COVER REVEAL!

The ebook goes live July 15th, and there’s a short excerpt at the back for the second book in the series.

Blurb:

In the middle of a deadly pandemic, forty-five-year-old Jolene Sadler hides out at her trailer in Wasaga Beach Canada, with her daughter and a few neighbours. Mainly it’s to get away from her abusive ex, but as the world falls apart, it becomes a refuge where they can ride out the pandemic in relative security, but things are never what they seem.

The world descends into a chaotic madness, and desperation seeps into the camp along with the virus. Rumours spread that the illness makes people go mad, but Jolene witnesses a truly frightening affliction firsthand; resurrection. To complicate matters, her ex is discovered at the campground which forces her into an ugly confrontation. As their haven devolves into a graveyard, she and her small group are forced out onto the open road with few supplies and even fewer options.

As her ex and the dead haunt their every step, their journey culminates into a showdown for their lives, but sometimes a bad situation can turn the tide, especially when hopelessness leaves Jolene with only one option.

Writing Update: June 2022

Happy Long Weekend!

Not a long update. I spent most of the month working on the final edits for my plague novel, which I plan to put out in July. It’s been a long time since I’ve put out a book, and I want this to be in the best shape possible that’s why it’s taking longer. I forgot how much goes into releasing a book; getting the IBSN, updating all the publishing sites I use, getting into promo mode. It feels weird being back in it again.

I’m doing a cover reveal on July fourth. If you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, you would have seen it already.


The Strong Women, Strange Worlds podcast is going great and after only a few weeks, we have subscribers! I’m still working on the last two interviews for the first season, and then I’ll take the summer and work on plans for the second season. I already have a list of authors that are as varied as the first group. If you’ve missed any of the interviews for June, here they are.

 So far this month, I’ve interviewed,

Patricia Correll and her horror story Juniper Bird

E.C. Ambrose with her historical fiction Drakemaster

Anne Nydam’s MG book The Extraordinary Book of Doors

Amy Grech’s short story Bruised and Battered Nevermore.

The podcast is found on Anchor, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Podcast, and Apple music, and I truly hope you’ll stop by and give them a listen. You could find a whole new TBR list.


The Magical Hair Solution

With The Quiet Dead TBR, I can focus on the other book I want to put out this summer; the first book in my magical realism series The Magical Hair Solution. I’ve changed the title because I plan to have multiple POVs in future stories. It’s not just about Eva and Skye, but about something that’s been growing within the magical community for a while. Right now it’s from Eva’s POV as an introduction to the magical world, but the next book and future ones have situations that involve other characters from the first book.

Here’s another story that I am so excited about. This is a recent story too. I started it in 2020 and queried it in the fall of 2021. When nothing happened I started thinking about small press, but I’m so impatient sometimes and instead opted to self-publish. It won’t be out until late summer or early autumn, but I’ll post updates.  

Have a great holiday weekend!

The Knitting Project: 2022 Project.

Welp, this is as far as I’ve come with my project. This box has been sitting in the corner for a couple months now.

I’ll get to it, eventually. That is all.

Writing Update: May 2022.

This is going to be a short update as most of this month was spent working at my day job instead of on writing projects, but we’re almost back to normal and that means more hours for me. I’m not complaining. More hours means more money I can put away for writing projects.

The Quiet Dead

I got this manuscript back from my editor at the beginning of the month and spent the first two weeks going over it with a fine-tooth comb. There were a few places where she said I needed to keep the tension and a few others where she questioned the need for a certain character. I thought that myself, but couldn’t see a way around *not* having him so that I could get the final showdown that I wanted. There’s a reason she does what she does in that final scene, and it’s I want to link it all to the relationship she was in prior to the world falling apart. I can go into more detail when the book comes out.

June I have an appointment with a graphic artist to do my cover. She did the last few covers for me for my last series and I can’t wait to work with her again. I may be keeping her busy for the summer.

Alternate Reality

I did work on my alternate reality story, and I’m still without a working title. It really bugs me that I don’t have one. I got so desperate that I checked out some title generators online but they didn’t spark any ideas.

I fixed a motivational problem with one of the characters as well. This wasn’t a hard revision but did take up most of my writing time after I was done with my zombie novel. I’ve set a goal to have the first draft done by the end of the summer, but it won’t be anywhere near publishable until next year sometime.

Secret Project

For a while now, I’ve been working on something, that while it is writing-related, isn’t really writing. I am the host of the Strong Women, Strange Worlds podcast. I interview women who have appeared on the SWSW panel, and go a little deeper into their stories. I’d been wanting to do a podcast for a while, but had no idea what to do it on and had decided to scrap the idea, when Terri Bruce, messaged me and we talked.

The first episode airs Friday, June 3rd at 8 pm EST. I’ll post a link here when it’s live. I really hope you tune in. They’re not long, only 30 minutes and you get to hear these wonderful ladies talk about the inspirations behind their stories. You also get to hear a bit of them as the author reads a ten-minute piece. I interview award winners, trad, indie, and self-published authors of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. I hope you’ll give it a listen.

For those of you who subscribe to my newsletter, I have updates to the maps I put up last month, and if you’d like to subscribe to my monthly newsletter that features more than just an update, you can click HERE and it’ll take you to my web page and you can sign up from there.

See you next month!

Writing Update: April 2022

Look at me being all accountable and posting two months in a row.

The Quiet Dead

My zombie plague novel is with an editor now. I should have it back shortly and I can start working on it again. I keep toying with submitting it to small press, but then I think, what if they don’t want the other books? There are at least five in the series, and I promised myself that I would put out the whole series. On top of that, I’m having an argument with myself on whether or not this is horror or thriller. Most zombie novels fall into horror (or so they’re tagged), but when I think of what defines the horror genre, I come up with stories that send chills up my spine and make me not want to turn the lights out. This is a story about surviving a zombie apocalypse and while the dead coming back to life is pretty scary, I don’t think it qualifies as Horror. At least, not mine. They’re mostly just a prop or a motivation that pushes the story forward.

Down Finnegan’s Hollow

I finished the major revision to my ghost story, Down Finnegan’s Hollow. I’ve added a few turns that, I think, have made it a better story than what I originally wrote. I’m putting this one away for a bit. Let it ferment, and I’ll look at it again in a couple of months. For now, I’m just basking in the fact that it’s done!

Untitled Alternate Reality

The Story Formerly Known as Gutterchilde is what I’m working on next. I’m very excited about this book too, and I think there’s a good chance I’ll finish the first draft this year because it’s the same kind of excitement I had for Eva and Skye. Hell, I might even add the Arlington Creed spin-off series to my list.

I took this story back to the drawing board, so to speak, gutting it completely, but retained some key points. I’m also working on maps that I want to include when I set it up to publish, to give the reader some points of reference. I love city-building games, so map-making is an extension of that. My deadline is to complete the first draft by August 31st. I should have a good idea at this point, as to whether or not to work on the second book of my zombie plague novel. The first draft for that book is already written, and I have half of the first draft for the second Eva and Skye done as well.    

Ugh, so many stories, but the important part is I’m finally in a place to release them.  

Movie Night: Morbius

INDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5108870/

Genre: Action/Adventure/Horror

Rating: PG 13

Synopsis: Searching for a cure to a rare and fatal disease, biochemist Michael Morbius experiments on himself with a serum created from vampire bats, and inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism.  

I didn’t read any early reviews for this movie. I find that most critics now can’t be bothered to do a balanced review of anything.

~~~~

Review:

Morbius came about as a Spiderman anti-hero. I never read any Spiderman comic, so I went into this movie with no idea of what to expect. I am a fan of Marvel movies, and I’ve always thought they do better on the big screen than the small screen.

Jared Leto’s performance was good, as was Matt Smith’s and all the actors, and yes, both Hubby and I couldn’t help but see Dr. Who a few times, especially when the character was dancing about. The plot was good, a bit weak in places but I’ve written screenplays and getting all the important ideas into a script can mean losing others. It’s a trade-off in order to get as much of the basic plot on the screen as possible. We see the friendship between Michael and Milo grow, how they support each other, and how they are eventually pulled apart by the Morbius serum. While Milo was willing to give in to his newfound powers, Michael, the reluctant anti-hero, felt a deep sense of guilt over the lives he took, but in the end, only one can survive.

The director’s choices for the movie are more a matter of taste. I like linear storytelling and hate it when a story starts in the present day, then jumps back several years/decades, and then jumps forward. I think it’s sloppy storytelling, but I’m not going to get into it, because like I said, it’s a matter of taste.

The special effects and makeup were incredible. The facial transformation from human to bat is creepy, gruesome and awesome. I thought the visual effects when Michael uses his new abilities, (black mist), gave an ethereal feel to the scenes, and really made it feel like the character was taping into something supernatural.

As for the end credits, I’m not even sure what any of that was about.

3 out of 5.

Writing Update for March 2022.

It’s been two months since my last update. I am an Aries. One of our traits is that we start many projects but finish very few. That’s been my problem for the last few years, and I’m not sure how to fix it, or if I can. Over the last two years, I had plenty of time off (due to lockdowns) and I could have used that time to write, but I didn’t. I’m not going to beat myself up about it either. Life just got in the way and that’s all there is to it.

I’m looking forward now. Especially for this summer. I have four projects I’m working on, the first is my zombie novel. I’m getting it ready for publication. I’m looking at a June release. It’s the first book in a series of 5 (yikes), and I have a good idea on the overall plot and it’s one of those ‘need to get it out of my head’ things. This and other stories have poked at me for the last seven years, and I need to get them out.

The second project is my magical realism novel, but I think I’ll rename it The Magical Hair Solution. It’s done and I have given myself a late summer release date for it. Again, I’m self-publishing. I thought this was a story agents would want, but I was wrong. That’s okay. I’m not upset.

The third is my ghost story Down Finnigan’s Hollow. It’s one of two ghost stories I want to put out. I had a hard time with the ending of this one, and like my zombie story, it went through some hard revisions as well. Right now I have less than ten thousand words left to write and a solid ending. I’ve given it a mid-October release date and I really want to stick to it.

I’ve decided that the few scripts I’ve written I’m going to rewrite as novels. There is one that I originally started as a novel, a sequel to my zombie series, that I thought would be good as a script, but lately, I don’t feel scriptwriting is my thing anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m putting out another novel for the first time in years, but I’m just feeling the love for the format.

Now add in my 4th project—a podcast.

Yup, I’ve taken the plunge, BUT, it’s part of the Strong Women, Strange Worlds website that focuses on women and other under-represented gender identity authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I’ve toyed with the idea of a podcast for months, but it wasn’t until Terri Bruce asked me to do one for Strong Women, Strange Worlds site that it finally came together. I have a launch date of Friday, June 3rd. I know it’s a few months off, but I need the time to find, record, edit, and upload a pile of interviews. I’m aiming for one a week and maybe some group podcasts sprinkled in between, not sure yet, but it feels good getting back into interviewing authors again. I really like the series that I did a few years ago.   

Do I have a pile on my plate? Maybe, but I think it’s doable. I’m only focusing on four projects right now, and as I check them off my to-do list, it gets easier. I haven’t been this excited about my writing in a long time and I can’t wait for you to read these stores.

Adventures in Restaurants: One expensive outing!

It’s been almost four years since the last time I did a restaurant post. haven’t done one of these posts in a long time. When covid broke out, my province went into lockdown three times, and now that we’re heading into our third year of covid (let’s hope not), we did manage to go out a few times. Our big splurge was when we went to Ottawa for our anniversary. We booked a table at a very classy restaurant and the mean was incredible!

This was the most expensive dinner we’ve every had, but it was so worth it. You can see the pictures HERE.

We started with drinks (naturally); rye and coke and negroni with appetizers, and I was surprised to see that they didn’t have escargot on the menu, so I had to settle for shrimp and Hubby had a crab cake. Both were awesome.

Main course was steak and lobster for me, and stuffed rainbow trout stuffed with crab meat and baby shrimp.

Funny thing about this place, they serve sides in separate dishes, so we had sauteed wild mushrooms and roasted broccoli.

I had desert but the desert I will remember was a surprise from the chef, who learned (probably from our server) that it was our anniversary, so he prepared a special treat. We finished the meal with a glass of ice wine for me, and a B-52 coffee for Hubby.

Yes, I took a picture of the bill.

This was an important night for us. Not just because it was our anniversary, but it was the first time in almost a year and a half that we dared to go out and try to have a normal night, or as normal of a night as possible. I’m not sure how many more of these special nights we’ll have in the future, at least not ones that were this expansive, but it’s a small step toward the new normal.

Have you gone out for date night since the pandemic began? How did it go?

Five Things Every Writer Should Know About Instagram.

I like to call Instagram the Twitter of pictures.

For those of you who don’t know, Instagram is a picture heavy social media site. It also hosts videos as well. Probably in competition to TikTok and YouTube, but personally, I like it just for pictures.

Instagram is one of my favourite social media platforms. I post so many different types of photos, from personal to business and connect with others who do the same, but it’s my favourite because I don’t have to think of something clever to say, like I try to do on Twitter. With Instagram, I can throw up a picture and leave it at that, and honestly, it’s one of the simplest platforms to use, and like all platforms there are good and bad sides to it, so here are 5 things you need to know about Instagram.

  1. Picture heavy. As a writer, you want to reach as many people as possible and that means you have to expand your audience to include non-writing people as well, and Instagram is a good place to start. I think of it as another way to be creative. You can post pictures of themes that run through your story, maybe of actors or places that you used for character and story inspiration. I sometimes post snippets of my works-in-progress. A visual excerpt of the actual word file.
  • You can link to other platforms. Instagram is owned by Facebook (or do we call them Meta now?), but that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to what you can connect to. Facebook -yes, Twitter – yes, Tumblr – yes, and I have it connected to my WordPress blog, so pictures come up in a side bar. Connecting one social media platform to another an greatly expands the range of your audience and you may pick up a follower or two.
  • Limitation on what you can do with pictures. Apart from a few filters, Instagram doesn’t have a lot of options to fancy up your photos, BUT, you can upload pictures from your computer, so if you do something fancy in whatever paint program you have, you can easily share it.
  • Can use hashtags just like with Twitter. The whole purpose of having social media accounts is to connect with others, and it’s much easier when you use hashtags. You can even follow certain hashtag topics, so anyone who uses ones you’re following, will pop up in your stream, and vice-versa.
  • Very user friendly. After Twitter and a blog, I would suggest (once you feel comfortable) having an Instagram account. Want to post a picture? Click on the icon of a box with a (+) sign, and it will either open a box (on your computer) to drag a photo, or, on your phone it will have all pictures that is in your gallery, and you just pick the one you want. You can do multiple pictures as well by clicking the double screen icon on the bottom right-hand corner.

Instagram has been around for almost twelve years and there isn’t a business site that doesn’t have an account. It’s fun, simple to use, but it can be a time suck as well. There are so many creative ways a writer can use the platform to promote themselves and their work. I’ve mentioned a few in this post, but if you think of others, I’d love to hear it. I’m always looking for a good idea for a picture.

The Crystal Realm: When the negativity of the world starts to mess with you . . .

(This is kind of a continuation from my Wiccan post)

Recently, I’ve integrated more crystals to my life. You know how much I LOVE them, and with the ongoing negativity in the world, it was taking a tole on my well-being, so, what’s a better way to counter-act that nastiness, but with banishing, negative-clearing crystals!

I already own a hematite ring, a black tourmaline crystal and an onyx ring (needs to be fixed), but before the holidays I bought a second black tourmaline that I can hand on a chain and a black obsidian bracelet. You can see them HERE.

I know this looks like overkill but considering what each of these stones can do and the fact I work retail, I don’t go to work without them. 

 

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