2020 09 14
Wow! Just finished the cover for Portal (St. Antoni--Book 4). I haven’t had a cover come together so fast in a long time. It was like magic. Usually I struggle with finding just bits and pieces of each cover and then I spend two or three days melding those bits and pieces, so they look as if they belong together. Sometimes I have to throw the entire thing in the trash and start over! But this time when I went poking around on Shutterstock.com, I found just the right background and pose for the MC’s almost immediately.I know it's hard to judge a cover without context, so I've included the blurb that goes with it as well:
A young shop owner makes a dangerous alliance with the local Militia to preserve her family's secrets.
The end of the world had come and gone. Those who remained after the apocalypse did whatever it took to keep themselves alive and preserve what civilization survived. They broke laws and defied the will of the draconian government agencies who were supposed to keep anarchy at bay and instead established a police state.
Lacey Delaney, head of Laughing Mountain's Portal committee, defied the government by helping Portal Runners smuggle desperately needed goods, service and people to the Forbidden Colonies.
Malachi Sullivan, sub-commander of the free militia, was one of those who held the line against the tyranny of an overbearing government desperately trying to regain control against spreading anarchy.
Lacey and Malachi had been in love once, but a treacherous woman broke them apart. Now they must put the past behind them and learn to work together to save their town and preserve the secret of the Portal to the Forbidden Colonies.
2020 09 13On a positive note, my household hero fixed the leak under my kitchen sink today.💋Waiting for Andrew to finish beta reading Gaslight so I complete editing it for the second draft.I did get two more chapters of Portal done today. Villain is going to be two women this time out (motivation “hell hath no fury” and target fixation).This novel is a radical departure for me, as up to now all my heroes and heroines have been very law abiding. This time I need to reverse the image. The heroine is a shop owner who aids and abets portal runners against the ruling government...2020 08 22
Wow, has it been that long since I posted anything here? I have been working just haven't updated this blog in a while. I'll try to do better.
2020 08 20
Life sure gets in the way of writing; I got a little more done on Gaslight today after I spent nearly 3 hours on the phone with my doctor referral service trying to get my nebulizer replaced.(The tube attachment on the old one broke off so it won’t blow air anymore.)
It took me 3 phone calls and I still have to check back tomorrow to make sure Ray Fisher pharmacy got the fax 😒.
Then I had to spend another hour on the phone trying to find out what happened to the checks one of our commercial accounts says was processed back on Aug 7th. 🥺. I won’t know about that until tomorrow either.
It was a relief to actually escape into writing on my books!
2020 08 17
Doing a lot of editing on The Enforcers (book 2—St. Antoni, The Forbidden Colony) to get it up to speed for release in November.
At the same time I’m trying to finish The first draft of Gaslight (book 3—St. Antoni, The Forbidden Colony). I have about 2 chapters left on that one.
Book number 4, Portal Lawman, is still in the St Antoni universe, but it takes place mostly on earth. I had intended to write an entirely different kind of story, but when I sat down to write, the story seemed to take off in a totally different direction. Inspired by what is currently going on in our culture today, I also added in some other disaster sequences (who knew those doom, despair and agony on me documentaries my husband watches on the Discovery channel would come in so handy?) The story takes place on an apocalyptic earth that is radically different because its social and political structures have been partly destroyed. In the last two hundred years, the earths plates suddenly shifted causing massive earthquakes along the three major fault lines in north and South America, causing most of the west coast to fall into the sea. Rioters have destroyed most of the cities, but armed citizens militia keeps the rural areas safe from insurgents. Illegal portals to other worlds abound. Europe, Asia and Africa have been hit with a new pandemic every two years...
2020 08 06
While in the shower, I got a great idea for book #4 in the St. Antoni series (working title The Portal Lawman), so I took a break from Gaslight to get the idea down on the computer. I recently started using Excel to outline and plot my books. It’s working great; Now I don’t have to waste time paging through a manuscript to find out where I wrote about subjects or if I’m writing about something that has already happened or hasn’t happened yet. Those pesky little details can completely ruin a story if you get them wrong!
I’ve posted a template on the PracticalArtist.com if you are interested in using it or something similar. Right now I’m not charging anything for it so it’s free if you want to grab it. I’ve got a subscription to Novel Factory which I tried to use, but I found it too rigid for my purposes. I did use several of the ideas for characterization and site descriptions in the excel program though.
2020 08 04
Worked on two chapters of Gaslight today, but didn’t finish either one!😂One chapter is about Francis and Hercule arriving at the hotel for their wedding night looking like something the cat dragged in. The other is the Solstice celebration where they find Blackmans body.
020 08 03
Took our big blankets to the laundromat today. (They are too big and heavy to go in a top loading washer— they weigh about 10# each). It took about 2 hours. Vernon will need to help me make up the bed later.
Yesterday I wrote the chapters where Francis and Hercule get married to prevent the Smith lawyer from taking Hetty and Sydney away from her. It includes the attempt to kidnap the girls. The train sequence was fun.
020 07 26
Got two more chapters done on Gaslight today. I had other chores which I neglected because things suddenly started clicking. I’m rethinking the idea of killing off Blackman (he’s the undercover agent I had decided to have killed when he illegally searched a suspect's house). Mostly because I couldn’t work it into the story.
The new plot line worked beautifully so I’m a happy camper today.
2020 07 25
Getting ready to kill off one of my characters in Gaslight Bandits. He’s one of the good guys (minor character). He gets caught breaking into a suspect’s house. Still deciding how to do it, and who the killer will be...
2020 07 02
What do you do to get yourself in the mood to write a certain type of scene? For instance my WIP takes place on a low-tech frontier planet. My heroes are traveling through unexplored territory and being tracked by their enemies. (All the characters are human) It’s an outdoor chase scene in the wild, so it’s got a western flavor, so to get myself in a mood to write it, I immerse myself in reading authors like Louis L’Amour, Luke Short, and a little Edgar Rice Burroughs
2020 06 28
Finished another chapter of The Gaslight Bandits today. This one involves Hercule and Caleb sneaking back into the Smith territory around Copper City to help their Uncle move the family Hoard. I used the territory around the Grand Canyon as a basis for describing the area between the two City States. It takes a little bit of imagination to propel my imagination back in time so I can visualize what it would have been like riding through an area when there was no paved roads, fences or power poles. I hope I made it believable.
Next chapter involves them leading a tricorn pack train loaded with treasure through the unmapped territory between Azure and Copper City.
2020 06 21
I finished chapter 4 of the Gaslight Bandits (chapter title is the Indigo Moor). I called it that because Francis and Chloe are riding the train from Junction City to Azure hoping to catch the train robber gang that’s been terrorizing passengers in all the city states. Azure took its name from the blue bushes that abound in the territory.
I also finished the synopsis and blurb for Gaslight as well as the cover.
The Enforcers is being beta read by my favorite beta reader (my son Andrew). So I had a good day. I hope you did as well.
2020 05 13
Worked on some transitional chapters and paragraphs on The Enforcers this week. The introduction of more secondary characters has added a lot of depth to the plot, so I'm happy with that, but it does mean that I have to go back in and include the lead ins to them. I'm confident I'll meet my deadline of November 1 for it to be published.
2020 05 20
I spent some of last night and this morning putting together a timeline of events for the enforcers chapter by chapter. A timeline is sort of like an outline except it’s written after the story instead of using it top replan the novel. Because of the erratic way I write, (I tend to jump around in the books) I need to be careful not to let the story become incoherent. Stuff like not including information in one chapter that the characters won’t find out until later. The timeline helps with this. Any other writers have this problem?
2020 05 25
Rereading book 1 of Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality. The entire series has to be read in order or it’s confusing. Only one and two are in ebooks yet, though so if I want to read the others I will have to wade through piles of books to find them.
I also discovered that Bookfunnel.com (it’s a group promotions site) seems to have really whacked up a sales promotion where I had placed The Designer People. The promotion seemed made to order for that particular book (crime, clones and the future). Supposedly they are fixing the issues. If you are interested Click Here
Well its day 21 of our "stay home" quarantine. How are you holding up? My family is handling it pretty well, but then my husband's pool service is considered "sanitation" so it's one of the essential businesses. I worry about my husband and my son going out every day to make sure our customers swimming pools haven't turned green or become breeding grounds for mosquitos, but I do take comfort that pools can be cleaned and sanitized without actual physical contact with our customers (I'm sure they appreciate it too).
As a writer, I'm something of an introvert, so staying home all day doesn't bother me as much as it does some people. Except today, one of my crowns fell out so I had to make an emergency trip to the dentist. The roads were empty, stores were closed and the entire town looked like a scene from one of those apocolyptic movies—I forget the name, but just pick one!
I did get a scene from The Enforcers written, so I feel I've accomplished something for today. I will be doing a cover reveal on it next time.
I'm still waiting for my proof copy of Quantum Light (book 7 in the Space Colony Jourals) to arrive so I can make any corrections and send it to print. It's due out in August, so you'll be hearing more about it too.
Please stay calm and safe. We can get through this. This country has endured worse things and the American people survived it. It's harder this time because we aren't allowed to gather in groups to support each other, but we can still do it.
2020 03 31
I didn't feel up to working on the next chapter of The Enforcers, so I went through my notes for other books. I ended up working on a new book. This one will take place on St. Antoni as well, but it's going to be a stand-alone. I don't even have a working title for it yet. Basically the heroine flees earth with her younger sister and brother because their cousin (they went to live with after their parents were killed) turns out to be a bad guy. They learned too much about his criminal operation and now he wants them dead.
- 2020 02 07 -- I FINISHED THE ROUGH DRAFT OF BOOK NO 7 (QUANTUM LIGHT) IN THE SPACE COLONY JOURNALS. IT'S NOW GOING THROUGH THE FIRST EDITING.
- It looks as if Cover No 2 is winning the contest.
- BOOK 2 IN THE ST. ANTONI SERIES (THE ENFORCERS) IS IN THE PLANNING STAGE
A family of innocent botanists finds themselves thrust into the middle of a drug war on an alien planet.
Rupert and Aire have come to Trellya to negotiate the purchase of plants Rupert uses in the medicines and cosmetics his company makes. The dactyl Pelcon is with them because he goes everywhere Rupert goes. Sesuna came with them to find out what is happening on her family's estates. Teenage Selick came to see Trellya and meet the birth mother who sold her to the Thieves Guild as an infant.
To her horror Sesuna discovers her family's property has been over-run by rebels who plan to finance their revolution with the sale of Submit, a banned, highly addictive drug employed to make users compliant. They have already planted some fields on her property with plants used to create Submit. If she can't prove her innocence the Magistra will use this as an excuse to seize the estate. But Before Sesuna can destroy the fields she and Selick are kidnapped by the rebels, whose leader intends to force Sesuna into marriage to gain control of the estate. Can Rupert and Sesuna defeat him and save her family's lands?
On the frontier world of St. Antoni, you got tough—or you got dead.
The Portal to the world of St. Antoni was unsanctioned. Immigrants who reached there were desperate to escape earth. They snuck through the Portal with only what they could carry to face an alien world without earths advanced technology. by sheer grit and determination St. Antonoians fought their way back to the steam age. In the first two hundred years they created a civilization as different from that of earth as Mars is from Venus.
City states were controlled by powerful families, and the outlying ranches and mines outside them were held together by guns and guts. But the St. Antonoians new civilization had a flaw: a man or woman could comit crimes in one City state flee to another and be safe from pursuit.
So the Enforcers were created. Only this group of brave men and women, an elite law enforcement agency commissioned by the combinded city states, dare to pursue these criminals across the borders. When they catch up with them, they serve as judge, jury and sometimes executioners...
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