The Alien and the Girl in the Rain

The Alien and the Girl in the Rain

Is now available for purchase:

Available on Amazon

Available at ibooks, Nook, Kobo and others here

My newest short story, The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, Book 2 of the Slakerian Empire series, is now available for purchase on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo and other venues!

Curiosity overcomes any moral objections Natalie Cardellini has at meeting an on-line dating match. After all, a cup of coffee and a few minutes of conversation isn’t a lifetime commitment.

Natalie doesn’t have a lifetime. The diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor gives her less than six months to live. What harm can come of a glimpse into what-might-have-been?

Lt. Paul Landaeta is on a recruiting mission to Earth, using a computerized dating service to fill his quota for new Slakerian citizens. When a woman matching his date’s description leaves without contact, he figures he’s been stood up.

The next day he sees her dancing in the rain and is instantly smitten. Can he convince her to leave Earth and join him?

Is Natalie’s conversation with him real or a figment of her tumor’s cruel sense of humor? Hope is a precious thing to a dying woman. Dare she risk reaching out for it?

Author note:

Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien, the first Slakerian Empire book, was to be a stand-alone short story. I never expected to turn it into a series. One day, I wondered about Dax Richque’s commanding officer. Was there a story for Jakes Echabarne? I paired him with the CEO of the matchmaking software the Slakerians needed to link their citizens with human mates.

Paul Landaeta was to be #3, but halfway through Jakes story, I realized, chronologically, Paul’s story had to be #2. How could his Earth-bound story happen before Jake’s ship-bound story?

Natalie is based off a story I heard about a dying woman telling her co-workers she was moving abroad for a job. She just didn’t tell them abroad was heaven.

That nugget stayed in my computer’s notes section, simmering and waiting for the perfect story to appear.

Future stories will include Ivy Mitchel, our bad I.T. chief; an architect; and possibly the Slakerian Emperor himself.

I’ll keep you updated of future releases.






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Prepare for NaNoWriMo:Characters

Prepare for NaNoWriMo

Nothing strikes terror into the heart of a writer more than the phrase, “prepare for NaNoWriMo” unless it’s actually taking part in NaNo.

What is NaNo? From their website:

“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.”

50K in one month is daunting. I’ve written that much in the official NaNo month of November; during my writing group’s preferred Winter NaNo-February meeting to March meeting. On my own, I NaNo’ed one May and, most recently, this past July. One of the key elements to a successful writing month is to have an outline. Yes, I know some people like to sit down and let the words flow, but with a daily word count of 1,667, it’s not practical.

My accountability buddy, Kim, and I have challenged each other to complete NaNo next month.

NaNoWriMo, Step One

The first step is deciding what to write. For me, it’s a no-brainer—the next installment in my Enchanted Forest fantasy romance series. The clues I sprinkled about in the first book, Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf (available in January), pointed toward using the Red Riding Hood tale as the foundation. (I’m toying with Red Riding Hood and the Big, Sexy Wolf, or Red Riding Hood in the Big, Very Bad Wolf as titles. What do you think?)

NaNoWriMo, Step Two

The second step is to find my characters. As the fairy tale does this for me, I need to zero in on their personalities. I’ve tried various way of refining personalities, including using the Meyers-Briggs test, but this time, I decided on using mythical archetypes.

I have a seventy-two card deck of Carolyn Myss’ Archetype Cards. Using my spidey/author sense of drawing cards, this is what I picked (or the cards picked me).

For Oliver, the wolf in my story:

The Warrior—strong, skilNothing strikes terror into the heart of a writer more than the phrase, "prepare for NaNoWriMo" unless it's actually taking part in NaNo.led, disciplined, toughness of will, hero, self-sacrificing.

The Shapeshifter (He is a wolf after all)—skilled at navigating through different levels of consciousness, projecting any image that serves his personal agenda.

Child wounded—blames all dysfunctional relationships on childhood wounds.

Athlete—dedication to transcending physical limits

For Red (possibly called Rhoswynn or Rosewynn):

Nothing strikes terror into the heart of a writer more than the phrase, "prepare for NaNoWriMo" unless it's actually taking part in NaNo.

photo courtesy of arenamontanus/flickr

The Hermit—Seeks solitude to focus intently on her inner life. Serves her personal creativity.

Dilettante—Delights in the arts without having to be a professional.

Monk Nun—Selfless devotion and single-minded dedication to Spirit. Removed from the real world.

How do I take these attributes and mold compelling relatable characters? I’ll explore that question in my next post: Prepare for NaNoWriMo:Plot, as well as introduce the archetypes for the secondary characters.

Are you participating in NaNo this year? What preparations are you making? Please comment below and let me know the details.






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Write your book! Fail often, fail fast, fail forward

Write your book! Fail often, fail fast, fail forward.

Write your book. Come on, do it. Stop saying, “one day I’ll write a book”. In fact, stop saying, “one day”.  Stop being afraid. Are you afraid of failure? What’s the worst that could happen? You fail. You’ve never done that before? What’s the best that can happen? You succeed. Maybe you’ll never make the New York Times bestseller list, but not many do. At least you’ll be able to say you’ve written a book.

Take it to the next level. Publish it! Yes, put it out to the world. Be bold. Be brave. Write your book and claim authorship. Self-publishing tools are so easy and available. If I can do it, and I’m hanging onto the tech world by my fingernails, then you can do it. If you need guidance, check out my self-publishing Pinterest board.

Are you afraid of success? Some are. By succeeding, the world validates you and your talent.  Success is a rare thing for those who don’t believe in themselves. It might skew their world. Be bold and change your world.

Take a risk. I’ve taken many over the years. I wasn’t born or raised as a risk-taker. In my time (let’s talk Don Draper) little girls grew up to be wives or mothers . Careers, if you were so bold to seek one, were limited to secretary, teacher, stewardess, and nurse. Oh, and clerical, a career (!) I entered, which morphed into analytical research.

How I changed into a risk taker

My husband, Mr. Hello-how-long-have-you-worked-here, Mr. Extrovert, pulled and prodded my true personality to the forefront. I’m still an introvert, by I’m a highly-functioning one, which means I can walk and talk in public at the same time; I can take command of a room full of authors; I’m proud of my writing and WILL talk about it; and I’ve been known to strike up conversations with strangers. (Gasp!)

One of the first steps I made in the “write your book” journey was to join a writers group. Then split off and start another. Then WRITE THE DAMN BOOK. And—get this—finish it and send it to a publisher.

Non-writing related, we’ve failed often, failed fast, and failed forward many times. We’ve started many businesses. Some have failed (pre-internet gift baskets), some have succeeded (office cleaning, which paid the mortgage every month). Though we don’t consider it a fail, some might because we didn’t “stick it out”—In 2012, we quit well-paying jobs, sold our house and most of our possessions, and moved to Hawai’i. We lived there for three years, six months and twenty-one days. Was it a fail? Yes and no. We never regained our income, but we lived in paradise.

We took a risk. In our minds, it paid off. It might not have. That’s our view of life. Try it. Go on to the next thing if it doesn’t work.

Fail often, fail fast, and most importantly, fail forward. We wouldn’t be where we are if we hadn’t tried.

Now it’s your turn. Write your book. Take a chance. Believe in yourself.




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