Born in Flames Travels

Hello once again, Readers!!! How goes it!? How has life been treating you? Good? Decent? Fantastic?

Awesome.

Unless of course, life has been mean to you. Then that is not awesome. But any who, my days have been pretty good. I took a pause in editing, From the Embers so I could help edit my bestie’s novel, Casted. It’s going to be good! I am so proud of her and all of her accomplishments. She has been through a lot and is finally on the road she has always dreamed of being on.

But on another note, I wanted to share something fun with you today. My street team has been taking flyers for Born in Flames and posting them up around their hometowns. It’s so freaking awesome to see the many places the cover has gone and it only pumps me up for when Born in Flames will finally be available in print! Hopefully by August!

So with that being said, here are some photos of the flyers:

Bookstore in England

A bookstore in England.

Library

The front of a library.

Bus Stop - England

A bus stop in England.

Newspaper Stand

A newspaper stand.

Calc Nook Book Corner

A Nook book corner.

Frame shop

A frame shop front.

That’s only a handful of places that I have photos of. Awesome right?! I love my street team. They are wonderful, sweet ladies who make me laugh and support my novel. What’s even better is that we all support each other. ♥

Now to leave you with a question: What’s the weather like? It’s rainy here. My favorite kind of weather. Unless I had plans that involved outside…then not so much.

Echelon out ♥

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How Do You Say Goodbye?

photo3Hello once again, Readers!!!

I know I have been MIA for some time now, but that is because I have thrown myself into finishing this trilogy. Guess what!? Last night I finally reached that moment where the final two words were written.

The end.

*tear*

I am beginning to feel separation anxiety. How do I say goodbye to my characters who I have become so close to? How do I move on to another set of characters?

I have my WIP from NaNo just waiting for me to jump back into, and for a while I couldn’t wait to finish this trilogy so I could get back to it, but now that my first draft is complete…ahhh.

There is so much pressure with this one. This is it. There will be no fourth. Every idea, every foreshadow, every minor plot, they all have to come together in an explosion of epicosity. The final battle between good and evil. Deciding their fates from that point on.

When I started this whole idea back in 2009, I had no idea that it would actually get published. I had a faint idea of where the story was going, but never all of this. I approached the second novel with a heavy mind, wondering if I could do it. Would I be able to write another? And I was surprised once again by how easily the words flowed out. The characters took me places that I had never imagined before. They wanted their story told.

Which brings us to the third. From the Embers.

Last night I finished it; the final chapter in Aurora’s story. My heart pounded and my hands shook as I typed those last two words. My throat felt tight. I couldn’t tell if I was delighted or sad. I didn’t know if I wanted to do a happy dance or cry. I thought maybe I was having a bit of a panic attack. So I went to bed.

My characters have literally been put through hell. The story and all its many layers have unraveled, and the ending sentence is dangling before me. Am I being a bit dramatic? Maybe, but this is my first real ending. This was my first project. This idea that sprung to life is what changed my life. I will forever be grateful to these characters for showing me where my path rested in life.

Okay, now I am getting emotional so I need to stop. I still have a ton of editing to do with it. It is, after all, the first draft. I still have many more months to spend working on them between wrapping up and publishing Embracing the Flames, and then getting through my own personal edits and read-throughs to send From the Embers in to my publisher for review.

So it’s not really over yet. I just can’t believe how everything turned out. Bittersweet and definitely not what I had expected in the beginning. I mean that in a good way. To all of my readers, you are in for a surprise. ;)

Any who, that is all for now. Now to leave you with a question: Who’s ready for Game of Thrones!?

Echelon out ♥

Preparing For A Radio Interview

27995_4771753945622_902162364_nHello once again, Readers!!! For any of you wondering, yes, that is me with my sister. And yes, I put glasses on her using Pixlr.

Don’t ask why…lol.

So…remember that award Born in Flames won…Book of the Year? Do you remember me saying that I also won a spotlight appearance on a radio show?

Yeah, that’s happening next Thursday and I am unprepared (mentally I mean).

I am really starting to freak out about this. The only reason why I haven’t flipped a lid yet is because when I start to think about it and all the many ways it could go, I stop myself and tell myself that I will worry about it later.

But later is quickly approaching!

What if I say something silly? What if my mind draws a complete blank? I worry about this because I have tried to do the video blog thing, but when I got in front of the camera, I couldn’t think of anything to say. Shoot, sometimes I’ll sit here for hours trying to figure out what to even blog about…but at least with this I have time to think and a delete button.

Not when I’m on the air!

Ugh.

So I guess I should go through the list of questions I will be asked and start preparing my answers and praying to any and all Gods that they will have some mercy on me and keep me from stuttering or drawing blanks.

You know, I’d have to do it sometime or other (if my book ever does take off), so I guess it’s preparation and practice. At least that is what I will tell myself. It’s necessary.

Any who, wish me luck…please!

Now to leave you with a question: How do you get through situations such as this?

Echelon out ♥

Did I Delete That?

6829eedefc78758768f32a0366f3930aHello once again, Readers! Long time no talk. I’ve been writing my fingers off, well, maybe not literally…you know what I mean.

Any who.

I went through my deleted scenes the other day, just for old times sake, and stumbled on quite a bit that I had forgotten about. It’s funny when you write your first draft, just how completely different it can be from your final story. Born in Flames was my first attempt at writing…like ever. And when I looked back at that very first draft, I shook my head in shame lol.

Wowza.

But I digress.

I have quite a bit of backstories for certain characters and other scenes that didn’t make the final cut at the last minute. There are some, like the one I will be sharing with you today, that I am a little sad I cut. But the good thing is I kept it. I know I’ve said before to keep everything you cut and this is exactly why. Though I will never use it for other novels, I will always have it to share with my lovely readers. So all hope is not lost.

*Potential spoiler alert for those who want to, but haven’t yet read Born in Flames.*

Long story short, there were a series of dream sequences in Born in Flames that occurred after Fenn left when he received the letter where he visited her in her dreams. She only believed it as a dream when in reality, he was really visiting her using the magic from the other realm. It didn’t make the final cuts because at the time, I didn’t think it was necessary. I wanted to take away her security blanket so she could see that she could do it on her own. My publisher was actually sad that I didn’t want to keep them. Reading back through them, I kind of wish I had lol. Any who, here is the first time she dreamed of him the night he left after she fell asleep in a heap of tears:

Images of fire raced through my mind. I was somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, a place where I could finally be in a state of ease. A place where the boulder of lies could be lifted off my chest.

The fire ceased and I slowly opened my eyes, noting there was absolutely nothing surrounding me. I was standing in a white nothingness. I mean literally, there was nothing as far as the eye could see.

“I knew I was sick and twisted,” I said out loud. How could I portray loneliness as a comfort in my dream? Maybe it was my mind’s way of training itself into thinking being lonely is comforting. A survival instinct.

“You’re not sick and twisted,” floated the beautiful, haunting voice of my despair.

Well there you have it, proof that I am sick and twisted. This must be my way of torturing myself, I thought.

I stood there for a moment trying to come up with a good reason as to why I would do this to myself. Maybe for closure? That is if I had said everything I wished I would have said before he had the chance to run from me.

“Please turn around,” his pleading voice commanded as he gently tugged at my arm. The warmth of his touch illuminated my scarred heart. The lullaby played softly on the air, mood music between me and my fictional friend. I couldn’t help but wish deep down that he would really be real. That he had really come back for me.

No. This type of thinking will only make you pay when you wake up and find yourself alone again, I thought painfully.

But I did as he asked and turned to face him, my breath catching at the sight of his handsome face. It was as if there was a halo of light beaming down upon him, lighting up every chiseled, mesmerizing feature. His eyes sparkled above his perfect smile.

“I’m sorry I left you like that, but I had no choice,” he coaxed, leaning his head down to mine where our foreheads met. He wrapped me up in his arms. I don’t know why I let him, but I do know that the hole he left felt temporarily full, even if he was imaginary. But it wasn’t quite enough to curb the nerve he struck with his admittance of having no choice.

“Really?” I asked mockingly. “You had no choice in leaving the one person who has never failed you, behind?” I yanked myself free and stood back to glare up at him. Only this death stare wasn’t meant to be cute. It was meant to show the gut wrenching pain I had been put through since he left.

He winced.

“You’re so called “mother” left you to grow up in a foster home, Fenn, never letting you know who or where she was,”  I gritted out, my voice steadily rising. “How could you just drop everything, drop me for that matter, because she came calling out of the blue?”

He reached for me, but I yanked away. I wanted the ease and comfort of this dream to come back, but the pain had poisoned its way in, preventing me from holding back.

Forcefully, he pulled me into him, pressing my heated face against his chest.

Good, maybe the angry tears swimming in my eyes will burn him, I thought.

But I allowed myself to smell his familiar scent and felt the anger temporarily subside instead. He felt and smelled so real. And I wanted nothing more than for it to be true. For him to be here with me.

My body caved in against my mind’s command, relaxing into him. There was no point in guarding myself. This was going to hurt immensely in the morning.

“You have to keep searching, Rory. I know that now.” He let his head drop, eyes scanning the floor. With his voice a few octaves softer he continued, “Don’t let my stupidity put a halt to your life. It’s not worth it.” I think I heard him catch his breath as he broke off on that last sentence.

This was easy for him to say, but not easy for me to execute.

Does he not understand what it feels like to be left behind? How could he not, he’s a foster child, I thought, vibrating with hurt and anger.

He let his goofy grin try and push away my sad thoughts, and then looked behind us suspiciously. “I can’t stay in your dream, I have to go now. Remember you’re stronger than this. I won’t be able to come back for awhile, but just know that I’m always with you as corny as that sounds.” He nudged me with his elbow then pulled me into him.

I was so confused by what he was saying.

“I miss my friend,” I whispered desperately, not wanting to let him go again.

“I miss you more,” he replied in anguish. His words sounded like an apology.

Then I felt his lips brush my forehead as I closed my eyes and let myself really feel him. When I opened them again, he was gone.

Sitting there in my white nothingness, I thought about everything he had said. The dreams I had of Zordon needed to be pursued and I had to go on alone if I was going to accomplish this. I just hated having to do it alone. I guess it was time for me to grow up though.

Maybe I’m not so sadistic after all. My subconscious was just giving me a good kick in the ass.

And scene.

There are a few more dreams that I will eventually share. But in the meantime, how about I leave you with a question?

How often do you dream and do you remember when you wake?

Echelon out ♥

Born in Flames- 2012 Turning the Pages Books “Book of the Year” Winner!

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Hello once again, Readers!!! Guess who won Book of the Year over at Turning the Pages Books!!!??? Excuse me while I do some cart-wheels and run in circles… :)

Okay, I’m back. And out of breath.

It was a close race, and I never expected to win, but the Readers have chosen! I am So. Freaking. Excited! Does this mean that I can call my novel “award-winning”?? I couldn’t wait to tell my son. He has been asking me about it for like the past five days. Every day he says, “Mother, did you win?” (Yes my six-year-old calls me mother…lol). So you can imagine when I found out last night, after his bedtime, how hard it was for me to wait until this morning. His grin this morning before school was the best part of this whole thing. I made him proud!

Okay now I’m tearing up. I digress.

And to make it even more exciting, I am going to be on a Blog Talk Internet Radio Show with Fran Lewis on March 14th to talk about Born in Flames! Woot! (I am extremely nervous about this just because I’ve never done it before…so I’m crossing my fingers it goes well). Thank you for believing in me and for supporting my debut novel! I hope that it’s only up from here!

But I digress once more.

In other, exciting news, I am still holding a BIG giveaway on my Facebook page for when I reach 500 Likes. So far, the first prize I have revealed is a $25 Amazon gift card. Cha-ching! My current tally is sitting at 388 Likes so there is plenty of time to Like and try to win! For every 50 Likes up until I reach 500, I am giving away an ecopy of my novel. Exciting stuff.

Hopefully the cover will soon be complete for Embracing the Flames and then a new round of excitement, giveaways, and promotion will begin.

Now to leave you with a question: Who put the cookies in the cookie jar?

:) Echelon out ♥

A Facebook Giveaway!

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Hello once again, Readers!!! Just a quick post today because I am busy writing, From the Embers. I will be holding a BIG giveaway on my Facebook author Page. Just click the icon on the top right and it will take you to it! I want to hit 500 Likes! And when I do, the contest will begin! The prize package will include a gift card along with Aurora-inspired items and some other fun things. It will definitely be worth the two seconds it takes to like my page and then share it with your friends!!!!

So please, go on and like it!!!!

Until next time,

Echelon out ♥

A Tale Of True Love ♥

Hello once again, Readers!!! Check out my chitlins and me. Their so cute, aren’t they? We were enjoying ice cream on a Friday afternoon recently (a treat my son gets when he has a full week with no note in his planner). He is a terror like me, muhahaha.

But I digress.

So only a couple of days left for NaNo and I’m on track. Thank goodness. This has been a trying month. And by trying I mean, a week-long bout of the flu, another art festival done, preparing for another two shows in the next two weeks, writing for NaNo, and continuing the third installment to the Born in Flames Trilogy, From the Embers. Need I go on?

Phew.

So a couple new things before I get to the fun interview. I added a new page to the blog for Embracing the Flames which will be back any day now from the editor. I also added a page titled: Aurora’s Journal. She will be sharing thoughts off and on about the trials and tribulations she goes through and what her take is on it. It’s an experiment. Lastly, I added an art page to the Fae Tis Moor page to showcase all the work Sonya and I are doing.

Baby steps people.

Now let’s see if I can keep up with it all…hahaha. I’m not happy until my plate is overflowing.

Any who…now on to the fun stuff!

I’ve been working around the clock (and by round the clock I mean when I remember), finding blogs to review Born in Flames for me. It’s a great way to market your novel and get exposure. One of the blogs who responded back offered to showcase a character interview for me. I had already planned on doing this on here, so I was really excited for the opportunity. And just because I love you so, my Little Flames, I am posting the interview before it has even hit the other blog.

It’s an interview between Fenn and Aurora. I used some of the same questions I did in the character interview with just Aurora because I wanted to give Fenn’s reactions to the major issues in Born in Flames as well.

So without further adieu:

Tell us a little about yourself.

Aurora: *shifts uncomfortably*. Umm…so talk about myself…I don’t normally talk about myself. I would say I’m just your average girl, but the truth is… *looks away and says quietly* I’m not. Fenn wants us to be normal, but lately, normal has become pretty unavoidable.

Fenn: *Fenn laughs* That’s an understatement.

Aurora: *She rolls her eyes* So anyway, I guess I’m your not so average girl. I just pray that I can keep what’s inside of me…my dragon side…under control.

Fenn: Me too. And you forgot to add that you are incredibly stubborn and cute at the same time. *Looks at Lisa* It’s really not fair.

Aurora: Well, Fenn, why don’t you share your attributes then? We’re all dying to hear how you see yourself.

Fenn: *Flashes charming grin* Drop dead gorgeous, funny, witty…you know…

Aurora: *She coughs to interrupt* Also hardheaded, fiercely protective, and annoyingly funny.

Fenn: *He puts his arm around her* What more could you ask for?

 

Aurora, how did you feel when you found out you were able to shift into a dragon?

Aurora: Well that’s a funny story. You see, I always knew I was different…I mean, if I was angry enough I could set anything on fire, but dragon!? And it all started when this Creepy guy followed me one night to the diner I work at.

Fenn: No, it started at the bus stop when you ticked off the bus driver.

Aurora: *Face reddens* Oh yeah. Well anyway, that night at the diner he foretold a prophecy about a conqueror who was of dragon born. Of course I had no idea what he was talking about, and of course Fenn decided to throw him out before I could get any answers. So it took me quite a while to piece together just exactly how I fit into all of this. But long story short, I actually feel at piece with it. *her face softens* It brings me one step closer to uniting with my parents.

Fenn: *Looks to Lisa and shakes his head* The guy screams crazy stalker. She never listens to me. It’s been like that since we were kids growing up. And as far as Aurora being a dragon…it makes sense. Hot-tempered, egotistical…*he sees her shocked face and laughs* I’m kidding, Rory. You know I think it’s awesome.

 

How did you feel when Mr. Creepy foretold the prophecy?

Aurora: *starts laughing* I’m sorry…Fenn’s right, he’s just…creepy. He doesn’t follow the norm. So when he told me…I was a bit scared. I mean his eyes were glowing bright white and his hands were pulsing with magic. It’s not a sight you see everyday…especially not in my small town. *leans in and whispers* But to be honest with you, I was exhilarated! I mean, I felt like things were beginning. Things that had been laying dormant for so long…like my dragon side. *Looks at Fenn and smirks* But I’m not the only one who learned something that night.

Fenn: Ah yes…here we go. I didn’t admit to her that I have powers of my own. And somehow, this creepy dude knew that and chose that moment to air out my dirty laundry.

Aurora: You only have yourself to blame. Honesty is the best policy.

Fenn: *Looks at Lisa uncomfortably* She’s so cute…isn’t she?

 

Speaking of honesty…what are your true feelings for him, Aurora?

Fenn: *Turns to Aurora and smiles* Yes, Aurora. What are your feelings for me?

Aurora: *blushes* Heh…just had to ask that, didn’t you? *pinches the bridge of her nose* You see, he’s my very best friend. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. And after I thought that I had lost him, well *looks away, voice breaking* well, I won’t make the same mistakes again. *Looks up at him* He knows I love him…wholeheartedly. I would do anything for him, Fates be damned. I just hope he can learn to open up more and trust me. He has this problem with over protection. It’s not his fault really, he was deemed my protector, but still…it can’t work if he can’t trust me.

Fenn: I have this overwhelming need to protect her. *looks at Aurora* It’s not that I don’t trust you; I just try to protect you. *Looks back at Lisa* I was glad to hear that night at the diner that I am her protector. It makes sense now. We are drawn to each other and there isn’t anything we can do to change it. Not that I’d want to. She’s everything I want and more. *Aurora leans in and kisses his cheek*

 

Is your shift uncomfortable, Aurora?

Aurora: *she smiles brightly* The first time I shifted it was, but the fifth Fate ensured that it would be the only time I felt pain. He said I was reborn. And I don’t shift into a dragon like how you may be thinking. I still have a “human shape”. Weird right? It all starts with tiny wisps of smoke that swirl out of my nose. At first it was an annoying quirk, but now I barely pay attention to it. Then my eyes shift to a blood-red color (which freaks Fenn out).

Fenn: Only the first time because I wasn’t expecting it!

Aurora: Ruby red scales that reflect like mirrors race along my skin, covering me from head to toe. *she laughs* You totally need sunglasses around me ’cause I’ll blind you. *leans forward and points to her tailbone* My tail comes from here. But my wings are the best part of shifting. They emerge from the top of my back and stretch out to around 7ft a piece. I know because Fenn insisted on measuring. *shakes her head* But anyway, the Fate told me I was a hybrid; his greatest creation.

Fenn: You are.

 

One last question…Fenn, how do you feel about the connection between Zordon and Aurora?

Fenn: *His jaw clenches* It pisses me off. He is evil and set out for revenge. He’ll kill anyone who tries to get in his way. I can’t say I’m thrilled about him being the one she is tied to by The Fates. If there is something I can do to change that, I will find it and make it happen!

Aurora: It’s not a romantic connection. We share something in common…something that I fear will be the deciding factor in who wins the inevitable war to come between us.

Fenn: He doesn’t stand a chance. We will find a way to defeat him. I won’t let him hurt you or our people.

 

And that is all folks. I know…big post today. If you’re still here reading, I applaud and appreciate you!

Here’s a bit of humor for hanging in there:

Until next time, Echelon out ♥