An Excerpt from Nisha Patel’s Story

In For Their Sins Nisha Patel is Alexandria’s best female friend and the first to teach her the inner workings of house politic’s. Even though the book briefly touches on her past I thought it would interesting to explore her entire history. This short story in its entirety will be published in HallowErotica 2017 on 10/31/2017 and if it is allowed, re-released in my compilation novel with the other characters’ stories. The kindle version of For Theirs Sins is Free Today 8/18 and 8/19 on Amazon.

One night Emily called Savas into her parlor and I was told to wait outside. He returned a few minutes later and his eyes sparkled. He told me to pack a change of clothes and meet him at the stables with my weapons. We were going on a real hunt. I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant but I knew the murderers and rapists we’d been feeding on weren’t a challenge for Savas.

Savas and I rode out of Whitmore that very night and did not stop until the moon was high. A cave lay just up ahead and I could smell the stench of death on the wind. I wanted to gag but Savas silenced me.  The horses were skittish so we climbed off and left them behind. He sent me a mental message to open my senses. As soon as I did I was inundated by the foulest, blackest thoughts I ever experienced. I had to shut it out before I was overwhelmed. “Mordere,” Savas whispered so quietly I almost missed it. He held up six fingers and pointed to the cave. Savas knew all that without ever seeing them.  He pulled me further away to plan.

Savas did not think six Mordere a threat against the two of us. The cave was open and there would be no where for them to hide or ambush us from. We would move in quickly killing as we went leaving the last two to feed us. It sounded simple enough yet I was shaking. Savas was grinning from ear to ear. He lived for this. Drawing his sword he advanced once more and I followed.

We moved in from opposite sides. The first Mordere did not see me coming. I rushed in with my sword and swung at its neck. Blood sprayed covering my face and chest. My sword was caught on bone and the Mordere’s head hung from muscle and sinew. It was still alive and grabbing for me now. I pulled the dagger from my belt and plunged it into its heart. The creature screamed in rage. I grabbed the head and ripped it from the body as it crumpled to the ground.

Another Mordere saw the carnage and ran at me now as I struggled to yank my sword free. I put a foot on the corpse bracing myself as I pulled. The sword flew free and I stumbled backwards. I ducked low as the Mordere reached for me and sliced its legs. It fell over the top of me covering my back in blood. As soon as I gained my feet I stabbed it through the heart. I would deal with the head later.

Savas had the last two Mordere huddled in the back of the cave like scared rabbits. He looked as pristine as when we left the house even though there were four dead Mordere along his path. I gave him a sour look. Either he didn’t want to frighten me or he didn’t want to share the fun. More likely it was the latter.

I grabbed a Mordere and sunk my teeth in. The blood flowed rich and sweeter than anything I’d ever tasted. Only a soulless creature could commit atrocities so dark to flavor the blood so. I savored every last drop drinking more than I knew I was capable of. When I finished I was lightheaded and giddy. Savas had to take the heads of the Morderes then place them outside for the sun to burn. I was still laughing when he returned.

“Could you make any more of a mess Nisha?” He sighed. I looked to my clothes and hands that were covered in blood. “Good thing I told you to bring a change of clothes.” He tossed my pack to me.  I needed to change and wash up. Somehow I doubted in my current state I could do that on my own. Images of Savas washing my back flashed through my mind and suddenly a year of celibacy was too long.

I pulled off my blood soaked shirt and threw it on the ground before I slunk out of my boot and pants. Savas hadn’t been paying attention.  He was cleaning his sword and mine. When he looked up and saw me completely naked he stopped moving. He took in my entire my body then got up. I thought he would react as the other males did but Savas was not like other males. “There’s a stream to the north go wash up and put your damn clothes on.” He pushed me out of the cave. When I just stood there he smacked my ass, and not in a playful way. This was an actual smack that was meant to hurt.

I came back a short while later clean and dressed. Savas had a small fire going and was stretched out on a blanket. It was obvious we were spending the day there. I sat down on the blanket opposite the fire all my giddiness gone. “So what you prefer males?” I asked my ego bruised.

“Not that it’s your business, but no. I’m just not interested in you.” He put his hands under his head and closed his eyes.

I lay down as well staring at the fire. “So you have a lover? Emily did not mention it when she spoke of house politics.”

“I’m outside house politics because I pledged myself to Emily.” He sighed.

I smiled realizing what was going on. “Your Emily’s warrior and her lover then.” He sat up looking at me. “It’s really not that hard to figure out.” I admitted.”

“Yet no one else in the house knows.” Savas told me.

“Your secret is safe.” I assured him. “But if you weren’t Emily’s lover would you…”

“No,” he was getting annoyed. “Some females are trouble; you Nisha are one of those females.”

“But some trouble is worth it.” I smiled.

 

An Excerpt from Anya Drake’s Story

I recently started writing a series of short stories based on characters from For Their Sins. Many of the people have a lot of history that the reader never heard, or they got a small chunk that never had any real context to it. I thought I would use that opportunity to dive deeper into some of the main characters.

Anya Drake is the antagonist in For Their Sins. If you haven’t read the book and without giving too much away she taught Dracula how to be a vampire. But was she always rotten to the core or was there something that made her that way?

Here is an excerpt from her short story:

Lorcan found me in my dreams again and I was beginning to suspect these were more than mere dreams. He was already naked when he came to me. I tried to resist his touch, his kisses, even his whispered promises of pleasure. I simply couldn’t, it was as if he had some kind of power over me. My will power melted around him and I bent to his will. Very quickly we were having sex. It was wonderful sex, but I didn’t want Lorcan. I wanted Radu.

Lorcan must have felt my desire for him waning. As soon as he climaxed he focused on another way to bring me pleasure. He kissed along my stomach until he reached the folds between my legs. They were still swollen and throbbing from sex so as soon as he licked them it sent chills down my back. He doubled his efforts and soon his tongue was darting inside me. My fingers wound into the sheets and I barely refrained from screaming as I climaxed once more. He glanced at the window. “It’s still early do you want to know true pleasure?” Lorcan tempted. I hesitated.”Be young and beautiful always. Go anywhere you desire, my little Anya.” Still I hesitated. “Have any man you want.” He whispered it was so tantalizing. I wanted Radu. If this guaranteed it then I would do it. I nodded.

Lorcan pulled me close and bit my neck hard causing immense pain. Then there was a sort of euphoria as my life drained away. Soon I began seeing spots. My vision dimmed and went black completely. Then I tasted the worst thing I’d ever had in my mouth. It was vile, smelled like a rotting corpse, and burned my tongue like acid. I tried to spit it out; Lorcan would not let me. I nearly choked as the first mouthful trickled down my throat. The second went down a little easier. The third tasted better. By the fourth it was like honey. I lapped it up as quick as it would come. My vision came back and I saw Lorcan clearly even in the dark room. “Enough.” I felt his flesh healing pushing my teeth out of his skin. I had not even realized I bit him.

Then my whole body cramped. I shook violently then stopped. I couldn’t move I was a prisoner in my own body. “Don’t go anywhere my little Anya.” He laughed as he stepped out of my room and I prayed I was dreaming. I prayed I was having some horrid nightmare that I would wake from any minute. He returned a few minutes later with the maid in tow. “God won’t save you now, you are on the wrong side.” He snarled. “You need to feed this will help.” What was I supposed to do with a person? He threw the maid on the floor beside me and instinct took over. I attacked the poor woman with such savagery that I nearly tore her head off as I bit into her neck. Blood flowed into my mouth and I drunk it down in great gulps. My body uncurled and my heart stopped whatever horrible pattern it was in for one so slow you would hardly call it one.

I looked up at Lorcan. “More.”

He laughed. “I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me.”

For Their Sins Kindle edition is Free Friday 8/18 and Sat 8/19 A compilation novel with this and other short stories should be released in 2018

Freebie ∼ For Their Sins

For Their Sins will be free next Friday August 18 and Saturday August 19, 2017. This is your chance to grab a free copy of my award winning book. This first person narrative follows the life of Alexandria Diego, a very unconventional 300 year old vampire.

Summary:

Alexandria Diego never wanted to be special. She was content to lay in bed with her lover forever. One decision will change everything. Suddenly, Alexandria is launched into a life of infamy, which carries a heavy burden that only she can bear. When a vicious war between her people, the Venandis, and their rivals, the Morderes, breaks out it forces Alexandria to change her tactics and be more cautious. But, when her love is captured by the enemy, Alexandria risks everything to get him back.

 

Excerpt:

We attacked just before sunset; any Venandi was able to tolerate that much sunlight. But the Morderes were still asleep. Their slumber was an unnatural one, that of the dead, and would render them helpless. The familiars were easily subdued either by force or psychic powers. Savas slipped along the front of the villa knocking them out with a psychic blow while others came behind to tie them up and carry them away.

William, Nisha, and Savas were the first into the Villa, spreading out with a party following each. Our goal was not only destroy the coven, but feast as well. We fed on as many as we could, so we could feed the others waiting at the house. It was the first, of such experiences for me. In each room we swept into, Morderes were subdued as needed, but most were sleeping. Some of the latter were nailed into their coffins, to be carried home.

I was a step behind Savas as he engaged one Mordere with his blade and another with his mind. I knew then how dangerous he was. I pushed my way into the room fighting off an attack, forcing the male back as more Venandis rushed in behind me. I kept the Mordere occupied, toying with him, until the area was secure. Then I fed on him, a rich, sweet taste, full of evil that only a soulless creature could commit. Somehow Morderes had more blood than humans and I could not finish my prey. Savas gave me a sharp look and I knew I must, the blood was too precious to be wasted. I drank more than my fill and felt a lightheaded giddiness that I’d never experienced before. Removing the head was now beyond me. Savas gave me a knowing smile and did it for me.

“Take the heads outside, I think you can manage that. Be careful though there may still be some lurking. Lars watch her back she’s in blood tidal.” Lars got the same grin, grabbed two heads and followed me out.

The heads were stacked in one pile the bodies another. The sun would take care of both for us. I stretched looking at Lars. “What is the matter with me?”

“Blood tidal, too much blood, it makes you giddy like a human when they are drunk. It will pass.” He pulled his sword and stood guard for me. Savas came out a few minutes later with two Morderes, obediently following, eyes glazed.

“Lars get the chains,” even through my clouded thinking, I could see the trouble he was having with the psychic link holding them. Both Morderes suddenly launched at Savas. He was able to stop the closest one, but the other was still on the move. With his attention divided, he wasn’t able to stop him. My dagger was out of my hand before any of us realized it. The second Mordere was dead, my dagger pierced his heart. “My thanks, Lady Diego.” He punched the Mordere hard in the jaw rendering him unconscious for good measure. I gave a soft giggle, not fully realizing that I saved Savas’ life.

Check the blog later this week for excerpts from a series of short stories I’m working on telling the stories’ of other characters in Alexandria’s life.

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The Importance of Proper Review Requests from a Reviewers Perspective.

Review requests may seem like a tedious and pointless exercise but they are essential to getting reviews. Let me explain why. Even as a new reviewer I get several requests for reviews everyday. Right now four or five requests isn’t a lot and by any means overwhelming. However, I am not a full time blogger or reviewer. I have a full time job, two kids and writing of my own to do. I review books to build brand awareness and helpbook3 out fellow authors.

When I get a request I don’t want to do the work. I want all the information right there in the email I received. If there is additional content you think might interest a reviewer include a link; never rely on that for all your content and descriptions. If I am busy I won’t click it. If I have a lot of requests I won’t click it.

Unfortunately reviews like everything else today is a numbers game. Your request is easily lost in the crowd. Make your request stand out. Tell the reviewer (briefly) why you are a writer or why you wrote your novel, something, anything, (relevant) to grab their attention and make you stand out.

The other thing to keep in mind is to research your reviewer. Pay attention to their preferred genres so you aren’t wasting everyone’s time. If the reviewer says they will book1consider books outside their genre you should send reasons in your query to convince the reviewer to try your book. Unfortunately, your book is a harder sell than the others. You should also remember if a reviewer typically reviews fiction they probably aren’t your best bet for a non-fiction review unless they specifically list it in their preferences.

I face the same problems every other does. I send out requests and never hear back. Assume if you don’t the answer is either no or not yet. Be patient and wait. Search Goodreads and other internet forums for other sources but never give up. In this blog entry I have included a bad example of a request as well as a sample letter of what I send out.

Not so good:

I found your name on a book review website and am looking for feedback on my YA fantasy. You seemed to like that genre and was wondering if you would like to read it?

What I sent out:

Name,
I am an indie author requesting a review of my second book “For Their Sins”. It is a paranormal fantasy that has a slightly different twist on vampires. It is told from a first person perspective and covers the life of one 300 year old vampire. It was a fun project and a great stretch of the imagination. The ebook format is 428 pages long. It is also available in paperback  and I would be happy to send it in what ever format you desire. The link to the Amazon listing for further content and cover is listed  here.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0716SVRDS The summary is below. 
Alexandria Diego never wanted to be special. She was content to lay in bed with her lover forever. One decision will change everything. Suddenly, Alexandria is launched into a life of infamy, which carries a heavy burden that only she can bear. When a vicious war between her people, the Venandi, and their rivals, the Mordere, breaks out it forces Alexandria to change her tactics and be more cautious. But, when her love is captured by the enemy, Alexandria risks everything to get him back. 
It does contain some mature content. 
I would love for you to read it and hope that you enjoy it. Please let me know if you are interested. 
Thanks
R. Tran
I would be happy to answer questions or offer any advice I can. I haven’t been an author long and I’ve had to learn everything as I go. I would be happy for any advice that others can offer me as well.

My Heroes by Guest Author Katie Hart

After reading a book there are two things that always stay with me-the trouble maker (villain) and the peace maker (hero). Character wise, some books really surprise thumbnail_OC Fliker (2)me because some characters can turn out to be heroes in their own right even without saving the day or slaying dragons. For me a hero is someone who acts with his or her heart and in the simplest ways tries to make the world a better place. This got me thinking of my own novel Finding Destiny and who my heroes in the story are. So I thought I’d introduce a few of them.Let’s talk about my robot friends Fumble and Flicker. Fumble has a history that even surprised me when I finished writing his scenes. But to know more about his past you’d have to read the book. However, Fumble is first introduced when protagonist Alex lands himself a visit to the Field of Difference. Fumble goes above and beyond to help Alex find his missing daughter and helps him get back to his family.

 

 

 

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Flicker is one of the first robots, Alex encounters in the story. He helps Alex settle into his new life and shares with him the secret of the curse that would take Alex on a journey to save his family.

Both Fumble and Flicker are heroes to me because they are capable in seeking alternate ways in complex situations. Fumble doesn’t believe in hurting flesh beings and Flicker will do what he must to try help people, especially Alex. They both stand proud in whatever they do and always ready to defend the city against the half-breeds- half- human, half- owls. But they also believe in playing fair. I love their outlook in life and their supportive ways.

Next comes, Missy Talk Alot, another hero or heroine. Now readers might think she is __missy_talk_a_lot_____commission_by_justsilvia-d7mxw0ma funny choice to call a hero. She’s not always nice to people and she was manipulated by Dragonstar and does try to drown Alex. But she has a heart in her doll body somewhere and by the end of her journey in Quill City I do believe she finds her inner hero. She was one of my favourite characters to write about.

Who I see as heroes in books are characters that can spread goodness, in little ways. Like Blossom, Alex’s goodness fairy, whose purpose is to spread goodness to all who needed help. I also have a place in my heart for those heroes who start out cold-hearted and don’t wantto help at all. Then they change over the course of the story and find a way to expose their inner goodness.

There are characters in stories, that may not be intended as heroes but their actions reflected their good deeds and it’s interesting to see them grow up with the story. So who are your heroes in books that you’ve read and why? Leave a comment and share their stories.

 

Finding Destiny

 

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When eighteen year old Alex’s little sister’s pony goes missing, he sets out to look for her and finds himself in a strange gypsy camp in the middle of a forest. The pony is being cared for by a young girl called Faith. When Alex accepts a drink from Faith’s grandmother, he wakes up later to find himself transported into 2038 to a technologically-advanced, very colourful world inhabited by humans and robots.

Alex soon discovers that he is now twenty, married and has a magical little baby girl. A magic he only seems to notice. He soon finds out that he will have to defend his little girl from the half-breeds with everything he has. He travels back through the magic pages of books to try and save her before it is too late and she is lost from him forever.

 

Author Bio

Katrina Hart aka Katie lives in the East of England with her family and her two hyper cats Holly and Smokey. Katie always has a passion for reading and could spend her entire life engrossed in good books. During her online writing course, she fell in love with her own created stories. This led to the creation of Finding Destiny, her first fantasy novel. Finding Destiny is the first of her many published novels and is available in both Ebook and paperback version. She loves writing all the time particularly during the late nights when magical stars are out in the sky.

You can find out more about Katie and her work at the following links:

Blog: : http://katrinamarie25.wordpress.com Website:

http://katrina134.wixsite.com/muses/short-stories

Twitter: @KatrinaHart2015

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katrina-Hart-1785712648319624/ Finding Destiny

EBook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Destiny-Katrina-Hart-ebook/dp/B00U1WUFSE/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 Finding Destiny

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Destiny-Katrina-Hart/dp/1543052487/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1499734448&sr=8-2&keywords=finding+destiny Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Katrina-Hart/e/B013KPPUGK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 Finding Destiny’s

promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ3dH0NXa9w

Lustre (A Witchlight Novella): Witch in haste…

3.5-star-rating.

Lustre by Jaime Munn is a novella about Nilla Hayes, a witch fueled by sugar. After a disappointing breakup with her girlfriend, who happened to be a werewolf, she’s short on cash and in search of a distraction. A two line text lands her in an unwilling and binding contract with an angel. In Nilla’s world angels aren’t the good guys we are all used to. While Nate the angel is gorgeous he is also a collector of those with supernatural abilities. The book didn’t quite make it clear exactly how the relationship with his collection worked but Nate seemed to gather his subject’s powers and use them for himself giving them a normal life. For some its a blessing, for budding witches like Nilla angels are usually avoided. When one of Nate’s collection gains powers he wasn’t supposed to and suddenly starts killing people Nilla is recruited to find him. Nilla has the normal missteps of any heroine along the way and the book has an unusual twist with a happy ending.

Some of the concepts in this novella were quite new and intriguing. I rather like the idea of a witch converting sugar into magic. It certainly explains where all the raw energy could come from instead of some mysterious force in the universe. An angel as the antihero but not the villain was a great twist as well. Nate wasn’t evil per-say but  he wasn’t someone I would invite for dinner.  That he was scary powerful was a given and Nilla kept reminding the reader throughout the book.

There were a few writing issues that could mostly be overlooked; just a sentence or two that had to be re-read to understand what the author was trying to say. I really enjoyed the novella for the most part. It was the ending that killed me and pulled down the rating; it felt very anti-climatic. The author spent alot of time building up the heroine the angel and the villain. He set clear expectations of what they could and could not do. He also made sure you were sufficiently scared of his villain. Nilla and her friends go into the last “battle” ready to die and nothing happens. There is no fight, no argument, and no real magic on Nilla’s part. (Spoiler Alert) She laid a trap and it worked. Nate came and took care of everything the end. Granted it was a neat and tidy ending and probably the most logical way for it to end but readers don’t like neat and tidy. At least I don’t like neat and tidy. Its probably too many years reading epic fantasy. Who knows?

It won’t keep me from reading another Witchlight Novella but another ending like that would. For the most part its a good quick read with some interesting ideas. A side story on Nate might be an interesting read as well Jaime.

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Find out more about the author at:

http://www.jaimemunn.com/

http://fb.me/fantasynextdoor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15997812.Jaime_Munn

The Journal of Liv Theed

4.5stars

The Journal of Liv Theed by Jay Hollister is about a teenage girl who suffers from mental illness. She claims to see demons lurking in shadows. Liv is also attacked by Them in the night and often wakes up with scratches, burns, or puncture marks that she cannot explain. Her parents are always described as deeply in love with each other and genuinely care for her. They try every thing to help Liv to get well but fail miserably in the end.

The book blurs the line between reality and delusion. This leaves the reader guessing if Liv is ill or tormented by demons. As soon as you believe Liv a twist occurs and you are left doubting once more. Even on the last page I still was not convinced that I believed one way or another.

The book was very well written and normally I would applaud the author. My complaint in this instance is it did not fit the voice of Liv. The story was written from a first person perspective which I enjoyed. However, Liv is supposed to be a high school student who hates to read. Stylistically and technically speaking the voice of the writer came across as an educated thirty year old, and way above Liv’s level.

My only other complaint about this book was the long descriptions of scenery and rooms around Liv. They seemed overly complicated and unnecessary. It bogged down the reader overwhelming them with facts.

I was intrigued by this book and can’t wait to read the sequel. I am dying to know what is actually going on. He could take the book in two very different directions and it would be interesting to see where this goes. I am giving this book 4.5 stars because I almost quit reading after the first couple of pages and I found myself skimming through the descriptions. If you find your self in my situation stick with it. I promise it is worth the read. You’ll be guessing until the very end!

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Lost Without a System?

Getting a novel out of my head and to publication is usually harder than it should be. I don’t have a formalized system and rarely make notes. I also hand write them and have to go back and type manuscripts at a later point. For this example I will show you how I developed the idea for my novel “For Their Sins”.

Most of my novels start out with a random thought or idea that gets stuck in my head. In this case it was the idea of having two types of vampires, some that had children and some that reproduced through a bite. The idea was stuck in my head for days as I asked myself questions like it was a game. Most would call this my brainstorming phase, but I never write anything down; probably because a lot of my thinking is done while driving or in the shower. When you’re a busy mom you take quiet time when you can get it. My questions were things like: Who is my hero/heroine? What was the problem he/she was trying to solve? What is the setting?

Once some of the major questions were answered I tried to think of major plot points. In this case I knew I wanted Alexandria to be my heroine and for her to be fighting the Mordere, which is bite in Italian. I knew the Venandi, which is Latin for hunting, would be charged with finding sinners and sending them to their judgement. But I needed anchor events before I could start. So I asked more questions and eventually came up with her childhood, her affair with Collin, Savas’ fight with the Impaler, and the showdown with Anya. Even though it may not sound like much it was enough to get me started.

I like to write organically and see where the story takes me. That’s exactly what happened with this novel and it led me down paths I had not intended. Alexandria’s first love affair was not planned it just sort of happened. Another character was killed off that  I originally did not intend to. Then there were entire sections and a whole ending that had to be re-written. It doesn’t bother me though. When I try to plan every thing I can’t seem to write and even when I do it feels forced, so I just don’t do it. If I have a really great idea I will take notes though and reference it later.

One of last steps before editing is typing. Yes I still hand write the majority of my IMG_7155manuscripts in this day and age. I do so for a couple reasons. One: I can take a notebook anywhere, and I mean anywhere. Most of my lunch breaks are spent in my car or at the fast food joint in work eating while writing or reviewing what I’ve already written. It’s a lot harder to do with a laptop. Two: I love the feel of an ink pen gliding over paper. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to see the notebook pages dwindle away as my writing fills it.

Editing, re-reading, editing, title and cover design are always my last steps. Usually by the time I reach editing I have already read the original document at least three or four times. I never know what kind of last minute changes I may want to make so I always do so again. In this case I rewrote the ending just a day or two  before publishing. The original ending never felt right so I changed it.  Then I read the last several chapters again editing it as needed and “For Their Sins” was ready for the world.

It’s not a system or a formal process but this crazy method works for me. I’m sure there are plenty of authors and English teachers out there screaming at me now to do things properly. I give those people my sincerest apologies; I simply can’t do it. Perhaps one day I will try it your way. For now I will take the magic when it happens and not try to force it.

A Few Good Books

Like most people I started reading when I was a kid. I loved it. My favorite stories then were by R.L. Stine. I couldn’t get enough. Why I loved being too frightened to go to bed at night I don’t know, but I think that was only part of it. R.L. Stine always created a story that drew the reader in. I could picture myself in his story. The words weren’t static letters on a page they became images in my head. Most of his books also had a good

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mystery to them too. I always found myself turning the pages and never wanting to put the book down.

In my early teens I stopped reading. I don’t remember why. Perhaps it was simply because my teachers and parents wanted me to read, so I didn’t want to. I can’t remember. Then some one handed me Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice at the beginning of my junior year of high school. The obsession with reading was back. Once again letters were no longer inanimate objects. They danced off the page forming movies in my head.  I read through Queen of the Damned before Christmas break and the books are so much better than the movies.

Then I was introduced to the Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. At first I was intimidated, it’s 800 pages long. Once I got started I couldn’t stop. I fell in love with fantasy novels and I had a little bit of a crush on Richard Rahl. After that I was hooked. Ibook2 read any fantasy book or novel I could find that sounded interesting. I tend to like magic over swords and heroines over heroes. Magical races are always intriguing to me so if they are included it is an automatic bonus.

My favorite book of a all though is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. If you haven’t read it you really should. It’s one of those classic books people put on their book shelves to look smart like Shakespeare, I love his tragedies by the way, but its worth the read. Its another long read even the abridged version is well over 800 pages. I loved every bit. The story has everything, revenge, love, a hero, a villain, a princess. It is epic fiction and the movies have yet to get it right. They keep trying to improve perfection, it can’t be done.

My Goodreads profile has a listing of most of the books that I can remember the names and authors for the books I read. I assure you there are many more that I am missing. I read a lot of books from the library and can’t remember their names. The list is eclectic ranging from classics to romance novels. I love any book that has the ability to draw me in and make me feel a part of it. Most of them have their own unique world. New ideas and spins on old ones are always a must for me.

As I said earlier when I read a good book I see it in my head like I’m watching a movie. When I write it is exactly the same way. I see entire scenes of my books played out before me repeatedly  until I get it just right and written down on the page.  I get inspiration from other authors and their books.  I draw on what I’ve read to help me figure out how to piece my scenes together, or how to fix a problem in my own work. Now, most of the time I am either reading or writing. even my lunch break is spent eating over a notebook writing or a book reading. I wouldn’t have it any other way.book1

Five Little Things

I thought I would share five things about me that you probably don’t know. Sorry they aren’t embarrassing and my site is family friendly so no luck there. These are just random tidbits about me that unless you met me you wouldn’t know. So where to begin? We’ll begin with the most extreme and work our way back to tranquil.

I am a roller coaster fanatic. I love them. Really, I can’t get enough. When I was a teenager my family didn’t have a ton of money so I would ask for a season pass to Six Flags for both my birthday and Christmas gifts. My whole summer was spent at the park until I started working, then it was nights and weekends.

I’ve been to Cedar Point in Ohio and rode every coaster. I want to go back as soon as my girls are old enough. I’m also dying to ride the new Batman coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I keep trying to get friends together for a trip. All the way to Texas for one coaster, it seems perfectly logical to me. I’m just sad I haven’t got to ride it yet. The link above will show a video in case your wondering what all the fuss is about.

Only slightly less risky was petting a 300 pound tiger and two tiger cubs. I know it seems worse than the roller coasters, but it was a one time experience. The Tiger was in a cage and everything was in a controlled environment.

When I was in high school and my first couple years of college I wanted to be a veterinarian. A wonderful lady at church named Mary Starks had connections at the St Louis Zoo and knew my interest in Veterinary medicine. She arranged a tour of the hospital at the zoo.

They also took me behind the cages to see Max the tiger and his two cubs. I will never forget how soft his fur was or how big his paws were. The cubs played like any other kittens and had to be bribed to come close enough to the fence for a pet. If I can find the pictures I will post them to my blog at a later time.

In case you haven’t guessed my husband is Vietnamese. I however am not, I’m as white as they come being mostly German, Polish, and Croatian. There’s a little British Isles thrown in there as well making me a good old American mutt. Needless to say I grew up eating hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and spaghetti. Spaghetti was at least twice a week because my dad loved it.

I am pointing it out because I love Vietnamese food now. When we first started dating the food was an adventure. Not that it was bad, we just had a rule: never ask what IMG_7378something was until you decide if you like it. I’ve eaten some pretty interesting things. Some of it was amazing, I love goat curry. Some of it pretty bad, don’t try pig Fallopian tubes. While other things are an acquired taste, durian and balut being the two biggest ones.

Now that my mother in law lives in California I had to learn to make a lot of my favorite dishes myself. I try to learn something new every time we visit. There are also great blogs to follow my favorite is The Ravenous Couple . The quickest thing for me to make that will feed the family for several days is caramelized chicken, but they really love Pho, too bad it takes a full day to make. The picture shows a quick version called Pho Ga featuring chicken instead of beef.

 

 

Now we move on to the tame facts. The first is my collection of teapots. Its not out of control yet. I do find myself in resale shops flea markets and garage sales searching for that perfect quirky old pot. I have a few newer pieces that can be used because Isaac loves tea. My preference though is the old and unique.

IMG_7382This little teapot started the whole thing. My grandfather brought it back from Japan after WWII. I used to stare at that teapot when I was a little girl. When we had to pack up our grandparents house it was one of the few mementos I received from him. His flag from his service in the army was the other. My grandmother, his wife, left me a tea service and I have a cream and sugar set from my other grandmother. Things have progressed from there to a nice collection. I think my love for the first teapot explains my taste for the old and unique though.

Finally we reach the last tidbit. I sew and quilt. I started sewing when I was a kid. My mom showed me this valuable skill. She even taught me how to read a pattern, apparently that is a dying art. I’ve made several dresses, pajamas, and Halloween costumes for my girls. The girls started picking out their Halloween costume for 2017 in November of 2016 they were so excited about last years costumes. Requests are never finalized until September 1.

 

Quilting came much later. I just started that about three years ago. My little brother in my fraternity was having a baby and she needed a quilt. (All members of our Frat are brothers AAAE) I combed Pinterest for something easy and cute, drew out a plan, did a lot of math, bought my fabric and figured it out. The elephant quilt is what I came up with. It was pretty cute for my first quilt. Since then I’ve made several more. There are pictures of some below. I have one I am working on now and hope to have it finished by the time summer is over.

So that’s it five little things you didn’t know about me before. Some of them interesting others, maybe not as much. I’m sure there are more and If I think of anything interesting I’ll share those too.