Friday, January 31, 2014

My friend, Melissa Lummis, has a new release!

Samadhi – Book Three in the Love and Light Series is available NOW


Wolf and Loti are learning the hard way that karma will not be denied.  In their quest for the truth, they've been forced into a blood bond with a powerful witch who isn't so sure she wants to be tied down.  But there's one thing they can agree on:  it’s time to eliminate the ancient vampire who set off this deadly chain of events--Modore.

Using any means necessary--torture, murder, and even death magic--Modore lures the triumvirate into the show down of their lives.  And the consequences will far exceed even Modore's imagination.

In this final installment of the Love and Light Series, the boundaries of love, lust, and even life itself will be tested and the universe as they know it will never be the same.

About the Author
Melissa Lummis considers herself a truth seeker, a peaceful warrior, a paranormal and fantasy writer, an avid reader, a thru-hiker GAàME ’98, a Penn Stater, a wife, a mother, and a free thinker.  She believes the universe conspires to help an adventurer.   And if we live our lives as if it is a daring adventure (and it is!), then everything we need will find its way to us.

Her books have been described as new age suspense in a fantasy setting, but they are also straight up, steamy Paranormal Romance.  The Love and Light Series is currently available at most ebook retailers and soon to come is the Little Flame Series, a spin off focusing on the character Fiamette from the Love and Light world.

Melissa lives in rural Virginia with her husband, two children, an Alaskan Malamute, and a myriad of forest creatures.  The nature of her mind dictates that she write to stay sane.  Otherwise, her fertile imagination takes off on tangents of its own accord, creating scenarios and worlds that confuse the space-time continuum.
Namaste, dear friends.

Melissa’s Social Links:
Check out for more about her and her books.
Follow @melissalummis on Twitter.
Tumble with Melissa on tumblr.
And watch her and co-host Buddy Gott on the Sunday Night Fiction Club on YouTube.

Get unique content, early access to publications, and exclusive giveaways by subscribing to her newsletter.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Character Interview: Sy

Sitting on my couch surrounded by two sleepy poodles, I imagine Sy walking in and giving a half grin.

Sy: You look beautiful as always *he sits on the couch next to me rather than in the chair*

Me: I’m still in my pajamas and haven’t brushed my hair. Nice try, but I know you’re only saying that so I don’t kill you off.
Sy: *clutches his chest, but grins* Why do you always hurt me?

Me: *shakes my head* You ready for this interview?
Sy: Absolutely. About time you put some attention on me.

Me: I have plans for you. It just isn’t time yet.  Regardless though, the audience already likes you, try not to ruin it.
Sy: Damn near impossible. What’s not to like?

Me: *Clears throat* Let’s start with the basics. Tell people a little about you.
Sy: I’m the bartender at The Office. That’s pretty much all there is to tell.

Me: So you’re just a bartender…I don’t think anyone will believe it.
Sy:  I can’t imagine what you’re implying. What else would I be, dear writer? *raises challenging eyebrow*

Me: Yes, yes. Perhaps we can’t tell them that, but we could give them a bit more than you are just a bartender. They already know you can be in two places at once and you work for someone, but no one knows who.
Sy: …the owner of the bar.

Me: …
Sy: Look. I can’t talk about it. The Abyss is a large place and at any given time there are several games in play. To thrive here, you learn to navigate the jugglers and stay out of the line of fire. If I talk too much then I will be known for being chatty. Power in the Abyss comes from knowledge and connections. I know people and I stay informed on what’s happening because I don’t say a word about it. That gives me power.

Me: Who are the jugglers?
Sy: The people who are changing the course of our world. The trouble makers. You know some of them. Olivia, Holden, Femi—

Me: Selene.
Sy: *runs hand over hair* Yes, my cousin definitely qualifies as a trouble maker. I blame her human side. 

Me: What about the people you work for. Are they jugglers?
Sy: They’re the ringmasters.

Me: What does that make you?
Sy: Busy. I help people when I can. Otherwise I stay out of it. The only reason I allowed myself to get involved in the elf problems is Selene is standing dead center and she needs all the friends she can get. Running a bounty hunter hub means a lot of different races and people pass through my doors every day. I can’t show favoritism or they stop trusting me. I am a man without racial allegiance.

Me: No man is an island.
Sy: *shrugs* Poetry has no bearing on my life, but I will say that my family and friends might be a bridge connecting me to something a bit more solid. 

Me: How can you be in two places at once? Could you be in more than two if you needed to?
Sy: If I wouldn’t tell Selene that, what makes you think I will tell you?

Me: Because I can squash you like a bug with two little words: Sy died.
Sy: We both know you wouldn’t do that. You have plans for me—and hopefully for Femi. Me and Femi, together in a whole variety of positions. Sweat, fingernails, biting…Do you catch my drift?

Me: Femi might have her own plans. Don’t think I can’t tell that you are trying to redirect me from my question.
Sy: Fine. It’s a perk of the job. Someone, preferably me, always have to be at the Office. It never closes. The only way that’s possible is with a little magic, but I can only be in two places at once. That’s all I’m saying.

Me: One last question. If Femi and Selene both needed your help, which one would you choose?
Sy: I would choose both and leave the Office unattended.

Me: What would happen to you?
Sy: *looks grim* Let’s try not to find out.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner! And a Sneak Peek of Tiddly Jinx.

Selene's wedding dress contest has come to an end and we have a winner!

Alana D. won the opportunity to have a character named after her with this entry.

I love the beading and the antique feel of this dress. It will fit perfectly into the story in Tiddly Jinx, which is coming along well. Writing Selene, Cheney and company is always fun. It is great to explore some newer characters like Cheney's half-sister Lily and the necromancer Frost as well as dive back into the old ones. I put it up for a vote on Facebook and Twitter and you, my lovely readers, chose to have both Selene and Cheney's point of view in Tiddly Jinx (if you don't follow me on facebook, you can connect here or @LizSchulte on Twitter);


I can't wait to share more with you so I will have a long sneak peek of Tiddly Jinx that I will send out in my next newsletter and give you just a taste today. 

I went up the guard tower to take a look. Only one guard remained at the top while the others plus a few from the castle had formed a line between two groups of protesters on the ground. “What’s going on?”

“Another group showed up today.” He pointed to the left side. “The other fae races.”

I looked closer a the new group. They were a mixture of nearly all the races: fairies, sprites, dwarves, goblins, and even half-elves. At first I was baffled why they would protest Selene then I read their signs. They weren't protesting, they were defending her. Their signs all had messages about equality, the need for change, and Selene was portrayed as a figure of hope. The weight of my decision fully landed on me. It was one thing to turn away from hate, it was another to walk away from hope.

“What’d you do to piss them off?” Lily’s voice came from behind me.

I turned to look at my half-elf sister. Lily may have been full fae, but she wasn’t full elf. She was half elf and half fortuna fae. I had the urge to block them from her view, ashamed of my people. “Fell in love with the wrong person.”

She moved around me to see. Her mouth twisted into a wry smile. “One pretty little half-elf and all these people get their panties in a wad. I don’t envy you." She nudged me with her elbow. "That's why I work with jinn. Nothing gets their panties in a wad. Most don’t even wear them.” She winked at the guard who struggled to maintain his composure. 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Don't Let Anyone Tell You Not To Self-Publish

Today I am going to go off on a little bit of a tangent. I like to keep my blog about my books and me for the most part, but I also know and am approached by a lot of writers. I am always happy to help and I believe in being really transparent about my experiences with publishing. You see this is a business. It isn’t a business that I feel like I am in competition with any other writer, but one where we can all learn from other people’s experiences. Because of this I like to read and pay attention to industry articles. I would also like to say, I don't buy into this who indie vs. traditional mentality. We are all just trying to do what we love and it doesn't matter what roads we take to get there. 

When I first started self-publishing the trend was for most industry articles to 1. Ignore self-publishers or 2. Ridicule us. I never let it deter me because I have never sought anyone’s approval in my life, why would I start now. After indies could no longer ignored, the trend moved to villainizing us.  We were single-handedly destroying the publishing industry by not following the rules the traditional houses had laid forth. We had the nerve to publish books in genres they had deemed to be dead and make money doing it. Now, I find that it has shifted once again. This time they like to report incorrect information. I read things like 1.8% of self-publishers make over $100,000 (Digital Book World). What are they basing this information on? No one knows, but speaking to my own personal experience I am willing to say they are not basing it on the facts.

Here’s the deal (bear with me, I am a writer. Math really isn’t my strong suit). Let’s say there are 4,000,000 books on Amazon (I am sure the number is higher now this was just a number I heard a couple years ago that made me feel better about my first book being ranked 25,000). In an article by the Guardian ( Amazon says that 25% of their top 100 books are self-published. Let’s say that the percentage holds true to all books (though I imagine there are far more indies out there than 25%). That means that 1,000,000 of the books on Amazon are self-published. That would mean that 18,000 indie authors have made over $100,000 in a year (I am assuming that they are talking yearly and not over the course of a career). That would mean that two indie authors in every 100 are making a living (remember that they are probably more indies than this so this number is probably even less according to Digital Book World’s survey.)

Personally it feels like I know a lot of indie authors, but honestly probably not more than 100 who are actively publishing and not just working toward publishing. Not counting myself (though I fit into this 1.8%) I know 18 other authors who are making six figures or over self-publishing.  That is at least 18% of the people I know who are making a living at writing (and I don’t know how much everyone makes. It could still be higher.) When I was at the RWA conference in Atlanta last year I was at one of the self-publishing panels and the question was posed to the room about how many of us were supporting ourselves with just writing and about 10-15% of the room held up their hands. No this isn’t a scientific measurement, but it’s real life. I know author who aren’t making a living and I know authors who are. I bet the same goes for traditional writers.  

So what is my point in all of this? The point is if you want to publish then publish. If you have your heart set on being traditional then chase it. If you want to be an indie then do it. Don’t let anyone discourage you from living your dream. . I believe that there is a group of people out there who feel threatened by what we do and are trying to dissuade more from joining us. The fact is we aren’t writing to impress editors, agents, or publishers. We are writing for our readers and ourselves. We don’t need anyone’s approval. Write what you want to write, be professional, hire editors, and make your own dreams come true. Writing is the only art form that does not support its indie talent. Musicians aren’t threatened by indie musicians, mainstream actors do independent films, but publish your own book and the world is ending.  Don’t let any websites, articles, or publishers convince you that you are not good enough because you don’t fit their mold. There is lots of room for success in this industry.

Prove them wrong with every breath you take and take what you read with a grain of salt 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Abnormal Life of Mortimer Lee Part One

Hello all. I am busy working away on Tiddly Jinx and the next book in the Jinn Trilogy, Inferno. The cold weather and snow sweeping the country also keeps me trapped into doors which is perfect for writing. There is not much new to report on.

  • I will be at the Indie Girl Conference in Charleston, SC at the end of February. If you are in the area, please come by to see me and tons of other fantastic authors.
  • Tonight I am participating in a chat about Ember (book 1 of the Jinn Trilogy) in my book club on Facebook. Please feel free to join!
  • Currently there is a contest running to select Selene’s wedding dress for the book Tiddly Jinx and have a character named after you. 

That’s all I have right now. I will post my conference/appearance schedule soon. I leave you with a story I started writing years ago, but somehow doubt I will ever finish in novel form. So, rather than letting a perfectly good idea go to waste, I will start telling it in blog form. I will try to post an installment once a month. Please leave comments to let me know what you think.

The Abnormal Life of Mortimer Lee

Mortimer Lee died for the first time on May 6th 1941. He was thirty one years, one hundred and eighty three days, four hours and six minutes old. Mortimer often reflected on the year he first died and was then subsequently born again into a life of abnormality. No one was more surprised than he was when he opened his eyes for the first time to found himself in a mortuary... except maybe the mortician, he passed out.  Mortimer couldn't remember anything that had happened after being hit by the trolley car while on vacation.

Mortimer, having always had a sharp mind and above average intelligence, assessed the situation. He quickly exited the small, cold, windowless room certain that no good could come from staying here until the small man with glasses woke up. As Mortimer made his way out of the maze of hallways he caught sight of his reflection in a glass case. Mortimer stared at himself amazed that he could look so bad and still be moving around. His hair was plastered to his forehead with blood, a trail of dried blood was on both ears and nostrils, and his suit was torn and dirty. While brushing off his suit and trying to remove some of the blood with a handkerchief Mortimer noticed that his left leg was completely sideways from the knee down.

Mortimer was surprised that this did not bother him more. He should be in pain, conceptually he knew that, but the pain was not there. In fact Mortimer didn’t feel much besides annoying stabs of hunger.  He reached down and snapped his knee back into the proper position with a crack, but no pain. Shrugging, Mortimer continued towards the door. He found an open office along the way. In an effort to make less of a spectacle of himself on the street Mortimer picked up a hat and coat that were on an oak rack just inside an office door.

Mortimer shuffled his way back to his hotel with his head down. He still could not fathom what had happened to him or why he wasn’t at the hospital. Numbness seemed to have taken hold and had not relinquished its vice like grip as it seeped into his brain, clouding his thoughts until all he could think about was the tremendous hunger growing by leaps and bounds.  Fluky’s, known for their hotdogs, was on Mortimer’s way back to his hotel. The smell of meat made his mouth water and tunnel vision set in. He limped to the window, stomach howling with nearly ravenous hunger.

“A hotdog with everything would do the trick” Mortimer thought to himself. He got his lunch and took a large bite with greedy voraciousness.

The food in his mouth however tasted mushy and grainy. He couldn’t force himself to swallow the hotdog that tasted like sludge in mouth. Mortimer made a dash for the alley before spitting out the hot dog and dry heaving. His body lurched and the hunger screamed in his mind. While he was bent next to the dumpster Mortimer smelled something mouth wateringly delicious. Something he couldn’t quite recognize, but was definitely meat. It was similar to what he encountered earlier, but more pronounced this time. He followed his nose, the hunger t blinding him to all else.  Mortimer’s hand shot behind several crates with the accuracy of a cobra and a mind of its own. He looked at the squeaking and snarling rat it had seized from the alley and before he could stop himself he took a large bite right out of the side. He chewed the sinewy, tasty meat at last feeling relief. Warm blood trickled down his mouth and throat as Mortimer’s mind became more at peace. When he finished the last delicious morsel, he looked at his hands covered in rat blood and willed himself to be disgusted instead out wanting to lick his fingers clean.

He wiped his bloodied hand on his already ruined suit then fastened his stolen trench coat and adjusted his fedora to a Bogart-type angle before resuming his journey to the hotel. Making it to the hotel without thinking about the incident in the alley was easier than Mortimer would have anticipated. The rat was pushed from his thought by throngs of people moving past him on the streets.  He heard their heartbeats echoing in his head, the rush of the blood in their veins made his mouth water, and the delicious siren’s smell of meat, glorious meat, filled his mind. All he wanted was a taste.  Just a nibble here or there, was that so unreasonable?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

This Writer’s Resolution

I used to have a life.

I used to be fun.

These are all things I have said in the past year and the statements are as true as they are false. The thing is writing changes you—at least it changed me. I didn’t see it right away, but looking back it started way before I noticed it was happening.

While I was writing Dark Corners, I stopped wanting to go out and meet my friends. I stopped wanting to participate when I could be in and control the world in my head. Maybe this doesn’t happen to all writers, but it happens to me. People say things like writers are introverts, and I have agreed with them. Yes, writers must be introverts because I am one now. However, if I think back, I haven’t always been like this. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was ever an extrovert, but I have never been shy either.

The fact is being creative changes the way I view, approach, and live my life. As a writer it is hard to flip a switch and stop thinking with a writer’s brain when someone finally drags me out of my cave. My mind struggles to catalogue nuances of dialogue and phrasing, register expressions and emotion, and observe all those around me looking for moments of truth—those rare moments when people are unguarded for just a split second. That isn’t fun, though, for anyone but me, unless I am hanging out with other creative people (but if that happened then the chances are I wouldn’t be out in the first place. We would all still be home working and socializing via Facebook).

However, I also said those statements are false and they are to a degree. I still have a life, but it has changed. My life now revolves around doing what I love and it often consumes me, but it is still there. I am lucky to have wonderful friends and family who have accepted that and allow me to change. And I am still fun (at least I hope I am) it is just in a different way. It might be a quieter and more subtle way than before and my audience may have changed, but it is still there. The thing I have to remember is life is ever-changing. None of us will stay exactly as we are in this moment because each moment brings on new challenges and successes and lessons that shape and mold who we are and will become.

So what is the point of all of this self-aware rambling? It is the start of a new year and with that comes the hope of being better than the year before. However, I am not going to resolve to lose weight or eat healthy or go out with my friends more or learn another language. Instead, my resolution for 2014 is simple.

I resolve to embrace who I am now and all the changes this year will bring.

I wish you all a happy New Year filled with love and cupcakes.

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