B2BCyCon2018 Fantasy Blog Tour #1 – Why I Write Fantasy by Mary R. Woldering

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Fantasy Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes
B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

Why I Write Fantasy – By Mary R. Woldering

I really don’t have an answer to that. I write and fantasy happens. Reality, as in life restricted to the five senses bores me to tears.  I was born into a very religious family, so things of “God” and angels and devils were natural to me, even though I couldn’t see them. When I was afraid of storms (as one of the characters in my novels fears them) my Mother told me it was god cleaning and re-arranging things in heaven. I was given little candles to burn to speed my prayers to heaven.

I drew pictures of scribble tornados even though we had no TV in those days and I had never seen one. When I went to the movies and later when the television arrived in our house, I BECAME characters in them. I was Davy Crockett “Grinning a bar…” It didn’t matter that he was a man. I had an imaginary friend named Starr who could appear as different things: A Native American, a young man with long black hair who danced. He could also be just a star. I sang “Twinkle, twinkle little star to him.”

I knew about other creatures too. I saw them in my dreams, even though I never read about them. There were solid white or pale people, ghosts and apparitions in my room. My Mother said it was the devil and told me to pray. I told her I would pray him out of Hell and after that she didn’t say anything else on the matter.

At first, I drew, then I wrote. All stories I wrote, even as a child, contained something of the spirit or of dreams. I could fly, I could be a witch, I could turn into a hawk, I could walk through walls. Starr was still there in the background, but we didn’t talk as much. In High school I wrote a Regency/early Victorian romance but, sure enough my pale people came in and Starr showed up as a ghostly guide to the hero of the story.

In college I met others like me who spent much time in the ‘dream verse” My best friend and others told me I was just psychic and I was seeing real spirits as well as remembering past lives.  Starr? He, they said, was a guardian spirit.

Now my writings of the unreal increased and I wrote down all the dreams, meditated with friends and wrote some more. It was as if my world of fantasy suddenly had permission. My friend and I traded stories of our off-kilter childhoods. She could fly, and there was something about a dragon (if I remember right) she made up a language and talked to ghosts too.  We ended up “seeing” each other in different eras – and of course you find us both in my major work series Children of Stone.

In summary, I say I write fantasy because it’s my reality. As I say in my bio, fantasy is me. One hundred years ago I would have been in a madhouse.

The excerpt below is part of an Urban fantasy short story published in Dreamtime Dragons this year. It’s based on stories my friend told me of her childhood and if became “Ana’s Dream of Flying”

The entity shaped the crystalline orb it formed with what might have been a hand.

Human. As man, it self-whispered as the dark blue star-filled shape with the emerald bracelet at its wrist became clear, took on the appearance of ruddy skin and solidified.

He watched Ana grab the broken stub of a much-chewed pencil and begin to scribble a shape on the pale purple scrap of paper.

She bit down on the eraser in a nervous gesture and tucked one of the fat braids that had come loose from her head. A figure emerged. It was a tall and red manlike thing with a long turban-like hat tilted back from his brow. She colored his long robe red, but couldn’t decide what to do with the feet so she extended it to the bottom of the page.

The entity smiled and nodded, pleased.

“I will call you Mr. Man.” she affirmed. “I know you. You watch over me when I am sleeping.” Her teeth flashed in a grin as she pushed the crayon over the surface of her artwork.

She can’t see me; not in the light of day, the creature smiled.

The veil is too thick in the cursed sunlight.

At night is when she can see me

I will come to her as a dream,

then carry her away to the lands and places where we walked once when we were gods.

I have watched parts of her shattered soul for centuries.

Tonight, sweet little child, when you dream,

I will take you flying,

I will teach you to fly and then you will remember even more.

In the thinning distance between worlds, the entity heard a crackly sound of something from another room, suddenly joined by the wispy, singing voice of an older female.

Some glad morning when this life is o’er,

I’ll fly away.

To a home on God’s celestial shore,

I’ll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have flown,

I’ll fly away.

Like a bird thrown, driven by the storm,

I’ll fly away.”

Then the singing stopped and the crackly sound went abruptly silent with a click, followed by: “Ana…come to supper, dear.”

Voice from another room, it mused, the smell of cooking is strong. Fire-treated winged creature – chicken.

For a moment, the entity wished for a human form; one that would love to eat the older female’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.

There will be something she calls pie, afterward.

§ § § §

“Yas, Muh’dear” the little brown skinned girl muttered, perturbed that she’d have to stop her drawing and put her things away. A slight frown crept over her high forehead. She slapped her crayon on the table, then paused and picked it up. In a quick, gesture, as if adding something extra, she scribbled red angel wings sticking out of the sides of the creature’s robe. Regarding her work, she changed them so that they looked sharp and pointy.

“That’s better. No angel-y wings for you. Now you can fly away. Don’t let them see you, Mr. Man. It’s our secret. Mwah!” she kissed the paper then folded it, tucked it in her school notebook and put away her crayon. She didn’t see the red pulse that glimmered inside the spiral bound pages.

Little Ana, not quite eleven, ate her supper, watched the “Outer Limits” with Muh’Dear and Daddy, then took her bath. She put on her pink PJ’s, brushed her teeth and went to bed, but couldn’t sleep.

Big bad devil is out there but Cass and Jera’boam will protect me, she thought.

They were her daydream friends. They always would laugh and play with her outside and take turns jumping off the porch, pretending they could fly. When she was five they wanted her to jump off the roof of the shed, but Daddy caught her just in time.

They don’t believe in you. They say you are ‘maginary and to stop fooling around. Be a big girl they say, but I always was a big girl. She snickered as she snuggled in her covers. I just shrinkity shrank like my red sweater in the washing machine.

Ana loved to draw and dance and play. She didn’t like school too much.

The nuns are mean and always talk about sins and devils and how they come and get bad little boys and girls who cause trouble in class.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

 

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B2BCyCon2018 Sci-Fi Blog Tour – Behind “Evaline Transcendent”

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Science Fiction Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

Evaline Transcendent - Cover (x8 - Chromed)The Origin of “Evaline Transcendent”

Evaline Transcendent is the first of my science fiction stories to go into print. It originally was a featured story in the “Across the Kármán Line” anthology from Laurel Highlands Publishing following a request for stories that took place beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

I originally wrote the story outline from the point of view of colonists who were attempting to colonize a distant planet. However, I quickly discovered that it was more about the ship’s artificial intelligence than it was about the colonists.

The second outline became the story of an artificial being charged with the task of delivering the colonists to their new home. But, the stakes had been raised, because of war on Earth, the ship had departed before the systems had been tested, and there was a very good chance the people on board were the last survivors of their world. To make matters worse, they were headed for the only known planet that could potentially support human life, and the mission before them had stopped sending messages home.

At this point the story was called “Evaline Triumphant”, and I was happy with how it had come out.

Even Stories Evolve Over Time

This was the story that I submitted for the Anthology, but that wasn’t the end of it.We went back and forth on the story title for a while, and came up with “Evaline Ascendant”, which worked well with the story as it stood at that time. But, things didn’t end there.

After discussing the ending of the story with the editor at Laurel Highlands, I was asked to add to the length of the story.

Now, this was my first science fiction story, and I’d felt that it had a good solid ending, but then something occurred to me. There was a way to push the envelope, and my twisted mind went “but what if that WASN’T the real end of the story?”, and suddenly the story shifted gears entirely taking on a darker tone.

Two new chapters came into being, and I turned the original ending entirely on it’s head while still retaining that part of the story.

And thus was born “Evaline Transcendent”, and the story that went into print with the anthology.

The Further Evolution Of Evaline

Once the rights for the story reverted to me, a year after publication, I re-read it and decided to release it as a short story. I added a lot  of extra material into the story. Some of it was clarification on things I thought needed explaining a little better. Other parts were in there to extend the scenes and add a little more to the personalities of characters.

Why So Vague?

Honestly, I’m being deliberately vague about a lot of the details, because I don’t want to give anything away. But, as you read this story, I know you’re going to spot where I originally ended it, and hopefully be surprised by the direction it takes from there…

If you’re intrigued enough to buy a copy, I’d love it if you could leave a review. At the end of the day, I thrive on reading people’s thoughts about my stories, both positive and negative.

Buy “Evaline Transcendent” for $0.99  throughout the Brain to Books Cyber Convention (April 6th-8th).

Normal Price $1.99



Next Up: Stephen Pearl

Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo – Round Up

B2BCyCon2018A Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo – Round Up

The Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo is over for 2018, and I wanted to do a round-up of all the events that happened under the Fantasy Genre. (This post is definitely longer than my usual posts).

As the B2BCyCon Fantasy Genre Manager I’d like to thank all the authors who took part in the various events, which were a lot of fun to arrange and manage. A lot of emails and Messenger discussions went on during the build-up to the weekend, and everyone involved made my job a lot of fun.

20+ authors came together to create:

  • 2 blog tours, exploring why we write fantasy, and what elements define fantasy for us as writers. (links to the stops on each blog tour can be found below).
  • 3 panel discussions covering creating worlds, what creatures define a story as fantasy, and how to mix genres. (links can be found below).
  • An ongoing story on Goodreads, where multiple authors have contributed to the story.
  • 2 tournaments, one pitching covers against each other, and a second pitching characters against each other.
  • And an author showcase, giving potential readers a chance to find them and learn more about their work.
  • I also had the pleasure of joining Joe Compton and over on the GoIndieNow coverage of the weekend.

In the interest of showing just how readers voted on the two tournaments I provided the votes for each round.

Blog Tours

Here are the links for the two blog tours for the fantasy genre. I’d like to thank all of the authors for contributing their views, and personal reasons for writing fantasy.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour #1 - Header B2B Fantasy Blog Tour #2 - Header

Discussion Panels

Three discussion panels were recorded over the space of two days, and I had the pleasure of being joined by 7 different authors in various combinations. Those authors included Tom Fallwell, Aziza Sphinx, Anita Stewart, Ed Ireland, my wife (and co-writer) Sandi Bateson, Rebecca Carter and Angela B. Chrysler (Mrs B2BCyCon herself).

Each of the participating authors took as much as two hours out of their day to address our topic of discussion. I loved doing these events, because there were many points on which we agreed, and others where we disagreed, making for some interesting conversations.

#1 – Do You Need Dwarves, Elves, and Dragons For A Story To Be Considered Fantasy?

Hosted: Timothy Bateson
Panelists: Angela B. Chrysler, Tom Fallwell, Sandi Bateson, Anita Stewart

#2 – World Building

Hosted: Timothy Bateson

Panelists: Angela B. Chrysler, Tom Fallwell, Aziza Sphinx

#3 – Mixing Fantasy with Other Genres/History

(AKA: “What Happens When Author Muses Lead Them Off Topic” or “Shut It Scribe!”)

Just a warning, this discussion started on topic, and then went COMPLETELY off topic…

Hosted: Timothy Bateson

Panelists: Angela B. Chrysler, Anita Stewart, Ed Ireland, Rebecca Carter

Fantasy Character Tournament

A total of 146 votes were cast over three rounds, and here’s how those votes were cast.

 Round 1 (8 Entries)  Semi-Finals (4 Entries)  Finals Winner
Brackify Entry - Felix The Fox - Assaph Mehr

Felix The Fox

Assaph Mehr

11 votes

 Brackify Entry - Felix The Fox - Assaph Mehr

5 votes

    Brackify Entry - Delina - Tom Fallwell

17 votes

B2BCyCon2018 - Fantasy Character Tournament Champion

Brackify Entry - Fire - Ed Ireland

Brackify Entry - Leilana Erovina - Shakyra Dunn

Leilana Erovina

Shakyra Dunn

4 votes

Brackify Entry - Delina - Tom Fallwell

Delina

Tom Fallwell

13 votes

  Brackify Entry - Delina - Tom Fallwell

8 votes

Brackify Entry - Captain Rafe Morrow - A.F. Stewart

Captain Rafe Morrow

A.F. Stewart

5 votes

Brackify Entry - Never - Ashley Capes

Never

Ashley Capes

10 votes

  Brackify Entry - Never - Ashley Capes

7 votes

    Brackify Entry - Fire - Ed Ireland

34 votes

Brackify Entry - Ember Oheada - Dove Winters

Ember Oheada

Dove Winters

5 votes

 

Brackify Entry - Fire - Ed Ireland

Fire

Ed Ireland

9 votes

  Brackify Entry - Fire - Ed Ireland

11 votes

Esterios Dyaus di Nyssa - Mary R. Woldering

Esterios Dyaus di Nyssa

Mary R. Woldering

7 votes

Fantasy Cover Wars

A total of 505 votes were cast over four rounds, and here’s how those votes were cast.

 Round 1 (16 Entries)  Round 2 (8 Entries) Semi-Finals (4 Entries)  Finals  Winner
Brackify Entry - The Breathing Sea_Burning - EP Clark

The Breathing Sea: Burning

EP Clark

7 votes

Brackify Entry - The Breathing Sea_Burning - EP Clark

7 votes

Brackify Entry - The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village - Ronesa Aveela

38 votes

Brackify Entry - The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village - Ronesa Aveela

101 votes

B2BCyCon2018 - Fantasy Cover Wars Champion
Brackify Entry - The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village - Ronesa Aveela

Brackify Entry - Lady Blackwing - Devorah Fox

Lady Blackwing

Devorah Fox

3 votes

Brackify Entry - The Last Sea God - Ashley Capes

The Last Sea God

Ashley Capes

3 votes

Brackify Entry - The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village - Ronesa Aveela

16 votes

Brackify Entry - The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village - Ronesa Aveela

The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village

Ronesa Aveela

6 votes

Brackify Entry - Descent - Tiffany Apan

Descent

Tiffany Apan

1 vote

Brackify Entry - Arising - Sarah Kennedy

21 votes

Brackify Entry - Arising - Sarah Kennedy

22 votes

Brackify Entry - Arising - Sarah Kennedy

Arising: Prophecy of Hope

Sarah Kennedy

15 votes

Brackify Entry - The One Left Behind _ Magic - Shakyra Dunn

The One Left Behind: Magic

Shakyra Dunn

3 votes

Brackify Entry -Ember of the Planet - Dove Winters

5 votes

Brackify Entry -Ember of the Planet - Dove Winters

Ember of the Planet

Dove Winters

10 votes

Brackify Entry - Murder In Absentia - Asaph Mehr

Murder In Absentia

Asaph Mehr

5 votes

Brackify Entry - The Dream Walker land of Mystica Series Volume one - Michelle Murray

5 votes

 Brackify Entry - Dragonblood Throne_ Legacy - Tom Fallwell

22 votes

Brackify Entry - Flower Shields - C.A. King

94 votes

 Brackify Entry - The Dream Walker land of Mystica Series Volume one - Michelle Murray

The Dream Walker: land of Mystica Series Volume one

Michelle Murray

7 votes

Brackify Entry - The Last Ranger of Sarn - Ed Ireland

The Last Ranger of Sarn

Ed Ireland

4 votes

Brackify Entry - Dragonblood Throne_ Legacy - Tom Fallwell

18 votes

Brackify Entry - Dragonblood Throne_ Legacy - Tom Fallwell

Dragonblood Throne: Legacy

Tom Fallwell

9 votes

Brackify Entry - Ghosts Of The Sea Moon - A.F. Stewart

Ghosts Of The Sea Moon

A.F. Stewart

7 votes

Brackify Entry - Flower Shields - C.A. King

19 votes

Brackify Entry - Flower Shields - C.A. King

29 votes

 

Brackify Entry - Flower Shields - C.A. King

Flower Shields

C.A. King

9 votes

Brackify Entry - Children of Stone_ Opener of the Sky - Mary R Woldering

Children of Stone: Opener of the Sky

Mary R Woldering

11 votes

Brackify Entry - Children of Stone_ Opener of the Sky - Mary R Woldering

7 votes

Brackify Entry - Tested - Connie Cockrell

Tested

Connie Cockrell

1 vote

Don’t Forget To Pickup Your Copy Of The Second Brain to Books Anthology

Book Dreams Vol 2Here, Brain to Books presents the second collected talents of assorted artists. In this collection you will find short stories, excerpts, and poems that encompass the hidden treasures of today’s uprising authors. May their words influence you as much as they have influenced mine.

Authors Include: A.M.Nestler, Angela B. Chrysler, Ashley Capes, Debbie Manber Kupfer, Ed Ireland, K. Matt, Maaja Wentz, Renee Scattergood, Roxanne Greening, Sandi Bateson, Tiffany Apan, Timothy Bateson

Buy Now from Amazon ($2.99)

I’m X-Ray’ing My Books – But What Does That Mean?

What is X-Ray for Kindle eBooks?

To quote Amazon:

X-Ray is a unique Kindle eBook feature that allows readers to learn more about a character, topic, event, place, or any other term, simply by pressing and holding on the word or phrase that interests them.

In short, it’s a feature that allows authors to add extra information to their work, that might not relate directly to the story, but give readers an expanded experience.

What Does This Mean For You?

When an eBook has the X-Ray feature enabled, you will see some words or terms highlighted. If you click and hold down on that word, a pop-up will appear with some extra information.

You might have already seen this happening with some books, where articles from Wikipedia pop-up. This is the X-Ray feature working to provide some additional information on the term or word in question.

So Why Am I Talking About This Now?

Well, I just discovered that the feature is available more widely than I thought. While checking my existing releases, in preparation for some possible updates (and maybe new covers), I discovered an ‘Activate X-Ray’ option and went looking for more information.

When I read the description (above), I realized there was a lot of information stored in my head that I could share with my readers.

This is Where You Come In

If you have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” you’re going to find some new information buried inside.

I’ve added:

  • character background information
  • links to some relevant Wikipedia pages
  • background information on the story’s origins and locations

If you don’t have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, it’s not too late to grab a copy…

Not sure about grabbing a copy? Check out the preview below.

After Reading The Story, Let Me Know If There Is Anything Else You Want To Know More About! (Comment Below)

 

31 Days Of Halloween – Happy Halloween

It’s Halloween At Last!

And, yes, this post is going live 4 hours earlier than usual, and you’ll see why shortly…

This month has been an amazing ride, and I’ve loved being able to bring so many authors, books, and stories to you all. (Click here for a list of everything that’s happened this month).

This entire month was about celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” being in print. So, don’t forget to get your FREE copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon (Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels #1)” before the end of the night.

After midnight on Halloween night, the price will go back up to it’s usual $0.99 (USD). If you’re unsure this is the story for you, there’s a preview of the story at the bottom of this post.

So 31 Days, 31 Posts? Challenge Accepted… And Defeated!

When I first challenged myself to do this event, 31 posts in 31 days looked like such a daunting challenge. And there were ups and downs along the way. I had some posts planned with authors, which for didn’t make it into the line up, for different reasons. But there was always someone willing to step up and fill the slot.

I may have had to rush to make sure some of the posts went out on the days I’d promised, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Everyone I’ve worked with has been amazing.

Here’s To All My Wonderful Contributors, And Readers

I want to put out a HUGE thank you to all the authors who took part, without whom I’d have been writing a blog post every day for an entire month… And I suspect I’d have failed miserably…

I’d also like to thank everyone who dropped in, took the time to comment on posts, share them, and click those like buttons. It means a lot to me that so many people came by and helped make this a blog event I’ll remember for a long time to come.

As a surprise to the contributing authors, I wanted to do something special, and this video is my way of showing my gratitude. I dug deep into author interviews, websites, blog posts and more to find some things about them that may people might not know…

So take a peek behind the scenes of the event, and learn a little about everyone who helped make this such a huge success.

And that’s a wrap…

But, I wouldn’t have even DARED to try something like this, if it wasn’t for you, my followers and readers. So, as a thank you, I decided to do something crazy… “Under A Hunter’s Moon” is STILL free, until MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!

Grab Your Copy NOW!

Want a preview of what to expect? Then check out the preview below… And if you like what you read, PLEASE leave a review, and tell your friends how much you enjoyed it.

https://bublish.com/bubble/stream/14467?embed=1

Book Spotlight – “Ambrosia ” by Heidi Angell

Book Blurb

Whispers to the gods are like honey from a poet’s lips. When several poets raise their voices together, it’s a sacred feast of memories and dreams. Poetry is divine food for the soul, full of emotion and celestial feeling. Join us in our longing, our pain and passion, heartache, logic and insanity, fear, faith, confusion, hope, unity, solitude, daily life, and political strife brought to you by Eric Keizer, A.L. Mabry, Alyssa Trevitt, Mello Sakia, Phillip Matthew Roberts, Sam DeLoach, Stacy Overby, Stephanie Ayers and Veronica Falletta.

As the whispers of muses fly from poet’s lips, join us for this heavenly celebration.

Ambrosia is an eclectic collection of poetry from poets on various walks of life. Their words will jump from the page and brand themselves on your heart. The anthology releases on September 16th, 2017 and there is a book tour, open to the public. Learn more here: http://wp.me/p6KXDO-67E

Reserve Your Copy Now! E-Book

This project was a labor of love between the poets involved and the OWS team. Now we aim to take that love and put it to good use. The royalties from Ambrosia will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org) . This is a cause that all of us at OWS feel strongly about and we are honored to be able to contribute to their efforts and programs. Purchase your own copy on Smashwords or Amazon

To learn more about these poets visit Our Write Side (http://ourwriteside.com) or to learn more about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention visit their website (www.afsp.org).

From the Authors

Ambrosia is an anthology completed by 9 wonderful poets Eric Keizer, A.L. Mabry, Sam DeLoach, Alyssa Trivett, Mello Sakia, Stacy Overby, Phillip Matthew Roberts, Veronica Falletta and Stephanie Ayers, and all royalties will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Where To Find Heidi Angell

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog, Website

Author Spotlight – Connie Cockrell

I had the pleasure of running into Connie Cockrell a little while ago, and we’ve been talking back and forth about setting up an interview swap. What I didn’t realize when we started talking is just how many genres this amazing woman manages to write in.

I know just how difficult it can be to write different genres, but Connie Cockrell seems to find it effortless. Maybe she’ll give us an insight into just how she does it in this interview. How about it Connie?

[Update: I just found out that this post coincides with Connie’s birthday, so please show her some love]

Introducing Connie Cockrell

A 20-year Air Force career, a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling.

She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She’s published sixteen books, has been included in five anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com and FrontierTales.com. Connie’s always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one.

 

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I grew up in Gloversville NY and joined the Air Force at eighteen. Lots of life happened the next 20 years, marrying, having a daughter, travelling around the world with the Air Force and retiring after 20 years in the service. Then we retired back to Northville NY where I worked for a computer company then, tired of the snow, moved to Payson AZ. That’s where I started writing on a challenge from my daughter in 2011. I haven’t stopped writing yet!

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My very latest book is a cozy mystery, Mystery at the Book Festival. It’s book 3 in my Jean Hays series. My last science fiction book is Troubled Streets, book 1 in my Zoe Ohale series.

Zoe Ohale has had a hard life on the streets of Baia Mare, and it’s about to get a whole lot harder.

For Zoe Ohale, life on the streets is hard. Maybe too hard. She is one of the lucky few in the gang to have a place to lay her head, but for the rest an old abandoned warehouse is the best they can hope for to keep out of the rain.

Zoe has debts to pay. On the one side, the Lees are pressuring her to be an informant; on the other, the criminal underworld threatens to swallow her whole. But Zoe would do anything for her gang of orphans, so she shuts up and straddles the line of loyalty between night and day, always teetering on the edge.

But when a new gang of credit thieves comes to Baia Mare, everything is thrown into disarray, and Zoe’s precarious balance starts to crumble. With lies, kidnapping, corruption and even worse in the mix, the city is bound for a descent into anarchy.

Will Zoe find a way to help right a few wrongs? Or will she be the one who ends up needing help?

Who is your intended readership?

Women and girls who are looking for a smart, tough, yet sensitive main character. In the first book, Zoe is 17, so it could be considered a YA story though adults have enjoyed the story, too.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always dabbled at writing. Mostly just a few chapters then I’d toss the whole thing. Then when my daughter challenged me to participate in National Novel Writing Month, she loaned me her copy of Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. He laid out everything in a way that made total sense to me. I started plotting out my story in mid-October and finished that first book by the end of Nano. I was pretty pumped and I’m still going strong.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I’ll have to say the classic scifi authors like Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke and others. Female authors too, C.J. Cherryh, Elizabeth Moon, and so many more. All of my favorites tell compelling stories and with every book, take me on a vacation to far away exotic locations. What’s not to love!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

I’d say find what works for you and follow that. There’s a lot of advice out on the internet about how to be a writer. Some say you need to plot everything out, some say you should work by the seat of your pants. Other advice is to write every day, or edit as you go or don’t edit as you go. All I can say is I know authors who break one or more of all of those rules. Take classes, read craft books and figure out what works for you. You should find joy in writing. If you aren’t, perhaps you’re doing it wrong.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

Once when my husband I were travelling west along I40 from Flagstaff, I saw a highway sign for Devil Dog Road. What a great name! I had to write a story based on that and I did. It’s in my collection of Halloween Stories, available on most book retailers

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I like to hike. I belong to a group that goes out and about central Arizona every Tuesday. I also belong to a monthly Bunco group and I started an annual book festival here in Payson.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I have several projects in the works. I have completed a first draft of the second Zoe Ohale story, Troubled Campus. It needs a lot of work so I probably won’t publish it until 2018. Coming out soon, though, is the 4th book in my Brown Rain series, Tested. A dystopian scifi series, the books are novelette or novella length so they’re great fast reads.

Mystery at the Fair

Welcome to Greyson, Arizona. Population: One less than yesterday.

When Jean Hays moved to Greyson, Arizona, she thought she’d found the perfect place in which to get away from her sleazy ex-husband and start over, a fresh beginning far from the big city.

But when she discovers the desiccated corpse of local quilting legend Ina Grange in a storage container on the fairgrounds where she’s volunteering, she inadvertently starts uncovering a deadly conspiracy just under the surface of the sleepy town.

Between managing the annual Greyson fair and pursuing the shadowy trail of destruction left by the murderer, Jean has her hands full dealing with drunken brawls and nasty falls, suspicious ex-wives and keen-sharp knives. And that’s not to mention the stubborn Police Chief himself.

Will Jean find the truth before the killer decides enough is enough?

Troubled Streets

Zoe Ohale has had a hard life on the streets of Baia Mare, and it’s about to get a whole lot harder.

For Zoe Ohale, life on the streets is hard. Maybe too hard. She is one of the lucky few in the gang to have a place to lay her head, but for the rest an old abandoned warehouse is the best they can hope for to keep out of the rain.

Zoe has debts to pay. On the one side, the Lees are pressuring her to be an informant; on the other, the criminal underworld threatens to swallow her whole. But Zoe would do anything for her gang of orphans, so she shuts up and straddles the line of loyalty between night and day, always teetering on the edge.

But when a new gang of credit thieves comes to Baia Mare, everything is thrown into disarray, and Zoe’s precarious balance starts to crumble. With lies, kidnapping, corruption and even worse in the mix, the city is bound for a descent into anarchy.

Will Zoe find a way to help right a few wrongs? Or will she be the one who ends up needing help?

First Encounter

Seventeen years ago, the brown rain started falling without explanation, without excuse. It killed everything it touched.

Then, after four years of death and destruction, it stopped just as inexplicably.

Now Alyssa and Kyra, two young women from a surviving community, are sent out into a desolate world to look for other survivors. Between Alyssa’s unique power and Kyra’s roguish skills, they might just succeed. But what they end up finding in the outside world, despite its veneer of civility, may be slightly less human than they had been expecting.

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