TEN-ZERO-NINE

Some book availability updates:

TEN-ZERO-NINE is the psychological thriller sequel to my Rishi’s Wish series. A short, fast-paced read that will leave you biting your nails and afraid to turn the lights off. Get it free here:

Some things you can’t take back.

All Steve wanted was to find the balls to tell the girl of his dreams how he felt.

And he finally had.
Today was that day. A day engineered with no distractions. A day for just the two of them. No roommates. No cowardice. No second-guessing that the friendship they’d built over the last year wasn’t more.
Today was the day his hellish existence would move into the light.

Snatched away by four simple words, Steve’s day turns dark. From one second to the next, taking his future in his hands turns to a speeding train bearing down on him.

Each day more torturous than the last, he’s forced to watch his love slumber through a dangerous experimental procedure. A procedure that has never worked. A procedure that turns her from his friend into subject 10-0-9.

When she wakes, when she finally comes to, the first to survive, Steve wants to take it all back. The nightmare he’d been living was nothing compared to this.

One Word

What is One Word?

Essentially, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, One Word is a word you divine from the universe to guide you through the year. In past years, I’ve had simplicity and patience, for example. Check out Jon Gordon to get all the details.

Finding my word

This year, I really struggled to find my WORD. I felt completely blank about it over the weeks I was trying to be open to hear it. When I realized the word wasn’t blasting through my head like it had in previous years, I paid more attention to the constant feeling I had about it. Following this vague sense, I looked up and researched through my limited vocabulary down a deep rabbit hole.

First, it was INTENTION

Intention was where I started. But that wasn’t focused enough.

Intention to attention… but that’s more than one word, and not exactly what I felt.
I needed intention to relate more with sourcing my purpose, with ensuring I take action towards a goal that is wise and fitting and not ruled by pride and ego.


I’ve read that yoga can mean “work.” Intentional action. So, I started looking up definitions of yoga. At this point, I was pretty sure YOGA was my WORD, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just creating something of my own making from the hints the universe handed out.

Yoga: a union between the self and the divine, or more accurately to realize my identity with the Divine; to know and tune into my intrinsic nature.

No, that doesn’t sound terrifying at all.

Yoga is (according to Patanjali):

Equanimity of mind in success and failure.
Discretion in work.
The remover of misery and destroyer of pain.
The most supreme self.
Serenity.
The giver of infinite happiness.
Complete control over patterns or modifications of the mind.

Yoga is a lot. Much more than ONE WORD. So, I kept digging, trying to slim this all-encompassing way into a piece I could focus on. The YAMAS is where I found my WORD.

SATYA

…”absolute truth”, but Satya also refers to the virtue of being honest in thoughts, in actions and in words during everyday life…

https://styleoga.it/en/meaning-satya-yoga/

Impeccable truth. Clear, truthful intention. Satya is my One Word.

The actual doing…

Of course, how to go about achieving even the slimmest level of this is my current task. Journaling has become my job this last week as I try to dissect my brain patterns, try to cess out the things that make me not be SATYA (is it a verb? can it be a verb?) and find a way towards it.

Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them. I’d especially love to hear if you have a word to focus on for the year.

From the Start…

From my own experience and from what I often hear from other writers, there’s a tete-a-tete that happens between what we want/think our stories should be, and what the story itself has in mind. Right away, when writing KILLING GAME, that became my truth. Daniel was meant to die from the outset–this much necessary point to show Desiree the severity of her situation, and the even more daunting idea of consequence–but continued to live. Dimitri came to life to force that point when the first character refused to stick to his script. So much of that happens in so many stories I hear about. These tales have a life of their own, and any good creator allows them their necessary space.

Sometimes, an idea just isn’t that great. Sometimes, the market knows best.

I purposefully wrote Rishi’s Wish sans a real love interest. Sure, it’s one of the main points that makes Urban Fantasy what it is, but I decided I didn’t want to use it. At least not right away. I wanted this clueless girl to stumble and fall and pick herself up on her own. I wanted her to figure out that playing meek and quiet wasn’t a sure path to the right thing just falling into her lap. Does she receive help along the way? Sure. Are there those who wish they were in a relationship with her? Yes, but it’s not the main focus of the story. Not even the third focus.

Even so, reader feedback showed me these love connections are so important. While I’d wanted the romance to stay periphery, comments suggest this is an impossibility. I have team-Hamal and team-Daniel conversations frequently. Readers want Dee to fall in love.

There is a quick almost-togetherness in book 1. Hamal does pine. Daniel has doubts. Pollux shows interest. Maybe I did lay the groundwork more than I meant to…

This quote from book 1 sums up what I was trying to say. Ironically, this scene got cut:

“Careful your solitude doesn’t create emotional ties that wouldn’t exist if given other circumstances.”

-Daniel to Dee, cut scene from KILLING GAME

That’s ultimately why I never tie these characters together. I was pointing out how not real, or if you don’t like that, how situational their feelings are. Hamal is the only person Dee has ever met with who she can discuss the strange things happening to her. He’s the only person she knows that can truly help her. He’s the only one who’s ever given her any information.

When Dee is further isolated, Daniel is the only one to talk to. While she never sees him as more than a friend, her uniqueness pulls Daniel towards her. Just as that same oddity pulls everyone near her close. Is she some amazing personality people can’t help but love? Gods, no. She rarely shows her personality, so busy toeing the line, hiding, afraid someone will decide to kill her. That no one knows what to make of her, that no one knows how to interpret what they think of her, these feelings are mistaken for like, lust, and in some cases, love.

Not forever though

There is a love story intertwined here, but it doesn’t start to show its face until Born To Die. Hopefully, readers won’t be too mad at me for this, after having their hopes pegged on one or another character. Dee still has a ways to go. She still has to decide which path to walk. Not until then will she be ready to sit with someone as her partner.

Click the banner to start your journey today!

That’s right- it’s our favorite day!

No, not Friday (though I know many of us are excited about that), it’s RELEASE DAY!!

That’s right, there is a new book for you to cozy up with around the pool or at the beach or in your favorite, quiet corner.

Killing Game

All she wants to do is live. But she finds living isn’t enough. Control. That’s what’s important.

Desiree doesn’t want to remember the terrible event that gave her super strength and speed. Whatever it was left her friends dead. She’s accepted she won’t remember. She’s content with moving forward, living a life of quiet isolation.

But how often do we get what we want?

Ambushed on the silent streets of her hometown, Dee is pushed into a world as impossible as it is unbelievable. Ancient feuds and impossible histories clash, with her at their center. If not for Hamal’s timely assistance, the first attempt on her life might have been the last. But even Hamal, who grew up in this strange world, can’t anticipate what’s coming.

Forced to put her faith in a stranger, Dee trains to protect herself from immortal foes. Foes even legend holds no trace. A race long written out of history. Some are with her, some against her. Little does she know one is the creator of her future—a Rishi whose wish started it all.

If you’re a book reviewer, and would like a review copy, let me know! Contact me, or leave me a comment 🙂

Happy Reading 🙂

Two of Forty-Eight Hundred (a rough guesstimate)

What’s your second edit look like? For some reason, I was thinking I’d been all brilliant with this latest project, that my editing would go faster and smoother than the last book because I’d nailed it the first time through. Yeah, well, let’s just say I overestimated my brilliance by just a micrometer. A micrometer to the eleventy-billionth degree.

Sure, I got the basic story going, but I’m rewriting whole chapters into intelligible language, rather than basic phrases that might be understood on a certain dosage of hallucinogenics laced with droplets of my blood. Needless-to-say, editing is not going to be a quick once over.

How could I possibly think it would be easy? Mostly, I think it was just over-eagerness, or simple optimism. I’m way behind on my deadline, so I convinced myself it was fine because the edits would be smooth and I’d be able to catch up some time. Riiiight. Maybe for my next book I can just think really hard at a blank page and the story will fall right out all neat and clean and full of genius. I won’t even bother crossing my fingers…

We have to put in the work. Every time. Every time this is the process. Every time it comes in stages, slowly sculpting it out to its best form. Rushing is a mistake I’ve made, and I won’t again. Sure, some people will be disappointed to have to wait longer, but they’d be more disappointed to get a rushed piece of work. Still, I need to focus and get the work done, regardless of where I’m at with it.

I hope all your projects are moving forward, regardless of the pace that happens.