Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Reading

CROSSROADS (CrossWorld Chronicles 1) is LIVE.

 

Blurb:

Hawk Holland is dead—he just doesn’t know it.

At seventeen, Hawk is a professional Motocross rider. Hot, badass, smart—with a drug problem—and a death wish. Winning is what he does best. Being in the spotlight is second nature. But after his best friend dies of an overdose during a televised race, Hawk goes down a road that leads to a similar fate—and that’s just the way he wants it—or so he thought.

Fawn Marchat is a CrossWorlder. Her lineage stems from her greatest of grandmothers, the Goddess Hecate. Fawn has many gifts, including the ability to see into the Afterlife and save souls on the Crossroads of death. But between her over-bearing grandfather insisting she follow the path of her elders in Wiccan Craft and assume her birthright, her uptight private Catholic school, and her mom always on her case about the only positive diversion in her life—Fawn has no desire to save anyone but herself.

When the world of the living collides with the world of the dead, Hawk Holland realizes a choice he made while under the influence set him on the fast-track to the Crossroads, a waylay station for lost souls with a one way ticket to Hell, and Fawn is the only one who might be able to save him.


My Music Monday


Best Of: Author Excerpt Series

There are so many incredible writers, so much talent, and too many books to ever try to read them all. I thought, in light of that fact, it would be nice to share some of the best of the best. Quick little hints of what lies inside the pages of some of the books from my favorite authors.

Neil Gaiman:

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones


#Teaser Tuesday TIED (Fire Born #1)

tied-slideshow-

Blood sped through my veins as I gripped the edge of the counter, gazing into the face I knew so well. A shadow of confusion crossed his expression as he stared back at me before the corner of his mouth drew up in a slight grin, and my face flushed with a burning heat. Goosebumps shivered down my arms, the air seeming to quiver with a faint breeze.
“Layla, are you okay?” Someone shook me by the shoulder. “Layla?” Devon’s voice rang from far away.
I tried to speak, but words wouldn’t form. I remembered his face, the waterfall, the forest. The warmth of his hand in mine. Droplets of water cascading down his golden skin. His eyes reflecting the sunlight like crystals. The rush of wind as he ran beside me. His laughter. The sound of his voice when he called my name.
“Max …”

31


#Teaser Tuesday TIED (Fire Born #1)

“Layla.” Benny’s terrified voice rang out above me. Her fear-filled eyes came into focus as glaring fluorescent lights radiated down from the ceiling. “Can you see me?”

“Who else would I see? You’re in my face.” I shielded my eyes from the light’s glare, the vision reverberating through my mind. The same vision I’d seen a hundred times before. The one I thought had to be a memory but knew couldn’t be. The vision that made my heart ache as if it were being ripped out.

A crowd of dancers hovered around, all gazes fixed on me as I hastily wiped my damp eyes.

What did I do?

“I told you she was crazy,” Dena said.

**********

31

 


Between The Story Pages — Clockwork Angel

This week I’ll be moving backward in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter world, starting with Clockwork Angel—the first book in the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Cover of "Clockwork Angel (The Infernal D...

Cover via Amazon

 BLURB:

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.


Between The Story Pages — City of Glass

It’s been a long time since a story truly captured my imagination the way The Mortal Instruments has. This is an incredible series. If you haven’t read these books, do. This week I’m posting CITY OF GLASS, the third book in the series, all though I am actually already on the fifth book.

Cover of "City of Glass (Mortal Instrumen...

Cover of City of Glass (Mortal Instruments)

BLURB:

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of bestselling series the Mortal Instruments.


Author Spotlight: Aimee Laine for SILENT ECHOES

A special treat up on the blog today. Aimee Laine is here to talk about her JUST RELEASED Novel,

Silent Echoes!

Take it away, Aimee!

*********************

Silent Echoes is a “Games of Zeus” novel but it’s not a traditional mythological conundrum. No, as the author, I’ve taken quite the liberties in creating a situation Zeus could have used to mess with we puny humans.

So, to have a little fun as Silent Echoes releases this month, my host here, Laney McMann, has challenged me to create a Game of Zeus out of Chess!

How could Zeus use Chess upon two unsuspecting humans? How could he manipulate a seemingly innocuous game into a maniacal, devious relationship conflict? Oh, let me count the ways … or rather, let me show you.

Chess

The goal? Capture the opponent’s King by advancing chess pieces (pawns, knights, rooks, bishops, queens and kings) across the board (like checkers) in order to battle for the opponents pieces and take over their side of the chess board. Whoever acquires the King, wins.

Before we get to the ultimate Chess-based romance … let me tell you a little about Silent Echoes:

Silent Echoes Cover

BLURB:

For years, Ian Sands has enjoyed his life as a bachelor, taking advantage of singlehood and exploring his own definition of passion—whoever she may be. Blonde. Brunette. Tall. Short. Hot. Not. Five months ago, all that changed.

Ian’s been celibate, frustrated and desperately seeking answers to why one woman, who doesn’t play by girls’ rules, haunts his every waking moment.

As a renovations specialist, Taylor Marsh lives, works and breathes construction—a profession her southern belle of a mother would rather Taylor not touch. The same goes for Ian; Mama Marsh would never approve of him.

Like Ian, though, each time he and Taylor draw near, something compels her to get closer.

Something else tells her to run away.

Fast.

As much as their histories suggest they shouldn’t be together, neither Taylor nor Ian can deny the pull, and the two succumb, indulging in a relationship that brings pleasure to body, mind and soul.

Doing so, though, also ushers in a series of events both should have foreseen as well as one final outcome neither expected.

CHECK OUT SILENT ECHOES HERE:

Goodreads

J. Taylor Publishing

Aimee Laine

And now …

Chess

If the whole goal is to capture the King, that implies the King doesn’t want to be captured. Since this is ‘the norm’, Zeus would automatically make a few rule swaps. First of all … a King not wanting to be captured is only in terms of war. In terms of love … well, okay there, too. But that’s no fun in a love-war! So instead of the King, it’s the Queen who’s going to be the biggest pawn.

Zeus’s ultimate conflict would be to place a deep and desperate need into the Queen, that she DOES want to be captured. Oh yeah. She wants to be captured … but of course, by one and only one guy. And it will have to happen in a prescribed timeframe, by a certain date, or something grave will happen … something that will prevent her from every being ‘captured’ … or in a Games of Zeus story … ever being loved.

So, Zeus will put ‘him’ on one side of the board and ‘her’ on the other. With each step toward each other, something prevents them from getting closer. Pawn : Perhaps a previous romantic partner? King: Perhaps ‘his’ family or a father figure? Knight : The best friend who just can’t let her go or just can’t let him give up who he is to go after her. Bishops? Rooks? You see, all those pieces are players in the story, interwoven to stop the capture of the Queen. To stop the two pieces from reaching each other.

Think about this … ultimately, resolution in this particular type of story can’t ever be a win-win. If he wins, she loses (by standard rules). If she wins … does that mean she is captured? Or she’s changed her mind? You see, that’s the conundrum. By winning, she loses. By losing, she loses, too.

So how can she win?

Oh, I didn’t say I’d answer that. You might just have to read another book.

And there you have it. What do you think? Is Chess a possible Game of Zeus?

********************

Aimee Lane

Aimee is a romantic at heart and a southern transplant with a bit of the accent (but not a whole bunch). She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and with him, she’s produced three native North Carolinians, two of whom share the same DNA.

With an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics, there’s absolutely no reason she should be writing romance novels. Then again, she shouldn’t need a calculator to add two numbers, either … but she does.

You can connect with Aimee on all of her social media sites:

Aimee Laine

Twitter

Facebook

Silent Echoes is an Adult Paranormal Romance/Romance/Suspense/Thriller

Sounds pretty awesome, right?


Between The Story Pages — City Of Bones

This week I’ll be moving on to Cassandra Clare’s, City of Bones. No, I haven’t read this series yet … I know, I know, but I’ve been crazy busy with my own writing. And what better time to start a series than right before it goes to film? So here we go:

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BLURB:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Pretty cool, huh?

 


Between The Story Pages — The Enchantress

Finishing off last week with the final installment of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, RAPTURE, I am moving onto Michael Scott‘s final book in the Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, The Enchantress.

 

I have loved this series from the beginning and am both excited and sad to see it end.

 

 

 

English: The cover for the book The Enchantres...

English: The cover for the book The Enchantress written by Michael Scott, design by Michael Wagner published by Random House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

BLURB:

 

The two that are one must become the one that is all. One to save the world, one to destroy it.

 

San Francisco:
Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel have one day left to live, and one job left to do. They must defend San Francisco. The monsters gathered on Alcatraz Island have been released and are heading toward the city. If they are not stopped, they will destroy everyone and everything in their path.

 

But even with the help of two of the greatest warriors from history and myth, will the Sorceress and the legendary Alchemyst be able to defend the city? Or is it the beginning of the end of the human race?

 

Danu Talis:
Sophie and Josh Newman traveled ten thousand years into the past to Danu Talis when they followed Dr. John Dee and Virginia Dare. And it’s on this legendary island that the battle for the world begins and ends.

 

Scathach, Prometheus, Palamedes, Shakespeare, Saint-Germain, and Joan of Arc are also on the island. And no one is sure what—or who—the twins will be fighting for.

 

Today the battle for Danu Talis will be won or lost.
But will the twins of legend stand together?
Or will they stand apart—
one to save the world and one to destroy it?

 

 

 


Road Trip Wednesday #170 Best Books

YA Highway RTW

This week on Road Trip Wednesday, YA Highway asks the question:

What’s the best book you’ve read in February?

Hm … All of the books I’ve read in the month of February were great. I started off the month with Suzanne Collin’s THE HUNGER GAMES series, finished Lauren Kate’s FALLEN series with RAPTURE, read The 19th Year series, AFTER DARK and the sequel, DAY AFTER by Emi Gayle–both awesome–and I rounded out the month with Michael Scott’s final book in The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, THE ENCHANTRESS. Lucky for me, my line edits haven’t begun on TIED, so I’ve had more free time to read everyone else’s stuff for a change.

There were two books I gave 5 Stars to in February — well, one book actually and one series of books.

THE HUNGER GAMES series by Suzanne Collins was truly an incredible, pull-you-in-and-refuse-to-let-you-go story, and for that reason, it was my favorite series for the month of February.

BUT … DAY AFTER by Emi Gayle, was my favorite book for the month.

Both of these reads, although YA, are completely different and therefore can’t really be compared against each other. Dystopian vs Urban Fantasy. I am, and have always been, the biggest fantasy fan, and DAY AFTER delivered for me in that category. It’s not due for official release until May, though, and you’ll have to read AFTER DARK first, too! 😉

So, you guys? Favorite books for February?

Check out YA Highways Road Trip Wednesday for more Best Books of February!


Between The Story Pages–RAPTURE

In this weeks YA world, I am finally sinking my teeth back into the last of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, Rapture.

 BLURB:The sky is dark with wings. . . .
Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.
Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.
And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters. In the fight for Luce, who will win?
The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.


Road Trip Wednesday — Love is in the air

Jumping on the YA Highway’s Blog Carnival this week in honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

This week’s topic: What do you love most about writing (and/or reading)?

I’m going to pick reading because I will forever be a reader before a writer. Why do I love it so? For me, reading fantasy and paranormal, which are my all time favorites, is like walking into another world–into someone else’s shoes–and living there for a while.

It’s the ability to transport somewhere else–somewhere you never even dreamed of. It’s magic.

How about you? Why do you love reading and/or writing so much?


Between The Story Pages–AFTER DARK

After finishing The Hunger Games in an almost obsessed sort of sprint to the end, I’m on to another YA series, The 19th Year. When I wrap my head around the Hunger Games and formulate my words for a review, I’ll post them over on goodreads.

Now: AFTER DARK, book one of The 19th Year, by Emi Gayle

After Dark

BLURB:

What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists — which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class, figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.

LINK: J. Taylor Publishing

Can’t wait! 😉 


Quote of the Day

“Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant—you just don’t know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you’d mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.
Trust your demon.”
― Roger Zelazny

Roger Zelazny

Image via Wikipedia


A Feast for Crows.

A Feast for Crows

Image via Wikipedia

(SMALL SPOILER ALERT)

I began this series behind most of the die-hard Martin fans. Although I am a huge Fantasy fan, I read a lot of YA as well, as it is my genre. Due to do this, Martin stayed on my back burner. Until recently. I sped through the first three books. Within days. Literally. I couldn’t get enough. A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings & A Storm of Swords were consuming stories.

A Feast for Crows, however, threw up a road block, and had me crawling to the finish line. It was a slow read. Very slow at times. The storyline of AFC needed to be split in half due to what would have been a brain-numbing amount of content. The book in its entirety would have simply been too long. Well over 1,000 pages. And I mean well over. In splitting this book however, AFC felt heavily one-sided. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, I did, but due to half of the cast of characters being cut, the book left me wanting more, and less. AFC was still, at half its content, around 775 pages long.  Although not my favorite book in this series so far, AFC is still a must read for any Martin fan. Especially if you are knee-deep in this series.

George R. R. Martin is an incredible storyteller and an inspiration for every author/writer. His cast of characters is immense, not to mention the number of details he somehow manages to not only hold inside his head, but also manages to keep straight.  Martin is currently working on The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in his Fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice. I know we all hope this book will be a quick release.

**For a further review of this book, see my Goodreads shelves to the right.

Over there >>>>>>     As well as reviews and opinions of previous books in this incredible series.


What’s in a Beta Reader?

Everything.

Writing

It took about four months before I mustered up the courage to let anyone read the first chapters of my current novel. That was back in August of 2010. I’d been writing since April of that year, and my book was nowhere–and I mean nowhere–near ready for viewing. Even if that viewer was my mom. Now, I realize that everyone says they let their mom read their book first because, of course, our mothers will go easy on us if it sucks. Not my mom. I’m not saying she flat-out told me it was awful, but she didn’t tell me what I was hoping to hear either.

I wanted my mom to read it first because I needed real feedback from an avid reader. My mom also happens to do a lot of editing. The first reviews weren’t good. Looking back, she was 100% correct. The book was a fledgling written by a poet and short story dabbler, not a seasoned novelist.

I tucked my tail between my legs, swallowed my pride, and listened to everything she had to say. And then I used it all. I studied and researched and let the ideas in my head germinate and flow.  I wrote and I wrote until I was sick of it. Until I almost gave up.

It has been a year and a half since that time and my novel has gone through at least eight drafts. Easily. After I’d tweaked, edited, hated it, and loved it, I put it back in my moms possession. And cringed a little.

I have three beta readers now, all doing slightly different things, all slightly different viewpoints, coming from different genre preferences and widely different age groups. I think the wide scope is necessary for a real perspective. I was terrified to let my words, my characters–my world, go. Everything in those pages is me. Everything in all our books as writers, is us. Our imagination, our thoughts—our creation. What if my betas hated my story? What would that say about me? I let it go, despite my trepidation, and faced the fear.

If they did hate the story, if my characters were whack and my voice was worse–I kind of needed to know.

What’s in a Beta Reader? If you’re lucky, a trusted reader who will give it to you straight.

I waited a long time after the initial beta read back in 2010 to release my chapters again. I was afraid to hear the critiques–to hear I wasn’t any good after close to two years of sweat and tears. But how would I ever know, if I was too afraid to let go? And if I was awful at writing novels, well…there was only one way to change that— keep writing, keep learning, and keep putting myself out there.

What’s in a Beta Reader? Your audience. Who without, you have no readership. So ask yourself, who are you writing for? I can say with all my heart, I write for myself. But when you decide to go live, and publish your work, that changes a bit. I write because I love it. And somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to do more than write stories to myself. So, I would be lying through my teeth if I said I wasn’t also writing for my readers. And they, as well as I, deserve the best book I can put out. That’s where the Betas come in 😉

WRITE ON!


Goodreads and Amazon Split Ways

If you were not already aware, Goodreads will no longer be displaying book information from Amazon. The link is here:

Goodreads Librarian


A Week In Links

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them.  Quotes, excerpts, blog posts, etc…  So today I thought I would share some of the best blog posts I’ve read recently.

**Best selling author, social media aficionado and all around entertaining, Kristin Lamb. If you are a writer not already following her blog, do. She has a very user-friendly approach to the trials and tribulations of becoming an author/blogger/tweeter. Her blog, Warrior Writers and her post, Lies That Can Poison Our Writing Career, can be found here: Kristin Lamb

**I’m not quite sure how I missed David Gaughran, but I am thankful to have run across his blog, Let’s Get Digital. How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should as well as his column at Indie Reader.

David is an Irish writer and author. He is incredibly inspiring, funny and real. One of his must-read posts, Around The World In 80 Drafts, can be found here: David Gaughran

**And lastly this week, NY Times Best Selling Author, public speaker, publisher and novel-writing instructor, the talented, Bob Mayer. You can find his blog, Write it Forward, and his post, 2011 Wrap Up and a Look Ahead to 2012 in Writing & Publishing, here: Bob Mayer Every bit of information he shares is useful and to the point.

Have a great writing day!


Quote

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

~Charles William Eliot


Behind the Black Screen

I received a beautiful Charles Dickens hardback for Christmas, complete with five novels. Oliver Twist, A Tale Of Two Cities, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol (my all time favorite) and Great Expectations. The weight alone, 1483 pages, is impressive. The gilded pages and heavy dark cover indicate it’s value and overall worth in a time far past.

I also received an iPhone 4gs and with it, a storm of headaches. Half of my iTunes library, to which consists of over one thousand songs, got wiped out. Panic was quickly replaced by anger, replaced by heartbreak. My music. I can’t put into words how important it is to me. How would I replace it all? How would I even remember all of it?

An illustrated copy of Tolkien‘s The Hobbit, a hugely scaled hardback encased behind glass at a local bookstore, spoke to me. It was probably two feet in width and height, under lock and key. I wanted it the second I saw it, untouched and unowned. Books like these are treasures and meant to be treasured and adored. Now it seems they are a dying breed. I bought the book in all it’s 1977 glory.

I’m reading the fourth book in the George R. R. Martin series, A song of Fire and Ice, A Feast for Crows. I’ve been downloading them one by one onto my Nook. It occurred to me over the holidays just how upset I would be if this series, a sure to be classic in its own right, was somehow lost behind the black screen. Irretrievable. Like my music.

If I lost my novels, these treasures of mine — the thought makes me ill. I love the ease and convenience of my Nook. But what about my Dickens, my Tolkien? Is it the same if I have downloaded copies of these masterpieces?

Here’s the glitch with technology. Everything can get backed up, copied, protected. But like with my music, there are no guarantees. And even if there were, is it the same when these legendary authors are hidden behind the black screen? Not for me it isn’t. The history gets lost somewhere in the technology for me. I need the paper for these stories to remain alive and true. Weight, storage, inconvenience — all of those reasons we have to stop buying paper and start downloading —  I agree with. Until we start messing with the classics. I’ll take those in all their hardback glory.


Dusting Off The Keyboard

The whirlwind that the holidays become leave my head spinning and in need of normality. The trusty laptop, my  Mac Pro, which I love, is my absolute savior.  It’s like a loyal pet waiting at my front door as I turn the key in the lock. It shines up at me, “Where have you been?” It whirrs into beautiful illumination. The cloud lifts. My mind clears and all is right again. Ahh.


God, I love bookstores.

They lure me inside and force me to buy, buy, buy! Books that I should, I guess, be buying on my Nook.

Yeah, I bought one. A Nook. I failed to mention that fact about….six months ago. I broke down. Technology lulled me into its grip. Honestly, I bought one because:

1. I’m a writer and we need to stay current.

And 2. I thought for the sake of research and further education, it would serve an excellent purpose. I didn’t want to lug around a lot of books on craft and research material.

It was great at first. Then the inevitable happened. I started downloading novels. Of course I did! Do you realize the price difference? The ease of paying and BOOM, there’s your book. Waiting to be read. I love that!

But….I miss bookstores. I miss turning pages, the smell of paper, the feel of a book in my hands. I’m a reader and part of that love is meandering through bookstore isles. Browsing. Searching.

So yesterday as I continued my Christmas shopping, I found myself in Barnes and Noble. I could have only bought the two paperback books on my list, the ones for kids who don’t own ereaders. I could have gone on by only purchasing a Nook gift card for my mom, but did I?

No.

I saw a gorgeous hardback copy of the book I intended my mom buy with that gift card on her own Nook. The soft light gleamed off the black cover, I inhaled the sweetness of paper and picked it up off the shelf. All $18.99 of it. 400 pages of…ahhhh. I had to buy it. It was calling me!

So there. My defiance toward ereaders is based on my pure love of heavily perfumed, weighted paper books. They are why I write. Why I’ve always written. Why my shelves at home are stuffed full of books I’ve read time and again. They give me a sense of pride. For myself and for every writer whose blood, sweat and tears poured into those pages.

Soon I will also join the ranks with my fellow indie, self-pubbed and trad authors with books available on every manner of ereader imaginable. But, Barnes and Noble, and all of you mom and pop bookstores and shops….you had me at hello and you’ll keep me ’til goodbye.


Clearing The Fog

It was the flu. The fever crept in mid-week—after the sore throat and lack of energy sent me to bed. The fever kept me there for days.

Since my writing has been in a better place than it has in months, the timing was really bad. You see, I don’t function well when I’m ill.

The last time I was sick, really sick, was probably two years ago. Thank god for that because I kind of turn into a giant brat. I’m generally mad for the duration. And I don’t think clearly. That’s likely due to a combination of cold medicine and head congestion.

So as I’m trying to pull myself back into a productive state of mind, I’ve come up with a few motivational triggers that have helped.

Read.

Reading unlocks your brain and gets the writing current flowing again. And if you feel awful, you can read in bed.

Exercise.

Yeah, I know. But once your energy returns, exercise. Run, walk, whatever. It is one of the best ways to get back in the saddle.

Music.

For me this is obvious. But not for everyone. If listening to music triggers certain responses or emotions, use them. Music is great for generating ideas.

Edit.

Yep. If you’re finding zero inspiration, sometimes going over your WIP with a skeptical eye is the best motivational tool.

Thankfully, my foggy head has cleared and standing for more than an hour is no longer torture. I have a lot of work to do.