Since this is my blog, I'm going to take the time to tell you all about my mom...she's one of my best friends, and probably the largest influence in my life. Raised in the Deep South, there's never been anything iconic about her with the exception of her southern drawl and the constant need to call everyone "baby, honey, sugar, etc...". It's just a southern thing. We all do it, but she's always done it with flair.
When she was a child, people thought she was "slow"––mentally challenged we would say now––it wasn't until she was in college they determined she was dyslexic, and far more intelligent than anyone ever appreciated her for.
I've obtained my ability to go after my own dreams from watching her. Once having a family, she decided to be a pilot. And you know what? She became one. One of only 1% of the female pilots in Louisiana at the time, and I was just old enough to help her study for her flight exams. She was grounded after taking a physical for her commercial pilot's license because she is clinically blind in one eye. "Lazy eye" they called it. Trust me, there is nothing lazy about my mother. But, so be it. So, she decided to go into the medical field.
Starting out as a janitor, she worked her way up to being a hospital administrator for a large medical management company. They would use her to go into rural areas and turn dying hospitals into thriving facilities with the staff and equipment needed, while cutting useless expenditures. She was brilliant. And blonde.
My mom always taught me, "your biggest advantage is your largest disadvantage." Translated, means, don't let being a woman stop you. Allow the boys to think they have you all figured out, then let 'em have it when they least expect it. I watched her work her magic for years.
She became ill after a time, and had to retire, but retirement never let her stop from living a dream or from helping me live mine. Today, she's been one of the people who believes in me most.
So, in honor of my mom...and every mom this Month for Mothers ––yeah, I think we deserve a month––the Avenger Mine eBook will be on sale for 3.99 instead of 4.99.
Now, don't look at me, and say, "That's it?" Remember, my mom was a wiz at figures...can't be a pilot or a hospital administrator without knowing how to calculate profit margins; and in case you didn't know, this eBook is a 900 page monster! Lol. So, get it for yourselves or get it for your mom... or maybe one for each of you! But celebrate, no matter what you do! And even if it isn't one of my books, there's nothing more enjoyable than sharing the pleasure of reading, knowledge, or pleasure in knowledge with someone you love.
Click the picture below to take you to the eBook link. :)
Ancient war comes to Earth when The Avenger tracks his enemy straight to the door of his Beloved. If he loses this battle, he loses it all...
Avenger Mine is the newest of The Kataran Series, and has been getting rave reviews by all kinds of readers. Now, I may be a little partial, but readers aren't. This is one of the first series of its kind. Romance readers who never thought of picking up a Science Fiction Book will find themselves craving the new genre, and Science Fiction/Fantasy readers will fall in love with the blended architecture of this new style of writing.
Recently a man who does not like romance, made sure to tell me this about Guardian Mine. "The style of your writing is really very good and I like that. I like your descriptions and dialogue so far...I want to be fair but the romance part of the story is leaving me uninterested. Keep in mind, It's good, but a little to hot for my taste. Although, that may be what readers of romance want. Your blend of fantasy and science fiction is done very well. This is, as far as I have read, a great book..." He went on to describe his favorite genre, but the fact he spent any time on a genre which he normally would not read was exciting to me.
Additionally, a woman who normally runs away from the Science Fiction isle, placed this review on Amazon. "Astonishing! Wrapped in Guardian Mine I could not wait to see Avenger Mine hit the shelves!! Well worth the wait and most certainly well worth jumping into Science fiction for. Great admiration goes to T.M. Slay for laying this wonderful story on paper for us to enjoy every exciting page. Ready for the third..."
For two very different readers to find a common interest in a series of books which neither of them would typically read, I find it astonishing and flattering!
Normally, I wouldn't put such things about my own writing into a blog like this. One of my greatest fears is being a "look at me!" person. But this book took so much of my own heart and soul in the writing that I feel it's a part of my blood stream, the words in it are written on my organs, and the characters are more than real to me.
Could I have mental problems? Absolutely! However, it's more likely I'm just a normal writer. So, I ask you to read this book and through it, get to know me in the process.
No, I'm not the heroine, my husband is not the hero, nor do the other characters come out of my daily life. Although, through the cracks, and in between the lines you'll see how my mind works, you'll learn what I believe, how I contribute to society in my own world, and how important fun is to my daily life. There is so much seriousness, so much dilemma, pain, and suffering all over Earth, I find it more than necessary to escape into other worlds in order to see the beauty of ours.
Life is precious, women are stronger than you think, and the survival of any and all races and beings is absolutely essential to a rich and rewarding existence.
Please check out Avenger Mine or The Kataran Series as a whole and let me know what you think about this grand new world!
Today was a wonderful day. Not necessarily for writing, but for inspiration. Church is a big, very big, part of my life, and therefore took up the beginning and ending of my day. However, the middle of the day was filled with horse-back riding on wooded trails.
There is no better way to be inspired than to go out into the world and experience the beauty and awesome intricacies of nature. Normally I have two ways to go out and do such a thing. I either ride the motorcycle with my husband, or go horse-back riding with my husband. I can't help it, I'm a romantic, and love having my husband around. Besides, having him around means I don't have to worry about pesky things like pumping the gas or saddling my mare by myself. Not that I can't do those things, but I so enjoy being spoiled.
Anyway, the trails inside the swamplands of Central Louisiana definitely gave me some seriously needed visual stimulation for the Amazonian type climate needed for Book #3. The trees growing close together, their wet leaves drooping low, and their dead leaves and needles making a musky matt on the ground. Cypress knees jutting up from the swampy lakes, and reptiles of all kinds plopping into the water, setting my mare on edge.
By now, I'm sure you can imagine, animals are a large part of my life, and therefore, my books. They always bring an element of loyalty, love, sincerity, and sometimes they amp up the tension in a scene or even the entire book. It's one of the largest reasons I'm looking for a new creature in Book #3. Horses were such a large part of Avenger Mine, and will continue to be a main component of the new Earth Citadel, that I feel compelled to have another animal be a focal point in the next book. I'm so excited for the "Create A Creature Contest"!
I sincerely hope you look into the contest and participate. Let your imagination go wild, because mine certainly does, and I need an animal that can not only hold it's own but can bump up the story-line!
Have an awesome week!
Today was the first signing for Avenger Mine, and to say I was nervous about it is a vast understatement. Getting this signing scheduled and off the ground was an amazingly difficult journey. The majority of my "base" was out of pocket for one reason or another. Any of you authors who have had a signing at home, before things have bloomed out of control, will understand. Anyway, I was sincerely concerned about the turnout of the day. However, I shouldn't have been. It was wonderful, praise God!
It wasn't my first signing to entertain strangers, but it was the first signing to have so many of them. They approached the signing area; some boldly, some shyly, some with questions, and some with blatant curiosity, there were some who were familiar with my earlier work and came for the second book of the series, and some who came to purchase both books at the same time. It was amazing. The store sold out of both books yet again. Sell-out number 5 for this particular store! How awesome!
What started out as a nerve-wracking afternoon, turned instantly into one of the most fun signings I'd ever been apart of. A reading at 1:00 p.m. was greatly received and brought more sells. By the time it was all over with I handed out more cards than I have at previous signings because we sold out, and I wanted them to walk away with something giving them instruction on how to find my work.
THANK YOU to all of the people behind the scenes who made this happen, and all of you who came out to show your support. Additionally, I have to thank Stephanie B., my best and #1 fan, it was amazing to meet you in person lady. You were the highlight of my day. I can only hope I lived up to your expectations.
Strength with you...all of you...
So, full disclosure. Well, hopefully full enough will do. I'm sure you don't want to know what age I began walking at... Right? Okay.
I'm a mom of 5 kids. My oldest is my only son, and he's 21, no longer a baby, but very much MY baby. All you mom's of boys understand it, I'm sure. That leaves me with 4 daughters, and their ages are 18, 15, 12, and 8. They're all 3 years and approximately 3 months apart. And no, we didn't work it that way on purpose. On top of that, I've miscarried 4 times. Could you imagine 9 children?
We're a blended family. It's both of our second marriages, and our children are all from our first marriages. However, you'd never know it to see us together. My hubby and I were best friends before we started dating, and he was Papa T, and I was Mama T from the very beginning. Once we got married, it was "Mama and Daddy". Period. We've rarely heard our children call each other, or us, step anything. Not to say we haven't had our struggles, but we've been very blessed to be loved by all through everything.
On top of having lots of family, we have 3 horses, 6 hens, and 2 roosters. Oh, also, stray cats that eat our field mice. Thank goodness! We live on 5 acres of mostly field and pasture, and during the rainy seasons in Louisiana, those field mice do everything they can to find some place nice and warm. Keeping them out of my kid's horribly, typically, messy bedrooms can be a chore. Not any more...yay!
I am also very blessed to have a job which I can wear my pj's to work on almost a daily basis. It's awesome! And moving offices has been a wonderful change of scenery. I don't know about the rest of the "working from home moms", but staring at laundry all day just made me feel guilty about everything. Parent guilt is the worst. You either feel bad for working and not being home with the kiddo's or you feel bad for not contributing financially to the household when you're working outside the house. So, I took the worst of both worlds and threw myself head first into a world where I make virtually nothing while staring at the mounds of laundry I'm not doing during "working hours". Lol...of course I made it sound much worse than it is.
Actually, it's the best thing to ever happen to me. Last year my dad died, and I decided I wasn't going to live a half life anymore. I was going to find and follow my passion. Praise God I have a supportive husband, and children who respect what I do.
Now, here comes the hard part of the full disclosure stuff. This last week, we waited for results on whether or not I have thyroid cancer. Today, my preliminary test said NO! But the good ole doc says not to celebrate just yet. He's not convinced. But you know what? I'm going to take that "no" and put it in the cancer box and shake it around until even the idea is broken up. We have a ton more tests to do because apparently there are a lot of other things involved, but I've decided I can't walk around waiting for the YES or NO which will decided the fate of my day or week or month or year.
So...what say you? I know I'm no where near the only one in the world going through this, and I'm certainly not the only mom to look at her babies and wonder...What will happen to them if or when I'm not here? I try my best to inspire them and I try my best to be strong for those around me. Something tells me I'm not the only one. I'd love some feed-back. I'd love to hear your inspiring stories. Tell me how you get through the tests and the mundane while cherishing the spilled cereal on the floor. I'll be waiting, and writing in the mean-time. So, I hope to see you here again soon.
Okay, so we're talking about authors (namely me) and how transparency is necessary for you to feel as though you know who I am without emptying my entire closet. Hmmmm...that's probably more apt than I even originally thought.
Not that I have any kind of "skeletons" in there, but the last time I emptied out my closet, I lost my youngest child for a spell. Lol. Alright, all kidding aside, it really all boils down to losing privacy. Everyone in the public eye has to give away their right to privacy. It's just how it is. A person knows the minute they become "known" in any way, they are immediately stripped bare to the world. The exception, the only exception to this rule has been authors. We manage to have one persona which is who you read and read about, then we have the persona who lives behind the curtain. It's the real "us". The mothers and fathers, the every-day business person or gardener, family member and friend to people who don't look at us any differently than they would if we were accountants or salespersons.
When we decide to move with the times and give our readers what they crave, we lose our curtain. We lose our safe place, and the illusion there was ever anywhere we could hide from the work that lives in our minds. We stay "the author" always. And at the same time we must live to our obligations of the everyday world that demands of us the same it demands of you. Only going to the grocery store is no longer the same.
Now, please don't take me the wrong way. It's what we live to achieve. Understanding and appreciation for our work. But to what end? Losing part of ourselves. Yes, that's the end. But is it worth it? To some, no. To me, yes.
From here on out, this blog becomes more about my process of writing. What happens in the course of living, writing, working, striving, cultivating a business, and standing behind my family, while giving them a firm ground to stand on. I hope you follow along. It's going to be the journey of my life.
This is a life style decision every author must make. How to live our lives? Should we be the same behind our books as we are in front of them? And I don't just mean authors of novels, I'm speaking of every author on the planet. Gripping expose' writers, journalists, all of us really.
You see, when a person decides to enter the life of being a writer, one of the first things we consider is a pen name. The second is how much of our personal lives to divulge to perfect strangers. I mean, I truly wish, at some point in time, each of you will feel as though you know me through my work, but the truth of the matter is I too struggled with this.
After a long introspective deliberation (because I had to discuss this with not only me, myself, and I, but also the characters that live in my head) I have decided today's readers prefer transparency. They want to know the authors of the books they read. I totally get it. I do.
I'm so excited about this contest! Just in case you haven't heard about it, I wanted to introduce it here.
For Book #3 in The Kataran Series I need a creature. Now, remember this is in Rignor Galaxy. Not to mention, it will be on a planet we haven't yet explored...Reignor. This planet is a volcanic planet. Picture the Amazon. This creature can be anything from a pet to a predator, and I want to know all about the creature you imagine.
I need to know what it eats, how and when it sleeps. I need to know if it has a legend attached to it, or if the locals make money from selling it. I need to know what it looks like (if you have a drawing or rendering, that would be awesome, however one isn't required). Tell me everything you can possibly think of.
If your creature wins the contest, it will not only be integrated into the plot of Book #3, but will also be featured in the books to come. Additionally, I'll need a short biography of yourself to include in the book! You will receive a spotlight in the book, a signed paperback, and if you have a drawing of the creature, that too will be placed in the book.
This contest is for any and all ages. Although, please remember this is an adult Science Fiction / Fantasy series. All entries are due no later than June 1st.
I can't wait to see what you can come up with!
Email me your entries at firstname.lastname@example.org and look under the CONTEST tab on the website to get more information.
After so much craziness, Avenger Mine is finally released! Which means a whole new type of work must begin. Now it's time to work on promo, marketing, marketing, and promo. Fortunately, it's an area I like quite a bit. If you're local, you'll see me on NBC and CBS early in the mornings this week to promote my new release and the book signing this weekend March 28, at Hastings in Alexandria from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
So, in the spirit of the new release and book signing, I'm going to give you a snippet of the book, and tempt your taste buds with a sneak peak of Avenger Mine!
Marko stood on his front porch, looking out at the land around him. The night still and cool. The ground was a beautiful burnt amber in stark contrast to the black sky with is diamond gems hanging on a dark velvet curtain. His beautiful ranch was normally settled and covered in peace on nights like this. Not tonight. He could almost see the tension as a musical concerto. Notes flowing and crashing against one another, making a melody only those in tuned with the intricacies of his desert would hear or understand.
Men were getting ready to war against enemies they'd only heard stories about. Enemies who could steal your mind, and make you kill those you loved the most. It was the stuff their childhood nightmares had been made of. This war would neither be for the tender of heart, nor the weak of mind. It would most likely prove to be a battle of the mind before physical fighting came into play. The women and children would all stay underground in the basements of their homes.
Most of the basements had started off as root cellars in the cabins that were originally on the properties when the Roma and Mala's parents had obtained the ranch in the mid-eighteen-hundreds. With each modern advancement, Mala had rebuilt the homes, added on to them, and reinforced those underground cellars, eventually turning them into basements to be used in the event she needed to pull from the earth. She did that quite frequently. She would pull jewels for money, or minerals and elements for healing, and she would walk through their gardens and regenerate the soil as it was needed. They never had to worry about failed crops. And it was all because of her. Now, they would use those underground rooms as safeguards for their women and children during the attack the men were preparing for. Not that they were any safer there, than hiding in their bathrooms, they simply fell back on the safety they knew. For the tribe, safety was in the basements, where Mala could heal them and provide for them.
And if Marko knew Mala like he thought he did, she would refuse to be in any of those basement blockades. She would want to be right beside the men fighting; she would want to be spreading her net of psychic barriers around all of them so they wouldn't be susceptible to the nightmarish enemy. Even though Jackson had said her barriers might not work. Marko could beg and plead with her, but she would find a way around him anyway. She always did. He knew she loved him, and she knew he loved her. He always had, and probably always would. It was her fragile heart and sense of duty that kept them apart. An ache started deep within his chest and clawed its way up his throat.
She had watched her parents die in the same moment, drawing the same last breath, and knew it would be the same for her and whomever she would marry. Her heart for him, and duty to her Roma family kept her without a mate. The young girls in the tribe found it incredibly romantic; while he found it remarkably tragic, and made him love her all the more. When he was in his early twenties, she had graced him with a forbidden kiss. That tender, loving caress killed him a little piece at a time every day. She had promised him another kiss, "when the time was right," she had said. As each part of him died, another part lived for the hope alone of their potential relationship.
A subtle shift in the tension of his desert brought Marko from his musings. He would be able to tell the new Katara from one-hundred yards away, easily. Jackson's inner turmoil was following him like a fog underfoot––each step he took only moved the cloud a step forward. He quite literally was creating and recycling his own mood of frustration and confusion. The urge to agitate this supposedly great Katara Warrior was overwhelming, but the Roma in him wanted to comfort this lone traveler. He was, after all, just another one of them. He might be from another world, but he was made up of the same stuff. To make matters worse, this man would wed the woman he loved, and in doing so would determine whether she would disappear with him, or stay within Marko's watchful eye.
He was pretty sure someone had cursed him. A bibaxt was the only explanation to his life. Oh well, the man was here now, and the only way to keep on top of what would transpire, was to befriend him. The trouble here was that Marko really wanted to hate him, but Jackson was just too damn likable––the no good son of a...
We all go through the plodding motions of everyday life. Explore new worlds with me that will bring the extraordinary to you.