Cover Update: Stumbling Through Time

 Isn’t she a pretty one?

I was making merchandise for a short story in an anthology called Phoenix Galactic.

The story is called The Gift of Time. It’s about Reva. She is the one who gave Laveau the bloodstone in Stumbling Through Time. It’s a little bit of her back story mixed with her encounter with Laveau from her point of view.

As I was prepping some merchandise to promote the story, I came up with the photo concept you see on the cover. I fell in love with it, and my fellow Phoenix Prime authors liked it too.

Then, I started thinking. That’s dangerous because I can get carried away.

I made the cover of Stumbling Through Time in January. Since then, I’ve learned my way around cover design a bit more.  I also have a better idea of how to translate what’s in my head to the page.

It was fun. I hope you like it!

I’ve Risen from the Ashes

The competition of Phoenix Prime has come to an end. If you’re not familiar with Phoenix Prime, I wrote about it here.

It was supposed to last for four months but ended up being closer to six. It was an intensive workshop that taught me about writing, marketing, contracts, and a million other things. There was a competitive aspect too, but that is a blog for a different time.

I’ve met amazing writers, authors, editors, and beta readers. Not everyone made it through to the end, but everyone involved has grown. I’m even outlining now. I never thought I would see that day, lol.

Since January, I have written over 90,000 words. That’s more than I’ve written in my entire life! I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck, but in a good way.

I am in the process of writing Reign with Dick and Jane. I think it will be the final book in the Hell and Earth series. No promises. I have at least one story set in that universe coming out in the next few weeks.

So, what now? I’m glad you asked.

I have stories coming out in 10 anthologies this summer. I have 4 more series planned that cover approximately 45 books. There will be some audio book versions of these books, and ones that I already have published. I think there a few cookbooks in there too. I don’t know if I’ll get them all published this year, but I’m sure going to try!

When I put up The Raving Ones for free about a year ago, I just hoped someone would read it. I’m proud to have come so far.

Phoenix Prime has changed my life. I can not thank our mighty dragon, Kat Lind, enough. Special thanks to TS Paul, the Ds, and all the rest of the people who have helped me shape my ideas into something magnificent!

Snippets for Everyone: Topside with Dick and Jane

I have a new preorder! I set up preorders to give myself a deadline. In this case, the deadline is set to get the book out in the world. I actually had most of this story written when I released Hell with Dick and Jane. I was dragging my feet to get it done. So, I put it on preorder to hold myself accountable. It was interesting to write about Dick and Jane adjusting to life together Topside.

How do you think demons would fit in on Earth. Would you go the route of Supernatural? Hell with Dick and Jane? Or, would you do something totally different? The following unedited snippet is what I came up with.

We had to hide those horns right away. Even if you didn’t go anywhere, a delivery guy could see them.  Or even worse, a neighbor.  Dick was against That idea from the very  first suggestion. we  had such a fight. But, there is no way he could leave the house with  huge horns.  He just wanted to go around being invisible, but I don’t want to walk around talking to myself. Plus I wanted him to get out and get active. If you stuck your permanently, you might want to make a life for himself.

As a manager in Inferno, horns were a status symbol. I controlled my horns with my magic, but I was half human. Full blooded demons  grow their horns throughout their whole lives. Dick’s were quite impressive. They grew out of the front of his  and they were jet black. He kept his haircut low in a Caesar. His horns framed his head  and curved towards the back of it and then came out to a subtle point,  nothing too sharp. They were at least two feet long. They were quite beautiful. The black horns were a stark contrast between to his tawny brown skin.

While they may be attractive, they would definitely stand out. So, they had to go. He wanted me to just use a simple glamour on them, but the problem with that was if we came in contact with any other witches they  might be able to see them.  Or, at least sense them.  So more drastic measures needed to be taken.

I said this spell to unfurl my wand. His eyes widened in amazement. He had never actually seen me do the spell before. Once my wand was that full-length, I used it to take measure of his energy. the demon vibes were strong with this one. The only way for me to hide his horns would be to hide his true spirit. He hated the idea that so we decided to do a top-secret spell I was really good at using this when I was a teenager basically we were going to force his horns inside. When I explained to him how the process worked he was horrified. It was definitely going to be painful. [[insert spell work here]

when I was finished, I had  him look in the mirror. he looked at himself in stunned silence.  At first I thought he might cry. But he was naturally vain, so after turning his head to and fro.

“Well it does make for a smooth profile.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. Maybe this would be easier than we thought.

“I look like one of your filthy human friends,” he said.

So much for easy I guess.

“Humans aren’t all filthy, as you well know. You told me you accepted my human side once,” I said.

It seems so long ago now that we were talking about what we needed to make our relationship work.

“of course your human side because you had a better, demon side. I just feel like a monkey in a suit”

“I’m so sorry that you have to settle for looking like one of us. But, if you want to live through the day you have to blend in.”

Dick scoffed and said, “live through the day? As if any of these humans could affect me.”

“There are more than just humans here. there are witches and warlocks and all kinds of beings. you’re not a special snowflake.”

“I think you know just how special I am,” he said.

If only he would let me forget. He was special. But today, he was being a special pain in my ass.

Topside With Dick and Jane (Hell and Earth Book 2) is on preorder now.

New Release: Dick the Demon

I am on a publishing roll! I released Dick the Demon yesterday. Full disclosure, I have not been writing these stories as fast as they’re appearing. I’ve been writing this series since February. Between picking covers, and editing, it takes some time for them to get to publication.

This story was a character study. I just wanted to get to know Dick a little better. This story did the trick. It was fun to write, and I got to put in something that freaks me out too. Clowns! *shudders* We won’t get into that.

Anyway, I got to peek inside Dick’s life. Do you want one too?

 

Dick could push the envelope a little bit. For example, last week there was a man petrified of clowns. Dick wasn’t allowed to have the torture consist only of scaring the man with clowns. He made sure that every aspect of the torture was carried out by someone dressed as a clown, or subtly giving a nod to clowns. He would have one torturer wearing clown shoes. Another would have the white face makeup and the sad face of the European clown. But only one, the final one, would be in full clown regalia.

The results were fantastic until the brass found out. Dick was ordered to go back to business as usual. They didn’t want anyone making a mockery of the torturers. Unbeknownst to the higher-ups, Dick’s employees had a great time. It even boosted office morale for the brief period that it took place.

If you want to pick it up, it’s live on Amazon. Dick the Demon: Part of the Hell and Earth Series (Tales from Hell Book 2)

Cover Reveal: Coven Lovin

(Trumpet Sounds) It has arrived!

Too dramatic? Maybe. I just love this cover. To be honest. I love all of the covers that Emely makes for me. There will be a blog post about my amazing cover designer coming soon.

In the meantime I give you this masterpiece. I put a tease online a few weeks ago with just the title.  I was planning on waiting until the release day to post the fill cover, but I couldn’t wait. Release day is May 10th!

Coven Lovin was my first attempt to write a sweet story. Here’s the blurb:

Psychic witches don’t have all the answers…

Sophia uses her witchy gifts to help people. They are more likely to take her help if they believe she is nothing more than a psychic. But, when a new client comes to her for help with a small man running wild in her house, she has no idea what to do. Will the dashing new warlock in town be able to help her? Or, will he continue to brush her off?

Time for a Freebie!

Hello Musers!

You remember Jane, right? The main character in Hell With Dick and Jane? Good.

When I was writing that story, I had to come up with some background for Jane. I had to build up her life before she went back to Hell to help her father.

So, I wrote My Life as a Teenage Demon. It was a lot of fun. I happen to have a some experience as a teenage girl. I was a normal, human teenage girl, but it helped enrich my writing just the same.

It’s short, sweet, and free! You can find it on Instafreebie today!

Snippet Time! Hell With Dick and Jane

I have finally reached the point where I’m ready to publish the main  book in my Hell and Earth series. I came up with the idea while working at my day job one day. It was a classic what-if scenario. What if the devil had a daughter with a witch? That’s how we I discovered Jane. Enough of my typing. Here’s your sneak peak!

After our meeting, I hopped on the highway and headed for Jersey. If I was going to visit as a regular old demon, I had to take the Demon’s Gate. Based on the smell, I could tell I was getting close. It smelled like rot, with a thick layer of sulfur. A lot of people thought that the smell was just Jersey. Others thought it was a nearby landfill. All of them were wrong. A hell mouth is a foul-smelling place.

I headed for the oldest graveyard. Our doorway was hidden in one of the crumbling crypts. There were no gargoyles or statues on the outside. It was gray and weather worn. The crypt unkempt, with ivy snaking up the walls. There was no lock on the door, but one of the large stone doors hung on the frame at an odd angle. It threatened to fall on anyone who passed beneath it. If the look and the smell of it weren’t enough to keep trespassers at bay, there was the silence.

Anyone coming within five feet of the crypt was enveloped in a suffocating silence. All other sounds faded away. It was so silent that I could hear my heartbeat. I pushed the broken door as it groaned and creaked in protest. It was pitch black inside, but I had been through this often enough to know where I was going. I walked straight about ten paces. When I stretched out my hand, I touched the back wall of the crypt. It was hot to the touch.

I reached under my jacket and pulled my dagger from the holster. A girl could never be too safe. I quickly sliced across the palm of my right palm. I grimaced at the pain, but it would be short-lived. I wiped my dagger on my jeans before placing it back in the holster. I cupped my hand to get a decent pool of blood, then dipped my fingers from my left hand into the blood and made the sigil for Lucifer on the wall.

The sigil began to glow, illuminating the crypt in red light. Then cracks began to appear, splintering out from the sigil. The cracks spread over the entire wall. The room began to shake. Pieces of the wall began to break off, falling back into an ever-widening red hole. When the entire wall had fallen away, black stairs heading down appeared. Dad always did have a flair for the dramatic.

I whispered a quick healing spell and watched the cut in my palm stitch itself back together. That would be the last of my white magic for a little while. I focused on the seed of evil that I was born with, and felt small horns push through my braids. I could change them depending on my mood. I chose a modest short black style to contrast with my shoulder length auburn braids. I took a deep breath and walked back into Hell.

Check out Hell With Dick and Jane (Hell and Earth Book 1) on preoder now!

Story Spotlight – A Tale of Magic and Sorrow

For my first Story Spotlight, I went with A Tale of Magic and Sorrow by Lee Hayton. Lee is a fellow Phoenix Prime author. Which means she is a great writer too. The story is a bit dark, but in the best possible way. She has such a way with imagery. By a way with imagery, I mean to say that she is a magician. One of my favorite short snippets:

As she fell silent, Nolan stared at the magic’s light. Each heartbeat sent crimson ripples out in waves, like a stone thrown into a pond. The blue wasn’t just blue, but indigo, violet, teal, and green. The gold formed a shimmering accent, pinpoints moving in set patterns like a sped-up night sky.

After I read it, I wanted to know more. As writer, I love to know how people come up with their stories. As I reader, I am nosy. I reached out to the Lee to get more information about the story. Below you will find her response. Anything in bold is from me.

I came up with the main character for this story when I was writing the description for the (now) second book in the World War Magic series, Bitter Magic. In that, I described true magic as being… “deep, dark, and dangerous. The stuff your great-great-grandfather fought against in blood-soaked battles to eradicate from the earth.” [See what I mean? Great writing] As soon as I wrote that down, I wanted to know more about the type of man who would fight a battle to eradicate magic from the world. Voila! Nolan Helmond was born.

The story was written as part of the Inanna’s Circle Game [brought to you by the creator of Phoenix Prime], where a series of snippets, settings, and character descriptions are provided by the organizer and at least one of each must be included in the story. For my setting, I chose the meadow that seems peaceful, but which on closer inspection has skeletons tangled in among the long grass and an inn run by a husband and wife. [She is not kidding about this. However, it came across as really beautiful to me.] They both fit in with my ideas at the time, and helped the story to grow and change. It went dark, man. I think this is the grimmest thing I’ve ever written, and my first two novels are about dead children. Yeah. Grimmer than that. [Grim in a good way for me.]

I’d like readers to take away a better sense of what to do when presented with a choice between the easy way and the right way. Nolan Helmond is a dickhead, people. Don’t be like Nolan. [Seriously, don’t.] Do, however, buy the next installment in the World War Magic series and embrace your inner grimness. You think this one is dark? Hoo boy. You don’t know what’s coming for you.

A Tale of Magic and Sorrow (World War Magic Book 1)
Exclusive to Amazon and FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited

 

Bitter Magic (World War Magic Book 2)

Exclusive to Amazon and FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited

 

Caged Magic (Part of the Rebels & Runes Boxset)

Exclusive to Amazon and FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited

 

The Last Magic Man

FREE to read as part of the Lee Hayton Starter Library

https://books.bookfunnel.com/leesstarterlibrary

 

Check out her stories!