Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Today I am over at the talented Veronica Scott's blog where we're talking about flowers and new projects.
Stop by and say hi! Remember, any comment on any of my blog posts until March 4th puts you in the running to win this:

Good luck!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Maniac Monday

Today I have some awesome posts to share with you! I've been cattified over at Writer and Cat!

And I'm confessing my love of Spock on Contact-Infinite Futures  

You really should check them out! Why? Because every comment gives you one entry for a chance to win Ilydearta. Not the real stone of course, that would create havoc on the entire world of Anatar. And you don't  want to be responsible for that do you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

For Alison

 When I started editing Journey of Awakening for production, I found out my usual Carina editor, Rhonda Helms, was not available. I won't lie, I was sad. I love Rhonda, we work well together. She'd kick my butt for that comma splice. I think she might even like me. She certainly has supported my writing efforts. It was with much trepidation and hesitancy that I turned to Alison Dasho. My fears were all misplaced. I still love Rhonda, but let me tell you, Alison is a genius. She is kind, smart and boy can she edit a manuscript! I have always said a good editor is worth his or her weight in gold. Alison is worth twice hers. So when I heard she was recovering from surgery and one of my fellow Carina authors, who is lucky enough to have Alison as her editor, suggested we do a little something to cheer her up, I jumped on it. So Alison, this is for you. I hope you like it.


The form under the blankets didn’t move. Sara hesitated. She didn’t want to frighten the woman but time was of the essence. She moved further into the room, disturbing a small feline. The cat gave her a look of disdain but padded out into the hallway.

She sat on the chair the cat had abandoned. Who was she kidding? She had nothing but time. Time to think, to wander, to... she shook her head. There was no point in going down that road. Zeynel had warned her that her time in this place was constrained. That's what was important. She stared at the unmoving form on the bed. She was here for one purpose: to pay back a favor.

Sara cleared her throat. The form mumbled something but didn’t move. Shaking her head, she stood. She couldn’t understand it. How had this woman survived so long? Sara would have woken up at the first footfall in the hall outside the bed. Of course Sara had been trained for such things her entire life, and she wasn’t wounded. This woman was.

A glance outside a large window also confirmed this wasn’t the world she was used to so maybe the woman had defenses she didn’t know about. She certainly had powers Sara didn’t understand. That this woman used those powers to free Sara was something she wouldn’t soon forget.

“Excuse me.”

The woman shot up in bed. The gasp echoed through the room.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” Sara stood still, letting the woman get accustomed to her presence.

The woman leaned over toward a table and turned on a devise. Light filled the room. Sara blinked. So she was a magician with more than words.

“Who are you?” The  voice was scratchy but not panicked.

Sara relaxed a fraction. “Sara, from Anatar.”

“Sara?” The woman blinked.

“You are Alison Dasho, are you not?”

“Yes.” Alison nodded her head slowly. “Sara, from Anatar?”

“Yes. That is what I said.” Had she hit her head too?

Alison muttered something under her breath. Sara caught the words strangest and therapy.

“I’m here because word got to us that you were wounded.”  Sara sat on the edge of the bed. “I owe you my very life. Without you, my writer would never have had the confidence to write my story. Not to mention we’d all be talking and admiring the scenery without much action. I really do prefer action. I’d also be glancing, turning, gazing and especially smiling every other paragraph. If you knew me, you’d know I don’t smile often.” Sara shook her head.  “You are responsible for all of that.”

Alison scooted up against the plush fluffy objects at the head of her bed. “Yeah, you know, I’ve been thinking. You should lighten up a little.”

“Lighten up? I don’t understand.”

“Relax. Have a little fun.” Alison’s hands wove patterns in the air as she spoke. 

“I have task to perform. The weight of Anatar’s future is on my shoulders...and I don’t...I don’t know how to do it.”

“Yes. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t worry. Things will get better.  There’s nothing wrong with showing a little emotion now and then.”

Sara sighed. “Yes, that is something I’m working on.” She opened her leather pouch. “You know I’m not a true healer, but I’m skilled with herbs.” She removed a vial. “Here, drink this. It will help your body recover from your trauma.”

“Thank you, but how are you here?” Alison took the vial and looked at it with suspicion.

Sara pulled out Ilydearta from beneath her tunic. “This is also called Waymaker, as you know. Zeynel discovered at one time, it could cross great distances and even travel between worlds.”

“I don’t remember reading that.”

“That is because my writer altered the story several times since then but the remnants remain, and...” She picked up the blue stone. “Ilydearta found a way.” Sara winked.  “The tincture is not magic, it doesn’t taste bad and it’s completely safe. It will make you feel better. You can trust me.”

Alison looked at the bottle. “Well, it doesn’t say Drink Me, but then my name is not Alice.”

Sara’s brows knit together in confusion then she glanced at the window. Pink tinged the horizon. “I must go. Be well, Alison. And thank you!”  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Journey of Awakening

Not sure why I always capitalize the W when writing Journey of Awakening, but I always do.  Yeah.

Anyway, this afternoon I'm at the Carina blog talking about love. I'm taking Valentines Day off to spend with my dear husband and children (and book four) but on the 15th, I'm visiting Angela Campbell! Please stop by and say hi. On the 17th, I'm answering some tough questions on Ruth A Casie's blog. And on the 18th, I'm talking about Music, Manuscripts and Magic on RL Naquin's blog.

I would love to hear from you!

 Don't forget, comment on any blog and you'll be in the running to win an awesome blue agate pendant that is reminiscent of Ilydearta. I couldn't give away the real one. Sara won't give it up. : )

On the Carina blog, I'm giving away another necklace in honor of Valentines Day. What can I say? I love jewelry. Comment before February 19th for a chance to win this glass heart pendant.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Come visit me.

Today, and the first and fourth Tuesday of almost every month, I'm over at Everybody Needs a Little Romance. where I'm talking about my new release, Journey of Awakening, and at Here Be Magic talking about dreams.

Remember, a comment on any of my blog posts from February 4th to March 4th enters you in a drawing to win this fabulous wire-wrapped blue onyx pendant with silver chain.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Journey of Awakening

Journey of Awakening is available for purchase today!

Today is the day I've dreamed about  for about ten years. That's how long it's been since I first penned the beginnings of this story. The finished product only bears a faint echo of those first tentative pen strokes but trust me, that's a good thing.

I sincerely hope you all enjoy this story and that you fall in love with Sara as I did. I hope you grow to love Tobar, Maeyls, Nolwen, Pierric and all the characters found between these pages.

Yes, I'm waxing sentimental.

Please remember, any comment on any of my blog posts between February 4th and March 4th enters you for a chance to win this blue onyx pendant with silver chain:

It comes with an 18" sterling silver necklace (not pictured) The more you comment, the great chance of winning!

Tomorrow I will be here and at Here Be Magic and Everybody Needs a Little Romance. On Feb 13th, I will be at the Carina blog giving away this fantastic glass heart pendant. For a  complete list of my upcoming blog stops, please visit my website. 

Today I am also visiting the fabulous Cynthia Justlin. Please stop by and say hi.

Journey of Awakening is available at these fine vendors!

Carina Press

Here's a preview:

Closing her eyes, she took the salty air deep into her lungs; her breathing evened as she focused on absorbing and channeling the energy of earth, sky, fire and water. Here, water ruled, followed by sky, but the other elements were present in lesser degrees. Her senses expanded. The sounds around her became distinct. Waves teased the wooden skimmer as the wind carried it through the waters. She opened her mind further. The ocean swarmed with life. Schools of fish followed the currents of the ocean in the skimmer’s wake while slow ponderous creatures—for which Sara had no name—crawled across the ocean floor or swam in its depths. She sensed beyond the visible to the unknown creatures hidden in every drop of water contained within the ocean.
Far away, birds sailed the currents of the air and for a brief moment, Sara caught a glimpse of a greater cycle of which she was only part. Here was balance, beauty. They had always practiced meditation as a part of Shi’ia, the ancient art of warfare her grandfather taught her, but after he gave her the necklace, he explained she rode the winds of Teann. He called Teann the life-breath of the universe. It was as apt name as any to explain the experience. He admitted he didn’t understand any more than his Shi’ia instructor had taught him, but he knew there was more, much more. She agreed with him. The first time Sara had tried to meditate wearing the necklace, she’d gone so far so fast, she felt she would lose herself, but she adjusted, reveling in the abundance around her.
With her eyes closed and life swirling around her, she pictured the stone in the necklace. Dark blue and swathed in silver filigree, the jewel was beautiful and as hard as it was to explain, she understood that it was now part of her, or who she was becoming. Who am I becoming? A chill of fear shot up her spine

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Countdown to Awakening: Tomorrow is the day!


Yup, I was tempted to leave it at that. That one word pretty much says it all.

There is nothing like the anticipation and anxiety you experience when the manuscript you poured a little bit of yourself into goes public.

Journey of Awakening, book one in the Triune Stones series, is still available for preorder at Amazon,  Carina, and Barnes and Noble but will be available for purchase tomorrow.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday: Fact, Fun, Fiction. Countdown to Awakening (four days)

Writers never stop learning. Whether it's grammar, refining style, hooks, formatting, promotion, you name it, we're learning with every stroke of the keyboard.

For today's countdown, I'll list five things I learned writing Journey of Awakening (and the series).

Let go: One of the problems I'd come up against in writing this book is that I was rewriting it--for the tenth to twentieth time. Yup, I honestly can't remember how many reincarnations this particular story has. At one point, out of sheer frustration, I sent the manuscript to my editor, the talented and awesome Rhonda Helms, and just told her to tell me which story line to write. You see, I kept second-guessing myself, looking at the pros and cons of each direction I'd taken the story in over the last eight years or so. So I let go, took direction and took off. Now I have to do another kind of letting go.

Less is more. Boy did I tend to write flowery, pretty sentences that essentially went no where. I remember spending an hour trying to phrase the descriptions of sun shining through the trees just right, picking the right words in the right combination... Don't misunderstand. The key to a good writing is knowing the right word or combination of words at the right time, but too many of those descriptions and you're writing poetry, not fiction, at least not fast-paced fiction.

Action action action. I guess this is really part B of  "Less is More". Because I described everything, my characters weren't doing anything. I think at one time I thought that readers would just like to come in and visit my world--and it is a very nice place--but if nothing is happening... Well, after awhile, even I got bored. I am so thankful to Rhonda and Alison for shaking up my characters, and their writer.

Trust your gut: Because I didn't have enough confidence, I'd made a lot of changes I didn't particularly agree with based on advice from people who didn't read the genre. At all. These changes required a lot of unnecessary explanation that slowed the story down. I don't ever advocate being your own proof reader and critique partners are vital in this business, but trust your instincts.

Time management: Did I mention I rewrote book one with a newborn that did not sleep more than fifteen minutes at a time? Most of book two was the dreamy, descriptive writing that ended up on the cutting room floor and I had to write it while taking care of the baby who still did not sleep (more than fifteen minutes at a time.) and my husband back at school and unable to help. Then came book three. Changes in book one and two negated almost all of what I had for book three. No rewriting there. At one time, I used to need to get in the mood, play some music from the soundtrack, daydream and then leisurely write for a few hours. Kinda of like writing foreplay.

Yeah, those days are gone.  I learned to write whenever for however long I could. Five minutes? I can rough draft that dialog. Fifteen? No problem, I can tighten that POV. An hour? Woo Hoo! Watch me finish that chapter.

The cool thing about all of these is I can take them from the world of fiction into my day-to-day life. Let go. There are things I can't control. Less is more. When you concentrate on the things that are really important, you'll find you don't need as much. Simple is really better. Action? LOL I'm a dreamer. But even I know you have to get up and go after what you want, even if you have to take a risk to get it.  Trust your gut. LOL Enough said. Time management. With seven kids and a husband, this is my constant  goal.

So have you learned anything you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love Stories

I thought as Valentine's Day is a week away, I'd take a break from the countdown to do something a little different.

I suppose it's no surprise that I love a good love story. There's something about that initial boy meets girl, the spark of attraction that leads to some undefined bigger than you and me thing that has us captivated. It's what has us happy-sighing at a happily-ever-after ending.

But, for me, the best, most fantastic love stories are the real ones. So I'd like to know about your love story. 

 How did you meet him or her? Was it love at first sight? How long before you knew he/she was the "one".  Please share. To be fair, I'll start with mine 

It started on the soccer field. Yes, really. My youngest daughter wanted to play soccer, so I signed her up through the school, bought the uniform and took her to the first practice. The coach was this nice looking, soft spoken man who seemed good with the kids.

As the weeks went by, I grew to really admire the coach. Not only was he one of those people who love kids, they loved him. I found myself going to soccer practice early. I told myself just to take advantage of the quiet…. But you know the coach also came a little early.

We didn’t talk much. He set up cones or played with my daughter until the other kids arrived, but I always felt more relaxed around him. I started looking forward to seeing him because of the peace that came with it.
Then one day, as I was walking past the parking lot on the way home, he turned on his car and classical music filled the air. I whipped my head around and stared at him as though really seeing him for the first time. I thought that there was a man I really could have fallen for, but I wasn't looking for a relationship. I’d decided some time prior that I was quite happy with my kids and my characters.

But I still rushed the field twice a week. Eventually I admitted I had a crush. I figured it was a harmless crush because he couldn’t possibly be interested in me. I was pretty sure he was younger by at least 5 years.
Then we ended up at a birthday party together. You know when you write or read about chemistry… when two people feel like there is a magnet drawing them together…? Yeah that.  Big time. Proof positive any place can be romantic, even Chuck E Cheese.

So, to make a long story short and not bore you. There came a reason, a soccer related reason of course, why he should call. Okay, yes, it was an excuse. We started talking on the phone daily and that magnet thing only intensified. Guess what? He’d had a crush on me the entire season, but figured I was out of his league…LOL Honestly, I don’t even have a league.

Then he asked if I’d maybe want to get coffee with him (I’ve since learned, he doesn’t drink coffee, but y’all know I do… and so did he.)

This is the part where I say yes, right? Nope.

I decided to be honest. I explained to him the reasons I don’t date. I have five kids who are my life. We agreed we couldn’t approach this casually, like adults without children, because our children had been hurt by past relationships that didn’t work. Butterflies, chemistry and a genuine admiration wouldn’t be enough if we weren’t compatible. Hence: The not date.

You know all the ugly things about yourself that your partner doesn’t find out until at least the 6th date…6 months… maybe 6 years in? Yup, we sat down on a park bench and laid them all out on the table. That’s the night I really met him. You know what? I think that’s the night I fell in love with him too. 

We got married six months after our not date. Our families and friends were a little...shocked. I don't do impulsive. They wondered what I saw in him or if I'd gone mad. Most of them have come to love him too. The important thing: We were both sure. We still are.

Okay, that's my love story. Now tell me yours. Funny, unbelievable, or sappy, let me have them!

The one I like the most will win a Starbucks gift card so you can take your honey out to coffee. ; ) Contest ends February 9th!

And don't forget, anyone who comments on any of my blog posts will be entered for a chance to win a gorgeous pendant. Details here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Countdown to Awakening: Five days left!

 I don't know if its her sharp tongue or sharper wit but Maeyls has always been one of my favorite secondary characters. She's about as no nonsense as they come. She'll tell it to you like it is without worrying about your feelings because it's the truth and she wouldn't understand why you would rather live with an illusion. If you ever get a compliment from her, you know it's genuine. There is nothing outwardly soft about her at all. In that way, she's about as different from her cousin, Nolwen, as possible.

Yet, Maeyls is a healer, offering up her own strength to those in need. She is under the crust, a self-sacrificing woman and without her, Sara wouldn't become the person she needs to be.

Here's a scene with Maelys, and still one of my favorite explanations for Teann. 

“That much I’ve learned but little more. I know I’m supposed to give the stone back to the Siobani.”
“Just like that? Your words are naive, child.” Maelys’s voice fell to a tired whisper. “You asked of Teann, I’ll tell you everything I know. Teann is sacred to the Siobani. It’s a force guiding all things. But a living force, understand, not a blind one. It sees, it knows. It’s the lifebreath of creation, the tint of death, holding every cycle in its sway.”
 “But you said people could twist Teann.”
“Aye. If you drop a stone, it’ll fall. Right?”
Sara nodded.
“That’s the way of things,” Maelys said. “If you drop a stone on your brother’s head, it’ll hurt him, could
very well kill him. The force hasn’t changed, only the motives of the one using the force.” Maelys shrugged. “Teann doesn’t change the natural order but works to create order from chaos.”

Journey of Awakening is now available for preorder at the limited-time-only sale price on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Countdown to Awakening 6 days left!

When I think of Nolwen I picture softness  She is the kind of woman that would take you in, make you something hot to drink and love on you no matter what others might say. And once you are hers, she'll defend you with her last breath.

Nolwen is one of the few characters that are based on someone I know. The waveriders's wife has many of the characteristics of my grandmother, who was the most welcoming, generous person I've ever met.

Nolwen takes Sara into her home and into her heart with ease. She also has one of my favorite lines in the whole book.

“Aye, lass.” Nolwen gazed at her with a soft expression. “It comes in waves, like the breeze, like the ocean, like life.” She moved forward and patted Sara’s hand. “The grief may never pass, but the waves diminish in strength over time.”

Journey of Awakening is now available for preorder at the limited-time-only sale price on Amazon

Dont forget, a comment enters you in a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Countdown to Awakening: Seven days and counting...

I was wondering what to do to celebrate the release of Journey of Awakening. I mean this is a big deal, any book release is a big deal, but this one is special. This is the book of my heart--the one that hurled me into the world of publishing.

I am so excited to introduce you to the world of Anatar, it's customs, people and history. There are many interesting characters in the book but some of the most important are actually not quite sentient. (emphasis on the not quite.) The three stones, Ilydearta, Crioch, and Ealois, play an important part in not only the progression of the story but it Sara's growth from a naive girl into a legend.

So I decided a give-away was in order. I've read a lot of advice on give-aways. Some say to make them interesting. You know, send in a picture of you with... Some say a point system works with a given amount for reposting contest on a social media site, following the blog, etc. Some say simple is best. Although I'd love if you all send traffic my way, at heart, I'm a simple girl so... Anyone who comments on this blog, or any of the other blogs I visit while I'm on my Blog tour from February 4th to March 4th, will be eligible to win this awesome pendant with an 18" sterling silver chain.

Wouldn't you like Ilydearta for yourself? I know I would. Each comment enters your name once. So if you comment on four blogs you'll be entered four times to win the pendant and so on. There will also be other prizes along the way.

I will have a list of blogs on my website or just check in here from time to time. I'm visiting with some pretty spectacular authors along the way.

So how about a short preview?

With her eyes closed and life swirling around her, she pictured the stone in the necklace. Dark blue and swathed in silver filigree, the jewel was beautiful and as hard as it was to explain, she understood that it was now part of her, or who she was becoming. Who am I becoming? A chill of fear shot up her spine.

Journey of Awakening is available for preorder now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble at a special promotional price.

And come visit me today at Word Wranglers where I'm answering some tough questions.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Facts, Fun, Fantasy

Today, I'm sharing the top five sayings I've picked up from Facebook. As you can see, most of them involve coffee.