Friday, November 29, 2013

My First Book Signing

Well, Thanksgiving is now behind us, on to Christmas. I am still full from yesterday but managed to eat a bowl of oatmeal this morning since I will be sitting in a Barnes and Noble for 4 hours today with nothing to eat.

I am very excited to go to my first actual book signing. I can't believe it! I'm a little nervous, too. I don't know how all of this works, but I guess I will find out.

Getting Fable out to reader is my number one objective. It's a great read, if I do say so myself, but most importantly I want people to read Fable before Fated. The side book has a lot of spoilers and I want people to experience Fable and Stevie's new found journey first before you find out all about the Djen.

Anyway, I love writing this series. It is such a huge part of my life. I tell people all the time that I have "book brain" now. I think about the story a lot! I hope those of you who have read it, enjoyed it as well.

Good news though, Toni's surgery was a success! The doctor's said her shoulder wasn't as bad as they thought so her recovery should be half the time. I'm happy for her and hope the pain subsides soon. She's been through a lot since that accident, but she does push herself too much. I'm just glad she's okay and will be back with me soon!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spent it with close family or friends, or both. We had an excellent time, with great food, and awesome company. I hope your Christmas or Hanukkah is excellent as well!

Keep your fingers crossed for me today and I will see you back here next Tuesday with the announcement  of who won the books from my contest this last month!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What I'm Thankful For

I cannot believe it's Thanksgiving already. This year has flown by. But it has been a good year, at least for launching the start of our series. With Fated coming out soon, and the normal day to day life occurrences, I'm busier than ever. Yet even with topping off my busy life with  hectic holidays, I wanted to stop and give thanks for all that is wonderful in my life.

First, and foremost, my family. I am one of the lucky ones who has their immediate family within the same city. None of us have ventured to other states, I think partly because Colorado is an awesome state to live in. I'm grateful for that, too!

I give thanks for my supportive and loving husband, Rick. I don't know what I would do without his love and understanding. Supporting me staying home to work on our books is heaven sent for me. He never pushes me and gives me whatever space or time I need. I love you, Rick!

I give thanks for 2 healthy and loving kids, who are now adults. Brandie is a wonderful mother, and works her butt off. She gives everything her all and I've always said she was a diamond in the rough. Now that she's grown, she is the jewel I knew she would become. She is beautiful, has a big heart, and is a great person. 

Travis, well I am so proud of him. He graduated from college and has worked at a job for 2 years, one that's not even in the field he went to school for. He is trying to get his life in order and is giving more of his time to family. He has a big heart and is learning to give all for a better life.

My grandchildren, what can I say, they are my heart and soul. Nothing will put a smile on my face or a tear of joy to my eyes faster than Madison and Carson. Madison is doing wonderful in school. She is smart, beautiful, and full of great energy. She plays the piano, and is in choir this year. She loves sports, too, and has played basketball this last year. Carson, my baby boy, you are a cuddle bear and I love your energy. You are all boy. He plays baseball now and is in kindergarten and loves school. 

Then there's my mom. She always been there for me. I'm so grateful to get to spend time with her each week, either going to the pool, or walks. We go shopping and to lunch and I take her to her doctor appointments. I enjoy my extra time with her.

Of course, I cannot forget my sister, Toni. Not only my sister, but my best friend. This time we've had together has been awesome! I'm sure by the time we finish writing the series she'll be sick of me, but until then, I love our time together, writing, brainstorming, going to conventions, now, book signings, and being in the world of the Djen together. She's a great person, funny, free spirited, and has a big heart!

And speaking of my sister, her wonderful husband, Scotte has been just as supportive of Toni and the writing. I'm proud of their two great kids, too! Beautiful Sonia with her belly dancing and becoming an awesome teacher, and Jim, James, Sebastian, (we never know which name he likes best) has become his own man now. He is training for management with his job and loves archery, which fits in with our Djen world nicely.

I guess I could go on, but I appreciate everything in my life now. The books, the writing, the time spent with family and friends. But I'm also thankful for all of you, my fans and supportive followers of our Djen books!

Thanks so much for putting up with us and being there for us!

Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa

Friday, November 22, 2013

No Rest for the Wicked

Thank goodness it's almost the weekend. My weeks are so busy anymore, trying to find time to just relax and write is few and far between. I'm glad I took up my mother's organization skills, well most of them, since otherwise, I could never keep track. 

Between fixing my editor's red marks, writing the blurb, calling Mikey to finalize the cover and back, working on mistakes with Fable, (yes we still have issues with that) and taking care of my mom, our household stuff, and the list goes on, there is very little time to work on Lore, the next installment to The Lorn Prophecy. 

Today, I'll be back to work on edits and quite possibly get a little cleaning done, we'll see. Hopefully tomorrow we will be done with the edits and blurb, then Toni will have surgery on her shoulder Tuesday and will be out for a week at least. Then I will be able to go over Fated and possibly work on Lore.

With Thanksgiving next week,a book signing next Friday at Barnes and Noble, and trying to get some Christmas shopping in, it will be a busy one. Oh, and let's not forget having to clean my entire house from top to bottom since we will have Thanksgiving dinner at my house with guests. 

I don't know how in the world writers who work a full time job get anything done. My hat's off to all of you. I always say, I don't know how I found time to work, and that's when I wasn't writing as much. 

Well, I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend. In this crazy holiday season, we seem to get it done one way or another. Keep your fingers crossed for me that we get through the edits and blurb this Saturday so we can have the book out for our launch party December 20th. 

Take care everyone and don't forget the contest on here and the one on Goodreads! You can get a free copy of Fable!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How Do Your Characters Talk?

We had a great creative writing class this last Sunday. Our group has grown to 11 people, 2 of which are teenagers, which is a great challenge for us and hopefully will help all of us reach for deeper learning. 

Teaching kids to understand brings us to the basics and a more detailed way of learning so I look forward to the challenge.

Next class it is my turn to teach a subject, (three of us are discussing the skills and take turns) and I thought it was time for some grammar, but one of the ladies asked for a lesson in dialog.

This skill has been one of my stronger suits in writing. Although we did have to research the way kids talk today and found some great sites. But dialog is what moves your story along. It gives the information that you need, if it's done properly and with flow.

One of the first mistakes new writers make is telling the story using a lot of info dump as apposed to using the dialog to get your information across. The info dump does not move it along, but bores the reader, well, because the reader really doesn't care.

Your dialog needs to sound authentic, too. If you have a teen in your book, you need to find out how teens communicate with each other and adults. If you have a book written in the past, you need to research how they talked in the time-frame your writing in. 

If you have a made-up world, like we do, you need to decide how you want them to communicate with each other, and if there is another language involved. Would another world's language be english? 

Accents are another issue. If it is a strong accent, do you want to write the character's accent constantly, or leave it out? Will it feel real if it's left out?

The next issue is listening the way people communicate. Do they always finish their sentences?

Do they usually talk in paragraphs or should you break it up? Most people, unless they are telling a story, don't speak non-stop, they tend to pause, take a drink, pace, whatever you decide to give a break in the dialog. 

Action is another place you don't want to add too much internal thought. Their minds will be on what they're dealing with, not what they are thinking about the person involved, or what they're wearing, so this is not the place to add a bunch of information. You need to keep the tension and continuing with stuff that's not pertinent to the scene slows it down.

So, needless to say, this next class will be a longer one. There is a lot to talk about when it comes to dialog. It might end up being the only subject.

Just curious if any of you writers need help with this skill? Is this something you would like more detailed discussions over? Let me know.

Until Friday, have a fantastic week and don't forget my giveaway on here. Not only will you get a copy of Fable, but also our new release Fated!

Love, Lisa

Friday, November 15, 2013

Some New Ideas

I have found lately that the easiest thing for me to write about on this blog, is the one thing I know, writing. I'm sure there are those who have followed this blog that aren't writers and probably don't want to read about writing, so I am offering you an opportunity to tell me what you would like to see more of on this post.

I thought I would offer up a few topics that I do know a bit about, maybe some ideas for posts. 

I am a licensed Aesthetician, but I don't practice this craft much anymore, and I worked in the service industry for over 30 yrs, from management, to server, and understand what it's like to cater to people, and I used to own a booking agency for bands and comics in the great Denver area. 

I love people, and enjoy talking about all sorts of interests. But my love of writing shines through above all others. Although, I am happy to discuss what ever comes to mind, just let me know. 

I am hardly an expert with any of these subjects but always willing to learn. When I write about writing, I learn also.

The other subject I really like is reading. I feel it's important to share good books with people and to acknowledge authors for their wonderful work. Yes, my genre range is limited to what I enjoy reading, but I'm open to hearing about good books you've read and want to promote.

I love a good mystery/thriller, some contemporary, historical fiction, and of course, Fantasy fiction. Even though your favorite might not be one of these, it doesn't mean I haven't read in that genre and I'm more than happy to check it out.

I am working on setting up a group on Goodreads for fans of The Lorn Prophecy series. I would love to share ideas and thoughts of the book(s) with those of you who enjoy our story. If you're open to joining let me know! There's nothing we enjoy more than talking about Fable and what's going on in Stevie's world. 

We would love to see a fan base created and to see people passing the word along about Djenrye and hopefully build more followers. Would this be something you might like to be a part of?

Don't forget the contest to win a copy of Fable and of Fated! I haven't seen too many comments and I'm hoping it's because you already own a copy of Fable. Also,We have a giveaway contest on Goodreads. Giveaway

I would like to see people read Fable before Fated. If you read Fated first, it's a spoiler alert for Fable,just sayin'!

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone! I hope to hear from you soon!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Are Your Skills Up To Par

Those of you who use social media to promote yourself and your book, that are finding it's not as easy as it looks, I've got some news. You're right, it's not easy. Not that anything worth going for is.

But there is one solution for those of us who see lower than average sales, and that is: Write more books!

I've read a lot of articles about this subject lately, some from successful authors, and have also talked to a few authors doing well in the sales department, that getting more books out will increase your sales. That is, as long as you are putting out great stories, and good writing skills.

See, that's the key, working on your craft. 

Putting out a product that is quality is just as important as quantity. This is why I strive to talk about these subjects so that you (as a writer) realize the importance to a good editor and a critique partner.

Now I know there are those who have excuses, I've made a few myself, but once you accomplish a good team for your book(s), you'll see the real value in it.

None of us can edit our own work, and beta-readers are not editors, so this is an important step(s) in putting out a book(s) that you can be proud of. Especially if you self-publish.

Save some extra cash as you write, and I do have a reasonable editor if you need one, and find an experienced writer for your critique partner, if you can. Work on your skills in the mean time and thicken your skin. Not all you do will be perfect and there will be corrective criticism. Don't be defensive, but learn from the critique. 

No one is perfect and it's through learning that we better ourselves. I hope that all of you writers out there are successful in your endeavor. If you ever need help, just ask!

Until Friday, have a great week everyone!

Love, Lisa

Friday, November 8, 2013

An Excerpt From Fated

Good morning and happy Friday! This week flew by for me, lots of stuff to take care of. We finally have our books listed with the Library of Congress and we fixed Fable to look just like a traditionally published book. We are pleased at how nice it turned out.

Pretty much all of yesterday was working on social media marketing and we managed to get Goodreads up to par with linking the blog and adding the creative writing classes to events, and next is working on Google+. I did try to learn more about how Twitter works, and even though I did learn a few things, there is still plenty for me to figure out. Social media can be difficult for me, especially maneuvering around on the sites. I am a little challenged there!

I thought I would add a little surprise to the post today, an excerpt from Fated. This scene is with Torren, my antagonist, as he enters Tyre' and plans his kidnapping of Carlynn's child. It is a little long, but I hope worth the read. The word omakalae means years and Ortehlae means Orbs. "lae" is our plural. Enjoy!

Torren entered Tyré alone. His two scouts lay dead on the banks of the Shay River.
In the bustling streets, he attracted scant notice. Little about the place had changed since his boyhood, but it had only been two omakalae since he left. Near the size of Phraile Highlae, Torren considered Tyré to have a more pleasing aesthetic. White-washed buildings gleamed where the afternoon sun struck them. Flowers decorated the shop fronts and window boxes of the homes. The contrast of bright colors against monochrome background enhanced the visual vitality of the city.
Torren snuck into an unused bell tower on the south side of town. He climbed the long staircase, settled in, and looked out across the white city and at the vast blue Nibiruin Sea at the city’s edge.
The few small fishing vessels docked in the harbor belied the town’s standing as the heart of trade between the three cities. Larger ships were no longer needed after exile of the Jajing following the war. Coastal fishing continued, but clothing, spices, and various goods arrived and left over land. The Gods provide ample sustenance from the earth to ensure there would be no need to voyage across the sea. The island where the beasts had been banished was forbidden.
Torren had seen bodies of slain Jajing after the war. They appeared as animals dressed in armored chest-plates and breeches. It was hard to believe that they had a common ancestor with the Faugns in the distant past. Faugns were a blend of animal and man, with the ability to fully morph into an animal. Jajing remained in beast form, although they walked on their hind legs. They had something akin to hands, though the fingers looked more like elongated paws or split hooves. In the five omakalae since the beasts had been exiled, rumors persisted of their resurgence. A few fishermen, who disregarded the edict of the Gods and wandered far out to sea, claimed to have seen Jajing in boats.
Torren did not believe such rumors. Musing of fishermen with brains baked by the sun and addled by the vastness of the sea.
Still, if the rumors held any truth, the Rebellion could make use of such beasts in battle—if they could be tamed.
Below the bell tower, children’s laughter refocused Torren’s attention to his surroundings. From his vantage point, the rays of the fall sun alternately weathered and enhanced the hues. It gave him the impression of an artist’s canvas. Banners hung above bridges and walkways with the Tyré sigil—an Orca emerging from the sea, silhouetted against a blue agate-colored moon, representative of Orteh Huana. The scene brought back fond memories.
Torren had played at soldiers through these streets with his two closest friends, the Guardian’s nephew and niece—Colton and Marise. Although Torren had been born five summers before Colton, he thought of the boy and Marise as his siblings. They had, after all, grown up together in the palace. It had been a natural fit. Torren’s father, Larrik, Master Warrior of Tyre' , spent a great deal of time with the father of his friends, Kamm. Their two families developed a close friendship. Torren enjoyed the advantages of being thought of as kin to the Guardian’s family—and as an Androne. Imagine.
The hours Torren spent with Colton to teach him sword-play, gave his younger friend an advantage over other males of similar age. Torren prided himself in being the reason his “little brother” had begun Warrior training a full two omakalae before requirement.
Even after the death of Larrik, Torren remained in the palace. His father had been a hero of the Jajing war and the family was implored to stay. Aeolia, Torren’s mother, consented. Shortly thereafter, Hayden, the Guardian of Tyré, filled his father’s position with Koutal, a decision Torren had questioned.
A brute of a Djen, Koutal was squat in stature, with a bald head, scars from war, and missing an eye. With his other, he would leer at Aeolia. Koutal did not train the Warriors so much as use them for his personal whipping posts. Fear, not respect, was the new Master Warrior’s mainstay, and he cared little for Torren.
Taunts of “washerwoman’s whelp” and “Guardian Pretender” flew from his lips whenever Torren was in earshot. It had been tolerable at first. Colton and Marise stood up for him and threatened to tattle to their Uncle Hayden. The insults transformed into jokes amongst the three youth. Everything changed when his little brother deserted him to begin his formal training in Phraile Highlae. Though Torren himself had been trained by a Master Warrior—his father, Colton was required to attend specialized training, given only to kin of the Guardians.
Marise, still a child, drifted away from his company. For the first time in his life, Torren became an outsider in the only home he had ever known. He had to choose between remaining to face the abuse alone or leave.
Two winters have passed, but it seems a life time ago.
He never looked back. At first, his travels took him south to Phraile Highlae and then beyond to the caves of The Westnoch Mountains. There, he came upon a band of men, led by a great Djen and former Warrior of Phraile Highlae—Dekren.
Torren trained with the Rebels. With the skills he received from his father, Torren rose quickly through the ranks, until he became Dekren’s most trusted soldier. The Rebellion was his new family. Fully accepting that meant his former family and friends—including Colton—were now his sworn enemies.
Dekren became something akin to a father figure, yet more cruel and demanding than his actual father. Together, Torren and Dekren devised a strategy to control the power of the Ortehlae—one that evolved from the idea of saving Djenrye to ruling it.
Now, he hunted down a Guardian wife and child.
Hours ago, Torren had stood above the prone form of that woman’s savior—Ghorgon. The death of Torren’s men stung less with the image of the Master Warrior lying grievously wounded at his feet. Before administering the final blow, Torren taunted the fallen Djen, “You have not saved her. I will find Carlynn in Tyré. She will die and the babe will be ours.”
The idea of executing an innocent sickened Torren. But, he had no choice. Bringing the Rebellion’s plans to fruition required the blood of a Guardian. For the sake of the cause, Torren would kill Lady Carlynn, but not rip the unborn child from her womb. He would wait for the birth.
He turned away from the overlook. In his mind he ticked off the number of graochomaelea, blood/moon cycles, since the announcement of Carlynn’s saeni, carrying a child. Over eight…the time must be near.

He eased himself down on the floor and closed his eyes, convincing himself it was safe to sleep. A bit of rest and he would enter the palace through one of the escape passageways—the one that would lead him straight to Carlynn’s room. The same room in which all honored guests were housed when visiting the palace. Thanks to the excursions with his former playmates, Torren knew the way. 

I hope you enjoyed this scene. And I hope you give Fated a read. The good thing about this scene is it gives you a bit more information about Djenrye.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!
Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The "W" Graph

Here it is, another new week, and Fated still isn't completely finished, but we're close.

Right now we are waiting to hear from our editor and then it will be on the way to her today! Very Excited!

I hope she likes the book, but I'm sure there will still be edits we'll need to fix. Hopefully not to many so we can get the show on the road. We still have to write our acknowledgements and all the other little stuff to get it looking as professional as possible without being a traditionally published book. Thanks to our new publishing friend, Spring Lea, we know how the book should be set up.

So, keep your fingers crossed for us that we can get it out to the public before Christmas.

In the mean time, I had another wonderful class last Sunday. After going over some logistical information, Janet Baltz, my critique partner, talked about the structure of story.

She did an excellent job explaining the basic story structure using the "W" format. 

As you can see the basic story follows this chart. Yes, there can be inserted places with sub-plots to add to the tension, but this is the way a story is basically formulated. 

There are other type graphs that some genres tend to follow, such as a maze for mystery/thriller novels, but most will fall into this model of explanation. And, even though writers, and readers know this is the way a story tends to flow, it doesn't stop or take away from the joy of a book.

Since the beginning of stories, this has been the way they are told. A beginning problem. What to do. Starting to fix the problem and think you have the answer. Oh no, another issue. Sliding down to the dark moment. A climatic turning point. Then resolve.

If you are writing fiction this is a good model to look at the way your structure is set up in your book. You do need to know the basic beginning and ending of your story, and this should help you figure out the middle. One of the differences of writing as a plotter, or a pantser.

I really enjoyed Janet's presentation. I'm looking forward to the next class where Kathy will talk about "Finding your Muse". Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on the "W" graph and if you ever used anything similar in your writing.

Have a great week all! See you back here on Friday!

Love, Lisa

Friday, November 1, 2013


It's time to celebrate that we now have 100 followers on the blog!! I'm grateful to have had all 100 of you join this site! It means a lot to me, so I thought a contest and giveaway should be in order.

Today is November 1st, which is perfect timing since the contest will run for exactly one month. You all know that we are close to publishing Fated, the first side book to the series. So I thought this is great timing to have a contest for both the blog and for the fanpage. 

Between now and the end of the month, the two people that post the most comments on this blog, from either this page or the fanpage will receive a signed copy of Fable, and a signed copy of Fated, along with a surprise and some goodies!

So if you haven't gotten your copy of Fable yet, now is the time to participate. Since you will also get a copy of the new book Fated, you'll have your shopping done all at once!

We do suggest that you read Fable first before Fated. There are spoilers in Fated about Fable, so this way you can check both books out.

So if you have been meaning to get your copy of Fable book 1 of The Lorn Prophecy, let the contest begin!!

If you've read Fable and would love an extra copy for a gift, this is great opportunity for you, too, plus you'll get Fated along with it.

This contest includes this post for comments also. 

Let the Games begin!

Love, Lisa