Archive for November, 2015

My Writing Journey

Posted: November 30, 2015 in #IAmWritingNow, Writing
Tags:

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How was your Thanksgiving? I spent the day with family. My daughter got to come home for the holiday. Last year, she had a game the day after Thanksgiving and couldn’t travel. So, this year we were blessed to be able to spend the time with her.

Let’s see how I did on last week’s goals…

1) LAST WEEK’S POSTED GOALS:

*Edit “The RELICs Experiment”…due Dec. 1st for a short story contest. This story is becoming my personal horror story! I’ve revised the story FIVE times. I’m hoping this experience will make me a better writer instead of a more frustrated one.

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*Edit “Cursed Hearts” and “Ever After” for The Debut Collective anthologies… due Dec. 15th. Edited the stories and sent them off. Then, I went to Facebook and posted. Should have done it the other way around. As soon as I posted, I got other authors asking if I wanted them read first. So, I emailed them to two authors. I got great feedback. Not a problem with having to resubmit them. The problem came in I should have trusted myself before I ever did the first submit. You see, I listened to ONE person’s advice about the end of my story. I should have stuck with my original ending. The feedback I received this time was stick with the original ending. Now, I have to revise the story and make it fit. Lesson learned…

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*Edit “Sweetest Bite” for anthology consideration… due Dec. 1 – Jan. 31. Because I had to address the aforementioned issue, I had to stop this edit. I have found out that only ONE edit will be done on all the stories. So, this one needs to be as close to perfect as I can get.

*Time permitting… Start edits on manuscript. Peeked at it. This will take more than a couple of days to complete.

2) THIS WEEK’S GOALS:

*Finalize “The RELICs Experiment” … Due Dec. 1st for a short story contest.

*Finalize “Cursed Hearts” and finish revision on “Ever After” for The Debut Collective anthologies… due Dec. 15th.

*Finalize “Sweetest Bite” for anthology consideration… due Dec. 1 – Jan. 31.

*Time permitting…start edits on manuscript.

 

3) A FAVORITE LINE FROM MY STORY ORONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED: Lesson learned—One of my writer friends told me that suggestions are just that when it comes to your writing. It’s your story, tell it the way you see fit. If I had had that advice BEFORE I wrote my short stories, the whole debacle with the scrapped ending would have never happened.

4) THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED LAST WEEK:Brain drain! After last year’s NaNoWriMo I didn’t have another project to work on. I put the rough draft down for a month and let my brain rest. Well, this year I had projects waiting. I tried to work on them. I couldn’t focus. I was too restless to stay in the chair and edit. Fortunately, I realized the problem and stopped. I took the rest of the week off and binge watched Netflix (all caught up on The Originals).

5) SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP: Since I’m editing/revising now, I’ll mention something about writing in general. I love that writing allows me to ask WHAT IF and give my answer. I’ve always enjoyed speculating about things and writing is my outlet. It’s wonderful to be able to give my answer to things like… What if Snow White hadn’t eaten the apple? What if Cinderella was really a boy going to prom?

Well, that’s this week’s update. If you did NaNoWriMo and didn’t finish, don’t fret. NNWM is NOT about winning. It’s about the journey of writing. It’s about learning how to commit to a writing routine. It’s about learning your limits and what you are capable of. If you participated, you did win. You learned something. Now, go finish on YOUR time table. If you did win, congrats! Put it aside for a minute before undertaking the revision monster.

Remember, life’s short and there are NO guarantees. Embrace it and enjoy yourself! Have a great week!

Keep reading. Keep following.

 

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I love Pinterest! I use it like a file cabinet to keep up with stuff. It’s been especially helpful for keeping writing tips and creating visual boards for my stories.

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I’ve been using the private feature to keep things quiet while I work on my novels and short stories. Today, I made the board for Regress: The Alliance Chronicles Book One public. You can get the first peek at the characters I created, the settings for the story, and even some of the images that I used in creating the world set in the year 2025.

Book Trailer Friday!

Posted: November 27, 2015 in Book Trailer
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How was your Thanksgiving? I have my daughter home so it’s all good. Maybe you plan on spending a wad shopping today. Before you head out check out today’s book trailer shelf. You might want to hit a bookstore while you’re out.

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Goodreads.com Description: “When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.”
The other two books in the series…

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Book 2

 

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Book 3

Have a great weekend!

Keep reading, keep following…

On November 23rd C.S. Wilde had a two-sentence story challenge on her blog. My two-sentence story got an honorable mention!

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The woman, drained and battered within an inch of her life, stared up at the dark stranger and whispered, “I have nothing left to give you.”

“You still have your soul which I’ll gladly take now.”

 

 

Goodreads.com Description: “For far too long, Sundae Grayson has lived under the tight control of her father and the wolf pack he leads. At twenty-two and with college degree in hand, she’s ready to embark on a journey of her own. But when her father is attacked and nearly killed, she finds a cryptic note in his pocket—a riddle she must solve to save him. Doing so means delaying the life she desires, but her father is worth it. Not to mention that if he dies, she becomes alpha, and she’s so not ready for that. Thank the Angels for Trevor, leader of his own pack and her lifelong crush, who volunteers to help her.

The riddle sends them on the hunt of their lives. After all, they must solve the mystery, find the relic they need, and deliver it on time to save not only their packs, but all of the Amadis, who serve as the Angels’ army on Earth. If they fail, the Demons will win over the world. But what must be sacrificed for the sake of the greater good?” 

About the Author

 Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, primarily New Adult paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy. Her internationally bestselling Soul Savers Series includes seven books, as well as a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella. Over 350,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, hitting Amazon’s, B&N.com’s, and Apple’s Top 100 Paid lists.

She has also written The Book of Phoenix trilogy, a New Adult paranormal romance series that includes The Space Between, The Space Beyond, and The Space Within. The full trilogy is available now.

Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, a beagle, and a puggle, but spends many weekends with her three sons at UCF, cheering on the Knights.

Find Kristie online at…

Website: http://kristiecook.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3519233.Kristie_Cook

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kristie-Cook/e/B0046KG8R4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kristiecookauth

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kristiecook/

Tumblr: http://kristiecook.tumblr.com/

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AngdoraProductions

My Review

I really enjoyed reading Kristie Cook’s Supernatural Chronicles: The Wolves. When it comes to supernaturals, my two favorites are werewolves and vampires (haven’t quite figured out why yet).

This was the first story I’d read of Cook’s even though I have a lot of her books on my TBR and even own some of her physical books. I found her writing style very straight forward. The story flowed with plenty of action and good detail.

Her characters were well-crafted and intriguing. I loved the story between Sundae and Trevor. So much so that I’m putting the Soul Savers series on my Christmas list. I want physical books!

Cook’s installment in this series did not miss a beat. It picked up seamlessly from the previous story. I’m enjoying this series and I look forward to reading the next one.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

Next story…

Want to read more about Sundae and Trevor?

   The story of The Wolves falls between Book One and Book Two of the Soul Savers series.

Other books in the series include:

 a novella      

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy your holiday!

spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Mara Valderran!

maraMara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books and the Marketing Director for Blaze Publishing, but she’s more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.

Without further ado, here is Mara’s interview…

I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer?  No, actually. When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress. I fell in love with the written word and acting through Shakespeare when I was about eleven or so. I’d always written things—little stories here and there. I would write scripts or short stories. I eventually moved into fanfiction, and then started coming up with stories of my own. I didn’t realize I was a writer until I finished my first book and people told me I should get it published. That was the moment I realized that I’ve always been a writer and it has always been such a huge part of who I am that I never thought to define it.

Why did you choose to write science fiction/fantasy? I love magic and sci-fi—the possibilities there are endless. I feel like fantasy encourages dreams and sci-fi encourages thinking that the impossible can one day be possible. Reaching outside of the box.

What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written?  Hmm… strangest? I’m not sure I have one of those. I mean, I write sci-fi and fantasy so I guess you could say there is an element of strange to everything I write. But it doesn’t feel strange to me.

What are you currently working on? I just wrapped up the second book in my Young Adult sci-fi dystopian series, and am now moving to the third book in my New Adult fantasy series.

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What motivates the plots of your books?  Exploring relationships are huge motivations and inspirations for my books.Heirs of War Heirs of War has five strong female leads that are torn from their own world, thrust into a world filled with magic and in the middle of a war, and then told that they are all related to each other. These young women are complete strangers to one another and then told they are cousins and sisters, so for me, that’s one of the most interesting parts of the series. How do these girls adapt to their newfound families? How do they relate to one another when they’ve missed a lifetime of sisterly bonding?

Altar of Reality explores the relationship between childhood best friends Madeline and Brandon. When Madeline finds herself in another reality and runs into another version of Brandon, she can’t help but feel like she is home and feel an overwhelming need to protect him and do anything for him. Because he’s her Brandon, even in another reality and with a lifetime of different experiences, that love and that bond is still there, and drives her to do things she never thought she would in order to survive and keep him safe. Altar of Reality

What was the hardest story for you to write? The first books in a series are always the hardest for me to write. They are so introductory, and since I know what is coming, I’m anxious to get there. It takes a lot of patience to get me to work through introducing characters, building histories, and introducing the worlds they are in.

What process do you use to plan your novels? I use Scrivener to create an outline, then create a physical story board to help me map everything out and move things around if the timeline calls for it, then I sit down and write and inevitably end up scrapping half of what I planned when the characters take me in a different direction. [Kind of a hybrid plotter-pantser.]

Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Egad, I don’t think I can choose. I love Ana in Altar of Reality. You get to see two different sides of her (one in each reality), which shows what a complex character she is. In one reality she’s terrible, and the other she is one of the best allies you could dream of. Heirs of War has so many characters close to my heart. That series is my baby since it is how I started in the writing world. Ellowyn is a lot of fun to write. She is Zelene’s best friend and basically a slave. She was raised normal enough in a magical world, but when she doesn’t develop any gifts and her parents die, things change for her. Those without magic are called the Tainted and totally shunned, which leaves her retreating back into her shell. Seeing Zelene pull her out of it is really cool for me.

Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? All of my friends and family would shout “Zelene” in unison at this question. Seriously, channeling your inner-Zelene has become a thing they say now. She comes from a rough childhood and speaks fluent sarcasm. She’s a bleeding heart who doesn’t really show many emotions besides anger. She’s passionate and after living the life of an underdog who got thrown to the top of a hierarchy she never even imagined, she’s all about sticking up for those on the lower rungs. I relate to her a lot, but I think most of my characters have a piece of me in them somehow. Except maybe Madeline in Altar of Reality. She’s probably the female lead character that is the least like me.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Yes! I recently went through some big and traumatic changes in my life, and was completely blocked. I didn’t write for about seven months. I’ve had writer’s block in the past and been able to overcome it, so I tried some of my old methods. I listened to my playlists. I watched videos of actors who inspired my characters. I tried rereading my books, reading positive reviews, responding to Wattpad comments or questions—anything to get me enthused about my stories again. Nothing worked.

Then I went to UtopYA. And I swear it was like someone breathed life into me again. [Yes… Utopia is like a mecca for YA/NA writers. Next year, it will include Middle Grade writers.] Being around all of those other authors, getting to meet online friends in person for the first time, all of the positive energy—it reinvigorated me. I came home and within the month had the first draft of my next novel finished.

If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? This might sound cheesy, but I don’t really choose the genres I write in. The stories choose for me. After I wrap up these two series, I have a contemporary romantic thriller in mind. No speculative elements to it at all, and completely outside of my normal wheelhouse. But the story popped in my head and won’t get out, so it needs to be written. [That happens. I have a NA contemporary romance story in mind. Definitely not my normal thing to write.]

Which authors inspire you? Jane Austen is a cliché inspiration, but still mine. She followed her passion and her heart at a time when [the idea of] women writing books was thought of as scandalous and even shameful. She chose to pursue her career despite the obstacles in her path and was driven to succeed no matter what the cost. I admire that so much, and when things get tough for me, I think of her and all she must have gone through on a daily basis just to be able to do what I am so free to do now. It puts things in perspective.

What novel would you read multiple times? I’ve read lots of novels several times–the entire Harry Potter series, Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, The Sword of Truth series.

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why?  Audrey Hepburn because she lived such a fascinating life and was more than just an onscreen beauty. She strived to be a good person and to give back to those in need, and I find that awe-inspiring and moving.

What is your favorite quote? “Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who know me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower when I thought a flower would grow.” –Abraham Lincoln

What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? My cat Sweetie is my absolute favorite animal in the world. I’ve had her for twelve years and she is my little writing companion, so it is hard to choose another favorite over her. She’s on my lap right now, actually!

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Not Sweetie, but I bet she’d enjoy this position!

What is your favorite color? My favorite color fluctuates between purple and teal. [Magical!]

Mara Valderran is a full-time author with a full-time job. 

Please explain how that’s possible. Writing is most definitely a full-time career for me, even though I also have a full-time job. I know most people consider it part-time when you have a full-time job, but I don’t. I spend most of my free time doing research, marketing, writing, or working on other writerly related projects. So it’s like having two full-time jobs for me.

You can catch up with Mara Valderran online…

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

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Google+

Instagram

Blaze Publishing

Thanks for being a part of A Center Stage Moment! It was great having you here.

Join me next week as I feature Daniele Lanzarotta!

 

Goodreads.com Description: “To walk between bodies, between species, between all races of humans–such is the life of a Skinwalker. Ahote, the son of the Great One is preparing to take his father’s place, to become ruler of those who move between the skins of his kind. That is until a letter is tacked to his door, a calling from The Noir–a letter whose blood-soaked words command obedience. Along with his life mate, Jaci, Ahote must find the voodoo priestess in the hopes that she hold the answers. Or, if the letter is correct, the veil between life and death will be torn, leaving the world open to creatures more vile than he.”

About the Author

I am a stay at home mom from the South and wife to the most giving and hard working husband ever.  I love to cook and try out new recipes even if they don’t always turn out like I want them to.  I refer to my kids lovingly as the Three Stooges as they are constantly coming up with new ways to reek havoc in the house.  Most recently that included putting a rubberband on the kitchen sink sprayer so it would douse me when I did the dishes.  I love to go to roller derby bouts and read in my spare time.  I write mostly at night when the house is silent and I can sneak cookies without having to share!  If you’re into stalking, try under the Cypress trees in the swamps of Louisiana, but watch out for gators!!

Find Lila online at…

Website: http://www.lilafelix.com/

Twitter: @AuthorLilaFelix

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6519682.Lila_Felix

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lila-Felix/

My Review

Supernatural Chronicles: The Skinwalkers is the third story I’ve read by Lila Felix, and once again I loved it!

Felix has such a way with words. The language made me fall in love with the tale of Ahote, a soon-to-be Alpha Skinwalker. The words she used were so imaginative for commonplace locations, people, etc. For instance, “shaken and stirred crowd” (bar patrons), “underbelly of life” (swamp), “her voice was all hot chocolate and cookies” (warm and sweet), and “sludge on waders” (thick, dark coffee). Her words give me goosebumps. I aspire to such greatness.

As usual, I found Felix’s work well-written (despite some errors that missed editing) and well-researched. I checked all the locations mentioned in Skinwalkers just to see if they were real places. I even found an angel gracing a small tomb in the New Orleans Cemetery.

The characters were memorable in this novella. I loved Hamni. She was so raw and earthy. Her resentment rang clear along with her concern for Ahote. Jaci was the loving mate with backbone and a ‘fear nothing’ attitude. And, Ahote was the young man struggling with solving a riddle while adhering to traditions. He was an admirable character whom I want to know more about.

Skinwalkers is an original, great story! I loved the concept of finding the pieces of a relic and solving a puzzle. Can’t wait to read the next novella. I’m not giving away the clue….

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

Next story…

Crumbled Cover Reveal!

Posted: November 23, 2015 in Book Preview
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Crumbled by Jennifer Snyder
Series: A Paper Thin Novel
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication: December 29th, 2015

Dealing with the loss of his fiancée, Emma, and the confusion of his troubled relationship with her sister, Dawson Phillips decides to leave his hometown of Parish Cove behind.

As he battles between denial and depression, Dawson travels the states placing distance between himself and his painful memories of Emma’s death. With each rolling mile behind him, he gains new hope that he will eventually be able to repair his tattered heart.

The problem: He never thought he’d heal while igniting feelings for someone else.

Strengths will be tested. Boundaries will be blurred. And hope will mend the hearts of those fearing they would stay forever crumbled.

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Book #1
Paper Thin by Jennifer Snyder
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Available September 29th, 2015

Fate has always seemed to mock Charlotte Montgomery, continuously dangling the man of her dreams just out of reach. It isn’t until Charlotte receives word her older sister Emma is getting engaged that she feels fate’s teasing has hit a new high.

Once she begrudgingly decides to return home to the tiny town of Parish Cove, curious to find out who has captured her sister’s heart, fate suddenly seems as though it may have tossed her a bone.

The problem: Charlotte forgot one simple thing…Fate has never been her friend.

Emotions run high. Happiness will be shattered. And tragedy will strike, leaving everyone feeling paper thin.

Purchase:
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About the Author

 

Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing New Adult and Young Adult Fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is a tea lover with an obsession for Post-it notes and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.

 

Newsletter | Smashwords Author Page | Kobo Books

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Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Title: Back of Beyond
Author: Neeny Boucher
Tentative Release Date: February 2016
Cover Reveal Date: November 23rd, 2015

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backOfBeyondSynopsis
Dina Martin and Nicholas Riley are total opposites. She’s the good girl with the perfect grades and he’s the bad boy with the reputation. Growing up together with close family ties, they have been at war as long as they can remember. When the unthinkable happens, neither of them wants it.
Set in a small town at the turn of the millennium, this story is about family and friendship, the love of music and how sometimes who you don’t want, is exactly who you need.

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How was your weekend? It was rather frigid for part of the weekend here. Made me want to grab a good book and some hot chocolate.

Let’s see how I did on last week’s goals…

1. LAST WEEK’S POSTED GOALS:

*Continue with NaNoWriMo word count. As soon you can see from the picture above. I finished NNWM! I hit over 50K for a total word count for my urban fantasy, Demon’s Birthright, of 71,297 words! I anticipate the final product after revisions to be 75 – 80K.

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*Chat with my critique partner on short story draft #3 (zombie fic).  Didn’t happen. She’s also working on NNWM. I wanted to give her the opportunity to finish as well so, we postponed our session.

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2. THIS WEEK’S GOALS:

It’s editing/revision time! I have 4 short stories to edit/revise plus my manuscript of Regress: The Alliance Chronicles Book One is back from the editor. So, the goals for this week look like this-

*Edit “The RELICs Experiment”…due Dec. 1st for a short story contest.

*Edit “Cursed Hearts” and “Ever After” for The Debut Collective anthologies… due Dec. 15th.

*Edit “Sweetest Bite” for anthology consideration… due Dec. 1 – Jan. 31.

*Time permitting..start edits on manuscript.

3. A FAVORITE LINE FROM MY STORY OR ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED: (another quote from my NNWM project…my male lead is speaking with the female lead) “I let you into my life. It took the bond to bring us together, but it’s my heart that keeps us that way. You’ve changed me, Raevyn.”

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4. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED LAST WEEK: Focus. I actually dreamed the opening of the next book in the Demon trilogy. I was anxious to get notes on paper for it.

5. SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP: (the Urban Fantasy, Demon’s Birthright) This story was completely inspired by The Grimm’s fairy tale, “The Raven”. I love how I took the premise and put a completely twisted spin on it just by asking ‘what if’.

Well, that’s this week’s update. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, let me know so I can support you too! It’s the last week, stay strong.

Remember, life’s short and there are NO guarantees. Embrace it and enjoy yourself! Have a great week!

Keep reading. Keep following.