And All Hell Breaks Loose!

Dust off your demon hunting skills, kids, it’s about to get sporty.

*ahem* Sorry. I’m channeling Mike Banning from London Has Fallen.

*whispers* If you haven’t seen that movie yet, do it!

DoD Tablet-Coffee-Wood-Table

Okay, so…..I can’t believe it’s finally here and yet, I’m just now getting around to the damn post on my blog because that’s how busy August is for me! Have I mentioned the day job? I’m pretty sure I have. Something to do with a school district and technology. Nothing too important aside from it being the largest school district in the state and nearly 70K students. No big. *shrugs* New servers. Missing data. Expired/forgotten passwords. New software. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So, of course, I somehow thought it would be a brilliant idea to release a book at month’s end.

Because why the fuck not. Right? We all learn lessons in our own special ways. I have henceforth blocked out mid-July through mid-September for any and all publishing/freelance activities indefinitely…..or at least until I’ve left the district, whenever that will be.

I have spent the past several months prepping Dusk of Death for release. Only problem was that I hadn’t locked down an actual release date until early July, which of course, is exactly when the roof blew up at work, RIGHT AFTER I SET THE DATE. I’m not even going to go into the insanity involved at work because it’s already punched my stress levels to their limits and has given me several migraines.

Dusk of Death is up for pre-sale now on Amazon and I’m putting the print together, which probably won’t be ready for release date, but it’ll be available not long thereafter.

If you’re so inclined, you may also join the Facebook event on release day. Celebrate! Win awesome prizes! Have fun! Check out the deets HERE.

August 31st, bitches!

Demons, detectives, and a forensic scientist who has fallen from Hell.
Hell wants her back.
Let the demon hunt begin.

When Armen Leza fell from Hell, demon hunting was the last thing on her mind, but when all Hell breaks loose, this Fallen is humankind’s only hope for salvation.

Armen feels alone in her flesh. She can hear things unheard by humans, scent out the gut-churning stench of evil, and see the shades that lurk in the shadows, but if there is one thing she knows for certain, it’s that demons lie.

When her past keeps rearing its ugly head, Armen and Phoenix P.D. Detective Terry Armstrong must face an apocalyptic event that will throw this world into the Darkness forever, leaving the fate of all humanity in the hands of the malevolent. Getting the truth out of demons can be murder, and Armen must do so before they succeed in extinguishing the Light.


Hogwarts or Bust

…and we survived Florida!

the adventure begins

I probably should have written this post immediately after our return, but exhaustion took over and I desperately needed a vacation from my vacation. Plus, a lot has been happening in our lives, so I really haven’t had time or energy to write much. Hell, my newsletter hasn’t had anything go out since March. Yes, I am *that* behind.

I’d also like to preface this by saying that this is the first vacation I’ve taken that didn’t involve any kind of work whatsoever in ages. I mean, it’s been so fucking long that I can’t even recall how many years have passed. That shit is just unacceptable.

I think I’ll just mostly show you in pictures what our trip was like. BTW, Florida was absolutely gorgeous while we were there. An all-day thunderstorm hit the day after we arrived and it was glorious. Also, I am not allergic to the state….for the most part.

The main reason we were even heading to Florida was because one of my oldest and dearest friends, MrsLoki, was getting married to the love of her life. Finally. Let me emphasize that….FINALLY. Anyway, it was a beautiful wedding and I was happy to be there for her. Our friend D was gracious enough to share her suite with us, and we had a blast the entire weekend.

And we’re off…

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First, let me show you the amazing suite we had at Mystic Dunes resort. It was a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite with a full kitchen. That second image was my bathroom and it was glorious. We had an amazing view of one of the golf courses from the patio in back, and a view of one of several pools from the front door.

(Click on the thumbnails to view larger images)

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Next, the wedding. And yes, the groom arrived in a helicopter, walking off like he was Tony Stark. Perfect. First image is from the Bachelorette party, of course. After that, we went to see Captain America: Civil War because duh. Of course, the day before this blessed event, we spent the day crossing Hogwarts off of Umi’s Bucket List.

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Now, on to Hogwarts and Umi’s incredible 70th birthday!

Hogwarts Castle

Hogwarts, OMG!!!

There’s a lot going on here, but basically this was our walk through the park, starting with the sign Umi put on the front of her cart. We’d gotten her a cart at the park and she rode around on that thing wearing her hat and her birthday pin so every employee who saw her would say, “Happy Birthday!” To which she would respond by whipping her head around, plastering a big smile on her face, and say, “Thank you!” BTW, yes, she did try to run people over a few times.

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Had to get this shot. It *was* her 70th bday after all

Had to get this shot. It *was* her 70th bday after all

IMG_20160506_221011For Umi’s birthday dinner, I made stuffed tilapia and roasted asparagus. We had Red Velvet cake and wine for dessert, and Umi had a wonderful birthday.

Saturday night, D and I were up until 4 a.m. talking on the patio, which gave us about four hours to sleep as checkout was at 10 a.m.

I’m not even going to talk about Orlando’s airport because I’ll just get pissed off all over again and I don’t need that kind of negativity right now.

But fuck that airport.


Out of the Black

So my dearest friend and soul sister, Kitty, decided to turn her playlist into a poem today. I have to admit, it’s pretty stunning. Thusly, I have been challenged, along with the tagged group of fine writerly types. So here goes.

Note: it’s a little creepy, yet frighteningly accurate. Song titles in boldface.


Out of the Black

Out of the black, I fell
Into the becoming, born anew
But it’s not the Same damn life.
Save today before it ends, before it’s gone.

Have you Missed me?
But What difference does it make?
In the House of the rising sun, you Let it die.
You can’t be my Savior; I can’t be yours,
Though I Want you bad.

Drop me in a Lake of fire,
Clean my wounds,
Instead of The bog I fell in.

Fuck you.
I still Hurt at times,
But I became Orestes,
My life a Vicarious atonement
For Thinking of you.

If I didn’t love you, I’d hate you.

They say “Follow me down the path.”
Then they Take me to church
Where they use Words as weapons.
You know I’m no good,
Yet they Wait and bleed.

When I’m Killing strangers,
I’m a Little monster.
You have yet to Figure it out.

Hear my Footsteps
In the Pure morning,
Before I set Sail
To a Bitter sweet symphony.

Casting my Voodoo on you,
I Go! in search of a new life.
Become The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles,
And come Out of the Black.


Botched Beginnings—Common First-Page Killers

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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We can Twitter ’til we flitter and Facebook ’til we face plant and that won’t matter much in the greater scheme of things if we fail at our single most important job—writing a great book. Our single greatest challenge is to hook the reader hard enough to buy (and then read) our novel.

Sales ultimately are impacted by reviews and if no one reads and no one finishes?


Yes, covers are important and social media is vital, but those sample pages can mean the difference in No Sale and Big Hit.

One writing book every writer should have is Hooked by Les Edgerton. I think this was the first craft book that truly woke me up and showed me all I really didn’t know about writing.

As a new author, there were far too many elements I believed were important when in reality? Not so much. Additionally, because I…

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One of the things about working full time at my age with everything I have to deal with on a health level on top of Umi’s health crises is that trying to promote anything regarding my books is daunting. It doesn’t help that I’ve been on medications that affect the way I think for so long that I’m starting to wonder who the hell I am anymore. I can hardly make time to write, let alone do anything else to push them forward. If I want more time to write, I get 5-6 hours sleep, maybe less. If I want to sleep and feel better, I lose writing time. If I could have even a 36-hour day, I’d be happy because I could get shit done.

I know, I know. Poor little ol’ fucking me, right? It’s damn difficult to talk about how you’re feeling without sounding like you’re whining.

The 36-hour day thing is a lie, though. We all know we’d just find more time to procrastinate, play video games, run errands (which I loathe at this stage of my life). Then you think, “Well, if I could make the same amount of money without working as many hours….” but in truth, if you’re anything like me, you’d just find more work to do that isn’t what you need/want it to be. It’s a mindset thing, really. I can’t seem to get my mind used to the idea that my writing is THE job and the IT shit is the hobby. It might have something to do with my paychecks.

Health-wise, there are a million things wrong with me, but hey, none of it is trying to kill me at this present time, so if I could just push past the fatigue and brain fog, and piercing headaches, I could actually get shit done. Right now, all I’m getting done is shit at the day job, or shit that people send to me with money attached because I do things for money. Not those things. THESE things. I started working out again, waking up at 5:00 A.M. because I’m apparently insane. Doc is slowly working me off one of three meds that affect how my brain works, or doesn’t, really; I’m just hoping the hellish pain of the pinched nerve doesn’t return with it. By the way, I started this post a while back. Hell, there’s a fifth installment of The Secret Life of Jinxie G that’s been sitting in draft since February. That’s how tired I am. I get home, get comfy (if I don’t have to go to the store or take Umi to a doctor appointment or do anything else outside the house), and veg out in front of my TV for the next few hours before bed, making dinner at some point in between, because by this point I. Am. Exhausted.


*sits up again*

I keep telling myself to STFU, stop making excuses, and get the shit done. Then my body laughs at me and I realize that I’m really not making excuses 99% of the time. Okay, maybe 90% of the time. But still….

Know what else causes the exhaustion? Allergies. My body is fighting off everything outside right now, so having to even set foot out my front door means either hives or not breathing, and I kind of like breathing. Working with people who insist on leaving a fucking door open regardless of what I say because “It’s so nice outside” does not help me in the breathing department. I’m having trouble breathing now, and I have a headache. Both signs of the allergens outside kicking my ass.

the adventure begins


LHogwarts Castleast week, Umi and I took off to Florida for a couple of adventures. The first was to cross Hogwarts off Umi’s Bucket List. We had a blast. I’ll write up a separate post for that.

The second reason we were in Florida was because my BFF from high school got married! Seriously, I’m writing that post soon because the groom’s entrance was thunderous.

My point for telling you about the vacation is that when we returned home, I needed a vacation from my vacation. I tried to wake up at 5am to work out….no go. So I’ve decided I’ll start that routine again next week. I’m still pretty fucking tired like I’ve been all week long. I’m starting to think it’s just being in this state with the allergy attack going full throttle, and I don’t know what to fucking do about it….except sleep.

It’s all just extremely frustrating because while I can vomit a few paragraphs onto a blog post here or there (which has been pretty fucking sporadic lately), writing or editing my own work (books) is difficult to do at home, after work, or even on the weekends because I so very fucking tired (that typo proves it). I’m not even going to go into the arthritis in my hands and elsewhere as of late.

*head desk*

Something needs to change. I just don’t know what it is yet. Well, I might have an idea….

Going Pro—Learning from a Master & Win a Chance to Be James Patterson’s Next Co-Author

I am quite guilty of failing to commit to my writing over the years, but a lot of that has changed recently. I decided to focus on myself, my dreams, to put a ring on my writing. It’s slow going and difficult working around a full time job, but I’m getting there. After not being able to write much more than a short story here and there after the “event” seven years ago, it’s refreshing to be working on a novel again and actually *gasp* PLOTTING it.

At any rate, read Kristen’s words. She’s one smart cookie.😉

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Master's Class site. Image via Master’s Class site.

Today I have something exciting to tell you guys about *bounces up and down like a kid*. Last week we talked about Going Pro and today I’d like to springboard off some of what we talked about. One of the reasons it is so vital for authors to take ourselves seriously, is it directly impacts how we operate. So long as we view what we do as “our little thing” or “a hobby” or we are “aspiring,” we are hesitant to do the activities that will truly matter. We will fail to commit.

We are just “shacking up” with our dream instead of putting a ring on it.

If we haven’t yet mentally “gone pro” often we won’t make our writing a priority. Everyone and everything comes first and if there is any time left over? Well, then we can write.


We will also…

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Skinny Orange Chicken

…unless you eat more than one serving.

Okay, I found this little gem on Pinterest. Now, sometimes you run into a recipe that is just garbage, likely because some bored jackass felt like getting his jollies off making people taste shitty food. I prefer to witness events that I place in motion, but that may just be me. Regardless, this recipe actually checks out because I’ve made it twice now. The second time I had to tone down the spices a bit and add more liquid, but I’ll explain that below.

Skinny Orange Chicken


This is supposed to be healthier than the restaurant version. Not sure if that’s exactly true, but since I use mostly organic items and fresh at that, it very well could be these days.

YIELD: about 4-6 servings
PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 10 mins
TOTAL: 20 mins


2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
orange chicken sauce (ingredients below)
toppings: thinly-sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, orange zest


3 cloves garlic, minced (I do pressed; same fucking thing in my book)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. white pepper
zest of one orange
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Here’s where I altered it the second time I made it; the sauce. I doubled the orange juice and used only 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch to keep it from becoming too gelatinous, and I held back about half the ginger and white pepper. That way Umi could eat it without gagging. Me too, for that matter. And I only used two boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of 2 lbs. I also cooked white rice instead of the quinoa below. I may give that a try the next round.


1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups chicken broth



0203161913Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute for about 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and nearly cooked through.

Pour in the orange chicken sauce, and stir to combine. Let the sauce come to a boil, then boil for an additional minute or two until thickened. Remove from heat and serve immediately over quinoa or rice. Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and additional orange zest.



Whisk all ingredients together until combined. If you would like the sauce to be even sweeter, add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of honey.


You can see Ali’s step-by-step photo tutorial for how to cook quinoa here.


Vive bene, spesso l’amore, di risata molto!

(live well, love much, and laugh often)