Category Archives: characters

LATEST REVIEW – Joss Landry’s I CAN SEE YOU

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I recently had the opportunity to review this excellent paranormal/mystery from one of the wonderful authors in my network of colleagues.  Today is the release day for this book, and the following is my review.  If you’re into books that don’t easily fit genre qualifications, but are well written with great characters, you’ll love this.  Check out my review, then jump over to Amazon!!

I Can See You by Joss Landry is a remarkable paranormal journey of love. Ten year old Emma overcome torturous fear and the need to hide her secret psychic abilities to help Detective Hank Apple solve the case.  Her love helps bond her with her family and the community, and it is this great love that ultimately saves her life. Emma is believable as a precocious pre-teen with the ability to see the future and direct Out of Body Experiences (or projecting). She learns to use this gift to help the vulnerable and charming Detective Apple solve the mystery. Joss Landry keeps the reader guessing and use her very well developed secondary characters to help move the plot. Readers will surely fall in love with these characters! Upon finishing this book, I wanted more, and I hope Landry will consider writing a sequel; perhaps with Emma being a teen or young adult. I felt like readers would love to see how she develops and what other trouble she can get into. The story is authentic and sullen and deals with real issues such as abuse, infidelity, finding work/life balance, and having difficult conversations with loved ones. These are concerns that children and adults in today’s world must face regularly. Landry weaves these themes into a shadowy yet spellbinding tale.

About the Author

Joss has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers. Joss is presently working on honing three other novels for publication. Blessed with four children and five grandchildren, she resides in Montreal with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.

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There’s No Sex In Your Violence.

ImageI feel blessed to be living in one of the freest flowing times in history. What do I mean by that? Well, honestly, I mean that writers can pretty much write about anything they want. There was a time when sex and violence were taboo, but today it’s almost expected. Not that everything I write is sex and violence, but I have the freedom to write it, publish it, and expect that I’ll have some readers that want to read it. Hell, I want to read it! As long as it’s couched within the plot and is true to the characters – my caveat.

It is a fabulous thing, but it once wasn’t, and I hope that it isn’t taken for granted, especially by those of us who chose to write it. In the Victorian era, sexuality was, if not taboo, than at least a questionable topic.  The 1960’s started to change people’s ideas about sex, but really it hasn’t been until the 80’s and 90’s that we’ve seen a rise in sexuality in print, and only in the past decade have people started reading stories that border on pornographic. Perhaps what is considered acceptable pornography in print has changed? We all know that 50 Shades of Gray would not have been printed, let alone a best seller in earlier years. That success was all about timing and what the public was willing to accept.

But, I submit that 50 Shades was not a breakthrough novel in our sexual genre, but that society was finally willing to let this degree of sexuality hit the mainstream. Surely, BDSM erotic had been building in the world of print (Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Siren, and Hot Ink Press) for years. Beyond mainstream romance, we all know sex sells.

The point of all this is that in today’s market where eBooks, Amazon, and the Internet thrive and allow people anonymity of purchase, authors can expect their sex books to sell. Oh, and violence isn’t any different. In fact, violence is less taboo than sex (unless it’s violent sex). As a society, we want to see violence in our movies, and we want to read about it in our books. The only thing more tantalizing than good sex, is good violence.  Don’t deny it. I’m sure you’ve watched Rocky or an MMA fight or just a scene where someone gets the shit beat out of them or someone is killed violently (CSI much?).

That brings me back around to the freedom of writing and authors taking it or granted. I don’t know if they do and I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that 100 years ago, 50 Shades of Gray would not have been published. Hell, 9 1/2 weeks wouldn’t have been a movie and neither would Scent of a Woman. What is available today in print and in movies is phenomenal compared to that. Of course, we would expect evolution. Yet, we often don’t stop and appreciate it.

So, whether you buy a sexy book, watch a violent movie, or write about sex and/or violence, just take a moment and appreciate how far we’ve come and just how free we are.Image

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Livin’ on the Edge!

Okay folks – So, here’s the latest update on my writing journey!  I’ve been unemployed since January and I’ve been a bit off kilter trying to figure all of this out. I wanted to write full time SOOO BAD and now that I have the opportunity, I’m still not spending enough time writing.  I’m writing a lot more than before, but still not enough. I think it’s just that things haven’t been going as planned and I’m having difficulty keeping a schedule.

I was sick for about 3 weeks in February/March. It really through me off. I spent the entire time doing nothing and feeling like crap. Even when I started feeling better, I was a little depressed and didn’t want to get back to doing anything. So, it took a while to get moving again. I felt a little bit worthless, like I’d let myself down. Every day that went by was a little worse. Eventually, I had too much crap in my head and my characters started demanding that I get busy! I also thought a lot about the fact that while I was still working, all I wanted to do was write, and then when I found myself in the middle of the opportunity, I choked. I wasn’t writing.

So, now the last couple of weeks, I’ve been back to writing. I haven’t been forcing myself to do anything particular, but I’m getting some stuff done. I’m making sure that I put in a few hours every day, no matter what.  Usually, I write from 1 pm to 3 pm without fail. Then, sometimes I start earlier or I write later.  Sometimes, I write until dinner time and then I might come back in and write a little more after dinner.  I’m feeling a lot better about what I’m doing.

AND I’ve graduated!!! I now have a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing! Woot!! That means no more homework – more time for writing!

I may have to go back to the real world of work soon – have to pay the bills – but until then, I’m taking advantage of the time. I’m writing almost every day! Hopefully, there will be a lot more of my work out there. I think that’s the next step in my journey. I’m just focusing on getting things done and out there!

Thanks to everyone still watching my journey!

 

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Tattoo that line?!

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The Touch Reviewed

Recently, I read The Touch by Louisa Albrect, and published by Hot Ink Press. I fell in love with the concept immediately and just had to read it.  Admittedly, it advertised a few characteristics that I love to use in my own writing, such as music, musicians and magic. So, I was excited to get my hands on it! Oh, not to mention that it is an erotic novel, so yeah… that was exciting too! *snickers inappropriately*

http://www.amazon.com/Touch-Louisa-Albrect-ebook/dp/B00AZOS7GK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394562934&sr=1-1

On the whole, I did enjoy the story. The plot was well done and the characters likable. However, I was somewhat disappointed. I really wanted to love this story, and I didn’t. It’s been several days since I read it, and I’ve been stewing it over in the back of my mind ever since.

I did read it in one sitting, but that had more to do with how short it was rather than my love of it. In fact, it really was too short. There was barely enough time to develop such a complex plot and depth of character. It was sort of like this:  Here are these cool people and their intricate problems. Now, let’s put them together and let sex fix everything. I wanted more in the middle. It gave me a beginning and an end and slushed right over the middle.

The main character is a singer named Benjamine. I loved this guy. But, I didn’t get enough of what made him tick. I expected more music. The descriptions that were there were fabulous, but they left me wanting more.  The lead female similarly left me wanting more. After the coven finds her, she loses her memories, but the plot doesn’t really do anything with this, and leaves her feeling a little hollow. I wanted more about her discovering herself before she could help Benjamine.

The Touch had interesting side characters that were like the icing flowers on a cake; pretty and edible, but generally not necessary and completely interchangeable. Yet, there was the bud of something truly delicious sitting right there. A longer story line would allow the author to weave these extra characters into the story in a way that only that unique person could be there to make things happen. Plus, with more time, you could get to know what drives these others; how they view the main characters (for extra complexity); and what motivates them.

The final thing that had me squirming in my chair as I read was the huge amounts of grammatical errors and typos that imbued the novella. I swear this manuscript was never edited. In most self-published books and even in books published by small to medium presses, I generally do not have a problem overlooking a few errors. It is virtually impossible to get out every single one… you can find typos in books from major authors and publishing houses too. With that said, I could not keep continually overlooking the abundance of issues in this. It was too distracting.

I’m not trying to by hyper-critical. In fact, if I didn’t like the story, I wouldn’t have bothered putting these words on the page. I would have chalked it up to another disappointing failure. But, I did genuinely like this story. For only .99 it isn’t bad. However, Albrect has such a potentially beautiful story here. I wish she would take the time to develop it into a full-fledged (edited) novel.

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Rockin’ .99 Paranormal Picks!

What’s on Kindle for .99?  Tons of great paranormal fiction, that’s what!  After spending time searching through Kindle options and not finding much I felt like reading, I thought… but I KNOW there are a ton of awesome titles for only .99… Because I’ve bought them.  So, I figured I would help some of you out and point you in right direction with my list of  Rockin’ .99 Paranormal Picks!

Obviously, I have to start with my own…   SUMMER BLOOD is only .99 on Kindle!  If you dig vampires, hot rockers, and tons of action and romance, this is for you!  With tons of twist and turns in the plot, you should really get into this!

S.M. Reine has many titles that are normally priced in the $3 range, but when they go on sale… get them!  Death’s Hand  is the first in her Descent Series and it, along with the others in the series, are phenomenal! They are worth picking up even at a higher price, but I think Death’s Hand is on sale right now…  She has a strong warrior woman in the lead role, one who kicks demon butt, and has a witch side-kick, who is HOT! Action is packed in here from cover to cover.   She also has a series on werewolves Six Moon Summer (right now it is FREE!) is the first and this is also a “can’t put it down” title. Eventually, she merges the two series as well, so you will have plenty to read from Reine for a long time!

Fairy Metal Thunder by JL Bryan was a great surprise!  I bought it because who wouldn’t want to read about music and the fae!  It is more of a teen book, but very well written and highly entertaining! For .99 it is totally worth it!

Another one is How to Date A Werewolf by Rose Pressey. This one has the feel of a good romance and it’s funny! Her character, Rylie Cruz is a werewolf match-maker.  You have to buy this one to see how being a werewolf can really mess up your world! All of her titles are well worth the purchase. Most are in the $3-$4 range, sometimes they go on sale, but even at $4 they’re worth it.  Pressey has a fabulous sense of humor and a great voice for paranormal shenanigans.

The Emerald Talisman is the first in the series by Brenda Pandos. It is a different twist on the vampire mythology and filled with trials for her characters to get through. It’s definitely a YA read. I love YA because they take the romance on the light side and fill in the gaps with tons of action! If you like that too, this one’s a must read.

My Boyfriend Merlin by Priya Ardis is another YA title that is very good.  This one is actually FREE and the sequel is .99… so that’s a two-fer in my book! I have not read the sequel yet, but the first book is great.  The title is the first clue… yes it has Merlin in it, but in this version, he’s the reluctant leader of a band of “magical” teens. Yes on the light romance and yes on the tons of action! A great one to check out.

The last one I’m adding to my list is Save My Soul by K.S. Haigwood.  It is FREE right now, but I’ve seen it also for $ .99 or $2.99.  It would be worth it at $9.99.  Get it while it is free, and then you can get the next in the series Hell’s Gift, too. They are both fabulous.  If you like the idea of a soul-mate, someone that is THE person for you here and in the ever-after, then you’ll love this series.  The romance is a heavier in this one, but the action, adventure, and intrigue will keep you reading, whether or not you like romance. 

Hope you’ll check out these picks, and if you have any of your own, feel free to leave a comment, because I always have my eye out for great books at low prices!

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Meaning in Words

I believe it is important to write things that are meaningful, that people can relate to and understand on an emotional level.  I don’t think I am or rather I consider whether I’m doing just that in what I’m writing now. I’m focusing a lot on the “fun” aspects and what might be considered “cool” by my readers. But does it still mean more?

I started out at some point wanting to tell a story of those feelings one has that seem dripped in meaning and purpose – the “end all” emotions of the young, the naïve “I love this person with my whole being and there can never be anyone else for me” – that first deep love that we all desperately seek, and refuse to let go of when we have it. But, a more adult life altering theme of adaptation and survival of the heart emerged. The intensity of emotion in Summer Blood became the acclimatization of adulthood in Fire Blood (yeah me!)

My questions now become where the rest of the story is going and what is my emotional message. It feels like my plans for the next two novels have been slightly derailed by the cool and the fun. I’m not entirely sure what emotional depth I can add.

That leads to the other novel I’m writing for my Thesis in my Masters program. Where are these emotional questions in Discordia? Have I lost my initial themes – the good versus evil and the question of how we know which is which and how does a coming of age story deal with these topics? I think I must spend some time assessing the emotions as well as what’s happening in the story. The themes are intended to be subtle within the story; however, if they are too subtle, they’ll be missed.

I’ll be tackling this issue as I finish up my thesis and move further into my writing career. It’s important because readers need that extra depth in order to relate to the story and to the characters. It may be cool and fun, fast paced and exciting, but it won’t stick if there isn’t that emotional connection that we all look for.

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Next Step in the Journey: The Thesis

Athena
If you’ve been following this blog (thank you!), then you know that I’ve been going to school at SNHU for my Masters degree in Creative Writing. That is the biggest reason why my blog entries have been few and far between. I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve started my thesis class last week. The thesis is a novel, and it is split into two classes. I should finish in March. For now, I’m going to be hard at work hammering out as many pages as I can!

So, as I begin this venture, I thought I would share with you a quick summary of the novel I’m working on for my thesis. It is a YA paranormal adventure. Yes, it has romance in it, but that isn’t the primary focus. Here’s a summary:

Erin wants to be a normal girl with a normal life, but she’s anything but normal. Bad things happen to anyone that gets too close to her. After a string of foster homes, she finds herself in a small town with a family she cares about and is scared to lose. She even manages to get a boyfriend, Kel, who convinces her that he is immune to her curse.
Erin’s life is turned into chaos when her foster mother becomes ill and Erin is sent to a children’s home. She is afraid she will lose the first family she has ever cared about, and lose her first boyfriend as well. Before she can figure it all out, Erin is kidnapped by a vengeful goddess that calls herself Mina. Erin must figure out who Mina really is, and regain her own lost memories in order to defeat her.

Let me know what you think. Would you check this book out?

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Book Review Time!

I haven’t written any book reviews in a long time, but finally I read one that I really want to do. This author is rapidly becoming one of my favorites! She’s an indie artist, too. That makes it even better! I love to support other indies like me! I hope my own books will be as well received as Kristie’s!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CPSRWLK/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

I spent the afternoon and evening on Eternal Island reading Eternal Immortality by K.S. Haigwood, and I didn’t want to come home. This second installment of the Eternal series grabbed me on page one and I didn’t want to let go all the way up to the end. When you have an all-powerful witch that can do anything, it’s good to know she’s not perfect. Ariana was very vulnerable in this one. She was a little bossy now and then, but always for good reason. The chemistry between her and Abe started in the first book continues throughout this one, but the better relationship chemistry this time was with Rainey and Armadeus. From page one, they had conflict and sizzling chemistry. Outside of the romance, there was plenty of plot going on and big evil bad guys.

The novel is packed with the powerhouse line up of characters from the first novel, and more new characters to get to know. Despite the vast line up, the reader has plenty of time getting to know the characters and I never found myself wondering who they were, Ms. Haigwood lets you know who they are and keeps each one distinct and memorable.
This is a great escape that made me wish I was a witch! I’d love to move to Eternal Island. I read the entire book in one sitting, and I can’t give it a better review than that! 5 Stars on this one!

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It’s about the Journey

This blog has always been about my journey as a writer. So, that’s specifically what this entry is going to be about. I’ve grown as a writer tremendously over the last few years and I’m starting to see the products of that growth. I’m about to start my thesis course for my Creative Writing degree and my first novel, Summer Blood, is out and is selling, albeit slowly. Now, I’m journeying into the next realm of being an independent author – promotions.

I’m learning a few things, and the first is that books will not sell without promotions. OK – honestly, I knew that going into it, but now I’m neck-deep and trying to figure it all out. I have some of it figured out, but not all of it. I’m particularly struggling with, how to get reviews. Without reviews, people may not want to buy the book even as a .99 kindle. There are millions of bloggers, and they are ALL inundated with books to read and blog about. I’m sure this is true because my own reading list is a mile long. However, I still need those reviews. Many readers will read the book, but it is a lot of trouble to go back and write a review, especially when they’re really only interested in the next book they’re going to read. So, I’m still smashing this one around, but seriously, if you read a book you really like, leave a review on Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads or B&N or wherever, because it is really important. If you are a writer it is especially important for you to do this… that way maybe someone else will leave you a review… You know the old Karma thing?!?

So, the book is out there and I’m getting my promotions on track, and I’m working on the sequel and next week starts my thesis (which I think is another novel). It’s a struggle, but the progress is going in the right direction, and the journey has been fun! In fact, the journey is the best part: writing, learning, growing, enjoying the story and the characters… all of it!

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839007.Sherri_Jordan_Asble

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Blood-Desolate-Incubus-ebook/dp/B00EH1WLHS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1379357414&sr=1-1&keywords=summer+blood

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