Tag Archives: writing

Back from NOLA and other updates

I just got back last night from a trip to New Orleans.  This was primarily a research trip, but my husband and I had a good time while there.  I would have preferred going sooner than this since some parts of Darkness Clashes do take place there (no spoilers, not to worry), but that was the soonest my husband could take off work.  He didn’t want to miss it since he’d never been to Louisiana.  This meant sketching out those scenes and/or writing a tentative draft of them ahead of time due to the tight schedule, but now I’ve got everything I need to fill them in.

Facebook fans have seen a few of the trip pics I’ve posted, but I’ll post a couple here as well (see below).

Susan at restaurantSusan on Bourbon Street 2

I stayed at The Olivier House and loved it.  Our room had older style furnishings, which is what I wanted, but it also had modern amenities like a television and cable.  With the final World Cup games taking place while there, this was particularly important to the husband.  I’ll confess to not watching, but I do want to congratulate Germany for their win!

I’m also excited to let you all know my cover artist and typographer finished the cover for Darkness Clashes during the trip.  It looks amazing!  I’ll be revealing it exclusively with Bitten by Books on July 25th, but will post a link here as a reminder on that day so you can check it out as well as the official blurb.  For now you all will have to satisfy yourselves with the new website header (top of this page) that has a never-seen-before pose of Lucas and Melena.  No, it is not the one on the cover.  This shot was taken for promo purposes only.

That’s it for now on updates.  It’s back to the grindstone for me so I can have this book ready by the end of next month.  Hope all of you are having a great summer 🙂

Playlist for Chained by Darkness

For those of you who are curious what songs I listened to while writing Chained by Darkness, I’ve got them listed below.  Some of them influenced the story overall while plotting/writing and a few were particular to certain chapters/scenes.  I’ll link all of them to iTunes and put up YouTube videos for a few of my favorites among them.  Enjoy!

1)  Insensitive by Jann Arden

2)  It Must Have Been Love by Roxette

3)  Wait For You by Elliot Yamin

4)  See You Again by Carrie Underwood

*Influenced the epilogue

5)  Just a Dream by Nelly

6)  The Way by Ariana Grande

7)  Titanium by Madilyn Bailey

*Influenced chapter 1 & 4

8)  Love is Blindness by Jack White

9)  Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

*Influenced chapter 2, 9, & 14


10)  The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe

11)  Now or Never by Three Days Grace

12)  Take Me Under by Three Days Grace

13) Not Afraid by Eminem

*Influenced chapter 14

14) Lose Yourself by Eminem

*Influenced chapter 15


15)  One Last Breath by Creed

*Influenced chapter 1

16)  My Sacrifice by Creed

17)  I will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan

*Influenced chapter 17 & epilogue


18) Angel by Sarah McLachlan

19) It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion

*Influenced chapter 16 & 17

20) Because You Loved Me by  Celine Dion

*Influenced chapter 17


Feel free to comment if any of these songs are your favorites 🙂

Playlist for Darkness Taunts

MusicI know some people are interested in what music an author plays to help inspire them while writing a novel.  For anyone who wants to know which songs I’ve been listening to as I make my way through Darkness Taunts, the list is below.  It’s a rather eclectic mix of genres because I like a little of everything.

Do keep in mind that not all of them relate to the story, but help set a tone for a scene.  A few have key lines that resonate with me while the song itself doesn’t actually fit.  Some do not pertain to the main character, Melena, but to other characters and their side stories.

They are in no particular order and all song titles are linked to iTunes:

1) Savin’ Me by Nickelback

Favorite lines-

Heaven’s gates won’t open up for me, with these broken wings I’m fallin’

2) How You Remind Me by Nickelback

3) All You Wanted by Michelle Branch

4) Always by Bon Jovi

5) Gotta Be Somebody by Nickelback

6) It Matters to Me by Faith Hill

Favorite line-

Baby tell me where’d you ever learn to fight without saying a word.”

7) Skinny Love by Birdy

Favorite lines-

Who will love you? Who will fight?
And who will fall, far behind?”

8) You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift

9) No Surprise by Daughtry

Favorite lines-

There’s nothing here in this heart left to borrowThere’s nothing here in this soul left to say.”

10) No Love by Eminem (featuring Lil Wayne)

Favorite lines-

I don’t go around fire expecting not to sweat.”

11) Not Afraid by Eminem

12) Tourniquet by Evanescence

13) Love the Way You Lie by Eminem and Rihanna

14) Too close by Alex Clare

Favorite line-

And it feels like I am just too close to love you.”

(Love the beat to this song and it fits a very specific scene)

15) No Church in the Wild by Kayne West and Jay Z (feat. Frank Ocean)

16) Down by Jason Walker

17) In the End by Linkin Park

18) Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner

19) You Make Me Sick by Pink

(This is actually the ringtone I use for when my husband calls, but it works for the book too)

20) Naseny El Donia (Translation- Make me forget the world) by Ragheb Alama




Darkness Haunts updates

I’ve been working hard on writing Darkness Taunts.  It’s turning out even better than I expected.  I hope to put out an excerpt in the next month or two for those who are interested as well as the official synopsis.  It will take place in Alaska again, though parts of the story will be in Juneau this time.  If you have any particular questions, check out the FAQ page.  The answers may be there or you can feel free to ask.

The giveaway on Goodreads was a great success.  I was really pleased with the turnout.  871 people entered, though only three could win signed paperback copies.  I’m in the process of mailing those out to the winners this week.  If any of them are reading this, I’ll be messaging them soon with the shipping number so they can track their packages.

For those who didn’t win in the giveaway or are just hearing about the novel, I am offering a chance to get a free ebook copy (Kindle or Nook).  All you have to do is leave a comment below with the following information:

1) Tell me where you first heard about Darkness Haunts.

2) List your three favorite paranormal/urban fantasy authors.

Make sure you enter a valid email address in the field where it asks for one.  On March 20th I’ll conduct a drawing to select three random people who will receive copies.  If there is a large enough turn-out, I may even increase the number who can win.  Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away, I’ll approve it within a few hours and it will  count as an entry.

Hope everyone has a great week!

A final teaser for Darkness Haunts…

For those of you who haven’t noticed, Darkness Haunts is live on Amazon today.  It should be available on Nook and Kobo soon.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share a short excerpt (about 550 words) from a section further into the novel than the last one.  Only one small piece gave anything important away. I cut that out of this version.  Hope you enjoy!


I didn’t make it outside in time. The sups pulled a late-model, black BMW into an empty parking spot right in front of the bar. My SUV sat three spaces past it. I kept walking.

Please don’t let them notice me.

“Hey, pretty lady,” the driver said. The only vamp in the group had to be the one to notice me. He stepped right into my path.

Avoid the eyes or he’ll know.

I stared at a small stain on the collar of his brown suede jacket. Dried blood?

The two werewolves snickered. “You can take that one for yourself, man. We’re going inside.”

Rock music spilled out as they opened the bar door. I didn’t look back. The vamp in front of me held all of my attention.  He appeared to be in his mid-twenties, but was actually closer to thirty. He’d been undead for about five years. I could take him…probably.

My hand itched for my gun, but I remembered Wanda’s words from long ago. “Melena, don’t ever bring a gun to a vampire fight. You’ll get one shot off before they kill you.”

Okay, fine, plan B.

I put my hands in my pockets. “You wanna get out of my way?”

“Why don’t you look at me, pretty lady?” Yeah, because that would be such a good idea. He was too young to compel anyone with his voice.  In another few years he’d have that skill, but not yet. He had to use the eyes for now.

I continued to stare at the stain on his jacket. He had hurt an innocent human.  For all I knew it could have been Aniya. I clinched my fingers around my pocket knife. This guy had to be handled very carefully.

“Get out of my way,” I said through clinched teeth. “I’m not interested.”

His hand shot out to wrap around my throat. I flinched, but his grip wasn’t so tight I couldn’t breathe.  Dead prey made bad meals for vampires.

“Look. At. Me.” He forced my head up, but I kept my eyes averted. In my hand, I flipped open my knife and pressed it hard against the bulge in his pants. The tip didn’t go through, but the threat was clear. He loosened his grip on my throat enough so I could speak.

“Back the fuck off,” I said, “or else this is really going to hurt.” Some people think the bigger the knife, the better. If used properly, a three inch blade could be every bit as effective.

He backed off.

“Bitch,” he spat.

I smiled and held up my weapon. “Go inside before I change my mind and use this anyway.”

A muscle ticked in his jaw. I thanked God he was too young to be a real threat. He hesitated a moment longer before making a move to pass me. I stepped aside, giving him plenty of room. My knife stayed up where he could see it.

He tried to catch my eyes one more time. He kept going when it didn’t work.  I’d had years of practice keeping my eyes averted when vamps were around. It had kept me alive, though I preferred to avoid them altogether. One day, I’d run into a vampire who wouldn’t forget he could heal from a knife wound—even if it was pointed at his genitals.