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Saturday, November 28, 2015

T.C. Newman Follow the Light Book Review

At the Reader's Favorite Awards I was lucky enough to meet a few awesome authors and get a couple autographed books. T.C. Newman is one of those authors, and what an amazing person she is. Her book Follow the Light is unique and catching. I couldn't put it down, even for a short break.

My review:

I enjoyed Follow the Light, in fact I read it straight through. It’s the author and her daughter’s journey of discovery written in narrative format. The Shroud of Turin is a mystery, even with today’s technology there is still so much we don’t know. This book uncovers some of those secrets. T.C. Newman and her daughter caught a documentary about the shroud. Her daughter was convinced the image on the shroud was a photograph. Newman set up a simple experiment to see if it was possible. She is an artist and went about it with an artist eye as well as using a scientific process.

This experiment encompassed over three decades. Each chapter is a new discovery in their experiment which makes the book fascinating as well as easily replicated, for an artist with skills in sculpting. I don’t have the talent and would likely give up after a few hours. But I do love science and love the scientific value in the book.

The Shroud is often related to Jesus. This book doesn’t take that approach, and the author doesn’t skew the experiment to her beliefs. She simply follows a scientific/artistic method that leads to a series of discoveries. After reading I see why this book received a five star Reader’s Favorite review and an award.

Buy Here:

Reader's Favorite

Goodies from the Reader's Favorite Awards. I'm hoping to read all these award winners within the next year.

His Kidnapper's Shoes by Maggie James

This book is one full of mystery and also one I found a great emotional tie to. Definitely worth reading!

My Review:

His Kidnappers Shoes is a psychological thriller Maggie James style. Daniel is a young adult in the midst of a life changing event. The mother who raised him isn’t actually his mother, instead she is the woman who kidnapped him. The story is written from alternating points of view between Daniel and his “mother”. James draws the reader into both their worlds and sympathy swells for each character.

Through their inner dialogue and experiences James builds their characters. Daniel turns to drugs and cheap sex while his “mother” has a pity party and only wishes for him to forgive her. She isn’t an evil person, simply a person who went through many hardships at a young age, and Daniel was her “savior”.

This isn’t so much a suspenseful story as one that reveals secrets in tidbits. It’s a clue finding mission and journey of compassion. As a reader I love mysteries and Maggie James is a master. I couldn’t put the story down. I had to find the next clue to piece together the puzzle. Top notch read!


His Kidnapper's Shoes can also be bought as part of the Shadows of the Mind Box Set.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

J.K.Norry Book Blast Fall of the Walker King

**For release between November 26th - December 1st, 2015**

In Hell’s darkest hour
We all began to pray
Our fallen queen and the Walker King
Would rise and save the day

Author: J.K. Norry
Book: Fall of the Walker King (Walking Between Worlds, Book III)
Genre: Contemporary/Philosophical Fantasy
Release Date: December 1st, 2015

About the series

Some warriors have a special sensitivity, a rare compassion that makes them the perfect soldier for the perfect army. In life, these men and women are superlative fighters and law officers. In life, they often discover that their instinct for justice hinders or destroys their career in a sometimes imperfect army. In life, these souls are bent and broken by bureaucracy. It is not until death touches them that these unique warriors truly come alive. They become Walkers, immortal soldiers in an eternal army that wages constant war on the demons of humanity.

In the Walking Between Worlds trilogy and companion tales, the world of the Walker is finally revealed. Heroes that have lived in the shadows for thousands of years tell their stories at last, as a new story takes shape in present-day San Francisco. A new Walker is made that must undo centuries of damage as he risks everything in a desperate search for his lost love. One man must forge a path wide enough for everyone who walks between worlds, or see the way of the Walker lost forever.

The angels in heaven have capitalized on the situation rather than correct it, and the dragons in hell rule their realm with fire. Both forces stand against the Walker army as its new king is thrust into power and cast into danger time and again. From epic battles below to all-out war above, these brave patriots of the universe put everything on the line to save an unknowing world once more. If anyone can find a way, it is them . . . but time is running out, and the light is growing dim. 

***On sale for a limited time!***
Get your copy of Demons & Angels (Walking Between Worlds, Book I) for just 99 cents
or Rise of the Walker King (Walking Between Worlds, Book II) for $1.99!
Sale runs 11/26-12/3

Jay Norry Bio

Jay Norry is the author of Stumbling Backasswards into the Light, a spiritual autobiographical novel set in the mountains of the Puget Sound, and Walking Between Worlds (as J.K. Norry), a fantasy series set in San Francisco. He is the owner of Sudden Insight Publishing, an indie publishing company he founded in 2014 as a venue in which to publish his books. In 2016, Jay will join the Underground Book Reviews (www.undergroundbookreviews.org) team as a monthly columnist (Norry's Toolbox) and indie book reviewer.

Currently Jay resides in Northern California with his girlfriend/Girl Friday, Dawn, and their dogs, Mammoth & Ximena. When he's not busy writing, Jay enjoys wine tasting, gardening, coming up with new DIY projects, and fixing things around the house MacGyver-style.

Jay's books are published by Sudden Insight Publishing (www.suddeninsightpublishing.com)

Read his blog on spirituality, writing, and life in general at blog.jaynorry.com

Book I - Demons & Angels

Meet the unsung heroes of the supernatural, those who walk between worlds to help humans battle their demons. This is the spellbinding tale of a special group of people whose lives were changed forever when their eyes were opened to a new reality. Watch the ordinary collide with the extraordinary to test the mettle of their souls and the power of their love. 

The first book in an exciting new series, Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels introduces us to a new way of looking at both the natural and the supernatural worlds. Join Paul Stone and Kris Reed as they walk between worlds in search of answers and themselves.

Book II - Rise of the Walker King

Step once again into the lives of Walker Paul and his trusted Guide Kris as they delve deeper into the meaning of walking between worlds and battling people's demons. 

Walking Between Worlds; Book II: Rise of the Walker King continues the exciting saga begun in Book I. Now that the king has risen to power, he must look within and without for answers to save both himself and the Walker's world. 

With friendly devils and murderous angels, dragons that belch flames and demons that run like a river, this philosophical fantasy will delight the adventurous spirit that walks between worlds in all of us. 

Book III - Fall of the Walker King

Walking Between Worlds, Book III: Fall of the Walker King brings the Walking Between Worlds trilogy to a breathtaking and explosive conclusion. Walk alongside characters old and new as
they navigate Hellish realms where blood rains from the sky, and Heavenly worlds that would imprison or destroy their very souls.

As war looms above and violence simmers below, a dark danger is lurking between worlds that threatens every realm. A new Walker struggles to fulfill his destiny while the old fight for their very lives. With the fate of all the worlds in the balance, a new way must form to take the place of the old as everything falls away. Yet it must be enough, and it must come in time. 

Fall of the Walker King (Walking Between Worlds, Book III)
by J.K. Norry


William stood at the center of the Heavenly space, his head bowed and his gloved hands clasped before him. He had heard of the Walker Council, of course, but he had never had occasion to stand before them. He had also never imagined that meeting them one day would mean standing trial before them on that day.
He wore his custom spelled armor, yet he felt completely vulnerable. He could call upon his key or his weapon with a thought, yet he felt completely defenseless. Paul had told him a little about the council, that an ancient angel with dark skin seemed their best chance at an ally. Yet when William looked upon the first eight unfamiliar faces, he saw nothing but a bunch of stern and ugly old white guys.
The ninth face was old and ugly and white as well, but it was not unfamiliar. Andre had somehow transmuted from Watcher to angel without a break in consciousness. William wondered if making the rules and breaking them whenever you wanted was the best way to run a governing body. It certainly didn’t seem to be the way angels should behave.
“We can read your thoughts, Walker.” One of the round-faced, mostly bald men spoke venomously.
‘But are you listening?’ The Walker thought forcefully.
There was a sly smile on one face at that, and William saw friendly laughter behind the angel’s eyes. He spoke next.
“We do not take action lightly or often, Walker,” he said kindly. “The criticism we receive for our policy of non-interference is rivaled only by the criticism we receive on the rare occasion that we do interfere.”
“My criticism never falls on anyone with the courage to stay their path or keep their word,” William replied calmly. “There is no honor in breaking one’s own code.”
The angel seemed unperturbed, but he also seemed the only one.
“I can see why the Walker King chose you,” he smiled.
“Calling himself a king does not make a man a king,” another angel spat bitterly. “There has not been a Walker King for a great long time, and if Walker Paul was the great Stone Walker, he failed to fulfill his own grand prophecy.”
“We found Walker Paul’s soul, then?” Then angel with the mirthful eyes turned in his seat to address the speaker.
“Of course not,” the speaker crossed his arms and frowned. “He was destroyed by dragon fire, along with Ximena.”
“You’re sure about that?” The smiling angel was clearly amused with the exchange.
“Of course,” he replied tartly. The other angel was clearly not amused. “We would have found them by now.”
“Did we not seal up the realms in between?” His dark luminous eyes twinkled mischievously, and he looked pointedly at William.
“Is this conversation appropriate during this trial?” Andre spoke up, leaning forward and trying to catch someone’s eye.
“You were told not to speak,” the angel’s merry eyes went cold. “You are too close to this matter, and too new to the Council.”
Andre settled back in his chair and folded his arms sullenly.
“And yet you have a point, Angel Andre.” The two angels were clearly battling for control. Now the dour one was smiling, thin-lipped and humorless. “Walker William is on trial.”
“Can we all just stop using that word?” The jovial angel spread his hands. “We already know the outcome of these proceedings. The only three responsible for the destruction of souls seem to have been destroyed completely themselves. Walker William will not be dehumanized, or punished in any other way. In fact, we-“
“Enough!” The dour angel slammed his soft fist into the soft woven light that made every inanimate shape in the room. “If you suspect that they have not been destroyed, you should not speak so blithely about it.”
“Very well.” The angel with the easy smile folded his hands calmly before him. “I will admit that the evidence points to Ximena and the Walker King being destroyed.”
His dour face was turning red now. “And I am happy to get on with our business with Walker William if you will please stop calling that miscreant a king.”
Walker William cleared his throat.
“I destroyed a soul,” he pointed out. “I killed a dragon.”
“No you didn’t,” Andre sneered. “Walker Paul killed that dragon after it gutted you.”
The dour angel shot Andre an irritated glance.
“Besides-” he began.
“Andre destroyed a soul,” William said calmly, holding the accused’s gaze. “He murdered Mason.”
“As I was saying,” the unhappy angel’s icy tone cut in, “even if you had killed a dragon, it would have been because you were following orders. That guilt would fall on Walker Paul, as Andre’s guilt transfers to the Dragon Queen.”
The more pleasant speaker cut in again.
“Now on to more pleasant matters,” he said. “Walker William, you no doubt remember Walker John?”
“Of course.” William nodded tersely. He saw no need to share his assessment of the man. In getting to know other Walkers, he had learned that the appointed leader had struggled with what little authority he had had. On the other hand, nearly every Walker had treated the self-proclaimed Walker King with a respect that bordered on reverence. He looked from one self-righteous glowing face to the next, thinking how impossible it would be to explain what they did not wish to understand.
The jovial angel was looking less than jovial, and William tried to quiet his whirling mind.
“We are prepared to offer you the position vacated by Walker John,” the dour angel said. “You seem to be someone the Walkers are willing to listen to and able to follow.”
“They followed me when I followed the Walker King,” William cut in. “Why would they follow me if I become your stooge?”
“Just because we can read your thoughts does not mean you need to express them all with such brash disdain,” the happy angel didn’t look happy at all as he spoke. “Surely you can step back far enough from your imbalanced emotional state to see that we are all just trying to make the best of a bad situation.”
William took a deep breath and did not voice his next several thoughts.
“What if I refuse?” he asked.
“Then you will be dehumanized.” The dour angel seemed pleased at the prospect. “Your memories of your life as a Walker will be erased and you will live out your mortal life as a normal man.”
William felt his eyes go wide. “My memories will be taken?”
“It’s a new policy,” the dour angel said dismissively.
Andre looked left and right, then decided to venture a comment.
“Also,” he said, “your Guide and your Watcher will be relieved of duty and released from their consciousness to properly pursue their after-earth life.”
The Walker did not like to make decisions based on the feeling that he had no other choice. He thought of the men and women he had fought beside and loved; the Walkers he had trained, and the Guide whose touch made his heart sing. William knew he could not allow himself to be swayed by anger, but what about love?
“Walker William.” The angel’s smile was lighting his features again. “If I may . . . what would Walker Paul want you to do?”
The fluidity within him turned to stone. “What are my duties as a servant to this council?”
“As leader of the Walkers,” the angel’s smile was unperturbed, “you will assist in training new Walkers, you will find new Walkers to replace those we have lost and you will explain the new rules to all of the Walkers. Furthermore, you will assist in rehumanizing the Walkers we have deemed no longer fit for service and finding suitable replacements for them as well.”
“You will also report to the Council daily,” the unhappy angel added with a wry smile.
“Daily?” William frowned.
“We have seen what a Walker can do in a day,” he shot back. “You will report daily.”
The happy angel sighed, allowing his practiced look of infinite patience to fray.
“For now,” he amended.
William addressed him. “What are the new rules?” He wished he had paid attention when the trial had begun; William had assumed that none of this would matter by the time they had tried him, and had not paid attention to their introductions. He didn’t remember any of their names.
“Walkers are once again forbidden from interacting with each other,” he began, then his smile broadened. “Stephan, Walker. My name is Stephan.”
“My job would be a lot easier if I could let Walkers work together, Stephan.” William tried to hide his irritation at feeling so violated.
“The walls between worlds have become dangerously thin due to recent events.” The dour angel refused to be left out of the conversation. “One of those events was the gathering of a Walker army; another was excessive walking between worlds, including unauthorized entry to above and below; still another was the destruction of souls and the misplacement of millions of demons. Every dire consequence the Council is now dealing with would have been prevented by keeping Walkers from gathering. Only the Walker Leader may interact with other Walkers.”
“And only on official Walker business,” Stephan tried to lighten the blow by smiling. It didn’t help.
“Walker movement is restricted as well,” the other angel went on. “Walkers shall not go above or below the seven layers of reality that make up the Earth dimension.”
William narrowed his eyes. “I don’t even know what that means.”
“Ask your Guide,” Stephan responded. “And let all of the Walkers know: we will be keeping an eye on them, particularly the surviving members of the army.”
“Violations will not be tolerated,” added the dour angel, “and punishment will not be lenient.”
“No need to threaten those who have not yet committed any transgression.” Stephan waved his hand in William’s general direction, and something took shape in his hand. “Take that scroll to the new Queen of Hell. We have not been able to establish a clear line of communication with her as of yet, but she is bound by law to update your key to match your new position.”
William frowned. “By what law?”
The dour angel leaned forward and narrowed his eyes hatefully at the Walker. “By highest law. By Council law.”
“And what if she kills me?”
Stephan shook his head. “It is highly doubtful. We would be obligated by law to bring her to justice.”
William almost laughed. “And who would take her place?”
Now the dour angel looked downright pleased with himself. “The Council would act as Hell’s governing body until Creator appoints a replacement.”

Connect with Jay/J.K. Norry

Sign up for Jay’s monthly newsletter, and get the first Walking Between Worlds companion story for FREE! - 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reader's Favorite Awards in Miami

The Reader's Favorite Awards was my proudest professional author moment. Eye of the Storm won finalist in fiction-paranormal. 

 Saturday morning my best friend and I drove to Miami. I live in Florida but have never "been" to Miami. I have always driven through it or past it. 

We stayed at the Regency where the award ceremony happened. I met other authors from various places, talked, exchanged cards and books. It was an amazing experience. I hope one day I can do it again.

The next day we drove along the coast. It was storming and the rain poured over the car in sheets but once we got to Hollywood, Fl the rain eased and even stopped. We spent time at the Hardrock where we met up with a friend of mine I haven't seen in 3-4 years. She lives 30-40 miles north.

I loved catching up with her. We made a quick trip to Hollywood's boardwalk then drove back to Miami. Below are pictures from the trip.

Tampa Bay

"Dolphins" Stadium

Miami Beach

Inter-coastal from Hollywood

Hollywood Beach

I'm a beach-a-holic and love living in Florida.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Melancholy Jack By Diane Bixler Book Review

My review today is off my 2015 reading list. This was a book I really had to think about. Jack is a normal kid who learns to blend into his surroundings as he muddles through life. But there's a turning point, an event that changes him. It's really not a single event, more like the last straw, a trigger. 

I have spent countless hours watching documentary TV shows on killers as I wrote The Calm Before the Storm, and many years working with children with pathological illnesses. And I have to say the author did an excellent job painting the scene and allowing me inside Jack's head. The book flows easily and is a quick read because it was so hard to put down.

My review: 

Melanchology Jack is an account of his life and the forces that drove him to the act of murder. He was born into a dysfunctional family and at a young age fell in love with acting. It’s an interesting fictional biography in which the reader gets to look inside the mind of Jack and understand how his wheels turn.

Jack’s character is built through his retelling of his life. I felt for him and his plight from the time he was a young child. And found myself disliking characters I met only through his descriptions of them. Jack isn’t a bad guy just born under adverse circumstances. His life follows a sorrowful path, learning to be controlled in his approaches.

The author did an excellent job in “setting the stage” for Jack’s biggest acts in life and writing the turbulent journey of Melancholy Jack. She uses powerful descriptions that paint the picture in the readers’ mind as if watching a movie play out instead of reading a book. And there’s plenty of room for a sequel.

My review of Diane Bixler's Murder in D Minor
Melancholy Jack (Acts of Justice Book 1)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Nightcrawler III The Plague by John Reinhard Dizon

I've been reading this authors work for quite a while. I always love a good John Reinhard Dizon book. His brand includes mystery and suspense with political and/or historical connections woven into the plot. My latest review is Nightcrawler III, a series I fell in love with after reading the first book.

My Review:

I’ve been reading the Nightcrawler series since the first book. I adore Sabrina Brooks, an independent woman with a mission. She’s clever, tough, and intelligent. In the third segment of the series Sabrina is in the hospital, in a coma. The doctors can’t figure it out and a special top notch medical team hired by Brooks Chemical Company are brought in. Hoyt is distraught as he waits at her bedside daily, hoping it will be the day she wakes up. On the outside world the villains are plotting evil and the police are searching for the Nightcrawler. All the while a dead body keeps appearing foiling their plans.

Set in New York City with a Gotham City feel to it the story swirls full circle in a revealing, intense climax that begs the readers to pay attention. Every element is a clue and each page is as exciting as the next. Just when I thought I was starting to put the pieces together there was another clue that made me question my previous thoughts.

Dizon’s brand of mystery and intrigue is filled with political subplots and penetrating action. A huge reveal and surprise await the reader in the final pages of the last segment in the Nightcrawler series. My question - is this really the end?

For lovers of political thrillers, superheros and mystery! 

Where to buy
Barnes and Noble

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Calm Before the Storm by Elle Klass Book Blast


Evan O’Conner isn’t a normal child. His father’s alcoholism and mother’s abuse drives him to concoct a plan to rid his life of them permanently. The night is fraught with a horrendous storm, thunder and lightning as the beast inside him is born. Even in her death his mother won’t leave. She haunts his subconscious as he attempts over and over to kill her.

Evan meets his match when Officer Burkhalder enters the picture. One of her closest friends and his family fall victim to violent deaths during the worst hurricane Billows Hollow has ever seen. With only a sketch she learns the identity of the perpetrator and digs into his life, pries into his past – hunting him. Will she stop him? Or will somebody else?


Buy Links:
Google Play 
Barnes and Noble 



Evan entered a wooden shed filled with yard equipment, tools and deck furniture the owners wanted locked away when the winds kicked and howled. He edged against the wall, sliding his body through a narrow gap between folded lawn chairs and cushions.
Evan leaned his bulky torso against the slats, turned sideways and peered through the dirt caked window with binoculars at the surrounding neighborhood. A Ford Explorer parked several paces up the road caught his attention, someone sat inside it. He adjusted the binoculars and the driver’s auburn mane flooded his vision. When she reached towards something in the back seat he recognized her oval face and slender nose. “Carrot Top Cop,” he whispered. His first thought, she’d traded in her Billows Hollow badge for Fradenton but her casual T-shirt said otherwise. For the next couple hours he observed and waited. His mind curious, why is she here?

When she crept out of the vehicle he used the opportunity to sneak towards it, pulling a black baseball cap over his head. The passenger side door unlocked, he opened it, studying the contents laying across the seat. A map, the street marked with a red X, and his family’s address scribbled next to the X. Beneath the map lay a sketch and a red pen. Without picking up the sketch he stared into the familiar face, his face. His mind zoomed backwards in time, attempting to piece together what evidence she might have. He shaved his body, used a condom, and kept hold of his knife. He left the girl alive. Did she talk? Impossible. She was too young. Then he remembered the girl from the bar. He left her alive too. He cringed at his immature mistakes. Impressed with Carrot Top Cop’s skills, he needed a good adversary.

Burkhalder’s open soda filled the space of the driver’s seat cup holder. Evan dipped his hand into his front pocket, pulling out a small bottle. He squeezed three drops from the bottle into her drink. The crunching of footsteps walking towards the car startled him out of his thoughts. He eased the door closed and slid downward
against the side of the SUV as Burkhalder hopped back into the driver’s seat. Then he edged his way around the vehicle, stopping by the passenger side back tire. His blade nestled between the waistband of his pants and his back. Evan needed to be sure she couldn’t follow him, his sleeping serum wouldn’t work fast enough. He jammed the tip of his blade into her tire and twisted. His heart threatening to jump out of his chest. Sweat beaded on his forehead as anger roiled inside him. He crouch-walked towards the closest bushes and used the oleanders for cover. Parting the pink flowers, he peered towards her vehicle, and regained control of his anger. His plans for the family ruined. He ran through the ungated yards until he came upon his nondescript silver CRV.

He pulled his hat off and tossed it into the back seat as he drove, glimpsing a flash of red in his rear-view. Evan sniggered, knowing the more energy she exerted the faster her heart pumped forcing the drugs to circulate through her body at a quicker rate.


The bushes behind her SUV rustled, catching her attention. She grabbed her soda, gulping it down, her eyes fixated on the bush. Something glistened behind it, then a burst of black cloth. She readied her gun. Whoever it was ran through the yard. She cocked the door open, pushed her back against the vehicle, holding her gun with both hands towards the sky and slid alongside it. Her eyes darting from side to side. She jumped around the bush - empty. The cranking of an engine resonated inside her eardrums.

A squall passed overhead, blowing tree branches and leaves, obscuring her vision. A small silver car pulled away from the road. At the sight, her legs pounded the earth, trying to get the plate number. Blinking through the heavy downpour, she attempted to read the license plate CL or CI, her vision blurred before she could read it. She bent forward, rested her hands on her knees, attempting to catch her breath. She lifted her head, still panting, her head dizzy. The trees and houses swirled through her mind and she collapsed to the ground. Rain pounding her body, small tree limbs whipping through the air.

Author Bio:
Elle Klass is the author of mystery, suspense, and contemporary
fiction. Her works include As Snow Falls, Eye of the Storm Eilida’s Tragedy, and the Baby Girl series. Her work Eye of the Storm Eilida’s Tragedy is a Reader’s Favorite Fiction-Paranormal Finalist in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Awards. She is a night-owl where her imagination feeds off shadows, and creaks in the attic. Visit her website at https://elleklass.weebly.com.

Excerpt: This chapter written with Whobeda A.K.A. Marcha Fox. Many thanks to her astrological advice.

Read Elle's interview with Whobeda, who has a guest spot in the novel when she does Evan's Natal Chart. 

A short lady with a bob strolled out of Ms. Renard’s room. Eilida looked at Sage, smiles plastered across their faces. “Our turn!” voiced a giddy Sage.

Eilida took Sage’s hand and they marched into the room like two schoolgirls. No crystal balls or tarot cards, instead a full figured Patrice, her fiery hair curled just above her shoulders. But they weren’t there to see a gypsy and have their palms read.
“Ms. Renard. It’s so wonderful to meet you. I follow your stuff.” As the words dropped from her mouth she felt stupid. Follow, she’s going to think I’m a stalker.

Eilida and Sage talked with Patrice a few minutes. Her round figure reminded Eilida of her mother, warm red hair and confidence further eased Eilida’s nervous stomach. Once she had their dates, times and places of birth, she typed everything in and the computer generated their charts. Eilida’s flew off the printer first. Ms. Renard looked from it to Eilida then slid it to the side as she studied Sage’s. She laid it in front of them and explained the position of the planets and their meanings. Sage’s horoscope was filled with happiness, longevity, and success.

When it came time for Eilida’s, she laid the natal chart on the table facing Eilida and sucked in her breath. Eilida’s eyes went directly to the blue triangle in the center.

“We call this blue triangle a yod or the finger of god.”

“What does it mean?”

“A fated life, but let’s get through all of it before you decide what that means. This blue line ties Pluto in the 3rd house to the Sun in the eighth house. This implies that you crave powerful experiences and are attracted to the unfathomable. You commonly hide your interests, except from your closest friends and family. Uranus and Neptune in the fourth house indicate your home life, growing up may have been unstable in some way. You may be searching for an ideal home. The darkness in your eyes reveals the truth in these words.”

“I love my family but I’ve always felt like an outsider except with my grandmother, umm… until she passed. Sage feels more like family than my parents sometimes.”

Patrice’s bubbling personality spilled over. “At your age, most of us feel that way.”

Eilida’s anxiety eased again as Patrice continued.

“Mercury in Taurus and in the 8th house show you tend to be very methodical and have an interest in investigating the supernatural.” 
Eilida’s lips curled into a smile. Her interest in Astrology centered on her interest in the “otherworldly”
“Pluto in Scorpio, the twelve year group you’re both part of, loves mystery and the macabre.”

Both girls chuckled, they lived off zombie and suspense flicks.

Patrice smiled, then her face grew stoic. “There is something in your past, maybe a natural disaster that changed the course of your life. It might be related in some way to the death of your grandmother.”

Zombie-like, Eilida lifted her chart from the table and stood to leave. The dragonflies morphed into dragons breathing fire into her innards, aching to get free. As Eilida exited the door the chatter and
noise in the convention center quieted as her mind focused on something in your past. What could possibly be in her past? Her parents were the most “normal” people she’d ever met and she had a picture perfect childhood, no siblings, everything she needed and most of what she wanted. Her parents and grandmother spoiled her. Yet a feeling she didn’t quite belong always lingered in the back of her mind, followed by a sinking feeling of dread in her belly.
She turned and took a step back into the room, asking another question. “Is all the bad stuff in my past? Does my future look better?”

“Here’s my card, feel free to call.” Eilida noted her solemn expression. 

Eilida lay in bed tossing and turning all night. Her mind a flutter of curiosity and fear, replaying Patrice’s words over and over, ‘a fated life… there is something in your past’. Her fascination of mystery drove her imagination. The man in her nightmares flashed in static against her fleshy brain. Light glittered from her pile of clothes on the floor. Her pendant! She reached down and clutched the pendant, cradling it in her hand. Peace bathed her body and she fell into a restful sleep.

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November is here again, and we're twelve days into it.

I'm doing NaNoWriMo again! This is the third year in a row. The first year I worried I'd ever meet the 50,000 word mark. I sighed relief when I looked at my manuscript and it was over 50,000.

Last year, a little experience under my belt, I wasn't worried about meeting the 50,000 mark. I was worried about having the time to get to the mark.

Year three. I have 21,513 words! I'm making steady progress and not worried about meeting 50,000 or having the time.

Every word I write gets added to my word count, including my blog posts. My work in progress after last night is approximately 23,000 and there's plenty to go. My characters keep putting unexpected twists into the plot and supernaturals I hadn't thought of when the novel started are now guiding the game, tossing light balls and killing vampires.

NaNoWriMo is a time for inhibited writing, letting the words flow, and checking over the manuscript later. I'm sure I have typos and areas that need more or less developing but that'll come in December when I read it. Until then I refuse to read it.

As a nine time published author. The key to word count is writing and not worrying. Don't stress over the grammar or parts you don't like just write them. Write anything, deviate from your WIP because its not about that it's about opening the creative flood gates and writing. 

NaNoWriMo is also about meeting personal goals. So what if you don't make 50,000? There is no huge bonus cheque, and the world isn't going to end. Make small goals such as writing 1,000 words a day - reward yourself when you meet the goal. And when your proud of your 15,000 and see your writing buddy has 78,000 don't freak or compare yourself. Keep writing. 

Sure, if all we had to do was stare at our computers and write words we'd all blow away 50,000 whether the words made sense or not, however, we have jobs and responsibilities. Many times I hear my story talking, but can't write it at that moment whether I'm driving or working. I suck it up, allow my characters free reign inside my head and go to town when I can sit on my computer and plug away. Before I know I've got 2,000 words, 8,000 words and so on.

To all NaNoWriMo goers, keep writing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Aliens in the Sky

November 7, California had an alien scare, I was oblivious to this until mentioning it to my daughter.

The evening of November 7, I was at a wedding reception sitting outside. I looked to the sky and a blue steady light streaked across the sky. I said, "Look an alien ship." 

My boyfriend replied, "Where? Hey Lisa saw an alien ship."

The object was like nothing I'd ever seen. I live in Jacksonville Florida, home of Jax naval base and Jax International Airport. We also have several hospitals who use Life Flight in extreme emergencies. And I'm only a few hours from Kennedy Space Center. Objects in the sky are the norm, only usually they are moving up or down. They leave streaks behind them, make noise, flash or loose parts (rockets and space shuttles).

This object went across the sky, at a steady pace and a steady light. I have no idea what it was but doubt it was the missile sighted in California.

I have watched all the videos and the blue streak I saw was different. It didn't flash or grow. It was steady. and it was headed across the sky. Hmm.

When I mentioned it to my daughter she said people in California claimed to see a UFO and one lady found an alien in her yard. Now, this lady lives in San Jose, that's not in the country so is most likely not the fetus of a wild animal such as a deer, since San Jose is in the Bay Area metropolis. 

What did I see? I haven't a clue. Jax naval base isn't far, was it a top secret air launch or plane? Was I seeing the missile light streak across the sky from California? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

What to price my book

What to price one's book is a bit of contention in indie circles.

I see many indies who price their books at .99. That's about .33 per book through Amazon and maybe a whopping .50 through other outlets. So let's look at the expense of publishing a book, cover - cha-ching, editing - cha-ching, beta readers - cha-ching, marketing, cha-ching. Get the picture?

If the author sells 100 books at .99, receiving .33 per book, they would make $33. That's not enough for a tank of gas! If they sell 1000 they'd make $330, that might pay their car insurance for the month, forget recouping the hundreds/ thousands they put into the book.

There are many arguments over perma-free. None of the arguments I've found are from authors with perma-free books. Instead we encourage other authors to courageously jump into the perma-free world. Not every book! Choose one, like the first in a series or a short story. Perma-free makes you more visible, therefore, gaining more readers. Sure, people will download the book and never read it. But the ones that do and enjoy the authors brand of fiction/nonfiction will comeback for seconds, thirds and so on.

When I published my first novel, As Snow Falls, I priced it at .99 and sold a handful of ebooks. A year later I repriced it at 2.99, low and behold people started buying the book. In the meantime I started publishing the Baby Girl shorts at .99. After revamping them last spring with further editing and snappy new covers, I repriced them but I staggered it. Book 1 is perma-free, Book 2 is .99, Books 3 and 4 are 2.99. They also include extras. They sell far better at 2.99 than they ever did at .99.

Last fall I released Eye of the Storm at 3.99. I have now permanently reduced the price to 2.99 because Volume 2 in the series is making its appearance this Friday 11/13. It's also priced at 2.99, but that's limited. December 1, it will go up to 3.99.

Now, many publishers are pricing their ebooks at 7.99, 8.99. Really? Are they selling? The popular authors are but what about new authors? I can't answer that question but I can say if I'm going to spend that much on a book it won't be in digital format.

Getting back to indie authors, I did a ton of research on price points as I muddled through Elle Klass Marketing 101 and learned 2.99 - 5.99 are the best selling price points. They suggest quality. And people are more willing to buy quality over taking a chance even if it's only .99. 

The worst price point I discovered is 1.99 and I knew authors using this price point and not selling a single book. I suggested changing their prices to 2.99 or 3.99. Wow! Now they are making sales. They may not be independently wealthy but they are making sales, and gaining readers.

My last gripe over price points is the cash put into a book. Indie authors don't sell yourself short. If the big publishing houses are charging 7.99 and up I think you can take a chance with 2.99 and up. You have spent thousands of man hours, hundreds/thousands of dollars, don't be ashamed and don't think more than .99 is too much. It's not! Don't sell yourself short. You have personal money invested in this. Your book, your time, and personal investment is worth a lot more than .33 per book in royalties.

Quarterback Dilemna

It's no big secret that I'm a San Francisco Forty Niner fan. It's also no secret that this team who in recent years regained their stamina was going to NFC championships and a Superbowl under the leadership of Coach Harbaugh and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Suddenly last year they plummeted. Why?

When this amazing team starting their losing streak last year, and spotty playing I said Coach Harbaugh knows he's not coming back. He's known since the beginning of the season. People attempted to argue the point until the announcement was made at the end of the season. 

Fast forward they have a new head coach Tomsula who has benched QB Kaepernick and brought in second string Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert started his NFL career for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I live in Jacksonville and was extremely glad when the Niners picked him up last year. Why?

I live in Jacksonville with fickle fans and a team who saw a couple years of fame in the beginning of the franchise, since blah. The fans looked at Gabbert as the answer to the offensive woes. A rookie quarterback with no guidance or leadership? 

I laughed but that's how Jags fans roll. After two years of Gabbert getting pummeled for lack of a decent offensive line and protection, in walks Blake Bortles, another rookie with no guidance or leadership. They jumped off the Gabbert bandwagon and jumped on the Bortles bandwagon. Two years in Jacksonville is still losing. One rookie quarterback doesn't make a team. Who will be their next "savior"?

Hold on, I'm leading up to it. San Francisco quarterback Kaepernick has championships and a superbowl under his belt. He was brought in when Alex Smith suffered an injury, with Kaepernick the team became a force. He was the missing link. Now in 2015 San Fran fans have abandoned him, even worse the San Fran offense has abandoned him. Like Gabbert he was a rookie quarterback.

Last week Kaepernick was benched. According to the coach he is being treated as if he's injured, Gabbert is not taking his position. I support that. Gabbert had an awesome game last night and it was especially sweet since I live in Jacksonville to see this former rookie starter making good plays and leading the team to a win. But it goes deeper than that.

After a hard hit he was taken out of the game for two plays while being examined to make sure he didn't have a concussion. Kaepernick's eyes lit up as he pulled on his helmet, entered the field and made two decent plays. The first a pass to a rusher, the second a good throw to a receiver who didn't catch the ball. Why? I don't know, it was a good throw and definitely catchable, yet it ended up as a incomplete pass. 

The past season the offense hasn't been protecting Kaepernick, last night a catchable pass went through the arms of a receiver. I believe the offense doesn't have confidence in him or they're are "behind the scenes" conflicts in the locker room. Long time Forty Niner receiver Vernon Davis was traded to Denver. During the 2013 season Kaepernick and Davis were an unstoppable team, what happened?

I watch my team fall apart and it saddens me. The bottom line, they are a team and need to play like a team. Gabbert had great pass protection yesterday so it's not that they can't protect Kaepernick too or catch his passes. It's their conflict that needs to be settled ASAP. 

Kaepernick and Gabbert are evenly matched QB's and roughly the same age. The Forty Niners should chalk up this season to a learning lesson, forget and don't pressure everyone to get to the play-offs because at 3-6 and number 4 in their division, its doubtful, even if they win everyone of the their games the rest of the season. 

As a fan I don't care I just want them to find their rhythm. The team has a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, lost Vernon Davis (who wasn't getting much action anyways) and has two young QB's ready for the chance to show themselves. Healthy male competition is a good thing. Allow these QB's to compete for the number one spot,and heck if they have two interchangeable QB's that can work as a benefit for the team, but offensively they need to get their stuff together and play like a team.

And Jacksonville? I'll save their fickle attitudes for another post. I live in Jax and wish for the team to get their stuff together too but everyone is too busy blaming everyone else.

Go Niners! Love you!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The search continues...

I continue researching St. Augustine for my Vampire novel. I'm already half way through the story and loving the twists and surprises my characters throw at me. But the research is what gives the story authenticity.

I haven't yet found the "Vampire" article, but I found something else with far more credibility. St. Augustine is over 450 years old, and holds secrets within its bowels. Those secrets are being dug to the surface.

Geologically, Earth changes daily, overtime those changes are significant. This made me wonder, what is beneath St. Augustine? It sits approximately 2 feet above sea level according to this First Coast News Article

More interesting is what an Archaeologist at Flagler College in St. Augustine has found beneath the city. He's found subdivisions, skeletons, and clay pots, just for starters. Read more here.

The article spurred my reader's imagination and started the beginning of my story which will encompass an entire 3-6 book series. 

Vampires are ancient creatures of the dark. Everybody knows that. My Vampires originated in Spain, how they got to America is a secret, even to me. I suspect my characters won't display that until the final book. 

The main characters in my story aren't Vampires but a group who seek and kill them. And my Vampires aren't called Vampires, they have a much gorier name.

In the prologue the reader is introduced to a single event in St. Augustine that sends an entire house plummeting beneath the surface, burying hundreds of Vampires. As of recently it's been dug up, releasing these bloodsucking beasts. 

An ancient faction of Vampire killers are spurred into action. They are not the originals as they are mortal humans but decedents of the originals who have no choice but to accept their destiny. The last group wiped the surface of Earth of every bloodsucking beast.

The beasts now released are out for blood and this young generation of killers has to destroy them and find each other. They're are seven Vampire killers and together they have unstoppable  power, individually they have a gift that allows them an edge over the Vampires.

As a science nerd, there is a bit of science, involving radiation and light waves from the sun.

The combination of history and science is making this story the most enjoyable one to write yet. It won't be released until after the first of the year, most likely February or March.

Stay tuned for more updates.