Romance, fantasy, and light horror author.
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My super sexy shifter short, Mikhail's American Adventure, is out next week on October 27!
Preorder yours for only .99 cents!
Mikhail is tired of living a double life. On the one hand he is to be the next alpha of the great Werebear Clan of Russia and is expected to find his mate and produce an heir. On the other, he is a man of many tastes, some of which his clan does not understand. He wants to enjoy all things, and people, in life. As he heads to America to visit his brother, he thinks this might be the perfect time to let loose and live a little.
From time to time I like to treat my readers to a free ebook! This month I made my zombie thriller mixed with a steamy romance, Salvation, free for a limited time! Today is the last day to grab this one for free!
Running from zombies together can really make you fall for someone!
Salvation is #free through 10/17! Grab a copy today!
It’s been a bit since I posted a Bobs Burgers burger review, but I’m back and it should be a regular occurrence once more! Last week the hubby and I made the Sympathy for the Deviled Egg Burger, which is basically egg salad on top of a burger! What’s not to love? Tons of protein and yumminess! This one got two thumbs up from both myself and the hubby!
October has been a rough month this far, but I have been pretty happy that I have been able to keep up with my Drawlloween challenge thus far. Sometimes that means sketching on a napkin or on ticket stubs at work, but I am getting stuff done! Here are a few of my sketches thus far.
October is already more than half over and that means November is really just around the corner, and for this author that only means one thing, National Write a Novel Month. I am starting to prep for my novel this year, which will be the sequel to Quest for Redemption, entitled Quest for Self. Little known fact, Quest for Redemption was a NaNoWriMo novel itself, though it took a few years for it to become published after I initially wrote it. I figure that it is only fitting that I write the sequel in the same fast and furious pace of the original.
So for those of you who don't know what NaNoWriMo is about, you basically write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Crazy? Yes. Fun? Oddly yes. How does one prepare for such craziness? Well I am going through Quest for Redemption and making notes for the sequel. I am getting an rough outline ready, making sure I know the plot points that I want to flesh out. I am getting the ideas in my head in order so that once November hits I can just write. I even have the cover for this book already and I am hoping that it really helps inspire me during a long month of writing!
Any other people writing a novel next month? What are you doing to prepare?
The Summer of Seduction Anthology is gone, but if you missed out on my steamy story, Mikhail's American Adventure, you are in luck! I am releasing this hot story on Amazon! Here's the cover I whipped up, trust me this tale is even sexier than the cover art! This short will be released on October 27!
Pre-order it now here: http://a.co/8hCbU1V a.co/8hCbU1V
October is here and that means I will soon be putting out a new issue of my author newsletter. Have you signed up yet? Each month I announce an exclusive freebie for my subscribers as my gift to you! This month I will have a sexy zombie story to fit October! ?
I am so happy to welcome one of my favorite authors, Jessica Bayliss, to my blog with her new release Broken Chords! So excited for her and to read this one!
BROKEN CHORDS on Amazon
BROKEN CHORDS on Kobo
BROKEN CHORDS on SmashWords
BROKEN CHORDS on Goodreads
GIVEAWAY: One free copy of BROKEN CHORDS
EMBED CODE: a Rafflecopter giveaway
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
The inspiration really came because I had to pee in the middle of the night. Not what you were expecting, right? So, there I was, camping on Martha’s Vineyard with my husband, and I had to pee in the middle of the night. For anyone who’s ever camped, you know that the bathrooms are never conveniently located. To reach it, I had a bit of a walk, and the fastest route was through a playground. So, there I am, wee hours of the night (no pun intended), and it’s all cold and misty. And I’m in this playground, and I think: If those swings start moving right now, I’m so out of here.
Lucky for me, that didn’t happen, but once I was safely back in my tent, I decided I’d write a story about a haunted playground someday. The other major inspiration is a blue grass festival we like to attend. The layout, the campgrounds, the pirate truck, even the creek behind the clearing in the woods—it’s all inspired by that festival.
As for the astral projection, that came from the fact that I read and enjoyed a YA about astral projection back in my teen-aged days. I often start my books with the question: what would I want to read? (Or, what did I like to read back in the day?)
Put that all together, add in a little romance, and you’ve got BROKEN CHORDS.
What about your musical inspiration?
Ah, yes. Many bands show up in BROKEN CHORDS, including some of my favorites: The Greencards, Nikel Creek, and Crooked Still. Fans of these folks will definitely pick up on some references in the book. One traditional folk song, in particular, was a huge inspiration. It’s called Wind and Rain. I did some research on this song, and it turns out, there have been versions of this—in song and in poem form—for hundreds of years. It dates back to mid-seventeenth century and its origins are the UK. It’s had different names, including The Two Sisters and Twa Sisters, but every version includes the story about how one sister killed the other. In most versions, including the one in my book, the older sister kills her younger and yellow-haired sister out of jealousy over her having landed beau. Creepy for sure. And, in all versions—creepiest of all—the murdered sister’s body is turned into a fiddle! I can’t remember if I decided to use this song first OR if I decided Lenny was a fiddle player first, but needless to say, it all came together so beautifully (or, perhaps the best words is horrifyingly).
That’s one of those questions I can’t exactly answer. I just love it. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been totally fascinated by scary stuff. I do believe that my very first short story was about a haunted house. I wrote that in 2nd grade for a classroom assignment. Needless to say, my mother received a call. My relationship with the frightening, creepy, and macabre was quite love-hate in those early days. In other words, I was a chicken. I’d read scary stories (SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK comes to mind), but I was totally afraid to watch scary movies until I was around twelve. But, once I did, I was hooked.
And paranormal horror is my favorite. I like to describe BROKEN CHORDS as POLTERGEIST meets INSIDIOUS at a music festival. Maybe that comes from some of the ghost stories told by members of my family (I still have nightmares about my grandmother’s attic and that house has been out of the family for seven years).
How do you meld the supernatural with the human?
Lenny’s story is not only one of surviving a paranormal/demonic attack, it’s also about facing fear and trust and so many other things?
Ah, yes. But that’s what I love the most about really good horror, fantasy too. These kinds of books allow us to explore all sorts of things but under the guise of other. I will be honest, I’m not much of a drama fan. Partly, that’s because my work as a psychologist is drama enough, but also because it’s just too much in your face. But, when you throw in horror or a speculative element, now I can go to those deep emotional places without feeling swamped. It’s like how I hide my dog’s pill in some sliced turkey. You can hide the tough human experiences within stories with speculative elements.
In BROKEN CHORDS, we get to see Lenny face all sorts of things: fear and phobia (like, legit stage fright), she learns how to trust others, and, perhaps her biggest journey, she learns to trust herself.
Jeb’s voice ebbed and flowed, his fear growing and sending out seedlings of dread to take root in my own chest. He must have woken the entire camp by now. I fumbled open my tent flap, stumbled outside, and zipped the flap shut with trembling hands. When I turned around, I knew immediately why no one put a stop to Jeb’s calls.
He wasn’t in the normal world anymore.
Neither was I.
Despite not asking for it, something twisted and bitter in this universe had bestowed it anyway. We’d been transported to the astral plane.
The world was bathed in dark beauty, like velvety gauze or some tranquil digital camera filter, making everything hazy and wavery with dim blue-white light. I could actually see the air – or matter or ether or whatever it was – that made up the world around me. When I waved my hand, contrails showed its swishing progress long after I’d ceased movement. Like, whatever I was made of in this form could interact with the very construction material holding this universe together. Or, maybe whatever I was made of in this form was the very construction material of this universe.
“Oh God,” I whispered.
That meant, behind me, within the tent I’d just fled, my body lay prone. Not in sleep, and not a trance. Not dead, but not really alive either.
An empty shell.
I stared at the dark green vinyl before finally getting up the nerve to look inside. My body lay on my air mattress, curled up as if I were merely sleeping. My chest rose and fell as my organs responded to signals from the most primitive part of my brain, which kept the basic functions of human life online even though the system user had abandoned the controls.
I breathed in time with my body. I wasn’t sure if I was really moving air around in my spectral form, but the reflex to carry out the action was strong, and it still felt soothing when I blew what might be nothing out of lungs that probably weren’t there anyway. I took another deep, fake breath and closed my eyes. My brain attempted to point out the ridiculousness of this – how I still felt normal even though I was nothing but a ghost now. A spasm of laughter escaped my throat, but I swallowed it down. If I let my mind think too hard about things like where? and what? and how?, I’d crack. Game over.
Instead, I chanted Jeb’s mantra: “Just go with it.” Then I turned to face the astral plane.
Jessica Bayliss is a clinical psychologist by day and a writer all the time. She has been a lover ghost tales and horror since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers. She also loves to eat, cook, and exercise—in that order—and is a firm believer that coffee makes the world a better place.
Look for her upcoming release, TEN AFTER CLOSING (Sky Pony Press, spring 2018). For more information about Jessica and about PsychWRITE, her series of courses and workshops for writers, visit: www.JessicaBaylissWrites.com.
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So last week I posted about trying to learn to take more time for myself and to stop working such crazy hours between the day job and writing. I am still working on some writing on the weekends, though I am taking a good amount of time off on the weekend as well. So that is progress. Now I am trying not to work so many hours during the week. Now the day job has a set amount of hours, but I am trying to limit myself to 5-6 hours at night. Basically I am trying to knock off work by 11 at night and do something just for myself while I wait for the hubby to come home. Lately I am trying to read, I am in the process of re-reading It by Stephen King, and playing video games. Let's see if I can stick to this more realistic schedule and see if it help both my physical and mental health. I have a theory that lessening my writing time might make me more productive over all, so I am keeping track of all my writing work this month to see how I do. All I know is that this past year I have been working myself into the ground and I need to learn some balance. Wish me luck!
So I have not been as consistent with my yoga and exercise programs of late. Stress and life have been getting in my way and my health and sanity are suffering for it. So it's great that this month Yoga with Adriene offered this handy schedule to help me "Begin Again" as it says. So I am committing to 31 days of yoga this month. Yes I know that this is my third challenge for the month (drawlloween and writing a page a day being the other two), but I think that I can do it. By making some manageable goals I think it will only help to improve my life and make me more productive. Please feel free to join this or any of the challenges with me!
Author, artist, jewelry maker and all around creative person. I write in many genres and have a lot of fun doing so. Please take a look around and enjoy!