Friday, December 20, 2013
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have opened a shop at Zazzle. I have and will continue to add merchandise for my novels. As of today, I have updated my website to include these items and a link in the bar above which will take you to my Zazzle store. Please check it out and continue to look out for more items the coming months as I plan to add more things.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
By now everyone knows that it is impossible for an author to place any work on Amazon for free for more than five days. I have seen works marked free for longer, but I can't figure out how it is done. I usually post my short stories on Smashwords for that reason. Yet, I decided to post Scattered on Amazon.
I have put Scattered up for free, but it expired after five days. So since I have waited three whole months to get the right to post it for free again... I am spreading the news that after Christmas I will be making Scattered free for another five day period. Please download it and leave a review to help me spread the word.
Friday, December 13, 2013
I am happy to report that I have roughly eight chapters to write for Malcontent. The projected word count exceeded my expectations. The final book might end up 5,000-10,000 more words than I originally thought. This book will mark the end of the Restraint Trilogy and conclude a journey that began for me when I dreamed with these characters a little more than 16 years ago. It is both a sad and happy event.
I know that many people are interested in knowing details of Wicked Love. Wicked Love will pick up exactly where Wicked Magic left off. In Wicked Magic, Willow was the main protagonist, but Nalin will take the lead in Wicked Love since he must first remember his lost love and then rescue her like all good heroes do. I want to have it out by mid-2014, but if I can have it done sooner, then I will release it earlier.
As soon as I am done with Malcontent, I will begin work on Wicked Love without delay. In fact, I am pretty eager to get started. There are a lot of great ideas I have that I can't wait to get started on.
I have written a yearly novelette for 2014 entitled The Collector. Look for it in January 2014 in Smashwords first and then in other online bookstores.
To all those who left reviews and recommended by books to friends, thank you for helping me reach those who wouldn't have otherwise come to know my work.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
I just wanted to update everyone on my progress. I am currently in the middle of writing Malcontent which I have projected will be about thirty chapters and about 60,000 words. I am finishing up chapter twelve right now, and I have reached the 58% mark, meaning I have written over 30,000 words. So, I am expecting the novel to run long.
Although it is a horror trilogy, at the root of Malcontent is the love story between William Carter and Louise May Reynolds. I hope to make a believable love story in the midst of the thrilling world of those who are familiars.
I am writing away and hoping to release this novel in record time so that I can start Wicked Love. I can't wait to start focusing on another novel featuring Willow and Nalin.
Thank you to everyone that has left great reviews. I assure you that I have read them.
Please look for me and add me as a friend on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Until the next time...
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I just started a Google+ Community called YA Independent. I was looking for a place online where YA Indie writers can connect with Bloggers and Readers. There was no such community on Google+.
The point of YA Independent is to connect people. YA indie authors, bloggers, and readers can interact with each other. The goal is to connect readers with their favorite indie authors and authors with their audience. Bloggers can also reach their target audience while discussing reviews and connect with authors who can provide them great reads in return for a review.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I updated my Facebook community page. I had a personal page, but my community page was unfinished because I thought that it shared the same data as my personal page since they are linked because they share the same account...but I guess not. Anyway, I am updating it and will add info on upcoming books on my community page so if you want to be up to date on book releases or promos, it would be worthwhile to add me.
Please LIKE my Facebook author community page.
Please FRIEND ME at my personal Facebook account
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I updated my website, adding reviews for Shattered. For some reason that was a task and it took quite a while to rework the page.
I also decided that The Collector will be the yearly novelette for 2014. It will be published free to all online bookstores on January 1st.
I added some more book descriptions on Goodreads. Goodreads just doesn't add a book automatically when its published so I added Scattered and all the books that are to come in the near future. Please be sure to add them all to your reading list if you have a Goodreads account.
Scattered is #11 on Amazon's Top Free Short Stories . Thank you all for downloading it. And special thanks to all the new readers for giving my special brand of fiction a try! I hope you won't be disappointed.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Just wanted to let everyone know that Scattered has been published exclusively on Amazon. For the next few days, it will be FREE to download so please download it quickly. Amazon does not work like other online publishers. Works cannot be published and free to download. Amazon gives me five free days per a ninety day period. So please take this opportunity to download it. Otherwise, after this period of five days, the price will be set at $0.99 for the next three months.
Download it here: Scattered on Amazon
Please leave reviews and feedback once you have read it. I look forward to hearing your reactions to the plot twists.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Well, I published Scattered with Amazon and there is a problem. I can't place the story for less than $0.99. The other problem is that I can place it on sale, making it free, but only for five days in a three month period. Which doesn't make sense because I see books which always seem to be free. Another issue I ran into is that I am placing the book on sale and it is not showing it on Amazon.com. It says it is scheduled, but I think it needs to be approved. Publishing a short free on Amazon is really more trouble than it is worth. I am going to keep trying to make it free for all.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Well, I have come to a decision after watching a YouTube video online about how to make a work free on Kindle. I have decided that I will publish Scattered exclusively through Amazon.com. It will not be published anywhere else digitally. I should have the short story up by the end of the night since all of the work is done, and I just have to add a few details.
If you do not have a kindle, do not fear! There are kindle phone and computer apps that will allow you to read the story from most portable devices. I had to put in a price of $0.99, but it must be approved before I can make it free. So it should be a day or two.
Scattered is similar to, this years novelette, Shattered in that it is a murder mystery. I hope all of you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thank you all so much for your continued support, and I look forward to your reviews.
Rebecca Ardsley was a witness to a traumatic event that she cannot remember. All she knows is she was found wandering in the woods in the early morning hours, suffering from shock. She hasn’t seen her friends and family in months. When she is released from a recovery facility, she finds it hard to adapt and return to the friends she has known her whole life. Feeling like a stranger in a foreign land, Rebecca realizes the only way to settle what happened is to release the memories that are trapped in her own mind. Even at risk of her own life.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I have been thinking of publishing a short story exclusively for Amazon. There are several problems with that.
For one, Smashwords where I have posted my other short stories has yet to reach a deal with Amazon in regards to publishing literature on their site. That is not the case with Barnes and Noble and other online bookstores. I have no problem publishing on Smashwords who then sends it to most online bookstores. The issue is...Amazon doesn't publish them.
Another issue is that Amazon will not allow me to publish it for free. I would have to charge at least $0.99. I don't feel right doing this, because my stories were always meant to be free teasers that would help readers decide if they liked my brand of storytelling. I currently sell one of my full-length novels for that price so it seems odd to publish a story which is a quarter the size for the same price. However, I would like Kindle users to also try my stories.
Amazon does offer a way to place the work on sale once it has been published exclusively through them, making it free. That would mean that this particular story wouldn't be published on any other site. It would be exclusive to Amazon.com. That is not such a huge problem except that I don't know how long I can keep it for free and my audience largely uses other sites to download or purchase my work. However, the objective is to try to gain Kindle readers.
So, I have been thinking of publishing my short story entitled Scattered. I just haven't figured out if I will publish it in the coming week with Amazon. Or wait and make it my yearly novella. I am going to research more about it before I come to a finally conclusion. If I do decide to release it, I will make an announcement within a few days.
Any thoughts, readers?
Saturday, July 27, 2013
My computer didn't fail after all. I can breathe a sigh of relief now.
I have finished editing Restraint. The original was edited by myself. Since Susan, my editor, came to me after Restraint was already released, I didn't ask her to edit it. But now she has looked over everything, and I have already made the necessary changes.
While I have uploaded the files, it will take at least a day for the new copy to upload.
For those that have already downloaded it on their nooks, I was told by Barnes and Noble that when your nook has to redownload it (from not using the file) it automatically updates to the new file. Smashwords always makes the new file available to people who have downloaded the original. As for Amazon, please contact the customer service with that question.
Friday, July 26, 2013
I just tried to start my computer and it won't go past the welcome screen. Might be busted. If it is, it will definitely delay some things and my schedule is already off. I am going to try to fix it. Although my schedule has to be adjusted, I am going to try to finish up Malcontent and get started on Wicked Love for release by the end of the year. I will keep you up to date.
Please keep up your reviews. I love reading them and they are great for possible new readers to see. Thank you!
Sunday, June 2, 2013
During this time, I re-read the Wicked Series by Nancy Holder which happens to be one of my favorites. It is about a battle between a family of witches and a powerful warlock. The first four books were awesome. I was not too pleased with the final book, but it was still worth reading. I read the whole Sookie Stackhouse Series, because I was a huge fan of True Blood. (Last season was horrible though). I also made a point to read, my favorite author ever, Richie Tankersley Cusick's Walk of the Spirits. It was basically about a girl who can see spirits and has to unlock the mystery of what happened to one who continues to plead for help. I liked it, but not as much as I loved her Unseen Series. I mean, I actually ordered the series before it was available in the U.S., having it shipped from the U.K. That series is about a demon who is in pursuit of a girl who it becomes obsessed with, killing everyone she is close to. Interesting, huh? I love Ms. Cusick's writing so much that I purchased all of her novels from my teenage years and read them again!
What can be learned by my reading habits? Well, as you can see, I read what I like. So, a trend can steer your writing choices, but it doesn't always translate to an instant audience. Odds are, when there so many books of one genre, a reader will be looking for a book that is different. Don't worry that the vampire or werewolf thing has been done before, because trends rotate like the earth...they always come back around.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I should have posted this a two weeks ago, but I am posting it now. Shattered has been reviewed by two blogs.
Emma Wolf's Blog: click here to see the full review
"I liked her writing style. The author used a lot of metaphor and imagery that I thought added depth to descriptions."
"I really enjoyed this short story by Sandra Madera. I thought it was really well written, well put together and had a great plot. I was left in suspense throughout the whole story and found myself liking or disliking characters, that in the end were justified."
*As a side note: The Weeping Willow shorts were also reviewed by Book Heaven. To see that short review click here.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Josie Epping also reviewed Wicked Magic a few months back. To read that review click here.
Thank you to everyone for your reviews and continued support of my work. As an Indie Author, it is very hard to get attention for my work. But thanks to bloggers/reviews who are open to reading Indie, it is possible.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have updated this blog.
I added the quarterly poem and mini for Spring 2013. The yearly Novella for 2013, Shattered, has also been added. At the end of each year, these writings will be removed and complied into a downloadable file which you will be able to access for free.
My time will now consist of writing shorts for magazine submissions and finishing Malcontent.
Thank you to everyone who has left a review for any of my novels. I can learn from all feedback, including the bad. If you haven't left a review for any of my works, please consider leaving one today.
If you want to stay on top of each of my posts, consider signing up to the blog by becoming a member on the right of the screen. You will receive a message for each new post.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Lament: A Restraint Novel was just reviewed on the by Nicole on the Books Complete Me Blog. The review was very positive as it was given a rating of five books, meaning "Amazing!"
"Wow! This book is better than the first!...If you want a different view on vampires, or want to go into the past, this series is a good read!"
Sunday, April 14, 2013
I just published Shattered on Smashwords and Feedbooks. It is also posted on the Yearly Novelette tab on the top menu bar for those who don't want to download it.
I need to make a few technical adjustments to it before Smashwords will include it in their distribution catalog and add it to all major online bookstores, including Barnes and Noble. However, I expect it to be added within the next week.
Thank you to all my readers who waited patiently for new work to be published. I am currently hard at work writing Minis and Malcontent. So, look for new pieces in the coming weeks.
Friday, April 12, 2013
So, I wrote a mini short story about the Jersey Devil (don't judge me :P) for a magazine submission, and it was such a good experience, I decided to do it again.
The reason it was such a great experience was because I literally wrote it in one day. A short story should really be like 5000 words or less. The one I wrote today was 1500. My other published shorts are more like novelettes or mini novels of 10,000-20,000.
There is no problem in writing novelettes, but they just take way longer. I think the shortest time I ever spent writing one was a month and the longest was three months. While I love bringing you novelettes and I will continue to write them, I will only release one a year...maybe two, because my priority is my novels.
So, I was thinking of removing my shorts from this blog. Don't worry...Weeping Willow will always be available on Smashwords and B&N for download.
In return, I will add a poem and a mini which will not be published anywhere else. I don't know how many minis I will do. Maybe one a season of any genre. You guys can even recommend one for this month. I was thinking werewolves or ghosts, but give me some recommendations. Remember these will be really short so don't expect anything of length.
These writings will only be published on this blog. NO WHERE ELSE. They will not even be on my website. These will satisfy those fans who are always looking for more of my writing while allowing me time to finish my novels. Plus, they will help me stay in touch with my audience and improve my writing skills.
Look out for these changes really soon. Thanks!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
A: Yes, I do. If I can use real events in time, I will also do that although not as often. I do try not to name the actual building although I will name the location and describe the building.
For example, my inspiration for the house in Restraint was Annesley Hall. I mentioned the town of Annesley through out the book, but never mentioned the hall itself. I developed a fascination with this manor house when I saw an episode of the show Most Haunted. Lord Byron was actually in love with a young maiden who lived in this house. However, I was fascinated by the sightings of a dark, ominous figure, the maid who hung herself in the laundry, and the belief the the house is haunted by a child who fell or was thrown from a window. At one point, this building was a school. The house was also consumed by a large fire back in the 1970's, leaving the outer shell of the derelict building you see above. I used points of this history at certain parts of my story. The child falling from the window was Marcus as Laura dangled him out. The maid was Anne. The dark, ominous figures were the vampires, and the fire opens the story. For more information on the history of Annesley Hall and its paranormal history click here.
Another example is the house the Linda was held captive in Lament. The inspiration for the house in the Isle of Wight, which was guarded by hell hounds, was Arreton Manor. This is another haunted manor I spotted on Most Haunted. It is a bed and breakfast now, but it actually has a long history of being owned by English nobility, including Lord Culpeper (Thomas II) and Edward the Confessor. I was drawn by the sad story of Annabelle Leigh who witnessed her father's murder at the hands of her brother and was killed as a result. This is the inspiration behind Mason Lee's father who was accused of killing his father. The house is also know for its any ghosts of monks, a young girl (maybe Annebelle), and a woman dressed in red. As you can imagine, the ghost in the red dress was my inspiration for the cover of Linda wearing a red dress. For more information on the history and ghostly sightings click here.
Monday, April 8, 2013
I have finally finished Shattered, and I sent to my editor just now. I should be expecting a cleaner copy in a few days. So look out for Shattered in an online bookstore next week.
Now that I have written a short, my time will be devoted to finish writing Malcontent which I would love to have out by early June.
For those of you that have read my stories or novels, I encourage you to leave a review. Your review helps me to gauge what my audience likes and could help someone else.decide to read one of my works.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
A: Yes. This is actually not uncommon. Have you ever looked up your name to see what it means or its origins? It is not uncommon for expecting mothers to pick up a book of baby names and choose based on popularity, meaning or general like of a name. There are even some online baby name indexes.
For example, Nalin really does mean "lotus flower"and the lotus really does stand for peace. Alexis, as in the main character of Sangre Falls, is another form of Alexander/Alexandra like my name, Sandra, and it means "helper of mankind." All the characters of overboard have either a first or last name that has something to do with water, whether sea, pond or ocean.
Some authors choose a name because a publisher tells them that is a good name for a character. Other authors choose a name because they like it or have some connection with it in their day to day lives. I like to choose names I like, but they need to have meaning within the story, too. It adds dimension to the characters. If a character is considered a villain, I want them to have a name that is strong. It can mean strong or dark or black. Brenna's, a character in Overboard, name means "raven or dark-haired."
However, some names I choose for personal meaning and not public ones. I chose most of the characters names in the Weeping Willow series based on nature. Everyone knows the willow tree and how it appears to be drooping as if in sadness. My uncle, who is no longer with us, lived in a house next to a willow tree, and it was alive with the sound of animals. When the breeze moved its leaves, it actually sounded like it was weeping. This fit with the character of Willow since she was always in predicaments that would keep her from attaining happiness.
So, next time you pick up a book, think about whether the character's name means something about their personality or position within a story. Sometimes you may be able to spot the villain without having to read or unlock a secret that can only be confirmed at the end.
Friday, March 15, 2013
I just wanted to fill everyone in on what is going on. I, like most Catholics around the world, have been glued to my television, watching the Conclave. So, work on Shattered has been slightly delayed. I am working on finishing it up. I am on the final few scenes. Then I will send it for editing.
I have the first five chapters of Malcontent, and when I am done with Shattered, Malcontent will be my priority. I hope to finish it in May, but it could be later in that, depending on any delays that may pop up.
From then on my focus will be on writing Wicked Love and another manuscript I hope to send to publishers. Wicked Love will be out on Ebook and Paperback formats. I haven't determined a release date but it will be out by the end of the year...maybe a few months earlier. I am eager to write the follow up to Wicked Magic. I think this one will be filled with more action and revelations...and, hopefully, a happy ending. Maybe a wedding or maybe another cliffhanger, but I hope to make it better than the first.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
A: Think outside of the box, duh! Readers had seen and heard everything. Even though you may be writing in a genre that they are well read in, add a new element that they weren't expecting.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I just wanted to give everyone an update. I have finished Scattered and sent it off to my editor. Hopefully, the story is cohesive enough for magazine submissions. If not, I am in for some rewrites. So, while one manuscript is being edited, I have begun another. I have started writing Shattered which is my new short that will be released to the public for FREE via all major online bookstores. It feels really good to write new characters and to put these ideas, which have been floating in my head for quite some time, onto paper. So, to tease you a bit of what is to come. I posted the first scene below as well as the books blurb.
Thanks and continue to leave those awesome reviews!
Identical twins, Miranda and Nastasia Moralez, couldn’t be more different. Being the head of the cheerleading team, Natasia is the most popular girl in the school. Miranda is not, taking photographs in her spare time for the school paper. Life is normal until a tragic accident takes the life of one twin. Miranda quickly realizes that the car crash that took her sister’s life was no accident. It was planned. Now, Miranda has to find out who wanted her sister dead before she succumbs to the same fate.
Story Excerpt (Unedited):
The impact was enough to throw my body up against the steering wheel, knocking the breath out of my lungs with a single blunt force. The sound of my ribs cracking echoed through my ears like the sound of branches breaking in a silent forest. Opening my mouth to scream, both in pain and panic, my voice was silenced by my own fear, blocking my airway like an obstruction.
Without warning, there was a turning and a sound of metal being crushed like a tin can under a great weight. Within an instant, my world spun around as if I was in a blender, cracking all the glass windows. Then the splintered windshield shattered. Small pieces of glass rained on me like drops of water suspended in air. Each shard was as sharp as a dagger, stabbing me all over my body.
My head and shoulder hit the roof of the car as it slammed into the asphalt. Whimpering, I fought to regain control of my body, but when the car turned a final time, my forehead crashed into the steering wheel. The force was so great my head ricocheted off, causing the back of my head to hit the car seat. With my body beaten and broken, I could not move to shelter myself from the blows.
When the car came to a complete stop, it was on its side. The hideous shrieking of metal rubbing on asphalt evaporated into the air, and I was left in utter silence. Struggling to breathe, I managed to cry out for help before I lost consciousness and drifted off into nothingness....
Monday, January 14, 2013
I updated the short stories tab of my website. I added cover art and blurbs for The Collector, Scattered, and Shattered. I finished writing The Collector, but I submitted it to a literary magazine for consideration, and one of the stipulations is that it must be previously unpublished. So, I cannot release it to the public as of yet. I am currently writing Scattered which I will also submit for consideration for another literary magazine.
Shattered is the next short I am going to write, and that one will be released to the public as a free download. I don't have an exact release date. It really depends on how fast I can write. These are not the only shorts I have in mind, but these are the first ones I am writing.
I have to also make video trailers, because it is something I like to do for all of my works. They may not be added to the website for another month or so, because my focus will be on my shorts and Malcontent. I am going to try to get more done this year than last year. That should have been my New Year's Resolution!
Remember to leave reviews for all the works you have read, and join me on facebook and twitter!
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
I hope everyone had a joyful holiday season.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I have finished writing my new short The Collector. It has not been released to the public, because I hope to submit it to literary magazines this month. The feedback process can take months, but if it is rejected, then I will release it for all to read. The blurb for it is on my website.
I am working on another short entitled Scattered right now and hoping to really get the ball rolling with Malcontent. I have been eager to put an end to the Restraint Trilogy and get started with Wicked Love, but Willow fans will have to wait until later in the year for news on that project. I hope to have a short available to you for free before the release of Malcontent so you guys wouldn't have to wait so long for new material. Maybe it will be a Willow short. I can definitely write about the small sliver of time after the stories ended and the novel began. We'll see.
I wish all of you continued health and happiness for 2013!