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My name is Sandy. I am Catholic. Besides religious topics, I am interested in politics. This profile is really to showcase my ideas. In the words of St. Bernadette, "My job is to inform, not convince."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Flu

Hey, everyone!

Well, I got... the flu.  Being sick totally delayed my plans, and I had to stop writing for a while.  Now that I am on the mend, I hope to get back into writing at the same pace as before.  With four chapters left to write and editing to do, I would like to release Wicked Love sometime in January 2015.  There were a lot of unforeseen delays in writing this manuscript, but hopefully, it will all be worth it once you read the journey.  Those subscribed to my newsletter will be sent codes to download a free copy.  If you want a free copy of Wicked Love, consider signing up for my newsletter.

God Bless you this Christmas and New Year!

Monday, November 17, 2014

What is Wicked Love?

So, I should start off by saying that... when I finish the second half of the chapter I am currently working on, I will have five more chapters left to write in this installment of the Weeping Willow Series.  A number of themes are prominent in this novel and jump out at you in various times during the journey; love, time, salvation, sin, redemption, loss, sacrifice, etc.

Ultimately, it is redemption through repentance which is key in this story, not time as the blurb would suggest.  There is a call to change that Nalin has been woken up to.  He doesn't remember key moments in his life that made him seek to change, but he is driven by a series of events to recall those instances where he reflected on his own salvation.  There is a touch of acknowledgement that true love is a sacrifice of self and he is willing to sacrifice his life for the one he loves.  I hope that translates when you read this novel.

I am working hard to finish this novel and haven't been writing blog posts as often as I hoped.  My focus is finishing up what is remaining to get started on the next.  I hope to finish this novel by the end of the month so that I can edit and publish it in December.  We'll see.


Why is the book called Wicked Love?
Well, Nalin is basically watching his lost love commit wicked acts which he is unable to stop.  Nalin, although he is called to help Willow by an unseen force within him, doesn't know exactly how to help her and is forced to put his own life in jeopardy to save her.

Who is more wicked, Willow or Nalin?
Both Nalin and Willow have done bad things in their lives that need to be rectified.  No one's hands are clean.  Both have been condemned by others.  Nalin in his battle for immortality and his quest to create life outside of the natural order.  Willow's sin was not in being born, because that was beyond her control.  But her birth made her a curious creature, and her own actions will be foretold in the book.

Is Nalin the only one in need of change?
No.  Everyone in the story will become unhinged in some ways.  Characters that were once voices of reason... like Rosalyn, will seem unable to control their conflicting emotions.  Characters that were dark, like Daphne, may come to see the errors in their ways to a certain degree.  Even Nalin, who is consumed by blood lust, will have to exert some control in order to seek help.  But, for Nalin, the first step to real change is knowing that there is a problem and asking for help.


I hope you all love this book as I do.  There are a lot of recollections that will take you back to the first stories.  For some, this will evoke the need to read them over again.  I want to thank all of those who have posted reviews on Barnes and Noble for the short stories.  Yes, I know they are short; hence, short stories, but your love of the characters made me realize that there was more to tell about Nalin and Willow's world.  And a special thank you to those who have read the stories multiple times!  Wow!  I am always surprised when people read my work and find it interesting, but to read it multiple times, that is just the best compliment.  Thank you!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

YA Novel Malcontent Free

In honor of my birthday month, I have given those within my mailing list the opportunity to download Malcontent, book three of the Restraint Trilogy, for FREE.

The way the Restraint Trilogy works is that the beginning is the end and the story works its way towards the revealed ending.  Malcontent is the third book, but as the other books, it is really the beginning of the nightmare that ensued in the lives of three women.

If you log into Smashwords.com, you can download Malcontent for free by using a coupon code.  This code will only work for the month of October.  Please share with anyone who might be interested in reading a YA vampire novel.

The code is: GT94R

Wicked Love Book Update

Hey, Everyone.

Wicked Love is now over two thirds of the way completed.  I am currently writing the final twelve chapters.

My editor is in the midst of editing the portion of the book which has been completed.  When I hear back from her, I can get a sense of what needs to be corrected or changed.  I would love to finish the last few chapters within the next month so that I can have it edited and released by  November.  However, I would rather produce an amazing book than rush an underdeveloped story.

I have decided that the end of this book will have a wedding ceremony for Willow and Nalin.  This ceremony will give way to the cliffhanger that will lead people towards the next book.  Traveling to other realms will also be key, both within this book and the next one.  I want for readers to experience other creatures that are alluded to in prior writings.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Status Update on Wicked Love

Hey, everyone!

I just wanted to update everyone on Wicked Love since I do read the reader reviews on B&N, and there have been a lot of you who can't wait for the next Weeping Willow installment.  I am happy with all the positive reactions to the short stories and the novel.

Wicked Love is coming along. I have already written about 35,000 words in the past month and a half which was half of my projected word count for this project. I will definitely have to increase that word count. I am fast approaching the halfway point of the book. My editor has read the first third and enjoyed it.

Contrary to what people think, Wicked Love will not be the end of the series. There will be at least another book or two left in this series. I have to make sure Willow and Nalin travel to all the realms at least once.

You won't have to wait so long for the next one. I plan to start writing it as soon as Wicked Love is done.  I just got the idea for the plot of the next book, so I would love to continue writing about these two characters and hope you guys continue reading.

Thanks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ginger Program

Hi, everyone.

I wanted to share with you a new find on the internet.  I have an amazing friend who helps me edit my work, but there are always things which escape the human eyes.  I noticed some small errors in the Wicked Magic manuscript so I was looking for a grammar program online.  I found Ginger.  Ginger is free if you download the basic edition.  So, what is Ginger?

Ginger is a typing program which focuses on grammar errors and highlights them, offering a suggested change.  The program is super simple.  You just open it and start typing.  Or copy and paste.  You can write a little or a lot.  It can also be downloaded as a phone app, making it easier to make grammatically correct online posts.  I would recommend it for those writing blog posts down to writing essays for school.  Of course, nothing is fool proof, and some of the suggestions given to me were things I did not agree with, but it was worth it for what it did catch.  I love that it highlights things which I can look up grammar rules for late.

I used Ginger to look over the Wicked Magic manuscript and found a few minor flaws.  What I love is that it gave me options for phases which sounded correct but could be better said.  The updated manuscript has been uploaded to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  Other bookstores will get the uploaded manuscript in the next few weeks.  Barnes and Noble told me that if you archive the book, and then when you un-archive it, wait for it to download.  It should download the new version.  If it doesn't redownload with the green bar, do it again.  For Amazon, the same thing should do the trick.  For Smashwords, it is a simple download of the newest book version.

Download Ginger

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wicked Magic Free?

Hey, everybody!

I wanted to know if anyone is interested in reading a free copy of my book in exchange for a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble.  You can basically copy and paste the same review to all three sites, but the requirement is that the review has to be on all three.  If you can paste it on Smashwords, that would be appreciated.

Book three of my Weeping Willow Series, Wicked Love, is due to be released in October, and I wanted to drum up more reviews for Book Two entitled Wicked Magic.  Book One is a compilation of two short stories which are available online for free all year long.  Those stories will have to be read before the book.

This YA series is about warrior Elves and does have battle scenes, but ultimately, it is a love story between warring races.

I will provide the codes for a free download Smashwords, but if you don't have an account, tell me when you contact me and we will figure something out.  If anyone is interested, please get back to me at smadera23@yahoo.com by August 5th, 2014.

Please enter your email in the white box on the right side of the screen, because a similar opportunity (concerning Wicked Love or the Restraint Trilogy) may be available in the future to only those receiving my newsletter.

Thank you,
Sandra Madera


BOOKS INVOLVED:

Weeping Willow Stories (which have to be read before Wicked Magic)
Weeping Willow (Part One)
Weeping Willow (Part Two)

Wicked Magic: A Weeping Willow Novel

Friday, July 25, 2014

Join Mailing List

Hey, everyone.

Just wanted to remind all my readers of my monthly newsletter.  If you would like to join my mailing list to keep up-to-date on upcoming works or receive exclusive perks, enter your email in the white box (on the right panel), in the appropriate box on my website, or send your email address with a short letter, stating that you want to be included, to smadera23@yahoo.com.  Besides receiving a FREE PDF copy of Scattered, those added to the list will be given exclusive freebies!

Thanks!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Editor's Comments

Hey, everyone!

I just got some comments from my editor.

She is of course surprised by Willow's darker turn. I think most of the audience will be. She has become a different character somewhat. At the end of the last book, she was in Hades and in the clutches of the Dark King. This book takes place right where that one leaves off. So Willow's circumstances only get worse from there.

Nalin will take more of a starring role in this novel. I know that there were only a few chapters dedicated to him in the last book, but in this book we will see Nalin at the forefront.  Other realms will also be brought up which will add to possible avenues in the future.

It is dark and many will be surprised by Willow's decent. My editor is quite attached to Willow's characters, but in the Realm of Disorder anything can happen. Anyone can be killed off and anarchy can rule for a time before peace returns. I am not killing off Willow or Nalin, but the danger of losing other characters is possible. I hope this book will be more exciting that the first.

Thank you for following. Keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making Believable Characters: Heroes and Villains

Hello, everyone!

I was looking for inspirational quotes, and I came across this quote from Stephen King. The quote was a snippet about the writing process, concerning the building of characters, which is something that challenges authors today. The challenge lies in how to build a character to the point that the lines between reality and fiction blur, making them so real that they are almost palpable.

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose” – Stephen King.

So it made me think about heroes and villains in general. When I used to watch Disney movies, villains didn't have much of a back story. They were bad.  The main characters were the heroes who were inherently and annoyingly good. It didn't matter why. Good always battled evil and came out winning. There is something in our nature that harps back to this ancient battle of good versus evil.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Progress Report for Wicked Love

Hey, everyone!

My computer has been causing me some major issues.  I have had to resort to wiping out everything and installing factory settings.  However, that has not solved the issues that I am having.  I wouldn't be surprised if my computer is on its last legs or if it has a virus that is effecting the keyboard.  This old thing has served me for five good years which is about the longest lifespan of any laptop I ever had. So it is fine.

It has delayed me from continuing to write Wicked Love, but I am forging onward.  I am almost ready to send the first few chapters to my editor, and start the second third of the book.

I have also been preparing July's newsletter.  It contains a teaser about a special treat I have in store for those special readers who have reviewed my work.  More details in the newletter which will be mailed out on the first of the month..

Thanks to everyone for all of your inquiries and support. Please be sure to leave a review for any of books and sign up for the newsletter.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mailing List

Hello, everyone.

I added the mailing list feature on my website and my blog.  It can be seen on the right-hand panel.  All it takes is to enter your email and you are all set.  Emails will be sent out no more than once a month with updates, promotions, freebies, etc.  This will be a good way to keep track of new releases.

Those who sign up will get a FREE PDF version of Scattered.  More freebies are planned for the future but these will only be offered to subscribers.

Please be sure to sign up!

Unedited Wicked Love Prologue

This is the complete and unedited prologue for Wicked Love and cannot be reposted or copied without direct permission by the author. So, read and enjoy, but please do not repost.


Prologue:

On my Earth, there was a myth about willows. Curiously, my mother would often recount it to me before she tucked me in at night. When I learned my true name, I recalled it faintly as it bubbled up from the back of my mind, but I pushed it away, not wanting to face the truth. It took me a long while to realize that this story from my childhood would inexplicably shape the course of my life.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What's Up Now

Hello, everyone in cyberspace! I hope all is well. Things have been getting better as far as internet connection and such...so I am able to post again.

So, one thing I have been working on is a post about character building based on a quote I read by Stephen King. So that might be published on Blog Critics before my actual blog. Eventually, I will post it on here so look out for that.

Everyone knows I am writing Wicked Love right now, but I was thinking of starting an email list so that I can communicate with readers about what is new, freebies, release dates, cover reveals, etc. I am going to be working on adding that to my blog. If you would like yo be added to my emailing list, you can waiting until I install the tool or email me personally at smadera23@yahoo.com. Each person who signs up will save themselves $0.99 by receiving a FREE copy of Scattered.

I updated my wallpapers on my website, www.sandramadera.com, so that is a fun thing to check out. I have one of my wallpapers on my computer as a desktop and it looks lovely...I must say. :)

Another thing is that since I posted the initial preview of Wicked Love, I finished the prologue so it is longer and more detailed than the version put up on the last posting. I will add the whole prologue as apart of a future post.

Remember to keep posting reviews and spreading the good reading on to friends. Your review or referral could be the difference between someone reading my work or missing out entirely!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Uhhh.... Time Warner Cable kills me!

Hi, everyone.

If you haven't guessed, air have Time Warner Cable which has been experiencing some technical difficulties with their WiFi in my area. So I haven't had internet since yesterday morning.  I am stuck using my phone data as I write this.

This outage came in the middle of updating my website and zazzle account. It drives me crazy! This comes as results of the ranking of cable providers were announced. Time Warner was ranked dead last.

Once the internet is up, I will update some images (wallpapers and bookmarks) and some things on my blog. Malcontent has been published as a softcover and I will update the links on my website. Right now, it is available on Amazon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Smashwords Sale Codes

Today is the first day of Smashwords Sale, and in order to add the books of the Restraint Trilogy in your cart for $0.99, you will need a coupon code.


Buy Lament: A Restraint Novel for $0.99 at Smashwords.
     Coupon Code: PT72G

Buy Malcontent: A Restraint Novel for $0.99 at Smashwords.
     Coupon Code: ED73R


With these coupons, the entire Restraint Trilogy will be under $3.00 US which is less than you would spend buying Malcontent at its regular price of $3.99. Take advantage of sale this weekend and remember to leave a review after you have read the books.  Thanks!



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Smashwords Sale!

Hello, everyone.

As a special treat to honor the release of Malcontent, I will be putting Lament and Malcontent on sale for $0.99.  That means that each book will be less than a dollar each for a whole weekend.  If you have not read this series, I invite you to while it is on sale.  Smashwords, for those that don't have an account, is great because it offers all formats, including .epub for Nooks and .mobi for Kindles.  The sale will take place this weekend, from Friday the 18th to Sunday the 20th.

As for finding out about upcoming sales and releases, there is a way to follow all of my blog posts by entering your email on the right of the screen.  Please be sure to use that option, because I plan to announce a sale before the release of Wicked Love.

Have a happy holiday weekend filled with many blessings!  Thanks!


My Smashwords Page

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Download Scattered Free!

Hi, everyone.

From today until the 3rd of April, Scattered will be FREE on Amazon.com to download.  This opportunity comes around once every few months where I am able to put it up on Amazon for free.  It is not something they offer for more than five days at a time.  There have been people who work around it.  I have, personally, not figured out a way how I can do that for a work I want to post exclusively on Amazon.  If you have any suggestions, please post or forward them to me.

Scattered is a psychological thriller/murder mystery.  I am so proud of it.  I really believe it is one of my best works.  Give it a try and please share your thoughts by adding a review to Amazon.

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wicked Love Preview

Hello, everyone.

Now that Malcontent is out of the way, I decided to start working on Wicked Love last night, and I have already written the prologue.  I decided that I wanted to offer the readers that have been waiting for the next installment a tease of what is to come.  I know you guys have been foaming at the mouth after waiting so long for this next book, but I promise that it will be worth the wait.

I decided to post the prologue on my blog rather than put it up on Feedbooks as I have in previous years, because others take that work and put it on other sites, conning people into believing it is the full book.  These secondary sites cannot be trusted as some actually promote books for download but actually cause you to download a virus.  So, hopefully, posting it here is a better option.  Let me know what you think about the prologue or the post.

Thanks!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Malcontent Published!

Hello, everyone!

Malcontent, the final book in the Restraint Trilogy, has finally been published on Smashwords and Amazon.  It will be available very soon on BarnesandNoble.com.  The upload on that site has been giving me some issues so it will have to wait until tomorrow to work out the kinks.

I have really grown to love these characters, and I'm sad to say goodbye to them; yet, I am happy with the final outcome. Malcontent was the hardest book for me to write. It seemed like a giant puzzle piece that I had to make work in so many aspects, but the result was worth it, and now I can put these characters to bed.

Onto the next project... Wicked Love: A Weeping Willow Novel.

Thank you!



Malcontent is currently available for purchase at... Smashwords and Amazon.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Update on Malcontent

Hello, everyone.

I am happy to report that, after months of writing, I am finally on the final chapter of Malcontent.  This project took longer than expected because it was actually 50% longer than I projected.  However, I could not be more pleased with the outcome.

I will be finished making the final adjustments by tomorrow and then it is time for editing.  I hope to release it by March 3rd on BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and Smashwords.com.  Within a month's time, it will be found on all other online retailers.

Thank you!


***UPDATE***
3/4/14 - As of today, I have edited two thirds of Malcontent. I am waiting on my editor to read over the last third. After that, it will take me a day to make those last corrections. I hope to have it out at the end of the week.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Phoney Downloads

It has come to my attention that certain internet sites claim to offer my book, Lament, free to download in various formats. Take CAUTION with these claims.

These sites are phoney and the only thing you will download is a virus on your hard drive. Emails to these sites bounce back because their contact information is deliberately incorrect which is a sure sign of inappropriate action that shows their need to remain hidden.

My novels are not available for free and are encrypted to prevent piracy. I will always sell my work from reputable online bookstores. These sites will claim audiobooks and certain versions which do not exist. For the sake of your computer, download my work from a proper online source.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Q/A: How Do I Write A Great Book Review?

Q: How do I write a great book review?

A: Excellent question!  There are some people that write something like "great book" and call it a day, but a good review has different elements.  A great review contains these elements.  I may miss some things that people like to post in their reviews, but here are a few tips I live by when writing reviews on Barnes and Nobles or Amazon.

I would like to mention that some people post summaries of the literary work before writing their opinion.  That can be a mistake.  In writing your summary, it can give away critical plot points.  So, in doing this, take caution.

There can always be more to add to this process of reviewing.  For short reviews, I prefer STOOW: Star Rating, Titling Your Review, Opinion of Key Characters, Opinion of Plot, and Worth Reading Value.

Inspiration Behind The Collector

Hello, everyone!

I am going to caution anyone who hasn't read The Collector here. What I am about to write may contain spoilers or be close to the plot... So if you haven't read it, read it and then return to read this post.
I wanted to talk about how I was inspired to write The Collector. I think that by talking about this part of the process it will, hopefully, encourage others to find inspiration in their lives or help the reader to relate to the themes within the book.

First of all, the idea for The Collector came way before I started writing it in 2013. It actually started back in 1996 when I had a dream that jarred me. It was so real that when I jolted awake... I didn't know where I was for a long minute. I spent months thinking about the dream and what it could have meant. I researched castles in Scotland and stories of the Green Lady in that part of the world which happen to be very popular. I always thought the dream would make a great story so I decided to write it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Yearly Novelette for 2014 is...The Collector

Hello, everyone!

Happy New Year!  Hopefully everyone has a wonderful 2014 in front of them with continued health and blessings.

Every year I release a free novelette/short story for my readers.  This new year is no different.  I'm releasing The Collector.  This story has been a long time coming since it is loosely based on a dream I had many years ago which I still think about.

I am currently going over formatting for publishing my work on Smashwords.  It should be published by the end of the day and within a week or two at other online bookstores. Please be sure to download it and leave a review.  Your reviews are important to me and other readers who don't know whether or not to give indie authors a shot.

Again, have a Happy New Year!

Download The Collector here