Friday, May 31, 2013

Three Things on Friday

Today I’m doing three things at once (I’m a mom, this is perfectly doable).

First, I’m celebrating the small things of the last week.

1.      We wrapped up homeschooling for the year, and my daughter got an excellent report on her standardized tests.

2.      I got my garden all in, which for me maybe isn’t such a small thing.

3.      My hubby and I took a date night. Any time alone with him is a very good thing.

4.      Finally made some decisions on the third book cover. Can’t wait to see it.

5.      An old friend, I mean I haven’t seen her since I was thirteen kind of friend, found me on Facebook. We had a great week catching up.

6.      My house is filled with tiny bouquets of flowers my six year old has picked for me. Lovely.

7.      All in all, had a great week writing. Started last round of edits on book #2 and rounding up revisions on #3.
       I hope all of you had a blessed week as well.

Second, I’m reviewing The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan. I am doing a review of the next book of the Creepy Hollow Series next Saturday, so, of course, I had to read this one first.

The Faerie Guardian begins with Vi, a Faerie Guardian in training. She’s on one of her last missions before she can call herself a full-fledged Guardian and she’s not about to let anything mess that up. Until…

The until in this story starts early on. Vi is sent to protect Nate, an attractive boy, not that Vi notices, she’s no a mission. Okay, she notices a little. And it turns out that he can see her, too, which starts a series of events that solve some old mysteries, as well as create some new ones.

What I thought: This was a fast read with intriguing characters and enough intrigue that I couldn’t put it down. Well done, Rachel, I can’t wait to finish the second one.

The ebook version of this is available for 99 cents on until 6/2.

You can find out more about this book and the just released The Faerie Prince at
Thirdly, while I was blog-hopping the other day, I came across a novelette I’m adding to my TBR pile that I thought I’d share with all of you.

A detective with a price on his head. An invisible criminal with nothing to lose...

The vault door never opened. The bank went into lockdown in less than a minute. Yet the security footage was unmistakable: a hundred silver bars had simply vanished.

Ever since the city’s most dangerous crime boss put a price on his head, private investigator Charlie Madison has lived as an exile in Little Tokyo. But now an old friend and police sergeant has lured Madison back into the city to hunt down an invisible criminal—if he can.

As Madison makes his clandestine return, high-profile people start disappearing. And when federal agents swoop onto the scene to take matters into their own hands, they offer Madison a deal he can't refuse—as long as he agrees to work with them. With Japanese freedom fighters and refurbished killing machines threatening to take the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust, the United World government needs all the help it can get.

Embroiled in an unimaginable mystery, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a case where the evidence is immaterial, and the odds are stacked high against him at every turn.

You can find the ebook at:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Faerie Prince

Today I’m participating in the Faerie Prince Blogfest hosted by Rachel Morgan to celebrate the release of her book, The Faerie Prince, which I will be reviewing here on June 8th. Stop back tomorrow for the review of The Faerie Guardian, the first book in The Creepy Hollow Series by Rachel.
The nature of the blogfest is this: reveal your favorite fairy tale prince/hero.

This is actually a hard one for me. If I was to go with the Disney choices, most of them (minus Flynn from Tangled, he was actually quite a character) are nothing characters with only a handsome face. Let’s face it- who was the prince who rescued Snow White, or Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty? Do we know anything at all about them except that they fell in love with and rescued the real hero of the story?

With that in mind, one hero stands above the rest: Shrek.

He may not be easy on the eyes, but he stays true to who he is and wins the princess by his heart, not his raven locks and forgettable smile.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Getting Healthy

Today I’m participating in the Get Healthy Blogfest hosted by Michael Di Gesu, Stephen Tremp, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and L. Diane Wolf. Thank you for putting this on.

Now, I’m not naturally thin and that never became more apparent than last summer. I was in the depths of writing; you know how it goes. I was sitting. For hours.  And I was getting fat.

Now my husband and daughter were running together at the time.  There was a part of me that was happy for them and a part that was jealous I wasn’t with them. So I started. It did not go well. It turns out it’s not a very good idea to go from sitting for hours to trying to run a few miles. People get hurt, namely me.

But, thankfully, they have an app for that. It’s called Couch to 5K. I’m not kidding. But it turns out I wasn’t even couch level, I was more like bed to 5k, so I started by running from mailbox to mailbox in my neighborhood. I live in a town, so in essence I was running for like fifteen seconds, followed by walking for fifteen. It was a start. When I got stronger, I combined a few of them to make it running for forty-five, walking for fifteen. I was now ready to start the couch to 5k. But I knew I needed more than that. I needed a goal. Where I live there is an annual 5 mile race every Thanksgiving called the Turkey Trot. My husband and daughter were planning on running it, and so was I. But I was a long way from running 5 miles, so I hired a health coach, Ami Patrick, who taught me to eat well and kept me in line. She is wonderful. Her web site is http:/// .

The question is did I do it?

Let’s just say our family has a new Thanksgiving tradition, and it doesn’t have anything to do with pumpkin pie.
The topic: Favorite Author Quote

"Good books don't give up all their secrets at once." - Steven King

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Short Story

Good morning everyone, I hope all of you had a memorable Memorial Day.

My family did what we always do; we went to a huge flea market that's held in the town we grew up in every Memorial Day. It isn't (usually) for the second hand typewriters or the handmade dish clothes that brings us back each year. It's the people. At one time these people were a huge part of our lives. Now we only see them once a year. I guess that's our own way of remembering.

The line up for this week will be a short story for today, Get Healthy bloghop for Wednesday, Fairytale Prince bloghop for Thursday, followed by my review of the book The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan on Friday.

Until then, here is my super short:

She tipped her head to the side as she spotted me moving in closer. This was no demure wallflower, but a rose, beckoning me, welcoming me forward. I hesitated, waiting for her to make the next move. She swayed slightly, as a breeze filled the air around me with her scent. It was too much for me. I rushed closer until I was on top of her, inside of her, enveloped in her silky softness. My mind was mad with the scent, the taste, as I had my fill of her again and again.

I pulled back and looked at her, she lay completely open before me, as drunk on love as I was.

"Good-bye for now, my morning flower," I murmured as I left her to go back to the hive.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Celebrating a Big Thing

I know I promised a short story for today, but I had something so incredible happen that I wanted to share it with you instead.

So, I’m celebrating the small things this Friday with a not so very small thing.

A little over a month ago I submitted my book, The Newstead Project to Compulsions Reads. For those of you who do not know about them, they are a group that endorses small press and indie authors. But they are highly selective; that’s the point. As most of us know, there are literally millions of indie books out there, some of which shouldn’t be.  That’s where Compulsion Reads comes in. They will review your book, for a fee, and decide if yours makes the cut. Less than half do. If yours happens to be one of the few selected, you get the honor of having their seal on your book and your book displayed in their library.

I know you know what’s coming next, but I’m going to say it anyhow: My book was accepted!!!

Here is the lovely seal that now gets to grace the cover of my book:
Pretty, isn’t it?

You can check it out at

Have a great Memorial Weekend for all you USAers, and all you who are not. Due to the holiday, I won’t be posting on Monday; instead, my normal short story will come on Tuesday. Take care everyone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Secondary Characters Bloghop

Today I’m participating in Secondary Characters Bloghop hosted by Rachel at Writing on the Wall. You can find the link on the left.

Basically, it’s about secondary characters in books or movies that steal the show.

I’m going to appear slightly teenie-bopperish* here and talk about Twilight. No, I’m not talking about how I like Jacob over Edward.

I’m talking Alice over Bella.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Bella. Meyers has that gift in her that makes you love all her characters, but I have to admit, I loved Alice slightly more.

Alice was very comfortable in her own skin. She knew who she was and liked herself for it and she had every right to.  She was loyal and strong and let’s face it; kick a**.

While Bella had strength in her own way, I felt many times she was outshined by Alice, who was always quietly there, ready to help pick her up when she failed.

Who are your favorite secondary characters?


*I don’t know if that’s a word or not, but it felt right in this particular situation.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Animated Book Cover from Morgan Media

Morgan Media is a small business offering quality services to indie authors at affordable rates.

Message from Rachel Morgan, the founder of Morgan Media:
"I'm an indie author, and it's taken me many, many, MANY hours of work to figure out how to navigate every step from finished manuscript to published work. There's the ebook formatting and the print book formatting and the ebook cover design and the print book cover design. Then comes the marketing--of both yourself and your book--and for that you need blog tour buttons and blog headers and Facebook fan page cover images and artwork for bookmarks and button badges and postcards and whatever else you might want to give away as part of your book launch. All of this takes a spectacular amount of time that you probably don't have, especially if you're busy promoting one book and trying to write the next one. So why not get someone experienced to take care of most of these steps for you? That's what Morgan Media is for."
Find Morgan Media in the following places online: 

Thank you so much to Rachel Morgan creating this cover for my book.
Isn't it great?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Schedule Change/ Review Steamy-Reamy

Good morning everyone. I’m changing the lineup this week a little due to some wonderful Blog Hops I got/get to participate in. Today, I’m doing a review for To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World by Emily White. Tomorrow, stop back to see the lovely animated cover Rachel from Morgan Media made for me. You’re going to love it. On Wednesday, I’ll be participating in Secondary Characters Blog hop from Writing on the Wall, and then on Friday, I’ll post my short for the week; all mixed up and backwards, I know, but it turns out that if you want to participate in blog hops, and I do, sometimes you have to throw the schedule out the window.
Now, on to Steamy-Reamy:
To Love or Die is a collection of steam punk essays that are all connected, but I did not realize that at first. In fact it wasn’t until I was on the third one that a light bulb went on in my head. I don’t know if that was White’s intent, but it certainly added to the drama of the story. The story itself is written splendidly. It is sparse, which I love, and just as a warming; the book is sparse, too; aka it’s short.
Now, that maybe just what you need, some splendid writing to enjoy from beginning to end in a couple of hours, or you may be like me and want more. Now.
Thankfully, this is a series and the second one is due out this summer.
Thank you Emily for showing me what Steam Punk means. Before this book, I had no idea.
Emily White’s Links:
Her Blog:


Friday, May 17, 2013

Today I’m going to sound like a mess of contradictions, because I picked my best and worst Hollywood Remixes for the same reason.

For the Best I chose the 2001 version of “Oceans Eleven”. I loved this movie and didn’t know until much later that it was a remake. The plot was all about strategy and scheming and skill; the bad guys are really the good guys and the real bad guys get it in the end. Probably the part I liked most was that no one backstabbed each other. They all worked together at as a team; I won’t say more than that in case you haven’t seen it yet, but if you haven’t I suggest you run out and get it. Now. All that being said, it turns out the new version is actually quite close to the original 1960’s version. I have not seen that one, so I can't vouch for that myself. Actually that’s probably why I haven’t seen the first; I don’t want to have that wonderful movie moment ruined for me.

Which leads me to the Worst Remake…

“Psycho”, the 1998 version. It’s not bad, but it’s not good, either. That may have been because, unlike Oceans Eleven, I already saw the 1960 original, which meant the new version had something to prove right off the bat. It felt exactly the same to me, no new twists or changes that indicates the directors/producers have any artistic insight. But, then again, how can you improve on the original? My advice? Don’t try. (Yes, I’m looking at you Disney, as you plan to remake Star Wars.)

For the sake of avoiding lengthy posts, I’ve moved my Friday review of To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World by Emily White to Monday. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I can’t wait to visit all of you and see what you picked for best and worst.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Questions and Awkwardness

What kind of questions do people ask when they find out you’re a writer? The first is obvious; what’s your story about? Hopefully most of us have an answer to that one, although I must admit, I still have trouble with the fly-by pitch. After that initial question, others follow, and what you get depends mainly on the person. This includes everything from the where did you get your idea questions to the who should play your characters in a movie.

For some of us, the answers roll off our tongue like a perfectly written script; honest, brief, but yet intriguing enough to entice people to read the book for themselves. For others (me) this is harder. I just had a story to tell.  I wrote it. It’s been published. Not very appealing or original, I know. That’s just who I am. That’s my comfort level. My secret hope is that people will read my book, love it, tell others about it, and the chain goes on. I won’t have to do any public speaking, no matter how small the group, and still my book will get read.

I hear all your snickers. I know, I know. I better just get over myself and realize it’s a mixed bag. You can’t have one without the other.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

No More

Good morning everyone. I hope everyone had a wonderful mother’s day weekend. On that light note, here is my Monday short: No More.

The razor slid across my wrist and I close my eyes and wait.

There is nothing; not pain, not screams. Soon I will be nothing, too. The nothingness my life has become will be an actuality. No more never quite getting it or people never quite getting me. No more worrying, and no more fear. No more.

I sigh. No more Joe, either. This will be hard on him. He looks up to me in a lot of ways, for what I have no idea, but I kind of like that he does. No more walks through the park on my way to school, no more taking black and whites on my grandfather’s old Pentax. No more greasy cheeseburgers from Gibbers. No more chances, no more hopes that something will get better.

I open my eyes and look at the blood streaming down my hand. Quickly I press my other hand over it to stop the flow. No more.  



Friday, May 10, 2013

Celebrating the Small Stuff with a Review

Today I’m doing a celebrating the small stuff with the review of the book The Backworlds by M. Pax. Doing reviews is relatively new for me, so please bear with me.

I realize this has been out for a while, but as I mentioned before, I haven’t been reading the books of people I follow/who follow me. This is actually the first book in a series, and I don’t like to read later books until I’ve read the first. That being said, here is my review:

The Backworlds begins with Craze, a Verkinn from Siegna. From the first sentence, “Craze never imagined his pa would turn on him,” Pax creates a strong story with an even stronger voice.  Probably my favorite aspect, besides the fact that everything explodes in Craze’s face again and again, is that there is no backstory. Pax is a master of weaving it in as you read, which is some feat when you consider the varied universe she’s created. Her attention to detail without overwriting is amazing. I loved the species she introduced, all unique and fantastical, but with enough realism that they actually felt real. And of course I loved Craze. He’s a brilliant schemer who’s both likeable and flawed. Sometimes I think I like him more because of his flaws.

Review at a glance: Well written, fast paced space opera with realistic characters you'll find yourself routing for.    Four stars ****


You will find this book at: Paperback ($7.95): Amazon / AmazonUK / AmazonDE /AmazonFR / AmazonIT/ AmazonES


Ebook (FREE): Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords /

 Diesel /  Kobo / Sony /

Also Available at Blio  (the link always breaks, so I’m just linking to their homepage)

 M.Pax’s website:

**Also, please check out :

Fran Clark from Writing Woman’s Fiction featured an author spotlight on me today. Thanks so much Fran! (waves hi)

The links for the tour for today are as follows:

May 10th
A Backward’s Story – Review & Interview Guest Post or Tens List
Indie Author How-to – Interview Guest Post or Tens List
3PsinaPod – Spotlight

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Practice VS. Real life

I am a runner. Not like some people are runners, but more than I used to be. I train 2-4 times a week and try to run a local 5-8k at least once a month. In the winter that’s hard, though. I live near Buffalo, NY, so I hope that paints enough of a picture.

So I switched to a treadmill for the winter. I thought it was enough, but when the sun broke through the clouds and the pavement began to show through the snow, I moved back outside. I couldn’t believe how different it was. It was like I’d taken the whole winter off.

The same feels true of my writing. Until May, it was like I was practicing. I let people read my work and got it critiqued, and beta “ed”, and my editor had his arms and legs and feet in there, but nothing prepared me for getting it reviewed. The practice was over. This was real.

With wobbly legs and arms shielding my face, I released my baby into the world and hoped and prayed people would take good care of it, and so far they have. I’ve gotten the expected critiques on my grammar. I knew this was coming; I tend to sacrifice the English language for voice. Other than that, I couldn’t be happier.

Practice is good; but if all you do is practice, you never get to see the sun.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Good morning. I hope all of you had a relaxing weekend. This is a Monday, so as promised; this week will start with a super short story.
Take care -mel


My thumb grazes along the edge of a saw-tooth leaf, as I try to decide if it’s something I can eat without killing myself. I can’t remember; it’s been years.

A twig snaps behind me.

I freeze.

A cat, big one, saunters past.  It moves along the ground, like me; only I doubt he realizes he’s being hunted. I lean back on my heals as it makes its way towards my snare.

Closer, closer, I whisper, feeling the saliva fill my mouth. It has been a long time since I’ve had meat.

There is another snap followed by a shudder as the snare takes hold and he tries to wrestle himself free.

I drop the leaf and make my way to his side. He’s caught by his left forepaw. His other takes a swipe at me.

It isn’t his wild eyes that I see, although it should be. It’s his right paw, and the scar that’s there. I lift my own right hand, or what’s left of it. It took me five years to whittle enough away to be able to slip through their snare.

I meet the cat’s eyes. He would do that as well; he would do whatever it took to be free.

With my maimed hand I reach around and release his paw.  He takes off without looking back.

May your road be easier than mine, I whisper.

I glance around me. “Leaves it is.”

Check out these reviews of The Newstead Project:

May 6th
Reading Away the Days – Interview Guest Post or Tens List
Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Review
Sher A Hart: Writing Art – Review
From the Bootheel Cotton Patch -Spotlight


Friday, May 3, 2013

Reflections of A to Z 2013

This is my third consecutive year of participating in Arlee’s brainchild; the infamous A to Z. But this is the first year I’ve really gotten into it. Not the posting part; the visiting part. So, needless to say, this was the first year I really got IT.

And what do I mean by IT?

I got to meet all of you.
I saw some amazing handmade maps, read about an awesome pregnant woman who runs miles every day, praising God the entire time; I read stories that kept me coming back every day, begging for more; I leaned 26 new ology words and words I cannot pronounce. I learned that it was cool to grow up in the 80’s. I saw a man get hundreds of comments on his own blog, but still manage to come to mine to encourage me. I learned that Greek Myth is both fascinating and depressing. I saw beautiful pictures from people’s backyards and from their trips around the world. I was introduced to books, lovely, amazing books, and received generous tips on how to market my own.  I met an incredible woman, counting down to retirement, listing off all she wants to accomplish when she gets there; but from reading her blog she seems to already be doing most of it. Amazing. Each and every one of you.

You took the time to come back to my site, read my stories, and encourage me.  Thank you. And a special thank you to Matt MacNish for including me as one of his minions.
I know Arlee and all the co-hosts of A to Z have promised to read each and every one of these posts, so I want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for coming up with this crazy way to bring us all together. You’re doing a great job. Don’t change a thing