Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The End of the World Sucks - Free for 'end of world'

Free on Saturday, Dec. 22nd, and Sunday, Dec. 23rd.

I've put my book on free promo that day - it's title is The End of the World Sucks.  It's the Kindle version available for free download on Amazon.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can use the Kindle reading app on your PC, tablet, or smartphone.  Or if you have some nebulous plan to one day own a Kindle or tablet, you can download books now - probably stick to free ones - and choose to put them in Amazon's cloud storage.

Later, if you read it and like it, you can leave a review.  Or if it's not your cup of tea (thanks, Kate Policani) perhaps you know someone else that may enjoy zombies, a vampire, and people behaving badly.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Free Time

OK, so this blog isn't about what I do at work during the day or even my PT job - though they may give me inspiration to write.  This blog is about me as an author, but since it'll come up on page 1 of a Google search I thought I'd clarify some of my recent posts.

My volunteer work takes up some time, and if you don't want to scroll around to find out - I foster kittens for an animal rescue group, take them to adoption events, and will take care of them till they're adopted.  There's no expiration date so they can stick around until they find their family.  There's a limit to how many I have in my house so it's not out of control as long as I'm on top of it. 

To some, this seems a waste of time because I'm not helping people in some way.  I used to do volunteer work with children, both at my daughter's school, and when I worked at a large corporation that formed a partnership with a middle school to mentor pre-teens. 

When I chose to volunteer my time to assist animals, it's due in part to my beliefs that they need help and that there's a combination of factors involving other people that put these animals in this position.  A short list would be abuse, abandonment, and lack of spay/neuter.

And to some people, these hours I spend helping animals isn't good enough.  I can accept that - universal adoration is not my goal in life.  There will be no pleasing some people, and I am not helping animals to try to please those that will never be satisfied.  I like the baby cats.  And my own cats.  And my dogs.  And my daughter too.  Some of them may like me outside of meal times.  Win-Win.

So back to the more objectionable part of my life.  I write.  I don't watch that much television any more.  I don't travel because of the animals.  I no longer play an MMO.  And I never got the thing about dancing drunkenly in the street while talking loudly, except to commend the individuals for choosing not to drive.  (those who know the city I live in might get this - at one time, the Rand McNally "Places Rated Almanac"  listed it as having the most taverns per capita in the U.S., 1 for every 218 residents)

When there's an event like National Novel Writing Month, it gives me a goal.  50,000 words in 30 days.  Quantity, not quality.   Not even first draft ready.

After the event is over, I mold those words.  For 2011 and 2012, I wrote some fan fiction to push my word count to a greater number after working on my original novel.  I post it for free on the internet.  I make no attempt at selling it because someone else created those characters.  It's my comfort food writing, and some people like reading it.

However, I can take the original characters and turn those into publishable work.  That's going to take months, but in the end my investment could lead to some income.  It will become latent or passive income because once it's published, it's a finished product.  I don't need to make monthly updates.  The royalties are direct deposited into my account.  So writing is a third job for me, and I'd like it to replace my second job one day.  Replace my primary job?  Let's wait on that.  I'm going to need to have a backlist of books first.  That's years at the rate I'm chugging along at.

Liking the idea of a goal, the third job of writing may one day produce a list of titles that will generate noticeable income allowing me to be more particular regarding my other work.  The ability to choose is important to me.

My ability to choose also goes into writing.  I write about topics I want because chasing trends and following formulaic plots doesn't seem that interesting.  There's no guarantee that writing something that's like what's been written before will equal actual dollars.  If I did that, I'd be in ReWrite X, maybe with an agent now, who would query publishers on my behalf or a possible publication date in 2014, rather than having The End of the World Sucks out there as an indie published piece.  It's making money today, shaking with this mama gave it.

Considering writing to be a third job is putting me and my family (I die, and the rights go to my estate) before the needs of others.  When I go to my other jobs, I believe that is the same situation.  I work hourly to get paid.  When I write, it's a self-employment opportunity, and the hours invested are not translated into a livable wage.

I really don't get why people need to be so vocal about what they expect others to do when I'm not too sure what they're doing regarding making the world a better place other than giving others grief.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway Completed

Hey all,

I was working both jobs the day the contest completed and the next day, but I did get to the Post Office Friday and the winners' books are on their way.  They should receive them Monday.

Over 500 people entered the GoodReads contest to win a copy of my book.  That's a lot of people (at least to me).   Maybe I'll do another Kindle version giveaway later in the month - I haven't had one since August.  

Why would I give away my book for free?  I understand if people don't have money.  I don't have money for the things I used to buy or donate to. I'd like to think of writing as a source of income, but if it came down to 500 people (perhaps?) wanting to read my book but not being able to afford it - it doesn't cost me anything to give away Kindle copies if the readers can't afford them at this time.  Maybe they'll buy a future book of mine, or they could leave me a nice review.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cool It Nerd


I backed out a couple of recent blog posts because I'm reentering the job market for a full-time job since my contractor job that's been extended a few times already is now out of funding :^(

I like it there and I've liked working at other places, but it's not solely up to me.

So I thought I'd better restate in politer terms what I had posted regarding National Novel Writing Month before anyone thinks I wig out.  No, there's things that go through people's minds, but they don't say or act upon them.

I think Chris Christie put it the month in perspective for those outside New Jersey -
“Now we’ve got a big task ahead of us that we have to do together. This is the kind of thing New Jerseyans are built for – we’re plenty tough and now we have a little more reason to be angry after this. Just what we need in New Jersey, a chance to be a little more angry.”

During the month of November, I was participating in National Novel Writing Month.  I did not get off to a great start because I was writing with a pen in a notebook, usually at night by flashlight and candlelight while monitoring the stove to heat up my house with steam.  I had no power for a while, but I was able to contact both jobs and get some hours.  Both are hourly, so if I don't work, I don't get paid. Sandy and Thanksgiving were not helpful to my bottom line.  I did not have much loss compared to others so I know I'm lucky. 

I did not travel to somewhere else with better facilities, like a hotel, because I have pets and foster animals in my house.  In an emergency, shelters will take us in, and I do have carriers and a vehicle that can hold them all.  I am prepared to a degree, but it was easier last year with Irene to have an evac plan with an older, driving teenager in the house (at college now) and a storm that wasn't 800 miles wide.  So I lived at home, went to work, and left early enough to return while there was still daylight.

There was also the maneuvers to gas up the car.  I started with a full tank so I wasn't involved in the initial panic, but once I started travelling to work sites, I needed to pay attention to the odd/even days and get in line.

After I visited Union Beach to help with clean up at a feral cat sanctuary and the person's home, I was settling back into a schedule and that included my free time activities.  On my evenings off, I sometimes go to programs or meetings for writers.  In November, a lot were scheduled so after checking to see that a particular library was open and the program was not cancelled - I went.

I was the only person that showed up.  I went to the librarian desk at the start time and asked, and she said it wasn't cancelled and asked me to wait to see if other people showed up.

Well, there was an angry mom hanging around the library who overheard me inquire about the National Novel Writing Month event.  Her mind was made up that November as National Novel Writing Month should have been cancelled if it wasn't already.  I was a *bleep* for participating when so many people were suffering.  And there's schools that have been washed away that I should be rebuilding.

Her mind was made up without knowing anything about me, or that National Novel Writing Month is a worldwide event. I doubt she was even aware of the volunteer needs of the unnamed washed away schools because if I think it over, I would not want my child going to a school that was rebuilt the same way an Amish barn is raised.  Without planning, skilled labor and the right materials, the new building may be unsafe.  Also, what am I supposed to do in the dark to rebuild a school, or is she insisting people no longer go to work if their workplace is open? 

I also did not observe her children in tow - she was flying solo, enjoying the heat, lights and internet, but they may have been left in the children's section of the library which also rubs me the wrong way.   The librarians are there to assist, but they aren't babysitters to give mom time to go pick a fight in another part of the library.

Anyway, the result was I wasted my time and gas going there, but the thing that ticked me off more was judgmental mom who doesn't possess the ability to keep her opinion to herself.  Anything I said about sand, mud, lives on the curbs - not good enough.  If I'm not working to get her kids out of the house during the day, I'm not doing shit.

I do consider writing a third job - or some may say a hobby that produces money.  I've already heard about making the big bucks on eBay by visiting garage sales or becoming a distributor ... I'd rather write.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway

Hey there,

I'm not speeding along with National Novel Writing Month as quickly as I  did last year. It wasn't my lack of electric, but the sad things I keep hearing from others.  
I am seeing lots of out of state utility trucks so I'm not laying the blame in that direction either.

However, I'm trying to turn that around (I have plenty of plot in my head!) with a Goodreads Giveaway 
that will receive entries for 30 days. This is for a physical, paper copy that I will mail at my expense.

Monday, November 12, 2012

St. Francis Feline Fellowship

I also blog for a cat rescue group, and since this is an update on why I'm not churning out the word for National Novel Writing Month - I've done some mud mucking besides bleaching the crap out of things.
On Saturday (or Caturday), a group of SARA volunteers with power troubles that barred our normal adoption afternoons went down to Union Beach, NJ to help St. Francis Feline Fellowship.
Union Beach, N.J. on Raritan Bay is a community hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy.  Even two weeks later, not all traffic lights are operational on Route 36.  One of the banks has a truck set up in their parking lot as a mobile banking center.  There were signs flashing alongside the road with info on where to get food, water, and ice.
NJ.com and News 12 have both picked up that Union Beach is a community that needs rebuilding.  From Tomas Dinges of NJ.com:
The night of the storm the wind-driven tidal surge swept into homes with violent force, crashing through locked doors and carefully sealed windows and tearing through living rooms, hallways, bedrooms and kitchens.
Walls ripped from foundations and two-story houses sheared in half. Brook Avenue and Front Street became roads of ruin, with homes like Stenquist’s reduced to concrete and wooden rubble.
Between 200-300 were knocked off their foundations or rendered uninhabitable, authorities say. More than 100 houses are simply missing from the tightly knit community of 6,200 that lives in the tiny town of one square mile.
Houses that weren’t obliterated were flooded, the water cresting at eight feet, then draining away, taking with it anything that floated.

St. Francis Feline Fellowship is located at a residence that still exists.  Repairs are needed to the residence, and while I was out there Saturday, FEMA came by twice to take pictures and notes.  Even though that'll help later, the primary home insurance adjustor has not visited.  The second step is the flood insurance, then FEMA's assistance will be last. In addition to the house, Sue's car was floated onto the front porch and considered totalled.
In addition to the personal loss, Sue realized that the storm surge was higher than it had ever been in Union Beach.  She stated her house never had this kind of flooding.
There is a cat sanctuary on the property.   It was recently built, and has an interior section with heat and air conditioning.   Feral cats were being sheltered in it, including a cat that was at my house for two years waiting for a sanctuary spot to open up.
Sanctuary - didn't think to take a pic till I was taking a break
Sue evacuated as many cats as she could from the sanctuary that night, in the dark and in chest-deep water.  They were crowded together on a high shelf, needing her help to reach somewhere safer.  Grabbing feral, scared cats is not easy, and even though Sue has practice handling difficult cats, the only thing that mattered was getting the cats out of this shelter.  Not a single cat was injured or lost.
Shelf, after I cleared out everything else
What I worked on Saturday was getting the sanctuary shelter cleared out, cleaning it, and getting it ready for the cats to return to their normal home. 
Out of the cat supplies, a great deal was lost.  Any soft furniture was waterlogged, cat trees with particle board bases was considered totaled, even if it did not come apart because of possibiilty of mold or mildew, blankets and towels were saturated with mud, and full bags of dry cat food had become wet.
There was a second small building that was used for recovery for any ill cats or those needing surgery, including spay/neuters.  There were more materials lost from that building as well. 
St. Francis Feline Fellowship needs donations - there is a donation button on the web site.  It's also 501(c)3, like Summit Animal Rescue.  It might seem odd one rescue group pointing at another, but St. Francis is similar to SARA, but also different.  Sue does more TNR, socializing cats that may seem unadoptable, and will sanctuary a limited number of ferals that have nowhere to go.
I have no hands-on experience with TNR work, and I've only socialized a few somewhat feral kittens.  Morticia's, currently a resident in Sue's sanctuary.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Just a quick blog entry to say, yes, I live on the Jersey coast facing Staten Island, and not much got broken at my house.  The stray roof shingles I saw falling outside my window on Monday afternoon were from someone else’s house one street over, and they were in the middle of a project so it’s not like they lost their roof just before the worst of the storm hit.
I have no power, internet, heat, or phone (either) service when I’m at home.  I can do some things at work, but when I’m at work, I’m trying to work :^)  So I just wanted to briefly post something in case someone’s inquiring.
I’m fine, the pets are fine, and I’ve sawed the tree branches into easily handled hunks of wood.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Less than a week till November (National Novel Writing Month)

My head's been in planning mode for November and writing more Vanna and Thanos.

November 1st seems closer than it is because I attended a NaNo kickoff party this week.  It was scheduled on Oct. 23rd by the library because there's some other events next week.

I added a NaNo counter on the site here (<- to the left), but it might not take off quickly because I've already been scheduled to work at the second job on November 1st.  I also worked both jobs last year so I think I'm good, but I shouldn't be staying up late on Oct. 31st to start writing as soon as the clock strikes midnight. 

I've also been doing some tweaking on Neferseshotep before I put him aside for the month, unless I write like the wind, complete a novel in less than 30 days, and then can return to writing super-powered fantasy.

My book signing was nice.  I didn't sell out of books, I didn't sell half my books, but I did get a bump on my Amazon rank over the weekend so was it due to me talking to someone?  I also talked about National Novel Writing Month because I had a six foot table and only one title.  I added a selection of NaNo and Young Writer Program flyers to the front side.

Since I also set-up on Friday for the Pet Adoption Fair, I picked the tablecloth color that went best with my book cover. 

Wednesday Addams
Joining me at the table were two foster cats - Miss Wednesday Addams and Mr. ZuZu.  As you can see, I wasn't kidding around about being queen of black cats.

My other fosters were on the table next to us so I could easily answer any questions regarding their awesomeness, or tell off my mama's boy for sitting around with one eye closed like a furry little drama king.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Writing and Publishing

I’m feeling so inspired after reading Chuck Wendig’s blog post ‘Ask the Writer: “How do I get Published?”’ 
I like the storytelling bit, or I wouldn’t have written all that fan fiction while I was unemployed.  Then NaNo came along, and I thought I could write 50,000 words in a month, even though I was back to working, and working two jobs because Day Job doesn’t pay what my Old Day Job used to pay.  To up the ante, I figured I’d write something original – new characters.  An experiment.
Well, that experiment was moving along in November 2011 when I started the month off sick, then I got cheesed off at something so I flipped my writing back into fan fic to make myself happy.   My word count jumped, besides having 4 days off with nothing to do – neither job, no relative wanting me for Thanksgiving  - and I ended on Nov. 29th with 167,756 words.  On the 30th, both jobs had me scheduled, so no writing.
Half of these words were the zero level draft of The End of the World Sucks. The rest was fan fiction that I posted, got some real reviews for, and then got trolled … because that’s the way fan fiction works.
So back to Sucks – I had this chunk of words that I could post for free on fan fiction’s sister site, Fiction Press.  I hadn’t posted anything there, but thought about my CreateSpace coupon and the much-touted *fears* that Amazon was only using CreateSpace and the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest to steal everyone’s novels. 
Not MY fears, all the paranoid people that think they can’t pitch or query their novels because every agent and publisher is out to steal them.  200 word query = 84,000 word novel *stolen*?  Math doesn’t compute, but the logical part of my brain also calculates less people will see it if I never do anything with it.  Posting it free online will get some reviews and feedback, but this is different than fan fiction.  I don’t own those characters or settings so that’s for fun with no chance at recognition except as a quirky pen name. 
What if I wanted to do something for some money – average author annually makes $500 so I’m not thinking about my new Beverly Hillbillies lifestyle, just over time, if I write more books, I’ll sell more, and gradually make it worth the hours I invested in November.  What I didn’t realize is how many more hours I’d invest in edits and rewrites.  I spend more time doing that than writing, but I will hopefully become better when I write future zero level drafts.
I queried and entered contests.  Is it a jackpot moment to talk to an agent on the phone?  Yes and no.  I do really and deeply appreciate the call – no question in my mind that I gained something out of it.  I think I’d compare it most with a job interview.  I don’t mind job interviews so much, unless they’re clearly wasting my time.  And here’s the kicker, this happened early April 2012.  Some people query for a long time before getting THE call.  I got off the phone, bridges unburned.  If I altered my story to a genre-compliant zombie novel, I could submit my manuscript to him.  Since I now had his email address, I could have submitted it with no changes, but I understood what he was saying regarding the marketability. 
While this plum was dangling, I was reading online and going to talks regarding traditional publishing.  I work with metrics and contracts in periods of my professional career so my expectation was different from the way the publishing business works.  However, I can understand their viewpoint because they allow books to be returned by bookstores so the initial shipment does not equal sales.  They also package the author’s product and even if promotion is pushed onto the author, they do make the publication available through their distribution channels, which may have some proprietary aspects.  I can even understand the parts about the advance and it being applied to future royalties so I will not get paid again for that title until x number of books sell.  I didn’t jump into the ‘boo, hiss, they’re evil’ camp because I wasn’t learning about the inner working of publishing, just the author/publisher/possibly agent relationship. 
It didn’t sound like something that’d make me happy.  If I aspire to try to crack $500 annually with my writing, which is way less than minimum wage at the rate I write and edit, then I should go after what will make me happy with this – my plot, my characters, no mystery re: earnings.  Money would improve my outlook, but if only a handful of authors make substantially more than $500, that means that many more earn less.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older that I consider what I would like to do after everything else is done – I went to work, did things for the pets and foster kitties, washed my clothes and now I have free time. I could watch T.V., read, or run loose in the streets yelling my drunken head off (welcome to Sharon’s street – where I see people with red Solo cups dancing around the stop sign on the corner at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.  
Since I’m not joining the town bacchanalia, I stay inside writing, and I’ll rewrite to bring them up to the level where others should like them.  It’s my time to waste, and if I don’t feel like writing based on a genre formula, well I guess I’m throwing money away so I won’t be cracking the $500/year threshold to make it into Big Time Authorhood.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Help for authors - a couple web sites

Wow, I might be the last person around to know about Wordle created by Jonathon Feinberg.  Dani M.of Florida mentioned it on one of the NaNoWriMo forums as a way to find overused words.

In the past, I've looked at some prowritingaid reports to correct my weak points.  Though they don't seem to understand my New Jersey ways - I love writing 'get' and 'got' in that initial draft. Got that?

I have to say - I recommend both to help authors.

Here's what Wordle did with The End of the World Sucks (yes, I see a big 'get' in there) -

I think it's a very nice representation of the book.  It has a little bit about zombies and there's a vampire, but it doesn't dominate the text.

This one's a work in progress, so Neferseshotep should have a different look later as more characters, settings and action is written.

The largest words are character names at the moment, and there's a tiny 'get'.  I'm still writing and editing so that 'now' and 'like' might disappear also.

I'm just thrilled to find these clever and free tools.  Do you mind me sharing that?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Update: Pet Adoption Fair Flyer

The flyer for the Pet Adoption Fair - if only I had waited one more day :^)

I'm one of the things not mentioned, but that's OK.  It's about the animals, and maybe the bake sale.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pet Fair With Book Signing - Oct 20 and 21, Scotch Plains, NJ

I have a book signing planned in a couple weeks at Parker Gardens’ Pet Fair Weekend.  No, I didn’t write a pet book, but my foster cats will be there, and I was asked so once I also knew the other author in the group who actually wrote a children’s book about cats was invited, I said ‘sure’.  I am the chauffer for my ninja cat attack squad (most of my fosters are black cats), or maybe a better description is I drive the getaway car.
Parker Gardens is located at 1325 Terrill Road, Scotch Plains, NJ.  The Pet Fair is 11am – 3pm on October 20 and 21. There will be hay rides, a hay slide, and a maze.  Also, I have been to Parker Gardens before, and they have a huge selection of fall decorations besides plants. For the Pet Fair itself, there’s the cat rescue group I’m involved with on-site both days with cats taking applications for adoptions, and I believe there will be one dog group there on Saturday, and a second one on Sunday.  There are information sessions such as pet CPR, a pet communicator, and ‘Ask the Vet’. There will be a bake sale fundraiser for us too.
My delay in posting this here, since I was asked in September, is I’m trying to get my hands on the flyer.  That would be nice, and the Pet Fair’s not about me signing my book and talking about National Novel Writing Month and the Young Writer’s Program (under 17, can do less than 50,000 words).   The Pet Fair was not ideally timed to get anyone fired up about writing in November – it’s just a happy coincidence. 
There is another event in November with the NJ Greyhound Rescue group at the Westfield Armory (in New Jersey).  I’m not iffy about attending it, but I need coming-home info from my daughter in college, in case I’m driving to pick her up.  That’s 10 hours for one round-trip – in November – during National Novel Writing Month.  Not to lay any guilt on her because if it’s when I would be at a pet adoption event, I can’t say I get much writing done at those either.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sept. 30th already?

I've been working a lot of hours at the second job.  I do perk up when I get the result on a pay stub - paying bills and picking up a few splurge items at the grocery store.  My diet changes when I'm on the go, but I've been pretty good about not buying fast food since my daughter is away at college and no longer working with me part-time on weekends.

I'm actually down a couple pounds so I finally shed my NaNo weight from last year - hey, we meet in Starbucks and Starbucks at Barnes and Noble.  Fraps are delicious and full of calories.  One Starbucks was trying to help me kick the habit by slipping me a coffee-tainted Frap two separate times.  Seems cleaning the equipment is a low priority at that location (I'm the only coffee hater who writes?).  I'm torn - it's the closest write in location to where I live, and perhaps they've changed their filthy ways.

Speaking of NaNo - tomorrow, October 1st, I start plotting the sequel to Sucks.  I have some ideas, starting with the need to get them out of that house.  I have 30 days to expand on that concept.

In November, I hope to still be working two jobs, and my daughter will be home a week during that month.  Details aren't known about who is picking up, or if she's taking the train or bus into the area.  I may be the last to know.

With this amount of uncertainty about what's happening in November and how much free time I'll have, I'm still participating in National Novel Writing Month - are you?  Yes = good.  No = why not?

I'm not belittling the feat of writing 50,000 words in 30 days - not everyone can do that.  I've heard great ideas at the end of October kickoff party that had me sputtering into a shame spiral.  My stories are not going to change the world, unless you want to think if a traditional publisher touches my scribbles, it'll be set back to the Gutenberg days.

One day you're going to write a book?  How about starting November 1, 2012 - that day would be great.

The key is continuing to write, even when you think something has gone horribly wrong in your story (such as leaving the electricity on when you've flooded the city - my Neferseshotep doh!).  It's the word count, nothing but word count.  Start writing future scenes, back story, interviews with the characters after all is said and done ... keep writing.   In December, or maybe January or February, that's when you go back and start fixing it up.

I didn't finish Neferseshotep's first draft yet, and it's going to take time to straighten out the 50 thousand and something words I already wrote.  I actually had some contraction before I began adding words back in a hundred at a time, and I know it's slow-going because I still have the initial characters together and they're still in New York City.    Outline wise, I'm good, but there's some style-tweaking going on. I'm also trying to figure out where some test readers are settling into 'seen this before'/trope expectations that I'm having trouble seeing on the horizon.  This is just like ______, then I go look up the established work and scratch my head.   I do see some Narnia and Tolkien aspects, but since the characters are not united in a common goal (do some miss that half the characters don't give a rat's patootie?), is this a small scale Game of Thrones?  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Author Blog-In: The Disenchanted Pet by Kate Policani

The Disenchanted Pet

By Kate Policani

Short synopsis:
Far into the future, the Earth is ruled by the ShaZha, a hyper-intelligent race of alien beings who are plagued by the violence and volatility of the human race. Supposedly intending to repair the broken societies and polluted planet, they have found the Human problem to be much more complex than they ever imagined. Zarah is a Prodigy, an obedient human, with a caring ShaZha master. Zarah wants to prove all her master’s hopes that humans can be civilized and responsible. When she is lost by her master and exposed to the other side of humanity, she must confront the possibility she might be not a valued citizen, but a pet.
I am currently writing my next book called The Stray, a second book set in the ShaZha Earth. It isn’t a sequel, but the story connects with The Disenchanted Pet
Buy The Disenchanted Pet on Amazon (Kindle and Paperback. Kindle copy free with Amazon Prime)
To buy multiple ebook formats, go tohttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93067
To buy the paperback, click here:https://www.createspace.com/3657962
For great reviews:
Long Synopsis:
The Disenchanted Pet is ashort Science Fiction novel that takes place in the popular “post-apocalyptic Earth” setting,  exploreing the unique problems with the Human Race and how to “fix” it.
Zarah is a young, optimistic girl, entering into the exciting world of adulthood with an idealistic perspective. But Zarah lives in the a future where Humanity is ruled by an alien race occupying Earth in order to rehabilitate and repair the planet and its people.
Reality intrudes on Zarah’s unspoiled outlook when she is attacked and separated from her SaSa, an alien guardian who is like a parent to her. Trapped within the Feral Facility, pregnant and separated from her home and new husband, she learns all the mistakes about the reality she believed in. She sees that the “Ferals”, who who aren’t serviceable within  the ShaZha’s plans, are not necessarily the monsters her Prodigy society has portrayed them to be.
Suffering through the harsh truth about her world and the errors in her ideals, she must face a future without the assurances upon which she always relied.
The Disenchanted Pet appeals to Science Fiction lovers as well as readers who have never explored the genre before. It explores the disillusionment of growing up and the harsh realities of adulthood, but with aliens.
Cover Art by Heidi Barnett and Erik Sederstrom warpfrenzy@msn.com

Monday, September 17, 2012

Author Blog In: Destructive Magic by R. Leonia Shea

The struggle for power has begun. The United Coven and Alliance is rumored to be crumbling from the inside. Magical practitioners who operate outside the powerful organization are being tracked down. The Dominion, a powerful Afro-Caribbean relic has been stolen and four people are missing. Coyote, the mythical trickster spirit, believes Dr. Arienne Cerasola is the right person to hunt down the missing artifact and restore the balance. Maybe Arienne, an unemployed archaeologist and inexperienced witch, is the person destined to save the magical worldor maybe Coyote’s belief that she has a seventy-percent chance of success is a grave miscalculation.
A cast of characters, including a crazy voudoun priestess, a scattered former archaeology professor, and the always unpredictable Coyote join Arienne on this adventure to recover a relic that poses a threat to humanity as well as the magical world.  Areinne can either sit on the sidelines and help from a distance or she can jump into the fray and live with the consequences of her decision.
Read on for the first chapter of the book!
Chapter 1

I walked through the fields and admired the sunlight slanting through the trees.  My new home was in such a peaceful and serene setting that it always made me happy.  The mailbox was installed at the end of the dirt path that I called a driveway.  I loved the morning trek to the mailbox more than I ever thought possible.
I pulled open the metal door to the mailbox and peered inside.  The package I’d been waiting for had arrived and excitement surged through me.  I pulled the small package out and jogged back to the barn where Basir and I lived.  He would still be sleeping, having given in to his nocturnal nature since our move to the new home.
At the kitchen table, I tossed the bills to the side and grabbed a pair of scissors from the metal bucket I used to hold my office supplies.  I slit the packing tape and opened the box, letting myself feel the rush of anticipation – the box contained a whole new identity for me.
The small cards were brightly colored with flowers and garden tools.  Garden Magic Landscaping Service -  Make your garden magical.  Arienne Cerasola – proprietor.  The new business cards were exactly what I had wanted.
It was a fresh start.  No more job interviews that ended in “we’ll be making our decision in a few days” (translation, “you’re not getting the job”).  I would be self-employed; no more worrying about getting fired (again).  No more finding magical items or meeting magical beings that tried to trick me.  No more worries about killing someone who was trying to kill me.  The last thought sent a shiver of remorse down my spine.
I focused on the cards again – I needed to break the habit of dwelling on the past.  My future was printed in front of me and while it wasn’t exactly a dream job, I hoped I’d be able to use my earth elemental magic to make a living that wasn’t quite as dangerous as the other magical occupation I had tried.  I might as well find some use for my witch side.  Preferably a use that wasn’t quite as risky as my last foray into the magical world.
I stuck one of the cards to the refrigerator with a magnet.  Basir would see it when he woke up.  I looked around at the unfinished space inside the barn I was trying to convert to a home and decided I could spend some time gathering wild herbs on the property.  I loved wandering through the fields and I pulled my canvas tote off the rack by the door and headed outside.
The tiny Berkshire Mountain town we had decided to settle in suited us.  It was close to the major cities, but remote enough to offer us the relaxed and private lifestyle we wanted.  Basir was thrilled with it, and I felt more comfortable than I had in a long time.  There was no need to worry about where we were going to end up next.  No more fear about the United Coven and Alliance tracking us down.  Since I wasn’t exactly practicing magic, they were ignoring me.  I wanted to keep it that way.
If they were ignoring me, then they didn’t know that I had killed one of their warlocks in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.  There was an up-side of being considered completely inept – the Alliance would never think I was powerful enough to have done that.
I ran my hand through my copper colored hair and tilted my face toward the morning sun.  A few more freckles didn’t really matter to me.  I was about to become a landscaper, so I’d have an outdoorsy glow to me from now on.  I’d tan to a very pale, freckled honey shade, like I’d been when I worked as a field archaeologist – back before my magical talents started leaking out and creating disaster for me.  Jeez, I released one little demon (okay, it was a nasty demon) but I managed to contain it (by collapsing a ruin, but still – it was contained), and yet nobody wanted to hire me as a field archaeologist.  Go figure.  My Ph.D. was totally useless and I had to accept that.
I decided the past was the past and I bent to pick a few shoots of wild onions.  I would focus on the present and the future, no more lamenting things!  When my fingers closed around the onions, a whisper of magic came through the ground.  The hair stood up on my arms, and a shiver traveled the length of my spine.  I looked around at the meadow and squinted into the woods.  It had been a few months since I’d felt anything magicaland I didn’t like the sudden reappearance of it.
I bent and took a few more onions, crouching to hide my face.  I took another look around and I didn’t see anything threatening, but my senses remained on edge.  I tucked the onions into my canvas bag and walked toward the barn, keeping my stance relaxed despite the panicked little warning alarm in my head.
I bent again at a clump of clover, and pretended to pick the white flowers off the stalks.  I laid my other palm on the ground as if to steady myself and tuned into the waves of energy around me.
I felt it more clearly that time.  Something very powerful was nearby.  The hair on the back of my neck tingled, and a cold fear knotted my stomach.  If I concentrated, I could almost feelsomething watching me.  I gathered what energy I could from the ground and readied myself.  I would need power to put up any sort of fight.
I walked on, meandering toward the barn and concentrating on looking calm.  I bent every few steps as if to pluck a bloom, and laid my palm against the earth.  I could feel the magic coming through the ground, and I carefully sipped from the currents so as not to tip off whatever lurked in the woods.  If I drew in a large amount of power, it would be obvious that I was preparing for an attack.  I needed the element of surprise.
I had worked for days on a concealment spell to shield my property from view and memory.  I had woven the energy around the perimeter into a sort of magical fence that would give serious unwelcoming vibes to anyone who crossed it.  It wasn’t called an offensive/defensive barrier for nothing.
Yet something was lurking in the woods.  Something that shouldn’t have been able to cross the barrier.
I walked a little faster.
The prickling sensation on the back of my neck intensified and I quickly reviewed all of the spells I knew I had some chance of performing should I be attacked.  It was a depressingly short list.
I cast a protective bubble around myself, drawing the currents of energy out of the earth and knitting them around my body.  I channeled a little energy into the amulet I wore around my neck, just for good measure.  I wondered if there was an expiration date on amulets or if I should have recharged it somehow.
This magic thing really wasn’t working out too well, considering that I had an intruder on my magically protected property and I didn’t know if my amulet would work.  It wasn’t exactly a good time to be thinking about those details, and I made a promise to myself to try to plan better.  Yeah, right.
I could feel whatever was in the woods still watched
me.  I looked down at my arm and saw the translucent hairs on my forearms standing straight up.
I looked at my wrist, pretending to check the time.  My watch was on the kitchen table in the house.  As if remembering I had someplace to be, I hoisted the canvas bag onto my shoulder and set off back toward the barn.  My pace was a little quicker, fueled by the rising panic in my chest.
Something rustled the leaves behind me.
I didn’t turn, but I quickened my pace to a jog.  A wash of magic brushed against my skin.  Whatever followed me was way more powerful than I was.  I ran faster, spurred by the adrenaline and the prickles of fear on my skin.
Leaves crunched behind me and I felt my pursuer gaining on me.  The sounds of panting echoed in my ears, magnified by magic or fear.  The air was suddenly charged with electricity and I tried to grab it, to add it to my own reserves.  I ran even faster, pulling on the currents of energy desperately to fuel my body as well as my magic.
A scream was trapped in my throat.  I was too far from the barn.  I could only just see the roof over the next rise.  I didn’t realize I had walked that far!  I ran full out, throwing the canvas bag down and pumping my arms, trying to draw oxygen in over the knot of dread in my chest.
My own feet crunched through the tall grass, and I heard and felt something gaining on me.  The thrashing sounds behind me grew louder as if clamoring to be heard over my own ragged breathing.  I could see the siding on the barn, and make out the furniture on the patio.  I pushed my tired limbs faster.
Almost there.  Come on, Arienne!  Move it!
The sounds behind me suddenly ceased and a choked sob escaped from my throat one second before something crashed into the center of my back.
I fell, arms outstretched and slammed onto the ground.  I tumbled into a summersault and reached for the power in the earth.  I grabbed frantically at it, trying to channel it into the amulet I wore.  I rolled onto my back, eyes wide with terror and looked directly at the sharp teeth of my attacker.  Its jaws were opened as if to tear out my throat, and a scream exploded out of me.
Also available in paperback from Amazon.com.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Author Blog In: The Artist's Inheritance by Juli D. Revezzo

Day 2 of the groovy September 2012 Blog-In: 

(Antique Magic Book #1)
by Juli D. Revezzo
Available now at Amazon and Smashwords
Settling into their new home in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Caitlin finds strange changes coming over her husband Trevor. He seems obsessed with a beautiful chair he’s carving.

When the nightmares deepen and ghosts begin lurking—she knows something’s not right, and not just her newfound precognitive abilities. It’s the damned chair, she’s sure. Could it be just what it seems: a mundane piece of furniture? If so, why is it attracting dark forces—the forces she suspects drove Trevor’s siblings to insanity and suicide?

Before the same happens to Trevor, Caitlin must convince him to sell his art. But armed with only a handful of allies, and little experience of the supernatural, she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family.

If she succeeds, she will break the ancestral curse. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.

genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Book Two in the Antique Magic series forthcoming: Shadow of What She Once Was