Showing posts from 2015

The 11 Best Books I Read in 2015

I read and read and read.  Reading books on my phone has become one of my favorite non-writing past times.  Using my subscription to Scribd , I read, on average, 4 or 5 books a month. Going through my Scribd Library, I read some great books, some okay books, and some that I never finished.  Here are the 11 best books I read this past year.  I gave all these books 4 stars or higher on Goodreads . No particular order.  I kept series together.  Enjoyed them all. Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart, 1) by Dru Pagliassotti Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind (Clockwork Heart, 2) by Dru Pagliassotti Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire (Clockwork Heart, 3) by Dru Pagliassotti Calling On Fire (Fire and Stone, 1) by Stephanie Beavers The Watcher’s Keep (The Triadine Saga, 1) by Timothy Bond The Dragon Rises (The Triadine Saga, 2) by Timothy Bond Riddle in Stone (The Riddle in Stone, 1) by Robert Evert Betrayal in the Highlands (The Riddle in Stone, 2) by Robert Evert Blood i

Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2015 (with vids)

I discovered so many new songs this year.  Which ones kept the best company while I wrote, panicked, and danced in the kitchen?  I pared it down to the top ten songs on my phone’s playlist. 10.  Angel of Small Death & the Codeine Scene by Hozier  (Hozier) 9.  I Am by Awolnation  (Run) 8.  Smoke and Mirrors by Imagine Dragons  (Smoke and Mirrors) 7.  Black Cadillac by Shinedown  (Threat to Survival) 6.  Drown by Bring Me the Horizon  (That’s the Spirit) 5.  Ghost of Muskegon by Pop Evil  (Up) 4.  Ten Tonne Skeleton by Royal Blood  (Royal Blood) 3.  Could Have Been Me by The Struts  (Have You Heard) 2.  Superpower by X Ambassadors  (VHS) 1. Human Race by Three Days Grace  (Human) Honorable Mentions: Landmine by Three Days Grace I Am Machine by Three Days Grace Run by Bring Me the Horizon Footsteps by Pop Evil Who We Are by Imagine Dragons Renegad

Shhhh… Whispers Is Coming

Magical manipulation—the anti-imperialists’ advantage over the Empire. “Imagine an unknown, unseen entity watching your every move, listening to your every word….” Can the Whispers be stopped before the anti-imperialists invade every corner of the world in-between the portals? Whispers , Book 4 of the World In-between Epic Fantasy Series Releases Dec 23 rd The book that almost didn’t. Originally, Whispers was supposed to be out in October.  Deadlines zoomed past.  My characters weren’t ready to be finished with this one.  Even on the way to the final plot point, they took a detour.  But thanks to my sheer determination to make the year’s final deadline and an even bigger thanks to my editor and betas for getting through it on turbo, Whispers just edged under the wire. Let’s break Whispers down by the numbers: 1   Word title: Whispers 2   Pens to ink the first draft 4   th Book of the World In-between fantasy series 6   Pieces of ma

What's This? What's This?

There's a book on my desk! Disturbance , the thriller anthology from Laurel Highlands Publishing, arrived today via UPS.  And inside: My story, All That Lies , is on page 73. When shots riddle her house and her husband, Lacy discovers her life of lies and needs all the strength she can muster to hold on to the truth. Disturbance is available on Amazon , Barnes & Noble , Kobo , Google Play , Apple , etc.

The World In-between Boxed

The first three books of the World In-between series, The World In-between , Bow of the Moon , and Secrets of the Sages have been boxed together in preparation for this year’s release of book four, Whispers . The World In-between Series follows the life of a modern man who enters a portal, discovering the realm of magic where myths, lore, and fairy tales reside. Book 1: The World In-between Berty Chase gets caught in the battle for magic, invoking ancient magic that changes his life and the lives of those around him forever. Book 2: Bow of the Moon Trying to restore order in the Empire causes Berty to join the race for the legendary Bow of the Moon and its bearer. Book 3: Secrets of the Sages Revealing ancient magical secrets begins to unravel the world as Berty knows it, possibly losing everything and everyone he loves. The World In-between Series Books 1, 2, and 3 box set is only available as an e-book at Amazon . 

Poetry Wednesday 16 Sept 2015

“Please Do Not Weep” From: Breaking The Silence by Diamante Lavendar Do not feel Like a wave that is tossed; Do not weep By yourself, so alone; For I am with you, Soon you will be Home. The things of this world Are transient and brief; I will be your comfort, Your ease and your peace; Notice the good And perceive not the bad; Observe what you’ve learned, The lessons you’ve had; For everything you’ve been through Has come at a cost; There is good in the bad, You have won and not lost. I have set you here, love, And you shall I keep; Do not lose hope, And please do not weep. Find Diamante Lavendar: Website:   Diamante Lavendar - Author and Writer Google:   Diamante Lavendar Twitter:   Diamante Lavendar (@DiamanteLavenda) | Twitter Facebook: Myspace:   Diamante Lavendar ( on Myspace

I Am a Short Story Machine

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  But, for me, crafting three short stories in one year, while I write a subplot heavy novel, is a triumph of pen prowess. My latest takes place in the real, modern world.  All That Lies focuses on a woman who has been tossed into the crosshairs of two competing global organizations.  When shots riddle her house and her husband, she discovers her life of lies and needs all the strength she can muster to hold on to the truth. This story is for Laurel Highlands Publishing ’s thriller anthology , Disturbance .  When thinking about what to write for the anthology, I consulted my Story Ideas Folder. That folder holds pieces of paper on which I have written general ideas, outlines, first lines, skeletal scenes, and other story related stuff (technical term).  After leafing through, I pulled a sheet from the file.  The first story I began writing didn’t want to work within a 3,000 to 5,000 word limit.  It wanted to be longer, so I p


You can’t write an epic fantasy series without having a sense of history.  The histories and other backgrounds are not always explored in the main books.  Thank goodness for companion stories. The Dragonlands is a World In-between Series companion story that tells the story of how the Dragonlands came to be filled with Dragons. The short story provides a background for events in Book 1 ( The World In-between ) of the series and converges with Book 4 ( Whispers ), which will be released later this year. The Dragonlands includes a bonus sneak peek of Whispers (The World In-between Book 4) and an overview of the series as a whole with glimpses of Books 5 and 6 of the series. Amazon , Barnes & Noble , Kobo , Apple , GooglePlay , Oyster , Scribd , Smashwords

Friday Night Reads – Secrets of the Sages Edition

An excerpt from Secrets of the Sages Book 3 of the World In-between Series for #FridayNightReads A little set-up and background: The World In-between Series is a portal fantasy.  Portals connect the modern, mundane world to a magical one.  Most have no idea the portals exist.  Modern-day man, Berty Chase, lives a secret life in the magical world.  Only his six-year-old niece, Hope, knows.  However, his worlds are about to collide and not in the way Berty would have liked. Hope spent the summer with her uncle Berty in the Land of Sages and it is time for her to go home to her life in the modern world. * At dinner, Hope ate quietly.  Her melancholic mood troubled Berty.  When she caught him staring, she asked, “Do I have to go back to school?” “Yes, you do.” She pushed food around with her fork.  “I hate school,” she muttered. “I’m sure your mom and dad will let you come back some weekends,” he said trying to lift her spirits. “I know,” she said.  “I just did

The Kitty of Summer

Being in the picture is not as fun as playing with the phone When I wasn’t looking, summer smacked us across the face.  It’s 80 degrees outside and my windows are open.  I sleep with the ceiling fan revolving above me.  The cats spring from window to window in the early morning, spying on birds. Birds start their incessant chirping about 4 am.  The sky lightens above the northeastern edge of the ridge around 4:30.  Oranges and pinks poke through the strange blue sometime after 5.  And the cats pretend that their paws don’t thunder on the carpet covered, old, wood floors. After running around knocks them out, my cat—who found me—sprawls on the cool tile bathroom floor.  He watches to see if I’m going to get up yet.  Once I do, he paws at my slippers as I try to find a place for my feet near the sink. During the warmer weather, I wear thong sandals around the house.  This saves my cat from having to help me tie my shoes.  He follows me into the hall.  And by foll

Short Story News: Across the Kármán Line

My short story, Sector Three-Three , is going to be in Laurel Highlands Publishing's next anthology, Across the Kármán Line . Vace has a dream—to get to space.  At the moment, she is a kreel well worker with a past she’d rather forget.  An incident at the kreel lines forces her to face her past and tempt her fate. Across the Kármán Line In space, fate rests in the hands who created the craft.  Wits and creative risk separate life from death while navigating the three-dimensional sea or marooned on an alien planet.  The trust between captain and crew unifies a mission.  And sometimes, the final take-off is the hardest. Across the Kármán Line will be released 19 May 2015.  Ebook pre-orders are available at Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble , Kobo , Apple iTunes , and Google Play .

Sometimes, You Just Can’t Help It

To be cliché, I’ve been writing up a storm—even during a storm.  Pages of edge to edge ink have been stacking quickly atop my manuscript pile.  My pen only paused to do some research and take a few notes.   Whispers  (The World In-between, book 4) is coming along well.  These last few scenes I’ve been writing are so much fun. I typically write Whispers , as well as others, far from the distraction of my computer.  When I’m sitting in front of the keyboard, I type.  Supposedly, typing the piles of pages that form my manuscripts.  However, I recently opened a new file.  And, I began to type something different. I couldn’t help myself.  The idea just came to me.  It’s going to be a science fiction short story for the anthology Across the Kármán Line .  I wasn’t going to write a story for it.  I told myself I didn’t have the time.  I have other books to finish. But, here I am.  Writing a story I wasn’t going to write directly on the computer where I don’t write stories.

How to Achieve My 2015 Plans

January is a good month to evaluate and re-evaluate.  I don’t know about you, but the cadence of falling snow helps me think.  Not that my mountain rural community has had much … yet.  Snow or no, I’ve never been one to make resolutions.  Deviating from convention, my system of doing things has always been a little different.  Even the process I use to write my books sways away from the norm. As I fill out this year’s calendar, I am finding that not everything I did last year will fit.  The things that I need to accomplish are taking me down a different path than the one on which I currently stand. 2015 Plans Read as much as possible.   I tend to read books that strike my fancy in cover and description.  The majority of the books I pick up are fantasy of some kind, but I like to read most genres.  What keeps me going to the very end are good, solid characters.  Without them, the plot is lost, and so I am. Have 3 books published.   Yes, I said three.  The

The Writing Process for a Blog Post

The blank screen beckons for words to fill it.  My fingers are poised above the keys.  They wait for that little spark of inspiration. Will it come? What about now? Maybe in fifteen minutes. Okay, let’s type this. Reread to see where I’m going. Wow, what a bunch of crap. Delete. Refill my teacup.  Take a few sips.  Fingers type some more.  Stare at the screen. Will this work? Let’s check Google for pretty pictures. Ooh, I still have tea in my cup.  Oh, it’s cold.  Chug it and pour warm tea from the pot. Well, this is more…  Who wants to read this? Delete. Eh, sick of this song.  I need some new music in my playlist. Hey, I can post this.  Save immediately. Check for typos. Laugh hysterically. Read aloud.  Find more typos. Copy.  Paste.  Preview. Change formatting.  Preview again. Looks good.  Publish. Secretly