The Gatekeeper’s Sons

I love showcasing other indie author’s books — here’s one that sounds really exciting – so much so that I downloaded it myself!  I present The Gatekeeper’s Sons . . .

Chapter One: The Drowning


Therese Mills peeled the white gloves off her sweaty hands as soon as she and her parents were in the car. Now that her mother’s thing was over, she could finally get home and out of this blue dress. It was like being in a straightjacket.

Anything for Mom, of course.

What the… Continue reading “The Gatekeeper’s Sons”

Reviews – can’t live with ’em . . . can’t exist without ’em

It finally happened. I received my first 2-star review on Amazon (along with the accompanying 1-star review on Goodreads). I feel like I’ve finally arrived!!

Seriously, though, it’s funny. The person in question downloaded my book for free from Instafreebie and, apparently, didn’t like it. It was too “out there” for this person. I laughed. They read the blurb on it and chose to download it and still thought the book wasn’t for them. Ok. I won’t belabor the issue, I just found it funny.

From a creative standpoint, bad reviews sting. You put a piece of yourself into everything you make. It doesn’t matter what you’re creating; a painting, a piece of music, a poem, a novella, whatever — when someone doesn’t like your work, for whatever reason, it stings.

From an entrepreneurial standpoint, however, you didn’t connect with a customer. That means you rework what you do to connect in the future. You’ve created a product you now have to peddle out there in the wide, wild world. If you don’t connect with prospective buyers, you don’t go anywhere. I hope whoever left the bad review checks out the other work I’ve written — let’s face it, a debut novella isn’t going to be perfect. I’ve worked hard to improve my writing skills and (apparently) it shows in the second and soon-to-be third novella in my series.

All that aside — a couple of not-good reviews adds some credibility to the good ones, don’cha think? We shall see.

In other news — I’ve had delays on my third novella, The Wrath of the Revenant. Besides life getting in the way, I’ve had some great feedback from my beta readers and that has caused me to rework a few things, which takes time. My desire is to release this beast by the middle of August now, so I’m going to work hard to make that happen.

Thanks for keeping up with me — hope you’re enjoying some summer sun and reading some good books —



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:……
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 . . .


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


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:

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


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?