Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Short Snippet

It's been a bit of a rough five days over on my side of things, which is the reason I haven't been very active over the last week or so. To start, I'm trying to prepare the final copy of Destruction's Ascent so that when it goes live you guys get the best book I can produce. The copy edits for it just came in over the weekend. Unfortunately, my grand plans to get a head start on them were derailed after an unfortunate incident with a pair of contacts that left me unable to keep my left eye open for any length of time. Thankfully, the problem has since resolved itself, and I can go full steam ahead, but the delay cost me valuable time I didn't really have.

You see, I realized yesterday that I'm about two weeks behind schedule on Broken Lands 3. There were a few scenes I had to rewrite early on, that, while I'm happy with the end product still cost me progress in the story. I'll get caught up eventually as my writing always goes faster on the back half of a book, but until then I'll probably be less visible on social media and the blog.

In the meantime, here is a short snippet of Destruction's Ascent Chapter One  as a bribe.

Chapter One

Tate itched, her fingers tingling with a mad desire. It was a struggle to ignore the irritant that had been plaguing her for the last hour, one she'd resisted valiantly. She knew she was doomed to fall to its temptation eventually. It wasn't a little itch. One that she could ignore. No. This itch had started as a small annoyance, easily brushed off, before it had grown, multiplying until her scalp practically twitched with the need for relief—the irritant consuming her thoughts.
She blamed the wig. Ever since she had put it on, it had been driving her crazy. The disguise was heavy and cumbersome—a maid's outfit she’d been forced into because her friends thought she was too recognizable in the underground.
Don't think she hadn't noticed how the other two had escaped the same fate, despite having faces even more recognizable than hers. She had a sneaking suspicion her maid's uniform was more about providing her friends with a good laugh than keeping her identity hidden.
Meanwhile, she was stuck trying to think about anything but the fact that she wanted to rip this blond monstrosity off and bury her fingers in her hair. She might end up dead afterward, but she was almost convinced it would be worth it.
The blouse wasn't too bad, but the skirt would definitely be a problem if there was any fighting—its weight and length keeping her from an effective fighting form. Not that this little jaunt was supposed to involve fighting, but one never knew. Stranger things had happened.
It was the Night Market. Anything was possible, and she'd learned to be prepared. The preferred destination of smugglers, thieves and murderers, the market did business in an underground cavern large enough to fit the Emperor's palace and a few other government buildings, with room to spare. Its maze of stalls with their brightly colored banners bustled with as much busyness as any market topside—if not more. Illegal goods were a booming business.
The biggest difference between here and topside was the air of furtive desperation and violence. Merchant and customer alike moved with a wary suspicion missing in the markets aboveground—
eyes constantly on the lookout for their next mark, or conversely, those looking to take advantage of them. It was “eat or be eaten”, and there was always a bigger fish in these rough seas.
It wasn't the type of place where you went unarmed, and Tate fought the urge to check for her blade as a big fellow with a face not even a mother could love gave her a sideways glance.
She looked around with a barely concealed grimace, asking herself how she'd let herself be talked into this.
Tate stepped closer to the stall she'd stopped at and pretended to be absorbed in the array of jewelry on display. No doubt most of it had been taken from the home of a wealthy merchant or noble. The shiny baubles failed to hold her attention for long, and she glanced at the stall to her right, focusing on the youth in front of it. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as the owner's face flushed, and he shook his head at a boy no more than sixteen or seventeen, with a face as fresh as dew on a crisp spring morning.
Dewdrop's jaw tightened—the only sign that negotiations weren't preceding according to plan. Tate moved to the end of her stall. His contact—a man Dewdrop swore he'd had many dealings with in the past—wasn't supposed to be the type prone to violence, but this was the Night Market. It wouldn't be much of a stronghold for thieves if it wasn't as unpredictable as it was dangerous.
Tension threaded through Tate. It was harder to let him take point than she thought it would be. She waited, even as impatience niggled at her. Not yet. It wasn’t time. Dewdrop hadn't given her the signal they'd agreed upon—the one he was supposed to use if he got the slightest inkling something was off.
She lifted a necklace up to the small globe lights lining the stall's frame before putting it back down. Her attention veered back to the other stall for a moment before she glanced at the shadowed ceiling of the cavern, barely visible through the shadows clinging to it.
"Buy something or move along, dearie," said a frail-looking woman with skin as fragile as tissue paper and hair a snarled gray mess around her head. She shuffled forward, hunched from a spine twisted by time. "Got no time for gawkers."
"I haven't found what I'm looking for yet," Tate told her. Not that she was really looking.
The old woman seemed to know it too. A dry laugh rattled her chest, and she spit a glob of mucous right next to Tate's foot. Her eyes held a sly twinkle. "Wasn't born yesterday, girl. You're no more interested in this junk than I am in a well-endowed man."
Tate opened her mouth to protest again, then closed it as a familiar figure caught her attention. She turned to watch as a tall man—dark hair brushing shoulders she'd recognize anywhere, their muscled, rigid definition impossible to miss—moved through the crowd. She knew if he turned toward her he'd have blue eyes, the type you could get lost in if you weren't careful, and a face rugged and fierce, the outward manifestation of the warrior inside.
He wasn't alone. A man, just as big and dangerous looking, stalked by his side.
"Damn and blast. What's he doing here?" Tate muttered. She glanced back at Dewdrop and then up at the ceiling cavern where Night, their other friend, hid. He wasn't visible, the waist-high bearcat a master of sneaking around undetected. He was their ace in the hole if things went sideways, but he was only supposed to reveal himself if they were in imminent danger.
She turned her attention back to Ryu and his companion. He had no business here that Tate knew of. Granted, he'd had dealings with the Night Lords in the past, but he usually kept such connections under the veil of secrecy. Striding as nice as you please through the middle of the market where anyone could see wasn't secret.
She ducked her head and avoided his eyes when he glanced in her direction. While she wasn't technically doing anything that could be termed illegal—except for the fact that getting caught visiting the market was considered an admission of guilt—she didn't want her presence advertised. Not when he'd told her to drop her obsession with finding a certain brown-eyed murderer who’d indicated more than a passing knowledge of Tate’s origins.
Tate glanced back once she’d deemed it safe, her eyes drawn to movement behind him as the market heaved with disturbance. Black coats marched into view. Anybody in Aurelia would recognize that particular style. They were only worn by the Black Order—a sect that stylized itself as another branch of law, but were little better than extortionists and bullies.
She didn't know if Night was seeing this or if he'd decided to catch a nap, before she looked back at the old woman, telling her, "If I were you, I'd pack up and get out of here."
The woman peered in the direction Tate indicated and let out a long string of curses that would made a sailor blush. "Not another one," she muttered. She raised her voice as Tate turned away. "Get to packing. We’re being raided."
The other vendors scurried into motion, their wares flying off tables and into bags or boxes. Within moments, the market was a seething cauldron of activity.
She stalked toward Dewdrop, not bothering to hide her intent. Any need for subterfuge was gone now that the Order had decided to make their presence known. She didn't want her friends getting caught in whatever was going down. From past experience, she doubted the men wearing the black coats would be merciful. If they apprehended them, they'd treat them to the same hospitality they showed the rest of the riffraff they rounded up—or worse, given the history she had with that group.
"Time to go," she told Dewdrop.
"I'm not done," he argued.
She jerked her head toward where men from the Black Order were kicking over tables and riffling through the contents. "You're done. I don't plan on sticking around until they notice us."
Dewdrop's eyes went over her shoulder. Frustration flitted across his face.
His companion cursed and turned to Dewdrop. "This is your fault. You brought them down on us."
"I did no such thing," Dewdrop spat back. He stepped forward and poked the other man in the chest. "And you know it, Scotty."
Scotty sniffed. "I know nothing of the sort—you upstart, swanning around with your noble lady and her dragon. Too good for us regular folk."
Tate lifted one eyebrow even as a smile twitched at the corner of her mouth, amused despite the fact the Order was closing in on their little corner of the market. She'd never been referred to as noble before. Obstinate, yes. Stubborn, definitely. Low-class and a host of other things, but never noble.
Dewdrop exchanged a look with her. Scotty snorted, interpreting that look correctly and said, "Yeah, I've heard about you two. We all have. You're not going to convince anyone here to deal with you now that you've been blacklisted."
Dewdrop watched the other man with a cocky jaunt to his mouth. To someone who didn't know him, they would assume he couldn't care less about the revelation. To Tate, who now considered him the little brother she'd never had, she could see the information dismayed him.
His mouth firmed, and he stepped close and shoved Scotty back a step. "Good to know. I'll make sure the right people learn about that little problem you had two years back."
"Why you little—"
Tate grabbed Dewdrop by the arm and jerked him sideways out of Scotty’s reach. "As amusing as this is, I think it's past time we take our leave."
Dewdrop’s posture turned alert at the sight of the Black Order's men now only four stalls away. A man looked over at them and pointed, shouting, "Halt."
"You've got a point," Dewdrop said.
Tate so often did.
She kicked Scotty's stall over, blocking the way, as she and Dewdrop ducked between it and another stall. They threaded through the market—not an easy task given the writhing mass of chaos it had turned into. The merchants here didn't take kindly to business being interrupted even when the Order shouted that they had the Emperor's authority.
Tate felt a small amount of amusement when one of the merchants unsheathed a sword and advanced on the interlopers, crying, "You can stuff your Emperor up your duff.  The only authority we recognize down here is that of the Night Court!”
He wasn't the only one to grab a weapon. Now that the Order had lost the element of surprise, more and more of the merchants were turning violent, unwilling to let their stalls be destroyed. It was clear the Order was outnumbered.
There was a loud clacking, the sound reverberating through the cavern.
"Creators curse it," Dewdrop snarled, sounding aggrieved. "They're calling in the Night Lords."
Tate followed her friend's slim back as he leaped across overturned tables and swerved around wrestling bodies. She echoed his sentiment. They didn't have long before the Night Market turned into a full battle. The personal guards of the individual Lords weren't like the merchants here, whose weapons experience was the sort picked up in back-alley brawls. No, the men and women being summoned made up the inner circles of the Night Lords' courts. Highly trained, incredibly deadly, and not the sort to spare a man just because he had a writ of arrest signed by the Emperor's Lord Marshall. These were the people who committed dark deeds in the dead of night. Assassins, soldiers and the like. Dewdrop had told Tate many had, in fact, been part of the Emperor's armies before realizing they could make a much better living on the other side of the fence.
Even as they dodged around another set of wrestling bodies, Tate could see men and women spilling in from holes above, using ropes or ladders to descend rapidly.
A flash of movement caught her eye as Night leapt over a ledge, sailing through the air to land on a banner, then gracefully sliding down to bound across the cavern floor toward the two of them.
"So glad you could make it," Dewdrop shouted.
The Order's men have blocked off the entrance we used. We'll have to find another way. Night's mental voice was light as he ran next to them. He was having a good time—the threat of imminent danger not fazing him.
"This way," Dewdrop shouted.
Tate and Night followed, trusting he knew where he was going. Of the three of them, he had spent the most time down here, having been part of a court. He'd been a pickpocket when Tate met him. Since then, he'd parted ways with his former court—some of that may have been due to Tate's interference. She liked to think he was happier now, even if his life was a lot more dangerous.
Dewdrop swerved to the left, running down a narrow space between the back of the stalls and leaping over spilled wares. Tate followed, Night bringing up the rear. They were on the edge of the market—opposite of where they had come in. The stalls were tightly packed together here, slowing their momentum.
"Here," Dewdrop hissed, lifting a tablecloth up and gesturing under it.
Tate eyed it with dismay. He really wanted them to crawl under there?
He made a face at her. "Hurry!"
Fine. She slid under the table, making room as Night crowded in behind her, followed quickly by Dewdrop. He crawled past them, making sure to stay under the row of tables, which had conveniently been placed in a long line. Night made a chirping sound of appreciation and padded after him. Tate was left with no choice but to crawl in their wake.
The table's skirt caved in as the people outside crashed into it. Tate slid over, barely managing to avoid getting a foot to the face. She grumbled to herself as she moved faster. Just in time for the table behind her to crash to the ground under the weight of two men.
Dewdrop came to the end of the line and paused, lifting the table's skirt to peer from under it. He turned back to them. "Coast is clear."
He didn't wait for a response, ducking out. Night followed without hesitation. Tate crawled out from under the table into a scene fit for a madhouse. ‘Coast is clear’ her ass. There were at least a dozen battling bodies around them. She flung herself forward as a pair fell into the space she was occupying.
She scrambled after Dewdrop and Night as they darted across the space toward a small ledge above them. Dewdrop levered himself up, pausing to wait as Night cleared the ledge in a single bound. Dewdrop held his hand out to Tate, pulling her up after him.
"Now what?" she asked. They were above the fray, but that wouldn't stop some enterprising man from the Order looking to make a name for himself from crawling up after them. Nor would it stop any of the Night Lords’ men from shoving them off if they were noticed.
"This leads to one of the upper levels. There's a path that will take us to the surface from there."
"Isn't that Night Lord territory?" Tate asked. The cavern was constructed in tiers with several platforms and wide ledges overlooking the market. They were the domain of the individual Night Lords, none of whom welcomed trespassers.
"I don't have a better idea, do you?" Dewdrop asked.
Not really.
"At least their attention is focused on the market," Tate said.
Night yowled next to them, calling their attention. We have company.
Tate turned to look, then cursed as several men wearing black coats leveraged themselves up.
"Upper levels it is," Tate said.
Dewdrop grinned and took the lead, sure-footed and light on his feet on the narrow ledge. Night was just as at home on the uncertain path. Tate struggled more than usual, the skirts she'd been forced to wear making her balance a little more precarious. When she almost tripped off the side for the second time, she let out a stinging curse, grabbing her skirt in one hand and her blade in the other. There was a ripping sound as she stabbed the blade into the material and yanked, cutting a long slit in the skirt's front.
There. That should do. Maybe now she wouldn't break her neck during this getaway. She darted after Night and Dewdrop. Catching up was simple when her stride wasn't constricted.
They raced up one narrow track after another, climbing when necessary, and leaping over wide spaces where the ledge had crumbled. The men from the Black Order quickly fell behind, not as at home on these type of pathways as the three of them.
They came to a wide platform overlooking the market. An archway marked an entrance to the tunnels and relative safety—from the market and its interlopers at least.
"We're nearly there," Dewdrop called over his shoulder.
A man stepped out from the shadows. Tall and lithe, with the grace of movement suited to an assassin, Blade considered them with eyes of pure black, marred only by the faintest trace of blue around his iris. He tilted his head and looked them over. His hair, so black that it appeared a deep blue in the right light, was cut so close to his skull that it looked like a shadow.
Though only half Kairi, Blade, possessed their same lethal grace—the kind that said killing you would be easier done than said. Tate had seen him fight and had no wish to be on the opposite side of any battle from him. However, it looked like she might not have a choice at the moment.
Night crouched, and Tate's hand dropped to the knife she'd hidden in her belt. Blade's loyalty was always difficult to judge. He'd wavered between enemy and impartial party in the past, even appearing almost friendly at times. In the end, he was the right-hand man of the Luciuses, two Night Lords who shared the same name and identity to fool their enemies. He was theirs to command. If they'd marked Tate and Dewdrop for death, he would carry out his orders, no matter their history.
His lips twitched with amusement at their wariness. He jerked his head at the archway. "Best get going before they reach us."
Tate glanced behind them and cursed when she saw the men from the Order not far from the platform. Dewdrop stared at Blade, open disbelief on his face. Tate hesitated as well, searching for the trap.
Blade arched one eyebrow, the expression perfectly at home on a face as handsome as any noble’s. "Go, before I change my mind."
Tate didn't need to be told again. She tugged on Dewdrop's arm, forcing him to follow as they made their way swiftly but cautiously across the wide-open space; an area she suspected belonged to the Lucius’s court, hence the reason for Blade's presence. She was careful to keep an eye on Blade and the other threat as it quickly advanced from below. He might have said they were free to go, but this was the Night Market. Words were never to be trusted and betrayal was to be expected.
Blade turned his head to keep them in view as they made it to the archway. His black eyes seared Tate's with a hidden message, as if to say, 'you owe me, now'. Men spilled onto the platform drawing his attention. Blades appeared in his hands, the movement so quick that it was if they were called by magic. He gave the trespassers a fierce grin, his face ablaze with anticipation before he leapt to meet them.
Tate hesitated, not liking the thought of abandoning him to the Order's mercy, given he'd just spared them, but not really seeing a choice. Dewdrop grabbed her and tugged her through the archway, obscuring her view of the outcome. She stumbled, before gaining her balance and running at his side.
"He'll be fine," Dewdrop assured her, sounding slightly out of breath. "He's the best fighter Lucius has. A few Order men won't even give him pause."
A few? There were at least five men out there. For Dewdrop not to be worried, it spoke to exactly how fierce a foe Blade was.
They made a right turn, quickly followed by a left. By the third turn, Tate was well and truly lost, her sense of direction unreliable this far underground. Luckily, Dewdrop seemed to know where they were going, navigating the tunnels with ease. Neither of them carried torchlights, but that wasn't a problem given the soft glow the walls gave off, illuminating their way with ease.
The entire labyrinth of twisting passages was man-made, the surface too smooth and edges too defined to be anything but.
Their pace slowed as they put several tunnels between them and the market. Chances were the Order wouldn't follow them into the tunnels. One—because they were liable to get very lost down here without a guide. And two—because it was too dangerous. There were things that waited in this labyrinth; things not seen since the Creators left this world, leaving their monsters behind—those judged too deadly to try to integrate with society.
"How often does the Order raid the Night Market?" Tate asked. She'd been under the impression that the market was largely left to its own devices as long as it didn't try to conduct business topside. There was an unspoken agreement between the Night Lords and the empire that held, if they kept to their little fiefdoms, the empire wouldn't exert too much pressure. Stray to the world above, however, and they were fair game.
"Never. Not once in all the time I was part of the Court of Two Dawns," Dewdrop said, glancing behind with a frustrated expression.
"A merchant made it sound like this had become a regular occurrence," Tate said.
The Order has decided to make a name for themselves. They plan to start with the tunnels, Night said telepathically, stalking along at their sides, his barbed tail flicking lazily. An apex predator engineered by the same Creators who had likely built this place, he was sleek and deadly, his body a cross between a large feline and a bear. You would never see him coming, right up until his fangs were ripping out your throat.
He angled his head up at them, his long ears and their tufts of fur making him seem more adorable than deadly. More than one child had tried to tug on those ears, an act that he tolerated a lot better than Tate ever would. Amber eyes peered up at her over a flat nose.
Dewdrop snorted. "Like that'll ever happen. They could throw every man they had at this place and never make a difference."
"When did you hear that?" Tate asked after a moment, her forehead wrinkled in a frown.
Night's whiskers twitched in feline amusement. Bear might have been in his genetic makeup somewhere, but he definitely favored his feline ancestors. Around.
Her eyes widened. "You've been spying on them again, haven't you?"
Night didn't answer, just padded along silently.
"You know if you're caught, they'll use it as an excuse to deny your application," she told him. He'd made moves to get his species recognized as sentient. It would afford him all the rights and protections of a human, making it illegal to treat him like an animal.
Keeping an eye on my enemies is worth the risk. Night's tail switched back and forth, the only sign of his agitation.
"Unbelievable," Tate muttered.
He was risking everything. The Black Order already had it in for him, simply because he was made by the Creators. Such protections against being hunted or put down like a rabid animal should have been his by right. Not the case in Aurelia. Evidently some of the creatures left by the Creators were mad, unthinking monsters, consumed by bloodlust or driven to fulfill their original purpose. As such, the government had deemed it wise to create certain safeguards that would prevent such creatures from being elevated to the same status as the three main races—human, Kairi, and Silva. Groups like the Order had been the driving force behind those laws, and they would be only too glad to discredit him in any way they could.
Before she could make him see reason in that stubborn brain of his, a shadow sprang from an adjacent tunnel—completely hidden until now. That shadow grabbed Tate by the arm before she could do much more than squawk, slamming her into the wall and holding her there with a forearm pressed to her throat, her wig tilting precariously.
She didn't bother to struggle, already knowing the person who accosted her. She glared up at Ryu even as the presence inside her sent an excited shiver racing down her back. Ilith, the other being she shared her body with, acted like a cat in heat when Ryu and his dragon were near. It was an inconvenience—especially considering Tate wasn't entirely sure how she felt about the other man. Ilith's feelings muddied the water, making Tate's life even more difficult.
Dragon man, Ilith whispered in the back of her mind.
Yes, yes. He's the dragon man. Tate's thoughts were acerbic. She didn't dare try voicing them this close to Ryu. She'd learned earlier in the summer that most Dragon-Ridden—someone capable of forming a bond with a dragon and able to move between the two forms—did not communicate with their dragon beyond the stray emotion. To do so was a sign of dragon madness. Those afflicted were often put to death for their own good and the safety of others.
It was best to keep that part of her a secret. Ryu knew, but others might be lurking about. Tate had no doubt that a thief’s stronghold would have many hidey holes capable of concealing listeners.
Want, Ilith thought at Tate.
Well, you can't have him, she snapped back. By necessity, she'd been forced to learn how to communicate with her dragon telepathically. It was a work in progress. Not everything got through all the time.
This was not those times. Ilith grumbled and settled, her presence drawing back to a small corner of Tate's mind.
Ryu watched Tate with an intent gaze, suspicion in his as he waited for her to focus on him again. A wary look was in his eyes, one she'd started to notice he got anytime he suspected Tate was talking to the dragon.
"Ryu, what a surprise," she said with a cheeky grin as her wig gave up the battle and tumbled off her head.

Preorder Now on Amazon

Monday, April 2, 2018

Warning - ARC Ahead

Edit: Looks like we've just about hit our number. Thanks to everyone who signed up. For those who didn't make it this time, I will probably be doing an ARC for the next time and you are welcome to try then.

All right, I've finally got all my ducks in a row, my edges squared away, and a method to corral the madness. Hopefully.

As those of you who read the blog or visit Facebook know, Destruction's Ascent, book 3 of the Dragon Ridden Chronicles, finally has a preorder date of May 1. That means I am ready to do an ARC for the first time ever.

Disclaimer 1- I'm kind of winging it here so please be patient if this process is a wee bit unorganized. I've done my best to make it as easy as possible, but there may be some hiccups since this is my first attempt.

I thought of a lot of ways to distribute the ARCS-running a contest, going through everyone who has reached out to me in the past year expressing interest, just posting a link and then running and hiding. I don't think I'll do any of those. To be as fair as possible, I'm making it a first come, first serve.

Below is a link. Click on it and fill out the form. Once you've finished you'll receive an email from me containing the link to download. Right now I have it set at twenty five so the first twenty five people to respond will receive a copy.

Ready. Set. Go.

Click Here To Begin

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Grand Reveal

Yes, I know I promised an ARC would be released. It is still coming. But first, a cover reveal and preorder link.

A little background:


Tate's story is very near and dear to my heart. Her journey began while I was deployed to Afghanistan. Most people who have never been deployed can't imagine the amount of boredom that sets in after a few months. Things become very routine, very quickly. Day in, day out, you go to work, do your job, work out, eat dinner, then go to bed. Yes, there were missions and danger and even moments of sheer terror, but there is also a monotony that can pray on the mind.

I knew I needed something to keep my mind occupied and away from everything going on around me. Thus, Tate and her world was born.

I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning. I gave her a dragon tattoo, but I had no idea that sucker moved or talked until Ilith started speaking to me. Nor did I realize that Dewdrop would become as integral to her story as he did. He is the little brother she never had, the sarcastic backup that makes me laugh. This story is as much about them and their relationship as it is about the overarching situation they find themselves in.

I hope you enjoy this trip into their world.



When the past rises, the world burns.

Newly conscripted into the Emperor’s dragon corps, Tate Fisher is still trying to figure out all that her new position entails. Along with an elevation in status comes dangerous enemies. Enemies who would rather see the dragons fall into ruin than remain in their current place of power.   

When a dragon goes missing, followed by a child close to her, Tate is forced to confront the hidden agendas of those in the highest seats of authority. Her search for the truth takes her deeper into the maze of tunnels that lie beneath the city. It’s a place where secrets lurk and dangers abound.


There, she’ll uncover a plot whose origins stretch all the way back to the beginning of this world—one that can only end in the destruction of everything she knows and loves. The key to saving her city lies in her uncertain past. If only she could remember what that was. 

The preorder is live so get your copy now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Library Visit

Recently, I've been stricken with the need to reread some old favorites. I lay some of that blame on the recommendations many of you made on Facebook about your favorite books. It reminded me of how many great books I've read through the years, which meant I needed to dive back into those stories so I could enjoy them all over again.

Hence a late night visit to my library's online site to check out some ebooks. Imagine my surprise when I find out that they have no record of either of my library cards. (Ohio has set up our libraries so that the ebooks are available to anyone with a library card to a participating library, which is pretty much all of them.)

It had been so long since I went to the library that they let both cards expire, which meant I couldn't check anything out until I'd physically visited a branch and signed up for a new card. There was a time in my life when I rarely went more than two to three days without visiting its hallowed halls. Now, it's been so long that I don't even know how long my card was inactive for.

Part of that is because life got so crazy while I was in the military what with basic, followed by more training before deploying overseas. It meant visiting the library or even a bookstore was no longer as easy as it once was. It was a luxury I could only indulge in rarely.

For me, the ebook revolution came at the perfect time and allowed me devour my favorite addiction even while waiting for a black hawk helicopter to carry me to my next mission or the next base I was staying at. It meant I could have hundreds or thousands of books at my finger tips. No more picking which book to take with me or being bored midway through an airplane trip because I'd finished all of my reading material.

That, plus the easily affordable price of many indies now means a majority of my reading is done by buying books on Amazon. It made me forget how walking into a library is like visiting a well loved friend- one I haven't seen in far too long. It was such a welcome feeling that I ended up checking out four books, despite planning on getting them through the ebook library. Here's hoping that I remember to return these.

I love the smell of books. Don't you?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Something I Probably Shouldn't Share

I know I'm supposed to be concentrating on marketing for Dragon 3, but I couldn't resist sharing a small snippet of the current WIP. I think it's the first time I've been mostly happy with an opening sentence.

Small disclaimer: As always this is not a guarantee of the final product and there is every possibility that the below might not make it into the final draft.

P3

Pain blossomed along Shea’s side. She sucked in a sharp breath and gritted her teeth. She could already tell from the throbbing that a bruise was forming.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Chugging Along

Things are moving along on all fronts. Right now, I'm just trying to tread water to stay on top of it all. Between wedding planning, finishing up Dragon 3 and starting Pathfinder 3, I'm having to implement some of the organizational abilities I've gleaned from years in the military, followed by a stint in corporate America to stay focused and continue to get things done.

The comments from my beta readers for Dragon 3 have started pouring in, and I am beginning to sift through to see what needs to be addressed. Technically, the deadline for these aren't due until Friday, but I've found it helps get my brain warmed up if I start thinking of ways to fix some of the problem areas as they come in rather than waiting for the avalanche at the end. Otherwise, I tend to get overwhelmed, which can lead to me freezing up and/or finding the nearest hole to crawl into. Thankfully, most of the comments so far have pointed at minor issues, which is always reassuring.

I've also planned out the first third of Pathfinder 3. It's been a bit of an easier go of it this time, since a lot of my ideas were part of the outline for Mist's Edge. I'm actually kind of excited to get started on this book since all the cool stuff I wanted to write was in the latter half of that outline. It's kind of hard not to just dive into writing, but I've learned from previous experience that jaunting off without a plan usually leads to me wandering lost and confused in one of my worlds. Since you guys probably don't want to wait three years for me to figure out an ending, it's best to take my time and come up with a well thought out story before I run head first into dangerous territory.

On the personal front, I decided on my cake baker, flower person, and photographer for the wedding. All major wins in my book, since these were the last major items I was stressing over. Since I love food and am an amateur photographer, it was very important to me to find people that I liked for this. I think I've done that. There are a few things left, but nothing as stressful as those. This means that I can buckle down and focus on Pathfinder 3. My goal is to have it written and in someone else's hands at least a week before my wedding. Otherwise, I might turn into a writerzilla crossed with a bridezilla because of all the stress.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Calling All Beta Readers

Dragon 3 is finally ready for other eyes besides my own. I'm opening up the beta read opportunity again. For those who have been with me for a while, the below post probably looks pretty familiar. If you're interested, please read the following and let me know. 

Beta Reader Guidelines and Caveat

Here's how you can volunteer: Private message me through my Facebook page or email me at info@tawhiteauthor.com asking to be a beta reader and committing to the guidelines posted below. I can't guarantee I'll choose you as there has been more interest in this in the past, but I will put you on a list and rotate you in when I can.

Beta Guidelines:

This part of the process for me takes place before I send the manuscript to the editor. That means the copy is a little rough still. I'm not looking for intense grammar editing. I'm more focused on comments on the story- pace, structure, characters, things that don't make sense. That kind of stuff. I will outline these questions in more detail for those who participate.

The other thing I ask is for people to send it back to me in the time allotted - usually two weeks.

I also ask that you agree not to share the story with anyone or upload it to any sites. I know for most of you that would never cross your mind, but I need to say it anyway.

Also, be aware that I may not use your suggestions as my opinion trumps everyone else's. Sometimes you ask questions that I want asked or a suggestion goes against what I'm trying to accomplish.

One note: Beta reading is not for everyone. For instance, I don't beta read for people because I like getting caught up in the story and not paying attention to the things that irk me. For that reason, I will be doing advance reader copies that would take place at the end of the process and would require less thinking on the reader's part. (Hopefully) 

If you're interested, let me know. If you're not, I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out.