Book Club Gathering for The Keepers of Éire

Standing (Left to Right): Diane, Shari, Melissa, and Sharon. Seated (Left to Right): Jordan, Ann, and Sally. Not pictured: Stacey.

Standing (Left to Right): Diane, Shari, Melissa, and Sharon. Seated (Left to Right): Jordan, Ann, and Sally. Not pictured: Stacey.

Saturday evening I participated in my first ever book club gathering. Seven lovely ladies—all avid readers—and I discussed my first novel in The Keeper series, The Keepers of Éire. Ann hosted the event, with Diane, Melissa, Sally, Shari, Sharon, and Stacey. We covered such topics as how I get my inspiration, what part of the book was hardest to write, who I pictured as my characters, how did I feel writing the sex scenes, why I decided to create my own publishing company to publish my first novel, and many more. I told some stories of my writing process and the challenges I faced—and some I’m facing now—in my career change from a technical writer to a fantasy writer. Then, I read part of chapter 1 for the next novel in the series, The Keepers of Caledonia.

In the medium of writing, authors do not get to see the reactions of our audience members when they hear or read our material. Last night was my chance to do just that. I was thrilled when Melissa shouted her excitement over the first sentence of the next novel, and when Diane rubbed her arms and stated that she had goosebumps after just the first paragraph of my reading.

As a new author, I was inspired by these readers’ grasp and enjoyment of my writing, my vision, my love.

Thank you all for participating, for enjoying my work, and for spending the evening with me.

To new friends. Sláinte!

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Not Your Mother’s Book…on Cats

Cats coverCheck out my tale of pet-sitting gone awry, “The Pen Gremlin”in the newly released anthology Not Your Mother’s Book…on Cats.

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Character BlogHop

I’ve been invited to participate in a Character BlogHop. What’s that, you ask? Well, I’m going to introduce you to one of my characters from the current manuscript I am working on, the second in my Keeper series. I say “one of my characters” because my stories involve several characters at one time, and I don’t want to introduce someone who may be a spoiler for any reader who is reading my first novel, The Keepers of Éire. Today, you’ll meet Devan. But before that, let me give a shout out to Julaina Kleist-Corwin, the writer who tagged me for this bloghop.

julaina-small_150_pixelJulaina Kleist-Corwin is editor for her anthology, Written Across the Genres. She teaches creative writing for the City of Dublin, California. She has won several first place awards in short story contests. Her work has been published in the 2014 CWC Literary Review and Harlequin’s 2012 and 2013 Christmas anthologies and other collections. You can find her at her blog at www.timetowritenow.com, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JulainaC, or on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/jkleistc.

In Julaina’s most recent WIP, Norman and the Painting, protagonist Jill Steele must face her fears and take control of her own life while being involved with a multidimensional love interest.

Thanks Julaina for this bloghop opportunity.

**********

Let’s meet one of my characters:

What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical? The character I’m going to showcase is Devan Fraser. She is a fictional character, but to be honest, she is somewhat based on myself (the author). Of course, most of my characters have a little bit of me in them; however, Devan has the most.

When and where is the story set? The story is set in modern day Scotland. I don’t put an actual date to the writing, but know that it is set in the 21st century.

What should we know about your character? Devan is a recently orphaned adult who believes she has found her destiny—that of a dragonrider for the Tuatha Dragon Clan of Ireland. She has a special ability to hear and communicate with all dragons. Devan has fallen in love with former Dublin street rat, Christian. Together, Devan and Christian have rescued a tortured wingless dragon, thwarted a gang of thieves, and stopped a dragon killer.

What is your character’s goal? Devan’s goal is to use her special abilities to assist her dragon clan and any others in protecting their designated land and people. All while belonging to something more than just herself, she craves a family.

What is screwing up your character’s life (main conflict in writerly speak)? Her ability to communicate with all dragons is coveted by the enemies of the Scottish clan she has chosen to help. A troublesome ex from America is searching for her—not good. And what if her own Scottish relatives turn out to be against her?

What is the title? The Keepers of Caledonia

When can we expect the book to be published? I’m working on it now, so I hope to have it ready for publication through my independent press, Dragon Wing Publishing by the end of 2015.

*****

And now, I will tag the following authors, who will be participating on their blogs on Monday, October 6.

Shelley-Riley-PhotoShelley Riley is the multiple award winning author of Casual Lies – A Triple Crown Adventure, a true-life story about a head strong, talented and charismatic colt who made it possible for his trainer to up-end a male-dominated sport when, together they make history in the Kentucky Derby and American Triple Crown. Shelley is currently working on a historical novel based during the American Civil War about a talented Kentucky horsewoman who fought to save the innocent animals of war. Follow Shelley on her website www.shelleyriley.com, on her blog www.casuallieskentuckyderby.blogspot.com, and on twitter @shelleyr1992.

Blake HeitzmanA professional engineer turned author, Blake Heitzman grew up near Las Cruces, New Mexico, and loves to weave the Southwest into his sci-fi-fantasy stories. His novel, A Far Traveler, is available as an ebook on Amazon and Smashwords. Blake is currently finishing up Panther Watches, the second book of the Shaman Gene series. The story begins when a four-year-old girl jettisons to Earth from a slave ship in nearby space. Twenty-two years later she struggles to discover her true identity while joining her adoptive father, the android Herman Rothe, in a fight against those who would subjugate Earth. Aliens, good and bad robots, DNA devouring shape shifters, earth spirits, and others battle for control Earth’s destiny. Follow Blake on his blog at http://shamangene.com/BLOG/

*****

Each of them will be posting their own post in the blog hop on Monday, October 6. Be sure to go visit them then!

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2014 Scottish Gathering & Games, Pleasanton, CA

On August 30 and 31 I performed readings in the Irish Pavilion at the Pleasanton, CA 149th Scottish Gathering and Games. My participation was sort of last minute, so I only brought the ten books I had on hand—five on each day—I sold out!

Jordan & Display 2

Check out my little display table.

Display

Irish Castle Shop

I teamed up with Orla, the Irish Castle Shop owner, who hosted my book launch in March at her shop in San Francisco.

I read in between the Irish dancing performances. The dancers were amazing.

Irish Dancers 2I had a terrific, but tiring, two days. I enjoyed hanging out with some new friends at the clan tents, especially the Fraser tent—the Fraser clan will figure predominately in the next book because of Devan’s heritage on her father’s side.

Now, back to writing…

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Breaking News! I am thrilled to announce

Breaking News!
I am thrilled to announce THE KEEPERS OF ÉIRE has won the 2014 Global Ebook GOLD Award for Fantasy/Contemporary. It is an honor to have won this year, and a validation of all the work that went into writing and publishing my first novel in “The Keeper” series.
Authors know their greatest challenge is getting their work known, read, loved, and recommended to others. One predicament authors have is finding readers. And, of course, the best publicity is “word-of-mouth”. So tell your friends and neighbors to take a chance and check out a new author’s work. There are some really great writers in the world today.
http://ow.ly/i/6B5GM

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Edinburgh-last day

For my last full day in Scotland, I hung out with velociraptors, thistles and needle pointers, dragons at a palace and Grayfriars Bobby. I started the day finding a real gem of a sgian dubh (dagger). Then I learned about how Scotland (and Earth) was formed and changed since the Big Bang at Our Dynamic Earth.

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Then I checked out the Scottish Parliment. A major vote is coming up in September for Scotland, yet I went to view the 160 panel Great Tapestry of Scotland-fabulous! I even added some stitching to a panel that will be presented to Parliment.

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Next, I visited the Palace of Holyroodhouse -where the royal family resides when they come to Edinburgh. And, I found dragons.

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I touched Grayfriars Bobby’s nose (it is rumored that the Skye Terrier lay by his human’s gravesite for 14 years until he himself died in 1872 -now that’s loyalty).

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And I wrapped up my day with dessert and a pint, or two, of St. Andrews Smooth at the Balmoral Hotel. Wow, what fun I’ve had.

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Tomorrow I head back to Dublin for one last afternoon and evening, then I fly back home. The time has gone quickly, but I’ve reconnected with some wonderful people and made new friends along the way.
I am blessed to be able to experience some parts of the lands of my ancestors. Slainte.

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Edinburgh

I spent the day in Edinburgh visiting the Castle (which is getting ready for the Military Tattoo).

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Here I am at the line of cannons.

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And some dragons.

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The castle is built on top of an extinct volcano, and easy to see why it was built here. The castle is solid rock fortress.

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I finished the day with an early supper at the Witchery. Also, check out the street I’m staying.

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I’m going to visit the Palace at Holyroodhouse tomorrow.

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