I know I struggle with compelling blurbs

I know I struggle with compelling blurbs. http://ow.ly/8YE130ciku8


Beta Reading Fun

I’ve had a few beta readers look at parts of God Shuffle and they’ve had some good feedback for me along with an overall positive vibe for the story, dialogue, and the characters.  Today I gave it to my wife to look at and hilarity ensued.

“Did you purposefully make your city name sound like Trash?”

“No, that never occurred to me, I was just trying to keep it from being Tar and Ash.”

“Does your main character have something against kids?”

“No, why do you ask?”

“He keeps beating up kids, is it because he’s not really tough so he has to pick on juveniles?”

“He doesn’t beat up any kids. What made you think he did.”

“The first person he arrests is one of the Fireside Boys.”

“So you thought they were all kids?”

“Well, you didn’t say they weren’t.  Hey, why is it called Fireside anyway, you don’t seem to get into that.”

“The structures are super temporary and it gets burnt to the ground every year or so.”

Hilarious laughter

“Trash Fires, oh God….”

“You focus on smells a lot you know.”

“Oh, I didn’t notice.”

More laughter

“She couldn’t wash the smell of Trash off of her.”

“That’s not the name of the city.”

“It is for me, this book is so funny.”

I’m pretty sure Murphy has a law about your wife finding all of the most interesting mistakes you make.

I guess whatever it takes to keep her motivated to read the book, right?

Editing Purgatory

I finished this book in December and here it is May and I am still editing it.  I am looking with no small amount of jealousy at my wife who wrote her book in a month and it was mostly ready to go when she finished it.  We wrote very different books, in very different styles, but in the end, she made far fewer mistakes than I did.

I made some whoppers.  I just let the words pour out of me and yes, I found some gems, but there was a whole lot of detritus to sort through.  On edit pass one, I realized that the story was broken pretty severely and needed a bunch more scenes to fix, a complete rewrite of the ending and some pretty consistent modifications along the way.  On pass four I had to trim about a fifth of the story to make it more focused.  I’ve recently gotten some pretty consistent beta read feedback about some style issues that I’m fixing now.

This story started at 125K words and I’ve read it so many times that I’m considering editing backward just for a change of scenery.  My wife believes that this is a case of loving my book too much and not wanting to let it go.  I agree that I do care how it turns out, regardless of whether it sells or not, but I’ve killed a lot of darlings.  (or more correctly, I’ve put them aside for one of the other books in this world.)

I am eager to hit the publish button and I’m working exclusively to that end.  It’s driving me crazy not to be writing the next book in this series and the series I’m co-writing with Jess.  I’m trying to get this done by June 15 and if I can stand to read my own words one more time, I think I can meet that deadline and earn the right to move on to another project.

I hope the story is worthy of the time I’ve put into it.


Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn


My wife introduced me to this one shortly after we met.  I think it might have been a litmus test and thankfully I passed.  This has become one of my favorite books and series.  So much so that when my wife and I bought our dream home, we named the property Sunrunner’s Rest.

One of my favorite things about the story was the complex relationship between Rohan and Sioned (Great name).  I enjoyed how they balanced their personal responsibilities with their relationship.  I loved that Sioned was a queen who was determined to have it all, even though the costs were sometimes very high.

Melanie really makes her secondary characters come alive.  I often related more to Chay and Tobin, but I felt like all of the characters could have had their own books where Rohan and Sioned were just supporting characters and it would have been just as rewarding.

Dragon Prince is the kind of book that makes me want to learn my craft better and gives me targets to shoot for.  I want to write scenes that evoke the emotional responses that her’s do.  I want to portray a family that feels as genuine as Chay and Tobin.  I want to write a relationship that is as real as any in this book.  Melanie makes me want to keep writing so that someday I can give back something as powerful as I have received.


This encapsulates what I want to be in this world.

Big eyes, VERY big, because they are full of wonder.That is my center. It is what I was born with. Eyes that have always seen the wonder in EVERYTHING.  Eyes that see lights in the trees and magic in the air. This wonder is what I put into the world, and what I protect in children. It is what makes me a Guardian. It is my center.

What is yours?

From Rise of the Guardians.

God Shuffle Book Cover

The book cover for God Shuffle came through recently and I wanted to share it with you. Thanks to my amazing wife Jessica for helping me sort through dozens of ideas to hone in on something that is simple and encapsulates this whole series.  The cover was completed by Fayefayedesigns on fiverr.  Fayefayedesigns and I think she did a great job with it.  I hope you agree.



God Shuffle – The Divine Spire

This is another excerpt from God Shuffle that I decided should be cut, but that I still like.

It deals with the Divine Spire and has been slightly edited to remove potential spoilers.


“Lucy, you’ve gotten yourself all muddy again.  Can’t we even walk to the Spire without you playing in the muck?”

Susanne crouched beside her daughter on the Divine Bridge and her daughter steadied herself on her father George’s leg.

“I wasn’t trying to get muddy mother, I just slipped in the horse poo. Maybe we should try next week?”

“That won’t do at all Lucy”, said George. “Now more than ever, the gods need our prayers.”

“What do they need our prayers for? They’re Gods already, they can just give themselves whatever they want.”

Susanne finished shaking the worst of the mud off of Lucy’s dress and took her hand. She pointed to the Divine Spire, a twisting artifice of glass that seemed to stretch beyond the heavens themselves.

“There was a time Lucy, that this was just a simple little temple, hardly more than a stable. The Gods built all of this in celebration of the Divine Pact. Do you know how they were able to build it?”

“Of course Mother, they are Gods.”

“Yes, they are Gods, but their power is limited. If we stop praying to them, or giving them offerings, then they will have no power and won’t be able to do even simple things. The truly special thing about this spire, is that after the Divine’s power was weakened, they gave nearly everything they had to build this mighty spire as a monument.”

George piped in.

“It was meant as a show of trust in humanity. They would weaken themselves before us and it would be up to us to bring their strength back so that they could resume their normal duties. If either party didn’t honor their promise, it could have gone butter side down.”

“If I were a God I would have held a little bit back and been the most powerful God of all and then the rest of the Gods would have to make statues to me.”

“Yes, well that’s why you aren’t allowed back in religious studies now isn’t it?”

Susanne frowned at her daughter and they began walking to the Divine Spire.

They looked up at the Spire from the bottom of the stairs and its immensity filled their field of vision.

Lucy looked up and swayed a bit then grabbed George’s leg.

“It looks much bigger from here. Those are a lot of stairs to climb.”

“That is why we waited until you were big enough to come yourself. You are far too heavy to carry any more.”

They walked up the thirty-eight granite steps, one for each deity that existed prior to the Divine Pact. Lucy was red in the face and huffing when she reached the top but also had a smile on her face and refused to take the hand George offered. She caught her breath and then marched right to the Eastern doors where she stopped and looked up.

“Father, do giants come to temple to pray?”

“No, Lucy”, said George, “but the doors are sized so that the Avatars would fit through them if they decided to visit us.”

She crossed the threshold and into the largest single room she had ever seen. The northern side had a huge stage rising above the floor complete with altar and several podiums. The other three sides had four prayer areas each, one for each Avatar. Each area had pews of its own where workers devoted to that Avatar could teach or answer questions.

“Where do you think you would like to offer your prayers Lucy?” Her mom tried to grab her hand to keep her close in the crowd.

“Oh, all of them, Mother. I want to visit every shrine and talk to them all and do you think there are Avatars here right now in disguise?”

George looked up and took a deep slow breath.

“That might take a lot of time Lucy. Wouldn’t you rather pick an Avatar that you think could use your help or that you would like to congratulate and then get home in time to help your mom with the meal?”

“No thanks Father, I wouldn’t be able to decide and I wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings.

George looked at Susanne and smiled weakly.

“We’ll do our prayers and then meet you in the middle Lucy. Don’t leave the temple without us.”

They finished their offerings to Love and Peace and sat down to wait for Lucy. She returned several times to inform them of this or that fact about an Avatar and to ask if they had known that the spire was made of real glass.  Once she very somberly explained the difference between Avatars and Gods to them.

“Well that’s that then love, we’ve lost this one to the church.”

“Don’t be sad now”, said Susanne, “at least she won’t marry a foreigner.”