Monday, September 29, 2014

Symbolism: A Writer's Sleight of Hand

The skull is a medieval symbol for
mortality. (Source)
During the League of Utah Writers Conference, I went to a class on symbolism taught by the unconquerable Johnny Worthen. I have to give him credit for most of the information below. Definitely a class worth attending.

Johnny argues--and I think he's right--that everything in writing--every gesture, word, syllable--is used to convey meaning. By definition, writing is symbolism. For example, the letter's d-o-g do not actually represent a dog. They're the symbols we've designated to convey the meaning of a dog. 

*Therefore, the symbol is THE main tool of a writer's trade.*

Types of Symbolism:

1) Synecdoche -- Most common. When something small represents the whole, or something on a small scale represents something on a larger scale.

2) Simile/Metaphor -- Blatant, told symbolism in the narrative.

3) Allegory -- A way to say something you can't actually say. By definition, symbols are required for allegory. It's an excellent thematic tool. 

4) Unconscious Nuance -- Symbolism that's not perceived consciously by the reader, and sometimes not even by the writer.

*Symbols only work if they have to do with the rest (the theme) of the story.*

Though it came from the mind of Suzanne Collins, this
salute has been used as a symbol for real revolutions
around the world, most recently in Thailand. (Source)
Ways to employ symbolism:

1) Introduce a system of references that will become motifs (recurring) in your novel.

2) Symbolism is a lot like jokes. (A+B+C) - B. Make them understand, even if they're missing an element.

3) Introduce a symbol, then put blood on it. If it's life and death, it's more memorable, and when you use that symbol again, it will bring something very specific to the reader's mind.

4) Context is everything. The text should offer clues for when the reader ought to look for deeper meaning.

5) To convey deeper meaning, begin a chain of connections. Be careful not to work against your story or send contradictory messages. Be consistent.

6) Use symbols in your plot construction (i.e. foreshadowing, development, allegorical connections, etc.)

7) Thematic Resonance -- So if the mood you want to convey is doom, you would use symbols like night, graves, falling, etc. If you want to convey hope, you might include dawn, birth, children, etc. If your theme is, say, abandonment, use symbols, images, and situations that reflect that.

8) Alternating chapters -- Like John Steinbeck, you could always employ entire symbolic chapters that are the keys to unlock the rest of the story.

9) Use descriptions, names, titles, and word choice as symbols.

*Symbolism requires the reader to become interactive with the story. Therefore, they elevate words from writing to literature.*

Whatever types of symbolism you choose to employ, just make sure that you do it consciously and purposely. Your book and your writing in general will be better for it.

After taking this class, I decided to add symbolism to my list of things to edit for. It ought to be present, at least subtly, in every chapter I write.

What do you do to employ symbolism in your writing?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Spring Read-Along, Week 3


Welcome to week 2 of our New Spring Read-Along! This week we read chapters 17-END. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before (in the main series) is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. I'm hosting this week. 


Young Moiraine (Source)
1. What do you think of the fact that Moiraine met Cadsuane. I don't think we knew that before. What's Cadsuane up to? Do you think Moiraine's eventual conclusion that she's Black Ajah is valid? Logical?

I remember being really surprised that they'd met before. We weren't introduced to Cadsuane until well after Moiraine went through the red doorway ter'angreal, so it never occurred to me that the two of them might have had a history. 

While I understand why Moiraine suspects Cadsuane is Black Ajah, I think coming to the conclusion that she must be Black Ajah is jumping the gun a bit. They have no real evidence that she is. Of course, with everything they've been through, they're bound to be a bit paranoid. So it's understandable, if not logical.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Follow Friday: Twitter for Characters

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Book character(s) you'd like to see with their own Twitter Pages


Ooh great question. So many! :D

Mat Cauthon (Source)
How about Mat Cauthon of Wheel of Time? He always has lots of wisdom, especially about women. (I'm totally being sarcastic. His so-called 'wisdom' is always preposterous, but entertaining nonetheless.)

Example of Mat's wisdom: "If the world is ending, a woman will want time to fix her hair. If the world's ending, a woman will take time to tell a man something he's done wrong."

Really Mat? I love you, but really?

Wit/Hoid (Source)
Wit, from Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive. He's the Shakespearean Fool character and always has a funny insult, interesting story, or anecdote to share. He really is wise. (No sarcasm there.)

I could name lots of others, but I'll stop at two for this week. 

What character would you like to see with their own Twitter page?

Thoughts for Thursday: Fall

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

Fall is upon us! The leaves are changing and Halloween is coming at us fast. (No creepiness intended.) So our theme this week is FALL.

Monday, September 22, 2014

7 Tips for Writing a Fight Scene

So last weekend I attended the League of Utah Writers' annual conference. It was great! I got to reconnect with old author friends I hadn't seen in a long time, network with new authors, my book won an award, and I learned lots of stuff. Couldn't have asked for more.

The first class I attended was taught by Christine Haggerty (click link for her site) and it was about writing fight scenes. Christine is both an author and a black belt in martial arts, so she's uniquely qualified to teach such a class. These tips were things I gleaned from her lecture, so I must give her full credit for them.

Here are 7 things to keep in mind when writing fight scenes:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Spring Read-Along, Week 2


Welcome to week 1 of our New Spring Read-Along! This week we read chapters 1-6. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before (in the main series) is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. Susan Voss over at Dab of Darkness is our host this week. Hop over and check out her answers as well!


Young Moiraine and Lan (Source)
1) Throughout this section, we see that Moiraine is still having dreams about the babe born on Dragon Mount. Since we know dreams can have deeper meanings in this series, do you think it is just an anxiety nightmare? Or do you think it is something more? 

Hmm. Interesting question. We don't see any sign in this book that she's entering T'A'R or anything, but it would be interesting if this was some weak form of Foretelling about her own future. If she wasn't meant to seek out the Dragon Reborn, I don't think she'd have such powerful dreams, or be quite so haunted by them. It's almost like she's trying to tell herself something. I'm sure it was these dreams, at least in part, that spurred her on to look for Rand for so many years.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Follow Friday: Blogging Pet Peeves

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Blogger pet peeves?--suggested by Take Me Away… 

Source
Hmm...pet peeves. I don't have very many. I can only think of two.

1) When I publish a post and then glance through it and find five mistakes I didn't catch on my editing read-through. (Grrrh!)

2) When I can't find something I want to include in my post that I just saw the other day but can't for the life of me remember where or on what site. I google everything I can think of that might bring the image or quote up that I'm looking for, but can I find it? No! I fancy myself a relatively resourceful person, but when some tidbit of info is hiding from me, it's dang determined. And then three days later, after the post is published, it just pops up on its own. Randomly. *Sigh*

Those are my blogging pet peeves. What are yours?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Movie Review: Blended

Source
Disclaimer: I watched Blended over a week ago and am just now getting around to the review, so it may be kind of vague. There's a reason I should write reviews right away. A week later, I don't remember what all of my initial thoughts/impressions were.

Plot: So Blended is the latest Drew Barrymore/Adam Sandler collaboration. It features a potential couple who (naturally) hate each other at first due to lack of communication and misunderstanding. Both have children from previous marriages, so if they go long term with their relationship, it will result in a blended family.

They conveniently end up on the same African vacation with all their kids, which means both they and their families will have a lot of time to spend together.

Drew Barrymore (Lauren), who has three boys and doesn't know how to deal with them heading into puberty, bonds with Jim's (Adam Sandler's) girls, who desperately need a mother figure. Meanwhile, Jim becomes the reliable father figure her children don't have. (Her ex is still in the picture and constantly disappointing his boys.)

Ending: I won't spoil, but it has a typical, feel good ending we've come to expect from most Sandler films. Nothing ground-breaking, but sweet and satisfying overall.

Overall: It's a really fun, entertaining, but ultimately fairly predictable Sandler/Barrymore story. I actually liked it more than I thought I would, just because I laughed a lot and thought the end was actually very touching. That said, don't expect anything groundbreaking. If you were a big fan of the Wedding Planner and 50 First Dates, you'll like it. There are plenty of puns and cameos from other Sandler films. If not, you may not be very entertained by this one either.

I liked it myself. 

Favorite line: Dad does little girl's makeup. She says he's a good daddy. Then she looks in the mirror, starts screaming and says, "He's a bad daddy. He made me look like the walking dead!!!" *LMAO* Poor kid.

Has anyone else seen Blended? What did you think of it?


Monday, September 15, 2014

LUW Annual Conference (Awesome!)

So I attended the annual League of Utah Writers over the weekend. To be honest, this past six months has seen me slack on my writing a lot. I keep trying and meaning to put my shoulder back to the wheel, but life keeps getting in the way. It really is just a matter of priorities on my part, but I haven't been able to give myself enough push to really get back into the right frame of mind. The conference was just what I needed in that area. (You can look forward to writing posts inspired by the classes I attended at the conference over the next couple of weeks. ;) )

Anyway, I didn't enter anything into the regular contest this year. I usually do, but the deadline was back in June and it just snuck up on me this year. I didn't have anything to submit, or any time to prepare anything by the time I realized the deadline was looming. Instead, I just entered my two published novels. Dark Remnants didn't win anything, but Citadels of Fire won the Silver Quill (second place, with the Gold Quill being first) in the adult category. 

Citadels of Fire with Silver Quill sticker, plus the award itself.


I was so honored and happy to have won something. It was a great conference, and I had tons of fun networking with new authors and reconnecting with some I hadn't seen in a while. CoF winning was just icing on the cake. 

Emily Yonkers (this year's president) even said they were working on putting the winning books on the League's website to sell, which I was very pleased about. :D

And, as I put on Facebook last night, us JFP authors really cleaned up! Jolly Fish Press is my publisher for Citadels of Fire, and all the JFP authors have a really good camaraderie going. No less than four of us won published book awards last night. (I think at least one of the two top quills in each category went to a JFP author!) So yes, we totally kicked butt! 

From left to right, Eric Bishop (Gold Quill for adult lit), Johnny Worthen
(Gold Quill for YA lit), me (Silver Quill for adult lit), and Lehua Parker
(Gold Quill for Children's Lit). How cool are we? 


Plus, the wonderful Johnny Worthen (another JFP author who's having a positively breakout year) was the keynote speaker, won one of the quills for his YA novel, and won writer of the year. I love Johnny. He's so full of positive energy that you can't help but smile when you hang out with him. His keynote speech brought down the house. Most of us were falling out of our chairs laughing. He was just that entertaining. 

Johnny giving his uproarious and inspiring keynote address.


Overall, I really enjoyed the conference. It was so much fun! I even sold a handful of books. (Yea!) I feel rejuvenated and inspired to plow through my editing (there are two different books I'm working on) as well as keep writing my current WIP (book 3 of Interchron). 

I also want to get more involved in the League again. As with my writing, I've really slacked off the past few months. Since I moved into my new place (5 mos ago, now. Where does the time go?) I haven't visited the Clearfield chapter. I mean to do that now. Even though they're just monthly meetings, I think they keep me on task with my writing. 

Sweet Author Elsie Parks and Yours Truly
More winners! Eric Bishop, Johnny Worthen, me, Lehua Parker, and
Christine Haggarty, who also taught an awesome class on writing fight scenes.

How about you? Have you attended any great writing events lately?



Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Spring Read-Along, Week 1


Welcome to week 1 of our New Spring Read-Along! This week we read chapters 1-6. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before (in the main series) is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. Eivind Fonn is hosting this week and will probably post his answers over at Dab of Darkness. Hop over and check out his answers as well!


Tam and Rand (Source)
1. We find ourselves back at the end of the Aiel war, with a long-lost friend. Are there any other time periods you would have liked to see instead? Other characters you would have liked to follow?

I was actually really excited to see Lan and Moiraine as their younger selves, so I don't think there's anything else I would rather have read about. That said, it was rumored that Jordan was planning to do more prequels, perhaps one about Tam going off to fight in the Aiel war, and maybe him meeting Rand's (step) mother and finding Rand as a baby. That would have been really awesome too. I wish Jordan had lived to write it.

2.
Gitara Moroso's Fortelling (Source)
Gitara Moroso foretells Rand's birth. If you recall, she was also the one who told Tigraine (Rand's mother) to leave and go to the waste. What do you think about one person having such an impact on history?


I guess you start to understand why Foretelling is such a revered Talent. It's rare and very powerful. If Foretellings are always true, then it's something that definitely could change history. And in a way it makes sense--since Gitara had the foretelling for Tigraine, which resulted in Rand's birth, even if Gitara couldn't know it would--that she would then have the foretelling about when he was born. She just probably didn't have any inkling that the two events were connected.

And talk about drama! A Foretelling and she falls over dead! Don't get me wrong, I think it's fitting, but...whoa.

3.
Tamra Ospenya (Source)
Tamra Ospenya hopes to catch the Dragon Reborn in a big list of names. What do you think of this idea? Knowing what we know about Rand, do you find it likely that he'll be in the lists somewhere?


Naw, probably not. We know Moiraine searched for him for the better part of twenty years. If he'd been on one of the lists, I think she'd have found him much sooner. Plus, Tam found him. There is no mother to give a bounty to. Tam isn't one to wait around in some war camp for gold. He probably never was in one anyway. Once the Aiel began to retreat, and he found the baby in the snow, he probably just set off for the Two Rivers right away, wanting to put the horrors of the war behind him. 

The White Tower is assuming there is a mother and no father. It hasn't even occurred to them that there might be a father and no mother.

4.
Young Elaida (Source)
Elaida has apparently never been nice in her entire life. Was she even at this point seeing herself as a future Amyrlin, or has she just gotten ambitious later?


She strikes me as someone who was always ambitious. We know the reason she attached herself to the queen of Andor was because of these ambitions. I don't know that she was actively planning her road to Amyrlin at this point--she seems to be focusing on other goals, even at this early point--but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it had crossed her mind. 

5. Am I the only one who can't help drawing comparisons with Hogwarts? Do you have any funny ones?


I never drew many comparisons to Hogwarts. Of course, I started this series long before I read Harry Potter, so maybe that's why they always stayed distinctive to me. I suppose they're both "schools" where one goes to learn a certain kind of power, but beyond that, they don't seem very similar to me. This book mentions that meals are eaten mostly in quiet dignity, where the kids at Hogwarts were usually quite boisterous during meals. Ages are different. There are no men learning at the Tower. Well, Warders, but not learning the power part. And yes, the Amyrlin might be paralleled with Dumbledore, but all Amyrlins we've seen are much colder than Dumbledore ever was. I'd be interested to see what parallels others draw, though. :D

6.
Source
Both Moiraine and Siuan are close to being raised to the shawl. Will we see that in this book? What do you think the testing will be like, and what new might we learn about Moiraine and Siuan from it? Lan is around also... will we see a warder bonding?



I know the answer to all these, so I won't spoil. It'll be good, though. :D

Extras: 

The one chapter we got from Lan's POV was really interesting. Getting his POV was one of my favorite aspects of this book, as we never get to ride around in his head in the main series. We already see a deeply-ingrained sense of honor and duty from him. We can see that Moiraine is young and less mature in her wisdom, but Lan is already older emotionally than his physical years account for. 

It's pretty cool to see him in open battle. And I loved that the Aiel sort of gave him their name for him on the battlefield. That was awesome!

Also, anyone else seeing personality parallels between Siuan and Egwene? How about Moiraine and Nynaeve. They're strikingly similar, which is why it makes sense that both Siuan and Egwene end up as leaders, while Moiraine and Nynaeve are more the wandering type. I don't think it's a coincidence that Moiraine and Nynaeve are alike; that Lan ends up attaching himself to Moiraine, and then falls for a woman with the same personality type, albeit a bit more hot-headed. :D

What other bloggers thought: Dab of Darkness     Coffee Cookies, and Chili Peppers

What did everyone else think of this section?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Follow Friday: Before--*gasp*--Blogging

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Before blogging (dark times, people) how did you find out about new books, or did you?--suggested by A Great Read 


Before blogging, I did a few things to find new books, but they weren't particularly effective. If there was a particular genre, author, or series I was already into, I'd sometimes troll the internet, looking for more or similar things, but that definitely didn't open my horizons to new books.

I've been a reader of Entertainment Weekly for a long time, and they have a book section where they do book reviews. Unfortunately, most of those reviewed are the pretentious, literary fiction types, as opposed to the kinds of books most people like to read. Or just ones that, for one reason or another, have gotten media attention. So, while I read the reviews, and some of them sound interesting, it still doesn't really do much for me in terms of new books.

I sometimes would just go to Media Play (when that store was still around) and troll the isles, but more than once I picked something up, read the first part, was tremendously disappointed and wished I hadn't bought it, and then went back looking for something else.

Thank goodness I now have book bloggers, Goodreads.com, and a host of other things in my life that help me choose my beloved reads wisely. I'm so grateful for this community! Happy Friday, Everyone!

How did you find books before blogging?

Thoughts for Thursday: Remembrance

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

As today is the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, I thought about doing something patriotic, but I've done similar things more than once. Instead, I think today is a day to remember. So, this week's theme is Remembrance!


"Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future."--Elie Wiesel

"He was still too young to know that the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past."--Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"Memories, even bittersweet ones, are better than nothing."--Jennifer L. Armentrout

"The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering."--Bruce Lee

"Nothing is more consuming, or more illogical, than the desire for remembrance."--Ellen Glasgow

"A sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier times."--Alfred Lord Tennyson

"Memories are intensely personal things...they're like rivers of identity that seep into the pores of your soul."--Liesel K. Hill, Persistence of Vision


What is your favorite quote about remembrance? Do you have one to add?

Monday, September 8, 2014

The One Secret of Great Storytelling to End All Secrets

Source
There are plenty of tips and secrets to great storytelling, but I believe this one trumps them all. If you can do this, you can't fail as a storyteller. 

Disclaimer: Now, I'm going to say off the bat that I'm not going to go into detail about how to accomplish this secret--there are many and varied ways to do it--but only to tell you that, somehow, you must.

So what is the secret? You must make your readers feel emotion. Emotion of some kind. Any kind. It doesn't have to be good emotion, or the kind that makes them shed a tear. If they have any kind of emotional reaction to your story, you have succeeded.

For example, if Stephen King's readers cringe, or cover their eyes yelling, "Ooh, that's gross!" then he has succeeded. If they laugh at a joke or can't wait to see what happens next, he was succeeded. If they feel sympathy for one of his characters, yup, he has succeeded.

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it never ceases to amaze me how many authors don't focus on this. They focus on other details like action or description, which are important on their own, but always ask if what you're writing is evoking the emotion you're going for. If you want the reader to be afraid, is your imagery dark enough? Is your mood bleak enough? If you want them to be on edge, is your character jittery enough? Are your sentences short? Do they read fast enough? All these things are important to get your emotion across.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Knife of Dreams Read-Along, Week 8



Welcome to week 8 of our Knife of Dreams Read-Along! This week we read chapters 32-the end. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. Sue of Cookies, Coffee, and Chili Peppers is hosting this week. Hop over and check out her answers as well!


Source
1. As we predicted, Birgitte was left to rescue Elayne from certain maiming at the hands of the evil Black Sisters. Were you surprised by her solution to Elayne’s capture? What did you think of the way that she manipulated the Windfinders: do you see this causing problems for Elayne in the future?

I thought this was really smart of Brigitte. She rode away from Elayne in order to save her. I remember being confused the first time until...I wasn't. As for manipulating the Windfinders, I loved that! Everyone is always so concerned about the letter of the agreement and not having to do more than was specifically agreed to. There's this new-fangled concept, ladies, called working together; going the extra mile for the sake of an alliance. Really not rocket science! So kudos to Brigitte for dispensing with everyone's crap and forcing them to take part of the real world!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Follow Friday: Showcasing Writers!

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Are you also a writer and what genre or did you ever consider writing? 


Oh yes, I am a writer. I'm very eclectic in what I write (probably because I'm also eclectic in what I read). I write sci-fi/fantasy, crime fiction, and historical fiction. My currently-published works are listed below. 

Persistence of Vision, Book 1 of Interchron

In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

Quantum Entanglement, Book 2 of Interchron

Five months after traveling to a post-apocalyptic future where collectives reign supreme and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper was returned to her own time until the threat to her life could be neutralized. She thought Marcus and the others would return for her within a few weeks, and now she’s beginning to worry. 

When TRAVELERS from the future finally show up to collect her, it’s not who she expected. With the return of her memories, she wants more than ever to see Marcus again, but a snake-like woman whose abilities are a perfect match for Maggie’s, an injured Traveler, and decades of civil unrest to wade through all stand in the way of their reunion.

Meanwhile, Marcus and Karl traipse through the countryside, trying to neutralize Colin, who’s promised to brutalize and murder Maggie if he can get his hands on her. When a collective woman is left for dead, Marcus heals her, hoping she’ll be the key to killing Colin and bringing Maggie back. But she may prove as much a hindrance as a help.

The team struggles to get their bearings, but things happen faster than they know. The collectives are coalescing, power is shifting, and the one called B is putting sinister plans into action. If the team can’t reunite and get a handle on the situation, their freedom and individuality—perhaps their very identity—will be ripped away before they can catch their breath.

Dark Remnants, Book 1 of Street Games

In the most dangerous city in the country, one controlled by a sadistic gang called the Sons of Ares, Kyra Roberts is searching the deep places for someone…

Kyra has come to Abstreuse city to find someone she’s lost, but walking the underbelly—a dark alley system residents call the Slip Mire—even in disguise, is rife with dangers. Kyra must stay on her toes if she intends to live. After crossing paths several times with the same detective, she wonders if his work and hers might be connected.

Gabe Nichols has worked homicide in Abstreuse for three years. Dead prostitutes and gang violence are part of the night shift. When a woman who looks like a street junkie but acts like an intellectual saves his life, he’s intrigued. Another woman shows up at his crime scene, and Gabe’s instincts kick into high gear when she clams up. Two cases involving strange women who won’t tell what they know are too coincidental.

If Gabe and Kyra can’t find a way to collaborate, they may not live to see the sunrise. Doomed, like so many others, to become gray, unmarked graves in a forgotten fracture of the Slip Mire.

Citadels of Fire, Book 1 of Kremlins

In a world where danger hides in plain sight and no one aspires to more than what they were born to, Inga must find the courage to break the oppressive chains she’s been bound with since birth. 

As a maid in the infamous Kremlin, life in 16th-century Russia is bleak and treacherous. That is, until Taras arrives. Convinced that his mother’s death when he was a boy was no mere accident, he returned from England to discover what really happened. While there, he gains favor from the Tsar later known as Ivan the Terrible, the most brutal and notorious ruler ever to sit upon the throne of Russia. Ivan allows him to take a servant, and to save Inga from a brutal boyar intent on raping her, Taras requests Inga to stay in his chambers. 

Up against the social confines of the time, the shadowy conspiracies that cloak their history, and the sexual politics of the Russian Imperial court, Inga and Taras must discover their past, plan for their future, and survive the brutality that permeates life within the four walls that tower over them all, or they may end up like so many citizens of ancient Russia: nothing but flesh and bone mortar for the stones of the Kremlin wall.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

On Writing:

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. I may be somewhat absent from the blogosphere this week. I have a ton of stuff going on this week and, what with the holiday weekend, am not going to get much done in advance. So, I may be on less than usual. But, I'll be back next week. In the mean time, here are some humorous Labor Day sentiments for you to enjoy! Have a great one! :D

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Happy Labor Day, Everyone!