Category Archives: Crystal Blade

Back to Reality

The goals for this week include the following:

  1. Get To My Muse reformatted and out to Smashwords and Google Play, hopefully to earn me some money because Mama needs some new things for her business
  2. Finish editing Shifter Woods: Claw and publish it (whether I stick with only Amazon/Not KU or set it wide will depend on whether Shifter Woods: Growl is out of KU by the time I’m ready to launch)
  3. Throw my hands in the air and put together the omnibus edition for Esposito County Shifters in Vellum, then get it ready to launch as soon as Growl is out of KU
  4. Continue working on Crystal Blade
  5. Start writing the Patreon short story for March (and prep everything I would need to launch my Patreon next week)

I also have to pay bills, cancel the cable, talk to T-Mobile and get our two cell phone accounts combined into one for their 55+ discount, and do a number of things around the house, but that’s a completely different blog post. One of these days I’m gonna make enough to be able to hire a virtual PA and oh, the hosannas will ring across the land then.

Crystal Blade Is Chugging Along

Man, I really did forget how much murky the palace politics are in this one. I don’t know if I need to ratchet some of that back or not—I’ve got notes to keep an eye on it during editing and make sure it doesn’t overwhelm Crystal’s growing relationship with her guys. Must remember this is a Why Choose romance, not Game of Thrones and I can save the political machinations for the Melanie books.

That being said, Blade is currently at a smidge under 40K. Since the whole book is slated to come in at 80K or thereabouts I’m pretty much at the halfway point, which is fun in this particular book because it’s when Crystal finds out who her fathers were and this knowledge … well, she’s happy about one of the guys. Moderately horrified about the other two, but hey, there’s no drama if all of her fathers turn out to be lovable, right? It also sets up a situation that will come to fruition in Crystal Reflection (Book 3), and I can’t tell you any more about that but muwahahahaha…

I also learned today that my writing process is pretty much the same as the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s, which makes me feel both happy (because if it worked so spectacularly for him, it can work spectacularly for me) and wistful (because I knew Terry and I still miss him).

Aaaand I’m on Spoutible

If you’ve started an account on Spoutible, you can find me at It’s slow so far and still a little glitchy (my spouts aren’t appearing on my profile) but that’s understandable—I suspect they’re processing a LOT of new users. Now I have to check the App Store and see if they have an OS app for it yet.

In other news I’m back at work on Crystal Blade and oh, it is so good to be back in Uskela and dealing with palace intrigue, murky politics, and those lovely, lovely paladins. I seriously missed these wacky kids and it’s great to watch as they desperately try to find a way out of marrying Crystal’s cousin Veronika (who I kinda feel sorry for—she was shoved into a role she never really wanted and made to feel like it was the whole of her identity so of course she’s going to be upset when a contender for the throne shows up. Because if she feels relief, what does that say about her?). Meanwhile Crystal is still trying to wrap her head around her parentage (at least half of it) and what that means for her future. But I have utmost faith that she’ll be able to figure it out and wind up with five gorgeous consorts as a result.

I Am So Close

Maybe another day or two and Shifter Woods: Claw will be in shape to head off to the editor and betas. Which is good because my writing brain is ITCHING to get back to work on Crystal Blade and High Tide, plus I also want to start outlining To Love a Wild Swan. I’m also tempted to go with a trio for that one because hey, Nessa is a queen of Faerie and doesn’t have to stick with Victorian social rules. If she wants a Fae lord and a hot djinn as her consorts, why not?

I also think that my Patreon short story for March (yeah, yeah, I know. But I already missed the February deadline so I’ll launch it then) will be the springboard for To Love a Wild Swan. Fyodora and Callum arrive in Cairo and meet up with Louisa and Henry, they get involved with a Romeo and Juliet conflict between some Egyptian deities and a djinn clan, and the denouement of the story leads into Swan.

As for April, I’m torn between using my F*ck the Patriarchy novella for my Patreon or setting it as the free story that new newsletter subscribers receive. Since it’s a Why Choose story and not everyone enjoys that subgenre I may use it for the Patreon and come up with something more general for the new subscriber story. I haven’t written anything in the Two Thrones series for quite a while—I think I may do something set there, maybe a peek at how Amelie and Alain are settling in, or Matthias deciding to gift his overworked wife with a seductive holiday. I’ve been asked to do a story regarding Darius and Lars’s wedding and honeymoon but I think I want to save that for its own novella.

Closing In On the End

I’m pretty sure that I will have Shifter Woods: Claw in shape to send off to the editor and betas by next week, which is fabulous because once Shifter Woods: Growl is out of KU I can officially release my box set (sorry, Amazon—omnibus) and Esposito County Shifters can start shaking their tails and earning their money wide while I work on Crystal Blade and write the short story with which I’ll be kicking off my Patreon.

I have to admit, mentally recasting the lead made a huge difference in how I approached the sex scenes (for one, I now wanted to write them). I know other writers come up with completely imaginary heroes but I just can’t do that. I need to know what he looks like and how he sounds, and it’s easiest for me to base that on a real person. *shrug* My brain is a weird place, but I’ve learned how to make it work for me.

Oh, speaking of Patreon, the rights for my Paladins of Crystal novella that I wrote for F*ck the Patriarchy: Getting Smutty for a Cause revert back to me as of February 9th. Which means anyone who subscribes to my Patreon will get that novella in March, whee!

And Here’s February

The ice outside is melting thanks to the rain that’s currently falling, although that’s predicted to freeze later tonight, but tomorrow will be in the 40s and we don’t need to go anywhere until Friday anyway so as long as we have heat and power I’m good.

Now that you’ve had the weather report from the clavicle of Texas, here’s my to do list for February:

  • Finish and release Shifter Woods: Claw
  • Finish Crystal Blade
  • Prep and launch my Patreon (which requires writing a short story—I think I’m going to write about Fyodora and Callum’s arrival in Egypt, much to Henry’s dismay and Louisa’s amusement)
  • Start recording the audiobook of Shadow of the Swan

I’m also toying with the idea of releasing a serial story on Vella. Remember that contemporary romance idea I had that turned into an SF romance? It would lend itself to an episodic form and I could definitely release at least one 2K episode a week. But I would have to ruthlessly outline it first to make sure that I didn’t wind up boxing myself into a corner halfway through the story and annoying the readers. I may work on the outline this week and see if I can get it into shape.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to churning out 3K for the day, whee…

Happiness is a Warm Office

As I mentioned in the last post, our upstairs heating is rather wonky where the craft room (and upstairs bathroom) gets the bulk of the heat and the rest of the rooms are left to do credible imitations of iceboxes. Ramón’s office has three computers in it which helps with heat to a degree, but this situation has required us to purchase a space heater for our bedroom which lives in front of the window and does its best to hold back the cold.

The first space heater we ever got, however, seemed to stop working after a few years. Because I am who I am, I stuck it behind our bedroom door and got another space heater for the room, always thinking, “Yeah, I really should haul that downstairs and throw it out” when I cleaned.

In other words, the space heater is still in here and it occurred to me that it wouldn’t hurt to bring it into the office, plug it in, and see if it might fire up again. So I did. Lo and behold, it’s heating up nicely (Ramón came in and sniffed suspiciously but I reminded him that the damn thing was covered with dust and I was about to clean it off) and the chill draft playing about my feet is starting to abate.

Even better, Jessica just inspected it and gave it what I can only call an approving meow. I suspect I know what her favorite nap place is going to be for the next few days.

In other news, I have written 12,790 words in January. Which is pathetic, to be honest—I should have done 40K minimum. So that is now my goal for February, which is good because I need to get Crystal Blade finished and out by the beginning of March and having a word goal will help with that.

Anyway—onward to February and the return of warmth this weekend!

Getting a Grip on Things

So yesterday I outlined what I need to change in the first five chapters of Shifter Woods: Claw and implemented the Chapter One changes. Ideally I’ll get the other four chapters updated today, then proceed to finish the last five chapters, edit everything, and release this mother and the ECS omnibus.

Which will be 1) a frigging relief and 2) my first completed series. Apparently a LOT of romance readers don’t want to start a series unless it’s completed so I’m hoping that the omnibus will bring in additional sales, not to mention attention to my other paranormal romances. I also need to plan how I want to promote the omnibus—I think I’m going to go with FB ads for it since I’m already promoting Shifter Woods: Howl in AMS. I’ll be taking the Facebook Ads Expedition class with Mark Dawson next week so hopefully I’ll pick up some instruction on how to make my FB ads more effective.

Once Claw is done, it’s time to go back to Crystal Blade and get that puppy finished and out by the end of January, then I’ll be double-teaming Crystal Reflection and High Tide (Olympic Cove 5). One way or the other, I am getting up to twenty full-length books published by the end of this year. Who needs sleep, right?

Boy, I’m doing a lot this month

Mrgh. In a rough chronological order, this is what I would like to achieve in January:

  1. Finish, edit, and publish Shifter Woods: Claw
  2. Compile and publish the Esposito County Shifters omnibus edition
  3. Write a short story set in one of my series for my Patreon (right now I’m leaning towards Louisa, Henry, Fyodora, and Callum getting into trouble in Egypt. Because that would be fun.)
  4. Launch my Patreon with said short story
  5. Finish, edit, and publish Crystal Blade (Paladins of Crystal 2)
  6. Start Crystal Reflection (Paladins of Crystal 3)
  7. Start High Tide (Olympic Cove 5)
  8. Put together the outline for To Love a Wild Swan (Hidden Empire 3)
  9. Start recording video for the Sekrit Project (more on that in March or so)
  10. Start recording Shadow of the Swan as an audiobook

Yeah, I know, it’s a lot. But I need to ramp up from what I achieved in 2022, and that means more books published and more income streams established (I’m putting off the Shopify store until February when I can focus on it).

I also need to come up with some rewards for hitting these milestones, ideally ones that aren’t expensive. Must muse on that some more…

And that’s it for 2022

Looking back at the year, I didn’t get nearly all of the books I wanted written, mainly due to unexpectedly getting a Total Knee Replacement mid-year, but I did start a new series with Crystal Shard, I added The Crimson and the Black to the Hidden Empire series, I finally finished Shifter Woods: Growl, my Why Choose novella A Theory of Crystal appeared in the charity anthology F*ck the Patriarchy: Getting Smutty for a Cause, and I’m thisclose to finishing the unintended fifth novella in the Esposito County Shifters series, Shifter Woods: Claw. That’s two full-length books and three novellas in a year where I spent a good six weeks recovering from surgery so I ain’t complaining. I plan on releasing Claw on January 6, 2023, at which point I’ll also put together an omnibus edition of all the Esposito County Shifters novellas.

I’ve also made more from writing this year than I have since 2016, which goes to prove that moving the bulk of my romances into Kindle Unlimited was a good choice. Of course now there are rumors that KU is going bye-bye so I may be returning to wide distribution in the near future, who knows.

BTW, the knee is doing really, really well. It still amazes me to be able to walk without limping.

So, what else is ahead for 2023? Firstly, I need to finish the rest of the Paladins of Crystal series—Crystal Blade will be finished and released by the end of January and after that will be Crystal Reflection, Crystal Citadel, and Crystal Empress. I have also promised that the last two (and long-awaited) books in my Olympic Cove series, High Tide and Hurricane Warning, will be released.

That’s six books. I will try to finish two more—Mage of Fire (Book Five in the Two Thrones series) and To Love a Wild Swan (Book Three in the Hidden Empire series). I have these books roughed out in my head (I’ve been doing a LOT of quilting this month and that is a great opportunity for me to tell myself stories) and I’ll be transferring that info to outlines next week.

But wait—there’s more! After a certain amount of nudging from people I will be starting a Patreon next month. Along with character interviews, Why I Wrote This pieces, and sneak peeks at books in progress, one of the things that patrons can expect will be a monthly short story set in one of my universes that will be exclusive to Patreon for the calendar year. No one will be able to read this story anywhere else, and at the end of the year I’ll publish all of the stories in a collection and dedicate it to my patrons. I’m also coming up with other bennies—there will definitely be levels for getting my new releases in ebook format, print format, and special hardcover format that come in book boxes with swag. Because I’m extra like that.

In closing, I hope you all have a safe, sane New Year’s Eve, and I look forward to entertaining you in 2023.