Monday, January 31, 2011

You know what I think? I think it's RAFFLE TIME!!!!

All right, peeps, it's time for a raffle to celebrate the release of my debut novel! I'm just a tad excited--can't ya tell? And I'm excited to share this love story with you. Here's what you have to do. Pay attention, now. Electric shocks coming to anyone who doesn't follow directions. Not really.

Ok, here goes. You've seen my list (probably) of love songs that inspire my writing. Now it's your turn to share. Tell me your favorite love song (title and artist) and why it's your favorite. Please post that in the comments of this post. I will pick a winner on Friday. Yes, you have that long. And I'm going to keep bugging you until I get some responses.

What do you get, you ask? You get a free .pdf file of "A Ranger's Tale", but that's not all. I am also giving away a $10 certificate good for All Romance which I think can be used for any purchase on their site (even the non-romances). And, I just discovered that you can convert their files to your Kindle if you have one, by giving them your Kindle e-mail address (the one you use at Amazon). Ask me if you can't find where.

Now, get to posting those love songs. I'll ask the magic hat who the winner is this Friday, Feb. 4!

"A Ranger's Tale" at DigiBooks Cafe!

Yet another buying option for "A Ranger's Tale"! Check out Digi Books Cafe for a .pdf or .html file.

Click HERE.

Plus, they have a 20% discount going on today. Use promotion code: e3d9d10a3c

"A Ranger's Tale" Available at All Romance eBooks

Follow this link:

Available in .pdf and .html format. Very soon, it should be available at, where you can also buy Kindle-compatible versions and print. I'll keep you updated!

If you read my book, please hop over here and leave some feedback--fill out the form link at the top right of the blog page or leave a comment in a post, or on my Facebook page. Can't wait to hear from you!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"A Ranger's Tale" Available Now!!

Here is the press release I wrote for release day--ordering info included:

New Novel A Ranger’s Tale Will Take You on a Romantic Journey You Won’t Soon Forget

Set in the fantasy world of Tallenmere, A Ranger’s Tale is the story of one woman’s desire to find freedom and adventure, and one man’s struggle to overcome the ravages of guilt.

Louisville, KY, January 29, 2011— A Ranger’s Tale, by local author Mysti Parker, takes readers on an exciting voyage to enchanting lands fraught with danger, magic, and passion. At nearly a century old, the high elf Caliphany Aranea longs to explore the world and escape from her controlling father. Her dreams are fulfilled when she meets half-elf ranger and ship captain Galadin Trudeaux. But, when secrets from the past bring tragedy to those she loves, Caliphany must fight to hold on to the life she's always wanted. 

Readers will fall in love with Caliphany and Galadin, who’s love story unfolds amidst the challenges of danger, and their own stubbornness and guilt. From their first chance encounter during a foiled kidnapping attempt, to the finale, where Caliphany must decide where her heart truly lies, they will face more adventure, more love, more heartache, than they ever thought possible. Through it all, they discover the power of forgiveness and of a love that stands the test of time.

Pick up your copy of A Ranger’s Tale by Mysti Parker in .pdf or .html format at Melange Books ( ). Electronic copies will soon be available at All Romance Ebooks ( Also look for A Ranger’s Tale coming soon in print, electronic, and Kindle format through LULU publishing (, Barnes and Noble (, and Amazon ( ) .

Mysti Parker is a full-time wife, mom of three, and a writer. Born and raised in Kentucky, writing has always been her first love. She’s currently working on the next novel from her fantasy world of Tallenmere, where magic, passion, murder, and mayhem are a part of everyday life. For up-to-date information on Mysti’s releases, check out her blog, Unwritten, at .

Friday, January 28, 2011

"No Fear" Blogfest Entry

Dominic over at Writes of Passage is hosting the "No Fear Blogfest" from Jan. 28-30,  in which you showcase your main character showing of his or her bravery. We all want brave characters, right? Here's my entry, from A Ranger's Tale (available now at Melange Books).

 *Edit--I'm expanding the beginning here a bit and giving a little backstory. This is a scene during which Galadin (told in his POV here) is on the run with Caliphany from her father, the wizard Sirius Aranea. He's training her to be a ranger, and the mayor of a faerie village in the Eastwood mountains has asked them to clear out some goblins from an old temple. Let's just say things don't go as smoothly as they planned:

      Cali stood and flung her bow over her shoulder.

      I waved my hands at her. “Cali, I think you should stay here in the camp.”

     “I will do no such thing.”

     “The goblins aren’t to be taken lightly. They can swarm on you in an instant.”

     “Which is all the more reason I should go along to help.”

     There was no arguing with her, not with that stubborn set of her chin and those flashing blue eyes. Damn, she was beautiful when she set her mind to do something.

     “All right, then, let’s go, but we have to be careful.”

      We climbed the narrow path up the cliff side to the ancient temple. Bastivar was a crumbling, pillared fortress carved into the mountainside in honor of the goddess Innessa. Worshippers had long since vanished, and as long as anyone could remember, the only current inhabitants were goblins.

      “Hidari mi compli,” we chanted, and sneaked inside. Our eyes adjusted to the dim light in the entryway.
      “I’ll draw some of them out,” I whispered. “Stay concealed, and when you see one coming, shoot it.”

       Down one corridor, a group of three goblins came toward me. I aimed and shot one, then ran back when the other two charged. Cali’s first arrow barely missed my head, but she got one. I shot the last one as she readied another arrow.

      “Nicely done,” I whispered. “Now, we—”

      “Achoo! Cali couldn’t stop her sneeze in time. She whispered, “I’m sorry.”

      A great snarling ensued from within the main corridor. A horde of beady, yellow eyes came toward us.

       “Cali, run!”

     She fled, and we ran down the cliff side as fast as we could without falling off. We reached the forest floor, and I looked back. Goblins streamed out of the ruins, so many that some fell off the cliff. There had never been this many before. It must have been a long while since anyone had cleared them out. We sped through the underbrush. Thorns scratched our skin and snagged our leathers, but they were gaining on us.
    We reached the main path, and I grabbed Cali. “Give me my father’s sword.”
     She unsheathed it and handed it to me. “Galadin, there’s too many. We’ll never fight them off.”
     “Conceal yourself and run. Now!”
     She clutched my sleeve. “I won’t leave you here!”
     For the brief moment while the goblins closed in, I met her panic-stricken eyes. I’d never met a woman I would die for, until then. “Go!”
     I pushed her on, and she turned to run. Goblins burst through the bush, and I readied my sword. Right and left, I swung, impaling and kicking them off the blade, chopping off spindly gray limbs, a head when I could aim just right. Jerking bodies began to pile at my feet. The onslaught lessened, but before I could catch my breath, another wave of them burst forth.
     One of them latched onto my arm, its jagged teeth sinking in through the leather. I cried out. Then, an arrow sank into its ugly body. Cali had come back, her next arrow nocked and ready. I shook the goblin off my arm. Still, they came, yet another wave.
     She threw down her bow and ran to my side. “Galadin, get back!”
     “What? No, I told you to run!”
     “No time.”
     She pulled me back, stepped in front of me, and held out her hands. Blue fire burst from her palms, like flaming blasts of lightning, but continuous, and dreadfully hot. I had to back away from the intensity of the heat. The inferno charred the goblins, turning them from gray, to black, to piles of ashes before my eyes. The fire consumed every bush and weed, everything in its path, until the goblins in the rear decided they were outmatched. Shrieking, they turned and hightailed it back up the cliff and into Bastivar.
     Cali stared at her smoking hands. I ran to her, relieved to see that she wasn’t burned. But, she was weakened. I embraced her, letting her catch her breath, her head on my shoulder. I ran my fingers along her braid.
    “I didn’t know you could do that,” I said.
     She raised her head and peered into my eyes. “I didn’t either.”
     Then, our lips met, and nothing else mattered.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You know you're a writer if...

You get cranky when you don't have time to write.

You get an idea and have to jot it down no matter where you are--on a napkin at a restaurant, on  a receipt in the grocery parking lot, on your two-year old's forehead...

Your best friend tells you her deepest, darkest secret, and you think, "That would make a great story (with name changes, of course.)"

You have to periodically shake crumbs from your keyboard, since you eat your meals in front of the computer.

You wake up at 2 am and grab the laptop when you get an idea for your plot, and you ignore the grumbling spouse beside you.

You write a love scene and want to try it out on said spouse. :)

Now, it's your turn.You know you're a writer if...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dear Agent...

Because the kids have yet another snow day today, and because I have no other material just yet, I'll share with you the mad-lib I filled out over on Elena's blog. She posted a couple of lovely fill-in-the blank posts, and I always love a good mad-lib. This one is for that agent from "you know where". *Please note that I have no agent, have not even looked for an agent, and have nothing at all against agents.* I just don't want one like this one...

Dear Agent,

I'm writing to you because I wanted to thank you for the personalized rejection letter, and I really just wanted to say, you went above and beyond to include so many four-letter words like *&%$ and #@$%. 

I understand that you're busy and possibly have Tourette's ,and look, I don't want to upset you any more, even though it looks like you drooled all over my letter.

Sometimes, I feel like calling you personally to scream some of that language back to you, but I'm afraid I'd make a sailor blush. And I'm not trying to scare you, but I coated this return letter with bubonic plague. I doubt someone as hard-skinned as yourself will contract anything from it. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're immortal, possibly a spawn of Satan.

Thanks for listening and understanding. 


(I quote you) "a whacked-out %$#&, stupid, &*^$ing excuse for a writer"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Drink, drank, drunk. Think, thank, thunk...right?

In addition to enjoying Jack Eason's Onet's Tale this week, I'm perusing The Accidents of Style by Charles Harrington Elster. It's laid out like an encyclopedia of sorts, listing some 350 "accidents" in the form of misused words and phrases. What's even neater is he gives real-life examples of how these are misused in all sorts of media--newspapers, television, magazines, etc--some highly respected ones.

Many of them, I know already (patting my little back now), but a few of them, I've misused and still misuse time and again. Especially in my speech, but I don't count that. I'm a country girl, people. Always have been, always will be. If you're graced with the fortune of hearing me speak, you're likely to  hear a "Y'all" or, "Dejeet yet? (Did you eat yet?), and  "I ain't never done that." But, when I write, by golly, I like to use proper grammar. Sometimes, though, those little conjugations and such give me the hardest time.

For instance, (quoting the book here) "Accident 13--The pandemic confusion between lay and lie....the present tense of lay is the same as the past tense of lie"  Anyone have trouble with this one? You can lay down a book, but you can't lay down yourself--you have to lie down. Lay in the present tense has to have an object. But, the past tense of lie is lay. So, if you're talking about what you did last night, then you lay down to sleep. Pretty sure that one is a common mistake.

Here are a couple more I find myself misusing. "Accident 18--It's that big a problem, not that big of a problem" and "Accident 19--Write off, not off of"  That little "of" tends to get stuck everywhere, like "You aren't that big of a man." or "My son eats Cheerios off of the floor." No need for that "of" in either of these. Are you guilty of (notice how easy it slips in) infecting your writing with "of"?

I'm sure I'll never attain perfect grammar (especially in my speech--I stubbornly hold to my redneck heritage), but with this book, I think I can clean up my writing a little more.

Today's question: What are your "Accidents of Style"?

Monday, January 24, 2011

News You Can Use

Did you know that today is "Beer Can Appreciation Day" and "Compliment Day"?

Why not compliment a beer can today? "Hey there Miller Lite can. I like the way your name's all diagonal and how shiny you are. Now come here and let me appreciate your innards."

Not a drinker? Compliment someone for not drinking beer today.

Brought to you by Mysti, the fount of useless knowledge.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"A Ranger's Tale" to be Released Saturday, January 29

A little ahead of schedule too! It's Book One of my Tallenmere series of romantic fantasy tales. If you're a romance lover, you don't want to miss this one, as it sets the stage for future characters, though each book will be able to stand alone as well.

You can pick up your electronic copy from my author page over at Melange Books : Just look for the link under "Available" titles.

You can also order electronic copies from Fictionwise Books, www.fictionwise-com, All Romance Ebooks,, Amazon books,, and in print through LULU publishing at In the very near future, it should also be available in Kindle format.

I will keep you all informed as release day approaches, and there are sure to be some giveaways. Stay tuned to Unwritten for your chance to win.

And spread the word, will ya? 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Whee! An award!

Liz Davis over at Novel Moments has awarded me with the Fair Dinkum (good buddy) award. My first blog award ever. Thanks Liz!

Now I have to share some facts about me (gulp) and nominate five other bloggers to receive the award.

Let's see. I'm fairly uninteresting, especially at the moment. In fact, I'm pretty repulsive with this cold (I digress). Here goes, in no particular order:

1. I take the crusts off my sandwiches. Don't ask why--I just don't like it.

2. My biggest pet peeve is people who leave their shopping carts out in the parking lot and won't take a few extra steps to put them in the corral. I've even walked mine back into the store if necessary. Put your carts away people!!

3. My grandmother taught me to read when I was three. I still have the coloring book, in which my grandmother wrote my abc's and 123's in blue crayon.

4. I'm a chocoholic. But I'm particular about my chocolate. If it's that waxy, cheap kind, forget about it!

5. I'd give my left leg to be somewhere warmer right now.

So how's that? Drumroll, please...and my five nominees are:

1. Jack Eason at Have We Had Help?
2. Lindsey at Jesse Said Yes
3. J Andrew Jansen at well, J Andrew Jansen 
4. Akoss at Fantasy Pen
5. Maggie at Magnanimity

Now, pay it forward people, and I'll be catching up on these and more today and in days to come. I'm also going to work on my blog design soon. It's gotten terribly dull. Off with you--find some nominees!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It is Finished!

Final edits of "A Ranger's Tale" are in and I can breathe easier. Until release day, that is. When you write a book, it's like putting a piece of yourself up for display to the world. That's a pretty daunting thought when all is said and done.

However, it feels good to have finally finished something that I've been working on for over a year, something that's consumed the vast majority of my thought process during that time. Now, I just let em go, and move on to Book 2. These characters are already screaming at me for their chance to shine.

So, whilst I sit and brew the virus my petri-dishes (I mean, kids) brought home, and whilst (love that word--don't you) the kids are out for yet ANOTHER snow day, I think I'll catch up on some reading/critiquing and some assignments for my online writing course. And I might even get a nap--provided the two year old will take one too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review of "A Knight of Silence", by Candace Bowen Early

This past week, I had the privilege of reading Candace Bowen Early's "Knight of Silence". Watch the trailer above, then read on.

 If you like historical romance, this one is just a treat. The author did her job in sweeping me off to a time when knights swore their allegiance to protect their ladies, their lieges, and their kings, when chivalry abounded, and courtly love flourished. The setting, language, and actions of the characters (as far as I know, not being a history buff) were right on cue, without being so over the top that I couldn't follow. Many hours of research went into this story, and it shows. I'll have to take lessons from Ms. Early.

What I like most about "A Knight of Silence", is the heroine herself. Reina, a nineteen year old fair maiden, has been deaf since she was a toddler. This doesn't prevent the handsome knight Fulke from falling head over heels in love with her at first sight. Ah, but it's not her beauty alone that enchants him. It's her heart. She's selfless, loving, kind, and forgiving. Everything that Fulke himself has always wanted to be.

It's heart-wrenching at times to see how others treat Reina's disability, calling her lackwit, suggesting she should have been killed as a child, etc. She is a strong woman herself, but she has a warrior protector in the brave Fulke. Her half-brother Warin, who taught her to read lips, and Fulke's knights would all lay down their lives for the gentle woman who has stolen their hearts.

When Reina is taken against her will by King Henry I to use her lip-reading ability to spy on the nobles around him, Fulke and his men must do whatever it takes to thwart Henry's motives and bring his lady back home.

In addition to Reina's character, there are other strengths to this novel. Throughout the story, the love these two share is so deep, there's an incredible "Awww" factor. The love scenes are plentiful, but not gratuitous. The secondary characters of Reina's brother and Fulke's knights are all unique and boast their own small storylines as well.

The only real problems I had with the story were purely structural. Many sentences began with leading participial phrases, which when overused, can sound repetitive. Like: "Lying back on the pillows, he watched her. Kissing his neck, she sighed. Laughing, he told her it tickled." (Not actual lines from the story)

All in all, I give "A Knight of Silence" a big thumbs-up! It's a sweet, engaging, escapist read that will sweep you in and won't let you go until you get to the end.  From the author notes, looks like this is only the first in a series. I'll be watching for the next one. Pick up your copy of  "A Knight of Silence" from today!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blast From the Past

My girls and I just finished reading Silver Wolf by Paige Dixon. Written in 1973, it's the story of a young wolf, told from his point of view, and the life of his pack. I remember reading it over and over when I was around nine or ten years old. It was great to share it with my girls, and I remember why I loved it so much. The writing was so vivid, it took me there.

Next week, we start The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. I'm really excited to read that one again too. It's the story of two little girls who have to escape from real and human "wolves"--a wicked governess and her cohort who make them virtual slaves at a "school for girls".

Yeah, I had a thing for wolves back then. But, there were others too--The Little House series, Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre.

Today's question: What were some of your childhood favorites? Have you re-discovered any of them in recent years?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Book Signing Flyer

Book Signing Flyer 2

My Reading List, 2011

I've added a reading list to my sidebar for already read, currently reading, or upcoming books. I'll keep adding as I finish and as I find books to read. You're welcome to send any suggestions my way, though I am not guaranteed to read everything.

Hopefully, this will help to keep me accountable on my quest to read more in 2011. While we're here, and since I'm nosy, what are some of your favorite genres? What kind of books can you just not put down?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Writing is Hard

Well, duh, you say. Or else everyone would have a best-seller. Or then, maybe no one would, because there'd be no exceptional books to stand out from the rest. It's a good thing. But it's draining as a writer.

Sometimes, stories or scenes spill from my fingers through the magic of my keyboard like a full-fledged concerto, composed by a brilliant composer (not so brilliant in my case), but other times the words just get stuck. Plot holes develop with bottomless pits that I can't escape.

I get a (what I think is) brilliant idea for a plot development, only to realize that it just won't work with the current characters' back story or how I want the ending to play out. So, I keep re-thinking, re-writing, re-drafting, jotting indecipherable notes in my notebook in front of me, scratching most of those out when I realize they won't work either.

It's enough to make me want to take a nap. But then I can't, because I have three kids, and they have to be fed at least every other day. (That was a joke.)

The point is, well, writing is hard. It's fun, it's rewarding, it's my therapy, but when it gets down to it, it's work. Let me clarify. Writing something others actually want to read is work. Is it worth it? Only the writer can be the judge of that. If you think only in terms of income, probably not, since very few of us can actually make our living from writing (at least where fiction is concerned). From the aspect of accomplishing a huge task forged from our own imagination and hours of research, planning, and editing, something we can look back at and say, "Yeah, I did that," then yes, it is worth it.

What makes writing worthwhile for you?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review of "The Wicked Heroine, Legend of the Shanallar, Book 1"

Buy now at!
In my quest to read more in 2011, I started with Jasmine Giacamo's first novel, "The Wicked Heroine, Legend of the Shanallar, Book 1".

When I reached the end last night, my first thought was, "Darn it! She left me hanging!". Of course, this is book 1 of a duology, so I knew it would be a cliffhanger, but I was still sad to see it end where it did, even though it went out with a splash!

The book centers around the legendary and immortal Shanallar (Meena), who has gone by many names and influenced countless peoples over the centuries. Now, she's out to destroy the Dire Tome, a book of unspeakable evil that the other characters are on a quest to find after the Shanallar herself hid it away long ago. Meena's character alone was lovable from the start. She's brash, throws manners out the window, is easily irritated by those she decides to protect, but she also possesses this motherly instinct that emerges now and then and really endeared me to her character. The other main characters--Geret, the young prince of Vint, his protector/rival Salvor, and Sanych, a fifteen-year-old female archivist with a gift for memory--are young, naive, and change a lot over the course of the book. There is a definite coming-of-age theme here among these young people and also a bit of a love triangle, which did indeed pique my interest. What can I say? I'm a romance-a-holic.

Add to the interesting characters, some fantastic settings and unique cultures--and here is a recipe for a true fantasy tale that takes you to places you could hardly imagine. The characters and settings are truly the books strengths, in my opinion.

I admit I've not read much in the high/epic fantasy department. My reads tend to be lighter, shorter, on the more romantic side. And while the story itself was strong, I stumbled on some really lengthy descriptions and information that the author could have omitted and not suffered for it. Some of the fantasy names for people and places I had a hard time pronouncing in my head, and there were several words in the prose itself I needed to look up in a dictionary. Perhaps my own vocabulary skills were to blame for that one, but the words could have been substituted with simpler ones and the story would have been just fine.

Other than those minor wordy issues, this book was amazing. The writing is superb, and I can tell the author did her homework in describing mechanical issues of ships, etc. It's a well-planned, full-fledged fantasy tale. Read it. You won't be disappointed.

Angie Kinsey's Entry

From Angels and Appetites (working title), a novel in progress by Angie Kinsey.
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Crystal grabbed her coat and her cowboy hat. The Angel appeared just beyond the doorway taking up most of the space in the trailer hallway, "I tried to warn you about Sam."
Crystal pulled her keys out of her coat pocket, reached for the door, and opened it.
The Angel's face was still free of emotion, "This will turn out badly for you."
"Aw, keep it to yourself," Crystal said as she went down the steps and her boots scraped the steps.
"I warn you not to go," The Angel said.
Crystal turned around in the middle of the driveway, "And why exactly shouldn't I go? How exactly do you know the future?"
The Angel disappeared.
"Well ain't you just little miss chatty-Cathy when the real questions come," Crystal said as she slipped her hat on.

Jim O'Brien's Entry

From Family Life, a work in progress by Jim O'Brien:
"Have you seen our daughter?" asked Debbie, settling on the couch with a plate of birthday cake and ice cream.
"She and her cousins just left," I answered.
"Where are they going?"
"To the bathroom, so Kayleigh can show them her new underwear."
"It's Scooby Doo underwear," Deb said.
"I know," I said, "I dressed her this morning, remember?"
"Well, I laid it out for you."
"Yes, but, I washed them and folded them, so they would be there in the drawer for you to lay out."
"If I hadn't picked them out at Wal-Mart, you wouldn't have been able to wash them." Deb thought she had me there.
"Well, I fathered the children who made the underwear in Kathy Lee's sweatshop."
"I didn't know you were overseas."
"I mailed it in!" I said straining to keep a straight face.
"Oh, please…"
"Anyway, I thought we were raising her not to worship material objects."
Deb shrugged. "Well, we are trying, but there she is nonetheless, proudly showing off her Scooby Doo underwear."

Jan Hurst-Nicholson's Entry

From Can You Drink the Water? a novel by Jan Hurst-Nicholson
Available now: (Amazon US) and (Amazon UK)

 It's British humour and the characters are from Liverpool, hence the accent.
Mavis unpacked the suitcases, stowing the clothes neatly in drawers and cupboards, until she was able to exhume a large wooden-framed photograph of her grinning mam and dad. She swept her sleeve across the smudged glass before propping the photo proudly on the bedside table.
 "What the hell is that?" Frank said, arrested in the middle of re-rolling the cigarette he had inadvertently flattened with the suitcase. 
"It's a picture of me mam and dad," Mavis said fondly, re-positioning it so the elderly faces grinned down at the bed.
"Where the hell did'ya gerrit?"
"Me mam had it made as a going-away present."
"Will you look at the size of it! If you put a mast on it we could've sailed over on it," Frank said, the cigarette screwed into the corner of his mouth. "I hope you're not thinking of leaving it there. How d'you expect me to sleep with your old lady starin' down at me all night?"
Mavis was long accustomed to Frank's opinion of her parents, but now, with them so far away, his snide remarks stung. Her lower lip trembled, and forcing back tears she challenged, "Okay, clever dick, where d'you suggest I put it?"
He gave a leering grin. "It'll make your eyes water!"

Lindsey Loucks's Entry

From The Grave Winner, a novel in progress by Lindsey Loucks
Leigh: “He (Miguel) asked you to marry him?”
Jo: “No. But he did ask me to a party this Friday.”
Leigh: “Start your razors. You could make a hat from your leg hair for him.”

Friday, January 7, 2011

M.F. Burbaugh's Entry

From We Were Legends, a novel by MF Burbaugh
We Were Legends:
Circle of Seven:

“It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings, and I ain’t seen no fat ladies since I been here, General,” I said, “just one lard-ass king.”
 “Well put, Jake,” said Linda. “My butt is the fattest I have seen, and baby, it ain’t fat, its perrrrrrrfect!” All those in range laughed.

Jeffrey Keenan's Entry

From Space Pirate (working title), a work in progress by Jeffrey Keenan

Jones faced the monitor and tapped a few keys. Images loaded on the screen and Jones watched them, silent and intent.
“She was most lovely, John.”
Jones smiled a wry smile and took a shallow breath. “She was the prettiest woman I ever knew, Pixie.”
“Looking at her image always seems to hurt you, John.”
“But you continue to look.”
“Doesn’t make sense, does it, Pixie?”
“I do not understand why you would want to do something that causes you pain.”
Jones thought for a moment, his chest tightening. “Fear, Pixie.”
“Captain?” He smiled to himself. Pixie always reverted to his rank when confused.
“I’m afraid I’ll forget her. I couldn’t bear to forget her, Pixie.”
“This is love, John?”
Jones closed the images, and sat back. “This is love, Pixie.”
“I do not think I understand it, John.”
He chuckled, a bleak smile spreading across his face.
“Join the club, Pixie, join the club.”

John Steiner's Entry

From Half Seen, Half Hidden, a story (awaiting acceptance) by John Steiner

“The way they’re– well, just layin’ about you’d think maybe some wild animal had a turn at’um. But we ain’t found no teeth marks an’ I’ma damn sure there’s not bear in the world familiar with the finer points of killin’ with a hatchet.” -Depute Francies of the Wilson, Wyoming Sheriff's Office

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Matt Posner's Entry

From School of the Ages: Level Three's Dream, a novel coming soon by Matt Posner

Book One, School of the Ages: The Ghost in the Crystal Available now:

Twitter  @schooloftheages
Facebook:  search "school of the ages series"

Protagonist Simon verbally spars with a man carving a gravestone in a dream world:

“What should it say?” asked the Chiseler.
“Your gravestone. What should it say?”
“That’s not my gravestone. I’m not dead yet.”
“You ought to be.”
“Because it’s your gravestone.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“I don’t make sense,” said the Chiseler. “I make gravestones.”

C.D. Hussey's Entry

From La Luxure: Discover Your Blood Lust, a novel by C.D. Hussey
Available now: 

He glanced at her drink and took a quick sniff. "Are you drinking Absinthe out of a plastic cup?"
She bit her lip. "I am."
"I don't think that's allowed," he teased.
"Are you the Absinthe police?"
"If it means I get to take you into custody, then yes."
The alcohol was making her as bold and confident a flirt as he was. Hopefully, it made her half as sexy. "Arrest me then," she said.

Nora Weston's Entry

From: The Twelfth Paladin, a novel by Nora Weston

Angie Helms and Jake Cottrell in a discussion where she admits to not being as sweet as he thinks she is...
“Thank the Lord! So good to know you are human. What have you done that’s so horrible?” I asked probably not sounding serious enough.
Angie closed her eyes saying, “I’ve tried to kill Davis.”
“’d that go?”
“Stop it! Be serious, Jake. I’ve stabbed him, shot him, and run him, I even poisoned him—”
“The Wolfsbane?”
“Yes! I thought those purple babies would do it,” she said utterly disgusted, “but, clearly...nothing has worked. The Wolfsbane made him fly higher than a kite, that’s all. Bummer, huh?”
“Yep. Did you try cutting off his head?”
“Nope. Missed that one, damn,” she said. Biting her lip, and smashing that cross ring into her finger, she stared at me, almost as though she was reassessing whether or not she still trusted me.

It's 4:30pm, Do You Know Where Your Blog Is?

I just thought that was a cool title. Actually, I've been thinking about negativity today. All those negative voices, people, attitudes that get in our way as writers, moms and dads, employees, and whatever we are. Negativity holds us back, keeps us from trying harder, makes us want to give up.

The worst for me is my own self-loathing and doubt. I don't care how many compliments or accomplishments I achieve, one setback will get me wallowing in the muck of self-pity. Anyone been there? Anyone there now? We can throw mud at each other. It's fun, really--my brother and I used to have mud fights as kids...

Back on track now--2011, among many of my baby step goals--is to try to let go of negativity. This will not be an easy task, not with years upon years of beating myself up over EVERYTHING. But I have to start somewhere. My family and friends deserve better than Mrs. Mopey over here.

While I don't expect to turn into Pippy Longstocking over night, breaking into a spontaneous musical over something as trivial as a bowl of ice cream, I expect to embrace more positive attitudes and people. Push the others away. Shoo! Off with you, lousy people and attitudes! (Wish it was that easy).

Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to point out when I start to morph into Mrs. Mopey again. Any time you see a whiny post here or on Facebook, or in conversation with me, whatever...just point it out, will you?

"Hey, Mrs. Mopey--what you all mopey for? Buck up and smile, please."

And I'll try to do the same for you. How's that sound?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Creations Blogfest

Check out the "New Creations" blogfest over on "My Inner Fairy".  You're to post a last sentence of a WIP from last year and a first sentence from a WIP from this year. Here are my entries:

From "A Ranger's Tale" (2010):
 "I think we saved each other."
And from "Serenya's Song" (2011):
 "You're nothing, Renny, nothing!"

It's a start

20 minutes this morning on the treadmill, all dusted off and sitting in front of the TV in the basement. And I read some of a book as well. I feel pretty good. I think I'll keep this up. How's your fitness progressing?

Another goal I have this year is to read more, to get through books much more quickly than I usually do. I'm embarrassed to even say how long it takes me to read a whole novel. I don't think it's so much that I'm a slow reader as that I don't allow myself the time to sit down and read like I did before the kiddos came along. Life's gotten hectic, and I'm not a great scheduler. Time to change that.

Any tips on making more time for reading? I'm all ears!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

100 words for $100 blogfest entry

Have you heard of it? You write a 100 word sentence for your chance to win up to $100. Prize money depends on number of entries. You can enter on the blog "You're Write. Except When You're Rong." This is my first time. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I came up with something using my current characters. What do you think?

Jayden Ravenwing, former lead scout of the Leogard Intelligence Organization, rode alongside Serenya Crowe, who was seated on her chestnut mare, waves of raven black hair falling over her shoulders, and he was mesmerized by her beauty—not just her full red lips or eyes pale blue like a mythical wolf—but her inward beauty, how she endeared herself to everyone, was generous and loyal to friends and family, and he knew she was the one he wanted to spend the twilight of his centuries with, someone with whom he could either engage in pleasant conversation or share companionable silence.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's January 3rd, and I have no idea what to blog about...

Except that I'm writing again, off to a good start on Book 2 of my Tallenmere series. Thinking about lots of things today. New year, new goals and aspirations. Realizing that unless I actually get off my tail and make things happen, that they won't. It's mind-boggling, if I let all the pressures pile up at once. So, it's baby steps--time to look at things one at a time, short-term goals to reach the long-term ones.

What are your short-term goals as a writer? For now, I plan to get on a regular writing schedule. I'm going to attempt making Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays my writing/reading/critiquing days, and Tuesdays/Thursdays will be devoted to errands, housekeeping, kid stuff, etc.

Another goal: Compartmentalize. One thing at a time. When time is up for thing 1, I move on to thing 2 and don't let thing 1 keep rearing its head. I tend to be a multi-tasker, as are most moms, and while it can be helpful while performing childcare tasks, it can also be detrimental when you're writing.

Before you ask, yes, I still plan on getting out that treadmill. One thing at a time, remember?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Story Behind A Ranger's Tale

In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the high elf Caliphany Aranea has lived a life of luxury in the capital city of Leogard as niece of King Leopold and daughter of a powerful wizard. When her older brother died while fulfilling his dream of becoming a paladin, her father put her on a tight leash. Now at almost a century old, she's destined to follow in her father's footsteps to lead the Mage Academy and marry a scribe she doesn't even like. She longs to leave her gilded cage and takes a fateful stroll on the docks.

Galadin Trudeaux has lived with the stigma of being a half-breed. Born to a human father and elven mother, he witnessed his parents' death at the hands of pirates when he was a boy. Raised by the same murderous seafarers and forced to do their bidding, he finally escaped. Now he's turned his life around, reclaiming the sea merchant business his father left behind. As both ranger and sailor, he knows a thing or two about fighting. It comes in handy when he witnesses two brutes trying to kidnap the beautiful Caliphany.

Since she failed at using magic to defend herself, Caliphany decides she better learn some new skills so she can finally set out on her own. She seeks out Galadin again. Against his better judgment, but persuaded by her hefty sack of coin, he agrees to train her.

From that moment on, Caliphany and Galadin embark on a journey of self discovery. Besides some very real threats in the form of goblins and trolls, she struggles to merge her identity as both wizard and ranger. He struggles to overcome his guilt. Their attraction soon blossoms into love, allowing Galadin to let go of his past, and Caliphany to finally believe in herself. 

Her newly-found confidence is shaken, however, when tragedy strikes. Caliphany must learn to depend on those around her, including an old love, to help her survive. Trust is tested on every level when her world is turned upside-down again and again. Dark secrets emerge, but are they a match against the power of forgiveness and a love that stands the test of time?

Theme Songs for A Ranger's Tale

That's right! You see me tweeting and Facebooking them all the time. Now I'm putting the songs to their related chapters. I'm even adding the links to YouTube vids. Does this make me a geek or too caught up in my fantasy world? Yes. Yes, it does.

But, enjoy them anyway, and if you're reading at the same time, play them as you read for a musical experience!

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

Chapter 1-5: Stop and Stare by One Republic (Perfect lyrics for Caliphany's view of life at the beginning of the story)
Chapter 6-8: Fallin' For You by Colbie Caillat
Chapter 8/9: Torn by Natalie Imbruglia
Chapter 12/13: Over My Head by The Fray
Chapter 18: Rhythm of Love by Plain White Tees
Chapter 22: Listen To Your Heart by DHT
Chapter 23/24: Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner
Chapter 25/26: I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlin
Chapter 27-29: When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge
Chapter 30: In My Daughter's Eyes by Martina McBride
Chapter 34/35: The Greatest Man I Never Knew by Reba McIntyre
Chapter 41: Don't Close Your Eyes by Keith Whitley
Chapter 43: Best I Ever Had by Vertical Horizon
Chapter 44: What Hurts the Most by Rascal Flatts and When I Look at You by Miley Cyrus