Showing posts from 2014

Now in the Kindle Store: Little Angel Helper

Kindle Edition Released today

A novella about siblings, special needs, sacrifice, unfortunate circumstances, and faith in things unseen.

Bradley Hunter lost his job, his rent's due, and he's up to here in gambling debt. His sister, Marie, shows up at the worst time, before he has a chance to call Paulina, the lady from her adult special needs program, and stop her from bringing Marie to New York. Now he has to tell her in person that he can't become Marie's legal guardian after all.

Paulina, a "guide" at TACA (Topeka Action Center for Adults), loves her job as a helper for those with special needs. She cannot accept that Bradley would back out on his sister when she needs him most. With little time left, she'll do whatever it takes to convince Bradley to sign the guardianship papers.

This novella was inspired by my sister, Aunie, who has a lot in common with Marie, the special needs character in the story. Originally, Little Angel Helper appeared…

Book cover preview: Little Angel Helper

Little Angel Helper hits the electronic shelf in less than one week. Next Saturday, the novella will be available in the Kindle Store. Here's the first preview of the book cover.

The book is about siblings, special needs, sacrifice, unfortunate circumstances, and faith in things unseen.

The Alvarium Experiment and The Prometheus Saga

The question was posed: What is the Alvarium Experiment?

Finally, the big reveal.

The Alvarium Experiment is not so much a what, but a whom. Twelve award-winning authors are collaborating on a new kind of short story collection. I feel so very humbled to have been asked to join this experiment.

That begs another question. What is the collection called?

Answer: The Prometheus Saga

The Prometheus Saga will be released in mid-to-late January 2015. The authors are...drumroll please...

Charles A. Cornell (founder) Ken Pelham (founder) Bard Constantine Kay Kendall Parker Francis Jade Kerrion Daco M.J. Carlson Elle Andrews Patt Doug Dandridge Antonio Simon, Jr. Bria Burton (me!)
The experimental aspect involves the method by which readers will experience this new collection. Each author was given a general premise for one central character that must be incorporated into each story. The premise boundaries (within the science fiction genre) provide a lot of leeway for variety in the stories. For example, …

eBook release date announced: Little Angel Helper

Little Angel Helper a novella Release Date: Saturday, Dec20, 2014

In July, I wrote a live story on this blog called "Little Angel Helper." For seventeen days in a row, I made daily entries. The hosts of the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine provided a prompt for anyone who wanted to join them in a live story blogging event. This was the first time I'd ever written a live story, and I ended up with a novella.

Currently, the story is still available to read. Click HERE to start from the beginning and click Newer Post to read the next segment. After publication, the live story will be removed from my blog. If you'd like to read the story for free, now is your chance!

On Dec 20th, I'll publish the story in the Kindle Store and possibly elsewhere. Stay tuned for more info.

The Liebster Award: 10 Questions Blog Hop

I joined a blog hop!

Which doesn't actually have anything to do with an award, as far as I know. It's more like a game of virtual tag with no tag backs. I was tagged by Faydra Stratton, whom I met at the FWA Conference this past October. Other bloggers tagged include Beth Salmon, Serena Schreiber and Carrie Morgan.

10 Questions from Faydra: "It's the day before Thanksgiving. Let's start off with some holiday-themed questions..."

1. What traditional Thanksgiving dish do you wish would never show up on your table again?

I'm not sure that I would exclude ANY of the dishes that I consider traditional. However, there is a dish that pops up as a favorite of a select few family members that just doesn't work for me: shrimp salad. I love seafood, I just don't generally want any with my turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

2. How do you keep writing during the holiday season?

Because my "job" this past year and a half has been to write at home…

A wonderful Florida Bookstore Day

Florida Bookstore Day is a celebration of independent bookstores, and I truly enjoyed spending my day at Wilson's Book World on November 15th.

 I did a reading and sold several copies of Lance & Ringo Tails!
Fellow FWA member Eleanora Sabin (E Rose Sabin) did a reading just prior to mine. Other fellow FWA authors included Sunny Fader and John Rehg.
To my surprise and delight, one of the people who showed up to buy one of my books and listen to my reading traveled all the way from the east coast of Florida! Author M.J. Carlson (center) is a fellow FWA member. He and Pam had friends to visit in St. Pete and decided to come to my book signing, too.

I was so thrilled to meet Michael because he's also one of the authors in the Alvarium Experiment. Yes, that elusive consortium of authors comes up yet again.


It's an exciting, new, and slightly different type of short story collection, and I'm thrilled to be included.

If you're on Twitter,…

FWA Conference and The Alvarium Experiment

Another October, another FWA Conference over! This is the fifth year in a row I've attended and I always walk away...well, exhausted was the first word that came to mind. But also filled with new ideas, inspired by all the amazing people I've met or reconnected with, and better informed about this business called writing.

A few highlights:

The food. Always absolutely fabulous. Ben Hale led a couple of phenomenal sessions, one about world-building and one about making a two-year plan. Both helpful for me in terms of Livinity, my epic fantasy novel.Bobbie Christmas spoke about the second draft and beyond. She's a well-respected Book Doctor with wonderful editing tips. That session was quite timely for me and extremely helpful.A session called Understanding Disabilities and Mental Disorders For Character Creation was very interesting and helpful for me in my editing process for Little Angel Helper, a novella with a mentally disabled character with mental disabilities.Kathryn …

The Darkness Below in The Colored Lens Autumn 2014 issue

"The Darkness Below" appears in The Colored Lens #13 Autumn 2014 issue. The speculative fiction magazine is $2.99 in the Kindle Store. Prime members and Kindle Unlimited subscribers read for free. 

It's like a dream come true.

Almost in the literal sense. This sci-fi story was based on a vivid dream I had fifteen years ago. The journey to publication was a long one, but worth the wait.

About the story: Captain Erin Waite and her team descend into the depths of a cave in search of an alien, but what they discover is beyond anything they could've imagined.

This is my first paid publication. See my name down there? On the cover? Right side? That's me! It's official.

Also visit the magazine's website
I've decided to give the concise version for this story's publication journey. For full details, click HERE and you'll be directed to the complete explanation.

"The Darkness Below" is about 9,000 words long.…

Finished: Book One of Livinity

For a long, long, long time, I've been working on an an epic fantasy novel called Livinity. There are older posts on this blog about my past progress. The unpublished manuscript even won an award in 2011.

And yet, it still needed work. The latest round of edits involved splitting my 142K word novel into two books. One of the main reasons for that was the fact that I struggled to draw attention from agents/publishers with that huge word count, especially for a first book. With great, often eye-opening, feedback from my critique group, I worked on deepening characterization, adding tension, and enriching the other world setting--just a few of the things that needed work. I spent a lot of time editing, adding content, editing, adding content all while trying to anticipate where to split the novel in half.

Something happened in the midst of all that writing and editing. My word count was climbing faster than I expected. I quickly realized that I might end up with a trilogy. Yes!


Switching on the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine

"Switching," a fantasy short story, appeared on the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine podcast on August 29, 2014. Click the image above or click HERE to listen (it's free). Or see my handy dandy instructions below for listening on iTunes. Subscribe to the podcast while you're there (also free) if you enjoy listening to speculative fiction stories performed with voice actors and special effects (note the explicit warning, episodes are not rated and may not be suitable for children).

A brief description of my story from their website: When Crystal awakens in another woman’s body, she thinks she knows what she’s there for, but this switch is different than her past experiences.

The hosts of the show, Rish Outfield and Big Anklevich, ran a contest last year called the Triple Word Score Contest. My story was selected as one of the winners. After signing up for the contest, the hosts drew three words out of a hat for every contestant.

My three words were: violin, e…

Afterward: Inspiration for Little Angel Helper

My first live story, "Little Angel Helper," is complete.

Phew (wipes brow). What an experience. For 17 days in a row, I wrote between 600 and 3,000 words. Thank you, Dunesteef hosts (Big and Rish), for the writing prompt and the inspiration to put a story out there for all to see (scary!) as I was writing it. They both finished their stories as well, and I believe the fourth participant, Katherine, is still going on hers.

When they first presented the prompt ("Despite being warned about them, someone plays a claw vending machine game . . . and wins big"), and suggested the event begin the following Monday, I spent the weekend coming up with a detailed outline of the story I wanted to tell. I think that helped me a lot in terms of not writing myself into a corner, which happens to me frequently as a pantser (one who writes by the seat of their pants, not an outliner). The idea had been floating around in my head, and the prompt solidified what I wanted the story to …

Live Story Blog with the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine

UPDATE 12/20/14: Little Angel Helper has been published in the Kindle Store and is no longer available to read on my blog. Click HERE to view it on Amazon.

Original blog:

I'm happy to report that I've done lots of writing lately. My focus has been deep editing two different novels (Livinity and Sprinter). I've gotten about 70,000 words edited (including added scenes) in the first book of Livinity, and anticipate that after about 30,000 more, I'll be ready to start the submission process again. Send, receive rejection, repeat. All while working on the second book. I changed the opening for Sprinter once, and I may do it again, so that novel is hard to calculate word-wise at this point.

Every once in a while, I'll write and send out a short story. When I get a rejection (not if), I'll edit the short story and send it out again. Currently, I have about five stories submitted.

Over at the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, a podcast where one of my stories is upcom…

Dual (Duel?) Novel Editing

Just wanted to give a brief update on my days now that I'm an at-home writer for anyone who might be curious.

Mon Edit Livinity Tues Edit Sprinter Weds Edit Livinity Thurs Edit Sprinter Fri Edit Livinity Random writing (ie short stories)
A very generic, not comprehensive picture of how I spend each day, but a general idea of what I'm trying to get done.

For a while, my focus had been deep editing Livinity, my epic fantasy novel turned trilogy. The process is slow. Many people ask me if I'm finished, and it probably doesn't make sense when I have to explain that I'm not. THE END is certainly written, and has been since 2008. But many years later, I'm redrafting yet again to make this the best book that it can be. Sometimes ideas for Sprinter interrupted my edits (women's inspirational fiction that I had set aside). Then I realized it might be fun to go back and forth between the two. And it is. Sprinter is a much faster edit, but I'm discovering n…

"A Black Gaping Hole" and a warning to writers

It's an apt title. "A Black Gaping Hole," as I mentioned in a previous post back in 2012, was selected for publication in the March 2013 issue of Aoife's Kiss. However, the story fell into a black gaping hole of its own.

First off, a warning.

White Cat Publications and Sam's Dot (multiple imprints including Aoife's Kiss #44)
To read the open letter of resignation from Dora Badger, former employee, click HERE

Here's a summation of what happened:
In 2012, "A Black Gaping Hole" was selected for publication inAoife's KissMarch 2013 issue. However, the publisher was taken over and the new publisher (WCP) failed to fulfill my contract. The agreement made with the first publisher was $15 payment plus contributor's copy. I queried and eventually received a response from Dora Badger (the same employee who later resigned). My check was in the mail, she said over and over again. And she apologized each time I didn't receive said check…

My first podcasted short story: Ligeia on the Journey Into... podcast

"Ligeia," a science fiction short story, appeared on the Journey Into... podcast today. Click the image above or click HERE to listen (it's free). Or see my handy dandy instructions below for listening on iTunes. Subscribe to the podcast while you're there (also free) if you love stories of mystery, fantasy, science, old time radio, adventure, horror, and the unknown.

I really liked the brief description of my story on the website: Kraykor is driven to the edge of space, and the only way to escape death is by entering into Ligeia.

The host of the show, Marshal Latham, ran a contest last year called the Edgar Allan Poe Writing Contest. My story was selected as one of the winners. The story had to be titled after any EAP work (short story or poem). Otherwise, the only requirement was a Poe "vibe."

I'm thrilled with the final product. Marshal even asked me to read lines and included my reading in the story. I'm the voice of Mirka, the wife, so this is…