiction, self betterment]– I feel like this is a book I will continually return to and re-read as I progress. I really enjoyed this book and felt empowered while reading it. I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN SUCCESS! If I work hard, I can do it!

Dead Mountain [Non Fiction, true story, mystery] – WOW. What a story. ALL TRUE [with some speculation tossed in]. This was a book that I TOLD EVERYONE ABOUT. a true story about a group of hikers that died in Russia in the 1960s. Amazing story. Has tickled my brain re: Infrasound.

Dark Space [M/M Romance, Sci Fi]- THIS ONE HAUNTS ME. I read a couple Lisa Henry books this year and HOLY GOD. she is SO GOOD. Her narrative voice is amazing and PULLS YOU IN. I felt like I WAS HER CHARACTERS. I read it in one day and then cried happy tears when I saw Henry had just released a sequel.

The Riddle of the Labyrinth [Non Fiction, true story, languages]– Another amazing story, this time on the decipherment of Linear B. WHAT COMMITMENT. Unbelievable. I can’t even focus on a book sometimes so reading about the effort and time these people put into deciphering an unknown language is truly fantastical to me.

Reflections in General – As a reader I am HUMBLED by the storytelling abilities of the books I’ve read this year. Shirley Jackson, Dean Koontz, Lisa Henry… I’m in awe of their ability. I hope my own writing grows and that I get better as I go!

What am I reading now? – I’m currently working on The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon. Having struggled with depression for most of my life, I was amazing and gobsmacked by some of Solomon’s insights during a Ted talk. I immediately picked up his book. I’m also re-reading Fingerprints of the Gods. I read this one in 2007 and really enjoyed it. With a trip to Peru coming up this year (29 WEEKS AND COUNTING), I wanted to re-read to refresh my mind. Just as engaging the second time around. I’ve pledged to read 50 books this year, including writing 2, so I guess my decision to give up almost all television was a good one.

Happy reading!

Covencraft – Jade and Paris – Jade’s Demisexuality

I’ve been thinking a lot about something and I’d like to address it. I know that some of my closer readers [friends and family] have expressed a notion that Jade and Paris really should be getting it on by now [they have said it in a nicer way/classier way, but that’s essentially what it boils down to]. This leaves me feeling like I need to address or discuss Jade/Paris and their interactions, or lack thereof. [those of you in fandoms will recognize the SLASH ‘/’ as used when people are in a romantic and/or sexual relationship and isn’t to be confused with just general interactions. If I wanted to talk about their friendship, I would type Jade-Paris, but when I use the slash, there is something ‘more’ implied about their relationship].

Yes, I know, Jade and Paris haven’t so much as kissed in my books but I feel there is definitely an attraction there on both sides. Whether it’s something the readers are in support of or notice, I’m not sure. But, for me, as an author, it’s there. Jade feels *THINGS* with respect to Paris. She’s just not sure how to articulate them or even address them. And I think that in as much as Paris ‘lets’ himself feel an attraction to Jade, he does.

Let’s look at Paris first, since he’s the easier of the two. There are spoilers for book 2 below this sentence……

 

Paris is obviously a guy and feels an attraction to Jade on a simple/visceral level – she’s attractive. I wouldn’t say Jade is drop-dead gorgeous, but she doesn’t have to wear a bag over her head either. She’s also the kind of person I imagine gets better looking as you know her, because at first [and most of the time, still] she’s kind of bratty. But, Paris is also Coven Leader and I feel that he’s had to sacrifice a lot of his personal life at the alter of Leadership. I think he’s keenly aware of his position in the Coven and how, if he did feel an attraction to someone, his position as a person of authority colors that. I think it’s why he had a history/relationship with Veronica – she was also in a position of authority as a Coven Leader of her own Coven and he didn’t worry so much that he may be abusing his ‘authority’ while in a relationship with her as she had a similar position herself. I think that Paris is always hyper-aware that anyone he may show an interest in may have a hero-worship complex for him because of his power and his authority. It was always known since he was young that he would be Coven Leader an in that sense, he’s not just a ‘regular person.’ People have pre-evaulated judgements/feelings toward him. I think that he’s also so busy that he’s turned a blind eye to that aspect of his life. It’s one of the reason that Callie and Paris are so close as FRIENDS. She’s always been in his life since they were both young. She’s able to be there for him as a friend, but not as a romantic interest. She has a boyfriend [Nick, who we don’t really see ‘on screen. I feel like I know him rather well because of scenes I’ve written for him in drafts that didn’t make the cut or alternate universes that haven’t happened]. So Callie has NO romantic interest in Paris and neither does he have an interest in her. While Paris may feel attracted at times to people [I’m not TOTALLY sold on him being STRICTLY heterosexual. I feel like he could be a 1 or 2 on the Kinsey Scale and not exclusively a 0], it’s not something he focuses on because he has his work and that takes up almost all of his time. But to be honest, I don’t worry/think as much about Paris’ sexuality as I do about Jade’s.

 

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS FOR BOOKS THREE AND FOUR – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

 

 

In my mind, I clearly identify Jade as a demisexual and she just always has been.

demisexual flag

Demisexual Flag

While I’ve not explicitly stated it in the books, Jade is also sexual assault survivor and that definitely has an impact on her current relationships and how she views interactions. To be clear, she was demisexual before she was sexually assaulted. It’s not a response to her trauma, it just IS the way she IS. Lily, on the other hand, is not demisexual. She experiences sexual attraction a lot easier and more freely than Jade. I may explore that in a later book, I’m not sure. Lily might get her own series. It’s all… kind of up in the air. But I do clearly see Jade as demisexual. She has to have a STRONG connection with someone BEFORE she even thinks of them in a sexual manner. At times, it may appear that she is asexual or repressive, but it’s just that she takes a long time to process things and she can’t even fathom being sexually attracted to someone without having a connection and she DOES NOT connect with many people. At all. I’ve no doubt that she IS attracted to Paris, but that attraction really took time for her to grow into. She has to get to know him but also, has to be in a place where she feels more secure and safe in her environment. When she first joins the Coven, she’s not in that place. She’s nowhere near the head space she needs to be in to address those feelings. When that’s coupled with her past as a sexual assault survivor, it takes her a long time to EVEN acknowledge her attraction to Paris, which is where we see her, I think, at the end of book3, Double-Sided Witch. The arrival/appearance/return of Lily is a catalyst for Jade in more ways than one. Lily can point things out to Jade that Jade cannot see herself, but also, with Lily no longer being ‘gone’ or ‘dead’, Jade is finally able to move forward.

So, where do I see that going? Well, I’m not sure! I’m sort of watching them [Jade and Paris] to see how it goes. It’s very important to me that Paris respects Jade’s boundaries and I think he’s keen enough as a leader and a person to see and recognize those boundaries even when she doesn’t explicitly state them. The fact that at the end of book 3, Jade willingly, WITHOUT REAL THOUGHT, reaches out and touches Paris is a big thing for her. I’m sure in this time/age/world of sex-sex-sex, it’s considered a non-event, but for Jade, that’s a real moment. One that I’m not sure either Jade or Paris may recognize. Lily would be able to see it for what it was, and I may have her address it. The other way we ‘see’ Jade’s feelings for Paris is through Bruce – Jade’s familiar. Bruce’s feelings are a mirror or a composite of Jade’s and, being a LIZARD [lol], he’s a lot more free in expressing them. We see Bruce in book 3 SEEK PARIS OUT to let him know there’s a problem [Bruce’s scaly patch] and we also see Bruce showing a fondness for Josef – something Jade feels as well. In book 4, I’m hoping to explore that, and maybe have Paris tune in a bit more to it. He knows familiars have the same/similar emotions as their witches, but I feel like he may need to be hit with a Clue-by-four and really have that, OH WOW moment in book 4.

I’m still working out what this all means for them as I write book 4 and tentatively sketch out book 5! But, those are my thoughts. Do with them what you will.

Reading Classics – Jekyll and Hyde

I decided to read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the other day, and as I did, I felt sad that I was technically ‘spoiled’ for the book. I mean, is there anyone that isn’t? Jekyll and Hyde have become part of our lexicon, along with Dracula and Frankenstein and as I read it, I found myself kind of sad that I couldn’t experience it for the first time without knowing what the mystery was.

I tried to imagine what it would be like to read it when it was first published in 1886 but it was so hard to separate my knowledge of the basic story from my reading experience.

I still really enjoyed the book! I just wish that I could have read it without knowing the ‘big surprise.’

 

Editing Double Sided Witch!

 

That’s right gang, I’m in edits! I’ve always been a “Can we knock this out in one draft?’ kind of gal and editing is just…. ugh. It’s NECESSARY, but I dislike it intently. Interestingly enough, I’m editing a friend’s work at the same time and I don’t loathe editing her stuff the way I do my own! what’s that all about?

I got some books on editing to help me work through this intense dislike. If I want to be successful as an author, I’ve got to be good at editing. Simple spell check and a once over doesn’t cut it.

So, book 3 is currently at about 96000 words and I imagine I’ll add about 2000 through editing. I have to add at least one scene as the BFF has gotten back to me and said she felt like a part was missing. There may also be dribs and drabs as I go. it DOES end on a bit of a cliffhanger, so as soon as I’m done editing book 3, I’m moving onto book 4! The goal for 2015 is to write TWO books – book 4 in Covencraft and then finish my werewolf gothic romance. You know. That one I started in 2013. lol.

Nano musings

Internets. I’m unofficially doing Nanowrimo. I say unofficially because book 3, Double Sided Witch was already at 50000 ish words before Nano started and you’re supposed to start a NEW project so that doesn’t count. but I thought I could still shoot for the word count. I actually started a week ago because I figured THERE’S NO TIME LIKE NOW AND WHY WAIT FOR NOVEMBER.

So this isn’t just me whining on DAY THREE. I SWEAR. it’s more like whining on day 10. WHATEVER.

The thing is, I changed my whole beginning. I got half way through and was like DAMN I did not set this up well. Okay, let me go back and fix this. so I did and I’m really happy with the new beginning. But now I’ve reached the point where I need to align that with what I already had written.

Which I can do. I’ve done this before.

So what’s the problem? Well, that means I’m deleting words! And that means I’m not going to make my word count! And that makes my Type A STRUCTURED brain VERY UNHAPPY AND SQUIRRELLY.

I’ve just got to get the fuck over it. So! The goal for tonight is to ‘sit’ with this and learn it as my truth. I know that sounds hokey, but it’s what I do. The word count is a great goal, but the TRUE goal is to get a working draft of book 3. And that means some of these words gotta go.

 

Covencraft Update – Book 3 Double Sided Witch

Another status update on book 3 of my Urban Fantasy Series, Covencraft!

I’m almost half way!

I attended an online webinar on Scrivener the other day, hosted by Joseph Michael and Joanna Penn and I learned how to import my existing WIP into Scrivener and I’m SUPER EXCITED to start working in the program! I’d had it installed on my machine for a while but didn’t know what to do, so the webinar REALLY HELPED and showed me some awesome tips and tricks. One of the things I was worried about is that I shift POV in the Covencraft series from Jade to Paris, but I always want to ensure that it’s more weighted on Jade since it’s HER story. With Scrivener I can COLOR CODE THE SCENES SO I KNOW WHOSE POV I’M USING AND SEE IF I’M DOING OKAY AT A GLANCE.

I’ll stop capslocking you now. OR WILL I?

Seriously, I’m ridiculously excited about this.

Although, with the progress I’m making on book 3, I think I may have to shift some of what I wanted to do to Book 4 [as yet untitled]. Book 3 is mostly about Jade and Lily [and we’ll find out all about who she is and her backstory] and I was going to try to put in another subplot as well, but since I’m almost halfway into the book and haven’t gotten ANYTHING I would need for the subplot yet, it might have to wait until book 4. We’ll see.