Monday, February 16, 2015

The Road to Publication With Shane Press and The Pathkeeper Chronicles

Shane Press and The Pathkeeper Chronicles

Authors write for a myriad of reasons, today the industry is ever changing, evolving. Between Indie writers self-publishing, and traditional authors utilizing agents and publishing houses the market is flooded with new authors every day. No one can deny that the market is dynamic, and the smart publishing houses are altering their marketing to meet the needs of their clients. This series is dedicated to the unpublished authors out there. Those who struggle every day to get their words down on paper. Men and women whose idea’s and journey of where they want their story to go can often change midstream, leaving them facing roadblocks that they must overcome.
The goal is to help new and unpublished authors see the struggles their peers go through during their process. The decisions, expenses, and hard work involved in how different people bring a book to market for the public. If you have a question you would like to have answered, or think would be helpful please email me through daughtersoflilithseries2014@gmail.com and I will help find answers for you.
The series begins with author Shane Press, to follow is the interview we had where I was able to ask some pointed questions about his process in writing. Which path he intends to go and how he found his niche. I was fortunate enough to meet with Shane Press and his fiancĂ© Theresa over breakfast at “Shut Up and Eat” in Toms River, New Jersey. He was willing to discuss his process and what does and doesn’t work for him.
Shane’s current project is tentatively titled "The Pathkeeper Chronicles, is subtitled: Rise of a Warrior". The novel is a Sci-fi saga about a society of Lizard like characters he came up with as a kid while playing D&D.  His demeanor becomes animated as he speaks about his character Shiff, and how he developed into what he is today. That is one of the things about Shane that I found fascinating over the course of our interactions; he was thoughtful and passionate about his writing one could say a breath of fresh air.
Writing and rewriting parts when he isn't happy with them, he will painstakingly work until it develops into a flowing chapter. We all do this in different ways, but having been allowed to read his writing I can honestly say that his hard work leave the reader  with something special.
I look forward to the completion of his first novel in the series. The writing itself is brilliant, drawing the reader into a world that is uniquely different from many sci-fi books of this nature. It is little wonder that his favorite authors are Tolkien and John Green. Tolkien for his brilliance as a writer and John Green for both his writing and his use of his celebrity for inspiration and altruistic endeavors. Simply put he gives back, in a positive way and not due to a personal agenda.
     Shane’s writing style is not unlike Tolkien’s in that his story has the potential to become something truly epic and beautiful. Right away as a reader I was drawn in, wanting to read more. He showed me his world in such a subtle way that it is immediately comfortable and welcoming. I wanted to be a part of that world, the world of the “Drakna” who were servants of the gods, a society of Lizard like characters.
How do his characters differ?
“Mine is humanoid Velociraptors they aren't vegetarian, or just carnivores, and they are not cold blooded. You won’t find them in the swamp. I wanted to make them distinct. No boobs." he jokes,  "I hate how a lot of guys give them breasts, dinosaurs didn't have breasts, and lizards don’t.” He laughs briefly shaking his head his humor apparent as he speaks.
“Feathers, distinguish the sexes. The females have feathers either on the crown or neck and shoulders and the males don’t.”
I asked him, “Where he found inspiration for his writing,” Pausing he looked down at the table gathering his thoughts.
“I don’t find inspiration in one place, I keep a notepad on me and I write down ideas as they come. Movies, games, music trailer music from groups like “Two Steps from Hell”. Sometimes in music like that I can write out a scene.” He laughs when he says this, fidgeting in his chair. “I’m ADD so staying focused at times is hard.”
Changing the subject, I asked if he followed a deadline when he wrote like some authors will do. Giving me a big smile, his answer was almost shy.
“Deadlines, nothing hard, or feels like a deadline. Although there have been times, it did help.”
Relaxing back in his chair, he grins.
“I’d like to get it done before my obituary though.” Turning more serious he continues.
 “I would like to get it done before I turn thirty.”
“Do you think it's easier today to be a writer?” I ask watching him. He and Theresa share a glance and a smile before he answers. I can tell they've discussed this already before he answers.
“Yes, because if you have something to say there are many ways to say it, blogs, podcasts, writing. There are more opportunities to have a positive influence on the world. Being successful at it though is harder. The quality of the work just doesn't seem to be their today.”
At this point Theresa answers, smiling.
“Today it doesn't have to be good it has to make money.”
One of the things Shane was clear on was his desire to go the traditional route. Very determined he indicated he was aiming to make his book appeal to the YA and Scholastic market.
    “I’m already looking into Writers House Agency, and hope to publish through Tor Publishing.” Thoughtful for a moment he adds.
“There are a lot of IF’s in this business but I feel for me the potential to earn a living makes it worth the higher % that go to the agents and publishers. It’s worth it! There are a lot of pro’s and con’s either way but for me that’s the direction I want to try to go first.”
“So what advice would you give other writers out there struggling like yourself to get that first novel written?”
     Shane smiles, his dark brown eyes sparkling. “Just Shut up and write, its advice I should follow.”
      Shane Press is one of many writers out there following a dream. What makes him special, he has the courage to do it. Good bad or indifferent he is writing. At the conclusion of this interview as we parted company I was reminded that sometimes the most incredible stories come from the journeys we take in our lives. Shane is taking his journey living and writing with a loving supportive partner. Some journeys need to be taken with the right person by your side and he is off to a great start.  

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Morrigan Blade of Grace Book 2 in the Daughters of Lilith Series

Available March, 2015 through Amazon




      "Morrigan Blade of Grace"

     Here is a small teaser from the book. I hope you will enjoy it.  From Chapter 2 of Morrigan Blade of Grace. If you're interested in pre ordering this book please email me directly at daughtersoflilithseries2014@gmail.com 

     Cain rode out at first light; he would go in solo kill the woman and then pull out. He had already decided that they had spent too much time in this land. Its soft green rolling hills had lulled him into lingering when they had already captured enough slaves for the distant markets and gold from the villages they had sacked.
     He was growing weary of this type of work, yet he was cursed to wander the earth, the land would not grow for him. Not even when he had others do it for him. It was as if the earth knew that it was him trying to make it bear fruit from their labours. Heading down towards the village, he paused watching from a hilltop. The woman he had come to kill slipped out of her hut and headed towards the rocky cliff than down a path that lead to the beach far below.
H could not pass up the sweet opportunity, and new a better one would not come along. Heading in the direction, she went he left his horse on the ridge grazing on the sweet grasses that grew here in this sacred land.
     Pausing he watched as she headed down the beach away from her village towards a rocky outcropping. It was as if she were giving him the perfect opportunity to kill her without gaining the attention of her whole village. Foolish girl he thought. His long legs silent as he made his way following a distance behind her. Cain could not help but admire the way the rising sun made her hair glisten like spun gold when it hit the long strands that blew in the breeze. Even from this distance he could see she was perfection, her tiny waist and rounded hips gave her the perfect shape. She stood proudly looking out to sea as if searching for something.
     It wouldn't matter if she were pining for a dead lover she would soon join him. He thought; this idea made him uncomfortable. He didn’t want her to be pining for a lover. As the sun kissed her skin, he sped up moving to within several feet of her, so he was behind her. Turning she saw him, drawing her sword in the same motion.
 “Who are you? She demanded, looking at his massive height as he towered over her. With a gasp, she took in his amber eyes and stepped back away from him. “Leave me be demon or I will do more than take your hand.” She said.
“I think not my lady. I am Cain of Eden here to kill you for taking my friends hand.” He said his own eyes were trapped and held by her stormy green ones. What a shame to snuff out such a beautiful creature. She was by far the most exquisite woman he had ever seen. Her golden hair curled and cascaded down her back framing a mischievous face with dimples and sensuous lips that were lush and pink.
     “What is your name girl?” He demanded, seeing if he could intimidate her. Instead, she laughed, a musical tinkling laugh that almost made him smile.
     “I am Morrigan daughter of King Oberon, the Fierce. Demons do not make demands of me. If it is a fight, you want then it is a fight you shall have.” With a sudden graceful move she lunged at him thrusting her sword, she nicked his arm before dancing away. Her skirt that wrapped around and around her body and was pinned at her shoulder on a blouse. Her bare feet gave her the freedom of movement, not unlike a dancer.
     The two fought each other jumping on rocks to try to gain an advantage; each was an expert with a sword.
     Cain found himself fascinated, moved by her spirit and skill. Every move he made to put her on the defensive she countered instantly as if she knew what he would do.
     “Not bad, fair Mora, but to win you have to anticipate what I will do before I do it. Not just react, to my sword.”
     Morrigan looked at him impressed with his skill. She knew he could have ended this earlier. He had her beaten both with his size and strength. “You’re holding back demon. I thought you sought vengeance. Perhaps your need for vengeance isn't as strong as you think.” She said as their blades clashed.
His handsome craggy face looked briefly annoyed. “I am not a demon. I am a man cursed.”
     Morrigan dropped her sword and stepped back. “What do you mean cursed? I can see you are not like the other, yet you still have the same amber eyes and the same fangs, although yours do not show as much. Why have you stopped fighting me?” She asked, confused by the sudden change in his manner.
     “You dropped your sword, not I. My story is an old one, let’s just say I made a mistake and was damned to wander the earth for it.” Cain stood before her no longer a threat. His thick dark wavy hair blew in the early morning breeze. He towered over her; she realized all muscle and strength. Aside from his eyes she would not have taken him for anything more than a raider. Even his manner seemed different from the other demons.
     “Then why do you raid our villages taking our women and children, killing our men? Or perhaps that too is a mistake,” she demanded.
“That is our way. The strong will always conquer the weak; my people have raided your lands for hundreds of years. Others like me will continue to do so for many more years to come. When we are not fighting wars, we raid for profit.” He answered her without remorse.
     “You are wrong Cain, as long as there is an ounce of courage my people will fight to the death to hold onto their freedom. It is our right as the gods have given it,” she said, disgusted with his narrow minded stance. “You are no more than a barbarian trying to bully your way into what is not yours to take.”
    “I cannot deny that your people have a fierce fighting spirit; it is one of the things that make them desirable as slaves in my land. They are only humans, chattel to be bought and sold.”
    Morrigan spat on the ground. “Damn you Cain of Eden you will regret those words someday. Your words speak ignorance, not truth.” Raising her sword she again lunged ready to end their conversation. In her head, she knew her odds of beating Cain were slim. That he hadn't taken her sword already showed a level of restraint few had ever shown her. With a move like a cat, she slipped under his arm bringing her sword down across his bottom with a resounding thwack!
    “Ow!” He yelled turning towards her.  That she hadn't given up yet pleased him on some level, nor had she grown tired of fighting him. He was amazed; it is no wonder she took Abaddon’s hand, he thought. The fool should have run when he had the chance instead of attacking.
     He watched no longer interested in killing her but wanting to see if he could best her. She was very good, but he had been a student for centuries in combat. Lunging suddenly he grabbed her arm flipping her over his shoulder believing that would be the end of their duel.
     Morrigan laughed as she somersaulted over his head landing on her feet in the sand, taking a dancers stance with her blade prepared to lung.
“You are good I will give you that Cain of Eden.” She sounded barely winded from their battle. In truth she knew she was beginning to grow weary, it was only determination that kept her going and would only be a matter of time before the demon won this battle.
     Abruptly he did in fact lung pushing her back against the rocks knocking her sword from her hand. His body pressed against hers as his blade rested against her throat.
      Looking into her deep blue eyes, he found himself drowning there his own amber eyes lost in the depth of her. He could spend a lifetime looking at her and never grow bored. Her face showed so much life and joy. Unable to crush such beauty, he instead bent his head; his lips hovered above hers, and he waited to see if she would attack. Her sweet breath touching his face giving him the scent of mint, he watched her lick her lips, her pupils dilated with what looked like desire. He softened allowing himself a moment to taste her plump lips, shocked when she responded to his touch.
   Their lips tasted, touched, tongues tentatively dancing. Cain sunk his fingers into her golden hair as she moaned. He pulled her closer, wanting more of the sweet magic of her lips. He could feel the raging fire inside his body, wanting to claim her for himself. With a curse, he pulled his head away breathing heavily looking at her face. Her kiss swollen lips were open as if to speak, her breathing heavy. His decision made he stepped back holding her at arm’s length.


     “Today you live my lovely Morrigan, my men and I will leave your shores and never return. I swear this before your gods.” Before she could speak, he disappeared as if he had never been there. Only their footprints stood as a reminder of their dance with swords. Tired, shocked, and shaken she placed her hands on her knees to catch her breath and figure out what had just happened Cain’s image fresh  in her head. Why had he stopped?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Calling All Women !!


     Why should we care about other women?  How, we see each other is important. Sometimes it can be even wrong or unfair. Women have a tendency to put other women into categories, not unlike the ones we often accuse men of putting us in. It’s a habit we need to break.  
      One of the things that has always puzzled me is that we know historically women have been repressed, discriminated against, used and held up to unrealistic ideals both by men and society. There are stories, about strong women throughout history, women of courage, strength, and honor who gave of themselves. Going back to even biblical times women made a tremendous difference in history yet received little or no credit.
     As women, I think we fail each other miserably at times.  We judge each other on appearance, whom we are with, and even how much our income is.  Frankly when we do this we let each other down. Who can honestly say that they have never heard another woman snipe and make biting comments regarding someone else who is unaware? For myself, I find when someone is like that I have to wonder just what they have to say about me when I am not around. Are they as equally biting and hurtful?
     Men, on the other hand, can be just as bitchy yet they cling to an invisible brotherhood code of don’t ask don’t tell. Can I get a copy of the brotherhood code book? I’m sure it would make an interesting and enlightening read.
That “guy code” doesn’t exist among women. It should! Here is a simple truth, if women banded together talked to each other honestly about things we would see we are all basically the same. In your twenties you’re tied up in how you look, your career, and who you’re going to marry. By your thirties if you’re married it’s about family, appearance, and getting ahead.
When you hit your forties things start to change. Unless you’re one of those women trapped into trying to hold on to twenty of course.
     For the rest of us, we begin to relax, at forty. If you're married or not you’re too tired by life to worry about the small stuff. We begin to look inside ourselves to find the answers. The good news is most of us do; we find ourselves. There is a confidence that a woman have as she gets older.  I believe in part it comes from learning to truly love yourself as a person. That doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels and just worry about our own interests. Sharing that positive outlook, that secret self we have found with our younger female friends and children is important. As women, we need to stand together teach each other what it means to be a woman in today’s world.
     The clock is going to continue to tick, despite our best intentions. As older women, we set an example. It’s our responsibility to teach younger women that we should, in fact, be a sisterhood of many. All the time not just when it comes to things like cancer or abuse.
     The choices we make today on how we treat each other will affect our daughters and their daughters.  Women are police officers, soldiers, doctors, and entrepreneurs. We are not afraid to work for what we want. By standing together, truly supporting each other and getting involved we can each make a difference.
     If you’re the kind of person who would stop to rescue a puppy you saw left on the side of the road then this message is for you. This Christmas rescue another woman. If it’s a bag of groceries, babysitting to give someone a break, or even a cup of coffee so you can listen while they talk, just do it. Give one day a month to helping other women who are in need of help.
Calling all women it’s time to pay it forward. Surprise a woman you know or even don’t know with a helping hand. Do something out of your comfort zone for another woman, and you may just be surprised how it makes you feel.

Women for Women International
Women Helping Battered Women
Oprah's Womans Orginization

Saturday, December 06, 2014

I Am A Hot Mess


     We've all had those moments in our lives when we worry ourselves sick. Are we good enough, will we succeed in what we do? We apply for jobs, meet potential mates or possible new friends, and if you’re like most people in the back of your mind, there is a little voice that asks will I be enough?
     From our first day of kindergarten to our first big job interview each of us wants the world we live in to accept who we are. It doesn't matter that as we get older we give ourselves the pep talks about it not mattering if things don’t go the way we may want them to. Because the truth is it does matter, at least on some level.
     I've written my whole life, read thousands of books in my lifetime. It is something I have always been deeply passionate about. Why? Because, it does matter to me. What I have learned over the years though is that not every potential employer is going to love you or think you’re the right fit for the job. Not every man or woman you meet is going to fall in love with you and want forever. Sometimes that’s a blessing.
     People say, "takeoff the rose colored glasses" but when we do something that is a challenge I say, Put those babies on. Wear them loud and proud. See the world through the clouded view rather than the harsh view others may try to force us to believe. It’s how we get through, how we don’t let the harshness of life steal our dreams.
     In life, we all fall down sometimes but if you’re smart you get back up. Thomas Edison preformed thousands of experiments, and there were people who told him to give it up that his inventions were a waste of time. But he didn’t.
I can admit I am what you would call a hot mess. I am constantly going in, to many different directions to count. When I’m writing, I lose all track of time and place. I make mistakes, fall on my face and hit walls that life puts in my way. I’m not the best mother, wife, or friend but at the end of the day I am me, and that’s good enough for them. It’s good enough for me.
     So when that little voice is whispering in your ear that you’re going to fall on your face, fail, crash and burn or that you should just give up. Push the imp in the mud and keep going. Put on your rose colored glasses and take on the world, by storm.   

Its More then Just a Dream

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As a recently married 46 year old I am in the process of finishing my degree. Working to take care of my family and live my life.Blogging, working, writing, and chugging along like most of us.  Who am I ? I am you, I am me, I am your mother, friend, the best and worst that we each have inside of us. I am a different perspective and find myself fascinated by the interesting moments in life.

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