Inside the mind of a fantasy writer


Ask An Author: What is your most effective social media platform?


Today, I’ve asked my panel of published authors the question, “What is your most effective social media platform?” Here are their answers….


“WordPress is most effective for people to read samples of your work and get a real idea of what you write, why you write, and how you write.  Twitter is most effective for getting quick attention and saying, “Hi. I have a book. Would you please read it?  Thanks!”

-Decker Schutt


“Facebook, with WordPress as a close second.”

– S.L. Stacy


my lady valentine med

“I’ve found Facebook, don’t over post there otherwise you will drive perspective readers away, and Twitter to be the best. Also doing radio interviews and blogs.”

– Lindsay Downs


“Facebook because I cheat. When I post on Facebook it also posts on Twitter. I kill two birds with one stone.”

-Tricia Andersen



“For me, it’s WordPress, hands down. WP is where most of my followers are and where more people are engaged.

FB would be my second choice. Though it seems most people that follow my FB page know me in real life, so I wouldn’t say it’s been a good way for me to communicate with my readers.

I’m a big fan of  the “don’t spam your friends” on FB thing. So, I don’t post writing related things on my personal FB. If my close friends/family want to know what I’m doing writing wise, they follow/check my page.

-H.N. Sieverding


“(facebook, twitter, wordpress, etc) Facebook, for allowing communication with readers and friends of course, although WordPress is a great tool for allowing you to improve your writing craft and connect with other writers who in some cases also become wonderfully dear friends.”

-Paula Acton


Meet the Authors

If you’re an author and want to participate, too, feel free to leave your answer in the comment section. We’d love to hear it!

Ask An Author: What Advice Would You Give New Authors?


Today, I’ve asked my panel of published authors the question, “What advice would you give new authors?” Here are their answers….



“First – Read, read, read.  Before you start a novel, read stories that might be similar.  Even if you don’t read the whole thing, just make sure what you want to write hasn’t been written already.

Read for style and content.  Notice the clichés that other writers use too much and make sure you avoid them.  If not, editors will think you’re not at all original.

Read for what you like and dislike.  For example, read books written first-person present tense and third-person past tense.  See what “feels” better to you.  I hate reading present tense, but I also know it’s very popular right now.  I don’t like reading first-person because I don’t like having to pretend I’m someone else and writing like someone else.  However, you might really enjoy the challenge it brings.

Second – know your goal.  If you want to write novels, write novels and avoid writing prompts, flash fiction, and other things that take up words that could have been added to your novel’s word count.  Years ago I was obsessed with weekly participation in a group flash fiction project.  It was very enjoyable and helped me learn to edit and revise better.  However, I spent so much time doing that each week that it took too much time away from the novel I should have been working on.

Third – avoid self-publishing until you have tried everything possible to bet published traditionally.  Too many writers opt for self-publishing, call themselves a “published author,” and then give up on trying to be published traditionally.  You could put 100 supermarket shopping lists a self-published book and legally consider yourself “published,” but would you really feel like you accomplished something significant?”

-Decker Schutt



“Keep writing, no matter what! Never give up. It might be easier said than done, but it takes time to get your books out there and build an audience.”

– S.L. Stacy



my lady valentine med

“If being a writer is your dream, then pursue it. Don’t let others discourage you. If I had I would never have known the thrill of seeing my books in the Top 100 on Amazon. Yes, every one of my regencies have achieved that status.

 Also, take workshops, either on-line or at conferences.

Develop your own writing voice.

Don’t write like someone you admire. You are your own person, write that way.

Write books you would want to read yourself.

Don’t choose the genre to write but let it choose you. That’s how I ended up writing regency.

I could go on and on but you get the gist of what I’m saying.”

– Lindsay Downs


“Never give up. Sometimes the road is rough. Believe me, you can do this.”

-Tricia Andersen



“The biggest piece of advice I can give is don’t write for money or expect to make money from your books (especially your debut novel). There are a lot of authors that will barely get out of the red after advertising, promoting, book signing, etc.

So, be prepared to fail. Be prepared to not sell a single book. Then try again. And again. And again. Never ever give up on your dream. Keep chasing it.

Which leads me to my next point. Never stop writing even if people tell you your work sucks or you don’t sell very many books. Every writer gets better and better the more they write, so you WILL always be improving, too.

Also, don’t write for other people. Write for yourself. Be unique. If you can’t get published traditionally, go ahead and self-publish. But, never put anything out there before it’s ready. It needs to be edited and polished to the best of your ability first.

-H.N. Sieverding


“Write every day, interact with your audience via your social media and be realistic, it is going to take a lot of time and patience to get anywhere.”

-Paula Acton


Meet the Authors

If you’re an author and want to participate, too, feel free to leave your answer in the comment section. We’d love to hear it!

Tattoo Quote: Black Irish

tattoosI saw this quote the other day and it made me chuckle, so I had to share. It’s an excerpt from Tricia Andersen’s, Black Irish. I wish I could’ve thought of the line. It’s so awesome! I think me and the author think alike. Must be why we’re besties😉

And did she place the quote there for a “specific” reason? Go check out the book and find out!




Check out the book here:

Author Quote


People often ask me where I got my author’s quote. It’s from one of my books, Forever Black, so “I” didn’t technically say it, one of my characters did. So, I’ll share the bit it came from. Though, I always liked the emerald-eyed snake part the best. Probably because I know the characters, and it makes me laugh thinking of how Drake would say that line out loud. Especially, since he hates Ashliegh’s Nightwalker novels and abores her character, Nicolas (Nicolas is the emerald-eyed snake he’s referring to).


Release Day for the Gateway!

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So, here’s the specs on the book I promised.  I also added in a warning about the graphic content in the novel, so be forewarned before you buy the book as well. It is a little more intense than some of my other books.


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Horror, Dark Fantasy, Dark Romance, Adventure


Apollo then takes the young girl as his ward, training her to use magic.  As she matures, Apollo develops loving feelings for his captive, a love that could prove dangerous for the young girl.  He asks her to take him to the surface world, a place demons were banished from, and vowed to use his magic to make her a perfect life there, something Stella had never had.

But Stella’s silver-tongued, demon master had been banished for good reason, and releasing him on the surface may have disastrous consequences.  Not to mention he knows a huge secret about Stella, one that he would do anything to keep from her.



*A little background before reading….This is from the second chapter. Apollo is Stella’s master and Samson is Apollo’s pet/companion. Though, Samson is almost always found with Stella when she’s in Hell.


gatewaycoverdraft3Watching a pack of humanoid demons, called Sentinels, Stella hid in a small hallway near the large entryway closest to her. The Sentinels were the delegated punishers of the Wicked who had been damned to Hell. They were massive men, about nine foot in stature, and with the girth of a bear. They smelled horrid, rotten blood and chunks of flesh lingering in their thick body hair. Snorting as they walked, they carried heavy weapons, their muscles bulging.

Apollo had often told her he’d send her to the Sentinels if she misbehaved, but she thought he didn’t really mean it. That, or she hadn’t made him mad enough, yet. But still, the threat was enough to make her never want to misbehave, well, not too badly at least.

Stella’s hand was now paused on Samson’s head, her gaze sharp. She was watching them torture some humans. Some of the victims seemed like fresh corpses, others like sacks of bones, their flesh like slimy goo clinging to their rotting skeletons.

Stella picked up the locket at the end of her necklace and held it to her nose. She inhaled the strong perfume encased in it, which was a mixture of strong spices and incense. It warded off the nasty smells one would encounter in the Underworld, something she still hadn’t gotten used to.

She was now in the ruins of the old castle, a place that once housed the great Demon King and his court. Most of the rooms were so damaged, they were inaccessible. But those that weren’t, offered great places to explore. It was said to be a grand palace in its prime, but it hadn’t been that way for a long time.

She wasn’t allowed this close to the castle, but she often came here when Apollo was away. He’d leave her alone with Samson, but Stella wasn’t sure where he went when he left. She wondered if he were going back to his body to sleep, but she was never for certain.

But now that she was older, and had learned to survive in the Underworld, she could hold her own. Apollo had taught her great magic, magic that was normally reserved for elite members of the Sorcerer’s League, the most powerful group on the surface world.

There, if you practiced such high level magics, you were required to have a Sorcerer’s badge, as well as bear tattoos inlaid by the Sorcerer’s League. If you didn’t, the charges could be criminal. But rules like that didn’t apply in the Underworld.

Her eyes settled on the door across the room. It led to the throne room, the place she wanted to go. She glanced at Samson, then back at the demons. She then took the back route, using the hallway to get there.

She stopped at the entrance closest to her destination. Again, she peeked out and observed the Sentinels. They were now leading in a new batch of humans. They seemed to be new recruits, their clothes only slightly dirty, their skin fresh like they still held a hint of life inside them.

She needed to get past them. Holding onto the locket on her necklace, Stella gathered the courage. Her fingers warmed the metal of the charm, the familiar, worn shape of it calming Stella a bit. It was a trinket given to her by her mother, a family heirloom that had belonged to her grandmother, whom was Stella’s namesake.

She then called a spell, her body speeding up. She bounced back and forth on her feet, her senses now sharpened. She once again looked out. Waving her hand, she opened the massive door to the throne room a small way.

The Sentinels were all preoccupied with their new wards, so they didn’t notice. When they all had their backs turned, she darted out. Her movements were so quick, she looked like a blur. She reached the door and quickly slipped through the crack in it.

Samson ran after her. The Sentinels saw him, but didn’t pay any attention. There were other Hellcats that occupied the castle ruins, but they seemed to co-exist with the demons. Once Samson was inside, she closed the door behind them.

With a spell, she called a flame to her hand and walked toward the throne. Her eyes settled on a crystal ball that stood on a grand pedestal near it. Smoke swirled around it, crystals of ice sparkling by the light of the flame in her hand. This was the Demon King’s mirror. It had the power to show you anything. Apollo had taught her how to use the power of mirrors to communicate, and luckily, using the ball required the same spell.

Smiling, she darted toward it. The Demon King’s Mirror was a powerful, sacred artifact of Hell that had remained untouched when the Underworld was destroyed. Apollo had shown her the mirror before, and showed her a glimpse into the surface world with it. He told her that the Demon King was able to watch anyone through mirrors, but since he had been imprisoned, the King’s Mirror’s powers were limited.

Placing her hands on the sides of the sphere, Stella whispered, “King of Demons, lend me your sight. Allow me a glimpse into the surface world.” The ball lit up, the coldness of the glass chilling her fingers, her skin turning red.

The Gateway Excerpt: The Boneyard

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Here’s the excerpt from The Gateway I promised. It was hard to pick a good excerpt that didn’t contain a spoiler or was appropriate for a mixed audience, so I chose one from early on in the book. 

I hope you enjoy the tease! And feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section. As of now, the release date is set for December 31st. I will get the new blurb and stats on the book up soon.



She broke through the gates of Hell, her body falling like a dead weight to the land below. Dust churned around her like a smoky screen, the earth of the Underworld grey, like the ashes of the dead. The fragile wings that surrounded her shattered into sparkling specs of dust that disintegrated when they hit the cold earth.

Howls and shrieks pierced the air, the stench of rotting flesh poisoning it. Her body now lay on a pile of skeletons. This was the resting place of the sacrifices that came before her, some with bones still wet.

Her body was now covered in a slimy goo, her hair now soaking up the ashy earth. She lay still for a few minutes, a pool of blood staining her bed and spreading out around her.

Slowly, creatures crept from the darkness. Sniffing the air, the ungodly beings followed the scent of fresh blood.

Feeling a thick wetness splash on her face, Stella tried to force her eyes open, but could barely do so. Her eyes settled on something hovering over her.  It had a circular face that looked almost human. Her long lashes fluttered as she tried to focus on it. But when she finally did, this being turned out to be inhuman.

The creature resembled a cross between a bear and a canine, multiple rows of sharp teeth lining his jaw. Behind him was a pack of similar demons.  All of them eyed her hungrily. Her face scrunched and Stella struggled to move.

Her rousing angered the feral demon, who belted out a screech. Seeing him lunge, she closed her eyes and prepared for the attack.

She then felt a rush of wind, followed by the low growl of a large cat. Now standing in front of Stella was a panther-like demon, his midnight fur standing on end. He leapt forward and attacked her pursuers. Ripping the flesh of the demon’s neck, the cat shook the dog until its neck snapped. He then tossed its bloodied corpse to its pack.

Instead of fighting back, the dogs scurried off.

“What have we here?” A man chuckled as he walked over and circled her. He regarded her like a foreign body dropped from the heavens. “A live human? Here in my Underworld? No. It cannot be.”

He then whistled, the large cat coming to his side. He addressed the cat, “Samson. Turn her over.” The cat nudged at Stella’s side, then sunk his teeth into the fabric of her damp robe. He pulled, and her almost lifeless body flopped on its back.

Stella was barely able to stay awake. The pain radiating through her was unbearable. “Help me.”

“Ah…” Letting out a hearty chuckle, a great happiness filled his deep voice. “What a treasure I have found in the boneyard.”

Her eyes begged, Stella mouthing the words, but they were barely audible, “Please…”

“All right.  But let’s make a deal.” Kneeling at her side, the man studied her face, his neon blue eyes locking on hers. “Give me your soul and become my servant. Only then, will I save you.”

Stella’s eyes slowly fluttered open, her lips struggling to form the words.

“Hurry, my little one.” He glanced at the puddle of blood under her. “You don’t have much time left.”

“Take it.” Closing her eyes tightly, Stella’s hot tears stung her eyes.

“You have to say it or I cannot help you.” He glanced casually at Samson, who was watching Stella curiously. “Give it to me.”

“I give you my soul.”

“Good girl.” He laid his hands on her shoulders, but she couldn’t feel them. Her eyes looked deep into his. He drew closer, every inch slowing her breath.

His lips met hers, but she couldn’t feel the flesh of his kiss. All she could feel was a coldness spreading from the source and covering her body. It was an amazing feeling—tingling, like the taste of mint. She closed her eyes and took in his sinful kiss. His magic was healing her.

Her eyes shot open when she felt him pull away. They snapped to his, the man now standing. She could no longer feel any pain and quickly hopped to her feet. Reaching down to her stomach, her fingers wiggled playfully through the holes in her robe. There were no wounds, only the wet blood that stained the fabric remaining.

Now that she was fully conscious, she smelled it. That horrible, over powering stench of death. Covering her mouth, she coughed. Then, she vomited. It was a violent reaction, Stella holding her stomach, as she struggled to breathe.

The man laughed at her reaction but didn’t seem bothered by the stench. “Ahh…the boneyard.” He glanced at the mountains of bones that lay before him. “The welcome center of the Underworld. I forgot how weak you humans are. You cower at something so insignificant.”


Do you want to be in a literary e-zine?!

Love Lines needs some input!

They’re taking a poll for next month’s issue and need some reader/writer input! If you have time, please fill out the form below with your answers. It asks for your name, but you only need to write your first name (or a made-up one if you like). And, as always,it’s completely anonymous. But we need your answers by the 4th or they won’t be entered in the poll, so hurry and enter your answers!

Thanks for the help!



poll bad boy

Question (Write the answer or explain why if you wish): Do you prefer…..


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