Thank you for stopping in. Your interest in my writing means the world. If you have not read my work, please visit my BOOKS page for more details. If you have read SOULED OUT, FRAYED, or TIN MOON, please leave a review online and be sure to tell a friend. Your voice matters more than anything. Word-of-mouth and reviews are the most important ways for authors to be discovered by new readers.
Thank you for taking time to stop in and learn more about me. You are wonderful!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
I purchased this YA read on Amazon the other day on a whim (only 99 cents for the 4-pack). It starts off slow, however, Workman offers new tidbits of info at just the right moments to maintain a steady flow. The pace is perfect. And there is always a new element being dropped into the storyline, making it much more complex than originally anticipated.
-I feel like the character Snow should be a little older. Maybe eighteen, but not fifteen. It just doesn't seem to fit that well. I still think her home life and abandonment issues would have survived a slight age bump. However, it is what it is, and it's not a deal breaker by any means. (The covers are gorgeous, but they suggest an older heroine, which made Snow's age a bit of a shock at first.)
-The main character's name. It is actually Snow White. That was really hard for my brain to grasp for, like, the first two volumes. But I eventually got over it and it just became part of the character.
-Volume one, BLOOD AND SNOW, is not a whole book. It just stops. There is no wrap up or lead-up to a big cliff-hanger. Had I only purchased volume one and got to this point -I won't lie- I would have been hot-damn pissed. NOT because of the length. Because, rather, I would have wanted to know immediately what was happening in the storyline and it would have killed me to wait. So, note to future readers, buying the volume 1-4 pack is best because you will want to read them in one sitting. (Or two, as was the case with me.)
-There are some odd comma placements happening. I won't lie. But they are not spontaneous. They won't jump out at you from a dark ally with a shiv. There is a pattern, and it is really not that distracting once you get into the rythm.
Workman knows how to tell a good story. I have never been one for fairytales, but the BLOOD AND SNOW series adds enough vampire action -which I adore and could never live without- and original ideas to create a rich world with characters that readers can't help but care for. Seriously, not once did I daydream about bludgeoning a character to death. They all bring something to the plot, especially Christopher. I have a cougar crush on Hunter Christopher.
With all of the recent Snow White hype, THIS is the original spin that should have been in theaters.
So is this worth your time? I don't know, but it was sure as hell worth mine. So much, in fact, that I just purchased BLOOD AND SNOW 5: PREY AND MAGIC for 99 cents and BLOOD AND SNOW 6: MASQUERADE'S MOON -which is FREE December 12-13th!
Friday, August 31, 2012
In the mountain city of Dwim-Halloe, Eadriel and Elvar were born twins to teachers at the city’s revered School of Magic. When the new king outlawed magic, the boys’ parents were murdered. Their deaths forfeited the twins' magical birthright and made them homeless fugitives.
Rescued by an orphan gang, the fleeing twins were nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam. To survive as outcasts, the orphans scavenge and pilfer nightly. Their last risky foray sent them fleeing into an unfamiliar cavern. Now the boys are lost deep underground where they encounter a strange beast that will change their lives forever and begin a harrowing journey for their ultimate survival.
Crimson & Cream recounts Jetsam’s adventurous tale of flight and discovery as the fugitive orphan unravels his tortured past while securing his tenuous future.
It's Friday! In celebration, I am decorating a debut author in holiday lights, silly-bands, and well-placed danish pastries... Okay, as much as some of you would secretly enjoy that, this author actually needs no fluff to catch a reader's attention.
For more C.M. Skiera or his novel, CRIMSON & CREAM, follow the links below:
Monday, June 11, 2012
Okay, I've got something good for you today. No, I mean GOOD.
I had the pleasure of asking Rachel Fisher, author of Eden's Root, how she came up with the concept for her young adult, apocalyptic story. Now, I realize a lot of readers can get bored with the answers to this type of question, but not this one. Let me tell you!
Rachel's biology background, personal battle, and love for writing leaves her more than qualified to write such a realistic and -dare I say- nail-biting account of a broken world that might all too soon become the fate of our own future.
I will turn over the blog to Rachel, now.
Blakely, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to discuss how I came up with the concept for my book, Eden's Root. I've been told by reviewers that it was very original and many have asked this exact question. I'd have to say that a lot of non-fictional things came together in my life at once and when they married what resulted was this fictional tale.
To be fair, I was always a voracious reader (particularly of ya and sci-fi) and I am a professional writer, though not creatively. I think I've been expressing myself through my keyboard for so long that when the story began to come to me, it just poured out. Of course, I've learned a LOT along the way. My writing keeps improving as I hone my craft. There are so many little things that you don't realize will affect the flow and tone of your story. But I've been fortunate to have really helpful, creative, people to give me the critical feedback that I need.
The main catalyst for this story was my (successful!) battle with ovarian cancer. I realize that this is not really an upbeat topic, but then, neither are apocalyptic tales. I was 32 when I was diagnosed and my world turned upside down. When I was young, my parents did not have bunches of thirtysomething friends who were ill. Yet I know two other women who've battled ovarian cancer in their twenties, a friend's sister with a cartilage cancer (she's 30), and I have three different friends with auto-immune disorders. And that's just my friends. When I add other family member's friends, and friends of friends, the list of healthy people is shorter than the list of sick people, and all of them are under 50 years old.
The question that kept haunting me was, "Why did I get sick? Why are so many people sick?" So I researched about food and health and my biology background really came into play. As a youngster I was always intent on becoming a college professor of Biology. I finished my major incollege in three semesters because I absorbed my classes like a sponge. Unfortunately as I neared completion of my Masters in Oceanography, I became disillusioned with the field of research and I quit. My interest in the job may have waned, but my interest in Biology never did, nor did my training as a researcher. All of my findings about food led to the inevitable conclusion that our food was neither safe nor nutritious. I started to become AFRAID to eat and that was when I got angry. Really, really angry. If there is anything that should be a human right, it's to eat a piece of food without worrying that it will break something inside of you irreparably. And yet, that was how I felt.
I never intended to write a story like this, or to write a novel at all. I considered writing a childhood interest, like my painting. Nothing to be taken too seriously. But then as my anger, my knowledge, and my love of science fiction all came together, this story began to flow and I couldn't stop it. I got about 100 pages into writing when I realized that Eden's Root was not the end, that it was the first in a trilogy. And I've been writing non-stop ever since. It has been somewhat healing to tell this story, though I still worry endlessly about the increases (I believe) in chronic disease in young people. I feel like I've found a way to express myself and all of the conflicting things that I feel, without jumping on a soapbox and berating people. If you love Fi like I love Fi, then you know that she wouldn't handle her anger that way. She wouldn't allow an angry heart to dictate her life and neither will I. I'm alive, I'm extremely blessed, and now, wonderfully, magically, I've found writing.
You might think that because the Eden's Root Trilogy is my "catharsis" with regards to my former disease, I wouldn't have interest in writing more...but you would be wrong. :) I have another story just waiting on the sidelines of my mind for me to finish with the Eden's Root Trilogy. I don't know what happened...it's like a faucet turned on in my brain and now I'm just trying to keep up as the water rises!
Amazon Eden's Root Paperback
Amazon Eden's Root E-book
Eden's Root on Goodreads.com
Thank you, Rachel, for sharing a bit of Fi's story, and most importantly, your own. The best fiction is born from our darkest fears, greatest accomplishments, and that hidden place where they cohabitate.
Monday, April 16, 2012
When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Caution: If too much alchohol is consumed, give said article away so as to avoid an awkward tattoo chalk full of sociopath warnings that may become a problem in future relationships.
But seriously, empowering yourself with knowledge (for any situation) can help you avoid the many forms of danger -especially if it comes in the form of a very attractive individual with nice hair and all the right moves.
Okay, I'll zip it now and turn the blog over to Annabelle's article:
There are people in the world who don't care about love, and who feel no remorse, empathy or emotional attachment to others. They don't even know what these feeling are. These people are called sociopaths. Most people think of a sociopath as a deranged serial killer, but, with 4% of the population having the character traits of a sociopath, most sociopaths never physically harm anyone. Sociopaths do however ruin lives, empty bank accounts, and cause untold emotional trauma, using simply the fact that they don't care.
WHAT MAKES A SOCIOPATH?
The Absence of Feelings: Sociopaths may seem to laugh or cry but they present with no depth of emotion. While easily provoked to frustration or rage, their display of feeling is little more than a momentary, isolated temper tantrum. To the sociopath, other people are tools to get them what they want: money, sex, a job or other possessions. They live in their own amoral world where nothing they do has any consequences and where they owe no one anything. They have no empathy. Thus, they elude all responsibility for their actions, and can easily turn the tables, blaming their partner without guilt or shame.
The Relentlessness of Deception: Sociopaths lie all the time. As they don't view their spouse as a thinking, feeling person, they do not see this behavior as wrong. Their only quest is to serve themselves and, if this entails lying, cheating or even murder, they will do so. If one catches them in lies, they are brilliant at changing the subject, placing the onus on the other person, denying their involvement or trying to make their spouse seem crazy. They are even good at deceiving the police and the court system; sociopaths rarely end up in prison for their actions.
The Impulsiveness of Action: Sociopathic individuals rarely plan ahead. They undertake actions on the basis of momentary whims, often devious ones. Every act seems isolated in its own amoral universe. Thus, they cannot keep promises or repair the damage they've caused to others. When they lie, cheat or steal, the act exists solely for them; they believe it should have no repercussions or real world effects. They often appear to have "forgotten" they did something shortly after it happened. Their need for excitement encourages them to get involved in one night stands, shady deals and ill advised engagements. Sociopaths have no sense of commitment to their spouses, any children they may have together or the future.
Sociopaths have impressive social skills, thereby making them extremely hard to spot. They are charming, funny and exciting. This is why we need to be aware. If your new romantic interest exhibits all or most of the following behaviors, be careful. He or she might be a sociopath.
1) Charisma and charm: They’re smooth talkers, always have an answer, never miss a beat. They seem to be very exciting. Their manners are impeccable; they are well groomed; they fulfill the codes of romance and courtship to a tee. They are likely to be eloquent talkers who lace their speech with impressive sounding facts and figures. They may be fun, laugh a lot, sweep their partner off their feet with their sweetness.
2) Enormous ego: They act like the smartest, richest or most successful people around. They may actually come out and tell you that.
3) Overly attentive: They call, text and e-mail constantly. They want to be with you every moment. They resent time you spend with your family and friends.
4) Jekyll and Hyde personality: One minute they love you; the next minute they hate you. Their personality changes like flipping a switch.
5) Blame others: Nothing is ever their fault. They always have an excuse. Someone else causes their problems.
6) Lies and gaps in the story: You ask questions, and the answers are vague. They tell stupid lies. They tell outrageous lies. They lie when they’d make out better telling the truth. If you probe deeper, you’ll find that their stories never stack up.
7) Intense eye contact: Call it the predatory stare. If you get a chill down your spine when they look at you, pay attention.
8) Move fast: They quickly proclaim that you’re their true love and soul mate. They want to move in together or get married quickly.
9) Pity play: They appeal to your sympathy. They want you to feel sorry for their abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.
10) Sexual magnetism: If you feel intense attraction, if your physical relationship is unbelievable, it may be their excess testosterone.
Some doctors call them sociopaths, others refer to them as psychopaths. Either way, the terms are used to describe individuals who have a range of personality disorders. These people are NOT certifiably mentally ill; they are biological carriers of socially and personally problematic traits. Such traits may have been manifested from childhood in acts of cruelty to animals, property or people. These characteristics can disrupt relationships, create financial and emotional crises, and, at their worst, lead the person to callously undertake acts of vandalism, theft, rape or murder. Being aware what constitutes a sociopath can help one resist their charm and the errors inherent in establishing a life with them.
Sociopaths know exactly what they are doing, and most of them never kill anyone. But they are social predators who exploit just about everyone they meet. They have no heart, no conscience and no remorse.
You can’t ‘cure’ a sociopath or help them to see the error of their ways. They don't see the world as we do, so the only thing you can do, is save yourself and walk away.
Thank you, Annabelle! This has been quite interesting. And A Life Lived Ridiculously is absolutely amazing!!! This book is for anyone in search of a great plot, unforgetable characters, and a good laugh.
Monday, March 05, 2012
When I was in middle school, Jenniey taught us how to steam our faces: Boil a pot of water and carefully lean over it -not too close!- while draping a towel over our heads and arms, giving the illusion that we're in a secret chamber. A hot-ass chamber that will catch fire if you don't keep your arms up! Remember to keep your arms up! Haha.
And in high school, I totally envied her yearbook photo: Jenniey smiling, kneeling under a beautiful tree that highlighted her red hair amongst a page of face-painted, hair-fried girls. Of course, I can't imagine what my own photo looked like that year. Probably no makeup, clothes five sizes too large, wearing one of my dad's flannels. So don't feel bad painted and fried girls.
My point, you ask? Jenniey is one of a kind. She always has been. And now the world gets to experience a little bit of that unique spirit through Jenniey's writing.
'study, nine', Elimae:
For the latest Jenniey news, kindly visit her website:
or her blog
She is also "not" on Twitter :) here:
Thank you Jenniey,
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
To share love will surely mean death.
Since her granddad's passing, Lauren has existed a few steps out of sync with the world. Desperate to feel the love only he offered her as a child, Lauren returns to the haven they once shared — a snow-covered cabin at the foothills of the Rockies.
It's not the memory of her granddad that warms her ice-cold, frost-bitten body after being caught in a blizzard, though. It's the man in whose bed she wakes.
Along with bringing life to her soul, Will stirs deep-rooted memories in Lauren and brings out the love she seeks.
What Will knows about himself — the secrets of his kind — he keeps hidden, forcing Lauren to search for answers, to question and ultimately put her life, and his own existence, in danger.
In love, though, there is always a way.
Can Will get around the rules? Or will Lauren give up her life simply to have one last touch from Will Frost?
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
(This review is posted at Fantasy Book Review http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/blog/2012/01/16/bitten-by-dan-obrien-reviewed/. Check out the site if your brain hungers for more knowledge concerning literature.)