Archive for October, 2013

I was invited to participate in an anthology for Halloween, and the proceeds all go to benefit UNICEF. The anthology is only $1.00, and most people would give that much to charity without receiving anything in return. However, in this case, you get stories and excerpts from 13 different authors. My short story, The Third Wish, is the first story in the anthology. Joy Kamen worked very hard to put this together. So if you’re interested, go to the “Joy Kamen” link in the previous sentence (or click on the book cover to the right) and download your copy for a dollar. This is a pdf file, which will disappear after today, just like the ghosts and goblins that visit on Halloween. Today is your last chance! 🙂

Happy Halloween!


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My Apologies

“What are you apologizing for?”, you might ask. Well, for not visiting more of my ROW80 friends’ blogs. I used to sponsor almost every round in the beginning of ROW80. But Kait has been getting plenty of sponsors lately, so I’ve not been needed. This has caused me to be kind of lax in visiting blogs. Because I don’t HAVE to. And I feel bad about that. The reason I don’t? Mostly it’s a time thing. I have so much going on with my full time job, plus the writing, and the reading, I just run out of time. Really, do I? What about those times I get addicted to a Big Fish game on my computer and can’t stop playing? Or that movie I just HAVE to watch?

Okay, I’m not going to count the time I’ve starting spending on Facebook as a waste. I’m connecting with people there and getting my name out there. I’ve got to do SOMETHING about promoting. I’ve tried ads in various places, and other paid promotions. It seems like interacting with people on FB works better. So that’s taking up a lot of time.

Then there’s the house to clean, the hubby to pay attention to, the friends to spend time with. But no more excuses. I’m going to MAKE the time to visit more ROW80 check in posts. Probably not on Wednesday, but on Sunday. Because we are supposed to encourage each other. Lift each other up. Laugh and cry with each other. So I’m adding blog reading and commenting to my goals. And I ALWAYS respond to comments on MY blog. Always. That’s the courteous thing to do, in my opinion. (If I don’t respond, I’ve somehow missed the comment.)

I can’t visit everyone every week. And there are some blogs that won’t ALLOW me to comment. But I’m going to try my best to visit as many as often as I possibly can. I want to interact with you. And I’m sorry I haven’t been.

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My goal for each week is 3,000 words. Last week, I only made it to 1,663 words. That was kind of discouraging, especially since I had written well over 4,000 the week before and thought I was on a roll. Anyway, I didn’t quite make my goal this week, but I did write 2,789. That’s pretty close, so I’ll take it. My story is ending up with some more twists I wasn’t expecting. That’s always fun. Even when I have an outline, new ideas keep popping up, so I just change the outline. So I’m still plotting. Just sometimes after the fact. 🙂

Also, I want to mention that I took part in a Halloween anthology, contributing a short story called “The Third Wish”. The anthology is only $1.00, and the proceeds (minus PayPal fees) all go to UNICEF. This anthology was the brain child of Joy Kamen. She remembered that as a child, she Trick or Treated for UNICEF. She thought this would be a good way for adults to do the same. Joy worked really hard on this project. So if you’re interested in downloading the pdf file for $1.00, just click the pretty cover over to the right, which goes to the download page on Joy’s site. Thanks!

So, how did the rest of you do this week?

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Today is the release day party of my friend Alex Laybourne. So I’m just going to turn everything over to Alex and let him tell you about his book.


The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal the answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.

Nine survivors banded together, yet none of them realized, as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen.

Grab your copy from Amazon today for just $3.99

Alex Laybourne:


Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that he became a horror writer.

Married with four children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. His biggest dream for them is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

‘Diaries of the Damned’ is his third full length publication along with numbers short works.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Laybourne/e/B00580RB18/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Laybourne/212049612180183
Blog: http://alexlaybourne.com/


Chapter 1 – Boarding

Paul Larkin sat in his seat and fastened his seatbelt. His body was caked with sweat and dried blood. His ears rang from the gunshots, and his ankle was swollen again; remnants of an injury he acquired jumping from the first floor window of his suburban home. At least, it used to be suburbia, before everything went to shit.
He sat back and let out a long, deep breath. Shock threatened to take hold of him, so he closed his eyes and waited. The plane filled up and the cries of those refused admittance echoed down the walkway, swiftly followed by the sound of their execution.
Paul spared but the most fleeting of moments thinking about it. He found it strange how killing and death had become such a large part of his life.
“Excuse me,” A fragile sounding voice stirred Paul from the calm place he had just started to settle into. “I believe this is my seat.” An elderly woman, late seventies at best stood before him, her face was smeared with blood, while one eye had been covered by a filthy rag that had been hastily secured to her face with what looked like duct tape.

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I’m a little disappointed this week. My goal is 3,000 words per week. I only wrote 1,663. And I did it all in one day. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are my writing days. I was all fired up on Thursday when I wrote those words. On Friday, I couldn’t wait to get home from work and get some writing done. But my mom called and wanted me to go out to eat with her, my son, his fiancee, and their little girl. I couldn’t say no because I wanted to spend time with them. When I got home, it was late and I was tired. I don’t know WHY I didn’t write yesterday. I THINK it might be all those spooky Halloween movies I was watching. LOL. I had to go into work for a couple of hours, which kind of ruined my day, but had to be done. Then I went to the grocery store. Spending all that money kind of depressed me because you don’t get many groceries for a huge amount. 😦 But it was mostly the movies.

I’m going to have to rearrange my schedule, I think. I wanted to have those three writing days so I could get other stuff that needed to be done over with at the beginning of the week. But now I’m thinking I might ought to just write when I get a chance, no matter what day it is so I won’t sabotage myself at the end of the week if something comes up. I’m going to try that this week and see what happens.

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I used random.org to draw from all the comments I got on my post for the Garden Gnome giveaway. The winner is…drum roll…Caren Davis! Congratulations, Caren! I had the privilege to meet this awesome lady at the RNC convention.

Since I promised a Smashwords coupon code for The Gnome to everyone that commented, I’ll be contacting all of you sometime today. I have to go into work for a couple of hours to do something “technical” that couldn’t be done while everyone was working, so it will be after that. Bummer, huh? LOL Anyway, I know some of you have already read The Gnome or maybe light horror isn’t your cup of tea. So when I contact you, I’ll give you a chance to pick a different book if you don’t want The Gnome.

Thanks to everyone who entered for the drawing by commenting!

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I see a lot of people talk about a lot of books. But I usually see people talk about the same kinds of books most of the time. Paranormal romance authors and readers talk about paranormal romance books. Same with Historical Romance, Horror, etc. So am I just weird? I’ve been chatting with my friend Rose Gordon, and Stephen King was mentioned (by me). That got me thinking, do other people read so many different genres like I do? Is this weird? I honestly get bored reading the same kinds of books over and over. I have to have variety. I read paranormal romance, historical romance (especially regency), a LITTLE contemporary romance, horror, mystery, suspense. I don’t read non-fiction, usually, except for the Bible. I don’t usually read erotica unless a friend writes it, and then sometimes I will. I don’t mind a little erotic romance, but that’s different from straight erotica. I actually like the build-up, the sexual tension, the growing love more than the sex. Then the sex actually means something. But I digress. I can’t tell you exactly what my favorite genre is. Most of the books I’ve written have been paranormal romance. I have one that’s a fantasy romance (it has wizards, elves, fairies, etc.). I wrote one horror book (The Gnome), and the book I’m writing now is either going to be horror or suspense. I’ll have to see what category my beta readers think it needs to go in. I would like to do a cozy mystery at some point. Because if I read so many different genres, why wouldn’t I want to write them? Why not get out of my comfort zone and try new things?

Here’s my question to you. Do you read in multiple genres or stick to the same one (or one similar)? If you’re a writer, do you write in multiple genres (or want to eventually)? If you have a favorite author who has written something outside their normal genre, will you read it just because it was written by them? I want to know!

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I’m so excited, I can’t stand it. As soon as ACX does a final review on Haunted Lake, it will be available in audio! I never thought I would be able to do this because of the high cost, but I found a reasonably priced narrator, and the project went seamlessly.

About my narrator. Al Kessel has been awesome to work with. Not only do I love his voice, but he’s a REALLY nice guy. I wasn’t sure anyone could do anything with the voice of my character, John, who was injured in such a way that his voice was raspy. Al pulled it off better than I could have imagined. He brought kind of a “Clint Eastwood” style to John’s voice. And Al really enjoyed portraying John. He also did the female voice well. That’s hard to pull off for a guy, but I had no problem imagining a female when Al was portraying Rachel. I hope to work with him again. Here’s where you can find Al: Storyteller Productions Website and Story Teller Productions Facebook Pate

This has been an exciting experience for me. So much fun!

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I used to think I could edit and proofread my books all by myself. Really, I did. After all, I catch errors in other writers’ books all the time. But here’s the thing…you KNOW what you’re trying to say, so if you say it wrong or misspell a word, your mind sees what you MEANT to say or type. Our minds play tricks like that. You should always be the first editor/proofreader of your book and you should be the last. But in the middle, you should have other people looking at your manuscript.

So, what if you can’t afford an editor? Barter for services if you can! This advice actually comes from my friend, Ruth Ann Nordin, a very prolific author. And that’s what I do. I have some very good beta readers who are also great editors and proofreaders. One actually does that in her full time job. I do the same for them, and it’s worked very well for us. And it’s funny how one might catch totally different things than another. In the last book I had them read, there was only one thing that two of them suggested changing, and both of them had a different way of changing it. That’s when you, as an author, have to make the decision. Should you do it your original way, or pick one of the ways the editors suggested? Remember, I said you should be the first and last editor. Ultimately, it’s your book, and you’re going to be responsible for the content.

There are at LEAST four people who look at my books. Two of them are authors (they write in totally different genres), one is an avid reader, and the last one is my mom. Yes, my mom. I have several different people take a look. Now, I know people say not to use relatives or friends because they won’t tell you the truth. Well, my mom will definitely tell me the truth. And the funny thing is, she’s almost 79 years old, and yet she caught an error a professional editor didn’t catch. That’s the beauty of having multiple people look at your books.

I can honestly say that, lately, I’m finding as many or more errors in traditionally published books than in indie published books. The book I’m currently reading is published by a small publisher, so I don’t know what kind of editors they have, but I’m finding multiple errors in the book.

I had a reader call me the other day (we have a professional relationship in my full time job, and she starting reading my books) and I was so happy when she told me she was impressed because she had found no errors in Soul of a Vampire. She told me she had just read a traditionally published, popular book and found several. She was full of praise for how well my book was edited. That made me all kinds of happy. 🙂

So, tell me, do errors pull you out of the story? Does it depend on how many errors there are? I would love to hear from both fellow authors AND readers who don’t write and see if there’s a difference of opinion.

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My goal for this round is to finish my WIP by writing 3,000 words per week. This week…drum roll…I wrote 4,552. Yay! I hope I can continue this way. My characters threw a couple of surprises at me this week, so I’m going to have to rearrange things a bit. 🙂

That’s all.

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