Category Archives: Competitions

The Unscheduled Stops – Release Day

I’ve made it to Release Day!  The Unscheduled Stops anthology is now available for download on Smashwords.  The e-book is free until Dec. 31, 2011.

View the video trailer on Youtube – The Unscheduled Stops – Trailer.

Take a look at the webpage

How would you like to win an 11X17 photographic print of the original, untitled, wrap-around cover design, signed by artist Dave J. Ford and myself?  Here’s how you do it…

This is a writing challenge.  In less than 350 words, introduce a character to me by describing ONLY their hands.  Writers will often give descriptions of a character’s body or facial structure.  We nearly always describe their eyes, but rarely have I seen a characters hands mentioned or decribed.  Place your entry in the comments below until December 5, 2011.  I will then post the entries on my fanpage for two days.  My fans will chose the winner by “liking” the entries. The entry with the most likes by midnight on December 7th (E.S.T.), will win the print.  Good Luck!! (If you’d like to see a copy of the print, you can view it HERE.

Now, back to the book.  The anthology is 5 pieces of poetry/prose and six short stories. Here is a breakdown of the short stories:

Daisy’s Love at War – 2892 words
An 84 year old widow living with dementia, Daisy Patterson struggles with reality, fantasy and memory.  She was a war-bride and a writer in her youth.  One of her caregivers is about to discover there’s more to Daisy than anyone thought.

No Cookies Today – 720 words
An errand, a bag of cookies and a temper tantrum; the things that can change our perspective can be so unusual.

Thief’s Moon – 2608 words (erotic-romance)
A cat burglar and a lawyer with a shared past.  Love and passion can change everything.

Chance – 1300 words
Even when your heart is brittle, sometimes love is worth the risk.

A Startling Character – 981 words
A writer goes to a cafe to find a subject for a character study, but who is studying who?

Moving On – 1224 words
The end of a marriage is painful. What comes after is even harder.

I hope you enjoy your journey to The Unscheduled Stops with me.

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It's Knocking On Your Door – NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again. Just as you’re feeling hung over, double stuffed with all the chocolatey loot you swore was for the neighborhood kids and are dreading the prospects of cleaning up from your Halloween party – it’s time for NaNoWriMo! That time of year when writing veterans and noobies a like all sit down and agree to attempt to write 50,000 words in a single month.

Awesomeness ensues.

Alright, probably not awesomeness. More likely at this point you’re either ready (outline prepared, story idea ready, title just itching for you to put it down on paper) or you’re not (empty cobwebs fill your mind, you’ve never even heard of NaNoWriMo before, you know about it but still aren’t even sure you’ll be participating this year). Even if you’re one of the lucky prepared ones, actually sitting down and writing your 50k is likely to throw some serious curve balls into your life.

The good news is, even if you’re not lucky enough to be prepared to up to your eyeteeth for this marathon writing month, it’s still possible to start out on November first and have a great time. Here’s a few tips tricks and good to knows for both the prepared and the clueless:

For the Clueless

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which starts on the first of November and lasts the month through. The goal for all participants is to reach a mutual writing goal of 50k words in that time period. Some people write much more than that in that time period, some people write much less but everyone can participate at the website and enjoy the experience regardless.

Simply go to the NaNoWriMo website and sign up for a spot (be wary the website tends to load slowly as it’s often swamped with participants the world over). Finally even though “national” is in the title NaNoWriMo is open to anyone in the world, with a computer and an internet connection (or even without those two things). The rules are fully explained on the site but the short of it is, write 50k words for a single novel by the end of the month. You’re allowed, even encouraged to create your outline prior to that point but there’s no rules against taking time out of the month to create one if you prefer a plan to flying by the seat of your pants.

For the Prepared

Congratulations! You’ve already signed up for NaNoWriMo and you know the drill, you’ve even gotten your outline prepared if you’re a plotter not a pantser and you’re champing at the bit to get going. You’re already amazing and the month hasn’t even started yet!

For you, I’d encourage you to take NaNoWriMo as a controlled ‘test’ run. It’s a great way to figure out how much it’ll take out of your daily life to become a professional novelist. How you’ll fit your daily writing into your schedule around things like family, social obligations (NaNoWriMo is situated smack dab in the middle of the holiday season for Americans at least) work and of course the occasional play session that doesn’t involve writing. There’s nothing like sitting down and just doing it, even if you’re not sure how far you want to go with this whole writing thing to help you realize just how capable you are of handling it and if there’s anything in your life truly obstructing you from your final goals of becoming a Writer.

Good luck to everyone! Feel free to come back and post here about your progress throughout NaNoWriMo, I’d love to follow your works.

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September 23rd will be Autumn Equinox, the day when light and dark are in perfect balance. This is also the day when events in the final book in the Portal series, Child of the Portal, begin. It’s the date of the first major character death and the beginning of the end.

Today is Launch day for the Paperback edition of Child of the Portal. Keep reading for a chance to win a copy.


Child of the PortalKate and Lily sat drinking tea in Lily’s kitchen. Winter was starting to set in properly and there was frost on the ground most mornings.

“You’ve had your hair cut,” Lily observed, feeling the need to break the silence that surrounded them in the kitchen.

“Yes. I had it done the other day,” Kate confirmed, her hair still long but trimmed shorter than it had been, falling now only to rest on her shoulders instead of flowing down her back.

“It looks good.” The compliment fell easily from Lily’s lips. She smiled and it radiated the simple sincerity behind her few words. Continue reading

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