Author Spotlight – R.L. Andrew

Australian author, RL Andrew recently released her novel A Lunatic’s Guide To Interplanetary Relationships!
I have the privilege of following her on Facebook, as friends, and in light of her recent release have asked to host her on the blog!

Here is the first chapter of her book.  Links you can find her at are:

Website: https://rlandrew.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573042.R_L_Andrew

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/R.L.-Andrew/e/B00R0OY14A

 

 

Instead of finding a toaster in the pantry, possible lunatic Earthling Shayne James, is sucked into a wormhole and dumped across the galaxy at the feet of Annu – a man looking for his past. Desperate for answers Shayne and Annu discover they’re linked to the ancient Annunaki, and the only way for Shayne to return home is to succeed in an near impossible ascension ritual and defeat an evil God. Despite all the danger, what Shayne doesn’t realise is that by the time she can go home, will she still want to or is it all in her head?

 

 

 

Chapter 1: Crazy Like a Falling Coconut

Ardrossan, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, Earth

 

How did I, Shayne James, a Demi-Goddess and daughter of the Great God Ki, end up in a nut house? It’s God damned ridiculous. Literally. Ive got to get out of here. I cant do another night in this stupid place.

 

Shayne shook the gate; her fingers ached and rust embedded beneath her nails. “What kind of screwed up torture is this? Haven’t I suffered enough?”

She surveyed the yard for Geoffrey from Ward 3, her one true fan, believer and stalker. Where he went, hospital staff followed. Yard all clear, Shayne counted on her fingers. “How many weeks have I spent in this shit hole?”

2 or 3? Fuck. I don’t know.

The medication they’d thrust into her made time a slippery worm difficult to grasp. The morning’s pills jiggled next to her phone in Shayne’s pocket. She’d hide them with the others. The few missed days cleared her brain and the memories returned. The instant their effects wore off, Shayne realised the governmental nightmare with its hard beds, terrible food, and bad TV, interfered with her true destiny on another planet.

Shayne kicked the metal lock. Pain shot through her foot. “Shit. Crap.”

She hopped in a circle and cursed dodgy hips connected to short legs. The bastards prevented her climb up the Wistingera hedge beside the gate without assistance, and she couldn’t find anyone to hold her steady without grabbing her arse.

Cant get out the gate, cant break the fence, cant climb the hedge. I’ve tried all the doors. Which leaves what exactly?

Shayne breathed in crazy free air and ran through other options. “Oh fuck it. I can’t think of any. What to do, what to do?”

Her shoulders drooped; Shayne’s freedom remained as distant as Orion.

Even if I did escape, what then? How do I get home and back to Orion? Why can’t a wormhole just appear right here? Huh?

Frustrated with her lack of control, Shayne grabbed the top fence rail and shook. Each rattle represented wasted minutes spent there and the time taken from her future with Annu. The strive for freedom pulsed through her, it interrupted her thoughts and shoved her out of bed each morning. All to face a day filled with half baked escape concepts and pleas to release her Godly self.

Shayne moved her anger down a rung. “That nobody fucking listens to.”

Her arms ached; she relent her hold on the fence. Shayne shifted from the gate across to the hedge filling the fence and smushed into the middle of it. The faint scent of rosemary comforted her, a fresh wave of memories flooded Shayne’s mind.

Shayne wriggled her middle finger, not a scar or mark indicated its former separation.

I can’t believe I got a finger chopped off and it grew back, let alone all the other stuff.

Before being found on the pantry floor by her son and taken to the hospital, Annu held Shayne in his arms inside a stone room. Both Demi-Gods fresh from ascension, and filled with universal power. All they’d been through to get there seemed like a dream, and she’d fucked it up.

Shayne in the ultimate moment of stupidity mentioned Earth one too many times, and in a flash a wormhole ripped Shayne back to her home planet and away from love.

True fucking love and shit too.

Annu’s shocked expression tormented her. “Damn you medication for making me forget it even for one second.”

A branch stuck into her back, Shayne wriggled further onto the hospital’s back lawn, a large pile of dried bird poop on her right fared better than her. “We did everything right and in return we weren’t given time to soak in our success; the greatest moment of existence. Let alone kiss and enjoy things. No, not me. I got cosmically shafted. As usual.”

Shayne yanked out a wad of grass and tossed it to the side. “I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind, there’s something pleasant about that place, even your emotions had a gecko, and so much pace. Mmm. Does that make me crazyyyy? Does that make me–oh wait apparently it does.”

Neighbourhood dogs howled, a flock of magpies a few metres ahead shot into the air.

Bastards don’t appreciate a good voice. Oh what does it matter? My new life waits on the other side of the Galaxy, through the stupid wormhole–an hour and a half, several security guards, and several door alarms from here.

Shayne resigned herself to no Knight in shining armour arriving to rescue her from the current dilemma.

Rather, a retard in tin foil waited on this one planet, on the hospital lawn, deep in thought and determined. “It’s not the first time I’ve saved myself. It’s probably like the third. Surely I can do it again?”

I miss my chocolate hulk.

Shayne shook her head, Annu lingered in her mind. Her belly gurgled, doubt poked into her thoughts.

Is he still waiting for me? No, he probably gave up, and I cant blame him. He’s probably relishing in glory–alone.

Shayne tried to twirl her jade ring, its absence on her naked finger shot another wave of panic through Shayne. She’d grown accustomed to the odd piece of jewellery despite its catalytic nature.

Where did it go? I must have lost it when I burst through the wall. Its got to be under the pantry shelf.

Shayne massaged a lump in her shoulder and sighed. “Another thing that doesn’t matter because I’m not getting out right now, so fuck it and fuck them.”

She scanned again for any sign of staff; all clear. Eyes squinted; she pulled out a smoke and lit it. Shayne inhaled to her lung’s capacity, held the breath and fought coughing.

Hold it in, don’t waste it. Any second now it will be worth it. You’ve got to cough to get off don’t you?

The scratch in her lungs eased, a warm rush numbed her senses and removed life’s edges. While it didn’t remove the body pain, it made not caring about it easier.

 

Another toke and the sweet smoke filled her chest. The reason Shayne sat next to the gate drifted away with the breeze.

Three quarters of her mind mushed, the remaining quarter niggled at her.

Focus. Don’t waste more time. Don’t fall back into old habits. Oh yeah – escape plan, future leader, blah blah blah. Wait, focus on what? What else can I do? Ive got no powers, no ring, no wormhole. A big fat nothing. Protesting gets me nowhere and all my other attempts are well–unrealistic.

Shayne blew smoke rings into the sky. “Where are you when I need you Ghost Dad? Huh?”

He hasn’t answered to that name yet. Maybe I should call him Ki unless he tells me otherwise?

Eyes closed, mid puff–she attempted telepathy again.

‘Ah Ki, can you help me, please? Or am I too far away for you to hear?

A bird on the lawn squawked, no one else answered her. “Okay so that’s a no then. Fine. Whatever.”

Shayne pushed off the grass and levered up her legs to stand. She pulled the phone from her pocket and re-read Erin’s last text message.

‘I don’t know if I’m coming for a visit tomorrow. It’s hard for me to visit you in there, Mum.

The words buried Shayne in guilt and mocked her efforts at becoming a better parent, let alone have kids proud of her. “Hah. Another epic fail dickhead.”

Once they know the truth everything will change. I’ve got to make them believe me, show them somehow. Any ideas rolling around in my brain feel free to pop up.

Birds chirped, bees buzzed, and her mind remained empty.  

None–really? Oh why is everything so fucking hard? All this thinking is stressing me the fuck out.

Shayne raised the smoke to her lips and killed all negative thoughts. Mid drag, the joint flew in one direction, the lighter in another. Her mouth dropped, Shayne’s last piece of sanity disappeared. A flick on the arm drew her attention to reality and away from herbal oblivion.

Hand to her chest, Shayne faced the buzz-killer culprit.

Nurse Rye. Fuck, crap. Of all the people to catch me. Shit, shit, shit.

A thick plume of smoke exploded in the nurse’s face, she coughed in response.

Shayne swished the smoke away. “Oh fu–u–er, flip. Nurse Rye–what a surprise. Damn woman, are you a ninja in your off time?”

Her bowel clenched, the nurse’s presence scared the crap back up into her intestines. A number of excuses ran through Shayne’s mind, all with better things to do than come out her mouth.

Geoffrey’s head poked around Nurse Rye’s middle and pointed at Shayne. “Found you, your highness. See, you can’t escape me. Ha. I win.”

Since arriving at the hospital Shayne followed a Forrest Gump’s reasoning; if crazy is what crazy does, Geoffrey fell into the bat-shit category. “Geoffrey for the twentieth time it’s goddess not highness. And I know–I can’t escape a damned thing.”

A deep growl erupted against Shayne’s ear; she flinched. Geoffrey bolted from the nurse’s side and out of sight.

The nurse’s shadow blocked Shayne’s sun. “Right this is the last time I deal with you. All you do is spout nonsense, smoke drugs and try to escape. If that wasn’t bad enough, and worse still, you refuse to accept the help you desperately need. You make my job impossible. One way or another you will follow the rules.”

The nurse’s grip tightened; she glared at the lighter on the ground. Her crinkled face resembled a prune. “And, you have contraband. Where did you get it from?”

Quick, dick-head make something up.

“Off a visitor. I hid it in my sock.”

I reiterate, dick head.

Nurse prune grunted, a vein pulsed in her forehead. “You’re forbidden from the common room and confined to your bed aside from meal times. Now, I’m taking you straight to the doctor where I’ll give her a full report. Move it.”

Shayne shuffled at the nurse’s side, the nurse’s death grip prevented playing dead. Breasts considered unnatural wonders smushed against her cheeks, with the consistency of tennis balls in wet socks, they swung in hypnotic rhythm. Shayne stifled the urge to poke them to see if they acted like memory foam.

Headed toward the main building, the unlikely duo caught the immediate attention of both patients and medical staff. Crazy and sane eyes followed their path through the main doors and down the hall.

Great, an audience. Like I need another one of those.

Shayne mumbled into inflated flesh. “Couldn’t you have taken me around the side way and maybe made less of a scene?” Her arm throbbed under the nurses grasp. “Ouch, when I’ve got my powers back you bitch, you’re done for. This is totally unfair.”

Heat burned the top of Shayne’s head, the nurse’s voice bored through her soul. “Oh, yes, that’s right, your amazing magic powers. They haven’t done you much good so far have they? And I bet they didn’t remind you about your doctor’s appointment this morning either?”

The small buzz from the half joint went stone-cold dead. Bam, a wet fish smacked Shayne in the face. “No and no. Crap.”

Escape plan escalated to top priority, finding real chocolate can wait.

 

******

 

On a mission, Nurse Rye barged into the doctor’s office. Doctor Unders poked her head above a sea of paperwork. Eyebrows thick enough to hide in covered the middle of her face.

Geez I wish you’d pluck those. Maybe she’ll let me do it one day.

A pen fell from Doctor Unders mouth and landed with a plop on the table. “Nurse Rye, what the hell are you thinking? Remove your hands from this patient immediately.”

The ground rumbled, Shayne suspected steam might erupt out the nurse’s ears.

“If I let her go, she’ll run off again. I caught her out the back alone and smoking drugs–again. She somehow manages to evade the staff and sneak off. How I do not know. And there’s no doubt she’s probably plotting another futile escape as we speak. I have a great deal of work already to do, and not enough people to spend time chasing around after her. She should be medicated adequately so she can’t get out of bed and cause trouble.”

Shayne imagined kicking the nurse’s shin.

If it didn’t get me put in solitary I’d relocate your nose for you.

To her credit, the Doctor didn’t appear intimidated. “You’ll leave the patient’s diagnosis to me, thanks. Perhaps if you supervised your staff better, this wouldn’t happen. How about you go investigate how Mr. Berris is able to swap his lithium for viagra any time he likes and leave me to my job.”

Saggy old balls dangled for a moment in Shayne’s mind, a cold chill followed.

Nurse Rye released her grip on Shayne’s arm and slapped her own thigh. “Fine. I expect you’ll put her on report.”

Shayne remained wedged between the nurse and the door frame without care. Even if she could move, she’d stay put and witness this show down. “Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead.”

“Stop telling me what to do. If you don’t leave my office now, you’ll have staples to remove from your forehead in thirty seconds.” The doctor grabbed the stapler. “Twenty.”

The tension in the room intensified, Nurse Angry prune transformed into the Furious Tomato.

Despite the nurse’s fury, Doctor Unders didn’t waver her glare. “Ten.”

With a huff, Nurse Rye wedged backwards out of the room.

Once she’d reached a safe distance away, Shayne pushed off the doorframe, past shelves filled with physiology text books, towards the one un-cracked plastic chair. She sat adjacent to a deconstructed torso, and hung pictures drawn by patients.

The childlike art broke up nausea inducing yellow, but nothing hid the aged furniture and pea green stained carpet. Shayne recited by memory the names of each text book on each shelf and artist on the wall.

Dr. Overs used her motherly voice. “Shayne, you forgot your appointment and got caught smoking, again. What are we going to do about this?”

Several of Geoffrey’s pieces took up the middle section. None of hers, she hated art. It ate into her TV watching time.

Maybe I could try being invisible. Eyes closed and focus.

“Shayne? Are you with me?”

Shit. She can still see me. Suck it up. “No, I’m not with you at all. I want to go home.”

Doctor Unders’ sigh ricocheted off the desk. “I get it, we all do. But the fact remains, you are still heavily influenced by your delusions. They haven’t altered in strength one iota since your arrival.”

“Well duh. Because it happened, it’s all true and I’m not nuts. Simple.”

“Do you understand we need actual evidence other than your say so about you being royalty and all? And there’s your physical issues which further complicate things. However, I’m sure we’re close to discovering why you have such high levels of DMT in your blood. That’s one thing at least.”

Why don’t people listen to me?

“For the hundredth time, I’m a goddess not royalty. Different kettle of fish.”

Get it right, you morons.

Shayne picked at a strand on her pants. “Huh? DM what?”

“Aha. DMT is a chemical found in people immediately prior to the moment of death. You have a consistent high level in your blood, which I believe may be linked to this delusional behaviour.”

Shayne tapped her head. It echoed. “You won’t find anything wrong with my brain. What about the –”

Doctor Unders cut Shayne off with a raised hand. “Before you say it, we can’t find any biological evidence of you being immortal or having magic powers, nor of your finger being chopped off and, ah, grown back.”

Stupid narrow-minded people surrounded her. “For the tenth time, you aren’t using the right equipment.”

“Shayne, it’s time you faced facts. This other planet–Orion–with all these people and fantastical events are a creation of your mind. None of it happened. It’s illogical. Do yourself a favour and let it go. Concede you need help. In time, if you respond to treatment, you will be able to go home.”

 

The strand came loose, Shayne selected another. “No, I won’t change my mind. I can’t, every part of it is real. The good, the bad, the ugly. Somehow, someway, I’ll prove it to you.”

A curl broke free from back of the doctor’s head, it sprung into her face. “Are you still taking your medication?”

“Yes.”

Im still taking vitamins.

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. “If you don’t take the meds, they don’t work. Shayne, I’ve always had a lot of time for you. Yet, it’s a struggle to balance this duality within you. I know there is a healthy person in there. They’re just buried under a mountain of tragic events and bad judgment. When you’re not talking about Orion, and the kitchen hasn’t run out of anything chocolate flavoured, you appear mentally sound. With all this in mind, at this point in time in good medical consciousness, I can’t release you.”

Shayne’s stomach climbed her abdomen, up her throat, and dropped onto the floor. She refused to cry, instead stabbing a pencil at the desk.

Cant someone cut me some slack?

“First of all, the chocolate flavoured shit’s the only thing substituting for lack of actual chocolate because you consider the wrappers a choking hazard. Second, for fuck’s sake. I AM NOT nuts. Yes, long ago I spent some time in a psych ward for a few weeks. This is different.”

Doctor Unders’ tone softened. “I didn’t say nuts but you had nightmares, migraines, and hallucinations then too. Except for a much more elaborate delusion, how is this time unlike the other? This man Annu you’ve created, coincidentally, turned into the love of your life and a perfect match. And, his mother, Irica, is the mother you’ve longed for.”

Shayne shoved Irica out of her mind, and shuddered. “Don’t talk about Irica again.”

“Alright, I’m sorry. I forgot.”

She’d not let defeat claim her; Shayne grabbed inner strength. “Look it’s not the same at all okay. Well, actually it’s kind of a bit the same, but not. Back then, I saw and heard some strange things which didn’t make sense. Myself, boosted by a few others, thought I’d lost it. Until I travelled to Orion recently, I realised those so called hallucinations were visions of my future, and I wasn’t crazy at all. I did get pulled into a wormhole in my pantry and onto Orion. Me and Annu defeated an ancient God, Sham-man, I mean Shamesh, and a few others along the way. It wasn’t easy. Plus I got kidnapped, froze people, got hurt and all sorts of shit–yet ended up back home, where again, no one believes me. And trust me, if I made up a dream world, do you really think there would be so much death and destruction in it? I’d design it so I walked in, got my powers, and life turned into butterflies and fucking rainbows. Not ended with me here powerless in a mental hospital with a chronic illness.”

Shayne stuck her finger in the hole she’d created in her pants. “Which is caused from me being from Orion not Earth. My DNA isn’t meant for here.”

Doctor Unders glasses dropped on the desk beside the pen. “I thought you accepted you’re sick from the autoimmune disease Psoriatic Arthritis. Shayne, your fantastical evidence can’t be validated. Like the magical ring, which you don’t have, wormholes no one else sees, and life on another planet. Which you claim to be a Demi-God of, and none of it can be proven. And yet it won’t sink in that head of yours. Shayne, what about the effect this has on your kids? If it were true, wouldn’t they believe you? Wouldn’t someone have seen something?”

Bam, smacked on the other side of the face with another wet fish. “Leave Erin and Ryan out of it. They don’t understand yet, but they will. As soon as I get out of here. I just need to get back home.”

“Well I’ve got to tell you, it’s going to be a while and you aren’t getting out of this session. I’ve got 20 minutes left Shayne. Can we talk about your ex husband?”

Where were all these fish coming from?

“No. At least that son of a bitch is dead.”

The doctor probed her face. “Each of these wrinkles is your fault.” Another curl on the opposite side broke free; together the curls formed white horns around the doctor’s face. “Fine. Let’s start from when you moved into the other house.”

Do I spend twenty minutes fighting the session, or play nice and use to the time to figure a way out of this crap hole?

“Shayne?”

Shayne spotted the Doc’s handbag next to the desk, no easily accessible keys stuck out the top.

Damn, I better think of another idea.

 

Beautiful Potential

Precious little girl, you are more than this.

The darkness that consumes you, and breathes into your life has no power to remain there.

Sweetest little child, you are not judged by the darkness that you surround yourself in.  You’re free to let it go.

I know it protects you.  It keeps your sins from coming to light.

But do you know what else it does?  It tears you away from your potential.  It keeps you from accomplishing the things you were meant to.

You are so gifted, your heart is beautiful.  The words pouring out of your soul are worth reading, and worth being put on the shelves.  Your words were meant to be read, they were meant to be enjoyed.  

You have friends to join you in this Quest.

You have friends invested in your success.

You have support that loves you, they delight in you.

You have hope because they wont leave you until the Journey is done.

It’s beautiful, embrace it.

Your mind, your heart, your desires, your passions.  You are Beautiful and worthy of so much more.

Let go of the Darkness.  Let go of the Bondage and embrace your potential.

It is worth it.

Author Spotlight: JGJ Fairhurst

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What inspired my novel –

Inspiration came from many sources. Reading other novels & authors is an obvious answer but far too important to leave out for the sake of avoiding cliché. Personal experience is a huge part too. For example, I have a friend who wears glasses. Whenever it’s just me and him he would shout “hey, four eyes!” when he seen someone else wearing glasses. The offended party would turn round, see my friend with glasses on and then see me without. I’m sure I don’t need to point out who was always chastised for the yelled insult. Thankfully, It never lead to me being punched or beat-up but if looks could kill I would be dead fifty times over by now. I put this ‘trick’ in one of my short stories. There are lots of real life incidents that can make for interesting reading. If you remember it, then by definition it’s memorable. Chances are someone else will see the humour, the joy, the sadness, the awkwardness or whatever the case may be too. There are countless novels in your memory bank, the hard part is working out how to best utilise the material you have stored there. I used my “hey, four eyes!” memory in a short story called ones boy’s war. I think it made for a brilliant read but hey, we would all love to write our own reviews, right?

What’s it about –

The children of duty & justice interweaves fantasy, romance, politics and religion with mental illness, gender relations, and broken families.

The book follows Osyron Rymore as he leaves the family home to find his way in life. He joins the marshals (the law) in the hope of seeing justice done and being someone of worth in the world. However, it’s not long before world events outmatch one ideological boy and his honourable intent. All kingdoms have united into two empires that now sit tentatively side by side. Guided by scripture, Emperor Horim of Olbaid foresees an inevitable war and plots to strike before being struck. Horim hatches a plan to frame neighbouring empire, Miria as instigators to win support for his holy conflict. Despite a predicted death toll in the millions and a war expected to span decades, Horim see’s no price too great to shape his legacy and see off the preordained demonic invasion.

Due to this brewing war, most seasoned marshals are conscripted into the army leaving Osyron and fellow recruits with tasks that outweigh their experience. Opportunity is on the rise for criminals and a child trafficking ring is suspected to be operating in a coastal village in the far reaches of the empire. Osyron is sent alone. Here he meets Daniela Callahan, a fisherman’s wife who leads him on a journey further that any charted map and beyond all belief.

Additional info –

I have a deep love of the fantasy genre and wanted to create a medieval, fantasy world that incorporates and explores modern topics and issues. I wanted to write a novel that did not lean too heavily on fantasy elements just for razzmatazz sake. The idea was to keep real people with real issues as the meat and potatoes of the story and use fantasy as flavoursome gravy. I find there are too many novels that do it the other way around. At the very least I wanted to offer a fresh take on the traditional cornerstones of the fantasy novel, something a little different without sacrificing what makes fantasy such a well loved genre to begin with.

If anyone reading this is contemplating writing a novel or even a short story, then I urge you, do it. Don’t tell yourself you’re not a writer. You were not a walker once and if you applied that same logic back then you’d still be crawling today. It’s challenging but you can do it. Writing yourself off leads nowhere, writing a novel leads to be continued.

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Author bio – I was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland and still enjoy living there today. I worked as a stock auditor for seven years which involved travelling around the towns of Great Britain and Ireland. What may sound glamorous on paper were countless hours daydreaming out of a mini-van window. My first novel, ‘The Children of Duty & Justice’ is a direct product of those daydreams. Like a lot of folk, I wanted to write a novel but always dismissed the thought, telling myself. “But you’re not a writer.” This horse before the cart logic only pacified me for so long. I decided to test the waters with a short story, something light to gauge my aptitude with the pen, or as these are modern times, I guess the keyboard would be more apt. That short story became my 116,000 word debut novel. Maybe I was a writer after all, or perhaps I just really suck at short stories.

Presenting: Dauntless

Dauntless full cover

Dauntless is a coming of age story set against a fantasy background.  When Kacey Alexander turns 18, she finds out that she is a Mage, one of a long line of magic practitioners.  When Kacey’s mother dies, she leaves all of her belongings to Kacey, including a journal that details her past as a monster hunter.  When the details of her mother’s past come back to haunt her, Kacey must learn to master her powers and put together an unlikely alliance of friends to stop an army that threatens to destroy her city.

What inspired it:  I was in the middle of a long writer’s block when I came up with the idea for Dauntless.  One day my roommate Brandon and I were watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I complained about how TV and movies never had characters like her anymore.  Characters who were strong, sure, but who also had the ability to be weak.  Characters that were well rounded and experienced the full range of human emotion.  My roommate challenged me to write a character like that and, after many incarnations, Dauntless was the result.

Dauntless is a book that lets us know that family means more than just who we’re related to.  The strong bonds that Kacey has with her friends make them just as much family than her blood relatives.  In fact, more so.  Further the struggles that Kacey faces in finding herself in an unknown world mirrors a lot of problems people face when trying to fit in.

Find it on Amazon!
https://www.amazon.com/Dauntless-Thomas-G-Atwood-Jr/dp/1612967256

author portrait

Thomas Atwood Jr was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His love of writing was kindled early when his father gave him a copy of The Legends of King Arthur as an Easter present. These presents continued every year and he would devour them all. Soon he was developing further adventures for the characters to go on. When his high school teachers encouraged him to pursue writing, he embarked on a journey that would result in Dauntless, his debut novel.

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

twitter:  https://twitter.com/tatwoodauthor

Check out his other books also available on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Dauntless-Thomas-G-Atwood-Jr/dp/1612967256

 

Boost of Moral

I just spent the last half hour engaged in physical exercise.

My energy is up, my heart is racing, my mood is up, and I’m about to perform walking lunges up and down my hallway before laying down in bed to finish with simple leg lift variations.  Perhaps add a bridge or six in there too.

The point is, unless you DO what you mourn about, you’re never going to see the results that you’re moping about not having.
Only YOU can shape your destiny.

The latest trend in Gluttony and accepting your body in it’s unhealthy state of obesity?  Be honest with yourself, you’re ONLY accepting it because losing weight takes months of hard work and a change of lifestyle.

You can change.  You can do the Thing!  You can BE whoever you want to be.
Strive for success and you’ll always win.

Dry Wells

I don’t feel like a writer lately.

I don’t even feel like a “Christian” lately.

My motivation feels as though it fell into the black hole in the sea.

great-blue-hole-at-belize

Right there.  Swallowing all of me whole.

Life with littles has taken me over, and I attend the needs of children all day long.  Losing focus on the things I love, and the things I very much need to do.

I’m not crazy brilliant, with unending knowledge to tell you how to write. I don’t have tips and tricks, I simply write when the story is alive in my brain-watching it play like a movie. And when the scene closes, I stop writing.

The desire to write is a roller coaster affair. The swells and urges come and go, and you ride them one hill at a time. Each crescendo feels more exciting than the last– until you hit the low points. And my god, are they low.

Doubt, self-loathing, “why would anyone want to read me anyway? I’m a fraud.”
Driving us to drink, because we aren’t committed to the pen as William Shakespear might have been. Brilliance one poetic play at a time! Surely that man had it together.

It’s really pretty black and white.
You write? You’re a writer.
You’re published? You’re an author.

You. Are. Real. No matter if you’re in a mountain of a block, or an ant hill. The words will always be locked in your heart, you were destined to think them. The urge will always be in your mind. You were destined to hear them.
If the words can’t hit the paper, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.
It means you need a break. And not from writing-you’re already on a break from writing. ((Blocked, break, same thing….))
Life is just as much a roller coaster of swells and crescendos.
If your writing causes you to miss out on the precious, fleeting moments Life offers-you’re writing for the wrong reason.
Step out into Awareness. Feel life. Enjoy it. Watch your kids grow. Watch your nephews and nieces grow. Love your family. Live in Today.
Tomorrow has enough worries of it’s own.

Jesus Christ said “Do not worry about tomorrow. For tomorrow will worry about itself.”
Hinduism, Buddism, Christianity and Judaism, all of us can agree to be Ever Present in Today.

Take little steps at a time, and before you know it, you’ll end up at the otherside of the room.

……I don’t even remember how this blog started or where I was going with it.
In the end, I’m glad it presented a simple message. Today is worth living for.

Earlier I said to my husband, “No time like the past to regret the present.”
It was a tongue in cheek joke at the time, but now I see how profound it was.

Good talk. Perhaps one of these days I’ll have more insight.

I’m sure most of you have forgotten I exist, and thanks to my second child and lapse in The Ranger of Severum, I’m pretty sure you guys aren’t even interested in the next episode either.
It’s going to be good…. when it gets off it’s feet.
Meanwhile in Eldegras, I am muddling through the first draft at a very slow pace. Paul gave me deadlines to help work towards publishing. I’m aiming for them but life has been RIDICULOUS. I hope April is slower. I’m tired of turning around to find the month is over and I have nothing to show for it.

How about you? How are you doing?
Are you reading my blog?
Is there anything I should do different?
Leave me a comment. Chat with me. I’d like to get to know my readers 🙂

Authoring and Littles

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It has been said a number of times that friends are impressed with the amount of writing work I can do, and raise two small children ((almost 3, and 7.5 months)) at the same time.
Even now as I write this, I am holding a sleeping baby in my arms.

On the one hand, there isn’t as much work happening behind the scenes as they might believe.  This time last year I was publishing my first short story, The Precious Jewel for debute in Den of Thieves: A Den Of Quills Anthology, I was blitzing through episodes of The Ranger Of Severum, and I was writing my High Fantasy series.

Being able to write and blog are only two hobbies of like, five, I enjoy doing, and it’s becoming difficult to have to choose which one to do in my free time.
Do I read?  Do I workout?  Do I write?  Do I paint?  Or Draw?
Better yet, DO I SLEEP?!?!

The baby has now woken up and every few words or letters, I have to push away at her little smacking hands as they hit at the laptop keyboard.  She giggles, finding it a game, I move the computer, and then she pulls on my clothes, to stand up and reach over my lap to try at it again.

What it all boils down to is time management.

 

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Exercising is difficult to make time for with littles.  Especially when they demand your attention all day long.  But, what I have found is I can get in an hour of cardio by doing squats, and swinging the kids around, and dancing with them, doing jumping activities, all by including them in my fitness goals.  Swinging a 26 pound child up in the air, and down through your legs while squatting really works your thighs, and you feel it for the next three days.  Doing the various leg lifts lying down on the floor, planking, sumo-squatting, bridges, yoga positions, you suddenly become a bridge, or a mountain for cars to drive up and down, all the while you’re toning, slimming, trimming, and making your goals happen without having to duck off to the gym in time you really don’t have.

Painting and drawing can also be activities to do while in the living room.  Set up the canvas on the counter, with all of your tools out of reach, and stand and paint while watching the kids.  Boom, easy.

Reading and writing are the tricky ones, as both are full attention activities.  So, when going to bed at night, or during naps in the afternoon….  I play games and scroll through Facebook, because I suck at time management.  ((I have written 440+ words and it’s taken me roughly thirty minutes, because Facebook))

Usually I read myself to sleep, once my pocket game has been taken care of.  I’m currently beta reading for an author friend of mine, and I find his book is best executed at night before going to sleep.  My husband works nights, so I have from the time the kids go to bed, to when the baby wakes for midnight feeding, to myself.  And again, I have to pick “Do I work, or do I sleep?” and in the end, socializing wins most times.

Mothers are secluded creatures who need to clear their headspace.  Clearing headspace involves mindless activities and SOCIALIZING with other people.  So, my writer friends on the internet are readily available to socialize with when I want to sit and do absolutely nothing when I’ve been going, going, going all day.
This, by no means, means I am inactive during the day.  All the day long, I’ve been working through my writers block lately, to try and plan out the course for action in my High Fantasy series.  One day, I hope to set the world of Eldegras in orbit for the world to see.  I’ve just spent the last two years trying to clean it up and make it ready.  This became an even slower process in bearing children.  Along with the kids comes managing the household, doing laundry and dishes, and cooking and cleaning, and being wifely by spending time with the husband….  All of the responsibility!  Nobody should be surprised when all a woman wants to do is mindless nothing on the internet.

 

My simple advice to mothers everywhere, workout with the kids, do your hobbies with them, and in the quiet moments you have to yourself do whatever the hell you want to.  You deserve it.

Oh.  And Coffee.

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Authors You Must Read In 2016

Welcome to the year 2016!
With all of the bright new things happening in 2016, we definitely should start the year off RIGHT!

What does that mean for you? Books! New books are such a wonderful gift to yourself to help accomplish your goals of being more focused and fulfilled in the coming year.

This coming year I’ve already done half of your job for you and compiled a list of authors and their books which you simply must read this year.

We all have that reading list of books that we intend to read. I know. I do too. However your reading list just isn’t complete without these lovely people to pepper into your list.

If you’re part of a book club, a reader’s circle, or you simply read for your own pleasure, these authors are definitely worth checking out!

 

Christopher Taylor

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Christopher Taylor is the author of three novels — Snowberry’s Veil, Old Habits, and Life Unworthy — along with many other works for role playing games. He lives in Oregon and is always at work on another novel.
A life long dreamer, Christopher encountered fantasy in The Hobbit at a young age and for him it was like coming home. He learned to play AD&D in 1979 and his gaming experiences as player and GM have shaped his storytelling and world building skills to a razor sharp edge.
Both Old Habits and Snowberry’s Veil are set in his game world Jolrhos and reflect his love of both the wilds of Oregon and the gaming worlds he’s been a part of.
Christopher checks the back of closets for Narnia and feels odd writing about himself in the third person.

Personal Website: http://alphawolf10.wix.com/kestrelarts2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KestrelArts
Twitter: @KestrelArts
Amazon store: http://www.amazon.com/Christopher-R-Taylor/e/B00OM67WB8/
Smashwords store: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KestrelArts
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8240885.Christopher_Taylor
Lulu store: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kestrelarts

 

 

Angel Blackwood

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Angel Blackwood is primarily a fantasy author, but she does dabble in other genres when the mood strikes.  She likes going on adventures with her family, rainy days, and all sorts of strange music from symphonic metal to steampunk.
She’s always got somthing in the works, usually several things at once.  You can check out her facebook author page for updates on her latest projects, interesting articles, and all sorts of other things.

Angel is currently featured in several anthology works
Shadows of the Mind: An Anthology of Horror — http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Mind-Anthology-J-Feldman/dp/1518789315/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Forgotten Places — http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Places-Josh-Walker-ebook/dp/B01A4O40XY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Curse Of the Heroines — http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Heroines-Fantasy-Writers-Anthology-ebook/dp/B015CVIQD4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Den Of Thieves — http://www.amazon.com/Den-Thieves-Angel-Blackwood/dp/1936099853/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
The Road Taken Anyway — http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Heroines-Fantasy-Writers-Anthology-ebook/dp/B015CVIQD4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

All of my published works can be found at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00SARZLFY

 

 

Rosa Arcade

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Rosa is an author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her books include the high fantasy novel, Half-Elf: Touch of Insanity (out of print), a self-help book called, Notes to My Younger Self, The Job Hunter’s Guide which is a great resource tool, and its free companion book, Samples and References: A Companion Book to The Job Hunter’s Guide. She has also co-authored 4 publications and her poetry has appeared in several anthologies.

Rosa has studied acting, music, as well as writing for non-fiction, fantasy, and film. Over a dozen of her scripts have been produced to date, including short educational and promotional videos.

Rosa is the creator of the animated series, Zomb-Eh? She is also the artist and writer for Eeyayho’s Adventure, a family-friendly video game created by her daughter. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and children.

Author Site:  www.RosaArcade.com
Blog:  www.iamrosa.com
FB Page:  www.facebook.com/iamrosa.fanpage

Notes to My Younger Self: A Personal Guide to Happiness
Kindle – http://tinyurl.com/mbswo32
Print – http://tinyurl.com/lfbkclm

Job Hunter’s Guide [Revised]
Kindle – http://goo.gl/0RgI41
Print: http://goo.gl/f7GZcW

Eeyayho’s Adventure
Official Site: www.eeyayho.com
FB Page: www.facebook.com/eeyayho

Zomb-Eh?
Official Site:www.zomb-eh.com
FB Page: www.facebook.com/ZombEh.Fanpage

 

Stephanie Ayers

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Stephanie Ayers is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Our Write Side and graphic designer, editor, and proofreader for Mother Spider Publishing. She is also a full-time world-building ninja, six-time published author, and part-time freelancer from central Virginia, crafting her own story and avoiding growing up at all costs. She mothers her children, loves her husband, attends church, and avoids all things zombies.

Stephanie has been a regular contributor and leader for Bloggy Moms and Just Be Enough, and writes content for Blogmutt in her spare time.

She published her debut novella, Til Death Do Us Part, in 2013, and her work appears in several anthologies and collections, notably Precipice 2 and Endless Darkness. Her poetry has been featured in magazines and as podcasts on Eat Sleep Write.

You can find a full listing of her works on her Amazon author page.  She shares her writings and life musings on her personal blog, Written. Additionally, she hosts the exclusive Master Class and Fractured Friday writing prompts and hosts a writing wisdom column every Wednesday.

CONNECT:

https://www.facebook.com/theauthorSAM
https://twitter.com/theauthorSAM
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieayersauthor
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SAMAWriter/posts
https://www.pintrest.com/stephanie_ayers/
https://www.instagram.com/geniegirlgraphics/

 

 

 

Beth Hammond

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Beth Hammond is an author/illustrator who writes anything from YA fantasy to children’s picture books. She is a wife, mother, and lover of life. Her early years were spent serving in the military, middle years spent raising babies, and figuring out her place in the world.
Her later years are yet to come, and filled with hopes and
endless dreams. She spends her days creating worlds through words and illustration.
“Don’t write what you think will sell. Write what you want to read.” – Beth Hammond
If you want perfection, I’m not your girl. If you want a sappy love story, move along and I wish you well. But if you’re looking for a fantasy that tells a tale reminiscent of classics like “The Never Ending Story” then we might be twins. Wait, what color shirt are you wearing?  Oh, and one more thing, if ridiculous humor thrown in at the most awkward moments makes you roll your eyes, don’t read this book. You’re welcome.
The Sound of the Stones on Amazon:
 The Sound of the Stones on Barnes & Noble:

 

Kyra Dune

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Kyra Dune was born in Oklahoma, but spent most of her life travelling with her family.
She is the author of more than two dozen fantasy novels, including:
Shadow of the Dragon, Elfblood, and Firebrand. As a child, her favorite stories were those that told of ordinary children being whisked away to magical lands. She has yet to find her own secret wardrobe or rabbit hole, but she hasn’t given up the search. You never know what might be waiting over the next rainbow.
With NUMEROUS books available, Kyra Dune is well worth checking into.

 

E.H. Demeter

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E. H. Demeter is the mother of two wacky kiddos, and she’s married to the love of her life. She lives in South Carolina, where she loves to hate the heat and miss the rain. She can almost always be found with her nose in a book and a notebook on her person. She writes in every free moment she has, and she’s been writing for as long as she can remember. It’s truly her passion, and she fuels it to the best of her ability.

Secrets, Book One of the Rune Trilogy, is her first book!  Also featured in three anthologies, with promise of more coming, E.H. Demeter is certainly a worthy addition to your bookshelves.

Instagram: @TheDarlingWordsmith
twitter: @EH_Demeter
Alizabeth Lynn

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First of all, Alizabeth Lynn is a cat. No, really—everyone who’s ever met her agrees she must be. She prefers sleeping in sunlight, hogging the keyboard, and refilling her plate before it’s anywhere near empty. When she’s pretending to be human, however, she writes paranormal romance, fantasy, and a bit of horror. Her style of romance is a bit on the light side, but some of the violence is almost as bad as trying to tame a wild pride of lions—bloody, disfiguring, and out-of-control.

She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, and even still has the very first poem she ever wrote, around the age of six. She’s been included in two anthologies, Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat, and Cancer Sucks!, both of which came out in October, 2015, and her first novel, Crimson Bayou, is due for release on March 09, 2016 through Burning Willow Press.

A Northwest Louisiana native, Alizabeth currently resides in West Texas with her loving fiancé. The wonderful man in question works his tush off so that she can stay home with their two children and follow her dream of authorship. However, when she’s not following her dreams, or reverting to her natural feline form, she can be found with her nose buried in a book, or up to her neck in dirty diapers. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Until Crimson Bayou comes out on march 9th, I’ve only been included in two anthologies. They are Cancer Sucks! and Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat.

Cancer Sucks! : http://www.amazon.com/Cancer-Sucks-E-H-Demeter/dp/1518702252/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1452555972&sr=8-2&keywords=Alizabeth+Lynn

Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat: http://www.amazon.com/Nightmares-Writers-Retreat-E-H-Demeter/dp/1518813771/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452555972&sr=8-1&keywords=Alizabeth+Lynn

And I can be found across the internet in these places:

 Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlizabethLynnAuthor
Website: http://alizabethlynnauthor.weebly.com/
Instagram: @authoralizabethlynn https://www.instagram.com/authoralizabethlynn/
Twitter: @Red_Tempest13 https://twitter.com/Red_Tempest13
Tumblr: http://redtempest13.tumblr.com/
Email: alizabethlynnauthor.com

 

Lorraine Johnston

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Lorraine Johnston is from Glasgow, Scotland. She was a children’s nanny for thirteen years and spent many hours making up stories for them using her vivid imagination. This was always met with giggles and laughter. She worked for a New Orleans family, and through them, was introduced to The Crescent City. After many years and many visits, she considers New Orleans to be her home away from home. Lorraine started writing in October 2011 and quickly discovered how much she enjoyed creating children’s stories. She was passionate about writing a book set in New Orleans, while adding a little Scottish flavor to her story. Later Tartan Gator is her first children’s book, but it certainly won’t be her last!

http://www.latertartangator.com

Barnes And Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/later-tartan-gator-lorraine-johnston/1115305127?ean=9781620861967
TV Interview — https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zWmIzfR7qPM
Podcast Interview — http://www.underthetartansky.scot/podcast-episodes/2015/7/27/utts-006-later-tartan-gator-a-new-orleans-tale

 

 

Paul R Davis

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With the experiences of mission trips to Guatemala, international travel, a Tough Mudder, teaching in Kentucky and Wisconsin, and a few forced experiences out in mother nature, Paul R Davis seeks to put the excitement of life in his books, inspiring others to seek adventure.

Inspired by Arabian mythology, Drowning the Sands of G’desh brings readers into an epic holy war filled with conspiracy and self-discovery.

His first book has previously been featured here on my blog.
He is also featured in two anthologies.  Den of Thieves, and Heroes.

http://www.amazon.com/Drowning-Sands-Gdesh-Scrolls-Chaos/dp/1458219615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448396855&sr=8-1&keywords=G%27desh

Paul also runs a website hosting his world lore!
http://www.landsofvolden.com

Amazon Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-R.-Davis/e/B00WXHL32W/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Paul-R-Davis-341392279311292/?fref=ts

 

 

Angie Grigaliunas

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Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nahs) is a fantasy writer and blogger.
She’s a country girl at heart, in the sense that she wants to be in nature and away from civilization. She loves Jesus, the woods, and the stars, and has always wanted to be a superhero with a secret identity. Seriously.
She has completed three books: one about elves that needs a massive revision before it ever sees the light of day, one that is part of her current story but also needs a massive revision to fit a new storyline, and the actual first book (Sowing) in her dystopian/medieval/grimdark/semi-romance series (The Purification Era). When she’s not writing, she’s usually Facebooking – ack! – or thinking about story stuff. Despite several of her writing friends claiming she’s Canadian, she is not; she lives in Ohio with her dear husband and their crazy cats.

She, too, is currently only published in anthologies, and each of them can be found under her amazon profile.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angie-Grigaliunas/e/B00SADA9NM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_2
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/angiegrigaliunaszewriter
Blog: http://www.angiegrigaliunas.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter/Angie_ZeWriter
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/angiegrigaliunas
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13436876.Angie_Grigaliunas

 

 

Laurie Wetzel

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Laurie Wetzel has always had a passion for writing, but it wasn’t until a New Year’s resolution in 2011 that she finally shared with her husband her lifelong dream of being an author. He read the very first draft of Unclaimed and gave her the words she needed to hear: “This is what you need to be doing.” Three years later, her dream became reality when the first book in the Unclaimed Series was published.

Laurie lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband and two young sons. She became a thyroid cancer survivor in 2014 and has since helped raise awareness and donations for research through events held in person and online. When she’s not writing, working, or spending time with her family, she’s reading, working out, or catching up on her favorite shows.

For updates on Unclaimed and Ignited as well as other works in progress, feel free to check her out online.

Facebook: /LaurieRWetzel
Twitter: @Laurie_Wetzel
Website: lauriewetzel.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1luhvqu
Itasca: http://bit.ly/1oNzNlQ
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qkAcZB
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/enUS/ebook/unclaimed6
Copia: http://www.thecopia.com/catalog/details.html?catId=16411029
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unclaimed/id909062319?mt=11
Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/book/236768070/Unclaimed
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1ldQHdW

 

M.A. Rey

M.A. Ray keeps her meat shell in Wisconsin, where it lives with a husband, two kids, and a cat. Her heart is housed in a lump of stone, the location of which will not be disclosed here. She writes things. Her latest novel was Steel for the Prince: The High King’s Will.

You may find her at http://menyoral.com; the things she writes are available for viewing or purchase here. http://www.amazon.com/M.A.-Ray/e/B00IREBFUU

 

 

Kim Fry

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Kim Fry is a wife, mother and fiction writer who makes her life in Casper, Wyoming. She has a dark sense of humor and an enormous obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. Some of her work is currently posted on Wattpad under user name KimFry. Her horror/thriller, Scream for Me, won the 2012 Watty Awards for ‘On the Rise’ in horror. She writes many genres, including fantasy, horror, thriller and paranormal. 

Author Spotlight: R.A. McCandless

Inspirations of an Author

Tolkien’s The Hobbit was given to me as a gift when I was 11, and it really opened the castle gates of fantasy to me. Suddenly, there was a whole world of swords, magic and fantastical creatures to meet. Immediately after I turned the last page, I took all the money I had saved in my Crayola bank, and biked down to the local bookstore. My goal was to buy everything else Tolkien had written. I had no idea I was getting the seminal fantasy series: The Lord of the Rings. From there, the elements that inspire my stories are varied and wondrous. Some may seem mundane, like conversations with friends and acquaintances—but everything, and I mean everything, can inform and inspire an author.

 

One of the biggest for me is any world where dragons can make an appearance. I find that extremely compelling. They don’t have to show up, but the idea that they can? Please and thank you! I also like any world where a woman is as strong or stronger that most of the men around. Not necessarily physically strong, although that’s groovy too. Personally, I prefer a woman who can go toe-to-toe and sword-to-sword with anyone else. Obviously, my preferred genre is fantasy, but I’ll take urban fantasy, science fiction and even historic fiction off the shelves for those reasons.

 

With that in mind, I’ve been inspired to write (hopefully) strong female characters for a couple of decades now. I didn’t set out to do so. There was no conscious effort to make my work specifically male or female. My very first, very immature story was about my group of friends in junior high/high school. Because I was, have been, and always will be interested in fantasy, it was in a fantasy setting. Everyone carried swords, everyone was heroic with their swords, and that was essentially that. It was a story meant for my friends, and I thought highly of all of them, regardless of their gender. My parents raised me to believe that everyone was deserving of equal treatment. At the same time, I recognize that women around the world are not treated equally. Portraying women as something other than a pretty damsel in distress adds to the conversation. That doesn’t mean I denigrate men to raise up women. That’s also the wrong message to send. HELL BECOMES HER is the follow up to my debut release TEARS OF HEAVEN and follows the further adventures of Del, a strong female protagonist, who faces demons, both real and inner. This time around, she gets to face some classic bad guys, while at the same time confronting what it means to be both a woman and a mother. Challenges that face any parent on a daily basis, even one that isn’t fighting supernatural forces.

 

Finally, telling a good story well and hitting some epic high note moments is always inspiring. It’s hard to not to get carried away from the reality of, say, a sword fight or a gun battle, and into the unrealistic. Keeping the physics of actions and reactions on target is something I really strive for and enjoy. This is especially enjoyable when readers catch the effort that went into making a scene exciting, but still within the realm of the real. I have to say that my favorite is when a reader comes to me and says, “I can’t believe you killed this character. He was my favorite.” They really aren’t mad, but it means that I connected with them through that character, and I achieved a realism of life between their mind and the book with that character. That’s magic right there.

 

About the Author

Rob - Head ShotRobRoy McCandless was born under a wandering star that led to a degree in Communication and English with a focus on creative writing. He’s the author of the urban fantasy TEARS OF HEAVEN winner of the 2014 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll and a 2015 EPIC eBook finalist and HELL BECOMES HER. His shorts have appeared in “In Shambles” (with Kevin J. Anderson) “Gears, Gadgets and Steam” and “Nine Heroes”. He continues to research and write historical and genre fiction, battle sprinklers, and play with his three boys.

 

Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/RA-McCandless/e/B00H58AJU6/
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360276.R_A_McCandless
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1055251900
Kobo: www.store.kobobooks.com/it-us/books/Tears-of-Heaven/
Publisher: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=77&products_id=441
Website: http://robroymccandless.wix.com/ramccandless
Blog: http://www.highlandrogue.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobroyMccandless
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobRoyMcCandles

 

Stress Undressed

There are few words in life that accurately describe the emotional train wreck women experience during motherhood.
Currently,  stressed and anxious, I count down the days to my daughter’s birth.
Today, we learned that she’s breeched. I have one week to help manipulate her into turning, and if she doesn’t, I’m scheduled into an appointment for an inversion. The determination to get her to flip first is pretty high– as I’m avoiding a c-section at all costs unless it’s absolutely necessary. 36 weeks and 2-4 to go, I’m so ready to be done.

The absolute delight of being published is not lost on me, nor the anticipation for more opportunities to put together other anthologies with my dear friends and peers in Den of Quills.

However, current circumstances in my home have brought about the worst in me, creating despair.  Causing utter betrayal of my Game Face, ripping doors open to reveal the chaotic winds of “what if” that blow at hurricane strength in my heart.

Any semblance of Sanity I might produce gets formed to the written page in stories of free and frivolous characters.  My latest being Keegan Brand and Farah.  Ever since these two paired up in my imagination for the DoQ anthology,  more stories and adventures desire to be told.  They’re fun, new and interesting,  which has been refreshing in the midst of Life.
We all need a bit of therapeutic indulgence from time to time-though I wish very much that Trillian and Yulissa would spark my Muse again as they are currently waiting for an episode to finish!

The Cast of Eldegras sit quietly in their green room, waiting for me to pick their series back up as well.  High Fantasy, fully plotted out, with well defined world building finished, and character plots, sub-character plots, supporting cast…..  All of it hanging in the shadow, waiting on me to have the courage to produce it.

Priorities align when you set the emotional roller-coaster aside and allow yourself to decide what is most important.
In writing, the self-doubt and lack of confidence that creeps in can hamper your desire to produce what you love.
Will the fear of rejection put your stories on a shelf in your brain,  where no one else will ever experience them?
Will the efforts you put into your books be lost when you watch enthusiasm for your stories die out?

Right now, life in the Villa-Smith home is filled with uncertainty, worry, doubt, anxious anticipation– so many things are happening or waiting to happen.
I’m allowing the circumstances to dictate how I feel in a given moment,  which in turn separates me from doing the things I love most.  Writing of course, being one of them.

Don’t let your stress do that to you.  It’s not worth it.  If you have a hobby you absolutely enjoy,  the core of your being thrives on it, don’t ever back burner to Life.  Use it in the quiet moments to unwind and unlock what you’ve been holding onto.  Pursue Yourself in the stillness when you can hide away in time to yourself. Make a point to not think about the things going on outside of your control,  and just hold on to focusing on You.
It’s difficult,  but after a while, realizing that you and your sanity are more important than your circumstances will help to make the most of every quiet moment you have.

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36 weeks pregnant with my second child, a newly published author, and a frazzled housewife raising a toddler, I do hope that my goings-on inspire you to push through and accomplish your dreams.  There are no excuses, if housewives with young children can do it, so can you.