Sunday, June 29, 2008

Familiar Fate

I've finally finished the novella I've been working on the past month-plus. Something so short shouldn't have taken me so long, but more than half the time has been spent revising and cutting it down. To be quite honest, it only took 4 days to draft.

But I'm happy to tell you I finally shaved it down to BELOW word count (it comes in at 14.5/15K), sweat bullets over the blurb, and after a lot of pussy-footing around, nailed myself down to a title.

Introducing my first completed piece of the Zyne Legacy universe . . .

Familiar Fate

Scarlett Edgewood is a fiercely independent Zyne Ward witch, and her shields extend far beyond her metaphysical gifts. After the unexplained death of her parents, she built a fortress around her heart and dedicated her life to completing their work. On her quest for an ancient Divan, a book of legendary power, she traces the origins of a stolen amulet into the thick of the Mayan jungle. She's close. But the forces of destiny have other plans. On the precipice of achieving everything she's always worked for, Scarlett discovers something she never thought she’d desire – a savior, a warrior, and a lover who penetrates all her carefully constructed defenses.

Rook's mission is simple: find the amulet, retrieve the book, return to Khaos. But the half-breed Wielder demon's first assignment to the mortal plane proves more difficult than anticipated. After centuries serving the Legion Army and denying his weaker half, he's not prepared for the powerful emotions associated with assuming human form. With only four days to complete his task or perish, Rook falters when he encounters the Zyne witch who holds the amulet. Scarlett’s beauty and strength disarm him, arousing conflicting desires. Chief among them is a longing so deep he might be willing to sacrifice his mission, his rank, or even his life to quench it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Is it just me, or do people suddenly fall of the radar when summer hits?

It sucks on this end, because I feel like I've spent the last few months sorta shouldering people off, slacking on blogging, letting emails go three or four days without responses . . .

I had a legitimate excuse, mind you, but still. Now I'm freed up for the summer, ready to play and I can hear my own cyber-echo.

Where did everyone go? I know I still have to catch up on your blogs. I know I have crit work to get back to you. I know I've been a passing ship in the night (or day or whatever time it was for you when I was online for that three minutes in May) but c'mon! Are you punishing me, or is the sunshine just umm.... shinier than me?

*checks inbox again*


Monday, June 23, 2008

Graveyard to Garden

I'm over at the WR blog today, with thoughts on how to turn your manuscript graveyard into a garden.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quick and Dirty

I really am trying to be better about my blogosphere participation, but heck - Thursday is just a busy part of the week for me.

So, here's a quick and dirty list of sites I find useful for writing.

1. Behind the Name - any name from almost any culture. You can search by name, language, sex, or meaning.

2. Intertran - a good online translator. Mind you, it's probably best to have a somewhat working understanding of the language before dropping big blocks of auto-translated text into your manuscript.

3. - I live here. I don't care what Stephen King says.

4. deviantArt - Talk about inspiring. I'll admit it - I feed off of other people's creativity. You can get LOST in there . . .

6. - Not only is this useful for sending yourself reminders and or setting goals for yourself, but some of the stuff people put up there is good author fodder. I mean - it's life's drama. That's what this is about, right?

7. - A collection of famous love letters. *sigh*

8. - I love quotes - ideas that have been immortalized.

9. - I usually start here and look for something to detail a google search. The point is that poetry is word-craft in it's highest form. What writer wouldn't want to immerse themselves in that?

10. - This is one of the coolest sites I've found. It's great for creating your own universe terminology based off of root and linked words. Good stuff.

11. Okay, I'll admit it. I rely on Wiki more than I should. But research is not the fun part of writing for me. I usually stay vague enough that Wiki suits, and make the rest up.

What do you mean that's only 11 items on my Thursday Thirteen? Um . . .

Google counts as two.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Truth is Out . . .

Gee, I must be stalking Debbie Mumford. *whistles*

You can read my review of her paranormal romance Second Sight over on the Writer's Retreat Blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Release this Week from Wild Child

fantasy, science fiction

Star Stepping: An Anthology of Fantasy and Sci-Fi Tales

Written by Various

Stories Included:

Beneath and Beyond by Debbie Mumford

Archaeologist Erin Carstedter is a no-nonsense kind of gal. If something can't be defined by scientific method, it doesn't exist. Erin's beliefs are about to be tested by a ruin beneath the polar ice cap. What Erin discovers in those icy depths will challenge her thinking...and change the world.

Read excerpt.

That Old Sweet Smell of Deception by Martin Owton

An ancient dragon tempted out to war for the first time in centuries finds the world greatly changed and dragons a rarity. Does an enemy wizard hold the key to saving dragonkind?

Read excerpt.

Fatal Wager by Andy Heizeler

Read excerpt.

A Pixie Story by Joe Miller

Miike awoke to find himself in a strange land. To then find himself surrounded by a whole hoard of pixies, each one with an arrow aimed at his heart, one could hardly guess how things would turn out.

Read excerpt.

The Honorable Lady by Kim Knox

Royal officials are vanishing and Evia-ben-Thiak doesn't intend to be one of them.

As a high-ranking member of the court, she fears for her life. So, she takes the only option open to her. She hides on a boat sailing to her home-island.

However, the boat is not the sanctuary she hoped for. A friend from her childhood, the now-feared sorcerer, Makovik is also onboard. To be seen with him could end her career; have her thrown in the deepest dungeon. But more than that, she finds he has a plan.

And his actions will change her life forever...

Read excerpt.

Wakinyan's Valley by Debbie Mumford

In a post-apocalyptic world, Mark Whitehorse and his friends search for a safe haven where they can raise their families. When they stumble across a hidden valley, they believe their search is over. But the valley is already inhabited. Will the band of survivors find refuge...or something else entirely?

Read excerpt.

Storms of Light and Shadow by Patrice Sarath

Some gifts are better left unopened.

Read excerpt.

Under a Full Moon by Tom Fowler

A weretiger wizard immune to the lunar cycles suddenly finds himself caught in a painful transformation -- one he suspects was caused by someone else. Can he stop it before he becomes a rampaging monster, and can he find the man who did this to him?

Read excerpt.

Casey by Noelle Sterne

An ordinary junior high school boy, Casey suffers the trials of a teenager until one day his life is changed forever.

Read excerpt.

Bastet by R. S. Pyne

Captain Kai Brenhin Righa of the corsair fighting ship Raven is quite happy not being human. The transition came without warning, a blessing from a stowaway with the face of an ancient Earth Goddess and a strange sense of humor. Now Bastet is back and she needs a favor.

Read excerpt.

Nana Genevieve by Julie Nordeen

As science creates robots that behave more and more like humans, how will we know when they cease to be our creations and become self-aware beings of their own? Nana Genevieve knows. And she'll make sure the world understands...if it's the last thing she ever does.

Read excerpt.

The Tie That Binds by Debbie Mumford

Twin brothers Cameron and Kyle McClellan have always shared a psychic bond. Though the adult men lead very different lives, when career military officer Kyle is wounded in Iraq, Cameron's ability to decipher their special link may mean the difference between his brother's life and death.

Read excerpt.

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Book Length: Novel
Price: $5.95
Buy it here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sniff or Snort

I'm doing a fiction writing workshop with A. Catherine Noon through the Writer's Retreat Forum. It's been slow-starting because my slackerific ass has been virtually non-existent online the past month. But, I have been reading. We're on to chapter three: Characters.

Why is this relevant? One of my fleeting thoughts was wondering how to show and not tell things about characters. For some reason, I made the leap to integrating all the senses. And THAT got me thinking . . . what smells might affect a certain character in a certain way? Basically, the idea is that each person has a catalog of smells that have certain meanings to them, that evoke strong memories or emotions.

Here are thirteen scents that get a strong reaction out of me . . .

Thirteen of Gwen's Sniff and Snort Worthy Scents

1. Lilacs.
Where I grew up, there were huge lilac trees everywhere. Not only is this my favorite flower and my favorite floral scent, but it takes me back to age five - lime popsicles and running through the sprinkler.

2. Spaghetti sauce.

Nothing says you're home like walking in the door to the infusion of basil, garlic and tomato . . .

3. That stale smell of the box that has all the holiday decorations in it.

The decorating is my favorite part, so this smell always gets me excited for the holiday season.

4. Ralph Lauren Polo Sport.

Hubby's eau de choice when he first swept me off my feet, still makes my heart flutter. I can hone in on it in a crowd from fifty yards away.

5. Sea air.

The first hint of chilled salt that comes miles before you can actually see the ocean. It just makes me feel free.

6. The great white belly.

I love to nuzzle my cat Oliver's tummy. He smells like popcorn flavored Jelly Bellies. No joke.

7. Banana fragrance of any kind.

If you want to see me gag - bring out a whif of this stuff. When I was little, my mom put this nasty stuff on my fingernails to keep me from chewing them. It was very close to Banana. I gagged and hacked, but I still chewed.

8. Airplanes.

There are two many wrong smells here to mention. Just about any one of them can get my body pumping adrenaline.

9. Cinnabon.

Even if I'm not hungry, this smell can make my mouth water.

10. Patchouli incense.

Not my favorite scent, but it is my mom's, so it's comforting by default.

11. Fresh Mint.

Naturally refreshing and invigorating, but it reminds me of a HUGE garden we had once. I spent the whole summer grazing. Or it also makes me think of Mojitos, which are also good. *grin*

12. Cigarette smoke.

I don't care if it's rude, I hack all over anyone who dares to smoke anywhere near me. I can smell it on breath, clothes, furniture. I have to wash my clothes and shower immediately if I'm anywhere where there's smoke. Just yuck. Srsly.

13. Wood smoke.

Funny, but this has the opposite effect of that *cough*other*cough* kind. I love to camp, or to have a fire blazing for any reason. This smell just makes me want to snuggle up.

What scents do you love/hate and why?

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Motivation Schmotivation

I put up a lengthy post of a two-part series on motivation and goals over on the Writer's Retreat Blog today. Check it out here.

And for frick's sake . . . I just realized it's June. *bugeyes*

Did it sneak up on anyone else?