My Stories

I write adventures for those in search of a good story. My novels fall in the Fantasy genre, but many people consider them Sci-fi too. Each story is written with what I look for when I read a book: action, adventure, twists and turns, love, heroes, vicious enemies, fighting (weapons and hand to hand combat). All of my ebooks are $2.99 (minus the Taken combo book, which is 4.99). The prices on the paperbacks are based on page numbers (ranging from 8.99 - 14.99). I write because I want to share the stories that are inside of me. I hope you enjoy the adventures as much as I love writing them!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Ha!   I sent Story 9 to the Copyright office three days ago.  (Took me longer than I would have liked to decide it was ready) and I just noticed that not only is it Story 9, but it will also be the 9th story I publish!   I realize if you don't know me, you're thinking "that makes sense", but in my world it's a crazy coincidence.  See, I have published Story 1 (Taken) and it's sequel, story 6 (Solace) and it's sequel,  story 5 (The Shadow Dragon) and its sequel, story 8 (Not Human), and story 11 (Heart of the Emperor).   So it is amusing...umm... to me.     :)   Okay back to writing.  

So hopefully this book will be out before Christmas.  The cover isn't going as well as I would have liked, so that will be the deciding factor.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A quick update

Today has been a good day in my Writer's world.

Story 9 is finished and will be going to Copyright shortly.  I have a title and cover in mind, but not sure just yet.  Hopefully though in the next 3months I'll be releasing another book.  Woo Hoo.

The Shadow Dragon book 3 has finally been given the "this is a good book" status.  This means I am going to fix the errors and then hand it to my editors.  I'm feeling a lot better about this book!  Yes, I am going to make it just one book instead of two.  So now I also have to decide on a title and a cover.

Story 13 is giving me problems, but hopefully I'll have it out shortly after I get The Shadow Dragon done!

Okay, sorry this is short, but I have lots to do.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Another day to sell!

Woo Hoo!  I will be selling my books at another event!  Here are the details:

 Saturday, November 14th
 10am to 4pm

I am so happy that I get to do this!  I had so much fun at "Crafts Along the Creek" in Rochester!  I will be selling the first book of each "series" again (and I'll bring a couple of the second books too, since I had a few people who wanted to buy the sets last time).   Don't worry, I will remind you again as the date gets closer!  

I finished my read through for book three, and the first half is practically done, and the second half (what I had hoped to be book 4) still needs some work, but it was better than I had expected.  When I am done writing this I am going to transition the revisions I made in the printed manuscript to the computer.  Hopefully this will be the time my editors like it!   And I re-read Story 9 which I am almost ready to send to the Copyright office.  (Yep, still needs a title.  You would think this would be the easy part after creating a book that is 104,600 words.)  I also picked up my 3rd person book earlier today and decided I'm not ready to work on that.  I'm torn with working through the mess I made and just starting over.  So there is much to look forward too!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I know,  I know... I'm not doing a great job, not even a good job, at keeping up to date on my blog.    I always sit in front of this screen and my mind goes blank.  It doesn't seem fair.  I can write 60,000word novels in a couple of weeks, but I can't think of anything to write when I want to blog.   So I decided this evening I would just start typing and see what happens.   I am proud to say that I printed off a 133,740 word manuscript for the Shadow Dragon series.  It's actually the mostly finished book 3 and the getting close to finished book 4.  I'm going to read it as one book and see if maybe that is what it's supposed to be.  My longest published book is 116,600ish words, which translated into 488 pages in paperback.    I'm both afraid and excited to see how it all plays out.  Once I finish this, I'm going to pass it back to my "editors" and see what they think.  I'm waiting a little bit to start reading the manuscript because I don't want the story fresh in my mind when I revise it.  In the meantime, I have been working on my attempt at 3rd person.  It is quite a challenge for me.  Seems strange that it would be hard.  Although I guess it's like doing something right handed when you're left handed or attempting to do something backwards when you're very familiar with doing it in the other direction.  It's not impossible, just takes some getting used to.  First person came so natural to me.  I didn't even have to think about it.  I had hoped third person would be the same, but boy was I wrong.  The original draft, I flipped between 3rd person and 1st person without even realizing it.  With the second draft I wrote it 3rd limited.  That was horrible.   I'm on my 3rd attempt to write it and I am trying 3rd person omniscient.  This is a much better attempt, but still not as easy as 1st person.   However, I love the story so much I am not able to shelf it and say "I can't do it."  and it won't work 1st person.  I've also been trying to come up with a title and cover for my "adult" book.  Ugh.  I have come up with a couple of ideas for the cover art, but the title remains elusive.  I also have been brainstorming on book 2 of story 13 (Yes.  Also in need of a title.)  I wrote 20,000 words, but it's not true to the main character so I have to back up and re-write it.   Something similar happened when I wrote Solace: Lost, and that ended up turning out wonderfully!

On top of all that I am enjoying the summer.  It's great having the kids home all day.  Although everything is changing because they're getting older, we still spend time doing things together just us.   I've also discovered my knew favorite place to write and revise down at the park.  The last time I was there I found a perfect spot on a bench by the river.  My legs are too short to reach the ground so they just swing back and forth while I type.  The scenery is perfect: not too close to the river or the playgrounds, I can glance up from my computer and see trees, feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Added a FAQ tab above

I just added a Frequently Asked Questions tab up with my "first chapter" tabs.  It's not very long, but I get asked a lot of the same questions and thought why not!  Feel free to let me know if there is something else you would like me to add to it.  Email:

Monday, May 25, 2015

Me on Memorial Weekend

I did it!  I put me (my dreams, my heart, my soul) and books out in the real world!  I had such a wonderful experience on Saturday and Sunday at the Heritage Festival.  

I met wonderful people of all ages.  Some young people who loved to write.  Some older and some my age who had written books, but haven't taken the jump yet.  I met people who loved to read and were happy to check out my books.  Everyone was intrigued by the blurbs (which made me happy since I've always wondered if they were any good) and loved the artwork on the covers (Yeah!!!).  I was selling a book an hour until a gentleman bought two books and then the selling moved up to two books an hour which continued into Sunday!  I sure hope he enjoyed those books!  I actually sold almost twice as many books as I was told I would, which was half of what I brought (making me all smiles)!   Thank you to all who purchased a book or two from me this weekend, each sale made my dream feel more alive!  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Memorial Weekend

So excited!  In two weeks, I will be selling paperback copies of a few of my books!  
Which ones?  These ones:

Taken: Marks of Satrii 
Solace: Uncharted Territory 
The Shadow Dragon: Orbs of Fire 
Not Human 
Heart of the Emperor

 I also made this banner which will be displayed.

  So if you're in the area Memorial Day weekend 
you should come by and visit me!  

38th Annual Festival in the Park ~ Rochester Heritage Days 
Which is located in Rochester's Municipal Park
608 Seventh St, Rochester, Michigan 48307

Saturday, May 23rd 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. 
Sunday, May 24th 11:00A.M to 5:00 P.M.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Exciting news!

Woo Hoo!   I am very excited to say that it's official!  I will be selling my books at:

“Crafts Along the Creek”
38th Annual Festival in the Park 
 Rochester Heritage Days

Memorial Day weekend (May 23rd and 24th, 2015) Rochester, Michigan
Saturday 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and Sunday 11:00A.M to 5:00 P.M. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

So much going on

Okay, so it's been much too long since I've been on here.  However, I am happy to say that things are as crazy as always.

The Shadow Dragon:
I have handed book three to my editors.  I am still hoping to have it out this summer.  I am now working on book four.  I am almost halfway through it.  The story keeps growing and evolving into more than I had expected.  I have also updated the cover for Orbs of Fire and am posting its new look today.  I am super excited with how it turned out.  I finally figured out how to create fire, allowing me to make the orbs of fire appear the way they had in my mind.  I did add a bright yellowish/white line down the center which is not part of what I had envisioned, but it created a more powerful appearance.

Also, I have pulled The Shadow Dragon series from Smashwords to put it in Amazon's KDP Select program. (Which means it isn't on Barnes&Nobles, Apple, or Kobo.)  Why?  Because I'm curious.  My plan is to leave it there for the contracted 3months, and then take it out of the Select program and put it back on Smashwords, but still leaving it at Amazon.  This is an experiment, so I'm not sure of the outcome yet.

Story 17:
I just finished reading through the first manuscript.  And although a little frustrated, I have a better idea of where the characters are headed.

Story 15:
I had rewrote this story, limiting it to two points of view.  I was so frustrated because the story had lost its heart - it felt disconnected.   I had been ready to cry, because the story is really good, but I was having a hard time telling it in 3rd person and it won't work as 1st person.  Then I remember there were two types of 3rd person, limited and omniscient (aka: head jumping).  I read up on omniscient and my heart leapt with joy.  This is how my story is supposed to be told!  And crazily enough that was how I had originally started.   So I have to go back and start from scratch, but at least I am a bit more confident about what I am doing.

Story 12:
I printed off the manuscript and am reading through it when I have time.  I woke up a week or so ago realizing where I had gone wrong in that story and now I know what needs to happen.  It sits in my car so when I'm out and about and know I will have some waiting to do I can bring it with me.  For example: picking up the kids, doctor offices, boring time during sporting events, and so on.

My kids brought home a nasty virus and I couldn't focus on my writing for a couple of days so I adjusted my covers for the Solace books.  There isn't much difference on book one, but I made book 2's cover look more like book 1's cover. I will be changing those on here also.

Story 9:
My friend just got back to me on this story (which is my attempt at an adult book). I gave this manuscript only to two people out of fear that it was awkward. My one friend gave it to me with honest feedback. She loved the story, but there were some parts that needed some touch-ups. So I fixed a few things and exchanged copies with my other friend (who normally edits for me) who hadn't started reading it yet. She just finished today and said it was really good. I asked "not hokey or stupid?" She said "not at all." I of course asked about the "adult" parts? She said "even those were really good."  smile emoticon  No, it won't be considered Romance because my one friend told me it doesn't really fit in that genre. So it will be Fantasy still, but not for everyone.  Hee Hee.  Still one more story almost ready to be published!  Of course there's still the title and cover... Ugh... Nope. That's not going to bother me, I will figure it out like always!

Well I think that's everything in my writer's world.  I hope you are enjoying your adventures too!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A beautiful winter

So instead of talking about my writing I thought I show you pictures from the hikes I have taken this winter.  Views that keep me inspired.  The first five are from a 14.2 mile hike on the west side of Michigan.  My cousin and I were the first ones out on this section of the North Country Trail after a snowfall.  We hiked through about 4inches of snow.  It was absolutely beautiful.   I forgot my camera so these were taken with my dumb phone.  I was so frustrated because the pictures could have been so much better.  As we walked, I kept thinking how other-worldly the Earth looked.  

These next photos are from hikes in the woods near my home that I take when I have a hard time focusing, the dog needs a walk, or I just need to be outside.  They were taken with a point and shoot camera. (I bought it because it was Amanda proof - it could be dropped, it was waterproof, works in below freezing temperatures, and could be ran over by a car.  At the time it was a great purchase, but now, since I've been writing, I see so much more beauty in the world that I wish I could capture.)

These last two are my favorite with the last one being a place I love the most in the winter.  I love how the branch is curved over the trail like a doorway and the way the snow accents the beauty of it all.  They cut the fallen tree this past summer so that it doesn't block the trail which kind of made me sad - I loved to sit there.  It's still an amazing place though.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

"I Lived" by One Republic

Last year the song "Best Day of My Live" by American Authors grabbed tight to my soul. I listened to it everyday, never tiring of it. For the most part I accomplished what I set out to do. I strived to make each day the best day.  It's pretty amazing how one song can speak so much in only a few minutes.  As I flipped through my photos I have taken over the year, I was throughly impressed at what a great life I had in 2014.  Granted not everything was the best, but when I lacked optimism and strength, God made sure there was someone to help me through it.  Sometimes it was just a smile, sometimes an unexpected hug, sometimes my children laughing, or compliment I didn't think I deserved. I can honestly say that 2014 was a wonderful year.  I may not have finished as much as I wanted in my writer's world, but I never stopped, I never gave up, and in 365 days I did something for my writing everyday.  Whether it was writing, reading, editing, revising, promoting, brainstorming,  at the end of the day I can say I accomplished another piece to one of my stories.  The conclusion was a resounding: being a writer is not option.  It is part of what makes every day the best day of my life.

Moving into 2015, "I Lived" by One Republic has rooted itself in my soul:

"Hope when the moment comes you'll say:
I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived..."

I hope this year that each day I will make sure I do something that makes me feel alive. I hope that even when things are bad, I'll believe there's better things to come.  I hope I'll always remember that I am blessed because I made a positive difference in someone else's life. I hope at the end of each day I'll swear I lived.  

This video is pretty awesome. I find One Republic pretty inspirational in their music and lyrics.  And their last couple of videos have left me glad that I watched.

What to expect from me in writing?  Definitely the Shadow Dragon book 3!  I am very excited with how this story grew.  It started from a dream I had while I was camping a few years ago.  Something about a girl and a guy who couldn't be together because of what might happen - and he knew it wouldn't be good, but he couldn't not love her.  Of course the rest of that dream is nothing like the book.  It was just an idea.  When I was writing it, I had only expected it to be one book, but it turned into two.  And now it looks like it's going to be four books!  It's so amazing how that happens.

I'm also hoping to get Story 13 published.  On a side note: I read through my list of stories that I have started (it's a sheet of paper with the story number,  the main characters, and how many words have been written) and realized I totally forgot that I finished Story 9.  However my friend still has it.  (I'll have to see if she's even taken a peek.  I mean if I forgot about it, what's to say she hasn't.)  So hopefully that one should be on the published list this year too.  Which makes a definite 3 books published in 2015 with the chance there will be more.  My brain never stops, which means the possiblities are abounding!  

One thing stands out to me with this song being my inspiration for the year: I am looking forward to the adventure that awaits!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"The Shadow Dragon" on Amazon

The Shadow Dragon both Orbs of Fire and Aleksertac are now on Amazon.  The link to the right will take you to the page or you can click the blue text and it will take you directly to that book.

Three of eight books on Amazon!  The Taken series will be next, and will most likely be out in January.

What else am I doing?  Well, I've started re-reading Taken.  I'm revising story 14 (almost done with doing that), and I started another story (I won't know until I revise the manuscript, but this might be my 1st short story). Writing this one has been strange.  I woke up one morning about a week ago and just wanted to write. (I won't knountil I revise the manuscript, but this might be my 1st short story.)   I had no idea about what, but I started writing - wrote 5000 words that day.  Each time I sit down to work on this book it's like  that.  Brainstorming for this book has been just about zero, well consciously anyways.  I'm at 19,000 words and I really haven't given it the time I normally give a new story, but still I'm impressed.   It's when I'm writing it that I get ideas of what to do or what I should have done.  Normally a new story takes up my waking hours (if I'm not writing then I'm brainstorming about the story - constantly), and this isn't even the one that has been whispering in my head.  Perhaps with everything that is going on in my life and writer's world there just is no more conscious thought available.  Ha Ha Ha...  Maybe.  I won't know until I revise the manuscript, but this might be my 1st short story.

Now that The Shadow Dragon series is on Amazon that will open up some time to get what I am currently working on done.  As soon as I'm done revising Story 14, I'm going back to The Shadow Dragon book 3.  Those thoughts are starting to yell at me.  Which is a really good thing since I want to get it done in the next 3 months-ish so I can publish it in the summer!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm writing often, just not here. Sorry.

You would think if I can write +50,000word stories, that writing a blog should be so easy that I could do it daily.  However, I finding the shorter the writing is supposed to be the harder it is for me.   Thus my loathing of titles, descriptions, 2 page essays, and the impossibility it seems for me to write a short story.  I mean I can write a short story, but it's not good.   By the time I fix the "short" story so that I like it, it's about 50,000words with room to grow.  Anyways, there are a few things I wanted to let you know about.

First!   After much debate, I have begun the process of putting my books on Amazon.  It wasn't as horrible and difficult to understand as the first time I had attempted it.  As of last night, Heart of the Emperor is now selling at Amazon.  I have added the link to the right, under "Where to find my books (ebooks)".  Or you can click here!  I am re-reading each of my books and touching up the stories.  Only because I know I've (finally) learned a lot about sentence structure, flow, the over-use of certain words, and patience.  After I re-read each book, I'll be formatting it for Amazon (Ugh.  Not hard, just tedious and time consuming - that hasn't changed.)  Also, my books will continue to stay at Smashwords, Barnes&Nobles, Apple, and Kobo, so if you don't care to shop on Amazon that's not a problem.

Second.  I have The Shadow Dragon re-read and am almost done with Aleksertac.  Those obviously will be the next books to go to Amazon.  Which is important since I want to publish Book 3 summer of 2015.  Re-reading them has been awesome.  I was surprised with how much was set up for the sequel books, because when I wrote Aleksertac I did not know that the series would continue.   Just one more thing to add to my amazement of my writing abilities.

Third. I am making revisions to Story 14 and am very happy with it's progress.  Granted I haven't gotten to the part that needs rearranging yet, but I am adding more details and I like that.

Fourth.  New voices have made their presence known.  They have moved passed the whispering stage, but they are not consuming my mind yet so I am diligently working on the things above with hopes of finishing them before these new voices begin to yell and I cannot focus on anything but them.

I saw this the other day and downloaded it because it made me laugh at the truth of it:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Not Human cover

I am such a work in progress.  Working on new stuff, working on older stuff, writing, creating... love learning all about being a writer and author.  I had posted a link to Not Human in a writer's group I belong to and it was pointed out to me that the cover needed some TLC.  The picture in the link was so blurry, it was quite embarrassing.  It looked fine in my pictures, or so I thought until I redid it.   So with some advise and opinions, I was able to clean it up.  Having a better graphics program (with tons of tutorials) makes all the difference in the world.  So very happy right now!

Friday, October 17, 2014

One of the best things about fantasy!

One of my favorite parts about writing is seeing different worlds.  Sometimes it's just the environment and sometimes its the people who share a planet but belong to different "worlds".  With The Shadow Dragon the world has an Earthy feel to it, but you know by the end of Chapter One that it is not.  There are creatures and realms that my mind invented, and as I continued the story I created more - I'm blown away by what I come up with.  And it's totally awesome how vividly I see everything.  I think that's one of the most challenging pieces for me - to see it so vividly and forget the reader isn't there with me.   Although that is why I have three people read the stories before I publish it.

Now I know I don't go into great detail, but that's only because as a reader I don't appreciate a lot of detail.  I love reading stories that give me information without making me feel as though I don't have an imagination of my own.  Unfortunately sometimes I think I err too much on the assumption that everyone has a wild imagination.  (I'm a work in progress and I know it.)

With Taken, I move between two worlds one that is mine and one that we all know - Earth.  In Not Human I stay on Earth.   A friend asked me if I ever wrote stories on Earth and so I thought sure I can do that, but of course the scenery in that story isn't crucial to the story.   It's not that I don't write with Earth as the backdrop because I don't like our planet.  I very much love this planet we live on, nature never ceases to amaze me.   However, I love the ability to see things differently and so I write new worlds to allow my imagination run wild.  I loved writing the planet the Langiro (from Taken) lived on.  It was the first time doing that since I was in 7th grade.   And writing Solace was great because although the story starts on Earth, it was just the beginning.  The Middle of Nowhere, as Karissa called it, created itself as I wrote it.  I had no vision of it beforehand.  It simply evolved as I created events for Karissa and Creature/Jack to survive.  It would have been simple for either of them to survive, but to do it together I knew I had to get creative or the reader would get bored.  And then creating the Zarran world in the second book created itself from Karissa's capabilities.  It was spawned from the first couple of chapters in book one where she sees the military men on the cliffs and knows that the cliffs of the Stronghold wouldn't slow her down because of her agility and that her body was built for that terrain.  In Heart of the Emperor, the story starts on a world that is beautiful, but I didn't want it to be just a place that everyone would want to live.  It needed to be both beautiful and dangerous.  And here is the world the Heart of the Emperor begins:

"X5401 had a beautiful landscape. There were tall mountains that were forested in the tall, thick plant-life which amazingly enough was able to grow in the rock-hard soil. Gentle, rolling hills led to the edges of steep valleys, giving the planet a tranquil ambiance between the mountains. From space the planet appeared a soft lavender because of the soil. However on the planet, everything varied in color from pastels to deep vibrant colors. The patches of green grass were the exact opposite of the soil and covered the ground sporadically over the planet, except on the mountains.
The air stung your nose and lungs, but it didn’t kill you, well not right away. A person’s body would adapt within ten minutes. With that being said, a person could be out in the open air for a day or two, three at the most. It was common within the first day to suffer from nose bleeds, headaches, and/or severe dry skin. By day two, most would lose their sense of direction, some became sterile, others lost their inhibitions, and a few have gone crazy. If a person was found by the end of day three, they were dead. Everyone who lived here has pushed their limits with the air at one point or another. I had suffered the nose bleeds, headaches, and lost my wits and inhibitions. Luckily though, that was only temporary - for some people it has been permanent."

From there Matix is taken to a world that, to all outsiders, is just as horrid to look at as the environment is.  As stated in the description for the book it is a world where the sun never shines.  I loved writing this world of rock and lava and how beauty really is all perspective.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Candy Corn

Okay so those of you who follow on Facebook have already read this.  However for those of you who don't, I wanted to share this with you.  I was taking a break from what I was working on, yes while eating Candy Corn, and decided to jump on Facebook and just simply post "I love when Candy Corn is in season".  Well my brain didn't stop there, it continued with this:

I love when Candy Corn is in season! The ground is a colorful array of different shades of orange, red, and yellow - sometimes the leaves still holding a piece of summer's green. The crisp cool air in the morning that hasn't been captured by winter's freeze, allowing droplets of water to sparkle in the rising of the sun. There is something uniquely beautiful in the bare branches that reach for the sky. Cloudy or not, their darkness that marks summer's end contrasting the brightness of the sky holds me in awe of the nature that surrounds. 

~ Amanda Schmidt

I do love this time of year, and the candy corn always taste the best - I often wonder if the bags I find at other times of the year are leftovers.  I will sit down with a bag of candy corn and eat until my stomach aches.  But does that deter me?  Not a chance.  As soon as one bag is gone, the next time I'm at the store I buy another - it's a vicious cycle really.  I am a Michigan girl.  I love each and every season and as one draws to a close, I anticipate the weather of the next with a smile.  

I hope you also are enjoying the season... and the candy corn!  Hee Hee

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Still writing! (As though stopping is an option.)

Okay so a large amount of time has passed yet again.  I am proud to say that it's because I have been lost in my writer's world.  I am aiming to have The Shadow Dragon book 3 published next summer and book 4 with in the next month or so.  Lots of work to be done there but not too much.  Plus, (like I've previously said) I already have the titles and cover ideas!   What am I doing now with the books? I am currently reading the printed manuscript for book three.  I've already re-read books 1 and 2 to make sure I am keeping everything straight - I even took notes.  There was only a page front and back and a half.  Pretty happy about that.

Story 13 is pretty much done, except it was brought to my attention (as though I forgot) that I can't publish it without the next book being close to done.  So I've started that.  The story really does need more.  The story doesn't leave you hanging, not really, but at the end you know there is definitely more to come.  So I am working on that.  I can't tell whether it will be a book 2 or I'll just add it to what I have.  Only time will tell.  Plus, I can't publish it because I do not have a title or cover idea, ugh.  (I know big surprise, right.)

I have also been working on Story 14, and that was going really well until I realized that I wrote a section wrong.  Gotta love when characters decide that the story you've written needs to be changed.  So, I printed off a manuscript to restructure it.  (This is when I want my "Ironman" computer.  You know where the elements are up in front of me, tangibly, and I can grab and move things around and throw the other stuff away).

With all that going on I ended up having to work on story 12 too because it kept waking me up in the middle of the night.  I am happy with the way that story is moving along too.  Turned out that I had tried to put an event to close to the beginning, so once I moved that the story has been moving smoothly.

It is so amazing to me how each world I create keeps itself straight in my mind.  I only have to read one sentence and everything becomes clear and my mind starts up right where I left off as though I had just been working on it.   I feel truly blessed!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It's almost been a month since my last post!   I cannot believe that it's been so long.  Honestly, August into September tends to be a time warps as it is.  Vacations (camped for 10 days, did the Mackinaw Bridge walk), school (finding the routine that works), sports (coaching for my kids, watching meets, attending games, running practices), work... yea pretty much every aspect of my life.  Now add that to my obsessions with writing and here I sit a month later going where did the last 30days go.  I'm am not complaining, by no means.  Although it would be nice to have more time to write, but there are only 24hours in a day and I do use as many of them to write as I can when I'm not doing the other stuff.

I am pleased to say that I do see the light for The Shadow Dragon series!!  Not that I want it to be over, but I do want it to be published!  It's not going to happen this year, because slowly,  and surely (through the hard way) I am learning the significance of patience. (HA Ha ha...) I did hand off Story 13 to my "editors", got it back, and finished fixing it - which of course allowed me to make it longer.  Partly because of the points that were made and partly because I could see some things that I missed - well you would have missed because I didn't write it in.    I also re-read Not Human (which was solely for fun).  I had been in my car when the song Far Away by Nickelback came on the radio.  Which is the song that helped me breathe life into the images in my head for the ending of that book.  So of course feeling those emotions again I had to read the story.

So there's my last thirty days.  It's not that I haven't been writing, it's because I am writing.  If I can be writing that is what I'm doing, or something that will hopefully make my writing better.  

Came across this quote the other day and it made me smile (I thought "Yep!").  So I went and found this on the web:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What keeps you writing?

On a blog I follow (Linda S. Glaz), the question was posted "What keeps you writing?"

My answer:  "I keep writing because I can't stop the flow of ideas that enter my mind. Inspiration is everywhere, and I love it. I didn't believe in myself as a writer for far too long, and now I live with the regret of listening to someone else's dream crushing mouth. I know that not everyone will like my writing, which is only fair since I don't like every author's writing either. I know being an indie writer makes it hard to be found, but I also know that I'm doing something I love and it makes me happy. Every moment I can spend time writing an adventure that I created is one more moment that I am smiling. God blessed me with this talent and I will not give up on my dream ever again. :) What keeps you writing?"

Reviews like the following are what help me to not lose faith in my ability:  

"I really loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. As in her other books this writer kept me captivated, every time I thought I figured out where the story was going another twist or turn took me in a new direction. I especially enjoyed the ending."  (Not Human review found at Smashwords)

"I sooooo enjoyed this series and I would love it if there was a third book. I have two young kids and it took alot of willpower to put this down when they needed attention."  (Taken review found at Barnes&Nobles)

"The action and adventure that Karissa has is refreshing.  I love that she is strong and capable.  I highly recommend this book."  (Solace:Uncharted Territory review found at iBooks)

One person sharing that they really enjoyed the adventure that I wrote brightens my whole day.   Maybe it's the hopeless romantic in me - and the fact that I write with my heart and soul - but those few words grip tight to my heart and energize me.   It isn't the reason I write, but it sure keeps me believing that I am doing something amazing, something more than I ever thought I could!

I love writing.  Honestly, I'm not sure I could ever stop.  There always seems to be something to be told.  In the last 24 hours I have added 10,000words to a story that I was seriously worried wasn't going to make it into a novel.  It's still not long enough, but the way it is all coming together, the excitement that is building within me, the clarity that I am seeing the story with leaves no doubts that it will be long enough.  And on top of that I have two other books that have awakened from their simmering, and the book I received back from my "editors" is awaiting it's sequel.  

So now I pass the question on to you.  Whether it be journal entries, novels, short stories, poetry, published works, writings you will never let anyone else read...   What keeps you writing? 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1st review for "Heart of the Emperor"

My first review (on Apple) for Heart of the Emperor:

"A friend of mine convinced me to read this book. I was a little leery since I sometimes have a hard time reading sci fy books. This book, I read in 2 settings! From Page 1 I couldn't put it down! It kept me guessing and I had to finish it to find out what happened. Great read! I will definitely look for more books from this author!"

This is why I write!  I love being able to share a story that draws a person in and keeps them trying to figure out where the adventure is going to go.  I am so happy to see this!  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Heart of the Emperor" is now in paperback!

Heart of the Emperor is now selling for $13.99 at here for the page) and Amazon (Click here for page).  It took me little longer than I had anticipated, and I apologize.

I did get a little sidetracked by Story 13, Story 16, and The Shadow Dragon series.   I am proud to say that Story 13 is in the hands of my "Editors" and I am happy with "The Shadow Dragon" series so far.

With that being said, I've also been very much enjoying the summer: writing, hanging out with the kids, picking strawberries and raspberries, hiking, practicing Tai Chi, reading...   Haven't been to the beach yet, but we'll get there.  I am so looking forward to camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!  I love camping (and yes the kids and I use a tent), but there is just something so amazing about going north to the UP.  Everything feels better.  I like to joke and say it's in my genetics (my grandpa is from the Copper Harbor area), or that it's because of all the forests and the air is just fresher there.    Whatever the reason, my whole being fills with the most wonderful feeling of peace and harmony and the energy that surges is awe inspiring.  As you probably already guessed, I do not take a break from writing.  Honestly I think that is impossible.  (I read this quote a while back)

  So true, and when I'm camping my imagination just opens (a great feeling) and well, yea.  Alright enough babbling.  I hope you enjoy the day!  :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

World Cup

You know me, I love posting about people doing amazing things - creating their dreams.   World Cup 2014 is no different.  (Granted I might be a little biased because I love soccer [best game ever played], played it for 10 years). Although I am a little disappointed in the coverage of post World Cup.  The goal alone should be plastered everywhere if you ask me.  I am very happy for the German's, but more so for Gotze who scored that goal.  (And what do I see the next day?  Pictures of his girlfriend model.  Really?!)  I mean that goal was phenomenal.  He's 22years old, playing in the World Cup!!  Scoring the only goal in that game.  And it wasn't a cheap shot, it wasn't a penalty shot, it was a well earned goal!  There are a lot of haters out there as far as Germany being the winner, but they played outstandingly in all their games.  Sure Argentina should have won because the Cup was in South America, and everyone else loves Messi (I do love the way his first name is pronounced).  I haven't decided if he wasn't happy about winning that award because he didn't win the Cup (sore loser) or if he thought someone else should have won it because he didn't play his best?  I hope it's the latter, because with all the hype I was not impressed.  I know it's hard to watch soccer for some people (mostly because of all the grown men acting like babies so they can get a free kick - not a fan of that), and honestly since I've been coaching recreational soccer I was so much more sucked into the games than ever before.  Germany came out strong in overtime, I thought they dominated Argentina, but how can anyone argue against that goal.  It alone deserved the World Cup.   Yes I am babbling my way through all this just so I can connect you to one of the most amazing game winning goals I have ever seen!  So here it is:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just an update

I hope you have enjoyed the summer this far.  It's been a crazy summer.  Some of which has helped with my writing world and some that has hindered it.  I finished reading The Shadow Dragon manuscripts and I am very pleased with all the red ink.  (Normally not a good thing.)  The story continues to grow and I am liking it.  I've also started yet another story.  Right now labeled Story 16.  Over a four day period I wrote 25,000 words, but I had to stop.  I need to go back and revise like crazy.  A couple of people decided they were going to change their part in the story so I have to fix the beginning so they can be who they want to be.   I picked up Story 13 just to take a glimpse at it and well...  I can't put it down.  I'm reading it and find myself in complete awe that I wrote it.  It's not like I don't know what's going to happen but I still can't wait to get there.   So, I think it's safe to say that I will be handing it to my "editors" very soon!  So expect another countdown in a couple of months.  Woo Hoo!  Although I do still have to come up with a cover idea and Title.  HA HA HA....  ugh.  Always more work to be done.  As long as I keep writing, I'll keep smiling!

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Heart of the Emperor!!

Woo Hoo!!!  Everything went perfectly.  My 8th book, Heart of the Emperor, is now on sale at Smashwords, Barnes&Nobles, Apple, and Kobo!  If you have a Kindle, no worries.   You can download the Mobi file from Smashwords to your computer and then transfer it to your Kindle (it's that easy).  Thank you all, for your support and believing in my dream too!  I really do hope you enjoy this story.

FYI: The paperback book isn't ready just yet.  Hopefully next week.  I will let you know as soon as it is selling at Amazon and CreateSpace.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Less than a day to go!

Wow!  Can you believe I have another book being released?  Tomorrow!  Me either!  I never imagined when I wrote Taken that I would continue writing.  I did start another book while I was working on Taken, but never did I think I would keep writing.  And never in my wildest dreams did I foresee publishing 8 books (with more on the way)!  Proud and impressed can't even begin to describe it!  Sorry, I'm a little excited.  Let's get back to Heart of the Emperor coming out tomorrow...well tonight really!  Ok, so, supposedly ( I say supposedly because I've never done Smashwords' pre-order before) my book will officially be on sale for 2.99 at 12:01am tonight.  Woo Hoo!  It should be at Barnes&Nobles, Apple, Smashwords, and Kobo (I am confident it will be since they are taking pre-orders).  I am excited to see how this works.

Oh, one more thing.  Since I've only posted the long description on my blog, here is the short description for this book:

On a planet where the sun does not shine, a place where no other race is tolerated, in a patriarchal society where women are not soldiers, Commander Emma Matix finds herself forced to live. There is deceit and treachery, and she knows she must figure out what’s at the heart of the Emperor’s motives in order to save the Kamtra people’s lives - along with her own.

Hope you enjoy the adventure!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Love Runs Out" by One Republic

Just thought I'd share "Love Runs Out" by One Republic.  It hasn't inspired any writing, but I absolutely love this song.  I think it's safe to say that One Republic has been added to my favorite bands list.  I haven't heard anything I didn't like, and I love that they play more than just drums and guitars.  As you already know One Republic is the band who did "Secrets", which has brought inspiration to a few of my books, especially Solace: Lost.  This song "Love Runs Out" is very up beat, and it reaches into my soul and reminds me of how glad I am that I discovered my passion for writing.   I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed in the video, which is a rarity.  I think it is very artistically done.    Anyways, I hope you enjoy this song:

Friday, June 6, 2014

2 weeks!

Two more weeks until the release of "Heart of the Emperor"!

His ebony hair slid away from his face, revealing his eyes.  His eyes were the metallic orange that I had expected, but I had not been ready for their intensity or the chill that they brought.  
Fear is good,he stated in a deadly tone.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
When I was in college, a young woman read this poem in class.  I am so glad that she did.  She opened me to a writer whose words were written so simply, but I could not escape the power within them.  After hearing this poem I went out and found more of Maya Angelou's works.  I was not disappointed, she was a phenomenal writer.  I am sad to hear that she has passed away.  I am so thankful to have read her wisdom, her gift.  I hope you too have enjoyed what she has written.

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you."  ~ Maya Angelou

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One month until the release of "Heart of the Emperor"

Very exciting stuff!  I have posted the first chapter of Heart of the Emperor!   You can find it in the tabs above or click here.   Smashwords has also began pre-order.  That is kind of cool.  I didn't think much about it, but now that I am right on the threshold of releasing my book, I decided to take advantage of it.  So if you click on Smashwords or Apple right now you can pre-order the book, plus - as always- you can read the first 20%.    It will eventually be at Kobo and Barnes&Nobles to pre-order too.   I'm also hoping to have the paperback ready by it's release date too, transitioning Apple's pages format to word had messed with the formatting so i have to go back to the library to re-format (ugh).  It's not hard, just tedious and time consuming.  I guess that's the price to being independent, and I'll pay that.  Anyways, I hope you check out "Heart of the Emperor".

Two other things.

One: As I was going through the "chapter" tabs I found that I had put chapter one of Blades of the Ytinu Srebas instead of chapter one for Marks of the Satrii.  Oops.  It's fixed now.   I apologize for that err.

Two:  What would be a blog from me if I didn't give you an update of everything else too!  I started reading through a hard copy of book three for The Shadow Dragon and I did not hate chapter one!  YEAH!!!  Also, looking at the word counts for Book 3 and 4, I just might end up making it all book three.  I don't want to have to add information just to hit a word count because I think that the readers will notice and that will not make me or my readers happy.  However, I'm not anywhere near ready to hand them off to my editors so, we'll have to wait and see.  I've also been writing more on Story 15 - my attempt at a third person book (cringing).  I'm going to have to print off a copy to see if I can make sense of it and get my brain to see it properly.  I do like the story though, so I won't scrap it.   I've also been writing more on the Story 14 too.  I've also been trying to stay on top of my Facebook page (Click here) giving it more than just an update to my blog.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Less than six weeks!

In less than 6weeks Heart of the Emperor will be released.   I thought I'd share the blurb that will be used in the long description.  Hope it intrigues you:

The betrayal of Commander Emma Matix cost her everything. Now she’s in a predicament where she must trust a Kamtra man that is rumored to rip people apart with his bare hands. She has stared into his metallic orange eyes and knows that he is quite capable of killing anyone that stands in his way. She knows he loathes the human race. So why did he save her in the first place? Was it to strip her of her identity, torture her, use her against the human race? Or did he keep her alive simply to prove to all what he is actually capable of? There is always an ulterior motive to kindness. Perhaps if she can figure out what his is, she will be able to survive.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Inspiration from Imagine Dragons

I was working on The Shadow Dragon series and couldn't stop crying during this scene I was writing, which of course makes it harder to write. This particular scene came to life while I was listening "Demons" by Imagine Dragons. Sure hope I can convey the emotion that my characters feel in that scene. Right now I think you all would have laughed at my tears if you read it. In my defense, there is something about selfless sacrifice that gets me every time.  The forth book is currently just over 32,000 words (it isn't finished and I haven't re-read it yet).  The third book is 48,000 words and is waiting for me to go over the revision I made to the printed manuscript.  Both books are moving along.  Just thought I'd give you an update.  Oh and here's the song in case you wanted to listen to it:

Friday, May 2, 2014

A birthday surprise!

I love birthdays.  To me it his not about getting older, it's about, well, everything else.  Birthdays always energize me.  Today is my birthday and I am extra excited because I've finally done something I've wanted to do since I started writing.  I have made Taken (book 1 and 2) into one book.  I remember how hard the decision was to make the story two books.  Most of this decision was inexperience (obviously).  I was impatient - I couldn't wait to publish it.  So since I had the first half of the story finished, and was still working on the second half, I decided to go ahead and publish.  Although, I must say people have loved it as two books (it is still my biggest seller), plus I wouldn't have two amazing covers, and I think I would have had a harder time with subtitling it.  Oh the nightmare of coming up with a new title if I didn't subtitle it ("Taken" is a popular title).  I cringe at the thought.

I wanted to do this a long time ago.  My biggest setback was I didn't know what to do with the cover.  Did I use the first one, the second one, the back from the paperback...?  I tried putting both covers on the one cover, you know one cover on one half, the other cover on the other half with a sold or blurred line running between the two.  I didn't like that at all - not vertically, not horizontally, not slanted.  This was so frustrating.  A few days ago as I was attempting to make myself like the half&half cover (because I wanted to have this out on my birthday) when another idea occurred to me.  I merged them.  Yea, yea, I know, it's still half&half.  (I'm sticking my tongue out in a child-like manner.) But now it flows together.  Two books as one!  If you're familiar with the story then you understand the importance.

I don't know if it will be at Barnes&Nobles, Apple, or Kobo today, but it is at Smashwords (selling for $4.99)!  I know you're probably sick of seeing me write how much I love Smashwords.   But I am not going to stop.  I just love what Mark Coker has done.   He had a dream and now he's helping other people achieve theirs.  If I don't support that, then why am I writing at all?   Life is about dreams: yours and mine.  It's passion that makes us love our lives - no matter what else is going on.

What better present for me than to do this!  So today I give you the story, that allowed me to realize my passion, in one book!

Monday, April 28, 2014

National SuperHeroes Day!

This is a fun day!  I love superheroes for the ideals that they stand for.  Sure, it would be impossible for us to ever become like most of them.  However, to strive to do what's good, to stick up for - even protect - others, and help those around us are very tangible.  In honor of this day that brings a smile to my face, here are my top ten.   Keeping in mind that there are a lot of Superheroes to choose from and even more everyday heroes, here's my list.  Feel free to add more in the comment section!

1) WonderWoman when she had pre-superman abilities.  I don't particularly like what they have turned her into.
2) It's a tie with Batman and Superman.
3) NightWing
4) BlackWidow
5) BatGirl (I only read the Cassandra Cain series when my son said "Mom read this, I think you'll really like it" and he was right - she was awesome)
6) Flash
7) Captain America (He's a gentleman and a hero - what's not to love)
8) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
9) Robin (Teen Titans/Young Justice)
10) Wolverine

My list could go on, and I'm sure if I was reminded of a few others I would have to rethink my list, but these have been my favorite since I was a child - minus BlackWidow and Captain America.  I didn't grow up Marvel, but now that they have been formally introduced into my realm they definitely have found their way to my top list.   Have a great day!  :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

2 months until "Heart of the Emperor"

There are 2 months left until the Heart of the Emperor is released!  So what better way to get you guessing about this book than posting the cover.  So here it is:

Yes, I did the cover art, and yes, everything on the cover has something to do with the story!

Friday, April 11, 2014

This week has not been a good week for the writer in me.  It was my kids' Spring Break, I worked, and Robert had a birthday.  I didn't do hardly any writing.  I don't know about other writers, but me personally, I get irritable when I don't get to write.  I have so much going on in my head that everything else is hard to focus on.  It should be the other way around, I know.  We did have a lot of fun though!  Saw Captain America.  Great Movie! The movie was action packed, it didn't lull at all.   I love that honor has so much meaning to Captain America.  He's always looking to do what's right, no matter what it might cost him.   

Since my last post, I have done quite a bit though.  I'm jumping around in my newest book, trying really hard not to get upset.  I can see the story so clearly, but getting it down on paper is proving difficult.  I don't have the option to give up, because I wake up in the morning thinking about this story.   I'm about half way through Story 13 and quite happy with it, and I can see the next book in that story pulling itself together.  The cover for Heart of the Emperor is almost finished!   I started reading through the hardcopy for The Shadow Dragon book 3 and I hate the beginning of Chapter 1 so much that I haven't looked at it since (I almost through it across the room).  I'm also trying to read a couple of books that are by other indie writers.  So far I like them.   

Despite all that I can't stop feeling as though more writing needs to done.  I need to print this picture a friend of mine sent me and put it everywhere: 

After all if the Avengers think I should, who am I (or my kids) to argue?  (I know I'm more of a DC girl, but a great job has been done making these hero's awesome, even in my eyes!)

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Covers

When I read a book, I love discovering how the cover ties into the book - where does the cover fit during the story.  When I design my covers it has everything to do with the story.  Each of my covers has a lot of thought behind it, it is never just thrown on there.  The cover is pulled from the story itself.   I decided that I would use this blog to talk through my covers.  My choices.  

Taken's covers were done by Tammy Boneburg, a very talented graphic artist.  We worked together on that cover.  It was a long process, because I partially knew what I wanted but didn't know how to translate, I didn't know what could be done.  She obviously worked with me (with lots of patience) until we found something that I loved.  I only really knew that the marks of the Satrii had to be on the cover.  She did her best to give it to me.  When she showed me the picture of the eye with the lines layered over it, I knew we had something to work with.  She had given me four other pictures, but the eye was perfect.  Especially since I knew that book 2 was going to be following right behind.  I knew I wanted to keep the eye on both so that the reader would know they were together.  I think she did a magnificent job understanding where I wanted the focus.  Not only did she keep focus on the eye for both books, but she also allowed for the focus to be on the blue lines for the first book and on the second book were the blades that contained a power of their own.

Solace was a bit more difficult because I knew exactly what I wanted, which wasn't the cover it has now.  I probably could go back and try again (and be more successful), but I love the new cover because it allows me to keep book 2 (and hopefully future books for this story) similar to the original book.  The swirling shades of grey, black, and white is actually a scene in the first book.  It also defines the title of Uncharted Territory.  A story where what has always been as clear as black and white to Karissa now becomes blurred into dizzying shades of grey.   Book 2's cover also has significance.  The purple swirl is a scene where Karissa is looking into swirling mist where large flashes of bright red bubble up just like Omatha's rage.  She is reminded of the times she saw the red enter Omatha's eyes and she knows that she does not want that for Jack.  The swirl once again symbolizing Karissa's confusion, how lost she has become.

The Shadow Dragon covers are also significant.  Even if I had the ability to manipulate the cover better than I can, I would still only put the orbs of fire on the black background.   The cover is pretty much self explanatory and at the same time mysterious.  I had asked Mike Kirsten to make the cover for book 2 because he is an extraordinary artist and I was in awe of what he could do.  I knew he could draw the dragon I wanted.  I wish the wings were bigger, but other than that it is perfect.  It shows the strength, the destructive ability, and that he is a dragon of death.  We kept the orbs of fire in the dragon, tying the two covers together.

Not Human came to me in my sleep.  My hope was that when the reader read the book they would comprehend the cover.  They would think, "Oh!  I get it."  They'd understand why the lines are not smooth, why she has silver circles on her skin, how she ended up with two gashes, why her hair was short.  They would also know that Rose's journey was not an easy road.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I have a working computer again!  YEAH!!!  This makes my writing life so much better!   So, I've been working on a few things over the last week.  Go figure, right?  I've spent time trying to understand photo editing so that I can improve upon the cover for Heart of the Emperor.  I'm a slow learner, but I am determined to figure it out.   I have a cover, but I'm not totally happy with it.  It will work, but I think it would look better with a couple of changes.  I'm hoping to get that out to you later this month.

Speaking of Heart of the Emperor.   I wanted to share why I really enjoyed writing this book.    For those of you familiar with my books, you know that my stories tend to keep you guessing.  Whether it's a character, how an event plays out, or how I get the story as a whole from beginning to end, I try to make it as intriguing as I can.  This book is no different.  In fact with this book, the bad guy was a surprise to me too.  As the end began to draw near, I couldn't wait to finish it.  Not because I was bored with writing it, but because I couldn't wait to see how it ended.  There were so many possibilities to who the bad guy was - it really could have been anyone.

 I'm still plucking away at my attempt at a story in 3rd person.  Who knew this could be such a challenging task.  The story is developing, but I know I've left so much out.  Up until this point I've been hand writing this book.  However my mom typed it up for me so I could  work on my other stories.  She told me that i really need to take another look at it.  Apparently I slipped into and out of 1st person.  I just shook my head.   I'm not giving up yet though - I always did like a good challenge.  Yesterday I began fixing the revisions for story13, which I am hoping will be ready to go to my editors when I'm done.   I've also added more to story 14.   Tomorrow I'm printing off The Shadow Dragon book 3.   I really want to get it done so I can  move on to book 4 and get those two books out to you.