Flying a Kite, a vampire village, about Networking and stuff on the desk, new and coming releases

Although in many areas it's too cold to fly a kite, such thoughts of a National Kite Flying Day on Feb. 8 encourage kite making and flying. It's liberating to get ready for spring this way!

I've found some uplifting quotes about kites below to celebrate this popular hobby.

1. "Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country." – Anais Nin

2. "Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it." – Winston Churchill

3. "You need to grab your dream out of the sky like it's a kite and pinch the string through your fingers until you reach the spool." – Augusten Burroughs

4. "Love without friendship is like a kite, aloft only when the winds are favorable. Friendship is what gives love its wings." – Sherry Thomas

5. "I am a kite in a tornado, but I have a long string." – Karen Marie Moning

6. "My mind was in my heart, anchored like a bright kite in a safe place." – Elizabeth Berg

7. "Like a kite Cut from the string, Lightly the soul of my youth Has taken flight." – Takuboku Ishikawa

8. "I went to my doctor and asked for something for persistent wind. He gave me a kite." – Les Dawson

9. "Art is like a kite. You have to pull the string hard in order to stretch it to its limit, but you don't want to pull it so hard that you break the thread, because the thread connects you to the land and its peoples." – Wu Guanzhong

10. "The wolf dreads the pitfall, the hawk suspects the snare, and the kite the covered hook." – Horace

Networking Online.

When I first published Children of Stone I was 65 years young. It was a retirement present to myself. I’d chosen to be a stay-at-home-Mom despite my feminist lady friends scoffing that I was not living up to my full potential. (This is an article and a sermon for another day) I later on became a certified teacher but never was fully employed as one due to unproveable ageism. I was a substitute teacher for 13 years. In the background I sold items downsized from three estates on e-bay and I wrote and wrote and wrote. So I sprang from the head of Zeus like an armorless Athena in 2013 with humongous 1500 page book to self-publish and absolutely no marketing or technological knowledge as it pertains to the selling of books. At my age, even though longevity and reasonable clear-headedness runs in both sides of my family, I thought self-publishing was my only option. The alternative was scouting about for an agent who felt my writing was worth the risk or a small press which might be willing to publish for a price I personally considered risky, but could not guarantee my success. After breaking the book into five pieces (four of which have been extensively re-written and published and the fifth is on the way I made several disheartening discoveries, but also learned much. I thought that if I loved my story – thought it was great and a few friends agreed, I’d have a best seller and soon a movie contract. I think a lot of self-published authors stare down that dark hallway at first. But there were hardly any sales, even at giveaway prices. I had a lot to learn. My style was nothing most people in 2013 wanted to read. I didn’t know what a genre really was or a target audience and still have difficulty identifying with people who require such labels and coloring inside the lines. I wanted everyone to read it – or at least everyone over 18 as there were some tough subjects and sexuality. I wasn’t really a reader of fiction. My tastes went toward historical and archaeological research although I had read a few fantasy novels written in the 1930’s and earlier – and Edgar Allan Poe. I joined a local writer’s group and tightened up my prose as well as narrowed down the genre to historical fantasy and Visionary Fiction. Recently I decided to branch into paranormal romance because it can have romance elements but still contain a lot of spiritualism. Technical issues. To me the internet is for Google and Word is a fancy typewriter. I had to learn marketing but the most basic tutorials were already far above my level of understanding. So things like websites, working with a PA, a store, mailing lists, Amazon pages, Google forms, entering competitions, live shows (before Covid shut them down) wide markets and social media were beyond my comprehension and generally still are. My choice was to either give it up and write for my own amazement, or keep trying new things. I rode the wave of takeovers but more than sales it brought me friends who could teach me things piecemeal – How to create a teaser, interviews, how to work with Youtube and Zoom, what people are reading and a few trends. I learned most people want shorter books so I began writing for fantasy anthologies, an anthology for readers under 18, and have branched into a romance anthology. The kicker? I’d never written a short story until 2018. I also learned to co-write stories in LARP style in Black Rose with Mark McQuillen, Mara Reitsma, and Davina Purnell. Take one or more of your characters and make a crossover story Through it all, my growth as a writer was related to my asking questions, and networking with other authors. My latest project is “Thursday with an Author” which is like an informal one-person takeover where an author invites friends to my site and I invite my own members. In many cases my guests have gotten new readers and possible a bump in sales. So far I’ve had three VFA members: Branwen O'Shea, Theresa Crater, and Jodene Turner come to display their wares and talk about their work. What’s the ROI? I invest my time and my cheering you on. I might buy and review your book since I read all genre. The return? I learn a little bit each time about support and companionship rather than sales and a direction for growth. Growth - That word again. We network, we write, we commiserate we cheer and we move forward. Here’s to our growth together

Prompts, goodies, and inspirations

One of the things I frequently read about in discussions with writers is the use of magical tools. These aren’t bell, book and candle, but things that help us focus on writing or on our day at the office (if our company allows) When my children were small and attending parochial school we used to have community bingo. That’s when I first became aware that people other than myself used “prompts” or tools. The players always brought a particular snack or kewpie doll or stuffed animal or other toy – even a cross if they were religious in the traditional sense. These focal items or good luck charms are essentially magic tools similar to the ones we give our fantasy characters. My Children of Stone characters have their stone imbedded in the third eye, but also carry the balance of un-hosted stones and crystals. Music too, can set a mood. Some writers I’ve asked require silence and sound cancelling headphones. Others like myself with undiagnosed ADHD need a focus or nothing happens. I use different YouTube melodies (most are meditative frequencies but some are tuneful or exciting like Skyrim tracks. My current music choice as I work on my paranormal romance short story is filled with highland-ish melody that reminds me of an Appalachian morning. Here’s a link if you are curious. When I wrote “Ana’s Dream of Flying” I put on music from very early Motown hits. When I am writing Children of Stone I use jewelry prompts pictured as well as Egyptian sounding meditation music, particularly when I am writing the ceremonial parts. The necklace has a story that goes back to a trip my friend and co-meditator Annette made to Mexico in 1973. We stopped in a shop that had tumbled stones and gemstones. We had always used red glass flattened marbles as meditation prompts but I needed one that said “me”. We pawed through the pile. She found a good red one and a blue. I found a curiously shaped piece of black goldstone. In a dream I saw the final form and had a jeweler create it. The result was a woman’s face surrounded by serpents and below, either her breasts or praying hands. The face is also a million stars like goddess Nut with a rift or portal on the face from which inspiration comes. All these years later is still has much positive energy. The jewel case came from my son-in-law when he went to Egypt. The hotei “buddha” isn’t really a buddha but does stand for prosperity and joy. It’s a small version of one we had for years in our back yard until the elements destroyed it. I don’t know if it worked. Our family isn’t overly wealthy, but we’ve always managed to keep out of debt, so maybe that’s a plus.

Coming soon just for Valentine's Day but always Free - Kaleidescope Hearts 3

13 authors tell 13 short stories of love.

My entry?

"The Figment" - A post Covid love story that takes place somewhere between dream and reality, in a quirky mountain village with a handsome stranger. Is he real of just a figment of her imagination? Look for the ebook wherever you buy them soon! Print to follow!

During the past 2 weeks I read this book: The Dead Game - Bk 1

by Susanne Leist

In the small town of Oasis, Fl, people come to relax and get some sun. A few settle and work in the tourist industry, at shops and B&B's.

The regulars throw a private party at End House once a year. Nothing seems out of the ordinary until tourists start vanishing and one turns up dead on the beach.

Linda Bennett and her friends are invited in classic horror movie style and find themselves thrown into a war of supernatural forces and beings vying for control of not only the village but Earth itself. There are illusions, tricks, magic, traps good and bad vampires and half vamps and those they thought were friends are not what they seem. Great horror, The story picks up steam toward the end, feeding into later books in the series.

A Familiar Murder: A Paranormal Cozy Mystery (Oxford Magic Kitten Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

by Rosemary A Johns 1-28-21

Welcome to Oxford’s Magic Kitten Shelter for Familiars!

My name’s Astra. I’m single, love familiars, and am also a witch whose demon cat has more magical ability in his paw, than I have in my entire body. When I inherit my great-aunt’s ramshackle mansion in the sleepy village, Witch Hollow, which nestles in Oxford's shadow, I seize the chance to break free from my family. Even if Witch Hollow is the most paranormal village in England...

Now, along with my black kitten, Satan (angel on the outside, devil on the inside), I’ll show everyone that a new witch is in town.

Yet the opening event of my new business to rehome abandoned familiars ends with a witch’s death. When the hot Earl Sin, a dragon shifter and my elite neighbour, turns out to be the supernatural Sheriff of Oxford, how can I prove that I’m innocent and also save my familiars?

One-Click now and decide which familiar you’ll adopt today!

A Familiar Murder is Book One in the Oxford Magic Kitten Mysteries cozy mystery series. Start reading to escape into magic, mystery, and laugh-out loud fun!

Purrfectly Bound: Paranormal Dating Agency (A Maverick Pride Tale Book 6) Kindle Edition

by C.D. Gorri Lance is a single guard in the Maverick Pride, but this Tiger’s about to lose his stripes! Lance Jacosa has spent his youth working his way through the females of Maverick Point, but something is wrong, and the young stud has lost his mojo. It’s a good thing Gerri Wilder is down for a visit and she’s brought a friend with her. Annalia Reese has agreed to accept help from her neighbor, the owner of a dating agency, but Shifters? Is the curvy female willing to take on a guy with a Tiger-sized crush? Find out in Purrfectly Bound. *Fast-paced, insta-love Shifter romance for lovers of paranormal romance

Tangled Up In Blue (Grey Gulls Landing Book 1) Kindle Edition

by S.I. Hayes (Author), J. Haney

Sutton‌ ‌Bishop‌ has always dreamed of a career in law enforcement. After years stuck in a loveless marriage she finds herself divorced and a top graduate of the Academy. She is determined to juggle her life as a mom and a new recruit to the Steel Head family even if her partner is an ornery jerk. A sexy ornery jerk. Marcus Cameron was once an esteemed member of the K9 unit, until his canine partner was lost in the line of duty. He’s hardened his heart and tightened his britches in an effort to move on. Tasked with a babysit, he just wants to do the job and go home so he can drink and fish. When the pair encounter a key player in an ongoing DEA/FBI investigation, it doesn’t matter how unhappy he is or how green she may be-all bets are off and hearts toe the line as they find themselves tangled up in blue.

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