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Exciting News!!!!

I have been picked up by Saga Press!  It’s a small Heathen publishing house that’s just starting to get off the ground, owned and run by Larissa Hunter of http://kenaz.ca.  I am so excited for this new venture.

We will be putting out Wild Hunt as a second edition!  It will be nicely polished and will have brand new cover art in the new year!

Speaking of which, I do have a GoFundMe campaign going to pay an artist ( Rodney Sanders NSFW! ) to do my cover art,  for the next edition, and hopefully future novels after this one! 

So here’s the GoFundMe Link http://www.gofundme.com/9jjtz8 if you care to donate to the new cover art revamp.

I am so excited for this!  I hope you are too!

Another Excerpt from my novel Wild Hunt.

Below is an excerpt from my debut novel, Wild Hunt.

 

 

Most girls on the island would be happy to be barefoot and pregnant to some fisherman for the rest of their lives, but Miriam wanted to see the world. If that was a sin, then she hoped she had a nice seat next to old Scrotch himself.

 

The guidance counselor was pretty much the only person she was able to trust through her entire high school years. He was the one who encouraged her to keep her grades up throughout the years. He kept reminding her that if she did, it was a guaranteed trip off the island for the better.

The counselor was from St. Johns. He came around once a week, since it was all the school district could afford. He was tall and muscular, with long black hair streaked with silver and tied at the nape of his neck. He was missing his left eye and the vacant socket was covered by a silver eye patch engraved with three triangles overlapping each other.

 

One day Miriam asked him about it. “Hey Mister Baley, how did you lose your eye anyway?”

 

Mister Baley gave her a sly grin. “Well, when I was a kid, I really wanted a pellet gun. All my friends had one, so I kept bugging my mom. I even asked Santa Claus at the mall. One Christmas, when I was six years old, I opened up the only present under the tree that had my name on it. It was that pellet gun I wanted. I ran upstairs to my room and got dressed as fast as I could. I couldn’t wait to shoot that thing. I didn’t bother reading the instructions and didn’t discharge the extra air from the chamber before reloading. I knocked the trigger and shot my eye out, was lucky I didn’t get killed.”

 

Note:  This is NOT a Young Adult novel.   If you’re interested, please go on over to http://mybook.to/WildHunt and buy a copy!  only $2.99 on Kindle.  It is also available in Paperback through that link as well if you don’t have an Ereader or a fancy tablet/phone.  

I am currently working on the second novel of the series.  I’m trying to figure out a title for it.  Happening around Yule.  I’ll figure something out, no worries.

Getting worn down

Life as an independent author is a pain in the ass.  Seriously.  Sure, you don’t have editors breathing down your throats regarding deadlines, you don’t have to deal with sketchy houses not paying you your royalties, but there’s just something missing.  Oh yeah, actual royalties and the time to get to work on a new book.

See, as an Indie, I need to keep my ass glued to Twitter and Facebook, and yes, this blog, to promote my book so it can sell.  I don’t have the huge marketing arm that a publishing house has.

So I’ve spent the past few days pitching.  Pitched to a few small-ish publishing houses with decent track records, *Piers Anthony has a great up to date list on houses, along with reviews of some of them:  http://hipiers.com/publishing.html * and today I pitched to an agent.  I’m not a salesperson.  I’m an author.  I’m not great at blowing sunshine up peoples asses to get them to buy something.  I want my work to speak for itself.  Unfortunately that isn’t how the writing world works if you want your book to get out there.  So, I’m trying to get it into the hands of people with that skill.  The waiting game is a bitch.

*sigh*  I just want to get to work on my second book.  Is that too much to ask?  But no, I need to keep promoting.

I think I’ll use https://bufferapp.com/ to automate my tweets and get back to @ replies when I can.   Figure if I sprinkle some funny/witty non-promo tweets with some actual promo tweets, people won’t get fed up.  I dunno.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards

Yes I entered it.  I stayed up until 1am my time tweaking the manuscript one last time, republished it over on Amazon and Createspace (Thank you Ki for the help!  It’s much appreciated!)  and then once the contest started, BOOM I was in.  Pitch and excerpt were done, I was good to go.  

Now, I wait until March 18th to see if I made it past the first round.  

 

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I  hope I get it.  That would be awesome.  Oh btw, I’m gonna blog some thinky spiritual thoughts in a bit once I get my brain wrapped around them.  They’re sorta metaphorical and were jammed into my head when I was caffeine deprived.

Excerpt from my novel, Wild Hunt.

Hey all.  I figure I’ll do something that was suggested to me by one of my facebook friends, who happens to also run a successful marketing business.  (Not a pyramid scheme but he advertises for other people.  He runs http://marketingninjas.com/ )  

He suggested I put up a short excerpt from my novel to see if it drums up interest.  I figure, meh why not.  So without further ado, here is a relatively spoiler free, yet attention grabbing excerpt from my novel, Wild Hunt. A paranormal romance that involves gods and goddesses of the Norse Pantheon, most notably, Loki and Odin.  I feel I do quite a good job at trying to portray the Gods and Goddesses in a modern-ish light and stay true to their lore at the same time.

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Miriam stood outside the Greyfriars Kirkyard. Staring at the forlorn statue of Bobby, the little Skye terrier that guarded his master’s grave for thirteen years was supposedly buried there. The damp cold of the early Edinburgh autumn seeped into her bones, the cold wind tugged at her crimson hair, which was secured in a braid at her nape.

Luke better have known what he wanted by asking her to wear that dress. It was damn chilly out that night; almost unseasonably so. Mist started to form around the grave stones and mausoleums that filled the haunted spot, adding to the chill that had already permeated her bones.

Miriam reached into her purse and pulled out a smudging stick and a lighter as she approached the circular stone structure beyond the Covenanters Gate, she hoped that it would grant her some protection from the poltergeist beyond the gate as she waited for Luke to show up.

Who am I kidding; she thought to herself, this has been tried before. Mackenzie’s energy is stronger than this.

 

Bluddy Mackenzie was Sir George Mackenzie, the Lord Advocate in charge of the Covenanters Prison at the church during the mid-1600. He was responsible for imprisoning twelve-hundred Presbyterian Covenanters after the battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679. During this time, he had many tortured and executed, the rest, died of maltreatment.

He caused countless suffering. Despite his treatment of the Presbyterians, he actually defended an alleged witch during her trial. He wrote in one of his essays, that witches weren’t as common as the people thought they were and most confessions were garnered via means of torture, therefore were not reliable. His poltergeist carried with it, the weight of the souls he actually did send to the grave.

He targeted unbelievers as well as believers when they walked through that gate during the guided tours, leaving bruising, bloody scratches and other physical signs of assault.

For some reason, the Covenanters Gate remained unlocked after the last tour went through. It was usually kept barred to protect people from any attacks from Mackenzie, despite people being skeptical, he was one of the most documented paranormal events in history and the overzealous United Kingdom health and safety department ordered the gate kept locked at all times, except when guided tours were being held

As she stepped closer towards the black mausoleum where Luke told her to wait for him, she heard braying of dogs and the pounding of many hooves on the ground.

Is that what I think it is? Her train of thought continued, this is in modern Edinburgh. No one rides horses anymore and fox hunts are illegal now in the United Kingdom.

 

She heard a horn sound as the hoof beats and dogs surged closer to her. There was nowhere to go to get out of the way, except Bluddy Mackenzie’s tomb which was locked, even if it were a good idea. She closed her eyes and hoped for the best, that the riders would move around her. She felt a cold hand grasp her arm. She gasped in shock and fear and then she then heard a blade whistle from its scabbard followed by an eerie hollow cry, as the hand that was grasping her limply slid from her arm.

As the hoof beats slowed down and came to a stop, Miriam heard the snorting and stomping of horses, the hounds whined and yipped at being kept from their prey.

 

“Been trying to get him for centuries now! You have our thanks!” a kindly and familiar voice said, startling her out of her trance.

She looked up and found herself surrounded by 9 horses, one of which had 8 legs. The one she was facing was shining white, no mud splatter on its fine hide and its rider was a man. His hair was as red as a summer bonfire and his eyes were as green as the finest emeralds. His face was young and boyish, with a definite impish cast to it.

 

“You’re welcome?” She stuttered. “I was coming here to see if I could exorcise him anyway, I’m supposed to meet…” Miriam’s jaw dropped

 

The Fire Haired Rider said “Me, actually. Mackenzie has been eluding us for so long during our Hunt. We needed a pretty lass like you, to lure him out so we could send him to Hellheim”

Soon as the rider said that, the woman’s eyes widened and she knew what she had seen. A sense of doom sunk down on her and she started shaking.

The flame haired rider, the woman realized, was Loki, but he also looked like Luke. He wore a chain mail tunic over a tough leather jerkin; His legs were cloaked in chain mail as well.

The man on the eight legged steed, Odin, bore a striking resemblance to her old guidance counselor from high school. The others, their faces were a blur…but she felt a few other Divine presences in the host.

 

Loki slid off his horse and walked towards the stunned woman.

“It’s ok. You will not be harmed, I called you here and you are under our protection; the Hunt will not harm you. If anything, you are invited to join if you so wish. But not on my steed. See, my Brother over there is a man of very few words when He is around mortals, but He knows you. He knows your potential. He would like you to ride with Him.”

 

The woman looked at the man on the eight legged horse. His black hair tied at the nape of his neck. Silver eye patch gleaming on its own and his black goatee highlighting a very strong and masculine jaw. He wore a chain mail jerkin over a hardened leather chest piece. On his back, he wore a fur cape made out of a wolf pelt.

 

”L…L…uke?” Miriam stammered, “Mister Baley?” she said looking up at Odin. “What on, oh my…” She collapsed on the ground trembling as the full force of the realization came crashing down on her. For a good portion of her life, she had been monitored and mentored by the Norse Gods.

Loki knelt down and helped the dumbfounded woman back to her feet. “Shh, it’s ok. I’m still the same person you’ve been with. I haven’t changed. I just had to do that to get close to you, without causing suspicion from everyone around. As much as I would like to, it’s not a great idea going around going ‘Hey look at me! I’m a GOD’ everywhere I go” He explained to Miriam.

 

She looked up at the imposing form of Odin. “Mister Baley? Odin? Why?” she asked.

“Because I promised my brother to keep you safe while he couldn’t be there himself.” Odin replied.

 

Loki looked deep into Miriam’s eyes with love and longing. “You know, I’d really like for you to come with us. It’s not like you have anything waiting for you and think of it as an adventure, as training.”

Miriam swallowed her fear and asked “Why do I ride with Odin? Like I can’t get it out of my head that he used to be my guidance counselor back in the day.”

 

“Because, His steed is the one with the broadest backs, giving you less of a chance to fall and hurt yourself.” Loki replied. He didn’t dare tell her that Odin wanted her first in order for her to be allowed on the hunt. “So what do you say? You wanna come with us? Will be pretty fun.”

If you are interested in reading more, please head on over to http://mybook.to/WildHunt and buy the book!  It’s available in both Kindle and paperback editions.  Thank you so much!  I am currently working on Book 2 in the series.  

 

Indie author promo tips

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I was lurking on twitter today and noticed one of the people I follow/followers @raynehall, was talking about #twittertips. Mostly discussing what didn’t work, and what does work. We decided to be silly and make up a random hashtag called #uselesspromotweets. We got into many a discussion, talking about how free promos don’t work, and that just being engaged on twitter, is the best way to a: drum up real human followers and b: secondarily, book sales.

See, free promos rarely work to generate buzz. People pick the boom up thinking “meh it’s free why not.” Then it sits in a kindle dust pile never to be seen again. Or the person doesn’t value it at all, and leaves you a negative review, even if your writing is sound. There are 100,000’s of free kindle books out there, that this strategy is now pretty damn useless. I gave away a few hundred kindle copies of my novel, and got jack shit in buzz and reviews in return.

Another thing that doesn’t work: relentless promo tweets, hence the silly hashtag #anotheruselesspromotweet. If you act like a person, engage your twitter followers, you might very well draw in the type of readers you want for your book. Not trolls, not bots that will endlessly retweet your stuff between each other, real people, the ones you want reading your book.

Raynehall is a cool person. I highly suggest following them on twitter to get more hints, (link to the twitter page is at the top of the article)

In the mean time, if you are an indie author, like myself, trying to drum up sales of your book, it’s hard to do, but relax, if you are confident you put out a good product, and it IS a good product, eventually it will sell itself. (The link to mine is in the side bar, hint hint nudge nudge BUY MY BOOK!)

So, I wrote a novel, and had the guts to publish it.

So, the above link is to my Kindle version of my novel, Wild Hunt.  I anglicized my name because it’s easier on the search engines, and the people who are typing into the search engines.  

It’s about Loki (yeah I see your not surprised face) and his shenanigans in love and whatnot.  So it’s a paranormal romance.  There’s smut in it, but I don’t know if it counts as cheesecake.  I’m just writing what He puts into my head.  I’m working on part 2 now.  Would make a great Showtime/HBO series when I’m done, maybe.  Meh high hopes.

Anyway, the hard copy will be available tomorrow.  I’m kinda stoked about this.  Please be nice, it’s my first ever novel and all my beta readers mysteriously (Looks at Loki) had other things that popped up in their lives.  So this is an exercise in trusting myself, and Him.  I’m notorious for NOT trusting myself…or my abilities.  I second guess myself to the point of not doing a damn thing, not joking.  

So, buy it, boost signal or whatever.  I’m just getting it out there. 

The Muse, and Him kicking my Butt

I’ve had a novel percolating in my brain ever since I’ve admitted to myself that I had a Loki on my shoulder and He wasn’t getting off..well..my shoulder that is…not gonna even go there for the other half of that double entendre. HAH.

Anyway, after a few more snippets banged out I’ve been told overwhelmingly to DO EET. Roxxy, and Heather who both read snippets of what dribbled out of my brain into the keyboard were like “ok WRITE IT” and Loki was like “Yeah listen to them, because it’s Me telling you to do it as well”

I was HOPING to wait for NaNo, but nope. While driving I had more and more novel things smushed into my brain that I almost missed my exit. Both times. Yup, if my kids hadn’t alerted me to the exit I was about to pass, I would have either wound up in Halifax, or Digby, depending on which direction my car was facing.

So, my Sci-

So, I’ve been writing. It might or might not get published, I have no idea. The thing is not every piece of prose that gets published now a days SHOULD be published, but there are some manuscripts that should be released, but the author hangs on to for some reason or another. To be honest, this is my first ever real novel. I’ve written short stories for as long as I can remember, so I can’t guarantee it’s quality. I’m pretty picky about what kind of writing I put out. Yeah I know, this blog… But this blog is more of a stream of consciousness type of writing than an actual sit down and bang it out novel.

All I know is, Loki wants the story He is smushing into my noggin to be put to ink, or ones and zeroes now, I guess. I would be dishonouring Him if I told Him to get stuffed. I really have no desire to do that. When one follows The Muse, one goes where He leads.

STILL STUCK! Writing Writing..*sigh*

Ok, I’ve started a novel series in November, for NaNo.  Well..It kinda petered out with life, first the spouse broke his leg, then, the holidays, then more piles of crap put on more piles of crap and eventually I’m here.  I need to get going somehow.  I’ve re-read what I have going on and still need to get my write on.  The concept itself is brilliant. (I think anyway, of course this is my blog and I’ll toot my own horn if I want to! 😛 )  It’s a Sci-Fi/Fantasy type deal, a twist of Pern, a twist of Star-Wars, a twist of My Own Design. *nodnod*  with a few nods here and there to the City of Heroes/Villains community.  (I MISS THAT GAME)  There is also a nod to Star-Trek in there as well…or there will be.  ANYWAY…it’s still in it’s infancy.  There’s no outright Sexy Tiems in it…I don’t know if Loki will show up, in any way..if He does, He will find a way to wedge Himself in I know it.

I’m loathe to share my concept on here because it’s such a public domain and I don’t want someone who’s a faster writer scooping me. heh.  So if you wanna know, you know how to get in touch with me and I’ll share.  If you don’t, then stay tuned for updates.  

I guess I’ll get my write on as part of this whole “Month for Loki” deal that’s going on. ❤  Writing writing writing.  I just need to get off my ass, harness my brain and git er dun.  

BTW It’ll be a series of 3 novels, I hope.  I plan on self publishing through the Kindle Store, or whatever “Free” service there is.

So there you have it, that will be my contribution to the Month of Loki.  That and cooking. I just need to see if Loki will babysit my kids..wait that wouldn’t be a great idea..OY!  

 

The challenges of writing a novel.

This past November, I thought it would be cool to start up a NaNoWriMo project.  I was like 50k words in a month?  Cake.

Not so much.  That cake was a lie.  I got writers block not even 8000 words in.  That and life took over, husband came home with a broken leg, distraction upon distraction, you get the idea.  Now, I’m trying to get over it.

I had a few wonderful suggestions over Twitter on how to get over it, and I’m really trying.  I WANT this novel series to take off, and go somewhere.  I HAVE the world, culture and story in my head.  It just doesn’t want to come out smoothly.

I don’t want to front load my novel.  I don’t want to make it too sparse either.  I want to set up the conflict, but I don’t want it to be terribly obvious either.

It’s such a delicate balance.  I don’t want to put out a bad novel.  I want to put out a GOOD one.  Properly written, rich story, rich characters and a rich world that the reader can get lost in.

I’ve seen so many BAD books make the NYT Best-seller’s list it isn’t even funny.  Twilight, 50Shades…it’s rather sad, really.  There are so many GOOD indie authors out there that put out great books, that get buried under that tripe.

Right now I’m reading and re-reading the stuff I have already, seeing what I can flesh out, prune, or whatever.  I don’t want a sub par book.  I believe people are smarter than that.  I KNOW my potential readers have brains, and deserve to be entertained by a well written book.