Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

I look forward to the start of a new year. 2014 was awful for me personally, and I almost lost my creativity along the way. But I am healing and moving on and finding the spark of creativity again.

Here's what I have going on:

1. I changed the covers of the Dark Angel Chronicles ebooks. I've been updating the last post as they get tweaked. I don't think there will be any more adjustments to them, so here are the new covers: (If you have trouble viewing them, they are on the sidebar of this blog.)

2. Now that the ebook covers are done, I'll start work on new paperback covers. I'm much happier going back to non-character covers. I tried the character covers and tried to be enthusiastic but they didn't work, so I'm going back to something similar to the original covers that I had prior to a year ago.

3. Psst! Spirit Blade (Demon Age Book 2) is going on sale for one week starting Saturday. Get it for less than $1 at Amazon next week.

4. When Angels Cry (Starfire Angels series) is on sale for less than $1 at Amazon for a short time. This weekend, it will be going up to its regular price. Get it while it's on sale!

5. In other cover art news, Fireblood (Legend of the White Dragon) will have a new cover by Paul Davies in the upcoming month. Paul has done the marvelous work on the rest of the series. This is the last book awaiting his handiwork. Tiger Born and Spirit Blade also display his artistic skills, and those are two of my favorite covers of all my books!

6. Enough about book sales and new covers. I'm still writing on Awakening (Shadow Realm Saga Book 1). Currently, I've passed 61,000 words. Hooray! It's going to be much longer yet. I still have far more to resolve in the plot before I can move onto the second book in the series. Sometime in the next month or two, I hope to have a cover for that and will reveal the artist at that time. I hope to have a first draft finished in February and publish it in summer 2015.

7. The other book I plan to publish in 2015 is Nemesis (Starfire Angels: Revelations Book 3). That was set aside a few months ago when what is now Awakening called me back to work on what had been started as a draft a few years go. Don't expect to see this one until the end of the year, sometime in December most likely.

8. I almost forgot. I hope to also finish a first draft of Enlightenment (Shadow Realm Saga Book 2) before the release of Nemesis.


These are my writing and publishing goals. If I can squeeze in a short story or two, that would be great, but I'm not going to push myself on anything. I'm doing this for the creative high. I write because I enjoy it, and that's how I work best. I've learned that turning a hobby into a business steals a lot of the joy. If my books find their audiences, I'll be happy with that. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New cover for Starfire Angels

I am in the midst of redesigning covers for the Dark Angel Chronicles individual books. These will replace all the covers that have come before.

Here is a sample idea of what I'm considering doing with them. Each will be slightly different but not by much. I may still tweak this one, but it's closer to what I had originally envisioned six years ago:

It's not character focused, so I'm not sure it will work as well for Young Adult, but I could sure use feedback. Change the cover to this or keep what I have? Would this stand as a professional cover? Is it good but needs a few changes--if so what adjustments should be made?

Thanks for your help on this.

Edit: Here is what the second book would look like:

And here is what book 3 would look like with the new covers, thanks to the input of some special artists:

And the last book in the series:

(Pretty much back to where it started, because I loved the cover for the most part.

As for Origins of Dark Angel, I'm still trying to decide on a central image for that. I'll update this post when that's determined, as I've been doing as I tweak these.

Update (12/29/14):

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Movie Review - The Battle of the Five Armies

I had read several reviews before Wednesday's release, 90% of them coming up negative. The one positive review I read was of someone who had clearly read The Hobbit, the original work on which these three movies were based. SPOILER WARNING!

I say "based" because, while they do follow the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Peter Jackson and his writing team took a few liberties. When watching the third and final installment, one has to take into account that this was the final part of a novel. It was not meant to be a complete story into itself but the final climactic conclusion.

The negative reviews made several points that I think are unfounded. First off, I did not see five endings to this. Rather, I felt as if this movie took its time to wrap up all the loose ends nicely in one big climax. It wasn't quick, but it sure felt that way for all that happened in the course of the final battle. Second, while I feel the battle and death of Smaug would have been a great ending of the second film and then the recovery afterwards a better place to begin this film, I understand that it was a way to keep audiences coming back for the full conclusion of the story. (As a writer who has broken up a novel for people to sample more for free, I can see the method behind this.) Finally, the reviews I had read said that Bilbo was hardly in this movie. Um...he hardly has a part to play in the battle of the five armies and goes home in the book. I thought his increased role in the movie fit perfectly.

The writers put a lot of effort into bringing in some of the outside (beyond The Hobbit book) events that tie this one very well into the Lord of the Rings movies. The battle of Saruman, Galadriel, and Elrond against Sauron to save Gandolf was a way to show them as more than we've seen previously. They actually fought! That was a small pleasure for me. Badass Galadariel ;)

The emotional links were much stronger in this trilogy than in the Lord of the Rings, imho, because of the liberties the writers took. I could have done without the love triangle of the movie-only character of Tauriel between Kili and Legolas, but I saw the purpose behind it as a means to show more depth in Thranduil, who gets very little mention in the book and certainly not much depth. And we see the mental illness that the gold causes Thorin and how he finally overcomes it. The deaths in the end also have greater meaning because of the care taken in adding character depth.

The one thing I could have done without was Alfred, who turned into no more than comic relief.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie and I look forward to buying this on blu-ray to watch back-to-back with the other parts.

I must admit that I probably enjoyed this more than many because 1) I have read the book a couple of times, although not for several years now, and 2) I had watched the first two movies in the last week to refresh my mind so that it would feel more like I was watching the conclusion of the story than a whole separate story.

Take this for what you will, but in my opinion, it was a well-done conclusion to the story.

A recap:

The trailer for this part:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Goodies

First of all, I have decided on a series of titles for the Shadow Realm Saga books. I've updated my website with the information on the page for the series. (

Book 1: Awakening
Book 2: Enlightenment
Book 3: Ascension
Book 4: Eternal

I've also begun work on a description of the first book, Awakening:
Daemons don't fall in love. When they cross from the Shadow Realm, their purpose is to destroy the celemae, the fledglings of their enemies, the luriel. Darrac has been doing this for thousands of years. Now, he's met his match. 
A luriel spirit has awakened in Lilly, and others like her will do all they can to protect her. The Pallora Fen is a group of others like her who train to empower their luriel and eventually to Ascend to the Shadow Realm to join the battle against the daemons. Her assigned protector and trainer, Mychel, has a challenge on his hands to gain her devotion. 
Lilly is determined to make up her own mind about what's right for her; but the fates of two realms and an eternal war depend on her choice.
It's not finalized, since there's still plenty of time to tweak, but this will give an idea of what's to come.

I'm hoping to finish the first draft in February, if not sooner. Once that's done, I'll be able to come up with a release date, maybe in midsummer.

I'd like to get going again on Nemesis for release before the end of 2015, probably in December of next year.

Last of all, I've fixed a few errors in Tiger Born. I have no idea how one of them got in there--some weird sideways "L" thing. While I was at it, I cleaned up some other things too. The ebook was updated several months ago. I finally fixed the paperback also. I now have a proof copy of the paperback and will sign it and give it away to someone who comments on this post with their interest. I'm not sure how long I'll wait, so speak up sooner rather than later.

Oops! One more thing. Paul Davies, the talented artist who redesigned the main Legend of the White Dragon books and both Demon Age series books, is finishing up work on the fifth White Dragon book, Fireblood. Look for the new cover sometime after Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A couple notes to my readers

1. I posted this on Facebook but want to share it here also:

Hey, everyone. I've posted about this before, but I want to make it clear that next month, FB is instituting some changes that are going to make it unlikely that you'll see anything on this page without actually bookmarking this page and purposefully visiting. In other words, I'll be speaking to even more air.

If you want to keep in contact, please visit my website ( I have my twitter feed there and a contacts page with links to where I am. And I'd love to be friends on Goodreads and G+ too, At least they don't try to squeeze $$ out of authors just to interact with readers.

I'll still post [on my Facebook page], but you may not see it, like you may not see many others. In my opinion, we're better off on Goodreads, for all authors and readers (and authors are readers too!).

2. Here's something I just posted on G+ :

I've had readers ask for more stories like Starfire Angels. I think those readers will like the project I'm working on now--the first of the Shadow Realm Saga. It's a bit of a mish-mash world like the Starfire Angels. In this case, slightly futuristic (from the perspective of our technological stage) epic fantasy.
Stay tuned for more information about the Shadow Realm Saga as I finish writing the first book!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cuddling cats

Dargo (Siamese) and Suki (torbie) squeezing together at the top of their tower:

I had to hurry to snap this, or so I thought. These two are such buddies and snugglers that they'll snuggle together for the sake of warmth on a winter day any time. (Note the Christmas decor reflected in the window.)

I'd rather they snuggle together than when they both snuggle under the covers, one on either side of me until I'm roasting and have to kick them out of bed.

I love my kitties :D

Another shot a little while after the first but right before they started playing:

Saturday, December 6, 2014


verb (used with object), babbled, babbling.

4. to utter in an incoherent, foolish, or meaningless fashion.
5. to reveal foolishly or thoughtlessly: to babble a secret.

Why can't I just copy and paste from without having to nuke the formatting?

Oh, well.

I wanted to babble about stuff, if anyone cares. Maybe it's the tone of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that has me in the mood. (I finally started reading it after years...and years...and years...and even more years of my husband suggesting it.) This is why I have to be careful about what I read while writing--it does affect my style, although less as I mature as a writer, unless I'm purposely trying to mimic something.

See, babbling.

For more, I was thinking about my writing projects. Then I got distracted by the massive formatting glut from copying and pasting from So, never mind that. It's cleaned up.

Back to what was on my mind...

Is it weird that I can read something I wrote a few years ago and be awed by the ideas? I don't feel like I'm that creative any more, yet I've grown and am able to take those ideas and manipulate them into something even better. But I can't help wondering how I ever came up with some of those ideas. It astounds me some days.

I am truly enjoying rewriting what I have of the first of the Shadow Realm Saga books. I feel a little inadequate, in fact, in continuing it. Maturing is no fun. There's something about writing for pure exploration and abandoning logic and rules that makes it a pure joy. It's hard to describe, but you can see it when you read it--that love of the author for their work. It comes out. It's what I've been recapturing, and I love it.

And I will continue with Nemesis when I feel ready again. I left off around 35,000 words on that, so about a third into it.

Right now, I'm working through what I had written of SR1, tentatively titled Awakening, from a few years ago when I first started it. As of this writing, I'm at the 45,000 word mark on it with about 6K to go to catch up to where I start writing new material.

Enough for the break, I have kids who don't want to get to bed. I had my treadmill walk, so now I can sit down to re/write some more without feeling guilty about my health...once the kids go to sleep.