Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quote of the Day! Visions

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.
Napoleon Hill 

Never let anyone tell you that you can't or won't succeed, not even your own thoughts.  The truth is that you just haven't figured out how to succeed yet.  As long as you learn from what didn't work, your dreams will eventually become your reality.  I let my fears of rejection keep me from attempting to publish for so very long.  I would start stories and never finish them so I didn't have to submit them.

The truth is, my mind is full of untold stories that are dying to get out.  Do I want people to read them?  Yes!  But my dream is not to be famous, it is to write what is in my mind's eye.  I have achieved that dream now!  Do not stop on yours.  All things are possible with time, persistence and a willingness to take some risks and learn from them when they don't pan out.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Trenches of Silverbrook

The trenches of Silverbrook were a mass of activity before the sun even peaked its first rays above the hilltops to the east.   Named for the access to the sewers, the trenches were an area below ground level, although they were open to the air above.   This wide cut around the base of Silverbrook had a trench running through the center of it where bridges crossed back and forth.  The trench held stagnant water, sewage and was flushed by the city’s runoff whenever it rained hard.  And additional main sewage tunnel opened from behind the trenches for the upper levels and fell away into the sea where a small silver stream from the top cascaded down to the sea.  It was this small stream that the city was named after due to the crystals beneath it that made the water shimmer.
Caves had been cut into the hard rock so that shops and houses were underground with only their tented fronts visible from the first tier of the city.  It was a den of destitution, criminal activity and survival.  It housed all those of Silverbrook who had not been able to coax forth a spark of any magic.  It held outlanders who came to trade or were running from their own authority.  It held Daezun outcasts and half breeds.  It did not house kindness, mercy or honesty.  The trenches were a place one did not walk alone and one that was necessary.  Here the pulse of the city’s luxuries began.  Blacksmiths, silversmiths and jewelers sold their wares to upper level merchants and craftsmen. Many women worked in the upper levels as servants but still spent their nights in the trenches.  Others took in laundry and mending for those who could not be bothered by such things.  Each tier fed the next tier but the trenches fed them all. 
With such destitution came crime and with crime a form of structure.  The trenches were overseen by the Trench Lord.  The Trench Lord was not voted upon or appointed, he was the strongest and most influential of the criminal element.  His men muscled those trying to live for protections.  He took a cut of all trade coming in without the High Minister’s approval.  The secret market held many treasures from the outlands that were frowned upon or coveted by the high tiers.  One could find herbals that induced euphoria, buy slaves and even an occasional service of violence.   The Trench Lord lived in almost as grand of style as the High Minister, though to look at him, one knew that to cross this man was to earn death.    The Trench Lord had only two mandates from the council.  Keep the sewage tunnels behind the walls of the trench households flowing, and to insure that basic goods were available to the upper tiers for the craftsmen.  Other than these two purposes, the council did not interfere with who was the Trench lord or what business he was involved within.

copyrighted December 2013 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Publishing with Createspace - What I Did Horribly Wrong!

When I found a company willing to work by email and upload to publish my novel, I was very excited. There are some definite pluses to createspace.com.  However, in my excitement to publish, I proofed with their electronic proof application.  This had worked wonderfully and cut down the time to have my children's book, "How the Dragons Got Their Colors", to the shelf quicker.  I do not recommend this to novelists.  Order the hard copy proof!

The book launched electronically and when my copy of A Blue Dragon's Geas: Outcast arrived, I was so very excited.  My illustrator, Heather Scoggins, had done a beautiful job for me. I loved the concept she chose for the blue dragon.  Later, when I sat down, I was horrified.  On the top of every page, my name is spelled wrong, an error not caught in the header.  My fault.  I stared at it in disbelief.  I have a long name but who would have guessed I would spell my own name wrong.  I got out a highlighter just in case.

As I read through the book, I found where I had left out the word 'that'.  This is a common problem for me as I hear it in my head when I read back and something I watch for in edits.  I found homonyms that spellchecker and I both did not catch.  I had an editor, but he missed it too. Other little errors jumped off that printed page.  I had gone through the electronic version slowly and carefully but there is something different about holding a book in your hand.  I really suggest you order the proof and sit down with a highlighter.

Advantages of Createspace.
Optional packages for publicity and help.
Easy upload system that moves your book straight onto Amazon shelves.
Easy conversion to kindle option at no charge.
No upfront costs.
Good payment systems.
Great commission options

If you are on a no frills budget, you are on your own for editing and proofing.
It is easy to miss small errors in electronic print.
No big company helping you get your book on the shelf.
The amount of time spent in having to proof and reproof construction errors with only one set of eyes.

I do recommend this company for any author breaking in.  I have learned a lot having to do it on my own. However, as I finish reading my novel with a highlighter, I know a second edition will be uploaded soon.  For those of you that got a first edition with my name spelled wrong, shelve that copy.  If I ever get rich and famous after I die, who knows, it might be worth something.  At this moment, there are only 15 out there.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Quote of the Day!

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Benjamin Franklin 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fantasy Quote of the Day!

“Well,' the Goddess said, 'your heart didn't heal straight the last time it broke. So we'll break it again and reset it so it heals straight this time.”
― Jane Yolen, The Books of Great Alta

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reistare - The Next of the Gods of Vesta

Reistare is the God of Nature.  She is revered by farmers and those dependent on growth and a good harvest.  Mate of Rian, the two work together to insure that the people of Vesta have what they need to sustain life.  She is often celebrated in the Spring when the first signs of blossoms form.
Reistare was the last to make a dragon type to represent her in the mortal world.  Her indecision is clear in the shy nature of this dragon.  It often stays burrowed deep in the forests.  They are rarely seen unless a hunter blunders upon their den. They tend to hunt at night and prefer to eat fish.  Their breath weapons is a corrosive gas.  It is weak in nature but if  not immediately washed off, tends to rend armor useless and unrepairable after an hour or so.  It burns on exposed flesh.  Green dragons often use their weapon to blind their attacker and leave.  However, they are champions of the weak.  They will overcome their reclusive nature to right a wrong once it is perceived. Once angered they are firm, focused and powerful.

Followers of Reistare tend to revere nature in all its forms.  They tend to be excellent problem solvers. They can read nature well as they mature.  They looks at obstacles as problems to overcome. They are innovative and often find new and better ways to achieve goals. Like their Goddess and the dragons she created, they will go to great lengths to correct a wrong.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fantasy Quote of the day!

“Fantasy, if it's really convincing, can't become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time.” 
― Walt Disney Company

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fantasy Quote - Torturing C, U, and E

“I often fantasize about torturing some of the lazier letters of the alphabet, like C, U, and E, because together they only manage to accomplish as much as the solitary letter Q.” ― Jarod Kintz, It Occurred to Me

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Promotion - Outcast

Just a heads up to my readers, Amazon is promoting Outcast today and it will be free for Kindle all day.  This is your chance to get my first novel for free to see if you like my writing style or concepts without risking a dime.  All I ask in return is a review, good... bad... or indifferent.

Don't have a Kindle?  Amazon has a kindle app for every major smartphone, tablet and computer.  It means that you can buy a kindle book even if you do not own one and read it on any device you own.   With Whispersync technology, you can automatically save and synchronize your furthest page read, bookmarks and even  make notes.  It has adjustable text size for those smaller devices.   In addition, many of the kindle books have the first chapter up before you download or buy it.   The link is right on this page to my book.

The Blue Dragon's Geas: Outcast (Dragons Geas)

See, no excuses, go get your free copy today!  I am looking forward to your review. Thanks everyone!
Love Cheri

P.S.  Still need gifts, I still have dragon items available at dragonsgeas.com

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fantasy Quote of the Day from Rebel Angels

“Sometimes we seek that which we are not yet ready to find.”
― Libba Bray, Rebel Angels.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fantasy Quote of the Day:― George R.R. Martin

“They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to Middle Earth. ”
― George R.R. Martin

Rian the Stoneheart - The Next of the Gods of Vesta.

Rian is the god of all things mineral.  He is often paid tribute by miners and blacksmiths as his blessings bring great finds and strong tools.  Almost all recognize the power of Rian in some capacity given that the land they live upon is his domain.  Without his cooperation, the Goddess of Nature, could not function.  It was a natural melding of domains when the two, Rian and Reistare joined forces.  If both were to turn upon a farmer, there would be no redemption for his craft.  

Rian was not to be outdone by his godly kin and formed his own set of dragons to represent him in the mortal world.  Grand beasts with bright bronze scales took to the skies.  They are hard creatures and often isolated.  It is rare to see two together except during mating. They breathe out a mixture of hot sand and pebble as their breath weapon, scouring the prey before them.  A large dragon has been known to have abraded his prey to the point of no fur remaining.

Those that serve Rian are often quiet managers of resources and people.  They are very sensitive to the environment and do their best to insure balance and cooperation, much as Rian works with Reistare.    People who serve the land often are highly empathetic.  They are often hyper-aware of the emotional currents around them.  

The first book of the Dragons' Geas series is on dragonsgeas.com now.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fantasy Quote of the Day! ~ Peter Pan~

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. Barrie,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fantasy Quote of the Day!

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” ― Albert Einstein

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hamaseic - God of Water

Hamaseic is the God of all things water.  Fishermen and seamen often have emblems of Hamaseic on the prow of their boats.  Even the great masted ships of the Lerdenian fleet have the emblem boldly imprinted with shimmering emblems.  Seen as in control of both the elements of water and storms, Hamaseic is most often followed along the coast villages and cities.

As varied as the bodies of water he rules, Hamaseic's blue dragons come in varying shades with simple commonalities.  They can remain under water for long periods of time and are for more graceful in the water than the air or on land.  Their bodies are more rotund making a buoyant mass upon the bottom of the sea waiting for large fish to swim above them.  Their eyesight is particularly good whether under water or hovering above their prey.  They easily can narrow in on their target and often are the first to notice movement.  Their breath weapon is steam, often preferring to cook their fish in their own breath before they eat it. These dragons are often curious and get into the most trouble as fledglings for they question and explore everything.

Followers of Hamaseic are often innately curious.  They adapt to change easily and are very fluid.  They are people of great compassion and will work hard to repair and restore.  While they can function within structured and ruled environments, they will not hesitate to change the rules or challenge the consensus if they feel it for the greater good of all.   

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Seen as the evil seductress, Dethera is the Goddess of Death.  She governs the night and all the creatures that  move solely through its murky depths.  She is often blamed for plagues and lingering illnesses.  She is said to have lured men to their deaths within the bogs and the deep places. Her beauty is contrasting with a pale face and raven black hair.    She is often related or connected to things hidden, secretive and unknown, and as a result, she is the epitome of mystery

Dethera is said to have created the black dragons in contrast to Krona's vivacious red dragons.  Their wing span is shorter and thinner giving them the ability to bank with greater agility.  Their bodies have a more lithe form, and often on a moonless nigh,t one cannot even see them in flight.  Her glorious swarm of deadly children bring weapons of acid to the battle. Like their goddess, prestige and power is important to them and so there is often infighting for the flight leader.

Followers of Dethera are often seen as cold and without true emotions.  They are highly skilled in manipulations and therefore are often used by opposing parties for negotiations.  Long standing followers of Dethera often show great self-control and discipline.  They are often independent with a strong will. Due to the seeking of power, they are often found in leadership positions.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Krona the Destroyer

Krona is the God of Fire, Destruction and Rebirth.  One of the Gods of Vesta, he is the most feared by the majority of the populace.  Wild fires are seen as Krona's handiwork to punish those that have erred.   However, with destruction also comes rebirth.  Typical of wildfires, often the areas affected become more fertile and life recovers quickly.  

Krona is said to have given birth the red dragons of Vesta.  He is fabled to have gifted them with fire and other skills to bring forth his vengeance as well as to inspire the people to passion and beauty.  

Followers of Krona aspire to be full of energy, assertiveness and a passion for life.  Like fire, they often brighten those about them.  When angered, their judgement is swift and often their passions are known to consume them.  They often are leaders in groups and have vibrant personalities.  It is rare to find a shy follower of Krona as they often lulled away by quieter gods and rituals. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Outcast - It is alive and ready to read!

So today is a day where dreams come true.  All my life I have wanted to be an artist.  When I was 16, I was so advanced in my English classes as far as creativity went, that my English teacher had a writer coming in twice a week to give me private coaching. I loved it.

However, fear is a powerful thing.  I have feared rejection and so I have published some poetry.  I have dabbled in ghost writing.  It wasn't until I met Rebecca and Alex Hunt that I got the courage to put my mother's story out.  After that, I had mentioned my novel half done sitting in my computer.  Alex began to push me.  He pushed and pushed and at times I remember cursing his persistent.  Then he took on the role of editor and ripped it all apart and pushed me to put it back together again.  After all the hours of bemoaning how much I hate editing, the baby was born today.

We finally settled on the first cover though I loved the second one that Heather did as well.  Heather has done her own set of cursing as the file size allowed versus the quality was a dance that was difficult at best.   Heather is a very accomplished artist and each time she creates, I see her grow.  I am so proud to have her as my illustrator.   Right now the book is being added to Amazon Prime, Amazon and Kindle select.  However, for those who have been waiting, it is available now directly from my publisher.

Thank you for all of those that gave me pre-release feedback.  Thank you to my family who has put up with many hours in front of my lap top.  Thank you to Heather for your artwork.  Thank you to Alex who is a wonderful but pushy editor.  Yes, yes, I know.  That is how he was supposed to be!  

For your reading pleasure, I give you:  The Dragon's Geas: Outcast.