Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Writing Update: November Goals

Happy Wednesday!

I've been doing a lot of thinking this month--and reading, if you've seen last week's Bookworm News. Unfortunately that means I haven't done anything with Remarked besides type up what I'd already handwritten. *sighs*

Front cover of People of Foxwick
I'm working on finalizing People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors so I can set the ebook versions up for pre-order (official release date is December 9). If all goes as planned, I should have People of Foxwick ready for pre-order by the end of this week/early next week.
Back cover of People of Foxwick

As for the thinking, I realize I need to get some things finished before I start writing again. For a while now, I've wanted to take away the individual stories in Gravity and Nightmare and have just the collections up. If I was going to do a second edition, which is what is required for changing a print book title and cover, then I thought I should read through them again and see if there is anything that should be change. This month I've started working on Gravity. Next month I want to finish it. I plan to put Gravity in KDP Select for a while too as an experiment to see if it sells better exclusively or not. If nothing really changes, then I'll put it back everywhere after the ninety days. Before the end of the year, I plan to create the second edition of Nightmare. I feel like if I can finish that stuff up, then I can focus on what comes next.

Here are my goals for November:
  • Gravity: A Collection - I'm hoping to have the second edition finished and ready to be republished. As I get closer to having the edition finished, I'm removing the individual titles (Defying Gravity, Fighting Gravity, and Pull of Gravity) and will soon be removing Gravity: The Complete Trilogy/Gravity: A Collection off other retailers. I want to give plenty of time to have those gone from other retail sites before I put Gravity: A Collection (2nd edition) into Select.
  • Redestined - I lost two-thirds of the outline in the ransomware incident of June 2014, so I will be working to rewrite the outline for the third and final book to The Fate Challenges series.
Once I finish Gravity, I will work on the second edition of Nightmare: A Collection, although I do not expect to finish Nightmare in November.

What are your November goals? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Unfortunately I'm not this year, but I'll be cheering everyone on.

2014 Stats
46,598 Words Written
2777 Pages Edited
*Stats taken from 1/1/14 - 10/21/14

By the way, Twisted Earths, an Untethered Realms anthology, is now available. My story "Lady Death" is one of nine in this excellent collection. You can purchase Twisted Earths at Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Nook, and Smashwords.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bookworm News / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 11


Immaterial Evidence by Milo James Fowler
The Trouble with Flirting by Rachel Morgan
White Lady by Jessica Bell
Horns by Joe Hill
Girl of Great Price by Milo James Fowler
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
The Body Electric by Beth Revis


Immaterial Evidence by Milo James Fowler
Detective Charlie Madison will have to leave the safety of Little Tokyo to solve the strange case of vanishing goods and people in Milo James Fowler's Immaterial Evidence. This novella is a blend of old-fashioned noir in a futuristic, science fiction society filled with robots and advanced technology. Fowler creates a gritty world. Madison is the classic hard-boiled detective, and I found I liked him immediately. He cares about his world and wants to protect those he loves at all costs. The fast-paced storyline and well-wrought world drew me in. I highly recommend Immaterial Evidence by Milo James Fowler.

The Trouble with Flirting by Rachel Morgan
Livi needs to give up her Star Trek DVDs and violin if she is going to become Miss Popularity in Rachel Morgan's The Trouble with Flirting. Not being within the "in" group at school, I instantly related to Livi's quest to remake herself when she went to university, although she had more courage to go through with the transformation than I did. Set in South Africa, I enjoyed reading about the cultural differences and similarities between college-aged students. The brilliancy of this novel lies with the growth in Livi as a character. She makes mistakes and learns from them as she discovers not only who she is but who she wants to be. The easy-going and relatable writing style always pulls me in. Rachel Morgan's books are the type I want to read in one sitting--they're that good--and The Trouble with Flirting is no exception. I'm looking forward to the next Trouble book!

White Lady by Jessica Bell
The shiny blade of the knife is about to fall in Jessica Bell's White Lady. Told from several point of views, the story starts out as a snowball rolling down a mountain and becomes an avalanche of lies and betrayal. The characters are real and raw. Their flaws pull us in, make the characters relatable, and make us feel a tiny bit better about ourselves. The tension builds brilliantly until I felt like I was gasping for air. And that ending--wow! Bell's writing style is sometimes poetic, sometimes gritty, but very real. For an intense read, look no further than White Lady by Jessica Bell.

Horns by Joe Hill
Ignatius Perrish has the devil on his side in Joe Hill's Horns. There were times when I was reading this novel that I didn't know what to think of it. I quickly became attached to Ig as a character. He's woken up to having horns on his head and everyone starts saying these horrible things to him and about him. The more vulgar and mean they were to Ig, the less I liked the book, but I continued reading and am glad I did. Ig grows to accept what is happening to him and finds the strength to be who he has become. At times I found the pace much slower than I like, particularly in some of the flashback chapters, but the current time ones went by much quicker. If you're ready to release your inner devil, then you'll enjoy Horns by Joe Hill.

Girl of Great Price by Milo James Fowler
Charlie Madison is on the case in Milo James Fowler's Girl of Great Price, a prequel novelette to Immaterial Evidence. I love Madison's no-nonsense style. The piece is great noir/hardboiled detective mystery with a futuristic twist. I only wish at the climax that we would see the action instead of hearing about it in the next chapter. I recommend reading Girl of Great Price by Milo James Fowler before reading Immaterial Evidence and am looking forward to more Charlie Madison!

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has never met a more difficult ghost to kill in Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood. Although still a teen, Cas is focused on his occupation: killing ghosts who murder the living. He's determined yet still has a lot of room to grow. Anna was horrifying at first, especially with her John Carpenter's Vampires style of killing. Blake does a great job in twisting the tables on us as far as Anna is concerned. The mystery swirling around Anna and the ghost who killed Cas's father kept me glued to the pages. I had to know what was going on. The characters made me laugh, cringe, and tear up. An intense read, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake is easily one of my favorite reads this year.

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Cas will journey through Hell to get Anna back in Kendare Blake's Girl of Nightmares. Like Anna Dressed in Blood, I was completely sucked into the world. I felt like I couldn't get a deep enough breath as I read, and I raced my way to the end because I had to know what would happen. I enjoyed spending more time in Cas's world. Blake reveals more of the mythology and world-building in this book. Fast-paced and intense, I loved Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake as the first one.

The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Ella Shepherd's perfect, peaceful world is about to be shattered in Beth Revis's The Body Electric. The war may be over, but not everything is as it seems in Ella's world. Ella is a strong, stubborn, and very determined character to figure out what is off. Revis amazes me at how twisty the plot is. Nothing is as it seems, and I quickly learned to trust no one and nothing. The science is fascinating in the world Revis created. My only complaint is I often felt like I was reading a book instead of being completely immersed into the story. If you like a mystery with your science fiction, then read The Body Electric by Beth Revis.


Polar Night's Aleksei Nechayev leaves war-torn Russia in 1917 and makes his way to Alaska. Settling in at a railroad camp, Aleksei comes up against an adversary who seems to know the truth about the newly-turned vampire's identity, and who soon gives Aleksei much more than he bargained for at The Turnagain Arm.
Cover design by Michael Di Gesu

Only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle

Locomotive wheels screech to a halt. Potters Creek, Alaska is nothing more than a small camp set up alongside the tracks. A weathered sign dominates the scene.
The Turnagain Arm Saloon
Only one passenger remains and exits.
The early afternoon full moon peaks through a shimmering snow fall as a shadow casts over each split rail. The wind howls, sweeping the cloak of a hooded figure. He follows   the tracks toward the distant saloon. A hulking man crunches through the snow, attracting his attention.
Calling out to him in a foreign accent, the townsman stops in mid step. The stranger catches up and engages him.
The man disappears under the stranger’s cloak.
Blood drips from his lips, and he wipes the remaining trickles from his mouth. After disposing of the body, the mysterious figure continues on his journey. He glides through the snow as if on a sleigh, leaving no footprints behind.
*          *          *          *          *
Within a short period, he convinces Vasyl, the owner of the saloon, to hire him. Aleksei charms everyone he meets. But soon mistrust enters every tense line on Vasyl’s face as others disappear, and his wife falls under Aleksei’s spell.
The classic game of cat and mouse continues, but who will win?
Is a mere mortal any match for Aleksei?
A spark ignites within Alexei after yet another of Vasyl’s attempts to disgrace him.
This man knows of me. He must be a witch. Aleksei laughs. You are no match for me or my plan.
About the Author: 
Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. Julie is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Cincinnati Bengals. She is a life-long animal lover and an animal rescue advocate and shares her home with her rescued dog and cat.
Julie’s published novels include the paranormal thriller Polar Night and the historical ghost story The Ghosts of Aquinnah. Both are available from Ink Smith Publishing. Polar Day, the sequel to Polar Night, will be published by Ink Smith in January, 2015.
Julie is a proud member of the speculative fiction writing group Untethered Realms. Meet the rest of the group and explore their books at
Please visit Julie at her website at or contact her by email at She can also be found on Twitter at @JulesFlanders.

Enter to win one of two prize bundles featuring a $15 gift card and an ebook copy of The Turnagain Arm.


Although I have shown off the cover for People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors, I now have the finalized cover art. I'm waiting for my print proof to arrive so I can finish the final proofread.

Release Date: December 9, 2014
Add on Goodreads

YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.

Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.

Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Find Medeia
Blog   |   Instagram   |   Twitter   |   Add VITAMINS AND DEATH on Goodreads


Secret of the Souls by Terri Rochenski
Soulless by Crystal Collier
How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein
The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Twisted Earths by Untethered Realms authors
Ghostly Gallows by Gwen Gardner
The Initiate by M. Pax
Secret Keeper by Gwen Gardner
Eternal by C.C. Hunter
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Dorianna by Catherine Stine
Tunnel Vision by Aric Davis
Fight Dirty by CJ Lyons
Hell’s Fortress by Michael Wallace
The Ice Cream Man by Katri Lipson
The River Is Dark by Joe Hart
The Lost Empress by Steve Robinson
The Turnagain Arm by Julie Flanders
White Lady by Jessica Bell
The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton
Witch Lights by Michael M. Hughes
Liesmith by Alis Franklin
Fire in the Blood by Erin M. Evans
Tales from High Hallack, Volume 3 by Andre Norton
Frontier Resistance by Leonie Rogers
Claiming Carlos by Rachelle Ayala
Talon by Julie Kagawa
Whisper the Dead by Alyxandra Harvey
Secret Catch by Cassie Mae and Jessica Salyer
Scarlet Magi by Nicole Zoltack
Love Before Honor by Nicole Zoltack
The Vines by Christopher Rice
The Carnage Account by Ben Lieberman

As the third Wednesday of the month, it's time for another chapter of Reborn to be posted on Wattpad. You can start reading Reborn here or read Chapter Eleven here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Chat: Guess the True Statement and Win White Lady by Jessica Bell


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell's latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

In White Lady, Sonia’s ...
a. obsession with numbers is the only thing that helps control her urge to kill.
b. son, Mick, is really good at helping Sonia control her urge to kill.
c. urge to kill is controlled with yoga.

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.


*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she's rehabilitating herself as a "normal" mother and mathematics teacher, it's time to stop dreaming about slicing people's throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne's leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she's determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover's daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia's back. It isn't long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia's motive?

Click HERE to view the book trailer.
Click HERE for purchase links.

Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#IWSG: 10 Tips for Formatting Your Ebook / Wattpad Wednesday: Reborn Chapter 10

10 Tips for Formatting Your Ebook

You wrote, edited, and polished your manuscript to perfection. It took months or years to get everything perfect. Whether you self-publish your book or go with a publisher, it helps to know some formatting tricks so you can have a great looking book beyond just a great read. These ten tips correspond to Microsoft Word.

1. The Show/Hide button is your friend. It’ll reveal the hidden formatting within your document.

2. One space after a sentence-ending punctuation (or quotation) mark.

3. Never ever use Tabs. Seriously. Don’t do it.

4. Set your indents.

5. Styles will keep your formatting the way you like it through a .doc, an .epub, and a .mobi file.

6. Don’t leave extra spaces after a paragraph.

7. If inserting an image, be sure to position and wrap in line with the text.

8. To create a linked Table of Contents, you will need to use bookmarks and hyperlink.

9. It is better to use page breaks for chapters instead of hitting the enter key multiple times.

10. Set your em dashes (—) and ellipses (…) through symbols.

Having a great base for your manuscript will make formatting much easier for yourself and formatters. And if all else fails, clear out your formatting and start over in a fresh document.

Books recommended:
Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker
Design and Upload Your ePub: The Steps to Your Success by Cheri Lasota
Indie Author Survival Guide by Susan Kaye Quinn

Websites/Software recommended:
Microsoft Word or something similar
Calibre (convert files to other formats)
Sigil (an .epub editor)
Jutoh (an editor and convertor of files)

Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia.

I give permission for this publishing topic article to be used in IWSG to Publishing and Beyond.

IWSG was created by the Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit the IWSG participants, please click here.

It's time for another chapter of Reborn to go up on Wattpad. Click here to start at the beginning or here to go to Chapter Ten.

Time's almost up to get Twisted Earths on pre-order and obtain your free Untethered Realms' authored book for free. Click here for purchase links and more details.

I'm one of the hosts of the 2014 Realms Faire coming November 10-14. I'm hosting an event titled Riddle Me This. Each day during the Faire, I'll post a riddle about a mythological creature. Anyone can play and those who guess the creature will be entered to win a prize pack. For more information about the Realms Faire, click here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Writing Update: October Goals

Happy Wednesday!

I've finished my final edit and first two proofreads of People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors. As soon as I get my final cover art from my brilliant cover artist, then I can purchase my print proof and finish my final proofread before publication. While I'm waiting on the print proof, I plan to write Remarked.

Here are my October goals:
  • People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors - Once I get my print proof, I will do my print proof proofread, make changes to the document, and upload the final draft to Createspace. I'll also create my e-copies to upload. I plan to put People of Foxwick on pre-order (ebook only) with an official release date of December 9, 2014. During the pre-order period, people can purchase the ebook for $0.99, for a savings of $3.00. I'll press publish on the print book close to December 9th.
  • Remarked - I hope to finish the first draft of Remarked, then finish People of Foxwick, and then type up and edit the second draft of this novella. I hope to send it to my alpha readers by the end of October.
My main goals revolve around People of Foxwick first and then Remarked second.

What are your goals for October?

2014 Stats
40,533+1900 Words Written
2622 Pages Edited
*Stats taken from 1/1/2014-9/23/2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bookworm News / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 9


The Rifters by M. Pax
The Challenge by Cas Peace
Cataloging and Classification for Library Technicians by Mary L. Kao, MLS, PhD
Even in Death by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie


The Rifters by M. Pax
Moving to Settler, Oregon may be more than Darlin Dae "Daelin" Long bargained for in M. Pax's The Rifters. This short novel hooked me from the first chapter. The action moved fast paced, and the mysteries never ceased. Daelin was easily one of my favorite characters with her quirky expressions, such as "in all the dictionaries," to the fact she was taking the town's library job. As a librarian, I have a soft spot for them in books. Earl was rough around the edges, and his enigmatic ways kept me a tiny bit distanced from him. The town of Settler is unlike any town I've encountered, and I loved the world Pax has created. Part-fantasy, part-science fiction, part-steampunk yet completely enthralling, The Rifters by M. Pax is the start of a great new series.

The Challenge by Cas Peace
Sullyan's and her friends' battles are just beginning in Cas Peace's The Challenge. I fell in love with the world Peace created in the first trilogy Artesans of Albia. From the magic systems to the different realms, I enjoyed understanding more about the world created. The book started out strong for me, but then again, Taran is one of my favorite characters and the reason I fell in love with the very first Artesans of Albia book. He's honorable, caring, and has so much room to grow. Yet as I read, the pace slowed to a trickle and Sullyan started getting on my nerves. I almost gave up reading, but I'm glad I pressed through because the pace picked up and roared full-steam until the end. I still want to throttle certain men in the book for their idiotic behaviors, though, and perhaps do worse to the main loathsome villains. The Challenge by Cas Peace is the start of what looks like an intense new trilogy.

Cataloging and Classification for Library Technicians by Mary L. Kao
I read Mary L. Kao's Cataloging and Classification for Library Technicians to learn more about cataloging.  Although a good basis for library terms, I found the writing to be dry, boring, and a tad overwritten and repetitive. The book has some history of cataloging and talks about the basics of what every book needs to be cataloged, but I wish it had more about MARC records and LCC numbers. Even though this book came out in 2001, I was surprised it didn't focus more on computer-based cataloging as opposed to card cataloging and the like. Cataloging and Classification for Library Technicians by Mary L. Kao is a good start for a librarian learning cataloging, but perhaps something more current would be more useful.

Even in Death by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie
Death is not the ending in Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie's Even in Death. I enjoyed every single story in this collection. The voice pulled me in, although a couple stories I had to read slower to figure out which character was which. Some stories brought tears to my eyes. Some made me laugh. Some were fraught with tension and left me guessing what would happen until the very end. This collection was a great mix of contemporary, paranormal, and horror stories. Death may be a central theme to Even in Death by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie, but hope and life find their way through times of death in these stories.


It's here: MOSAICS, book 2 in the Track Presius mystery series is finally here! And to celebrate I'm giving away a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Aaaand three Kindle copies of the book for the next three winners.

 So, what are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway, then go grab your copy, grab one for your mom, sister, dad, spouse, and nephew, and go read. Just leave the lights on. You never know. ;-)

 MOSAICS is book 2 in the Track Presius mystery series, a hard-boiled detective thriller with a genetic twist. CHIMERAS, book 1 in the series, is a 2014 Readers' Favorite Book Award finalist.

MOSAICS (Track Presius #2)
Dubbed the Byzantine Strangler because of the mysterious mosaic tiles he leaves at the crime scene, a new serial killer is stalking the streets of Los Angeles. Racing to decipher the code encrypted in the tiles before the killer strikes again, Detective Track Presius faces a new challenge: the "awakened" genes that make his vision and olfactory sense so sharp are now taking a toll on his life. When a new set of tiles appears in his own backyard, Track makes a chilling realization: those very same genes that are threatening his life are drawing the Byzantine Strangler closer and closer. The line between hunter and hunted has suddenly blurred. Will Track be the next piece of the mosaic puzzle?

CHIMERAS (Track Presius #1)
Haunted by the girl he couldn't save in his youth, and the murder he committed to avenge her, Detective Track Presius has a unique gift: the vision and sense of smell of a predator. When a series of apparently unrelated murders reel him into the depths of genetic research, Track feels more than a call to duty. Children are dying -- children who, like himself, could have been healthy, and yet something, at some point, went terribly wrong. For Track, saving the innocent becomes a quest for redemption. The only way he can come to terms with his dark past is to understand his true nature.

BIO: E.E. Giorgi is a scientist, a writer, and a photographer. She spends her days analyzing genetic data, her evenings chasing sunsets, and her nights pretending she's somebody else. On her blog, E.E. discusses science for the inquiring mind, especially the kind that sparks fantastic premises and engaging stories.


Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another…  

When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice.  But when her beloved violin teacher disappears… Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms. 

But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma's family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini?  

Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him.  And undo the curse that torments her family—before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier's apprentice…

To Purchase: Amazon

Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium.

Torn by Laney McMann
Mad Dog Justice by Mark Rubinstein
Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly
Secrets of Honor by Carol Kilgore
Death Knocks by Jay Noel and Miranda Hardy
Private Internship by Kitsy Clare
Second Death by Gwen Gardner
Being Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman
Party Games by R.L. Stine
Feuds by Avery Hastings
Confessions from a Coffee Shop by T.B. Markinson
Something About Love by Elana Johnson
First Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn
The Trouble With Flirting by Rachel Morgan
Phobic by Cortney Pearson
The Test of Time by Nicole Zoltack
Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Get Even by Gretchen McNeil
Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
The Girl from Nowhere by Christopher Finch
Kodiak Sky by Stephen Frey
Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither
Shug'ah by Imani Writes

As it's the third Wednesday of the month, it's time for another chapter of Reborn to be up on Wattpad. You can start at the beginning here or click here to read Chapter Nine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Chat: My Summer Trip to Settler, the setting of M. Pax's The Rifters

I don't go on many trips, but when the opportunity came to visit Settler, Oregon, I knew I had to visit. The plan was to spend the weekend at Leeds Motel, but the owner had recently died, so the motel was up for sale. Instead we ended up at Blackes Ranch Resort and Spa.

Boy, you should see the Oregon Trail shows! It puts playing the Oregon Trail game to shame. And you don't have to worry about losing part of your party either. Or do you? Settler is one mysterious place. The locals have been talking about strange happenings. People disappearing. Dying. But you don't have to worry about those things at Blackes Ranch Resort and Spa. The resort is top-notched.

With so much to do at Blackes, I didn't see much else in Settler. The stargazing stole my breath. I'd never seen so many stars out before. It was like those nature scenes on the TV show Survivor where you see millions of stars.

But my favorite part about my trip was the fossil digging. I found no T-Rexes, but I did take home a thunder egg.

The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke decides to make a new start and become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens and sends him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves forty years off his age, forty years to live over again and atone for what he’s done.

Starting over is hard to do. In current day New York, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon. Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. On top of it all, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust.

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.

The Rifters is available for free. The second book in the series, The Initiate, will be available October 20, 2014. It’s up for preorder for a special price at iTunes, Amazon, and Nook. Check HERE for links. Giveaways and events are ongoing through October 31, 2014. Check HERE for details.

M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds, plus other novels and short stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons  to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. Learn more at

An Excerpt from The Rifters:
Earl’s vigil ended. His girl came home. It had to be her. He stood, ready to run down into the clearing and embrace her, but the angle of the head gave him pause. Silhouetted by the blue energy, the arrival had a long beak. Yes, a beak. Definitely not Charming.

“No.” Earl slumped to the ground and scrambled behind a boulder. Once concealed from the visitor below, he raised his binoculars.

The figure came into focus illuminated by the moon and the rift. It wore a mask with goggles over its beak. Green mist poured out of it in a breathing rhythm, and it had the tail of an eel. The thing stood like a human with two arms and two legs in the usual places. It set down a gyroscope, a metal orb of rings, some full rings, some partial, before the gateway. The gyroscope spun, siphoning energy from the pillars, energy reaching for a crystal in its center. It spun faster, faster, faster until the crystal began to glow. A disturbing shade of green.

The beaked thing from the rift shrieked, which came out as a bubbly burp, an odd sound to go with an odd sight. It kept burping, stopping periodically to sniff at the wind. It continued with its strange behavior until the moon started to set, which deepened the shadows of night, stretching them to distorted patches.