Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Leaves Are Falling

I've been reluctant to accept that the seasons are shifting. But as I find a few more leaves blowing across our front porch each day, I've decided to embrace the cooler weather. After all, it means we have many family holidays to look forward to soon.

And I've had many projects in the works. Not only am I actively working on three manuscripts (with great results!), but I also have the pleasure of being part of a new project with my friend and employer. We are creating an indie library for their pizzeria. And while we are waiting on new flooring before the library is unveiled, my excitement for the project is growing.  And I hope that it successfully helps indie authors build reviews and gain new readers.

To all of the authors who have promised to donate a book to our library, THANK YOU!!! 

And we have already received our first donation.

VICTOR A. DAVIS has been kind enough to donate his book, 'Grains of Sand', to the new library. It is a collection of twelve short stories. I am excited to introduce Davis and his work to our community.

 To find out more about Victor A. Davis or to discover more books by this author, you can find him on:
-His website
If you are an indie author (and/or know an indie author) who would like to participate in our local indie library by donating one or more books, please contact me for further details. Together, we WILL make a difference and break that wall down between readers and independent authors.

This is going to be a great season. For books, for writing, for new friends & loved ones!

Let those leaves fall!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Still Kicking!

I am still around and still writing! :D 

So hang in there with me and I will have some well awaited sequels -as well as a new project in a totally new direction- for you.

I'm just terrible, though I love it, at keeping up with social media, 
and time in general.

Thank you for still believing in me
and my characters!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Carry On To Another Day

It is easy in the wake of a celebrity suicide -such as Robin Williams'- to turn them into a poster or meme: 'Understand depression!' and 'Be free of your pain!' (Sound familiar?) It is easy to dehumanize them until they only reflect a message.


Depression is not what makes up a person. 

Depression is just one facet (though it has the power to feel like 100 worlds crushing one's insides).

Depression is a manipulator. 

Let's be honest, depression -among a trillion other disorders and illnesses- is a real snatch!

But no one thing makes a person. 

There are a million other pieces that create a human. And there is a time, such as in death, to appreciate the love in a heart, the greatness in a smile, and the outstanding way that someone skyrocketed your world. 

The way a person dies should not be glorified or magnified. The way a person lives is far more precious. 

We all carry on to another day, no matter what form we take. The real message is the emotions we inspire while we are here in this form.

Be inspired to wake up tomorrow and create. Be inspired to laugh or to cry.

Simply be inspired by someone's life. Let it make you stronger.

No meme required. 
(And I love a good meme, so you know I'm serious.)


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Parent the Sh*t Out of Your Writing

Writing is a lot like parenting at times. Mostly because everyone has an opinion about how you write/parent.

Of course they do. But that's nothing new. And if someone has something less than kind to say (about either), just tell them you won't hesitate to beat the shit out of them and lead them around on a rope like Michonne from 'The Walking Dead'.

People tend to take that kind of response to heart.

But seriously, as writers we watch our characters and worlds evolve, sometimes far surpassing our original intent for them. So when should we move in, exacting order, or stand back, watching them until they turn into something more...well, more?

I use a mental checklist. For example:

1) Are the characters still acting like "themselves"? If this were real life, parents would be on their kids with Dollar Tree drug tests and Web MD horror stories. As writers, however, bizarre character "outbursts" can be overlooked when we are trying to get them to the scene we envisioned at any cost. Fortunately, readers will damn well tell you when a character has turned a sharp corner into Strangerville. Because no one likes that shit. So ask a writing buddy or beta group to pay extra attention as they read.

2) Is the plot on course or has it turned into a ridiculous episode of 'Robot Chicken' as you try to cram in too many ideas and too many pop culture references without the fun visuals? First off, pop culture references can date your manuscript faster than the Dos Equis man can pop up on a new meme, so use them wisely. Also, layering a plot is great, but ask yourself how you can focus the energy on characters with key scenes and well timed plot twists. Anything extra can wait to show up in the sequel. Or be scrapped out to a different idea completely.

3) Does EVERY male character chase after your heroine, who has some uncanny force over the male populace even though she is an "every woman" type of gal? This is just unrealistic. If she were your child, you sure as hell wouldn't want her nickname to be "Sugar Snatch", so stay true to your character. Don't sell her out. She doesn't have to wear Duct Tape or slowly rip wax strips from her "netheryeaya" just because it seems to be the most popular content on the market. Give her a chance to make her own unique mistakes or impressions.

It pays to stand back and assess how you are handling the situation. Sometimes characters evolve into people we never foresaw, just as children often do. And if we try to micromanage every little thing to stay within the vision we've created, characters may become stunted, and plots erratic or stale.

If your characters are on the right track but develop a bit of their own "character" along the way, give them room to grow. If, however, they become wayward and strung out, guide them to a place where you are both happy.

Be a good parent to your writing. Know when to step in and cultivate the potential and when to shut your trap and let it morph to the next level. This takes practice, so be patient.

There is no perfect writer, just as there is no perfect parent. However, imperfections often create beautiful results.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review - 'The System' by Teshelle Combs

1 + 1 = Dead.
That’s the only math that adds up when you’re in the System.

Everywhere Nick turns, he’s surrounded by the inevitability of his own demise at the hands of the people who stole his life from him. That is, until those hands deliver the bleeding, feisty, eye-rolling Nessa Parker. Tasked with keeping his new partner alive, Nick must face all the ways he’s died and all the things he’s forgotten.

Nessa might as well give up. The moment she gets into that car, the moment she lays her hazel eyes on her new partner, her end begins. It doesn’t matter that Nick Masters can slip through time by computing mathematical algorithms in his mind. It doesn’t matter how dark and handsome and irresistibly cold he is. Nessa has to defeat her own shadows.

Together and alone, Nick and Nessa make sense of their senseless fates and fight for the courage to change it all. Even if it means the System wins and they end up…well…dead. 

Readers become a part of 'The System' from the first page. However, unlike Nessa Parker, who unwillingly becomes immersed in an underground world of assassins, readers can't get enough.

Nessa's world no longer centers around boy-crazy friends and familiar hugs. Rather, she is surrounded by "recruits" - trained killers - and a captor that prefers extreme corporal punishment, such as cane beating, to address unwanted asking questions. However, Nessa's character growth drives the plot, with all its heartache and tough lessons. She is smart, spry, and, most importantly, armed with humor.

"If I succumb to my wounds in the night, will you cremate me? Spread my ashes on the beach to the theme song from Pocahontas?" -Nessa Parker

Of course, it's easy to keep a sense of humor in the face of death when your new partner is as hot and feisty as Nick Masters. Handy with an automatic weapon, Nick can also move faster than it takes Nessa to blink...because of his algorithm. You see, everyone in the System has a personal mathematical algorithm that allows the use of a special gift, whether it be reading minds, healing others, or controlling electronics. Everyone has their own algorithm...except Nessa. So why is she there? The answer surprises Nessa more than anyone.

'The System' will definitely appeal to 
fans of the 'Divergent' series.

'The System' embraces the tough and gritty moments of Nessa and Nick's lives in a poignant manner. Nothing is ever clean or easy. People die. People kill. And people learn to survive. But what does this mean for Nessa and Nick?

Is this the end? 
Or simply a new beginning?

Purchase 'The System' here.

Also check out Teshelle's first novel, 'Core', if you like kickass female leads and dragons. Yeah, I said dragons. :D