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Hello, Trello

If you’re anything like me, you need a few tips and tricks to keep all your to-do items on track. It’s all well and good to know that you have a deadline coming up in a few weeks, but without breaking things down into bite-sized pieces, that deadline can appear overwhelming enough that actually doing it gets pushed off to the last minute.

In January of this year, I started my own bullet journal, thanks to the inspiration of a Bullet Journal Goddess friend of mine, and it has been a fantastic experience. Setting up my page every day has become a grounding point, a few minutes to breathe before I throw myself into the thick of it. I’ve remembered dates, have logged my progress on all kinds of different projects, personal and professional, and have felt more in control over my own deadlines.

Love it.

One of the downsides, though (for me. I know there are a million ways to set up these Bullet Journals), is that while it’s amazing for a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month look, there’s no way to open up a page and see an evergreen list of all the projects and all that tasks that need to be done when (especially not keeping them tidy and legible).

Projects that are kind of in the back of your mind, but you don’t want to keep writing them out to bring them forward.

Whole project schedules that would just clutter up the page.

Enter Trello.

Trello is a free to-do list app for mobile and desktop. Working sort of similarly to Pinterest, you add boards for your projects, and then insert cards with the various tasks you need to complete:

Trello2

Trello

You can spiffy it up as you want with different pictures that apply, and it’s even collaborative if you want to open your board up to a team of fellow Trello users to keep your group project on schedule (or to keep yourself accountable).

If you want more features, you can pay to upgrade, but for now I’ve found the free version does everything I need it to.

Since I started using it about a month ago, Trello has been a great extension of my bullet journal, with both of them giving me visual status to stay on track, decreasing my stress levels, and offering a procrastination method that can still be perceived as work (“I’ll get to writing in a minute, I just need to update my boards.”).

It’s been such a great help to me that I wanted to share it with you, so I hope you find something useful from it.

Do you have any apps you love that keep you organized? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Ill Met by Moonlight: Chapter 2

unnamed
The Cabin
[Project Oberon, Day 2, 1800h] The following scenes are now on display on the test room walls:
 
  1. A forest
  2. A cabin
  3. A lake
  4. A warehouse
  5. A school
  6. A baseball diamond

Each subject has been faced in the direction of a different scene to determine whether imagery seen during a state of unconsciousness can influence the dream experience. Subjects were shown the images three times for 0010s increments with 0020s rests. The scenes will be moved at random points throughout the study to gauge how the change of scenery affects the dreamer’s state.

[Project Oberon, Day 2, 2100h] The first trial has been completed. Photos of rats were shown to each subject three times for 0010s increments with 0020s rests. Reaction time varied by subject from 0025s to 01m36s. All subjects showed increased stress reactions. Subjects 315, 536, 325, 335 returned to stable heart rate by 02m55s. 526 returned to stable heart rate by 04m27s. 345 returned to stable heart rate by 06m35, which falls above the parameters of the study. Discussion as to whether subject 345 should be pulled from the study. Decision: as heart rate remained within normal range for someone of her age and overall health and dropped without medical intervention, subject is deemed safe to continue.

The second trial will begin at 0800h.


I scan the beach and debate between the boat and the cabin. The boat would allow me to explore the island and find out where exactly I am, but I can’t bring myself to go near that lake. Even the thought of it sends chills down my back.

I turn away from it and head towards the cabin.

As I approach, my steps slow of their own volition. Dark windows stare back at me and the door is slightly ajar. Although I know this cabin is in my own head, I’m leery about barging in. After that run-in with the rat-bear, I’m not eager to discover what else might be lying in wait.

The porch is draped with dried-out vines that cover the view of the lake. I’m not sure what’s worse—the creepy stillness of the water, or the dead screen blinding me from it. This whole place is off, like it was designed based on a magazine picture, but seen from all the wrong angles.

I reach the door and push it open, staying outside until the doorknob hits the back wall. Moonlight spills across the floor, revealing a sparse interior furnished only with a rickety kitchen table. Cabinets and countertops line the far wall. Some of the cupboards hang open, with small unidentifiable lumps within. Two windows let in a little more light, highlighting a single door to my left and confirming that the rest of the room is empty.

I don’t want to go in, but the thought that I might find something to arm myself with offers solid motivation. That rat-bear might be the only threat I face here, but I don’t want to take that chance.

Steeling myself, I step into the cabin. The air feels thick and close, though when I take a deep breath, I notice no change in the quality. If anything, I catch a whiff of bleach and sterile wipes. I wonder if I’ll reach a point in the next two weeks where I forget this is a dream, but so far all it feels like is a broken version of reality.

Nothing jumps out to grab me as I make my way through the room, but I keep my back to the wall anyway. If movies have taught me anything, it’s that the enemy can come out of nowhere if you give them the opportunity.

The window on the far wall is partially blocked by the same vines that cover the porch, but I can glimpse the lake beyond, and I swear there’s something skimming along the surface. I shift my position to better make it out, but by the time I have a full view, whatever it was is gone.

I continue my exploration of the cabin. The table is bare except for a thick layer of dust, and when I reach the cupboards, I discover the unidentifiable lumps are just old dishes. The rest of the cupboards are bare, and all I find in the drawers in terms of a weapon is a single wooden chopstick.

I leave it to continue its slow decomposition and am about to continue the search when a thud echoes from beyond the door at the other end of the room.

I curse myself for not checking first and leaving myself vulnerable, but now I’m stuck. To return to the front door would mean passing by that room.

Silence falls as I wait for the noise to repeat. At first, there’s nothing, but when I strain my ears, I pick up what might be a wheezing breath.

This is my dream, I tell myself. I have control here.

I cross the room, wince as a floorboard creaks under my heel, and pause outside the door. The breathing gets louder, a definite whistle on the inhale. Whoever it is, they’re afraid. I just hope there are as many weapons accessible in there as there are in here.

I debate whether it wouldn’t have been smart to grab that chopstick.

With no other reason to delay, I turn the handle and push the door inward.

Just as I take a step, a figure cries out and jumps in my face. I scream and jump backwards, creating space between us. My hands fly up as I prepare to use the same trick on my attacker as I did on the rat-bear, but they don’t come at me again.

My heart is racing, my chest aching with the speed of my uneven breaths, and I keep my hands raised as I take in the guy in front of me.

He’s an inch or so taller than I am, about the same age, and stands on the scrawny side. Bleach-blond hair lies over molten-red eyes. His clothing choice seems even more bizarre than my own: an ankle-length duster over a pink T-shirt, jeans, and a pair of steel-toed boots.

“Who are you?” I ask.

“Who are you?” he shoots back, a pillar of creativity.

Seeing no reason to keep secrets from someone inside my own head, I answer. “Regan.”

There’s a flash of panic and confusion in his eyes, and I realise he might not know his own name. Is that weird when he’s supposed to be a figment of my subconscious?

“Josh,” he finally says, with a hint of relief in his voice.

“What are you doing here, Josh?” I ask. Is he supposed to represent some part of my unconscious? Someone I’d long ago forgotten, or even a symbol of my self doubt?

“I—I’m here for a study. I don’t really understand what’s going on. I’m supposed to be dreaming, but this all seems so… real.”

I burst into a laugh. “I guess I must be more thrown by all this than I thought if I need an outward projection to tell me this is messed up.”

Josh frowns. “What do you mean?”

“This is my dream. You’re in my dream. I’m the one in the study.”

He blanches. “That’s not possible. I’m me. I can’t be in your head.” I worry for a moment that he’s about to faint, he looks so thrown by my statement. “I remember my mother dropped me off at—at… I don’t remember where. And there were tests, and then I woke up outside. In the trees. I was attacked and ran in here, but I never woke up. Now you’re here, and you’re telling me I only exist in your head?”

The alternative is too farfetched to even consider.

Yet the confusion in this guy’s eyes… the fear. I don’t feel that afraid, do I?

“How is it possible we’re both in the same place when we’re supposed to be in some medically induced daze?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” he says. “But unless you’re the one in my head, somehow it happened.”

Did the researchers know this was possible? Is this all part of their study?

“What did you think of the rat thing?” I ask. If I’m supposed to trust my brain in this place, I need to know what’s real and what’s not. I bring the memory of that rat-bear to mind, the way I’d flung it through the trees.

But I don’t feel as horrified by it as Josh clearly does. His face has gone white, and he backs up against the wall. “You saw it too? It’s what made me run in here. It was closing in on me so fast. I swore it was going to swallow me whole. Is it still out there? If it is, I’m not leaving.”

His answer leaves me reeling. “It’s not possible.”

But what other answer is there? Somehow, my brain and Josh’s have crossed. My mind is no longer my own.

The room suddenly feels too small, too closed in. Even if I can’t feel the wind on my skin, I need to get out of here. I run out the door and down the porch steps towards the beach.

“Wait! Stop!”

I don’t listen to him. I can’t. I need space to think.

I reach the water and bend over, bracing my hands against my knees. Every cell in my body is urging me to fight, to run. I don’t like it here. I want to wake up. I grab a chunk of skin on the back of my upper arm and squeeze. There’s a sense that there should be pain, a vague psychological reaction, but I feel nothing and I’m still here.

Out of frustration, I release a yell over the lake.

“I don’t think you should do that,” Josh says, close behind me.

I don’t care. I shout again.

The creature jumps out of the lake before I can make out what it is. Water splashes against my face and the green mass zooms past me towards Josh. He grabs my arm and jerks me forward, blocking his path so the creature hits me full in the face, heavy and squelching. The weight shocks me into action. Raising my hands, I imagine the creature rising above the sand. I hear Josh’s gasp as my imagination channels the image into reality and the creature soars away, writhing and fighting against the force of my mind.

With an effort, I fling it out over the water, far enough that I still can’t make out whatever horrors might have greeted me on closer inspection, then let go. It hits the water and goes under, leaving only the barest splash before the surface goes still again.

I take a moment to let my heartbeat settle, but fury settles under my skin, a warm and uncomfortable layer. Slowly, I turn around to face Josh. “What the hell was that?”

His red eyes widen. “It was coming at me. You yelled and it came at me. I—I didn’t think I just…”

I glower at him, disgusted, then storm off towards the road. There’s nothing for me in the cabin, and I’m not about to stick around here and wait for that lake creature to come back.

“Wait! Don’t leave me alone here. Let me come with you.”

Josh is jogging after me, and he’s already wheezing. I stop and glare at him. How can I trust him when he just threw me to that monster? What would he do if we’re attacked again? As I’m already learning, not even my own mind is safe, and I don’t know how far these researchers will push it. I’ll need to stay alert and ready to defend myself. But how can I live with leaving him alone to face that monster?

I’m starting to get the feeling that these next two weeks are not going to be the forgettable experience I was expecting…

Does Regan allow Josh to travel with her?

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November Accomplishments

I believe that half the battle of staying motivated is celebrating and acknowledging what you’ve accomplished.

To help with this, I would like to start a new tradition on this blog, where the last day of the month, I share things I’ve achieved and my goals for next month.

I invite you to share your own lists in the comments. Make a big deal of them – it doesn’t matter how small they might seem to you, it could be huge to others. 

So pat yourself on the back and let’s get sharing!

Achieved in November:

1) “Won” NaNoWriMo at 82k and finished the draft of Veilfire, Book 1 of the Nayis Trilogy

2) Had 2 book signings at Chapters locations

3) Shared the cover reveal for GODS OF THE STONE ORACLE and made considerable progress on edits

4) started a new blog serial 

5) bought a rocking new office chair

Goals for December 

1) Finish GotSO edits and have it ready for beta readers

2) Kick off my #IEAssemble promo campaign

3) Start preparing Veilfire revisions

4) Survive the holidays

I can’t wait to get started.

How about you? What have you kicked butt on this month?

Cover Reveal: Gods of the Stone Oracle

After two years of supernatural adventures, The Invisible Entente series is reaching its end. In early 2018, the reluctant group of heroes will once more be drawn together into a fight for their lives and the freedom of the otherworld.

Thanks to artist Ravven, Gods of the Stone Oracle, The Invisible Entente finale, now has a cover, and it is breathtaking.

To celebrate the release of the finale, I’m starting a giveaway campaign that will kick off the first week of December. Use the hashtag #IEAssemble across your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to enter to win weekly prizes until release day. More info to come, so keep your eyes peeled on my website for more news.

Huge thank-you to Ravven for hitting exactly the right tone for this book. Now excuse me while I keep staring.

 

Why?

Continuing on a bit from my post last week, I wanted to touch a little bit on motivation. I’m currently reading Charles Duhigg’s Smarter, Faster, Betterso I’m sure I’ll be writing some posts based on what I’m learning from him over the next couple of weeks.

A common response when I tell people “Yes, you can” is “But how?” They can start working on something easily enough, but after a few weeks, days, hours, they lose interest or can’t find the oomph to keep going.

This is absolutely normal. I am currently working on my thirteenth novel, and I think I can safely say that with every single project I’ve worked on, I’ve hit the point of wanting to walk away from it. Not even give up, but just a “I’m not really in the mood today” or “I’ve already done so much this week, I think I’ll just take a break and come back to it later.”

And I have had it happen that later turns into two days, then turns into a week, and then turns into months, after I’ve completely forgotten I was even working on something until I open up a related file and it comes up on that sidebar of recent documents and I’m like “Ohhh yeaaah. Welp, I don’t even remember where I was going with that anymore.” So I trunk it and it fades into the distant memory of my past.

It’s normal.

But it’s also something you can prevent with a bit of self-compassion and discipline.

This is not a post against taking breaks. They are important and necessary, because artistic burnout can absolutely happen.

This is a post encouraging you to make sure you come back to it. This is often harder than getting started. At the beginning you’re all charged up by the idea of making A THING. But as you go, you realise THE THING is not turning out the way you saw it in your mind. It’s more work and taking more time than expected, and you’d rather be doing X. So you break, and finding the motivation to come back is hard.

The next time this happens, I challenge you to ask yourself WHY you started in the first place. What was it about the idea that sparked your excitement? Was it the idea of finishing something you’ve been thinking about for a while? The pride of hitting the last stroke and declaring The end? Was it this particular story you wanted to share with the world for the sake of a friend or because you felt the world needed a new interpretation on a classic tale?

Whatever the WHY, write it out and post it somewhere you can see it whenever you sit down to work. Keep it in your mind so whenever your motivation starts to flag, you can grab on to  your purpose again and plug through, even if it’s just one little section at a time.

Remember: motivation and self-discipline are skills that can be developed. It’s just about finding tricks to build up those muscles.

The doing is not always fun (you think I enjoy writing every single day? Ha! Yesterday, I played a game of picross for every three hundred words I wrote just to keep myself going), but that moment you hit your goal and reach your WHY — that’s the part that makes up for all the taxing work and off-days.

So go on, ask yourself WHY, and if you feel like it, share below the reasons that keep you going.

Yes you can, and yes you do

I hear a lot of things when I tell people I’m an author. There’s the usual “What kind of books do you write?”, the ever popular, “Do you make a living doing that?” and another one of my favourites, “Anything I might have heard of?”*, but there’s also a lot of “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I can’t do that” or “I don’t have time to do what you do.”

As always, I want to make it clear that while I’m using writing as my experience and example, I believe the following applies to all kinds of artistic expression:

Yes you can, and yes you do.

There is really only one rule to completing that story you’ve always wanted to tell: butt in chair.**

It’s justa matter of putting down one word at a time, which leads to one sentence, paragraph, page, and eventually a final story at the end. It can be difficult to keep yourself motivated, absolutely, but that’s not a problem of can’t, it’s only an issue of learning how.

Discipline/motivation is a skill, and it’s one that needs to be strengthened over time using whatever strategy works best for you. Rewards, breaking big tasks down into bite-size ones, to-do lists, asking someone to hold you accountable. Try them all, change things when they don’t work, but keep going.

And once you’re invested in the project, finding the time won’t be a problem.

I recently started a short-term government contract (I really needed to get out of the house and talk to someone who wasn’t my cat), which meant a complete overhaul of my work schedule, reverting back to my previous full-time work system.

Has it been a challenge? Absolutely.

Have some things been pushed back or ignored on the to-do list longer than they otherwise would have? Oh man, have they ever.

But the important stuff is still getting done. I carve out the time. My family knows and understands that just because I also have a 37.5 hour work-week for a few months, writing is still my priority.

Between 4:45 – 7:30am, I’m at my desk getting in words, or editing, or updating my website. Lunch hours are partially spent replying to business emails. After work, I take a bit of time to prioritize my tasks for tomorrow.

It’s not easy, but because it matters so much to me, I make it possible.

So the next time you’re struck with the desire to tell your story in whatever form best suits you, stop shooting yourself in the foot before you even begin. Stop discouraging yourself and putting yourself down. You are absolutely capable holding that finished project in your hands, whether it takes you a week or three years. I encourage you to do it, because your story is one that has never been told before. Even if you think it is, no one has told it the way you could.

Put any believe that capability or time is what’s holding you back and ask yourself the only question that matters: how badly do I want this?

Have you recently decided to tackle the project you’ve been putting off? Let me know in the comments!


*because this one never leads to awkwardness. Ever.
**figuratively or literally, depending on your preferred set-up or method. With dictation, sit-stand desks, treadmill desks, or the classic “working at the kitchen counter”, chairs are really not a requirement.

Ill Met by Moonlight: Chapter 1

unnamedThe Project

[Study 16487-D, referred to from this point as Project Oberon. Day 1, 0800h] Six subjects arrived on schedule. Subjects seven through ten have made no communication subsequent to the initial orientation — decision: the study will proceed with a total of six subjects. Following discussion, the majority (8-4) has agreed that six is sufficient to gain the data the study aims to collect over the course of the next two weeks. Testing for conditions and to eliminate incompatible subjects will commence at 0900h.

[Project Oberon, Day 2 , 1400h] Testing has been completed and subjects have been tagged as follows:

315: female, 24, 5’6, 145lbs, no known health concerns, stress tests normal, blood tests clear

526: male, 22, 5’8, 237lbs, previous history of asthma but no current symptoms — decision: no concerns, stress tests normal, blood tests clear

536: male, 25, 6’3, 205lbs, no known health concerns, stress tests normal, blood tests clear

325: female, 27, 5’8, 125lbs, no known health concerns, stress tests normal, blood tests showed slight anemia — decision: clear

335: female, 24, 5’3, 130lbs, hospitalization for pneumonia 4x in last twenty years — decision: no concerns, stress tests normal, blood tests clear

345: female, 23, 5’7, 105lbs, no known health concerns, stress tests showed increased blood pressure and heart rate — decision: no immediate concern; will monitor status and remove subject if required, blood tests clear

[1500h] Subjects have read and signed all documentation. Informed consent has been granted. All have agreed to the conditions and have given full permission to the study heads to perform the following:

  1. Induce a coma using an injection of propofol
  2. Alter the condition of their physical surroundings to monitor any effect said changes have on their physical/physiological status with an aim to determine whether dreams can be manipulated by external conditions

Subjects have also sworn to maintain confidentiality at the end of the two weeks, per the confidentiality agreement, or risk legal repercussions.

For the part of the researchers, our responsibilities are:

  1. To ensure the safety and well-being of our subjects at all times
  2. To end the study at any sign of serious effects on the well-being of our subjects
  3. To remain within the ethical mandate of our study and only apply the changes of condition necessary for obtaining the data required

[Project Oberon, Day 3, 0900h] Subjects have been assigned beds 13 through 19. Subjects have again been briefed on what the study will entail and what they might expect once the propofol takes effect.

[1100h] Propofol has been administered. Subjects’ conditions are stable, and testing can begin.


I open my eyes at the shout of crows somewhere overhead. A breeze drifts over my skin. I expect to shiver, but don’t feel the cold.

It takes me a minute — maybe longer than it should — to realize I don’t know where I am, and another few moments to realize that if I want to figure it out, I need to sit up and look.

My body feels strange. Kind of light and distant, like I’m not really here, so I move slowly. I start by digging my fingers into the ground beneath me and am confused when they sink into the surface. Dirt? I rub my fingertips together to confirm it.

So I’m outside. That’s a start.

I run my hand over the ground and recognize the familiar sensation of grass on my palm, tickly and light. It still feels strange, but gradually I think I’m coming into myself.

Carefully, I sit up and have to blink into the darkness surrounding me. The bright moon highlights the tops of the trees ten feet ahead and the water twenty feet to my left. I seem to be standing on the edge of a beach, where the grass gives way to a fine sand. Reflections of the light on the water cast rippling shadows across the beach and over my hands when I hold them out in front of me. I’m still not certain of where I am. Or even who I am.

My name is Regan, that much I remember, but if someone asked for my birthday or the names of my parents, I don’t know if I could tell them. It’s there. I feel the information in the back of my mind like a distant memory, but when I reach out for it, it vanishes. But maybe that’s okay. For now, I’m all right with just being Regan.

I look down at myself and my confusion increases. These aren’t my clothes. The Regan I know myself to be would never wear these clunky army boots or cargo pants. The black T-shirt is familiar enough, but it hugs my body in a way I wouldn’t be comfortable with if I were walking down the street.

A niggling sense of explanation tickles the back of my mind, but disappears before I can latch on to it.

For now, I let it go and turn my attention to the rest of my surroundings. The water appears to be a clear, calm lake, without even the ripples of fish making their lazy way under the surface. It’s eerie. Lifeless. A shiver runs down my spine, and I’m relieved to feel a natural response from my body. This sense that I’m wrapped in gauze refuses to go away.

I turn to look at the woods. Despite the cries of the crows, the trees are as still as the water, untouched by the breeze or anything living within.

I don’t like it here. My stomach clenches as I take another pass and realize there’s nowhere to go. A boat sits at the end of the dock stretching over that still, seemingly empty water, and I spot a cabin at the end of the path, its windows dark and unwelcoming. But there’s no car, no signs, nowhere that tells me how to get home.

I rub my arms, expecting goosebumps, but there are none.

At the height of the silence, I jump at the sound of a high-pitched squeak behind me. I whirl back towards the woods and for a moment there’s nothing. It’s only when the bushes to my left rattle that I make out what’s there.

The taste of blood fills my mouth as my heartbeat races, and I raise my fists, though I don’t know what that’s supposed to achieve.

In front of me, creeping out of the bushes, is what looks like the result of a bear romancing a rat. The size of a cub, its fur is matted and thick, its pointed nose twitching as it scents the air.  Red eyes glare at me, and in them is nothing but malice and hunger. I back away, but it follows. My lungs can’t seem to suck in enough air, and I wish beyond anything that I was somewhere else. That someone would appear and help me. But I’m lost and I’m alone.

The rat starts to run, but I’m already on the edge of the water. I back my left foot into the lake, and although I can feel the water lapping against my ankle, there’s no cold, no wetness.

The beach is empty of weapons. Not even a branch I can grab to fend this monster off. It’s grinning at me now, its sharp teeth catching the glow of the moon. A sharp hiss emanates from its throat.

It lunges.

I raise my hands and squeeze my eyes shut. I imagine the rat flying away from me, into the trees.

There’s a loud shriek and the sound of branches being broken.

I open my eyes and stare across the empty beach. The rat is gone, and in the distance I hear it scurrying away through the woods.

What just happened? I stare down at my hands, but they’re just my hands.

The truth hits me like the weight of that rat against the trees. The dream study. This world, this night, that rat, me, none of it is real.

Was this what was supposed to happen? I’d been told that I would be put into a medically induced coma, and that the doctors would attempt to manipulate my dreams. But although I feel strange, my consciousness is far more aware than it is in even my most lucid dreams.

I stare at my hands again. Had I really made that rat fly into the forest?

My lips curl into a smile as I walk up the beach. Cool.

But if this is my home for the next two weeks, I might as well get comfortable.

Once again, I turn my attention to the world around me and start off to explore.

Continue to Chapter 2

Coming Up

November is already shaping up to be a busy month. First, I’ve got the first half of the Invisible Entente finale edits coming in, so I’ll be focused on getting that cleaned up and on its way to go to beta readers in December; then, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year, aiming to complete the first draft of the new Andvell book by the end of the month. I’ve also begun another project, advocating for Canadian indie authors. I’ll be keeping those updates separate from my writing blog, but if you’re interested, you can check out Northern Words and follow for updates.

But the big news:

For a while now I’ve felt that it was time to get this blog going again from a writing standpoint. It’s been years since Greylands, and I’ve missed the real-time interaction with readers as we worked through that serial.

As a result, starting next week, I’m kicking off another blog-hosted story. This one won’t be a compilation of authors, but it will be a joint venture between you, the reader, and myself.

May I present: Ill Met by Moonlight, a choose-your own adventure series about a dream study called Project Oberon. Six subjects are put into a medically induced coma to test whether dreams can be manipulated and tracked by external conditions. The story follows Subject 315, Regan, as she navigates her way through the dream world, and you, dear reader, will help me point her in the direction you wish her to go.

How will it work?

On the first Monday of every month, I’ll post the next chapter. At the end of the chapter, I’ll post two options for you to choose from. If you’re signed up for my mailing list, you’ll receive the link to cast your vote for which option Regan chooses. The poll will be open for two weeks, which will give me enough time to write the next installment.

The first chapter is written and ready to go, and you’ll find it here next Monday. See you then!

 

NEW RELEASE: Light of the Stygian Orb

orb_promo

As an archer who is deafblind, sixteen-year-old Molly Harris has always lived an exceptional life, but since rescuing the angel-demon hybrid Zachariel and being introduced to the otherworld, she’s craved a different kind of extraordinary. On her mission for answers, however, Molly realizes the road to the truth is more treacherous than she expected.

Zachariel is a freak of nature who has never fit in anywhere, and he’s grown comfortable with his solitary existence. Now, not only does he have a nosy teenager invading his personal space, he’s also dealing with a shady demon who wants to recruit him for a secret project — and who won’t take no for an answer.

As Zach delves into the demon’s scheme, he discovers he’s an unwilling pawn in a life-or-death game. Zach and Molly may be an unlikely team, but it rests on them to hold back the threat that could shake the foundations of the world.

Light of the Stygian Orb is the last book in The Invisible Entente series before the finale, which will be available winter 2018.

What readers are saying:

“I’ve known Krista Walsh as a fantastic Fantasy writer; now she has proven that she has the same exceptional talent in the Paranormal Mystery genre as well.”

“This a 5 star read all the way.”

“Krista weaved an amazing story of Zack and Molly which kept the pages turning”

“This is a really good supernatural fantasy story. The characters are complex and the description is fantastic – the images Walsh creates of Zach’s grappling with the effects of his demon and angel blood are both beautiful and impressive. There’s also a good touch of humour, something Walsh always does without making the whole book seem silly, and there are one or two really spooky moments as well. I’ve read the rest of the series, and I think this is my favourite.”

Grab your copy online by clicking this link or come see me in person at Chapter Gloucester on November 4, 2017 from noon until four to get your signed copy and swag!

Click here to read the first chapter

Book Review: My Heart Shook Like a Drum

I don’t often leave full reviews, but this one I felt was important. It’s not an easy one to find (I got my copy from the author directly), but worth the effort.

Being honest, if I were rating this book from a technical perspective, it would not be quite as high. The frequent repetitions of details and stories, which could have been cleaned up with edits, do sometimes take away the OOMPH of the point, but at the same time, it’s exactly those imperfections that lend a deep authenticity to Alice’s story and give a solid emotional punch.

And emotion is where the 5* comes in. I was in my first year of university whem I learned that the residential schools in Canada existed. 18 years old! After 6 years of high school Canadian history classes, I was appalled that such an important part of our past had been left out.

So when I met Alice at a book event this summer and she told me this book is her personal story of her time at a residential school, I had to pick it up. She is a lovely woman with so much joy and warmth in her heart, which is all the more incredible when you read what she and the other Indigenous children of that 120-year time span had to endure for the sake of “being civilized”

It’s not a subject you see often as told by the people who lived it, so Alice’s courage and honesty is that much more remarkable, and I feel an important story for anyone to read who wants an insight into the lives so many of us never new existed.

If you know of any other such histories that you’ve read and think worth sharing, please send me a recommendation!