Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beware Booktango

It is sad to say that my experience with the new DIY eBook Publisher did not go well. After almost four weeks of  dealing with them, I am left with my damaged ebook, The Priestess and the Ravenknight. I still have good clean copies of it here on my PC and it will take me a day or so to change the Copyrights Page, get an ISBN ordered, convert the files to mobi, epub and PDF and finally get them distributed myself.

As the saying goes: If you want something done right, you may have to do it yourself.

In all fairness, the blame for my displeasure rests solely on the few reps I met with in Chat and by phone. Booktango itself may be a fine company, but their Customer Service dept needs help and further instruction. When I discovered that my ebook had been altered and rendered unusable for distribution, I tried to get their reps to fix the problems I found in the proof copy I downloaded. It did NOT happen. I tried to fix the problems myself online using their Editor program, but the Editor glitched and would not allow me to save or re-submit the corrected ebook manuscript. On their advice, I emailed the files and copies of my graphics to Customer Support.

They wanted to charge me $19 to fix my ebook. That was the final insult. THEY were the ones that added the duplicate pages and page breaks!! They were charging me to fix their mistakes! I didn't want them to do anything more than to remove what they had added and remove the extra page breaks that got placed somehow in my promotional page. I could not remove them myself as I cannot see them using their Editor program.

Well, the calls to both their Specialist and their Supervisor proved a total frustrating waste of time. They listened and sympathized. They read over my chat logs and asked the same questions over and over until I finally blew up and called their reps a bunch of young ill-trained IDIOTS!

I can't even cancel my account by phone or email. They are sending me a form to fill out and sign before they can terminate my account.  I can't help but feel in the back of my mind that someone there butchered my ebook (through carelessness or deliberately) just so I would be need to pay them to have it fixed. I can't prove anything so it's just a thought. In any case, my damaged ebook will not be fixed and I have gone and done it myself and am cancelling my account with Booktango.  Be forewarned. And if you are doing business with Booktango, good luck!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Year End Book Event

Greetings and Merry Christmas to all my blog readers and friends! I hope you are all enjoying the holidays whichever way you celebrate this special time of year.  I have been decorating and shopping these past few weeks myself, but tomorrow I will be at The Book Exchange here in Lake Havasu City. They are holding another Author's Party and I was invited to participate.

The Book Exchange is located at 1761 Mcculloch Blvd N Ste B, Lake Havasu City. Members of the Lake Havasu City Writers Group will be there to promote and sign their latest books. There will goodies to sample and lots of great gift ideas.  If you are in the area, stop by and visit with us!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trying out

I removed this post as my experience with Booktango proved to be negative. If you want to know what happened, read the other post here. Beware Booktango

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The holiday season is upon us but as many of you know, our work still continues in our daily lives. And that includes us wordsmiths who eek out a living doing what we enjoy so much.  Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas shopping will have to defer for my need to work on my next big thing which my newest ebook that is currently going through the final stages of production. I am eager to get it ready as a Kindle and PDF file.

I hope you'll find this interesting and happy holidays to you all!

1. What is the working title of your book?
The Priestess and the Ravenknight

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wanted to write about two of the characters you meet in my last co-written novel "Realmwalkers."

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Medieval Fantasy Romance

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's hard to say. My guess would be Alex Pettyfer for Krymson and Amanda Seyfriend for Azurene. 

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Two dark elves make a bold attempt to defy an evil deity in order to save hundreds from death.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self published as an ebook only.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A few weeks. It's not a novel but a novelette. I also did the artwork and formatted the pages myself.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Realmwalkers which is featured at this blog.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I like these two characters a lot and wanted to write their story.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I tend to add artwork to my stories that I hope my readers will enjoy and find interesting. Here below is the graphic I created for the cover of the ebook.

If you enjoyed this post you are invited to visit other writers who write similar works. Get to know them and leave comments for a chance to ask any questions you might have and perhaps win free copy of one of their books.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Book Exchange - Local Authors Party

Time is passing so fast. Here we are in the second week of November and Christmas decorations are appearing all over town.  I thought about that as I sat at my table with several books of Realmwalkers to sell. The Christmas music reminded me of how close we are getting to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now's the time to sell my books as the snowbirds who come to Lake Havasu shop and enjoy our warmer weather.

The bookstore was small, but it was filled with lots of wonderful books and gifts for book lovers. It was The Book Exchange here in Lake Havasu City and it held its first ever Local Authors Party.  Authors from all over this city were invited to bring their books to sign and sell.  They served refreshments and our club, The Lake Havasu City Writers Group, came to participate in the event.

The Book Exchange - 1761 Mcculloch Blvd N, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403 (520) 453-4043

People came and some bought our books so it was a good event. I met some new authors and hugged some of the returning writer friends I have come to know for years. Everyone was in good spirits and I managed to sell a few books.  I can't complain as I wasn't sure I would even sell one.

The staff was friendly and very motivated to do business with us local writers. There is talk about having this book event every month from now on. We'll see. I intent to come back next month for certain as it will take place just before Christmas. And copies of Realmwalkers will be available there as well at the Local Authors section of the store. So if you missed the event, my book will still be available for purchase!

Next Saturday, I also have a book signing event up at the Kingman City Hastings Books, Music & Video store,  Nov. 17th at 11 - 3

Busy... busy... busy!  Be safe out there when you're shopping or going to holiday events.  God bless you all. Take care and keep warm!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ghosts and Spooky Spirits

It's time for Halloween and I have been watching a lot of scary movies and decorating the home. I keep telling myself and God that I am NOT worshipping the dead or even honoring them and I truly believe this. However, am I still wrong to be OBSERVING this seemingly harmless day of colorful costumes, happy childhood traditions and holiday treats?  I decided to see what Amazing Facts has in the way of Biblical study:

Ghosts and Spooky Spirits

Friday, August 24, 2012

Back From My Road Trip!

Hello friends!

I've been gone almost ten days now on a road trip back east with little opportunity to write, but here I am now and can't wait to get back to it! I haven't learned how to type effectively using a smartphone and I don't own a tablet...yet. I did do a little YouTube surfing before falling asleep at the various motels and found this entertaining video I hope you will enjoy.

I was once an AOL Help Desk Techie and now I am a writer so this video REALLY got me laughing. Enjoy this and I hope to have the next segment of "The Priestess and the Ravenknight" for you soon.

It's so good to be home again!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Tiaeran Enarch

Today I offer you my newest drawing: A Tiaeran Enarch.  These are used on Tiaera and are mentioned in our novel, Realmwalkers. 

They were created by a few of the most powerful Master Wizards ages ago. They are kept inside a warded and guarded mage tower. The mages stand watch so that the arch is always protected and available for public use. Enarchs are not very big. They are only about 10 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide. This is because they are meant to keep public threats like evil giants, oversized monsters and creatures from entering. Also, it's a fact that the smaller the portal, the better it works. Traveling from enarch to enarch takes only about a minute in travel time. If more than one traveler needs to use the enarch, they must wait about five minutes so that the enarch can get back to full power. 

Excerpt from "Realmwalkers": This way, if you please,” said Agatha, addressing the new recruit primarily. “This is what we call an ‘Enchanted Arch’ - or ‘Enarch’ for short - and there are only three of these so far: here in Kyngeston, another in Arcwynd, Naelos and one more at Espion City, Sangrey. We are currently building one each at Moonlyte City and Summerly, but ‘twill take some time. Construction has been hindered by the lack of necessary components as well as a dispute betwixt our guild mages and the Tiaeran Shipbuilders Guild. The shipbuilders are worried that with enough enarches around, they will be put out of business."


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I was inspired to draw this morning and decided that I would design Velanth's rainberries mentioned in Chapter 6 of Realmwalkers. I first began the drawing by doing a rough sketch then outlined it in ink. After coloring it with color pencils using a blend of apple green and teal for most of the berries I hand drew the name in brown & black. Since they are called rainberries, I wanted to make the berry itself shaped as a teardrop. In my mind, these berries are thin skinned and translucent as if filled with water, but the insides are like jelly. Rainberries grow very rapidly whenever it rains in Velanth. Soaking up the rain water, they grow to the size of white grapes, and are safe to eat within 24 hours after they ripen.

The faes of the city of Velanth are experts at knowing when to harvest the berries, mashing them just at the right time for if left too long in the bushes, the berries become toxic. Great care is taken to prevent travelers visiting the outskirts of Velanth. Signs are posted in all languages and word is spread from city to city to ensure no one accidentally eats the berries long after they ripen. This was done after many a griffin rider fell to his death after being intoxicated. The necessary warnings are also on every label when the bottled juice is exported over all of Tiaera.

Eating a few ripe rainberries straight from the bush does no harm. The juice is sweet, of course, producing a mild tranquilizing affect when consumed. Once plucked from the bush, the berries make delicious juice, wine, tea and medicine. For medicinal purposes, a concentrated dose will render the drinker fast asleep. The healer needs to be very careful, however, for an overdose would make the drinker comatose. Once comatose, the patient would have to be cared for until they awaken as this can take anywhere from a few days to a few years.

It is also illegal to misuse rainberries all over Tiaera. Violators can expect to be fined and even jailed depending on the severity of the crime.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Cross and the Cosmos: Swords and Plowshares

5:16 PM 7/1/2012

SPOILER ALERT: This story (the second in the issue to the left) happens well before the events described in our novel REALMWALKERS. If you enjoy Christian speculative fiction and don't mind one of the bigger rabbits in REALMWALKERS' hat being revealed before you read the novel, then go ahead to my blog here. If you don't want that rabbit pulled out of the hat before you read the novel, then by all mean read REALMWALKERS FIRST! :D

- Jack Shepherd (writing in this magazine under another pen name, Johanan Rakkav)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Realmwalkers: The Homeworld Rosette (Spoiler Alert)


My friend Jack (co-author of Realmwalkers) has started a new story on Triond. It starts out on Tiaera but takes you far out into space and time. It will give you more insight to Alain's outer space realm where the Realmwalkers came from. If you enjoy Christian speculative (sci fi) fiction, the link is below. Enjoy!

This story takes place AFTER what happens in our novel REALMWALKERS. DO NOT READ THIS if you're reading or planning to read Realmwalkers as it will spoil the novel for you.  

If you've read our novel and want to read more, enjoy Jack's latest creation.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Animal Planet's Mermaids

Last weekend I was lucky enough to see this enchanting and mesmerizing documentary tale about mermaids. The work was so well done I found myself actually believing it might be possible that such creatures do exist. Parts of the 2 hour special were obviously fiction where they depicted the mermaids swimming around but the parts where they show body parts, S. African raid footage, various "specialists" in the fields speaking about what they had found were so convincing, I started to wonder if this was truly real. The creator of this movie, Charlie Foley, added some very real facts from scientists and historians to blend in with the fictional scenes.

In TV Blog's Q & A interview with Charlie Foley:

Q: What do you want people to take away from watching this?

A: [I’d like them to] wonder about what else is out there. What is possible? If this were real how would it have come into being. Here’s one of our oldest myths, I hope, imagined in a way that hasn't been done before and as a member of our own family tree. And is that possible and is that done more compellingly and credibly because it’s drawing upon real-world phenomena, real science. First and foremost, I want to entertain people. And I do hope they wonder at it and have moments of wonder."

Well, it worked on me like no movie has done in a very long time. I really enjoyed this Animal Planet movie and hope to buy it one day for my video collection. Outstanding footage, computer graphics and animation and videos. Love it!

Read more: TV BLOG

Why am I posting something about mermaids on my Tiaera blog?  Simple. Tiaera has sirens in its world that appear like the mythical mermaids you see in other folklore stories. I am also currently working on a new story that may become an ebook or novella. It's mostly about Tiaeran sirens and pirates. This excellent movie was both inspiring and informative for my research. I will keep you posted about what will become of this new story. Currently its working title is Sirens of Swansong.

Till then, enjoy some of these videos I can share, courtesy of Animal Planet:

More videos:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Introducing: Tiaeran Bookmarkers!

Inspired by the Realmwalkers novel I co-wrote with my friend, Jack Shepherd, I got the idea to make something I saw at one of the fairs I participated in. I have never tried beadworking before but when I saw some samples made I decided it would be a perfect side item to sell at my next booksigning event. I call them Tiaeran Bookmarkers and when I choose the beads, I try to use shiny, multicolored, iridescent beads that make me think of magic and fantasy. Since the Realmwalkers story has a rather pirate theme because of the voyage that takes place, I bought some charms like the anchor you see in this photo. I only made eight so far as a marketing test for the upcoming KABAM event. If they sell, I may have to seriously consider making more. We will see how they do. I am also thinking of selling them at also as part of my Dragonling Treasures craft items. If you see anything here you are interested in buying for yourself, email me at for more info.

Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 Kingman Authors Panel Album

Hello again!

I just got some photos from the Kingman Authors Panel I participated in last month. It was a good event and we had about fifty people in the audience. The authors all brought copies of their book and each of us were given seven minutes to talk. After we all spoke about our writing and books we opened up the panel for questions from the audience.  And there were a lot of questions! At the end, we raffled off free book copies and mini posters of  our book covers.  It went very well and lasted about two hours. Afterwards, we were all invited to meet at the Wine Cellar in town for drinks and signing books.

Hope you enjoy the album!

2012 Kingman Authors Panel

Thursday, May 3, 2012

For those fellow writers and authors who have books to promote and sell, I offer this information regarding a site I have discovered.  As I am always looking for ways to publicize and promote for FREE, this may be a good place to look into and join. This is the Welcome Email I received.

Welcome to!

If used right, you will get more traffic, new readers and sales through your AuthorsDen site than all your other online efforts combined. AuthorsDen has been growing and listening to authors and readers since 1999.

Over 1.4 million readers visit each month.

AuthorsDen provides the latest and best information on authors of all types covering the full range of topics. This is the first place to look when searching for an expert in any field. Useful for authors and journalists and to provide an excellent way for the public to learn more about the people behind the books.

I have my Profile set up and will let you know if this place really does what it claims. In the meantime, it seems very busy and popular from what I have seen.  It has lot of tools for sharing your writings and promoting your eBooks, and books you or your publisher made available at popular online stores such as Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, Smashwords, etc...

I am discovering other online stores that sell Realmwalkers. This probably due to Createspace's distribution service:

Books a Million


Barnes & Nobles


But with Hastings, it has been very disappointing. Realmwalkers is not available in either printed nor ebook form and when I have tried to call their customer service all I get is a voice machine. I have left three messages but no one calls me back. I have even called their corporate office, but still no luck. I can only sell on consignment here at the local stores here in Lake Havasu and Kingman. If anybody knows what the magic word or key to getting your book available at Hastings, do reply to this post or at Facebook. I would really appreciate it. Take care.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Promotional Websites for Writers

I have started writing a little at Triond and at MyLot again. Both places are good for sharing short stories, poetry and articles. While there, I often peruse the various categories and I found a few that I think some of you writers out there may be interested in. I know that while I am in the process of trying to promote Realmwalkers on a shoe-string marketing budget, such articles and sites may help. Any website that offers FREE Promo ideas and services is only going to help you make others aware about your book. I know I am going to look into such places like Jacket Flap and Authors Den to promote Realmwalkers. See what you think.

Jacket Flap and Authors Den



Submitting Books to Reviewers and Bloggers

Six Tips for writing a Fantasy Novel

The Savvy Book Marketer

And if you are curious about some of my articles, poetry and stories at Triond...

If anyone knows of any other good places for promoting your book and stories, please leave a comment. In the meantime, keep on writing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tiaeran Faes and Faeries

Among the many races inhabiting the magical world of Tiaera are the small, winged beings know as faes and faeries. Many live in the northern half of Naelos though some have been found living in other countries of Tiaera. Astria, the Mother Goddess of Tiaera, blessed these beings with wings and bodies that emit a faint glow. Both races appear almost identical, except for their sizes. Faeries are less than a foot tall; faes are about two to three feet tall. Faes and Faeries share a language known as Faespeak. They tend to be slender and agile.They have hair, facial features, hands and feet much like humans.

Continue reading: Tiaeran Faes and Faeries

Monday, April 16, 2012

Snow Birds and KABAM

With spring here, the weather has gotten warmer with only the occasional chilly morning and evening. Soon the temperatures will be up in the mid-90's and the multitude of "snow birds," we affectionately call those who come to spend the winter months here with us, will all be gone.  As a matter of fact, many have already left.

Word among my friends who have small businesses is that it's time to prepare for the fall. The crafters among them have already begun to make new items to sell.  Others who don't create their inventory will probably kick back and enjoy the season to swim, travel or whatever. Me? I continue to market and promote Realmwalkers any way I can.  Thanks to the Internet, I can do it in my air conditioned home. 
And besides, I need to start writing more again.  I am toying with the idea of writing another book. Yes, I know. I told many friends that Realmwalkers was going to be my only book, much like some women who promise that their first baby is going to be their last, I have changed my mind. So sue me.  Time passes and the mind forgets the agony, sleepless nights, moods, hassles, and worry.  Even my husband had to smile when he heard my news. In my defense though, things are going to be very different this time.  First of all, I am going to write this new book alone. 

No collaboration, no illustrations, no book design, and no bookcover and no self publishing this time (unless I decide it's only going to be an ebook). I won't be doing any of those things this time, just writing a manuscript. That's all.  I will continue to do drawings to post in my blog just for fun.

This should make the next book so much easier and painless for me. No, it's not going to be a prequel nor sequel. Yes, it will have a couple of characters you have met in Realmwalkers.  I will still need an editor, but I will worry about that later. First, I want to see if this story I am starting is even worth publishing.  I have at least two more stories inside me and the notebooks in my home wait until I am ready to use them. This will keep me busy in the next few months when the weather will be so hot I will do as all good desert dwellers here do: Swim, nap, stay indoors with the AC and work, BBQ alot in the evenings and go to the movies.

In May, I do have one last event I plan to attend along with another writer friend of mine, Kelley. Kingman is having it's KABAM Book Festival. And we are both registered to have a table there. It's so nice and cool up in Kingman and I look forward to it now that I have a book to sell there this year.  If anyone out there lives in the vicinity, please stop by and say hello!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring, Events and eBooks

Good morning! I hope you are enjoying the beauty of spring with all the flowers and greenery that usually comes with this special season. I have had a couple of book signings in the outdoors while the temperatures are still tolerable, but the will change in the next couple of months. When that happens, it will be time to stay indoors with the AC on and work on any future stories until autumn. I hope to fill this blog with more posts regarding Tiaera and its characters. I haven't had much time to draw in the past from all the events and work turning Realmwalkers into an ebook. I am still trying to find ways to be able to sell ebook versions of it at events.

So far, Amazon is handling all ebook sales in its Kindle version. Fortunately, if you have a smartphone, tablet, PC/Mac or other media device you can go to Amazon and download their free app so you can read Kindle books on your non-Kindle device. I do hope to find out how to sell CDs of Realmwalkers directly to customers at events one day soon. If anyone knows of a good program or service that will work for this, please leave me a comment and any links you may have.

I have tried a few ebook creator programs so far, but they involve making the ebook an .exe file which most people shun for fear of getting a virus. This concern will make it hard to sell. I have looked into watermarking, stamping, and PDF restrictions but those are all easily removable. If you know of anything else that might be helpful, please let me know.

Until then, I ease up on booksignings and author events to concentrate on more writing and illustrations based on Realmwalkers and world of Tiaera. It's hard to believe its been nine months since it was published! I would appreciate any feedback on it. With this being my first book, any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.

I have one more major event to attend in May and more news will be posted as the day grows nearer. I will be attending the 2012 Kingman KABAM Book Festival. I have already registered and paid for the booth there. I plan to drive up there with my friend and fellow writer, Kelley Heckart. It should be a fun event with a lot of networking and sales to be made.