Writer’s Motto

My apologies for not posting a lot over the summer. Here it is the last day of August and I realized I had not posted a thing on my own webpage.

Which episode is the "double facepalm" image macro from? - Science Fiction  & Fantasy Stack Exchange

Now I could list a lot of excuses, but they would be just that…excuses. In the words of a good friend of mine, stop being a victim with excuses and take radical responsibility for every aspect of your life, and especially your career.

So I am, pleading for your forgiveness and hoping all my readers didn’t abandon me.

Since the author spotlight feature fell through this month, I’ll subject you to my author ramblings instead. You’ve been warned…rant ahead!

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I see this a lot of social media and I hear this a lot from other authors all the time. The agonizing question of how to handle bad reviews, negative comments on your social media posts, lagging sales, etc.

I’m not immune to the self-pity party either. When I see someone didn’t like my book, gives a bad review, or says things like “Liked the book, but I am not sure I will follow the series” or book sales lag, or I get my royalty check and can only treat myself to a Starbucks coffee with the proceeds…well, my confidence takes a hit.

It’s a natural emotion and ALL authors go through this. Daily there are posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. about this very topic when an author wonders if it’s even worth it to continue writing. And it makes me sad that someone (again, I’m not immune to the same thoughts and emotions) feels so distraught that they would contemplate giving up their life’s dream.

So what do I do to keep myself from giving up the writing career that has been my one deep desire, my soul purpose?

I’ve been told, ignore the reviews. Or only read the 4 and 5 star reviews. Well, I can’t do that. It’s physically impossible for me to see there’s a review and NOT read it. Besides, reading good reviews makes me happy. To know that my story touched someone’s imagination, that it resonated with someone else…THAT is sheer bliss!

Therefore, I had to make a change in my own thoughts and deeply seated beliefs to accept that “I am not everyone’s cup of tea” and “I have to be okay with that” because for every person who doesn’t like my story, there are others that do.

And it is for those others that I write.

You're not everyone's cup... | Quotes & Writings by Sourav Padhi | YourQuote

To maintain my own sense of worth, my own confidence, I can’t allow others to bring me down. I wasn’t put on this earth to reach everyone. I wasn’t put on this earth to surrender my imagination, my dreams. I wasn’t put on this earth to deny my soul purpose of creating stories of fiction and fantasy that have a glimmer of hope, light, and truth to shine in a dark world filled with fear and chaos.

I am a storyteller who is passionate about guardian angels and want to bring divine light and love to the world through fantasy and fiction.

So dear readers, I hope and pray that my stories, my characters connect with you and delight you. I hope you await the next book with bated breath. It is for you that I write (and the fact that the characters are not going to let me rest until their stories are told). For you, I give you my heart and soul served up on a page.

For all others, thank you for giving me a taste but I do understand that…

I am not everyone's cup of tea and I am totally cool with that. We can't  please everyone and shouldn't be in the business… | Cup of tea quotes, Tea  quotes, Tea

writers motto

Love and virtual hugs to all! Until next time…

If you’re looking for some amazing Sci-Fi and Fantasy books at amazing prices, check out the Book Throne Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Fair at https://www.bookthrone.com/sci-fi-fantasy-bookfair

 

 

July Author Spotlight — M.J. Kaestli

The fireworks are over, unless you live in my neighborhood which seems to think two weeks before and two weeks after the 4th of July is primetime for fireworks until all hours of the night.

So why should we stop the fireworks? And this time, I don’t mean the ones that go BOOM and frighten my tiny puppy.

These fireworks come from a seemingly endless pool of fiery romance. So let’s meet the source of this fun, steamy romance that’s better than a roman candle backfiring and hitting your neighbor’s leaf pile…

M.J. Kaestli writes Young Adult (YA) Dystopian Romance. She writes strong female leads who don’t know they were born to conquer the world.

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Hi, M.J.! Thanks for joining us. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself, not just the writer in you, but who you are.

I’ve created and shared stories since I could speak and written them since I could
hold a pen. I publish under M. J. Kaestli and I’m primarily writing YA Dystopian
(currently 5 out of 7 books in series).

On top of writing, I’m also a book reviewer. I post weekly book recommendations
on my website, YouTube channel, Instagram and Facebook. If you enjoy YA,
Dystopian, and Urban Fantasy, then come check out my reviews!

I live in Vancouver Canada and I love and go for nature walks along the sea wall
or in the forested areas. I hope to someday soon add a dog to those walks and my
home. I will admit, I often walk in the off-leash section of the park just so I can pet
all the dogs. It’s time I get my own…

What genre do you prefer to write and why?

My first love is Dystopian and I have since I was a kid. I think the reason is
because my dad was a survivalist. Any and every illness, turn in the economy,
governmental change, and new technology were all viewed as potential culprits for
bringing the end. How life as we knew it would soon end was weekday
conversation at the dinner table in my house.

I used to have regular nightmares as a kid and often daytime anxiety as well. I
thought way too much about how or if I would survive our looming destruction.
When I discovered Dystopian books at first it was a comfort because it represented
the reality I lived in and always ended well.

I know it sounds like I should hate Dystopian, but I think it safely explores
elements of humanity that really opens the mind to what surrounds you. I don’t
write out of fear of the future but more out of wanting to see the world on a wider
spectrum, to consider what I’ve never considered.

Do you write under a pseudonym? What made you decide to do so/or not? What
inspired your pseudo?

Yes, M. J. Kaestli is a pen name. There were a few reasons why I wanted to
publish under a pen name but I’d say the most prevalent is because I want to write
so many different genres. I’m a fan of grouping genres together under one
umbrella to protect the reader and ensure they continue to get what they want
without confusion.

I knew I wanted this pen name to feature strong female leads so I drew inspiration
from the strong women in my life. The M is for Michelle which is my real first
name. The J is for Jean which was my mothers name. And Kaestli was the maiden
name of my great-grandmother. I never got to meet her but was inspired by stories
of her as a child. She seemed to have more spunk and attitude than what was
deemed appropriate in her day.

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

My circle of non-writer friends has become rather thin. Most of my friends both
locally and online are fellow writers.

I’m heavily involved with my local Nanowrimo community. We formed our own
group outside of the annual writing challenge and host weekly write-ins. I think
writers need to be constantly surrounded by other writers, even just to have people
who make you feel normal.

As writers, we sacrifice so much of our personal time and money in pursuit of a
dream most think isn’t realistic. It’s too easy to give into self-doubt, insecurity, or
doing something easier with our time. We need each other for emotional support.
There is also a huge perk to get an extra set of eyes on your work or to have
someone to bounce ideas off of. Collaboration helps to keep the words flowing,

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

I’m incapable of writing short stories or stand alone novels. If the idea isn’t
multiple books with complex plots then I can’t get excited enough about it to get
through the writing process.

The State Series has overlapping timelines with multiple character points of view.
It has taken me longer to finish than I would have liked so moving forward, I plan
to work more in worlds with multiple series while releasing the timeline and main
character. I hope this speeds up my process while holding the integrity of what I
love in the finer details.

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

Everyone and everything I’ve experienced in my life has an impact on my writing.
Modeling characters after real people isn’t something I do with intent, but can
happen organically. And yes, if I become aware of it (which usually takes time for
me to see it) I will tell them.

My main character Freya in The State Series was just a character to me until I
finished writing the first 3 books. While editing, I realized that Freya in so many
ways was my mom. She passed before I finished writing Compliant and so I never
got the chance to tell her.

What does success as a writer look like to you?

This is a hard question as there are multiple levels of success. Naturally, I want to
earn enough money that I don’t have to do anything else to live. I want to focus
full-time on writing and have the money to hire out all the background work I can
so that I can write even more.

But there are other kinds of success than money. I think my biggest moment as an
author was receiving feedback from one of the first people who read Compliant.
She read it in less than 24 hours and reported she was a “bad mom” because she
couldn’t put it down. To me, knowing I’ve touched someone’s life is success.

I feel that the world is made a better place through reading and storytelling. It’s an
honor when I can help connect people with stories that impact them, both as an
author and reviewer.

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

It’s definitely both and more. I feel like when I started taking my writing seriously
was when my life really began and I discovered who I am. It’s spiritual,
therapeutic, entertainment, social, all the things.

It’s also a business because if you want to share your stories with the world, you
have to spend money to get them out there. Publishing is expensive. And if I want
my stories to touch lives (which I do) I have to pay money to market them. There
has to be a balance of both income and spending. Plus, the more income I receive,
the more backend work I can hire out, and the more books I can write.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Of course! I love to read my reviews because it helps me to figure out what the
readers liked about my books so I can try to give them more.

The most negative review I’ve received was someone hated my main character
(and wrote paragraphs about how much and why) but then closed with saying they
would still recommend my books because the story’s so good.
I laughed, shrugged, and thought they must have really loved my story because
they really hated Freya. I want people to feel something when they read my books.
Even hating my character is better in my mind than writing one that’s forgettable.
You have to take the good with the bad because someone else told me Freya was a
real person to them. We each have our own tastes. My books aren’t for everyone
and I accept that as I don’t like every book I read that others love.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Monica Hughes became my favorite author in elementary school when my teacher
read our class Space Trap. It was the first Sci Fi book I was exposed to and that’s
when I discovered I love to read.

I later found Invitation to the Game at my library, the first Dystopian novel I read.
I was forever changed. I checked all her books out multiple times and they had a
huge impact on shaping my young mind into the person I’ve become.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

The moment I understood what an author was as a child. I used to talk people into
corners telling them my stories before I could write. Once I realized why I had no
friends, I started to quietly write my stories down. At the time, I didn’t know it was
a possible answer to the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Ideas have always come easy, it’s the writing that was hard. As I’m also dyslexic, I
struggled to get through the writing process as I was continually challenged with
spelling, grammar and the use of language. That kept me blocked until I realized
one day that 40 was just around the corner (I was 36.5).

I set out a very clear goal to write every day because I had to finish at least 1 novel
before 40 and self-publish it. I was about 6 months late on publishing Compliant,
but I had written about 6 books by 40 and published the first 3 in series by the end
of that year.

I still struggle with sentence structure, grammar, spelling, all those things that
received the red pen strike from my English teachers. But, I learned that the only
thing that really matters is I tell my stories to the best of my ability. Between
editors and all the software’s available, I have no longer allow my limitations to
hold me back.

Thanks so much for joining us, M.J.

If you want to learn more about M.J., her books, and what she has coming up in the future, you can find her at the below links.

Her website & blog: https://www.mjkaestli.com/

Purchase link for her latest book: http://mybook.to/Compliant

Amazon.com: Compliant: A Young Adult Dystopian Romance (The State ...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H8Z34QX?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjkaestli/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjkaestli/

Book Review YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Zxh5Fz7FQuEQ0-D-uy61w?view_as=subscriber

Until next time, dear readers! Stay safe, Stay cool!
KC

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.

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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

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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 – 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!

 

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!

Image result for crying hysterically gif

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.

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Until next time…Stay healthy, stay sanitized, my friends!
Oh, and HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’s DAY!!!!!!
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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

 

Lessons Learned and Big Announcement

First, let’s get the BIG announcement out of the way because quite frankly I’m too tickled pink to put this off.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE…

Book of the Month

After some fantastic reviews from The Naked Reviewers last week, they chose my paranormal fantasy romance book, Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, as their Book of the Month for March 2020!!!!!

The book was also named as the Book of the Week from 2/26/2020 to 3/4/2020!

Somebody pinch me! Okay, not THAT hard! Geez, now I’ll bruise.

*********************************************

Now for the original posting for this week ~ Lessons Learned from my first book signing event at Penned Charleston this past weekend.

See the source imageTo sum it up  – it was a series of unfortunate events which ended happily ever after.

  1.  Should travel the night before the event. I was stuck in a traffic jam on I-26 EAST towards Charleston with all lanes blocked due to a horrific accident. Nowhere to turn around, just had to sit there and continue sitting for a long time. Ended up 1 1/2 hours late!
  2.  Bring an assistant! Can be anyone, friend, foe, hubby, kids! Just bring someone to help out so the author can make trips to the ladies’ room and get food/beverages. Initially the hubby was supposed to attend with me, but he was easily persuaded to ditch me to take our youngest son to a wrestling tournament in Fayetteville, NC. Figured I’d be okay on my own, but easily see now how having a helper with me would have made the whole experience run more smoothly and enjoyable. Also assistants were working the venue by walking around and visiting all the tables and mingling with the guests/readers to direct traffic to their author’s tables. Assistants also freed up their authors to walk around and meet new authors and just mingle.
  3.  Double-check swag before the event. I found a typo on the bookmarks as I was sitting at the table Saturday. To say I was horrified is an understatement!
  4. Bring more swag! Some authors had some serious swag at their tables. Some had raffles going for their super swag. I had bookmarks with typos, postcards with book info (which I ran out of), candy (mints and chocolate), and mini hand sanitizers.
  5.  Personalized labels for swag (such as the hand sanitizers) can be easily purchased I learned from one incredibly helpful author assistant. One lady had personalized packaging for candies and chocolates!
  6.  When the venue doesn’t provide linen table cloths for the tables, bring your own nice linen table cloth, not a flimsy plastic tie-dye one.
  7.  Check into vinyl posters and heavy duty easels. Most authors had 8-10 foot posters set up behind and beside their tables. I had a foam board 12×18 book poster propped up a stack of books on a chair beside me.
  8.  Purchase easels for posters and something to connect the banner to the table.
  9.  Purchase book stands so the books aren’t just laying down on the table.
  10.  Sneak in snacks. The venue said no beverages or food to be brought in – they provided water stations and some appetizers were handed out in the beginning during setup (which I missed due to #1). I ended up eating more of my own candy which was supposed to be just for visitors to my table.

Sounds a bit like a disaster, right? Actually, it wasn’t at all! I met a lot of amazing authors, author assistants, bloggers, reviewers, cover artists, and most especially readers! I learned a lot! I made some contacts including a lovely author in my local area (Hi, Haven Cage!) who also organizes local author get-togethers, and I now have a Reiki healer to call locally when my chakras are imbalanced. So, HUGE WIN!

Sadly, I ended up leaving right after the event rather than staying for the 60s-themed party that evening (another Lesson Learned – STAY FOR THE PARTY!).

Hopefully this Lessons Learned segment will benefit other newbie authors as you go to your own book signing events.

Well, I’m off to celebrate my Book of the Month award with some of my leftover chocolate from Penned Charleston!

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Paperback Release TOMORROW 2/18/2020 for Rekindled Prophecy

book cover FB promo

Rekindled Prophecy is the first book in my fantasy/paranormal series, Greylyn the Guardian Angel. It came out in hardcover and ebook last November 2019 and will release in paperback format tomorrow, 2/18/2020!

I am so excited about the paperback release for many reasons:

  1. Hardcover books are sometimes too bulky to carry around in your purse, even if you use a drawstring athletic bag as a purse like me. (***Note to self: Buy a real purse one day!***)
  2. A LOT of people (and I do mean A LOT) prefer a physical book over ebooks despite the digital version being much more portable. There are a number of reasons for this preference. Some love the paper smell of books. Some have not transitioned to ebooks and never will (my own mom for one).
  3. An author can’t sign an ebook.
  4. Book shelves don’t get stacked with ebooks. You need hardcover or paperbacks for that. So if you love seeing your bookshelves nearly toppling over with books, ebooks will not do the trick. you need hardcover and paperback.
  5. Paperback books are generally cheaper than the hardcovers. So if you buy books in bulk to add to your TBR pile, paperback is the more economical option.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore my Kindle too. It’s the easiest to transport. Since I do most of my reading sitting at swim meets, wrestling tournaments, and in the car rider line at my daughter’s school, throwing the Kindle in the drawstring bag I utilize for a purse is the fastest, most convenient option.

Also, I LOVE hard cover books! I keep the book cover jackets on them too and line them up on my bookshelves with adoration and love! I have a full collection of hardcover Stephen King and Anne Rice books. When I was a struggling twenty-something, I switched to paperbacks and I proudly display them too on my shelves. (***Side note: All books have been stowed away in boxes while we renovate my office, including built-in book cases! Secretly I believe my hubby wants to keep the books in the boxes as he fails to see the necessity in keeping all my books, and keeping them all displayed for me to lovingly gaze it while I daydream when I should be writing or editing, but he will NOT win this one!)

So if you a bookaholic like myself, and you prefer physical books over the ebooks, and you love fantasy/paranormal with a steaming shot of romance thrown in, please check out Rekindled Prophecy starting tomorrow (it’s available for pre-order now, too).

***

BOOK BLURB:

Guardian angel, Greylyn saves innocent humans from their own inner demons or the more nefarious real ones. She’s overdue for some rest and relaxation, but upon finding her archenemy already entrenched at an authentic Irish bed and breakfast, she knows her vacation is over before it ever starts.

Enemies for over four centuries, Greylyn has fought the dark guardian, Kael; and fought her desire for him. This time, however, she must work with the dashing dark guardian to protect innocent lives. It’s a deadly gamble. One she has no choice but to take.

But the situation is far more treacherous than she realizes as a notorious fallen archangel holds the lives of a mother and her unborn child over Greylyn’s head to force her to consummate a dormant, but deadly prophecy. One so deadly that Heaven didn’t even write it down.

Rekindled Prophecy: Greylyn the Guardian Angel is a fantasy/paranormal novel with strong undertones of romance and sex appeal between two enemies – one working for Heaven, the other working for Hell.

 

https://books2read.com/u/bzoaBE

***

Teaser:

Greylyn gulped in air. She wasn’t dead, not yet. Renewed energy pulsated through her body and gave her strength to push herself up on shaky arms. She stared, turning to look at each man as they circled each other. Both men with deadly intent etched on their faces. In between getting hit, and throwing jabs of his own, the stranger muttered, “Had to be you! It just had to be you!” One final uppercut to Jasper’s jaw, and the guardian angel fell back.

Her mouth opened to scream for him to leave Jasper alone, but no words came out. He turned to her, his face bloodied, but with a sad smile. “Until next time, love.” Seconds later, he vanished down the alleyway.

Suddenly able to move again, Greylyn jumped up and ran over to Jasper. “Who the hell was that?”

“Oh, I’m fine, by the way.” With the indignant look he flashed her, she knew Jasper was far from being fine. Physically, yes, he was alright. But his icy-blue eyes spoke volumes of fury she could not under-stand.

“I’m so sorry …” She checked him for injuries, hands roved over his body. His clothes were spatter-ed with blood. Other than his pride, and a black eye that would fade in an hour or two, he was in perfect shape.

Greylyn knew she looked a mess. Hell, she should be dead. Instead, the blood had already dried and the sizzle of her bones mending underneath her skin comforted her.

I’m not going to die. At least not tonight.

Jasper cupped her chin. “Yes, I know. It’s my fault. It was too soon to send you out on your own like that. I realized my mistake and came to find you, in case you needed assistance.” A nerve twitched in his jaw. “And, I find I was correct. You certainly needed help.”

“Oh, no! Edward? Did he escape? I came out here looking for him, but these guys,” she waved her hand toward the corpses littering the alley, “were after him and …”

“Yes, yes. I get it. You ran into the bad guys and as a bonus, you got a bloody dark guardian your first time on your own.”

“A what?”

“A dark guardian. The exact opposite of us, darling. You are just lucky I came along when I did. That one would’ve carved you up like a porterhouse steak.” He pushed himself off the ground. At his full height of well over six feet tall, he towered above her.

“Does this dark guardian have a name?” She didn’t know why it mattered that she find out his name.

Jasper narrowed his eyes at her in obvious disapproval. “That one in particular is Kael,” Jasper spat. “Truly nasty piece of work. Avoid him at all costs. Hopefully, you will never have to see that creature again.”

He turned toward her and grabbed her by the upper arms, leaning forward so they were nose to nose. An aroma of whiskey and tobacco wafted into her face. “Greylyn, promise me that you will stay away from Kael. If he ever crosses your path, either annihilate him completely with your dagger through his heart and then rip it out of his body while it’s still beating; or run. Just run.”

******

A quick note before I sign off, if you live in (or in driving distance from) Charleston, SC, I will be at the Penned Charleston book signing event on 2/29/2020. Please come by and say “Hi!” I’ll have paperbacks of Rekindled Prophecy to sell and to sign, along with some book swag.

And if you live in Charlotte, NC (or nearby, or within driving distance), please come out to the Queen City Book Fair on 5/23/2020 to see me and many other fabulous authors. I’ll have more paperbacks to sign, and hope to have a pre-order link set up soon.

Queen City Book Fair flyer

I’ll send out updates for future book signings and events as I schedule them.

Thanks and I hope everyone has a beautiful week!

 

Love always,

KC

Epic Fail but Will Always Try, Try Again

Last Friday (2/7/2020) evening I held an Author Reading from my debut fantasy/paranormal novel, Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series.

book cover FB promo

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzoaBE

Well, that was an outright disaster!

Several lovely friends showed up to listen to me read, and asked questions, made comments and generally it was an overall good time.

So what went wrong?

I coughed throughout the entire reading!

No, I don’t have the flu, or the corona virus.

What I had was allergies to all the drywall and general construction dust from my office. The room has been under renovations for some time now, and completely unusable, but I insisted (to myself) that I should do the reading from my office (mostly to avoid any of the other people living in my house from intruding – most of the time they respect the sanctity of my office).

You’ve been warned, but if you’re interested in listening to the reading and the Q&A session, here’s a link to the video on Facebook.

Now I am a self-proclaimed non-techie so I haven’t figured out how to edit the footage yet, and I’m rather certain there wouldn’t be a lot left if I took out all the coughing. My next best alternative is to record the whole thing, but then you’d miss the discussion and Q&A.

In lieu of a teaser for this week, you may have to work for it to listen through the reading of the Prologue from Rekindled Prophecy. Now there’s a lot of controversy these days in the literary community about prologues and epilogues, but I LOVE them and use them frequently. Every book in the series will start with a prologue giving the reader a glimpse from Greylyn’s past that has significant impact on her present and future. It’s a peek behind the curtain.

But if you don’t want to wade through my coughing fits to listen to the prologue, please direct message me here or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KCFreemanAuthor/ and I’ll send you a word document copy of the text.

Next month, I’ll make another attempt at a live reading from my book and hold another Q&A session. Because…why not? It was fun, despite the coughing.

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Reader Appreciation Giveaway

vday giveaway

14 Indie Romance Authors have teamed up to treat all you wonderful readers for Valentine’s Day 2020

💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜

Each day from February 1st to February 13th we will draw a winner from our newsletter subscribers.

Every day wins a minimum of 12 F*R*E*E eBooks!

Some days have extra prizes, and the winner on the 14th receives the grand prize of 8 eBooks (including Rekindled Prophecy), and some swag!

And let’s not forget a total of $50 in gift cards!

All you have to do to be entered is sign up for all of our newsletters, and fill & submit this form!

https://forms.gle/2pdCxuey8c4Dd1YZ9

Don’t forget, drawings start on the first!