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Looking for more Covencraft?

Hey all! For those of you done with book 2 of my Covencraft Series, Counter Hex, and waiting on me finishing writing book 3, Double Sided Witch, I’ve got good news! I have a short story featuring Jade in Fable Press’s anthology, Fable’s Carnival! [via Smashwords]

Fable's Carnival at Smashwords CoverIt’s also on TXTR, and for US residents on Barnes and Noble

The Fable authors got together and decided to try for an anthology and we voted on teh theme ‘carnival’ but, it was up to each individual author to interpret that as they wished. Here’s a little snippet from my short story, Carnival Moon, to whet your appetite!


Jade knocked on Paris’ office door and then pushed it ajar with her foot, spying him at his desk. Paris was on the phone, looking up from his computer and acknowledging her with a quick quirk of his lips. Since her hands were occupied with a tray of coffee and a grimoire, she jerked her head in the direction of the Queen Anne chairs in front of the fireplace and headed there. She saw Paris tilt his head to get a better look at the spellbook she was carrying. It was just one of her regular grimoires, not one of her demon spellbooks. She knew better than to take one of the demon books out of her house – he’d told her several times. Several long, annoying times. There were only three demon grimoires that they knew of at the coven; Paris had one and Jade the other two. Jade wasn’t sure where he kept his, only that it wasn’t at the Coven. Jade’s two were safely ensconced in her cottage. Today it was just a regular spellbook – one from the Coven’s library. There were a few spells Jade wanted to try, but, given her history, she’d been banned from new magic anything until Paris could review it first. You lose control of one or two spells and maybe try a demon rune without asking first and suddenly, you were on the shit-list.

She sat cross-legged on the floor and spread her stuff out. If she was going to have her coffee, muffin and spellbook, it was easier to be on the ground. Paris finished his call and then came over, hitching his trousers up carefully before descending gracefully into a cross-legged pose as well. Jade crammed a piece of muffin in her mouth and simultaneously handed him his coffee (which was sure to be overly sweet – he had such a sweet tooth), as he spoke.

“The werewolves have asked to meet you.”

Jade paused at Paris’ words, coffee cup half way to her mouth. She worked her mouth around the muffin, swallowing the dry morsel so she could speak. “I was sick that day.”

Paris frowned at her comment. “What day?”

Jade shrugged, washing down the muffin bite with her drink. “Whatever day it was the ‘something’ happened that made the werewolves want to meet me.”


I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think! It takes place directly after book 2, but before book 3 – right in the middle! Happy reading!

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But I thought building a Platform meant like, you know, pieces of wood?

I’ve been into non-fiction books lately, which is NOT like me but I’m always open to my likes/dislikes changing so I’m just going with it. Of course, one of my biggest interests is writing and my book, so I’ve been reading some books on both.

I’m in the middle of Fast Fiction which I’m hoping will help me get faster at actually WRITING. But the clincher is you have to do all your PLANNING before hand. This has always been a sticky point with me. I don’t like prep work. I don’t like to tape shit up before painting, I want to just get to painting. I don’t like moving shit around so I can get organized well, I like to just start organizing. And similarly, I don’t like to start planning too much when I should be writing.

Because planning is HARD. UGH. it involves THINKING AND PLOTTING and sometimes these things aren’t fun. I can lay down the FUN scenes, it’s the little bits in between the fun scenes!

I’ve also been reading about marketing and how ideas spread. All this keeps pointing toward DEVELOPING A PLATFORM. which. Yeah. It must be capslocked. It’s a capslocked kind of thing.

So it’s all social media this and social media that and networking and pimp your work and *SOBS*. I kind of identify as an introvert! I LIKE being at home! I LIKE not talking to people. I LIKE being by myself. Can’t I just know that the book is good and it will eventually take off? Maybe? Someday? with luck? and maybe some black magic or a ritual sacrifice?

The answer has been a resounding NO.

I mean, I’m on social media. I like tumblr, and Pinterest and I do okay with Facebook [although too much FB makes me angry]. So I’m out there, I’m just… Out there for me. I reblog the stuff I like and pin the stuff I like and blog about stuff that’s on my mind and I don’t really worry about ‘creating an authentic brand,’ or if it all has to do with my books.

I wish I could say ain’t nobody got time for that. But I guess I have to make time?

 

The family that doesn’t really fight together?

My sister and I consider ourselves pretty funny. Okay, we consider ourselves REALLY funny. We sometimes joke that we should have our own reality show – the problem is, it would be 98% complete and utter boredom rounded off with 2% comedic brilliance.

We don’t exactly DO a lot of stuff.

And when those WACKY shenanigans DO happen, we’re sometimes too dry and nonplussed for what would be considered DRAMATIC REALITY TV. We also don’t really fight with each other. Or rather, if we do fight, it’s a cold war – everyone knows there are nukes, but no one is quite willing to be the one to set them off.

But mostly, we just get along. Even when things go pear-shaped

Take for example my burned fingers on Tuesday of last week. I burned them BADLY on the lawnmower. If this was a reality show, there would have been TEARS. AUDIBLE SOBBING. FRANTIC TRIP TO THE ER. TENSE MUSIC. EMOTIONAL UPHEAVAL. WOULD I EVER PLAY THE CELLO AGAIN???? WHAT ABOUT MY WRITING CAREER? WOULD I NEVER BE ABLE TO GET A MEDICAL DEGREE AND JOIN DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS???

What happened instead was, I ran for the cold water, soaked it and then decided this was not helping Jenge mow the lawn, so I held a cold piece of rock-gravel against the burn while we finished mowing the lawn.  Okay Jenge did the mowing. I watched and offered moral support, frantically dashing to get another rock when the one was holding wasn’t cold enough anymore. But I did help empty the bag! with my one good hand! We’d already started the lawn! It needed to be done! The next day was garbage day and I wanted to get that grass in there!.

Then we had a lackluster trip to the Shoppers Drug Mart for First Aid supplies [What about this one? No, I think that’s for sunburns. This one? Well, I think that’s just the no-name brand of this. Should we ask the pharmacist? IDK, that seems like a long line) and only when THAT didn’t to work, did we go to the Urgent Care center. Which is ANYTHING BUT URGENT. It was, like, 3 hrs of my sis and I sitting there on our phones for me to finally get called into the back and then for a nurse to finally say all they were going to do was put polysporin on it and send me home (REALLY WISH THEY’D SAID THAT WHEN I CHECKED IN). And then I STILL didn’t see a doctor! Actually that’s not true. One came in and said, “What have we here?” and I said “Burned fingers” and he said, “Are you Shelly?” and I said “No” and he left and I never saw another doctor again. After 3 hrs and then hearing the nurse say they would just bandage it and put poly on it, I checked myself out and had to sign an AMA [Against Medical Advice] form.

Then we went out to Jenge’s car and CLICK CLICK SPUTTER.

Again, in reality TV land, the car not starting at 10.30 at night after 3 hrs at Urgent care would be met with SHOUTING. CRIES OF OUTRAGE. SHOCKED FACES. WOULD WE NOT MAKE IT TO THE RANSOM DROP IN TIME? WAS SOMETHING RIGGED TO OUR CAR TO EXPLODE?

We turned and looked at each other. I shrugged. Jenge turned the key again and then she shrugged. She pushed the button on her radio. I pushed the button on the radio. She said, “I’ve been good to this car. Dammit. I took it for all it’s service appointments. I JUST GOT THE LETTER TODAY THAT SAID IT WAS PAID OFF.”

Me: Like, today-today?

Jenge: Like at 4pm today. I just opened it and was all happy it was finally paid off. It’s still sitting on the table. Figures. BASTARDS.

Me: That’s shitty. [clutches gauze to my fingertips – they still aren’t bandaged because I was going to do that AT HOME]

Jenge: [presses overhead light that won’t turn off now]: ugh. Do you have AMA?”

ME: [presses same light that jenge just pressed] No but I can sign you up online right now.

Jenge: Yeah.

Me: Well, we’ll call Darren [our bro in law], I guess.

Jenge: [shrugged again]: “Yeah. I guess so.”

So we called him. And he came out. There was no hollering. No shouting. No, “YOU BETTER GET HERE AND HELP US.” No GNASHING OF TEETH. The conversation was sorta like

Me: Um, Darren? You up?

Darren: Yeah, what’s up?

ME: We’re at the urgent care center and Jenge’s car won’t start. Can you come down?

Darren: Yep.

Me: We’re not sure what it is. Maybe we just need a boost. OR should we call AMA?

Darren: I’ll come down and take a look and then we’ll see. Be about ten minutes.

Me: Thanks, man.

Pretty anticlimactic.

So maybe we DON’T deserve our own reality show. At least, not on network TV. PBS? Can you only get a reality show if you fight desperately and meanly with your family?

Calgary Comic Expo!

Today I’m off to the Calgary Comic Expo. I’ll be attending with my bro-in-law and my nephews. For those of you that may be in attendance, here are some thoughts:

Don’t be a Dick! – People cosplay for fun! for their OWN fun and the fun of their friends. Some people are HELLA good at it. Some aren’t. But everyone is there for FUN. Don’t be a dick.

I repeat, don’t be a dick – a lot of cosplay costumes may be skimpy. Most [if not all] female cosplayers AREN’T DOING IT FOR YOU. They’re doing it because they like to dress up. and LET’S BE REAL – the cos play options for women has a lot of issues. A lot of female character costumes are ridiculous. Don’t be a dick and sexually harass someone who’s there to enjoy their time.

RULE 63 – – an internet adage which states that for every fictional character, there exists an opposite-gender counterpart. WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU – it means you may see Female!Batman, NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH BATGIRL. Female!IronMan, Female!Hulk [again, not to be confused with she!hulk]. Not to be confused with RULE 34, which, let’s face it is probably the most real rule out there.

Stay hydrated – the cement floors will SUCK THE MOISTURE from your body. That and you’ll be walking around and probably forget to stop and drink. Stay Hydrated folks!

Don’t go broke! – ZOMG so much SHINY. So many things you must own! Stay frosty, kids, stay frosty and save your pennies only for the best!

Have Fun out there!

 

 

 

Covencraft book 2 Udpate – First draft done!

OMG, guys! I just finished the first draft of Book 2 of Covencraft!

Let’s take a moment to CELEBRATE!

Carlton dancing

Now comes the next steps – EDITS!

Unimpressed

I admit, I HATE editing. But I’ve promised Fable Press they will have the book by January 15, so there’s no time to waste if I want it to be read over by my beta readers in time!

So I’ll have a celebratory drink tonight (and by drink, I mean bottle of wine) and then tomorrow, I start editing from the beginning. I already have some notes on things that need tweaking, and I’ll be checking my SPAG as I go. Then it’s off to Donna, Chantal and Ash for review. Although, Donna already has a rough draft without the ending that she’s looking at right now. She’s doing the “Yo, does this have a plot?” read through.

I’m always so happy when I finish a draft! It makes all the really tough parts (the crying, the wailing, the despair, the teeth gnashing, the fingernail biting, DID I MENTION THE DESPAIR??) worth it!

Happy-Dean-supernatural-17876753-392-352

 

 

Status update – What’s happening on my keyboard ‘write’ now [Oh! so punny!]

So, my summer was not as productive as I would have hoped due to some circumstances that were partially in my control but that I let get away from me for a while.

but! I’m back on track! what’s going on? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED:

I just finished reading “2K to 10K” about writing faster and I got some really good tips! If anyone out there is looking for some ideas on how to punch up their numbers, I recommend it. What does it boil down to? WORK – pre-planning, pre-plotting and knowing what you’re writing before you sit down so that you don’t waste your writing time staring at the keyboard wondering ‘What Happens Next?” I feel like I knew this but I needed to see it written out for me and explained and this book was excellent at that.

I’ve been working on Book 2 of my Covencraft series [working title Counter-Hex] and while I know how it ends, I didn’t have it all fleshed out. To be clear, I don’t like to overplot because I like my characters to have room to do what they may feel is necessary and I won’t always know what that is until I start writing. But I do like to have certain beats to hit and I didn’t have all those set in my head. After reading the 2K book, I sat myself down and started ‘plotting’… and realized I kind of didn’t have a system for it, officially. My first step was to find “the System”

When I submitted Trial by Fire to Fable Press, I had to give a one-page synopsis and I found a great site that helped me do that. So I thought – dayammmmm I should do that for book 2 BEFORE i write it and then poof! I will know what I’m doing. This me be surprising to people who aren’t writers. Like, how did you write a book without knowing what you were doing? Like I said, I know how stuff ends, I just don’t always know how I’m going to get there. It’s worked out for me in the past but it’s been painful at times. I want to write less painfully! so I’m taking steps to make it happen.

I’ve also been playing with another story. I want to put it on Wattpad, but I just don’t know if it’s going to be a YA or if it’s going to be New Adult, or maybe neither? It feels like a YA [when I get the character voice I’m looking for] but then the plot I had in mind for it [which legitimately came from a dream I had] doesn’t work for a YA book, so I’m sort of torn. But I think on Wattpad you can put stuff up and ask for help? IDK, I’m not sure how that all works.

And of course, my other love, fanfic. Yes, lovelies, I’m still writing it. No, you can’t have my fandom name. But if you’re in the fandoms I’m in, you might be able to guess who I am based on my writing/posts.

So that’s what’s happening – 3 WIPs [works in progress] with the possibility of me re-working an existing work.

And that’s all the shrimp there is

 

Blog Tour Schedule!

I’m going on tour!

From July 29 to Aug 26, I will be ‘On Tour’ with Bewitching Book Tours promoting my book, Trial by Fire!

bewitching_author Trial by Fire Button 300 x 225

The tour runs on Weekdays, links below so you can stop by and check stuff out. I’ll be updating this post as I create guest blog posts so you’ll know what I’ll be discussing.

What will happen on the book tour? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED:

Guest Blog – A post written by me – I’m still looking for the perfect place to write my post on “The Importance of Being Miss Piggy”, but for this tour, I’ll probably stick to writing, elements of writing, supernatural stuff and/or items feature my book.

Spotlight – Will feature excerpts from Trial by Fire

Interviews – will feature my responses to interview questions. I was very excited to do my first “Character Interview” for July 29, featuring answers by Jade!

Review – Will feature a book review of Trial by Fire [Gotta admit, this one has me biting my nails a bit]

Le Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
July 29
Character Interview [Jade]
Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
Author Interview
The Official Blog of A.C. James
July 30
Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
July 31
Author Interview
A Writer’s Mind
August 1 – Day off! August 2
Guest blog – Genre World Building
Mythical Books
August 5
Guest blog – Character Interview [Paris]
Christina McKnight Blog
August 6
Spotlight – Excerpt 1
Kelly P’s Blog
Spotlight – Excerpt 2
Reviewing in Chaos
August 7
Guest blog – Where do your ideas come from
Buffy’s Ramblings
Review of Trial by Fire
Escape Into A Book
August 8
Spotlight – Excerpt 3
Share My Destiny
August 9
Spotlight – Excerpt 1
Krystal’s Enchanting Reads …
Spotlight and review of Trial by Fire [excerpt 2]
wicca witch 4 book blog
August 12
Review of Trial By Fire
Ella Gray
August 13
Guest blog – Begin with the End in Mind
Itara @My midnight fantasies
August 14
Spotlight
Zombiegirl Shambling
August 15
Guest blog – Deleted Scene from Trial by Fire
Bookworm Bridgette’s World
August 16
Author Interview
Fang-tastic Books
Spotlight
Mommasez…blog
August 19
Author Interview
Roxanne’s Realm
Review of Trial by Fire
Nicky Peacock author
August 20
Spotlight
Reading In Twilight
Aug 21
Spotlight
Books & Tales
August 22
Spotlight
Elfie Books
August 23
Spotlight and Review of Trial by Fire
Faerie Tale Books
August 26
Author Interview
Pembroke Sinclair
Spotlight
Jodie Pierce

I’m super excited and a little nervous! I think August will be a busy month for me!

Still a busy Squirrell

So it’s almost a month after my post where I said I was crazy busy and I’m still crazy busy. Although it has gotten a lot better now that my nail class is over and I just have my ‘clients’ to work on.

I skipped out on 2 bootcamps last week, which means I only went to one. and boy did i feel that last night. We had a relatively easy bootcamp and I was struggling.

I actually have been out of breath a lot at bootcamp lately and so I popped by my docs and she gave me an inhaler to see if I have exercise induced asthma. which I thought would be kinda weird if I developed it after a year of bootcamp, but I gave it a try last night anyway. Breathing was somewhat easier, although I still got tuckered out pretty quick.

So if I don’t lose weight this week at my weigh in, I’m going to ask Kelly, my nutritionist if I’m getting enough calories. Maybe that’s why I’m so tired, and am finding the bulge won’t budge.

As I mentioned I’ve been trying to do some nail sets in my spare time, and everyone has been super sweet. I’m charging FREE right now, but people have brought me starbucks cards and some bottles of wine, and I super appreciated the thought. Sniff. It’s so nice.

My sister said my work is getting better and I’ve been trying really hard to work on my technique. My own nail tech is sick this week, so instead of rebooking my fill appt, I’m just going to do my own set. I’ve been waiting for my business cards to arrive but no luck yet. I’m hoping any day now!! that and I’m waiting for my first issue of a nail magazine. oh, and I’m going to my first trade show on Sunday, whoot whoot.

and that’s all the shrimp there is.