Category Archives: My Fiction

Open Letter From a Fictional Character – Willow

Standard


It’s today!! A Book Without Dragons is officially out in the world! (Hey, have you been keeping up with the secret code? The last clue is 2:58.) And, in honor of that, we have our final open letter, directly to you from my main Character, Willow Ayers. 

(PS – don’t forget to come to my online release party tonight! I’m really looking forward to it!)

~*~

Hi Everyone,

So… Yeah, I’m Willow. Thanks for letting me talk to you today!

I know I should probably be talking about the specific scientific aspects of the Unitime Satellites, and don’t get me wrong, that’s all important. But here what I really want to talk about: The title.

It’s a weird title, right? “A Book Without Dragons.” Why would a book be defined by what’s not in it? I guess the first thing I’ll tell you about the title is that the title is an accurate statement. There really aren’t any dragons in the book. Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Sneak Peak for Saturday’s Party

Standard


“Hurry up! It’s already 8:44 and we don’t wan’t to be late for the party.” (Confused? Click Here)

Its almost here!! My book launches this Saturday, and I’m so jittery and excited as I’m putting the final touches on my party preparations. (There’s still time to sign up! It’s all online. Click for details)

Check out my (very pretty!) freebies:

20160519_175258_resized Read the rest of this entry

Willow – Chapter 0

Standard


Here is the final installment of my Chapter 0 series for A Book Without Dragons. (Which hits the shelves in less than a week, can you believe it?? Have you been keeping up with your clues for the coupon code? By the way, it is precisely 7:55. Click Here if you’re not sure what I’m talking about)

Let’s take a look at what Willow was doing just before the book begins…

~*~

Jasper told him to keep the windows covered at all times, but it was a rule that Willow broke at least once a day. It wasn’t that he was claustrophobic or even all that unhappy about being in the hotel suite every day—he was never particularly “outdoorsy”—but he did enjoy seeing the sky.

Willow sat on the floor and eased the heavy curtains away until he saw sunlight. Without meaning to, his mind did some quick calculations to determine if any of his satellites were currently over Chagrin Heights. They weren’t, but one would be orbiting in another hour. He’d have to remember to look out the window again then. Read the rest of this entry

You’re Invited to my release party!

Standard


“It’s 11:11 – Make a wish!” (Confused? Click Here)

~*~

magnet image

Well, here we are! In another two weeks, A Book Without Dragons will be out in the world, and I am so excited! (Also, very sleepy—there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that happens in the home stretch—but mostly I’m just excited.)

And guess what?! I’m inviting you to an online release party. If you’ve never been to an online book release, check out my previous post Here. The party I attended for Coven was lots of fun, so I decided I definitely wanted to host one of my own when A Book Without Dragons was ready. Read the rest of this entry

An Open Letter from a Fictional Character – Zabby

Standard


“Hey, settle an argument for me and my friends. It’s 3:03, isn’t it?” (Confused? Click Here)

Time for me to hand the keyboard over to another of my characters from A Book Without Dragons. Okay, Zabbytake it away!

~*~

Dear Readers,

So, I was sort of stuck for a topic, and I asked Hannah what I should write about, and she suggested Unitime. (Weird, right? I mean, next week’s letter is from the scientist who invented Unitime. Don’t you think maybe he should be the one to explain it?) But I guess I’ll give it a shot…

I really can’t tell you much about how Unitime works. It’s something to do with a bunch of satellites they launched a when I was a kid. I don’t know exactly when. 10 years ago? Maybe 15? Probably closer to 15, because I was still in grade school. I remember having a class party to watch the news broadcast. Someone’s mom made cupcakes for everyone. Read the rest of this entry

Zabby – Chapter 0

Standard


“Wow, is it 4:26 already?!” (Confused? Click Here)

Here is the fourth in my Chapter 0 series. Let’s check out what Zabby was doing right before the start of the book…

~*~

Finally, I’m allowed to leave the diner. This has been the worst waitressing shift ever. (Except not really, because we all know that’s a pretty tough category to win.)

I get outside, and I just want to go home and take a nap, but then I see them: that group of boys who were hitting on me. Fantastic. I duck behind a car like a criminal or something and slink away from the street. I’m not dealing with those guys again. Nope.

I guess taking the long way home isn’t that terrible. Chagrin Heights is so tiny it’s nearly impossible to be far away from anything. I’ll just cut through this residential block and be home in—

“Oh, hello, Zabby! How are you dear?” Read the rest of this entry

The Advance Reader Copies are Here!

Standard


“Wait, hold up… did you just say it was 2:58? Can’t be!” (Confused? Click here.)

Guess what??!! The advanced reader copies of my new book came in yesterday! (So very excited.) And I’ve set aside 10 of them specifically for my social media family. (That means YOU!) So, send me an e-mail and you could read A Book Without Dragons for free!

Arcs

Read the rest of this entry

Teaser from my new book!

Standard


First off, I accidentally skipped a week on my secret code so, here’s a double dose…. 

“My clock stopped and it’s been stuck on 3:03 for days.”

“It can’t be 1:15 already! Your watch must be fast.” 

And now, on to the main event 🙂 Here is a teaser from my new novel A Book Without Dragons, featuring Willow.

~*~

Willow Ayers heard the news station’s ‘breaking story’ jingle, and promptly abandoned the simulation he was running on his computer. He crossed the cozy bed and breakfast suite in a few less-than-graceful strides and crouched in front of the little television, breathing shallowly, eyes wide and terrified as they locked on the news lady reporting that the hostage situation in Boise was finally under control.

“Now that the hostage has been rescued,” the anchor announced, “authorities have confirmed that it is not the Unitime engineer, Willow Ayers.”

Yes, but is the hostage okay? Willow thought desperately as the reporter summarized the story for the benefit of those who hadn’t been following it all day. Is he hurt? Will he recover? Read the rest of this entry

An Open Letter from a Fictional Character (Cider)

Standard


Okay… so, I know I’m supposed to have a letter from each of my POV characters. Trust me, we tried very hard to get Cider to write a letter but (what can I say?) the majority of dogs have no talent for penmanship.

Here’s what I’m doing instead: I’m spreading out a bunch of different toys in a room, and putting Cider in it. He’ll pick up whichever toys he feels best describe the book. My trusty alter-ego Hannah has kindly agreed to moderate the activity.

~*~

Cider bounds into the room, and sees the girl who is not part of his normal home, but he loves her anyway. He also sees toys. Lots of toys! So many—

But wait! The girl is kneeling down to dog-level and opening her arms like she wants cuddles. Cuddles are way more exciting than toys, so Cider runs over and gives her kisses while they have a nice snuggle. Read the rest of this entry

Cider – Chapter 0

Standard


“By the way, you might want to fix that clock. It’s 8:44.” (Confused? Click Here)

~*~

Cider is chewing on his squeaky toy when he smells something that isn’t part of the normal house smells. It smells exciting! Perhaps it’s even more exciting than the squeaky toy, so Cider goes to find out.

Daddy is out of the house, and Mommy is asleep, or else he would go find them so they could discover the smell together. But that is okay; Cider will find it on his own, and then when Daddy gets back he will be proud.

Ah, here it is! Read the rest of this entry

An open letter from a fictional Character (Bethany)

Standard


Here is the second of my Open Letter Series for the upcoming novel, A Book Without Dragons. And now, I shall turn the keyboard over to Bethany…

~*~

Dear Readers,

You’ve been told (more than once, I believe) that the clocks are wrong. I think you’ve also been told that this is a much larger problem than it sounds, but no one has yet explained why.

Let me start by saying that I was skeptical in the beginning as well. After all, people aren’t idiots. People can make a guess at what time it is. People know approximately when stores open and close. People can put brownies in the oven for around twenty-five minutes without timing it to the second.

That’s all true. The problem is that people aren’t the only ones that use time. Read the rest of this entry

Bethany – Chapter 0

Standard


Hi, everyone! Here is the second of my Chapter 0 series. Let’s check out what Bethany was doing right before the start of A Book Without Dragons…

 ~*~

You stand at the checkout line in the grocery store, listening to the methodical beeping of the items as the sweet, young girl scans them. You don’t look at her. You’d really rather be invisible.

All the same, you imagine her expression—shock, perhaps a touch of disgust—when she sees what you are buying. A pregnancy test? At your age?!

How old was this girl, anyway? Maybe not even 18. Half your age.

To that girl, a pregnancy test is reason for panic rather than hope. You wonder if she’s ever purchased one; even watched it with stalled breath, begging it to be negative.

Meanwhile, you’d give anything for it to be positive. Read the rest of this entry

Five Tales of a Lost Teddy

Standard


Remember how I said each of my five main characters for A Book Without Dragons is written in their own unique writing style? (No? Never fear, I’ll get you up to speed – Click Here).

Well, I thought it would be fun to write a post where I put each of them in the same situation and then write a micro-scene of their reactions in their individual writing style. So, here is what my five characters did when they found a lost teddy bear in the park…

~*~

Bethany (2nd Person, Present Tense)

It looks like a balled-up sweater from a distance, but when you get closer you realize it’s a stuffed bear, and just like that, you are having a terrible day. Read the rest of this entry

An open letter from a fictional character (Snowiks)

Standard


As promised, here is the first of five letters, directly from one of my characters to you! Snowiks hails from A Book Without Dragons, which is charging into the world in 4 months. (Squee!!) Enjoy! 

~*~

To: Readers

From: Chief Snowiks, CHPD, Idaho

Good Morning, Readers. It has come to my attention that, while you have received information thus far about the main characters in this novel, you have been told little—and possibly nothing—about the place in which these people live. I firmly believe that it is impossible to properly understand a situation without the context of a physical location. Therefore, I’ll be taking this opportunity to tell you where we live. Read the rest of this entry

Snowiks – Chapter 0

Standard


Welcome to my first ‘Chapter 0’ post for A Book Without Dragons! Let’s check out what Snowiks was up to right before the book starts… 

~*~

I scanned and submitted that last of my paperwork, and then stared intently at the phone wishing it would ring. It probably wouldn’t, though. Officer Grayson was no longer a rookie; he no longer called with questions unless something went wrong.

It wasn’t that I particularly wanted anything to go wrong. I just knew that the remaining two hours of my day would feel like ten if I spent them rearranging paperweights. I have four paperweights on my desk: all thank you gifts from the same middle school teacher. Our station was a popular field trip spot with her for a few years, but then she got permission to bring them to a bigger (and probably more exciting) police station in Boise, so that was the end of that. Read the rest of this entry

My Characters Decorating Trees

Standard


Memo to All Characters: With the approaching winter holidays, I will be providing each of you with a small pine tree. Please submit your proposals for how you wish to decorate it so I can supply the appropriate ornaments.

Your friendly neighborhood alter-ego

~ Hannah Barbeck.

 

Willow (From A Book Without Dragons)

“I just want lights, please. No ornaments.”

[Hannah: That doesn’t sound like you…]

“And a sophisticated circuit board and programming equipment so I can make the lights spell out seasonal messages and change colors and respond to voice commands.”

[Hannah: Okay, that sounds like you.]

Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Cider

Standard


This is the fifth and final character reveal for A Book Without Dragons! I’ve even collected them all together in this nifty Characters Page, so lovely explorers of the Internet won’t need to go hunting for them.  

~*~

Name: Cider

Appearance: He has amber-brown hair, dark brown eyes, a permanent smile, two left feet… Oh, did I mention yet that he’s a dog? 😉 He’s a mixed breed, a little smaller than a golden retriever and a little more energetic than a tornado. Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Bethany

Standard


We’re at # 4 of my character reveals for A Book Without Dragons! (If you want to get caught up, the other reveals are all Here.) This week we’ll be meeting the lady who gets the weirdest writing style in the book, so if you think I had a lot of fun writing her scenes then you obviously know me very well.

~*~

Name: Bethany Gardner

Appearance: She is a heavy-set, middle-aged woman. She wouldn’t have much to say about her appearance that could be construed as positive, but that has more to do with her attitude than her looks. She has thick, dark hair (which she dyes to keep the grays away), kind eyes, and a soft voice perfectly suited for reading bedtime stories. Read the rest of this entry

The Videos that inspired my Dancing Story (Which is free on Amazon, by the way!!)

Standard


Hey, guess what? My Dancing Novelette is free on Amazon for the next five days! (Snag a copy here). To kick this off, I thought I’d share a little of my inspiration for the story…


When I’m writing a certain project, I generally have a ‘tool kit’ of inspirational things that I go to when I need to get the juices flowing. Sometimes it’s a song, or a series of pictures, or a passage of fiction, or a physical object… you get the idea.

When I was working on The World That Forgot How to Dance, my primary jump-starters were these two videos. I normally watched them before every writing session, and sometimes in the middle of a writing session if I got stuck, and sometimes right before bed if I wanted my subconscious to keep working on the story while I slept. Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Snowiks

Standard


Today we have the third of my character reveals for A Book Without Dragons!

The spotlighted character this week has actually been on my blog before for a crossover drabble back in September (Which you can read Here, if you missed it. It’s particularly worth a look if you’re a fan of Lester from The World That Forgot How to Dance.)

~*~

Name: Harold Snowiks – I mostly refer to him by his last name

Appearance: He’s approaching retirement when the book opens (and he’s not at all excited about the prospect of being put out to pasture, by the way.) His hair is mostly gray, but was dark brown once. He’s tall, has smoky-brown eyes, and a focused expression that frequently comes off as ‘stern.’ Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Zabby

Standard


Here is the second of my character reveals for A Book Without Dragons!

~*~

Name: Zabby (short for ‘Elizabeth’) Reynolds

Appearance: She is thin, blonde, blue-eyed, pretty, and doesn’t appreciate all of the stereotypes that come along with these things.

Occupation: Waitress at the small-town Diner. It’s not a ‘forever’ job, though. Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Willow

Standard


Welcome to my first of five character reveals for A Book Without Dragons (Coming May 21, 2016. I set a date! Exciting, yes??) Over the next couple months, I’ll be introducing you to my five main POV characters.

~*~

Name: Willow Ayers

Appearance: He’s a little shorter than average, and slightly chubby—a very huggable man, I think. He has curly, blonde hair (though it’s not super curly. Or super blonde.), blue eyes, and is rather pale, though not sickly. He has a few scars from a car accident. Don’t ask him about his scars, though. He doesn’t like to talk about it. Read the rest of this entry

My Characters Enjoying Summer Activities

Standard

This post contains characters from the following:
The World That Forgot How to Dance
No More Heroes
A Book Without Dragons
Across Silence and Darkness (Featured in the upcoming anthology Coven)

In honor of the glorious month known as August, I asked my characters to choose their favorite Summer activity. (Also, this’ll be by first time letting the characters from my just-announced upcoming novel–A Book Without Dragons–show their pretty faces on the internet. Say hi, everybody!)


 

Ellsie
(From The World That Forgot How to Dance)

“Stargazing. Or really, anything that happens late at night and outside. Since I normally practice my dancing at night (it’s just safer that way) I associate the night with all of the feelings that go along with dance.”


Zen
(From No More Heroes)

“Planning next year’s classes. It’s nice to have the space to really analyze what worked last year and what didn’t.”

[Hannah: Wow. Sounds… fun.]

“I wear flip flips while I do it.”  Read the rest of this entry

Character Focus: Ellsie

Standard

This post features Ellsie
from The World That Forgot How to Dance
No Spoilers

Hey, Everyone! I have another Character Survey for you. This one features Ellsie from my fantasy web serial, The World That Forgot How to Dance.  

ELLSIE

  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 22
  • Hair Color: Light brown
  • Eye Color: Dark brown
  • Hair Style: Curly, cut very short, doesn’t cover the ears, no accessories
  • Body Type: Medium height, thin, like a ballet dancer, carries herself confidently but modestly
  • Favorite color: Baby Blue
  • Typical Outfit: Skirt that comes down to just below the knees, flowing but not like the gypsy skirts, plain white tank top, flats, one bracelet, stud earrings

 

What is your ‘senior standout’ title? Best Dancer. But that’s really obvious, isn’t it? So, besides that, how about Most Likely to Come to a Class Reunion.

 

Name one thing you have no talent for: Styling my hair. I actually used to have much longer hair, but it was so curly and frizzy and I had no idea how to do anything with it. All of my attempts ended in hopeless disaster, so eventually I decided to cut it short enough that I wouldn’t need to mess with it any more. Read the rest of this entry

Deleted Scenes: The World That Forgot How to Dance

Standard


You know the fantasy web serial I’m running? The drafting phase of this story definitely took the scenic rout. In the end, there were many scenes that didn’t make the final cut. Most of them were scenes I wrote early on of Ellsie dancing, back when I was still trying to get my head around her as a character.

In the end, these scenes were replaced by other dancing sequences that were actually moving the plot along, but I just wanted to share this one because I really liked the way it turned out.

~*~

Reverently, Ellsie lifted the wine glass from her bag, setting it on the grass and taking a moment to admire the way the transparent surface caught the starlight. The grass rose to tickle the underside of the glass, like it knew that this was something unnatural and exotic and wanted to unlock its secrets as to how it could capture the light of the moon which the humble plants could only distantly admire. Read the rest of this entry

Fantasy Web Serial – Part 7

Standard



Welcome to the seventh installment of my fantasy web serial!

“Hey, Olivia: I’m new to the story…” – Oh really? Fantastic! You can read it here.

“Hey, Olivia: I’m also new to the story, but I’m pressed for time…” – Equally fantastic! Pop over here for the nutshell summary. 

The World That Forgot How to Dance

Part 7

True to her word, Denise was waiting in the university’s library. Ellsie wondered if she might possibly live there. When the girl turned her dark eyes to Ellsie, they narrowed in confusion or challenge, like she wasn’t convinced the other was real until she spoke.

“I’d like to know…” Ellsie paused, “…the answer to what we were talking about,” she finished the statement in quiet ambiguity. Freedom was still unfamiliar on her skin, and she was quite uninterested in doing anything that might get her caught again.

Denise nodded in gravest understanding and led her to a soundproof room in the library that contained one tiny television for viewing archived materials.

Once the door was closed, Ellsie said, “Do you know anything about Laenin?” Read the rest of this entry

Fantasy Web Serial – Part 6

Standard



Welcome to the sixth installment of my fantasy web serial!

“Hey, Olivia: I’m new to the story…” – Oh really? Fantastic! You can read it here.

“Hey, Olivia: I’m also new to the story, but I’m pressed for time…” – Equally fantastic! Pop over here for the nutshell summary. 

The World That Forgot How to Dance

Part 6

Ellsie was roused early in the morning by a low argument coming from the other cell. At first, the voice she heard was so frightened that she didn’t realize it belonged to Lester.

“I haven’t made any problems!”

“There have been inquiries,” the deeply disinterested voice of the guard told him.

“So, just lie to them.”

“We can’t take the risk. Come on.” Read the rest of this entry

The 777 Challenge

Standard


I was recently nominated by the enchanting Alex of the blog Valourborn to join in the 777 challenge, and—what can I say?—I’m a sucker for anything involving numbers.

The challenge is:

  • Go to your current work in progress
  • Scroll to page 7
  • Count 7 sentences
  • Share the next 7 sentences after that
  • And of course, tag people to do the same. You can even tag 7 people if you want to really get into the number theme.

  Read the rest of this entry

New Published Story! (and the bracelet that inspired it)

Standard


Guess what, friends? I have a new story out there! It was published by Every Day Fiction on March 1st, and you can read it right here. This is not my first time publishing with EDF, but the first time I’ve had a fantasy (fantasy-ish? Someone in the comments called it a parable, which may be closer) piece appear on their website.

This story began as an object. This one.

Angel Bracelet

I was given this bracelet by my Great Aunt, who is also my pen pal, and a delightfully eclectic lady. I’ve always been oddly fascinated with holding it and playing with it. It has a very nice weight which I find comforting, and I’ve always really enjoyed the concept of angels, so one morning I decided I really wanted to write a story that incorporated both angels and beaded bracelets. Read the rest of this entry

My Characters and things they love <3

Standard

This post features characters from my stories
No Spoilers

Memo: To All Characters

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like each of you to tell me one thing that you love. (For those of you from fantasy worlds, or otherwise unfamiliar with this holiday, please see the attached pamphlet.) Before you worrisome types stress out, this is not supposed to be the thing you love most. Just say one random thing that makes your heart go all a-flutter.

Those who participate will receive a choice of the following: 1.) a fancy cupcake, 2.) a foot massage, or 3.) a free pass on one of these little activities in the future. But of course I’m just kidding about #3. Some of you are so gullible… Read the rest of this entry