Monday, September 2, 2013

Changes in Accessibility

Due to the nature of some people who feel anything posted to the internet for free means it has been placed into the public domain, I have removed both stories The Other Half and its sequel, There's a Fine Line from this blog. While at DragonCon, a friend notified me that Fine Line had been posted to another website without my knowledge or permission under another username. They even left my name at the start of the first chapter, as if that somehow made it okay. 

Since the primary grab always seems to come from postings to Lit, I have requested all of my work be removed from Literotica. I hated doing that. I loved having my stories where anyone could read them, but I refuse to give more of my time, effort, and hard work so that someone can copy/paste it onto another site and claim it as their own (or worse, post it to Amazon!).

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Roundup

Hello everyone!

Things are hopping all over the blog-o-sphere, I just keep forgetting to link to it on the main page.

So, first off... The Other Half. It's now a book that you can buy and hold in your own greedy little hands, place on your electronic reading device, and have forever and ever. You can find a list of links HERE to purchase and I'd appreciate it if you did. Because it gives me the feels whenever someone buys one.

Next, there's the new story that wraps up on Sunday. It will then be submitted, in full, to Literotica where it will corrupt others just to make me giggle. I am, of course, talking about Fucking with Animal Planet - the most sex-intensive story I've ever written. It'll be a bit long for a one-shot, but I'm not splitting it up since it'll soon be completely finished here (and Lit pages are longer than everywhere else).

Then there is the ongoing serial collaboration with Nulli Para Ora. Called On the Prowl, it involves Brian, the bobcat shifter from FWAP, and Nulli. This story started out on Twitter as a lark and has morphed a bit. It's the first true collaboration I've done since high school, and it's been a blast so far.

And lastly, there are the two flash fictions I've contributed to for the past several weeks.

The first, via Advizor's blog, generally consists of a quite naughty NSFW photo prompt, a restrictive word limit, required and forbidden words, and opportunities for extra credit. They're tons of fun, a wonderful challenge, and often end up as brief glimpses of a potential story. You can find mine in the Shorts & Extras tab above. You should also consider joining us! If you don't have your own web space, just let me know and I'll host you here.

The other is a longer flash fiction piece via Night Tempest's blog and posted on my main site - In a World with Monsters. So far, there have been photo prompts as well as random sentences/fragments and words to choose from. There, I've decided to explore my first dedicated M/M story as well as setting it in a SciFi genre. It will have a high heat level because Petri and Grokhaar are quite enamored of each other already. We would also love to have more participants! Just let Night or me know and if you need hosting space, you know where to find us!

Well, that's it for me for a while. Facebook, Twitter, Flash Fiction, and crazy stories have been the norm around here. Look around. Enjoy. Thanks for playing!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Round Up

This was supposed to post tomorrow, but I figured what the hell. So you get it early.

Hmm, let's see, since the last post here, I've posted two more installments in Fucking with Animal Planet. Melody finally meets her bear, discovers he is a bear shifter, and the fun, happy sexytimes ensue. Killian is eager to play some tricks on the television crew, while she's trying to wrap her head around the fact he can turn into a bear. Chapter Four will post Sunday morning, so keep an eye out for it or subscribe on the story's page!

Please note that this story is definitely erotic in nature, and will only get more so as time goes on. The couple are also quite open to experimentation, so don't click to read unless you can accept that :)

Also, Fridays mean Flash Fiction time - Stratagem! This week, Advizor posted a picture of a rather interesting chess game between a well dressed man in a tuxedo and a very naked young woman. The picture is definitely Not Safe For Work (NSFW) but my take on the story is fairly mild this time around. We got a lot more words to play with (700!!), and could earn bonus points for a quote. This story posted a tad early, but please head over to Advizor's blog tomorrow to read the others!

Lastly, I like comments! Drop me a line on any of the stories you see here, or even past posts. I'd love to hear from you :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

New story, new shorts

Two new things went up on the blog this week. The first is a new story destined for Literotica once completed. Entitled Fucking with Animal Planet, it has the best abbreviation ever (if, like me, you have the maturity of a 12yr old): FWAP. *snicker* Anyway, the story centers on Melody Kleptner, a myth debunker/anthropologist working with a television program searching for the elusive Bigfoot, and Killian Lancashire, bear shifter and prankster. He wants her for his mate; she wants more details before making a decision. The sex is great - they're both insatiable - but there are more issues than just how to merge their lifestyles.

It's a wild romp written in the spirit of fun, totally unlike most anything I've ever written. I promise the serious points won't last long! lol Head over and enjoy, but realize, it's definitely Not Safe for Work!

Other things that are NSFW are the two new shorts. Courtesy of Advizor54's photographic prompt, I wrote two of the tiny things in order to qualify for 50 extra words per short. You wouldn't believe how valuable 50 words can be. The picture isn't safe for work, school, church, kids or grandmas looking over your shoulder, so be warned. The first short is light and sexy; the second is very dark. Here, there be dragons dark. So, yeah, consider yourself warned!

So, that's what's new. I'm working on these while slogging through the marketing of The Other Half and choosing my next project. Please consider purchasing my completely edited and revisited novel at Smashwords or Amazon. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Purchase The Other Half!

You can buy The Other Half

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, I'll babble at you a bit and then provide the pretty little links. My precious.

I had high hopes for my release date, perhaps too high. I wanted a solid date where the book was released across all platforms simultaneously so that folks could get it from whatever location was available. Yeah, that didn't happen.

  • From CreateSpace to Amazon - it says the listing could take as long as 5-7 days.
  • From Smashwords to the other retailers like Barnes & Nobles, Apple, Kobo, etc - they only push on Thursday/Friday and that's only after you get approved for the premium catalogue which can take 1-2 weeks. If you unpublish your ebook, that starts the cycle over for the approval to premium/push.
  • Publishing to Amazon (ebook) takes a minimum of 12 hours and it may not link up with your physical book immediately.

So, what does this mean? It means in order for everything to actually be available by the first of July, the files have to be up early. I looked at the worst case scenarios and spent all day yesterday converting the files, uploading them, publishing them, screaming profanities, etc. They are now up and available for purchase (yay!) from the following locations:

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (paperback)
CreateSpace (paperback)
Smashwords (ebook in all formats)

As soon as I get a direct link for Barnes & Noble, I'll post it. It may take a couple of weeks. You can get the epub format from Smashwords.

I also plan to do an "official" launch with goodies around July 1st, so watch this space!

Thank you everyone for all the support I've experienced thus far. It does make me smile.
*runs around giving indiscriminate hugs*

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Proof Copy for The Other Half

Received the Proof copy for The Other Half from CreateSpace today and it's absolutely gorgeous. Still hoping for a July 1st release date. I'm still petting it :D

Friday, June 14, 2013

Two New Shorts!

And not the kind you wear in the summer, either. Now that the edits are finished for The Other Half and I sit impatiently awaiting the proof copy, I had the opportunity to dive back into the fun of flash fiction shorts. The two this week were both based on photo prompts, one definitely Not Safe For Work, while the other is. They are also on two separate websites, this one and my official author site. One day, I will migrate everything over there. Maybe. I may leave them separate just to be ornery, you never know.

The first, Apartment #6, is based on a prompt from a very NSFW blogger, Advizor54 (I was pulled in by fellow erotica author Word Wytch aka Jaisen on Literotica). The story stems from a picture of a nude woman knocking on an apartment door. Why is she there? Why is she naked? What's about to happen or has happened? I touched on some of this in a short restricted to 369 words or less. Enjoy!

The second, An Answered Call, is based on Nulli Para Ora's Musings series. This story stems from a photograph of a beautiful forest at sunset. It's mostly imagery; a feast for the senses as felt by the unnamed main character.

Read both, then dive into the hosting sites and read the others. Just be warned that Advizor's tend to lean heavily into the erotic while the Musings usually stay safe for work.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Other Half is going to Amazon!

After much internal debate, I've decided to explore self-publishing with an older novel while I work on revising The Fox's Mate. The novel I chose is The Other Half, a serial story posted in chapter form on Literotica as well as this blog. With this novel, I'm exploring just how Amazon's KDP works, how CreateSpace works, as well as working with professional cover artists to get the look I want. So far, it's been enlightening, exhausting, exhilarating, and terrifying (yeah, I ran out of "e" adjectives).

The novel, while finished and plenty long enough for a good sized book, is also a mess of confused Points of View, rampant passive voice, unnecessary narrative, plot holes you could drive a truck through, and land mines full of info dumps. Not. Good. So the editing, revising, and rewriting process has been slow, painful, and rather bloody. I've dumped over 10,000 words of the story so far and expect to dump more. I'm tightening up the prose, making Kris less of a whiny bitch, and removing huge segments to streamline the story. Some things will reappear in the revised version of Fine Line (which I also plan to place on Amazon). Some will simply be lost because it's not needed. I hope it will be better. Only time will tell.

While several folks think I'm crazy, I do NOT plan to remove the original versions of either story from Lit or this blog once it goes live on Amazon. What does this mean for the reader? It means you have a choice. If you want to read the streamlined, edited version of the story, you'll need to purchase the e-books from Amazon (I'm going to explore their KDP Select as well) or CreateSpace. If you don't want, or cannot afford to pay for the stories, you can still enjoy the original, unedited versions that currently exist. The third in the series, Lysavar's Journey, is in progress. It is my current plan to take it straight to publication, but that is several months (or longer) into the future.

I am thrilled to unveil the cover for The Other Half. Laura Wright LaRoche from LLPix Photography created this gorgeous cover and has been an absolute joy to worth with. I definitely recommend her to anyone needing a beautiful cover for their e-book or physical book (she did both).

The Other Half photo TheOtherHalf_fb_zps562ac43d.jpg
The Other Half

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Musing and Update

Wow, it's been almost a month since I've posted anything on here. Shame on me! In my defense, I was mired in the depths of Camp NaNoWriMo trying to finish the first (and very rough) draft of my first novel that I hope to publish under the name Elaina M. Roberts. I'm still hoping that The Fox's Mate (formerly Fox Hunt) will be released late this summer unless I shop it to an actual agent/publisher and it gets accepted.


Nulli's Musings have brought out Alicia this time. The picture is of a moonlit night over a sprawling metropolis (title of the picture says Denver - I'll take their word for it). I could just see her flying above it all, thinking about things, getting comfy in her own skin. I've called it Solo Flight and it's short at less than 400 words. Head over, give it a read, let me know how (or if) you liked it!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New TaFL Short!

While working on the new project, I've been trying to keep in touch with the After the Reveal world through short stories and Flash Fiction pieces. Nulli Para Ora's Musings have been of great help in that regard. Her latest picture, an intricately etched sword lying upon a bed of red velvet, spawned a short look at Lysavar Tinueth after the battle with General Malphas. I've titled it A New Path and you can find it via the Shorts and Extras tab above or by following this direct link.

In other news, I participated in my first Flash Fiction challenge amongst those outside the Lit circle. Chuck Wendig, a hilarious blogger and excellent author, offers a FFC every Friday. This past week, his prompt was the website The Secret Door. I hope you'll forgive me for that time waster (because I know the first time I stumbled across it, I spent hours on that site), but it is what it is. His prompt was to open the door and write about where it takes you. My contribution can be found on my pseudonym's website and is entitled The Tsuchigumo. A picture of what I saw when I opened the door is at the end of the short.


Friday, March 22, 2013

More fun with brass!

I had the opportunity to be crafty again this week. A friend of ours (a member of Security Forces) who is PCSing to Germany had requested a set of cufflinks and a tie tack made from spent shell casings. Since he has a lovely wife, I decided to add a pair of earrings and a pendant just for giggles. With all that jewelry, they had to have a box, so I took a cheap dollar store box and prettied it up for them. Here are the results:

First, the casings "in the raw." This is the condition they are in before I hack away at them:

shell casings photo shellcasings_zps4a6ebca0.jpg

They don't start out very pretty or very shiny. I use a pipe cutter to remove the excess brass and then a lot of sand paper to remove any burrs and make the cuts flat and even. Then it's on to sanding, sanding, and more sanding to remove tarnishing and stray scratches. I use 150 grit to flatten the cut area, and go from 600, to 1000, to 2000 grit to buff and polish.

The cufflinks and tie tack were both soldered onto their bases using a microtorch. I am not that good at it so tend to use this method sparingly when the end results are going to someone else.
shell cufflinks photo shellcufflinks_zpsec092418.jpg
shell tietack photo shelltietack_zpsb8213e1d.jpg

Cufflinks are first, tie tack second. The cufflinks look silver around the base of the casing but that is due to the flux having spread up the sides. Where the flux goes, the solder goes. I decided I liked the look so ensured the second one got "messed up" in the same manner as the first.

For his lady, I went with .45 caliber rounds since they fit my pendant bezel perfectly. After several failed attempts at soldering these (it's been a while and I was never that good at it), I used a 2-part epoxy to hold them to their findings. The earrings are a simple stud base with a wide back to keep them from drooping. The pendant bezel is from a pack purchased at a local big box craft store. They, too, went through the sanding, buffing, and varnishing routine to bring out their best shine.

shell jewelry photo shellearringspendant_zpsfb8efbc0.jpg
Earrings up top; pendant on bottom. They're on a piece of scrap styrofoam while the varnish dries since the posts stick into it easily without bending. I loved the red tint to this set.

And finally, the box I put them all into! 

USAF giftbox photo USAFbox_zpsae9ed95c.jpg
This box began its life as a dollar store plain pine box with a magnet closure. A bit of wood stain, a scrapbook sticker of the USAF seal, a set of scrapbook metal corner embellishments (painted silver then dabbed to remove excess paint to "antique" them), and the inevitable coat of clear varnish turned the simple box into a lovely gift by itself. Filled with the other goodies, my friend was extremely pleased.

Now, time to get back to writing!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo

Yup, I've totally lost my ever-loving mind. I've rejoined the insanity that is NaNoWriMo and it's not even November! Twice a year, the staff at NaNo do a "camp" - a looser, more relaxed version of NaNoWriMo where you can choose your own word count goal. It's also a bit more relaxed when it comes to "rebelling" or working on something you've already started. This is what I'll be doing.

I'm working on The Fox Hunt, the first in the Children of Jarilo series, and using the camp format to  keep me motivated, get me closer to a decent word count, and encourage me to finish. Sometime the thrill of writing the story gets lost in real life stuff, or just goofing off on the computer, so Camp will (hopefully) keep me honest! lol

If you want a look at the synopsis and a brief excerpt of The Fox Hunt, click the participant badge and it'll take you to my page at the Camp site. Ignore the hasty cover... it was a 10 minute bodge job just to have one. If the names sound familiar, this is a modernization and revamping of Emeralds & Ice, a serial novella that had been submitted to both this site as well as Literotica. When I realized I wanted to include it in this new series, it was pulled (and pulled apart) and is finding new life as The Fox Hunt.

Now, sharpen your pencils and set up your blanket fort and join me at Camp!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crafty time!

Since I'm not currently working on a serial story, the posts have tapered off a bit. I did manage to find a little something to put here, though not about writing. As I posted back in September, my daughter does anime/manga cosplay at conventions and sometimes lets her dear ol' mom participate. This weekend is MomoCon in Atlanta and she encountered a bit of a time crunch on completing some of her items. One of them, a kunai for a character from Naruto, wasn't high on her list of priorities which meant it was the perfect thing for mom to do. When she showed me a still from the anime followed by the plastic kunai she had bought, I knew we could make it look better.

Here is the inspiration photo:
kunai_inspiration photo MinatosKunai_zpsdc34a090.jpg

This picture was chosen so we could grab the image of the writing, but it also shows color and general feel of the weapon. The plastic kunai didn't exactly look like the still.

Here's what she purchased:

Naruto Kunai - Before photo kunai_before_zps998714cc.jpg

Looks a little sad, doesn't it? Plastic with a thin ribbon wrap, it looked exactly like what it was - a toy. So we got to work.

First thing to go was the red ribbon. As it wasn't needed, we didn't want to risk it interfering with the rest of the additions. Since the handle in the still was thicker and round (the plastic one was flat in front/back), we built up the bulk using a series of cloth tape, sculpey clay, and hemp cord. Once we got it to a good size for her hand, I printed the Japanese lettering onto beige parchment colored paper and used Mod Podge to glue it to the final layer of cloth tape. This left both ends looking a bit pathetic. Since I wasn't sure how to make the staggered rings in so short a time, I opted for more hemp cord to finish the ends. I dyed the cord black to match the photo and used leather dye instead of paint in hopes that it will maintain color and not flake.

Then it was on to the blade. The red letters were painted over and then the whole thing covered with painters' tape. Using a hobby knife, I trimmed the tape so that only the edges showed, gave it a light sanding, then painted it with chrome spray paint. Finally, touch ups were done with acrylic paint and the whole thing got a coat or two of clear varnish. It may not be perfect, but I think it looks a heck of a lot better than it did right out of the package!

Here's the kunai, after two days of fiddling: 
Naruto Kunai - After photo kunai_after_zps6121d387.jpg

Yep, that's the same little plastic dagger. She approves so that makes me a happy mom :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

February's WhimseyBox

I'm actually debating a new subscription box to go along with WhimseyBox, but I'm torn between whether the box will be for myself or my daughter. It's a totally geek box, called Loot Crate, and it's had some lovely things in there. I think it's more geared to her than me, though, so I may get it for her and just swipe a few things from it on occasion. lol

Now, on to this month's offering from WhimseyBox! And yes, I'll stop posting these eventually... right about when I stop squealing like a teenaged girl at a Justin Bieber concert when they come in.

February, 2013
The interior box was the same size as last month's, so I'm assuming this is the standard size for WhimseyBox. I didn't think I needed to take another set of pictures of the grand opening. I did take a picture of the back to show the nifty label, useful if you plan to repurpose it as storage -
WhimseyBox2 photo Whimsey2_label_zps8305f365.jpg

I didn't even notice a quote last month (I just checked and it simply said to be warned, may cause craftsplosions), but this month under the flap is a wonderful quote by Pablo Picasso -
WhimseyBox2_Quote photo Whimsey2_quote_zpsf61724fa.jpg
"Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up." - Pablo Picasso
 This month, I'm assuming as a nod to Valentine's Day, the ribbon and paper is a gorgeous wine red. The card on top says "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." on the front and has tips and URLs to instructional videos on the back geared towards the items in the box.
WhimseyBox2_Inside photo Whimsey2_opened_zps496f0884.jpg

And finally...the goodies -
WhimseyBox2_Contents photo Whimsey2_contents_zps3f43ffb0.jpg

At first glance, it doesn't seem like much but it does have so many possibilities. The notepad on the left is 3" x 5" (standard index card) while the wooden blanks measured approximately 5" x 6". There were two spools of washi tape and lots of colorful rubber bands. The theme this month was a Mini Memo Board but I'm not sure I'll use any of these pieces in that way. After receiving an awesome anniversary collage from my sister, I may use these pieces to thank her for her amazing gift.

I'm still happy with the box look forward to next month.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

TaFL - The End

Yup, the Epilogue for There's a Fine Line has gone live on Literotica as well as the Blog. Blake and Alicia's story has come to an end and they've done their version of riding off into the sunset. Yes, I ended this story exactly the same as The Other Half. That was deliberate (I even copied the text but tweaked to Elizabeth's point of view) in order to tie the two stories' timelines together.

So, what does that mean for me?

It means a break from writing for Lit unless something just demands to be written - I have... ideas. It means a beginning to the new project for publication - The Children of Jarilo series. It means really working at making this writing thing a reality somewhere beyond a serial site and a seldom seen blog. The books in the Jarilo series will paranormal romances with some action, intrigue, and a bit of dark subject matter. Some as dark as Fine Line; others, not so much. They will be set in an entirely different "world" - meaning, you won't see Gregor from Book Two run into Blake or Micipsa from the Reveal world. They will not be erotica and I estimate the heat levels to be mild-moderate at best... except perhaps for Book Three. That one may smoke.

I hope you give the stories a try and I thank everyone who read, commented, reviewed, voted, praised and criticized The Other Half and There's a Fine Line. Your comments and praise kept me motivated while your criticisms kept me developing as a writer.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TaFL Teaser 17

There's a Fine Line is wrapping up nicely with only two chapters left to go. One, Chapter 17, will be submitted to Literotica on Saturday for an early next week posting date. The other, Chapter 18 - Epilogue, is still in progress but I hope to have it finished before the end of the week and shipped off to the crew for review and corrections. Once they're both finished, there'll be a bit of silence from this little blog as I pour my attention onto the first novel in the Jarilo series. I'll try to stay connected to this world through shorts and comments, and I'm always available on twitter and facebook so it's not like I'll be turning into a hermit any time soon.

This chapter is a bit of an emotional roller coaster with Alicia confronting her father, returning to the human plane, discovering (finally) what she is, and then ending up with her mate at his apartment for some quality alone time. It's a lot for one young woman to take in but she's a trooper. The teaser is a bit emotional as well but I hope you all enjoy! You can find it by clicking the Teasers tab at the top or using this direct link.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Out with the old...

A few more changes to the old blog. I've fully removed all links to the old version of Emeralds & Ice. Being that it will provide the framework of the first Children of Jarilo novel under a new pseudonym, and also being that I will begin work on that novel in the extremely near future, I decided that it was time to take it down. Keep an eye out for info and updates on the new Jarilo project both here and at In a World With Monsters...

With the removal of the old, there was the creation of the new. When I decided to take Emeralds down, I didn't know what to add to the site at the time. I considered a few options and then decided on a section for snippets, Flash Fiction pieces, and shorts that would encompass any and all of my worlds to include After the Reveal and Children of Jarilo, as well as unnamed worlds or 'real' world stories. How very serendipitous that it coincided with a new offering from a lovely author, Nulli Para Ora (Yes, that's a link. Yes, you should go there and, you know, read, participate and buy stuff).

Nulli has begun a series called Musings featuring photo prompts and encouraging any and all to jump in. Write a poem, a story, a limerick, a haiku - whatever the picture calls to mind - and jot it down for all to see. I was intrigued... and not a little relieved.

You see, while I had the page ready for my little shorts... I had no little shorts to put in it :( Nulli's prompts spurred me to write a few tidbits which I have included here. But if you want to see the pictures that inspired the three stories, you'll have to just go to her site. You might find your own bit of inspiration.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


And now for something completely different!

I'm a bit of a craft geek. I love to try new things and tinker and fiddle with them. When a fellow Tweeter mentioned subscription boxes, I was intrigued but not totally sold on the idea. I mean, I love getting stuff in the mail and getting surprise stuff would be awesome but... I'm not a girly-girl. I buy my make up at Walmart and sometimes have to throw it away due to the expiration date without even opening it. I like a wash-and-go hairstyle. My only girly thing is I get my nails done but that's more to break me of the evil habit of biting than anything else. So, when the majority of the subscription boxes turned out to be samples of make up, perfume, or something similar, I thought it sounded swell but wasn't for me. 

And then I found WhimseyBox.

According to their site:
Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Every month we ship our subscribers a box with craft projects along with a project idea. We are also an online community where anyone can discover, learn and share the best in DIY and craft. 

I had just cancelled my MMO membership so I had a bit of left-over fluffy entertainment money floating around the budget. At only $15 (which includes shipping), WhimseyBox cost the same as the MMO that I hadn't played in over five months. Win-Win in my books!

Now, what do you get? Well, it's different every month or so I'm told. I've only gotten the first one so I don't know how they do every month. This month was nifty (yes, nifty is a word) and I have the pictures to prove it!

First, the shipper -
WhimseyBox 1 - Shipper photo whimsey1_ship_zpseba6e903.jpg
The card laying on the right is a military ID which is the same size as most standard credit cards or American driver's license. It's there for size. The box was bigger than I expected and I wondered how much was padding.

Then I opened it to get to the shiny box inside -
WhimseyBox 1 - Inner Box photo whimsey1_inner_zps4caec79f.jpg

There wasn't any padding! The interior box was only slightly smaller than the shipper (as seen by the ever-present ID card). It's a nice, sturdy cardboard box that closes with velcro at the front and has a small label section on the back. They're good for storage or so I'm told.

Ta-Da! The pretty wrapping -
WhimseyBox 1 - Inside photo whimsey1_opened_zps65e21af9.jpg
Pretty blue paper and a pretty ribbon hide the goodies. There was a card on top that says "Creativity is a drug I cannot live without" on the front and has tips and URLs to instructional videos on the back geared towards the items in the box. Sweet!

And finally...the goodies -
WhimseyBox 1 - Goodies photo whimsey1_contents_zpsdeaf64f9.jpg

Not bad at all! The theme, I suppose, is block printing and you're supplied with everything you need to give it a go. A piece of linoleum/carving material with a single carving tool, some block printing ink, a palette knife, two sizes of gift tags and some really nice blank cards with envelopes. The stickers that came with the set say "Stop Pinning Start Crafting" which I found immensely humorous since WhimseyBox has a Pinterest board.

Still, I was quite pleased with the contents even though I've carved my own rubber stamps for years. One can never have too much carving material or too many carvers. What I haven't tried, though, is actual block printing with the proper ink so here's my chance. Which is what I was looking for in a arts & crafts subscription box.

Definitely going to maintain the subscription for next month to see if the quality remains the same.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

TaFL Teaser and Other Stuff

First the Other Stuff... else you'll just move straight on to the teaser and not even read the rest. Or is that just something I'd do? Yeah, probably. Anyway...

Check the Character Bios tab for the backgrounds of the protagonists of There's a Fine Line which were added over the past week or two. Along with Blake's and Alicia's bios, I hope to have Malphas' before the end of the week. I still would like to do Sapphire's and Opal's though they may get further development at a later date. I have plans for the pixies...

Also, check the link to the right to the Elaina Roberts' site. This will be my home in the near future after I finish up Fine Line and begin to work on the Jarilo series. It's still in development but the first book will be a complete revision of Emeralds & Ice. I plan to bring the story into the present era, change some things around, and work it to fit in with the developing mythos. Those who've read the novella-length story before should be able to pick it out from the revision though it will experience some massive changes in order to get it to full novel length and kick off the series. Until it becomes my primary writing focus, it will remain on the site for those to read. After I've begun the revisions, however, it will be removed.

This has been a huge decision for me. I do not like charging for a story that was previously free of charge and that many people have already read. I know many many authors who do that and I'm perfectly fine with their decision. I have supported them by purchasing those novels that I thoroughly enjoyed the first time around with anticipation of reliving the story once more. This is totally a personal issue that I have with my own work; no one else's. However...the amount of work that will go in rewriting Emeralds to get it to fit in with the Jarilo mythos will be phenomenal. Yes, I believe it will be worth it, but it will be the same basic story. You see my problem. In the end, I've decided that if I want to break into publishing, I have to place a proper value on the work that I wish to offer to the buying public. I will do free promotions, or at least reduced prices, because that entices readers to try new authors (I might not have read Elizabeth Hunter or Tina Folsom had their series' first books not been offered for free on Amazon), but I can't offer it for free all of the time. Sucks, but that's how it goes.

Anyway, now for the stuff you really want to hear.

There's a Fine Line - Chapter 16 is back from the editor and ready for submission. I'll pop over to Lit on Saturday morning to upload the file. Hopefully, it'll be ready by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. I do like maintaining my schedule and have been slightly amazed that I've managed to do so since NaNoWriMo ate my soul. I expect there to be no more than 2-3 chapters and then the story will be finished and the After the Reveal world will go on holiday while I work on the aforementioned project. My three beta readers have been amazing at keeping up with the constant push of chapters and Archangel_M, my editor, has gone through many a Red Pen of Doom in an effort to make me sound somewhat coherent. I managed to improve my comma usage on this chapter while merrily skipping entire words in places. Damned if I do...

Anywho...the teaser can be found by clicking the tab at the top or going directly to the page using THIS LINK. Thank you to everyone who's trudged through this rather dark tale of mine. Your comments, votes, and encouragement have been greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

TaFL Ch15 snippet & Info

With the holidays, I've not heard from my lovely editor but, in order to maintain my self-imposed posting schedule, I've decided to go ahead and post the snippet unedited. Any errors are my own so no pitchforks and torches at dusk to hunt down Archangel. Chapter 15 covers the massive battle at the church to retrieve Alicia and, hopefully, stop Malphas from more mischief. While I could have drawn the battle out over several chapters, I felt the story would suffer from the unnecessary details. In an effort to keep the focus on the growth and changes in the two primary characters, I did not go into minute detail on the fighting between the demon's minions and the group of nonhumans gathered under Blake's command. That's not to say it's entirely been ignored, either. There is enough included so readers should know the fighting is fierce and pixies are super cute in battle mode. So, with that being said, the snippet can be found HERE. Enjoy.

Also, Chapter 16 is in progress, though it's slow progress. There have been a couple of other things pulling at my attention that has kept me from working on it like I would have liked.

One is the new website. With much encouragement by Mokkelke and others, I've turned my eye towards publishing the novels that I'm currently developing alongside Fine Line. I've chosen the self-publish route at the moment though that may change the closer the novels get to completion. These novels (one the NaNovel that shouldn't have been) are paranormal romances set in an entirely different world and mythos from The Other Half and Fine Line. There will be no character crossover nor do I have plans to publish either of those two stories. The only story from Lit that will get published has already been pulled from that site, Emeralds and Ice. It will get a rewrite to fit into the new mythos as a prequel. I think Draike will make a nice Shifter, don't you? The new website is under construction but the blog portion is being transferred from WordPress. It's still a work in progress and can be found here under my new pen name, Elaina M. Roberts. I'll announce the launching of the entire website as soon as it's built.

The other issue was on a personal level. Over the Christmas holidays, we were asked to petsit a pair of ferrets for a young man in college so he could visit his family. Having owned ferrets for many years, we were pleased to borrow his, spoil them, then gratefully return them when the holidays were over. Sadly, that's not how it has played out. One of the ferrets seemed a bit under the weather when he arrived and we all tried to excuse it by saying he was stressed by the many changes the pair had gone through in recent weeks. The owner had only had the animals for a couple of weeks when he left for the holidays so there were two massive changes for them. Include change of diet (from crap to something better), change of routine, and even styles of interaction and I'm sure they were wondering what the heck had happened. As the male continued to get more lethargic, we noticed other things that raised red flags as to his condition. I spoke to the owner and then took the ferret to a vet on Thursday, 27 Dec 2012. I got the call last night that, just as he was being prepped for exploratory surgery to find out if there was a blockage in his intestinal tract, he had passed at the vet's office. I am, of course, double-thinking all the steps I've taken in trying to figure out if there was something I should have done differently. There wasn't, really, but he was a sweet ferret and it's always sad to see them go so young.