Sunday, August 2, 2015

What's UUUUUP?

Doing a quickie today, folks! But wanted to welcome the new month in!
Picture taken from Bonnie Plant 

I've few links with various friend's posts. First off Heather McCorkle has an announcement--she has joined a press out of New York called City Owl Press. To see her announcement, go to her blog here. As a new member, Heather has a wish list of what she may want to see from prospective writers. You might be interested if you have written, say, a Sci-fi with romantic angles.

As always, Roland has some interesting insights on what's going on out in the entertainment world. If I didn't have his blog to find things out, I'd be stupid. I would have to depend upon the rags you can pick up at the grocery store check-out. If you don't know who Tom Cruise or Scientology is, then you may be dumber than I am. Anyway, he's got something to say about the subject of why isn't anyone asking Cruise about questionable acts at home base of his religious compound. You can check this out  at Writing in the Crosshairs. Also you might want to check out his books, as well.

My  friend, William Kendall has a movie review at his blog Speak of the Devil.

And if you want to catch up on what I've been up to, go to my other blog: Lorelei's Writing Journal.

Also, my third book, Nocturne, will be on sale from August 8th through August 14th.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Quiet Weekend

After last weekend, this weekend is a keeper.
Why? Because last weekend we caught the culprits who have been terrorizing the park. If you recall, my husband is park manager of Afton, a county park, out here in the country. It's over 300 acres of replanted wildflowers and wetlands--all of it planted by hand either by seed, or plants.

Anyway, we've had a constant attack from young people who think no one cares that they drive out into the main grassy area (there are No Off Road Vehicles signs posted, but I guess people don't read), making deep ruts there and into the wildflowers. Yes. We've planted all that just so you can take a joy ride!

Well, last Sunday morning, my husband went to do his morning park checks. He saw new damage, and noted two vehicles parked in one of the lots. Upon further inspection, he could see that there was evidence of their driving into the flowers (prairie flowers on the back of the pickup truck and mud on the tires would indicate this). My husband had them red handed. They weren't around, and so he called the Sheriff's police. Three people were arrested. One was a young lady and said she did all the driving. Which I told Dennis she'd change her tune once they locked her up at the jailhouse. I don't know what happened afterward, only that the girl called her mother (probably in tears), and the mother didn't think it was that terrible a deed she should have to be locked up. Oh? Yeah, lady, you come out here and see what they did and convert that to your own yard--if you have one--and see how you'd like that happening. Dennis can't even mow out there the ruts are so extensive and deep. He told me he thought the tire tracks went in about a 2-3 acre area. He put out flags, which may have taken 30 flags, and 30-45 min. to do so.

We so want to have these young people put to work out here to fix what they did. That's our wish. Don't know if that will happen.

Other than this, my sales have been constant all month, whether or not any book was on sale. At present, there have been 116 ebooks sold just this month, and like I said, not all were on sale. I've never had even half that many sold in a month. But in May, and June, my ebook sales were 77 in each of those months.

I have to report I've never seen this even when I had my first publisher. I'd make a sale, and then the ranks would drop. I was watching the hills and valleys--mostly valleys--back then. And at times there were no sales throughout the month. Especially when I went indie. I'd wait a year before I saw a check. It was the same when I went Indie. I didn't like being indie. Some writers prefer it, but I don't.

When I began writing my dream was to get a big-name publisher. That didn't happen. Then, learning I needed an agent, I tried getting me one of those. It's a crap shoot, folks. I've known writers--excellent writers--who had landed an agent and still didn't get a publisher. I just don't want to do that any more. Whenever I got a rejection it hit below the belt. I can't do that any more. And now I don't have to.

Well, anyway, in my case, Creativia has been working out for me. It's not dramatic, but slowly I've seen results. I've seen where my books have been advertised in certain places when on sale. I think by next year there will be good stuff happening. Right now my books are getting established, and out to actual readers. I don't do much promotions. I simply don't have time to, and haven't found that any amount of "promoting" on facebook or anywhere has netted me/my books any sales.

Oh, and here is Ascensions book page at their site. If you feel the need you can poke around there and explore who they are, all the authors, and there's a contact page, if you're so inclined.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Series: Caprice on sale this week

Caprice, by Lorelei Bell
on sale this week through July 23rd
Creating a world in which my characters can live in (and sometimes die), is something I so enjoy. I've posted before about the series, why I enjoy them--reading and writing them.

The trick of writing one, and having people come back for the next book, is to leave a few unanswered questions. I've had some readers (who have posted a review--not naming names), complain that there were many unanswered questions. Well, duh! If I don't leave you at a cliffhanger why would you want to return to read the next one?
Of course, the converse of this is other readers have bugged me asking "When's the next book coming out?"--I love that!

Take Caprice, for instance, the fourth book in the Sabrina Strong series. A lot happens in this book.
The vampire Bjorn Tremayne has lost his reign and become a rogue, which doesn't sit well with him. But he's about to do something that will change all this; Dark World has set a bounty on Sabrina's head because she wouldn't mate with him, and he has come up with a way to trick her into bed with him. He needs to get her away from the only vampire who protects her - Vasyl. 

Sabrina's agenda was to enjoy a pleasant Thanksgiving with her family, and no vampires, Nephilim, werewolves or demons to interrupt it. Unfortunately, a demon in the guise of her Grandmother Rose has decided to attack her at this family gathering. After Bill Gannon, her neighbor and a Nephilim, saves her, Sabrina is whisked off by Bjorn Tremayne and his accomplice. 

Tremayne convinces Sabrina she isn't safe and manages to talk her into running. Meanwhile, Vasyl has fought off Tremayne's minions, but has lost Sabrina and must hide from the sun. He has to chase Sabrina across the Midwest, knowing that Tremayne's ultimate goal is to mate with her—before he, himself, has had a chance to consummate his marriage to Sabrina. 

In order to complete his duty of finding the sibyl, Bill Gannon must chase after Sabrina too, and find a way to talk her into having his children in order to save the whole Nephilim race. While all of these men are vying for Sabrina's attentions, something called an Undead who feeds on souls, seeks Sabrina—the last sibyl—for his own diabolical needs. And he is very determined to find her.

At the end [spoiler alert!!] Tremayne has been poisoned by the silver of Sabrina's dagger. Is he going to live? Meanwhile, Bill, descendant of Nephilim has died in a cave in, and Sabrina has agreed to donate her eggs in order to keep his race from dying out. Bill was charged to somehow have Sabrina bring forth a baby through him. But instead she agrees to give a donation of her eggs as his last, dying request. So, the question at the end of this one is how will this one simple thing she does affect her down the road. What will happen when Vasyl, her vampire husband learns what she's done? Vasyl was hunted down by Nephilim while alive as a priest over 1,000 years ago. He became a vampire in order to out-live and out run them. We'll just say Vasyl has no warm, fuzzy feelings for any Nephilim. He would rather see them all die.

So, I've left some rather sticky situations hanging: Will Tremayne die? Will Sabrina and Bill's child be born? And what of Ilona and Nicolas' plans to take over ruling all of the North American Vampire Association?

Not to worry. There is going to be a fifth book out soon. Still tweaking it as we speak. I'm slated to have 8 titles out eventually with my current publisher. The next four books are written, and I only need to edit the next three, and do rewrites on number 8. My plan is to put one out a year.

If you're new to the Sabrina Strong series, I direct you to the beginning with the first book. Ascension

After the death of her father, Sabrina Strong is hired to solve the murder of Letitia, Bjorn Tremayne's life-time mate. She is quickly immersed in romantic trysts and danger. Megalomaniac vampires are planning to take over and rule the the North American Vampire Association for their own greedy desires. 

Sabrina is not thrilled about the aspect of working for vampires in Chicago, but she needs the money, and wants to find the gorgeous and mysterious vampire who has been turning up in her dreams. Is he the one who bit her when she was ten - marked her for his own - and turned her mother so long ago? 

A unique and mesmerizing mystery blending intricately detailed fantasy and romance, twists and turns of mystery in a contemporary setting, and new insights on a vampire's life including love, passion, heartache, hope, devastation, lust and longing. 

“A truly extraordinary vampire tale . . . something to sink your teeth into . . .”~Reader Views

Caprice is on sale for $0.99 until 7-23-15.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lady, you've got a poltergeist in your kitchen...

Sometimes Zofia, who is a sorceress, has to let an Ugwump--that's a human in her language--into her house to fix something. Now you know that anything might happen, since the humans on Earth simply don't believe in sorceresses, or in many other supernatural beings.

In this case, when Zofia has allowed someone to fix her cupboatds, there's definitely trouble bound to strike since her invisible servant, Biddle, is about to intervene because he feels she is in danger.

This excerpt is an example of the crazy, quirky situations that fill the work,  Spell of the Black Unicorn.

The doorbell rang, interrupting her thoughts and Biddle howled like a banshee.
Zofia rushed through the dining room drying her hands on a towel.
Opening the door, she found herself staring up at a giant. Close-set, steel-blue eyes gaped back down at her from a face as round as a balloon. The closely-cropped hair on his head resembled a five o’clock shadow. In contrast, a meticulously trimmed black beard, allowed to grow just under the chin, framed the roundness of that plump face. Not only did he tower over Zofia, but he took up a good deal of the doorway. The sight of him sent shivers through Zofia. He resembled Blood’s giant—from what she could remember. The same one who had tramped into her parent's home and ripped the place apart looking for her when she was ten. She knew he wasn't, but all the same, it took her a few seconds to get hold of herself.
Then the most extraordinary thing happened. He smiled. Those arctic eyes became suddenly warm; his face nearly cherubic. His smile had turned harsh features into something less scary. When he spoke, his voice tumbled from him with great control, as though with the understanding full volume might reverberate in such a way that its sheer power could make the rafters of the house tremble.
Hi. I’m Newell Vosserman. You called the other day?”
Having lost her voice momentarily, Zofia squeaked, “Yes.”
I came out here yesterday, but the elderly lady said you were under the weather. Figured, I had time today, and so came out.” Forearms the size of full-grown swamp lizards grew out of the rolled up sleeves of his work shirt. The material stretched and strained somewhat at the shoulders and chest.
Yes—um—I was, but I’m much better now, thanks.” She spoke quickly and stepped aside. “You may as well have a look at it, since you’re here.”
The huge man lumbered in. He owed his bulk not entirely to a generous amount of body fat. In contrast, his pants were loose-fitting, a generous amount of material was needed to cover that part of his anatomy, as well.
Nice place you got, Mrs. Grandier,” he said as he side-stepped the dining room furniture with some effort, very much aware of his size. Taking Newell in visually, Zofia now understood how he, even as a boy, might have been able to choke another boy to death.
Thanks,” she said, leading him through.
I can see this house is one of the older ones,” he said, looking around. His massive hand clutched the timber of the hall entryway.
Upon entering the kitchen, they were greeted by explosive hisses. Zofia turned toward the source of sibilation and found Perth and Argyll arching their backs, spitting and growling. Their ears flat against their heads; fur standing straight out on their backs and tails.
Enemy! Run!” Argyll cried.
Change us to humans and we’ll cut him up!” Perth said with gusto.
You’ve got cats,” Newell said. “Cats don’t like me much,” he added, halting half way through the room eyeing the two hissing felines. “I think it must be a karma thing. Like maybe I was a dog in another life, or something.”
Perplexed by Perth and Argyll’s sudden dislike for the huge man, Zofia frowned. “I’m sorry. They sometimes act this way with strangers. Especially men.” She leveled a scathing look at the two.
Suddenly Argyll clawed at Newell’s legs when he came within reach. Newell jerked back, startled by this aggressive display.
Zofia snapped up the broom and jabbed at them. “Argyll! Perth! GO!”
Angry hisses, both felines scrambled away. Newell jumped back. A shower of dried leaves rained down over his head and shoulders from above. He looked up at the herbs hung to dry along the rafters from square nails, then at the mess he’d made.
Gee, I’m sorry, Mrs. Grandier. I didn’t see... I didn’t mean to—”
No, that’s all right,” Zofia said, and stepped around him like he was a large appliance and found him holding the twiggy remains of dried oregano in his huge hands. Cupping her own hands, she relieved him of the crumbling herbs and disposed of it all in the waste basket nearby.
Gee.” He sniffed at his hands. “I smell like a pizza.” He chuckled lightly. Then looking beyond Zofia, he said, “Is that what needs fixing?”
She turned to see him looking at the gaping hole in her cupboards. “Yeah.”
He shambled forward. Bits of dried oregano snowed from his head and shoulders as he bent down. She could only think of the mess she’d have to sweep up once he was done, or Biddle would have a hissy-fit.
Newell bent over, exposing a portion of his fleshy backside to her. Mortified, Zofia turned; her exit almost as swift as her cats. But movement in her periphery stopped her. Two drawers slid open, and then closed as if of their own accord. Cupboard doors, top and bottom, swung open one after another.
Zofia sprang into action and sprinted across the room, closing doors and shoving drawers shut. Although she did all this soundlessly, the slamming of the last door was her undoing.
While still on his knees, Newell straightened and gaped at her.
Zofia twirled to face his startled gaze with one of her own. Quickly, she pasted a smile on her face, fearing the poor man might have seen the phenomenon. But his expression didn’t indicate this. Believing the crises had passed, and Biddle's exhibition was over and would not be repeated for the stranger’s sake, she relaxed.
But, before she could relax fully, another drawer, the one closest to Newell, slid open a few inches. They both watched transfixed as it slid open molasses-slow, then stopped half way. Without warning, it slammed shut, jarring the cutlery inside with such violence Zofia’s mind quickly conjured a picture of her silverware drawer now in a tangle of knives, forks and spoons.
Suddenly, two cupboards nearby swung open and slammed shut several times, followed by Biddle’s detached and very deranged-sounding laugh, (the very one he’d used last Halloween to scare the heebie-jeebies out of a few teenagers who’d come to the house sans costume and argued that Zofia owed them candy).
Zofia realized she was holding her breath, offering Newell a nervous smile. Her whole face felt hot as a cauldron over a fire.
Wow, Mrs. Grandier. Looks like you got more problems than a broken cupboard,” he said, sounding too calm.
Yeah, I guess so,” she said, and heard herself chuckle sharply.
Yep. Looks to me like you’ve got a ghost.”
In fact, I’d be willing to bet that’s exactly how your cupboards got broken.”
She managed to turn her open-mouthed look of surprise into an open-mouthed smile. “You hit the nail on the head, Newell,” she said, well aware that her lips were quivering. She couldn’t believe she was having this conversation with an Ugwump.
In fact, I’d be willing to bet you got yourself a poltergeist. Them’s the worst kind of ghost there is,” he went on somewhat like an auto mechanic might after looking under the hood of her car. He turned back to his measuring and examination of the cupboards. When he went down on all fours, he exposed a little too much information to her, once again. All the same, his nonchalance over the fact he knew she had a ghost in the house made her a little wary. Most Ugwumps didn’t believe in ghosts, even when they said they did. They came up with plausible explanations for the weird, unexplained happenings at a moment’s notice. Or, they became unnerved by it. This kinetic astral activity should have scared the pants the rest of the way off Newell.
Newell produced a large yellow measuring tape from somewhere and began earnestly measuring the cupboard cavity as though nothing was amiss.
Yep,” he said. “I been around ghosts before. Lots of times.” He turned to gaze back at Zofia over his shoulder, giving her an overly calm and confident smile. Turning he added, “My dad’s a ghost, you know.”
Really?” she said, trying hard to carry on this conversation without glancing at his gluteus cleavage above the waist band of his pants.
He killed himself, y’know? You don’t go to heaven when you take your own life, y’know?”
While Newell began to fill in the gory details of how his father had killed himself with a .22, and how the secretary had found him, Zofia watched a chair skidding noisily across the wood floor. This bit of shenanigans was followed quickly by Biddle’s high-pitched giggle. The chair levitated off the floor at eye-level, then arrowed straight for Newell’s large, round head. With a strangled gasp of fear, Zofia lunged and caught the chair before Biddle could slam it over the poor, unsuspecting Ugwump’s head.
Newell looked up to see Zofia holding the chair in mid-air. His look of confused surprise went through an amazing metamorphoses as two large kitchen knives whizzed dangerously close to Newell’s face, and stuck into the wooden cupboards, twanging, mere inches from his ears. His eyes bugged out, sliding left and right to take in the handles of the knives next to his face. If he’d have moved just a hair, the blades might have sliced one, or both ears, clean off.
BIDDLE!” Zofia cried, shocked.
Newell’s face had gone paper-white as he drew himself up off the floor. His measuring tape snapped back. He grabbed up his tool box, the tools jangling with his motions, and backed away. The look on his face was one which she had expected at the onset of Biddle’s weird antics.
Get out while you can!” Biddle’s detached and ghostly voice said.
I’m going! I’m going! Sorry, Mrs. Grandier—” Newell moved faster than she thought capable, and chugged out the back door.
As soon as the screen door slammed behind him, Zofia withered into the chair she’d kept from crashing into Newell’s head. She didn’t even remember putting it down.
Biddle!” she said. “What’s the meaning of your outburst?”
Blood was near,” Biddle said in a calm, unstrained voice. “I felt his presence.”
Blood?” she repeated and stared at the back door. “Not Newell?”
Displaced air near the refrigerator twanged and the dressing mirror appeared, making Zofia twirl around to face it. Aazel stared out at her from the mirror.
Aazel, did you detect Blood nearby too?” she asked.
I did, Mistress Zofia,” Aazel responded.
Zofia?” Dorian called to her. “I heard voices. Is everything alright?”