Sick Days and Sneak Peeks

 Okay, yes it is a sick day.  I have a headache and I feel like my body has a migraine.  I am at the cottage so recovery should be swift but for now I feel like shite.   Instead of an insightful bit of prose, I offer you the prologue for Witch Hitlist, the first Highland Wolves novel.  

It was a hell of a lot of fun to write, difficult though.  To get the imagery down I had to try and figure out what the Astral Realm might look like for other people.  For those who can travel astrally it tends to appear as they wish to see it.  There are basic landmarks and things to be found but I think the colours and… erm… fabrics of the landscape are individual.  

Anyway, here’s the prologue.  Enjoy!

Prologue

 

Some called it the Astral Realm, some called it the Ether and still others called it Purgatory.  Some had no idea what to call it.  But to Anna Conner it had always been Home.  Her stay in the human Realm was temporary.  A long temporary to be sure, going on five thousand years now one life after another, but it was still temporary.  Many people had come and gone in that time, very few had hung around for more than a couple of centuries.

She had hoped, long ago, that she’d find the One who could stick it out with her.  Who would understand her, stand beside her, fight at her back, fight for her and mostly, finally, love her.  Anna had been wrong before but she thought she had finally found that One.  It was a Romeo and Juliette situation though.  She was a Montague, a Vampire, and he was a Capulet, a Werewolf. It was he she was standing with in her Home now, in a large field outside her Father’s keep, lit only by the full moon above.  They were surrounded by his pack.  Only he and his Beta, his second in command, stood in the circle of Wolves with her. 

Anna stared into his eyes, seeing the love glowing there along with a fierce determination.

Liam Taggart was a Wolf.  He wasn’t a Wolf ‘spirit’.  He wasn’t one of those whose animal guide is a Wolf.  He wasn’t a wannabe Wolf.  Liam was a Wolf.  A full blown, gets furry and toothy once a month, Werewolf.   And he was in love with a Vampire. 

That Vampire was the only reason he was standing in this godforsaken Realm with her.  He hated it here, it was too vague.  He had to rely on her vision to see it.  He was learning but right now the only reason it was worth it was her.  He got to touch her here, be with her.  He felt helpless being in Scotland while she was in Canada and constantly under attack.  There was only one way he knew to protect her better.  The reason they were standing here in the middle of his pack with her facing him and his Beta at her back.

They were going to bite her.

Time stopped for all of them and the world went still as Liam stared into Anna’s eyes and she stared back.  His gaze shifted and he looked her over.  She had done as he asked and worn a gown that left her neck and shoulders bare.  It was ruby red, edged in black, gold threads sparkled as she breathed, her family’s colours.  The bodice went straight across below her collar bone and onto her biceps.  Tight fitted sleeves hugged her arms down to her wrists where black lace draped over both hands.  The skirts flowed from a dropped waist to the ground in tiers, alternating red and black.

Liam thought he’d never seen anything more beautiful. But then, Anna thought the same thing about him in his formal long kilt of red and blue, the crisp white shirt open at the throat and even the hose, flashes and Ghillie brogues.  His Sgian Dubh was slid into the outside of his right sock and now he reached down to slowly pull it out. 

The entire pack watched as Liam unsheathed the short blade, tucking the sheath into the chain belt of his sporran.  He took Anna’s right wrist in his left hand and lifted it up to her shoulder level.  Then he lifted his eyes to his pack.  He slowly turned the two of them in a circle as he spoke, so he could meet the eyes of every Wolf gathered.

“We are all here tonight for one reason, to induct my Mate, the love of my life, into our pack.  We are here to make her one of us.”  Each Wolf stared back at them, their faces marked with a small red symbol, painted on with Dragon’s blood.  “Tonight she will share of our blood, for my blood is your blood.  And we will share of hers, for her blood will be your blood.”  Liam paused.  Every Wolf howled and stamped their feet in agreement.

Anna blushed and smiled, joy blooming in her heart.  

Almost faster than she could track, Liam sliced the palm of her hand open, then his.  He slammed their palms together and light flashed as Vampire blood hit Werewolf, as her raw power hit his and their blood began to mingle.  He dipped his head and took her mouth in a savage kiss as the Wolves around them shifted form, their marks ending up on the insides of their ears.  Marcus and Liam were the only ones that retained their human shape. 

Once he felt Anna melt into the kiss, completely involved in it and not their surroundings, he opened his eyes and looked at Marcus.  The Beta nodded then lunged forward.  He pinned Anna between their bodies and managed to shift only his mouth.  He bit into her shoulder, deeply, fiercely, where neck curves to shoulder.

Anna’s body stiffened and she screamed into Liam’s mouth.  He broke the kiss and held her bloody hand tightly with his as Marcus tore the bite wide open.  Marcus stepped back, staggering as Anna’s blood trickled down his throat.  He spit the rest of the blood and the meat of her shoulder to the ground and dropped to his knees as her Power hit his and forced him to shift.  He growled then howled his approval of her.

Liam watched her as Anna’s eyes flickered, changing from green to blue to black to amber and back again.  She screamed again as her Vampire fought the Lycanthropy and the Wolf fought to find a home in her body.  Anna fought Liam wildly as an internal battle raged in the landscape of her mind.  Finally, after she drew deep gouges down his face, he was forced to let her go. 

Anna dropped to the ground as Liam and the Wolves watched helplessly.  She looked possessed, writhing against an unseen foe.  Her back arched; every muscle taut, then they contracted again suddenly and she wound up in the fetal position.  A low keening noise came from deep within her. 

Tears rolled down Liam’s face and Marcus came and pressed against his side as the sounds of tearing flesh and popping joints mingled with fresh screams from Anna.  Her gown tore and blood flowed from fresh wounds as her body ripped itself apart.  Clouds drifted across the moon, blackening the night.  She seemed torn inside out, her blood mingling with the remains of her gown, indistinguishable in the darkness, even to the Wolf eyes locked on her form. 

Her heart stopped beating and Liam’s voice ripped through the night in a wail of absolute anguish.  He fell to his knees, landing in a pool of her blood as he sobbed uncontrollably. Almost as one, the entire pack dropped to their bellies and crept closer, keening mournfully.   For several long moments there was nothing but the despair of the Wolves.

Then, at last, a small movement.  With it was the loud, wet sound of a joint sliding apart.  And another.  Along with it there came a soft moan of pain and an explosion of light.  The Wolves were all blown backwards, some of them landed with yelps and whines.  Anna screamed again from within the light and Liam lunged forward, trying to reach her.  He bounced off the light again and again, shouting her name. 

His pack growled, uncertain as to what was going on but distressed by their Alpha’s anger and pain.  One after another they leapt at the light surrounding their Alpha’s Mate, trying to break through.  Anna’s cries finally stopped and the Wolves stood warily, waiting.

As suddenly as it came, the light vanished and in Anna’s place stood a large black Wolf with silver streaks in her fur.   

Before my Soul taught me, Love was for me a delicate thread stretched between two adjacent pegs, but now it has been transformed into a halo; its first is its last, and its last is its first. It encompasses every being, slowly expanding to embrace all that ever will be. ~ Khalil Gibran

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Love, Romance and Sex

This is on the brain today.

A friend is talking about someone she  met – a romantic at heart who, in the last 10 years, has been broken-hearted just one too many times and has sworn off ever loving again.

She is stuck on whether she should help him.  I asked what she meant by “help.”  She said, “i just want him to not give up on love, help him to see that he’s not alone in how he feels, but that it will get better…again.”

I can understand that completely.  It’s hard to see someone hurting so bad without wanting to do something.  Especially someone as loving and nurturing as she is.

Then there was LSAM’s post about the seven sins.  But she also posted links to several articles (the cost of a vagina was hysterical) and it included this one. The tips there about happy couples got me thinking about typical romance book couples and my couples versus real life couples.

It got me thinking about Peter and I and then the couples I write about.

Peter and I aren’t quite ‘real’.  I mean, we’re a true enough couple, we fight, we love, we cook dinner together (well, I cook, he cleans, I love the arrangement *grins*), we do laundry, sleep without sex and go for a week without sex.  Sometimes two. We never go without the touches.  The kisses, the hand holding and the hugging.

But on the other side of it, we’re touchy feely, we kiss a lot, talk a lot, love a lot.  We finish each other’s sentences, say what the other one means, say what the other has just opened their mouth to say.  We love each other unconditionally, leave room for each other to grow, accept one another for everything that person is.   We are the couple most people envy.  (I’ve been told this last part, it’s not an assumption I’d make on my own.)

We work to keep it this way.  We talk when problems arise.  We talk about fantasies.  We talk about dreams and goals.  We talk about what we need.  We talk about our values.

It has taken both of us a lot of heartbreak and stupidity to get here.

And these are the ways and thought processes I try to instill in my characters.  At first it was because that’s the way I wished things were.   I knew that that’s the way things should be.

With Naia and Rian it was mostly all lovey dovey.

They met the night of the twins’ 18th birthday.  There was a masked ball and the twins decided that that was the night they were going to lose their virginity to men.  They set out to find a man and Naia found Rian.  Their first kiss left her flustered and breathless.  Jestin found T’aalia and together the foursome went through that particular hymen breaking journey.  And the girls, who had slept with nearly every female on the grounds at that point, stopped sleeping with anyone else.  Naia and Rian found they were meant to be together.

Anna and Liam met at a conference.  For them it wasn’t a thing where love grows out of contact.  The love was a blinding meeting of souls and hearts.  They knew instantly that they’d found what they had been craving.  Their love deepened and continues to mature and grow.

Both couples work at it.

I try not to make the relationships too unrealistic.  Keep them away from the soap opera type relationship.  But the sex… The sex is glorious.  Sure, there are quickies, like Liam slamming Anna into a boulder as he fucks her, (while they’re supposed to be waiting for others to join them), and there are some seriously romantic gestures, (a bathroom full of candles and flowers) but there is also a lot of kink.

In the end, though, the love my couples share is probably a tad too lofty, a tad too ivory-tower and fairy tale.  And I accept that.  It’s what fiction is supposed to be, isn’t it?  Just a little too far out of our reach?  Something to take our minds off our every day.

I’m lucky in that I have almost a fairy tale love affair with my Peter.  We work our asses off to keep it that way and we have fun doing it.

A personal note:

I know my editing of these blogs isn’t 100% perfect.  I have trouble focusing on the written word sometimes, whether it’s on a page or screen, so I don’t always see everything when I preview.  Thanks for your patience.

Mazrakir Characters

So today I’m going to introduce to you to Mazrakir main characters.   The intros will be short because it’s been a long while since I read the book.  I like the story quite a bit though so reading it again will not be a hardship.

We have Naia/Caity, T’aalia/Lara, Jestin, Rian, Arielle and Valdreth.

There are a couple of others who play important roles like Narmer, the first Pharoah of a united Egypt.  Also there is Arwia, the twins’ Aunt and twin to their mother Arielle.

Naia: Known as Caity in the 2005 reincarnation, Naia hasn’t changed all that much through the years.  She’s become wiser, more knowledgeable and a better warrior, but she is essentially the same person.  It is still her duty, along with T’aalia, to return the world to the proper balance of Light and Dark.  She is more balanced in the Light & Dark than her sister.  She is kind, loving, compassionate and loyal to a fault to her family and kingdom.  Running away from home nearly did her in.  But she is adaptable.  Once she, T’aalia and Jestin landed she took her love of herbs and other plants and built a large garden for healing and feeding.

As a teen she fell in love with a stable boy named Rian.  Her love for him was unending and through to the soul.  He was the other piece of her heart and it broke her heart to leave him behind.  One day, when she had someone in her garden  and was convinced to go to his camp, she grew to love those people too, just as she did the people in her kingdom.  She was fierce in this devotion  and it only seemed natural that she would develop an affection for the man who led them – Sekhmet. She wasn’t in love with him and he knew it, but she is the type of woman who needs human touch to thrive and she wasn’t happy continuing to be part of a sex triangle with her sister’s man.

(Yes, these are the kind of sisters who played together.)

Naia is the rock in her family.  She is the pragmatic one.  The strong one.  The diplomat and rule-keeper.   She is the soft touch and the one who will listen before acting.  But she is also capable of taking your head off if the situation warranted it.  She is fierce in her defense of her family, but not as violent in it as her sister T’aalia.

T’aalia: Like her sister, T’aalia’s present day incarnation, Lara, hasn’t changed much, although she might be a little Darker.  She is completely devoted to her sister.  Others inspire her loyalty, like her Momma and her Mate, but it is her sister who gets the unswerving dedication.  Without Naia T’aalia succumbs to the Dark and goes mad.  She is a shoot first, ask questions later kind of gal, tempered by Naia’s insistence on finding the truth/cause of things.  She melts at the sight of Naia’s smile and her ire fades away at the touch of Naia’s hand on her arm.

Running away is her idea.  She refused to accept a man who would take her from her twin and try to change her into something she was not.  It was against her better judgment to go to Sekhmet’s village but because her ‘Twinny’ wanted it, away they went.  She wanted to kill the suitors that intended to marry them but because Naia wouldn’t, she didn’t.

As Naia shows joy in other people in her life T’aalia begins to give into the Dark within her.  She begins to heed the insidious voice in her head that guides her towards stronger, more destructive spells.  The voice convinces her to build the ultimate spell to save her sister, their children and their kingdom.

Jestin: Is a Dragon.  He is passionate, sexual, sensual, loyal and dedicated.  He loves the twins with everything he has.  T’aalia is his Mate, bound to him at the soul.  He was tasked with protecting them both and does so.  He gives up his home world to protect them and learns that the sacrifice is worth it.  He stays with them from one life to another, going into status between their lives.

Rian: Rian is only with Naia for a few centuries but he falls in love with her in that first life hard and remains that way until he is taken off the Wheel of Life.   He is a strong and true man.  He loves Naia from their first meeting and continues to love only her while she and T’aalia are gone.  He is loyal to her, faithful, for all the years they are missing.  When she returns pregnant with Sekhmet’s baby he claims both her and the baby as  his own and loves them both.

Arielle: Arielle is the second strongest female character I have ever written.  She suffers her husband’s jealousy and rage, his fists and fury, his infidelity, treachery and poisons.  She suffers the loss of her daughters.  And through it all she remains positive and determined to rule her kingdom with fairness, faith and strength.  She is a powerful witch, touched by the Goddess and the Matriarch of the most powerful Coven in Sumer and Egypt, one of thirteen in the world.  She is the head of one the covens charged with watching over the balance of Light & Dark.

Valdreth: …is a small, mean man.  He has a large amount of power of his own but he still does not compare to his wife and daughters.  The jealousy burns within him.  It makes him violent and vicious.  His death does not come soon enough.

Those are the main characters of the first Mazrakir book.  We will get into each one more as I go along.

On to business:

A quote from my facebook yesterday:

Oh my lordie I feel stupid!

It suddenly hit me, like a lightning bolt to the forehead, that I can publish with Lulu.com AND accept my Dad’s offer to print out copies of my books. I can take Lulu’s distribution package and NOT pay them for the copies of my own book that I want for promotional services.

So I can do EVERYTHING without having to worry about the ISBN and distribution worries.

*does the V8 smack*

It was a total facepalm moment for sure.   So I think that’s what I’m going to do.  I looked at that publishing company I mentioned last week, Carina Press, and they only do ebooks.  I want print copies as well.  So I think I will do it this way.

And, a poll:

Have a great day everyone!

Mazrakir

Pronounced Maz-ra-keer.

Today, since I am doing an edit of the book, I am going to introduce you to Mazrakir: The Key of Life.

I started this book, the first in a series, in order to tell some of the history of my Coven.  We’ve been around a LONG time, moving from generation to generation as a family – Grandmother, Mother, Daughter  as Matron, Matriarch, Maiden – and I wanted to preserve the tales of our adventures.  Starting with our beginning. 

Not everything is the truth, not all spells and methods are the way we did things.  Hell, these stories have been passed down orally for centuries, it’s unlikely that there is more than a modicum of truth to them to begin with.  No one has ever been allowed to write them down before.  Even the Books of Shadows have been destroyed generation after generation because so many of our secrets cannot and could not be kept on paper.  Magic doesn’t work now like it did even 3 centuries ago.  So much disbelief, so much reliance on science and technology.  

So these stories are the stories that have been passed down over and over.  I think there are 5 books planned.  I got interrupted by the need to write Highland Wolves (a series that started as a short story and evolved into three books) but I will continue it again.  I may have to write the two series at once.  

But first, a re-edit of Key of Life.  I will keep the cover, made for me by kaeli:

because it is beautiful and I can't conceive of a better one.

 But the inside has to be redone.

The prologue starts in present day (well, 2005) with the current incarnations of my main characters: Naia and T’aalia.  (nye-ah and tah-lee-ah).  The Coven they are part of has been separated after several millennia  of being born to one another over and over.  They are all born to separate parents and all in the same generation.  Caity and Lara (Naia and T’aalia respectively, and I may change Caity’s name)  are twins, born of separate parents (one in Ontario, the other in Colorado) in this life.  Their souls are two pieces of the same one.  They are Light and Dark (respectively), Yang and Yin, two puzzle pieces that fit together to become whole.   

They meet at Toronto Airport where Lara has landed so the two can meet physically in this world for the first time in this life.  It’s been 81 years since they’d been together last.  They are 31 years old and it had been 50 years between Lara’s death and their rebirth.  From the airport they drive to Niagara Falls to spend their few days together doing the kitchy tourist thing.  While Caity drives, Lara begins the tale of their beginning:

“We were born to the Human Realm in Mesopotamia, near the beginning of Civilization.  We lived between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in what was known as Sumer…”

The story begins with their conception.  Their mother Arielle, Queen of their small matriarchal kingdom, informs her husband that she will be pleading with the Goddess for a solution to ridding the world of the demon presence that is causing the strife and hate in mankind.  The request will take place in a skyclad (nude) ritual involving the entire Coven.  

A fortnight later, a huge fire burned in the northeast courtyard and 13 people stood skyclad in a circle around it.  The Circle had been purified and consecrated, as had all the members, in a ritual cleansing.  All there understood and believed in the request for the Goddess.  They closed the Circle by clasping their hands and sent their energy to their Queen as she began.

 “Oh Great Mother, we beseech of Thee a boon of great magnitude!  The fate of mankind is becoming bleak.  There is One who would destroy them; He shows them false futures.  He encourages them to war in His name and gives them nothing in return but pestilence and pain and hatred.  Mighty Mother we beg of You to show us a way, give us the tools to help these wayward souls remain true to You.”

She paused for a breath, glancing at her King for an impression of his thoughts, she had forgotten to rhyme and she was hopeful Isis would see this as a sign of her desperation and need.  His eyes glowed briefly just after she glanced away.  Suddenly she froze and became rigid as a post.  The fire flared and her eyes rolled back in her head.  The hair on her head, always the color of a ripe cherry, turned white, the absence of color moving from root to tip.  Another voice poured from her mouth.  It was soft but commanding. 

 “Human woman, you are one of My children.  I have gifted you with great Power.  And now I will give you one more gift.  Use it wisely.  The price for this gift will be paid, but not by you.  Prepare yourself.”

That gift is the birth of twins.  The conception occurs that night and the twins come from another Realm.  They are the Queen of the Mazrakir, the first to survive a blending of Dragon and Faerie blood.  The experiment came from the Goddess’s desperate attempt to stop the wars between Dragon and Fae.  The Queen is the first to survive but she has one glitch – her soul is still half Fae and half Dragon.  She is two personalities in one body, half Light, half Dark.  Half Healer, half Warrior.

It’s a little confusing, even I think so.  It’s kind of an extreme case of Multiple Personality Disorder.

The Queen was the first to survive the experimental blending of Faerie and Dragon blood and as such she had been set on the throne by the Goddess to rule over this new kind of people.  She was two beings in one form.  They were the perfect blend of peace and violence, dark and light, good and wickedness.  They were connected at the psyche and it took both of them to create the one image of the Queen that their subjects saw.  They reigned over a small kingdom of largely magic people in a Realm beside Earth’s existence and between the Dragon and Faerie lands.  They were worshipped with a combination of fear, love and slobbering loyalty that made their subjects ferocious when it came to a threat to them. 

<snip>

The Queen was strong in mind, will and body.  They were well respected by the Elders of most of the other magic creatures.  It was they who cemented the alliance between Dragon and Faerie. 

 It was they who heeded the call from Earth.  The Dragons counseled them in what was to come.  They were to give up their home and life and go to live in the Earth Realm among the humans.  No longer would they be together in one body, they would be two.  The Queen had hugged herself, head hung low.  The self-pity lasted only for about 10 seconds.  They came to terms with it quickly and set about finding out how to make this happen.

  The Queen discovered that Fae blood was needed to bring them to Earth and give them a human form, being part Fae themselves.  With some discussion with the Goddess a way was found.  Mazrin, head of the Queen’s Guard and the most trustworthy in their staff, was sent to Earth to assume the form of their “Father” and help conceive them. 

 The night of the conception they sat alone in their chambers.  The Queen talked aloud to herself in two voices while looking in a mirror.  The reflected Queen was one of black hair and green eyes.  The physical one was of red hair and green eyes.

<snip>

 One last gasp and their eyes closed.  At the moment of the Queen’s passing their hair changed color.  It turned red on the left side and jet black on the right.  The color split right at the part on the center of the top of their head. 

 As they traveled through time and space to the womb of their new Mother, they heard a piercing wail of grief when the body they left behind was discovered too early.  The Queens, separated when torn from their body, turned to themselves for comfort, blending for the remainder of their travel only to be torn apart again when thrust into the developing fetuses.  

 Together they grew, developing into beautiful babies, each with ten toes, ten fingers, green eyes, perfect noses and mouths.  They were born on a Midsummer night, the sky bright with a full moon and the tiny pinpricks of light that made up the stars.  Both girls, they were born with full heads of hair, one red and the other black.  They were silent as the night when they were born, gazing at the midwife, then their mother with the knowledge of ages in their eyes in their first moments. 

 Arielle held them close.  The red haired babe came first.  She stared up at her mother and Arielle could see the same fire in her daughter that she herself carried.  So she named her T’aalia.  It meant “Queen of the Hunt.”  The other wee girl gazed at her mother with an unequaled serenity, one that reminded Arielle of the calm beneath the surface of the sea.  She was named Naia, “Queen of the Sea.”

As they develop Naia and T’aalia show signs of great Power and great ability to use that Power.  They meet a Faerie who promises to watch over them when they are 8, at 12 they meet a Dragon who will be their nearly constant companion and bodyguard.  

Their father, Valdreth, is jealous of them.  He wants their Power.  He doesn’t want girls, he wants boys.  He is furious by the fact that if something happened to Arielle it is they who would inherit the kingdom, not him.  So shortly after they turn 18 he brings men from neighbouring kingdoms to marry the twins.  The kingdoms are on opposite sides, weeks of travel apart, and the girls are furious.

They’d already fallen in love with Rian, a stable boy, and Jestin, the Dragon.  

They run, with the Dragon’s help (leaving Rian behind), and end up in Egypt.   There they spend several years with a nomad clan, teaching them irrigation and farming.  Naia’s healing talent and T’aalia’s ability to hunt make them a valuable part of the community.  They dispatch a troupe, one of many, sent by Valdreth to find them and kill them.  They have a run in with a man who intends to unite Upper and Lower Egypt.  Naia has a loving relationship with the chief of the nomad clan and becomes pregnant.

Finally they return home to their mother to find her fatally ill.  The illness was caused by their now dead father (killed by their mother’s twin sister) and it takes almost everything Naia has to heal her.

Through it all, the demon Arielle asked for help with in the first place is hunting the twins.  He manages to seduce T’aalia into trying new spells. He convinces her that they will help her sister win the war that is waged by one of the suitors they ran from. It is one of these spells that eventually kills her.  

The book needs edited, for sure.  

And I have to work on the summary apparently, even I’m confused. *laughs*

I have a headache and still have more codeine in me than I’d like (although I’m weaning myself off it) so that might be why.  

I think I’m going to have to schedule my time.  I have my journal, my blog, my editing, my research, my writing.  And I have my health issues to contend with – some of which leave me brain dead by 1 pm most days.  (sometimes I have a resurgence around 4)

Plus I have curtains to make, lemon squares to bake and 4 jewelry projects to finish. (and 3 of those to mail)

Oi.

Thoughts, progress and number crunching

This was supposed to be published yesterday but somehow got saved as a draft instead.  Today’s blog will be posted a little later this morning.

 

I have decided on several giveaway milestones and on the swag to give away. I’m rather pleased with myself! (the debate can be found here) Plus I’m going to have business cards made up – once I have my own website set up for my blog and the sales side of things. And I think I’m going to have bookmarks on hand. Or maybe the bookmarks will be my business card! Ooo I like that 😀

I am considering still whether to take my Dad up on his offer to print my books (you can see the offer here) or not. I’m kind of afraid to tackle these things on my own but really, publishing through someone like lulu.com leaves me on my own (for most things) anyway.

Rich said I can get a free ISBN through Amazon or Kindle so I’ll look into that.  

Marketing is important but that’s kind of up to me eh?  Have to figure out what’s too little and too much to invest in the Catherine Bowman enterprise.  

This is a LOT of work but I’m up to the challenge.  Especially since I’m cutting back on my pain meds.  Shoulder/back seems to be healing.  Mostly.  There is still the overdoing it thing and the extended range of motion stabs of pain but I’m working on that too.  

Number crunching.  Research (ISBN, webhosting, marketing, consignment selling, web selling), Reading Mazrakir.  Writing in Demon Plague.  Busy busy.  Hopefully my brain will keep up.   Not so sure after this morning…

I got my taxes done!

I think

Decisions decisions

So I was taking my walk this morning…

at this pace

…and I was trying to decide what to do.

1. How many giveaways?

2. What should I give away?

3. Should I take my Dad’s offer?

4. If I do that should I have all three books printed?

5. If I have all three books printed should I re-edit Mazrakir?  (it needs at least a surface grammatical edit) And if I edit, should I stick to jsut the grammar or should I do a more thorough edit?

*rubs her temples*

So I did come to a few conclusions.

1. Half a dozen big ones (at this point, more will come later I’m sure).

2. Posters, post cards, autographed books, a thermos, a t-shirt, an eReader skin and a pair of flip flops (although I have a feeling I’ll have to give my kids at least one of those things each *laughs*)

3.  I am still kind of undecided.  I’ll have to look into how I can get my books on places like Amazon and what it takes to get an ISBN without a publisher behind the request.

4. Yes.  Obviously.

5. Yes.  Obviously.   As far as the second half… It is an example of my earlier writing (even if it is only 3 years ago) and maybe shouldn’t be tampered with too much.  My self-editing has improved and it certainly needs that.

So walk did me some good. 🙂

Even if I did get lazy at the end of it

Gobsmacked! And Springing Around

I love that word and it’s perfect to describe how I’m feeling at this moment.  Take a look at this:

Dad says

How are sales going?

Catie says

They’re not

Which is one reason I started the blog, to get more attention

Dad says

maybe send it to all the news paper book critics you can

Catie says

And why I’m trying to develop some numbers so I can find an investor.  It’s an ambitious thing to do but I have someone interested.  I just have to make decisions and put it all together. 

For that I need copies of the books

Dad says

keep at it

how many hard copies?

Catie says

I am.

Depends on how many critics I want to send it to.  I would say a minimum of a dozen though

Then I can send a couple to some reviewers I know too.

Dad says

which book and how would you like it bound?

Catie  says

And that all takes shipping costs too.

I do prefer perfect bound.  If I’m going to send books to reviewers then I would be sending Witch Hitlist.  I have someone working on a cover because I’ve pretty much decided to go through lulu again. 

Dad says

when you are ready to print books let me know.  I have a printer

Catie  says

http://www.lulu.com/shop/catherine-bowman/lizendale/paperback/product-15740395.html   This is the book she needs to replace  [My daughter’s teacher borrowed my only copy then lost it. It’s time I got it back.]

Thank you.  How would you do the cover?

Dad says

me? I would say that is up to you

you mean the art work?

Catie  says

No, I mean the paper.  And what size?  If I want to send it manuscript style, then spiral bound would work, 8×11, paper cover.  Art work is coming.  Reminds me, have to get on that girl’s ass about it.  She did a wonderful one for me but it’s too dark

Dad says

you decide what you want and let me know.  I will get prices on 10, 100 and 1,000

Catie  says

I’m gobsmacked, thank you.  I’ll do some asking around about what’s best to send to reviewers.  I’m thinking perfect bound with a glossy front and back cover probably but I’ll find out

Dad says

I do $1M+ business a year with this guy and his contract is up for renewal so I am sure I can get a good price

Catie says

Awesome!  I’ll give it some thought and ask around.

 Fuckin A!  I love my Dad.  He rocks.  😀  We have developed a better relationship over the last couple of years (largely in part because I’m finally coming into myself I think).  

A thousand!  I don’t know what I’d do with a thousand.  *laughs*  With that many I’d have to set up a storefront, figure out shipping.  Get my other books printed.  Figure out how and where to store them.  Mind-boggling.  

It’s Saturday and that means it’s Photography Day.  Today’s theme is Spring.

Spring isn’t all about the warming weather for me.  It’s about the colours and the rain and the life that’s re-emerging.

Rain. (super macro on tulip leaves)

 I love the rain drops here.  

Rain dampened forget-me-nots, pop art setting on my camera

 The April rain brings many many colours out and makes them shine.

Spring is all about the colour

 My daughter’s umbrella was necessary today.  I brought it with me to fix it and I had to use it this morning or I’d have returned a bedraggled, wet puppy.

Kind of like Buster here.

 Buster is a friend I made.  The friendship was fleeting, only last until he’d sniffed me from the waist down.  He did consent to a picture although he wouldn’t stay still long enough to get his face.

There were a few other oddities on my walk today and a few things that just struck my fancy.  I will say good-bye here, I  have lots of work to do!  Enjoy your day, you wonderful people.  

The ghost of Picasso strikes on the coast of Lake Huron!

Somebody's heart shell be missed. (yeah ok, that was BAD)

  

 

Raindrops on the lake. The individual splashes are awesome.

Colourful comfort to watch the sun set. It's not only Nature's colour that spring brings out.

My walk this morning. Forty-five minutes out that way, then back. It was lovely. Had a surreal quality to it today.