Huzzizzle of the Realms - May 2016 UR News #amreading

Untethered Realms BIG news this month:
We are happy to welcome speculative fiction author Simon Kewin to our group. He's published over one hundred short stories and poems. His most recent novels include the Cloven Land fantasy trilogy. We're excited to have him join our adventures. Please welcome him with cheers and applause!

Get Your Free SciFi and Fantasy Ebooks!

The Rifters is included in this collection!

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#age #writing

~Age and Writing~

I have good days and bad days as a writer. I take into account my age, and, is it worth all the long, arduous time spent in drafting and editing for so little reward. Is it worth the precious time taken from my family?  

As a writer, do you consider age as detrimental? I used to write as a youngster and then into my teen years. Then life ignited into a whirlwind romance with my now husband. Between birthing 5 children I did pick up pen and paper, but it was preposterous when I had all these little arms grabbing for me. 

It always amazes me when I read about writer's with full time jobs and raising young children doing well with their books. How do they do it?!

I did a little research on writer's and how old they were when they were published. 

Here's an article about a 93 y/o woman who published her debut novel: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/aug/11/1

Authors Who Weren't Published Until After the Age of...

  1. Laura Ingalls Wilder, 65 - She didn't start writing until after she retired. Her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, came out in 1932, and kicked off her Little House series. Little House on the Prairie came out in 1935. Laura Ingalls Wilder died at age 90.
  2. Henry Miller, 44 - His first book, Tropic of Cancer, was published when he was 44. 
  3. Anthony Burgess, 40 - He's most famous for A Clockwork Orange, which came out when he was 45 -- 
  4. Frank McCourt, 66 - His debut was Angela's Ashes, which came out when he was 66 -- the oldest debut on this list. 

  5. Dead and loving it.
    Bram Stoker, 50 - Five other interesting Bram Stoker facts. (1) He was Irish. Yes, Dracula was created by an Irishman.
  6. George Eliot, 40 - Her name was actually Mary Ann Evans. Her first novel, Adam Bede, came out when she was 40. 
  7. Alex Haley, 44 - The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published when he was 44, and Rootscame out 11 years later.
  8. William S. Burroughs, 40 - He was published for the first time just after he turned 40. Naked Lunch didn't come out until he was 45. 
  9. Sherwood Anderson, 50 - Were kids who didn't grow up in Ohio required to read Winesburg, Ohio, aka the Canterbury Tales of the northeastern Midwest?
  10. Richard Adams, 52 - Adams stormed out of the gate at age 52 with Watership DownIt was an instant classic, won a ton of awards and vaulted him toward the top of the modern author pyramid. 
  11. O. Henry, 42 - O. Henry (also known as "William Sydney Porter" continues to captivate readers with his clever twist endings
I found the article here:

I've come to a conclusion ~ Age Doesn't Matter. 

For neurotic writer's like myself, I'm very thankful for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Join in the monthly posting here: 


5 Tips for Creating A Book Ad

Marketing is one of the toughest jobs of an author. And it's not usually one we enjoy. We're reclusive creatures and that does not mesh with being promotional gurus.

But we want to share our work with the world. One of the best ways to do so is with book ads. Maybe it's just the image of your cover with your tagline or a picture of you on your knees begging readers to buy your book. Whatever you choose to do, here are five tips for creating ads.

1) Know your audience. This means not only knowing your genre, but where your work fits in that genre. Dark, mysterious, funny? What is the theme or mood you wish to portray? What do your readers like best about your book? If it's that weird little robot sidekick, find a picture to represent it and shine the spotlight on it.

2) Make certain the font is readable. I encourage playing around with different fonts and effects, but so many times I've run across ads I couldn't read because of the font. Yes, the fancy swirls are nifty and the reflecting light looks cool, but if I can't read the ad, I won't want to read your book.

3) Images. Yes, many people suggest that displaying your book cover is essential in an ad, but I disagree. You can find images to represent different characters or scenes or a magical item. (Always make certain you have permission to use those images!) You could make your ad look like a movie poster.

4) The message. There isn't a lot of room to explain all the reasons someone should buy your book. So what can you say? Use a clever tagline or a snippet of a great review. Even a line from the story itself can work.

5) Once you've put it all together, DO NOT forget to link it to your book's buy link. Your website is okay, but if the person is interested enough to click on the ad, you want to take them to where they can buy the book immediately.
Do you have any book ad tips to share? What captures your attention when seeing an ad?

Here are a few examples of my latest ads!





Paper Folding Is Magic: How to Fold a Paper Frog #origami #urbanfantasy

In my story “Folds in Life and Death” featured in Parallels: Felix Was Here, the main character crafts paper frogs. Today I’m going to tell you how to fold your own jumping paper frogs—minus the magical words. Paperists can’t let their secrets out, after all. *winks*

What you’ll need: one rectangular piece of paper.

Step 1: Fold the rectangular piece of paper, lengthwise, in half (picture 1.1). Open it again (picture 1.2).

Step 2: Take the top left corner and fold it to the other edge of the paper, like so (picture 2.1). Open the paper and fold the top right corner to the other side of the paper (picture 2.2). Open the paper again (picture 2.3).

Step 3: Flip the sheet over and fold horizontally where the diagonal lines make an X (picture 3.1). Open the paper and flip it back over (picture 3.2).

Step 4: Hold the sides of the horizontal line and move them inward. Then, grab the top of the paper and press it down and flatten to make a triangle (picture 4).

Step 5: Fold the upper part of the sides of the triangle up to the point (picture 5.1 and picture 5.2). This will create a diamond like shape of the top part.

Step 6: Fold each lower side in half vertically toward the center (picture 6.1 and picture 6.2).

Step 7: Fold the bottom part up until it hits the center of the diamond (picture 7).

Step 8: Using the same part you folded, fold it down in half horizontally (picture 8).

Step 9: Turn your frog over (picture 9).

Now you have a frog that can hop, with your assistance by pressing down on its lower back. Gently now! You don’t want him to flip over..

An excerpt from “Folds in Life and Death”: The strident alarm blared from the television. Allyson Moore jerked and dropped the paper frog. The creature rested on its side, its legs not yet folded nor did it boast the inscription that would bring it to life. Several other frogs hopped around her desk and the room.

A picture of the White House filled the twenty-three inch screen. Her heart thumped. What had happened now? The image shifted and grew smaller to reveal a blonde news anchor. Her smudged mascara and red-rimmed eyes betrayed the calm way she shuffled her papers and focused upon the camera.

She cleared her throat. “We’ve received news that an armed drone bombed the White House. Let’s go to John Kelly for more information.”

Allyson’s hand fluttered at her neck. The White House? Her brother… His family… She couldn’t lose anyone else.

“Thank you, Sarah.” John Kelly stood not far from the White House. A gust of wind blew his suit jacket against his lean frame. Behind him, dark smoke trailed from the destruction. Other TV crews crowded along a police barrier. “As you can see, smoke billows from the remains of the West Wing. Paperists search for souls. According to sources, a drone slipped under the radar and plummeted toward the White House. The explosion occurred after one o’clock. We await word on whether or not President Moore and his family survived. Until further notice, the FAA has grounded all aircraft except official military ones.”

Allyson jumped to her feet and headed to the foyer to grab her coat, keys, and purse. As a Paperist, she could help locate souls. As the President’s sister, she needed to be in Washington, DC.

Enter the realm of parallel universes! 

What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever? 

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

Purchase the anthology at Amazon, iTunes, KoboNook, and Smashwords.
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Cathrina's Review of The 5th Wave

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Cathrina's Review:

I absolutely love Rick Yancey's brilliant writing style. He clearly wedged a stronghold into his character's psyche, bringing to the reader the first person's POV's strong emotional upheavals. The POV of first Cassie and then Ben Parish develop nicely and come together in the conclusion. The 5th Wave is dynamic as an apocalyptic alien invasion where characters cannot distinguish between the aliens and humans. (I like that Yancey does not have little green monsters taking over the world) 

If you like to read YA action packed drama, I highly recommend The 5th Wave. It was hard for me to put down the book once I began.

Since I read The 5th Wave, it has been made into a movie.


Five Reasons Why Writing Endless was Awesome

My newest book Endless is now out, and I thought I’d share a few reasons about why I totally enjoyed writing it.

1) It wrote easily.

The only book I finished before Endless was an epic fantasy that challenged me on almost every single word I wrote down. In comparison, Endless all but wrote itself once I had the concept figured out.

I rough drafted it in sixteen days, which until late last year was a personal record.

2) It was the first book where I started with a concept and it built into an awesome story with amazing characters.

Usually, characters come to me first and I have to figure out the story afterwards. With Endless, I had the idea of wanting to write a story about an immortal with memory loss. It took the better part of two years before the story actually fell into place for me.

3) Nick and Vince.

Both of these guys came out of nowhere for me when I wrote Endless. Originally, it was supposed to only be about Aleria and Ryan, but then one of the FBI agents insisted on putting in his two cents.

And interestingly enough Nick is the one everyone loves.

Vince also came out of nowhere. When I started writing, I intended for Endless to be set in a world where vampires and werewolves existed, but without the story really featuring any of them. But then Vince came along and his snark just made his dialogue pop so much that I couldn’t let him go.

4) Banter between Nick and Vince.

Nick and Vince scenes tend to be my favorite. Nick is a smart Alec. Vince is heavy on snark. So their conversations tend to be a no-holds barred snark-fest that always makes me smile.

5) Chemistry.

Aleria and Ryan, Nick and Aleria, Nick and Ryan, Nick and Vince, Vince and Ryan… There’s no real pairing that doesn’t have fire-works of some sort, and I love it.

So now I’ve shared what made me like my story, what makes you enjoy reading one? If you're wondering whether you'd like Endless, read on for a few pages from the book.  


This had to be what dying felt like. Floating outside my body, waiting for that final link to my life to be severed, only vaguely aware of indescribable pain. More screams than I could count rose up around me. Hundreds of footsteps beat against tiles. I couldn’t open my eyes if I wanted to. Not when it was easier to listen and wait. People shouted for a doctor or an IV, or a thousand other things that made no sense. I listened to all the chaos, trying to untangle it in my thoughts.

Soon, I could go. The peace around me was so relaxing, completely out of place in the clamor I heard. I wanted it. To rest forever in that peace. Why not? There was a very good reason, but I couldn’t call it to mind.

A numb buzz shot through my body and shattered my serenity.

It happened again. Only this time was more of a sharp pulse. The third time jolted like lightning. The fourth…Hell. Suddenly, the screams were coming from me. My heart’s relentless thundering added to my torment.



My chest burned like fire. It hurt to breathe. Cold air drove down my throat and into my lungs, amplifying the inferno in my chest. My skin felt scorched. It couldn’t be. It wasn’t right.

I had to see. I had to understand why pain dominated my existence like this. My eyes were fused shut. My breaths grew shallow, trying to draw air when there was none. I tried to clench my teeth. I bit hard plastic. A pipe. Cold air suddenly forced back into my lungs, out of time with my own breathing. This was wrong. It wasn’t safe. I had to see. The best I got was a little fluttering of my lashes.

A high-pitched beep shot through my head. It repeated again and again. I wanted to reach over and slam my fist into its source. My arm wouldn’t lift. Something kept it trapped. A scream rose up from the depths of my soul, but the pipe jammed inside my throat stifled the sound. I only managed a whimper, trying my best not to gag. More air blasted into my lungs against my will. What was going on? I was trapped in my own body, but why?

I needed to move. I had to move. Now. Before… Even… Even though… Panic gripped me. The beeps increased at a frenetic pace. I needed to move. To be gone. Didn’t matter where. Just not here. Not defenseless. Not trapped.

The air sucked out of my lungs. I gasped, choking on nothing, strangled by invisible fingers. I tried to convulse my body. To twist myself free of what’s holding me.


The air rushed back in a cold flood. Seconds later it left, only to return in the same amount of time.

There was a rhythm to the air. In… out... in… out… The breaths were slow—sleep-like. I concentrated on this rhythm, striving to clear my head. If I wanted out, I needed to think. Calmly. Clearly. Eventually, those irritating beeps slowed. I tried to focus past the sound.

Voices buzzed about me, adding to my need to see, to do something to protect myself. No one seemed to pay attention to me. Good. I could use that to my advantage.

I centered my every thought on moving my little finger. It finally jerked, but collided against something solid. So the thing trapping my arm was physical and too heavy for me to lift. It was better to be trapped than paralyzed. With luck I could escape my restraints. I tried my other hand, but it was cemented stuck as well. Right leg. Left leg. Damn it! Both trapped. I had to move!


No, I needed to stay calm. I tried to make larger movements, biting the pipe in my mouth against the urge to scream in pain. There was no wiggle room.

Fearing that I might be blindfolded, I focused on blinking. It worked. My eyes opened and the blur faded, revealing ceiling tiles. Why would there be tiles? Where was the canvas of hospital tents? The distant sounds of bombs dropping? The power of their explosions rushing through my blood?

No. That wasn’t right. I wasn’t there.

Where was I, then?

First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.