My First Author Visit

I was very blessed to be asked to be the featured author at our 8th grade author visit this year! I have never done one of these before, but I have seen other authors visit our school, so at least I had an inkling of what to do–though, since the students know me already, I also decided to turn it into a teaching moment and make it more about the writing process than simply a plug for my book.

Some people are more comfortable speaking in front of people they know, but for me, it’s the opposite. It’s as if the bar is already set, and if I don’t meet or exceed their expectations, then I have failed them.

I expected some kids to be inattentive and to laugh, or make goofy comments, because they would certainly see my quirky side, or just not appreciate this type of thing to begin with–after all, not everybody enjoys writing or listening to a band director talk about writing.

But they surprised me–it was silent. They were all attentive.

One teacher confessed to me later that a girl leaned over and asked her if I ever slept.

I had students come up and congratulate me, telling me what a great job I did. It felt weird, since it’s usually me telling them what a great job they did on things.

There was even a reception and book signing! Some kids made me a t-shirt that depicted Aria and Enzo in paintbrushes. There was a huge banner welcoming me with a drawn cover of my book with some of the students’ favorite quotes all around it.

They made me feel famous for that afternoon.

And they were talking about it the following day, too.

But the best thing of all? I had students–some I had, some I didn’t–come up to tell me that I had inspired them to go home and write. I may not be a best-selling author, but to hear them say that is worth more to me than any accolade I could ever receive.

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New Event! Tinley Park Public Library Local Authors Expo!

This Saturday, November 18!!!

Sat 11 AM · 7851 Timber Dr, Tinley Park, IL

The Tinley Park Public Library Local Authors Expo will be held in the library Meeting Room on the first floor. Myself and around 20 other local authors will have books for sale (and sign them!!) and you can feel free to engage in some lovely conversation! 🙂 I hope to see you there!!

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New Event–Author Reading this week!!

If you’re in the Plainfield area this Thursday evening, I will be doing a reading from The Bard at the Plainfield Public Library in the large meeting room (downstairs). The event runs from 7-8:30 pm, and you will get to hear authors read from one of their works and talk about their latest projects.

If you have not read The Bard Trilogy yet and want to hear a bit, this is the perfect chance to do so!

Perhaps…perhaps you might also hear a shameless plug for my latest series about Another Lifetime and it’s soon-to-be follow up book. 😉

Hope to see you there!

“Promptober” 10.07.17

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The party reached the edge of the forest, the darkness ahead of them seeming to swallow the world beyond the first few trees.
Alistair drew his sword, ready to take on any foes that were lying in wait. He took a step forward before he felt a hand reach out and grab his arm.
“Alistair, wait.”
He turned around. It was Leliana.
“What if…what if he’s there? Are you ready to face him?”
“Do I have much of a choice? If he has become the Guardian, then he must be stopped at all costs.”
“But is there not any other way?”
Alistair put his hand on her shoulder. “I am afraid not. Do I still have your support? If I should…”
Leliana stepped towards him, reaching up to caress his cheek. “I would do anything for you and you know that.”
He slid his hand down to her waist and pulled her to him, his plate mail preventing any sort of intimate embrace. He gave her a small smile, kissing the top of her forehead. “I know. Now let’s go.”
The party made their way into the forest, Alistair leading them well beyond the point of having the security of the clearing from where they entered within their line of sight.
Suddenly and without warning, a pair of red eyes appeared before them, and a creature stepped into view, a low growl emanating from its throat. The orb hung around its neck, the object of their quest.
At once, Alistair recognized the chainmail, the gauntlets, the faded mark of the Grey Warden upon his upper chest plate. He lowered his sword ever so slightly.
“Duncan? What has happened to you?”
The creature just growled, its face emaciated and shriveled, its teeth yellowed and pointed. Its hair was long and unruly, but the scar—the scar on its left eye was clearly visible.
This was indeed Duncan.
The creature raised its sword, swinging it at Alistair who had deflected the blow just in time.
“Duncan! It’s me—Alistair! I know you’re in there. We can get you help! Just give us the orb and come with us. We can find you a healer powerful enough to bring you back! We can—“
The creature swung at him again, this time with more force. Alistair grunted.
“Alistair—it’s no use. Kill it!” A fireball came from the hands of his mage.
The creature deflected it easily, now irritated. It roared, lifting its sword at the mage. In the nick of time, Alistair stepped in, knocking the mage out of the way, the two of them narrowly missing the blade.
“Leave them alone!” Alistair yelled. “Come for me. It’s me you want. Let’s see what you’ve got!”
Their swords clashed, Alistair managing to wound the creature in the arm. It howled, but came at him once more with an even greater vengeance.
Alistair at first did not notice Leliana disappear from the party, sneaking around to the back of the creature. Before it could strike again, she impaled it with a kidney strike, and Alistair locked eyes with her but for a moment before he ran it through with his sword.
The creature fell to the ground, dying. As its life was leaving him, its face changed back that of their beloved Grey Warden leader, Duncan.
His breath ragged, he turned his head towards Alistair and whispered, each word labored and painful. “Alistair…you must…the orb…”
“Duncan, no—don’t leave us! We can heal you!”
“Let me be. You have released me…go…save us all.”
“Duncan!”
Duncan breathed his last breath, and Leliana unclasped the orb from around his neck, handing it to Alistair. “You wouldn’t have been able to save him,” she said. “You did the right thing.”
Without a word, Alistair nodded sadly and began to head back towards the clearing, the others quick to follow.
Leliana took his hand as they walked, and he squeezed it tightly. He did not wish to lose anyone else close to him. They might have acquired the orb, but they had a long, long way to go.

Plainfield Author Fair This Saturday!

Hey everyone!

Just a reminder that this Saturday at the Plainfield Library is the Indie Author Fair! The signings will be from 11am-noon (I will have my own table space there so come by!!!), with presentations from various authors on plotting, publishing, and library resources to follow from 1-4. Hope to see you there!

Indie Author Day 2017
Saturday, October 14

Plainfield Public Library District
15025 S. Illinois Street
Plainfield, IL 60544

“Promptober” 10.06.17

10-06-17

10.06.17

The bell on the door rang, slamming shut behind him quicker than he had thought it would. The place immediately fell silent, and all eyes were on him.
“What? Never see a man in here before?”
Techs turned back to their clients, though he could still feel their sideways glances as they fell upon him.
Chances are, they probably don’t see many men in here, especially ones that look like me.
He had let himself go more than normal, to the point where he was forced to do something relaxing. “Try it.” He was told.
He had responded with only a low growl.
Nevertheless, he went. Unwillingly, but he went.
“Can I get some damned service in here?” he called out.
A young woman quickly scuttled over to the front desk and apologized profusely in a thick accent.
“So sorry, so sorry! What would you like done?”
“Just the hands. Just a massage. I was told it would be…good for me.”
“Ah, yes, of course. Please. Follow me.”
She led him to a leather reclining chair, in which he sat in less than gracefully, introducing him to his tech before heading back to the front desk.
“Hmph.”
“May I see your right hand please, sir?”
He held out his hand and she began to massage it.
This is…actually nice.
Until she pressed deeply on the one spot that he had bruised, the spot that still was quite tender.
His arm stiffened, and before he could react, his claws shot out, nicking the underneath of her arm.
She screamed.
“Hey, while you’re at it, can I get those filed too?”

“Promptober” 10.05.17

I’m a bit behind, for reasons of band events the past few days. So, here is my blurb from 10.05. I’m trying.

10-05-17

10.05.17

His eyes shot open, his heart pounding.
Bucky!
Sitting up far too fast, a pain shot through his head and down his back, causing him to cry out. It was only then that he was able to look around him, reminding himself that Bucky was gone, and he was alone.
Not physically alone, as he had been watched and monitored by the group that rescued him. They called themselves The Avengers, and were making every attempt to recruit him to join them in their efforts to become an unstoppable force against the maniacs that had been terrorizing New York City. Who exactly they were, they were not informing him of  just yet, which made him skeptical of the whole thing.
He had the same dream every night since they found him—he could hear the explosion, could see the shrapnel from the plain as he was hurled into the cold abyss.
But he was rescued.
And now they wanted him to be their leader?
What he really wanted to do is go back in time, go back to Peggy, and leave the military life behind him once and for all. To be a normal citizen, lead a normal life, and forget that any of this had ever happened.
He threw his legs over the side of the bed, contemplating how to disappear into the general population, when there was a knock at the door.
Before he could answer it, the man that had introduced himself as Tony Stark walked into his room, holding the uniform he never wanted to see again.
“Good morning, Cap,” he said, tossing the uniform to him. “Time to rock and roll.”
“I never agreed to anything yet.”
“Oh, but you don’t really have a choice, my friend. Not today. We need you. Get dressed.”
“But—”
“There is no alternative, soldier. Your shield awaits you in the car.”
Roger slipped into the uniform, the nausea creeping up on him quicker than he could prevent, and he barely made it to the wastebasket in the corner of the room.
“It’ll wear off, now let’s go.” Tony gestured to the open door.
Reluctantly, Roger followed, his new life waiting but meters away.