NEWS!

Ok — so here’s some big news — book 3 in the Adventures of Tremain and Christopher is finished. Well, almost. It’s going to my editor and my beta readers this week. Also, I’ll have a cover to show you . . . 😛

I’m super excited about this cover as it’s done by someone else, and she’s really captured the look I was hoping for — which is awesome, to say the least.

In other news, a new book service/site, called A Novel Connection, launches tomorrow — you get to read ebooks for a limited time — it’s a great way to find new authors for a low monthly price (like $1.99 a month!). My books are on there too —
If you have read either of my novellas, please do me a huge favor and leave a review on my pages (links below) — it’ll help others to find my books and possibly even help my writing career move further along . . . you never know . . .
Here are the links:
http://www.anovelconnection.com/themissingyesterdaysreader.…
http://www.anovelconnection.com/purloinedpictographreader.h…
Thanks in advance!

That’s all for now — I’ve a lot on my plate with the book launch coming up and, naturally, the day job has been super busy too . . . whew! Can I have a breather?? LOL

Stay tuned — cover reveal coming . . .

Terry

Excerpt: Skye’s Lure

When a friend asks you to pimp her book, you do it right?  Right!  Angel Leya has written her take on a mermaid tale — I actually have this queued up on my kindle too — look for my review once I actually read it (Sorry, Leya, I’m backlogged!!).  So, without further ado, I present to you:

Excerpt: Skye’s Lure

Chapter 1: Sighted

Skye's Lure, a young adult mermaid romance by Angel Leya | www.angeleya.comSurfacing when the fishing boats came around was intoxicating. The sights, the sounds, the danger; all of it heightened the thrill of the hunt. We followed them because of all the marine life they attracted, but we had to be extremely careful not to get caught in their nets or come close enough to the surface to get spotted.

This boat was different, though. Thousands of tiny lights lined the decks, and colors burst from its belly. It glowed like a jellyfish from the deep, but sparkled like the starry night sky. I had never seen such a boat, and I could hardly bring myself to look away.

I glanced at the Mer in my pod. They were all asleep, one eye open and the other closed. We learned the technique from the dolphins long ago. As mammals, we lacked the gills needed to convert water into oxygen, so falling fully asleep would result in drowning.

Tonight, though, I couldn’t sleep. I always had trouble sleeping after a retelling. The story just didn’t seem right to me. Of course, if I had been asleep, I would’ve missed the boat.

I glanced around the pod one more time before deciding to surface. My eyes rose above the water a safe distance away, hair clinging to my head. The boat was full. Humans moved like a school of fish, nearly in sync with their thumping and thrashing. No one bothered to look at the water.

I dared to swim closer. The smell of salt water mixed with sweet and sour notes that tickled my nose. I could practically feel the heat emanating from the moving crowd, which pulsed to a deep, hypnotic rhythm. My heart thumped to the same beat. I wished I had feet so that I could join the humans in their celebration.

A brown bottle came hurtling towards me, and I dove to avoid it. My nose wrinkled as I let out a huff. Humans often threw things into the ocean. Why didn’t the Sea King change all humans into Mer, if he was so intent on teaching lessons? At least my people had respected the waters—until the end of our existence as humans, that is.

The bottle sank, and I considered retrieving it. What would the humans on board do if I threw it back on the deck? How would they feel if I littered on their boat? I couldn’t risk exposure, though, so I did nothing, watching as the bottle disappeared into the depths.

A commotion arose from the deck above, and I looked up just as one of the men fell backwards over the rail. He hit the water a short distance from where I floated. The impact pushed a small wave over my head. My eyes wide, I considered fleeing. It’s what a normal Mer would do, but I didn’t.

I had never been this close to a human.

I sank beneath the water to get a better view. The man’s clothes floated like a blooming coral. He clawed at the water, his legs twitching and jerking, but they couldn’t bring him back to the surface. Eyes bulged, cheeks inflating like a frightened puffer fish. His sandy hair swayed like a surreal halo.

Why couldn’t he surface?

The man went still, eyes focused on me. His mouth opened, a large bubble escaping. The calm didn’t last. Eyes went wild, hands grasping at his throat. He looked at me, pleading.

I hesitated. The retellings said that I should loath and fear this human, but he didn’t look so bad. No more splashes came from the boat. Would no one rescue him? In the glimmering light of the boat I could see the man’s eyes rolling back into his head, body going limp.

I darted to his side. Throwing my arms around his waist, I swam towards the surface. He was heavier than I expected, his body like an anchor trying to drag me down, but I fought back.

Our heads broke the surface, and I scanned the waters. A circular object floated nearby. It was bright orange, and a rope connected it to the boat. Peering up, I saw people running around, shouting at each other. I had to hurry if I didn’t want to be seen.

I heaved the man’s body onto the floating object, but he slid off. Grabbing him, I pulled the floating object over his head, but there was nothing to keep him there, and he began sinking again. I tried once more, pulling his arms through the object, and this time it stayed, hugging his chest.

The man slumped over, his lips blue, chest unmoving. Was I too late? After a tense moment, he sputtered, water gushing from his mouth. He was breathing. I breathed as well, as if by doing so I could help him recover.

Now that he was safe, I took in his face again. There was nothing comical about it now. A chiseled chin and squared jaw framed full lips that seemed curved in a perpetual smirk. The blue of his skin was fading, returning his tone to warm beige colors.

He raised his head, wiping the trickling water off his face. Once again, his green eyes focused on me, thick brows furrowing. Slowly, those brown brows crept up into his hairline.

My hand stretched out, as if it had a mind of its own. The elders would kill me if they found out, but in this moment, I didn’t care. Maybe the humans weren’t so bad. Maybe it was time to challenge everything I knew.

As my webbed fingers approached his face, the man thrust his hand towards mine, fingers outstretched. He lost his grip on the orange object around him, and he brought his hand back down to balance himself.

Shying back, I stared. He grinned sheepishly, and my lips curved upwards in response.

The commotion from the deck grew louder, and I looked up as shouting voices approached.

Words floated above the din. “We’re coming! Hang on.”

I raced for the safety of the depths. Sure I couldn’t be seen, I stopped and hovered below the boat. The man’s feet disappeared as he was hoisted from the water.

I waited there a long time, staring at the golden bottom of the boat. How was the man doing? Had the party continued or were they done for the night? Lights continued to pulse and twinkle as the boat sailed away.

When I returned to the pod, I found my pod still sleeping. I swam beside them as I waited for rest to come, but I could not stop replaying what had just happened. The man’s eyes burned into my imagination. What would it have been like to touch him? What would his voice have sounded like? Would I ever see him again?

I was bursting to tell someone what happened, but that was impossible. It’s not like I had a death wish. It was foolish of me to go near that boat, but I had to admit, I wasn’t sorry.

To tell the truth, it left me wanting more.

Thank you!

Thanks for reading this excerpt of Chapter 1 from Skye’s Lure, a clean young adult fantasy with a Little Mermaid feel. Available at all major online retailers. Click here to learn more.

About Angel Leya

AngelLeya3small

Angel Leya focuses on creating clean young adult fiction with a touch of magic and romance. It also happens to be what she enjoys reading, and she blogs regularly about her latest reads. With a tendency towards writing different shades of fantasy and light sci-fi, her stories are intended to transport readers into worlds of possibility and wonder.

When not writing, you can find her daydreaming, chasing her children, or trying to sing like Ariel. She hopes you enjoy her fiction as much as she enjoys writing it.

To learn more, head to:

www.AngeLeya.com

Now go check out her website and her other works — she’s good people!!

Terry

Creativity – continued

So it’s been almost 2 months since I’ve posted.  So there goes THAT New Year’s resolution!
I’ve been stupid busy with the day job — which does get in the way of writing — but I have been working on my next book, it’s just slow going these days.  I’ve been trying to fit exercise into my daily routine once again.  I use to be so diligent about working out – whether it was weights or cardio, but I let it slide.

As the weather has been getting a bit better here in the Pacific Northwest, my wife and I decided to go back to the gym — only to find out that they’d been bought out by a different franchise.  No big deal, as the monthly dues are the same.  Whew.  We like this gym because it’s only a five-minute drive from the house.  Easy.  So we switched our membership to the new place and went for a treadmill run (it wasn’t pretty, mind you, but there WAS some running going on . . . ).

The very next day, my mind was full of fun stuff about my WIP.  The endorphins from running unlocked the creativity in my brain.  Did I get any writing done?  Well, let’s just say some scenes gained some clarity and leave it at that.  I felt good.  When I was finally able to sit down and write, the words just seemed to flow out of me. Getting the stuff in my head down into some logical order is such a good thing.  So there’s one more trigger for creativity.

Let me know what you think – what unlocks your creative floodgates?

Where does your creativity come from?

I remember hearing once that your brain finds inspiration around every 90 minutes — I’m sure that’s a fact. It’s just too bad that 90 minutes doesn’t coincide with me sitting at the computer.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity. I’ve heard from other folks and I’ve experienced it myself, that creativity tends to come at times when we’re least likely to be able to act on it: In the shower, while driving, at the day job, while exercising, etc.

It’s funny how our brains work — how that lovely thing called inspiration or creativity seems to elude us when we most want to use it. I’ve heard it explained that our brains are not fixed on the process, we’re concentrating on driving or working, or whatever and that leaves our subconscious mind free to go wild. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So, where does it all come from? What brings us that “divine inspiration”?

I don’t know about others, but for me, I have consciously given myself permission to be creative. I’ve never had an issue with having ideas or, maybe better put, having snippets of ideas come to mind and worm around a little. What I haven’t been very good at is putting those little mind-worms to good use. THAT, to me is where the actual creativity comes in. Inspiration is what brings me the worms, but the creativity is what allows me to bait that hook and pull in the big fish. Ok, maybe that analogy is a little off.

What I’m trying to say is Creativity (capital C) is one thing, an elusive thing, but Inspiration (capital I) is easier to get ahold of. I can be inspired by a one-off line in a movie or TV show. It takes creativity to make something of it. If I can, that is. It might not work for the current work-in-progress, but it could fit in a future something.

Along these lines, I’ve also realized something about the way my mind works. When I write a first draft, it just doesn’t seem complete. I know I’ll have to go through it three or four more times, maybe more. For instance, I have a short story I’ve written, but it just didn’t feel right at first. I’ve tweaked it and tightened it, but it’s lacked life. So I’ve sat on it for a couple of weeks. Now, here I am two days ago, listening to an audio book on my ride home, and my mind, instead of concentrating on the audio, is thinking about my short story. Suddenly, I see how it can flow better. WTF? I’m thinking to myself – why now of all times? It’s because my subconscious needed the time to knead it a bit. So now I’ll have to go back to that short story and see if I can make it work in a new way.

Our minds work in curious ways, don’t they?

Which brings me to my question for you — what do you do to feed your creativity? What brings you inspiration?

Respect

I’m feeling respectful today . . . it’s FRIDAY — and yes, I have a honey-do list that’s pretty close to a mile long . . . which has to be addressed over the two days we like to call a weekend.  That may curtail any creative efforts I want to make, but that’s what adulting is all about.

That being said — I wanted to take a post and acknowledge the help I’ve received over this past year — some people have helped me directly, some through their websites & blogs, and other by just being good people.

I have the utmost respect for anyone who blogs for a living — or who does anything creative day after day.  It’s hard work.  My day-job is part creative and part technical, so there are days that I’m just totally brain-numb on my way home.  To then try and put two words together that make any sort of sense is self-defeating.  Red wine is the preferred remedy at that point.  Lots of red wine.  But I digress. . .

My first foray into learning about this self-publishing biz was reading Joanna Penn’s Author Blueprint 2.0.  I still have it on my kindle and I refer to it every once in awhile.  I absorbed a lot from that book.  The gist is pretty much “keep writing” — but the other side of things — what to do after you’re done writing is good to know.  I struggle with self-doubt much of the time, but I realize that’s normal for this business.  Joanna’s books come from a point of view that says “hey, I’ve been there too” and that is a huge comfort.

Through Joanna’s podcast and website, I learned about Derek Murphy at Creativindie.  His no-nonsense approach to cover design and marketing was, to me, a breath of fresh air.  I had been reading about marketing, advertising, etc, and getting very overwhelmed.  I’m now reading Derek’s latest book Guerilla Publishing, which I hope will help me get over this marketing confusion I find myself in.

There’s at least one other site that I have to give props to — K.M. Weiland’s helping writers become authors.  Her blog articles are always informative and her books are outstanding.  Her books on outlining and structure are permanently on my kindle.

I love the facebook groups I’m a part of — two of which have really helped me get my head on straight — BooksGoSocial authors group and One Stop Fiction Author’s Resource Group.  Networking with some of these good people has been a godsend for me.  They’ve all offered reviews (which I’ve been more than grateful for), advice and have shared information that has been more than helpful.  There are some amazing books being written by these authors, a scant few of which I’ve read, with quite a few queued up in my kindle yet to be read.  It’s inspiring to be in a group with these people.

So — props and mucho respect to all of these people — words are inadequate to fully express the gratitude I feel for all that you do.

Monday Blahs

It’s another week of cold weather here in the Pacific NW. I know “cold” is subjective, but for us, 30 degree weather is DAMN cold! Added to this, in my embroidery shop, the big heater blows right over my little office, so it never reaches me. So here I am, with my little space heater, drinking whatever warm liquids I can make out of the Keurig. Quite the mental image, no? LOL

Right now, I’m trying to find ways to increase sign-ups to my mailing list, which always seems to be a gargantuan task. I’ve also been mentally outlining my next project, book 3 in The Adventures of Tremain and Christopher. I’ll start putting that in writing soon — the outline, at least. It seems I’ve been living the joke graphics that say all your best ideas come as you’re falling asleep. Every stinkin’ night, I have these great ideas — but no way am I getting up to write ’em down. Not yet, at least.

I’m also on the hunt for a good portable bluetooth keyboard — one that will link to an android tablet. The laptop I was using decided it no longer wished to charge — which, considering the battery only lasts about an hour anymore — sucks. So I copied everything I needed of that and un-registered Scrivener on it. I’ll re-load on a new laptop when I (eventually) buy one. Until then, my wife and I are down to sharing a laptop, hence the keyboard hunt.

My wife has been going down the road of enriching herself by taking classes at the local community college — it’s great, but she needs the laptop as the classes are online. Which means I need to either write by hand (have you SEEN my handwriting? Even doctors go “dude, what does that say?”), or find a way to get my word salads on the tablet. I’ll try almost any tool that helps in this process — but I’ll have to start with hand-writing. It’ll be a slower process — but maybe that will help me get my thoughts in order before I write — who knows, we’ll see.

On the reading front — my kindle is filled with great books — most of them for reviews. I just finished Beneath the Skin by Kyla Stone — it was a great, powerful book, but it deals with abuse, so it’s not for everyone. I went outside of my comfort zone with this one and was rewarded with a book that really stuck with me. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while — I recommend it.

Resolutions & New Year Goals

At this time of the new year as we all go back to work – whatever kind of work we do – we’re also thinking about our resolutions and how quickly we’re going to break them. You know what I mean:

“I am going to go to the gym more often” — I’m guilty of this one too — I make this resolution at least twice a (week) year.
“I am going to save more money” — Ya . . . the funny thing with this one is then you get the bills from your Christmas shopping (I spent HOW MUCH?!)

I AM, however, going to add to this little list. But instead of calling them ‘resolutions’, I’m going to call them ‘goals’. I have goals I want to achieve this year. Before I do that, though, I need to look back and see what I accomplished this past year.

I followed a dream and self-published two YA books. It was a huge thing for me to take this leap. I was scared, I won’t lie. The fear of failing was huge. I did it, though, and was rewarded with some great reviews, some constructive criticism and a few atta-boy’s from my family. Did I break even on my investment in publishing? Nope, not even close. What I DID do was learn a ton about the publishing world and self-publishing. I also learned more about the craft of writing, much of which came after my first book was released.

I applied much of what I learned to the release of my second book. I had no idea about the existence of launch teams and the benefit of beta readers — both of which helped me reach #7 in one category soon after the book released. That was a great feeling – to see my book at #7. It now sits somewhere around 500, but that’s ok too.

So how does all this apply to the new year? Well, there are more books to release! Well, there WILL be, once I figure out this writing schedule. I plan on writing book three in my YA series and have plans on a non-fiction book about embroidery (exciting, I know). I also have the beginnings of a more adult thriller — which may become two or three books, we’ll see.

This blog, which hasn’t seen regular posts since its inception will probably still see irregular posts (let’s be honest here), even if one of these goal things is to become more regular at posting. I’ll keep you . . . uh . . . posted . . . on this one.

I do plan on going more regularly to the gym — I have some weight reallocation to do – I’m well aware I’m not alone in that area. I’ll join the sweaty masses at the gym, trying to figure out how those friggin machines work and do something good for myself in the process.

I plan on being a more positive person in the coming year. Not that I’m an Eeyore or anything, but I feel that having a more positive outlook brings more positive things your way. Call it what you will . . . bullshit, maybe, but it can’t hurt, now can it?

2017 will be a good year — at least I’m going to do my very best to make it that way.

What goals to YOU have?