June Author Spotlight – KATE JONES

June Author Spotlight — KATE JONES!!!!

Every month I like to expand our reading horizons by introducing my readers to new, or new-to-you, authors and their intriguing, amazing books. Whether they write romance, fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers of any kind, cozy mysteries…doesn’t matter. We all need new avenues of literature to pursue. For example, even with a TBR pile the size of the Grand Canyon, I sometimes yearn to go outside my usual genre box and play in the other genres’ sand boxes. So whether your main subject aligns with the featured author or not, you can be assured I will only bring you the best of the best across all genres.

With all that said…please let me introduce the lovely, the wonderful, the amazing.fantasy author..
KATE JONES!!!!

You can find her latest book, Shadows of Darkness, at http://geni.us/PnBoK

  1. First things first, please give us a brief introduction to yourself, not just the writer but “you.”

I’m a 57 year old mum and grandma (gulp – where have the years gone lol) and from the UK, although originally born in Singapore. My home county is North Yorkshire (with rolling hills, sheep, lots of pheasants and not a lot else,) but I now live in South Lincolnshire (with not a hill to be seen, very few sheep and lots of arable fields). The only thing that could have dragged me away from my beloved Yorkshire was…love (isn’t it always).  I own two cats – one ginger ninja called Olaf (yes, as in Frozen) and his slightly better behaved brother, Sheldon (as in Big Bang Theory). Those names alone should give you a feel for the range of programmes/films I watch on the few occasions I can be dragged away from my laptop. I also have two horses (one big dressage mare and a teeny tiny shetland who is her companion and is Houdini reincarnated).

I have retired from the 9-5 (that was the deal if I was going to leave Yorkshire) and can now focus on my writing.

  1. What genre do you prefer to write and why?

Fantasy – I’ve always read as a means of escaping from the humdrum reality of life and fantasy is the furthest you can get from normal as it comes (unless you are a character in my series – just saying lol)

3. Do you have a small or large circle of author friends? How do they help you become a better writer?

Small – I am coached/mentored by a USA/NYT best-selling author who has been instrumental in how I am developing and improving as a writer. I have a brilliant editor who is also an author; a UK based author who helps with questions that I feel are too dumb to post anywhere on social media, and I am currently looking for an author buddy/critique partner in the UK who writes in the same genre and is at about the same stage of their writing career as me. And I have an awesome friend who is an eagle-eyed beta reader and my biggest fan.

4. If you’ve already published, how did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

First book as an author in my own right was so bad that I signed up to work with an author coach, totally re-wrote it, started to learn how to write books that keep readers dying for more; had a professional cover done and employed a professional editor. Basically – decided to do it properly and not just treat it as a hobby.

5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Author coach/mentor, professional editor and cover designer.

6. Who are your favorite authors and how did they influence you as a writer?

If I’m honest, I don’t really have favourites – I either like an author or I don’t. Many I read in the past and enjoyed (eg Melanie Rawns) now feel a little dated so I guess my tastes move with the times a little. I must add that, now I understand the ‘theory’ of how to write a ‘page turner of a book’ I do tend to analyse the way a book is a written and ask myself questions around what I enjoy, why, how has the author written a particular page or chapter that has kept me wanting to read more and I guess all that learning has to influence how I write to some extent.

7. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Into the Happy Glade by Trevor Dudley-Smith. It was very much a precursor to Watership Down in its concept and is now out of print and impossible to get hold of a copy at a reasonable price. It was the first book my father bought for me as it was one he had read and enjoyed as a child as well.

8. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/logo/avatar/spirit animal?

A unicorn with rainbow wings and sparkly fairy dust farts (I did say I was a fantasy writer!!!!)

9. Do you base characters off people you know If so, do you let them know before they read the novel?

Not really – although I did give one of my nastier characters the name of one of my “why the hell did you ever go there” ex boyfriends and then killed him off in a particularly violent and nasty ending. I have to say, it felt very good….

10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None although I have a couple of outline plots for books that are a totally different genre. Not sure if they will ever be written but if they are, I will do so under a pen name.

11. What does success as a writer look like to you?

My partner will stop saying “Are you ever going to make any money from this writing lark?”  and will boast to his friends that I earn way more than he does so he can become a kept man to make up for all these years of my being a kept woman.

12. What have you found to be the best way to market your books? What tricks of the trade can you share?

If I’m honest, this is the part of my craft as a writer that I am still learning but, from what I can see so far, having a big following of avid reader fans is by far and away the easiest way of making sales as you go forward in your writing career.

13. What kind of research do you do? Do you research before and/or during the writing process?

Google is my best friend and I use it before and during my writing process from everything to “what is the word to describe xxx” to “images of xxx” and a tonne of other stuff as I go along. Latest search was around names of types of armour.

14. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice or strictly as a business?

For me it’s almost an addiction. Before I started to write my books, I used to journal daily and that was very much a spiritual practice. But my goal is to become a successful published author so I have to treat elements of my writing as a business if I am going to avoid chucking lots of money down the drain. I have to spend my money where it’s going to give me the most benefit so, for example, professional editing and cover design are a non-negotiable – they have to happen.

15. Do you write any non-fiction?

Not really although my first foray into published writing was as an author in a non-fiction anthology called “Success Unlimited.”

16, What is your target audience and what made you choose that audience?

Young Adults from about age 14 (although my books are very adult readable as well). I wanted to be able to use writing as a means of teaching teenagers all these life lessons that I wish I could have taught my own children when they were teenagers but I hadn’t learned most of them myself at that time in their lives. The subconscious mind learns best through stories, so what better way of teaching than via an epic adventure that has a deeper meaning than “once upon a time and then they all lived happily ever after.”

17. How do you select the names of your characters?

Some just felt right for the characters, some are names from my past that I liked and others are researched. All of my books in this series have a link to mythology or beliefs from around the world, so I research that in detail and bring some of the names into my stories so that people who study those particular beliefs etc will go “aha, I see where this is coming from”. So, for example, Elohim and Moloch in Book 1 are from Hebrew (Elohim is another name for God and Moloch is often used for the devil). I have names from Roman, Japanese, Aborigine, Greek mythology (to name a few) in upcoming books and I am also trying to link fictional characters from our world to my fantasy world as well. In Book 2 I have a chapter with Captain Nemo and the Nautilus in but neither are the same as in the Jules Verne book. Nemo is a drunkard and the Nautilus really is a nautilus!!

18. What is the most difficult part of your writing process? How do you overcome that difficulty?

Writer’s doubt and imposter syndrome. I talk to my best friend who says that, if she loves my writing I have to be pretty damn good because she’s the world’s biggest critic when it comes to books (and yes, I love her to pieces but she would very quickly tell me if she thought anything I’ve written is rubbish)

19. If you could personally meet one of your characters, who would it be and why?

My MC Charley – she has been in my life for so long that she’s like a daughter to me.

20. Which character from your book(s) would be the most likely to be a writer?

None of them so far – they are all far too busy saving their world from Moloch but I do have a minor character who has a very small but super important role in the whole plot and she could be a writer (now there’s a thought for a sequel!!!)

21. What one thing would you want readers to take away from your stories? A lesson? Sense of peace? Thrill of adventure? Anything?

If you believe in yourself you can do anything you set your mind to; magic really does exist (the majority of us just don’t see it as magic, that’s all); relationships are tough and good friends are the best allies you can have in life.

22. Is there anything else you’d like to relay to the readers?

I think I’ve probably said enough already but my main message to anyone who wants to write is to just get out there and do it. Don’t write for money – write from the heart; learn your craft; develop a thick skin and invest as much as you possibly can in terms of money and time if you want to make a living from writing. It can be hard, lonely and frustrating but the rewards at the end when you finally hold a copy of your own work in your hand and can say “I did that”, are worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. And when all else fails – I recommend chocolate and donuts, puppy smooches, baby laughs, video chats with friends, and sunshine as things that will make you smile and feel better.

*****
You can easily stalk (I mean follow) Kate Jones at the following social media sites:

Website – www.katejonesauthor.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/KateJonesAuthor
Instagram – https://instagram.com/KateJonesAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/@KateJon30610544

*****

Until next time, friends! Enjoy your summer, pick up some more books to read, and fall into a far away world of fantasy!

Luv & virtual hugs!
KC Freeman

Author Spotlight Feature – AMANDA KAYE

My newsletter runs a monthly Author Spotlight feature. This month we will Fantasy author, Amanda Kaye, celebrate the release of her latest book, Slithers & Swords.

Welcome, Amanda!

AmandaKaye2

Amanda Kaye has a hot new fantasy fiction release out TODAY (5/18/2020) and we are here to help her celebrate by having our own virtual meet & greet so you can get to know the author and get to know all about her fantasy books!

  1. First things first. Amanda, please give us a brief introduction to yourself, not just the writer but “you.”

Thank you for inviting me!  I’m a writer living in sunny California, USA with my two mini-monster kittens.  Tucker and Maddie get a nice spotlight in every newsletter because I love sharing their pictures and stories.  I also have an addiction to chocolate chip walnut cookies (the nuts make them healthy, I swear!) and old TV shows like M*A*S*H, Law & Order, and Numbers.

My stories feature lots of action and exceptional friendships.  It’s so much fun plotting new ways to torture my characters and throw them into danger.  And of course I love reading!  Nothing makes me happier than an amazing book with an awesome character arc; my favorite authors include Mercedes Lackey, Robin McKinley, and Patricia Briggs.

2. What genre do you prefer to write and why?Mainly fantasy because anything is possible.

You get really cool worlds, scary creatures, and to play with magic!  Making up new cultures, new creatures, and twisting old tales into new ones are just a few ways I get to play.  There’s so much inspiration out there.  I want to escape from reality and give my readers that same escape.  Usually I stick to YA character, but it’s been a lot of fun writing older characters like the one in my newest release.

Ah! Yes! Your newest release – Slithers & Swords releases today! Congratulations!


Slithers & Swords
A fading hero. A living nightmare.
Available on Amazon and KU: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B087WYSLBC/

We’ll talk more about your books in just a minute. Trust me, friends! She has some amazing books out there and if you love fantasy…you will LOVE Amanda and her books!

3. Have you ever gotten reader’s block (you just don’t want to read or have a desire to read)?

Ugh, I hate reader’s block!  Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax so being blocked is doubly frustrating.  Usually I can get over it by rereading one of my old favorites like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Lark and the Wren by Mercedes Lackey, or The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.  Stories like these remind me why I love reading, and make me excited to find a new favorite book.  Not every book is going to make it to your list of favorites, but you never know until you try.  I’ve found some great reads by randomly picking a book off the YA and Fantasy shelves at my library.

4. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

The Obsidian Mountain Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory is one of my favorite epic fantasy series that nobody seems to talk about.  Wonderful world-building, amazing character arcs, fantastic plot!  I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy.  For something a bit lighter you can’t go wrong with When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs.

5. What is your favorite childhood book?

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve read that story. The beautiful world, secret identities, a quest to save the kingdom, it has a little bit of everything!  Also the first book to really introduce me to the idea of other cultures in ways that meant something to child-me.  Eating bread with oil instead of butter?  Mind blowing!  It’s probably the reason I have my characters eating so frequently in my stories.  That book opened up a whole new world for me.

Now let’s discuss something near and dear to your heart…YOUR books!

Amanda has three fantasy novels out and has short stories included in a number of anthologies.


Cinders & Blades
A great betrayal requires a great revenge.
Available on Amazon and KU:


An Oath of Fire
An ancient killer, a desperate search.
Available at most retailers: https://books2read.com/AnOathOfFire

AND, it bears repeating…her new release (OUT TODAY)

Slithers & Swords
A fading hero. A living nightmare.
Available on Amazon and KU: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B087WYSLBC/

Her short stories are also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Kaye/e/B07JHT4VTD?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

6. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or do you prefer writing series?

Typically I like to write stand alones.  We get to go on an adventure with the character and have a small glimpse into their world.  In the future I’d like to tackle trilogies or maybe a longer series, but it will take me awhile because I want to write them all before I release the first book.  I’ve been burned by beloved series that never get finished or take years between books, and I would never want to do that to my readers.

7. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find (i.e., Easter eggs)?

It’s so much fun to drop clues about what’s going to happen in the climax throughout the story.  That’s part of the fun of a reread for me—picking up the little details you dismissed before that you can suddenly see in a new light.  I’d like to think readers don’t pick up on ALL the clues I drop.  There’s always one or two in there that make me giggle but probably get overlooked because you’d have to live in my head to get the references.  I have some easter eggs in the story I’m currently writing; I look forward to seeing if people will find them!

8. What was your hardest scene to write? Why?

Endings are always hardest.  After the excitement of the climax, I want to make sure I give the reader a really satisfying ending so I spend a lot of time on this part.  I’m really proud of the ending in “An Oath of Fire,” I think it hits the perfect notes for that story.

9. If you could personally meet one of your characters, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Hawk from my new story, “Slithers & Swords.”  She has a great sense of humor, doesn’t waste time with small talk, and has a bunch of stories to share with me over an ale (or three).

10. What one thing would you want readers to take away from your stories? A lesson? Sense of peace? Thrill of adventure? Anything?

I want readers to feel like they’ve just gone on adventure with a friend.  Someone they’ve laughed and cried with.  Faced down monsters together and fought next to them in battles.  The characters aren’t perfect, but they’re interesting and willing to make the hard choices no matter the consequences.

11. Is there anything else you’d like to relay to the readers?

I love hearing from readers!  Whether it’s a book recommendation, feedback on a story, or pictures of their pets, it’s always great to hear what’s on their minds.

As a thank you I want to share a fun little flash fiction story I wrote with your readers. They can download it here: https://BookHip.com/KGXBZG

If you’re not familiar with flash fiction, it’s very short—usually less than 500 words although lengths can vary.  I like the challenge of telling a story in such a short space.  Each word choice is important and it leaves a lot to the reader’s imagination.

Please enjoy it and I can’t wait to hear from you soon!

12. Oh WOW! Thanks! Before we go, please let our readers know where they can “stalk” you via social media.

I send out a newsletter around once a month with exclusive giveaways, sneak previews, and beta reading opportunities.  Readers can sign up here: https://www.amandakayebooks.com/newsletter/

I’m also active on facebook where I like to post daily memes about reading, talk about what I’m working on, and any book news I hear: https://www.facebook.com/amandakayebooks/

And you can find me on Twitter: @amandakayebooks

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Thanks for joining us today, Amanda! It’s been so much fun! And best of luck on the release of Slithers & Swords! We hope you’ll join us again in the future.

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Any authors looking for some social media exposure, please PM me at kvcfreeman5@gmail.com and we can schedule you for my monthly Author Spotlight feature.

Thanks and I hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather and staying healthy!

Love to all!
KC

Location! Location! Location!

How many times did I hear that when we were looking to buy a house? But that’s not what we’re talking about today.

When it comes to my writing I’m a stickler for authenticity. Writing fiction gives me a lot of leeway, especially writing fantasy fiction. I can create whole new worlds! It’s fun and exciting. But when it comes to writing real places into my stories…I want it to be spot-on accurate so if the reader finds themselves in that particular location they will recognize it from my stories.

Let’s take Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series. For a good chunk of my adult life I lived in Northern Virginia (metro DC). Book 1 includes locations that I am quite familiar with, including the “fictional” bed & breakfast that serves as the main location. Why? Because it was the setting for my own wedding back in 2000.

Therefore, when I wrote those scenes I was confident in my descriptions. If you drove up the winding driveway to a magnificent manor straight out of the pre-Civil War period, perched on top of a high hill, with dark green shingles and a rugged stone entranceway…you’d know you were in “Gaelic Haven”. Although the inn is now permanently closed (and went by another name – Killahevlin when it was in operation), you’d know this was the location of Kelly and Matthew’s wedding, and more importantly…where Greylyn and Kael first kissed (under the gazebo overlooking the koi pond in the back yard) — which happens to be exactly where my hubby and I said our “I Dos”.

Book 2 of the series has a number of familiar locations too — a club in downtown DC that I frequented TOO much as a young twenty-something; the National Cathedral; etc. But there were also places I have never been – for instance (while trying not to give out too much information since the book isn’t released yet): Mount Kailash. Never been there. Probably never will as my bucket list does not include climbing incredibly tall mountains in blizzard conditions. Also, I have a fear of heights so no mountain climbing in my future. But I wanted it to be authentically described so I researched sherpa villages in the Tibetan mountains. Since I’ve never been to one myself, if you have and you read the second book of the series and find discrepancies…please contact me so I can fix it.

For Book 3 (currently under major revisions because I decided to break it out into two books) I drafted the story which takes place almost entirely in Ireland. My lifelong desire is to visit Ireland and the more I research for the book, the more I want to go.

Quick fun story connecting Book 1 and Book 3 – no spoilers, I promise. The inn in Book 1 (real name was Killahevlin). When I recently put in a search online for Killahevlin, I was brought to Killyhevlin – an actual inn in Ireland AND it happens to be EXACTLY the place (county, town, on the same lake) as where our heroine, Greylyn, originally rose from the grave and presumably lived her human life. Coincidence? I knew nothing of the actual Irish inn until this point and now my future vacation plans include staying at Killyhevlin.

Now, where was I? Oh yes! Book 3 locations. I got amazingly lucky to find someone over social media who lived twenty years in the same town that takes up the beginning of the book (not Killyhevlin, someplace else). When I initially wrote the scene it came off more “Coney Island” than what it really was. My informant was able to correct all my nonsense so now the scene is more authentic and that makes me happy. Thank you, Laurine! You’re an angel!

I may write fantasy, but my stories still need to hold their own truth. And part of that lies with LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!


BUT WAIT! There’s more!

You love fantasy fiction, right?
Then you must check out the latest from Katherine Gilbert!
Cursed in White

*****

A lost girl desperate for safety, a wary boy with uncertain loyalties, and comrades who seem more like enemies–can they work together to avoid a paranormal disaster?

When Evan Brendan is forced to chase an escaped gryphon to an island occupied primarily by clueless tourists, a famous lighthouse, and the occasional giant teddy bear left on a motorcycle, he discovers a scared runaway teenager with lightning powers she can’t control. Despite her objections and his better judgment, he takes his father’s advice and recruits her for The Will, the secret organization he’s reluctantly been part of since birth. But what terrible secrets from her past might he be bringing into his well-ordered world?

Suddenly finding herself in a parallel dimension in a mansion complete with a cryptic gryphon, a silent revenant, a disturbing, too-pretty boy who smells like cinnamon, and his quirky feline familiar, Carrie Summerland has to learn to cope with her little-understood powers. But after a nightmarish initiation into this highly-dubious supernatural organization, can she trust these seeming new friends–or her own emotions?

Amid the haunted landscape of Jekyll Island, Georgia, where ancient oak trees drip with Spanish moss and hide the island’s dark past, Evan and Carrie must discover the secrets that The Will and Evan’s father are hiding and dig into the truths of Carrie’s past. With the help of the parkour-loving and occasionally pirate-garbed vampires of Savannah, Georgia, and hindered, helped, or confused by Evan’s past inamorati (a gamine tree nymph and a much-too-flirty succubus), they must find the source of a growing vampire madness and stop whoever is using it to try to take over the world.

On a Katherine Gilbert wackiness scale of 1-to-10 sarcastic talking cats*, this one is a 7.

*Warning: Not all stories contain talking cats. Wackiness may take other forms.

The More in Heaven and Earth series is all set in the same magical universe filled with angels, witches, werewolves, demons, vampires, ghosts, and many other supernatural creatures. They can be read in any order or as stand-alones and will introduce you to a variety of fascinating characters, as they take you to various parts of this unusual earth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08521TP88/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

For more from Katherine Gilbert, you can find her at the below sites:
Website: http://katherinegilbertauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katherine-Gilbert-Author-102573417043950/
Amazon author’s page: http://amazon.com/author/katherinegilbert
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katherine-gilbert
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18141907.Katherine_Gilbert
AllAuthor: https://allauthor.com/profile/katherinegilbert/
Love Romance Reads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/katherinegilbert.html

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Until next time…Virtual hugs to all!
KC

Introduction to Chakras

This week we’ll take a break from the book peddling and teasers for my debut fantasy/paranormal romance, Rekindled Prophecy, and the remaining books in the series.

Instead, I’ve recently (over the past year so I am by no means an expert) learned about chakras and how keeping them cleansed and balanced is important to my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It’s just as important as clearing your physical space (see the blog post in archives about smudging), probably even more so because you take yourself with you wherever you go, but your physical space may change.

First, what the holy heck are chakras anyway?

In Indian teachings chakras are each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body. Most only consider the seven main chakras (crown of the head, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral, and root). But there are many more minor chakras. To keep things simple here, we’ll stick to the main seven.

Per the dictionary, the word “chakra” comes from Sanskrit word “cakra” meaning wheel or circle and refer to the energy centers of your body. According to http://www.healthline.com, chakras are “…spinning disks of energy that should stay open and aligned, as they correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical well-being.” Chakras, sometimes pictured as flower-shaped energy vortexes, are the key to aligning our glands and organs with our life energy (common names: chi, praana, qi).

If a chakras (or multiple chakras) are out of balance or blocked, it can affect our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in adverse ways. For optimal health, we need all of these seven chakras cleaned, balanced, and working together.

Let’s introduce each of the seven main chakras:

root chakra

  • Root Chakra, or Muladhara – the “I am” or base chakra connected to energy, vitality, stability, comfort, safety, and to the most basic human need — survival. The color associated with the root chakra is red. It is the chakra responsible for our “fight or flight” response. The sense of smell is controlled by the root chakra. The point on the body where you’d find the root chakra is the base of your spine. This chakra is also connected to the proper functioning of the gonad glands. The red gemstones associated with the root chakra are red jasper (for kinesthetic movement), bloodstone (fuels your physical energy, courage, and self-esteem), and garnet (to draw out negative energy from the body), just to name a few.

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  • Sacral chakra, or Svadhishthana or Swadhisthana – The sacral chakra deals with joy, passion, reproductive functions, sexuality, compassion, and creativity. As such, the sacral chakra impacts our lymphatic system, reproductive organs and glands, the pelvis, as well as the bladder and large intestines. This chakra is associated with our sense of taste. Most consider the sacral chakra to be orange in color. One interesting tidbit I just found is that it also thought to be involved with the element of water within our bodies. You can find the sacral chakra about two inches below your belly button. The gemstones associated with this chakra are all orange or orange tinted — amber (to soak up excess or negative energies surrounding the sacral chakra), carnelian (for courage, increased physical energy, and vitality) orange citrine (a wonderful healing stone that also increases creativity and enhances decision-making), and topaz (for manifesting personal intentions), just to name a few.

solarplexus

  • Solar Plexus chakra, or Manipura – The word, Manipura, translates to city of jewels. As such, this chakra is associated with one’s own personal power and success. The element of fire (when balanced) provides us with confidence and energy by aligning with our adrenal glands. This energy center is located above our belly buttons, but under our ribs and chest cavity. It governs our will power and self-esteem. It is most closed linked with our sense of sight. Yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra, thus the gemstones most in tune to this energy center are tiger’s eye (for protection and grounding), pale yellow citrine (a powerful success stone), and yellow tourmaline (body detoxifying stone), to name a few.

heart-chakra

  • Heart chakra, or Anahata – Aptly named, this chakra can easily be attributed to everything that affects our relationships. Weak or unbalanced heart chakras can lead a person to fall into suspicion, distrust, envy and end up imploding their own relationships. Also relatively easy to decipher based on the name, this chakra is located slightly to the left of our physical heart beating in our chest. It connects with our lymphatic system and thymus and is associated with skin and air. While you may think the heart chakra should be red in color, it is green as it is governs our health and prosperity. Gemstones known to be connected to this chakra are: jade (to promote healing for heartaches) and green aventurine (a vitality activation stone, also used to calm over-stressed emotions).

xthroat-chakra.png.pagespeed.ic.6FcIK5gRqz

  •  Throat chakra, or Vishuddha or Vishuddhi) – This chakra governs our communications (speaking and listening). As such, this chakra is linked to our throat, ears, jaws, esophagus, and neck. A balanced throat chakra helps one to express themselves well. Some also link this chakra to artistic abilities, and assists in getting the most out of one’s meditations. An imbalanced throat chakra can lead to miscommunications, arguments, and a sense of not being heard. This energy center is blue. Related gemstones are: angelite (one of my personal favorites as it is the stone of self-awareness), turquoise (for opening channels of communication), and aquamarine (for courage).xthird-eye-chakra.png.pagespeed.ic.32LVUr5HLp
  • Third eye chakra, or Ajna – The Sanskrit translation for Ajna is the center of knowing, and is deemed our sense of thought and intuition. Also referred to as the Brow chakra, it resides between your eye brows, slightly above. It connects to our pineal gland. A balanced Ajna is reportedly linked to telepathic abilities. It is dark blue/purple in color (indigo).  An imbalanced chakra can lead to one falling more into fear, and having trouble making decisions. There are a number of physical ailments linked to an imbalanced Ajna, such as headaches, eye and ear problems, brain tumors, and thyroid problems. Gemstones to assist in balancing this chakra are amethyst (my personal favorite for better intuition and enhanced spirituality) and purple flourite (to promote intuition and clarity while ridding one of negativity).

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  • Crown chakra, or Sahasrara – This violet colored chakra is considered the highest chakra point ON the physical body as it is located exactly where the name implies – the crown of your head. There are other chakras above it, but we’ll save that for another day. This chakra governs our nervous system, brain, and pituitary gland. It gives us (when balanced) a sense of all over well-being (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). It links us to our higher sense of purpose, bliss, and enlightenment. It is even thought to be responsible for a divine connection to the universe. Although this chakra’s primary color is violet, there are an array of different colored gemstones associated with it, including selenite (a pearly white, nearly clear stone removes stagnation and propels one forward, clears negative energies, and purifies your auric field), clear quartz (increases energy and spiritual awareness), and amethyst (to facilitate communication with one’s spiritual guides with meditation).

That’s a lot of info and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’ll delve into more comprehensive evaluations of each chakra in future articles, along with methods to cleanse and balance these chakras individually and together since all together makes up our entire energetic being.

There’s an article I posted a while back (I’ll try to locate it) that talked about the root chakra. If I find it, I’ll repost it next month. If not, I’ll compose another article as I feel we should start with our most basic need – survival – and work our way up from there.

Thanks for joining me today.

Namaste.

Namaste and more, India shows the way during COVID-19 | USC Center ...

 

 

 

 

Author Spotlight – Tanya Lisle

Author Spotlight by Miss Halo | Teachers Pay Teachers

For my newsletter’s monthly feature – Author Spotlight, please check out the link below.

 

Tanya Lisle is an urban fantasy author. You can also check out her Amazon author page for a listing of all her books/series. Tanya Lisle Amazon Author Profile

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Please be sure to check out the full-length author interview in the newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/8f31d174e5be/author-spotlight.

To sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of the monthly author spotlights, my articles about my own fantasy/paranormal fiction writing and a plethora of other topics, go to http://eepurl.com/gDp4Jr

If you are an author interested in being featured in my newsletter, please email me at KC Freeman Author Email or DM me here or my FB page at @KCFreemanAuthor.

Thanks! Stay Home and Stay Safe, my friends!

 

#TrueStoryTuesday

Instead of #TeaserTuesday, thought I’d jazz things up a bit with #TrueStoryTuesday.

And boy do I have a doozy for you today!

This is the true story of “The Bee Whisperer” — or maybe it should be titled “The Bee King” or something like that.

Bee Whisperer | Bees Honey Beekeeper Hive Art Print by anziehend ...

Anyway, here’s your stranger than fiction all-true story.

Bee Icon of Flat style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS, AI & Icon fontsBee Icon of Flat style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS, AI & Icon fonts

During all the social distancing mandates, I’ve gotten the kids outside doing chores and encourage them to play basketball together or whatever, but GET OUTSIDE in the super-healthy Vitamin D (otherwise known as sunshine).

One of my children, who will refer to as “D” for simplicity sakes, has taken the get-outdoors order seriously. He’s been mowing the lawn, pruning the trees, power-washing the driveway, prepping the veggie garden, and washing everyone’s cars. I wish all my kids were this industrious (the high school senior spends his time on Xbox if he’s not at work as an “essential” fry cook at a local restaurant).

Perhaps the bees recognize a busy bee when they see one, but they have taken to my son, D. Seriously taken to him as one of their own.

Not sure what started the chain of events. If it was him saving a bee from a preying wasp or just because he’s outdoors with them all the time, but D has formed a special bond with the bees.

A couple days ago D was outside washing the cars. A wasp kept dive-bombing his head as he worked. D looked over to a nearby blooming tree where bees were buzzing around doing their thing. He somehow made eye contact with one of the bees (not sure how you can do this, but he swears it happened just like this). The bee then did a nodding motion and D nodded back.

Then the bee rounded up all his bee friends and they swarmed, attacked, and killed the wasp that had been bugging D. The bees then dispersed. One bee in particular went back to the earlier tree, turned back to D, and nodded. D then saluted the bee and said “Thanks.”

Not sure if this was before or after the Battle of the Driveway when the bees annihilated the wasp, but D was also showered with bee pollen one day as a bee flew over his head. I told him, the bees were raining down pollen in lieu of confetti for his coronation as bee whisperer, or bee king, or whatever.

We were outside yesterday trimming bushes in the front yard. D was doing all the heavy lifting on this one as he’s taller and knows what he’s doing with the electric hedge trimmer contraption. He finished all the bushes except the yellow ones closest to the house. D informed me on his way inside to shower (as I continued to pull weed from the garden) that he decided NOT to trim the yellow ones because the bees really enjoy those and he didn’t want to disturb them.

Bees crisis: THIS is what the world loses if bumblebees die out ...

So honest-to-goodness TRUE story!

Bees are amazing creatures and I for one am so happy we have them in our yard. Treasure the bees you see in your own yards, as we need the bees for survival. My allergies may not like all the pollen flying around this Spring, but pollen is essential and so are the bees.

If you have a stranger-than-fiction TRUE story and wish to share, send me a DM or email at kvcfreeman5@gmail.com. I’d love to share your story with the world.

Stay safe, social distance, and stay healthy!

Love and virtual hugs to all!

 

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What does a Writer do during Social Distancing?

Well, I don’t believe it’s the actual end of the world, but the world as we know it…seems like it! And that could be a good thing (but I’m not in a philosophical mood today so we’ll keep it light) when it all “comes out in the wash” as my granny used to say.

These two songs keep bouncing around in my head, along with some others like

 

As a friend of mine always reminds me during times of trouble…All is well in divine truth.

Now, back to the topic of this week’s blog…What does a writer do when social distancing is mandated?

If you’re an introvert like me, you kinda rejoice! I have an excuse NOT to go out!

Image result for social distancing meme

On the other hand…I have 5 children…ALL home from school including the college kid who moved back home! THIS is not social distancing! There’s humans everywhere in this house! And worse yet…BORED humans!

What does that mean for me?

 

Even though they are all teenagers, and in normal circumstances would lock themselves away in their own rooms, during this isolation period THIS is my existence! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them but as an introvert I NEED ALONE TIME! Not to do anything in particular, but just to frigging ground myself and keep myself sane. AND to WRITE!

Yes, the lovelies don’t usually see Mom writing/editing/marketing because I do all this while they are at school! They have some cognizance that I am a writer, but it’s not on their radar.

So…

  1. No alone time to just meditate or enjoy my coffee with the windows open to listen to the birds chirping to ground myself before starting my day.
  2. No uninterrupted writing/editing/marketing time to further my business (I am investing in a door sign Image result for Do not disturb door sign for writers
  3. My creativity flows better when I’m not being pulled in a dozen different directions (i.e., the importance of #1 and #2) so even if they do leave me alone for a few minutes, I just stare at the computer screen. Seriously, my imaginary friends (characters) must be in mandated isolation as well because they aren’t talking!
  4. Author meet & greet events and book signings have all been postponed or outright cancelled. Online social media events are great but rarely drawn in large numbers (or that has been my experience at least).
  5. Did I mention my kids? Well, they also like to eat…a lot! Before I only had to deal with dinner, now these little lovelies expect at least 3 meals if not more on a daily basis. Thankfully, one of them actually enjoys cooking; an another one can live off of quesadillas with whatever meat was leftover from last night’s dinner; and another has mastered the oven for frozen pizza. Not sure what the other two are surviving on, but they don’t look malnourished.

So overall I’m surviving social distancing/school closings/gym closings/restaurants closing – although trying to support local friends and local restaurants with ordering take-out. But as far as my writing/editing/marketing gig…

Image result for writer bangs head on desk meme

 

Also, my office is in the middle of renovations (it’s been months!!!) so now I’m sharing working space with my kids in the bonus room or the dining room or even the kitchen which is next to living room where my mom keeps the tv on concert-level volume (considering investing in ear plugs for my house).

And can someone explain why there’s MORE laundry now? No one is going anywhere? Why more dirty clothes?

Okay, rant over for today. Tomorrow is another day and this too shall pass.

 

My friends, stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay away from others for the time being. Put a dent in your TBR pile. Watch movies with your family, or by yourself (even better sometimes). Organize your own tribe to spring clean the house (this may involve bribery). Get out in the sunshine when it’s available (today is cloudy, rainy, cold but two days ago was in the 80s and sunny) – walk, hike, bike, garden, wave “Hi” to your neighbor (but from 6 feet away at least).

If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to discuss, shoot me a message and I’ll try to get on that asap.

Take care, my friends. Love & virtual hugs to all!

KC

 

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Friends,

It has been crazy town all over town, in every town, and it’s just getting crazier. Before the corona virus closed down everything here, our county came to a standstill with an e-coli scare in our water. Schools closed. Businesses closed. And there was a grocery store run as if it was the apocalypse itself!

Image result for world is closed meme

And the very next day…my state, county, city, village,…went into corona virus lockdown. Schools closed. Businesses closed. Gym closed. Restaurants shut down. AND the good folks of this county and metro-area had already bought up all the supplies. Yes, folks! No toilet paper here either!

Image result for coronavirus toilet paper meme

Sooooooooo, kids are home for at least 2 weeks! What does that mean for me? All writing/editing/marketing pretty much shuts down for the business that is KC Freeman Author!

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So I will do what I can when I can, but deadlines have pretty much been thrown out the window.

Regardless there is two bits of good news.

Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series is up for voting for the April book of the month in the Double Trouble Book Club.

 

April Nominations – Voting now open
Double Trouble Book Club Reader Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2220606254842963

The two books with the most readers signed up will be our winners. We begin reading on 4/1 and conclude on 4/21 followed by an exclusive Author Q&A.

We are voting on:

Good Intentions: Volume One by Ana Balen – Contemporary Romance 82 pages –
Available on Kindle Unlimited
getbook.at/DTgoodint

Rekindled Prophecy: Greylyn The Guardian Angel Series (Book 1) by KC Freeman -Fantasy Paranormal 392 pages
getbook.at/DTrkndled

Finding Purpose (Colorado Veterans Book 1) by Tiffani Lynn – Contemporary Romance 325 Pages
getbook.at/DTfndprp

Stone (Castle Sin Book 1) by Linz Basset – Suspense BDSM Club Romance 318 pages – Available on Kindle Unlimited
getbook.at/DTstone

Image may contain: 6 people, text
Please sign up even if you’ve read the book.
2. Just because I’m a day late getting my blog posted doesn’t mean I can’t post it the next day (today). AND because it’s Tuesday the added bonus is it’s also…#TEASERTUESDAY!!! So without further delay, here’s a snippet from Rekindled Prophecy to whet your appetites and just perhaps encourages you to check out the above item and vote.
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For a moment, Greylyn saw the lightning mirrored in his eyes. She shook her head to rid herself of the image.

Great! Now she was imagining things.

He warned, “It’s too late to go running for cover. Let’s just sit here and wait out the rain. Surely, there’s something we can discuss…in a civilized manner.”

Greylyn felt a pair of cornflower blue eyes peering at the two of them from the manor’s covered veranda. Maureen was watching.

After years of being subjected to his particular type of torment, she’d have to endure the insufferable man for at least one more go-around. But that didn’t mean she had to loiter in a gazebo with him. It was dangerous, in more ways than one. The gold flecks in his eyes beckoned her closer, not just to him but to the edge of her own sanity.

“Rain doesn’t frighten me, Kael. And neither do you. This little confab is over.” Pivoting, she stepped out into the torrential storm.

Instantly soaked, she steeled herself to keep marching right back towards the house, away from him. She felt his eyes boring into her back. It was as if he reached across the distance to trail a finger lightly down her spine, leaving a delicious tingling sensation that raised goosebumps over her entire body.

Just as Greylyn cleared the grove, another, more powerful, surge of electricity pierced the air. She whipped around just in time for a lightning bolt to strike the ground a few yards from her. The ground shook as the resulting thunder boomed and echoed through the valley.

The charged air was exhilarating. Her heart beat against her ribcage in frantic time to the raging rain. Adrenaline coursed through her body in waves. Everything seemed brighter, more vivid. Every detail of her surroundings accentuated.

Was it from the lightning or from the energy radiating from the being in the gazebo?

Greylyn couldn’t be sure. The whole situation seemed fitting somehow, and not entirely surprising. It mirrored the energy surging between them. Her eyes locked with Kael’s.

Rain pelted her body, and the wind whipped her hair around in all directions. Greylyn no longer felt a thing except his burning stare. It was achingly painful. Every molecule of her being hypnotized by his eyes. Time stopped. For that moment there was only Kael, everything else faded to black.

*****************************************************************************
Until next time…Stay healthy, stay sanitized, my friends!
Oh, and HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’s DAY!!!!!!
Image result for st patrick's day 2020

 

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Welcome to my home away from home…my website and headquarters for all things related to fantasy/paranormal fiction, including my books, future books, ideas for books, short stories, ghost stories, stay-at-home-mom-writer anecdotes, articles for balancing chakras and other new age stuff, and whatever floats my boat to write about from week to week. If you have a suggestion for something you’d like me to write about, please send me a direct message via this webpage or any of the social media sites listed below.

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Endings are Hard

Probably one of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Chuck (aka God) on the tv series Supernatural, which coincidentally is ending soon. I’m too heartbroken to discuss Supernatural ending, but ENDINGs in particular catch authors between a rock and a hard place.

Chuck (aka God) from Supernatural says it best:

“Endings are hard. Any chapped-ass monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna bitch. There’s always gonna be holes. And since it’s the ending, it’s all supposed to add up to something. I’m telling you, they’re a raging pain in the ass.”

This is true not just with tv shows and movies, but books…especially series. You (as a reader) commit your time, your energy, your imagination, your heart and soul to a story and then the author either leaves you hanging with a cliffhanger only your imagination can fill in, or tries too hard to wrap it all up in a nice HEA (Happily Ever After) bow, or leaves you unsatisfied in some way that perhaps even you don’t understand. You just know that you are not happy now that it (the story) has ended. Sometimes, it really is just the fact that something you love has come to an end that there’s a huge hole in your heart. Regardless of the why, ENDINGS SUCK!

This discussion all started with a Facebook dialog on another author’s page and it really has me mulling things over hard, especially as I’m currently editing Book 3 of my own series (which was supposed to end with Book 3, but even I – the author – am not satisfied with the ending so I’m busting this baby out to at least 2 more books after #3 ~ much to the chagrin of the other stories swirling around in my noggin desperate to get out). Whereas the conversation on FB was particular to tv series, this also applies to book series.

Most tv series, and book series, have disappointing endings. For one, if you’re a fan of a show/book series, you’re already sad it’s ending. But why are we so emotionally connected to how the series ends?

For example, when Supernatural ends here in a few weeks…unless Sam and Dean are showing up on my own front porch then I will be disappointed because the characters and story have become part of my life. Watching the show has been my “escape” for years. Now what am I supposed to do? Find another show? *Gasp!* The horror of the thought!

I had the same thoughts/feelings when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the off-shoot series, Angel, ended. Buffy wrapped up in a cute bow with dozens or more slayers now out in the world to protect us all from vamps and other hellish nightmares. What’s not to love about that? With Angel, it was a fantastic smashup, action-packed cliffhanger with the main character (the incredibly hot David Boreanaz) saying, “I kind of want to slay the dragon. Let’s get to work!” and then fade to black. OMG! What a kickass ending, right? Then why was I left with a huge black abyss in my soul?

Let’s take this to books. I just finished a series by one of my favorite authors. Gobbled up each and every book. Got to the end…good guys won! FMC (female main character) and MMC (male main character) live happily ever after! Supporting characters also live happily ever after! Awesome, right? I should be thrilled, right? NOPE! It was all wrapped up too neatly in a bow. Why on earth would I be disappointed when everyone except the bad guys got a wonderful HEA?

Even historical fiction based on real-life persons, I know how it’s going to end, but I’m still like “WTF? Cleopatra DIES! Octavian Caesar wins?!” Ugh!

Endings suck. They just do. Because part of our hearts and souls are connected to the story. It has fueled our imagination for years possibly. So when the inevitable happens…the ending…we are left with a piece of ourselves missing/torn/bruised.

No ending, no matter how HEA (happily ever after) given to us by tv producers or authors, will ever fill that hole, soothe that ache, or mend that jagged rip in our souls. So despite the best intentions of the creators, we will always remain disappointed to some extent.

As I keep writing my own series, dear readers, I am trying to keep you all in mind as I continue creating to get the the inevitable ending. But the truth is, the story must end how the creator sees it in his/her own imagination. Sometimes even we don’t like our own ending, but that’s just where the story leads. I’ve tried to write stories with different endings, different circumstances that didn’t fit with the story banging around in my head, and to be honest…that was always a huge mistake and I always went back and changed things to authentically sync with the story in my own head. The characters wouldn’t have it any other way.

So please don’t lash out at the authors, the tv show creators and producers and screen writers when the book or show or movie ends and leaves you upset or let down.

Image result for endings suckTruly, we are not out here in the universe trying to find ways to piss off the fans. No matter what ending is written, it’s never going to be enough to fill that gaping hole in our hearts because it simply is …THE END!

As Supernatural’s Chuck said several seasons ago,

“No doubt, endings are hard, but then again, nothing ever really ends, does it?”

Maybe that’s why endings are so difficult, either we can’t accept that it is “the end” or perhaps nothing ever really ends. Our imaginations make the story live on.

Image result for nothing ever ends