Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dreams can be a really bad thing

I've been kind of out of touch with the Internet for little bit now. I'm still checking email and posting things here and there to let people know I'm alive, but I'm really getting in to the fourth Unlucky in Love book. Things are really getting out of control and Zeus showing up in town is really not a good thing.

I think in the other three books I've adequately portrayed him as a deadbeat dad that really enjoyed the activity that usually created more children. Thankfully at some point in time he stopped being able to have children, but that hasn't really stopped him from still enjoying that act that causes them. We're down to two goddesses that haven't bonded with one of the gods and since the book is called Hermia in Love, you can kind of guess who he zeroes in on.

This book has a lot of back story on who Chrysaor and Hermia really are. Both put up fronts to cover details they aren't comfortable with about their lives and it has been fun dissecting who I want them to be. I always do a little bit of research on what Greek mythology says about my characters, but I love adding my own twist and I'm often surprised at how well parts of their backstories that I hadn't really read about work perfectly into my tales.

I've really been actually writing for only about a week and over 25,000 words makes me happy since I've at times felt blocked. I finished getting Rhea in Love published and had to sort through the ideas of where things should go. There had been a lot of things hinted at happening in the earlier books and with only two books left to go, I've had to find ways to make sure those things happen.

I'm happy to say that pretty much all of the hints have been covered now and I'm moving towards dealing with the aftermath of some of those things. It should make for a really interesting book and I've got a lot of the events that will make up the rest of the book already plotted out in my head, including the ending.

As far as the blog's title about dreams being bad, I had another fun book play out in my mind as I tried to decide whether I wanted to wake up or stay asleep this morning. It is actually more of a YA book and I took down some notes to make sure I didn't forget, but it's really hard not to start writing it. The characters seemed really interesting and the world is bound to be a fun place for me to visit.

It's really hard when ideas hit you like that. I'm committed to Hermia and Chrys right now though. When I've got their story all worked out, then I'll make the decision of whether the last deity couple gets my attention or rebellious teenage werewolves need to be put in their place. Then again, I have about five other book ideas written as notes and even have a couple of them started out and of course Avery is always there. I've been thinking a lot about her recently and have plans to take the five current books, with an addition of a sixth final one, and somehow work them into three books that hopefully takes all the things I've learned since I first wrote them and polishes them up to really good reads.

Until then, I'll be typing away on my netbook trying to figure out whether my idea for dealing with Zeus will actually be how things end up.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Learning to love a character you initially hate

I've mentioned that I didn't really like Miss Rhea in my books - don't know where that miss came from, but she probably made me type it - and there wasn't really a logical reason for the dislike. Whatever the reason, I ended up making her just a tad word that rhymes with witchy at times. I was afraid when it came to her turn for a book I'd carry over that attitude even from her perspective, but I think I was successful in making her more approachable. Oh yeah, I finished her book just the other day and have gone through the initial edit - way to bury the lead, huh.

One of the things you have to learn as a writer is putting yourself in each of your character's shoes. I learned a lot in Rhea's. Beside them being a bit of a tight fit, I learned it's hard to keep a positive attitude when you know you're meant to be with a guy and he keeps bringing his girlfriends over to meet you. Show me a woman that doesn't go a little bit nuts from that and I'll stand on my head for five minutes.

If you can't tell, trying to figure out why a character makes a certain decision is fast becoming one of my favorite things. In my early books, my characters had a part of me in them. Avery was pretty much me in a make believe reality and Nyx was me in a world where I didn't get in trouble for shooting people that disturbed me and didn't think my tongue would fall out for saying a curse word. The goddesses in Unlucky in Love are really the first characters that I don't draw totally off me, which has made my imagination grow to take on the new roles. It's been a lot of fun seeing how the new characters work and I can't wait to see how Hermia and Desma go.

I've got to run, lots of errands today, but I worked on the synopsis for Rhea last night and wanted to share it. This is what I've come up with...

Unlucky in Love is more than just a name of a dating service started by five friends. Until recently, it also accurately described each one of their personal lives. Whatever abilities the ladies have that ensure their clients find their perfect matches don’t work for them, so even after living for centuries they are still searching.

Unlike the rest of the goddesses in the group, Rhea has known love for as long as she can remember. It's never been reciprocated to the level she'd like, but she still believes one day her dreams will come true. As babies start popping out of her closest friends, Rhea starts wishing those dreams would be answered sooner rather than later.

Thad has always known how Rhea feels about him and has had a hard time trying to figure out what exactly to do about it. Most would think he didn't care for the goddess, but that is anything but the truth. Still recovering from a rough end to a long relationship, Thad wants to move forward and start a family of his own. Before he has a chance to float the idea by Rhea, an unexpected visitor shows up in town and things start spinning out of control. An incubus, a jealous ex and an unplanned trip to the Underworld all get in the way of Thad's plans and by the time the dust settles both Thad's and Rhea's worlds have been altered.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Keeping busy

For some reason it seems like I've used that post title before. These days I am keeping unbelievably busy so it makes even more sense now. I've been playing around with two books and I'm about a third of the way through both of them. The general paranormal one, read that as vampire based, book was going along pretty smoothly and I know where I want it to go, but I got to a point where I wasn't sure if I liked where it started. I'm not sure why but something is a little off and I really wanted to focus back in on Rhea's story so I switched up.

It took me a little while to decide exactly what was going to happen to Rhea. Calypso and Nani were really easy for me to get out, but I've never really liked Rhea - that's changed in the last week, thankfully. I joked with a friend this week that Rhea's story was going to end up being a short sentence or two in the front of the next book in the series because I was so blocked. I won't say exactly what the line was, but it portrayed what will eventually happen, plus my previous dislike of the character herself.

After sitting down and talking things over with Rhea, I learned where her moodiness came from and I began to understand her more. She really is a very nice goddess when you learn about how her previous heartbreak has made her a woman that hides behind a wall of grumpiness that keeps people from getting too close. It will probably take me another week or two to get the full story out, but this will really be the book in the series that sets up the rest of them. The plot that was hinted at and mentioned briefly in the two previous book really starts picking up, making for a lot of trouble.

Along with the book chaos going on in my head, winter has hit and that has caused me to spend a lot of time at hockey games and attempting to learn to skate myself. The skating lessons are slow going, but no bones have been broken, which I'm taking as a good sign. I still can't stop, but boy can I skate in a big circle.

Time to get back to work, but before I sign off I wanted to share a link to a short interview on IndieAuthorLand.com that I did for Searching for Home. I've also got a Read & Review post on Goodreads for the book and a Rafflecopter giveaway for it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy November -- Only a Day Late

So, I've been multi-tasking a lot the past couple of weeks. I had an arts and crafts project I had to get done for work that took quite a lot of my spare time from me, but I did manage to get about a third of the way through one of my warring books and most of the plot worked out in my head for the other.

During the time since my last post, I also spent time finishing up Searching for Home, which may be available at the usual places now, Amazon and Smashwords. After reading it a few more times, I'm really thinking it might be the start of another series. There seems like there is a lot more that can be told and I just need to figure out if it will be from other points of views, or just the main character from this book. Hopefully, some of the readers out there can help me decide which way to go.

For now, my mind is semi-focused on finishing the two books I'm working on and then moving back to Avery's world to clean those five books up and get that sixth book finally written. It's been on the list for a while and I think it's finally time. I've grown so much since I started that series that I really think I can do a lot of polishing and make them better. It will probably be a project that gets started around the new year, as long as no other ideas drive me crazy.

Well, I got to get back to trying to realign my vocal chords. I may have cheered just a little too loud at the hockey game I went to last night, but since the first star of the game was injured and couldn't make it back out on the ice, I had to cheer loud enough so he'd hear me in the locker room. That's my story anyway :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The books have finally started a war

I started writing Rhea's book in my goddess series this week. I made some decent progress on the first chapter and the next day I was tortured into starting another book. My brain wouldn't allow me to focus just on the one book and I kept playing scenes for the second book until I had to get the words down.

It got even worse when what was supposed to be a short prologue turned into part one of the book. I thought I could just quickly explain how we got to the point we were, but no. The dang characters just had to run there mouths and now I'm going to be stuck with a two part book.

I need to separate the two sides of my brain and grow an extra set of hands because I have the plot for Rhea all ready to be typed out as well. As it is, I am juggling the two books, lots of hockey and paper mache fun. The idea of separating my brain is out and now I want a clone, but of course talking about clones will only make me think of a plot to go along with them and result in another book, so pretend I didn't even mention that.

Most indie writers out there have probably heard of NaNoWriMo and I hope a lot of you are participating. I have only been writing for a year and a half and have written an individual book almost every single one of those months, so I've never participated. With the two books battling it out in my head right now, I don't think I'll be signing up to do anything this year, but I did want to mention a cool NaNoWriMo related item I heard about.

Grammarly.com is signing authors up for a NaNoWrimo entry that is community written. For someone that wants to participate in NaNoWriMo, but doesn't have the time to write a full novel, this sounds like a great opportunity. For more details, visit http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2013/nanowrimo/.

Well, I have to get back to my overly long prologue. I'll post again when I know for sure when Searching for Home will be published. I'm just waiting to hear what my wonderful beta reader thinks about it before it's ready, so it shouldn't be long.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 2 of a busy weekend

Day 1 went so well that I have to at least post something in hopes Day 2 will follow in its footsteps. My first spin in the chair yesterday was to pick up prizes hubby and I earned riding 2,100 miles across the state on our motorcycles - I still think the puppies should have gotten something because they rode on the back of my bike the whole way. Anyway, a new pair of boots and a new tire later, I ended up winning one of the drawings for a bigger gift card prize. Awesome is the only word to go along with that. Hopefully, it means before too long I'll be stepping up from my Sporty into a Super Glide, but we'll have to see how that works out.

The winning high kind of ran on for most of the day. We took a little road trip, in the car, with the puppies. Boy dog was hilarious when he got out to the garage because he immediately went for my bike. He can jump up on the seat of hubby's bike, but mine is a little bit more challenging for him. When I opened the car door, he jumped in, but I could see the hesitation in his eyes. He wanted to ride.

After our road trip, we came home and got ready to go to a hockey game. I may not have mentioned it, but we tend to be very big hockey nuts and our favorite NHL team is doing pretty bad this year. We don't tend to go out into the public very often and its very likely that only a hockey game could draw us out, beside work and grocery store visits of course. We'll see after the game tonight if we are going to be drawn out a lot this season. We have Center Ice at home, so usually that's enough to appease our hockey needs, but live action can be fun too.

Oh, in other good news from yesterday, I found someone willing to beta read for me. She has a few other books to read in front of mine, but she seems really excited to get started with me after reading what I had posted on scribd. She was someone that had other authors promote her after reading their work and that made it easier for me and my insecurities.

Until game time today, I'm playing construction worker and arts and craft wizard, so I better go get started. Hope everyone else is having a great weekend and I'll keep everyone updated on when Searching for Home will be out and the progress on Rhea in Love, which is most likely the next book I'm going to work on.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Busy day

I have a busy day of running around like crazy planned and hopefully I'll get some proofreading time in. I still haven't found any beta readers and I'm starting to think they somehow know I'm terrified of them. I'm basically terrified of everyone though, so they aren't a singled out group.

I like to think writing is a way for me to come out of my shell a little bit and so far, in a year and a half or so, it has worked out pretty well. At least as far as the Internet goes. If anyone brings up my books in person, I tend to want to run the other direction. Not because I don't love each book, but because I just am that way. I've probably said that before on here somewhere, but any newcomers should be forewarned that I'm weird.

So about the sci-fi book I've been working on for the last month. I have a cover I think I'm liking as seen somewhere around or after this sentence. I've also posted a little of the book on Scribd, like I've been known to do. Link for that is also somewhere around or after this sentence.

Sample

Okay I've got to run off to my busy day of spinning as fast as I can in office chairs.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Writing in outerspace

It's been a while, but I've been absorbed by a book that I finished the first draft on last night. It's one of the sci-fi ones I've been thinking of and I can't wait to start editing. There were multiple times that I was towards the end of the book and needed to check on something I had written early in the book and I kept finding myself reading chapters at a time. I have to think that means it's pretty good if it can pull me in a week or two after writing it.

This story seems to be written in first person past tense because it decided that's how things were going to be. I really like my female heroine in this one, not as much as Nyx, of course. I was going to say the female in this one beat out some of the other leading ladies I've written about, but while thinking about them I started coming up with reasons why I liked them just as much. One of these days I'm going to have to run a poll to see what others think.

I found a group on Goodreads that was for authors looking for beta readers. Since I've had problems finding them in the past, I can't wait to see if I can find someone to do some test reading for me. The only thing I ever worry about when sending someone one of my babies before I have it published is that someone will try to make it their baby as well. I do want to make sure that my writing appeals to more than just myself and the dogs, but I am a little nervous not knowing just who is getting my work to read.

One of these days I'll become more trusting. I'll probably be ninety-years-old when it happens, but it will happen. A cover is calling me, so I can't write more now, but I'll have a summary by the end of the week. If anyone wants to do some beta reading, my email address is around here somewhere and if you pinky swear not to make my story your own, I'll send you a copy.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Off topic

So I'm writing a more sci-fi book and I'm about 18,000 words in, so things are going well there. I've been so consumed by it that I haven't really started proofing Nani. I'm sending it to a beta reader this week and hope to get a couple read through done early next week so it's all good to go by next Thursday or Friday.

This post really isn't about that though, I just thought I would give a little update. Today is supposed to be the last post day on the Forty Days of Dating blog. I don't know if anyone else has been following this, but I'm a sucker for weird romantic stuff. It's basically an experiment where two friends that find themselves both out of relationships decide to try dating each other for forty days, while writing diary entries each day and visiting a couples' therapist.

There have been a lot of ups and downs and with one day to go they seem to be in a really big down. It will probably take a miracle for it to work out with all the differences they post about, but you know the crazy part of me hopes it works, or at least that they try things out outside the context of the experiment.

Anyway, if you get bored today and want to read some sometimes funny, romantic, crazy, weird stuff, I suggest spending an hour or two over on their site catching up. http://fortydaysofdating.com/

Happy Friday!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

First edit done, bring on the proofreading

I was pleasantly surprised I didn't have to do a lot of changing like I thought I was going to have to do while I read through the first try at Nani's story. Sometimes while I'm writing ideas come later in the work and I have to remind myself to go back and add some details that makes a certain conclusion make sense. I love when I find that I go back and all the details were already in place.

I met my new goal of having over 70,000 words in a story, which is another cause for celebration for me. Usually when I start a book I know the beginning and a general ending, but thinking about how I'm going to get all the middle parts to add up to more than ten words causes me just a little bit of stress.

I know there are probably a lot of authors that write outlines so they don't have to worry about things like that, but I just don't think I would function as well with that kind of structure. Most of my best ideas just pop into my mind while I'm writing a scene and if those ideas didn't correspond with the outline, I'd probably end up throwing my laptop out the window. Yes, that'd be a bad thing.

Below is my working cover and synopsis, since I like sharing that type of thing. I'm expecting to have all proofreading and changes done by the middle of September. Time has really flown by this year; I can't believe it's already September. Now I'm starting to ramble, so I guess that means this post is done. Have a great week everyone!

Unlucky in Love is more than just a name of a dating service started by five friends. Until recently, it also accurately described each one of their personal lives. Whatever abilities the ladies have that ensure their clients find their perfect matches don’t work for them, so even after living for centuries they are still searching.

Nani has no problem matching her clients with their perfect match, but as the daughter of Eros, known in some circles as Cupid, she never trusted someone with her own heart. Having fun is all she wants to do and if a guy shows any signs of commitment, they're shown the door. It's worked for her for eons and she doesn't foresee things changing in the near future.

Heracles is pretty much the male version of Nani. He doesn't necessarily enjoy his nights with the human women he picks up at bars, but they are better than nothing in his mind. He finds one night with Nani has a lot of lasting effects and learning to deal with them is something better done while living under the same roof. It could be the most disastrous decision he ever made or they might just find there is something to that four-letter word they've both avoided their whole lives.


And just for fun, since I love running giveaways even if I have problems getting entries. I think on this one all you have to do to enter is smile.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moving on to Nani in Love

Nani in Love is book two in my Unlucky in Love series and I just finished typing THE END on the first draft. I know there is going to be some cleaning up to do while editing, but I am happy where the story of my goddesses is going. Everything became clearer while I was typing this one out. My plans for the girls is bigger than I imagined in the beginning and I have the general ideas for the other three books running through my mind.

I guess that type of thing is probably a common occurrence with authors that write by the seat of their pants and don't have a story line outlined. Now I'm getting ready to work on the editing and at the same time start writing a different book that I've been thinking about a lot this week. I need to start getting ideas down because I spend most of my days playing out scenes and they are starting to get crazy.

For tonight, though, I'm taking the night off. I think I have a couple of sticks of butter that want to be transformed into shortbread and I can't deny them.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Calypso in Love is out

I went ahead and hit all the buttons late on Wednesday, so Calypso would be live on the 15th as promised. Then of course I sat around nervous trying to decide whether or not to even promote it. I really ended up liking the approach and world totally different from Nyx, but I'm just scared others won't see it as cool as I do. That's the way I am about pretty much anything I work on though so it's to be expected. Obviously I thought the story was cool because I'm already halfway through with the next one and I have the other three in the series' plots pretty well figured out.

I've enrolled the book in KDP Select so it will only be available on Amazon for the next three months. You can check the book out here: super cool link! I'd love to hear what anybody thinks after reading it even if you don't want to leave a comment or a review somewhere. My email address is still amberlynnbooks@gmail.com, so if you read it and still think I'm pretty insane let me know.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Giveaway for Calypso in Love

I'm getting to the end of the editing so things are looking good to go for a release date of Aug. 15th. In honor of the new book, I'm running a giveaway for 5 ebook copies to be sent out on Aug. 14th. You only have 8 days to enter, so hop to it.

About the book
Unlucky in Love is more than just a name of a dating service started by five friends. It also accurately describes each one of their personal lives. Whatever abilities the ladies have that ensure their clients find their perfect matches don’t work for them, so even after living for centuries they are still searching.

Calypso Tanis gave up the fight before it even started. She was taught at a young age love was a foolish emotion that didn't deserve any consideration. After living all her life in the shadows, she finally decided to come out and for years things went well for her. Then Griff Godwin stepped into her office and all heck broke lose.

Griff was a man on a mission to help the woman his actions forever altered. He wasn’t expecting the emotions he felt when he met her in person, though. Something about Callie made him question his sanity in taking on the task of keeping her alive. He didn't have a choice in the matter, so they were going to have to learn to get along or kill each other trying.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 29, 2013

Finally an update

So, I think I have another book written. I got through my chapter goal last night and am happy to see the word count ended up just over 74,000 when all was said and done. I'll go through the initial edit over the next day or two and then move on to proofreading. I'm thinking it will be ready for publishing around Aug. 15th.

If I haven't warned already, this book is quite a bit different from Nyx. I don't know what exactly I would call it, but it is a lot milder and probably a little more romancy.

Hear is the synopsis and cover that I'm currently working with. Both very well might change at some point within the next two weeks.

Calypso Tanis was a woman who lived on the run. After several centuries, she had all but perfected the art of remaining invisible. Starting a business with some newfound friends was a dangerous venture, but for the first time in her life she felt secure enough to try to settle down. Unlucky in Love, a dating service, was what the group came up with.

The name had nothing to do with their clients and everything to do with the owners own love lives. A few distinctive abilities from the group made it so the people coming to them for help always found their special someone, but the technique just didn't work on the proprietors.

Because of Callie’s past, she tried to stay behind the scenes and away from the studs looking for wives. An overbooking caused her to have to meet with their newest client and from the moment she saw him she knew something was wrong about the guy, which was too bad because he was really something to look at.

Griff Godwin was a man on a mission. He'd never be able to fully right a wrong he'd caused, but protecting the woman his actions uprooted was a good start. After hearing a rumor that she was in danger, the demi-god prepared for battle, something he had done many times in the past.

He'd been immune to womanly charms for years, but something sure started stirring when the two met face-to-face. Getting through the threat had to take priority, but learning more about each other along the way proved to reveal more than either of them expected.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Working away

I did finally pick a winner between the sci-fi novel and the other one I had started plotting in my head. I had a lot of ideas about both of them, but when I really thought about it the mythology typeish one won. As of this moment I have 27,000 words done in the week that I have been writing it. I like where it is heading and I think it is going to end how I want and make it to the 70,000 words I am hoping for.

It has been a little slow going in my mind because I have switched point of views and tense from what I am used to writing with my Nyx series. Even Avery was in first person present and I think I personally prefer it, but I have read most people hate that point of view. I think nine chapters in I am finally getting the hang of third person past tense.

I have a cover for it that I think I am happy with and even the synopsis written. I'm not ready to post them just yet, but maybe by the end of the coming week I will be far enough along that I won't mind sharing. This book is the first in a series, but unlike the Nyx series this will follow a different set of main characters in each book. All the characters are connected and we meet them in the first book. I guess pretty much everything about these books is different for me and I kind of like that.

Well, it is my birthday today and I have to get back to my insane bake-a-thon and writing in between mixing batter.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lots and lots of thinking

I have spent the past two days trying to decide what my next writing project is going to be. I am still not for sure. I have the sci-fi book that I have been thinking about for a while, but I also have this other series that I want to do involving children of Greek/Roman mythology in modern times. On top of that, there is a tea party novelette that I think needs to be told still in the Nyx world.

The ideas just don't stop coming. I told someone yesterday that I need to section off parts of my brain and put it in robots so I can get all the writing I want done. She probably thought I was joking, but it may be the only way I can get some sleep.

I have already started two parts of the sci-fi book and I kind of want to start the other book to see where exactly it is heading. Maybe I will write them at the same time. That might prove to be hilarious if I start combining the two.

I did put Clyde's story on Smashwords yesterday for anyone that wants to download it from there. Also, Lynda at Books Direct posted her review of Night Bites on her blog. I also ordered the proofs for books 2 through 7 as an early birthday present and hope to get a look at them this week. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Clyde has arrived

I always said he wasn't going to be too long and he isn't. For some reason the dang Hellhound can't be bothered to sit and write his book for long periods of time. I have uploaded the pdf on scribd like I do with my excerpts. I don't exactly love the look of it in pdf form, but I am procrastinating about putting it for free on Smashwords. I do have mobi and epub versions if anyone really prefers them. You just have to let me know and I will send your preference your way. I guess you probably want the link to the scribd doc. Here it is.

Happy Fourth of July to those from the U.S. I watched my bit of fireworks last night to try to keep away from the chaos I am sure is going to be on the roads tonight. There are a couple of TV marathons that may keep me occupied the rest of the day, so I better get back to them.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Clyde isn't ready just yet

I really wanted to have the novella all hammered out by the end of the day, but it doesn't look like it is going to happen. There is a really slim chance that I can get it as long as I was hoping in the next twelve hours or so. I am not holding my breath, so I don't suggest anyone trying. With the holiday this week, I will have a mostly full extra day to work and July 4th is my new date that I am shooting for.

I can give you a little more information about the book itself and a few snippets of wordage. The title of the little ditty is Advice by Clyde. The warning in the front of the book state "This book is the musings of a Hellhound. Don't believe a word of anything he says and please don't follow his advice." What the heck, here is the first chapter just for fun, Advice by Clyde - Chapter 1. It is just a page on the site so don't expect any fancy downloadable file.

That should take you a couple of minutes to read and it will give you a sense of how insane Clyde really is. I am hoping it will elicit laughs and not nightmares, but that is yet to be seen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Evil dog

For once I am not talking about Clyde. This is Snowflake, otherwise known as the most evilest dog in the world. She decided this morning that bathroom time should be spent rolling in the wet grass causing her beautiful cotton ball fur to become a mud coated mess.



Thankfully, by the time I got home from work the mud had vanished, but I do have the photographic evidence in case she tries to pretend it never happened. Sorry nothing book related here, just trying to shame a puppy into behaving better in the future. Yes, I am aware she doesn't even know that is the goal, but it makes me feel better.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's Wednesday, that means chaos has ensued

Well, I went ahead and hit the button last night on Amazon. Night Rises is available there as well as a e-book that consists of all seven Nyx Slaughter books for those new to the series. I will hopefully get the file formatted for Smashwords tonight and get it there also.

Lynda over at Books Direct has posted her review of Night Marks for those of you that like to read what other people think. She also still has the giveaway going for two copies if Night Calls.

I have gotten a good start on Clyde's book even with us not getting along. I think I will work on it more tonight and I hope to have something posted here sometimes Sunday. It won't be crazy long, so if you have a half an hour of free time that should be enough to get through it, maybe forty five minutes if you have to take a break to wipe your eyes after laughing so hard you cry at Clyde's shenanigans.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another update

I had been so busy writing and fixing the house up, we are on to fencing the side of the yard now, that it seems like I rarely ever was posting things and now I just can't stop.

I did complete a proofreading session yesterday and was shocked to find that I started seeing things I had already fixed still being wrong. I looked at my mobi and epub copies that I had made for the beta readers and the things were correct there, so I was completely perplexed. I don't know where my file that had the first round of proofreading done to it disappeared, but it is for sure vanished.

In a round about way I was able to convert the files I had to a document I could compare to my working copy and I think I got everything copied back over, in addition to the changes I was making yesterday in my second proofing. The crazy computers I own are working against me, I swear they are.

Anyway, because of the mix up, I went ahead and spent this morning doing another reading and things are looking really good as far as I am concerned. One of my betas got back to me yesterday and she liked where things went, but of course wants more. My husband told me once that he hasn't read the books because he is sure he would turn into Kathy Bates from the Stephen King book based movie Misery and force me to keep writing. I don't think things would get that drastic, but reading the email I was sent it flashed into my mind.

I really hope my beta doesn't read this and get any ideas. I think I need to go make plans to finish off the moat I am planning around the house.

Silliness aside, I am for sure things will be ready to be published by Friday now. I am making the dogs do a happy dance for me since I am busy. Since this is the final book in this story arc, I was hoping to find maybe a couple of more people to read through it before I publish, but so far pleas for beta readers haven't been very successful here. I will ask again that if anyone has read books 1 to 6 and would like to read Night Rises now, please send an email to, amberlynnbooks@gmail.com and tell me which format works best for you. All I ask is that you tell me if I am crazy by Wednesday, so I can either hit the button to publish or rework the crazier parts of the story.

I did decide, maybe just this morning, that I am going to spend some time working on other stories, including the quick one about Clyde, and then late this year/early next year write another seven book story arc about Nyx and what happens next in her life. I don't know that I will last that long, but I need to clear my palate just a little. I will probably write some novellas in the in between and just post the pdfs here on my site to hold everyone over until then. I have the Clyde one in the works and this current story gives me an idea for one about Phee and Sam. Any of the guards could easily have their own short story and Ben has so many I don't know where I should even start.

Let's just say I plan to keep busy and Nyx won't be far from my mind.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Clyde is a jerk

There I said it and boy do I feel better. I have been awake for a whole two hours today and the jerk won't leave me alone. Yes, I know he is a made up character and I am two seconds away from visiting a nice padded room, but it's the truth.

Between making rice pudding, God that takes forever; writing a synopsis for Night Rises, working version below; and brushing my dogs teeth, only to have one of them run outside and eat dirt afterwards; and visiting all my usual morning websites Clyde was there all morning telling me about his great idea for a book all about him. Oh look the definition of egotistical and hey there is a picture of Clyde. How weird.

So, in the midst of finishing off the proofreading work on Night Rises, I am going to start working on a novella, short story if he really gets on my nerves, about Clyde and how he spends his days when he is not following Nyx around. The quick pitches he has been giving me are eye opening and really do need to be told.

I am taking a road trip today, so maybe I can get a jump start on things since I find it difficult to proofread while my husband is blaring Muse. I think the music will put me in the right frame of mind to write about Clyde.

Night Rises synopsis
How does one go from being the scary monster mothers warn their babies about to being a mother herself? Painfully, that's how. At the same time, how does that mother decide to make sure her child will never have to look over her shoulder or be scared that one day her parents won't make it home? Funny, I believe the answer is the same for either question. Although with the latter, I hope I am the one dealing out the pain instead of feeling it.

My knives are sharpened, the guns are oiled, and my teeth are filed. It is time for a throwdown and when all is said and done, we will all either be dead or wearing crowns. I won't say I am cheering for the crowns, because my head is just too small for one, but I guess I will suffer with it over the other option.

Will I rise to the occasion and help free paranorms from their corrupted leadership? Will I earn my halo and become the super power everyone keeps talking about? Can you really potty train a one-day-old? Will I stop being annoying by asking all of these questions?

Who knows, but I am sure it will be an interesting trip to find out.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Night Rises excerpt

Here is the sneak peek still being edited first five chapters of Night Rises. I am hoping to learn tomorrow whether the ending goes over as well with others as it did with me. Hopefully I will get another proofreading session in tomorrow and then a last one Thursday, so I can upload next Friday.

Sadly, that is all I have for now. If anyone was looking for a knee update, it only hurts to go down stairs, is mildly swollen and slightly bruised. I guess I will have to ask the door frame to run into me harder next time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ouch

So, I finished doing enough audio proofreading that Night Rises is good to go to the beta readers tomorrow, which pleases me. As I wrapped up for the night, and was on my way to take my contacts out before my eyes bugged out, I drove my knee into a door frame stepping over a gate we have in place to keep the dogs out of rooms they shouldn't go.

A funny thing that not many people know about me is that I don't curse at all in real life - that is part of the reason why I have Nyx do it as often as possible. So, as my knee started immediately swelling, I just kind of hopped around a little to walk it off while thinking nice thoughts about it. Another interesting fact, I refuse to take medicine, so ice is working to numb things as I type.

I am hoping the swelling will go down by morning and just leave a neat bruise, I love those. I think tomorrow night, which for me is Friday night, I will post the first five chapters of Night Rises for those curious few who like to get a jump on things to read. I am to the point where it is just typos and grammar and such that I am fixing, so unless the people that get a look at the full thing tell me I need to scrap it all and start over, I think I can share.

Well, I am off to try to figure out how to go to sleep while keeping the ice bag in place and the dogs from jumping on my knee. I think for the first problem, I may employ a roll of duct tape and for the second one, I may go hide in the other room.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Happy Dance is in full swing in my brain

The story itself is now written. I have started going back over things to edit and fill out some chapters that were hurried through in order to get everything down. I don't know if others will feel the emotions I was feeling when I was writing, but there were a couple of places I got a little misty eyed.

I am sure not everyone will like the ending. In a way, I was able to kill off a character like I was hoping. It was necessary for the sequence of events and I think it works. It ends with so many different places I could take the story when I get back around to it, but yet feels like an ending that could stand alone and leave the reader to decide for themselves where things end up.

I am planning to go through most of the initial edit still today. I should have at least two days this week that I can start doing the audio edits and I am hoping to get it to my beta readers by the end of the week. If I can get another couple of edits in next week, I may be able to get it published by the end of June. We are talking either the 29th or 30th, but that is still June.

Thanks again for everyone that has given me support in this journey. Giant imaginary cookies for everyone.

Monday, June 10, 2013

General random lines from Night Rises

I feel like I am pretty close to being back on track with Night Rises, so I am picking 5 random lines to share with you today. The small twist is I am not going to say who says what. If anyone feels like guessing, I will probably be kind enough to confirm or deny the guesses. If you are familiar with the characters, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out who says what. I will try to leave spoilers out, but some lines are just too funny not to share. Also these are pre-edited and may not be what makes it to the final draft.

Why don't you come back to bed? Waking up with Alex trying to cuddle with me isn't my idea of a great way to start the morning. It felt like he was very eager to give Sophia a sibling and he was barking up the wrong tree letting me know it.

There are a few spells in place, but they are mainly for protection. There is one to keep people's language clean around Sophia and one to keep wandering eyes away from Marcus, but other than that they are all for protection. If you want any added, like sending a shock to any guy that doesn't put the toilet seat down, let me know.

I was just on my way to bake him a big batch of cookies. I think someone told me ultraviolet flavored was his favorite.

It wouldn’t work with any other girl between them. You are the glue that holds it together. They need someone strong that doesn’t need a lot of defending, even if they act like they want to do all of the protecting. They need someone that is willing to let their own agenda get altered, or thrown out the window, when it isn’t the best for everyone involved. They need you.

Do I look like a front-end loader? Is there a pile of dirt somewhere you think I can use to fill it up?

Okay now I feel like a movie trailer for a comedy that shows every single good part of the movie and you are let down when you realize that watching the movie. Not really. I think I have written a lot of good lines so far for this book. I don't have the synopsis for it yet, which reminds me I need to get that together by week's end, but the general premise is going to be about Nyx dealing with her angel side of things, learning how to fit into the new familial roles she is presented with in the book, and just maybe the Collective getting defeated.

And, since I have already been asked by one person, yes, Ben is in this one.

Friday, June 7, 2013

So busy

Life is still busy for me and I haven't posted anything for almost a week. I am sure everyone thought I fell off the face of the earth, unless of course you found me over on the site that has a little blue bird as a logo. I haven't posted a lot over there, but have been working on the whole finding followers and following people thing. So far, it is still terrifying me. Eventually I will probably get over that.

I have been working hard to get back on track writing Night Rises. I am still behind if I wanted to get it all done by the end of this month, so it will probably be out in July, but hopefully before my birthday on the 14th. I am hoping to be halfway done with it this weekend and I spent the night grouting tile in hopes that I have the next two days to achieve that goal. I am pretty sure in the morning I will find Popeye arms attached to my body.

I am really gearing up for a battle in this book and I am working to make the planning portion of it more exciting than a bunch of guys sitting around a map with little green army men indicating which side is which. The other night I was trying to sleep, but was so in my Nyx world that I started answering advice column questions from Clyde's point of view. Talk about hilarious stuff to keep you up all night.

Well, I have a round of buffing the grout off the tile and I think I will be able to call it a night. I need some rest or Alex is going to find himself helping the workers who are still finishing the guards' apartments lay tile. After 168 square feet, I have decided I am an expert on the subject.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My first interview with another blogger

One of those great people I have met from over at Goodreads posted an interview with me on her blog today/last night depending on where in the world you live. She is also hosting a giveaway for two copies of Night Calls. I am pretty sure most people on my blog have already taken in the first book in the crazy world of Nyx, but you may be interested in seeing how I responded to her questions. You can see it here. She showcases a lot of other books on there as well, so you might stumble on another great read by browsing.

I am laying ceramic tile most of the day today, but hope to get some writing in by the end of the day. By then I don't know if I will still be able to walk. My back and legs are already starting to protest and we have only got through cutting a mess of tiles.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book covers mostly changed and progress on Night Rises

This will be just a short note. Well, I got the book covers almost all changed like I meant to on Monday. For some reason I cannot change them on Goodreads, but I have a help ticket in with them to ask why I can no longer change them myself. It is a little confusing to have the different covers and I hope people will realize by reading the description, which hasn't changed, that they are the same.

The writing is going for the next book. I don't know what it is about my brain, but it has come up with yet another book idea, not Nyx or Avery related, that I am forced to jot down notes when they come to mind and try to keep focused on the project in front of me. I am hoping to get some nice quiet time to get the thoughts for Night Rises typed out before too many other ideas overload my brain.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Things I have learned since starting this journey

Don't let anyone tell you the self-publishing route to getting your words out there is an easy route. Depending on your level of self-publishing you end up wearing enough hats to make your neck shrink up into nothing because of the weight. I am currently still doing that one woman shop and I am pretty sure at times it is giving me ulcers.

My journey began May 1st of last year when I decided it was finally time to sign up for a Wattpad account. I had been reading stories on there for a year or so, some good, some very, very scary, and I thought I could probably do just as well as those scary ones. My character Avery was based a lot on myself. No, I don't work for some government agency as a computer geek, but there are a lot of other places in the books where I put in my personalities and general likes and dislikes.

It was really just a rambling of things that ended up making itself into five books, so far. When I got through with that fifth one, one of my beloved puppies past away so I took a little break from writing to do a little grieving. During that time, Nyx's world started to knock and I had to switch gears. Nyx started in my mind as one little scene. I imagined a female assassin going in for a kill and after asking if the perp had any last requests, she was given the answer that the perp was her father. That really was the whole premise of the book. Things just went from there. I wrote the first Nyx book and then again felt the need to take a little break. I continued to have ideas of where to take the series, but if I don't have that opening line ready to go, I cannot always get a book started.

In January of this year, someone on Wattpad asked if there were any more books in the Nyx series. That jump started me and I was able to write books two and three within three weeks. Book three will always be one of my favorites, and not only because it is the first book with Clyde. I was so into that book and it flowed so well from me that it only took a week to write.

Anyway, by the time I was done with those two, I had heard from fans and friends that they thought my stories were good enough to be published. Of course, they meant me taking my works to a publishing house and going mainstream, but that thought gave me a few more ulcers. I had read books on Smashwords.com before and knew that it was a place for indie authors to publish so I took the first Nyx book and put it up there and set its price as free. I wanted to see on a grander scale than Wattpad if other people enjoyed my work.

I think the first mistake I made was twofold. Putting it as free did garner a lot of downloads, but it also found people that went and took my work and published it in forums for others to download. Bad people. They don't get any cookies. The second part of the problem was that I hadn't found all of the self-editing techniques that I have in my bag now, so that version was pretty much a hot mess.

It took me a while to learn how to at least make my books not totally laughable on the proofreading side of things. I know there are still going to be some typos here and there. I admit that upfront. Do I like that fact? Not really, but it is going to take me a little while to get to the point where I am ready to ship things off to an editor. I have found one I think I like, but she has a waiting list at least a month long already and I would like to have all of the books done before I ship them off. Maybe there is some kind of bulk discount.

Moving past my current editing process, I looked into getting my books on Amazon. If you believe pretty much any of the websites in the world, Amazon is the place to be if you want to sell books. Smashwords' site says they ship some of their books over to Amazon, but you have to be a big seller on their site to get this service. Lucky for me, Amazon has KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing, so anyone can put a book up on the site. I have since learned that is not a good thing because there are so many options out there and there are some not so great indie authors that turn readers away from the rest of us.

I am pretty technologically sound so formats for uploads weren't too scary for me, but I do read a lot of people have questions for figuring that out and there are even people you can pay to do the formatting for you if it is too overwhelming. I quickly found the KDP forums and learned that there are certain ways to format, beyond the front facing directions on the site. Those forums have been really invaluable to me. You won't find me posting any of my own questions though because those people are scary.

I have fine tuned and gone through my process six times now and I think I am finally getting the hang of it. Smashwords gives you the opportunity to publish through them on Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, Diesel, and a few other sites. At first, I was all for that, but the time it takes for updates or changes to make their way out to the other sites is a little too long for me. We are talking weeks in some cases. Most of the third party sites have ways to publish on them without the Smashwords' hookup, so I decided not to distribute anymore through them. I haven't gone through any of the other platforms yet, but I see myself doing that soon.

So, that is basically the writing, editing, proofreading, and publishing hats. I should also throw in wannabe graphic designer because I draw and design all the current covers. Once you get past that point, it is time to learn marketing. This is still the hardest part for me. I know what to do and how to do it, but a lot of the methods for putting yourself out there seem mildly spammy. I want people to want to read my books, not think I am a nuisance that needs a little RAID bug spray to get rid of.

Goodreads has been one of my favorite places to work on marketing. They have groups that have read to review programs, which is really helpful when learning what works and what doesn't in your books. Goodreads also has all sorts of authors tools where you can set up Q&A groups yourself and send out events letting people know of publishing dates and cover reveals. Both Goodreads and Facebook have advertising availability too. I have heard varying stories on whether either of them are any good, but I haven't tried them out myself yet.

That's basically all I have got. Here are a few key points for me:
1) The editing process is basically never over. I could read through a book a hundred times and still find things I want to change. I have learned if the book flows well, leave it alone.

2) Not everyone is going to like your work. As much as I want everyone to just fall in love with Nyx and the world I have built, it isn't going to happen. A thick skin is a must in this world.

3) When you have a series, the greatest feeling in the world is seeing someone has purchased the second book. That is followed closely by them purchasing the third and so on. I don't have a ton of reviews yet, so when I see someone continue on with the series that always makes me smile. (Just to not be confusing, I cannot really tell if it is a single person buying each of the books. I just assume it is.)

4) Write more. As an indie author you need to have multiple books out there to let people know you are serious about writing. Having them in e-book and paperback is also advised. (Still working on the paperback part. They will be coming within the month.) It is helpful if the books are good, in fact that is probably crucial, so keep that in mind. Get some beta readers to read the early versions and let you know if there are any huge plot issues or if they want to have you committed to the closest psychiatric hospital after reading your book. If that later option is the case, you are in trouble.

5) Always remember to thank people. Without others, this process wouldn't be possible. From readers actually reading my books, to the feedback they give it is all really important. My husband and best friend have a lot to do with the behind the scenes work by giving me ideas without them even knowing it. I am working to figure out ways to adequately thank everyone involved, but I don't think the Internet has figured out how to deliver freshly baked cookies out of your CD-Rom drive just yet.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

And the thunder rolls

Looks like it is going to be a rainy day here in the capitol city of Iowa. That is going to make going to the hardware store to get a hundred and fifty pounds of powdered mortar a really fun task. Rumor is in four or five hours the rain will at least break for me to make a mad dash up the street, which is good because I am so ready to get this floor put in.

In the meantime, I guess I should get working on that seventh book. Parts of me cannot wait for it to be done, but a lot of me wants to drag it out. The ending is already done, though, and the middle is all sketched out in my brain, so delaying any longer won't be possible. Nyx would probably start showing up in my dreams to torture me if I wait even another day. She can be mean like that.

My two dogs are scared of the rain. I know that seems like a rather odd statement out of nowhere, but it means they are really clingy right now and are being really helpful while I type. One of them likes to hit the backspace key, just to annoy me, and we spent a good ten seconds going back and forth between webpages earlier today. Evidently there was something he really wanted to read on one of those pages.

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend here in the States. If you are going out, drive safe and stay away from the loonies.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I hit the button

I have hit the button on Amazon.com to publish Night Finds. It takes up to 12 hours to appear on the U.S. site and up to 24 to show up elsewhere. So hopefully it shows up eventually tomorrow. Work and home life are super busy right now, but I am hoping to get a good jump on Night Rises over the long weekend. I am thinking about changing the covers over to the new models come Monday, at least for a couple of weeks. Meaning the one that looks like this:


Will magically change into this for a while, possibly forever:


That's it for now. Time for bed. A night of editing makes me sleepy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to be an author when you are shy

The title is more of a question than a statement, one I am still trying to learn the answer to. I won't say I am the shyest person in the world, but I am right up there in the top ten. If it wasn't for the ability to self-publish, I guarantee my work would remain Word documents on my computer because the idea of trying to connect with an agent or publisher causes me to break out in cold sweats. The Internet helps some, but I am still afraid at times to talk to people through email and forums. How I convinced myself to start this website, I am still not sure. I don't drink alcohol so I cannot use it as an excuse. I think I got an overload of fresh air one day that made it sound like a good idea.

I do a ton of reading online for marketing ideas and they all sound great, but for someone like me it is hard to actually go to sites like Twitter and start following people that post things about my genre, as a lot of sites I read suggest. Every time I think about joining Twitter I feel stalkerish. I also don't think I have enough stuff to keep people interested in following me. I won't say I am not interesting, I just have a weird fear of saying the wrong thing that usually keeps my fingers from typing and my lips zipped. I have a feeling that talking about me not rushing out to do all this social networking and such makes me sound lazy, but that isn't the issue. I have found a few book sites that I have joined and I am working in baby steps to get networked.

I have read this now about fifty times, so I think I am just going to hit the publish button. Before I hit it though, I want to say my thoughts and prayers are with all of those that have been touched by Mother Nature the past couple of days.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Really confused...hoping someone can enlighten me

So evidently mentioning reading other authors bad reviews made my first one appear on amazon.com today. The really bad thing is that it is perplexing me to no end. This is what the reviewer wrote.

this book was cute except that i read it already from keri arthur and the riley jenson series.same name of vamp and the same as the wolf! couldnt even bother to get new names. an agency where she kills rogues and then tries to escape? love triangle with 2 mates ? so plagiarized . so sad bc she writes well

I have heard never to reply directly to a bad review, or any review for that matter, so I am not going to ask for more clarification, but I am having trouble finding the facts to back up the review. By the same name of vamp and wolf, in my mind that would mean she is referring to Sebastian and Alex because they are the main vampire and wolf in my book. I read the series in question a couple of years ago, and frankly don't really remember what happened in it, but searching through my copies I am not finding Sebastian or Alex's name mentioned. I found Alex Hunter I think in one of the books and that was a girl.

I know I picked my names at random because they felt right to me while I was writing and I really think the world I have built is different from any of the other worlds I have read about. Yes, I am sure there are basic concepts in my books that are like others, but to say I copied the whole book from another source is a little bit much.

I guess I am just curious if anyone else has read that series and can shed some light on things for me. Things I remember from reading the synopsis really quick is that Riley was a werewolf/vampire hybrid and for sure had a werewolf mate, maybe she had a vampire one too, but I only saw a mention of a vampire lover, neither of those two were named Sebastian or Alex, or any other names I have in my books. Even in the first Nyx book, which this review was on, it is revealed that Nyx is more than human, but there are many pieces to that.

So to sum things up, I am really confused. Oh wait, the title of the post already said that. Plagiarizing is illegal last I checked and to be accused of it has me questioning a lot of things. I am not rushing to pull down my books because I really do think they are different, but there is a part of me that kind of wants to throw in the towel because of the claim. Great. Now I am all depressed instead of just being confused. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guess what came in the mail today

That's right, my paperback version of Night Calls came today and if you heard some weird tapping today that was me doing my happy dance. It looks awesome and I may just have my husband talked in to actually reading it. He has been showing it off to the neighbors and offering it up to everyone. I will be overjoyed if he does commit and is able to give me his opinion finally.

There will always be a part of me, no matter how many of you out there tell me otherwise, that thinks I am just kidding myself thinking that my stories are any good. I, for some reason, have this horrible fascination with reading other authors bad reviews and always ask myself if someone could say those things about my books. Maybe one of these days I will stop that and for sanity's sake I hope it is soon.

For anyone hoping to get a physical copy, I am going to spend a little time looking through my proof and then hit the button. I expect that will be before the Night Finds publish date, but you never know I might do make them both that Friday.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The excerpt of Night Finds I promised

The day is getting away from me and this afternoon is going to be spent away from the computer, so I better post this now. Here is the first five chapters of Night Finds. Keep in mind that I have done the initial edit, but no proofreading yet, so there is most certainly going to be typos here and there. It may also leave you foaming at the mouth to get read the rest of it. I should be all done with the fixes and have it published by the 24th. At least that is the goal. Link to excerpt on scribd.

Opinions welcome

Is everyone ready for a good laugh this morning? Last night, after what felt like years of deliberations, I hit the button that would make Night Calls a paperback version. It was something I have been thinking about for a while and through CreateSpace it doesn't cost me anymore than the amount it takes to print and get a proof copy sent to me, which I am told is already on its way. I had been hesitant to try it out because my books are generally pretty short but I really want to see what at least the one will look like printed out. (Just to clarify here, it isn't available just yet in paperback. I have to get my copy first and make sure it doesn't look crazy, then I will hit the final button)

One of the things that also was hanging me up was the fact that my e-book covers with my drawings didn't really feel right to me on the paperback scale. I tried it out a couple of different ways and I just couldn't get into it. So, last night I played around with some public domain night images and came up with five covers for the five currently published e-books. I don't know if I will even do paperbacks for all of them, but I had a lot of fun playing with them. They aren't exactly done yet because depending on how the printed version looks, I think there are some positioning issues.

I guess my big question is now whether or not I replace the e-book covers with these. I think these do look a lot more professional and would probably appeal to more people. Oshawa, I know you will give me your opinion, but I would really like to hear from others as well. I have posted the five covers below. I hear everyone has an opinion, so let's hear it.












UPDATE - Spent a few minutes putting something together for the last two and I wanted to see them all together so I am posting them as well.



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

THE END

Boy am I happy to see those words. I do believe that the initial write out of Night Finds is finally done. With all of my home projects and work projects butting in the last month, it has taken a little longer than I usually like to take on that first draft. My two week max normal went about an extra week. I also didn't write the end early on for this one and that may have made things drag a little for me. I really like having an end point to head towards. Good thing I have the next book's end already written.

Another first for this series, it is an even book in the series and Sebastian doesn't have any negative mojo going on at all at the end of it. It is actually quite the opposite and I would almost call it a happy ending. For those out there that know me, that is probably a pretty scary statement. Happy endings for me could very well be Night Owl City blowing up. Since only about five seconds of this book takes place in Night Owl City, I think it is a safe to say that isn't the case.

Anyway, it is on to my initial edit and then many, many proofreading sessions. I will probably post the first five chapters after a couple of those proofreading sessions, like I did for Night Lurks. I don't know if anyone likes to read that kind of thing, but I like hitting buttons, so I will do it anyway. I would post some of my favorite lines now, but only about 15 people have probably read Night Lurks and the lines would most likely give away the other book's ending.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Motivation

Some days you have tons of motivation and others you just don't want to get out of bed. I have, thankfully, never had any difficulties climbing out of bed, but there are days when I do have problems focusing on writing.

One of my biggest problems is having Internet access. Some people may call me a little obsusive compulsive when it comes to certain things, no laughing little miss Oshawa. Numbers fascinate me and I find myself finding ones to check on constantly. This image does a good job of summing my brain up.
I try to keep my browsers closed in the middle of writing sessions, but my fingers just won't let it be so. They want to check email, track page views on the blog, has anyone liked my Facebook page yet? (No, no one likes my Facebook page. I do nothing to promote that I have one because I don't want a few certain people - none of which are fans - to know it exists. Dang it, I think I just blew that cover), what are the other authors saying in that one forum I like to visit? If I didn't need them fingers to type, they may just find themselves in danger.

That being said, I am down to the last three chapters of Night Finds. There is still plenty of time to get the editing done before the end of the month, but I really need to just turn off the wi-fi for a while and get focused. Now, if I can just get my fingers to complete that keystroke combination. I should also work on making them not type the things that are just rambling through my brain. A lot of people probably find what comes out scary.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 3-4: Night Calls free on Amazon

Just a quick post to let everyone who hasn't read the first Nyx Slaughter book know that today and tomorrow it is free on amazon.com.

A little bit about the series -
Nyx Slaughter's life has never been easy. She was groomed at a young age to become an assassin for the Collective, the agency that governs the paranorms of the world. She was raised to believe she was a human and an outsider from those around her. Accepting those facts, she has made the best of things and has become one heck of an assassin.

A chain reaction of events shows her there is more to her than meets the eye. She finds the paranorm world just may have a place for her, as long as they except freaks. Along the way to finding where she fits, she meets new friends and picks up some nasty enemies. She also learns that only her mother probably knows exactly what she really is and getting any kind of secrets out of that woman is dang near impossible.

There are currently five books out in the series and the last two, for now, should be ready to published by July. They are on the short side of novel length. Partly because I write how I like to read and end up leaving out long descriptions of things that I would just skim over myself. Some people don't like that, but I have heard others say they love that I give them a chance to fill in the descriptions themselves.

General consensus is that they are fun books and that is what I was going for. They each come with the following warning (prior to Night Bites, the sexual content part was not applicable) Warning: This book is the musings of a foulmouthed female assassin with Violence for a middle name. Reader discretion is advised due to language, violence, and sexual content.

So, like I said, Night Calls is free today and tomorrow for you to kick the tires a little and see if you want to dive into Nyx's world. That being said, you can now continue on with your regularly scheduled Friday. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Brrrrr

Yesterday at this time I was out sitting on my deck enjoying temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit trying to get some writing in. Today I am huddled under blankets because of a wind chill around 35. Iowa weather is crazy like that, but I really prefer the warmer temperatures. My brain doesn't want to function as much in the cold.

I am down to about six chapters left in Night Finds and I am hoping my brain defrosts enough to get one or two chapters in today. In other book news, I think I am going to unpublish the first Nyx Slaughter book from the Smashwords site so I can do some exclusive marketing on Amazon. I am pretty sure I will be hitting the button tomorrow night, but I wanted to post something to let people know it didn't just disappear. I hear good and bad things about joining KDP Select and since I am still trying to grow a following, I figured I might as well try it.

In non-book news, tomorrow is my ninth wedding anniversary and I got a bathroom remodel as a present. I am one of those weird women that doesn't like jewelry and absolutely hates chocolate, so it is a great gift. Of course, my husband got the same present, but he may also have a special dinner in his future.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Finally a synopsis for Night Finds

Since Night Lurks has been out for a whole three days, I know everyone has been dying to find out what the next book will be about. I am over halfway done with it now so I feel confidant that I won't decide to make it about something completely different. Here is the idea (I don't think it really spoils the big reveals that take place in Night Lurks):

Meeting my mom did not go exactly as I had always envisioned it, but at least I wasn't sent on a mission to kill her. I still think the world may be a better place if that was a possibility though. It has been a couple of weeks since that great day and my life is moving forward at the speed of light.

Plans are being made to welcome another new family member and that necessitates a change of venue from my cherished penthouse apartment. I knew it was coming, but I tried to avoid it for as long as possible. It is a good thing I don't totally hate the new place.

I only have a chance to spend one night before I receive a call from my father, the non-biological one. It turns out the Collective hasn't given up on me, yet, and they think kidnapping my real father is the way to win my heart. They are hilarious.

The gang and I have to rush to the rescue. With the new family member making my life just a little bit difficult, I have to rely heavily on my family and friends. It turns out there are some people I didn't know belonged in either one of those categories, but it nice to have them along.


Things are still progressing as planned, which leads me to believe this installment will be ready by the end of May. I won't give an exact date, just yet, because I tend to try to hurry things along when I have deadlines.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Night Lurks is up now on Amazon

I got everything together last night so I could submit Night Lurks to Amazon last night and it looks like it is up now. Hurray! I believe this is the link to check it out. Like the other books in the series it is currently 99 cents. I am still trying to determine where the right price point will end up being for the books. Once I have them all written, I will think more about marketing and pricing and such. Right now, I just want to get my thoughts all down and get some feedback on whether the world thinks those thoughts are crazy.

I had to spend some time with book five over the last couple of days, so I didn't spend as much time with Night Finds as I would have liked. It is over halfway done and will probably take another week instead of being done this week like I hoped. Anyway I look at it, I am ahead of schedule because I started writing before I finished editing the last book.

Also, just as a note, this weekend I am going to be playing with the design of this site. If you see anything crazy looking, it is just me working and hopefully it will fix itself by the time I am done.

Oh, and for those of you who don't have a Kindle or the Kindle app, I did post Night Lurks on smashwords while I was typing this post. I wasn't going to originally, but I know not everyone can view a mobi file.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sophia it is

I originally was hoping one of the, I don't know, younger names would get the nod, but after seeing someone vote for Sophia, I think it will be the right choice. I know that the person who voted for it knows who the name is for because she has already read Night Lurks. Being one of my beta readers has those kind of perks. They get to know just how far I jumped off the deep end before I am even ready to admit it.

I won't lie, before I sent it on to the beloved betas, I was really worried where the last chapter went. I couldn't help it though. Things just fell into place and helped prepare everything for the last two books. I am told that it isn't something anyone would see coming.

Since I was waiting to know the new character's name, I was a bit limited on how far I could go in starting Night Finds, said character is mentioned really early on. Now, I am able to really focus in on getting it written. With a few hours of writing yet to go tonight, I am at around 15,000 words. I am hoping I can get a few more thousand in, which should take me to about a third of the way to my goal.

There was a little while where I was dragging a bit, but I worked through that point and in the process found a twist that I didn't see coming. I really do hate when characters sneak those in. I am still laughing about how funny it is in my mind.

Well, I need to get back to the drawing board. It is less than a week until Night Lurks is out there for all to read. I am expecting Night Finds to take another week and a half to get to the point where I am ready to edit. I really hope it is only a week, but real life does tend to happen sometimes and I have a lot of projects going on around the house.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Night Lurks Excerpt

I still have another round of editing, but I thought I would share the first five chapters of Night Lurks. You can read them here. Along with that, since I am in a really good mood, if you haven't read the first book yet you can get it for free on smashwords.com for the weekend by using the coupon code QV84F.

Happy reading,
Amber

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To kill a character or not?

I have been debating killing off one of the characters close to Nyx for the past couple of weeks. I played different scenarios out in my head for killing off just about every character other than Alex and Sebastian. Oh and Clyde. I couldn't live with myself if I killed Clyde off. Other than those three, no one was safe in my mind.

In the end, I had an epiphany this morning on how to end the series, which is where I was considering adding a death, and typed out that last 3,000 words chapter. I have a place to end now and it feels really good. None of the characters are really safe, in fact safe would be the last word I use to describe what ends up happening. I won't lie; there may have been tears threatening as I wrote it.

The fifth book is pretty much all set. I will go through and do a final read a week from Friday and then go ahead and publish it. This is the book that really sets up the last parts of the story. In it we finally find out just what Nyx is and we get the unpleasant gift of meeting her mother. I am glad that secret will finally be out.

While I am waiting to publish that book, I have started in on the sixth one. So far, the cover and about half of the first chapter is complete. I haven't wanted to get too far yet because I am waiting to decide on a key character's name until the poll I posted over the weekend is complete. I plan to close the poll end of day on Friday and I have posted the poll again down below in case anyone wants to add their two cents on a name. If there is a tie, I will go with the name that is first in the list.

Time to get back to work writing and piecing together a synopsis for Night Finds. Happy reading.

survey services

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Help choose a new character's name

So I am pretty sure about 5 people have found my blog and actually follow my posts. I haven't promoted it really anywhere, which makes that number not at all surprising. I am trying to find ways to get some user interaction and I landed on creating a poll to help me name a new character.

The new character appears at the end of the 5th book, but wasn't officially named yet. I have at least one or two names that I am leaning towards and I was hoping to have some help making a final decision. I added a couple more names to my initial list and came up with the poll below.

I cannot really give away who the character is going to be, but she is female, young, and will be in the rest of the books. The name will also be featured on the cover for book 7. If you have a name you like better, leave a comment and I may just add it to the poll.

Poll will be open for the rest of the week. I would like to have the cover completed by next weekend.

survey services

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Another book down

I have made it to my goal as far as words go for the fifth book. I am so happy with where I drove the end of it. Part of me feels like I have fallen off my rocker because of it, but I just cannot help be practically giddy over what happens. I don't think this one has as many twists and turns as the other books so far. It does contain the big reveal on just what Nyx is and I guess that could be considered a twist. From the beginning I knew how that was going to turn out, but I did put a slight adjustment on what I originally planned for her mother.

I have done the initial spell check and am fixing to convert my document to a pdf so I can spend the next few days having my computer read it to me while I follow along and fix the parts where my fingers weren't listening to my brain. I am hoping by Friday to have my initial advanced reading copy ready to go out to the people that cannot wait for me to mark it as totally edited. The plan is to listen to it about three times this week and then set it aside until a day or two before I plan to put it on Amazon. At that point, I will sit down and read it normally and hopefully there won't be more than a few commas running amok.

In the meantime, the sixth book is already writing itself in my mind. The first line is picked out and as soon as I get some editing done I plan to launch right into it. I waited to start this fifth book, but I don't think I will be able to do that with the sixth.

That's about it for tonight. In parting here is one of my favorite lines from Night Lurks. It, of course, comes from Clyde and is said right after Alex calls him peculiar.

“Am not. Tell him to quit talking smack. I will graduate from chewing on his shoes to peeing on his porn collection if he isn’t nice."

Friday, April 5, 2013

E-book Giveaway

In honor of the fourth Nyx Slaughter book that came out a week ago, I am hoping to do an e-book giveaway. As with everything else I have been finding out with the whole writing process, this is a new concept for me, so please bear with me. The plan is to give the, so far, four book set away to four readers. The only thing you have to do to enter is add a comment to this post.

On April 29th, I will collect the entries and number them from one to whatever in the order that they were received. Then I will take a trip over to random.org and type in the total number of entries and let it pick my four numbers.

I know, seems easy, but I did spend a few minutes thinking everything through. When I have my winners, I will announce them in a blog post. The e-books will be delivered to you via email as either mobis, epubs, or pdfs*. In the blog post announcing the winners, I will let you know how to contact me so you don't have to blurt your email address out to the whole world.

If you don't win this time, don't worry, I will be doing this again for the fifth, sixth, and seventh books that I am planning to have completed by early summer. Each time the prizes are the whole set up to the most current book.

To find out more about the books, click on the images below.


* The post said for a couple of days that they would be delivered as coupons for Smashwords. I have been making plans to enroll in KDP Select on Amazon, so that makes giving them out on Smashwords impossible for the three months following my enrollment.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Working away

I was able to get a little over three chapters worked out yesterday on the fifth Nyx book. The first two chapters aren't exactly the same as the ones I lost, but I think they have the same general feel. Today I have at least doubled that and the day isn't over yet. I should be around 13,000 words by the end of the day and since my goal is at least 50,000 that is a great start.

My writing process is a bit different from most of the other writers I read about. I don't make outlines to organize my thoughts and figure out the path of the book before I start writing. I usually wait for an opening line to pop into my head and go from there. Sometimes it can take a couple of days, but I had this one planned out for the past couple of weeks.

For once in this series, it wasn't Nyx saying something, but rather a little inner dialog working in her brain. It gave me an opportunity to explain something no one has asked me, but something I always wondered for myself. A character having at least a first name is a given, but since Nyx was abandoned at birth I have always wondered where the Slaughter came from. You would think as the author I would know that, but surprise, I didn't. It is kind of a silly idea that I came up with, but I like it.

When I start writing a book, I do have a general idea of where things will lead to by the end of the book. As has happened with the other books in this series, I get about a fifth or a quarter of the way through and the ending just reveals itself to me. Things twisted in my mind and I ended out typing out the last chapter for this book that I never expected. Part of me hoped I could take it there, but I didn't see a good way until this afternoon. My initial ideas for who Nyx's mother was warped into a funny coincidence and is going to only further complicate things. I just love complications. Now the easy part for me is just working the rest of the chapters to get to that point. Most of them are already rolling around in my mind, so it should be easy.

Well I better get back to it. I am really hoping to have most of the book on paper, so to speak, by the end of the week. It will probably run a little into next week, but it will still give me at least two weeks to go through my editing process before I release it at the end of the month.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gotta love technology

I love computers, but last night after finishing editing and publishing the fourth installment of the Nyx Slaughter series, technology got the best of me. It was total user error on my part, but when I was copying the fourth book between the couple different files I have to format, I accidentally saved over the chapter and a half of the fifth book that I had started.

Anyway, it was only two chapters so not the end of the world. I know for the most part what I wrote, but probably won't get it exactly the same. It reminds me that I need to save to my server a little bit more often. I tend to save and work off a flash drive because I like to carry my books around with me. If I would have had it saved on any of my computers, even if I saved over that version, my Windows could have probably recovered it from a previous version, but I guess it is just a lesson learned.

I think I am finally done reading through and editing the first four books. I did a recheck on the first three just to try to bring everything to the surface of my brain as I prepare to write the next book. I even think I fixed a few places in the first one where things might have been confusing.

I know what is going to happen in the fifth and sixth books and have some great ideas for the seventh that will probably change slightly depending on the next two. I have been thinking that the seventh will bring an end to the particular story arc and path that Nyx has been set on from the first book. I will leave room to continue on past seven, but I would like to move on to some other ideas that are floating in my head. This also will pair all of the companion novels nicely so I can later group them into good size full length novels instead of barely brushing the bottom level of novel based on word count.

Even though I do have another book outside of Nyx's world started, I think I am going to go ahead and spend the next few months finishing up this series. Since they are already written in my mind, I don't think it will take long to get them typed out. I have written nine books now that meet my 50,000 word minimum and the longest it has taken me to get to that word count is sixteen days or so. Five of the books aren't edited much at all, but the ones that have been, added on at least another week after the roughly two week writing process to make corrections.

Aside from books, I found out today that eating too many jelly beans gives me a headache. I guess that means it is time for bed.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Stories that evolve from dreams

This morning I woke up remembering very vividly the dream I was just having. The great news about the dream is that it would make an awesome book. Sadly, it isn't a Nyx Slaughter book, but something totally different for me and more in the sci-fi genre.

A lot of times I find myself remembering dreams that played out before me like a movie or television show. I think they are really cool and I have most of them playing around in the back of my mind, or in a text document that I have paraphrased the dream into ideas.

The dream of last night actually made it past the text document phase and is being plotted out into a full length novel with three parts. A working cover has also been created, so I am really moving along. I expect it to be ready for my ARC, advance reading copy, group to read by the end of next month.

This is the general synopsis.

The bright light in the sky started as nothing more than a dot. As it got closer and encompassed the sun, the sky blackened and we realized we were in big trouble. The lightening bolt-like rays coming from the original orb hit the ground causing the earth to shake.

Everyone took cover in the closest basement. Why we thought the basement was the place to be, I don’t remember. Living in Texas and being used to tornadoes coming through town was the most likely explanation.

That was just three days ago. The aliens have arrived like all the conspiracy theorists always claimed. Sadly, their claims of the aliens already living amongst us were also true. Now that their friends have arrived, they are all coming out of the woodwork and realizing how close they have always been gives me the shock of a lifetime.

Oh yeah, I should have already mentioned that this is my story. The story of how I, Sarina Rogers, ended up the princess to the Gonthic race.


I am still working on the summary, but it is the basis of what the dream was about. I am breaking out the story into three parts. Two are in the past reflecting what the main characters lives were like before the invasion and then just after the invasion. The last part is going to be told in the present and highlights a dilemma the heroine finds herself in.

I cannot wait for the finished product. If anyone would like to be included in my ARC group, for this and my other books, be sure to click on the "Contact Me" link at the top of the page. Being an indie author, all the feedback I can get is greatly appreciated.