Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bloodmines is out on Kindle! - First Three Chapters Preview!

Since Amazon has a look inside option that shares these three chapters, I saw no harm in doing the same here.  Enjoy!  I will start Book 4 in about two weeks!  Happy New Year Everyone!


Bloodmines

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Glossary for The Blue Dragon's Geas

Glossary


I have been asked to provide a Glossary for my novel series - The Blue Dragon's Geas.
Since I am about to publish book 3, I took the time to put it in the back and will post it here for all those currently in book 1 or 2.


Bloodmines Finalized and 10 Things I Learned This Year!



Two days from the end of the year, Bloodmines has been sent to the Publisher for final review of the format changes. Depending on this review, Bloodmines will release either tomorrow night or on New Year's Day!

I am hoping later today, to be able to do a cover reveal.  I am waiting for my illustrator to make some final tweaks of her own.  The team that works with me has worked very hard to help me meet my -by year end goal.  

My beta readers have all reported back and the consensus is that this is better than Book 2.  I hope this is true for all of you and not them just being kind.  However, a couple on my beta team are pretty critical so I feel fairly confident in their reviews and feedback.

I did use some of the ideas presented by readers.  So once I get all the publication formalities finished, I will be connecting with those readers that gave input and getting an address to send a signed copy.  

It has been a wondrous year.  It is hard to believe that at this time last year, I was just figuring out how all the publishing hoops work.  Here are some things that I learned this year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

David Stevens Books: A Personal Message

David Stevens Books: A Personal Message: Dear friends and followers of The Mysterious David Stevens: Some News! I have said before that I want to be the writer that gives ...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Entrancing Tale for All Ages - Can stand alone, but I suggest you start with the first book!

The Quality of Mercy (Myrddin's Heir, #3)The Quality of Mercy by Robin Chambers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish more people would understand that sometimes the most merciful thing you can do is to allow someone to reap what they have sown.

As a writer, you are encouraged to read. This series is one of three that I have been reading as I write. Mr. Chambers has a unique style that incorporates literature and history; so well embedded into the story that it does not detract but only adds to the tale. By reviewing the glossary when I hit a work or historical point with which I was unfamiliar, I found myself only further drawn into the world of Grace and Gordon. I must say I learned a thing or two.

However, it is the story for which a review is written. I found myself entranced by the insight and belief systems of the core characters. If we could raise more of our children with this strong of a belief system our world would be a much better place. I have been following the protagonist since he was a baby. Mr. Chambers weaves a magical tale of growing up in the real world with the fae and mystical. I loved the development and the interaction of the four friends. This is a tale that will entrance children of all ages, even those of us that are children at heart.

The only constructive point I have to make is that the protagonists seem to triumph just a little too easily for their age. I totally understand the concept that they are graced, but I would have liked to see it be a little harder. Hopefully this will be the case as they continue to grow up.



View all my reviews

Thursday, December 18, 2014

True Excerpt from The Bloodmines - Warning - Possible spoiler - Proceed at your own risk

A few readers have contacted me both through the blog and email and reported that my teaser was far to short and they wanted a better glimpse.  So I chose a pivotal chapter.  However, for those of you that don't like to know what is coming, do not click to read more.  This definitely has, for those that don't like such things, some possible spoiler content.




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teaser from the soon to be released book - The Bloodmines

  Here is a short excerpt from the soon to be released Bloodmines.  There was a problem in edit that slowed down the release but it will still be out before the end of the year.  Still shooting for before Christmas, but to be honest it may not make it.



   Alador took a measured breath and continued to speak slowly.  “I am as much Lerdenian as I am a Daezun and I am a Guldalian.  I cannot trust my father and wish no further association with him other than as necessary. It is time that I accepted my circumstances.” Alador took a deep breath. “If you don’t mind, please get out of my head. It is taking everything I have not to lash back at the intrusion.” Alador had been careful to make sure every word was truth.

     Luthian looked a bit taken aback and sat back.  He released the spell of seeking and eyed his nephew.  “And if I asked you to cast the storm spell in Daezun lands?”

     Alador knew this was what Luthian wanted most and chose his answer carefully.  “If I felt it was for the greater good of the people in the long run, I would cast your spell.”  His soft answer held an edge of doubt.

     “Are you sure?” Luthian pressed.

     “I would have only one request.  I would make it as your nephew and not a member of your guardsmen.” Alador’s eyes dropped in deference.

     “Curious.  What would that be?” Luthian sounded genuinely surprised.

     “I would ask that you not make me cast it in a way that would harm Smallbrook.  Despite my casting out by the elder council, my siblings and my mother still reside there.  They did not reject me and I wish no harm to them.” Alador knew he was daring to show a bit of weakness, but he had hope that Luthian would grasp it as a way to manipulate and manage his nephew.

     “And if I agree to this, that never will I ask you to harm your family you were raised with, then what?” Luthian’s tone held a triumphant edge.

     Alador bowed low as he spoke, both arms out wide, palms towards Luthian. “Then I am ever your servant to command.”

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bloodmines - Update!

To those of you that write, you will know what I mean when I say that this novel took on a life of its own.  It is turning out to be much longer than I wanted, and yet I and the editor agree that what I have written needs to remain.  I guess that just means the series will be a bit longer than the four books I had originally mapped out.

I posted in October that I was taking input from readers on what they would like to see in the next book. I am pleased to say that some of the readers will be getting free copies of this novel as I did incorporate some of the requests and ideas.  I may still incorporate more of them in the next novel.
I have loved my reader interactions through email, Twitter, Goodreads and here.  It makes writing so much more fun to have the feedback, even the negative feedback.

As many of you now know, I had quit my job to write full-time.  Excited by the huge sales, great feedback and reader interaction; I gave my notice at work.  But things did not go as planned and so I had to back-step.  A diagnosis of cancer led to almost immediate surgery, followed by some unforeseen complications.

 I am my own publicist and so I lost momentum and sales, despite good reviews, began to drop.  I was unable to put Bloodmines out when I had originally planned as I lost almost six weeks to just being very ill.  I do not share this for sympathy.   I am six doses into chemo.  I have continued to write despite days were the cold cramps ones hands into claws.  (A strange side effect of the chemo I am on)  Today, I finished Bloodmines.  I am proud to have written this novel in the face of severe sickness, travel, and many telling me to just give up and deal with cancer only.  I also achieved the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo2014.  A goal I was determined to make.

I think that giving in and being "sick" is the worst thing I could have done.  It would have been easy to lay in bed doing nothing and watching T.V. or sleeping.  Don't get me wrong, there have been many days in bed, but with my laptop and hand warming.  I want to beat cancer as badly as Alador wants to complete his geas.

Book 3 is now in edit! It is written.  When the editors get done with their red pens, we will proof and release!

Some things to expect in book 3 without giving too much away:
Dragons in person - not in dreams!
Better explanation of the Geas Stone as requested by readers
Magic

Anything more would give to much away. I hate spoilers.

I love you all! You make each day at my computer a joy.
Cheri



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why Reviews are Important to Authors!


I did not realize the importance of writing a book review on a purchase site or Goodreads until I, myself, became published.  Even a simple star rating with a  "I liked it or I didn't like it" is important. For me as an author, I want to know what people don't like as well as what they do.  I am having Outcast reproofed as many reviews have stated my proof-reader and I did a horrible job on the first book.  I would not know to do that if readers had not told me.


Why are reviews important?  Several reasons come to mind, but here are my top four. 

1.  We live in a world where people are quick to vent what they don't like but not share what they do. It is just a fact of our digital age.  Trish Milburn shared that, "if you have 100 people read a book and 98 love it but only the two who thought it was garbage post a review, guess what. People who come across that book on a retailer’s site are going to think it’s garbage. They won’t know about the 98 people who thought it was a wonderful story with engaging characters. Those negative reviews could keep people who might enjoy the book from buying it, depriving the author of sales that are necessary to help pay his or her bills."  This has been my experience as well.

2.  Many advertising sites and reviewing sites will only pick up books that have a certain number of reviews.  In today's market, with so many small publishing firms and independent authors, the cost of publicity lays squarely on the author.  If you don't get your book out, you don't get read.

3. Amazon uses algorithms to place books where they will be seen.  How many reviews you have are a major part of these algorithms on if a book even gets seen.

4. Even if a person doesn't leave a review, but shares with friends about the power of a book they have read, this is helpful.

If you really like an author who is not able to write full time, reviews may give them the income to write faster for you.  I know that had been my plan. I had quit my job to give my readers what they were asking for, Bloodmines out faster.  However, Cancer decided to run interference on that plan.  A friend of mine often tells me, "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."   I don't know if that is true or not, but I do know that the best laid plans do often go awry.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and all the love from your frenzied writer....
Cheri Matthynssens



Coming soon, TheBloodmines

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Innocence of Evil

A poem written in response to a story where the dark lord gains power and doesn't realize it will cost him his newborn baby!



The darkest dawn doth call us all
to weep upon the throne.
The child lost lay still and quiet,
upon it a glimmer shone.

In trade of life at darkest hour,
in gift for which it is lost.
Would darkness' lord have began the
deed had he but known the cost.

When man plays god with power given
and then thwarts the fates.
He risks a path he would not chose,
if he but knew the stakes.

And so we mourn in darkened dawn,
before the golden throne.
While innocence serves evil and
melts all hearts of stone.

A Touch of Lies

A Poem About Addiction



Such a subtle mistress,
so gentle in her gliding touch.
Her hands move over my body,
my mind, my heart, my soul.

Her glance incites my racing heart,
her tongue soothes the ravages within,
twisting, turning, tendrils of suggestion
worm their way throughout the whole.

Such a subtle mistress bending my
thoughts, my vision to her ways. I look
within the mirror and no longer see
the being I once was, but now her creation.

My words are not my own, they spill from
my mouth as if pulled by teasing lips. Even
words to myself are tinged with her gentle
caress till there is no life satiation.

Once within her power, that gentle touch
turns harsh. Her grasp upon my heart,
wrenches in pain as I seek to find that elusive
truth within that she has hidden from me.

Every attempt to break free of the tendrils of
lies, brings only pain and shame and I recoil much
more comforted by her tender embrace. But to
live here, is an illusion that I look in the mirror and see.

The darkness within is so sublime, so complete that
the illusions suckles the very life from my soul. Happiness
eludes me and she whispers in my ear that is never mine to
have. I rage against the shackles of silken lies that binds all.

And so it is within, that the subtle touch of a lie
not told to others but within, steals my very life breath.
Darkness so complete that it's embrace is no longer warmth
but a cold soulless night where tears do not even break its pall.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I did it! NaNoWriMo Winner!

I am so excited to have achieved this goal.  Those waiting for The Bloodmines will be happy to know that the novel I was working on for it was Bloodmines.  50k words in a month is a lot of words but what I discovered is that I can easily write about 5K words a day if Chemo is not pulling to hard on me.   Now that I know this, I can structure my writing for more.  I have been getting messages like, "write faster" and "scanning for the next book often."   It makes me even more motivated to get this book out.  It is not coming as fast as I would like this time.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Someone Needs to Tell These Tales.





“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that... there are many kinds of magic, after all.” 
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Stars Will Fall

The stars will fall
www.seamepost.com
The stars will fall
The stars will Fall..

I dont know how this all will end
but when it does we will not mend
We will be broken and scattered
All we love will be shattered

I believe that it will come soon
Over the horizon like the moon
The dream is over and destroyed
All of us have been toyed

We have fought and we believed
We forgot about human greed
The symbol of freedom fell from the sky
Never again will it fly.

Blood we shed was for naught
For freedoms love cannot be taught
Our doom will come from within
Not from nations of other men

Every right stripped away
To keep us safe or so they say
Our own decisions not enough
Life it is way to rough

They know best so we should listen
There silver tounges oh how they glisten
Money rules not the flag
As they turn it into a rag

This nation is dead deep inside
All that is left is to hide
They will come so you can't fight
They believe its not your right

I will not trust in their greed
I have a family I must feed.
When its time and the stars fall
I will fight for us all.

Robert W. Abbott

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Kind of Dragon Are You?

I would love to hear what kind of dragon you all are?   I came up:

 You are the wind dragon! The clouds are your endless bed the sky is your home the moon is your sun day and night are one. You patrol the skies looking for the one who can make your heart sore higher than you!



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Preview From Bloodmines!



Please note, this teaser is unedited and may change in final copy!


     “By the gods, what have I done to earn that look?” Henrick asked, his eyes narrowed as he assessed his son.


     “Where do I start? Let’s start with the fact you brought Mesiande here which puts her at risk for Luthian finding out. Let’s add to that, you knew about Luthian’s breeding program and were an active participant in it.” Alador’s pain began to fuel his accusations. He pulled Mesiande closer bringing a gasp of surprise from her. “Let’s keep adding to that. You are out in Daezun lands on Luthian’s bidding and are as much a spy as you are a lying conniving bastard. Lastly, you used magic on my mother to ensure you were chosen in the circle.” Alador’s last bitter accusation snapped out. “How many siblings do I really have, Father?”


     Sordith’s gaze snapped to Henrick at the last question. Genuine interest written on his face as he stepped sideways away from Henrick.


     Henrick’s mouth had dropped open and his face had paled as Alador bit out each accusation. When Alador stopped, he stepped forward. “Son…” he began.


     “Don’t ever call me that again,” Alador hissed.


     Henrick put both hands out to his side in a placating manner. “You have been listening to Luthian. You know how he twists things.”


 “Deny one of them," Alador challenged.  "Deny you were sent by your brother. Deny you knew of his breeding program.” He counted them out on his fingers. “I dare you to deny that you used magic the night I was conceived.” He met his father’s horrified gaze. Alador’s face was red with his anger and it only fueled the pain in his skull.


     Henrick’s mouth opened and closed like a fish. He searched Alador’s face. “There is more to all of this than you know…”


     Alador cut him off. “I knew you couldn’t deny it.” He forced himself to sit up, drawing Mesiande behind him as best he could. “I will ask one last time, how many siblings do I have?


     Henrick’s hands fell to his side in defeat. “I don’t know,” he admitted softly.


     “Get out! I don’t want to see you ever again.” Alador’s eyes darkened as he fought back the cold rage he could feel threatening to consume him.


     Henrick stared at him for a long moment then turned on his heel to stride out of the room. He slammed the door behind him so hard that some of the soot on the opposite wall drifted to the ground.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Author Update

I have really loved interacting with those of you who write me or post on the blog.  I find it a complete joy that others are enjoying the world I created and the story within it.  I know many are anxiously waiting for Bloodmines and I am making progress on it.  I hope to complete it during the November writing challenge and my editing team is hot on my heels ripping apart each chapter.  The goal is to try to have it out before Christmas.

I had hoped to get more feedback on Magic Scorned but I think many don't want to publically post their opinions of a book with erotic content.  I may not continue that series if I do not hear more.  It was fun to write and I enjoyed the journey with Jaxon and Cassie.  I am still working on a paperback version of this kindle story.

I recently released a third children's book called Once Upon a...Wait!  It is based on my daughter when she was young.  There were always at least "two" waits at story time. I am really proud of Rebecca's growth in illustrations and she continues to create dragons that are not scary to small children.  

The dragonologists.com website launched and is doing very well.  There are more stories on that blog along with contests and other such items.  I found the tasteful article on dragon mating very helpful. The black bar on the side is a menu bar.  Some have missed that.  


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Once Upon a...Wait by Cheryl Matthynssens

Once Upon a...Wait

by Cheryl Matthynssens

Giveaway ends November 30, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Currently, I am offering a signed giveaway of the new children's book to get some basic reviews and to promote an adorable book.  


Thank you to everyone that has encouraged me to keep writing.  I am loving every minute of it and have realized this is what I have always wanted to do.   Remember, independent writers have no publicity office behind the scene.  You can help these writers by: continue to write to them, post reviews and tell others about them.  It helps them to stay motivated to write.  I have read more than one independent writer whose work I would have never looked at if a friend or another author hadn't pointed them out. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thank You to whoever posted this amazing review.




I was fortunate to receive this review.  I had to share it with you all, though now I have I a very high standard to rise to in book 3. 


An epic tale of dragons and magic, friends and lovers, ambition and betrayal.


Alador finds himself in the city of Silverport, the Lerdenian capital. Surrounded by a culture that sees murder as a path to social power, he struggles to find his place. Sent by his uncle, the High Minister of Lerdenia, to the Blackguard, he begins his training as both a soldier and a water mage. The dragon dreams have not stopped and he learns more of the bloodstone he had harvested and what it means for him.

Auron, the Trench Lord of Silverport, hates Daezun as he sees them responsible for the death of his mother and being thrown away due to his lack of magic. Having clawed and fought his way to power, he discovers that the High Minister's nephew sits in privelege, a Daezun half-breed. He vows to see to the boy's undoing.

A rip roaring read from beginning to end, The Blackguard is Book #2 in The Blue Dragon's Geas, the bestselling fantasy series from author Cheryl Matthynssens. Intriguing and original with an exquisite plot and a hawkish reverence for prose, her world building is among the best in genre. There is rich detail in abundance which kindles the imagination and yet despite a fairly weighty page count, her narrative flows faultlessly. There’s no doubt that Matthynssens knows how to spin a spellbinding yarn and it really is as good as the genre gets, but her tale is most notable for a host of wonderfully observed characters that all but leap from the page.  Resonating with luminosity, she ably brings them to life whilst combining the best aspects of action orientated tales with suspense and intrigue, to ensure readers of all ages are kept on the edge of their seats.

Highly entertaining, The Blackguard promises much for the series ahead and definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf. It is recommended without reservation.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Calling All Who Have Read Outcast and The Blackguard!

I am currently working on The Bloodmines for the Blue Dragon's Geas series.  I really like to look for ideas outside my outline.  What would you like to see in book 3?  What are you hoping does or does not happen?  I welcome all ideas no matter how outside my box they may be.  If I choose your input to incorporate, I will send you a free audio of the The Bloodmines when it launches.

I really look forward to hearing from you.  It was due to reader input and feedback that The Blackguard was completely proofed by a different proof reader.  While I write for me, I also want to leave a story that will be enjoyed by most that pick it up.

Thank you for your patience.  I am doing the Nano challenge in November and that should finish the 3rd book in the series.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Breath of Fresh Air in a Genre That has Become Formulated!!


 Learn more at: Shifting of the Realms
Learn More 


I bought this book to read on the airplane. I like to pick up novellas as I can finish them before I land and not be caught in that I want to read and can't trap. I was pleasantly surprised by this paranormal, coming of age story.

It has elements of sweetness in it along with the obvious angst of teenage dating and a first crush. At the same time, that story is woven into a new element of paranormal settings. The Realms was a unique take on settings in this genre and I absolutely loved it.

The main protagonist is believable in both wolf and human form. The rule of the vampires is exactly how I imagine life would be for humans if vampires ran the show.

Why this book is not higher on the rankings is beyond me. If you are looking for something new or an easy read, you should definitely check this novella out.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Review of Robin Chamber's Book: Amazing Grace

 On Amazon


If you think this is a book just for children, you would be wrong!

Robin Chambers weaves together a magical tale in Amazing Grace: bridging reality, a soft tough of religious question, and the world of the Fae.  On the surface, it is a delightful tale guaranteed to catch the attention of any reader that enjoys the aspects of magic and growing up in a story.  Watching Gordon and Grace come together then following their adventures held my attention for five straight hours.

But there is a deeper level to this wonderful tale and series.  Robin skillfully embeds history and clear mastery of respected literature and poetry.  Even more subtle is a level of social commentary and the desire to spread three philosophical points of wisdom. If you are paying attention, these subtle, positive messages are discernible even in the more obnoxious knockers.  There is a clear understanding about the social impact of bullying.   His ability to interpret and share a child's fears and experiences growing up without preaching was a welcomed relief.

I think this author's work is worth far more than .99 cents.  However, I will continue to buy and read every one of these novels as they make me smile and they are well written.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Interview with J.F.R. Coates - Author and Esteemed Dragonologist




I am here with esteemed dragonologist and author, J.F.R. Coates. Thank you for being with us today, Mr. Coates.  May I ask, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


I had just finished reading a certain fantasy novel – I won’t mention exactly which one, but it contains dragons – and I challenged myself to do better. Everyone I knew seemed to think this particular fantasy novel was amazing, yet I could see it was riddled with errors. I must have been about 16 at the time, and it was then I started writing my first novel. Those first few drafts shall never see the light of day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Contest and Story Behind Keensight

I get asked a lot about Keensight so I decided to post an excerpt about him from The Blackguard. Keensight will be playing an active role in Bloodmines.  He also has a very large secret that he is keeping.  I will give a signed copy to the first fan that figures it out.  There have been clues in both Outcast and The Blackguard.   Please message me privately at dragonsgeas@gmail.com or at @balanceguide on Twitter.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Most Highlighted Section of The Blackguard!

I have found this section of The Blackguard is highlighted often in a couple places.  I thought I would share it with you and give you a glimpse of book 2.  I hope you enjoy this brief glimpse as Alador learns more about his Lerdenian heritage.




“It has been expected that you would come to live here, every year, for the last three years. I made sure the room was readied every time I went to test you,” Henrick answered, waiting against the desk as Alador dressed.

Alador was surprised by that admission. He remained silent, pulling on a pair of boots. He had no idea that his father had been expecting him to pass so eagerly. One of the walls had plenty of weapons to choose from, so Alador picked a knife and sheath and secured them to his belt. That was enough for now, and he felt better after arming himself at least partially. He also saw his pack and kicked it with his boot. It was heavy, and the clink of medure made him feel secure that he was not without slips. His bow lay on the small rack above his pack, along with his quiver.

“How did you know I would pass?” Alador asked curiously as he returned from the closet.

“You are my son.” Henrick shrugged. “I would expect no less from someone of our bloodline.”

"Our bloodline? Is it strong with magic?”

“You do not know? I always thought your mother would tell you,” Henrick answered.

“No, she never said anything.”

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Interview With Fantasy Author - Robin Chambers

  
 Myrddins' Heir Series



Today's interview is with Robin Chambers, author of the Myrddin's Heir series.  So Robin, when did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?


When I was Head of English at Hackney Downs Boys School in East London (1971-6) I heard myself say one day to a class of year 9 pupils: “Some of you can write better stories than I ever could.”  An inner voice asked me how I knew that was true, when I hadn’t tried since I was at school.  It also told me I shouldn’t be asking pupils to do anything that I didn’t know I could do myself.

So during school holidays I started writing short stories for children.  In 1974/5 I sent a batch to Penguin, and they published them in 1976.  That encouraged me to think that maybe one day I could write something really good.  It would have to be after I retired from teaching, because I was on the way to becoming a headteacher of a large comprehensive school in one of the most stressful social services areas in the UK – and that was more than a full time job.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Magic - Quoted from Robert McCammon




This book is a must read.  You can find more on it at the Goodreads site:  Boy's Life -https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11553.Boy_s_Life

One reviewer went on to say: There is no way that any review could live up to this book.

It is utterly fabulous. It reels you in and never lets you go.
It will bring up every good memory that you had while growing up. The feeling of freedom you experienced riding your bike, exploring wooded areas and just generally being a kid.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from this book:


"We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God's sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they'd allowed to wither in themselves."


Do yourself a favor. Read this book. Get a little of that magic back



Excerpt from book!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Keensight Receives Fan Art!

I got this lovely picture off of Twitter from a follower that posted that it was inspired by Keensight.  With permission of course, I have posted it here for your enjoyment.  Stop by and let Deviant Dragons know what you think of his art. Personally, I love it!

Art with a story. Characters with a purpose. Awesome just because.
keensight-dev
More about the artist -
M A Gilchrist is a high concept artist and illustrator living in Southwest Florida. Over the years he has taken his creative gift to the food and wine industry, the cycling world, online retailers like Medieval Collectibles, and many more. Inspired by an early love of comic books and cartoons, M A Gilchrist stretches the boundaries of creativity and believability, while maintaining the integrity and sanctity of the objects of the art.
Visit the artist’s site: M A Gilchrist

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salvation's Review




SalvationSalvation by A.M.C.


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My editor challenged me to read something outside my favored genre and when looking abut, Salvation seemed to fit the bill. It definitely was outside my normal reading list. However, some things are universal across genres even between Science Fiction and Fantasy.

A.M.C takes on some typical conflicts within the pages. Man against himself - very well done as men struggle to overcome their own fears, anger and personal agendas for a great good. Man against man - Men are placed in the same confines on a single mission that in a normal day's work would never co-exist. The typical conflicts of such a tight and sudden enmeshment were well written. Man against nature - Boy nature packed quite the punch. And of course, man against extra-terrestrial. I loved watching these interweave as the story played out.

The only thing I found disturbing or distracting about this novel is that all the conversations was in italics. I could only read short periods of time due to the cognitive dissonance this created though it got better as I made my way through the novel.

I also found it interesting that there were few women. Man is in trouble if there aren't a few more women left on Earth. Where were the women marines?

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Post on Red Dragons

You can also find this post and one on Green Dragons at the Society of Enlightened Dragonologists.
Keensight

Red Dragon

 
Known Length– up to 88 feet
Known Weight – up to 165,000 pounds
Known Wing Span – up to 100 feet
Most Common Breath Weapon – Fire
Favorite Treasure – Anything of monetary value.  Unlike some dragons that are entranced by sparkling items, red dragons have a keen eye for things of worth.  Everything in their horde is their favorite, if a red dragon gifts from his horde, you have been extremely honored.
Habitat – Prefers caves in and around volcanoes but any mountain cave will do.
Favorite Food – Absolutely anything edible, though there have been rumor of a preference for young maidens, this has not been substantiated.  They are greedy and often consume more than they require.
Enemies – Known to be aggressive with all other dragons except white which they consider not worth their time or effort. This of course, depends upon the personality of the red dragon itself.  They are most often arrogant and see all others as inferior to themselves.  They have a distinct dislike for Silver Dragons.
Magical Skill – Proficient at magic
Parenting – The younger of the pair will stay close to the eggs and keep the nest burning.

Aggressiveness – Highly territorial in all regards. Red Dragons are fast in flight but somewhat clumsy so prefer to battle on the ground as other dragons can often out-maneuver them.   Their preferred order of attack is breath weapon first, which usually ends most conflicts before they start.  If this fails, they use their massive bodies and then and only then magic.   While proficient, there are other flights with better magical skills.  If the enemy has treasure they want, they will start with an on ground physical attack in hopes of not damaging items they are attempting to acquire.  Due to their arrogance, a red dragon will fight to the death more than any other flight once first blood is drawn;  even when they have the option of escape.  To be defeated and run is not acceptable to a red dragon.

Intelligence – Highly intelligent, calculating and patient.  Due to this extraordinary patience, red dragons often strike when their foes are completely complacent and believe all danger is past.  They often make up situations and plan attacks which they can grab in sudden conflict.  This makes them appear highly battle efficient when in truth they have probably played their tactic through many times in imaginary situations.   They are exceptional liars often believing their own fabrications of their greatness.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Little Story is on my Wall at Work!

I have this framed with a picture I took of the ocean and a starfish.  It has guided me in many areas of my life from counseling, financial decisions and who I am as a person.  We do make a difference, even if it is just to one.



"Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
"It made a difference for that one."
— Loren Eiseley

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Transitioning to Life as a Writer

It is amazing, one year ago I had not yet attempted to publish Outcast though I was talking about it given that my first children's book was well received.  Now, almost ten months later, I have given notice to become a full time writer and stop working as a counselor.  This blip in the road with my health has been scary but not a stop to my transition.  My last day at work will still be October 2nd.

In the meantime, though there is a clamor for Bloodmines, I am working on a more adult series that will be shorter novelettes for a Chronicles series.  I needed to step away from Alador for a bit having put two novels out for him in six months.  My goal is to still have Bloodmines out around the end of the year though this health may put that off a bit. I will still have three out in a year. Not bad considering I have been working a full time career.

Things I have learned this year:
1.  Pay for a proofreader - no matter how many times I read my own work, the error blend into the story and I can't see them. Biggest negative comment I have is on grammar and punctuation despite my knowledge in this area.

2.  I have a homophone disorder when I am most creative.  When the words are flying, my fingers grab the first spelling no matter the context. Example: Ensure vs Insure

3.  The more I write, the more story is in my head to write.  Even laying in the hospital bed, unable to put words to the page due to narcotics.  ( discovered words on page with narcotics leave out whole clauses) I was till writing the next scene the next chapter in my head.  Now I just have to get home and finish this novelette. It is written, just not on the screen.

4.  That no matter the story, I will not have a consensus on my writing.  I have feedback on how wonderful my in-depth and character build is and negative feedback that not enough is happening.  I have feedback that the first book was to whimsical and not enough depth to the plot and feedback that the second was two dark.  So, what I have learned from this, write MY story. Some will like it and some will not and that is okay.

5.  I have learned how to publicize as an independent author and keep my novels in the top 100.

6.  I have learned that the author community of independent writers is highly supportive and there for you on good days and on bad.

7.  I have learned Cancer will not define me or my world.

8.  Most importantly, I have learned that fantasy is the realm in which my dreams will and do come true.  Whether it is in the writing, the outcomes or the pages themselves, fantasy is my path to happiness.

Thank you to everyone that reads and follows me. Your support during this difficult time has been more helpful than any of you probably realize.

Cheri Matthynssens
aka the balanceguide aka Dragon's Geas

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cancer Update! Impact on Book 3~

I want to thank Rebecca Hunt, one of my dearest friends, for telling me about the caring bridges site. I want to keep this blog about fantasy stuff so I went ahead and set one up for those actually wishing to follow health updates and status.  This will be my last post about that here.  This way people don't have to ask, they can check there for how I am doing and what I am doing.  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cherylmatthynssens 

I also started a fundraising page to help meet the expenses of travel to and funds for chemotherapy.  That page is at : http://www.gofundme.com/cudai8 The tribute donations on the caring bridges site go to caring bridge and not to the page owners.  Any help to meet that goal will keep stresses down so I CAN write.

Granddaughter born day before diagnosis!
  So here is a catch up of events:On July 21st, I called in sick to work. I didn't feel well.  Later that day, I went to Russ and told him something was wrong.  He took me to the walk in clinic where I was promptly referred to Dr. Quigley, a surgeon, for a scope of my colon. On the 23rd, Dr. Quigley shared his concern for my symptoms and told me it could not wait. He scheduled the procedure for the 25th. 


July 25th I was told I had colon cancer almost completely obstructing and surgery was scheduled immediately. I had it removed on the 29th of July.  The pathology report showed it was a well differentiated tumor and only four of the thirty lymph nodes harvested came back positive. My surgeon tells me this is all good news.   I am being referred for chemo in mid-September.  Some time between now and then they will be putting a port in my shoulder because the doctor says my veins will not handle the chemotherapy.

On August 7th, I was re-admitted as the juncture where I was put back together collapsed and was obstructed.  Thankfully, some liquid therapy and meds, it reopened on its own.  The doctor said he could not explain it.  I could.. there were a lot of people praying.  I got to come back home on the 8th.

I am home today and resting.  I tried to hurry back to work but whenever I suggest it, the doctor laughs at me. *sighs*.  Writing has also slowed down. Pain is a deterrent to creativity.  Not completely though, my new book is moving but slowly.  I know many of you are waiting for Bloodmine.  My hope is to have that out by the first of the year even with this set back.  Please know this is an aggressive goal but I hope to achieve it.  The audio version of The Blackguard did get released on time, so that goal has been met. Thank you to my narrator, Paul.


My next personal goal is to find a Corgi.  I want one for a comfort pet.  If anyone knows of anyone with a baby Corgi, I am looking. I want a baby so we can bond and be tight as I go through this battle that I have been told will be at least six months.


I love you all. Thank you for your support. 
Cheri





Saturday, August 9, 2014

Why Am I an Amazon Select Author?

I have been asked this question many times since the debate with Hachette started.  Why are you an Amazon Select Author.  The truth?  Well the truth at first is that I could not afford to be anything else or I thought so at the time. I have learned a lot since then but even now I do not expand beyond Amazon.

But why?

First:  When I had no money but I had a story, Amazon published it through createspace for free.  No minimum purchase.  No upfront fees.  No inventory on hand.  Just.. here is my story.  I was working full time and knew from previous business experience there was some benefit in this as my time is also worth money.  Instead of panicking about filling orders and different sites, I could leverage my time to writing and publicity.

Second:  I have long known and agree with Amazon's position with Hachette that a lower price tag means more sales and when you leverage those numbers that it will mean more profit to the bottom line. Amazon recently released this information and I have used the same tactics when I owned a gift store.
My ebook

"E-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that's 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger."

Third:  My time is worth money. Especially now that I have to battle cancer.  By not keeping track of  the many websites and portals, I have leveraged my time to free it up for more writing.  I have heard, you could have more sales if you listed your book here and here and here.  Maybe, maybe I could.  But I am not writing to be rich and famous.  Oh, I won't lie, that would be nice.  However, by having a single portal without paying additional people a share of my profits, I have freedom of time. This means more to me than a few more sales.

Fourth:  Profit: Okay, let us be honest.  Profit makes additional writing possible. The more reduction of financial stress, the more creative I am.  I am making enough profit doing things the way I am doing that I had already given notice to be a full time Independent writer before I found out I had cancer.  Even now if the face of cancer, I know if I don't stop doing what I am doing, there will be enough profit to pay the medical bills.

Fifth:  What about the new Kindle Unlimited?  The jury for me is still out on this program.  My sales immediately dropped when Kindle Unlimited came out.  Little self disclosure here:  In July, my book was borrowed 610 times in the US with a profit of $1366.40.  I averaged 2.24 per borrow prior to KDP select starting.   My book, Outcast, when sold at $2.99 only brings in  $2.00 in profit.  Assuming that the amount I receive per borrow stays above 2.00, I am actually better off if my book is borrowed. That just makes good financial sense.  However, I am waiting for the first report to come out to see what the price per borrow was when Unlimited was introduced and that will decide for me.

Lastly:  What if it changes?? What if you quit making such a good income because Amazon squeezes down the profit margins?  These are questions I have been asked.  Contracting Cancer has only solidified something I have always believed.  I can't live in tomorrow.  I can't future trip and run around panicked trying to leverage against something that has not happened.  I don't have the time or energy for such a waste of energy against something that might NEVER happen.  If it does happen, then I will take it like I live life, one day at a time.  However, for Amazon to sell books, they have to have authors.  The truth is, no great outlet ever squeezes their supplier out of existence.    But if it does happen, if the worst shoe drops, then and only then will I jump a ship.  It make no sense to me to jump off a ship that might sink some day.

I hope those of you that have bought in to Hachette's media campaign will at least take the time to read this article http://www.readersunited.com/ . Authors are not United on this issue as Hachette claim,   I have learned that over time, loyalty often triumphs diversity.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Speaking of Magic by Robert McCammon

I wanted to write about Magic.  But Mr. McCammon says it far better than I ever could.  Here is a passage from Boy's Life.  It ties up in essence, all that I believe about magic.





“You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Finding One's Feet in Fantasy

Well as an update - I made it through surgery and although still tired and sore, appear to be recovering well. I find out tomorrow the stage of cancer and what it will mean for chemo, radiation, life expectancy and so much more.  Strangely, as a fantasy writer, I find these things intriguing.

Fantasy in the concepts of writing is defined as:  An imaginative fiction dependent for effect upon the strangeness of setting and or the characters.  So a new world, strange new beasts or even the use of magic or mind skills not perceived as common in our day to day experiences.

Writers have been playing with fantasy forever; for it is the realm of tales where good triumphs over evil and magic can rescue one from the hardships of life or even your own stupidity.  Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream or J.R.R. Tolkiens famous trilogy are examples of excellent fantasy.

Fantasy is a place where one can escape the trials and tribulations of day to day life and while the hero may not always win, you are given someone to root for and align with in hopes of a desired outcome.

So in the world of fantasy in which I thrive, my children and I named the cancer Bob.  Bob just had to go.  And from that slips a tale of fantasy in which our heroine is dealing with a most obtrusive and obnoxious suitor.  And though she has found ways to cut him from her life, the damages that he has left remain obstacles to overcome.  As she surmount challenge after challenge, our obnoxious suitor stays just out of sight, waiting to claim her for his own.  Will she rise up and slay him once and for all?  Will the trials and tribulations of his stalking be to much to overcome?  In that final battle, will he overcome her tenacity and stubborn resistance and claim her once and for all as his own?

See, that is the thing about fantasy... the only way out is through.  Until you read every sword clash, every monster overcome and every moment of triumph for our heroine, you do not know.  You have to read till the end.

I will see you all at the end.  Whatever it brings, we will read it together.  We will cry together. We will triumph or fall....together.

Life truly is a never ending story till the last breath is drawn and this writer plans to make sure her heroine breathes every last moment full of color, gratitude and love.  For is that not the stuff that dreams are made of?  See you at the end....

                                                 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Update - Surgery

Just wanted to update my loyal readers, I made it through surgery. Was a rough go of it for a couple days as there were complications but if all goes well, I get to go home today.  They still have me drugged enough that writing has been just out of reach. I am encouraged however, in that I am writing to you all right now.

My granddaughter, Breanna Skye, was born while I was here and so I got to hold her. I look more like I had her but it was a special moment given the uncertainty of my prognosis at this time.  I will not find out what stage of Cancer I have had removed until the labs come back. I will let you all know the outcomes when I have them.


Look, brave enough to show horrible hospital picture.  But.. she was to precious not to show

I will let you know when I am home.  Oh, The Society of Enlightened Dragonologists launched while I was out cold.  It is at dragonologists.com.  Also, Blackguard came out in Audio form.  Again, while I was out so I have had no opportunities to promote it. 

Talk to you all soon. 
Cheri Lynn

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Delay for Book Three - Explanation



I am afraid there may be a bit of a delay for book three.  Yesterday, I received a diagnosis of cancer.  It is serious enough that I am having surgery on Tuesday and I have no idea how long it will take me to get back to writing after that.  I had promised book three out by the end of the year but I am not sure I will be able to deliver.  It is still my intent and my goal, but health may decide I have to slow it down a bit.  Then again, mandatory time off work, may balance that out. I just don't know.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Brand New World for the Author!

I have not written here for a bit.  I have been inundated with things in my job, home life and publicity. Even as I write, our County is on fire.  There were some concerns yesterday it was going to move north and with that would come the possibility of evacuating our wild farm.  It really puts in perspective what is really important to you when you know you are going to have to put an entire life into one truck.  I discovered that really, my laptop for writing, my phone for communicating, pictures and albums and a few mementos from the children's childhood were the only things I felt had to go into the truck.  Everything else, I can live without.


I do wish to put an end to a rumor that I have heard.  The fire was not started by Keensight or his kin. Lightening was responsible.  I do wish to set that straight.  Keensight would never put me in danger. I have total faith in this.

I have given notice at my job.  I will work 3/4 time through October 2nd and then will take the scary leap to full time writer.  I am excited, seeing a dream come true.  But I am also terrified as my well being and future will now be 100 percent relying on my own drive and creativity.   Knowing that you now have to treat something you love as a job does move it slightly but in the long run, my mind is writing all the time.  I just have to watch procrastination.  This will be a brand new course in my life; a brand new world if you will.

I have been asked when Bloodmines will be out.  I am shooting for mid to end December.  It is amazing to look back and realize I have put two novels out in ten months and will soon be putting out a third. If I meet the goal, It will be three in a little over a year.


Currently, I am working on listening to the proof for the audio of The Blackguard.  The kindle version continues to hold top 40 of Sword and Sorcery, it's predecessor - Outcast, holding in the top 20.  The Blue Dragon's Geas continues to be highly well received with a 96% approval rating between Amazon review and Goodreads.

I am also in the process of creating and launching the Society of Enlightened Dragonologists.  It will be a centralized location to find information on dragons, art of dragons and stories of intelligent dragons full of magic, life and wonder.   It will give those with a love for creative dragon art, rather written or artistic to support one another.  It will give those that love dragons a go to place for new art and stories.  It is an exciting project.   The website as of August 1, 2014 will be dragonologists.com.
Until then, we are gathering together at the following blog:  http://enlightened-dragonologists.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dragons are Creatures Who Lead Enthralling Lives

“Everybody knows who dragons are. They are enourmous,fierce,bloodthirsty creatures appearing in fairytales and legends primarily as accessories, functioning mainly to set of the bravery of the knights challenging them. Dragons are obscure,mysterious characters described only in broad terms, little more than foils to enhance a hero's valor. Dragons though are much more than this. They are intelligent and educated creatures who lead entralling lives.” ― H.G. Ciruelo Cabral

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Such an Exciting Week!

I am not sure where to even start.  I took my cover illustrator around the terrain that inspired the terrain in Outcast and The Blackguard.  We even managed to get some shots that were from "a dragon's view"






Heather and I have had a great time touring the area and showing her different vantages she can use for the cover of Bloodmines.  We covered most of the state in one capacity or another.  We even sat by a stream for awhile that shows up in The Bloodmines.



It meant I wasn't around a lot to work on the next book or publicity.  So imagine my joy when this came out in the local paper.



Add to that, I have heard the first three audio chapters for The Blackguard and you could just about peel me off the roof.  Life is spiraling to somewhere good and I feel caught up in the whirlwind of excitement.  My new website is well on its way to being built for the release date of August 1, 2014 and Becky even put a little dragon in a hard hat on it for now.  dragonologists.com

If anyone ever tells you that dreams don't come true.  I can attest they do.  You just have to work hard to obtain them and not give up!