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November was dismal

Howdy my lovelies!

November did not go over as planned. Not by a long shot.

NaNoWriMo was dismal, with 3 people in all showing up to the Write Ins at the library. Still a person better than last year. I’ve noted that the NaNoWriMo organization as a whole is taking a plunge in the past two years. No one is donating to reach goals, the NaNo staffers had to issue a statement that the fun times for MLs are not happening next year, and, participation is just kaput.

 

In personal news, my hubs damaged an aircraft tail rotor at work on accident. It didn’t come off the trailer right. Despite it being an accident, he was fired the entire month of November while the Union worked on getting him his job back. It was awful, his blood pressure was way too high and he was bored. He slept a lot. A plus side was that he went to every one of my NaNo events with me. That helped my anxiety. Thankfully, on November 28th, his Union representative came to the house and told him to pick up his badge and CAT card and report to work that night. He lost no seniority (25 years worth) and no change in pay grade status. The downside is that he has no pay for the month of November, and we are going to have a crappy Christmas. I have a deep freezer with food and food in the cabinets, so at least we wont starve, I hope.

 

I’ve worked on some short stories over NaNoWriMo, mostly horror, because you know I cant get away from the horror genre for some reason. I’ll post some up soon.

 

All my cat kids are doing well. BaxterMarie is still queen bee, Jeff is suspicious of everything and Lil Man hasn’t a care in the world unless its antagonizing BaxterMarie.

 

In the coming days I will be talking about some games I play. Well, two of them. I only play two. They are online browser based RP games, both pretty fun, one more-so than the other. Some shameless promotion. I mean, if you are an avid reader, why not take a look? Play around a little, write your own stories. I’ve posted plenty of my RPs to here and its fun. Its nice, because its not a tenacious as sitting down and working on a novel.

 

But, that is to come.

 

For now, be sweet, my darlings…<3

 

 

 


November 2016 Day 12

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Well, my word count for NaNoWriMo is climbing daily, even though I only managed 1669 words this morning. I am in pain so bad from my back. This spinal surgery, though I dread it, is not coming along fast enough.

 

So onto other things. BlogHer doesnt give prompts for blogs on Weekends, so I thought I give you all a sneak peak of Book Two.

 

I present you a excerpt from Book Two ‘The Path of Redemption’ – mind you this is a raw cut. Enjoy!

 

Jabril traced her soft lips as she had fallen asleep, feeling the warmth within his heart. It was amazing how this dark, devious little beautiful creature had captivated him. She had snared him, and his heart, in such a short amount of time. Both had been conflicted on what they had wanted, what they had needed, and yet, despite what either had said, here they were. They had gone through so much together in a short amount of time. They had shared so much. It was amazing that it was just out of nowhere. He had believed that he would never allow anyone into his heart again, not after his lost love, his betrayer. And Addison had longed for love, someone to let into her heart, someone to depend on and help keep her from tumbling over that edge of insanity. There was something about Addison, this little beast that she was. Jabril smiled as he watched her sleeping form. She did, in fact, just try to bring the genocide of an entire city. So much destruction, even though she had been trying to correct some of it.

But now Jabril knew the why and what in her motivations. He could help her. He could set her lose to gain vengeance.

There was a demon out there that he had a slow, painful, tormenting death in mind. On further thought, he considered binding it as a slave summon. Sending it back to hell, only to make it ‘summon bound’ to the summoners will.

No. He couldn’t take this away from Addison. It was up to her how this demon was to meet its end, despite Jabril’s wish to handle it – to save her.

She needed saving from herself, not the demon.

 

There you go! Just a nibble!

 

Be sweet, my lovelies!


Whats wrong with me? :[

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So, I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately, other than on my short story sites where I’m posting like a demon to get these short story compilations out. Most of them are already here on this blog, but there are about 30 more over on Jukepop, Wattpad, Tablo, Bublish, Medium, and of course, Niume. Go to Niume. Go to Niume. Read all the stories, drink all the coffee! Go to Niume.

I decided to do a bit of rearranging this weekend. You know me, my bright ideas. BLAGH. I got rid of the loveseat that was here in my office, and then today I was digging through a box to put my lovely pretties on my bookcase tops and whatnot and BAM! Sliced up on arm on something in that box. Dont know what it was, but ironixlly enough, I keep all my medical supplies in there. >.<

So I was bleeding like a stuck pigs, the wound is deep, but not long. I grabbed a dirty handtowel and wrapped it up and went to the ER for stitches. I was there for roughly 3 hours. Maybe longer. I didnt wear my watch, but it felt like forever.

I’m back here at home and not going near that box any time soon.

The office is coming together nicely though. Not that it didnt look smashing before, but it was time for a change. And without the loveseat I have much more floor space for the kitties.

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The kitties on catnip. 🙂

Just thought everyone would like to see the kitties, because…KITTIES!

I’ll be taking it easy and uploading more short stories to Niume and Medium. ~whispers in your ear~ GO READ.

~squishes my loves~

 


Become a NaNoWriMo Sponsor! Donate!

Become a NaNoWriMo Sponsor! Donate!

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Zoe Amblers NaNo Fundraising Page!

[  ^clickable link ^  ]

Howdy my Darlings!

This year I am working as a Municipal Liason on NaNoWriMo. I would love for you all to clicky the link above and give whatever you’d like or can!

As you all know, NaNo is a project dear to me, I love participating and I love rallying the others.

I plan on attending The “Night of Writing Dangerously” in San Fransico, however, this also depends on the help of you all. I must raise enough through fundraising to ensure my seat!!

The Deadline for this fundraiser is August 31. I know, I know…not a lot of time. But please, any little bit will help and ensure my spot.

There is a static page for this to refer to at any time, just look at the nav menu! 😀

Love you, my darlings!


WAIT! I forgot something…

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I keep forgetting to let ya’ll know I am posting TWO stories a night/day/morning/whereveryouare.

The prompts I’m pulling off my RP gaming site are two different ones every day, unless the host is away. But, I have some un-published short stories I’ve been flushing out as well, trying to post them to give ya’ll something to read, and hopefully comment on.

So enjoy the reading! Go back in the blog and see if there isnt a story or two you might have missed!

~hugs and inappropriate touches~

Zoe  😀


The Case of Disappearing Amazon Reviews…

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So, I have had quite a few Amazon reviews. At least 6. And 3 Barnes & Noble reviews.

I checked in on my Amazon page, and *POOF* I have had several reviews just disappear.

Thankfully I had taken a screen shot of them a week or so ago because I was going to make a post about them.

So, here they are. Only two remain on my page now, however. I find it distressing to say the least. Has this happened to anyone else??

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amazon reviews 2amazon review 3

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So most all of these are gone but two.

I just want to cry. 🙁


Review by Heidi Angell

Book review: The Road of Darkness by Zoe Ambler

http://anangellslife.blogspot.com/

Review by Heidi Angell

I really want to enjoy this book…. and I must have, because I finished it eagerly in one day, despite having a lot of house work and several chapters I was supposed to edit… Yeah. I couldn’t put it down. It is the story of a young woman from New Orleans who was raised by a voodoo-practicing slave-nanny and ends up getting changed into a vampire because she snuck off to buy some supplies for her own voodoo practices.

Her soul is given to Baron Samedi and we get to see her go through history learning to survive and thrive as a vampire. There are exciting introductions to different species of vampires, to other supernatural creatures, and to demons. The book has so much to love….

But the author rushes through telling us bits that would have been much more interesting shown; rushing through bits and pieces that although not strictly relevant to the plot, were much more interesting…. Well, and to be fair, would have been relevant to the plot because the plot plays out like an autobiography. There isn’t really a plot. We are simply following Addison’s life, or unlife as it were. Spending more time on interesting and relevant pieces would have been good.

I have to say something about the writing. Usually I am a major stickler for poor writing. There are six books that I have not finished reading in my life. One just recently was made into a major motion picture. Because of that, it gave me pause to say anything. Clearly there is a large mass of readers who don’t care…. and there is another book that was made into a motion picture recently that is grammatically well written and I have spent almost three months trying to get through, so I obviously enjoyed this error-riddled book more than those other book which shall remain nameless…

But as a writer, I cannot bring myself not to discuss it. This author is the perfect example of a writer who is a master story teller, but would benefit SO MUCH from having an editor. She did a fantastic job with writing in dialect. And someone obviously did some work editing (though it wasn’t obvious until I got to the last handful of chapters where it really fell apart!) but I know high schoolers who could have done a better job editing. Seriously.

There were a couple of pet peeves that really drove me nuts, that could have been fixed by a best friend reading through and wouldn’t have cost the author a penny. (It is per se, not per say. You start a new paragraph when you change speakers, and spell check is a must!! In this modern age, there is no excuse for misspelled words. Homophone errors, perhaps, but not straight up misspelled words!)

But really every author should have a professional editor. I provide editing for other authors, and I hire someone to edit my books. Even if you do not have a budget to have the book edited, there are ways to trade favors with other authors, give new editors a chance to build their chops, get beta readers, so many options.  I hope the author does that. Pull the book and get some people to read it. Polish this diamond in the rough and buff that baby straight up because I really want to read this series!!!


Spotlight: Author Kaine Andrews

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Kaine Andrews

First off, lets get to know Kaine a little…

Kaine Andrews was born in San Diego, California, before being spirited away to Carson City, Nevada. There he has remained, with the exception of one memorable week in Bend, Oregon and one small tour in hell (AKA Chandler, Arizona.)

Raised among a family filled with NASCAR loving, mechanically minded folk who considered themselves witches, Kaine’s unique upbringing and early escape from the halls of education, along with the theft of his father’s typewriter, led him to the demented scribbling that he refers to as his “work.”

Through the course of his life, Kaine has been involved in television production, retail work, criminal psychology, newspaper writing, radio and criminology as well as earning trade-school degrees in private investigation, computer programming, freelance writing and motorcycle repair. This eclectic background has left him with a fractured worldview and a number of unique experiences to translate into his writing.

He currently remains in Carson City, while dreaming of the Oregon coast, wrestling with his pet coyote and hoping to one day elope with Katy Perry.

Now I want a pet coyote…but all the ones on my land are afraid of me 🙁  . Kaine was every so sweet to indulge in my 10 silly questions. But come on…He has a pet coyote…everyone should have a pet coyote for the zombie apocalypse. ~sage nod~ On with the questions, and man, are they great answers!!!

10 Questions, Zoe style…
1. What is your writing process?
I don’t know that I really have a process, at least not one that I could call that. It’s more channeled insanity; you know what they say, take your handicaps and make them work for you! Generally, though, almost all of my fiction writing starts with a character – human or not. Something trips in the brain and they’re there, nattering and chewing on my ear, and just won’t shut up. Eventually, I get sick of it, and start talking back, asking them what it is that has them in such a state; if they answer back, I start writing it down. “And then…?” I say, and they tell me what happened, and why, and to who.
This generally means I’m sitting there talking to myself – often out loud, and with outlandish accents so I can keep my characters straight – in my computer chair or the cab of my truck, while my dog looks at me as though I’ve gone insane. But it seems to work, so I’m not going to complain.
If I ever hit a point where the character in question just shrugs and gives me a “Hell if I know!” in response, I start interrogating the other characters that have come up, fishing for which one of them has the next thread in the story. Rinse and repeat until they all tell me “The story is done. I’ll go away, now.”
For something that’s more practical and useful, I think the most important aspect of the process is that you do it every day. It doesn’t matter what you write – or even how much, really – but it does matter that you do it. Scribble a sentence on a manuscript, do a blog post, respond to an e-mail, just make sure you write something.
2. What do you read for pleasure?
Anything! Well, almost. Sometimes things get filed under “research” rather than “pleasure,” but for the most part, I enjoy research. Except when I’m trying to figure out something that I don’t care for or really have no interest in, and am only digging to satisfy my natural curiosity about people and the things they adore. But if it’s my absolute 100% choice with nothing resembling “work” wrapped up in it, I usually end up rereading Stephen King or Clive Barker, or digging around in the horror/sci-fi section of a used bookstore, picking something based on just how atrocious or hokey the cover art is, and diving in.
I’ve actually found some amazing reads that way; probably the best was Mr. Hands by Gary A. Braunbeck, which is probably the most amazing book I’ve read in a very long time.
I also spend far too much time on Wikipedia. I’ll pick a random article, and just keep following links until I’m tired or something fixates in my head and turns it into actual work instead of just random knowledge digestion.
3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
Seeing how it all comes out. When I’m writing a story, I might have some idea of where it’s going and how it’ll all wash out, but more often than not, one of my characters will say “Uh, no. That’s not what happened,” and proceed to correct me. Often strenuously. With a ruler, in the manner of a Catholic school teacher. Typically the ending is as much of a surprise to me as it may be to any eventual readers. Watching it unfold and seeing the words spilling from my fingers – along with questioning “Am I really doing this?” – serves as my primary entertainment.
As noted, I may be insane, and merely trying to find ways to make that into a productive endeavor.
4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Oh, what highlights to hit… hmm. Well, for the things that I am in no way responsible for but am bizarrely proud of department, I’m descended from Scottish royalty, have amazing hair that is resistant to all damage and often has people threatening to scalp me, and I have enough genetic and medical anomalies that somehow manage to coexist that I could probably safely provide for retirement by selling myself to science. So far as personal accomplishments, I finished high school when I was 13, almost had a psychology degree and was going to move to Virginia to be a criminal profiler with the FBI and worked in television and radio production for twelve years. I have a pet coyote, play far too much Diablo III, and enjoy ghost hunting. I used to paint and play piano and guitar, before arthritis crawled into my hands and said “Uh, no,” and I’m still trying to train my computer to understand my accent for the eventuality that I won’t be able to run a keyboard anymore.
Oh, and if I ever actually make it big – or at least medium – I’m moving to Romania. I hear Bran Castle is for sale; if I could swing it, I would. Just to say “Yeah. I’m a horror novelist who lives in Dracula’s Castle.” Because that would be entirely too awesome.
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
I think my greatest strength in that department is being able to get lost in my own story. When the characters are really talking to me and everything is gelling the way I like, as long as the coffee keeps flowing I can dump 8,000 words on the page in a day. I love those days.
The greatest weakness is the churlish, “I’m tired and don’t feel good and I hurt and I’m going to act like Sam Winchester and whine and flip my hair” aspect of me that glares at the computer chair or the iPad, knowing that there’s some work to be done, and not wanting to do it. Forcing myself to do it – even if it’s only to write one sentence – proves difficult sometimes. I’m also easily derailed by emotional or financial instability, prone to panicking rather than sitting down, taking a deep breath, and commencing the daily scribbles. Which of course only leads to more anxiety, which turns into a feedback loop, which means I don’t do any work at all for three months until something forces me back to it.
6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Aside from talking to myself? 😉 The only one I can think of – the one that seems most counter to every piece of advice I’ve ever heard on the subject – is break time. My workhorses, tablet and desktop both, have all kinds of websites, social media, and games installed on them, and so long as I’ve scribbled at least one sentence in between, I find no guilt in opening those things and poking at them for a bit before returning to the work.
Everyone I’ve heard says that’s death for the creative process, but I find it keeps me running; if I don’t “time out” to go hunt for a Legendary item or watch a cat video, I go insane and end up with nothing but nonsense or just a handful of words. If the day is otherwise relatively empty of activity, I can have one of those 8k days and still have logged three hours on non-work endeavors.
7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Marketing. I’m kind of a self-loathing individual, and I’ve also been termed, among other things, a “high-functioning depressive,” so liking myself or my work enough to try to convince other people to come see it is about as fun as dental work. Actually, less so; I’ve sat through more than twenty root canals (genetically bad teeth and a small measure of vanity are a terrible combination) and would do that again rather than have to Tweet “Hey, my book is free this weekend.” Add in that I really have no idea of how to market and there are so many conflicting opinions on the subject that trying to form a good, solid base to start from seems practically impossible, and you end up in my own personal Purgatory.
8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I try. I really do. But between a dog that can’t decide if he’s shedding or not, odd hours, insomnia, and health problems that mean moving a mattress three inches is going to create day-long wrist pain and shortness of breath or a full-on allergy attack from the dust and pet fur flying when you flounce the sheet, and it becomes something I just try to avoid.
9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Only one? But I can’t decide! Okay. Fine. *flips coin* Romania. Scotland was a close second – supposedly I’m heir to a rock with a rock etched into it over there – but Two-Face’s method of solving all conflicts says Dracula’s Castle wins. Sneaking in a third option, the Vatican. I want to break into the secret library. Even if it’s not real. I just wanna see… just a peek? No?
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Going to have to go with demons on this one, because from a “pure” standpoint, they’re probably the most intellectual and devious of the bunch. Zombies are pretty straightforward. Werewolves, too (the furry guys are just better at hide and seek). They want to eat you. Vampires may occasionally be sexy or brainy, but they come back to “I want to eat you” in the end. For the long term mental harassment, can’t beat a devil or succubus. Plus I think they’re more interesting, if coming at them from an angle other than straight antagonist.
Vampires, werewolves, zombies; they were all human – or something close, depending on your viewpoint – at some point. They’re us, with bonus features. Demons as heroes or antiheroes or remorseful and potentially redeemable villains have an inhumanity to them; they were here before us, are separate from us, probably don’t think about things the way us silly Earth people do, and I think that opens a door for all sorts of interesting characterization that’s lacking in creatures that, even if they are technically inhuman, are still very grounded in human understanding of the way things work, and live and work and play with us every day.
Also, it’s somewhat of a cheat. Depending on how broad your definition of the word “demon” is, you can probably smuggle in elements of the others without the bellhop noticing. Bonus carry-on luggage!
Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Realistically, not at all. I am a fairly decent shot with a crossbow, a .22 rifle and a shotgun, and I do own and know how to use more than one heavy bladed object, but my physical handicaps are more than likely going to result in a fatal situation. Hard to get away from the horde while you’re wheezing more than Darth Vader and limping along like Frankenstein’s monster right after his radial electroshock therapy. I do have a backup plan, though; the neighbors are elderly and have walkers. Like the bumper stickers say, “I don’t have to be the fastest… just faster than you.”
Yes, I am a terrible person. 😉

I might just have to find this man, abduct him, and keep him in…well…I dont have a basement…How do you feel about chains, Kaine? I’ll protect you from the zombies!!! 😀

Okay, back to all the serious stuff. Kaine has written many things. Click on the pics to the direct buy links! Kaine’s works include the following…

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Disciple of Grief:

Michael Drakanis has lived as a shadow since the murder of his family three years ago. He’s given up his career as a homicide detective, cut himself off from his friends, burying himself in his grief. When his former partner Vincent Parker turns up on his doorstep bearing news of a new killing with disturbing similarities to the deaths of his family, Drakanis will discover there are forces at work far beyond anything he once knew… and those forces are hungry for something only Drakanis can provide. Drakanis must harness his unknown birthright and confront his family’s murderer before those forces break free and bring forth untold chaos.

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Blogs from the Basement:

Meet L. Cipher. Or Bob, as his father named him. He’s also known to go by Luke, Nero or Rufus. Having been watching the internet for some time, he’s decided it’s time to set the record straight with an off-color running commentary about the true history of life, the universe and everything. Collected from his ramblings and including the commentary of such folks as JbarJ, SweetMaryM and Alpha2Omega, Blogs from the Basement covers such topics as the creation of the universe, what Adam and Eve really looked like, and reasons why Bob wants to torch his neighbor’s house. Did we mention Bob is the devil?

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For Her…:

Anthony West has lost everything. He would give anything to see her once more, to hold her, to hear his voice in his ear. He should be careful what he wishes for.

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Shadow of Purity:

Ashriel, fallen from the grace of Eden, has spent long centuries avoiding the judgement of his former superior. Humanity’s time is drawing to a close however, and Ashriel finds himself as the fulcrum on which fate turns. His rebellion and personal crusades may be the only hope left. Ashriel must delve into his own forgotten past, hold discourse with angels and demons and discover the truth behind his own existence if he is to have any chance of survival, but the Seraph of Purity has other plans… and will stop at nothing to see them come to fruition.

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Woken:

Ophelia Roberts sleepwalks through a shadow of life, as she has since the tragic death of her sister five years ago. Roger Hathaway spends his time daydreaming of penance that will never be complete. Andrew Weiss, the unknown tie between them, sleeps dreamlessly in a comatose state. Soon, all three will wake… and blood will be spilled. The power of dreams and imagination may be supreme… but what happens when dreams become nightmares and imagination is soured by hatred and rejection? (Currently out of print; set for republication Spring 2015)

Insomniac Nightmares

A cop looking for his sister’s killer. A retired lawyer with an unhealthy obsession over a mysterious book. A young man on the Tokaido Road. An old woman under a streetlight. Judas Iscariot. All these individuals and more have gathered here to share their stories… and their terrors. Featuring twelve short stories, Insomniac Nightmares shows that everyone is afraid of something. (Set for release May 2015)

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Darkness of the Soul:

It is two days before Christmas and retired detective Michael Drakanis is whistling as he drives home. He is looking forward to spending the holiday with the two people he loves most in the world-his wife, Gina, and their son, Joey. But just as he crests the hill by his house, a dark premonition overwhelms him. A handful of cops await him with horrifying news. His beloved family has just been murdered in cold blood. Drakanis is now a widower for reasons he cannot fathom. Three years later, Drakanis is still helplessly stuck in the depths of the darkness that accompanies grief; he is content to simply survive from day to day. But when his former partner, Vince Parker, notifies him of another murder-with a crime scene eerily similar to Gina and Joey’s-Drakanis is unwillingly dragged into a murder investigation with little evidence except a dead body and a missing artwork. As Drakanis’s future hangs in the balance, those close to him must make a valiant attempt to save him-before his soul is stained forever.

That is, without a doubt, an impression collection of writings. For further information on Kaine and his works, you can catch him on his various social media accounts…

Website/Blog

Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Wattpad
Patreon

Thank you so much Kaine, for giving us a little insight into your world, your wonderful collection of hard work, and of course, your plan for the zombie apocalypse!

Check Kaine and his work out, my lovelies!


Troubles, troubles, troubles…

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Well. The Spotlight seats will be empty this week, as no one has taken me up on my offer to help promote them a little. I have used up everyone I had on the back list and advertised to encourage a little more to come on over and share their works with us.

Nada.

Zip.

Zilch.

~crickets chirping~

I almost had one! But when they saw I was a horror genre, and planned to publish erotica as well, they pleasantly declined.

I tried to be clear…these Spotlights are for ANY genre…it doesn’t have to mesh with my own. I am just wanting to help people out. I invite bloggers, too.

You know what I have to say for it all? POOP!! Okay, not my word of choice, but I’m trying to behave myself at the moment.

Fat-cat has learned some new curse words over the last few days, that’s for sure.

Personal life isn’t going to well at all. Its in the crapper, really.

Professional life is okay. Not great, but not totally dead. I should run another book giveaway!

I’m going to be talking to the own of my beloved coffee shop this weekend. I saw him yesterday, but he was just too busy to have a conversation. The poor man had to take one of their machines apart and fix it.

ANYWAY…we’re pitching the idea of a joint venture. I supply the books. The deal is, we’ll advertise the hell out of, newspapers, local magazines, maybe radio…anyway, after we set a date and advertise it, when people come into the shop and purchase a LARGE SPECIALTY drink, they will get a voucher for $1.99 off a copy of my book, and the book will also be signed to them. Not a bad deal at all, huh? I don’t have to pay shipping costs on the soft cover book editions, so I’m not really out anything. And the coffee shop makes a profit. I get my name out there a little more.

well, like I said, my personal life is in the pooper. I’d share, but, yeahno.

Be sweet my lovelies. Hopefully some people will take advantage of the Spotlight once again. If is stays dead, I think I will replace it with something else. Who knows?


Spotlight: Author Team HL Carpenter

LorriHelen for Web

Mother/Daughter Team HL Carpenter

This is a first for me. A writing team, mom and daughter to boot! Lets give them a warm welcome!

Florida-based mother/daughter duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

10 Questions, Zoe style…
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, Zoe! Thanks so much for inviting us to share your blog space today.
We’re Helen and Lorri Carpenter, a Florida-based mother/daughter duo. We write together as HL Carpenter. We work in our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue. In addition to being multi-generational writers, we’re also multi-genre writers. We like variety!
2. What is your writing process?
Our writing process—hmm. Have you ever read the poem The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson? That describes our writing process beautifully.
In less lyrical terms, typically a phrase from a newspaper article or a line from a poem or an interesting image starts our imagination train. From there, we chug along through what we call the “steam-building” stage, where we think about what would happen if…
Then we fuel up by preparing a character sheet, followed by a summary of each chapter that provides a general guide for the journey.
When the summary is finished, we take off with the writing. We pass the story back and forth, gathering momentum, until we reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
Once a book is done, we set it aside for a cooling-off period, then we revise, revise, revise.
Oh, and if you haven’t read the poem, here it is (it’s in the public domain):
The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson

I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties, by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its sides, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop–docile and omnipotent–
At its own stable door.

3. What do you read for pleasure?
We read a lot of fiction of all types. We read poetry too, as you may have noticed. We also read instruction manuals, which seem like fiction to us because they seldom match the actual process required to assemble the item purchased. And sometimes we read the dictionary for fun, though mostly we do that when we’re trying to cheat at Scrabble. 🙂 We’re big fans of words.

4. What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The possibilities at the beginning of each story and the challenge of bringing those possibilities to light.
As an example, our satirical short story, The Demise of Fyne Literature, started out as a writing challenge from graphic artist Kelly Shorten. Kelly found a photo she loved so much that she sponsored a contest. We were intrigued with both the possibilities and the challenge, and we were delighted to win the contest and have our story published.
This is the photo that inspired Kelly and us.
demise
Your imagination is jumping up and down now too, right?

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to sitting down and writing?
The strength is easy to answer—having a partner. Knowing someone is waiting for the next story installment is great incentive, as is the fact that there’s no worry about getting stuck. When either of us reaches a stopping point, we pass the work to the other. When it comes back, the next scene provides a springboard to move on.
The weakness is that we’re fairly slow writers. We’re turtles in a hare-hurry world.
6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
The only one we can think of is that we don’t actually sit down to write. We both work standing up. But that’s not strange. Is it? Say no.
7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing/blogging process?
Having to let go of a story. There’s always one more sentence that could be worded better or a scene that could be described differently or an epiphany that could be expressed more clearly or…well, you get the idea.
We’re fighting that tendency right now, with a cozy mystery we finished at the end of last year, A Cause for Murder. We’ve been through edits, we have the cover, we’re ready to publish…, and we just discovered one more change we want to make. We’re determined to get the book out this month. Our hero, Emma Twiggs, deserves her day in the Amazon sunshine!
8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Bed makers, definitely. Life’s pleasures start with attending the details.
9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Mars. We’re ready to help colonize a new planet.
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
We always want to be the cavalry-to-the-rescue. Can we be demons-gone-good?
Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Locked and loaded, with a cupboard full of canned spaghetti.

This mighty duo can be found on:

Website
Google+
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Amazon

The duo has offered up one particular book for Spotlighting, but, me being me, did my homework and will also provide covers and links (click the covers) for their other works as well. Now, on to the Spotlight book!

Dream Stealer

(Click pic to be taken to buy page)

Dream Stealer Cover final

Ever wonder what became of the dreams you once had? Fancy Moonstruck can tell you.

Fancy is supposed to steal dreams. It’s what her family does for a living, and now that she’s fifteen, the job is hers.

It’s a job she’d rather not have. She knows first-hand what dreams mean to the dreamer because she dreams of her mom, who died five years ago. Losing her dream would be like losing her mom all over again. That’s a pain Fancy doesn’t want to inflict on anyone.

But the rules are clear: Steal a dream—or lose her own.

G-Rated excerpt from Dream Stealer:
Another moment and the dream will be gone.
The winter sea breeze brushes my hair from my face, its cold caress as light as the layer of fear I wear like my dark hoodie, and as soft as my shallow breathing. In the way of every good thief, I take care that the whispery puff of my breath is the only sound I make.
Though I’m not touching the fleeing dream, it kisses my mind, sticky as a spider’s web. I stand still, wide-awake in the hush of the two a.m. darkness, staring at the pulsing silver sliver. The external details are breathtaking: the shivering tendrils of longing; the filaments of hope, quivering like the strings of a harp. They float through the window of the ramshackle beach cottage where Mrs. Hooper sleeps, reaching upward with fog-thin fingers, anchored within her heart, searching for the sky.
Mrs. Hooper’s dream is one of love-longing, and I peek inside as it sways above me, though I’m not supposed to. The Dream Buyers pay well for dreams of love-longing, and they pay especially well for dreams untouched by us Stealers.
Even so, I can’t stop myself from lingering inside the dream. I spend precious seconds there, warming myself in the heat of Mrs. Hooper’s longing for the love of her son, before drawing back into the chill of the night’s reality, and my work in it. I fumble to release the dream catcher, which dangles from my belt on a leather cord, then grasp the handle of the delicate, tightly-woven net. I focus on the hours of practice runs I went over with Dad. I need only reach out now, and my very first dream-stealing excursion will end in success.
And I will keep my family safe.
I must do this. Yet I hesitate. Dad says Mrs. Hooper will never miss her dream. Is it possible he’s wrong? I dream a similar love-longing dream myself, every night, and I know what it means to me—the same as this dream must mean to Mrs. Hooper.
If I’m right, I cannot take it from her.
I must take it.
I must…

The lovely teams other works! Just click the pics to be taken to the buy pages for summaries!

demise 51GTUXYyW8L._UY250_51x0aARQpTL._UY250_ 513HIrNFkSL._UY250_ 514OmBhn9SL._UY250_Thank you ladies, for allowing me to Spotlight you and share your works!


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