Monday, December 3, 2012

Submitting Shorts

Hi, everybody!

I know I have a lot of short story lovers out there that are looking forward to more. I had planned to write a free short every year. I still want to do that, but I am looking into submitting stories to literary magazines. This could help me to reach a much larger audience later on. However, most magazines want stories that have a small word count and have never been published before. So, I cannot submit the stories I have already written. That means I have to write some more and submit them without publishing them.

I have collected a list of magazines that seem right up my alley. I am currently writing a short that is based on a dream I had. It is based on a Scottish castle and has to do with the legend of the Green Lady. Right now, the project is entitled The Collector, but that title can be subject to change. I plan to submit that story. If it were to get rejected, then I would release it to the public around the time I release Malcontent. However, release date will vary because response time for a magazine submission can take weeks or months.

Update everyone soon.

Malcontent Preview

Hi, everyone.

I just posted a three chapter preview of, my upcoming novel, Malcontent. The preview is free. As I understand it, there is no need to make an account with Feedbooks if you don't want to. You can just download the pdf.

I am very early on in the writing process, but I was eager to share with everyone what I have written. The preview is located on (see the link below).

For those who do not know what Malcontent is about, it is the story of Louise May Reynolds before she elopes with William Carter. I hope that this book will have horror, suspense, and more romance overall.


Raised in a world where the first born are often sacrificed, Louise May Reynolds believes it is her destiny to appease her family by entering into an arranged marriage. However, Louise May struggles as she finds marrying Bryan Froster, a powerful and ruthless vampire prince, revolting. In her discontent, she tries to devise a way out of the union, fearing the only way to truly be free of Bryan Froster is death. Scared of turning her back on her family and the clan, Louise May struggles inwardly between what others expect of her and what she wants for herself. Until, she rebels against everything she has been raised to believe. Secretly vowing to escape a life of servitude, she risks disturbing the balance between vampire and servant which can cost her more than she can even imagine. Can Louise May turn her back on her family in order to follow her heart?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Malcontent Update

Hi, everyone.

So, I wrote five chapters of Malcontent and passed them onto my editor. I like to edit as I go and get her feed back. She loved it so far which is great. If she didn't love it, she would definitely tell me. She has been looking forward to Malcontent for a while.

Once corrections are made, I will post a preview of the book on Just put my name in the search and it should come up after I post it. I like to publish the first chapters to tease my audience, but also so readers can decide if it is for them.

Look for the Malcontent Preview on soon. The Restraint and Lament Previews are already up if you haven't already read those.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Hi, everyone.

I just wanted to update everyone on what I have been up to. I have started to write Malcontent. I am about five chapters into the projected thirty. I hope to really get the ball rolling on it this month, because I would like to have it out by January. I am really eager to end the Restraint Trilogy. I have been imagining these characters in my head for years, and I am ready to move onto some of the other ideas I have.

I have also written some of Wicked Chemistry. This is a Weeping Willow short that will only be available in paperback form with the two original stories. Although I haven't established a projected publishing date, I am eager to get a new short story out there. I have a lot of ideas for shorts, and I want to try something different. However, I don't think I will get started on that until I am finished with Malcontent.

Remember that your feedback is valuable. I do read your reviews so don't forget to leave them! I love all of the great reviews for Weeping Willow, but if you have read the other shorts or novels, please leave a review. You might encourage someone else to read the work or write a review. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dear Reader,...Oh, no you didn't just say my story was demonic!

So, I am a little frustrated. I can deal with a little criticism, but nothing disturbs me more than people that assume things. I like to read my reviews from time to time to see how the audience is receiving my work. Basically, I am looking for the reason people love it or hate it. The other day I checked Barnes and Noble and someone actually wrote that, my story, Weeping Willow was evil. This is the exact review:

"Noooooo dont get this book!

I think this book is the most un-godly book ever! If your a man or woman or child of god or eny person realy, dont get this book!!!!"

Now, I have no problem when people can't relate to the stories I write or if they have a problem with grammar. Those are things that are legitimate. But to say that I write "un-godly" stuff is just crossing a line with me personally.
I think whoever wrote this comment needs to consider their words. Personally, I am a devout Catholic and read scripture. I pray and take such things very seriously. I don't appreciate the insinuation that I would write something that would lead people astray.
It is a fantasy story! Elves are not evil beings nor do they really exist. Fantasy is a genre that allows the writer to imagine worlds that don't exist anywhere but their imagination. As I am religious, I like to make people consider their beliefs. As a matter-of-fact, there are many Christian messages in the Willow series that happen to become more obvious in the novel. But in the stories, Nalin is actually labeled a villain for how he went against nature to create Willow. He was punished for taking life into his own hands. Does that sound like any moral issues we are facing in this country? YES!!!
There are issues of race between Elves. Over and over, it is written that the races will be united because such conflict shouldn't exist. Does that sound like any social issues we are facing in this country? YES!!!
The Oracle, in the novel, is blinded by her own need to predict the future and the reader becomes unsure of anything she predicted in the past. Was she dictating one's destiny or the puppet master in peoples lives? Makes you doubt whether to trust her psychic abilities. Does that sound like something the bible warns people against? YES!!!
I could point out more, but why? I think I made my point.
So, before you write that my writing is "un-godly", I think you need to re-read the work and then delve a little deeper into what it actually means. I am bringing up a lot of issues that are currently being debated or fought over in a subtle way that allows the reader to see my opinion on what is morally right and wrong. No one that commits an evil act goes unscathed in the series. Although no one is totally good, no one is totally bad based on actions alone. Isn't that the Christian way? You can't have forgiveness and redemption without first sinning and repenting such is the case with Nalin. Think about it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Q/A: Creating Realistic Characters

Q: How can I create realistic fictional characters?

A: It is important to remember that you are not a flat or one dimensional person. You have a multitude of feelings, and each one is like the facet of a diamond. Just like you do not have one emotion all the time, your character should not have one emotion all the time. During the highs and lows of the plot, your character's emotions should reflect that.

It is important to create a life history with your characters. Who are they? What have they lived through? Where did they come from? What are their dreams and aspirations? These are things you should have an idea of. You should know everything about their physical appearance. The way their eyes glitter when they smile... The way they crinkle their nose when they laugh... These are things you should keep in mind when describing the character within the story.

You should also have a good grasp of the physical or emotional struggles of the character. Think of your life. All of your relationships aren't always pleasant. Use that in creating your character. If you can use one of your relationships as an example, then it would make the plight of the character more realistic.

There is a lot of talk in reviews about showing, not telling, a character's emotions. That means instead of saying the character is scared, you should depict what they are physically going through. The accelerated heart rate... The blood pumping through their veins... The sweat dripping from their brow... Showing is the best way of capturing your audience and pulling them into the story. They will feel they are apart of the story which is exactly what you want as a writer.

Aspects that give your character a sense of reality is capturing their habits or quirks. For example: In Weeping Willow, when Willow gets frustrated, she rakes her hands through her silky hair. You may have a few habits or quirks that can be incorporated into your character. A habit can be seeking a quiet place when things get tough or slamming doors. A quirk can be pursing one's lips. It is just something a character does without realizing it which makes it more believable.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Hi, everyone.

It has been a little while since I have posted. After finishing Wicked Magic, I got sick and decided I needed a break to rest. I took practically the whole month of August off from writing to just get that extra rest I needed from being physically drained. Now that I am rested, I intend to begin writing Malcontent and Wicked Chemistry.

Malcontent is the third and final book of the Restraint Trilogy. It is due out early next year. Maybe earlier if I am hit with divine inspiration.

Wicked Chemistry is a new Weeping Willow short that takes place between the original shorts and the novel. It will only be available in paperback format with the other shorts. No projected release date for that yet.

Sales for Wicked Magic have been great, but for those that have read the new novel, I ask that you please leave feedback. It is not only to let others know how you feel but for me to gauge what I can do better. So, please don't forget to leave feedback and spread the word.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wicked Love Trailer

Hi, everyone.

I just finished the trailer for Wicked Love which I attached to the bottom of this post. I love it because it has more to do with love than my other novels. Perhaps even a little obsession. As dark as Wicked Magic is, I hope to make Wicked Love just as dark with a more feelings of love and destiny. So, hopefully it will be more romantic.

However, before I start work on that novel, I have to get started on Malcontent and possible a new short. After a long awaited break from writing, I am eager to get back to it with fresh ideas. So, we will have to wait and see what the future holds.

Thanks for your positive energy and support. Hopefully we can enjoy more great reads together soon! Keep you posted.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Malcontent Trailer and Wicked Magic Review

Hi, everyone.

I just finished working on the Malcontent Book Trailer. I posted it on my website and Youtube for your viewing. I also posted it below.

I haven't been feeling well so I took a short break from writing. But I hope to be writing again soon, because I want to get started on Malcontent and probably a new short.

I just wanted to let everyone know that Josie Epping from Josie's Haven Blog will be reviewing Wicked Magic on her blog soon. She posted a short review on Goodreads (CLICK ON THE LINK TO CHECK IT OUT). So, keep leaving those reviews. I do read them, and I am loving the positive energy!!! I know many people want the short stories to be longer, but I see that as readers wanting more. So, that means I am on the right track. So, sit tight and look out for more works later this year and early next year.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wicked Magic Published

Hello, Everyone.

I finished making the editing changes to Wicked Magic, and it was now in the process of being published in various online bookstores. It should be on Barnes & Noble and Amazon within the next 24 to 48 hours. It is currently for sale for $2.99 on

It will be reviewed soon by Josie Epping, and her review will be posted on, her blog, Josie's Haven. So, look for that soon.

I just want to thank all of the fans who waited patiently for this book. It was truly the hardest book to write for me, because the Willow saga has been out of my realm of comfort. But I got through it, and I am happy with the outcome. I hope you are, too. Remember to leave a review!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wicked in the editing process.

So, today I finished up Wicked Magic and sent it to the amazing lady that edits for me.

It has been a long journey. Wicked Magic has been the hardest book I have ever written, because the fantasy/action/adventure genre is still so unnatural to me. But I am very proud of the outcome. It is darker than the original stories because I drew my inspiration from Dante's Inferno as well as a dream that I had a year ago.

I had planned to release the book back in May of this year, but in order for the book to match my vision, I had to expanded past the 60,000 word limit that I had set for it. The outcome is about 80,000 words. This book might be the start of a long series if the response by the readers is positive so be sure to write reviews. It may not seem like it, but I do read them, and I take what everyone says into consideration.

I am releasing the Wicked Magic within the next week or so in ebook format. I will also be releasing it in paperback within the next two weeks. So, be on the look out for that.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Out with the Old...

I spent the weekend reworking my short story covers. I didn't put much effort in the old covers. Mostly because they were shorts, and I didn't want to waste too much energy creating elaborate covers for something which was basically a free sample. But I decided to make the covers more uniform, and in doing that, changed the covers altogether. Now the cover art is slightly elevated, and, in big letters across the top,  the words "short story" are written. It is just easier than having to explain the shorten length is because it is a short and not a novel.

Eventually, the changes will take effect across all online websites. I have made the changes on my personal website, and plan to add more shorts in the future so stay posted.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Updating Website

I wanted to update my website today, adding upcoming projects that I had in mind for next year. Some of the dates have not been determined, but I will have cover art and book trailers available with them within the next few months. I just wanted to finish up Wicked Magic before I got started on one of those projects.

I hope to have Wicked Magic done and edited by the end of the month so that I can publish it by next month so stay tuned.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Language and Terms of Past Eras

So, I wanted to talk about different terms I heard from period movies, depicting the Regency and Victorian era. I have heard a lot of terms that would seem incorrect for this time, but were actually quite common for that age and region. I have had people tell me when they read Restraint that there was a peculiar phrase, but actually things were just said differently in that time.

For example, in England, it is common to use the word "sterling." In America, we don't use that word unless something is made of sterling silver. However, sterling means brilliant. So, it is not uncommon to hear someone say: "That is sterling!" or "Sterling job!" or simply "Sterling!" Sterling can be interchangeable with brilliant. So, someone could say "Brilliant job!" While in America, we stick to just saying: "Good job!" or "Excellent work!"

Another example is the word "around." In the past, it was not uncommon for people to take a "turn about" the room. It simply means to walk around, but the word "around" was not used. About was a much more common word and there were times it was used in its stead (get it, instead). "Don't look about mindlessly."

Yet another example is when it is said someone "spoke out of turn." That is speaking without the liberty to do so especially in heated situations. Back then, women were rarely allowed to voice their feelings. Women were the property of men and so women were bound to the men they were married to. Men didn't look to women for advice. Women depended on men for everything. This is something that seems foreign today.

These terms or phases can seem odd to us in America, but can be quite common to those across the pond who embrace their history. Remember that in European countries, it is not uncommon to find a manor that dates back to the fifteenth or sixteenth century. They have thousands of years of history. Their history is that rich. I have friends that were born in countries that were ruled by the British or were actually born in Britain. One thing they all have in common... they have a love of history. They watch BBC classic movies, which are based on literary classics, all the time.

In America, our history is not that lengthy. There are buildings that are over a hundred years old, but as far as nations go, we are still relatively young. America declared its independence in 1776 and George Washington became America's first president in 1789 as a member of the Federalist Party. Settlers such as the Pilgrims first journeyed here in 1620. That is about 392 years of documented history. Before that, our history is a mystery. Yes, they have found bones of explorers that predate known settlements, but our history has been lost to us.

I was watching Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly the other day. It is one of my favorite movies. As I watched it, I remembered how I struggled to understand what was being said when I first viewed it. Yes, I understood the movie, but there were weird phrases that I didn't particularly understand. To me, it was like going to the opera. Watching it, you can understand what is going on although everything is said in Italian. Well, watching something from another era is like that for me. I can appreciate it, but I have to watch it over and over to truly understand its complexities.

So, I say... read things that are not common. Don't just move forward without understanding what is truly being said. Take the time to look it up and find out what the author means when they write something that seems odd at first. In literature, it is important to look beneath what is being said to truly understand.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I have mine... Do you have yours?

Received my soft covers in the mail today. Overall I am please with the look. I plan to publish Wicked Magic and the original Willow stories in the same fashion soon. I have all the cover art and the back cover blurbs done.

If you don't have a copy, pick up yours for about $7.00 at

I have been writing like crazy, but I still have about nine more chapters to write for Wicked Magic. Already wrote 2000 words today. I expected this novel to be about 60,000 words, but it may be closer to 70,000.
It will be a crazy but great ride that I hope the fans of the story will enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Literary Inspiration

Ever since I published Restraint, I have heard that my depictions of characters and storyline is similar to Bram Stoker, the Bronte Sisters, Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, and Jane Austen (Yes, it is spelled with an "e" and not an "i"). However, I actually wasn't very inspired by any of these. Although these writers have made a deep and profound imprint on literary history, my actual inspiration is... American.

First, let me start off by going into depth about these historical authors and go into depth about what I know about them.

ABRAHAM "BRAM" STOKER (November 8, 1847 - April 20, 1912)
Bram Stoker was the author of Dracula. This Irish author started off life sickly. He was bed-ridden at the age of seven. However, he did recover from his illness, starting off his career in theater. He was known to be an assistant to actor Henry Irving and even managed the Lyceum Theater for a time. It was during his time managing the Lyceum Theater that Stoker began writing. Sometime later he began researching folklore (i.e. vampires) and historical figures known for their blood lust. Many believe that Stoker created the idea of a vampire, but folklore of this mythical creature has been around for longer than anyone recognized although these beings were called by many names. Stoker read many news articles in his research which inspired the novel.

Now, for what I know about Bram Stoker. Well, I know he wrote the book Dracula. I saw his biography once on television. I saw the movie adaptation of Dracula with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, but I never actually read Dracula. I know. I know. What kind of paranormal writer has never read Dracula? But I never read it, and to be honest, I never read a whole book before Junior High School. So, when I did start to read books on the paranormal, I opted for the more modern works of Richie Tankersley Cusick and R.L. Stine. Also, I didn't like the movie which I saw when I was like twelve. Aside from the costumes, I found it boring, but I have seen other modern vampire movies that I love and some I hate. I prefer the vampire crazed movies of the 80's to todays flicks. I like when a vampire's evil and demonic nature is revealed in their natural state. So, I can understand the comparisons to Bram Stoker's version of vampires, but he was not exactly my inspiration.

BRONTE SISTERS (Charlotte Bronte born April 21, 1816, Emily Bronte born July 30, 1818, and Anne Bronte born January 17, 1820)
These women were arguable the most talented group of women in British history, writing Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. However, these women were a bit eccentric and isolated themselves. There were many rumors of incestuous love in their time which seemed to be a theme in their writings, especially Wuthering Heights which was penned by Emily Bronte. However, many speculate that the feud which the sisters had with their only brother, Branwell, started when they stole his writings and passed them off as their own. Branwell separated himself from his sisters and preacher father, becoming an alcoholic. He even went so far as to paint himself out of a family portrait.

In America, British literature isn't actually taught everywhere. I was in English honors, and we studied American writers mostly. Even in college, The only course that was specifically British was a course on the plays of Shakespeare which I loved. Although I admire these women for writing works which such haunting themes, I have never read any of the works of the Bronte Sisters although I have seen the theatrical adaptations of their works. I happen to be a fan of the 1996 movie version of Jane Eyre and own the DVD. I also saw the movie version of Wuthering Heights starring Ralph Fiennes. I liked it, but it did not grip me like the love story within Jane Eyre. However, they weren't really an inspiration to me in terms of my writing style since I have never actually read their work.

JANE AUSTEN (December 16, 1775 - July 18, 1817)
Although some people think that Jane Austen's work was Victorian, she actually wrote in the era of time known as Regency Period. You can tell by the manner of dress with bonnets and empire-waisted dresses. The Victorian era was later and was named after Queen Victoria who favored high collared dresses to bosom baring corsets.

Jane Austen had a short life which ended in isolation and agony. Her father, George, was born to middle class family that was in the wool business. Her mother, Cassandra, came from the well known Leigh family. Although her father was a rector, he substituted his income with farming and tutoring. Austen had six brothers and a sister. Her large family had its share of hardships and failures, but Austen managed to make a number of connections in the arts and literary world. With no formal education, she penned several literary masterpieces. With publishers fearing a women writer would put readers off, her first works were anonymous although it was known in small groups that she was the actual author. Although her works were known throughout the land, she never actually benefited financially from them at least to the level she should have been. Unlike the happy ending of her characters, she died unmarried from a mysterious illness many suspect was Addison's disease which is a disease of the adrenal glands of the kidneys. It is when the kidneys do not produce enough hormones which regulate body functions  such as cortisol which triggers the SNS response.

I, again, am showing my literary ignorance by stating that have never read any of Jane Austen's works. I attempted to read Pride and Prejudice once after seeing the movie and found it difficult to read from the lack of detail in some areas such as setting. I gave it up before the fifth chapter. However, I have seen a number of her theatrical adaptations and happen to love them. I have seen programs of her life and seen the movie Becoming Jane (2007) which I loved. My favorites are Pride and Prejudice (2005), Persuasion (2007), and Mansfield Park (1999). I own these versions and watch them fairly regularly. I have to watch one of them at least once a year. In the future, I plan to buy the audio book, and at least, hear the book once. I loved the movies so much I think I need to read the books once in my lifetime. As much as I love Jane Austen's work, she was not my greatest inspiration since I had barely heard about her work before Keira Knightly's performance as Elizabeth Bennet. Remember Americans are not exactly spoon fed British literature.

So, who is my greatest literary inspiration....

Well, growing up in the Bronx and passing his small cottage as a child, I have to say I have always been intrigued by... Edgar Allan Poe!

EDGAR ALLAN POE (January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849)
Edgar Allan Poe was a literary genius! He was a poet, author, editor, and critic. He was best known for his love of mystery and the macabre. Born Edgar Poe, he was orphaned as a child when his mother died shortly after being abandoned by his father. He was adopted by, John and Frances Allan, a couple from Richmond Virginia. He later married, his beautiful 13 year old cousin, Virginia Clemm. Twelve years after they married, his wife died of Tuberculosis which was a huge blow to Poe who drifted into alcoholism. Most of his work seems to reference, at least symbolically, his life of love, loss, and death.
I was introduced to Edgar Allan Poe through school when we read his works aloud in class. I love all the works of Edgar Allan Poe! I have seen the 1960's movies based on his works starring Vincent Price. I have read his poems and literary works. I am eagerly awaiting the new movie called Raven which I guess loosely references Poe's work. I love how his work echoes his life. My favorite poem he wrote was "Anabel Lee" which was written in Poe Cottage located in Bronx, NY. In that poem, he states that all of heaven was jealous of the love he shared with his beloved, separating them forever. His life cruelly mimicked this poem when his wife died of Consumption (TB). Poe died of mysterious causes. Although his death certificate has been lost, he is believed to have died of cerebral inflammation or swelling of the brain which could have been caused by a wide range of diseases. However the newest theory may be that he contracted Rabies since he often fed stray cats. On the night he died, he was found in the street, wearing clothes that were not his own and appeared delirious. Over and over, he cried, "Reynolds!" No one knew who he was referring to. His last words were: "Lord help my poor soul." His death was the greatest tragedy. He died alone, without family, in Boston. He seemed to have lost his mind, dying without dignity and in obscurity.

So, there it is. I risked my literary credibility by admitting my ignorance of classic authors, but it was fun to research their lives and share what I actually know about them. But it was worth it to set that record straight. Although my literary inspiration is Poe, my work is utterly my own as most of my ideas come from my own unconscious visions. Even Restraint started as a dream one night where I saw two Victorian era sisters who were in love with the same man. When I was thirteen, I wrote this, my first novel, which was a love story, but it wasn't me. When I picked it up again in my twenties, I added a paranormal theme, making it a vampire novel instead of a romance.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wicked Magic Update

Hello, everyone!

I just wanted to update all of my readers that are anxiously awaiting the release of Wicked Magic. I am currently writing the last ten chapters. I hope to release this novel withing the first two weeks of June. I know it has been a long wait, but I am striving to create a novel that fans of the Weeping Willow stories can enjoy. Sometimes that takes a lot of time and imagination, but the final chapters are planned out and all I need to do is put them down on paper.

I have already contacted Josie Epping from the Josie's Haven Blog about writing an honest review once it is done, and she agreed. So, I hope to have a link to her review after the book release. I am sure she has a long backlog of other books to read, but I am very pleased that she will make time for a review.

I hate to give release dates, because life never goes according to schedule. I hate to miss release dates, but I am usually never more than two weeks off. Sorry for everyone who was interested in reading the novel now, but I hope to have it for you come June.

Praises and Criticisms

First of all, I would like to thank everyone that has left feedback for my novels and shorts. I do read your praises and criticisms. They do help me gauge what you, my audience, is interested in. I am glad that everyone has decided to download my works and judge for themselves whether it is for them or not. I write because I enjoy it, and whether I publish or not, I will always continue to write, but everyone's kind words really urge me to continue to improve.

I am really flattered when I hear that Weeping Willow has become an all time favorite read for someone. I knew when I wrote it that I was writing something special. Even though it was only meant to be a short to show my range and to dabble in the fantasy genre, Weeping Willow has become a huge hit with readers, and I couldn't be more happier. I am writing Wicked Magic for those that want to read more about Willow and Nalin, and if all goes well, I wouldn't be apposed to making it a series. We'll see....

I have read the comments from people that had problems with the pacing and have stated that they couldn't relate to the characters. Some even suggested that I could have drawn it out and made it more descriptive. And... it's true. I could have flushed it out into a full length novel, but it wasn't meant to be a novel. It is a short story. The purpose of Weeping Willow was for me to try something new and introduce myself to my audience as kind of a preparation for, my novel, Restraint. If I had decided to make the original stories a novel, it would have been more flushed out and paced perfectly as Restraint was.

But there will always be someone who will like something and another who will not. You just can't please everyone. I can't make someone relate to the characters. You either do or you don't. You either read the words and get lost in them or you don't. That is just a matter of taste. I have read books that critics gave perfect ratings to that I just couldn't finish. It happens.

I believed the best way to tell Weeping Willow was from the point of view of two soul mates whom were struggling to find one another. I also wanted to test my skills writing from a guy's point of view which was interesting and different for me. I don't regret the fast-paced action because it was in keeping with Nalin's desperation to reach Willow before Callan. Regardless of criticism, I was really happy with the outcome.

Wicked Magic will be a full length work so expect more detail and dialog, but hopefully it is in keeping with the original stories and it is something fans will enjoy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Update on Wicked Magic

I passed on the first half of the book to my editor, and she loved it. I hope to have it done by the end of the month. I have been writing about 1500 words a day. So, if I roughly write a chapter every weekday than I should be done with it on schedule.

Since Wicked Magic will be out in both paperback (via Create Space) and e-book format, it makes sense that I should publish the original shorts as well. So, I will publish the original shorts in paperback format most likely with an additional unpublished story. This short will be about what happened between the second short and the novel. It will be called Wicked Chemistry. If I do release Wicked Chemistry, than it will only be available as part of the paperback version of the stories. I will NOT release it in e-book format.

Right now, these are just ideas, but I hope to make them into reality. We'll see in the next few weeks, because I am anxious to begin work on Malcontent.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Changing Cover for Wicked Magic

So, I have been thinking about this for a while...

When I did the original cover, I had a concept in mind which I loved. Willow looks deeply into Nalin's eyes after being reunited. However, the image I had in my head of Nalin did not quite match the cover. Nalin is a warrior Elf. He looks mean. He is a cold blooded killer. He has pointed ears and so does Willow. They don't look exactly human, but the old cover made them look ordinary.

The old cover is too romantic... too light when the story is dark and has a number of dark themes. So, I had to change the cover art to best match the Elven characters.



I kept the black and white theme, because it plays on the two Elven races, but I made Nalin appeared more masculine. Willow, in turn, looks more Elven with large eyes and ears.

Give me your feedback and let me know what you think.


I just wanted to keep everyone posted on what is going on with Smashwords. I have been getting error messages that don't make sense, and I had to unpublish my works from that site temporarily. I have contacted them about it, but I would be lucky if they contact me within a week.

I have been having a problem uploading RESTRAINT and was told that the problem was on my end. I fixed what they told me to fix and the alert messages did not go away.

Well, today I got a alert message concerning WEEPING WILLOW, saying there was a hyperlink in the product description. Of course, this was not true so I had to upload a new version. The problem was Smashwords was not uploading the document I was sending them. No, the program was uploading RESTRAINT instead. So, basically my work could have been downloaded for free. Good thing I caught what was happening. I unpublished everything, and I won't republish until everything is fixed.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Update on Soft Covers and Pricing now has both formats up (e-book and soft cover) ready for purchase. The price for the soft cover is $10.99, but you can find it for cheaper on the Amazon Market. has the books up, but they are fixing some glitches so the books will not be available for purchase until April 28th. For some reason, Lament's retail value is showing at $9.99 when it is really $10.99 and my editors name is coming up instead of mine. So, Barnes and Noble has some technical issues. However, Barnes and Noble will have the best pricing at 33% off market value. The books will range from $7.41-8.99. These titles may go for even cheaper in the market store once used copies are available. has the books up and ready to buy at retail value of $10.99.

Book Links to Creative Space:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Soft Covers Now Available!

I thought it would take longer, but I was able to format my books quickly. So, they are available for sale on and will eventually be uploaded to Amazon. Although I am not sure when CreateSpace will upload it to Amazon. The link will also be available on my website and on I chose expanded distribution so it is quite possible it can be found at your local library in a few months.

Thanks for your interest and support!

Book Links to Creative Space:


Monday, April 16, 2012

Josie's Haven Reviews!

All of my literary works have been reviewed by Josie from Josie's Book Haven Blog. Please click the link to read the reviews that are posted for Restraint, Lament, and my shorts.

"Sandra Madera impressed me with these books. I like the fact that all her stories were completely different... It is wonderful to read stories from an author who's very versatile in her writing." - Josie, Josie's Haven Blog

Special thanks goes out to Josie for taking the time to read and review all of my work. It is always exciting to have your work reviewed, but it is wonderful to hear a positive voice through this journey. Thank you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Q/A Dealing with Criticism

Q: How do you handle critics?

"A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded." - Tyne Daly

A: Todays topic is one that I have experienced in my first year of being published... Criticism. Some can be positive... Some can be negative, but both can have affects on the creative person's ego.

For someone who is creative, we envision things in our mind before we bring it to life through our chosen art form: painting, drawing, writing, music, etc. Sometimes our art can work out as we envisioned or better. Sometimes it can fall short. However, no one would publicize there work unless they felt it was good. You took a chance which is more than most people have done in order to reach their dreams. Ralph Waldo Emmerson said, "All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

When someone out there in cyberspace shares your view of how great your work is, it can be amazing. You feel validated. However, when someone tears your work apart, it can be devastating! You may question your abilities, and this may stifle your creativity.

Positive and negative criticism is found everywhere and in every profession. You will always find people that both love and hate your work. What is important is that you love what you are doing. As long as the work resonates with you, odds are it will find its way to the hands of someone who will appreciate it as well. Never give up, and never give in to critics.

History has been filled with countless success stories, and you know what all of them had in common... Those that succeeded never gave up. They didn't pay too much attention to the naysayers. They believed in their own abilities and success followed. Mark Twain wrote, "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

While I read both negative and positive reviews, I don't let it stop me. While some negative criticism can be constructive, I am talking about the ones that take personal jabs at your craft and character. The truth is that you will always have people that don't get it. It is their right not to like your work, but things get personal is when there is name calling. NEVER write a response to those critics. You may want to jab back, but it shows that you have more class if you keep your mouth shut! Always conduct yourself with class! Smile and bear it as they say. Your time to shine will come despite what they say.

You will have those that don't want to get it and will do everything possible to pick apart your writing. There will be a time when you receive the worst review ever. Then the next day you may have three awesome reviews. Peoples opinions vary, and you shouldn't give up on a dream because someone may not like your work.

Some of these extra negative reviewers may write something about you that seems to like overkill. They may write comments that go below the belt. Ignore them and push forward. You have to think why someone would say something like that... Perhaps, some of these reviewers are writers themselves. I usually find that those people feel the need to downgrade really great work to make their own skills seem superior. Their motive is to eliminate the competition. I have always been supportive of other authors, and I love following Indie authors on Twitter. Most are wonderful and supportive. Seek out those. I think that variety is fun as a reader. As a writer, I know that no one has my writing style, because everyone's style is as different as a fingerprint. So, I don't mind new writers in the field. I enjoy them and, obviously, have no problem dishing advice.

I have had some hostile critics. I have had people write that I chose the wrong POV for a story, that I lacked skill, that my writing is flat, that my characters had no depth, that my writing is vulgar, that my stories are bloody and heartless. Someone even blogged that they doubted they would hear more about my work in the future. Someone wrote that they wanted the time they spent reading my work back. I am not writing this to acknowledge these comments, but to show that everyone has a critic. The point is that there are always people who see the glass as half empty and are use to being negative. There will always be people who are stuck on the traditional way of publishing and don't want to read anything from an indie author. What matters is that you do what you love and have fun doing it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Right now, I am hard at work reformatting Restraint and Lament for soft cover distribution. I have been getting some inquiries as to whether I was going to release any of my titles in other formats... Especially, from those that don't have e-readers or like to read things on the computer.

I have wanted to, but I didn't know what it entailed, and well, the amount of work involved. So, I did my research... I chose to go ahead and create an actual book using

As always, I like to do everything myself. So, I put together this book cover and formatted my book into a 6x9 book. However, the process takes many steps so I hope to have Restraint and Lament out in two weeks or so.

When I am done with Wicked Magic, I will publish in both formats; however, the soft cover will include both shorts so that reader doesn't miss reading complete story, because Wicked Magic begins where the shorts left off.

Eventually, I will add to my list of short stories. When I have enough to compile, then I will make a soft cover book entitled Series (as in series of shorts). Some of which, I will reserve only for the actual book. But right now this is only an idea. So, when I make this dream into an actuality, I will be sure to let everyone know.

Just wanted to give everyone who prefers an actual book a heads up. Stay tuned!

Malcontent Bookmark & Wallpapers

So, I have been working on the Malcontent bookmark which is available free on my website as an image that can be copied. I have made actual bookmarks in the past and gave them out at local libraries as promotional tools. It was a success. Eventually, I will print more and have them available for purchase at my online store, but I am not ready to do that yet. Maybe soon.

I have also been working on wallpapers for Malcontent. Above is one that I created with a quote from the ebook which is due out in December 2012. I am going to make another. I will probably get started on that tomorrow. Then I will get started on the book trailer. As soon as that is done, I will post that to my site and blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Malcontent Blurb

Malcontent is the third and final extension of the Restraint Trilogy. This will be about Louise May Reynolds and her family. It will also showcase how she fell in love with William Carter, bringing the story around full circle. I just finished writing the blurb and added it to my website. I will be adding the video trailer soon. As well as the bookmark and wallpaper images. I hope to have this novel out by December 2012. I am hoping for earlier, but one never knows what life will throw at them.

Raised in a world where the first born are often sacrificed, Louise May Reynolds believes it is her destiny to appease her family by entering into an arranged marriage. However, Louise May struggles as she finds marrying Bryan Froster, a powerful and ruthless vampire prince, revolting.

In her discontent, she tries to devise a way out of the union, fearing the only way to truly be free of Bryan Froster is death. Scared of turning her back on her family and the clan, Louise May struggles inwardly between what others expect of her and what she wants for herself. Until, she rebels against everything she has been raised to believe. Secretly vowing to escape a life of servitude, she risks disturbing the balance between vampire and servant which can cost her more than she can even imagine.

Can Louise May turn her back on her family in order to follow her heart?

Q/A Behavior Within Social Networks

Q: What is appropriate for an author to talk about on twitter/facebook?

A: I am writing this post, because I was disgusted by the way certain authors acted on social media websites. While these types are a minority, I felt it necessary to discuss this topic.

Like many of you, I follow various authors on Twitter and Facebook. I tend to add anyone who is aspiring to be a published author like myself. Most indie author's fall into that category.

When I was on one of these websites, I witness authors asking followers for money, ranting about how miserable their life is, and begging followers to purchase their ebooks while threatening to quit writing.

It could be my pride, but I would never beg my twitter followers to donate money. I don't think it is appropriate. If they donate that money, they don't know if it is really going to your writing business or anything else you may want to spend it on. I don't ever ask for money! If one wants to buy my book, that is fine. That is why I write, but to ask for handouts seems wrong to me. Don't do it! And don't get angry when people aren't willing to donate either!

I want to be clear about this. While it is okay to post a friendly reminder that your book is available, it is important to conduct yourself with class. I don't expect to be bombarded with a hundred messages to download your ebook. Nor do I want to follow someone that only tweets that. Tweet about your life. Be positive and inspirational. Let the fans get to know you. No one would read a book without either sampling the author's work, hearing rave reviews, or getting to know them as a person of authority within the field.

For authors, your books are your business, and you are the image of your business. There is never a time when cursing is acceptable! Cursing at fellow authors and fans who are trying to help you is contradictory to your focus. One is never truly an expert in your chosen field. The point is we keep learning as we go on, and the best way to learn is from someone who has been there. Listen to your fellow authors!

Now in the case where a fan is asking for your work for free, it is not correct to unfollow them or write unsavory things. Just remind them that your work is available at all online outlets for the price which is set. If you have shorts available online, remind them of those. Unless someone is nasty, there is never a time when threatening to unfollow people is appropriate!

Remember that once something is on the web, it is there forever. Conduct yourself with some decorum.

Wicked Magic Update

I have been hard at work writing Wicked Magic: A Weeping Willow Novel.

The story is based on a dream I had that stood with me, haunting me. So, I decided to write about it. However, there have been a few hold ups. After I started writing, my pacing seemed wrong. With the short stories, something happened every minute, because I had to fit a lot of information in a small amount of words. Remember that Weeping Willow Shorts were only intended to showcase my writing style to potential readers. I never intended to make a novel.

So, when I started writing the novel, something was off. I had to give over a few chapters to my editor, Susan, for review so that she could explain what was off. I had to put my writing on hold for a short while, but she didn't find anything wrong with the flow.

The pacing of the short is really fast, but then again it was a short story. Not a novel. Anyway, I got used to that frantic pace of the short. It basically became the signature of the shorts. With the novel, the passing is longer, but the tricky thing is not to lose the feel of the original shorts. It has been tricky, but now, I am developing a flow.

This novel is darker than the shorts, because it is based upon a nightmare I had. Without giving too much away, there will be creatures from other realms that make their presence known. I was inspired by Dante's Inferno and the idea of combining it with my dream. This book will take off where the other one left off so the shorts must be read before attempting to read this novel.

I am really excited to get this one out. I hope everyone like it. I don't know if anymore Willow novels will be in my future, but I am sure all of my readers will get back to me with input about that.

So, I am back on track with my schedule. I am hoping to release it by Late May/Early June. Then I will begin work of, Malcontent: A Restraint Novel, the last of the Restraint Trilogy.

One chapter of WICKED MAGIC can be read at FEEDBOOKS where I have posted a chapter preview.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Q/A Marketing

Hello, everyone!

So, I just got an email question about how to market a book. This is something that I am still trying to figure out. I have tried somethings, and I have not tried others. But one thing is for sure, marketing is very, very important. It is the only way you can reach your audience. The problem is there is no one marketing tool that works for everyone, and marketing campaigns can be costly. I prefer to do as much as I can for free. However, at first, there will be a gain in the audience, but not in funds. That is to be expected. I can only share what has worked for me, and what I hope to try in the future. Let me know if you want me to talk about anything else. Hope this helps!

If you can have both, why not? A blog is basically an online journal, and a website is where all your work can be found. Because I have artistic abilities, both manually and digitally, I was able to put together my website without the use of ugly templates. I used Intuit Website Services ( which is about $7.00/month for a basic package. However if you have no artistic ability, you will have to settle for one of the templates they offer. It doesn't make the website personal, but I learned how to use Intuit in a few days so it is one of the easier programs to use.

If this is something you can't afford, then just do the blog. Blogs are FREE!!! Blogs are easier to put together with many templates to choose from, and you can advertise on them. However, blogs do not have the layout that traditional websites have, because they were never meant to replace websites. They were meant to be writing tools.

FREE vs $0.99-S1.99 EBOOKS vs $2.99 AND UP EBOOKS
There is a general rule for how to price your books. Some people don't listen... They start off high, and wonder why they don't sell books. HELLO! PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE AS AN AUTHOR!!!

So, here is what I did. I wrote my novel, and before I finished editing it, I put it on a shelf. I then wrote a few short stories. I made sure that although they weren't novel quality, they were good. Then I gave them away for FREE which were basically my way of giving away writing samples. Then people can decide whether they like your work enough to buy your novel.

I would NEVER give away a novel that I spent a year writing for free. You worked to hard. If your work is always free, no one will pay for any of your work. However, you MUST sell it for cheap. Therefore, your first novel should be priced between $0.99-$1.99. This is the price brackets in which debut novels succeed. Now, don't expect to make millions of dollars. You only get a little less than half of book sales. So, if your book is $0.99, you stand to make about $0.47/book. Remember that you are laying the ground work to building your audience. That takes time! So, hang on.

After you have sold a few hundred books, put out your next book. Price that one a bit higher. However, honor the fact that people buy indie books because they are cheaper than traditional books. You will sell more by keeping the price low. Stay below $4.99.

People are ultimately visual. So, book covers and trailers are important. Because I am able to create my own cover art, I can make that vision that is in my head a reality. Not everyone has that ability. For those, there are places where you can buy stock images from various websites.

It only works to your advantage to make a book trailer. Don't you watch a movie trailer before you watch a movie? So, make a book trailer! There is an easy program to use on Windows called Windows Movie Maker. It is as simple as dropping the image into the slot and picking an effect. You can narrate or download some royalty free music.

Reviews are important! When someone reads your book and leaves a review, it can sway the mind of any prospective reader. Now, sometimes a review is so bad that some people are curious and read it anyway. So, in that any review is a good review.

However, when good things are said about you, word of mouth spreads. So, it is important to get reviews from people who are considered the authority in the field. Indie Book Bloggers are everyday readers. The only difference is that they have a following. So, if they like your book, they will tell their audience. The con is their backlog. They have a certain amount of books that they have agreed to read, and it can take a year for them to get to yours so be prepared to wait.

Paid reviews are good, because they are better respected. There are some reviewers that are just not questions. If Kirkus says you wrote a great book, then your books is sure to be a best seller. The only con is the price. To get a review, one has to pay upwards of $500.00.

If you have the money, then go for it. If you believe in your work, why wouldn't you? It takes about $50-$75 to enter for some of the Indie Awards available. Your work is going to be read, and it stands a chance of being chosen for an award. However, there is no guarantee that your book will be chosen. But if it is, you can use that in your product description. Your readers will see that, and they will think that your book must be great.

I am a believer in other marketing tools such as flyers, bookmarks, postcards, etc. However, I am able to customize my image as an artistic person. If you can't do this, grab a few stock images and make a bookmark that in nice looking. People will not use something that looks like junk. If they do, they are not constantly looking at how nice the cover looks... How interesting the premise is... They are just using it without looking at it, and that is not what you want.

Plus, you have to know your market. If you are marketing to kids, give away bookmarks at a school or library or after school center. Know your market! Know your audience! Eventually, you can give away some of these items on your webpage to your fans. So, consider a small order at first. When you have a sizable fan base, then you can do one large order.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Q/A Tips for Creative Writing

I sometimes get asked questions about tips for creative writing. People want to know how I start a story from concept to the point where I begin to write. So, I am going to write tips here and there to help people with their personal writings.

Q: So, what is the first thing you do when you write a story?
A: Come up with an idea! For me, it is easy, because my brain just pumps out idea after idea. But for most people that are just starting out, ideas just don't flow like that. So for ideas, watch movies, read books, and search myths/legends on the internet. Sometimes doing these things can spark your imagination and get the wheels turning. So, get the initial inspiration from these sources and add your own twist. Look up my post entitled Just Published WW2.

Q: Do you brain storm or use outlines before you write?
A: I have done both, but it doesn't really work for me to make rigid outlines. By rigid, I mean detailed to the point where all you have to do is write dialogue and there is no room for spontaneity. I like to use loose outlines, meaning I know how I want to begin. I have some ideas for the middle, and I know where I want to end up. I write every idea down. When I start writing, the process is spontaneous. I know the general idea of the chapter, but I am able to come up with new ideas at the same time and integrate them into the chapter.

Q: How do you come up with characters?
A: Characters can look a number of ways like having many different eye and hair color. Look at your friends. They come in all shapes and sizes. Personality is what is important. For me, each character is like an exaggerated facet of my own personality. So if the character is supposed to be crazy, I know how crazy I can be, and write like I was 10x more insane than normal. You can also use those around you as inspiration. So if you have a superficial friend that only wears brand name clothes, and there is a place in your story for a character like that then write about them. Stay away from sterotypical or stock characters!!! No dumb, popular cheerleaders. No class clowns or school bullies. Make up a character that is all your own. There are plenty of articles about this online so if you have questions about this, you can Google some great articles with examples.

Q: What is the key to writing an entertaining story?
A: You! Never write something that you wouldn't read yourself. Odds are if you wouldn't read it, no one else will either! Write stories that are you. For example, when I was younger, I tried to write a romance novel. The problem was I couldn't finish it! It wasn't me. I don't read romance novels! I like the paranormal. So, I added vampires to this story, and suddenly, the book came to life. It was easier to write, and the story was 10x better. So, don't write anything that you wouldn't read yourself.

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions out there, send them to me. I may answer them on future posts. Thanks!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


So, I have read posts from a lot of Indie authors about how to write a short story or a novel. These tips are pretty interesting, but I think it is better to write organically. This means to have a general outline and fill in the details as you write spontaneously. This allows you to come up with new ideas as you write and the ability to integrate them into the story without ruining your precise plans.

So, with the way I write, I know people may wonder what inspires me. Many writers draw inspiration from the world around them. This is true for me, but there is also another gold mine for inspiration... Your dreams.

When I was thirteen years old, I dreamed of two sisters, one blonde and one brunette, in love with the same man. So, I decided to write about these characters and for a while I wrote a few chapters of a love story. The name of the main character was Laura. Her sister was named Linda. With my limited thirteen year old mind, I envisioned these characters, but was unable to developed them enough to finish the story.

Fast forward about thirteen years, and my mind still knew these characters. Choosing to change up the story to a genre that was more my style, I added vampires, rewriting my old concept into my novel entitled Restraint. And Laura remained the same rebellious girl I had thought up years ago.

Dreams are a wonderful source of inspiration if they make sense. The best dreams are the ones that leave you thinking about them way into the morning hours. So, dream on my fellow writers. There are many stories waiting to be told and many characters waiting to be thought up.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I have wanted nothing but to continue to work hard at completing Wicked Magic. Yet, I have been hit with one problem after another. First, I had a severe cold that would not go away. Now, I have a stomach virus that my nephew passed to everyone in the family. So, I have been sick for almost three weeks straight!

Still, I am pushing forward with writing my new novel, and I have to say that I like the way it is turning out. It is a struggle to write while sick. I would have wanted to be further along than where I am, but at least, I am not rewriting. I actually like what I am writing although it has a darker theme than the original short stories.

As for the bookmarks I printed, I gave them out at libraries and schools in the New York City area which was a success as I gained more readers. I plan to eventually print more and also print postcards to sell them on my website for a few cents, but that is for the future. Until then, I may print more for promotional purposes.

Stay posted!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Editing Done for Lament

So, my editor finished up editing Lament. I have to make the changes and then I can publish it. Look for it on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Smashwords.

For those that posted comments, I could not choose so you both get a Free copy of Lament! Look out for my email to the address you commented with. Thanks!

Right now I am in the midst of writing Wicked Magic. For a one chapter book preview, go to and search "Sandra Madera."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lament Update

So, I just finished writing Lament, and I will be sending it to my editor tomorrow. After her careful review and the changes that I need to make, I hope to have it in stores by next week. If that is not feasible, than it will be released the following week. So, please leave feedback in the "WIN A FREE COPY OF LAMENT" blog post, because I will be picking a winner really soon.

Thanks for all of your positive feedback on Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other sites. I do try to read them, and take everything into account. So keep posting!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Professionally Printing Bookmarks

Today I formatted bookmarks to send so that they can be professionally printed. My idea was to use them as marketing tools by giving some to my niece to spread throughout her school and leaving some at a local library. So wish me luck!

I was not really happy with the clarity of a bitmap image over time. The writing starts to look blurred. It was a challenge to change the format but needed. I wanted the image to be clearer than just a regular bitmap image. I learned how to do this using a PowerPoint-like program from Open Office. I hope to update all the bookmarks on my site so that they could be just as clear, but everything seems to take more time than I would like.

Also, for those waiting for the release of Lament, I hope to release it later this month. Sometimes I think I will have a book done way in advance and then life happens and things get in the way. But despite all distractions, I will be releasing it as soon as possible.

Thank you to all the fans that have posted reviews!!! I have read some of the wonderful feedback, and I hope to continue to write books that will surprise and captivate your attention. Thanks!