another month of editing and panic

Time is a funny thing. She doesn’t ask permission; she just keeps flying.

Remember the free copy of Dissonance I got last November? The one people received with such enthusiasm that it was a driving force to leave my comfort zone? I mean this one:


(I tried whiting stuff out for comment privacy, but one of them is clearly my cousin, so HI COUSIN! :D)

Okay but I never thought so many people would react that way. And even though it doesn’t mean all those people are going to read the book, it convinced me to take a chance. This picture is super important–it’s a milestone–and I’m not using that cover anymore, but it’s always going to be special.

Now I’ve cleared my desk to have space for editing again. This book is getting a chance, and I know I can do it! (Though fighting the inner editor is hard. Other authors, if you have tips for this unpleasant REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE impulse–let me know.)

So what happened is, one picture sparked a slight misunderstanding which sparked a huge decision.

Coincidence? NO.

September I’m editing, and some amazing people are going to beta read (a few have beta read multiple times.) If you’re a friend and interested in helping, let me know! Meanwhile, I’m going to be locked up with lots of coffee and migraines.

I don’t have a lot of time anymore. Stay tuned, and thanks for coming this far with me!

#WIPpet Wednesday – failed

I failed the writing break. I refuse to believe it’s anything but a good sign. Heather knows I’ve been filling a notebook with those random plot bunnies, but then the notebook ran out, and I had nothing left to put off Book 2 anymore. There’s not one page left–not. one. page.

So I’m rewriting my sequel. I said I’d wait till at least September. I give up. This month of reading poetry, classics, and essays helped–my sentences flow more naturally now, just in time for one final shaping-up of Dissonance.

This is my notebook. The sticky note says August 2014.

It’s in front of the awesome Paris painting I got for Christmas, so it looks really cool. :D


Now, for the WIPpet! I want to share something from my rebellious rewrite of Book 2. I’ve had enough insomnia that now my poor character suffers from it, too! It’s terrible!

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock—

The sound was empty, just noise. Frustration pulsed through her body, and she sat up with a groan, flinging the pillow aside. Nearly four in the morning, and Allie couldn’t remember how to fall asleep, listening to hour after hour crawl past like a dying person seeking refuge.

What wouldn’t she give for a full night’s rest!

This excerpt is short, because I haven’t edited Book 2 Draft 3 at all. But I just wanted to share this.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K.L. Schwengel, and you share excerpts from a current work in progress. Join here!

Fall Into Fantasy: The Darkness & Light Series by K.L. Schwengel

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!


Week 1 — The Darkness & Light Series
Book One: First of Her Kind
Book Two: Emergence
Book Three: Edge of Darkness (Release date 2015)


It seems everyone wants to dictate what Ciara does with her life: Serve the Goddess, destroy the Goddess, do as you promised your aunt — all Ciara really wants is to keep the two magics she possesses from ripping her apart.

And that’s not going to be easy.

Not only is her earth magic in complete opposition to her other power, blood ties pull her in divergent directions as well. And then there’s Bolin, the man sworn to protect her. There’s no denying the growing attraction between them, but is it Ciara he wants, or her power?

None of which will matter if Ciara can’t overcome her fear and learn how to use her gifts. No one knows the depths of the ancient power she possesses, or what will happen if it manages to escape her control. Will she lose herself entirely? Or be forever caught between Darkness and Light?

Buy the e-book: Kindle Nook

Or the paperback: Amazon  Barnes & Noble

The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.

For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.

Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

Buy the e-book: Kindle  Nook

Or the paperback: Amazon  Barnes & Noble



K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.

Connect online at…

Blog  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter  Amazon Page  Goodreads

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
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August reads

I’m going to be pretty busy with writing stuff this year. So I decided to take August off and just read stuff.

I made a collage of the books I’ve read so far:


I’m always, always 6 books behind my goal. No matter what I do, or how I speed-read–nope, 6 books behind.

Jane Eyre is still my favorite. The Fault in Our Stars was okay, but I thought I’d like it better. I’d read If I Stay before, and think it’s actually more powerful than TFiOS.

One good thing is that I at least passed the halfway point for my Goodreads Challenge. I’m 53% done. The Flannery O’Connor book took a while to finish, because short stories have to be read a certain way to enjoy them.

What’s next? Tennyson, Franz Kafka, The Fellowship of the Ring…usually a book jumps up and tells me to read it. I’ll keep you updated!

#WIPpet Wednesday: a writing break

I missed my post last Wednesday. I spent hours thinking, There’s SOMETHING important going on and I forgot, I really should write things in my planner. Well, I didn’t remember WIPpet Wednesday until I found someone else’s WIPpet on Thursday. I guess when you’re not writing, it’s easy to forget.

I have no real WIP this month. I’m taking a break because every great writer says I should. I’m not seeing the benefits, though, since every day I go around thinking I should write something. Wait–I’m on a break. But I want to write!

If there are benefits to this, I’ll find out on September, my editing month. It’s going to be a busy, busy autumn–too early for countdowns, but time I can’t afford to waste. Hopefully the blurb will be done by the end of August.


WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K.L. Schwengel. You post a snippet of a work-in-progress somehow related to the date. Join the link-up here!

I think this is a novella, or a short story. It’s not finished yet, and it’s one of the many things I’m working on simultaneously (especially to procrastinate editing.) Enjoy!

They called him daemon.

Few dared speak a word to him now that he got his way. In an old, forgotten English village, a boy sat in the corner of a pub. This place had become a frequent haunt weeks ago, and they were scared to drive him off.

Tyson Rakes gazed at the stained wood tabletop. Though lightheaded, he didn’t use the daemon status to steal food. It was quite enough to be indoors, away from rain that burned his skin like fire.

It was a decent place, the shadiest person being Tyson himself—one look into his eyes was enough to scare them off. It was not a home, but would do when the weather poured.

Every night it started to rain, and he came for refuge. The guards let him walk right past, and no one took his table. He sat to hear the rain till it faded, and usually slept in a barn or shed. The village was his to roam as he pleased.

“Is he coming today?” the waitress asked, clearing a table nearby with her rag. “We should clean up!”

Tyson hated to eavesdrop, but in his boredom he caught every word.

“Aye, today,” said the bartender. “In fact, he should be here within the hour. Just got the call.”

“But what’s he here for?” the girl asked, setting chairs back in place.

“Who knows what he’s up to nowadays? But I see change on the horizon!”

The boy lost interest here, tracing meaningless patterns on the table. He watched the trail of scorched wood that his finger left behind. Tyson was not angry enough to set anything ablaze, resorting to artwork when he was bored. That must be why they didn’t let anyone else have the table: They thought he’d marked his territory.

A Good Story | Part I: The House

Each leaf that fell sounded like a gentle voice urging one of us to say something. Autumn came down on the street as a veil of gold and yellow, a vibrant blanket that shifted and yawned with the wind.

I looked at Ian and struggled with painful memories. He was older and I knew he matured by how his face was set; this young man would never bully a person again. Something in his eyes reflected great loneliness and sorrow, and it seemed odd to me—he’d always been one of the kids with friends all over the place.

“How’s your mom?” I asked at last, hoping to start a conversation.

I hadn’t thought it possible, but at the mention of his mother, Ian’s eyes darkened even more.

“It’s a long story,” he said, not slowing his pace; he walked swiftly without looking at the road, as if it kept his mind off some terrible memory.

Though he wanted to change the subject, I had to satiate my curiosity: “Is it a bad story?”

“It’s a sad one.”

My heart sank. “Is she dead?” I blurted out.

Ian still didn’t turn his head. “We don’t know. She’s just…gone.”

“Gone?” I struggled to picture this neighborhood without Mrs. Kenyon in it. “Like, vanished?”

“Yes.” And finally he betrayed some emotion, taking a breath, readjusting his scarf with shaky hands. I felt a sudden urge to hold them tight, promise things were going to be fine; I only resisted because my gut knew tons of people had done that by now.

Nothing was fine at all.

“How long?” I whispered.

“Two years.” His voice was strained. “She went to help with the gardening at that detestable brick house down the road. You remember it, right?”

I nodded. “The kids called it haunted.”

“If it’s not haunted, it’s hungry.”

“That’s terrible,” I whispered. “Sorry I asked.”

“No, don’t be. You live here too. You knew her.”

join the link-up fun! read more!

a good story | creative writing link-up #1

Not all good stories have to be long.

We all have that scratch pad of incomplete thoughts, sleepy words that never exceeded one page. I’ve been looking for a place to share my own thoughts, and I hope you’ll join me.


- Make sure to leave feedback on other links shared. With encouragement, you could break Writer’s Block and help make a paragraph into a story.
– Keep it PG-13.
– Post one of your greatest scratch-pad works and vote up your favorites!
– This is a monthly link-up, so come back for the other link.
– Have fun!

Join the group here to meet other people participating!

Jane Eyre

Reader, I married him. I finished Jane Eyre last night and made it to that famous line…it feels like I've checked off a major title and I can really say I love classics now.

I'm not sure why I didn't finish it a few years ago. There's lots of books I hated at 15 but love now. I love the big books that overwhelmed me as a teenager. Styles that once seemed too complicated to me are suddenly magical.

It must be part of getting older.

Jane Eyre was one of those just one more chapter books. Now I understand people who loved the book I could never finish. Once I got past Mr. Rochester's irritating introduction, I was hooked.

And I made it to that famous line. I'm so proud of myself. Now I need to read another famous classic I hated.

Maybe Huckleberry Finn. I never liked that one, either, but Mark Twain is one of the wisest men I've ever read. His quotes are fantastic, so I'll give the book another shot.

I'm still 6 books behind on my reading challenge. But I'm having fun. How about you?


introducing an illustrator

Meet Samantha, a dear friend and sister of mine who lives in Idaho (except somehow we’ve never met.) She’s gifted with art.

Recently she’s discerning illustration as a big thing in her life. In fact, that started around the time I messaged her asking to help with the advertising. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

She’s been sketching some scenes from the book, and though none are finished to show yet, I want to brag about how talented she is.

Here are some scenes from a Christmas book she helped illustrate a while back:


starry night 2

I know little about illustration, but have read that indie authors can’t do everything themselves. I’m letting Sammi and Syd read Dissonance. They’ll let me know what scenes they think work best, while I stress over editing and just about everything else.

I know wonderful people who’ve offered their time and gifts, so no friendship or talent is coincidental. I shall pluck Sammi into the muse team! I’m excited to support her projects and endeavors. I couldn’t do any of this if I were alone.

My editing will resume on September, but I refuse to do anything right now except read. I need a break from my own work if I want to get anywhere. And I’ll go back to finish Jane Eyre now.

The year is going by really fast. Stay tuned–it’s getting epic!

#WIPpet Wednesday: not enough time

Oh hey, it’s August. December is in five months. So I’m an awkward mix of HELP I’M RUNNING OUT OF TIME and SO MUCH TIME, I’VE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. The lovely Kate (read her book!) has helped me learn tons about the journey–but decisions are still daunting.

I’m excited.

And grateful.

And maybe panicking just a little.

Thank goodness WIPpet Wednesday is still here. It’s so much fun to choose something and share it. WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by K. L. Schwengel, and you share an excerpt from your WIP that is somehow related to the date.

Since I don’t currently have a big WIP, here’s an excerpt from the Van Gogh short story I wrote last August, Starless:

“Don’t envy a dead guy,” my sister kept saying. She liked phoning me from her art studio by the Seine. “Make your own art!”

“Don’t envy a dead guy, Oliver,” I whispered to myself now. “Aspire to be your best.”

He might be dead, but I still wanted to know his secret.

I stopped gazing at old photographs and turned to my desk. Once upon a time, this furniture was white. Now it was different shades of blue, green, and yellow.

I uncapped the newest tube of blue and squirted some onto my palette. With the back of my brush, I made swirling movements in the paint. Blue was too peaceful—it needed yellow. I turned the paintbrush over, imitating the pattern on that blue cupcake. A little to the left, a little to the right, reverse…

My work never looked quite right.