Monday, July 30, 2012

Writing to the Rhythm of Music

There's a song I love by David Nail called Sound of a Million Dreams. The chorus words say

So I labor for hours 'cause I know the power
Of a song when when a song hits you right
Pouring my soul into stories of life
Hoping someone'll hear one tonight
Maybe my voice will cut through the noise 
And stir up an old memory 
And out of these piano keys 
Comes the sound, the sound of a million dreams

(More lyrics:

Music does that for me. It can stir up a memory with only the first few beats. Music stirs emotions. I have to write to music. I get into a zone with the right music. If anyone is around when I'm writing, they may be entertained by the same song over and over again. I do that when I find that right song matching my mood when I'm writing...Music takes me there.
When I hear the song again, it does take me back to where I was when I was writing that particular book. Memories come rushing back. I thought you might enjoy a list of some songs that inspired me while I wrote or am in the processing of writing the book.
Patriot Secrets


                                                                Whispers of a Legend
                                                                     Higher by Creed
Daughter of Deceit


"Kissed You Good Night" Gloirana
Upcoming books...
Broken Legacy
Belle of Charleston

Then of course you have to listen to

Have a good one!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Inspired by Heroes!

Next week I have a new release coming, Ruse of Love, Book Two in the Winds of Betrayal Series. Winds of Betrayal Series was inspired by the men and women willing to sacrifice themselves for the belief in a cause. I have always felt admiration toward others who so bravely and courageously give themselves for the betterment of others.

I've had people ask me what inspires me to write. I'm not exactly sure how to answer that question. It happens most often when I read a book or see a documentary. Inspiration comes being touched by an individual or group's actions. It can't be forced but flows from my heart. With Winds of Betrayal Series, the inspiration came from the Culper Spy Ring's story. The Culper Spy Ring inspired my series, but it is by no means an actual historical account of the spy network. Winds of Betrayal Series is purely fiction, based loosely on this spy network. I haven't access to all the facts or details of the ring only what I have read online, but it's their spirit of commitment to a cause that led to my writing this series.

You may wonder to yourself. What is this woman talking about? She writes romance. I do, but I have never been able to write sweet, humorous romances. I've tried. I wish I could. My books wouldn't take nearly as long to write. It's just not the writer that I am. I do love to write romances. I believe that love is a powerful tool, but short and sweet has never been my style. 

I don't know how other writers create their stories, but each of my books I have, have been inspired by some cause or belief. I hope that in each of my books you can feel the underlying theme, but I'll give you a shorten version of what inspires me

Whispers of a Legend Saga
                  Bullying. I never quite understood the effect of bullying until my own children were growing up. With all the horrible stories that have emerged in recent years I wanted to write a story that would inspire young people. I wanted to convey that every life has a purpose; no one's life is perfect; most importantly persevere. 

Daughter of Deceit-
                   I had two purposes when I wrote Daughter of Deceit. One to prove I could write a regency set in England; second and more personal, to write a gay character that could be revered and respected. I have stated before it is because of a conversation I had with a person close to me who said that growing up gay they never had a positive role model to emulate even in books. I thought to myself at the time...I can do that. A small gesture perhaps but heartfelt. 

I'm in the midst of writing a manuscript that I pulled inspiration from a figure in history, Irena Sendler. You may remember I wrote a blog about her last year over on my other blog...Jerri's blog. My new book isn't set during WWII, but my heroine in Broken Legacy I've drawn from the bravery of this woman and the others of her group. 

Today, I ran across a segment of Dateline, NBC, that they ran about a documentary made fifty years ago...Mississippi: A Self Portait. I'm from Mississippi. For years I've cringed every time the Civil Rights movement is mentioned especially when it pertains to Mississippi. Why? Because I love my state, my home and that's not the home I know...but it was to others. I sat and watched this man, Booker Wright from Greenwood, Mississippi. The segment focused on his granddaughter's discovery of who he was. I thought about my own grandfather. She found a hero. I loved my grandfather, but there is no denying he was exactly as the men portrayed in this segment. (My father wasn't. My father always taught me to judge a person on their actions not on how they look). Realization swept through me watching this show. I wonder how Booker Wright would feel now knowing how many others he inspired by his actions. His words will stay with me for a long time...the meaner the man be, the bigger the smile... So what does this mean to me in my writing? When I complete all my little projects around me, I have a major manuscript on the Civil War. It has always been inspired to show a realization dawning upon my heroine about the life around her, but now when I go back and revise the manuscript I wouldn't be surprised to find a character inspired by Booker Wright.

So getting back to next week. Ruse of Love is scheduled to be released August 7th. This is my first Indie release since Daughter of Deceit. Sadness fills me over Daughter of Deceit. Sadness that I had no other option but to take it down; sadness for the person/persons who facilitated that action. 

I will admit I'm nervous about this upcoming release. Not about my book, but about being attacked again as I was. I wish life was fair and just, but we all know life isn't that way. In truth, I have nothing to complain about. Looking back over issues faced by the people that inspire me, my fears over my book are minimal. I will take from them, though, the courage to forge ahead.

Have a good one!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Today The Path Now Turned is FREE! The last day of Amazon Select promotion and only 12 more days in Select! So if you want The Path Now Turned for free this is it! Enjoy!

Let you in on a little secret...I'm working on The Time of the Nuxvenom...maybe out a little earlier than the first of the year...aiming for Christmas now!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Count Down Begins!

Whispers of a Legend, Part Two- The Path Now Turned, has been in Amazon Select program for the last two months. It goes off of Select on August 5th and then it goes back up on all the other sites including Barnes and Noble.  Nineteen days and counting!

Before it goes off of Select, it has one more free day....July 25th- It's a Wednesday. So for one more day you can get the whole of the Whispers saga for $.99.

Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past is FREE! Everywhere...all the time!

Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Given on July 25th The Path Now Turned is round out the saga, you can buy

Whispers of a Legend, Part Three- Vision of Destiny for $.99.

Don't get me wrong. When Amazon Select first came out, it gave a surge for Indie writers. Unfortunately, Amazon pulled the rug out from the Select program. The incentive to go into Amazon Select has been lost. The advantage of pulling your book to go exclusively into Amazon Select program has vanished. In my experience at the moment, going into Amazon Select not only doesn't help you with sales, in the long run can really hurt you.

Now though Kobo has set up a program similar to Select with one major exclusivity clause!

At the moment though...The Path Now Turned is only at Amazon. 19 days and counting...
Whispers of a Legend, Vol I

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Explanation Is...

Do you ever get the feeling you're getting pulled in too many directions?

Silly question. Of course everyone has. I'm doing that now. So many things coming at me. Some good. Some not so good. In life that's the way it goes. But today's blog is only going to address my writing under both Carrie James Haynes and Jerri Hines.

Whispers of a Legend, Vol I

I'm still so thrilled about Whispers of a Legend saga being a semi-finalist in The Kindle Book Review. I have gotten some of the sweetest emails that I so appreciate. Also a first happened to me...someone stopped me and asked me if I was Carrie James Haynes! Wanted to let me know they loved my book and wanted to know when the next installment was coming! It happened at work. Someone had heard of me from someone in my department. A first!

I so enjoy this series. I foresee Part Four- Time of the Nuxvenom- being released early 2013. The only question with the next book is whether I release it in three installments or in one. Also a couple of tid-bits. Over the last few weeks due to placing The Path Now Turned on Amazon Select, I have been addressing the fact that it's missing on Barnes and Noble. I have done a couple of things. One I have sent copies of The Path Now Turned from Amazon to fans of the series who have the app for the kindle. I say this because I have one free day left for The Path Now Turned. It will be soon. I will let you know. August 5 ends Select with The Path Now Turned. I promise I will never...never put any book  of Whispers into the Amazon Select again!!! Starting August 6, it will be back everywhere it was before Select!

Patriot Secrets

My next Indie release will be Ruse of Love under Jerri Hines. Ruse of Love is the second book in the Winds of Betrayal series following Patriot Secrets. Patriot Secrets follows both siblings, Jonathan and Hannah Corbett through the first couple of years of the American Revolution. But the main focus dealt with Hannah. Ruse of Love turns its focus South, Charleston to be exact- Charles Town before the American Revolution...Charleston after the war.

Although Ruse of Love is Book Two in the series, it could stand alone. You don't have to read Patriot Secrets to enjoy Ruse of Love, but my editor (who by the way loves the series) said she was happy she read Patriot Secrets first. Fills in the blanks so to speak. You will have a deeper understanding of the characters.

Ruse of Love
Ruse of Love focuses upon Jonathan Corbett. Rebekah Morse is reintroduced in this book. If you have read Patriot Secrets you may or may not remember her. She is the daughter of Rodger Morse who was betrayed in the beginning of Patriot Secrets and lost his life for the cause.

The tides of war has shifted. As eyes turn to the South, Jonathan Corbett will once more find himself thrust into the war's turmoil. Rebekah Morse has no time to contemplate the exploding war around her. Caught up as a pawn in a deadly conspiracy, she finds her only hope lies with her old friend, but things have changed since they last saw each other...Ruse of Love by Jerri Hines-Coming August, 2012! 

When you write, you fall in love with some of the characters you create...just something about them that draws you to write more about their lives, feelings, and loves. So it was with a character that is mentioned in Ruse of Love. Sumner Meador. Does his name sound familiar? If you have or are reading the Tides of Charleston series you will recognize him as the half-brother to Catherine Blankenship. Also in The Promise the doctor that saves Jake Pennington just happens to be Jonathan Corbett although not mentioned by name in The Promise.

Characters crossing from one series to another. I love that...don't you? I mean if this fictional world I have created was real would they not cross when their stories are set in the same place and time. So why am I telling you all of this?

Another Night Falls
Another Night Falls is coming—September, 2012! The third and final book to the Tides of Charleston series with Whiskey Creek Press.

It's Sumner's turn! Another Night Falls is the manuscript that fell between the cracks of two major publishers. I received two 'glowing rejections' from two major publishers. Still they were rejections, but Another Night Falls is the reason I decided to try Indie. Being told the only reason Another Night Falls wasn't accepted was because my sales on my prior books sucked motivated me.

To make it in this field takes a lot more than luck. What publishing Indie did for me was give to me an opportunity. I've learned so much in the last year when it comes to this publishing world. First without question you have to write a good book. Not only a good book, but a polished one. Readers expect Indie's now to be just as polished as the major publisher's books. But one of the essential elements in selling is having a support team to help you promote.

Indie authors tend to do that for each other. When I wrote Whispers of a Legend I was embraced as I never was before when I wrote for the smaller publishers even though I have to say that Wild Child Publishing puts out high quality books. What was lacking when I was with Wild Child was the publicity. The reason is simple because no matter if you have written the best book in the world if no one knows about it, what good does it do?

The problem with most authors- myself included- is that we would rather be writing. Promoting takes time and attention away for what we want to do. But then you learn that the book that you love so much and put so much hard work into will sit around and collect dust if you don't do something.

To me going Indie was the best move I've made as an author. It's given readers the opportunity to read my writing. I also love the support within the Indie world.

I've even started a new blog. I love the concept. It's set up to promote romance writers. Easy and simple. Romance in Books- Romantic Picks just for you. Check it out. It's not up fully, but I'm getting there.

Hope this explains a little to what I've been up to. We'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.

Have a good one!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Whispers of a Legend, Volume I is a semi-finalist in 
The Kindle Book Review's Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2012!

WHISPERS OF A LEGEND, Volume I  is the first three books in one. It includes Shadows of the Past, The Path Now Turned, and Vision of Destiny. 


The legend, they say, is whispered within the winds along the magnificent Preda Mountain Range, the words and deeds never to be forgotten of the Time of the Nuxvenom, a time when the Sordarins crushed the impending threat, the dreaded Asmeodai, and once more Scarladin was safe. The mighty Sordarins, rulers of the sky! No, the Sordarins have slept well over the years secure in their knowledge the Great One watches over them, knowing the legends holds a mighty warrior will emerge if threatened again, born with a destiny only to defend their world. But subtle changes have emerged. Little by little fear beings to resurface that their world, their very existence is once again threaten. They look to the skies anxiously awaiting their warrior; questioning perchance if the Great One has forgotten them. I know this how? For I am the one born to defend their world. I, Kela Calledwdele, was born a Euchoun. I am their warrior.

So starts this epic fantasy...Whispers of a Legend saga. Kela Calledwdele was born with a destiny, a Euchoun with only one purpose in protect. Torn between two worlds, Kela soon discovers she is the hope of both. Now she must find the courage to face the destiny fate has dictated to her.

Kela has always known what path in life she would follow. She was born a Euchoun. Half Witheleghean, a passive peaceful race where magic runs freely and the other half, Sordarin, a valiant warrior race of hawkmen who rule the sky, she knows well her parents gave the ultimate sacrifice to give her a chance to live. Yet, in so doing, they have left Kela unprepared to face the dangers that await her. Her instincts are to protect and in this she does, but in so doing it leads her into a world where she knows not whom to trust. In time her power matures and grows stronger when she bonds with a Sordarin warrior, Cono. She learns well why she holds the power. An evil as no other before, Asmeodai, has emerged but all is not what it seems as a dark cloak encompasses her family. Betrayal, distrust, treachery leaves Kela alone. She is torn by her desire for Cono and the purpose, the path, she has been given to follow. And when another emerges within her world, one who seemly wants only to help her along her path, she is pulled further away from her Sordarin.

Shadows of the Past is the beginning of the Whispers of a Legend saga which follows Kela's battle to embrace her destiny, where as a young woman unsure of her ability and her confidence in facing the challenges before her to where she emerges as a strong leader who learns to lean upon her own strength, to stand not behind, but side by side with her warrior.

The Path Now Turned. Having proven her ability during the Payelaga Desert battle, Kela believes herself ready to follow her destiny beside her warrior. Fate has another path for Kela. When she discovers all she has long believed is not as it seems, the betrayal leaves Kela torn by her desire for Cono and the path she has been given to follow.

Vision of Destiny. Trained for only one purpose, to protect the innocent from an evil that threatens to destroy her world, Kela has never questioned her destiny. The enemy has never been in doubt and her path laid clear before her. Now all is blurred. Left with only one choice, she escapes from Yucca in search of the one known as Seilda the Tvopac, the Guardian of the Past…but Kela learns quickly the Past holds its own dangers.

The Legend continues...

Thanks to THE KINDLE BOOK REVIEW for this opportunity!