Category Archives: writing

Charity Sunday blog–Furever Friends!

NewCharitySundayBannerSmallSo this week, I’m trying something new, after being invited by author Lisabet Sarai to join in a bit of good work! Each participating author will identify a charity they wish to benefit, and then pledges to donate a certain amount of money to their charity for each comment made by a reader.

Furever Friends is a cat rescue organization in Asheville, NC. I have fostered–and foster

reba and Daisy

Me with Reba and Daisy Mae–tortitude!

failed!– for them, and in fact, have my dear Daisy Mae, Reba and Clarice all thanks to them.

Mission
FurEver Friends Animal Rescue Network has been in operation since 2002 serving the Buncombe County area and surrounding counties. We work closely with individuals and families in our communities to provide a NO-KILL alternative to government shelters. We rely on the kindness and generosity of animal lovers who open their hearts to help us take care of the orphans that desperately need our help.

Fortunately, I’ve passed on more kittens than I’ve kept to great furever homes, and I am so pleased to be able to work with Pam and Glynn Lookabill and the other volunteers.

Kitten season is coming up, however, and they will need a new influx of cash for the rounds and rounds of bottle babes, kittens and mommas that will come through their doors.

So as a result, I will donate $5 for each comment made as part of this blog hop to Pam and her group.

If you, too, love kitties and want to help out, contact Pam at fureverfriends at bellsouth dot net, and she can give you all the particulars!

thelostchord400x600 (1)Now for the entertainment part of the post, here is a blurb and excerpt from THE LOST CHORD, a YA fantasy from Dragonfly Publishing with Bee Warrick, a girl on the autism spectrum, as a heroine!

A poisonous wave is spreading disease and discord across the eleven known universes. Seven special people, known as Keys, must strike the Lost Chord in order to restore the balance. Among those Keys is Bee Warrick, an autistic teenager from Earth who has traveled between the realms for years without realizing it. Can Bee help the Conductor find the other Keys before a bitter enemy strikes the wrong chord and shatters the universes?

EXCERPT

Halfway through, her brother Reese barged in. The tall, broad-built boy plopped down on her bright pink bedspread and dropped his football helmet on the floor, where it rolled in a circle before coming to a stop.

Bee jumped and covered her ears to protect herself from the sound.

“Hey there little SPED girl. I see Mom isn’t riding you about your homework.” He glared at her. “Must be nice to be autistic.”

“I’m not stupid like you.” Bee knew Reese wasn’t supposed to call her names. Mom had told him often enough, ever since she was little. But he never stopped, so now she called them back.

She wasn’t sure exactly what ‘autistic’ was supposed to be; she’d read about it in books. She was just what she was, not some word that started with A. Her favorite book was Songs of the Gorilla Nation, about a woman with autism who’d learned to communicate with gorillas.

At least gorillas didn’t make fun of you, she thought.

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

Reese twisted up his face at her. He had the same auburn hair as Bee, a color received from their father’s genes. She hardly remembered their father. He came and took Reese away every other weekend. He never took her. She didn’t even bother to go to the window and look at him any more.

“Bzzzzzzz,” she said, annoyed and wishing he’d go away.

“You know that’s so damn lame. Knock it off. People talk about you at school. SPED.”

Bee knew that term was derogatory by the tone of Reese’s voice, though she couldn’t understand why it was bad. ‘Special’ was something that was extra good. So special education should be something really great, like a Christmas present.

Besides she wasn’t in specials any more. Just speech. Her classes were regular, just like everyone else, and she finally didn’t have a TSS following her everywhere.

Ever since she could remember, she’d been in therapy—occupational therapy, where she’d swung in a net and glued letters on paper; hippotherapy, where she rode and cared for horses at a local farm (she’d liked that); and de-sensitizing therapy, when her mother had scrubbed her body with a surgical sponge for 15 minutes at a time several times a day (she’d hated that).

The longest had been speech therapy, where she’d struggled to learn language, a process that was short-circuited somewhere in her brain. So much didn’t make sense.

Like special education.

Book trailer for THE LOST CHORD

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Fancy a cold-blooded lover? #MFRWHooks

reptile love

A short time later, Kylie noticed the man at a table near the door. His intent stare dissected her in a way that felt not like he was undressing her, but that he looked into her. Kylie stared back, putting a forbidding expression on her face. Usually, that was enough to scare off a would-be masher. But it didn’t seem to faze this one.

The man’s persistence triggered a defensive response, and she lost interest in the alcohol. She left half a dozen plat coins on the counter, enough to cover her tab and something for Lin, and then headed for the door.

As she approached the man’s table, he stood up. “Please join me,” he said.

“No, thanks, I’m on my way out.”

“Please,” he said more firmly. She stopped to look at him. That glance froze her steps. His eyes were the exact yellow tone of the dead woman’s. Exact.

She surveyed the room, but no one seemed to be paying attention. One gesture from her would have garnered assistance, but those eyes compelled her to wait. “Why should I?”

His voice softened. “I have information that could be of use to you.”

“Then perhaps you should come down to the Cendiary. That’s where SIRT’s camped while mfrw-book-hooks400this investigation is going on.” Her mind clicked along frantically trying to reject the half bottle of alcohol she’d consumed. There was something about this man, something about him. His eyes, but more than that. Taller than most men, and broad-shouldered. Hair, perfectly combed, his skin, without a blemish. Not even the hint of an old scar. Clothing, unremarkable. Hands, not quite perfectly proportioned, his fingers a little long, the nails even but lengthy for a man.

“No. I need to talk to you now.” His gaze continued to dance with hers.

She blinked and looked away. “This isn’t a good time, friend.”

He cocked his head, a, thin eyebrow raised. “You consider me your friend?”

His hesitation made her miss a beat, too. “No, I don’t consider you my friend.” She frowned. “Come to the Cendiary in the morning.” She turned to go, but her wrist was suddenly caught in an iron grip.

Tugging on her captured hand, she looked over her shoulder. He held no apology in his eyes, and his expression was grim. He nodded to the empty chair beside his. “I need to talk with you, Investigator Kylie Sanderson. Please hear what I have to say before any more females are damaged or killed.”

small degree

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

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planet’s women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

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William Lee Gordon: The Inspiration for the Here Comes Earth Series

here comes earth bannerThis is my first book and my first series. It is a story I had to write. I spent years being fascinated by accounts of ancient earth as well as the thought of other civilizations inhabiting our galaxy. The way my mind works, I am always trying to find a theory that fits the facts, solves mysteries, answers questions, and explains everything – from ‘What is the origin of man?’ to ‘Are we alone in the universe – and if not, where is everyone?’ to ‘What is the meaning of life?’

Over the years, as I started to theorize potential answers, I realized I was creating a grand mosaic. I also realized the magic would be in unveiling these answers in an unfolding story.

It was only then that I started putting any thought into the protagonists and antagonists – and discovered the joy in creating characters that were as realistic as I could make them.

Once all of this came together, the story poured out of me and very smoothly filled pages. My biggest insight, however, came after I finished. After seeking so many answers for so long I came to an unexpected conclusion – humanity is heroic after all…

About the Author

William Lee Gordon is the author of six Best Selling sci fi novels. He also writes political William Lee Gordon_400x300non-fiction under the pen name of StressFreeBill. With the realism of hard science, he loves writing action-filled adventures that keep readers turning the pages.

Check out his website and register for the Free Newsletter to receive free content, share ideas, debate plot ideas and receive new book announcements:

www.WilliamLeeGordon.com

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ABOUT THE BOOKS:

Emergence

Here Comes Earth Book 1            Genre: Science Fiction

Where did mankind really come from? Why are we here?

We can’t understand the past until we embrace the future.

These critical mysteries take center stage as Earth emerges into a Galactic Society that is far more perilous than anyone could have imagined. Our history is far more complicated than we could have known. Can a few brilliant minds find a way out for Earth?

One saving grace is that there are those that believe ancient clues foretell that Earth has a destiny, and if we can survive our present difficulties we might just find out what that destiny is…

Dr. Mark Spencer was a young and up and coming history and anthropology professor who was all too familiar with what happens to less advanced civilizations when suddenly exposed to others of considerably higher technology. There’s only one survivor and the culture witnessing magic isn’t it.

When modern day Earth suddenly finds itself on the losing end of that proposition a team of the world’s best scientists is put together to find a solution.

Of course the advanced society being friendly, Earth’s citizens uniting, and the world’s politicians working together for the common good would help tremendously, but… what if none of that were true?

Goodreads * Amazon

Destiny

2 hce destiny teaser 1Here Comes Earth Book 2

The Galaxy is Filled with Humans… They Know More about Our Past than We Do…

Some will Fight for Us; Some will try to Destroy Us… Earthers are Special; But do we Really Want our Destiny?

Mark and Julie are brilliant scientists and Major Reagan has kept them and others alive to this point, but the most dangerous confrontations will not be with the Noridians, it will be with the Lower Houses of The Accord.

Destiny is a thought-provoking journey that will cause you to inspect your basic values. From what it really means to be human to wondering if there’s room in the universe for God.

It’s also a fun read.

Goodreads * Amazon

Diaspora

3 hce diaspora teaser 1Here Comes Earth Book 3

The Long-Awaited Conclusion to the HERE COMES EARTH Series…

Earth’s Diaspora is well underway and the colonies are flourishing. There are Dynasties of The Accord, however, that resent Earth’s expansion. Charli Morgan and Lucca Spelini each lead their respective teams from colony to colony, preventing interference and keeping the peace.

Standing up to the Dynasties is one thing, but what happens when Lower Houses of The Accord start butting in?

Dr. Mark Spencer hasn’t been heard from in years until he suddenly shows up one day. The news he brings… isn’t good.

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FIREFLY is not only a great story, it’s a great writing teacher, too

fireflydiningroomJoin me today at the blog home of Viviana MacKade, where I discuss the power of the series FIREFLY, lessons writers can learn from it, and an excerpt from HORIZON SHIFT for you to enjoy! Check it out here!

Meet villain/neo-Nazi Gabriel–aka Bernard Ellison, disgraced pastor

A teaser for Thursdays: The opening to DESTINATIONS, the second book in the Color of Fear series. Meet villain Gabriel, the leader of the white supremacist cult:

DestinationsWEBfsGabriel was God’s favorite angel.
Or so he liked to believe.
“He” being plain old Bernard Ellison, former ordained minister and woodworker, discarded by so many of his former associates and society. They’d laughed at him, reviled him and called him depraved.
Who was laughing now?
“Not a one of ‘em,” he muttered to himself.
He surveyed his current quarters, finding them lacking. The South Dakota farmhouse had been built more than a hundred years before. It creaked, its bones old and tired. Its white paint peeled and flaked away in the dusty wind like a heavy winter snow. Its chairs and thin cotton curtains smelled of mildew and mold. Dust coated the windowpanes and any surface that remained bare.
He’d been better provisioned in the survival bunker back in Great Falls, with its years’ worth of food, water and supplies to feed him and the rest of his Angels. They hid in safety, waiting out the worst of the Second Holocaust that had wiped out the majority of the white men and women in the country, then the world. Waiting till the air was clean, and he could breathe free again.
They’d done it, those crazy Ay-rab bastards. Them and the Asians that had given the terrorists the ship to bring that poison ‘cross the ocean. They’d come down on these United States of America and destroyed it all.
Six months he’d waited underground, constantly monitoring the airwaves for signs of recovery.
When news never came, he’d sent men out to test the situation. Once they started coming back alive, he’d decided it was safe.
Outside, he’d discovered vast tracts of Montana abandoned. He’d claimed it. Then, as he gathered more people, he moved them on through South Dakota, claiming more land.
Some “claiming” was easier than others. Several times, they’d found people of color—brown, red or yellow—on the land that had been given by God to white people. Gabriel had…persuaded…them to move along. Some went voluntarily; others became food for carrion birds.
So many towns and cities they found empty. Millions had died in the Second Holocaust. Millions.
But Gabriel had survived.
He knew he’d been spared for a reason.
Pausing by the window to survey his flock at work, Gabriel was pleased. They scurried about, maintaining the trucks, sorting equipment, obedient to their orders. His orders.
Daddy always said I wouldn’t amount to much.
A memory of his father—worn striped overalls, his weary gray eyes—came to mind. A small farmer living north of Atlanta, Frank Ellison had borrowed and borrowed to survive the droughts, the floods, until the bank had taken the farm. His father and mother had moved to the city, where his mother cleaned rooms at the Motel 6. Daddy just sat and stared out the window, imagining those green fields that would never be his again.
“Look how much land I have now, Daddy,” Gabriel whispered. “Are you proud of me yet? I’ll make you proud. I will.”

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The Truth About Night: Amanda Arista

The Truth About Night_388x600Welcome to our guest AMANDA ARISTA and her paranormal mystery, The Truth About Night! Read to the bottom to sign up for her Amazon card and swag giveaway!

As an investigative journalist, Merci Lanard has an uncanny knack for getting the truth out of people, a talent she uses to expose the real story behind her city’s most gruesome crimes. 

Until one night, when her partner, Ethan, is killed. 

Reeling from shock and grief, Merci vows to track down his murderer. As she starts digging, she meets Ethan’s estranged brother, Rafe, who agrees to work with Merci to find his brother’s killer. She soon discovers Ethan had been hiding things from her, mainly that he was a Shifter and had a whole life in a supernatural world she knew nothing about.

A Shifter himself, Rafe introduces Merci to magic she never knew existed. As they work together to uncover hidden connections between Ethan’s murder and a series of strange dead bodies, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a turf war for the soul of the city. 

If Merci is to have any hope of saving her city, she will have to face the truth about this war, the truth about this new magical world, and the truth about who she truly is.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50163390-the-truth-about-night

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08374D97T

About the Author

Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel.

Amanda Arista_400x300During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped.

She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise. She recently added a tiny human to the mix who is following in her mother’s footsteps of storytelling.

Along with her BA in English & Psychology and her MA in Education, Amanda is a graduate of the SMU Creative Writing Program and now teaches other aspiring authors. She has delivered lectures at several writer conferences and loves discussing craft, character, and structure. Her current favorite: Stirring up Trouble with Romantic Subplots.

She is represented by Kimberly Brower, of Brower Literary & Management.

Random Facts:

Amanda is adopted and loves to share that story with others to promote adoption.

Amanda has a collection of turtle figurines that collects on her travels.

Amanda has a strange love of cheesy horror movies. She prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films.

Amanda is a really good bowler and completely rocks at croquet.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links

Website: http://www.amandaarista.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pantherista

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amanda-arista

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Arista/e/B0838ZNN4V

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4894762.Amanda_Arista

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Amazon gift card and Merci Lanard swag pack.

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A little Clan Elves love from Madison Michael! Start reading this series today!

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Scenic drive along Idaho-12

Come by, read an excerpt and check out the new covers for the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series!!

https://www.madisonmichael.net/the-elf-queen-a-paranormal-urban-fantasy-from-lyndi-alexander/

TRIAD gets a special feature!

triadMy space opera TRIAD is the guest of honor in the sci-fi fantasy section of ROMANCE LIVES FOREVER today! Stop by and see what secrets are revealed! https://www.rlfblog.com/lyndi-alexander-011020/?fbclid=IwAR0vCQ8rmhz6OtPWn-Ra-rqxBRx30OF_f4ZOZBmencnI5C5sO1i0ITv-8h4

 

This story is based on an old online RPG I played in, and the characters are near and dear to my heart! This book is offered by Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.

The darkness of my soul

I’ve slowly come to a realization–my life is becoming darker.

I remember in younger years, I loved watching shows like Cheers and Barney Miller, and movies like Airplane!, all light comedies that made me laugh. We watched sitcoms as a family, even The Simpsons and other laughfests, enjoying the warmth together.

But now I don’t. The trailers for comedy movies don’t appeal to me. Neither do tv shows. All I seem to want to watch are darkly-atmosphered programs like Fringe and X-Files and others of that ilk. These are my PEOPLE. Life is shadowed, bleak and horrible things happen to average people every day.

Keep in mind this is not a reaction to the current American political scene, though I’m sure that doesn’t help.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the main catalyst of this change is living with chronic pain. This change started perhaps nine years ago, when the fibromyalgia began to coalesce in my muscles and trigger points. It has been joined by osteoarthritis in multiple joints, chronic fatigue (which isn’t painful in itself but exacerbates dwindling abilities), sciatica, destroyed knees and more.  It’s a vicious cycle where pain causes inability to exercise and carry on normal life, which causes stress, which causes pain, which means you push yourself to even try to feel normal again, which causes pain, which…you get the idea.

Now, before you throw handfuls of advice at me–which everyone does, meaning to be helpful, and I know they think they’re trying– just….don’t. “If only you’d…” Yeah. If you’ve found something that works for you, that’s wonderful. My sister, Shawna Coronado, has become a guru on the anti-inflammatory protocol, which helps her osteoarthritis, incorporating diet, walking, etc. That’s great if you can walk more than 15 feet without an ice pick in your hip. Not necessarily something I can do.

Gluten-free? Tried that. Supplements? Take a dozen or so. Opioids? Thank God and the doctors for them, they take the edge off and I use them responsibly. Frog eyes? Maybe that will be the next suggestion. Maybe I’ll be desperate enough to try them.

Note that “chronic” pain doesn’t mean “constant.”

Some days it feels just like this picture looks. Really.

Some days, the pill combo makes the pain almost negligible. I almost always overdo then, just because I’m driven to try to catch up with my old efficient, multi-tasking, ACCOMPLISHED life.

Some days, it’s only the back/ wrists/ neck/ whatever it is today. Some days it’s cold and rainy and the barometer sets off a flare. Some days, like today, it’s sciatica, which for me is the worst pain ever. Worse than childbirth or pulled teeth. Intolerable and really untouchable with any of the meds, or heat, or cold packs.  No wonder the days and nights are sucked dry of any joy.

But apparently there is some science to this. Because the chronic pain keeps your brain firing on overtime, you lose gray matter, fear and anxiety and depression increase, and your brain loses its ability to turn off pain. See this article from the Carolinas Center.

It comes down to a fairly common feeling of hopelessness. Even things I used to find happiness in have gone by the wayside. Not only comedy shows, but other hobbies. Gardening used to be a true joy for me, but physical limitations make it difficult. I slug through on better days, but it will never be the same for me. Crafting becomes a temporary distraction from pain, rather than pursuit of a wonderful art form. I’ve lost a lot–a marriage, a career, the ability to travel freely, and more.

But one thing that still makes me happy, when I can sit long enough to do it, is writing my stories. Creating people, places and plots gives me a real escape, and I can enjoy the escape that faraway places and wild action provide. I hope you can enjoy them, too, especially knowing at what cost they are created.

For those of you who share these afflictions, I wish you warm days and many spoons. For those who don’t, please take a moment to understand those of us who wish things were different. Remember, you don’t have to “cure” us, but see if there isn’t something you can do to bring a little joy into the lives of anyone you encounter. You may not be able to see what’s happening inside their skin, and your effort may be the best thing that’s happened all day. Be someone’s best thing.

 

 

A snippet from A Small Degree of Hope–Science Fiction Romance Brigade

 

AlexanderLyndi_ASmallDegreeOfHope

The new cover for PRINT!!

“Griff?” She waited, watching on the monitor until he stopped his circuit of the small cell. “Do you need medical attention? Something to eat or drink? What can we get you?”
He leaned on the wall on the right of the picture. “They’re going to die.”
“We don’t want that to happen, Griff. You can help us.”
“I want to talk to you.”
“Then talk. I’m right here.”
“No. Talk to you.” He whirled, almost faster than her eyes could follow. Taking the thin mattress off the narrow bunk, he ripped it in half. Claws flashed out of his fingertips amid the shredded bits of cheap stuffing that showered the room.

As the detritus settled, he glared at the monitor. “Talk to you like equal being. Face to face. I tried. You won’t let me! Now one is probably lost, maybe more because you are too inflexible to listen.”
Everyone held their breath, frozen at the demonstration of Griff’s swiftness and power. She made herself breathe as she gathered her thoughts. Those claws. An inch long at least. He wanted her to go in there with him.
Her nerves tingled. “You keep saying women are going to die. But you won’t tell us where they are. You won’t help, like you say you want to. This shows me you don’t really mean what you say. You’re going to let those women die. You’ll be an accessory, Griff. You’ll go to prison.”
He turned away. “Then you are, too. Because you won’t listen.”

********

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover reptile lovewho’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.
Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.
When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?
CONTENT WARNING: Language, Violence, Sex

Buy the book!

Publisher https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30085
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Small-Degree-Hope-Lyndi-Alexander/dp/1616508396/
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-small-degree-of-hope-lyndi-alexander/1115425659
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-small-degree-of-hope-2 

Catch a bonus interview with hero Griff at Romance Lives Forever here!

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