Tampa Bay Book Fair, a new Book Cover and Bookmarks too!

In two weeks I will be at the Tampa Bay Book Fair with my fellow Ink Slingers Guild members. We will be displaying our books, handing out bookmarks, doing drawings for those who contribute the first line of a story for Stories My Friends Started and, of course, having a great time!

If you’re local, come out and see us!

On another note, the book cover for my first novel, The Guardians, has had an overhaul and I am pleased with the results:


My book and many others will be available at the book fair (as well as on Amazon)!

And lastly, I have a new bookmark to go with my new cover and I just love it!





Hope to see you at the Book Fair!



-Ruby Dust- Short Story available now!

Hi, all!

I wrote a “Wild West” short story except my version is set on Mars. 🙂  It has a Gargoyle in it and several other fun creatures! Here’s the blurb on it:

  • Ghirn, sheriff of Ruby Dust on Mars, catches an outlaw, saves a couple of humans from cannibalistic Dearndins and calms the ladies of The Pink House. All in a day’s work.

This story is close to my heart and I want to share, share, share!


The story can be found in the anthology Bent Horizons along with ten other talented authors. This is a book that my writers group puts out annually.

Check it out here!

xo Lis

Dannika Dark – the Seven Series

I pride myself in being the disciplined reader. That means, I read when the chores or work is done, when the children are to bed (ok they’re a little old for that now but still!), when the writing is done or the publishing or whatever the heck it is. Then, I get to read.

Well…I picked up the first book in the series called Seven Years. That was on May 2nd. Then I picked up the second book on May 9th. The fifth, two days ago. I also bought the audio versions and depending on whether I was hunkering down for bed or driving to work, I could “read”. Do you see the pattern here? I have friggin work to do, people.

Seven Years was the first audio book I’ve ever bought. The company I work for recently moved and my drive in the morning went from ten minutes to 25-30. So I thought I would try out an audio book.

Big mistake.

Three books later. No, three AWESOME books later. I now have the burning desire to buy all books this way. Sigh. Thus my need to go look up discipline in the dictionary and remind myself what it is.

So, back to the books. You may be thinking there was a typo since I read book one, book two and then book five. Well, you know how some characters speak to you more than others? Dannika wrote these books to be stand alones. If you know the characters – great, but it’s not required to enjoy the book. I fell in love with many of the characters I met in book one, a couple more than others. I was eager to read book two and five as I wanted to see how those characters that I loved so much would end up. And I was not disappointed.

Dannika Dark has a beautiful way of detailing the characters and giving them so much life that you really get to know them. I hate it when there is soooooo much detail that you are skipping through the paragraphs to get to the good part. Dannika feeds in the details slowly, like moon peaking through the clouds and by the end of the book you have a full  moon shining before you. The plots are fascinating, dramatic, funny, and full of emotion.

There was a paragraph near the end of the second book that was so profound that I read it to my [husband / soulmate / best friend] and couldn’t get through it without choking up. Because it so beautifully described how I felt about him. And oddly, when I finally got through it, he told me that when he was out getting coffee, probably during the very time that I was reading that section for the first time and thinking of him, he was sipping his coffee and thinking of us.

She has a way with words and I wanted to share her hard work. And to top it off, she handles it all herself. She’s an Indie Author who really knows professionalism. If if you read this and enjoy paranormal romance, I sure hope you go pick up one of her books. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll be supporting creative art. Go ahead then. Hook yourself up with some good reading. And don’t forget to eat. And sleep. And get some work done.

My thoughts on Social Media

I like to keep an eye on the chats (discussions) in Goodreads on all kinds of topics and one that struck me recently was a chat I saw about social media. The author wrote up his experience with Facebook promotions. He explained how he promoted, spending quite a bit I might add, and got himself heaps of new ‘likes’ but without a single book sale. He researched it and found that the majority of the ‘likes’ came from “click farms” which are based in other countries, in his case, India. He was very unhappy with his experience and titled his write-up “Beware the Lure of Social Media”. Having that experience would have pissed me off too so I understand his viewpoint. I would strongly suggest to anyone who is going to shell out some jing for promotion that they do their due diligence using Google and any other source that is not the person or entity selling you the promotion. Then hopefully you will have a better experience.

My thoughts? Here’s what I added to the discussion.

 I LOVE to read and I am a HUGE fan of many amazing authors. As an author, I took a look at social media from my viewpoint as a reader/fan.

Do I want the authors I love and adore to be constantly pinging me (whether it be on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram etc.) on their book? No. I have already started following them for some reason – I already know about or have read their book. I want to know where their next signing is. What they’re working on now. What inspires them? What makes them tick? What makes them mad? What things interest them? And, when a new book is coming out, they had better let me know too!

I am actually more interested in THE PERSON. I think a lot of readers are. So my thought is: use the social media to BE social. Readers will go to your website or amazon or Goodreads to find out more about your book(s). But to find out more about you? What better way than to share on social media. 🙂


Steampunk Writing Exercise

I have been reading some steampunk novels as of late (Colleen Gleason’s Stoker & Holmes series and Lindsay Buroker’s Dragon Blood series) and so I was pleased when the mood struck me during writers exercises with my amazeballs writers group ISG (Ink Slingers Guild) and my own steampunk story came into fruition. I may never do anything with these exercises but then again, maybe I will give them more life later down the road. Either way, I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy!

(At every ISG meeting we undertake at least one writing exercise where three members each pick one word and we then have five minutes to compose a story that must include those words.)

#1 (The 3 words: Curly, Accomplished, Technology)

Solora stared at the curly metal wire hanging from the bottom of her steam bike. She had only recently learned to ride and hadn’t anticipated the silly thing would break down on her first ride out of the city. The sun beat down on her dark hair and her face shimmered, the sweat not quite beading up. Her goggles hung heavily around her neck as she stood. The road stretch before and behind her, the trees hanging overhead and only barely keeping the heat at bay.

Kicking the bronze metal of the rear engine, she cursed. Here she was an accomplished expert in food technologies, famous in her own right and she was stuck in the middle of nowhere with a stupid displaced curly wire.

She got on her knees again and looked beneath the bike.

“You look like you need some help,” a low drawl came from behind.

Solora’s head swung up, narrowly missing the heavy kickstand.

“Do you think so?,” she shot at the man who stood inappropriately just wearing just slacks and a tee. He lifted his muscled shoulders and his lips curled into a smile.

“Just thought I’d check, but if you don’t need me…”

Solora sighed. “Fine, yes, I seem to have broken down.”


#2 (The 3 words: Iris, Ink, Tube)

He was kneeling down now and she barely noticed the beautiful iris lining the road with that backside on display. He chuckled, bringing a frown to her smooth skin.

“What it is?” she asked?

“One of your steam tubes broke and the wire is supposed to be holding it up.”

“Do you know how to fix it? I can pay you.”

He stood, his blues eyes flashing in the bright sun.

“I can fix it but you won’t be going anywhere until we can order in another tube,”

“How long will that take? I’m in a terrible rush.”

“I should be able to have it by the end of the day…tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow! No. No that can’t be. Is there anyone available to drive me the remaining way to Augustine?”

The man leaned against a nearby oak tree, folding his arms across his chest and looking at her inquisitively. Solora went to speak again when a lock of her inky hair took that moment to fall directly into her mouth.


#3 (The 3 words: Eagles, Reflection, Campus)

Solora spat out the lock of hair that had blown into her mouth. The man’s irritating smile got slightly wider.

“I must get to the campus in Augustine. Do you have a car?”

His lips pierced as he seemed to muse over the questions. Solora thought she might burst at his casual demeanor when there was so much to be done. So many things to be prepared and she was still several hours from Augustine. She was about to speak again when she caught a fleeting reflection in the bronze of her steam bike. She glanced into the sky in time to see two Eagles flying overhead. Time slowed for a just a moment as she had the opportunity to admire their beauty before they disappeared behind a treetop. She turned back to the man who hadn’t moved but now had a long strip of grass hanging from his full lips.

“Please.” Solora said.

“Name’s Manny,” he said and held out a hand.

“Solora,” she said and took his hand. It wasn’t too hot and wasn’t too cold. And her small hand seemed to fit snuggly inside.

“I’d be pleased to give you a ride to Augustine, Miss Solora. But I insist you join me at the cottage for lunch. And of course, so I can change into something more appropriate.”


And because it seems appropriate, I give you a picture of my hubbie and I.


Steampunk couple

Steampunk couple

Colleen Gleason – The Gardella Vampire Hunter series

Ok, so I’m a little starstruck. I secretly hope that one day, someone feels the same way about me as an author. I read a five book series within two weeks. That meant I read later than I should, that I took one day and did nothing but read and that my family received the fasted meals and conversations that I could get away with while I burned through these books.

I give you…the Gardella Vampire Hunter series by Colleen Gleason (To get it, go HERE and scroll down a bit. Plus at this writing, the first book is FREE on Amazon.)

Book 1: The Rest Falls Away
Book 2: Rises the Night
Book 3: The Bleeding Dusk
Book 4: When Twilight Burns
Book 5: As Shadows Fade

I tend to write by the seat of my pants. I follow the character around and write what I see them doing or saying. Sometimes they get into trouble, sometimes they find love and sometimes I make them go back and start over again because I have no idea what just happened.

I am in the middle of co-writing a book with the amazing Rhiannon Matlock and we’ve planned out the majority of what’s to come which gives a beautiful time line to work from. I aspire to just get close to what Colleen Gleason has done with the Gardella Vampire Hunter series and the planning she must have put into it. She has twists and turns and fun and drama and romance and stuff that makes you cry and morn a deep loss – all of it written by this one truly amazeballs person who came up with this stuff, planned it out and wrote it down for the rest of us to enjoy. And enjoy I did.

So I posted about it. I reviewed it on Goodreads and Amazon. I followed her on FB. I followed her on Twitter and then tweeted about the awesomeness. And then she tweeted me an acknowledgement. I LOVE that. I have only had that happen one other time and that was by another amazeballs author, Kevin Hearne.

I noticed that she had a appearance coming up and would be doing a book signing. In MI. Not only is it really cold there, it’s really far away from me basking in my one week of nice “winter” weather here in Florida. So I am wondering, where can I get a hold of some signed books? I want. So I tweeted a question on that. And while I waited for a response – I notice that she followed me back. SQUEE!! I feel like a rock star. I wonder if she’d ever vacation in Florida and need a place to stay? I could probably find a place for my daughter to live for a few days. <joke honey!>

Anyway, so she answers with the great news that she’d be happy to send sign books (which ones do I want and where are they going so she can figure out price etc.) so I tell my family that this is what I need for Christmas. Sure enough, my son rises to the occasion and the SIGNED books are en route. **YAY!**

Anyway, just want to say READ THIS SERIES NOW. Because it’s fun and adventurous and you need it.

Thank you.

Surprising Emotion:: YA Books by Heather Gunter

NOTE: Emotional chickness following. You have been warned.

I recently picked up YA Novel “Love Notes” by Heather Gunter. I saw it listed in my BookBub email and it looked like a cute young adult romance featuring a girl with low self-esteem finding happiness. You won’t know it by meeting me now but when I was a teenager, I had some very down years with low self-esteem, just knowing that I was not smart and wouldn’t ever really fit it. I was shy and would steer clear of any confrontation – just couldn’t stand up for myself. I once had a bully follow me home after school, I was on my bicycle, and she actually came along side me and kicked my bike. Of course, me and the bike came crashing down though surprisingly I came out ok. She and her posse laughed and called me names and left. I hurried home and never said a word.  So the book blurb spoke to me. I read it in one sitting, a few hours with a cup of tea snuggled in my bed.

Turns out the book wasn’t just about a teen with low self-esteem but about a teen who experienced verbal abuse on a daily basis. Real nasty stuff that made my skin boil. I really did understand. I also really understand the value of a good friend. I was really lucky to have some good friends as a nerdy kid and later found some amazing, supportive friends that I still have to this day. I found a couple in the mix as I went that didn’t really fit the bill, hiding in plain sight while being a verbal abuser of those around. Those ones get kicked to the curb when I find them but I can honestly say I have some of the best friends a girl could have now and quite a few of them. (**Thanks guys, I love you**)

The book really hit a chord with me emotionally as I am sure you can tell. So I, of course, had to pick up book two in the series. “Heartstrings”

Um, yeah, read this one in one morning. The second book featured a girl who had been raped. Now I have actually experienced date rape but when it happened to me, I was so shocked that I didn’t struggle, it really was a surreal moment. He dropped me off at home and I never spoke to him again. Luckily for me, it was not my first time and he wasn’t a brutal, pain lusting freak, no he was just a horny asshole who pushed himself on a shy girl who was caught off guard. I’m so not that girl anymore and it was a sucky moment in my life but it did not have the effect on me like the emotion and broken heart effect that I read in the book “Heartstrings”.  Honestly, I can’t even tell you how many times I had to wipe the tears away so  I could keep reading.

Then at the end, the author shares that she wrote her own story, surviving rape, into the character and you really could feel it. I cried again after I read that. So I just wanted to shout out to all you ladies, and I am sure there are men too that quietly have had horrid experiences like this, you are survivors – not victims and I for one am proud for each and every one of you who has dusted off your knees, given the finger to the past and moved on to create a future that makes you happy. **Well done.**