Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our World of Mythical Beings

I like the idea of magical things.  The Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, and yes, even Mermaids.  It’s not that I believe in them, but it’s not that I don’t either.  I caught the Mermaid – Body Found and New Evidence event on Animal Planet and I have to say, the idea really interests me.  Really gets my brain wondering.  That’s a good thing, by the way. 

I am fascinated by the idea that they might, maybe, possibly could be out there; we just haven’t yet found them. Are we “Humans” so vain and conceited that we believe we are the only intelligent life out there?  Are we so egotistical that we can’t believe in something we haven’t seen?

I personally have not seen a million dollars, but I do know it’s out there.  I have not personally seen the planet Mars either, but again, I know it’s out there.   I could laugh at most of the things shown on the mermaid show as made up fantasy, except for one small thing.  The cave paintings:

They had images of cave paintings in Egypt said to be from 30,000 or so years ago.  They depicted a struggle or a war between two legged humans and a human-like form with a long fin tail.  It was very well done and very interesting.  Is it real?  Can’t tell. I have been trying to find the real source of it since watching it (which is why my post is a bit late this week) but all I can find are blogs, such as this asking the same question.  Here is a photo of it that I found at least.  I hope it loads.

It was a well thought out productions, and yes, at the very end of the show, there in small type was a short disclaimer by the editor that the production was a work of science fiction.  Does that make it unreal though?  The ideas they put forth, and the reasons we haven’t found them, were good points.  One being that they travel constantly.  They don’t just stay in one place for long.  They also travel with whale packs to camouflage themselves.  Further, because they are slowly but surely dying out, there are not many of them left to even find. 

The conspiracy theory though made me laugh at first.  That the governments from all over the world, but especially in the U.S.A., were hiding the existence of mermaids.  To what end?  I was not buying that at all, until _____, felt the need to put out a statement stating that they were NOT hiding anything, and that no evidence exists of mermaids.  Hmmm…what was the point of denying it?  If there was nothing out there, why were they so worried as to feel the need to put out a memo?  Here is a link to the very short statement just for your reading pleasure. 

Then you have this little beauty that was entertaining at least:

Again, I don’t believe in mermaids, in the here and now, and yet…I don’t not believe in them.  I like the idea.  The magic of it.  The fantasy of it.  I would love to come upon one some day, even if they are evil killers as depicted now and then.  Humans can be as well, from what I see every single day on the news.  Maybe I should take up deep-sea whale watching…just in case. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 2013 - Update

December 2013 – Update

You will be happy to know, I was able to complete NANO this year.  However, it was quite the struggle.  I started out writing a romance type of story.  It was going along all right the first week.  The second week, I decided I wasn’t enjoying my Main Character.  By the beginning of the third week, I didn’t like my main character or my main guy character at all.  I realized I was just going with the motions and putting down a story and words.  The writing was horrible, as I didn’t care anymore.  I finished the story out on the 21st, but it only came to 41,990 words.  I didn’t know what to do, as I didn’t want to waste anymore of my time on that crappy book!  Yes, I hated it that much. 

So I read a bit of the rules for Nano and decided to begin a new novel to tack onto the crap one.  But I didn’t start it right away.  I was a bit bummed about how the first story came out and procrastinated.  There is definitely something to be said for connecting with your characters in order to have a good book.  So, I put off beginning.  Then Thanksgiving hit and I didn’t have to time to write.  Finally, the last day of Nano hit and I was still 8,000+ behind and only one day to do it. 

I whined a bit to my family about failing Nano.  I have to say I was a bit surprised by their response.  They said, to finish dinner, then go and write. Do what I am always telling other writers to:  Sit your butt down and just do it.  So, at 7:00 p.m. I sat down in my lovely quiet office, turned on a bit of Fleetwood Mac, and began a new story.  I wrote for an hour, then took a break.  Sometimes it was just to clear my brain a bit, sometimes it was to rock a small baby to gain a moment of peace, and sometimes it was just to snatch a snack or take a hug from my Seren.  At 11:00 p.m. I had 800 more words to go.  My fingers were flying.  The story was spewing from my brain in a flood.  It was great.

At 11:30, I uploaded what I had:  The first crap novel of about 42,000 and the new pretty good start and decent story of 8,000 all totaling 52,020 words.  I made it and I got a banner to prove it.

I am pretty excited about my new story.  Of course after Nano, I didn’t feel like writing at all, so it has stayed set at 8,000+ but I am very happy with this one.  I will get back to it very soon.  I think I deserve a bit of a break, so for the rest of December I will be reading.  I have a load of ebooks on my Kindle that need my attention. 

What will I do with my crap novel?  Trash can it I think.  I will hold it for a while to see if I change my mind, or if I think I can salvage it somehow.  I think Romance just isn’t for me.  There are good moments in it, but all in all, it sucks.


Monday, November 11, 2013

November Quicki

A quick mid-ish way point in November, to say hello.  Nano is moving along at a nice clipped rate.  I don’t think I will any problems making my 50,000 + word count for the month. What of my story?  I hate it.  I am trying something way new and way out of my comfort zone and that may be the reason I hate it.  I think the revision and review process is going to be a dozy for me, but I will prevail in the end.  It will either be an exercise in bad writing or it will be a door opening to another genre.  I will just have to wait and see how it turns out. 

Baby Bear did arrive on October 30, 2013.  He weighed in at 9.1 lbs and 21.5 inches long.  He is a nice big boy and thankfully healthy.  Mom and baby both are doing exemplary.  I promised a few photos, so here you go.  Isn’t he the cutest thing ever!

Monday, October 28, 2013

November Activities - 2013

Where in the world have I been?  Swamped! 

Did you know I am expecting my first grandbaby?  Well, he was due on the 24th and refuses to make an appearance.  We have been on baby watch for over a week now and all I find myself doing is waiting and worrying and waiting some more.  Not really in the blogging mood because of it.  He will make his appearance when he is good and ready and not a moment before, apparently.  Well, by Wednesday if not before.  Otherwise he is coming out by way of induction.  Will I be sharing photos?  Of Course!  That may be the only thing you see from me for the next few weeks though. 


Because I am starting NANO on November 1st.  What is NANO?  That would be the contest…activity…event where writers get together and spend 30 days (November 1 – November 30) writing at least 50,000 words.  A novel in a month.  It’s a great time to sit down in a chair and write, write, write.  I have completed it once before and it produced quite the mess of a novel, but after some intense revisions it turned out to be something usable and in fact publishable.  So, this year I intend on it producing hopefully the same type of results.  I can do it!  What do you get if you win?  Nothing.  An award of completion.  A T-shirt if you want one.  I do want one, so…

What that means, is that I will be spending all my time, free and otherwise, writing all the month long of November, and I will not be blogging much.  I have found that for the year 2013, I have been spending way too much time working on blogging and social networking and not enough time writing, which is what I want to be doing.  So beginning in November, I will be focusing on the writing more than the other administrative activities.  I’m not saying I will not be blogging, or blog hopping, or social networking, I am saying I will be cutting way back on it. What that means exactly, I am not sure yet.  I am still trying to find a balance that works for me. 

I do promise to upload a few photos of our lovely grandbaby once he finally decides to arrive.  That is all I am promising for the moment though.  I have a feeling I am going to be going a little nutty for the next few weeks while I fight my way through NANO. 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Buried Alive by Revisions

Another week is past us.  I could go all political today, but the reality is, I am buried under in my final revisions to Shadow Fire.  So, instead of having a lovely rant at our world that is today, enjoy these photos of fluffy bunnies instead. 

I will be back next week.  Oh, those of little faith, I will!  I only have 40 more pages to get through.  Have a great week everyone!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Memories of Halloween - 3 of 3

Memories of Halloween

Times have really changed since I was a child.  Way back then…, Halloween was about plastic masks, cut up bed sheets, candy, and cartoon specials on the TV.  Now, its about how sexy can you be, how much trouble can you cause, and still…candy (thank goodness!).  Don’t get me wrong, I did my share of TP’ing as a child, but I never stole candy from children, nor did I sit in wait to scary the crap out of unsuspecting children out for the candy beg, or beat them up in the process.  I also would not have been allowed out of the house in some of the outfits that pass as costumes today.  WOW…why can’t they just be children for a while?  Why do they have to be sexy costumes?  Not just dress up like a bee, but a sexy bee.  Wonder Woman is now sexy Wonder Woman.  Vampires?  Sexy…and on and on it goes.  I don’t get girls anymore.  The point of dressing up, as you now know if you read my previous posts, is to scare away the spirits, not to show off your behind or chest for the members of the opposite sex.  Some of my costumes were of the sad variety, but everyone’s were back then.  Parents didn’t have the money or maybe the desire to shell $45 a year for a one-night event.  We used boxes and painted them up like the Rubic’s cube.  We cut up old sheets to be ghosts.  We got a $3 mouse nose, to match with a brown shirt and pants.  A black leo with painted on whiskers and construction paper ears.  That was Halloween. Half the fun was coming up with and putting into action a costume.  Ok, consumerism, and sexification of our youth rant over.  Moving on.

One of my favorite traditions to this day, is cutting and creating Jack-o-Lanters.  As a child it was the ole triangle eyes, nose, and jagged mouth.  Today, it’s an incredible feat, hours in the making.  I love the finished product of the candle lit from within.  It makes a nice festive moment of darkness and light.  It’s creepy and yet lovely all at the same time.  Yes, pumpkins are a favorite. 

One of the other moments of the Halloween season that I really look forward to, are the horror movies!  October hits and all the scary movies you can think of can be found on channel after channel and full of gore, fear, and death.  I love this time of year!  I am sure the Stephen King marathon will be coming on soon.  I will be losing sleep over it.  Who can go to sleep when at 2 a.m. CUJO is coming on?  Or Salem’s Lot!  Yes, the best thing about the season is all the horror flicks.  I love them!  (FYI I just checked and… AMC is starting their Stephen King Marathon right now!  It goes through the 11th of October. Yes!)

The last item on my list of Halloween Tradition favorites…the CANDY.  What would Halloween be without Sixlets, or Oh Henry bars, a bag full of tootsie rolls?  Thankfully my children were always very nice to me and shared their candy horde.  It’s a good thing, as I would have had to lower myself to stealing it from them.  Hey, I bought the stupid costume, took them around in the frozen rain (It’s Ohio, it always rains on Halloween or snows.) through numb toes, and frozen ears.  I deserve a Milky Way!  I do!

So what are your plans for the event of the year?  You better hurry up and figure it out, I saw Christmas trees in the aisles this past weekend.  They may just chuck out all the Halloween fun and fill it with elves and such before the end of the month.  You could miss out if you don’t decide soon.  You may not like it, but you know I’m right all the same. Ha!

Happy October!  I love this month!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Halloween Traditions - 2 of 3

Halloween Continued…

Apparently this is more of a boring topic than I anticipated, but I like the Halloween history and traditions, so I am pushing forward with my series.  I know, it should be more about the reader, but since I have to write it, I have to at least have some interest in the subject.  Besides, how can you NOT like Halloween? 

This week we start out with the Christian traditions.  Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve, which is the day that the Christians spent honoring the dead and the old saints.  It is considered a Holy Day of Obligation.  One way they honored the dead was by ringing bells.  Why bells are honoring, I don’t know.  Maybe in the past, it was more a gesture, than the sound.  That I can understand.

The traditions we see today, the dressing up and ringing of doorbells, getting treats or gifts, all come from a mixture of old traditions as you can see.  It wasn’t until the Irish and Scottish immigrants began to make their way to America that the real celebrations began to take effect.  Their stories of magic and otherworldly creatures livened up the events, so to speak.  Thank you Irish and Scottish immigrants. 

Moving on to The Chinese traditions.  They hold the Festival of Hungry Ghosts (Yue Lan).  Instead of dressing in costumes to hide from the evil spirits, they would give gifts to provide them comfort in hopes of making them go back where they belong.

In Japan, they celebrate the Bon Festival, which is a Buddhist Holiday to honor the deceased ancestors.  They have out-door festivals to celebrate.  They all visits the graves of their families in order to clean them and show them respect and honor.  Then at sunset they light lanterns and put them in bodies of waters, to float away.  It’s a symbolic gesture of the spirits returning to the otherworld once again. 

Romanians, however, have one of my favorite celebrations.  They celebrate the story of Dracula.  Woo Hoo!  It says they “believe” as in the present tense, that he still comes to haunt the towns from time to time.  He stays in the area because he likes the environment where so many of the witch trials took place.  Creepy!  Yet, fantastic as well. 

To be continued…. Next week I will be discussing my own favorites in the Halloween Traditions.  Have  great week everyone.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Halloween - Part 1

I know it’s only September, but Halloween is on my mind.  It is one of those holidays that is actually fun.  Not much stress involved, but loads of fun for the taking.  I thought for today I would go back and do a series on customs and such that are a big part in making up the event, as we know it today. 

Part 1:

The original source of our Halloween came from pagan tradition.  Yes, there are some that believe the Christian celebration of Halloween was first, from what I can tell, the Pagans have them beat.  These pagan festivals honored the gods of fruits, such as the Roman Pomona. Not so much scary in that and reminds me of the Celtic festivals.  Another pagan tradition is the festival of Parentalia, which is believed to honor the deceased. 

This brings me to the Celtics, who had the festival of Samhain.  This marked the end of summer and the harvest. They held bonfires, which were to provide light for those bringing in livestock from the fields or mountains to be slaughtered for winter. The Celts believe that on Samhain, the door to the underworld would open, letting in spirits, both good and bad. They would have a great feast that would include them setting a place for any deceased relatives, just in case they came to visit on that day. The bad and the evil spirits entered the earthly realm as well on this day. The people would dress up in costumes, in order to confuse the evil spirits.  This custom later entailed visiting houses while in costume, to collect food for the feast.  Sound familiar? 

Other legends associated with Samhain, are due to the belief that the underworld opened on that day.  Such as the idea and belief that body parts of those who had died during the last year would become animated on that day, and could possess the living. Many Celtics would also extinguish all lights and fires inside of their homes, so that it was purposely very cold and dark.  Therefore, spirits would not be drawn there.

This brings me to Pumpkins.  They were carved in order to light the paths at night and protect people from the evil spirits. The carved pumpkin’s namesake, Jack-o-lantern, comes from the legend of a boy named Jack, who paraded through town with a pumpkin in which he’d trapped the devil. The devil then cursed Jack upon his release and condemned him to spend forever in hell. Thereafter, when the gates open on Halloween, Jack would escape from Hell and wreak havoc upon the town. The Jack-o-Lanterns were supposed to trick Jack into thinking they held the devil in them, and scare him off.  This is a new one for me.  I didn’t know the origin of the Jack-o-Lantern.

To be continued….

Monday, September 9, 2013

Stephen King - On Writing

As most of my regulars know, I grew up on Stephen King books.  The gore, the thrill, the what the heck wildness of his books.  Then somewhere along the way, I grew tired of them.  Maybe it was simply that I had grown up and got to busy for them.  Maybe it was the change in my taste from horror to historical.  Either way, I stopped reading him. 

Then this book came out several years ago.  Now being a writer, you’d think I would have jumped at the book.  I didn’t.  No real reason, again.  It was partly, from the lack of desire to get back into his books.  And it was partly due to the remarks here and there he had about other authors or want-to-be authors.  I found it rude at times and hurtful at others even though he wasn’t talking about me.  (Note:  Please, Stephen King, don’t read my books and then drudge them through the dirt.  I don’t have the thick skin you need in this industry.  I’m getting there, yes.  However, my feelings are still tender.)  I felt for the likes of Stephanie Myers, VC Andrews and now, James (Fifty Shades of uck).  I get what he is says and I agree in some aspects, but geez man, do you have to be so…mean?

Therefore, I wasn’t all that keen to spend what little book money I had for the year on this book.  However, it was again and again thrown at me.  “You have to read this!”  “He writes like you.”  What?  Like me how?  “Yes, he doesn’t like to outline.  He goes with the story.”  On and on, this book was in my face and in my way. 

I bought it.  In soft cover so that I could make notes, just in case I wanted to (I did, darn it all!)  It is not a sit down and devour type of book.  Just isn’t.  You have to take it in a bit at a time and really think about what he is saying.  I took about 3 weeks to get through it.  After the first section, I read a chapter or two a day, then processed. 

So what did I think?  I think it was wonderful.  I can’t believe how much I got out of his book on writing.  Who knew?  The first section is background, and story telling of his past and I loved it.  The second part was really about getting to it; how to get to it; and what to do to get there.  It was without all the mumbo jumbo you usually find out there in the writer books.  It was straight forward, to the point, and as usual, direct.  It was a great read and a book I will no doubt come back to again and again.  I can’t believe I put off reading it all this time.  If you are a fiction writer, or think you want to become a fiction writer, buy the book.  It is useful. 

Darn you, Stephen King!  You got me again.  Thank you for that.  I missed ya.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Reunions and the Past Revisited - Last in the Series of Moments that Shape.

The timing of this post is kinda funny to me.  My high school reunion (I’m not mentioning how many years, just cause) was this past weekend.  I intended to go.  No sure why, but I thought it would be entertaining.  Then the time came up and I kept putting off RSVP’ing and paying.  Then the day was here and I hesitated and balked, and in the end didn’t go.  Today I went online and saw many photos of everyone that had attended and realized something, I could not figure out who ¾ of the people were.  They are not in my current circle.  They don’t talk to me.  They don’t support me or I them in anyway.  Why did I want to go and spend some of my coveted free moments with them?  The answer…apparently I didn’t. 

So onward with my life lessons and shaping moments, maybe you will understand why I am a bit ambivalent about the whole reunion thing.  Maybe you wont. 

When I was in the 6th grade, I was told we would be moving, yet again.  Where this time?  How far away?  In this case, FAR.  So I would have to say goodbye to my friends, the small amount that I had gathered, yet again.  I was ticked.  I don’t deny it.  I was that 12-year-old hell on wheels, when I was informed of this change.  I pouted.  I was mean.  I was quiet.  I made the lives of my parents hell, just because I didn’t like their choice.  I was a typical pre-teen. 

We moved to Sunbury, Ohio.  From inner-city to a po-dunk farm town, this was a culture shock for me.  I went from being first/second flute in the band, to not having first or second anything.  It was just a flute section.  I went from struggling to keep up in math to being so far ahead that I was bored.  I went from finally have a small group of friends, to having nothing, and no one but a sister who hated me, and a brother too young to understand.  It was not a great time in my life. I think my graduation class was under 100 kids.  Yes, that small.

Then you had the whole small town mentality.  First, if you didn’t eat, sleep, and breathe football, you were not in the accepted group.  I didn’t give a rats patootey about football.  I was a girl.  Second, if you weren’t conceived there in that little town, you would forever be known as the new girl.  I think when I graduated from that high school, they called out, The New Girl, Courtney Rene (just kidding, a little sarcasm there, but they may as well have).  So to say I didn’t fit in was the understatement of the century.  I tried.  Lord, did I try.  It just never really worked out.  It’s not that I didn’t have people who liked me.  It was that I didn’t have any real, close, friends.  I went several years like that. 

Of course since I was completely miserable there, we stayed.  My parents never moved again.  Talk about, it figures.  Finally when I wanted to move, we didn’t.  Then middle school and high school hit.  Let me paint a little picture for you.  At 18 I weighed in at 95 pounds soaking wet.  So, yeah, skinny.  Not thin, skinny.  I worked almost full time, went to school, and took part in the Flag Corp.  I was introverted like you wouldn’t believe.  My nickname from the girls in the flags was, Hermit.  I spent my time in class reading books under my desk.  If there happened to be a boy that I thought was cute, I made sure to never ever look at him for fear that he would talk to me.  EEEK!  I was teased within the halls, called stupid names, or groups would suddenly laugh hysterically when I walked by.  It was not the best time in my life.  I hated those years.  I hated most everyone there, whether in my grade or above or below.  Oh, I smiled when necessary and most everyone would be shocked at how very much I loathed them all.  They were mean, they were clicky, and they were horrid to me.  Yeah, I hated them.  My sister was the ringleader at some of these haunting moments of my life.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture. 

Then, at about 16, I stopped caring.  It was like I woke up one day and took a good look at me and realized, I was part of the problem.  The big part.  I am very good at internal research. I was honest with myself and realized it wasn’t my hair or my clothes or my house.  It was me, and the waves of hate and depression I emanated like perfume.  Once I stopped caring about what they thought or didn’t think of me, I was quite a bit happier with myself and my life.  Not overnight.  I don’t blame the kids I went to school with.  They were just kids, like me, trying to get through a rough section of time. 

How did this help me as a writer?  How did this shape me?  Those years were very good for me it turns out.  The darkness I was fighting within myself, manifested into great and dark stories.  One dark enough to garner the attention of my writing teacher and then a meeting with my parents.  Oopsy.  It’s funny now, but not so much, at the time.  Trying to explain to adults that my stories were FICTION didn’t go over all that well.  I even had to have a meeting with a pastor regarding my suicidal thoughts.  Ha!  Oh my. 

I learned something that day though.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I know it now as an adult and progressing writer.  If you are going to get to the reader; if they are going to feel what you are feeling; you have to put yourself into the event you are writing.  Really stick yourself into the feelings and emotions and write from that place.  That gets peoples attention.  That makes a good story.  Would I have learned that without the suffering of adolescence?  Doubtful. 

So back to my reunion.  Did I not go because I still have ill will towards them?  Nope.  I wish every one of them happiness and prosperity in life.  I just didn’t care enough about any of them, to take time away from the ones I love most to see them.  The photos were fun.  Just silliness of strangers, but fun to see nonetheless.  They didn’t miss me.  They don’t know me, the same I didn’t miss them and don’t know them.  That’s what growing up is all about.  Finding out who you are, not what you think you are. 

What will I write about next week?  I don’t know.  This pretty much ends my section on events that shaped me into a writer.  I will have to think up another series though.  I had fun traveling down memory lane. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Books, McDonalds, and Self Seclusion - The past visited #4

Moving onward in my life to other events or moments that I think shaped me into the writer I am today. 

I don’t do well in person.  People tend to make me nervous.  On line or on the phone or even in a big group setting, I do all right.  But the one and one stuff, wow, could use a little work.  I spent a little time wondering about this and how I ended up so socially awkward.  Here are a few ideas on that front.

We moved a lot when I was a kid.  No, I mean A LOT.  From as early as I can remember we moved every single year.  One year, when I was in the second grade we moved twice.  It wasn’t always far and there was even a time or two that we stayed within the same school district.  We always moved though.  I stopped trying to make friends after the few times.  What was the point, we were just going to move in a few months anyway, why bother?  I grew quiet and introspective.  I spent more time with books.  I would spend lots of weekends with my grandpa instead of with friends.  He would make three stops each Friday after I was dropped off for the weekend. 

The first stop was to Children’s Palace.  This was THE toy store of the world.  It was in the shape of a castle and was HUGE.  I loved that place.  It is no longer in business, sadly.  Toys R Us killed it.  Each time we went to the Palace, I was allowed to pick out any one item.  Nothing too expensive and nothing to loud, but any one thing I could get.  I liked cap guns for a while and I remember getting packs and packs of the caps to pop with or without the guns.  A hammer worked really well for this.  Just sayin.

The next stop would be to the Half Priced Book Store.  Here I could get anything I wanted as long as it was a book. Oh the hours I could spend in that store.  I found V.C. Andrews within the stacks one summer.  Stephen King was soon there after.  Once I was through all his books I moved on to Dean Koonz an then Anne Rice.  No one said a word about my book choices.  Since I had reading issues for quite a while, they were happy to see me reading. 

The third stop was then to McDonalds.  Every Friday I would get a Chicken Nugget Happy Meal.  That was back when it was real’ish meat.  Not the pink slime they now use. 

So how did these three stops affect me?  One, I spent way too much time with my grandpa and not with my peers.  Oh I wouldn’t change it for the world as I have more good memories of that wonderful man than I do of any other one person throughout my childhood. 

I have also come to realize the trips to children’s palace were a way to make me feel better about being with my grandpa instead of home or with my sister at my father’s house.  It didn’t actually bother me though.  I was happy to be with Grandpa.  I don’t remember the why of it now.  My sister went for the weekend to my father’s and I went for the weekend with my grandpa.  I have a vague feeling of being unwanted, but nothing really concrete.  So we will just say that my father wasn’t all that keen on me when I was a kid and move on from there.  The toys were gifts of reparations.  I didn’t know it at the time, but as an adult and parent of my own children, I get it.  The McDonalds, that was just a perk and an easy way to feed a kid. 

All those things are great by themselves, except for one thing.  I was allowed to grow further within myself during that time.  My grandpa didn’t mind if I spent all weekend reading a book and only coming out when it was time to eat.  He would take me fishing and while fishing I would be reading about blood sucking vampires or incest and child abuse, or monsters and mayhem, for hours on end.  I completely escaped my world for days at a time.  Didn’t matter that I was under 10 when I started reading some of those books.  I was a good and easy kid while I was reading. 

I think this is one of the main reasons I am socially awkward today.  I would much rather be within the pages of a good story than doing anything else.  Whether I am reading it or writing it doesn’t matter.  I much prefer the story, over real life.    This is only one reason why.

Next week we move on to Sunbury, Ohio, which was the last move my family ever made.  It also brings us to the hell that was my junior high and high school years.  I have tried to block it out, but…at least it makes great fodder for my stories.  How many people have I killed of within the pages of my writing?  I’ll never tell.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Memories of an Imaginary Friend

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?  I had them often as a child.  One however sticks out more than any other.  Below is the reason why.  Maybe you can weigh in on the Charlie issue.  As a reminder, these are memories from the mind of a child, of a small age.  So some of them may have been altered by time, maturity, and maybe even the need to make sense of something that doesn’t.  So with that grain of salt reminder, off we go.

Charlie was my friend.  He stayed with me in the night when I was afraid.  He talked to me, when I was alone.  He was my companion when I didn’t really have anyone.  I didn’t know that no one else could see him, or if I did, I chalked it up to them just not really looking.  After all, I could see him, so that meant he was there. 

I don’t know that I actually ever heard him talk, though I was able to understand him all the same.  Was it a telepathy type deal or just the fact that children are better at reading people than adults?  They don’t assume anything extra.  They don’t add feelings or jealousy to actions.  They simply accept the action for what it is.  No need to read between the lines. Yes, means yes.  No means no.  There is no “but” or “if” or “sorta”.  I talked to Charlie all the time.  ALL.  The.  Time.  

Charlie made me laugh.  That was why I kept him for so long I think.  I remember there was a time (a moment? A thought?) that I wanted to be a great artist of the world.  Maybe I saw it on Sesame Street.  Maybe I got the idea from a book.  Who knows?  Charlie and I decided to draw a great mural of my family.  I chose as my drawing area, my bedroom wall, the entire wall.  I got out my crayons and got right to work.  I added my mom, and dad, and my sister and me.  Then as an added bonus, I decided to put in Charlie.  I added colors and shapes, and personal traits to each person.  Then with great excitement I went out to my mom and dad and told them to come and see what I had done.  I was crushed when they were not only, not pleased, but mad as all hell at what I had done to the wall!  I was spanked (nothing new there) and I was told that I was going to have to go to bed early that night and the worst punishment of all, I was going to miss the Muppet Show because of it.  Then I was handed a bowl of soapy water and a scrubby sponge and told to get to work removing my masterpiece.  I remember crying for what felt like a full day but was probably more like an hour as I scrubbed and scrubbed that wall.  I remember Charlie sitting on the ground within the area of soap bubbles and water droplets.  I can see his hands twisting in his lap.  He was just as upset as I was.  Then he left.  He slammed the door on the way out.  Which got me in trouble again.  My mom stormed in and told me not slam the door just because I was mad.  I tried to tell her it wasn’t me, it was Charlie but she wouldn’t listen.  In fact she just got all the madder. 

That night after the sun had set and I was in bed crying over the loss of the Muppet Show, my mom came in and asked me why I had done it.  I couldn’t answer her.  I didn’t have any real answer other than I thought they would like it. I got a kiss on my forehead and a gentle wish good night. Before she left though, she stopped before the door and asked me why I had drawn so many people?  I’d drawn an extra one.  I knew even then that the extra person was my drawing of Charlie, but I also knew with my child mind, that my mom wasn’t in the mood to hear any more about him.  So with a shrug, I said or conveyed that I’d miscounted.  That I’d drawn an extra person, just because.  My sister made fun of me for a while about not being able to count right.  I didn’t bother to explain to her it was Charlie.  She’d just make fun of me about that as well. 

There were lots of moments with Charlie.  Too many to name, but the above is one of the clearer moments I have of him.  As you can guess, Charlie used to upset my mom.  She’d get so mad over him.  But then, he’d slam door and knock over plants.  He’d get silly and make the hanging plants spin on their ropes, which would really set her off if I am remembering correctly.  He was great fun to me though.  We moved from a little house, to an apartment.  I was afraid Charlie wouldn’t come with us.  He did though and my mom was upset about it.  We moved again and he came with us again.  Then we moved once again, and Charlie didn’t come.  I never heard or spoke to Charlie again.  I’d lost my best friend.  Somehow I always knew my mom was happy he was gone and that always made me mad at her.  

I was a lot older when I finally had the nerve to ask my mom about Charlie.  This is the answer I got:  We lived in a house that had belonged to my real father’s aunt’s son (did you follow that?).  We were able to stay in the little house because they had not been able to sell it or rent it, due to the fact that the son had hung himself in the garage.  His name…was Charlie.  When I first started talking about Charlie it was thought I had heard the name through family.  Then when I started using Charlie as an excuse for being bad, they thought I was just a bad kid.  Then we moved.  I don’t know why we moved the first time.  We moved the next two times to get away from Charlie.  My dad didn’t like the things he did or so I was told.  I don’t remember anything about my dad and Charlie.  He didn’t want to believe the plants were moving by themselves.  He didn’t want to believe the doors were closing or opening on their own.  It was the wind.  It was an earthquake.  It was the house on a tilt. 

I wonder if Charlie is still in the last place we lived that he was with us.  What house was that?  I don’t know, I was too small and my mom doesn’t want to say or remember.  Why did he stay there and not come with us, with me?  Who knows?  Maybe he liked the house.  Maybe he was tired of moving. 

I always wonder if I made up Charlie.  Did I hear the name and just let my imagination run wild?  Was he the ghost of a sad man that killed himself in the garage?  Why did he befriend me then?  I was small.  Two-ish when I first started talking about Charlie.  Five’ish when he left me.  Who or what was he really? 

The drawing never fully came off the wall, by the way.  My dad had to paint over it in the end.  I can still see the drawing in my mind if I close my eyes and try really hard.  It was awesome…in a little girl kind of way.  The one figure that I see most clearly is the one I did of Charlie.  There was one big circle for the head, a big circle for the chest, and stick arms and legs that resembled pitchforks.  He eyes were black and his mouth was a straight line.  No fake smiling face or blue eyes for Charlie. 

To be continued…one last time.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Memories that Shaped

There are other memories, not so much bad memories, but ones that I believe formed my interest in the horror and fantasy genre. 

The first one, being the big bad wolf.  Now I knew he wasn’t real…but.  I was a small child and again these are memories from a long time ago, before I should be able to remember things, but for some reason, I do.  I would have to say I was about 4 years old at the time, and had recently watched this cartoon about the three little pigs.  I have always had a thing with being in the dark (thank you Annie, my one time babysitter that used to lock me in the closet for crying), but sometimes in the night, you gotta go to the bathroom, afraid or not.  The bathroom was only across the hall and down a little ways, so I don’t actually know what took me into the living room that night.  It was past the bathroom.  Maybe it was a noise, maybe it was just to make sure all was right in the world. For whatever reason I stepped my barefooted way down the hall and into the moonlit living room.  There on the wall, was a shadow of the big bad wolf, up on his hind feet, he hands before him in claws.  He was in the house!  He was going to eat me, just as he did the little pigs.  I screamed the house awake, and sadly, didn’t make it to the bathroom.  Lights were flipped on, tempers flared, and all thanks to my over active imagination, and a hanging ivy plant in the big window.  To this day, I don’t often get up out of bed in the night.  I also still have my nightlights and small lights left on throughout the house.  I really don’t like the dark.

The next memory is a basement.  It was a nice basement, big, and bright.  It had a work area for my dad to do his woodwork.  It had a nice big laundry room that was usually chock-full of dirty clothes all over the floor.  Then, just under the stairs, was a full playhouse.  It was made of wood, with little window shutters, and a door with a real handle and knob.  There was a pathway and driveway area where we were able to ride our little bikes and big wheels. Inside was a child size stove, sink, refrigerator, the works.  There was even a small round rug on the floor.  Being downstairs was great fun…if I wasn’t alone.  If my sister was down there with me, even if she was locking me out of the house, or not letting me ride in the fire truck with her, I was happy to be there.  If my dad was in the next room working, I didn’t mind being down there.  However, I would never go down there, alone.  It wasn’t anything I can put my finger on.  It was a heaviness in the air.  It was a hum against my skin.  I can still remember the feel of the hinky touch of something down in that basement.  I remember one time, that my sister left me down there.  She said she would be right back.  Yeah, right.  I sat on the little rug, eating the pack of pilfered Oreos that I had snuck downstairs.  I was happy, content.  Then the heavy feeling waved over me.  I remember falling completely still.  Like a spooked rabbit in a field, I was like stone.  My skin grew cold, and I was honestly terrified.  So afraid I couldn’t even scream.  The oreo in my mouth, yet to be swallowed turned to cement on my tongue.  Then the weight was gone, just as quick as it had settled upon my shoulders, it left.  I can still see myself as I slowly stood up from my little rug, and calmly walked up the stairs, leaving my stolen oreos where they sat on the rug.  I don’t think I ever went down there again.  We moved away from that house, soon thereafter.  If I ever catch a whiff of saw dust, the memory that comes to mind, is this one.  Every dag-on time.  As an adult I once asked my mom about that house.  She said she didn’t like going into the basement. It wigged her out.  I wonder if that is why the laundry was always piled up down there. 

Moments of childhood terror, I had many of them.  Next week, you will hear about Charlie, my imaginary friend…or was he?

Too be continued…again…

Monday, July 22, 2013

Earliest Memories

What are your earliest memories? We all have them, but how far back do they go.  If you could take them out and look at them now, would you say they helped to shape the person you are today? 

I have a few very early memories.  I mean VERY early.  The first being when I was maybe late two or very early three.  I know it was this age as it was before my mom married my dad (another day for that story).  I was an early riser from what I can tell.  I was up alone and hungry.  So to feed myself, I pulled out a new bag of cheeto type snacks and proceeded to dump the entire contents into my little ride along ducky.  It was a yellow duck with wheels on it, with the belly hollow for toys or blocks or whatever.  Then I rolled about the apartment on the ducky, eating cheetos along the way.  It was a good time for my young self.  Until my mother woke, that is.  She saw my ducky full of cheesy goodness and yelled at me to not eat one more!  Not one more!  Well, as a prequel to my future self, I remember pulling one more cheeto out of the belly of that ducky, and crunching it noisily as she stood there yelling at me.  I can still see her face to this day.  It turned this funny shade of not quite red and not quite purple before she grabbed my arm with the squeezing power of a cinch and said right in my now frightened face, “What did I just say?”  It was in that voice that causes children all over the world to shiver in fear.  How did I reply?  “You said not one more cheeto, but I thought you meant out of the bag, not the ones in my duck.”  You and I and my mother now should realized that bag, was empty.  My response did not go over all that well.  I don’t think I sat down the rest of that day. 

Another early memory was soon thereafter.  I call it the tree incident.  Again being an early riser, I was up and about at the break of dawn.  My sister (one year older that my three-ish years) was up as well and we decided to go outside and play and let mommy and “Bill” sleep (my future dad).  So we went outside and into the square courtyard of the apartment complex.  Off to the side was a tree that I liked to climb.  Now I could climb into the tree just fine.  It was getting out that I had a bit of trouble with.  Just one step, I found troublesome. The last big step out of the tree was too big for my little legs to make it by myself.  You only need to fall out of a tree once to realize it’s problematic.  However, with the help of my sister, I could always get out of the tree without issue.  That morning, I climbed up and as high as I could go.  I liked to sit up within the branches and leaves and watch the world without it watching me back.  I loved that tree.  My sister suddenly jumped out of the tree and said she’d be right back, she had to go to the bathroom.  I didn’t care.  I was happy up in the tree.  It was only after she was gone that I realized I had to go to the bathroom too, but I couldn’t get out of the tree.  I sat up there and waited for her to come back.  I watched one of the older couples come out and set up their chairs.  Another man soon joined them.  They sipped coffee and murmured back and forth to one another right under my tree.  My sister never came back for me.  I really had to go.  I tried to get out of the tree by myself, but couldn’t do it.  I was afraid of that last step.  I started to cry.  That was when the threesome of older people took note of me.  When they understood my dilemma, one man climbed up to get me out.  I didn’t say thank you, I just raced home as soon as my feet touched the ground and into the house where my sister was bouncing on the bed of my mom and Bill.  No one cared that I was gone.  No one cared that I had been stuck up in a tree and that a STRANGER had to get me out.  They just laughed at me and said not to climb that tree anymore.  I felt very lonely that day.  I remember the feeling.  I remember the incident. 

The cheeto moment didn’t so much make me who I am today, but it did seem to make cheetos taste funny ever after.  The tree incident however, changed me.  Being spanked was no big deal, it was not the first time and would not be the last by a long shot.  But being forgotten was.  Feeling like no one cared that I was stuck in a tree, scared and forgotten, hurt me and changed me.  That moment in my life shaped me.

To be continued….

Monday, July 8, 2013

First Draft - Soooo Close

Today is a blog about my next novel in the Shadow Dancer series.  The working title being:  Shadow Fire.  Oh it’s not scheduled for anything yet, but I am working to finish the first draft this week.  I am one piddly scene away from completion…of the first draft that is.  This book took me on a strange and exhausting path, one that I did not foresee when I started it.  I thought it would be a simple fantasy with a bit of love tossed in.  It has become quite the journey and a lot more complex than I could have ever expected. 

What is it about?  It’s about Leif and his life and how he became the man we know and how he then becomes the man we want him to be.  Sounds interesting, yes?  Let me just add that WOW, writing the POV of boys is hard.  Who knew?  Boys, I’m sure know this, but I, a girl, had no idea. 

Again, it’s so close to being written, which means it is then really close to being submitted, and hopefully on the publication train.  I can’t tell you too much more about it yet, but have no fear, once I have it finished, finished, and ready for submission, I will let you all know.  Until then, be patient, it’s on its way. 

Have a great week everyone, I’m off to the Realm of Acadia and the life and loves of Leif.  I want to get it done, this week!  So, no more time to blog.  Off I go.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 4th - Independence Day

A short blog this week from me as the week is short with the holiday fast approaching.  Just a quick note to the masses out there, that when you are watching fireworks and enjoying your BBQ's to take a moment to remember what the day is for.  Celebrate your freedom and give a moment of thanks.

Have a great 4th!  See you next week.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Manners, Courtesy, and the Like

I happened to watch this video late last week. 

Did you see it?  I know so many people laughed at the man or maybe even cheered him on.  Why?  I found what he did very rude and almost violent in his reaction.  The first thing that went through my mind was the fact that he obviously never worked in fast food otherwise he would never have done this.  People that work in those types of job know how the process works inside.  I’m always surprised that other people don’t get it.  Do people really not realize that the person that hands out your food to you didn’t actually make it?  In fact had no control over its production?  Do we want the people that handles our money to then paw through our food to make sure it’s made to your specifications?  I for one do not.  How many hand sinks have you seen at the drive through window?  Second, why would you take out your aggression over cheese on a young girl that is making minimum wage, just trying to get through their shift?  We all know what the appropriate action here should have been, right?  Right? 

This however brought to mind manners.  We (well most of us…okay some of us) try very hard to instill in our children good manners.  The time and effort that goes into the simple words of thank you and please and you’re welcome.  We work to teach our children to share and treat people with respect.  We work tirelessly on these skills. 

So my question is…once we reach adulthood, do we suddenly not have to use our manners anymore?  Is it a pass once we reach, oh twenty-three years of age or what?  How many people do you say thank you too?  How often do you add please to your requests?  Do you willingly share?  I try very hard to not have to interact with real people as often as I can because the answer to these questions is: No.  Most people, don’t use any type of manners or just plain common courtesy at all. 

I want….get me…do this…now.  I wait in line at my local Starbucks at least once a week (yes, okay, sometimes more) and I have a memorized line, “Venti, non-fat, light foam, caramel macchiato, please”.  No other “pleases” are heard while I wait.  I am handed my drink and I make eye contact and say thank you.  Every time.  What has me confused is the shear look of WTH on the face of the person handing me my drink at how to respond to my thank you.  They aren’t used to it.  Evidently.  They always give me a very lovely smile and then a surprised you’re welcome. 

At the bank, I don’t receive a “How can I help you?”  I have on a regular basis gotten a curt, “Yeah, come on up.”  It sets a very defensive tone immediately.  How do you respond to that?  All I am then able to do is set down my deposit and slide it across the window.  I still say thank you when I am tossed back my receipt, but I very rarely get a you’re welcome. 

Children I meet along the way are always so polite and sweet.  I get a smile, always.  I get a please and thank you every time necessary.  Why are children so mannered when adults who are taking the time to teach their children these very manners feel they should go without them?  I’m confused and a bit frustrated with the human race. 

Oh I know there are many adults out there that feel the same way, but I am not running into you and that is why this is so upsetting.  Where are the mannered and the courteous? It’s really sad and really no wonder I shy away from adults more often that not anymore.  Adults are mean and selfish and self absorbed.  I’ll take the children any day over the adults. 

Just in case you don’t know what the appropriate action to have taken in the drive through situation, here it is:  Go inside, ask to speak to the manager.  Tell your complaint to the manager, the one person that can actually do something about the situation.  For those that are saying why should they have to get out of the car? The dude above drove over to a parking spot, got out of his car, walked up to the drive through and then went on a several minute rant!  That got him nothing but face time on the internet.  Heck, at least with bringing your complaint to the manager, you might get free food for your next visit.  Woo Hoo!  

So be nice out there people.  I for one am taking notice.  Are you?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Writing Time and Word Counts

I don't know about everyone else, but I find it extremely hard to fit in all the things I want to do, within all the things that I have to do.  The have list is astounding:

1.  Wake up. (Yes, some days this is very hard for me the night owl)
2.  Work a full time job.  (No, I am not a full time writer...yet.  I'm working on it, but as of right now, nope)
3.  Children.  (I don't actually mind all the things I do for and with my children, this makes the list for time consumption only)
4.  Household chores.  (I am aware that these can be put on a back burner, but I am not one that can do that.  I have to pick up and straighten daily.  If I don't it rages continually through my brain and refuses to allow me any peace of mind. When I am fighting with myself over a load of laundry that needs done, I can't exactly think or complete anything else.)
5.  Outside chores.  (See number 4)
6.  Unexpected life events.  (We all have these.  Mom is sick.  Dog died.  Snake in the basement.  Regardless of the event, they tend to be time consuming)
7.  Etc. etc. etc.  (In fact I could go on and on with this list, but you get the idea)

Then you have the list of really want to do things which surprisingly is not all that large and yet, I struggle to fit them within my days.

1.  Write or work on my current projects.  (Just an hour is all I really want a day.  Just one measly hour.  Is that too much to ask?  Some days?  Heck yeah.)
2.  Read a book.  (I miss all the books I want to read.  I used to be able to squeeze in a book or two or five within a weeks time.  Yeah, not so much anymore.  I'm lucky to read a book a week)
3.  Lay out in the sunshine watching the bunnies or the birds or the butterflies flit around.  (I'm kinda like superman in that I need the sun to recharge.  When I get so busy that I can't get outside into the sun I get grouchy and sad.  Winters are hard for that very reason.)
4.  Watch TV.  (I don't watch much TV anymore.  I try to watch Dance Mom's on Tuesdays, but other than that, esp. right now in the mid June, I struggle to find veg-out time as much as I struggle to find writing time)
5.  Go for a walk.  (I try very hard to do this during my lunch breaks in the spring-fall.  It's not happening much anymore.  I'm working through lunch.  I'm running five thousand and one errands.  Who has time for a lovely summer walk?)

That's it.  Doesn't seem like all that much does it?  Maybe things will settle down.  Most likely they won't.  Until then, I will strive to get in a bit of me time as much as possible. I am a happier Courtney when I do.

What hits your lists, both must do and want to do.  Have you found ways to work out a decent balance?  Share...

Monday, June 10, 2013

First Drafts and Me

What’s on my mind?  Surprisingly I have a lot of things going on in my life right now.  Foremost is that I am almost finished with draft one of my next book in the Shadow Dancer series. This is the story of Leif.  I have had several people ask what happened to him and why he was the way he was.  Well, this book is the why and the how.  I have about 10,000 more words to get down for it to be done.  Maybe more.  I am working on the last two big scenes of the book.  Sometimes I get caught up in the action and it’s more words than I thought it would be.  That’s not a bad thing, actually.  As then when I have to go back and cut away all the useless stuff, there is still plenty of story left. 

I have never tried to write from a male perspective before.  I hope I am doing a decent job of it.  I will need to find a few beta readers to break it to me one way or another.  That’s still a bit far off though, as again, I’m only on the first draft.  That first draft is usually a mess by the time it’s written.  I will have to go back and really work on it page by page in order to fill it in and cut away and put together a more complete story.  I have found that my first draft is really only a shell of the story.  All the ideas and problems and people tossed around and stuffed in.  The first revision is killer.  I don’t know about some of the other writers, but the first revision for me is almost harder than writing the story to begin with.  No, it doesn’t take quite as long, but it’s still a job. 

Leif has been on my mind lately (I wonder why).  He is a lot more complex that even I knew.  He has had a hard life.  It’s no wonder he is a hard and cold man.  Yes, I do get attached to my characters.  I live their lives, their thoughts, their dreams while I am writing their stories.  It’s hard not to get attached. 

At any rate, that’s where I am right now.  His story is almost complete.  Will it have a happy ending?  I’m not certain.  He is going to have to decide that for himself. 

What’s on your mind this week?  Are you working on anything new and exciting?  This does not have to be writing related. This can be the new garden you put in, or the new book you are reading, or the new cabinets you are making for the kitchen.  Come on, share.  What are we all doing now that the warmth of summer has finally arrived?  

Friday, May 31, 2013

Horse Charmer - Guest Post and Contest

As promised, today I am happy to have fellow writer Angelia Amos, author of the YA Fantasy book, Horse Charmer guest posting today on my blog.  This is the last day of her Tasty Book Tour and one of her last stops.  If you'd like to check out her other tour stops you can find them HERE.  Angelia is giving away a $20 Amazon/B&N giftcard.  If you want a chance to win, you must enter through the Rafflecopter below.  

On with the post!

Me at 17 and What Would I Do If I Wasn't a Writer
By Angelia Amos

I don't often think about myself at that age. Probably because I was so focused on my "future" and that future didn't really include being a wold-famous writer. :-) Nope, my goal was to become a world-famous Olympic 3-Day Eventer (a horse sport focusing on dressage, show jumping, and cross country). I wanted to be a trainer and professional rider.

I had taken the high school proficiency exam when I was sixteen so I was now attending the local community college taking my general education classes so I wouldn't have to take the SAT's when I transferred to a four year university when I turned eighteen. Each semester I took two core classes and one light-elective class. Not quite a full load, but enough to keep me busy and on the campus four-five days a week.

At home, I was riding my hyper-active show horse every day. Some days training while other days riding with the kids in the neighborhood. I showed regularly in the local schooling shows in show jumping, but steered clear of dressage since I still couldn't ride anything close to a complete test with my horse not throwing a major tantrum (she hated flat work). Her hate for anything involving control at a low speed (she was great jumping and cross-country) meant I wasn't heading out to any 3-Day events on my horse anytime soon. The main reason for my focus on getting into one of the few of the four year private colleges on my list - all of them had equine degrees with riding as a focus. My plan was to ride and train many different types of horses to give me the knowledge and experience I would need to then start working toward being competitive in the eventing world. At the same time, I'd be earning my BA in case I changed my mind or it didn't work out. I would also double major with a back up career. Guess what that career was? Yep, writer. Ha Ha. I though it hysterical that I was going to be double majoring in Riding and Writing. Say it out loud to fully get it. :-)

Now I'm not even half-way convinced I would be a professional rider and horse trainer right now if I hadn't decided to switch over to writing for a career and riding for pleasure (hobby). I don't think I have the personality to be successful in that field. What's funny is thinking back on it, I was training just as hard to be a writer. I devoured every type of story I could in movie, television, book and online writing, and gaming during my "spare" time. Not on purpose, but it was all there. I read constantly. Was a daily regular at the video store. And followed my favorite shows faithfully. I would rather watch the latest episode of The X-Files then hit the town with my friends on a Friday night.

I do remember I was pretty happy at seventeen. Riding my horse for hours every day, taking college classes, watching lots of TV/Movies, and reading late into the night.


Horse Charmer
By: Angelia Almos

*Horse Charmer is on sale for $.99 (ebook) to celebrate the two year anniversary*

A gifted princess. A special horse. A quest for the truth.

At sixteen years old, Cassia would rather spend her days in the royal stables than in the royal court. But as the eldest child of King Robet and Queen Sarahann she obediently performs her duties as the Princess of Karah.

Her safe world changes forever when her father is murdered in the neighboring kingdom of Vespera. Cassia grapples with his loss as her mother prepares her for her new role as queen. Her first task - she must travel to Vespera to marry a prince she barely knows to fulfill the treaty her father signed just before his death.

Nothing is as simple as it seems with political intrigues and unusual powers shadowing Cassia on her search to find out who killed her father and why.

 Author Info
Angelia Almos' love affair with horses began when she was five years old and talked her parents into her first riding lesson. Horses have always been a huge part of her life. The initial idea behind Horse Charmer came to her when she was fourteen. The image of a teenage girl riding her horse through a meadow appeared. Who was this girl? Where was she going? What was she running from? Those questions led to the creation of Horse Charmer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway