Monday, June 19, 2017

MEET DEADLY!


 Recently I've had all the Raina Kirkland books freshly edited and I've created brand new covers. I've also shortened their names. Meet DEADLY, formally known as Deadly Encounters, the fourth Raina Kirkland novel.

Description: 

In a world where all the myths are true, Raina Kirkland is a monster hunter and the only known demigod to exist in a millennia. She wasn’t born that way, she was altered by the gods as an infant.

Five years has passed since Raina was brutally murdered, and the world has changed in ways it is not yet aware of. Events have been set in motion that no living mortal can stop, as an evil god begins to unleash a deadly plague in the hopes of wiping out all of humanity!

In secret, Nicholas stitches together his sister’s remains. He toils in the darkness of an old café, praying to the Goddess for a miracle, for that is exactly what it will take to save the world! 

In the end, Raina must fulfill her destiny, and become the undead goddess she was made to be. She cannot escape what she is. As the dead pile up and the heartache becomes a crushing weight, Raina’s greatest enemy will be the only one she can turn to for help. 

"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.” 
~ Jean de La Fontaine

Warning: This book contains sex and violence. Suitable for mature readers only.

Reviews: 


5.0 out of 5 stars Holy WOW !!! This book has everything you can ask for!

Deadly Encounters is an extremely well-written book by Diana Graves. This book is as unique and different as it gets. I admit, there is a lot thrown into one book, and some may think it may be over the top, but I actually enjoyed it, a lot. there are lots of twists that are well developed in this story and are nicely resolved. This book had me glued to the pages and it was difficult to put it down. It really had everything one can ask for. Lots and lots of paranormal, from witches to vampires, mythology, and gods, you name it it's there. Romance, action and one strong heroine! There are also some nice surprises and some whoa factors!

Speaking of which, Raina is one strong heroine and you can't ask for more. I am not sure how she can be so level headed going through what she does. And this is by just reading this book. I had no idea this was actually a series. There are a lot of other characters I enjoyed that add nicely to the mix like Nick and Alistair, but not much a fan of Damon to be honest.

So all that being said, I LOVED this book, however, I wished I would have known this was a series before I read it. If I would have known I would have started at book 1 and gotten to fully enjoy the entire series from book 1. I will probably go back at some point to read book 1 through 3, but right now having read 4 it is a bit tough having kind of read the ultimate spoiler. I will, however, go ahead and read 5 right away because I am dying to see how this will all end.

I can only recommend this book and most likely the series. The author is well versed and knows her craft! She knows how to write and knows what to write about. She is fresh and unique which is a HUGE plus! So do yourself a favor and start with the first one. I am sure you won't regret it.

Voluntary review of Advance Reader Copy. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher.


5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to cruise on to #5

Another fine installment from Diana Graves taking us further into the depths of the Raina Kirkland story. Raina's life takes her deeper into the complexities of her developing skills, and into interests that she is keen to explore. She also matures on a personal level where the adage rings true, and you really are the last one to know. These directions broaden the scope of her life and drive home some hard lessons.

There are a couple of good surprises that I didn't see coming which is always necessary to keep a good series holding on tight to the reader's interest. I can think of a few series I have ditched as they dive headfirst into the quagmire of mind-numbing boredom.

this 4th novel propels the reader towards a couple of new facets in Raina's life that keeps us guessing where we travel to next.


5.0 out of 5 stars Long flight, escape via this series.
By 

I want to say if you aren't reading the series, why not? You need to enjoy these books because I don't want to give anything away but it's the go-to for travel. Seriously, my Kindle clicks on these books when I'm traveling. Great way to escape the boredom of a long flight.

5.0 out of 5 stars Raina's Back!
By 

Loved Deadly Encounters! The Raina Kirkland series has everything you could want in a Paranormal book. There is romance, mystery, action, and a storyline that kept me glued until the end. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the next book to see where Raina's story goes. A great thrill ride!


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
By 

Strongly recommend this whole series. It is a must read for those that love reading paranormal.



So far all feedback for Deadly has been great! Well, except for one fellow. He said the book was far too dark. I don't think so and he didn't write a review, so we're good. ^_^ 

Here's Chapter One:


1


 “HELLO?” I CALLED out as loud as I could, which wasn’t all that loud.  In fact, it was a downright whisper. I gave myself a mental slap.  Let’s try that again, and this time with more earnest efforts. “Hello?” I called out. For goddess’ sake, how many times did a girl have to die to get some attention around here?
I heard footsteps coming closer, but I couldn’t turn my head to see who it was.  I was lying in the dark, hurt, unable to move, hardly able to speak at all.  I didn’t like being so vulnerable so you could imagine the wash of relief I felt when an old friend peered down at me. Kamaria’s hair was white with age and up in curlers.  Her floral summer dress was soaked with sweat and blood; my blood, her sweat. She looked older than last I saw her; a few more wrinkles, thinner skin, nothing more.
“Raina, you’re safe. You’re in my dining room in the back of the cafe. How do you feel?” she asked.  
How did I feel?  My entire body was in stitches. Every inch of it was sewn in place, bloated and stinking of rot.
 “I hurt,” I mumbled between swollen, stitched lips. I could taste the bitter-sweetness of my wounds.  Running my tongue over the roof of my mouth, I could feel the stitches holding me together. Bits of flesh hung here and there.  I tried not to think too hard about it. I knew if I let myself dwell on it that I’d break down. I didn’t want to break down.  I wanted to know what the hell was going on!
“You’re healing.  I can see it,” she said.  Her words were kind but her eyes looked anxious.  I could only imagine what my face must have looked like; puffy, half rotten, stretched and sewn. Goddess!
My muscles felt stiff, the ones I could feel anyway.  They felt rigid.  “Where did my brother go?” I asked quietly because my vocal cords and lungs were still healing.  I needed to see Nicholas. He had to have some answers. He brought me to the café. He put me back together again, like Humpty-fucking-Dumpty.  It was his face I first woke to, his smell, his words.  I swallowed.  Damn, it hurt!  “I’m thirsty.  Where’d Nick go?”
“Nil is bringing you some food,” she said.
“Why did he bring me here?”
“He needed a safe place to—,” She let out a heavy sigh, “Goddess, I didn’t think it would work, just sewing you up like he did, but by the gods, Raina, you’re back!”
“Ta-da,” I said. Even in my revolting, delicate state, I couldn’t keep my sarcasm to my damn self.
“Yes,” Kamaria said thoughtfully.  “Very impressive, dearie.”
I was healing as fast as any vampire, but still.  In many places, only thin thread was keeping me together.  I felt like Frankenstein’s monster.  When I tried to sit up the thread ripped through my flesh and I cried out. “Damn!”
Kamaria helped me lay back down carefully. “Take it easy.”
“Shit,” I breathed past the pain.  “Is my daughter okay? Where is Isobel?”
“She’s fine,” she said. “Both of your children are just fine.”
I nodded, taking in shallow breaths. “I want to see them,” I said.
I heard a heavy door open and a few moments later Nick came up and looked down at me.  His wild red hair and big, almost black eyes stood out dramatically against his vampire gray skin. Hurriedly, he took off his heavy coat to reveal a red shirt that clung to his skinny frame.
“Raina,” he said with awe in his voice.
“Hi, Nicholas.”
He stared at me for a moment before shaking his head. “I didn’t know what you’d want to eat,” Nick said. “As a vampire, I was sure you’d want blood, but then again you’re a demigod also, so you may crave ambrosia.”
“The food of the gods?” I asked.
He set down a velvet bag and pulled out two large jars.  The first had dark red blood filled to the rim, while the other was filled with a glossy, pink substance.  “Yes, but we don’t know which nourishment your body needs.  Whatever part of you that was human is dead.  So, do you now have the internal workings of a vampire or a god?”
I was giving the jar of pink shit some seriously apprehensive looks.  I wasn’t too keen toward anything god-like in that moment.  I certainly didn’t need another reminder of the bit of god I had inside me.  
Nick sighed and looked at Kamaria before looking back down at me.  “You don’t feel much like eating, do you?  I don’t blame you.”
“How did I get here?  I mean, how did you get my body?” I asked.
“I took it from the men who killed you,” he said. “After I killed them.”
“Why are we here, at Kamaria’s Café?”
Nick looked at the older woman warmly.  “Kamaria is the only person in my life who never let me down.  When Mom and Dad shunned me, she took me in, she saw to my wellbeing.”
“Your family attracts drama like flies to shit,” Kamaria said and Nick smirked because it was true, too damn true.  
“Maybe we’re cursed,” Nick shrugged.  He was joking, though his words made me think for a moment, but damn if I knew who my parents or grandparents could have pissed off so badly.
“How was death for you?” Nick asked.
“I went to Hell.”
He gasped. “No!  You’re the best person I know.”
I didn’t know what to say to that.  As a bounty hunter, I killed people for a living, bad people, but people all the same.  
“Hell wasn’t such a bad place.  It was wonderful actually. It was very green. Even the sky was a deep aqua green,” I said remembering the lush beauty in perfect detail, the sounds of the forest and the feel of the dewy grass on my naked body.  I also met the goddess who made me a demigod while there, Melpomene. She spoke to me, but damn if I could remember what she said. I just remembered the look of her, a pale giant with dark hair and red eyes.
Kamaria put up her hand.  “You may not feel like eating, dearie, but you must heal, and for that you need food. Try the ambrosia first.” She unscrewed the jar of odd looking pink goop.  
“Ambrosia grows wild on the foothills of Mount Olympus in Greece.  It’s the only place in the world that it does grow,” Nick explained.  “And only one company harvests it for the gods, and they don’t sell it to mere mortals. It was not easy getting my hands on this much of it. You don’t want to know what I had to do to get it,” he said with a distant look in his eyes.
Kamaria handed Nick a spoon and soon a bit of pink stuff was held before my mouth on a metal utensil.   I sniffed it and frowned.  It smelt like a horrid mix of lemongrass, strawberries, and roses.  The very smell of it repulsed me.  “There is no way I’m putting that stuff in my mouth.” Nick grimaced and moved to force feed me. “Do you want me to puke on you?”
Kamaria pursed her lips.  “Nil.”
Nick groaned and set the spoon in the jar of Ambrosia. “Let’s try the blood then.  I bought it from the grocery store a few blocks away,” he said as he unscrewed the top of the jar, but before he could even take the lid off I’d somehow found strength enough to grab it from his hands with vampire fast reflexes that tore at my stitches.  I didn’t care.  I could smell the sweet metallic scent of the blood and I was overtaken with an awesome hunger. I wanted, needed to drink it down, all of it! With the heavy jar to my lips I took in the blood as fast as I could; gulp after heavenly gulp until I was left sticking my fingers in the jar and licking them clean to get every last drop.
“Well, vampire organs it is,” said Nick.
“It’s almost daylight,” said Kamaria.
“Raina’s not ready to be moved just yet.  Is it okay to have her here for another day?” Nick asked.  
“Child,” Kamaria said.  “Of course it is.  Now, I better get cleaned up and get my store open. You two need to get to sleep.” And with that said, she left us.
“We should go to sleep,” said Nick, but I grabbed his arm before he could leave me.
“How long have I been dead?” I asked him.  
He didn’t answer me. Instead, he looked to a window, thickly covered by black drapes to keep the sun out.  “We should get to sleep.”
I shook my head.  “How long have I been dead, Nick?”
He sighed.  “I was going to put you back together right after you died, but as the days went by I just—wanted you to rest in peace. Plus, I didn’t trust that it would work, sewing you up like that. There isn’t much written on the subject of resurrecting demigods. From what I could gather, as long as there’s a body the soul will come back. It’s as if the body acts like some kind of beacon. All I had to do was study your anatomy.  It was like putting together a two-thousand and seventy-five piece 3D puzzle made of frozen flesh.”
“Frozen?”
“I had to put you in the freezer to keep you fresh. But the longer you stayed gone the more I thought you were better off dead. The world’s a shit hole.” He looked to the clock on the wall. “I worked on you for ten straight hours.  Toward the end, you started to ripen a bit.”
Ewe.  I cringed.  “How long?  How long was I dead, Nick?”
“Five.”
“Days, weeks?” He looked to the floor with a long face. “Shit, five months!”
“Years,” he said softly.
I was stunned into silence for a moment. Five fucking years. It didn’t feel like five years.  It barely felt like five minutes. What, what about my kids!? What about Damon, the man I love, the father of my children.  I’ve been dead for five years!?! No doubt, I had a funeral and everything. My eyes were wide with distress.  My heart thudded in my chest. I grabbed at Nick’s shirt so he couldn’t leave before he answered me. “What’s happened to my family, Nick?”
He grabbed my hands and gently loosened my grip on his shirt.  “I don’t know.  Kamaria said Damon came into the café the other day for coffee and he seemed fine.”
“Fine?”  That bothered me for some reason.  “Damon was here, at the café while my body was frozen in Kamaria’s freezer and he was fine?”
“Well, it’s not like he knew you were in the freezer.  He just thought you were…”
“Dead,” I finished the sentence for him. Thinking too hard about my family, I absentmindedly let Nick walk away from me. Isobel was only a few days old when I was killed. Now she’s five.  And poor Thomas.  He’d lost his entire family before Damon and I took him in as our adopted son. He’d be thirteen now.
“Raina, get some sleep,” Nick said from someplace unseen.
“I can’t rest without seeing them.  I want to see them, Nick. They need to know that I’m alive.”  
He didn’t respond for a time and I began to think that perhaps he left the room or fell asleep, but eventually, he said, “We need to know who we can trust before we let the world know that you’re back.  Raphael betrayed you.  He gained your trust, he got close. He got into your head and then he had you killed.  We can’t be sure he was working alone.  Are there others, other people who you’re close to that were plotting against you?”
It hadn’t occurred to me that anyone else could have secretly wanted me dead, but I couldn’t even begin to make a list of likely suspects. I could make a list of people I knew for certain would never betray me, and Damon was at the top of that list.
“Get some rest, Raina.  We’ll talk when the sun goes down,” Nick said.  
I wanted to argue with him.  I wanted to scream my frustrated emotions, but I didn’t. I left it at that. He couldn’t possibly understand how important seeing my kids was to me.  He wasn’t, nor would he ever be a father.











Monday, June 12, 2017

First Week in Review

Well, my first week of trying to be my own boss turned out fine-ish...As it turns out, I'm a bit of a slacker...I did do a lot of work and I met my goals. But I also fucked around a lot... 

I made these lovely book covers...while I was supposed to be updating books and marketing on social media.




I turned my painting into covers! It wasn't a complete waste...One of my best fans suggested I get new covers...well, she suggested I buy them, but I'm poor so nope. LOL Everything I do is free or cheap. The only thing I pay for is my website, dianagraves.org, which I'm sure is just some lonely hermit site with only myself for company. Poor thing. 

But for all my hours of plugging away day in and day out, I sold 1 book and no art...yay! And to make things that much more awesome, my computer is acting up...I'm wondering if Norton security has something to do with it. They keep popping up and asking me to pay them money to protect me...'It would be a shame if anything bad should happen to your computer.'


I have so much on my plate at the moment...Kids, bills, artwork and the novellas, The Librarian and The Zombie Book. I have my daughter's birthday party in two weeks and no idea how I'm going to pull that off...I have no idea how my family and I will survive with me out of work, but we can't afford daycare. How do other people do it?

So often I drive by big beautiful homes and wonder how they got there? Are they all engineers and CEOs with stay-at-home wives? I want to walk the neighborhood and knock on all the doors and ask, who is your daddy and what does he do? But then I think to myself.


I have a butt load to be thankful for. Am I broke, morbidly obese and so socially awkward that I hide from my neighbors? Yes. But I also have a husband who adores me and two freaking weird ass kids. We live in a nice modest home in a nice modest neighborhood and we're not sick or dying...at the moment. 



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Librarian 1

TEASER TUESDAY:
The Librarian: Serial Series 2

FROM CHAPTER 1:
The phone’s screen said my sister was calling me from North Carolina. Oh goodie.
I answered it. “Hello, Hanna.”
“Wow, you actually picked up the phone, Carmy! We haven’t heard from you since we sent you all that money, honey. The whole family pitched in to help you out after that horrible man…” she let that sentence end there. “We thought you were going to use the money to come home and rebuild your life, here, with us, your loving family.”
“I, Oh, I bought a trailer and this woman is letting me crash on her land. Her granddaughter was one of Weaver’s victims.”
“A trailer on some poor woman’s land, that’s where you’ve been hiding?”
“I feel safe here.” Well, I did before I opened my door and saw that bird. Now all sorts of doubts were creeping in.
“Oh, Carmy. Wouldn’t you rather crash on my couch? I don’t like the picture of you alone in a trailer on some nice woman’s land.”
“Please call me Carmen. I hate Carmy.”
Carmen, come home. Mom and Dad would sure love to see you.” Oh Hanna, my parents already had a perfect daughter to dote on. They didn’t need me.
“They wouldn’t if they knew anything about me.”
“What are you talking about, Carmy. We love you!”
“You love Carmy. She’s not me.”
“Carmy-”
“I’m in a dark place right now, Hanna.”
I ran my free hand through my long greasy blond hair. When was the last time I showered? Last week?
“We can help you into the light! You just need to come home and start going to church again and you’ll feel-”

“Feel?” I interrupted her again. “How am I supposed to feel? Better? Do I have the right to feel better after what Weaver did to all those girls? He was pretending they were me, Hannah. And then he killed the only man I ever loved. I have no right to feel anything and I don’t. I don’t want to. I don’t want to come home and I sure as Hell don’t want to go to church.”


Monday, June 5, 2017

BOSS LADY

Well shit. Life goals, they're never easy. This time last year I had several goals. Publish the last Raina Kirkland Novel and The Artist Novella, remodel my home, sell it and buy a new home. I did all that. It was hard as fuck, but I did it (with the help of my family)

What I didn't expect was to not have a job at the end of it all...Now I'm faced with a decision. Find another dead-end day job or try to make it as mixed genre artist (painter, writer, graphic designer) I'm making a go of the latter, but I don't have forever to make this work. A month or less...

Last week my husband told me to treat it like a business. Duh... But then he asked me how I would treat the people I managed at my old job, to which I said, "like people." But his words have been playing in my mind the past few days...As a hotel auditor, I was forever filling out reports and updating information for management...I need to create a daily report for myself to keep me on track. 

Yesterday I revamped Deadly Encounters, which took me nearly 5 hours because my lap top is fuck slow! ...I didn't get to bed until 4 in the morning. Well, now I know. I've changed to the home computer and everything is going a lot faster. But I need to put a flame under my ass.


My paintings are large and grand, and popular...but they are too expensive to sell. Especially for an unknown artist, like myself. So the next best thing is to upload them to a print on demand site (your art on mugs, t shirts, laptop covers, pillows, canvas prints), which I have been doing for some time. RedBubble...In a year I've sold 1 item...But there are other sites. So I spent a few hours opening accounts with Societ6 and CafePress....I tried Zazzle, but when it came to actually uploading the artwork they were very NOT user friendly and everything was horribly tedious. I have an account with them, so I may try again later. I still have DeviantArt to look into tomorrow, but now I must get organised big time. All my art is not in one spot. It's scattered over memory sticks. I need to organize it and upload it all to all the sites. Mass coverage is my best bet.



Meanwhile, I still have books to write, The Zombie Book and The Librarian AND I still have that Dark in the Park event in July at Pacific Park, but now I'm not 100% sure I can attend. When I signed up for that thing I had a job. I could afford it, but not now. I created a Go Fund Me thing but only my best friend has donated so I'm pretty sure it's a lost cause.

Anyway, here I am. I'm finally the boss lady I always fought to be at my old job...but I'm the boss of just one person, me. This is hard, but hopefully worth it. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

SOMETHING AWESOME THIS WAY COMES!


So much has happened and is happening since my last post. I must have sat down to write this blog at least 15 times in the last couple of months but I can't get past the first sentence without losing myself. What to write first? Should I start with the most important or keep it chronological? Then I forget what exactly I wanted to write...Oh Yeah, so much stuff and so much brain fog. This is going to be a long blog post...

We finally sold our house in February! Thanks to Snohomish Counties runaway house prices our 780 square foot house sold for 250K and almost three months later our same tiny house is worth nearly 300K!!!! Heck, at that price, we couldn't afford to buy back our old house let alone buy a better one anywhere near Everett, Washington. If we wanted to stay in Snohomish county we would have to buy a complete dump or rent. No and no.

But, even before we put our house on the market Tacoma has been calling me. The years I lived there as a child had a huge impact on me. It inspired the Raina Kirkland series. It's this strange mixture of grunge and grime and history and elegance. It's as dangerous as it is intriguing, as fun as it is sad. The city is a living being, being both beautiful and good as it is disgusting and shameful.  James, however, would never agree to move there. He hated that idea. Tacoma doesn't have the best image. She's a lady whose been around the block a few hundred times but has a heart of gold...still, she's not the girl you marry.

But something changed. Everett's house prices are causing a huge income gap, as only rich people can afford to move there and poorer folk are priced out of their homes. Seattle's monstrous homeless problem is extending north to Everett. Twice in the past year, I've called the police because I've found a body on the side of the road, unresponsive and seemingly dead, only to discover upon police arrival that it is a homeless man 100% past out and laying in his own shit. The Taco Bell down the road has had at least two shootings last year. The high school had bomb threats and Chace Bank was robbed twice. Everett, Washington may seem desirable to home buyers for some reason, but its culture is suffering. Desperate people do desperate things.



Mid-March James finally agreed to 'look' at houses in Tacoma and that very day (which was after a night shift for me, meaning I had 0 sleep between working a 10 hour shift overnight and staying up past 8 o'clock at night!!!!) we drove down, but by the time we arrived only one house was still open for a  showing. It was a nice house, but the stairs were extremely narrow and steep.

After leaving that showing we actually found one more open house and drove to the far south Tacoma on the border with Spanaway...only to find out that the open house had been canceled and their website not updated. Oh poo...when we got back to the car I checked the website (redfin) once more and saw that a house just 4 miles down the road was actually open as well, but it was closing in 5 minutes! Without even looking at the pictures James, the kids and I drove down to see this home...and I was surprised to pass my dad's house on the way. In fact, he was only 2 blocks down the road from the house. As we pulled into the driveway, the agent selling the house was just closing up shop, but he let us take a look and we fell in LOVE hard. We made an offer on the spot! The agent left but we hung around the house with my Dad when some strange and mean people drove up. They said that they already bought the house and James got into a bit of a tiff with one of the men...


30x40 On Sale, Contact Me

After we left the house, all upset about the fight and the fact that we finally made a move on a house but we weren't fast enough, our agent called to let us know that the owner of that house did indeed agree to sell it to the mean folks, but that he HATED them! As soon as the paperwork was signed they were mean to him too. They wanted to sell it to us instead, so as soon as they could get out of the contract with the mean folks, we were free to buy the house!!!


New house's living room...

My husband was able to transfer his job with coca cola down from Everett to Tacoma, which is awesome and also brings me to some other news.  I was fully prepared to drive from Tacoma to Mukilteo ( a town near Everett) for work 3 nights a week for my 10-hour shifts, but just a few weeks before the move was to physically begin my General Manager hired my arch nemesis as her new Assistant Manager, AKA my new boss! Nooooooo! I put in my 3 weeks notice (3 because I'm awesome like that) But now I'm out of the job. OH NO! Every month I'm not working we're near $2000 short, so what's the plan?


Going Away Flowers from Boss Lady.


Well, as far as I've budgeted we can survive until the beginning of July without me working, but then I either need to get a job or find a way to not pay utilities or buy food.

The plan is to try and make a go of being an Artist, and hopefully not a starving one. I have 6 published books, 25 awesome drawings, and 2 massive paintings so far. I've written the first episode of Fatal Retribution and submitted it to Amazon for a new series pitch. For a month I paid Facebook to advertise my books and I think it helped a little at first, but now it seems useless. I posted both my paintings on OfferUp and Letgo. I had one bite on OfferUp for $150, but it fell through. I have a gig in July with Urban Unglued to sell my books and art under a 10x10 tent in Pacific Park, but I can't really afford it, so I created a GoFundMe thing.

By the way, please press HERE to donate a dollar to my dream. LOVE YOU!




I don't know if being an artist will ever support my family. Probably not. There is a plan B. Around the end of June my adult sister will be moving in with us. She needs to put her life together and we need a live-in nanny so I can go back to work. It fits. We help get her her driver's license, a car and support her while she attends college and she watches the kids so I can work again.

But I have until July to try...I just feel like something Awesome is going to happen soon!


Oh, and I got a new cat. We found this starving half dead thing under our new house a month after we bought it. Her name is Lizza and she is doing GREAT!




Sunday, May 7, 2017

Baby Book Blogger

I know the #1 way to sell books is to have hundreds of reviews...and the #1 way to have hundreds of reviews is to contact hundreds of book bloggers and ask them to review your books. That's one of the reasons Fatal Retribution has so many more reviews than the other 5 books I've published. I just kept sending out request after request after request....eventually someone would bite, and if they liked it, I'd ask them to review the next book if possible...

I need to do that again, but it's scary. It's a bit like walking out the front door without any clothes on and asking random men if you're fuckable...Will they respond at all? Will they just walk away? Or will they say something? If they say something, what will they say? Will they notice all my imperfections and focus on them or will the see the overall package and shrug? Will they smile and nod politely? Or will they get super excited!...Books are like that for authors. They are like little bits of your naked self just sitting out there for all the world to see. Asking someone to openly judge my naked self is hard. It was easier when I was younger, but now it feels harder for some reason...Rejection hits harder.

I've thought about becoming a Indie Author Book Blogger for many years. Whenever I meet an Indie A, like myself, I buy their books and write a review, because I know the struggle and I'm hoping they would do the same for me. They usually don't, but I still try. 

When I receive a great review from a reader, and I mean a great review; insightful and well articulated, I encourage them with all my heart to review more authors, start a blog, share your gift. There have been only a few readers who saw in my books things I didn't even realize myself. Like how Raina relies so heavily on her brothers, Nick in particular, for emotional support; probably for lack of a father figure in her life. Nick mirrors this, probably for lack of a mother figure...I don't know if I have that gift as a reviewer. Normally, once I realize I have to write a review, it feels more like I'm in high school again and this is a book report project...It's no fun anymore.



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Out With The Old Problems, In With The New

Everything seems to be falling into place, but I'm scared...


James and I sold our old little house in Everett, WA and bought a bigger house in Tacoma, WA...James got a transfer and Morrighan will be starting school there soon. So what am I scared about? 

Well, for one my mom is moving to Indiana and I'm afraid I'll never see or hear from her again. I am the worst at long distance relationships...If you don't live near me, you don't see me usually. And I don't call people no matter how much I love and miss them. I have this strange phone anxiety...I'll call for business or to make an appointment, but not for social reasons. Never. No matter how many times someone tells me to call them any time, I have an unsettling fear of bothering people by calling them, so I never do. I try not to think about my mom leaving because I start to cry. My kids love her so much and my baby boy is young enough that he won't even remember the grandma he adores right now...

The other thing weighing heavy on my mind is that I quit my job. I quit for a lot of reasons. I could write a list for you but if my boss saw them I would 100% not get a good recommendation from her. What I can tell you is that 1. Everett and Tacoma are not close, and while I was actually looking forward to the train ride up to Everett 3 nights a week, reason number 2 came along, and it suddenly didn't seem worth the effort. In fact, because of reason number 2, I likely would have quit even if James and I bought a house in Everett... Reason number 2 being that my boss just hired a woman I dislike very much as her assistant manager, meaning as my new boss...This will not stand!

But, without a job James and I are short nearly $2,000 a month. Where am I going to get that kind of money on a monthly bases? My books...they are selling but certainly not that well. Should I get another job...First I need to work the opposite of my husband, so there's always someone home with the kids. As long as his schedule is fixed, I can do that, but that brings me to my third problem.

My third worry is that my Give A Shit meter is fucking broken all to shit. I don't know what happened but lately I just can not do customer service, and that's 90% of the jobs out there... Every day that I'm catering to the needs and wants of people I'm coming a little more undone. Pretty soon I'm going to start saying what's really on my mind. I'm getting more and more mouthy. I don't think I can handle it. I feel like I'm a ticking time bomb. 



via GIPHY

Out with the old problems, In with the new

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fatal Retribution. Episode One



For years I've wanted to write Fatal Retribution, the first book in the Raina Kirkland series into a movie, but moves run only 2 hours long, meaning the script could only be about 180 pages...I was faced with the impossible task of cutting material out. I asked myself what Raina Kirkland side stories can be thrown away...Katie's story? Nicks? No, not Nick! Michael's probably. But that was not enough, nothing even was. I was at an impasse. I could not bring myself to take away from the story.

But as luck would have it Amazon.com has started seeking out new movie and series scripts!  I hadn't considered making Fatal Retribution into a TV series...But as I planned out each episode I quickly realized that a series approach didn't just mean I could keep the story intact, but that I could/needed to add to the story! 

As the books are written from Raina Kirkland's point of view, you never get to see what she doesn't see. As a reader you are only allowed to see the world through her eyes. But, since I have a whole season to fill, 12 episodes at least and each episode is 1 hour long, that means we are going to see so much more! 

Here is the outline for Episode One which includes the first 3 chapters on Fatal Retribution: Dead and Dying (I've highlighted the scenes that are in the book so you can see the awesome extra bits)

Teaser:
* It opens on Raphael bringing Alcestis back to life.  It's a shorter scene full of Shock and Awe meant to capture the audience before the opening musical number.
Act One:
* Opens to Mark selling Paul the altered vampire blood.
*That scene transitions to Raina at home talking to her dad on the phone and to her mom in the kitchen (in the book)
* Then we see Katie at home with Jed, Rachael and Michael. She overhears Michael is leaving for the weekend and begs him to take her with him.
* Then Raina is talking to Tristan on the phone about their plans and learns that Katie is coming along on their trip. (in  the book)
Act Two:
*At Paul's house he's turning into the undead.
*At Raina's house all her siblings are meeting up to go camping. Drop a couple drama bombs based on old mysterious family history and racial tension! (in the book)
*The siblings travel to Mount Rainier (in the book)
Act Three:
*Mark and his dad are arguing over him selling vampire blood and angering their all powerful ancient immortal ancestor, Admetus. 
*A couple living in Darkness, Washington (A Gothic Town on Mount Rainier that is ran by vampires) argue over their dog before going out to dinner...it's missing.
*Paul eats their missing dog...then runs off into the woods to escape the town's lights.
Act Four:
*The siblings wake, have some more drama based on racial tensions, nice.  (in the book)
*Nick leaves the group to pee and smoke pot.
* Michael and Raina talk about deep family shit  (in the book)
* Paul attacks Nick!
* The family hear Nick's screams and run to the rescue, but Michael and Raina get hurt badly by Paul before Tristan kills him. Raina and Sibs have to watch Nick die. (in the book)

The end...

I would have just posted the entire episode here but it is 50 pages long! I've submitted the episode to Amazon.com....They are Evaluating it, but I've already started writing Episode 2, Dead not Dead. I don't know what I'm going to do if they reject my show...well, I do know. I'm going to hate myself, cry a bunch, take a month or two to recenter myself and keep on trucking...I really don't know what I'm going to do if the accept it!...What ever they tell me to do, I guess.