Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Quotes of the Week:

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.
—Lorraine Hansberry

When you’re speaking in the truest, most intimate voice about your life, you are speaking with the universal voice.
—Cheryl Strayed

Writing is not about the voices in your head, but the voices that make the great leap to the page.
—J.H. Glaze

Write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.
—Erica Jong

Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.
—C.S Lewis

The best time for planning a book is while doing the dishes.
—Agatha Christie

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.
—Eugene Ionesco

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Business Cards

I was at a literary conference this weekend. I met a lot of people. Readers as well as other authors. I handed out a lot of business cards.

Business cards are a major marketing tool!

I am working on new business cards now. My old ones just had my email address and blog URL.

My card was blank on the back. Wasted space.

I will be getting a card designed that screams science fiction. It will include a QR code to my Amazon page.  Maybe a link to some free content and a my email list.

I am also planning my card to unfold lengthwise so it can be used as a bookmark.

--I'll post pics of it when it's finished!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Reading: Artemis

Last week I read Artemis by Andy Weir.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich. 

Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.

So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down. 

The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself. 

Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city. 

Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal. 

That’ll have to do. 

--I liked it. Recommended.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Lori Ann Bailey

Lori Ann Bailey

Tell me about yourself?

I’m a Southern girl from Mississippi who married a New Yorker and settled halfway in-between to raise four kids in Northern Virginia. Winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award and Holt Medallion for Best First Book and Best Historical, I write hunky highland heroes and strong-willed independent lasses finding their perfect matches in the Highlands of 17th century Scotland.

Tell me about your current Book: 

Highland Redemption, book two in the Highland Pride series – Releases November 27th.

When Skye is kidnapped, Brodie Cameron must get her to safety and untangle the web of intrigue surrounding her abduction and the bounty on her head, before the danger hunting her finds them both.

Skye Cameron has no idea why she was kidnapped, but the last thing she wants is to spend any time with her rescuer, Brodie, the man who broke her heart. She's promised to another in a political marriage and must fight to keep from falling for her handsome childhood sweetheart again as they dash across Scotland in an attempt to elude her captors and stay alive.

Don’t be that last to find out why USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Grace Burrowes, says, “Braw, bonnie laddies, plucky lasses, lots of clan intrigue, and plenty of steam!”

What are you working on now? 

Highland Temptation, book two in the Highland Pride series releases June 25, 2018. Highland Salvation, book three, is in the editing phase and I’m currently writing book five, Highland Obligation, where the MacDonald laird’s heir is forced to marry the woman he thinks is responsible for his friend’s death.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write? 

In my basement office, but occasionally I like to move around for a change of scenery.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing? 

That everyone’s writing journey is different, you can’t compare yourself to others.

What is your favorite Website? 

A must know website for historical authors -
The online etymology dictionary is the internet's go-to source for quick and reliable accounts of the origin and history of English words, phrases, and idioms.


Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quotes of the Week

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
--Robert Hienlien

There is no friend as loyal as a book.
—Ernest Hemingway

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean.
—Robert Louis Stevenson

There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.
—J.K. Rowling

An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's.
—J.D. Salinger

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.
—Christina Rossetti

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
—Albert Einstein

I don’t have a very clear idea of who the characters are until they start talking.
—Joan Didion

Reading is the sole means by which we slip involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
—Joyce Carol Oates

Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
—Ray Bradbury

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
—Herman Melville

Monday, November 20, 2017

Reading: We are Legion and For We Are Many

Last week I read two more books. We are Legion and For We are Many by Dennis E. Taylor.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.

Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.

The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad - very mad.

--Good stuff. I recommend it!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quotes of the Week

You are what you settle for.
—Janis Joplin

Revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.
—Stephen King

A character is defined by the kinds of challenges he cannot walk away from.
—Arthur Miller

A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke
—Vincent van Gogh

Write about what you know and care deeply about. When one puts one's self on paper—that is what is called good writing.
—Joel Chandler Harris

If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area.
—David Bowie

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
—Thomas Jefferson

Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.
—Steve Martin

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday Tips: NANOWRIMO

I know I am a bit late to talk about National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.

You are about half way through. If you follow the strict schedule to get to 50,000 words you should be about 25,000 words in. At least that's what most people say.

You are probably discouraged. You made the mistake of going back and reading what you wrote and it's probably shit.  You don't have enough experience yet to understand that every first draft is shit.

He is something they never tell you. If you focus on word count your story will suffer.

Every month is NaNoWriMo in my world. I average about 40,000 words a month. Not including blogging, forums, or email. I have published about 500,000 words so far. It's a good start.

A start.

If you want to be a good writer. An Author. You must keep writing. Make every month NaNoWriMo. The more you write the less shit you will write...

--I hope to not be shit one day! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Reading: Expeditionary Force 4 & 5

Last week I read two books from the Expeditionary Force series by Craig Alanson. Book 3 Spec Ope and Book 4, Black Ops.

Below is the description from Amazon:

From Book 1: We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news. The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon come ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There go the good old days, when humans only got killed by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar, wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria, to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn't even be fighting the Ruhar, they aren't our enemy, our allies are.

I'd better start at the beginning....

--I really enjoy this series. Highly recommended!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Aven Shore

Aven Shore

What can I say about Aven Shore?

I guess I will start with the obvious. Aven is the Narrator of my most recent novel, Virtues of the Vicious.

She is strong, intelligent, capable, creative and has become a friend worth having. I also think she's beautiful.

This is from her official bio:

Aven Shore has finally figured out how to read books for a living.  She narrates audiobooks with glee from a tiny house in the woods on the East Coast, and when not reading, may be found answering the whims of her chickens or writing letters on paper.  Aven is also a beekeeper, gardener, traveling hermit, and student of Icelandic. 

A lifelong adoration of reading, coupled with a steadfast DIY ethic, led 21st-century renaissance woman Aven Shore to pursue freelance audiobook narration. Aven reads to you from a solar-powered studio in the tiny off-grid house in the woods she designed and built by hand from reclaimed materials. Her time is otherwise spent gardening, raising chickens, keeping bees, tending a heritage apple orchard, rehabilitating and slowly reclaiming her farm and woodlot near an abandoned gold mine in Nova Scotia, Canada.

She was a carpenter, firefighter, blogger, avid reader of books made of dead trees, tax preparer, rescuer of animals and competitive snowboarder. All that and she lives in the woods, in a tiny house, off grid.

--When she is not dreaming of Iceland... who am I trying to kid... She constantly dreams of Iceland.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Quotes of the Week

You can't edit a blank page.
—Nora Roberts

You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff...
—Octavia E. Butler

Here I make a rule—a great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last.
—John Steinbeck

Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear.
—Robert McKee

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
—Thomas Jefferson

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
—Ernest Hemingway

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.... It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life,
—Anne Lamott

When u write , it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is u're writing about
—Lady Gaga

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday Tips: From King

Here is a great article, full of advice from Stephen King.

22 lessons from Stephen King on how to be a great writer.

1. Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible.

2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with.

3. Don't waste time trying to please people.

4. Write primarily for yourself.

5. Tackle the things that are hardest to write.

6. When writing, disconnect from the rest of the world.

7. Don't be pretentious.

8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs.

9. Don't get overly caught up in grammar.

10. Master the art of description.

11. Don't give too much background information.

12. Tell stories about what people actually do.

13. Take risks; don't play it safe.

14. Realise that you don't need drugs to be a good writer.

15. Don't try to steal someone else's voice.

16. Understand that writing is a form of telepathy.

17. Take your writing seriously.

18. Write every single day.

19. Finish your first draft in three months.

20. When you're finished writing, take a long step back.

21. Have the guts to cut.

22. Stay married, be healthy, and live a good life.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Reading: Children of the Fleet

Last week I read Children of the Fleet by Orson Scott Card.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Children of the Fleet is a new angle on Card’s bestselling series, telling the story of the Fleet in space, parallel to the story on Earth told in the Ender’s Shadow series.

Ender Wiggin won the Third Formic war, ending the alien threat to Earth. Afterwards, all the terraformed Formic worlds were open to settlement by humans, and the International Fleet became the arm of the Ministry of Colonization, run by Hirum Graff. MinCol now runs Fleet School on the old Battle School station, and still recruits very smart kids to train as leaders of colony ships, and colonies.

Dabeet Ochoa is a very smart kid. Top of his class in every school. But he doesn’t think he has a chance at Fleet School, because he has no connections to the Fleet. That he knows of. At least until the day that Colonel Graff arrives at his school for an interview.

--This is the start of a new series. I liked it!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fast Friday Interviews: Lucille Moncrief

 Lucille Moncrief

Tell me about yourself, Lucille.

I write in a lot of genres because I can’t really make up my mind. I have several series in the horror, contemporary romance, and paranormal erotic romance genres. Most of my work is dark and morbid with steampunk elements. I had a very dysfunctional childhood, what can I say? I suppose my experiences shaped my work. And by ‘shaped’ I mean bent it toward the macabre and phantasmagorical.

I like to read the classics, and a lot of non-fiction, mostly military history. I’m currently reading Survivors of Stalingrad by Reinhold Busch.

When I’m not reading or writing, I have a habit of yelling at the kids to get off my lawn. If the lawn is undisturbed, I drink a lot of coffee and stare out my window, pretending to be pensive. I also do a bit of editing, ghostwriting, and email marketing on the side.

Tell me about your current Book:

My current book is a paranormal historical fiction novelette that will be free from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5.
It’s illustrated, about vampires in WW1. Although it is part of my Nefarious series, I have written it as a standalone.

The blurb along with some quotes:
If you like dark and gritty tales, war stories and the supernatural, you’ll love this standalone short of Lucille Moncrief’s Nefarious series.

Is eternal guilt the price of human empathy?

"Suspenseful and sophisticated."

"Nefarious is hauntingly good and captivating."

"Yet again, this author blows my mind."

While the bombs rain overhead, Talcott Henderson and a group of fellow soldiers huddle in the cratered ground beneath the German front lines. Through the never-ending din of enemy fire, the voracious, blood-soaked machine of war haunts Talcott. Memories claw at him; kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. In the bowels of the earth a specter appears, and offers him an eternal life free of guilt.

But what is the cost of an unmarred soul?

Grab your copy today, travel through time, and escape into a breathtaking new world!

*Includes custom illustrations


“The parting of our lips was the spark of fire to gunpowder, and the keg of our longing exploded.”
“He had the look of a man who knew what he was doing and had done it a thousand times before – his face set hard in singular determination – the flame in his eyes roaring to the denouement.”
“Dauntless in my newfound immortality, I stood on the fireboard and peered over the edge of the trench, indifferent to the commotion around me. I possessed the bloodthirsty focus of a predator. My bones sang with the music of a killing feast, and the flame behind my eyes waxed murderous.”

You can find it here on Amazon:

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on the fourth volume of the Nefarious series. This is part of my steampunk, dark erotic paranormal romance line. It is called “The Dirigible Airship Disaster” and is slated for a crash landing mid-December.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

Alone. In my room. Did I mention alone?

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

That it is a business; always has been, always will be. Even Edgar Allan Poe had to learn branding.

What is your favorite Website?



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sci-Fi Short Film: Traveler

Quotes of the Week

You can't edit a blank page.
—Nora Roberts

You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff...
—Octavia E. Butler

Here I make a rule—a great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last.
—John Steinbeck

Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear.
—Robert McKee

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good.
—William Faulkner

On writing―One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
―George Orwell

If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.
—Ernest Hemingway

Once the inspiration comes, that directs where the perspiration goes.
—Carole King

Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.
—Hunter S. Thompson