Reviews

Review: Hell to Pay

Buy it here:

Hell to Pay by Lisa Emme

4 out of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Harry Russo Diaries. You can read my previous reviews for Dead and Kicking, Tooth and Claw and oops, I didn’t write my review for Deadlocked here, but you can read it on Goodreads here.

Harry’s town has a bit of a problem. People are are going just a teensy bit crazy and beating the snot out of each other. And if that wasn’t enough of an issue, the place where she’d almost been sacrificed is now open for business as a nightclub. It ain’t easy being Harry.

I enjoyed this book as a continuation of Harry and seeing more of her world. The mystery was interesting and not what I was expecting at all, although that could be because I’m slow on the uptake. 😉 Bryce, the literal ghost in the machine, amuses me, although we didn’t get to see much of him in this installment. I love seeing more of Max and can’t wait to get a story with him.

Overall, a fun read.

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Authors

THE RITE OF WANDS by Mackenzie Flohr

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Psst, guess what, everyone? I have some interesting news from a debut author. For those who love YA magical fantasy, this will have you squealing in excitement. As of March 10th, you can now get your hands on THE RITE OF WANDS  by Mackenzie Flohr. See the wand in the above picture? Yeah, I totally want that. But this post isn’t about me. How about we find out a little bit about this book?

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

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Excerpt Time!

“Mierta!” Mortain shouted at the top of the stairs, hearing nothing but his own voice echo. Watching smoke drifting out of the open doorway, Mortain took in a deep breath and tried to slow down his heart. The aroma of acrid chemicals and burning flesh filled his nose.

“Mierta!” he shouted again. “Son, you all right?” He listened, hearing nothing more than what sounded like gasping breaths.

“Father,” Mierta mouthed in response to Mortain’s calls, unable to produce any sounds as he dropped to one knee. His heart was pounding. Each pulse matched the ache he felt in his temples. A deep burning pain seared through his chest every time he took a breath. It was like he was slowly being strangled and there was nothing he could do to stop it. The inside of his nose felt charred and his throat felt like he was swallowing tacks. He blinked, his eyesight blurring, the pain beginning to overwhelm him. Nausea built in his throat and droplets of sweat slid down the side of his face. He wished he could do anything to end the torture. He could not imagine dying would be much worse.

Mierta attempted to stand and tried to get away from the workbench. He managed a few staggering steps before his body was drained of all energy. He watched puffy white circling clouds fill his vision before everything was replaced by darkness.

Mortain felt his stomach drop at the sound of something breaking. “Mierta!” he screamed, racing down the stairs. “Mierta, answer me!”

When he reached the bottom, Mortain abruptly stopped, taking in the horrific scene before him. His son was unconscious; lying sprawled out on his back. What remained of a small culture tube lay shattered next to him, and chemicals dripping from a workbench bubbled and fizzled as they made contact with the hardwood floor.

Acidum salis, he thought, his eyes widening.

Mortain raised his arm to his mouth, careful to not inhale any of the smoke that was filling the room. He trembled as he came closer, observing the damage that had been done to the left side of his son’s face.

The skin was mostly raw red with patches of peeling burned black skin hanging off his face. Blood was seeping from some of the deep crevasses caused by the acid. Most of the damage was confined to the cheek and jaw area. His eye was spared any damage.

“Oh, my dear Lord,” he uttered, fear filling his heart. “My poor boy! What have I done?”

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About the Author

Mackenzie Flohr grew up in the heartland of America, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the city of Cleveland had to offer.

From the time she could hold a pencil, Mackenzie was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, she and a childhood friend were authors and reviewers of their own picture books.

While following her love of adventure, Mackenzie found a second home, the Beck Center for the Arts Children’s and Teen Theater School. It was there that a world of wonder was only a script and a performance away.

Yet it wasn’t until she was on a trip to Indiana, viewing a Lord of the Rings exhibit, that the innermost desire of her heart became clear to her. She wanted to write a fantasy of her own, one that could inspire imagination in others and lead them into a magical world of their own making. She hopes The Rite Of Wands will do just that.

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How to find Mackenzie Flohr

Email – mackenzie@mackenzieflohr.com
Character Interview, Writing exercise

Interview with Victor

The lovely and wonderful mod over at the Kiss and Tell group on Goodreads asked if she could interview Victor. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to spend a little time with that flirtatious, sarcastic, sometimes aggravating man? For your reading pleasure, and with the permission of Rachel, I’m posting it here.

[START OF TRANSCRIPT]

The car service drops me off in front of the Coterie headquarters within the financial district of Toronto, Ontario. Veronica Del Rosa, the author, explained this is where Victor works as a Mage Demon Enforcer. After making it through security I take the elevator up to the 21st floor where I’m directed to a large meeting room with rows of chairs, and the only other person in the room is another man who looks faintly bored, although his gaze doesn’t waver.

With short dirty-blond hair, hazel eyes, chiseled jaw, and light stubble, Victor strides toward me in a long black overcoat over a black t-shirt and black cargo pants. My eyes narrow as I notice his pants have a mind-boggling amount of pockets.

“Why hello there,” he approaches to greet me. “I didn’t realize they’d send me such a pretty lady to interview me.”

I tilt my head down to hide a sudden blush, yet find myself strangely comforted by his presence…

“And how are you doing on such a fine day?” he asks.

“Quite well actually,” I say, taking a deep breath. I exhale a contented sigh before I continue. “Thank you so much for meeting me today. It’s really great to finally meet you.”

“I’m very pleased to meet you, too.”

Drawn to him and feeling a bit fuzzy, I lean in rather close to extend my hand.

“I’d offer to shake your hand, but I’m a bit of a . . . germaphobe,” he explains, backing away slightly. “Oh and don’t mind my partner over there. He’s here to make sure nothing untoward occurs. Safety sake and all that.”

“Oh, um . . . Of course. My apologies.” He gestures that I sit across the table from him, and my head clears as I pull out the plush office chair to take a seat.

“So, just out of curiosity,” I begin, “what kind of weapons are standard issue for a Mage Demon Enforcer?”

“You wanna see my weapons?” Victor leans back and gives me a lopsided grin. “Why darling, you’re looking at my weapons. It’s all me. I can either charm you or irritate the hell out of you, but you’ll never be unaffected.”

I raise a brow and swallow an inappropriate comeback. Best to keep this professional, being that I’m outnumbered and most definitely outgunned in here.

“What is your occupation, officially?”

“Mage Demon Enforcer extraordinaire, second to none. I hunt demons who’ve either slipped their summoning leash, so to speak, or who engage in illegal activities while on Earth.”

“Fascinating. Do you have any allergies, diseases, or other physical weaknesses?”

“Who set you up for this? Why would you want to know something like that? Is Keeper behind all this?” Victor scans the room. Once satisfied, he continues. “No, I don’t have any physical weaknesses. In fact, I’m in perfect shape. Would you like to see?” he asks with a suggestive wiggle of his brows. “On second thought, I don’t think your heart could handle such perfection. Maybe we should just carry on.”

“Well aren’t you rather self-assured?” I scribble something in my notepad and press on, ignoring the soft chuckle coming from the other man in the room. “What do you have in your pockets?”

“Oh, now this will be fun. Have you ever seen inside a mage’s pockets?”

“Not to my knowledge . . .”

“No? Well then, you’re in for a treat!”

Intrigued, I sit up to watch him. Victor rubs his hands together in glee before pulling out several plastic bags. “We have bat wings, powdered granite, eyelashes, bits of lint… Don’t look at me like that. Spell components are important in my line of work. And now we’re on to the next pocket which has . . . okay, fine, I’m done.”

I frown and move on; the contents of that last pocket certainly piqued my interest.

“Would you rather be a jack of many trades or a master of one?”

“I am a master of one. Demon hunting. You won’t find a better one than me. And no, that’s not arrogance speaking, just the full unvarnished truth,” he explains and the other man snickers. “Quiet, Jackson, or next time you’re bait for the demon and not me. Don’t mind him, he’s a little jealous that I get all the attention.”

I recall the sudden and inexplicable pull toward him and decide he’s probably right.

“Where did you learn most of your skills and other abilities?”

“The Enforcer Academy. We all go there to train in magic and other things. Mainly magic. As for being awesome, that I come by naturally. I spent twenty years as a junior Enforcer, then ten years as a senior Enforcer. I applied for the Mage Demon division and was accepted. That was about oh, a hundred years, give or take.”

Jackson speaks up and mutters, “Try 150 years . . .”

Victor sighs. Again with the jealousy. It pains him that I have so many years of expertise on him. He’ll never catch up to me.”

I let out a quiet sigh and make a few notes. “If you are a supernatural being (i.e. mage, werewolf, vampire), tell the story of how you became what you are or first learned of your own abilities.”

“As a mage, I knew I’d eventually have magic at my beck and call, however, my magic didn’t unlock until I was 17. A little on the older side, but you can’t rush perfection, right?”

Despite myself, I giggle quietly.

“No you cannot.” Shaking my head in an attempt to refocus, I review my list for the next question. “How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings (i.e. do you hide your true self from others, and in what way)?”

“Oh darling, have you met us Enforcers before? We all hide our thoughts and feelings. If not, ka-boom! Enforcers have a tendency to overload on magical energy if we don’t control our emotions, so yeah, we hide our feelings.”

“Oh my, I’ll be sure to keep that in mind! Who would you turn to if you were in desperate need of help?”

“Well, bugger it all,” Victor grumbles. “Don’t let this get back to him, but Keep is my go-to person when things hit the fan. His full title is Keeper of All Knowledge and that isn’t something the Coterie just hand out. The amount of information stored in his head is staggering. He’s also an arrogant know-it-all who likes to dole out his secrets, so…” his voice trails off and he shrugs. “I make sure I really need his help when I come begging.”

“The ‘Keeper of All Knowledge’, huh? Wouldn’t mind meeting him . . . Do you care what others think of you?”

He barks out a laugh. “Not even in the slightest. In fact, I go out of my way to piss off most people. It’s fun to see others all riled up, and it’s amazing what’s said in the heat of the moment.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” I ask, mostly to myself. “Alright then, last question. Who or what, if anything, would you die for (or otherwise go to extremes for)?”

“My family, and I don’t mean just by blood. Isabella, Jackson, Lilith, she’s my big sister, Sylvia, hell, even Keep. I consider them mine to protect. I would do anything to keep them safe. For Isabella, I gave myself up to a nasty demon who liked sharp toys. Jackson, well, my career would be on the line if we talked about that incident. Yeah, I protect those close to my heart.”

“Well Victor, I must say I can’t fault you for that. And thank you again for taking this meeting.”

“Well, darling, it was certainly nice meeting you. If you ever need another interview, just let me know.” Victor winks and gives another lopsided grin. “Jackson will escort you from the building. Just remember, no breaking into the Coterie building to come visit me after hours. Security frowns upon that.”

[END OF TRANSCRIPT]

Excerpt Monday

Excerpt Monday

I’m currently writing three books and I have another I’m editing. Poisoned Message and Bad Wolf Hunting already had their time in the limelight, so let’s give Bound by Fae a moment on center stage. Those who follow my books will be pleased to know Markus is the main character for this book.

Seraphina sidled up to him, and ran her fingers through his hair. “Mm, you are gorgeous, aren’t you? I’ll enjoy working with you.”

He stared in her dark purple eyes, assessing her. She wanted to push him, break him and crow over his bleeding remains. Good luck with that. He’d already had several hard knocks thanks to his flawed genetics. A faery wouldn’t destroy him.

A smile stretched his lips, one as cruel and bloodthirsty as any Fae. “It’ll be a pleasure working with you, creature. I’d suggest you keep your hands to yourself if you don’t want to lose them.”

Laughing, she danced away from him. “Oh, I like you. I think this will be a very interesting relationship.”

“When do we begin?” he asked.

He flicked his gaze to his mother, and she mouthed, “I’m sorry.”

What had it cost her to approach this faery and garner her assistance? They never worked without a price, usually one steep and bloody, and rarely worth the pain.

“Immediately, lover.” Seraphina brought her hand up, and a tiny sphere of lightning danced on her palm. With a wicked grin, she tossed it at him. The sphere expanded until it was large enough to encase him. Lightning danced while it surrounded him. He reached out, and a low shock vibrated through his body.

“Damn it!” he cursed, swiftly drawing his hand back. He resisted the urge to suck on the injured digit. “Let me out, creature.”

“Now where’s the fun in that?” she pouted, a malicious glint in her eyes. “Figure out how to dismantle it. If you don’t, then you belong to me.”

“This wasn’t part of the bargain,” Violante objected, raising a hand to dispel the magic.

Seraphina sliced her hand in the air, releasing threads of energy towards Violante. Markus had a twinge of worry, momentarily forgetting that his mother never went without shielding. The threads harmlessly slid off her. However, it distracted her from Markus’ predicament.

Aware his mother could handle this devious faery, he studied the trap around him. It wasn’t mage magic, but Fae magic. The two could interact, but were different. Mages drew their energy from within, shaping it into the desired results. They were as strong as their inner magic allowed them to be.

Fae, however, drew their magic from the world, from the energy within every living creature, be it animals, plants, or other sentient beings. They created glamours nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. Seraphina had no way of creating true lightning within his living room. An illusion and nothing more.

Except illusions could still cause pain. Believing them out of existence, while a pretty fantasy, didn’t work. He had to unravel it, break the glamour itself, which meant figuring out how she’d created it. Markus closed his eyes and allowed the magic to wash over him. His senses opened to their fullest, including his inner sight.

With a faint sense of dread, he slowly peeled apart his eyelids. A brilliant wash of colours greeted him, swirling around and flashing in time with the lightening. Jagged streaks of blue pulsed, dark and heavy near the top of the magical sphere, light and airy near the bottom.

Ignoring his mother and the faery’s spell battle, he studied the cage. There had to be a beginning to it, a point where it all started. He crouched low, a tiny shift in colour catching his attention. Heedless of the indignity, Markus pressed his cheek against the floor, now eye-level with the miniscule opening.

Unsure of his next move, he let instinct guide him. Markus pushed his forefinger into the magical lock, and gave himself over to the other magic. Sluggish and unfamiliar, the energy trickled into him before it poured out of him. A loud crackle of lightening was followed by a huge boom of thunder which shook the walls.

About me, Book Process, Writing Tips

Character Interviews

This week’s blog post on how to keep your ideas fresh and exciting to you is all about character interviews. Character interviews seem like a no-brainer. Write out some questions, get some answers, and viola! Or perhaps it’s something that you haven’t thought about before. It’s your character so why should you need to interview them? Everything is already in your mind, right? Trust me, having an in depth conversation with them will enlighten you. In fact, you might be surprised to find your hero has a crippling fear of water fowl because he was almost smothered once by a duck. Don’t ask me what happened, he’s your hero! 😉

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When I’m stuck with a plot and the character’s motivation, or the character has lost some of their luster, I like to do an interview with them.  There are so many questions to ask, like what’s their motivation for saving the world’s tomato supply, what would they do if they had to unload a plane full of jelly beans, or even what their childhood was like. It’s amazing how much information you can fill in when you do this.  I even spend time creating scenarios for them that won’t ever make it into the books, but it fleshes out the character. For instance, one of my characters enjoys annoying others, so it amuses me to think up ways he would irritate his friends.

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And don’t forget about your villains. No one wants a one-dimensional, mustache twirling villain who’s nothing more than a cliché. Speak to them, spend time with your evil side and find out why your villain wants to commit genocide, subjugate his neighbours, rule the universe, or steal all the puppies in the world. Your villain isn’t there to prop up the hero. In fact, your villain thinks they are the hero of the story, so find out why!

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So go, talk to your characters, hear what they have to say outside of the story’s plot and be amazed at all the crazy ingenious stuff in your head. 😉

Next week we’ll discuss what kind of questions need answers regarding your characters. And if you missed last week’s post about pictures for inspiration, you can find it here. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share.

Book Process, Excerpt Monday

Excerpt Monday

Another Monday and another excerpt! Last week I shared one from Poisoned Message, so this week I’ll share from Bad Wolf Hunting. BWH is the first book of a new series. It’s a spin-off from Enforcers and Coteries, focusing on the werewolves of Toronto.

Patient and still, Zmitro waited for her to leave. She had no reason to remain and yet, Mara didn’t move, simply stared into the flames like they had another story to tell her. What did she see in the flicking light?

“Come out, Zmitro. Join me by the fire.” Her gaze unerringly found him, startling him. Had she cast a spell?

With a shrug of his wolf shoulders, he stood on all fours and prowled out of the bush, branches brushing against his fur. Since he had no clothes, he remained in his other form. While nudity didn’t faze him, he figured making a powerful mage uncomfortable wouldn’t help his situation.

Zmitro sat next to Mara, wagging his tail like a friendly dog. Other werewolves would find his behaviour insulting, but he wanted to keep his potential opponent off guard.

A wisp of ozone tickled his nose and he sneezed. You cast mind-speak?

The spell was a familiar one. A friend, Victor, used it often when Zmitro stayed in wolf form. Victor wasn’t as powerful as Mara, but then again, few were. However, his friend had made a name for himself in hunting demons and banishing them if they broke the law.

Yes. What you just witness isn’t for public knowledge. Keep it quiet or––

Or you’ll torture me? Wipe my memories? Keep me in werewolf form for the rest of my life? he interrupted, a hint of laughter underlying his words. Not for a second did he believe she wouldn’t do any of those things, but he’d seen enough of Mara in action to know she would persuade him first. A shame she wouldn’t tempt him with what he really wanted.

Mara rolled her eyes at him, something he hadn’t thought possible with the emotionless mage. Then again, he also hadn’t expected laughter from her either. The mage continued to surprise him. What else would he learn about her? In a brave––and infinitely stupid––move, he rested his chin on her knees, whipping his tail back and forth like an excited puppy about to receive a treat. She chuckled softly and rested her hand on his head, scratching behind his ear.

None of that. I would hate to upset Victor. He seems to like you, and he’s a valuable Enforcer. No, I’m simply punish someone you care about. Maybe Simone or Heather. I’m not cruel enough to touch Sylvia. She’s been through enough. Her fingers continued to rub through his fur, but he no longer felt relaxed.

Muscles tensed, he lifted his head, catching Mara’s gaze. Touch my packmates and I’ll shred you to pieces.

Mara cupped his face, not flinched from his sharp canines, and her face hardened, the frightening angel of death chasing away any inherent innocence by virtue of her youthful features. Then we have an understanding. This meeting stays between you and me. Break the silence and suffer the consequences.

About me, Book Process, Writing Tips

Pictures for Inspiration

This month we’re going to talk about how to keep things fresh in your mind when it comes to writing. Right now, you’re either thinking “I love this story. I’ll never get bored with it!” or you’re at the “I hate this story and I can’t figure out what’s going on!” stage. Hmm, maybe the latter is just me. I waffle between absolutely loving or hating what I’m writing. Good news is, just because you hate it one day, doesn’t mean you’ll feel that way forever. Sometimes it’s the lack of freshness, the whole “familiarity breeds contempt” dragging you down. So the question is, how can you shake the funk?

It’s always a learning process for me. What worked for one book might not work for the next, but I always keep an open mind, since I never know what will give me my ah-ha moment. With my latest book, I spent months hating everything I wrote. The beginning had been rewritten at least five times, and couldn’t figure out how to get past the “Ugh!” feeling every time I opened the word doc.

On a whim, I decided to try Scrivener. It took a little bit of fiddling because it’s not a newbie friendly program, but after about a day I figured out how to create a corkboard with pictures. Now that I have it somewhat sorted, it’s been invaluable. I can see how my characters look–at least those who’ve inspired me–as well as read tidbits of their personality. I’ve learned I’ve created around a hundred characters and trust me, after a while, it gets confusing! As you can see, I haven’t entered all of them yet. Plus this is only a small snippet of the actual page. character-inspirations

I broke the story itself down by its major plot points. Now I’m the first to admit I’m not a plotter by any means, hell, half the time I have no idea where the story is going while I’m writing it, but I always know the big conflicts/resolutions. Seeing the major highlights helped solidify the story in my mind, however, I still got bogged down in the words.

This is where an inspirational picture for the setting comes in. Whatever scene I’m working on-a Fay forest, a beach pier, or a Russian village-I glance at the picture, insert my characters into the scene, and type. It’s shocking how much it’s helped me, like I’ve freed up some brain power or something. *laughs* I no longer have to visualize everything, just the slivers I find important while still maintaining the whole setting.

I’m also the same person who needs to create floor plans and see pictures of houses in order to describe what it looks like and etc. I need to block out fight scenes in my mind before I can fully write them and sometimes I’ll act them out. Ah, the crazy life of a writer.

And isn’t this just gorgeous? It transports me to the world I’m writing about and allows my mind to wander.

fae_forests_redux_by_artessan-d4x5un1 Fae Forests Fedux by Artessan

As one of my fellow authors mentioned to me, it can be problematic staring at places you want to visit. Her bucket list keeps increasing each time she searches for a new location. 😉

That’s it for today. My next blog post will be about using character interviews to help keep the story fresh and interesting while you write it. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share.

Excerpt Monday, My Books

Excerpt Monday

It’s my first post of the year and I’m excited about some new changes I’ve implemented in my writing life. I’m focusing on productivity and how to manage my time. I’ll admit, I’m a procrastinator. Deadlines are a fantastic way to motivate me, but it means I also waste a lot of time when I could be doing something else. This year, I’m writing three books at a time, which means I’ll have the rough draft of three completed by the spring time. Yay!

To celebrate this, each Monday, I’ll post a short excerpt from one of the three books. This week, it’ll be from Poisoned Message, the last book in the Enforcers and Coterie series. Please keep in mind, this is unedited. 🙂

Night slowly settled on the beach as the sun drifted below the horizon. Pink clouds drifted across the sky, and the stars played peek-a-boo. Water lapped against the sand while a light breeze brushed against Nicor’s skin and ruffled his hair. He sighed, wishing for one brief moment that he could remain here forever, cocooned away from the daily horror of his life. Maybe, once the Overlord was dead, he’d moved near the ocean.

“Nicor, why did you bring another demon with you?” Mara’s light, sweet voice startled him from his reverie and he whirled to face her.

“Because I have no idea why you called this meeting,” he said, sticking as close to the facts as possible. “Perhaps you could enlighten me?”

Mara’s blonde curls caught the dying light, turning them into a bright fire that danced around her head and her blue eyes seemed like bottomless pits, filled with an ancient and destructive knowledge. So much pain and yet, she remained innocent and caring. How much of Mara was a lie? Did anyone know the truth about her?

“Reveal yourself, demon. There is no need to hide from me.” Mara stared at Keliesh, like she knew exactly where he stood. See invisible? Well, of course. He should’ve suspected she’d have a multitude of spells cast.

Keliesh dropped his invis and bowed to the Mage Coterie leader, the movement respectful, not mocking. “It’s an honour to meet you face to face at last.”

“Yes, I’m sure it is. And you’re part of the abduction team?” A well-groomed eyebrow disappeared beneath her bangs while she waited for their reply.

Nicor shook his head and mentally cursed. How had she figured it out? They would never subdue her now.

My Books, Preorder

The Love of a Good Fae

I have some exciting news. The Love of a Good Fae is available for preorder, release date Jan 24th, and will be the first book of 2017 for me! 🙂 It’s available at all major retailers and once I have it combined with Chained in Desire, the paperback will be available, probably sometime late January as well. I like to keep the corresponding novellas with their novels, since it makes life easier, I find. Although a part of me would love to see this cover in paperback. Isn’t it gorgeous!

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A novella in the Enforcers and Coterie series. Each one is a standalone book delving deeper into a world where magic co-exists peacefully with the ordinary, for the most part…

Lilith Tremaine spends most of her time in an insane asylum, recovering from a vicious attack, or so the world believes. Craving revenge, she’d made a binding oath to the Light Fae queen, Tatiana. A mistake she can’t undo.

Caymus, an elite warrior for Queen Tatiana, has always followed his queen’s wishes. His latest assignment, however, strains his loyalty. Infiltrate a warlord demon’s stronghold and retrieve a dangerous object. The prize Tatiana dangles convinces him to complete the hazardous mission – Lilith’s freedom.

Feeling responsible for Lilith’s attack and subsequent oath to the queen, Caymus would do anything to free the woman he loves from a lifetime of servitude. Even if it means his own death.

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About me, Book Process, Writing Tips

Writeometer and Aeon Timeline

I recently heard about two software programs, Aeon Timeline and an app called Writeometer. I wish I’d heard about Aeon ages ago! Holy crap, it’s fantastic. So far I’m only about an eighth done entering all the information about my Enforcers and Coterie series *cough* plus three more series *cough* and that’s taken me two days.

In a nutshell, Aeon is a timeline for characters and events. Enter in the characters name and their birthdate, then enter in the event, and you’ll know how old the character is and the time lapse between one event and the other.

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As you can see from the picture, I can see at a glance how much time has passed between Osiris and Isis meeting and when Horus was born. While it may seem simple at first, once you have over 20 characters, it gets a little difficult remembering who was doing what when. I’m seriously at a standstill in my last Enforcers and Coterie novel because I need to figure out the timeline. The damn thing has gotten way from me!

The beauty of this program is that you can also make adjustments quickly and easily. Say you realized an event was off by a month or a year, you can highlight and then shift the event. If you have child events, they get calculated for you. Admittedly, there is still a lot I need to learn about this program. But first, I need to enter in all my data. Anyone out there feel up to doing this for me? 😉

As for the Writeometer, well that sucker makes me feel so guilty when I haven’t written anything. You can set what your daily goal is for writing, create timed sessions, and earn little “treats” for when you complete your session. I prefer 25 mins, although sometimes when I only need a hundred or so more words to hit my goal, I bring it down to 15 mins. It’s enough time to motivate me to get stuff done.

writeometer

See those empty bars? It drives me crazy that I haven’t done any writing today. Yesterday, I was like “Oh, it’s okay, I can have one off day. I’m feeling mentally blah.” But it nagged me until I wrote. I’m happy to say that all except the short story hit their goal.

You can also set reminders, which is the little icon in the upper left. I missed my start time, so that reminder will go away when I either complete my goal or dismiss it. Myself, I prefer to not dismiss it since it defeats the purpose of nagging me. 😉

Now some people might not like the stress implied with the Writeometer. Me, I’m a procrastinator. Case in point, it’s 5 pm and I haven’t done any writing yet. I probably won’t write for another hour or two, but this app means that I won’t let the day finish without 600 words written in three different books.

Of course, it’s a little bit insane to write three books at the same time, but I’ve never claimed to be sane. Since the three books are in separate series but has interconnecting characters, I find it’s keeping my mind a little fresher. Except, you know, when the mental fatigue hits me and I want to whine like a child and say, “I don’t wanna write!”

Any programs that you find you just have to use for writing?