Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or Yule, December is a month filled with tradition and festivities. One common gift in recent years is that of tablets and e-readers, and what better way to break in those new devices than with some books? Therefore I hope you enjoy this holiday present from me to you, limited time free copies of my ebooks from Amazon and Smashwords. Buy now, the free offers end December 28th, 2015! Happy Reading!   The Vampire Hunter Chronicles In the dystopian future, the protection of mankind is in the hands of one of our most feared predators. Karina is a vampire hunter, part of an elite squad charged with protecting the public from the most dangerous of enemies. She is also a vampire, forced to hunt her own kind. For two-hundred years she has walked the night, searching for the one who created her. Can she both defend our world and find the love that was taken from her? In order to get your free copy of The Vampire Hunter Chronicles you will need to purchase through Smashwords and use coupon code: VB87A (not case-sensitive) Click here to buy   Dark System: Hallan In the year 2568 humans have started to settle in the newly colonized Meridia System. The three habitable planets have been long abandoned by the previous inhabitants of the system. Little do the humans know that the prior inhabitants left for a reason. Welcome to Hallan, the striking lavender waters and…

(Not-So) Secret Project

One thing I am often asked is the simple: "Can you teach me how to do that?" Usually it is in relation to something regarding the web or social media. For the longest time I was surprised every time this request came up. As somebody who has been immersed in the web for half my life it never occurred to me that the things I do on a daily basis are things that others might prefer guidance with. With my job being mainly in social media and maintaining web presences, the requests became even more focused: "How do I set up a Facebook Page?" "Do I need a website?" "How do I use Twitter?" I realized that to those who are not digital natives, or who have perhaps not used the web for business purposes there is a general sense that they need to do something but might not know what or even where to begin. I found an even greater need when talking to other authors in my area. Things I'd taken for granted, like my Amazon Author account, or using my status as a GoodReads author to run a giveaway, were areas in which there was even less guidance because they are more niche than traditional social media topics. As I probed I came to the conclusion that there were a number of issues that kept people from utilizing the full potential of the internet: The belief that one needs to be technically savvy or a geek to do many things…

Departed

One day, he just stopped coming around. It wasn’t something I noticed at first, I mean how often do you notice when the dead don’t appear. But a part of me had gotten used to his regular visits, and as the days stretched into weeks and then months I slowly realized that I might never see him again. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be happy, or sad. There aren’t any real etiquette guidelines for dealing with the dearly departed, at least none that I’ve ever found. I think I finally realized I missed his presence during the long and lonely days of winter break. My housemates had gone home for the holidays, but since my family was closer I planned to wait until Christmas Eve to drive to my parent’s house. It’s funny how different an empty house feels compared to a full one, especially one that has stood for over a hundred years. The soft noises as it settles in the cool of night, or the creaking third stair take on a different tone. Sounds that I took for granted on a normal day became ominous in the lack of companionship. The stories I’d heard as a kid made more sense. It was those days I found myself missing my grandfather’s spirit most of all. He had always been so protective of the house; never letting me wander alone as a child, always watching to make sure I didn’t break anything. Even when I was older…

Mirror, Mirror

The only sound was that of my heart, slamming in my chest, louder than the panting of my lungs' desperate attempt to restore oxygen to my system. If muscles made a noise, however, their cacophony would have quickly overwhelmed the sound of the blood pulsing through my veins. Each screamed in its own way, protesting the exertion. Even my breasts were sore from impacts to the soft tissue from my frantic flight. Primal instinct compelled me to run; to flee until daybreak broke over the horizon. Yet the logical part of my brain insisted that it would have been impossible for the evil unleashed to have caught up to me. It hadn't yet fully awakened, there is no way it could have known the direction I ran, something deep within said. Can you be sure? something even more central to my core demanded. I forced my inner turmoil to be silent, and decided that moving was the best option. Yet, I did slow from the terrified sprinting to a brisk walk. I knew one thing, that I needed to find my way out of the catacombs underneath the city. I reached out and felt the cool stone of the walls. Smooth. In my panic I had at least fled in the right direction. I felt in my pockets. I had dropped my flashlight in the deepest part of the maze, but I was pretty sure that I had shoved a pack of matches into my pants. My fingers touched the…

On being an author, raising prices and paying myself

If anybody actually tracks my prices, they'll note that today everything jumped by several dollars per piece. I can hear the gasps of "Why would you do that?" already. The answer is simple. I realized that, as a whole, I was undervaluaing my work. This is detrimental to me, and also to other authors both existing and who want to enter the space. I know I might lose sales from it. Then again, maybe not. Some Perspective Let's look at the bottom of the stack. Cimmerian Sunset jumped to a whopping, wait for it, $2.99. Some will say that at 12,000 words the price is a bit steep given today's glut of free and 99 cent ebooks of similar length. I'm going to go out on a limb, and say that it's still extremely affordable, even inexpensive. Why? Think about it. If you walk into a coffee shop you're going to easily pay that much for a cup of plain coffee, no frothing, no espresso. That coffee will last for about half an hour. However, since the average adult reads at 250 words per minute, you can expect that Cimmerian Sunset will take about 45 minutes to read. You've already had an extra 15 minutes of enjoyment. But the coffee is a physical product with expenses such as materials and labor costs, an ebook has unlimited copies without the expense! Not really. There are expenses involved, even for people like me who do everything themselves. Sure that cup of coffee has a…

Why (IMHO) The Affordable Care Act addresses only part of the problem.

Let's start with the positive. I'm excited about Obamacare. Yes, that monthly payment is going to make a serious dent in any discretionary funds I have, but considering I'm fat, and fat is a preexisting condition, it means I'll be able to get coverage that doesn't surpass the cost of a mortgage payment. I'm excited about being able to go to the doctor again for the simple things, things any insured person would balk at not looking at, but would have cost me hundreds of dollars just to walk through the door. The old way, for me...   I had an ear infection over the summer, though there wasn't pain I had severely diminished hearing in one ear for almost 2 months while I had to wait it out. When I told people that was what was wrong they just looked at me like I was from another planet. Who doesn't go to the doctor to get the antibiotics to cure an ear infection? I didn't. I couldn't afford the $300 out of pocket to go to the doctor at that time, plus whatever they prescribed. But here we come to the crux of the problem. Even in the above example of how Obamacare will help, there is one critical component that I did not address. That is getting into the doctor in the first place. Are there enough doctors for Obamacare? I live in a region where there are waiting lists for primary care physicians, and if a specialist…

Excuse Our Dust

Sometime soon (hopefully this month) I plan to revamp the website. Got myself some pretty new themes, and I know it's just in need of a makeover. However, I'm wondering what YOU would like to see more of around here? I know I blog fairly sporadically as I generally don't have much to say. I will make more an effort to post short stories in a timely manner, and (no promises) will try to get back to The Tower soon. Other things I can do/talk about. Santa Fe/ New Mexico Food (cooking or ordering out) Random stuff or my favorite "Who needs to blog more than once a quarter anyway? Once a year is more like it!" Also, I'm dabbling more in the graphic arts side of things. So don't be surprised if more of those type of posts show up. Most of my art will still be at DreamsInDigitalArt.com but there are things that are starting to fall into professional level that I think should live here. Anyway, if you're so inclined leave a comment as to what you'd like more of. Ta!

Word Bytes – Rejection Day

Word Bytes number 2, entered into this Writing Contest where the rules stated to come up with a phrase for a multitude of something. Once again 100 word limit. ------------------------------------------------------------- Her finger hovered over the mouse button. She knew what she would find when she double-clicked. She closed her eyes; her hand made the requisite motion. December first, every agent's nightmare. She cautiously opened her eyes again, hoping this year would be different. However, her wish was not granted. The number next to her inbox was higher than ever, the quorum of querists far exceeding the usual amount. With a despondent sigh she opened the first. “Dear Agent...” This day's not off to a good start, she thought as she prepared herself to send the ream of rejections.

Word Bytes – Witchcraft

The past few weeks I've been participating in fun little 100 word or less contests on Janet Reid's blog. It's a fun diversion, and a challenge for me since I rarely write so short. Anyway, rather than let them just disappear into the depths of blog comments I decided that somebody here might get a kick of how horrible different they are. So I'll try to remember to post them here after the contests close. And since they're so short I've decided to call them Word Bytes, kinda a pun on sound bites... you get it? No? Oh well. Below is the first one I entered to the Scariest Writer Writing Contest, have fun. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Witchcraft is a beautiful thing, however awaiting the witching hour is often a labor of love; the interminable pause before you see the moon shining bright in the midnight sky. I look up. The time is close at hand. A thin wisp of cloud obscures the disk hanging in the blackness. My gaze returns to the circle in front of me. Carefully gathered stones glimmer in intricate patterns. Silver light floods the clearing. I cross the threshold, my white gown trailing over the rocks, an ancient dagger in each hand. It's time. My blood will unleash eternal darkness.