My Books on Amazon

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Free YA Supernatural E-Book Download


Download for free from March 1-5, 2015  Kindle: Click Here For Kindle Link

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Belen McKnight has no records, no parents and no idea where she’s from. Found wandering on the side of the road at the age of two, covered in cuts and bruises, she’s been in foster care ever since. With a bad temperament and the ability to alter people’s emotions, it’s hard to find a forever home.
Her liberation from the foster care system is in view, but girls her age are disappearing and there’s a rumor that the government is involved. When a young man she met at a party shows up to her school dressed like a government official, trouble follows.

The all-encompassing World Congress isn’t from earth, and they aren’t the only ones pursuing her. As an untrained Shadow Puppeteer, the last of her kind, she needs to stay ahead of her pursuers and find the root of her trouble, which has something to do with the parents she never knew.



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Belen McKnight dreamed of the day she’d be off Ardent Island, but that didn’t entail waking up in a much icier climate. The weather suits her about as much as the harpy Reincarta leader, Kelaino, who claims to be her mother.

Kelaino is sure Belen is the reincarnation of the Goddess, Hecate, and forces her to go to the Tomb of the God’s to get Pandora’s Box. By doing so, she wakes Khaos, a Goddess that could hinder more than help.

Now she needs to stay ahead of the werewolves, find a place to hide Pandora’s Box, fight her mom, World Congress and save Rex before it’s too late.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dogs, Chocolates and Writing

We have a bee issue. Apparently, one of the people living here at the commune has been leaving empty soda cans out on the patio. Two days later, even after being warned that this would happen, the bees have shown up. It was rather funny watching the ladies trying to deal with it. It was the men who finally took action. I believe bees need to be protected, so Emory dealt with them in a fashion that works for both the inhabitants of the household and the bees. The bees get the happy ending I wanted for them.

Emory brought home a sizable box of Valentine chocolate, a red velvet cupcake and a chocolate dipped strawberry.

One of our Cali hosts are currently in AZ. We served wine, cheese and crackers instead of dinner. I like unexpected wine parties.

I dropped Mozart off for a shave at PetSmart, and ended up bringing home an adopted dog. This dog is a Poodle Maltese mix like Mozart, but her legs are longer. She's listed as a toy. Emory and I aren't sure how dogs get labeled as "toy" though maybe that's because Standard Poodles are so big. She's about 10 lbs right now, but we both agree she needs major weight gain. I'm hoping to get her about 3-4 lbs heavier because she's way too tiny and I don't like feeling her back bone.

We were going to name her something cute like : W.I.P (work in progress), Typo, Ink, Royalty, etc., but we were watching a sci-fi commercial for a new movie and the name was strange, Chappie. Emory repeated this strange name and she got up to go see him. We both thought, "No way." So I tried it and she came over to see me. Now Chappie is probably the last idea we'd possibly have for a name, but she answers, so it must be close to what her real name is. We tried: Charlie, Chicca, Chap, etc., with no luck. The house wants to vote no on Chappie as a name, but Emory and I decided we're keeping it. It's funny and probably not very lady like, and the story behind it is hilarious. Emory and I really like our private jokes.

I had a job interview for a new company. I really want it, but it's out in Scottsdale. I'm going to need better clothes if I get this position. I wore my dresses for 2 interviews, but I have limited dresses. I'm a hippy, and everything about my style screams hippy, so I need to be more chic.

Write Update:

Novella: Very near the ending. I have two endings I like. I wrote 1,300 words that I believe should now be tossed. When in doubt, sleep on it. It's usually better in the morning, or a few weeks later.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Increase Writing Productivity

I'm re-posting this from 2011.

Since I'm going to post one of the panel's, I also want to put in a plug for Kevin Anderson and Rebecca Moesta who gave this panel.

1. Shut up and write. Stop playing Facebook and Myspace games. Turn off your phone and your instant messenger. Procrastination will only hurt you. This is my problem and I'm changing it. I'm going to sell all my fish on Happy Aquarium and be done with online games.

2. Defy the empty page. You'll never finish the book if you don't put words on the page. The perfect sentence will slow your writing process down. Write it NOW and edit it LATER. Use a place holder or a note that you need to do research and move on from the section.

3. Dare to be BAD. Your project doesn't have to be PERFECT, it just has to be DONE. You can't edit a blank page. I tell myself that often and my first draft is usually terrible. I comfort myself with the "I'll edit it."

4. Work on different projects at different times. Have project A going while your editing project B and researching for project C.

5. Know the difference between editing and writing. Writing and editing take two different parts of your brain, one is creative, the other is logical and both can trip up the other. Write first, edit later.

6. Use every minute you can to complete your goal. You want to be a writer, stop making excuses for not writing. No one has extra time. Write when you can. I'll probably follow this rule during NaNoWriMo and write during my lunch breaks. A few handwritten pages here and there add up quickly. If you write 1 page a day, at the end of the year, you have 365 pages written.

7. Set goals for yourself and stick to them. Writing contests work well when you want to get a short story written in a certain amount of time. You can make writing goals with a writing group, like have a chapter written a week.

8. Create the best writing environment for yourself. If you write best in the morning, get some writing into your schedule. If you write best at night, set some time aside for that. If you try to make a writing schedule that doesn't work for you, then you'll set yourself up for disaster. I'm not a morning writer, but once noon hits, I write and write. I don't really have a time that's better for me, but early morning just doesn't work. I have the type of personality that I'm relentless so if I only have the morning to write, I'm unforgiving if I don't follow through.

9. Think outside the keyboard. If you really can't get that next chapter or scene to work, then you need to try something new like taking a hike with a recorder and dictate your ideas. You can try bouncing your ideas off with another person interviewing you.

10. Get inspired. The more creativity you let in, the better ideas you'll get so go to a museum, an art show or a poetry reading.

11. Know when to stop polishing and send your work out. A project doesn't do you any good sitting on your desk. You need to polish it the best you can, but know when to let it go and send it off.

This is one of the many panels I went to. This was inspiring, but my thumb hurts. I've never written so much before. If I ever get lucky and have a huge fan base, I now know what it would be to do a book signing for a few hours. See, I'm forever hopeful.

I am now going to hang out with my hubby and relax. I'm going to be far more diligent in my writing career.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vampire Lounge, Country Clubs and ...


Emory and I traveled 300+ miles to California. I learned that buying junk food at a gas station in the middle of the Sonora Desert was pricy. I could get a baggy of donuts here in the city for 79 cents; the gas station in the middle of the desert charges $2.00. That’s not all! Candy that would be 99 cents at the 99 cent store was $3.00. I really wanted the donuts, so I went ahead and got them and water, since the ice tea there tasted weird. That was a major disappointment, because we both LOVE tea.
We made it to the host house in California rather late. We said our hellos and went to bed. The next day was a little slow. Emory and I made breakfast, took a nap, then made dinner. There was mango and green tea Mochi in the freezer so I completely binge ate on those. I also binged on Girl Scout Cookies. I love the Thin Mints. I use to hate those when I was a child. Now I can’t get enough of them.

The following day we went to Little Tokyo and I did some massive shopping. I bought a few experimental food items, including loose leaf Hoji-cha roasted green tea and this dried squid jerky. The other items I got was Dofu “Natural Agar-Gelatin Dessert: A Favorite Asian Treat” and  Strawberry Pocky. I got this marshmallow fluff that has grape jelly inside. I love them, but I have no idea what they’re called. My Japanese is very limited. Afterwards, we went to the book store and I was so tempted to get a Japanese Sushi cook book and some of the other super cute things in the store, but most of our bi-weekly income is reserved for bills. We stopped in at the Ramon Restaurant for lunch and shared a colossal bowl of Mizo soup. It was incredibly delicious.

Ramon Noodles from Little Tokyo, Cali
Afterwards, we stopped in for apple pie frozen yogurt on our way to the host house. We indulged in a quick nap and got up to make dinner for our hosts. I consumed more Mochi and then we had to get ready to get to Beverly Hills for a wine tasting at the Vampire Lounge. My aunt found this place and mentioned it to my mom, who mentioned it to me. We had to walk a few blocks, because parking is crazy in Los Angeles, and our TomTom gave us a parking lot that wasn’t the closest to our destination. I tried the True Blood wine collection; 3 whites and 2 reds. Emory tried the Red collection, which had vampire names. The place was classy. Later my aunt asked if the bartender was crazy pale. This is Los Angeles my friends, even the vampires have tans. 

Next day, we ended up at the Porter Ranch Country Club for breakfast, as guests. The food was good. Most of us drank tea and a few people ordered coffee. We all had egg omelets. Afterwards, we split up so we could grab what we needed before going down to the second host house which is located on the Ventura beach. When we drive down that way, we go through tons of farmland. It’s a nice drive and it was sprinkling, so the world outside our window looked refreshed. We made it to the beach house, stayed for a little bit, then went to the cupcake shop, bought a few cupcakes, then headed to downtown Ventura. We tasted olive oils and ended up buying a coconut spread. We tasted salts and I bought a white truffle salt, and some more teas.

Christina and Cupcakes!!
We walked a little farther down the street because I was looking for medicinal teas and was recommended this shop at the end of street. I only wanted one very specific pain reliever tea, but she wanted to do a full analysis on me. She mentioned she thought I was anemic. I don’t think she’s ever seen someone in California without a tan. I’m as white as a person can get. My nomad family is Irish-Scottish mix and I believe the Love’s were French, so we have French somewhere too. Wish I could speak French, but different complaint. We ended up walking off with two more teas. I’ll have to do a video on all the teas I bought, because it is super crazy. I love tea, but I didn’t plan to have this many different packets.

That night, I had vegetarian tacos with both host families and then we went to bed and got up early for our drive back to Arizona. I actually missed my commune and my dog. I missed all the action out here and all the bodies. Emory asked me, as a recluse, if I’d be okay getting a house, because most of the interactions I get from other people are the people I live with. I’m not sure what all that privacy is going to lead to. Will I become worse in my recluse behavior? That remains to be seen.

The one thing I missed the most these four days, was my books in process that I left on my computer. I am a horrible travel partner if I can’t get a little work done on vacation, but we made it happen. Also, no beach visits this trip. Both host families expect us back soon. Yeepie!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Cursed Japanese Kleenex and Morning Tea



There is a Japanese Urban Legend about a Kleenex commercial. I finally got around to looking it up with the search words: cursed Japanese Kleenex commercial. It shows the original commercial, which is cute in a way. The song is in English, something I’ve heard in other commercials out here in the states. The second version of it played after midnight is very different. Now I didn’t stay up until midnight to try this, I just watched the copied version from the first video I hit. Part of me has a Stewie Griffin conscious that says, “You got me, man! You got me!” That’s the part that’s chuckling like a little British child, since that’s Stewie’s persona, and the other part of my conscious sounds like Peter Griffin in shock mode, “Holy Crap!” 

The midnight version is scary, I’ll give you that. As far as an Urban Legend goes, whoever played it up did a great job.

There is little in the words of kindness that I can speak towards the Dungeon. Thank Goddess for the tea… except, I noticed that the tea supply has been dwindling. In conversation, I spoke with Michael, the minion across from me and he said the Dungeon has cancelled our tea supply. WHAT!!!! I loved the lemon tea and the sharpness of Earl Gray. I’m extremely upset that they cut our tea supply off. They’ve been cutting a lot of things out of budget; we practically have to whip ourselves into doing a good job. Okay, the whipping hasn’t been cut, but why the tea?  I expected this day to come, when tea would be in limited stock, so I’ve been building my tea basket from teas on sale at the grocery store. I picked up a bunch of brands I’ve never tried, mostly chai and green. I also got a box of Mangosteen green tea from a higher up and some green tea with rose blossoms from Michael. Michael calls me a “tea gremlin” though he’s always offered me tea from the boxes he picks up from other minions, so it’s not like I’m just sneaking over and taking his tea. Our fearless leader doesn’t like tea, so when his wife passed, he gave up all his tea to anyone who wanted it. I’m glad I grabbed a few packets. It would be a super long year without morning tea. So I have a small box and a tin can with tea sitting by my computer. I’m wondering if I should lock them in my desk at night. Too bad the desk I got moved to this past week doesn’t have keys. I can ask the building management, but I don’t really want to bother them over something so small. 

I met with a friend at Denny’s and ended up spending three hours there. I got these really good cinnamon pancakes that Emory tried the day before and I decided I liked them too when I did my own taste test. The server put tons of cream and cinnamon so it was more a desert than a breakfast. We talked about nothing, got extra glasses of ice tea and just watched people walk through. She’s a writer too, but she writes a completely different genre, so our views are vastly different on society.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Chasing Shadow Segment 1



Chasing Shadow: Shadow Puppeteer Book 1 First Segment: CLICK HERE for more sample chapters

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Shadows writhed an unnatural dance in my peripheral vision. When I turned to look at them head on, they disappeared, replaced by the solid images of the Ravers on the dance floor. The music and the laser lights only added to my paranoia.

I squeezed my fingers into my thighs to keep them from shaking. No matter how big the crowd or how loud the situation, fears and unwanted memories found me. I sank further into the beanbag, determined to ward off the oncoming depression as I waited for the two tiny pills I swallowed to take effect.

The only high I felt, so far, was a contact high from the many people crammed into the tin walls of the junkyard warehouse, enjoying the rave. The dancers shimmered through glitter and glow sticks. I wanted to be more like them, not just the way they dressed, but their attitudes. They looked so liberated with their bright makeup and dyed hair. I bet they didn’t fear World Congress or maybe it was the island that encouraged them.

Xyla was run by convicts and anarchists. The island was ungoverned. Unlike the rest of the world, they were free to drink, smoke, do drugs and party. I craved this freedom, but I didn’t see future happiness on an island surrounded by electric fences built to keep people trapped.

Starr bounced onto the side of the beanbag, jolting me. “Belen, why are you pouting in the corner? I’ll buy you a drink.”

“It’s getting late.” I wanted to add that we were taking a huge risk staying this long on the island, but the words barely formed on my numb lips.

“Are you training to be an agent for World Congress? Until I see a badge, Miss McKnight, I’m not going anywhere with you just yet!” she said. 

I yelled after her. “I’m serious.”

She was already mingling within the crowd. I had to go after her. It took a great deal of energy to lift myself from the beanbag. My hands sank, giving me no solid surface to balance my unsteady body. Once up, I started through the crowd, stepping on toes and fending off elbow jabs.

One group stood so close, it was impossible to weasel in, but time was slipping away. The longer we stayed on the island, the greater our chance the boat running illegally between the islands would stop for the night. I didn’t want to touch anyone, but I didn’t have a choice.

I tapped the shoulder of the young man ahead of me and he turned disarming any qualms I had about the group. His eyes were stunning; flame yellow with a black slit down the middle. He took me in with a promising smile.

He was taller than me and a few years older, which I liked. His hair was as black as mine; cut short and spiked. Unlike most inhabitants of either island, his skin had a bronze tint, but it was his eyes that had my heart fluttering.

One touch and I could push my influence onto him. I knew my wants were selfish and the power of persuasion I possessed often blew up in my face, but my desire was strong. It worked both ways. I could sense people’s feelings and knew when to avoid a potentially violent moment, but sometimes their ambiance lingered on me like smoke clinging to clothes. Strong emotions were the hardest to get rid of. I could carry someone’s anger or remorse for days.

A hand on his shoulder drew his attention to an elegant woman with feathery wings. She had a great costume. I couldn’t tell where the wings were connected, but with both their attention diverted, I felt awkward standing around like a third wheel, so I pushed on through and headed towards the bar. The sooner we got back to our home island, the better. The penalty for getting caught crossing between the islands without a permit was steep. I couldn’t afford reform school with only two years left under the watchful eye of World Congress in their foster program. I saved my lunch money for years so I could afford the permit off Ardent to the mainland.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Cannibals, Chocolate and Writing



Since the Super Bowl is in Arizona, at a stadium that isn’t very far from where I live, a number of our usual events have been shoved around. The annual Chocolate Affair, which is usually the first weekend in February, was pushed into January. Truthfully, it didn’t feel the same. What a difference a week makes. I like my Chocolate Affair in February. The chocolate festival is a wonderful introduction into the month also known for Valentine’s Day. There are usually tons of cool venders, some of which have certification of perfection from the television reality food shows, like cupcake wars, etc. I love the cupcakes and chocolate dipped everything. Last year, there was a “pie in a jar” booth. It was so interesting, I actually got one and the pie was wonderful in the little jam jar. It’s a great time to be outside. The sun is bright, the air smells like food and your pocket book wants to do a little dance. 

It’s getting closer to the time of year when I like to play hooky from work, get take-away from a loyal restaurant and head to the park with Emory. Last spring, we made two huge containers of ice tea, took a blanket, and found a spot by one of the reserved houses on the old farm property turned park. At one point there were way more orange trees, but now there are just a few to preserve the old orange grove it used to be. There are peacocks and roosters running around. I see a few cats, but there aren’t rabbits anymore.

I had so many things that I planned to get down during the weekend, and I gave all of it up to watch horror movies with Emory. It didn’t start that way. While we were over at John’s house taking care of things, I found a box of movies he recently won at the auction. One of the movies was You Got Mail. I promptly plucked it from the pile, told John I was borrowing it and presented it to Emory, much to his surprise. He promptly said, “This is a romance…” and I said, “Oh.” We watched it anyways, but I’m not the romance sort of person. Afterwards, I wanted to watch horror. We started watching a series from the Science Fiction channel, one of my favorite channels for all things sci-fi. From there, I lost my entire weekend. It was episode after episode, bowl of popcorn after bowl of popcorn. Next thing I know, it is 9 p.m. Sunday and time to set the alarm and go to bed.

My friend has mentioned that he’s decided to resort to cannibalism when the zombie apocalypse happens. I shall keep this in mind if he invites me to dinner. I looked up cannibalism; because that’s actually one type of horror movie genre I won’t indulge in. Zombie cannibalism is okay, but normal people cannibalism makes me want to vomit.  I watched all sorts of horror movies with my dad, but I almost distinctly remember one with a weird title like Cannibal Island or something near that. These guys were in some contraption and nearly buried. One guy was trying to dig them out and the next thing he knows, someone has his hand on the other side of the sand, and cuts it off. That is as far as I got watching that movie. I was under the age of ten. I looked it up yesterday, because that’s what you do when you need to confront a fear, and I found out that a lot of countries have participated in it during famine. So that means, my friend is ahead of the game for any apocalypse that might happen. As for me, I think I’d go insane.

Writing Update:
Feb. Outline: started

Novella: Goal is to get this project finished this month