Friday, September 27, 2013

Having Gone Mad--er, I mean Indie

I had no warning. No warning at all. But I did have an inkling that something was up with my publisher (since he spent so little time on my third book that the edits—WHAT EDITS?--sucked), and I'd be going Indie pretty soon. And I did!
Yes. I had three books that had been with my ex-publisher, relinquished into my hands (I would have said “capable”, but I'm not so sure about that), and the whole ordeal of reading through and editing them—not once but twice—took me all summer. Up until this week, in fact.
I'm done!
Yep. I've just uploaded the third and last of them, Vampire Nocturne, this afternoon, meanwhile doing some decorating for Halloween (because I have to wait for the uploading process). So, I wasn't exactly sitting around all afternoon waiting for things to go through. (I'm partial to pumpkins, witches and skulls), and these now decorate various rooms in the house.
Now I can continue on with the other books. (I'm on number eight, if you're counting.)
Vampire Caprice, the fourth book in the Sabrina Strong series, I hope to get finished maybe by December, but I'm sort of teetering on that part, it might be in January. But people will wait. I want it to be good and ready before I release it.
I am also able to now turn my attentions toward the 8th book, which has a working title of “Six Shades of Hell”. I sort of like this title and may leave it, as I'm running out of musical attributes to these books. I still have not used “Fantasia”, “Sonata”, “Rhapsody”, “Calypso”, “Cannon”, or “Opus”. Some of these I'm not crazy about.
I'm not certain if anyone has even noticed this is what these titles are from—a musical work/composition. If you did, you get an “A”. If you wonder how I arrived at the titles “Vampire Ascending” and “Vampire's Trill” they are the titles borrowed from works of music. In “Vampire's Trill” it is explained during the moments with Nicolas who has just played “Devil's Trill” on the violin. “Vampire Ascending” comes from a beautiful work called “Lark Ascending” which was taken from a poem of the same name—which I absolutely love, and my husband began listening to classical music from this one piece one day in the park.
But I digress.
The next four book titles are as follows:
Vampire Caprice”
Vampire Crescendo”
Vampire Requiem”
Vampire Interlude”

The next book/#4 “Vampire Caprice” is as the title indicates—a number of things happening with suddenness, and sometimes seemingly out of impulsiveness. I've also gone into other character's heads, not just Sabrina.
In this fourth book, Sabrina winds up in Colorado, abducted (although she doesn't realize it) by Tremayne. All your favorite characters are in this one, including Rick, Bill Gannon, Vasyl, and a few brand new ones. It's a bit on the wild side, as I felt that Sabrina and Tremayne had to come to terms with their love/hate relationship. Or is it love/terrify relationship?
Back to Vampire Nocturne, this has been out before under my ex-publisher, but now it's totally under my control, and hopefully I've caught all the mistakes—really there were a number of them in the original that was released by my ex-publisher, and I'm embarrassed by them. Thankfully this one has not been out that long, so I hope not too much damage has been accrued in the 5 months it was out there.
And at the moment I'm needing some nice days of R&R, but I'll be around working on things, when the moment strikes. My husband and I want to visit some apple farms, do a little antiquing, and I'm going to try and find the 5th and 6th Harry Potter movies on DVD, so I can watch them. And we'll begin watching all the horror flicks we enjoy so much this time of year.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my mind-babble. I hope to announce when this third book is out by tomorrow on my facebook pages and the usual areas. Or, I might come back and just add it to this silly little post.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Indie on the Block--Me!

Vampire Ascending
I never would have figured that placing my books on Amazon would actually begin netting me sales after becoming Indie, but it has. I saw sales that first week I had both Vampire Ascending and Vampire's Trill up as eBooks, at the end of August, and I thought “Okay, no big deal. My rank will drop into the basement like always, and that'll be it.
But that didn't happen. I didn't have a sale every day, but it was steady. Sometimes two in one day. Sometimes more. I found myself checking my author ranks everyday, and then more than once a day because at some point during the day one or the other sold. I remembered looking at my author rank wondering why it was up. “Did I sell something?” Duhhhhh. Yeah, I did. I kept thinking, “Okay, it'll drop. It has to.” It would for a day, and then go right back up. My ranks have gone up (depending on which one you want to count) for Fantasy, it was right up there today around #1,846. My author rank this morning was at #51,391. I don't recall it being this high for this long EVER!
So, when I began keeping track of the sales each day, I was counting down to when I'd reach $100. on Amazon. I did that today and beyond. In 25 days the total was at $100. Now both books are different prices. Vampire Ascending is at $1.99, and Vampire's Trill is at $3.99, so my cut will be different with these.
And I'm working to get the third book, Vampire Nocturne ready to up-load soon, so... yeah, I've got another book I'll be adding onto my possible ranks and what I make in another month.
Am I excited? Yes. Even though this isn't the first time I've done Indie (Spell of the Black Unicorn was my first Indie and I enjoyed everything that went with it), this is the first time I've done strictly eBooks, and they're selling.
It sort of makes a bad day at my day job easier to take. When I can say to myself “I'm not a bus driver, I'm an AUTHOR!” that sort of puts things into perspective.Vampire's Trill

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Phony Spiritualist

Face pinched with anxiety, Natasha wrung her hands. “Diadra isn’t here, yet.” She glanced at her watch. “She told me she’d be here by nine-thirty. It’s a quarter to ten, now.”
Marvin Tuestad came bounding down the stairs where they stood. In a pleasant tone he said, “Hi, Zofia.” He turned to Natasha, noticing her expression. In a lower, more aggravated voice he said, “Now what?”
Diadra isn’t here, yet. It’s a quarter to ten and I’m running out of food.”
Get a grip, Eleanor. So the woman’s running a little late. So what? Mediums and spiritualists are on their own clocks, not yours or mine.” He adjusted the beads over his tie-died tee shirt. Zofia had never seen him in that shirt before. The jeans and sandals were more of his trademark.
Seeing the timorous look on Natasha’s face, Zofia countered her husband’s caustic words with her own tender voice of reason. “He’s right, Natasha, these people do things differently. Besides, a person could be running late for many reasons. I waited for two trains just the other day. I must’ve sat there for nearly a half hour.”
There, you see? There’s probably a good explanation she’s late,” Marvin said. “Now, just go throw some more soy chips into a bowl and go back out there.”
Natasha nodded. Her silver and amber earrings rocked and caught the light, throwing sparkles back into Zofia’s eyes. She turned and disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Zofia alone with Marvin.
Deity save us!” Marvin said, blowing out a sigh of relief. “I’m so glad you’re here, Zofia.” Then, lowering his voice and leaning closer he said, “She’s been hyperventilating all day.”
Really?” Zofia said, breathing in the rich exotic essence of patchouli oil exuding from him. Avoiding his deep gaze, her own went to the floor and found his hairy toes. Yish. She brought her gaze back up only to find her gaze now zeroed in on his nose hair. Darting her glance to the side of his face, and to his ears, she found tuffs of hair around his ears. Okay, great, I'll just stare at his forehead.
Well, nearly. I had to step clear of it, you know? This was her big day.” He made air quotes. Straightening, he plastered an ingratiating smile onto his face as Natasha whisked by with a large green bowl of chips.
Marvin watched his wife become swallowed up by her guests in the living room. Hands behind his back, he turned to Zofia and said, “So, when can we expect to see you in for a nice, relaxing massage at my clinic? We have a very good staff, you know. And the new rebirthing classes are excellent—well, you’ve seen the transformation of my wife,” he said. “That’s how Natasha was able to dredge up buried memories of her past lives. It enabled her to realize who she really is, and let go the old, dreary persona.
Also,” he went on, “we have some excellent psychic classes, as well as meditation. Good for relaxation, you know.”
He sounded like a radio add. Zofia wished she could simply change the dial. Mentally chastising herself for having allowed herself to be left alone with Marvin, who saw fit to push his New Age Center to anyone with ears, she turned and smiled at him. “I really don’t have time to—”
His hand came up. Zofia jerked away, but realized he wasn't going to hurt her. Long fingers brushed a wayward strand of dark hair out of her eyes.
That’s okay, Zofia.” His blue-gray eyes were like two marbles set in ivory. A little too intense and unblinking. “I accept that you’re a very complex and intricate work of art with many layers and levels of consciousness. Just remember, the freer we are, the more powerful we become.”
She blinked at him, totally confused as to what exactly he was saying—nothing unusual for this Ugwump.
Ah, there you are, darling.”
Dorian’s velvet voice made Zofia spin about. A rush of relief washed over her when she found him slouched against the threshold of the wide door arch, scoping out the situation he’d just walked in on.
Dorian, meet our host, Marvin Tuestad. Marvin, this is my husband, Dorian,” Zofia said, trying very hard not to smile as though she’d put one over on the man.
Husband!” Marvin nearly choked the word. “I-I thought you were dead—I-I mean—” He looked absolutely flabbergasted, then he covered it up with a nervous chuckle. “That's what you told me, Zofia.”
Smiling, Zofia found odd satisfaction from his reaction. Maybe he wont leer at me quite so much, now.
That’s been the general consensus,” Dorian slurred, giving Zofia a slitted look.
Appearing to recuperate from his shock, Marvin stepped toward Dorian and offered him his hand. Dorian shook his hand briefly. Zofia made a little start, but relaxed remembering Dorian was no longer a wizard, and could no longer give anyone a nice hefty zap. She imagined, if she were Dorian, that’s exactly what she would have wanted to do to this Ugwump, if he could. The strange look that sprang onto Marvin’s face was just as satisfying. She was quite certain that the icy-cold touch of Dorian’s grasp had just sent shivers down his spine.
From the kitchen Natasha motioned to them. In a hoarse whisper she said, “She’s here!”
Finally,” Marvin said, scooting toward the living room as if anxious to get away from a particularly uncomfortable moment.
Natasha glided into the living room, her voice spearing everyone’s attention.
All right, everyone. Everyone, please,” Natasha said in a clear, loud voice. Motioning to Marvin she said, “Cut the lights.”
Darkness fell around them. The only illumination came from several candles strategically stationed around the room. Chairs borrowed from the dining room and kitchen were arranged in a large ellipse around the coffee table, most of them occupied. In the center was a large cake candle glowing warmly, throwing shadows across the walls.
With no further ado,” Natasha announced, “I give you the very amazing Diadra.”
Everyone turned toward the kitchen doorway and applauded as a woman in a long, black sequined dress swept into the room. Minus the dark sunglasses of this morning, Diadra wore heavy crimson lipstick and thick eye-liner, giving her exotic Cleopatra-eyes. Gaze settling upon Zofia, it became like a scalpel cutting right through her. Zofia looked away and quickly joined Dorian who’d commandeered two chairs near the wide doorway, nearest the hall.
Hold onto your purses, ladies,” Dorian said low into Zofia’s ear.
Shhh!” Zofia jammed an elbow into Dorian’s ribs.
He grunted sharply, then stabbed Zofia with a cutting look, but said nothing further.
Meanwhile, the spiritualist made a trajectory toward the red wing-backed chair in front of the fireplace. The candle flames jumped as she twirled about to face the room. She paused like some overly dramatic actress, and then motioned for everyone to be seated. Once they were, she dropped into her seat. Glittering rings on her fingers winked and glimmered, as did her dress. The room became as quiet as a crypt.
Please join hands,” she instructed in that deep, husky voice.
Everyone sat and did as she asked.
With eyes closed, she said, “There is an unbeliever among us.” She opened her eyes and stared at Dorian.
Every eye in the room followed her gaze and rested on him.
Some people can’t take a joke, it seems,” Dorian said passed tightly clenched teeth.
You do not believe in the afterlife?” Diadra asked him pointedly.
I believe in it, all right.” He paused before delivering his stinger. “I just don’t believe in you.”
Zofia wasn't surprised by the chuckles, considering they came mostly from the men.
Everyone jumped, except for Dorian. Gazes snapped back to Diadra. Once again her eyes were closed.
You’ve been away,” she said in a misty, voice. “Far, far away for a very long time.” Her eyes popped open and she stared at him again. “You are no longer the man you once were.”
Dorian leaned toward Zofia. “Who’s been telling her my secrets?” he asked
I allow no disbelievers into my circle,” she said sternly.
As you wish, madam.” Dorian rose. “I’ll take my leave of you all.” Lifting a chin toward Natasha, he said, “My thanks to my hosts. Good evening.” He negotiated his way between the chairs, arrowed toward the front door and was gone.
Monique parked herself in the chair Dorian had just vacated and whispered to Zofia, “Well, that was just rude.”
Zofia gave her a look, wondering who she meant; Dorian for leaving, or Diadra for telling him to.
You think I should ask her about Kenny?” she whispered again.
Please,” Diadra said in an unearthly voice.
The room quieted once again.
Let us all close our eyes and take a few deep breaths before we continue. Let us get our auras in line,” she encouraged. “We need a nice, orange glow from our auras. Yes, yes, that’s it. Calm the mind,” Diadra coached. For many moments no one spoke. Zofia felt as though she were floating, and so checked to make sure her butt was firmly on the chair. It was. That would have been embarrassing.
There is someone here who is worried about a loved one... someone who is in the hospital? Everything will turn out well,” she assured. “Please, concentrate, all of you. Give me your deepest, most troubling questions,” she intoned. “Open up your minds. Your thoughts will be transmitted to me through your auric fields, down your arms, through your hands, from hand to hand, and finally to mine.”
Another long moment of silence drew out. Zofia cracked one eye open to peek at Diadra. She sat with her eyes closed, looking as though she were concentrating very hard. She certainly had all the mystical trappings, and could command the room, but Zofia had to wonder about her abilities. After all, she didn’t have a skull to consult, not even a crystal ball, or cards, or animal entrails. There were many forms of divination. She wondered what form of divination Diadra used. Perhaps she used the flames of the candles. That was called pyromancy. However, if she were a sciomancer, she would need the skull of a dead person, like some of the Knights of the Witenagemont used.
Before Zofia could deduce the form of omen-reading used by this so-called psychic, a noise, divorced from the small coughs and throat clearing of the room, caught Zofia’s attention. It was brief, and had come from down the hall. She leaned her head back slightly and stared toward the other entrance to the kitchen. Darkness doused the entire house. The only light glowed from candles. A shiver ran up Zofia’s spine, then it slid down her arms, spiking the hairs there.
Diadra’s dramatically loud voice disturbed the stillness, startling Zofia. Heart thundering like a drum in Zofia’s ears, the odd noise came again from the Tuestad’s kitchen. Zofia looked around the room. Everyone had their eyes closed. Had no one else heard that?
There is a woman present who is concerned about someone they are close to. A man. A boyfriend, perhaps?”
Monique pulled in a sharp gasp and squeezed Zofia’s hand.
I’m getting a name... Mo—Mona—?”
Ouch, Monique! Geewiz!” cried Janet who sat on Monique’s other side.
Monique, yes,” said Diadra.
Zofia rolled her eyes. How hard was that?
Monique, you are concerned about the man you’ve been seeing, yes?” Diadra said.
Yes,” Monique answered.
I’m getting confusing messages,” Diadra said, frowning deeply.
Another sound caught Zofia’s attention. She recognized it as the creak of a floorboard. Gooseflesh rose on Zofia’s arms. She had not imagined that. It had come from down the hall not six feet away. She leaned back trying to dilate her eyes, but she just couldn’t pick anything out of the shadows. It wasn’t Dorian. He’d gone out the front door.
I’d like to know—” Monique began.
He is not the same man as you once knew before,” Diadra spoke over her in her most theatrical, deep voice. The exchange of the two women was like listening to a couple of blenders making Margaritas.
Zofia gazed across the room at Diadra to see her smiling. It was an odd, wicked smile.
I’m afraid, my dear, you’ll never see him again,” the medium said darkly.
Monique’s hand dug into Zofia’s palm still deeper as the room went tomb-quiet.
A sudden loud bang made everyone jump in their seats. Eyes popped open. Hands once joined, parted.
The spirits—they speak!” Diadra said quickly.
There came another heavy thump, and a thud after that. It came from the kitchen, and they were not spirits. A sound of something large and heavy had been thrown against the wall. Then, a groan carried into the room. There was someone in the kitchen.
Ignore that. The spirits are upset... very upset and—”
Voices from the hallway stopped everyone cold. They all turned, gazing expectantly toward the hallway. Diadra jumped to her feet, looking anxiously in the same direction as everyone else. Oddly, the woman looked more agitated than alarmed.
The hall lights blinked on.
Someone let out a sharp screech. Janet gasped, “Ohmygawd!”
Everyone shifted in their seats. Only a few men were up on their feet. Eshwan, the giant African American, who took up the space of two humans, was one of them. His voice loudly asked, “What in the name of steroids is going on here?”
Who’s there?” Marvin asked briskly, sounding less intimidating, however.
Twisting in her seat, Zofia saw Dorian standing five feet away. In his hand was a small black pistol. She followed the direction in which he was pointing it. There, slumped on the floor were two men clad entirely in black, with black knit caps drawn carelessly up, revealing their rough features. They had dazed looks on their faces, as though someone—like Dorian—had clunked their heads together. What was he doing with the gun and how had he gotten back into the house, and thirdly, who were those men he held the gun on?
I’ve an idea, Diadra, why not tell us all who these blokes are?” Dorian said.
In two heartbeats the circle broke apart. Everyone jumped up. Startled gasps came from women in the crowd as they scurried to the opposite end of the room. Marvin surged forward. Eshwan lumbered toward the two men in black.
Where did these two come from?” Marvin asked bewildered, his eyes as round and large as the beads he wore.
I saw them skulking around outside your house,” Dorian said with a smug expression, still holding the gun on the two thugs. “Men dressed in black at night tend to draw my attention. Anyway, I followed them around, saw them enter your back door and—ZOFIA, QUICK! THE FRONT DOOR!”
Zofia turned, as did everyone else, to see Diadra slipping stealthily toward the front door. She was making a break toward the door. Zofia thrust her hand out and barked, “Twizzle!” Sparks jettisoned from Zofia’s fingertips and zipped toward the door’s lock. The dead bolt clicked into place, but everyone was too busy to notice this. At the same time, Janet and Betty Unger lunged and grabbed Diadra by the arms, pulling her back. Diadra nearly fell to the floor, but they guided her awkward, backward tumble onto the couch where she landed like and ungraceful opera star. Her shimmering dress and heavy make-up making her look a little clownish, now.
Phone the police, Natasha,” Marvin said. “We've been bamboozled.”
Lorelei Bell's very first self-published work here as an ebook,
complete with a brand new shiny cover.Spell of the Black Unicorn

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Can you still get mummy dust?"

Lorelei Bell's debut novel has become an eBook
available @ AMAZON

Can you still get mummy dust, these days?” Dorian asked, mystified.
Yes, but the cost. It’s a bit dear,” Tillie said.
Well, of course it would be,” Dorian said. “After all, you don’t just find mummy dust lying about, do you?”
Goes for seven grand on the black market,” Zofia informed, then shoveled popcorn into her mouth and munched.
He directed his sneer to her. To Tillie he said, “How’s it used? In the spell, I mean.”
It’s put in the hole I dig for the Mandrake.”
A Mandrake, and mummy dust. Hmm. Well, all right then. I can shell out a few grand to put my soul back, I expect.”
Zofia’s mouth unhinged. “You have Ugwump money?”
Tillie turned to stare back at him, too.
He returned their stares. “Why not? What d’you think? I have been here for three years and I’ve not exactly been idle, I’ll have you know. A man has to have a dwelling, and—quit looking at me like that!”
You have a job?” Zofia asked incredulous.
Not exactly a job—”
Zofia scoffed at him.
Look, I’ve got the money—don’t ask me how—I can pay whatever the amount,” he huffed. “Now. Moving on.” He turned to Tillie. “You said something about a Mandrake?”
Wait just a Troll minute,” Zofia interrupted. “You came here, to my house with nothing. No car, not even a suitcase. Just the clothes on your back. Where’s all this money at?”
He heaved a heavy sigh and rolled his eyes skyward. “Oh, for the love of Karballa Wizards, woman.” His gaze fell back on her. “Look, for one thing, I don’t need a car. Besides, the insurance will kill you. But I do have some possessions which I’ve sent for. They should be arriving here in a day or so. Just so you know.”
How do you get around?” Zofia asked. “On little bat wings?”
Tillie and Zofia both tittered uncontrollably at this. Zofia imagined Dorian with wings like a bat.
Very funny,” he said. “Can we just get on with this?”
The snickers died and Tillie turned back to the spell book.
We must make a Mandrake,” Tillie said. “It must be carved in your image. I suggest that we use the root of bitter nightshade for this.”
Why’s that?”
It grows quickly, even after it’s been carved and replanted.” she said, tapping the page. “The other ingredients are rue, bitter aloes, henbane, a pinch of sulfur, hemlock, wolfs bane, and dragon’s blood resin. Everything here we either carry in our shop, or grow out back.”
Wait a minute—hemlock?” Dorian looked pensive.
And pulverized juniper wood, the berries as well as yew—all of it easily obtained. No problem.”
That list is highly toxic, Ottillie.” He squeezed his eyes at her. “I’m not going to drink it. Am I?”
What’s the matter?” Zofia asked. “Afraid it’ll kill you?” she said. Then, snapping her fingers said, “Oh, that’s right, you’re all ready dead, aren’t you?”
Not funny, Zofia,” Dorian said, his voice stern and husky. A wild longing surged through her with vague thoughts of his touching her intimately. Stop that!
How long will this take?” he asked Tillie.
The usual time for spells of this nature. About fourteen days.”
Fourteen days!” he echoed. “Why so long?”
Because that’s how long it takes,” Tillie said, giving him a stern look. “Now, the Mandrake must be replanted beneath a waxing moon and be allowed to grow. It also must be watered regularly. I think I’ll add a bit of blood to the distilled water.”
Blood? Why blood?”
Because that is what you’re nourished by, dufus. Blood,” she said, glancing over her glasses at him. “Then, a few days before it’s ready, I’ll exchange the few drops of blood with milk. That’s traditional for humans.”
Then what?”
She turned back to the spell book. “I don’t know. I’ve never done anything remotely like this before.”
Oh, great. Just great!” Dorian threw his hands up and dropped them.
You mean this doesn’t say what’s supposed to happen at the end of fourteen days?” Zofia asked.
Carefully Tillie flipped the page to see if there was more. Finding nothing else on this spell, she turned back to the original page. She leaned close to the lower edge of the page and read a final passage at the bottom. “It says, ‘The cursed shall be restored to his or her original self by the fourteenth day’.” She turned to Dorian. “It’s entirely up to you. If you’re serious about getting your soul back, you’ll put your money where your mouth is.”
He returned one of his most broodiest looks.
I’ll have to order the mummy dust. That may take a few days to get here. The sooner you decide, the sooner we can start the ball of wax rolling,” Tillie said.

k UnicornSpell of the Black UnicornSpell of the Black Unicorn

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Do You Read a Series?

Do you enjoy reading a series? I do. I prefer it to a stand-alone novel. It's what I write, and so that's what I enjoy reading. I want to get to know the main character/protagonist during the course of time. I enjoy the secondary characters, especially if they're quirky, or odd, or sexy. I hope that she/he doesn't become boring. I hate boring. I need him/her to find him/herself in some sticky fixes, and manages to get themselves out—maybe broken, hurt, in a hospital, narrowly escaping death.

I believe it was the Harry Potter series that got me hooked. Well, who can blame me? I remember reading the first one—you know, curious as to what everyone saw in this author's work. I had to see. I got done with that first one and had to get the second, the third and... well, I was hooked. I waited and waited for the next ones to come out—mind you, I bought the hard covers the day they released them (yes, I went to Wal Mart, and grabbed one of hundreds off the palate!)

I went on to read authors like Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, and Kim Harrison—all of them have a series with the same main character, and the supporting cast, and whatever the author can come up with to keep you hooked and reading, waiting for the next one.

But, why do we get hooked on a series? I asked myself that and want to answer it in my own way. I think when you get into a series you've come to like the main character/protag. You know their personality, have some idea of what she's like, her views and temperament, and either you like those things in these MC's or at least you accept these things. She's become a sort of comfort to you, like a friend. You need her to tell you what's going on in her world—meanwhile escaping your own. That's how it works. Sometimes it's the place that is interesting, too. Well, no one will be able to hold a candle to Hogwarts Castle, but there are a few places I enjoy reading about.

Yeah, I think this is what it is. Like an old friend, you need to sit down and have a chat—well, she does all the talking, really. And you get to know all her quirky friends, some you like some you think are nuts, and others, well...

I've lately been reading Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mysteries. I bought several of her titles from a vendor at a local event (resale), and wanted to see if I really liked her writing, and the character. Well, I do. Now I find I've got to follow this author, and since there's a whole alphabet out there, I might be able to gobble these down quickly. Thing is, I've just about read through the G and so now need the next one, but I'm missing D. Damn!

When I created my series (I've got two, but as of now only one series has more than one title out there), I knew I needed a heroine who would resonate with the audience I was aiming for. She had to have some tough moments which had already happened to her, and many more to come. There is always at least one main mystery to solve, and one lesser one to resolve too, and a few other things... like men and romance. I'm always adding a new character. Sometimes they start out as being outrageous, and Sabrina isn't sure about them. But eventually they sort of wear on her. And really, the become her very best, most devoted friends, willing to back her up, do whatever they can to help her out.

Since I write fantasy, no reason I have to stay on the planet Earth. I've taken Sabrina to Dark World—where demons and vampires live, and lord over—and to another called Black Veil, where vampires rule (so really, do we want to go to other planets? Humm?)

Back to why I love the series. I remember closing a Harry Potter book at the end of the story and wishing it hadn't ended. I needed to see what happened after that. I wanted to be there with Harry, and his friends—such a wonderful world Rowling had created and it all seemed so real! I wanted to simply crawl inside the book, and somehow be there with them. That's what a series (or any well-written books) should have you feeling—somewhat. You've suspended your belief systems, have shared the joys, terrors, heartaches and triumphs of the main character and his/her friends. When this happens, then there's no question, you've made a fan for life.

So, do you enjoy a series? I'd love to hear about it.

Meanwhile, here's a couple links to my series. (Hah! You knew I would somehow use this to suck you into an ad for my own books, didn't you? You're so clever!)

Chickens lay eggs, and so do Turtles

For those of you who don't know my husband is park ranger and one of his main jobs is mowing. He has a large deck (72") Toro Zero T...