Nanowrimo progress day 3

Nanowrimo paricipant badgeProgress…progress… Well? I did some. But true to form, I’ve been distracted this last day with some work on  a different project that is so close to completion, I can’t help but work on it. If you’re a friend of mine Facebook, you’ve already seen me squee about my total word count output this year alone. Butt in chair is good, and doesn’t matter what you work on, so long as you work on it!

I hope to get some more done soon. For my readers, that “close to completion” book (the new  Reign of Tarot title) is coming. :) It looks like early next year will see a couple releases. Stay tuned!

Scheduling, I hate thee… #countdownsale

Frustration banner
Why do I hate scheduling?

Because it never goes off the way I mean it to. That blog post that went up last night about the Countdown Sale? Yeah, it’s too early. It ain’t happening on schedule. Why? I guess Amazon had other ideas. So that was time wasted, and time wasted drives me crazy because I could be doing something constructive, like writing. Instead I’m having to fck with this blog and update you all as to the problem (instead of avoiding the problem to begin with). Why? I wanted the sale to go down at my leisure (as in today [*actually, no. I wanted it to go down yesterday!]), but Select’s programming module only lets you schedule things beginning x amount of days in the future, usually two or three (I think it said) which means you have to get in there x amount of days in advance and set it up for some blind date in the future. (Future authors, listen up!)  Which well, if you have to schedule marketing surrounding it and they need four years in advance notice (I’m only half kidding, there) that makes sense. But you know what? That’s not the way I roll. When I want to get something done, damn it, I want to get it done now when I have the time to screw with it not six weeks from now when storm Pain in the Ass might (or might not) be hitting.

*sigh* Because you might think it takes no time to blog but yes. Yes, it does. (I’ve been working on this blog post for a good hour now. Time well spent? Feh. (Yes, dear Caitlin and Trevor, and Isaac, Ruth, Stacy and Aaron, I hear you. I’m coming…). Frustrating no?

So when I was thought I was setting it to TODAY, the system decided I meant TOMORROW. I don’t know about you but my calendar says it’s the 16th. Somehow the sale date got changed overnight to the 17th. Will it show up tomorrow? I can only hold my breath and wait.


This glitch also adds to the kerfuffle about Select and their lovely way of doing things and why so many people are fed up with it. You can type Select into the search engine and come up with a billion articles on it, I’m not going to add my two cents here. Daddy always said “you’re in their ballpark, you play by their rules” and it so applies here.

Julicoversgr500Anyway, for you all,  again, mea culpa. That last (to borrow another indie author’s term) wasted ink post about the Countdown sale for Murder Upon a Midnight Clear, went out early. The sale is actually TOMORROW, not today.

I think. I hope. (Crossing all fingers and toes and eyes)

Daniel R. Marvello–A Little Romance with Your Fantasy

We’re always listening out for great new fantasy romances around here, so when our good friend Daniel R. Marvello mentioned his new book First Moon, I knew my readers would be interested too. First Moon (The Ternion Order Book 1) released a few weeks ago and though it looks like a bit of a departure for him, I think you’ll find it interesting. So when I extended my invitation, he decided to tell us a little about the romantic thread to First Moon.

A Little Romance with Your Fantasy

by Daniel R. Marvello

When I set out to write fantasy adventure stories, adding romantic elements was not a high priority. Yet readers comment on the relationships between my male and female lead characters nearly as often as they do any other aspect of my stories. Apparently, I can’t help myself.

While I lay no claim to writing romantic fantasy, I do believe that every story (of any genre) benefits from including a little romance. As a reader, I don’t care much for obsessive swooning, but nothing does more to make a story a page-turner for me than putting a relationship or love interest at stake.

To one degree or another, all stories are about people and their relationships. But there’s a reason that romance is the biggest selling book genre: most of us enjoy a good love story, and most of us want a happy ending.

Romance Happens

For me, a big part of character development is figuring out how the characters relate to each other. Their motivations often mesh in surprising ways. The result can become a rivalry, an opposition, or an attraction that affects how the story progresses.

At the same time, circumstance often has a big influence on how relationships develop between characters. In fact, I believe it should have a big influence, because characters who don’t react realistically to their circumstances don’t feel like real characters.

All of the romantic relationships (fictional or otherwise) I can think of depended upon circumstance. Or, as my wife often quotes, “geography is destiny.” Her use of that quote originally referred to a competition between a physically remote relationship and a nearby one, suggesting that the nearby relationship is more likely to win out. But it can also mean that putting two compatible people in close proximity to each other is likely to result in a connection.

Drawing from Reality

I’m a story planner, but I don’t plan down to the scene level. My stories evolve in many ways as I move my characters from one major story beat to the next. I know where everyone is going, but the details of how they get there develop incrementally. In my stories, the romance subplot germinates from one of those details.

I often discover that some event from my own life or someone I know fits perfectly into the story. I modeled the marriage proposal in one of my books on my real-life proposal to my wife. (This anecdote will show you just how romantic I am not.)

Back in October of 1990, my girlfriend and I were driving to Yosemite for a several-day vacation. All of the deciduous trees were turning color and the lateness of the season meant we were virtually alone on the road. Driving up the curves toward the park was surreally beautiful. As I drove, I was thinking about how much I enjoyed spending time with the adorable woman who sat next to me. We had fun with each other all the time, and I wanted to keep doing things with her forever. It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to marry her. The connection from my brain to my mouth formed before I gave it much thought, and I declared my perfectly logical conclusion: “We should get married,” I said. “Okay,” was her answer. And that is the story of our oh-so-romantic betrothal.

Richer Characters

I may not have set out to write romance into my books, but I’m glad things have worked out the way they have. Character development is not just about exploring the passions and motivations of a character in isolation, it’s about how characters with different (or similar) passions and motivations interact.

We humans influence one another. Our interactions drive our emotions, to both good and bad effect. My favorite stories acknowledge that and celebrate it. Relationships can take many forms, but I believe including a little romance makes the characters richer and the story more engaging.

This following information is also available at:

First Moon

First Moon by Daniel R. Marvello

After being dumped by his fiancé, Kyle Nelson is ready for a rebound fling. But a one-night stand turns into a catastrophe that leaves Kyle with violent dreams and disturbing physical symptoms.

Kyle is approached by an attractive witch named Amanda who tries to convince him that he is in danger of turning into a werewolf and that his only hope for a cure lies with her secret society, the Ternion Order.

Initially writing Amanda off as a lunatic, Kyle reconsiders her offer after he attracts the attention of the local pack and learns that his fate will be sealed on the next full moon.

First Moon is a contemporary fantasy adventure of approximately 78,000 words.

You can get First Moon at these retailers:

Thanks for this glimpse into your new series, Daniel! We look forward to reading it, and wish you all the best with it!

This following information is also available at:

Author Daniel R. Marvello Daniel R. Marvello Biography

Daniel R. Marvello writes magical fantasy adventure stories. He lives deep in the forest of the North Idaho panhandle with his wife of 20+ years and a small collection of wonderful pets. His professional background is in database and software development as well as technical writing.

Daniel’s fiction writing was inspired by his love for reading magical fantasy and his years of enjoying fantasy role-playing games. His fiction works include The Vaetra Chronicles, a high fantasy adventure trilogy, and The Ternion Order, a contemporary paranormal fantasy series.

To learn more about Daniel and his Vaetra Chronicles and The Ternion Order, see his website at:

You can also follow him on Facebook:

and Twitter:

or add First Moon to your Good Reads TBR lists, here.

J.J. DiBenedetto– New Release: FEVER DREAM–What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?

Our friend J.J. DiBenedetto has a new release out  entitled Fever Dreams. I’ve had those, and man, are they rough.  Anyone who’s had one knows what a nightmare (pardon the pun) they are! , So I couldn’t resist peeking at the book and inviting him over to tell y’all about it. I hope you will enjoy this little post.

What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?

Find out with the Dream Series by J.J. DiBenedetto! Book #9, FEVER DREAM, is out today!
FeverDreamV2 What’s the story?

Dr. Sara Alderson isn’t used to her patients dying for no reason. When a young boy succumbs to a mysterious illness that defies all her efforts to treat it, she refuses to accept defeat. After two months of questions, Sara has attracted the attention of powerful people who don’t want their secrets uncovered, and will go to any lengths to make sure they stay hidden. Now, time is running out for Sara to unravel the mystery before anyone else falls victim to the illness. And before her career, her family and her freedom are taken from her by enemies she doesn’t even know she has.

Where can you buy it? Amazon (Kindle or Paperback) Smashwords Barnes & Noble (Nook or Paperback) Apple iBookstore Kobo AllRomanceEbooks

Want to know more? Here’s an excerpt!

It’s one in the morning, and the last guests have gone. Other than the cleaning crew, Brian and I are the only ones left in the ballroom. I know we need to leave, but I can’t bear the thought of standing up and trying to walk out of the room, down to the garage and then to the car. I think my feet might literally fall off. “You’re going to have to carry me out of here,” I tell Brian, and he gives me a wicked grin in return. “I was planning on it,” he says, and he stands, takes a deep breath, and lifts me right out of my seat. I yelp and throw my arms around his neck as he carries me out of the room and over to the elevator, barely showing any strain at all. He has to put me down once we get to the elevator, though. “I need a free hand,” he says, hitting the “up” button. But the garage is – oh. I should have known. “You booked a room.” He nods. “And you told my parents we wouldn’t be home tonight.” Another nod. It’s all part of the fantasy, I guess. He’s been imagining that he’s James Bond all night, and after a glitzy evening at the casino, James Bond doesn’t hop into the minivan so he can get home, walk the dog and collapse into bed. No way. He takes his conquest for the evening up to the five-star hotel room, where the champagne is already waiting. On ice, no doubt. The bell dings, he ushers me into the empty elevator, and as the door closes, I feel my fatigue suddenly, instantly, drain away, and I’m all over him. I may not be a fan of those movies, but I know how they go, and it’s not as though I need much of an excuse to throw myself at my husband. By the time the door opens onto the third floor, I’m panting and extricating my hands from his tuxedo jacket. “You woke up in a hurry,” he says, panting himself, pulling his hand off the zipper of my dress, which is already halfway down my back. “Well, I know what you were thinking, and I also know that no girl can resist James Bond, right?” By way of an answer, he leads me down the hall, opens the door to our room, picks me up again and deposits me on the bed. In seconds, he’s finished the job of zipping me right out of my dress, and his tuxedo is in an undignified mess somewhere on the floor. After that – there’s no more thought, just feeling, just his hands and his lips and his – his everything.

Interested in the books that lead up to this one? The first five books in the series are collected in one Kindle Box Set, and it’s on sale this weekend for just $0.99!

What if you could see everyone else’s dreams? Sara Barnes has just discovered that she can. And this gift – or curse – will lead her on an extraordinary journey. Follow Sara as her newfound ability leads her into adventures she never imagined. She will hunt down a serial killer, investigate a plot to murder one of her teachers, unravel a conspiracy between a mobster and a corrupt politician and face off against her nemesis: a woman who shares her talent, but uses it to destroy lives rather than save them. And Sara will have to manage all that while finishing college, becoming a doctor and falling in love, too. Here are the first five books of the Dream Series, along with bonus material created especially for this collection. Included in this set are DREAM STUDENT, DREAM DOCTOR, DREAM CHILD, DREAM FAMILY and WAKING DREAM. In addition, you’ll find the short story BETTY & HOWARD’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE starring Sara’s parents. But most of all, when you open this box of dreams, you’ll find romance, suspense, humor and plenty of heart…

Where do you buy it? Amazon Smashwords Barnes & Noble Apple iBookstore Kobo Google Play

What about books #6, 7 and 8?
DreamReunionV1 Cover Smaller DreamHomeV1 DreamVacationWrapAround_Paris_Front
They’re all on sale at Amazon!
But I like to listen instead of read! What about audiobooks? AudiobookDreamSequence
The first five novels and a short story are all available on Audible! And you can hear samples from all of them right here!
So who’s the author?
Well, technically, that’s a picture of his cat, Danny. Danny is much more photogenic than J.J. is. But J.J. (James, really) is a pretty nice guy. He’s a native New Yorker, although he’s lived in the Washington, DC area for the last 20 years. He loves the opera, reading, photography, science fiction, fondue, travel and the New York Giants. Oh, and of course Danny, and also of course his lovely and talented wife.

Where can I learn more about him?
At his website, on Facebook, on Twitter and at his Amazon Author Page.

Sounds great, James! Thank you for stopping by to tell use about your new release and best of luck with it!

On Gothic–Guest blog at A Woman’s Wisdom

Sing a Mournful Melody, Gothic, short story

Available at Amazon

Monday again, well, for today I have a little guest post of my own to tout.  You may remember, about a month ago, a lovely blogger named Bodicia reviewed my latest piece, SING A MOURNFUL MELODY. Today, she has a guest post by yours truly concerning the story. If you’d like to learn a little bit more about it, and why I decided to write a truly Gothic story, you can read the post here.

Enjoy–and thank you again, Bodicia! :) It’s been a pleasure, my friend!

Nanowrimo’s Antique Magic

I couldn’t fit this in earlier because we’ve been busy, busy here, but I’ve successfully passed the 50k word mark in the rough draft of the forthcoming Antique Magic novel, Mourning Dove Locket. Winner-2014-Facebook-Profile *happy snoopy dance* What’s this “win” mean? Nothing, in the scheme of things, it just means I finished yet another …this year. In fact what it really means is I’ve written over 100,000 words since August! Yes, this August. Which actually means probably closer to 150k (or more) counting Changeling’s Crown and a few things you haven’t seen yet, for the entire year. No, I’m not kidding in the slightest. The other thing about MDL? The thing that is now the book was written not in 4 weeks, but three. I almost didn’t make the official count because there were a few days there when my hands/shoulder hurt so bad I couldn’t do much typing at all. This, my children, is the bane of modern writing. (Did you know even Tolkien was incapacitated this way, at times while writing Lord of the Rings?) In fact, there are still scenes in my notebook from those few days that haven’t made it into the manuscript file.

Yes, that’s right. That makes MDL even longer than its official count of 52k. God knows how long it will be when it’s finally finished. I don’t recommend this typing pace at all, mind you for a lot of reasons, many of which my friend Jo laid out here. With or without this prompt, I’m a born writer; once I was bitten by the bug, I have very rarely ever stopped. But yeah, I get scattered and sometimes I have to force myself to sit down and finish something rather than work on this shiny new thing here. A long, long time ago, I ran across a Behind the Music about I think it was GooGoo Dolls and the singer said that he had the same trouble with writing his songs. He called it working writer’s block.

Once I realized that, I went back to Isaac Asimov’s example and decided not to worry about it when I switched projects. It actually helps my plotting to beg off one story to work on another for a while. (Which, to my beta readers and editors, this is why I have a steady stream of manuscripts to send your way). So what does that all mean? It means, sleep means just an annoying break in my writing. So does eating, playing, social media, knitting, and blogging. ;) I’m a writer, I write, therefore I am. I’m not going to stress myself out about getting down a full manuscript tip to toe in one sitting. It doesn’t matter when a book is finished, just so long as it is. As for MDL, the first draft is not quite finished. maybe another few weeks of sitting down and typing might be needed.  Right now I’m taking a little break on it to revise and get another ready to go to my editors and beta readers. After that, the edits, revisions, and so forth on MDL will commence, but the book that consumed me and frustrated me this year is almost finito! What are Caitlin and co. getting up to this time? Oh, plenty more mysterious mischief! Stay tuned for more on its emergence from the nest…probably sometime in the coming year, if all goes well (*knocks on wood*).

For those of you that tried, but didn’t hit 50k, that’s fine too. You have more in your manuscript than you did before–and that too, is an accomplishment. Don’t walk away from it now. Keep writing until you hit the end and happy holidays.