The Next Big Thing Blog Tour Thingy Majiggy

I’ve been tagged for a bit of a blog hop thingy by good writer friend Tima Lacoba. I’m required to answer the following questions and I promise to do so to the best of my ability (so don’t expect too much). I currently have a fantasy novel out (in case the dragon on my website was not a dead giveaway), a book of suspenseful, and somewhat dark, short stories, Dark Spaces, and I’ve just released a little short story, all on it’s own, called Divine Intervention. The one I’ll be referring to today is Shadows of the Realm—my first, and most loved, baby.

  • What is the title of your latest book? Shadows of the Realm.
  • Where did the idea come from for the book? Not sure. Just wanted to write a fantasy book and that’s the one that was there.
  • What genre does your book fall under? Young adult, epic fantasy, with dragons. I don’t think ‘with dragons’ is a genre, but, if erotica can have tentacle sex as a sub-genre, I can have dragons.
  • What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Oh goodness, gracious, mwah (I just wanted an excuse to blow you all a kiss), OK it’s moi. Hmm, this is a tough one because I don’t watch a lot of movies so I’m not totally up with who is around. I’ll leave it to the casting agent.
  • What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? With their world under threat of invasion, Bronwyn and Blayke, two young realmists, are forced to leave all they’ve known to undertake a dangerous journey to discover the magic of the realms before all they love is destroyed.
  • Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? Bwahahaha. Oh, excuse me *straightens shirt and smooths hair.*  I’m self published.
  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I can’t remember specifics, as it was eight years ago, but I’m thinking it was two or three months.
  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Anything by David Eddings with a hint of Stephen King at times. (Note here that I’m not saying it’s as good as theirs, but they have been my influences and I can only aspire to their great skill. Just wanted to make that clear so there’s no massive expectations when you buy my book. Although, you can have some expectations, just don’t go overboard—it wouldn’t be good for either of us).
  • Who or what inspired you to write this book? I inspired myself (I’m very inspirational you know). I’d always wanted to write a book—I don’t know why—and so I did.
  • What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Hmm, the characters are varied and well drawn (I have it on good authority), there’s dragons, a splatter of horror, much adventuring and visiting different realms and of course, my unique brand of humour, which probably isn’t that unique and I’m sure not everyone finds it funny. All I can say is that I enjoyed writing it and reading it the two hundred times I went through it in editing, so I’m sure you can brave it just once, please? (This isn’t begging, I’m just being polite).

Not sure if I’m supposed to tag anyone or if it’s supposed to die a natural death. I’ll keep it going for one more time and tag my podcast partners in crime, Amber Jerome~Norrgard. Take it away Amber :).

Oh and I wouldn’t be doing this properly if I didn’t have a call to action at the end. Go and buy the book, now, quick, before … before … well, before you forget.

Flash Fiction – The Leaf

So, folks, here’s another piece of me. That’s how I feel lately, writing. Teeny, tiny pieces of me jumbled together on the page, or screen as the case may be, little black marks that signify stuff from my brain (in case you’re wondering, I don’t think that’s the technical explanation for what writing is, but anyway…).

The Leaf

She is empty. Her hand lays open on her lap and her eyes follow the creases and lines embedded therein: paths to nowhere. No, wait, they do lead somewhere. Closing her eyes, she follows the lines down to where it’s so dark she can’t see, but she can feel; the emptiness. She calls out and her voice echoes, like she is in an empty metal drum. Her own laughter taunts her: there is no one else to comment. It is lonely here. Does she long for the feel of his skin? Yes. Does she need their approval? Yes. Knowing them, him, anyone and everyone, she settles to the floor—blacker than black—like a leaf, a skeleton of a leaf, to wait. There is no breeze in this place and her threadbare form will never be borne up again. She hasn’t the strength to do it herself. Again, she will wait, until the waiting is over.

 

If you like this piece, it is highly likely you’ll enjoy my book of short stories, Dark Spaces. Visit Amazon or Smashwords and grab the e-book, it’s only $2.99. What a bargain ;).

Flash Fiction Autobiographical Piece (no I’m not flashing)

Uni is upon me again and I must write weekly snippets to post on the board. This week we have been asked to tell our ‘life story’ in 250 words. Mine has gone off the rails a tad. I know I understand what I mean but maybe other people won’t. I’ve posted it anyway because I love to share. Here’s hoping someone else enjoys my autobiographical flash fiction.

 

What is relevant in the story of my life? Is it that I was born in Sydney to immigrant parents, or is it that I’m married with two young children? Many of the events that shaped me are hazy memories, some even appear as dreams: me as a five year old, lying in a white room on a cold, stainless steel table, staring at bright lights while a white-coated person stands over me. As a teenager, when I told my mother about this memory-come-dream, she advised that when I’d had meningitis, they extracted spinal fluid from me with a more-than-impressive needle, without anesthetic. She, sitting frantic in an adjoining room, could hear my screams: screams she would never forget. My life shaping experience had become hers.

What is the story of someone’s life? As I stand before you as an author, mother, sister, sports-lover and wife, does my backstory matter? My experiences are gone as soon as they occur, and I am this moment in time. The retelling is a reshaping, not a reliving—we can never go back. The relevant story of my life, to me, is what is to come. Since I am not who I was when I was born, my life unfolds moment to moment: the story ever beginning and ending, each moment becomes my story until it has passed—then it belongs to another.

Amber gets Clicky with Dionne & Michelle’s Blobs

Our uber awesome guest today was author, Michelle Franco. She has been a long-time Twitter friend of Amber & I and has appeared on Tweep Nation once before. Michelle writes zombie stories and has two books out, her latest is Where Will You Hide. She was very patient while Amber clicked her mouse like there was no tomorrow: I, on the other hand, was ready to send Amber to podcast heaven. She really knows how to push my buttons. Gee, how did I manage to write so many cliches into one blog post? It’s skill I suppose. Join the Tweep Nation podcast for hysterics, hysterectomies and histrionics and occasionally you may hear something intelligent between the swear words.

Flash Fiction – A Million Little Pieces

This flash fiction was inspired by 30 Seconds to Mars’ song Search and Destroy (A Million Little Pieces). I entered it in a flash fiction comp but alas, it didn’t catch the judges’ eye. Not to worry, that’s why I have a blog. Maybe one of you peeps will like reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A Million Little Pieces

She stood on the creaking deck of an ancient ferry. A million little pieces. Her hands tightened about the railing. Debris from black clouds, invisible in the night sky, stung her face. Which were tears and which were rain; she no longer knew. Closing her eyes, she tilted her face to the infinite space above. A million little pieces.

She imagined she felt his hands about her waist, grounding her as gusting tentacles attempted to carry her off. Where she once felt his warmth, an aching imprint of lost passion burned through her pores. She willed the rain to scour her skin, rip the veneer of lust away. Her emotions possessed a deep rich bouquet, each drop extracted, consumed, and refilled on his whim. What was left fermented in a glass vial where no one could see.

He didn’t want what little was left. He had gripped the neck of the vial, had smashed it with a confident yet negligent thrust of his arm. Her vessel had shattered into a million little pieces, and her essence trickled into the cracks between the timbers, washing from railing to railing with the roll of the sea. She wished to be free but knew she was weak. But so was he.

“Faith.”

“Let me go.” Even as she spoke she sank into his arms.

He smiled and shook his head.

As he possessed her once again, each shard stabbed a little deeper, and she wept for the love that was anchored in his intense, dark waters. She escaped the only way she knew how: into the depths of him.

I’ve Been Tagged! U Got “The Look”

As the friend who tagged me, Tonya Cannariato wrote, Justin wrote, “The Look is a writing prompt, a game, another tagging event. This is how U Got “The Look” works: you take your current manuscript, search for the word “look”, and post the surrounding paragraphs. Lastly, you tag 5 blogging authors who you think will be a good choice for the game.”

My work in progress is the sequel to Shadows of the Realm, the first book in The Circle of Talia fantasy series. I hope this isn’t giving any spoilers away, but what the hell? Why not? I’m only mid-way through writing chapter six, but it’s getting exciting and the characters are in a race against time. Shit is hitting the fan—well  it would if their world had fans, but it doesn’t—hmm, I digress. OK, I’ll stop rambling and give it to you kiddies. Danananaaaaa!

Agmunsten peered at the Dragon King. “So, Valdorryn, who would you rather upset—Queen Jazmonilly, or Drakon?”

            The Dragon King squinted his eyes. “How do you know it’s him, hmm? You weren’t alive during the Gormon War. How can you know?”

            Agmunsten clenched and unclenched his fists, “Bronwyn told me his name and when I questioned him, he all but admitted Drakon was involved. I have ways of knowing when people are telling the truth. Look, Valdorryn, I know this is hard for you to accept, that your God may have wanted one of your own killed. But if I’m right, what does that tell us?”

            Zim listened and knew where Agmunsten was headed. He remembered finding the spires hadn’t been charged properly, and Symbothial’s reaction when he confronted him. His colour returned, but it was with a sad voice he answered the Head Realmist. “My cousin betrayed us.” Zim turned to look at his father, “I know this is hard for you to believe. I didn’t want to think it either, but I can’t ignore the facts any longer. Symbothial wasn’t maintaining the spires properly. It was his job, and we all know how important it is. When I checked them a while ago, the rivers to three of the spires were blocked; more than enough to let any Gormons through. When I spoke to him, he acted like it wasn’t important.”

            “That’s not enough to condemn him. Maybe he was just being careless because we’ve been safe for so long; it’s easy to become complacent.” King Valdorryn’s voice trailed off as he lost the energy to make excuses. He had to admit there was only one decision he could make, and he was dreading having to explain this to his wife. 

Hmm, so who to tag? Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. The following people are all in the firing line. If you’ve done it before you get a reprieve:

Maria Savva

Jane Isaac

James Garcia Jnr

Charity Parkerson

Julie Elizabeth Powell

Ok guys. Ready. Set. Go!

Amber & Dionne Talk James Bond, Reviews and Toilet Paper with Author Barry Crowther

Successful author Barry Crowther writes mystery and horror. He joins us to chat about traditional publishing, agents, self publishing and reviews (in light of the recent pay for review controversy). We giggled at times because we can’t help ourselves, but Barry was a super interesting guest. I must apologise now for my children who don’t know how to leave me alone lol. Join us for another cool episode of Twitter’s favourite podcasts Tweep Nation (ok, so I might be stretching the truth).

Undertow – Flash Fiction

She clutched his jacket. Fingers curled possessively around the fabric, pulling then pushing into his chest. Her earthquake shook him, but he was unmoved. The sympathy in his eyes only teased the ravenous anger until it consumed all rationality.

“You can’t leave me. I love you. Please tell me you love me?” As she tried to breathe, he was reminded of the final breath of the dog he had unintentionally run over. “This can’t be happening. Sam. Please, please, don’t leave me.”

Waterlogged eyes reached out to him. If he didn’t save her she would drown. The slightest shake of his head was all it took to condemn her to death. He was no hero, just a guy who wasn’t in love anymore.

“Beth, I’m sorry.” He grabbed her wrists. Unlatched them from his jacket. His head hung low as he walked out the door.

“I can’t live without you,” she whispered. As salty tears leached into her mouth, she made her way to the kitchen. “I love you, Sam.” Her raspy words were in harmony with the sound of the knife sliding from its block. The grey steel of the blade was cold, hard and comforting. It was time to stop crying. She would be the hero.

Beth departed in Sam’s wake. She would save them both.

Rayne Hall Brings out the Best in Amber & Dionne

 

Today, on episode 32 of Tweep Nation, we are joined by author, writing teacher and editor Rayne Hall. There are a couple of first for this show.

Number 1: Rayne is the first guest with a German accent and

Number 2: There was no swearing.

What? I hear you ask. No swearing. How could that be, it’s Amber and Dionne we’re talking about. Well, Rayne was so polite that we were too. Don’t let that stop you listening though, because we’re still all very interesting, especially when I reveal the extent to which my Alzheimer’s has progressed.

Amber & Dionne’s Cat Fight Over Ben Ditmars

This week, on episode 31 of Tweep Nation, we entertained Ben Ditmars and he entertained us with his amazing poetry. He’s an author who has self-published four books. We tried hard to talk about him but as you know, we have trouble sticking on topic. We managed to talk about roadkill, sex changes and school (interesting combination don’t you think?). Join us for another hilarious and informative episode. I’d also like to thank Bobbi Jo for saving the day at the last minute and doing Days of the Week.