Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Release Day!!!

It's October 1 and you know what that means... Vagar is here!!!!  This second installment to the Galactic Dynasty series can be found electronically on Kindle and Nook, and in paperback on CreateSpace and Amazon.  I'm beyond stoked to finally get this next piece of Rosa's adventure out to my awesome readers, so go forth and get your copies and let me know what you guys think about the latest addition to this sci-fi series!


An alien outpost, an evolving computer, and a secret DNA-imbedded message. A combination that spells intergalactic intrigue and deadly consequences for Rosa, the reluctant space trekker, and the Earth delegation to the stars. Follow Rosa’s ever-twisting fate as the Earth team meets the Metrusians and navigates the novel realm of galactic politics and the entangled web of treasonous schemes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Release Date Announcement!!

Hi peeps!  Vagar has entered the final stages of publication and we now have a release date.  Woot!!  Mark your calendars for October 1, 2014 and get ready to continue Rosa's story as she encounters new aliens and more intrigue!

Not only do I have a release date, but I can now share the cover and synopsis with you lovely readers.  So, here it is!  Be sure to leave me comments below and tell me what you think!


An alien outpost, an evolving computer, and a secret DNA-imbedded message.  A combination that spells intergalactic intrigue and deadly consequences for Rosa, the reluctant space trekker, and the Earth delegation to the stars.  Follow Rosa’s ever-twisting fate as the Earth team meets the Metrusians and navigates the novel realm of galactic politics and the entangled web of treasonous schemes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Let The Final Edits Begin!

Vagar is a complete and whole manuscript!!!  *throws confetti*

This manuscript has been a long work in progress but it is now in the final edit stage.  That means, my lovely readers, you will be able to get your hands on a copy of this novel soon!  I've not been given a release date yet, but as soon as I have one, I'll be sure to pass that along to you.

Now that Vagar is being edited, I'll be turning my attention once more to Two Worlds (The Soul of Arial #2).  I've got about 7 chapters written so far, but because I've been away from it for so long, I'll have to go back over what I've already written before I can move forward with the story.  I'm really looking forward to getting back into this particular world and seeing where my characters take me.  And I'm excited to share that there will be more than two perspectives this time... Arial and Rayner will still be the main POV's, but I've decided to add in some other insights from secondary characters as well (not telling who just yet).  So, in the coming weeks, I'll be talking more about this particular novel and the series as a whole.

As soon as I have a release date, a cover design, and a synopsis for Vagar, I'll be sure to share on here.  I'm so ecstatic that this novel is in its final stages before publication and look forward to sharing it with all of you.  Until then, happy reading and if you haven't checked out Starward, Vagar's predecessor, then check out the web page on my publisher's site to read the first chapter and find purchase links for the book.  You can also find the first book in the Soul of Arial series, Prophecy Revealed on their site.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What Aspect Keeps You Turning the Pages?

As I'm nearing the end of Vagar, I find myself in a curious mood.  I love to read and wish I had more time to escape into books.  So, when I do get the chance to escape, I want the story to draw me in and keep me turning the pages.  That got me thinking about what it is I look for in a novel to keep me hooked to the very end and I was wondering the same for all you readers out there.

For me, it's the characters first.  I've always been fascinated by characters, main and supporting and even the brief mention of the craggy old man down the lane.  Any and all characters intrigue me and the more an author can bring those characters to life on the page, the more immersed I am in the story.  I want to connect with the characters, especially the MC and if I do connect, then I'm more likely to enjoy the book.  If I can't connect for whatever reason, then I don't really care what happens to the character which causes me to not care what happens as the plot progresses.  Not a good thing.  So, give me characters with depth and I'm a truly happy reader.

Of course, a novel can't exist on characters alone.  They have to inhabit some sort of world whether it's based on reality or fantasy or whatever.  Under the sea, in outer space, on top of the Swiss Alps... doesn't matter.  The characters have to live somewhere; they have to occupy some sort of space.  So, world-building is the second thing that keeps me turning the pages.  I like worlds that are unique but still have tinges of reality.  Physics still applies, for the most part. (Magic obviously can negate the need for physics, but even magic has its basis in reality.)  So give me characters with depth inhabiting a world that I can actually see myself stepping into and I've gone from a truly happy reader to an extremely ecstatic reader.

But what novel out there doesn't have a plot?  They all do, but here's the kicker for me.  If you take the plot of most any book in a specific genre and break it down to its bare bones core, you will find that the majority of the plots that exist have been done... many of them more than once.  The only difference from one plot to the next might be a slight twist or angle that the author has created in order to make an ordinary plot extraordinary.  It's getting more and more difficult to find an original plot these days which is why I find myself more drawn to characters and world-building than plots.  Maybe some will consider those two aspects to be window-dressing, but not me.

For a novel to exist, though, all of these elements must be present.  I understand that and would never suggest otherwise.  But, for me as a reader, there's something that draws me to the characters specifically.  How they develop throughout the story, the types of interactions they have with other characters, and their actions and thought processes as they deal with each situation intrigue me.  I love reading how an author portrays their characters and each author has their own unique flare, probably because each author is a unique individual and those characters only reside in the head of that particular author.

Anyway, just a little bit of curiosity as I wrap up the manuscript for Vagar.  Now I'm going to get off of here because I have my own characters who are eager to finish getting their story out.  Wishing all of you a wonderful upcoming weekend full of awesome worlds to escape into!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Two Chapters To Go!

Why is it that the last couple of chapters always seem to take the longest to write?

I'm literally twenty pages (give or take) away from being finished with the manuscript for Vagar and yet the last two chapters don't want to spill out of my brain.  If I could get my brain to cooperate, I could have these last words written in a day, two max.  And yet, the synapses are not firing and words are not pouring out like I want them to.  Sigh.

The really sad part is that I actually know most of what I need to have happen in these last two chapters.  But I can't seem to put the thoughts together in coherent sentences.  I'm determined to get this done, though.  I purposefully took a break from all writing this weekend to let my mind rest and get ready for this last stretch and I will get the last two chapters written by the end of this week, even if I have to glue myself to this keyboard! lol

So, this is going to be a short post, but wish me luck!  Hopefully I will be entering the final edit stages by the beginning of next week. *crosses fingers and toes*

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Word Creativity

Morning all!

So, I was scrolling through Pinterest this morning and stumbled across a couple of images that got me thinking 'hey, I can write a post about that!'  So, here it is, with the images.

Words are an author's lifeline.  We use them to create amazing worlds and characters, plots and subplots, descriptions, interactions, and overall awesomeness.  Without words, novels would not exist.

Unfortunately, some words get overused.  'Says' and 'looks' are two of them and for any die hard reader out there, these two seemingly innocent words can drive a person crazy when used over and over and over again. 

Luckily, there was a genius out there somewhere that created these lists giving us words to replace 'says' and 'looks' and I'm sure there are a ton of other lists out there of amazing words that can replace other words that are overused.  'Says' and 'looks' are my two pet peeves, though, so these are the two that are getting highlighted here.

So, here are the lists that I would highly recommend any author/writer/journalist/whatever keep close at hand to refer to when the urge to simply write 'says' or 'looks' attempts to overpower you:

I love that these lists exist out there and strongly urge anyone that is writing to use them, whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction, doesn't matter.  Get creative with your words and give the overused ones a much needed vacation!

Now, back to my writing cave.  Have a great rest of the week and Happy Reading or Writing or whatever interest makes you happy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Writing a Difficult Perspective

So, I've been struggling for the last several weeks with one perspective in particular.  He's a vague little creature that doesn't like to cooperate with me as I'm trying to write his scenes and it's rather frustrating.  I have no idea how other authors handle difficult characters, but I've tried various methods with little results.

First I tried to sit down and write.  Yeah, that didn't work too well.  I ended up staring at a blinking cursor for thirty minutes before admitting defeat and escaping to the internet.

Then I tried re-reading the entire manuscript.  I thought if I had my brain in the mindset of the novel, you know, immerse myself in the scenes and characters and overall feel, just maybe something would come.  Instead, I ended up editing and re-writing other sections of the novel.  Those needed to be done, but that didn't help with the actual dilemma I was facing.

Next came writing down on paper what exactly I needed to have happen in this chapter.  You would think that would have been the first thing I'd tried, but my brain isn't normal.  So, yeah.  I managed to figure out what I wanted to have happen, but the character was remaining elusive and non-cooperative.

So, I went to my co-author and Muse next.  We batted around ideas and laid out how the chapter should flow.  He even gave me some great ideas that I wanted to make sure to incorporate into the chapter.  Real productive, right?  Nope, the darn character still wouldn't talk to me.

Finally, I sat down and just started writing crap.  Jumbled up chaos that incorporated some of the key points I wanted to get across in the chapter.  I needed something to happen... it had already been a month by this time and nothing to show for it.  Once I had written a few pages, I handed it over to the Muse and co-author and let him tear into it.  And believe me, the measly three pages I'd written were BLEEDING by the time he was done.

That's okay, though.  This morning, at the ungodly hour of 5, I finally managed to get into a groove of sorts and got the mess I'd written straightened out.  And I'm happy to report that the three pages have become four and I'm well on my way to getting this chapter written... FINALLY!  The character is still being stubborn, but I've got his number now and I'm not letting up until I get this darn chapter written!

I know I can't be the only author with non-cooperative, stubborn characters.  Any writer willing to admit it will tell you that it's really the characters that write these amazing novels... we're just the vehicle that gets the words out on paper or typed onto the screen.  So, when a character doesn't want to talk, it's the hardest thing to try and force them to in order to keep up with deadlines, whether the deadlines are self-imposed or put into place by an editor or some other outside entity.  My deadlines tend to be self-imposed, thank god, or I'd probably go insane.  I don't do well under pressure and my mind goes completely blank if I'm told I have to have something written by a certain date.

Anyway, this has been my plight for the last several weeks.  But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully I can get this chapter done today.  Then I'll just have a few more chapters to go and Vagar will be done and ready for the final editing process.  Woohoo!  So, I'm off to write some more and hopefully I won't have to resort to anything drastic to get this character to cooperate so I can finish this thing!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wuz Up?!

Morning, all!

First, I'd like to congratulate Sheri on winning the signed paperback of StarwardCressen Books will be hosting more giveaways in the future, so be sure to check them out and like them on Facebook so you'll know when the next giveaway is taking place.  I'll also announce future giveaways on here and other sites because I love my readers and followers and want you guys to have all kinds of chances to win awesome books!

Second, I'm making progress on Vagar, the second book in the Galactic Dynasty series.  I'm hoping to get the last few chapters written in the next week or two.  Then it's deep edits and cover designs and hopefully, if all goes well and my characters are being nice to me, this book will release by the end of summer!!! YAY!!

And last, but not least... whatever happened to The Soul of Arial series?  Prophecy Revealed released back in December 2013.  When's the next book coming out?  Good question.  I'm trying to get through Vagar at the moment.  Once I've finished writing that manuscript and edit it with my co-author, E. M. Lohr, I intend to pick up with the second book in the Arial series tentatively titled Two Worlds.  So, that's the other reason I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get Vagar out to the masses by the end of summer!  Wish me luck!

Okies, back to my writing cave.  I'll check back in and let you guys know the latest when I come up for air again.  Or coffee.  Or both. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Good morning, peeps!

I know it's been a while since I last posted, but things have been non-stop in my world lately and I've barely had a moment to catch my breath!  So, to make up for my loooooong absence, I want to let all of you know about a giveaway happening at my publisher's website this week.

A signed paperback copy of Starward (Galactic Dynasty #1) is being given away to one lucky person!  WOOT!!  This is the sci-fi/adventure novel I co-authored with my Muse.  So, if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, here's a golden opportunity to win a signed copy!  Just head on over to my publisher's website to the Giveaway page and enter for a chance to win!

I hope everyone's having a wonderful summer so far and that you're reading lots of awesome books!  Have a great week and best of luck to those of you who enter the giveaway!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Updates, Vagar, and Other Randomness

Wow, it's been quite a while since I last posted. *hides face in shame* lol  I promise, I've been busy writing and editing among other things over the last couple of months.  So, let me update everyone on the latest.

As you all know, Prophecy Revealed (The Soul of Arial #1) is now available on Kindle and Nook for $6.99 and in paperback on Amazon and CreateSpace for $9.99.  The cover, synopsis, and first chapter can be found on my publisher's website, Cressen Books LLC.  And you can also find purchase links there.  Plus, be sure to browse their website for other amazing books by really talented authors!

As for Vagar (Galactic Dynasty #2), I've been making huge progress in the drafting of the first manuscript.  I'm up to Chapter 14 now and can probably conclude that I'm about halfway done, give or take a chapter or two.  Things are stirring up for Rosa and Daemos and there's some major reveals and intrigues in development even as I write this post!  lol  Never a dull moment with those two. :)

Also over the last couple of months, I took a trip to Baton Rouge, LA and can safely say that I really don't want to go back.  It was an experience, not necessarily a great one, and I kind of wished I hadn't stayed for as long as I did there.  Of course, my extended stay had to do with the horrible snow storms we got back in February that ended up canceling our flights back home twice, once while we were sitting in the plane being de-iced before take-off.  Yeah, there were a lot of unhappy campers on that plane, including me.  But I did finally find some really good Cajun cuisine my last two days there... sadly, this food was found at the airport hotel we stayed at for the last two nights and at a restaurant within walking distance of the airport hotel.  Yeah, had to go to airport land to get the good stuff because downtown Baton Rouge didn't have squat... sigh.  Oh well, it's one more place I can mark off my list as having been to.  'Nuff said.

Other than the Baton Rouge trip, I also made a couple of treks to a place along the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.  I call it my writer's retreat... it's a house built in the 1880's that a co-worker of my hubby's is renovating.  She needs help with stuff from time to time, so the hubby helps her with house projects while I hole up in what she calls the Floosy write my little fingers off for hours on end.  Love that place as it always has such creative energy there and I come away pleased with the progress I've made on various writing projects.  Anyway, I've been there twice in the last couple of months, hence the reason I've made such astounding progress with Vagar.

So, I believe that's the gist of what's been happening since my last post.  At the end of April, I'll be attending the Martinsburg Chocolate Festival and Book Fair.  And then I'll be heading to Kentucky the first week in May to spend some much needed girly time with my bestie there. 

My goal right now is to have Vagar finished and ready for publication sometime this summer.  *crosses fingers*  I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on the progress there as summer looms closer!  As for the second book in The Soul of Arial series, I've kind of set that to the side in order to concentrate on Vagar right now.  Once I get the first draft done and in the editing process, I'll probably start focusing more writing energy on Two Worlds.  Until then, Arial and the winged warriors are taking a little vacation!

Whew, alrighty then.  I think I've caught up on everything.  I hope everyone is enjoying springtime and reading all kinds of amazing books!  Happy reading to all and I'll try to get back on here again soon with more updates!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Where Do The Voices Come From?

No, I'm not insane.  Although I do have some friends that might debate that with me!  But I had to title this post with something and I figured talking about voices could get someone's attention. :)

The voices I'm referring to are, of course, the characters that authors create to bring their stories to life.  Everything from the heroine/hero to the villain to the supporting characters have to come from somewhere in our brains.  So, even though it may seem at times we authors have a form of multiple personality disorder going on, really it's just the creative process feverishly at work to bring to life the characters our readers love to see.

I don't know how it works for other authors, but for me, I've always been a character-driven individual.  Most of my story ideas begin with a character first, some voice inside my head that has suddenly spoken up and wants to tell me something.  Er, have me tell the readers something.  So, I nod to myself, pull up a blank document in Word and begin writing.  Most of the time I have no idea where the character is taking me, but it's an itch that has to be scratched, so I go with the flow.

Most of my efforts end up being saved in my Stories folder on my desktop.  A lot of times, the voice will just pepper out after 50 or 100 pages and that story gets put away.  Sometimes, it gets revisited, sometimes not, but I've learned over the years never to delete anything that I've spent any significant amount of time on.  Never know when I might go back to it and really develop it out into the next novel or series!

To date, I probably have over a hundred different stories, all beginning the same way - that little voice in my head saying 'please pay attention to me and write what I tell you.'  The voices are always different, sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes good, sometimes bad.  But I try and work with each one regardless.  Not all of the stories are complete, some not even a third of the way told.  But when a particular character suddenly bursts to the forefront of my mind, I pay attention and write until I no longer hear them speaking.

I've not loved all of my characters over the years and some I have loved deeply and hope to one day finish their stories to share with others.  They are all a part of me, although I really have no idea where most of them come from or where they go when they are done talking.  Doesn't matter.  I just want to be able to tell their stories in the best way I possibly can.

So, even though us authors may sometimes appear crazy, we're just in our creative process, trying to get to know the voices that inhabit our mind.  These voices are the characters that we lovingly bring to life on the page so that a story can be told and a reader can escape into a new world for a while.  We don't necessarily know where the voices come from, probably never will.  But it doesn't really matter as long as their stories get told in the end.

Now, I need to get off of here and get back to getting to know some of the newest characters who have spoken up inside my head.  They have things to share and I have words to convey!  Have a great week and enjoy getting to know the characters of the novels you are reading.  In a way, you are getting to know the author as well!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Moving Forward!

With the release of Prophecy Revealed, I've taken a few weeks to chill and get my brain properly motivated to get back to work.  Basically, this means I did a lot of playing computer games and reading books not written by me so I could get my mind right again.  Btw, if you're a big fan of the paranormal genre and haven't checked out J. R. Ward or Karen Marie Moning, please do so ASAP!  These two ladies are at the top of most kick-arse awesome writers and I would highly recommend their books to anyone, especially the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward and the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.  Phenomenal writing that makes me strive as a writer to want to be like them!

Anywho, now that I've given myself a few weeks to recoup, I'll be picking up where I left off with Vagar (Galactic Dynasty #2) and I will also begin writing the next book in The Soul of Arial series.  It's tentatively titled Two Worlds, but that is subject to change between now and publication.  I'm extremely excited about both of these projects and will be sharing updates as I go along.  I already have a progress bar for Vagar (you can find that on the right side of the blog) and I'll set up a progress bar for Two Worlds within the next couple of weeks.  This way, everyone can check in occasionally to see how far along I am on the writing of these two manuscripts!

I hope everyone has gotten off to a wonderful start for the New Year and I look forward to sharing more awesomeness in the coming weeks and months!  Now, off to pour more coffee and head to the writing cave!  Have a great week and happy reading!