Weekly Question: Favorite Scene

Unless I have a topic that I really want to talk about, or have an announcement to make, my weekly posts (typically on Friday) will be geared toward questions I receive here and on my other social media platforms.

The week’s question: Describe your favorite scene in your book (Blue Ruin) and tell us why it’s your favorite.  

I can’t tell you my absolute favorite scene, because it will ruin the ending of the book. But I’ll tell you my second favorite scene, told from the POV of the antagonist’s estranged younger brother, Claus.

Claus Wilhelm, Adrian’s youngest brother, left the family hundreds of years ago to live with their father in the mountains, while their mother sought to claim Abysm (the world of black magical beings) as her own. Throughout the years, Claus has remained aware of the events that followed his mother’s demise, and found refuge in London after his father’s passing. For years, Adrian looked to rekindle the relationship between his brother, if only to gain his help in obtaining the power his mother had failed to claim. Adrian’s requests go ignored, until he freezes Claus’ bank accounts, sends Vampires to chase him from his home, and leaves him no other option but to return home.

Claus is apprehensive about seeing his brothers again, and looks for every opportunity to leave while there. Except, Adrian has countered every reason for Claus to go, with every reason to stay. Evrene, a long-ago love affair, is there waiting for Claus. Julian, the middle brother, has yet to return home from a night out with Maura Leroux — Adrian’s target. Claus battles the temptation Evrene exudes and tries not to mind the idea that his brother is missing. Bribed by Adrian, Claus agrees to find Julian, as long as Adrian allowed him to leave after.

I enjoyed writing this scene because it showed the backstage dynamics that pulled the plot along. Writing from Claus’ POV allowed me to explore the mind of someone who was associated to the situation (Adrian hunting Maura) by blood. While he was disconnected from the events, he was still affected by them and had to make a decision — whether to help his brother, or side with Maura. To write a character who was torn between blood and the right thing to do, was interesting. Adding a sexual tease, like Evrene, into the mix, only deepened the dynamics between the two brothers.

Now, it’s your turn to share your favorite scene!

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Blue Ruin is Book One in The Phoenix Series. Blue Ruin is a New Adult, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural, Gothic novel. It is now available for purchase in the Kindle Store. 

“A hunter and the hunted, Maura Leroux is one of the last of her kind with a dark past that has haunted her. With black magical beings having been hunted for centuries, she’s come to learn a thing or two about survival. But Adrian Wilhelm, a notorious Vampire, threatens to destroy Maura’s newfound life as a detective in the magical world of Mystics. Adrian intends to use Maura as a means of resurrecting the fallen world of black magical beings, Abysm. Maura has made it her mission to stop Adrian while covering her tracks from those that have been seeking her out for centuries.”

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It’s Been Awhile…

It’s no surprise that life gets in the way at the most inconvenient of times…like when you’re trying to publish, market, and sell your book. In some ways, it’s my fault for choosing to publish a book while I was a full-time student and a full-time registered nurse.

What was I thinking?

As a result, my blog and social media took a heavy hit. By the time I looked up from my textbooks, it was already time to start my week all over again. With school coming to a close — graduation is a mere seven weeks away — I finally have time to sit with my writing.

So, this blog post serves as an update to what has been going on with my novel, Blue Ruin, since I’ve been gone. Let’s start at the beginning…

I published Blue Ruin in February of this year. Several weeks after its release, I scheduled a free e-book promotion through Amazon, which yielded amazing results. My novel skyrocketed from #three-thousand-something in its category (Dark Fantasy), to #58 at its highest. This could not have been accomplished without the support of my fellow authors, writers, beta-readers, readers, and followers.

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Two weeks ago, I received my first official review of Blue Ruin on Amazon. Of course, Amazon hadn’t notified me that a review had been left, and I simply stumbled into the wonderful surprise. Through the mayhem of school and work, I’d lost my motivation and energy to continue editing the second book of the series, New Dawn. After reading the lovely review left by an anonymous reader, I felt inspired to work on the novel again. Whoever you are, thank you for igniting that flame again. You’re awesome!

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Between research papers, treating children with stomach viruses, and completing my clinical hours for my Bachelor Degree, I found myself signing up for a convention that popped up on my Goodreads message board. Brain to Books Cyber Convention is an online convention for “authors from around the world, who have compiled their sources, skills, and imagination to build the world’s largest online expo for their readers”. The online event runs from April 8th to April 10th, featuring “hundreds of authors on Goodreads and Facebook, who will present book readings, interviews, and blog tours”.

Brain to Books Cyber Convention 2016 — this link will provide you easy access to all of the “booths” authors have established for your viewing. An important note: you must have a Goodreads account to access each booth, as well as join the group.

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As a way to celebrate this awesome convention, I’ve scheduled another free e-book promotion of Blue Ruin that will run throughout the entire three-day online convention. I found an amazing individual on Goodreads, who was kind enough to create a poster for me. The day of the convention, I’ll post it to my blog. In addition to the free promotion, I have scheduled an interview with another blogger, Belinda Crawford, who came up with the idea of interviewing authors who wrote about anti-heroines. My interview will take place on April 7th (a day before the convention) at 6am AEST (4pm EST). The link to the interview is not live yet, and I will be sure to send out a blog the day of so all of you can check it out!

Now that I will be able to blog weekly again, you’ll see me around more every weekend. I know many of my followers are authors and writers, and if you have any questions regarding self-publishing, writing, marketing, or anything about the process, please don’t hesitate to comment, and I’ll post my answer as the following week’s weekly blog post.

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Blue Ruin is Book One in The Phoenix Series. Blue Ruin is a New Adult, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural, Gothic novel. It is now available for purchase in the Kindle Store. 

“A hunter and the hunted, Maura Leroux is one of the last of her kind with a dark past that has haunted her. With black magical beings having been hunted for centuries, she’s come to learn a thing or two about survival. But Adrian Wilhelm, a notorious Vampire, threatens to destroy Maura’s newfound life as a detective in the magical world of Mystics. Adrian intends to use Maura as a means of resurrecting the fallen world of black magical beings, Abysm. Maura has made it her mission to stop Adrian while covering her tracks from those that have been seeking her out for centuries.”

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The Last Day – The Phoenix Series Free Promotion

Hey guys! This isn’t really a blog post — more of a reminder.

For the last 24 hours, The Phoenix Series: Blue Ruin has been free on the kindle. Today is the last day of this free promotion, which will end tonight at midnight (pacific time).

The Phoenix Series: Blue Ruin Free Kindle Edition

I wanted to thank everyone who supported me by downloading their copy. My novel went from #two-thousand-something in its category, to #54 at its highest. Thank you so much!

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Free Promotion: The Phoenix Series: Blue Ruin 

In honor of my original publishing date, February 29th, 2016, I have enrolled The Phoenix: Blue Ruin in a free book promotion from the 2/29 to 3/1, ending midnight pacific time on 3/1. There will be additional promotion days in the upcoming months, though, they have not been scheduled as of yet. 

My goal and hope is to get my novel out there. For me, publishing was never about the money. I want to share it, for people to read it and (hopefully) love it. 

Thank you for all of your help and support!

The Phoenix Series: Blue Ruin Kindle Edition

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I Did It: Published 

This isn’t much of a blog post. It’s more of an announcement. 

I did it. It’s done. It’s over. I’ve published. 

As of today, The Phoenix Series: Blue Ruin, has gone live on both platforms — e-book and paperback. 

E-book: Blue Ruin 

Paperback: Blue Ruin 

It’s exhilirating and bittersweet at the same time. Half of me is excited to have finally published — not thinking this day would have ever come. But another part of me is sad. I’ve worked on this story for two years, slaved over it, cried over it. Defeated by it. And I have to say, I’ll miss those moment, late at night, when I was working through a scene that hadn’t gone right or recreating a character who hadn’t fit into their role properly. Not to worry. New Dawn, the sequel to Blue Ruin, has taken its place with a vicious intensity. Here’s to the next two years. 

I also want to take this time to thank all of those who have helped me through this book. My beta-readers. Fellow authors. My lovely critters from Scribophile. Without you, this book would still be sitting in a locked drawer. You didn’t only give me the tools to create a book I never could’ve imagined calling my own, but you gave me the confidence and encouragement to publish. That is priceless. Thank you. 

  

Losing and Finding Faith in People

This blog post diverges from my norm. For once, it has nothing to do with writing, Blue Ruin, or being an author. It has to do with life, the everyday struggles and occurences. It has to do with being a person. A human being. 

In the real world, I am a Registered Nurse. My job is about people. I am the earth, my patients are the sun, and I revolve around them. Being a nurse means you come second. To everything. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it should be. My patients’ lives depend on me. And as a nurse, I have met more people than I can comprehend. Some I will never forget. Others I wish I could. I’ve seen the good in people and I’ve seen the evil. Rest-assured, there’s more good than evil out there. 

But…it just takes that one person to shatter that belief — to make you feel as though finding a decent human being is like finding a needle in a haystack. 

I’m young. Naive. I still live with the belief that people will treat you the way they would want to be treated. And in my personal life, it surprises me how many people would want to be treated like shit. I was raised to respect others. To be the bigger person, whether that meant admitting when I was wrong, apologizing when I didn’t want to, or being kind when I would rather spew a tangle of profanities and then punch someone in the face, walking away with a wide smile. And for some reason, I still think that everyone else thinks this way. I can’t say I’m surprised when someone proves to be the opposite. But, I can’t help but feel disappointed — that this person shattered the image of what I thought they were, to become something I’d hoped they weren’t. Another asshole. 

I’ve had my fair share of romances. Boyfriends here and there, most of them long-term. Though, at the age of 23, I feel as if I have lived one-hundred lifetimes because of them. No one ever tells you how a relationship will age you both mentally and emotionally. In relationship years, I’m about 500. I’ve dated every kind of person there is (expect for a nice one). Had it all. Done it all. Experienced it all. And with each new relationship, I feel myself losing a little more faith in people. 

Of course, they all started out fantastic. We would go out on dates. He’d smile. I’d laugh. Conversations would get deeper, personal stories shared. Attraction developed into love. I’d find myself head-over-heels. And then something changes. The wind shifts with an oncoming storm. The beginning of the relationship suddenly becomes an illusion. 

Fuck. Not again. 

How a relationship ends speaks louder than how the relationship went. Something about “the end” brings out a person’s true colors. Dark colors. Ugly colors. Which is why I’ve always tried to stay true to my personal belief, “treat others as you would want to be treated”. Look, no one wants to be dumped. But, it happens, and hopefully for the better. I’ve been on both ends of the break-up. The dumper. And the dumpee. I don’t envy or prefer one over the other. Regardless of which position I find myself in, I don’t want to walk away with the other person hating me or hating themselves because I said something I shouldn’t have said. Yet, the same courtesy is never extended to me, but I still foolishy expect it to be. I’ve left break-ups hating the other person, hating myself, to the point where I wouldn’t look in the mirror because all I saw was what that person told me I was. 

I can handle being called a bitch by strangers. But there’s something about a significant other saying it to you that digs the knife a little deeper, twists it a little harder. They never just say, “you’re a bitch.” They say it in a million different ways that brings a million different kinds of pain. “I wish I never met you”, “You never cared about me”, but my personal favorite is, “I don’t care what happens to you.” Ah, that line. It’s been thrown at me by every guy I’ve ever dated. And after so many times, it still cuts deep like a sharp knife. The words themselves don’t cause the pain, but the substance behind them — that a person could so quicky and willingly contradict everything they’d once said, that they really could mean what they say, that they will stop caring when I won’t. 

Ever since my first break-up when I was a young teenager, I’ve been trying to find the answer to my question, how could a person be so cruel to another human being? With each guy, with each relationship, with each break-up, I feel further away from the answer than when I began. I become more and more mystified, and it becomes a struggle to believe that there are good people out there. People like me, who believe in the same belief that I do. And my faith deteriorates more and more. 

But with time, those bad seeds fall to the back, covered with all of the good seeds I’ve come across as a nurse, a student, a writer. A human being. And the wild garden that is my life, flourishes beautifully, making it difficult to spot the bad that had been planted. Life is once again beautiful. 

And, of course, I take great comfort in karma. 

The Phoenix Series: Blue Ruin (Chapter Fifteen: The Dealer)

Day fifteen! There are 43 chapters, but we are coming closer to my publishing date. After a final review, it looks like Blue Ruin will be published before the 29th of this month!

Today, we are going to look at Chapter Fifteen: The Dealer. After running into Adrian’s messanger, Maura gets an invitation to Adrian’s club, Viper. Maura realizes the danger in going and aims to prepare by purchasing an antidote from Henry, her dealer. An antidote will block the affects of a Vampire’s Allure, a spell that can seduce a victim into submission. 

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“I need antidote,” Maura said.

“Antidote?” Henry’s fingers tightened around the lip of his bag.

The antidote would only shave a layer off the amount of effort she’d have to use tomorrow. Everything else came down to her ability to keep herself sane and collected. She’d have to be all coy smiles if she wanted to keep her head. Literally. She would need to play Adrian’s little game.

“Going after someone big, eh?” Henry said.

“It’s the other way around.”

***

Blue Ruin is the first novel in The Phoenix Series. The Phoenix Series is a dark fantasy with gothic, noire, paranormal, and supernatural elements.

“A hunter and the hunted, Maura Leroux is one of the last of her kind with a dark past that has haunted her. With black magical beings having been hunted for centuries, she’s come to learn a thing or two about survival. But Adrian Wilhelm, a notorious Vampire, threatens to destroy Maura’s newfound life as a detective in the magical world of Mystics. Adrian intends to use Maura as a means of resurrecting the fallen world of black magical beings, Abysm. Maura has made it her mission to stop Adrian while covering her tracks from those that have been seeking her out for centuries.”

Blue Ruin is now available. The Phoenix Series: Blue Ruin.