Thursday, April 24, 2014


Gabriel García Márquez had a good, long life.

That’s what I tell myself to escape the abysmal sensation that the world lost a great writer one week ago.

I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude in high school, followed by other astounding novels and short stories throughout college, picking up the original Spanish as I was able. I already knew I was a writer by that time, but these stories influenced my work much more profoundly than almost any other book. In spite of my tendency to best appreciate things from 400 years ago or more, one of the most pleasurable things about reading García Márquez’s work was that he was still alive and therefore available to create more of these unique stories. He was unable to write during his final years, but now it’s certain: no other literature or Spanish students will get to enjoy that sensation of more to come.

Such sentiments were already on my mind for more personal reasons. At the end of March, the dear lady who wrote under the name Moonyeen Blakey passed away after a battle with cancer. I edited Moon’s first book, The Assassin’s Wife. Although I knew she wasn’t well, I fully expected her to recover. I still feel unpleasantly surprised. I had hoped someday to visit her in her quaint seaside town in England and it seems impossible that I will now never meet her. As a compliment to her artistry, I also sorely feel the loss of the other great books she didn’t get the chance to write.

Art is eternal, but life is fleeting. We must create, enjoy, and connect with others while we can.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Summer's Growth - @AuthorTinaGayle Featured in the #EggcerptExchange

"Summer's Growth." - part of the Eggcerpt Exchange fun.


In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass...

Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it's time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.
Now the eggcerpt:

“Trust us child to find a soul who will honor your position. Nothing will remove your fears until you can reclaim your life’s mission and enjoy the rest of your days on earth.”

 “But what if Amber doesn’t like it here? She’s a young college student from sunny California. Why would she move to Ohio where it’s cold? Even in the summer, we don’t have beautiful weather. The rain can last for days.”

 “There is no dispute,” Jonathan growled. “Amber is a Winston. She longs to live here.”
  “But you don’t get it. There’s no guarantee. Josh has lived here all his life. He’ll do a good job.” Mattie wished Jonathan could see her point. Things might not turn out like he’d planned.

“Besides Cynthia will be deeply hurt when she finds out everything is under the control of a stranger instead of her son. She won’t understand.”

 “The Council’s point exactly. Cynthia cares only for gold, not for others. It’s best for the family to have someone else as the keeper.”

  The havoc this decision would cause in Mattie’s life washed bitter bile through her mouth. She swallowed, hard. 

Purchase at:
Or

Find Tina at

Thanks for letting me share,

Tina Gayle

#NewRelease - 2nd Book in Family Tree Series - Fallen Leaves @AuthorTinaGayle #EggcerptExchange

Fallen Leaves Blurb -


As autumn comes to the Winston estate in Ohio, Amber Harrison learns further lessons in her new position as keeper for the spirits and ghosts who haunt the estate--and further lessons in love, too. She and her love, Carter Miller, grapple with the fears and passions of new love, while caught up in the storm of ancient family drama.


This is the second book in the unfolding saga of the psychics and talents associated with the Winston estate, a sheltered place where past, present, and future are woven into a single dramatic tapestry of love and desire. The tale spans multiple generations, multiple eras, and offers something special for all ages of reader. A sexy, erotic winner, with an assortment of couples to appeal to most tastes.


“How long before you install the new cabinets?”

He turned on the ladder. His dark brown eyes captured her, engulfing her in an encompassing warmth. She melted under his heated gaze, which ran from the top of her head to the white socks on her feet. He lifted a brow at her attire, but he didn’t comment on her pink sweat suit.

“With the old cabinets out of the way, I need to knock down this wall and tear up the flooring. The electrical work is next on the agenda.” He climbed off the ladder, yanked off his gloves, and slid a hand through his thick, wavy hair.

“It might be awhile before we install the new cabinets. Right now, we’re simply working to remove the old stuff so we can start fresh.” He smiled, which didn’t hide the dark circles under his eyes or the fatigue in the slump of his shoulders.

“There’s no hurry. If you’re busy with something else, this can wait until your Dad and Mattie come home next week.”

“No, Dad doesn’t want her dealing with this mess.” Carter unbuckled his tool belt and placed it on a workbench. “I promised him I’d have it done.”

“Is Grant helping?” Amber stepped around several pieces of sheetrock and stray bits of wood, to the bottom of the stairs.

He walked to the backdoor. “Friday, his classes are over at noon.”
With his hand resting on the doorknob, he appeared anxious to leave. “I’m headed to lunch, and then I need to drop by the office for a while. Are you sure you’re okay here by yourself?”
Amber toyed with the idea of saying no. She missed the taste of his lips and the strength of his arms, but she nodded instead. “Yes, I’m fine.”
After opening the door, he paused. “I guess I’ll see you later.”
She waved and turned to head to her room, satisfied she’d at least gotten him to talk. Her leaden feet trudged up the steps. Unexcited, she contemplated her latest assignment from the family council. How could she achieve such an impossible task?
Purchase links:

 Amazon | Smashwords | allromanceebooks

Haven't read the 1st book Summer's Growth - get it now at smashword for 99cents with the promotion code NK36Z.

Hope you enjoy,


Monday, March 24, 2014

#EggcerptExchange and Cover Reveal: Waterfire

On April 14, I'll be featured at amazing author Tina Gayle's Eggcerpt Exchange. I'll be featuring Tina here soon, so look out for that!

In honor of this auspicious occasion, I thought now would be a good time to reveal the cover for my YA novella, Waterfire. Waterfire is the second novella in the Providence Trilogy. The cover is done by Amygdala Design and actually inspired the fire drill scene on the docks.

Changes in my life have delayed the publication of the Providence Trilogy, but it should still debut, one novella at a time, in 2015.

About Waterfire

Told as a series of diary entries, Waterfire chronicles the way Kelly learns that she has the power to set things on fire with her mind. All such pyrokinetic teenagers must attend a school where their power is repressed at all times. With the help of her friends, Kelly must escape the prison-like regime in order to save her mother's life.


September 7

Maybe if I write about the first day here, it will stop rattling around in my head like big clumps of lead.
Actually, I wish I had a big clump of lead to carry around with me instead of this stuff. They give us small patches, like nicotine patches for people who want to quit smoking, but with our kryptonite to wear against our skin and help control the urges. It does seem to cut down on the incidents – I haven’t made a fire since I got here a week ago. But, God, it itches like crazy! I’m always scratching at mine, I can’t help it, and I have to be careful with where I put the new patch of the day because I could look like an idiot scratching my armpits or some other sensitive area all day. They let us take them off at night so we can sleep, because everyone has an adverse reaction to their patch, but not everyone itches. Melinda, the high and mighty, claims it makes her tired so she can’t do PE. Like she’s having her period, all the time. I swear, she’s like a Victorian with the vapors every day at two o’clock. And the teachers fall for it! They let her go take a nap in her room. I wonder what she really does in there while we have to jog laps around the gym and bounce ridiculous balls off stupid things, like each other. I mean, what does that have to do with not setting anything on fire?
Anyway, my first day here, I barely had time to drop my bags before we had a get-to-know-you kind of meeting, which they called “orientation.” They made us all sit in a circle on the floor – yes, the concrete floor, with no rugs or pillow, what were they thinking? About flammability. I swear that’s all we are to these people — big walking fireballs. Todd, the lanky upperclassman who led the group with a senior girl and one of the teachers, had us go around the circle saying our names and what our kryptonite was. It was probably more to orient them to us, to prepare the patches, than for any other reason.
So there are precisely twenty of us newbies here. They started the circle with Brian, who was sitting right next to me, but it went in the opposite direction! So after Brian said he couldn’t produce flames in the presence of tungsten, eighteen other people went ahead of me. I was getting more nervous by the minute and barely heard what the other people said, with their run-of-the-mill kryptonites like lithium, beryllium and even krypton, which seems reasonable enough but is pretty expensive for the school to have on hand. My ears pricked up when a girl named Jill admitted phosphorus took away her powers. I snickered quietly to test whether anyone else would, but there were no takers. Come on, it’s embarrassing to be a pyrokinetic and have that ability erased by phosphorus, right? The stuff they put in the heads of matches? Doesn’t that seem a little ironic, at least?
“There’s no shame in any kryptonite. We all have one,” said Todd. He looked at me out of the corner of his eye like I was some kind of troublemaker.
So I rolled my eyes to show my disregard for authority to the other new students and held my breath again. Maybe if they didn’t laugh at phosphorus, they wouldn’t laugh at me, either. Maybe. Possibly.
No one was looking at my reddening face because it was Melinda’s turn, whoop de doo. She demurely announced her name and said, “My kryptonite is platinum.” She flashed a smile that I swear cut the air with a knife-sharpening sound. She drew a shiny necklace from under her blouse. “I already wear this all the time, ever since my parents gave it to me. I won’t need a patch.”
A hushed “ooh” went around the circle. Todd was nodding, as if Melinda had already arranged it all with the administration. Brian, right next to me, sucked in air. I couldn’t say exactly what he was thinking, but I knew right then that I liked him. A lot. Unbidden, the image of placing a darkly shiny tungsten wedding band around his finger entered my mind. It helped that he smelled pretty good. Since then, of course, it’s hard to smell anything other than my stupid patch.
Melinda’s act was hard to follow and I didn’t notice what anyone else said, so when it came to me, it still seemed like I had to compare myself to platinum. I covered my mouth to muffle the name of my fire-dampening element, but of course Todd said, “What was that? Say it again.”
“My name is Kelly,” I repeated, putting my diaphragm into it. “And my kryptonite is sulfur.” I wondered if I’d started a blaze on my face. I couldn’t feel my cheeks as I smiled, bracing myself. It was the same sinking, sick feeling I had with Uncle Jack a month ago. The laughter bubbled under the surface. I could feel it coming.
“Fire, but not brimstone,” Melinda said in a way that questioned the possibility.
Then it started. Todd snorted and the teacher, Ms. Matheson, barked a laugh over the snickering that was growing so sinisterly in volume. She clapped her hands over her mouth and composed herself to say, “There is no shame in any kryptonite! Hush! Quiet! My weakness is lead!”
She reached into her purse beside her — I’d thought she was just kind of weird to keep her purse with her in this situation — and pulled out a key ring with no keys attached to it, but several irregularly shaped rocks that must have been made of lead. She certainly hefted it as if it weighed a ton. “I can’t wear lead against my skin because it would poison me like a regular person, beyond taking my pyrokinesis away.”
The laughter died down with the interest in the new distraction. I thought of getting up and walking out, but Ms. Matheson continued and I had to hear. “I have to carry these pieces of lead with me at all times so I can get to them in an emergency, like a diabetic or something. I can’t even put this charm as far away from me as the conveyor belt when I go through airport security. Believe me, that can add to the difficulties of a trip.” Then she smiled so sweet and silly at all the newbies, they had to chuckle the way you might at a cute baby.
I loved Ms. Matheson then. She looked into my eyes and I could tell that was exactly what she wanted — a new friend from among the outcasts. She must be a weirdo in her life, too, with no friends her own age. I looked away and stayed quiet, hoping no one would remember me for the rest of the orientation. When Todd and Ms. Matheson finished explaining about curfews and hall passes and field trips, I stood up as slowly as I could, my every movement calling attention, in my mind, anyway. They were commencing a ritual of significance I didn’t learn until later and didn’t notice me slip out. Without a hall pass. [...]

What adventures will Kelly get herself into? Waterfire is a humorous, dramatic, and engaging novella and also a love poem to Providence, Rhode Island.

Though Waterfire isn't available yet, I do have other books with a similar flair available now
And I'm at, Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for letting me share!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Javan Rhino Flash Fiction

The rare Javan rhino.
Today's the day! My story, "The Last Ultrasound," will appear at Linguistic Erosion.

"The Last Ultrasound" is the first of five short-shorts to be published in honor of a specific species of rhinoceros. Perhaps it's a coincidence, but it seems fitting to start with the rarest of all rhinos, the Javan, which number today only about 30 in the wild. Contrary to what the story describes, there are no Javan rhinos in captivity anywhere in the world.

Their rarity makes Javan rhinos difficult to describe. They appear to be mostly solitary. The only camera trap photos with more than one animal in them show a mother and calf. In appearance, the Javan is similar to the Greater One-Horned or Indian rhino, but averages about two-thirds the size of its bigger relative. One big difference between the two species is that female rhinos don't appear to grow a horn beyond the smallest stump. All other rhino species have horn growth in both sexes.

The most charming thing about Javan rhinos is that they really love to swim. It's real swimming, not just wading. Check it out:

Although "The Last Ultrasound" might paint a grim picture, there is still hope for the real-life Javan rhinos. Thank you very much for reading! Remember: no one needs a rhino horn but a rhino.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"I've Had a Long String of Bad Luck..."

For the past several years, I've been doing the opposite of what it seems most writers do: searching for a full time job beyond my writing.

My husband and I had an arrangement that he would work whatever jobs he could find so that I could have my own schedule and do all the things I do: writing, editing, translating and publishing. All too frequently, however, I took freelance positions beyond my work-from-home publishing jobs that brought in some much-needed money, but were a tremendous distraction from the writing focus. I sometimes thought back fondly to my days as a cataloger in the library, when I had none of the inconsistency or instability of freelancing. Why did I ever leave that beautiful place and those lovely people?

Eventually, we got tired of the moving and the instability, and decided to return to our beloved New England and make things happen from there. That decision was the main missing piece for us. Once we made it, it was only a matter of time before everything would fall into place for us.

I've accepted a full time position in educational publishing.

Let that sink in for a moment.

I've been trying so very hard all these years to get a "real job" in publishing, but honestly, there were times I felt it would never happen. I'm in shock at how quickly it's all taking place.

There's going to be a major adjustment period while I figure out how many of my writing, editing, translating, and publishing activities I can handle with a full time job, and yes, we do have to move again. At least this time it's less than an hour's drive. Thank you for bearing with me while I figure this out and become a geographically stable, professional member of society. The one certain thing is that I won't give up on my writing, especially Seven Noble Knights.

Definitely don't miss March 19, when my Javan rhino story debuts!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Flowering and Wilting of Writing Groups

Some of the best ladies in the world, my critique group.
We left our saga in Arizona, an epic place, to be sure. I was involved with that critique group in person the entire year and a half we were in Arizona and made it through about half of the first draft of Seven Noble Knights. The worst thing about leaving Arizona was the possibility that I would no longer be involved in the group. Luckily, these are some of the kindest, most generous people in the universe, and I've been allowed to Skype in every month since I left despite a key clause in our bylaws that specifies this as an in-person group.

Skype at its best can really give you a sense of personality. They added an in-person member when I departed, and I'm amazed to think I've never actually been in the same state with her, much less the same room. Based on that cyber-support, I finished Seven Noble Knights. What I most remember about living in Atlanta is writing the last chapter of Part I and the next several chapters getting away from me in length and complexity. Should I devote so much space to the migrating sheep? Which details of all the research I've done really develop the characters?

I tried to get into writers groups in Atlanta (the South is so wordy, it seems everyone writes!), but was daunted by two thoughts: Would I have to start over the critiquing of the entire novel? And I knew in my heart I was not in the right place and we would be leaving soon, so there was little point in investing as much effort as is necessary to find a group that really works.

The unnamed town where we lived in Illinois was a cultural wasteland that required a car to get anywhere, so the Arizona ladies were my only lifeline to the outside world. My most vivid memory of Illinois is scribbling the last few lines of Seven Noble Knights by hand because they wouldn't come while I stared at the screen. Oh, and completing it before the Mayan Apocalypse.

Then came North Carolina. You'll forgive me if I never felt settled in there, since we never lived anywhere but a hotel. I thought it might be the right place for us, and tried out a couple of critique groups, but while some of the writing was really enjoyable for me, barely one or two people ever seemed to understand what I was trying to do, whether it was historical or contemporary. Several months in, I saved myself the frustration by no longer attending. I had Skype to fall back on!

The reason I'm thinking about all this is that I'm now in a place I don't intend to leave within a year, so my best way to put down roots is to find a critique group. I have time to find one that works! I'm shopping around, but have already become a regular at one that meets every week.

Meanwhile, the writer the Arizona group added when I left has herself left, throwing all five of us into surprise and grief. She made her exit saying that the group wasn't giving her the regular discipline she needed. Not everyone has been able to submit writing on a regular basis, while she has been churning out the pages in an admirable fashion. I thought for a moment that this might mark the end of the Arizona group, and I was terribly sad, because it's become about much more than writing. It's a group of friends who all like to write and who support each other through many of the other things life throws at us.

Luckily, the remaining members agreed with that part. I'm still in transition, and deciding how to use all the wonderful local resources in order not to feel alone in this writing thing. But at least I haven't lost my best gals. Further critique groups may come and go, but Low Writers are forever.