A peek at my WIP ‘Finding Immortal’ and my battle with ‘the pit’

For the last few days I’ve been in a funk. You know that point where you can no longer form a coherent sentence? Where any words you string together are a bit crap, or even a lot crap. And even those times where you seem to be able to kill it when writing dialogue but as soon as you need to add the action, reaction, emotion, you fall on your ass and pick yourself up only to rather unceremoniously face plant the floor? That stage of writing – that’s where I’m at. In that dark little pit trying to claw my way out. Of course, the faster I claw, the further I slip so maybe some quiet contemplation is needed. Hmm.

I keep reading and rereading my earlier chapters and thinking – hey, I wrote that, I like it – so why can’t I do it anymore? I dunno. We all get to this stage though, that’s for sure. Then, at some point, something strikes and we can do it again. I’m waiting for that moment, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a little bit of my WIP because one of my cp’s tagged me to do so. So here’s the opening of Finding Immortal – it’s still a little rough around the edges and there’s stuff I need to add per my amazing cp’s advice.

Finding Immortal

The text notification from my cellphone cut into my thoughts with the sharpness of a razors edge. Another message from Alex. I knew without casting so much as a glance at the screen. It was always him. Lana preferred email and sent me pictures of whatever country she’d chosen to gallivant through that week. I tipped my head back, staring into the sky above the Mallory estate. Clouds, heavy with the weight of unfallen snow, hung low, threatening to explode at any moment.

Lucas shifted next to me on the cold porch steps. “Aren’t you going to read it?” His breath billowed into the air, mixing with the muted light of the frosty morning.

Shaking my head, I pulled my phone from my jeans pocket and tossed it to Lucas. “No point.” Alex’s messages only ever consisted of one letter, a simple ‘x’, and though I’d replied on several occasions, asking how and where he was, he never responded.

Lucas slipped my cell into the front pocket of his green hoodie.

I tried to take a deep breath, but the familiar stabbing at my chest prevented anything more than a small inhale. For the past three months, the simplest of things hurt, opening my eyes each morning ranking amongst the most painful. My mind began to fog, pulling me back to the night of the ferocious battle with Sol and Selena. The night the colors in my world had paled to barely recognizable blurs of insignificance. Nathaniel’s face flashed and I clawed at the memory, desperate to hold it strong and unwavering, but as always, it faded to obscurity.

I raised my head as the crunch of hurried footsteps sounded across the yard of the Mallory estate. Kyle’s black hair lay flat and damp against his forehead, his maroon t-shirt and gray sweatpants bearing the sweat patches of his run. As he drew closer, he pulled his earphones from his ears and whipped off his top, then used it to scrub the moisture from his face.

Lucas rose from the steps to greet him. “Just in time, breakfast’s ready.”

Kyle slung his t-shirt across one shoulder and used his other hand to rub his taught stomach. “Good, I’m starving.”

Lucas pushed the front door open and stepped inside.

Kyle held his hand out to me. “You coming?”

I dropped my gaze to the ground. “No, I’m not hungry.”

One, two, three. I counted the maroon stripes on Kyle’s sneakers, at the same time, wondering when he’d begun to color co-ordinate his wardrobe.

“Tough shit, babe. You’re eating.” Kyle grasped my wrist and pulled me from my perch. I landed with a thud against his solid chest.


So I’ve kinda killed two birds with one stone(<<< ooo – a cliché, I should know better). I’ve talked about my feelings without talking about my feelings and I’ve shared some words. Now I’m off to stare out of the window. Hope the rest of you are coming along well in your writing endeavors!

New Release: Guardians Awakened by Kimiko Alexandre

GA4Raegan Fischer is eye candy for the rich socialites of the world…she also uses that pretty façade to protect them. When she gets dragged into a murder with “supernatural” like trappings, she never believes it’s going to not only test faith she doesn’t realize she has nor ever wanted, but make her enter a world of Angels, spirits and the unknown. Blackmailed into helping, she must find a missing angel and her sister while protecting a gargoyle that holds the soul of mass murder. It’s believe or risk a whole host of costs that are too high to bare.

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I am also pleased to be able to show you the print cover too!

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photoKimiko Alexandre runs the Parsec Nominated Podcast, Talechasing, for writers and readers of urban fantasy. Angels and demons are her first love when it comes to urban fantasy and paranormal romance so it’s no surprise that her debut novel, Guardians: Awakening, features a host of both and puts a twist to the whole mythos of where bad souls go when they die.

Also a voice actress, she has been in many commercial projects as well as audiobook and podiobook titles. She even ran a stint at being a female voice artist for European Hardstyle Dance music for a few years.  Just search for ‘ft. Kimiko’ on Youtube and you’ll find her.She loves her books, her music, and her cats. She sports a pair of brown and blue wings on her back and it doesn’t come as a shock that her favorite show is Supernatural. Team Dean, all the way.

You can find Kimiko on Twitter, Facebook and on her Podcast.

The Vampire of Vancouver by Liz Meldon

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After reading book one in the Lovers and Liars series: The Manead of Manhattan – I was delighted to be able to read this prior to release and I can honestly say – it’s excellent, I really love it.

tvAphrodite, goddess of love and lust, is not impressed. After giving up her penthouse suite in trendy Manhattan to go monster hunting around the world, she finds herself in a sad hotel room in Vancouver with a decidedly distracted Loki. She hadn’t expected this job to be so serious, and her Norse partner isn’t exactly bowing to her whims these days. What was the point in coming with him if they weren’t beneath the sheets all hours of the day? It seems like such a waste of sexual compatibility. Humph.

Meanwhile, Loki, Norse trickster, is equally unimpressed. He hadn’t thought taking on a beautiful partner would make his work so difficult. Her unfocused energy grates on his nerves, and his lust for her is only surpassed by his desire for more godly power. He will complete this job, whether she likes it or not, and he’ll walk away one step closer to regaining his old abilities. Now, if only he can get his partner to focus on the task at hand, not seduction. Ridiculous woman.

Aphrodite and Loki, an unlikely team if there ever was one, find themselves in the City of Vancouver hunting vampires. The job is pretty straightforward: rescue the damsel, kill the monster. Unfortunately, even the easiest of jobs hardly ever go according to plan.

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If you haven’t read Book 1 The Maenad of Manhattan – you can grab that here:

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aboutLiz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about her own snarky characters, she is ghostwriting romance novellas, loitering on social media, or taking care of animals.

As a freelance ghostwriter, she has written eleven romance novellas, eight of which have been published and are doing well. She loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.

Catch up with Liz Meldon on her blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook

Free on Kindle today: The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants by Lori L. Clark

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the heart knowsEstelle “Star” Falconé, a thirty-year-old tattooed bartender, was once a free-spirited dreamer who dabbled in astrology for fun and secretly dreamed of becoming a rock-star some day.

Twenty-one-year-old Shane Harper was once the star of his high school basketball team. With a full ride scholarship, his dream was to play college basketball and study astronomy. When a tragic car accident permanently sidelines his basketball career, college is out of the question.

Sparks fly when their two worlds collide.

Can a relationship survive between a thirty-year-old starry-eyed woman who’s on the run from an extremely dangerous man, and a twenty-one-year-old science guy who’s hell-bent on protecting her at all cost?

***Caution*** This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+) containing adult situations, non-consensual sex, and violence. This is a full-length, standalone novel.

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From Here to Nashville by Julie Stock

I’m really excited to show you the cover and blurb for Julie Stock’s debut novel. It’s exactly the kind of book that I like to read and I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on it. You can preorder it now, using the links below!

fh2n_From Here to Nashville is a contemporary romance novel with a country music theme.

Can Music Really Bring People Together?

Rachel Hardy dreams of being a successful country music singer in Nashville’s Music City, four thousand miles away from her lonely life in Dorset.

When Jackson Phillips, an independent record label owner, encourages her band to audition for a nationwide ‘Open Mic’ competition, she decides they have nothing to lose.

But when she starts to fall in love with Jackson, the stakes suddenly get higher and she finds herself with a great big dilemma on her hands. Should she abandon her dream and take the easy way out or should she leave the life she has always known behind and take a gamble on a man who has personal demons of his own?

Follow Rachel and Jackson as they learn to trust in love again and to see whether music really can bring them together.

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about

julieJulie Stock is an author of contemporary romance novels and short stories. If you would like to keep up-to-date with news of her forthcoming releases, you can sign up here:

She blogs about her path to publication on her website, ‘My Writing Life’. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and is a Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors. You can also connect with her via her Facebook Author Page and on Twitter.

When she is not writing, she works part-time as a teacher. She is married with two teenage daughters and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.

A Crazy, Fun Day

Without a doubt, yesterday was one of the funnest days I’ve had in a while. As you all know, I gave away Fractured Immortal for one day only. I expected about 100 copies to be downloaded from the Kindle store – that’s what people told me to expect. Imagine my surprise when everything exploded.

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The giveaway started at midnight Pacific standard time – over here, that’s 8am. By the time I buggered off to bed for the night, I was sitting at #9 in the UK Vampire fiction kindle chart, #42 in the US Vampire fiction chart and as Jake kindly pointed out, #37 in the US Wizards&Witches fiction chart.

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Like the geek that I am, every time I settled on the same page as one of my favorite authors, ahem, I took a screenshot. No shame here. You all know what a little weirdo I am anyway.

Some people don’t like to give away their books because of all the work they’ve put into it. I wanted to give away my book for that very reason, I wanted more people to read the world and people I had created, and now they will. Hey, if I was in it for the money, I’d bugger off and be a doctor.

So, yesterday was a crazy fun day that I enjoyed very much. Thank you to all of you that downloaded and I really hope you enjoy it.

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My First Short Story

I finally wrote a short story. I’m actually really happy that I did it as I thought it an impossible task. But here it is and I would love to know what you think, please!

Stepping Out

Lost.

The stupid word ran through my head again, playing over and over. I flicked my gaze to the window, tipping my head to the side as I observed my outer sanctum. Yellow petals danced in the breeze, waving to the stray dandelion heads as they floated by. The glare of the bright sun bounced off the lush grass; still healthy despite the sweltering heat. Several gardening tools lay dotted across the trail of stones leading to the forest that hugged the edge of my backyard. The branches from the huge pines shuddered.

Rising up from my chair, I slipped out the side door to answer the forest’s beckon, my brown hair swaying around my hips.

My bare feet padded over warm soil as I brushed past the row of perennials. The scent of pine, earth and lavender played a delicate tune in my nostrils. When I reached the end of my yard, I flipped the catch on the rusting Iron Gate. From the moment I stepped into the forest, a blanket of serenity shrouded me. Lost. Like hell. Still, the psychologist’s words played again through my mind.

“Evelyn, I believe it is now fully apparent that you have become disconnected from humanity. You continuously refuse to see the good in people, disillusioned by your broken heart.”

Pff, yeah right. My heart had long healed, bringing with it an iron cast shield. Yet every time I retreated to the shelter of the forest, another small chink appeared in my armor. With slow assured steps, I travelled the path now worn from my bare feet beating into it. My white sundress kissed across my knees as my heart pulled me toward my destination.

“Evelyn.” The psychologist’s words reared their head in my mind again. “You have cut yourself off from any form of human contact, content to wallow in the misery that, quite frankly, you are bringing upon yourself.”

My skin prickled with irritation. My ex-husband had forced the solitude upon me, taking custody of our friends as if they were our children. Have at it. Not one had believed me when I told them the truth; he had been the serial cheat in our relationship, not me. I had passed the sorrow stage of losing those friends within days of our separation. Friendships’ I had thought were forged with infallible strength, cracked, then shattered under the weight of truth. With a blessed clarity, I pulled away from those people.

The bubbling of the small stream pulled me back to the present. Taking a deep breath of the summer air, I allowed the wash of earth, wood, and pine to cleanse its way through my system. Closing my eyes, I pulled my bottom lip between my teeth. The corners of my mouth tugged, insisting on breaking out into a smile. I tipped my head back, savoring the tranquility of nature. Nature couldn’t hurt me – it wouldn’t. We were one. We were the same. Just leave us be. We could look after ourselves without interference.

Padding forward, I made my way to the gentle river. Water skirted the small rocks jutting up from the riverbed, barely breaking the surface. Kneeling down, I rested on my side and settled into the soft moss underneath. I pushed my hand into the water, savoring the cool swirl around my fingers. Cicada’s sung songs of love, calling to the other half of their souls. Birds chirped a melodious tune from the green canopy overhead. Branches reached out, extending to the touch of their neighbors. I lifted my head in the direction of a rustling across the stream. Two squirrels pattered through fern, dancing to the tune of an emotion as old as time itself. Emotion. The stupid psychologist’s words sliced into my peaceful resolve.

“You show little to no emotion, Evelyn. Your ability to trust has dipped so low that if you continue on this path, you will inevitably end up alone.”

You are never alone. The trees whispered words of comfort and belonging, draping me in their protective caress. I stretched out my toes, waiting for the signal to move. On cue, the strike of metal against wood permeated the air, sending my heart into a wild flutter. Scraping my tanned legs across the soft earth, I rose from my resting place. The breeze pushed against the small of my back, urging me forward. Sinking my foot into the river, I sighed as the water rolled across my ankles. I waded through the crystal clear liquid until my toes touched against the soft moss on the other side.

The breeze eased me forward again, ushering me toward the sound. With each step, it grew louder, until only a small gathering of tall fern blocked me from the heavenly being on the other side. As I moved to part the fronds, the wind rustled them and they kissed the back of my hands. I widened the curtain, exposing the view I’d been searching for.

On the other side of the treeline, long arms glistened as they lifted and fell with each strike of the axe. His muscles strained with each movement, biceps bunching then releasing against the crack of wood.

Tossing the axe to the floor, he swiped his hand across his forehead. His short, tousled black hair shone in the sunlight. A bead of sweat trickled from his temple, over the high curve of his cheekbone and past his broad nose before settling at the edge of his strong, square jaw.

Dipping his head, he blew out a breath before bending down to reclaim his axe. As he curled back up, the smooth curve of his abs rippled. A sheen of moisture covered his body, clinging to his tanned skin. Unable to help myself, my gaze travelled to his well-defined pectorals as they rose with each breath he took. I licked my lips, but my tongue left only the faintest trail as my mouth dried from watching the beautiful creature before me.

The breeze that had so faithfully guided me to him turned into a single gust, flattening the wall between me and him. He glanced up and his deep blue eyes found mine. His lips curled up, accentuating long dimples in his cheeks. My heart stuttered, then raced as he took a step toward me.

“For as long as you continue to hide from others, Evelyn, you will be unable to find the happiness I know you crave.”

Right, Mr Psychologist. You’re right.

The breeze nudged me again and I succumbed to it, stepping out into the unknown.

How to: Format your book for Kindle

This week, I’m adding How To videos to my blog. Writing a book is a huge job, formatting it for kindle can be a real pain in the butt if you don’t know what you’re doing. Also, it’s my aim to save you guys money. There’s no need to pay to have your book formatted if you learn these simple steps. I use Microsoft Word, therefore this video teaches you how to format using MS Word.

Also, at the end of this post, I’ve added a picture of a page that I sent to my Kindle app on my phone that displays the formatting used here.

By the time you’ve watched this video, you’ll know how to do two things.

  1. Format your book for Kindle
  2. Create a Chapter Heading that will be ready to use in the click of a button.

I advise you to full screen the video so you can see it clearly, then just pause when needed.

(If you don’t like Brandon Flowers, mute now)

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How to: Format your book for Createspace

It’s a tough world out there. There’s bills to pay, growing children to feed, clothe etc and necessities to buy. It’s really not that easy to wipe your butt with newspaper. Writing and publishing a book can be a costly venture. There are things you can’t avoid – an attractive cover, an excellent editor, and pens. Many, many pens to stow away along with a notebook so if inspiration strikes – you’re prepared. High Five.

But there are things you don’t need to spend money on and formatting is one of them. So, I made a little video to teach you exactly how to format your book for 5×8 on Createspace (I’ll bring you a 6×9 video too, if wanted). The video assumes you use word. I’m aware that many use Scrivener, so I will look into this and bring you an easy to follow video on that too. Again, I know some people like to convert to PDF’s so they can embed their font and chapter numbers. I will try to bring you a video on that too. However, I use this simple method for my own manuscripts. I don’t use fancy fonts and listed chapters/table of contents. My book is a New Adult fiction and us grown ups don’t need a table of contents.

The font you use is up to you. I use Times New Roman in 11pt. I just went with whatever for this video, though.

There are a number of things I will teach you.

  1. How to set your margin size
  2. How to set your page layout
  3. How to format your book
  4. How to have a Chapter Header ready to use, with the click of a button.

So, by the time you’ve watched this video (and I advise having a test document open already so you can follow it) – you’ll be able to do it all yourself – for free. I advise enlarging the video to full screen so you can see and just pause when needed. Here goes:

(If you don’t like Greenday, mute now)


I hope that helped!

My 2014 in review. I owe you guys a big fat thank you.

I’ve seen a few of these posts around so thought I’d add mine to the mix. My blog has only been running since June, so I’m pleased with the numbers. Actually, I’m over the moon. I think we’ve all come to realize by now that I waffle on about random nothingness most of the time. I really want to say thank you to everyone who stops by to read my spiel and THANK YOU so much for making the day that I revealed my own book cover the day that also generated the highest numbers. I am really grateful.

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.