I want a do-over, please.

I want a do-over, please.

First all, let me state that I love sweets. So much so that I was born on Pi Day (March 14, also know as “today”). When I want to celebrate, I love cakes and pies and brownies and all those other great sugary sweets. When I’m feeling down, nothing makes me feel better than a decadently delicious helping of just desserts. When I go grocery shopping, my hubby can count on at least a dozen donuts being in the bag for breakfast the next morning. Sweets and Meats are tied for by biggest pregnancy cravings. Southern Sweet Tea is by far my favorite drink.

And yet, today, Pi Day, my birthday, is probably the worst day of this entire year.


A few days ago, I failed the one hour blood-glucose test, and had to subjugate myself to the three hour version yesterday morning in my Obstetricians office, and the outlook is dismal. I just may, pending results, have Gestational Diabetes.

No cake. No sweet tea. No partaking of that delicious Caramello bar that my hubby got me for my birthday.


The worst part of this all is that I am banned from the one fail-safe that makes me feel better when the only thing I ask for on my birthday is a clean house… and I end up giving that present to myself. It is also the fail-safe that keeps me sane when birthday plans get canceled last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Just like a lot of people take their spine for granted until it’s injured, I’ve taken my ability to eat sweets for granted, and it is extremely depressing. Lock-myself-in-my-room-and-cry-for-hours-depressing.

And then my Husband asks “This is just pregnancy hormones, right?”

taylor stabbing a cake

Featured image was found on minimal exposition, a blog by Bethany Pierce. Please go check her out for more destroyed deserts artwork.🙂

Guest Post. Handy hints on developing a villain over a series.


I will be using this.😀 Such great advice on a very crucial story element!

M T McGuire Authorholic

I am delighted to welcome my cyber buddy Charles Yallowitz, author of the long running fantasy series, Legends of Windemere, to talk about villains. Legends of Windemere is a seriously epic series – 9 books and counting. But as well as writing lots of excellent books Charles runs a great blog; plenty of thought provoking posts, interesting news and lots of chat in the comments. I thoroughly recommend you have a look at it, here. But do read the article first won’t you? Which reminds me… over to you Mr Yallowitz.

The Lich by Jason Pedersen The Lich by Jason Pedersen

First, thanks to M T McGuire for allowing me to write a guest post. The question posed was about character development over the course of a series. Legends of Windemere, my fantasy adventure series, has six books out with a seventh on the way. So I get asked about this area a lot…

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It’s finally happened!

It’s finally happened!

Holding my first book in print was like holding a newborn baby. My newborn baby. I’m fairly certain that I love my other (human) children more, but still… the happy endorphins are real.🙂

So, like I was saying: Devil in the Details is now available in print, as well as on Amazon Kindle! Advance copies are available now in the CreateSpace - An Amazon Company store, with an Amazon release within the week.

More happy Pics:


For Kindle and Kindle app users, the eBook version is still available on Amazon.com.

Oh my gosh, I’m rewriting! Finally!


The title says it all! 

*Squeals of Joy*

So, I took the plunge and decided that my original document was too ugly to permit to live, so I formatted the whole thing using the Back Space bar. The result was a freedom of expression that got me out of my writers block by removing the gunk that I was trying to fix. Instead of doctoring up the dinner to make it edible, I scrapped the whole plate and decided to make a new dish. So far, I like it much better. 

Though I came across something that I’ve never encountered before… How do you write a text message into a story?

Check out what I have so far, and let me know if I did it right.🙂 (Warning: opening teaser, subject to change)

It was a beautiful fall evening. I hated it. The sun was setting out of a cloudless sky, painting the horizon with various shades of blue, red, and everything in between. The slight chill to the air was a relief from the pressing heat of the summer’s remains. A day of reviewing inventory lists and preparing purchase orders for the fall selection of pumps and boots had done little to lift my spirits. Even though fall was my favorite season, my mood was better suited to overcast gloom. My 27th birthday was in two weeks, and even though I had friends nearby, the people I missed the most were going to miss it. I sighed and donned my sunglasses as I stepped out of the office building where I worked and prepared to walk the two blocks to the parking garage.

Two months ago, if someone had told me that I would miss being out in the country, separated from high speed internet, reliable phone coverage, and readily accessible retail therapy, I would have told them they were crazy. And yet here I was, doing just that. Surrounded by my favorite parts of Atlanta and unable to enjoy it.

I looked back to the city skyline, made note of the rapidly setting sun and picked up my pace. It was more a reflex than a need, though. I used to carry mace, but in the past few weeks since returning to Atlanta, I’d found that I was becoming particularly adept at hexing people, whether I had meant to or not. It always left me a little tired, but the victims of my mislaid powers always came out worse for wear than I did. They even deserved it, most of the time, so I didn’t feel too bad. What did concern me, however, was the source of these powers. Through recent events, I’d become something of a demonologist, complete with demon familiar. Add to that a little bit of Angel in my family history with a side of Demon, and I was a veritable cocktail of wicked good times. I was fairly certain that my soul bound familiar, Azaraphel, was not the source of my outbursts. I knew what his energy felt like, but this was different. All me. The one time I’d fully let it loose was in a fight for my life against a crew of demons, and what I’d done was not pleasant. I still had nightmares about that night.

I turned the corner into the parking garage, making sure my keys and cell phone were already in my hand. Another trick one picks up when living in a city- always be prepared to dial 911 and make a quick getaway. While my phone was in my hand, I turned my ringer back on and checked my messages. The first one was from Holly, who was arguably my best friend from Salem, Alabama. She called to let me know that she was making some decor changes to my house down there and to let me know that she and her son, Tommy were both settling in great. That was good news. I sent her back a quick text to take care and do whatever she needed to do with my full blessing. I owned it, but it was her home as well now.

The second message was from Jennifer, my city BFF and fellow shoe junky. She worked in the marketing department of the office complex right above mine. We often met up for gripe sessions during lunch and sometimes ventured out together to enjoy the night life.

Going out man hunting tonight. Be my +1? It looked like tonight was going to be one of those nights. I smiled.

Not hunting, but sounds great. =) Time? I unlocked my Prius and climbed in. It didn’t take long for the next message to jingle on my phone.

Y not?

I sighed and replied. Guy issues. Tell you later.

I watched the ellipses on the bottom of the conversation screen blink for a good minute before her short reply was finally sent.

K.Pick u up at 8.

I bet she had typed and erased at least five different questions before that answer. I knew that I was going to be grilled later, but I shrugged. That would be just enough time to get home, shower, and get ready. I sent back a quick confirmation and started up my car. Just before I put the car in drive, however, the dulcet tones of Stevie Nicks filled my car. I checked the caller I.D. – Phil Brennan. Speak of the Demon, it was Azaraphel.

Novel Update: A Comedy of Errors

Novel Update: A Comedy of Errors

It isn’t pretty, it is sort of puzzling, and it it looks strangely like something else I’ve written before…. I just can’t decide what.

That, in a nutshell, describes my feelings about the second (and third) books in what I planned to be the Riesa Grimshaw series. The first book went well, and I’ve gotten good enough reviews on the Kindle version that I’ve finally decided to bite to bullet and publish the hard copy. But then my overly eager friends (who really liked my book, and not just because they are my friends) became very excited and started saying things like “You can do a book signing! You should get in touch with Barnes and Noble, and the Campus Bookstore, and *insert yada yada yada* and let them host your debut! I want the first signed copy!”

“. . .” I reply.

The very idea of having the gall to go and talk to these people and say, “Hi! You don’t know me from Adam, but I’m a self-published Indie Author and I’d like to take up your valuable business space and shamelessly plug my book during your open hours” fills me with utter terror.

But that is another story. The first story, actually. The one that is already written, edited, rewritten, re-edited, previewed, beta read, and published. The one that is FINISHED. This post is about the second (and third) story. I’ve outlined, plotted, erased scenes, added scenes, and massaged much, though that’s been interspersed throughout the last couple of years. The ending effect is something resembling the bones of my original idea put through the Van Gogh-inator, a la Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz  of Phineas and Ferb fame, and then eaten and subsequently spit back out by a malfunctioning Chaos Engine. It is like my ugly child… I love it, care for it, and would never abandon it… but I really don’t want to look at it.

It has made me reevaluate what I want. Do I want this to be a trilogy? A series? Should I let the first book just be a Stand-alone and move on to something else? And then I got to thinking about endings. Did my first book wrap things up enough? Will my main character ever escape her fate? Will she ever resolve her relationship with the male protagonist, and if so, how? Will the evil powers lurking within her prevail, or will the goodness? How many characters must I kill off in order to sate the needs of the Plot Gods? Why is a platypus even a thing?

I just don’t know.

So what do you think? If you’ve read my book, would you like to see a continuation? If so, what would you like to see happen? If you haven’t read my book, do you think I should move on, or should I buckle down and work until this comedy of errors reaches it’s conclusion?

Langston Hughes – reminding me of my dreams.


In the Spirit of Black History Month, I’m pulling up my favorite poem of all time. To every aspiring artist, struggling student, and full – yet unfulfilled – laborer, I present to you a poem that transcends age, race, and gender and makes us question the fate of our dreams and aspirations.



What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?

Writing Prompt #3


“The dictionary atop your shelf has more than 200,000 words defined. Why don’t you blow off some of the dust on its cover and randomly pick out ten words? Don’t look at the meanings; just concentrate on the words. Write down your chosen words on a (blank) sheet of paper. Now you’re going to have fun creating meanings for those words. What do the words make you think of? What do you think they should mean?”

Capsicum – (ADJ.) If something is capsicum, it is on the precipice of reaching its peak, or being at the top of its game. CAPPED, one might say. An example use of this: After a capsicum career, the sanitation worker could think of nothing more than getting out as soon as possible. Alternatively: (N.) The highest point of fulfillment. Example: The Sewer had finally reached the capsicum of excrement.

Boanthropy – The brotherhood of boyfriends. Related, boanthropology, the study of boyfriends, has existed since the dawn of the human relationship, though it is colloquially known as “gossip”, and is greatly practiced in many female circles. The prefix is derived from the old term for boyfriend, “Beau”.

Euneirophrenia – A mental disorder in which one believes himself to be a reborn and reformed version of Emperor Nero. Such individuals tend to have acute fears or aversions to Fiddles or Fire.

Groak – A sound between a groan and a croak. Alternatively, “Groak” is also the name of a pixie like creature that lives in the swamplands of Louisiana. The lure their favorite food, frogs, with imitations of their various mating calls, giving the Groak its signature sound and name.

Preantepenultimate – before the beginning of almost the ultimate ending of everything. Subscribers to the theory of the Butterfly Effect could say that the wind causing the butterfly to flap its wings was a preantepenultimate occurrence.

Timmynoggy – this is an indelicate drink created by the Snarflewoggins as a means of celebrating the Carflookle of Snogsburgs birthday. Since no one liked the Carflookle of Snogsburg, the drink tends to taste like the mix of a Fliggy’s toe jam and the musk of a cogsnerg. The actual ingredients are far worse.

Zarf – This rare creature is found only in the most alien of places. So alien, in fact, that the Zarf is in fact extraterrestrial. Being roughly the size of a mastiff hound, the Zarf is a florescent green color and has a large proboscis, roughly two feet in length. It stands on two legs, and has wing-like protrusions from its shoulders instead of arms. The proboscis is used as the main method of manipulation of items. The Zarf, though flightless, can manage to remain airborne for approximately 10 yards, given a good enough running start. The wings can also be used to soften the falls from the numerous cliffs of its native landscape.

Quisquilian – A creature that has sharp quill-like protrusions that seem to quizzically serve no purpose.

Scroop – The technical name for anything found on the underside of a shoe.

Rasceta – A delectable dish made from antelope cheese and noodles processed from rare varieties of gluten-free, calorie-free, carbohydrate-free monomolecular wheat particles. It is often garnished with leaves adorned with the first dew of spring, cryogenically frozen to preserve freshness.


ACTUAL Definitions (via google):

Capsicum –  noun – a tropical American pepper plant of the nightshade family with fruits containing many seeds. Many cultivated varieties with edible, pungent fruits have been developed.

 Boanthropy is a psychological disorder in which a human being believes himself to be a Bovine.

Euneirophrenia” is a peaceful state of mind that occurs after experiencing a pleasant dream.

Groak – to watch people eat hoping that they will offer you some of their food

Preantepenultimate (Latin prae-, before) is one step further back still, making it the fourth from the end of the series, the last but three.

Timmynoggy – a device the saves time and labor

zarf (plural: zarfs, zuruuf, zarves) is a holder, usually of ornamental metal, for a coffee cup without a handle (demitasse or fincan).

Quisquilian – consisting of trash and rubbish.

Scroop – rustle of silk.

Rasceta – creases on the inside of the wrist

… I think I like my definitions better.

Writing Prompt Challenge #2: Caged


Prompt # 2: A picture is worth more than a blank page. Take out those dusty photo albums. Pick out photo #14. Count however way you like, but make sure you stop at photo #14. Look at the photo for 2-3 minutes. Then for 10 minutes, write all the feelings that photograph made you feel. Don’t censor yourself. Just write.

Okay, So I did what I was asked. While I take the 2-3 minutes to write this, I’m now studying the picture and getting some feelings. In a moment I’m going to start the 10 minute timer… Wish me luck. J



I don’t know how long it’s been since my incarceration, but the time has started to eat away at me. I fiddle with my fingers, my hair, my clothes, anything to keep my mind from going crazy in this chamber of deprivation. I’m left with few items with which to occupy myself, but nothing seems to hold my attention like the seemingly teeming amounts of LIFE to be had on the outside of my solitary confinement. I am at least given a blanket, but no pillow. I suppose my captors fear that I would suffocate myself for lack of entertainment. I am also given sufficient amounts of drink, also probably to stave off the desperation that comes with thirst.

I am not entirely alone in my “Solitary” confinement, however. Mr. Biddles is with me. He is a very quiet chap, and not much company, but the length of his ears amuses me, so I tease him. He is either a very good sport, or an idiot who does not understand my ridicule of him, for he never retaliates. I am leaning towards thinking him an imbecile.

Between the two of us, the blanket, the beverage, and the dull drone of the warden’s television set, there is a puzzle of sorts. Even with my dazzling wit, and Mr. Biddles’ modest (or nonexistent) wit, we can’t seem to master the puzzle. I know that the answer to our freedom lies within the solving of the device. Five concentric rings, aligned along a vertical post… If only I could figure out the arrangement.

In my frustration, I yank on Mr. Biddles’ long ears and drag him across the puzzle, longing to start a prison riot to escape the dissatisfaction of my predicament. The rings are no longer concentric, scattering across the base of my confinement cell in all directions. I then begin to scream.

Finally, my warden returns from her vigil at the television. I lift my arms while I scream, incidentally still holding Mr. Biddles’ by the ears. She lifts me from my jail, and I smell freedom for the first time in forever. Life is good.




🙂 Yep, I bet you know what my #14 picture was of.

Lord of Dragons – Live on FictionPress!


Okay, so it isn’t “Live”, per se. I am working on it. A LOT. So far, my polished rough draft of it is a 100,000 word monstrosity, and it doesn’t even have an ending yet.😛

If you are interested in it, go take a look! I’ll be posting new chapters as I edit them, with an aim of at least once per week. First two chapters are up.🙂


So, here is the synopsis:

Andrew Card is a normal guy with personal issues. For example, he just found out that his dad is dead. The good news is that he left him a castle and a kingdom. The bad news is that it is in another world entirely, and he’ll have to fight his aunt, who already has a death warrant on his head, for it. Add in magic, imps, mysterious persons, and court intrigue.

(They limited me to 530 characters…)


Writing Prompt Challenge #1: Black Box


So, I found a website that has over three hundred writing prompts on it. I’ve decided to challenge myself! I will write something for every prompt. J

So here I go!

Writing Prompt: Close your eyes briefly. Think of one object that’s in the room and focus on it. Without opening your eyes, recall as much detail as you can about it. After three minutes or so, open your eyes and write about that objects without looking at it.

And here is what I came up with:


About six weeks before my husband was scheduled to return home from Afganistan, he sent home a rather large black Tuff box. When he told me that he was sending a box home, I didn’t truly appreciate HOW large the box was going to be. In my opinion, it was gargantuan, imposing even, and it sat in my living room, securely locked for several days, serving as the world’s most intimidating coffee table. I believe that all three of my little girls could have fit into it with ease.

So engrossed with curiosity was I to learn what was inside the box, that I often fantasized and had nightmares about the items that my husband might have sent home. The plan had been for my husband to send the keys to the box ahead of time via post, but unfortunately, the box arrived first. Menacing, taunting, and driving me to the outer limits of curiosity. I waited by the mailbox daily, eagerly looking forward to the day that the letter containing the keys would arrive.

I waited in vain. Two weeks, I waited, hearing neither word from my husband, nor receiving the aforementioned letter. I speculated. Perhaps my husband was still adjusting to his new duty station, or perhaps they simply did not have working internet yet? Those were the most innocent of thoughts, forcibly screamed through my brain to shut out the more horrible and terrifying of imaginings. With the lack of word from my husband, and the lack of the keys, the box became more and more of an obsession to me as the days progressed.

I walked past the box constantly throughout the day, staring at it from the corner of my eye. I became irate with my children, admonishing them for climbing on top of the box, leaving toys on top of it, or even simply touching the locks. Even I sometimes had ideas about how out of character I was acting, but it was not something I could help.

Finally, it happened. The rain pounded outside, slamming into the windows in thick thumps as it was blown sideways by the howling wind. It had been six weeks since the box’s arrival. On this particular day, I had sent the children to my mother’s house so that I could have some alone time. It was just me and the box. It had three grooves on the top, with unknown purposes. It was rough to the touch. It smelled of hot plastic up close. It was sealed tight with three master key locks. The page sized packing label was secured to the side with clear packing tape that was beginning to peal from the edges. It was also extremely heavy. I had a hard time dragging it from the living room to the utility room.

I’d had enough. I needed to know what was in the box. I broke the screwdriver trying to open the locks, both by trying to pick them, and then by trying to use it like a lever. The crowbar didn’t really work either. I wasn’t sure if it was my lack of strength, or the metal’s resilience. I pouted, and thought hard for another option. Finally, I spotted the chainsaw.

I bit my lip. It was possible. If I could cut at an angle, I could cut the lip before the lock. I wouldn’t even have to go through any metal. It took me a couple false starts, and one trip to Google to get the chain saw started, but I managed. I even managed to lift it.

Finally, with the smell of gasoline and burnt plastic filling the utility room I had succeeded. The box was no longer secured. Putting the chainsaw down, I smirked while I wiped the sweat from my forehead. Lifting the chainsaw had been harder then I had thought it would be. I approached the box and smiled, ready to finally lift the lid. The stray thought entered my head that I might have just destroyed government property, but I wasn’t sure I cared. I HAD to know what was in the box! Then, I heard the phone ring. I paused, with my hands on the lid. I briefly contemplated not answering the phone, but what if it was my husband? I hadn’t heard from him in weeks, and missing his call would kill me worse than not knowing what was in the box.

With a sigh, I left the box, unopened, and rushed back into the house to get my phone.



Static answered me. “… me? … lo?”

It sounded like my husband from what did come though. My heart skipped a beat. “I’m here! Don’t hang up! Can you hear me?”

More static, but then, “ …me? Don… pen… the box!” Click. Beep, Beep, Beep. The call was disconnected.

Uh, oh.