Start of a New-Ish Adventure and Heading for the Finish Line

(I don’t know what to think of this song.)

One more project to go before I hit the summer with a lighter load on both my body and mind.  I’ve decided to call the 3rd book of my news series, War of Nytefall: Rivalry since it revolves around an old rivalry that’s gone out of control.  I won’t tell you who the characters involved are. Though, I don’t know if that’s important since it’ll be the December release.

Surprisingly, this book has been flying quicker and bigger than the others.  I think part of it is because the cast has been locked in and I feel more comfortable doing a first draft with them.  I was ‘meeting’ them for the first time in Loyalty and getting a since of their growth in Lost.  I pinpointed that parts of characters that I had a habit of forgetting such as identifying marks and personality quirks. The list is kept near me for when I started, which is a new tactic and it’s worked.  Now, I’m just throwing them into the fray and letting them pull the action.  Clyde is a lot more comfortable with his role too, which takes pressure off me.  Enough to pull off a week of 3-section days, which means 5 of 17 chapters are written.

The weather has been getting warmer here too, which is good and bad.  It means I can wear shorts without shivering and be a little more comfortable.  That’s good.  It also means the upstairs heats up a lot and I’m driven downstairs to work.  That’s not so good.  My new headphones help out there, but people don’t always take it as a sign that I’m working.  They can’t hear the music while I can hear them.  Still, it beats sitting in a sweltering room and trying not to sweat on the keyboard.  This weather has me really working hard to get this first draft done before school ends next month.  If it’s already getting into the low 80’s now then it’s going to be rough during the summer.  Writing a novel in the heat was always a slow process.

I’ve decided that my only summer projects will be the finale for ‘The Raven Series’, which is always haphazard.  Fourth time around and I’m still not sure what I’m doing when it comes to horror.  That’s why I share it on the blog.  Beyond that, I’m going to work on characters and ‘outlines’ for the Sin series.  This isn’t what comes after Clyde, but I want to get Sin through the initial planning stages before I do the full outlines for ‘Tales of the Slumberlord’.  I was thinking about doing the next Ichabod Brooks collection, but I might save that for later in the year.  Depending on how the next school year starts, it could be smarter to do short stories instead of the next War of Nytefall book.  Probably need to fit more editing into it too.

I’m noticing that with all of this, I have no idea what to do about Bedlam.  I really do miss writing Lloyd and Cassidy.  Their 3rd (4th if you count the blog one) book has already been written, but the series doesn’t sell.  All of the cover art and promotional money I spend is practically throwing it into a hole.  So, I’m left wondering what to do with them.  I’ve considered having them be blog only with a weekly chapter section, but that feels like giving up.  It’s baffling too because these stories get such great responses on the blog, but it never translates to sales.

This coming week is going to be a little shaky as far as writing.  With it being Memorial Day, everyone has Monday off.  I’m hoping to get a chapter written this weekend to counteract the loss of that day.  Yet, I also have a few appointments that might make this rather choppy.  This leads into next weekend, which is the 13th anniversary of that whole wedding thing.  Seeing ‘Deadpool 2’ and eating somewhere that serves food.  Yeah, that’s as far as we’ve gotten, so you can see how great we are at planning these outings.  Either way, I doubt I’ll be writing that weekend.  Maybe Saturday night, but that’s all I’ll get if I’m lucky.

So, what are the goals of the week?

  1. Continue writing War of Nytefall: Rivalry
  2. Appointments!
  3. Sleeping, eating, and biking.
  4. Keep reading this thriller book where people REALLY have to stop standing next to the main character.  Either the bad guys hire some terrible snipers or they want him to hide in his house.  I mean, 3 times a person standing near him has been killed or injured.  Are they even aiming for him?
  5. Possibly gather images for September posts.
  6. Tinker with the Super Earth/Mylrixian concept.  Might make that a post for tomorrow.
  7. Get tickets for Deadpool 2 to make sure we have seats.
  8. Watch the last two episodes of ‘Lucifer’ and hope it gets picked up by someone.
  9. Plot escape from the Matrix and give up at thought of the real world having horrible pizza.
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Characters and what or who inspires them – by Aurora Jean Alexander…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

When I start developing a character sometimes, I construct the person in my head; then I start writing down how she/he is going to be. First the ‘shell,’ then the inside. I very rarely ‘use’ someone I already know… someone I have met or is familiar to me.

It’s more that sometimes I recognize later, after the first draft, when I’m typing the book into the computer, that I find similarities with people I know.

This one time it’s a bit different.

A couple of months back I met a new co-worker of mine. She’s simply beautiful with her shiny black hair, blue ocean deep eyes, and her open, symmetrical heart-shaped face.

We talked about her descants and found out; she’s Irish. After talking to her and listening to her wonderful Irish accent, I decided I would love to use her as one of my main characters in one of…

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Vampires and Sex: An Ageless (And Odd) Combination


War of Nytefall is very much an action adventure, so the sex side of vampires doesn’t really come out too often.  The Dawn Fangs will demonstrate having urges from time to time, but much of it really centers around Chastity.  I might have it come out more in future volumes, but it isn’t a priority now.

To be honest, I never fully understood why vampires get associated with sex so often.  I mean, they’re dead and that’s kind of gross.  Not to mention, it’s strange that the equipment can work unless the vampire is able to use blood to get the job done.  Then again, they do feel pain, so pleasure could be in there too.  Either way, I don’t see why anybody would want to or why these creatures would care.  It isn’t like they can reproduce and it always seems they enjoy feeding more than sex.  At the very least, they’d enjoy it more with each other.  There’s just so many questions that never seem to get answered because vampires are so intertwined with carnal desires.

The truth is that vampires began with a connection to sexuality, but Bram Stoker’s Dracula reduced this because of the times.  Sexuality wasn’t discussed in public and the non-sexual vampire remained for a while.  They still seduced, but the actual act didn’t return to their mythos for a while. Apparently, it isn’t too surprising since the whole fangs penetrating flesh is seen as an analogy for intercourse.  Yet, people still argue over vampires and sex all the time.  Some think that’s where they should be, others think it’s unseemly for fiction, and others fall in the middle.  Personally, this makes me wonder if vampires originally stemmed from the succubus and incubus myths.  Those are the demons who seduce men and women respectively.

So, what do you think about vampires and sex?  Is this a part that’s essential or do you think it’s unnecessary in their stories?

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The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Tina Frisco

Author Don Massenzio

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with California author and blogger Tina Frisco.

You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at

Now, please enjoy this interview with Tina Frisco:

Tina 4aDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I aim to do both, because both are needed for books to sell. But I won’t compromise originality, so at times it becomes a bit of a juggling act. I write because I enjoy it and am compelled to so. Writing is my life’s blood. And like most writers…

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When The Big One Hits

Sheldon from BBT

I was considering delaying this one until I thought more about it, but I wasn’t getting anywhere.  Also, it began to feel like this was something that had to be talked about sooner rather than later.  So, this might not be that long an entry because it’s going to be more description than analysis.  Let’s dive into it.

Two Sundays ago, I had a really bad night because of an anxiety attack that I can only call ‘The Big One’.  Personally, I hope it stays that way because I’m sure anything worse will result in death.  It was really that bad.  It started just as I was getting into bed and it felt no different than before.  Tightness in the chest, racing thoughts, small cough, and the usual physical symptoms.  Didn’t think much of it until a few minutes later when it started getting worse.  Keep in mind that this is at night.  Everyone else was asleep and I couldn’t think of anyone to text.  I also thought that I could sleep it off.  Nope!  I’m still baffled that my wife managed to sleep through this.

The first sign that something was really wrong was that my muscles switched from feeling stiff to tightening.  Almost like I was put on a medieval rack that connects solely to my muscles and they were being stretched to their limits.  My jaws kept clenching, which is a pain because I have my sleep apnea mouthpiece.  I managed to take that out when I gained enough control to move.  My arms were a massive pain in the ass.  My left arm kept twitching and my right locked up.  I couldn’t tell if it was real or my brain thought this is how it should be when I was having a bad anxiety attack.  This contemplation led to the part that drove me to grab my phone and crawl into the bathroom for light and a sense of solitude.  The thought, which I’ll make a post about down the road, was if one would be aware of themselves succumbing to insanity.  I have no idea how long I was sitting there wondering if I’d lost my mind and didn’t realize it.  This stopped once I realized that I probably wouldn’t be asking that question if I’d snapped.

I calmed myself by wandering the Internet and playing some Word Searches on my phone.  I’m glad I charged the thing.  At one point, I tried to take this test I found that would determine your level of anxiety.  Yes, I know online quizzes aren’t that helpful, but I didn’t care and it was from a site that I kept finding when I did research.  So, what did the quiz say?  I have no idea because it ended with a request for my email address to get the results and I abruptly thought it was a trap.  Then I thought it was ridiculous.  You have all these questions about fear and paranoia, so you end by asking for an email address?  If someone came up really high on the paranoia side then I don’t see them going along with that.  For all I know, I’m saying this from experience since I was feeling twitchy about everything.  Oddly enough, the silliness of this helped me break out of the attack, especially since a friend of mine was up late and sent me a hello.  I think he got a decent laugh out of it too.

So, do I know what set ‘The Big One’ off?  Not a clue.  I know I had a really busy week and was nervous about making sure everything worked.  That might have combined with me worrying about not finishing the next first draft before school ends.  I felt a little guilty about taking last week off to handle all the events instead of trying to slip a few chapter sections into my schedule.  This is before I managed to write the scheduled posts for July and August, which puts me at ease.  The thing is that I’ve done this to myself before, so I don’t know why this one created such a massive effect.  It left me exhausted in the morning and I had a few smaller ones throughout the week because I was on edge.  Hopefully, I figure this out and can avoid another ‘Big One’.  Those aren’t pleasant in the least.

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The Fireborn, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.

My special guest today is here seeking our help. It’s like an APB for civilians. “Welcome to the show, Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones.”

“Thanks for having me on, Lisa. And please, you don’t have to spit out the alphabet when you talk to me, I am just plain “Elliot”.”

“Elliot it is then. Before we make that plea to our listeners, let’s get into you a bit. You recently went through a bad divorce, and fled London for New York City. Was it really all that bad?”

“It does seem like yesterday, but I wouldn’t call ten years recent. Eleanor is beautiful and devastatingly intelligent. She’s the woman of dreams. She’s… Damn it, I didn’t mean any of that. Actually…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore #Get Caught Reading Month- Writers who have inspired me – Bernard Cornwell – And a Review

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the last in my Get Caught Reading Month posts to celebrate writers who have inspired me to write. This week it is the historical author Bernard Cornwell.. and whilst I may not have read all his books, I have certainly read at least forty, including the Sharpe Series, Warlord/Arthur books, Saxon Chronicles and some of his stand alone books.

I have re-read the Sharpe Novels when they went to ebook and I will probably do the same with the Saxon Chronicles which is the latest series. I would be hard pushed to decide which is my favourite out of them all… I suggest you try them and find out for yourselves.

You can find all of Bernard Cornwell books in order:

I thought today that I would start with The Last Kingdom which is the first in the Saxon Chronicles and set me off on a…

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