New Video Reading and Art Update

I finally got started on the cover art for Maelstrom of Fate this afternoon. So far, I have the background done. It has to dry fully before I start on the other images. I’m going with acrylic on canvas board again.


Granted, this part went quickly. I kept the brush rather wet to blend the four pigments used. I was trying to give the effect of a whirlpool. As you can see, I used masking tape and paper to ensure a clean border around the painting.

Here is the second video reading from The Daedalus Enigma.



Video Reading from The Daedalus Enigma

Yet another busy weekend; not so much on the writing and book production front, but productive nonetheless. We replaced the carpet in the cats’ room with vinyl tile: easier to clean. (Cricket-of-Boundless-Energy has earned the nickname “Spootz”.)

The only progress I’ve made on the cover art for Maelstrom of Fate has been to mask off the borders on the canvas board I have for the painting.

The only other accomplishments this weekend have been to record and edit this week’s video reading and to complete a hidden object game and bonus game I started last weekend.

Without further ado, here is this week’s reading selection: the Once Upon a Tide… from The Daedalus Enigma, Sirens at War.

Lotsa Kinda Important Stuff!

First: THE BANNER HAS ARRIVED! This is my first ever professionally created signage for promotion of my books.


I am extremely happy with how it turned out (and the height of the stand, which didn’t look that tall on the Vistaprint website, but was the only style available for this size vertical banner).

The manuscript for Maelstrom of Fate is complete with the exception of the addition of the last two red shirt winners. That drawing will be held at LibertyCon at the end of June. The current word count is 77,251… subject to change upon revisions and edits, of course. For instance, MS Word tends to count the asterisks I put between scene breaks (which are converted to little skull and crossbones in the finished books) as words.

I hope to get started on the painting for the cover this Memorial Day weekend. I already have the concept and image layout in my head.

There will be a new video reading from Hell’s Dodo later this weekend.

I am now fully stocked with 10 full sets of books for LibertyCon; I also have a fresh batch of author cards to give out.

Okay, I think that covers everything for now. If I think of something else, I’ll let you know.

Here’s a random pic of Star to send this off. (Louie is photobombing in the back.)


It Is Done (Roughly Speaking), and Other Interesting Shi…, er Stuff

This will probably be my last blog post of 2016. I’m ready for this killer Bi*** of a year to go away now. It’s killed more people than Cecil B. DeMille.


Lotsa stuff to cover here, so strap in and pay attention, kiddies.

First: I have finally finished the rough draft of Maelstrom of Fate. I will probably tweak the hell out of that epilogue when I do first revisions; but it is down on paper now, so I can set it aside for a well-deserved break. I may be adding another convention to my line-up this coming year: Hallowcon has moved to a venue considerably closer to me. (It used to be in Dalton, Georgia and has moved to a hotel in East Ridge, Tennessee… just a few blocks from where LibertyCon used to be when I first started attending it.) Since it falls on the last weekend in October, I think it would be a fantastic venue for launching Maelstrom of Fate.

Okay, I realize that was technically two items. Deal with it.

Next: There is a new interview on my About page and a new review of Blood Curse on its page, both courtesy of J.B. Garner. You should visit his site and check out his books. Seriously.

Moving right along: The Daedalus Enigma has been entered in the 18th Annual Preditors and Editors Readers Poll in both the Horror Novel and the Science Fiction/ Fantasy Novel categories. The poll is free; although you have to give your email addie to finalize your votes, you do NOT get spammed… EVER; and it ends January 14. They do limit you to one vote per category (if you vote for more than one book in the same category, only the last one voted for counts).

Every book in the Waves of Darkness series has placed in the top ten in Horror Novel. Please help make that happen for this book, too. I don’t get any money for placing, just bragging rights and a digital badge.

Build-a-Blog news: Over the next few weeks, I will be adding to the Readers’ Refuge section of the site. Expect the Once Upon a Tide as well as a few other selections from The Daedalus Enigma to show up for your reading pleasure. I will announce them here on the main blog as/when I add them.

Artistically Speaking: I’m still in the mental planning stages of rebuilding my old Steel Rose Gallery. I will probably build it as a WordPress site simply because of the ease of organizing it like I want it.

I also have a good idea of what I want to do for the cover art for Maelstrom of Fate. I just hope I’m up to the challenge and can get Viktor looking like I want him to.

I’m a slacker: I still haven’t started the serious research I need to do for There Is No Arizona.

I will, though; I will.

Red Shirt Contest: Just a friendly reminder that it’s not too late to put your name in the hat. So far, I have all of six people willing to let me attach their name to one of the three remaining Royal Marines doomed to die a horrible death in Maelstrom. One will be drawn at Chattacon; another at ConNooga. Names of contestants remain in the pool until the last winner is drawn at LibertyCon. You can do so in the comments here, on Facebook, or on Plurk.

Other convention news: I finally bought my membership for ConNooga. I also just today confirmed with the Chattacon program director I would be available for panels.


Approaching Endings… and Beginnings

Yeah, I know that title sounds ominous. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere and neither is this blog.

The approaching ending I refer to mostly is that of the rough draft of Maelstrom of Fate. I anticipate finishing this draft sometime this week. I am currently writing the final chapter (with a possible epilogue). Once I finish this book, I will have finished the main storyline arc of the series.

I do plan to write further books with Viktor and crew featuring as the main characters, but that is a few years down the road. Understand that these characters have been my companions since I started working on the research and story concepts for the series back in 2006. We need a break from each other, and I have several other projects which have been back-burnered in favor of my pirate-turned-vampire.

Primarily, I intend to add episodes to and continue to polish The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe (my Steampunk project) in preparation for shopping the serial to publishers. I also plan to seriously delve into research for There Is No Arizona (my dystopian project). I NEED to get that book written while it is still ficticious (before these twits we keep electing or re-electing can make it reality, in other words). Eventually, I may revisit my fantasy novel A Dream of Water, but it isn’t really pounding on me, nor are a few short story ideas which have been floating around in my head for a few years now.

Add to all that the fact my husband has proposed the idea for an illustrated children’s book with the potential to go series that I agree might prove a commercial success.

I’ve also considered reopening my long-ago shuttered Steel Rose Gallery and get back to illustrating, fan art, and portrait commissions. I’ll have to check into a few different platforms to see what would be the best fit for what I have in mind. The old one was on I will NOT be using that one again (if they even still exist, it has been that long ago). They held my site hostage for exceeding the allowed free bandwidth (it got too much traffic). The site would be shut down most of the month a lot of the time, because I refused to pay for more bandwidth.

If I do go ahead with the gallery, I’ll have to rescan a lot of the artwork. The old files were stored on the old Mac of the site’s former webmistress; ergo, I doubt she even still has them. (I didn’t have a scanner back then, was using an old refurbished PC, was NOT tech savvy in the least bit, was still writing AB:VH fanfic directly into email for a Yahoo group, etc.)

Print Book Update and Fun With Giant Spiders!

I’ve received and approved the .pdf galley for the print version of The Daedalus Enigma from my publisher. I’m just waiting for the print edition to be uploaded to the printer.

Since this book is considerably longer than the previous books in the series (about 20-30k words longer), the retail price for the print version will be $16.99 USD, one dollar higher than the other books. Pricing is controlled by my publisher and the printer. I only have control over any special sales I may run at the various conventions I attend/sell at.

Which reminds me, I still need to preregister for ConNooga. I’m just waiting to hear back from the chair of the writing/author track about available panels and whether or not they will be providing authors’ alley tables. If not, I need to see if any table spaces are still available to buy. If not, I’ll go back to book pushing with a few copies of each book loaded into my roller bag.

Now for the Fun With Giant Spiders segment of our program! Arachnophobes need not read below this point.


Spider Girl by Bloodfang15 ~ Deviantart

Oh wow! I didn’t dream I’d find such a perfect illustration for what I pictured in my head.

I’m sure many of you have heard the term “Jumping the Shark” in reference to when a TV show crosses the line of having even semi-plausible plotlines. My husband has a similar phrase for movies or books which just don’t pan out in the end, where apparently the writers copped out: “Giant Spider.” This originated from his reaction to Stephen King’s It.

Well, just for shits and giggles, I decided to incorporate a giant spider of my own into The Daedalus Enigma. Only I made sure that it was plausible within the parameters of the storyline and actually fairly early in the book rather than a cop out ending.

Have fun finding her and learning how Viktor deals with her.

mwahahahahahahahahahahaha! evil-lagh



Red Shirt Update and COVER REVEAL


First, I would like to congratulate Michelle Oesterling for winning September’s Red Shirt contest…. She was the only entrant.

I blame my timing of announcing the contest for the lack of participation. That’s the bad thing about posting something on Facebook. If you do so when the people you want to see it are asleep, away from their computers, or don’t check their notifications regularly, it WILL get missed.

That being said, I still have three Royal Marines to give names to. Since this is for the book due out October 2017, I plan to hold drawings for one spot each at the three conventions I regularly attend: Chattacon, ConNooga, and LibertyCon. I will reopen the contests in December for the Chattacon spot to be drawn in January, in January for the ConNooga spot to be drawn in February, and in June for the LibertyCon spot to be drawn at the end of that month. If entrants of the first two drawings so desire, their names will be kept in the pot for the drawing for the final spot.

I will repeat this announcement in December as a reminder.


Now on to the cover reveal for The Daedalus Enigma.

The Daedalus Enigma cover.png

I am surprised the texture of the canvas board shows so much. It didn’t show up that much in the print I scanned in and sent to my publisher.

I am debating making prints of the painting to sell at my table at Chattacon along with my books.