Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trying to Please Everyone

It can’t be done.

That should be the end of this week’s blog. Right? In all honesty, probably so. But, I can’t leave you hanging, wondering what’s going on in my world, can I?

I signed up once again to an online event known as The Reviewer Roundup. This is an awesome opportunity to garner much needed reviews for your books. The Roundup is split in two, first week for novellas, the second week is for novels. Readers enter, read the books, and leave honest reviews. Prizes are involved, and everyone has a great time. I love the idea. Like I said, this is not my first time at it. Kelli Smith is an awesome marketer, and I have always been thrilled with the results of her services, whether it be swag or events.

Reviewer Roundup 2018

The event has just started, and already there are reviews being posted for my novella, Save the Last Dance. So far, I’m more than pleased with them. What little criticism there is seems to be the same. The readers want more . . . more depth, more conflict, more background, more story. My initial reaction was It’s a novella! If I add all that, it will be a novel.

But I get what they’re saying. Believe me, I pay attention to those reviews. Those are the things that make me a better writer. My next work will be stronger for it. I’ll make sure there is more depth, conflict, and background. I know I can’t please everyone. Doesn’t stop me from trying.

Till next week,

~Madison

 

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A Sense of Accomplishment

When I got down to the final stages to have Save the Last Dance published, and A Destiny Denied edited, I was ahead of the game. Things had worked out where I had enough time to correct any errors, take my time with the final prep work, and have them on my publisher’s desk for publication. Save the Last Dance was released three weeks ahead of schedule. I have two more months until Destiny is released. When I got my edits back, I took my time with corrections, making countless passes trying to catch everything. This week I started formatting.

I’m the kind of person who learns by doing. As with anything, it gets easier after doing it enough times. Formatting has given me my fair share of grief. I’m not to the point where I can say I’ve got it mastered, either. But, I’m way closer than I’ve ever been. Getting the margins set is pretty easy. I simply copy from a cheat sheet I created when I formatted Eternal Embrace.

My bone of contention has always been the header and footer. To be honest, the header has been easy the last two times I did it. So, I think I can say “I’ve got this.” Not so much with the page numbers. For one, I don’t like Roman numerals on the front and back matter. I prefer the actual story to have page numbers, period. But, the page numbers can’t start on Chapter 1 . . . oh no, they have to start on the next page. So, you end up starting the book around page 12. Then, my battle begins. Each chapter is a section. Each section has to be linked to the previous one. So on, and so on. Coming home from work, I would try to format the damnable numbers. Only to have them out of order, scattered all over the place, or something else. Each night I would go back to square one, to try again the next day. I finally got a day off where I could focus solely on numbering the book. Lo and behold, the numbers lined up beautifully! Believe me, I hit save before I could lose it.

While I was on a roll, I even figured out how to increase the DPI on an image I was using. It’s been a good day! Even with all this, I’m going to go over the book a couple of more times before I send it on to my publisher. Since I have the time, I want it to be as close to perfect as it can be. If I did something wrong, I’ll still have time to fix it.

After that, I can get back to writing. Life is good.

Till next week,

~Madison

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My Happy Place

My five days off rotation has finally arrived. I’m now in my happy place, contentedly sitting at my desk, finishing up edits for A Destiny Denied. I think I’ve tweaked all the over-used words, tightening the story into a better one. One more pass, then an oral read, and it’s onto formatting. Once I get all that done, I can get back to writing. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to finishing what I’ve started!

My muse has lain dormant for what seems like ages, keeping silent while I coped with my hectic work schedule and the curves life keeps throwing at me. Now, she’s rousing from her nap, throwing little idea darts at me. I had to remind her that the order was out of whack. Falcon popped into my head, then a character from Heart of Stone. Sorry guys, get in line. Sully and Larke get the first round.

I have a schedule to stick to this time around. It’s going to be a busy year for me. I don’t feel that I’ve put too much on my plate, but in order to get everything done in time, I’m going to have to buckle down and get some serious writing in. It’s a personal challenge I relish. Writing soothes me, taking me to worlds of my own creation. I can leave my job and personal problems behind for a while, enjoying my characters and the lives I weave for them.

I hope you enjoy what’s coming.

Till next week,

~Madison

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New Year – Even more new

As the month nears its close, I’m excited to bring you a NEW-NEW cover.
We’ve looked at updates of ones you may have been familiar with…but this one is brand new to everyone but the set partners that are in the thick with me.

May 8th Once Upon a Twisted Time will come out, a box set of Twisted Fairy Tales…my contribution is a story titled: Twelve. It’s a take on The 12 Dancing Princesses…and ooooh do I have it twisted. Wanna peek??

Can’t share too much more than that yet…but the cover might give you a clue.

Interested?? Take a chance for less than 1 Benjamin at any of these outlets.
(the Amazon links are coming soon)

Told you so . . .

I have a very good friend who started writing about the same time I did. He has quite a few completed manuscripts on his shelf, but is as of yet, unpublished. I don’t want to say I’m mentoring him, though he seems to see it as such. I view him as a fellow writer with whom I’m sharing my journey.

I’ve tried to explain the trials, frustrations, and triumphs of writing, editing, and publishing a book. In turn, he’s tried to understand. I know a lot of it went in one ear, and out the other. Now, he’s realizing I wasn’t kidding. His first manuscript has been edited, and he’s finding out what the agonizing process is all about. He’s beginning to understand what I was griping about.

The past few times we’ve spoken, it’s been pretty one-sided. He vents, I listen. Yes, there is a modicum of snickering on my part. I can’t help it. I think back to the aggravation and frustration I went through as I learned about POV’s, and how to apply it to my story. He heard me out, but I knew that he didn’t really get it. He gets it now. LOL I won’t go into the list of over-used words we weed out, searching for different ways to describe the same thing. It’s work; tedious, painstaking work. I also love it. I wish I was in the position to write full time.

I’m still going through my own edits whenever I get a free moment. Lately, there haven’t been many of them. Between work and helping out in the care of my sister, who is currently back in the hospital from complications of a hip replacement, I haven’t been able to come up for air. Hopefully, my sister will recover soon, and life will get back on track. Until then, I do what I can, when I can.

Till next week,

~Madison

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NYNE 4th and 48

I suppose I could have counted to make sure there were actually 52 Mondays in 2018. Since we began on a Monday, there could well be 53, but who’s counting?

I am.

This year has mountains of possibility, and an equal share of obstacles. I’m still working on the realignment, but I’m keeping up…so far. I know what I’m doing is good for me, and in the interest of preventing a repeat, but man is it overwhelming too. I know the gym, and the cursed treadmill, are for the good. I do. I also know that I’m full of plans before I go, and exhausted afterward, making my progress on the things I NEED to work on writer-wise exceedingly frustrating. It’s a lot like running in Jell-O…messy and lacking yardage.  (No, I’m not going to elaborate on experience to justify the comparison. Just take my word for it) 🙂

I will persevere though. I will. Quit has never really been in my vocabulary. I’m not willing to give it page-space now. Essentially, the sum of the parts right now is I’m pushing, while trying not to push myself beyond the threshold of what I should, and spending way more time than I’m used to on the tasks that up to now have been thoughtless to get through. Now, I plan more, and I was a planner before…each day, each activity, leaving room to allow myself to fall short of where I want to be. It’s aggravating to know that a month or two ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice, I’d have pushed through to the end, no matter the hours or insanity…which is how I got where I landed. I’m learning…and soon enough, I will again be where I can push to the end, without pushing beyond myself.

I will.

This isn’t NYNE whiner edition though…I’m not going to do that. This was my update on the path to success, and the last one of its kind, I hope. Barring a major curve…I am putting my head down and charging. The Rhino in me is restless.

As promised, it’s still January, which means you get to see another cover. This week is the re-mastered cover for The Custos Book 3 – Book of Mysteries. I’m in mad love with the changes. The original cover, while striking, felt too clean and polished for the set. Like it needed to have that same shadow feel to fit in with the others…and now, it does. See for yourself.

Original.

 

Reworked.

The images are still the same, but the twilight feel to the cemetery and Ramsby (Cover model Eric Jacob) on the cover waiting and watching for anything is more to the vision of it I had when that part of the story was written, and the overall series of light vs. dark and what lies between. I am so pleased with the revision and the effect.

In other news, Amazon finally acquiesced and price matched. Book of Time – The Custos book 1 is now permafree & on all channels, the big four and probably a few others you haven’t heard of. Book of Revelations, book 4 in the series, ((and possibly Book of Prophesy, book 5 & the last,)) will be out this year. If you haven’t started the journey, why not? Now is a great time as the first novella that introduces you to the world of White Diamond & The Custos…is FREE. Take it for a spin on your favorite E-reader. (Then of course, tell me what you think. It’s a bumpy introduction, but the two worlds that are colliding kind of are too.)

Next week I’ll be sharing another cover or two…from an upcoming set, or my solo work from a set…who knows what it will be – there are a lot to choose from, so stay tuned or check back for the next reveal on the 29th.

Have a great week. Read something amazing. And, as always, tell your friends.

Sav

In case you missed the others being shown in their updated statuses, here are the three Custos series books together. 🙂

 

 

 

Breathe, focus, keep going . . .

This past week has the been full of set-backs, testing what little patience I have. My day job has been more trying than ever. Working on a Telemetry floor in a busy hospital is fast-paced to start off with. Add in the flu epidemic that’s raging across the company and we’ve found ourselves slammed with patients filling every room, with more waiting to get in. I’ve never looked so forward to having five days off to myself.

My sister recently had a hip replacement. Life throws in a curve ball, and I find myself at the Emergency room, then packing clothes to spend the next day and night with her. Of course, I packed my lap top, determined to continue working on edits. Needless to say, not much of that was accomplished. Such is life. It tends to undermine the best of intentions.

We all get set in our ways, set to a certain routine. I’m no different. I prefer working on my desktop computer. I do own a laptop, but I haven’t used it enough to be truly comfortable with it. Sitting for hours going through a manuscript, searching for errors is tedious. Doing it while in a different setting, on different equipment is distracting, at best. I am working, just not getting a lot accomplished. For someone like me, who adheres to schedules, it’s frustrating.

It will get done. I’m bound and determined to see that A Destiny Denied is the best it can be, and released on time. Then, I can move forward to my other projects. For now, I’m taking deep breaths and focusing on what’s in front of me. One step at a time . . .

Till next week,

~Madison

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A tweak here, a lot of polish there . . .

This week’s blog finds me still working on the edits of A Destiny Denied. Odds are, I’ll be here a while. As I tweak and polish I realize that, while not the most glamorous part of ‘writing a novel,’ it’s definitely one of the more important aspects.

Personally, I cringe when I read a book that’s full of errors. How did they miss that? Did no one edit this? Truth be known, it’s almost impossible to catch all the mistakes before a book is published. My own books are guilty of these oversights, as well. Though, I am happy to say, the lapses are less with each book.

So, I will painstakingly go through each page searching for and correcting errors, missed punctuation, and overused words. Hopefully, once I’m done, I’ll have a story I’m proud to share with all of you.

In the meantime, I’d like to share the cover for A Destiny Denied with you. Victoria Miller has once again done an incredible job on covers for my Kindred series.

 ADestinyDenied_453x680

Till next week,

~Madison

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Getting Back on Track

My mother used to tell me to be careful how you spent New Year’s Day because you would spend the rest of the year doing the same. I shrugged it aside as an old wives’ tale, going about my business. Today, I wonder if there was a kernel of truth in the old saying. New Year’s Day was a lazy day for me. It was cold. My kids stayed up the night before, so were sleeping in. I read a lot, doing little else. That evening we fixed dinner, and the girls helped me move the boxes of Christmas decorations into the attic.

This slow start on New Years seems to be dragging along. I’m giving the arctic cold front some blame to my laziness. I’m not used to this kind of cold. My bed is warm and comfy. I have a ton of books on my Kindle app. I’m good.

But, I have things I need to do. I’ve got to put the polish on a manuscript to get it ready for release. I have stories I need to finish. Oh wait, there’s Lucifer on Hulu. I’ve been meaning to watch that. Even this blog is being written today, instead of earlier in the week, like I usually do.

It’s time to buckle down. I’m not wasting time in 2018. There are too many things I want to accomplish. Guess I better get on that.

Till next week,

~Madison

2018 LOGO

My Final Post . . . for 2017

The end of the year has come. I, for one, will not be sorry to see it go. This year was a rough one for me. I’m hoping 2018 will be better, at the very least, gentler. I could use some good mojo.

I did get in touch with my publisher to discuss plans for the coming year. It’s now official. A Destiny Denied is slated for release in April, To Kill A Demon, the Chronicles of Sully and Larke will be published in August, and Heart of Stone will make its appearance in December. Now that I’ve said the words, I must write the words. In addition to these, I need to finish Blindsided so that it will be ready for 2019. Looks like the new year will see my rear firmly planted in the chair. I might need to invest in a comfy cushion. 😉

May the coming year bring you abundant blessings.

Till next year,

~Madison

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