Thursday, July 9, 2020

"Rocks" of Love

My community is participating in the movement to place rocks painted with inspirational and/or
positive messages around town. Families and friends paint the rocks and then 'hide' them. When someone finds a rock, that person usually takes a picture of the rock and posts it on Facebook, etc. It's a small gesture to uplift spirits for the finders and to provide a creative outlet for the painters. 

Here are my contributions to the cause. As you can see, no particular talent is required, just some time and a willingness to get messy.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Writing Challenging Characters

What do you do when your muse delivers characters that require you to stretch beyond your comfort zone? Don’t panic. Open yourself to the possibilities.

I write fantasy romance. One would think that’s challenge enough, creating worlds from literally the soil upward. But I can handle that. All it takes is imagination fused with relevant life experiences.
For instance, I’ve never lived as a cursed warrior in a land populated by beast-men, but I have experienced a high mountain meadow in spring, ridden horses, and learned about panning for gems from my father’s Alaskan experience. I’ve never fended off danger with swords, but I’ve travelled the UK, hefted swords to learn about balance, and explored tumble-down castles.

None of that, however, made writing these three characters from BLOODSTONE any less challenging.

#1: The Shadow Man

Mirianna and her father fell into place, but my hero, the Shadow Man, refused to tell me his real name. I wrote a third of the book before he reluctantly revealed it. That resistance was clue to his character. Being an ‘into-the-mist’ writer, I had to keep writing to discover the truth.

The Shadow Man wants to be left alone. But beneath this stated goal is a deeper need: he’s lonely. When the opportunity comes to relieve his loneliness with a blind boy servant, he impulsively acts against his stated goal. Conflict ensues. His neatly ordered life, miserable as it has been, falls apart despite repeated attempts to maintain his solitude. What he thinks he wants and what he needs are at odds, and that’s just his internal conflict.

Add a woman so determined to protect her aging father she embarks on a dangerous journey, an old enemy seeking power, and a—possibly—magical lion shadowing his every step, and my hero has more than enough conflict. By first draft’s end, he had dug up and faced every ugly truth preventing him from being the man he ought to be, the man he’d chosen to bury (that real name).


#2: The lion

I’ve never lived with a mountain lion, but I’ve lived with cats. However, even I didn’t know when I started writing who or what this lion would be. (Remember that seat-of-the-pants thing?) She appeared with various characters at critical moments, and I had to let her gradually reveal how she was connected. Additional challenge: she has no point of view, so I couldn’t get into her head like I could my hero. (He was just stubborn; she was downright enigmatic.) So, write a mountain lion-like cat into a fantasy when you have no idea why she’s there, except she was in the very first scene from which this book sprang, and you have the idea of this challenge.

#3: Gareth

I’ve worn corrective lenses since childhood, but I’m in no way as severely visually limited as Gareth. Thinking of sensations, sounds, and smells as his primary means of interpreting the world forced me to expand my means of description. I also had to remember he was 13, not an adult. Writing him was a definite challenge, but also extremely satisfying.

Conclusion: Don’t be afraid to write what you don’t know. Fuse a bit of imagination with a fragment of authentic experience and even the seemingly impossible can become satisfying and convincing fiction…if you’re up to the challenge. You just might be on your way to your best book ever.

P.S. BLOODSTONE e-book is now on sale for 99-cents through July 3: Kindle ; Nook 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Celebrate Fathers June 18-21 with an E-book Bundle Giveaway

Join me on Thursday, June 18, as BLOODSTONE is featured on N.N. Light Book Heaven's Celebrate Fathers Mini Author Event and Rafflecopter. 

What makes BLOODSTONE a Father's Day book? Nothing tests a father-daughter relationship like taking a road trip together, especially into a dangerous no-man’s land inhabited by a mysterious Shadow Man. A land where magic is more than legend and dragons might not all be dead.

Hop over to Celebrate Fathers Event to check out the spotlighted books and enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a bundle of all 17 e-books. 

Attention UK audiobook readers: Free UK audiobook codes are still available for BLOODSTONE here:  Get your free download while the codes last. 4.9 stars on Audible.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

LORD OF DRUEMARWIN Featured in Celebrate Weddings Bookish Event Thursday, June 11

Adventure, mystery, romance…and a wedding! Heroes, villains, and messy family secrets are guaranteed to keep you reading well past bedtime to discover that happily ever after for these newlyweds. 

4.5 Stars and a Crowned Heart of Excellence from InD'Tale Magazine: ““Lord of Druemarwin” … is a wonderful love story filled with secrets and treachery! Readers will be immediately drawn into the saga of war, alliances, bravery, and honor.… The lovers … are richly written characters devoted to each other and willing to fight for what they want.” -- Tonya Mathenia: Lord of Druemarwin/InD'Tale Review

Enter N.N. Light Book Heaven's Celebrate Weddings Bookish Event for a chance to win a bundle of 30 e-books, including LORD OF DRUEMARWIN, featured on June 11. Hop over to Celebrate-weddings-event June 9-12 to check out the offerings. Drawing will be on June 19.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Celebrate June, Audiobook Month, with Month-long Audiobook Spotlight and Rafflecopter Giveaway

Are you an audiobook addict? June is audiobook month and there’s a huge event going on at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Celebrate Audiobook Month. 41 audiobooks featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My audiobook, BLOODSTONE, 4.9 stars on Audible, will be featured on Friday, June 5.
Wait until you listen to my audiobook clip. My narrator Dawson McBride nails the characters and I’m so proud of it. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

While they last--and they're going fast--US and UK audiobook codes for a FREE, Free, free download of BLOODSTONE can be found here:

Bookmark this festival and tell your friends:

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stress Busting Book Festival and Gift Card Rafflecopter

Stress got the best of you in these uncertain times? Escape inside these books and watch your stress disappear at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Stress Busting Book Festival. 43 books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, will be featured on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Wait until you read my cure for winter doldrums. You won’t want to miss it. Here's the direct link to my post:

Bookmark this festival and tell your friends:

Direct Link to the rafflecopter:

Open internationally

Runs May 1 – June 3

Drawing will be held on June 4. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020


Wave a big, happy hello to FREDERICK FLY-CATCHER, my new children's fantasy novel releasing today in wide e-distribution. Frederick has been a long time coming as it's a book I first wrote to entertain my children. They're grown now, but Frederick is finally ready to be shared with the children of the world. It's a book about family and friendship and the power of small people when they band together against a much larger, common foe.

Here's the blurb:

Frederick the frog isn’t looking for adventure. His life in the family pond—hanging out and catching flies—is perfect. Or it would be if a bully wasn’t harassing the youngest frogs. To defend them, Frederick accepts a fly-catching challenge, but what he catches isn’t an insect. It’s a magic ring, and Frederick has swallowed it! Whenever he burps or coughs, something terrifying happens to the pond.

“Frogs shouldn’t have anything to do with human things,” says wise Uncle Ben, so to protect his family, Frederick must leave the only world he knows.

The world beyond the pond is frightening, but rather than hide or mope, Frederick sets out to get rid of this dangerous human thing. His only hope is to find the small human who tossed the ring into the pond, the boy chased by big men and bigger horses. The boy is in trouble, too, but how can Frederick, one little frog, save a human, much less the pond from an evil sorcerer?

Here's an excerpt just to give you a taste of the adventure:

Air bubbles roared past Frederick. Horse legs crashed through the water all around him. Heart hammering, he dove for the mucky bottom.
Kersplash! Something big plunged past him.
Frederick tucked his long legs, rolled, and kicked away. One cattail stem smacked him in the face, another in the knee. He pulled himself across the third and braced his legs against it while it swayed.
He opened his eyes at the roiling surface, head out and body in. His nose smarted. Whatever had thundered through the pond was gone. Already the algae was closing ranks, filling the holes punched into it.
Frederick heaved a sigh and crawled onto a floating twig. He looked around for his friends—and froze.
From the reeds opposite, a pair of eyes stared out.
BLUE eyes.
BIG blue eyes.
Frederick pretended he was part of the twig.
The eyes blinked. They widened to June bug size.
Huh? What does something big enough to stir up a pond have to fear?
The eyes looked beyond him, over the cattails. It was thundering again. Louder. More horses. The blue eyes opposite sank into the reeds.
Frederick clung to his reed. Queen Mama always said—there was a time for diving and a time for sticking. The time for sticking was now.
“The boy crossed here!”
“And went out here!”
“Follow him, you idiots!”
Three horses plunged into the water and galloped through the pond.
Frederick hung on while his twig bounced back and forth with the sloshing waves.
When the water stilled, Frederick looked straight at the reeds.
The blue eyes had surfaced. Now they rose. And rose. Over the top of the reeds appeared a thin, green-streaked face.
A human! A small human!

Here's the universal link to all vendors:

And here are additional, specific links:

Kindle    Barnes and Noble Nook    Kobo

Looking forward to sharing Frederick's story with all of you!