Subject 23 – Free Prequel to Love, Lies & Clones

Sound the trumpets!

I finished a short prequel to Love, Lies & Clones that I thought was a lost cause.

It’s called Subject 23. Here it is:

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Blood &Subject 23

Alice Taylor poured her heart into the advancement of science. It wasn’t until she connected with a surrogate mother, Subject 23, did she begin questioning what path science was taking her down.

This is a glimpse into June’s father’s cloning experiments. Meet June’s mother, Alice, and watch her struggle with the ethics behind the project.

You can download a copy HERE.

I had started writing it back in January with hopes of using it to entice readers to pick up the full novel, but abandoned the project because it contained spoilers, and I couldn’t figure out how to get the spoilers out of the story.

What a shame to have a story mostly finished and not be able to let people read it…that was until I had an idea last week while writing the post for my 1000 “true” fans blog series.

I finished this 5000+ word story up and am marketing it as a prequel best enjoyed AFTER reading the full novel. I mean, that’s better than letting it sit on the virtual shelf, unread, right?

If you’re interested, it’s a standalone story. You can read it if you’ve read Love, Lies & Clones, don’t intend to read the novel, or don’t really care about spoilers.

I kept a similar cover to Love, Lies & Clones, just to keep it easy. Hopefully, that doesn’t make things confusing.

Subject 23 (1)

Have a great day, everyone! Thanks for sharing my journey.

–Joy

 

Quick Escape – FREE Fantasy Short Story Collection

I (finally) put together a collection of short stories that I want to give away free as a thank you for reading my blog. If you’re interested, they’re available exclusively through this link or by clicking the book title below. You can download them for Kindle, EPUB readers, or PDF format.


cover_image

Enjoy a taste of another world with these three fantasy stories. 

  • Bitten: A desperate mother struggles to protect her son.
  • The Fairy Flu:A sick fairy confronts a childhood rival who threatens the kingdom.
  • The Enchanted Apothecary: A grieving shopkeeper becomes suspicious of a mysterious man who keeps visiting her apothecary shop.

(Yes, this was COMPLETELY a shameless plug to grow my newsletter list. Please forgive me. If I get annoying, please tell me. To learn more about my quest for 2017 to find “true” fans, click HERE.)

The Fairy Flu – Flash Fiction

Ffairy-fluor something different, here’s a flash fiction piece I wrote a little while ago. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A sick fairy needs her powers to save the princess’s unborn child.

 

“Urgh, let me sleep,” Emerald moaned as she rolled over in her tiny bed. “The queen will have to do without me.” She’d been sick for more than a week. It started with loss of her powers, but progressed to a dreadful sneezing, coughing, and upset stomach event. It took three weeks for her mother to get better. Emerald didn’t know how she’d make it that long, but knew she needed to sleep. The kingdom needed her — the princess’s baby was due any day now and as the kingdom’s only fairy godmother, Emerald was the only one able to protect the child.

Emerald squinted at Braden’s massive blue eye peering inside her miniature home. His voice was deep and slow. Emerald struggled to understand him when she was standard fairy size, but she couldn’t enlarge now — she’d need her powers for that. “She won’t understand. The princess is due with the baby any day now and she needs you beside them. The baby will need your protection,”

Emerald coughed and coughed again until her stomach muscles ached. She should have known not to bring her mother that thimble of chicken soup. “Tell them I don’t want to get them sick.”

“She knows it’s only contagious amongst fairies.”

“Tell her I’ll come tomorrow. Tell her anything — I can’t get out of bed.”

Brayden left with the message, and Emerald slipped beneath her silk blanket and dwelled on failing her duties. Eventually, she fell back to sleep.

It didn’t seem like much time had passed when Brayden shook Emerald’s house to wake her. “She still wants you.”

Emerald tried to focus on his words, but all she noticed was her sweat-soaked sheets; her fever must be breaking.

Brayden continued, “She says you should just wish away your sickness. Like you do for the humans.”

If she could have, she would have done that already. “Doesn’t she know my powers are blocked and fairies cannot cure other fairies illnesses?” Emerald forced her eyes open.

“Yes, but Obsidian is here.”

Her stomach turned. “I’m still not going.” Emerald pushed the thoughts of her childhood with Obsidian away. They had always competed for everything: the best test scores in magic academy, the most human friends, the better control of their magic, and the best jobs. Obsidian always won until Emerald secured her position as fairy godmother.

He looked at her with huge focused eyes. “Despite how you feel, you promised to protect them. Obsidian threatens the unborn child.”

Emerald dragged herself up on her elbows, careful not to twist her wings. “He has no power over the baby until birth. Why’s he here now?”

“He’s come to demand your spot in the castle. He says if they don’t give it to him, he’ll come back and curse the baby.”

One of Emerald’s duties was putting a protection spell on each member of the kingdom. A spell to make them immune to dark magic, Obsidian’s magic. The baby was vulnerable until she could fulfill this duty. As the only fairy tied to the royal family, she was the only one who could cast this spell. She hoped her sickness would go away in time.

With a sigh, Emerald staggered onto Brayden’s hand and allowed him to carry her into the royal sitting room. Here wings were useless as they needed magic to fly. The queen stood under the large window and the pregnant princess sat in a velvet chair in front of the fire. Obsidian leaned against the doorway, with a smirk he displayed when he was up to something.

“You’re looking as beautiful as ever,” Obsidian said to her. She glared in return, not bothering to smooth out her frazzled sweat-soaked hair, though she found the energy to clench her fists. It was hard to work against dark magic. Today though, she wouldn’t allow him to have the upper hand, even if she was ill.

“You will never get my spot in the castle,” Emerald vowed. “You may have always outdone me, but not this time.”

Obsidian shrunk to fairy size and joined her on Brayden’s hand, whispering so the others couldn’t hear. “Oh, I intend to. When the baby comes in a few days, I’ll have taken your spot. I understand you are a little under the weather.”

Emerald’s nose tickled. She wrinkled it and sniffed, but she couldn’t hold back. Obsidian’s eyes widened as he took a step back. Just then, Emerald had the perfect idea and let her sneeze escape, aimed right at Obsidian – spraying germs all over his face. “Forgive me,” she said with a smile.

Obsidian wiped his face dry before scowl waltzed across his face.

Emerald strengthened her voice and spoke with commitment. “I don’t think you’ll feel well enough next week for a curse.”

Obsidian huffed and stretched out his black wings, flying out of the castle window.

Emerald collapsed in Brayden’s hand. “I’m ready now, please take me back to bed.”

The End

I hope this brought you some entertainment!

Wanted: Someone to Read my Urban Fantasy Novel

As I’m preparing to publish my new novel, BLOOD & HOLY WATER, I’m looking for some high-level feedback on the story.

Is anyone interested? It should be a fairly quick read.

I can send the file over in word, adobe, google docs, .rtf, or many other formats.

BHW finalSecond Order Angel, Ava, is sick of helping elderly women cross the street and strategically placing spare change where the poor can find it. She wants to be promoted and finally earn her wings. An angel promotion takes more than Ava’s hard work and determination though. It takes a miracle – literally. Unfortunately, her miracle is impossible, as it involves a vampire.

Fin, the vampire in question, has a different agenda. He doesn’t deserve a miracle and can’t be bothered helping a naïve angel earn her wings. He’s busy enough keeping the Blood Board off his back. Fin has spent his entire life as a vampire avoiding his own kind, and now it seems his luck has run out. When one of his secrets surfaces, it seems nothing can help him short of a miracle. Too bad he scared the angel away.

Contact me below if you are interested.

Here is a link to the FIRST CHAPTER if you’d like read before deciding.

–Joy

I Wrote a Novel (or Two), Now What?

I’ve read that only about 3% of novels are ever finished. (Keep in mind, 99% of statistics are false. 🙂)

So here I sit with two manuscripts, asking myself… “There. I’m done. I said I’d finish… But now what? It’s a shame to just let it sit in a pile or on a file on my hard drive.”

I began doing my research and holy crap is the publishing industry confusing. Where does one even start? Ten years ago, I would have had a quick and easy answer to that. Find an agent and get a publisher, of course. Now, that whole philosophy is changing.

The first decision I need to make is between the two main types of publishing, traditional publishing versus self-publishing. After this decision, there are many choices within each publishing umbrella. Agent vs. direct to the publisher, large press vs. small press, Amazon vs. Smashwords, $3.99 vs. FREE.

Urgh! I’ve never been good with choices!

I could write a blog laying out these choices, but I thought it would be better to just link some of the good ones here:

Pros and Cons of Traditional vs Indie Publishing: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/self-publishing-vs-traditional/ (There’s a little propaganda here, but it lays it out nicely.)

And for lighter reading: http://annerallen.com/ive-written-book-now-what-22-steps-to/

So where does that leave me? I had to get down to my PURPOSE for writing. Besides enjoying it, I want to write stories that will bring many people entertainment… So, how do I get my writing into as many hands as possible?

At first, I figured I’d self-publish and GIVE my novels away for FREE. The more and more I researched that, the more it concerned me. First, I still am not certain that people would find and take the stories seriously, even if they were FREE. Secondly, would I be insulting the whole writing community by doing this? (And thirdly, how would I justify spending $1000-$2000 dollars on a novel cover, book editor, formatting, etc. of self-publishing with no return?)

So, I moved off that thought… (Though, if anyone asked me for my story, I’d be happy to send them a free copy.😊 I can’t say no.)

Next, I moved on to self-publishing, but struggle how to get readers. That’s my goal, right? To have people actually find my story and read it? I love the control one has in the publishing process, but if I wrote a story to have nobody find it? That would be heart wrenching.

I feel that breaking into the traditional publishing market is like finding a needle in a haystack… Or maybe a field of haystacks, but I read that the experience of trying, is probably a learning experience every author should have… Small press publishing may be easier, but I feel readership is probably similar to self-publishing.

So… I have two books and know I’ll have more in the future. Since I can’t make up my mind, I’m going to query agents for LOVE, LIES, & CLONES and self-publish BLOOD & HOLY WATER. The best of both worlds, right? I’m excited for the experience of trying both methods and comparing the two.(Both of which, I’ll update in this blog.) I’m shooting for only 10 rejections before I turn to self-publishing.  I know that’s not enough, but I’m not sold on traditional publishing anyway. When all is said and done, I’ll probably end up self-publishing both books.

What are your thoughts on the publishing industry?

WIN_20160809_142431

Blood & Holy Water – First Draft Done!

It only took me nearly TEN years and multiple first attempts, but Blood & Holy Water has a completed first draft! It feels fantastic!

PLUS I feel it’s the best first draft I’ve ever written. This story I wrote with the help of a critique partner (who I found on GoodReads) that went through each chapter as I wrote it – helped me with plot holes and grammar issues as I wrote… Which left me with a First Draft I’d actually show more people.

I started June 26th with the actually writing and finished today… 41 days to 60K. Not bad, but this novel practically wrote itself (it should have, I had 10 years to think about it!)

Next step: August 15th I’m participating in a novel swap though Scribophile where we swap novels with 3 others writers. I haven’t participated before, but we each will end up with three critiques on our novels. There’s still time to sign up (it’s free) if you need a read through of your novel. There are alpha reads and beta reads.  I have 10 days to zip through what I wrote one more time and make sure it’s ready for the swap.

Also, here is the first chapter of Blood & Holy Water if you’re interested.

Thank you for following my journey!

–Joy

Blood & Holy Water Cover

 

Week 1: Camp NaNoWriMo – Excerpt

First off, I want to say that I’m loving the cabin I’m in for this Camp NaNoWriMo!  They are super supportive and a chatty group.

Secondly, I wanted to brag a little.  Please forgive me.  Week 1 of camp has come to a close and I’m ecstatic with my progress!

I’m 8 out of 27 chapters into my novel and I’ve already shared and revised them with feedback of my critique partner. Eight chapters equals 17,000 words towards my goal of 31,000 by the end of the month.

I picked this story to write solely to have fun, and it hasn’t disappointed me. With no pressure for anything, the story is flowing and I’m disregarding any internal critic telling me that it’s not worth the digital ink it’s being written in. I need to write silly, ridiculous stories more often. 🙂  (Vampires and Angels, a ton of fun!  Plus I’m writing in alternating 3rd person limited POV, which is also quite entertaining.)

Here is the first page if you are interested – still in first draft format.  Beware, there is some foul language.

 FIN

Fin glided down the emergency department’s hallway cupping a syringe of blood in his hand, trying to lose his invisible stalker.

Damn angel.

His own unfulfilling blood pooled in his mouth as his teeth dug into his bottom lip.  The syringe he hid was nearly pulsating in his palm, beckoning to him.  His body wanted to run, but there were a few humans around and he couldn’t draw attention to himself.  He focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

“Good evening Dr. O’Brian,” a nurse nodded at him.

He forced a reserved smile that hid his fangs and continued to walk. “Evening, Jane.”

Despite holding his breath, the odors of sage and cinnamon still filled his senses.  He tried to filter them out, focusing on the multiple disinfectants in the hallway instead.

Though only seconds passed, to Fin it felt like an eternity before he disappeared into the empty physician’s lounge.  When the door clicked shut, he brought the syringe to his lips and sucked down the contents.  Instant relief.  He could now focus on the angel, whose spicy scent was impossible to ignore.

Why now?  Were the angels finally coming after him for his sins from 22 years ago?

“Show yourself,” he snapped; his teeth threatened to resurface.  He wouldn’t hide anymore.

Nothing.

“Come out of Goddamn hiding!” he roared and then realized he should have been wiser in his word choice in front of an angel.

He took some unnecessary breaths to calm himself. He had to be careful or the beast won. The angel’s aroma reminded him of the last moments of his human life, as he fought with the Angel of Death.  Pain.  Loss.  Desire.  He shook his head, focus Fin.

“How long do I have left?” He asked into the air while allowing his gaze to search the empty room.  He was certain this was the end.  His time to die – for good.  No matter how many times he told himself he was ready, he wasn’t.

Blood & Holy Water Cover

For the full first chapter, click here: Blood & Holy Water – Chapter 1  If you read this and wish to leave comments, go for it. I’d be happy for more feedback.

 

How’s your project coming?