Sunday, September 30, 2007

Seven Days to Launch

One week from today PRIVY TO MURDER is launched. Right now you can go to and pre-order. Next Sunday, October 7, will be the October Release Party at the Eternalpressreaders group on Yahoo groups. Join us for Prizes and fun, even virtual Daquiris.
Shameless promition: BUY BOOKS

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Morning Musings

This morning I went out to get the paper early enough for the moon to still be up and the sun tinted clouds glowed coral. The temperature actually promised Autumn for a change so I sat outside to read the paper and drink coffee, even though the wind made me put on a sweater. I love fall.

Last night I looked at a journal I had started ten years ago and then abandoned for one of the big blue ones I prefer. The big blue is almost full and won't last the rest of 2007, so I will go back to the wooden one, fill it up and then order another blue. I think I was a little happier in some ways, but Karl was still around and Lori healthier.

I finished Fairy Dust, have it sent to a couple of people in case someone has critique time and then on to Eternal. I'm happy with it. Now I have to quickly fulfill that HCPro contract I thought disappeared and then work on Museums are Murder.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Is your book plot driven (many mysteries and thrillers are plot driven) or character driven (Literary books often pride themselves on being character driven.) For me the best books are character and plot driven, especially since I like mystery and paranormal but want the main character to be three dimensional and change as the story/series continues. In some books, the characters never grow or change (i.e. James Bond, Dirk Pitt just to name a couple) and their fans don't want them to.

You flesh out your character with a character study so you know how that person would act in a given situation, which also helps drive the plot. (eg. that good catholic girl better have a more compelling reason than convenience in order to be talked into an abortion. Otherwise, why would she risk excommunication and go against her life teachings?)

Plotting is another thing. Many people plot as they go, seat of the pants. For "Privy to Murder" I had a chapter outline and pretty much knew where I was going, a good thing when you write a mystery. I have to know who gets killed, why and who. The map is great. However, when I wrote "Fairy Dust" it was seat of the pants. However, FD was only 10,000-12,000 words, easier to keep track of. I like both ways. I have a sketchy outline for "Museums are Murder" and for "Bloody Murder." I will feel a little better if I fill in more for Bloody but some is going to be spontaneous stuff, which can work for paranormal as it frees up the imagination.

How do I plot? I use the divide the book into sections, at the end of the 1st chapter, the first plot point(in my case, with a mystery-murder) for paranormal a murder or other strange crime. Mid way into the book comes the second plot point, a surprise that reverses things (The primary suspect is in jail when the murder takes place, or is killed or . . .) The next plot point, Crisis, things couldn't get any worse, then they do. Then you have the wrap up. I like to use a white erase board with a sticky note for each chapter so I know where I want to be by the end of the chapter, even though I don't know how I'll get the character there. (More on this next time.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Weather Etc.

We are doing that humid fog Autumn thing that seems to happen in Oklahoma between hot weather and cold weather. We don't have that cool, crisp thing going on yet. I love when it gets cooler. Sunday night was a little better and I actually built a fire in the chiminea. Loved the smell of the burning pinon wood.

Beginning the ending and editing stage of FD, wondering if my fight scenes live up to what they should. We'll see what the reaction is. Then "Museums are Murder" is next on the list, poor Tali, more murder and Mumsies spirit guides to complicate her life.

Do 't forget that "Privy to Murder" is ready for pre-order at . Also, run over to my website, and join so you can be in the contest for a free copy. The contest will only be open to members and will start the first week in October. More on that later.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


FAIRY DUST is almost done. Good thing since I already have a cover. It's kind of fun to have a cover for a short story. The story is coming together however, no one has seen it yet except for one small excerpt. Also, someone who does love scenes has to look at that part and see if it works. Then the fight and battle with Ghouls and Darklings. I haven't written that many fight scenes either. We learn as we go.

I've had people ask me where I get ideas, I think every writer has been asked that. My problem has been more ideas than I have time for. Some things just evolve. I had fallen in love with the story of Boudicca, the warrior queen, but I'm not really an historical writer. So Boudicca became Ande, the fairy with an attitude. I wanted to write paranormal, but not vampire since other people have done that so well lately, hence the unlikely fairy. For paranormal things, taking old legends and fairy tales and twisting them works well. For mysteries, the newspaper works. There are always bizarre crimes and murders, strange motives to build a mystery around. Truth is stranger . . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just a note

Just wanted to show everyone the cover for my short, Fairy Dust. All about Boudicca Andraste Ryan (Ande), Cal, the werewolf, Sierya, the Elf, Ajax the pixie and how they band together to save the earth, in spite of Ande's abundance of fairy dust which causes levitation at inopportune times.

Harvest Moon and other news

Guess what, it's the Harvest Moon, Hunter's Moon, Mabon, The Chinese Autumn Festival. Essentially the time when the full moon is the largest, brightest, time of the second harvest and the beginning of a cooler time, leaves falling, frost, the smell of burning leaves. A time to celebrate plenty.

I have plenty to celebrate:
PRIVY TO MURDER is available for pre-order at
The cover for FAIRY DUST will be up soon at the same site.

On the way to work today I saw really dark clouds. But across the sky was a full rainbow with a break in the clouds at the bottom. Do you believe in signs? I do. I think it's a sign of good things to come, professionally(writing) and personally (Lori's health.) The signs are good.

Monday, September 24, 2007


It starts tonight, the new season of Heroes. Love it. Here's where the problem comes in with me, TV and writing. I like paranormal shows. It's distracting. Of course I could just say it was research, since I write paranormal, now couldn't I? It works for me. Don't know that I'm disciplined enough to save the entire season for viewing later.

Fairy dust is so much fun. Hope it turns out well enough for everyone else to like it and you never know if what you likes works for anyone else. We'll see. But, it's the journey, the writing that counts.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


It's funny how we stay the same age in hour heads no matter how old we get. I was remembering snippets of the past, the picnic bench that was almost as high as my shoulders, snow piles on the side of a country road, higher than my head, sneaking into the drive-in theatre in Dallas and cutting my foot through my sandals, mother putting her make-up on at the kitchen table, hair in curlers, a quiet strength and sense of self. I couldn't possibly be older now than she was then, but I am. Little things pop into the head, your baby's face when he was six weeks old, you touched him all over to remember this moment that wouldn't last.

Part of what writing is for is to put down those moments, in fiction or nonfiction. We use all the memories to create what we have on paper. The details are what make fiction sing and draw the reader into the story.

Writing sang today. It may not be a masterpiece, but it seemed to flow together, jell into a viable, living form. Love those days.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


As you can see from the meter, FAIRY DUST is inching along. I should have the first draft done by the end of the weeks, Gods and Godesses willing. Add in the cooperation of fairies. They can be contrary. This last few pages have been like pulling teeth, since I did the seat-of-the-pants thing, something I'd never try with a long one, especially with a mystery where I have to know who-dun-it from the beginning.

But I'm having fun with it and so hope everyone else does too. I have to keep the pace going and at the same time learn more about Ande.

The rest of the day was Saturday stuff, laundry, lawn, mending, sending out more postcards and etc. BTW, if you read this blog and want a Privy bookmark and postcard, leave a post on the blog and I'll e-mail you privately for your snail address.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yay, Snoopy Dance

I learned to change the layout on Myspace. How about that? No. I don't want to hear about how every child from ten up can change their own layout, create their own space and etc. etc. I couldn't figure it out forever. Now I can so I may change it every day until I find one I can't live without. So there. I tried a fairy, then a short lived vampire, now it's simply Halloween. I will find the perfect one yet. Still a work in progress.

Writing, working fast as I can on FD. That's the project of the moment. Trying to forge ahead and get a first draft and then pretty everything up. First the story, then the spice.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Yasmine was talking about autumn in Seattle. It's a little different in Texas and Oklahoma, still hot here. But in the fall, I remember picking up pecans, smelling burning leaves, looking forward to Halloween, always a favorite of mine, spinning right into the Thanksgiving and Christmas madness. I love the cooler weather, firing up the chimenea with pinon wood, baking more, cooking chili, and stew and other one dish things I can pop in the oven. And if the timing is right for the first snow, baking bread while the snow is coming down.

Movies like the HALLOWEEN TREE, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, DEAD POET SOCIETY, PRACTICAL MAGIC. Kids going back to school, homecomings, all the fun stuff I did will my own kids when they were in school and see happening with kids now. Football, oh yes, it has started, want it or not, love it or hate it.

I do love Autumn, my favorite season.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Moving Forward

In "Fairy Dust" Ande is moving along with her adventure. She's had a close encounter with a smart alec Pixie(aren't they all), a ghoul (predictably nasty) a deamon named Sheheem is on the horizon. Then there's the sexy were, but does he have an agenda here? She's getting in deep.

Tali is waiting to move forward and meet Aiden, and giving me a fit about it. Characters can get really pushy. Anyone else out there have a problem with characters wanting you to do something or else, right now? Ande couldn't wait for me to get her story started and now look at the trouble she's in.

If characters from more than one book want your attention at the same time do you write them all, outline them, write a character study, take notes? Share.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


OJ is back in the news, my daughter is coming home, life is threatening to get in the way of my writing again. Not fair. What if I had the chance to write without responsibilities pushing into the time I want to use for writing? Oh, wait. I tried that once. Know what, I got much less done because I procrastinated, thinking I had all the time in the world. Now, I have to plan ahead, write anywhere, take whatever I need to use with me so I have it, even during a trip to the ER. Plan to turn something on the TV I can ignore or better yet, when there's a choice, write where no TV exists. What a thought, no TV.
Life is an excuse sometimes, but often we can be productive in spite of the extraneous things demanding our attention at all times. It takes effort. It may take getting up early, staying up late or writing at odd times in strange places. It boils down to how badly you want to write or do anything else. If you really want it, you will find a way.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fairry Dust Excerpt

Now for something new. Here's an excerpt from my newest WIP, "Fairy Dust."
My disclaimer: not edited yet and: "All rights reserved. May not be copied, reproduced or distributed under any circumstances."

Fairy Dust by Carol Shenold
I hovered 3 feet from the ceiling in the Herb and Fairy Gardens Shop, praying no customers came in while I calmed down my fairy dust emissions and my temper.
“Bouddicca Andraste Ryan, get your fairy ass off the ceiling and come help me. I’m dying here.”
Seren, a six-foot elf with white hair, and half owner of the shop, yelled at me.
I went up higher. She had no patience with my iffy hold on my magic, especially since we had an order from a coven for 16 flower wreaths, probably for a moon dance. They were due to pick up the wreaths by four and it was already after two. It’s not my fault that I’m only half Fae and not in total control of my magic.
I grabbed onto my waist length hair with one hand, avoiding the ceiling fan.
“You hold your skinny little horses there. I’m doing the best I can. What did you expect? Tell me a team of deamons from the Under is on it’s way to snatch the Titania goblet TitaniaGoblet from me and expect me to hold my temper? Not going to happen. It’s the only thing my father left me, my only tie to the Fae World.”
Seren’s laugh, a short bark, held no humor. “He didn’t leave it to you, he just left it because he was in a hurry to avoid responsibility.”
I plummeted to the ground. “Ow. You don’t have to get nasty about it or diss my father.”
She turned on her heel, talking over her shoulder. “It was the only way I knew to get you down before you were caught and we have work to do.”
Elves can be so pissy. I stomped after her, making certain the front door wards were in place as I passed by. They would let people in but any magical creatures would have to leave their powers behind.
Rampaging deamons were the last thing I needed. I had an assignment this afternoon with the Paranormal Investigative Unit (PIU), to pick up an errant Pixie and a date that night, my first in forever.
“Come on Fairy, get the lead out. We have wreaths to make.”
“Just bite me, Elf!” I retorted.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Computer Woes

I lost the hard drive on my computer. Thank God I'd been writing mostly on my laptop lately and had everything saved on that and my thumb drive, at least the most important stuff. I now have a different e-mail and browser, new virus and spyware protection, since that seemed to be part of the problem. My grandson had done some down loading, Cox Security wasn't working right, got lots of spy ware, froze the computer, hard re-booting corrupted some files, you don't want all the sordid details. You've got the picture. Now have more ram, new hard drive, more efficiency etc.

I hate being so computer dependent, but how can you not when edits are done online or electronically, PR involves multiple web sites. I'm too old to be a techie, you know. I should know the relative good and bad qualities of Firefox as opposed to Outlook! Mozilla sounds uncomfortably close to Godzilla.

Now that these woes have been resolved, maybe I can get back to actual writing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tabitha Shay Blogs

Hi Readers,

To blog or not to blog has always been a big question for me and I simply couldn’t work up the mind to do it on my own. Then I receive this wonderful invitation from author, Carol Shenold, to be her blogging guest this month. Of course, instantly, I’m in blogging mode.

Tabitha Shay here with the news that Witch’s Brew, my debut novel, is now available in E-format from Eternal Press Publishers, their address is

Big doins at Eternal Press this month, their grand launch was Sept. 7th; it was also the launch day for my novel.

I got the idea for WB one day while driving down the highway, on my way to pick my son up from work. Music blaring, one of my favorite CDs, in place, I was listening to Witchy Woman by the Eagles. I thought, Hmm, I could write a novel about a witch. But my witch couldn’t be your typical, everyday, Samantha witch. She has to be different. Soo, how ‘bout making her a witch who doesn’t know she’s a witch and see what happens when her powers start to return.

I can tell you, a lot happens to this bumbling witch who can’t control her magic and can’t stay out of trouble. Not only is it mating season for witches in the little town of Sanctuary where Saylym moves to, but she attracts the attention of the Guild and they send an assassin to get rid of her. Witch assassins aren’t typical assassins either. In order to terminate a witch, they steal her soul.

Well, soon after that idea, I decided to give this witch, Saylym Winslow two sisters. When I did that, all I can say is these sisters demanded their own story. They wouldn’t leave me alone. Nag, nag,

nag. Finally, I said, “Okay! Leave me alone and let me finish Saylym’s story then I’ll write yours.”

Although Kirrah and Nyra aren’t too happy being placed on the back burner, they agreed to wait while I finished Saylym’s story and write a couple of others in between until I can work my way back to them.

Speaking of others, Book Two of the Winslow Witches of Salem, “Witch’s Heart” is scheduled for release Feb 2nd in 2008. I’m hard at work trying to complete this second novel for my editor. I can promise you lots of heat and a few surprises in this second novel. Then after these two, it’s a change of pace for me. I’ll be completing my contemporary western romance, “In the Arms of Danger” released under my other pen name, Jaydyn Chelcee. I can promise you, this hero is smokin’.

That’s the up to date news for me, hope you enjoy reading Witch’s Brew and that you’ll look forward to the second novel, Witch’s Heart.

Happy reading,
Tabitha Shay

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Come on Down

First-a first. I'm having a guest blogger tomorrow. Her name is Tabitha Shay, she writes wonderful stories about Witches. Her first book, "Witch's Brew" is out and she's as excited to share news about it and talk about writing as I am. You can order her book at

I'm busily working on to shorts which will come out with Eternal Press by the end of fall and the Privy sequel. This morning on the way to work I watch the sun set the tips of the grass on fire and make building glow. I get really distracted sometimes by all the beauty around us all the time, even in the little things. Other times, by brain is so occupied that I forget to look, and then I miss the good things. I have to keep in the present, consciously. Living in the now is a good thing, at least when you are driving, huh?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Old vs. New

Tower Records closed. They blamed it on the growing electronic sales and music downloads. But the owner has opened a new music store, I think called R5. He loves the physical act of touching records, CD's, videos and has a lot of customers who do also, and who love the history behind the physical things.
It's the same way with books. I love e-publishing, the speed at which it moves, the ease of downloading books from home, even ordering online. You save trees, get published faster. Even have a close knit group of authors (as in Eternal Press.) But, I love to go into a bookstore, hold the books, feel them, smell them. Always have loved anywhere with bunches of books like libraries.
Thing is, there's room for both. We have readers who love e-books and those who want to hold it in their hands. We love them all. Personally, I do both.
E-book reader=$100
Five books down-loaded $25.00
Five books in my purse that only weigh ounces and are available everywhere I go, Priceless.
But also priceless are the books from the turn of the century, fragile books from1600, the small and feel of ancient societies from their books.
OK, I want it all, the new and the old.
All you readers out there, be open to both.
Writers, if you aren't aware of , and taking advantage of, the e-market out there, you are missing out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Messed Up

I've discovered something. I'm messier when I'm depressed, neater when all is well with the world. I don't know it that carries over into my writing since it's a recent discovery. I also feel better when things are straightened up. So, maybe a cure for depression, for me, would entail getting my butt up and doing something about it. If I make things neater, I might feel better, the energy around me will be better, negative things will be swept out, thrown out.
However, the theory works well for everywhere but my office where I'm such a pack rat that it may never be straight in there.
I hang onto old art supplies that I haven't used for months, years, but if I get rid of them, I will need them. I have old manuscripts, as If I'll use the paper copies for anything. I have to do fall cleaning in there. When I write, the words get cluttered so I cut words and clean things up, make it tighter.
Now, if I could carry that over into real life.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I'm seeing a lot of frustrated writers out there, especially some who publish in e format and are having a hard time selling. As writers, I think we are obliged to publish in more than one format, e-book, print, Brick and Mortar shops, everything we can in order to get our work out there, and do the promo work every way we can.
It can be frustrating, people don't know what e-books are. Or we can't get published with the publishers who sell to the brick and mortar shops, or as a new writers, no one picks up our books in the B&N store because they have no clue who we are. It takes forever.

I started late in this business. To make a living, I should have started submitting at twenty and gotten established by the time I was 30 or 40 so I could be making a living writing. Life and work got in the way. But I've made it this far, I now have fiction published and will make it the rest of the way. Will I be a Nora Roberts or Stephen King and make a fortune, maybe not. But, as long as I slowly reach my goals, I'm happy. I never thought I'd be writing fiction under contract. Next spring I'll even have a book to hold in my hand(Just shoot me--that's important to me too.) I have a middle grade book with a traditional publisher and hope she takes it. I'm writing and happy about it.

Working with Eternal Press (shameless plug) has made me realize how important helping each other, working as a team can be and this publishing house, unlike some I've see, values their authors and keeps them informed, make them part of the process. It's a great experience.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Grand Opening






Thursday, September 6, 2007

First Drafts

Well I've written an appropriately shitty first draft of my first chapter of "Bloody Murder." I didn't want to go back and edit before I had the first draft done but I realised I put nothing in the first chapter that sets up the setting, who the characters are (it's a series after all) and Tali's voice doesn't come through at all. I'm not talking paragraphs, just something indicating that Tali has two kids, an ex, a paranormal gift and a mother who talks to spirit guides, you know, the basics. Back to the drawing board. I can carry on if I have a first chapter I like. It doesn't have to be perfect, just reasonable.

Tomorrow is the big day for the Eternal Press Launch at the Eternal Press Readers Group at Yahoo Groups. Everyone come join us all day. I'll be there at 2p and 5p.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I actually fit in writing time yesterday, just a little. Didn't finish chapter one but almost there with the very rough first draft. Needs some beefing up as per character development. Also working on getting judges for OWFI, other OWFI stuff, visited Lori, book publicity. Then there's the day job.

On another subject, people can plead guilty, resign from their hight profile job and then turn around and claim a do-over? Oh, BTW, I changed my mind. I lied when I said I was guilty, so I want to change that and also take back my resignation. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't really mean it. This is one of our leaders? If he doesn't know what he's doing, get him out of office quick. OK, enough politics.

Back to books, don't for get the opening day party for ETERNAL PRESS on Friday. Join the group and win those prizes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I finally finished final edits for Privy and now, this week, hope to finish chapter 1 of "Bloody Murder." And if this sentence were in my book, I'd have to take out final or finally. See how easy it is to repeat words when you're not even thinking about it. On the final edits for Privy, even after numerous edits by multiple people, I found repeated words I'd missed before. I so hope I become a better writer, self editor after all this.
I'm excited to start the new book and really need to finish my chapter outline. I do much better with a road map. I'm not a strict seat-of-my-pants writer. I have to have an idea where I'm going, what I want to have happened by the end of a chapter. That doesn't mean it can't change, but I want some idea so I don't sag in the middle, or at least the book doesn't. A sentence a chapter works, sometimes two. I don't need a 20 page synopsis.
Now publicity for Privy. I have the contest going, post cards ready to mail, a site at Author Island complete with contest, a cool MySpace site (thanks to fellow author Ginger) and this blog. But will all of this translate into sales? We'll see.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Labor Day, sitting by a lake somewhere. We had a family party yesterday, Hawaii theme, good food and conversation and little kids running rampant. Too fun. For news, I HAVE A MY SPACE. Come join me, I need friends. Also, don't forget I have a contest going on. Read the Privy to Murder excerpt on my website, sign my guest book and leave a comment or leave comment on my blog and tell me what Tali found. The Prize is a stuffed skunk and a copy of "Ghost Towns of Texas." Have a great holiday.

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