Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm Still Here

Busy, busy, busy. Writing and stuff.

Happy reading.

~ Jamie

Friday, June 20, 2014


Faeries are pure and valiant—and unafraid. A sacred sisterhood of chosen women, the Fae represent the hearts of Aisling; when they celebrate, nature shares their strength; when they battle ills of the unwell, good fortune finds them; when they carry light into the darkness, malevolence leaves in peace. Rhiannon is no longer a faerie, and peace in Aisling is fast becoming a distant memory. 

When villagers seeking justice try to kill Rhiannon and her friends, an old acquaintance returns and exposes an ancient secret. Everyone, including the Elders and the Fae, are in danger. No one can be trusted anymore. Enemies from the past return and the battle everyone has feared explodes in a torrent under darkened skies.

Barnes & Noble should arrive any day. I'll add the link once it is available.

Book three is here and here's a fair warning: There is a lot of action, adventure, and violence in this one. Rhiannon is no longer the meek young woman you first read about in ON FALLEN WINGS. 

Happy Reading.

~ Jamie

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Character Changes

When I first imagined the Stone Portals concept in 2009, I was writing a book that later became FROM RISING FLAMES. One of the characters, Rhiannon, was so captivating that I decided to make her the focus point of a series. At that point, Rhiannon was a broken person. She was hurt. She was vulnerable. There was greatness in her, but she had not discovered it yet because sadness had consumed her. I wrote ON FALLEN WINGS to begin her tale.

Now I’ve reached the point in the series where this character is starting to discover her potential. Rhiannon is healing from the past and, because of the tragedies she has endured, is stronger than she thought possible. I’m happy to say that she’s freakin’ awesome.

I never wanted to write a tragedy. I don’t like sad stories. But I needed a strong female character to lead the stories. In order to make her great, I had to break her and take away everything that was important. Despite the fact that I’m writing fantasy, I’m a hard believer that people don’t just run out and do fantastic things because they want to. In Rhiannon’s case, she never had a reason to become great. She had a perfect life and lived in the perfect little village. If I had presented her character with the challenges she’ll meet in UNDER DARKENED SKIES way back when she was a happily engaged faerie, she would have crumbled under the pressure and possibly died.

In many fantasy stories, characters start out strong because of back-story; so many of them come from single parent families or no families. I didn’t want an orphan as a main character. I didn’t want to write about a young teenage girl who raised herself because she lived with a parent who was never home. Rhiannon needed a strong family background but also needed a giant push to get her out the door, so to speak.

In a few weeks, I’ll release UNDER DARKENED SKIES. I’m super excited for this book because I get to introduce a strong, resilient female character that’s capable of saving the world.  If you’ve read ON FALLEN WINGS and FROM RISING FLAMES, then you will understand how Rhiannon’s transformation has happened. If you haven’t read those books, that’s okay. I’ve tried to write each book so they could be standalone novels. If you know nothing about Rhiannon, the Crimson Faerie, try reading UNDER DARKENED SKIES first. Then, if you enjoy the story (you will!), go back and read the other two. You’ll see what I mean.

Writing is a passion for me. I love telling stories and I enjoy sharing the places and people inside my head. It’s satisfying to have a medium to share and I’m rewarded by great readers.

Happy reading.

~ Jamie

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Free

My participation in ABNA has sadly ended. While DEAD AND BELOVED didn't make it to the quarter finals, the book's excerpt received wonderful reviews. Everyone loves the book, even people who aren't into zombies have given it praise. I've said it often and I'll repeat it now: I'm not really into zombies, either. This book was sort of a quirky way for me to explore a fictional high school relationship akin to Romeo and Juliet.

Diving into Ryan's character has been enjoyable. To me, he's the ultimate survivor. Everything goes wrong for this kid, but he keeps trying to do what he feels is right.

I self published DEAD AND BELOVED and have decided to offer it for free for a while. If you own an e-reader, you can get the book everywhere right now . . . for FREE. So check it out. It's not gory or gross or anything like that. The story is about love and survival, and high school.




Dead and Beloved

Happy reading.

~ Jamie

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ABNA: My Pitch

So I entered my latest book in a contest hosted by called the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. There are many reasons for entering, though the biggest is a search for validation. I think I write well; those who read my books say I write well; agents and editors say I write well; however, there's still this lingering doubt about my abilities. Entering the contest and, hopefully, tasting some success is my intended therapy for doubt.

The first round of the contest involved sending in a book pitch. I'll admit, this is my biggest weakness when it comes to writing. I cannot pitch or sell anything. I have worked, reworked, revised, and purchased help with queries and never truly found success with any of my methods. Ironically, the requests for full manuscripts have come from contests, not from querying. So . . . I wrote a pitch for this contest and entered. Here's what I wrote:

Ryan Moon is infected and dying. The virus that killed his family and his best friend now threatens to turn millions of people into flesh craving zombies. Too late for Ryan, though. Part of a government program to find a cure, he lives a captive existence between a hospital and high school. It bites. How’s a guy supposed to focus in class with this kind of life? But he tries. Because all Ryan has to live for is a chance to survive and graduate, and the affections of a mysterious girl he met online. Jessica Snow. She’s Ryan’s only friend these days. Pure and perfect, Jessica brings out the best in Ryan—though she’s exposing emotions that are making his condition worse.

And he’s getting worse. Every day brings Ryan closer to becoming a monster, closer to the end. Desperate to live, and for love, Ryan promises to take Jessica to prom. A promise made impossible after a violent attack at his school forces Ryan into a secret clinic run by Jessica’s father. There, Dr. Snow, who has a daring plan to use Ryan’s blood as a possible vaccine, tortures Ryan for the sake of science. But the drug won’t work on everyone, and if Ryan doesn’t act, he could start the apocalypse.

He is desperate to escape, to save the world and to be with Jessica. Ryan will take her to prom, if her father doesn’t kill him first. 

That's my pitch for Dead and Beloved. And guess what? It worked. The book made it to round two of the contest. I don't know what will happen from here, but it doesn't really matter. I have a bit of validation and a realization that I'm getting better. 

Happy reading. 

~ Jamie

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cheering for the Underdog

To celebrate the Superbowl, I'm re-posting a message I listed in 2012. Go team.

I hate predictable endings—can’t stand them. If I’m watching a movie or reading a book that feels predictable, I’m likely to find an excuse to not to finish. The book might be great; the movie might be an award winner. I don’t care. If it’s predictable, I don’t like it. That also applies to heroes. If the hero was already great, and success was expected, I’m not enthralled. It doesn’t mean I don’t like them, it just means I’ll be less impressed when they win.

On the other hand, I’m a sucker for underdogs. Show me an unheralded protagonist with everything against them and I’m likely to be interested. Give me a hero who was never meant to be and I’ll cheer for them every day. There’s a part of me that’s drawn to underdogs. I can’t get enough.
This is one reason why I love watching the Olympics. Anything can happen; anyone can be a winner; heroes rise from obscurity. There are champions and titans, winners and heroes. I’ll be cheering for every event, but chances are I’ll cheer loudest for the underdogs.

~ Jamie

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Fantastic Taste of Reality

I’ve been reading the Count of Monte Cristo as of late. I can’t get enough of the story. I love the book, the audio book, and the movie (though it doesn’t follow the book too much.) I love the descriptions Dumas uses and the flowering language that, despite its translation into English, displays the dominant French method of exaggeration. I marvel at the language and smile at places and words representing my beloved France.

This morning, having been thoroughly inspired by thoughts and recollections of last night’s reading, I portrayed a bit of comedy, rousing my coworkers with an old French accent and expressions of that language I don’t use but on rare occasions. I was entertaining myself for the most part, for I detest working on Sundays and when the occasion finds me in this m├ętier, I find every opportunity to make the day feel different.

That said, a coworker later approached me and asked if I would take a call from a dear woman speaking French. I eagerly snatched up the telephone and requested the call. Oh, my folly. No sooner had I spoke, when I found myself conversing with a dear woman who, from her accent, demonstrated the thick tone from a southerner. Meaning, someone from the south of France. I stumbled remarkably in my efforts, proving to this woman and myself that I was not fluent in the slightest degree that I had expected. I apologized to her, for my mind was willing to recall the words in French, but my tongue could not adequately produce the phrases required for smooth communication. Still, we managed the call and I resolved her issue.

Upon ending the call, I was pleased to discover that she was indeed from near Marseilles, the very place where Edmond Dantes began his story in the Count of Monte Cristo. I grinned upon learning this. Yes, I have lost my once exceptional skill in that fantastic language; however, I had an experience that brightened my day. A fantastic taste of the place about where I currently inquire within the pages of a book. And that is a wonderful thing. 

Happy reading.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dead and Beloved

Despite my online disappearance for the longest while, I've been here, working hard. The end of the year is the time when I'm usually brainstorming and plotting new book ideas for the coming year. I've got some great ideas, I tell you. I've also been editing one of my latest creations, preparing it for the world.

I don't have a release date yet, but as soon as I do, I'll announce the details. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek.

Ryan Moon was supposed to star on the high school basketball team, but deadly science stole his family and friends while infecting his future. Now he’s a carrier of a dangerous virus that could trigger the apocalypse. Forced into a captive existence between a hospital and high school, Ryan is trying to graduate and pursue a normal life. That life includes Jessica Snow, a mysterious girl he met online, and a promise to take her to prom.

Saving the world won’t be easy. Ryan is craving flesh, turning more and more into the monster that everyone fears, but he hasn’t forgotten his promise to Jessica. He’ll stop the apocalypse and take her to prom . . . if her father doesn’t kill him first.

Happy reading.
~ Jamie