Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Prank?

I guess you know it's Halloween when this is your ranking on Amazon....

Music Corner

I added a new page to my blog called Music Corner, check it out! Thought readers might like to know what type of music I'm listening to during the different phases of my writing for each series. Also, it's a chance to discover some new songs and artists. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Simon Hunt

“No woman leaves my apartment decent." - Simon Hunt (Mageri Series: Book 2)

Taking a break leads to dangerous things when I open my editing software. I was playing around with an image for Simon. Took a little work to give him a suitable dimple, but alas, I am not very good with adding hair (Simon's hair is shoulder length, so let's just pretend he tied it back). For those who may not know, digital art is another outlet I'm passionate about.

I love how each reader see's characters differently. No matter how the author describes them, everyone walks away with something different. One example is that I am a fan of the Night Huntress series - but for whatever reason, I see Bones with longer hair than he has in the book. That's why fanmade art is so great, you get to see all the different possibilities.

Here's one possibility.

All stock purchased. Do not crop or modify.

They will always be in the Mezzanine

I love music no one has ever heard of, the kind that makes them listen and ask, "Who is that? What song is that?"

Here's a gem. The video montage makes no sense (Uploaded from a fan, so you can just put it in the background and listen to the music) 

Tucked under my arm

This weekend, I'll be reading through Unbound. This is a collection of short stories by several of our favorite UF authors. I'm not against short stories because I started off my serious adult reading with collections, but so often I want *more* when I'm done.

Greedy, aren't I? You know I'm right. I read a storm story not too long ago that I wished had been expanded on; it could have easily been it's own book, or even series. Great ideas, crunched down to "fun size".

I couldn't help but wonder, on a side note, if all UF authors are redheads? Red hair is one of the most uncommon hair colors there is. Each time I look at a photograph of a favorite author and see she has red hair, it makes me smile. Must be in the genes.

I hope you all have a good book tucked under your arm this weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ghouls and Goblins

It's Friday...savor and devour it.

I'm on the fence about buying Halloween candy this year. I'm in a new place so I don't know if I can expect to see any goblins with greedy eyes and empty sacks. Chances are that I would be stuck with 10lbs of sugar. My neighbor carved an awesome pumpkin with a wide mouth, eating a smaller pumpkin (who carries a look of horror on his face).

The skies are overcast and the air is cool. I'm ready for some Halloween movies this weekend, curled up on my sofa with my favorite blanket. I've got a few books lined up. I also have a chair to assemble. I would say the majority of the furniture I have purchased, I put together. What happened to the good ol' days when you could buy a chair already made?

"IMMORTALS" - Coming out 11-11-2011, I hope this is a good movie. The visuals looks awesome and if it's IMAX, I'll be all over that.

Halloween isn't what it used to be. Most kids go to functions days prior, and a lot of the candy is discarded for fear of tampering. I think its funny that so many grown kids who have a drivers license are showing up at the door. People carve happy pumpkins and the true horror movies don't hit the airwaves like they used to around this time of year.

I still remember when my neighbors made homemade caramel apples and cookies and passed them out in ziplock bags. And you better believe you thought you were the shit when someone put a full sized candy bar in your bag. Fun size didn't exist, so a lot of the loot was suckers and tootsie rolls. Still, it's a unique holiday that it's unfortunate many countries miss out on. Anyone who has been to a grown up Halloween party knows what I'm talking about.

Happy Halloween weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'd love to create a mailbag section for this blog. If you click to view my profile on my blog, you can send me an email. Ask any question you want, book related or otherwise. I won't bite, and I've responded to every email so far (except one, and I hope that sender knows their mail keeps bouncing back as non deliverable).

Now I understand why some people spend years writing a single book. I have to be careful how I re-edit my draft, because I have already written books 3 and 4 of the Mageri series. It's important to retain continuity as the story. That being said, now that I am nearing the end of my third edit, I've discovered a few items I'd like to expand on. I am a creature of five million post-it notes, and today at work (when the boss wasn't looking), i organized them on a clean sheet of paper. These are small rewrites of specific scenes, one of which requires backtracking through "Sterling". I did so much cutting on that book I have to be sure what I write weaves in.

There is some serious editing underway. I'm giving a lot of detailed attention to book 2.

Online sites are useful, but I went to the bookstore this week and picked up a few extra reference books. Paper books! I always like having a physical book on hand to look up synonyms and definitions. Some sites are very limited in the results, and there are times I'd rather be on the sofa scribbling my thoughts on paper. The laptop needs a break; the battery is seriously reaching meltdown mode.

I did find a few useful websites that show hundreds of different alternatives to using the word "said". I know there are those that encourage people to use that more often, but it can make reading dull if the entire book were written in a "he said/she said" form. There's a fine balance. As an example, I am pulling a random book that happens to be sitting right next to me! I'm opening a page and here is how this author chose to write a line, using an alternative to "said":

"Blood," she demanded.

Demanded. She didn't just say it, she demanded it.
What a difference a word makes.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


At least twice a month, I try to visit this little hole-in-the-wall Chinese buffet. The decor is tacky with those illuminated wall paintings, but the food is great. Plus, it's one of those places we all have that becomes "our" place. The food may not be five star quality, the ambiance may be less than stellar, but there's something about it that feels like home away from home.

I have been collecting my fortunes since going there. Remember the movie with Tom Hanks called "BIG", where he makes a wish and a machine spits out his fortune? That child inside of me still wants to believe in magic. I never throw the fortune in the trash, and I have to eat at least part of the cookie so it will come true. It's a ritual - call it nuts - but it's what I do.

Today's fortune went something like this "You're financial outlook is very good."

Well, that just made me want to buy a lottery ticket! But, that wouldn't be a very wise way to spend my money, now would it?

I haven't posted in a few days because I'm still editing, and revising several scenes in Book 2 of the Mageri series. I made some digital art to set as my wallpaper, but I can't share it here because it would be a spoiler.

I'm also a girl on the hunt for a new living room set. I'm super picky, but today I found a chair that I love from "World Market". It's wide enough that I can curl up in it and read, and I know exactly where I'm going to put it. On the downside - assembly required. WTH? It seems these days that is a popular trend, having to put the furniture together. Well, if I'm paying over $300 for it, shouldn't it already be assembled? Just sayin'. Tomorrow I plan to go get it, haul it back in a borrowed SUV and up a flight of stairs. I'm excited. Thanks to "Sterling", this is my first real purchase, and I no longer have to sit on a love-seat with a hole in the cushion that was made in 1986. Yep, times are hard.

On my book radar: "DRINK DEEP" by Chloe Neill.
I'm still reading "Moonshine", but I haven't updated my Goodreads status on my books, so many things going on it's hard to keep up.

I was disappointed that the World Market didn't carry Vampire wine this year. I tried it last year and it was actually delicious. They did have zombie wine, so perhaps I'll give it a go.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Milestones are a Beautiful thing

Today I hit a milestone. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for each person who has given "Sterling" an opportunity to shine. I hope you enjoy the read.

My wish is to celebrate this weekend by making homemade cookies! Yeah, bring on the ooey gooey chocolate and sugar. I haven't baked those in years that I'm afraid my skills are rusty, at best. (Mostly because I'm a gluttonous fool who will eat the entire batch) I also just need some downtime; I've been working tirelessly on this sequel and a girl has to eat.

I am working very hard to polish book 2. I have been fortunate enough to locate editing software, and while my goal was to release it by Christmas, I must be flexible. It is far more important to ensure what I put out is the highest quality, and I truly want my readers to enjoy the series as much as I do. I absolutely love the journey of each character in this book. So, I have spent up to 5 hours a day editing in addition to my regular 8-5 job. Throw weekends in that mix. I would never do it if I didn't feel passionate about it. That is why I chose to unleash these books into the great wide open - I loved them that much.

The reviews have been splendid, I love the fan mail and support. I'm humbled by it. Readers are such a cool group of people. As brutally honest as you can be, we all share a common love: books. And I've had some friends along the way who have kept me laughing (which is what I needed), and supported my dream. I don't know these people, never met them, but you girls know who you are!! I just wish I could share those cookies with everyone held my hand and gave me a kick in the pants.

Now give me your best cookie recipes! LOL

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Leading Men

I was thinking about the main types of leading men in UF and PNR books.

First, there's the ass kicking witty guy who always has a line. He's the one that drives the heroine crazy with his cocky attitude and almost juvenile humor.

Then there's the male who came to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and he's all out of bubble gum. The growler, the one who snarls and is possessive over his woman. He's the one you have to get a chisel out for and chip away at the wall he built up because some bad shit happened to him. Yeah, we love that guy.

Then, there's the mysterious guy; the one you can't quite figure out. He may have a sense of humor, he may also be protective of the woman, but there's something you can't quite pin on him. He's usually the one that pisses off the woman because he's rude and it may come across that he dislikes her. But there's tension beneath the surface of it all and we can feel like like electrical impulses tapping at our molecules. Not that he's completely untouchable, but that you aren't always sure what his motives are. He's the one who takes a push to get him to do the right thing and he doesn't always go after the woman. This male doesn't have a wall, he has a moat.

I like that guy.

Which one is my favorite? Well, it always depends on the story and the leading lady. But as much as I like that  hero who is powerful and strong, I like my men to be intelligent. That is the sexiest quality of all.

But a snug pair of leather pants or a tattoo never hurt anyone, feel me? ;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let's talk about sex

I knew that title might get your attention. I was thinking about the Urban Fantasy genre and how many of the books I have include sexual situations. Was it needed, and did it add/subtract from the story? Sex - it's a real thing - the birds do it/bee's do it song. I realize some authors do not want to detract from the story by going that route and it isn't always necessary in many novels or series. My characters live passionate lives, dangerous lives, and it somehow feels wrong to exclude it from the writing if the story warrants it.

Unlike PNR, it is not the main focus and the Mageri series does not revolve around romance in the traditional sense but it is definitely part of their lives. I will tell readers that the future books in the series may be peppered with some passion as appropriate. (Bottle that!)

Of course, some of my favorite UF series do include these scenes and they do not detract from the story. In fact, in many cases I feel that these intimate moments enhance my connection with the characters and their relationship. It's not required, but none of us would be here without sex. It's been going on for millions of years and I'm not sure why books that include it get stereotyped.

I hope that my readers, regardless, are captivated enough by the story itself that it doesn't matter either way. Keep in mind it's an Urban Fantasy series and I'm not writing it in a way where it  becomes a distraction, nor it being the sole reason someone picks up the series to read. If it happens, then it's a pivotal scene for my characters.

The reason I brought this up is I have been going through the editing process of my books and I have been reviewing a scene. Stay, or go? Need it, or don't need it? Perhaps moments like these are what beta readers are for. In the meantime, I'll be mulling it over, but as it stands, it's staying.

I included on my blog a Pictures page. Some of you know (and most of you don't) that I love creating digital art. I haven't put everything up there yet but I've already been working on a few things for Book 2 but I can't release them because they are spoilers. So, keep an eye out and I'll be posting a new one every so often with a little caption. It may be a quote, my thoughts or just a description.

I absolutely LOVE fanart. I create it myself and I suppose that I will have to be put to charge of creating my own, so I will be sharing those with you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Author

Today, please welcome my first guest blog by Rebeka Harringon!

“Leave behind your preconceived ideas, forget the horror stories and disregard everything you think you know about vampires.

For centuries the debate has raged; are vampires real?  There has been plenty of myth and superstition regarding vampires but not a lot of truth or answers.  In a unique piece of work, Bektamun a 3000 year old vampire, puts to rest all the myth and finally reveals the truth about the legendary creatures known across the globe as vampires.

Vampires Revealed is a journey of discovery. Never before have humans had and an opportunity such as this.  To know the unadulterated truth, for every question you may have ever had about vampires to be answered”

Purchase details: Vampires Revealed by Rebeka Harrington
Barnes & Noble:

Rebeka Harrington
Author Biography
Raised in country Victoria, Rebeka started her writing career working for the local newspaper as a teenager. While she decided not to pursue this as a career, she has always enjoyed writing and being creative
With so many varied interests and eclectic taste in most things, Rebeka enjoys incorporating all of them in her writing. She particularly enjoys writing about vampires.
Rebeka seeks to define and explain vampires in a way not done before. This has been achieved with her debut title "Vampires Revealed". Following titles will revolve around exploring the world and characters created in her first release.
Currently Rebeka lives in Melbourne with her “demented” but lovable cat, dividing her time between writing and managing a small boutique entertainment agency.

Author Links:
Character Blog:
Author Blog:

Building a fantasy world

When you write fiction, the sky is the limit. The reader is introduced to new characters, new concepts and often new rules. One thing I wanted to talk about was the basic foundation of "Sterling".

The first thing the reader will notice is that there are new words and they are used in specific ways.

Learner - not just a term, but a title used for an inexperienced Mage (a novice).

Creator - a title used for a Mage with a pecific and rare gift of being able to transform a human into a Mage.

Ghuardian - a Mage word for one who is directed by the Mageri to step in as a mentor to a young inexperienced Mage. They are not only one who teaches them about laws, history, and other breeds - but they help discover and shape the abilities of the Mage. This word spelling was intentional to separate it from the base meaning the human word has, as it is so much more among their kind and an honorable position.

Mage is also used differently in this world in regards to pluralization. These are rules defined by my characters, age old rules that I simply could not interfere with.

Mageri - (pronounced ma-jur-ee) is the higher order of law over the Mage. It is the equivalent of government. They are the overseer of laws and govern the Councils who are over various territories.

Later in the series there will be other breeds introduced  from the world of Breed (a term used to describe the order of creatures that live separate from humans) such as Gemini, Chitah, Relics and Sensors. There are also terms such as binding, bonding etc. that have a specific definition.

Special abilities among the Mage are capitalized. Such as a Charmer or a Unique. This is to separate the word from the literal meaning. Saying "Justus is a charmer", vs "Justus is a Charmer" will have completely different meanings in my story. The first means he is just a dashing kind of guy. The latter means that is his gift. My hope is that readers are accepting of these differences and understand they are not typos. :)

Additionally, I enjoy a gradual introduction of concepts. I did not want to bombard the reader with so many new terms, details of wars and politics, etc. In some books that shiny new feeling can be exciting but for others it leaves them flipping to a glossary, if included. Because the book is told from the leading character's perspective, we learn right along with her.

I have always been fascinated by mythical creatures and fantasy. Every book written and each movie made puts a different spin on things. A book written 300 years ago written about a Vampire, for example, would vastly differ from how they are described now. Not only that, but it varies by the country. So, who is right? Well, if these beings have managed to keep themselves in hiding from humans for this long, then there is a lot that humans don't know. When you do not understand something or are afraid of it, then it becomes easy to weave stories around it that are not true. It would suggest that the intent of that person would be to warn others (such as bedtime stories about the big bad wolf to keep your kids from straying far or trusting strangers) or glamorize. This opened up possibilities in regards to the abilities of my characters.

I like explanations. For this reason, you won't find that a Mage is something completely opposite - such as a scaled creature who flies. To deviate that far from the concept and I might as well give it a new name. But, given what we think of what a Mage is (a person with power, magic) I put a  twist on it that made it believable in how easily humans could have misinterpreted their magic.

Oh yeah, back to explanations! Have you ever read a book about an immortal character with healing abilities and wondered how the heck they can have scars or tattoos? Sometimes that's never explained, but in Book 2 you will learn a little more about this. In other books this explanation will be an important detail in the story and/or characters.

So, to the reader - I hope you will always remain open minded when picking up a new book and exploring the mind of the author.

To the the aspiring writer - color outside the lines.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Twitter Account

I have finally done it. I have a Twitter account. Now what? ;-)  Please feel free to follow me, I might have something informative to say provided that I can say it in less than 140

Friday, October 7, 2011

Have you heard this song?

I have a great song for you. I am a huge fan of diamonds in the rough, songs that don't get radio play, songs that just blow your freaking mind. A song can be as equally good as a book - taking you on a journey. I love a great song I can jump into like cold sheets in a soft bed. One that distances me from reality.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not every heroine has to be an assassin

I love a good Urban Fantasy. One that carries me away to a world where things are possible - and impossible.

But there is a common denominator in many of the books in this genre whenever I am drifting through the aisles of the bookstore - all the females on the cover are armed! Knives, grenades, guns...they're killers! I guess that's one way to have action in the book, but do all female heroines have to be an assassin?

That's where I was going with "Sterling" when I first sat down and started to hash out an idea. But then I put myself in her situation. She was recently a mortal and I couldn't imagine myself kicking ass and chewing bubble gum just because of the simple fact I was immortal. Plus, what would be her purpose in life? This is the beginning of her journey and who knows how a lifetime of struggle may shape the person she will become.

She is learning that she CAN be tough, but it's within her limitations of learning what her skills are. Life among Breed is not easy, you don't wake up in the morning, sip your coffee and pay taxes. There's a current of tension stirring below the surface - many of them are centuries old and harboring old prejudices and a distaste for one another and for the fact they're forced to live in secrecy. It is a complex and dangerous world in which one has to learn to fight and toughen up. But there is also a risk of losing your humanity along the way.

A heroine can be brave through intelligence and learning from her mistakes. She can be a warrior through selfless decisions, using her heart as a weapon and trust as her shield. Many of the books i read I wonder "What was this girl like before she was a heartless killer? How did she get to that point?"

I always liked the before and after.

I still love the books where the girls wearing head to toe leather and have more knives on them than a culinary parade - but I'm always on the lookout for a strong, intelligent and witty lead who doesn't necessarily have to slay 30 men in the first 4 chapters.

Personally if I were a guy, I don't know if I'd want to hook up with the girl who might have a grenade in her panties.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


October 5th will mark the 1 month anniversary since the release of "STERLING". It's been a bumpy ride. To give you the lowdown, when I released this book it was with no expectation that it would sell a lot of copies. Do I love my story? YES! But in the massive sea of books available on amazon (well over 800,000) it seemed too easy to get lost in the shuffle and i threw my hands into the air. All I could do was release "Sterling" into the great wide open and hope for the best.

Somehow, people have found my book. Not only that, but my sales continue to rise (at least for the time being). It received a few reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but I'm guessing that most people like me do not read a book immediately after purchase.

That's okay, I'm perfectly content knowing its in their library waiting for a cold stormy day this winter when they can curl up beneath their blanket, set down their steaming cup of coffee on the end table and switch on their Kindle.

My best rank (US) that I've been able to track has been:

    * #58 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Contemporary
    * #75 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Contemporary

Wow! I'm still floored by the numbers. Whether that continues remains to be seen, but it doesn't make it any less exciting to know that I was there in the top 100.For those of you who have added "Sterling" to your library, a big THANK YOU for giving it a chance!

#3,392 Paid in Kindle Store

That's a pretty fabulous number. Hell, I'd be happy with 40,000 only because I am competing against over 800,000+ books. The lower the number, the better. Who is #1? I wish I could do a ranking

  • MORE REVIEWSI would really love to see more reviews on Amazon. Not everyone who reads a book writes reviews;, typically it's going to be those who are either passionate about writing reviews or feel very strongly about a book (either they love it or hate it). Of COURSE I'm wishing for 5 star reviews, who wouldn't? I guess the old adage "Be careful what you wish for" is tapping me on the shoulder. But reviews aren't really for the author -they're for the readers. And I think it always helps people when there are reviews to give them an idea about what others took away from the book.
  • BOOK 2: To publish book 2 of the Mageri series by Christmas. I've been working very hard on the editing to meet this goal.
  • SELF IMPROVEMENT: To continue to improve the quality of my writing and stories.
  • FOLLOWERS: That I will have more followers on my blog, facebook and goodreads. I want people to follow me so that I can communicate to them new book releases. Amazon does not allow you to put a placeholder in for a book with an option for someone to be notified upon its release.
  • EARLY RETIREMENT (lol): Every girl needs a big dream. Some dream of prince charming, but my dream is that I will retire in 5 years from my day job and do this full time. I suppose it would help if I didn't just dream about winning the lottery but actually played it. Odds are that I will have a better chance at being struck by a meteor while hula hooping on a helicopter, but we all need a big wish, don't we? :) So I'm throwing it out there into the Universe!

Word of mouth is the only thing that's going to get my book going at this point. I've had time constraints on being able to effectively market the book. I want people to finish reading it wondering "What happens next" - because I do have more to come. There are twists, there are secrets, there are relationships discovered. It can be dark, but there is love, friendship and plenty of drama.

And for some fun, I decided to post a small excerpt from book two. It was difficult to fish something out that wouldn't be a spoiler. Mind you this is a rough outtake because the editing is not yet complete. Alas, there are too many spoilers so I chose this one, which I think in itself is a little interesting. Simon is much smarter than we give him credit for. ;-)

He squinted at me with those brown eyes when I flicked a tiny white peg across the polished table. It tumbled to the floor and I scooted my chair back.
“You win.”
“Say it.”
“Come on, Simon, you won. Don’t be such a child.”
Say it.” He folded his arms unwilling to back down.
Hell was going to freeze over before Simon would let me walk away from that table without saying the word.
I sounded off a defeated sigh and rolled my eyes dramatically. “You sunk my battleship.”
“Atta girl.”
He twisted my game board around and savored his victory. “You shouldn’t be so sensitive, Silver. What you lack is conviction; sometimes you have to make sacrifices before you can win. You are too impulsive and eager when you play games.”

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Fresh new Look!

I spent a few minutes today photoshopping a new header. While I liked the previous one, the new one is vibrant and reflects a little mystery. If you are viewing this from Goodreads, please go here for the full view:

The image below shows the old header on top and the new one on bottom. So, thumbs up or down?

Because I have experience with digital art, I am going to be very hands on in designing all my future book covers - something that I am extremely excited about. I am very particular about my art and finding the right image that suits the characters and the story is important to me. I think its an advantage that self published authors have in being able to help with the design concept.

If we happen to have a little skill in photoshopping, there is the opportunity to really give you our interpretation of the story in a visual form that is straight from the authors head.

And just wait till you see what's in my head. ;-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Narrative Mode (aka: Finding my Groove)

After writing several novels, I discovered that I like diversity. Always been an equal opportunity girl. First person narrative feels natural, feels right; but what it often lacks is the perspective from other characters. So, I dabbled in third person narrative mode in other books to get used to that writing style. Once I got the hang of it, I wondered why I couldn't bring this in to my first person books.

This site gives a basic rundown of what each one is:

What I discovered when writing in the first person point of view, is that I want to know what's going on with other characters as much as the reader. That becomes difficult to do if you are married to first person. So I began incorporating third person POV in small increments. In Sterling, it is one lone scene with Adam. I wanted the reader to jump inside his head for a moment, and it was doable. It allowed the reader to gain some knowledge about Adam in small details that I did not want to bring in through conversation. More importantly, it established that this is something you will be seeing in the future.

I have found this to be extremely enjoyable. There will be more of it to come in the Mageri series and I think that it enhances the story. I do not do it in the same scene when my leading female is conscious or present. I don't like jumping back and forth. Typically, it's going to be a chapter unto itself, or seperated by * * *
You will know, and I absolutely do not do this going from paragraph to paragraph. My intent is not to confuse the reader, but to get them excited about a second storyline.

Otherwise, how will you know some of the juicy tidbits going on between sub characters? It's not heavy in the series, not at all. But it's enough that I think it brings more interest to that character and scene.

Remember those old movies where the leading character didn't know a bomb was about to go off - but the camera showed the villains finger underneath his desk touching a button? Yeah, I watched these types of shows and films. I liked knowing what else was going on that the main character didn't. I liked knowing what someone else was thinking or feeling. It added a little pepper to the soup. It adds spice.

So, I've incorporated that style into my 1st person POV books. I think you'll like it!

Enjoy your soup.