Cover Art

Work on THE MOREVA OF ASTORETH progresses. I’m now in the final editing stages of the manuscript. And I’ve contracted with a cover artist. The last time I contracted for cover art, I went through Createspace. I was–and am–unhappy with the cover of THE UNDERGROUND. Maybe it’s because there’s only so much you can do with stock photo images, but it is barely what I wanted to see. The elements are there, but they don’t mesh in the way I envisioned. So why did I give it my okay? Because I got tired of going around and around with them on what I wanted. Sometimes I thought they were doing this just to make me tear my hair out.

But back to TMOA. We’re not there yet, but it seems we’re on our way. Here’s something I’ve learned through this process: communication is key, and it can be hard. I painted a word portrait of what I wanted. Much of it was there, some of it not. But some of it wasn’t there because though I saw it in my mind’s eye, I didn’t clearly put it down with pixels. So I’ve taken to sending pictures (or pics, as the Brits abbreviate) to illustrate what I mean. And, of course, she has some great ideas, too. It never occurred to me to put clouds in. I like what she did. All we need to do is take out the moon and substitute a sun, and we’re golden. At least for… Continue reading

In Progress…

The MOREVA OF ASTEROTH is now in the editing stage. According to my editor, it should take about a month or so, not counting our back-and-forth on comments and line changes. So while I’m waiting, I’m looking for a cover artist, and now have a short list.

Balticon 49, as always, was mega fun. It was wonderful seeing old friends. I sold a copy of THE UNDERGROUND, which puts a few dollars more into Blackrose Press’s coffers. Believe me, with the money I’m spending on MOREVA, every little bit helps. Next year is Balticon’s 50th, and George R.R. Martin is the Guest of Honor. Definitely going to that one. But mark my words–with Martin as the GOH, it’ll be a zoo. Also, BSFS had a contract with a new hotel, one that’s a little closer to where I live. I imagine it’ll sell out quickly, so I’ll have to be on my toes when the announcement goes out that reservations are being accepted. I almost missed out on 49, and I made my reservations in April.

The other thing to do while I’m waiting for edits is to go back writing to JAHANNAN’S CHILDREN. I really need to think up a new title, since the book’s focus has changed significantly. I see a brainstorm with betas in my future. Anyway, I was amazed at how far I’d gotten into the story when MOREVA came knocking at my head.

That’s where I am at the moment. Talk to you again, soon!

Guest Author–Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan (1)Help me give a warm welcome to Sandra Ulbrich Almazan, my guest for today. Her new book, “Seasons’ Beginnings,” is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Today, Sandra’s got a quiz for us to take, “What Type of Avatar Are You?” Let’s find out!

In the world of the fantasy Season Avatars series, gods and goddesses gift chosen mortals with Their power. These gifted people are called Avatars. The country of Challen has Four Gods and Goddesses, each with their own type of Avatar. If you lived in Challen, what type of Avatar might you be? Please take this short quiz to find out.

1. What’s your favorite season?
a. Spring
b. Summer
c. Fall
d. Winter
e. I don’t have a favorite.

2. What’s your favorite color?
a. Yellow
b. Green
c. Red
d. Blue
e. White

3. What type of magic would you prefer to have?
a. Healing
b. Plant magic (making them grow)
c. Animal magic (communication/healing)
d. Weather control
e. The ability to make magical artifacts

4. What role would you prefer to have in a group?
a. Leader
b. Devil’s advocate
c. Mediator
d. Conscience
e. Teacher

If you answered mostly “A,” you would be a Spring Avatar and serve the Goddess of Spring. She would grant you healing magic and the ability to create a telepathic/magical link with Avatars from the other seasons. The Goddess of Spring is the leader of the Four Gods and Goddesses, so you would also be… Continue reading

Here In Spirit…

Have had some physical issues that have kept me away from the computer, but I’m pretty much back now. Well, for now. Anyway, one thing I’ll say about enforced idleness, it gives you lots of time to think up new stories. I’m just brimming with ideas.

Okay, need to go. Talk at ya later!

Back From Arisia

I went to Boston this past weekend to attend the Arisia science fiction/fantasy convention. As always, I had a great time. I even managed to learn a few things. Like, don’t try to give away tote bags with a book purchase. Giving away tote bags at a con is like carrying coals to Newcastle, since everyone seemed to have one already. Got rid of one bag in conjunction with a book sale, though. Maybe if I just advertised free totes…

I also attended a panel on people of color and the publishing world. POC are often locked out of the mainstream publishing machine, maybe because their characters aren’t white. For POC, there has never been a stigma associated with self-publishing, because that’s the only way POC can get published. There was also talk about making cons a “safe space” for POC. One panelist noted that if a 14-year old blond-haired, blue-eyed boy was seen running through the hotel, security would ignore it, but if her son were running through the hotel, she’d probably have to pick him up from jail, and then justify herself as a conventioneer. This, unfortunately, is probably true.

So, this gives me an idea for Blackrose Press. Cater to POC writers of spec fic. Bet I’d have plenty of submissions. It’s not something I’m ready to do just yet, but I most likely will, in time.

Been So Long…

I’m almost embarrassed to come back. But hey, I have been working hard on the new book.

Anyway, I’m going to Arisia in January 2014, as I do every year. Hopefully I can sell some books then.

Sorry this is so short, but I gotta get back to writing…

Love ya!

Recovery Complete

Spent the last month resting from my marketing labors. Felt like I’ve been on a bullet train since January, when The Underground was published. It was just a whirlwind, scouting opportunities, working on interviews, guest posts, preparing for the book launch and whatever else came along the way. I used up my marketing budget–much faster than I would’ve thought–and now have to save for the next round. Whether I’ll be marketing The Underground or the next book remains to be seen.

And then, of course, I have to get back to writing.

Anyway, I still have some interviews and guest posts that I’ve committed to, but now I’m ready to clean up. By that I mean gathering receipts and putting each in its proper folder, getting all those boxes of swag, flyers and what not out of the den, getting the books out of the dining room and putting them all someplace else (where, I have no idea).

In the midst of all this activity, though, I did keep an eye on my reviews. Boy, is The Underground getting hammered on Goodreads! My 5 star rating has declined to 3.07. Some of the reviewers ripped into my characters so bad we’ve all had to go into group therapy. If it’s that bad, it makes me wonder if I should bother with the sequel. I know a review is just one person’s opinion, but when that many people are of the same opinion, it makes one wonder. Unless they’re being trolls.… Continue reading

The Underground–Book Promotion!

Hey! The Underground is being featured in a New Book Release promo with World Literary Cafe! It runs from May 1st through May 7th. Here’s the link: May New Release Hope to see you there!

…And The Reviews Are Coming In

Been so long, I’m glad to be back…

So how are the reviews? Good, overall, but kind of mixed, if that makes any sense. Two four-star reviews on Amazon. The first gentleman really liked the book, but thought the sex was salacious and coarse–not his cup of tea. The second also really liked the book, but thought the sex “exhausting.” What is it about the sex in The Underground that turns people off? I thought most people liked sex? Maybe they just don’t like reading about it. At any rate, they would both recommend it to other readers. That’s a good thing.

Kirkus Reviews called The Underground “sexy, twisted” but said it was too much like True Blood or Charlaine Harris’s books. Since I’ve never seen True Blood, and I’ve only read one of Charlaine Harris’s books, I’m in no position to argue. Maybe I should rent the series on Netflix, or buy a couple more of her books. Still, they said, it’s “A diverting urban fantasy.” That’s a good thing, too.

Then we have Clarion ForeWord Reviews. She didn’t mind the sex–she liked that the characters were “sexually expressive,” and exuded “sensuality.” She liked the strong female characters. She also called it an “erotic fantasy.” I’ve been calling it a paranormal fantasy/science fiction blend. Maybe I’ll just start calling it an erotic urban fantasy. I like the way that sounds. Hmm…

Goodreads is definitely mixed. I’ve five-, four-, three-, two- and one-star ratings. The folks who gave me the… Continue reading

Let’s Hear It For The Women!

Please join me in a warm welcome for M.A. Donovan, my guest this afternoon. She has much to tell us, so let’s dive in!

In today’s society, women have been classified as the weaker sex, even though they hold positions of power, run businesses, bear children, and now have the opportunity to join the men on the battlefield. All throughout history, women have shown extraordinary feats and have prospered. Yes, they may not have had voting rights or been allowed into counsel with the men, but they still excelled in other ways.

The clergy respected women, realizing early on that they were intelligent and eager to learn. While their husbands, fathers, sons, and lovers went off to war, ladies of the middle ages ruled their estates and sometimes had to defend them. They managed their property, handled the finances, and raised their children on their own.

Also during this time, chivalry became widespread. It was an honor to win the heart of a special woman. Men oftentimes found themselves battling for the attentions of the same woman. This love affair raised women to the status of goddess.

In The Golden Horn, I throw a naïve princess into the very capable hands of a wordly swordsman. Alyssa is strong and tough on the outside but justfrontcover like most women, soft on the inside. She puts her people before herself and finds herself in very dangerous situations. If not for meeting Galen Hawkeye, the hero of Shandor, she would be locked up… Continue reading