The Twisted Souls Journey is Complete!

As a series writer, there is always a bit of sadness that comes along with finishing the whole story. I had no idea of the adventures that Samuel, Cameron, and Marius would take me on when I met them two years ago in The Soul Ripper (previously known at The Soul Garden). It has been a wild ride for all of them, and the end is bittersweet in more ways than one.

For those of you wondering, I’ve always known how this one was going to end, but their journey to that conclusion was the part that was the mystery to me. I hope the end resonates with you as it did me.

Now that the series is complete, all of the covers got a much-needed facelift that hopefully conveys the story arc a bit better. I’ve also released the box set- readers can get a 25% discount by buying all four books together (deal!).

If you are a Twisted Souls fan, please be sure to drop me a line and let me know what you thought of the ending. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Reading!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Write and Publish a Short Story in 8 Hours? I’ll Take That Challenge!

4310931351_0a07cca0cb

People might not know this about me, but I’ve got a deep-rooted competitive streak that’s a mile wide. I hide it well behind a lot of smiles and polite talk, but, at the end of the day, if somebody throws down the gauntlet in front of me it’s Game On.

So when I read a post over in the Writer’s Cafe on Kboards (my absolute favorite writerly place to hang out) about Joe Konrath’s 8-Hour Challenge, I was stoked. The basic premise of the challenge is that you had to write, edit, create a book cover, and publish a story on Amazon in 8 hours. HA! I laugh in the face of that challenge. I had no doubt I could do it. I’m Speedy Gonzales on the keyboard when the muse strikes, and I love the short story medium.

However, I had a dilemma. I had this past week off work because I was dealing with some personal issues that I had put off that required 100% attention for a few days. On top of that, I feel like a lynch mob of Twisted Souls and Bloodtruth fans are going to descend on my doorstep any minute demanding that I finish the final books in those series.

So I decided I wasn’t going to do it. Even though I felt like this challenge was tailor made for me, I thought I’d do the grown-up thing and let it pass. I watched the thread of Kboard  participants get longer and longer as they each raced against the clock to snare their win. By the morning of August 29th, the final day of the challenge, I was gnashing my teeth wanting to throw my hat into the ring.

My personal issues dealt with, and with 8000 words down on A Soul to Settle (Twisted Souls #4), I decided to go all in on the Konrath challenge. I HAD TO DO IT, if no other reason than I knew that I could do it.

Four hours and ten minutes later, I hit publish on Forbidden. I had been waiting for the right opportunity to return to my haunted house roots, and this short story scratched that itch perfectly. Clocking in at 5500 words, it is a horror short about a girl who defies her mentor and decides to test her special abilities on her own with disastrous consequences.

Alas, I fell down in properly following the directions of how to submit my entry to Joe to get credit in his epic post that showcased all the challenge winners (all 140+ of them!!). There’s a lesson to be learned there, and it’s a mistake I won’t make again.

Hopefully Forbidden will whet the appetite of any new-to-Cege readers, and for those of you who might have noticed I haven’t published anything in awhile, this will (hopefully) remind you why you liked me in the first place. 🙂

Forbidden is FREE on Amazon through tomorrow (9/2/13), so go grab your copy today!

 

(photo credit The U.S. Army)

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Where Do We Go From Here?

6102051911_5e1733c998

I am astonished that we’ve just crossed over the 2013 mid-year mark. The old saying is that time flies when you’re having fun. In my case, I feel like I blinked and lost track of the first half of the year. There’s been some fun for sure, but I’ve also faced some unexpected challenges along the way as well.

Way back in January (haha- I feel like that was just yesterday!) I published my tentative 2013 Production Schedule. I hit the mark for the first three months of the year. (Yay, me!) Life derailed the last three months, and my writing derailed as well. Now that’s not to say I haven’t been writing or releasing new work. In addition to some short stories under my new pen name, I also started the Gamescape serial.

Having just wrapped my first full-length contemporary romance novel under my pen name, I found myself uncertain of where I should go next.  There are days when it’s necessary to  hit ‘Pause‘ and take stock in order to decide which road you plan to travel. For me, today is one of those days. I’ve got a bazillion stories ideas buzzing in my head, but I also know there are fans of the Bloodtruth and Twisted Souls series waiting patiently for me to deliver the next books.

Reassessment was needed.

As much as I love the idea of a serial, Gamescape’s production schedule isn’t working for me. First I promised a new installment every two weeks, then every three, and finally once a month. I still can’t hit it with all the other irons I have in the fire. So I made a decision. I’m pulling back the first three installments, and incorporating them into a full-length book that I am planning to release by year end.

So that frees me up to refocus on my two series, which hopefully makes a lot of people very happy. 🙂 So here it is, the refreshed Production Schedule for the remainder of 2013.

August 2013: To Be Titled (Twisted Souls #4)

September 2013: To Be Titled (Bloodtruth #4)

November 2013: Step To My Bones

December 2013: Gamescape

Things may still shift around just a bit, but this is my plan and I’m sticking to it. As always, thanks for sticking with me!

(photo credit Jean-Louis Zimmermann)

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Cover Reveal: Step To My Bones

STMB

One thing I love about my ability to put my work directly in the hands of readers as an self-published author is that I have full creative oversight of my book covers. I can easily get lost in browsing cover artist websites for hours (usually when I should be writing!).

I found this cover last year, and there was something about it that spoke to me and I HAD to have it. I didn’t have a story to go with it yet, but I didn’t care. I knew that I would get to it eventually, but in the meantime I made it mine.

Step To My Bones is going to be a far darker story than anything I have written to date. While there will be some paranormal elements to it, it is really going to be character driven story about the lengths someone would go to exact revenge.

Look for more news on when Step To My Bones will be available coming soon!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Confessions of a Cliffhanger Queen

Cliffhanger

“You left me hanging!”

I frequently hear some variation of this sentiment in reader reviews, comments, and emails of my books. As each of my series have progressed, and I am releasing more books than ever, I can see a clear trend in my writing.

I write a whole lotta cliffhangers.

This is fascinating to me because if we take a step back and examine the humble beginnings of Edge of Shadows, my very first novel, I’ll let you in a little secret. I originally wrote it with a closed ending. The end was THE end. I reworked that story ten ways to Tuesday. I thought I was on the final stretch, but something nagged at me. That something that said this story was a whole lot bigger than I was giving it credit.

That idea came from my beta readers. They were asking me questions about the events leading up to the final scene, and I realized that I had two choices. I either could go deeper within EoS to explain the events unfolding, or I could open it entirely and continue the journey- and answer those bigger questions along the way.

I’ve shared before that there is no higher compliment than having readers tell you that they want MORE of what you’re writing. As a reader myself, I love engrossing myself into the characters and stories of my favorite authors. I’m a bit monogamous that way. When I find an author I like, I have a tendency to stick with them through multiple books. But my favorites are those that involve characters I’ve met before.

So, I decided to really jump into the deep end of the pool, rewrite the end of EoS, and plot out a trilogy.

The other thing that I should point out is that I have a long history of watching episodic TV, and the stuff that I like to watch seems to lend itself more to the cliffhanger endings. (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, anyone?) Answering a smaller subset of questions within one installment while carrying over a couple of really large overarching themes/questions across multiple installments is what I cut my teeth on as a kid.

You could say that I’ve been conditioned to cliffhangers. They are what I know, and I know them well.

As a reader, I understand why people might be a bit frustrated with this approach. With the internet and mobile technology, we have gotten used to instantaneous gratification in our lives. We want what we want, we want it right now, and we don’t want to wait for it. I get it.

But there is something to be said for the slow build of tension and suspense as we wait for the next installment of our favorite book, TV series, or movie. Think about that little ball of excitement in the pit of your stomach that gets bigger and bigger until you just think you are going to explode! Assuming it meets your expectations, there is a sense of sweet satisfaction and pleasure. If it’s really good, you want MORE. Even if it’s over and the curtain goes black. When you are invested, you always want more.

That’s the experience that I am trying to create for my readers. I’ve seen authors accused of trying to make more money by having cliffhanger endings. (I’ve been subtly accused of that myself.) I can’t speak for all authors, but I can speak for me.

If there’s more story to tell, I’m going to tell it, and I think it’s my job as a writer to create an environment of suspense and intrigue that whets your appetite for what’s coming next. That’s why I write cliffhangers, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

(photo credit: oddsock)

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS