Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Sights at Penned Con 2016

This past weekend I went to Penned Con in St. Louis. It was my first year to attend in any capacity, but I guarantee it won’t be the last. What a fantastic event put together by the incredible duo, Amy and Rick Miles. They put a LOT of effort into making this event a successful one for the readers, authors, and the charity, Action for Autism. Thanks to everyone who attended, Penned Con raised over $10, 000 that will go to Action for Autism and will provide scholarship funds to help families with children on the Spectrum afford the multiple therapies so many of our children need.

Here are some sights from the event:

Hello St. Louis! Did I get lost going into the city. Yes, yes I did. Did I have a navigation system? Yes, yes I did. Thank you for asking. 😉 However, if you put in  4th Street instead of 14th Street, it’s pretty much a sure thing you’re going to end up at the wrong place….like a hotel that was closed for business. Thank the gods for smart phones so I could check the address again. lol


Our table in the lobby is all set and ready to go!

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Nerf guns at the ready! It’s Readers vs Authors!
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Nothing says luau like Hawaiian dresses and pineapple, leis and coconut center pieces. There was a roasted pig, but no pics of that. 14494887_1700249843628370_844794450341570311_n14494792_1700250006961687_3489057457711006955_n

It’s safe to say that a fun time was had by all and we raised a tidy sum for worthy cause. I didn’t get to do much author fangirling, and that’s alright, because I was super busy doing a heck of a lot of reader fangirling!

Until next week….Happy Reading!
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Another brick in the wall

Some days I’m the builder of great things…the one laying the firm foundation for my house, my brand, and my world. Other days, I’m the great destroyer…the Stay Puft marshmallow man of my own demise, caught in the sticky remnants of what is left after the streams crossed.

Penned Con was Phenomenal! I am so proud to have had a teeeensy role in helping raise over 10K for Action for Autism…it just feels good! If you’ve never been…put it on your calendar now for September 29 & 30, 2017 in St. Louis. You will thank me – I promise.

Getting there was no small miracle, and it seems that in the aftermath, the hurdles are not done with me.  A cracked gas tank sidelined my long-term trusty steed and I had a loaner to make the trek to St. Louis…all good. Not my cup of tea for a vehicle, but alive and arrived was a beautiful thing. Today, now that the gas tank, which happens to be the support structure for the entire under carriage, has been replaced and the keys returned…why should I be surprised that it doesn’t start. The battery did its last turn over so they could pull it out of the garage and park it. Dirty bugger!!! So, tomorrow we add battery to the growing list of new goodies that my buggy will be sporting. After tires, gas tank, and some other suspension do-hickies they couldn’t get off the original. Yay me.

Just in time to pack her up again and head east…for Glass City Author Event. WHOOOP! I’m so excited  for this event too. Where Penned was a benefit for Action for Autism, Glass City is a benefit for Second Chance Toledo, an organization that helps the survivors of human trafficking and exploitation. I’m beside myself that as a writer I can somehow help do things that are so much bigger than me. It is humbling and such a tremendous honor.

Glass City is my last event of 2016 and then I have to put the pedal to the metal to finish a boat load of projects…seems deadlines are real and people are expecting me to come through. Guess what? I will!

Until next time – read something amazing…and tell your friends.


My ducks are scattering …

I am old school. Not ashamed of it. Not proud of it. Just the way it is. A statement of fact. I like doing what I have to do immediately and get it done. I like to finish one thing before I start another. I like my ducks in a row.

I began writing. I became a published author. My world changed. No longer can I continue with the way I always did things. I have to learn to go with the flow. Sometimes, I find myself swimming upstream. It’s not hard or complicated. It’s different. I have always prided myself on learning how to adapt and adjust.  If one way doesn’t work, try another.

This is where I find myself at the moment. I am in the midst of a number of author take-overs. I am preparing for a local book signing event next weekend. I am waiting on news of the release of an anthology that contains a story of mine. I am working on three different books simultaneously.  I am quite dizzy, thank you very much.

If you would have told me a year ago this is where my life would be, I would have said you were insane. There was no way my life would be so chaotic. Crow is tasty these days.

So, if you will excuse me, I have a plate of seasoned crow to finish and a few tales to write down.

Till next week,



So Close I Can Taste It

Penned Con 2016 is 22 hours away, wait no it’s 21 hours now.


Welcome to our fair city!

A few words of advice:

  • don’t park your cars on the streets downtown.
  • be sure to check out the zoo.
  • don’t forget to try St. Louis foods – toasted ravioli,  gooey butter cake(I personally hate this but most people like it.)
  • Make time to  try Ted Drewes –  voted the #1 Best place for ice cream!
  • Be prepared for any kind of weather. IF you’re here longer than 4 hours the weather is bound to change!
  • Visit the arch. You haven’t experienced terror until you are  swaying at the top during strong winds!

Yesterday I packed, unpacked, and repacked my tub at least 3 times. I ran to the store, obtained chocolate to have at my table, and chocolate and wine for a prize basket. I got my hair cut –  or butchered as it turns out. I rewarded myself with a manicure,  then because I hit a goal for my weight loss I splurged on a pedicure. I’d pay them $100.00 for an hour in that chair. OMFG!  That was better than a massage. I think I need a smoke!

So, today I am tidying things at home waiting for my assistant to  arrive so we can head north to set up. While waiting,  I have  ingested  much caffeine, and just as much sugar in the form of my favorite little round treats, skittles. Considering I haven’t had any sugar for the past three weeks,  I am super buzzed. Who needs alcohol? I swear I can FEEL the rainbow! I’d be willing to bet I could carry this tub to the 13th floor taking the stairs! I won’t, I’m not supposed to be lifting anything over twenty pounds.

I’ve laid out my outfits five times at least.  OH right, laundry. I might need underclothes that are dry.  Savannah an Jolanthe are already on the road heading  in this direction. I’m going to head north   in late afternoon. The bad thing is I’ll be right in the middle of rush hour traffic. The good thing is, most of the drivers will be heading out of the city.

There will be pictures to follow from PEnned. Unfortunately I won’t be able to upload them until afterwards.

Hope to see as many of you as can make it!

Till next time,





Penned Con Bound

It’s finally here! Almost. It’s the week of Penned Con 2016. Thursday night, three Eclectic Bard Books authors, Ellie Mack, Savannah Verte, and myself will be at an unofficial author/reader Meet and Greet along with some other fabulous authors. On the roof.  You can probably find me hugging the wall. Yeah…rooftop, heights, and me do not mix well. LOL

Are you coming to Penned in St. Louise? You should it’s promising to be a boatload of fun. One of the events I’m looking forward to is the Readers vs Authors Capture the Flag Nerf Gun War. I can’t shoot the side of a barn, but it should be fun to try.

All profits of this event go to Action for Autism. A cause near and dear to my heart. I hope to see you all there.

Until next week…Happy Reading!
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Everything’s coming up crazy

The countdown is in the low single digits to Penned Con in St. Louis – are you coming? There are 150 authors at this shin-dig all ready to meet & greet & have a blast as we celebrate and raise awareness & money for Action for Autism. I’m stoked!

Just back from Read Between the Vines and a couple short weeks from Glass City Author Event in Toledo…the pattern is full and I’m running & gunning. Gods help me to remember everything I’m not supposed to forget.

Aside from that, the writing schedule is amping up too. I am now working on the story boards for three anthologies, as the anthology for Glass City should be hitting any day now. Add the Finish The Damn Book Challenge, and I think I’m seeing sticky notes for the plot walls in my sleep. I might need to stock up. 🙂

I know there’s a ton I need to catch up and update y’all on, but for the life of me, I’m drawing a blank. If you’re headed to any of these amazing signing or convention events, stop by and say hello. I’m excited to put faces to names!!

Snowball effect

It seems like once things start on a path the snowball effect takes over and it is hard to stop it. That is what has been going on with me lately. The snowball keeps getting bigger.

I am the type of person that tries to look at the bright side of every situation. I have to admit it has been hard to find it lately. I am proud to say that I have been able to find a bright side every time though, even if it has been very small.

Last week Soul Redemption (Soul Series Book 2) was re-released and is now live and available for you! I am very excited to have it back out!

I have some changes coming for me. I am nervous about what they mean for me but I believe they are what is best for everyone involved. Hopefully this will be the boulder that stops the snowball!

Until next week, always find your bright side!


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Inspiration in the oddest places …

I have a project that I’ve been tossing around for a couple of weeks now. I recently wrote a short story. My publisher asked me about writing more short stories with the same main characters, then compiling them into a book of their adventures. Of course, I fell in love with the idea. This particular couple has caught my fancy, and I’m eager to work with them again.

My dilemma was where to begin? After a week of trying to think of new adventures for my couple, I was beginning to get apprehensive about the whole project. Was the one story my shot in the dark? Was nothing more to follow? Until a few days ago … on my way to work listening to Pandora radio. I can’t even remember the name of the song now, but one particular word jumped out at me, and then another phrase linked to it. The flags raised, the whistles blew, my lightbulb went off and the story began to unfold for me. Details were hitting me at all sides. This is a problem when you’re driving. I had no way to pull over and jot it all down. With a quick prayer to please don’t let me forget any of it, I drove as fast as I could legally get away with to the office so I could get my ideas on paper.

Then the torture began. I had to get through eight hours of work, drive thirty minutes to get home, and spend time with my granddaughter before I could allow myself to start writing and begin on my story.

Naturally I can’t dedicate all of my time to writing. I’ve got another author take-over today, and I had to spend some time getting ready for it. I totally needed some new games for my readers. If you have some time, check it out. It’s the Indie Author Celebration.  All of the authors were nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award. I’ll be on at 1pm CST.

Between writing and author take-overs, I’m also trying to put together a street team. I’ve finally admitted to myself that I could use some help promoting my work. It’s hard to split myself seven ways from Sunday and still find time to write.

For now, it’s back to the writing cave until my slot comes up at the Indie Author Celebration. Come out and join in the fun!

Till next week,

~ Madison


One Week

Seven days. BREATHE.

Seven days until the day before Penned Con, the day to set up and be ready when the doors open at 9:00 am on the 23rd. BREATHE. 

I planned ahead.  I didn’t procrastinate until the last minute like I usually do. Never the less, I am scrambling. My  books have not arrived.  They were supposed to arrive  this Monday, the 12th. One box arrived, the other did not.  I have zero books of my newest release for Penned. ZERO! Breathe!

I called,  I called more people, where are my books? Good news,  they are going to correct their mistake at no additional cost. They will send them priority. I’m still panicking.  I spent a ton of money much to my husband’s chagrin on these really super cute Action for Autism swag pieces. What good are they if I don’t have  books? This is an author event, not a cool swag event.

Don’t get me wrong,  there will be some cool swag.  I am always  looking for cool swag pieces  that might fit with some of my other book ideas. Yes, I’ll freely admit that if I see an idea I like I’m stealing it. I will make it my own of course, unique in some way.

I have rack cards – check.  I have business cards for my editing – check.  Wine charms – check. Bookmarks – check.  Books – . . . books? No books.  YET.  I am a firm believer in positive thinking but for the love of humanity I am freaking out right now.  Inhale’, exhale’, inhale’, exhale’ . . .  screw this I need some wine.  A LOT of wine.

Next week  at this time, I’ll be on the rooftop with some great authors.  I hope that I will have  books to sell. That is kind of the point, right? Otherwise, I may end up being the comic relief. Pa dum pum! I’ll be  rehearsing my stand-up routine just in case.

Are you coming to Penned Con? The latest numbers are that 900+ people will be there not counting authors. I’ll be the one in the first room cracking jokes and laughing like a loon. Hope to see you there!

Teaser Tuesday!

The morning is just beginning, Not really, I’ve been up since 5:30 but the caffeine is just now making its way across the blood brain barrier. It’s slow process that requires multiple infusions of coffee.

Today is Teaser Tuesday! So I thought I’d share a little snippet from my current Work in Progress, The Veiled Path to Destiny~ The Veil Book 2. It’s unedited and subject to change. Enjoy!

Caomhnóir glared at Cóipeáil, refusing to rise to the bait. “Where is the King?”

Cóipeáil scratched his chin and shot him an incredulous look, “Where do you think he is?”

Without a word in answer to the posed question, the Guardian of the Queen spun on his heel towards the door. His progress to the exit halted no more than two steps into his trek by Cóipeáil sifting in front of him, blocking his path. “You would do well to get out of my way,” Caomhnóir warned.

Legs spread apart, arms folded across his chest, Cóipeáil cocked an eyebrow up and smirked, “Just where do you think you’re going Oh Powerless One?”

“To the Queen, of course.”

A small laugh escaped Cóipeáil’s lips, “Pray tell. Why?”

Hands clenched at his sides, Caomhnóir swallowed the urge to punch the mediary in the face. “The King left right before he was about to restore my powers. If the Queen called to him, there must be some sort of trouble.” He explained slowly through clenched teeth. “It is my job to protect her.”

“Protect her?” Cóipeáil asked incredulously. “You aim to protect her from the King?”

“He left here with nary a word at her call. Why would he do that if she were not in trouble?”

Cóipeáil roared with laughter. “If you have to ask, then you truly have been alone entirely too long.” With a sweep of his arm towards the door, he stepped back. “By all means, go save the Queen from the King. I’m sure he will reward you handsomely.” ©Jolanthe Aleksander, The Veiled Path to Destiny~The Veil Book 2.

Until Next Week….Happy Reading!

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