Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Which Tarot Card Should I Use In The Next Fate Story?

I'm still just diving into revisions of Thorns Entwine the Blade, but once I'm done with those, I intend to write the next Fortunes of Fate story.

I've enjoyed exploring the Tarot cards I've used so far, especially connecting the stories even if some connections right now are subtler than others. And though I have a couple thoughts on stories I could add to the interwoven tapestry of Fate, it might not be time for some of those tales to come to light quite yet.

So, I'd like some help deciding which Tarot card I should focus on next!

Keep in mind, I don't have an arc mapped out and outlined, so if in the end I settle on a card with help from everyone, I won't be trying to shove it into a story that's already plotted out in my head. Like with a Tarot card reading, I'm never quite sure where each card dealt will lead me (though I do intend to tie it all together in the end, which will probably be in a novella or novel).

The cards I have already used (in order of stories released):

The Fool
Two of Cups
The Magus/Magician
The Moon
The High Priestess
Two of Swords

One more card that is off limits because it will be the final Fate tale:

The World

Is that a spoiler? I hope it's not too much of one! As mentioned above, I'm not sure where all the paths will lead and how that final story will unfold.

Anyway, that leaves 71 more cards to choose from. A daunting task.

Don't worry, you don't need to know tons (or anything really) about Tarot cards to vote! Feel free to pick a card using simple instinct, or if you see one that strikes your fancy by the art on a card in a certain deck. I'll give you a little help, so you at least have an idea of the options.

Tarot.com has a decent page with the list of all the cards in a Tarot deck. You can click on each card to read about the meanings. Just keep in mind, if you vote on one due to meaning, I could interpret it differently than you do - there are meanings for upright and reversed!

On the same page there are also a bunch of different decks, so if you just want to look at the pretty pictures, you can click on a deck that inspires you and find a card that way!

Basic run-down from me, though, for the card names.

There are several options left in the Major Arcana, and they are:

The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Sun, Judgment

Of course, there are many more cards in the Minor Arcana. There are four suits in the Minor Arcana (kind of like playing cards):

Cups
Staves/Wands
Swords
Coins/Pentacles

Each of those suits contains 14 cards, pretty much numbers and then face cards (again, like a deck of playing cards):

Ace, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Page, Knight, Queen, King

I've drawn a couple more of these cards in the past that I might draw inspiration from (and redraw) if they happen to be chosen. I did love my Two of Pentacles! The keyword for the upright of that one for me was harmony. And the Strength one had a pretty cute lion in it. But I'm also looking forward to planning out new cards that I haven't even considered yet, of course. A lot of cards ahead of me, and a lot of stories to go with them.

Is this enough help for voting? Again, you can choose to vote however you want! Have a favorite number? Then pick the number of one of the Minor Arcana suits. Easy, no time needed if you don't want to look into meanings.

I'll also let everyone choose their top three picks, even, though you can only choose one if you wish.

Just fill out this quick form - Which Tarot Card Should Be Next?

The form will be up for a couple months at least, since I won't make a decision until December at the soonest. Show it around to your friends, too -- the more votes, the better! I will report the decision in a December or January post, promise!

So, pick a card, any card...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hell On Wheels Excerpt

Hell On Wheels, the second title in the Devil Made Me series, is already up on Amazon for pre-order! And I'm guessing some of you might like a taste of what you'll find. Without fail, I have an excerpt below.

I would like to mention my plans for this title quickly, if you'll bear with me (or you can just skip my blather and read the excerpt). As I said above, it's on Amazon right now. If you pre-order, you can nab it for only $0.99. Release day is September 26, 2017, at which time the price will go up to $2.99. It will be available only on Amazon, including in Kindle Unlimited, for three months! On January 2, 2018, Hell On Wheels will be available from the other major online retailers, after a short pre-order period.

The first title in the series, Hell Hath No Fury, will also drop down to $0.99 for a short time starting some time next week! This special price will be available at all the major online retailers. You can find the links on my Devil Made Me series page. If you haven't read it yet, the beginning of October will be the best time to get it at the lower price.

Also keep in mind, you shouldn't be lost in Hell On Wheels if you haven't read the first title. Though I'm sure if you read the second, you'll want to go back and read the first. Moira is a hoot!

OK, OK, here it is, the excerpt from Hell On Wheels...

A man in an impeccable gray suit perched on the edge of my desk, legs crossed and a car-salesman smile plastered to his face.

This was my office, damn it. No one allowed unless I said so. "Who the hell are you?"

He chuckled, a controlled and forced sound. "Nice one. I'm Richard, but you can call me Dick." When he extended his hand, it looked too perfect, too practiced.

Dick, huh? This would be fun. I crossed my arms instead of shaking. "We just met -- you should keep the juicy information about your disposition for later."

He dropped his hand. "I assure you, my name is telling, but not in the way you're thinking." The corner of his mouth twitched.

Crap. Someone ready to sling shit back at me. "Well, Dick, I think you took a wrong turn. This is my office."

"No wrong turn, Moira. I'm exactly where I intend to be."

He knew my name, but I'd never seen him before. True, there were many residents even on the second floor, but someone who exuded this much charisma and sleaziness wouldn't have stayed hidden. "When did you arrive here?"

"Oh, I'm not from this floor." The extended word "this" slid over me like an oil slick.

It reminded me of Douglas -- a resident who'd been mistakenly sent to the second floor and had almost killed me... again. Well, maybe his intent hadn't been to kill me, but he sure hadn't wanted to snuggle. Pandora had sent Douglas to his proper floor before Jared or I could rip his creepy throat out. A man I intended to keep in my rear-view for the rest of my unlife.

"You're not from the seventh floor, are you?" I now knew that was where people like murderers and rapists went. That had been my topic of study yesterday. Well, I think it was yesterday...

Dick laughed again, so close to someone saying "ha ha ha." "No, no, of course not. Would you believe the fourth?"

Greed. Seemed to fit. "You weren't by chance a car salesman before you died, were you?"

That fake smile fell off his face for a moment, and then he rallied, grinning bigger than he had before. "Smart."

Smartass -- he'd learn that if he stuck around.

Wait. How'd he get here, anyway? There was supposed to be no floor-to-floor travel. Unless Pandora had deposited him here. Or there was a way that she had yet to tell me.

Sneaky bitch. Jared was right -- Pandora hid things. But I wasn't about to admit it to him, at least not until I uncovered the secrets and confronted the lying wench. If I told him, he'd try to be all chivalrous again, like with Douglas.

I could take care of myself.

First step, don't react to Dick's floor-hopping. He couldn't know Pandora had remained mum on the topic with me. "What brings you from the fourth to the second?"

If possible, his smile grew bigger. How'd he talk like that? "You have something I want."

"Yeah, what's that?"

"Your job."

I giggled, holding back the gut-buster I yearned to unleash. "You want to be a Welcomer? Be my guest." I tossed the sequined horns at him, and he caught them cleanly without looking down.

"Not that job." He quickly tilted his head then righted it.

Nervous tick or display of superiority? I reconsidered the whole fourth-floor declaration. Like Douglas's original assignment to this floor, it didn't seem right. Sure, people were greedy for power. But the desire to become the devil was on a whole 'nother level.

Not to mention, unless Pandora had told him of my impending promotion, he shouldn't have known. The other residents of this floor had poked around my office and asked questions, but I'd brushed them off with that whole wish thing. Told them it made me feel more normal to putter around an office.

"Get the hell out."

Dick stood and smoothed his suit, even though there weren't any wrinkles in it. He straightened his tie, which shifted from a classic black-striped number to tiny flames on a dark gray backdrop, and placed the horns on my desk. "I look forward to the challenge, Moira." Then he strode out as if he already had the position in the bag.

Boyfriend hate your job? Well, he can go to Hell.

Yup, Moira's still dead. And her ex from life, not so much an ex anymore, isn't happy that Moira agreed to take the devil's place once she retires. Makes it kind of hard to while away their unlives on the second floor of Hell.

But Moira's not willing to back out of the deal, stubborn as, well, hell. Even when a sleazy three-piece, supposedly from the fourth floor, demands the job for himself, she refuses to withdraw.

Once Moira uncovers some of Hell's secrets, though, she starts to question her commitment.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Writing Update - September 2017

I'm rolling into Fall, so I guess it's time again for another writing update! Don't worry, I'm still plugging along, even if I occasionally forget to update the word count meters on my blog. ;)

I last updated in March, so I won't repeat some of the things I mentioned there. You can go wander over and check it out if you'd like, though. Things have been pretty quiet on the publication front, but that just means I've been writing a lot! And other things...

Completed 2017 Publications and Goals

Mind Behind the Mind (Trinity Torn, 1) was sneakily lowered to $2.99 a few months ago. It will go back up to $3.99 soon, so get it for the lower price while you can! Per usual, you can find the availability on the Trinity Torn Series page.

Hell On Wheels (Devil Made Me, 2) is done and ready to go! Yup, rough draft, revision, and edit. It just needs to be formatted, which will be done later this week. It will be available only on Amazon until the beginning of January, at which point it will be at other retailers. You can pre-order Hell On Wheels on September 13 for only 99 cents, but on release day, September 26, it will go up to $2.99! I had tons of fun writing it -- Moira is a riot. Watch the Devil Made Me Series page for cover and blurb coming soon.

Haunted Unicorn Publishing - I'm now offering beta reading and developmental editing, as I covered in a previous post. I've already completed some beta reads and sample edits!

2017 Planned Promotions

Hell Hath No Fury (Devil Made Me, 1) will be on sale for 99 cents in October! I don't have the exact dates planned, but I aim to have the price changed by the beginning of October. Don't wait to snag a copy at that price, though, because it will be back up to $1.99 by November.

2017 Project Progress

Thorns Entwine the Blade (Trinity Torn, 2) is heading into revisions! I completed the first draft at the beginning of June, then I received some feedback. I'm currently doing a bit of prep before I dive into revisions. Re-reading the first book and inputting events into Aeon Timeline. I'm hoping to finish the revision by the end of the year. Still aiming for a 2018 publication date. And... yes, here it is, the first public appearance (after a few tweaks since I sent it out in my newsletter) -- the cover for Thorns Entwine the Blade!

Nothing to announce for changes at this time, as I haven't started up or continued any side projects. Thorns will keep me busy through the end of the year, and I'm hoping to start in on Dead As Dreams revisions afterward (and maybe a very rough beginning draft of the third Trinity Torn novel). We'll see how the rest of the year plays out for those other side projects I've been itching to work on!