I’ll Try Again Next Time

I’m back to no bars on my sales graph again ☹

I’m bar-less ☹

You know what that means: I’ve done diddly when it comes to marketing. Less than diddly, and I’m not even sure that’s a thing. But it is for our purposes because seriously, my patient has flatlined. Not even a heartbeat since early September, and only two tiny blimps at that. I’m not surprised. I haven’t done any of the advertising earlier-this-year-me planned on doing which sucks, but it is what it is. And I’ve learned what I’ve learned. What’s that saying?

I never lose. Either I win or I learn.

Yeah, we’ll go ahead and apply that. I learned not to release books so close together, regardless of them being pretty much written (and regardless of my excitement as an author to have you read them!) because there is so, so much more that goes into a release day then just ‘releasing’ it. You have to let the whole friggin world know about it days, weeks, months in advance—and I definitely didn’t do that. At all. Not even close. Oh, well. I’ll try again next time. But what’s next time, you ask??

*********drrrrrruuuummmrrrrooollll*************

I’m happy to announce, that after BTY releases, I’m writing the FIFTH and FINAL book of Arizal Wars, so STOP ASKING ME, BATMAN.

To be honest, I needed a break from AZ since I started writing it in 2011. These last two years have been a nice vacation with Autumn and Alex, and I think the newness of their world has given me the rejuvenating boost I’ll need to face the final battle in AZ. Because oh yeah, shit goes down. It’s bittersweet to be finishing up my Better Than This series since I love my characters so much, but part of me is dying to get back into writing battle scenes. And prophecies. And alien races. And forbidden love and—ahh the goosebumps!

Anyway, that’s later this year. Or early next year. Not sure where I’m going with this post, but that’s a true panster at heart. Happy Wednesday 😊

Life, Am i right?

Last Wednesday I caught the throat bug and since I keep forgetting to take medicine, I STILL HAVE IT.

In my defense, I’ve been distracted. My sister had outpatient surgery, the check engine light in my car came on (AGAIN), and I was planning Batman’s surprise birthday dinner by calling every restaurant that I know he likes to ask if they took reservations—WHICH THEY DON’T.

When did this become a thing? When I was a hostess, I always had to take reservations. It made sense. You had a larger party coming in and you wanted to let the restaurant know about it. Simple. Easy. Totally makes sense. Nowadays, you make “call aheads” which are apparently useless because unless your entire party is there, you won’t be seated. Seriously—what was the point of me calling? This is what I asked the hostess at the Cheesecake Factory when she informed me that even if the entire party DID arrive, we might still have to wait an hour. Seriously—WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ME CALLING?

And since it was a surprise for Batman, I had to keep sneaking away which made him all suspicious, especially when he heard a guy on the other end of the phone (which was a buddy of his coming to the dinner) and my voice kept coming in and out so I would squeak and then cough and then squeak and then cough and then run into the house for water.

My car is my car and until it’s a different car, that check engine light will always be in my life. My sister is doing fine – we’re just waiting for Wednesday to get the results. Cross your fingers (and eyes and toes…) that everything is benign because she needs a homerun in life right now. She is AMAZING and I was sort of hoping she’d win the lottery or marry Prince Harry and instead, she got outpatient surgery and a hospital bill. ☹ I know something awesome is coming her way but I wish it’d hurry up and get here. And no, Bradley Cooper, it’s not you anymore. You had your chance but my sis can do better. Sorry.

So, writing: I’ve decided that I will be releasing the ENTIRE Better Than This series this year. The first, as you know, is set to come out May 18th (same date as Deadpool!) and Better Than Now will be in August and Better Than You, in November. Three months apart. I’m not sure if this is a smart or stupid plan but I hate when the next book in the series is set to come out the following year (or two or more) because I forget about them or lose interest or whatever. PLUS, once I’m done with this series, I’ll be able to focus on the last book of ARIZAL WARS – Return to Dellapalania. 😉

Since I’m not sure how to arrange a cover reveal party or launch or whatever it is that most authors do, I’m just going to reveal it to you this Wednesday! Woop! If, between now and then, I can figure out how to do something bigger and better for a CR, I will. Otherwise, get excited to see the *amazing* cover for Better Than This on 4/11. I love it and I hope you will too!

…and that seems to be everything going on in my life currently. Still unemployed and suppressing the fear of running out of money, but I’m focusing on writing. And feeling better. And hoping my sister feels better. Things always work out and I’m sure they will this round too.

What about you? How’s your Sunday/life/health going?

Don’t Stop Believing

I actually had something really cool happen recently 😊

So, the series I’m known for *cough the only one I’ve written cough* (and displayed here on the right panel for your viewing pleasure) is my Sci-fi Romance thing that I haven’t touched in—eh—maybe a year. The fourth book was published in 2016 and I still haven’t written a word of the fifth and final one (sorry Batman, Jolene, and now Shelby). I’m telling you all of this because I’ve been so wrapped up with BTT that I kind of forget about pushing the series, so when a mutual friend discovered that yours truly pens fiction, she bought them—and has been texting about them non stop 😉

I know that sounds like, who cares, right? GUYS. When someone is consistently gushing over something YOU did, asking questions, making predictions and overall pulsing with excitement, it’s great. It’s like, validating. Like, maybe I don’t totally suck at this writing thing. Maybe. (Probably still do, but it’s nice to have someone disagree.)

Second cool thing? That sad, sad little 0 units sold record I had going was SHATTERED with 4 sold units. Yeah. Four! All to the same person, but still. Someone is PAYING to read my stuff. IS there anything cooler than that? (The answer is no, by the way. No, nothing is cooler.)

*HAPPY DANCE ENSUES*

Seriously. I’ve been so caught up in loving/hating BTT and wondering at what point do I stop torturing myself with the same few paragraphs and finally shove it into someone else’s hands that I’ve completely put my main project, Arizal Wars, on the back-burner (for like, a long time now. Probably too long).

I started writing it in 2011 and needed a break around 2015, when I wrote Rozmarie & Josiah. I had one (semi) fan ask about the fourth book and I got right back to it. After that, it’s been all BTT, developing this series since I couldn’t stop writing it, but I need to get back to my first one—my baby—and finish the fifth and final book.

If someone could just give me endless time or the winning lottery ticket, I promise only to use it on provisions so I can keep surviving long enough to do all the creative projects I want. Okay? Please? Genies and fairy godmothers are also welcome. Nothing shady, people.

IWSG: Do it. I did.

Today I’m releasing my fourth book.

Woo hoo!

And also *don’t look at me*

Well it’s up on. On Smashwords and Amazon and I’m very proud of myself for having gotten to this stage. It’s taken a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and I’m happy I stuck through it all.

I will say Crusade Across Worlds was more difficult to write than the first three, partly because of how the story went, but it had a lot to do a lot with what I was experiencing in my own life at the time. Thank you to everyone who’s read Escape, Plague and Discovery, or who’s offered a kind or supportive word. It means more than you know. Truly.

So, yep, here it is.

Fourth book in the series.

And guys—GUYS—shit just got real.

CRUSADE ACROSS WORLDS - 2500

Fallon has just returned from three months of training and is eager to fight against those who enslaved her. Joining up with Reid and the gang, they set out to prepare for the Vermix’s final attack—a highly prophesied invasion that could mean the possible end to a centuries-long war. But when unforeseen events arise, causing the plan of defense to crumble, it will take everything they have to survive what will certainly become a turning point in the Arizal War.

Find it on Smashwords here.

Find it on Amazaon here.

For all of you terrified weirdos out there like me, I clicked the publish button. And if I can do it, you can too. And if you can’t, read through a few more of these blogs. You’ll find the encouragement you need.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

IWSG – And the Battle Rages On

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

I’ve been kind of out of it lately.

I don’t want to talk to anybody. Don’t want to do anything. I’ve got too much to say but no energy or desire to say any of it. Which leaves me in this weird sort of funk that has me questioning my day-to-day happiness as well as my mental stability, something every artist does but never talks about. Sshh. You didn’t read it here.

I’m fine. Really. It’s just the dark thoughts that plague most people (and not usually me) have been repeat offenders lately and that’s something I’m not used to. So I don’t know what to do. When the demons do come knocking (the rare occasions it happens), I’m able to bat them away—quite successfully, I might add. I’m optimistic this is the life I’m supposed to be living. I’m blinded by the belief that I’m meant to tell stories. To write. And always have been. But I’ve been struggling to live in the positive. My brain feels like a weary battlefield, neither optimism nor depression surrendering, both battling to rule my outlook on everything I do. And that’s what April has been for me. A month of constant war.

I have been writing. So there’s that. I have a book coming out next month, after all—the fourth in a series I love. But I don’t want to promote it. I don’t want to advertise or talk about its release. I simply want to sink back into my shell and send out a few texts to the handful of people I know are awaiting its release. It’s sad, really. That I’m back here again. I had so much gusto a few months ago and now I’m trying to decide each day if I want to be happy or sad. It’s weird and it’s scary and I hate that it’s part of the process. I hate that I have to go through it.

I guess the good thing about April is the unexpected inspiration for my next book. I’m excited about it, which has renewed some of the optimism, but the giant 3-0 circling my head is a constant reminder of the failure I continually convince myself I am. I’m thirty and not there yet. What does that say about me? What does that say about my talent? What does that say about how the rest of my life is going to go? And suddenly the demons are back. I hate them, and I hate myself for giving into them.

But I’m still writing. I’ve posted this, haven’t I? (Please God let me not chicken-out and post this). Things will be okay. I’m sure they will. After all, Crusade Across Worlds is coming out next month and ITR is still in its best stage—the unwritten period when everything is just a montage of scenes, a movie trailer of highlights I want to write.

Ah, the beginning to any creative piece. The inspiration. The possibilities. I do think, despite all the demons and mental exhaustion that goes along with being a writer, that this may be one of my very favorite things in life.

So I’ll cling to that for now.

 

Character Profile: Jace

Character Profile1

Jace

 

 

Hair color: Blonde

Eye color: Blue

Age: 24

Fun Fact: Jace was named after the brother from Duck Dynasty.

(The following takes place in the beginning of Escape from Harrizel. Note – it has not been professionally edited, nor beta-read, but most definitely filled with love for the characters and story. Enjoy!)

***

“Hands off”

Jace had to check her out.

He still couldn’t believe it—any of it. Not a single word. Rox actually asking him to keep his distance from a girl? For real? That never happened. Not even back in the beginning, when the leader of the Rogues first started out with Ansley. Rox had just sort of gone for it and that was that. No need to tell Jace anything. But since the whole mess went down with her and that red-headed fuck, Walker, the former Rogue Leader had apparently sworn off the ladies.

Until now.

She had to be something special. A former model maybe because no one had gotten Boss’s attention enough to warrant a “hands off” for Jace. The thought had him grinning. He knew it was only a matter of time because at some point, Rox was going to go fishing and the blonde Rogue couldn’t wait to see who it’d be. Add in a heavy—and sudden—dose of unexplained territorialism and it was so on.

Jace couldn’t wait.

Leisure Time was the perfect opportunity for some high-quality spying. Jace normally didn’t stoop to the level, having Moss and Cramp go to the trouble first. But this wasn’t trouble. This was fun. This was something the Rogue Commander didn’t mind doing at all.

Slipping past a pair of dancing bodies, he glided through the crowded room. His latest intel advised that Fallon—the one he was supposed to keep his hands off of—was with Raj over by the West Wall. He knew what Raj looked like. Knew the curve of her body and the creamy, coffee-colored tone of her skin. It was sort of his job. The whole scouting for possible Clan recruitment was a top priority for the Rogues. And that meant having a handle on every person that came through the gates. He could spot Raj in a moment. And then he’d find her. The girl. The only girl Rox ever told him to stay away from.

Jace slowed as he approached the West Wall.

Couples lined the checkered pattern, mouths intertwined, hands dipping beneath waistbands and shirts. Now this was what he was talking about. Scanning the movement, he slowed on certain areas before pressing on. He’d make a quick assessment and then get back to his own shenanigans for the night. Shouldn’t take more than a minute.

Passing a few more interlocked bodies, Jace finally stopped, spotting Raj. The teen was talking quickly, hands flailing about. It meant she was nearby. The girl. The only girl Jace couldn’t have. But he couldn’t see her. Bodies blocked his view, thriving and grinding to the overhead music. He took a step around a serious pair of dancers and—

He noticed her hair first.

Long and curly and dark, dark like chocolate, dark like mahogany—the complete opposite of Ansley’s bright, yellow locks. Interesting. She was also taller than Raj, but not exactly tall, and could probably come eye to eye with Able. Jace’s eyes roamed down her form. Chest? Not bad. Ass? Decent. Nice legs too. Sure, the Rogue Commander could see the attraction, but he’d hooked up with a dozen girls that looked just like her. Probably more. His excitement waned. Jace didn’t know what to expect, but he wanted something… someone… incredible. Someone he’d have trouble keeping his hands off of.

And she wasn’t it.

There had to be something he was missing, something he didn’t get. The Rogue Commander moved in for a better look. The two girls were just talking. That’s it. Knowing Fallon wouldn’t recognize him, he found a spot behind Raj and made himself comfortable. Then stuck an ear out and listened.

“Are the Dofinikes aware of the Clans?” A pause. “And they’re fine with it? So you just walk up and—”

The words turned to whispers. Jace peeked over, reading Fallon’s expressions. Raj must be explaining something. He leaned closer.

“—nothing like that,” he heard Raj say.” You never deal directly with the Clans. It’s always done through the Scouts. They’re like… the middle-men. They deliver—”

He pulled back.

Huh.

So Raj was filling Fallon in on the Market. Little early for an Arival to be privy to that sort of information, wasn’t it? Rox preferred them here at least a week first. So how come she already knew? Was that why Rox was so interested? Had something happened?

The Rogue Commander continued to listen but both girls suddenly took off, Raj leading them down the West Wall.

There was more to it. Jace was certain. Rox didn’t go from practicing celibacy to marking his territory for no reason. He’d gone too long without breaking his no-chick rule for this not to mean something. And it did. It most definitely did. Something was going on.

And Jace was going to find out what.

***

And I actually wouldn’t know who I’d cast to play Jace. I’ve scratched my head and come up with nothing. What about you? Who could you see playing the blonde Rogue?

Escape from Harrizel is the first book in the Arizal Wars series. Crusade Across Worlds releases June 1st 2016!

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Character Profile: Walker

Character Profile1

Walker1

Hair color: Reddish-orange

Eye color: Hazel-brown

Age: 23

Fun Fact: Walker was originally Australian

(The following takes place before the start of Escape from Harrizel. Note – it has not been professionally edited, nor beta-read, but most definitely filled with love for the characters and story. Enjoy!)

***

Afterward

Walker felt like shit.

He had to do it—there was no way to refuse the Kings and still come out of this thing alive. But forcing him to sleep with Ansley? The one girl he couldn’t have? The one girl no one could? The whole thing was a lose-lose. And most likely suicide. The Kings promised their protection from the Rogues, but Walker had just done the unthinkable.

He’d slept with Ansley. Beautiful, perfect, untouchable Ansley—the girl who belonged to the most feared Rogue of all.

Rox.

It’s not like he forced her. Hell, Walker was hoping she’d turn him down, hoping she’d flat out refuse and then he could go back to the Kings with the whole I didn’t sign up for rape argument. But that’s not how it went at all.

Walker ran his hands down his face. He still couldn’t believe he went through with the thing, still couldn’t believe it was done. Over with.

Ansley.

He’d actually fucked Ansley.

Rox would kill him. Even if the Kings promised protection, there was no way they could guarantee it, no way to really enforce it. If Rox wanted to get to him, he’d find a way. He found a way out of working for the Kings, didn’t he? There was no stopping him. And when he found out what Walker did… it would be bad.

But what choice did he have?

Walker slowed as he approached his door, and the visitor leaning against it. Dark choppy hair. Arrogant blue eyes. It was the same King who first approached him with the assignment, the one who started this whole bullshit mess. Normally Walker got his jobs from Nathan, a low-level member still trying to work his way up, but since this one was being used to bring down the almighty Rox, it only made sense that the assignment came from the opposing Clan leader.

Grisham smiled softly. “It’s done?”

Walker reached the door.

And nodded.

The King mirrored the gesture but made no attempt to leave. Watching Walker, he studied his stiff stance and the hard expression that accompanied it. Normally the playboy was all jokes and charm, but now he couldn’t be further from it. The corners of Grisham’s mouth pulled up. “Is there anything better?” An amused eyebrow rose. “Getting paid to fuck a beautiful girl?”

You mean being forced.

Walker stared ahead, past the railing and open courtyard, to the rooms on the other side. One of them was Ansley’s. Another, a few floors up, belonged to Rox.  “I’m dead when he finds out.”

“It won’t come to that.”

“He’ll kill me.”

“You don’t get it,” the King smiled wider, a danger lurking beneath the expression. “You broke Rox. There is,” he slowed his words, annunciating each one, “no more Rox. You and that little slut made sure of it.” Grisham laughed under his breath, pleased with himself. “You don’t realize the power you’ve gained. The allies you made.”

“Or the enemies.”

Grisham’s smile turned down, his easy, playful demeanor gone. “We’re all dead in here anyway.” The Clan leader pushed off the door, adjusting the collar of his light blue scrub. Turning, he started back down the hall. “If you haven’t figured that out by now, I’ve been giving you too much credit.”

Walker watched him leave, unable to stop the words. “He’ll come for me. You know he will. He’ll come for me and he’ll kill me.”

At this, Grisham paused. He hooked his chin over his shoulder, a warning swirling in the dark scowl. It was a look of disgust. Of revulsion at having to state the obvious. “It was either him or us. You made your choice.”

The Clan leader disappeared into the shadows and Walker couldn’t help but agree. He had made his choice.

He’d picked Rox.

***

Now, if I was allowed to cast this character, I would choose Sam Claflin.

Ahem:

What do you think? Who would you cast to play Walker?

Escape from Harrizel is the first book in the Arizal Wars series. Crusade Across Worlds releases June 1st 2016!

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